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Essential Mental Health Tips For Kids & Parents Finally Going Back To School This Fall

Back to school tips this year may be a little different.

During this hectic time of the pandemic, Covid-19 cases have decreased in many areas, and are rising in others, even though fears about illness still linger.

Many schools may still offer the option of in-person learning. But some may not. As a result, many kids are returning to the classroom after months of e-learning from home.

This significant change may be a blessing for parents or children who are eager to return to the classroom, but it also could be a cause of anxiety for some.

Not only are these changes affecting children returning to the classroom, they also have an impact on the mental health of children who are continuing virtual learning from home or homeschooling.

Thankfully, there are options for help.

Here are 8 back to school tips, focusing on mental health, to help anxious students returning to school.

1. Communicate.

Change can be good but it can also stir up fears of what’s next. The first step in making peace with change is to acknowledge it.

Talk to your kids about how they’re feeling about returning to school this fall. Having open, age-appropriate conversations with your children will help them know they are protected and not alone.

2. Remember mask etiquette.

Remind your children of the importance of proper mask-wearing. Children, especially younger ones, may have difficulties keeping their masks on for long periods.

Ensure your child feels comfortable wearing a mask before returning to school by practicing at home.

If you find your child is anxious about wearing a mask, it might be beneficial to teach your child breathing techniques to help.

3. Encourage proper hygiene.

Encourage frequent hand washing and sanitization.

Remind your children of the importance of social distancing and germ prevention.

4. Address social changes.

The pandemic has forced social distancing, and many of us have not had face-to-face socialization outside of our immediate family since its start.

While most children will bounce right back into face-to-face socialization, it might be helpful for them to do so with a parent present before returning to in-person school.

Socially anxious children are especially prone to difficulties.

You can help mitigate your child’s anxieties by role-playing situations your child may encounter on their first days back, such as talking to a peer or teacher.

5. Get back on schedule.

Changing to in-person learning from virtual is quite the schedule adjustment. This is especially true for students who haven’t had to wake up for regular early morning school hours since before the start of the pandemic.

Help your child adjust to classroom routines by getting back on a regular schedule.

Setting recurring morning alarms a few days before starting in-person schooling can help kids get back into a routine.

6. Address fears about health risks at school.

It’s natural for kids to have some concerns about exposure to COVID-19 when returning to in-person learning.

Remind your kids that scientists, health experts, parents, teachers, and other leaders are doing everything they can to ensure their health and safety.

7. Encourage daily self-care.

Advocate and model adaptive self-care for your children.

Self-care looks different for everyone and may include yoga, meditation, coloring, or even a quick walk around the park.

Be creative and have fun!

8. Stay positive.

Your children look up to you as their guide and model, and staying positive can undoubtedly help them feel more at ease with the transition back into in-person learning.

Talking to your children about the positives of returning to in-person schooling can help.

Have them list what they are most excited about for returning to in-person school and remind them to focus on those, as needed.

If you notice that your child has the following symptoms, it may be a great time to start therapy

Feeling constantly on edge

Withdrawing from social situations

Isolating themselves

Mood swings

Lacking concentration

Nervousness

Separation anxiety

Jitteriness

Tearfulness

Hopelessness

Substance abuse

School refusal

Counseling can be beneficial when it comes to adjusting to school changes and the state of the pandemic. 

However your child is feeling, make sure that you follow these steps and continue to support them going forward. 

Dr. Leda Kaveh is a licensed clinical psychologist and the owner/director of Washington Psychological Wellness. If you want to learn more about family therapy, contact them today!

This article was originally published at Washington Psychological Wellness. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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The Surprising Influence Birth Order Has on Your Zodiac Sign

The Surprising Influence Birth Order Has on Your Zodiac Sign

By Ellen Ricks

On July 6, 2020

In Sun

The Surprising Influence Birth Order Has on Your Zodiac Sign

Genetics, family dynamics, temperament — there’s so much that goes into making you the person you are, and much of it is happenstance. But understanding what factors are at play can get you on your way to living your best life. Both your zodiac sign and birth order have an affect on your personality, but what if the effects seem to counteract? Because your sign underplays a major part in your personality, it can also affect what traits resulting from your birth order are amplified over others. We’ve broken down how each horoscope sign deals with being the eldest, youngest and everything in between.

According to psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman, cauthor of The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are, your birth order shapes your personality. Furthermore, each spot in the birth order has its own unique challenges, according to child and family therapist Mari Wallace.

Read this now: Mantras to Make Your Dreams Come True Under the Pisces Full Moon

Firstborn

Typically, the firstborn is a natural leader, and as firstborn, you are reliable, conscientious, and structured. Your parents gave you a ton of rules that you not only followed but instilled in your younger siblings, leaving you with some control issues. You are more cautious than your siblings, and also more success-driven. You want to be the best at everything. After all, you were born in first place after all!

Aries

Over-achiever, competitive, and substitute parent for your younger siblings. You tend to be confident in yourself.

Taurus

Cautious, dependable, very determined to reach your goal, and a textbook example of a firstborn. You will do anything for your loved ones.

Gemini

Charming leader, able to talk your way out of anything, can get very nervous when things don’t go right, and a jack of all trades.

Cancer

Protective and supportive. You will do anything for your loved ones. Cautious in new situations, you’re usually watching out for your siblings. You get the “feels” a lot.

Leo

You to be in charge and to take care of others but sometimes feel bossy. Warmhearted and caring to the core.

Virgo

A chronic worrier, you look before you leap and plan everything in advance. Very intelligent. As a child, you acted as a “mini-adult” to your siblings. People can rely on you.

Libra

Idealistic and charming, you want to help everyone you meet. You are a major flirt and have big dreams of travel and adventure but are always changing your mind.

Scorpio

Incredibly driven and determined to succeed at whatever cost. You want to be the best at everything and you have a powerful vibe that draws people in. The term “work hard, play hard” fits you like a glove.

Sagittarius

Smart and well read. You are straightforward with others, which can lead to hurt feelings. Resentful of rules, preferring to follow your own paths.

Capricorn

You are both practical and ambitious. You are a very careful and hesitant person, but that doesn’t dampen your humor.

Aquarius

You are an independent person who is loyal and open with everyone. You have a humanitarian streak in you and want to help others whenever you can. You can be a bit contrary with your need to be in charge and your need to go with the flow.

