We all require our own space from time to time. A place where we can be alone, quiet, reflective, or creative. I've discovered how important it is to have a space like this for myself, a place where I can retreat to write, read and create. The more I settle into my connection with nature, the cycles of the moon, and using ritual and meditation for manifestation the more I find my sacred space to be just that, sacred. And even if you don't have an entire room to dedicate to such endeavors that doesn't mean you can't sprinkle it among your home-which I do as well!
I have several altar spaces set up around my home, some simple and subtle, others more elaborate. I may set up a spring altar in my main living space with symbols of the season; newly sprouted plants, eggs, bunnies, items which represent fertility and renewal. I place sprigs of lavender and rose petals around the rooms with crystals for creating a peaceful and loving home. I've fashioned my own special curio for my oils and herbs I like to use in my bath and to anoint my candles for meditation or ritual.
The kitchen is a magical place, as I love to cook and entertain! I put out fresh herbs, flowers and fruit, and when a bouquet of flowers or herbs is on its way out I simply dry them and decorate the table or save for sachets, dream pillows or other uses. I love to sprinkle dried herbs and petals onto candles, to infuse elements of nature into all I can within my space. I feel as though I am embraced in a warm hug from Mother Nature and can find meaningful expression of my moods, my desires and what I honor in life.
I'm fortunate to have my own den at home, where I choose to surround myself with 100s of books, art, and all my treasures. I've created a meditation station/altar space for daily contemplation and sacred ceremony, and have my desk where I can write my classes, workshops, stories and this article! Even if you have a small space in your yard, front porch, or anywhere you can have a special chair or cushion, you don't need much to create your own sanctuary in and around your home.
Here are some ideas on creating a sacred space and bringing a little more magic and nature into the home:
Love thyself.....words we all need to hear and probably practice more often than we do. In light of the #metoo movement and the call so many women are waking up to answer, women are stepping back into their power, finding their voice and taking back control over their sacred bodies-who can see them, who can touch them, and who can honor them. In addition to that we often fall into the business of life, taking care of others, or for any other reason, find the beliefs of our own beauty and Divine feminine essence can get diminished, stifled or even forgotten with insecurities, the media and stereotypes, or a disconnection to our sensual nature. Well, no more, I say!
Loving yourself and feeling good in your own skin is essential to any kind of growth or healing. Our internal power is limitless and we find we can tap into that part of ourselves for self expression, intimacy and yes-self love. Goddess archetypes can serve as an extension of aspects already within ourselves, and whom we can petition to reawaken the spark that already lays smoldering within our being.....so I've taken the liberty (and had fun doing it!) of creating a self love ritual working with the West African Yoruban Goddess Oshun.
Oshun-Goddess of luxury, beauty, fertility, sensuality, divination, the rivers, prosperity, sexuality, sweet waters and dancing. She is your girl to call upon to get your self love groove on. She teaches us how to love ourselves and our bodies, and there are many tales of her compassion and healing of the earth, while maintaining her independent and sensual nature. Used in the Yoruban traditions as well as Voodoo and Santeria, there is no doubt that she will help deliver your devotion to yourself so that you may practice giving, receiving and expression love for yourself as well as others.
This ritual involves tokens to her and a means to connect to your intimate self and bring out the Divine Goddess waiting to express herself. Many things are sacred to her, including honey, mirrors (to love herself, of course!), water, peacocks, yellow copper and more, and she is said to be connected to our solar plexus or Mani Pura chakra which rules our personal power, self esteem and confidence.
Oshun Altar Tool Ideas:
First be sure to give some quiet time to yourself, preferably with an empty house if possible. This is sacred space and love is for only you....for now anyway.
Remember you are a beautiful goddess capable of not only giving but receiving all of the love in the world. We can be forces of compassion and healing, while remaining our strong, independent and bad ass selves. Give yourself some love this Valentine's Day......you deserve it! Want another bad ass goddess to work with for some sensual self expression, check out a new moon ritual working with my other girl, Lilith!
Happy Valentine's Day, beautiful one.....
Shadow Work & Dark Goddess Magic-Embracing your Darkest Self to find Personal Alchemy and Healing
In modern day spiritual evolution and practices we are often told to stay positive, overcome our flaws, and only embrace the light along out path to enlightenment. However, is it possible that if we ignore the darker, repressed, untamed and fearful parts of our psyche that we are robbing ourselves of personal alchemy, cohesion and full transcendence?
