Start Now, & Start With Beauty: Scorpio Solar Eclipse 2014

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When was the last time you took a moment to appreciate beauty?

Perhaps it’s been a while. Perhaps you don’t even remember. That’s okay.

After an astrologically difficult year, no one could blame you.

It’s been tough. 2014 opened with what felt like retrograde after retrograde, with Venus challenging you to change the way you approach relationships, and Mars forcing you to adopt a slow and steady pace. Until July, you mulled over your big vision behind the scenes, letting it percolate and stew.

And finally, progress, and not a minute too soon. Plans shot forward at dizzying speeds, and visions sprang to life. That is, until this month.

The lunar eclipse on October 8 tested your foundations with surprise messages and unexpected turns. Any squeaky wheels that failed to pass the cosmic inspection were tossed out to the junkyard.

How are you feeling?

Are you missing any parts?

Today’s solar eclipse, which reaches its fullness exactly on top of Venus, is like inhaling a beautiful scent. Can you smell it? It’s rosy and fresh, reminding you that there is still beauty in the world, and that beauty matters.

One of my most beloved quotes comes from Anais Nin. She says: “Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.” The eclipse reminds us that beauty is a necessity, and that lovely things can be as nourishing as food and shelter.

Under the new moon’s warm rays, open yourself to love, creativity, connection, and intimacy in whatever form feels best to you. Watch a visually stunning movie. Eat exquisite food. Get sensual inside and outside of the bedroom. Allow the siren song of a brand new idea to lure you in.

The eclipse is also in close quarters with asteroid Pallas Athena, keeper of creative intelligence and personal power. Combined with the energy of Venus, this reminds me of the 9 of Pentacles in the Tarot.

A woman who knows her value,

Who embraces her authority.

A fully bloomed woman.

The eclipse takes place in Scorpio, the sign of transformation and rebirth. If this year has been for you a cocoon of sorts (and I suspect it has), this eclipse will be the moment you emerge. You are not who you were in January, you are not who you were yesterday.

You are something totally new. You are beautiful. You are fully bloomed.

Of course, I’d be in remiss if I didn’t remind you that new moons are new beginnings, and that any new projects you want to start will get a delicious dose of good vibes from this eclipse.

If you need help planning your new beginning, book an astrology consult and we’ll work together to make it beautiful.

Start now, and start with beauty.

Happy solar eclipse, and cosmic love!

Cards in the image are from the Cosmic Tarot. Pictured: The Empress (Venus), Death  (Scorpio), and 9 of Pentacles.

Sincerity Sunday: Mercury Retrograde is NOT an Excuse

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How do you approach Mercury Retrograde?

Do you clear your schedule, cowering at home with a cup of hot tea until the cosmic weather clears? (See above.)

Do you become paranoid, afraid the vague email you received from your boss is a certain indicator that you’ll be jobless within a week?

Or, do you go about business as usual, brazenly signing documents and making new travel plans despite the ubiquitous warnings?

For the record, I don’t endorse any of these methods.

As a professional astrologer, I’ve had more than my share of queries regarding how to deal with Mercury’s retrograde phase. After listening to this conversation for years, I’ve come to decide that on the whole, our community’s relationship to this transit is unhealthy… even my own.

If you’re not privy to the cosmic lingo yet, here’s the skinny: when Mercury retrogrades, the planet appears to be moving backwards in its orbit.

Astrologically speaking, it’s a total Communication Breakdown (couldn’t resist a good Zeppelin reference!). Signals get crossed in conversations, computers and vehicles go haywire, travel plans fall through, and Murphy’s law is the order of the day.

Best mystical practices say it’s possible to circumvent the negative effects of Mercury Rx (shorthand for retrograde) by doing activities that start with the prefix re-. Revise, review, renew, replenish, you get the idea. Taking a spiritual approach is the best plan of attack with this transit, but that doesn’t change the fact that Mercury has a reputation for being a Trickster. There’s no real way to fully escape the awkward nature of this period.

As with most things in my life, I plan ahead as much possible. Mercury Rx is no exception. I created specific game plan with tasks that I could do during the transit to makeover my blog and refresh my brand. But when it came to day-to-day activities, I was still stuck in fear mode.

Would starting that big project during the retrograde lead to dissatisfaction with the finished product?

Would calling a new primary care physician lead to a bad relationship with that service provider in the future?

Would trying that new recipe during Mercury Rx mean I ‘d end up hating it afterwards?

In an act of desperation, I turned to my ever-practical beloved for advice. He told me,

“You’ve got to live your life. Mercury retrograde is not an excuse.”

This made me think: how much of our fear of Mercury retrograde is rooted in personal insecurities and fear of failure? Starting a project, making a doctor’s appointment, or even trying a new food are absolutely necessary, and we shouldn’t consider putting them of due to some silly astrological transit. It’s natural to be wary of the unknown and nervous about starting, but don’t let Mercury Rx be an excuse for procrastination.

Instead of operating from fear, use your astrology know-how to your advantage! Start working on your big idea, but don’t go public with it until after Mercury goes direct. Schedule that doctor’s appointment, but make sure you put it in your Google calendar and keep copies of all the documents you might need. And try a fresh recipe if you want! Mercury Rx is a great time to think outside the box and try something outside your routine. Put a positive spin on things, and you’ll get much better results, I promise.

Let me be clear: the astrological prescriptions are there for a reason. Doing something new during Mercury Rx, or any other tough transit for that matter, may make it more difficult, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Don’t put it off. Trust in the infinite that your timing will be perfect, regardless of the cosmic weather.

If you need to do something, do it. The universe WILL support you.

Here’s to a happy and productive Mercury Rx!

11 Things to Do When the Moon is in Aries

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This morning at 6:51 AM, the moon reached her fullness in Aries. If you were lucky, you were able to see the brilliant white of the full moon turn blood red in a total lunar eclipse.

What does that mean for you?

In astrology, lunar eclipses are like supercharged full moons. They bring epiphanies, sweeping changes, and completions which will affect your life for the next six months. Synchronicities abound during eclipse season, so pay attention. If you think the universe is trying to tell you something, it probably is.

Add fierce, pioneering Aries energy to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for fast and furious transformation!

If you want to make the most of this lunar eclipse, make sure to add these things to your to-do list this week:

Rebel.

This full moon is on top of wild card Uranus, so don’t be surprised if you feel a sudden urge to shake up your usual routine. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater yet, as Mercury Retrograde may cause you to miss important details if you act now. But DO allow yourself time for small acts of rebellion, or laying the groundwork for a future coup. Be weird. Go with the flow. Let your freak flag fly!

Transform.

The full moon + Uranus is square Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth. This aspect will shake the foundations of the houses it transits in your chart, and whatever’s not strong will likely fall away. Be comforted by the fact that destruction is a necessary prerequisite for creation. Something beautiful is about to be born.

Ignite.

This moon also sets off a Grand Fire Trine with Mars in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Leo. Trines are delicious aspects that act as a portal for new opportunities. With the fire energy in play, that means something’s going to manifest pretty quickly. Whatever it is, it’s going to expand what you believe to be possible and open you up to more generosity, both with others and yourself. Here’s to that!

Loving the fiery vibe? Here are a few more ideas for your Moon in Aries checklist:

Compete. Aries rules competition, so Moon in Aries is a perfect time for some healthy competition and debate, whether physical, artistic, or intellectual.

Invent. As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries loves being the first to come up with new ideas. Moon in Aries is a great time for brainstorming!

Move your body. Aries also rules the physical body, so exercise and dance are both productive and nourishing under this moon.

Adorn your head. You guessed it! Aries rules the head too, so getting a head massage and/or a trying a new hairstyle or accessory are lovely Moon in Aries activities.

Protect yourself. Aries is warrior sign, so now is a great time to make sure you’re protecting yourself in both the material and spiritual realms. Bri Saussy wrote a wonderful piece on this!

Take a stand. Aries thrives on decisive action, so the Aries moon can help you get clear on how you feel about important issues in your life.

Embrace your authority. Channel Queen Bey and let everyone else know they can “Bow down, bitches!” (Full disclosure: Flawless may be my favorite song right now.)

Finally, and most importantly, the Aries moon is calling you to…

Start.

Aries is the starting point for the whole zodiac. If you never start, nothing happens. If you’ve been mulling over a new project, stop thinking about it and take action. Starting is a powerful act. You can do it.

Happy lunar eclipse and cosmic love!

PS- Still feeling nervous about the eclipse vibe? These 3 mantras will help you stay sane.

 

Magical Miscellany: 9.24.14

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It’s back! I’m reviving my link love for the modern mystic, because there’s just too much goodness in the world not to share.

Did you know you could balance an egg at the moment of an equinox? Fascinating!

Know where you’re headed.

We all want riches, wealth, and success. But what’s the difference?

We use magic to make magick.

8 fascinating secret societies and bohemian clubs. Yes, please!

How to create your own Circle of Seven. I had so much fun with this. Amy Poehler, Jimmy Page, Stanley Kubrick, and Nicki Minaj are in mine, just to name a few.

Also, don’t forget to follow #StarsAndCards on Instagram for the scoop on how astrology can take your tarot readings to the next level!

Calling All Instagram Lovers!

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Do you love tarot?

Do you want to learn astrology?

Curious about the link between these two sacred arts?

Today I’m starting a new Instagram series that shows the astrology behind all 78 cards. Every day I’ll post one card, its astrological counterpart, and how you can use that connection in your own readings . We’ll start with the Major Arcana, then work our way through the minors (Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles).

If you want to step up your divination game, knowing how the stars and cards intertwine is a must.

Sound like fun? Follow along using the hashtag #starsandcards!

On Empowerment and the Libra New Moon

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This morning at 2:14 AM EST, the moon renewed herself in Libra.

Traditionally, it’s time for new beginnings in relationships. Intentions are set for new lovers, business partners, and soul friendships.

But what about our relationship to ourselves?

Under today’s Libra moon, I invite you to ponder this:

How is your relationship to yourself?

Do you really know her? Have you two talked in a while? If not, take her out for coffee or high tea, or even a whiskey. You deserve it. Court her. Love her. Adore her. Indulge. Venus is getting cozy with the moon this time around, so a little luxury is certainly in order.

Earlier this week I went through the first half of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map workbook, one of my all-time favorite introspection tools. Her theory is that instead of focusing on external goals, you should first decide how you want to feel and use those feelings as a compass for your choices. After several days of journeying deep into my personal underworld, I returned to the light with the following words:

empowered

nourished

creative

infinite

As I sat with them, I realized: these words are also a rallying cry for the new moon in Libra.

Right now, there’s a Grand Fire Trine coming into alignment. Can you feel the embers glowing? Mars in Sagittarius wants infinite possibility, Uranus in Aries cries out for personal nourishment, and Jupiter in Leo seeks creative expression. And when you embrace all three together? That’s a recipe for empowerment.

Empowerment doesn’t have to be about gaining power over others. Ultimately, it’s about honoring your personal power. As my dear friend Paige reminded me today, it’s not something you have to go out and get. Let this delicious Libra moon be an opportunity to let empowerment flow through you.

Are you a tarot lover? Ask your deck: “What can I do to come into better relationship with myself?”. Or, put more simply, “What can I do today to show myself a little love?”

Happy Libra new moon, and blessed equinox! XX

Image credit: Death to Stock Photography

Why I Write

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Tonight the moon reaches fullness in Pisces, the sign of creative flow. It’s also cozy with Neptune, ruler of the arts and all things sacred. I was tagged for this post by Kristen Jett of Her Own Blueprints today, and I thought honoring the creative process would be a perfect way to celebrate!

What am I working on?

Right now, the blog is the central focus of my writing efforts. I am in love with the idea of the blog as a living, breathing art form that’s always in flux. I follow a loose editorial schedule, but I’m making room in my life for a few repeat offenders. I’ll be hopping on the Tarot Tuesday bandwagon next week, sharing my own tips on how to use the cards in your life and business. In Sincerity Sunday, I’ll be sharing personal vignettes that are transparent with a purpose, so you can see how my spiritual practices show up in real time. (Full disclosure: I’d initially planned to start this last month, but decided to shift a few things. Like I said, I keep it loose.)

Even more exciting: I’ll be devoting another column specifically to intuition.

