Spiritual Tools | In Times of Transformation

Spiritual Tools | In Times of Transformation

Spiritual Tools for Times of Transformation. 

A conversation with Astara founder, Crystal Healer & Herbalist Mariah K Lyons and Energetic Healer & Herbalist Julie Hovsepian

2020!?! Why is transformation so important at this time?

M – This has been a year of old systems and structures crumbling to be rebuilt and restructured in a new way. It’s been a root chakra year so on a very foundational level we are re-creating from the ground up (immune system!) and it’s been a massive year of systems in play and structures crumbling in order to rebuild a new.

J – I led a full moon event November 2019 and just saw this was the theme for that month that I had read somewhere “It’s a Moon to remind us of why we chose to incarnate at this tumultuous time and all the support available to us as we undertake huge transformation” and it’s incredible how timely that still feels for us today, and this conversation. To me, it’s so important for us to take this energy that’s building and essentially shouting at us with the turbulence of this past year and use it as opportunities for growth and expansion.  It’s so easy to resist change and stay numb to what’s happening around us, but we all have a fire within us that’s being lit right now to speak up, to change what’s not serving us individually, and to work together globally to help really shift us forward collectively.

What does transformation mean to you?

M: Changing form from one thing into another – energy is never destroyed it’s simply transmuted into something different – alchemically changes into something new. When we are transforming into new versions of ourselves there are certain ways of being that change over to create the new. Energy is shifted and alchemically changed to create something new. Nature teaches us about transformation – Winter transforming into Spring, leaves falling and becoming compost in the soil, and regenerating itself back up. We also learn it from the cycles of the moon, and transforming into different forms of ourselves as energetic beings.

J: Physical and energetic shedding of the old to step into an elevated space of being. It takes a lot of courage and trust to allow transformation to take place. It’s about letting go of the (un)comfortable state we are currently at by really leaning into that trust to leap into the unknown – because of that feeling deep inside of us that whatever is on the other side is soooo worth it.  For some it’s one small step in a unfamiliar direction that calls you – and then one day you look back and realize you are miles away from where you started and so much happier, and for others it’s a swift deep leap and taking the time you need to acclimate to your new grounds. The best part is there is no wrong way to do it, it’s always going to be in divine timing so it’s just about using your intuition and awareness that a change is needed and coming and having the courage to fly.

When you think of the word transformation – what’s the visual you get for yourself?

M: Butterfly – literally changes shape from caterpillar form to completely different version of itself and transforms into something new.

J: There is a visual that I got in one of my meditations of this other worldly version of me flying above – confident, at peace and assured – and it’s what I quickly connect to when I feel like I need to step into something that challenges and scares me.

What’s biggest fear for most people when it comes to transformation?

M: Safety – our brains understand certain ways of being and doing things and when we transform into something different some of the safety structures that we have created by habits, thought forms, ways of relating to other people and self – those change and can be scary and uncomfortable. By nature the reptilian brain wants to create safety and structure based on things it knows and is comfortable with which it then equates to survival – this part of our brain is not comfortable in the unknown or in a new form because it doesn’t have any previous information to base off of and “keep you safe.”

J: Control is another big one and if there is anything that 2020 has shown us over and over again is that we aren’t in control. As humans, we have a hard time feeling like we don’t have control of our present and our future. There’s a huge gift in the practice of being aware of who/what we are trying to control in our lives, and for what we think our future needs to look like and trusting that what’s coming our way is to help us transform, get stronger, and continue to align us on our path.

Moonstone

Best advice/support for people navigating transformation?

M: Finding a space of grounding and connecting with self and earth helps to remind oneself that they are always at home within their body regardless of what’s changing in their lives, relationships and the world. Always at home in their body and deep connection with the earth.

Working with minerals/crystals/herbs to ground the body but work on a subtler energetic system of helping to support stabilization and harmonization within one energetic field.

J: Meditation is one of the biggest practices that we all have access to, that’s free and the more we do it, the more we are able to create space to allow clarity to come through during times of so much uncertainty. As we commit to a daily practice (of even just 3 mins to start), our bodies begin to feel safe and grounded and our intuition/inner compass strengthens tremendously.  We also have incredible herbs, available globally, that are here to help us during times transformation.

