Is Listening to Music a Part of Your Self-Care Regimen? It Should Be!

When you think about improving your overall health and wellness, do you also take into consideration what you listen to? I noticed that over time, as I started to seek more mental peace and balance in my life, my music selections began to change.

I started listening to more music without words. I found myself really enjoying the relaxing sounds of jazz and chillhop. I gravitated towards music that I could play while working and while being creative. Soon enough, I started listening to binaural beats, which helped me sleep better.

“Binaural beats between 1 and 30 Hz are alleged to create the same brainwave pattern that one would experience during meditation”

Healthline

Listen to relaxing frequencies.

I enjoyed hearing music without other people’s voices … without messages I needed to decipher. Throughout this process, I was introduced to listening to music at different frequencies. For instance, I started letting videos at 432 Hz play on YouTube. Apparently, music tuned to 432 Hz is closer to the pulse of the earth, it’s a sound that relaxes the mind and body.

So, when we think of holistic health-care, we have to remember that we need to attend to our mind, body, and soul — and what we listen to is also food for our souls (and nervous system). What are you feeding your soul? Are you listening to harsh music that may negatively affect your mood? Or are you listening to something to help you be at ease?

All photography shot by me. (c) dycephotography

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Confession: I Hug and Hold Trees.

What are you doing to feel good these days? Since I’ve been spending more time indoors this winter, I’ve been cultivating my inner space. I’m trying to stay on top of watering my plants, I’m meditating in the morning/listening to my Divine Goddess Affirmations, and lighting incense and burning lovely candles (Diptyque’s Narguile being my favorite thus far). I’m also making sure that I take some time to GO OUTSIDE!

Me, touching a tree at the park.

Being home is nice and comfortable and all, but our bodies need to interact with a diversity of microorganisms. We need to introduce these bacterias and microbes into our own microbiomes; this is what helps our immunity develop. It’s why children should play in sandboxes with one another; it’s why you should feel the soil on your hands, and why you should hug your friends and family.

Since some of this connective activity has been limited for many folks lately, which I’m sure is contributing to increased sadness, I suggest you get yourself outside and connect with trees. Yes! touch a tree, hug a tree, lean against one!

Increase Your Serotonin Levels Through Nature

I love to touch trees or hug them; I envision that I’m meshing with its life force. I like to visualize roots growing from the bottom of my feet into the ground to meet that of the trees. I conjure up images of connection so that I can start to actually FEEL it.

“Hugging a tree increases levels of hormone oxytocin. This hormone is responsible for feeling calm and emotional bonding. When hugging a tree, the hormones serotonin and dopamine make you feel happier.”

– Wild Tree Adventures

I always feel super pleasant after physically connecting with nature. We are not separate from nature; it is of us, and we, of it. If you can, start developing a relationship with mother nature who can supply you with so many resources to help increase mental clarity, induce relaxation, and stimulate happiness.

All photos taken by me; (c) dycephotography


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Let’s Be Real: How “Motivated” Are You Feeling Right Now?

I’ve noticed a shift on social media. I think we’re so traumatized by the year we just had that people have left the “new year, new me” memes in the past. I haven’t seen as many, “Let’s leave X,Y,Z in 20XX” as I’ve seen before. I think many of us have resigned to the idea that we have no idea what’s to come and it just “is what it is.” As I mentioned in my last post, focus on what you can control.

Call me cynical, but you can’t simply shift your whole energy and plan for a set amount of time because a new month showed up. Especially here in NYC where we’re used to seasonal shifts, it’s hard to feel ready to start up anew and force yourself to get back into the swing of things just because the date on our calendar year changed. Something about that feels quite unnatural to me. Which is interesting because when I look back at my journals, I notice changes tend to appear around February/March. January still carries a lot of old energy.

Stillness.

BUT – you can still work towards the changes you DO want to see. Just be patient with yourself. We’re still in winter. We’re in the season of rest. Honestly, this is a reminder for myself as well, as I feel I have a lot of lofty goals but I have to pace myself. I often feel guilty for not getting as much done as I think I should. Like I’m continuously racing against the clock.