Here are a few titles currently in my queue:

Can Astrology Predict the Future?

Why I Don’t Read Reversals

How to Start a Spiritual Practice

& a still unnamed glossary for New Age lingo. (I mean, what is “energy” anyways?)

I’m also a diarist. Journaling was a practice that nourished my soul long before there were e-courses on how to do it. From my very first plastic Minnie Mouse diary to the red spiral Poppin notebook that I keep now, chronicling my days and feelings keeps me grounded and helps me process my thoughts. More on that in number 3.

Finally, I’m learning how to play lead guitar. It’s not technically writing with pen and paper, but it’s a beautiful way to create story. Listen to Jimmy Page and you’ll hear what I mean.

How does my writing differ from others in its genre?

Through there are so many vibrant blogs and writers that are easily accessible now, I sometimes forget that when I began my metaphysical studies all the writing I found felt either too mystical or too clinical. It’s all well and good to discuss what the Aries midheaven means in theory, but it doesn’t really come to life until you can explain in plain language that someone with this placement is the red hot diva or athlete archetype in their public life. If you distill it down, what’s left is is practicality.

I use that word frequently, yet I know there’s power in it. Everything I write, I write with an eye towards clarity and sharing information you can apply. What’s the point if you can’t use it? Astrology, tarot, and intuition are all practical magic at their core.

Why do I write?

I have a Gemini moon, so writing is instinct to me, coded into my DNA somewhere deep. I love telling the story of how I wrote my first book when I was six. I told the teacher I wanted to be a writer, so she made little books with die-cut construction paper and gave them to me to write in. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Secondly, I’m a verbal processor. Writing helps me make sense of the world, so if a concept or idea feels elusive, I’ll write out my thoughts in order to organize and understand them. Once I’ve worked out the details of my epiphany in this way, I come here to share them with you.

Finally, I write to connect with the sublime. The moment you return to reality after being in total communion with your work is beautiful. Weaving together the perfect set of words, sounds, and images is so satisfying, I’ll never stop chasing it.

In conclusion, I’d like to tag the ever-glittery Paige Zaferiou of Tarot and Tea, my fabulous mentor Hilary Parry, and the trillest of the trill, Theresa Reed a.k.a. The Tarot Lady. You’re it!

The moon is full tonight at 9:38 PM EST. May your writing be inspired and your magic practical.

How to Create Your Own Sacred Space

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A few weeks ago, I set up a home office.

I’d love to say I made the switch out of excitement or alacrity, but that wouldn’t be true. In fact, the change came from a place of desperation.

I was in the process of transitioning to a new day-job role with more responsibilities and travel requirements, all while keeping up my current position and The Midheaven. On top of that, I’d agreed to rehearsal with a new band for a show later this month.

To say that I’d spread myself too thin was a wild understatement.

The pressure to perform began to wear on me, and as it did, my normally strict boundaries blurred. Since my college dorm days, I’d kept my computer in my bedroom. I never gave it much thought before, but suddenly I found myself poring over emails at an hour when I’d normally be turning in for the night. Other nights I’d obsess about getting to bed early, only to wake up exhausted, or worse, panicked.

Even though I was euphoric about the career opportunities I’d been given, I felt like I was being crushed by my commitments. If I was going to avoid burnout, something had to give.

I’d read that keeping electronics in the bedroom wasn’t a good practice, but previously dismissed the notion as unreasonable. Didn’t everyone keep their iPads at their bedside, refreshing their social media feeds to their heart’s content?

In a purely Hail Mary move, I remembered there was a small spare room in the house that hadn’t been set up yet. I talked to my beloved about it, and we moved my workstation in the very next day.

The energy shift was palpable. My productivity spiked, and I had my best sales month ever. And the icing on the cake? In my bedroom my sleep was more restful, and my dreams more lucid.

What was the difference? I made each place sacred.

By honoring the intention of each room, I was able to keep my personal boundaries in check. This way, I could devote fully to each of my endeavors instead of trying to focus on all of them at once.

I learned that you’ve got to have boundaries in order to create space. 

Another perk of having a sacred space? It signals to the universe that you mean business. Trust me, it’s listening!

