What does Venus Retrograde mean?

Venus is usually thought of as the planet of love.  Yes, that is true.  But it she guides us through so much more than just romantic love in our lives.  Venus governs over your relationships, your money, your power of attraction, romance, friendships and partnerships, as well as your sensuality and your relationship to your own body. So what does Venus Retrograde mean for you?  Well, let’s take a closer look at Venus.

From the zodiac wheel perspective, Venus naturally rules over your 2nd House of Possessions & Money. This is the natural sign of Taurus. Like any multi-tasking momma, the planet Venus serves double duty, as she also rules over your 7th House of Partnerships & Relationships, also making her the ruler of Libra.  Venus and Mercury are the only two planets that rule over more two houses and signs, so when these two go retrograde, the effects can be felt in different areas of our lives.

When a planet “goes retrograde” it means that it slows down and appears to be moving backwards when viewed from Earth.  All planets go through retrograde phases.  During a planet’s retrograde phase, the areas of your life that are ruled by that planet tend to have feelings and circumstances stirred up.  Things often bubble to the surface that need your focus and attention so that you can grow, learn, heal and enter into the next phase better off for having gone through those spiritual lessons.

So what does Venus Retrograde mean?

Venus will be in her six week retrograde phase from October 5 – November 16, 2018. She begins her backwards spin in watery and intense Scorpio, but on November 1st, she moves into balanced and airy Libra for the remainder of the retrograde phase.  So you may notice a shift in how you’re feeling and which values you’re focusing on as she changes signs.

Venus rules love, money and relationships and most importantly, your values.  The things that are most important to you.  So Venus Retrograde is the best time to reflect on your values.

Assess your values

Feelings and issues regarding your close relationships and your money may come up for you during this time.  Don’t be scared of it.  This is the time to really lean into the feelings to see what’s working, and what’s not.

  • Who do you really value?
  • What do you value most?
  • Why do you value them?

Use this time to get to the core of what matters most to you and why it matters so much.  Through this type of inner work, you may have some surprising epiphanies and aha moments.

Yes, it could be a time to let things go that are no longer serving you.  Clearing space by letting go of what you no longer value is a good way to make room for new and better to come to you.  This could mean letting go of habits that aren’t working for you, friendships or partnerships that have run their course, old clothes from your closet that you no longer love…

More importantly though, Venus Retrograde is a time to look at all the good things you already have in your life.  Tune into their deep meaning and value to you and focus on appreciating their true value more. What you focus on expands.  So this is a great time to practice gratitude for the wonderful people, possessions and experiences you have to be thankful for.

Tune into your sensuality

Sensuality, is another key take away from Venus.  When was the last time you really got into your body and focused your attention on experiencing joy through your senses?

Take this time to get grounded in your body and tune into your senses.  We get so busy with our everyday life that it’s easy to lose touch with our own body.  Venus Retrograde is the perfect time to tap back into feeling great in your own skin. Slow down and use your senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound to enjoy the beauty all around and within you.

Tips for being more sensual:

  • Eat some delicious food.  Slow down and focus on tasting every bite. Savor it in your mouth and really enjoy it.
  • Massage your skin with lotion and really feel how soft your skin is.
  • Stand out in nature and find a gorgeous creation of Mother Nature’s that you never even noticed before, because you were too busy. Spend a moment watch in awe of it’s beauty.
  • Listen to some beautiful music. Stand by a babbling brook, lake, river or ocean and listen to the water moving. Hear the birds chirping above you.  Or simply listen to your breath as you focus on that.
  • Pick some fresh flowers and smell their beautiful aroma.  Use your favorite perfume or essential oils and admire how good it smells.

Retrograde Planets during October 2018

The common theme this year, astrologically, seems to be all these planets in retrograde.  We hear about Mercury Retrograde all the time, as it goes retrograde 3-4 times every year.  All planets do at certain times and for varying lengths of time.  When a planet “goes retrograde” it slows down and appears to be moving backwards in the solar system.  The technical science stuff isn’t my thing, but as an astrology lover, the emotional side of  what happens when planets go retrograde is a big deal.   For those of us who are really tuned into energy – it can affect A LOT! So what are the current retrograde planets during October 2018?

