Crystal lipgloss is a thing. Plus a link to our virtual Full Moon ritual, a facial for the soul, and a shout out to Shaktibarre…
:: MONDAY :: A box of goodies from Goddess Provisions, INCLUDING a lipgloss by Gemmed named “Ruby” containing actual crystal dust (Labradorite, Moonstone, Opal, Pyrite and Sunstone). I mean. Goddess Provisions is a subscription service where you receive a box of 4-6 high vibe items—snacks, tinctures, crystals etc—by mail each month, all 100% vegan and cruelty free, and all in aid of inspiring your spiritual practice. And there’s lipgloss. #magicmonday. Find out more at Goddessprovisions.com
:: TUESDAY :: Not really a lot going on in the Mystical stakes. Except for quite a few phone calls and emails back-to-back about moving stuff forward that’s felt stalled for MONTHS. Thank you, Saturn direct.
:: WEDNESDAY :: Hosted my virtual Full Moon ritual with Alexandra Roxo! For starters we had almost 300 people sign up, which blew us both away and was a reminder of how excited people are to come together to share their Moon manifestations. FULL Moons are a time to celebrate what’s coming to fruition in our lives, and for me, the Aquarian vibes of this Moon have been very much reflected in all kinds of collaborative efforts beginning to take shape. So y’know, watch this space!
Another fave take-away from our ritual? A new daily practice of smudging down my technology. For real. If you think about it, our computers and phones are interacting with energy from hundreds, if not thousands of people every day. I first tried it out when I found myself going down a really low-vibe comparison hole on Instagram. Giving my iPhone a quick sage wash spiraled me right back UP the Unicorn horn—you might wanna give it a try! You can listen to the recording here.
:: THURSDAY :: A beautiful, nurturing facial with Melanie Herring. Describing her practice as “skin therapy, soul deep,” Melanie sees the skin as a doorway to the inner realms of healing, and incorporates intuitive energetic work while simultaneously nourishing the body’s largest organ of detoxification…the skin. “It’s sacred work that honors the vulnerable nature of being seen,” she told me.
Facials are not something I regularly indulge in (see my use of the word “indulge”!), but as I relaxed into a semi trance state on Melanie’s table I was reminded—yet again—that regular self-care is actually one of the cornerstones of a truly balanced life. Also, how did the simple act of being held and cared for by another human being become a “luxury”? Today reminded me it’s a necessity. Discover more about Melanie and her work at Melanieherring.com
:: FRIDAY :: Excited for the opening of Shaktibarre tonight, a new yoga+barre+activism+sustainable wellness space in Williamsburg. I met founder Corinne Wainer at a Lululemon event back in May, and was blown away by her vision and her sheer balls! The woman is committed to finding ways to make yoga and other wellness practices available to all, and so the studio will offer sliding scale pricing as well as host regular free community events. Hell to the yes. (And future Shakti-Numi collaborations to follow, no doubt!) Find out more and book a class at Shaktibarre.com
Plus a moment of swap-shop glory and a meeting with the mind behind Shaktibarre…Numinous founder Ruby Warrington shares her Mystical Week
:: MONDAY :: Still buzzing from yesterday’s beautiful Blessing Way ceremony for my dear Victoria Keen. We gathered, we ritualled (yes I’m making this a word), we created an altar, we shared memories and we set intentions. My favorite part of ALL? When we took an actual bone-fide cauldron (purchased by our host at a Brooklyn junk yard) filled with fears and sage, out into the street to be burned away. As Victoria lit her fire, we stood around her in a circle of sisterhood, playing drums, shaking rattles, and singing. At the height of the Williamsburg brunching-hour. YES we got a lot of stares, and YES it felt so right to be bringing this kind of s*it out from behind closed coven doors!
:: TUESDAY :: A l’il psychic moment in my favorite clothing swap-shop the Buffalo Exchange (first introduced to me by Goddess Gala Darling). I’ve been taking my cast-offs there for the past two years or so and have racked up a serious amount of store credit, so I stop by whenever I’m in the area for some guilt-free retail therapy. Today, as I’m browsing the racks, this little voice goes; “some Isabel Marant shoes would be nice, right?” I’m like, “yeah, higher self, sure would!” And YEP, found these beauties (below)—boots not sandals, BUT, my size, UN-WORN, and FREE (cos of my store credit).
What a beautiful lesson in the all-abundant nature of our Universe! Namely: when we just listen to our intuition, everything we desire is right in front of us; when we give freely of ourselves (or our old clothes), not necessarily expecting financial pay-back, we will get it back 10-fold; and when we don’t attach to the details, is when we grant the cosmos permission to surprise us in all kinds of magical ways.
:: WEDNESDAY :: A lesson in boundaries. My first reaction when a friend in need texts to say: “I may need somewhere to stay the next few nights, can I have your sofa?” is to reply with a straight up “no.” Some things are a non-negotiable, and my sacred morning alone time is one—as such, I usually only have family stay over in my home. Sorry-not-sorry, but I’m also a believer in strong boundaries as a marker of self-respect.
