Posted in History, Magic, Metaphysics, Uncategorized

Using the Law of Attraction


Image credit: SuccessGrid

“Mind over matter.” We’re likely familiar with this idea, and understand the power that our thoughts have over our experiences. If we start the day feeling negative or overwhelmed, chances are the rest of the day will turn out how we expect. Conversely, tackling the day with a fresh, positive perspective, anticipating that things will turn out for the best, helps us change our entire outlook and rein in great experiences for ourselves. 

This approach is part of the law of attraction, one of the universal laws that governs our realities. Simply put, this law focuses on the power of the mind and our ability to focus on and attract what we desire into our lives. As Buddha stated, “What you have become is what you have thought.” What can be imagined can be reality!

This concept was also inspired by Hermeticism, alchemy, transcendentalism and Hinduism. Many other civilizations and religious groups, including Christianity and biblical thought, point to the power of thought and intention. Just look at Proverbs 23:7 – “As man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

Blavatsky Archives
Image credit: Blavatsky Archives


Our modern understanding of the law sprung out of New Thought philosophy in the early 19th century. Helena Blavatsky first published the definition in print in her 1877 esoteric work “Isis Unveiled.” Another notable person was Phineas Quimby who, when diagnosed with tuberculosis, resorted to carriage riding throughout New Hampshire when traditional treatments appeared to fail. He knew if his mind grabbed onto fear, he would fall victim to the disease. He believed that “trouble is in the mind, for the body is only the house for the mind to dwell in.”

Think of yourself, your thoughts and your “vibe” as a magnet. When you send your thoughts out into the universe, your point of focus is what is given back to you. So focusing on negativity, or being preoccupied with worried thoughts, shows the universe that this is what you are focusing your energy on.

This is where the law of attraction meets understandable criticism. For example, experiencing loss, trauma or great accidents doesn’t necessarily mean that we have brought these incidents into our lives through our negativity. Rather than seeing ourselves as the root cause of negativity or accident, the law of attraction encourages taking a new perspective if these experiences enter our lives. What are we supposed to learn from this setback? How can we approach what we see to be a loss as a lesson?

If nothing else, see and use the law of attraction as a habit. Positive thinking takes practice, as does negativity. Take a holistic look at how your mind operates. What are you more focused on? Always remember that we live in a universe that works to bring you the best, as long as you are putting in the work to meet it. You control your life and your energy!

Posted in Psychic and Intuition

Meditation 101

Photo by Chris Ensey on Unsplash

“Sit calmly and empty your mind.”

If you’ve ever practiced meditation, you know emptying your mind isn’t as simple as it may seem. While it may take some work to get used to, a daily centered, calming practice can help us to better manage stress, anxiety and even promote self-healing.

The Science of Meditation

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) compiled a holistic overview of meditation and its benefits. There is evidence that regular mindfulness practices can help lower blood pressure, reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and ease anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Meditation’s affect on the physical structure of the brain also yields positive results. In 2013, three studies were reviewed with the outcome suggesting that “meditation may slow, stall, or even reverse changes that take place in the brain due to normal aging” (NCCIH). Another study supported meditation’s positive affect on the amygdala, a part of the brain that helps us process emotions, even after meditation.

Individuals who practiced meditation for many years were found to have more outer folds of the outer brain layer than those who did not meditate. NCCIH says “This process (called gyrification) may increase the brain’s ability to process information.”

How to Meditate

With a timeline extending back to 1500 BCE, it’s no wonder that many spiritual and holy people relied on mindfulness practice to forge connections with themselves, other people and the world around them.

Meditation can be a very personal and customizable experience. While some people may benefit from sitting silently and focusing on their breath (a common breathing technique in mindfulness practice which you can follow below), others require a guided prompt to help them focus.

