WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF MASCULINITY?

The “divine feminine” is often invoked as a Now Age ideal for our gender evolution. But how to really dismantle systems of patriarchal oppression? Trans man and diversity and inclusion activist, Aaron Rose, shares his vision for the future of masculinity …

Photo: Aziz Acharki

From Parasitic Patriarchy to Abundant Symbiosis 
When Now Age mystics speak of “divine masculinity,” what they are describing is simply: masculinity. Exalted qualities of heart-centered action, fierce loyalty, innovative logic, and earthly strength are what masculinity truly is. Everything else is an aberration, a mistaken idea, and a misuse of energy.

The divine masculine is complemented by the divine feminine archetype: the universal energy of intuition, receptivity, nurturance, creation, and collaboration. These energies are not inherently gendered. They flow within all of us.

So how do we reclaim healthy or conscious masculinity? How do we end our crisis of sexual violence? How do we build a world with true gender equality?

In the #metoo era, it can sometimes feel like the goal is total eradication of an inherently “toxic masculinity,” an embrace of androgyny, or an exclusive exaltation of the feminine. But the destination of our evolution is not about erasing our differences or course correcting from toxicity to divinity; it’s about reclaiming gendered archetypes while embracing an even wider spectrum of expression.

Patriarchy is the collectively held (and externally manifested) idea that men are superior to people of other genders, that there are right and wrong ways to be men and women, and that there are rewards for reinforcing these ideas, and penalties for violating them.

And if patriarchy is a result and a manifestation of parasitic scarcity consciousness, then we’re more than ready for abundant symbiosis.

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A Different Way to Be Human
When I first began my transition from female to male, I was terrified of becoming a man. It was who I was – a person who had been female-assigned at birth and who felt called to a male identity and masculine embodiment – and yet, I could not have been more scared.

As a woman, I had lived a life defined and constrained by male violence – from the abuse of family members, to the harassment of strangers on the subway, and the subtle discrimination at work. The manhood I saw around me did not represent the kind of person I wanted to be. And the people I loved were quick to reinforce this idea: You’ll become a tool of the patriarchy, they said. The world doesn’t need another MAN.

On a physiological level, I knew that taking testosterone (in the form of hormone replacement therapy) was right for me. My body needed it, hungered for it like a too-late dinner after a long day. But on an emotional level, I was paralyzed, wracked by immobilizing guilt.

I was afraid of losing the part of myself that cries at Pixar movies and gathers my friends into huge hugs and composes love letters to my beloveds. The part who really, really listens to my people when they’re hurting. I was afraid of embodying toxic masculinity. I was afraid of becoming (even more of) a stranger to myself.

This deterministic model of gender is one we’re all used to. We’ve all heard “that’s just how men are” and any number of absolutist statements that divide the population squarely down the middle, into two prescribed boxes: man and woman. I was just as trapped as anyone.

But equally, in making the choice to transition I knew I was signing up for a lifetime commitment to proving the idea that there was another way to be a man than what I had been shown. That ultimately, there was a different way to be a human altogether.

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Dismantling the Deal with the Devil
This commitment, this faith in the future of masculinity, has fueled my decade’s plus of evolving work in diversity and inclusion—a key part of which is leading conscious masculinity workshops in which men and masculine people of all genders have an opportunity to take themselves off of cultural autopilot and reclaim healthy masculinity.

Patriarchy invites men to make a deal with the devil: trade your eternal wholeness and humanity, in exchange for earthly and temporal power.

Time and again, I witness men become emotional in my workshops when we talk about gender equality and allyship. When I ask why, they say things like: “I feel like I don’t have anything else to offer,” or “What more do you want from me?,” or “Not everyone gets to be treated so nicely, you know.”

As the conversations unfold, we identify, again and again, that they are fundamentally bewildered about why or how they should be giving something to someone else that they do not feel they have themselves: gentleness, a reason to truly accept themselves, a full range of self-expression, emotional presence.

⁣⁣In my workshops, we inventory our masculinity stories, going all the way back to our first memories. And themes emerge, like the first moment of shame, often attached to a memory of playing with feminine clothing, hugging other boys, or crying when we were sad. We bring loving witness to these wounds, and then we choose again.

If the story was: “when I am emotional, the people I love reject me”—we elect to write a new story: “my vulnerability brings me closer to the people I care about.”

Photo: Sir Moon

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What is your role in this process? Here are 4 ways we can all help bring about the future of masculinity … 

1// Separate masculinity + femininity from gender identity and sex assigned at birth.
“Sex assigned at birth” is the label you were assigned at birth based on the external anatomy your doctor observed. Gender identity is your innate, internal, sense of your gender.

Within our current western gender model, which has its origins in European colonization and white supremacist social control, sex assigned at birth, gender, and gendered energy are all conflated. If you are male assigned at birth, it is assumed you will be a man, and that you will behave in a masculine way. This deterministic model belies the truth of our experience — the truth that indigenous people of many cultures have always embraced — that there are as many possible genders and gendered experiences as there are people.

For example, I currently have a pretty masculine embodiment – short hair, muscles, a deep voice, a flat chest, traditionally male clothing. However, my energy is a blend of masculine and feminine – I am a go-getter who is often charging forward on the next big idea AND I create space for the people I love to be vulnerable, where I too surrender into vulnerability with them.

We all contain both masculinity and femininity. The unique mix and balance of this energy within us is as essential as the flow of oxygen into our lungs and bloodstream.

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2// Conduct a patriarchal thought detox.
What are the stories you’re telling yourself about men and masculinity, and about gender overall? Do an inventory of your beliefs about masculinity and men, and choose some different stories.

Some of our big collective stories that you may have running on cruise control include: men should not be emotional, women are more emotional and nurturing than men, there are only two genders, men are just like that, what your body looks like determines your gender, and more.

Set a timer for 10 minutes, write these old stories out, and then decide what you want to replace them with. Write down your new narratives and reread them out loud every day for 21 days.

One my biggest autopilot scripts was that conscious men are few and far between, and that if I was really myself and spoke about gender the way I do, then I would have few connections with men, personally and professionally. I’m choosing to tell a different story now, to affirm that conscious stewards of masculine energy are all around me. And you know what? Bit by bit that community is emerging.

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3// Understand that this work is not just for “bad guys.”
When I discuss my conscious masculinity work, I often witness men immediately deciding that it’s not for them. Or women deciding that it’s not for their husband or their brother or their friend. Because they’re already “good.” They haven’t assaulted anyone recently. They don’t make gross jokes.

⁣We have this mainstream idea that there are “those guys,” those really bad guys, who have really messed up, who really need to get their act together. They’re the problem. They’re the patriarchy. They’re the ones who need an intensive on conscious masculinity. ⁣But the truth is that this work is for ALL of us. We all have an opportunity and a responsibility to become stewards of a new era of masculinity, of gender, of humanity.

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4// Embrace and reclaim the masculinity within yourself.
No matter your gender, you contain an alchemical blend of both masculinity and femininity within yourself. How does your masculinity manifest? In the clothes you wear? In the role you play in your relationships? In the way you tackle a project or negotiate a deal? In the fictional characters you identify with and seek to emulate? How conscious is your masculinity? How much have you chosen it, rather than operating it on autopilot? What do you love about your masculinity? How does it symbiotically complement and amplify your femininity? What do you wish others could see about it?

Write a love letter to your masculinity. Honor what you learn about yourself in the process.

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5// Practice inviting others into this conversation.
Where do you see others running on autopilot about masculinity and femininity? Maybe you’re a mom and you see how other parents assume so much about their children based on their sex assigned at birth. Assuming how their child’s body looks determines what their gender will be. Assuming boys will be tough and girls will like pink. Assuming girls will be nurturing and boys will be adventurous.

Just the other day I spoke with a mother who was grappling to understand why her 8-year-old son had been described by a teacher as “sensitive” and “safe” for the other kids to play with, because of how gentle and unaggressive he was. “I would have no problem seeing my daughter this way,” she said. “But it’s hard to compute how a boy could be described like that. It’s not how I see him.”

Maybe you’re a man and you are aware of how conditioned you are to not call out other men when they say something sexist, or to shame each other for expressing emotion. Maybe you’re a woman who feels super supported by your community of women, but feels like your male partner, family member, or friend, isn’t conscious of his masculinity and how it impacts you.

It’s okay to call the people into your life into greater accountability and connection. To do this, get honest about what your unique role is, however uncomfortable or scary it might feel. Whoever you are, your voice matters, and others will resonate with it.

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A Manifesto for Conscious Masculinity 
The work of remaking our relationship to masculinity and femininity is, like all other fundamentally spiritual work, ultimately about restoring our capacity to self-determine our identity, to trust our intuition, and to unconditionally love ourselves.