But THEN I’m like: woah, here I am preaching (check out my IG account etc.) about how we need to create a world that looks after our most vulnerable first, and how the current political climate change is giving me a new depth of compassion for the displaced people in the world…like my friend who’s being kicked out of her apartment! And the first time I’m asked to walk the talk, I stumble.
Humbled, I text her back—”shit, of course, mi sofa es tu sofa, ANY TIME.” By which time she’s found somewhere, and actually goes on to tell me how MY strong boundaries are a lesson for her in cultivating the same in her life. HOWEVER, it was a moment of pause for me in terms of what it means to be a good Now Age hippie global citizen. #bethechangeyouwanttosee
:: THURSDAY :: A meeting with incredible, inspiring Corinne Wainer, founder of the new Shaktibarre studio that’s coming to Williamsburg in August. Reasons I love this woman No.1: She’s all about the shaktivism (spirituality + activism), and so her studio has sliding scale pricing to make classes + workshops accessible to ALL, with the underlying mission of uniting women in the fight against body fascism in the yoga community. No.2: She’s a total no-smalltalk zone. No time + no interest = no holding back. No.3: She guessed that my spirit animal is a black stallion (which he is, I write about how I met him here). So suffice to say, watch this space for some Shakti-Numi collabs coming your way later this year.
:: FRIDAY :: Regular readers will know all about my path to raise my overall vibe with sobriety—which has meant totally re-framing my relationship with alcohol. Which basically means treating like it’s as powerful a mind-and-heart expander as, say Ayahuasca, and thus only imbibing with extreme reverence and caution. And then along comes a big fat trigger like JULY 4 WEEKEND.
And you know, I likely will have a couple of cocktails Sunday, since I booked tickets to this super high vibe event (flyer below)—high vibe as in, it’s outside, it starts at 2pm, it’s on the West side so there will be a sunset situation, and it’s alllll my favorite DJs so I can be guaranteed an afternoon of truly emotionally resonant tunes.
And here’s another reason to maybe raise a glass (but really, how about just one?) this weekend. It’s America’s birthday—and America could really use some truly intentional toasting rn, and some reminding that far from broken, she’s just going through a rough patch. As a Cancer country, I think this weekend’s reading from Strong Eye Astrology resonates for the good old US of A pretty darned hard:
Cancer :: Cancer Rising Taking a horse over jumps. You are sitting in the driver’s seat. But where do you want to go? We can so easily get caught in an image of ourselves. But who do you want to be? This is a fresh start. Now is the time to visualize about who you are becoming. Get very, very specific in your intentions.
*NB: read the weekend forecast for your sign here!
Taking an inner work break is fun—and also give you space to BE the transformations you’re experiencing in your life…
:: MONDAY + TUESDAY :: A month or so ago I noticed that my friend Valerie Oula had tagged a couple of her IG posts #innerworkbreak. There was one about a night in with Pretty Woman and some fro-yo, another simply titled: “Jenga + beer.” Valerie is the brains behind these beautiful intention candles and mists and works as a kundalini yoga teacher, meaning she’s usually up at 4.30am for sadhana (her daily spiritual practice), meditates with the best of them, and generally lives about as “clean” an NYC existence as you can get.
But, a fashion industry veteran like me, her posts showed that embracing a more mystical path has not meant totally forsaking her inner “material girl.”
And I can totally relate this week, having just come off a similar “inner work break” myself (also a break from this column, you might have noticed). Two weeks visiting friends and family in Europe found me setting aside my usual Numinous tools (besides my morning TM session) and dipping a toe back into my old life—which essentially became an exercise in honoring myself as a unified, material-mystical woman.
And fuck it’s been FUN! Not just the eating a bunch of pizza, drinking a bunch of beer, dancing until 7am at an outdoor rave in Poland, or investing in a new pair of summer kicks from Alexander McQueen (see below). But also the giving my numinous soul an opportunity to just be, for the inner work I’m so invested in to settle into my physical body, and to witness how my internal transformations are impacting my outer experience of the world.
A lot of what we cover on this site—and therefore what I’m invested in personally—is about excavating the depths. It’s about investigating who “I” am, with the aim of bringing this “true” self to the world. BUT please please not to the extent that we forget we’re still human-freaking-beings!
Human beings who are here to forge meaningful relationships, to do meaningful work, and to hopefully be of service in some way—easy to forget if we spend so much time looking “in,” diligently monitoring our progress on our personal journey, we’re never “out” there, shining our light in the world. Which might look a lot like eating pizza, drinking beer, and simply being a loving daughter, sister, auntie and friend to people who don’t necessarily give a fuck what planets are conjunct your moon this week, since they’re got more pressing “real world” concerns they need to talk to you about.
Because: all this against the backdrop of the devastating news of the Orlando shooting, and frankly medieval talk of Britain’s potential exit from the EU. If ever there was a moment to simply embody the changes your inner work has brought about, then NOW could be a good time to step away from the crystals—and be out there living the changes our world needs to see.
