Astrology for Introspection: Find your own patterns and make your own meaning

By Montine Rummel, Guest Author

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I am loving the cultural renaissance astrology seems to be having these last few years. Discussions of planetary positions has moved from being observations my friends in the occult world make to fine tune their craft, to seemingly everyone on social media having a hot take about the aspect du jour.

Sadly, it doesn’t come without some pitfalls, like capitalism exploiting this popularity and slapping zodiac signs on anything to cash in, and the increase of wrong and misleading things being shared. Despite this, I’m loving the access people have to these ancient observations to help them make meaning in their lives,and I’m doing so while drinking from my Scorpio coffee mug. Editor’s Note/Shameless Plug: Check out these fun zodiac-themed mugs!

Paying attention to astrology gives us a feeling of control, the feeling of receiving “insider information,” and different perspectives from which we can see people and events around us, to start. But what I see a lot of is people reacting to astrology instead of finding ways to work with its influence proactively.

This is more than looking at important dates in the future and seeing what the planetary influences will be or backing up your phone and laptop before a Mercury retrograde. Because we are all different people with different perspectives experiencing the world in different ways, we can’t always expect to know exactly how a solar eclipse in Scorpio will affect us, for example.

Last year, when I was writing Book of My Shadows for 2022, I remember looking at August and saying, “oof.” The planetary placements for the month made me feel heavy just looking at them. And because I couldn’t help myself, I tried to predict what might happen just for fun. I texted my friend and said that I thought we might go into another lockdown or something similar with all the restrictive energy that it looked like the month was going to have. Looking back at the month now that it’s September, I see that that prediction was wrong in terms of the events that happened (or didn’t happen), but I was right about the energy. I noticed for myself that I was feeling very restricted at work and in my personal life, which was causing my batteries to drain, and my charger seemed to be broken.

Because I was aware of the energy that was in store for August, it made it easier for me find what my challenges were. I took the time I needed on the Virgo new moon to clear out the major blockers that I was seeing and now I feel like I have a clear path forward and I’d love to share my process in case it can help you as well!

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I don’t think I would have known what to do if I didn’t know myself well enough to make all these connections. When I first started seeing a therapist years ago, she had me start using a mood tracking app to help me notice what I was feeling when I was feeling, and then putting together the patterns to learn about my triggers. I’m a person who loves introspection anyway, so it was easy for me to approach the tracking with curiosity and without judgement. Over time, I became more aware of my moods and triggers in the physical world.

After I had a year’s worth of data, I was able to see different cycles, mostly mundane, but when compared to astrology charts of the year, some metaphysical patterns emerged as well! I noticed that the full moon’s intensity doesn’t typically affect me, but wow do I always seem to fall in sync with finishing up something before a new moon and starting something new! So, while many people make full moon rituals one of the most important of their month, I focus on new moons where my energy seems more in sync.

How To Make Astrology More Personal

Step One for figuring out how to do this for yourself is to find a way to track your moods that you are excited to form a habit around. This can be bullet journaling or finding a mood-tracking app. I like going the app route because the set-up work is already done, and it can help me pull insights together easier than pen and paper. There are apps that ask you how you feel for the whole day, some will ask you multiple times a day. Some will allow you to add notes or tags so you can record things like your current health, location, and anything else that’s going on around you. What’s important is that you find something you will continue to use.

After you have at least a few months of data, Step Two is to compare those months to what was going on astrologically. The easiest way to do that might be seeing where the new and full moons fell alongside your moods and other things you tracked. Notice any patterns. (Editor’s Note: A good free app to try is My Moon Phase)

Pick the astrological influence you feel might be the strongest for you. I picked moon phases, but you could look at retrogrades, aspects, planets as they move through signs, anything really. I would look at one astrological event at a time until you get a feel for how it affects you otherwise it might feel too overwhelming to separate feelings during a full moon versus a retrograde, versus a conjunction, etc.

Step Three will be looking for these patterns as the next astrological event comes about. There might be some confirmation bias as humans tend to find whatever they are looking for, just try to remain as objective as possible and don’t make judgements. Treat your observations like an ethnographer and remember that this data is information, not fact!

This is quite a bit of work, and it does take time. It’s also more of a tool to help you understand than it will be to predict. I hope this method inspires you to learn more about yourself and how astrology affects you and that it helps you in some way, because it really has helped me!

