No matter your age, background, or personality, we all share one thing in common: we’re individuals on our unique pursuits of happiness.
Regardless of how wise each of us may be, none of us can predict what happens tomorrow. Due to this uncertainty, many of us succumb to feelings of waywardness at one point or another. Despite technology connecting us closer to each other than humanity has ever experienced before, we oftentimes neglect to convey the messages we need to talk about the most. We inevitably uncover in ourselves semblances of loneliness or weakness when we do not recognize the support and empathy inherent in others’ experiences. So focused on our own feeds and timelines, technology often fails to nourish authentic human relations. Thus, it’s become too easy for us to look past what truly makes us happy.
For the typical millennial, this is a reality we’ve grown accustomed to. At the same time, it’s a truth we don’t have to accept. Crystal Clarity seeks to provide the intuitive wisdom, holistic tools, and healing services to assist folks on their journeys.
Take what you need, and let’s move forward together to enact positive change in our worlds.
Time calls for us to flourish and find our own crystal clarity.
Next time you’re outside, try touching the Earth– and really feeling it. No gloves, perhaps no shoes. Take a moment, and graze the soil grains between the ribs of your fingertips. This fertile ground is the foundation of everything we have.
Here, we explore mindfulness methods to practice connecting with Nature on a multi-sensory level. You are invited to try the following ritual, and see how it supports you in deepening your sense of presence and relationship with Mother Earth.
Consider all the things you may be grateful for: if you live in a house, the walls are made of trees, the stone tiles come from mines. The water (seemingly) endlessly gushing from the faucet is originally sourced from mountains and springs. Your life, and the lives of all your loved ones, are possible by the nourishment natural food provides.
We are made by the Earth. Humans are not conquerors of our own Mother – no. Rather, too many of us have candidly been spoiled and ungrateful children, not recognizing the prowess and wonder of our true origins.
The salt in our skin is from the Earth. The water in our blood comes from Nature itself– the same H20 in the rivers, rains, & deltas. Our breath balances in perfect harmony with the plants, exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen in every seamless moment. The heat within our heartbeat– could it remind you of a fire spark, or molten lava of new earth?
This inherent connection can become delightfully encompassing the more it is acknowledged. To feel our feet on the ground, and no matter where we physically are, knowing that we belong here; we are always ‘at home’ in Mother Earth’s care– for she abundantly provides everything we need.
We may see this most clearly when we grow plants, perhaps nurturing new leaves on your pothos or cultivating tomatoes from seed. The sprouts or wilts remind us that plants are alive– and they’re our natural companions in life.
The more we recognize the life inherent in Nature, the more we come alive. We can notice more the subtle wonders all around us, which we may otherwise overlook. Air in our lungs is now more enlivening, water is deeply quenching, food is truly nourishing. Bird songs strum our heart-strings. Wind caresses us like a dear friend. Raindrops become gentle kisses, moisturizing our (often dehydrated) pores.
And the more we notice the natural magic within the mundane, the more an entire landscape– our entire world– is enlivened. All of our senses become so encompassed by recognizing the power in elements we’ve otherwise overlooked, and the local park is now buzzing with life beyond measure.
We were born to commune with the Earth in ways far deeper than modern life would lead us to believe. Nature is a key to understanding who we are, as individuals and a collective, because Nature reminds us what it truly means to be human.
This practice can be as simple as you desire, although the power of your imagination allows it to expand limitlessly. Try in this moment, and especially outdoors if possible:
Take a moment to reset with a deep belly breath. A favorite sequence that can help lower distracting stress levels is to: inhale for four seconds, hold the breath for four seconds, and exhale for six seconds.
From here, tune into each of your senses. Close your eyes for a moment. When you open them again, see if you can envision the colors and shades as more vivid. Can you notice something you didn’t observe before?
What are you hearing? Leaves rustling, fans blowing, cars passing or birds singing? Whatever it may be, if desired, imagine the sound vibrations are gently massaging your ears.
As you continue to breathe, what can you taste or smell? Often in familiar environments, we may not notice our own scents. Can you describe it?
Feel your weight being supported and held by gravity. Touch the earth, or your skin, or anything else nearby, and really try feeling it. How would you describe the texture? Can you allow the texture, if desired, encompass your attention?
From here, we can anchor into the reality that is our own Nature– and it all certainly amplifies when we are connecting with Nature.
You are warmly invited to try this practice and adjust it to your liking. Let (Crystal) Claire know how it was for you! May you enjoy & marvel in it all– always.
This ritual for receiving multi-dimensional nourishment from any cuisine or drink you create is designed to support you in connecting holistically to your body, health, and soul. Incorporating mindfulness and meditative practices into the process can help any chef feel like they’re concocting a potion from Hogwarts. Ready to try?