:: WEDNESDAY :: In love with Alexandra Derby’s new four-part gem + flower essence system, which is designed to support your system holistically during every stage of your moon (yes menstrual) cycle. The idea is you take one of four tinctures depending where you’re at—Visionary for week one, Manifestation for week two (ovulation), Serenity for week three (a.k.a. PMS), and Womb Wisdom when you’re actually bleeding.
My cycle is generally pretty irregular (something I’ve been working on with Aly for a while now), so I just made a note in my diary what days I should perhaps switch up this past month. And wouldn’t you know. Coinciding with my touch-down back in NYC, today I began to bleed as the “Womb Wisdom” notification popped up. I might have felt like I was on an inner work break in Europe—but something inside is working. The Cosmic Cycle Elixirs go on sale Monday June 20 at Alexandraderby.com. A percentage of proceeds will go to Femme International—supplying girls in east Africa with reusable menstrual cups.
:: THURSDAY :: Planning details of a FREE virtual Full Moon + Summer Solstice ritual I’ll be hosting with Numi contributors Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim next Monday, June 20. You can join anywhere in the world, and the idea is to celebrate and give thanks for the manifestations we are brining into the world, and set a solstice intention for the summer. Think: an overview of the current cosmic climate, self-inquiry for the Solstice, and a guided meditation connected to like-minded spirits around the world. Spaces are limited—click here to sign up!
:: FRIDAY :: And looking forward to our Club SÖDA NYC Solstice Picnic in McCarren park in Williamsburg this Sunday too! As mentioned above, there’s been some (very high-vibe) beer-drinking going on these past couple of months, but I’m now almost two weeks into my latest EPS—my dad’s term for the “extended periods of sobriety” I launched Club SÖDA NYC to help people navigate—and FEELING IT. The feeling of being high on life, that is, that I get when I get booze out of my system for a while. The picnic is gonna be a super low-key “friends of the Numinous” type thing, but if you’re in the hood, swing by and say hi!
:: MONDAY :: I’ve been pretty upfront on here about my journey re-framing my relationship with alcohol—a.k.a. to treat it (and use it) like the powerful psychoactive substance it is, rather than a knee-jerk way to feel “good” quick. And crystals have played a major role in this—namely amethyst, the “sobriety stone.” I’ve been carrying a piece on a key-chain for the past year or so, a pivotal time on my path to semi-sobriety. A key-chain which actually broke the week I launched Club SÖDA NYC our meet-up group for the sober curious—signaling that its work with me was done!
And you know, I’ve felt myself slip back a few steps in the months since…so I bought a new one last week ahead of the Memorial Day weekend (PRIME day-drinking danger zone). And yes I had a couple of beers. But literally two, thus achieving the ever-elusive but perfect “2-drink high”—opening the doors of perception just enough to land some killer insights about my life and my path going forward, but closing them tidily up again before drunkenness (and hangover / self-doubt territory) set in. Yay AMETHYST!
:: TUESDAY :: Which also got me in the mood to plan our next informal Club SÖDA NYC event—a sober solstice picnic in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, June 19. Invite below—come!
:: WEDNESDAY :: Last week amazing Alexandra Derby posted on the subject of “Cash and Consciousness” in her new weekly vlog A Beautiful Answer—after watching a new doc called The Beginning of Life at the UN (yup, she got invited to a screening at the United-freaking-Nations, which is how important important people think the message of the film is). You can watch Alexandra’s take here, but the overall theme is: “money” = how grown ups frame “nurture” (since money provides for all our needs) = lack of nurture in childhood = poverty consciousness in grown ups = the poverty we see in the world (since our perception shapes reality). Are you with me?! And so the call to action is: time to invest (love / support / and or money, as needed) into the nurturing of the next generation, globally. To tackle poverty consciousness—and therefore a society that creates the poverty we see—at source. The Beginning of Life came out today.
:: THURSDAY :: Getting super excited for…Obonjan! Booked my flights today for this summer-long private island festival in Croatia (yes you read that right), where I’ll be giving a talk on healthy hedonism July 29. Full report PLUS details of a Numinous discount coming on next week’s newsletter. Here’s the link to sign up!
:: FRIDAY :: In Berlin for some hang-time with my fam
Fashion stylist Colleen McCann knew something had to give when people started shouting “witch!” at her in the street. Here’s how she went from fashionista to shamanista, and found a way to merge both her worlds…
Shit got real when I heard my first “voice” in the Bodega on South 4th Street and Bedford Avenue over a fight about bananas – and I haven’t looked back. Okay, let me rewind a bit first.
My name is Colleen McCann and up until six years ago I was a typical Brooklyn girl. I lived in Williamsburg, I rode the J-train to the city every day. I brunched at Five Leaves, I threw elbows at sample sales and I had a successful 15-year career in the fashion industry as a designer, stylist, brand consultant and serial entrepreneur.
So what happens when you add “hearing voices” to your repertoire? Well, you start hearing more voices and rubbing elbows with the spiritual renegades that roam the streets of the city.
During the next fashion week, a gypsy woman approached me and wanted to further examine my vibrant green aura at her psychic salon. I darted away and she kept calling “Wait, this is really important come back!”
