Monthly Archives: June 2015

Current Transits: Astrology Report for July, 2015

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Category: Current Transits

By Barry Kerr

Sun moved into Cancer on June 21.

In the first quarter of the zodiac, we establish the individual self in the physical world and begin to turn our attention outward. We then notice others and our need to feel connection and belonging. Oh Cancer! – I need love.

Our inner Moon is our emotional self. Feeling, knowing, and sharing our emotions all fall under the realm of the Moon and Cancer. Because our mother and family are typically our first opportunity to feel nurtured and loved, they are a prominent theme. It is in this stage of development, that we learn how to receive and give love, how to belong to a family and tribe. In a world that appears to be all about separation and survival, establishing a bond of loving care with others is primary to our ego’s ability to remain stable and navigate the challenges that life in the greater world will present. Maintaining healthy emotional bonds with family and tribe are essential survival tools in the physical world.

Learning to swim in the watery lake of emotions and feelings is paramount if we are to succeed in the much greater challenges to the ego that will play out down the road in the intimate and raging rivers of Scorpio and the confusing mysteries of oceanic Pisces. For our ego to eventually transcend the fears that worldly illusions create, we must have at least a taste of the unconditional love that originates from the universal, divine mother source. To whatever extent our earthly mother and family may have channeled such love to us, or not, Cancer and the Moon will repeatedly provide us opportunities to nurture our emotional security and wholeness until we know we are always loved.

When conscious, our Cancer notices and validates feelings, our own and others, without judgment and we feel empathetic, supportive and nurturing. From a foundation of emotional security, we can disclose our feelings and insecurities. We can stay centered in our feelings, not fleeing them, and be comfortable with others’ feelings. Our unconscious Cancer can be overly dependent, clingy, moody, insecure, fearful, stuck in the past, avoiding risks and controlling of others through emotional overreactions.

Full Moon on July 1

On one hand, this Full Moon lends Mars/Sun energy and vitality to whatever you choose to do, especially with family and loved ones. On the other hand, it also brings Pluto/Moon intensity to emotions around responsibilities, order and parental discipline. The opposition of these factors could precipitate emotional power struggles with family members or those in your home. Or, with conscious intent, the air could be assertively cleared of past power dynamics that no longer serve well.

Sun opposes Pluto

The first two weeks of July, the Sun in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn. Be aware of your own emotional reactions to powerful forces, personal or collective. Let your actions be informed from that deeper center of compassion and intuitive wisdom.

Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Venus Retrograde

In early July, Venus and Jupiter will embrace in Leo while being trined by Uranus. This is about fun and games, beauty and adventure, romance and passion. Uranus’s intuitive drive for independence will push the limits, so be aware, as Saturn in Scorpio begins to square the Venus/Jupiter conjunction over the following weeks, deeper truths of egos and relationships will surface, provoking self examination. When Venus goes retrograde in late July, there will be time to reflect and make amends before accountability is exacted in September and October.

uni.pag

uni.pag

New Moon on July 15  

Mercury opposing Pluto will promote awareness about your discontent with the world. The luminaries, in trine with Saturn and Chiron, will invite clarity about setting responsible intentions for doing what needs to be done to provide healing to your world. Mercury and Mars, in trine with Neptune, will ensure your intended actions are high minded, but watch for martyrdome.

Good Cancer Questions To Ask Yourself In July

To heal and evolve your Cancer self, pay attention to your emotions. Can you allow yourself to feel and share them? Do you even know what they are telling you? Or do you avoid them, stuff them, “postpone” them? Can you be present to “negative” emotional expression in others without rescuing or fixing? Do you feel unworthy of being loved or giving love? Is that guilt?

Good Cancer Activities in July

Give yourself time to feel whatever you feel. Cry. Cry some more. Throw some pillows around if you feel angry. Scream out loud.  Let whatever is there come to the surface, without need for analysis. Just let it be. Share some tender feelings with someone you trust. Notice other people’s emotions more and ask about them.


