Facing my Shadow as Mercury Retrogrades in Scorpio

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
—Carl Jung

This Mercury in Retrograde (which is in the mysterious, deep-diving sign of Scorpio), I’ve unexpectedly been hit with the task of facing some shadow aspects of myself. What’s funny is, I’m dealing with familiar themes but almost feel more awakened to them now. More triggered by them, so to speak. It’s not that these problems haven’t already existed, it’s just that now, I find myself seriously needing to change the ways I look at them, at my self. Shadow work is constant, and this year has certainly challenged many of us to see the unpleasant side of life and our role in it.

As Mercury gets pulled into this whirlwind of Scorpio’s underworld, my thoughts have been dancing with my subconscious. I’m being reminded that healing is messy, healing is not linear. Pluto, ruler of the 8th house and co-ruler of Scorpio (the other is Mars), is truly pushing me to evolve to my higher self. It wants me to break down my ego further.

With the retrograde bringing up memories from the past, I’m challenging myself to live in the present in a new way. To alchemize those patterns in to something new, something beneficial.

HOW EASY IS IT FOR US TO JUST KEEP LIVING OUT OUR OWN CYCLES OF DISCORD?! To be asleep. To not get to know ourselves and our minds intimately. I believe it is our duty to ourselves to continue to refine, to transmute, and to work on individuation.

image captured of my shadow in Beacon, NY


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Inspired by a Photo: A Brief Exploration of the 4 Elements of Life

To me, this featured photo encompasses representations of the 4 major elements that are the foundation to life: fire, water, earth, and air. You’ll find that these elements are important to occult practices (5 elements, if you include that of the spirit). You come across more representations of these elements when we explore the zodiac signs, and when looking at the basics of alchemy, voodoo, wicca practices (and others).

But on the most basic level, these elements are important in our daily lives and I wanted to take a look at how they relate to us in a simple physical and spiritual interpretation.

Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Earth

Fire: Though the sun (as depicted by the sunset rays in the photo) is a ball of gas, it’s heat reminds me of warmth from a burning fire. Fire represents our ambition, the passion that keeps you going. Fire keeps us warm, it cooks our food. A hot temperature in our bodies indicates a temper; an indication of inflammation/infection in the body. In the zodiac, the signs of Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. The wands family in the tarot deck.

Water: Represented by the Hudson river in this image. H2O molecules. The vital element needed for the functioning of our human bodies. A life force and renewing energy. Connection to the womb and to birth. Also, to rebirthing (think of baptisms — think of how good you feel after a shower, a good swim). It represents the flow of things, going where nature intends. In the zodiac, the signs of Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The cups family in the tarot deck.

Air: The invisible force that surrounds us. The nitrogen and oxygen that we inhale. The carbon dioxide that we exhale. Our breath. Our lungs and respiratory system. The representation of communication, of our mind. The throat chakra. Mercury. In the zodiac, the signs of Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. The swords family in the tarot deck.

Earth: The ground beneath us. Our foundation and all that supports our habitats, that supports growth, nature, the trees, and even water. The earth is our connection to staying present in the moment. Using our senses to interact with the world around us, connectivity. Our root chakra. Our feet and legs — staying connected to what’s below us and not getting to lost in the clouds. The pentacles family in the tarot deck.

Featured image captured by me in DUMBO, Brooklyn.


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Stop. Think About “The New Normal” For YOU

STOP.

This Libra season I ask, how does one find balance if one is always on the go? I believe many people are spiritually awakening or at least questioning reality as we’ve known it, but as we live our day to day lives, it can be quite easy to get sucked back into the cycle of having your head in your phone, checking e-mails/social media/notifications, and being obsessed about productivity. It takes a lot of awareness and determination to know when you’ve gotten too far away from your spirit, from your own core grounding.

IT’S OK TO DISCONNECT.

I almost feel like now that we’re not on lockdown, there’s a rushed energy to try and get things back to how they were before. “Get people back into the office—Spend money—Entertain Yourself—Sports—Celebrity News.” Remember? This was how you lived your life before. Let’s try to get it back to that so that you complain less. So that you’re still passive.

Let’s not forget that things weren’t all great and dandy before the pandemic. Capitalism was still draining more hours and money from people. Public transportation was severely overcrowded, schools have been failing students, the income disparity continues to increase. But all we get are more tv shows, more social media dances, more gadgets, inflation, and poisonous food.