This summer,  six planets went retrograde at once. Whew! What a crazy time that was?!  I’m glad we’ve made it through all that.  But, this fall seems to be a little less intense continuation of this whole retrograde thing.  I just looked up the current planets that are retrograde for the month of October 2018.  Here’s the scoop what’s going on in the zodiac wheel.

 

Retrograde Planets During October 2018:

  • Venus – Retrograde until November 17, 2018 (currently in watery, intense Scorpio)
  • Uranus – Retrograde until January 1, 2019 (currently in grounded, stable Taurus)
  • Neptune – Retrograde until January 1, 2019 (in emotional, creative Pisces)

I’m going to write a separate post next on each of these retrograde planets, what it means and how it may affect you.

How to Charge Crystals – 5 Easy Ways

Get to know your crystals.  Spend quiet time with each one to connect with it.  Hold it in your hand and feel the energy coming off your stone.  Think about the purpose you bought this stone for and remind it what you’d like it to help you accomplish.  It’s a good idea to spend as much time as you can with your new crystals in the beginning, to attune yourself to their vibration.  You can hold them during meditation, set them on your desk or in a special place, put them in your medicine bag or keep them in your pocket. From time to time, you’ll want to cleanse and charge your crystals to remove excess energy they’ve taken on.

How to charge crystals

Here are 5 easy and natural ways to remove old energy from your stones and keep their vibration in-tune.

 

1. Running Water

Hold your stone under running water for a few moments and ask the water to wash away any old or negative energy.  Pat dry.  If you have access, fresh water from nature, such as a river, lake or stream is best.

(Don’t use water on super soft minerals such as Selenite or Desert Rose though, as they’re made of gypsum and sand from the desert.  Water will break them down.  Most crystals are hard and water works well, but check on any specific ones you aren’t sure about.)

2. Sea Salt

Put your crystals in a small dish covered with sea salt and let them sit for several hours.  Sea salt is a natural cleanser that draws out old energy and reconnects your stones with the earth from which the salt and stones came.  You could store your crystals in a dish of salt so that they’re always clean and charged when you need them.

3. Smudge with White Sage

Using a single sage leaf or smudge stick, carefully light one end.  Allow it to burn for a moment, then blow it out.  A purifying smoke will be emitted from the embers.  Wave the smoke around your stones ceremonially, while asking the spirit of the sage to clear away any negative, dark or old energy from your stones.  This technique is called smudging.

4. Moonlight

Allowing your stones to sit outside or on a windowsill to soak up the moonlight is a popular way of charging your stones.  Full moon light is the best.

5. Sunlight

Take them outside to bathe them in full sunlight is another popular way to charge your crystals.  You can do a full day of both sun and moon light too!

 

You can do any combination of these cleansing methods.  For example, I like to smudge them with sage, run them under water and then set them outside under sunlight and moonlight.

 

Home Blessing Ceremony

Are you moving into a new home or preparing to sell your home? That is a great time to do a Home Blessing Ceremony.  You can do this blessing ceremony anytime to improve the energy in your home, this Home Blessing Ceremony is a beautiful practice.  Repeat as often as you feel you need to.

The mentioned home blessing ceremony tools are available from Scentual Goddess.

Home Blessing Ceremony

Set the mood:

Allow yourself at least an hour of uninterrupted time to complete this home blessing ceremony.  Turn off your cell phone, television and any other distractions.  It’s a good idea to remove your jewelry as metal can draw in and hold onto energy.  It’s also best if you can take a bath or shower before starting your ceremony so that you cleanse away the old energy from yourself before beginning. Playing soft, high vibrational, instrumental music during your ceremony helps raise the vibration in your home further.

Tip: You can play great music like this from the Pandora app if you have it installed on your phone.  My favorites are Native American flute music by Douglas Bluefeather or Niall, or the song Yoga Dreams by Soulfood.  Just search for them in Pandora.  I play this type of music all the time in our home.) You may wish to light more candles throughout your home for additional ambiance as well.

