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These 5 Home Hacks Will Rock Your Life

These 5 Home Hacks Will Rock Your Life

By Gala Darling

On May 1, 2017

In Feng-shui, Spirit, Wellness

These 5 Home Hacks Will Rock Your Life

I’m a magical person. I’m also a card-carrying Virgo. What does this mean? I’m drawn to rituals—and go crazy when I can’t find evidence of why and how they work. But one magical pursuit that creates instant results? Feng shui. Oh man, it works. I see almost instantaneous results whenever I employ a tactic. Here, some of my favorites.
 

1. Freshen up your front door. Your front door symbolizes opportunity, which is why it’s essential to make sure it opens to the opportunities you’re craving. First, make sure your name and house number are marked clearly—opportunity needs an address just as much as Amazon. Second, wipe your door down with an essential oil, like sweet orange, to help attract good things. And ensure your doorknob is securely attached. Can you paint your door? Do so! My friend Veronica Varlow painted hers with pink chalkboard paint, and then drew sigils—magical symbols—to help call in exactly what she wants in her life. Genius! I can’t paint my door, so instead, I hang bells, wreaths, and evil eye talismans and tape up quotes and pictures.

 
 A beautiful and clearly marked front door invites opportunity.

 

2. Dump the things that are dragging you down. Close your eyes and imagine your home’s floor plan, picturing the front door at the bottom-center of the plan, suggests Amanda Gibby Peters of Simple Shui. She taught me this genius technique and trust me when I say it fixes things, fast. Now, picture the top left and right corners of the space around the door. The top left signifies money, and the top right is your relationship area. Now, the million-dollar question: What clutter are you hoarding in those two areas? I gasped when Amanda asked me this. My top right corner was totally cluttered with “relationship problem-solving” books. I came home, cleaned up that area, and literally two weeks later, my relationship was completely transformed. True story!

 
An uncluttered entryway opens up your life, too.

 
3. Fill your home with flowers. Specifically, an orchid. Here’s why: Feng shui aims to balance the elements—water, metal, fire, wood, and earth—in your home, and the orchid represents all five! (Of course, you can also dig into the elements and balance them yourself; here’s an amazingly easy cheat sheet on this) But an orchid is a great shortcut. I picked up a beautiful purple-striped phalaenopsis, put it on my coffee table, and watched with wonder as the interactions in my living room began to take on the chill vibe I had been craving.

 
Orchids foster balance.

 

4. Make your mirror work for you. Mirrors reflect—and amplify—whatever they’re facing. If one is opposite a pile of clutter, you’re doubling the consequences of the clutter. Yowzers! You have two choices: Either move the mirror, or keep that area clutter-free. Trust me.

 
 A mirror reflecting a colorful wall lifts the spirit.

 
5. Let it flow! If you’ve read a bit about feng shui, you might start to freak out about where your bed is positioned or what to put next to the window. But Amanda told me to relax and not worry so much about the details. After all, feng shui is all about living in a home you love. If you love it, you really can’t go wrong. If that advice isn’t modern house-witchery, I don’t know what is.
 
 
 
Want more spirituality, mysticism, and advice for bringing your spirit to the next level of awesome? Follow us on Instagram.
 
 
 
 

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Travel Is an Aphrodisiac … Especially When You Do It This Way

Travel Is an Aphrodisiac … Especially When You Do It This Way

By Horoscope.com

On May 4, 2017

In Marriage, Sun, Travel

Travel Is an Aphrodisiac … Especially When You Do It This Way

I’d love to travel more, but I can’t. I hear this all the time from people who are in relationships with homebodies.

So what? Hit the open road, regardless of whether your partner comes with you. And to those who wonder if that might have a negative affect on their relationships, I can say firsthand that it does not (at least until you have kids)! I’m happily married and I travel solo all the time—heck, I’m off to Europe for a three-week solo trip next month. I’d counter that leaving your boo behind can actually make your union stronger. Here’s why:

Longing is a powerful aphrodisiac. “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” Joni Mitchell, you get it! Time and distance make me treasure my man way more than I do when we’re under the same roof—when we’re apart, I even miss the annoying stuff! If you’re in a healthy, loving relationship, this will happen to you as well. In my case, whenever I hear a German accent abroad I think of my Berlin-born husband. Panoramic views also make me miss him—he’s a sucker for a good rooftop vista. But it’s a good kind of missing that brings forth the warm and fuzzy feelings that are the cornerstone of a loving partnership. Oh, and the reunion after time gapart? Epic.


Your communication skills get a tune-up. Being miles and time zones away from my hubs actually compels me to keep in better touch with him. Because we have to make an effort to interact, we both make sure that our messages are meaningful. What works for us: I’ll Whatsapp notes, pictures, and videos, and then we schedule a Skype call every few days. We may not be in the same physical space, but this varied, frequent, and meaningful communication helps us to feel closer than ever.