If you want to create your own sacred space, don’t feel like you have to set apart a whole room of your house. Clearing off a dresser and turning it into a beautiful altar, or picking out a special cushion for writing can do the trick. Or, take your sacred space with you by carrying a favorite incense or tea with you!

Here’s to boundaries and spaciousness!

Get Lucky: A Tarot Spread for the New Moon in Leo

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After 6 months of painfully slow astrology, we finally have a gorgeous new moon that will rev things up for the rest of 2014. The new moon in Leo is always an art and romance flashpoint. But this one’s getting cozy with Jupiter, so you can expect any potential love situations or new creative ventures to take off like roman candles. It’s also getting a square from Mars freshly in Scorpio, which acts as rocket fuel: it’s powerful, but highly combustible. Make sure you stick to a clearly defined strategy and you’ll be golden.

Think of the 6 of Wands in the tarot, riding in the victory parade, self-assured and loving the limelight. Under this new moon, you know your worth and own it. And if you’ve been down on yourself? This new moon is going to reawaken your mojo!

In the spirit of keeping things fresh, I decided to do a tarot spread for all of you this time around! Since Jupiter (the major player here) is the planet of good fortune, my question was:

What can we do to get lucky under the new moon in Leo ?

(Take that how you will. Ahem. After all, Leo is the sign of romance!)

Here’s what I got:

The Fool

If you’ve been considering a bold move, now is the time to make it. Don’t be a shrinking violet. Break with the status quo. Be free, have fun, and don’t be afraid to lose control. Trust yourself. You’ve got this.

2 of Cups

Ah, yes. It’s time to explore a new attraction or embark on a fresh creative project. Whatever it may be, give it your full devotion. Adore your muse. Indulge in the luxury that is falling in love, whether with a partner or with your art.

The Hermit

This card surprised me, because this new moon is all about fun and levity and this card usually means deep inner work in my readings. But who says the two have to be mutually exclusive? Use this energy as an opportunity to explore and meditate on what you truly desire. Hint: Danielle LaPorte can help with this. Get your journals ready!

The new moon is at 8:42 PM EST. Don’t forget to light a candle and write your abundance check!

Cosmic Chat with Emelie Archer Pickett

This month’s guest is Emelie Archer Pickett, totemic shaman and intimacy alchemist. Her website, A Forbidden Life, is a radiant presence in the metaphysical community, offering grounded and uplifting advice from a shamanic perspective. After one of her wonderful Spirit Animal Discovery sessions, I knew I had to share her with you! 

Connect with Emelie on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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1. What’s your favorite part of your birth chart (if you had to choose)?

I would have to say that my favorite part of my chart (even though it’s hard to look at just one aspect) is Uranus in Scorpio, which falls in my 7th house of partnership and major relationships… it helps me understand why I see my marriage as such a revolutionary act – a new way of being in committed partnership… We transcend social programming about what marriage can look and feel like. I especially resonate with this placement when combined with its trine to Mercury in my 11th house… To communicate about my way of loving is an act of service to my wider community: our love becomes a mission on behalf of everyone we touch! The fact that these energies dance between the archetypes of shaman and mystic (scorpio and pisces) support my life’s work so much… I feel like revolutionary transformation of love through shamanic work could not be a better description of who I am and why I exist. It’s so empowering to see this written in my stars…

2. Is there a part of your chart that you find particularly challenging? If so, how do you make it work it to your benefit?

I’ve always had a really hard time relating to my Aries sun sign… I never felt like an Aries growing up and would always resonate more with Taurus astrology readings because I knew I was due on April 22nd. Now, with a more thorough understanding of my chart, I can see why the Aries sun was such a challenge for me! As a child and young adult, I couldn’t yet see myself through my own eyes, I could only see what others reflected back to me about who I was… and to them, I seemed like a Taurus because that’s my rising sign! Even though this was NEVER communicated to me or even understood at a conscious level – I can see now that this was happening. Ahhhh…. it all makes so much more sense to me now! I think Aries was also an initial challenge for me because it’s in the 12th house of my unconscious; it was like my own self-identity was a hidden reality until I learned to explore the depths of my consciousness… And there, in shamanic work, I did indeed find myself. And now – I SEE and feel the Aries fire in myself. There are a lot of other influences that help balance out that energy so I still don’t feel like many other Aries I know… but that energy is definitely with me and helps spark a huge creative force.