Some places are still in lockdown, other places have less restrictions … who knows what’s permanent and temporary these days. But I believe we should try to be more intentional about the type of future we can create for ourselves. Also, be willing to be a little open minded. You never know what the universe might decide to bless you with.

What’s in the past is in the past.

Image captured by me in Beacon, NY


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In October, We Celebrate Life and Death

I love October! Fall is in full effect, the weather is cooler but still enjoyable, pumpkins are abound, and we have the celebratory times of Halloween/Samhain/Dia de los Muertos/All Souls Day. Though Libra rides out much of this month, on the 22nd, we have the start of my second favorite season, that of Scorpio. Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Pluto—Pluto, being the planet of Hades, which grounds Scorpio in the underworld energy (Mars brings a driven, ambitious energy). During this time we go beneath the surface, unlock secrets, and explore death and the taboo.

A Time When We “Keep the Spirit Alive”

(c) dycepghotography

As we begin our descent into Hades’ Underworld, we witness the colorful and exuberant death in nature as the leaves of the trees change colors. We celebrate the harvest and the fruits of our labor from earlier in the season, and we prepare to retreat for the darkness ahead. In the days leading up to Halloween and All Souls Day, the veil between our earthly world and the spirit world beings to get quite thin, and communications to the other side can be enhanced. These celebrations help us honor our ancestors and our loved ones who are still with us in spirit.

Ultimately, I’d say that those who choose to participate in these events develop a relationship with the concept of death. Death is at the center of the celebration. You continue to keep the spirit of your loved ones alive. You can take the time to honor their energy, to honor who they were before they transcended beyond this form. Isn’t that beautiful? That people take the time to be present with life while also embracing the end of it.

I think our American society still has a lot of work to do when it comes to discussing and normalizing death, how we prepare for and cope with “the end.” Everything that lives must transform into something else. Isn’t that the beauty of the butterfly?

(c) dycephotography

All photos were taken by me in Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY.


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What’s Your Daily Spiritual Practice?

“One of the pillars of soulful living, according to inspiring yoga teacher Leila Sadapghee, is the establishment of sadhana, daily spiritual practice. This needn’t involve prayer– it could be a daily meditation, mantra repetition or yoga practice with an underlying spiritual intent.”

— Pip Walker, Deeply Holistic

I highlighted that quote in the book I just finished, Deeply Holistic, by Pip Walker, which has been incredibly insightful on sharing the connections between our mind, body, and soul and the holistic ways in which we can nurture all three aspects of our selves. Being aware of this connection has helped me understand myself better.

Depending on how my thinking is on a particular day, I can see where I’ve slacked off on my spiritual care. When I’m prone to feeling more anxious; I realize I’m worrying and not living in the moment. I realize moments where I may be internalizing more fear than I’d like to. I encounter these “lower vibrational” energies and have to pull myself back.

During these low vibrational moments, I remember that there are good energies that I can tap into. That I can transmute my negative thoughts, that I only want the best of what the universe has to offer me.

There are things that I like to do to help me feel more centered. And though I may not do all of them in one day, I realize that engaging in at least one of these activities helps me get into a better energetic space, allowing me to be more positive and clear-headed rather than the emotional instability I can find myself creeping towards:

Daily Practices to Help Your Spirit:

  • Going for a walk without listening to music. Simply being outside, feeling the breeze. Hearing the birds and the trees ruffle.
  • Meditating. I prefer to do this in the morning.
  • Gratitude affirmations (say aloud the things that you’re grateful for. This helps you realize how blessed you curently are)
  • Yoga
  • Spend some time in nature
  • Mantra repetitions (sounds made through the repetition of a phrase during meditation. These vibrations are believed to hold power)

Image captured by me of some joggers in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.


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Welcoming Fall and the Harvest with a Mabon Celebration

We just welcomed the Autumn Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere and there’s been a lovely crisp to the air here in the Northeast. During the first day of fall on September 22nd, the sun also moved into the zodiac of Libra. Additionally, the beginning of fall also brings us Mabon, a pagan/Celtic/Wiccan tradition, which is one of 3 harvest celebrations (the third being Samhain which coincides with Halloween). 

Mabon is actually a “thanksgiving” celebration, when you look at it simply. It’s a gathering of the harvest from all of the hard work put forth during the growing season. You fill the cornucopia with squash, pomegranate, and corn (and more!). Apples and berries are picked, pies are baked and jams are canned and stored for the cold months ahead. It’s during this time that we start to reap what we’ve sown, and celebrate the abundance of nature around us. 

