What’s Love Got to Do With It?

What a year it has been already? On some days, time feels like it is standing still, and on other days, it feels like time is flying. I suppose the time feeling like its flying is why I hardly noticed that we were coming up to Valentine’s Day. I am taking a small shift away from talking about the Chakras this weekend to talk about another topic that I love to talk about, and that is love. Initially, I wanted to do something for black history month, but I will do that next weekend, and then back to our regular scheduled chakra conversation. You can find this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/Fw91LyZKr6k

Also, this past week marked the Lunar New Year. This is the year of the white metal Ox. I read that this is a year for good luck and relationships. It is said that 2021 holds a wealth of promise for each sign. I also read that it is a year where hard work can really be rewarded, that there will be enhanced unity and harmony, and most importantly, there shouldn’t be any major catastrophic events, you know, like a pandemic. Since this year is marked by the color and element of white metal, there should be greater abundance, prosperity and success.

That sounds pleasant, and since relationships will be a focal point, let’s talk about love… Does it really make the world go round? What are the different types of love, and then Valentine’s Day? What’s it really all about?

We will start with Valentine’s Day. I don’t recall celebrating Valentine’s Day in the first few years of my life…my first real memories of it came when my family came to America. I remember nagging mommy to take me to the store to buy Valentine’s for my whole class. I would spend the time writing each one up, adding an extra message for my friends and other people that I like. I think I only wrote my name on the ones for people that I didn’t really care for, lol, ah childhood. I also remember asking mommy to buy chocolate after Valentine’s Day because it was cheaper. I hoped that would help make my case for why I should get her to spend her hard earned money on chocolate to begin with.

Chocolate itself has a fascinating history. On a trip to Mexico, I learned about the healing, medicinal, and purported aphrodisiac-esq qualities of cacao. Growing up in the islands we ate the cacao plant, and we made a delicious chocolate tea from the dried fruit. Like in ancient times, we mix the chocolate with cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk. It is said that cacao helps to heal depression, insomnia, nervousness, and that pure cacao can even regulate blood pressure and sugar levels. In ancient times, chocolate was for royalty.

Chocolate Margarita in Mexico… Delicioso!

This carried on with colonialism, and when the British learned about this delicious treat, they were not immune from loving it. Apparently, Queen Victoria had a thing for chocolate, and the British confectioners took advantage of that to start mass producing the sweets. In 1868 Richard Cadbury created a heart shaped box of chocolate for Valentine’s Day. You know Cadbury—the eggs, think the Cadbury bunny eggs.

But how did Valentine’s Day even come about? I read that the origins of Valentine’s Day are actually pretty wild. Of course, as with most things, there is controversy over the facts. Some historians trace Valentine’s Day back to a Roman celebration called Lupercalia. It was an annual festival that was observed in Rome from February 13th to February 15th. The purpose was to avert evil spirits and to purifying the city. This purification would release in good health for all, and increased fertility. It was also called dies Februatus after the thong used for purging (februa)—we will get to that. That is also the origin of the name February.

Essentially during Lupercalia, male goats and a dog were sacrificed by one of the Luperci (a priest of Lupercalia—a member of the brothers of the wolf). It is important to note here that Rome was said to be founded on Palatine Hill by two brothers—Romulus and Remus. They were raised by a she-wolf, “La Lupa Capitolina” or the “Capitoline Wolf.” So wolves play an important role in Roman history and mythology.

At the Capitoline Museum in Rome (Roma Capitale)

After sacrificing the goats and dogs, an offering was made and there were additional festivities. The Luperci cut thongs known as februa from the skin of the sacrificed animals. They would run naked around Palatine before returning back to their base. During the run, they would hit people (mostly women) with the thongs. Apparently, pregnant women believed that if they were struck by the thong that they would have a smooth pregnancy and delivery, and if a woman was barren and struck by the thong, that she would become fertile. This festival also included a matchmaking lottery. In the lottery, men would draw a woman’s name from a jar and they would be paired up for the duration of Lupercalia. Some matches resulted in marriage. Maybe that is the romantic origin?

In other accounts of the history of Valentine’s Day, the Romans still had a role. Emperor Claudius II executed two men both with the name Valentine on February 14th in the 3rd Century.

The Catholic Church honored them with martyrdom, and this resulted in the celebration of “St. Valentine’s Day.” In one version of this story, Saint Valentine was jailed for ministering to persecuted Christians. He restored the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter. In other stories, he was said to write letters to the jailer’s blind daughter, and he signed one letter with “Your Valentine,” before he was executed. In another tale, he performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were not allowed to be married. It was said that Saint Valentine wore an amethyst ring, with a cupid engraved on it. Soldiers would see the symbol and ask him to perform their marriage. Some people think this is why the amethyst is the birthstone for February. In the 5th Century, Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of Saint Valentine. This was while simultaneously trying to cancel the Lupercalia, however he was unsuccessful. The day had become attributed to purging, fertility, and love.

Many ancient writers like Shakespeare and Chaucer helped to romanticize Lupercalia and that helped to transform it into a sweeter sounding holiday. In A Midsummer’s Night Dream (my favorite Shakespearean work), he said, “Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day, all in the morning betime, and I a maid at your window, to be your valentine.”

In some other cultures, the time marks the coming of spring, and this is something that we can all love. In the 19th century, many people started exchanging paper cards and this tradition carried on when the holiday crossed the pond. In 1913, Hallmark Cards began mass producing cards for the holiday. Valentine’s Day is big business—with sales of more than 20 billion dollars spent annually to celebrate. So even though the holiday has become so commercialized, does that mean the love element is lost? I have celebrated Valentine’s Day with a romantic partner in the past and now the present…but I have also celebrated Galentine’s Day with my dear friends. (A few of the people I’ve celebrated with below… <3)

I think love is too powerful to be diminished by capitalism. There are several different types of love. You can express any one of them at any time. According to the ancient Greeks, there were eight different types of love.

·      Agape: This is the highest type of love there is to offer. It is selfless love. It is unconditional love. It is free from desires and expectations, and is often considered to be a more spiritual form of love. 

·      Philautia: This is self-love. You take care of your well-being, and you recognize your self-worth. It is also about compassion for the self. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Once you love yourself, you can provide love to others. 

·      Mania: This is exactly what it sounds like… it is an obsessive love towards a partner. This is madness in relationships, and can lead to issues of possessiveness, jealousy, and codependency. 

· Ludus: This is flirtatious or playful love that is usually found in the beginning stages of a relationship. This is where we feel butterflies and that sense of euphoria.

·      Eros: This is a primal love that deals with physical pleasure. Named after the God of love and fertility, it is sexual passion and desire. 

·      Storge: This is the love between parents and children, and between best friends. It is built upon a deep emotional connection. It is a natural form of affection that flows between family and friends. 

·      Pragma: This is mature love and it evolves and deepens over time. Pragma is love where the parties have put in the work to make it work. 

· Philia: This is affectionate love, and exemplifies the love in friendships. It is love without romantic attraction. Plato believed that physical attraction was not necessary for love, and this is the root of the word “platonic” friendship. Some refer to Philia as “brotherly love.”

I think we can all experience some or all of these in our lives, and in combination with each other. I believe that understanding the different types of love, and our own love language makes it easier for us to give and receive love. The Five Love Languages was coined by Dr. Gary Chapman and outlines five general ways in which we express and receive love. These are:

·      Acts of Service: These are the people who show love by taking action. They do things that they believe will help make your life easier. Show you care by doing the dishes, picking up coffee, or fill up the gas tank. 

·      Gift-Giving: These are people who like to have a visible symbol of love. They value the gift giving process, including the time spent thinking about the gift, and the meaning behind it. Show them you care by appreciating the gifts that they give to you, and by surprising them with meaningful gifts—small or large. 

·      Physical Touch: These are the people who enjoy touch. They want to cuddle, hold hands, and feel physical intimacy. You can show you care by making intimacy a priority!

·      Quality Time: These are people who value time—mostly undivided attention. They want to connect through conversation of activity done together. You can show you care by doing something where they have your attention. Take a long walk together, or take a trip together. 

· Words of Affirmation: These are people who value verbal acknowledgement of love. They love compliments, words of appreciation, frequent communication, and encouragement. To show you care, send unexpected messages, and genuinely support them.

