May 17th, 2015 Astrology & Energy: New Moon in Taurus

lunatic

Happy New Moon in Taurus! This lunation is the perfect time to look at where we are, where we want to go, and what we need to learn or work on in order to get there. Use the dark of this moon to shed what no longer serves you, allowing the death of what was to open the door to what could be. Mercury retrograde begins tomorrow, which is all about re-visiting, re-vising, and re-fining what has come before, so make sure what you are keeping with you is mindfully chosen and worth your while!

Like all new moons, now is an excellent time to plant the seeds for new endeavors and manifestations, and this earthy Taurus moon makes the planting metaphor even more apt. What seeds will you sow? What things will you grow? Now is the time to get really intentional about cultivating strong roots, which can flourish and flower beautifully with time. Set your mindful intentions today!

Gemstone Meaning & Magic: Labradorite

labradoriteAccording to Inuit mythology, Labradorite fell from the frozen fire of the Aurora Borealis. A stone of magic and power, this iridescent gemstone can help the bearer to connect with their psychic abilities or magical gifts.  A particularly potent stone for meditation, it opens new doors of perception by connecting one to the Universal flow of energies that suffuse our world.

Labradorite is a power stone, allowing you to see through illusions and determine the actual form of your dreams and goals. It is excellent for strengthening intuitions, stimulating imagination, and enhancing enthusiasm.  Wearing or carrying labradorite creates a sense of excitement and adventure, motivating and inspiring one to take the steps required to go where you have not gone before!  Also helpful on once on those adventures, this powerful stone protects the bearer’s aura, clears negativity, and can strengthen and seal it to prevent energy leaks.

It is a particularly potent stone to work with during the New Moon, as this lunation is a time of great creativity, powerful magic, and new beginnings.  Labradorite will help you set and pursue new intentions of manifestation, lighting up the path and helping you find your way.

Prayers for Nepal: 100% of Prayer Flag Sales Will Be Donated to Nepal Relief Efforts

unnamed-16

Help us help our friends, their families, and all of the wonderful people of Nepal, a nation that we hold near and dear to our hearts, during this trying time. After much thought we have decided to donate 100% of the proceeds from prayer flag sales to disaster relief efforts in the country. The process that went into choosing the perfect organization that reflects our ideals was a rigorous one, and in the end we opted to split the proceeds evenly between three different organizations.

We first evaluated organizations from an analytical standpoint based on their transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility, what we consider to be the trifecta of a responsible aid organization. We then reached out to friends on the ground in Kathmandu to better understand the developmental needs in the area, and to make sure that they and their families are safe and sound. The organizations we will be supporting are as follows:

https://dzi.org/

The dZi foundation is focusing on infrastructural development in remote villages affected by the natural disaster that are largely inaccessible by conventional forms of transportation. Their long-term developmental strategy focuses on 7 of the most remote VDC’s (the Nepalese equivalent of a county), where they have already constructed various bridges, schools, & health facilities, as well as having implemented successful community and agricultural development programs. They work hand in hand with locals and international volunteers to improve the quality of life for mountainous Nepalese communities, and will be addressing the infrastructural damages inflicted by the recent earthquake.

https://www.mercycorps.org/

Mercy Corps has a long history of promoting sustainable development in Nepal and is providing emergency relief to victims of the recent earthquake. Our contributions will assist the rebuilding of communities throughout the nation.

http://himalayan-foundation.org/nepalearthquake

The American Himalayan Foundation is an organization based out of Kathmandu dedicated to “helping the people and the ecology of the Himalaya.” In order to help the people of Nepal, AHF created an Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund which dedicates 100% of contributions to the betterment of the dire situation on the ground in Kathmandu and in neighboring communities for the coming months, and will continue with this much needed assistance in years to come.

We encourage you not only to purchase prayer flags to support the victims of this natural disaster, or to provide monetary donations directly to one of above-mentioned organizations, but also to keep Nepal and its people in your thoughts and prayers in the coming months. The hardships faced in the beautiful country of Nepal will hopefully be overcome with the help of continual international support, and above all else we urge you to raise and spread awareness about the ongoing crisis in Nepal. Thank you for your time and for your donations; please pray for Nepal.

Star Lamps in the Bohemian Home: How to Assemble a Paper Star Lantern

A gorgeous galaxy of star lanterns graces us with their glow at the Newcastle store!

A gorgeous galaxy of star lanterns graces us with their glow!

1. Open the star lantern by gently inserting your hand into each wing, one after the other.

2. Lift up the separated wings so that the star opens out without forcing it.

3. Tie the starlamp around a bulb using the thread to form a bow. You can use any lightbulb that doesn’t exceed 40W. We recommend a CFL (those swirly, curly ones) or an LED, because they put off minimal heat. LEDs are a bit more expensive but don’t heat up at all. Many of us Mexicali folk who have paper lanterns at home use CFLs with no issues, so it is really just a matter of preference.

Here’s a video, so you can see the process in action:

Enjoy the gorgeous cosmic glow of your sweet new star lantern!  Check out our massive selection of paper lanterns, star lamps, and pretty party lights here: http://ow.ly/IuWTj

Hindu Deity History: Ganesh

ganesha

Ganesh is the patron of arts and sciences, deity of wisdom, and is worshipped as the bringer of auspicious beginnings.

