NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPE FEBRUARY 14 2019: KNIGHT OF PENTACLES

The Knight of Pentacles asks us to savor slow and steady movement towards manifesting our heart’s visions, says Brandon Alter … Cast using the Prisma Visions Tarot 

WHAT CAN GODDESS APHRODITE TEACH YOU ABOUT LOVE?

As Pisces season brings on the deep emo vibes, George Lizos tells us how the Goddess Aphrodite can help us start calling in the flavor of love we need right now …

Photo: Joanna Nix

Meeting Aphrodite … 
Growing up in Cyprus, the island where Aphrodite was reputedly born, my childhood was saturated with the art, stories, and myths surrounding the Goddess of Love. Everywhere you looked she was there, posing in her seductive nakedness in statues and paintings.

As an adult, dissatisfied with my love life and drained of feminine energy, I travelled back to my homeland with a single desire in mind: I wanted to know love more deeply, more fully. 

I drove to Aphrodite’s Rock, the beach where, according to Hesiod’s myth, the Goddess was born of the sea foam and washed upon the shore. And as I walked into the calm, cool water of the Mediterranean Sea, I felt layers upon layers of sexual shame, limiting beliefs around love, past hurts and resentments, all washing off of my body.

Right then and there, I met Aphrodite. And love finally made sense, for the first time.

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What can the Goddess Aphrodite teach you right now? 
Embodying Aphrodite invites us to accept and honor romantic love in all its meanings and layers. The four ancient epithets she’s been given mix the sea (sensual love), land (erotic love), and sky (spiritual love) energies. Read on to discover which of the four qualities of Goddess Aphrodite is currently missing from your life … 

Photo: Zara Walker

1// Ourania (Sky element; Spiritual love): This is the spiritual, romantic essence of love, that’s best experienced when a couple is “in love” with each other. The experience of falling in love transcends the ego’s perception of love, helping us realize that in spiritual truth, that all is love. Call upon Ourania Aphrodite if you’re having trouble committing to, or falling in love with, a partner.

*How to Call Her In: Mentally place a pink rose within your heart. Visualize the rose blooming slowly and radiating pink light, allowing the energy of Ourania Aphrodite to replace any blocks you have around being vulnerable and opening your heart.

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2// Chrusee (Sea element; Sensual love): This is the love towards oneself that’s fundamental for healthy romantic relationships. It also includes the act of adorning your body with beautiful clothes, jewelry, oils, and perfume. Call upon Chrusee Aphrodite if you’re struggling with low self-esteem, lack of self-love, and body confidence.

*How to Call Her In: An unorthodox yet powerful way to embody Chrusee Aphrodite is by taking away all external body adornment props (i.e. jewelry, clothes, perfume), and facing yourself naked in the mirror. Closing your eyes, visualize your body emanating a bright golden light that reflects its inner, perfect beauty. Open your eyes and accept this new perspective as your truth.

Photo: Hal Gatewood

3// Peitho (Land element; Persuasive Love): Playfulness, flirting, teasing, and being able to seduce a partner into meaningful romantic and sexual experiences. Call upon Peitho Aphrodite to attract vitality if your love life is feeling dull and stagnant.

*How to Call Her In: Buy or create a blend of rose, frankincense and myrrh essential oils. Add three drops in your palms, rub them together, and then use your hands to clear and energize your aura. These three oils were traditionally used for seduction by Aphrodite’s priestesses; instilling your aura with them will give you the inspiration you need to spice up your love life.

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4// Philommeides (Land element; Erotic love): The love of bodily pleasures and intimate sexual connection between lovers. Call upon Philommeides Aphrodite if you have a low sexual drive, have trouble enjoying sex, or lack sexual chemistry with your partner/s.

*How to Call Her In: Just as the name suggests, to embody Philommeides Aphrodite you need to learn to love and accept your genitalia. Spend time observing, exploring, and pleasuring yourself. Educate yourself in your own sexual rhythms, needs, and desires. Make peace with them, accept them without judgment, and let them guide the way in your sexual encounters.

Photo: Michael Paz

Once you’ve channeled your personal Aphrodite, amp up the vibes with a beach ritual to honor romantic love in all its expressions. **And you can download the Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite HERE to infuse your ritual with even more magic!

-Sit or stand on the shoreline, at the point where the waves crash on the sand, and close your eyes. If you don’t have access to the sea, just visualize yourself there and you’ll still benefit from the meditation.

-Breathing in and out, ground yourself and allow your body to adjust to the fluid energy of this in-between place. Reflect on what it means to be at the meeting point of sea, land, and sky, which captures Aphrodite’s multi-layered essence.

-Either mentally or verbally say, “I am Aphrodite,” over and over again. The ‘I am’ statement invites the essence of Aphrodite into your present moment.

-When you establish a connection with the goddess, spend some time reflecting on your willingness to honor both earthly and heavenly love. Do you reject one or the other? Do you feel guilty about either? Are you willing to accept both in your life?

-With eyes closed, open your arms wide and receive the Aphrodite qualities you need in your life right now. As the hymn ends, hug the energy into your heart by gradually bringing your arms and hands to your chest.

-End the meditation by thanking Aphrodite for her continued presence in your life, and ask her to keep guiding you in embodying romantic love to its fullness.

George Lizos is a spiritual teacher, author of Be The Guru, and the creator of the Mermaid Bootcamp. He works with the angelic and elemental realms helping lightworkers find, follow, and fulfill their life purpose. To learn more about George visit georgelizos.com, and follow him on Instagram.

HOLY F*CK: VALENTINE’S DAY EDITION

In a special Valentine’s Day Edition of her monthly column, Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo tells us how reclaiming your “single” status can lead to the greatest love of all.

Portrait by Caitlin Mitchell Studio

From “intimacy grad school to solo initiation 
From age 21 to 32, I was in “Intimacy Grad School,” aka back-to-back relationships without breaks. Yet there were certain parts of myself I was not integrating. I always had trouble staying dedicated to my spiritual practice with someone traipsing around the bedroom while I was mid-meditation. I also hid some of my weirdness and wildness in certain moments. But more than anything, I hid my mystical.

But for the past two and a half years, I have been single and working on myself deeply, alone. I needed to be by myself to REALLY vow that I would never abandon my practice for anyone, ever again. And I also know that the subsequent career growth, shamanic initiation, and unfolding of myself, had to happen solo so I could define myself as ME and not as WE.

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What are you really in love with?  
In these years, I have gone deep into both the pains and joys of being “single.” And part of this process has been about realizing that the word “single” is problematic to begin with. The word implies a LACK of something. And it implies that if you aren’t in a partnership, you aren’t whole in some way. Cause let’s face it- knowing if someone is “single” or not ties into old school traditional ways of viewing relationships and love and sex.

What if instead of saying “I’m single,” we said “I’m currently in love with my book writing!” Or “I’m loving my besties so hard right now!” Or “I’m doing some major healing work.” Because chances are you are deeply loving and in partnership with MANY things in your life, with or without a romantic love.

When we define ourselves based on LACK we set ourselves up for suffering, pain, anxiety, depression. When we define ourselves based on what excites us, makes us feel alive, connected, sexy and real—then we reprogram ourselves for success!

Now, that doesnt mean it’s not okay to want Love, or partnership, or a family. Allow that yearning. Always! But there is a difference between wanting something from a strong grounded place versus wanting something from a desparate clingy place outside of ourselves. One feels REALLY good to claim. The other feels like anxiety in the body.

Read on for 5 ways to swap your “single” status for “in love with so many other things” … 

Portrait by Caitlin Mitchell Studio

1// Stay connected to your heart. There is no better time to get to know the deepest of your Heart’s desires than when you have time and space. Get to know your blocks. Your barriers to Love. Your yearning. Your longing. How can you ask another to enter your Heart if you don’t know your own Heart? DO your work. Now is the time

*Easy ways to begin: Journal and/or meditate daily. Make a Pinterest boards of “What Makes you feel Alive” or “What Turns you On” and most of all BREATHE. Learn to let your belly hang loose and let breath travel through your body for a hugely more connected experience of living.

2// Change your words, change your realityChange your WHOLE vocab around dating, sex and love. No more “Honestly there are just no good men in X (swap X for your city).” Or, “Gosh dating in LA is so hard!” New Yorkers say the same. Small towners say the same. Your language CREATES your reality.

*Easy ways to begin: Try focusing on the good stuff—”Wow! I met two amazing, conscious men last week.” Sounds cheesy but it will reframe your experience! When someone does something kind for you, like opens a door or offers to help you at the store, take notice. And say it aloud: “Wow so sweet this guy carried my groceries!” It’s a SIMPLE practice but it can move mountains.

3// Reclaim your solo sex practice. This one can get super hard. But if you’re walking around horny all the time and unfulfilled, you will be like a starving animal on the prowl.

Take back your sexual power instead of waiting for someone to enter your life and get you off. Yes, it’s not the same. But you are going to feel so yummy and juicy if you start this process. Folks are gonna tooooootally look at you differently in Whole Foods. Trust me.

*Easy ways to begin: Take your masturbation practice up a notch. No more lazy vibrator in sweats to an old porn nights. Put on lingerie. Burn a candle. Buy some new toys. Explore something new on your own. Buy some erotica to read in the tub. Go to a ropes class.

4// Get clear about your REAL values. Many times we “think” we know and then someone comes and we’re all googoo gaga for them and wake up 6 months later like “whoops, our values are not aligned” because we didn’t define and clarify what we wanted. So take this time to dial in your business and get clear on your desires.

*Easy ways to begin: Get to know yourself—not the you from last year. What are you into right now, what do you want more of in your life, what are your hard Yeses and hard Nos in love and sex and relating?

5// See the whole world as your soul mate.  This is *advanced* spiritual practice my Loves!  But you can let love flow through you ALL the time. In every old man’s smile. Each caress of wind on your cheek. You see, there is no separation between the Beloved and You and your Whole Life. This is the shit the mystics talk about. Rumi. Hafiz. This is real deal work, and focusing on this will let your Heart be met ALL THE TIME.

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Alexandra Roxo works with clients one-on-one, both in person and online, and focuses on sexual healing, sensual embodiment and empowerment! *Parts of this piece were edited from Alexandra’s “Sex Goddess” monthly column on Horoscope.com—check out her other work HERE.

WHY FEBRUARY IS THE MOST FEMINIST MONTH

It’s time to upgrade your normative notions of Valentine’s Day date nights. Lucy North tells us why why February is the most feminist month … Art: Naro Pinosa 

Art: Naro Pinosa

It may still feel cold outside—but Spring is coming! And this precious period of in-between is actually a key time of year to tap into the Divine Feminine through the ancient practice of co-creating with Gaia, the seasons, and nature.

While many of us have sold ourselves to the Monday-Friday lifestyle, the origins of these days actually connect us to Divine Feminine energy. After all, Monday is actually “Moonday” and Friday is dedicated to the Goddess Freyja. The Divine Feminine is both the beginning and the end, and a reminder of our power to break free and make time be whatever we want.

In response to the seven-day week of patriarchal DOING, here are seven reasons to reclaim February as the most powerfully feminist month …

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1// V.Day Actually Celebrates Your Erotic Sovereignty 
Before it was renamed by the Roman Catholic Church, Valentine’s Day was originally known as “Freyja’s Day.” Freyja was the Pagan Goddess not of romantic, but of erotic love, and on February 14th women would hand out cards to as many men as they desired.

Transcending the gender stereotypes of today, women were seen not only the gateway to new life, they were considered at one with the desire, love, and sexual energy that runs through nature. Reclaiming this celebration of women as desire itself (rather than objects), realigns us with our ability to create anything we want.

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2// 28 Days Means Lunar Power
Before being scrapped by the Church, the year adhered to the Goddess calendar—meaning there were 13 months and not 12, which reflected the 28 day cycle of both the Moon and womb.

Being only 28 days long, February is the only month of the year that still respects the Goddess calendar, and honors how the seasons and year really flow. This month, treat your womb like a second heart (whether or not you have a literal or metaphorical space there). Listen … what does it want to birth?

Art: Naro Pinosa

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3// Imbolc Challenges the Madonna-Whore Complex
The pagan calendar marks February 1st as Imbolc—an important step towards March’s Spring Equinox. This is the time to release some of our 9-to-5 programming in favor of a kind of “land feminism” that lets us co-create with the upcoming Equinox’s tantric energy.

The Celtic Triple Goddess Brigid, synonymous with this day, is the Queen of the Underworld, the Mother of all beings, and the Mistress of the Elements. Whether it’s the sacred prostitute, the Divine Mother or the snake in the garden of Eden, the Divine Feminine holds and honors it all. Think of February as a time to break free from the pain of having to be “one type of woman”—and to exchange archetypal constraints for a wildish knowing.

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4// Pisces Season Wants You to Wombifest  
As the Sun enters the final zodiac sign of Pisces on February 19th, right before the birth of the new astrological year, it’s time to create a nourishing, protective womb that will enable you to tap into the oceanic source of all life.

This means retreating from the “busy-ness” of everyday life, and setting some boundaries to re-connect with your soul. Just like a mother that needs to retreat for the last month of pregnancy, create a safe space for you as Divine Mother to meditate, breathe, make love, self pleasure, journal, paint, sing, do yoga, and eat well. Rest in the womb and let your Divine Child emerge!