Mariah’s Crystal Recommends for Times of Transformation

Malachite – This crystal helps transmute grief, sadness and past traumas held in the heart and helps create open space for the new

Moonstone – This is the stone of new beginnings and helps us attune to energies of the lunar cycle, our own cycles of life and moving through transition and transformation into the next cycle

Herkimer Diamond – A crown chakra stone – very high frequency that helps us imagine and re- envision/visualize our new way of being so we can create that in our physical reality

Smoky Quartz – helps to keep one grounded in times of change and helps transmute and transform dense energies thought forms and ways of being into new expressions of being.

Julie’s Herbal Recommends for Times of Transformation*

(among many other scientific and energetic qualities for each herb listed, here are some highlights specific to this topic):

Ginger – this is one we should all have easy access to in dried or raw form – it’s grounding but really opening, brings more chi/energy to the body, helps with emotional stagnation – really moves energy in the body, opens the breath and the heart (and is also incredible for immune support and migraines) – this herb is great support for the solar plexus

Shisandra – this super herb is made for times of transformation –  an energizing adaptogen (helps your body adapt to stress), great for motivation and helping positive change take place in your life, anti-depressant, playful energy that helps build chi in your body, cleansing, helps with clearer communication and creative expression, great for helping the visionary – this herb is great support for the sacral chakra

Rhodiola – this is a very bitter herb that’s very stimulating and uplifting, also great anti-depressant, it moves a lot of energy, great for mental clarity and focus, great for helping us get unstuck, great for resilience during transformation – this herb is great support for the root chakra

Blue Lotus – very sacred herb that’s a great spiritual ally for transformation and rebirth, very euphoric, crown and 3rd eye opener and also a great heart tonic – this herb is great support for the crown chakra

*Herbs: Ideal to infuse/decoct the tea leaves or roots for at least 20 mins before consuming.

All are available as organic tinctures as well.
You can click here to check out some of Julie’s custom tincture blends:

Please contact Julie if you have any specific questions about these herbs and their usage and would like further herbal support – julie@inagoldenstate.com

Top to bottom: Ginger, Shisandra, Rhodiola, Blue Lotus, Julie’s Herbal Tinctures

More on Mariah K Lyons:

www.astara.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/mariahklyons/

MARIAH’S BOOK: CRYSTAL HEALING FOR WOMEN

More on Julie Hovsepian:

www.inagoldenstate.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/juliehov/

+More meditations, including a 9 min guided and 30 min guided meditations: https://www.inagoldenstate.com/downloads

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Winter Wonders | Holiday Gift Guide

Winter Wonders | Holiday Gift Guide

What should you get for all the beloved but quirky, picky, fancy, practical or eccentric people in your life? The holidays are just around the corner and to make shopping a little easier we’ve assembled gifts for everyone on your list.    

1.Self-care/Wellness:  2020 is the year to invest in your self care and these gifts will help you relax and recharge.

Violet Grey Curated Kits
Curated kits for glow, clear skin, hair, and wellness. 

Violet Grey Curated Kits 

Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Kit

The Glow Kit is powerful, but mini travel sized versions to achieve the ultimate glow.

Love Sweat Fitness Resistance Bands

With all the holiday sweets, make time to get your holiday sweat on. Give yourself the gift of a cute booty. 

Sakara Discovery Kit

 A discovery kit of Sakara’s bestsellers for optimal wellness and beauty. 

MUD/WTR

An alternative to coffee with superfood ingredients; Masala Chai, Cacao, Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Turmeric, Sea Salt, Cinnamon.

Jade Roller & Gua Sha Set

Chic stocking stuffers in a variety of different gemstones for specific areas. Natural Rose quartz face massager, facial roller for face, neck and eye skin. Eliminates wrinkles and puffiness. 

Slip Silk Queen Pillowcase

Anti aging, anti sleep crease, anti bed head the highest grade (6A) long fiber mulberry silk commissioned by Bergdorf Goodman for the ultimate combination of shine, thickness, softness and durability. —  

Slip Silk Queen Pillowcase

2. Style: 

Classic staples to fulfill your friend’s and family’s holiday wishes.

