Happy Solstice Star Seeds,
In the Northern hemisphere, June 21st heralds the longest day of the year. We can harness the potent energy of the moment to align with our internal fires and bring forth the gifts of our own brilliance and radiance into the world. What fuels your energy? Muse over what needs illumination. Where can we shine brighter? Where do we need more energy and vitality and what actions are we willing to commit to in order to bring these gifts to the foreground? Simultaneously, we welcome the sign of moon-governed Cancer, who holds the energies of nurturance, the realm of feeling, intuition, the mother, the ebbs and flows of the ocean and our moon cycles.
Can we unite these Sun and Moon energies in our lives and not be afraid to shine and remember to nurture ourselves, take care of our inner child and pay attention to our natural rhythms? Know when to stop and rest and know when the energy is ripe for action, and follow through. Cancer rules the chest. Take deep breaths, invite long and deep inhales and exhales which can fill you with life force and curb anxiety. Repattern your breath and allow the natural rhythms to calm the sympathetic nervous system and transform the fight or flight response. Release what is holding you back from full creative expression that is heartfelt and meaningful to you. Are there ways that you scuttle sideways in avoidance or stay safe in your shell like the Cancerian symbol of the crab? Or are there places you feel too exposed? Can you love and bring nourishment to all of your parts? Honor the Cancerian time of the year by honing your intuition and listening to your emotional body. Where do you need to open up to giving and receiving? I consider these two qualities the yin and yang of the Cancer symbol which keeps us balanced and in reciprocity with others and nature.
Recently I returned from a transformative trip to Madagascar and was touched by learning about the myriad of medicinal plants that our guides had extensive knowledge about, and had personally used for healing. The Malagasy people are made up of 18 distinct tribes throughout the country, each with its own customs, marriage rituals, manners of dress, and housing structures. The unique homes are constructed with the entryway facing West so that they can take advantage of the most sunlight the day has to offer, providing light and warmth in places where there is no electricity and people’s livelihoods and survival depend on connection with the seasons. The abundance of love and joy that emanated from everyone we met was contagious, and not at all related to how much monetary wealth they had, nor their age or gender. In fact it seemed to me that the most poverty stricken villages had the happiest people I have ever encountered. They were rich in community.
Another aspect that I found striking was how as an animist people, who perceive the aliveness in all things, they have not lost the essence of connection to the natural world. One guide who was particularly knowledgeable about the Medicine/ Magic Man/Woman, or the village Shaman, spoke about the destruction of the rainforest and deforestation. He said “the forest Spirits are leaving. This means the Magic Man is also losing powers because his power depends on the health of the rainforest.” Word. We need to collectively wake up and understand that we are part of the natural world. A world not in balance reflects our own imbalances and vise versa. We can help heal the environment, the Earth and her ecosystems by healing our own spirits and balancing our own elemental nature. The mind has taken presedence over the heart for far too long. The ego has ruled our world and caused us tremendous disconnection from Source. As above so below. As within, so without.
This solstice make an offering to nature, thank the Earth for her nurturing and support, and joyfully allow yourself to receive her blessings. We are not separate. We have just forgotten, and we can remember.
May the longtime sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on...
With infinite love and gratitude, Claudia
Greetings Star Seeds,
As the zodiac wheel turns to Venus ruled Taurus, a fixed Earth sign, there is an invitation to gather the dynamic energies of Springtime into a more contained and grounded framework. Taurus loves the sensual, beautiful and pleasurable aspects of life. Honor this time by truly feeling into your senses and allowing them to guide your experiences.
As ruler of the 2nd house of finances and personal value systems, our Taurean parts encourage us to put attention on what we love, desire and value. Taurus calls us to resource ourselves and tend to our bodies and the Earth. We have a few opportunities to do this as we celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and Beltane, a Celtic celebration of fertility on May 1st, a time of uniting the sacred feminine and divine masculine in the spirit of merriment, exuberance and as a community ritual.
I would like to share with you a couple of events being offered by friends of mine to help us engage with these energies.
New Earth Day - April 22nd
"This Earth Day, your role is to have a powerful, beauty-filled moment, and project it.
On Sunday, April 22nd, you’re invited to take part in a collective effort to harness the power of the natural world. The goal is for individuals and groups alike to experience their own unique Earth Day ceremony, and to collectively influence positive change around the world. All you have to do is to bring yourself or a group of friends outdoors, have a positive conscious experience, and send that intention to those that influence awareness and action around the globe." Ginny Anderson
Full Moon in Scorpio Limpia Ritual - April 29th
My friend Samantha Garcia will be demonstrating various types of traditional limpias (spiritual cleanses) from the curanderas of Mesoamerica. Willing participants will receive clearings as part of our exploration. Together we will explore the power of spiritual clearing to purify our body, mind and spirit of heavy or negative energy. Please join me at this ritual where I will be pulling cards and have some of my essences available!