Created by (Crystal) Claire, an Integrative Nutrition Health Guide and ordained Priestess, this ritual was written with the intention to bring more accessibility and awareness to the power that can happen when we consume (or rather, *commune) with our food more mindfully.
These practices can be incorporated into just about anything in your day-to-day, even beyond the kitchen. Take a deep breath, and allow yourself to experiment! After all, what do we have to lose simply for spending a few extra moments to give our food a little love and presence? You may be surprised how much more nourishing your meals may feel!
Connect with (Crystal) Claire to share how this practice was for you!
You may have heard of it– “Cacao, the most delicious superfood”. It’s grown in popularity over recent years, although it’s been around for thousands. Cacao is the original base for all of our favorite chocolate treats.
You know how we go nuts over chocolate for holidays or midnight snacks? That’s because especially in its purest state, it helps our bodies produce the chemicals of bliss and love. Perhaps our cravings can forge a neural connection to the traditional histories of this plant, including why the Ancient Mayans and Aztecs considered it as valuable as gold.
Cacao has been considered a medicine by communities all over the world. Ancient Central and South American cultures would host cacao ceremonies, in which the thick drinking chocolate would be served especially to royal elites, and even induce spiritual trances to connect with spirits and ancestors.
Indigenous folklore says that when the balance between humans and nature is threatened, the spirit of cacao comes from the rainforest to open people’s hearts and restore harmony on earth. It’s been in recent years that Mayan Elders have granted permission for trained cacao guardians to share the ceremonial traditions worldwide, because they believe the world needs heart-healing medicine at this time.
Above all, cacao is considered a “heart medicine”. Especially during ceremonies or intentional settings, cacao is known to support us in opening our hearts, seeing more clearly, feeling and navigating our emotions, and immersing ourselves in creating deep relational connections.
This informational packet introduces the medicinal and traditional uses of cacao, so that we can commune with the medicine with respect to its historical lineage, rather than mindlessly consuming it like another Hershey bar on Halloween.
Additionally, we dive into the health and nutritious benefits that consider cacao a “superfood” or traditionally-speaking, “food of the Gods”. For these reasons, doctors even prescribed cacao to patients in the early days of its distribution throughout Europe.
In this free educational packet, you’ll learn:
What is cacao? What are its main nutritive components?
What are the histories and cultural traditions of cacao? How can I respectfully engage with this medicine?
What are the modern day complications of the cacao industry, and how can we source cacao ethically?
How can we prepare cacao? An “easy” method and “ceremonial” method are included, with distinctions as to which techniques make the difference.
What does it mean to commune with cacao in ceremony? General guidelines for ritual practices are provided.
Author (Crystal) Claire has been studying with the Cacao Spirit since 2017, including closely alongside mentor Serap Kara of Cacao Mama. When given the safe, sacred, ceremonial space to connect deeply with the Spirit of Cacao, she has found its revelations to be significantly profound and even slightly psychedelic. The more that we approach anything– especially plant medicine– with respectful intention, the more we can understand and experience its innate intelligence, beyond any preconceived expectations.
A good friend of (Crystal) Claire, Andrew of Cacao King works with Indigenous families in Panama and Ecuador to share this medicine in integrity while supporting small farmers. Make your next elixir with their cacao paste, and feel free to utilize the discount code: CRYSTALCFRIEND. We hope you enjoy!
(Crystal) Claire occasionally hosts cacao and natural medicine ceremonies on the West Coast, primarily in Portland, Oregon. All of her ceremonies incorporate fundraisers for Indigenous communities and environmental causes. Stay connected with her to join in an upcoming circle.
Share what you love about cacao; we’d love to hear!
This super candid & slightly silly walk-through of ✨Grounding✨ offers 3 tips + practices to help anchor yourself in what’s real, safe, & true. We go over: 🔹 The “I Spy” Game 🔹 “Earthing” Exercise 🔹 Cedar Brushing
My intention is that these messages & tools can help each of us return to our senses of center. These times are turbulent, to say the least, & Grounding is one of the most effective ways we can reset, recharge, + revitalize. 🔴 May your Root Chakras be clear, present & fulfilled ❣️ Take care of your bodies; get outside if you can; open a window. Make time for yourself to come back to Earth. 🌎 The wind tunnels of the mind can be a loud & hectic place. 🙏
May you feel peace + harmony with the Earth & within you🕊️ xoxo
As part of a series on Energetic Hygiene, practices to help clear your auric field & return to center, this video offers insight on ✨smoke cleansing✨.
Smoke cleansing is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries worldwide to release any unwanted energies attached to people, objects or places. To clarify, ‘smudging’ is a comparable practice attributed to & preserved by specific Indigenous cultures.