Montine Rummel (she/they) is an astrologer and writer who likes to explore her own personal growth using these tools. She has been studying astrology since 1994 and began her personal growth journey in 2016 focusing on shadow work and emotional regulation. In 2017 she had the idea to create her own practice to explore her Shadow using the sign the new and full moons were in as a theme. After sharing the idea with some friends who told her that many more people would be interested in following along, Montine began writing Book of My Shadows and turned it into a yearly zine. She sometimes updates her blog, too!

Read More from Montine: Retrograde Retrospective

This post contains affiliate links. The Blessings Butterfly may earn a small commission on items purchased, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.

10 Fun & Festive Ways to Celebrate Fall Equinox

Michelle Lewis, The Blessings Butterfly

Hello Fall! Up here in the Northern Hemisphere we officially welcome in the Fall season with this week’s Autumnal Equinox, on Thursday 9/22. How’s the weather where you are? It’s still hot & sunny in SoCal, though I can finally feel that little hint of crispness in the morning air now.

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Equinox translates from the Latin aequus nox to “equal night” and it is one of the two times each calendar year when there is an equal amount of day & night for both hemispheres… once in the Spring, and once in the Fall. This phenomenon occurs because the Earth’s axis is no longer tilted towards or away from the Sun, so that in that moment the Sun is positioned directly above the equator. (NERD ALERT!)

For many modern witches and neo-pagans, the fall or autumnal equinox coincides with the feast of Mabon. Whether or not you identify as witchy or Wiccan, you may be wondering what are some fun & festive ways to celebrate the Equinox and get the most out of it? Here are my Top 10:

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10 Fun & Festive Ways to Celebrate the Fall Equinox

  • Make a hot cuppa and watch the sun rise. On the 2 annual Equinox days, the Sun rises due East and sets due West- the only times throughout the year when it is this precise.
  • Journal/Morning Pages Today is a perfect day to explore the concepts of equality, balance, harmony, and where they are showing up in your life.
  • Gather with other practitioners & magickal folk as you are able In-person if possible, but any way that you are able to connect is good.
  • Eat Some Apples Have an apple-tasting party, try making an apple-forward recipe, or get ridiculous with an apple-bobbing game (not advised for germaphobes!). Have an altar? Add an apple as an offering.
  • Have a Harvest Feast Whether you can have friends/family get together or prefer a small, intimate gathering, plan for a big delicious potluck or progressive dinner. Eating solo? Treat yourself!
  • Grapes & Wine Enjoy some delicious grapes in whatever forms you prefer (fresh fruits, jam/jelly, juiced or as wine).
  • Watch the Sunset Take the party outside and watch the sunset. Raise your glass to the setting sun and toast the official end of the summer season.
  • Soak your body in a large tub of warm water, surrounded by candlelight & flowers Think about the wonderful memories you’ve created so far
  • Give your magickal tools/crystals a refreshing moonlight “bath” outside or on a windowsill (no water required!) Bless them with the intentions of balance & harmony
  • Dance, Move Your Body, Celebrate! Put on your favorite tunes, beat on some drums, or go see a live performance. If you are a yoga practitioner, try some balance poses in your asana.

How will you celebrate this year? Let me know what your traditions are!

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly

Meeting Our Guides & Loved Ones

By Rose Dougherty, Guest Author

Throughout our lives we are visited by spirits around us. Some who want to help while others who do not. We want to focus on connecting with guides that protect us. How can we tell the difference between the two? One of the most important is to protect ourselves and understand discernment. There are trickster spirits who pretend to be things they are not. You must learn to tell the difference.

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Energetic Cleansing

It is good to cleanse yourself and the space before you get started. Some people like to use smoke or liquid sprays used for clearing the energy. I like to use sounds such as chimes, bells, or singing bowls. Anything to start drawing out unwanted Spirits.

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Energetic Protection

When you open yourself to the spirit world, you need to make sure you protect yourself. Everyone has their own way of doing it. How I start is with a mantra stating “Whatever is not for my highest good isn’t allowed to contact me.” Afterwards I imagine a ball of light surrounding my body. Then I state that “only my Guides, angels, Goddesses, Saints and loved ones are only allowed within my space.”

