Archive | Essays

Be Careful What You Wish For

In all my readings this week, I have been asked: How can I manifest positive change? It’s a beautifully September question, and it reminds me that sometimes the importance of shadow work is overlooked in manifestation practices.

To will something into being, we don’t have to tackle our shadows—our toxicity and trauma. Through affirmations, visualization, and white knuckles, we can summon nearly anything–marriages, money, even fame. But without self-reckoning, we project our shadows into whatever we manifest, ensuring we’ll encounter more problematic versions of them down the road.

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This Bittersweet New Light

I was just about to head upstairs to post about tonight’s new moon/year when I heard of Michael K. Williams’ death. Now I am writing this on my stoop–in the same neighborhood where he lived and died– with huge tears running down my face.

I saw the brilliant actor, activist, dancer, and choreographer around a lot–sometimes at film events, sometimes just drinking coffee in the park–and he was always unwaveringly gracious and kind. That such a radiant light only got 54 years is beyond painful. As Roy Wood Jr tweeted today: “All I want is for black entertainers to be able to grow old.”

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Knight of Cups, in His Cups

In nearly every intuitive reading I’ve given lately and a surprising number of Weather Reports, I’ve drawn the inverted Knight of Cards. When a card so persistently shows up, it is communicating to the collective as well as to the individual, so I felt moved to share my interpretation.

In addition to its more personal applications, The Knight of Cups is about leading from the heart rather than the ego–a yearning, a spiritual quest. When inverted, it indicates the blockage of such qualities–cynicism, dissociation, and a sensuality tipping into sensation-mongering. AKA “fill this void.” Anything can become addictive when used in this vein. Not just booze, drugs, media, and sugar, but exercise, work, “healthy” eating, and relationships. Even—ahem—spirituality.

The truth? The desire to check out—to bury our heads in some sort of sand—is profoundly understandable these days. We are living in what even a few years ago would have been perceived as a dystopia, and it’s hard to think utopically when every element of our world is in such upheaval. The dreamer in each of us wants to drown in this knight’s cups. But as long as we are lucky enough to be alive, we may not check out forever. Virgo Season asserts the holiness of moderation and an economy borne of love. Such values may not jibe with the more-is-more, pendulum-swinging prevailing ethos, but they allow us to more fully inhabit every moment and embrace the resources we still have.

As we prepare for a new week and a new month, let this Knight serve as loving reminder. “Enough” is the most sacred form of abundance–a salute to our shared heart.

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"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy