In the vast and mystical Chihuahuan desert, Marfa, Texas is an oasis of alluring mystery and transcendental experience.
Located between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park, Marfa was originally founded as a railroad water stop. Now one of the minimalist art and design meccas of the nation, Marfa attracts creatives and adventurers from far and wide.
During the 1920s, the community in Marfa began to grow. By the 1950s, it was nationally famous for its mysterious Ghost Lights. The source of the Fata Mortgana has long been rumored to be anything from UFOs, to wandering spirits. This mysterious phenomena has also been attributed to atmospheric reflections of campfires and headlights, although the first recorded sighting was in 1883, before automobiles were on the market. In modern times, atmospheric scientists hypothesize that the lights are a sort of mirage caused by sharp temperature gradients between cold and warm layers of air.
Marfa Army Airfield was the training grounds for several thousand pilots during World War II. In the 1970s, the army base lands were bought by Donald Judd, an acclaimed visual artist from New York City. In 1979, Judd began transforming the fort’s buildings into art spaces with a vision to house large collections of individual artists’ work on permanent display. Though Judd birthed the contemporary art movement in Marfa, when he died in 1994, Marfa quite literally became a ghost town. Tumbleweeds the size of shopping carts could be seen blowing down the road, and storefronts were completely baron and overlaid with dust. In the early 2000s, Marfa was resurrected, and thus began a kind of renaissance. Artists and Artisans opened new galleries and chic hotels, and the Texas government decided to make a roadside viewing post for the Marfa Mystery Lights.
Today in Marfa, you can expect to find modern art galleries, bohemian boutique hotels and restaurants, eclectic campgrounds, funky bars, and far-out festivals with the ever-ethereal backdrops of reverent desert tones. Take a dive with us through the dreamy high desert..
For thousands of years in folklore and traditional medicine, stones have been used for healing, protection, and stimulating or moving energies.
All crystals and gemstones are living organisms, and contain a life energy of their own. They are evolving entities, growing in clusters that can take thousands of years to fully mature. Each stone vibrates at its own individual frequency, and each unique vibration that they emit are said to affect us in a vast array of ways.
Many crystals and gemstones are as old as our planet itself, and some even originate from unknown sources in our cosmos, such as moldavite, which was found inside and partially formed within the crater of a meteor that struck in Southern Germany about 15 million years ago.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the use of stones provides the most profound and permanent effects to treat the most difficult of diseases. Ancient healers contend that the density and solidity of stones represents a stabilizing effect. Wearing specifically prescribed stones near your body over a length of time is said to promote the healing of a chronic health condition, or promote evolutionary changes and development. Stones can be used in combination for a synergistic effect, just as the process of combining herbs when formulating an an elixir or tonic. Preparing stones through cleansing, clearing, and recharging is imperative. One can purify stones and crystals by submersion in salt water, smudging with Palo Santo or Sage, and soaking beneath sunlight and moonlight.
Originally discovered in Ethiopia, obsidian is a dark volcanic glass formed by the rapid solidification of lava without crystallization. It has been used for thousands of years for ritual ceremonies, pottery, and weapons. Place Obsidian near your entryway in a planter or on a table or altar to ward off anything negative from entering your home. “Wash” yourself on every length of your limbs and up and down your energy centers while concentrating on affirmations to free yourself of emotional attachments that are no longer serving you. Hold the obsidian near your heart center during breathwork and meditation to create an energy of grounded stability and peace.
Manifesting Love + Compassion + Tranquility + Balance
Rose quartz is most commonly found in Brazil, India, South Africa, and Madagascar. It has a blush tint due to its contents of titanium, iron, manganese and an aluminum boro-silicate called dumortierite. Traditionally, it is said to dissolve emotional wounds, fears, and resentments, promoting loving energy to circulate throughout your body and essence. Rose quartz can induce receptivity to beauty of all kinds, attracting love and restoring trust and harmony in existing relationships. Place rose quartz in the Southwest corner of your bedroom to attract abundance of love and balance existing relationships. Wear a rose quartz pendant in level with your heart energy center to create a flow of peaceful, loving energy in your life.
Citrine is formed when amethyst undergoes extreme heat exposure. Rio Grande do Sol in Brazil is the world’s largest supplier of natural citrine, but other mines can be found in the USA, Russia, Madagascar, England, France, Scotland, Spain, Brazil, and South Africa. Citrine will aid in increasing confidence, therefore making it a fluid path to manifesting wealth and abundance of all things. Set an intention of that which you wish to manifest, and hold a citrine near your solar plexus energy center. Place a genuine citrine in the Southeast corner of your living room and office, preferably both on a wooden surface and near a water fixture like a fountain or water vessel.