Nature is one of our greatest teachers. Slow down with her and prepare yourself to usher in greatness this Spring!

All images (c) dycephotography


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Focus on What You Can Control

Honestly, I don’t want to get into a whole, “new year,” type of post. But I will say that with 2021, I’m ushering in new traditions and less expectations. Or even, maybe not even really holding steadfast to any tradition in general but what feels right for me in the moment. I’m learning how to best honor my needs.

So much has changed in the past year, we can’t possibly continue to try to do the same things while the whole energy of the world and behaviors of mankind have shifted. All I can do is surrender and co-create with the universe.

Some things are in my control, and some things are completely out of it. I will just focus on what I CAN control. And with that — it’s a continued focus on health and wellness.

SO here are some simple reminders for continuous improved health:

  • Drink lots of water everyday
  • PLEASE get some sun; even if it’s freezing outside and you’re sitting at your window, soaking it in
  • Exercise, daily!
  • Engage in relaxation techniques: yoga, meditation, breath work
  • Find a hobby or interest to stimulate your mind (I’d suggest something beyond television)
  • Find ways to connect with nature
  • Drink herbal teas
  • Eat more fruits and veggies. Even if you think you’re eating a lot, eat more! Because you probably aren’t 🙂

All images captured by me (c) dycephotography


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Winter: A Time for Quiet Reflection

Now that I’m older, I’ve really grown to appreciate winter. To be honest, it also probably helps that I don’t have to commute to work everyday and wear a bunch of layers 🙂

As an empath who needs a lot of solitary time, I also appreciate winter because it’s quieter and fewer people are out. After NYC’s raucous summer with everyone being outside due to the pandemic, I appreciate not having to encounter all of those energies. Restaurants have managed to set up heat lamps and bubbles for outdoor dining, but I’d prefer to stay in and make my own dinners or order delivery. Everything about this year has been about learning how to adapt.

Every season, nature transforms and displays a different stage of beauty.

In the winter, we see the bare bones of trees, but they still look beautiful and cast magnificent shadows. Fresh snow can truly brighten the day; it can also be an invitation to just get outside and be present. Watch the snowflakes fall, enjoy it.
Spring brings pleasant smells, birds, blossoms, flowers, and rain for the soil. Summer, we glow with the rays of the sun, the trees are big and green. We enjoy the water and throw our cares to the side. In the fall, we savor the last bit of life as the leaves change beautiful colors at the end of their cycle.

Winter is a time where we reflect on all that came before this moment. Hopefully, we find times of triumph, of growth, and of wisdom.

You can also check my portfolio addition of An NYC Winter!

All images captured by me (c) dycephotography.


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2020 Enhanced My Vision; I Can See in Ways I’ve Never Seen Before

Resilience.
2020 is almost over and I look forward to my vacation time so I can do a shit-ton of journaling and reflecting. What’s coming to me right now though is the idea of resilience. How 2020 has shown many of us how strong we can be.

We went from a 2-week lockdown, to an unknown quarantine. I’ve wondered about job security, when local non-essential stores would open, and also about the mental and physical health of loved ones. At some point, I finally figured out what selfcare truly looks like to me. It’s almost been a bit radical.

For me, self care became a new lifestyle. It meant making better eating decisions. It meant that taking care of my appearance doesn’t simply mean manicures and massages, but also yoga, stretching, and holding myself accountable to go to the gym (once that opened – but goes for runs during the times when it was closed).

The lifestyle allowed me to get more intimate with myself. To further pursue my hobbies, to practice more meditation, to know when I’m “spent,” to recognize when I truly need to be in touch with nature, to understand how to listen to my body.

Selfcare meant turning off the news because everyday was the same thing but told in a different way. It meant reviewing the accounts I follow on social media to ensure that it fed my soul, provided inspiration, and knowledge. It meant getting more in touch with my intuition and being more open to thinking critically about EVERYTHING.