Jennifer Meyer Necklace 18K Gold Mini Leaf Necklace

Simple, fashionable jewelry that you can layer with other charm necklaces. 

Jennifer Meyer Necklace 18K Gold Mini Leaf Necklace

Classic wardrobe staple for looking sexy by the fire while spending cozy evenings in doors. 

Milly Fion Cheetah Print Bias Skirt

This iconic skirt is ready for all the holiday glam.  

 

3. HOME & LIFESTYLE

Unique selections for the cook, host, and homebody in your life.

Le Labo Santal 33

Santal 33 never goes out of style and you can personalize the label. A perfume that would intoxicate a man as much as a woman. Cardamom, iris, violet, ambrox crackle in the formula and bring to this smoking wood alloy (Australian sandalwood, papyrus, cedarwood) some spicy, leathery, musky notes, and gives this perfume its unisex signature and addictive comfort. Santal 33 is an open fire, the soft drift of smoke, where sensuality rises after the light has gone.
 

Le Labo Santal 33

HUNU Collapsible Coffee Cup

Pocket sized coffee cup that you can stow anywhere and everywhere.

Lettuce Grow 24-Plant Farm Stand

Self watering and self fertilizing so everyone has the green thumb. 

ASSOULINE | Capri Dolce Vita

After all it is resort season right? Treat someone to a Capri getaway with this beautiful coffee table book. Capri boasts a rich Mediterranean spirit and style that encompasses a wealth of beauty, from gardens to villas to caves to the people walking in the lively Piazzetta, where cars are prohibited and the island’s playful attitude runs rampant. Capri Dolce Vita is a look at this fabled corner of the world through the ages and a celebration of paradise on earth.

D I V I N E Amethyst Crystal Water Bottle for Healing and Wellness

An elegant way to create crystal elixirs from your own home. Beautiful quality Glass Bottle, Gold engraving: GRATITUDE. Portable use, Large Crystals. Gift Ready.

Rivsalt Himalayan Rock Salt Grater

Bring new flavours to your signature dishes with this Original Himalaya and salt grater from Rivsalt.

Truffin Truffle Ranch Dressing and Sriracha

Fancy dressing for your holiday dishes.

Hermes 100mg Skateboard

For the person who has everything and has a bit of a wild side.

Edie Parker Ouija Board

Edie Parker transforms the classic Ouija Board with a hand-poured acrylic board and planchette with a galaxy design. Use yours to add some fun to after-dinner drinks with friends.

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Who Are You Without Social Media?

Who Are You Without Social Media?

Over the weekend my phone and Instagram app got disabled, it was a moment of sheer shock as well as complete disbelief. My existence was no longer there… Poof, who was I. I then found myself in an interesting predicament, here I was with a holiday looming with nowhere to post and no one to look at and in all honesty, I was fine with it. I had just found myself in the ultimate holiday circumstance, detached from the rest of the world on my own island. Initial shock subsided and now the wonderment of how well I took to being detached from social media set in. 

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I had been a person who worked in various technological industries cultivating a social experience for different brands of lifestyle, clothing, art, and everything in between. With my constant engagement with technology and social media I was always in the loop of what was relevant, but for me it was the fact that I was now shattered from having to perform an experience, which felt liberating. It was like I had finally been given a pass and allowed to press the restart button. Without social media I was finding myself free of having to deal with the societal pressures that came with interacting and submitting to these practices. All the various social nuances which I had constantly feared and interacted with were gone, those people I didn’t really want to follow but continue to out of social graces, the various cool kids that I had to pay attention to had disappeared.

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By the first morning of being liberated I found myself waking up to a grayscale, everything around me felt like I could see for the first time in a long time. I was given a pair of glasses that showed me textures and a truly great experience in which I was present to engage with the objects and people around me. I almost felt as if I was regaining consciousness, regaining an understanding of humanity. As I engaged with people I would see getting coffee or walking by with their pets my nerves felt raw of all these senses which had been robbed.