We are the generational clean-up crew, taking ourselves off of the autopilot our ancestors ran for centuries, mending the wounds they did not know how to tend. As we emerge from the shadow, it is our birthright to embody unprecedented levels of self expression, connection, and ease. It is the work of a lifetime, but it’s why we’re here. And we don’t have to do it alone.

The future of masculinity is not an erasure of the traditional masculine archetype (ie strong, rugged, powerful, action-oriented), but a conscious release of the shadow sides of these traits (domination, control, emotional suppression, violence) and a conscious choosing of what our masculinity means to us. ⁣⁣

The future of masculinity is the reclamation of this true divine masculine archetype, by whoever resonates most deeply with that energy.

The future of masculinity is amends and repair for generations of harm done, the honest reckoning of personal and collective shame and grief for violence committed, or violence not stopped.

The future of masculinity is an embrace of action without aggression, of leadership without dominance, of impetus and initiation without steamrolling, of grace without repression.

The future of masculinity is creation without collateral damage, strength without silencing, devotion without obsession, responsibility without control, power with rather then power over.

The future of masculinity is the intentional embrace of intuition, rather than the unconscious whim of instinct.

In short, it is a human life, fully and bravely lived, with self-love and connection with a Universal intelligence at its core, with nothing to prove and everything to share.

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Ready for more support reclaiming a positive masculine archetype, for yourself, or someone else in your life? Registration is open for my online Conscious Masculinity Intensive. Use code NUMINOUS for 20% off all ticket levels through next Tuesday, November 20th. It’s open to men, masculine people of all genders, and allies; we even have a few parents of male-assigned-at-birth kids joining too! Join us in co-creating the future of gender, together.

HOW TO FIND YOUR POWER DURING MARS RETROGRADE

With Mars retrograde for the summer, it’s time to reconnect with our inner drive. Healers from London meditation hot-spot, Re:Mind Studio, share how to go inside to find your power right now …

Photo: Cristian Newman

“Find your power” is a super buzzy rallying cry in the wellness and healing worlds that can leave us feeling more confused than courageous. Where has it been hiding? How do I hunt it down? And what exactly does it look like? 

Cosmically, the concept of power connects us to Mars, planet of drive and creative libido. At its core, Mars energy is about affirming our right to be here, to want what feels good to want, and to go after it in a way that brings us fully alive.

With Mars stationing retro for the Summer, we’re being asked to dive deeply into our internal power centers, and to explore what pushes our buttons—in a good way. For example, Mars rules anger—but rather than projecting onto others any time we feel pissed, this is a moment to examine what this emotion is here to teach us. Where it wants us to take action and make positive change in our lives.

We teamed up with healers and speakers from the Summer of Women’s Power event series at London’s Re:Mind Studio to roundup the top tips for activating your life force right now …

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Treat Your Triggers Like Treasures
“Any time you feel triggered, use this as a way to learn something about yourself and the area in your life you can pull back your personal power.

Rather than react in the moment, take however long you need to sit with the emotions that are coming up and pay attention to the stories that accompany them. Write down some questions that will help you look deeper. Journal about it. It may feel good to talk it out with a friend. If needed, seek professional guidance—with a therapist or healer—to help make more sense of why this feels so raw.

Tending to your wounds in this way will help you feel stronger, more whole, like there are no ‘gaps’ where your power is leaking out. Ultimately, this wholeness will make you invincible.” – Ruby Warrington, Founder, The Numinous 

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Get Body Con
“We can come in to our true power by getting out of our heads and coming into our bodies, since this is the where we often store old emotions and also where we can tap in for our deepest intuitive knowledge. This is something I’ve been working on myself for some time now, and a simple way to begin is to meditate for 5-10 minutes before sleeping with your left hand on your heart and right hand on your womb area. As your mind begins to quiet, be open to just seeing what comes up for you.” –Yulia Kovaleva, Co-founder, Re:Mind

Re:Mind Studio

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Return to Innocence 
“Reconnect with something in the material world that brings you alive in an immediate, visceral, unedited way. It could be as simple as a song, or a favorite color or object. Maybe it’s something from your youth, like an old school playlist from your teen years. Let whatever it is remind you that you have a right to your tastes and your specific flavor of encountering the world. Carve out the edges of yourself through this process of loving exactly what you love without apology.” – Bess Matassa, Assistant Editor, The Numinous 

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Claim Pleasure as Your Birthright 
“Pleasure is a woman’s birthright. It is her source of power, creativity and vibrancy. When a woman learns to cultivate a continuous state of deep pleasure in all areas of her life, she is a force to be reckoned with. A woman who owns her desires and puts pleasure first will not take an averagely led life for an answer.” – Grace Hazel, Empowerment coach

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Retreat Into You
“My tip is to get yourself onto a retreat this summer. Even if that means you can only afford a day somewhere, do it! Give yourself permission to unplug, connect back into your body, and meet like-minded people.” – Millie, Studio Assistant, Re:Mind

Re:Mind Studio

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Get Obsessed 
“Critiques about our ‘too muchness’ are often connected to others’ discomfort with the intensity of our feelings, and how much space we’re taking up. Throw proportion out the window and tap into your primal force that wants to live rawly and fully, no-holds barred. Start by treating whatever you’re loving like a romantic obsession. Whether it’s a new passion project, your healing process, or simply a topic that’s lighting you up right now, stalk it, dive in deep, and let it take up all the space that it needs to bring you alive.” – Ruby Warrington, The Numinous 

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Fall in Love 
“We embody powerful energy that we can tap into through the elements of love. As love blooms we discover our truth and in that truth we reveal our authentic self. There is nothing more powerful.” – Jasmin Harsono, Emerald and Tiger

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Plan a Solo Date 
“To connect with our life force, we have to get down and dirty with our most intimate desires, wants, and needs. Which means some good old fashioned solitude. Notice any stickiness you have around the concept of being ‘alone’ and commit to sitting with the discomfort. And while you’re at it, make it juicy. Treat your time with yourself like a sweet vacation. Take yourself for dinner. Dress up for yourself in clothes that feel like second skin. Let this solo dance lead you back to the power moves that you alone can bring.” – Bess Matassa, The Numinous

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Re-nature Yourself
“Connect to your roots, to the power of our land. Notice how it feels to be out in nature, how it impacts your body, your mood and your emotions. Once you begin to tap into the rhythms of nature, you begin to tap into the natural and honest rhythms of your life. The ups, the downs, the endings, the beginnings. Our lives are part of an ever ebbing, ever flowing cycle. A portal into our wild inner guidance.

As nature fully blooms this summer, think of the areas in your life where you can to. What areas are calling you to grow, to create, to express? Remember yourself as a sacred woman that has chosen this Earthwalk. You’re powerful. You’re needed to seed and grow new life, a new way for humanity.” – Vickie Williams, Vickie Williams Yoga

Connect to your power in real time with London’s new meditation and spiritual hub, Re:Mind, with their Summer of Women’s Power event series. Designed to activate, inspire, and uplift, workshops cover everything from “Self Pleasure Magic” to “Daily Ayurveda,” leaving you tapped in and connected to your very own superpowers.

MOON CLUB MOONERS & SHAKERS: ANNIVERSARY EDITION!

On our one year mooniversary of Moon Club, our Moon Club members are reflecting back at us what a loving, empowering, and fearless community we’ve created, says Ruby Warrington

When Alexandra Roxo and I launched Moon Club one year ago, we didn’t know what to expect. Our goal was to make mystical tools like astrology and ritual that we had easy access to in NYC and LA, available to people everywhere. We hoped that this would help others experience the same sense of Cosmic oneness and portal to self-healing that we had both benefitted from in our lives, our relationships, and our careers.

We also felt the value of community, sisterhood, and wanted to create a safe space where people could feel supported, seen, and held, as they embarked on their own journeys of self-discovery. Synching our program with the cycles of the Moon felt like a natural fit, and a way to feel connected beyond boarders and belief systems. Plus, y’know, who better as a figurehead than Mama Moon!

And here we are 12 months later, with hundreds of members in locations as far-flung as Beirut, Brazil, and Belfast. Members who consistently reflect back at us what a loving, empowering, and fearless community we’ve created. Some of whom have also gone on to become Moon Ambassadors, and are beginning to lead IRL meet-ups, rituals, and ceremonies in their own cities.

Over the past year, we’ve featured many of our members in a regular Mooners & Shakers feature. Below, a selection of our most active community members share what being part of Moon Club means to them!

PLUS to celebrate our 1 year mooniversary, we’re offering 50% off yearly memberships through Dec 3 2017! Click HERE to learn more and to sign up. 

