What scares me about my future, you may ask? I think a better phrasing of that question would be, what doesn’t scare me?

Before I dare divulge into a question that large, I’d like to (briefly) share my feelings on the extremely flawed public school system. I spent three quarters of my life in an extremely underfunded, microaggressive, middle-class school system where teachers still denounce spaghetti straps as young girls being “sexually distracting.” I spent all four years of high school keeping my fingers crossed that the entire arts & theater program wouldn’t be removed from my curriculum and completely go to sh*t. I spent most of my young life not only feeling confused by what adults expected of me, but also what I expected of myself. It’s difficult to feel confident in your future as an artist if the public institution granting your education would rather pay for football jerseys than pay an art teacher a salary.

I’m scared because everyone around me is telling me I lack experience in the “real world.” I’m scared because I was somehow supposed to have figured out what my life’s true calling was by the age of seventeen, then smacked down fifty grand to a college to pursue a degree I had relatively no experience in. And then, after I made that payment and relocated my entire life, I realized that I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I was broke, locked in to an absolute institution, and completely bored with my life.

Why the hell did I do that?

If I could go back and rewrite things, I know I wouldn’t jump right into college at the age of eighteen. We tell ourselves we go to college to find ourselves, but how can we do such a thing if we don’t know what we’re looking for in the first place?

I’m scared because I didn’t give myself a chance to figure “it” out. I jumped on the college bandwagon because that’s what everybody else was doing, and if I didn’t, well, the only other option was to flip burgers at Mcdonalds for the rest of my life.

Duh!

I’m not denouncing college as a whole. In fact, I rather enjoy the environment. But I just wish that I had given myself a chance to breathe, try new things, maybe travel the country, and search for a passion. After all, one thing I’ve known since kindergarten was that my perfect, bright, future didn’t belong to Amesbury, Massachusetts. I knew, even at the age of five, that I wanted more than that.

Control is very versatile. I can choose to do nothing and accept the cookie-cutter life that my high school teachers hoped I would follow, or I can leave everything behind and take control of exactly what I want. And, when the time is right, that is exactly what I intend to do. Initiating change is hard, and obviously scary, but it’s a “good” scary. I’d rather be frightened of what’s yet to come, rather than what never will be.

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In order to maintain positive, happy, energy in your living environment, purifying is essential. The term “purifying” itself is very versatile and can mean different things for different people. You don’t have to dedicate an elemental shrine in every room of your house to keep it cleansed and positive, but that is one thing you can do! For me personally, cleansing my living space is a very simple and harmonious part of my life. I’ll be taking you through everything I do on a semi-daily basis, but feel free to put your own spin on things if you feel like doing so.


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Perhaps the most essential tool is purifying room mist. This room mist is simple to make, use, and store, making it ideal for everyday use. On top of a spray bottle to keep the product in, you will also need water, lavender essential oil, a few drops of lemon, allspice, anise, basil, cinnamon, clove, and thyme. Combine all of the ingredients and shake the contents well. The color will change from clear to a peachy light-brown. I use this spray generously on my bedding, curtains, pillows, and simply just throughout the air. I also spritz it on my spiritual altar and crystal collection, as these areas should always stay as purified as possible.


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Decorate your living space with crystals, plants, spices, and symbolic objects. The elements of nature carry an enormous amount of power within them, so it is important that we honor this power and use it wisely in our living space. I keep my crystals together in a small glass plate in my room, and, depending on my mood, will take out particular ones to meditate with. Having a personal relationship is crucial to anyone seeking healing through their crystals, along with selecting the proper crystal for whatever it is you may be struggling with. I also have a small succulent on my bedroom windowsill- not only does it add beauty and interest to my room, but it also strengthens my intimate relationship with the natural world.


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Try to keep the purpose of each room as simple and organized as possible. For example, it may not be wise to keep your television in the same room you sleep in. When too many conflicting energies are put together, negativity and chaos can linger and hugely affect your mood. Keeping things minimalist and basic not only appears better to the eye, but also greatly improves the overall mood of your living space.

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Lastly, aromatherapy is a terrific way to purify your space and keep your mind detoxified! Natural scents like lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and frankincense can add another dimension of cleanliness to your living space, and all of these smells have their own individual healing properties. I enjoy diffusing lavender oil before bed to relax my mind and prepare my body for the objective of a good night’s sleep. Zesty smells like orange and eucalyptus can be extremely energizing, making them ideal for pushing you through the start of your day. Whatever it is you choose to do to make your space feel cleaner and more positive, always remember to stay safe and do whatever is in the best interest for your health and well-being.


 

As a proud feminist, I admire the strength and courage of the women in history before me. The women who dared to think radically, risked their lives, and ultimately changed the course of American history. Notably, half of the women on this list are African-American. I came to know many of the names on this list through I loved as a child: Book of Black Heroes: Great Women in the Struggle Volume Two. I found the book in my elementary school library about a decade ago, and fell in love with their thrilling, admirable stories immediately. Many of them didn’t use weapons or force to wage their wars: they used words, art, media, music, and non-violent organizations. The more I read it, the more I loved it, and I received my own copy on my tenth birthday. There are countless more wonderful women I could include on this list, but these are the top six that have made the largest impact on me.


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Ida B. Wells. Like nearly every African-American women in the nineteenth century, Ida B. Wells was no stranger to a difficult and tragic upbringing. When she was just fourteen years of age, her parents and a brother died of yellow fever, leaving her to take care of her five other siblings on her own. Miraculously, Wells managed to raise them all and still continue her own education, eventually finding herself as a writer for a local black weekly newspaper. Using her powerful words as weapons, Wells published stories of racism and injustice brazenly. Ida B. Wells had to carry two pistols at all times to protect herself, and had to escape Memphis in 1892 to escape a lynch mob. Even after these threats, Wells continued to establish herself as a fierce and talented journalist, eventually planting herself in New York to write for the New York Age. She was also one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), though the latter is unfortunately not usually recognized.


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Sophie Scholl. In the two-week or so period I spent studying Nazi Germany  in middle school, I’d say about half a class period was spent discussing the incredible story of Sophie Scholl. IF that. In a day of age seeping with Nazi propaganda, Sophie Scholl established herself as outspoken and enduring. With her brother, Han, and a handful if other German students, Scholl became involved in a campaign known as the White Rose, which aimed to expose the innocent murder of Jews under Hitler’s reign. After famously papering her university campus with pamphlets exposing the horrors of Nazi Germany, Scholl and the other members of the White Rose were taken into brutal custody. Sophie was interrogated for seventeen hours, emerged at the Munich Palace of Justice with a broken leg, and then was denied the right to speak at her trial. Over the voices of her opposers, Sophie boldly cried, “Somebody had to make a start! What we said and wrote are what many people are thinking. They just don’t dare say it out loud!” Scholl was beheaded at the age of twenty-one for speaking out about white supremacy in Nazi Germany, but still, her memory and dedication to the White Rose is not forgotten.


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Marian Anderson. Marian Anderson’s story was the first page I flipped open to in the library book, and admittedly, she was also my first crush. Like many classical performers in the twentieth century, Anderson discovered her love for music through singing in her church choir as a child. She spent her earlier days touring Europe as a concert singer and contralto, eventually earning herself reviews that stated she was “making music that probed too deep for words.” Despite her popularity in Europe, Marian Anderson was denied several opportunities in the United States due to her being African-American. She was even refused a performance at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., which led to a protest against the decision lead by Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1978, Anderson was rightfully awarded with the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center Honor for her service to the music community.


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Ruby Bridges. Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges will always be most notably remembered as the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. At only six years-old, Bridges had to be escorted to class every day by her mother and U.S. marshals to protect her safety. Because many parents disagreed with Ruby’s presence at the school, many of the children were even pulled out to avoid interacting with her. Despite the blatant racism, death threats, and harrowing behaviours Ruby faced, she was praised by her family and teachers for exhibiting unwavering bravery and strength. After completing her education and going on to study travel and tourism, Ruby Bridges settled down in New Orleans with her husband and four sons. She formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation in 1999 after the murder of her youngest brother, Malcolm, with the hopes of promoting tolerance and respect. To this day, though she is not extensively recognized, her contributions to civil rights activism are nothing short of exceptional.


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Mary Wollstonecraft. I couldn’t complete this list without mentioning talented writer and feminist icon, Mary Wollstonecraft. I admire her for so many things: her passion, her newfangled thinking, and ultimately, her trailblazing writings. She argued in her famous work A Vindication of the Rights of Women that women were deliberately trained to be incapable powerless. Though a radical thought at the time, Wollstonecraft pushed the idea of equal education and radical reform for women of all backgrounds. Her book caused considerable controversy and failed to bring about any immediate reforms, but by the 1840s, the women’s movements began to resurrect her ideas. I wished I had been able to study Wollstonecraft’s life more deeply in high school, but unfortunately, my curriculum did not put a lot of emphasis or attention on any of these women. Hopefully, this article can shine the little bit of light and love on them that they deserve.


