TEMPLE OF VENUS: CRAFTS TO CONNECT TO YOUR INNER CHILD

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns with some crafting inspiration to connect to your inner child this Pisces season. PLUS: a bonus video featuring a love potion!

 

It’s Spring! Well, almost. And I don’t know about you, but with the current swell of deep Pisces feelings I’m ready for creative play – and all I want to do is craft.

Over the last year, I have crafted more than since I was a scrap-booking sixteen-year-old. Teaching at Fairy School (an after school program for connecting children to their magic), I found myself making magic wands, fairy houses, bird-feeders, magic necklaces, and it was wondrous. Even cuter was how many of the parents exhibited a desire to craft too. “I want to go to Fairy School!” they’d say.

This is a perfect illustration of how crafting helps you connect to your inner child; to a sense of play and wonder. Crafting slows us down, asking us to consider just how sparkly that bead is, just how cuddlesome this fabric feels. It’s a meditative mindful practice that’s also easy and fun. Crafting invites us to re-enter our childhood mindset and to view each moment through innocent eyes.

This summer, Numinous founder Ruby Warrington and I created the Temple of Venus, a space that created room to explore the feminine. An essential component of this space was craft. We held flower crown and silk dying workshops that were full of giggles, music, sharing, and sisterhood. These events filled up, and I saw the women who attended leave with a sense of vigor and playfulness.

Healer Camilla Blossom Bishop pointed out to me that when we do craft projects, we nurture a deep feminine part of ourselves – our womb space, which is the seat of creativity in the body. Venus loves this approach to connecting to the unadulterated feminine essence, but it’s wonderful for men too, because we all hold feminine and masculine polarities inside of us. Even better, crafting is also a great way to get to know others, because you bond on a deep and innate level.

With that said, here are some easy-peasy, aesthetically pleasing, joyful and invigorating craft projects for you to try at home!

:: MAGIC WANDS ::

You will need:

  • Sticks (small pieces of driftwood are nice)
  • Glitter
  • Wood glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Thick paper such as cardstock

The magic wand is a Fairy School staple. This technique was invented by Maha Rose founder and Fairy School Teacher Lisa Levine and these wands will have you connected to your inner elemental in no time (the photo below is of the beautiful wands she makes).

Put the wood glue in an easy-access container like a glass jar (this way you can save and reuse it easily). Brush glue onto your stick in a stripe around the wood, starting at one end of the stick. Fold your cardstock in half and hold it underneath the stick you as a glitter catcher. Pick a color of glitter and sprinkle the glitter on the glued portion. Pick up your folded paper, gathering up the glitter that has fallen onto it, and siphon it back into the container. This saves a lot of glitter and keeps the colors from mixing. Repeat with another stripe. Repeat. Repeat. If you’d rather go off the grid and not do stripes, you certainly may. You can get extra creative and add strands of beads, feathers, flower petals, or anything else you fancy to your wand.

Note: stray glitter often abounds, so it’s a nice idea to do this craft on a tablecloth or newspaper and to follow up with a vacuum.

:: VISION BOARD ::

You will need:

  • Stack of magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Poster board

Vision boarding is the ultimate girl time activity and a powerful manifestation exercise that gets you in touch with your desires – especially following a New Moon! But whenever I do it, I’m surprised by what my board reveals to me, and I exclaim (inwardly or outwardly): “Oh wow, that’s what I’m desiring right now.” For the vision board is a visual representation of your dreams — the things you want to achieve, obtain, and experience. It’s great to do this with a group of pals and let the love flow.

Start by flipping through the magazines and pulling images you feel drawn to. Then cut these into pleasing shapes and glue them down to your poster board. As I learned from Sara Goff who runs a group called Vision Board Soiree, there are two ways to do this:

1. Pull intuitively whatever images make you feel really good.
2. Know what you want on your board and look for those images.