3. You have a dynamic Grand Fire Trine with the Sun, Neptune, & a heavy-hitting Mars – Jupiter- North Node conjunction all in on the action. That’s a lot of power! How do you see this alignment playing out in your life?

I am only now seeing the power of this alignment coming to fruition. When I was younger, I self-suppressed so much of my own vision because I didn’t feel safe being 100% myself. I now realize that the very uncomfortable process of awakening to this intuitive firepower was an incredibly important part of my journey… Being able to articulate my path from safety-seeking good girl to practicing contemporary shaman is one of the reasons so many modern women are drawn to me and my work. I also believe the placement of this trine in my chart is critical to how this power gets expressed through me… Mars is in Leo (4th house), bringing playfulness, assertiveness, and performance and helping call in my ancestral roots; Neptune is in Sagittarius (8th house), which encourages me to function intuitively and ditch logic as I explore the shamanic forces of sex and death as transformation agents; and Sun is in Aries (12th house), helping me feel at home and not lose myself in the unconscious and subconscious worlds. All of this speaks to the shamanic path I embarked upon four years ago… and now this power is expressed in my work – where I make shamanic practices safe, fun, and approachable for anyone in the modern world. We do not all need to go off the grid and disappear from society in order to find ourselves! It’s crucial to be able to function and thrive in our modern world if we want to change the dominant paradigms… I help facilitate the paradigm shift through play, nature connection (through animal totem discovery), and facilitating authentic communication so people can fully express themselves sexually, professionally, as caregivers, and in all aspects of their lives. To turn the tide, we must be the tide. It starts with one person living an authentic life and ripples outward from there.

4. In the Wild Playground, students have the opportunity to discover their twelve archetypal power totems as a way to move into deeper relationship with their wild soul. Do these twelve totems align with the astrological zodiac, and if so, how?

Yes! The twelve archetypal power totems correspond DIRECTLY with the 12 zodiac signs, which gives the chart a whole different level of depth and meaning! The zodiac is such an amazing tool for understanding our psyche, path of purpose and personality. But, for MANY people it feels like a foreign language, and they can’t get past predictive sun sign astrology… it’s like learning to say “hello, how are you? My name is…” in a new language. It’s a start, but it’s not going to bring you an immersive experience into another culture. This is what it’s like to say “If you’re an Aries, today will bring you…” You won’t be able to harness the self-discovery power of the Zodiac until you learn to connect with all of your chart. The animals bring fluency, groundedness, and soul-connection to astrology… by figuring out your personal Archetypal power totems and pairing them to your birth chart – you gain incredible insight into your soul, psyche, and energy field (because the chakras are intimately connected to all of this too…). I teach exactly how each animal is connected with the signs in your chart, your chakras, and personality archetypes in the Wild Playground. It’s such exciting, powerful, and FUN work. The emphasis is on play (part of that Leo energy, where my Fox totem lives). We connect with animal medicine because we ARE animals… it brings our stars back to earth. The zodiac then becomes a tool not just for self-discovery, but for re-establishing a healthy ecosystem in which humans are an integral part.

5. What role does astrology play in your spiritual practice?

As you can tell, it plays a huge part! It helps me understand the various initiatory experiences I’ve been through and reminds me to pay more attention to my personal rhythms. How do the planetary movements influence my body, mind, and soul? I’ve learned to watch for emotional fluxes and note patterns so that I’m not taken by complete surprise when a retrograde or lunar phase throws me for a loop. Astrology has helped me deepen into my totemic practices immensely and has provided me a platform on which to share this knowledge… which feels soooo spiritually nourishing. There is nothing that feels better than creating work and a lifestyle that supports and fuels spiritual growth! Thanks in part to my stars, I understand what authenticity is for me and how to live it.

Want to discover your 12 totems and connect with your soul tribe? Join the waiting list for the Wild Playground Totemic Arts Apprenticeship and get notified as soon as registration opens! I can’t wait for this to go live.