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“I used to be so afraid of the unknown, planning for everything, and so entangled with my own emotions. Through Moon Club, I’ve allowed myself the privilege to just be me. And being more mindful of the moon has connected me to my core—I’m letting my womb guide me towards what’s needed. This is the best medicine that I can give myself.” – Chantelle Brown

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“You can literally say anything and there is no judgment. I think if you told some women that this exists, they would be skeptical. This summer, as I re-dedicated myself to abstaining from alcohol, I felt supported in the most unexplainable way. I think part of the reason I drank again was because being labeled as “woo woo” by those close to me made me dim my light. In Moon Club, I don’t need to hide that side of me.” – Megan Sweeten 

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“Knowing there’s a group of women/ femmes who have my back, who are holding me accountable, who support and love me; it’s all I’ve ever wanted. I’ve learned that I’m not meant to do this alone.” – Gabriela Herstik

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“Being a part of Moon Club gives me a frequent reminder to breath, stop, and listen. It is also freaking awesome to have a squad of people who love witchy shit as much as me! [In my work] I love helping women understand how ace they are and Moon Club gives me the strength to do that. It’s like my own professional development course.” – Angela Meyer

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“Since joining Moon Club, I have experienced a boost in confidence that I am in fact on my true path. You can raise your vibration even higher when you are a part of a loving, kind, supportive community, and there is nothing more beautiful than remembering that we are all connected.” – Tanya Sakolsky 

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“Through Moon Club, I’m truly living by the cycles of the moon and thus embracing nature itself: my real nature and all of my emotions. I’ve learnt that the tears and release of doing so are an important part of getting to know myself better. Instead of coming up against the same issues over and over again, this process enables real change and real growth.” – Bettina Mcilraith 

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“As an entrepreneur and writer, I often feel like I have to do everything on my own. Moon Club has shown me the power in collaboration and connection, which is the only way forward in this new divine feminine rebirth. Moon Club makes you feel less alone on this sometimes lonely planet.” – Sahara Rose 

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“There are women I’ve met in Moon Club who are spiritual staples in my life now. It gives me hope for the change I wish to see occur in this world.  The love I want to expand. There is ENOUGH out there for everyone.” – Jennifer Robinson

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“Spiritual growth is continuous and just like yoga, meditation, and other modalities, it asks you to show up for yourself first so that you can show up for others. Through exercises like monthly journaling prompts, Moon Club reminds me to stay light and open to wonderment.” – Veronica Beltran 

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“I’ve always been more of an optimist, but Moon Club has added an additional emotion through its realness. It’s assisted me with my voice and in believing that the world needs and wants to hear what I have to say. Through the push of Moon Club, I’ve learned that I’m ready. The time is now. Take the leap!” – Morgan Greenseth


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“Perhaps you’ve found yourself on a different path from your regular circle of friends/family and would like to have a space to connect with others on a similar journey. This is the place! Not that we are trading in old friendships for new ones, but expanding the circle of support so we can feel more fulfilled in our lives. I have the energy to respond to things I didn’t have the breadth to do before.” – Aba Gyepi-Garbrah


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“I’ve learned that I am far more capable than I thought possible. This last year has been about bulldozing comfort zones in order to free fall into more expansive space internally. Pushing through fear, embracing and releasing it through action has been the most liberating experience of my life. Next stop, conquering the fear of snakes!” – Alma Groome 

To discover more about Moon Club and join our global community of spiritual change makers visit www.moonclub.co. PLUS we’re offering 50% off annual memberships through December 3!

WHY WE HAVE TO GET REAL ABOUT DIVERSITY IN THE WELLNESS INDUSTRY

On the brink of opening a brand new studio in Harlem, SHAKTIBARRE co-founder Corinne Wainer confronts the status quo, and shares 5 ways to get real about diversity in the wellness industry right now …

When I read that 77% of yogis are white, and that in New York roughly 44% make over $75,000 a year, I was astonished. Also, like I had been de-naïved. Seven years ago I founded a yoga and literacy non-profit for 7th-12th grade girls called YoGirls Program, but I had not assumed that the lack of access to wellness education my young students experienced would follow them into adulthood.

I started YoGirls Program because I knew the shameful feeling of being excluded from this often elitist world. Though I’m not a cultural minority, I didn’t grow up with money, and wellness education is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. And there was the one time I was told not to come back to a barre class because my shoulder injury, which necessitated modified moves, would make their sequencing “look bad.” Given this minor “image” infraction, you can imagine what other exclusionary practices exist.

Soon, I began to realize that theses issues needed to be tackled in the wider world. At first, I pitched articles to wellness editors along the lines of: “Hey, I see you have many articles written about elitism in the wellness industry but none that really discuss how to solve the problem … can I write about that?” My “idea” became SHAKTIBARRE, the yoga-barre studio and community space I opened with my partner in 2016.

Our mission was to actually DO SOMETHING about the aforementioned wellness injustices. So we implemented a sliding-scale pricing model, offer classes that emphasize body, cultural, and spiritual inclusivity, and dedicate 10% of net profits to YoGirls Program. As my friend Robyn from The Babe Collective says, it’s been about building a biz without becoming a superficial a**hole! This is all the more imperative because the yoga industry is 82% women. Change starts with us.

In an industry that profits from your self-doubt, any wellness initiative that supports you liking yourself is a healthy rebellion—but amazingly, we’ve gotten explicit push back for this, and been told we should just “stick to exercise and stop caring so much.” Or haven’t been invited to things where our mission wouldn’t be popular with those who are after more glitter-worthy press.

Because good intentions are one thing—making real change at a grassroots level requires GRIT. It’s not enough to hope our overall vibe and messaging would magically erase a deeply ingrained and capitalist-motivated lack of diversity in the wellness industry.

So if you too desire to create tangible change—in wellness or any industry where there is a lack of integrity and action—then read on for 5 ways we turned feel-goods into do-goods, and let the SHAKTIBARRE story be your guide …

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1. When we took a survey. So far we’ve had over 10,000 students and achieved a 4.9/5-star rating. Exciting. But we couldn’t help asking: “what’s up with that missing 0.1?” So we created a survey asking direct questions on everything from mat quality to cultural equality, promising to implement response-based changes within six weeks. We discovered that real empowerment comes from dynamic conversations, and thousands of our members were more than happy to share their honest insights when asked. The learning: In an industry where “exchange” has become the creepy synonym for “money,” make direct inquiries and practice active listening.

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2. When we said “no” to big opportunities that would compromise our integrity. We’ve been asked countless times to partner with corporate brands and been offered 6-12 million dollar investment deals; and it was a memorable magazine moment that taught us early on the power of staying true to our SHAKTIBARRE selves. An incredible article was written about us, but the title used a pic of a supermodel as click bait. The feedback from some new students was that they’d been afraid to visit because they felt nothing like the famous woman portrayed in the piece.

From that moment on, we’ve refused to film or do interviews with anyone unless they use inclusive pictures and dialogue. We also decided to fundraise for our second location instead of taking on investors who may prioritize financial gain over our community efforts. The learning: Always emphasize your mission over money and fame. And be honest: if your mission is money and fame, reevaluate your mission.

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3. When we got totally transparent online. Originally, we thought SHAKTIBARRE was just going to have local impact, but we realized our responsibility on-site and online. We take time each week to individually reply to reviews and Instagram comments, and pay extra special attention to tense conversations. For example, a woman recently challenged our fundraising campaign in response to a post we wrote with Alexandra Roxo, arguing that we’re “a for-profit company who can just go to the bank.”

We created a whole newsletter on it and asked for input from our community, ultimately opening our Quickbooks and telling the whole world exactly what we make, why, and how, all in the name of transparency. We even invited her to tea! The learning: Every criticism is a chance to unveil a deeper truth for both parties.

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4. When we empowered our OWN community. We have about 30 people on our team at any given time, and in order to help them bring their gifts to the world, we extend our services inward. This means we’ve raised salaries twice before paying ourselves more, provided free coaching when asked, generated promo codes and worked out various continuing education opportunities (marketing seminars, teacher trainings, and attending outside classes, benefits, and performances together). The learning: When your team gets to experience your mission first hand, your foundation becomes rock solid, and your impact will be true.

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5. When we became socially … awkward or awesome (you decide). We are a trendy, boutique fitness spot that also promises to create large-scale sociopsychological shifts in the way women experience wellness. That is why we sometimes post (with permission, of course) really provocative shares from teachers and students about racism, sexual assault, vaginal health, chronic illness, family dysfunction, learning disabilities … you name it. That is why we create SHAKTIPOPS (SHAKTIBARRE classes with a theme) that take deeper looks at how wellness is more specifically experienced by people of color (there’s a class coming up on December 3rd!), queer populations, Latina heritage, Judaism, morbid obesity … again you name it.

These subjects can be super triggering, and are NOT necessarily gonna get us all the likes on Instagram. But we see it as our responsibility as role models to go there. The learning: With every second you have in the limelight, say something consciously disruptive to exclusive wellness industry statistics. Want to get ridiculous right now? Post our crowdfunding link on your Instagram and start a conversation about real change through wellness.

