Buddhist Deities Explained: Tara

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Tara is the goddess of peace and protection.  She is also known as the “Great Compassionate Mother” and the Buddha of enlightened activity.

According to legend, Tara was a spiritual and compassionate princess who would frequently bring offerings and prayers to the nuns and monks in her village.  Impressed by her kindness, the monks told her that they would pray that she would return in the next life as a man, so she could spread the Buddhist teachings.  She responded that attributing separate abilities to man and woman is a construct created by the weak-minded and that gender is no barrier to attaining enlightenment.  Recognizing that there were too few bodhisattvas who were women, Tara vowed in all of her subsequent lifetimes to be born a woman and to pursue the path of enlightenment, until samsara (the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth) is no more.

Another legend says that Tara was born from a lotus blossom in a lake that had formed from Avalokitesvara’s tears of compassion, which fell when he first beheld the scope of suffering in the world. In this story too, because of her essential goodness, she was granted the right to assume human form as a man, but elected instead to remain in her womanly form. In each tale, Tara insists that women are equally as valuable and powerful as men, and we might then consider her one of the world’s earliest feminists!

Tara appears in a myriad of colors–all representing different qualities–but, each version of her represents some aspect of the divine feminine who engenders and fuels all life.  The two most commonly revered versions of Tara are the white Tara, the goddess-mother creatrix of all humanity, and green Tara, the playful and action-oriented protectress.

White Tara represents the motherly aspect of compassion, offering nourishment, warmth, support, and caring to all beings, looking upon them lovingly as a mother would look upon her children.  In this maternal compassion, she offers respite and healing to those who have been wounded in any way.  She brings health, long life, and peace to all who seek her comfort.

Green Tara is the buddha-goddess of enlightened action, offering protection from fears and dangers by actively facing them.  She is playful and sometimes mischievous, encouraging those who seek enlightenment to not take themselves or their spiritual path too seriously.  She demonstrates the ability to survive stressful times, and encourages deliberate and mindful action.  She can sometimes be fierce in her determination to overcome obstacles and protect her charges, but every move she makes is conscious and with the journey towards greater compassion and enlightenment in mind. She delights in hearts and minds that are open and receptive, and encourages those qualities in those who desire her assistance.

Bring Tara’s positive energy to your favorite space with our deity wall hanging.

February 18th, 2015 Astrology & Energy: New Moon in Aquarius

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Happy New moon in Aquarius! There are actually two Aquarius New Moons this year (the first occurred on January 20), which gives us double the energy towards realizing a certain truth or goal–in this case, a big piece of that for many has been recognizing our place in the world as global citizens, completely individual yet related to the whole, a single drop in the vast ocean of humanity.  Think back to patterns you have discovered in the past few weeks, connections you have realized, and ways in which you have witnessed interconnectedness OR resistance to it.  Consider what you may want to now put in motion because of this new awareness, what new beginnings you might create.

You may find yourself feeling more attracted to ideas than feelings at this time, and you should embrace the impulse to learn and explore new things–particularly in a community setting where you can gather, debate, and share with others. Aquarius encourages us to explore new ideas and avenues of thought without judgement, treading even where we have dared not go before, just to check it out and get a new perspective. Recognize that learning and discovering does not mean it is necessary for you to commit to anything; work on taking it in, without worrying on what it could mean in the future.

Ever the brilliant oddball, Aquarius pushes us to wave our freak flags high and embrace the things which make us each unique. From quirks to foibles, everything you bring to the table comes together to make you a beautiful and inimitable individual, with a lot to offer the world! Even your wounds and shadows serve to make you a more compassionate and wise person, and you can use those things to help others, if you choose. It is important to first embrace your own weirdness before you can truly share it, so spend some time today doing something that is just for you, and consider making a double-sided list of things that you like and believe to be true vs. things you know you don’t like. Try to do it without judgement of yourself; try to list things you genuinely feel and not those that you think you “should” feel.

A new moon is an excellent time to start a new endeavor, as well as let something old go. This Aquarian moon offers a particularly magical time to be inventive and experimental with your dreams and methods in order to connect with your truest self. Get clear on your personal values and then get psyched and ready to add them to the cosmic revolution!

Gemstone Meaning & Magic: Druzy

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Druzy crystals take hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of years to form.  As molten rock cools, gas trapped inside causes gaps in the rock.  As ground water flows through these gaps year after year, the minerals crystalize into beautiful sparkling blankets of crystals!

Druzy attracts light and joy to a space.  When worn, it increases energy, strength, mental clarity, and is used for balancing all of the chakras.  If used in meditation, it stimulates the movement of the Kundalini all the way through the body and up into the crown chakra. Druzy amplifies positive energies and is said to stabilize the aura.  It creates auric balance by drawing out negative energies, and pulling in positivity and feelings of harmony in its place.  This gemstone is particularly helpful for spiritual practices and lightwork, and can empower the energy of other crystals as well. Placing or wearing another stone with your druzy for a day or longer enhances both of their energies.  Check out our druzy jewelry in all Mexicali Blues stores and right here: http://ow.ly/ICXBD

February 3rd, 2015 Astrology & Energy: Full Moon in Leo

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Happy full moon in Leo! The full moon in Leo speaks to our “inner child”, who is warm, generous, and loves with the whole heart. This inner child also desires to be admired as entertaining and clever by all those around, and when denied this desired position as the center of attention, might feel inclined to throw a tantrum!

Be aware of the tendency right now for pride issues coming up if we don’t feel that we’re getting the attention and adoration that we believe we deserve. If this comes up for you, use it as an opportunity to look at your own levels of self-love as well as how you honor others. Are you generous in love, or do you give to get something in return? Are you expecting others to show up for you in a way that you don’t show up for yourself? If you find yourself dwelling in disappointment with how a loved one has failed to meet your needs and begin to feel overwhelmed with this feeling, it may be helpful in that moment to mindfully release your expectation and bring the focus back to your own heart and the love that you feel for that person which drew you to them in the first place. Visualize the love as a light radiating from your heart, and let the high emotion of the moment pass by while you dwell in that, even if you must take a step back and be silent. Don’t be afraid to drop that emotional hot potato and come back to it later!

This is also set to be an incredibly fertile creative time, as Leo rules self-expression and the spontaneous elucidation of joy. Embrace it! Create with abandon and try not to worry about how the finished product will be judged. While Leo’s influence will make you want to receive recognition for your talents NOW, just starting down a creative path that interests you can lead to extraordinarily powerful things in the future, so try to let go of expectation for the moment and just participate. With an attitude focused on celebrating abundance of ideas and inspiration, you are opening a door to beautiful manifestation possibilities!

Want to be aware of when the next full moon is coming? We’ve got gorgeous 2015 lunar calendars in a bevy of brilliant colors! Get yours here: http://ow.ly/t77O5

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Gemstone Magic & Meaning: Moonstone

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Moonstone is the stone of romance, intuition, and emotional balance.  It has a highly spiritual nature, and assists one in connecting with the Divine Feminine or the goddess within.  Moonstone may be worn to balance hormonal cycles in women and helps all beings become more in tune with their gentler feminine side.  Said to promote greater flexibility and flow with life by balancing yin and yang energies, it is a particularly good stone for both women and men who have trouble acknowledging or consciously experiencing their true emotions.

It is said to have power to arouse passion and allow lovers to peek into their future fortunes. Some believe that carrying a moonstone will attract new love, and if you give your lover a moonstone when the moon is full, your romance will be long-lasting and passionate.  In Eastern cultures, moonstone has long been favored for all aspects of love and is purported to reunite quarreled lovers.

With its brilliant flash and unearthly shimmer, it’s no wonder that moonstone has been associated through the ages with fantastical origins and magical powers.  The ancient Romans and Hindus both believed that moonstone was made from frozen moonbeams and droplets of crystallized moonlight.  Moonstone amulets are tied to the ancient legends of the moon goddess of Egypt, Isis, the Greek deity, Selene, and the Roman goddess of the moon, Diana.

The powers of this glimmering stone are highly linked to the energies of the moon itself, focusing on love, fertility, good fortune and protection during dark times.  While it has protective powers always, moonstone is particularly good for ensuring the safety of those who are traveling in the dark or on the water, and has long been considered a lucky stone for sailors.  Moonstone can help attune the body and mind to the natural forces that surround us, opening intuitive connection with nature, particularly sea and sky.  Its powers are at their strongest during the full or almost full moon, and because of its innate moon-connection, this stone benefits particularly well from being charged in the light of the moon.

What’s your favorite way to wear moonstone?

Check out our moonstone jewelry in stores and right here: http://ow.ly/rXFRT

Gemstone Magic & Meaning: Turquoise

10262065_10152122656188644_5791934585196899867_n Turquoise is the stone of wisdom and spiritual journeying. Turquoise is one of the oldest protection stones and was also known as a symbol of wealth in many ancient cultures. Some Native cultures believed that by wearing turquoise, the human mind becomes one with the universe. This gem stone is a stone of self-realization, helping you to better understand yourself, your ideas, and emotions. It is a wonderful aid in regards to any type of analytical thinking. Also helpful with communication, turquoise helps the wearer be honest with the self and others. Use the powerful presence of turquoise, and this space, to speak your truth, about anything at all! We have a petite collection of turquoise on our website (http://ow.ly/y5fU6 ), and a TON of this and other stunning gemstones in stores, so come see see us to satisfy your crystal cravings! Store locations & directions here: http://ow.ly/y5gcR

January 20th, 2015 Astrology & Energy: New Moon in Aquarius

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Happy New Moon in Aquarius!  A new moon is the time for new beginnings–good news if you have not really set any intentions yet for the coming year, or perhaps faltered on your resolutions.  Aquarius is the sign that governs future plans, making this new moon particularly potent for plotting out what you want to create in your life throughout 2015.  Now is also a good time to think about and work on culling the things you don’t want to keep.  What is no longer serving you?

Use the energy of this new moon to come up with (perhaps unconventional) ideas which might offer innovative solutions to old problems. Be open to flashes of insight and surprising signs that point the way. Even if you can’t seem to think your way out of a particular situation, set your clear request and send it out to the universe.  Most of us don’t take the time to clarify what we want, or even what we want help with, but it can be really powerful to do so–some say we energetically attract what we put out, and (even if you don’t believe that) at the very least, it’s good to know what we want!
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you figure out what you want to keep and what you want to leave behind:

What beliefs give me structure?
Where do I need more freedom?
What is my role in society?
Who am I as a friend?
What is unique about me?
What crazy idea would I do tomorrow if I could?

Aquarius is the water-bearer, which symbolizes one whose mind is unfettered enough to receive a fresh outlook, so try not to grieve too much for the shedding of anything it’s time to release.  When what was holding you back is gone, you will be ready to receive so much more!