To begin a meditation practice, you may wish to follow these guidelines:

  1. Sit or lay down comfortably in a quiet space where you won’t be distracted. If you are seated, you may sit cross-legged or with your legs and feet out in front of you.
  2. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breath. Breathe deep into your belly using your diaphragm. You should feel your belly extend out when you breathe in. On your exhale, push all of the air out of your belly and lungs, allowing your belly to squeeze in slightly.
  3. Continue to focus intently and solely on your breath. Thoughts may come to you, and you can imagine them floating by as if in a river current: You can fish them out of the water, or let them float past you. If you find that you want to focus on the thoughts that come to you, give yourself permission to set them aside just for a few moments.
  4. Focus your awareness away from your thought river and toward your breath filling your body. Imagine a golden light filling your being with each breath you take, and any negativity leaving your being with each exhale.
  5. Be patient. Think of meditation as any other activity: It takes practice!

Do you have any meditation tips? Share them with us in the comments!


Posted in Uncategorized

Pisces and The Moon: March Tarot

Image credit: Rider-Waite Tarot

March Full Moons

We’re halfway through Pisces season. In this time of intuitive breakthroughs, connecting with emotions and creative abundance in everyday work, it’s no wonder that many of us feel content going with the flow. At the same time, we need to understand when it’s time to fly high on our emotions and when we need to keep both feet on the ground – especially if a new opportunity in the form of a career change, relationship or other exciting change asks to enter our lives.

Don’t be surprised if these changes or a wish for something similar rises to the surface for you this month. March is also the proud host of two full moons.

The full moon on March 1 was in Virgo. This earth sign prompted much-needed grounding for those of us with creative, heads-in-the-clouds streaks, and likely highlighted boundaries in life that were in need of improvement or reinforcement.

The next full moon will greet us on March 31. The second blue moon of the year, this moon is in balanced Libra, and will push us to see any gaps in our personal relationships. Libra’s intense empathy can make it difficult to see when we’re wearing rose-colored glasses rather than seeing the true picture. Take the lessons learned from the March 1 moon to check in and identify where caution is due.

Pisces and Tarot

The Moon draws our attention to our intuition and the unconscious mind. Like Pisces, this card represents intensely receptive periods in our lives.

Moon card imagery in traditional tarot decks may depict the moon above a scene with a crab or crayfish, dog and wolf. The crustacean symbolizes parts of our subconscious mind that traditionally like to stay submerged. When they rise from the depths, we may feel disturbed or closed ourselves off from what they really show us: Pieces of ourselves that need attention and love.

The dog and wolf, meanwhile, draw our attention to our domestic and wild sides. The dog, while tame, is a descendant from the wild wolf who roams the forests of our mysterious subconscious. This wild aspect is a part of all of us, and serves as a reminder that we can unlearn potentially toxic habits and revert back to our truth. Similarly, it shows that we can also tame the wild within that may attempt to thwart our growth potential.

This month, take time to feel which aspects of The Moon call to you. If you are feeling especially intuitive and in sync with the world around you, establish a meditation routine to uncover the meanings of new lessons that enter your life. Above all, enjoy the emotional moments that will come your way without excess judgment and with care.

Posted in Psychic and Intuition

What Is Mediumship?

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Humans have held a fascination for communicating with the spirit realms as far back as our early history. Indigenous Australian and Indonesian cave paintings of skulls, bones and spirits date 10,000 to 28,000 years back. In the Hebrew story of the Witch of Endor, a woman summons the spirit of Samuel the prophet to speak with the disguised King Saul, who had driven out all necromancers from Israel. The ancient Greeks looked to the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, to speak for the god Apollo on matters of religion, power and war. More recently in our history, ouija boards sparked great interest in mediumship during the 19th century, and many people are still familiar with them today.

Mediumship may raise eyebrows of skeptics, yet many of us share stories abound of ghost sightings, passed loved ones visiting us in dreams, and even seeing psychic mediums for spirit communication and messages. Perhaps what instills doubt in some of us stems from a greater fear of the unknown. If this is the case, reading up on the purpose of mediumship can only inform and make us more comfortable with our own experiences.