Palo Santo, or the holy tree bursera graveolens, is native throughout Mexico, Central and South America, and the Galapagos Islands. It belongs to the same family of trees as the resins Frankincense and Myrrh, and it emits resonant aromas of citrusy sweet, earthy tones.
Palo Santo trees grow in groups of one male surrounded by eight females. The lone male outlives his female counterparts by up to a couple hundred years. Wood from female palo santo trees is golden, solid and heavy, whereas that of the male is white, hollow, fragile, and light. Shamans teach that Palo Santo trees have a distinct spirit that lives in the wood long after the tree’s life has ended, so they strongly consider this tree as a sentient entity.
This sacred smudging instrument has been utilized ceremonially for ritual cleansing, purifying, prayer, and healing for thousands of years. In traditional folk medicine, indigenous peoples and shamans across the Americas use Palo Santo to aid both physical and spiritual ailments ranging from stomach aches to stagnant or repressed energies. It is common for it to be forbidden to harvest the holy wood from live trees, but only collected from fallen branches and twigs, and must be allowed to dry and cure for 3-5 years. During this period, a magical chemical transformation occurs. The sap, once fluid in the living tree, proceeds to crystallize and form deposits, giving the Palo Santo its rich resin deposits that are the very essence wood. Thus, Palo Santo must undergo a metamorphosis beginning with a tree falls under natural circumstances, and remains resting for years.
The Incas of Peru and Ecuador use the rising smoke of Palo Santo to eliminate mala energía, or bad energy, rid negative thoughtprints, and clear misfortune. Indigenous peoples also prepare teas and tinctures from wood shavings to aid indigestion, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. Essential oils produced from Palo Santo are used as topical emollients to treat arthritis and joint pain, and are widely used in aromatherapy as a pleasurable means to treat coughs and bronchial conditions.
Try a sample of this heavenly scent, and notice the healing properties take hold. How do you like to use Palo Santo? Where is your favorite source to buy it? Submit comments and questions below!
Himalayan salt is composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea, dating back to the Precambrian Age over 4 billion years ago when planet Earth first formed. Discovered in 326 B.C. by Alexander the Great, the beautiful blush Himalayan salt is a rock salt, or halite, from the Punjab region of Pakistan. The earliest records of mining are around the 1200s, documented by the Janjuna people.
In every home, dirt, dander, pollen, and other allergens exist in airborne water molecules in the air around us. When Himalayan salt lamps are utilized in your space, their hygroscopic properties, (their ability to absorb moisture from the air), trap unfriendly particles. The heat produced from Himalayan salt lamps dries the vapor leaving the particles clinging to the salt. Hence, it is important to wipe down your salt lamp every few of weeks to remove any buildup it has been collecting.
Himalayan salt lamps also contribute to the purification of the air in a space by emitting negative ions, which are essential to neutralizing a percentage of positive ions. Positive ions, which have been linked to ailments such as asthma, seasonal affective disorder, and depression, are released by things including electrical devices and air pollution. Negative ions also increase the serotonin and oxygen levels in the brain, which can minimize lethargy, alleviate stress, and boost your energy level. To achieve these effects, you need to leave your salt lamp on night and day within your space for several days, if not keeping it illuminated all the time. Place your salt lamp next to your bed or in the corner of your room to keep your sleeping environment at the utmost purity.
Himalayan salt lamps are an excellent way to benefit from Chromotherapy, an ancient therapeutic technique of using various wavelengths of colors to affect well-being. The LED displays of our smart phones and computers emit artificial blue light, which is highly stimulating, so the soft sunset glow of salt lamps in contrast will calm our senses. Curl up with a book next to your Himalayan salt lamp, and notice the tranquil impact on your mood!
Did you know that there is a psychology behind the use of color in your environment? Each color has its own immensely therapeutic effect on your state of mind, so how you utilize color in your modern home is essential to maintaining a positive and vibrant flow of energy.
Check out the links below to our articles on chromotherapy, and some of our most favorite selections of modern homes in each shade!
Research studies have proven that the smoke emitted from herbs is a powerful antiseptic that purifies the air of 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours. The results of a study that set out to examine the uses of smudging in Western medicine were published in a 2006 scientific paper titled “Medicinal Smokes,” in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. According to the abstract, “All through time, humans have used smoke of medicinal plants to cure illness. The advantages of smoke-based remedies are rapid delivery to the brain, more efficient absorption by the body, and lower costs of production.”
In the same research periodical, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology stated that the absence of pathogenic bacteria in the open room, even after 30 days, is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the use of medicinal smoke treatment. “We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke, it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”
Our bodies have a dense electromagnetic field, or aura, that can become blocked with detrimental positive ions that cause us to feel lethargic and depleted of energy. By burning sage, the air is neutralized of positive charge, and the smoke releases a surplus of negative ions into the atmosphere. As a result, our energy and the energy in our environment will feel noticeably lighter. Burning sage is also utilized to heal the mind of psychic and emotional trauma. The smoke can be fanned around the body to remove emotional blocks in the energy field.
Sage has antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an expectorant, diuretic and stimulant. Sage also has a profound “estrogenic effect” on the body, so for women experiencing hormonal shifts such as menopause, symptoms of estrogen deficiency, or women who have had a hysterectomy, drinking sage tea can greatly benefit their system’s readjustment. A cup of good infusion can also aid a number of health problems such as joint pain, sprains, sore throat, colds, cough, kidney troubles, liver complaints, and digestive problems.
(Disclosure: Sage should not be ingested by pregnant women or those with epilepsy. Women who are nursing should only drink sage tea if their intention is to decrease their milk supply.)
Sage has a calming effect on the senses, and has a powerful aroma that eliminates all other odors from an environment. Any area of your home that is susceptible to undesirable scents is a great location to burn sage.The aroma from sage smoke increases relaxation, and can induce an energetic state that enables deeper meditation.
If brewed as a tea and cooled, sage can be used as a cleansing tonic for your hair. Especially for those with darker hair colors, rinsing your hair with a sage tea tonic will add a lustrous glaze to your locks. (Those with lighter hair should use this treatment with caution if they do not wish to tint their hair color.)
A Native American Sage Ritual Utilizing the Four Cardinal Points to Dispel Negative Energy
Facing North – I welcome the energy of wisdom and blessing and the Grandmothers and Grandfathers who teach me. Welcome Buffalo, and the spirit of giving away, teach me to be generous and honor all that I receive. I welcome the energies and spirits of the North
Facing South – I welcome the energy of service to all my relatives, the heat of the noonday sun and the spirit of action in the world. Welcome Coyote spirit. I welcome the energies and spirits of the South.
Facing East – I welcome the energy of the beginning way, the rising sun at the beginning of the day and the light of illumination. Welcome Eagle, flying nearest the heavens, with the clearest of vision. I welcome the energies and spirits of the East.
Facing West – I welcome the energy of looking within to find the gifts of healing. Welcome Bear spirit going deep within to seek the gift of renewal. I welcome the energies and spirits of the West.
Looking Up – I welcome the energy and spirit of Above. Father Sky, Star people, and Cloud people. Welcome all that is masculine, grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles and sons. And that masculine energy that also exists within the feminine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Father Sky.
Looking Down (touching the ground) – I welcome the energy of Mother Earth, the feminine principle, the energy and spirit of Below. I welcome the energy and the spirit of our grandmothers, our mothers, sisters, aunties and daughters. And that feminine energy that exists within the Masculine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Mother Earth.
Looking within (holding your hands over your heart) – I welcome the energy of Within, the principle of being connected, the energy and spirit of Within. I welcome the gifts of balance, oneness, and the connection with all things, for all things are one and all things are related.
Violet is the highest color in the visible spectrum, and represents the spiritual union with your higher self and higher consciousness. It inspires us towards originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking, invoking a higher vibration and reverence for all life.
Leonardo da Vinci proclaimed that you can increase the power of meditation ten-fold by meditating under the gentle rays of Violet. It is a freeing and purifying agent to your bloodstream and nervous system, and controls the pineal and pituitary glands that give way to our higher intuitive functions. Governing both physical and spiritual perception, purple paves the way towards personal evolution and our ability to feel connectedness with all things. It will inspire us towards contemplation and mysticism, giving us a longing to ascend and dissolve polarities.
The sixth chakra, Ajna, translated from Sanskrit as both “command” and “perceiving, is located at the “third eye,” in between and just above eye level. The third eye chakra does not just reside over sight and visual perception, it governs our capability for higher intuitive and communicative powers.
A third eye out of balance with result in physical as well as psychological symptoms such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, confusion, indecisiveness, and apathy. As the third eye opens, you will proceed without the projection of the ego, will full capacity to feel and perceive even the subtlest realities.
For optimal health of the sixth chakra, integrate more purple foods like figs, grapes, raisins, blackberries, prunes, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple kale, purple potatoes, purple carrots, and purple asparagus.
Experiment with the use of essential oils like geranium, basil, jasmine, lavender, and rosemary to achieve openness of mind and sight.
Sahasrara, the seventh and most divinely oriented energy center located at the crown of the head, is translated as “the thousand petaled lotus.” According to tantric traditions, Sahasrara connects us directly to the source of energy and consciousness in the Universe.
With the realization that everything is connected at a fundamental level, this energy center allows us to experience immense gratitude and mystical oneness with everyone and everything in nature.