You can take the quiz to find out your love language. I think it is important in partnerships—not just romantic ones—because Dr. Chapman theorized that most people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive it. If this is your approach, you might actually miss that someone is showing you love because they are doing it in their way. They might also think they are showing you love, but you just are not receiving it because that’s not your love language. For example, if my partner washes the dishes as an act of service, they might think they are showing me love. But if what I really want is to sit with them for quality time, then I might overlook the act of service as an expression of love. I think these are helpful in developing and evolving in healthy relationships. I once had a conversation with my friend DeJuan (https://www.whatjuanknows.com) about how I used the Law of Attraction to Manifest a healthy love. Some of the tips that I gave were:

1. Know Thyself. You want to work on yourself, not to “perfection,” because you are not perfecting yourself for a man or woman. You are getting solid in yourself—not only does this prevent getting absorbed into the other person, but it allows you to know what you will stand for. I think that when we are not in a romantic relationship is the best time to prepare for a relationship. Your relationship with yourself will always be important. Love yourself so that you don’t eventually put the burden on others to do it for you. Their loving you is icing on the cake. When you are in a relationship, remember that someone else cannot make you whole, you are already whole. Enjoy the lessons and companionship of that other person, but don’t make it their responsibility to provide your happiness.

2.     Believe that you are worth it! Believe that you deserve a healthy love. Don’t settle for anything less than that. You are worthy of love. You are love, loved, loving, and more. 

3.     Make peace with your past so that it does not sabotage your present. You are the captain of your destiny. The past graced us with important lessons, but don’t let the past be a shackle on your future. As you learn, and evolve, you will also learn a lot about the beautiful ways that love can enter our lives and transform things for the better.  

4.     Speak LIFE into your life! Speak love into your life. 

5.     Expect that the things you want will happen. In the words of one of my favorite metaphysical speakers, “You have to believe it before you see it!”

6.     Be authentic. Be true to you—to your wants, to your needs, and to your personality. Everyone is not the same, and it is important to do and say the things that feel natural and authentic to you.

7. Love, love, and love some more. We will talk more about this when we discuss the heart chakra…but I do believe that love is the most powerful force in our universe. I have seen it, experienced it, and work to be an advocate for it.

No matter how you spend Valentine’s Day, or any day, I hope that you remember that you are love. I hope you are reminded of that from friends, family, a partner if that’s your jam, but mostly from yourself. As Paulo Coelho said, “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

And to my own love, As Emily Bronte said, “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a week filled with love for you.

Dwelling in the self…Gifts from the Sacral Chakra

Hello beautiful people! I want to take a moment to thank everyone for respecting my need to rest last weekend.

I enjoy doing a variety of different things that allow me to live my life fully—even in this more virtual environment, but rest is always an important part of my life’s equation. Sometimes, we get the signs and we can feel it in our body—the need and the desire to rest. Do we, do I, always listen? Absolutely not. I know from life experience though, that if I don’t listen to the cues from my body to do something that I am being called to do, that eventually something will happen that will force me to listen. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/ZPnpnykiTtc

I think it is important to remember and to just acknowledge that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and there can be some hard days, some hard weeks, in fact, and we have to be gentle with ourselves through this. We can be both grateful for certain aspects of our life, and yet simultaneously we can be grieving for the loss of people, things, events, and experiences that have eluded us due to this larger event that we are all collectively experiencing. We must afford ourselves the grace that we need during this time, and be respectful to ourselves about what we need. I suppose that is also why when I have felt the need to share on my blog and channel some of the things that anchor me, that ground me, and that help me maneuver through this thing called life. Hopefully some of this information is also useful and helpful to you!

So it is with all of this in mind that we continue our journey up from the first chakra, the root, and make a stop at the second chakra, the Sacral Chakra or the Svadhisthana. Liz Simpson says describes this journey as “the energy that shifts humankind from survival to nourishing the soul. From survival we have traveled upward to the “pleasure principle.” The sacral chakra leads us from basic existence to help us embrace what makes life worth living.” 

Svadhisthana translates to “where your being is established,” essentially it is the dwelling place of the self. Some say that it also means “sweetness,” because it is associated with things that make life sweeter. These include: pleasure, nurture, movement, and change. We must dwell sweetly within ourselves; we must make ourselves our home—we must hold our mind, body, soul, and heart as sacred spaces. Tad Williams said, “Never make your home a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it—memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” 

The Sacral Chakra is located two inches below your naval, and it is associated with the color Orange. Orange is a color of passion and of fire. As a mixture of yellow and red, it is a color bursting with energy and warmth. The Hindu symbol for this chakra is an orange six petal lotus with a white circle symbolizing the element of water, and a blue or silver crescent moon in the middle. If you look closely enough at the crescent moon you might see a fish-like creature within the moon. It is called a makara (some say it is a crocodile) and it holds similar energies to that of the Kundalini (a story for another day). Within this chakra is said to lie all of our creative pursuits and duties. Our dharma. Dharma is not super easy to explain in a short video, but it is a central and very important philosophy within Hinduism and Buddhism. The simplest explanation is, “that there is a right or true way for each person to carry out their life in order to serve both themselves and others.”

Because of the powerful and passionate energies that lie in this chakra, including those of our sexual desire, it can be dangerous when neglected. It can represent our greatest pleasure or our greatest pain. I read a quote that said, “Svadhisthana is a beautiful lake filled with both the disgusting muck and precious gems of the self. When you are ready, only you can unearth your true self. We can often see clearly what is in someone else’s lake, but this is avoiding the great responsibility of the sacral chakra.”  

Both the moon and the element of water which are both associated with the sacral chakra, deal with emotions. The sacral chakra is a hub, if you will, for our emotional desires, needs, wants, and security. It also governs creativity, sensitivity, sexuality, intimacy, emotional-wellbeing, self-expression, self-confidence, the nature of your relationships, your sense of being nurtured and cherished, your sense of being appreciated by others and freedom from guilt. This is also the chakra where we discover what things we enjoy out in the world, it is how we design a life that we want through interacting with the world, without losing ourselves to the world. It is the chakra that forms the foundation of a healthy ego.  When it becomes blocked or imbalanced, it can lead to some very serious issues. 

Imbalances with the chakras can have both physical and emotional/mental manifestations. As a reminder from our discussion on the root chakra, each chakra also has physical associations. The sacral chakra resonates with the reproductive organs, the bladder, kidney, lymphatic and circulatory systems, the prostate, the womb, the ovaries/testes, and the large intestines. These areas can be impacted when the sacral chakra becomes blocked or imbalanced. The sacral chakra can become blocked by fear, especially by the fear of death. Imbalances in the sacral chakra can also cause fears, insecurities, depression, reproductive issues, sciatic pain, lower back pain, low self-worth, guilt and even manipulative tendencies. A balanced sacral chakra that is functioning correctly allows you to feel fearless, fulfilled, confident, trusting, expressive, emotionally connected and secure, powerful, creative, and better able to manifest your desires. That’s a whole lot!

This chakra and I have a very personal history. It is said that empathetic people—empaths, hold a lot of the energy that they absorb from others in this area. If you don’t properly cleanse your energy from what you absorb from others, it can impact you by causing an imbalanced or blocked chakra. But this chakra can also reveal the fears, and the guilts that you don’t even realize you are holding onto. My parents, who I have mentioned before had me when they were both teenagers. I grew up hearing with an often unstated but lingering reminder in the back of my mind—don’t be a statistic. Don’t also become a teenager parent.

Also having helped raise my younger siblings, I knew first-hand how difficult and expensive it can be to raise children. At some point the “don’t have children early, switches to when are you going to have a child.” Often the people asking these questions have no intention of helping raise said child. I devoted many years of my life to my education and to my career. When I went through a divorce in my late twenties, I did feel that pressure of a biological clock ticking away, and guilt and sadness at the perceived loss of this precious period in my life. Jamaican culture is the type of culture with many good and bad aspects. One of the shadow sides is a constant emphasis on asking women when they are going to have children. It can be so stressful.

I want people to stop asking women this. We don’t know the intimate details of a woman’s body—the things that she has been through, or the personal decisions that she has made about her body, or even whether she has lost a child already. This question can be triggering and painful.

