Posted on

Do you have a meditation practise?

I have to admit that a few years ago I had never meditated before. I had heard people like Oprah preaching about how good it was for you but I never saw how sitting still could be of benefit and truthfully, I never thought that I would have the ability to sit and quiet my mind. I am always on the go, always working on a new project, always hustling and the idea of just sitting and being without any real thought just seemed absurd to me.

Then I found myself in Northern California staying in a yurt at a Buddhist Centre with my dear Aussie friend Katie and on one night of that trip, we traveled to Los Gatos for a meditation circle with the wonderful spiritual teacher Mukti. The meditation would last about an hour and I was feeling pretty nervous about it, considering I had never ever meditated before. I was worried that I wouldn’t do it right and that I couldn’t sit still for that long and that I would embarrass Katie in front of someone she really admired. But I went with an open mind and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to settle into that silence sitting in a church with a bunch of strangers. During that hour of silence, the wind started stirring up outside and you could hear it rushing underneath the door. When we walked outside afterwards I remember looking up at the palm trees that bent and swayed with the strong winds and I thought, “we made this happen.” It was such a powerful night.

From that point forward, I have made a great effort to make meditation a part of my daily practise. I know that on days when I give myself this time for silence and stillness, I am better for it. The easiest way that worked for me to get into this practise was downloading the app Insight Timer. This app really warms my Virgo heart as it keeps track of your meditations and gives you rewards when you hit milestones, such as ten consecutive days of meditation. Initially when I began using it, I would go through one of their many guided meditations. These guided meditations are geared towards really anything that you are looking to work on from helping you fall sleep to mending a broken heart. Once I got used to this, I began doing meditations on my own, first by using the ambient sounds that were included in the app and then eventually when I was comfortable, in total silence (or as silent as my Parkdale, Toronto home will allow!). Every morning after I wake, I sit in my living room, set the timer for ten minutes and see where that takes me. Some days I cannot seem to settle in those ten minutes and on other days, I am immediately taken away.

Mala Meditation Practise | Golden Blue

I recently started working with a Mala for my daily meditation practise and it’s been a lot of fun. Initially it was a challenge to get into the rhythm of it, of repeating a mantra and at the same time, letting myself go and get into it. If you have never worked with a Mala, it can feel a bit strange at first. To use it, first get in a comfortable seated position and then start by holding onto the first bead to the right of the Guru bead (where the tassel is). Begin holding this first bead while saying your mantra (either aloud or in your head). Your mantra can be anything that you feel called to say. Something that you want in your life. Something that you want to work on with yourself. Something that you want to manifest. Hold onto the next bead, say your mantra and then move onto the next. Repeat this mantra as you move along each of the 108 beads. Move as quickly or as slowly as feels right to you. Then stop at the last bead before the Guru one. From there, I love to gather up my Mala and hold it close to my heart to really feel it. It’s then best if you wear the Mala for the rest of the day, allowing it to touch your skin and to continue soaking in the words that you spoke to it earlier in the day. Like any spiritual tool, the more you work with your Mala, the more powerful it becomes. Mine has become a sort of sidekick and travels with me everywhere. The spaces between the beads has started to stretch out from the work that I have done and it really feels as though it is full of love.

We have started offering Malas in the shop and each one is made per order. Creating these beauties are a meditation in themselves which is why we choose to create them with the intentions for the exact person who ordered it. We offer them in both black and white.

Posted on

Birds Oracle Deck: Who? What? How?

We are so excited to announce our BIRDS ORACLE DECK! Our own Jessica Blaine Smith has been working on this deck for the past fourteen months and finally it is trickling its way out into the hands of people all over the world. We are getting lots of questions about this deck and about what Oracle cards are so we thought we would do our best to answer those questions!

