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These Magic Forests Can Heal Your Soul From Anywhere in the World

These Magic Forests Can Heal Your Soul From Anywhere in the World

By Jesse Sposato

On November 17, 2017

In Sun

These Magic Forests Can Heal Your Soul From Anywhere in the World

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

If you’ve never heard of a sacred forest or grove before and you’re wondering, naturally, what in the world they are, well, they’re pretty much just what they sound like. They’re groves of trees or plots of forest with high levels of biodiversity that have been preserved and protected due to their religious significance to specific groups of people or cultures. Often, magical lore and legends surround sacred forests, which is part of what makes them each so special in their own unique ways.

There’s a high concentration of sacred groves in Asia, Europe, and Africa — but they can be found in America and Australia, too. They often contain a high density of medicinal plants unique to them; and even endangered species can be found in sacred groves in abundance. I put together a list of some of the ones at the top of my bucket list (though it was really hard to narrow down!). If you love nature, and a little bit of local legend with your vacation, you’re going to want to check these places out. While you may not be able to book a trip, just visit them on your browser—connecting to the image of them can help calm you down and connect you to the sacred mysteries of the earth. Put an image as your screen saver and get lost in the woods!

1. Mawphlang Sacred Forest, near Shillong, India

Located about 15 miles away from Shillong, a small state in India situated almost 5,000 feet above sea level, this sacred forest is spread over 192 acres of rich, lush land, and is said to be protected by the local forest deity. Mawphlang houses orchids, ferns, wild mushrooms, fungus that glows in the night, and trees which are said to have cures for diseases. It’s deemed sacred by the people of the Khasi tribe, and has been for hundreds of years. Rumor has it that they would perform ancient ritual sacrifices in the forest, and the stones that were used as altars during the sacrifices can still be seen inside the groves. There’s just one rule you need to follow at Mawphlang: In order for it to remain sacred, nothing bad can happen here. If the rule is broken, culprits supposedly pay the karmic consequences and are harshly punished. Plan to spend a few hours in the forest; it’s best to go with a guide.

2. Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove, near Osogbo, Nigeria

Just outside the city of Osogbo (the capital of Osun State) and alongside the River Oshun, is 185 acres of beautiful green forest filled with butterflies, monkeys, and forest antelopes (they look like the animal version of Samoas, and they are adorable — look them up!). Because Osun is believed to be the last sacred grove in the Yoruba culture, it was named a Unesco World Heritage site in 2005. It is said that the goddess of love, fertility, and water, Osun, lives in the groves, and that the animals there are physical manifestations of her — which means they cannot be hunted. Every August, the Osun Osogbo Festival, which is held in honor of Osun, takes place here. The festival begins with a ritual meant to cleanse the community of evil, called the Iwopopo Ritual; and Yoruba gods and deities, and priests are honored over the course of 12 days. Maybe this year skip Burning Man and try this instead?

3. Sefa Utaki, Okinawa, Japan

If you’re planning a trip to Okinawa, make sure to include a visit to Sefa Utaki, a sacred grove that overlooks nearby Kudaka Island, also know as “island of the gods,” on your itinerary. It’s considered to be a holy spot in the indigenous Okinawan religion — the prefecture’s most sacred — and a World Heritage site, to boot. As legend has it, the place was built by the creator goddess, Amamikiyo. During the early part of the 16th century, Sefa Utaki was used by people of the Okinawan religion as a site for religious rituals and ceremonies, making it a sacred place for all eternity. Some people even believe that Sefa Utaki is a portal leading to the supernatural world. Kind of like Stranger Things’ Upside Down? (Though hopefully minus the demon!)

4. Forest de Nevet, Brittany, France

Nevet Woods is a 555-acre sacred forest made up of dense vegetation. Pear, pine, and sweet chestnut trees, among many others grow in this forest that was once a Druid and Celtic sanctuary. Forest de Nevet is located in Kerlaz, France, just outside of Locronan, which is said to be a village with a deep religious spirit; traces of Le Nemeton, the Druids’ sacred site, can still be seen here. According to legend, during the sixth or seventh century, the Irish bishop, St. Ronan, fled Ireland to the forest looking for some peace. He is buried here, and his tomb has since become a place where miracles occur. Find out for yourself: You’ll find trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking here — as well as wild blueberries and strawberries to pick as you wander.  

5. Sacred Rudraksha Forest, Kauai Hindu Monastery, Kauai

The Sacred Rudraksha Forest is the only Rudraksha forest in the United States. Rudrakshas, if you’re not familiar, are seeds said to have medicinal properties that are strung on necklaces and used for prayer beads in Hinduism. They come from beautiful blueberries that look like a cross between very large blueberries and those ubiquitous shiny blue Christmas ball ornaments. Lore has it that the Rudraksha tree sprung from tears of fulfillment shed by Lord Shiva after he awoke from hundreds or thousands of years of deep meditation (which he had begun with the goal of destroying evil). The sacred forest is down the road from the grounds of the Kauai Hindu Monastery, and the grove was planted by the monks from the monastery over 30 years ago (which explains why a Rudraksha forest in Hawaii, if you were wondering). The blue marbles, as some people call them, make the place a pretty one, but the calm of the forest and the monastery nearby really make it a place where you can go to find inner peace.

And if you’re looking for some respite, but you’re not able to get to any of these magical places just yet? Fear not — all forests are enchanted and even sacred in their own ways. Just last week, I saw a bald eagle for the first time during a hike, and I once saw tree roots that glow in the dark in the regular ole woods. Any forest, really, even one in your own backyard, can be a good place to take a few deep breaths and connect to the Earth.

Get a head start on 2018 with your exclusive 2018 horoscope! 

Want more spirituality, mysticism, and advice for bringing your spirit to the next level? Follow us on Instagram. 

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The Creepiest Friday the Thirteenth Stories We’ve Ever Heard

The Creepiest Friday the Thirteenth Stories We’ve Ever Heard

By Horoscope.com

On October 13, 2017

In Prediction, Sign, Sun

The Creepiest Friday the Thirteenth Stories We’ve Ever Heard

We know, we know—Friday the thirteenth is only as scary as we make it. But even though Friday the thirteenth may be rooted only in superstition, we also know that superstition can be pretty damn serious. We looked at Reddit for some of the creepiest Friday the thirteenth stories we could find. Read them and shiver!

1. An Unwelcome Guest
I do theatre for a living, and work in an old theatre that was built on top of an old Civil War Nursing ground. Always weird things happening, items being moved around, computers or lights shutting off for no reason. 3 people have died in the building since it opened in the early 60’s. My personal GTFO moment, I am programming lights around 3 am. My assistant and I are the only ones in the 600 seat auditorium. We look behind us. There is a guy pale white sitting a few rows behind us, with his jaw dropped wide open. I don’t even shut down the light board, i just get the hell out.—Reddit user BaldEagle88

2. No Singing Allowed
In Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There is a place call Old Finch. Upon entering the area at night, there will be suddenly be a thick layer of fog and the temperature would drop drastically. As you walk down the road towards a bridge near Morningside. Do not sing Happy Birthday to Candy. The girl who was murdered there will either scream or start crying.—Reddit user VeeGeeTea

3. Unsettling Lights
More urban legend than superstition, but there’s a town in southern Arkansas with a strip of haunted train tracks. Supposedly, many years ago, a rail worker was struck and killed there late one night. The worker was carrying a lamp when he was hit, and legend has it, if you go out there at night, you can see a floating light wandering the tracks. I’ve never seen it myself, but everyone in my family has – my parents even have a story about being attacked by someone out there when they were teenagers, but whether ghost or transient, that’s another story altogether – and many others people I’ve talked to about it, be it friends or locals, say they have seen it as well. It’s a well known local legend, pretty sure it has some decent internet presence too.—Reddit user slightlyunderwhelmed

4. Making His Presence Known
The house I used to live in was owned by a guy who everyone called Mango Ron. He had a lot of mango trees in his yard and figured out how to splice different branches onto the same tree, so for instance one tree could have multiple types on mangos on it. He ended up standing on a chair on the back porch and killing himself.  That porch got turned into the master bedroom before we got it. I had two friends over and was telling them the story about the guy and as soon as I finished we hear this loud crash in the kitchen (right next to the bedroom/old porch) and as I rounded the corner I saw a pot spinning to a stop on the floor. There is no reason that pot should have fallen off the counter, it wasn’t leaning against anything or barely on the edge, nothing.—Reddit user bonedead

5. Electronic Shakeup
When I was in high school, a friend of mine told me about Slender Man, and being an idiot, I looked it all up. Gobbled up as much about it as I could. To the extent that I had trouble sleeping for like six months. I always went to bed with my mp3 player, because Slender Man’s extradimensional nature messes up the electronics in its vicinity. So in the mean time, relaxing music until I fall asleep, and more importantly I know whether or not I’m about to be murdered or disappeared by a strange creature resembling an inhumanly tall, emaciated man with no face in a pitch black business suit. Worked pretty well. Until the time my mp3 player broke at two AM and bombarded me with distorted audio. The screen was pixelated and distorted as well. I legitimately thought I was going to be eviscerated, impaled on a tree with my organs carefully sorted into plastic bags, with my house burnt down, my parents killed or relegated to a mental hospital, and my sister vanished into the fog, never to be seen again! Of course, that didn’t happen. There’s no such thing as the Slender Man. I turned on the lights to an empty room and replaced my mp3 player ASAP. —Reddit user Adekis

6. All By Itself
So I woke up yesterday, my husband had already gone to work, and I was alone with my son, 6 months old, who had been asleep as well. I felt a weird charge in the air. Like a heavy static.  I sat up and looked around. I couldn’t believe my eyes. His favorite toy, his singing plastic duck, was in the air just hovering four feet off the ground. I looked to my son, and he was sitting up, staring intently at the toy, his face scrunched up in concentration. I still don’t know what to think. Was it a ghost? Was it my son? I dont know, but I did a big cleansing of the house and put a salt circle around his crib, just in case… — Reddit user polymommy 6712

7. Self Hypnosis Help
So I struggle to sleep most nights properly. Due to stress, built up tension .ect So I thought it would be a good idea to self hypnotize myself to sleep. I started by saying “sleep”, “deeper” as I breathed in and out a few times. Now usually when you hypnotize yourself you tend to not see random imagery and certainly not immediately, but that’s what happened. While I was saying my mantra I kept seeing traffic, just traffic but extremely vividly (like I was there). My mantra then changed without my conscious permission to “noises are fine and natural, no need to be scared”. While I was seeing more traffic my voice in my head (who was saying these mantras) changed to the voice of a high American black guy (keep in mind I’m a white British girl). So this new voice then tells me that “we’re going to countdown from 100 until you go to sleep”. At 98 the imagery changed and ‘I open my eyes’ (I was 100% convinced I just had) to my bedroom. It’s dark with a red glow lighting up my room through my curtains. Weird right? Well not as weird as the low whispers and demonic screaming I heard coming out the window. Then it’s as if reality did a jump cut and now I’m back awake and utterly freaked out. What’s wrong with me?—Reddit user Acrid-Ash 

8. Three’s Not Company
My fiance and i were living together in our first apartment. It was a small house that had been converted into two separate apartments. Our friend lived in the other apartment next door. This fact will come into play later on. I work thirds so my fiance and i would stay up until about 0200 to 0300. One night we had gone to bed and there were thick storm clouds outside blocking all light from the bedroom and making it pitch black. We did the normal thing, and talked to each other until we both fell asleep together. About two hours later. i woke up to my fiance shivering and shaking. She asked me to run her a warm bath because she was freezing. I did so and helped her get in it. She told me it was too cold, and so i drained it and refilled it. Again she said it was too cold, and proceeded to fill it herself. The water was scalding hot, but she sat in it still shivering and saying she was cold. So she sat in it for a while, and then drained it and refilled it again with scalding hot water. After this didn’t work she dried off and climbed into bed wrapping herself in all the blankets and comforters we had. I mean every single one. There were at least a half dozen comforters wrapped around her. I insisted we take her to the hospital, but she refused. Finally we agreed that after we woke up we would take her to the hospital. She finally stopped shivering and was starting to fall asleep again. I watched her sleep for a bit worrying about her more than the things around me. She then turned toward me and said, “Tell the man to stop making the bed rock.”. I was confused until i realized the bed felt like it was moving. In a panic i jumped out of bed, darted past the figure, and threw on the lights. There was no one there, and my fiance finally fell asleep. The next morning we told our neighbor about this and she turned pale white. Around the same time as what was happening to us she had a nightmare that there was the same figure standing over her as she slept. I think this was a wandering spirit, or an omen for something. Because we never saw him again.—Reddit user tauntauntom

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

More Need to Know Astrological and Magical Info to Get You Through the Week: 
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If Your Sign Were a Coffee Order, What Would it Be?

