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Bundle Up for the Winter Solstice

Bundle Up for the Winter Solstice

By Horoscope.com

On December 20, 2021

In Spirit

Bundle Up for the Winter Solstice

As we prepare for yuletide festivities and cooler temperatures, take a moment on December 21 to celebrate the winter solstice. Yet another season has arrived, offering us time to reflect on growth as we approach the end of the calendar year. Days are now shorter, and the air is chillier. Do not let external melancholia interfere with your personal transformation. Instead of hibernating, appreciate the wintery weather this season. Take a step back, reflect, and plan your activities as you head into a new year.  

The solstice also marks the beginning of Capricorn season, which means that we are looking back at the past in an effort to change as we move forward in our lives. Honoring and remembering yesteryear is a wonderful way to find the path that aligns with one’s goals and desires. Now is also the time to manifest your visions during the upcoming days to ensure that you’re moving into the new season on a high. Refresh. Restart. Reboot. This will bring personal happiness and fulfillment in the months ahead. 

As we toast auld lang syne and bid farewell to 2021, try to reflect, remember, and move towards the future with high hopes. 2022 promises to be a better year than the past two. So, let’s all welcome winter with warm hearts, merriment, and cheer.

Winter Solstice Activities

The solstice is a wonderful time to connect with family and friends. Invite the people you care about over for a feast with all of the season’s delectable foods (stews, hearty soups, root vegetables, and puddings for dessert). Also, wine, beer, tea, and cider are essential drinks to toast the new season. You may even want to have a potluck dinner and let your guests plan the menu.

Being that the solstice is the shortest day of the year, we honor the sun by wishing and wanting its return to us.  A great way to pay reference to the sun during the solstice is to light white candles around the home to purify the energy and cleanse the home for the upcoming season. The sun‘s light gives everyone and everything life on earth, which is what we will celebrate and pay tribute to on the solstice. 

Additionally, altar work is essential on the solstice. Cleansing and clearing the altar for the upcoming season will allow you to set new intentions and manifest your hopes in the upcoming months. Switch up the energy of your altar by adding seasonal staples, such as pine cones, bells, red wine for the spirits, and winter colors to help your manifestations along. 

Lighting a yule log and placing it in the fireplace is a protective activity for the solstice. It’s said that the yule log serves as a great way to ward off evil entities or spirits that come our way during the winter solstice. In fact, due to the lack of sunshine in the day, many people believe that this gives way for mischievous energies, entities, or sprites to create havoc in our homes and lives. Luckily, the lighting of the yule log will protect us all from negative vibes. 

Exchanging gifts with loved ones is also an important solstice tradition. Whether or not you celebrate the holidays, it’s nice to give those you care about a token of your appreciation. After all, the new year is coming soon, and it’s a generous gesture to let people know that they are in your thoughts. The presents you give don’t have to be large. They could simply be something that you made yourself. If you are feeling the seasonal joy, you may opt to give a charitable donation in the names of those to whom you are giving presents. Or, you can start a toy drive in which you give gifts to those in need.

Although the temperature is getting cooler outside, it’s a wonderful time of the year to take a walk and connect with nature. Breathe in the fresh and crisp wintery air as you walk through your town. Embracing nature is a way to show Mother Earth how much we honor and appreciate the abundance that is given to us. Seeing nature in all its glory is also a wakeup call from the universe to be grateful.

Written by Lisa Stardust.

Photos Courtesy of Ylanite Koppens and Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.

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The One Magical Habit That Can Change Your Life

The One Magical Habit That Can Change Your Life

By Horoscope.com

On November 5, 2021

In Spirit

The One Magical Habit That Can Change Your Life

Jamie Richardson specializes in tarot decks and readings. Find her @EmberandAura

Every morning you prepare to meet a new day. The Earth has completed another rotation; the moon falls into deeper shadow; the seasons change.

Are your days slipping into a lackluster pattern? Monotony can be both comforting and mundane. But how do we know that our lives matter? How do we connect with our individual purpose? How do prevent ourselves from fading into complacency? The answer is by crafting personal rituals that evoke our highest self.

Feeling lost? Use this reading to find the way to a positive outcome!

Ritual is often disguised in the most ordinary of activities: brewing your coffee, making your bed, and brushing your teeth. Each of these daily exercises is performed to bring forth a desired result—to make you feel secure, revived, orderly, and refreshed. Just as you maintain your outer world through these familiar routines, you can likewise cultivate inner balance through a daily Tarot reading.

The art of Tarot reading is an illuminating and grounding way to begin each day. With the help of its steadfast characters and suits, Tarot cuts through the preconceived notions of our overly rational minds and illustrates our life’s path in the ancient language of symbols. Whether a deck is used purely on its own, or as a supplemental tool with one’s own dreams or journaling, over time tarot becomes a trusted guide and companion.

Read this now: Wait, Crystals Can Get Dirty? And What To Do About It

There are numerous ways to allow a Tarot reading to become a daily spiritual practice. Study various Tarot spreads and take note of which ones most resonate with you. Always conduct your ritual in a special space you have reserved for quiet reflection and invoking sacred energy. This can simply be a windowsill or corner with a few special objects that hold special meaning to you—a crystal, a stone, a feather, an image of a deity, photos of lost loved ones, or even a dried flower from a memorable day.

Once you are ready to begin, your personal ritual might look something like this: Light a candle and request the presence of the Divine. Acknowledge with gratitude the rising sun and the chance to start anew. Ask for protection around yourself and those you love. If you journal (which I highly recommend), take a few minutes to let your thoughts and dreams flow onto your pages. Now, open yourself to Divine presence and shuffle your deck. As you shuffle the cards, ask to be shown two cards: One card that depicts any obstacle you might face today and one card to show what solution may be used to overcome it. This is your lesson from above; this is today’s theme. Meditate on the images and let them rest on your altar throughout your day, if you wish. Continue to journal your first impressions from the cards and possible ways they may guide you today. Thank the Divine for Her guidance and also pray for wisdom and intuition to accompany you as you face your day. Close the practice with gratitude and blow out the candle.

