Sometimes I look around at the life that I have created in disbelief. Sometimes there is still a part of me that can't believe I get to live in a world of crystals, sacred geometry, and quantum physics while helping other people to let their own magic out. I get to talk about energy, dreams, spirit guides, angels, and extraterrestrials and no one blinks an eye. I make beautiful welcome packages for my clients, filled with esoteric tools, and sit in on the astrology readings that my Catalyst clients receive. I wake up at a time that feels good for my body, and take breaks in my day to do yoga, meditate at my altar, or go to the beach. But it wasn't always like this...
When I was in acupuncture school, I was a different person. I would consult my etiquette books before making social plans, and watched youtube videos on how to draw winged eyeliner - I felt like I put myself through Finishing School, wanting to be a proper lady. I drank and I smoked (yes it's true!), and wore BLACK, lots of black - and not like witch-black - like conservative cashmere J Crew cardigan, black slacks, black sunglasses, with red lipstick and pearls kind of black. I was constrained to say the least. Granted, I was in the middle of my Saturn Return, which is when we love all things of discipline and structure, but that wasn't half of the story. I was SCARED.
I constantly worried about whether or not I was doing things right, socially or otherwise. I felt a subtle, but constant sense of paranoia. I wanted to make sure I did the right thing, because I was worried no one would take me seriously in life. I felt like I had to prove myself, yet I was terrified of standing out. My grandmother even said to my mom, "Why is Rachael going out to California and wasting all of that money?"
After finishing acupuncture school, I began my practice specializing in skin care. I was into all things beauty related - which was still very structured, and rule-based. I learned different anti-aging acupuncture protocols and even went to a skin care convention in Long Beach. Attending countless networking events, I struggled to explain what I did to conservative people in suits. I was a member of a networking program where I had to dress business casual, show up at a hotel downtown at 7:30am every Wednesday, and stand up in front of the group and explain what I did in 30 seconds or less. Every Wednesday I had a mini panic attack.
But I was trying. SO HARD.
After my first 2 years of business, my world slowly started to shift. I began to open books that had been closed on my shelves for the last 6 years, and do internet research on alchemy, astrology, and other mystical subjects that I used to be into. But I wasn't comfortable talking about it. I would preface everything I said with, "I know this might sound a little woo woo, but..." or "What I'm about to say might sound a little out there, but...", or even edit entire stories because I was afraid someone would judge me and think I was crazy. I realized I was selling myself short.
I decided to take the words "woo woo" out of my vocabulary.
Sometimes it's the most subtle changes that can create the largest openings for Spirit to enter. I continued to expand my world - I brought out my old tarot cards and started studying sacred geometry. I began dating a man who turned out to be an LSD Shaman. Of course I had been around psychedelics for a long time, but I always felt that I lived pretty close to that world in my regular life - so why would I want to go there using a substance? It wasn't until I was struggling to create my logo - an image that had eluded me for months, occasionally revealing parts itself in meditations - that I decided I was ready. I called up my boyfriend and we made plans for a ceremony. A few weeks before I had done a meditation where I had met my future self, and she had shown me what my life would be like. I would live on an island, and work in the ethers with groups of people shifting the energy on the planet. At one point during our ceremony I got up to go to the bathroom. There in the mirror was my future self with a twinkle in her eye. I found I could toggle between her and the me in present moment. She was real, and I was her, and she was me! I saw the flower of life pattern in all of the walls around me. It was as if the universe was throwing me a party all of my life, and I had finally arrived.
The entire experience was more affirming and validating than I ever could have imagined. Turns out that even though I had thought I was living in this magical world, I secretly still had some doubts as to it's actual existence. With all of the visions that this new medicine opened me up to - I was certain the unseen spiritual world was alive and very well. It was funny, the morning after my mentor texted me and asked what was going on with me. Still feeling the newness of my insights, and worried about her judgement, I asked what she meant. She said "I just heard a big astral bell, and your name was attached to it. .... It kind of feels like you just got engaged - but that's not quite right..." Only it was! I felt like I had just gotten engaged to myself! Not only that, but a week later, after an especially inspiring yoga class, I downloaded the complete design for my logo in savasana - that same logo you see at the bottom of this page.
This experience opened me up to even more synchronicities, and I ended up going to Burning Man for the first time... and it wasn't really what happened at Burning Man, but what happened afterwards that would change my life forever. Through another series of incredible synchronistic events I was referred to a shaman who worked with Ayahuasca.
