CategoriesEducational Others Spirituality

Welcome to the Year of the Tiger!

The Chinese Lunar calendar is different to ours, with the New Year lasting for 16 days! This year, the New Year starts on the 1st February and begins the Year of the Tiger. In Chinese Zodiac, each year is represented by a different animal. There are 12 animals, meaning there hasn’t been a year of the tiger since 2010! However, as well as the cycle of animals, there is also a cycle of 5 different elements – with 2022 being water. So we haven’t seen the Year of the Water Tiger for 60 years!

So how did the Chinese Zodiac all come about?

It all started when the Jade Emperor wanted a way to measure time. On his birthday, he told the animals that there will be a swimming race. The first twelve animals to cross the fast flowing river would be the winners and each would have a zodiac named after them.

The rat and the cat, who were best friends, couldn’t swim very well so they asked to ride on the ox. The ox agreed, but as they approached the finish line, the rat pushed the cat off into the river and jumped on the bank. This is why cats & rats have a difficult relationship now! The rat was first, and the poor ox had to settle for second.

Third place went to the tiger, as although he was a strong swimmer, the current had been very difficult.

Fourth place went to the rabbit, who jumped on floating logs to reach the other side.

Number five went to the dragon. Although it could easily fly across, he stopped to make rain for the villagers and to blow logs onto the river for the rabbit.

Then came along the horse, but before it could cross the finish line, a snake wriggled out and startled the horse. The snake came sixth and the horse was seven.

A raft came along carrying the goat, the monkey and rooster. They had worked together to build and push the raft to the shore.

Eleventh place went to the dog, who just had to stop and take a bath in the crystal clear water.

Finally, in twelfth place, came the pig. He took a long time to cross as he had to stop for some food, and then a nap.

Each animal has its own personality, and those born in that year share those traits!

The Year of the Tiger will be different for everyone depending on their animal, but tigers represent power, courage, and might. However, be careful that these traits don’t turn into cockiness!

CategoriesDivination Spirituality Tips & Advice

The Art of Divination

‘Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardised process or ritual.’

Tea Readings

Tea reading is the art of identifying symbols in the shapes and configurations of tea leaves and interpretating their messages. It’s believed to have been around for thousands of years, since tea was discovered by a Chinese Emperor in 2737 BC, but it has gained popularity in recent years. Like other forms of divination, tea reading is very personal – what you see in the patterns might be different from what another would perceive.  This, however, produces the most relevant reading!

And all you need to do is make a cup of tea! Pick your chosen tea (use loose tea leaves) and pop a pinch in your cup. Pour over hot water and let the tea cool whilst you quieten your mind. Think about what you are looking for from your reading – is there a specific question? When you are focused, drink your tea and leave a spoonful of liquid at the bottom. Take the cup by the handle in your left hand, rim upwards, and move it in a circle rapidly three times from left to right. Next (still with your left hand) slowly turn the cup upside down over a saucer. Leave the cup upside down until all liquid drains away. Position the handle due south and you’re ready to go!

Have a look at the leaves and see what symbols are present. If you get our ‘Fortune Tellers Cup’ it comes with a symbol chart and their meanings! The cup is divided into three parts. The rim represents the present, the side signifies events happening soon, and the bottom represents the future.

Tarot Readings

The tarot has been used for centuries as a form of divination and is an excellent tool for self-discovery and growth. The tarot picks up on the energy around you and taps into your consciousness to guide you, to access your intuition, and help you know what you really want in life.

 The tarot is a deck of 78 cards: 22 of them form the major arcana and represent a particular quality or archetype. The other 56 cards make up the minor arcana and are split into 4 suits – these cards represent events, people, behaviour, ideas and activities that go on in our lives. Each card has an image, a name and number, all of which are potent symbols and have specific meanings. Each card has a layer of meaning, and reveal parts of ourselves which we might consciously choose to deny, repress, or exile. This makes the tarot unique tool for understanding ourselves and the path we are on.

There are many ways to use your tarot cards, and there are spreads that show you a detailed look at certain aspects in your life. You can find these in our ‘Tarot Bible’ Book or research online. The easiest way to use them is by picking a ‘daily card’. Simply shuffle the cards with their backs facing you, cutting them as many times as you want. You don’t need to ask a specific questions – just free your mind of all thoughts. When you feel ready, pick the card your drawn to. Before you look up the meaning, take some time to interpret the card yourself. What reaction do you have to the imagery? What does the number mean to you? What do you feel? Once you’ve done this, have a read of its meaning. Let both interpretations guide you throughout the day – there may be a sudden revelation during the day that allows you to see what the card means to you.

Runes

Runes are an ancient form of oracle used by those seeking advice. Runes have a long history, dating back to ancient use by Germanic and Nordic tribes. Runes can be made of various materials, such as wood, crystal or stone, and feature a symbol from a runic alphabet on them. Each symbol has a specific meaning, and each rune picks up on a specific energy. Runes have been around for a long time, and decreased in popularity due to the introduction of Christianity. This has resulted in a lack of evolution of the rune, and means that the energy they are attracted to can be quite alien to the modern mind. This means that when you’re reading the runes, you have to work out how the old concepts fit in with the modern way of life. This makes it extra fun though!

There a different ways to use runes, but the find a quiet place and clear your mind. Focus on your reading and set your intention. What is your specific question? Get this clear in your mind. Once you’re ready, go into your rune bag and pick up one rune. This is the main answer to your question, but you may need to draw 1 or 2 more to get context. For example, you may ask the question ‘Should I go for this promotion at work?’. The first rune you pick is Uruz, which represents strength and power. You then pick the second one which is Ansuz which is for speech and knowledge. The last one you pick is Nauthiz which means need and action. Using all three runes, you can interpret this as you need to use your power of speech and knowledge to get the promotion at work!

CategoriesEnergy Clearing & Feng Shui Spirituality Tips & Advice

Energy Clearing for the New Year!

The New Year is the perfect time to clear out any negative, stale energy that has built up in the home – especially as we’ve all been spending more time indoors these last few years – and get your home ready for a healthy and happy new year!

If you’ve never heard or done a space clearing before, we’re here to help. To begin, you need to understand that everything is built up with the same energy – meaning that you are the same energy as your home. Because of this, our energy can impact our homes and vice versa. For example, think of a time where you had an argument in your home. Do you remember feeling the tension in the air? Did you feel uncomfortable? This is because our negative energy has changed the energy within our home.

Another important aspect is that negative energy can build up and become stale in your home. This is when your home’s energy can impact you. Do you ever come home from a hard day at work and instead of finding comfort, you feel heavy and stressed? This is the build-up of energy within your home weighing you down.

This is where energy clearing comes in. By removing all this stale negative energy, you’re helping other positive energy flow freely through your space. You can make your home feel comfortable, safe, relaxing and full of love. And the best thing is, it’s so easy to do and anyone can do it!

The first thing you need to do is assess and become aware of your home – do you have any clutter, do you have anything that is broken or not working? Do you have clothes or other things that you no longer use? What areas of your home need your attention? Are there any areas that need repairing? Clutter is great for collecting stale, negative energy so it’s better to have less. Clear out your clutter to make room for new, positive energies.

The next step is to clear any stale, negative energy around your home and fill it with positive energy. To prepare for this you will need a sage stick, some Silver Nitiraj incense or Basilica granule incense. Our Energy Clearing Box has everything you need!

Before you start the clearing, spend some time thinking about how you would like to feel in your home – how would you like your family to be? Maybe you want it to feel calm, peaceful, happy or loving? Next, think of a symbol that represents what you want to feel – for example if you want to feel love your symbol could be red hearts, or if you want calm it could be an amethyst. You don’t need to buy these things but it’s important to hold these images in your mind.

Once you’ve done this, light your weapon of choice, go round every room and visualise the energy being cleared. Make sure you waft the smoke into all the corners and crevices with your intention to energy clear firmly set in your mind! Do this until you feel like it’s done. At this point, you can either stump out up the sage/ incense or let it burn down.

Now that you’ve energy cleared, there will be a void left in your home. If you don’t fill it, then the negative energy you’ve just removed is going to creep it’s way back in! This is where those symbols we thought of earlier come in. Find a quiet space in your home and think of those symbols again, but this time imagine them filling the spaces of your home. Think of those red hearts expanding in your living room, and the amethyst sparkling in your bedroom. This is you filling your home’s energy with love and peace. Again, do this until you feel it’s done.

And that’s it! Your home’s energy is now working with you rather than against you. You’ve set yourself up for an exciting 2022 full of opportunity, love and happiness. At this stage, you can also work on the Feng Shui of your home – but that’s for another day!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy being at home.

 

CategoriesSpirituality Tips & Advice

The Amazing Benefits of Himalayan Salt!

Salt itself is a mineral that has been used for many years across the world. Traditionally, people visited salt mines and caves to improve their mood and overall sense of calm. With their new popularity, , there are now endless products that can help improve your mood without having to go to a salt cave!
 

So how does Himalayan Salt work?
It’s all about ions. Salt is abundant in negative ions and can help counteract and balance any positive ions in the air or your body. These positive ions can be caused by electromagnetic devices, radiation, negative energy, and excess moisture etc.

Think of a thunderstorm. Usually, you can feel the tension in the air before it strikes. This is because there is a build-up of positive ions released from the electrical charge of the storm. It feels heavy. Then the storm breaks and the rain falls. The rain is full of salt, and the negative irons balance out the positive ions. This makes the air feel clearer and more comfortable.

This is the exact same thing that’s happens to you. By letting the Himalayan salt counteract any ions in your home and body, you will feel more comfortable and at ease. It can absorb any of the electronic radiation from your devices, helping you to sleep better. It helps filter the air, removing any foreign particles so you can breathe better (especially if you suffer with allergens). Look at our salt lamps – they have endless benefits and look fantastic too!

Himalayan Bath Salts are fantastic at clearing your energy and removing any negative energy or blockages. It can help rebalance and reactive our body’s electrical current, stimulate blood circulation and increase moisture retention.

A Himalayan Salt oil burner has two uses in one! Like a traditional oil burner, you add your favourite essential oils to the top with some water. The Himalayan salt tealight holder below will heat up the oil mixture and release the smell into the air. Not only do you feel the benefit from the salt, but also from all the different essential oils.

CategoriesSpirituality

The Power of Incense

Whether it’s a holiday in India, a ceremony in a church or a visit to your local holistic shop (e.g. us) then you’ve definitely smelt incense before. Taken from the Latin word Incendere, which means burning, incense is used to define all the woods, gums, plants and resins that release a scent when burnt. Because of this, incense can take many different shapes and smells.

Incense has been around for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. It is commonly used in sacred rituals in all religions and cultures and is found in many temples and churches – it’s mentioned in the Bible as one of the gifts offered to Jesus. There is even an old legend that a Queen lost her kingdom after an attack, and that during her escape she asked God for a gift to console her for the loss of her children and lands. So with every one of her tears, trees with fragrant gums began to grow.

There’s so many different scents of incense with all different properties, so you are bound to find something to create the mood you desire – whether you want to be relaxed or energised or cleansed. So how does this work? Well it’s all down to the smell receptors in the nose, which send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions!

At Quest, we have two main brands of incense: Stamford and Satya. We’re often asked what the difference is, and it’s all down to how it’s made. The Stamford incense is dipped – a stick is put into a liquid form of incense. The Satya is hand rolled – a powder form of incense is clumped around a stick. Both use natural ingredients, the only difference is that Stamford uses essential oils whereas Satya uses resin, herbs and spices.

So now you know you what incense is, lets tell you how it works! It’s simple – all you need is an incense holder, an incense stick and a lighter or match. Place the stick in the hole of your incense holder and light the end so that it’s alight. Once it’s established, blow out the flame so the stick is a burning ember. And there you go – keep your stick away from drafts and let the aroma fill your space!

So now you’re an expert in incense, all that’s left is to pick a scent! Go for whatever you fancy. The thing with incense is that you don’t really know what it smells like until you burn it. We will link some of the popular ones below, so try them out and you may find your new favourite too!

CategoriesOthers Spirituality

How to Embrace the Uncertainty of Life

People are creatures of habit. When things go as planned, we feel in control and safe. But when life does not go according to plan, it can leave us feeling anxious and stressed. Even if we think life is predictable and constant, anything could change in a heartbeat.

However, we are always in a state of uncertainty, and we recognise this now more than ever. The only constant in life is change, and no matter how much you try and control the future, sometimes all you can do is trust in whatever happens. Knowing that we are always in a state of uncertainty makes coping with it much easier. Accept that uncertainty is not an indication that everything is going wrong, but that it is natural and you will be able to adapt and make the best of it, like you have done before.

People react differently to the uncertainty of life. Some embrace it, knowing that it is with uncertainty that new and exciting opportunities arise. However some struggle with the lack of control, believing that they are incapable of navigating through life’s uncertainties. They try and secure a safe and certain future, but feel stressed and anxious when life does not go according to plan. 

Here are some ideas to help you embrace the unknown. Remember to trust in the Universe, and know that you will be able to cope with whatever the future has in store.


  • Replace expectations with plans. If you make expectations of the future, you set yourself up for disappointment. If you expect the worse, you’ll be in a negative frame of mind that you won’t notice positive opportunities. If you expect the best, you’ll find it hard to live up to it. Instead of expecting the future, make plans on what you are going to do to create what you desire. For example, if you wanted a promotion or a certain job, then instead of expecting to get promoted or that there is no chance you will get this job, think of plans that you can do to reach this goal.

  • Avoid creating unrealistic scenarios. If something unexpected happens during our life, we immediately think of worst case scenarios and how it will affect our future. Quite often, these scenarios are overly dramatic and have a very small chance of actually happening. This is because our minds are used to having a negative response to change. If something unexpected does happen, try and train your mind to embrace it without thinking of the consequences. If you do need to think about how it will affect the future, limit it to the next couple of days rather than the next couple of years. This will keep you thinking realistically.

  • It usually isn’t the uncertainty that bothers people, rather the emotions associated with it. People want to feel safe and in control. They are fearful of what will happen if they lose this security. Nobody wants to feel scared and anxious, so they try their best to avoid the unknown. By observing these feelings, you understand that you are not afraid of uncertainty but afraid of feeling afraid. Thinking this way will give your feelings less power, allowing you to embrace the uncertainty.

  • Combat your stress. No matter how much we embrace the unknown, we can quite often feel stressed about our situations. Stress can negatively affect your body including higher blood pressure, headaches, shortness of breath and tiredness. By doing activities that lower your stress, such as meditating, will help you feel calm and centred. By not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed with stress, you will feel more focused and able to tackle whatever the day brings you.

  • Whilst we are obsessing over our futures, we forget about the little things in life that we can control to make things easier. We are so focused on what we will happen in the future that we don’t concentrate on the day to day tasks. You can control what time you wake up in the morning, how you spend your day, what tasks you complete, what time you go to bed. Take advantage of these things and soon you will stop obsessing over the future.

  • Stay in the moment. Taking each day at a time will not only keep you from feeling stressed and anxious about the future but will also open you up to endless possibilities. The Universe can send you opportunities and messages in many different ways, but if you are too busy trying to control your future, you may miss out on what could be a life changing opportunity for you.

CategoriesSpirituality

Making Your Home Work With You!

Every building has its own energy, and it is really important that you connect to this energy so you can feel relaxed and comfortable in your home. We want our home to be somewhere where you feel at ease, especially after a hard day at work, so you need to make sure that the energy within your home is working with you, not against you. There are several things you can do to strengthen this connection so that you and your home are one. You can either work on a particular room that you feel needs attention, or you can focus on the whole house.

Declutter

The first step is to remove any clutter that is in your home, Clutter doesn’t serve any purpose, and can hold onto negative energy in the room. By removing any clutter, you are creating space for fresh, new, positive energy to flow through easily. Think about your drawers and cupboards too. If you haven’t used it for ages or it’s broken, then bin it, sell it or give it to a friend. 

Energy Clear

The next step is to clear any of the negative energy that has built up in your home. This could have come from the clutter, arguments, emotions etc and could have a detrimental affect on your life. To do this, we would recommend lighting some incense or sage (over a heatproof dish) and walking slowly around your house in an anti-clockwise direction. Waft the smoke from the sage/ incense into the corners of every room, setting your intention to remove any negative energy. Do this until you feel like it is complete.

Bring in Positive Energy

Once you have removed the negative energy, there will be a void in your home. If you do not fill this void with positive energy, then the negative energy will come back in. We do this by thinking about what you want to feel in your home – whether that’s love, connection, happiness. Think of symbols that represent these feelings, for example if you want to feel love then imagine big red hearts. Sit down in the central part of your house and in your mind, fill your house with your symbols. Make sure they are in every room, every corner.

Feng Shui

There are different types of Feng Shui, but Carolina uses the Tibetan Feng Shui which uses a Bagua. Feng Shui is the moment of energy and how it flows through your home. Each corner of your house or your room represents a different aspect of your life, for example the right hand corner of your bedroom, with your back against the door, is your relationship corner. The state of that area in your home may affect that aspect of your life. For example, if you have a bin in your relationship corner, you may be having trouble with your partner. If your front garden is overgrown and messy, then you may be having problems in your career. To improve these aspects of your life, make sure each area is clear from clutter, tidy and clean. It’s also important to have something that represents what you want from life in that area, for example you could have a piece of rose quartz in your relationship corner. For more details regarding Feng Shui, then look at Carolina’s videos here.

Here is the Bagua. Your back should be towards the door with you looking out into the room/ house.

Front door/ door of the room



Connecting with Your Home

As mentioned before, having a connection with your home is very important in creating a relaxed environment where you feel safe and at peace. Carolina has recorded a meditation to help strengthen this connection, which you can find here. You can do this meditation whenever you energy clear or when you are feeling disconnected from your home.

CategoriesSpirituality

5 Steps to Start Your Spiritual Journey!

Do you want to start your spiritual journey but unsure where to begin? We’ve been there. It can be so overwhelming, with so many different aspects of spirituality such as crystals and tarots and meditation. Just remember that this is your journey – there’s no right or wrong way, just make sure you’re doing what feels right. We’ve put together a little list with a few options to get you started. We are always here if you have any questions, so give us a ring or email, or drop in the shop and say hello!

Space Clearing

You have obviously decided to start exploring your spirituality for a reason. Maybe you feel like things haven’t been working out for you, or you’ve had a series of negative moments happen, or perhaps you want to change and access your higher power. Whatever the reason, it is always a good idea to clear the energies around you and your home first.

Grab some sage or incense, light the end of it and gently waft it around your home and your aura, seeing the negativity clear out and leaving you and your home clear. Afterwards, visualise the abundance of positivity, good vibes and anything else you want to attract to yourself and your home – this is going to fill the void you’ve just created. Choose a safe place to leave the sage to burn out and sit in the centre of your home, making wishes, thinking of the good times ahead and contemplating what you want to get out of your spiritual journey.

Meditation

Meditate a little every day. Doing this will help quieten your mind, and will allow you to access answers and guidance with more ease. Simply take a few minutes in the morning, evening or whenever you will be least disturbed. Sit upright and make sure you are comfortable. Straighten your spine, close your eyes and breathe. Focus your thoughts entirely on the in and out of your breath. If any other thoughts drift into your head, welcome them in and just let them be. It’ll be tricky at first but after a few days, you’ll know exactly how to do it and after a few weeks, it’ll come naturally to you! Carolina has done a brilliant online series of 21 Guided Meditations which has meditations for every need; whether that’s sleep, self-esteem or connecting with your spirit guide! Find it here.

Crystals

There are so many different crystals, all with so many different properties. Crystals are wonderful to have around as they each have their own vibration that is constantly being radiated, for example rose quartz steadily radiates energy filled with love. To start off your collection, we would suggest getting a piece of Rose Quartz for love and relationships, Amethyst for peace and protection, Citrine for abundance and happiness, Black Tourmaline or Shungite for absorbing negative energies and Clear Quartz for light and healing. These are the perfect start to your crystal collection. After you’ve got the basics down, you can move onto the hundreds of other crystals! When picking crystals, it’s really important to go for the ones you are drawn to as they will be the right ones for you at that time. Keep them in your home, in your bag, or on your person, depending on what you feel comfortable with. We will be doing a more detailed blog on crystals soon – so keep your eyes peeled!

Forgiveness

To be able to move forward on the journey of life, it helps to let go of the past so you don’t find yourself stuck with those negative feelings. Forgive those who have upset you or made you angry. Forgive yourself too. Everyone makes mistakes or is too harsh to themselves. Now is the time to forgive yourself, be kind to yourself, nobody is perfect. Let go of the blame, anger, hurt and upset to welcome in love, nourishing thoughts, kindness and happiness.

Listen To Your Heart

The number one rule for you on your spiritual journey (and with life in general) is to listen to your heart. Spirituality is about going within and listening to your true wants and needs. Our intuition is powerful. When you’re making a decision, you can consider all of the logic and list all the pros and cons; however you must make sure to listen to your instinct. You’ve got to use your intuition and do what you know will be right for you. Follow what tugs at your heartstrings and fills you with excitement and passion.