 

Open the ceremony

Begin in the center of your home.  Light the Home Blessing Candle.  Call in any guardian spirits you wish.  You can call in Great Spirit, the Archangels, the guardian spirits of the elements Earth, Fire, Water or Air, the guardian spirits of the Four Directions, your spirit guides, past love ones, whomever you wish to help you with this blessing ceremony. Ask that they guide you, protect you and assist you in bringing blessings of love, joy, peace, prosperity and health into your home for all who live there and who come to visit.

 

Smudge & Bless Each Room

Starting at the furthest point away from your main entry, walk your home room by room.  Use the smudge stick and ask the spirit of the sage to cleanse away all negative energy.  Ask your guardian spirits to bring blessings into that room.  Use the Many Blessings Spray to ceremonially bless each room as you go along.  You may wish to ask for different blessings based on the use of each individual room. Repeat this all throughout your home until you’ve reached the main entry door.

Sample prayer: “Great Spirit, thank you for blessing our home.  I ask that all negative energy be cleared away and that love, joy, peace, prosperity and good health fill our home. Thank you!” Take your time and use your own words to ask for what you wish.

 

Protection Walk

Next, take the Protection Salt and go outside to walk the perimeter of your home and / or your property line.  Sprinkle a little salt as you walk, asking Spirit for blessings of protection for your home and all who inhabit it.

 

Plant the Love

Place the Rose Quartz stone in a special place and ask for love to radiate from it.  You can put it on a window sill or hearth, bury it in the yard or a plant, or anywhere you wish.

 

Close the Home Blessing Ceremony

When you’re finished, be sure to thank all whom you’ve called in for help.  Thank God, Goddess, Great Spirit, the Universe, or whatever name you prefer, for the blessings bestowed upon your home, yourself and your family.  Whenever you’re ready, blow out the Home Blessing Candle and say a final “Thank you!”.

Moon Lodge monthly retreat

One of the most beautiful practices I’ve heard of is the Moon Lodge.  In ancient Native American culture, the feminine energy was highly revered.  Natives knew that without women and their creation abilities, the tribe would not survive or exist in the first place.

Understanding The Moon Lodge

Each month, the women were released of all duties and went to the Moon Lodge.  It was a sacred space where women would gather to rest, process emotions and share intuitive wisdom with one another. Because women were the seers, their ability to reflect, ponder and process spiritual guidance they received was crucial.  Intuition and the visions of seers was a prime source of knowledge, wisdom and guidance for the entire tribe.  A women stepping out of her daily roles as a mother, gatherer, cook and crafts maker allowed her to go within, rest, and emerge refreshed for the next cycle.

The Moon Lodge is also called the Rent Tent.  As with most beautiful traditions in nature based spirituality, when white settlers came in and learned of the Moon Lodge, they tainted it’s meaning with misunderstanding.  The whites thought the women were sent away because they were dirty when they bled, but this wasn’t true.  They were being honored for their cycles.  Men were not allowed near the Moon Lodge and a woman was never told she couldn’t go.  Honoring her feminine energy, the cycles of the moon, and her intuition were a blessing for all.

 

cycles of the moon

 

Honoring yourself with your own Moon Lodge retreat

It’s not as easy to step out of your daily life for 3 to 7 days in our modern world.  But you can still honor your feminine energy, your cycle, your ability to create and your intuition on your own terms.    A beautiful self care practice is to give yourself time to rest and honor your feminine energy during your monthly cycle.  Clear away distractions, give yourself extra time for sleep, meditation or a long bath.  It’s a great time to journal about or reflect on what you’ve intuitively experienced in the past month.  What guidance have your received? What changes have you made? Honor yourself for following your inner guidance.

For more information check out this article on the Red Tent from TheHappyWomb.com

Transform Your Self Talk

We all have that voice in our heads that string together an endless array of thoughts all day long.  Self talk is the only thing you can’t get away from in this world.  That voice reminds us of all the things we have to do, should do, should feel bad that we didn’t do.  It looks back to the past to kick you in the ass for not doing this and lays blame on you for doing that.  When you look in the mirror it makes you feel bad about yourself for not looking like “them”. As you lay your head on the pillow at night it blames you for not getting enough done.  In the morning, it overwhelms you with everything you have to do to be enough today. Am I right?