Read this now: My Mom’s an Actual Astrologer and Here’s What It’s Really Like

Observing this simple rite on a regular basis will establish a beautiful rhythm to your days. Don’t be surprised if the Tarot cards repeat themselves until you have mastered a particular lesson, or if they seem to take on a lifelike energy of their own. You will find that the wisdom of the cards is just a reflection of your own, always ready to assist you on your journey, always making magic out of the mundane. —Jamie Richardson

Jamie Richardson is a tarot reader, mom, and online boutique owner in Denver, CO, specializing in ethical fashion, vintage goods, and tarot decks and readings. Find her @EmberandAura. 

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Honoring the Day of the Dead

Honoring the Day of the Dead

By Horoscope.com

On November 1, 2021

In Spirit

Honoring the Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (or El Dia de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday that occurs on November 1-2, when families celebrate their deceased ancestors. The gates between the physical and spiritual world open on the evening of October 31, unlocking the realms that allow families to be reunited. 

Ancient indigenous cultures of Mexico have celebrated the lives of those who’ve passed away for over 3,000 years. The holiday originally lasted the entire ninth month of the Aztec calendar year. 

November 1 honors deceased children, the innocent souls lost. Offerings are made in the form of toys and dolls for the children to play with and enjoy on the holiday. November 2 celebrates the deceased adults. For them, we bring libations and earthly gifts that they’d find amusing and adore. 

Many people do altar work to attract their ancestors in spiritual form. This requires them to make offerings to the spirits. Usually, marigold flowers, foods (the favorite foods and libations of the deceased are made and placed on the altar), fruit, and water are left on the altar with photos of ancestors and candles burning brightly throughout the day. These offerings are used to attract ancestors and alert them to come towards the loving space that we have created in their honor and memory.

Dressing up in skull masks or face makeup is common. This is a contemporary way to celebrate the holiday. The more traditional approach is to eat sugar skull cookies known as pan de muerto and to drink atole, which is a spicy dark chocolate liquor, and greet neighbors with “Feliz Dia de los Muertos,” which translates to “Happy Day of the Dead.”

Having a lovely and lush meal with living family members while holding an empty seat with a place setting the spirits is a welcoming way to evoke them to come out and enjoy the fun. Families hold feasts with wine and food that the deceased love. The family raises a glass and gives a toast to the family members they are honoring. Everyone reflects and shares stories about their ancestors. Tears, laughs, and a wide range of emotions are felt throughout the course of the meal. After all, it’s a celebration of the circle of life and those who we miss dearly. 

Festivals continue in the parks and cemeteries, where the spirits are remembered and revered. All generations of families gather together and unite in paying tribute to their deceased loved ones. Music is played. Dancing under the sun lasts until moonlight. Additionally, flowers, photos, and personal trinkets are left on the graves of those who’ve departed to let them know that their presence is not forgotten and always felt. People also make crafts, art, and jewelry that have personal significance to the departed and allow them to feel the tender love and kindness their family has for them. 

Cleansing the home and energy is important as well. It’s always a good idea to refresh and reset one’s personal energy when doing altar work and connecting with spirits to keep the energy clean. Also, to ensure that you’re aligning with the right spirits — the ones who are only giving you love and respect. 

The Day of the Dead is not a one-off holiday, meaning that it’s not just celebrated one time throughout the year. Plans and offerings are made throughout the year, not just on this one day. This is the time when the bell between the spiritual and physical world is the nerve and normal, which is why it is a time that the spirits come to visit. However, this is a time-honored tradition that spans decades and generations and requires consistent devotion and love. 

The magic of the Day of the Dead is one that has stood the test of time and brought families together. It is the most magical and inspirational time of the year for all who celebrate. Knowing that your ancestors are present and showing you the love that you feel for them is the most wonderful sentiment one could possibly feel. All of these reasons and more are why Dia de los Muertos is an amazing time for those who celebrate — and why it should be honored throughout the year.

Written by Lisa Stardust

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'Are Horoscopes Real?': All Your Astrology Questions, Answered

‘Are Horoscopes Real?’: All Your Astrology Questions, Answered

By Horoscope.com

On January 21, 2021

In Astrology, Horoscope, Spirit

'Are Horoscopes Real?': All Your Astrology Questions, Answered

Some of us giggle over our daily horoscopes on the way to work, while others continuously read them just to see if they “come true.” And then there are those who get a full natal chart reading and faithfully check their horoscopes on the daily. Based on this, they might also check compatibility reports for potential friends and lovers, and even plan major life events according to how the planets are aligned.

Whatever type of horoscope-checker you are, you’ve probably wondered how exactly a horoscope is even made and whether there’s any truth to it. Well sit tight, because we’re about to answer all your questions.

Read This Now: Calculate Your Birth Chart

Is There Any Truth in Horoscopes?

The word “horoscope” comes from the Greek word “horoskopos,” which literally means “a look at the hours.” Early astrologers in ancient Babylonia based their predictions on the movement of the planets, which at that time were thought to represent the activity of their five gods—Marduk representing Jupiter, Ishtar representing Venus, Ninurta representing Saturn, Nabu representing Mercury, and Nergel representing Mars—in combination with the Moon-god Sin and the Sun-god Shamash, whose movements were believed to affect what was happening on Earth.

Can Horoscopes Predict the Future?

As knowledge of astronomy and the world has evolved, the art of astrology has evolved as well; these days, the charting of planets is very thorough if done by any professional astrologer. Because of that, using astrology to interpret potential life events is very real indeed.

How Do Horoscopes Work?

Surely you know your sun sign (hint: it’s the typical answer to that “What’s your sign?” question.) But to learn about your other signs (and yes, you have more), astrologers will need to know more than just your birthday.

To write the most in-depth horoscope possible, astrologers require the date, time, and location of your birth. When we have this information, we are able to place your sun sign on the first house of an astrological chart, then follow the signs in order for each house thereafter, thereby determining what types of issues may affect you at any given time. By looking at the position of the planets, we can study your chart’s aspects and determine whether or not you will have a challenging day, month, year, or if the aspects are lining up in your favor.

Read This Now: Everything You Need to Know About Mercury Retrogrades in 2019

What Are Planetary Aspects?

The detailed theory of planetary aspects is quite complex, but in a nutshell, when there is a connection formed between planets that are associated by some degree in the zodiac, they are referred to as “aspects.”

When the planets occupy the same degree of different signs in a chart, they have a connection that is referred to as either harmonious or challenging, depending on the signs involved or the number of degrees separating the planets.

The major aspects commonly referred to are the “conjunction,” which is zero degrees and is considered the strongest blend of two energies; the “opposition,” which is 180 degrees and considered a very challenging aspect; the “square,” which is 90 degrees and largely represents conflicting energies; and the “trine,” which is 120 degrees and considered to be an easy and beneficial connection.

Do Planetary Aspects Affect Signs the Same Way?

stars emoji_of_a_wave

Courtesy of @emoji_of_a_wave

When it comes to astrology, nothing affects any two individual people in the exact same way. The planetary aspects have different effects in general, and as we apply these to peoples’ sun signs, the aspects affect each sign differently.

For example, in the Sun square Mars aspect, Mars is the planet of drive and determination, and the square aspect denotes difficulty in this area, so in general, people with this aspect in their chart may have problems with others getting in their way, so the lesson in their life may be to face challenges head-on and be willing to jump hurdles to get what they want.

So, does this aspect affect a naturally headstrong Aries differently than a more introverted, sensitive Cancer? Absolutely! We can see a lot less frustration ahead for the Ram than for the Crab, as overcoming obstacles comes much more naturally to an Aries than it does a Cancer.

Read This Now: The Best Sex Positions For Every Sign

Okay, But Sometimes My Horoscopes Don’t Come True—What Gives?

Horoscopes are great tools to use as general guidelines for living, not predictions to be followed to a T. In order to write the most detailed and in-depth horoscope possible, an astrologer needs to have a person’s birth date, time, and location. Because it isn’t possible to have all of that information for every person, most horoscopes are written with a more general audience in mind. Most daily horoscopes are written by using sun signs based on the position and effect of the Moon.

The Moon changes signs every two to three days, which in turn affects our moods and emotions, so daily horoscopes are written based on where the Moon is, and how that will generally affect each sun sign on that day. Monthly horoscopes can add sun signs crossed-referenced with planets that change every month or the course of several months, namely Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the Sun. Yearly horoscopes include slower moving planets such as Saturn and Jupiter, and longer-term horoscopes are based on the movements of Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus, which can take many years to move through one sign.

How Can I Use My Horoscopes in My Life?

When you have a decision to make, do you only listen to one person, or consult one source? Probably not.

By reading your horoscope, whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, you can get a glimpse into what your world will be like from a planetary perspective, and you can use this information as a tool to help guide and motivate you.

Horoscopes can help you open up your mind to new possibilities, as well as options that you may not have considered, and as long as you approach reading your horoscope with an open mind, you can let the planets be your guide to all that is possible.

Lead photo courtesy of Giphy

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Embrace Your Power—5 Types of Witches and Witchcraft

Embrace Your Power—5 Types of Witches and Witchcraft

By Ellen Ricks

On January 6, 2021

In Astrology, Magic, Spirit

Embrace Your Power—5 Types of Witches and Witchcraft

Witchcraft seems like a particularly buzzy topic these days, with books, blogs, and more delivering ancient magic to a modern audience. But while stylized Tarot cards and light-catching crystals have their place, the shift from intrigued observer to practicing pagan can be a daunting one. So why not start the process by determining which brand of witchery resonates with you?

Read on to learn about five specialized takes on witchcraft, where the variants came from, and which type of witchcraft resonates most with you.

Read Me: Your Ultimate Guide to Modern Witchcraft Tools

Astrology

cosmic

Courtesy of @rachday_

What is an astrologer? An astrologer, or cosmic witch, is a witch who uses planetary and celestial energy in their practice. They study and feel a personal and spiritual connection with not only the main planets in our solar system, but with asteroids, meteors, supernovas, stars, constellations, galaxies, and black holes. Cosmic witches pay particular attention to astrology, horoscopes, and zodiac signs—but that only gives us a picture of how the cosmic forces influence the individual. Cosmic witches are focused on how celestial energy influences the inner self, but also the world.

History: Cosmic witches have been around since the study of planets. According to the American Federation of Astrologers, the Babylonians are credited with the birth of astrology. They used their astrological charts to predict the “recurrence of seasons and certain celestial events.” Around 2000 B.C., Babylonian astrologers believed that the sun, moon, and the five known planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto had yet to be discovered) all had distinct character traits (Mercury representing communication, Venus representing affection, and so on). Cosmic witches use these planetary traits to call upon their energy. For example, many witches choose to perform spells on a full moon because the full illumination can create an extra magical boost and enchantment—and the rock itself is said to align with emotions and the soul.

Modern cosmic witches: A present-day cosmic witch may not be using astrology to predict the weather, but rather to predict future events or influences. For example, it’s beneficial for a cosmic witch to know when Mercury is in retrograde, and in which sign, because it will allow them to determine where communication breakdowns will occur, and in what guise. If a cosmic which was planning to perform a love spell, their best chance of having it being successful during a new moon which corresponds with new beginnings and relationships.

Read Me: The Magical Tool That Works Best With Your Sign

Divination

tarot cards

Courtesy of @born_uner_saturn

What is a divination witch? A divination witch uses their magic to try to predict the future, often employing a variety of tools—or one that resonates. There are so many mediums with which to connect into the magic of the world: think Tarot cards, oracle cards, a pendulum, the I Ching, palmistry, and tasseography, and more.

History: Divination and divination witches have existed in just about every time period in history. In ancient Greece, divination witches were known as Oracles, and it was believed that deities spoke through them. A famous oracle was high priestess Pythia—known as the Oracle of Delphi—who was thought to be the mouthpiece of the god, Apollo. Every culture has its own form of divination. In ancient China, the diviner would carve out their question onto an ox bone until it cracked, and then the cracks were analyzed.