Most people will find themselves tending toward 1 or 2 (1 Is more Ying, 2 Is more Yang). Make a conscious effort to mix up these two techniques and see what happens. You can also announce to your friends what you’re looking for – “I want a yacht!” – and have them help find it (this asks you to speak your desires aloud). You can also suggest an image to someone if you feel like it’s for them. This way, everyone interacts with each other’s boards.

If you get an image that’s almost right but you’re not sure, dump it. You gotta LOVE it like those perfect jeans. When your boards are completed, share them with one another, discussing your experiences and discoveries. I once did this with a bunch of art students and it was like a mini art history critique, but the most positive, supportive crit in history!

A Vision Board Elyssa made last year

:: MERMAID RATTLE ::

You will need:

  • Small glass container with lid
  • Little bells
  • Yarn
  • Beads, shells, crystals, glitter, and any other things that you find pretty

Nature spirits (mermaids, unicorns, angels, fairies, dragons, gnomes) love when we sing to them, and this rattle will give your song an extra dose of magic. I just made one of these babies last week in a water healing gathering held by Camilla Blossom Bishop. Ours were mermaid themed, but you can use them for any element or elemental.

You can get creative with your container. Light blue and clear are nice, but even a salt shaker will do. Open the container you chose. Put beautiful tiny objects like beads, shells, crystals, glitter, feathers, and any other pretty things inside, but leave some space for them to move around. Shake as you go to assess the sound it creates, and adjust to your liking. Now close the lid tight. Tie a piece of yarn around the shaker at lid level and tie bells onto the ends. Send a loving intention to connect with nature spirits into your shaker. Behold, you are ready to rattle and roll!

:: MORE CRAFTY RESOURCES ::

If you’re looking to make a professional Flower Crown, check out my girl Rawan Rihani, founder of Aurora Botanica. She led a workshop at the Temple of Venus, teaching us that nothing feels more luxurious than a bed of fresh flowers in your hair—and it smells so good too! Okay I’m gushing.

Cara Marie Piazza is a genius of silk and dye-ing materials, and her workshop at the Temple of Venus knocked our socks off too. Silk and flowers together spell sensual feminine paradise and Cara’s joy for the art is infectious. Plus, the things she creates and teaches us to make are unspeakably beautiful.

And for something even more delicious, Alexandra Roxo and I give you two very simple recipes for love with this Valentines Video: featuring a love potion and raw chocolates.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on a Meditation for Manifesting True Love.

DREAMS BECOME REAL: A READING FOR THE VIRGO FULL MOON

The February 22 Virgo Full Moon is our annual opportunity to ground our wildest dreams into our everyday reality, says Hannah Ariel.

“When you are far away from reality, your fantasy won’t work.” – Yogi Bhajan

February 22 there will be a Virgo Full Moon, a sign that is exacting in its every endeavor. Virgo energy works out of necessity. This mercurial sign is the very fabric of our reality; Virgo does exactly what makes the most sense based on the current circumstance – and yet, acknowledging that circumstances are always changing, can change its mind accordingly to fit each twist in the tale with masterful perfectionism.

A Virgo Full Moon is precious in its ability to clue us right into the heart of the matter. It reveals what works to make our lives a better experience while clearly showing us also, what is obviously not working. Keeping an ever so discerning eye on the lookout for where an adjustment is needed, with the ability to point out any singular detail that may be otherwise overlooked, Virgo can be our BEST FRIEND when it comes to manifesting.

Opposite to the moon, the Sun will have just entered Pisces where we can also easily experience the fluidity of our imagination and tune into higher realms of consciousness. This in turn can inspire us to follow our intuition as we take action to adapt to all that is changing in our lives. When it comes to actually manifesting anything of lasting value, once a year we tap into the most formidable tool in our cosmic toolbox – the VIRGO/PISCES axis – an inspired balancing act between the mystical and the material.