Works consulted: https://timeline.com/sophie-scholl-white-rose-guillotine-6b3901042c98

https://www.biography.com/people/ruby-bridges-475426

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mary-Wollstonecraft

Igus, Toyomi. Book of Black Heroes: Great Women in the Struggle. Vol. 2, Reading Rainbow.

 

If there’s one thing I find myself buying again and again, it’s certainly metaphysical crystals. Not only are gems and crystals aesthetically pleasing and (generally) cheap, they also offer a wide variety of healing properties for both mental and physical health. As of right now, I’m just starting to get over an awful viral infection that unfortunately kept me bedridden and away from the blog for almost a week, so I’m happy to finally be back on my feet with new content! Here is the newest cluster of crystals that I’ll be adding to my collection.

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Orange calcite. Beautiful, powerful, and cleansing, orange calcite works similarly to a vacuum in your body. While many stones have specific areas of the body that they are best suited for, calcite is actually quite versatile in its powers. Meditating with the stone enables your body to be cleansed of negative energy throughout all seven chakras, making it a great beginner stone for any new crystal lovers. Calcite is also very abundant, and is found in large deposits all over the world. Try meditating with orange calcite on your solar plexus chakra to improve self-esteem and overall positive energy.


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Purple fluorite. Fluorite is a lovely pastel medley of pinks, blues, and foamy greens, known best for its harmonizing qualities. Because its colors are cooler-based, the chakras with which it best correlates are the throat, third eye, and crown chakras. It is arguably one of the best stones to assist in studying, retaining information, and overall focus of the mind, making it a student’s best friend. On top of heightening mental abilities, fluorite can also help with physical pains like arthritis, bone ailments, and jaw/tooth issues.


aquamarine.jpgAquamarine. Aquamarine is yet another strong healing gem that has been used and cherished for centuries. In the ancient times, seamen carried aquamarine to promote safe travel across the ocean. It is also ideal for relaxation, promoting sleep, and lessening anxiety. As someone who struggles with a handful of fears and phobias, I find a great deal of comfort from aquamarine, and aspire to keep it close with me often. Similarly to the ocean’s energy, aquamarine is smooth, harmonizing, and comforting.


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Smoky quartz. Smoky quartz is a versatile stone for both physical and emotional applications, and even considered by some to be the very best stone for keeping yourself grounded. Meditating with smoky quartz at your root chakra will promote positive thoughts and calmness, while eradicating physical pain at the same time. This stone is a perfect tool for anyone suffering with back pain, cramps, sore muscles, and general nervousness. According to Village Silversmith, “Wearing or carrying smoky quartz aids our auric fields, enabling us to see phenomenal such as ghosts, UFOs, fairies, and spirit guides.” Obviously, not everybody is a big believer in magical phenomenon, but it’s still a very interesting point to add.


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Red Jasper. In general, jasper is a very energizing and vigorating stone, making it ideal for the root and sacral chakras. Because there are so many types of jasper, it’s impossible to categorize them all by one specific set of properties; red jasper is actually very contrasting from any other type of jasper. In my own personal words, I tend to jokingly refer to red jasper as the “sexy stone.” Red jasper has been proven to increase fertility, sexual function, and general stamina, so the name seemed fitting enough to me. Additionally, red jasper is used for banishing evil promoting protection, with accounts of this going back to the fifteenth century. When you find yourself overwhelmed by nightmares, try to sleep with this stone nearby.


bumblebee jasper.jpgBumblebee Jasper. If red jasper were to be considered the “evil twin,” then this sunny block of brilliant yellows must be the “good” one. Bumblebee jasper is actually technically not jasper- it contains no quartz- but still contains strong metaphysical properties for your mind and body. Because gemstone colors generally correlate with their perfect chakra, you may have guessed by now that bumblebee jasper is perfect for the solar plexus chakra. Using this stone can energize your soul, promote personal growth, and improve your self-esteem. Think of it as a little ray of sunshine in your pocket, spreading happiness and positivity.