Here, we explore 7 different natural tools you can smoke cleanse with & how they uniquely can support you on your personal journey: 🔹White Sage (& Why you should not use this plant) 🔹Palo Santo (@sacredwoodessence is the most sustainable source I’ve found) 🔹Frankincense 🔹Nag Champa Incense 🔹Rosemary 🔹Lavender 🔹Cedar
May these practices serve you in returning to your highest vibrational point of being, grounded in your authentic truth. 🙏 Wishing you all peace of heart, body & mind 🕊️
Do you recognize that you are an energetic being? That there is a pulse in your blood, thoughts in your mind, electricity between your neurons– all which emit vibrational frequencies?
Have you ever felt someone looking at you, even if you couldn’t see for yourself? Have you had an icky experience and thereafter a challenging time “shaking it off”? What about entering a room and receiving an emotional impression of the space’s energy? Even if no one is speaking, can you tell what the vibes are like?
Day to day, we are exposed to a diverse range of energies. Many of which– if we honestly asked ourselves– we wouldn’t want to take home with us.
Just as important as brushing our teeth, the practice of energy hygiene clears out auric fields of all those energies that don’t serve us. It’s like flossing for your energy body, and it’s essential to maintaining personal clarity and spiritual health.
Ancient cultures from across the world taught energy hygiene techniques. Records from the Egyptians, Incans, Mayans, Celts, Norse and various North American Indigenous cultures all reference methods of clearing one’s auric field. It is a natural aspect of being human– modern age has just generally forgotten.
This is why I have gathered some of these techniques into an easy-to-use toolkit for starting your energy hygiene practice. Click the link below to download the 6-page PDF detailing everything you need to know to begin clearing your auric field.
Is it the way her fresh oxygen expands my lungs? Or perhaps the deep cell-to-cell nourishment of clean water? Maybe it’s the way my zucchini grow from seeds in the backyard, or the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies.
It’s the mystery of what truly happens within the cocoon. The awe-inspiring truth that the smallest seed holds limitless DNA, intelligent enough to burst into perfect formations of a destined vegetable. I tenderly gaze at the grasshopper and wonder what we have in common. What pushes the wind to blow?
We choose naive ignorance by thinking the moon has no impact on us. Our lunar queen pulls and twists the tides as her personal orchestra. It is, at times, even arrogance to believe some waters are immune to such power. Just because it is invisible, doesn’t mean we can’t feel it.
Humanity has evolved remarkably over the millennium. Our technologies are, when used wisely, works of art. The roofs shielding us from storms were originally built by Mother Gaia. She provided all of our homes with her wood, her steel, her water, her gas, her fire. We would have absolutely nothing if it wasn’t for her. We could not live in cities if we didn’t originally begin in the wilderness. She has always been our home.
As I write this, Pachamama righteously rages with record-breaking fires in Brazil, Siberia, and West Africa. Hurricane Dorian looms over the east coast, warning of its impending reckoning. The Oregonian ocean-side is awakened with seismic shocks, sparking speculation of tsunamis and the overdue great Seattle earthquake. It’s raining micro-plastic. The icebergs are… well, polar bears are eating out of trash cans.
Fear is the easy response. That is, if you aren’t one to deny the reality that is happening (that is true self-absorption). We can’t bypass this one. To be truly whole is to also see the shadow for all that it is.
And it’s okay to be afraid. Honor the grief you may feel; it is valid. All the while, there is strength hidden beneath it. Surrender to the greater power of Gaia, while unveiling the Earth Warrior courage within you. Have faith in her greater plan and trust your role in upholding it. You are her child; she has the ultimate power, but each one of us need to stop hurting her. For our sake, her sake, and the trillions of living organisms we share this home with.
The rippling Butterfly Effect connects us with everything else on this planet. The ashes from Oregon wildfires will one day meet the ashes in Brazil. Decisions we make do count. Actions may feel insignificantly small, but picking up that litter on the beach saves one sea turtle’s life. Isn’t one life alone significant enough? Yes; Now, do it again.
It is time to reclaim our home. Shadows of humans have shackled chains on our food, water, air, ecosystems and abused their greed for far too long.
Their grip may feel too strong to break, but that is the illusion they want us to believe. The 1 percent can’t stand a chance against 99. What do they have behind their masks of money? Nothing but fear itself.
The animals want you to hear their cries for help and speak on their behalf. Advocate for their rights on this planet. Donate to organizations dedicated to healing them. Volunteer at your local animal shelter; learn how to rehabilitate wildlife. Leave out water so that birds, insects and roaming mammals have access to clean hydration. Fill feeders with healthy seed so that squirrels and crows don’t have to revert to your garbage.
You’ll be gifted with magical acts of gratitude: sweet songs in the morning, happily-working bees pollinating your flowers, butterflies that land nearby and allow you to gaze at their gentle glory.
The plants sing to you with their rustles in the wind. They speak of the symbiotic relationship we have danced with them for thousands of years: we take care of them, they feed us.
Oh, how incredible is that carrot? It sprouts from seed into a delicious, bright orange (or red, purple or white) root that nourishes us with the perfect amount of nutrients and vitamins in the ideal size portion and package. How does Mother Nature know what we need so well?
It’s because she is our Mother. Without her, none of us would have ever been here. She has loved and nurtured us even before our beginning. Money, wifi, sales-towers are nothing without her. She is endearingly amused by our collective-constructed illusions of what the world needs to “look like,” for she knows we are all awakening to the truth soon enough. She cries when we are blind to the fact that the entire world is her. She suffers from our selfish, mindless abuse. She begs us to please give her the notice, appreciation and care she has been asking for for centuries.
Call your mom.Thank her for all she has sacrificed for you. You may be hesitant to pick up the phone, or you might be so swept away by daily business you just keep forgetting to. You may be unsure of where to even find her. If you are ever unclear, know that Pachamama is always right underneath your feet. Will you answer the call?
Here we are, on the inevitable topic of death. Anyone who knows me understands that despite being an incredibly optimistic and idealistic person, I am also never afraid to speak about what is real.
In all honesty, due to recent tragedies close to me, this topic has felt too close to home. To be transparently raw, in the past week that I am writing this, I have lost a soul brother, honored the anniversary of a soul sister’s passing, and processed a mass shooting near my hometown.
Everyone has their own valid interpretations of death and the circumstances that surround them. To me, each of these unique cases feel like deep wounds of injustice. While the concept of the “War of Good against Evil” may sound tacky to some and inaccurate to others, due to my experiences, I cannot help but at least humor these scenarios through such a lens.
My soul sister who passed two years ago was challenged her entire life by a rare, nearly incurable illness. From my research, I believe it to be anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, most commonly known as the true disease from the best-selling novel and movie, Brain on Fire.
For those who are even diagnosed with the intense illness, there are either 1) no signs of malfunction in the body, brain, organs etc. or 2) there is a tumor in the ovaries that grows teeth and nails. Spooky, can we deny?
I believe spiritual and physical illnesses are not separate. We live in a multi-dimensional reality and therefore we can be both energetically and physically sick at the same time. From my experience living with this friend in a haunted apartment (yes, more on this to come), I firmly believe a dark entity took advantage of her physical vulnerability and exasperated the illness she already had.
My soul brother who recently passed was mentally, emotionally and physically tortured by entities that did not want him to fulfill his soul purpose on this planet. Loaded sentence, I know, but I believe this to be true because I lived it alongside him. Together, we combated unwanted spirits that ignited a slew of intense paranormal activity in my home upon his first visit. He repeatedly told me that if he ever died, it would be because of those spirits. In my honoring of his life, I choose to believe him.
Energetic “Evil” Influences
As I’ve been reflecting upon the horrific Gilroy Garlic Festival mass shooting, I have wracked my brain asking myself, “How could someone do this?” What could ever possibly motivate someone to carry out such a heinous act of hate?
Clearly, intense and complex societal issues are at play: toxic yet fragile masculinity, xenophobia, misogyny, entitlement of privilege, normalized violence, the epidemic of loneliness, incapability to manage emotions, etc etc. Was all this and more just the perfect concoction for such a tragedy, or was there something else that pushed the perpetrator over the edge?
Declaring that the shooter is “evil” or even thinking he could have been “possessed” by a spirit does not seem fair to the heart-breaking truth that humans have the capacity to heartlessly kill. We cannot blame his horrible decisions on a concept or energy outside of him, even if such influences did perpetuate these actions.
From my experience performing reiki energy healing and etheric surgery, I know and believe that undesirable entities can attach to our energy bodies and aggravate behaviors within us. These can be subtle, but overtime if they are fed by the “host,” can push someone over the edge. Again, this isn’t to place accountability on a potential spirit that may have encouraged the shooter, but it is a perspective to consider that there are entities out there that want humans to perpetuate pain against each other. These spirits feed off our fear and suffering.
How often have you heard of a violent person upon reflection say that they ‘heard’ a voice tell them to commit an act of violence? Sure, maybe this is an aspect of their subconscious. But what can we say for the young girls who killed their friend in honor of the “Slenderman” entity? Could it really be all in their imagination, enough that they follow through with such fantasies? Do pre-teen girls have the capacity to act so evil completely on their own accord?
Love Always Wins
Regardless of what any of the influences truly are in a variety of cases, the most important question remains: what can we do to stop needless suffering, violence and death?
Such a loaded question feels overwhelming at first, doesn’t it? It’s not like we can just put on our superman capes and punch “evil” in the face.
The reality is, the capacity for “good” and “evil” is within each of us. Our true character is what defines us in the balance of it. In our convoluted human experience, the scales can tip in either direction throughout our lifetimes. And that’s okay, because “good” cannot even exist without the contrast of “evil.” They are the yin and yang of life itself; we will never have one without the other (as much as a heavenly utopia of pure love and peace sounds 10/10 great).
The trick to “defeating evil” is not shunning it or killing it in retaliation. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” doesn’t it? While self-defense and avenging in the name of justice is completely important and valid in balancing the scales, are we still the “good people” if we become blood-thirsty in the pursuit? (Take a look at Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones)
Ultimately, what I’ve learned from years of ghost-busting (yes, I’ll share more of that later), is that the most effective way to defeat “evil” is by loving it. Unconditionally showering such forces with love and compassion withers them to their core. Doesn’t mean you have to forgive or even be nice.
The Hindu Goddess Kali Durga is a perfect archetype for this: she can be seen or depicted in a variety of forms, from the gentle cosmic mother to the fierce, fiery demon-hunter. She balances the scales between discernment and compassion by burning away that which does not serve the highest good of all, but does so intensely with the conviction that destruction is oftentimes necessary for love to fully blossom. She slays the heads off of demons with love for them at the same time, so that their souls may return to source energy and be reincarnated into a better evolution.
Demons, ghosts and violent humans alike can never take your joy, power or love away from you. It is your most unstoppable strength and these qualities live infinitely within your soul, no matter how dark or challenged it may feel.
So I think about the perpetrators of violence and again I ask, what is it that motivates them? Regardless of whether another entity’s influences are afoot, I see deep wounds of pain and suffering behind their veils of hate. They are oftentimes afraid of losing their own power (which is an illusion in itself), so hiding behind a gun gives them a false sense of strength and control. They feel lonely or lacking of self, so they resent those who seem it have it better than them. They are tired of feeling depressed, anxious, insecure, jealous, so they project those feelings into hatred and fury. At least with anger, they can pretend to be strong.
Then they build emotional walls to keep folks from entering into their heart-space. They are too cowardly to allow help. They shut people off who seek to help them through therapy or mental support because it makes them feel more vulnerable.
I believe that if real, unconditional love would be allowed into the hearts of these perpetrators, perhaps the outcomes would be different.
By no means am I saying that if women were “loving” to the Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Roger maybe no one would have died. No, women do not owe him or anyone anything, not even love. But we can clearly see from his misogynistic manifesto that a lack of love and acceptance in his life is what drove him to violent projections of his insecurities.
Does this mean all incels and white supremacists need a good hug to see the err in their ways? Maybe it’s a place to start. I don’t owe them one, though, and neither do you. There is no justification for violence or oppression, even if one is affected by an external force.
At the same time, we collectively need to find a way to heal the toxic oppression, hatred and resentment that is brewing in our society. Shunning and shaming it results in more fury from these already sensitive people, so how else do we stop this suffering from the source?
We can be fiercely, justifiably angry in our pursuit of balancing love in the world. We can be aggressive in defending what is really right. We can be strong in what we know is true to our hearts.
At the same time, we can never forget that love is what truly binds us all together in our communities and on this entire planet. We have the power to create love between all of us, whether from beautiful relationships or just reminding someone on the bus with a sincere smile. Let’s bring the love back. During these times, we have to look out for each other, via community support networks or just being a good friend. We are living in too troubling times to give up on hope. We can create the world we want to live in.
What can I do?
It can start small, but the ripple effects are unstoppable.
Smile to your neighbors. Talk to them. Make your neighborhood feel safe, loving and homey.
Be kind to strangers. Look them in the eyes and acknowledge their presence.
See houseless people as humans a part of your community. Gift them socks, water and other resources.
Start talking to the young men in your life about topics that matter. Be a safe person for them to talk about their emotions honestly with.
Bring young men together for “Men’s Circles,” or gatherings in which men can sincerely connect via their hearts and emotions.
Talk to the women in your life. Ask them how they are doing and if they need help with anything.
Attend or start a “Women’s Circle,” and empower women to emotionally support one another on a regular, heart-felt basis.
Vote for what you believe in. Educate yourself on the political matters that are impacting our worlds.
Speak to others about how you feel and what you think. Your voice and perspective is necessary to healthy, collective dialogues.
Ask appropriate questions.
Take care of yourself. Breathe deeply often. Give yourself time to rest. It’s important and we need you.
Volunteer and donate with an organization that speaks to your morals, ethics and beliefs.
Give back to the planet by picking up litter wherever you are, sowing local and pollinator-friendly plants, leaving out water for thirsty animals.
Use your social media habits for good by spreading awareness about what matters in making this world a better place.
Read quality books. Watch accurate documentaries. Support righteous journalism. Open your perspective.
Call your senators! It’s the most effective way to get them to act in your favor. Go canvassing with a political movement you believe in.
Depending on how intimate folks have connected with me throughout my life, including early childhood, affects the extent to which they have been a witness to my spiritual blossoming. On the surface, many may have understood me to be simply compassionate & emotionally sensitive. Closer friends have observed the profound intensity of my empathy accelerate throughout the past decade. My most cherished partnerships, however, have experienced alongside me the magic that has ignited in my life.