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5// Saturn in Capricorn Spells Sacred Union Time 
2018’s sees the Goddess month of February with Saturn in the sign of Capricorn, spelling out the start of something huge for the Divine Feminine. Capricorn is technically a “yin,” or feminine sign, but it’s also cardinal, with a mountain-building, masculine energy that asks us to blend action and intuitive knowing.

The Divine Masculine can only come THROUGH the Divine Feminine. It will only come through an open heart and the womb of collective feeling—and, yes, as with any birth, through pain. Women and those who embrace the Divine Feminine have been socially okay’ed to feel more of this, so we must lead the way. This integration asks us to do what we love by taking action, and watch the fear fly away.

Art: Naro Pinosa

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6// The Aquarius New Moon Catapults Us Into Fairy Territory
When people are told they’re “away with the fairies,” it’s almost a derogatory comment. We say it’s time to celebrate our visits with the fairy realm!

With a New Moon in Aquarius on February 15th, it’s time for the Divine Feminine to swoop high, dream big—and to astro travel our dreams into the 3rd dimension. This New Moon also ends the longest complete lunar month of 2018 (the last New Moon was on January 16th, giving us 29 days, 18 hours, and 48 minutes). Mama Moon is giving you extra time to push on through, with a clear focus on new beginnings.

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7// Mama’s Wide Open During Eclipse Season
With January 31st’s Super-Blue-Blood Lunar Eclipse bonanza, and the upcoming Solar Eclipse on February 15th, the first two weeks of Feb see us in the middle of two incredibly catalytic aspects. It’s like the universe has its legs wide open in breach position providing a gateway though which we can birth projects, artistic endeavors, networks, and relationships that reflect our divine purpose.

Goddesses: F is for February, F is for Fertility, F is for the future. Reclaiming feminist February means pretty much get it on with the universe!

Lucy North is a writer, healer, and artist. She will be running a Goddess Healing Circle in honor of Freyja this Tuesday, February 13th, at The Alchemist’s Kitchen in New York. Click HERE to reserve your spot. She will also be holding an “I’m Every Woman” Goddess Circle at RA MA New York on Sunday, 25th February. Find out more and reserve your space HERE

A Self Love Prescription For V Day

Here’s to falling in love … with YOU! Tea alchemist and serial optimist Alicia Henry delivers a self love prescription for your V Day. Illustration: Soleil Ignacio

 

Valentine’s Day …  Whether you’re single or in a partnership, this commercial “holiday” can bring on a wave of negative feelings. Some of us become plagued with thoughts of loneliness, heartache, and even begin to question our self-worth. But there is hope for turning this day (and everyday) into a positive, love-filled experience. And you don’t have to search any further than yourself.

Loving yourself is the most vital action you can take towards your overall well-being and vitality in this life. Not only will you come to the realization that you are a divine being, but you’ll begin to draw others into your life who are also aligned with nourishing their souls and evolving into the best version of themselves. A beautiful ripple effect of LOVE. 

Like any new skill, self-love takes practice, determination, flexibility, and patience. It’s a practice we have to cultivate. This V Day is the perfect time to renew (or begin) your own self-love affair and I’ve concocted a self-love prescription to get you started. Here’s to falling in love with YOU!

Photo: Danny Lane

1. Morning Gratitude + Affirmation Ritual: Our mornings can make or break the rest of our day, so upon waking, take a moment to acknowledge 10 things that you are grateful for. This could mean being thankful for your soft pillow that you lay your head upon, or your two healthy feet that work tirelessly to get you around all day long! This is the first step to simply becoming grateful for who you are.

*Pro Tip: I love to cleanse my space before beginning my morning ritual. My favorite way of doing this is to light Palo Santo—the aroma is sweet and soothing, and it opens my space for newness.

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2. Solo Date: When we’re feeling lonely, the first thing we tend to do is run away from the loneliness and fill the void with social engagements. Friends are definitely a major component to our happiness, but if we can’t be happy solo then our social circles become a mere distraction from ourselves. Try turning inwards. You may actually love what you find!

*Pro Tip: A solo date could just mean reading an empowering book, like Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ classic Women Who Run With The Wolves.

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3. Write Yourself a Love Letter: Letter writing is becoming a lost art, but that doesn’t mean romance is dead. Write yourself a love letter that you can open up any day you need it.  The letter can include recognizing your greatest strengths, honoring what you believe makes you unique, and forgiveness for any negative feelings about yourself.

*Pro Tip: Create a romantic letter writing experience by lighting candles, burning incense, and using beautiful stationery. To get your creative juices flowing, check out this beautiful poem by the Romantic poet, William Wordsworth. Wordsworth describes his beloved as “a creature not too bright or good.” Who’s perfect anyway

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4. Meditate: Our minds are constantly buzzing, and meditation is an invaluable and truly intimate practice that brings us closer to ourselves, our intuition, our truth, and what really matters in life (to us). Even if it’s 10 minutes per day, give this peaceful, quiet gift to yourself.  

*Pro Tip: If you’re new to meditation, there are some awesome apps that will help guide you!

5. Practice Forgiveness: It’s all too easy to get caught up in the mistakes we’ve made, things we wish were different, our so-called imperfections, and other stories that we’ve created and hold against ourselves. But if it weren’t for our mishaps and wrong-turns, we would never evolve. Be tender and forgive yourself for anything that you’re holding onto that doesn’t serve your happiness.

*Pro Tip: The raspberry rose colored Rhodochrosite crystal (above) is known to activate the heart chakra, and promote self-worth and forgiveness. 

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6. Dance: Want a ticket to instant joy? Dancing is a way to connect to our essential life force. Don’t worry about what you look like—just let loose and feel the music. Whether you’re dancing with friends, or using your hairbrush as a microphone in your bedroom, never stop dancing!

*Pro Tip: Start the solo party with my three favorite tunes for dancing by myself—Pat Benatar’s  Love is a Battlefield, Banarama’s Cruel Summer and of course, Whitney’s How Will I Know.

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7. Take a Sexy Selfie: And see yourself through the eyes of lust. Sexy selfies don’t need to be sent to a lover, they can also be sent to your friends! A girlfriend of mine recently started a thread with her friends’ sexiest selfie submissions—it’s been such a beautiful, safe, body-positive experience.

*Pro Tip: The piece of lingerie I’m loving most at the moment is this black bodysuit by True&Co.

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8. Self-Care Spa: Taking the time to pamper your skin, hair, and nails is a rejuvenating self-care ritual that’ll give you that little extra pep in your step. 

