to have and to use: 9/14/14 [#MyBestWeek]

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the word ‘manipulation’ has a negative connotation, but as with all things, the determining moral factor comes down to intention. as long as there is no ill motivation fueling our actions, there is nothing wrong with pulling the strings so that the puppet dances in alignment with the given choreography. in order to make this our best week, especially if the past few weeks have been less than satisfactory, we need to regain control of our itineraries. many of us have the nagging feeling that our current situations are not quite up to par, but we have the power to manipulate reality. all we have to do is transform our approach to time management.

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the roots & the tree: capricorn full moon [#StarsAndSymbols]

one of the great things about roots is how they provide the tree with the support necessary to uphold its composure as it climbs great heights. if there is no foundation, there is no growth. that said, the fullest way for the tree to honor its roots is to challenge itself to reach higher than it ever has. after all, isn’t that the purpose of planting seeds in the first place?

with the sun in cancer, we are focused on the acknowledgment of the deepest, most familiar facets of our personhood. to nourish and protect the life force within is the instinct that keeps each species going from generation to generation. It may not always make rational sense, but thanks to intuition and the assortment of other gifts stored away in our ancestral goodie bags, we know what we have to do at any given moment to preserve this fragile existence. to sustain our lineage is encoded in our dna.

before we get too comfortable, we must remember that no matter how well acclimatized we are, every season presents its challenges. without the occasional obstacle, the experience of life would be too subjective to sustain the dynamism of authentic expression in all its completeness. that is where the full moon in capricorn, which opposes the cancer sun, comes into play. we are feeling the subconscious call to endeavor toward the practical attainment of worldly accomplishment. our survival skills mean little if we do not at some point assume responsibility for the successful advancement of the family name beyond the home and into the stratosphere of society. the tangible achievements we need to satisfy this obscure hunger are the products of structure, goals, and concentrated motivation.

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ecstatic employment: 7/6/14 [#MyBestWeek]

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being a public example of the precision and efficiency of purposeful self-containment will satiate our karmic desire to progress toward the destiny of this current incarnation. there is something fulfilling about going back to basics and tending to the duties that require our devotion. conditions cannot be improved for anyone or anything unless they receive an adequate amount of tlc, and the survival of the species alone is incentive enough for us to swallow our pride and get to work. the goal is to enhance the community and society, but we must start on an individual level, with the inspiring enhancement of ourselves.

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refine my mind: 6/8/14 [#MyBestWeek]

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The potential to maximize this week lies in the efficiency and effectiveness of our cognitive processes. Focusing on the improvement of our mental faculties will yield the results that will assist us in realizing our highest potential. The way we think, the way we transmit messages, the way we make sense of and apply what we learn affects us personally, as well as those with whom we come in contact, so it is in our best interest to fix what we find to be faulty in regards to our systems of information.

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beyond the brink: 5/25/14 [#MyBestWeek]

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A new opportunity for us to shine in the public eye has presented itself. This isn’t just any old opportunity though, this is karmic, and this is a major moment that we will look back on as a turning point or a big break in regards to career. The momentousness keeps us perpetually excited, if not a bit high-strung. The key is to make the most of this energy by visualizing the big picture and working toward its actualization. The target for which we are aiming this week will have a long-term effect, so it is important that we have a solid objective upon which to build, as well as the expansiveness to shoot for the stars.

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my best week: 2/23/14 [#StarsAndSymbols]

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if it’s heavy, give it up. letting go is something we speak of quite often, especially when the south node is called into question, but what exactly are we renouncing? i think it’s easy, especially for me, to dismiss the south node as a karmic black hole, and although it can be, it exists for a reason. the south node of the moon represents the impression that has been left on our soul by past lives. the stuff that comes easy to us, the thing that is so second nature it gives us a stomach ache – that is the south node. when working with this energy, we must be consciously careful not to use it as an excuse to avoid rising to the occasion of a comfort zone crossing challenge. only when we embrace the uncharted territory of the north node – aka the reason we are here in this lifetime as opposed to the last one – will we have the awareness to distinguish the south node’s trash from its treasure, and everything else will start to make sense.