Birds Oracle Deck | Golden Blue

About the Birds Oracle Deck
Firstly, why birds? Because we love them! We grew up with parents and grandparents who were birders and when we were young our family had Canaries and Zebra Finches as pets. Birds have always been a part of our lives. In April 2017, Jess traveled to Central Australia for a Women’s Retreat where she camped on the Sacred Land with an Aboriginal community. There she slept on the ground in a swag for five nights with no running water or electricity. After the retreat, the women headed to Uluru where they spent a few days soaking in the magic of that heart centre of the world. On the final day there, Jess and her friend Katie were literally driving around that giant Red Rock when Katie suggested that Jess create an Oracle Deck. Cards have been a part of Jess’ life for over twenty years and at this suggestion, she decided that yes, she would create her own deck. Immediately she knew that it would be of Birds from all over the world. Birds that she knew and had personal experiences with, and birds that she dreamed of knowing (like the Dodo, for example!).

Since Jess is firstly a photographer and not much of an illustrator, she reached out to one that she had recently met in Melbourne, Mia Emily Freeman. Jess pitched the idea of creating an Oracle Deck to Mia and the rest, as they say, is history. Jess created the deck, decided on the birds for it and did all of the writing. From there, Mia drew the birds based on her writing and on photographs that Jess provided. It has been a beautiful collaborative journey. In January, to get away from the distractions of real life and to really hunker down on this project, Jess spent a month living in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. There, each morning she would sit on the verandah and write while the birds taunted her from above. The Magnificent Frigatebird and Turkey Vulture cards came from these mornings. This deck was birthed in Australia, it grew in Toronto and it really came alive in Mexico. Now, fourteen months later it is a real thing that you can hold in your hands. What a magical adventure it has been!

The Birds Oracle Deck contains 44 full colour cards printed on anti-scratch matte 350 gsm paper (that means they are real thick!). They come housed in a matching box that has beautiful gold foil lettering. The deck is accompanied by a 100 page book that contains all of the juicy information about the deck and the cards including how to use the deck and all of the details for each bird. For each bird featured in the Birds Oracle Deck, there is a description of the bird, the meaning for the card, the guts for the card that dives in deep to the meaning and then An Ask. An Ask is great if you are looking to really explore the meaning of the card and if you want to work your way through it. An Ask contains questions to guide you in doing so, whether this be by writing about it in your journal or just working it through in your mind.

Birds Oracle Deck | Golden Blue

About Oracle Decks
Oracle Decks are much like Tarot Decks which often people are more familiar with. With Tarot Decks, there are 78 cards that are divided into four suits and the Major Arcana. With Oracle Decks, there are basically no rules about what they can be. They can be organised in suits or they don’t have to be and an Oracle Deck can contain any number of cards. Basically, it’s the rogue version of Tarot! For the Birds Oracle Deck, there are no suits and the cards are organised in alphabetical order to make it easy for you to find them in the book.

Birds Oracle Deck | Golden Blue

How to Use your Oracle Deck
As mentioned above, there are really no rules for using Oracle Decks! It’s really up to what feels good for you. For us, they are something that we use in our daily lives. For Jess, she pulls a card from her deck every morning after her daily meditation. This card is then used as something to think about throughout the day, to help with any current issues or feelings, or to generally set a tone for the day.

When there is an issue or something specific that needs to be worked out, you can do a specific card draw for that. There are countless numbers of card draws that you can do (Google is a great friend for this!) but one basic one is a three card draw where the first card can represent your Past, the second card your Present and the final card your Future. Alternatively, you can use the threes cards as: Mind, Body and Spirit. Seriously though, there are no rules when working with Oracle cards. Just give yourself some space to get quiet and grounded and then choose a card. The more you work with your deck, the more you will realise just how accurate to your life the cards can be. Seriously, your deck will become a great friend to you!

***

If you have any other questions about Oracle Cards or specifically about the Birds Oracle Deck, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here for you!

Posted on

Smudging & Palo Santo

Smudging is one of my most favourite things. It’s part of my daily ritual – and one some particularly trying days I do it multiple times. I even smudged myself before writing this post. Smudging is a great way to clear your crystals which is something that is extremely important to do. Smudging is when you essentially burn something – usually herbs, incense or wood like Palo Santo – and use the smoke to cleanse and clear a room, an object or yourself.