Pisces

The compassionate personality, you are sensitive to other people’s emotions, offering empathy unselfishly. While you are kind and intuitive to others’ needs, you keep things close to the vest when others try to get close to you.

Stuck in the Middle

Middle children tend to try to stand out from the crowd because, as the middle child, you are often looked over in favor of your oldest or younger siblings. Being stuck in the middle has made you tough and able to stick up for yourself, but also extremely social (you were always surrounded by people). You are a people-pleaser with a somewhat rebellious streak. You have a lot of friendships that you love and tend to be the peacemaker in real life since you were the bridge between your eldest and younger siblings.

Aries

Rebellious, and always wanting to stand out from the crowd. Wanting to be the star, you don’t back down or get pushed around.

Taurus

The peacemaker, a listening ear for anyone who needs to vent, easily jealous, and you tend to whole grudges.

Gemini

You have a large circle of friends, and you’re always in everyone’s business. Great social and communication skills.

Cancer

Moody, sensitive to others’ feelings, loving and understanding. You always have a close-knit friend group.

Leo

Rebellious nature, often fighting for attention. Very strong personality and extroverted. You hate being bossed around by anyone, so you follow your own rules.

Virgo

You are painfully shy and try to stay out of the way. You want to please everyone and become overly critical of yourself when that does not happen. You watch and analyze everyone around you.

Libra

Classic Libra. Peacemaker, diplomatic, and your social calendar is always full. It’s very hard for you to decide because you can see so many possibilities.

Scorpio

The black sheep of the family. You are passionate and will do whatever it takes to get what you want. Prone to jealousy and are stubborn to the bitter end.

Sagittarius

A restless soul, you never want to stay in one place. You have a large circle of people you know, but only a few close friends. You use humor as both a way to make yourself stand out, and to cope with life.

Capricorn

As the middle child, you learned the fine art of patience. You act shy and reserved and hold grudges easily.

Aquarius

You are outgoing and have no trouble making friends. You stand out from the crowd by always reinventing yourself and showing off your uniqueness, even if that makes you a little unpredictable.

Pisces

You are a people pleaser who just wants everyone to be happy. You are sensitive to teasing but also kind to others who are suffering. You seem to know when something is wrong and how you can make it right.

The Baby

The baby is the family’s free spirit. As the baby of the family, there was always someone watching over you, making you more fun loving but less responsible. You always seem to get your way. Mostly, you’re outgoing and uncomplicated, unless you are the youngest in a large family. Then you might have more attention-seeking traits. When your siblings are freaking out, you know things will work themselves out.

Aries

Fun loving, carefree, adventurous, and a little self-centered.

Taurus

Loving and outgoing, persistent in getting what you want, and uncomplicated.

Gemini

Young at heart, outgoing, and lively. You always want to be the center of attention, and are a little flighty at times.

Cancer

Free spirit, kind to others. Shy, but not afraid to ask for help. You develop deep and intimate relationships.

Leo

Fun-loving, outgoing, and craves being the center of attention. You either resent being the youngest because everyone bosses you around or love it because you will always be spoiled. Your motto is “everything will work out.”

Virgo

Quiet and reserved around new people. You try to live simplistically and don’t welcome drama by any means.

Libra

Dreamy, easygoing and romantic. Because you are the youngest, you were easily tricked by your older siblings, making it hard for you to trust others.

Scorpio

Emotional and exciting, you live for adventure and can be a little reckless. You love to have a good time and live to be the center of attention, and often are because your magnetic energy excites all who come near you.

Sagittarius

Blindly optimistic that everything will work. Can be careless. Happy-go-lucky and with an easy sense of humor, you value freedom above all else.

Capricorn

You have a great sense of humor and ambitious in getting what you want though you have a hard time staying disciplined.

Aquarius

Fun-loving and uncomplicated, every day is an adventure for you. You tend to wing things and seek to stand out. You are deeply loyal and creative.

Pisces

Taken care of by your parents and siblings, you have a childlike quality about you. While that makes you imaginative and kind, it also makes you unworldly and easily led.

The One and Only

As the only child and sole source of your parent’s attention, you are mature beyond your years because you spend your childhood around adults. Like a firstborn, you are conscientious, diligent, and a natural leader. You are also shyer around people your own age and have a perfectionist streak in you.

Aries

Leader, always needing to be in charge, and confident in your ability to succeed.

Taurus

Mature beyond your years, patient, and diligent. You have a very hard time sharing things with others.

Gemini

Very intelligent and well spoken. Can easily talk to people of all ages, but the nervous type.

Cancer

With a very active imagination, you are emotionally mature but hesitant about taking risks. Highly intuitive to what’s going on around you.

Leo

A natural leader with tons of creative talent. You are very generous and think of others before you think of your own needs. Loyal to a fault.

Virgo

You are an old soul with a type A personality. A perfectionist who is meticulous, diligent, and wise beyond your years. You are also painfully shy in new situations.

Libra

Idealistic, easygoing, and can be gullible. You see all sides of a problem by being mature and objective.

Scorpio

Very secretive and stubborn. You can become very passionate about things that matter to you. You want everything to be perfect. Highly intelligent and cunning.

Sagittarius

Intellectual and philosophical, you speak with the wisdom beyond your years with little tact. You are a straight shooter with a clever sense of humor.

Capricorn

Ambitious and disciplined, you are a classic Capricorn. You have the maturity to not rush into things, willing to wait to get the things you desire. An adult sense of humor.

Aquarius

You are an original. You are smart, creative, and honest to a fault. You may come across as detached from reality, but you truly care about the people in your life. If you were a fictional character, you would be Luna Lovegood.

Pisces

Idealistic creative type, you tend to be shy and keep to yourself. You’re sensitive and can be hurt easily.

And remember — astrology and birth order are only a few pieces of the puzzle! Your upbringing, environment, and even your siblings’ and parents’ zodiac signs can play a big role in what makes you… you!

Ellen Ricks is a writer and fashion blogger who loves leopard print. Follow her on Instagram.  

Photo: Bruno Nascimiento via Unsplash

 

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Your January Horoscope: Starting 2019 Off With a Big, Beautiful Bang!

