As a pathway to God religion is one of the most useful tools for the human soul, but sometimes we get lost within the labels and lose our connection to divinity.
Raised Catholic until soccer took over my Sundays I didn’t find organized religion again until high school. Eventually, I chose to party over being a devout Christian at that age, I’m not the type of human that is able to do both. The party morphed over the years and eventually hit a downward spiral until I was about 25 and met an exceptionally abusive man. He never hit me, he just constantly called me a whore, slut, and other generally belittling names so that I believed that I could never do better. Eventually, I moved back in with my parents after that last fight had me cowering in the corner digging my own nails into my arms.
I continued dating him and to ensure that he didn’t scream at me and then dump me I basically hung out in my room alone. Desperate for human interaction I found that church was the only place that I could go without him losing it. What I found there wasn’t just a solid group of women to spend time with, it was a pathway to God. With continued bible study, prayer, and sermons I was able to realize that I didn’t need a negative relationship in my life and was able to let go. But the problem was that I didn’t have a concrete belief in some of the things that other people in church wholeheartedly believed. I just don’t find it factual that Jesus was literally a mystical son of God sent to Earth but I dug the metaphor. The continued fellowship and guidance from some key ladies in my life kept me at that home church until I made my next move to Arizona.
When I moved to Flagstaff, Arizona I didn’t find a new church since work sort of took over my life. I also had some doubts about my faith and where my faith was really channeling. Before I began my disaster relationship I had deeply studied the Buddhist and Pagan philosophies through various books and self-study. Since that was another thing that the man had hated about me my studies had become a sort of fantasy secret, but living in Flagstaff reconnected me to those roots. After trudging through the muck towards self-love and working on enjoying being alone I met cowboyfriend, an amazingly weird little Pagan cowboy snowboarder pirate. He literally makes no sense and it is one of my most favorite things. It gave me hope that I can be whatever I want, that a religious label is meaningless to me in my understanding of God.
A recent conversation with my older brother made me fully accept that I am not a Christian, the doctrine simply doesn’t jive with me. The reason that I enjoyed being Christian is that for once in my life people weren’t scared of me, they saw me as normal and our social interactions were more comfortable. Recently I read somewhere that God doesn’t have religion, people do. This felt so right to me and I started wondering why religion is in place in every modern society of people. It is obviously important to human societies all over the world and that is because it provides us with a pathway to God, who is the same entity over and over again no matter what book we’re reading. I feel fresh with this new understanding, where I once sat in a fog I now feel that without labels I can actually sit at Gods feet. I understand this isn’t a new idea but it is a newly solidified understanding in my own mind, and with that comes peace.
I know this is such a sensitive topic, but these are my feelings and thoughts on the matter. Since it had been so long since I shared with you guys I decided to share what’s been on my mind lately and I am doing so with the utmost respect to other’s beliefs.
For a long time now I’ve been very intrigued by the chakra system, specifically the role that colors play in chakra healing. Chakra means wheel in sanskrit which refers to the rotation of the energy center. This rotation takes place at the energy frequency that relates to a specific color. These chakra wheels are placed up the spine from the perineum to the crown of the head and progress in rainbow order.
Each vortex of spinning energy conducts a frequency that works off of specific physiological and neurological systems in the body. Chakras can be overactive, underachieve, and even blocked completely; this will mess up the flow of energy through the body. Balancing the chakras can be as easy as changing the music we listen to, the food we eat, and even the clothes we wear. When we wear one color quite a bit, that could mean that we have overactive energy in that vortex. Similarly, if we want to charge a chakra it’s ideal to add more of the corresponding color to our wardrobe.
The idea of wearing colored glasses to charge the chakra system isn’t a new one, but it is an ingenious one. Chakra charging by looking at the entire world through that color is a powerful way to accomplish a task that generally takes a long, slow investment of time. RainbowOPTX understands this power and has created super cute sunglasses that are also meant to charge our chakra systems empowering us to change for the better. Lately I’ve been starting my own business and have been really scared to just DO IT, so the yellow ‘I Do’ frames from RainbowOPTX felt like the best way to go.
For Fall I’m pairing my RainbowOPTX Round Yellow specs with my Patagonia beanie, vintage bomber jacket, and vintage band tees.