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018 5-8pm
It will be a sacred evening of magic, connection & lunar celebration!
Snacks & beverages will be provided afterward!
$15 Suggested Donation
Joy Gallery: 4921 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94124
*RSVP to email@example.com to reserve your spot
With Love and Infinite Gratitude, Claudia
Greetings Star Seeds,
Happy Equinox! Equinox marks the time when day and night are of equal lengths. The keyword here as we herald in Springtime, is balance. Equinoxes and Solstices provide opportunities to align with the seasons, perform rituals, and feel connected to the earth's cycles. It is also a time of rebirth and renewal. What wants to bloom in your life? What would you like to grow and nurture into fullness? It is a time of harmony that offers the potential for creation and manifestation. Use this portal time to honor both the light and the dark. There are many treasures and gifts in finding gratitude for all of life's expressions, and for accepting all our parts. Give equal billing to doing and being. One cannot exist without the other. Strive for integration. Equinox also ushers in the astrological new year.
On March 21 st, we shift into firey and action oriented Aries. The sign of the Ram that wants us to get moving, like yesterday! Ruled by Mars, he is the first of the zodiac signs, the first born child of the gods who’s enthusiasm, exuberance and vitality may sometimes feel like it’s going to collide with anything and anyone in his path. Aries is the energy of spring, blooming and birth. Mars is the energy of how we fight, flirt and f***. Erotic, dynamic, invested in results. Imagine the energy it takes for a seed to push up through the earth layer and say, “I’m finally here! Look at Me!” That is what Aries feels like to me. The Aries part of us wants what he wants and wants it Now. He is spontaneous, assertive, aggressive and charismatic. A dose of the Venus ruled Libra art of diplomacy is a beautiful antidote to usher in balance and provide a container for the passion. Watch for antagonistic expressions, self-righteous attitudes, impatience and impetuousness. Use mental fortitude, keep a cool head and avoid being hasty. New endeavors and projects may be chomping at the bit to get us on board. However, before going at it full throttle, take a breather and review, revise, reconsider because on March 22, Mercury, the sign of communication, who rules technological expression and travel, goes retrograde, also in Aries. It will start its direct motion again on April 15.
When a planet goes retrograde, seemingly moving backward in the sky, we are advised to reflect before acting, do some inner work and complete things that are underway. Not a great time to sign new contracts. Or at least be mindful that it may need revising later. Re-checking those tax documents before submitting is just doing due diligence. I was born when Mercury was retrograde and love this time that offers a more creative, less linear approach to navigating the world. We all can get annoyed and impatient during delays and it's not Mercury's fault. Taking responsibility for our emotional states is empowering. The astrological weather asks us to curb the outburst tendency and keep tantrums at bay. You’ll be glad you took a time out before responding. Put any excess energy to work by spring cleaning, or doing something physical. Channel your energy into a tango class. Declutter and recycle anything in both the physical and psychic realms. Long contemplative walks by the beach or in nature could be your saving grace when things get confusing, when feeling misunderstood or when tempers start to seethe.
Try this: Go out to a place in nature and intend to connect with the spirits of the place. Greet the land. Introduce yourself. Explore breathing in and out from your heart space in walking meditation. Release anything that is causing you discomfort, unease, or contributing to loss of balance into the earth for clearing and composting. Pull up earth energy, grounded and comforting, into your system. Ask the air beings and the wind to provide clarity on an issue that is feeling compressive. Breathe. Drink water. Our brains need it in order to make focused decisions, integrate information, study, learn, and detoxify. Turn your face up to the sun and with wide open mouth and tongue sticking out, “swallow the sun”. This is a shamanic practice that asks you to imagine all the sun’s radiance infusing you and nourishing your inner fire, your heart space, expanding your capacity to love and be in joyful communion with the elemental realm.
Shine On! With Infinite love and Springtime blessings, Claudia
Greetings Star Seeds!
It is safe to say that I have been stalked lately by the word Paradox. It has come up too many times to ignore it. Last night, when I chose 4 divination cards, the word paradox was in 3 of the messages. OK I'm paying attention. The definition I resonated with is "paradox is something that seems self-contradictory, but upon closer investigation can reveal deeper truths." I have personally been dancing with a lot of questions about the direction of my path and the way forward. What has been feeling like a lot of work, and lots of obstacles and feeling submerged in the watery depths of emotional turmoil, fleeting glimpses of clarity and vacillation between floating down the river of life and being pulled under by a current that spins me in another direction. Often within the same day! The shit is getting stirred up in all areas of my life. And rather than answers I am drowning in questions. After contemplating the divination cards, an insight followed...OH! This is what Jupiter in Scorpio in my first house is offering me. Jupiter, the planet of expansion entered Scorpio, sign of composting, letting go, alchemy and transformation. And for me it is happening in my first house of self-identity.