Sahasrara transcends all blocks of the ego. It is not intellectual knowing that we experience through seventh chakra, but a profound sense of serenity, joy, and wealth of peace.
The Crown chakra is directly associated with the brain, nervous system, pituitary and pineal glands, and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland work in unison to regulate the endocrine system.
Through this energy center, we can begin to open the gateway to the cosmic or the divine self, to universal consciousness, the infinite, and the universal. We are enabled to absorb and perceive profound wisdom, and experience bliss for Being.
The health of this chakra is not nourished with food, but with detoxification through fluids and mindfulness practices. The use of sandalwood, jasmine, lotus, and saffron essential oils can aid the opening of this energy center.
Yogic postures that will benefit the sixth and seventh chakras are Balasana (child’s pose, as shown above), Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), Parva Balasana (threading the needle pose), Ardho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog pose), Sirsasana (headstand, only recommended for a more advanced practice!), Durga Pranam (breath movement of the Goddess Dirga), and Trikonasana (extended triangle pose).
The physical practice of yoga postures are intended to prepare our minds for optimal transition into Sadhana (daily spiritual practices) and Dhyana (meditation), which are the keys to activating these chakras, and experiencing a more blissful existence. Take ten minutes out of your day to sit quietly with intention, let your thoughts and worries melt away, and focus your energy on your breath and the gratitude you feel for your Being.
Blue shades are both tranquil and electric. “The Blue Ray is one of the greatest antiseptics in the world,” stated Dr. Edwin Babbitt, in his classic, “The Principles of Light and Color.”
Blue is the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” being protective, benevolent, gentle, and cooling. It governs our higher psychic activities, insight, wisdom, and assists us in navigating deep changes. In blue we feel a resonant sense of unity and clarity. Blue relates to self-expression through speech and communication, and is the very essence of truth and purpose.
With the ability to sooth emotional conditions, promote meditation, invoke spiritual expansion, and relax the body, blues are the epitome of serenity.
The fifth chakra, Vishuddha, is associated with the element ether, and is the first of the three spiritual chakras representative of higher truth. It governs the anatomical regions of the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx.
To remain open and aligned in the fifth chakra, one must always both listen and speak from a higher form of communication. Known as the center of purification, Vishuddha is where we are able to transform energy into our manifestations on the physical plane.
Sitting beneath the blue sky in open space, particularly in higher altitudes, is an ideal way to come to balance in this energy center.
Yogic postures that benefit the Vishuddha Chakra are Halasana (Plow Pose, as shown above), Ustrasana (Camel Pose), Chakrasana (Wheel Pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulder Stand), and the Ujjayi Pranayama.
Pranayama is a yogic breathing technique, and there are many variations. Begin with Ujjayi. Concentrating on the throat, inhale and exhale deeply through the nose for 5-10 minutes while gently contracting the throat. The breath should sound slightly raspy, like that of the sound in deep sleep. Direct your attention completely to the sound of the breath in the throat. This way of breathing quietens the mind and balances the emotions.
To begin healing your blu energy center, begin by integrating into your diet blueberries, black currants, blackberries, plums, dragonfruit, kelp, kombu, barley, wheatgrass, seaweed, peppermint, chamomile, and drink lots of fluids like fresh water and herbal tea.
Soak up the rich, soothing color of life on Planet Earth. The natural wonder and fluidity of green reminds us of new beginnings, birth and expansion.
Breathe in deep jades and cool emeralds, marvel in serene sages and moss, revel in regal arrays of the forest. Green is a color of natural balance, fertility, vitality, prosperity, and abundance, and it possesses a simultaneously soothing and energizing influence upon both mind and body.
Anahata, the heart center, translated from Sanskrit as “the unstruck sound.” It is our connection to unconditional love, harmony, sincerity, forgiveness, empathy, and compassion. Anahata is the bridge between the lower and upper chakras, merging the manifest with the spiritual. A balanced heart chakra gives you a feeling of infallible connectedness, and a will to love fiercely.
The element associated with Anahata chakra is Air. Visit visualizations of exploring space, feeling the infinite, and expanding into the sky. The heart center is the door to our inner temple, our soul, the eternal, transcendent part of ourselves.
The Anahata Chakra is connected to the thymus gland, and affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart, lungs, and breasts.
Green foods like kiwi, peas, zucchini, celery, pears, green apples, avocado, and leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, and leaks are essential to complete a diet nurturing to your heart center.
Yogic postures that benefit the Anahata chakra are heart-openers such as Chakrasana (Wheel pose, pictured above), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Viparita Virabhadrasana (reversed warrior), Ustrasana (camel pose), and Anahatasana (heart melting pose, explored in Yin Yoga). A daily yogic practice of postures, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and mindfulness, will lead to a fuller, more peaceful and connected lifestyle!