While Pisces can foresee and imagine all possible outcomes, Virgo takes direct action, focusing on what can be clearly understood in plain daylight, here and now. Together they are masterful co-creators of an ideal reality. One cannot exist without the other. This week, find how they can come together in synergy. Create your own divine intervention in one form or another. Fine-tune the details of your reality, your relationships, to work with our most outrageous visions.

Coming off a brilliant New Moon in Aquarius, this Virgo Full Moon will bring us down to earth, deepen our integrity, help us take practical step-by-step measures to keep us committed to making changes we may have been inspired to embark on during the past two weeks, strengthening a realistic resolve inside of us.

Virgo in its full capacity knows well that no matter how cosmic your vision, no matter how revolutionary your realization, or how noble your intention; it amounts to nothing without both feet on the ground, managing the details, managing the outcome. This week we will be shown how things can really come together for us in our everyday lives.

So much of this is about simply adjusting what we do and with whom we do it. Every circumstance that has outstayed its welcome will complete itself now. Every circumstance that needs to be salvaged will begin to be fixed. You will know which is which because at this time, our intuition will express itself as simple common sense. We find what FEELS out of alignment and we have a golden opportunity to get CONSTRUCTIVE about it. Also be mindful that this Virgo Full Moon means we will feel every nook and cranny of our current reality.

We will be pulled into our bodies. Our nervous systems will speak to us clearly. We will receive acute signals that have the power to change everything. Pay attention to ALL your interactions and all your experiences this week, and listen to how they make you feel. This will be as simple as noticing what is really happening and what really needs changing – for good, for the future’s sake.

Though the moon has moved on, Mercury and Venus will be lingering just a few degrees from one another in Aquarius, still coordinating the futuristic intentions of the last New Moon. This adds to a cosmic scene that’s allowing us to experience unmistakable lucidity. It will suddenly be obvious how things can and will come together at this Virgo Full Moon, if we stay rooted in reality.

So keep your feet on ground, but remain flexible. Breathe deep. Tune in. It’s the little things that will make a MASSIVE quantum difference at this time. Expect your every fantasy to be served well and moved into the future.

To book a personal reading with Hannah contact: [email protected]

A NEW VISION: READING FOR THE SAGITTARIUS NEW MOON

See beyond limitations, and tomorrow’s Sagittarius New Moon has the potential to manifest a breathtaking outcome, says Hannah Ariel.

“When you step further into the story you came to live, not only does the mythic territory open but the self moves and the world of imagination and meaning comes toward you.” – Michael Meade.

Think broader, see bigger, explore, envision, have more faith, hold more space. The Sun entered Sagittarius November 22, and as you may have begun to experience already, this energy encourages expansiveness beyond belief – quite literally. When it comes to Sagittarius season, it makes no difference what beliefs you have preoccupied yourself with, or what you always perceived to be the case. There is a fundamental desire now to move beyond what has been experienced into what could be experienced.

Think of this Sagittarius New Moon as the moment you enter your spaceship and get to dial in the direction of your destination. Now expand your vision as far as it can go. Sagittarius is the spirit that perceives the future – pure visionary consciousness! So where is life taking you to these days? Intuitively, where is the horizon? Which story line are you following? Are you aware of the signposts? Do you see what is possible?

Luckily, this is also a Jupiter ruled Moon. Being the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter opens our eyes to see the bright side and the bigger picture, offering the optimism and inspiration to look beyond our current circumstances. Jupiter has everything to do with opportunity, intuition, spiritual journeying, good fortune, and benevolence.

Because Sagittarius is mutable fire, experiences may take on any of these themes and manifest in a number of forms. Be prepared to spread yourself out a bit more than you’re accustomed to. Set yourself free. The archetype of the constellation itself is depicted as the archer after all, with its arrow pulled back ready to fly. Intend to seek out opportunities that will restore your faith in the boundless potential of your life.