For the last couple years I have been on a journey to invoke a template of ease, joy, grace and play as the overarching theme in my life and to help facilitate these attributes for my clients. The dismantling of the previous patterns that I had been indoctrinated in that revered structures based on striving, struggle, surviving and suffering weren't about to be ushered out without a fight. As we unravel that which we are outgrowing and wish to shift, the release process brings up all the unhealed parts, all the wounds, all the fragments. We dip and dive and wonder if the dance is worth it. I'm here to tell you it is. The butterfly can't remain in the cocoon, even if it feels safe and warm.
Life rarely follows a linear line. Being one who is aligned with a more circular approach to things, I have always searched for hidden truths. Often we have to take steps that seem paradoxical in order to move forward. At times we need to go into the darkness to retrieve the fragments of light that can only be found there. Sometimes we have to leave to find our way back home. Do not fear this. Do approach the shadows with love. Remember that everything we seek is within us and we are receiving exactly what we need at the perfect time. Even if it is the opposite direction of where we think we need to be going. So if you are experiencing any of these energies, allow them the space to shower you with their wisdom and blessings, even if it feels like you are being stripped of everything. That may be the very thing you need to be who you are meant to be.
With Infinite Love and Gratitude, Claudia
On Feb 19 we entered the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, ruled by Neptune. Ah the Piscean dream where our preferences can lean toward non-ordinary reality states, the past, the future, dream time, day-dream time, waking dream time. The encouragement is to balance these leanings with embodiment and being present. The symbol for Pisces is two fish, moving in flow around each other, like the yin and yang. Consider that one is submerged in the unconscious realms, while its partner emerges and offers the information from the deep to make it conscious. It is the mutable water sign that invites us to dive into subconscious matters, float into unknown waters to mine them for learnings and guidance so that we can surf the emotional realms with awareness of the beyond.
Pisces, ruler of the 12th house, arrives on the heels of another completion as we are also emerging from the portals of the last two eclipses. This period may bring the light of insight to what was previously hidden. May we swim in reverie, and be anchored in our bodies. To honor this time, take a bath, soak your feet (the body part that corresponds to Pisces), visit the ocean or an aquarium, activate your inner mer-person, start a dream journal, be willing to go a little deeper into connection with others, listen to your intuition and psychic stirrings, play with divination tools, symbols and archetypes, and keep wonder and imagination alive!
Add contemplation and meditation during this Piscean month in order to feel well-resourced before the fiery, forward moving energies of Aries light our way. To balance the Pisces shadow, may we be aware of the ways we engage in escapism. Above all practice compassion, which begins with the self. If inclined toward herbal concoctions, those that correspond to the sign of Pisces are: basil, lemon balm, borage and sage. A beautiful way to honor this time is to make or take a flower essence, use them in cooking, or brew some tea with these herbs. The Piscean affirmation is "All is One".
Eclipse season is upon us once again! Before dawn on the morning of January 31st a Blue Moon ~Blood Moon ~Super Moon Total Lunar Eclipse will activate the Leo/Aquarius axis at 11 degrees Leo in our charts. This Triple Goddess treat when the moon is at its closest proximity to the Earth and appears red in color can be seen in totality from the west coast in the US, but will be visible across North America. It will be followed two weeks later on the new moon where there will be a partial solar eclipse where the sun and moon will be conjoined on February 15th at 27 degrees Aquarius.
Considered wild card times, eclipses bring with them amplification of energies. They are chapter markers that have the potential to reveal that which has previously been hidden or veiled in the realm of the subconscious, much in the same way that essences provide an opportunity for revelation and a perceptual shift in consciousness. Together, along with intention, eclipses and essences can be viewed as portals of possibility that provide clarity and can usher us into letting go of what is no longer working and support us in harnessing the energies we wish to magnetize.
Leo-Aquarius themes are concerned with calling forth our leadership from a place of sovereignty and authenticity and applying it to the needs of the collective in creative ways. To do this from a heart space while keeping a cool head is a great access point. For those who are interested in delving deeper into how eclipses and essences can be allies in our toolbox for positive change, I invite you to join me and Stella The Good Witch as we dive into these themes. We have created a class called Portals of Possibility to help navigate these transitional and pivotal moments. It is available as an audio file, along with a meditation, written accompaniment, helpful links and suggestions for how to honor this moment. To purchase please go here.
Contained within these two eclipses is Brigid’s feast day known as Imbolc/Celtic New Year/Candlemas on February 2nd. This day marks the hope of springtime and the return of the light and new beginnings. Brigid (Brighid, Bride, Brigit) is the Goddess of the sacred inner flame, the forge, poetry and healing. She works her alchemy through the elements of water and fire and is the protectress of many a sacred well in Ireland. She is honored in Celtic and Christian traditions alike. She is fertility and creative inspiration and storytelling. She can be called upon to help us burn away that which no longer serves and can light the way toward wholeness and growth.