And I don’t use the term, “magic,” lightly. I believe “magic” is in all of us, all around us, & is accessible in every moment because this world is inherently extraordinary. I believe in miracles because I’ve lived them. I believe in ghosts because I’ve seen them. I believe in angels & spirit guides because without them, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy, healthy, or successful as I am today. And ultimately, I believe every one of us can connect with the divinity in all, too, should we simply have the will.
My earliest memories of being energetically sensitive began in pre-school. I attended a Christian elementary, where the concepts of “God” would spark endless explorations of thought at night. On multiple occasions, I remember being unable to sleep, ever-questioning: “What comes after Pluto?” Attempting to wrap my little understanding around space & time drove me to fear & anxiety. The rabbit hole would endlessly loop until I would shudder & sob at the idea of “death” because I could not comprehend what it truly was.
Finally, one night, I prayed to God for answers. I begged Him to show me what death was so that I wouldn’t be afraid of it anymore. I must’ve been about five years old.
Periodically from that night until I was 12 years old, I lived what I now understand to be “out-of-body” experiences. I vividly recall moments in my fourth grade classroom where if I “spaced out” enough, my consciousness would lift above my body. My field of vision would shift so I could then see from a point of view at least a couple feet above my own head. I wouldn’t be able to feel my body at all; if anything it seemed numb. After a little bit, I would want to return, & the “grounding” of myself back into my physical form was always a bit unsettling at first.
I understood this as the answer to my prayer: this is what it was like to be dead, to be a spirit. God had showed me so I wouldn’t be scared of death anymore. To this day, I have not felt any fear of dying, even if it was unexpectedly tomorrow. I accept it.
Casper the Maybe Friendly? Ghost
Elementary through high school, I remember experiencing a number of paranormal occurrences. The first was when I was likely in third grade. I was reading in my bed, which faced the vanity mirror across the room. Upon briefly glancing up, I saw in the mirror a clear image of a tall, thin woman dressed in around 1910s garb standing next to me. I turned to my right where she would’ve been– no one there. My eyes shot back to the mirror, where she remained & looked blankly at me.
I screamed bloody murder. Immediately, I leapt out of bed & raced to my mother’s arms, who of course, didn’t believe me, though I trembled & whimpered. I refused to sleep in my room for a couple nights.
It all escalates from there.
The Ouiji Board
By ninth grade, I had been investigating the zodiac & playing with a ouiji board my friend + I picked up at Toys ‘R Us. While I do not recommend the use of ouiji boards & would unlikely touch one today, I am grateful my experiences were relatively harmless.
There was an evening where a group of young high schoolers & I were playing the ouiji board at a friend’s house that actually happened to be right next to a cemetery (of course). The ouiji board introduced us to a young boy that passed away when he was seven. When we asked him what his favorite color was, the cursor darted around the board, pausing at various letters & not really spelling anything sensicle. The board was decorated with a sun + moon at either corners, & suddenly, the cursor flew to land on the sun.
“Ohhh, your favorite color is yellow, you just don’t know how to spell it because you’re seven?”
The cursor slid to “yes.”
Thoroughly amused, we closed the board for the evening. The next morning, however, we decided to walk around the cemetary like your average, aimless 14-year-olds. We walked with a bit of distance between us as we weaved through the tombstones. One of us caught the attention of the group, pointing out a particular gravestone. The memorial piece listed the personal details of a young boy that had passed away at seven years old with the same first name, and– a sunflower adorning the stone.
None of us said anything.
While my stories do get scarier, my journey has blossomed quite beautifully all the same. Having been an energetically sensitive child, I was open to finding answers in religion. For a number of years, I received the guidance I needed from Christianity, thanks to a progressive Christian summer camp I attended for two years.
I vividly recall on the first day being a little shy to fully participate in the worship songs & gatherings. I was familiar with Christianity & the spirit of God, but I wasn’t as enthusiastic jumping in. It was in a break-out group that evening that I experienced a vision for the first time in my life (today, it’s been countless times).
In my mind’s eye, I was overtaken by an image of Jesus himself, cloaked in white & surrounded by a golden aura. He gently hugged me, & I physically began to cry.
I was quiet the rest of the evening, shook by what I had experienced. From then on, I could truly feel Him within my heart & in the beauty of nature. That one moment truly shaped me for the rest of my life.
While I now have conflicted feelings towards the institution of the Catholic & Christian churches for the trauma they have unjustly caused in my life & countless others, I still wholeheartedly revere & believe in the true spirit of Jesus. At the same time, He is not the only spirit we can heal alongside.
(Much of my healing from oppressive Christian-dogma has been thanks to the Magdalen Manuscript— more on that later.)