If you don’t work with any specific Deity or Saint you can also say “I only allow my guides, angels and loved ones within my space.” Protecting yourself first will help you weed out any entities who want to harm you. You can also wear jewelry, oils or balms that have protection magic inside of them. They even have candles you can burn during or before. Putting up the protective walls help us not get drained from trickster Spirits.

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Discernment

Sometimes we are put in situations where trickster spirits will try to pretend to be something they’re not. Understand that we have free will on this planet. So anytime a spirit threatens you or forces you to do something outside of free will, it’s probably not best to take their advice. Now your guides and loved ones will warn you on upcoming events but in the end you still have a choice. If they come at you in a way that scares you and you feel uncomfortable you can tell them to firmly leave.

Now what if that spirit was my grandma? If it was them, they would try to find other ways to gently contact you. Do not invite them in if you feel uncomfortable, even if they are saying they know you. Trust your gut!

Where to start?

One of the best ways is through meditation. When in a quiet state can we feel and hear them better. With practice you will be able to hear them anywhere but mediation is a good place to begin. Close your eyes and ask your guides and loved ones to come forth and communicate with you. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t connect right away. Everyone will have different experiences in the beginning and practice makes perfect. Some of you will feel a presence around you, or a warm feeling. If you want better results a guided meditation will help you visualize better.

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Using Tools to Contact

Tools are also a great way to contact spirit. It helps you get a quicker response. One way to start is automatic writing. It’s good for people who need to be moving in order to connect. Have a pen and paper ready. When you start, have the pen move across the paper scribbling. Getting the hand to move first helps the words come out. Then start writing down everything that comes to mind. Ask your Guides to write you a message.

Another tool we can use are pendulums. These are perfect for yes or no questions.

Cards (such as tarot, oracle, or angel cards) are great since they are pretty explanatory. Most cards come with a booklet that explains everything. Always make sure to cleanse and bless your tools between each session.

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So… How will YOU choose to connect with your spirit guides & departed loved ones?

Rose Dougherty is a psychic witch who is attuned to Reiki and also has a strong connection with the dead. She has been practicing for over 10 years. Rose comes from a magic family who connects with their ancestors and spirit. During her Reiki sessions, she will guide you through spiritual healing and help you contact your guides. She also owns a product line named Spell of a Rose. There you can find magic and Reiki infused lip balm and laundry boosters. Each one is handcrafted and put through rituals. She prides herself in education. Constantly always learning and teaching. Her passion for connecting with spirit will help you do the same.

Follow Rose on Instagram: Spellofarose

All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.

This post contains affiliate links. The Blessings Butterfly may earn a small commission on items purchased, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

3 Steps for Manifesting Positive Change

Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

We’ve reached the midpoint of August, and we are also in the midst of some incredibly transformational energy that you have access to. It’s not a coincidence!

Having just moved through the hightened energy of the Lion’s Gate Portal and this last full supermoon, we are beginning to see the end of Summer fast approaching. A new season is just around the corner, and with it, a reminder from Nature that life is a series of cycles. Always another ending, always a new beginning.

If you used the Lion’s Gate Portal energy last week to begin manifesting what you truly desire, this is the time to put action into your wishes. Visualize and believe that what you want is available to you, but don’t stop there. Do the work that leads you through transformation. The universe is working in your favor, now do your part!

Now, if you didn’t get around to it last week, that’s okay. Don’t use this as an opportunity to make yourself feel bad for “missing out” on something, okay?

You DO NOT have to wait until specific dates or times before you can begin your manifesting practice. You DO NOT need to have it all figured out first. If you are looking to make some positive changes in your life, the best time to start is the present! Grab your journal and let’s get started! [BTW, this Castelli journal is absolutely gorgeous and certified climate-pledge friendly. Check out the copper Art Deco cover!]

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3 Steps for Manifesting Positive Change

Okay! So you’re ready to start making some positive changes in your life. What’s next? How do you begin manifesting positive change? Here are 3 steps that you can take right now to get started:

  • GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION. It’s wild how so many of us have been conditioned to wait for permission to act. And yet, you don’t need anyone’s permission but your own! This is YOUR life, you are in control here.
  • IMAGINE BETTER. You already know what you DON’T want more of, so now it’s time to consciously shift your thinking into what you DO want. What do you imagine a better version of your life would look & feel like? Write it, say it, or visually create it (use Pinterest or make an old-fashioned vision board). Picture yourself in this better space.
  • GATHER YOUR SQUAD. Whether it is 1 trusted person or a whole community of supporters, we have a 100% greater chance of success when we have people who believe in us. People who want to see us succeed, and are happy for us when we do. Especially when we are trying to make some positive changes in our life- support is needed more than ever!

