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Could Hypnosis Change Your Life?

Could Hypnosis Change Your Life?

By Horoscope.com

On April 4, 2017

In Dream, Health, Spirit

Could Hypnosis Change Your Life?


For this installment of Horoscope.com’s Mystical Careers series, I spoke with hypnotist and astrologer Sandra Sitron. The first thing I asked her: “Can you practice hypnosis on yourself?” Sandra lit up. “It’s so funny,” she said. “I was just thinking about that this morning. You can definitely practice hypnosis on yourself. I could teach you how to do it right now. Do you want to learn?” I did.

She told me about a technique in hypnosis called fractionation, in which you close your eyes and open them repeatedly. We were sitting on a bench at a busy coffee shop in Brooklyn, and I found a spot on the wall slightly above eye level and held it with a steady gaze, as Sandra instructed. “The way you would look at a candlelight,” she said.

“Close and open your eyes three times,” she explained, “and then, on the third time, keep your eyes closed and breathe in, three, and breathe out; breathe in, two, and breathe out; breathe in, one, breathe out. Then, in your mind, count from 20 down to one.” She asked me to think of a statement to use to hypnotize myself with. Be more fearless came to mind instantly, so I went with it.

As I repeated my statement, I could feel my heart rate slow down, and there was a sensation of being on a cloud, a lightness—but I was still somewhat aware of the music playing in the background. After a few minutes, Sandra spoke again, bringing me back to the coffee shop. Already, I felt bolder and much calmer—even an abbreviated version in a public setting had offered a hint of what self-hypnosis could do.

Sandra conducts hypnosis sessions (kind of like this, but better) and astrology sessions at her sunny Brooklyn apartment; the healing and wellness center, Maha Rose; and via Skype. —Jesse Sposato

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Horoscope.com: How would you describe hypnosis for people who don’t know anything about it?

Sandra: Hypnosis is a process of relaxing the conscious mind and making space for the subconscious mind to come forward so that we can be more in alignment with what we want.

Horoscope.com: You do hypnosis and astrology. Do you combine them?

Sandra: I have an astrology and hypnosis offering. In that session, we start out doing astrology and cocreating affirmations or suggestions to bring into the hypnosis. A lot of times in astrology, we’re going deep into somebody’s psychological challenges and gifts and what they’re wanting most in their life. I’ve always really enjoyed thinking about the planets as archetypes; and so a lot of times we can bring that archetype forward in a hypnosis session and actually talk to it [about these things].

We don’t have to use hypnosis that way. But it’s a way to take what was talked about very conceptually and bring it into the subconscious and shift the patterns.

Horoscope.com: How did you first get into it?

Sandra: My stepmom is an astrologer, and when I was a kid, she was always talking to me about it. When I was in high school, she taught a class for me and my friends. I was fascinated with it. In my 20s, I really took it for granted; it didn’t occur to me that this wasn’t something most people had access to, and I would just talk casually to my friends about it. Eventually, one of them was like, “You need to do this professionally.”

Horoscope.com: What is a straight hypnosis session like?

Sandra: Most people, when they come in for hypnosis, are really trying to move something, whether it’s a practical behavior, like quitting smoking, or just changing a habit; or it might be an inner-working kind of thing, like, “I need more confidence,” or, “I want to feel like money is more abundant.” When people come in for that, I try to bring them in for three sessions.

Sometimes you can work on something in one session; sometimes it needs five sessions—it really depends on the person. Most of the time, in the first session, we’re looking at an overview; in the second session, we’re doing some deep, inner-child work and going into the roots; and in the third session, we’re cleaning up, catching everything we didn’t get, and seeing what comes up.

In the last few years, I’ve started doing a shamanic journey practice that’s really simple. I’m not a shamanic practitioner, but I’ll do a journey first; and while I’m doing that, I’ll write down a hypnotic session for the person, so what needs to be said is coming through.

Horoscope.com: Can you explain what a shamanic journey is?

Sandra: I basically close my eyes and turn on a drumbeat recording—you can also play a drum—and I listen to the recording and imagine myself going into a hole in the ground, into the middle world. And there I meet my spirit animal. It’s basically an imagination process.

Horoscope.com: And how do you apply that to the person you’re seeing?

Sandra: I’ll ask for their guides to come forward and give me a message that’s in their ultimate best interest; what comes through, it’s weirdly really [accurate].

Horoscope.com: Do you have any tips for someone wanting to learn about astrology and/or hypnosis?

Sandra: If you want to learn astrology, I would recommend taking a course. Once you get a foundation, you can really grow and develop on your own. It can seem overwhelming at first, and I would say, expect the first part of your education to be a lot of memorizing, [but] after you get over that, it all falls into place.

For hypnosis, find a program that you like and do the certification. It’s an investment, but [it’s worth it]. The hard thing about learning hypnosis is really feeling comfortable in a counseling setting. Because you’re not a therapist and you’re not a licensed counselor, but you have a responsibility to hold space for people and not trigger them.