Modern divination witches: Today, divination witches don’t claim to be the mouthpiece of the gods; instead they use divination to predict likely answers to simple queries like, “Am I on the right career path?” or “Does this relationship stand a chance?” And in true modern fashion, divination methods like Tarot can even be found on our phones.

Herbalism

green witch

What is a green witch? A green witch works with magical properties found in the natural world. Their craft is based on respecting nature and all living things. Green witches focus on the magical correspondence of herbs, plants, and flowers. This incorporates herbalism, which is the study of botany and use of plants intended for medicinal purposes.

History: Herbalism is found in many cultures, but Chinese herbal medicine is one of the ancient variations still practiced today. Chinese herbology is based on the concepts of yin, yang, and Qi energy, where the herbs can either cool (yin) or stimulate (yang) certain parts of the body, the concept used for ritual and spiritual practices as well as medicinal. In parts of Africa, an herb known as purslane was used for purification during and after ritual ceremonies, while in some Scandinavian countries, clover was once used to ward off evils spirits and help develop psychic ability. In folk magic tradition, chamomile is said known to bring luck.

Modern green witches: Today, green witches still take herbal magic very seriously, using essential oils and creating small physic gardens in their own apartment. (You can find plenty of green witches on Instagram for inspo!) Be aware that this is a learned art: it’s extremely important to know the health effects of the herbs you plan to use or ingest as well as the magical benefits.

Read Me: The Best Houseplant for You, Based on Your Sign

Kitchen Witch

kitchen

What is a kitchen witch? A kitchen witch practices magic within their own home. Their magic is not based on any divine power or spiritual guidance, but that magic that can be found in the everyday routine. Their craft comes out while cooking, baking, and nesting while tapping into the power of their own intention.

History: Witchcraft and cooking have always gone hand-in-hand. During the late 15th and mid-18th century many of the 200,000 witches (mostly women) were tortured, hanged, or burned at the stake were accused of poisoning food. Even now, our classic image of a witch persists as a woman stirring her cauldron. There has always been a magical and ritualistic nature surrounding food. Like green witchcraft, kitchen witches use herbalism in their food-based magic—but kitchen witchery isn’t just about food. It can also be making a homemade offering to a deity, cleansing and protection your home, and so on.

Water Witch

woman in water

What is a water witch? A sea witch, also known as a water witch, works with the element water in order to tap into their magic. They feel a deep, powerful connection to the water—whether it is the ocean, sea, or lake. This powerful pull leads them to be more aware of their own mystical energies.

History: Sea witches have been found in many cultures throughout history. From the sea nymph Calypso of The Odyssey; Sycorax of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest; even Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. However, sea witches have a deeper history in mythology. In Norse mythology, sea witches were magical, malevolent feminine spirits who often took the form of mermaids. These witches believed that their power and bond over the sea and tides was born of their worship for the moon. The triple goddess symbol holds particularly deep meaning for sea witches, as it represents the three phases of the monthly lunar cycle: waxing, full, and waning.

Along with praying to the moon, sea witches have had a long history with practicing dowsing, a method of divination for finding water, metals, even gravesites underground by using a Y-shaped stick made of hazel. Dowsing has been around since the Middle Ages, used frequently in Europe until its association with witchcraft caused the practice to be shunned; its legitimacy as a science is still up for debate. 

Modern sea witches: Contemporary sea witches may not be luring sailors to their deaths, but they are still incorporating water, weather, and the moon into their practices, finding their own magical connection with the sea.

Originally published on Astrology.com

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Lead photo courtesy of @lucia.dami 

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5 Rituals to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

5 Rituals to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

By Shereen Campbell

On December 21, 2020

In Spirit

5 Rituals to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

As we approach the shortest and darkest day of the year, winter solstice, it’s a good idea to spend some time addressing the items that are cluttering our psyches. Never fear, as this process is necessary. Just as the trees and flowers go through the cycles of death and rebirth throughout the year, we go through more psychological versions of these cycles. In astrology, the seasons, equinoxes and solstices represent this psychological process. An equinox represents when day and night are equal length, while a solstice represents the point in time when the sun reaches its most northerly or southerly point in the sky.

What exciting new developments will unfold over the next 12 months?

The cycle starts with the spring equinox in the sign of Aries. Aries represents birth, the start of a new cycle. In spring, we see the physical evidence of this with animals coming out of hibernation and the seeds of plants being planted. Wherever you see Aries in your chart, this is where you are meant to initiate, to take bold and new steps into the unknown.

This trend continues through Taurus, where we are anticipate the seeds we planted starting to manifest and start to tend to those seeds. As we move through Gemini, we start to adjust however necessary to ensure those seeds bloom, thinking creatively to battle whatever comes our way. When the summer solstice arrives in the sign of Cancer, the need to protect all that has been given to us comes up. The seeds have manifested into things more magical than anticipated and it is our duty to tend and nurture them. We then proudly display the fruits of our labor (Leo) and then meticulously organize and prepare for the future, busy ourselves for the upcoming darkness (Virgo).

Soon enough, the sun enters Libra, where we arrive at the fall equinox to make our journey through the darkness. Daylight becomes shorter and we begin to venture more deeply into ourselves. Just like the plants begin to die, their bodies gracefully returning to the earth, we go through a time period of our egos receding, attempting to make room for others. We go through transformation, first understanding our relationships with others (Libra), then exploring the murky water of our shadows (Scorpio) prohibiting us to merge fully and finally starting to explore the beliefs that drive us (Sagittarius). A short time later, when we arrive at Capricorn and the winter solstice, we are encouraged to celebrate the rebirth of life. This marks the shortest day of the year and from this point forward, daylight will grow in length, we will finally march towards warmth.