*Pro Tip: In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s an easy recipe for a truly decadent body scrub: In a mason jar mix 1 cup coffee grounds (just scoop ‘em off the bottom of your french press—no waste, yay!) with ½ cup coconut oil and ¼ cup raw cane sugar. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and you’re good to scrub! I find that vanilla and/or essential rose oil are great accompaniments to the awakening coffee aroma. Keep your scrub in the refrigerator when you aren’t using it. Enjoy, beauty!

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9. Rest Sweetly: Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. When we skimp on sleep, it directly affects our mental well-being. We wake up feeling groggy, our digestive and immune systems are thrown off, and we’re easily spun into negative thinking. Create a peaceful sleeping experience for yourself with kind bedding, a dark room, and a no-electronics policy.

*Pro Tip: Whenever I have trouble falling asleep, I add some lavender infused essential oil to my third eye and lower palms. I cup my palms over my face and breathe in slowly. When you focus on your breath and begin to slow your breathing, you’ll simultaneously slow your heart rate and bring yourself to a restful place.

Naked Sage Tea’s “I Care Deeply” Blend

Alicia Henry is an Herbal Alchemist  and Founder of Naked Sage Tea, an organic tea company based in Venice, CA. A serial optimist, she is aptly part of the team that achieved The International Day of Happiness, which became a resolution of the United Nations. Follow Alicia and Naked Sage Tea on Instagram for more romance, adventure, and sweet self-love. 

A SACRED SPACE RITUAL FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Laurey Simmons of The Colourful Dot Boutique, shares a sacred space ritual to open your heart this Valentine’s Day…

Beyond the chocolates and red roses, Valentines Day for me is a precious reminder to keep our hearts open. As psychotherapist and spiritual teacher John Welwood says, our heart’s true purpose is really: “to be an open channel through which great love flows into this world.”

One of my favorite ways of opening this channel is by spending time in my sacred space. A sacred space is simply one corner of our home environment where we keep beautiful objects that are special or sacred to us. The space can be as large or as small as you want. Even if you only have a small section of a shelf, this too can be a perfect place to make your sacred space.

Keeping a sacred space is a precious gift to our soul, a reminder of how we want to be in the world, a mirror reflecting back to us our Inner Beauty.

Read on for a sacred space ritual for an open heart…

1. First thing to do is to cleanse the energy of your space. One of my favorite ways to cleanse is by burning Frankincense resin. Dropping a few pieces of the resin onto a burning charcoal disc allows for the heavenly smoke to rise and fill the surrounding air. Breathing in this aroma, I find my mind-chatter settles, my body relaxes, and my energies become grounded.

2. With the theme of Love in mind, I’ll be adding a few drops of Rose Oil into my diffuser. The combination of Frankincense and Rose Oil smells seriously divine! Rose of course exudes love and beauty, both visually and through her perfect scent. Did you know that Rose essential Oil has been proven in studies to reduce anxiety and produce deep levels of relaxation?

3. Now for some visual beauty. Nothing opens my heart more than beautiful objects from Mother Nature, especially crystals. Three pink, heart-centered stones I’m working with a lot at the moment are Rose Quartz, the mother of Love stones; Mangano Calcite, which radiates the energies of the heart in a very gentle, nurturing, and soothing way; and Pink Morganite, also known as the Pink Emerald, and a wonderful tool to help cultivate qualities of the heart, like compassion. I also love to add fresh flowers to my sacred space—in this case, either fresh pink roses or a bowl of dried pink roses.

4. The next step is to connect to the energy of those who radiate an open heart or Unconditional Love. It could be a spiritual teacher, a historical or mythical figure, a friend or family member. At the moment, the chosen beings of light in my sacred space are Ram Dass, Maya Aneglou, Thich Nhat Hann, Joni Mitchell, and Heqet (the Ancient Egyptian goddess and symbol of new life). Ideally, print off some small images of these people so they can beam their light right back at you from the heart of your sacred space.

5. An open heart is only truly open if we can keep it so in challenging situations. With this in mind, I like to have an object in my sacred space that symbolizes this challenging situation or person. This practice is taken from one of my spiritual teachers, Ram Dass, who spoke about his own puja table and how he’d have pictures of his teachers there, Buddha, Hanuman, Maharajah, Mary, and how every morning he would greet them with love. This included a picture of one of his most difficult people, Caspar Weinberger, President Reagan’s Secretary of Defense. An alternative to a picture of a specific person is simply to include a broken or damaged object. I sometimes use a decaying leaf to, reminding me of those spaces in my heart that sometimes struggle to stay open, allowing feelings of compassion towards that situation or person that challenges us.

6. To finish this ritual, I love to place my hand on my heart and set a little intention: to keep the people who inspire me and the beauty, especially the beauty of imperfection, in my heart throughout the day, so I can be a more compassionate and loving person in the world. I also recommend placing your hand on your heart throughout the day, especially if you ever feel it closing up. This simple gesture can bring you directly back to that inner space of Beauty and Love.

Discover more about Laurey and her work at The Colourful Dot Boutique, an online sanctuary for Inner Beauty. Pre-order her new book, The Inner Beauty Bible: Mindful rituals to nourish your soul, today. 

AN HONEST RELATIONSHIP: HOW TO LOVE AND BE LOVED

Step fully into your light for an honest relationship that shows you how to love and be loved, says Hannah BierArtwork: “Lovers” by Marina Gonzalez via Behance.net

They told me that true love was sweet and sticky. They told me that if I manage to stay obedient and pure, a Prince will come and save me. He will wear tight-ass leggings and put me in a castle, where we will have mediocre sex until the end of time.

Well, my dating life used to be land mine after land mine and I know all too well about the brain fuck of modern societies’ views on romantic love. And it’s time to stop shitting ourselves and get real about what truly enlightening love looks like.

Here’s what you need to know if you want a mindful relationship where you’re free to love fiercely and be loved rapturously:

1. LOVE THEM SO MUCH THAT YOU PISS THEM OFF
Relationships that are either dysfunctional or incredibly boring share one common trait: the lovers dance around one another trying not to piss each other off. The truth is, the best thing you can do is to be your wildest, most obnoxious self, especially around the people you want to keep in your life.

We’ve been through tremendous amounts of family programming, plus the societal conditioning that piles a ton of limiting beliefs on top of the unhealed trauma we’ve amassed over the years. As a result of our lived experiences, we develop vices and behavioral patterns for dancing around our true fears and desires. It becomes easier to surround ourselves with people who join in this dance with us, and to never even try to get off auto-pilot.

Being your awakened and audaciously high-maintenance self means dancing in the way of your lover, and interrupting their pattern. It means being the one who loves them enough to not enable them to keep re-living their past. So do not restrict your own beautiful range of expression to accommodate their sleep-walking.