Honestly, 2020 showed me that I have so much power, that I am blessed, and for that, I am truly grateful. I have honestly been able to see life in ways I’ve never seen before and there’s no going back.

All images captured by me (c) dycephotography


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Delighting in the Simple Pleasures of This Dark Season

As a person who is quite sensitive to the energies around me, December is feeling a bit heavy already. With the lunar full moon eclipse on November 30th, the December 14th new moon + solar eclipse, and the planetary alignments on the 21st, which will usher us into the Age of Aquarius, I’m doing my best to not over work my mind and emotions. I’m meditating more, drinking my herbal teas, and letting myself enjoy the holiday spirit.

I’m making the conscious effort to revel in the positive energy that Sagittarius season brings. Though I don’t consider myself a Christian, the festiveness of the season brings a smile to my soul. It’s cold, the days are darker, and our spirits are truly being tested. At a time where anxieties and stressors tend to be a bit higher, I’ve decided to be more receptive to the holiday joy.

Make Time for the Things YOU Like

I’m taking in all of the lights, I’m enjoying holiday jazz music, I don’t drink hot chocolate but I’m delighted by images of the warm foamy drink with fluffy marshmallows on top (especially if it’s in a holiday-themed mug). The happy snowman images call out to my inner child, and the twinkling wreaths and snowflake decor seem to light up something inside of me. And this is all because I’m making the conscious effort to enjoy these simple pleasures. I’m working on detaching from expectations and just doing what feels right for me.

The lights won’t be around for long, the decor will come down at some point in January, so I encourage you to also take this time to enjoy the season (if it’s your thing). Just go for it! Of course, you can always enjoy these times with friends and family, but this is such a great opportunity to be spontaneous. Want to try that new holiday latte? Go to the coffee shop and just do it! Want to wander around and admire the decor — go for it! See how you feel just seizing the moment and enjoying the little things, even if it means you’re going at it alone. You may just love it.

All images captured by me (c) dycephotography.


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Fight the Power with Your High Vibration

We all know that 2020 has shaken the world up. And I don’t foresee things going back to what they were “pre-pandemic.” Too much has changed already.

An unfortunate circumstance from the pandemic is the decline in accommodations and resources. At least here in NYC, it seems that there are more lines and subpar customer service. There’s obviously less space that can be utilized as we’ve transitioned to indoor dining, which has limited capacity. Things seem to be breaking down more often with the wear and tear of people being at home or in their neighborhoods more often than before, and sometimes — you can pretty much feel the low vibrations in the air.

You Hold the Power

It takes a lot of energy to fight these low frequencies. Honestly! Sometimes being outside feels like a chore. Like I walk among the living dead, but I understand that the power lies within me. The power lies within me to carry a good attitude. To know that things are different; to adjust my expectations.

EYE have to decide to be the one to change my approach. EYE have control over how I choose to view my day. And as someone who would huff and puff with every slow-moving line or person on the sidewalk, I’ve learned so much about just being in the flow. About patience. And that when I’m super aware of my energy, I can have a beautiful day where everything happens the way I’d like it to. Sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s okay because I trust that some things are out of my control, and perhaps things happened the way they did for a reason.

So this holiday season, I ask you to be patient with yourself and others. Be cognizant of the energy you bring to the outside world. Keep your frequencies high and don’t bring stress and illness upon yourself!

Image captured by me in Prospect Park (c) dycephotography


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Sagittarius Season: Shine the Light on Your Inner Compass

As the sun illuminates the Sagittarius zodiac,
we’re called to shine the light on our inner hunter.
To be bold, to search for your truth.
Find your own direction.

We’re asked to be lively, to be independent, curious, and pursue that thing
that sets you on fire.
The Sagittarius centaur is a beast that’s hard to tame and ever so passionate!

Birth your ideas, and feel your way into your creativity. Don’t overthink it.
Find balance with your sacral chakra. Loosen it up so you can feed Jupiter’s desire to expand, to grab onto luck and opportunity.

Image captured by me in Coney Island (c) dycemaster


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How to be Present in Nature Part VI: Listen

I find the simplest thing to do while being in nature is to listen. Typically, we’re walking the streets with our headphones on, exercising in the park while listening to music, or talking to someone on the phone — we’re preoccupied with keeping a sound barrier between us and the world. These days, I spend more time walking the streets without anything in my ears or my headphones are in with no sound playing.

By freeing my ears to listen to what’s around me, I’ve been able to hear the buzzing of an insect nearby, hear the call of a specific bird, or hear the rustling in a bush to indicate a small animal was nearby. And these are from day-to-day moments around my neighborhood. So when I’m in a park or at the beach, I truly value the opportunity to just listen to what’s around me.

Listening Can Reveal Pleasant Surprises

When I listen to nature, I’m present. I notice the trees swaying, the birds singing and the bugs humming. It helps me take in my environment; I’m aware of what surrounds me and I’m overwhelmed by the abundance of it all. Tapping in to nature always feels so ancient; it feels like I’m connecting to an all-knowing force around me. I feel so peaceful afterwards.

The image to the left is a photo I was able to grab of a raccoon that I only noticed because I was being present and listening. I was leaning against a bridge railing and I heard a chitterring sound. At first, I wasn’t sure where it came from but I immediately knew a racoon was near. I listened again, looked behind the railing and lo and behold, I saw a raccoon on the railing trying to make its way onto the bridge. It was naturegirl moment that made me truly gleeful inside and I got to appreciate it because I was present. Because I was listening.

Some ways to be present and listen to nature:

  • Find a spot where there’s a diverse source of nature and get comfortable!
  • Look around you, be still and quiet. What are the sounds coming from the sights you see?
  • Close your eyes and simply listen. What do you hear? Is it familiar?
  • Close your eyes, listen to a distinct sound. then open your eyes to see if you can pinpoint what you heard.
  • Do you hear water? Is it a trickling sound like a creek? Or the crashing of waves? What does it sound like the water is doing? Can you envision it without looking at it?
  • As you continue listening and hear scurrying in a bush or a tree – can you tell if it’s a bird or a squirrel?

If you do this enough, you might train your ears to help you be more aware of your surroundings no matter where you go!

“When you walk in nature and speak to the spirit of the elements and to other nature beings, the true wisdom comes through a transmission that is beyond rational understanding. This energetic transmission touches a knowing you were born with, of oneness with the Earth, which acts as fertilizer for your growth.”

– Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts, Speaking with Nature

All photos captured by my (c)dycephotography


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Checking the Ego During Scorpio Season

Wow, what a Scorpio season this has been in 2020! Have you felt it?

Between the full moon in Taurus on Halloween, the veil thinning, the Mercury Retrograde (with its the pull to do shadow work), Mars being in Retrograde (9/9 – 11/13), and then the 11/11 portal, I’ve been going deep within myself. I’ve been assessing things from my past that still affect my current thoughts, things I need to let go of, ways I need to open my heart more, and ways in which I limit myself. And you know what? Much of this has been triggered by conversations with others. Questioning why I react so strongly to certain things, why I revert to a childlike state in some situations, and why do I place certain limitations on myself. It’s been a lot.

8th House Ruler: Pluto is Here to Destroy and Rebuild

These themes in my life have come up during this season because Scorpio is ruled by the 8th house, home to Pluto. Scorpio is about plunging into the depths and finding out what’s behind the mask, but also about indulging in passions and serving one’s needs. By nature, a Scorpio faces an ongoing battle with itself. Because it is ruled by both Mars and Pluto, it struggles between its lower desires (Mars energy) and its higher self (Pluto).

Pluto, the planet* of destruction is a powerful force that holds more introspective energy than Mars. It pushes for transformation and ascension; it wants to break down the ego. Pluto knows what’s best while Mars just wants to take charge and get things done. Pluto is the furthest planet in the solar system, the one on the fringes, hidden in the shadows (*Pluto’s classification as a planet tends to waiver).