good thing scorpio has the penetrating intuition and unflinching emotional depth necessary to come to such an elusive conclusion. when emotionally invested, scorpio is able to detect and seduce latent potential from its dormant state of slumber, transmuting dark matter into the light of consciousness. it can be mutually profitable for this sign to invest its energy in handling other people’s resources if only scorpio allows itself to forgive injuries, real and perceived. the negative expression of the scorpion is enfolded by hurt, pain, trauma, betrayal, resentment, jealousy, and revenge, so when crossed, this sign will withdraw its resources and withhold valuably vital insights. no matter how intimidating the stinger can be, it is rooted in defensive insecurity and a sometimes overzealous survival instinct, and accepting that will initiative evolution through healing. using our keen psychological comprehension constructively to identify instances in which our own self-destructive tendencies hold us back from uncovering hidden gifts is a definite way to determine what needs to be discarded in order to transcend the turmoil of our lower selves.

the heights of the 10th house suggest we are indeed moving on up. capricorn, the sign of cautious ambition, is associated with this house, so it is no question we are going places as long as we are disciplined and dedicated. capricorn is limitation, meaning it works best within some sort of boundaries, so the 10th house might need the focus of a little restriction to operate at its fullest capacity. unfortunately, in trying to live within its means, capricorn is sometimes stifled by the fear of failure and any other unpredictable outcome. we all have goals, especially in the context of career, but we must first rid ourselves of unsupportive rigidity and irreverent pessimism. the more we realize the power that is and has always been an essential part of who we are, the less we will engage in controlled exchanges and calculated manipulations. there is no need to allow paranoia and doubt to compromise the integrity of our collective character, no matter how unfamiliar the path may be in the pursuit of our passions.

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1 year & counting… [#SpaDayDiaries]

If you would’ve asked me a year ago today if I would have made it this long at The Spa, I would’ve looked at you with the deranged eyeballs of an overwhelmed fatalist. There was just so much being thrown at me, plus I was still reeling from the bad breakup I had with my college. it was an emotional flux indeed, but I knew I had no choice but to begin paying my own way back to school, so I began looking for a job. with no retrograde planet in sight, the stars aligned last February during my application process, and the 19th of this minuscule month in the year 2013 happened to be my first day of training. 365 days later, I’m still here.

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I’m still here, yes, but I’m not the same. I’ve grown and I’ve gone so many places. To have taken this opportunity and endured the highs and lows has been more rewarding than I ever anticipated. Profound is the effect The Spa has had on my life. I’ve learned how to heal, as well as how to sell. I’ve developed patience, and a good dose of urgency. I’ve been shown the benefits of detachment, while at the same time becoming a family unit with my coworkers and clients. They have given me the opportunity to express myself as Swami, not just as Nick who answers the phones and books appointments, as evidenced by the fact that I was booked to host 5 Stars & Symbols Spa Parties.

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Although our prices are relatively affordable compared to the more expensive casinos, The Spa ignited my ever-increasing indulgence in the more luxurious side of life and I have realized that it’s okay to treat myself, a lesson that is still reinforced by my second job selling high-end suits at Hugo Boss. I look at everything as an investment, and if I don’t invest in myself, who else will? I have never felt so valuable in my life.

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(some of my coworkers and i at ashley and stefanie’s baby shower last sunday)

How much longer I will be at The Spa I cannot say. All I know is I appreciate my stay and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Some days have been horrible, but most have been great. It’s amazing the difference a day makes, but a year is most definitely worth the wait. Thank you Hand & Stone.

venus retrograde: artFLOP or SMARTpop? [#StarsAndSymbols]

For those who are not aware, I am emotionally invested in pop culture. I was raised by Disney films, Nickelodeon, and early 90s R&B radio. Most of my perception of reality is a byproduct of mass media programming. A lot of my interests are superficial in this way. This is my truth.