Look to what inspires you and get inspired to go in that direction! Hold the vision in your mind like that arrow shooting toward the sky because with a Jupiter moon, nothing is quite out of reach – hit or miss, with Sagittarius it’s the experience of a meaningful journey that will expand your consciousness and, in fact, show you something even better than what you originally intended.

But let’s look at what exactly Jupiter is up to, to really get the message of this Sagittarius New Moon clear. As Jupiter continues on its journey through Virgo (since August) it is now nearly conjunct the North Node – an evolutionary portal that is currently asking us to be more discriminating on the daily. Jupiter in Virgo wants to heal our relationship to our physical reality by first fixing our attention on the details that aren’t adding up; our routines, our habits, the little things we say and do.

It’s our destiny to understand how we can take practical measures to change what no longer works, and instead organize ourselves around specific, tangible goals. With the South Node (the wisdom of our past life experiences) in Pisces, we can trust the subtle nature of the divine to show up in this process – it’s just a matter of defining which vision, which belief structure, you are looking to serve.

Without honoring the energy of the Jupiter/North Node conjunction in Virgo, New Moon intentions can easily slip through our fingers. It could be easy to accidently let go of control all together at this time, and instead of experiencing a divinely guided reality, be left to clean up a mess you don’t remember making!

Jupiter is also making a square aspect to the Sagittarius New Moon, suggesting there may be a blind spot; it’s in our best interests to pay extra attention to anything we may be prone to overlook. In contrary to the expansive nature of this New Moon, it can be a time where foresight will pay off in a big, unexpected way. A square in astrology is a transit that can amplify the potential of the energy available – when used in the right way – so there is capacity now for an outstanding outcome.

As Mercury will have just entered Capricorn, a cardinal earth sign, it is indeed a favorable period to carry out solid plans. Make good use of the thoughts and visions that are coming to you now. As you have an idea, apply it. Get grounded in it. Understand the potential of its real-life application and see how successful it can be.

One other aspect we will feel very strongly, exact around this Sagittarius New Moon, is the Mars in Libra opposition to Uranus in Aries. If you recall, at the October 11 New Moon in Libra, it was the Sun that was in opposition Uranus – reminding us how uncomfortable we are in certain positions, and ultimately liberating us from roles we’ve played one too many times.

Now, here comes Mars to take action on what’s been uncovered. What breakthroughs in identity have you had? How has your self-perception shifted, especially within your relationships and the people you are attracting? These realizations will act as your best friends during this Sagittarius New Moon, as this opposition will be sextiling it from both sides.

Act out the internal changes and realize every breakthrough and breakdown has opened us up for the journey to come. Fire needs space to breath new life into. Taking action to clear what’s in the way only creates more room for more expansive, meaningful opportunities to come to life for you. Now that’s a whole lot of beneficial astrology, so remember; Make inspired intentions, serve them well, and they will serve you. Bring your imagination to life.

To book a personal reading with Hannah Ariel contact: [email protected]

WISHES FULFILLED: HOW TO MAKE A PRAYER FLAG

Looking for an alternative New Moon manifestation ritual? Artist Monica Ruiz makes prayer flags for herself and her friends as a way of reppin’ her love for the life she gets to live. Main image: Larry Louie

Home made prayer flags – Numi style

When I think of prayer flags, fabric panels ranging in sizes and colors with spiritual images, hanging and swaying in a breeze in a secret garden or a cute storefront, I always see and feel peace, wishes fulfilled, Universal love and freedom.

I had given to friends and also received the mini-squares from Tibet that represent light and all the elements, thus bringing health and harmony to all. After the panels naturally fade away due to the elements, it is believed that the mindful loving intentions within the flag fade into the Universe, contributing to an ongoing cycle of the flag’s blessings.

I wanted to re-create my own using images I had already saved from magazines, old books and stamps, and even just cool paper that felt special to my heart. After I made a quick one just to see if my vision was as easy as it seemed (it is!) I kinda went prayer-flag crazy. I made them for everyone around me, including many for myself.