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By day 3 fully knowing the reality of having to slip back into the way the world works. I decided there that I would start a new account, one that was going to be on my own terms and did not contain a feed of toxic images or ideologies that would stifle the mental wellbeing that I was striving for. I wanted to not be bothered triggered and place into a position of losing this feeling of self-worth. My decision was to engage digitally as I would IRL, people I already speak to and people I would interact with would come and as they did so grew my interpersonal social media. The data dump was the only thing that mattered and I threw out the aesthetic dialog, I was on private.

On Colour… by Ian Whittlesea ($27.50) extends the theories of color harmony that Joahnnes Itten taught at the Bauhaus and describes how “through perfect control of breath and color one will eventually be able to generate a luminous cloud of such purity and intensity that it renders all inside it invisible.

I know fully well that this was a fleeting experience, that I would have to return to speaking to the world of my community but in the meantime I was finally able to let go, it was a freedom that was unexpected and an experience which brought back a sense of humanity. My deep sense of anxiety seem to be lifted from my head my crown felt lighter I’ve had no longer had to disengage with what it meant to live in modern society. My nights drifted off at a normal tense while my mornings felt rich and fulfilled. Knowing I was able to separate from the machine gave me enough insight to use it wisely.

Luxurate forever won’t you with Ourika Soap’s La Boîte N°10 ($135)

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Dr. Dre ~ "Let Me Ride" (L) So on and so on, why don't you let me roll on?I remember back in the days when I used to have to get my stroll onDidn't nobody wanna speakNow everybody peepin' out they window when they hear me beatin' up the streetIs it Dre? Is it...

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Old School Wednesday: Slick Rick-“Childrens Story”

Old School Wednesday: Slick Rick-“Childrens Story”

The other day, I had the news on for some background noise and I heard one of the reporters say “Here we go”. I know they probably said it in a forced dropped octave newscaster voice, but anytime someone says that phrase, I hear Slick Rick’s voice saying it and like a reflex I go on:

“Once upon a time not long ago

When people wore pajamas and lived life slow”

By the time I caught myself, I was already down the Old School rabbit hole. I started thinking how much has changed since “Children’s Story” was originally released, yet how much those two lines fit in Covid Times and how I need to start every discussion I have with this lyric now.

There is so much to unpack about Slick Rick and “Children’s Story”. Slick Rick is one of the best story rappers of all time, and “Children’s Story” is justifiably sampled/covered and referenced 30+ years later, but the track is a story about looting and shooting presented as a Children’s story. Sure it’s a cautionary tale about the downward spiral that can result from making bad decisions, but how many 4 year olds need to be scared straight? I know, I’m overthinking it.

“Just another case about the wrong path”

Then in 1990, in a case of do as I say and not as I do, Rick the Ruler was arrested and sent to prison for attempted murder of his cousin (although he claimed it was self-defense). After MC Ricky D was released from prison in 1997, he ended up spending the next decade in a vicious cycle of fighting deportation or being thrown in jail because he was a foreign national (British) with an attempted murder conviction on his record.

“And this is the way I have to end this story”

Unlike “Children’s Story”, Slick Rick’s story has a happier ending. Besides making dope music and having a lasting influence over artists and pop culture, things finally worked out for MC Ricky D. In 2008, David Paterson (then the Governor of New York) gave Slick Rick a full and unconditional pardon for the attempted murder charges. Then in 2016 Slick Rick became a US Citizen

“Knock ‘em out the Box Rick”

Knock ‘em out the Box Set, Rick. On Record Store Day 2017, Slick Rick and Get on Down released an actual “Children’s Story” Story Book along with the 7” Vinyl and CD. We actually found a new copy on Ebay. You can snag it here.

“Good Night”

Samples:

Bob James –“Nautilus”

*Technically it’s a replay not a sample, because Slick Rick played the baseline riff on a keyboard. Here’s Bob James listening to Children’s Story and talking about artists sampling him.

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Ice Cube ~ "It Was a Good Day" (L)Today's mood, courtesy of Ice Cube back in 1992.  Samples: The Isley Brothers ~ "Footsteps in the Dark" Such a great slow jam from the same guys that made "Shout" and other hits like "Twist and Shout" during their 7 decade...

