The Skill of Wanting

Written by Guest Contributor, James-Olivia Chu Hillman

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.

spiral notebooks placed on white cloth with burning candle
Photo by Diana Agapova on Pexels.com

If you’ve ever been in a conversation I’ve facilitated, you’ve probably heard me encourage you to show up with what you have and go after what you want. I say it a lot. Your wants are precious and worthy of regard. This idea can be a bit scary for some folks, and for good reason.


More than a few of us have been raised to disregard our own desires, to caretake, to people- please, to be “good,” to not disrupt, not make a scene. When we want something—resources, material goods, delicious food, satisfying sex, emotional connection, enjoyment of our own bodies, pleasure, success, power, authentic self-expression—we are labeled any number of things: greedy, irresponsible, undisciplined, wanton, immoral, needy, shameless, vulgar, bossy, pushy, weird, ugly, high-maintenance… I could go on.


Many of us were taught, either explicitly or through socialization, that only bad, careless, and harmful people are free to go after what they want.


When our own desire is disobedient, punishable even, we learn to hide and suppress what we want. If desire is bad and being bad is dangerous, then we’re safer and better off being good and keeping our desires to ourselves—or keeping them from ourselves. Going after what we want can be, initially, a massive undertaking that requires us to take the radical first step of knowing what we want. It can be a big, uncomfortable deal, and it can be courageous AF.

The Skill You Never Knew You Needed


Wanting is a skill. (This is great news, since a skill can be learned and you can get better at it with practice.)

Relationally, if we’re unskilled at knowing what we want, we’re probably even less skilled at asking for it… and even worse at relating when we don’t get it. Some of us can get up to some funky and woefully ineffective strategies (i.e. relational fuckery). We demand even though a request would suffice. We manipulate when we’re afraid to invite. We coerce, punish, or pretend we don’t have any personal power. We say nothing at all and expect people to magically know what we want and how we feel.


We shut down, roll our eyes, judge ourselves, talk to anyone but the person we have a message for, pretend a command is an invitation, diminish our own requests, pretend we don’t care, enact emotional violence—anything to avoid feeling our feelings and taking responsibility for our own needs and desires. The maneuvers are exhausting.

So what does it mean to show up with what you have and go after what you want in a way that regards both yourself and the other?

anonymous young lady paddling boat in lake during trip in mountains
Photo by Brady Knoll on Pexels.com


Since I don’t (and cannot) have your answers, I’ll share a few questions that guide me when I want something and the stakes feel high:

  1. What do I want? Am I being clear, honest, and specific—especially with myself? (Have I given myself permission to change my mind or want things I might not ever decide to pursue?)
  2. Am I open to the possibility that getting what I want may look different than I initially imagined, or am I attached to a prescriptive “how”?
  3. Am I willing to share my want with others… without placing responsibility on anyone else to make it happen for me? (Am I informing? Requesting? Demanding? Inviting?)
  4. Am I satisfied with compliance (e.g. delegating a task), or do I want enthusiastic consent (e.g. sharing a desire for intimacy or collaboration)?
  5. Am I willing to receive a “No” or “Not now” from another… without making it mean anything about my (or their) worthiness, goodness, or lovability?
  6. How will I tend to my feelings & experience and also get my needs/desires fulfilled in another way without punishing the other if they are unavailable to be a participant or resource for what I want?
  7. Have I decided to be the person I want to be whether or not I get what you want in this moment?

Desire holds possibility. Right relationship nourishes. More you is better.

james-olivia chu hillman

I’ll say it again (and again and again). Your wants are so very precious and worthy of your own regard. You are responsible for tending to them. You are responsible for being the person you have decided to be in the world. And you are responsible for your relationships—the primary relationship being the one you have with yourself.

If you’re unskilled or out of practice at knowing your own wants or going after them in ways that honor everyone involved, know that you’re not alone. We come by it honestly, and we can learn new skills and practices for being in joyful connection and right relationship with ourselves and the people we care for most.


Desire holds possibility. Right relationship nourishes. More you is better.


If you’re willing to share, I want to get to know you and hear what wants you’re willing to own and invite others into, and which relating skills you want to learn and practice. You can message me on Instagram (@inquisitive_human) or email me at james-olivia@inquisitivehuman.com.

James-Olivia Chu Hillman is a facilitator and enthusiastic advocate of necessary, uncomfortable, and life-changing conversations. They have a passion for asking squirmy questions that point us back to who we are and what we care about most. They spend most of their days knitting and talking with humans who want more joyful connection and less suffering in their relationships with themselves, the people they love & lead, and the world… and spend their nights with Ben (the human) and Lucy (the dog).

You can find James-Olivia at www.inquisitivehuman.com and on Instagram (@inquisitive_human)

A Journey of Sexual Healing

By Stacy Walker, 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.

anonymous woman with rainbow light on face
Photo by Wings Of Freedom on Pexels.com

It’s been just over five years, five years since I’ve had any intimacy. No sex, no kissing and no cuddles.

This wasn’t initially my decision, and at first for a long while, I’ll be honest it felt like a slow torturous death for me. Because in many ways it was. Most of the suffering starting out was because it wasn’t my choice. But I was the one that actually initiated it, without realizing at first.

I am a very physical woman, touch is my life force recharge. I love to have sex, and wanted it often, like at least every few days often, if not more. After my first divorce I refrained for a while, but once I reopened myself to it, the flood gates opened. They opened to a dangerous proportion.

I wasn’t reckless with situations, but I did quickly align myself with someone else who used sex as a distraction and addiction. The two of us getting together on weekends was a blur of sweat and showers. Often times topping off at twenty plus rounds in a weekend. It was quickly going from unleashing my sexual goddess and experiencing the best orgasms of my life, to numbing out and not being able to get enough.

Looking back on this and the one eighty turn I did after a few months of this indulgence, is an obvious intervention of the Divine.

woman wearing mesh blue dress lying on gray concrete floor
Photo by Ferdinand Studio on Pexels.com

Going Deep

It was during my birthday dinner with a long table of my new friends, that I got the ping. The notification that would launch my Soul into a long and tumultuous journey. It was my next ex husband messaging me via match.com. And my universe instantly shifted. So much so that within the first week of communication with this new man, I abruptly ended it with my recent sex companion. Cold stop. Which is now ironic, because as it turns out, that would be the last occasion for me to actually have a more functional sex life, as dysfunctional as it was. That was nearly ten years ago.

After a few weeks of corresponding with my now recent ex husband, we decided to meet in person. I was immediately enthralled with him. And when we said goodbye and he kissed me at my car, there in the late afternoon sun, the earth and my world shifted. For the first time in my life since I was a little girl, I was acutely aware of the dramatic change in the air and atmosphere around me, and within me. I knew in that instant that my life was about to radically change, and it did.

I was enraptured with this man, so much that I didn’t even notice at first that he wasn’t reciprocating any sexual body language. That he was actually just going through the motions and leaned heavily on his ability to dazzle me with his words and kissing. I was in it for the long haul, it was a spell, a spell as it turns out that my Soul had orchestrated. And that the energy shift I felt when he first kissed me was our Souls reigniting a long standing contract, one that now needed completion, and was necessary to launch me into a long initiation into the dark night of my own Soul. So that I could be the anchored and authentic Soul Guide I am now.

Sex was complicated from the start, he was always scrambling to avoid it, and I was always desperately wanting it, with him. Because I was so wildly attracted to him like I have never been with a man before, yet he kept me at an arms length. At first it was all about excuses and philosophies about wanting it to be different this time, and needing to still heal from ex’s cheating on him, etc. All the while talking about and flaunting his sexual experiences with others, and still showing obvious signs of being a womanizer. So many red flags, one after another after another. It was quickly becoming a mine field of red that no one could navigate. Yet I stayed.

It was like I had no choice, for the first time in my life I was going head first into something that made no sense, all I could do was feel. Feel the potential and feel the activation I felt in my entire body even just thinking of him. Which of course was just a new addiction. But also more, because my Soul actually was inviting me to see this through and to initiate my spiritual awakening. We did occasionally have sex, and with my level of attraction and addiction for all things him, I didn’t even notice how dysfunctional and lacking it really was. I was so far gone that the slightest crumb of affection and touch was all I needed, while pining and obsessing the entire time in between occasions, as to when I would get more. He was literally starving me sexually, which led to his ability to control me. This was his Souls ‘in’, in this contract playing out between us.

By the time his behavior shifted from this repeating cycle between just us to taking his toxic behavior outside of our relationship and using other women to hurt me, I was too far gone.

calm young woman looking at camera through broken window
Photo by Hebert Santos on Pexels.com

Coming to the Surface

The story that played out between us is an entire novel, a novel of Souls, shadows, victimhood, and eroticized wounds. We eventually married, which is when the sex dried up even more, from once or twice per month, to once every two months. But I was content suddenly, because he was finally ‘mine’ and he was content in knowing he ‘had’ me. So I relaxed into this new rhythm for a while, until just a few weeks before our one year anniversary when I took a trip to the beach with friends.

There on the beach at sunrise one morning I asked my friend to help me pray for healing between my husband and I, and for our sexual healing. This is the moment that I initiated the ending of my sex life (for now), and my journey into celibacy, without even realizing it. Because what we are praying for often shows up differently than we think it should, than we initially want it to. That what we are actually praying for is at the core of what we are wanting help with, but not at the surface level frustration of it, but at the root cause and ultimate healing of it.

As it turns out the last time my husband and I had sex before my trip, would be the last time we had sex. On that beach, I had an additional silent prayer, a shift within me, that I never wanted to have to fight for or beg my husband to have sex with me again. What I thought I was asking for was his healing, his emotional capacity to open, and for me to finally have the intimacy with him I so desperately craved. But ‘our’ sexual healing would not be the healing between us and our ability to come together in better harmony. It was to be a separate healing journey, one that would take us both by surprise, and yet not surprise.

It was to be a separate healing journey, one that would take us both by surprise, and yet not surprise

stacy walker

A few months had passed after that prayer, and I was beginning to suffer the death of my sex life, this is not what I wanted, this is not what I asked for, and this wasn’t fair. I tortured myself with what might have gone wrong, what did I say or do wrong. I became resentful and sure I was secretly being punished somehow. I even secretly resented my friend at first, because I thought maybe she did something wrong in the prayer. I had after all just only recently started praying again after giving it up most of my life due to religious trauma, and I had counted on her to guide me, which was just more victim coming to the surface for me to heal.

I spent the next year suffering, I spent it angry and confused. All the while my husband felt more relaxed and calmer than I had ever seen him. But I never begged or tried to seduce him into being with me. I decided to follow his cue to truly heal this and to feel less dysfunctional with our sexuality. As dysfunctional as it was for newlyweds to not have a sexual relationship between them, it was less dysfunctional than our previous way of dealing with it through arguing. So I allowed it space, and in this space I found clarity. Clarity not only between us, but in myself and the reawakening into my psychic gifts. Gifts that I had closed off since I was a little girl, out of self preservation and safety. Safety from other people, not from the spirits that were constantly around me. And through this psychic reawakening, I also experienced my spiritual awakening.

Two years had passed and I was deep into my own personal healing and Soul journey. And things between us relaxed and even became sweeter than I had ever expected, we found harmony in this new space of celibacy and calm. That my old tendencies to lean too hard into my sexual desires, and his old tendencies to avoid it by ironically playing the part of womanizer, stopped. The smoke had cleared for both of us. Here we temporarily found peace, a breather. And here is where truth could finally come through, for both of us, and between us. This was the agreement our Souls had made that sunny afternoon when we kissed next to my car.

light sun cloud japan
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Compassionate Clarity

A few more months into this two year journey had gone by when the biggest truth came through. I was finishing up some laundry and noticed a rubber band that had fallen out of his pants pocket. In that moment everything flashed before me, our history, his history, and his truth. In that moment I knew that his rejection of me sexually, was never about me. It was never about me not being good enough, or sexy enough or even young enough. It was solely about him and what he didn’t even know about himself. That I wasn’t actually aligned with his true sexual orientation. And that none of the women that he desperately flaunted were. It was all so clear. All of it.

The depth of compassion and heartache that immediately flowed through me took me to my knees, I didn’t think of myself. I thought of him and how tortured he must have been his entire life. And I wept. Then I made a new internal vow. Knowing that ultimately our marriage had to end, and that we both needed to live lives that honored our genuine needs. It took another three years, three years of compassion, grace and continued celibacy to steer us towards this ending. It nearly killed me. But I held the container and the space within it for us to come through a new depth of even greater harmony and truth. I poured absolute unconditional love into this man, I showed him the utmost compassion and understanding, and I held the space for him to eventually realize for himself what his truth is, and to find peace within himself.

That this space of celibacy between us enabled him to heal into his truth, and to start to heal a lifetime of wounds around it, and it enabled me to heal years of sexual and psychic trauma too. I am incredibly grateful for this experience between us, I consider it to have truly saved me, although it nearly killed me too, it ultimately did save me. It thrust me into a massive awakening and into the gifts I have carried for lifetimes, waiting to be embodied and used to serve others through, starting with myself and my recent now ex husband.

I am still currently celibate, as I am walking myself through the grieving of finally closing out this Soul agreement between us. Still unraveling the threads that kept me so closely bound for so long. Recognizing now that the intense passion I felt for him was the eroticization of my old wounds, lifetimes of wounds, being touched, triggered and activated for the purpose of healing and integrating. And that the level of intensity I had felt for so long was only a reflection of the intensity of my wounding, and the desperate plea for it to be met and healed.

In the months since this conscious uncoupling, so much has been revealed to me about the masculine and feminine energies within each of us, and between us. Regardless of how we identify, that these energies when brought into harmony through the healing of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within us individually, can create Divine Union between us as partners. That we can disarm the eroticized wounds and roles as victims, and embark on the hero’s journey into conscious co-creation. That conscious or even unplanned celibacy can both create a space for clarity and truth, a space of ease and also raw and open opportunity for the deepest sexual healing we could ever have imagined for ourselves. And possibly for those that witness us too.

Regardless of how we identify, that these energies when brought into harmony through the healing of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within us individually, can create Divine Union between us as partners.

stacy walker

I look forward to my journey moving forward, of further harmonization within myself, and in aligning with a new partner in true Divine Union and expression. While now knowing that whoever this man is, that he is also an opportunity for any additional wounds being called to the surface for healing and integration, through more conscious awareness, and not misunderstood eroticization. But also that he will be a reflection and celebration of all of the healing and transformations I have carried myself through so far. And that will truly be something glorious to experience and to exalt to.