Law of Attraction
I was first introduced to the Law of Attraction when I was a senior in high school. While I will share more about how to effectively utilize this tool, for now, I will detail the magic that ensued the premiere time I practiced it.
The first thing I ever manifested was naturally related to Lady Gaga, my lord & savior (lololol jokes but only kinda). Her Born This Way tour was fast approaching, but at the time, I didn’t have the money for $50~ tickets. So, every morning before school, I would get dressed while dancing to her music & envisioning myself at her show. The joy & excitement was an infectious way to begin the day.
After about a week, I was driving to school in the morning when I heard a local radio station announce they would be giving away Lady Gaga tickets. At the time they designated for listeners to call in, I stepped out of my AP English class, tuned into the radio station from my car, & gave the station two phone calls.
On the second call, I won.
Needless to say, the concert was amazing & I cried. From then on, the Law of Attraction has been a pillar for me in my life, & has even led me to meeting Lady Gaga. Of course, more on all that later too 😉
A scary topic, but a real one. I have encountered possession in others & myself by undesirable spirits on a few occasions throughout my 24 years, which has been the capstone of my understanding of the spirit world today. To me, these experiences have been so undeniably real, they have catapulted me into my quest for spiritual healing & ascension. So despite all the fear & trauma that has been, I am ultimately grateful for the strength & knowledge I have gained.
While I could write a novel about the intense battle I had with a demon that lasted over two years (yes– it’s true. I have a tattoo commemorating my strength from it. And yes, maybe I will write a book), for now, I’ll choose to share the first time I became aware that possession can really happen.
We were a freshmen in college & my best friend since the sixth grade had been living in a haunted cooperative house. Without speaking for his story, I’ll note that there were too many times where he would call me detailing very spooky circumstances happening in the house, including roommates uncharacteristically acting out in threatening ways.
One day when I was visiting his college town, we started the afternoon promising each other we wouldn’t visit his haunted co-op because we knew we would be too energetically sensitive to be in such a volatile place. Further, we swore we wouldn’t visit it while under the influence of cannabis.
So, how is it that, of course, we did exactly that?
We entered the large mansion with high minds, curious hearts, & tepid steps. Reverse pentagrams painted on the walls covered years of the building’s history: once a sorority turned into a brothel, then home to a satanic sex cult, now a radical co-op. (You can’t make this up. The world is wild)
After exploring a bit of the building & interacting with some unique characters, we took refuge in his room. There, he lay on his bed & I sat back on the couch while we waited for our other friend to pick us up. Rarely have I experienced paralysis, but this time was unmistakable.
I remember feeling frozen in my position: left arm propped up on the back of the couch, legs outstretched, staring blankly ahead at the wall. I could see my friend laying on his side motionless, gazing at the floor without a word. I felt a weight bear down on my entire body, pressuring me into freezing my muscles. It started seem as if the walls were closing in & the air was getting heavier. A deep hum began ringing in my ears, & my heart started to race with fear. I couldn’t move, but I knew we couldn’t stay there for much longer.
Suddenly, by the grace of our protectors, the phone rang. Our friend was here to pick us up. Immediately released from the spell, my friend & I jumped up with unprecedented veracity from our concrete positions. With only a shared look of understanding in fear, we bolted out of the house without a word.
In my friend’s car, we attempted to process what had happened. My friend was writhing in what seemed like pain, unable to speak clearly. I was speechless & still fairly frozen up, but I attempted to explain to our hero of a friend what had happened to us.
That night, my friend & I were decompressing in the room of my parent’s house. We were exploring ideas of how other people may react if we explained to them what we had experienced, or what would happen if our peers might enter into the same building, as well.
In this conversation, I remember the feeling of my face twisting into a snarl that I did not recognize, while spitting out a viciously judgmental remark that had no foundation in who I really am or what I really thought.
As soon as the words came out of me, I looked at my friend in fear. That wasn’t me. The voice didn’t even sound like mine. I remember it was whiny, nasally, with a snarl.
He stared at me back in fright, understanding as well that the demonic spirits of the haunted house had followed us home.
Immediately, we began to pray. Within fifteen minutes or so we felt clearer, lighter, & protected, but the experience marked us for life. We learned our lesson.
All This was Just the Beginning
Since then, I have had more dangerous experiences with unwanted spirits who have sought human lives to feed off of. All the same, I’ve also had the most beautifully divine experiences of bliss & ecstasy on my path to embodying my best self. These journeys are what have opened up the doors for my accelerated knowledge & understanding of esoteric thought, lightwork, & the spirit worlds. For it was the ambitious drive to understand what was happening to myself & my loved ones that propelled me into finding the real answers.
Now years later, I believe I have found those answers. Or at least the keys to unlock more answers.
To be sure, I have learned potent tools that have undeniably worked when they’ve needed to. Their effectiveness has intrinsically motivated me to share these with others; it would be selfish not to spread these gifts of wisdom with all who may be receptive– they’re too revolutionary.