However superficial, I’ve learned with the help of my own imagination to find the philosophical depth in the realm of the popular. All things considered, I believe the performers of the mainstream are much too valuable a commodity to the political agendas of the industry not to be aligned in their careers with the occult. Working with the cycles of nature [astrology, numerology, etc.] serves to maximize the success of potential energies at the perfect, most divinely ordered moments in time. Even if the entertainers themselves are not aware of the rituals to which they are subject, I believe the corporations revere the magick of metaphysics.

Of course, some of these entertainers are actually artists, who appear to be more than conscious of the spells they cast. These magicians work with their iconography, not for it. One that comes to mind is Lady Gaga, who I laud for what I perceive to be her lucidity, which to me is what differentiates her for most of her peers. As an artist, I admire her because she seems to play on the question of “Who is watching whom?”, as the audience unknowingly reveals more about itself in its responses than does she in her creative expression. Or does she?

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my best week: 1/5/2014 [#StarsAndSymbols]

I received a wonderful gift from one of my clients back in August. She gave me an unopened set of astrological divination cards [Astro Star Kards aka ASK], and I was instantaneously in love. I asked so many questions that I ran out of questions! Although my card usage seemed to wane once I ran out of mysteries to solve, I found a way to get more mileage out of these bad boys and that was to give myself a weekly reading.

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Every Sunday I sit, shuffle, and ask myself, “how can I make this my best week?” I have decided to share my interpretations with anyone who is looking for guidance to navigate the next 7 days.

7 cards are pulled each week. I draw a single card from the planet, sign, and house decks, which provides me with the foundation of the answer to my question. For a more detailed reading I draw a card from the aspect deck, an indication of the level of easiness or difficulty I will experience. Finally, I draw yet another planet, sign, and house card, giving me the specification I need to know what to expect from the unique energy of the upcoming week.

There are many ways to interpret these cards, just as there many ways to interpret every symbol we come across. These are my interpretations and I encourage you to find your own and share them with me if you so desire. Regardless of your conclusion, why not make this your best week?

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We will prosper this week if we learn to learn to give it up. Whatever it is, let it go. Release it. It has served it purpose. The first [planet] card I pulled was the South Node, which represents past lives, baggage, and other nouns that have worn out their welcome. The South Node represents what has been mastered, so holding on to it now is crutch of comfort and complacency, and frankly, it’s overkill at this point.

The second [sign] card is Capricorn, giving us a clue as to what needs to be relinquished. Fear, pessimism, and insecurity are the more stark characteristics of the Sea Goat [Happy Cappy Season, y’all!], so I’m focusing on the lower energy of this sign because it wouldn’t make sense to let go of something with a high vibration. After all, what is Capricorn if not sensible? Caution and doubt [Capricorn] could be holding us back [South Node] from achieving the aspiration in us that is represented by the antidotal North Node.

The third card I pulled was the 2nd House, and now we know this is a question of values and self-esteem. Tangible, physical possessions, even. The Capricorn and 2nd House cards were reversed, so the burden of limitation that we are bearing could be (and probably is) hidden in the deepest, darkest, murkiest waters of the subconscious mind, silently suppressing the god-given gifts we incarnated here to share.

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new moon: “new year, new me” [#StarsAndSymbols]

i get it, i get it. we’re all over the “new year, new me” people. that seems to be the general consensus at least. you know, those people who we see every year around this time making the same predictable proclamations about the miraculous transformation they will undergo once the threshold of the new year is crossed. i’m sure they mean well, but it only takes a few years of publicly posted empty promises before cynicism replaces support. in other words, “we” are on to “you”… with a vengeance.

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this time around, though, it would be wise to actually respect the now ridiculed tradition of the New Year’s Resolution. why the random reverence you ask? the next new moon happens to fall on new year’s day, and if you know anything about astrology, you know this rare occurrence is too rich in potential to pass up.

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