Quickly followed by my encounter with Joe of the Marcy Street subway platform, who came up to me and said: “Don’t worry about him” and proceeded to read every single thought I had on my mind about my then recent breakup with my boyfriend. I said to Joe “Wait, what did you say you did for a living?” He was a mattress salesman. We enter a long pause together, and he then says: “But I’m really into Astrology.” He winked at me and got off at the next stop.
The real icing on the cake came when this crazy lady on 33rd Street started screaming violently: “witch, witch, witch!” I turned around to see who crazy pants was aiming her opinions at, and unfortunately it was me. Run! I thought…but was I running from the eccentric pupu platter of NYC street weirdos, or was I running from my newly found freakish self?
Okay Universe, I hear you loud and clear. Time to get a second opinion – and maybe not at the psych ward.
So where do you turn in a situation like this? I was scared, embarrassed, uneducated on all subjects of mystical matters. Also, just plain fucking freaked out. But as luck would have it a random girl, now one of my best friends, came up to me in the hallway at my client’s office in midtown and randomly (or not so randomly) asked if I believe in psychics.
“Ummmm, I guess so?” I said, thinking: “Oh god she knows! She sees something is happening to me!” She proceeded to direct me to a psychic who had his mystical lair in the back of a 2nd floor botanical emporium in the flower district.
Following my nose, I soon found myself walking up a set of rickety, shabby chic stairs and swatting cherry blossoms and orchids out of my face to get to the unmarked door of my future destiny. I felt like I was headed for the latest speakeasy – one that was not yet reviewed on Yelp.
Walking in, I was greeted by a man I don’t even think remembered my name. But his black eyes locked with mine and he ran over and grabbed my hands and said: “Oh, honey you’re not crazy, you’re psychic! Sit down and let’s discuss.”
I stood, frozen, and as if watching a movie montage I flashed back through all the “WTF” moments I actually experienced since childhood. Do you remember those grade school contests where you had to guess the number of jelly beans in the jar? Well, I would guess the exact amount every time.
There was the time my little sister was playing tea party with her two imaginary friends, Dan and Carl, and I sat in silence thinking: but I see them, what’s she talking about?
Well – I may have been a weirdo, but at least I now knew what kind of weirdo I was, and I embarked on a mission to figure it all out. Which meant I did what any brazen New York girl would have done…I traded my high-heels for hiking boots and decided to get educated on all things mystical.
I attended Shaman school in the wilds of the Chilean outback and against the desert back drop of Joshua Tree. As part of my training, I traveling the unpaved paths of Mount Shasta, Hudson Valley, Big Sur, Kauai, and any other energetically charged hot spot I could get to between days on set.
I have studied Peruvian Shamanism with the Four Winds Society where I learned how to do hands on healing with the chakra system and how to connect with my spirit guides. I also learned the art of channeling in the Nordic and Celtic traditions and regularly attend sessions with a group of Curanderas where I learn about plant medicine and tinctures.
In my free time? You can generally find me in a crystal shop in the back woods of Chinatown, where I learn about gems, mediation, astrology, auras, Feng Shui and medicinal teas from a group of women I affectionately call “The Chinese Crystal Mafia”.
I really put myself through the mystical wringer in an effort to work with my inner freak, but in the process I found I had manifested a whole new calling out of this adventure to reclaim my sanity. So now what?
As I continued my trip down the crystal-laden rabbit hole I started feeling a lot of internal moral conflict, not to mention external physical exhaustion, with the double life I was living. Arriving on set, it would be impossible to ignore the toxic side of the fashion industry: greed, vanity, ego, drug addiction, workaholism, alongside a whopping dose of eating disorders. Did I really want to subject myself to this any longer?
Being a fashion stylist is back breaking work. The hours are long and the work very physical. There are always a plethora of personalities to juggle in the room, and not to mention the constant jet-lag. So what’s a girl to do? I had been maneuvering this double life for six years straight, and I needed to make a shift. So instead of turning my back on the industry that had embraced me for so long, I decided to take my lemonade…and make a lemonade stand!
It was simple: my fashion clients have become my healing clients. These days, I address the underlying issues in my well-dressed community, as who better than me to truly understand the unique brand of pressure and stress they experience day-to-day.
Truth be told I was a little nervous to start telling my crew what I had been up to in my free time. Would I be socially ostracized? Would I lose my clients? As I started confessing my weekend whereabouts, people would stare in silence for a minute and then say something: “Ohhhhh, that explains a few things. When can I get a session?!”
Eureka! There was room in my life for my passions to coexist. I did however have to make a few changes to accommodate my morals, schedule, energy level and a budding new business.
Since coming out of the Shamanic closet, I started a business called Style Rituals. I use my fashionista roots AND my spiritual know-how to realign the energetic body with the physical body. I may still clean out someone’s closet, but we are removing low vibrational clothing, along with a hands on healing, manifestation techniques, altar building and a discussion with their spirit guides.
And while the majority of my work now is healing-based, I also made a conscious decision to do fashion projects with people I enjoy being around, or who’s projects are doing good in our society.
Next up? I’ll be taking my place as resident Shaman with LA-based Daily Bliss Yoga Retreats when we head to Thailand in March. And I’m creating an online webinar to help women who are spiritually blasting wide open and have no idea what’s happening to them work out the, ummm, “kinks” shall we say.
Having been there and done that, I’m honored to be able to help others that are going through exactly what I did. To help them remember who they really are, and re-gain their sovereignty – while navigating modern life in the modern world.
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.
:: 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.
:: 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 🙂
Welcome to the #summeroflove, Numis! We’re beyond excited to announce The Temple of Venus, a community art project dedicated to the Goddess of beauty, love, and abundance.
Based in Williamsburg, BK, and created in partnership with energy healer and artist Elyssa Jakim, the Temple is an interactive altar celebrating our community, the power of love, and the energies of the divine feminine. And the CRAZY serendipity leading up to the launch makes us feel like Venus herself basically MADE US DO IT.
Housed in a private residence (in what is actually called the “Venus” building!) and open to all, we are inviting healers, seekers and modern mystics to contribute their offerings and wisdom throughout this two-month period, creating an ever-evolving container charged with positive vibes.
Open from 7/7 through August 19, the planet Venus will also retrograde in artistic, playful Leo for the second half of the project – creating a cosmic portal for healing our attitudes to love, money and beauty through creativity.
The altar room itself will be a space for meditation, prayer, contemplation and healing, while a second space will be available for larger group gatherings and workshops. And if you just want to come make an offering to Venus and soak up the healing energies, the space will also be open for drop-in appointments each Wednesday between the hours of 3 and 5pm. International offerings by mail or Skype are also welcome!
Any donations collected will go towards the maintenance of the space, after which all funds will be gifted to The Doula Project.
Does the Beltane maypole really represent the phallus? Elyssa Jakim uncovers the Pagan roots of pole dancing, and has some sexy tips for spring… Image: Ania Powalowska
The wheel of the year is turning toward Beltane. Traditionally celebrated on the first of May, this wiccan/pagan holiday conjures up the famous image of the maypole. I wasn’t told until recently that the circling maypole is an inherently phallic symbol—decorating and dancing around, well, a large penis. So much the better! Beltane is about fertility, sexuality, and abundance. This time of year, we are beginning to really dust off our bodies from the stiffness of winter, to come home to our sensuality. We’re moving from April showers to May flowers. It is all about blossoming. As such, it is the perfect time to celebrate sexuality fertility.
I’ve been getting this hint in strange ways in my inbox all week. Emails about “my orgasm type?”, an offer for a month of erotic tips, a request from a friend to be interviewed about love, a video about how to be a conscious and loving parent. It’s seems like we’re all tuning into this energy (subtly and not so subtly) so why not embrace it?
And so, because it’s fun, I’ve gathered a few tips to help you love up your sexual self and celebrate Beltane! I’ll also be offering a by-donation Beltane ritual at Species by the Thousands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on May 5, if you want to keep the juiciness flowing through the coming Full Moon period.
:: SPRING SEXY TIME TIPS ::
Light some genital candles. Seriously. Penis and pussy candles, sold at Enchantments among other places, are extremely powerful. They come in red, white, and black—my preference being the white ones, for healing and purification. You can light each candle with the intention of stepping into your sexual power, fully embodying the divine feminine and masculine, celebrating the goddess and the god, and clearing old sexual hurts.
I recently lit a penis candle as a way to “say goodbye to the old dicks” in my life, and heal past sexual relationships, wishing all old lovers light. I then lit the pussy candle with the intention of fully honoring and loving her, of stepping into my sexual power and sensuality. Of course, which candle you light and how you light it will depend on your sexual preferences and history and your intuition. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Love up your whole body. Get some shea butter, coconut oil, or any nice body moisturizer that you enjoy, and use it to anoint every inch of your body. Go slowly, celebrating each part of you, telling yourself how beautiful you are, noticing small details and marks, and breathing through the experience. This process may not be easy, as we all have so many stored, often hidden, feelings about our bodies – which in turn store feelings that may be released through this practice. My advice is to go slowly and gently, play soft music and offer yourself as much compassion as you can. And don’t worry, it’s largely lovely and enjoyable!
Do something romantic for yourself. Buy yourself flowers. Take a bath with essential oils, rose petals, crystals, and candles. Take yourself out on a date and get dressed up for yourself. Then take yourself home and make love to yourself. And if you have a partner, do all of this for them too!
Play a secret, sexy game. Whenever you see someone you’re sexually attracted to, check in with your genitals and see how they feel. Intentionally connecting our visual cues of attraction from our eyes to our sex center is so healing and opening for us. This one is great for the subway. Oh, and throw in some kegels too, why don’t you?
Go out dancing. The Earth gods and goddesses (not to mention the fairies) just love dancing. So go dance for them! Dance for your body, and dance!
Happy Beltane all. I hope that by loving up your body and sexual essence your inner fire can melt away those last vestiges of winter, making you be ready for a spring that’s full of play.