Your January Horoscope: Starting 2019 Off With a Big, Beautiful Bang!

By Horoscope.com

On January 1, 2019

In Astrology, Sun

Your January Horoscope: Starting 2019 Off With a Big, Beautiful Bang!

Your January 2019 horoscopes have arrived and it’s gonna be great! Read up, and when you’re done, check out your January 2019 sex and love horoscope! Happy New Year!

Aries Monthly Horoscope

You might’ve felt a little lost the last few weeks of 2018, but 2019 is here to deliver the goods! Your ruler Mars is home in Aries and you’re ready to hit the ground running. However, before you dive in head first, take a minute to assess where you’ve been and where you want to go. The Capricorn new moon and eclipse align on January 5, which means you can move ahead with a renewed sense of purpose and direction. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Taurus Monthly Horoscope

What are your long-term goals, Taurus? It’s time to figure them out and reprioritize around them. When the Capricorn new moon and eclipse align on January 5, you can make solid progress toward them. It’s time! You’re doing well professionally, and the Leo full moon and lunar eclipse on the twentieth mark the end of an 18-month phase of regaining inner confidence, so you can let your brilliance shine. Shine, Taurus, shine! Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Gemini Monthly Horoscope

It’s time to let go of the past and embrace the future. Your relationships have a lot to offer you creatively, emotionally, sexually, and financially — but you need to dig past surface material attachments to get to the good stuff. What will matter at the end of you life? Figure it out and then invest in making it happen. The Leo full moon and lunar eclipse align in your house of communication on the twentieth, and they’re bringing information, light, and new perspective to get you unstuck. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Cancer Monthly Horoscope

Where do you need better boundaries? And where do you need to let down your guard? January is the perfect time to figure this out, Cancer. And with a new moon and solar eclipse in Capricorn on the fifth, you’ll begin an 18-month phase of transformation, allowing you to deepen mutually supportive, loving, respectful, and healthy relationships that have your back. It’s gonna be a big month. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Leo Monthly Horoscope

You’re ready for a new adventure, Leo! But first, you need to take stock of where you’ve been, and what you want moving forward. The Capricorn new moon and solar eclipse on the fifth mark the beginning of an 18-month phase of building the life of your dreams—it’s time to work hard, play hard, and take care of yourself. You can do it. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Virgo Monthly Horoscope

It’s time to get out of your comfort zone, Virgo! What’s holding you back? Be brutally honest with yourself about what you want, not what you think is expected of you. With January 5’s Capricorn new moon and solar eclipse, it’s the start of an 18-month phase of getting rid of pretense and rediscovering your inner child. She’s always been wise beyond her years, and she’s there for you. And with the Leo full moon and lunar eclipse align on the twentieth, find the time to be alone, meditate, go inward, and pay attention to a dream birthing with you. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Libra Monthly Horoscope

You’re focused on matters of security, home, family, and domestic relationships—it’ll help if you honestly confront your past so you can have a more hopeful future. The Capricorn new moon and solar eclipse on the fifth mark the beginning of an 18-month phase of closing old chapters, planting seeds, and laying the foundation for a new life. It’s time. And with the Leo full moon and lunar eclipse align on the twentieth, a social situation is coming to light, and you might be surprised by your feelings and desires. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Scorpio Monthly Horoscope

You’ve got a lot weighing on your mind, dear Scorpio—maybe a hard choice to make or a difficult time to make it through. You can do it and come out the other side stronger than ever. January 5ths Capricorn new moon and solar eclipse mark the beginning of an 18-month phase of releasing false (or your father’s) beliefs, and make your own standards of success. What’s important to you? And with the Leo full moon and lunar eclipse on the twentieth, you’re ending a professional chapter and moving to a new level. Follow your passion. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Sagittarius Monthly Horoscope

Your ruler Jupiter is in your sign, and you’re on a journey of self-discovery this year. Mars is firing up your house of love as you enter January, and romance, creativity, children, and inner child all encourage you to take a risk. Sit in your integrity, and you’ll do great things. January 5th’s a new moon and eclipse in Capricorn usher in an 18-month phase of you growing in emotional and financial security. Dig deep and reap the rewards. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Capricorn Monthly Horoscope

A small dream come true last year, and you might be wondering what’s next. As you enter January, you’re coming face to face with difficult realities asking you to confront the past honestly—it’s time to shed skin and reveal your true self. Keep asking yourself, “Who am I?” and you’ll be guided to an answer. And as the Leo full moon and eclipse align on the twentieth, you’re seeing a partnership in a new light and realizing your true worth and what you value in your commitments. Don’t get sucked into the drama. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Aquarius Monthly Horoscope

You saw some big changes professionally in 2018, and now it’s time to dig deeper and manifest your dreams. The Capricorn new moon and solar eclipse align on January 5 will see you entering a soul search, a journey into the caverns of your psyche discovering the histories of mankind, decaying materialistic values that imprison – like King Midas – as well as spiritual treasures that reveal your raison d’etre. It’s an exciting time. Read your entire monthly horoscope here.

Pisces Monthly Horoscope

You enter January with an old dream dying—but that’s OK, because new doors are opening. What do you want, Pisces? It’s time to figure that out—both professionally and personally. Dig deep. A Capricorn new moon and solar eclipse on January 5th asks you to align with a greater vision and altruistic ambition. Stay true to your talents and abilities, and you will simply shine. You’ve been on a long journey, and you’re turning the corner on some past difficulties. This is about your legacy—have faith in yourself and remember that only humility precedes true greatness. Read your entire monthly horoscope here. —By Priya Kale and the Horoscope.com staff

Read This Next: 2019 Is Gonna Be a Big Year. Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

Photo: @usmfalina via Twenty20

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How to Channel the Sexy, Electric Energy of Jupiter in Scorpio

How to Channel the Sexy, Electric Energy of Jupiter in Scorpio

By Horoscope.com

On July 10, 2018

In Astrology, Sun

How to Channel the Sexy, Electric Energy of Jupiter in Scorpio

Maressa Brown is a writer, editor, astrologer, and author of Centennial Presents’ 2018 Astrology Guide. Her work has appeared on/in various publications such as Cosmopolitan.com, The Washington Post, Parents.com, and Women’s Health. Find more of her celestial insights and lifestyle features on Facebook @MaressaSBrown and on Twitter @MaressaSylvie. — Horoscope.com editors

As the most sizeable planet in our solar system, Jupiter packs a hefty punch astrologically. Named for the Roman “King of the Gods,” the planet of luck tends to have an expansive, even exaggerating effect. This can promote prosperity and big-picture thinking, as well as overindulgence.