 

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The biggest challenge you’ll face with our 5 tips? That you’ll have to let go of being accepted and step into being accountable. The greatest reward will be a loyal, lasting, and long-term impact on an industry ripe with opportunities for equal-opportunity empowerment.

As I build more and more studios over the next 5 years (where do YOU wanna see one?!),  more and more adult women will get inspired to become activists, and more young girls will have a fully-funded after school program. Meanwhile, my co-founder Shauny Lamba will continue expanding our Shakti Teacher Trainings all over the globe which is where this dream gets even more real because every year the YoGirls design a service project where they visit a city in need and learn alongside their local peers! And this all starts in our SHAKTIBARRE empowerment hub home-bases …

We entirely believe in you to make this shift and hey sister, we’re in this together. Come visit us in Brooklyn this Thursday at our benefit party (and next Spring in Harlem, which you can learn more about here) and share your stories of becoming actionable in the name of women’s wellness.

MOONERS & SHAKERS: THE MOON CLUB MEMBER MAKING REAL NEWS

In an era of alternative facts, Girlboss.com editorial director and Moon Club member Jerico Mandybur is committed to making real news, and giving every voice an equal platform to be heard. Just like the righteous “witchy bitch” she is …

Banging on the system … 
Women and femmes have so much knowledge, centuries of wisdom, and life experiences that have yet to really be accepted widely, let alone embraced. So I’m all for banging on the system to make that happen in whatever way I can.

I’m a firm believer in amplifying the voices of ‘othered’ people in media, rather than speaking on behalf of anyone. I hope to contribute to making that the norm. Rather than the prevailing cultural norm that a straight white male TV presenter is the only arbiter of objective discussion and ‘rational debate,’ I hope to cultivate spaces for marginalized voices online and make those voices the norm.

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Speak for yourself … 
My best advice for anyone looking to use their voice? To quote Nike (lol), ‘Just do it.’

Ignore your fear, allow yourself to be uncomfortable, always question your own assumptions, and don’t speak on behalf of anyone whose experience you haven’t lived.

Be yourself. And to quote the Gumbainggir activist and academic Gary Foley, remember that, ‘The battle begins at home.’

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Key issues rocking our world … 
Consumerism has an amazing way of co-opting countercultural sentiments and protest movements into a system of domination, by using them to sell us more ‘stuff’ and/or distraction. This is the greatest challenge for new age and spiritual movements too, and I’m not sure it’s one that can be overcome while capitalism is still a thing. At least until something catastrophic happens …

Suffice it to say, the extent of humans’ environmental destruction is becoming more and more apparent. This is one area (of so many) where Indigenous people’s knowledge of— and relationship with—the land is something all of humanity needs to learn from and respect right now.

Photo by Isabella Melody Moore

Spiritual activism is bigger than we think … 
Spirituality means you have an understanding of what you’re defending that’s ‘bigger’ than you, and your lifetime. It connects you with people, and with life, in a way that goes beyond what you can see and touch.

Also, you can’t call yourself a spiritual person if you turn a blind eye to other’s suffering. That’s not a thing! But I also really believe you have to heal yourself before—or, as—you heal other people.

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Moon Club is a sisterhood of witchy bitches … 
Moon Club is my way of bringing more structure to my spirituality. It gives me that extra nudge to maintain a deep relationship with the Moon. I really enjoy feeling part of a sisterhood of witchy bitches, who have each other’s backs, even if they live on opposite sides of the planet.

It has inspired me to give less fucks about being my bizarre, woo woo self publically.

I used to be nervous about telling people I read tarot cards and studied astrology, at work, or online. It was my last frontier of authenticity. Now I don’t shut up about it. And that’s pretty powerful!

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Jerico Mandybur is a Sydney-born, LA-based writer, and the editorial director of girlboss.com. She’s previously been an editor for sites like Mashable, MTV and Oyster Magazine. She’s a passionate tarot reader and astrology student who takes inspiration from her Egyptian heritage and queer feminist identity, and a trauma survivor who sees nature worship and spirituality as a key to healing, separate from the confines of western pathology.

**Want to start your own revolution? Sign up for Moon Club and join our tribe of cosmic change makers at Moonclub.co. 

WHAT’S YOUR ASTEROID GODDESS SIGN?

Want to harness your full feminine force through the stars? Activate some serious girl power with your asteroid goddess sign, says Rebecca Farrar. 

With the Sun traveling through Virgo, the only female figure in the zodiac, it’s the perfect moment to harness the power of the zodiac’s feminine archetypes.

Just as modern women often face a limited expression of the feminine, traditional Western astrology often relegates us to either the mother (Moon) or lover (Venus).

Luckily, the four asteroid goddesses (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Juno) open up a world beyond traditional roles of wife and mother, and lead us into a deeper exploration of our feminine complexity.

By diving into both the “positive” and challenging aspects of these placements in our charts, we can heal limiting dichotomies and make space for the re-emergence of a fuller expression of our feminine force …

Below, your guide to navigating and activating these placements in your chart. **New to your birthchart? Discover your asteroid signs by looking at your birth year and month HERE.

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:: CERES :: Roman Goddess of Agriculture, Grain, Fertility, and Mother-Daughter Relationships  
Ceres energy recognizes the paradox roles we inhabit as both our own parent and child. It also teaches us where we easily provide nurturance, love, and care to ourselves and others.

Illuminated Expressions: Self-parenting, nurturing self and others, acceptance of cycles of birth and death, caregiving

Shadow Expressions: Intense attachment to mother, projection of our unmet needs onto others, eating disorders

Placement by Sign: Unveils our deepest needs and reinforces our self-care priorities.

  • Ceres in Fire Signs: Nurturing and nourishment through movement (Aries), exploration (Sagittarius), and self-expression (Leo). *Make time for having mini-adventures, or celebrating your need for independence and dominance through traveling or starting your own side business.
  • Ceres in Earth Signs: Feels cared for with sensuality (Taurus), stability (Virgo), and commitment (Capricorn). *Connect with nature by taking a guided nature walk, learning more about the native plants or animals where you live, or spending time outside barefoot.
  • Ceres in Air Signs: Communication (Gemini), cooperation (Libra), and individuality (Aquarius) are places to foster nurturance. *Educate yourself on social justice and equality through taking classes or participating in activist groups, or explore art and design.
  • Ceres in Water Signs: Offer yourself and others nurturance by appreciating your need for feeling loved (Cancer), deep emotional bonding (Scorpio), or connection to spirit (Pisces). *Make time for seeing a therapist or being in groups where vulnerability and emotional expression is honored. Or volunteer your time doing something connects you to compassion for others.

:: VESTA :: Roman Goddess of Hearth and Home  
The second largest asteroid reminds us of our devotion and how we can commit to a spiritual path and guard our inner sacred flame. It also indicates how our sexuality unfolds or develops with time.

Illuminated Expressions: Connecting to spirit through ritual, dedication to personal ceremonies or spiritual path, desire to bring magic into human experience, sacred sexuality

Shadow Expressions: Unrealized sexual potential, fear or denial of sexuality and passion, self-alienation

Placement by Sign: Reveals what we ritualize or desire to make sacred

  • Vesta in a Fire sign: Energy and drive becomes channeled through ambition (Aries), creativity (Leo), or idealism (Sagittarius). *With this placement, sexuality may become alienated through so much self-focus. Notice how you may use your sexual energy as self-fulfillment or to dominate others instead of sustaining supportive, ongoing relationships.
  • Vesta in Earth Signs: Comfort (Taurus), service to others (Virgo), and hard work (Capricorn) are the touchstones for focusing passion. *Explore practices such as Tantric sexuality that unite the sacred aspects of Vesta with the down-to-Earth qualities of connecting.
  • Vesta in Air Signs: Find ways to dedicate yourself to knowledge (Gemini), balance (Libra), and change (Aquarius). *In an air sign, Vesta craves ideas and shifting perspectives. Take classes on human sexuality or write out your own sexual biography as a way of noticing patterns in your own evolution and process.
  • Vesta in Water Signs: Devotion to ones’ feelings (Cancer), explorations of the taboo (Scorpio), or spiritual practice (Pisces) take on more importance. *The fiery nature of Vesta and the water sign placement soften the focus and call for sexual healing. Understand your energetic boundaries with sexuality and steer clear of spaces or situations where they may not be honored.

:: PALLAS ATHENE (ATHENA) :: Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Craft, Poetry, and War 
Named after Athena, who honors the prophecy and oracle in us all, Pallas holds the key to our hidden genius.