As we come to the end of September, we reflect, we put things into balance (Libra), we celebrate with loved ones (this is also a Libran quality, a social air sign), and you share a piece of your spirit through cooking and love. This is a lovely time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as we head into the darker season. 

I love the fall because it’s almost like a rejuvenation for my spirit. I get to slow down a little bit, feed my soul with nourishing soups, and enjoy the clear blue skies.

Here are some things you can do to bring in the season: 

  • Journal about what you’re thankful for and what you’ve been able to manifest in your life
  • Trim back any of your own gardens and/or bushes; trimmings of herbs and flowers
  • Deep clean of your house, along with some smudging
  • Cook something special for a loved one
  • Host a bonfire if you can!
  • Light a candle and meditate on your blessings

How are you celebrating this harvest season? 

[All images captured by me. All rights reserved].


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How to be Present in Nature Part V: Earthing

When was the last time you felt the soil and grass beneath your feet? Or even the sand between your toes?

It’s way too easy for us to physically disconnect from nature these days. Unless you intentionally spend time in a park or the beach, most of us are missing out on connecting to the earth that supports us. We don’t really touch soil (unless you’ve got a garden), we don’t or hug the touch trees, and we rarely let our bare feet touch the grass beneath us.

I think that we sometimes feel frustrated in life because we get so caught up in the rat race of the world. We get very micro and overwhelm ourselves with anxieties and worries. We forget to take a step back from it all. We don’t connect to the healing energies of the earth. Indigenous people understand the importance of deeply connecting with the source, with nature. Many of them see nature as an extension of themselves and have a more holistic relationship with Mother Earth. They understand that nature affects them and they affect it; this complex relationship should be nurtured in order to maintain sustainability.

Science shows that when you ground yourself with the earth, free electrons are released into your body. These electrons are actually antioxidants that help clear free radicals from your body (free radicals tend to be associated with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and others). Grounding is a process that impacts you on a cellular level. Connecting your bare feet to the earth is beneficial for your heart and also in reducing inflammation in the body.

Earthing is a great mindful activity to engage in when you feel a little out of sorts and need to clear your head. It has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep disorders, and improve muscular healing. Go ahead and give it a few tries to see for yourself!

How to “earth” and get grounded:

  • Take your shoes off and walk around in the grass/soil and/or sand. If in the sand, walk up to the water and let the water wash over your feet.
  • Do any of the following: relax your mind/meditate, repeat affirmations, state the things you’re grateful for.
  • To get a fair share of exposure to the earth’s magnetic field, you’ll want to do this for at least 40 minutes a day. 

Both images captured by me.


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The Stronger We are as Individuals, The Better We are as a Collective

The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

We live in a society that has programmed us to live in fear. We’re led to believe there’s something to be afraid of on every corner, fear just lurking – waiting to take something away from us.

Unfortunately, it seems like there’s a growing divide among the people. The negative messaging we’re bombarded with is making people more afraid of one another. It’s been this way for a while though. We’ve been afraid of terrorists, aliens, gangs, and whoever else is demonized in the media. These tactics weaken our connections with our fellow neighbors and allow our society to become more fragile.

I’d say we’re in a game of spiritual warfare. The pandemic isn’t over, and in the midst of it, we’re continuously fed one disappointing story after the next; it’s a cycle of low vibrations. But if you’re willing to see it, the events of 2020 have shown us how little control we have when it comes to external affairs. The most we can do for ourselves and for the world, is to learn how to balance ourselves internally (which is a daily practice).

Who wants to have their mood shifted every time they hop on social media or check the news? Find the still within so you can know what’s really worth your energy. What helps calm your mind? Check in with your own discernment. Is the content you’re about to digest going to help your well-being or harm it?

Challenges will always be present, we’ll always encounter messages that don’t support a healthy mind or vibe. “The work” always involves how we decide to respond; that’s truly the hard part.

Photo taken by me in Brooklyn, NY.


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Alone, Together

I enjoy my own company. Even while at home, I’m rarely bored; there’s always so much to do. 
Clean, write, journal, organize, learn, create art. 
I have a rich inner world. Sometimes it’s a blessing and a curse.

I often go to the beach alone. To the park alone. 
Simply because I enjoy it.
Conversations don’t always need to be had. 
When I trek to these places by myself, I often notice others like me and feel a sense of camaraderie. 

To the folks who are fine venturing out alone. 
We can continue to show the world you don’t always need someone by your side. 
Alone, together.