I look forward to all of the positive changes YOU will begin manifesting! I believe in you and I am cheering you on.

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly

2022 Year of the Deep Water Tiger

Guest Post by Tina Falk, CFSP, Founder of VIA School of Feng Shui

All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.

Are you feeling a shift in this new year? Some transitions are subtle while others are a surge of energy. To me, I already feel a powerful surge. My favorite method to interpret energy is through a 4,000-year-old astrology system; the Chinese five elements and zodiac signs. I am a Chinese Astrologer and Metaphysician. I use these insights and intuitive nudges to assist my clients and students from all around the world.

Aside from exploring their own 4 Pillar Chinese astrology chart; most of my clients are eager to know about the energy of the new year and how it may influence their lives based on their particular chart. Even if you’ve not yet had a 4 Pillar chart reading, there is still a lot to gain by understanding the incoming energy of this year.

So let’s dive in and see what 2022, the year of the Deep Water Tiger might present.

The world we are creating…our lives, our homes, our communities, and planet, is a reflection of the health or dis-ease we are owning. Are you on default mode or creation mode?

This year will be about choice. Stepping into, and understanding the power of, your will to choose. What you decide is your choice. The choices we’re being faced with, at this critical time in our human evolution, are between the old and the new.

If you choose, in any given moment, to fall back into habit, or what someone else wants, out of fear or out of stubbornness, then that is a counter clockwise turn directing you back into old ways.

However if you choose potential, creation, uncertainty, and future, then you are spinning the dial forward into a new world. Yep, that new world many of us came here to be a part of.

The main traits of the Deep Water Tiger energy are intense, extreme, and powerful. Below is my interpretation of these energies to assist you in the navigation of your Dark Water Tiger journey:

FEAR vs OPTIMISM

The response of fear or optimism relates to Deep Water energy. Think of being at sea during a storm without any means to anchor or get your feet on the ground. We don’t do well making decisions that will serve us long term when we come from a place of fear. Fear is valuable and can bring about quick reactions to get us out of harm’s way, but we don’t thrive living in that reactive state for long. For long-term survival, we need to turn our attention towards the next forward step.

When we have something to look forward to, or take time to see challenging moments or relationships as a valuable lesson or opportunity for growth, we begin to feel encouraged, hopeful, and stronger. Optimism is an innate drive in humans. Having a desire for better or more is what keeps us alive. Assess your connection with the external world and be sure you are allowing space for other optimistic influences and people to be a part of your everyday life.

ANGER vs SERENITY

The emotions of anger and serenity are indicative of the Tiger. Tiger, the beginning of Spring, is a Wood Chinese element. Wood is associated with the liver and limbs, birth families, unexpected change, strength, growth, maturity, new beginnings, and anger. What emotions are you choosing to express, sit in, live in, and project onto others?

Anger can be the impetus for change. That’s a good thing. But we can’t live in anger—instead we use that energy to make things different. Keep in mind, and heart, that the world around you, is also being influenced by these energies. You may choose to remain angry, but are you able to stand in the center of the storm without snapping or being swayed by the noise? Can you create serenity within?

An inner place I often tap into for serenity, is a trusting that there is a greater purpose to this thing called life. That even though right now—I may not like what I’m experiencing or foresee the outcome—I trust there is a reason for it to be happening. My husband and I have always had a saying through uncertain times (we’ll be celebrating our 34th Anniversary this year, so many opportunities to use it), “Things always work out.” This comforts our souls and allows us to move forward.

DIVISIVE vs DECISIVE

If you know someone with a Tiger in their Chinese astrology chart, you know there is no sitting on the fence for them. They are either all in or all out. This year, the Tiger is teaching us the importance of our choices.

Whatever you decide—you can’t get it wrong. You can pick an old way, and continue down that path for the rest of your life or choose the new. There’s no right or wrong. We are each here for various reasons and there is no one “true” path for everyone. But there is a “true” path for YOU.