What Is a Medium?

“Medium” is a term for an individual who can communicate with the spirit realm. This word originates from the practice necessary for mediums to raise their vibration to meet spirits in the middle, becoming a “medium,” and allowing a connection.

Mediums are psychic, yet not all psychics are mediums. This difference lies in the method of communication and reception of information. Psychics read and process information from the energy and auric fields of people living in the physical world or locations existing in the physical world. Mediums receive their information directly from the spirit realms, and often (though not always) can serve as a channel for messages.

Is Mediumship Safe?

The law of attraction, like attracts like, is a foundational law of mediumship. As spiritual beings, we attract or draw similar energy into our lives. Should one attempt spirit communication without proper energetic protection and grounding, knowledge and training for preparation, a mind clouded with doubt and fear, and/or in a state of mind that is not conducive to receiving positive messages of spiritual growth, there is a possibility of attracting energies that match.

So messing around at a party with a ouija board to get a few laughs? Maybe not the best way of respectfully saying “hi” to the spirit world. Practice mindful communication with whoever you come in contact with (alive and otherwise).

Mediumship practiced by legitimate, honest psychic mediums matches a high frequency with the intention of receiving messages that are for their clients’ highest good and prompt spiritual wellbeing and growth. In this capacity, mediumship is safe and welcomes loving messages from spirit guides, ancestors and other loved ones.

Am I a Medium?

If you’ve experienced spirit communication through psychic senses (clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, claircognizance) or have channeled a message for others, chances are, you may be opening up to your gift as a psychic medium. Seek out information on how to further develop your gifts in a grounded, positive way. This can be done through group classes to build your intuition and connect with a mentor who can work with you individually to practice and further learn about your gifts.

If you’d like to learn more about developing your gifts with Illuminate Your Spirit, consider scheduling a psychic reading to connect with a spirit mentor and identify the best path forward for you. You can call (734) 469-2091 to book your appointment or check out our calendar and events to come in for a class.

Posted in Astrology, Psychic and Intuition, Tarot

Venus and The Lovers: February Tarot

Image Credit: Rider-Waite Tarot (left), Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr (right).

Venus and Astrology

The planet Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love, sensuality and good fortune. Since ancient times, people have followed the planet’s movement and its position as the morning and the evening star: It is the morning star when it stands in the east, and the evening star when it stands in the west. This duality was honored within the goddess and in everyday human life.

As the morning star, Venus depicts human benevolence, love and luck. As the evening star, Venus shows the darker side of the human condition through warlike tendencies, jealousy and spite. This goddess’ Greek contemporary, goddess of love Aphrodite, was commonly connected to the war god Ares. Similarly, Venus’ Mesopotamian and Sumerian counterparts Ishtar and Innana, respectively, held dualistic natures as goddesses of both love and war.

Venus is set to enter Pisces tomorrow, February 10. With this love planet in the romantic water sign Pisces, don’t be surprised if you’re dreamier than usual and especially empathetic to those around you. It may seem like the opportune time, considering Valentine’s Day is just next week. Just remember to be pragmatic and stick to your expectations rather than living in the clouds full time – things still need to get done, love bug. And maintaining a balance within your duality is key!

Venus and Tarot

Venus, her duality and the divine union of the physical, emotional and spiritual facets of the human condition is represented in the Tarot major arcana card VI. In many traditional tarot decks, The Lovers depicts a man and woman with the archangel Raphael, the angel of healing and renewal, overhead.

Interpretations of The Lovers can be very personal, but let’s begin at the surface level using the Rider-Waite tarot illustration above. While the masculine figure looks at the feminine figure, she looks up at the angel. This signifies our physical selves looking to our feminine, spiritual sides for divine inspiration. By accepting and trusting our feminine aspects, we begin to open our intuition and create spiritual connections that can lead us to radical self-transformation through self-healing.