Image captured by me in a solo trip to Coney Island, Brooklyn


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Practically Manifest Your Goals: It’s Virgo Season

The below blog post is from my most recent newsletter. I typically create content specifically just for the newsletter, but I thought this one would be good to share as a blog post.

Can you believe it? The year is more than halfway over! We’ve come to the end of August, Leo season is done, and now we’re heading into the earthy, grounded, feminine energy of Virgo.

After the gregarious summer vibes, September always seems to be a sobering month. Virgo is ready to get us focused again. September almost feels like the dawn of a new year; those of the Jewish faith, actually celebrate their new year in September—Rosh Hashanah. 

As Virgo pulls us back down to earth after expansive Leo, we can find ways to practically work towards manifesting our intentions. Work on those business plans, organize your files, clear out your digital trash; it’s also never too late to invest in a planner.

It’s time to calm our minds and ground ourselves.

While connecting with the calmer Virgo energies, think about the change you want to see in your life. What will the change require of YOU? It seems there’s something new happening almost every month these days. With elections coming up, there might be more divisive energy in the air. We can’t succumb to the external negative energies; there’s certainly been enough of that this year! 

Of course, there will always be situations that may be out of our control, but the better we can handle unforeseen changes, while moving with our own inner peace and navigation system, the more adaptable we’ll be. Keep your mind and body agile!


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A Midsummer Symphony

Cicadas replace the sounds of birds on a summer morning,
Crickets and grasshoppers sing their nightly symphonies;
Sounds that could simply lull you to sleep.

You walk around,
you sit on the porch or the stoop,
and the liveliness of the critters becomes the background noise
of your environment.

Rattles, whistles, and chirps remind us that
no matter what, life goes on.
Life happens even when we can’t even see it.


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How to be Present in Nature Part IV: Skygazing

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been entranced by sunsets and skygazing. I remember during a trip to South Carolina in my youth, I was in complete awe looking at the night sky. Everywhere I looked, just more and more clusters of stars. The whole sky was be-speckled in them! As a young girl from Queens, NYC, this was a completely different world to me.

I couldn’t believe that there were people who got to see that every night. And It didn’t faze them. Me, on the other hand, I relished the nights where I could see a few potential constellations in the sky on a clear night in a city with ambient light pollution. As I got older and travelled, I realized I didn’t even have to go too far to see a starlit sky. More secluded areas in New York State and along the Hudson river offer amazing views of the sky. Mostly, it seems anywhere you go outside of the immediate 5 boroughs without a bunch of street lights, you’ll have a better view.

A screenshot I took using SkyView App: Saturn and Jupiter visible on a summer night in Brooklyn.

With age and access to a smartphone, I was an early adopter of stargazing apps. It’s something I always have to have on any phone. I stargaze constantly and notice the shifts in the sky based on the season.

I’ve come to realize when I can recognize certain zodiac constellations in the sky depending on the season (for instance, I know in the northeast, I can spot Orion’s belt in the late winter/early spring). By reading the sky, you’ll be able to know what season you’re in without a calendar or watch. The sky is a map! I love engaging in ways that help us reconnect with nature, with our truer selves.

Here’s how you can be present with the night sky: 

*Download a star gazing app. I use SkyView Lite – it’s the free version but works well for my basic needs*

  • Do you see the moon? What position is it in? 
  • Are there any stars or patterns you can immediately identify?
  • Do you think you might be looking at a planet? There are distinct times where we can see Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, so it’s possible! Mars, I enjoy because it actually does have a red glow in the sky. 
    • Open your skygazing app, verify if there are any planets in the sky.
  • What constellations can you observe and are you familiar with any of the names of their bright stars? (The app will show you what constellation a star is a part of). 
    • *PS, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll notice a lot of the names in the stories come from these bright stars.

Spend more time looking above you and remember that there’s such a great vastness beyond our simple existence.

We’re all apart of some sort of collective conscious, how can we contribute something positive to it?
As above, so below. As within, so without.


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We Shouldn’t Externalize “The Revolution”

The revolution won’t be televised. Why not? Because I honestly believe the revolution starts within.

It starts with how we think about ourselves. Our outlook on our own lives, the intentions behind our actions, the way we prioritize our health and mental states. The little things we can do in our lives to help bring us more internal peace, more calm.

How do we take on the problems of the world when we have yet to solve the problems within our own lives?

When we can all collectively work to address our inner shadows, our strengths, weaknesses, and biases – we can be better people to ourselves and fellow man.

Just a thought.

Image captured by me in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.


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Does Your Soul Need These Two Things?