Horoscope.com: What’s your favorite part of it all?

Sandra: When we dig into something that’s a breakthrough for somebody—it’s so beautiful to get to share that space with someone when their world gets expanded.

Horoscope.com: Is there anything else you want to touch on?

Sandra: One thing that we didn’t really cover is my philosophy of astrology. Astrology can be used for self-actualization, like, I will help you understand who you are, [but] I think people can pigeonhole it as: This astrologer is just going to tell me all the things that are going to happen to me; and, I’m really nervous to have a reading because I don’t feel strong enough to handle any bad information. And I’m always like, “That’s not what I do; that’s not how this works.”

Horoscope.com: There isn’t bad information?

Sandra: There may be information that you’re coming up to a checkpoint. But it’s more like, “Here’s your opportunity for growth,” not, “Your house is going to burn down.” Because really, your guides are not trying to scare you. And nothing is black and white. I like to tell people that my approach to this work is to be sensitive to what needs to come through, and almost always that message is going to come through in an empowering way.


Above right: Sandra Sitron at work with a client.

More in Mystical Careers:
So, You Want to Be an Astrologer?
An Ancient Technique for Releasing Trauma
Your Body’s Herbal Allies

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An Ancient Technique for Releasing Trauma

An Ancient Technique for Releasing Trauma

By Horoscope.com

On March 31, 2017

In Happiness, Health, Spirit

An Ancient Technique for Releasing Trauma

In part two of our four-part Mystical Careers series, Horoscope.com’s Jesse Sposato talks to Washington, DC-based reiki master and yoga instructor Jessica Mahler about what exactly reiki is, what a session is like, and how it can empower us to make peace with our pasts.

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Horoscope.com: The dictionary definition of reiki is “a form of therapy in which the practitioner is believed to channel energy into the patient in order to encourage healing or restore wellbeing.” How do you describe reiki?

Jessica: It’s a very hard thing to explain because you can’t see it. Reiki translates from Japanese as “universal life energy.” So, there’s energy all around us at any given moment, and [when a practioner is working on someone,] we’re not necessarily doing anything—we’re just acting as conduits for the energy that’s all around us to come in through us and out through our hands, a little bit more concentrated and more powerful, to help whoever we’re working on release whatever it is they need to release.

Horoscope.com: What is a reiki session like?

Jessica: It totally depends. Sessions are typically anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes, and I have a massage table that I use, both in my home and in the places where I practice. When people come in and they’ve never had reiki before, I let them know that they’re going to start on the table lying down on their backs so they’re facing upwards. I’ll do a couple of physical adjustments to help them start to relax—adjustments that you would get in Shavasana at the end of a yoga class, just to help them soften and start to let go.

There are 20 traditional hand placements, both hands-on and hands-off, and they basically go along the chakras. If they seem to be holding on to something super tight, or if I intuitively feel like something else could help them release, maybe I’ll have them do some breathing techniques, or maybe I’ll add some body work in to help them physically start to shake something out.

Horoscope.com: What do you like about reiki, and why do you do it?

Jessica: I do it to help people, and to help people heal. I’ve been through a lot of trauma in my own life, and there’s been a lot of self-work and things that I’ve had to move through, and I know from experience that there are a lot of people who are bypassing the trauma, and bypassing the stuff that has affected us. So I’m really trying to help empower people to own the feelings that they have.

Horoscope.com: What does one need to do in order to become a reiki master?

Jessica: In the school that I learned in, which is Dr. Usui, there are only three levels: reiki 1, reiki 2, and reiki master. So, when you become a reiki master, you’ve learned all the symbols and you learn how to teach other people. And with each level, the reiki itself gets more powerful. So, you get your reiki 1 atunement, and you’re feeling the reiki move through you; you get your reiki 2, and you start working with symbols and healing through space and time, and the power of the reiki is so much stronger—you can feel it. Then after reiki 2, there’s reiki master and that, too, feels so much stronger. I think that there should be a little bit of time in between 1 and 2 and master just to get a feel for it and understand your relationship to it. I really needed the time in between each level.

Horoscope.com: Did you start practicing after you became a reiki master?

Jessica: I had been practicing the whole time. Now I can really feel where they need the reiki the most, where they’re holding on to things, and where there are blockages in their body. Whereas [before] it was just a sensation that I would notice in my hands, now I can feel where they need it. Either my mind is like, “Go to their belly,” or I feel something tight or uncomfortable in my belly. And that’s one thing that has shifted. Sometimes I actually see things; sometimes I feel things on a much deeper level.

Horoscope.com: How often do people go?

Jessica: It’s different for everyone. People ask me that all the time and I tell them, “I’m not trying to make you poor, I just want you to feel good, so if you go home and you notice you’re feeling really great right now, and then in a couple weeks or months you feel like something isn’t right or you can’t get back to where you felt after the session, come back.” For those working with really deep stuff, I recommend, at first anyway, doing weekly sessions.

Horoscope.com: Is there anything you want to add that feels important for people to know about reiki?

