Saturday, 28 October 2017

Healing my Inner Teenager and a 30 Year Old Poster

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream that I was in a record store. In the store they had one of those displays for posters, and I was looking through and found a poster that was my favourite when I was a teenager. I thought to myself “I have to buy this.” I woke up right after that and thought “I do have to get that poster.” After all I live in the magical age of the internet so I thought I could probably find it.  So off to EBay I went.

So what’s the big deal about the poster? It’s not super rare, or remarkable, so what’s the big deal? I got the poster for my 14th birthday from my bestie, of my favourite band, GnR. I had tons of posters of various metal bands, (it was the late 80s after all) and it wasn’t my only Guns one, but for some reason it was my fave. 

Being the 80s, it was also the age of the “satanic panic” unfortuantly. My parents being very religious and my father decided that heavy metal/hard rock was the devil. I came home one day, when I was 16, and all my posters, music mags and cassettes etc had been tossed out. And I had lots of stuff.  It was what I spent my hard earned babysitting money on. Between Catholic school and being the oldest girl in a large conservative family (which made me second mom basically) I felt trapped and frustrated. As a creative person with entirely different values than the traditional family and school around me, music was my outlet and saving grace. It was the lighthouse that told me I could escape the conservative religious environment I was in. So of course, when I came home one day to find it all gone, I was devestated. 

The poster framed and up on the wall!

When I had that dream I decided that almost 30 years later I would buy it back for myself. I did it for my inner teenager, to let her know I didn’t forget what happened, or how depressed she was after that. It doesn’t matter that it’s almost 30 later, it made me happy to get it back again. 

If there was something you loved as a kid, or a teenager, that you lost, or was it taken from you, or that maybe you weren’t allowed to have it in the first place, then I encourage you to go get it. It doesn’t matter how old you are now, you’ll be happy you did. 

You can watch the Unboxing below. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

I Dont Care If "Me Too" Makes You Uncomfortable

This past week if you were anywhere on social media, you probably saw the "me too" posts in your news feed and may have even participated. If you don't know what the Me Too campaign is about, its to highlight the number of girls and women who have been sexually assaulted and harassed. So the idea is if you are a female who has been a victim of sexual assault or harassment you post "me too" to show other women they are not alone, and to show the scope of the problem.

As I scrolled through my Facebook in particular, I saw dozens and dozens of female friends post this phrase. Seeing the amount of it was heartbreaking. I posted it too, and like the other ladies I received words of encouragement and support from my female friends. It was great to see women supporting each other and realizing they are not alone. One thing did bother me though - the lack of male voices in this. I saw only two men reference it and received no words of encouragement initially from any male friends or family (except the BF who is not on Facebook). I thought what is going on here? Why are they silent on this? Seeing this was very discouraging and disheartening. I couldn't help think. I thought men were better than this, or at least the men I knew. I have to say I did receive a really nice message later from someone of the male persuasion, so at least a couple of guys I know are decent after all.

I asked a trusted male why this was, and his response was "it makes some people uncomfortable." My response - "good. Because it should." If you can scroll past dozens of women you know all saying they have been assaulted or harassed at some point, and you are comfortable with that, then I don't even know what to say to you. If you are comfortable with that amount of suffering around you, then you need to do some serious self examination. It shouldn't make you comfortable.It should disturb you.

And if hearing these stories makes you uncomfortable, that's too bad, because living it is infinetly more uncomfortable. Let me tell you from personal experience that being assaulted  is uncomfortable. Having people bully and blame you is uncomfortable. And as uncomfortable as that is, the silence of others is just as bad. People are uncomfortable so they don't want you to talk about it, and they don't want to address it, they want to pretend it never happened. The silence of others ignoring it is uncomfortable. The only feeling I can compare it to, is if someone died, and then no one around you acknowledged the death or your grieving. And it is because of that silence that this issue continues on. When we are silent we let the perpetrators get away with it. We let the sickness continue.

As women we have been taught for too long that our job is to make others, and particularly men comfortable. We are taught not to make waves, to be pleasant and nice, and that lesson does not serve us in this situation. We as a society have made predatory men too comfortable for too long. Its time that we all get uncomfortable, and face the proverbial elephant in the room. Actually I compare it to a rotten cake that we have put a doilie over to try to make nice about it. But we all know its there, and the longer its there, the more it stinks.

If your a guy and you don't know what to do, you want things to be better, but are feeling uncomfortable about all this, I have a couple of suggestions for you. If you don't know what to say, a simple "I'm sorry that happened." or "that really sucks." is better then saying nothing at all. Or you can listen and hold space for those telling their story, without blaming them, even if it makes you uncomfortable. You can commit to speaking up if you hear someone making a rape joke or about violence towards women, or bragging about taking advantage of someone. Because when you say nothing you make predators think its okay. And most importantly examine your own behavior to make sure you are practicing informed consent.

In short, its time we put the responsibility back on those that are perpetuating the cycle of violence. It's time we made them very uncomfortable.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Seven Benefits of Being the Black Sheep

Recently I watched a video by the lovely Kelly Ann Maddox, about being the black sheep of the family, which you can see here . It's part of her Self Love September series which I highly recommend. She covers such topics as addiction, recovering from abuse, setting clear boundaries etc. It's a great series and she invites others to chime in on the subject as well, so I thought I'd put my two cents in, as this is a topic the particularly resonates with me.

Me posing on the BFs bike. Such a badass.

I've been the black sheep of my family for a good 30 years, since I was a teenager. So what's a black sheep? A black sheep can be defined as a rebel, an outcast, or as even extreme as someone who is cast out or not wanted. It's the person who sticks out like a sore thumb for being different, who irritates and does not go along with the rest of the family norms. Sometimes it can be as simple as having different taste, interests and style or can be because of a difference in politics, religion or sexual orientation. Sometimes we can be called this almost affectionately, sometimes the differences may disturb or worry our family, and sometimes it can be as serious as getting outright kicked out of your family of origin. 

I come from a family that is very conservative politically and traditional in gender roles. My dad worked a union job, while my mum stayed home and raised six children, until my youngest sibling went to school, and then she went back to work part time. They are also devoutly Catholic and sent us to a religious school. I probably went to church twice a week between Sunday mass and school functions. Their interests include sports and cars, two things I don't have the slightesest interest in. My interests as a teenager included hard rock and heavy metal music, painting and drawing, reading fantasy fiction, and all things paranormal and the occult. (Oh wait, those are still my interests). I am also a socialist, a feminist and sex positive. You can guess how well all that went over. Throw in a teenage rebellious streak and a talent for asking uncomfortable questions, and it was a recipe for black sheep cake with a side of black sheep icing. 

Being a black sheep is not an easy role. We are often scapegoats for blame and can end up feeling alienated and left out by our family. We may loose out on family support and end up being the one pointed to as the "bad example." But there are benefits to the role too.

Being ourselves, our true selves, even when that meets with the disapproval of others is a strength. You realize that the price of acceptance can sometimes be too high if it means living a lie, and pretending to be someone you are not. We get to be ourselves and not have to fit into a perceived mold set out by others.

It takes strength to say no, to say I don't agree, or I don't believe that, especially to those that are in authority over us. It takes courage to ask the uncomfortable questions, or to point out the elephant in the room. It takes courage to be ourselves when that self does not look like those around us. 

3. Resilience 
When you are different, and that difference meets with disapproval, it can be very hard, especially when you are younger. It is easy to feel rejected or unloved. But you also realize that you don't need the stamp of others approval. You develop strength over the long haul. You come to rely on yourself and know you can face challenges.

4. Independence
When you don't get the support of others, you figure out ways to support yourself. You have to find ways to do things on your own or with less than others might. You win the freedom to do what you want on your terms. You don't have to worry about doing something that might lead to people thinking your crazy - because hey, they already think you are. 

5. Leadership
Let's face it, us black sheep pave the way for others. I made things easier for my younger siblings (which I like to remind them of every so often, thank you very much). There was nothing they could do to shock my family, because I'd already done it. People also begin to count on you to sometimes say the thing that needs to be said, because you have the least approval to lose. Sometimes you got zip on the old black fleece and take one for the team. 

When you feel like the underdog, you tend to develop a soft spot for other underdogs. You can identify with others that feel like the outsider or the weirdo, or that are having to go it alone. You feel for others and can help support those that need it when the chips are down. 