I’ve been wearing them for almost exactly a month and in that time I have completely turned around my finances and started to be on top of my work for the first time since I went freelance full time. That kind of power is a big step for me in this venture, and I can’t help but chalk some of it up to these frames that are meant to charge the Solar Plexus chakra. Yellow is meant to stimulate our mental faculties and help us maintain a happy, open outlook on the world. Balancing this chakra helps us to open ourselves to a zest for life making these glasses useful for those who suffer from depression. This accessory can help awaken our optimism, our confidence, and our happiness while also making everything just look super upbeat and happy. I loved wearing them and a girl at the gas station actually exclaimed, “Those are sick glasses!!” which made me feel happy.
I also chose the Violet glasses and will write up on those later in the month. For now I’m stoked on these cute yellow ones. Which RainbowOPTX glasses would you choose? Do you believe in chakra healing? Tell me everything in the comments.
Yoga has been intertwined with my life for the last 10 years but it wasn’t until February of this year that I started intently practicing every single day. Before then I would take time in my life to fly off of the rails and have existential crises where yoga was no longer something I made time for. Practice every day makes me stronger and allows me to achieve more advanced levels of posture. But what it also does is give me the ability to maintain joy, gratitude and balance in my mind & life even in the toughest moments.
As a former athlete, my practice was a way to stay in shape when I couldn’t run, lift or cross train because of my injury. After a couple of years I got more interested in the spiritual and scientific aspects of yoga in my life. From meditation & breathing to Ayurvedic eating to our fabulously interesting chakra system; it was all absolutely fascinating to me. There are so many intertwined aspects of yoga that I could confuse you and myself with, but instead there is one simple idea that I’d like you to take away from this post. Yoga practice teaches us how to find balance in breath, how to find stillness in motion and how to create a fantastic realm of calm despite the storm.
I’ve been wanting to explore this idea on the blog for awhile but I wasn’t able to get the words out, until this week that is. For some reason this week has been the worst, but it’s only Tuesday. Yesterday, for no reason, I was completely and horribly angry right at the get go of waking up. Sometimes there is something that sets me off, like an excessively dirty kitchen or some animal vomit to clean up that really grinds my gears when I stumble out of bed to make my coffee. That wasn’t the case yesterday, it was just one of those days that my intense empathic soul needed to flush out anger it had accrued over time as I sponge emotions off of passersby. I was angry ALL DAY except while I was in a gentle yoga class and while I was helping out with kids yoga camp. These hours spent were full of gratitude, excitement and wonder; but this bliss isn’t only accessible while you’re in a studio or on your mat. The moments we spend in the studio or on the mat are points of training for all of the times that we need to access pure unadulterated bliss in our daily waking lives.
Today I woke up after about 10 days trying to get my bills across different states and credit unions all settled up for the month to find that I incurred an unnecessary overdraft fee. You know what I did you guys? I cried. I cried so hard, with open mouth breathing and everything. I cried like this right on the phone with the sweet, gentle Southern woman who works for PayPal. Starting off the first moments of your day with a rollercoaster of disappointment, regret and open mouthed sobbing doesn’t generally prove a recipe for success. But I am confident that if I’m kind to myself, if I show gratitude in the right places and if I get on my mat for at least 20 minutes; I’ll be able to find my balance again amidst the sea of bleh my emotions have me sailing on this week. Because yoga can be my constant, my mat can be my reset button. Every moment can be yoga. Only then can we learn to understand the deep facets of our mind and step away from these days of rage or sorrow to look at the feelings themselves from an objective perspective. We can access our witness body to observe our emotional body and engage with the triggers instead of the effects. This is necessary in order to grow and shape ourselves into better humans through our practice.
This is how we heal. This is how yoga heals. This is how we heal ourselves with yoga.
Religion is weird, but spirituality is important. At least to me. My journey to religion has been a long one that started with defiance for the sake of fitting in with other rebellious teens. After life threw me through the ringer a bit and I ended up living with my parents after college, after being on my own for 7 years. I was disheartened to say the least and the last year or so before that time had sort of turned my soul into a battered piece of garbage. This is when I walked into a Christian church and started my investigation of Christianity, faith and God as he appears in the chapel. Those first months that fellowship with happy people delighted in their Lord rebuilt my spirit from the ground up. I am positive that if I never went to church and met those women, that my life would not be the way that it is today.