This is the time of letting go of all that holds us back, integrating all that we learned in the dark while we explored our shadows. We look at our fears with determination to surpass them (Capricorn), we push boundaries looking to revolutionize our world (Aquarius) and then commune with all that is, realizing fully that we are an intricate part of everything (Pisces). We can now have hope for the new cycle coming our way. With that said, for the winter solstice or Yule, there are some fun rituals to explore to help you celebrate your own rebirth and these are a couple of my favorites.

 

winter solstice

Winter Cleaning

Similar to spring cleaning, winter cleaning helps you to let go of the old in order to make room for the new to enter your life. If you have a bunch of junk around the house, this is the optimum time to clear it away! Pagans refer to this as a Yule Cleansing Ritual. Remove items that you feel no longer serve your higher purpose or items that are distracting you from focusing on the things most important to you.

Cleanse Your Space

Bust out the sage for this ritual! I like to walk around my home with a white smudge sage bundle requesting energies that do not belong to me away. You’ll find me smudging my doorways and windows for extra benefit while quietly asking anything in my home that is not of my higher purpose to leave. I love to use holidays like this one as a reminder that it needs to be done.

To buy: Cleansing Sage Kit, $15.00

Donate Your Stuff

Now that you’ve cleansed and cleared out your space, the winter solstice is a perfect time to donate your gently used goods to those less fortunate than you. Among many traditions, including paganism, Christianity, Islam, etc, donating to others is an important part of service. If you no longer have use for something, what better way to show the Universe you are happy to create room for sharing with others.

bath soak winter solstice

Cleanse Your Bod

Taking a salt bath infused with some of the herbs associated with Yule makes for a great way to celebrate the solstice! Some herbs you can use are pine, evergreens, ivy, holly, mistletoe, birch, oak, yew, frankincense and myrrh. As you soak or scrub, imagine that all your troubles are being absorbed by the water and salt, being scrubbed away from you.

Light a Candle 

Once your space and body has been cleansed, and you’ve given away some of your gifts to others, one way to commence your celebrating is with a little candle ritual. Try lighting some gold and green candles, and spend some time reflecting on the past year. Feel free to write whatever comes up down, as this helps you to process, let go and invite some newness into your life. Did you accomplish all of the things you had hoped? What was missing? What turned out better than you anticipated? Are you feeling connected with your higher purpose? What are some ways you strengthened your connection this year? What are some ways you diminished this connection? What do you want to let go? What are some things you want to create in the upcoming cycle? Finally, as always express your gratitude for what’s to come, as all you have goaled is already yours.

Happy Yule!

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.

Photos: via Unsplash

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The Most Powerful Crystals for Your Zodiac Sign

The Most Powerful Crystals for Your Zodiac Sign

By Horoscope.com

On December 14, 2020

In Horoscope, Sign, Spirit

The Most Powerful Crystals for Your Zodiac Sign

Pretty and powerful, crystals are key accessories to help you tap and harness your intuition, as well as tune into your soul. And while different crystals have different properties—rose quartz can help dissolve painful romantic memories, for instance, and citrine can help attract positive thoughts—some crystals are especially attuned to certain astrological signs.

Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro, crystal experts and co-founders of Energy Muse and co-authors of Crystal Muse, Everyday Rituals to Tune into the Real You, break down the best crystals for your zodiac sign. For the maximum benefit, read for both your sun and rising sign, suggest Askinosie. Whether you wear them, keep one by your bed, or have a few in your purse, these gems will certainly help your soul sparkle.

Read This Now: Crystal Cleansing 101: Everything You Need to Know

Best Crystals for Aries

Some of the best crystals for Aries to connect with are carnelian, citrine, and garnet. Carnelian is known to complement your inner voice and give you the confidence to counteract self-doubt. Citrine is useful for manifesting your dreams and securely promoting your intentions. Garnet enhances your energy, sending high vibrations throughout your body, which increases your endurance and ensures you reach your highest potential during any type of performance.

Carnelian Crystal Bracelet, $15

Best Crystals for Taurus

Peridot instills positive power for Taurus and will lead you to be more courageous and trust your instincts. Carnelian also energizes you to move forward when you’re caught up in a sticky situation. And pyrite, another wonderful stone for Taurus, is said to bestow an abundance of blessings in favor of your hard work and perseverance.

Pyrite Cube, $14

pyrite

Best Crystals for Gemini

Jade removes negativity and replaces it with peace and restores balance into your physical, emotional, and intellectual body dear Gemini. Rutilated quartz is unique in its ability to connect you to your highest spiritual state, while carnelian promotes joy and personal power. Together, these crystals work in tandem to enrich your life with new knowledge and everlasting wisdom.

Rutilated Quartz Prism, $15

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Best Crystals for Cancer

Moonstone, as the name suggests, is connected directly to the moon and harnesses its energy. When Cancer connects to moonstone, you call upon your free spirit to carry you through your journey. Red jasper is very beneficial for building your stamina, helping you overcome adversity and to be a stable support system for your loved ones. Abalone shell connects you to the changing tides and emotions of the sea, which makes you more perceptive to what others are feeling.

Moonstone Dowser Pendulum, $10

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Best Crystals for Leo

Garnet can ignite your inner fire and fuel your passions Leo. Tiger’s eye, charged by the sun, can support your soul’s evolution as you grow older and wiser each day. Any project you take on can be supported with carnelian, which strengthens your personal power and stimulates your creative thinking.

Tiger’s Eye Gemstone Ball, $23

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Best Crystals for Virgo

A negative characteristics for Virgo? You tend to be less inclined to open your heart to others. Connecting to a supreme nurturer, like red jasper, grounds you and keeps you centered. Another way to balance your chakras is through kyanite, which is believed to bring energetic protection to help you go beyond your comfort zone. Once you gain enough courage to open your heart to something or someone new, jade is said to bring abundance and prosperity, while simultaneously getting you back in touch with nature and keeping you down to earth.