Barry Kerr, a certified soul-based astrologer, has 35 years of experience with an international clientele, including many medical professionals and alternative healers. He and Kristine Gay, a licensed psychotherapist, are owners/practitioners at Inner Essence Center in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. Barry offers astrology, energy healing and transformational coaching by phone, Skype or in person in Madison, WI. Inquiries are welcome – free 15 minute consultation to explore if this is for you.  Visit www.ChooseConsciousLiving.com for more information.

Interview with Candle Crafter Brittany Gibson

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Category: Interviews, Magical Tools

Mimosa has recently added a new line of natural votives, made by local crafter Brittany Gibson. To give our customers a better idea of what makes these candles so special, we decided to interview Brittany about her work and about her new business, Magick and Malarkey. Enjoy!

What’s the story behind Magick and Malarkey, and where do you see your new company going? So I was rolling out to California to bum around Venice and Santa Monica. I was in the middle of the desert, thinking about how cool it would be to open a metaphysical store AND a tavern. All of a sudden, it hit me: Magick and Malarkey, a partnership between two completely different businesses!  I can’t guarantee the tavern will ever happen, but I’m very glad the magick pulled through! I am eventually wanting a brick and mortar store, though I still plan to sell in other shops. While I may expand through Wisconsin, I’m glad I get to call it home, and would like to stay local.

Are votive candles the only thing you make? Thankfully, no. As far as candles go, I make pillars, tall tapers, votives, and small tapers for altar use (approximately a few hours of burn time.) When I get my order of tealight molds in, we will be in business for that, too! Soaps are also available. When I find a reliable source of materials, I will add in lotions and cosmetics as well. I’m even getting busy with some bone knives crafting wands for those looking for a quick start.

Where can someone go to buy your soaps? Do you do custom orders? I do custom orders on candles and soaps! Since the online store has run into a few hold-ups, the best way to order is to email me at [email protected], or order through our Facebook page via personal message. Soon, we will have an online store and downloadable order form available on Facebook. I ship flat rate when available, US only (at least temporarily!) All fragrances are available in candles or soaps. Because they are made from essential oils, the oils can be used for both!

What kinds of ingredients do you use, and where do they come from? I’m really into trying to keep things as natural as possible. I love working with beeswax and goat milk as bases for my products, as well as essential oils. Goat milk is strictly purchased locally, but beeswax is harder to get my hands on. I source locally whenever possible, but I have had to import some from some nice beekeepers in Pennsylvania. With bees dying off, wax is getting pricier and harder to come by. Essential oils are also purchased at The Soap Opera when available, though I have had to source in a blend from Ohio. I plan to be 100% locally sourced by Samhain of this year! I am already scouting farmers.

How do you craft a candle to work with a particular intention? I have always done it the same as putting intention into my work. I go through the whole process meditating and keeping the candles and room charged with energy. I focus on what I want the candle to do and call to a deity and ask for his or her blessing. Sometimes I take the candle turn out as an indication on how pleased with my offerings they are (if my beeswax sticks too much, it’s time to put more mead in the offering bowl!) Crafting with intention varies per craftsperson. I allow the energy to flow through me and into my work. I would say I channel the energy rather than pull it out of nowhere!

What are some ways people can use a blessing votive? Specialized spells are excellent options! I would also recommend the votives for work with particular deities. Even if someone isn’t working with Aphrodite, the intention and blessings of the candle can greatly assist in working with a deity of similar function or association. Generic ritual use, especially on high days. You can never have too many candles on high days! Let’s not forget meditation and hypnosis. Maybe you’re a practicing hypnotherapist trying to inspire an active drive in an otherwise submissive person. Strength or Energy blessing votives could definitely add to your practice!

Do you follow any particular spiritual path? If I picked up a label, it would be neo-Druid. I am a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin, currently doing work on my dedicant path. While I believe in all deities from all religions and believe they all have equal power, my rituals tend to lean toward Welsh tradition. I’ve even had several dreams where Arianrhod revealed herself as my matron.