I’m writing this because at the moment I’m having a bit of a spiritual existential crisis.
And yes, all existential crises get a bit spiritual, but this one is based on the foundations of my religious life so I have deemed it as such. You see, I go to Christian church and I absolutely love the ability to share with others my faith in God; but I’m pretty sure I’m not a Christian and that has been making me realize that I don’t belong in the chapel even if it feels comfy sometimes. You see, I believe in all religion. I’m sure some of the crazy ones might all on the very outskirts of my theorizing but I’m pretty positive that all religions started as a divine thought from the true God & Goddess. In this thought a person was given a grand idea: GOD IS LOVE. After that, I believe that religions were shaped in relation to social, ecological, economical, etc. circumstances of the time period and region in which they were created. With this and my deep studies of philosophy combined I have decided that I need to take hold of my worship for the good of my own faith and stop falling into something that has been created by another.
I spend most of my religious studies in Buddhism, Wicca & Pagan tradition and Christianity. The latter two generally combat each other, mostly Christian faith telling me not to practice my earth spirit studies and generally not the other way around. As I dive into studying the bible and what it means to me, I just don’t think it’s fair of me to go to church anymore. Nature is my church and since we live on 80 acres adjacent to a national forest I am always praising God(des). I will still read the bible, I will still pray and I will never stop believing in a divine spirit. But I don’t think that one omnipresent man created the Earth, that was definitely science. I’m also pretty positive that astrology, divination and herbal work have some sort of meaning to humanity and aren’t the work of the devil. Also I certainly don’t think that yoga was started to “worship a penis god”. So I will keep on being my own weird self and talking to God about it until I reach some sort of understanding with that great big spirit in the sky.
Anyways, I had to get that off of my heart, my chest has been heavy these past weeks. Do you ponder deeply on the existence of man and the metaphysics behind creation?
He has travelled through the many people in the major arcana. From the magician teaching him to master his internal powers to the high priestess that showed him the immense efficacy of moving through a congregation of believers. Now we sit in the chariot, learning be assertive in our power.
IMAGERY: The master of the chariot holds the reins. Generally the picture is shown with much red and blue. His tunic is generally shown with alchemical symbols and he holds horses or other animals with the reins that he holds so casually. He rides that chariot living fully and purely in the moment with a facial expression that is surprisingly somber for the amount of mastery and control that he shows.
Breakdown of The Chariot
Ruling Planet: Moon, Mercury
Rune: Ehwaz, Mannaz
Animals: Horse, Lion, Hummingbird
Strength of willpower, courage and control have helped to overcome oppression. If there are obstacles or challenges in the way of the querent then strength and willpower must be called upon to overcome. It is possible that the querent needs to leverage power against the opposition. If focus, determination and and confidence in the face of challenges will make the querent a better, stronger person in the long run. If the querent is on the fence about continuing with a project or idea that has led to struggle, they will soon be driven by the universe to continue. With trust in their personal power, the querent will have success and a better personal foundation.
- Will Power
First and foremost this card reversed means that the querent feels very out of control of their life. Try to move on from worrying about what feels out of control in life and instead focus on what is feeling controlled. The querent may be crushed by the pressure or lack of self-conrol. It is possible that the displaced willpower of the card’s upright meaning is being misplaced as aggression towards others which is a complete waste of time. To turn this card upright again turn the energy inward to build the personal power, determination and control that is within.
- Lack of Control and Aggression
Oh what a magical card this is. I love when it shows up in a reading, but it doesn’t always mean that love is coming for the querent. Quite on the contrary, the Lovers card is about uncertainty. The Fool as come across the Hierophant and learned values and a personal system of philosophical ethics. Now he stands faced with a choice, how he will continue forth in life.
IMAGERY: Two lovers stand beneath the angel Rafael, the angel of Air, representing fate and the Divine’s role in that fate. Angels depict the refinement of human desires, overlooking the lovers beneath him Rafael guides communication into their relationship. The sun shines on the lovers that hold Rafael and in turn the art of communicating with one another at the forefront of their union.
