Oh my goodness look at the time! The last week of April already. I have a lot to share with you this month, including some new favorite Spirituality podcasts (both began this year!), some book recommendations and, of course, awesome spiritual links. Let’s get started!
I’m sure you’ve heard allll about Mercury Retrograde this month. I even chimed in with a Divine Feminine/Feminist Communication take on the phenomenon here. But what if you were born with Mercury Retrograde in your birth chart . . .
In her article, Spiller writes on natives, “In this lifetime, they are not allowed to speak superficially. To feel “straight” with themselves, they must communicate fully, from the authenticity of their entire being. Naturally, it takes time for them to get in touch with this level of authenticity.”
Emotional Intelligence: Your Moon Sign and You: (Complete with a sign-by-sign take!)
The moon is beyond our personality/persona of what we want people to see and often the parts of ourselves we want to hide or don’t like. While the sun is our conscious awareness of parts of ourselves, the moon is our unconscious and the parts that are more difficult to see. It is our most human and most vulnerable.
An Introduction To Breath Work: How I Accidentally Cured My Anxiety And Cyclical Depression By Breathing
My results at work have improved dramatically. I’m sleeping and eating better. I’m getting more done in less time. I’m enjoying more relationships with more people, and actually enjoying them, not just waiting until they leave so that I can work more.
Do you have an Instant Pot? It’s a 7-in-1 electric pressure cooker/slow cooker/yogurt maker and I use mine several times a week, if not several times a day. I strongly recommend buying an extra stainless steel pot/insert and a second silicon ring– one for savory things and one for non-savory things like yogurt or. . . cheesecake. Yep. Today I made a pressure cooker cheesecake in 14 minutes and it is divine. I halved this recipe.
I listen to a lot of books and podcasts in the car and while I’m cleaning the house. I’ve stumbled upon a few gems and wanted to share with you:
Shift Your Spirits Podcast-– this podcast recently launched and is hosted by one of my very first mentors, Slade Roberson. With episdoe 7 Slade began doing a intuitive “download” at the end of the show– an oracle of sorts. He gives you a few moments to think on a question and then he tunes into his guides and relays a general message. OMG. SPOT. ON. Plus, the guests he’s had on have been fascinating . . . And let’s here it for the boys! We need some more intuitive men around here.
The other podcast I’m loving is the Priestess Podcast (and I don’t usually go for “priestess” anything) by Julie Parker. I just discovered this podcast last week and gobbled up the first 18 episodes. Now I’m a sad housewife waiting for Wednesday to bring me a new episode . . .
I’m not a raving Danielle LaPorte fan– I can take her or leave her– but when another cynical friend recommended the audio version of her new book, White Hot Truth, I jumped on it and I am so glad I did. White Hot Truth asks us to question what we take for Truth on the Spiritual Path and I was nodding my head and softly screaming YES right along with her wisdom and insights. The book comes out in May but you can download the audiobook immediately if you pre-orer the book (and yay for no annoying $1,000 worth of “bonuses”).
See you next week!
In love and darkness,
According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetics, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Jews whose great-grandparents were chased from their Russian shtetls; Chinese whose grandparents lived through the ravages of the Cultural Revolution; young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres; adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents — all carry with them more than just memories.
- New favorite find: Jennifer Racioppi. Jenn is an astrologer and life/biz/health coach who suffered a hysterectomy at age 20 (!!). Her life and her emotions were a mess until she learned how to chart the moon as a stand-in for her menstrual cycle. She now offers coaching at the sweetspot between astrology and life/biz/health.