A few years ago, I started experiencing a sharp pain in the area of my ovaries. I didn’t do anything about it for a long time because believe it or not, as humans, we can grow to live with immense pain. I went to see my doctor, and all of this led to the discovery of a very large ovarian cyst—caused from years of taking birth control to help regulate pain, a smaller cyst, and some evidence of endometriosis. I only knew about endometriosis because a friend was brave enough to share her experiences with it. I ended up having surgery, and experiencing the pain of internal physical healing. I know that a lot of women, black women especially also suffer from fibroids.

I believe that there is a certain stress that modern women hold in this area—worrying and wondering if they will be able to do it all. Children, career, and more. And if we don’t check one box, does that mean we are less than? It doesn’t and I think healing the sacral chakra is an important way of getting to the realization that you are amazing as you are, without any additional pressures from society. I don’t know my own personal future as far as whether I will one day have children, but I have been in the lives of many young people, and even more, having established a relationship with my sacral chakra, having learned to dwell in myself, has allowed me to be at peace with whatever the future holds. All of this to say, when working with your sacral chakra, look inward to see if there are any subconscious guilts or fears that you are holding. Can you let these go? You should let them go, gently, with love.

So what are some ways to balance the Sacral chakra? 

· Meditation to balance the Sacral chakra. Many meditations out there can help you to concentrate healing energies to the Sacral Chakra area. Each Chakra is also associated with a particular sound. The sacral chakra is associated with the sound/mantra VAM. Meditating and chanting to VAM for even a few minutes can be beneficial to helping balance the sacral chakra. Listening to 288Hz frequency while meditating is also great—this is the frequency that resonates with the sacral chakra. I once went to visit my cousin in Bermuda, and she took me to get sound healing and an amazing massage that I will never forget. The healer conscious of my previous surgery, did an amazing sound session that resonated with my sacral chakra. I will always be thankful for that.

·      Crystal Healing. Crystals vibrate with different energies.  Helpful crystals for sacral chakra healing work are: coral, citrine, carnelian, orange aventurine, and amber. Carrying these close to you and placing the gemstones on the area of your sacral chakra while lying down can be very beneficial to helping with alignment. 

·      Colors. Surround yourself with the color orange. This color is most strongly associated with the sacral chakra. Wear orange clothing. Add some orange to your décor. 

· Foods. Eat orange foods and foods that are centering—oranges, tangerines, mangos, pumpkin, cantaloupe, sweet potato, carrots, nuts and seeds, and squash are good ones.

·      Be Creative. This chakra is associated with creativity, and any blocks like writer’s block are associated with sacral chakra imbalances. The best way to engage with your creativity is to do something—anything. Paint, draw, make music, cook, write, bake. Julia Cameron, the writer of a phenomenal book, “The Artist Way,” says two things that I really love. First, “Boredom is just, what’s the use in disguise. And what’s the use is fear, and fear means you are secretly in despair. So put your fears on the page. Put anything on the page. Put three pages of it on the page.” Second, “In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun. Do not think duty. Do not do what you should do—spiritual sit ups like reading a dull but critical text. Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; think mystery, not mastery.” And so please do anything, something that intrigues and delights you.  

·      Belly dance. Yes, I said it. Watch some tutorials from YouTube and get your sacral chakra moving. Since this chakra is below the belly, these types of movement, help to open you up!

·      Seek therapy to heal from past issues and insecurities. I will always include this, but I am aware that it can be difficult for some people, whether due to financial barriers or through other forms of access. There are resources available for low cost or virtual therapy. Here is a resource from SAMSHA:  https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

· Connect with the water element. I have a blog/video on this. Water is one of my favorite elements. I love to soak in the sea, the river, or the tub. But I have also learned about the importance of drinking water. Check out one of my previous videos on water, and soak up the love that this element gives to your sacral chakra. See this one on the Element Water: https://youtu.be/h1g0OHnv360 See this one on the importance of Drinking Water: https://youtu.be/vnfBpT0AQmQ

· Practice your affirmations! Here are a few: I love my body. I am radiant, beautiful, and strong. I allow myself to experience pleasure. I feel emotionally secure. I am creative. I allow sweetness into my life.

I hope that this information was informative and that you can apply these in a practical manner in your life. Please let me know if anything works well for you!! Also, please feel free to drop more tips/suggestions in the comments. May the stars shine brightly over your week and may your sacral chakra help you to delight in all of life’s sweetness. Have a beautiful week.

(Some photos used from Unsplash & Google)

A Weekend to Rest :)

Hello beautiful people!

This week’s very short video: https://youtu.be/EcsGoW8zXG4

This past week was very emotionally, mentally, and to some extent physically draining for me. That compounded with a Full Moon on Thursday that made me feel soooooo sleepy omg!!! And then the Mercury Retrograde started on Saturday. Because I am constantly telling everyone to take care of themselves, I know when I also need to follow my own advice. This weekend, I am decompressing, napping, and recharging my energies. Thank you for respecting that, and supporting me in honoring the signs from my body and spirit to recharge.

Mercury Retrograde transits are excellent times for rejuvenating, resting, recharging, and just recentering mind, body, and spirit. Please take care of yourselves. The last year, and this past month have been intense. The world needs you… so take care of you! 🙂 Celestial Goodness will be back next weekend with more on the Sacral Chakra! In the meantime, please feel free to check out/ catch up on some of the amazing videos—meant to inspire and uplift the soul that are already up on my YouTube Channel, Celestial Goodness 1111. Thank you, and as always, may the stars shine brightly over your week…and may you feel rested and recharged.

Videos that may interest you:

Earthing—grounding: https://youtu.be/01RUU0L_2Qk

Mediation: https://youtu.be/ceNbAtBbJyg

Air Element and Surviving the Mercury Retrograde: https://youtu.be/PObRDbrK9xs

Gratitude: https://youtu.be/NgUz4KrlvyI

Shake Your Root Chakra

Muladhara

Last week we started our conversation about the Chakras. If you can’t tell, I have a deep appreciation for the chakra system, and how learning about the chakras helped to transform my own life. It has created for me, an awareness that balance is an important and essential part of our existence. I also have an appreciation for the wisdom of free will that allows us to make choices to do and to be better. I think that even having a small amount of wisdom about this system can be helpful on your life path; I think it is especially helpful if you are being intentional about your health, wealth, and overall well-being. As always, the librarian in me encourages you to do your own supplementary research. There is so much that we simply won’t have time to cover. Check out this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/N2lZrFfN4jk

This week we start the journey of looking deeply at each individual chakra. We will cover the basics, and then I will provide a few tips on how to keep your chakras balanced and in alignment. There are important lessons attached to each chakra, and hopefully, some of the material will resonate with your soul. It is also my wish that you will be able to use some of these tools for helping to align your chakras as you travel your life path—not just today but onward into the future. As Arianna Huffington said, “The journey toward self-discovery is life’s greatest adventure.”

Mini Disclaimer: I should also add that learning about the chakras could be triggering. What do I mean by that? I mean that there might be things that come up that you do not feel comfortable addressing or confronting within yourself. I didn’t like to hear that I needed to be better with my budget, or that I had fears of abandonment, but there they were. It hurts to confront the things within ourselves that we would rather hide from the world, but tell me, what is the benefit for you in holding on to those things? You all know that I am a big believer in therapy—and I am a big believer that nothing can be healed until it is faced. There are no perfect humans, just people out there trying to do their best. Open your heart and your mind to what is possible for you. I believe in that for you. I believe in the alignment of your chakras and all the deliciousness of life that comes with that!

We start with the first chakra—the root chakra. The Sanskrit name for the Root Chakra is “Muladhara.” This word breaks down into, Mula, which means “root” and adhara means “support” or “base.” The literal translation is the root and basis of existence. It is depicted as a red four-petal lotus flower with yellow accents. This chakra is probably the most important because it is the foundation on which all others rest. If you have ever seen Maslow or Jung’s hierarchy of needs, the root represents safety and the physiological levels that form the foundation of the pyramid of needs. At the most basic is our need for food, clothing, shelter, affection, and security of our health and resources.