You have whole new worlds to explore—literally! Being attached at the hip with your partner is not only boring, but can trigger a cycle of dependency and insecurity. But when you have your own solo interests, you become more self confident and self sufficient. Not only that, but talking about what makes you tick—why you couldn’t get enough of Egypt or how the coffee in Prague is superior to the coffee you’ve had anywhere else—allows your conversations to meander into uncharted waters where you both learn something about each other. Bottom line: Travel allows you to discover more of yourself, which you can then share with your love. Win-win!


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

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When We’re Honest About What We Want, Life Magically Blossoms

When We’re Honest About What We Want, Life Magically Blossoms

By Gala Darling

On April 7, 2017

In Life, Personality, Spirit

When We’re Honest About What We Want, Life Magically Blossoms

My first exposure to magic was when I attempted to cast love spells on thoroughly undeserving teenage boys. They were gangly and awkward, but their appeal was beyond description. We would talk on the phone all night; and in typical teenage-boy fashion, they prattled on, totally unaware of my amorous heart.

Despite my best efforts, the love spells never worked. And when, a couple of years later, I began dating my first serious boyfriend, I traded my obsession with magic for an obsession with men. How did they work? What did they want? They were endlessly fascinating to me, and still are. Truthfully, I’ve been trying to figure men out ever since.

Over a decade later, I found myself at a low point, in a crumbling marriage. Again, I turned to magic—and the friendship of women—for solace. I needed so desperately to regain a sense of control in my life, to know that this mistake I had made could be fixed. Every month, I joined a group of women in a New York apartment, where we would sit on the floor, chant, meditate, pull tarot cards, and get clear about our intentions. It was in those circles that I learned how to reclaim my power, how to send my energy out into the universe, and—most importantly—I was reminded that no one decision can ruin you.

I went to an astrology retreat in Tulum, hoping for a sign. I got what I asked for. Almost every woman there had been divorced… and was thriving. When I got back to New York, I told my husband it was over. He moved out two weeks later, and my life was mine again.

Ever since, I’ve been writing and speaking about my life-changing experiences with magic, spirituality, and what I call Radical Self Love. I’m determined to help as many women as possible extract themselves from the grips of sadness and self-doubt. It is my life’s work, and I cannot think of a more valuable way to spend my time. 

What is Radical Self Love? As Horoscope.com’s new Spirit Goddess, I’ll be telling you a lot about this incredible practice in the coming months, but here’s a teaser: Radical Self Love is a personal process in which you examine your thoughts and behavior and relentlessly toss anything that is hindering you from being your best, must salubrious self. Here’s what the process looks like for me:

1. Admit what isn’t working. What keeps you up at night? What makes you tense? Make a list. Be radically honest! When we get real with ourselves about the things that bring us pain, we have the power to reclaim them.

2. Know where you want to go next. Look around for people who are doing outlandish, creative, wonderful things—and ask yourself: How could I do that, and put my own magic on it?

3. Act your way into it. The magic really occurs when you get out of your head and into your body. “Put your money where your mouth is,” so to speak.

4. Rinse and repeat. You have to keep noticing what sucks, keep thinking about where you want to go next, and keep acting. The process is never over.

I believe that when we know ourselves and can be honest about what we want, everything in our life magically blossoms. And deepening that connection to ourselves is one of the most spiritual experiences we can have.

I’m so excited to be joining Horoscope.com as your Spirit Goddess. I have so many fun adventures to tell you about, things for you to try, and stories to share. This is going to be fabulous! See you here next week, and every Monday.

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An Ancient Technique for Releasing Trauma

An Ancient Technique for Releasing Trauma

By Horoscope.com

On March 31, 2017

In Happiness, Health, Spirit

An Ancient Technique for Releasing Trauma

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

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

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

Horoscope.com: What is a reiki session like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horoscope.com: How often do people go?

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

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

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


Above: Reiki master Jessica Mahler.

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

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This (G-rated) Massage Will Give You a Post-O Glow

This (G-rated) Massage Will Give You a Post-O Glow

By Ruby Warrington

On April 18, 2017

In Beauty, Makeup, Style

This (G-rated) Massage Will Give You a Post-O Glow

I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing about any facial is the massage part. And my least favorite is the slathering on of layer after layer of products, especially when the therapist often finishes up by recommending a total beauty cabinet overhaul. No thanks! As a rule, I feel about my skincare regime the way I do about food—the less complicated, the better.
 
Which brings me to FaceLove, a new facial concept that’s all about the massage part! A session at FaceLove is designed to do the smoothing, glow-ifying work of fillers and lasers with only the power of touch, “facial exercise,” acupressure, and a hint of aromatherapy oils. 
 
I stopped by at lunch on a Wednesday, in dire need (aren’t we all?) of a soothing time out. Settling back into sheepskin coziness, my subconscious selected the soothing lavender oil, which I was instructed to breathe deeply into my being. And then the massage began, with a vigorous scrubbing motion up and down my jawline (this felt like the “exercise” part!) gradually spreading to incorporate my ears, neck, and the tops of my shoulders.
 
