5 Tips for Remembering Your Dreams

remember-your-dreams-1by Ana Lora Garrard

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

You think you’d like to remember your dreams more clearly. You sense they might have something valuable to tell you—something that could help you in your spiritual growth. Your friend Bernice keeps recounting wild dreams she’s had about painting trees different colors or having sex in Bermuda with five of her male neighbors. You wonder why she has such colorful dreams when all you can remember is an occasional image of buying orange juice at the store, or arguing with your mother.

How can you go about improving your dream recall? Here are five tips to get you started.

    1. SET A CLEAR INTENTION. With dream recall, as with everything else in life, the trick to getting results is to focus your mind on what you want. Before you go to sleep, tell yourself something like, “I am remembering all my subtle, crazy, and magnificent dreams now” or “I am now welcoming my dreams into my fiercely loving heart.”


    Give your intention to remember your dreams some physical support. Plan to record your dreams in one form or another in the morning, using either a notebook in which to write them down, a sketchbook in which to draw them, or a tape recorder with which to describe them out loud. Choose whichever recording device seems the most fun to you and put it by your bed.



  • KEEP A CLEAR MIND WHEN YOU AWAKEN. For many of us, the experience of waking up is like entering an early morning rush hour in our brains. As soon as our eyes fly open, we start thinking about something a lover, husband, or wife said to us the day before. We begin mulling over what’s on tap for the day—how we’re going to fit a trip to the drugstore in with all the other things we have to do. In other words, we immediately start reviewing something that happened yesterday or worrying about something that’s going to happen today. We go back and forth, back and forth, thinking about the past and the future. One thought bumps into another and pretty soon our minds are jam-packed.Our dreams can’t compete with our early morning thought traffic. The single biggest reason most of us forget our dreams is that we instantly focus our attention on one or more aspects of our physical, human experience as soon as we awaken and we don’t leave any room for our dreams to come in.

    If we’d like to recall our dreams, we need to commit ourselves to giving them space in our minds as soon as we awaken. Making space for our dreams is like making space for ourselves, our real selves, the part of us that’s behind everything we choose to do in our lives. When we pause and listen to our dreams carefully, with no distractions, it’s as if we’re listening deeply to ourselves.

    To do this, we need to awaken in a gentle way, just letting ourselves be and breathe, while we remember our dream experiences. We release the temptation to jump right into thoughts and plans for the day and instead just pay attention to the dreams that float softly in our awareness.



  • GO OVER YOUR DREAMS. Let your mind replay any dreams you can remember while you keep your body in one position. Then turn over into any other positions in which you may have been sleeping and see if you can recall additional images. Don’t ignore anything—note even the faintest image or feeling that comes through.



  • RECORD YOUR DREAMS. Record whatever little wisps of dream images you can recall. Often you may not think you’ve remembered much, but once you sketch, write down, or talk about one memory, suddenly you recall a whole string of images that you didn’t remember at first!If you are writing your dreams down, be aware that you can do this in more than one way. You can describe each event in detail in the order in which you remember it occurring, jot down quick notes on it, or portray the dream in a more free form way. For instance, if you dreamed that you were trying to escape something unknown by running up a grassy hill and you had to dodge all these snakes underfoot, you might write, “I was running up a hill, trying to escape something below. I can’t remember what it was. There were all these yellow and black snakes in the grass and I was really afraid of stepping on them, but somehow I didn’t. I felt really relieved and free when I made it to the top. ” This is probably the best way to record a dream if you’d like to explore its meaning later.
    However, a second choice, if you are short on time, would be to write something like, “Escaping … hill … snakes … afraid …safe.” A third choice, if you have an intuitive sense of what’s going on in the dream and you’d like to write in a more fluid style would be to record something like, “Running through the fields to freedom as fear slithers through the grass … I’m listening to the yearnings of my heart.”

    No matter which way you choose to write, always be sure to record the feelings you were having in each dream if you wish to explore your dreams later.

    If you are sketching the dream, you can do it in one of two ways—either draw images that directly represent the dream (in this case you might want to draw a picture of you running up a hill, dodging snakes in the grass)—or just sketch the feelings that the dream brought up in you. Again, the more detailed way is probably the best choice if you want to examine later what messages this dream carries for you and your life.


All these tips for recalling your dreams may take some practice before they come to you easily—particularly the one about keeping a clear mind when you awaken. Just remember that establishing a relationship with your dreams is like starting a new friendship with someone who’s a bit shy. When you first spend time with a new friend, you want to give them your complete attention and encourage them to expound on any little thing they start to tell you. Once you do that, your new friend will start to warm up and reveal more and more to you.

Dreams are the same way. Listen to them and cherish any little messages they send your way. If you wish to explore the spiritual guidance they are offering, try using some heart-centered tools like those in my new book, Your Dreams: Spiritual Messages in Pajamas. In a very short time, your friendship with your dreams will deepen and you will remember them more clearly.

Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2010. All rights reserved.


How Blissful Are You? Take the Quiz!

how-blissful-are-you-3by Tess Whitehurst

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Author’s note: at the end of this article, you’ll find a simple quiz that assesses your holistic happiness and wellbeing with the help of nine essential life keys. But first, let me introduce you to the wisdom behind these nine life keys, which is the guiding force behind my newest (and perhaps most exciting!) book, The Art of Bliss: Finding Your Center, Getting in the Flow, and Creating the Life You Desire.

When I first started practicing metaphysics, I thought of it as a process of adding something, or tacking on something extra. You know, my normal everyday existence, plus a new romance or a new job (or whatever it was that I chose to manifest). In time, however, I began to notice that if I was out of alignment with prosperity consciousness (for example), a prosperity ritual would not merely bring forth riches out of nowhere. Rather, it would help align me with the energy and the feeling of prosperity, so that prosperity would naturally begin to flow into my life experience. And, if there were aspects of my habitual thought/feeling stream that weren’t in alignment with prosperity, something would arise that helped these aspects fall away. I might “happen to” discover a book such as Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, or “inadvertently” vocalize a limiting belief (such as, “We always live to the edge of our means”), and someone would notice and point it out, helping me to see that it didn’t always need to be true.

So I began to see that it wasn’t about adding. It was about opening up to, and tapping into, the generous flow of prosperity that was already in existence. Like finally beginning to hear, and then dance to, the music of prosperity that was already playing on the radio.

I also noticed that when I worked on manifesting something that really brought joy to my heart, that joy always fueled my success. The more joy, the more success—and the quicker it flowed. So this led me to understand something else: that our truest desires are not something extra, but a part of our true selves. When we remember that we are energetic beings, we see that we are not just a body and a mind, but a unique flow of divine energy—like a pattern, a blossom, or a song.

Consciously manifesting things that bring us joy, then, is a process of opening up to who we really are and aligning with the divine energies that naturally want to flow through our life experience. It’s like how water wants to flow through a river in a particular way, or how an acorn wants to become an oak.

What’s really fun to me about the wisdom in The Art of Bliss is that it’s a framework for helping us clear the way for this flow, and to get in alignment with it, in the most ideal and natural of ways. So it’s not just about doing a prosperity ritual or a love spell, but rather about opening up to the already existing flow of prosperity or love, and seeing how this nourishes everything else that’s going on in our life. Once we make a habit of interacting with the conditions of our lives in this holistic way, our life experience begins to spiral like a glittering galaxy into greater and greater levels of harmony, wisdom, and joy.

To introduce you to the nine life keys that provide the framework for The Art of Bliss (which are derived from the feng shui floor plan and the wisdom of the I Ching), and to help you quickly assess how each one is currently flowing in your life, I’ve prepared the quiz below. In your journal or notebook, number 1 through 27. For each quiz item, write a number between 1-5, a five meaning “strongly agree,” a three meaning, “sort of agree,” and 1 meaning “strongly disagree.” After the quiz, you’ll find a key.

  1. Most of the time, no matter what is going on in the outside world, I feel a sense of stillness and calm at the center of my being.
  2. I exercise regularly, and feel good about my exercise habits.
  3. I enjoy spending time alone.
  4. Regardless of my current “job,” I feel that I am constantly flowing into deeper and deeper levels of joy and satisfaction when it comes to my overarching career path.
  5. I regularly follow the path of my passion and spend time on the things that interest me.
  6. Even though it is beyond words, I feel that I have a strong sense of myself: I know what I want, and I feel grounded in authenticity.
  7. Everyone always seems to be helpful.
  8. I often find that I happen to be “in the right place at the right time.”
  9. I feel that I have a lot of support in my life, from both seen and unseen realms.
  10. I creatively express my uniqueness.
  11. I often feel playful and imaginative.
  12. I take good care of my inner child.
  13. I am comfortable with my body, and enjoy the feeling of being present in my body.
  14. I am a sensual person: I love slowing down enough to really enjoy things like scents, massages, beautiful landscapes, music, and yummy food.
  15. I am happy with my current romantic situation.
  16. I love being seen and appreciated.
  17. I regularly shine my light and share my talents with the world.
  18. I am well known and well respected in the ways I would most like to be.
  19. Everything I need is always provided for me.
  20. It feels natural for me to receive an ample supply of money and resources.
  21. At least somewhat regularly, I let myself enjoy the things I really like to enjoy: going out to eat, taking vacations, etc.
  22. Even if I’ve endured hardships in the past, I’ve healed from them, or I am currently moving toward healing from them.
  23. I have a positive relationship with, and feel supported by my family, or a family-like group of friends.
  24. I feel connected to, and inspired by, my genealogical and/or spiritual heritage.
  25. I feel grounded and centered, at least most of the time.
  26. I feel like my life is—generally speaking—in a healthy balance.
  27. I feel like there is a healthy connection between the various aspects of my life experience. For example, my partner gets along with my family and my job is in alignment with my passion.


Numbers 1-3: Serenity. This is the key that has to do with exercise, study, meditation, self-improvement, and that sense of stillness that allows everything else to flow more smoothly and enjoyably.

Numbers 4-6: Life Path. This key is related to your sense of authenticity, and your alignment with your truest inner self. It often manifests as an overarching career path, and it infuses everything with a sense of purpose and joy.