Pluto energy can make things uncomfortable because it wants to find the highest version of self. It wants you to shed what no longer serves you, like the snake. As much work as I do on ascending and being a better person, I often don’t even realize how much of my behavior is still ego-driven. And with this behavior, I realize there must be a fear of something deep down inside. But why? What is the root of that fear? What is the root of that feeling of lack? It can be tough to really face these parts of ourselves that we don’t want to acknowledge, but like with everything – with the good comes the bad. My aim is to continuously get better at transmuting the negative energies that don’t serve me.

The Scorpio is after all, the alchemist.

*All images captured by me (c)dycephotography


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Activate Your Light During the 11:11 Portal

This mystical Scorpio season of 2020 has brought us a Mercury Retrograde (in Scorpio), a Taurus full moon on Halloween, and it will also herald the 11:11 portal on November 11th. Not only does the number 11 look aesthetically pleasing, but it’s actually quite steeped in divinity. 11 represents the balance of divine feminine and divine masculine energies; it represents a portal, one which brings forth creation. When you double this with 11:11, the energy is magnified.

See 11:11 on the clock? Time to make a wish!
Have you heard of this popular phrase?

In a sense, the sequence 1111 does indicate for you to be mindful of what you think, because as humans, we have the ability to manifest our thoughts and desires. It’s just that we often operate out of our subconscious, and when living in such a way, you could be missing out on manifesting the positive, abundant life that you consciously believe you want. People have claimed they start seeing 11:11 (or 1111) when they feel like they’re starting to spiritually awaken. The sight of repetitive number sequences start to tip people off to the fact that they may be able to get closer to the divine source.

Activate Love

I think this will be an interesting 11:11 portal before heading into the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on December 21st (both planets will be in the constellation of Aquarius). I’ve seen some Astrology reports indicate that this conjunction between planets on the Winter Solstice could usher in a new energy for us on the planet – the energy that brings in the age of Aquarius, of supporting humanity. This time is supposed to start rebuilding a new paradigm as the old ways of Capricorn fall.

So, why do I bring up this 12/21 conjunction with the 11:11 portal? Well, if you’d like to interpret it this way, you can use the 11:11 portal to focus on love, which is the highest vibration. Harness the energy of love! Love heals. Love heals ourselves and others. Since 11:11 is so powerful, and is typically known to be a number that assists in personal transformation, focus on operating from your highest, divine self. I know that personally, 2020 has shown me how much God is within me and that it’s beneficial to get closer to myself. To know how to love more deeply, to truly hold faith in my heart, and trust in divine order.

During this portal, we’re also encouraged to clear out any stagnant and negative energies as we step into a new level of alignment. Think about the ways you can free your mind and liberate yourself from any ways you may be holding yourself back.

Be intentional.
Be the love.
Expand.
Illuminate.

Captured at Green-wood cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, this is my artistic representation of a portal, which I thought was perfect for 11:11. The center image is a set of doors to a mausoleum in a cemetery. The side photos showcase details of the lovely ivy that frame the entrance of this gateway.

These images are for sale as 5×7 prints on my Etsy shop, Dycephotography, check it out!


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Facing my Shadow as Mercury Retrogrades in Scorpio

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
—Carl Jung

This Mercury in Retrograde (which is in the mysterious, deep-diving sign of Scorpio), I’ve unexpectedly been hit with the task of facing some shadow aspects of myself. What’s funny is, I’m dealing with familiar themes but almost feel more awakened to them now. More triggered by them, so to speak. It’s not that these problems haven’t already existed, it’s just that now, I find myself seriously needing to change the ways I look at them, at my self. Shadow work is constant, and this year has certainly challenged many of us to see the unpleasant side of life and our role in it.

As Mercury gets pulled into this whirlwind of Scorpio’s underworld, my thoughts have been dancing with my subconscious. I’m being reminded that healing is messy, healing is not linear. Pluto, ruler of the 8th house and co-ruler of Scorpio (the other is Mars), is truly pushing me to evolve to my higher self. It wants me to break down my ego further.