In honor of these lunations and holy day we are offering three cosmic essences for support during these changing times. No Time, for support in accessing stillness and connection to our heart’s wisdom and Living Master, indicated to help the integration process as we step into our sovereignty and embody the ascended masters as part of our human emanation. These were both co-created within a medicine wheel portal during the last two August eclipses. And Brigid, for igniting the alchemy of the sacred inner flame to fuel creative pursuits and activate our healing powers for transformation. They can be purchased here and along with the audio class for a discounted price here. There are several package options under "Shop". To purchase the audio only go here.
May we see the light of divinity shining within ourselves and reflected in our communities during these changing times of great potential.
With blessings and infinite gratitude, Claudia
Greetings Star Seeds,
A week into 2018 I wanted to share some musings from 2017. I won’t call these resolutions because I feel that some of us have a tendency to pile a whole bunch of demands on ourselves that, on top of being unrealistic and unsustainable, trail off after a couple weeks only to make way for an increase in self-criticism and judgement around our total lack of discipline and commitment to …[fill in the blank]. My solution to resolutions that make me feel crappy about myself is...skip ‘em. Instead I plan to love myself fiercely no matter what I do, don’t do, how much I weigh, or what I accomplish (or don’t!)
My musings centered around the following curiosity. What if we chose to embrace a template of ease, joy, grace, play and flow and made that our default setting? What if we decided to let go of outmoded blueprints that are based in an approach that exalts striving, struggling, surviving and suffering? I find that these are usually externally imposed ideas that we have internalized and that in no way reflect our Divinity. Now, this doesn’t mean that bad shit won’t happen and that we won’t feel pain and hurt and anger at the injustices in the world. And I am not suggesting that we won't work towards our goals and dreams. Saturn in Capricorn won't stand for that one! What it does offer is the possibility of occupying a space that is based on trust and love rather than fear and drudgery. No matter what the circumstance.
We can choose to live in an empowered way and create new experiences that jive with our soul path simply by being present to what is. We can re-write the story we tell ourselves about who we are. Daily, if need be. We can aim to love all of our parts and make a conscious choice to drop labels of good and bad. What if we endeavored to explore the teachings a particular situation is offering, rather than deciding an experience is a success or a failure?
The more consistently we engage with these practices, the more we move away from blame and guilt or feeling victimized and the quicker we are able to move on with new information and make different choices. What if we intended to offer and receive the gifts of the Divine in every breath, in every moment and in every situation and relationship? What if we started to play with these perceptual shifts? Maybe our outlook would change. Maybe we would live with less stress. Perhaps we would have a little more fun. Animals and children are wonderful models of how to engage in play and flow. Playfulness brings us into the present moment and also reminds us to breathe. Think about it: It's impossible to play while holding your breath! I believe that we are here to live life to the fullest and that joy is our birthright. Do you give yourself permission to do so?
Each year a group of friends and I choose one word that we consider a beacon to light our path into the coming year. This year the word that came to me was Devotion and my vow is that I may be devoted to the things that bring me more joy, ease, and grace. I am choosing to devote myself to that which keeps me balanced and happy. These are a few of the ways I intend to do this:
Walking in nature. Often.
Cultivating stillness and silence. So that my inner guidance and wisdom can come through with clarity.
Laughing and playing and breathing more.
Re-writing the story I tell myself about myself.
Expressing appreciation to others. Gratitude, expressed authentically not only creates feelings of well being and connection, but it is a heart opening practice. I view acts of giving and receiving like a practice that strengthens our heart physical heart muscle as well as our energetic heart.
Connecting. It's good for our health and the planet.I always feel expanded, blissed out, and nourished after a true heart connection with another being. It makes me a happier person.
Making self-care rituals a priority. I like to make a list of self-care practices that are non-negotiable. The things that I do to sustain my sanity, well being and health on all levels so that I can feel nourished and care for and nurture others from a place of surplus energy. We cannot give and remain well resourced if our well is dry.
Forgiving. Forgiving myself, my imperfections, the past, the things left undone, my parents, those who I have been hurt by. Forgiveness is a process. Mainly I ask for the grace to forgive, because it is not something you can just decide to do and it happens. It takes time and intention and the willingness to let go of anger and resentment so that you can be free. It is a path toward healing and heart expansion and I truly believe that invoking the assistance of the Divine is imperative on this journey.
Star-gazing whenever possible!
I also wish to devote myself to the possibility of re-framing any fear based thoughts, detaching from over stimulation and nervous system overload, and stepping away from people, places and things that vampire my happy, and zap my energy.
I invite you to surround yourself with those who celebrate your accomplishments and triumphs and can provide encouragement and support when life gets challenging. These are the folks that truly see you. And to be truly witnessed and accepted is one of the most healing things I know of. Do the same for others. Be generous with your words and deeds.
Astrologically, we step into 2018 with five planets in Capricorn, the industrious sign of "gettin it done". Welcome responsibility (the ability to respond) around work, be it career or personal and collective pursuits. Be deliberate and cautious and cultivate patience and tenacity. Avoid the pitfalls of falling into judgement around any shortcomings. Slow and steady. We may be able to access new ways to be passionate and driven around our projects and goals in ways that spark and keep our interest. Saturn in the sign of the sea goat offers discipline and boundaries as a gateway to liberation. Review foundational structures and make sure they are working for you in current time realities. If not, reconfigure them so that you can soar high from a place of groundedness with supports intact. For essence support around this, check out one of my favorite formulas for jump-starting projects,
Get it Done! In my opinion, it's the energizer bunny in my spiritual toolkit. Click here to purchase.
Jupiter (the planet of expansion) will shine it's light in Scorpio until mid November 2018, revealing anything that's no longer wishing to remain hidden and urging us to compost what's not working for us. The phoenix rises from the ashes. Great potential for reinvention and transformation abounds if we engage in working with these cosmic energies!
Finally, if you are curious and interested in shifting perspectives in 2018, please join me and my amazing friend and astrologer-extraordinaire Stella the Good Witch as we explore how eclipses and essences offer transformation. Eclipses are supercharged lunations that reveal what's been obscured and bring deep opportunities for change. Essences allow us to align with the changes that are wanting to happen. Through ritual, guided meditation, art, tarot, interactive astro play and essence dosing, we'll dive deep into the healing opportunities presenting themselves in the upcoming 1/31 and 2/15 eclipse season.
For details on this class and to register, please go here.
And if you are wanting to start the year out with some grounded bodywork, I have a special offer available for new clients only.
90 minutes of integrative bodywork (in SF only) for $150 (regularly priced at $175).
Available for purchase now through January 31st and can be redeemed at any time.
May we be kind and careful with ourselves and each other.
May we engage in more of what brings us peace and joy.
May our visions for 2018 manifest.
May we be remember who we are.
If you feel called, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!
With infinite love and gratitude, Claudia
Greetings Star Seeds and a blessed Winter Solstice to you,
Winter is the time to go within. We can look to nature for guidance; animals hibernate, vegetation lies dormant, the Earth is resting and restoring Herself. I like to think of winter as a long and luxurious savasana, restorative and deliciously deserved after a time of dynamic expression! In stillness, we receive the full benefits of our work. They say it is the most important pose of all.
While the holidays often bring much external activity, if we give ourselves the gift of quietude and introspection just for a few minutes a day, and start anchoring this as a daily practice, when we are called to engage with the outer world, we do so from a much more grounded and solid place and we utilize our energy in more effective ways. There is an invitation during this time of Winter Solstice, to ask: “What am I willing to release?” As the year comes to a close, turn inwards, connect with your truest and highest self, and contemplate this question so that with the return of the light, a space for what you wish to embrace and dedicate yourself to can start to reveal itself. This is a great time to journal, make a vision board, meditate, give voice to your inner muse, breathe, dream, journey inward, storytell by the fire, ponder, wonder, walk in nature, pray, be grateful, rest, do nothing, smile inwardly, forgive.
I find that when I devote myself to more internal pursuits, I have more clarity, focus, and discernment. I can more easily turn off the external noise and hear the guidance of my higher self. My life feels more balanced, I am less likely to be ‘off-kilter’. Decisions become effortless and my energy has a sense of containment. I encourage you to just be in the darkness. Resting in the fallow earth, just a few minutes a day can be life-changing!
I offer you this simple exercise to release what no longer serves your highest good. Stand in nature, barefoot if possible. Feel your feet firmly planted and held by the Earth. Imagine that you have roots like a tree extending from the soles of your feet deep down into the Earth. Ground these roots into the Earth’s core. Then simply scan your body and your energy field and intend that anything that is not of the highest vibration to drain out and away from you through your root system. You don’t even need to name it or attach story to it. Simply release, intend to let go, and breathe that energy into the Earth. You can see it as golden light entering the Earth as pure potential energy to be recycled and transmuted into nutrients to feed the Earth. Do this a few times if it feels appropriate or until you feel an energetic shift. Be gentle with yourself during the process. It is always appropriate to ask your guides, angels and allies for assistance!
Next, feel your weight on the Earth. These roots are your grounding cord and can serve both as a release method and a filling method to bring energy back into your body. Once the release is complete, you reverse the process. Bring your awareness back to your feet and see the roots pull up and into your entire system the qualities of grounding, solidness, support, nourishment, balance, steadfastness. Like a thirsty plant soak up all these wonderful qualities, feel yourself becoming restored at a cellular level. You can also open up your crown chakra and allow this energy to flow up and out of your crown bathing your entire aura as it washes over you like a waterfall of light. When we attend to our connection with the Earth and Nature, shifts happen on all levels. Try this and see what evolves for you.