Breakdown of The Lovers:
Astrology: Libra, Gemini
Ruling Planet: Mercury, Venus
Animals: Dolphin, Snake, Hummingbird
MEANING: Where this card shows itself in a reading is very important. If it is in the past then it represents a relationship that is affecting the current situation of the querent; probably a parental unit. In the present position the lovers card can represent a union with so much trust and strength that it will likely lead to marriage. The card can also point to a strong sexual relationship that is deeper than lust. The Lovers could also be a love affair with oneself, perhaps the querent is balancing the scales of what is and is not important in their personal faith, philosophy or doctrine. Similarly, the choice could be on a grandiose scale. In any event of choice within the Lovers card, the querent’s personal belief system and structure of ethics will be called into play in making the final decision.
- Values Alignment
REVERSED MEANING: When The Lovers appear reversed or upside down then it is possible that the querent jumped hastily to making a decision and now is dealing with the consequences. Perhaps they are being faced with an internal or external decision and are being forced to focus intently on their values in order to articulate them correctly. There is certainly imbalanced energy if this card is coupled with Cups are in a love reading, it is possible there is a love affair in which one party does not care for the other equally. Get back in sync with your partner or cut the ties with someone that the querent is casually dating to turn this card back around.
- Misalignment of Values
Chiron, The Pope, The Shaman; whatever your deck calls him he is the counterpart to the High Priestess. Just as the Magician taught the Fool to channel the power within him, the Hierophant can channel that energy through the masses. For example the way that a person of religious power can filter their passions through throngs of humans.
IMAGERY: A man sits atop a throne in a religious place adorned in 3 different vestments representing the 3 different worlds. He holds a scepter, he wears a crown; all showing his mastery over the worlds. The infinity symbol or crossed keys pictured represent a balance between the conscious and subconscious. Two followers sit at his feet because his purpose is to bring more people to his establishment to spread the word.
Breakdown of Hierophant:
Astrology: Taurus, Aries
Ruling Planet: Jupiter, Mars
Animals: Snake, Dove
MEANING: The querent has a desire to follow due process, to play into the norms of society if this card shows up in their reading. They may be involved in a ceremony or ritual or perhaps the card refers to a person in their life. Anyone of authority can influence the Hierophant to show up: doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. The card could be indicating that the querent follow tradition and conform to a fixed situation. There is no free spirit here, no innovation. The querent could be trying hard to belong just for the sake of it, or they could be in a place to dole out important advice. Relatively they could be receiving advice from a sound source soon.
- Group Identification
REVERSED MEANING: If this card is reversed in a reading the querent could be feeling pressure from a group, or perhaps is feeling rebellious against societal norms. They are questioning tradition. Ask the querent to reconsider their recent decisions and decide if they were correct for their inner spirit.
- Challenging the Status Quo
Happy Full Moon beautifuls, this is a glorious time of the month around our house!! The moon is void and will be full at 2:21pm Eastern and 5:46pm Pacific time. With a full moon in Leo it is meant to be a beautiful occasion. Celebrate Venus, beauty and pageantry today to bask in the light of the moon. After a long period of time with no planets located in Air quadrants we were experiencing some tension. As a fire sign I was suffocating. But then Pluto coupled with Mercury and the creative muscles started flowing and all tension began to evaporate. Fly with that feeling during this moon cycle for the most success.
Since the moon shines it’s light on our emotional needs and Leo is based in the beauty and creative energies of the world, it’s time to express yourself. Come into touch with your deepest truths during this full moon. If you write, write. If you draw, draw. If you don’t know what you like to do creatively yet, ponder on it and be weird while you do so. Cultivate your ability to tell yourself the truth.
Perhaps you have the opportunity to go out and dance your heart out tonight. Laugh with friends, get attention, be flashy. These are all things that Leo loves, and the Full Moon is always enticing us out of our houses anyways.
If we are not focused on positivity then it’s possible that we have fallen into the negative aspects of this planetary cycle. Avoid obsessing over that which we have no control and avoid communication based activities as Mercury is still in retrograde. This moon is about sitting with oneself, learning the truth within your soul and creating something gorgeous to help share that truth with the world.
I’ve formulated this little bath recipe to help anyone interested bask in their intrinsically beautiful natures and feel the urge to create.