Psychotherapist Carl Jung made popular the idea of different parts of psyche-including the shadow, the light, the persona are a ways we become fragmented from childhood to only show what we think the world wants to see and hide away that which is taboo or not socially accepted. The word persona is derived from a Latin word meaning mask, and he suggests that we put on a persona with certain archetypes of roles we play in life, the social masks we wear, if you will. These archetypes are fragmented parts of ourselves to organize how we experience life in different roles, what we would like to be or how we wish to bee seen in the world. (the mother, the co-worker, the spouse, etc.) Some say in today's modern day it's simply our persona we put on social media, not expressing the deeper, darker aspects that may not be accepted. This of course all up for debate, and I certainly don't accuse anyone of not living a full, authentic life, but I find this is something to explore....so let us dive a little deeper.
The shadow according to Jung is the hidden place within our own subconscious that holds repressed ideas, beliefs, weaknesses, impulses, fears, embarrassments, perversions and the untamed and chaotic parts of ourselves. That these accumulate along our life journey and often time ignored causing a block of living a fully authentic life and to truly love ourselves. If we allow ourselves to acknowledge these core wounds and dark spaces with full ownership can we then work to let go of anger, guilt or shame? Can we change the pattern of self-sabotage if learn that we hate to feel vulnerable and weak?
We've been taught our whole lives to be afraid of the dark, but there is a strong creative energy in that space that longs for you to shed your light upon it. Seeds take roots in the darkness and we can often find a fertile underground just waiting to be tapped. There cannot be light without the darkness, and we are after all the sum of all of our parts...so why not explore, acknowledge and walk boldly and lovingly into our darkest of places? We are all light and dark, weak and strong, and can find a balance of all that we are with love.
I love to find creative ways to move towards transformation, and I'm all about ritual and Goddess work to bring about aspects of myself I want to explore and shift. So here are a few ways to can delve into the darkness for creativity and exploration, and Dark Goddesses we can call upon when doing our own shadow work.
How to Explore your Shadow Self:
Now these woman are not to be feared, but revered! Working with Dark Goddess energy can bring about a sense of personal power, protection and creativity. These Goddesses embrace the shadow, follow the darkness and tread where others only fear. Create your own ritual to call upon one of these bad asses of the dark to illuminate your truest self so that you may wrap your arms around every aspect of yourself-mind, body and spirit.
Kali-The Bad Ass Destroyer
Kali, meaning black, is the Hindu Goddess of destruction, chaos, transformation, rebirth and primal energy. She helps to liberate us from who or what we think we are, so that we may find wholeness. Call upon her to help slay some demons and explore the darkness from which the entire universe was created. Read more about Kali here.
Hekate (Hecate)-Queen of the Underworld
The Dark Moon Goddess-of the night, and of the crossroads. Hekate is the guardian of the spirit world, protectors of travelers of the crossroads & Goddess of all witches, magic, ghosts and witchcraft. Her sacred animal is the black dog and she is depicted holding two torches-call upon her for protection, insight and guidance in the dark. Petition her for direction at the crossroads and she will give you the key to taking your own, truest direction.
Persephone-The Balance between Darkness & Light
The story of Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, is one that leaves her another Queen of the Underworld. Abducted by Hades, Lord of the Underworld, she became a symbol of the cycles of the seasons as well as death and rebirth. When first abducted Demeter called upon Hekate to help find her child. This Goddess of harvest and fertility was made to live among the shadows and the dead for half of the year, and each time she left her mother Demeter dried up the earth, creating winter. When she was allowed to return into the Upperworld in the spring, the earth would then come back to live with new growth. She was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds during the negotiations of her return, and she's forever obligated to make this return to the Underworld each year.
Inanna & Ereshkigal-Sisters of Light and Dark
Inanna, Sumerian Goddess of Heaven and Earth, love and war. Ereshkigal, her dark sister of the Underworld, and represents the unseen parts of ourselves. There tale tells us that neither side is more important than the other. When Inanna ventures into the Underworld her sister kills her, they then merge into one reminding us that that we are both the light and the darkness. Read their full story here.
To work with these Goddesses follow your own intuition to invoke these energies.
Create your own ritual to petition for guidance and support as you explore your Shadow as well as your Light. Some ideas for ritual can include:
Total Eclipse of the Heart
Well this super-charged month of transformation is upon us....are you ready for what it's about to bring? With two eclipses this month, a full moon lunar eclipse followed by a new moon solar eclipse we are being presented with an auspicious opportunity for a full cosmic reboot. While astrology is not my strong suit, research is. So while I'll not spend this article talking about your sign or what houses the eclipses fall in, I've done the research and have you covered on what to expect and how to use these energies coming forth this month.