Just being you, you are going to piss people off who’d rather not wake up—especially those closest to you. But it is an act of fierce love to make them deal with their shit instead of trying to make it easy for them.

It is your business to love, not to look the other way. But too often this is misunderstood, and people make it their business to keep the people they love comfortably numb. If you want to support the spiritual evolution of a person you’ve come to care deeply for, let yourself be difficult and speak your truth.

2. TELL THE TRUTH
The #1 reason relationships end is because the lovers prioritize their own sense of comfort over the relationship. The glue for any mindful relationship is emotional intimacy, for no intimacy means no connection, and therefore no point to the partnership.

In order to keep the juices flowing, you need to continuously gather the courage to say the things you almost daren’t. You have to have the courage to be vulnerable and to make yourself look like an idiot. You have to value the relationship more than the desires of your own ego.

You can either be comfortable or be loved. Because if you don’t step up and show yourself in all your messy glory, it is simply hard to love you. We need to see you, to be able to love you. Don’t blame your shallow conflicts about who bought the wrong toilet paper for the deterioration of your relationship.

Every conflict is an opportunity to stand up and tell the real truth. To throw your lover on the bed and to show them how deeply you want to be with them. Fuck them until they know how much you love them. Or to keep screaming and making up stories, so that you can stay comfortable and lonely. It is completely up to you to show up and give it your all.

3. HOLD THEM THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO HOLD YOU
It is your job to see people for who they truly are. We all have a tendency to downplay our brilliance, to dim our lights, so that we can keep living within what feel like safe boundaries of being. If we never reveal our true nature, we will never make ourselves vulnerable, and we won’t be subject to any criticism.

But you know this won’t work.

By covering up what we really want and settling for something less, we are directing our creative force against ourselves. Playing small is lethal, because every heartfelt dream contains the energy to make it happen. If we pull back instead of going full blast, the energy intended to help you take massive action ends up being trapped in your body where it will slowly kill you.

Don’t let the people you love hurt themselves like that. See them for the genius they truly are. Remind them of how you see them and make a vow to only speak to their higher selves.

How do you want the people you love to show up for life? Don’t you want them to be empowered as creators, infinitely brilliant artists, and deeply loving souls? Hold them the way you want them to show up. Humans are forgetful, make it a habit to remind people of what they really need to understand about themselves.

This, is fierce love.

UNCONDITIONAL SELF-LOVE: A SACRED ROSE QUARTZ RITUAL

Learn how to use a Rose Quartz ritual as a tool for self-love and beautification. By Laurey Simmons of The Colourful Dot.

What is it about children and their innate attraction to sparkly and beautiful things? I remember so clearly walking along the beach as a child, looking for the prettiest pebbles, just feeling so full of LOVE, even at this young age, for the beauty of Mother Earth and her magical powers.

This kind of instinctual love can become more difficult to access as we get older and our hearts carry more scars. And with Valentine’s Day approaching, this is a sacred moment for us to remember our innate sense of LOVE ENERGY – which Mother Earth can effortlessly remind us of, if we are open to receive.

Crystals are my direct path back to that instinctive childlike enchantment, and as a make-up artist and spiritual adventurer I have found magical ways of using them to help my clients embody inner and outer beauty. After all, nurturing our innate beauty is not an exercise in vanity, but actually a practice in bringing us closer to the divine.

For me, unconditional self-love is an essential ingredient of inner beauty. And one of my favourite tools to activate this aspect of our self is a Rose Quartz ritual. This gemstone works with the energies of the heart, gently nurturing compassion for self and other.

So how can you use a Rose Quartz ritual to awaken your inner goddess? A simple but very nurturing ritual I love weaves Rose Quartz into a bathing experience. Here’s how:

  • I always begin with spiritual cleansing of myself, my space and my crystals. I love to use the smoke of burning Palo Santo, a ‘holy wood’ from South America that was used in ancient ritual and ceremony to ward off bad energy.  It’s really important to make sure you open a window while cleansing, so that any energy you are wanting to be rid of can leave. Trailing the burning wood around myself and the Rose Quartz, I watch as the smoke travels and fades mystically, as if in a sacred dance. I instantly feel lighter. As I breathe in this rich, heavenly scent, I visualize the smoke spirits soaking up any negative energies, and kindly transporting these energies away.
  • Placing some flowers or a plant at the end of the bath will also allow you to drop deeply into the present moment. I often just gaze at the flowers, absorbed intimately with Mother Earth and all her natural beauty. I have this beautiful quote about flowers as a reminder:

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.” – Georgia O’Keeffe.

  • To elevate your sense of smell, have a relaxing oil burning. I like to use Rose and Geranium oil with this specific ritual. As the aroma fills the air, I enter deeper into a meditative state, visualizing the molecules of scent travelling up through my nose, down my chest and into my heart centre. Here the scent is absorbed by a delicate pink rose, slowly opening its petals to reveal a white healing light.
  • With this image firmly rooted in my heart, I mindfully place the Rose Quartz pieces around the bath. I will usually have a blessing which I will speak when placing each stone. A great blessing for this ritual is: ‘“May I be bathed in the light of unconditional love.” I will also add some Rose Quartz tumble stones (small polished stones) to the water, so that when bathing, I’m fully immersed in the absolute and unconditional love of Mother Earth. Once in the bath, I then imagine the crystals surrounding me linking with each other in a loving, active embrace.
  • When your bathing ritual is over, it is important to ground yourself. I like to visualize tree-like roots anchoring me down to the core of Mother Earth as I dry myself.

Beyond bathing, I also recommend adding some magic to your morning beauty routine. Did you know you can use a Rose Quartz massage stone to apply moisturizer? In ancient times, Egyptian women added powdered Rose Quartz to their beauty potions to prevent wrinkles and to restore a glowing complexion. So, with gratitude and respect for the ancient beauty wisdom of our sister goddesses, I will apply the cream with my stone and visualize my face glowing with a white nourishing light, restoring my inner and outer beauty. An extra little tip to give you Rose Quartz energy on-the-go is to add one or two small Rose Quartz tumble stones into the cream itself, making sure you have cleansed and blessed the stones beforehand.

I hope this Rose Quartz ritual brings you the space to relight the flame of self-love and inner beauty. Here is one of my favorite passages on inner beauty to send you on your way:

“Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”

– Kahlil Gibran, excerpted from The Prophet (A Borzoi Book)

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION, AND MORPHING INTO TRUDIE

I finally tried transcendental meditation, hit up a NYFW zen-den, and decided we must be morphing into Sting & Trudie Styler…Main photo: Ruvan Wijesooriya

:: MONDAY ::
This week has been A LOT about meditation, beginning with a visit to Numinous writer Ellie Burrows’s MNDFL meditation studio in downtown NYC. Ellie and her business partner Lodro Rinzler opened up shop in November, offering New Yorkers in need a space to come breathe – that also looks and smells divine, and has Rishi tea on tap. “But when are you coming to Brooklyn?” I whined, since as beautiful as the MNDFL experience is I can’t see myself getting on a subway to go meditate. Or maybe I should take a leaf out of one member’s book, who travels in from Willamsburg to attend two classes per day – now that’s what you call a dedicated practice.