7. Connection
If you're a black sheep, you can probably spot another black sheep from a mile away. We form connections with each other and friendships that often last lifetimes. We cheer each other on, and can at least listen to and relate to each other. We gravitate towards our tribe and fill in the support for each other that is missing. 

Over time the black sheep role can change from causing conflict, to becoming more accepted in our families. I think my family has become more accepting of me over time. There is the realization that I'm not going to change and neither are they. Acceptance of self and others I think is key to coming to terms with that role, wether you are the black sheep or are dealing with one in your family. We all need to be ourselves and be accepted whether that meets with others expectations of us or not. 

I like to end my posts with a song. So here's one for all the black sheep everywhere - "Problem Child" by AC/DC, with Axl Rose singing. How perfect. 

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Top 5 Books to Kick You in the Creative Ass

This year so far has been one of changes for me, where I'm feeling like I'm more myself again, and getting back on track. It's like I got sidetracked down a road without realizing it. Then one day you wake up and wonder how you got there. But that's a post for another day.  The point is that big part of rewilding or "unfucking" myself has been getting back to my creativity. For a while there I was so focused on adulting and on trying to be super positive woo woo that I told myself I didn't have time for it. And when I tried to do creative things, they just fell flat because I wasn't connected to my authentic self. The funny thing is that when you just be yourself your creativity comes back, and when you start creating more of your authenticity comes with it. The two walk hand in hand.

So with that in mind I would like to share my top 5 books for helping get your creativity back on track. These have been a Goddess send to me and not only help with artistry, but also I think with making me a happier more grounded and more spiritual person. You don't have to consider yourself an artist either to get something out of these books. We are all creative after all. 

1. "Art and Soul Reloaded" by Pam Grout
Okay, I just bought this book as it came out recently. So far I've found it to be a fun inspiring book to help one get their creative mojo back. It's a 52 week apprenticeship course, with a weekly reading and exercise to do. She also gives you lots of uplifting quotes and stories of famous writers/artists/actors etc. Who were told they sucked but persisted anyway, to inspire you on your journey. Examples of exercises include writing a rap song, make a costume, and think of 10 businesses you could start from home.

2. "How to be an Artist" by JoAnneh Nagler
This aptly titled book is about the nuts and bolts of the day to day. It includes advice on managing your priorities, your time and even your cash. It's a straightforward book that motivates while also giving it to you straight. I especially love that it's geared towards those of us that also have to work a regular job and have other responsibilities like family. (Hint - that's most artists).

3. "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield
If you are looking for someone to kick your creative ass, this book is it. It's all about overcoming resistance and just doing the work. It helps you to see where you are sabotaging yourself and how you can overcome. It's about showing up everyday to your craft and invoking the muse. This one is must have on the artist's bookshelf.

4. "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert
Another inspirational goodie, writer Elizabeth Gilbert of "Eat,Pray,Love" fame uses humour and personal stories to help you think about your creativity differently. She advises seeing your craft as a life long vocation and not demanding that you must make money from it. If you do great, but don't put that pressure on yourself. The book is divided into lots of bite size smaller chapters that make it an easy read. 

5. "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron
I have to include this classic that changed my life back when I was a floundering depressed 20 year old with a lot of creative energy to burn and little sense of direction. I credit it with helping me to get off my ass and join a band, and go to art school. Designed as a 12 week course with exercises and readings, she also gets you to journal and treat yourself to Artist dates. All of her books are great for re-setting yourself creatively, though I think this one, her first, is the best. 
As usual I will end the post with a song. If you're feeling off track and like you've been wasting time, this ones for you. 

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Eclipse, Doreen Virtue and GNR or When the Shadows Come Out and Play

Every August I take a week off and dub it “Loulapaloosa”. It's a week of fun usually around my birthday, I take to enjoy myself and have a little break. This one was particularly eventful. I crossed into the USA briefly to pick up a record player (thanks BF), went to a Nordic spa, attended a concert by my fave band and there was an eclipse (only partial where I live) and the woo woo community went nuts when a certain new age author denounced the Tarot, mediumship and all forms of divination. Whew…what a week.

So let's start with the eclipse, which was total in parts of the USA, but only a partial where I live. I was disappointed that it was cloudy and rainy. I thought I'd miss it, but lucked out and went out when there was a small break in the clouds and caught a brief glimpse. Solar eclipses are funny things in astrology. The moon blocks the sun temporarily, our subconscious, our shadow comes out into the light, and if you haven't been owning your shit, it's going to get messy. Like any astrological event it will affect everyone differently, as we all have different birth charts. Some may barely feel it at all, and for some, well it's going to kick them in the butt pretty hard. And we saw that big time when the queen of feel good new age fluff did a giant about face and denounced Tarot cards (which she made millions on) mediumship and divination in general. She also announced that she felt one couldn't be both Christian and new age. Personally I don't believe that, as I know lots of people who believe in both. Spirituality is highly personal and doesn't always fit into neatly labelled boxes.

This is the problem if one is trying to be “love and Light” all the time - you are going to end up casting a very long shadow. I’ve seen it happen over and over again in my life. The people who are the most holier than thou, the ones who claim to be closest to God, the angels, the most pious etc. usually are the ones with the most to hide. They are also the ones with the biggest fears which they project on to others. They see demons everywhere and in everyone else except themselves. If you don't integrate and own your shadow, you will end up seeing monsters everywhere when you are really just running from yourself.

This also brought out our own shadows too. I personally was never a big fan. I have some decks and liked her earlier ones, but her later works always felt trite and fake. She was like a faux wedding cake that was all icing and no substance. Pretty to look at but no nutritional value. Still I took it for what it was and didn't invest myself in her. There are a lot of people that did though. They spent tons of money on expensive courses, feeling they needed to be certified by her to talk to angels or read cards. It's understandable that they would feel betrayed by her or let down in some fashion. I suppose it's a lesson for all of us to not put teachers on pedestals and that the real authority comes from within. As for my shadow, well I have to admit a little shaudenfraud watching the Angel whisperer fall to fear. I say to myself “see you are not so perfect.” I guess I have to work in my judgemental thoughts too. But I'll own that. 

I never trusted people who claimed to have special access to angels, God, or whoever else Celestial they believe in. We all have access to the other realm. It's learning to trust your particular intuition and gifts. It's not special, it's actually as common as dirt and as reliable. We just talk ourselves out of it and sometimes need to be reminded of our spiritual inheritance.

I also never trusted people who claimed to be perfect. I prefer people who are honest and who's demons are plain to see. I have much more respect for the flawed person who admits they fall down and are working on it. I guess that's why I love bands like my fave that I went to see this Thursday - Guns N Roses. I'll take Axl singing about his insecurities any day over the guru telling me what I need to eat and what book to read to be as “holy” as they are. I guess I just value honesty over appearing “good or “nice”. 

I guess the point I'm trying to make is we all have our shadows, our stuff we have to deal with. It's a lot better to face them and befriend your demons rather than try running away from them or out holying them. They can actually be a source of strength and self knowledge. When you acknowledge them, they have less hold over you. For instance one of mine is anxiety. I have a pretty good imagination which anxiety loves to use to present me with all sorts of worst case scenarios and ruin any fun I might dare to try and have. As I'm also a sensitive person, I also have to watch myself in large crowds. Anxiety tried to use this against me to tell me not to go to the concert. Of course knowing myself I knew that anxieties arguments while persuasive, were really a bunch of creative lies. I did not try to ignore it, instead I borrowed a line from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic and told it “you can come along for the ride, but you are not in the drivers seat”. So I went anyway even with anxiety. And I had a great time.  And it refreshed my soul better than a cheap pack of angel cards ever could. 

In the spirit of letting go of letting go of what no longer serves you. Here's a little number I had the pleasure of seeing performed the other night.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Reaching the "Fuck It Point"

The past few weeks I've been working on a revamp of my website and social media. I wanted something that reflected my true self more, and is a more accurate reflection of my whole self. I think that for quite a while I was toning things down and leaving out certain elements of myself because I thought they wouldn't fit in with the new age/witchy community. I'm no longer willing to do that. If I'm going to put myself out there, then I'll put myself out there as myself and not a light/diet beige vanilla version of myself. 

This photo is pretty much my life, ponies, rock music, crystals and Tarot cards.