 

A big part of why people end up on a spiritual journey

is that voice drove us to insanity, until we we finally said enough!

 

There have been a lot of authors who address that internal voice.  The first time I remember hearing someone talk about it was Eckhart Tolle on Oprah many years ago. In his book A New Earth he described that voice or self talk as “the ego”.  Hearing him describe the voice was the first time I remember realizing that it wasn’t just me.  I felt hopeful and like someone understood what was going on in my mind.  That was about the time my spiritual journey had just begun.

I tried meditation, but honestly I wasn’t disciplined enough to make it a daily habit then.  Soothing music helped, so I began playing that while I worked from home during the day.  Journaling to clear out emotional gunk also really lessened the same old thoughts from continually coming back once I dug them up and cleared them.  With time, I was able to significantly shut down that voice.  There was finally some space between my thoughts.

The big aha! Self talk is transformed by Self Love

For several years now, I’ve been going along thinking I was doing pretty well with it.  Recently, I had a big aha!  After a terrible breakup with a guy I thought was my soulmate, I felt like I broke into a million pieces.  Now, I see that spirit orchestrated that to break me wide open so I could heal the real root of the issue.  That damn “not good enough” belief.  It plagues SO MANY of us!  Once I seen that at my core I still wasn’t free from that belief and that self love was the issue I really needed to lean into, everything changed.

They say “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.  Well the next book on my path to transform that negative voice literally almost fell of the shelf at me.  The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz had been sitting on the shelf in my bedroom for probably three years.  I bought it but never felt drawn to read it, until that moment.

Change how you think

A couple pages in and I was mesmerized!  He was talking all about the connection between self talk and a lack of self love from the “not good enough” belief.  Finally, I must have been ready to hear the message.  The book is small and an easy read.  I quickly absorbed it in a couple hours.

Don Miguel Ruiz describes the Toltec people from ancient Mexico.  “Toltec” means “artists of the spirit”. They were a peaceful, spiritual tribe who had a unique way of seeing the world and how we humans fit into it.  He explains that as children we have been “domesticated” by our parents, teachers, peers and the media.  Our little minds were inundated with beliefs and agreements that we formed of how the world worked and what we needed to be or not be.  These agreements stick with us subconsciously.

Without spoiling the book for you, here are The Four Agreements he describes that you need to make and keep with yourself.

What are The Four Agreements?

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

He relates each of these agreements back to self love.  The book explains how talking negatively about yourself, taking other people’s actions and words personally is hurting you.  He goes on to explain why making assumptions sends so many negative messages into your mind which hurt for no reason.  Ruiz ends the book with a beautiful story about self love and where it comes from and how you can get it.

If your path has lead you to realizing your need for more self love and self care, I highly suggest reading The Four Agreements.

Don Miguel Ruiz has other books in his Toltec Wisdom series. I’m onto reading these next!

 

Meditation to release emotional baggage

Carrying around old pain and regrets from the past feels heavy.  It robs you of being able to be your best right now.  Actively taking action during meditation to release emotional baggage is so beneficial to your well-being and happiness.  Here’s a simple meditation you can use anytime and as often as you’d like to help you release old stuck energetic gunk.  Enjoy!

 

Bubble Magnet Meditation

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Imagine out in front of you there is a huge bubble.  Inside of this bubble is a very powerful magnet.  This magnet has the ability to draw out any old emotional baggage that you’re ready to let go of.  Go inside your body and feel or see where there is anything that feels dark and heavy.  Now imagine allowing that dark energy to be sucked out of your body by this magnet.  Watch as all of that old, stuck energy just flows out of you and fills up that bubble.  Let go of any anger, fear, regret, guilt, shame, embarrassment, sadness…anything you’re ready to let go of.  Let go. Release emotional baggage that’s been weighing you down.  See the bubble fill up with that dark energy.

When you feel like you’ve released everything you can right now, see the bubble moving out away from you.  Thank the bubble and the magnet for assisting you.  Watch as the bubble floats away from you.  It’s taking that old energy and returning it to Mother Earth, where it can be purified and recycled.