Ellie Burrows and Lodro Rinzler of MNDFL

:: TUESDAY ::
Speaking of which, having dabbled with various meditation techniques over the past five years, I have yet to find one that’s stuck. Mindfulness, zen Buddhist meditation, the Headspace app…I’ve lasted a few months with each at best. And then there was transcendental meditation (TM), which I always figured had to be the real deal since it demands two 20-minute sessions per day, but was always totally intimidated by for the same reason. Until I met Bob Roth from the David Lynch Foundation, who tried to convince me that actually TM was an effortless technique. Well this was the week I took him up on his offer to teach me and…WOW. Effortless IS the word (who knew?), and even a few days in I’m like: why would I not maintain this practice in my life? It’s like I can literally feel my body being de-programed of stress at a cellular level while I sit.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
The limited edition astrology collection by Christian Louboutin for Moda Operandi. That is all.

:: THURSDAY ::
A blissful start to New York Fashion Week at the Serene x Bandier pop-up SereneHouse – a totally high-vibe zen den at fitness fashion store Bandier’s new Fifth Avenue space, Studio B. Oh who am I kidding, I don’t do NYFW (TF), and basically swung by to say hi to beautiful Serene Social founder Millana Snow, who curated the space, get me some reiki and grab a juice from The Butcher’s Daughter on the way to my next TM session. And if you’re in NYC this weekend, I suggest you do the same. The full event line-up is at the bottom of the post and you can RSVP here to reserve a spot.

:: FRIDAY ::
So when the Pisces (husband) and I first got it together BACK IN 1999 (see main pic), we were basically Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue in this music video. Then we got married and went through a kinda David and Victoria Beckham phase (mainly me helping him work on his look). As for our latest incarnation? Well we’ve given up booze and eat mainly plant-based, and we meditate together when we wake up. Our plans for V-day: “fancy trying tantric sex?” he asked last night. Which can only mean our metamorphosis into the next Sting ‘n’ Trudie must almost be complete 🙂

TEMPLE OF VENUS: A MEDITATION FOR MANIFESTING TRUE LOVE

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns…this time, ahead of Valentine’s day, with a meditation to feel and call in the love of your twin flame.

Hi, Venusian Friends! It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so let’s talk about LOVE.

A couple of years ago, someone mentioned a book to me called Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. At the same time, I took a spontaneous three-day trip to Tulum, Mexico, with my roommate in order to escape office banality in favor of much needed tropical revivification. As I sat on the veranda, with my fruit plate and copy of Calling in the One, I met a woman who had an inexplicably magical air. She showed me a book she’d written and asked me to open it up any page, akin to pulling an oracle card. I opened the page to a section called “soul mate” and we laughed for some time (since I was reading a book about soul mates!) And when I read the chapter in Sandra’s book, I found tears in my eyes.

Learning about the idea of soul mates in Tulum allowed for something to change in me. I had spent most of my twenties dating people who were distinctly not my soul mate or soul partner, people whom I thought were cool or aloof or better than I was. People who were unavailable, and who triggered deep insecurity in me, which made me hunt for affection and praise. I hid my intelligence from partners, thinking, strangely, that it made me less attractive. But I found myself opening up to the idea that the way to attract a partner, was to be simply be myself, and found myself considering that men too might be looking for this type of connection. This was revolutionary to me.

But the journey to letting this in took time. Essentially, it was a journey of claiming my worthiness and challenging my insecurities, as well as the programming of the jaded NYC dating scene. As well as a journey to claim something that I had always secretly believed in: true love. In the Now Age, phrases like “soul partner,” “twin flame,” “manifesting a partner” seem to be ubiquitous,  and the story always seems to be the same: love yourself first. Vibrate love and your person will come. In fact, we hear it so often it can sound hackneyed, unsatisfyingly vague, or too granola.

But we can choose to see it differently, with eyes of innocence, just like I chose to allow myself fall in love and be loved in Tulum. We can choose to believe that all of this talk of soul mates is, in fact, speaking to a growing phenomenon, a societal shift, a rallying against the bullshit of modern dating. The more people allow themselves to claim a desire for soul partnership and connection, the more the dating dirt is swept up and, well, the more love there is to go around.

While on my search for my inner confidence and true love, I developed an exercise that ultimately manifested my soul mate in real life. For Valentines Day, I would like to share this exercise with you. Of course use it as you like, and feel free to make any alterations you see fit.

:: A Meditation to Manifest Your Soul Partner ::

  1. Set aside some time for yourself to do this and set your space up. Light candles, put roses or lilies on your bed, anoint your body with essential oil, play soothing music, smudge your room with palo santo or sweetgrass. It’s particularly luxurious to do this before bed.
  2. Whether you’re sitting or lying down, feel the space that’s surrounding you. Feel the surface that’s underneath you and surrender your weight to it. Sigh out of your mouth a few times to release anything that you don’t need. Now feel the energy of the earth in any way that speaks to you. You can imagine fire from the warm core of the earth, tree roots going deep into the ground, your favorite tree, or hold a crystal and breathe in the earth element. The earth symbolizes the mother, the feminine principle. Once grounded, open up to the stars, the sun, the sky, the divine, the cosmic, the heavens. This starry energy (the more outward expression of God) symbolizes the father. Feel the play between these forces in your body: heaven and earth, mother and father, foot and crown.
  3. If you feel comfortable doing so, invite in your divine team in. (If not, skip this step.) Your divine team might include: ascended masters, angels, guides, spirit animals, fairies, mermaids, unicorns, and any other symbols that make you feel loved. Invite them by saying “I’m calling in Archangel Michael” (for example). Tell your team your hopes and fears. Say what you’re looking for in your mate, how doing this makes you feel, and what you desire. You can also speak this to a stuffed animal or crystal if you like!
  4. Ask to see your higher self. Does this bring forth a vision in your mind? A feeling? A sense of knowing? Stick with it. Now declare: “I would like to see the higher self of my soul partner.” See what comes up. Imagine your deep love, your spiritual lover. Feel his or her energy and see what it reveals to you. Have a conversation with him or her. Get to know them. Feel the unconditional love he or she has for you. Imagine this person in front of you is holding you tightly, is kissing you, is making love to you, is laughing with you, is smiling at you—whatever comes up is perfect. Feel held in this energy for as long as you like. Feel held in the arms of your beloved.
  5. When you’re ready, thank your divine team for coming in and tell them they are released. Send up a prayer for yourself, for love, for the planet, for anything and everything that feels good. Rest in the energy of your beloved. Imagine your soul partner holding you as you fall asleep.
  6. You can return to this place of soul-partner love whenever you like. Daydream about him/her, feel him, cultivate a fantasy relationship with them (yes, really! This is a sublimely fun game and it feels divine if you treat it as such). Let the dream world be playful and loving, let it fill your heart with hope and glee. Let him hold you every night as you go to sleep.