On the way to the ceremony, I remember thinking it was a very real possibility that I could loose my mind - that I might not come back to this world as I knew it. It was a spiritual death of sorts, and I was nervous, but I was ready.
I sat for 2 days in a row for my first time. During the first ceremony I was shown the image of being burned at the stake - not from a third person, seeing this happening to me - but from the first person, standing within the flames, watching my body melt away like a marshmallow in a campfire. You know what it looks like. But the funny thing was it wasn't scary or traumatic in anyway - it was more of an affirmation, a confirmation that I had indeed lived the type of life, with the type of power, that would warrant a death like this.
In the second ceremony, I was shown that I was a seed underground, with lightening-bug-like insects flashing their lights on the walls of the tomb I was in, to reveal ancient carvings on the walls. Then I rose up above the ground level. I saw all of my ancestors sitting on the edge a circular earthen well. I saw myself join their circle out of the corner of my eye - only I was dressed as Wonder Woman! My awareness continued to raise vertically. I realized I was ascending the different levels of a tree - first the dark world beneath the roots, then my ancestors as the roots. Now I was at the tops of the roots looking down. The roots were open-air, similar to those of the Mangrove trees I had seen on San Salvador island. Moving about in the roots I saw the deer from the Vision Quest I had done in 2003. He was grown up now, with a huge rack of antlers. He had brilliant cobalt blue eyes, and as he turned his head to look up at me, a huge blue laser shot from his eye and into my heart and I burst into tears.
I remember crying, and thinking how interesting it was to be having this contractive experience, my body convulsing, tears staining the blindfold I was wearing - compared to the previous experience of rising and expanding. Finally the tears began to subside and I began to regain my composure. With my eyes still closed, I began to become aware of my body - only it wasn't a human body. The lower half of my body curled around me, long and luminous, with shimmering white opalescent scales. I felt the top of my head and there were tall golden spikes going down my spine. Finally when I saw that my hands had large golden claws, I realized.... I AM A DRAGON!
In my vision I continued to ascend the tree, learning things from cosmic teachers about sacred geometry and light, but it was that full bodied realization of my true dragon nature that stuck with me the most. I felt empowered and activated by the knowledge and heart opening that I had gained. Until a few days after the ceremony when I started to cry... I felt guilty that I had just now discovered that I was a dragon, and that I had been ASLEEP FOR SO LONG. I felt like I had betrayed myself, and everyone in the world I was meant to help. I felt like a failure as a healer, and as an agent of change during this time of consciousness shift.
I cried for what seems like 2 days straight. I remember I was supposed to have my first call with my coach at the time, and I was in tears. I couldn't believe this was how we were going to start our work together. And most of all I didn't think Sarah would know what to do with me. Ayahuasca seemed a little out of her element.
But she was fantastic. She listened to my story and asked just the right questions. I told her that I felt like I had all of these gifts, all of this treasure that I had just discovered, hidden in my closet. I felt so much guilt, shame and betrayal. I could barely keep myself upright at my desk. Sarah asked me to go over to the physical closet in my room and describe what it looked like. Then she told me to take one thing out and throw it away. What?!? Can't I just give it to the Good Will? "No," she said, "you've got to throw it away." I chose a shirt I didn't really like and put it in the trash. "Now tell me what else is in there." I began describing my Burning Man costumes that I had segmented in my closet and was planning to put away in the storage shed downstairs. She insisted that I not only keep them in my closet, but hang them up like regular clothes, like I might consider the option of wearing them in my regular life. I began to see what she was doing.
I dove full in. I printed out a sign that said "More feathers, more fur, more sparkles" and hung it in my closet. I began to wear galactic leggings to the clinic that I called "magic pants." I began to incorporate more and more colors into my wardrobe. I wore feathers in my hair and glitter on my skin.
Another huge turning point came when a friend threw a "space party" for her birthday party. To me space means the future, so I decided to dress as my future self. It was absolutely one of the most empowering things I did at that point. After coming back from the party that night, I stayed up another 3 hours because I just couldn't sleep because I was so excited to be able to express myself this way. I felt FREE.
On another call with Sarah, she was looking at my website and said, "I don't see you in your website. You've done all this work to let your magic out, but I don't see that reflected online. I knew she was right. It was all fake. It was what felt safe. It was what I thought everyone else wanted to see.