Get personal guidance in love, money, and more for the next 12 months.

When Jupiter is retrograde, as it has been since March 8, the excess-rousing planet works on an internal level, amplifying our intellectual, internal, spiritual pursuits. Depending on where it’s hitting your astrological chart, it could have assisted you with learning a new professional skill, meditating more, self-reflection that lead to better understanding your sexual needs, or adopting a more holistic wellness routine. In short, its backward spin was meant to serve as a learning experience.

Read This Now: How Mercury Retrograde Helped Me Get Over My Exes

As of July 10, the planet of abundance moves forward in passionate water sign Scorpio, lending its expansive, positive energy to more external aspects of life. Here, what you can expect—and how you can take advantage of Jupiter’s direct turn—based on your sign’s element.   

If You’re a Water Sign (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) …
For the past four months, you may have had to hold off on exciting, impulsive travel, impromptu date nights, or higher learning. Instead, you’ve been prodded to reflect on your desires and how you can infuse your life with carefree, sexy fun and generally eye-opening experiences. As an emotional water sign, self-reflection comes naturally. But it’s understandable if you’re itching for a green light to enjoy a real-life adventure versus daydream.

Thankfully, Jupiter’s direct turn in your fifth house of romance, if you’re a Cancer; first house of self, if you’re a Scorpio; or ninth house of higher learning, if you’re a Pisces makes it easier to finally plan and act on your wildest fantasies related to travel, romance, or education. But being that Scorpio is a fixed sign (meaning it’s stubborn and resistant to change), you’ll do well not to get too stuck on the exact vision you have in your mind’s eye. Instead, focus on the fact that there’s always a lesson to be learned—and joy to be found—regardless of how your dream manifests.

If You’re a Fire Sign (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) …
During Jupiter’s retrograde, you may have been reflecting on your emotional bonds with your partner, your loved ones, and even yourself. You’ve been compelled to consider how you relate to one another and the work that needs to be done to better understand each other in order to heal old wounds. Having to turn your gaze inward and put the brakes on immediate action (be that by having an important conversation with your partner, sharing your needs with relatives, or taking a self-care break) has been undoubtedly aggravating. After all, you tend to be all about definitive movement forward, ideally at a fast pace.

Now, Jupiter’s direct turn in your eighth house of emotional and sexual bonds, if you’re an Aries; fourth house of home life, if you’re a Leo; and twelfth house of spirituality, if you’re a Sagittarius will give you the green light to take your deepest relationships and self-care routine to the next level. It could also mean expanding your joint financial portfolio or home in some way. Tapping into Scorpio’s intimacy-loving, investigative energy along the way could promote even more success.  

If You’re an Earth Sign (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) …
While the planet of luck has moved backward, you may have been meditating on interpersonal communication and relationships with partners (romantic and professional), friends, and colleagues. You’ve been challenged to think about these dynamics and how teamwork might offer the support you need to make big-picture dreams a reality. You’re so enterprising, organized, and goal-oriented by nature that you actually love researching and mapping out a step-by-step game plan on your own. But Jupiter has encouraged you to think about leaning on others in a new light.

With Jupiter’s direct turn in your seventh house of partnership, if you’re a Taurus; third house of communication, if you’re a Virgo; and eleventh house of networking, if you’re a Capricorn, you’ll be able to put all of that reflection and rumination about long-term, group projects to use and actually get the ball rolling. Sure, you may want to continue the brainstorming, planning process, but the time is right now for making concrete moves. You can also use that Scorpionic willfulness to stay on-task as an organizer and a leader now.  

If You’re an Air Sign (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) …
Jupiter’s retrograde may have had you deliberating on the details surrounding your daily routine, work-life balance, long-term professional goals, and money-making efforts. You may be craving change, whether that’s taking on more responsibility at your job, overhauling your personal portfolio, or simply tweaking your day-to-day schedule. You may even now know exactly how to proceed, but feel like you could use a burst of positive, can-do energy to get going. And being that you’re often scattershot and tend to be more idea than action-oriented, you’ll benefit from Scorpio’s razor-focused vibes, too.

Thankfully, Jupiter’s direct turn in your sixth house of daily routine, if you’re a Gemini; second house of income, if you’re a Libra; and tenth house of career, if you’re an Aquarius will offer the confidence you need to start making exciting, maybe even broad-sweeping changes. The key: Getting clear on what you want to achieve in the long-run, and then tapping into a bit of that Scorpionic relentlessness. You’ll be unstoppable.  — By Maressa Brown

 

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How to Celebrate Summer Solstice 2018 & the Sun’s Move Into Cancer

How to Celebrate Summer Solstice 2018 & the Sun’s Move Into Cancer

By Horoscope.com

On June 20, 2018

In Sun

How to Celebrate Summer Solstice 2018 & the Sun’s Move Into Cancer

In a few days, thousands of people will converge at Stonehenge’s massive stone monoliths to celebrate the summer solstice of 2018, the first day of the summer for the Northern Hemisphere. June 21 marks the longest day of the year – and the shortest night because it is the moment when the sun is at its northernmost point, making it the farthest away from the Earth in our orbit. In astrology, summer solstice also marks when the sun moves into the sign of Cancer, highlighting the areas of home, family, memories, femininity and motherhood over the next few weeks.

Read this now: How to Harness the Magic of the 2018 Summer Solstice

Things to Do for Summer Solstice 2018

Throughout Europe, summer solstice traditions of maypole dancing and bonfires have existed for centuries in countries from Sweden to Finland and from Spain to Latvia, Russia and Ukraine. China, as well, celebrates the summer solstice along with the idea of “yin,” a feminine energy, American Indian tribes like the Sioux reportedly have traditions that celebrate the sun on the longest day of the year, and in Japan a ritual of purification is practiced during “Geshisai,” or the sunrise on the summer solstice.