Red Jasper Obelisk Tower, $14

Best Crystals for Libra

You can be guilty of indecisiveness, dear Libra, since you tend to weigh and consider all factors of a situation, which stalls your decision-making process. To counteract this weakness, connect with lapis lazuli for confident decision making. Additionally, citrine can promote your optimism and balance your yin and yang energies. It will help you feel confident in the choices you make. For even more security in your decision making, labradorite can help clear and protect your entire aura.

Lapis Lazuli Tumbled Rock, $6

Best Crystals for Scorpio

In times of anger, citrine, malachite, and amethyst can restore your peaceful tranquility Scorpio. Citrine is powerful at invoking feelings of happiness, joy, and serenity, by infusing you with its light. Malachite, a powerful Scorpio birthstone, transforms negative energy into positive vibrations to facilitate emotional healing. For the ultimate aura clearing treatment, amethyst can open your crown chakra to bring you peace of mind.

Citrine Healing Crystal, $6

amethyst

Best Crystals for Sagittarius

You are constantly searching for new adventures to take you for another ride Sagittarius; therefore, bronzite can act as a powerful catalyst for change in your life. Citrine can help reconnect you with your inner self, enabling you to stay true to who you are deep down inside your soul. No matter what challenge you face next, turquoise can help enhance your natural intuition, providing you with just the right amount of guidance to see you through to the end.

Bronzite Necklace, $11

Read This Now: The Best Crystals to Help You Win at Work

Best Crystals for Capricorn

If you are interested in working toward your heavenly self, azurite can help stimulate your divinity Capricorn. Another way to practice what you preach is through an energetic cleanse, which can open your heart and encourage acceptance of others. You can perform an energetic cleanse with peridot, which helps remove envious feelings to ultimately aid your relationships. Finally, when interested in extracting energy blockages throughout your chakras, garnet, your birthstone, is known to rejuvenate your spirit, implementing serene vibrations.

Azurite Palm Stone, $22

Best Crystals for Aquarius

When conflicts arise, Aquarius, aquamarine can be used to strengthen your ideals of community and help enable you to practice forgiveness. At times when you feel hurt or betrayed by those close to you, yellow jasper can heal wounds that still burden your mind. Connect to your birthstone, amethyst, at the end of this healing process to bring your mind, body, and spirit back into balance.

Aquamarine Crystal Point, $35

aquamarine

Best Crystals for Pisces

Aquamarine, your Pisces birthstone, can bring you insight, especially when you are questioning your own intuition. It can also unveil underlying emotions you may be harboring toward others, or even yourself. Connect to chrysocolla to help soothe a broken heart as well as help you work through your feelings and express them clearly in each of your relationships. When you are in need of a spiritual revival, amethyst can calm you down and bring a pleasurable sense of relaxation.

Chrysocolla Crystal Egg, $14

Lead photo courtesy of @luminosity_crystals; Article photos courtesy of Twenty20

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3 Rituals That Immediately Send Good Vibes Your Way

3 Rituals That Immediately Send Good Vibes Your Way

By Gala Darling

On December 7, 2020

In Astrology, Magic, Spirit

3 Rituals That Immediately Send Good Vibes Your Way

One of the most wonderful things about magic is that it can be done anywhere, at any time. You don’t need to be wearing a special cloak, dancing around a bubbling cauldron … even though that image is very evocative! You can harness your power with your back pressed against a bathroom stall, as you rock gently within a subway car, or before you drift off to sleep.

While we all want to manifest big love, plenty of cash, and a life full of adventure, sometimes we just need a little hit of magic: Something to make us feel better on a day-to-day basis. Here are three simple rituals that I practice every week to stay positive, confident, and centered. Try them, and watch magic happen in your life!

Energy Protection Ritual

How to do it: It’s all about creating a vision! There are many variations, but here are two of my favorite ways to do it. The first technique is calling “zipping up,” where you imagine a huge zipper that starts at your pelvis and runs all the way up to the top of your head. All you need to do is visualize closing that zipper, and thereby sealing in all your goodness!

What it does: Protecting your energy is a way of keeping other people’s psychic gunk off you. You know how sometimes you walk into a room and feel like you’re absorbing someone else’s bad vibes? You’re not imagining that! When you protect your energy, it means you get to contain all positivity… and you won’t pick up anyone else’s unhappy mood.

When to do it: It’s best before you leave the house for the day, although you can repeat it throughout the day, whenever you’re feeling drained.

The second technique involves seeing yourself inside a sphere. Some people like to visualize themselves inside a big pink bubble, but I like to see myself in a huge disco ball, through which only positive energy can penetrate (and all negativity, jealousy, and bad vibes get bounced back out!).

Read This Now: On the Next Full Moon, Do This for a Magical Month

Confidence-Boosting Ritual

How to do it: Take a piece of carnelian and charge it under the light of the full moon. As you place it on your windowsill, set the intention that this stone reawakens your power to move confidently in any situation, fires up your vitality, and fills you with positive energy. After you let it charge up for a night, you can use it whenever you want to! Keep it in your pocket during interviews, place it on your desk, and rub it whenever you need a little extra boost!

What it does: Infusing the crystal carnelian with intention will keep you focused and confident, no matter who you come up against. It’s so easy to lose your nerve when you’re in a high-stakes moment, but with the help of this stone, you can move ahead confidently, no matter what.

When to do it: Initially on a full moon. Then, any time you’re heading into a situation where you want to be your best self.

Read This Now: 5 Ordinary Objects for Practical Everyday Magic

Meditation Ritual

How to do it: Go outside! If you can find a grassy area and take your shoes off, so much the better, but this isn’t essential. Find a quiet spot and stand with your feet apart, tip your head back and close your eyes. Imagine a huge cord dropping down from your root chakra and going into the ground, going down so deeply that it hits the core of the earth. I like to envision my cord wrapping around the core a few times so I know it’s really secure. Then, visualize expanding the cord and widening it so that it becomes like a beautiful cosmic garbage chute, and watch as all the anger, sadness, rage, and confused energy flows down it and into the core of the earth. When you feel like you’ve let it go, you can blow up the cord (in your mind, of course!) and then visualize the sun filling your body with golden light. You can take as long as you want to do this—sometimes it’s lovely to take a couple of minutes, but it can also be done in a pinch if you’ve got somewhere to be!