If Your Sign Were a Coffee Order, What Would it Be?

By Horoscope.com

On October 13, 2017

In Aspect, Future, Sun

If Your Sign Were a Coffee Order, What Would it Be?

What does your coffee order signify? Turns out, quite a lot. The brew that gets you going in the AM has a lot to do with the traits of your sign. Read on to find which one most closely connects with your sign’s traits. Not your usual order? Switch it up and try it—you may find it cranks up your confidence! 

Click for a complimentary psychic reading.

 
 Aries is a triple shot latte in a can

Rams do not have time to wait in line at the coffee shop all day—or even for ten minutes. Rams on the go have at least two of these babies in their purse at all times, and are known to mainline at least one after 9pm in the evening. For Rams, it’s all about getting as much caffeine into their bodies as soon as possible. 

Taurus is a cold brew iced coffee
Taurus loves the presentation (mason jar please!) just as much as the cold and bitter taste, and is often drinking this beverage long after the temperature dips to sweater weather. 

 Gemini is a flat white
Trendy, foreign, and in the know, Gemini love the flat white, a New Zealand espresso and milk creation that looks like a latte, but, as flat white drinkers know, is far superior. Gemini loves the insiderness of this drink, and can absolutely discern when someone tries to pass a latte off as this order. 

 Cancer is a hot chocolate
Comfort seeking Cancer doesn’t necessarily like the amped-up feeling a jolt of caffeine gives them, but can’t resist the homey, nostalgic taste of hot chocolate. Cancer loves hot chocolate done right—plenty of chocolate, whipped cream, and sprinkles because YOLO. 

 Leo is a latte
Lions love the milk-espresso combo, but what they love even more is latte art, the more Instagrammable, the better. Leo loves savoring their coffee (no paper cups, thank you very much) and would much rather drink it out of a mug, even if they’re in a hurry.

 Virgo is a DIY coffee
Who needs a barista? Virgo is all about making their own coffee (hot in the winter, iced in the summer) and has the steamer, grinder, and French press to prove it. For Virgo, their AM coffee ritual is a meditative experience, and friends clamor for one of their creations. 

Libra is coffee and a latte, please!
Who can decide? Libras love options (and caffeine) and are happy to order multiple drinks so they can pick and choose at their table. 

Scorpio is espresso, straight up 
Who needs bells and whistles? Scorpio needs intense, bold flavor and a good pour. A Scorpio isn’t looking for the nuance that comes from the flavor of coffee combining with milk, they’re looking for results, now. 

 Capricorn is a mocha
A smidge more grown up than hot chocolate, but still giving that nostalgic cocoa flavor, Capricorns like to drink their dessert in this caffeine-sugar combo!

 Aquarius is a turmeric latte
A unique taste, illness fighting properties, and an A-list favorite, Aquarians love this blend of spices, as well as the feeling that they’re in the know about a beverage trend. 

 Pisces is herbal tea
Sensitive Pisces can be overly affected by caffeine, which is also why they’re drawn to herbal teas—they love the way herbs can contribute to their mood and physical well being, and love that herbal teas can cure (almost) anything that ails them,

Want more spirituality, mysticism, and advice for bringing your spirit to the next level? Follow us on Instagram. 

 
Want to Know How The Stars Predict Your Personality? Read These Articles! 

The Wildest Match for Every Zodiac Sign
What Hairstyle Would Your Sign Be? 
Your Sign’s Best Zodiac Match in Bed
The Perfect Workout for Your Zodiac Sign
The Perfect Recipe for Your Zodiac Sign

 

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5 Mistakes (Almost) Every Beginner Tarot Card Reader Makes

5 Mistakes (Almost) Every Beginner Tarot Card Reader Makes

By Horoscope.com

On October 11, 2017

In Future, Sun, Tarot

5 Mistakes (Almost) Every Beginner Tarot Card Reader Makes

If you’re new to Tarot, you may be excited by the prospect of reading cards, and may be excited to share your newfound knowledge with friends. And while the Tarot (or oracle cards!) can be a font of amazing info, they can also be confusing, or even deceptive, depending on the way you read the spread. Here, some common mistakes most every beginning reader makes and how to avoid them for maximum impact. And remember: While there’s no “wrong” way to read the Tarot, and you won’t get in trouble if you do any of these things, avoiding these mistakes will maximize the usefulness and accuracy of the readings you give.

1. Not Prepping Your Deck
Without your energy, a tarot deck is just pieces of printed paper. In order to make them work, you have to imbue them with your own energy. While some believe that the best deck is one a friend gifts you (want inspiration for some great decks? try this story!) what’s most important is what you do once that deck is in your hands. Touch the deck, feel it, consider putting it in a special scarf or pouch. Sleep with the deck for a few nights, or cleanse it by putting the deck in a wooden bowl and sprinking it with salt, then putting it under a full moon. The ritual itself doesn’t matter as much as the energy and intention you place into the cards, as the cards directly connect with your energy. Giving a reading? Allow the person whose reading you’re doing to hold the deck, feel it, and shuffle it. They need to transfer their energy to the deck to make the reading accurate. 