With the retrograde bringing up memories from the past, I’m challenging myself to live in the present in a new way. To alchemize those patterns in to something new, something beneficial.

HOW EASY IS IT FOR US TO JUST KEEP LIVING OUT OUR OWN CYCLES OF DISCORD?! To be asleep. To not get to know ourselves and our minds intimately. I believe it is our duty to ourselves to continue to refine, to transmute, and to work on individuation.

image captured of my shadow in Beacon, NY


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Inspired by a Photo: A Brief Exploration of the 4 Elements of Life

To me, this featured photo encompasses representations of the 4 major elements that are the foundation to life: fire, water, earth, and air. You’ll find that these elements are important to occult practices (5 elements, if you include that of the spirit). You come across more representations of these elements when we explore the zodiac signs, and when looking at the basics of alchemy, voodoo, wicca practices (and others).

But on the most basic level, these elements are important in our daily lives and I wanted to take a look at how they relate to us in a simple physical and spiritual interpretation.

Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Earth

Fire: Though the sun (as depicted by the sunset rays in the photo) is a ball of gas, it’s heat reminds me of warmth from a burning fire. Fire represents our ambition, the passion that keeps you going. Fire keeps us warm, it cooks our food. A hot temperature in our bodies indicates a temper; an indication of inflammation/infection in the body. In the zodiac, the signs of Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. The wands family in the tarot deck.

Water: Represented by the Hudson river in this image. H2O molecules. The vital element needed for the functioning of our human bodies. A life force and renewing energy. Connection to the womb and to birth. Also, to rebirthing (think of baptisms — think of how good you feel after a shower, a good swim). It represents the flow of things, going where nature intends. In the zodiac, the signs of Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The cups family in the tarot deck.

Air: The invisible force that surrounds us. The nitrogen and oxygen that we inhale. The carbon dioxide that we exhale. Our breath. Our lungs and respiratory system. The representation of communication, of our mind. The throat chakra. Mercury. In the zodiac, the signs of Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. The swords family in the tarot deck.

Earth: The ground beneath us. Our foundation and all that supports our habitats, that supports growth, nature, the trees, and even water. The earth is our connection to staying present in the moment. Using our senses to interact with the world around us, connectivity. Our root chakra. Our feet and legs — staying connected to what’s below us and not getting to lost in the clouds. The pentacles family in the tarot deck.

Featured image captured by me in DUMBO, Brooklyn.


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Stop. Think About “The New Normal” For YOU

STOP.

This Libra season I ask, how does one find balance if one is always on the go? I believe many people are spiritually awakening or at least questioning reality as we’ve known it, but as we live our day to day lives, it can be quite easy to get sucked back into the cycle of having your head in your phone, checking e-mails/social media/notifications, and being obsessed about productivity. It takes a lot of awareness and determination to know when you’ve gotten too far away from your spirit, from your own core grounding.

IT’S OK TO DISCONNECT.

I almost feel like now that we’re not on lockdown, there’s a rushed energy to try and get things back to how they were before. “Get people back into the office—Spend money—Entertain Yourself—Sports—Celebrity News.” Remember? This was how you lived your life before. Let’s try to get it back to that so that you complain less. So that you’re still passive.

Let’s not forget that things weren’t all great and dandy before the pandemic. Capitalism was still draining more hours and money from people. Public transportation was severely overcrowded, schools have been failing students, the income disparity continues to increase. But all we get are more tv shows, more social media dances, more gadgets, inflation, and poisonous food.

Some places are still in lockdown, other places have less restrictions … who knows what’s permanent and temporary these days. But I believe we should try to be more intentional about the type of future we can create for ourselves. Also, be willing to be a little open minded. You never know what the universe might decide to bless you with.

What’s in the past is in the past.

Image captured by me in Beacon, NY


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In October, We Celebrate Life and Death

I love October! Fall is in full effect, the weather is cooler but still enjoyable, pumpkins are abound, and we have the celebratory times of Halloween/Samhain/Dia de los Muertos/All Souls Day. Though Libra rides out much of this month, on the 22nd, we have the start of my second favorite season, that of Scorpio. Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Pluto—Pluto, being the planet of Hades, which grounds Scorpio in the underworld energy (Mars brings a driven, ambitious energy). During this time we go beneath the surface, unlock secrets, and explore death and the taboo.

A Time When We “Keep the Spirit Alive”

(c) dycepghotography

As we begin our descent into Hades’ Underworld, we witness the colorful and exuberant death in nature as the leaves of the trees change colors. We celebrate the harvest and the fruits of our labor from earlier in the season, and we prepare to retreat for the darkness ahead. In the days leading up to Halloween and All Souls Day, the veil between our earthly world and the spirit world beings to get quite thin, and communications to the other side can be enhanced. These celebrations help us honor our ancestors and our loved ones who are still with us in spirit.

Ultimately, I’d say that those who choose to participate in these events develop a relationship with the concept of death. Death is at the center of the celebration. You continue to keep the spirit of your loved ones alive. You can take the time to honor their energy, to honor who they were before they transcended beyond this form. Isn’t that beautiful? That people take the time to be present with life while also embracing the end of it.

I think our American society still has a lot of work to do when it comes to discussing and normalizing death, how we prepare for and cope with “the end.” Everything that lives must transform into something else. Isn’t that the beauty of the butterfly?

(c) dycephotography

All photos were taken by me in Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY.


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What’s Your Daily Spiritual Practice?

“One of the pillars of soulful living, according to inspiring yoga teacher Leila Sadapghee, is the establishment of sadhana, daily spiritual practice. This needn’t involve prayer– it could be a daily meditation, mantra repetition or yoga practice with an underlying spiritual intent.”

— Pip Walker, Deeply Holistic

I highlighted that quote in the book I just finished, Deeply Holistic, by Pip Walker, which has been incredibly insightful on sharing the connections between our mind, body, and soul and the holistic ways in which we can nurture all three aspects of our selves. Being aware of this connection has helped me understand myself better.

Depending on how my thinking is on a particular day, I can see where I’ve slacked off on my spiritual care. When I’m prone to feeling more anxious; I realize I’m worrying and not living in the moment. I realize moments where I may be internalizing more fear than I’d like to. I encounter these “lower vibrational” energies and have to pull myself back.

During these low vibrational moments, I remember that there are good energies that I can tap into. That I can transmute my negative thoughts, that I only want the best of what the universe has to offer me.

There are things that I like to do to help me feel more centered. And though I may not do all of them in one day, I realize that engaging in at least one of these activities helps me get into a better energetic space, allowing me to be more positive and clear-headed rather than the emotional instability I can find myself creeping towards:

Daily Practices to Help Your Spirit:

  • Going for a walk without listening to music. Simply being outside, feeling the breeze. Hearing the birds and the trees ruffle.
  • Meditating. I prefer to do this in the morning.
  • Gratitude affirmations (say aloud the things that you’re grateful for. This helps you realize how blessed you curently are)
  • Yoga
  • Spend some time in nature
  • Mantra repetitions (sounds made through the repetition of a phrase during meditation. These vibrations are believed to hold power)

Image captured by me of some joggers in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.


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Welcoming Fall and the Harvest with a Mabon Celebration

We just welcomed the Autumn Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere and there’s been a lovely crisp to the air here in the Northeast. During the first day of fall on September 22nd, the sun also moved into the zodiac of Libra. Additionally, the beginning of fall also brings us Mabon, a pagan/Celtic/Wiccan tradition, which is one of 3 harvest celebrations (the third being Samhain which coincides with Halloween). 

Mabon is actually a “thanksgiving” celebration, when you look at it simply. It’s a gathering of the harvest from all of the hard work put forth during the growing season. You fill the cornucopia with squash, pomegranate, and corn (and more!). Apples and berries are picked, pies are baked and jams are canned and stored for the cold months ahead. It’s during this time that we start to reap what we’ve sown, and celebrate the abundance of nature around us. 