The Lovers not only represents the multiple layers of spiritual beings, it also shows the potential to cultivate partnerships of all sorts. It reminds us of those who help our worlds turn – from friends and family to crucial business partners, allies and competitors whose successes make us rise to our own challenges.

When you pull The Lovers in a reading, contemplate what they point to based on your intuition. Are you due to acknowledge a hidden part of yourself? Have you been taking a relationship for granted? Perhaps you have a choice to make, but want to be certain of the consequences of that choice. Consider all that The Lovers have to say to you and weigh intuitively what resonates. Connecting with this goddess of love will help you manifest positivity based on what you want AND what you need.

Posted in Magic, Psychic and Intuition

Candle Magic: Manifesting with Fire


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Shelly’s candles going strong!

Illuminate Your Spirit owner Shelly Paull is more than psychic – she uses her magnetic mind and love for herbs, oils and gemstones to serve up powerful candle magic.

While Shelly has always loved candles, opening Illuminate Your Spirit seven years ago was the catalyst for discovering her gift of working with the flame. She says something clicked after she began exploring books on candle rituals and prayer. “I don’t really know what drew me to it. I just read a lot and realized that it all made sense! It helped me see the path I was supposed to take,” Shelly says.

Shelly has been a practicing “kitchen witch” for about ten years, adding basil to her cooking to promote family health and wealth, or adding salt “…when everyone is a little cranky,” she winks. She also tapped into positive manifestation magic for the business, lighting candles and praying to attract the right clients so she could use her gifts to spread light and more positivity to the world. Despite seeing these manifestation practices come through, she says her biggest “aha moment” about her magical abilities came from a personal plea.

“Last fall, I was trying to manifest our foster care license to get approved by a certain time. Everyone told me it would take two months for our application to go through. I was determined to get it approved in two weeks.” She got her candles, dressed and anointed them with oils and herbs, prayed over them and waited for Spirit to come through.

“My set date came and went, and I started to question what I did wrong. Then a couple of days later, I got a phone call that we had been approved…days before my prediction! It had worked, even though I didn’t know until after,” Shelly laughs. “You have to be very specific when you set your intention. It was like the universe was saying, ‘Well you got what you wanted. It’s not our fault no one told you!’”

The secret to Shelly’s success? Downright adamance. “Yes, you have to be specific about what you want. You also have to really, truly believe that it will happen for you. You have to trust that things will work. If there’s any doubt, you’re going to cross the work. Do the work and let it go. Don’t hyper-focus on it, or you’ll add that doubt,” she advises.

While Shelly enjoys working with specific colored candles to invoke the outcome she or her clients want, she says it is the intention of the work that matters most. Yes, you need a candle to perform candle magic. But you can work with what you have available and still bring about what you’re looking for. “If your heart is in the right place, you can get what you need,” Shelly counsels. “You don’t absolutely need a green candle to manifest money. You only have a red candle at home? Perfect. Use that. Focus on the energy and power of the money you’re looking to draw. You just have to be intentional, specific and pure-hearted.”

Shelly offers candle work at Illuminate Your Spirit for relationship, career and general spiritual assistance. For more information about her services, visit the candle spell work services webpage or call Illuminate Your Spirit at (734) 469-2091 to connect with Shelly for a free consultation.

Posted in Psychic and Intuition, Tarot

3 Simple Steps to a Great Psychic Reading

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Curious about getting a spiritual or psychic reading, but not sure where to start? Before you google “psychics near me,” here are some things to consider.

1. Ask for Referrals & Get Multiple Perspectives

Finding the best psychic for you doesn’t have to be like finding a needle in a haystack. If someone you know has gotten an awesome reading, ask if they’d recommend that psychic reader for you. Explore readings with other psychics, too. Just because your best friend loved one reader doesn’t mean their reading style will resonate with you. And that’s perfectly fine!