2. Asking the Tarot EVERYTHING
Yes, the Tarot can be a great tool to help clarify any decision you’re making. But if you’re laying down a card to decide what to have for lunch today, you’re minimizing the power of the deck (and yourself!) to answer the big questions. You don’t need to “save” your Tarot deck for specific questions, but make sure that the questions you’re asking have weight in your mind, or else the card’s answer is just contributing to noise, confusion, and mental clutter in your mind.

3. Reading from the Manual
Yes, the manual is there for a reason. And of course, you’re not expected to know all 78 cards right away. But the more you can familiarize yourself with the cards outside of a reading, either by looking online (biddytarot is a great resource!) or learning on your own, through a book (kinesthetic learners may find a Tarot coloring book to be especially helpful in learning the meanings of the cards) the more you can see the connections between the cards, which can be just as important as what the individual cards say.

4. Trying an Overly Complicated Spread
Many newbie readers learn the Celtic cross, a ten card spread that can be a great holistic snapshot of everything going on in your life. But it can also be overly complicated and muddle the message of the cards. A three card draw—past, present, future—can be just as effective and may be optimal for new readers.

5. Using Your Powers as a Power Play
When it comes to reading cards for others, whether it’s for profit or for fun, you must learn to keep your ego at the door! You’re merely the messenger, the cards and the person drawing them are the real power players in the situation. The more you can remove yourself from feeling powerful in an “I know something you don’t know” type of way, the better and more effective your readings may be. Of course it’s fun to try on friends, but don’t lord knowlege over them, give a knowing glance, or make disapproving noises as they lay down the cards. Giving a neutral reading is key for allowing the cards to speak to themselves. 

Bottom line: You’re on an exciting, inspirating journey and making mistakes is part of the process! By trying to avoid these situations, you’re only making yourself a better reader. And as your knowledge evolves, so too, does the meaning you see in the cards. Tarot reading is a skill you can always expand, and enjoying and respecting the process is key to giving powerful, accurate readings. 

Want to dive deeper into the magic of the tarot? Try these stories next: 
The Tarot Deck That Will Change Your Life Is … 
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How to Read Tarot Cards 
Want Free Readings for Life? Here You Go, Love! 

 

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How to Travel Like a (Witchy) Rock Star

How to Travel Like a (Witchy) Rock Star

By Gala Darling

On July 31, 2017

In Spell, Sun, Travel

How to Travel Like a (Witchy) Rock Star

Traveling can be a magical balm for your soul, but sometimes, it can have the opposite effect. Feeling trapped in unnatural environments like planes and airports, plus eating nasty food, and losing touch with your regular routine can really mess with you. So if you, like me, consider yourself an international playgirl, here are some magical ways to feel great when you travel, and hit the ground omm-ing.

The Five Commandments of Traveling Like a Witchy Rock Star

Thou Shalt Carry Essential Oils!
Your essential oils will be your best friend when you travel. Bring peppermint for adding to your water bottle—this will keep you alert and hydrated while you fly. Keep lavender on hand for instant calm, to help you sleep, and to spot-treat any breakouts that might crop up. Don’t forget clary sage if you’re prone to crazy menstrual cramps: Just rub it into your abdominal area and feel the pain dissolve! I also love to carry palo santo monk oil (which comes complete with a chunk of smoky quartz to dispel negativity!) to dab on when I need grounding and protection. 

Thou Shalt Consecrate Thine Hotel Room 
No matter whether you’re staying in a Best Western or the Wynn, even the nicest hotel rooms can have a bit of an energetic hangover. Burning sage or palo santo might be a bit much (and might set off smoke alarms!), so I recommend bringing a small scented travel candle instead. When you light it, simply set the intention to clear the space and invite good vibes!

Thou Shalt Carry Thine Mini Altar 
Us magical babes are an interesting lot, and sometimes we can be fussy when we don’t have our various bits and bobs around! If you, too, suffer from this curious affliction, create a miniature altar and take it with you! A tin for mints makes a perfect home for your favorite crystals, a deck of tiny tarot cards, a photo of your beloved, and an affirmation (or two) on a hot pink Post-It note. Keep it beside your bed and pop it open when you feel the need for connection.

Thou Shalt Protect Thine Energy 
Traveling really takes it out of you. You’re meeting new people, walking around unfamiliar places, and bumping up against your own psychological limits. Check out my mini rituals post for instructions on how to ground and protect your energy!

Thou Shalt Prioritize Self Care 
Buy flowers for your room. Fill the tub with Epsom salts and stay in one night. Get a massage or spa treatment if you can swing it. Recite affirmations in the mirror while you wash your face. Radical self love is a daily practice, and while it is always evolving, even the smallest actions can have wonderful repercussions. Take a moment to love yourself up—no matter where you are in the world—and watch how it radiates.

Find your way to the future you’ve been dreaming of.

For more spirituality, mysticism, and self-healing, Follow us on Instagram.

For more of Gala Darling’s magically uplifting advice, try these Spirit articles:
With These Daily Rituals, You’ll Be Invincible 
A Summer Solstice Reading for Your Sign 
Use Your Sign to Change Your Mood in a Second
5 Must Have Treats for Magical Babes
The Best Love Spells for Your Zodiac Sign
How to Overcome Fear, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

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The Perfect Workout for Your Zodiac Sign

The Perfect Workout for Your Zodiac Sign

By Horoscope.com

On July 27, 2017

In Fitness, Sun, Weight

The Perfect Workout for Your Zodiac Sign

You know how you can go to a gym class your friend raves about, come out, and think, Eh? Part of the reason we’re not all cycle-obsessed or passionate about Piyo is because workouts are as unique as our personalities, and what makes one person excited to break a sweat can make another person want to sprint from the gym. And when it comes to workouts you love? Turns out, your star sign may have a lot to do with what inspires you. Whether you’re looking for a new workout routine, feel like your current one is eh, or just want to try something new at the gym, consider this guide when planning your next sweat session. —Deanna Margado 

Aries 
Your Workout Hangup: Why doesn’t the person next to you on the treadmill realize you’re running a race against them? Why are they watching TV? Every workout is your personal Olympics, and anything less feels like failure.

The Best Aries Workout: Cycling classes, especially where you can watch your progress against everyone else, can fire up your motivation. And consider training for a marathon or triathlon with a team. You’ll love the bragging rights, and some friendly competition can help you perform at your peak.