Take a few deep breaths.  When you inhale, imagine the air is beautiful white light.  This is the energy of love.  Breath it in deeply and allow it to fill all of that space where you just released from.  See yourself growing lighter and brighter with each breath!

2018 Moon Calendar

Moon magic and celebrating the cycles of Mother Earth and the seasons is a beautiful practice.  I’ve included all of the New Moons &Full Moons with the zodiac house they occur in are laid out for you.  The year’s three Mercury Retrograde periods are marked by when it starts and when Mercury goes direct again.  Also included are the names of the moons according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.  The eight celebrations of the year, richly steeped in old world tradition, are also listed for you.  This 2018 Moon calendar offers you the most important dates to know for your magical work!

2018 Moon Calendar

January 2018

  • 1st – Full Moon in Gemini -> Cancer
    • “Wolf Moon”
  • 16th – New Moon in Capricorn
  • 30th – Full Moon in Cancer ->Leo
    • “Snow Moon”

February 2018

  • 1st – Imbolc – Celebration of the Goddess feminine energy
  • 15th – New Moon in Aquarius -> Pisces

March 2018

  • 1st – Full Moon in Leo -> Virgo
    • “Worm Moon”
  • 16th – New Moon in Pisces
  • 21st – Spring Equinox
    • Ostara – Celebration of the arrival of Spring
  • 22nd – Mercury Retrograde in Aries begins)
  • 3oth – Blue Moon / Full Moon in Virgo
    • “Sap Moon”

April 2018

  • 15th – New Moon in Aries
  • Mercury goes direct!
  • 29th – Full Moon in Libra -> Scorpio
    • “Pink Moon”

May 2018

  • 1st – Beltane – Celebration of Mother Earth’s fertility
  • 15th – New Moon in Taurus
  • 15th – Uranus moves into Taurus (until 2025 -> Gemini)
  • 29th – Full Moon in Sagittarius
    • “Flower Moon”

June 2018

  • 13th – New Moon in Gemini
  • 21st – Summer Solstice
    • Litha – Celebration of the Sun (longest day of the year)
  • 28th – Full Moon in Sagittarius -> Capricorn
    • “Strawberry Moon”

July 2018

  • 12th – New Moon in Cancer
  • Mercury goes into Retrograde in Leo
  • 27th – Full Moon in Capricorn -> Aquarius
    • “Buck Moon”

August 2018

  • 1st – Lammas / Lughnasadh – Celebration of Abundance
  • 11th – New Moon in Cancer -> Leo
  • Mercury goes direct!
  • 26th – Full Moon in Aquarius
    • “Sturgeon Moon”

September 2018

  • 9th – New Moon in Virgo
  • 21st – Autumn Equinox
    • Mabon – Harvest Festival and celebration of your blessings
  • 24th – Full Moon in Pisces -> Aries
    • “Harvest Moon”

October 2018

  • 8th – New Moon in Libra
  • 24th – Full Moon in Aries -> Taurus
    • “Hunter’s Moon”
  • 31st – Samhain – Celebration of the cycle of death & rebirth

November 2018

  • 7th – New Moon in Scorpio
  • Mercury goes into Retrograde in Sagittarius -> Scorpio
  • 23rd – Full Moon in Taurus -> Gemini
    • “Beaver Moon”

December 2018

  • 6th – Mercury goes direct!
  • 7th – New Moon in Sagittarius
  • 21st – Winter Solstice
    • Yule – Celebration of the return of the Sun & New Beginnings
    • Longest night of the year
  • 22nd – Full Moon in Gemini -> Cancer
    • “Cold Moon”

For more information on what the moon names mean see Space.com’s article.

How to get grounded and feel more peaceful

When you’re feeling scattered and frustrated, it’s helpful to stop and get grounded.

What being grounded mean?

When you’re grounded, you bring your attention out of your racing mind and back into your physical body.  By stopping to take a moment to stop and get grounded it helps you feel more calm and centered. It brings you a sense of inner peace.  Being grounded means that you’re connecting with the energy of the earth and feeling gravity support you.  It’s a way of bringing all of your energy back to yourself that’s been scattered about, so that you feel more peaceful and empowered.