Hehehe

When I think of the root chakra, I immediately think about the things that give me a sense of security. A cup of hot tea, comfort foods, knowing that my bills are paid on time, my favorite blanket when I need to be snug, and a hug from my love. I think of physical security, emotional security, and financial security. When I began my chakra journey, my root chakra was not in a good place at all. Looking back, I can see that my sense of security and stability had been devastated through inner and outer events. For example, there were parental issues that I had never healed or addressed within my internal life. On the external front, I had gone through a divorce, and the entire nation was struggling through economic downturn. I was constantly worrying about everything, especially finances. How was I going to do x, y, and z?  Let me just say that as a semi-reformed worrier, worrying does not add anything beneficial to the mix. In fact, it can create unnecessary stress that can even cause physical pain, and not to mention the time we waste in worrying. You could best use that time to either rest (really rest is amazing), or coming up with other creative solutions to whatever is bugging you. Did I also mention divine assistance is always an option?  

Going back to what I was saying, the foundations on which I had built my life were coming apart at the seams, and I had to do something. I had built the foundations of my life on sand, and when the waters of life rose up to that level, everything seeped away. However, there was a lesson there—build it again, but on stronger material. Some of that material has to come from within us—not from things of the external world. The root chakra reminds us of this—that the foundation must be strong. Sadhguru said, “Unless the muladhara is stabilized, one will not know health, wellbeing, and a sense of stability and completeness.”

Last week I mentioned that the root chakra is located at the base of the spine. It is one of three chakras along with the sacral and solar plexus chakra that represent matter, the physical realm, and the human self—our physical, emotional, and mental bodies. These three are connected to the higher three spiritual chakras—the throat chakra, the third eye, and the crown chakra by the heart chakra.  

The root chakra represents safety, security, and stability. My good friend Mr. Rishi taught me that the root chakra governs birth issues, survival patterns, generational patterns and issues with money, food, and health. It is our survival center; our primal animal nature is to survive. It is also the trust that we place in our caregivers and parents as infants. There is a belief that if food, water, love, and affection are withheld at that early stage of our lives, then blockages could arise. I read somewhere that the energy of Root chakra allows us to harness courage, resourcefulness and the will to live during challenging times. Root chakra connects us with the spiritual energies of our ancestors, both their challenges and their triumphs.

Anything that threatens our basic survival—such as war, natural disaster, the effects of a global pandemic—these are all things that can cause imbalances to the root chakra. I have thought about the root chakra of the collective a lot this past year, because so many people have had their lives upended due to the pandemic. I have discovered that in the most trying times, we have to tap into our greatest source of inner strength, but we must also be gentle with ourselves and afford some grace to the fact that most people are doing the best they can do under the circumstances, which they find themselves. It is our work to take responsibility for our own lives and sometimes just an awareness that something is off can be a powerful starting point. 

Imbalances with the chakras can have both physical and emotional/mental manifestations. Some imbalanced attributes of the root chakra are scattered energies, anxiety, fears, difficulty achieving goals, unfocused mind, and the inability to be still. It can also manifest as isolation, lethargy, and pains within the legs, knees, hips and ankles. Another indication might be in issues with weight. When the root chakra is too open (spinning too fast), the characteristics are bullying, being overly materialistic, and self-centeredness. When it is blocked (slow spinning or not spinning at all), we experience low self-esteem, and self-destructive behaviors. Other physical imbalances may manifest as problems in the colon and with the bladder. In men, prostate problems may occur. Eating disorders may also be a sign of a root chakra imbalance.

When it is open, we feel safe and fearless. We demonstrate self-mastery and high physical energy; we become grounded, healthy and focused. We also feel good about our finances and can more easily generate money and personal assets. 

So what are some ways to balance the root chakra?

· Meditation to balance the Root Chakra. Many meditations out there can help you to concentrate healing energies to the Root Chakra area. Each Chakra is also associated with a particular sound. The root chakra is associated with the sound/mantra LAM. Meditating and chanting to LAM for even a few minutes can be beneficial to helping balance the root chakra. Listening to 396Hz frequency while meditating is also great—this is the frequency that resonates with the root chakra.

· Crystal Healing. I will talk about crystals and crystal healing in another blog/video. I love crystals immensely…and if you know me, I have probably given you a crystal at some point in our relationship. Since the root is associated with the very dense element of Earth, and crystals come from the earth, they vibrate with that energy. Getting earthy color crystals that are associated with the earth element is very helpful. Some examples are hematite, red jasper, garnet, bloodstone, tiger’s eye, and smoky quartz. Carrying these close to you and placing the gemstones on the area of your root chakra while lying down can be very beneficial to helping with alignment.

· Colors. Surround yourself with the color red. This color is most strongly associated with the root chakra. Wear red clothing. Add some red to your décor.

· Foods. Eat red foods—apples, beets, berries, and other grounding and earthy foods are also good for the root chakra.

· Reconnect with the Earth. I made a previous video/blog post on Grounding and connecting with the Earth element. Check it out to get some good tips for connecting with the earth. Just standing barefoot in the grass can be deeply grounding.

·       Move your body! I went to a workshop by Mr. Rishi once on the root chakra, and we had to dance. My mom calls it, “shaking your root chakra.” But really, get outside, take a walk, do some yoga, and get your body moving. The root is about the physical, and actually physically moving your body can be very empowering. 

Shaking my Root Chakra

· Seek therapy to heal from past issues and insecurities. I think this speaks for itself. So many people don’t even realize the sort of parental issues, generational issues, and just deep mistrust that we harbor deep within. Get professional help if you can, to address some of these issues. Healing my own relationship with my parents—seeing them as individual humans with their own issues, instead of trying to make them into who I wanted them to be, was also very helpful root chakra work for me.

· Cleaning up your financial house. This is one that a lot of people don’t like to face, and considering the events of last year, it is a hard one to face for a lot of people. There is a great book out there called, “The Richest Man in Babylon.” I will talk about this in the future, but one bit of advice was, “a bit of all you earn is yours to keep.” He mentioned that even if you earn ten cents, save one penny for yourself. As your pennies begin to accumulate, that gives you a sense of security that no one can take away. “Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.”

·       Practice your affirmations! Here are a few: I am safe. I am financially secure. My home is safe and secure. I love my body. I have what I need. I trust myself. I love myself. I trust in the divine to provide my basic needs. I am fearless. 

I hope that this information was informative and that you can apply these in a practical manner in your life. Please let me know if anything works well for you!! Also, please feel free to drop more tips/suggestions in the comments. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may your root chakra be balanced, strong, and secure. Have a beautiful week.

Sippintea with Nat & Z

I had the great delight of being a guest on Natalie and Zarifa’s latest podcast episode!

Check it out 🙂

It was an honor to be a guest on this amazing podcast with these amazing ladies 🌺🌹🪐💫✨Check it out 🤩Posted @withregram • @sippint_natandz_pod ⠀
There is more to Astrology and horoscopes besides signs, planets and houses. So it’s time to get some deeper insights from our expert guest for this episode our friend Heather, the real-life unicorn. We mention her a lot here at Sippin T’, she is the lover of the cosmos, sunshine, books, positive thinking, the law of attraction, the deeper mysteries of life, unicorns, art, music, love, and so much more. You can visit her youtube page Celestial Goodness 1111 and her blog at https://celestialgoodness.com.
Tea on the Table: Ginger Tea

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sippin-tea-with-nat-z/id1526315358

https://open.spotify.com/show/6W1ADyHOD6leT0RW7J9lNB

Thank you in advance ♥️

An Introduction to the Chakras

Celestial Goodness: An Introduction to the Chakras

From Unsplash

As we are making our way through a time of immense cosmic change, I think it is important to have tools that can help us to stay grounded, centered, and at peace during times of great uncertainty. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/yfGZGwJaNvc

One of the tools that I utilize frequently, and that I actually think about pretty much every day is the Chakra system. Some people know about the Chakras through the practice of yoga and some people were introduced to the Chakras thanks to Aang in the Last Airbender.