How is your life evolving? Use ancient symbolism to understand…

While astrology doesn’t necessarily see the summer solstice as an “event,” many astrologers recognize that the official first day of summer is a great time to reflect on the interplay between your feminine and masculine energies, much like the yin and yang in traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy. In astrology, the sun represents male energy while the moon, the ruler of Cancer, is feminine. The masculine signs are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius while the signs oriented towards the feminine are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces. Depending on what your sign is, consider ways to cultivate the opposing energy for the first day of summer.

Read this now: An Energizing Ritual for the June 2018 Capricorn Full Moon

Some fitting ideas for summer solstice rituals include practicing yin yang yoga and taking some time to meditate on the duality of life represented by the masculine and feminine energy in all of us. Or adopt the European practice of building a bonfire and then use the power of the flames to set your intentions for the summer, write them on a piece of paper, and then throw it into the fire. Since we’re moving into the season of the sign of Cancer, which is linked to water and the tides, perform a ritualistic ablution of your own, whether an herb-filled bath or an energizing dip in the ocean.

Summer Solstice and Astrology

The signs that will be most affected by the 2018 summer solstice will be Cancer, Leo and Virgo. Honor these energies by spending time with family and loved ones; tell your closest friends and family how much they mean to you; and show your love for your tribe through acts of generosity, humility and service.—By Valaer Murray Goldsworthy

Photo: @mysoul via Twenty20

 

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Planetary Aspects for March 5 to March 12: When Jupiter Goes Retrograde, Everything And Everyone Changes

Planetary Aspects for March 5 to March 12: When Jupiter Goes Retrograde, Everything And Everyone Changes

By Horoscope.com

On March 5, 2018

In Aspect, Date, Sun

Planetary Aspects for March 5 to March 12: When Jupiter Goes Retrograde, Everything And Everyone Changes

It’s a big week, astrologically speaking. It’s also a pretty great week to get to know yourself, to become familiar with your quirks and your moods and your talents. Let your freak flag fly this week. Experiment. Speak up. Be bold. All planetary influences push us outside our comfort zone, and Jupiter retrograde helps us get to where we all want to be by helping us remember who we were, back when we may not have known better. It’s a good thing, and trust you’re exactly where you need to be. Here, the planetary transits for March 5 to March 12 that affect all Zodiac signs. 

Want a sneak peek into 2018? Find out what to expect right now with your 2018 premium horoscope! 

Monday, March 5
Get Things Done
A Scorpio moon plays taskmater today, but that’s only because you have a pretty wild weekend coming up. All signs would do well to buckle down and get things done. Today may not be glamorous, but it can be an important and enriching day, especially when it comes to work or anything related to getting ahead. In other words, weekend and play time is over! Act accordingly. In addition, Mercury enters Aries, speeding up communication and helping you just spit out what you’ve been meaning to say! 

Tuesday, March 6
Feel Pleasure! 

Venus enters Aries, and life is lovely. This is a lovely aspect to enjoy food, life, love. It’s time to savor your body, your soul, your meals! Spending on a great dinner is par for the course today, and so is spending all day in the throes of luxury. The more you put in (or give in) to this aspect, the more sensuous and delightful you’ll feel. Yum. 

Wednesday, March 7 
Make Happy Hour Plans 
A Sagittarius moon pushes all signs on an adventure. It may not be a big thing, but break up mid-week monotony by trying something new. Go out on a Wednesday night. Go to a new grocery store. Shake up your lunch order! Even open a window and let the fresh air in. Spring is so close, and this moon invites you to embrace change. 

Thursday, March 8
Feel the Shift and Be the Change 

Jupiter goes retrograde, and depending on your sign, it’s a time to reflect, change your habits, and forge ahead. This retrograde can be a profoundly positive one, but you need to pay attention and put in the work. You may feel the effects of this retrograde quite quickly, It should be clear to you what you need to work on—take the cues from the Universe and go from there. 

Friday, March 9
Shake Up the Routine

If you normally go out on a Friday night, this could be a good one to stay in—or vice versa. With the upcoming trine between Mars and Uranus, everything is possible, and the Jupiter retrograde is also shaking up our systems—we realize that everything is temporary, and we are far less anchored than we may think we are. Shake things up! Enjoy. Expect the unexpected. It’s fun, right? 

Saturday, March 10
Let Your Freak Flag Fly
You are so ready to break out of your box, and an Aquarius moon, coupled with the powerful influence of Mars and Uranus connecting, can help you be braver and bolder than ever before. Don’t worry about what other people think. It’s okay to experiment. Don’t feel so locked down in who you are or who you are not. 

Sunday, March 11
Open Your Heart and Mind! 

As Mars trines Uranus, it’s a great time to get our of your comfort zone and think about who you are beyond the box society puts you in. What do you want? What would you want if money and expectations were no object? The more you can clarify who you see yourself becoming, the more you can put this into motion with this planetary aspect. 

Read last week’s planetary aspect guide here. 

Read this week’s horoscope here! 

Want a sneak peek into 2018? Find out what to expect right now with your 2018 premium horoscope! 

Have a Magical Week With These Articles! 
Before You Buy a Tarot Deck, Read This
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4 Strategies to Clue Into Your Subconscious

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Your Favorite Holiday Traditions Based on Sign

Your Favorite Holiday Traditions Based on Sign

By Horoscope.com

On December 14, 2017

In Aspect, Date, Sun

Your Favorite Holiday Traditions Based on Sign

‘Tis the season! Want the holidays to be ho-ho-happy? Try a tradition based on your sun sign! All signs naturally gravitate toward one particular aspect of the holidays—and all signs have one tradition they hate. Read on to find yours. 

Want 2018 to be the best year ever? Start prepping now with your 2018 horoscope!

Aries 
You Love: The Parties
Nothing makes you happier than making merry with all your closest friends. You close down the bars, and it’s no over until the last drop of wine has been poured.

You Hate: Downtime
The day after Christmas, when no shops are open, everyone is at home, and you’re stuck with a holiday hangover is the OMFG worst. Right? 

         
Taurus 
You Love: The treats
Bring on the pies, cakes, wine, and sausage! You love partaking in a little of everything, and cocktail party food is your favorite!

You Hate: Resolutions
Why does New Year’s have to come with a side dish of guilt? You hate having to atone for sins on New Year’s Day, especially when the sins felt (and tasted) so damn good!