There's a fair amount of pressure within the new age community to be all love and Light and positivity all the time. Don't get me wrong, I believe in being positive generally, I just don't think it's realistic all the time. When you're going through big deep shit, like the death of someone close to you, a divorce, or have experienced assault or abuse, telling someone to “just be positive”, isn't just unhelpful, it's downright insulting. And I think that's where the new age community often gets it wrong. When we are going through tough stuff, we need honesty and realism, not fluffy platitudes like “it all happens for a reason” or that “it must be part of your life plan”. Wether you believe it's true or not doesn't matter, no one needs to hear that when they are struggling or grieving. 

There's lots of aspects of the community that are very me. I love tarot, astrology, oracle decks, crystals, yoga, and essential oils. And I don't suppress my colourful side either, I have rainbow hair and collect vintage my little ponies and love rainbow unicorns. But there's a part of me that does not fit in with the rest of the lightworker crew. I love hard rock and heavy metal, skulls, goth fashion and the spookier aspects of the paranormal. I've even had people in the community tell me that it's not good to like that stuff, that it's “lower energies”. We need the lower energies as much as we need the higher. For example your root chakra is not worse than your crown chakra, you need both to be a fully functioning person. And let's face it sex, and death, and the tough shit, and the things that go bump in the night are just as real and as valid as all the high vibe meditations, salt lamps and yoga retreats. 

For a while though I toned it down to be more acceptable. There is this point that many of us reach in our 40s, though some earlier or later, and some not at all, that I like to call - the Fuck It Point. This is the point where you truly do not give a shit whether someone thinks you are acceptable or not. If I someone doesn't like me or they judge me for listening to Iron Maiden or having rainbow hair, they’re not my people. We are trained, especially as women, to be “nice” and inoffensive, to make excuses for others poor behaviour and to tone ourselves down so as to not upset others. The new age community tells us to be all loving and to accept everyone which leads some to forget about discernment and to put up with things they shouldn't. At the Fuck It Point, you stop wasting your energy on others who want you to change for their comfort. You stop caring about appearing nice or good, and you care about the truth, about authenticity. 

I'd like to thank all of you who gave me some really lovely feedback about the changes on my website, other social media and on YouTube. It's nice to know I'm not alone in feeling this way, and that many of you have gone through some of the same things. I think we are all journeying towards being our authentic selves, and I'd love to have you along for the journey with me. 

In that spirit here's a little AC/DC “Back in Black”. I'm back peeps -wearing black as always. 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

How Slut Shaming Attacks Women's Sacral Chakra

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how fat shaming affects women's root chakra. The response on social media was heartening because it's good to know that other people have felt this way. It's also helpful to know that more people are starting to recognize it for what it is, an attempt to police women's bodies and control us on a basic level. 

 As I said in the prevolious post, the other insult that gets thrown around at women a lot is "slut". I remember as a teen being called this and I was still a virgin. It really didn't matter whether you were active or not, it was an insult used to control and judge you and sadly it was more often said to me by other women than men. I remember as an adult seeing the movie "Mean Girls" and the scene where the teacher confronts the girls and says "when you call each other sluts you make it okay for the boys to call you that", resonated for me. It's not okay for anyone to be calling anyone that. 

"Slut" - the Sacral Chakra Insult
The reason this insult is so hurtful is because it also attacks women on a very basic level, your right to feel pleasure. It says "how dare you be sexual!" "How dare you feel pleasure or admit you want pleasure - you should be ashamed of yourself." Our society trains young women to be passively sexually available to men. We should look "sexy" (according to some impossible outside standard), but not know that we are. A women who has confidence and knows she looks good is considered vain and shallow. Look at how young women are criticized for taking self confident selfies. The message is - look pretty but don't admit that you think that you are. It's as if women should exist for the sole viewing pleasure of men, and when they take control and look good for themselves, for their own pleasure, that's too threatening. 
We are also sent the message that we should be available to men's advances but not assert ourselves. Asking out men is considered aggressive, and especially being the initiator for sex. While young men are encouraged to sow their wild oats and "get some",  young women are still fed some pretty old fashioned messages about sexuality. Look at how some men still joke that if a boy tries to date their daughter they will take out a shot gun. Never mind the whole creepy virginity promise ring thing. How gross is it to make girls promise they'll stay virgins to their fathers? Do boys promise that to their mothers? WTF

On the flip side, some young women (and men too) are made fun of for being virgins. If someone doesn't want to or isn't ready yet, that's nobody's business but there's. And the same goes for those that are active, that's there own business. It doesn't matter wether you have had one, none or a hundred partners. As far as I'm concerned, if you are consenting adults and being responsible (ie. using birth control, not cheating on anyone, preventing stds) it's nobody else business. 

Luckily for me I always saw this insult as a farce and utter double standard. That doesn't mean that it didn't hurt me at times or frustrate the hell out of me, especially when I was younger. Below is a few ways to combat this particular insult. 

1.Stop Judging Yourself 
It's easy to internalize these messages and shame ourselves. It's a pretty pervasive cultural message, though it is changing slowly but surely. What ever your past or lack their of, remember we are always learning and growing and every encounter in life has a lesson.  I think many of us have had past partners where we ask ourselves "what was I thinking?".  You were who you were at the time and maybe you wouldn't choose them now, but you wouldn't be who you are now if you took a different road. You can't judge your past self by your present self's standards. I think shaming yourself is pretty useless anyway and helps no one. Conversely I've met women who said they wished they had more partners. You can't judge yourself for this either for the same reasons, regret is also unhealthy and will only eat away at you. 

2. Stop Judging Others
This follows the one above. Don't judge yourself and don't judge others. Others sexual choices are none of your business. Again as long as it's consenting adults who are being responsible, you don't get to judge. Plus how do you expect others to respect you if you don't respect them. Don't call people sluts, and if you hear people using misogynist double standards, call it out. The more people speak up the better. 

3. Own it.
Your sexuality is yours, so own it. Don't apologize for your desires. Again, as long as it isn't criminal or irresponsible, you have a right to your sexuality. If popping balloons while wearing clown makeup and listening to calliope music turns you on, then hey - who of us can judge? It's your thing, and you don't need to justify it to anyone. 

4. Ask for what you want.
Contrary to societies message that women should be passive sexually, I've found men tend to be pretty happy when you tell them what you like. (Yes I'm writing as a straight cis gendered woman, so I can't speak about trans or lesbian etc. experiences). They also don't seem to mind if you make the first move. Plus it's your body, you have a right to ask for what you want, and to say no to what you don't want. If someone tries to pressure you into doing something you don't want to, you have a right to say no. 

5. Educate Yourself
Make sure you are educated about birth control, and preventing STDs. I'm so glad that I made sure to educate myself as a teen.  Growing  up in a religious environment where the sex ed was woefull lacking, and down right mysoginistic, I knew it was something I'd have to take into my own hands to protect myself. Beyond those basics there are many great websites and resources for learning about the art of pleasure. It's astounding the amount of women who report never having an orgasim! I think this is so sad and a reflection of how women are discouraged from exploring their own sexuality. It's your body, and if you don't know what makes you feel good, how the hell are you supposed to tell anyone else? 

I know that as women we probably have all been called a "slut" by someone at one time or another. Please remember to be kind to yourself. Remember that this says a lot more about the person saying it than it does about you. It shows they've internalized the message that women should be ashamed of themselves, and see it for the attempt to control you that it is.  

Saturday, 17 June 2017

How Fat-shaming Attacks Women's Root Chakra

When I was a teenager, the two worst things someone could call you as a girl were "fat" and "slut". While its been over 20 years since I've been a teen, sadly this hasn't changed. I think that for many teens and young women these insults are still used against them in an attempt to shame and control. One of the good things about getting into my 40s is that I don't care so much what others think and have a lot more confidence. These words just make me laugh, because I see them for what they are.

It struck me the other day that the reason these two insults hurt so much is that they attack us on at a root and sacral chakra level. They are attempts to make us feel ashamed of our very existence at a basic level. It then struck me that many of the insults directed at women, are attacks on us at different chakra levels. Thinking about this made me angry of course, though it did make me think about what we can do to counteract this.

I thought I would write a series about how insults towards women (though men have been called some of these things too) affect us on each chakra level and ways to counteract it and strengthen ourselves.