What it does: This super-simple meditation technique is one of the best ways I know to truly chill out. Instead of stewing in your own head or feeling gripped by anxiety, you instead, choose to connect with the earth and allow your negative energy to drain down into it.

When to do it: Any time you’re feeling stressed, overworked, frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed.

PIN THIS

Lead photo courtesy of @sophiemoates

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5 Crystals to Help You Win at Work

5 Crystals to Help You Win at Work

By Simone Paget

On November 17, 2020

In Crystals, Spirit, Work

5 Crystals to Help You Win at Work

A few months ago, I found myself completely overwhelmed with a writing project I’d agreed to take on. Following through would mean accomplishing a huge personal goal, but when I sat down in front of my computer, I couldn’t focus, and I was riddled with anxiety and self-doubt. I was looking for a way to recenter my energy and get the creative juices flowing—and I knew my usual strategy (guzzling half a pot of dark roast and hoping for the best) wasn’t going to work this time.

Enter: crystal medicine

I’ve used crystals to help me get over a breakup and for insomnia, but I’ve never incorporated them into my creative process. But, “there are so many stones that you can use for work space,” says Courtney Taylor, a psychic clairvoyant and energy healer who frequently prescribes crystals to her clients.

Read This Now: Crystal Cleansing 101: Everything You Need to Know

After speaking with Taylor, I was prescribed two different crystals. I started wearing them daily. While I didn’t notice a dramatic change initially, feeling them against my skin was a reminder to focus my energy on the task at hand. A week into wearing the stones, I started to notice a shift in my energy and more opportunities flowing my way.

Read This Now: The Most Powerful Crystals for Your Zodiac Sign

As Taylor explains, within the crystal universe there are “manifestation stones” that will help you get what you want. So, whether you’re hoping to make a move up the corporate ladder, tap into your inner confidence or simply manifest more abundance in your life, here are a few crystals to try.

Citrine

“This is always the first stone I give people when they’re wanting to change jobs, get a promotion or get more money,” says Taylor. In my case, wearing citrine has helped me shift my energy around money from a place of lack to a more positive space. Taylor says this is common. “It is a growth stone. It’s a manifestation stone. It’s an abundance stone. It’s really good to help purify and center you. It also helps identify which areas you need to work on. It will get there. It carries through.”

Facing difficult job challenges? Let the Tarot help…

Aventurine

Known for its gorgeous green hue, aventurine is another manifestation stone. If your current work situation is getting you down or you find negative self-talk is hurting your confidence, wearing some aventurine can help. As Taylor explains, “aventurine works more on the emotional side and keeps us in a place where we’re optimistic. It’s a healing stone and very gentle. It also creates balance.” Because aventurine is connected to the solar plexus, it can also help boost our confidence and self-esteem.

Taylor says that it’s especially great for work because, “it also helps keep us in a positive energy space while trusting what’s going to come.” So, if you’re angling for a promotion or your next big gig, “it’s a stone that keeps you out of your negative thought patterns.”

Taylor says it also pairs really well with citrine, “because you’re manifesting but you’re also being realistic.”

Pyrite

Also known as “fool’s gold,” this ultra sparkly stone is perfect for those times when you want to keep your mind clear and your eyes on the prize. “This is really good at giving you clarity, optimism. It has a very bright energy and is very flashy so it gives you the feeling of ‘I can do anything, I can take on anything,’” says Taylor. However, because Pyrite tends to come in a larger cluster, “this is one that I don’t recommend you wear but instead keep in the house.”

See the wisest next steps you should take on your career path…

Jade

Looking to get that raise or double your business profits? Jade is your lucky charm. Taylor says, “this one is all about money.” While jade will definitely help you manifest more money in your life, it’s connected to your heart chakra which means it will also help keep you, “from holding yourself back and delaying living up to your full potential,” she says. A gentle, pick me up stone; jade will remind you good things are coming into your life.

Iolite

Want to kickstart the creative process? Just add Iolite. This stone is connected to the seven laws of attraction and really powerful when it comes to tapping into your imagination and bringing visions to life. “It helps get you into a very visionary state. I love this one for people who are in the arts and media—anyone who is in a creative space, Iolite helps bring you to that creative space,” says Taylor.

Read This Next: How Crystals Can Bring Your Sex Life to the Next Level

Iolite is also connected to your third eye. Because of this, it’s a helpful crystal for the manifestation process because it allows you to take ideas and project them forward. It’s a good stone to use when you’re building your own intuition. As Taylor explains, this is the perfect stone to use when you want to send a message to the universe that, “I want things and I’m going to get them.”

As Taylor reminds us, “many of these stones are manifestation stones for the career space. They will help you set your desires, manifest money and project forward to get there.” However, because crystals are a form of energy medicine, people react differently to every stone. “I like giving different ones because our body gets used to wearing certain stones and the energy needs to be changed up every now and then,” says Taylor. Start by experimenting with one or two stones and go from there.

Simone Paget is a freelance writer based on the West Coast of Canada. She’s a nationally syndicated sex and relationship columnist for the Toronto Sun and the author of the blog SkinnyDip.ca. Her work has appeared in/on publications such as the Washington Post, Elle Canada, Food Network, Reader’s Digest Best Health and The Toronto Star. 

Photo: @robyn514 via Twenty20

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Color Magic: The Ultimate Guide to Color Meanings and Everyday Uses

Color Magic: The Ultimate Guide to Color Meanings and Everyday Uses

By Ellen Ricks

On October 21, 2020

In Color, Magic, Spirit

Color Magic: The Ultimate Guide to Color Meanings and Everyday Uses

Color holds certain powers in our society. A bride wears white on her wedding day, a grieving family wears black to a funeral, red doors are supposed to bring good luck, and a red dress may just give you the spice you need on a first date. What started as cultural norm has weaved itself into our personal lives. But did you know that each color has a magical property? Welcome to color magic, my friends.