I spent an entire week locked in my room, birthing a new website. In November that year, Lucent Alchemy was born. For some time my work with my clients had shifted from outer beautification to inner beautification, and many of my healing sessions were very similar to coaching. I had clients coming in for acupuncture facials, that ended up crying before I even put any needles in because the emotional stuff we were unearthing was so transformational. I felt I had found my gifts. With Lucent Alchemy I shifted into focusing solely on the synergistic combination of emotional & physical health.
During this transition I continued to explore my gifts, and what my energetic signature looked and felt like. One of the things I had done when I dressed as my future self, was to glue swarovski crystals on my face, under my eyes, or on my cheekbones. I made them part of my everyday makeup routine. It totally pushed me to my edges sometimes. I remember the time when I was working with a male client who was a pretty straight laced accountant. We had been discussing the possibility of working together within The Catalyst Program. The day came when he would make his first payment, and I can remember getting ready that morning, my hand shaking as I moved to put the crystals on my face. "Shouldn't I dress more conservatively today? Will he look at me as he's about to pay me, and decide I'm a crazy person? " I was filled with self-doubt for a moment. But I saw the moment for what it was - a test of my devotion to myself, and my freedom in the world - and I glued those crystals right on to my face. When he came in that day, there was no moment of shame or belittlement. We began our work together on a solid foundation, and I'll never forget the day, a few weeks later, when he came out of the treatment room and said, "You know, I've been thinking... I would like to get a crystal." I burst into a smile and told him exactly where to go.
As I continued to evolve, so did my business. Under the Grand Cross in April 2014, I decided that Lucent Alchemy was too small of an identity for me. I felt the rumblings of something bigger, and in a recent ceremony I had been shown how my website would change, and Soul Star Medicine was born. One thing I have learned in my years of being an entrepreneur is that my business is its own being. It has it's own personality, and it's own agenda - I am just here as the facilitator. When my Cosmic Business Council says things gotta change, we burn it down and rebuild it again - fresh and in clear alignment with my true heart.
Living in the Bay Area has been such a blessing during this time of exploring myself and my energy, and learning how to express this with out hesitation or fear. I even had business cards printed with a photo of me on the front with half of my head shaved AND a design in my hair!
I remember joking with my boyfriend, saying I wanted to have a "coming out" party because these changes felt so powerful and fundamental in my psyche.
Turns out, I got the opportunity to create just that for my birthday last year. I worked with a sound healer to create a 3 hour meditation and sound journey as an offering to my community - and I encouraged everyone to dress as their future self. Sitting in the living room, surrounded by friends from all of the different worlds I traverse, I lead everyone on a guided meditation - which was my first experience channelling publicly! It was such a test. I had done so much preparation work to create this event that I hadn't even thought about what I would say - which was perfect. As the images came into my mind, I simply said them out loud. Sometimes I did have moments of, "Really??? Blue clouds??? Okay I'll say it..." inside my head, but it all ended up flowing together beautifully. After I finished my portion of the evening and relaxed into Rich's sound healing landscape, I thought of my future self. Sitting here in this moment, sharing my gifts with my friends, showing them that this type of work was so important to me that I would spend my birthday creating it for them - I felt exactly as I had envisioned my future self would feel. In this moment I was her. In fact, I was always her, if I would only give myself permission to be.
Coming out of the magic closet wasn't easy - as you can see it took me over a year! And I'm still working to share more and more of my light, more of my soul. Even this article was edgy for me - talking about plant medicine and psychedelics, and really claiming that as an integral part of my story was scary. I've had the draft of this post sitting in the backend of my site for over a month! But it had to come out. I feel so powerfully changed, and SO incredibly grateful for these and all of the other deeply transformational experiences that have come into my life, that I couldn't keep them inside any longer. Saying it out loud feels so good.
Do you have magic that you're keeping in your closet right now?
Do you find yourself editing your stories when you are around particular people or excusing what you're saying with "Now, this might sound a little woo woo..."?
I know I was! In the comments below, I would LOVE to hear your story about coming out of the magic closet, or be able to support you on your journey in some way.
P.S. Have you checked out Magic Tribe? I created this global community to be a place where people can feel safe to explore, experience, and share their esoteric interests and callings. Come hang out with us and talk about all things magic!