Root Chakra insult - "Fat" 
Every woman I know has been called this at one time or another no matter their size or shape. The word is  thrown at women directly, but also implied to us through the numerous diet and fashion ads that tell us we need to lose weight and be as skinny as possible. Its reinforced in pop culture, as we are encouraged to criticize our bodies, apologize for eating a cupcake, and encouraged to order salad when we really want the burger. It attacks us at a root chakra level because it shames us for taking up space, and for doing something as basic as feeding ourselves. While teen boys are praised for the amount of food they can consume, as girls this was not encouraged. This attacks our very right to exist in our bodies, to be able to eat and nourish ourselves, and creates a dysfunctional relationship with food. When I was a teen I had a terrible relationship with food , and often starved myself in an attempt to attain a level of acceptable skinniness in my mind. Never mind the fact that I weighed 110 lbs, it still wasn't good enough. it took me a long time to have a better relationship with food. I'm happy to say that these days I have a much better relationship with food and eat whatever I like and listen to my body. I no longer let this word affect me to the extent it once did. 

Yum - Burger and Fries

Below are some of the things that have worked for me, and to help strengthen my connection to my root chakra.

1. Eat what you want. If you want to eat a burger order a burger, don't order the salad just because you think you should. Numerous studies show that depriving ourselves doesn't work anyway. It only creates a yo yo cycle and messes up your metabolism.
2. Eat unaploagetically. How many times have you heard another woman or yourself say "I'm so bad for eating this." You are not bad for feeding yourself! You are not bad for enjoying a treat! Telling yourself that you are bad reinforces a sense of guilt for eating, and sets us up to desire the foods we label "bad" even more. Food is not good and bad, its just food. You should not feel ashamed for eating, by feeding yourself you are caring for yourself.
3.Listen to your body. This can take some practice, as for years we have been conditioned to see our body as an enemy. Your body is your friend. It's the vessel that's going to carry around your spirit for the rest of your life. Check in with your body at regular intervals and ask it what it wants. Is it thirsty? Needing vegtables? Tired? Wanting to dance? Ask yourself regularly what will make you feel better.
4.Exercise joyfully. Dont punish yourself doing push ups if you hate them, or going to the bootcamp you dread. Find an exercise you love and feels more like fun. Personally I like running on my treadmill, as I like running and I can catch up on watching Youtube while I exercise. I also like dancing, going for walks, and yoga. Find what you like to do. Make exercise into a celebration of being in a physical body, not a way to lose weight. 
5.Know you have a right to take up space. Whatever your size or shape, you have a right to exist and to enjoy the body you inhabit. Forget about the articles that tell you "how to dress for your body type", or how to cover up the "troublesome" parts of your body. Your body is to be celebrated, not shamed. Dress how you want and love your body. Don't wait until you are some unattainable "perfect" size (whatever that means) to enjoy yourself.

What methods do you use to counteract fatshaming? I'd love to hear your stories and suggestions.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Working with Hypnos and the Power of Sleep and Dreams

This lunar month I have been working with Hypnos, the Greek god of sleeping and dreaming. Sleep and dreams are something our society does not view as particularly sacred. While we all need to sleep, our society encourages a poor relationship with it. I have heard many people speak with pride about how they can get by on a lack of sleep. Things like "oh I just need 5 hours a night" I've heard said on more than one occasion like a badge of honour. Personally I need 7 - 8 hours a night, or I am not a happy camper. I get physically ill and am the worst cranky pants. I simply can't function without my good friend Hypnos.

Waterhouse - Hypnos and his brother Death
We also often end up with a poor relationship with sleep, due to certain factors in our modern society. Shift work can really mess things up for many people. Its hard for most of us to sleep during the daylight hours. There's also artificial lighting, and in particular the blue lights from computers and smart phones that wreak havoc on our ability to sleep. Distractions like watching TV in bed or looking at the computer, can keep us awake and stimulate us rather than relax us. Many doctors recommend sleeping in darkness without lights for most benefit, as darkness helps our bodies produce melatonin a hormone needed for restful sleep.

Besides the direct health benefits of sleep, like feeling more vibrant, improved immune function and ability of the body to repair itself, it also improves our mental and emotional health. We are more alert, happier and relaxed when we get a full night's sleep. Then there's the often overlooked aspect of dreams and their role in our psychological health. Many studies have shown that without dreams, people go crazy, we need to dream in order to function well. I think that the benefit of dreams goes beyond a psychological level and is spiritual as well. Many people believe that dreams are just the mind sorting through the days events and information, and I think that it does do that, but I think it is also a way to access deeper subconscious truths. It can even be a source of inspiration and messages from the other side or the gods.

So how can we improve our relationship with Hypnos?

Make Sleep Sacred Again
The best way to do this is to set up a nightly routine for yourself. Experts often recommend turning off the computer and putting down the phone at least an hour before bed, and getting the TV out of the bedroom. Think about what relaxes you, and what you would like to include in your routine. Suggestions for a routine include possibilities like:
-Taking a bath before bed
-Reading a book
-Sex (other exercise is not recommended, but sexual activity helps relax people)
-Nightly prayer or meditation
-Pulling a tarot card
-Journaling at the end of the day

Dream Work
Of course working with Hypnos means working with our dreams. Many people insist to me that they do not dream, but of course everyone does. Remembering our dreams is a challenge, but it is a skill that can be developed. I recommend putting a paper and pen by your bed, and writing what you remember immediately on awakening. Before you go to sleep affirm to yourself three times that you will easily remember your dreams upon awakening. It may take a few days, but many have found this technique does help. Another trick is to drink water before bed. When you wake up in the night to go to the bathroom, write down what you remember right away, you'll be surprised what you recall.

Keeping a Dream Diary
When keeping a dream diary, obviously you will be writing down your dreams. Write down your dream in full, all the details, even if they seem silly or unimportant. You can draw sketches as well. When you have time later, go back and break down the dream into its elements. Break it down into season, time of day, setting, colours, numbers, symbols, people, dialogue and actions. List them out, and then one by one go through what each of those things symbolizes to you. Then go back through the dream replacing the symbol with what your meaning is, you will be surprised what you might find. You can use dream dictionaries to help, but your association should be first and foremost. I suggest using one based on Jungian symbolism, rather than superstitions.

Do you have a sleep routine? or keep a dream diary? Let me know how you work with Hypnos.


Weekly Astrology Forecast - Full Moon in Sagittarius

This week's headlines include a full moon in Sagittarius on Friday June 09, and Mercury and Venus change into their home signs on Tuesday June 06.

Full Moon in Sagittarius - A full moon occurs when the sun and moon are opposite each other. Full moons, no matter the sign, are a point where we must resolve and confront an opposition between our ego and will and our emotions and subconscious needs. This is why they can be so volatile. This full moon we have an emotional need to break free, have fun and want to laugh and enjoy ourselves. With sun in Gemini our conscious will makes us want to stay busy, and to rush about from thing to thing, from engagement to engagement and stay busy. The Sagittarius moon resents any kind of structure or restriction and also asks us to look at the bigger picture rather than getting caught up in minutia. This full moon asks us to integrate some fun and freedom in our life while still getting some of the things we need to get done in our day to day life. If you are feeling rebellious and wanting to break free, it may be coming from a subconscious place. Ask yourself what does this remind me of? Does it remind me of anything I've experienced in the past?

Mercury in Gemini - Mercury moves from slow and cautious Taurus, to its natural sign of Gemini on Tuesday June 06 at 5:15pm CDT. Gemini is rules by Mercury, so is very happy and at home in this sign. Communication picks up starting today and for the next month. Expect an increase in social events, short term travel and talk in general. Expect an increase in media activity and political campaigns. Mercury in Gemini can create excitement, but also cause events to get blown out of proportion and cause overreactions.

Venus in Taurus - Venus moves into one of the signs it rules as well, on Tuesday June 06 at 2:27am CDT. This is a great time to start a romantic relationship, or to revamp your romantic life. Venus in Taurus makes us want to enjoy the good life - food, art, sex and all things beautiful and pleasurable. Take time during the next month to enjoy yourself, but beware of over indulging. Its a great time to get beauty treatments, shop for clothes, redecorate or take an art class. It's also a good time for businesses that are invloved in the arts or planning social events like weddings.