- I love talking about the things no one is talking about– especially if it’s difficult or awkward (ha! Cancer sun meets Aries moon). Although I haven’t read this book, I recently recommended it’s topic to a client: Liberating Losses: When Death Brings Relief
- In honor of women’s history month, I’ve been posting interesting women with little-known stories on instagram. Recent features have included Mourning Dove, an Okanagan (my tribe!) woman who was one of the first Native American novelists AND who featured a half-blood protagonist who happened to get a happy ending at the end of the book (not a common theme for half-blood characters 100 years ago). I’ve also featured Lucrecia de Leon, a Spanish girl whose dreams were used to spy on France and England AND Harriet Tubman, who, little-known-fact, dreamt/dream-scouted the routes of the Underground Railroad before she took them. She never once lost a passenger or got caught either.
- Speaking of dreams, my course: A Course In Dreams has been completely revamped, redesigned and re-released in the School of Dreams and Divination! There are several modules available as a free preview as well.
- Finally, I have a secret. I hosted a Divine Darkness symposium in January and have been promising a follow-up symposium . . . well the symposiums are about to get a whole new look and attitude. Watch this space for more 😉
- Love the photos in this post? Me too. They are from the bohemian home decor site, soulmakes.com
In love and Darkness,
To wrap up our discussion on talismans and amulets, I wanted to go over a few common and yet powerful symbols often found in jewelry that attest to feminine power. I find this subject fascinating because most of this symbolism was born, or became popularized, in the Victorian era. This was an era in which it was scandalous to show your ankles; to be alone in a room with a man who was not your father, brother or husband; and in which women never ever traveled, walked or lived alone.
Women were infantilized: helpless and needing all of the attention and humor that a child needs.
BUT. Symbols of feminine power persisted, in fact flourished, as they have always persisted throughout time.
Although these symbols have persisted in many ways: in art, in religious symbols, in rituals and even in nursery rhymes and fairy tales, jewelry has also contained these symbols and their secrets. And as jewelry is most often associated with and for women . . . it’s become the chosen method for armoring ourselves with the power these symbols contain and making a statement, even if the statement is/was only visible to others who had “eyes to see and ears to hear.”
The Figa, or Mano Figa (Fig/ Fig Hand) is a symbol that I recently wrote about on Instagram. While the symbol is ancient and goes back further than ancient Rome, it experienced a revival in the Victorian era. While it’s official purpose is to ward against the Evil Eye (and is usually worn as a necklace), it’s symbolism actually goes much deeper. If you examine the charms, it has a thumb thrust in between the forefinger and middle finger. This gesture is known as “The Fig” or in modern slang it would be called “The Pussy.” It imitates both heterosexual sex and the anatomy of a woman’s vulva (the thumb would be the clitoris). It’s a sexual sign and also a sign of sexual power. In ancient Roman times these charms were most often made out of silver, which is sacred to the Luna, the moon goddess, or red coral, sacred to Venus, goddess of the sea and of love and red being the color of blood/the blood spilled at menstruation and during birth.
These days, figas are made out of all sorts of different stones and materials and it can be a lot of fun to start a collection or search for a figa made out of specific material(s). Wearing the figa is an invocation to the Mother Goddess. The Dark Goddess. She rules over sex and death and the things hidden in the night (Luna) and hidden in the depths of the sea (Venus). You can wear yours as I wear mine, as a testament to the enduring strength of women. Our strength is often silence and goes unnoticed, but we know it’s there. Just as the silent and unnoticed pendant hanging from a woman’s neck.
My favorite place to look for Figas is at a local antique jewelry shop or on Etsy. Ebay is also a great resource, I’ve just never really used it and I tend to trust Etsy sellers more for some reason.
The Victorian Rose
Roses are another ancient divine feminine symbol that saw a revival in the Victorian Era. In the Victorian era, roses took on a language of their own to speak coded whispers of passion between lovers in a time where they had no privacy. Red roses came to mean love and passion, while yellow means friendship and so forth. Mother Mary is associated with roses and, of course, the rosary. However, Roses are long associated with love and love goddesses, as well as fertility because of it’s resemblance to female genitalia, it’s sweet fragrance, and it’s delicate and thorny nature. And while the Catholic church will tell you that the rosary was given to Saint Dominic in 1214 in a holy vision, the use of rosaries actually goes back to the ancient world as prayer and meditation beads (like a mala), and Jesus even warned his followers against using prayer beads:
“And when you pray, do not…repeat the same
words over and over as the Gentiles (pagans) do,
for they think they will be heard for their much
For more on the pagan origins of the rosary, see here.
You can also make your own rosary, dedicated to the Mother Goddess however you most identify with her, including Mother Mary/The Black Madonna, or you can wear your rosary as an amulet. It has been used as such for centuries and there is a lot of power in this repeated tradition. Learn how to make your own or dedicate one you already have here.
Although the snake has always been a powerful symbol used in amulets, talismans and jewelry, coiled snake rings became forever popular in the the mid-1800’s when Queen Victoria received a coiled snake with an emerald head (her birthstone) as an engagement ring from Prince Albert. It was one of the first pieces of celebrity jewelry to be widely coveted and copied.
I cannot wait to find the perfect coiled snake ring to add to my own collection.
Snakes mean many things: as a symbol of healing they come down to us from the tradition of Asklepios, an ancient dream healer who had temples sprinkled throughout the Mediterranean. Snakes were sacred to Asklepios and when pilgrims were incubating healing dreams in the underground dream chambers, snakes (non-deadly ones) were allowed to roam free in those chambers. “The rod of Asklepios” has become an international medical symbol, not to be confused with the caduceus.
Snakes are also associated with feminine wisdom and sexuality (the snake and Eve in the Garden of Eden), with transformation and rebirth . . . and with death, as snakes can be deadly. Snakes are a symbol of alchemy in more than one mystical tradition. As the ouroboros, or the snake eating its own tale, the snake is a symbol of eternal return or of constant re-creation.
Moons and/or Stars
Moons and Stars were also popular in the Victorian Jewelry. The moon, usually a crescent moon, was a blatant and outright symbol that glorified the divine feminine while stars meant guidance (guiding star, North Star). Paired together this motif can easily be read as turning to the divine feminine as a guiding star. And, after all, the daughters of these Victorian moon and star-wearers did become flappers who revolutionized what it meant to be a woman in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Horseshoes are a relatively old symbol of luck and protection. Horseshoes are made out of iron (which is considered sacred and holy because it doesn’t catch fire or melt) and have seven holes, meaning they can be attached to a wall with seven (iron) nails. Seven is a holy number as well and so it’s seen as double the protection or luck. A horseshoe hanging with the open end up, as in the pictures above, is for luck, while a horseshoe hanging with open end down is for protection.
Horseshoes enjoyed a heyday in the Victorian Era as both men and women wore them for luck, fortune and protection.
Finally, my favorite thing about Victorian jewelry was the revitalization of mourning jewelry (no pun intended). While we humans have been immortalizing our heroes and loved ones by way of jewelry and adornment for thousands of years, mourning jewelry became quite the trend in the Victorian era when Queen Victoria began wearing a mourning ring to mourn her beloved husband Albert. That’s right, Queen Victoria kicked off two huge and enduring jewelry trends: The coiled snake ring a la her engagement ring, and a mourning ring a la the one she wore to mourn her husband.
Common motifs around the mourning ring include urns, forget-me-nots and weeping willows. Jet or onyx is also often used in mourning rings and sometimes the hair of the person being mourned is incorporated in some manner as well.
These are some of my favorite shops to follow and buy from– none are affiliated or probably even know my name 😛
I hope you found this Sacred Adornment series helpful! If it inspires you to start a collection or to buy your first piece of antique jewelry, I’d love to see it!
In love and darkness,
It’s embarrassing to me that the first time I heard Sojourner Truth’s name was in grad school. Not high school. Not undergrad. Grad school. She has been completely eradicated from my history books.
But when I did finally hear her name for the first time, I sat up a little straighter and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up a little. Sojourner Truth. Any woman with a name like that must have something important to say. And she did.