Taurus
Your Workout Hangup: Grounded, practical Taurus just can’t get past the fact that you’re literally running nowhere on the treadmill. Not only that, but you aren’t crazy about sweating—and are also kinda squeamish about other people’s sweat on your machines.

The Best Taurus Workout: Getting out in nature is always a treat, so you gravitate toward hiking and biking—especially if it gets you where you want to go. Barre class may also be a good option; the tiny movements appeal to your detail-oriented nature.

Gemini
Your Workout Hangup: The same workout again? You can’t stand the same-old routine, and even a quick twenty-minute gym workout is long enough to bore you to tears.

The Best Gemini Workout: AcroYoga. Google it immediately, Gemini, because once you’re up in the air, perfecting your poses, you’re going to feel amazing. Plus, the acroyoga vibe can feel pretty clubby, so you’ll still get that social stimulation you need.

Reveal your secret skills with a numerological portrait!

Cancer 
Your Workout Hangup: Being yelled at in a crowded class only makes you want to retreat.You love the chance to work up a sweat, but prefer to do so in private.

The Best Cancer Workout: Yoga. Whether it’s in a classroom or a private practice, the poses are a key way to connect with your emotional and intuitive nature.

Leo 
Your Workout Hangup: Life is a catwalk and you hate when people think that “gym” and “glam” don’t go together.

The Best Leo Workout: Zumba. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, you can infuse the dance routine with personal flare while scorching serious calories.

Virgo 
Your Workout Hangup: You sorta hate sweat. Is that a crime?

The Best Virgo Workout: One in which you don’t realize just how hard you’re working. The slow and decisive movements of a Pilates class work the whole body without drenching it. Plus, you dig the total attention to detail and ability to home in on tiny improvements—and love the long, lean, and lithe look the workout gives your bod.

What color is your aura, and where is it leading you? Ask the Chakra Tarot….

Libra
Your Workout Hangup: You don’t dig competition, and may have some serious emotional scars from dodgeball games gone awry as a kid.

The Best Libra Workout: Physical activities with a social aspect, like tennis or volleyball, are great ways to connect and get your fitness on. You’d also perform well with a personal trainer; you thrive on one-on-one connection.

Scorpio
Your Workout Hangup: Strong and powerful, you like seeing results, and a leisurely walk on the treadmill with a magazine won’t cut it.

The Best Scorpio Workout: Boxing. Whether it’s getting in the ring or just taking classes, you thrive on breaking a sweat and, bonus, can simultaneously get rid of frustrations that are plaguing you.

Sagittarius 
Your Workout Hangup: A consummate multitasker, you sometimes see a traditional gym session as a waste of time and get bored doing the same-old.

The Best Sagittarius Workout: Fusion classes, like Piyo or Spin and Sculpt. Classes that combine skills keep you interested, and you love pushing your mental and physical limits.

Need an instant answer to a tough question? This Tarot deck has it.

Capricorn
Your Workout Hangup: You can be too rigid, and may not enjoy workouts so much as enjoy crossing them off your to-do list.

The Best Capricorn Workout: SLT classes. A combination of cardio and Pilates, SLT keeps your heart pumping, your mind engaged, and the mental stamina it takes can make it feel more like meditation—which is just what you need.

Aquarius 
Your Workout Hangup: Your all-or-nothing nature means you either hit the gym on the regular or don’t go for months. You thrive on camaraderie, and will often skip exercise if a more fun plan comes up.

The Best Aquarius Workout: Group training. Whether it’s training for a marathon or a triathlon, the social element will keep you coming back—and getting stronger.

Pisces 
Your Workout Hangup: While you adore the water and are a natural in the pool, you aren’t into strenuous activity and certainly don’t love working to your max—when you feel shaky, you’re done.

The Best Pisces Workout: Aqua Zumba. Not only is this dance class in your second home, the pool, but the water takes down some of the heat of the workout and makes it fun. Not only that, but you’ll dig the camaraderie and find plenty of workout buddies on the same page as you.  

Learn about your animal sign with the wisdom of Chinese astrology.

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

For more ideas on how to live a more adventurous, spirit-filled life, visit these stories and more in Sun:
The Perfect Recipe For Your Zodiac Sign 
What You Need to Know About Sensory Deprivation Tanks
The Best Spiritual Hotspots To Visit In 2017
Your Star Sign Can Lead You to a Dream Vacation

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The Perfect Recipe for Your Zodiac Sign

The Perfect Recipe for Your Zodiac Sign

By Horoscope.com

On July 19, 2017

In Compatibility, Food, Sun

The Perfect Recipe for Your Zodiac Sign

When it comes to cooking, repeating the same-old meals is boring, but trying new recipes can be a hit or miss. That’s why the concept of “astrological cooking” is so intriguing. Instead of hoping for the best with a new recipe, tuning into the zodiac can help you suss out the foods your body needs, right now. We talked to Monte Farber and Amy Zerner, authors of Signs and Seasons, a new astrological cookbook, about how it works. 

Q: Do our zodiac signs really have an impact on what we love to eat?

A: Astrology is grounded in the idea that whatever comes into being at a certain moment in the cycle of the year partakes of the spirit of that phase of it. The recipes in Signs and Seasons were written from the perspective that when the sun is in a certain sign, all individuals, regardless of their dates of birth, share in the characteristics and energy matrix of that stage and season of the cycle.

Rather than try to cater to individual appetites, the sign designations of the recipes in this book refer primarily to the recipes themselves. The seasonality of the ingredients and the method of their preparation reflect certain aspects of the mind-set of that sign.

Q: Does each zodiac sign have a signature meal? Any examples?

A: At its core, astrology is simply an expression of life as an annual cyclical process. The zodiac is a rotating symbol of the seasonal expansion and contraction of the periods of darkness and light. The cycle of the year—its various states of vegetation and animal behavior—offers us what we need to know to be in harmony with the zodiac. What is more Aries than mint, lamb, and asparagus? More Pisces than Flounder Almondine? Seasonal ingredients make spring and summer meals lighter, fall and winter meals more substantial.