Stacy Walker is an embodied Oracle, Akashic Records Reader and Teacher. She currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida where she is actively working with the Ley Lines in the area. 
Working with clients remotely primarily through zoom, as a Quantum Healer distance isn’t an issue, nor is time, these initiations, activations and healings are infinite and are just as effective as receiving in person. 

A Session with her provides tremendous insights, understanding and support. You are held by your Guides, and provided with what you are needing most in that moment. Coming away from your session with a greater understanding of many areas of your life and experiences, plus tools to further support your journey. 
Her primary mission is empowerment, through her Online Courses and Services, every individual can unlock their highest potential, and anchor in their own Souls Purpose and Personal Power. 

Connect with Stacy:

I will be offering my Akashic Records Readings at 50% Off for the remainder of the year (2021). 
•There isn’t any discount code required•The discount come off automatically in their shopping cart •No limit on purchases •These Sessions can be Gifted to others 
My New Soul Codex -Akashic Reading & Embodiment is open for enrollment now! Content will be accessible on Dec 1st.

https://anapoenergy.com/
https://anapoenergy.com/collections/access-ascend

Want some more good reads about personal empowerment? Try these: The First Pillar: Whole-Self Love [Part 1- Personal Empowerment Overview] Take Your Power Back I Said YES to Me!

I Said YES to Me!

By Angèle Cristina, Guest Contributor


Picture this: It’s a beautiful day in early September 2021 and I am sitting in a salon in Leipzig, Germany. I have just had my hair coloured pink. Dyeing my hair has been a ritual I have been following for the last 6 years. It is my way of showing my true authentic self. Let me explain….


It all began with me watching cartoons at a very young age. I became obsessed with this particular character who magically transformed from a girl to a showgirl. In the process, her hair changed from copper to turquoise or lilac or anything colourful! Little me was in awe! What I didn’t know at the time was how much this transformation would affect my subconscious and that later in life, it would become my business brand!


Just two days after getting married in 2016, I decided to colour my hair in a fun colour…finally! There I was at the salon excitedly asking for my favourite colour. I didn’t know how this was going to look or feel, but I confidently took a leap of faith and went for it. (This wasn’t the first time I took a leap of faith and I have to share that it gets easier every time!)


TURQUOISE!!!


My hair was turquoise! Oh my gosh. I loved it and I looked like the cartoon character I adored in the 90s. I was filled with this new youthful energy – I felt alive again. To be exact – my inner child became alive again! I hadn’t felt that feeling in a long time. I hadn’t allowed ‘her’ too. I had no idea that colouring my hair would have such a huge impact on me and feel so liberating.


Our honeymoon was in Hong Kong and Bali where I was a hit with locals as I looked like a character from Anime. People stopped me to take photos with me and I loved it. I enjoyed the attention and the smiles I brought to people’s faces. Who knew that hair colour could bring such joy to others too?


Nonetheless, back home after a dream wedding and vacation, the reality of life fell on me like a ton of bricks. I had a teaching meeting lined up soon after the trip and I couldn’t wait to show my colleagues and my boss my new cool hair and wedding ring. See, at the time, I taught drama to kids aged 4 to 15, so having coloured hair was going to work out – or so I thought.

The Ultimatum


The meeting started with some glances and sighs, but I expected that. I was living in Ireland and Irish culture was quite new to me at the time even though it’s quite similar to the one I was brought up in, back home, in Malta. During the break, the boss asked to speak to me outside in private. I was excited to share my honeymoon experiences with her – she was the only ‘friend’ I had in Ireland at the time. But to my surprise, the conversation revolved around my hair. And not in a positive way! My boss felt that my hair would be a distraction for the students and that it would look unprofessional for her company.

At first I thought she was joking. I nearly sniggered at her comments. But her tone set me straight and I dipped my head in embarrassment. She didn’t like it and wanted it gone, covered, changed, hidden. As long as no one saw it, I could keep it. Otherwise I had to dye it a ‘normal’ colour or, “there would be consequences.”


The free spirited me felt like it had just been locked away into a dungeon and the key thrown away. A heaviness lurked over me. It felt like an imprisonment of sorts. What was I to do?


Financially we weren’t in a situation where I could just stop working. However changing my hair felt like ripping away the last months’ happiness off my chest. My inner child had come out to play and she wasn’t ready to go anywhere,
I was torn with this dilemma. It was a very hard decision for me. Brain over heart. Work over fun. Safety over authenticity.


That’s it. Authenticity.


Was I being asked to change who I was to suit a company’s rules? Was I being asked to not show up as my true self, while ironically at the same time I was teaching kids to be who they aspired to be?


I sat with myself for a day. I had little time to make my mind up. In that day I went through all the things I enjoyed doing. All the things that still bring me joy. All the things that make me smile. Give me satisfaction. Light me up inside.
That new hair colour had definitely brought this out again but I did love teaching. However in that moment, right there, I felt that that decision was bigger than me. I felt that if I made the wrong decision, I would regret it for the rest of my life. And I am a No Regrets kinda girl.

The Defining Moment


The word AUTHENTIC kept resurfacing. I had been working with kids for over 15 years by then, and I knew that whilst I was with them, I couldn’t deny being myself. Thoughts kept going through my head, “I can’t wear a hat or hide my hair. I can’t show a version of me to them that is not my true authentic self. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t want to do that!”


I met my boss at a random café I had never been to before. My heart was racing. I had only made one big decision before this so I was quite new to life changing decision making. I was early. I sat with my bottle of still water as I stared outside the window overlooking Cork city centre. There she was. My boss, with her huge smile, making it harder for me to make my call.


Her sprightly manner seemed very jarring to how I felt. She gave the impression that she was sure I was going to stay. It was as if she was certain she had convinced me that I still needed her. Little did she know that she was the one who needed me, but at that point, it was too late. The conversation was very dry. I didn’t want my emotions to take over. I stated the facts and my reasoning and asked her to respect them and not dispute them. She was shocked. She didn’t expect this level of confidence in my turquoise coloured hair self. She nodded her head to show understanding of my point and left.


I did it. I had just said No to being inauthentic. I just said Yes to Me.


My inner child will stay out to play and since then, she has not left.

I did it. I had just said No to being inauthentic.

I just said Yes to Me.

Angèle cristina


We all have defining moments in our life, where we get to choose and stay true to our authentic self. Very few are brave enough to take this step. But you don’t need to do it alone. I coach women+ to show their authentic selves. This is the best version of you, it will be you at your happiest and the most aligned version of you. It’s time to step out and shine.

__

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.

Angèle Cristina is an Intuitive Empowerment Coach from Malta who helps women+ worldwide find their truth, happiness and magic. Through her coaching work, she helps them find their power, confidence, voice and ultimately their true authentic selves.

Connect with Angèle :
Link to my free call: https://angelecristina.as.me/freeconnectioncall
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angelecristinaofficial/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpGUBFQKdgPdQZRNspuVd3Q

Want some more good reads on being your authentic self? Check these out: When “Love & Light” Is Not Enough: What I Learn From Times of Conflict; Changing the World Your Way; The First Pillar: Whole-Self Love (Part 3- Loving the Body You Live In)

Retrograde Retrospective

Written By Montine Rummel, Guest Contributor

Oct. 13, 2021 

Can we please stop using retrogrades as a scapegoat for our discomfort and lack of preparation?  

