America’s prisons are dangerously overcrowded, and the war on drugs is mainly to blame.

Over 50 percent of inmates currently in federal prison are there for drug offenses, according to an infographic recently released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (see chart below). That percentage has risen fairly consistently over decades, all the way from 16 percent in 1970.

The second-largest category, immigration-related crimes, accounts for 10.6 percent of inmates. This means that people convicted of two broad categories of nonviolent crimes — drugs and immigration — make up over 60 percent of the U.S. prison population. 

(via ilovecharts)

The greatest healers are not those who fix us, but who show us the power we have to fix ourselves.

The greatest teachers are not those who give us wisdom, but share the pathway to wisdom we all can choose to take.

The greatest lovers are not those who love us for all we are worth, but rather shows us the power of the love within us that makes us priceless.

— Tom Grasso (via letitflow)

Five Signs of an Energy Vampire

1. Negative People

Negative people are very easily spotted, especially since they tend to pride themselves on the fact they think this way.  They are negative thinkers and complain about everything.  They are very powerful in their negative thinking, even sometimes to the point of being overbearing. 

Negative people love to bring people down to their level, or bring other people’s vibration down.  Just like negative people become very apparent on your radar when you begin to raise your vibration.  Positive people are very much on the radar of negative people, so if you’re positive or becoming enlightened, you’ll stand out to them, making them uncomfortable. Since they’re also very aware of any mismatched vibrations, they pride themselves on being able to bring other people down to their level. This may not be something they say verbally, but internally this is something they seek and strive for. It makes them feel more comfortable.

2. People who are depressed, sad, needy, or critical most of the time.

This is similar to number one, however instead of being overbearing, they have more of a victim undertone. Everyone has felt this way on occasion, and experiencing these emotions from time to time is completely normal. However, this describes people who chronically feel this way, with only brief bouts of happiness. These people are not hard to spot.  They are depressed, sad, and have a victim-like undertone to who they are. They may have an “I’m not good enough or smart enough” attitude, and take no responsibility for their own life or situation, because it’s not their fault, life has dealt them a bad hand. 

3. People who are searching to fill a void in their life.

When people are unfulfilled in their own life, sometimes they can become a human sponge, soaking up as much energy as they can from the outside world, which often will include you and your energy, if you’re in their vicinity.  These people are usually very nice, well-meaning people, in search of something better for themselves.  This is why it can be so tricky to spot; they aren’t negative, depressed, sad or critical, but they’re just lost souls trying to figure things out.  

4. Drama Queens

These people tend to like drama, and be very drawn to it.  They like to cause trouble and get everyone fighting.  This can become a very addicting type of behavior, because drama queens like he way it feels when energy is all stirred up in a chaotic manner.  It gives them excitement.  What’s really happening, however is this type of person needs to have drama going on to distract themselves from feeling unfulfilled in their own life.  So they cause a distraction… aka, Drama.

When you’re doing something exciting, rewarding, or fulfilling with your life, you can feel the energy stirring internally.  When you’re unfulfilled on a soul level, you don’t feel any energy stirring up inside.  Sometimes people try and figure out how to mimic that feeling.  These people will frequently mistake chaotic energy for the positive, fulfilling energy you feel stirring inside when you’re doing something rewarding. 

5. Angry people

Angry people, like some of the other “energy vampires,” are also very easy to spot. However, these energy vampires are different. These people can be very intense.  When dealing with angry people, they draw energy from you in a totally different manner. You put your guard up, literally!  You put up an energetic shield in order to protect yourself. This energetic shield is a real thing. When you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells and feel like you need to have your guard up, your spiritual body will put up an energetic guard or shield. 

You will expend a lot of energy creating this shield out of necessity and protection.  Angry people will then draw upon the energy used to create this shield. They will also go on attack - verbally, physically, talking about you behind your back, sabotaging you when they can, and doing whatever they can to make your life miserable. 

These people tend to have a vicious and evil undertone to them. Their intentions aren’t good, and they seek out people to destroy emotionally or otherwise. This is “the dark side.” When you have to protect yourself energetically, verbally, or physically from someone consistently, there’s no way to deal with this type of situation other than cutting them out of your life… period! 

Amethyst - The Wonder Stone

Amethyst is one of the most widely used, and powerful crystals on earth.  This stone aids in protection, spiritual growth, healing, psychic abilities, inner peace, positive transformation, meditation, balance, stress and communication.  

This stone works with the Third Eye and Crown Chakras, and represents the planet Jupiter.  

Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone. It guards against psychic attack, transmuting the energy into love and protecting the wearer from all types of harm, including geopathic or electromagnetic stress and ill wishes from others.  Amethyst is a natural tranquilizer, it relieves stress and strain, soothes irritability, balances mood swings, dispels anger, range, fear and anxiety. 

Amethyst alleviates sadness and grief, and dissolves negativity.  This beautiful purple stone activates spiritual awareness, intuition and enhances psychic abilities.  It has strong healing and cleansing powers, encourages sobriety, and has a sobering effect on overindulgence of alcohol, drugs or other addictions.  It calms and stimulates the mind, helping you become more focused, enhancing memory and improving motivation.  Amethyst assists in remembering and understanding dreams.  It relieves insomnia, and encourages selflessness and spiritual wisdom.

Amethyst boosts hormone production, tunes the endocrine system and metabolism. It strengthens the immune system, reduces pain and strengthens the body.  It relieves physical, emotional and psychological pain or stress.  

Native American Animal Signs

Native American animal signs are similar to the Zodiac signs, but use animals instead. They have 12 signs, and their meanings are similar to Western astrology signs. Find yours below:

Otter – January 20 – February 18 (Aquarius)
You like to do things in your own way, and it might seem a little kooky to everyone else, but you know that it’ll work better than traditional methods. You see life differently from everyone else, and have an impressive mind.

Wolf – February 19 – March 20 (Pisces)
You want to have a certain amount of space, but you need to have people in your life that you’re close to. Love is an important part of your life, and you need to freely give and receive love constantly.

Falcon – March 21 – April 19 (Aries)
You don’t feel the need to wait for things to get started, and are more than willing to take charge and make the first move. You’re a natural leader, a pioneer, and have confidence in yourself.

Beaver – April 20 – May 20 (Taurus)
You dedicate yourself to whatever task you’re working on, and you do it well. You’re a hard worker and like to do things your own way. You’re excellent at dealing with whatever problem is in front of you and pushing through.

Deer – May 21 – June 20 (Gemini)
Your mind is your greatest asset, and you enjoy learning new things, conversing with others, and coming up with new ideas. People enjoy your company because of how lively you are. Your personality can’t be matched.

Woodpecker – June 21 – July 21 (Cancer)
You’re nurturing and supportive of others, always encouraging and giving other people the comfort that they need. You give to loved ones without much thought, and like taking care of someone.

Salmon – July 22 – August 21 (Leo)
You have a way about you and your personality is so vivacious that people will follow you anywhere you go, and can get pumped up by your speeches. You know what you want, and people want to help you get it.

Bear – August 22 – September 21 (Virgo)
You shrink away from the spotlight, timid and quiet, but are someone who is great at problem-solving and has a practical outlook. You don’t let your emotions lead you astray, and can evaluate any situation with logic and reason.

Raven – September 22 – October 22 (Libra)
You know how to win people over to your side with arguments that are thought out and an ability to understand all sides of a situation. You’re naturally charming and know a lot more than you let on.

Snake – October 23 – November 22 (Scorpio)
You’re attracted to the darker side of life, the mysterious, and the unknown. You’re highly spiritual, a natural healer, and a bit secretive. You like to dig into that which seems scary to others so you can find the truth.

Owl – November 23 – December 21 (Sagittarius)
You’re gregarious and need room to roam, and love to live life to the fullest. You can be daring and rush into things without much thought. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you can quickly figure out how to deal with it positively.

Goose – December 22 – January 19 (Capricorn)
You focus on the things that you want in life, and nothing will keep you from achieving what you set out to do. You don’t rush things, have patience, and stay on track. You can succeed at anything.

Author: Nic Gaudette, Astrology Weekly

http://www.astrologyweekly.com

diviningdusk:

The Minor Arcana (or suits) of the cards are related to astrological symbols. Because of this the Minor Arcana also represent the elements.