Before you schedule an appointment, be clear about what sort of reader you’re looking for. A medium? A spiritual coaching or intuitive session? Someone to help you interpret a recurring dream? Ask your local metaphysical or psychic shop for insight on what their readers’ skills are, and who might be the best fit for you. Or, connect with a psychic reader you know and ask who they’d recommend you see. If what you’re looking for isn’t their area of expertise, chances are, they know someone who could work well with you.

2. Be Open

Showing up to an appointment and then resisting your psychic reading by closing up will just leave you and your reader feeling awkward and dissatisfied. If the thought of someone reading you makes you feel closed off, scared or determined to test your reader by withholding information or making them guess, chances are, you aren’t ready for a reading. If you would like to visit a psychic and are feeling this discomfort and resistance, it’s important to acknowledge these feelings and follow them back to their root so that you can get more comfortable with the idea of someone reading you.

For example, if you feel nervous about being read by someone, see if this lies in your resistance to know about your future, or if you are scared to hear something you don’t want to. Honest psychic readers conduct their readings with empathy, especially if and when serious and sensitive topics emerge. They aren’t there to judge you or push you to make a decision you aren’t comfortable with. Rather, they will offer you advice and validation so that you can begin taking crucial steps forward.

3. Come Prepared

Center yourself and get connected with what it is you’d like to accomplish from your psychic session. Sometimes coming to your reader and asking them to communicate “whatever they can pick up” can open doors and lead you and the reader to a deeper conversation about what you really need to know in that moment. In most readings, you’ll likely hear what you’re meant to, and if your reader is in tune with your energy fields, the information that’s presented will feel like a big confirmation. But if you have an idea in mind about what you’d like to know, share that with your reader at the start of your session.

Super specific questions like “Will I get back together with my ex,” or “Will I get the job I applied for this week” are sometimes counterproductive simply because these questions might not get to the heart of what you need to hear. Instead, consider questions like “What should I look for in a partner so that I can find someone who aligns with my goals and values, and will help me develop into a better partner and person,” or “What sort of career will make me happiest and help my personal development?”

Posted in Astrology, History

New Year’s 2018

New Years - Shutterstock
Image Credit: Shutterstock

For those of us following the Gregorian calendar, the new year swiftly approaches. January 1 is now a recognized holiday in the United States and throughout a large part of the world. It’s a day devoted to reflecting on the past year, making resolutions and spending time with family and friends. But this date hasn’t always been set in stone – it’s changed with the times!

Following the Cosmos

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Acknowledging the new year has been a human tradition for thousands of years. Many ancient civilizations identified the start of the new year as being in sync with times of harvest or astrological events. Back in ancient Babylon, people celebrated the start of the new year during the Atiku festival, which took place for 11 days in late March, beginning on the first new moon after the vernal equinox. This festival meant feasting, celebrating and religious rituals.

Ancient Egyptians celebrated Wepet Renpet, which translates to “opening of the year” ( This festival marked the annual flood of the Nile River, which the Egyptians relied on for their crops. They looked for the reappearance of the star Sirius to mark the yearly flood.

A Set Date

Julius Caesar -
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The New Year first fell on January 1 because of Julius Caesar and Alexandrian astronomer, Sosigenes, in 45 B.C. The traditional Roman calendar was based around the lunar cycle, but was often out of sync and needed constant correction. Caesar was advised by Sosigenes to create a calendar following the solar year, like the ancient Egyptians.

With this new cycle, Caesar and Sosigenes documented that each year would be 365 1/4 days and added just over two months’ worth of days to the calendar. This moved the new year from taking place in March to January 1. The new month was named after Janus, the Roman god of transitions, beginnings and time. The god’s two faces were said to look forward into the future and back into the past.