As astrology has become more mainstream over the last few years, there has been growing panic surrounding retrogrades because it seems like it’s a fun thing for media companies to sensationalize for clicks and ad revenue (from my perspective, anyway). Looking at some of the language being used in the last few weeks we see “a reign of retrograde confusion” that’s “coming for your relationships” and so many “survival guides” to get one through.  

While astrological retrogrades have had a bad rap for centuries, and they can indeed shake things up, ultimately, we are the ones who are in the driver’s seat for this ride, and it doesn’t need to be a wild one.  

While astrological retrogrades have had a bad rap for centuries, and they can indeed shake things up, ultimately, we are the ones who are in the driver’s seat for this ride, and it doesn’t need to be a wild one.

montine rummel

What is a retrograde? 

A retrograde is when the apparent motion of a planet from the perspective of someone on Earth appears to slow down and even move backwards for a period of time before appearing to move forward again. Here are two of my favorite gifs that show what it would look like if we looked at the same spot in the sky over the course of a few weeks. 

Venus Retrograde

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b6/32/dd/b632dd33ada494ef64526e0b72519eac.gif

Mars Retrograde (this link goes to a video, not a gif)

https://external-preview.redd.it/W04sJNvzt9QzGptfE0ZiuH8lgRV_-QSpFl1CyyCpP4E.gif?format=mp4&s=cdc7a9c775a19dcfa21e1146f6c2193eed9bdf5

As you can see, the apparent motion of Venus and Mars seems to slow down and move backwards. 

Astrologically speaking, during this time when the planet appears to be slowing down or moving backwards, the energy of the planet also is said to slow down or be stalled. 

This movement was not lost on ancient astronomers and astrologers. Vettius Valens was a Hellenistic astrologer born in 120 AD who wrote “The Anthology” — the longest and most detailed treatise on astrology which has survived from that period (thank you, Wikipedia!).  

It is clear from some of his writing that even 2,000 years ago retrogrades were deemed unpleasant: 

“If the star is setting or proceeding with a retrograde motion, it will be harmful and hazardous.” Vettius Valens, The Anthology, Book III, translated by Mark T. Riley 

Vettius could totally write for Bustle.  

Changing our perception of retrogrades

Even if retrograde energy is here to fuck shit up, we don’t have to let them overtake us. We can accurately predict retrogrades, so much like a hurricane, we can prepare for what is coming. The challenge is that this requires a bit of self-awareness and forethought which is seemingly more of a luxury in this post-capitalist hellscape we call life. The demands of merely surviving in this world don’t often leave everyone with enough time to reflect on the ways we move through and react to it.  

Also, retrogrades can affect us in many ways. Most articles about retrogrades are only written based on how they might affect a Sun sign, which is about as much as general audiences know about their birth chart. But the placement of Mercury in one’s chart, as well as house placements come into play, as well. This article was written a couple years ago and does a great job describing the 3 ways to observe a retrograde based on the planets in your own chart. If you don’t have your birth chart, Café Astrology has a great one for free.  

If this starts to feel overwhelming, just keep in mind that these are just offerings of different perceptions to observe during a retrograde! Remember: a retrograde is only the perception from our viewpoint, it is not the only source of truth. If we were to view a Venus retrograde looking down on the solar system like in the gif above, we would see Venus continue in her orbit as usual; it would not look like she’s slowing down or moving backwards. So, what we can do for ourselves during these times is seek out new perspectives and ways of thinking about whatever energy the retrograde is supposed to represent. For example, if this Mercury retrograde in Libra was “coming for our relationships,” what perspectives would be best to learn and understand?  

Start each retrograde by being curious about at least one aspect and see what you notice! 

woman in gray tank top and black cap
Photo by Anthony Brown on Pexels.com

You could have told me this a few weeks ago… 

Both Jupiter and Mercury will go direct in the next few days, Saturn is already direct, so why mention saying any of this now? If I want to prepare, why not say something BEFORE it happens?  

I’m glad you asked! This is the perfect time to reflect on what exactly did come up for you. Make some time to journal about the following events and their aspects from this year. You don’t need to through every single one of these, of course. They are just some of the available perspectives to choose from! 

This Mercury retrograde in Libra, Sept. 27-Oct. 18, 2021 

man in black suit and black pants painting
Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com
  • Think about anything regarding communication, such as how you communicate with others, methods of communication, and so on. Pay extra attention to anything related to your relationships. What went right? What went wrong?  
  • Think about travel and transportation and anything else related. 
  • Think about thinking, mental clarity, and types of thoughts you have been having, again paying extra attention to anything related to relationships.  
  • Think about any physical feelings or ailments that appeared in your brain, nervous and respiratory systems, and thyroid. 
  • If you have any planets in Libra, look up their aspects and home in on those. 
  • If you have any planets in your seventh house, look up those aspects and home in on those. 
  • Look at the sign Mercury is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too. 

Jupiter Retrograde in Pisces, June 20-Oct. 18, 2021 

black and white stars during night time
Photo by Guy on Pexels.com
  • Think about anything regarding growth, healing, prosperity, and fortune that happened in these last few months, especially regarding your emotions, dreams, and creativity. 
  • Think about any physical feelings or ailments that appeared related to your liver, kidneys, ears, and tongue. 
  • If you have any planets in Pisces, look up their aspects and home in on those. 
  • If you have any planets in your twelfth house, look up those aspects. 
  • Look at the sign Jupiter is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too. 

Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius, May 23-Oct. 10, 2021 

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Photo by Giorgi Iremadze on Pexels.com
  • Think about anything regarding your career, authority figures, stability, and achievements, especially regarding individuality, intellect, compassion, and justice. 
  • Think about any physical feelings or ailments that appeared related to your skin, hair, teeth, and bones. 
  • If you have any planets in Aquarius, look up their aspects and home in on those. 
  • If you have any planets in your eleventh house, look up those aspects. 
  • Look at the sign Saturn is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too. 

The more you pay attention to the different aspects that exist, the more patterns will start to emerge, especially as you do it over time. Then you’ll be able to know exactly which areas of your life you need to pay closer attention to during retrogrades and other astrological events.  

Have you ever noticed that some people don’t seem phased by astrological events when others do? These people might be prepared and ready to roll with them, but they might also have aspects in their chart that don’t get shaken up as much at the time. Observing these events and paying attention to the different aspects of your chart can help you learn what you can roll with and what you need to be more prepared for! 

The upcoming Venus retrograde  

woman statuette during golden hour
Photo by Etienne Marais on Pexels.com

The next planet to go retrograde will be Venus Dec. 19, 2021-Jan. 1, 2022, in Capricorn and will be the perfect time to practice seeking these new perspectives. Here are some things to observe during this time: 

  • Anything regarding beauty, love, unification, and harmony, especially regarding the areas of work, stability, and responsibility. What might benefit from some extra care and attention? 
  • Anything regarding your reproductive system, lower back, throat, or circulatory system. Take extra care of yourself during this time if you have any conditions related to these areas. 
  • If you have any planets in Capricorn, look up their aspects and see what might benefit from some extra care and attention. 
  • If you have any planets in your tenth house, look up those aspects. 
  • Look at the sign Venus is in on your chart and home in on those aspects, too. 