Aang—The Last Airbender

I was introduced formally to the chakra system in 2014 by my friend Mr. Rishi and his family. They own the Good Luck store located in Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland. (https://goodluckprosperity.com) One of the services that the store offered pre-Covid, was that you could have an aura/chakra reading. I was initially a little skeptical, but I had a weird feeling that something was out of balance within me, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

At the time, I was always worrying about everything—how would I pay my student loans? Was I earning enough money to take care of myself? I had also suffered a heartbreak before that I hadn’t properly healed from. I could feel the grief collected in my heart space, but I had no sense of how to move past it. Later, therapy would also help with that, but one of the most helpful tools for me during this phase of my life, was in learning about the chakra system, and then utilizing different healing modalities associated with the chakras to create more balance and overall wellbeing for myself. Mr. Rishi and his family also held numerous workshops that taught me a lot about the chakra system. I am grateful for the wisdom that they shared with me.

Indigo Aura

It is amazing how ancient tools and techniques still exist that can totally transform our lives. Elizabeth Behnke said, “There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.” I can guarantee you that even though it may seem New Age at times, the Chakra system is a very ancient system. They are part of a complex and ancient energy system that is believed to have originated in India.

They were mentioned in the Vedas, ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge dating from 1500 to 1000 BC, and they have been mentioned in ancient Buddhist texts. Some say that there are hundreds of chakras in the body. Since we are going to utilize the system commonly believed to have originated in India, we will focus on the seven primary chakras—these seven chakras are traditionally depicted as lotus flowers. I will also add that there is so much that you can study and learn, about the chakras’ that the material that I will cover on the blog and on the video will just crack the surface; I really encourage you to do your own research and see what aspects of working with the chakra system works best for you. Today I am going to give an overview of the seven chakra system, but in coming weeks, I will break each Chakra down individually.

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. ~ Mulan

So, you may have heard the term, “chakra” and might have wondered what they were. At the basic level, they are energy vortexes contained within the body. The word Chakra comes from the Sanskrit language and means, “wheel,” or “disk.” The chakras are like spinning wheels of energy, and they hold healing energy within. This energy is also referred to as Prana, and it is the essential and vital life force which keeps us healthy, alive, and vibrant. They run from the base of your spine up to the crown of your head. When our chakras are aligned, they help to keep us happy, healthy, vibrant, and whole. Having a blocked, overactive, or underactive chakra can lead to physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional imbalance. After my aura/chakra reading, we discovered that my heart and root chakras were not even spinning. Things were out of alignment, and those chakra points were drawing energy from the ones that were functioning properly. I could literally feel the imbalance.

Each chakra governs specific functions and has its own vibrational frequency, color, sound, and purpose. Having an understanding of the chakra system can help you in your own personal healing and manifestation journey. If your chakras are out of alignment, there are many things that you can do to help balance them. For example, you can eat foods of the color associated with the chakra, or you can wear clothes of that color. You can also engage in activities that help rebalance the chakra.

For example, dancing is a great activity, and depending on the moves can help rebalance a variety of the chakras. I remember going to an Estelle concert a few years ago. I love her music and vibe!!! She asked for volunteers to come dance on the stage. I ran up there so quickly and had a blast. Years ago, I would have felt super subconscious about my body and just being in front of people like that. When I came down from the stage, my mom said, “I guess we know whose root Chakra is working.”

Shaking my root chakra

It is very important to have a solid foundation in the root chakra. In a sense the chakras can draw energy from each other if one is imbalanced. Build a strong root, and develop the chakras working from the root to the crown. 

So just as an overview, here is a small summary of the seven chakras.

Root Chakra

The 1st chakra, the root chakra (Muladhara) is located at the base of the spine. It represents safety, security, and stability. Imbalanced attributes would be scattered energies, anxiety, and fears. When it is opened, we feel safe and fearless. We also feel good about our finances.

Sacral Chakra

The 2nd chakra is the sacral chakra (Svadhistahana). It is located below the naval, and represents creativity, sexual and sensual energies. Imbalanced attributes would be repressed creativity, sexual dysfunction, emotional isolation, and withholding intimacy.

Solar Plexus

The 3rd chakra, the solar plexus (Manipura—lustrous gem), is located below the chest. This is our source of personal power. It represents self-esteem, pleasure, will power, and personal responsibility. Imbalanced attributes would be low self-esteem, control issues, manipulation and misusing power.

Heart Chakra

The 4th chakra, the heart chakra (Anahata) is located in the center of the chest. This chakra is also the connector between the matter and spirit. The lower and upper chakras. This is the bridge between our mind, emotions, and spirit. It represents love, self-love, and it governs our relationships. Imbalanced attributes would be depression, difficulty in relationships, and lack of self-discipline.

Throat Chakra

The 5th chakra (Vishudda) is located within your throat. It represents the ability to speak and communicated clearly and effectively. Imbalanced attributes would be shyness, withdrawn, arrogance, and increased anxiety.

Third Eye Chakra

The 6th charka –the Third Eye (Anja) Chakra is located in the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows, and it represents intuition and foresight. This is the center of our intuition. It is driven by openness and imagination. Imbalanced attributes would be lack of direction and clarity.

Crown Chakra

The 7th chakra—the Crown Chakra (Sahaswara—thousand petal lotus) is located at the top of the head. It represents states of higher consciousness and divine connection. This is also the chakra of enlightenment, and the spiritual connection that we have to the divine, our higher selves, and others. Imbalanced attributes would be cynicism, disregarding what is sacred, closed mindedness and connection with spirit.

As the weeks progress, we will jump right into learning more about each chakra and different tools that we can use to help make sure that we are in alignment. 

Before we end for this week, here are some Affirmations for our Chakras. 

Chakra Affirmations

Root

–        I feel safe, secure, and peaceful

–        I trust myself

Sacral

–        I love my body—I am radiant, beautiful and strong

–        I allow myself to experience pleasure

Solar Plexus

–        I honor myself

–        I feel my own power and successful in all that I do

Heart

–        I am open to love, and I give and receive it effortlessly

– I live in balance and peace

Throat

–        I speak my truth and express it clearly

–        I easily communicate my feelings

Third Eye

–        I am connected to the divine wisdom of the universe

–        I am intuitive

Crown

–        I live in the present moment

– I am complete and I feel at one with others, nature, and the divine


Thank you for joining me here this week! I am looking forward to our journey into the Chakras. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may your Chakras be fully aligned. Thank you!

What Are We Feeding?…

Thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey, and wow what a journey it has been. I looked back recently over some of the topics that we have discussed, and I felt such gratitude to be able to share these thoughts and this information with you. As I have been sharing, I am also still learning and remembering the importance of these things topics as well. Thank you for showing up, for providing feedback, and for interacting with my dream and my vision. I really can’t tell you in words how much I appreciate it. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/uGpM8sXl8GU

Before we go any further, I just want to check in with you. How are you doing? You sleeping ok? Are you drinking your water? How is your breath? Are you tense? Take in a deep breath with me, and release. Deep breath and release. Ahhhhhh… Put your hand over your heart and feel the beating. You are alive. You are here. That in it of itself is a beautiful miracle. Check in with yourself periodically. It is amazing, how informative the body is about what we are feeling and experiencing. There is a lot going on in the world and in the cosmos, and more than ever…checking in with yourself and utilizing tips for self-care will prove to be lifesaving and life-changing.

So what does this year, 2021 hold for Celestial Goodness? Well, I hope to continue to provide content that uplifts your soul, content that inspires you, content that reminds you that you are absolutely loved and needed here on the planet for a time such as this. I hope to provide content that speaks to your genuine, authentic self, and that reminds you that some things and days may be hard, but you can get through it. I hope you will feel that each day is a gift, and that you will live your absolute best life with great health, prosperity, and overall amazing well-being.

Over the holiday season, I took some time off from work and pretty much everything to have some actual downtime. What is downtime for someone with a Capricorn stellium in their 6th house of work? Hmm. Little astrology joke there. Anyway, I made all of these plans for things that I was going to accomplish (reading, writing, and planning content for Celestial Goodness), and things that I would get ahead of so to say… I have a draft of my vision for the year, but I was going to sit down with 100 gel pens and make it more beautiful. (See my video/post on vision boarding). Well none of those things happened, and honestly it was lovely. I was able to rest, truly rest, and catch up with some family and friends through actual conversations, or long messages that you simply have to savor. I got a chance to dip in the sea, and that made my heart sing.