Connecting in this way made me so satisfied that by the time my bonafide flesh and blood person came in, I had already let go of the desire for a partner. That is because I already felt him right there next to me.

The most marvelous thing I discovered in pursuing this soul partnership is that the love is all the same. The love for a partner is the love for a child is the love for a beautiful flower or poem is the love for God is the love for creation is the love for a stranger who smiles at you on the street is the love for the sunset over Tulum’s luscious ocean. So try it out, beloved! I can tell you it has transformed my life and I hope it does the same for you. Here’s to true love.

I also recorded this meditation for you to listen to below.

In real life Venus hang time! : If you’re in Los Angeles this V-Day, Holy F*ck genius Alexandra Roxo and I are teaming up to create a special ritual for self-love and partnership, culminating with a sharing of aphrodisiac chocolate and tea, custom card pulls and one-on-one love advice. Find out more here.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s post from last month’s Temple of Venus column.

HELLO CHAKRUBS: YES, THAT’S A CRYSTAL DILDO

Forget the battery operated vibrator, and pick up a high-vibe, soul-opening crystal sex toy from Chakrubs. Founder Vanessa Cuccia shares her story with Gabriela Herstik.

Chakrubs founder Vanessa Cuccia

 

Yes, Chakrubs are exactly what they sound like, and these high vibe crystal sex dildos are here to shake things up! Vanessa Cuccia, the #girlboss behind Chakrubs, is on a mission to promote self-love, acceptance and a whole lot of awareness with some super sensual playtime. And with a background in sex toys and holistic medicine, Cuccia is the natural choice in enlightening the world, one crystal dildo at a time. By combining the healing properties of crystals with sexual energy, and then pairing that with some sexy intention setting, Chakrubs allow you to really root into your pleasure. So whether you’re an amethyst kinda gal or you’re more into onyx, you can get your sexy on while giving yourself some extra TLC – Numinous style.

The Numinous: The crystal dildo – something we would never have thought of but…are totally into. How did you some up with this concept? Why crystals?
Vanessa Cuccia: 
Really, the idea was the result of a culmination of experiences and desires I had experienced since a young age. About age four when my mother had a paranormal experience that opened up many conversations about energy, God, conspiracy, and spirits in my household. My father is also a doctor of the spine, an inventor of a non-surgical medical device called Extentrac to help heal and alleviate back pain, so I also had influence in the importance of homeopathic health.

 

My views on sexuality also played a major role in coming up with the concept. I had held my virginity in high regard, but when I had sex for the first time, I wasn’t ready. For many years, I struggled with feeling pleasure with another person. No sex toy on the market appealed to me, and yet I had a desire to explore my sexuality and remove shame around it. Crystals seemed like a natural and therapeutic option. Once I came up with the name and started telling people my idea, it was clear that this was something that was needed in the lives of many people, and the sex toy industry as a whole. The philosophy behind it being just as important as the product itself: self-love, self-awareness, and self-acceptance.

TN: How do the different stones used in each toy impact the experience?
VC:
Different stones have been used for thousands of years for their various metaphysical properties, since each stone vibrates at a different frequency. One may be best for opening the heart chakra for love, one may be best to open the throat chakra for communication and creativity. We suggest to our customers setting an intention with whichever Chakrub they choose. This way, each time they have a “session” with one, they are reminded of the growth they wish to achieve, the pain the wish to release, or the things they wish to manifest.

TN: Chakrubs merge two really beautiful energies: raw stones and sexual energy. How do they aid one another?
VC:
Crystals have perfect molecular structures, providing a therapeutic vibration that we may benefit from just by being near them. Some of us are very sensitive to crystal energy. Some of us – not so much. For those who aren’t so sensitive, they may first become acquainted with this energy by first feeling their own sexual energy – since arousal is an easy signal to us that energy is flowing. This can lead to the realization that energy is all around us, and helping us flow in whatever circumstance we are in – in turn, helping us navigate all areas of our lives. The energy of a crystal dildo will simply amplify sexual energy, and sexual energy will amplify crystal energy. This works through focused attention and awareness.

 

 

TN: Also, total fans of the wordplay in “Chakrubs.” How does sacred playtime, with the aid of toys, help to balance the energy of the chakras?
VC:
 When we are truly rooted in our pleasure, comfortable and excited, our minds go into a state of meditation. It’s a place free of anxiety. This allows for a clean and unblocked flow of energy, and that flow can become more intense when our intention is also to allow this to happen. The combination of sexual energy, intention and the energy from the Chakrub is powerful medicine for our chakra, endocrine, and nervous system.

TN: One of the most beautiful parts of your mission is to encourage love, especially self-love and acceptance. How does using a crystal dildo facilitate more love, acceptance and awareness?
VC:
 The philosophy behind Chakrubs is self-love, self-awareness, and acceptance. As such, this mission is instilled in each of the products, and there to be connected with each time a person uses a Chakrub, and sexual arousal with the use of Chakrubs becomes a signal to remember and tap into the ideas of self-love, spiritual growth, and awareness.

 

 

TN: How do you think being aware and vocal about your needs, sexually and emotionally, can help spiritual growth?
VC:
Spiritual growth IS self-awareness. It is understanding that everything that happens is happening as it needs to in order to facilitate growth. Removing fear and shame (or rather, not holding on to these feelings) from the part of ourselves that is meant to receive and give pleasure is a potent place to start on a spiritual path.

TN: What’s your advice for someone who is hesitant to experiment and use a sex toy? What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you?
VC:
If someone is hesitant to use a sex toy, don’t use a sex toy! However, if someone is hesitant to use a sex toy but still desires to use a sex toy – figure out what’s scaring you, do your research, and explore! Work towards understanding who you are, and what you need to feel pleasure. This is really about learning to understand and speak of your flaws as points of empowerment. To honor your whole self and your desires.

Discover more at Chakrubs.com

FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE: WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY?