What can you tell us about working with beeswax? It’s very hot and super sticky! But my house always smells a bit of honey. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the mead or the beeswax! It is very fun to play with though, and very versatile. I’m going to start playing with it to see what cosmetic purposes it has. I’m betting I can find some things. But craftspeople beware: Beeswax is sticky in the extreme. Stock up on mold release, or use some oil, unless you want your candle to stay in the mold forever!

Using the Power of Ritual to Make Big Change

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Category: Holistic Healing

by Stacey Seacord-Peters of AWAKEN Higher Brain Living

The good news is that our brains love habit.

Habits are the things we do automatically, without having to think through every single step that’s required. We brush our teeth and get dressed and reach for a glass in the cupboard in the dark without even having to see what we’re doing. Our brain’s ability to store and simply re-use this information has a huge advantage: it’s super-efficient and frees up cognitive space in the brain for other more urgent things, like navigating busy traffic or preparing for an important presentation.

The bad news? Same deal: our brains looooove habit. In fact, the brain actively looks for ways to keep us in habits. The brain doesn’t really care all that much whether the habit is a healthy one or not; it just loves repetition, familiarity, and the path of least resistance. So, it fights change sometimes like a cranky two-year-old, kicking and screaming (neurologically speaking).

The way the brain entrenches us in automatic behaviors is through something called the habit loop. In the three phases of the habit loop, the basal ganglia communicates with the prefrontal cortex and basically takes a behavior and makes it a habit.

First, there’s the cue, the thing that “triggers” a certain behavior.  Next is the routine, or the behavior itself (the habitual action). Once the action is taken, the brain releases feel-good or reward neurotransmitters, like dopamine or serotonin; these signal the brain to store both the trigger and the action for next time, so that we can be prompted to do it again. (A reward is only needed to create a habit, not to maintain one – so once the habit is established, the reward can diminish, and we’ll still feel prompted to do the same thing. Sneaky, huh?)
So, in the game of creating healthier behaviors, we need to pay attention to the habit loop: What’s the cue? What’s the behavior or routine? And what’s the reward? What is it that our bodies, minds, and spirits are really craving? A great habit serves the deepest need of the whole person; an unhealthy habit might take the edge off or serve a surface desire momentarily – but it still leaves us wanting for something more, more fulfilling, more nourishing.

So how do we break the habit loop and make positive changes in our life? The key is in the routine because ritual is a perfect fit for how the brain takes in and uses new information via the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex in the habit loop. Here’s how you can use routine to make changes:

1. Be totally mindful, totally present to what you’re doing because it really does alter the physiological structure of the brain. It is a powerful tool. Practice being aware of what you’re doing before, during, and after a desired (or undesired) behavior. Notice what influences your feelings and your actions.

2. Pay attention to triggers – internal and external – and use them to your advantage. Do you always reach for the candy after stressful meetings? Do you crave a cigarette when your co-worker gets out of his chair to go outside? Do you reach for your smart phone whenever you feel uncomfortable in public? Learning to identify the split-second feeling or event before you act is a huge step towards gaining control.

3. Lay it out step by step. In an order that makes sense and flows naturally, decide how you’re going to approach the new behavior. If you’re trying to quit smoking or checking your smart phone all the time – intentionally create a series of tiny actions that will lead you through those moments. Follow them exactly each time. Think of them like stepping-stones across a river.

4. Repeat. As with so many things, establishing habit just takes practice. A ritual creates the right environment and encourages focus. It’s not always easy but practice does make us better at doing it.

This is exactly how the brain takes simple, small behaviors and turns them into habits. The refreshing bit of good news is that we get a say in how all of that happens.

Lake Geneva Higher Brain Living will host a three-part event at Mimosa starting in August. Please click here to view this event on our calendar.