Wands/Fire: Sagittarius, Aries, and Leo

Cups/Water: Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio

Swords/Air: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius

pentaclesandstuff:

In General

  • for children: agates, especially blue of any kind as this brings in the angelic realm
  • from the evil eye: tiger eye, malachite, eye agate
  • shielding: fluorite, amber, sapphire
  • during travel (physical and metaphysical): yellow jasper, red jasper, green jasper
  • from depression:

Fear of darkness

is a life wasted blindly sleeping in the artificial light

The assumed comfort breeds contempt

The light of a thousand lies

Imposed onto our eyes like a screen

Those that trust their eyes

Are destined never to bloom.  A life wasted.

But a rose that opens its petals

Sees the truth in the night

How backwards they believe

That heaven is light and hell is night

For only the lies beyond our eyes

But in the hearts of those who dare to see

That darkness is unknown

We seek to see with our flawed human eyes

Only strength to open our minds

Reject the lies, close our eyes

And stand alone in the dark

To see the truth. Alone.

Alone, but not lonely

For the truth brings peace and the eternal bliss

Of knowing the truth, once and for all.

While those asleep in the  light, will never see the night.

Excerpt - Boosting the Magic of the Universe

How you label yourself becomes your identity and the Magic will create exactly what you see, say and feel.  To be successful, and gain that which you desire, you must first see yourself worthy of it.  Ignore past mistakes; they are of no future consequence.  Dismiss current results that are not to your liking or expectation.  A result is not who you are.  Perceived failures are not your identity, and neither are perceived successes.  Your life and who you are are not the result of your results!  Your identity is what you choose it to be; your character comes from how you carry yourself through the results you achieve, good and bad.  Label yourself as incapable and you shall be incapable.  Label yourself as deserving and you shall deserve.  Call yourself poor and indeed you are.  Think of yourself as “broke” and you are broken. 

By Joss Conlon

Curiosity vs. Conformity

Children are just so curious.  It’s beautiful to watch a child discover something for the first time.  Full of questions about life — why is the sky blue?  Why can’t I paint on the walls?  What is a lemur?

When I first discovered makeup as a little girl, I used to paint my eyelids with the bluest color I could find.  I’d ask my mother, with boring shades of tans and browns, why she wouldn’t wear this cool shade of blue?  How boring she was with those earth tones!

Children are so curious, so imaginative and creative, because they’re virtually blank slates; they are born into this earth and discover everything us adults are so used to one day at a time.  They start making connections as they grow older, as their minds become sharper, and as their language skills begin to develop.  They start to ask questions that seem silly to us adults.  

It is somewhere around adolescence, when kids become more social and more concerned with how they fit into their peer group, that they begin to lose that child-like wonder that is so enchanting.  Burdened with the weight of having to make friends, fit in, and avoid being outcasted at all costs, kids look to each other for signs and cues of how to behave — act like those around you, and you won’t stand out… thus, fitting in, which is much more important to many growing kids than being original and unique.  

We should be telling our youth that their curiosity and individuality is their key to true happiness in life.  Be who you are, because you are amazing.  Find out what you are passionate about, and pursue that from this point forward.  Ask questions.  Be curious.  Be yourself.

But we weren’t raised that way.  We were raised to fit in, to get by, and to get along.  When we first realize that we won’t fit in by being who we are, we start to lose our true identity.  Sometimes it could take years to uncover your true identity after years of social conformity throughout the school, and then, work system.  It took me 14 years to realize that about myself… if only I had known when I was 12 that I was special, intelligent, unique and gifted, maybe I would have had the self confidence to actually believe it.  The saddest thing to me is thinking that some people go their entire lives living that lie, not even realizing it to begin with.  Living a false identity in order to conform was agonizing to me, and it scares me to think that I could have been trapped under that mask my whole life if I hadn’t had the courage to step out of my comfort zone.

What I say now to anyone who reads this is to find out what truly means something to you.  What were those questions you loved asking as a kid?  What did you enjoy doing?  What were your favorite books, school subjects, movies, hobbies or activities?  What was your dream job when you were little?  It is never too late to pursue your dreams and to find out who you truly are. 

When you interact with kids, encourage them to be who they are.  Believe them when they tell you something.  Ask them questions.  Treat them like equals.  I bet we have a lot more to learn from our kids than they have to learn from us.