Weekly Forecast
Monday June 05 - Monday the moon moves into the intense sign of Scorpio at 6:48am CDT and remains there until early Wednesday. We may feel strong emotions and very passionate. there is no middle ground, we either love or hate, we are not indifferent to anything. Secrets can be revealed and its a good day for psychological work.  Sun squares Neptune today, meaning that we may not make the best decisions today. We make think we are being rational, but there is an element of deception, something we are not seeing clearly. It is best to postpone any major decisions today.
Tuesday June 06 - The moon remains in Scorpio, but goes void on 7:35pm CDT, making for a less intense evening. Use this time to relax and have some down time. Sun is conjunct Ceres, its a good time to change up your diet or to garden or look at your self care routine. Mercury sextiles Chiron, provides opportunities for us to have healing conversations about old wounds. Mercury moves into Gemini and Venus moves into Taurus today (see above).
Wednesday June 07 - The Moon is void most of the day making for a relaxing and quiet day. The moon moves into fun loving Sagittarius at 5:59pm CDT. This evening take time to do something adventurous and break free of routines.
Thursday June 08 - The Moon remains in philosophic Sagittarius, all day and Saturn trines Pallas. There are opportunities for us to step back and strategize about our routines and whatever work Saturn is asking us to do at this time. Look at where 24 - 25 degrees Saturn is showing up in your chart to see where this is occurring.
Friday June 09 - The Full Moon in Sagittarius occurs today at 18 degrees, the Sabian Symbol for which is "Tiny Children in Sunbonnets". Its an optimistic aspect, one that lends to nostalgia and childhood memories. Venus is sextile Mars starting today and through until Sunday June 11. We easily express our feelings to others, especially the opposite sex. Its a good weekend for romance and sex, and communicating our expectations. Jupiter goes Direct today. We begin to feel less restricted and are able to move forward with plans and goals, especially with those that involve working as part of a partnership and team.
Saturday June 10 and Sunday June 11 - The moon goes void at 1:20am CDT and moves into Capricorn on Saturday at 7:36am CDT. This makes for a productive wekend, where we get down to work and attend to practical matters. Its a good weekend to clean out the garage, get some yard work done, or to take care of any paperwork we may have put off.

The Asteroids
Eris conjunct Pallas - Disruptions may cause us to have to reorganize and rethink things, especially at work or in business. Look to where 23 degrees Aries is in your chart to know where the disruption will occur.
Lilith sextile Mars - There are opportunities this week for women to assert themselves and to work together with male allies to get things done. Lilith is conjunct Venus as well this week, meaning that we are pressing for more freedom with artistic expression and are asserting our sexual desires.
Fortuna sextile Iris - Luck comes this week through listening to our intuition. It is most likely to hit us as a sudden impulse to take action, follow to see where this leads, as fortune smiles on risks this week.
Persephone square Pallas - Any new venture or relationship we are venturing on this week will require more thought. We must take time to look over our plans again, as there are some aspects that have not been fully thought through.
Hekate sextile Pallas - There are opportunities for us to plan out future magical spell work especially for success in business and career. However Hekate is opposite Saturn making for challenges in actually executing ou desires. Its not enough to plan or to work magic, Saturn reminds us we must take action as well.

Below is the weekly Tarotscope for the week.

Weekly Update - Getting back in the Creative Groove

After a week long staycation, this week I returned to the regular routine. As nice as a break was, it was good to get back to things again including making videos and blog posts. 

I started the week with a review of two books I finished reading during my week off. One is a practical guide for artists aptly titled "How to be an Artist". It's a great down to earth book about things like managing your time and money, especially if your someone like me who had to also manage it alongside having a day job and a family etc. It's motivational too, and basically says if you have a calling you need to answer it. The second book 1 read is "The War of Art". It's a quick read and a great motivational kick in the bum. It talks about overcoming resistance and listening to the Muse. I recommend it for any creative type person. 

I also posted a video for the YouTube Pagan Challenge 2017. Weeks 20 and 21 are asking about thoughts on marriage and hand fasting. Personally I don't put much stock in it. I'm not against it and think if that's what people want to do that's great. I feel that it's not necessary as if someone's committed to you they'll be that way wether their married or not, and if they aren't committed, being married won't change them. Its one of those things that's up to individuals. I know people who feel that's it's very important and wouldn't dream of anything otherwise. 

I also posted the decks I'll be using in my Instagram and Facebook daily draws. I picked Tarot of a Moon Garden and The Mystical Wisdom Oracle. Josephine Wall's art is spectacular and makes me think of the magic and beauty of summer. Tarot of a Moon Garden is a nostalgic fave for me, as it is a deck I had back in the 90s. It makes me think of the magic of fairies and summer nights. 

Finally this week I posted my May favourites, including some of my art supplies and the books I'm reading and decks I've been working with. I've really been getting back into sketching again and playing guitar. It's been great exercising the creative muscles again. :)

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

June Featured Reading - Creativity Guidance

This month on my Etsy shop I am featuring a Creativity Reading. As an artist, and as a reader who works with other creative people, one of the most common requests is for a reading for creative guidance. There are times when you have an idea, but don't know how to begin, or are into the process but get stuck, or maybe you are nearing the end but don't know where to begin. If you are a creative person and are looking for some guidance,then this reading is for you.

Feel free to try this at home. I recommend using a tarot and oracle deck, but you don't have to, you can just use one deck if you feel called to. And of course if you would like a reading from me you can order one through my shop Wild Intuitive .

Tarot card 1 - Where you are at present.

Tarot card 2 - Your goal and aspirations.

Tarot card 3 - Challenge.

Tarot card 4 - Whats blocking you.

Oracle card 1 - How you can look at this idfferently.

Oracle card 2 - Action to take.

Oracle card 3 - Emotional and relationship resources. Who can help me?

Oracle card 4 - Physical resources. What can help me?

Tarot card 5 - Outcome.

Please let me know if you have tried this layout and what your results were. Happy creating!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Weekly Asterology Forecast - Mars in Cancer

This week the personal planets of the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars are very active, making for a dynamic week. The big headline is that Mars moves into the nurturing sign of Cancer and the Quarter Moon is this week in Virgo. See below for the weekly forecast and goddess asteroids.

Artwork - JosephineWall

Quarter Moon in Virgo - On Thursday June 01, the Sun and Moon are square to each other, forming a quarter moon. Sun in Gemini makes us want to get out and be inquisitive, active, and cerebral, while Moon in Virgo puts us in the mood us to focus on the finer points and get down to work.  We can accomplish a lot, but there is an inner tension between the desire to go out and have fun and a desire to get down to work.

Mars in Cancer - Mars moves from active and irritable in Gemini, to the watery sign of Cancer on Sunday June 04. Mars the planet in charge of desire and competition, is comfortable in Gemini, and active air sign. In Cancer a water sign, it is not as comfortable. Mars in Cancer can make us moody, passive aggressive and withdrawn. Like the crab we retreat into our shell and confront challenges sideways, rather than head on. We may put energy into worrying, rather than doing something, and build things up in our mind bigger than they actually are. There may also be a tendency to be jealous or possessive in partnerships. On the bright side, if we can get a hold of our emotions we can accomplish a lot in the creative realm during this time. We will also feel very protective of those around us.