The state of humanity is deeply divided, and the energy of 2022 indicates that this division will become deeper and more expansive. So what does this mean? Are we supposed to pick sides? Fight against those who disagree with us? Or appreciate the contrast? Abraham-Hicks speaks frequently of the value of contrast.

We need to see and experience things we don’t want, so we can get clear on what it is we do want in our lives. That’s all. There is no right or wrong, good or bad. It’s just an energy presenting itself that you get to make a decision about. And those decisions realign us on our purposeful and meaningful path.

WAR vs PEACE

Tiger is often seen as the symbol of power, authority, prestige, royalty, and war. The Tiger knows exactly what side of the fence it is standing on. And will then put every part of its fierce attention, and being, towards that intention. He has his eye on the prize and will stay laser focused to see it through.

The war has already begun. It is in each of us. Our greatest battles are fought within, but we often turn our anger towards others thus becoming at war with the world.

One of the simplest, yet most profound, quotes of this new-age era came from Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi embodied internal peace. No matter the chaos, disagreements, fear, or destruction happening around him, he stood strong without being swayed from his convictions. What steps can we take to create stillness, rest, a pause, a breath, gratitude, and peace in our own lives to bring more peace to our world?

This is the year to turn inward. To tune out the noise and the blame, and work on our own inner peace. Tuning into, and tending to, our Selves is a profound choice that will anchor and support other decisions we’ll make this year.

The Tiger is fierce. He is focused. And hungry. What are you hungry for?

The decisions you make this year will set the trajectory of your future self. Just get off the fence and keep moving. And remember that everyone around you, those next door, on the news and the other side of the planet, are all being influenced by these energies, too. There’s no time for judgment. Be patient and empathetic.

The Tiger is a keen observer. It’s our duty to witness the events that unfold before us, then turn inward—to our innate intuitive compass—to guide us along our path.

Are you curious how the 4 Chinese zodiac animals in your chart get along with the Tiger? Reach out to schedule your personal 4 Pillar Chinese Astrology Reading.

I am Tina Falk, a Chinese Metaphysician and Astrologer. I’ve been practicing this way of life since 2005. My goal is to provide a professional and intuitive perspective to enhance your awareness and appreciation of Self and Space. My role is to bring you into a place of being in gratitude, creating conscious intentions, taking action and believing in your own power. This will propel you into a more meaningful and purposeful life. I am a classically trained feng shui practitioner who also incorporates Landform and BTB principles. And to me, the most exciting aspect is integration of your 4 Pillar Chinese astrology charts. My approach allows me to personalize your whole feng shui experience! I can make recommendations that are specific to you, and each member of your family or business team. Everyone deserves that personal attention. Overall, I am here to support — sometimes with a firm stance, but always with love and empathy — and to inspire a new way in which you see the world and your place in it. Feng shui has enriched my life by revealing everything from the insanely obvious to the subtlest of energy in our surroundings. We are sensitive beings and when we can connect and create a sacred relationship with ourselves, our space and others…damn, life gets exciting and motivating! Feng Shui has been a true gift to me . . . and my family. I intend for it to be the same for you.

Connect with Tina: VIA Feng Shui Instagram

Lessons from The Lovers: Tarot’s Theme for 2022

a tarot card om blue and pink surface

Written by Kate Sheridan, Guest Contributor

All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re interested in numerology or the tarot, you may have heard that this year is a Lovers year. The logic is simple: when we add up the digits in 2022, we get 6, which leads us to card #6 in the Major Arcana — The Lovers.

But what does this mean?

Lovers Stereotypes

With Valentine’s Day come and gone, I find myself exploring all of the stereotypical themes we might associate with this card, the kind of surface-level interpretations that come to mind when we hear the word ‘lover.’ Surely this card signifies romantic love, a twin flame connection, finally meeting that tall, dark, and handsome stranger…

Right?

silhouette photo of couple during golden hour
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We all know the feeling. Let’s say you’re doing a tarot reading for yourself and you pull The Lovers, and your heart leaps up at the thought of meeting your Soulmate with a capital S. Oh my goddess! you think, It’s finally going to happen! Or maybe it’s not a Soulmate, but a new job, or your family’s approval, or any other kind of external validation of your worth. Your heart leaps up toward this someone or something, leaps or even grasps at it, and you’re left hoping that this desire is a foretelling of its consummation. Will The Lovers bring you a lover, bring you your heart’s desire?