I share all these preliminary stories of my spiritual journey with the intention to not only honestly spread awareness about these very real forces in our reality, but hopefully relate to someone out there who may have similar experiences:
You’re not “crazy.” You’re not “too sensitive.” You’re not “weird.” Your experiences are gifts that expand your knowledge of yourself, this world, & the web of all relations between. Reflect upon them, understand them, find gratitude for them. Your sensitivities make you strong. Honor yourself & all that makes your life a unique, magical adventure.
Attending Envision is like stepping into a dream. 10/10, would 100 percent go again.
Nestled in a beach-side jungle, Envision hosts not only awe-inspiring nature scenes among its 9,000~ guests, but various native animals as well. One would think the critters of the landscape would be frightened away by the sounds & lights, until you meet a sloth at the port-a-potties. No kidding!
Despite being in such a sensitive environment, the animals were not entirely scared off, & I was impressed to learn the significant sustainable practices the festival implements to thoroughly protect each critter & their homes. Volunteering with the Eco Team gave me first-hand insight into their diligent systems, ensuring that not only the “Leave No Trace” policy was upheld, but the land was also left better than before.
Envision’s guiding mission is centered by “Eight Pillars“: Permaculture, Spirituality, Movement, Art, Music, Community, Health & Eco-Building. These core values are manifested throughout the entire festival culture.
At dawn, the cicadas would sing to the rising sun like an orchestrated opera– ringing louder than passerby’s voices as we entered into each new day. As I joined the Eco Team in picking up stray litter across the festival grounds, I was impressed to find nearly none at all. Searching alongside scurrying iguanas served curious inquiries along the way, but for the most part, we only uncovered small bits of MOOP (Matter Out Of Place). Compared to many other festivals where trash is layered like confetti, needless to say, I was happily surprised. In all honesty, I spent more time dancing than needing to clean up. Even more so, participants seemed relatively more interested & enthusiastic to properly recycle their items.
I learned an immeasurable amount about proper recycling from not only their diligent system, but I was inspired by the amount of recyclable items were already planned to be re-purposed. Clean, soft plastic was to be compressed into bricks to build local roads & homes. Coconut shells were set aside for a local builder to create buildings with. All leftover goods were to be donated to families in the nearby communities.
Even better, Envision has planted over 3,000 trees on the property alone. My friends & I were honored to participate in planting two trees– what a gift it was! It was easy to feel emotional giving back to the land that not only hosts our celebrations, but helps to provide our entire planet with clean air.
Even the stage design & infrastructure was built using local bamboo & wood. This maintains the natural order of the local ecosystem while remaining in compliance with Costa Rica’s sustainable practices. Not only this, but the stage design was more stunning than many other festival stages I’ve witnessed before. Detailed artistic designs layered with fire blowing totems– it was quite the sight.
Within the festival, all single-use plastic items are banned. In fact, Costa Rica as a country is aiming to be the first country to ban single-use plastics by 2021. The food vendors supply reusable utensils & compostable plates (or even banana leaves). All the food is locally sourced, many of which is organic, as well.
Needless to say, their international Top Sustainable Festival awards automatically places Envision as a premier festival overall! Festivals can be incredibly hazardous to the local environments, & it is critical organizers & participants prepare & clean-up as diligently as possible.
As for the party & production– Envision still takes the cake. To break it down easy:
Everyone I engaged with was friendly, open-minded, fun-loving, & seemed conscientious of others + the planet.
There was a high amount of theft, which was counter-intuitive based on all the potent “good vibes” of the community. I had friends lose cameras & phones to find them safe at the Lost & Found or have them handed back with a smile. At the same time, many more folks had their tents, Air BnB’s, even back-stage safes broken into. Perhaps that’s one of the realities to consider when people of privilege party in a less-wealthy country.
Music Line-up: 8.5/10
Of course is a subjective rating, but I enjoyed the general diversity in the electronic & world music there. I listened to an incredible celloist, local indigenous shamans chant their traditional songs, danced my heart out at Clozee‘s famous annual set, caught a glimpse of Trevor Hall, & grooved to plenty of house music along the way.
Perhaps I would’ve enjoyed a little bit more house :p Regardless, I was always dancing!
Incredible offerings! I spent nearly all of Saturday afternoon in the Red Tent, filling pages in my notebooks of fresh insights & connecting with the participants around me.
I enjoyed the atmosphere the workshops were in, including the types included, marginally more so than those offered at Lucidity (a festival known for its workshops). Perhaps that’s also subjective as well, though.
Beach, jungle– what more could you want? Amazing light production & integration with the land.
My first time buying prints at a festival– I couldn’t say no! Stunning artists, including the live painting muralists.
As you can see, Envision has earned top scores in my book. If you can afford the travel, it is 100 percent worth it. Best believe, I’ll be sure to return again!