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Moonstone. Pure, mysterious, and utterly gorgeous- I was so happy to finally get a tumbled moonstone today. Since the earliest times, moonstone has been documented as an amulet of protection and a tangible connection to the moon itself. Like many white or light-colored stones, moonstone is ideal for the crown and third-eye chakras. Sleeping and meditating with moonstone close by will connect you to a higher presence and a deeper state of mind, especially if you are a more sensitive person than others. Additionally, it is a great stone for love, and is believed to reunite those who parted in anger.


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Tigers Eye. Tigers Eye is prideful, confident, and ideal for boosting your self-esteem. If you find yourself feeling scared of a new experience or journey that you will be embarking on, carrying Tigers Eye can help to rectify your anxiety or fear. Some crystal healers also believe that Tigers Eye can help those suffering from personality disorders or mental illness, though there is no scientific proof to confirm this. Nonetheless, Tigers Eye aids harmony and balance in difficult situations, and profoundly amplifies overall energy.


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Emerald. As green correlates with the heart chakra, it probably comes as no surprise that emerald promotes love and domestic bliss. As an Aries, I feel a particularly strong connection to emerald and bloodstone, which are my gemstones. Wearing emerald brings warmth and positive emotions, and encourages harmony in both your body and your living space. This is truly the stone of unconditional love, so use it in times when you wish to nurture your heart and warm up your soul. As once noted by St. Hildegard of Bingen, “All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.” Keep this stone intimate and safely protected, and its healing properties will reach you.


Further reading: https://www.crystalvaults.com/

Where to buy crystals: https://villagesilversmith.net/
Disclosure: While I am a strong supporter of metaphysical healing, crystals should never fully replace medical care or be used to diagnose any illness! Make sure you speak with your doctor if you have any serious illnesses that need a more thorough treatment. That being said, stay safe, happy, and have fun with your crystals! Xoxo, Sarah

The people have spoken, and this is what they want.

 

My bestest buddy is a six year-old labrador named Duke. While he may appear roly-poly on the outside, beyond all that blubber is a real heart of gold. So, of course, why wouldn’t I want to share pictures of him snoozing with the Internet?

Here he is as a young, baby floofer. And yes, that’s me holding him for the first time!

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Duke happens to be a very fashionable dog. One of his favorite sleeping accessories is this lovely tartan plaid scarf. duke2

Truly, a more magnificent sight has never been seen.

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He’s ready for his close-up!

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Duke is very compliant with mid-snooze pats.

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He really KNEEds to get his rest…

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Awwwwwww!

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I mean, is that really comfortable?

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*Cries from cuteness overload*

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Oh, did I mention Duke has a liking for sleeping on filthy laundry?

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Sweet dreams, cherub.

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Name: Citrine
Chakras: Sacral, Solar Plexus, Crown

Zodiac: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Air

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Fun fact! Citrine was known as the “merchant stone,” as it was kept in cash boxes to attract prosperity.

On top of using crystals for my own health and well-being, I also frequently use them on friends and family for reiki-like healing sessions. One of the most common stones I use on the root and sacral chakras is citrine- a beautiful tangerine gemstone which originates from quartz. Citrine is the stone of abundance and success, bringing creativity and prosperity to all of your environments. The energy of citrine is one that is happy, joyful, energetic and vitalizing, on top of being fantastic for your health.

The healing properties of citrine extend to your body, mind, physiological realm, and emotions. If you find yourself feeling heavy and exhausted, meditating with citrine can energize your body and recharge your mind. Citrine also corresponds with the circulation and energy systems, thymus, thyroid, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, and the the female reproductive system. The stone is obviously versatile in what it promotes, making it my go-to for crystal healing sessions.

In regards to the mind, citrine promotes calmness and enhances your concentration, allowing you to focus on important information and steer away from distractions. I personally find myself holding on to citrine and studying it in times when I feel emotionally lost. There is something truly magical and mysterious about the way citrine works; this stone helps you to unearth the confidence and creative drive that may be hiding deep within you. As someone who is extremely sensitive to criticism, I have found that citrine helps me to respond calmly and constructively. Citrine itself possesses a positive attitude, and if you believe in the stone, that positive energy will seep into you as well.

Piggybacking on the mindfulness of citrine, it can also assist with raising self-esteem and overcoming depression. As an Aries myself who struggled with depression in the past, the correspondence between astrology and metaphysicality is something real and raw in my life. I am a highly sensitive person, and possessing a stone like citrine filters my intense energy into something positive and rich. If you want to know more information about citrine and its metaphysical properties, I highly recommend any book by Judy Hall. As for purchasing citrine yourself, Village Silversmith has wonderful authentic crystals. I’ve been buying from them (I live in New England) for many, many years, and recommend them to anyone who is starting out with crystals.