For instance, we have Scallops & Couscous for one of the Libra/Autumn dishes. The scallop shell is associated with Venus, the ruler of Libra. Its link to beauty can be seen in Renaissance art, where the goddess is depicted cutting through the waves on a scallop shell. Eating is an art to a Libra. They are the consummate epicures, and their approach to culinary perfection requires that what they eat has to be absolutely garden fresh and also look photo-ready. They avoid unattractive foods. Their love of beauty means that packaging and presentation make a difference to them, whether they are ordering simple refreshments or continuing their search for the ultimate in fine dining.

Then, toward the end of October, the days shrink and darken. The nights lengthen. The cold creeps in. The trees are bare. The energy shifts from Libra and Venus to Scorpio and Pluto, whose deep, primal needs assert themselves. The Scorpio phase is about what’s going on in our guts, exploring our mystical feelings and instincts. Scorpios love chocolate, so, as a fun dessert, we have gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. When you need something to comfort you or some wholesome communion to share during a tarot reading, try one of these cookies!

Q: Are certain spices and herbs tied to zodiac signs as well?  

A: Of course! As an example, Leo is ruled by the sun, so golden foods such as corn, peaches and sunflower seeds are recommended, as well as saffron. It’s a fire sign, and a summer sign, so we have included some delicious grilled dishes. It rules the heart, so a wise Leo will add heart healthy foods to the royal menu plan. Every meal is a cooking show to a Leo. Even on the rare occasion when they are cooking for only themselves, they will execute every aspect of preparation as if the cameras were rolling. Entertaining is an art form for Leos.

Say you are a Sagittarian. This sign is eager for new experiences, and they are champions of other cultures, so they are drawn to an interesting mix of different dishes—the Sagittarian palate hungers for exotic flavors and foreign cuisine, so they will study and employ the techniques of cooking from all over the world. We assign curry spices to Sagittarius, as well as turkey, salmon, squash, persimmons, dates, and other seasonal foods.

Q: Do you incorporate the characteristics of each sign into the meals designated for them? 

A: Yes! I (Amy) am an Aries. I have always loved deviled eggs. They are not particularly fancy, but we suggest serving them on a vibrant cabbage and cilantro slaw, with cumin, hot sauce and lime juice. Our deviled eggs recipe is made with mustard, mayo and cayenne (as a fire sign, Aries likes a little “hot”).

If you are a Taurus, one of our great pasta recipes is Baby Arugula Pesto with Baby Peas. During May, the new young greens and early peas are ready for the taking. The first harvest is the most flavorful. The arugula is nutty, peppery and bright-tasting, the peas are sweet, crisp and tender.

A side dish recipe for Gemini is Stir-Fried Snap Peas. Geminis like to have alternatives, and the formula changes from Chinese to Italian by using olive oil instead of sesame oil, pine nuts instead of sesame seeds, and finishing with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar instead of a dash or two of soy sauce. A Gemini’s tastes can change from meal to meal or even mid-meal!

Q: Let’s say you want to make a dessert someone and you know their zodiac sign. Any signature flavors or ingredients you should keep in mind?

A: It’s key to think of a sign’s traits, and then work from there. For instance, Aquarians are well-known for their mind-body connection—a dessert has to taste good, look good, but also not be overly fussy. We do a Chocolate Chestnut Mousse topped with some crushed chocolate-covered expresso beans. It’s quick and easy to prepare, leaving more time for an Aquarius to explore mind-body connections. Monte, an Aquarian, loves it!

For Capricorn, we have Cheesecake with Cherry Sauce. Creamy and comforting, a cheesecake is a special occasion dessert. Like Capricorn, it is reliable, cool and in no way thin or shallow. This dessert recipe is made even more distinctive with the addition of a pair of unusual sweeteners—Lucuma powder, a sweetener milled sweetener milled from a dried fruit native to Peru, adds notes of maple and melon. As an ingredient in ancient Incan fertility rituals, it has a hint of cosmic vision in its sweetness. Mahleb, the ground seed of the Mahaleb cherry, is an intense spice that has been used in Greek and Middle Eastern bakeries for millennia.

We wrote the book to help you better understand your individual personality traits, your tastes and appetites, how we each cook and how we each eat.
— by Madeleine Page 

Feature photo by Jon Tyson.

Who were you in your past life?

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

For more ideas on how to live a more adventurous, spirit-filled life, visit these stories and more in Sun:
What You Need to Know About Sensory Deprivation Tanks Before You Try One 
The Best Spiritual Hotspots To Visit In 2017
Your Star Sign Can Lead You to a Dream Vacation
Need a Little Hope? Start With Wonder
You Grow Through What You Go Through 

 

 

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What You Need to Know about Sensory Deprivation Tanks Before You Try One

What You Need to Know about Sensory Deprivation Tanks Before You Try One

By Jesse Sposato

On June 22, 2017

In Health, Meditation, Sun

What You Need to Know about Sensory Deprivation Tanks Before You Try One

Want a vacation without leaving town? While there are plenty of magical places around the globe to visit, and plenty of inspiration—including your zodiac sign—to help you discover unique travel experiences, you can still get the same change of perspective from an experience much closer to home.

We’re talking about sensory deprivation tanks—otherwise known as isolation tanks or float tanks—and they might just be the best way to elevate your mindset, fast.
 
The first time my friend Dave tried a sensory deprivation tank, he had such a transformative experience that when he stepped out of the tank, he immediately began weeping. He had gone seeking solace after an intense bout with grief. Nothing he did would allow him to get out of his own head—that is, until he tried a sensory deprivation tank. “It realigned me in this certain way,” he said. “I just found it so powerful.”
 
But what exactly is a sensory deprivation tank? It’s an enclosed tub, traditionally about the size of a small car, filled with about 12 inches of body-temperature water, and around 1000 pounds of Epsom salt, which allows you to float.


Float tanks are soundproof and light-sealed, creating a space in which your senses are deprived of outside stimulation; they’re also filtered and treated after every use, so you don’t have to worry about germs.
 