Illuminated Expressions: Wisdom as integration of intuition and intellect, pattern recognition, strategic thinking, artistic expression

Shadow Expressions: Over identification with intellect, rejection of the inner feminine, black and white thinking

Placement by Sign: Shows us where we have intuitive gifts or creative intelligence.

  • Pallas in Fire Signs: Harness your unique genius by initiating (Aries), creating (Leo), or larger-than-life visioning (Sagittarius). *Try martial arts such as kung fu or t’ai chi, or fencing, to harness the innate warrior intelligence. Pallas in Leo and Sag may want to channel the fiery nature into creativity with arts and crafts, or take up chess where pattern recognition and playfulness meet.
  • Pallas in Earth Signs: Creative intelligence could be well suited for art (Taurus), woodworking (Virgo), or architecture (Capricorn). *Pallas here wants foundational or practical skills. Use a hands-on approach for finding a creative outlet that allows for your own clarity of touch and intentionality.
  • Pallas in Air Signs: Explore your gifts in debate or speech class (Gemini), mediation (Libra), or activism (Aquarius). *Pallas in air utilizes her keen sense of wisdom, perception, and the power of words. Become an advocate for change and the breath of fresh air it brings to your mind.
  • Pallas in Water Signs: Notice patterns of emotion (Cancer), intensity (Scorpio), or dream interpretation (Pisces) *Pallas’ intuitive gifts become more obvious here and perception turns towards the feeling realm. Use your skills in music, film, psychotherapy, or photography.

:: JUNO :: Roman Goddess of Marriage and the Queen of the Gods
Juno presides over marriage and business partnerships, and often indicates the type of person we marry or find it easy to commit to. She helps us differentiate between being attracted to someone versus what is a good long-term fit for us.

Illuminated Expressions: Balanced partnership that honors both individual purpose and connection through commitment, equality, and loyalty

Shadow Expressions: Attachment patterns, power struggles and jealousy in relationships, fears and manipulation, controlling expressions of the feminine that detach us from personal needs and selfhood

Placement by Sign: Understanding what motivates us to be in partnership, and how we can create both togetherness and individuality

  • Juno in Fire Signs: Relationships with excitement that also involve independence (Aries), admiration (Leo), and unified vision (Sagittarius) are all main motivators for partnerships. Keep an eye on passion that leads too far into drama or becomes destructive. *Look for potential partners at the gym or places where you can expand your horizons.
  • Juno in Earth Signs: Keeps an eye out for stability in relationship and looks for physical security (Taurus), day-to-day support (Virgo), and dependability (Capricorn). *Ideal long-term partners could include people you meet at work, or in more traditional ways such as friends of friends, or even a matchmaker.
  • Juno in Air Signs: Seeks mental stimulation (Gemini), equality (Libra), or freedom (Aquarius) in partnership. Honor the air element by honing communication skills in relationships and staying open to something more non-traditional. *Locations for cosmic connections could include school or community events.
  • Juno in Water Signs: Juno appreciates nurturing (Cancer), intimate bonding (Scorpio), and spiritual connection (Pisces). Juno here may also be prone to not see things clearly, so keep away from manipulation, power struggles, or fantasy. *Karmic partnerships may form at church, through family friends, or even at intense bastions of sexuality like strip clubs!
Rebecca, aka The Wild Witch of the West

Before becoming an astrologer more than seven years ago, “Wild Witch of the West” Rebecca Farrar was a huge skeptic. Now, she can’t imagine doing anything else! When not staring at her transits, she can be found wandering Ocean Beach, curled up with a good book, or “force” cuddling her kitty Freyja. For more cosmic musings, follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

8 REASONS WHY YOUR PERIOD IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

In the face of enormous political and social challenges to our bodies and souls, the time for period pride is right now, says Cora founder Molly Hayward. Here’s why your period is a feminist issue and how to harness the power of this change-making cycle … Main Image: Zoe Buckman 

Now, more than ever, the claim to our bodies in all their messy, beautiful, real complexity is imperative.

From debates over period product ads in the subway system, to parts of the world where girls are exiled from school due to lack of sanitary supplies, our monthly life-giving cycles are in the news. Which means the time for period pride is now.

And as we reclaim the Numinous parts of the menstrual experience (consider the sky-high rise of Moon circles and Moon magic), our generation is reigniting the conversation about what our periods mean, how they can bring us together, and why we must harness their full power.

To understand the potency and potential of this change-making cycle, we sat down with founder of organic tampon subscription service Cora, Molly Hayward. Her mission? To charge the experience of womanhood with respect and reverence for our periods. “We see a world where women can live fully-embodied,” says Molly. “Your period is an essential part of human life.”

Want to reclaim your period as a feminist issue? Read on for 8 reasons why bleeding is beautifully badass …

It’s in our blood.

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1// Because moon power burns as brightly as solar power.
In a relentlessly solar-powered world with an emphasis on egocentric, “yang” action and force, the yin cycles of the Moon provide a subtle counterpoint that teaches us to value our internal processes, and our alignment with the natural world that surround us. “Our cycles are a practice in the wisdom of life/death/life,” says Hayward. “Women experience this truth every month in their bodies.”

This kind of wisdom allows us to understand how endings fuel unexpected beginnings, and how we are powerful participants in something much greater than ourselves. “[Through my cycle], I began to see myself, and all women, as the bearers of the wisdom that everything in life has a cycle,” notes Hayward. “Ideas, institutions, plants, animals, and humans, all have to die to allow for the birth of new ones. This is powerful wisdom for our society today.”

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2// Because badass boss ladies bleed.
As we tune in to these rhythms that often fly in the face of the ceaseless cult of cutthroat corporatism, we can change the way work gets done from the inside out.

When we repress our cycles and “skip” periods (using birth control pills, for example) because we believe must “keep up” with the pace of masculine career achievement or avoid discomfort in some situation (during sex, on vacation), we are voting yes to a work environment and world which thrives on gender inequality and denies our internally-facing wisdom. Periods of retreat from “go” mode can actually inform and fuel our creative process in the world.

When we bring our full bodies to the boardroom table, we can change the way that work gets done.  

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3// Because period exile is an education issue.
The statistics are startling. 300 million girls and women worldwide use rags, plastic, sand, and ash to manage their menstrual cycles. 1 in 4 girls in India drops out of school once she reaches puberty. “While I was traveling in Africa,” says Hayward, “I met girls who would stay home from school during their periods because they couldn’t afford period products and then learned that millions of girls around the world stay home from school during their periods because they don’t have a way to manage them.”

With a 90% decrease in dropout rates worldwide when girls have access to sanitary products, it’s imperative that we support girls and women worldwide to bleed with dignity, safety, and adequate supplies.

Art: Lina Scheynius via Cora’s Instagram

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4// Because healthy bodies bleed.
Whether it’s deliberately augmenting or suppressing our cycles so we don’t have to deal with the “mess,” or obliterating our cycles entirely as the result of compromised eating habits or over-exercise, our bleeding bodies are barometers for our overall health.

“In addition to the way periods of have been negatively perceived, there are so many other aspects of women’s bodies that are shamed and stigmatized,” says Hayward. “Our mission is to bring women and society to a place of understanding, acceptance, and respect for the awesome power of our bodies.”

And as we commit to celebrating our healthy bodies, we also begin to question the harmful synthetics and chemicals that enter them through conventional sanitary products. “I hated the idea that so many women were unknowingly exposing themselves to these potentially harmful substances for several days every single month for decades of their lives,” Hayward comments.

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5// Because period sex should not be taboo.
As we move through our monthly rhythm, we have the delicious chance to connect with all aspects of our desire and nature. Each of us responds to the distinctive phases of our cycles with different moods, cravings, and sexual needs.

We deserve to feel sexual pleasure when, where, and with whom (consensually of course) we damn well please. Each month, our periods are gateways to a shifting, sensual landscape. Get curious about exactly when you’re most turned on and claim this pleasure, no matter the time of the month. Partners who love you, should love your body in its entirety.

Art: Romily Alice Walden via Cora’s Instagram

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6// Because periods are a rite of passage.
Periods connect us to a magical, matrilineal line. They are part of both our ancestral histories, and the history of our own lives. Remember when you had your first period? Maybe you felt shame or confusion. Maybe no one was around to help you make sense of this powerful rite of passage.

Puberty, maturity, aging, the mystery and magic of both fertility and menopause … as we pass through the seasons of our lives as women, we have every right to bow down at the altar of our beautiful bodies during their complex cycles of change.

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7// Because there’s no shame in getting messy.
Ever been told that you’re “too much?” That your emotions take up too much space. That you’re unruly. That you’ve gone overboard. Our periods are part of our carnal bigness, and shame around their messiness keeps us from inhabiting our fullest range of emotions and potential.