I did map out a few things that I wanted us to discuss on the blog and channel, and I was feeling pretty excited about it all. The downtime, and the mapping out of content, was just what my soul needed. I returned to my day job this past week, and hit the ground running. I caught up on things, and I felt productive. I got up early in the mornings, made my tea, greeted the day, and just was able to cross one thing after another from my “to do” list. 

On Tuesday evening, I reviewed the draft that I initially had for this week’s video—it was to be on the Chakras. And then Wednesday came. My normal day job is on Capitol Hill, and although because of the pandemic, most of us are teleworking, we are not disconnected from the things that happen at our physical duty station.

While the day started regular enough, soon we were getting one alert after another of the buildings being evacuated, suspicious packages, and everyone knew something crazy was happening on the hill. Something that wasn’t quite the norm for alerts. I wasn’t going to talk about this, the “storming of the Capitol,” but I was not prepared for the way in which those events would hijack my energy, time, and focus. Some of us watched the events unfold horrified at what we were seeing. My phone lit up with friends and family checking to make sure that I was ok. I was physically ok, but mentally? Emotionally? That remained to be seen…

There have been many conversations about the events of the day… Questions about how this could have happened? I don’t think there were any astrologers or people who follow the cosmos who were totally shocked. Something big and brazen was in the stars for the day.

In looking at the astrology of the day, the planet Mars—(the god of war)—was leaving his home sign of Aries (also the God of War in mythology). Mars and Aries both represent themes of anger, ego, desires, and action, and a fiery energy. The planet Mars moved out of the sign of Aries after an unusually long stay—Mars usually stays in a sign for six to seven weeks, it stayed in Aries for six months. Mars now headed into the sign of Taurus—the bull, and as it did, it crossed the 29th degree—a critical degree, a degree in which something wild and big was bound to happen. Astrology has helped to anchor me during trying times… to help make sense of things that don’t seem to make sense and this day was no different. Mars needed to go out with a bang.

As I felt the energies of fear, anxiety, and anger settling in across the collective, I could feel my own energies starting to deplete. I felt sick, tired, upset, and sad. I unfriended people from my social media and real life who were saying the most crude things. That too made me feel down. I love people, and I generally do not mind knowing and friending people who have a wide range of opinions, but this felt different. I can’t tell you what it felt like, just know that it was in my gut and it didn’t feel good. In discussions with some friends who were feeling similar, I said, “We may lose people, but we should never lose ourselves.”

The polarizing energy of this time means that we will have to make hard decisions about what we stand for and what we will accept in our space. For me, I have made the decision to protect my peace and my energy at all costs. I know what it means for me when I don’t. I know the emotional pain that becomes physical pain when I allow myself to be pulled into someone else’s dramatic storm. I have lost myself before, and on the journey of rediscovering myself, I promised me, that I would be true to me even if it meant letting some people go. And that is a reality that I have lived. I have let friends and family go, set up necessary boundaries, and strive for a peaceful existence. It can hurt, but we earn our places in each other’s lives. You don’t get to just be here. I don’t just feel entitled to be in anyone’s world, and if there is ever a moment someone doesn’t want me in their world, I will honor that and go in peace. Also, I don’t mean earned as in you pay me lol, but actually we are exchanging energy, love, and time. Those things matter to me.

Back to this past week, I worked on Thursday, but my soul truly wasn’t in it. I moved at what felt like a snail’s pace, and even when I did all my usual things to focus—breathing, and meditation, nothing seemed to work. I decided to take Friday off. I limited my time on social media, and I moved inward. I took a walk and as cold as it was the fresh air felt good, comforting somehow, I listened to things that uplifted my soul, I talked to a few people that I know and love, and we laughed. I laughed at one point until I actually had tears rolling down my eyes. I hugged my love, and I cooked us a yummy meal. Cooking is strangely therapeutic.

I watched some anime and the season finale to Star Trek Discovery, and I cried some more because I love that show. Such good reminders on life. There are four amazing quotes from the star of Discovery–Michael Burnham, which seem to speak to this moment. “Being afraid of everything means you learn nothing.” “The only way to defeat fear is to tell it no.” “The real world doesn’t always adhere to logic. Sometimes it is up. Sometimes it is down. Sometimes you are lost. Sometimes you are found.” “That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward together.”

Commander Michael Burnham

And then after my day of self-care, I could feel myself coming back to myself. Some of us do not have the luxury of taking a day to come back to self… the world doesn’t stop for us to grieve and process, and make sense of things. Yet, I will implore us individually to not ever give into the energies of fear and hate. Each of us has a part to play, and we make the decision each day about what energy we will feed. There is a supposed Cherokee legend. I don’t know that for sure, and while it is very simplistic for me, and doesn’t take into account the importance of some elements to our shadow side, I do think it reminds us that anything in excess can be dangerous. The story goes like this: 

“One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that
goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” the grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “which wolf wins?” the grandfather simply replied, “the one that you feed.”

And so, what will we feed?

What am I choosing to feed? What are you choosing to feed? I told my mom recently that the way I feel about these times, last year, this year, and 2022, is that one day you are in your kitchen, and you say, man this kitchen needs to be replaced. The sink doesn’t work right, the stove might cause a fire, and so you, without any training in kitchen repair minus some YouTube videos and HDTV, decide to take a jackhammer and just rip the kitchen apart. Somewhere in the middle of all this, but far enough in where you can’t turn back, you say wow, the kitchen is torn up. I can’t go back to the way things were. And while you did what you could to do repairs, you end up calling in professionals to help fix the kitchen back. They do an amazing job because that is their craft; it is what they have been trained to do. You marvel at how amazing the kitchen looks now, and you can barely even remember the old kitchen. This is my analogy for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Change does not always look pretty. Sometimes we just know a change needs to be made. That was our instinct, to rip things up. I feel that right now, as a collective, we are somewhere in the middle of the repairs. The professionals in my mind are those who can help us navigate the storms—the therapists, the healers, among others.

We also have a role…and one day we will get up, and walk into the new kitchen. Life is born from chaos and destruction…another quote from Discovery. When crazy things happen in the world, I try to see it as a tipping point for necessary change. It may unfold slowly but it will come. In the meantime, I encourage you to take care of your peace as best as possible. Guard your energy, create healthy boundaries, and learn to say no—even if the no is to yourself. No I will not doom scroll. Not I will not engage in unnecessary arguments with people whose minds won’t be changed. No I will not let anyone pull me into their storms. Your energy is important, and if you want to see the kitchen be fully renovated, aka, if you want to see the world be better, then we have to help make it so. I think we can—together. I am hopeful and will work towards that.

From Pintrest

Thank you as always for reading (and watching) and for being here on planet Earth at a time such as this. May the stars shine brightly over your week. Take good care of yourself. Please and thank you!

A New Chapter

If you are reading this, welcome to 2021. Rainer Marie Rilke said, “And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.” The new year really is like a blank, new page, brimming with the potential for awesomeness. Ultimately, you have the pen in your hand, and you help to write the story. What will you write this year? What will we all write together? Edith Lovejoy Pierce said, “We will open the book. Its pages blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” You can find this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/tvE7gSQVgsg

While we think about that, I hope that you had an opportunity to release the things from 2020 that no longer serve you, to think about the lessons learned, to save the best memories of the past, and to set some new intentions for 2021. I love to approach the New Year with gratitude. First, gratitude that I have made it here. I think that each day that we get to do this thing called life is a true blessing, and it means that we aren’t quite done doing what we need to do here, whatever that is. I know people who did not make it this side of 2021 and so will we live for ourselves; we can also live for those who no longer can. For me, I believe that part of why we are all here is to use the gifts that we have been given as service to humanity, and while this does matter, I don’t think that is all there is. We are also here to enjoy life, to relish in the delicious experiences that make us human.