Sojourner was born into slavery and later became an abolitionist and women’s rights activist. But what she is most known for is the day she told Her truth, to a Women’s Convention in Ohio. In 1851. She said:
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.
And over 150 years later, my heart swelled and my soul leaned into those words as if she had just said them.
Today, when millions of men and women are marching for women and against Trump, I hold these words in my heart and blow them in a prayer to all of you.
These last few days we’ve talked about the power of having a talisman or an amulet to wear when things are dark or bleak or when you are immersed in Divine Darkness (a dark night of the soul). But there’s another side to Divine Darkness: Instead of being a dark night of the soul, Divine Darkness is also the power, strength, resolve and confidence that a dark night of the soul demands from you. Divine Darkness is the reservoir of strength and wisdom inside each of us women. It’s a reservoir that the Patriarchy has demanded we keep buried. Witches, boogey men and other dark tales have been invented to keep us afraid of the dark found in these reservoirs. But every generation sees more and more women standing up and declaring that they aren’t afraid of the dark. That they intend to wield the birthright of their dark, feminine, reservoir of strength . . . and beauty.
That’s right, beauty is a deep and powerful strength for women. You’re probably a little bit afraid of your beauty. You might even be in denial about your beauty. But you ARE beautiful.
You’ve probably been taught to care about your looks but don’t become vain.You’ve probably experienced first hand the power of beauty, whether in yourself or in watching another woman wield it. You know that beauty has power and you know that that power can be abused.
As women, our relationship to and with beauty is often complicated. Either we care too much about our looks or we care too little. Either we beat our bodies into submission or we ignore them. We are experts at filling our bodies with self-loathing. We are experts at polishing our bodies until they shine in just the way society tells us we are allowed to shine.
No matter you own history and relationship with your body and with your beauty, there is one simple thing you can begin doing today that can help you either bring your body and your relationship with your body back into balance, or help you honor your body and your beauty in a healthy way: Sacred Adornment.
Yes, your body is a temple. Yes, you can, and should, adorn it to your liking. Sacred Adornment is also a fantastic outlet for creative and self-expression. How many times have you heard messages about the “kind of woman” who wears too much jewelry or too much makeup? Fuck that. Or how many times have you heard messages about how au natural is the best beauty look? Fuck that too.
This week, I want you to wear what you want to wear because it feels good. Think of it as an experiment. Wear a dinner dress because it makes you feel good even though you’re a stay-at-home mom. Wear makeup even though your Dad gave you hell about wearing makeup as a teenager. You’re not a teenager anymore and you’re not under his roof anymore. Show off your best jewels. Or, if you’re afraid of anyone ever seeing you without a full face of makeup, dare yourself to go out in public with a bare face.
The point is, there is power in how we adorn and express ourselves. When we give in to expectations and rules that others (usually men) have for what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate in how we adorn ourselves, we give away our power.
Instead, practice embracing and reclaiming your power.
In Love and Darkness,
Image from here— check out her other beautiful curvy boudoir shots! She’s so sexy!
Today, I’m going to teach you how to use yesterday’s Astral Light Method to charge and imbue talismans, amulets and other sacred objects as part of your spiritual practice.
Knowing how to empower an object to protect you or amplify your power can do wonders for keeping you sane during periods of Darkness or long dark nights of the soul. It can help alleviate unnecessary emotions and negative thoughts that are bogging you down and not serving any purpose. It can help you imbue an object with a lesson or a memory that you don’t want to forget. Say you’ve inherited your grandmother’s wedding ring. Wearing it keeps her memory close and reminds you of some happy memories you had with her. Creating a talisman or an amulet out of the object can only serve to increase the power that object holds and can make the memory/lesson even more vivid. Say you want to pass the ring on to your daughter; you can use the Astral Light Method to make it an amulet to protect her– an amulet already infused with three generations of love. Pretty powerful stuff.
But first, just so we’re clear, I want to establish the difference between a talisman and amulet:
Amulets can be any object (jewelry, statues, figurines, a doorway, etc.) programmed to ward off evil or negativity.