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Dr. Dre ~ "Let Me Ride" (L) So on and so on, why don't you let me roll on?I remember back in the days when I used to have to get my stroll onDidn't nobody wanna speakNow everybody peepin' out they window when they hear me beatin' up the streetIs it Dre? Is it...

bläanks | Urbanized Cottagecore

Get to know the LA based interior knit brand merging tradition, craft and modern living

A Layman’s Guide to Visualizing 10 Dimensions

A Layman’s Guide to Visualizing 10 Dimensions

Disclaimer

I initially posted this as a series of Instagram stories, which people found surprisingly entertaining given the nerdiness of the subject matter. I think maybe my total lack of expertise made it more fun and easier to understand. So, a disclaimer: this exercise is for fun and brain-stretching only. Don’t take it as hard science, and please forgive any technical inaccuracies.

Dimensions

When we talk about a dimension, what we are really talking about is a degree of freedom, or an axis.

A point has no dimensions. It exists at one, fixed spacetime coordinate and has no variable or degree-of-freedom.

The first dimension can be represented as a line. A line has one degree of freedom.

The second dimension can be represented by a plane. It has two axes (X,Y). Any position on a plane can be defined with two measurements.

The third dimension (you know this one!) can be defined by a cube. A cube has 3 degrees of freedom (X,Y,Z), has volume, and is, basically, space as we experience it.

Typically, we talk about the fourth dimension as time (at least we experience it as time). If we think about space as being three dimensional, but existing through time, then we can identify any point in spacetime with 4 axes (X,Y,Z,T). Let’s look at a few ways to “visualize” time.

Easy 4D Visualizations Explained

Imagine a 2d being trying to experience the third dimension. The only way a 2d being could experience a cube would be to pass through it, one 2D slice at a time.

However we, as 3D beings can experience the whole cube at once. So if we use time to represent the fourth dimension, we can say that we (as 3D beings) can only experience time one 3D slice at a time. But a 4D being would experience all time simultaneously, just as we can experience all planes of a cube simultaneously.

Here’s another way to picture time. If you poke your finger through the air, it passes through infinite 2D planes. A 2D creature living on one of those planes wouldn’t experience your moving finger, but a 2d cross section of a finger. In the same way, if a 4D being poked through spacetime, you wouldn’t see it as it is, you would see it as a 3d cross section or a blob.

The 4th dimension is easy to visualize because we are conscious of time. We’re experiencing it all the…time. And though we can’t see all time at once, higher dimensions are ‘leaky’ so there may be little hints of the fourth dimension as a nonlinear dimension in our daily lives.

When people experience deja vu or hallucinations or see ghosts…these might be little overlapping slices telling us that multiple times (T1, T2, etc) can coexist at a common set of space coordinates (X,Y,Z).

The 5th and 6th Dimensions

The fifth and sixth dimensions are closely related. in these dimensions, possible realities come into play and we start experiencing the less tangible dimensions 5–10

So before we talk about the invisible dimensions, a couple good explanations

As stated earlier, we usually define a dimension as an axis, a new degree of freedom with infinite variables. We experience spacetime in four dimensions, so we can find coordinates in spacetime with input from 4 axes, X,Y,Z,T.

The higher dimensions (5–10) are hard to see. It might be easiest to represent these higher dimensions as “folds”. I.e. if you use a piece of paper to represent a plane, and you fold that piece of paper in 2, every point on the paper has a twin that coexists at the same XY coordinates. You have another axis!

And though we can’t see higher dimensions, they are theoretically apparent in the curvature of spacetime. Here’s the ant example:

If an ant is walking a straight line down the center of a piece of paper, and you roll that paper into a tube, the ant won’y know he’s in a 3 dimensional tunnel, but if he veers right or left, he’ll be in the upside-down.

Now on to the 5th dimension, 6th dimension, causality and alternate realities…

In 4D, all time is stacked and navigable, but it only accounts for one event at each coordinate in spacetime. However, we know that if time can be navigable, it can theoretically be non-linear.

Theoretically, if you went back in time and then forward again, just as in space, you may not necessarily move forward on the same line each time. You might veer right or left (like the ant)and would create alternate realities that occupy the same XYZT coordinates…you would need a 5th axis!

If you watch sci-fi, you know all about the 5th dimension already. You can imagine the 5th dimension as a plane where all possible timelines (or branches of time) stretching back to the big bang live. Sometimes it’s called a probability plane.