Love chocolate? Well chocolate loves YOU! We discover how in ceremonial doses, raw cacao is a powerful heart opener that paves the way to transformation through self-love…

Heart Beats Raw Cacao and Dance Ceremonies founder Guinevere Short

A while back, we had an intern working at The Numinous who celebrated turning 21 at a raw cacao ceremony. “Most of my friends would have been downing shots of tequila…but I was getting high on chocolate!” she joked. But it turns out raw, ceremonial grade cacao has been used for centuries to unlock euphoric states, release negative emotions, and connect to pure heart energy.

Chocolate + ecstatic healing and transformation. Seriously, is anybody NOT down for some of that?

Guinevere Short has been working with cacao in ceremony since she founded Heart Beats Raw Cacao and Dance Ceremonies in 2013. We got her to give us the lowdown on why chocolate is essentially a catalyst to radical self-love…

WHERE AND WHEN DID CACAO CEREMONIES ORIGINATE?
It’s thought cacao was first used as a health elixir and ceremonial medicine as far back as 1900 BC by the ancestors of Central America, the Olmec people, before becoming a ritualistic medicine used by the Aztec and Mayan cultures. Signifying both life and fertility, it was ingested by Royalty in ceremonial God worship and in sacrificial ritual.

CACAO IS ASSOCIATED WITH UNIVERSAL LOVE – WHY IS THIS? IS THIS WHY WE GIFT CHOCOLATE TO OUR LOVERS?
Due to certain active ingredients that help release ‘feel good’ emotions, cacao is considered a heart opener. Creating feelings of emotional intimacy and pleasure, it has long been considered a luxurious delicacy, especially with the addition of sugar and spices to suit modern palates. Without realizing, we still get to enjoy a small fraction of it’s potential when we eat cacao in a regular chocolate bar. And yes, this is why it has become associated with romantic gestures and pleasurable indulgence!

Guinevere with her shamanic drum photographed in Thailand, 2014

WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY, AND WHEN DO PEOPLE SEEK THIS MEDICINE OUT? 
A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao allows you to the insight and awareness to move towards that goal.

HOW DOES A CEREMONY GO – WHAT’S THE RUN OF PLAY?
I have attended many different ceremonies, and they vary in their approach. I was introduced to cacao initially by my mentor, Daisy Kaye, who brings in a powerful five elements dance journey, and I have also worked with a shaman in Guatemala who honors the cacao with meditation and inner reflection. In the ceremonies that I hold space for, we begin by sitting in sacred circle, honoring the cacao spirit with shamanic prayer, and humbly asking for our intentions to be heard. We serve the cacao in liquid form, and drink together.

Depending on what’s being called for, I intuitively offer sound healing or meditation. We then enter into a sharing with each other, of what we want to let go of and what we are calling in, which creates an intention for our journey. This is a very safe and intimate space, and the people that attend always surprise themselves at how they are able to open up to strangers, especially when they start to realize they we are all a mirror for each other, all just human beings with the same fears and sufferings, the same hopes and dreams. We end with dance, during which the cacao activates within the body and the heart, allowing a truly transformative and ecstatic process to unfold.

Ceremonial cacao is taken in liquid form. Image: Julie Gibbons

HOW IS THE CACAO SOURCED AND PREPARED? WHAT IS A CEREMONIAL DOSE?
I have used cacao from Bali, Equador and Mexico, but I discovered a ceremonial grade cacao sourced in Guatemala by a man now internationally known as the Cacao Shaman, who has been working with the medicine and connecting it to the Western world for many years. Keith and his Guatemalan compadre Tat Isaias (Tat meaning Shaman) work alongside the local indigenous community to provide the highest grade cacao possible, grown in the purest conditions and harvested and prepared with love. A ceremonial dose is around 1 – 2 oz of cacao, mixed with water into a drink. Traditionally cacao was served with chilli and honey, but I have sometimes combined it with other herbs or super foods to assist a particular journey.

WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT?
One of the main active ingredients that we experience in our physiology during ceremony is Theobromine. Theo-broma literally translates as God-Food, and potentiates the release of dopamine, the ‘pleasure’ hormone. This, alongside phenethylamine, which is known to help relieve stress and depression and which is released in the body during emotional euphoria, create heightened sensation and empathy. Alongside these, the high amount of nutrients in the cacao support and nourish the body, whilst also inducing a detoxifying effect on the liver and kidneys.

AND THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT?
Due to the euphoria inducing ingredients, the emotional impact can be profound. Everything feels heightened within the physical and emotional body, including your awareness to your deepest sense of self and to your heart. The experience of love and empathy, particularly for yourself, can literally feel as if your heart is opening like a flower. With this, the body can become flooded with the many emotions stored in the heart, some of which can be painful. It is not always an easy experience, and I have seen many tears shed as people peel away old layers of hurt. But as the cacao facilitates a deep sense of self-love, tears are always followed by smiles of deep gratitude. In other moments, the sheer ecstasy felt from the cacao can be described as nothing other than a divine experience.

Shiny, happy people: Sophie Teakle of The Numinous following a cacao ceremony with Guinevere in Guatemala

WHY IS THIS SUCH A PERSONAL PASSION OF YOURS?
Because I believe in love! In the heart. In opening wide to our potential to follow that heart and be guided into the most alive and joyous expression of our selves possible. Acting on the momentum this creates, people can transform their lives to be living in their highest potential, creating positive experiences for themselves and everyone around them. This for me is a story of evolution; the more that people connect to self-love and awareness of themselves and their behaviors, the more that they can make loving and conscious choices for the greater good of all.

My personal story is that cacao has been part of a journey to heal myself from a chronic illness that left me bed ridden for most of a year. I had lost any sense of who I was or why I was here. Cacao came into my life at a time of transformation, and revealed insights to me that I had waited years for. It was a big part of restoring me to feeling fully alive in myself, totally connected, and fully empowered. Now I am truly blessed to be able to share that medicine with others.

HOW HAVE YOU SEEN PEOPLE’S LIVES CHANGE AS A RESULT OF WORKING WITH CACAO?
I am continually amazed by the transformational aspect of working with cacao, and there have been many emails and phone calls to tell me that since the cacao ceremony, ‘everything has changed’. I think cacao gives you the space to enter into a place of deep reflection and self communion. It allows you access to the subconscious to reveal and heal the deepest aspects of yourself. Especially when used in a ceremonial and intentional way, cacao gives you an opportunity to move towards the fullest expression of who you truly are…and this can be catalytic in removing barriers in all areas of your life; relationships, career, personal growth, creativity, or wherever your focus is. Ultimately, cacao can help deepen your connection to your heart, and expand your capacity to love and be loved. In a world where we’re realizing that everything is love, that’s a pretty potent medicine. And everyone deserves a taste.

Find out more about Guinevere Short and what is a cacao ceremony at Heartbeatscacao.com, and connect with her on Facebook.