Maybe it will. Indeed, true love is real. It happens every day.

Still, I can’t help but feel like The Lovers card needs a PR update, one that expands our understanding to encompass the full range of this archetype.

And I should know, having read tarot for myself all throughout my tender twenties, those years of relationships beginning and ending, of looking desperately for love, of enacting codependent dynamics over and over until finally my eyes were opened to the pattern of my life — and to the possibility of choosing another way.

As with all the cards, we’ve got to go beyond the “Little White Book” style of reading, that is, relying on the guidebook that came with your deck rather than tapping into your own intuition. If The Lovers card is only what the LWB says it is, then all we have to go on is “Attraction, love, beauty, trials overcome.” Or reversed — “Failure, foolish designs.”

Attraction or failure. Love or foolish designs on love.

Duality Traps

So often, our minds fall into these dualistic traps, especially when reading tarot: Will my future be good or bad? Will I succeed or fail? Should I stay or should I go? Is this decision right or wrong?

Will I meet my Soulmate, or will I be alone forever?

yin yang symbol on brown beach sand
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Upon closer inspection, it is precisely this kind of dualistic thinking that The Lovers card urges us to alchemize and expand. The classic image by Pamela Colman Smith depicts this process perfectly. First, the binary: man and woman, Adam and Eve naked in the Garden of Eden. Then, the expansion: the archangel Raphael, patron of matchmakers but also of medical professionals, Raphael whose name means “God heals.”

The word heal has the same etymological roots as the word whole, and this is the key to The Lovers. When we pull this card in a reading, often we are being asked to interrogate all the ways that we are making our wholeness contingent upon something or someone outside of us: If only I could be loved by this person, if only I could be as beautiful or talented as that person, if only I could be validated and recognized in this way… then I will be happy, then I will be whole. Then I will be healed.

Deeper Inquiry Leads to a Shift

Here’s the truth. When your heart leaps up toward that which you desire, it is the leaping itself that is asking to be acknowledged. The desire itself. The longing. In this tender feeling is the gesture toward Wholeness. Belonging. Union. The Lovers archetype points us not toward the Other (the person or thing we desire so much) — or even toward the Self (the remaining half of a binary equation) — but rather directly into the interstitial space between Self and Other, the ineffable yet palpable place where Self and Other become One.

“There is only One Light, and ‘you’ and ‘me’ are holes in the lamp shade.”

– Sufi poet Mahmoud Shabestari, by way of Paul Quinn, author of Tarot for Life

The question then becomes: how and why are you denying yourself access to this mysterious place of Union, of Oneness? How and why are you banishing yourself from the Garden, convincing yourself that someone or something outside of you is standing between you and your worthiness?

As we sit with these inquiries, we come to realize that our ability to experience Union with another will always be constrained by our ability to touch this place of Union within our own hearts. The extent to which we can receive love is directly proportional to the extent to which we can love ourselves, or better yet, the extent to which we can access Universal Love in our own heart chakras, harmonizing higher and lower frequencies — alchemizing duality — and attuning ourselves to Love as an orientation toward life, not a foolish design in which we either succeed or fail.

everything is connected neon light signage
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Remember that this alchemy is happening on a collective level, for one and for all, throughout 2022. Though you can and will learn Lovers lessons in deeply personal ways, this isn’t just a warm and fuzzy encouragement toward self-love. It’s no walk in the park, to enter a Lovers year now, in this era of great awakening but also of great existential threat. I believe that our collective survival depends upon the collective consciousness that is the fruit of Lovers labor. It feels like an urgent imperative, to bring this healing technology of the Heart back online, to re-member our interconnectedness to all beings and to all things, to reclaim the Earth as an Eden where each one of us is already worthy, already whole.

But we can’t achieve this Union by bypassing dualities, leaping over them and into Oneness. No, we must enter directly into duality, the feelings of separation, of unworthiness, the heartbreak and the longing, in order to see through the illusion of separation — and into the One Light.