Judy Hall’s Website: https://www.judyhall.co.uk/

Village Silversmith Website: https://villagesilversmith.net/

By Sarah Desroche

Name: Carnelian

Chakras: Base & Sacral

Zodiac: Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Virgo

Planet: Mars

Element: Fire

Every night, I find a great deal of comfort in tinkering with my crystals. As powerful healing tools, it is my responsibility to make sure the crystals are appreciated, cleansed, charged, and given individual attention. Depending on my mood and which chakra I feel needs attention, I will usually select a different crystal every night. Lately, however, I have felt an extremely strong connection to my carnelian. Carnelian is a powerful stone for generating creative willpower and confidence, along with promoting sexual energy and fertility.

Whenever I meet people interested in furthering their knowledge on crystals, I always recommend The Little Book of Crystals by Judy Hall. It is a fabulous beginner’s guide for anyone wanting to know more about the world’s most essential crystals, along with how to use your healing crystals to the best of their abilities. On top of using my own knowledge, I will also be using the book as a source in this article. Another great resource for furthering your crystal knowledge is The Lune Innate- I’ll include her website and youtube link at the bottom.

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Carnelian has a vivacious red-orange brightness.

I purchased my tumbled carnelian stone about 2-3 weeks ago, along with many other stones that are perfect for the root chakra. Carnelian’s fiery energy and vivacious tangerine color make it an eye-catching stone for any crystal collector, and the amount of information available for carnelian is incredibly extensive.

Generally, the color of the crystal is a fair indication of its healing powers. Carnelian, like many other red-orange stones, promotes vibrant vitality, creativity, and assertiveness. Red stones are also very energizing, and can help you to rise more easily in the early hours. After I cleanse my crystals (which I intend to write a blog on), I hold the carnelian in my palm and thank it for the generosity it has already given me. While giving your crystals positive affirmations isn’t necessary to achieve its benefits, I don’t think it hurts to give your crystal some one-on-one every once in a while. I will usually also compliment the crystal on its stunning beauty and attributes, and finish by humbly asking the crystal for the things I want. Before I go to sleep, I’ll set the crystal on my nightstand, or sometimes, even on my bed frame. After that, it’s out of your hands; let the crystal do its magic!

Since utilizing my carnelian and placing it on my nightstand, I’ve noticed positive changes in both my positive and emotional realm. I willingly wake up earlier now, as opposed to the days when I’d pull the covers over my head and sleep until the last possible second. I also put much more love and care into my morning routine because I have more newfound energy: that means prolonged showers, a lengthy makeup routine, and a much fuller breakfast, just to name a few perks. On top of this new stamina, I have also noticed an improvement in my creativity. One of the hardest things about college is finding the time and energy to keep up with my hobbies, but carnelian gives me the willpower to find time. Not only that, but taking time for myself no longer feels like a chore. Once again, I am finding myself getting pleasure out of reading, writing, blogging, or simply just appreciating existence.

Carnelian, in the metaphysical realm, is perhaps best known for its vitalizing and motivating properties. Meditating with carnelian at your base chakra is said to cure everything from back pain to depression, while putting it on your sacral chakra can promote fertility and sexual energy. Because of its positive significance to both mental and physical health, carnelian can be an excellent stone for overcoming any trauma. Granted, no stone by itself should be used to treat/diagnose any illness or disorder. Crystal healing is a supportive benefit, not necessarily an alternative to scientific medicine. That being said, I do feel that carnelian is helping me to process and work through my own illness, complex PTSD. For anyone struggling with mental health, creativity, or even just getting out of the morning, carnelian could be the perfect stone for you. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that beautiful glowing orb of fire?

 

Some useful sources!

The Lune Innate’s youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPCHuLiHbhG3s_YxhMLOn6Q

Her website:

://www.luneinnate.com/

You can get The Little Book of Crystals here:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/the-little-book-of-crystals-judy-hall/1122639596/2674150684663?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Catch-All,+Low_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP79700&gclid=Cj0KCQjwn-bWBRDGARIsAPS1svtREV_64Z7cStLW-hnkXYTtoltDqR769UtnXQn1qeeF01taZ-FS4zMaAh_lEALw_wcB

Image Source:
https://www.energymuse.com/carnelian-stones.html