The primary purpose of a sensory deprivation tank is to place the user in a meditative state, which research suggests can be useful in treating stress and anxiety-related conditions. Some users say floating provides relief from inflammatory conditions and muscle and joint pain. Others say the experience unlocks their creativity. Sensory deprivation can invoke hallucinations and out of body experiences—even states of enlightenment. It’s said John Lennon used a float tank to help him kick heroin in 1979—yes, isolation tanks have been around for that long! They were first invented in 1954 by the neuroscientist John C. Lilly, who teamed up with computer programmer Glenn Perry in 1972 to make tanks for the public. 
 
Some float spas allow you to float with the lights on, and some tanks are shaped less like pods and more like rooms, open and with higher ceilings. Sessions last an hour to an hour and a half.
 
Another user I spoke with, Matt, sought the experience out because he’d always loved floating in pools and lakes, and found it allowed for a “level of decompression that [you] can’t get elsewhere.” For many, sensory deprivation has positive lingering effects. One float veteran, Kristin, told me, “The way I felt after was amazing. Everything felt so slowed down.” Others have described the experience as, “ethereal”; and “similar to the feeling of getting a massage or acupuncture.”
 
Some things to know before going: First, think physical comfort strategies. Avoid shaving or waxing beforehand, as the salt might irritate your skin; and skip coffee if you can. If you’re a little claustrophobic, your float technician might suggest using a towel to crack the lid of the tank slightly. You shower before and after, and you float in the buff.
 
Be prepared for a range of feelings and experiences—each float is different. You might have a magical epiphany on your first float, then never again; or you might not experience a truly meditative state until the third or fourth time you try it. Floating can cost a pretty penny (anywhere from $65 to $99, though there are often first-time-float deals).
 
For many, float therapy is a way to reset and recharge like no other. If you plan to try it, check out the website Floatationlocations.com for deals and to find float centers near you. And, if you do decide to go, surrender to the experience—it works best if you go in with an open mind.

Images courtesy of Floatationlocations.com.

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

For more ideas on how to live a more adventurous, spirit-filled life, visit these stories and more in Sun
The Best Spiritual Hotspots To Visit In 2017
Your Star Sign Can Lead You to a Dream Vacation 
Need a Little Hope? Start With Wonder
You Grow Through What You Go Through 
 

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The Best Spiritual Hotspots to Visit in 2017

The Best Spiritual Hotspots to Visit in 2017

By Jesse Sposato

On June 15, 2017

In Sun, Travel, Vacation

The Best Spiritual Hotspots to Visit in 2017

So, you’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or taken that gondola ride in Venice. Now you’re craving a different kind of vacation—more hippie paradise, less touristy rush. Maybe it’s even to a place where people aren’t embarrassed to say things like “self care” and “holistic healing.” That’s it! You need to take a trip back to yourself. You need a spiritual retreat—and one that’s not boring. But which of the so-called now age” vacations you’re always hearing about are just marketing ploys, and which are the real deal?  

We thought you’d never ask!

Here, Our Top Six Vacation Ideas for Soul-Searching Travelers:

1. Take a Vortex Tour in Sedona 
Often deemed America’s new age capital, Sedona, Arizona, has it all: scenic red rock mountains and mesas, psychic healers, and crystal shops galore. But the vortexesthere are four or five biggies, depending who you askhave got to be the number-one reason to come for a visit. Take a vortex tour with one of several companies that run them, or venture out on your own. There’s a great vortex map on lovesedona.com that offers information on what sides of the self each vortex strengthens. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is definitely worth a visit. Designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staudethe chapel emerges from Sedona’s red rocks, and boasts breathtaking views.  

Spiritual traveler @kyllamckenzie channels Sedona’s
powerful
 vibes in an Instagram photo by @minkmade. 

* * *

2. Do Yoga on the Beach in Tulum  
You knew you’d find this Mexican beach town on the list, but do you know why? It’s because in Tulum, you get yoga on the beach (or in town, if you’d rather)vegan tacos in a jungle setting, juice bars, retreat centers, and many places where you can go for things like meditation sessions, sound healing, and Ayurvedic massage. Plus, nothing restores the psyche lika dip in the Caribbean Sea or a crystal clear tide poolor of course a trip to the nearby Mayan ruinsThe ruins are bikeable or drivable, and seaside; or, if you’re feeling up for a day tripChichen Itza is about three hours away. Stay in a thatched roof bungalow and try meditating for the first time. Trust us, you’ll finally understand the power of the om.

See more of Tulum’s amazing views @Tulummexico.

* * *

3. See the Light in Marfa  
If you’ve been watching I Love Dick and you haven’t yet been to Marfa yourself, you might be wondering if it’s as magical as it seems. The answer is yes. First off, it’s located in the West Texas desert, one of the most beautiful, peaceful, and desolate-seeming places; it has the Marfa lights, atmospheric reflections that glow in a rainbow of colors; and everything is new agedly adorable. Think an episode of Portlandia meets the Summer of Love. Take a meditation class and stay in an Airstream trailer, yurt, teepee, or tent at El Cosmicoplus, make sure to stop by the gift shop there for all your smudge stick and copal bundle needs. P.S. If you’re feeling like a drive, check out nearby Balmorhea State Park, featuring a spring-fed swimming pool where you can jump off the diving board right into a school of fish.  

Stay in a vintage trailer and seriously soak up the
vibes at @El
CosmicoMarfa. 

 

* * *

4. Live a Fairytale on Isle of Man  
Tucked between England and Ireland is this tiny country where witchcraft was prevalent as far back as the 1330s, and the citizens were known to have had magical powers long, long ago. If this sounds like the beginning of a fairytaleit’s no coincidence. The Isle of Man is an island so deeply steeped in folklore that really everything about it feels enchanted. Roaming the island are magical hedgehogs, called Arkan Sonney in Manx, the local language—a sighting brings good luck, naturally; there’s also the Fairy Bridge, in which you have to greet the fairies when you cross, or else. And be sure not to miss the charming Peel Castle, which is said to be haunted by a black dog, the Moddey Dhoo, who demands that tourists treat the castle with respect—just make sure to be on your best doggone behavior when visiting  

The Isle of Man is known for its fairies, and views
like this one, captured by
 Isle Of Man Landscapes.