Weekly Forecast May 29 - June 04
Monday May 29 - The Moon moves into Leo at 7:12am CDT on Monday morning. The Leo moon makes us want to shine, and perform for others. Over Monday and Tuesday we will feel energized, creative, and are happy to toot our own horn. If you have to do some public speaking or performing on these days, its a great time for this. Mars is opposite Saturn on this day as well. This is not a good day to take shortcuts, or to resist the rules, as this will only backfire. We may want to challenge authority and the established order, but any challenge or rebellion will not be successful. We may meet resistance in others, especially if we are in a position of authority. Be careful as accidents are more likely today. Venus is conjunct Eris, the dwarf planet in charge of upsets and discord. Watch for misunderstandings in love relationships, or disruptions with creative projects. Its not a good day to change your hairstyle or get a beauty treatment, as it might not turn out the way you expected.
Tuesday May 30 - Mercury trine Juno on this day helps us to smooth over any disagreements or misunderstandings from Monday with romantic partners. While anger and impulsiveness may rule on Monday, on Tuesday we are more likely to sit down and talk about things on a practical level. Mars sextile Uranus may lead to a surprising piece of news that leads to an opportunity to take action. Look to where Aries and Gemini are in your chart to know where this opportunity is coming for you.
Wednesday May 31 - The Moon is void at 6:14am CDT, so just go with the flow for the morning, and don't make any big changes. The Moon then moves into Virgo at 1:16am CDT, making today, Thursday and Friday morning and afternoon, a good day to get some practical work done. We are focused on routine and practical matters during this time. Mercury trines Pluto on this day as well. We have an opportunity to get to the bottom of things communication wise, and may find out more than we bargained for. Expect a piece of news that brings a realization to something that has puzzled you for a while.
Thursday June 01 - The Moon forms a Quarter today at 7:42am CDT (see above for details). Venus trines Saturn. Any friendships or romantic relationships formed at this time will be based on mutual respect and have a solid foundation. Its a good day for agreements and social events or organizing them. Jupiter trines Ceres as well today so there are opportunities to nurture yourself or others. Its also a good day to start a new nutritional or exercise regimen.
Friday June 02 - The Moon goes void at 4:48pm and moves into Libra 7:04pm CDT. It will remain there for the rest of the weekend, making for people to be in an easygoing and conciliatory mood. Mars sextile Chiron provides opportunities to heal through exercise and competition.
Saturday June 03 - Sun trine Jupiter make for a great day for expanding your horizons through study or travel, or for making agreements. Its a good time to be generous to others and for lucky opportunities to come your way. Venus is conjunct Uranus making for unique romantic agreements, or for making friendships or partnerships that are different. You will be attracted to the odd and unusual today.Neptune is square Ceres, which can lead to fantasy or excess getting in the way of nurturing or taking care of our health. Avoid excess today.
Sunday June 04 - Sun square Neptune This is not a day to trust those in authority or take everything at face value, and it is cautioned to be careful around water. Its a better day for spiritual or artistic pursuits. Mars moves into Cancer making for a shift towards moodiness or becoming more emotional (see above).

Lilith moves into Taurus - Lilith the asteroid that rules rebellion, subcultures and feminism moves into Taurus on Monday May 29. Watch for more energy being put towards women's health care, a focus on sexuality and sensuality and more grass roots efforts for women's and minority rights.
Persephone square Eris, Pallas and Venus - Persephone the asteroid of new beginnings, has difficulty with disruptions, strategizing and romance. If you are making a new start this week, expect delays and disruptions. You may have not thought everything through especially when it comes to artistic projects or romance.
Hygiea squares Jupiter - Watch for over-exterting yourself when it comes to your health. You may also want to get a second opinion when it comes to health diagnosis, if it doesn't feel quite right.
Hekate sextile Eris, Pallas and Venus - This is a great time for magick that shakes things up,or for long term projects and artistic projects.

Below is the tarot horoscopes for the week.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Weekly update - Staycation Success

This past week I had time off from work, and decided to not only take a break from my day job, but also from my biz as well. You may of noticed the lack of Instagram daily draws, and blog and video posts over the past week. I was initially planning on recording a bunch of videos and making blog posts, but I found that I was really craving some down time. We cant be all go, go, go all the time. We often perceive that we should be producing all the time, but as human beings we all need time to just relax and do nothing.

Buddy and I at the farm
 I was especially craving this down time, as last year my holidays were all spent traveling. Not that I'm complaining, because it was amazing. I got to be a part of Canada's Worst Driver last year and spend time in the beautiful Niagara region in southern Ontario. I also went to Vancouver Island last fall, to hang out with my bestie. This year I was really craving a staycation. Time to stay home and do nothing. Unfortunately when I took a week off in February, I got sick. I was so disappointed. I really wanted time to do whatever I wanted and ended up laying on the couch like a phlegmy, limp noodle. This week I was determined to enjoy myself, and be well above all, and I'm happy to report that I succeeded!

So what did I do with my week off? I wanted to do mostly nothing, (ie. reading and catching up on Youtube videos) but I did squeeze in a few activities. Last weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada, and my BF and I took the kids out to the family farm for a day in the country. It was nice to get out into the country and get some fresh air, well a lot of fresh air, as it was pretty windy. I met an old friend for lunch at a local bookstore (and restaurant) called McNally's and ended up picking up a couple of amazing books for my week off. I checked out a Picasso exhibit at the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery) and I also had a massage, went out for dinner, and did a lot of reading and drawing and looking at Tumblr. So I think it was pretty successful staycation. 

I'm ready to get back at things for the coming week, and have blog and video posts planned. What do you like to do when you're on vacation? Do you prefer traveling or staying home? Let me know what you do to relax and recharge.

Monday, 22 May 2017

New Moon in Gemini - Love and Power Create Change

On Thursday May 25 at 2:44pm CDT the New Moon occurs at 4 degrees Gemini. New moons are always a time of new beginnings and a time when we can set our intentions for the coming lunar month. Take a look at which house 4 degrees Gemini falls in your chart to see in what area of your life to focus your intentions. For myself, this is in my eight house, the house of sex, death and magic, so for me setting intentions to work with the mysteries of life is important at this time. I'm going to be looking for ways to form deeper connections with my magical practice and sexuality, and to revamp my spiritual routines for the lunar month.

Even if you don't know your birth chart, Gemini is traditionally associated with the third house, the house of travel and communication. Gemini is a chatty, clever and optimistic sign, and we can use this happy light energy to make intentions for any travel, communication, writing or studying goals we may have. It is a good idea to write these goals down, particularly this new moon as Gemini is an air sign and has a very strong association with writing.

The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is "Holly and Mistletoe Bring Christmas Spirit to a Home." This shows that there is a light, free spirited and even nostalgic energy to this New Moon. While its obviously not Christmas time, there is something festive in the air. Its a great time to get together with friends and family, and celebrate.

This New moon does not have any other aspects to it, so in some ways it is a moon of pure potential. However there are some other strong aspects going on at the same time. The first is Venus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn. This aspect brings power struggles and transformation in relationships. Venus is the planet in charge of romance and beauty, and in Aries she becomes very fiery and assertive, even aggressive. She is in no mood to be submissive. Forming a square with Pluto the planet of death and transformation, This leads to a reorganization of power in love relationships.  For happy, and strong relationships, this may mean a renegotiating of roles or power dynamics. It can lead to positive changes that make both parties happy and have a greater understanding of each others goals and desires. For relationships that are rocky, this is a time when they may fall apart. Tensions become unbearable and we may confront our partners or they may confront us with something that can lead to arguments and endings. Jealousy and obsessions are themes that may come up now. For those in unhappy relationships, this is a new moon where breaking free becomes a real possibility. Venus is also conjunct the asteroid Pallas, showing that this is a good time to strategize in our relationships, to either make a positive change, or how to cut ourselves free, if need. Juno is conjunct Pluto, This shows again that change in our partnerships is in the air. Again look to your chart to see where this will play out.

The other aspect is the Grand Trine of Saturn in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries and North Node in Leo. There are opportunities now for us to reorganize our routines and structures to make room for creativity and change in our lives. The North Node recently moved into Leo and is asking us to express our creativity, so look to see where Leo is in your chart to know where you are being asked to focus your energy. Uranus provides opportunities for change, that may come about unexpectedly, which are asking us to grow and change. As Uranus is conjunct Eris, this change may initially appear disruptive, but it will trun out to be a good thing in the long run. Saturn in Sagittarius gets us to reorganize and incorporate these changes into our daily lives, so we can make these lasting and productive.

In looking at the asteroids, Chiron is conjunct Iris in Pisces, and sextile Fortuna. This shows tht at this time we intuitively know how to heal ourselves from old wounds, and if we are paying attention on this day, there is a lucky opportunity occurring to help us with this. Hygiea is square Jupiter, asking us not to overexert ourselves health wise, and that we may be faced with making some changes to our health routines in order to improve our long term health.

Overall the message of this new moon is that any changes in our lives particularly our partnerships will shake things up, but it all depends how strong our relationships are in the first place how disruptive it is. If you have built a relationship on an unstable foundation, then this is a time that will shake it apart. If all is well, it just means perhaps we need to communicate our needs better. We are being asked by the universe to change and put more creativity into our lives, and if we don't work this into our routine and consciously change things, then the Universe may force that change upon    us.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Chris Cornells Birth Chart

This week myself and other rock fans, were saddened to learn of Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and of Audioslave's sudden passing, apparently by suicide. I remember when Soundgarden came out in the late 80s and early 90s. They were the first grunge band to get signed to a major label and were very influential. While not one of my top ten bands, I always enjoyed their music, particularly their earlier work, and Audioslave, Chris Cornells later band. As an astrologer, I became curious about his birth chart and wanted to see if there were any stresses in the chart that might of been activated recently.