As we come to the end of September, we reflect, we put things into balance (Libra), we celebrate with loved ones (this is also a Libran quality, a social air sign), and you share a piece of your spirit through cooking and love. This is a lovely time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as we head into the darker season. 

I love the fall because it’s almost like a rejuvenation for my spirit. I get to slow down a little bit, feed my soul with nourishing soups, and enjoy the clear blue skies.

Here are some things you can do to bring in the season: 

  • Journal about what you’re thankful for and what you’ve been able to manifest in your life
  • Trim back any of your own gardens and/or bushes; trimmings of herbs and flowers
  • Deep clean of your house, along with some smudging
  • Cook something special for a loved one
  • Host a bonfire if you can!
  • Light a candle and meditate on your blessings

How are you celebrating this harvest season? 


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How to be Present in Nature Part V: Earthing

When was the last time you felt the soil and grass beneath your feet? Or even the sand between your toes?

It’s way too easy for us to physically disconnect from nature these days. Unless you intentionally spend time in a park or the beach, most of us are missing out on connecting to the earth that supports us. We don’t really touch soil (unless you’ve got a garden), we don’t or hug the touch trees, and we rarely let our bare feet touch the grass beneath us.

I think that we sometimes feel frustrated in life because we get so caught up in the rat race of the world. We get very micro and overwhelm ourselves with anxieties and worries. We forget to take a step back from it all. We don’t connect to the healing energies of the earth. Indigenous people understand the importance of deeply connecting with the source, with nature. Many of them see nature as an extension of themselves and have a more holistic relationship with Mother Earth. They understand that nature affects them and they affect it; this complex relationship should be nurtured in order to maintain sustainability.

Science shows that when you ground yourself with the earth, free electrons are released into your body. These electrons are actually antioxidants that help clear free radicals from your body (free radicals tend to be associated with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and others). Grounding is a process that impacts you on a cellular level. Connecting your bare feet to the earth is beneficial for your heart and also in reducing inflammation in the body.

Earthing is a great mindful activity to engage in when you feel a little out of sorts and need to clear your head. It has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep disorders, and improve muscular healing. Go ahead and give it a few tries to see for yourself!

How to “earth” and get grounded:

  • Take your shoes off and walk around in the grass/soil and/or sand. If in the sand, walk up to the water and let the water wash over your feet.
  • Do any of the following: relax your mind/meditate, repeat affirmations, state the things you’re grateful for.
  • To get a fair share of exposure to the earth’s magnetic field, you’ll want to do this for at least 40 minutes a day. 

Both images captured by me.


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The Stronger We are as Individuals, The Better We are as a Collective

The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

We live in a society that has programmed us to live in fear. We’re led to believe there’s something to be afraid of on every corner, fear just lurking – waiting to take something away from us.

Unfortunately, it seems like there’s a growing divide among the people. The negative messaging we’re bombarded with is making people more afraid of one another. It’s been this way for a while though. We’ve been afraid of terrorists, aliens, gangs, and whoever else is demonized in the media. These tactics weaken our connections with our fellow neighbors and allow our society to become more fragile.

I’d say we’re in a game of spiritual warfare. The pandemic isn’t over, and in the midst of it, we’re continuously fed one disappointing story after the next; it’s a cycle of low vibrations. But if you’re willing to see it, the events of 2020 have shown us how little control we have when it comes to external affairs. The most we can do for ourselves and for the world, is to learn how to balance ourselves internally (which is a daily practice).

Who wants to have their mood shifted every time they hop on social media or check the news? Find the still within so you can know what’s really worth your energy. What helps calm your mind? Check in with your own discernment. Is the content you’re about to digest going to help your well-being or harm it?

Challenges will always be present, we’ll always encounter messages that don’t support a healthy mind or vibe. “The work” always involves how we decide to respond; that’s truly the hard part.

Photo taken by me in Brooklyn, NY.


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