I’d opted for the 30-minute “Pure Love” treatment, with an emphasis on lymphatic drainage and the release of emotional stress. And as my therapist honed in on specific acupressure points on my skull, I felt the tensions of the day begin to melt away. As I zoned out, the honking of a truck outside took on the timbre of a monastic chant; a conversation between another therapist and her next customer gently entered my consciousness as if it were beamed from another planet.
 
A brisk once over with a multi-faceted roller, designed to lift the skin and massage the facial fascia, brought me back into the room. The finishing touch? A few swipes from a soothing jade roller, used for centuries in Chinese medicine to cool, tone and tighten the complexion.
 
Overall, the treatment felt like an infinitely more considered take on the ten-minute shoulder workout you sometimes get while your polish is drying at a traditional nail studio. Checking my face in the mirror on my way out, my eyes appeared larger, and my cheekbones more defined. Not a “miracle” product in use! Best of all, I felt taken care of in a way that only the touch from another human can deliver. And that feeling was what held me for the rest of the day.
 
Of course, it’s not exactly practical to pop out for a facial massage every day of the week. But a DIY treatment has many of the same benefits, and practicing some self love reminds you that even on the busiest, most hectic deadline-driven days, you’re a human being who needs nourishing to live her best life.
 
Here, the geniuses at FaceLove share their top massage tips for smoother, happier looking skin. Try them when you’re experiencing stress, and trust me, you’ll be ready to face the world in a whole new way:
 
 

  1. Cup your whole face with the palms of your hands to liberally apply face cream.
  1. Massage in a spiral motion from the center of the face outwards towards the temples.
  1. To massage the upper eyelids, slide the fingers outwards from the bridge of the nose. For the lower eyelids, gently slide the fingers outwards in an arc as if ironing out the fine lines at the corners of the eyes. Finish by sliding down towards the sides of the cheeks.
  1. Cup your whole face in both hands and slide your hands outward towards the bottoms of your ears. End by gently squeezing your earlobes.

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Wedding Secrets of the Stars

Wedding Secrets of the Stars

By Horoscope.com

On June 7, 2016

In Luck, Style

Wedding Secrets of the Stars

Want to feel like royalty on your big day? Try these star-studded tips.

The Moon
First things first: the sign of Libra is associated with partnerships of all kinds especially when committing to a long-term arrangement, as in a marriage ceremony. If there is a New Moon in Libra on this day your life together will get off to a great start and will likely blossom into something beautiful. Generally it is better for the Moon to be between new and almost full. A waning Moon is not such a great omen.

Venus
If Venus is in Libra, this will help make things extra special. There will be fabulous interactions between family, guests, in-laws, and friends. Everything will be as harmonious, light, and bright as possible. There may also be some matchmaking going on as certain people inspired by your big day decide they want a long-term lover.

Venus is linked with the bride and Mars with the groom so if you can make sure that both planets are in positive aspect to each other this will be very beneficial.

Jupiter
If Jupiter aspects the Sun, Moon, Venus, or Mars – or more than one of these – this, too, will bring good luck on the big day and thereafter.

Timing
Try to choose the month to get married depending on the reason for the marriage. March, July, and November will bring emotional depth, whereas if you decide to marry when the Air Signs are more predominant in June, February, or October the marriage will be more of a deep friendship with an intellectual rapport.

Getting married during the fiery months of April, August, and December makes for a spirited relationship with plenty of action and adventure. The earthy months of May, September, and January bring security, which some people crave but others may find too boring and restrictive.

Motion
Make sure that both Venus and Mercury are in forward motion. If either is retrograde it can cause complications later on. It also helps to make sure that neither Venus nor Mars is in combative signs like Aries or Scorpio.

Something Else…
There are old rhymes which give hints as to the best day of the week to be married. This goes something like: “Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, and Wednesday is the best day of all.” Thursday through Sunday are all supposed to be less-than-ideal.

As far as wedding clothes go there are all sorts of traditions about what should be worn and what should be avoided. Wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue is advice that is often followed by brides who want to ensure their wedding and marriage are as good as they can be.

Something old is about the continuity of the family, so a piece of jewelry or lace handed down allows older family members or ancestors to be included in the day. Something new brings bright hope for the bride and groom and their future together. Something borrowed allows friends to play their part. If something is borrowed it should be from a happily married woman and should be given back straight away.

Something blue is a symbol of faithfulness, purity, and loyalty, and the blue item is often the garter. In this more modern age some brides get a blue tattoo.

Even Kate Middleton in her marriage to Prince William followed this age-old custom by wearing something in each category. Although her gown looked white it did have a tiny slip of blue ribbon sewn into it. Her borrowed item was from the Queen who lent her the 1936 Cartier halo style tiara. It has been in the Royal Family since it was purchased by King George VI for the Queen Mother.

If you are planning a wedding check out the omens, honor tradition and have a wonderful day!