Please note that birth charts show strengths and weaknesses, but are not fate. I liken the planets and their positions to the cards you are dealt at birth. How you play those cards is ultimately up to the individual, and even when stresses are activated by transits (where planets are in the sky now), we still have a choice how we respond. If you have similar aspects, it does not mean you will meet a similar outcome, you are always in control. Further more, we can never know someone's mindset, or what may be going on in their personal lives.

Chris Cornell was born July 20, 1964 in Seattle, Washington. There is no time of birth that I can find, so I set the chart for noon on that day. As such we will not be able to know house placement, rising sign or midheaven, but can still glean a fair amount from this chart.

The first thing I notice, is that there are a total of five oppositions in this chart, an unusual number causing a great deal of stress on an individual. The first opposition is Moon opposite Mars and Venus. The moon in Sagittarius makes for a philosophical and optimistic person, who is independent, and a risk taker. This is opposite Venus and Mars in Gemini. Venus in Gemini makes one chatty, smart, quick witted, and attracted to words and flirtatious. Mars in Venus gives one high spirit, but also nervousness and argumentativeness. It can make ones energy wax and wane quickly. With these two opposite the moon, it makes for rocky love affairs, with frustrations and conflicts. Some react by withdrawing, others by becoming possessive. It can make someone rash and competitive, but also moody. Anger and frustration are issues this aspect brings a person.

The next set of oppositions are Saturn in Pisces opposite Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. Saturn in Pisces makes for a creative and sensitive person, but also lends nervousness and anxiety. These are individuals with great insight into others and the human condition, but struggle with solving their own problems. Saturn in Pisces can make one afraid of illness, and isolation. Addiction is their undoing, and having solid routines are important to them. Opposite Uranus, this can lead to a difficulty with compromise, and a tendency to be egotistical. But it can also make one a strong reformer and originator. Saturn opposite Pluto can make compulsion and obsession strong issues. These two planets combined in opposition can lead to sudden changes, and deaths that hit the individual very hard.

The final opposition in the chart is Jupiter opposite Neptune. Jupiter in Taurus makes one devoted, kind and a lover of nature, and sensual pleasure, which can spill over into self indulgence. Opposite Neptune in Scorpio, this can lead to a problem with facing reality and escaping into alcohol or sex. It also brings great musical talent.

A further stresser in this chart are two T Squares to these oppositions. Mercury in Leo square Jupiter and Neptune. Mercury in Leo gives one creativity, makes one an excellent performer, ambitious and able to see the big picture. Square Jupiter it can lead one to become impulsive, and scatter their energy. Square Neptune, it can make one escape into fantasy and become disorganized.

The second T square is Chiron (not shown in the chart above at 18 degrees Pisces), with the Moon and Venus. this shows that childhood emotional issues are triggered by romantic conflicts. This can lead to deep healing through love, or it can bring up painful issues, when conflict arises.

The chart isn't all bad news. He has  Venus conjunct Mars in Gemini. This lends charisma, magnetic sexuality, vitality and determination. It is an excellent placement for an entertainer. There is also Moon trine Saturn, which lends discipline, groundedness and the desire to overcome emotional issues.

Overall this is the chart of a musically talented and sensitive person, one with charisma and a strong sensuality, and a clever mind, who was dealing with emotional and romantic issues, addictions, and anxieties. Their sensitivity was both a blessing and a challenge for them.

In looking at the day of his death, in the early hours of May 18th, I see that the Sun was Sextile his Natal Sun, which would of contributed to a good day before hand, and from all accounts and excellent performance on stage. Mars was also trine natal Mercury, which would of lent a drive to communicate and express ideas.

The only real stress I'm seeing here is Neptune was opposite natal Pluto, and in Pisces, a sign of addiction and mental health issues. Opposite natal Pluto, the planet of deaths and endings, this can trigger issues around loss, addiction and even problems with prescription drugs. Again we will never know what was going on in anyone's mind, however it does appear that during the week leading up to his death, there may have been an event, a loss of some kind, that triggered issues around addiction and or compulsion. 

I'd like to note here that depression and suicidal thoughts are issues that many people struggle with, and unfortunately for some this illness ends up being fatal. If you are struggling with this I encourage you to talk about it and seek help. As it is said "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." 

Please let me know what your thoughts are. 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Weekly Goddess Astrology Forecast May 14 - 21, 2017 - Sun in Gemini

This week the sun moves into fun loving Gemini, and Mercury into relaxed but stubborn Taurus. The energy lightens up towards the end of the week, we feel more get up and go. See below for the week's headlines, daily forecasts and goddess asteroids.

Josephine Wall

Sun Moves Into Gemini
On Saturday afternoon at 3:31pm CDT the Sun moves into fun loving, quick witted and chatty Gemini. While in Taurus we may have felt slow and sluggish, while others just felt more relaxed, depending on how we focused the solar energy. Are we avoiding the work we need to do, or are we taking a much needed break? Have we been indulging ourselves in a healthy way, or falling back into unhealthy old habits? Either way, this coming weekend the energy shifts. If we have been avoiding things we may now feel the urge to get moving and start something. If we have been relaxing, we want to start to get active again. Gemini energy is very quick and flighty at times, so if you are working on a long term project it is best to break it down into short doable steps, and to reward yourself in between, as this is not an overly serious sign. We also tend to get more easily distracted, though this can lead to some interesting side adventures, so make time in your days over the next solar month for fun.

Mercury Moves Into Taurus
Mercury the planet of communication moves from aggressive and assertive Aries into Taurus on Monday May 15 at 11:07pm. While communication over the past few weeks may have been more blunt, this week people soften their tone. Aries is all about fire and self will, while Taurus tends towards being more easy going. While before people may have been looking for a fight, this week, people are more likely to be quiet and relaxed. They will stubbornly hold to their opinions, and it is best not to try to change anyones mind, as they won't be listening to you anyway.

Saturn Trine Uranus
This is a time where structures and organization are working in harmony with new and innovative thinking. Expect scientific and technological breakthroughs to be announced. These will come out of Universities, large companies and government organizations. In our lives we will find we that by going about our day to day routines we have a eureka moment in the middle, a sudden insight that inspires us to move forward.

Daily Forecast
Monday May 15, 2017
Monday the moon is in hard working and dependable Capricorn, It is a great day to get routine work done, and to focus on working steadily towards our goals. Mercury moves into Taurus, lending more earthy energy to the day. It's not a good day for rushing about, as we will fine we need to slow down and take care of ourselves. Mars forms a sextile with Pallas on Monday, lasting until Wednesday. We are best to put our energies at this time towards intellectual pursuits, and strategizing, before moving into a more active phase.
Tuesday May 16 and Wednesday May 17, 2017
The moon is void at 5:22am and moves into Aquarius at 12:50pm on Tuesday. Tuesday morning is a good time to take it easy and not good for important meetings or buying large items. In the afternoon, and on Wednesday, we are more likely to rebel, break the rules and do something different. We don't want to follow rules or be bound by restriction.
Thursday May 18 and Friday May 19, 2017
At 7:33pm CDT the moon goes void, and then moves into Pisces at 10:52pm. This makes for an easy going evening. We feel more dreamy, and imaginative at this time. The moon remains in dreamy Pisces throughout  Friday and most of Saturday. Its not a great couple of days for getting things done, but it is good for making art, and getting in touch with our imagination and intuitive side.
On Friday, the Sun has a sextile with Chiron. There are opportunities to do some healing and come to some important insights.
Venus has an opposition to Jupiter on Friday. This makes us over dramatic, and expect too much at times from our partners. We are inclined to over indulge and go over the top. We want to party and socialize today.
Saturday May 20, 2017
Today the sun moves into Gemini, and we find we are more likely to focus on communication, having fun and are feeling more active. The energy seems to lighten up today, and we feel more curious and cerebral.
Sunday May 21, 2017
The moon goes void at 10:39pm CDT on Saturday and moves into Aries at 5:10am on Sunday. This along with the sun now in Gemini, leads to a more active and energetic Sunday. Its a great day to start a short term project, play a sport, and to get outside and be active.