“Periods are a natural biological fact of womanhood,” affirms Hayward. “Access to safe and healthy menstrual products is a matter of human dignity, in addition to being critical to girls’ and women’s ability to stay well, attend school, and participate in the formal economy. These things are in turn tied to our equal standing in society- not to mention being basic human rights.”

Quite simply, periods connect us to our humanness. And we deserve to be fully human.

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8// Because there’s strength in synchronicity.
More than just a college co-ed curiosity, there’s scientific proof that when we assemble in close community, we often sync up our cycles. And while each one of us can tap into the particularities of our own rhythm and our wisdom, there is powerful medicine in communal cycling. As we share the experience of being in our bodies, we share the stories of how these bodies move through the world– our overlapping wants, needs, fears, and aspirations.

Women who bleed together can change the world together.

Cora founder Molly Hayward

We produced this post in partnership with Cora, a monthly subscription service for premium organic cotton tampons with BPA-free applicators that honor our bodies, while providing performance and convenience. For every subscription purchased, Cora also provides a month’s supply of sustainable pads to a girl in need in a developing country so she can stay in school during her period.

HOLY F*CK: WHY WOMEN TRIGGER EACH OTHER & HOW TO DEAL

From public shaming to private comparison—enough is enough, says Alexandra Roxo. It’s time to figure out why women trigger each other, stop throwing shade, and turn those triggers to gold …

Photo: Alexandra Herstik

As women, we have been taught to compare ourselves to others women from the day we were born …

We’ve been presented with images of people we’re supposed to look like, dress like, love like, and work like. We’ve talked shit about other women and not only has it been acceptable, it has gained us allies.

And then we reach a certain age where we hold the shit talk in, because it doesn’t make us look good … but the shit is still shit. And it stinks.

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WHEN JUST BEING IS BEING “TOO MUCH” 

I’ve been triggering people since I was young. I was 12 when people started calling me “Slut” and “Whore.” Though I hadn’t so much as seen a penis at that time, I was expressing as a feminine being, and people were pissed. I eventually saw that the way I expressed myself made people uncomfortable, and so I stopped eating, changed my hair, and did just about everything I could to attempt to deflect the hatred and jealousy of other women.

But as hard as I tried to squash down my power, it always leaked out. I’d piss someone off and they would tell me I was “too much” or call me “Slut” again. Thankfully, at age 33, I have had enough therapy, sat in enough plant medicine ceremonies, and done enough inner work in general to know that it’s safe to reclaim and express the power I attempted to shove down for so many years. But it’s always a work in progress.

As an adult, I’ve split with business partners and besties because of triggering behavior—and received death and gang rape threats because of the creative work I do.

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WHEN WE DO OUR WORK, NOTHING REMAINS UNSEEN 

But now, because I’m more aware of EVERY fiber of my energetic alignment, when something even just feels slightly off, I can tell.

When we develop our witchy and magical powers and do our own work, nothing remains unseen. And negative thoughts or jealousy towards another person creates a hook or cord. An energetic connection. Now, more than ever, I can tell when I am triggering other women, and they are triggering me.

I can see the look in their eyes when I’ve said something too bold or too big or too sexy or too powerful. I know when I don’t hear from them for a while and they aren’t speaking up, that I’ve triggered the part of them that wishes they could. I used to avoid those looks in people’s eyes. They hurt too much. But now I won’t sacrifice myself at the altar of someone else’s shit.

And I know when I’m triggered too. When the tall skinny blonde women in my life bring up my own body issues from the past. Ones I thought I was over (ish). It’s like being an alcoholic and walking into a bar. Why do it? But I can’t just get rid of the beautiful blondes in my life because they unknowingly trigger me! So I keep working through it … 

Photo: Alexandra Herstik, Dress: Forgotten Feather Vintage, Styling: Haley Francise

FROM PUBLIC SHAME TO PRIVATE COMPARISON  

As adult women most of us no longer publicly shame each other. Instead, we compare quietly behind closed doors. Remember when we had private eating disorders and hated our bodies? Anybody? Now many of us are all talking about that, thank Goddess! But we still aren’t talking about the fact that we’re quietly judging each other all the time …  

It’s a wild world out there ladies and I know that the endless sea of triggers is never gonna end. But we CAN own up to our triggers, speak honestly with one another, and start CLEANING UP OUR SHIT!  

Digging in to why women trigger each other and what we can do about it, here’s what I propose …

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DO honestly challenge yourself to come clean. Pretending will get you nowhere! Recently, I felt very triggered after hanging with a friend. At first I thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t hang with her!” But I challenged myself to come clean. The next time I saw her, I spoke directly: “I felt very challenged the last time I hung out with you. It triggered the part of me that thinks I must hustle to be successful. I know this is all mine and it was a beautiful and painful process for me.” She received my words and it was so loving, and there was nothing ANYONE did wrong. FUCK YEAH.

DON’T lash out and say “You trigger me! Every time you complain about your weight and you wear a size 2, I feel awful that I’m a size 6 and I want to kill you. Fuck you!”

DO take space. When you need to, step aside, take a moment, breathe. Journal. And come back to the situation when you are grounded and in a productive place rather than a REACTIVE one.

DON’T use excuses about taking space to avoid necessary confrontations. Ask yourself, “Am I just running?” While I’m definitely not suggesting that you contact everyone in your life who’s triggering you, notice when you can’t ignore that heavy feeling inside. Instead of ignoring that text, DM, or email, craft an honest reply.

DO start taking responsibility for throwing internet shade. If you’re sending jealous, envious, or angry vibes, sometimes to complete strangers, it’s time to come clean. If it’s a trigger you can confront, then DO that. But if it’s not, unfollow, block, and stop engaging. If Kim K triggers you and you keep thinking hateful things about her bod, then stop looking at photos of it. When we start to learn energy work and ritual, we must take responsibility for EVERY little bit of our energy that gets thrown around. Whatever you send—even unconsciously—is going to come back to you three-fold.

DON’T try and “fix.” As women we LOVE to sit and “fix” each other. When you share a trigger with someone, or someone shares one with you, let it hang loose and messy and bloody for a moment instead of trying to solve it and make it neat and pretty and clean. For example, after hearing the statement “I am triggered by the fact you have more followers than me,” just sit and hold that energy instead of suggesting your fave social media strategist and marketing plan and sending 10 helpful emails. Feel the feelings together about what was said. Holding the words and trying to fix are two different things.

DON’T throw out a good friendship just because the person triggered you a few times. In the past year, I’ve been in multiple situations with women where our friendships have ended because we haven’t chosen to just sit and talk and face the triggers together. Instead of giving it time and space and facing the dark depths together, we have both run for the hills!

DO look at the why. “Were they intentionally hurtful? Or is them being them just triggering for me?” If you find the fact your new friend can walk into any bar or yoga class and turn all the heads in the room incredibly triggering, look at the part of you that desperately wants to be seen. Instead of thinking about her—spend some time on YOU. Work on how you can begin to turn heads.

DON’T let it eat you alive. If we walk away from friendships, and block people on socials again and again because we are triggered, we are walking away from incredibly valuable lessons about ourselves. But if we stick it out without acknowledging the facts, it will become an elephant in the room that becomes cannibalistic and eats the friendships. Usually in an epic and mythical way that warrants trips to psychics and energy clearings to clean up the mess! We don’t want that either.

What we need, if we want to revolutionize this reality, is a new era where vulnerability and truth have real value. It starts with us.

Want to make sure you move towards your fullest expression and don’t get lost in a sea of triggers? Join me in Moon Club for powerful communion and mentorship. 

VOICE OF EARTH: A MESSAGE FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Spoken word artist and Moon Club founding member Lisa Luxx, has a powerful message for International Women’s Day. Voice of Earth is a poem about sisterhood, mother nature and the history of womankind. Written at a Sisters of the Wild gathering.

PERIOD PRIDE: IT’S TIME TO LOVE YOUR LADY LANDSCAPE

Lisa Lister is the British witch and all around goddess at the forefront of the period pride movement. Ruby Warrington hears all about her new book, Love Your Lady LandscapeArtwork: Merakilabbe

The Numinous: Love Your Lady Landscape is a call to action for Now Age women. Tell us about it…
Lisa Lister: Well there was a time, roughly 5000 years ago, when the space between a woman’s thighs was considered a power portal with a direct hook up to Source. But for over 2,000 years now, the potent powers of our wombs, our cyclic nature and our menstrual cycles have been disregarded, and we’ve lost our daily connection to mumma earth, to the Moon, to the seasons and their cycles.

As a result, we often ignore our deepest needs as women because we no longer trust ourselves and our own body wisdom. We apologize for our tears, suppress our anger, and self-medicate with whatever will numb the pain of not being heard or telling our truth.