The two that hang in my studio today represent the surfing elements for my Pisces ocean-loving soul-surfer boyfriend, along with some “Marie Antoinette/ French masquerade” vibes pour moi!

And then I have one hanging up in my vanity room / lounge reppin’ my love of books, writing, and my job at the library that supports my life and allows me to live out my daydreams. While I’m putting on my mascara in the a.m. I can glance up and give thanks with a smile.

My flags are small pieces of art that I feel serve as sacred reminders of the simple things that make us smile and lift our spirit. While I like to hang ours on our year-round blue fairy lights in our bedroom, doorways and windows are fun too. I have also hung them up on bulletin boards on my desk at work and on a huge collage at home. There was even one point they were nicknamed “Purr Flags,” by a friend who felt all warm and fuzzy on receiving hers.

“It felt good to give away something beautiful that I loved”

Having got such a great reaction gifting them to people I know, I decided to make a special one as a birthday gift for my spiritual teacher Gabrielle Bernstein a couple of years ago. I’ve written about my gratitude for her before, as she’s kinda been the vessel for many hardcore lessons I’ve needed to start receiving, and for learning more about forgiveness, love and how to listen to my heart and angels.

I felt compelled to make a prayer flag a la Gabby, with images that included her love of street art, the cosmos, her recent engagement in Paris, sacred Buddha statues, mystical silhouettes, powerful words, vibrant energy and of course just lots of LOVE.

Only Love is Real is Gabby’s motto, and I felt like I wanted this flag to have my love and appreciation for Gabby literally bursting through because of the gifts she has shared with me. It took all day, but it was so enjoyable and groovy to create. I was also happy and excited to put many of the images I’d save for future flags of my own on my guru’s flag, because I actually felt the transfer of love: it felt good to give away something beautiful that I loved. It was a true gift of appreciation from the heart.

Because of Hurricane Sandy that year, Gabby didn’t actually receive my flag until May 2013, while her birthday was November 1st! Regardless, my birthday/gratitude gift cosmically made it to her six months later. The morning I woke up and saw it unexpectedly on her Instagram feed, I felt like I was lucid-dreaming. She had it hanging up already and was allowing the magic and love from my home into hers. She loved my gift and I loved making it for her, and the prayer flag looks so cool in Gabby’s “zen den”.

The flags Monica made for Gabby hanging in her guru’s zen-den

Are you inspired to make one now? Let’s do this…

Here’s how to make a prayer flag for a sweet soul in five simple steps.

Supplies needed:

  • Paper images (magazines cut-outs, computer graphics, old books, saved stamps, cards, clip-art, etc)
  • Scissors
  • Double-stick tape
  • Glue stick
  • Twine (pre-cut to the length you want your flag)
  • Card stock or construction paper
  • Paper clips (optional)
  1. Think about how many panels you’d like to work with. I’d start small at first with either three or five (odd numbers work best and the traditional flags come in sets of five, but remember there are no rules!) However many you choose you will need enough images to cover both sides.
  2. You can either pre-cut your card-stock and then alter your images after or cut your card-stock around the image leaving about an inch as a border. Remember, this is not about being “perfect” or having exact straight lines – you’r e creating something from the heart to bring joy into your heart and home!
  3. Glue one image to each panel’s center, one side of the panel only.
  4. Grab your double-stick tape and twine. Lay the panels down in a row, with the image just glued on face down with a little space in between each panel. Now along the top, lay the twine across about one inch below the top edge and place a piece of double-stick tape in the center of the twine on each panel.
  5. Glue the remaining images in the center of each panel, on top of double-stick tape/twine combo.

Voila! Your flags are ready to be shared and invoke feelings of peace, spirit, strength and magic.

Sacred and simple, have fun bringing the tradition of prayer flags into your home. Tie some little loops at the end and use a couple of twisted paperclips if needed and they can be draped wherever you like. Enjoy the process of making each panel personal but keep the process simple.