Jessica: One thing is that reiki is intuitive itself, and it goes where it needs to go. So, if I have my hands over the person’s head but their heart is what needs the reiki the most, it will go there. There will still be reiki going into the spot where your hands are, but if it’s needed more elsewhere, it will go to where it’s needed. Also, you don’t have to believe in reiki for it to work.


Above: Reiki master Jessica Mahler.

More in Mystical Careers: 
So, You Want to Be an Astrologer?
Your Body’s Herbal Allies
Could Hypnosis Change Your Life?

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Are You a Princess or Queen?

Are You a Princess or Queen?

By Horoscope.com

On January 19, 2017

In Spirit

Are You a Princess or Queen?

Every girl wants to be a princess – but is this actually an unhealthy status to desire? Turns out, YES.

We all know the story of Cinderella… she lived with her evil stepmother and because she was “nice” she allowed her stepsisters to talk to her in a condescending tone and be complete disrespected. It’s clearly wrong. Yet it’s romanticized. Why?

If a naïve child reads this story or watches this movie, they could logically think: “If I am nice, even to people who are mean to me, some prince will show up, make me a princess, and everyone will know I was the good girl.”

Nice thought, but most victims aren’t so lucky… in women do not need to be rescued. Cinderella should have told her stepsisters to not talk to her like that, gotten a day job and moved out of her stepmother’s house, and created her own empire. That would have been the best revenge- not just marrying some rich guy – ruling her own domain as a QUEEN.

There’s a saying that goes “you can either be a princess in her tower or a queen on your throne.” Women (and men, too) all face daily scenarios in which we decide what role we are going to play (a big reason we reach our horoscopes or get Tarot readings). Sometimes we are a “princess in a tower” when a restaurant gets our order wrong and we decide to just “deal with it” and then never go back there again… but then we are a queen when we demand a raise from our boss, knowing that our needs deserve to be met.

The point is, you should take the time to ask yourself when you’re going through a tough time or making a decision who you are being – the princess, victim to her consequences, or the queen, who is accepting her consequences but using them as an opportunity to shine.

Be the queen! Recognize your value. Recognize your worth. Once you do that, the rest will follow.

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How To Feel More Gratitude

How To Feel More Gratitude

By Horoscope.com

On November 10, 2014

In Family, Love, Spirit

How To Feel More Gratitude

Isn’t it great when someone says thank you? It’s such a simple thing, but it’s the heart and soul of gratitude. Some people consider Thanksgiving to be a form of prayer.

Sure, life gets crazy and difficult, but there’s a lot to be grateful for, and very little of it is related to money. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s reflect on what each sign loves the most and say a big thank you for all we share.

Aries: Be thankful and cherish good health and the energy to chase down your dreams! Be well, feel well, stay highly self-motivated, and inspire the rest of the Zodiac with joy and your natural self-confidence.

Taurus: Be grateful for all beautiful places, possessions, and things that endure! And if they can’t last, you know we can cherish the memories. Be it creature comforts or more transcendental wonders, the beauty stays in our hearts forever.

Gemini: Friends keep us in touch with the world and ourselves! You understand that communication matters, so be especially grateful for those who keep us honest and real. Be extra grateful for friends who listen to us in our madness.

Cancer: Family is sometimes the best blessing in disguise! It’s the fundamental nature of who, why, and what we are before we mature and become our unique selves. Say thank you, love each other warts and all, and hug often!

Leo: Sheer fun and joie de vivre make life worth living! Your inner child isn’t very deeply “inner,” but lives near the surface and says thank you to the Universe with a contagious, happy smile. Show your gratitude with passion!

Virgo: Let’s all be grateful for the soft hum of routine, with or without purring kitties! Your simple discipline and routine gets us through the confusion and chaos. Maintaining a modest order and being of service are the best. Thank you!

Libra: Heavenly peace and quiet! Peace on Earth, or the blissful silence when the smoke alarm stops, each moment is a gem. Partners quarrel, then kiss and make up. Any huge or tiny conflict resolved or avoided altogether is a major victory. Thank you!

Scorpio: Like gold still buried in the ground, the most intimate of confided secrets is a precious thing usually well guarded and kept hidden! You appreciate how great it is to be loved, honored, and trusted with the treasures and confessions of others.

Sagittarius: The love of adventure and a desire to experience the great wide world is what keeps your heart beating fast! It reminds the whole Zodiac to be grateful and remember that even daily life can be something grand.

Capricorn: Meaningful work nourishes the soul and comforts the heart! When we see you pursuing your true purpose in life, it’s a life of gratitude in action. Be grateful for the chance – or even for the aspiration – to be useful and helpful.

Aquarius: The freedom to explore and the thrill of discovery are as precious and necessary as the air we breathe! You remind each of us to be grateful for the natural free spirit that we all have, and to make the most of it.

Pisces: This most thankful of signs knows that we are all one big family of humanity. You’re thankful just for being born and being alive in this most mystical of worlds. No one will use those words, though. A hug and kiss will say it all.