Gemini 
You Love: The drunken makeouts
Everyone loves a makeout session, but passionate Gemini loves nothing more than a champagne scented kiss at midnight.

You Hate: Sincerity
You cannot stand heart to hearts when they catch you unaware, and nothing puts you in a worse mood than someone spilling your guts when you’re trying to track down your crush in a crowd of people. 

Cancer 
You Love: Buying a tree
The piny scent of a real Christmas tree feels like home in the best way, and you’ll happily tag along with friends as they purchase theirs.

You Hate: Crowded parties
Especially obligatory ones, like the one at your work. You’d much rather be on the couch, solo or with a friend or partner, watching the glow of the tree in peace. 

Leo 
You Love: The presents
The more, the merrier—especially when it comes to goodies under the tree. You can never get enough gifts!

You Hate:  Holiday songs. Especially if people break out into carols together. Too cheesy!  

Virgo 
You Love: Hot cocoa
Hot chocolate makes you feel like a kid together—especially when you drink it with your favorite friends.

You Hate: Buying presents. Don’t get us wrong. You love giving gifts to friends and showing how much you appreciate them. But trying to choose the perfect present always leaves you overloaded on stress. 

Libra
You Love: Candles
Load up on cozy, yummy-smelling candles. Nothing appeals more to Libra’s luxury loving side!

You Hate: Ugly sweaters. Will this trend ever die? And isn’t the point of going to parties looking hot?  

Scorpio 
You Love: Solstice
You move the deeper, mysterious aspects of this time of year, and are in tune with the rhythm of the seasons. The longest night of the year is the perfect, cozy time to do some serious soul-searching.

You Hate: Candy canes. You don’t have a sweet tooth and find these garish red-and-white confections the sugary-sweet aspect of the holiday you hate. 

Sagittarius 
You Love:  Travel 
The delays, airport food, overpacked bags—for you, it’s all part of the adventure! You don’t mind the annoyances, and for you, even a trip to somewhere you’ve been a trillion times before is noteworthy.

You Hate: Tradition. You’re much happier trying new things than doing the same-old.

Capricorn 
You Love: Holiday pajamas. Practical and festive, you adore cozying up in the finest of flannel.

You Hate:  Eggnog. You’ll drink it to be polite, but oh man, you wish your relatives would stop making this calorie-bomb of ugh. 

Aquarius
You Love:  Seeing old friends. For you, the blast from the past dose of nostalgia makes the season worth it.

You Hate: Sending holiday cards. Why is it so hard to buy stamps? 
      
Pisces  
You Love: Holiday crafts. Bring on the gingerbread house—which, for you, Pisces, is a gingerbread mansion.

You Hate: Santa. The whole story of a dude coming down the chimney has always freaked you out. 

Want 2018 to be the best year ever? Start prepping now with your 2018 horoscope!

Follow us on Instagram for more spirituality, mysticism, and advice for bringing your spirit to the next level of awesome

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The Spookily Accurate Power of a Single Card Tarot Draw

The Spookily Accurate Power of a Single Card Tarot Draw

By Horoscope.com

On December 8, 2017

In Element, Sun, Tarot

The Spookily Accurate Power of a Single Card Tarot Draw

Want to dive deeper into the mysteries of Tarot? Try a one card draw. Even people who have studied the Tarot for years rely on this to help elucidate answers. Here, Horoscope.com contributor Cosmo Luce Christensen shares why and how to use a one card draw in your own life.

You can gain meaningful insight into your own depths by pulling a single tarot card. As oppose to a multiple-card reading, a single tarot draw clears up the spirits’ message, leaving less room to twist the message to suit your most convenient narrative. Deeply connecting with the symbolism in a single card draw strengthens your intuitive relationship with the cards and your connection to the entire deck.  When you take time to understand how a single card is in dialogue with the 77 others, you begin to see cycles and patterns unfold in your readings.

Before you try a one card draw, take time to clear your deck. I like to spread the cards out on my floor and mix them together, like a kid playing in a sandbox. Then, shuffle with your question clear in your mind. I always know I am ready to draw when I have meditated on the question so deeply that I feel threads of intuitive energy flow down my fingers and into the deck, although the sensation might be different for different readers.
When selecting a card, listen to your instinct. You might want to take a card from the top of the stack, pull the next card the following day, and so on until you make your way through the entire stack. Or you might start this process and then choose to disrupt it, pulling from the center of the deck instead. Whatever you decide is the correct choice.

Want 2018 to be the best year ever? Start prepping now with your 2018 horoscope!

Once you’ve selected your card, note the following:

1. Whether the card was upright or reversed.

2. The images in the card that stand out to you first. What do they remind you of? How do they make you feel? What do you associate with them? Let your mind wander freely. If you pull a figure card, note the position of their body. Do they looked closed off or open? Do they echo any other figures from the deck?

3. The suit that it comes from. Think about what pattern this card falls into, even if it’s the only one that appears right now.

4, Whether any other elements are included in the card. For example, if you pull a swords card, note whether there is any water that appears as well.

5. Remember: wands = fire/passion, pentacles = earth/materiality, swords = air/mind, cups = water/ spirit.

If you don’t understand the meaning of the card right away, keep it out on a surface where your gaze will naturally fall upon it over the next couple of days. You can even take a picture that you return to periodically. Tarot readings always become clearer as time goes on. When you have clarity, set your intentions. What do you want to learn from this card? What do you want to change or heal?
Ask yourself a series of questions that you draw from the card, and then answer them. You have all the power to set your intentions. What do you want them to be?

As a sample reading, suppose you pull the two of swords in response to the question, “What do I have to do to improve my romantic relationship?”

The first thing you might notice is the bandage over the woman’s eyes, followed by the moon in the sky above her. The position of her body might echo the High Priestess, the underworld queen with intuitive sight. However, in the two of swords, the bandages over the figure’s eyes could suggest willful blindness, a closed third eye. The dark sea behind her may evokes pollution, and since water is spirit, perhaps you will take her to mean that polluted spiritual waters are causing her to feel resigned to her fate. The swords in her hands could evoke an intimidating pair of scissors. They could be used to cut the bandages, but she might not trust that she won’t hurt herself in the process of recovering her sight. You might find you relate to this woman strongly, or she might speak more of your lover to you.