Pallas Athena the asteroid of the strategist and career woman has a square with Juno in Capricorn on Sunday May 21. Pallas in Aries is outgoing and assertive and this causes tension today with the duties and expectations in our partnerships. Even if this is just us imposing these expectations on ourselves.
Lilith the asteroid of feminism and subcultures makes a conjuction with Eris the goddess of discord and disagreements this week. Watch for tensions between counterculture and the mainstream and for possible troubling news in regards to womens rights and freedoms. There is also the potential for demonstrations and protest this week.
Iris the asteroid in charge of intuition, and messages from the gods makes a conjunction with Chiron this week. Watch for intuitive insights that lead to healing of an old wound. There is also a square with Saturn too, leading us to question some of the routines and structures. We will experience insights through dreams if we are open to them.
Iris also forms a sextile with the asteroid Fortuna, who is in charge of luck. this can lead to some lucky hunches and winnings.
Persephone the goddess of the underworld, and spring, has a square with Pallas this week. We long for time to go within rather than work. We may resist looking logically at things and avoid confrontations.
Psyche, who rules psychoanalysis has a sextile to Vesta this week. This is a great time for doing shadow work or undergoing counseling in regards to past sexual or spiritual issues.
Hygeia, who rules health care, is in retrograde, forcing us to deal with old and unresolved health issues.  She has a sextile to Neptune, showing there are opportunities for us to heal witn water. Whether its going to a spa, spending time at a beach, or even drinking more water. Healing may also come to us through dreams. There is a square to Jupiter, warning us not to over exert ourselves or push ourselves too hard this week.
The goddess of witchcraft is active this week. She forms a sextile with Pallas, giving us opportunities to plan and strategize magical workings. She also forms a conjunction with Mars, so it is great time for magical working that help us to express and let go of anger or frustration. 


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Astorlogy Weather May 8 - 14th, 2017 - A Cosmic Shift

I thought I would try something new and write a weekly post on the astrological weather for the week. Please let me know what you think, your feedback is appreciated.

Full Moon in Scorpio 
There is a full moon on Wednesday, May 10th, at 4:42pm Central. This also occurs right as the moon goes void, so it is not making any major aspects, except for two - one being opposite the sun, which defines a full moon. The Taurus sun shows that we have been focusing on the physical realm of comfort. Everything from food, to acquiring possessions, to making our environments more comfortable and beautiful, have been a focus during sun in Taurus. The moon in Scorpio asks us to focus on how we use our power, and on spiritual transformation. The full moon asks us to reconcile our desire for outward appearances and for comfort, with the inner need to transform through spirituality and even sexuality. It also has a sextile to Pluto, which shows that this full moon is a time when there is an opportunity to transform through letting go of what no longer serves us. It might be time to let go of the past and say goodbye to relationships that dont work, or habits that are holding you back. Look to see where 20 degrees Scorpio is in your chart to know where the desire to change and let go occurs for you.
Twenty degrees Scorpio's Sabian Symbol is "A woman drawing apart two dark curtains that closed the entrance to a sacred pathway". Don't be surprised if spiritual insights and inspiration hit you during this full moon. What was hidden from you now seems obvious. you wonder how you missed it, and have aopportunity to walk a different path and make changes at this time.

The Nodes are Changing Signs
The North Node represents where we are asked to grow and expand. It encourages us to step out of our comfort zone, and try something new. While the South Node is our old patterns, and where we feel comfortable, but where we may stagnate. On May 10th the Nodes move from Pisces/Virgo to Leo/Aquarius. The north node in Leo encourages us to all find our unique way to shine and stand out from the crowd. How can we use our individuality and creativity to make the world a better place? Avoid identifying too much with a particular group as this will not help you. you must have the courage to put yourself forward instead of hiding behind a cause. You are being asked to lead rather than follow. Look to where these signs are in your chart for clues as to where you are being asked to exercise your leadership skills.

Daily Forecast
Monday May 8
Monday the moon goes into void at 5:59pm Central. Take it easy and don't make any big changes at this time. monday should be a relaxing day without any major changes or challenges.
Tuesday May 9
The moon moves into Scorpio at 12:01am Central. feelings can get intense today. We feel powerful and sexy and want to make changes in our lives. Themes of spirituality and sexuality come up for many of us today.
The sun also makes a trine with Pluto today. There is an opportunity for us to change something and to transform our lives today. look for changes and a possible ending that leads to opportunities.
Wednesday May 10
Wednesday is going to be a big day as we have the full moon and the nodes changing signs. Our focus shifts and we are asked to be more creative(see above headlines). Many of us have felt the shift for a few weeks leading up to this transformation on a global scale.
Mercury makes a conjunction with Uranus today, so expect to hear some suprising news. Look to where 25 degrees Aries is in your chart to see where you can expect this news to arrive.
Thursday May 11
The moon moves into fun loving Sagittarius at midnight, and stays in this sign unti Saturday. We long for adventure, excitement and to have some fun. People will also be focused on the big picture and are open to discussing big ideas like philosophy and religion.
Mercury makes a trine with Saturn today, so there are opportunities to use these discussions in a constructive way to make plans for the future.  Its not all just big ideas without a sense of grounding. Saturn will help us to get organized and start making plans.
Mars forms a square with Neptune today too, so don't be surprised if someone tries to pop your bubble and wet blanket you. You may worry your ideas are too big, and not realistic, especially if challenged. Dont let this discourage you, instead find a way to make your plans become reality.
Friday May 12 and Saturday May 13
The moon is still in Sagittarius, so Friday and Saturday are good days for socializing and having fun. Mars is forming a trine with Jupiter, so we feel more optimistic and are driven to expand our horizons and take risks. The only danger today is that we may over promise and bight off more than we can realistically chew.
Saturday at 9:14pm Central the moon moves into void, so expect a relaxing evening after an energized past couple of days.
Sunday May 14
The moon moves into Capricorn at 12:37am Central. Sunday we feel more serious and are more likely to buckle down and get some work done. Its a great day for family and traditional gatherings, doing work or homework, and doing household chores.
Mars is sextile Pallas Athena today. There is an opportunity to exercise our intellect and to strategize towards the future. We are driven to stand up for justice and may find ourselves in intellectual debates today.

The Asteroids
Juno goes into retrograde, in Capricorn, on Tuesday May 9th.  During this time we are asked to review our partnerships particularly when it comes to work and career. Are these partnerships serving us, and how can we re-organize them to something better. We may also run into old work colleagues and may be asked to look at the division of power and work in our romantic partnerships.
This week Lilith forms a square with Pluto. Some of the changes going on around us may lead us to rebel and act out. We can either use this energy to be self destructive, or we can use it to constructively speak out and make changes in our own lives.
Iris is the asteroid in charge of our intuition, she is how we hear messages from the gods. This week she forms a sextile to Lilith and the sun, as well as a square with Eris. Look to the areas where you feel that change is uncomfortable. You may find some of the news and information you are hearing around you to be disturbing. This is where our intuition needs to be headed rather than a knee jerk reaction. Take time to look within for answers.
Fortuna is in charge of luck. This week she is active with a sextile to Iris, a trine with Pluto, and Juno and a conjunction with the sun. She advises us that many of the changes and partnerships reassessments going on will actually turn out to be quite fortuitous. Even any upsetting or shocking news that we may hear this week, will turn out to be for the best.
Persephone is where we are afraid of change and where we may experience fear or depression, but also where we are asked to go within. She makes a square with Pallas and Jupiter this week. We may fear examining things on a deep level because we are afraid of what we will find. We also fear expanding and growing this week. We fear taking the opportunities and risks set in front of us. She also has a trine with Neptune giving us opportunities to explore our fears through dreams and fantasy. Avoid using drugs or alcohol to escape.
Hygeia is the asteroid in charge of health. She goes retrograde on Tuesday May 12th, showing that old health issues may arise to be revisited. Especially ones in regards to bones, teeth or skin issues. She forms an opposition to Persephone, reminding us not to get afraid or overwhelmed when these issues re-appear. She forms a square with Pallas and Jupiter, showing we may be resistant to reason or to trying new techniques to relieve these issues. We overreact, but resist making changes to make the issue better. There is a sextile with Neptune, suggesting dreams may hold clues, or that spending time near or in water will help our health.
Hekate, the asteroid of witchcraft and magick makes a sextile with Pallas. There is an opportunity for us to pursue academic and intellectual studies in this area, or have very intellectual discussion s in this field this week.