The Lovers tarot card as depicted by artist Pamela Coleman Smith

To dig deeper into The Lovers card, you can check out Kate’s Year of the Lovers offering. She also recommends two podcasts, Tarot for the Wild Soul by Lindsay Mack and Between the Worlds by Amanda Yates Garcia. Here are some episodes from each that focus on The Lovers card:

Kate Sheridan is a tarot reader and astrologer who calls herself The Laundress. Through her project The Spiral Temple, Kate holds sacred space to re-member the Goddess, reawaken the Divine Feminine, and reconnect with the cycles of the Moon and the Wheel of the Year. You can find her online at www.thelaundresstarot.com and on Instagram @themodernlaundress.

Lion’s Gate Portal

Michelle Lewis, The Blessings Butterfly

What is the Lion’s Gate Portal? It’s essentially an astronomical alignment of the Sun in Leo, the big bright star Sirius, Orion’s Belt and the Earth that occurs at it’s peak on August 8.  While this energy is considered to be at it’s most potent on 8/8, this portal is “open” annually on or about July 26 through August 12.

white long coat lion
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This celestial alignment creates an energetic “portal” or gateway that enhances our own energy and can help to give a little extra magickal juju to your workings, intentions, and manifesting. Many people receive a greater sense of clarity during this time such as an awakening, and others find that their psychic abilities either “open” for the first time, or become more vivid if you’ve been practicing for a awhile.

Some people will experience this portal energy very intensely, but what if you don’t really feel anything? That’s okay. Subtle shifts are still shifts. Trust that you are aligning and adjusting in the ways that will serve you best. Maybe, just maybe, your energetic alignment is simply you having a more solid foundation and stability.

This is thought to be an excellent time for heart-healing, love workings, and doing the things that you really love to do. It can be absolutely transformative.

You don’t have to wait until 8/8. You can begin right now while the Lion’s Gate energy is lining up, and then maybe do a little ritual or celebration for yourself outside on the actual 8/8 peak portal date.  And if you missed doing anything on 8/8? You’ve still got time to do something today! Happy Manifesting!

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly

10 Powerful Mantras for Beating Burnout

By Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

How has your Summer been this year? I hope it has been full of Joy, Peace, and so many happy new memories. I also hope you are finding ways to recharge your energy. Keep reading for my top 10 mantras for beating burnout!

For me, this summer has been full of fun activities and connecting with friends every week. I’ve also been vending at local Psychic Fairs, doing in-person oracle and tarot readings in addition to working with my online clients, enjoying lunch dates with old friends, beach days, county fair, and hosting house guests. I love it!

summer letter cube on soil
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Listen, I love this Southern California sunshine and long days to hang out on my back patio, take a nature stroll, or work in my garden. Those are some of my key practices for grounding, centering, and clearing my energy. These are non-negotiable for me in order to not veer off into over-commitment and burnout.

Still, even with my non-negotiable self care practices fully in place… I’m tired, y’all.

Like DAMN, let me just take a nap already. Anyone else?

If you can use some leisure time to just BE and not constantly DO, then these next few mantras are perfect. These are the ones I use whenever I’m physically, mentally, or emotionally wiped out. Start with these mantras to get your mindset ready to come back from burnout. Which ones are your favorites? (Mine is the last one, lol)

10 Powerful Mantras for Beating Burnout:

  • I am allowed to rest for as long as I want and need to
  • It’s okay for me to pause
  • It’s okay for me to let someone else handle it today
  • My body wants to rest, and I am happy to give it rest
  • I am taking some time just for myself
  • I will be okay even if I miss out on this experience
  • There is still plenty for me to enjoy when I am ready
  • I am happier and feel better when I get enough rest
  • My friends/family/loved ones understand and support my healing
  • Shhhhhhhhhh
blanket with fruits on grass in mountains
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Whether you can get away for a dreamy 3-week vacation, or if you are able to enjoy a few days (or hours?!) here and there… you deserve a moment to yourself to rest & recharge.

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly

The Message of Summer & Fire

Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

Have you ever wondered why you feel a deeper connection to some seasons, but not others? It may be that the master element for your favorite season is also a master element in your astrological birth chart. To find out what your birth chart contains, get a free report here: Free Astrology Birth Chart Report

Today I want to share the message of Summer & Fire.

macro photography of black sunglasses on sand
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The season of Summer & the element of Fire are closely intertwined, energetically balanced and full of activity. This is well-known among Energy Work Practitioners, especially those with training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eastern Yoga, and of course witches, shamans, & pagans.

So… how can understanding and embracing Summer and Fire benefit you? Simply put, it can help you improve your health and access your Joy. Yes, even if the master element of Fire doesn’t rule your Sun sign.