There are a number of legends that describe the birth of Ganesh. He is said to be the son of Lord Shiva, the god of death and destruction. One of the most popular stories of his birth is that he was magically created by Shiva’s wife, the goddess Pavarti. Needing someone to guard her door while Shiva was away in battle, she created her son Ganesh out of clay. Ganesh took his job seriously and he refused to allow anyone to enter his mother’s house. All was well until the Lord Shiva returned home from war unexpectedly. He was so angry at being stopped at his wife’s door by a stranger that he cut off Ganesh’s head. Pavarti was the only person in the world whom Shiva was afraid of, and she was outraged by what he had done to her son. The God of death and destruction become remorseful, and he promised to make amends. He decided to remove the head of the first animal he could find, and then used this to replace Ganesh’s amputated head. The first animal he came across was an elephant. Ganesh was thus restored to life and rewarded for his courage by being made lord of new beginnings and remover of obstacles.

When we wear or decorate our homes with images of Ganesh, his powerful energy attracts abundance and helps us to be wise and discerning in our decision-making.  He helps us to overcome obstacles through calm determination, and to think big while also recognizing the importance of tending to details.  Overall, he is an auspicious symbol and a powerfully positive deity, and it is no wonder he is one of the most revered in all of Hinduism!

Bring a bit of Ganesh’s good vibes to your wardrobe and home with our Hindu God Batik Wall Tapestries and other Ganesh accessories.

March 20th, 2015 Astrology & Energy: New Moon in Pisces

0e2afa7b8c40042876d13ca9bae773ba

Buckle up, buttercup! Tonight brings some crazy cosmic energy our way as it’s the spring equinox AND a New SUPERMoon in Pisces AND a total solar eclipse. The length of day and night are nearly equal during the equinox, and it marks a turning of the seasons, a time of renewal and starting something new. The new moon in its own right offers us each a powerful push to start a new endeavor, so this is a particularly potent time to reset our intentions and begin moving toward something better. On top of all of that, this is all occurring in the 29th degree of Pisces, which is the very last degree of the zodiac wheel. We are now in the process of saying goodbye to something in order to embrace a new opportunity. What we’re letting go of could be a tangible thing (such as a toxic relationship or a stagnating place), an old story we’ve been telling ourselves for far too long, or habits that we know aren’t good for us but keep repeating anyway because they’re easy to fall into in the moment. So many astrological aspects and physical pieces of our universe are supporting us in making these changes, truly letting go, FINALLY.

We can choose to resist letting go, to try to cling to what was, but we can’t stop this shift or postpone our awakening. Whatever you’re experiencing right now, don’t look away. Whether the feelings you witness in your heartlife right now are joyful manifestations coming true or the mourning of opportunities that have been lost, recognize that—whatever brought you here—you have done the best that you could with what you knew and felt at the time. Look forward with hope, and let the past go, recognizing this moment as a truly magical time in which you can consciously choose what will guide your life from here—will you choose to be guided by love or fear? Shout your choice out to the universe tonight!

Energies are intense right now, and not everyone is handling it well. Remember that this is energetic and not personal. Try to walk away from fights or arguments; don’t buy into the power struggles of others. This might be challenging because you may find that your emotions are feeling particularly strong and deep. Let them wash over you, but try not to get swept away dwelling on any one feeling. Try to acknowledge and allow your emotions without embodying them; witness yourself feeling what you feel without judgement. Just see that they are. Remember that everything changes.

Examine where there is tension in your life, or where you have deep resistance to change. What fears are holding you back that you would love to get over for good? What could you achieve if you let those fears go? Look at the stars tonight and dream big, bold, and bright of what you want to do, be, and see in the world. Set your intention and release it into the world with some kind of ritual: write it down, draw a picture, chant, burn sage, ring bells, dance your feelings. Whatever you do, put your heart into it and believe in your power to manifest awesomeness. This is the beginning of something beautiful!

Owl Symbolism: Meaning of the Owl as an Animal Totem

owlie

Owls are known in Native American lore as the keepers of sacred knowledge.  Other ancient cultures believed that owls were actually priestesses and wizards in disguise, and to this day they are still considered to be messengers and companions to these magical folk. Sacred to Athena–the Grecian goddess of wisdom and war–owls are often considered a symbol of intelligence, status, and protection.  Ancient armies believed that an owl flying over the battlefield portended their certain victory.  Many representations of Athena show an owl perched on her shoulder, whispering words of wisdom and giving the goddess the power of seeing the whole truth of things (while the rest of us see half).  The ancient Egyptians, Celts, and Hindus considered owls to be guardians of the underworld and protectors of the dead.

Owls see clearly in the dark, and this strength makes them a powerful guide totem for journeys into shadow work.  With their gift of heightened senses, owls see through illusion and deceptive external appearances to find hidden truths.   Call upon owl in confusing times, when you need to make a discerning decision that rests on a solid foundation.  Her clear vision and innate mystical knowledge can help you to find a clearer path, even when the situation seems too dim to ascertain on your own.

If an owl has swooped into your life, listen and look for subtle signs and synchronicities around you.  Try to be consciously attentive to things you usually pass by or take for granted, as there may be important lessons there.  Owl may also be guiding you to uncover hidden potential and abilities.  Again, pay attention to the signs around you, particularly at night!