What Is Color Magic?

Color magic is about using special color energies in order to manifest certain things you want in life. Similar to the herbs or crystals you use in your witchcraft, using certain colors can bring forth the properties you wish to manifest, like wealth or confidence.

Some witches use color magic by using certain colored candles, flowers, or crystals for their spell work. But you can use color magic in your daily life, just by doing some simple things. For instance, if you’ve ever dressed in a certain color before a big job interview or decorated your room a certain specific color, then you’ve already had some experience with color magic.

Here are some simple ways to incorporate color into your everyday life.

Color Meanings & Symbolism

Black — Protection

black

Symbolizes: Protection

When most people think of black, they tend to associate it with death. Actually, black focuses more on safety and protection than dying. In all things, black represents grounding, strength, and wards against negativity.

Everyday Uses: Wear a black jacket out to protect you, hang black curtains on your windows to ward off negative energies, welcome a black house cat to dispel demons, sleep in black sheets to block bad dreams, or wear black sunglasses to block out the haters.

Black Crystals: Black tourmaline, black obsidian

White — Peace and Balance

white

Symbolizes: Peace and balance

It’s no surprise that love symbolizes purity and unity (I mean, the whole white wedding thing), but white also symbolizes cleansing, peace, balance, truth, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Everyday Uses: Use a white diffuser when doing a cleanse of your space, try out a white yoga mat for balance, buy white Lillies, light white candles, keep a clear quartz crystal on your office desk, or wear white PJs to go to bed feeling at peace.

White Crystals: Selenite, clear quartz, white howlite, moonstone

Read Me: The Best Crystal for Your Zodiac Sign

Red — Passion, Courage, Luck, and Hospitality

red

Symbolizes: Passion, courage, good luck, and hospitality

It’s no surprise that red is associated with passion and anger (the term “seeing red”). But red symbolizes not just passion, but strength, inspiration, courage, and ambition. Red wants us to take action and follow our hearts. Red is also associated with the root chakra.

Everyday Uses: Buy red workout shoes to pump up your workout, wear a red blouse when going to an important event or red heels to a date, wear red lipstick for a confidence boost on a date, or paint your door red to welcome house guests.

Red Crystals: Garnet, red jasper

Orange — Sensuality, Creativity, Pride, and Prosperity

orange

Symbolizes: Sensuality, creativity, pride, and prosperity

Orange isn’t just for fall and pumpkin spice lattes. Associated with the sacral chakra (located at the center of your lower belly), orange symbolizes sensuality and creativity. It’s also known to bring out kindness, intellect, pride, uplifting energies, prosperity, and kinship.

Everyday Uses: Use orange ink and notebooks when working on creative projects, bring orange roses to someone you’re proud of, or drop an orange bath bomb into your bath after a stressful day to get some uplifting energies.

Orange Crystals: Tiger’s eye

Yellow — Happiness, Self-esteem, and Friendliness

yellow

Symbolizes: Happiness, self-esteem, and friendliness

Bright and loud, it’s no wonder that yellow is associated with happiness and joy. Along with being raising beauty, confidence, and self-esteem, yellow also increases memory and learning. Yellow is associated with the solar plexus chakra (above your navel) and is the source of personal power.

Everyday Uses: Use a yellow highlighter while studying, post a pic of you wearing yellow on your dating app profile, keep lemons around the kitchen, drive a yellow car, wear a yellow jumpsuit when you need a confidence boost, yellow rain boots make any rainy day brighter, or set up some sunflowers in your house.

Yellow Crystals: Citrine, calcite

Green — Money, Prosperity, and Luck

green

Symbolizes: Money, prosperity, and luck

Money is green for a reason. The color green symbolizes prosperity, money, abundance, luck, and growth. Green is also associated with heart chakra which manifests feelings of hope, intuition, and rebirth.

Everyday uses: Paint your nails green so everything you touch turns to money, carry a green wallet so you always have an increase in cash flow, use green gardening tools to promote growth, place a “money tree” in your house.

Green Crystals: Jade

Read Me: The Best Houseplant for Your Zodiac Sign

Blue — Harmony, Healing, Communication, and Wisdom

blue

Symbolizes: Harmony, healing, communication, and wisdom

“Feeling blue” is a term used to describe feeling sad, but blue in color magic couldn’t be the further thing from sorrow. Blue actually symbolizes harmony, healing, creativity, focus, and patience. Associated with the throat chakra, blue can increase communication, wisdom, and forgiveness.

Everyday Uses: Hang pictures of blue things in your office to increase focus and creativity, drink from a blue mug in the morning to keep you calm, paint your room blue to promote harmony, or wear blue necklace for great communication (preferable with one of the crystals mentioned below for an extra magical boost).

Blue Crystals: Blue agate, lapis lazuli, turquoise

Purple —Wisdom, Power, and Health

purple

Symbolizes: Wisdom, power, and health

Often associated with royalty and wealth in some cultures, the color purple has intense levels of magical property. Purple in all shades symbolizes wisdom, power, health, and prophecy. Indigo represents the third eye chakra while violet represents the crown chakra, both trying to connect you with a higher power.

Everyday Uses: Wear purple lipstick when you want your words to hold power, dye your hair when you want powerful presence, color things or write letters in purple ink.

Purple Crystals: Amethyst

Pink — Self-love, Intimacy, Compassion, and New Beginnings

pink

Symbolizes: Self-love, intimacy, compassion, and new beginnings

Pink is often associated with feminine and “just for girls,” but this color is so much more than that. Pink symbolizes love, compassion, friendship, intimacy, self-love, and new beginnings—not to mention a lot of romance.

Everyday Uses: Wear a pink shirt or dress on a first date (trust us), or wear a cute pink bra under your outfit (even if no one is seeing it but you). Get matching rose quartz friendship bracelets or necklaces with your bestie. Add a pink couch to your living room, sprinkle some Himalayan salt on your food, use pink paperclips to hold together contracts (new beginnings/friendships).

Pink Crystals: Rose quartz

All photos courtesy of Twenty20