Here are the key characteristics associated with the Fire Element:

  • Passion
  • Connection
  • Destruction & Transformation
  • Light & Warmth
  • Movement & Growth
  • Knowledge & Wisdom

The season of Summer belongs to and is ruled by the element of Fire. Taking this a step further, it is said that the element of Fire is ruled by the heart! So… what fires you up? What makes you want to get out of the darkness of isolation, and connect with other like-minded souls? Right now, this Summer- this is the time for you to come out and Shine.

silhouette of person holding sparkler digital wallpaepr
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Whenever you follow those little lights of Passion, they will inevitably lead you to your Joy. If you’ve been waiting for a sign, Honey this is it. It’s time for you to LIVE!

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly

10 Powerful Mantras for the New Moon

Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

One of my favorite teachings that the New Moon has to offer is this: You can always start over. I have found this idea that you can always start over to be a powerful mantra that has helped me to evolve and grow.

At the beginning of each lunar cycle, without fail, is the New Moon phase. It typically only lasts for 2-3 days and signals the start of the moon’s orbit around the Earth. In this phase, the moon is barely visible as she becomes perfectly aligned between Earth and the Sun. Over the next 28ish days, our lovely little moon will complete her dance around our planet, showing us a little bit more of her soft, celestial glow with each passing day.

silhouette of mountain under the moon covered with clouds
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During each New Moon phase, the energy is ideal for creating positive change. This might look like: setting fresh new intentions, crafting spells and sigils, refreshing and blessing sacred spaces & magickal tools, planting something, or making a move. To help move forward and embrace the cycles of change, I have developed the practice of creating powerful mantras or positive affirmations with each New Moon. Here are a few powerful mantras that help me get in the most positive frame of mind:

10 Powerful Mantras for the New Moon

  • I am aligned with the Divine Spirit and supported by the Universe
  • My life is unfolding in beautiful ways
  • I invite and welcome Joy, Love, and Prosperity into my life
  • My gifts, talents, dreams, and abilities are needed and useful
  • I am beginning something new and exciting
  • I believe in myself and am willing to trust my intuition
  • This New Moon reminds me that I am not afraid to face my Shadow
  • I am open to receiving all that brings about my highest good
  • I invite and welcome Peace, Gratitude, and Compassion
  • My journey is beautiful, powerful, and taking me where I want to go
person holding brown round table
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Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly

My Top 5 Favorite Crystals for Magickal Workings

Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

I’ve selected my Top 5 favorite crystals that I use personally for my own energy healing and also in my client work. There are so many gorgeous stones to choose from, and I have immense fondness for pretty much all of them. Narrowing it down to only five was a HUGE challenge!

#5- Black Tourmaline is easily in my Top 5 for its wonderfully grounding, protective properties and ability to absorb & transmute negativity (as is true with most black stones). I have a palm stone that has helped me through hundreds of difficult phone calls.

black stone
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#4- Labradorite is another gorgeous dark stone that is fantastic to hold. When it catches the light, it flashes the most beautiful rainbows! It is incredible for connecting with the spiritual realm and is considered “the stone of transformation and transition.” Big Fan.

#3- Amethyst is just GORGEOUS with all those luscious shades of purple ranging from deep grape kool-aid to soft lavender hues. It is wonderful for supporting all types of healing, and its vibration aligns beautifully to clear the crown chakra (Sahasrara).

purple and white crystal stone
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#2- Rose Quartz comes in hot at number two on my short list. This stone comes in various shades of pink and is magnificent for supporting Self Love and compassion. I often use this for aura brushing and in self-care work.

photo of rose quartz
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#1- Clear Quartz is my BFF of crystals. It is an amplifier that always plays nice with other crystals, and it is so versatile in magickal workings. It promotes feelings of positivity and clarity, and excellent in assisting focus during meditation.

a cluster of quartz crystal
Photo by Глеб Коровко on Pexels.com

Which are your favorites? Let me know which ones you have in your collection.

Here’s some shopping links for you if you’re looking to add some crystals and stones to your collection.

I earn a small commission from the Amazon links (with no additional cost to you) but if you shop directly from my online store, you will be directly helping my small business and my independent suppliers.

Crystals available in my online shop:

Crystals on Amazon:

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly