This month, we celebrate the beginning of another summer by consciously connecting with the energies surrounding the Summer Solstice on June 21, the longest day of the year. On this day, I always find myself in gratitude as I celebrate the gifts received from the glorious and reverberant circle of the sun, now at its most potent and powerful.
One way to take advantage of all the gifts offered by this glorious season is to bring some of it with you indoors. When placed anywhere in your fame area, a bouquet of bright yellow daisies -- symbolizing the great and life-giving sun -- will lend a brilliant boost to all your efforts, while also bringing you honor, recognition and abundant rewards!
Later in the summer, you may continue the illumination theme by placing bouquets of sunflowers in that same fame area.
Another summer sunflower tradition says that if you take the seed from one sunflower, make a wish upon it and then eat the seed, you can expect to see your wish revealed before the onset of autumn!
Ancient traditions say that any celebrations heralding the start of summer will be sure to share energies of warmth and love. Here's to a shining start of a season filled with light!
This season, fashion trend-spotters have shared with me that many designers and brands are using floral patterns in their spring and summer 2011 collections. Of course, this is nothing new. The ancient Chinese developed a Feng Shui flower calendar thousands of years ago, then wove its elements not only into the fabric of their society, but into their ceremonial clothes as well!
Choosing synergistic blooms to bestow upon your bosom -- or anywhere else on your couture -- is said to encourage very favorable reactions (albeit sometimes subliminal) from others. And, before I share with you which flowers will branch out your personal summer style, just remember that the entire point of lining up these stems with these summer months is to bring an invisible, yet harmonious and oh-so-attractive energy to anyone who wears them.
So, then: The flower that complements summer's first month? Wisteria! Feng Shui precepts indeed claim that June is aligned with the energies associated with this delightful bloom.
Wisteria isn't the only flower that can brighten your fashion efforts this month, though -- it's long been believed that any and all fragrant florals are considered auspicious during these early summer days because of the messages their lovely perfumes can send into your environment. Still, June wisteria is considered to be the one flower that, when worn, will transform any energies into magically empowered and boastfully beautiful ones.
Now, imagine if Tom Ford or Chanel -- or even the designers at Gucci -- embraced this empowering information and carried its inspirational thread through their fabric choices?!
Two words: bikini season. Enough said.
Does the idea of getting into a swimsuit this summer make you cringe? If so, it might be time to take action and motivate your psyche -- and your body!
Don't worry. The following advice won't consist of your usual, run-of-the-mill tips -- nothing along the lines of, Start drinking green drinks in the morning, and don't eat anything but four sunflower seeds the rest of the day. (Although, if you read this month's Advice section, you'll learn some great ways to make the most of that same seed -- and make a wish come true along the way!)
No, today we get serious about shedding some pounds. And I'm going to begin by recommending you use a few of them to get yourself up and moving.
Start by finding something portable that weighs about the same number of pounds as you'd like to lose. Want to shed ten pounds? Find a ten-pound object. Once you locate the right item, carry it around with you for one solid day, and don't make a move without it. Why? So you can really feel what it's like to lug around that extra weight. Some researchers believe that hauling around such excess weight provides the necessary motivation to start a serious body transformation.
Once you form a weight-loss plan, try drinking half a glass of tomato juice 15 minutes before any meal. The acid in the juice will create a full feeling, which in turn will allow you to indulge in smaller portions -- thus cutting your calories and your waistline!
Finally, this next slimming tip is one that has always worked for me, even after pregnancy -- and especially after menopause!
Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of organic honey to a glass of unsweetened grapefruit juice, then mix it all thoroughly. Drink this down a half-hour before mealtime to once again regulate your appetite ... but also to melt the pounds away. A more complex variation that promises to promote a higher metabolism requires one spoonful each of a freshly juiced apple, aged apple cider, apple vinegar and apple brandy. Add to this one ounce of honey and a scant drop of wintergreen; warm the entire blend, then mix it well. I've long believed that drinking this tonic each day at dawn (or whenever you rise and shine) will allow you to lose weight while preserving a bright and youthful appearance.
Go ahead, you can thank me later. Just get into that bathing suit this summer with a smile on your face -- that's all the thanks I need!
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As summer begins to unfold, one way to stay cool as a cucumber is to keep a hearty stock of the same on hand, chilling in your refrigerator!
On a physical level, this wondrous and revivifying vegetable not only cools the body on even on the most sweltering summer day, but also promises to purify it as well: Cucumbers also considered a wonderful digestive aid when added to any dish.
And if you've visited any upscale spa, you probably know cucumbers also have a restorative effect on skin as well. Thin slices of fresh cucumber floating in spring or distilled water are quite common, while slices placed over the eyelids restore elasticity and alleviate ocular strain.
From a metaphysical perspective, cucumbers are considered a "protective" food, and it's been said down through the ages that eating raw cucumbers speeds healing and aids one's recovery process.
It does appear that any way you slice it, adding cucumbers to your summer cooking selections will be a refreshing change! Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world" ... and apparently cooking with cukes can help you do just that!
COOL AS A CUCUMBER SOUP
3 fresh cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 whole sweet Vidalia onion, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 stick of salted butter
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cans of cream of celery soup
1 1/2 cups of water
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill
(You may wish to have additional fresh dill and sour cream on hand for the garnish.)
1. Melt the butter in a saute pan or skillet.
2. Add chopped cucumbers, onion and crumbled bay leaves. Stir until cucumber is tender to the touch, but not browned.
3. Discard bay leaves. Combine cucumber mixture in a blender with lemon juice until mixture is smooth.
4. Add soup, water, sour cream and dill, then blend again until mix is smooth and almost frothy.
5. Remove from blender and chill for four hours before serving. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill to taste.
A couple months ago, I began taking a look at ancient Tibetan Feng Shui methods that promise protection and prosperity during travels. As previously noted, this sage advice originates from age-old text given by the Buddha Manjushuri to one of the great Indian pundits, Nagarjuna. All the modern-day information, however, comes courtesy of the venerable grande dame of Feng Shui (and one of my esteemed teachers), Lillian Too, who relates that the aforementioned Buddhist masters offered myriad methods for travel that would smooth over any bumps caused by starting a journey at an inappropriate astrological time.
"Travel Shui" dictates that you can safeguard yourself and your fellow travelers when traveling westward by lighting three white candles (or burning three incense sticks), then reciting, "ma ma, ram ram, yeh so har." If you wish to concentrate these efforts further, you can control the elements and enable yourself to overcome any accidents, illness or simply bad luck by burning three sticks of incense, then manipulating them so their smoke wafts in a westerly direction as you recite that same mantra nine, 27 or, ideally, 108 times.
Of course, the premise here is that if you recite that magical travel mantra in the right manner, you will happily detour from any consequences caused by traveling during a inauspicious time. At the same time, with the recitation of these powerful words, you should find that only fortunate and lucky events will occur during your journey, enabling you to unpack only health, happiness and prosperity upon arriving at your destination!
Now, Westward ho! ... I mean, Westward yeh so har!
What better month than June to share an ancient midsummer's day ritual that could cause a marriage proposal to make your whole month as well?!
Many have long believed that if you take a mouthful of well water on Midsummer's Eve (June 21), walk three times in a clockwise circle, then spit all the water out, you'll be engaged to marry before the cock can crow three times. I've seen variations of this same ritual thread through the lore of various countries, so I'm inclined to believe that this cure is not all wet!
In the event you currently have no potential partner, you should position a cluster of crystals -- amethyst or rose quartz work best, but clear quartz will do as well -- in the love/romance area of your bedroom, then shine a light on them for at least three hours a day over the course of 27 days. Be sure to also place an image of the Double Happiness symbol nearby as well, in order to make your marriage-minded sweet dreams a beautiful reality!
Now, that's not so hard to swallow is it?
Stephanie Gailing combines her knack for astrological insights with her background as a nutrition/wellness consultant, guiding clients towards self-awareness, personal empowerment, and optimal well-being. She’s the author of Planetary... read more