Being aware of the energies and possibilities at play will help give ourselves more a sense of control as we navigate our days and help us learn even more about the way we work and what makes us tick. Knowing how different energies affect us will also allow us to prepare for ones that are heavier or take advantage of the ones that can propel us further than we’d be able to go on our own.  

If you enjoy exercises like this, check out my workbook for 2022! It will include prompts for each Full and New Moon to help you explore your psyche and get to know yourself better. You can find more at BookOfMyShadows.com

Check out a free sample from Book of My Shadows for 2022!


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.

About Montine:

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!

Want some more good reads about connecting with cosmic energies? Check these out: The Third Pillar: Natural Harmony (Part 1- Connecting with Nature); Embody Your Archetype: The High Priestess; New Moon, New Beginnings

6 Power Practices to Shift from Blah to Bliss

By Marcia Mariner, 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.

We ALL require access to divine sweetness in our lives to thrive. The sweetness or “sweet spot” that I am referring to is a profound feeling of soul nourishment, a constant connection to our innate worth, wisdom, power, and assurance of the infinite wealth that is always here for us.

That sweetness is mostly locked away deep within us. Many of us have had to harden our hearts to survive in a world that devalues the sacred feminine. Most women have been in a state of survival, operating from an outdated model that programmed us to excessively sacrifice our desires and well-being.

Unfortunately, this type of survival functioning results in women feeling frozen and disconnected from our hearts and therefore from the very nourishment required to fully actualize our potential.

Women, activated in our divine sweetness, are a powerful transmitter of this vital nutrient. We create a portal for miracles in us and in those around us. That is why it is essential that each awakening woman find her unique portals to access this sweet spot within. To discover and accomplish our destiny, having access to that inner sweet spot must be and must remain our number one priority.

Power Practice #1: Say YES to Love

Opening to love is a practice that you must choose to in every moment if you want to experience the fullness of divine sweetness is available for you. If you are lost in a trance of scarcity or unworthiness, or if you are not willing to say yes to love, then you will not experience the profound benefits constantly offered to you to live in your sweet spot.

brown steel letter b wall decor
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Power Practice #2: Find Your Unique Sweet Spot Portals & Savor Them

Each of us has unique sources that activate this divine sweetness. For example, many women love connecting with the Earth’s wisdom, beauty, power, and rhythms as a portal to their divine sweetness. Also, making room in your heart to nurture yourself and cultivating life-giving relationships and activities powerfully expands your access to this inner sweet spot.

Create time to discover inspired ways to sustain and expand access to your heart. Some women find that taking several three-minute breaks to be outside throughout their day can help them shift into their inner sweet spot. Others who are too depleted or who do not have sufficient skills to access their sweet spot will require more time and skills development to make and sustain that inner shift.

When you feel drained, it is important that you know how to quickly and powerfully source yourself and realign with that energy. In fact, the more you are serving and/or leading others in one form or another, the more vital it is to know how to renew yourself so that you show up from the best within yourself.

If your daily activities are not aligned with your sacred gifts, you will feel far away from that sweet spot. If this is the case, the misery you are feeling is a loving sign to wake up and get on your soul aligned path which will lead you to that sweet spot.

woman with white hair and black eyes
Photo by Merlin lightpainting on Pexels.com

Power Practice #3: Show Up Consciously and with Full Awareness in Order to Receive

Learn to seek out and savor the depth, breadth, and vastness of the sweetness. When you notice them, show up fully present and receive from them. Perhaps there is a divine message coming through. It is important to be attuned and available so that you are conscious of your unique portals when they are being revealed to you.

Consciously focus on using all of your senses to be in that higher energy. As you do, your energy will rise, and you will feel a vibrational shift occurring within you.

silhouette of woman standing near cliff
Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

Power Practice #4: Express gratitude for these portals

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude amplifies the sweetness that you can experience. Make this a habit as you go throughout your day. Even the subtle energies of sweetness that show up in our daily lives are powerfully expanded through a gratitude practice.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude amplifies the sweetness that you can experience.

marcia mariner, m.a. lmhc

Power Practice #5: Let Go of Resistance and Fully Embrace All of Your Emotions

It is not unusual when the heart opens to feel deep emotions coming up for clearing. The emotions that surface is natural and part of your organic unfolding. Awakening women are thawing out from centuries of collective trauma and neglect. Draw close to all of your emotions. If pain surfaces, welcome it with love. Let go of judgment and move towards your pain with the tenderness you would have for a young child.

Constantly source yourself from the beauty, joy and spiritual nourishment you are being given through your unique portals. This is especially important when you are experiencing a major loss or a time of transition. The healing of the heartbreak will naturally follow. By saying yes to what shows up and by trusting your process, you will emerge more fully in your radiant essence with each layer of past conditioning that has been shed.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Power Practice #6: Find a Mentor and Join a Supportive Collective of Other Heart-centered Visionaries

This creates the optimal conditions to activate your sacred worth, discover your unique portals and anchor in your sweet spot. It provides a feeling of safety and connection, which naturally gifts you with a collective sweetness and opportunity to accelerate your full becoming. This personal support also helps you process challenging emotions and share your dreams in a supportive climate. This expands your heart’s power to give and receive love.

As your power to access your sweet spot develops, you discover what it feels like to fully thrive from the inside out. This inner assurance empowers you to love more freely and embrace the outer uncertainties of life with confidence and grace. The stabilizing support of this collective sweetness frees you to fully embody your authentic self and move in the direction of your dreams at lightning speed.


Marcia Mariner, M.A. LMHC

Marcia is a sacred feminine empowerment coach, certified hypnotherapist, and licensed counselor who specializes in empowering awakening women to break free from patriarchal conditioning, reclaim their feminine power and create lives they love. For over 25 years, Marcia has provided and continues to provide her clients with individual sessions, women’s empowerment circles, psycho-educational programs, and destination retreats. Marcia loves creating a safe space for women to connect on a heart-to-heart level so that they feel supported not just to heal, but to become who they are divinely encoded to be.

An exciting free gift from Marcia:
https://marciamariner.com/free-gift-2/

Want some more good reads about personal empowerment? Check these out: Take Your Power Back; #FridayFeels Empowered ; Transformational Positivity and the 4 Pillars


Are You Brave Enough?

Written By Guest Contributor, Lisa Winston

Trigger Warning: This post contains mentions of serious disease, abuse, sexual violence.

My life has been hard. One challenge after another since I was very young. Then, one year after finally meeting the love of my life at the age of 59 and beginning a life-long dream of travel, international speaking, writing books and more, I got hit with an excruciatingly difficult personal health challenge, one that was totally unexpected. I collapsed with neuro-Lyme disease, a disease that rendered me unable to go out in public for almost a year. I became so panicked, I could have been institutionalized. My brain and eyes didn’t work. I couldn’t see clearly and my visual perception was way off. I felt like I was going blind and crazy. And that was just the beginning of the 25 severe symptoms I was about to experience. 2019 was the longest year of my life.

As I began to slowly heal, I was beyond anxious to be able to eat at restaurants, go to a movie, shop and travel. I pushed myself and flew to LA in January of 2020, for a movie premiere with my love, even though I didn’t look or feel very well. I got to briefly see my daughter who was driving from San Diego back to Oregon. It was a first step. It felt good.

