How To Survive Mercury Retrograde!

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Oh, Mercury retrograde. You are here, AGAIN. You have arrived on our collective doorsteps in all your messy glory. You are our dreaded but regular house-guest. You stagger in the door, kick over our furniture, leave crumbs all over the couch and hog the bathroom. Then, as quickly as you appeared, you disappear again, leaving us slightly stunned but much better equipped to continue with our own lives!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here we go. The planets are swinging around at all times, and their movements affect us all in different ways. All planets go retrograde, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other. (Even people who “don’t believe in astrology” often “believe” in the crazy aftershocks of Mercury retrograde!)

Why is that? It’s because Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth and travel, so when the planet goes retrograde — which means that it looks like it’s going backwards in the sky — all those things go backwards. They start to get ugly and tangle up. Mercury isn’t really going backwards, it’s just hanging out by the sun, but from Earth, that makes it look like it’s in reverse. It typically runs for a couple of weeks, a few times a year.

Check out these dates below and put them in your calendar!

In 2016, Mercury is retrograde from…
January 5th to January 25th
April 28th to May 22nd
August 30th to September 22nd
December 19th to January 28th (2017)

Note: We sometimes start to feel the effects of Mercury retrograde a few days early. It’s nice to give yourself a bit of leeway on either side of the prescribed dates!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MERCURY GOES RETROGRADE?

All sorts of things! It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad! You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences or barely even able to form a coherent thought. Your computer and other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights and take a book with you to keep you occupied while you wait for the train! We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions and it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either.

Expect to hear super-loud complaining from your friends who are Gemini or Virgo, since both are ruled by Mercury! Mercury also rules a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations and anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office and cabs! This means it can be particularly rough for Gemini train conductors and Virgo magazine editors, so be kind to any you know!

I often find that Mercury retrograde makes me want to go into hermit mode. I feel like half my brain is missing so I’m really not that interested in interacting with anyone, plus every conversation seems to go in an unusual, confusing direction. I feel much more irritable and frustrated and things just don’t seem to go how I want them to.

So that’s the bad news. Mercury retrograde can be a total kick in the teeth for those of us who normally pride ourselves on having our karmic shit together! The GOOD news is that Mercury retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can just tilt our head and squint.

Mercury retrograde wants us to move back spiritually. It is providing us with a chance to re-examine various areas of our life which may need a little more work, so that we can move forward to a bright new dawn. Now, more than ever, the time is right to look at things with clear eyes. Delicious, fresh perspectives are revealed. We often have major breakthroughs — intellectual, emotional or spiritual — during this time.

It’s also a terrific period in which to tie up loose ends. So many of us have unfinished projects… Maybe that door just needs another lick of paint, or you’ll decide to put away your ex-boyfriend’s love letters once and for all. Having said that, this is also a time where it’s very common for old lovers, friends and acquaintances to get in touch! If you hear from someone from your past, get together with them and see what eventuates!

One of the best ways to cope with it — as with anything, really — is to just “go with the flow”. When you fight Mercury retrograde, that’s when life gets really ugly. Just take some time, go slowly, be careful, don’t freak yourself out by expecting to be uber-productive-perfect right now. Be good to yourself and the people around you, now more than ever!

A QUICK AND DIRTY GUIDE TO
SURVIVING MERCURY RETROGRADE!

Be sure not to take things too personally. People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time, because their thinking is clouded and their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her the benefit of the doubt.

Back up your data!

Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, and make sure you have a warranty!

Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, and people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!

Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.

Finish things you started a while ago. Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organisation? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends and file things away forever.

Get together with old friends, reminisce and laugh!

Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements! During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!

Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions. If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it — look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept and move on.

Use the things you’ve discovered in the past to create a dazzling new vision so that you’re ready to blast ahead when Mercury goes direct!

If you want more tips, read 10 Magical Ways To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde!

Fingers crossed for the next few weeks, and best of luck to you!

Love and sanity,

P.S. Hey, witch baby! Radical Self Love Coven enrollment closes in 3 days, and our first module — on charms, energy and spellwork — starts on Sunday! This is THE PLACE to be if you want to meet other magical babes and become more proficient in all things witchy. Click through for the details!

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Defining “Sexy”: What I Learned From Taking My Clothes Off Onstage

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Portrait of the writer before stripping on stage for the first time.

When you’re asked to describe yourself to a perfect stranger, what do you say? What labels do you use? And perhaps most importantly, which labels do you dream of being able to use, but feel like they would be impossible to embody?

We all have a box we fit into which feels safe and comfortable, a place we’re happy dwelling in. Maybe “optimistic” is a label you feel good about, whereas “intelligent” is not. Or perhaps you’re the living embodiment of “clever”, but “beautiful” makes you cringe.

A label I could never even come close to identifying with was “sexy”. When people would use it, I just thought it was funny, and that they were slightly delusional. I was fine with being cute, weird, or funny — all labels that felt true to me. But sexy? No. Not even close!

I never saw myself as being hyper-feminine, even though for the last few years my wardrobe has been overrun with hot pink and high heels. Sometimes the way we think of ourselves doesn’t shift at the same rate as our outer appearance. I never felt beautiful in glasses, which I wore until I was 23 years old, and in some ways I still thought of myself as that person. I also struggled with an eating disorder for a long time, and I believe that was (at least partially) a response to my sexuality feeling unsafe.

I had some weird ideas about what sexy was. I saw it as something you do for other people, a kind of performance. Sexy wasn’t something you owned, it was something other people “gave” you, or something you staged for someone else’s benefit. I never wanted to do that. Even when I bought cute lingerie, it was for me, not whoever I was dating.

So, this year has been all about investigating the ways I see myself, the stories I recycle in my head, and asking myself, ‘Are those comfortable old habits helping or hindering me?’ I have been actively reprogramming my mind, and consistently pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve been forced to see myself differently: not just my behaviour, but my physical body too. (Getting a breast augmentation has completely changed the way I see myself, much more than I anticipated.)

No lie: it has been exhausting and sometimes I just want to take a big nap. But it has also been rewarding and exhilarating to realise that, yes, I really can be whoever I want to be. I have been writing about the fact that we have the ability to craft our own reality and persona for years, and it is truly delightful to recognise that even after years of mindfully creating my life, I can still do a 180 and build something totally different. It has been amazing to discover that even though I have created so much, there is literally no cap on what I can change and do; that I can become the vision of myself I’ve been holding in my imagination for so long, but thought was impossible.

That person you want to be, and all the reasons why you can’t be her? It’s all in your head, and it always was.

I wanted to reclaim my body. I wanted to examine what it might feel like to feel “sexy”, to actually go there and try it, rather than being too embarrassed to even attempt it. For years, I had never accessed that part of myself because I thought I would look stupid, or feel stupid, or suck at it. So many of us do that in so many areas of our lives: we don’t even try because we think we might not — shock, horror — be perfect on a first attempt.

“Therapeutic mantra for the perfectionist introvert asked to do something new: NO EXPECTATIONS / ONLY EXPLORATION / YES IS TEMPORARY” — Clayton Cubitt

But perfect is bullshit. Perfect is the enemy. That’s what I was thinking as I made my way to my first class at the New York School Of Burlesque.

My dance history is not extensive. I attempted ballet as a 5-year-old and bailed out early! So I was definitely walking in with the lowest possible expectations. I just wanted to try it out and see what happened. I certainly didn’t expect to be good. In fact, I thought I would possibly be the worst in the class, but I was okay with that! I viewed the whole thing as an experiment, which, if nothing else, would make for a good story.

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that learning a dance routine was really fun and — wonder of wonders — really easy! Standing in formation with a group of strangers and dancing to Tom Waits was awesome. I laughed the whole time. I couldn’t believe how much joy I felt!

So when, at the end of the class, our teacher said, “If any of you want to perform this in the student showcase in April, just let me know,” my whole body said YES. I was immediately excited. Terrified, of course, and slightly bewildered by how much I wanted to leap at the chance — I had taken ONE dance class and now I wanted to get up on stage?! — but thrilled.

I took just one more class, and before I knew it, I was applying false eyelashes and striding into The Slipper Room with a tote bag full of fishnet stockings and patent leather platforms.

Before the curtain went up, I stood onstage, back to the audience, giving myself a pep-talk. ‘It’s now or never,’ I told myself. ‘You will never be alive in this exact moment again. Be sexy and sassy and playful… Give the audience a show they never forget. Fully embody everything you’ve ever wanted to be. This is going to be awesome!’

The curtain went up, the audience went nuts, and the music started to play. My Venus in Leo came alive! I made eye contact with the crowd and took my time with every single move. I was, as Beyonce might say, feeling myself, and I felt no shame — just ecstasy. Time seemed to slow down, and I enjoyed every single moment.

I had been wrong about my definition of sexy. It is definitely something that you own — a power you can choose to wield at your own discretion. It comes from the inside, it’s not about trying to please anyone else. Being sexy is about revealing your inner radiance. When you are totally in your body and expressing yourself with joy, it feels so good, utterly unlike anything else.

A video posted by Gala Darling (@galadarling) on

A snippet from our dress rehearsal.

Afterwards, I felt like a superhero; like my whole body was glowing. I was so proud of myself for trying something that terrified me and seemed so far outside of my comfort zone, and then taking that fear and performing in front of a crowd!

  A video posted by Gala Darling (@galadarling) on

The experience reminded me that we can do anything at any time. The only trick is to get fear and ego out of the way. Once you can do that, the possibilities for your life are literally endless.

I’m going back for more classes this week, and I can’t wait to perform again. There’s only one problem: I still need a stage name. Any suggestions?!

Love and false eyelashes,

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What’s The Hidden Meaning Of Your Birthday And Birth Name? Numerology Can Tell You…

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Numerology has always fascinated me. I first stumbled across it when I discovered a website that would analyse the numerology of your name. I put in my birth name as well as Gala, and the results were staggering: the two descriptions essentially told the story of the transformation I had undergone at the time I changed my name.

Since then, I have done some research and dabbled a little bit — check out Can A Number Determine Your Fate? What Numerology Can Tell You About Your Life Purpose for an example — but I am far from being an expert in the subject. When I was planning out the content for the Radical Self Love Coven, I knew I wanted to throw numerology into the mix!

That’s why I approached the effervescent Tania Gabrielle, and happily, she was over the moon to be involved! We sat down for a little chat about how to decode names and numbers to help uncover our best selves.


1. Tell us who you are and what you do.

My name is Tania Gabrielle, and I love bringing the message in the stars and numbers to life! As a Wealth Astro-Numerologist I’m able to unlock the mysteries in your spiritual DNA blueprint to reveal your purpose and destiny and unlock energetic blocks, so you can experience your highest vibrational state. Your astro-numerology code also spirals forward in time to now and future, unlocking a code of great potential and timing — your soul’s energetic roadmap in this lifetime. I’ve practiced astrology and numerology since I was a teenager and love sharing the wondrous world of names, numbers and the stars!

2. What was it that drew you to numerology? What is it that keeps you interested in it?

I was introduced to astrology by my dad when I was thirteen, and numerology while browsing a New Age bookstore as a 19-year-old in college (and started readings in my dorm room for my friends right away!). My first love was as a classical music composer, and focusing on sound frequency naturally transferred into a fascination with the frequencies in numbers, names and the sacred geometry of the stars. Then came my big “AHA” moment when I realized the significance of the degree numbers in astrology charts and understood how these two ancient sister divination arts of numerology and astrology are intricately interconnected.

In supporting both my clients and forecasting astro-numerology codes for everyone I’m inspired all day long! There is no end to the discoveries and positive growth opportunities… Universal codes evolve eternally – mirroring the extraordinary rhythms of life.

3. What’s the first thing you would tell someone who is interested in numerology?

I would suggest they study the codes in their own life first. To begin, notice numbers that make up their birthday. And to pay attention to all the number symbols that show up in their lives – like seeing 11:11, repeated numbers, number sequences, numbers in their address, their hotel room, special dates. Focusing on these symbols will start to unlock the significance. The universal language is expressed through symbols. Understanding your own code puts you in touch with the Divine.

4. Is there a common misconception people have about numerology? What do people think and what’s your perspective?

We often take the obvious for granted! People believe that what you can’t see doesn’t exist! And that attributing meaning to symbols is not a science. How can something as simple as numbers carry such a profound and specific meaning? And why would the celestial rhythm of the stars and planets affect us personally? Numbers are everywhere – they define all parts of our life. People are raised to appreciate math and astronomy – but not to appreciate the meaning of things. Pythagoras, the great philosopher, musician and mathematician, put it best when he tought his students that astronomy is the outer world made visible, and astrology describes your inner world. The same correlation goes for mathematics and numerology.

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5. Can you give us one example of a time when numerology really helped you, or produced amazing results?

When I first discovered the separate branch in numerology for reading CURRENT names (not birth names), I immediately realized that each one of my current names up until that moment had emitted a challenging vibration. So I immediately changed my name to a fortunate spelling — and instantly my career took off! It was a stunning turnaround – one that stands out as a pivotal moment in my life.

6. How can numerology enhance people’s lives?

Astro-Numerology gives us each our own unique energetic roadmap. This roadmap we receive from our Astro-Numerology birth code, current cycles and future forecast is ENERGETIC. It is the roadmap about who we must be, vibrationally speaking, in order to create what we want! There is no greater gift than to understand your purpose and design your destiny.

7. Do you believe that we create our own destiny and our own luck? How does numerology play into that?

Yes, definitely we create our destiny. We get to experience our unique roadmap through free will! We get to EXPERIENCE ourselves within our soul’s roadmap by experiencing our results – which are life giving us feedback – knowing that we created these results, through choice. This is integral to any growth and empowerment, and the Divine Source will always honor our creative power and responsibility.

8. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from practicing numerology?

To love every experience, to love myself, to love everyone else’s experience of life, to have compassion for everyone’s unique journey — and to eliminate all fear because the TRUST in the goodness and spectacular wisdom of the Universe is so deep.

Love and numbers,

Radical Self Love Coven is now OPEN for enrollment! Tania will be teaching our numerology module and I can’t wait for you to discover how you can design and improve your life using this fascinating tool. Enrollment closes next Saturday and class begins on Sunday May 1st, so if you want to join us, hop to it, witch baby!

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Radical Self Love on The Daily Edition!

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On Monday night, at 11.30pm, I jumped in a car and headed uptown to film a live segment with The Daily Edition on Channel 7 in Australia! It was so much fun to get all dressed up (I wore the Dames Dress by Pinup Girl Clothing) and get my face done (thanks, Regan!), especially after a week on the beach where I hadn’t even worn shoes!

We sat down for a quick chat about happiness, gratitude as a daily practice, how dressing up can change your life, and even the story of how (and why!) I changed my name.

The clip is embedded below — I hope you enjoy it!

Oh and by the way, I’m on Snapchat now. It’s so weird but I’m having fun with it! My username is gala-darling — add me and watch me get into mischief!

Love always,

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Radical Self Love Coven Is Now Open!

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I am over the moon — pun very much intended — to announce that Radical Self Love Coven is now open for enrollment! Think of it as magic school for witch babies around the world. This is the biggest class I’ve ever put together: seven months, six teachers, and five modules ranging from astrology through to feng shui, spellwork, numerology and tarot. SO EPIC!

If you’ve been hankering for a connection with the divine, as well as a genuine girl gang who believe in you and the unique magic you bring to the world, you are in the perfect place.

In the Radical Self Love Coven, you’ll learn how to create personalised rituals to step into your power, uncover the secrets hidden within your astrology chart, and discover how to read tarot cards for yourself and others. You’ll learn how to arrange your home to manifest ultra-abundance and positive energy, and use numerology to create your own destiny.

Even better than that, you’ll be immediately initiated into The Temple, a community full of witch babies around the world. Get ready to meet your magical new BFFs!

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Radical Self Love Coven is the result of extensive surveys, FB questioning and lots of research, so I could bring you the most comprehensive and useful course ever. I’m delighted with the teachers we have on board — read more about them here — and the special extracurricular goodies on offer. Bringing people together is one of my favourite things, so I can’t wait to watch the community thrive, uplift and support one another. We’re going to learn so much together and have the best time!

Class kicks off on May 1st, and the very first lesson is about charms and energy work. Mmmmm yes! Hands up who wants to learn how to create their own personalised rituals?! I got you!

Radical Self Love Coven is open for enrollment NOW! Click through for all the details.

See you on the other side…

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