It is my greatest wish that your holiday celebrations are love-filled and bring you all the joy and bliss that is your Divine birthright. As the light returns, may each of us shine our lights brightly and step into our power and sovereignty.
With infinite love and gratitude,
We all get caught up in the busyness and endless to dos of our lives. In the last few years our perception is that time has literally sped up. Technology is changing at lightning speed with an emphasis on making our lives more efficient with a focus on productivity. It has also contributed to our ability to connect in ways that weren’t before possible. Recently, social media platforms have been super helpful in disaster relief efforts by getting the word out and being vehicles of support. However, the plethora of options out there for information gathering resources is unparalleled. And overwhelming. This can cause those of us who are more sensitive beings to literally spin out, burn out, or shut down. The result can be information overload, over-stimulation, nervous system short-circuiting, and adrenal blow out. This gets amplified during the holidays. Rather than gratitude and connection, we end up feeling just the opposite. What if there was a better way to navigate these changes and transitions during this time of great expansion?
The good news is that there is a better way. And the better news is that we already know how to do it! Naturally, without needing to read another website or buy another book or purchase another device and it’s totally 100% free and accessible.
Here’s the secret: Slow down. Return to nature. Cultivate presence. Listen deeply to your own internal voice because it will tell you exactly what pace is perfect for you to operate at a premium (ie, with joy, ease and flow and with a reduction in stress and overwhelm).
Here is the trick. You gotta want it. You gotta decide to do it. You gotta actually do it. The first step is that you have to be willing to get off the adrenaline rollercoaster. We can get energized by holiday drama, but it’s counter productive to attaining clarity and being in communion with our inner compass so that we can make decisions that are in alignment with our soul. The next step is commitment to self-care practices that nourish us. And finally, make the time to do just that, even if it is just a few minutes a day. Pick one self-care practice that is essential and make it a priority.
Movement and forward motion and accomplishment are part of the human model. But so is rest and play and ease. We need stillness to allow for integration of expansive experiences, and the holidays occur during the time of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter which is all about E-X-P-A-N-S-I-O-N. In order for balance, we need both yin and yang, expansion and receptivity, doing and being.
We need to fuel up if we want our car to reach its destination. When our focus includes that which nourishes our soul and fills our heart with joy, we step into flow and it becomes easier to return to simplicity, receptivity, and real connections with ourselves, each other, our plant and animal friends, and the planet. We need to keep returning to our heart space over and over again. Our lives kinda depend on it. Our Earth needs it. Our children deserve it.
We create so much busyness in our lives that leaves us feeling exhausted and disempowered because it feeds the illusion that our sense of worth comes from how much we can accomplish. There is a beautiful story told by the poet David Whyte as he recalls a conversation with Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast. The upshot... "The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest. The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”
I invite you to be radical this holiday season and return to simplicity, slow down, and make your self-care practices non-negotiable. You will be better resourced and have more energy if you are not spread so thin and your family and friends will thank you! The best gifts we can give each other are our presence and attentiveness. It is so simple but it requires us to slow down, and allow for a moment of heart connection. To look at one another, to truly see and be with another person wholeheartedly is priceless. Can we be with what is without needing to fix or change things? Can we be a witness to someone else’s experience, whether it is one of grief or joy and simply be with that? It requires we let go of the busy model and open our hearts to the moment. It requires the courage to step out of our comfort zone so we can be open to where the magic truly happens. And it will help us expand time.
Did you know that flower essences can be a wonderful ally during the holiday season? It is a time when many of us tend to overextend ourselves; we may give too much, stretch ourselves too thin, work longer hours, fit in more social gatherings. While these may be things we choose to do willingly and lovingly, it can lead to overwhelm, irritability, and exhaustion. Flower essences can aid you in remaining calm, present, centered and balanced by working on a vibrational level to help soothe your emotions, give a clear perspective, and replenish your soul.
Our offering this month is Holiday Calm, a combination of essences intended to bring calm to any stressful situation and to help combat burnout. The perfect balm when feeling tired and wired. If you are in need of support, grounding and patience during this season, let Holiday Calm come to the rescue and add a little peace to your world.
Available in internal and external formula. The spray formula (for external use only) contains water from Snowmass Lake in Colorado. At 11,000 ft, it was one of the most serene places I've been. The essential oils are orange, jasmine, clary sage, coriander, helichrysum, palma rosa, vetiver and meant to clear mental and emotional fatigue. Spray the environment and create an oasis of relaxation. May you wholeheartedly bask in the spirit of this wonderful time of the year, cultivate gratitude for what you already have and let go of the rest.
With infinite love and gratitude,
Connect with the Elements for healing during this season of magic.
Samhain (pronounce Sow-In) comes from the Celtic word and means “summer’s end” and it coincides with the secular celebration of Halloween. In the pagan tradition it is Witch’s New Year and marks the beginning of the dark half of the year. It is followed by All Saints' Day on November 1st, then comes All Souls' day, both religious holidays based in Catholicism. Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead, is a Mexican cultural celebration which lasts three days beginning on October 31st. Part of the tradition includes offerings and altars erected in honor of the deceased. Collectively, the three days of celebration are called Hallowmas. This time overlaps with the Islamic month of Muharram, whose focus is mourning for the prophet Mohammad’s grandson, Hussain ibn Ali.
During this time the veils between the worlds are thinnest and we are able to more easily communicate with ancestors, friends and even animal companions that have crossed over. It is a time of deep ritual, honoring and preparing for Winter. And it spans cultures, religions and ethnicities.
For me, this time is Pure Magic! I love all of it, the weather, the costumes, the altars, seeing people, adults and children alike, feeling safe to express their inner unicorn, dragon, peacock, or cowgirl. These archetypes matter to us and expressing them in full regalia can be deeply healing and can reconnect us with forgotten part of ourselves. The spirit of fun and merriment, tricks and treats, interspersed with the reverence of this holy time is a perfect brew. The energy of this time is both electric and deeply grounding. I believe it’s partially because we are making contact with the gone-befores. The dark time also invites us to retreat and connect with our own inner landscape.
The energy of this time can also spin us out a bit. Take said festivities, add an overindulgence of sugar, stir in the sensory stimulation of storefronts donning the trappings of the upcoming holidays and we have a perfect recipe for nervous system overload. In what feels like a blink of an eye, and often on autopilot, we plummet headfirst into Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwaanza, New Years. It’s a whirlwind and a time we are inundated with the message “consume consume CONSUME!” We may find ourselves buying more crap that we don’t need, that others don’t want (but are too polite to say so) for the sake of tradition, or more likely societal and cultural pressure, at least in the West. I often feel it can be the most unconscious time of the year. We are just trying to get through the holidays so we can breathe again. Why?
What if we paid a little more attention, and took a moment to contemplate a different approach? Celebrate with family and friends, Yes. Do the eating, drinking, regretting. OK. But before you shop 'til you drop this year, take a moment to think about what would truly fulfill and nourish you and your family. You can create a different reality. You can create new traditions that reflect your authentic self.
What about pooling some of the gift money and donating to a worthy cause? Goddess knows we have about a billion right now that could use our support. Involve the kids, teach them values of community and humanitarian ideals and move away from consumerism and entitlement. (“Johnny, how about 2 toys instead of 20”) This also serves to open dialogue and connection. Kids want to be included and they want to help. If Johnny knows he is helping a friend he hasn’t met in Myanmar from starving, or a puppy in Puerto Rico be transported for medical attention, I bet he would be on board. The tide needs to start shifting my friends, and we are the changemakers, and our children are the future. Trust me, they don’t need another four Barbies.
We can also add new rituals to our traditions that make us feel energized after all is said and done rather than drained and pissed off. Go into nature. Even your backyard will suffice. And connect with the elemental energies of air, fire, water, and earth. This is a very healing practice and nature is soooo out of balance right now. The outer landscape is a reflection of our inner, and affecting change within can have a huge impact on our environments. As Gandhi said: "Be the Change you wish to see in the world." Coming into reciprocity with Nature can bring healing to you personally, to your lineage, to future generations and to the world.
I invite you to use the elements to celebrate the season and bring healing to your life.
Air is the element that rules the mental arena. Use air to clear away looping thoughts and bring a dose of freshness to your mindset.
Wind, song, breathe, words are all in the realm of the air element. Go to where you can feel the wind. Let it surround you, feel the temperature on your skin. Take in the smells of any flowers, trees or the ocean mist. Take a deep breath and visualize the sylphs (air beings) taking away what ails you. Offer a prayer of gratitude to be carried by the wind.
Imagine the wind as a being...what are the qualities that this being possesses? For me, the wind carries the qualities of liberation, vastness, possibility, spaciousness and uncertainty. It can be hot or cold. It can be a gentle caress or a hurricane. This can be a fantastic antidote when feeling compressed or impatient. Connect with your breath. Be grateful for your lungs. Blow a wish on a dandelion and watch it spread. Intend to breathe in and out of your heart space to everything around you. Speak with kindness. Sing a song, tone, hum, shake a rattle or drum . Do it with friends for maximum potency.
The air signs in the zodiac are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Ask yourself the following questions. Which areas of life need more innovation? Where do I need more detachment? Where can I communicate with the intention of connection, and where do I need more balance and less judgement?
We honor Air in the East. The East is the place of the visionary. Call in the qualities of clarity, perception and perspective. Call in the winged ones and ask for a higher perspective.