Eclipses are a time of change and transformation, as are the beginning and end of a lunar cycle. Typically the time of the full moon is a peak time for emotions and manifestation, as well as a time to let go of what's no longer working. The new moon is our reflection time and a time to plant new seeds and set new intentions. The moon is our 'inner world' and emotions (yin energy), the sun is our 'outer world', our actions (yang energy). Lost yet? Stay with me.
Before we get to the nitty gritty on what to expect, let's take a moment for a little Eclipse 101. Here's the basic breakdown of lunar and solar eclipses.
What is an eclipse? An event that involves 3 celestial bodies and their relationship in position to each other; the sun, the moon and earth.
Lunar Eclipse: An event that happens at night when the earth passes between the moon and the sun. This event is safe to watch with the naked eye.
Solar Eclipse: An event that happens during the day when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. This is NOT safe to view with the naked eye as it can cause serious damage. (see where to get your solar eclipse viewers below)
Ok, now that we have the basics down, let's explore what can expect with these two celestial events. Eclipses are ways for the Universe to help get your soul back on track. In our human experiences our egos can get in our way and we get off course, distracted by the many things in life. And as Yasmin Boland of Moonology put it, 'these two eclipses act as a portal to a new existence, it's whether or not we choose to go through it or not!' It's important to remember the energy at the time of an eclipse can be 'solidified in the air' on Earth, and this energy can be felt for 3-6 months after the eclipse. The heightened energies being put forth can begin to be felt 2-3 days before the eclipse, so it's important to pay attention and be mindful of our thoughts and actions.
Let's start with the full moon lunar eclipse to happen on Monday August 7th. This heightened time of energy will work as a SUPER PURGE to ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. Don't fight the change and don't fear the clearing process! The glow during this lunar eclipse will work to illuminate all that is not working in our lives, a time to really see and accept what we need to let go of. So take this time to look at yourself square in the eye, be real, be honest, and get to the raw underbelly of your emotions. Let go of any resistance and consciously work to release what's been holding you back from your true or SOUL purpose.
The color of the lunar eclipse can vary, and this all depends on the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Color of the eclipse can be changing shades of gray, dark brown, to gorgeous and fiery red or orange. From what I've found it's said that we will not be able to view the lunar eclipse from North America, but you know I'll still be outside doing my work! Click here to download my lunar eclipse musing and meditation sheet to use during the eclipse!
Now it's time for the new moon solar eclipse to take place just two weeks later on Monday August 21st. Times for the maximum view of this event vary depending where you are in the world. If you're in Detroit as I am, the count down and beginning is at 1:00 pm and the max view of eclipse is around 2:27 pm. This event will end 3:47 pm EST, so it lasts for almost 4 hours! The event has a larger energetic effect on us as well as other animals, plus cool effects to really pay attention to.
So to begin, think of this eclipse as a SUPER CHARGED new moon. This is the end side of the portal we must choose to move through to find real transformation. The sun and the moon come together, and a brave, warrior energy revolutionary with inspiration will come through! This is the time to close a chapter in your life for good, to see what you have learned up until this point and how you can move forward from this point on. This can also been seen as a disruption in energy flow, so be aware of how you are feeling. Hyper-awareness can emerge and it can be confusing to some, so stay connected to your intuition.
And here are some really cool things to look for during the solar eclipse. Remember, you can NOT safely look at the eclipse without proper eye wear, I ordered my eclipse viewing glasses here.
Well, there you have it. My breakdown on what to expect during these two rare events that could very well change your life! And to make it extra interesting, Mercury goes retrograde in between it all on Saturday August 12th! But that's a whole other discussion.......Join me in my Goddess Session on Thursday August 31st to discuss our experiences with the eclipses and discuss what Mercury in Retrograde means and how to work with it properly. Good luck and God speed, lovlies. See you on the other side of the portal!
Every month we get a change for a fresh start, a clean slate. When we sync our energy with nature we can follow the path of least resistance and learn to go with the flow as oppose to pushing against the tides. The moon controls the tides of the oceans, and since we are made up of mostly water it’s said the moon has a tremendous effect on us as well!