Numbers 7-9: Synchronicity. This key has to do with things flowing smoothly, easily, effortlessly, and auspiciously. Things like finding parking spaces, procuring employment, and catching your plane fall into this key, and it also has to do with your connection to all your helpers in both seen and unseen worlds (i.e. angels, friends, and people you don’t even know).

Numbers 10-12: Creativity. The Creativity Key governs your relationship with everything you create, whether it’s children, cookie recipes, or paintings. It is the most playful key, and is related to laughter, spontaneity, and the wellbeing of your inner child.

Numbers 13-15: Romance. This key has to do with your love relationship and your ability to appreciate your body and sensual pleasures. When this key is activated, you’re more receptive to all the gifts of this life experience.

Numbers 16-18: Radiance. The Radiance Key is all about the way you are seen and known in the world. In many ways, it’s about the full realization of the Life Path key—the generous, outward expression of your deepest inner joy.

Numbers 19-21: Prosperity. This key has to do with resources, blessings, and gifts of all sorts. In our culture and in this present time in history, it is closely related with money and finances.

Numbers 22-24: Resilience. My favorite key, this key is aligned with our ability to weather the storms of life and to reap the blessings that they bring. It also has to do with our physical health and family relationships.

Numbers 25-27: Synergy. The key that falls into the center of all the other keys (imagine a tic tac toe board), The Synergy Key is about balance and flow, and about the way all the other keys interact with, and nourish, each other.

Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2012. All rights reserved.


10 Tips for Giving Dynamite Tea Leaf Readings

dynamite-tea-leaf-reading-2by Caroline Dow

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Chances are that you are reading this article because you are a tea buff captivated by the pretty patterns made by the leaves left at the bottom of your favorite cup of Darjeeling. You know that tea leaf reading has been practiced as a form of divination, probably ever since the first cup was brewed, and you are intrigued to try your hand at it.

In the many tea cup reading workshops I have delivered over the years, I’ve found that my students eagerly listen to my explanations, can hardly wait to prepare their first cup for reading, and then . . . .stare in consternation at the soggy mass left at the bottom of the cup and lament, “How am I supposed to make sense of that?”

To help lift you over the hump—that clutch moment when you fear you’re floundering in a red sea of Rooibos—and onto the path toward giving dynamic readings, here are 10 easy-to-put-into-practice tips. When putting these tips into practice, remember that your objective is to tell a good story to which the person you’re reading for can relate.


  • You don’t need to interpret every image you see.
      The clump opposite the handle that looks like something the cat left, and from which no definable symbols can be extracted, probably means you put too many leaves in your inquirer’s cup. Since leaves plump up a lot after they steep, a half teaspoon of dry leaves is plenty. (The inquirer, by the way, is the person for whom you are reading.) If you get involved with trying to include every image you find in your interpretation, the tale you tell may veer off course, and your inquirer will become mystified about what you’re communicating. So, at least initially, only talk about the images that fit the story you are putting forth. If your inquirer broaches other questions or seeks a clarification, then you can point to some of the other images.


  • Only interpret the images that relate to your inquirer’s question.

The best time to ask your inquirer to share concerns is while the person is drinking the tea so that these thoughts more thoroughly infuse the leaves. Also, when you have the question in mind before you take a peek at the cup, your intuition will guide you to elicit the significant symbols. Once when I went for a reading for myself—not a tea leaf reading, but an intuitive reading—the psychic waxed on and on about my husband and how intelligent, kind, romantic, and athletic he was. Now I happen to think my husband is rather wonderful, but I was going for a reading to find out about my own professional concerns, not his. Needless to say, when my stated question was never answered, I left unhappy.


  • Ease yourself into the interpretation by concentrating on the larger, well-formed images.

These are more important than tiny, light, sketchy looking ones.


  • Develop a systematic plan for finding symbols.

First, see if you recognize any special tea leaf reading symbols. These images occur frequently in cups and hold special significance for tea leaf readers. For example, a single dot, which when coupled with an image emphasizes its meaning. Blobs warn of disappointment (unless you put in too many leaves!), an arrow indicates a message forthcoming, lines harbinger journeys, and dashes indicate movement in affairs. Next, look for images that represent concrete, realistic things—the sorts of items that surround us in everyday life. Houses, cars, dogs, hats, human profiles, apples, birds, computers, feathers, trees, and flowers represent typical items that appear in cups. Only after you have identified common objects should you move on to discovering more complicated images such as numbers, letters, words, geometrical forms, and universal symbols.


  • Don’t try to memorize a dictionary full of symbols.

Your inquirer, who is probably your cousin, co-worker, or friend, doesn’t expect you to become a symbols maven overnight, and won’t mind if you need to look up something. While it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the significance of some common symbols, such as a crown for victory, a heart for love, and an apple for knowledge, you’ll find that you will instinctively be aware of many definitions, as they often follow common sense. Besides, the more readings you perform the more symbols you will remember. Note that there is a danger in overemphasizing precise, bookish symbolic meanings. Such inflexibility can interfere with your interpretation and cause your inquirer to say, “What?” “Come again?” “I don’t quite understand you.” Along the same lines, if after you have exhausted every possible way to explain the images in the cup, and have given every possible meaning for the symbols, and your inquirer still requires more information, you might try using another form of divination to clarify the issue. A woman once came to me with a complex question about her ballet studio. She didn’t know how to drum up more business. Should she advertise more, if so, where? Was her business partner the right one or should she rely more on her manager, or even change managers? Would it be better to sell the studio? If so, who would be the best buyer and when should she do it? Obviously, the tea leaves couldn’t unravel all these complexities in a single cup, even though I read from China Black tea leaves, which render more images than most kinds of tea. After I completed the reading, I brought out my tarot deck and drew three cards for each question that the leaves had left unanswered. The cards showed my inquirer’s past experiences, the current situation, and the probable outcome. If you feel it is helpful, you may also add a pendulum to your tea leaf reading, especially when the inquirer has many questions that can be answered by “yes” or “no.”


  • When you see an image that puzzles you, try to view it from all angles, even upside-down.

It may look like a woman’s profile from one viewpoint, and like a cat from another perspective. Both images are valid, and interconnected. In this case, the interpretation might be to watch out for a woman of a jealous, gossipy nature.


  • Still stuck on a symbol? Don’t hesitate to describe the image to your inquirer, and get their opinion of its significance for them.

We all have our private symbolic language and individual interpretations. For instance, if somebody were reading a cup for me and found a frog, they might interpret it as meaning a sudden move, possibly a change of job or residence, both of which are standard definitions. However, for me, a frog is a very positive symbol; in fact, I consider it my totem animal. So to see a frog in my cup means fertility of body, mind, and spirit, happiness, and success in my endeavors. Once I distinguished a scorpion, symbol of vicious criticism, in cup that was otherwise filled with positive signs, including a flying bird, a dolphin, the number 2, a bouquet of roses, and two birds cuddling in a nest. I asked my inquirer if a scorpion meant anything to her. She smiled and responded that she was in love with a man born under the sign of Scorpio, but that he had been studying abroad for the last year. She missed him very much and although they corresponded frequently, she was worried that they might drift apart. I assuaged her concerns with the following interpretation: Soon (because of the position of the flying bird near the handle, which represents present time) she would receive a message from her lover that he was coming home. After a safe journey (the dolphin), perhaps as early as in February (the second month of the year), he would return and declare his love for her (bouquet of roses). The couple would enter into a partnership (also the number 2), that would culminate in domestic bliss (nesting birds).


  • Use your intuition.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many neophyte readers get hung up on dictionary definitions for symbols, and suppress the intuitive right brain. If, while you are examining the cup, your inner voice whispers that you should interpret a symbol in an unconventional way, go with the flow. Remember the woman’s profile and cat in tip #6? Those images may not point to an envious woman at all, but to a friend with well-honed psychic abilities who will help the inquirer solve a personal problem. It’s even better if you can find nearby symbols to support your interpretation. Your initial impressions are what strike you from the very first moment you gaze into the cup. Your intuition may even cause you to visualize something in your head that does not appear physically in the cup. Mention this to your inquirer as you progress with the reading.


  • Remember that you need not interpret every image in symbolic terms.

In other words, a breadbox may literally refer to a breadbox and not to the inquirer’s economic state. Once I really did see a breadbox in a gentleman’s cup. When I mentioned this to him, he told me that he had been looking high and low to buy one to no avail. The breadbox in his cup was coupled with a computer, so I advised him to go online with his search.


  • My final piece of advice is to relax!

Novice readers tend to worry too much that they’re going to be confronted with a blank wall when they gaze into the cup. This attitude sets up a mental block that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’ll always find something to talk about in the cup. And if you don’t, perhaps it’s because your inquirer already knows the answers to the questions.


Tea leaf reading is one of the most satisfying leisure activities you will ever enjoy. It makes an entertaining, inexpensive, and tasty way to relax and in the company of friends and family. You will find that spending time with others in the informal, cozy environment of the tea table will do wonders for you as well. Through reading the leaves, you can put yourself and your inquirer on the path to better health (because tea is good for you), expand your social network, and at the same time, perhaps discover nuggets of wisdom about your character and clues to your future. In this sense, tea leaf reading provides a user-friendly tool for self-growth and self-realization. If you are able to come up with ideas for your inquirer about how to deal with current issues and draw up plans for the future, so much the better. May your experiences unraveling the mysteries of tea leaves be as rewarding for you as they have been for me.

Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011. All rights reserved.


A Tarot Diva’s Guide to the Ultimate Sleepover

Pyjama partyby Sasha Graham

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

My book Tarot Diva teaches you to ignite your intuition, glamorize your life, and unleash your fabulosity using the tarot. Nothing helps a girl glow with happiness and contentment more than a deep connection with her soul sisters and female friends.

In Tarot Diva I help you embody the ecstasy of the Three of Cups tarot card by explaining how to create a secret society with your closest girlfriends. Secret societies, while subversively fun and super powerful, require long-term commitment. For a quick jolt of gal power, return to the glory of your younger days with a sleepover.