One way to think of visualize navigating the 5th dimension is to think of it as climbing a tree. Imagine you were climbing a tree to 20 feet, and then you climbed back down, and back up to 20 feet, but on a different branch…both routes get you to 20 feet but they never intersect, and you can’t jump from one to the other because they diverted way down at the trunk. each choice creates a network of new choices and different realities or branches, Causality!

If you think of an event as a point, every event that led to it or is affected by it exists on its branch, and everything else is…elsewhere.

Now, what if you wanted to explore all the branches without climbing back down and up and potentially ending up on the wrong branch? You would have to ‘fold’ the tree so that all of the branches at the same height could be experienced at once. You would need to eliminate causality as a determiner of an event, to make the branches non-linear. you would need a new axis. You would need the 6th dimension!

But here’s where it gets really physics-y and theoretical…the 6th dimension is still dependent on

A) our universe’s point of origin.

B) our universe’s laws.

So if we want to account for possibilities outside of these constraints, we need more dimensions!

In the same way that the 5th and 6th dimension are interrelated, the 7th and 8th are bound to each other.

7, 8, 9, Multiverse

In the seventh dimension, we add the following degree of freedom: different origins and laws. The first six dimensions apply to our universe, with its specific origin and physical laws, but other dimensions may have different origins and be governed by entirely different laws. So, if we continue with the event tracing illustration, multiple origins mean we would need another axis to trace any event back on the probability plane.

We are now in the multiverse!

Now, if we wanted to compare all of the events that coincide across all of the different universes, each with it’s own origin, we would have to be able to fold the 7th dimension over another plane so that all of the origins coexist…we would need an 8th dimension.

In the 8th dimension, we assume that all laws in all universes remain…well…universal. Theoretically, however, laws could evolve differently from the same point of origin, creating divergent universes that COULD occupy the same coordinates in 8 dimensions. To account for this, we need a 9th dimension…in the 9th dimension, we can account for all events in all universes, with all points of origin, and all possible laws.

And finally the 10th dimension. The tenth dimension, in my very humble opinion, represents the unknown. It is all of the other variables that would be necessary to assess all data in all of existence simultaneously. It is the everything fold.

I hope this all made sense! It’s a lot to digest. If it DID make sense and you would like to learn more, there are countless great books on quantum physics for regular people, but I think the best place to start might be Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. It was written in 1884 as a satirical allegory using math to illustrate different social strata. It experienced a resurgence after Einstein presented his theory of relativity, and has been name-checked by Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking as a good way to introduce higher dimensions to anyone.

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In this stunning 12 x 10 hardcover book, I introduce the art of dance to the human experience. This year we are bearing witness to over 40 million jobs lost. Over 400 thousand lives lost. A viral and racial pandemic across the globe. Far beneath the devastation lies a transformational future that could be unfolding faster than we think.

Photographed by James Mountford.
              “I remember mostly living in parallel worlds that were not mine.”

Much like the revolving changes in our lives, this magical ball of light piercing the night sky is a mother icon of constant change and cyclical patterns.

One of the most powerful celestial phenomenons is the rare black moon. A second new moon that occurs within one calendar month. It is said that the black moon amplifies a cleansing energy, dragging our deepest strengths and desires to the forefront, uninhibited. Just like the dark side of the moon, there is a side to each of us that we don’t reveal to others. 

             “She hid the dark side of the moon in her soul just to give light to everyone around her.”

Countless women around the globe work hard to carve, manifest and own their journey. Many who are robbed of this by fear, culture, relationships, society, politics, even family. Many who wake up each morning set out to build their sandcastles with a fine tooth comb only to witness the hands of disruption destroy it flat. 

Mirroring a lunar experience in contemporary dance form, “Black Moon”(2020) is a unique collection of inspirational messages and some of the most vulnerable stories revealed by women from around the world.

Tricia-Noël is a classically trained ballet/contemporary dancer and graduate from Queen Mary, University of London. She has travelled to many countries over the years and exchanged life stories of affliction and fortune with a number of inspiring and transformational women in different corners of the globe. Purchase Black Moon Prints and Greeting Cards from Black Moon Site. 

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