The full moon is the height of the lunar cycle, where things come into fruition, built up energy comes to a climax, emotions can run amuck if we aren’t careful. Tremendous yet subtle power is coming at us even if we aren’t aware, so positive intentions are key! Whatever we put out we get back amplified. This transformative time of the month is a time to let go of what no longer serves us and make room for change in our lives. A time to detox, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. Old thought patterns, self-sabotage, toxic or negative beliefs or people can be obstacles for bringing into our lives what we want.
Challenging times teach us lessons. We must acknowledge and thank every lesson brought to us, good or bad. Find gratitude in it all then release what you no longer need to hold onto. Take the time of the full moon to do some internal work-reflect, forgive, find gratitude and release! Make room to manifest what you do want and stop giving energy to what you don’t. Keep it positive and remember your given a monthly opportunity to make real changes in the direction of your life.
Musings for this Meditation:
*What is keeping you from bringing what you want into your life?
*What lessons have you learned? What can you acknowledge, honor and release?
*What has worked for you this month? What has not worked? How can you make a positive shift to create what it is that you want?
Kali. Or Kali Ma to others. She isn't your average Hindu God, oh no. She is the bad ass Mother of Demons, first of her name. The goddess of time, creator of change. The Queen of destruction and preservation she is the breaker of chains to our ego and the liberator of all men. And yes, if you are following my Game of Thronesreferences she too was born of fire, but to devour blood. I'd like to tell you a story of Kali Ma. She is Enlightenment herself, a mother of tough love meant to lead us to find true transformation & release our pre-conceived notions of who we think we are or think we should be so that we may find Moksha, or liberation. She is the powerful, hungry feminine who wears a string of skulls around her neck and a skirt of severed arms. She wears infants for earrings and carries a severed head in one of her 4 arms and a sword in another. But we'll get back to that.
First we'll begin the story of how she came to be. It's a plot fit to be in a popular HBO series, but much fiercer and with greater reward. She was born during a battle between the Gods & the Titans. Durga, the Mother of the Universe rode into battle on the back of a lion to slay many demons & the Asura King. However, every time one of her 10 weapons in her 10 hands ripped through his flesh, each drop of blood that touched the Earth created a clone of the king. Hundreds of replicas appeared as quickly as she wielded her swords. Feeling the crushing weight of defeat Durga did something out of desperation, frustration & anger. She emanated her most gruesome & compelling aspects of herself. And from her brow the Goddess Kali was born. Designed with a lust for blood and a cyclonic wrath, Kali worked to quench the demon fire that was sure to lay waste to the heavens. Her tongue reached for every drop of blood that hit the ground; devouring the army of kings & eventually the king himself, restoring peace among the Gods.
So. Earning her bragging rights on slaying demons and killing kings, Kali continues to live on offering us peace by bestowing comfort and wisdom with the protective fury of a mother for her children. So lets get back to that skirt. Her appearance can be construed as frightening but has much more meaning than death and destruction and straight up slaying everything in her path. Her face is often depicted as dark blue or even black, representing the vast darkness in which the universe was created and which will be its eventual destruction. Her goal is to protect us from evil & release us from our egos which ultimately come from our connection to our physical body. It's said that one can only reach liberation when there is a release of the attachment to our physical form and we connect with our true eternal self. Death. Transformation. Liberation. So the skulls and body parts represent her trophies in victory for liberating her children from their ego through knowledge. In one hand she holds the Sword of Truth, the other a severed head dripping blood. This represents destruction of the ego through knowledge. Her tongue is out ready to lap up the blood of those slained, ready to kill some demons. Her breasts are bountiful and her womb fertile. A true nurturing mother who will do anything to protect her children.
Her many strengths include her compassion & ability to consume. She is the essence of life. When we find ourselves in battle with inner demons or challenges of the world we can invoke our inner Kali, draw in a fiery fierceness to stand up to our demons and fight. The ability to absorb into yourself or consume your enemy allows you to fully own your fear. To experience it, know it, and eventually move toward peace and resolution. But don't misunderstand to assume engaging in confrontation. Our internal strength is used to understand and slay what lays waste to our eventual liberation. Confrontation only breeds more aggression and conflict.
So when you're up for battle remember this mantra: Om Krim Kalikayai Namah.... I bow my head to the Goddess Kali, Mother of Demons, First of her name. The Queen of destruction and preservation she is the breaker of chains to our ego and the liberator of all men.
Channel Your Inner Kali and Live Forever!
Hello lovelies. Thank you for letting me express my journey of discovering my magic and Divine Feminine. I am happy to share my experiences with you to heal, love, and evolve.