How to Quickly Get Grounded

An easy way to get grounded is to stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Close your eyes. Try to shut off your thoughts.  Feel the energy in your feet planted firmly into the floor or ground.  Imagine that energy going deep down inside Mother Earth.  Bring her energy back up through your feet and into your body.  Follow the energy back down into earth, then bring it back up into your body.  Hold your attention here as long as you need to feel a sense of peace and calmness fill you up.

 

For an even better experience, go outside barefoot and do this exercise in the grass, dirt or stone of Mother Earth.

You can ground yourself when you’re sitting in a chair too.  Just close your eyes and feel the chair supporting you.  Allow your energy to melt down into the chair and imagine it going down into Mother Earth.  You can connect with your Root Chakra for further balance.

How to meditate

Have you heard about meditation but don’t know what it is or how to do it?  Here are some tips for learning how to meditate for the first time.

What is meditation?

Meditation is simply the act of clearing your mind to bring you a sense of peace.  There is no right or wrong way to meditate.  You don’t have to sit for hours on a fancy pillow with your legs in lotus position.  Meditation can be just a minute or two of silence.  Learning to meditate is a personal practice that you will grow into and figure out as you go along.  No judgement.

Why should I meditate?

Inner peace.  That’s the whole goal of meditation.  It’s a chance for you to step out of your daily life and shut down the endless chatter in your mind to give yourself a break.  Meditation has been practiced and proved for thousands of years around the world.  People worldwide meditate every day for the simple reason that it works.  You can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, be more productive, show up as a better person in your life by simply learning how to meditate.

meditation hands

I see people holding their hands like this, do I have to do that?

No.  You don’t have to sit in any twisted position or hold your hands in any certain way to meditate.  With time and practice you may want to, but you certainly don’t have to.  You can sit in a chair, on the floor or lay in your bed to meditate.  You can even be standing or sitting at your desk at work and still meditate.  The reason why some people sit in certain positions or hold there hands in different ways to for greater focus.  You can learn all that fancy stuff later, but for now, just relax and learn how to meditate first 🙂

How to meditate:

You can start by simply closing your eyes and focus on your breath.  Try to not think about anything and just feel and hear the air moving through you as you take a deep breath in, hold it, then slowly release. With each breath in, imagine a sense of peace filling you up.  When you exhale, imagine releasing all the stress and tension in your body.  Repeat with as many breaths as you feel you need.

Tip: I find it helpful to imagine + plus signs flowing in with my breath on the inhale, and minus signs leaving my body on the exhale.

 

What if I can’t stop thinking?

It’s ok if thoughts come into your mind.  Getting to the point where you can not think about anything takes time and patience.  We all have that racing mind.  When thoughts come in, just try not to get attached to them.  It can be helpful to picture them as words floating across in front of you and letting them pass right by and disappear.  When thoughts come in, just refocus on your breath. Learning how to meditate is a journey, not a destination.  Just be gentle with yourself and try your best.

Ok, that was great, now what?

Why not make meditation a daily gift you give yourself?  A great self care practice is to spend a few moments each morning in meditation before you begin your day.  It will help you feel more calm and grounded, which starts your day on a much better note.  Meditating again before bed can help you calm your mind, relax and get better sleep.

Guided meditation tracks are a great next step.  A guided meditation is where someone walks you through some relaxation techniques and takes you on an inner journey in your mind.  Guided meditation is perfect for you if you have trouble shutting off the thoughts, but want the benefits of meditation.  Going on an inner journey entertains your mind so the non stop self talk ceases.

You can also learn some different visualization exercises you can do yourself.

Mantras or using affirmations is another meditation technique you may want to try.  Pick a power phrase that you wish to focus on and try repeating that over and over in your mind while you meditate.  It can help calm the random thoughts and program your mind for the new ways of being you aspire to.  Here are a few mantras to try:

  • I let go of anything that no longer serves me
  • All the stress is leaving me now
  • Love fills every cell in my body
  • My life is getting better all the time