“What are soul needs? They lie in two realms: nature and creativity.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés,
Women who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

I just want to leave you all with this quote that resonated heavily with my soul. I chose this photo I shot from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for my feature image because when you think about it, isn’t a garden such a beautiful combination of nature and creativity?

Nature is so abundant! So healing! Sometimes I think we take it for granted. The trees that provide us shade and oxygen (plus homes to so many animals and critters), the bees that pollinate to keep organic life thriving, the water to cool us down, the grass to sit on. I could go on.

And our individual creativity helps us explore new ideas, new thoughts, we can literally give birth to new things because of our beautiful minds. From our minds, hearts, hands, and feet, we create! Check-in with your inner creator from time to time. We all have one. It’s a part of your soul you absolutely must feed. There’s no pressure when it comes to creativity. Use it as a release.

I think we could all benefit from more exposure to nature and creativity in our lives.
Be well, stay healthy!

From top left to right: Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 kid’s playground, Prospect Park, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 kid’s playground


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Long Gone Are the Days

Seems like the quiet times these days are the early mornings,
the stormy days,
the rain,
and the night time (when people start to head home).

Social mobility post “quarantine lock-down” has been beneficial, but let’s face it –
we’re all outside!
Some people are still quarantining, but most of us are out trying to enjoy slivers of freedom.
There’s a muddle of energies and low frequencies are abound.

For someone who prefers to walk the streets with a bit of anonymity,
it seems those days are of the past. Maybe until it gets cool again.
For now, there’s people on every block, every corner, savoring every morsel of sunlight.

Long gone are the days where I can find a serene spot in the park.
It’s possible if I search hard enough – but sometimes that takes the enjoyment out of it.
Like ants, we’re everywhere.
And I get it.
Everyone is trying the same escape act.

Image captured by me in Brooklyn.



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Do You Listen with Intention?

“The conversation lingered in my head for hours —”

– Outkast (Big Boi), Rosa Parks

How often do we find ourselves in conversations where we say, “I was thinking about ‘that thing’ you were talking about the other day?” to someone we know? Let me ask you this – is it often enough?

I like to think that by saying this, maybe subconsciously, we’re letting someone know that we listened to them. It’s not even that we agree or disagree with what was said, but we let that thought marinate in our minds. Maybe as the person was speaking, you made a mental note and said “oh, I have to look into that” or perhaps it just popped into your head at a later time and you pondered on it.

Not every relationship with everyone you know has to get super deep—every relationship serves its purpose. But are you at least having some sort of meaningful conversation with one or two people in your life? With someone who challenges your way of thinking? With someone who dares you to step out of your comfort zone? And are you willing to hear them?

Since a conversation is an energy exchange, you should consider what you bring to the table as well. And maybe you don’t always have it in you to be super insightful; that’s fine. Maybe what you bring to the table is your ability to be there for someone. To listen to them as they sort through things. I think sometimes as a society, we under-appreciate good listeners and only realize it when that person isn’t around to listen anymore.

Let’s try to be more intentional about our exchanges. And think about how can we listen without being ready to judge? I feel like that’s such an ongoing personal battle. In times like these, we’re constantly being tested and divided. Let’s unite and be a better listener to the people in our lives.
Digest. Share. Expound. Spread love.

Both images captured by me.


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Sometimes I Float In Between

I only know the light because I’ve lived through the dark.
My body, buried in the heavy, damp soil.
Ready to decompose with the earth.
Destined for more,
My soul wouldn’t rest.

Though suffocated by the soil,
Spirit clawed its way through the dirt that tried to encapsulate it,
simultaneously being kept alive by way of the earth’s minerals and nutrients.

My soul has eyes,
My soul has passion.
It lifted me out from the depths.
It used the very dark that tried to keep me oppressed, and
Transmuted the energy to light.

I know life, I know death, and sometimes I float in between.

Image captured by me at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY


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Swimming: An Artful Escape

That moment when you glide smoothly into the water;
it’s like you’re transporting yourself to another world.
Swimming; it’s so therapeutic.

Without regular trips to the gym and a daily commute, my mobility has lessened.
I do take walks and go for jogs, but that only makes up for a portion of
what I’ve lost.
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the beach quite frequently this summer.

Swimming has been a peaceful, intuitive way to connect with earth, the divine,
and even my own body.
I feel my back loosen up as I entrust it to the ocean;
I let my legs and arms move with the currents.
I float and tread the water; I stare off into the abyss of blue water and sky.
I watch clouds in the distance.