Talismans, on the other hand, are usually stones (precious or semi-precious), and are usually made out of a piece of jewelry. Rather than warding off energies, talismans are worn to amplify a person’s personal power, which naturally keeps other energies away. The more personal power you have, the more powerful your talisman. Reminder: you can increase your personal power by doing the Astral Light method frequently.
Talismans (for personal use)
It’s best to empower a talisman on day that you feel extra vibrant or good. You can always recharge it if/when need be, so do your best in choosing a good day. If there is ever a better day, recharge it.
Begin by choosing a piece of jewelry that you wear often, or would like to wear often.
Wash and clean the jewelry the way you normally would. You can dab some unused spiritual bath water, Florida water or rose water on it as well so long as it won’t damage the jewelry. Bonus points if you can go out in the sun with your jewelry and soak up some rays for 15-20 minutes.
Now go through the Astral Light Method, directing the light into the jewelry (hold the jewelry in front of you). You can say a prayer or talk to the talisman if you would like. Ask what you want of it, ask it to have an imprint of your power and energy. After the light door has closed, you can take it a step further and ask a spiritual ally to also bless the object. This could be your ancestors, a guide, a spirit animal, etc.
Wear the object.
Remember to repeat this process on future days that you are feeling extra strong and vibrant. Wear the jewelry all of the time if you can, but especially if you are feeling down, depressed, lethargic, etc.
And again, more is not better. When it comes to spiritual matters, simple is key. It’s better to do this with one object you wear all the time than with a dozen pieces of costume jewelry that you are always mixing and matching.
Amulets (for personal and property protection) and Fiery Protection Oil
Before you begin, you will want to make a protection oil. You can buy protection oil too, but it’s easy to make: with a little oil (olive oil, castor oil, veggie oil, almond oil, etc.) in a small jar, add cinnamon, chili pepper, black pepper, red pepper flakes, or anything else “hot.” (just use the one thing, not all). OR use some red brick dust (you can smash a brick). You can use it immediately but you might want to let it sit for a few days.
Amulets can be anything. They can be a piece of jewelry. They can be a garden gnome figurine. The do tend to work better if they are made out of an Earth element (clay, stones, brick, plaster, etc.).
Choose an object you feel drawn to and based on what it will be protecting. If you want an amulet to protect your house, for example, then you may want to use a garden statue of some sort. if you want an amulet to protect your children, then a piece of jewelry or a small stone they can carry in their pocket would be a good choice.
Make sure this object has never been used for prior spiritual purposes. If it has, go through 3-5 days of daily cleansing: wipe it down with Florida water or unused spiritual bath water and smoke it with incense. Once a day for 3-5 days.
Next, come up with one or two words that represent what you need from this amulet. Simple is best: GO AWAY, PROTECTION, STAY SAFE, etc. You can write, etch, paint or draw this on the object if you want to. Or slip a card underneath the object with your word(s) written on it, if you want to (optional).
Now repeat your word(s) to the object 99 times, or a specific number of times that is sacred to you or until you intuitively feel that the object has been programmed.
Anoint your object with your fiery protection oil. Just do a few drops. You can do it in the shape of a cross or pentagram if you want to. Say a few words about the function of this new amulet, think about the function, and then blow it into the amulet with your breath.
Now use it! Wear it, carry it, place it by your front door, bury it in your yard, etc. Every two weeks or so you will want to repeat the anointing and breathing steps so that the object holds its charge. You’ll know when and how often.
If you have any questions or would like to show off a picture of your talisman or amulet– or tell us a story about an object that served as a talisman or amulet during a rough patch, head over to Instagram and tag me: @the.undomesticated.soul
Tomorrow, in part 3 of this series, we’ll be exploring jewelry, the Dark Goddess and sacred adornment a bit further.
In Love and Darkness,
image source, photo 1
image source, photo 2