The concept of manifestation bounces around in New Age circles so much that I barely notice it anymore.
I became aware of the idea of manifestation – or at least the language around it – when I was first starting out on my spiritual journey and was deep into astrology. There were a handful of astrologers whose work I followed religiously, and during certain moon phases or important transits they’d send out missives encouraging us to use these energies to “manifest” our goals.
I’m not opposed to spellwork or vision boards. I love burning intention candles and writing my own spells.
But I see these things as icing on the cake to the true magic that makes dreams manifest.
What is that magic?
Acting upon a dream will give you the best odds of it becoming a reality.
Knowing where you want to go is the first step: What is that you are aiming for?
If you can be clear on that – whether it be a new job, an artistic career, new love, or...
Whew! If you are following the astrology of the moment, there is a lot going on.
First, we are in eclipse season: The Aries new moon and solar eclipse occurred on April 20th (or April 19th, depending on your location).
And Mercury is retrograde from Friday, April 21 until Sunday, May 14.
If you’ve followed my work for a while, you might have noticed that I try to bring some balance into the usual planet panic that takes place during notable astrological events.
Horoscopes used to play quite a big role in my life at one time. But the increasing popularity of astrology, coupled with the pressure for content creators to compete with a culture driven by clickbait and merciless algorithms, has led me to a different relationship with astrology.
It seems like every month there is a new astrology column telling people to “buckle up” or “watch out.”
And I know that that the kind of language gets people’s...
Readers of this newsletter who’ve been here for a while might remember that I used to share quite a few thoughts about astrology in this space.
In more recent times, I took a step back from my astrology practice to focus more deeply on tarot, and to re-evaluate my relationship with modern astrological trends.
But I never truly “quit” astrology: It has remained part of my personal spiritual practice all this time, as it has always been.
And so I hope you don’t mind if I reflect a bit on astrology today.
Jupiter has been a major influence for me lately. Maybe it’s because my sun is in Aries, and my moon in Pisces, and the planet of exuberance and optimism has been traversing through both signs this past year.
But Jupiter is now full steam ahead in Aries until May 2023, when it enters Taurus. The presence of Jupiter in Aries feels significant to me for so many reasons, mainly because Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and marks a new Jupiterian cycle.
If you’ve spent any time at all following new age practitioners, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Go with what resonates with you.”
This saying permeates new age spiritual culture of all kinds: It shows up in tarot workshops and healing sessions. You see it in books and hear it on YouTube channels.
It’s meant to be taken as guidance or advice to help a student or client figure out what their next step is. Sometimes, it’s given during times of confusion, as though to say, “Just go with what you feel.”
Confusion itself doesn’t get us very far, does it? When you’re not sure whether you’re coming or going, and you’re unclear as to whether you’re supposed to do this or that, things can go one of two ways:
You stay stuck and keep repeating the same old patterns, knowing you need to take different actions but you’re not sure what they are, or…
You act on emotion, impulse, or intuition and hope...
Today, I want you to think about something you really want to accomplish.
Maybe you want to launch a new business in the next six months.
Maybe you want to run a marathon next year.
Maybe you want to learn a new language.
Maybe you want to write an album, or a book, or build an artistic career.
Whatever it is, I want you to hold onto it for a moment.
What does fear have to do with your goal? Maybe it influences your actions a little, or a lot. Maybe fear is what is keeping you from moving forward right now.
Maybe you’ve found yourself thinking, “If I knew there a good chance this plan would work out, I would do it for sure.”
Maybe you’re waiting for that sign, confirmation, or guarantee.
I think I’m a pretty good person to talk to about fear, though probably not for the same reasons people expect.
In my work as a tarot reader, I often answer questions about goals: People look to tarot for certainty, outcomes, and predictions.
I have a lot of goals.
I’ve always been one to make bucket lists, New Year’s lists, to-do lists, constantly keeping an eye on the short and long-term.
So often, I’ve look at other people who see to be moving towards their dreams and would ask, “How do you it all?”
For years I felt like I was living a double-life: I wrote three books in six years, all while working 35 hours a week on top of it.
It definitely wasn’t easy, because of course I didn’t just have work and writing to focus on. I also had to take care of myself with the small things – groceries, laundry, errands – and maintain my relationships, and find some down time here and there.
But I’ve learned a lot about prioritizing, staying focused, and being realistic about my needs vs. my ideals.
These days, there is one thing I do to make sure I keep moving towards my goals on a daily basis: Before I get ready to go to bed, I write down my three most important...
As we get closer to the end of the calendar year, I am conscious of what I’m taking on, wrapping up, or casting away.
Time will pass either way. Calendars change, seasons move on, birthdays come and go. Yes, the marking of time can feel arbitrary in some ways.
Yet it’s hard to deny that there isn’t some kind of energetic shift that takes place when a new year begins.
We make resolutions, and set intentions. We think of what might be possible, and how life might be different.
A change in time feels like a line being drawn in the sand between the past and the future. It’s an opportunity to leave things in the distance, and to move towards new experiences.
As the year winds down, I start to clear things out: Old papers get shredded, books and clothes get put into a donation pile.
And I also become even more conscious of what I’m saying yes and no to. I like things to be finished and closed off at the end of the year so that I have a clear head, and a clear...
Is it just me, or is everyone talking about lunar cycles these days?
Over the past couple of years, it seems like every mailing list I’m on and every Instagram account I follow has started doing posts for every new and full moon.
I think it’s awesome that so many people are starting to synch up their lives with nature’s rhythms, which the moon is part of.
I’ve been working with lunar cycles since the mid `90s and I know how powerful they can be.
For me, following the Moon is a spiritual practice. And like anything else, when the popularity of a practice rises, information can get diluted, confused and distorted.
Especially these days when there is so much pressure to have something new to post on social media. Or when there is already so much to do, keep up with and talk about.
When we’re rushing through our daily lives, our spiritual practices can be affected.
When you start working with the cycles of the moon, one of the first things you...