The Wrap Up: 10 BIG Lessons of 2016

Oh 2016! As I sit and reflect, I think of all the beauty, magic, ups and downs, triumphs and failures, love and loss we have had throughout the year. 2016 wasn’t all bad – it was a year of completion and realization. A 9 year in the cycle. The year of the Hermit. A time to wrap up, clear out old karma, reflect on the last 9 years, and get ready for the 9 year cycle to start all over again. How have you grown not only in 2016, but since 2008? What were your major lessons?  *Use the italicized questions in this article as journal prompts to help you wrap up your 2016 with a pretty bow!*

Here are the 10 Big Lessons of 2016

 

Clean it Up!

Clearing clutter to allow energy to flow freely was huge this year. And this doesn’t just mean physical clutter as in becoming more organized in your living space or cleaning out your closet. 2016 was a year of cleaning up our lives. A year of releasing and letting go. A year of taking out the trash! What were you required to let go of this year? How did you ‘clean it up’ in 2016?

 

Knowing When Something is Not for You

We all have times when we think we want something, only to get it, and then realize that this isn’t what we bargained for. 2016 was a year of intuitively knowing when something just wasn’t for you whether that be a job you interviewed for, a new relationship, a friend, or a tarot deck you were just dying to have. By being more in touch with ourselves and our desires this year, it became easier for us to recognize when something just did not resonate. How did you know when something was just not for you this year?

 

Knowing When it’s Time to Go… 

In 2016, you may have found yourself in a situation where something just is not working for you anymore. That job you loved, you may have outgrown it, the environment gave you anxiety, or you felt there was no more room for you to expand in your role. You may have left a toxic relationship when it became blindingly clear that this was not for your best and highest good. Perhaps you followed your heart and moved to your dream home. 2016 was about knowing when we’ve had enough so that we could begin to spark change and make room for new and better to come into our lives in 2017!

 

Feeling Like Time is Speeding Up

Have you found yourself thinking how fast the year has gone?! That time has been flying by? As more people awaken to deeper consciousness on the planet, time is beginning to move faster. A quickening. We are being asked to evolve at a faster rate as we enter a new cycle in our lives. As our vibrations raise, the pace of time may increase. This is especially true for lightworkers as the time to use your gifts for the benefit of others and the world as a whole draws ever closer.

 

How to be Present in the Here and Now

2016 taught us to be mindful and focus on being more present in our lives. If you increased your meditation practice this year, I’m pretty sure the topic of mindfulness came up for you as well! You may have thought you were making forward progress in situations or stressing over the future outcome, only to have something happen to bring your focus back to the here and now. Remember – the Universe shakes us up to wake us up! This year, we often had to take our focus away from our anxieties about the future and return it to the present if we wanted to make any progress. To get things done! When we are present every single day, in the here and now, we can impact our future in a more substantial way. We learned that change happens today – in the here and now.

 

Building Foundations 

Building on knowledge and tearing down old beliefs was definitely the name of the game this year! The building blocks we gathered have allowed us to slowly build the castle of our dreams. This year was about gaining our strength and making sure our foundations were sturdy. We may have had to rebuild and rework our design a few times, but it was only for the betterment of our plans. 2017 will be the year to build on these foundations. What foundations did you build this year? How did they change throughout the year?

 

The Importance of Hard Work & Perseverance

After we built those strong foundations, we busted our butts! In 2016 we worked our asses off – whether that be in business, our relationships, or our health. We read, studied hard, wrote, and created. We went for that interview, degree, promotion, or certification. We may have even cried tears of frustration throughout the process, but we came out on the other side thankful for the experience and proud of our accomplishments – no matter how big or small they may have seemed at the time. What benefits did you harvest from your hard work and persevering this year?

 

Learning How to be Flexible 

There were definitely a few times where we had no choice but to be flexible this year. 2016 sometimes threw us a curve ball. When these waves of change would come, we learned that sometimes, all you can do is go with the flow. You can compromise without losing your integrity or dignity. It may not be how you originally wished the situation to be, but you had to trust that things happened that way for a reason. Acceptance of things you cannot change is definitely a part of this lesson. Where did you have to be flexible in your life in 2016? How did you deal with acceptance this year?

 

Connecting & Co-Creating with the Universe 

2016 was the year of co-creating with the Universe! Manifesting your dreams. Making your goals a reality. Empowering yourself. Helping you to let go and to heal. The Universe was there through it all! The Universe definitely had our back in 2016. You may have read more books on spirituality, metaphysics, and consciousness. Learned about the power of positive thinking. Connected with the wisdom of and learned about your spirit guides, angels, and ancestors, Earth Mother, and the Universe as a whole. What did the Universe teach you in 2016? What was it’s major message for you? What did you co-create with the Universe in 2016? Don’t forget to say thank you!

 
Finding & Building your Relationship with Your Tribe

This was probably one of the most fun (and at times trying) part of 2016. You may have finally found your people, your tribe, your soul family – or you at least started connecting with others of a like mind. 2016 was the year to put yourself out there. Mingling, making friends, networking, and getting to know your community. This year helped us to know we are not alone. There are others on the journey with us. We found love, understanding, and support in these people. Who encompasses your tribe? Who was a part of your tribe that is not anymore? As you changed and grew, did you relationship with your tribe follow suit? 2017 will continue to build on these relationships and deepen your connection to your tribe.

I hope you had an out of this world 2016. Let’s get ready to rock the next 365!

If you’re curious as to what lessons and opportunities 2017 may have in store for you, grab one of my New Year’s and 2017 Readings in my Etsy Shop!

xo Ariel

 

Releasing the Remnants Ritual

This is a mini ritual that would be a follow up to a larger or more in depth releasing ritual and healing. This is about the remnants of releasing. What is left behind – the scars, the burns, the imprints on your energy that remain after traumatic events, difficult circumstances, heartbreak, trying relationships, etc. Even though you may have released this and let it go, every now and again it comes back up and you still have yet more releasing to do. This ritual, given to me by my spirit guides, is symbolic for releasing those energetic imprints.

It’s very simple, but you can make it as intricate or elaborate as you wish. Don’t be afraid to add your own magical flair if you feel called. Watch the YouTube Video that goes along with this working for a more in depth explanation.

Tools – pencil, eraser, paper, a lighter or candle

Set the mood if you like. Call in your spirit team. You can incorporate lunar energy, candlelight, crystals, incense, music – you name it. Whatever gets you in the mood.

What have you released over and over, but you still feel a part of it is holding onto your spirit? Nagging and tugging. That just won’t let go? Write this on your paper in pencil. Press hard enough as you write so that your writing will bleed through the paper, leaving an imprint. Allow any remaining feelings about this situation (anger, hurt, jealousy, sadness, etc.) to come back up as you’re writing.

Once you’ve finished writing, begin to lightly erase your pencil marks. Feel free to use a releasing affirmation as you go through each one. You should see the remnants or impression of your handwriting still left upon the paper. The energetic imprint of these instances.

Take your lighter or candle and burn your paper, thereby releasing the remnants of these energetic strongholds. Give gratitude to your angels and guides for helping you with this working.

xo Ariel

 

Winter Tarotscopes 2016 | December 21st 2016 to March 19th 2017

Here they are – your Winter Tarotscopes and the final tarotscopes of 2016! Curl up by the fire with your latte or hot cocoa and see what energy your zodiac sign will be working with from this December to March of 2017!

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What is a Tarotscope? A Tarotscope is like a horoscope for your zodiac sign, only it uses tarot cards. Make sure to read the Tarotscope for your Moon and Rising Signs in addition to your Sun sign to get a more complete picture of the energy you may be working with this season and as we head into the new year! For the Tarotscopes this Winter, I will be using The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans (first edition). What’s the vibe surrounding your sign this Winter?

If you’d like to get a Wonderful reading with me this Winter, please visit the Maven Unmasked Etsy Shop         

*Use the promo code: GRATITUDE until January 4th 2017 to receive 30% OFF when booking your reading!*

Have a Winter full of Whimsy and Wonder lovelies!

Happy Holidays,

xo Ariel

 

 

aries-winter-2016

Aries | 6 of Cups

This season will be all about reconnecting with your inner child and learning from your childhood. Honor what once was. Your sense of nostalgia may be heightened this Winter. Do you see how different events and experiences in your life have all been connected thus nurturing you into the person you are today – for better or for worse. Is there any childhood healing that needs to take place? Look back at your younger years. See how you have grown and matured. What is different and what has stayed the same?

taurus-winter-2016

Taurus | 2 of Wands

The longer you wait to make a decision, the less choice you have Taurus. This Winter will be spent in contemplation and looking for new options to explore. Do both options bring you to the same end point or do their paths cross for a moment and then keep on going? Evaluate your motivations. Balance will be an important factor this season as well. How will your choices impact the sense of balance in all areas of your life?

gemini-winter-2016

Gemini | Mother of Cups

Spend your Winter reaching out to others, healing, and sharing the love! This season is all about being the best nurturer you can be – to yourself and others too. You may be feeling a bit lovey-dovey, extra feminine, and all squishy on the inside which may make you a bit uncomfortable Gemini, but it is totally okay! Share all of that extra love and joy you feel within you to others that could use some.

cancer-winter-2016

Cancer | The Emperor

Discipline, discipline, discipline is the name of the game for you this Winter, Cancer. Bring in the reigns – it’s time to tighten up ship! This is a period of taking care of business to build a strong foundation for yourself, which I feel will come in handy as we roll into 2017. Create a to-do list and crack down on some of those responsibilities. This will be an important period of development and independence for you.

leo-winter-2016

Leo | Daughter of Swords

This Winter will really be about expanding on new ideas, Leo! Get clear on your goals – don’t be afraid if you have to put some of them on the back burner for now. This season will be spent learning what works for you. Communicating in new ways and learning new things. Have you been thinking of taking up a new course of study or enrolling in a new class? Now may be the prime time for you to do so!

virgo-winter-2016

Virgo | Death

Transformation, change, and rebirth will be a HUGE theme for you this Winter, Virgo! Embrace it. Shed your old skin. Let go of old beliefs. Release that which no longer serves you. You may find yourself changing jobs, finding friends who resonate with you on a soul level (and leaving behind those who do not), or perhaps even leaving a toxic relationship. Know that this period, while not easy, will definitely be beneficial in the growth and development of who you are as a soul! This is a powerful time for you.

libra-winter-2016

Libra | 5 of Cups

Try not to wallow in grief, despair, or loss this season. Winter will ask you to bring out your inner strength to help you heal from your grief. This is the time to focus on what you have – not what you’re lacking. Do not hang your head in shame! Try to find ways to renew your confidence. You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Only YOU can renew your sense of joy and passion for life! How do you tap into that energy?  *Tip – Take extra salt baths this month to help keep your energy clear and fresh as you go through this trying time.

scorpio-winter-2016

Scorpio | Son of Swords

Winter will bring to you increased communication. Be mindful to think before you speak – especially in the first few weeks of Winter while Mercury is going retrograde (December 19th 2016 – January 8th 2017). Pay attention to how you communicate with others. What do you say and what do you wish you would say? There will be lots of ideas for you to share with the world. Deepen your knowledge of an existing subject of interest. This season will be a time of enhanced focus for you analytically and intellectually.

sagittarius-winter-2016

Sagittarius | 8 of Pentacles

Work, work, work is the name of the game for you this Winter, driven Sagittarius. Build and stack your resources. Put in as much work and effort as possible. Now is the time to really hunker down and put your nose to the grindstone with any goals you have. This is an extremely productive period for you where you can get a lot accomplished. This also feels like a great time of building your sense of abundance and prosperity by working towards your aspirations.

capricorn-winter-2016

Capricorn | 5 of Pentacles

Work on clearing up poverty mindset this Winter, Capricorn. Know that you’re not alone and that you truly have all you need to survive. Work on taking better care of your physical body this season. Drink more water. Eat healthier foods. Make sure you spend enough time out in the sun – even if it’s a bit chilly outside. Gather with those who love and support you. Don’t isolate yourself this Winter. Rejoice in the sunshine with your friends and be grateful for the many blessings in your life, even if it is hard to see them right now.

aquarius-winter-2016

Aquarius | 4 of Cups

You may feel a little bored, apathetic,  or impatient this season, as it may seem you’ve hit a bit of a plateau. Be mindful to keep your ego or sense of entitlement in control this Winter.  What has left you so unsatisfied? What can you do to revamp your spark Aquarius? Don’t isolate yourself in the darkness of your room. Open the blinds and let the sunshine in!  Don’t bask in lower vibrational ways of thinking. Keep your eyes to the light as you face the darkness.

pisces-winter-2016

Pisces | 3 of Swords

What has broken your heart my dear sweet Pisces? What didn’t work out the way you planned? As an idealist, this may have shaken you to your core emotionally. Constantly thinking of this issue, it’s got you bound tightly in it’s grip, replaying the incident over and over. Are you communicating your displeasure? How can you express these feelings in a healthy way that is more geared toward healing? Focus on regaining your sense of safety and security this Winter. Don’t be afraid if it is time to cut some cords – in the end, it may bring more clarity to the situation.

 

 

 

Gaian Tarot Deck Interview

The Gaian Tarot has had my eye for almost a year now and for good reason. She is a breath of fresh air! I especially love how the artist included people of all colors, shapes, ages, and sizes in this deck, as well as the elements of nature and the beautiful creatures of our planet. The images are stunning and it feels like a ‘welcome home old friend’ kind of deck. Relaxed, inspired, down to earth, comforting, and loving – just as any deck with ‘Gaia’ in the name should be!

I decided immediately upon her unboxing, that it was important to do a deck interview with her, and right away too. I don’t always get this feeling from decks, however I knew our relationship would be different. She had something very important to share with me. The questions in this deck interview tarot spread were either created by TABI (Tarot Association of the British Isles) or someone on Aeclectic Tarot, I’m not sure which. I however, found this spread through the lovely tarotista Beth Maiden of Little Red Tarot

gaian-tarot-deck-interview-cards

Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert (Schiffer Publishing, 2016)

Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

Elder of Earth – She is the ultimate provider. Crafty and kind. Resourceful and knowledgeable. Fruitful, abundant, and well loved. Seasoned and wise. Understanding and sympathetic. Responsible. She is connected to all of time, to the weaving of fate, for there is no beginning and no end to her wisdom.

What are your strengths as a deck?

Elder of Air – She is a fantastic communicator! Her words a melodious symphony. Her voice is like the whisper of the wind and clear as a bell. She communicates in such a grounded and reachable way, so that all who encounter her can comprehend her message. A language of divine wisdom, that we as humans, creatures who live on this planet, inherently understand. When you hear what she has to stay, you will stop and listen.

What are your limits as a deck?

The Moon – This deck is not what you would call intuitive. She is earthy. Her concepts are very tangible and real. She will not give you all of the answers as she realizes the importance of facing the fear of the unknown. The importance of being present in the moment and living your journey. Part of the wisdom she shares is the paramount power contained in the learning of lessons.

What are you here to teach me?

Three of Fire – Freedom of expression. To allow my soul to dance in warmth and light. She is here to get me moving to the beat of the Universe again! To ignite my passion and celebrate life. To be strong in my creativity and to know that it is safe to do so. I also feel that she is here to remind me of the importance of working with my lower 3 chakras (Root, Sacral, & Solar Plexus) and the role they play in my sense of joy and independence. She wants me to remember the full expression of who I am. To acknowledge the earth plane and rejoice with her. Thanks Gaian Tarot  🙂

How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

Explorer of Fire – Dare and do. All I need to do is to pick her up and give her a shuffle. She is ready, waiting, and willing to help! She invites me to have confidence and to act on the knowledge she gives me – especially seeing as she has been around a time or two and knows the ropes (remember the Elder of Earth). She does not give empty guidance. Don’t ask if I am not willing to listen. Create with her and do not be afraid to share the results!

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

The Seeker – Discovery. Adventure. Wonderment and freedom. Play and new beginnings. The excavation of the truth of my soul. She will bring a refreshed and soul nurturing energy to my readings. We can create anything we wish together. The story has yet to be written, but she is excited for the journey of our spiritual quest together.

As I’m writing this, having completed this interview, the lyrics of Natasha Beddingfield’s song “Unwritten” comes to mind: “Feel the rain on your skin. No one else can feel it for you. Only you can let it in. No one else, no one else, can speak the words on your lips…Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.”

If you’d like to learn more about the creator behind this work of art, please check out the author’s website here

Do you have this gem of a deck? If so, what are your thoughts? What has the Gaian Tarot taught you thus far in your journey together?

Blessings,

xo Ariel

Squirrel as a Spirit Animal | Animal Totems

Squirrel has been ever present as of late, making chucking noises and happily bounding across the yard. As I sit at the window watching them intently searching for acorns, my thoughts turn to what this cheerful little creature has to share with us. Here is what it may mean if you feel called to discover Squirrel as a Spirit Animal.

Preparation
Winter is coming – and the Squirrel intuitively knows it. Months ahead, they begin planning and making their preparations for shelter and food stores for the long winter ahead. Squirrel teaches us to always be prepared. To think ahead. To gather your resources. What do you have now, what tools do you have at your disposal, that you can save for a rainy day? Maybe now is the time to save more money or invest in your education. What is an old skill that you can repurpose and use in a new way? You never know how what you already have in your repertoire will come in handy!

Expect the Unexpected 

Squirrel is always on the look out for predators – he has to be. He also has to be crafty and cunning in how he avoids these dangers. Squirrel invites you to make a plan B so that you’re not blindsided by the unexpected. Squirrel knows it is better to climb to the tree tops for safety. This way he can get a bird’s eye view of the situation and maneuver accordingly.

Be Resourceful – and a little fiesty 

Friendly and not afraid to let you know how they feel, squirrels are some of the most resourceful creatures out there! Squirrel may be telling you it’s time to survey your resources. What do you have? What can you share with others? Having a Squirrel animal totem also encourages you to be curious and to make new friends! Chat it up. This creature also reminds us that sometimes it’s okay to be bit nutty. It’s okay to be passionate and to express your pleasure or lack thereof.



Remember to help the planet 🌎💚

Squirrel isn’t afraid to do a little digging! With such a short attention span, squirrels forget where they buried their nuts within seconds. This actually turns out to be a good thing as although forgotten, these acorns have been given a chance to germinate, grow, and sprout new life. Squirrel encourages you to recycle, plant a tree or garden, donate your money or time to worth environmental causes. Squirrel also reminds us to live in an environmentally friendly and ethical way. When his acorns mature into trees, his energetic footprint provides oxygen for generations – long after Squirrel is gone. What kind of footprint do you leave on Mother Earth?

Squirrel is a small creature that may often be overlooked but his message packs a powerful punch. Don’t you think?

xo Ariel 

Making the Most of Mercury Retrograde

Don’t Fear the Retrograde! Mercury Retrograde often gets a bad rap. However, these times of reflection and evaluation are important for our growth and development. This is a time all about reconnecting with you! Mercury Retrograde can often bring up many lessons for us. Some of them, we think we have already learned. But Mercury comes in to say, “No, no my dear. That was just one layer of the onion.” And as we all know, when working with onions, you get a few tears. We may find ourselves in old patterns or circumstances. We may have a ghost from our past pop-in to say hello, or we may have similar situations from the past come in to see if we have really learned our lesson by how we deal with the situation.

What is Mercury Retrograde? Mercury is the planet that governs communication, travel, and technology. Mercury is considered to be retrograde when the planet appears to travel backward in the sky (it doesn’t really). This is why during mercury retrograde communication gets jumbled, people are more likely to get into disagreements, and technology is more prone to malfunction. Mercury goes Retro several times a year (about 3 or 4) for about three and a half weeks – not including the shadow period. You can check the Farmer’s Almanac for specific dates.

How Can Mercury Retrograde Impact You?

  • Muddled Thinking
  • Technological Issues
  • Issues with Communication
  • You/Others More on Edge
  • Problems with Travel/Transportation
  • Negotiation & Contract Miscommunications

Here are some things you can do to make your Mercury Retro experience more pleasant…

Double Check Your Work & Pay Attention to Detail

This is so important during Mercury Retrograde as things have more of a tendency to be miscommunicated at this time. It is easier to skip steps or to miss little details. Double check your numbers, the way you word emails, your spelling, how you balanced your check book, read the fine print, confirm when appointments are scheduled, etc. Pay attention to details. Listen carefully to instructions. Do more research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure! Go over things with a fine toothed comb. Take a step back – especially if you feel particularly frustrated. Then come back and take a look at it with fresh eyes. 

Slow Down

This plays into re-checking your work and paying attention to detail. When we rush, we often miss things or make simple mistakes. Try not to procrastinate. Focus on deep breathing to release anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time! Will a few extra minutes make or break you? Probably not.

Drink Plenty of Water

Because of the shift in energy that takes place during Mercury Retrograde, I have found it beneficial to drink more water during these periods. It really helps to keep your energy clear, fresh, and more energized – especially as you are re-working, re-evaluating, and re-thinking many of your goals and ideas.

Back Up Your Cell Phone & Computer

This is a biggie! Technological malfunctions and mishaps tend to occur quite frequently when Mercury goes Retrograde. Back up all of those pictures, important documents, music, and videos! Try to do this before Mercury goes Retro.

Step Up Your Protection & Spiritual Clearing

As a sensitive, intuitive, or empath, you may find it difficult to deal with the sometimes crazy and intense energy of Mercury Retrograde. Use a form of spiritual protection that works for you! Ground and shield yourself regularly. Work with your angels and guides. Take salt baths, burn sage, or work with crystals and essential oils for protection and energetic cleansing.

Watch How You’re Communicating with Others

During Mercury Retrograde, it is easier for us to misinterpret the words or actions of another. We may know how we are feeling, but when we try to tell someone else it comes out backwards, rude, or just totally wrong. Think before you speak! It may sound good in your head, but what about coming out of your mouth? Be mindful of the words you use with others – especially as some people may be more argumentative at this time. Are you communicating your feelings effectively? Don’t feed into drama! Would someone find your word choice, tone, or inflection condescending when you’re really just coming from a place of love? Is it better for the conversation to take place in person instead of via email? The way things come across in an email can be very different than if you were face to face or on the phone with them.

Reflect More Than You Manifest

As Mercury Retrograde is a time of “re-doing”, it only feels right to be more of a time about reflecting than manifesting. A time of connecting with yourself. A time of redefining what works best for you. If you are dead set on doing some sort of manifesting work while Mercury is in Retro, try to re-work a manifestation that didn’t work or turn out as planned. What could you have done differently? What would you add or take away? Were you not specific enough, were you too specific, or did the intention change all together?

Tie-Up Loose Ends

Now is the time to finish that project! Complete any tasks that have been lying around half done for the last few weeks or months. Get things finished up so you can move on to the next chapter when Mercury stations direct.

 

❤ Sending you loads of love this Mercury Retro!

xo Ariel

🎄Holiday Cheer | 4 Tarot + Oracle Spreads

Here are some tarot spreads that I’ve designed to help us bring more Cheer into our spirit this holiday season. Watch the Holiday Spreads Video here for more details and to see these spread layouts in action!
     

🌰 The Big Breakthrough – Nutcracker Spread 

This spread is great for busting through obstacles! (This one’s my favorite!)

1. Chestnut – Challenge

2. Nutty Center – Heart of the Matter

3. Nutcracker – Use This to Crack the Challenge Wide Open

4. Open Fire – New Energy Coming In


The 3 Wise Men 🌟

This spread is designed to activate your inner Wise Man!

1. Gold – Find Strength in This

2. Frankincense – Cleanse + Purify This

3. Myrrh – Raising your Vibe + Finding your Truth

4. Star (Shadow Card) – Hope + Faith


🎅🏼 Santa’s Little Helper 

What can you do to make sure you end up on the nice list this year?

What can you to do:

1. Help Yourself

2. Help Your Community

3. Help Your Family + Friends

4. Gifts You Bring

5. Spread Cheer


Penguin’s Paradise 🐧🌴

Have some areas of your life been on ice?

1. Iceberg – Where Are You Stuck + Stagnant?

2. Waddling on Ice – Where Are You Struggling?

3. Gliding Through Water – Where Are You Free Flowing?

4. Community – How Your Community Nurtures You

 

Have a Happy Card-Slinging Holiday!

xo Ariel