Gala Darling was one of the first bloggers I followed with any regularity when I started The Midheaven years ago. I adored her relentlessly uplifting message - not to mention her fabulous style! At that point I only had a toe out of the spiritual closet, and Radical Self-Love was exactly what I needed.
More recently, Gala has been exploring astrology, tarot, and magic in her Radical Self-Love Almanac and forthcoming Radical Self-Love Coven. This got me thinking - if the first house (a.k.a. ascendant) rules the self, wouldn't you want to tailor your self-love practice to your rising sign? I contacted Gala, and she agrees!
It's an honor and pleasure to host her here today, along with my guide to Radical Self-Love by sign! We had a quick chat about her bestselling book, modern witchery, and how the sacred arts and self love work together. See for yourself!
Sun, moon and rising sign?
I'm a Virgo Sun and a Sagittarius Moon and Rising.
For those who are new to your work, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
My name is Gala Darling and I've been teaching women about radical self love for a decade. It all started on my blog in 2006, and has since evolved to include a bestselling book with Hay House, speaking engagements all over the world, and an upcoming show on Hay House Radio!
Your new book is called Radical Self-Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dreams. What is radical self-love, and why does it matter?
Radical self love is different for everyone, but primarily it's about changing the conversations we have with ourselves, and treating ourselves like our own best friend. It's important because when you don't like who you are, it poisons everything around you. On the other hand, when you love yourself, you're less likely to stay in a mediocre relationship, more likely to start that business or ask for a promotion, and you won't want to surround yourself with negative people. It's about aiming higher and realising that it's okay to have everything we want. Life is beautiful and once you really grasp that, you can celebrate every day.
What message do you most hope Radical Self-Love conveys to your readers?
I hope that they realise how magnificent they are, and start to behave in a way that reflects that! I suffered from depression and an eating disorder from the age of 13 to 22, and so I understand how incredibly hard that is. I also know -- now that I'm on the other side -- that those issues do not have to be a life sentence. If I can escape their grasp, anyone can. All you need is a handful of tools and a willingness to change.
I love that you've been talking more about modern witchery on your blog! What inspired that transition, and what mystical practices and/or teachings have been inspiring you lately?
I've been practicing magic since I was in my early teens, and I was inspired to delve into it more seriously a few years ago, when my marriage started to unravel. I needed something in my life to make me feel good, and I needed to be reminded of my own power. Once I started paying more attention to it, I realised that my readers would benefit from hearing about it too. I've been so thrilled -- and frankly, amazed! -- by the response. There is a real hunger for this kind of information.
I'm also really excited because my Radical Self Love Coven -- an online school for magic -- is launching in May. Over the course of seven months, students will learn about tarot, astrology, numerology, charms and energy work, and feng shui. It's going to be so amazing, I can't wait!
Do the stars play a part in your spiritual practice? If so, how?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, I'm writing these answers from an airport terminal where I'm on my way to Tulum for the AstroTwins' annual astrology retreat! I always loved astrology but until I went on their retreat last year, I regarded it with a bit of skepticism. After a week learning about my chart, I am a confirmed believer! I'm really a fan of anything which helps people decode themselves and their natural inclinations, so anything that helps to inform people and encourages them to be the best version of themselves is a-okay in my book.
Sadly, self-love and spirituality don't always go hand in hand. There are still so many people can't be open about their practices or who feel guilty caring for themselves. What advice do you have for people who are struggling with loving themselves, body and soul?
That's one of the reasons why I've been talking about magic and spirituality on my blog. The more we talk about it, the less shame or embarrassment we feel. But you don't have to tell everyone what you're up to if you're not comfortable -- just do what feels good to you. As long as your practices are helping you, that's all that matters -- no matter how kooky they may be!
In what ways do you see sacred arts and radical self-love working together?
To me, they go hand-in-hand. Radical self love is a daily practice and it can be fun but it is definitely challenging at times! Spellwork and magic can give us the boost, confidence and power we need to move through the obstacles that face us.
Are you ready to start feeling yourself?
Here's my guide to Radical Self-Love by sign.
As the first sign of the zodiac, you adore novelty. Being the first to do or experience anything turns you on, making you a formidable trendsetter. With Mars as your patron, you're also known for your warrior spirit. If you're feeling down, pour your emotions into exercise, dance, or some sort of competition for an energetic boost.
You love yourself by: fighting for your dreams.
With Venus as your ruler, you're driven by a desire for material pleasures. Beautiful sights, sounds, fragrances, foods and feelings awaken your inner love goddess. Surround yourself with little luxuries for best results. Taurus also thrives with a routine, so a daily self-love practice is perfect for you.
You love yourself by: living a sensual life.
As the sign of communication, you love to tell stories. Consider what story you're telling the world. What is your message? Having a clear idea to share with others will feel like a breath of fresh air. Ruled by fast-paced Mercury, you need new stimuli on a daily basis (like music, film, TV, or books), as well as someone to share it with.
You love yourself by: telling your story.
Nestled at the bottom of the horoscope, Cancer is the foundation upon which the rest of the zodiac rests. With Lady Luna as your ruler you're a natural caretaker, but don't forget to take care of yourself too! You appreciate all things cozy, so indulge in cashmere, thread count, an espresso machine, or whatever else makes you feel nurtured.
You love yourself by: taking care of you.
With the sun as your ruler, you're no stranger to letting your light shine! Performing is your spiritual practice, especially when you're in the leading role. No one knows how to mesmerize an audience like you do. No matter what your medium, honoring that creative spirit is your highest calling.
You love yourself by: stepping into the spotlight.
Virgo is the zodiac's editor, constantly improving the details of their lives and the lives of those around them. Their superpowered focus is impressive, but sometimes this perfectionist quality has a negative side. When you feel like your work isn't up to par, zoom out and look at the bigger picture. You've done so much already.
You love yourself by: tending to the details (Without judgment).
As the sign of partnerships, your innate sense of balance allows you to bring harmony to even the most hopeless of situations. You're ruled by Venus, so you have a strong eye for beauty. Make sure you turn that eye on yourself and see yourself and as you see others: exquisite.
You love yourself by: seeing the beauty in all things.
Scorpio is notorious for being the ruler of sexuality, so its no surprise that your self-love practice may be a bit more literal than others. You aren't afraid of the taboo; on the contrary, you're comfortable where others fear to tread. Enhance your vibe by embracing your shadow (e.g. intense feelings, intuition, and a little magick).
You love yourself by: exploring life's mysteries.
Ruled by thrill-seeking Jupiter, you live for adventure. You're constantly traveling from one exotic locale to the next in search of knowledge, experience, and a good party. Philosophy is your strong suit, so consider writing a self-love manifesto to guide you through your healing journey.
You love yourself by: expanding your horizons.
Sitting pretty at the top of the zodiac, you've got the ambition you need to back up your lofty position. Saturn as your patron planet makes you hardworking - sometimes to a fault. It's okay to splurge on something special every now and then, especially since you enjoy traditional markers of success more than others. See you at Bergdorf!
You love yourself by: knowing your worth.
With Uranus as your planetary ruler, you're nothing if not avant-garde. You're at your best when you're swimming against the current and working on visionary plans that are far beyond the current zeitgeist. Channel your rebellious charm into projects that raise awareness for what you believe in and build a better future.
You love yourself by: breaking the rules.
Where other people see ordinary objects and situations, you see magic. Your warm presence and natural connection to all that is radiates a comforting aura; so comfortable, in fact, that personal boundaries might become blurry. Make sure you're clear about what you want in your relationships, because you have so much love to give!
You love yourself by: healing your connections.
Want more Radical Self-Love?
Read the suggestions for your sun and moon signs too!
There's more where that came from.
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