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.

aquarius new moon: distance’s chance [#StarsAndSymbols]

everywhere i go i see the same old riot. it would be too easy to up and leave and let the wind blow me away, but i know i’ll end up looking at a different face in a similar place. there’s no use for a revolution if the change is not my own.

liberation is my intention and so i am free. oppression is the only casualty, except i’m not fighting it on the outside. the war is within. it won’t be hard to win because i’m done defending myself against the enemies of my imagining. i’m staging a rebellion. yes, it is finally happening.

i’m tired of taking it personally, so i’m beginning to embrace the distance. i will listen to listen and avoid the impaired vision of the automated reply. i was conditioned to strike back against a perceived attack rooted in the incidents of upbringing. my heart has been stringing along the truth that was hidden, and it’s time to unpack it.

the new moon in aquarius [exact thursday, january 30th in the eastern afternoon] is a chance to distance ourselves from the entrapment of attachment to the lower vibrations into which we so often settle. when the sun [conscious self-expression] and the moon [subconscious mind] meet up in the same degree of the same sign, our needs and our wants align to create the singularity that we need to bring something to life that did not previously exist.

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my best week: 1/26/14 [#StarsAndSymbols]

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let’s get it started! mars is the first card, and rightfully so. this is the planet that takes the lead when everybody else is stuck trying to decide which way to go. “nevermind the direction,” commands mars. “this week means nothing if you don’t move!” action, impulse, and urgency are some words that describe the god of war. mars gets us revved up like a key twisted in an ignition. with so much raw, unadulterated energy, it is best that we are self-assured and assertively confident in our capability to steer this vehicle called life down a road that has yet to be paved.

the 2nd card pulled was taurus, the 2nd sign of the zodiac. taurus entices us to slow down and smell the roses. taurus picks up where [mars-ruled] aries leaves off and serves to solidify any enterprises undertaken by the ram. it’s easy to get lost in hustle and bustle, but the bull isn’t easily rushed, especially once it has settled itself. “i lay the foundation so you know it’s real,” boasts taurus in its most sultry baritone, while sipping on a glass of red wine. taurus knows its worth and is never pressed to prove anything to anyone, because excellence simply cannot be expedited.

next card drawn was the 2nd house, the house that corresponds to Taurus, so I will refrain from rehashing the previous paragraph. you may be wondering how mars will satiate its trailblazing desire nature when paired with the seemingly immovable physical weight that is taurus/2nd house, but don’t worry. when one is certain that one is going places in life, there is no need to worry about winning some imaginary race. most of us speed up when we see a yellow light, but this week fares best when we embrace the yielding power of the brakes. when we finally put foot to pedal we benefit from being specific, deliberate, and practical, so that regardless of which way we end up driving, we are well-prepared for any obstacle that obstructs our mobilization.

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venus retrograde: possession [#StarsAndSymbols]

at what point does what we own begin to own us? how does a possession simply adopt the audacity to possess its owner? all that is not presently appreciated has the ability to depreciate our sense of self-esteem…

we have all we need and them some, so it is surely a sin to let anything go to waste. to embrace what is in our grasp or to give it away is the decision we must make, lest we be greedy and succumb to the insecurity of the hoarder. that which we believe to be held sometimes has a hold on us. naturally, when we are too scared to take out the trash, the smell of garbage will fill the air. why should we be afraid to let go when we have always had all that is required?

this what i have been feeling since venus has been retrograde. as you already know, venus [the goddess of love] clues us into our relations with other people, the give and the take (or lack thereof?), how we share our stuff (physical and non-physical). all of this, of course, is determined by what we hold close to our hearts, our values. venus is what we enjoy, what is pleasurable, what is entertaining, what we attract based on what we have to offer. when venus appears to be moving backward in her retrograde is when we are consumed by circumstances that call for us to (metaphorically and/or literally) clean out our closets.

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my best week: 1/12/14 [#StarsAndSymbols]

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Feeling stifled? This is the week to breakthrough those boundaries! Jupiter, known as the Greater Benefic, was the first card pulled. The biggest, grandest, most over the top planet, Jupiter evokes for me the legend of King Midas. Whatever we touch has the potential to turn to gold, and either way… everything will surely be expanded. This expansion is necessary, like a magnifying glass that makes it easier to see clearly the answers to those philosophical Jupiterian questions that are usually based upon law, moral beliefs, and faith in a higher power. Quality over quantity is a mantra to keep in mind when dealing with Jupiter, because it is almost too easy to take it too far. What exactly are we taking, you may ask?

“Relationships!” says the Libra and 7th House, which were the following cards. Libra is the sign that rules the 7th House, so they are essentially one in the same. Luxury, romance, and pleasure are paramount, so if the goal is to be at all productive, it is advisable to avoid laziness and/or overindulgence. There is a preoccupation with cooperation, diplomacy, and reaching an agreement of some sort. Whether it’s a romantic partnership, an up close & personal friendship, or a business arrangement, the ways in which we exchange are being called into question and it seems as though they are ripe for exploration. Shouldn’t be too hard to find something considering our interactivity is larger than life at this time.

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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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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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moving forward [all planets direct]

If you’re anything like me, the past few months have been challenging. Plans were derailed and lives were changed, forcing us to take timeout to reflect on our setbacks. There is a lesson in every opposition, but that doesn’t always matter in the moment. Sometimes it just sucks.

It has sucked a lot less since Jupiter [in Gemini] went direct on January 30th. Jupiter was the last of 2012’s retrograde planets, and for a rare couple of weeks, all the planets are direct. All the energy that was temporarily introverted is free to flow again, just the way we want it. This is an ideal time to initiate a project, commit to a relationship, or make an important decision, as there is nothing holding us back. Move forward, now.

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Saturn turns retrograde on February 18, so do what you gotta do.

cold war [mars in aquarius]

You probably think I’m uninterested. I don’t mean to appear indifferent, it’s just challenging to act out my passion when it’s so… intellectual. If you could only see how my mind races with possibilities, you would know how I really feel! You want me now, and that’s cool, but I’m busy fighting against the system. Fighting for my future. Despite daily disruption and sudden, life-altering changes, I am fighting. Maybe that’s why I seem preoccupied.

Mars is in Aquarius right now [December 25, 2012 – February 1, 2013]. During this transit, we fight to unite people from all spectrums of life. We are motivated [Mars] to associate with big groups of people [Aquarius], as the collective energy is great for actualizing ideas. Even though we instinctively want to connect with the world at large, we become distant when our liberty is threatened. We make less of an effort to deal with people one-on-one out of fear that we will be tied down and suffocated. When people want special treatment, we assert [Mars] our independence [Aquarius]. We declare a cold war. We become unavailable.

I know I am unavailable right now, but all I need is time to be and space to breathe. My energy is everywhere at once, equally distributed, trying to save the world for tomorrow’s sake. Our day will soon come, so I hope you’re not angry with me. In the mean time, feel free to initiate a conversation. Mental stimulation is very necessary. Just make sure you say something… shocking! Excitement is desirable.