Worst of all, we have an epidemic of ‘down there’ pain and dis-ease—PMT, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroids. Overwhelm, anxiety and infertility are at an all-time high and we manage our menstrual bleed with synthetic hormones, denying ourselves the experience of living fully in our power.

So, Love Your Lady Landscape is about exploring, navigating and loving your lady parts. It’s about how to care for them, how to trust them and how to reclaim them.

TN: What is the number one thing a woman needs to understand about her period?
LL: That we are cyclic, not linear. Each month we try to maintain the same level of energy and productivity as our male counterparts throughout our whole cycle, so we can ‘compete’ and ‘keep up.’ But our energy, hormone levels and sex drive ebb and flow each month as we cycle through the four phases of the menstrual cycle—pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation and menstruation.

Each of these phases hold super powers and hot spots and when we understand that we show up differently in each phase of our cycle, we are then able to use our menstrual cycle as a map to understanding ourselves better each and every month.

TN: Your previous book, Code Red was all about periods too. Why is this your pet subject?
LL: My entire 20’s were ruled by my menstrual cycle. I bled more days than I didn’t every cycle, I had to cancel social engagements ALL the time because I was too scared to bleed through my clothes, the pain was debilitating at times.

I also got myself a reputation as a total flake, because I was too embarrassed to say: ‘I can’t come out/to work/to the meeting because I’m bleeding through industrial super-size pads and my bed looks like a scene from the movie Carrie.’

So, when at 25 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, there was a moment of relief. I had a name for it. Except in the very next breath the doctor said: ‘Endometriosis means that babies are no longer an option, so it makes sense that we whip out your womb and ovaries so you can function normally again.’

What???

For a moment I considered it, but, and I didn’t know the incredible power that we hold in our womb space at the time, this woke a fierce rage in me that meant I simply wasn’t going to let this happen. Instead, I read about other women who have endometriosis – each case was different – and most importantly, discovered that it didn’t necessarily mean I couldn’t have children. I then got extra mad at modern medicine’s quick fix ‘whip it out’ mentality, and for the last ten years I’ve been on an adventure to explore, navigate and most importantly, love my lady landscape.

And that work starts with the most powerful game-changer of all—knowing ourselves through our cycle.

 

TN: Why are periods a feminine ‘super power’?
LL: Our blood is GOLD. The actual act of bleeding used to be considered sacred and it was honoured by both men and women, from the first day you bleed through to the day you stop bleeding, you are a witch, a sorceress, an all powerful woman. You are a lightening rod for the divine, your womb is an oracle.

And when we work WITH our cycle and not against it, we have access to a series of feminine super powers all month, all of which can be leveraged and used to create a bloody amazing business, relationship and life. A concept I go into in detail in Love Your Lady Landscape!

Book

TN: So many women have irregular cycles. Why do you think this is?
LL: Many reasons, but some of the top ones are:

– As I said previously, when we try to do life in a linear way, we work against our cyclic nature and we suffer for it. Sometimes that will manifest instantly in the form of PMS, irregular cycles, cramps, heavy bleeding (all of which are our body’s way of trying to slow us down and pay attention) or over time in the form of anxiety, stress, depression and ‘lady-parts’ dis-eases like Endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids.
– We’re not listening to the wisdom of our bodies and our monthly cycle because we’re medicating her with synthetic hormones—the pill, implants, coils.
– We’ve not been taught what a ‘regular’ flow looks and feels like because menstruation is still seen as taboo subject. It’s spoken about in hushed tones and advertising teaches us to ‘stuff up’ our bleed with tampons so we can ‘carry on as usual’ partying, riding on boats and rollerskating in white jeans – this is shown as ‘normal’ when it’s anything but for most women.

TN: I love your term ‘called girl’ for a woman who’s in touch with her cycle—can you give an example of how this looks from your life?
LL: The Called Girl experiences life moment-to-moment. She’s in tune with the feminine cycles, rhythms and seasons that allow her to fully own her divine power. She works in, not out. She trusts herself and thoroughly enjoys inhabiting a female body.

A Called Girl doesn’t hold on too tight to a defined and specific outcome. Instead she shows up, roots into mumma earth, listens to her pussy, trusts her gut, raises her heart and boobs to the sun and remains open to the infinite possibilities that occur when you collaborate with what I call SHE.

I trust my body’s wisdom and the way that SHE (divine/source/goddess) uses my cycle to work through me. Each and every month in each and every phase, I unravel and unfold more and more understanding about the woman that I am.

This means I can grow strong and powerful roots in the truth of why I’m here, what I need to learn, who I’m here to serve and how I’m meant to do it—meaning I can fully rise as a woman who trusts herself and is fiercely in her SHE power. Rarrrr!

Crowned ‘the defender of female awesomeness’ by Cooler magazine, Lisa Lister is the author of Love Your Lady Landscape and Code Red. She’s a menstrual, fertility and reproductive health practitioner and founder of the SHE Flow system; a personal invite to celebrate the fiercely feminine, sensual pleasure of being a woman through movement, massage, mysteries and magic. Discover more at www.thesassyshe.com

 

SHADOW EMOTION: HOW TO WORK WITH ANGER

Mars retrograde stirring up any suppressed…rage (um, Lemonaid)? You can use your anger as a powerful tool for transformation, says Erin Telford

Anger is my favorite shadow emotion. It’s powerful, it gets things done and it is excellent at creating boundaries and change.

But anger is also one of the most misunderstood and underutilized emotions. As women, we are socialized in both overt and covert ways to be nice, not make a fuss and not rock the boat. When we are taught by our loved-ones and by our culture to bite our tongue in service of keeping the peace, we can get very disconnected from trusting our feelings and from feeling safe to work with this emotion when it flares up.

The thing is, most of us have never seen a healthy expression of anger. We associate it with road rage, throwing things at people, screaming, crying, cursing, fear, abuse, physical threats, danger, and out of control people. These are all examples of unhealthy anger. It’s not an emotion we appreciate so we try our very best to suppress it out of existence.

But it’s actually unexpressed or suppressed anger can get ugly. And beyond the stigma, all anger is, is a catalyst for change and an opportunity for some honest communication. Anger can actually work for you if you work with it.

Anger in its purest form simply says: “I don’t like this. Something needs to be different about this situation.” It’s a call to action! You don’t like it? Okay, change it!

One of the best examples of healthy anger is peaceful protest. This is anger put to work—a group of people turning their collective anger into action to create change. We are seeing this right now in politics, the environment, and human rights. It is impossible for anyone with a beating heart to turn a blind eye to what is going on in our world. We are riled up, expressing our opinions and getting involved!

We can all do this in our personal lives as well. Anger is a very powerful force and if wielded with grace and finesse, it can move mountains. Where we get into trouble with anger is when we push it down, causing it to build.

Anger is connected with the season of spring. This is because it speaks to the catalytic energy surge required to turn a seed into a plant, to push it’s little head above the soil and reach for the sun! Spring, our liver, and by association the energy of anger, are connected with upward and outward growth.

So what happens if your growth is inhibited? What happens when someone tells you “no”? A ridiculous new policy is created at work? What if you are simply just trying to walk down the street and everyone is in your way? You didn’t get the apartment or the job or the acceptance letter, a flight is delayed, a class isn’t offered, you didn’t get the promotion?

These are ways that an obstacle interrupts the smooth flow of our life. We don’t like obstacles. We don’t like no. We don’t like interruptions to our plans.

And so our natural reaction can be anger. Which is totally fine. We are upset.

But to deny this is to block our access our personal power. When we feel guilty about what we feel or label ourselves as being “negative” when we feel angry, we miss out on an opportunity to out-create our circumstances.

Rather, if we can sit with our anger, can look at where it’s coming from and why we feel it, we can polish it into a nugget of transformational gold. If we have been hurt or upset by another person, rather than lashing out, we can advocate for ourselves and clearly state our needs to that person. If someone continually disrespects or hurts us, you may need to use that anger to create a change in the terms of that relationship!

You may have heard that anger turned inward results in depression—an oversimplified expression, since depression has many roots and takes many forms—but there is some weight to it.

When we repress our anger toward a partner, friend, loved one or co-worker by not sharing our truth, we are betraying ourselves. We are inadvertently communicating to ourselves that our feelings don’t matter and we are not worth standing up for. Self-betrayal is the most painful betrayal of all and can decrease self-esteem and confidence—leading to depression.

So we stay snippy and unexpressed and we self-medicate even more or our tense up even more, or our digestion suffers. It doesn’t have to be this way. Use your anger as a call to action to change your circumstances.

Breathe it out. Dance it out. Run it out. Write it out. Scream it out (not at someone else!) Sing it out. Create it out. Talk it out. Paint it out. Boot camp it out. Express it out.

You have to feel it to heal it. You have to let it out to transform it. Just don’t be afraid of anger.