Palo Santo Smudging | Golden Blue

It is said that smudging will purify a space, clear low vibrations and get rid of bad energies. It also gives us a pause in our day to be present and focused on that moment. Before I do any sort of ceremony such as a moon ritual or card pulling or before I start a new project, I love to smudge myself to clear off everything that I was holding so that I can then be focused on the now. Whenever I get frustrated – whether it be from dealing with a difficult client or simply having a bad day – a good smudging always turns my mood around. It is the most simple and inexpensive way to change your mindset.

White sage bundles are often used for smudging. I like them but often people find their scent much too strong. Because of this, my favourite tool for smudging is Palo Santo. The scent is more subtle and it immediately brings me back to a calm place. Palo Santo is a tree that grows in South America and its name literally translates to English as Holy Wood. This tree is related to Frankincense which is no surprise. I am sure that many of you have attended a Catholic church ceremony when Frankincense incense and a whole lot of smoke is swung down the aisle. That smell instantly changes how you are feeling. Palo Santo sticks are available at most health and crystal shops these days. Our pal Kerry at Red Sky also has them in her shop.

To smudge using Palo Santo, simply hold up a flame to the end until the wood catches fire. Once you see an ember, blow out the flame. For smudging myself, I like to close my eyes, take a deep breath and then move the smoke in slow circles around my body – from top (crown chakra) to the bottoms of my feet. When smudging a room, I do the same, working all walls of the room and around any doorways. To smudge my crystals, I like to swirl the smoke around each stone, essentially bathing them in it. Before we pack up any Golden Blue orders, we take the time to smudge the products with Palo Santo. We feel that by doing this, we are clearing their energy and making them ready for their new home.

Smudging is a ritual that I love giving time to and really enjoy.

 

Posted on

The Chakras System

Chakras

We have been asked by many about just what the heck chakras are and how they relate to our own selves so we thought that it would be useful to do a little post about them. In simple terms, chakras are energy centres in our body. There are seven major chakras that run through our body and each represent a different aspect to our lives and bodies. When our chakras are aligned, we feel our best selves. When one or two (or many!) are out of wack, we definitely feel it!

The seven major chakras that we focus on at Golden Blue are: Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye and Crown. These energy centres line up from our tailbone to the top of our head.

There is a lot that can be said for each chakra. You could literally explore each for hours and still not get far. Having said that, I wanted to give you some basic information about each of the seven major chakras.

The Root Chakra is our base and it is located basically where our tailbone resides. It’s our home, our security, our stability, what we need to survive. It is your right to be here. The colour that this chakra is represented by is red.

The Sacral Chakra is located in your lower abdomen, a couple of inches below your belly button. This chakra is our sexuality, our creativity, our emotions, our needs, our pleasures. This chakra is your right to feel and orange is the colour it represents.

The Solar Plexus is our power centre. It is located in our abdomen above the belly button. This chakra is all about personal power, self-esteem and confidence. It is your right to act. Yellow represents the Solar Plexus.

The fourth chakra is a big one: the Heart Chakra. It is the centre of all of the chakras. The heart is the chakra that relates to love, healing and relationships. It is your right to love and green is its colour.

The Throat Chakra is represented with blue. This chakra is all about communication, being heard and learning to listen. It’s about finding your own voice. It is your right to speak.

The Third Eye is the sixth chakra and it is located between your eyebrows at the bridge of your nose. This chakra works with your intuition, insights, imagination, dreams and visions. It is your right to see and indigo represents this chakra.

The final chakra is the Crown Chakra. It is located on top of your head (and beyond!). This chakra is all about higher power, divinity and your belief system. It is your right to know and is the colour of violet.

If you want to learn more about chakras, a great book to gain more insight is Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith. I have read it multiple times and every time, something different sticks out to me. I find myself nodding along in agreement and can often pick out characteristics of people in my life as I read along. At the risk sounding cheesy, the more you learn about chakras, the more fascinating life truly becomes. As well, if you are in Toronto, Shawna Turner is an incredible teacher for this topic (and so much more!). She runs Women’s Circles out of her home in Parkdale and I am not exaggerating by saying that participating in them will change your life! Her next Chakra Circle begins October 11th and there is still some space left if you are interested. You can visit Shawna’s website for more information.