I made plans. I looked forward to the future and I couldn’t wait to be well again.

And then, Covid hit. And it hit hard. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t see it coming. All of my intuitive capabilities didn’t give me a clue. No one else saw it coming either. Shock, fear, uncertainty and eventually depression hit. Now what? What if I or someone I love gets sick or dies? Will we have enough toilet paper? How will we make a living? Will life ever be the same?

For someone who teaches that life is happening FOR us and not TO us, two big crisis’ in one year was too much. In that moment, I was forced to choose between giving up what I teach and believe or using every tool I had in my toolkit. I didn’t like what I was experiencing but I had a deep knowing that what I teach is true, so I clung to it. That choice saved me and that’s why I’m sharing this with you today.

What do you do when LIFE challenges you?

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Photo by Olya Prutskova on Pexels.com

When life throws us curve balls, we have two choices. We get to jump into a deep state of fear, depression and negativity, or, we can choose to see things in a different light, a more positive light. You know the saying “what you focus on grows?” Well, it’s 100% true. We are energetic beings who always attract what we think, feel and vibrate. We attract our dominate vibration. And again, we always get to choose. We are not victims of fate, but deliberate creators with power.

One thing I know for sure, is that when I look back over my life and all of my challenges; abuse, r*pe, divorces, losing my home to wildfire, breast c*ncer and Lyme, I can absolutely SEE how Spirit (God, the Universe, the Divine) is woven through all of my “stories.” I can see how things were perfectly orchestrated just for me. I can find evidence of loved ones supporting me, unexpected people showing up; proof of everything I needed being provided in perfect timing and yes, even miracles.

So, we can all go to the “dark side,” but why would we want to? We all have a habit of expecting the worst. But what would happen if we expected the best? We can’t possibly see the entire picture; only the Divine can do that. So, what if we chose to amp up our faith, and trust that something bigger than us, some “thing” that loves us so much, actually has our back and wants us to experience good?

You Can’t Just Sit There

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Photo by Ithalu Dominguez on Pexels.com

Whether it’s Covid, a health challenge, relationship breakup, trouble with your kids or your job, you get to choose how you’ll show up. If you sit around mulling things over in your head, nothing will get better. And I guarantee, you will suffer. But, if you decide to jump in, say YES to whatever is happening for you, not only will things improve, but you will feel better. I live by this. It’s been my saving grace and my greatest strength.

Taking action is imperative, even if only baby steps at first. When you actively participate in asking questions, listening for answers and raising your vibrations, victimhood falls by the wayside. I’m not saying these things are easy at first, especially when you’re in a crisis, but you can absolutely work through your human moments and inch your way into using your superpowers. My bout with Lyme propelled me into the darkest night of the soul I ever experienced. I was sure I was dying and there were days I wanted to die. But there was a fire that burned inside of me that was greater. I found my way to it, and so can you.

Do Anything And Everything To Raise Your Vibes

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Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com

When I was ill, one day I just decided I was going to fight for my life. From that moment on, I did every, crazy thing I could think of to show the Universe I meant business. I did energy work all day long; I listened to Jason Mraz and danced around the apartment even though I couldn’t see! I put affirmations on sticky notes large and small and stuck them on windows, ceilings and walls. I videotaped my journey for teaching when I was well. I meditated and more.

So, when life hits you with things unexpected, try one or all of these things. I promise, if you’re determined enough and don’t give in to your old negative human habits, they will help.

1. Start an “evidence journal.” Just as I explained above, write down all of the things you remember about difficult times in your life when you absolutely saw the hand of the Divine working on your behalf. Look at these miracles often and be in gratitude.

2. Ask, “what is this here to teach me?” Then, stay out of your head and wait as long as it takes for an answer(s). Be patient. It will come.

3. Reframe your thinking. This is imperative. If you feel you’re powerless in your situation, ask yourself how this wonderful challenge has come to assist you in stepping into your power. If you feel that horrible things always happen to you, ask yourself how this situation is happening FOR you. Look for the evidence. Reclaim power over your “stinkin thinkin” and learn to see the good. Question your thoughts, self-talk and beliefs and soon, you will see that most of the things you tell yourself are just not true!

4. Visualize a happy outcome. I call this pre-paving your future. Once you get good at seeing yourself healthy, happy, in love, etc, then add emotion to it. Don’t just see yourself in these situations. FEEL the story as if you’re living it. This kind of energy creates.

5. Learn to be in gratitude for anything and everything. Gratitude is a high vibration. Even if you don’t feel grateful because your dominant vibration is fear, do it anyway. Create a list. As you commit to doing it more often, your vibrations will begin to rise.

6. Do something you love that’s high vibe. We are creators. When we don’t create, we stagnate. Sing. Dance. Paint. Take a walk.

And, above all else, love and be gentle with yourself. It’s all a part of the journey.

lisa winston

And, above all else, love and be gentle with yourself. It’s all part of the journey. The more you practice these skills during the difficult times, the more grit you acquire, the more you ignite your inner fire and the more confident you become, knowing all things are here to make you stronger. And, you get to help others through your experience!

So, are you brave enough?


Lisa Winston is a gifted vocalist, #1 international bestselling author of “Your Turning Point,” TV host, intuitive mindset strategist and inspirational speaker.  A life of extreme challenges, including losing her home to wildfire, breast cancer, and neuro-Lyme disease, made her hungry for a deeper connection to Source and determined to find her true calling.  Today, she shares the message that life is always happening for you and challenges are sent to refine, not define you.  Lisa has produced many influential global summits and is also featured on online summits, national radio, podcasts and trainings.  She co-hosts and produces The Mindset Reset TV Show, a weekly series which reaches millions, worldwide.  Lisa is so grateful to be mom to her beautiful daughter, Sarah, and to live, teach, and speak across the globe with her soulmate, life partner and love, Dr. Joe Vitale.

“Say YES to life and allow it to transform you at the deepest level.” – Lisa Winston
Lisa Winston Television Host, Producer, Best-Selling Author, The Unstoppable Resilience Coach and Speaker Cosmic Love, LLC(c) 858-705-2134 MindsetResetTV.com Inquiries: inquiries@mindsetresettv.com
Personal Website: www.LisaAWinston.com 
Personal Email: thebeautyofauthenticity@gmail.com

This article appeared originally on www.LisaAWinston.com and is reprinted here with the express permission of the writer. 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.

Open Letter to a Little Girl

Written by Sherry Van Antwerp, Guest Contributor

mother and daughter in the garden
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

To: The Little Girl That Just Wanted Love

From: Your Adult Self

Date: The Here and Now

RE: Exciting Status Update

Hello Little One,

I’m sorry I haven’t taken the time to write to you sooner. Honestly, I didn’t know exactly what to say because I’m still trying to figure out what is going on!

First, let me say that I’m sorry you had to endure so much at such a young age. At a time in your life when you should have felt care-free, you instead felt a tremendous burden.

That wasn’t right.

I know that you desperately wanted, and needed, love and attention. And for real, we all do!

You shouldn’t have had to struggle so hard to feel that.

Sometimes you decided that doing things absolutely perfectly was the way you got attention, and maybe just a smattering of love, but it didn’t fill you up.

You just learned that you had to excel at everything in order to even get noticed.

And that success was always fleeting because there was always the next goal, or project, that came along.

So you’d start all over again working so, so hard to get it right.

To get noticed.

To get a little acknowledgement and a few precious moments of feeling like you were worthy.

Sometimes you thought, well F*ck this all, and became a little Rebel. That defiant little self showed up when you were tired of fighting to be valued.

If no one cared, why should you?

But deep inside you felt a bit selfish, and that you were just a disappointment.

Again, not worthy.

I’m so very sorry that things weren’t different. But know that I have learned some lessons, and I’m working on making changes for us.

I want you to know that you are always loved and worthy now. We don’t need external validation, because honestly that’s just always going to be a game with someone else determining our worth.

But here’s the big news that I’ve learned for us!

It is OK to make taking care of ourselves a priority! WOW!

I know, I know… we thought that we always had to be excelling and preforming and being the “good” one.

Everyone and everything came before us, because that’s how we had always gotten acknowledgement!

We were the great employee that went above and beyond, the great mom doing alllll the things, the spouse that kept it all going (even though we often resented it).

Little One, I have figured out that isn’t how it works! Because I can’t be anyone’s rock if I’m crumbling.

So now I’m making us more of a priority. It doesn’t mean I’m shoving everything else aside, because well… reality! But I am making sure that I’m on the list.

Self-care doesn’t have to mean “me first” but it does mean “me too.”

I’m excited for the future and I want you to know that I value what you went through. You are amazing, just the way you are.

Love you and I mean it!

Little One, I have figured out that isn’t how it works! Because I can’t be anyone’s rock if I’m crumbling.

sherry van antwerp

Sherry VanAntwerp, also known as The GenX Whisperer, is an intuitive mindset coach and speaker. With 20+ years in corporate, raising two children and triumphing over traumatic losses, she now helps GenX women uncover and discover their passion and purpose to create more fulfilling lives. Sherry’s perspective on the craziness of life as a GenX woman drives her mission to help women follow through with their own life transformation because you can’t be anyone’s rock if you’re crumbling!

Follow Sherry on Instagram: @the_genx_whisperer

Want some more good reads about healing? Try these oldies but goodies: How I Became The Blessings Butterfly, Pt. 2: Redemption Story Positivity is My Superpower, Negativity is My Kryptonite #FridayFaves: Healing Your Trauma Through Meditation, Featuring Rachel John of Soul BEing

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.

Grounding yourself in what matters to you…

By Tracy Neely, Guest Contributor

There’s a spark inside of you and we all see it. Do you? Life has a way of sometimes masking our light underneath beliefs, thoughts, and life circumstances that keep us from feeling grounded in our desires.

We are just past the halfway point for 2021. What is life showing you right now? Is it in alignment with your desires?

As we experience life and everything that comes with that, I want to share a grounding practice with you that can activate your root energy center and stimulate a remembrance of what matters to you, so that in the moments when we may feel challenged, we can remember what’s important to us.

There have been many moments when I have felt lost or felt disconnected from myself. In those moments, the practice of grounding into my desires has supported me in feeling more rooted in myself and what matters to me. Our main energy channels direct energy up and down and all around our body. They affect our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual bodies. We have additional energy centers that exist in our hands, feet, below our physical body and above our physical body. For now we are going to focus on our root center, our first energy center.

Life has a way of sometimes masking our light underneath beliefs, thoughts, and life circumstances that keep us from feeling grounded in our desires.

tracy neely

Root Energy Center

Our root center (first energy center) is the energy center located at the base of our spine.

  • It is connected to how safe we feel.
  • It governs our sense of stability.
  • It takes into account our self-preservation.
  • It shows us how connected we are to our community.
  • It is tied to our basic instinct of survival.
  • It is the foundation upon which everything else is built.
  • It is deeply connected to the Earth and signals to us how grounded we feel in our body, in our emotions, in our mind.

The symbolism of this practice is represented by a tree with strong roots. Without strong roots, a tree will wither and die. With strong roots, a tree will flourish and nurture everything around it. Words are very powerful and create energy in our lives so I’m sharing a practice that can ground you back into your true self. With so much going on in the world, it’s easy to lose ourselves or forget what matters to us.

Grounding Practice

This grounding practice is very simple and powerful. I discovered this from a beautiful soul name Oracle Blue. I’ve adapted it so that it connects with your root energy center.

Think of five words that root you back into yourself. These five words remind you of who you are when the world wants to tell you something different.

Take some time to get still and breathe. Think about your five words and write them down.

These five words will direct you throughout everything you do personally and professionally.

I’ve included two illustrations. You can print out the first one and fill it out and refer back to it. The second illustration is my five words. They are the foundation of who I am even when I doubt myself. It’s a remembrance of what matters to
me.

Prompt

As you write down each word, bring your attention to the base of your spine and breathe in your five words, allowing them to ground into your root energy system. If you’re so inclined, I would love for you to share your five words with us by commenting on this blog post.

As we navigate the rest of this year and connect with what lights us up, come back to your five words and feel the energy of them so that you continue to feel grounded in what matters to you.

I’m sending you love as you connect with the deepest part of yourself and experience a remembrance of being grounded and rooted in your whole self.

Gratitude and Love, Tracy

Tracy Neely – Intuititive Healer, Certified Life Coach and Seer For Womxn Entrepreneurs
Mindset Alchemy®

[A lovely Black Womxn sits in front of a gray brick wall. She is wears her natural curls in a way that frames her face. She has a black v-neck blouse on and smiles at the camera.]

Tracy Neely is an Intuitive Healer, Certified Life Coach, Seer and Soul Priestess for coaches, healers, and visionary womxn entrepreneurs that are ready to elevate to the next level of their business and experience success doing what lights up their soul.  ⁣Tracy believes that transforming the way we work in our business is an inside job. ⁣Tracy believes that harmonizing and balancing our energy, activating our light and accessing our gifts will amplify the impact we desire to share with the world through the transformational work she does with her clients. Tracy works one-on-one with private clients in her Elevate Alchemy Private Coaching and Healing Program and through her Mindset Alchemy Sessions. Tracy utilizes ancient healing tools, techniques and practices to support and guide her clients through their inner-transformation so that they experience a powerful shift in their life and business.

Connect with Tracy: Website Facebook Instagram Email: info@tracyneely.com

Want to read more about energy healing practices? Try These from The Blessings Butterfly: A Story About Energy & Healing Mindset Shifts and Deep Healing Transformational Positivity and the 4 Pillars

Watch this interview between Tracy Neely and Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

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.

Embody Your Archetype: The High Priestess

Written by Guest Contributor, Kate Sheridan

“Archetypal energy carries a much higher charge than personal energy — the difference between a thunderbolt and a duckling’s quack.” – Marion Woodman

purple and brown colored planet
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The first time I felt the presence of The High Priestess, I was at a music festival with a group of friends. As we set up our tents and settled in, we showed off our costumes and festival gear. A friend pulled out a long robe, blue and black and white. The moment felt like a thunderbolt. “The High Priestess!” I said aloud, and just a few minutes later, a friend from another campsite tapped me on the shoulder, and I said it again. It was precisely the image a tarot reader had recently used to describe The High Priestess to me: “She’s that tap on your shoulder,” she’d said, “that comes when you least expect it.”

