The earth is awakening and spring celebrations abound!
The traditional Jewish celebration of Purim this year falls on the exact same date as the Pagan celebration of Ostara -- and both occur on the same day as the Spring (Vernal) Equinox, also known as the first day of spring! All these celebrations, in their own reflective way, acknowledge and honor the gift of life, now beautifully burgeoning with new growth.
It's important during the Spring Equinox, according to many age-old cultures and traditions, to give thanks to each of the four directions for the gifts they offer. The east has always represented the beginning of all things, hence the Sun rising from that direction. Since we're now amid the season of new beginnings, I'll share a favored ritual American Indians have passed along that renews and restores upon the dawn of each new day.
As soon as you awaken, find a place to spy the Sun. If you cannot make it outside, or see it from a window or door, get yourself an image of the Sun and position it in the east. Then, gaze upon the Sun, imbibing and being imbued with its light while chanting, "Oh Great Spirit Sun, send me your power." As you recite these words, feel the light of the Sun fill every cell of your being, radiating your entire self with the essence of life and light.
Once your whole self fills with light, gaze again at the Sun and say, "Oh Great Spirit Sun, take away my pain," visualizing at the same time any pain you're holding inside yourself -- be it physical, mental, emotional or even spiritual. Imagine that pain now forming a black ball of gunk that forms right below your navel. Once you do, blow that ball out of your body and into the light of the Sun so it may be transformed into something positive!
As you free yourself of that pain, you will, for the third and final time, gaze at the Sun as you recite these words: "Oh Great Spirit Sun, see me here below." This point of the ritual offers gratitude to the Sun for the gifts it will contribute toward producing personal power in -- and over -- your life.
Happy Spring Equinox!
When we think of fashion in March, we automatically think of "The wearin' o' the green." And even though that's the most appropriate color with which to welcome springtime and a season of new growth, this month we're going to veer off-course and consider "The wearin' o' the blue!"
There is a specific shade of blue that promises to attract big luck when worn in any fashion: turquoise. American Indians -- and the Navajo people in particular -- make the most beautiful turquoise and silver jewelry precisely because of their belief that turquoise is one of the luckiest gems around. In fact, many age-old legends from around the world portray turquoise as bestowing good health, good luck and fabulous fortunes! Some even go so far to say that if either your luck or health begins to take a turn for the worse, your turquoise will begin to pale in color, thus allowing you an opportunity to improve your failing luck or health in time. Other solutions claim that if your stone does indeed turn pale, you should put it away, get yourself a new one that's a brighter blue and begin wearing it immediately.
A Persian tale of an eleventh century manuscript offers another explanation of why turquoise is considered lucky, for in Persian, the name of the stone is interpreted as "victorious." Tibetans believe that turquoise can provide powerful protection to anyone who wears it -- it will guard against malevolence, malfeasance and the ubiquitous evil eye.
The lore surrounding this precious gem's magical properties are myriad, so during this month laced with luck, your sweater might be green ... but your bracelet should be blue!
The coming days of spring signal abundance and growth during this season of new life -- a perfect time to discuss fertility Feng Shui!
This philosophy says that if you're trying to conceive, there are certainly some "dos and don'ts" to consider. First, if you're actively attempting to get pregnant, you should never vacuum or even sweep under the bed. According to Eastern tradition, this space is where the ling (or soul) of the child yet to be born resides, and to vacuum or sweep that space is believed to disturb the ling and send the child's spirit away.
Another Feng Shui way to realize your dream of becoming a parent is to locate the "children" area of your bedroom -- as well as in the room where your new baby will sleep -- and activate the energies within each. This space is located in the center of the right-hand wall as you stand in the room's doorway and look in. Some suggestions to positively trigger these energies include placing a friendly, stuffed tiger in this spot, or something metal (the element associated with these energies) that has a bearing on a baby. For example, when I was struggling with my own efforts to conceive and carry through to a healthy birth, I placed a metal baby comb-and-brush set in this space.
Secret Shui says that if you are intent on becoming parents easily, you should place that belief on the back of an elephant. That's right! I have heard from several of my own happy parenting clients that they have used this next cure with successful and fulfilling results!
Find a small statue of an elephant and place it at the foot of the door to your bedroom, as if it's walking into the room. Next, place a stone or small rock on the back of the elephant, and each time you pass by, reach down and pat the elephant on its head. As you do this, relax and allow a sense of gratitude for the gift of your coming child to fill your own soul.
Finally, the healthy part of all this fertility Feng Shui: Sleep on green sheets. It sounds so simple ... and it's also so successful! Green is the color most associated with health and healing in Feng Shui, but it's also believed to balance the endocrine system, a critical component of conception.
Practice any or all of these adjustments, and pretty soon you'll be experiencing a literal burst of brand new life in yours!
As I began looking at some of the foods most associated with the month of March, I ran across a calendar alignment of early spring and the cucumber. This reminded me of a viral email that came across my desk within the past year that spoke to the value inherent in this invaluable food. Amazingly, it said the cucumber itself contains almost all the daily vitamins a person needs each day, as well as folic acid, calcium and iron!
Other uses for the cucumber were touted as well. For instance, if your bathroom mirror steams up, run a cucumber slice over it to not only eliminate the fog, but also create a spa-like scent. Speaking of spas, my favorite -- the one I frequent for facials and the like -- always serves a cucumber-and-lemon spring water mix to refresh, restore and revivify.
Legend also says that freshly cut cucumbers were once placed under women's noses if they felt at all faint -- doing so would awaken the adrenals and the senses. In Africa, the Nuer people of southern Sudan and western Ethiopia consecrate cucumbers and sacrifice them in blessings to their gods instead of offering other treasures.
Cucumbers are believed to reduce stress and induce peace; some believe that eating fresh cucumbers can even speed the healing process. However you enjoy them, it's abundantly clear that the cucumber is most assuredly a sweet and swell vegetable to have around!
Makes 3 cups
6 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup of chopped red pepper
1/4 cup of minced cilantro
6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
Combine vegetables and cilantro in a mixing bowl, then sprinkle in lemon juice to enliven and balance the salsa blend. Mix well, then season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.
Delicious served atop a flaky white fish or even grilled chicken or pork; can also be served as a dip.
Springtime means travel time, and lucky journeys can be virtually guaranteed provided you bring along a few important companions to counteract any potential pitfalls on your trip!
In order to pick up the most luck while you're away from home, the first thing you'll want to pack is a small mirror. Placing a mirror in the wealth area of your hotel room -- or any room you'll be staying in -- will empower your efforts to not splurge too much while on the road. This cure is made even more powerful if, as soon as you put the mirror in place, you envision making tons of money!
You might also consider carrying a crystal ball as well -- not to tell the future, but rather, to make perfectly sure your future is healthy, happy and bright. Carry a faceted crystal ball with nine inches of red ribbon, as well as a tack or some strong tape. The crystal ball should be installed immediately over where your head will be while sleeping. (Based on my own experience, it's usually easiest to simply use the wall behind the bed.) Once in place, the crystal will balance the energies over your head, while also keeping you swaddled in peace and prosperity. Feng Shui says this is an all-purpose travel cure that brings blessings, happy memories, safe journeys, rest and auspicious opportunities.
Small mirrors and crystal balls -- don't leave home without them!
Inevitably, emails I receive tend to center around certain themes at specific times of the year. When it's the holiday season, I get tons of inquiries about staying centered and calm and imbibing deep peace. Then there's what I call "Summer Shui," when I get tons of e-mails about body or weight-loss agendas. Back-to-school emails are full of questions about bullies and getting good grades, and of course, love and/or money are proverbial standby topics year-round.
Now I don't know if this might be because March is a month associated with luck, but I tend to see a theme emerging this month that has to do with changing fortunes at the card table. So, here's some advice for anyone who wants to turn the tides in their favor while wagering!
First, if the cards have been cold, the energy shifts when the deck does, so don't hesitate to ask for new cards. Then, as you imagine yourself winning in a big way, blow on the cards. This mimics the Hawaiian Huna technique of blowing breath (or prana) to turn energies lucky.
A little more esoteric is the advice that gamblers should sit on a handkerchief folded either in fours or into a square. This technique unites heaven's luck with Earth's luck, which combine to meet inside you.
Some say that turning your chair clockwise three times will banish any negativity or loss; other lore suggests that turning the back of the chair to the front of the table and sitting that way will also allow Lady Luck to come calling (although sitting in such a manner may not be allowed in a casino). And if you want to get really serious, positioning a pair of golden chopsticks (or even two matchsticks) into the form of a cross will "X out" your opponents' luck and send it all to you!
These traditions are all time-tested and time-honored to change your luck at the card table, all during a month that keeps me busy sharing more of the same!