In the latest instalment of Now Age relationship column Yogi Vegan Lez, Alexandra Roxo and her GF experiment with magic mushrooms as a form of couples therapy…
What do people usually do when they leave yoga class. Drink some water? Go for an egg white omelette? Take a shower? Well, on that Sunday morning my iCal sent me a post-Vinyasa reminder: “Spiritual Awakening. a.k.a. Magic Mushroom Journey!” complete with a mushroom emoji and a smiley face. And so walking home through Williamsburg’s leafy McCarren Park, my girlfriend Orian and I whipped out our ‘shrooms and ate them right there and then. At 10am.
We had both wanted to do something special for our anniversary, and after a friend mentioned a beautiful afternoon she and her hubby had with some mushies, I was inspired! JUST WHAT I NEEDED. If women are scheduling their births these days, why can’t I schedule my DIY spiritual awakening? Plus, magic mushrooms are cheaper than a yoga retreat upstate and can be delivered directly to your house, so there’s really no excuse to not take them, right?
After sharing a vegan club sandwich on GF Rye, we sat and watched the dogs in the park for a moment. Then I was like “Umm, we should walk towards our house. Like Now.” Orian had never been on this kind of ‘journey’ so I also wanted to make sure she didn’t start tripping out while staring in the face of a Frenchie or…um, just crossing the street. Cos that could be dangerous.
I felt sort of like the person guiding the ship, the unofficial road woman or gatekeeper. When she kept saying things like: “When I do drugs I usually need a lot of water…” and “drugs make me feel…” I kept trying to tell her, “THIS IS NOT DRUGS. YOU ARE ON A PLANT MEDICINE ODYSSEY.” She finally succumbed to my benevolent dictatorship, and seemed to accept that a mushroom journey isn’t like a molly trip or a cocaine high.
As for me, this was the first time I’d done mushrooms completely sober of any alcohol and cigarettes. Not the first time I’d attempted an afternoon of mushroom-induced couples therapy though. The last time I tried bonding with my lover this way, we were holed-up in a dreamy Silver Lake cottage where got into a fight, I had a vision of an energetic cut between us where I saw our stars zooming off in opposite directions, realized quite viscerally we were poison for each other, starting having a panic attack, and didn’t sleep for two days.
So gee whiz, why wouldn’t I want to open this door with my new girlfriend of one year, on our anniversary, after an emotional month of me cleansing, quitting smoking, and doing all sorts of energy work?
But we had actually both been sober and clean and totally vegan for over two weeks, and I knew this quiet energetic state was essential to our ‘shrooming success. We continued wandering back towards our house as was the original plan: take a little bit, take a walk, just be together. I soon had to pee though, and we stopped in a cafe to use the loo. The bathroom walls were covered in a magazine collage. Who does that? And then the bathroom started to cave in on me.
I shut my eyes, ran out past the innocent bystanders (i.e. brunch crowd of people not on mushrooms) and what ensued was the most glorious and intense bonding session known to woman.
We held crystals (and FYI, holding crystals while on mushrooms is like holding an elephant or the sun or rain). We opened a book and could only look at one painting and then close the book. Then we had this realization that if we each balanced our Yin and Yang energies, we wouldn’t be searching for balance outside of ourselves. For someone who is bisexual and constantly trying to balance out masculine and feminine vibes I realized that seeking Yang outside of myself wasn’t necessary. I can align with someone else who has balanced energies and then we are each neutral!
This was our tripped out realization. Maybe we would all become androgynous beings again one day! Beyond gender! (I think I actually read that in some article about the next evolution of humans from a channeled entity…) Over the course of six hours, we laughed, we cried, we had profound healing conversations about life and death, and took quiet time alone.
The different phases of the trip were not too unlike my journeys with ayuhasca and peyote. There was a time of feeling physically unstable or unwell. Then there was some euphoria, the feeling of oneness. Then some darker challenges that came our way. That’s the ‘work’ part. The medicine comes in and gets shit done.
The result was what felt like a month of traditional couples therapy in one afternoon. There were no distractions. Except I kept wanting to eat dates and nuts because I felt I needed to ground myself, but was also afraid I might choke. But besides that it was cell phones off and in a drawer. Computers closed. It was magical.
Like everything in life, relationships take maintenance. As we change as individuals, we are altered as a couple. And sometimes these changes can cause a rift, a damn, a chasm, an avalanche, tidal wave. So if you’re tired of the traditional approach to processing your differences, here are our tips for a successful, and magical, couples bonding day on mushrooms:
PLAN AHEAD. The last thing you want is for your landlord to show up to fix your toilet or to have to take your dog out. If you’re opting to do the work at home, make sure your roomie isn’t planning to bake cookies to house music. If you can get away, get away. But why not try and tune into your own world instead of fleeing it?
UNPLUG. Turn off TV, computers, and cell phones. It’s unlikely you’ll even remember what Instagram is during your therapy session, but if you do find yourself tempted to check it – don’t. Just don’t. In your vulnerable state, do you really want to see a photo of Angelina Jolie’s chicken pox? You do not.
BE PRESENT. When you feel overwhelmed, listen to yourself. And if something comes up, share it with your partner. This is the whole deal with the ‘couples therapy’ thing. I asked Orian a few times: “What’s wrong?” She replied: “Oh, I don’t want to get sad or cry.” And I was like, “You can’t fight it! The whole point is to feel what you feel!” And so we were honest when things came up like, “Oh I was just thinking about when you die.” Instead of running from these things, remember you’re here to learn from them.
THE AFTERMATH. Plan to do something gentle afterwards. Light some candles. Have some soup. A bath perhaps. And WRITE IT DOWN. These lessons are invaluable, and it’s likely you will have been flooded with knowledge and wisdom so make sure you keep track.
And most of all, have fun and enjoy being together! And make your next Couple’s Bonding Day one that includes pizza in bed and SNL re-runs, cuz it’s all about the balance.
Naz Onderoglu of Williamsburg’s new global style hub Soot & Tusk gets the spiritual scoop on Ilgin Utin’s India Trippin’ collection. Because it’s always about the journey…
If an open door beckons to you, please stumble in. On a recent stroll through Williamsburg, BK, we did exactly that, and soon found ourselves in fashion heaven – aka Soot & Tusk, a new boutique bursting with cool creations from independent designers across the globe. Founders Naz, Noyan and Veranika are as international a line-up as the clothes that lines the racks, and leads come from everywhere; “we travel, ask our friends or search all over the internet to find like-minded labels. So spread word, we’re looking for new designers all the time!” says Naz.
Designers like Ilgin Utin, whose incredible India Trippin’ collection is featured in this post. Erm, obsessed much? We asked Naz to reach out to Ilgin (modelling her own designs here) to get the inside scoop…
When were you last ‘India Trippin’? “I spent four months in India this winter, searching for what money can’t buy and finding my lost spirit, which it’s easy to forget about in my Western life. I had come to a point where I’d lost all interest in material life and my career goals had become meaningless. I realised I had been living in future, not in the moment, and my India trip helped me reconnect with the ‘now’, as well as my creativity.”
How does the country inspire you as an artist? “Initially it helped me remember the artsy mood of my childhood, but I also found a spiritual connection there which made everything meaningful again and I came to a conclusion that I had to integrate my spirit with my material work. In India, the colourful, fancy and extravagant material expressions are reflections of inner beauty, infused with this ancient, immortal culture of imagination. Seeing real people applying this creativity in their lives, I also figured out that you don’t need to do any research on the internet to be able to understand everything.”
What’s the most mystical experience you had there? “I had this foresight that I’d find a guru who will lead me on a mystical tour to unknown places and states of minds. But it wasn’t about this. There was no big mystery, I simply felt more grounded and connected to nature, as well as the consciousness that we are all a part of.
Really, no stories? “Well okay. I was traveling alone in Coorg following my passion for spices and herbs, and I ended up staying on a mountain homestay with a local family. When I met the guy he told me I was the only Muslim traveller that had ever come there, so he was so excited to introduce me his family. I went their 100-year-old house on the mountains, where there were no neighbours, only nature. On meeting his amazing family, I ended up stayed there for a whole week as they insisted.
“I quickly fell into remote village life, speaking Hindu with the mother, being a sister to his son. At nights we had deep conversations about life, and he would tell stories which were basic and pure, but also so illuminating. Of course, he didn’t know I was in a search of guru, but he told me ‘you can stay here as long as you want, we don’t expect anything in return you, but take me as your guru!’ This made me understand that everybody is a guru, from whom I could learn self-realization.”
Describe the woman you are designing for – who is your muse? “A woman with lots of confidence, with no hesitations and who doesn’t want to hide in the crowd. She likes to be noticed, but she shows up as her inner self, her child spirit. She is very much optimistic, colorful and enjoying life. I don’t have muses, but imaginary characters that I design for. She’s the woman that I want to be.”
What’s your astrological sign, and how does it help define your aesthetic? “I’m an Aquarius, and I think defines my personality, my lifestyle and my mentality. I believe I am really creative, free spirited, independent, reliable, outgoing, sophisticated and individual because of my sign. I know I born this way. My aesthetic is something I’ve developed by visiting and experiencing so many different cultures, and I’m always in progress and expanding my vision.”
Getting dressed in the morning, what’s your ‘fashion mantra’? “I never prepare my clothes the day before. So my mantra is; ‘put on your mood!’”
For more information about when Ilgin Utin’s India Trippin’ collection will be available contact [email protected]
It’s 6.45pm at Betsy and Bryan’s place, and Bryan is “taking care of the space” ahead of tonight’s Weekly Williamsburg Spirit Séance. The altar is set with a few crystals and a candle, and thick coils of smoke from some heady Copal incense mingle with the savoury scent of the sage “smudge stick” he is using to clear and prepare the space.
The event, which Betsy, a.k.a. Psychic Betsy, has been hosting on regular Thursdays since Fall 2011, begins at seven sharp. “On the email it says not to ring the bell before 6.50pm,” says Betsy, “and we pretty much keep to schedule.”
When you read the word “séance” the first image that springs to mind probably isn’t a cute hipster couple dressed head-to-toe in white. In fact, most people I told I’d be attending tonight replied that they’d be “petrified” to be in my shoes. “Well most people have seen The Exorcist,” jokes Betsy, “but think about it. If you believe that Spirit is actually a benevolent force that connects us all as human beings, what is there to be afraid of?”
Even better, what might I discover about my own “magnetic and psychic powers” (as it says on the flyer) tonight? Describing the weekly séance as “like my pro bono work” (a $10 “suggested donation” sure beats her regular $270 hourly rate) Betsy says she established the event because she wants to encourage this kind of exploration in people. “I always wanted to teach psychic development, and the idea is for everybody in the circle to see what messages come through for them too.”
It’s safe to say that despite the butterflies gathering for a flutter flash-mob in my stomach, I’m now “psyched” for the event to begin.
We all have the power The séance is open to nine bodies each week, and once this evening’s group has arrived we are swiftly seated, ready to begin. Betsy kicks things off with a talk about the nature of Spirit and the different ways we as humans can all receive messages from the “other side.”
How we receive messages Betsy tells us she is mainly “clairaudient” – “meaning I hear things, literally like a voice in my head” – and “clairvoyant”, meaning she also receives messages as images. But they can also come through as smells (clairscent), a taste in the mouth (clairgustance) or even just a feeling or sensation (clairsentience). “So how do you think you connect?” is her question to the group.
And how to interpret what they mean So once you receive a psychic impression, the trick is to get into the feeling you associate with it. The image, sound, smell or whatever is just a symbol for the actual message that wants to come through, explains Betsy; “and then you have to share it, to see if it resonates.” In other words, don’t be shy, “or get embarrassed that you might be wrong. Because there is no wrong answer, you might just need to do some more interpretation.”
You can’t judge “success” on how a person reacts #1 Audience prepped Betsy begins with a short prayer calling in the spirits, followed by a guided meditation to welcome a more receptive energy. She then goes from person to person to deliver a short reading from whoever has come through for them. First up is David – likely, I’ve got “a feeling,” the least receptive person in the group. “I didn’t want to start with you, but Sprit had other plans,” laughs Betsy. As she explained before the session, “how the first person reacts tends to be how the group then reacts.” As she goes on to describe a distant dead relative, David, predictably, plays dumb.
I’m getting…the color purple? As she goes around the circle, Betsy encourages us to share any messages we might also be getting – “learning to trust what you’re seeing is the hard part, but it’s all about practise,” she reminds us. And so, when a vivid curtain of purple unfurls in front of my mind’s eye as Sarah (who seems way more into it than David) is getting her reading, I dig into the associations that come up.
Firstly, it’s undoubtedly “Silk Cut purple” – a very specific shade of magenta used to advertise the brand of cigarettes I smoked when I was trying to be cool in middle school. And as for my feelings about Silk Cut…well I always thought cigarettes looked chic, but were kind of gross at the same time. The sensation in my body is a conflict between wanting to smoke, and feeling disgusted by it. “Are you…trying to stop smoking Sarah?” I pipe up timidly. Is this how it works?
You can’t judge “success” on how a person reacts #2 Sarah shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head. Oh well, I tried! But it’s only after the event that another person in the group comes over to tell me that just this week they decided to give up smoking weed…interesting as Silk Cut was the brand of tobacco I first learned to roll a joint with. OMeffingG…I’m psychic!!
Manifesting fireworks! Finally it’s my turn, and Betsy wants to tell me; “I’m seeing flowers turning into fireworks…” And as she says the word, what d’you know – a kick-ass firework display starts up outside the window. And it doesn’t stop. For my entire reading (in which my Grandfather, a renowned workaholic, comes through to tell me not to neglect the fun-and-family loving part of me – thanks Gramps).
We’re all kind of bowled over by the…coincidence? “You know it’s you doing that…” Betsy laughs at one point, as the swhooshes and whoops outside get almost too loud for us to hear her speak.
Who knows, but I’m sold. If there is something out there, the fireworks incident is enough for me to believe that I’ve connected with the Universal oneness in some way tonight. On the way home, I check my Instagram feed – and sure enough, people are all like “what the hell, random fireworks over the East River…” I want to comment to them all; “you’re welcome. Just another reminder that life’s a celebration, right?”
The Weekly Williamsburg Spirit Séance is every Thursday from 7-9pm. For more information and to reserve your space click here.
Betsy Cohen, a regular contributor to The Daily Love, is New York’s hippest psychic medium. She shares the story of her psychic awakening and tells how working with her gift has helped make a profound diference in the lives of others.
“I’ve always known I was a little different. As a child, my older siblings encouraged me to be as weird as possible. “How about I put jelly on this meatball?” I’d say. “Yes, Betsy, that’s a great idea!” But I also remember holding hands with angels at age four. When I was seven I had an experience of knowing ahead of time that someone was going to die. And at nine, my bedroom was moved upstairs and I began hearing footsteps coming up the stairs every night. When I would look out the bedroom door, no one was there. At the time I was unaware of how “different” these experiences were, and so I never shared them. I thought they were normal.
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