The woman in the Two of Swords has the opportunity to cut the cloth from her eyes and look at her grief, and heal from it. The longer she hesitates, the longer she is barred from joining the spiritual realms, where her figure can manifest in the High Priestess. If that happened, the moon that is positioned in the sky above her would come to rest at her feet.

When I pull this card, it signifies to me that in order to get what I need romantically, I need to spend time cleaning up my polluted spiritual waters. In order to do that, I need to find a way to reclaim my connection to the spirit realm, which often speaks of grief. The two of swords in a romantic reading suggests the need to make space to grieve previous relationships and heal old wounds within this new connection.

The two of swords can feel intimidating in a single card reading, and you may be tempted to pull more and more cards to avoid the obstacle it suggests. But don’t abandon your intention to only pull a single card. Doing so will clutter up the reading and won’t change the outcome.

The true power of tarot becomes evident when you unpack the answers that your intuition has spoken to you, set your intentions, and refuse to be a victim to fate. A single card spread is able to show you each spoke on the wheel of fortune as it turns, and put you in better touch with the narrative you will spend your whole life to make.

Want 2018 to be the best year ever? Start prepping now with your 2018 horoscope!

Article written by Cosmo Luce Christensen

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One Candle CAN Change Your Life. Here’s How.

One Candle CAN Change Your Life. Here’s How.

By Shereen Campbell

On November 27, 2017

In Love, Luck, Sun

One Candle CAN Change Your Life. Here’s How.

Make 2018 your year! Here’s how!

Over the last 13 years, candles have played a huge role in aiding me to manifest major changes in my life. I have used them to bring love, healing, cleansing and blessings. I’ve bought ritual kits, had custom candles made and now create my own. I even find myself using candle magic for intentions large and small; new jobs, business goals, boys, positivity, even for just a little inner peace. It seems candles have just resonated with me and kept finding their way back into my life. What’s more, I recently found out my grandmother was incredibly fond of candle magic. She passed away when I was only 6, much before I tried candles for the first time (outside of birthday cakes), but I like to think she is in the afterlife guiding me into through this very ancient practice.

Before I knew of my grandmom’s extracurricular magical experiences, when folks would ask me why I used candles. I would always tell them that it wasn’t so much the candle itself that I loved, it was more about the entire ritual. I use the word ritual to signify the process I have created for myself before I light a candle. It involves cleansing (of myself and the candle), writing my intentions, visualizing my intentions, tapping into the feeling I want to have when my intention manifests and focusing on gratitude. Nothing too spooky about that right? Either way, it is the ritual I love when doing candle magic. It is one of the few times I am able to push all of the troubles of the world to the background and completely immerse myself in a moment of reflection and intention setting. I am able to explicitly consider what I want to bring into my life, in as much detail as I can muster, and push that energy out into the universe. I believe that in itself is what creates the magic. The candle is a great physical representation of this manifestation process occurring. Light from the candle is intended to chase away darkness and lead one to treasures that they could not access before. I like to think of this physically and metaphorically. We use candles to bring light to a room and in candle magic, we use candles to bring light to an intention we are working to manifest.

Being one of the simplest of magical arts, candle magic doesn’t require too much other than a candle, an intention and a lighter. We can see throughout history that candles have been used for many religious, spiritual and ancient rituals. The exact origin of candles is not really known although there has been evidence in Egypt concerning the use of beeswax candles around 3000 BCE. At the time, tapers candles made of fibrous materials were also in use. Candlelight was used by ancient people for lighting and they believed that if they stare into a flame for a long period of time, they could see gods and spirits. The early Egyptians used lamps or preferably candles in a magic ritual of obtaining answers for dreams. One would go into a dark cave facing south, and sit down as they stared into a flame until they saw a god. They would then fall asleep with the hope that the god would appear to them again and offer answers to their questions. Pagans, in the past used candles and lamps to perform religious functions. By the fourth century, many churches were using candles for religious purposes and since the twelfth century, candles have been placed in church altars. The Catholic church uses consecrated candles in blessing rituals, to exorcise demons and believe that the light absolves sins. That is why, even in the modern Catholic Churches, candles are always lit in the church and at the altars. In the church, it is believed that once you make a wish and light a candle, your wishes will eventually come true.

So that you know all about candle magic, we thought it the perfect time to give you five ways you can bring a little light and candle magic to your everyday life.

Without further ado, here are my top five ways to use candle magic in everyday life:

1. Fight the Funk Morning Rituals
I’ve leaned on this candle spell when I felt myself slipping into a funk. Normally by day two I’m back to normal.

Requires: 1 small white candle, pencil & Post-It
Directions: On the first day, wake up a 10 minutes earlier than your normal time. Begin with a short visualization exercise where you imagine your day going extremely well. You see yourself moving throughout the day without any insecurity, fear or anxiety. Imagine yourself feeling happy and grateful for another day. Write down 3 affirmations that are indicative of how magical your day will go. Recite these affirmations aloud and light your candle. Say them two more times. Feel free to put your candle out with a snuffer once you have expressed gratitude. Place your post it somewhere you can easily see throughout the week. Put your candle up somewhere safe, so that you are able to get to it the next morning. Repeat the visualization exercise, reciting of the affirmations on your post it and lighting your candle every morning for a week (or however long you need to) as soon as you wake up. Don’t forget to put your candle out with a snuffer or your fingers after you’ve expressed gratitude for the day. And whatever you do, don’t blow it out; the lore is that you will blow away your intentions away.

2.   Sweet Dreams Bedtime Ritual
This is helpful for when you are having trouble going to bed.

Requires: 1 small purple candle, notepad and pencil (bonus: an amethyst crystal could bring a little extra boost)
Directions: After a shower and right before bed do a quick meditation exercise to calm your nerves. Take 5 big breaths in and 5 big breaths out. Allow the extra air to calm you. Once you feel all good and relaxed, light your candle. Now, while your candle is burning, spend a few moments asking for insight into how you can build stronger trust in the universe. Ask for the answers to these issues to come during a peaceful, happy sleep. Close with gratitude for the answers to help you let go of your anxiety. Using a snuffer, put your candle out and get some rest. When you wake up in the morning, record any dreams you have. Repeat this nightly ritual until you feel your trust in the universe returning and your anxiety gone.