The more you know your triggers and can feel when it’s rising in you, the more gently and safely you can manage this emotion. Anger is so powerful and properly harnessed it can do so much for you. Think of anger as your inner Mama Bear, your inner Kali, and your inner badass.

And let it be fuel to create powerful change and transform your life.

WHAT IS A RED TENT ACTIVATION?

Your period is your connection to the divine. Learn to listen at a Red Tent Activation, says Alexandra Derby. Image: Emi Haze via Behance.net

We are all pretty down with the memo on self care and coming into a place of self-love. This is what all spiritual traditions come down to at their core, the fact that only once we can fully love ourselves can we fully LOVE – one-another, the planet, and all life. But as women, we have some murky territories to traverse on the journey of self-love and ultimate self-acceptance.

A pretty big one is our complicated relationship to our body, and especially the fact it bleeds once a month. Yup, our period is something associated with negativity in our current culture. Something to ‘hide’, ‘clean up’ and generally try and pretend we are not ashamed of.

We have been trained to ignore it, and at best be grateful for the modern pharmaceutical options to ‘deal with’ our individual and unique cycles. Just think of the language that has been used to describe it; ‘the curse’. It’s also been decided it’s a time women become ‘irrational’, and that we should disregard what they (we!) are trying to articulate as ‘just them being emotional’.

But what if there was a different story that got lost over time? What if our period was actually a powerful and potentially life changing event – one that we get to experience every single month of our menstruating years?

We bleed and yet we do not die – just think about the symbolism of that. We are capable of allowing our life blood to flow out of ourselves without any harm to us. And we do this month after month after month. It is literally a physical embodiment of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

In the past, men were likely intimidated and threatened by this female creatrix energy, and declared it ‘unclean’. But there was a time when women would all bleed together, at the time of the New Moon, and meet to honor their menstrual cycles in what is called a Red Tent.

A Red Tent (or Moon Lodge in the Native American tradition) is a place where women come together to honor their bodies as sacred, and celebrate the Blood Mysteries – what DeAnna L’am (recognized world expert on menstrual empowerment, and author of Becoming Peers: Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood) says is the ‘missing piece of the puzzle’ when it comes to women connecting to their sacred wholeness.

My life has been transformed by training with DeAnna.

My period used to be a time of pain and frustration that felt like an internal war with my body, coupled with a fear of ‘leaking’ as people would then know – shock! – that I was having my period. I did not want to get this messy (both physically and emotionally). Today my Moon time is actually my most powerful time – a time to retreat and listen to my body, literallyand do what it wants, not what my to-do list wants.

The reward? I get beautiful, spine tingling downloads from my intuition. Ideas come through, and my days are peppered with “aha” moments. I get clarity on exactly what is in alignment for me. And every single woman has this capacity too. We each carry our own Oracle, and each month we are asked to take the time to sit down and listen to what she has to say.

Because the voice that comes through while you are bleeding is the voice of the GODDESS, and if something is out of whack she is gonna let you know! Hence not being prepared to ‘put up and shut up’, like we often usually do. Your job is to listen to that wise voice and take heed, because the part of you that creates IS the Goddess. And she knows what’s best for you, your family and your tribe.

Now I hold Red Tent Activations myself – daylong events, where you get to completely and radically alter your perception of your own menstrual cycle, your creative potential and your body, and re-establish your divine birthright as being connected to all women on the planet in sacred sisterhood. Connected by blood to all women who have gone before you, and all women who will come after you.

A Red Tent Activation is a powerful and life-changing ceremony around telling the story of your first blood, and of letting go the judgments and prejudices you took into your precious early teenage self that have kept you from fully accessing your power and creative potential as a goddess Creatrix today! And, finally, of enacting the ceremony we never receive in modern society – that of a girl being welcomed into womanhood.

It is a deeply moving to take your place in your lineage of ancestors and as a woman on the planet with the capacity to birth LIFE – be that children, ideas, creative masterpieces, businesses, or a even a new Earth. Yes, it is that big! And we have been hiding from this part of ourselves month, by month, by month.

But just imagine each and every woman in NYC connected to their own inner guidance system. Tapped directly to the Source through their own body, listening to the Goddess within. What choices would women make in their relationships? Their work? Their family life?

Now imagine a whole WORLD of women operating from the true Source within, not longer carrying the baggage of negative self image, not swayed or influenced or manipulated by the external world, but living in complete alignment with their true values, their true desires. That is the world we can create. This is my vision for our new Earth.

Join Alexandra Derby for the next Red Tent Activation in Brooklyn, NY, on September 13 2015. Further information and tickets available at the link.

Have you re-claimed your monthly bleed as a sacred time for intuitive connection? Connect with the Numinous community and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

SARAH DURHAM WILSON: CONVERSATIONS WITH MY COVEN

With The Coven Conversations, Sarah Durham Wilson wants to help women heal themselves – so they can heal the world. She shares her vision for a women’s circle with serious purpose…

“Most women I know are Priestesses and healers…We are, all of us, sisters of a mysterious order.” – Marianne Williamson

Do It Girl founder and former music journalist Sarah Durham Wilson has chosen this killer quote to preface the intention of The Coven Conversations, a series of 13 live interviews with the women she calls “Coven.”

On a mission to help women heal themselves, so they in turn can help to heal the world, Sarah has hand-selected a tribe of 24 miracle-making modern mystics to take part in the series, which will take place Tuesday nights – launching 7/7.

“Sharing our stories as women is what helps us heal, and I wanted to spotlight the sisters who have held and inspired me on my path, and who have also undergone transformation – change of form – to become their true selves,” she says.

As for the title; “the word Coven means Gathering of Witches, while “witch” simply means healer, or wise woman. In fact, Covens were once banned because the power of women circling together with common intentions proved too powerful.”

Which we think you’ll agree, pretty much sets the scene for some serious bad-assery…

Available to subscribers via Sarah’s site, you can sign up and find out more about the series and the speakers at www.doitgirl.com – while below, Sarah shares how to stage a Coven conversation of your own…

What’s the ideal moon phase for a powow with your Coven?
I tend to believe Full Moons are the best times to convene in coven. They’re a time of deep celebration, honoring, illumination, and fullness. Conversely, I’ve found New Moon Ceremonies call in our shadow to be seen, which is super important of course, just not for the novice priestess. But then I’ve always learned the hard way…

How do you prep the space?
Well the Coven Conversations are virtual, but if we were in physical coven, we’d prepare the space like we would for a moon circle – which it is, women gathering with healing intention, holding space for the self, the other, and the Goddess. For me, ritual is all about intention. You can prep everything “perfectly” and by the book, but if your intention isn’t there, it won’t be imparted to your Self/the Divine. So you could actually do nothing “physical”, but set the intention of sacred space and healing, and you’d be doing it perfectly.

Still, saging yourself and the area where you’re enacting ritual is always good to clear the energy. Lighting candles, because Spirit loves light, is a beautiful invitation, while calling in the elements (North/Earth, East/Air, South/Fire, West/Water, Spirit/Self), and even casting a circle, all aid in creating space for the ritual.

We would begin by breathing, to bring us into our body, before saying an incantation to the Goddess/God, or Spirit, to bring us into our divinity and to bring Her into the space. When you’re holding a party for the most elegant guest in the Cosmos, it’s about setting a place at the table for the Goddess and simply inviting her in.

What’s on the menu?
I’ve learned not to imbibe in “spirits” before a spiritual ritual! But afterward, women like to pass wine or sparkling juice, and bless chocolate and break it together. Eating the chocolate is like taking in that blessing into the body. The Goddess also loves a celebration. Joy is her perfume and she douses herself in it generously. As the Hopi Prophecy says, “the time of the lone wolf is over, gather yourselves.” And I believe this means all rituals now should be enacted in a manner of celebration.

Any herbal enhancements?
Incense. I like Cedar these days, because it smells like my family’s cabin on Martha’s Vineyard, and currently based in Taos, New Mexico, I feel so far away.

Are men ever allowed?
While every woman and man needs to heal their feminine energy and bring it forth on the planet, presently, I am focussed on working with women. We’re healing the body of the feminine to heal the body of the earth – and when sharing stories of the feminine in sacred circles, women, at this point, tend to feel safer with a female-only audience. But stay tuned!

The most pressing topic of conversation for you and your coven today?
Mary Magdalene teaches: “My story is your story,” and that’s sort of the premise for the Coven Conversations. That beneath the character names and places and timing of events, we share similar stories of shame, exilement, self abandonment, fear, healing, and love. The purpose of sharing your story is that it not only heals you, but those who hear it. This communion, of coming into union with your sisters and recognizing yourself in their stories, brings us into wholeness, and oneness, moves us from isolation into community, and from a feeling of being alone to the understanding that we are all one.

Who’s in your Coven, and what does the word mean to you? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your stories of sisterhood