It wasn’t that the robe had simply reminded me of the card. Instead, the archetype had become manifest to me through the robe. Learning to sense the difference is precisely what The High Priestess represents: she appears in a reading to encourage us to tap into our intuition rather than our rational mind. She speaks to us in patterns of synchronicity, only accessible when our psychic channels are open. She invites us to experience a simple tap on the shoulder as a mysterious sign or symbol.

This period of time — Summer 2015 — was when I first felt my channel opening. I had recently had my first psychic experience while reading tarot for a friend, and all spring I’d grown increasingly unhappy with my life as a high school English teacher. Claircognizant information seemed to be coming in all the time, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I was pulling The Moon card a lot: whatever my path was, it felt shrouded in fog. I remember standing in the moonlight that weekend and thinking, “I’d rather be a priestess,” but I didn’t know what that meant.

I had no idea at the time that The High Priestess was my life path card, according to the system put forth by beloved tarotist Mary K. Greer. (In fact, I had no idea who Mary K. Greer was!) I also had no idea that The High Priestess corresponds to the moon (not The Moon card but the moon in the sky, that one that has waxed and waned above us for time immemorial). I had no idea that each of the major arcana corresponds to an astrological planet or sign, and that we can use these correspondences to receive additional intuitive information when reading tarot for ourselves or others.

assorted tarot cards on table
Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

It took me a few more years to dig this deep into the tarot. After the robe and the tap on the shoulder, I spent another three years at my teaching job, and I ignored my intuition whenever it told me to quit.

But something changed when Halloween 2018 rolled around and I decided to dress up as — you guessed it! — The High Priestess.

I already had a long blue dress, and I went to Goodwill to buy a white robe and a sheer blue curtain to add more watery, flowing fabric to my look. I bought a sparkly crown at a party store and printed out an image for my crown of Hathor: a full moon flanked by two crescents, waxing and waning. I went to a Halloween party on October 27th, and a series of thunderbolt moments showed me that my romantic relationship had to end. I told my partner how I felt on November 6th, and by the 14th, I was moving out. (It’s still on my calendar — I scrolled back and looked!)

November 6th, 2018 was the day before the Scorpio New Moon, and by the next lunation, I was studying moon magic in my new apartment. I was coming home to myself. It turns out that Scorpio is in the 5th House of my natal chart, the house of creative self-expression. Nowadays, I set a New Moon intention each month based on which of my houses the moon is in. Plus, I’ve also learned about the so-called “gestational phases” of the moon, a concept that helps me see the long-game when it comes to my intentions.

According to this gestational framework, at each New Moon we plant a seed that begins to sprout nine months later, at the First Quarter Moon in the same sign. (In the case of my High Priestess path, I can trace these moon phases in Scorpio). Nine months after that, there will be a Full Moon in that sign, representing the fruition of the seed you planted eighteen months earlier. And finally, in another nine months is a Last Quarter Moon, when you undergo a process of harvesting and composting, until the chapter closes for good, three years after it began.

At the Scorpio New Moon in November 2018, I had just dressed up as the High Priestess and ended my relationship. At the First Quarter Moon in August 2019, I had just quit my job and moved back to my home state. By the Scorpio Full Moon in May 2020, the seed had fully blossomed and I’d embarked on a training program with a community called the Priestess Presence Temple. I was a priestess! And finally, by February 2021, I’d been holding my own temple circles for months and was gearing up to add more to the calendar.

It’s amazing what magic is available to us when we give ourselves permission to see the patterns underneath our everyday experiences

kate sheridan

It’s amazing what magic is available to us when we give ourselves permission to see the patterns underneath our everyday experiences. There is archetypal energy available just under the surface of life, and tools like tarot or astrology can help you sense the synchronicities and decipher their meaning.

If you’re interested in the gestational phases of the moon, you can consider our next New Moon, which will be on August 8th, in the sign of Leo. You can look for 16 degrees Leo in your natal chart to determine which area of your life will be most affected, which can help you set a clear, heart-centered intention. Whether we choose to create a special ritual or simply rest under the dark moon, a seed will be planted for each of us in the fertile soil of Leo — and who knows what might blossom over the coming months and years?

LEO GESTATIONAL CYCLE:

New Moon: August 8, 2021

First Quarter: May 8, 2022

Full Moon: February 5, 2023

Last Quarter: November 5, 2023

Kate Sheridan is a moon witch, 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.

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.

Want to read more about witchy things? Try these articles from The Blessings Butterfly: Lean Into Your Weird Explore [Your] Divinity

Take Your Power Back

By Sarah Marie Liddle, Guest Contributor

woman in black angel costume. Your real power
Photo by murat esibatir on Pexels.com

Your power is not something you force externally, or obtain, it is not reliant on anything or anyone. While you can still surround yourself with things you derive happiness from, it is important to draw yourself home to your intangible inner world. Your worth and power should not be found in things, people or experiences. Do not sacrifice your real power in search of the powerless illusions of the ego. 

Where have you given your power over to someone or something outside of yourself?

The universe gives you specific circumstances and people to learn from, so if you find yourself in a space which you would rather not be in, stop right now and see how you created the space that you are in. Then ask yourself what thinking got me here? Placing blame in people and situations outside of yourself will only take you away from your true power. The reality is, God/Goddess/Source/Spirit gave you everything for a reason, so relax, and enjoy the journey, you have got this, you have the power. 

Have Faith

Everything is where it needs to be, including you. Choosing to release how you think it should go, and how you think people should behave, will ease you away from pain and grievances. If you release the illusions you hold, then the things outside of yourself will make space for the infinite power within yourself to emerge. If you are holding too tightly onto external things—people, positions, places, events, objects and outcomes—then there is no room for things to emerge inside of yourself.

Expand Into Your Real Power

Expanding your life starts by expanding your power. Real power does not just expand externally, it expands internally. Meet yourself in this moment, allow it to be what it is, without judgement, shame, embarrassment, hatred, or hurt. Just allow. This moment is said to be your life, when you lean into the moment you are leaning into your life and the lessons of it. 

You are reclaiming your soulful power and allocating a new meaning to your life by stepping away from the stories that keep you stuck. 

This is your life, your one true life, and you are now lifting yourself higher.

sarah marie liddle

No longer is the power outside of yourself, no longer do you need to know who will be where and when, no longer do you feel drawn to purchasing something to feel better. You have stepped into your one true power. The power of your being. In this loving space it is all easy. Let me repeat that again, it is all easy. It is spacious, and it is graceful. Now breathe deeply. This is your life, your one true life, and you are now lifting yourself higher.

Journal Prompts:

  • How have I prevented myself from stepping into my inward power?
  • What might I need to let go of to move forward?
  • How can I make space to tune into my inward power?
  • Who or what must I release to awaken the power that was within me all along?

[A lovely woman with fair skin and blonde hair stands in front of lush greenery. She wears a see-through black lace dress and looks with intensity into the camera.]

Sarah Marie Liddle is a Certified Professional Coach, and Certified Body Ecologist. Sarah has been a coach for fifteen years. She specialises in wellness, healing and soul growth. Sign up for Sarah’s weekly news/letter. Receive wellness tips, seasonal rituals, and nourishing ways to connect to yourself and others—completely free. Join the newsletter. To learn more about Sarah visit her website.

Want to read some more quick mini-articles about personal empowerment? Try these: A Moment of Truth The Best Idea Is To Let You Shine All The Way Through

Watch this video interview between Sarah Marie Liddle and Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

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.