Nothing beats the good fun of a pajama party. Remember how great they were? Donning your coziest jammies with a night of fun stretching ahead of you? Staying up until all hours giggling with girlfriends? The euphoria and excitement of whispering and sharing your deepest secrets with your best pals? The gentle midnight knocking on the window when the neighborhood boys caught wind of your sleepover…

Who says you can’t relive the old days? Just because you have a family, full time job, or other very grown-up responsibilities doesn’t mean you couldn’t or shouldn’t relive the good times. Treat yourself to a girlicious evening and empower yourself and your friends with a night you’ll never forget.

Remember, the power of a great sleepover stems from gathering a group and collectively focusing your energy on a desired goal. Your goal may be to have a rockin’ good time. You and your ladies might like to achieve some magical goals for yourselves. Whatever your ultimate vision, my Tarot Diva’s Guide to the Ultimate Girl’s Sleepover will send you heading in the right direction. Adjust my suggestions to meet your specific needs.

  • Send non-invitees packing.

Plan your sleepover on a night where you can send the husbands, boyfriends, and significant others away and the kids packing. The fewer interruptions for you and your gals the better.



  • Sleeping Beauty’s Chamber.

Where will everyone sleep? Extra guest rooms are great for the in-laws, but it’s more fun for the girls when everyone crashes together. Do you have a groovy finished basement? Throw a couple of mattresses on the floor and cover with sleeping bags. String up some fairy lights, put out some glossy fashion and gossip magazines, and be sure to have plenty of candles on hand.




  • Fabulous Foodstuffs.

Plan your menu out ahead of time. You want to join in the fun, not be stuck in the kitchen. Ask each guest to contribute their favorite dish. Feel free to theme the dishes and ask guests to provide copies of the recipes for everyone to take home. Maybe you have an appetizer-only meal. Perhaps you just order pizza and while everyone ogles the delivery boy.


Whatever you choose to dine on, be extra indulgent with at least one course. This may mean extravagant cheeses or devious dark chocolate desserts.

To create fabulous favors à la a candy shop, request each guest to bring a bag of their favorite of candy. Set the candy out in cute bowls and provide colored Chinese take-out containers. Each friend can create a custom take home candy box. Sweet!



  • Drinks.

Have plenty of tasty beverages on hand. Top off your evening with a signature theme drink.


Offer your guests a Pomegranate Mango Goddess Cocktail. Pomegranates are sacred to the goddess Aphrodite and the High Priestess of Tarot. Mango leaves denote a vibrant life and are used in Hindu divine blessing rituals. Mix one part pomegranate juice to 3 parts mango nectar.

Caution. Be sure to hold off on consuming booze and alcohol until any magical, divinatory, or ritual work is finished.



  • Evening Activities.

There are any number of fun and exciting activities you can plan for your sleepover. . .


    • Get Crafty. Spend the evening crafting vision boards. Your vision board may contain a specific lifestyle. It may represent your dreams and goals. Your vision board may refer specifically to love and romance. To freshen up your wardrobe, create a fashionista style vision board.

      Ask each guest to bring old magazines, a pair of scissors, a poster board, and glue stick. Spread the materials out and begin selecting images. Choose images with qualities of what you’d like to attract into your life. Secure these images to your vision board. Don’t reject the abstract. You may also choose appealing words, colors, or textures. Remember your subconscious always follows the dominant suggestion.


  • Get Cinematic. Kick-start your evening with a screening of your favorite film. Watch a law of attraction movie like What The Bleep Do We Know or The Secret. Host a discussion afterward about how these attraction and manifestation themes have applied to your life. How does it work for you? How does it challenge you?

Perhaps you watch an old school witchy fave like The Craft or Practical Magic. Maybe you find a documentary based on the life of your favorite occult figure, such as Aleister Crowley or Harry Houdini. Become scream queens by opting for your favorite cheesy, scary flick with the lights out. Be sure to have plenty of popcorn on hand!



  • Get Divinely Witchy. Ask guests to bring along their favorite deck of angel or tarot cards. Pair off and offer readings for each other. Read each other’s palms. Cast some runes for a friend. Try your hand at tealeaf reading. This is a great time to experiment. Don’t feel you must be an expert in any one form of divination. Use whatever tools you have at hand. Let love and your intuition be your guide. Be sure to offer only uplifting and helpful advice.




  • Get Your Game On. Dust off that Oujia® board to discover if any passing spirits have a message for you.
    Rekindle your inner twelve-year-old with the classic game Light as A Feather. Historians find reference to the game of Light as a Feather as far back as the Seventeenth Century.


To play Light as a Feather, you must have at least five people present. One person lies down with their back on the floor. Two people sit on each side. The four “lifters” place their index and middle fingers underneath the back of the person lying down. Everyone closes their eyes and begin to whisper “Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” together. Repeat and repeat, louder and louder as you slowly raise your friend up and of the floor.



  • Get Victorian—Hold a Séance. Select one guest to act as head medium. Spread fabric over a table with guests seated round and have everyone join hands. Raise the energy and invite spirits to join you. Ask aloud if there are messages for anyone. Listen for raps and knocks. Feel for rushes of cold air. Allow any guest at the table to pass a message along from the departed.


Attempt table tipping. To table tip, sit the group around a lightweight wooden table. Dim the lights or plunge the entire room into darkness. Have each guest place their hands on the top of the table. At once and together have the entire group attempt to raise the table with the power of their thoughts and intention. Be aware of raps or knocks.



  • Get Beautified. Indulge everyone in mashed avocado facemasks. Avocado is a food sacred to Venus and its rich oils are used in hundreds of beauty products.


Magical manicures and pedicures match the polish color to your guest’s desired intention. Red polish for passion, sensuality, and excitement. Pink for healing and peace. Black for protection and shapeshifting. Blue for good fortune and wisdom. Silver for telepathy, clairvoyance, and intuition. Purple for psychic ability and hidden knowledge. White for spirituality, peace, and purity.


  • Delicious Daytime Outing/Activities.

In addition to your sleepover, plan a daytime outing and make it a weekend to remember.
Your activity may take place the day of the sleepover or the morning after. Adventures tend to be the most rewarding experiences. Find a local haunted house, abandoned castle, or beautiful graveyard, or plan a hike to a breathtaking vista. Be sure to receive any required permission before venturing onto private property.


Give your adventure a magical metaphor. Select your magical metaphor by deciding collectively what the metaphor of your trip is. By doing this you shower your adventure with magical intention. If you are exploring a haunted castle, is this act a metaphor for venturing into the deeper parts of your subconscious? If you are hiking up a mountain, does it represent the elevation of your consciousness? Ascending to new spiritual heights or simply moving onward and upwards in your life?

As you begin your adventure, offer a gift to the spirits of the property or the guardians of the mountain. Ask for permission to enter and assistance for your journey. Offer sweet cookies or nuts as a gift to said spirits.

Upon arrival to your destination, pull a few tarot cards, cast some runes, or open sacred space and hold a group meditation or ritual. Punctuate your adventure with your choice of magical activity to make it that much more special.

When you leave, offer another tasty gift of thanks to the spirits of the place you have visited.

Good luck and have a fabulous time!

Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011. All rights reserved.


Lettuce Develops the Virgo Vibe

virgo-and-lettuceby Dominique Jones

One of the most reliable methods to align ourselves with a high spiritual vibration is through the energy of appreciation. Nature’s treasures sustain us and surround us daily, providing a spark of crucial energy, and if we meditate on their beauty, we find our hearts and spirits developing in valuable and interesting ways.

One of the ways to grow during our journeys is to recognize the relationship between astrology and nourishment. You will find a correlation between a sign and a food in this article and methods you can use to attune your energy.

Virgo is the mutable earth sign in the zodiac, ruled by the planet Mercury. Virgo rules the hands, and in Virgo, Mercury expresses itself as the alchemist and as the archetype of the Egyptian god Thoth, the mentor of Isis, who taught her healing arts. Virgo energy seeks to balance body, mind and spirit. With Virgo, get ready to DEVELOP.

In Egyptian mythology, the god Thoth was the author of The Book of the Dead and the keeper of knowledge and wisdom, both human and divine. In Greek mythology, he was the same as the god Hermes. He was depicted as a man with the head if an ibis, or, if he had entered the unconscious and shadow world with helpful knowledge, he was depicted with the head of an ape/baboon.

The ability to author one’s spiritual development on a divine level and access our deepest wisdom is the high calling of those with strong Virgo influence. Learning from the legend of Thoth, we learn that it’s wisdom that allows us access into the flexibility we need to enjoy the virtuous cycles of ever-improving spiritual improvement during our lives. The many choices we can make from moment to moment that allow us to tap into our highest potential bring joy to the Virgo sensibility, and provide a model for us all to live better human experiences.

Astroplasticity, a term I believe I am creating here for the first time, is the ability of an individual to use astrology to form new patterns and connections, create new responses, and adjust their actions based on changes to their environments or new situations. Just as the brain can grow new pathways over time with neuroplasticity, a person’s spirit and routines can find new pathways with Astroplasticity. Astroplasticity refers especially to the utilization of astrological energies and wisdom in one’s growth and developing one’s highest purpose, level of functioning, and expression in life.

If you were to utilize the information in these articles, for example, to enhance your life on a daily basis through nourishment and meditation—based upon the information in your particular astrological chart—you’d be practicing Astroplasticity. Over time, you could learn more and more about the astrological energies that you can call upon to support your personal development. Eventually, you’d have a very personal experience of an internal model that would support your daily meditation.

Virgo is the model for Astroplasticity. As mutable earth, Virgo has the ability to actually implement and actualize chosen changes in their energy patterns in life. One by one, on a daily basis, Virgos adapt new insights into wisdom and teach their insights to others. They turn living life into an art and a craft with such beauty that it’s astounding to witness. There is no artifice about it either—they do it for the sheer joy they experience. They are humble and authentic. For that reason we are all attracted to the way that Virgos use what they learn about the energy fields around them to better the planet and to help others thrive.

Virgos can, of course, encounter challenges. They may run up across perfectionism, stubbornness, depression, and health issues that point them to their own states of unhappiness or boredom. These are learning opportunities and it’s important to be patient and continue to learn and grow into maturity. Virgos are often late bloomers—but hang in there because it is OH SO WORTH IT! Not only for the Virgo, but for every single one of us, because those with strong Virgo energy in their charts are a gift to those around them as well as themselves!

If you are interested in bringing forth more Virgo energy in your life, you can use two methods. The first method is through nourishment and the second method is through a guided meditation. If you combine the two, you have even more manifestation energy.

You can manifest Virgo energy if you want to increase your ability in any or all of the following areas of your life:

  • Hands
  • Digestion, duodenum, bowels, intestines
  • Craftsmanship, dexterity
  • Reliability and industriousness
  • Analytical ability, technical ability, and systems thinking
  • Service or service-oriented activities
  • Medicine, chemistry, pharmacy, first-aid
  • Consideration, inquiry, memory, order, harmony
  • Teaching, photography, assistantship
  • Equality, humbleness, authenticity
  • Personal Development

Method 1: Nourishment

Virgos rule the lettuce plants. Lettuce grows quickly in cool weather, and is a member of the Asteraceae, or sunflower, family of plants. Lettuce plants grow on stalks and then bolt to create a flower and reproduce. According to what we know, lettuce was first cultivated by ancient Egyptians.

Lettuce provides Vitamin A / beta-carotene, which is excellent for mucous membranes and the skin, as well as for vision. Notably, lettuce contains Vitamin K, thought to increase bone mass and known to limit neuronal damage in the brain and help in Alzheimer’s disease. Lettuce also provides a dietary carotenoid named zea-xanthin, which is believed to aid in the protection against age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). There are many other details of lettuce’s nutritional virtues, but it comes down to the fact that daily lettuce intake provides prevention and support for iron-deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and obesity.

For me, lettuce is a mainstay cure for my chemical addictions such as soda and sugar. I had years where I experienced malnutrition when I was working in corporate America, just trying to get through the day by picking up whatever was already prepared—vending machine food, restaurant food, fast food, etc. My personal revolution has been to find healthy local sources for (primarily) vegetables and fruit, understand what I should be eating, and actually implement the plans I make to eat healthy foods each day. At the forefront of these plans is eating a salad a day.

According to nutritrarian eating, “the salad is the meal.” What I found after daily consumption of salads and vegetables was a restoration of my body’s ability to tell me when my nutrition needs were being met. Now, if I miss a salad, within 48 hours, I CRAVE lettuce. It is an interesting phenomenon.

Where I used to crave sugar or carbohydrates, over time, my body adjusted to crave spinach and spring greens and arugula. It was a wonderful transformation. During my switchover period (especially), the salads I made needed to be hearty and delicious. Often I made Taco salads with black beans or chicken and salsa with chiles/peppers, tomatoes, fresh avocados and a few corn chips—topped with plain yogurt in place of sour cream. Sometimes I made salads using fruit combinations like pears, goat cheese, and pecans. I often mix hot ingredients like stir-fried vegetables with spinach or kale for a dinner. Whatever your palate likes, make sure you please yourself when making the salad changeover. There is sure to be a set of tastes just for you. Get creative, as that is half the fun!

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who bases his advice on nutritional research, recommends aiming to eat about a whole head of lettuce per day—seriously! At first I thought this recommendation was wild, but then the majority of my evening meals became salads, and the burst of biting into lettuce has become one of the most comforting feelings in my life.

Avoid eating lettuce leaves that are discolored or have spots. Also please avoid any slimy lettuce. You can soak lettuce in salt water to remove pesticides and parasitic eggs / worms in case you are worried about these problems. Organic lettuces are believed to be free from pesticides. You can grow lettuce in your own kitchen/patio garden to be assured of your source.

Method 2: Guided Meditation

This guided meditation is full of images and thoughts that are very grounding. You can use the following guided meditation in a few ways. The first is to read it silently, slowly to yourself, letting the images wash over your imagination. The second is to visit IntuitiveMoon.com and listen to the audio recordings. Allow a few minutes during the day for yourself, close your eyes, and be led in a meditation that is nourishing and deeply refreshing.

Virgo Lettuce Guided Meditation

You are a lettuce plant. As a lettuce plant, you sit softly at the edge of everything. Your roots do not delve too deeply into the ground. Your leaves do not stretch too tall, but instead wrap like the arms of friends around one another.

Your compact form is perfect to express swimming in the middle of the heart of ourselves. Taking lazy backstrokes in the middle of our lives and destinies. We can breathe and enjoy the space we are in, the place we are at, the present moment of time.

It’s as if your essence is to translate messages from the hearth and soul of the universe from heaven to earth. Life provides unexpected portals into wisdom and knowledge that you find and trace like the veins of your leaves within the waters that are encapsulated there. How expansive you become as your leaves plump up in response to environmental support.

Through all kinds of early Spring weather, you relish the cool air. You listen to the late snows and early rain fall. You can even outlast a freeze if it occurs. The seasonal change helps you learn about how to adjust your attitude. You learn how the heart thaws itself out of stagnant things like anger, frustration, worry and fear.

By simply recognizing them and waiting for them to break up like chunks of ice in a pond in the spring time, you know you can quietly manage your state of being. As worry turns to water and leaks out of you onto the land, the world rights itself and you can direct your life more efficiently once again.

You teach us to swim easily in the center of the flow of our beings. We are free now to listen to our hearts. Our spirit will provide insight through our hearts to the true nature of our highest selves. We live on the edge of becoming, where the roots meet the leaves of the lettuce plant. Our balance is easy and light and flexible.

Our heartbeat is easy, flexible, effortless, and joyful.

What does your heart tell you to do?

We are free to obey the insight from our heart, to do what our heart tells us to do.

You build new capability in these waters—the heart-flow you have found as you examine yourself inside the veins of a lettuce leaf. At the edge of the ground, without grasping too tightly to land or air, you are filled with water.

You are now able to actualize your innermost dreams and your heart has provided you direction. Life provides everything you need each moment. You trust the earth and the heavens, and allow your dreams to unfold brilliantly.

Wholeheartedly listening is now followed by wholehearted action.

Dominique Jones is an internationally known astrologer, psychic, and writer. She is the author of the upcoming book “Nourishing Astrology,” a compendium of correlations between astrological elements and foods, along with recipes for manifesting astrological energies. She is also a professional metaphysical consultant at Kajama. Visit her at www.intuitivemoon.com to schedule a reading or sign up for her FREE monthly newsletter, featuring a comprehensive monthly astrological overview, healthy recipes and more!


Leo Rules The Chile Pepper

leo-and-chileby Dominique Jones

One of the most reliable methods to align ourselves with a high spiritual vibration is through the energy of appreciation. Nature’s treasures sustain us and surround us daily, providing a spark of awakening energy, and if we meditate on their beauty, we find our hearts and spirits expanding in expressive and fulfilling ways.

One of the ways to grow during our journeys is to recognize the relationship between astrology and nourishment. You will find a correlation between a sign and a food in this article and methods you can use to attune your energy.

Leo is fixed fire, and the planet ruled by Leo is the sun. Solar archetypes include the Egyptian Sun god Ra (who gave us our present astrological symbols for Leo), the Greek god Helios Apollo, and western astrology’s lion—which according to Kathleen Burt, comes from the ancient story Gilgamesh, when the lion’s appearance brought the needed floods during the agricultural era. Ancient people felt the sun to be a steady force; something to count on—fixed fire in the sky. It is the center of what we know to be life on earth. Only recently are we widening our perspective to imagine life beyond our central star. While we can’t physically stare directly at the sun, we are free to stare right into the heart of Leo energy—it will hold us steady and gaze into our souls with grace and love. Get ready to FOCUS.

Leo energy at its fixed fire zenith understands and makes space for nurturing the creative fire within everyone in their sphere. Like the sun, they can draw people around them into a stable orbit that allows for those people to express the best of themselves. However, that requires the Leo to have embarked on quite an internal journey to discover the spark within that allows for the steadiness to inspire others and be that kind of leader. Often, the leadership the Leo offers is not positional leadership. It is TRUE leadership—the authentic kind that has nothing to do with desiring power or influence but the kind that shows the path forward without the need for glory. It’s leading by example. When you see Leo leadership, you say to yourself, “that’s the kind of person I want to be…”

A Leo can’t help but love being loved, too. You can never love a Leo enough. They have an endless capacity for love, because I believe that’s the element from which they are made. Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and LOVE! Once you figure out how a Leo appreciates their appreciation, give them an endless amount and feel good about giving it to them. They need to be recognized for their efforts, because they work very hard to love you and the rest of the world. They deserve as much back as we can give them.

Of course, it’s possible for a person with strong Leo influence to have a blind spot or an ego as large as the Pacific ocean, but that would be a Leo that fell into a lower vibration arena. Hopefully, they will grow out of it and emerge into the giving side of their nature soon. In general, I have found Leo folks to have the best of intentions when their motivations were probed, although they may not yet be skilled in expressing them.

Sometimes, the Leo energy manifests as creativity and storytelling. In that case, it’s important for a Leo to delve into the space behind all the stories, and to resist identifying too strongly with any one of the stories they are so expert at weaving. They’re strongest when they rest in the space and the place that all our stories emerge from, closer to our true beings than any of the tales we tell. Staying close to the creative source is important so we don’t get swirled up into a tornado of drama.

The Leo energy is one of the most vital and the happiest energies of the entire zodiac, and I invite everyone to meditate on it. Find out where you have Leo in your chart and utilize that area to sustain your own happiness and vitality. For example, in my chart, I have Leo in the house of creativity, and I use creative projects to pick myself up any time I feel a little blue or life gets me down. (If you need an astrology chart or consultation to find out where Leo is in your chart, a Kajama astrologer can help you.)

If you are interested in bringing forth more Leo energy in your life, you can use two methods. The first method is through nourishment and the second method is through a guided meditation. If you combine the two, you have even more manifestation energy.

You can manifest Leo energy if you want to increase your ability in any or all of the following areas of your life:

  • Heart, back, spine
  • Optimism, persistence, enthusiasm
  • Vitality
  • Creativity, drama (storytelling)
  • Leadership (ambition that is never ruthless)
  • Masculinity
  • Happiness & happy environments, celebrations
  • Sports
  • Organizing events & people
  • Body heating / cooling system
  • Faith

Method 1: Nourishment

Leo rules the chile pepper. Many varieties of chile pepper plants grow with their red, yellow, orange, or brown fruit pods shaped to look like little sunbursts, and Leo’s planetary ruler is the sun. The capsaicin in the plant causes the strong, spicy flavor and there even exists a measure of the heat in chiles—the Scoville heat unit—to measure where on the Scoville scale a chile pepper falls. It reminds you of the measures of the luminosity and magnitude of a star.

A sweet bell pepper scores 0 on the Scoville scale while a cayenne pepper (which is very good for the heart) scores 30,000 – 50,000 units. Our New Mexico red chiles score 500 – 750 so we can generally eat them fresh whenever we like, unlike many of the chiles that score very high on the Scoville scale.

Wilbur Scoville was a chemist who developed the Scoville heat unit in the early 20th century. It measures the amount of capsaicin present in a particular pepper. Capsaicin stimulates chemical receptors nerve endings in the skin, and the Scoville scale measures the number of times a pepper extract had to be diluted before the capsaicin no longer could be detected. A hundred years later, we are using high performance liquid chromatography and something called ASTA pungency units in an effort to update the science, but the Scoville scale remains much more widely used and the updated science doesn’t appear to be much more exact.

We do know, however, that capsaicin has some very nice effects in pain relief, and in our family we eat a meal of hot chiles when our feet and/or joints ache. In fact, we don’t need an excuse to enjoy the effects of capsaicin almost daily. We include chiles in almost everything.

Chile peppers originated in South America and quickly became popular throughout the rest of the world after the 16th and 17th centuries when Spanish and Portuguese explorers took plants back to other countries. Chiles are now widely grown commercially and in gardens throughout the world.

When eaten fresh (or raw—straight from the vine), chiles contain more Vitamin C than citrus. In case you don’t know what Vitamin C does for the body, it is the antioxidant that allows collagen to be synthesized. Collagen is a protein that provides for the strength of our blood vessels, our skin, our bones and our organs. Humans are one of a few species that cannot produce our own Vitamin C, and we must ingest it via our diets.

After growing chile plants in the garden, we’ve developed a taste for fresh chiles, alongside frozen and canned chiles. Dicing them and including them in our morning eggs, or including them in our bean dishes, and adding them into our wraps and sandwiches—we make plentiful use of these friends.

Method 2: Guided Meditation

This guided meditation is full of images and thoughts that are very grounding. You can use the following guided meditation in a few ways. The first is to read it silently, slowly to yourself, letting the images wash over your imagination. The second is to visit http://intuitivemoon.com/?post_type=product and listen to the audio recordings. Take a few minutes during your day for yourself, close your eyes, and be led in a meditation that is nourishing and deeply refreshing.

Leo Chile Guided Meditation: The Eternal Fire

There is a fire that doesn’t go out once it is lit. It stays burning deep in your heart with dedication and soul. It is the eternal fire.

When it reaches your heart, you know you are home. It often approaches you as if you are a dry wick and it is a candle flame that has already been lit. All it needs to do is align itself close to you. You find yourself aflame so gently and naturally that you might not notice your core purpose being ignited. You may pass by the moment entirely. Yet, your entire world finds itself enlightened and awakened.

Over time, the small flicker of eternity becomes the portal into the center of a star that leads to a pathway into all light and energy. It is the same light and energy that enlivens the chile plant. That calls it forth from the dry soil it loves and asks it to sing the essence of the eternal flame with its fireworks display of fruits.

When you sync with the chile plant, you realize you want to propagate into the high desert places on this earth. You desire the high and dry places that others may not be able to survive. You know you can thrive in them.

In the language of flowers, you say, give me heat—the full heat of the higher atmosphere. You rise toward the sky in mighty declaration.

The sky receives you as you grow. Side-by-side with your brother plants, you are able to support one another in the winds and rains of monsoon season. Your delicate white flowers emerge as you mature. You prepare yourself to dance with the flying and buzzing creatures who will visit the garden to pollinate your fruits.

A symphony of activity occurs as your flowers open. One by one, each receives the help it needs from a passing bee or insect or moth or butterfly. How strong you feel to be able to gain all you need for pollination. You realize you are also receiving nourishment from the soil, the sun, the air, and the rain to aid in your stability and fortitude. Your spirit is powerful and you feel joyful.

You glow with a happiness that suffuses your entire being as your flowers close and transform into peppers. Every component helps you shine each day as the sun radiates in the sky. You feel as if you are a reflection of the steady sun, thriving and growing each day.

The high heat of the long, late summer days infuses its very spirit into your peppers as they mature. Slowly, they even turn red to let life know they are ready to go. Ready to be enjoyed. You have made seeds in those red chile peppers. You’ve made another example of the eternal flame ready to be passed along to the next hand and the next heart to continue to light the world.

Dominique Jones is an internationally known astrologer, psychic, and writer. She is the author of the upcoming book “Nourishing Astrology,” a compendium of correlations between astrological elements and foods, along with recipes for manifesting astrological energies. She is also a professional metaphysical consultant at Kajama. Visit her at www.intuitivemoon.com to schedule a reading or sign up for her FREE monthly newsletter, featuring a comprehensive monthly astrological overview, healthy recipes and more!


Cancer and the Mushroom Underground

cancer-and-mushroomby Dominique Jones

One of the most reliable methods to align ourselves with a high spiritual vibration is through the energy of appreciation. Nature’s treasures sustain us and surround us daily, providing a deep and moving energy, and if we meditate on their beauty, we find our hearts and spirits expanding in expressive and fulfilling ways.

One of the ways to grow during our journeys is to recognize the relationship between astrology and nourishment. You will find a correlation between a sign and a food in this article and methods you can use to attune your energy.

Cancer is the cardinal sign in the zodiac that introduces the season of summer, attached to the archetype of the Moon and the mother. The moon is a planet-sized body that orbits the earth without atmosphere and light of its own. Its temperature when facing the sun is extremely hot and when enveloped in the darkness of space is extremely cold. Cancers likewise experience the full gamut of sensitivity to emotional experience, and run hot and cold according to the energy they encounter, so they should get ready to REFLECT.

Imagine time is not limited to its linear trajectory—that there is a dimension where all points in time happen simultaneously. In a divine state of being, you could reach into any moment and have access to past, present, and future—being unlimited by the perceptions that have constrained humans through living a linear history. All our concepts of time would be uprooted as the connections between centuries would be pliable and circular.

Now imagine the same thing applying to emotions. Imagine all emotions happening at once. Imagine the ability to access the connections between emotional states-of-being and the causal effects of thoughts and actions rippling through the world long before the ripples occur.

As they measure our brain activity, neuroscientists say that we make decisions unconsciously prior to our conscious thought leading to an action. That’s why it’s so difficult to change our habits—we have to access the unconscious decision-making from which our habitual ritual actions and subsequent emotional reactions result. The Cancer perceptions work at that unconscious moment of vibration and so can see the results approaching and can feel the probable emotions emerging. Imagine that level of emotional consciousness and you can begin to imagine the perceptions while a person with strong Cancer energy simply sips a cup of tea.

Every time there is a change in the energy around them, a Cancer will feel it. The Cancer person may not even be conscious of their empathic abilities or able to elucidate their experience. They may not be able to put it into any language that can be spoken, and it’s an enormous energetic capability. To perceive energy changes, and on the emotional level, which is the level of vibrational evaluation, makes one feel as if one is the judge of something.

Until a person has gone through their spiritual maturation into a full sense that they are included in the family of life and they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are loved by life, they will likely make the mistake of thinking they are supposed to go about discerning things. Society will not help them out here, as there are plenty of messages to support thoughts of being critical and superior/inferior. The problem for all of us with any of these thoughts is that eventually judgments turn on us and make us unhappy and lonely. They are a lower vibration and lead to emotions that are unsustainable.

Perhaps that is why in astrology it has been said that Cancers run hot and cold, or can be explosive. But the underlying mechanism is the management of perceiving all emotions. When the Cancer person can see behind the veil of situations into their true potential for emotional insight, they begin to awaken their empathic and psychic abilities. Then it gets fun instead of confusing and judgmental or reactive.

Empathic life becomes a dialogue with reality where a Cancer can begin to bless themselves and those around them with their insights, their ability to integrate the molecules in the air into a positive and warm glow through their intentional heart energy and their water sign depth of transformation that is like none other. When you see the changes throughout the life of a Cancer, you will be inspired beyond belief.

The reason is that the Cancer energy is also known as the birth energy, and it is not only vibrating at the unconscious point of decision-making in our minds, but at the point of many creative processes in our lives. Observing the sacred joy of creation is a high calling for Cancers.

It’s so important for Cancer folks to give themselves as much room as they would like to take good care of themselves. Often, this means permission for solitude and time with nature and beauty. This permission for self-care is a theme I’ve seen repeatedly in clients with strong Cancer influence. Somehow, this seems a shadow theme in the Cancer life—get out of balance via over-responsibility or focusing too much on others and then, via a trauma such as illness or divorce, get back into balance through a time of retreat and intensive self-care. I get the feeling if Cancers had this permission from a young age, it might help them avoid this shadow cycle in the future.

Cancer energy is perhaps the most nurturing energy you will ever encounter when you reach it at its spiritual zenith. The soul of Cancer is the seat of motherhood, and that is the ticket for the seat we all would like to purchase. Nothing is warmer or more inspiring and beautiful. It’s where we want to be—the creative center—and the result for which we all have been working so very hard—to be at home and at peace. Cancers already have it right in the center of their heart-space, and it is a gift for all of us.

(To note, all of us have the sign of Cancer in our chart, and wherever we have it in our chart, we can always be at home there. A Kajama astrologer can tell you what part of life can give you infinite peace.)

If you are interested in bringing forth more Cancer energy in your life, you can use two methods. The first method is through nourishment and the second method is through a guided meditation. If you combine the two, you have even more manifestation energy.

You can manifest Cancer energy if you want to increase your ability in any or all of the following areas of your life:

  • Uterus, breast, and pregnancy
  • Nutrition, digestion, and stomach issues (including ulcers)
  • Family and home
  • Sympathy, emotions, and emotional balance
  • Sensitivity (increasing)
  • Femininity
  • Baking/catering, interior decorating, real estate, social work, doctors, hotels, commerce, supplying domestic needs of all kinds
  • Boats and lakes
  • Plumbing and buildings
  • Empathic abilities / psychic abilities

Method 1: Nourishment

Mushrooms are associated with the sign of Cancer. Medicinal mushrooms are a rich pharmaceutical that support healing and/or protection from cancer, inflammation, immunity problems, liver problems, fibroids, cholesterol issues, diabetes, viral infections, and other chronic illnesses. Basically, mushrooms are amazing allies for both humans and the earth, and we humans have eaten them with gusto throughout the ages.

You can cook mushrooms and they will retain their nutritional support for your body. One of the great things about them is that you don’t need to be concerned about cooking the nutrients out of them. To prepare them, simply wipe them off with a damp cloth or paper towel instead of trying to wash them under water. You can cook them dry or in an oil or butter, or whatever preparation you prefer.

The earliest record of mushroom use was found in a cave in Algeria from about 5000 BCE where they were pictured with a dancing shaman outlined with a glowing aura. The Greeks and Romans wrote extensively on how they feasted upon their boletus and cultivated mushrooms on poplar trees. The Chinese and Indian cultures widely used many species of mushrooms. Russians have a rich history of mushroom gathering and feasting. Fungi appear on eighteen European coats of arms. Mushrooms have been part of the human family’s diet throughout our history, and have been on earth for what we know to be about 500 million years (according to fossil data).

There are at least 1.4 million species of mushrooms, but we’ve only identified about 800,000. Mushrooms that are available for us to eat are often cultivated, but many of them are still gathered in forests. It’s important—extremely important—to be educated and meticulous when gathering mushrooms because many mushrooms are poisonous and even deadly.

There are many varieties of mushrooms beyond the button and portabella mushrooms we often see in grocery stores. The king bolete mushroom used in the meditation created below was often thought to be the finest mushroom for eating and was hunted down during mushroom season and placed on the table of royalty.

In addition to food, mushrooms are used in fuel cells and in mycoremediation. Mycoremediation is a process that uses fungi to help dispose of toxic materials, decontaminate and reduce road and farm runoff, reduce forest fire potential, clean up contaminated bacterium like E. coli, and create buffer zones around polluted areas.

It has been said that fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants. I would like to see the DNA of mushrooms. Fungi move—they lift heavy rocks and break through concrete. They come in all sizes and live to be hundreds of years old. The Fruiting bodies we eat are small parts of the whole fungi. The whole creatures consist of mycelium that spread out on the ground and absorb the water and nutrients from the surrounding area, and each of the fruiting bodies is connected to everything that mycelium touches.

Mushrooms, then, are like little friends to us—in the majority of cases. As long as we are wise in our consumption, choosing safe mushroom varieties, it is wise to consume them on a daily basis to keep ourselves very healthy, indeed!

Method 2: Guided Meditation

This guided meditation is full of images and thoughts that are very grounding. You can use the following guided meditation in a few ways. The first is to read it silently, slowly to yourself, letting the images wash over your imagination. The second is to visit IntuitiveMoon.com and listen to the audio recordings. Take a few minutes during your day for yourself, close your eyes, and be led in a meditation that is nourishing and deeply refreshing.

Cancer and the Orb of the Mushroom Guided Meditation

As you settle into a comfortable position, focus your awareness on your breath. Breathe slowly and relax. Gently move your mind’s eye to the area of your body surrounding your heart. Imagine in the center of your heart area, there is a golden circle of light, like a small star that lives inside you and can contract and expand at any time. This golden orb is extremely flexible.

It can expand to encompass and protect your entire body. It can contract down to the size of a penny. You feel at home in this golden glow. It is a sensation you can always return to, like you can always retreat to the quiet of your home after being out in the world for a time.

You feel peace, serenity, and the sense that you can open the door to your true nature. As you enjoy these feelings, you focus your breathing through your heart.

The golden orb of light changes to a size that is ideal for you to feel comfortable. It honors and protects your heart.

Imagine your consciousness moving into the center of the golden orb energy. As you move into the center of the circle of light, you find that you are safe and anchored in a way that allows you to travel into your imagination deeper.

Move even more into the center of the light. As you experience the illumination of light moving toward you, you will also discover a scene opening up before you. You will find yourself in a forest at night.

You are floating in your orb of light just above the ground, flying smoothly along, just above the ground like a tiny fairy. You enjoy being able to see at night. You enjoy being able to fly and move effortlessly at any speed you desire, even pop in and out anywhere your curiosity directs.

Air for you is like water that you swim within. Every movement is effortless and you observe how things grow in this forest full of life and loveliness. For a little while, you may move around looking at night creatures and their habits. You watch various plants and trees.

Then you move under one particular tree and see the fruiting bodies of a patch of king bolete mushrooms growing amid the bark and pinecones sprinkled at the feet of this tree and its neighbors.

You become curious to explore what it would be like to merge your energy with a mushroom being. A wild growing fungus. Something in between a plant and an animal. For a few moments, you simply sit atop one of the tall mushroom caps, feeling the smooth surface against your fingertips and palm.

Then you lift off and effortlessly fly underneath. You see the bottom of the mushroom cap up close.

You decide to explore the inside of a mushroom. You slowly approach the pores underneath the mushroom’s top and enter into the space between them like a little spaceship traveling into the unknown.

As you travel down into the stem of the fruiting portion of the mushroom, you arrive at its base and realize this one fruit that humans know to be a singular mushroom is actually connected via its stem to its mycelium. This mother mycelium is a singular entity to the whole family of mushroom stems that you saw underneath the tree. The mushroom is one complex organism, with mushroom stems emerging into the air time and time again to spread its spores.

You can feel how sensitive the mushroom is, and how each stem is connected to the others through the ground. The sense of connectedness is so strong in the mushroom consciousness that it’s a transformative force. The mycelium reaches out like a tongue to taste new territory and digests wastes into nutrients.

As it cleans the ground around it, it picks up any water it can find and transports it through the mycelium, up the stems, and up into the caps. No part of the mushroom family is alone and nothing it touches is left unnourished. The mother mycelium is a bed of unseen activity low to the ground that surrounds and changes everything.

What a profound example of divine nurturing, you think, as you thank the mushroom spirit for sharing its wisdom. You wrap your arms around yourself as if to convey you are giving the mushroom a hug and then fly back up through the mycelium and out the mushroom’s pores the same way the mushroom spores would when they are ready to travel into the air.

You promise the mother mycelium you will be back for another visit, and you slowly return through the cool air of the forest over the ground and the night-time flowers and birds and when you are ready, up into the golden light at the center of your heart.

Breathe, and enjoy feeling at home in your heart. Now notice your body, and notice how you are connected to the earth. Feel your toes and feet. Make a vow to take inspiration from the mushroom and transform something for the better today, however large or small it may be. Breathe through your heart and allow the golden orb to rest at a size and place that you will be comfortable with during normal consciousness. It is a protective energy that you can carry within you always. When you’re ready, open your eyes, give yourself time to adjust gently, and slowly ease into activity.

Dominique Jones is an internationally known astrologer, psychic, and writer. She is the author of the upcoming book “Nourishing Astrology,” a compendium of correlations between astrological elements and foods, along with recipes for manifesting astrological energies. She is also a professional metaphysical consultant at Kajama. Visit her at www.intuitivemoon.com to schedule a reading or sign up for her FREE monthly newsletter, featuring a comprehensive monthly astrological overview, healthy recipes and more!


Time to Breathe

yoga-art-3by Maggie Anderson

Create space with breath. As you focus only on your breath, your attention to thoughts goes away and you are in the present moment, allowing space and stillness to be there. Breathing, in and of itself, holds the key to our divine connection. For without breathing we would not survive. Become aware of your breath in every moment. Your breath is always in the present. Breath awareness is most powerful and transformational.

Breath is the key to relaxation. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that means lengthening of the prana or breath. Prana is life force or vital energy. Pranayama yoga is a practice of control of breath. Prana itself is the essence and energy of God/Divine itself. It is everywhere. It is in the trees, the flowers, the sun and it is vital to our very survival. That is why we are so linked with Mother Nature.

Ancient yogi’s believed that we are each born with a certain amount of breaths. So as we work towards elongating our breaths or controlling our breathing we elongate our lifespan. Whether the number of breaths per individual life is true or not, conscious breathing is beneficial for our mind, body and soul. Practicing pranayama/breathing technique reduces stress, cleans and clears toxins from the body and so much more.

Time to Breathe… I’ve seen profound results in just breathing through your intention and feeling it. Breathe very deeply in and very slowly out. Use the full capacity of your lungs. Be with the sound and rhythm of your breath. Become aware of your breath and most especially at the tail end of your out-breath. There is a stillness and energy here. Focus on your breath for a time. Feel the energy body within you expand. Breathe and then your focus is on the intention while allowing the energy to flow to you and through you. You are focusing only on the present moment. In this present moment your power resides. When in this present state of mind you can pinpoint and focus on your desired goal. Be focused and enjoy the divine energy flowing to you always. Remember what you focus upon expands. So focus on the positive elements of love, peace and joy as you intend! Enjoy breathing in the present moment!

As stated in Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar, “An emphasis on long inhalation and holding the breath after inhalation intensified the effects of a yoga posture in the chest area and supports the elimination process and has a cleansing affect on the body by enlivening the organs, especially abdominal region. An emphasis on long exhalation and holding the breath after exhalation intensifies the effects of the posture in the abdominal region (energized and heats the body).”

There are a variety of powerful ways that you can practice pranayama yoga to benefit your entire body. The use of pranayama techniques are very beneficial for smoothing out Kundalini symptoms that are too intense. Some forms I have come across are: Quiet breathing, Deep breathing, fast breathing, spinal breathing and many others. When practicing these versions of breathing it is imperative to your health that you do these with proper guidance and follow the instructions given.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Breath awareness is a beautiful meditation to practice wherever you are. Just breathe and be aware of the breath. Watch your breath. Come into the present moment. As you breathe in, be with the inhale. As you breathe out, be with the exhale. You will find your inner calm a comforting place to be that is strangely familiar. Energy is our life force. It has been called Prana, Chi, Ki, etc. When we breathe we take in oxygen and life force energy to survive. As you breathe in, you are taking in Light and Energy. Let’s call it Light Breathing! Simply be aware that your breath is powerful and causes subtle but noticeable shifts from within. Below you will find several Breathing Techniques.


Long Deep Belly Breaths

Breathe FULLY! Breathe DEEPLY. Breathe long deep belly breaths. Breathe deeply using the full capacity of your lungs and then take time to really feel your stomach filling with air. Feel the rhythm of your breath. Fall into this rhythm and allow it to soothe you. When we were babies we knew how to breathe correctly and fully. Watch a baby breathing. Their belly goes out and in. Stop focusing on how you look and breathe. Feel most comfortable from within. Most of us move into breathing through our chests and lungs still never taking a full breath. So when you become conscious of the power of breath awareness, take those moments to breathe deeply and fully. Even watch your lungs and belly inflate and then deflate. Deep, slow, full breaths are key to really bringing in the energy to your body in beautiful most healthy ways. You will truly feel the difference immediately. This is a process to condition yourself back to breathing healthily and also uplifts the energy. Some yogi’s out there have a goal to have less numbers of breaths per minute. So instead of 20 breaths per minute you can reduce it to four long deep full healing breaths per minute. And you can work your way towards this goal over a long period of time. But don’t worry about the number just breathe fully and deeply. Disease is carried away with the breath and also very good for any lung-related problems. So allow your body to come back to its natural innate breathing rhythm. Do this full breath process and also simply practice breath awareness of natural rhythm breathing without force. Both bring profound results.

Full-Wave Breathing

I’ve been lucky enough to have attended a workshop to learn a Full-Wave® Breathing technique with Linda Jaros at the Life Breath Wellness Center in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The Full-Wave® Breathing technique was created by Dr. Tom Goode. This is much like I just explained with breathing naturally like a baby but with a new awareness. Breathe in deep through your nose into your lower belly, then your middle belly or diaphragm and then fill your lungs. Then immediately exhale it all out naturally through the mouth. It doesn’t have to be a long slow exhale, just release it out. Let it all go. And without holding your breath at the top or bottom of breaths, keep the flow going. Inhale low in belly to chest, filling your lungs and exhale even with a sigh if you like. Try this technique daily for at least 10 breathe or even for 20-45 minutes (if you have the time) for 30 days. You will be amazed at the results in your body, mind and spirit. Upon the first time trying this technique, my body began to tremble with shakes or tremors. These weren’t like tingles from extra oxygen (that I was receiving also). These were real Kundalini activated trembles and shakes. It was fun to witness. As you do this technique you are, also, working with and rising up the Kundalini energy within you.

Breath of Fire

There is also a yogic Breath of Fire (Agni-Prasana), a cleansing & energizing breath, powered by abdominal contractions. This is a technique to achieve higher states while shedding energy blockages. It’s a fast paced breath that is known for assisting in releasing a lot of negative energies. In this technique you take in fast balanced inhales through your nose and fast balanced exhales out of your nose. This technique of fast sharp breaths removes heavy, stagnant energy from our bodies. A way to assist you in practicing this is to first have your mouth open and stick your tongue kind of like a dog and breathe very fast in and out. Then when you are ready, close your mouth and do this fast breathing through your nostrils. There is no pushing or pulling. You’ll simply feel a pull in your solar plexus area and possibly a root lock feeling at the root chakra level. Remember this is fast breathing in and out of your nose in equal time. Keep the breath equal. Don’t actually try for the Breath of Fire. There is no trying. With Breath of Fire you are natural, easy, fluid and powerful. No pushing or pulling of stomach or diaphragm or chest. Just quick, fast, easy breathing. Find a good rhythm and fall into it. The key to the breath of fire is to let the upper abdomen, the diaphragm truly relax and let the breath breathe you. Breath of fire will speed up the benefit of your yogic exercises.

You can also do this technique standing. Stand, arms easily at sides. Shake your body, really let it all out. Then jump body up and down fast and short in rhythm with your breathing through the nose. This aids in movement and breath while visualizing Kundalini rising if you like. You can also do the Breath of Fire while sitting comfortably and with legs crossed. Hold your arms up, thumbs out, and all other fingers facing in at the first joint. Close your eyes and do the Breathe of Fire for as long as you can, then hold it for longer. Breathing with movement is very powerful. And in movements, such as Yoga, breath is a key factor in keeping rhythm and to, also, achieve what goals you are setting up for the yogic practice. Yoga is has great balancing benefits for incorporating the combination of breath and movement.

Breath of Fire will entirely charge the nervous system, causing the glands to secrete and purify the blood. When it is done with certain postures and movements in yoga, which are meant to put contracting (drawing in) or expanding (releasing) pressure in nerve plexuses and glandular centers, those areas are made to fire and become completely charged.
As an area becomes charged, the sexual (seminal) fluids are released into the bloodstream and flow to those charged areas, so that gradually those areas will maintain that charge and pranic pressure builds throughout the body converting Bindu (Tamasic and Rajasic energy) to Ojas (Satvic energy), which fills and permeates the entire body and mind.

Kapalabati Breathing

Now, the Breath of Fire is not same as Kapalabati (Kah-pa-la-bhati) breathing, also called the “Cleansing Breath” or “Skull Shining Breath”. It’s easy to get these confused since they both are very powerful and focus on the core with a fire breathing technique. Kapalabati breathing is a forceful breath, where we contract the abdomen, diaphragm and rib cage (pulling on the root lock with each contracting breath), where the simple relaxing of the rib cage brings the air back into the lungs, without inhaling and you force the air out again (also in a rhythmic manner). It has powerful exhales and passive inhales.

Kapalabhati clears the body from the constant intake of toxins, thus detoxifying it. This technique helps to replace any toxic air with fresh air. Practicing this filters out negative and unnatural things held in the frontal lobe. The breathing mainly takes place from the abdomen, as opposed to the chest, and this specifically is what helps to remove the toxic air. Kapala means “the skull” and bhati means “brings lightness.” Kapalabhati helps to make the motions of your diaphragm very easy and controlled. This helps it to discard the muscle cramps present in bronchial tubes. A lot of force is used to do this pranayama. While exhaling, the process is very strong and while inhaling, the process is very calming.

It is also a cleansing technique that places emphasis on cleaning the air passages and blockages in the chest as well as the nasal passage. It helps deter asthma, diabetes, bronchitis and allergies. The breathing exercise purifies the lungs and nasal passages. Breathing in this way lightens your skull by extracting problems like sinusitis. This is an invigorating and energizing practice as it fills your stuffy skull with fresh air. The practice also improves bowel movements which rids the body of the many diseases. Excellent for Respiratory Problems – It is also one of the best exercises for asthma patients and people suffering from respiratory problems. This stimulating breath can do wonders for every single tissue in your body.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Another breathing technique assists you in holding your breath in for a few moments. While you hold your breath you are sustaining the life force within just a little bit longer. This is very healing. One such technique that uses the option of holding the breath is called Alternate Nostril Breathing. Also known as the purifying breath or Nadi Shodhana.

Alternate nostril breathing technique is a yogic technique that I highly recommend to assist you through Kundalini symptoms. Alternate nostril breathing is said to relieve heat and cold symptoms. Practicing this cleanses and rejuvenates vital channels of energy as well as brings a soothing calm. This is also beneficial as a preface to Kundalini symptoms (or side effects) you may experience and will assist in balancing out what would have been a harsh symptom. This breathing technique cleanses the nervous system, clears nasal passage, strengthens the heart and releases mental anxiety.

It is much easier to do this while watching another guiding you. Your hand is held in front of your nose, you will alternate your thumb and pinky finger to block one nostril at a time. Each inhale and exhale is done slowly to the count of four. If desiring a cooling effect, block your right nostril first and breathe in through your left nostril (to the count of 1, 2, 3, 4). Then block your left nostril and breathe out through your right nostril (1, 2, 3, 4). Then block the left nostril and breathe out through the right nostril (1, 2, 3, 4). Leaving your left nostril blocked, breathe in through the right nostril (1, 2, 3, 4). Block the right nostril and breathe out through the left nostril (1, 2, 3, 4). Repeat the cycle of alternate-nostril breathing a few times and end the cycle with an exhale through the left nostril. For a warming effect, begin your first inhale through the right nostril and finish the cycle by exhaling through your right nostril.

Ujjayi Breath (Ocean Breath)
Ujjayi (pronounced – oo-ji-ya)

Pranayama is an important part of a Vinyasa yoga practice. Also known as the Ocean Breath, Hissing Breath and Victorious Breath. This pranayama is most often used in association with the practice of yoga poses, especially, my favorite, the Vinyasa style. Vinyasa yoga is breath-synchronized movement, and the breath used most often is Ujjayi breath. Learn this breath while seated in a comfortable cross-legged position. Once you feel confident, begin to use it during asana practice.

Ujjayi breath is breathing only through the nose, while constricting the throat. To begin you can do this with your mount open and hear the hissing sound your breath makes when your throat is tightened. Then close your mouth and that hiss or ocean sound goes more within. Some people like to say it sounds a little like Darth Vador. That might help you understand what it sounds like.

What you are doing is bringing more oxygen into your lungs than a normal breath. The air that comes in through your constricted throat is a powerful, directed breath that you can send into the parts of your body that need it during yoga.

Benefits include: Mind, body and spirit relaxation and calm, lowers blood pressure and treats insomnia.

Cooling Breath

Choose a meditative posture. Stick out tongue. Roll the sides upward and breathe in through the opening, pulling in as much air as possible. Hold that breath and close mouth. Begin breathing slowly out of your nose.

Benefits include: Good for liver and spleen, treats fever, cools the nervous system and reduces high blood pressure.

Happiness Breath – Sukha Pranayama

Choose a meditating position and begin breathing. Be aware of how the air flows in and releases. As you breathe in, think of happy things, as you breathe out, rid yourself of any worries or tension which is restricting the ability to be happy. Breathe in positive light happy energy. Breathe out and release all that no longer serves you. Breathe in light and exhale dark. Breathe in love and exhale it out to the world.

Your benefits from practicing this breath technique are: Your concentration improves, relieves stress and hypertension and nervous system becomes stronger. There have been studies done of positive people and negative people when they are up against a challenging situation. Those that are negative have a tougher time getting through the challenge and feel miserable during it. Those that are positive not only feel better, but they attract to them the solution to their issue much faster and easier.

Lion’s Breath

Lion’s Breath relieves tension in the face by stretching the jaw and tongue. It can be done in almost any pose. I’ve commonly seen it during Cat/Cow poses or as I like to call it, Moving Cats flow. As another option, you may come to kneel with your seat resting in your feet. Place your hands on your knees. Inhale through the nose. Exhale through the mouth, making a “ha” sound. As you exhale, open your mouth wide and stick your tongue as far out as possible towards your chin. Option: You can also bring your drishti (gaze) towards your third eye as you exhale. Inhale, returning to a neutral face. Repeat 3-5 times.

Breath of Joy

This is a great pose to practice if you find yourself in need of a quick 
pick-me-up or is great as a part of any yoga practice.

To practice Breath of Joy, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel, knees may be slightly bent. Inhale one-third of your lung capacity and swing your arms up in front of your body, bringing them parallel to each other at shoulder level or a little higher, with palms facing the ceiling. Continue inhaling to two-thirds capacity and stretch your arms out to the side like wings to shoulder level. Inhale to full capacity and swing your arms parallel and over your head, palms facing each other. Open your mouth and exhale completely with an audible ha, bending the knees more deeply as you sink into a standing squat and swing your arms down and back behind you like a diver. Never forcing or straining the body or breath; simply be absorbed by the peacefully stimulating rhythm. Repeat 5-10 times.
Close your eyes and feel the vibration or hum in your body. Notice the effects. Feel how quickly your heart beats; feel the sensations in your face and arms; and the tingling in the palms of your hands.

Practicing Breath of Joy awakens your whole system. It increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream, temporarily stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, circulating more prana, and gently stoking agni. Through strong inhalations and synchronized arm movements, the practice awakens your whole system—increasing oxygen levels in the bloodstream, temporarily stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, circulating more prana, and gently stoking agni. A forceful exhalation lightly detoxifies the body and helps release pent-up tension.After completing several rounds, the parasympathetic system (which sustains the body at rest) kicks in, leaving the mind calm and focused. The result is a state of homeostatic balance that the yogis call sattva. These qualities make Breath of Joy especially effective in managing mood. The practice counters the shallow upper chest breathing of anxiety by inviting the breath to fill every milliliter of the lungs. Like a strong bright wind, it also sweeps away the sluggishness of depression and infuses the mind with a serene sense of clarity.

Contraindications/Modifications: If you have knee injuries or cannot stand, you may practice this in a modified way while seated in a chair. Also, this practice may not be appropriate for everyone. Skip it if you have high blood pressure or if you suffer from any kind of head or eye injury, like migraines or glaucoma. If you start to feel light-headed, instead of light-hearted, stop for a minute and just breathe normally.

There are many other various breathing techniques through yoga that you can explore. Enjoy the process!

As you take a few minutes a day to consciously breathe, you build a beautiful reserve of life force energy within. I’m finding it’s most beneficial to focus on the spaces between breaths. The space between is most sacred. A blissful stillness is here. For me it seems highly beneficial to focus on the breathing out (exhale) for bringing in beautiful energy to self and others. There is a space between that occurs on the in-breath (inhale) as well as the out-breath (exhale). This space seems quite pivotal in building the energy.

So I invite you to breathe deeply, consciously and be here now.

Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.

“Follow Your Bliss. It’s Your Spiritual Compass.”


8 Limbs of Yoga

yoga-art-2by Maggie Anderson

So much activity and anxiety exists in the world. So much can be relieved from practicing all forms of yoga. Yoga is not just the physical asana practice but encompasses many elements for a mind, body and soul connection. In ancient Yoga traditions they were aware of the transformation of the body as inevitable and set up a beautiful complete practice of yoga called the 8 limbs of yoga.

I’ll explain in brief the 8 limbs of yoga. By following these 8 limbs of yoga you are consciously preparing your body for the Kundalini awakening process that follows. This builds up your physical body, your mental body and spiritual body’s with prana and the necessary energy to withstand and go through the inevitable changes that will occur once Kundalini awakens. Yoga provides mental, physical and spiritual benefits. It’s an all-around balanced practice (sadhana).

The eight limbs of yoga are described as follows:

1. Yama: Universal morality or restraint (outside ourselves with others). Both the Yama’s and Niyama’s have five characteristics, rules or laws that are considered the ten disciplines of yoga. Yama’s five characteristics of moral behaviors towards others are as follows: 
• Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things 
• Satya – Commitment to Truthfulness 
• Asteya – Non-stealing 
• Brahmacharya – Sense control 
• Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth

2. Niyama: Personal observances or discipline (inside ourselves). Nyama’s five inner moral guidelines for oneself are: 
• Sauca – Purity 
• Santosa – Contentment 
• Tapas – Disciplines use of our energy 
• Svadhayaya – Self study 
• Isvarapranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual

3. Asanas: Body postures

4. Pranayama: Practice of breathing exercises and control of prana

5. Pratyahara: Control of the senses or withdrawal. A non-attachment so that the world is not a distraction to the inner self.

6. Dharana: Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness. The ability to focus on something uninterrupted by external or internal distractions.

7. Dhyana: Devotion, Meditation on the Divine. Building upon Dharana so that the focus is no longer on one thing but all-encompassing.

8. Samadhi: Ecstasy, bliss, Union with the Divine. This builds upon Dhyana to transcendence or enlightenment.

I am happy to recognize that what I have included in my books How I Found My True Inner Peace, and Divine Embrace as guidelines that have worked for me and as my offering to assist us in a smooth transition to awakening to full self-realization, is very much in line and similar with the 8 limbs of yoga.

Of course I frame it in a more modern way with funny quirks of my own self. It is after all my expression that I offer. I am rather happy to have found this out after having written this book series. It is a true testament that we are One with the Divine and connections are happening at deep levels. When you start to connect within yourself, and may have already, you will see and feel the deep connection deep inside. You will receive those synchronicities and signs to help you along
The 8 limbs of yoga truly are wise. This ancient wisdom offers us the knowledge that may have seemed hidden but has been here all along. The ancient yogi’s came to this knowledge. As have I, you too will come to this wisdom from within even if you don’t have the guidance of the 8 limbs themselves. Suddenly, it all makes sense and you are there. They help you through and allow you to realize it does balance out and you will naturally evolve as we all will.

Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.

“Follow Your Bliss. It’s Your Spiritual Compass.”


Yoga Is

yoga-art-1by Maggie Anderson

Yoga is not just my passion, but my life. It’s a big part of my calling. Yoga is hard to explain in one word and yet so simple. Most people who know me know that I live yoga as much as I can! I teach yoga four times a week and practice even more than that (not just the physical asana practice but all forms – 8 limbs – of yoga). And even right now I have been guided to begin creating my very own 200-hr. Vinyasa Yoga Flow Teacher Training – my area of expertise.

I started practicing yoga when I began my weight loss journey over 9 years ago. The more I practiced the more yoga I desired. I couldn’t and still can’t get enough.

Yoga is Namaste. Yoga is sublime.

Through my dedicated yoga practice, I am able to handle life with more grace, flow and ease. Through yoga we can heal ourselves physically, but also just as important mentally, emotionally and spiritual. As I practice yoga I get deeper into my true self; ripping away the layers that no longer serve me – obtaining a deeper connection to Source/God.

Yoga’s natural side effects are alleviating stress and anxiety while providing unlimited physical benefits to the body including shedding those unwanted pounds. Yoga’s goal is to assist you in aligning with the true essence that you are. Along the way you will notice more peace and a calm that comes from within in any situation. You realize you are living yoga every moment of your life.

For many who begin yoga, it starts as a physical attraction to become more limber and feel more calm. The other “side effects” of yoga may slowly creep in on a person and before you know it they are not just obtaining their initial reason for practicing but they are BEING more connected; FEELING more free, kind, loving and loved. Life becomes more manageable. It can come at you in subtle ways or it might take ahold of you the very first time you practice. Yoga to me is magical and so very natural.

Yoga is connection.

Connection to the Earth and the Self, as well as the divine connection to the cosmic consciousness. Yoga Asana is the physical practice of yoga; the movement portion of yoga that many of us are well aware of. Asana yoga is the doorway into a deeper connection. Through the practice of all forms of yoga it is possible to awaken your Kundalini and eventually achieve enlightenment. (If you aren’t aware of Kundalini, which is our divine essence, you can learn more by reading this artcle and by purchasing my book Divine Embrace.)

As we flow through life accumulating toxins, Yoga provides the detox our bodies need. Yoga removes these from our bodies naturally. Yoga also removes the toxicity of the mind. Our mind thoughts, if left unchecked, can become a disease. Stress, anxiety, depression and a general sense of unease rests within us as we allow our mind thoughts to take hold of our very existence. Yoga brings space and freedom back where there seemed to be no room for before.

As I said, many people begin yoga to assist them with physical issues but then as they practice, there is an opening – an awakening. Amazing. This is not just exercise. You will see if you choose to practice. Doing yoga provides freedom. Space is created in yoga to BE. Magic occurs as you focus, breathe consciously, gaze deeply, go inward, create space and ultimate freedom.

All stress comes from a disconnection from Self; from Source. You may start out doing the physical practice of yoga and even meditation for your health, to relieve stress or shed a few pounds, but it’s ultimately a disconnected feeling that draws you to yoga even subconsciously – to reconnect once again to your Soul; your Source and/or God.

Life can feel like such a rollercoaster and practicing yoga can bring you down from always feeling like you are in that whirlwind! Life becomes balanced and manageable. Karendayal Bliss Life Yoga has a saying I love:

“Life happens. Life in the flow.”

We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.

“Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light.” ~ Buddha

Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I’m not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.

“Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us.”
~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder

Yoga is observation.

We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.

Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.

Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.

Yoga is love.

“Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls.” 
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.

Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.

“Follow Your Bliss. It’s Your Spiritual Compass.”