In the middle ages, Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian calendar to solve for an 11-minute miscalculation on Caesar’s part. This initially small gap had added 10 days to the calendar, bumping the Easter holiday farther and farther from its original date near the vernal equinox. With this fixed and leap years more adequately tracked, the New Year was set to stay at January 1!

New Year’s Affirmation

This New Year’s, take time to reflect and set personal goals. What is it you’d like to manifest for yourself? How can you get closer to being the best version of yourself? Clear your mind and adapt a personal affirmation to help you empower yourself to bring about positive change in your life. You may want to use the following as a template to get you started:

I am in charge of my future and my past does not define it. I hold the positive energy that I need to sustain myself and give compassion to the world. I have the strength to speak my truth, live to my highest good, and surround myself with people who help me see my true worth. I actively practice forgiveness to others and myself.

What significance does New Year’s hold for you?

Posted in History, Uncategorized

Four Christmas Traditions and Their Ancient Pagan Origins

The word Yule, or Jul, is so ancient that it can be traced back to the oldest of the Germanic languages. While the exact meaning of the word is still uncertain, it’s believed that it comes from a Scandinavian term for “wheel,” with a direct link to the wheel of the year, or perhaps from the Old English word for “jolly.”

Yule is one of the oldest known winter celebrations marking the winter solstice and the start of the next solar year with the rebirth of the sun. On the darkest night of the year, the early Germanic pagan people honored the gods and gave thanks for the sun that gave them life.

Celebrations of the sun and the return of light to the world are pretty standard across most world religions. In fact, the great love and expansive following of this tradition was likely what made the early church select December 25 as the date for the holiday we’re all so familiar with in the west. December 25 was traditionally the end of the winter solstice in Rome, “and was a time for celebration of the birth of Mithra, an ancient sun god” (Tahlequah Daily Press). Early Christians took on this day to celebrate the birth of another son, Jesus Christ.

In 354 A.D., one Roman scholar documented the initial record of December 25 as the date for the Christian holiday: “When the doctors of the church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true nativity should be solemnized on that day” (Tahlequah Daily Press).

With two powerful traditions meeting, it’s no wonder that we’ve adapted “Yuletide carol,” “yule log,” “yuletide by the fireside” into our wintery, holiday season vocabulary. But exactly which traditions are still practiced today that stem from early pagan beliefs? We’ll explore four common themes.

1. Yule Log

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Originally a Nordic tradition, the Yule log wasn’t the sort of log you could easily fit into your fireplace – it was an entire tree! This large piece of wood helped to ward away bad spirits, as the darkest part of the year was known to be a time when the dead could easily cross realms and walk among the living. It was important that the new log be lit with wood from the remains of the previous year’s log, and kept burning through the days of Yule (later, through the Twelve Days of Christmas).

In France, wine was sprinkled on the log to ensure merriment and good fortune throughout the following year. France and Belgium were also the birthplaces of the chocolate dessert Yule log. These tasty cakes “are known as ‘Kerststronk’ in Flemish” (

2. Christmas Ham

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Yule festivals were centered around great feasts of domestic livestock. Eating most of the livestock meant less animals to keep warm and feed during the long winter, with just enough animals kept to ensure new animals in the spring.

A boar’s head with an apple in its mouth is a familiar image to us now, with roots in its presentation in the ancient great halls of kings throughout northern Europe. Feasting on a Christmas (or Yule) ham has a direct link to early Germanic people who made the sacrifice of a great boar to Freyr, a fertility god who rode a gold boar named Gullinbursti. Freyr was offered sacrifices and toasts to bring a prosperous harvest the following year.

3. Santa Claus

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One major influence on our modern Kris Kringle undoubtedly stems from Odin’s Wild Hunt. The Norse told of Odin, a legendary god of the dead, upon his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, flying across the sky with his ghostly army. Some folklorists say this eight-legged horse prompted Santa’s eight reindeer. (Note: Donner/Dunder and Blitzen/Blixen are derived from Dutch words for thunder and lightning, the forces of nature ruled by Odin’s son Thor in traditional Norse mythology.)

Yet it would be too simple to say that Santa came solely from Germanic pagan roots. It’s more likely that this jolly figure is an amalgamation of several wintery characters, including the elderly, bearded Father Time, Father Christmas and Meditteranean-based, gift-giving Saint Nicholas. And let’s not forget la Befana, an Italian folkloric witch who traveled on Epiphany Eve (January 5), filling good children’s socks with candy and sweets, while ill-behaved tots received coal or sticks.

4. Christmas Tree

Victoria and Albert Christmas Tree Wikimedia
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Christmas trees as we know them likely sprouted in 15th-century Germany as a local holiday practice. Victorian Prince Albert is often acknowledged as introducing the tradition to England in the mid-1800s, though it’s also said that Martin Luther invented the Christmas tree.

Regardless of our modern take on the Christmas tree, evergreen firs have long been used in winter festivals. Their bright green color, lasting even throughout the winter, represented the promise of spring’s greenery to return. Branches were used to decorate pagan houses, and fir trees were placed in Roman temples during Saturnalia, another winter festival (

Perhaps the Germanic roots of this holiday tree carry back to Yggdrasil, the world tree of old Norse that symbolically represents the Earth and all its realms. Many early European people considered trees to be sacred, practicing ceremonial magic and holding rituals in designated groves. 

What’s your favorite Yule or Christmas tradition? Do you know its historic roots? We’d love if you shared it with us!

Posted in Astrology

Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius

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On December 3, we kicked off the last Mercury retrograde of the year. Until December 23, Mercury is in the house of blunt, willful and dreamy Sagittarius. If you haven’t noticed already, a Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius calls for us to practice patience and forgiveness for communication mishaps or misunderstandings. Luckily, understanding the root of these mishaps gives you a chance to be reflective and power through. This retrograde and the ones to come have nothing on you!

What in the World IS a Mercury Retrograde?

A few times a year, Mercury passes Earth in orbit. When it slows and appears to stop and spin backward, astrologers call this “retrograde.” This optical illusion is similar to what you experience when you pass another car on the expressway. As you increase speed, the car next to you seems to stop and move backward, when in actuality, you are both moving in the same direction.

Mercury: Messenger and Trickster

The planet Mercury is named after the Roman messenger of the gods, and is also associated with the Greek mythological god Hermes. According to ancient beliefs, Mercury ruled communication, merchants, travel and literature. Mercury also had a trickster side, and was prone to misbehavior and thievery.

Astrologically speaking, Mercury rules our communication with one another, near- and long-distance travel, and technology on Earth. This planet is also said to rule human minds, which are powerful tools that help us shape our own realities. This makes Mercury retrograde the opportune time to release mental blocks or get to the root of pervasive thought patterns that no longer serve your highest good. Reflect on lessons that 2017 has taught you and approach 2018 with a fresh, positive perspective.

Surviving a Mercury Retrograde

Should you feel disorganized, spread thin or frustrated, sift through mental clutter brought on by this retrograde by journaling and reflecting during meditation. What seems to be a recurring theme in your thoughts? How can you approach them with more self love and positivity? Don’t stress if answers don’t present themselves immediately. Once Mercury goes direct on December 23, you’ll find that what you seek is easily accessible as long as you approach it with a positive outlook.

This time is also ideal for practicing forgiveness and flexibility. Since this planet rules travel, check and double check your travel plans if you must be in transit before Mercury goes direct. Review and re-review agreements that you enter in this time, also. Aside from the retrograde affecting technology, making it spotty or unreliable, communication breakdowns are common. Don’t be frustrated if you find folks changing their minds, wanting to take longer to make decisions or being extra cautious before entering agreements. In fact, look at how you can slow down in your decision making during this time, too! Honor that things will work out the best way for everyone involved.

What do you practice to power through a Mercury retrograde? Let us know in the comments!