3.   New Moon Magic
One my most favorite candle rituals, a New Moon Ritual, can be performed right after every new moon to set intentions dependent on the house the current new moon is in..

Requires: 1 small White Candle, notepad and pencil
Directions: This one is pretty simple. Do a quick meditation focusing on the feelings you want to pull to yourself when you manifest this New Moon intention you are thinking of. It’s great to find out beforehand what house the New Moon is in your chart so that you can focus on that house. Write down one wish you want to manifest during this New Moon. Light your candle, while reciting this wish aloud, as an affirmation. Express your gratitude. I recommend letting this candle burn down on its own, as you will not be repeating this one, so you do not need to snuff it out. All that’s left for you to do is expect that you desire will manifest.

4.   Monday Intentions
This is a great ritual to use to kick off your work week. It helps to focus on what you want to accomplish in the upcoming week.

Requires: 1 small White Candle, notepad and pencil
Directions: On Monday, do a short meditation focusing on the last time you felt really productive. Try to invoke the feeling of accomplishment and excitement about being on track to whatever long term goals you have laid out for yourself. Once you are summoned this feeling, write down a list of the things that are of most importance for you this upcoming week. They can be mundane to personal to work or love, whatever is on your mind. Once you are finished, light your candle. Tell it that you are committed to completing these tasks and would love the aid of the universe to guide you through doing so as long as it is in the interest and well-being of your higher self and those it may affect. Express your gratitude. You can let this candle also burn down as you will not be repeating this exact intention again. Even if you do it every Monday forever, the weekly intention might change, so I recommend getting a different candle per ritual.

5. Friday Self Loving
Before you can fill the cups of others you must fill your own cup. This ritual is invoke more self-love in your life and to remind you of treating yourself with care.

Requires: 1 small Pink Candle, notepad and pencil
Directions: Since Venus rules Friday, this is a great day to an increase my self-love spell. Start by writing down 5 things you absolutely adore about yourself. They can be the silliest or most serious things you’ve ever written. The point is to remind yourself how awesome you are. Once you are feeling all warm from your awesomeness, then go ahead and light your candle. Ask the candle to show you more ways that you can be loving and kind to yourself, to remind you of the times when it’s time to be gentle and to help you love your shadows. You can do so aloud or in your mind. As usual, express your gratitude for the reminders you will see every day and for the strength to be kind to yourself. Let the candle burn down or repeat the ritual again the following Friday. If you repeat, just keep adding to your list.

Have fun making your own damn magic!

Want to know if love is in your future in 2018? Here’s how to find out!

Shereen Campbell is an astrologer, ecommerce manager, and the founder of My Little Magic Shop. She loves sailing, southern Italian food, and all things magical.

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The One Thing You Need to Complete Your Thanksgiving Plans

The One Thing You Need to Complete Your Thanksgiving Plans

By Virginia Mason

On November 21, 2017

In Holidays, Sun, Thanksgiving

The One Thing You Need to Complete Your Thanksgiving Plans

You likely already have your Thanksgiving rituals: The specific meal you cook, the people you gather, the parade you watch. But ultimately, this holiday isn’t about turkey and cranberry sauce. It isn’t about cartoon characters floating down Sixth Avenue or the winner of the National Dog Show. It’s about giving thanks.

But what does that mean? Life can be hard and scary and sad. The world can feel harsh and cruel, but there is always good to be found. There are always things to be grateful for, and now is the time to take a look around and see just how true this is.

So however you celebrate this holiday, make sure you do something that helps you feel gratitude.

And here is a Thanksgiving ritual to help you do just that, to help you honor the true meaning of this holiday, and to leave you feeling more grateful than ever.

Do this one alone or invite your loved ones to join you!

Ingredients:
A flame
Two sheets of paper (per person)
A pen or pencil (per person)
30 minutes of your time
Gather around a flame. This can be from a fireplace or from the candles on the dining room table or from anything else that feels right to you. Make sure you have two sheets of paper and a writing instrument.
Now, take a moment of silence. Bow your head and breathe.

Part I:
Reflect on anything that makes you sad or angry or scared or frustrated. This may include things happening in your life, in the lives of people you know, or anywhere in the world. This can be something as small as the pie crust not turning out as well as you would have liked, or it can be as big as gun violence and war.

For 10 minutes, reflect on everything that’s not going as you’d like it go. Anything that you think needs fixing and improving. Write yourself a letter expressing all of this to yourself. You can write this in stream of consciousness. You can write this as a list. You can write this however you’d like. This is yours. Just make sure to note at least five things that you wish you could improve.

Once you have finished writing your letter, read the five things out loud. If you’re doing this in a group, share them with each other by reading them one at a time.

Now, say the following (alone or as a group):

Just for now, I will not worry. Just for now, I accept things as they are. Just for now, I embrace all of the good and the bad. And with this, I let go. I surrender to this beautiful life.
Now, set your letter(s) on fire by placing it in the flame.

Note of caution: If you’re not doing this at a fireplace, you’ll want to monitor the burning paper closely and move it to a glass bowl or something else that’s fire resistant while it finishes burning.

Part II:
Take your second sheet of paper.

For 10 minutes, reflect on everything that’s happened in the last year that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as how delicious the pie is or as big as having found the love of your life. This, too, is yours. Just make sure to note at least five things that you are truly grateful for.

Once you’ve finished writing your letter, read your five gratitudes out loud. If you’re doing this in a group, share them with each other by reading them out loud, one at a time.

Now, fold your letter(s), and place it somewhere you’ll remember for safekeeping.

Over the next year, you can turn to your letter whenever life gets hard and help yourself remember all of the gratitude you feel today. Over the years, you’ll accumulate more and more letters that you can return to again and again. Through this ritual, you are creating an ongoing record of the things in your life that inspire a deep feeling of gratitude, and through this ritual, you’ll struggle to forget just how great life can be.

To close the ritual, simply remember to say thank you, and keep on saying it every chance you get. Every morning when you wake, every night when you go to sleep, say thank you. Thank you for this beautiful life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Virginia is a Brooklyn-based Reiki Master and psychic healer dedicated to expanding people’s understanding of what’s possible. She offers private readings, coaching, healing, and more through her company, Fleeting Connections.

Make the most of 2018 with your premium horoscope!

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