Fluid movements in the cocoon of water,
Open natural water can truly act as the body’s medicine.

Image of me in a Mexican swimming hole.


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Have Fun and Honor the Sun’s Energy This Leo Season

“The Sun is the pull to Spirit and Self, a differentiation into individuality and separate awareness. It is the life giver, a source of power and indicator of destiny.”
– Judy Hall, The Hades Moon

It’s about to be Leo season! Leo season lasts from July 23rd through August 22nd. Being a July Leo myself, I always feel particularly energized during this time right after the “nesting” days of Cancer season. Too hot to walk around in a park, the beaches call out to my inner mermaid. Swimming, laying out in the sun, dresses and skirts, and drinking iced coffees. It’s time to put the batteries in our backs and have fun!

I mean, just look at The Sun tarot card, which is representative of Leo. It’s a Major Arcana card (which indicates a major moment, life lesson, or karmic influence), one of optimism, life energy, and childhood innocence (which is also often a Leo trait). Jubilantly riding a horse, this card combines nobility with strength and tenderness. Which all sounds pretty leonine, to be honest. These are the energies within ourselves that we need to tap into during this time.

As the weight of the world has been quite heavy in 2020, now is the perfect time to enjoy the light of the summer, be creative, and have fun.

Did you know, astrologically speaking, the sun is the ruler of self? As a luminary, it represents our spirit, a part of our identity, and encourages creativity. The sun, a masculine, yang energy – represents our conscious minds; the here and now, while the moon (Cancer), a feminine yin energy, represents our subconscious. I worship both the sun and the moon, as the sun shines a light on our consciousness and the moon illuminates the dark, the unknown – reminding us that if we choose to, we can still see our way through it all.

But for now, we honor the sun. Dance, express yourself, watch the sunsets, embrace the masculine energy that calls us to do – to feel alive!

O sun, feed me with your warmth.
Enrich my body with natural vitamin D.
Your golden rays from the heavens nourish our bodies and our plants.
You guide the growth of our sturdy sunflowers up into the sky.

O beautiful sun, you flood our homes with light, reminding us of the
possibilities still left in the day.
You shimmer, you sparkle, you give life; it’s hard to deny your power.
For all the good that you bring, under harsh circumstances,
you can also be a harbinger of death, a great destroyer.
And I love you for that as well.

Through it all, you are revered, you are honored.


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How to be Present in Nature Part III: Connect with Open Water

Apparently, due to coronavirus lockdowns, there were people who have spent more time in nature than usual, as a way to cope with the stress and uncertainty. For those 3-4 months, going to your yard, local park, beach, lake, or pond, was the only escape for a while. In this Vox article, Quarantine Has Changed Us and It’s Not All Bad, spending more time in nature is a hobby that some folks want to keep even post-lockdown; I think it’s great!

In the article, one person mentions developing a morning routine of “quiet listening” with her children on the porch – which reminds me of a post I wrote about spending my mornings in quiet, listening to the birds. There really is power in starting your day off without the chaos of the wold coming at you from the screen. But now, it’s July, and it’s hot! And while I love parks and greenery, and the rustling of the leaves in the wind – I also LOVE hearing the ocean waves. I love smell of the sea, of swimming in it – the expansiveness.

I enjoy walking up to the shore where the water slinks up to the sand, to see what little treasures that sea has left behind. I watch what gets pulled back in with the tide. I watch the seabirds swoop down into the water, eat mussels off jetties, and float in the water. I watch them rest on shore, waiting for crumbs from beachgoers.

Thankfully in New York City, we have beaches, large rivers, creeks, and ponds across the five boroughs. These are all great places to just relax and let your mind water. When you’re at these bodies of water, you can be mindful, you can be still.

Here are some ways to be present by water:

  • Observe any water waves and ripples, just watch and be.
  • If you’re at the beach, how do you feel when watching the waves? Do you have any thoughts? Maybe your mind just frees itself.
  • What birds are around the water?
  • If you look down, can you see any fish or turtles?
  • Do you notice the position of the sun? Or maybe the moon? Would you be able to guesstimate the time based on the position?
  • Sit and write. Write with a pen and paper, type into notes. Journal your thoughts.

Also, it’s Cancer season! Cancer, the motherly, intuitive, sentimental water sign. So, it’s the perfect time to sit by the water and reflect, getting in touch with your feelings. Discover that divine feminine energy – water is healing, water is soothing, water flows.

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one”
-Jacques Yves Cousteau


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