Beautiful Venus Creativity Bath
For bath teas I’ve learned the hard way, don’t put herbs into your tub they will clog the drain. At World Market I found an enormous tea ball and I use that for my bath teas. Feel free to make a tea bag out of a coffee filter or use a muslin bag. Also feel free to use a drop or two of essential oils that are related to Venus, they just give my skin a burning sensation so I avoid them. Fill the ball with:
- 2 TB Lavender
- 1 TB Calendula
- 2 TB Hibiscus
Place the ball in your hot, still filling bathwater and take time to create a sacred energy space for your bath. Tell family that you’ll be busy for 15-1hr, draw the shades and dim the lights if they’re like a horror show (like a lot of my rented apartments had horrific bathroom lighting.) Light some candles, preferably white, green or red candles that are unscented. Now choose your favorite calming aroma for your space to put into an atomizer. (I have a soapstone essential oil burner that burns with a tea light and I love it.) I would use Juniper Berry mixed with a tinge of Peppermint to both cleanse and bless Jupiter since the Sun is in Capricorn. If you would like to hear music put on flute or soft drums to facilitate a spark of creativity.
Now dip in, relax and let yourself feel the lights of Venus shine upon you.
After meeting the female dominant queen of the universe the fool stumbles upon her male counterpart. He is powerful and represents structure and authority. His stern attitude compliments the sensuous feminine Empress. He is pictured with a white beard to show wisdom in authority. He holds an Ankh in his right hand and an orb in his left, this combination shows his power and authority over life and the universe.
Breakdown of Osiris:
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Animals: Eagle, Frog & Ram
MEANING: The placement of this card is important, it can represent the querent or someone in their life. The emperor is the protector and provider that lays down the law and sets the rules. When this card is in a reading it can be referring to a strict father figure, in the past position this could be an indicator of success in the future or present for the querent. He is systematic, strategic and can turn chaos into a careful structured plan. With the Emperor in a reading the querent has a real fire to accomplish their goals and see them illuminated in the physical realm. Prepare for status, recognition and success with this card in the future positions. This is a card of success, of dominance over heart and mind.
- Solid foundation
- Father Figure
REVERSED MEANING: This card reversed can represent complete childishness. He will use his temper and charm combined for selfish means. Something could be blocking the person in authority, energy and charisma could be shut off for some reason. Worst of all this card upside down can lead to everything falling apart. There is no more chance for growth, success has slipped through the querent’s fingers and all will suffer.
- Excessive Control
Meeting the magician and then the wise woman has allowed the Fool to realize what his tools are going to be in accomplishing his goal and that he must respect the nurturing of his knowledge in order to accomplish his goals. The Empress appears to him then to nurture him in these new realizations as he understands what true power he is capable of.
IMAGERY: A woman is pictured that represents Venus, Demeter and all other goddesses related to fertility, sex, love and birth. She sits atop a throne holding a scepter, surrounded by lush earth. There is usually wheat pictured, whether it is growing or she is holding it. She is fertility, she is femininity and the crown upon her head reminds us of that. She is the queen woman.
Breakdown of Lilith:
Ruling Planet: Venus
Herb: Lady’s Mantle
Animals: Pelican, Dove, Butterfly & Eagle
MEANING: This card is often immediately thought of as the pregnancy card. It can signify an imminent birth, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the birth of a child. The empress could be foretelling of the birth of an idea or way of being. But it can also be a call to view the beauty in life, to align with the feminine aspects of the universe. This card is nurturing and calls upon the querent to nurture themselves and others. Spend time in nature, truly taste your food, hear the sounds of nature and understand the beauty going on around you every moment. This appreciation for the feminine nature of Earth’s miracles will create the same magic in our lives.
When reversed, the querent could be experiencing a ‘sMother’. Someone who mothers them too intensely. Or they could be relying on a mother figure to heavily. This could also represent a block from the beauty in the universe. It may be that this person is bottling their feelings or even blind to having feelings because they are too involved in the emotional well being outside themselves. This card calls for the querent to spend time within themselves. Walk in nature, read a book, listen to your own personal favorite music. Connect with your inner self to reverse the card and bask in mother nature’s beauty.
- Dependence on others
- Creative block