Second, I feel gratitude for the past experiences that have taught me so much—either about my own strengths, or about my limitations. I know when I can give a little more, but I also know by listening and paying attention to what I have learned that there are times when I need to rest and reflect. Finally, I also feel gratitude for the pure potential of what awaits us in the coming days, weeks, and months. Josiyah Martin said, “The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” We never know how any year will be, how it will ultimately unfold, and although most do bring a mixture of experiences, I can only hope that they next one will be the best one yet. Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, it will be happier.” We can certainly hope…

A few years ago, I started the practice of setting a new word for the New Year—this would be a word that helped me to anchor myself in the experiences of the year, and it would also help to give the year some direction. T.S Elliot said, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” In previous years, I have used the words: balance, flow, vision, growth, love, and so forth. Every time that I have selected a work, the year has given me an opportunity to prove that it really was the word that I needed for that particular year. For example, once when I chose balance, I ended up working and tending to my social life more than taking care of my physical health. I ended up having a situation where I fell down the stairs, twisted up my ankle, and canceling everything that I thought was too important to cancel. I really learned that there is a time for everything under the sun—and that anything done in extremes can be dangerous to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Brandon Sanderson said, “Somehow, we will find it. The balance between whom we wish to be and whom we need to be. But for now, we simply have to be satisfied with who we are.” 

I think that this year for 2021, the word that I will choose is flow. This is a repeat word, but it reminds me of one of my favorite elements—water, and some of my favorite life philosophies.

Flow

Lao Tzu said, “Those who flow as life flows, know they need no other force.” I like that and this quote by Donna Goddard, “Life changes and often we just have to go with the flow not knowing its course. Things can change because there is something better or different for us and if we don’t follow our leanings then that which once seemed fine will start to feel unsatisfactory and will dismantle because it is not right for us anymore. It becomes a burden rather than the blessing it once was. We have to trust that as we were cared for in the past, we will be cared for in the future.”

And this one from Erik Pevernagie, “Let us join the flow of ethereal vibrations when love is at our fingertips and encounter the mystery and wonder of unsuspected instants. Let us dip into the marvel of the budding and the blooming spray of our dreams brightening up our path.”

I have shared a few quotes on the beauty and potential of the New Year, and here are a few more; I hope that they inspire you. 

David Bowie said, “I don’t know where I am going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

Neil Gaiman said, “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

To follow up on that, Craig Lounsbrough said, “Packaged inside of every mistake there lays a great lesson. And while I don’t want to take the mistake into the New Year, I most certainly want to take the lesson that’s packaged inside of it.”

I never want people to feel afraid to make mistakes—because it means that you at least tried, and there is a beauty in that as well!

Rainer Maria Rillke, “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”

Nido Qubein, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” 

Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

What do you want life to be like in this new year? Whatever it is, I am rooting for you. I hope that this is a year filled with hope, with love, and with opportunities for all of us to rise to the occasion and show the best of humanity! Also, I hope that you also get to choose a word for the year ahead, and that it helps give your year good direction, and anchors you in some amazing experiences. It is a shorter blog and video this week, but I just wanted to pop in, say Happy New Year, and give you something to think about in the coming weeks. I have some exciting content planned, and I really do appreciate your presence here. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a beautiful one indeed!

Happy New Year

Releasing 2020 & Setting Intentions for 2021

Over the last two weeks, we looked at some of the big events going on in the cosmos, and we thought about the changes that they might bring for our own lives. We learned perhaps that while some change can be unexpected, some changes bring much needed and beautiful events, experiences and people to our world. As I have said before, change is the most constant thing in the universe. Helen Keller said, “A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/rddOcyhxk18

I do believe that in the year ahead, there will be some big changes for a lot of people. Our world has already changed in ways that so many of us could not ever imagine. Now that we have arrived at this juncture in our collective history, I wonder what now? What can we do to help create the world, and the lives that we desire for ourselves and for humanity as a whole? One of my favorite astrologers Rick Levine, says, “Think cosmically, but act locally.” So while we are thinking of bigger changes, sometimes the most important thing we can do is to focus locally or inward. Rumi said, “Yesterday, I was clever and I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise so I am changing myself.”

 It is my hope that as we move into the New Year and a new energy, that we will all take some time to reflect, and to think about how we would like the New Year to be. I am making this video both as a way to reflect and imagine, and as a reminder to incorporate some of the tools that I mentioned throughout the year. Maybe in the next coming days, you can retreat for a moment to your sacred space, to spend some time in quiet meditation, visualization, and a bit of daydreaming. How would you like 2021 to be? What were some of the lessons that you learned in 2020? 

In just a few days, we will have closed the door on the year 2020. While some of us imagined that it would be a big year, we had no idea how intense and eye opening it would be on so many levels. This year I learned more about balancing the range of my own emotions—from sadness to joy. Sometimes these emotions happened so closely together that I felt almost guilty for feeling one or the other. Now I sense that it is all a part of the human experience. Do you have any ways in which you release the things that no longer mesh with your life? I think as we prepare to enter a new year it is a great time to mentally, spiritually, and physically release the things of the past that no longer serve your life, and to set some intentions for what you would like in the future.

In one of my first videos, I talked about creating sacred space. If you have some time in the next few days, I would highly suggest either creating or retreating for a bit to your sacred space. You might decide to light a candle, and play some soft music. Write down your intentions, and anything that you feel gratitude for from 2020. You might even surprise yourself. I love to write these things down on actual paper with a pen. But this should be a personal exercise for you, so you can get creative or not, as much or as little as you like. I think that this does require doing an inventory of your life, and I do think that requires some very serious thought.

Here are some questions to ponder:

·       What are the things that you want for your life in the following areas: What do you want for your spiritual life? Financial life? Physical, emotional, and mental health? What do you want from your relationships? From your career? 

·       What do you have as far as goals in these areas? 

·       Is there anything that you would like to start—your own business? 

·       Any new hobbies?

·       Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to when it is safe to do so? 

·       Any people that you would like to see? 

·       Are there any grudges that you are holding on to?

·       Do you have a lot of things that you haven’t been using that you could donate or sell?

·       Are there any new skills that you want to learn?

·       Do you need to relax more? Rest more? 

As you spend the time in your sacred space, allow the questions to come. Allow the answers to come, without judgment from you—just allow your mind to think things through. In a previous video, I talked about visualization and affirmations. Now is a good time to close your eyes for a bit, and just spend a little time visualizing the answers to the previous questions. Before we do that, we will do just a short breathing exercise.

Take in three deep breathes and as you inhale, I just want you to picture yourself inhaling love, good health, prosperity, and all that is yours by divine right. As you exhale, I want you to exhale any of the stresses from 2020, anything that cause you pain or sadness. The important lessons will remain, but the feelings will drift away. You will feel your body becoming more and more relaxed with each inhalation, and you do feel a sense of hope about how things could be. 

Remember Shakti Gawain’s tips for affirmations from Creative Visualization:

1)     Always phrase affirmations in the present tense, and not in the future. It is important to create it as if it already exists.

2)     Always phrase affirmations in the most positive way that you can. Affirm what you do want, not what you don’t want. 

3)     In general, the shorter and simpler the affirmation, the more effective. 

4)     Always choose affirmations that feel totally right for you.

5)     Always remember when doing affirmations that you are creating something new and fresh. You are not trying to redo or change what already exists.

6)     Affirmations are not meant to contradict or try to change your feelings or emotions.

7)     When using affirmations, try as much as possible to create a feeling or belief, an experience that can be true. Temporarily suspend your doubts. 

Here is a reminder of some Examples of Affirmations: (Florence Scovel Shinn & Shakti Gawain)

–        I am at peace with myself and with the whole world. 

–        I love everyone and everyone loves me.

–        My good now flows to me in a steady unbroken, ever-increasing stream of happiness.

–        Divine love floods my consciousness with health, and ever cell in my body is filled with light.

–        I give thanks for radiant health and endless happiness.

–        All that is mine by Divine Right is now released and reaches me in great avalanches of abundance, under grace in miraculous ways.

–        My life is blossoming in total perfection.

–        I am whole and complete within myself.

–        I now give and receive love freely.

–        I am an open channel of creative energy.

–        I always communicate clearly and effectively.

–        It is ok for me to have everything I want. 

–        I am open to receiving all the blessings of this abundant universe. 

For me, one of the ways that I release something is that I write it down as well, and then I might ceremoniously burn the paper. I release the ashes into the wind with loving thoughts.