Whether you make a prayer flag for yourself or for someone special, just remember to use images that make you feel good, because whatever is made with your heart is your art. And don’t forget they are reversible! Switch ’em up depending on your mood or needed inspiration. Sometimes I will do an opposite theme on each side, like maybe sweet dreams contrasted with powerful sun energy. Use your intuition and just pick art and pictures you like! Be whimsical.

When I commented on the prayer flag I made for Gabby the last time I saw it on IG, she sweetly replied; “I look at them every day and I love them!” Wishes-fulfilled and blessings received, Amen.

Island dweller Monica Ruiz is a collage artist, hardcore daydreamer, HayHouse book reviewer, bloggess, burrito lover, cat enthusiast, librarian assistant and wanderluster who is obsessed with good hip-hop beats, Lana Del Rey and Paris, France. She owns way too many black clothes, swoons over Sofia Coppola films and loves the concept of protecting your magic with an open heart.

www.lechat808.com

@LeChat808

NEW YEAR, NU YOU: FENG SHUI YOUR FRIDGE

Embroiled in a love-hate relationship with your refrigerator? Time to set some boundaries, show some respect and radically shift the negative vibes, says Feng Shui expert Elana Kilkenny.

Chances are you’ve already spent a lot of time this year making (and breaking?) resolutions around your relationship with food. What if I told you that the state of your refrigerator plays a contributing role to your goals? Here’s how to Feng Shui your fridge, aka “where your food spends most of its time hanging out,” to powerfully shift the energy around it and bring you closer to your 2014 vision.

LAY DOWN THE LAW (AND ORDER)
Cluttered refrigerator = cluttered relationship to food. So mindfully clear out your refrigerator and freezer by making a habit of throwing out what is no longer fresh and what no longer gets you closer to your desired feelings about how you are feeding your body.

IT’S NOT JUST WHAT’S IN YOU FRIDGE
Take a symbolic look at what’s on your refrigerator door.  Does it look chaotic, filled with things from the past, stressing you with to-dos? Take off anything that is not fully inspiring to you and re-invent this space as a vision board for how you want to feel.

TAKE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Caution note: before you put up a picture of a perfectly toned actress or yourself when you were at a “better weight” ask if these images inspire you or depress you. Reinforcing negative feelings about your current weight will only push you further away from your positive intentions and deeper into self-sabotage. Choose instead to put up pictures, words or quotes that remind you of how you want to feel about your health, food and body. Sexy, vital, satiated, luscious…

CREATE GOOD CHI FOR YOUR CHIA SEED PUDDING
Most trainers suggest stocking your refrigerator with cut-up vegetables and washed fruit, so that you have a healthy choice at your fingertips. Elevate the mundane into a feast for your senses by storing these items in beautiful vessels and containers. This further raises the chi of not only your refrigerator but also your energy around food.

LOOK AWAY FROM THE REFRIGERATOR
If your refrigerator is the first thing you see when you enter your kitchen, it could condition you to eat more. Don’t roll your eyes thinking I’m going to tell you to embark on a costly renovation. Create a pretty distraction to draw your energy away from the refrigerator. Decorate the surrounding area with art, a funky chandelier, or a bold kitchen rug. Be creative.

GO JEDI ON BEN & JERRY’S ASS
Practise going into your kitchen with laser focus on what you DO want, with the use of a positive affirmation about food. “I desire to wake up feeling energized,” “I desire to feel beautiful in my jeans,” “I desire to love myself and trust my food choices.” Eventually your desired feelings will be so potent that they might just be a stronger draw than that pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Elana Kilkenny is a Feng Shui Designer, Intuitive Counselor, Empowerment Psychic and Healer. To book a session please contact [email protected] or 877-858-2100.

www.elanakilkenny.blogspot.com
@elanakilkenny