Fire is the element that rules the spiritual arena. Work with fire in rituals of transformation and metamorphosis. Invoke the energy of snake or butterfly. Neither would consider going back into its old encasements once the transformation has happened. Dare to shine your light in the world and embody the manifestation of your highest octave. Be like the phoenix rising from the ashes, reborn.
Fire can be found in a candle, in a fireplace, in a bonfire. Many Mystics have stared into fire and scryed information. In Native traditions the pipe is sacred and the smoke carries prayers up to Father Sky. The heat in sweat lodges cleanses and purifies toxins of all kinds and allows for a process of rebirth and spiritual expansion.
The salamander are the fire beings. You can work with them to burn away old contracts that no longer serve. Write down everything you wish to let go of, put the paper in a fireplace or another safe container and let the fire transmute the energy. Fire is energy, passion, creativity, spiritual fuel, movement. We honor Fire in the South. The South is the place of the Healer. Call in the qualities of energy and innocence, of the Divine Child in each of us.
The fire signs in the Zodiac are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. Ask yourself: In what areas of my life do I need to take action, be more creative, or add some passion? Where can I expand my potential and step into a leadership role? Where do I need to release aggression or drama? Do I think of others before acting? Do I wish to travel far and learn, teach, philosophize with like minded individuals? What is one concrete step I can do today in that direction?
Water is the element that rules the emotional body. Cleansing and purification rituals through water are ancient. The word Spa means Health through water. Jumping in a cold Stream activates the hypothalamus. Our tears are cleansing emotional debris out of our systems.
Make or take an essence, be intentional every time you take a drink of water. The average adult human body is about 65 percent water. Approximately 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered in water and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water. We are water beings! The moon and the ocean tides mirror our internal cycles. Water is consciousness. It has the ability to change shape~snow, ice, liquid, mist. Although it changes form, its essence remains the same. What stage of consciousness are you in? Ordinary, meditative, transcendental? We have great capacity to enter into these healing states of consciousness with practice and intention.
The undine are the water beings. We honor Water in the West, the place of the inner teacher. Call in the qualities of wisdom, understanding and compassion. Many of the feminine deities are associated with water such as Yemaya, Oshun, Quan Yin, Lady of Lourdes to name a few. Autumn is the time of Water in the Medicine Wheel which creates an opportunity to heal what is out of balance in this realm.
The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. If you need some water balance, take a moon bath, especially during full moons. Add essential oils salts and Flower Essences to boost the Mojo of your intention. Let what no longer serves you wash away down the drain. Check in with your emotions on a regular basis. Your intuition is a very powerful tool that can help navigate many things. Are you feeling emotions too intensely? What do you need to release emotionally? Are there moments that you could go deeper, or ones that feel too intense and it would be wise to find some solid ground? Are you avoiding any emotions? Keep a dream journal and record guidance that you receive during this liminal time? Do you need more fertility in your life?
Earth is the element that rules the physical body. Plant something, walk amongst trees. Ground out any excess energy through your grounding cord. Walk a labyrinth or play hopscotch. Check out some earthing practices. Imagine sending beams of love through your feet to the center of the Earth for healing. We can work in reciprocity with the elements just by shifting our intention to do so.
The elementals are the earth protectors. Here we find faerie folk, elves, dryads and the crystals that live deep within the earth. The mountains are Earth energy. Make an offering to a plant or flower. Sit with your back to a tree and exchange energy. Take a yoga class. Build an alter. Hug a tree. Dance. Hike. Meditate in your garden.We honor Earth in the North. The North is the place of the Warrior. Call on the qualities of courage and perseverance. It is where we walk our path during this Earthly existence. Our spirits reside in incarnated bodies. Do something physical to honor this vehicle. Intend to walk in beauty and honor all your relations.
The Earth signs of the zodiac are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Do you need to be more tenacious in the pursuit of your goals? Are you being overly perfectionist? Do you need to organize your desk so that your life can function more smoothly and efficiently? How is your drive, discernment and dedication? Are you too much in the ethers and need some grounding? Is your career in alignment with your soul mission?
Rituals are as old as humanity. They mark initiations and rites of passage, endings and beginnings. They contain special markers such as music, flowers, colors, clothing, smells, taste, offering. They require presence and a period of silent observation. The openness to receive. They occur in places of personal and collective meaning. They involve listening and responding. They have the power to connect us to others and can reach across timelines and dimensions. They are a bridge between us and the larger part of us. Intention and focus is key.
I wish you a time of merriment, ritual, and remembrance during this season. May you connect more fully with the beauty of your being and take great pleasure in celebrating and honoring this season in whatever way you choose.
With infinite gratitude and blessings,
Claudia is a nature lover, alchemist and dreamer. She lives with her life partner, Ilan and her beloved dog, Osa.