I am thankful for each experience in my life because it helped make me the person that I am today. I also used to do this thing, where I created a little pouch, and if there was anything that I was worrying about, I would write that down on a paper and put it in the pouch. I would pray for some divine help on the issue, and give it a time frame. I want this resolved in 30 days, or in 2 weeks. Whenever I would worry about it, I would just look at the pouch and know that there would a resolution for the highest good of all involved.

Another pro tip, is that if there is someone in your life who is causing you grief, Marianne Williamson suggests praying for their happiness for 30 days. The theory is that happy people generally don’t have time to create grief for other people. So either they will stop whatever they are doing, or if won’t bother you anymore. I have mentioned this before and I think it is important to repeat that it is better to walk away from some people and situations. It might be hard, but your life will be better for it.

I hope that you have the courage to release whatever isn’t serving you or whatever is blocking your from living your best life. I also hope that you have the courage to embrace whatever comes to your life. As you go into the New Year, it is my personal wish and prayer that your intentions be made manifest, and that they unfold in beautiful ways, and bring supreme joy to your life. Have a wonderful holiday season, and a beautiful New Year. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a delightful one indeed.

The Grand Conjunction and the Age of Aquarius…

Last week we talked about the impact of eclipses and how we can deal with change. I mentioned that the solar eclipse on December 14th was setting the stage for a much larger cosmic transit. This week we are talking about that larger transit, and also answering the question–why does everyone keep talking about the Age of Aquarius? See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/22sTba-7T5w

Depending on where you are in the world, if you look up at the night sky, you might see what looks like an unusually bright and very large star. What you might actually be seeing is the conjunction of the two largest planets in our solar system—Saturn and Jupiter. It is a remarkable sight; Pluto is also close by, adding its own shimmer to the mix, and we can only just marvel at how amazing the cosmos truly are. This coming together of Saturn and Jupiter, however, has a more important meaning, than just a beautiful celestial sight, it foretells a new beginning for all of us. Some astrologers have hailed this momentous meeting as the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. You may have heard the song “Aquarius” which most people refer to as “The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” A few lyrics say,

“When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius
Aquarius

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius
Aquarius…”

It’s a catchy song from the late 1960s by the group “The 5th Dimension” and it really highlights what some people think of when they hear, “the Age of Aquarius.” That would be themes of love, harmony, and just the elevation of humanity’s collective consciousness to a place of more empathy, compassion, and peace. The Age of Aquarius has been referred to as the Age of Freedom and Technology. Some people claim that this period will usher in a time when we are more concerned with the purification of our physical and spiritual bodies and cleaning up and taking care of the Earth. Some people say that it will usher in major innovations in everything from space travel, communication, and overall technology, while also encouraging the breakdown of systems that simply do not work anymore. Saturn in Aquarius transits have brought us the internet, the fall of apartheid, and so much more.

But what does this have to do with the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter? 

Well, on December 21st/22nd in some parts of the world, Saturn and Jupiter will have conjunction (a meeting) in the sign of Aquarius. This is important for several reasons. When Jupiter and Saturn meet it is called a Grand/Great Conjunction. They are also called “King Makers” or the “Royal conjunction.” It is said that when Together Jupiter and Saturn combine expansive and imaginative vision with the structure and discipline needed to both manifest results as well as strip away the inessential. This is momentous for many reasons. Although Jupiter and Saturn conjunct every 20 years, this is happening on the Winter Solstice at 0 degrees Aquarius. This indicates a new beginning. It is also the first time in over 200 years that these two planets are meeting in an Air Sign, and over 600 years since they met in Aquarius. It is the closest that Jupiter and Saturn have been since 1623. 

I mentioned that this meeting takes place on the Winter Solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest amount of sunlight and the longest night. From that point, the days will begin to lengthen in terms of sunlight. The Winter Solstice also marks the day that the sun will enter the sign of Capricorn. This is a cardinal sign, and it means that this is the beginning of a season—the beginning of something new. When Saturn and Jupiter meet on this day, they will do so in the 0 degree of Aquarius. The 0 degree in astrology is called a critical degree. The 0 degree is also representative of a new beginning and a new journey ahead. Aquarius is the 11th sign of the zodiac. They are the last air sign in the zodiac, expanding on the lessons from their air counterparts—Gemini and Libra;

In modern astrology, the planet Uranus rules Aquarius—Uranus is the planet of the unexpected, but Aquarius’s traditional ruler was Saturn—the sign is coming home in a sense. 

It confuses a lot of people that Aquarius is an air sign because their symbol is the water bearer. However, they are indeed an air sign. The “Water Bearer” represents symbolically and eternally giving life and spiritual food to the world. The water from the vessel washes away the past, leaving room for a fresh, new start. The sign of Aquarius is forward-looking and growth-oriented. Concerned with equality and individual freedom, Aquarius seeks to dispense its knowledge, and its vision of equality and individuality, to all. This is important because when most people think of the energy for next year these Aquarian traits are what they are picturing. That of the humanitarian, the visionary, the intellectual, the innovator, and the progressive. Those are what I call the best of Aquarius. Like all signs, they also have their shadow side, and can be cold, eccentric, and distant. In fact, earlier this year when Saturn spent some time in Aquarius, the entire world experienced Saturnian themes of “restriction” with Aquarian themes of “social distancing.”

So is this conjunction the beginning of the actual Age of Aquarius? 

First, I should explain what an astrological age actually is. Wikipedia has a great definition.  “An astrological age is a time period in astrologic theology which astrologers claim parallels major changes in the development of Earth’s inhabitants, particularly relating to culture, society, and politics. There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs in western astrology. Advocates believe that when one cycle of the twelve astrological ages is completed, another cycle of twelve ages begins. The length of one cycle of twelve ages is 25,860 years. The 25,860 years cycle is called the Great Year. 

Some astrologers believe that during a given age, some events are directly caused or indirectly influenced by the astrological sign associated with that age, while other astrologers believe the different astrological ages do not influence events in any way. Astrologers do not agree upon exact dates for the beginning or ending of the ages, with given dates varying by hundreds of years. Most astrologers calculate that one astrological age is around 2160 years, and because of this calculation, some figure that the Age of Aquarius has not started as yet. The ages move in reverse through the Zodiac, so instead of going from Pisces to Aries, we would be going from Pisces to Aquarius. Also, most astrologers do agree that the “age” doesn’t begin on a particular day, but that it is the result of a gradual transition called a “cusp.”

So the question of whether we are in the age of Aquarius or not is a difficult question. I will call the Age of Aquarius a bit of a salacious controversy in astrology because there is disagreement about this. There are three viewpoints here. 

The first is that it hasn’t started yet, and will start anywhere from 2500 to 3500 CE (Common Era). The second is that it started and we are in it. The third viewpoint, and the one you will probably hear the most about into next year is that it is about to start. 

And why are there three thoughts on this? Because, it all has to do with calculations. 

As with the birth chart, where there are three different methods for calculations, there are also different methods that people use to calculate other astrological happenings. This can be super frustrating if you just want a clear answer. I have my own intuitive feeling that we are at either the beginning or moving into what I would call the Age of Aquarius. One of my favorite astrologers says it ain’t so, that there are just a lot of cosmic energies that will tap into Aquarian energy, and that when the Age of Aquarius begins that it won’t start until a vernal equinox. Another astrologer that I admire said that the Age of Pisces is over and we are entering the Age of Aquarius, and that we each have an important role to play! I will actually let you decide for yourself. How do you feel about this intuitively?

I think that whatever you believe, we can all agree that the conjunction on the 21st carries with it a heavy energy of change, and the beginning of something new. Most people would welcome a new energy after the year that 2020 has been. I don’t think it will mean that things change immediately, but there is definitely no going back to how things were. There is a new energy unfolding, and as this year ends (maybe what we can actually do as a people is commit ourselves to helping create the type of world that we would like to see, and then taking actions to make it so. We may not be in the Age of Aquarius, but that doesn’t stop us from living more peacefully, more compassionately, and in a more loving way with those around us. I hope that as we look up to see the beautiful conjunction in the night’s sky, that we feel inspired to live the ideals that are the best of each sign—ad especially the best of Aquarius. More love, more harmony, more understanding, and more peace. May the stars shine ever so brightly over you week. Thank you!