* * *

5. Take a Sound Bath in the Integratron  
If aliens or sonic healing sessions are your thing, this is the place for you. When George Van Tassel built the Integratron in 1957 in California’s Mojave Desert (about 14 miles from Joshua Tree), supposedly from instructions he received from alien inhabitants of Venus, he did so under the guise that it would be used for time travelas well as anti-gravity and rejuvenationOne of the reasons he chose the location was for its proximity to magnetic vorticesIt’s since been bought by three sisters, and you can’t use it to time travel since that’s not a thing, but you can go there for a healing sound bath session that involves crystal bowls being played live, and time to reflect. Go see what all the hype is about, and leave feeling deeply rejuvenated.  

The Integratron’s sonics must be heard to be believed.
  

* * *

6. Touch the Wawel Chakra  
If you’re planning on a backpacking trip to Europe this summer—or wheneverbe sure to add this spot to your list. ThWawel Chakra is a spot on Wawel Hill in Krakow, Poland, that is believed to emanate powerful energy—like a chakra point in the human body. It is thought to be one of seven such chakras on the planet—others are located in Delhi and Rome. Specifically, the Wawel Chakra is located underneath St. Gereon’s Chapel, between the royal castle and the Wawel Cathedral, in the left corner of Wawel’s courtyard. The energy flowing through a wall over this spot is said to be so intense that it makes some people’s teeth rattle; others say they feel the energy flowing right through them. Some simply come here to meditate. The walls are worn down from the touch of so many seekers, but touch at your own risk, as it’s technically forbidden. 

Not just another European castle, the Wawel Chakra 
puts out seriously powerful energy

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

For more ideas on how to live a more adventurous, spirit-filled life, visit these stories and more in Sun: 
Your Star Sign Can Lead You to a Dream Vacation
Need a Little Hope? Start With Wonder

You Grow Through What You Go Through

 

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The Most #Magical Places on Earth

The Most #Magical Places on Earth

By Horoscope.com

On May 25, 2017

In Life, Sun, Travel

The Most #Magical Places on Earth

Do you believe in magic? The jury’s still out for me on that one, but what I do know is how much I love traveling to places that encompass elements of the supernatural or spiritual. I’m fascinated by the history of the occult; I’m also super curious about pagan religions and obsessed with folklore. Thankfully, our big beautiful planet has loads of spiritual travel destinations to sate my growing appetite for all things mysterious and sacred.
 
But here’s the awesome thing: These places are so magical that their beauty, mysticism, and folklore are tangible even through a screen. Check out these places on Instagram—and more like them at #magicalplaces—and you’ll get that shiver-up-your-spine feeling that makes you realize the world is so much more than meets the eye. Here, four of the most magical places on the planet—according to me, and my fellow Instagram travelers.  
 
 

The Bagan Archaeological Zone, Myanmar
Rich in spirituality, the Bagan Archaeological Zone comprises over 22,000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries. And while a hot air balloon ride at dawn is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the scenery, any mode of transportation will get you exactly where you need to be. Sit down on a wall or a step, close your eyes, and take some deep belly breaths as you soak it all in. This is definitely a spot you want to linger in—plan to take time and let your intuition guide you, rather than a map.

“This place is breathtaking,” says Instagram user @ramiray15. “I drove a motorbike from temple to temple on a dirt road, but the best part was just sitting at sunrise and admiring the view. I felt nothing but at peace.”

@sumrucaliskan’s favorite spot in the Bagan Archaelogical Zone.

The Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt
While Egypt is filled with sights that will resonate with your soul, one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited was the Valley of the Kings. Found on the West Bank of the Nile, the site was the main burial place of Egypt’s most important pharoahs and nobles, and tells a story of foregone opulence, crushing power, and intense mythology. (No photography is allowed in the Valley, so most IG images, like the one below, document other Luxor temples).

Whether you can photograph it or not, there’s nothing more thrilling than standing where history was made—literally. To study the ornate hieroglyphics and imagine the lives of the people who made them is to feel instantly transported to another place and time.
 

@saschasaskiia (and baby bump!), feeling inspired in Luxor.

The Fairy Tale Route, Germany
Are whimsical castles, enchanted forests, and bewitched medieval towns more your thing?  If so, head to Germany’s Fairy Tale Route, the 600 km stretch of road between Kassel and Bremen where the sagas and legends of your childhood come alive. This is the home of fairies, princes, and scorned witches—famed storytellers the Brothers Grimm lived in this area for most of their lives and drew inspiration from the eerie forests and haunted-looking castles surrounding their village. This is the perfect place to get in touch with nature, and the myths it inspires. 

“There’s always a story behind the story,” says Instagram user @storyseeker_ who documents the trail on Instagram. You know the story of Hansel and Gretel, about the witch who lives in a house made of gingerbread and eats children alive? That one is reportedly based in reality—during the Great Famine in the Middle Ages, it wasn’t uncommon for parents to abandon their kids in the woods, or even resort to cannibalism. Spooky! But I like to think of the woods, castles, and waterfalls along the Fairy Tale Route as reminders of the magical link between nature and the imagination—and how stories can connect us all, even through the centuries.

@catiimorteo let her imagination run wild on the Fairy Tale Route.
 

  

The Taj Mahal, India
The beauty and wonder of the Taj Mahal probably doesn’t need any explanation. But the magic is in the details. Just look at over half a million Instagram posts dedicated to this wonder of the world. Whether your eye catches on the symmetry of the structure of the ornate detail of the marble, one thing is clear: This place is sacred.

I’m rarely one to get emotional when I visit monuments, but visiting the Taj in the half light of dawn brought tears to my eyes—especially knowing the tragic story behind its construction. The emperor Shah Jahan built structure to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in the seventeenth century. And of course, the Taj Mahal wouldn’t be complete without a magical myth surrounding it: Legend has it that if you hit it a certain spot on its walls, water, like tears, will fall from the stone.

@wheresperryyo, soaking in the Taj Mahal’s magic.


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