Food Cravings and the Emotional Body By Dianne Carol

Food Cravings and the Emotional Body
by Dianne Carol

We have all had food cravings, some odder than others (pickles and ice cream have been a running joke for pregnant women for years). Cravings are our body’s way of telling us it wants something.

In interpreting those cravings, we can better understand what is needed. Are we hungry? Are we missing specific nutrients that the body needs? Are there emotional reasons for the craving?

In Ayurveda, (an over 3,000-year-old natural system of medicine from India that translates to “knowledge of life”) each of the 6 tastes is tied to a specific emotion. Knowing this connection, we can better understand the language of our body and what it may be trying to tell us.

Let’s briefly look over the 6 tastes and what their cravings may be telling us. For each one, there is a positive emotion as well as a negative emotion.

Sweet – the sweet taste is the building block for our body, it is the first taste we experience as a baby. Mother’s milk is sweet in taste and all our bodies need to grow. It is tied to love, compassion, joy and happiness. When we crave the sweet taste, maybe what we need is a hug. Is compassion, joy, or happiness what is needed? This is also why we often crave the foods of our childhood or something a loved one made – as it was made with love and what we crave is the memory of that moment more than the food itself. When we overindulge in sweets to the point of excess, the emotions connected are greed, attachment, & possessiveness.

Salty –  sodium is needed to balance the fluids in our body and for nerve and muscle health. It can enhance the other flavors in our foods when used in a balanced way and can be used in excess to preserve foods. The salty flavor is tied to the emotions of courage, enthusiasm, and confidence. How are you feeling emotionally when you crave the salty taste? Sad? Depressed? Bored? When in excess the emotions connected are greed, addiction, temptation, possessiveness, and irritability.

Sour – the sour taste helps us with digestion and appetite. The positive emotions are appreciation, comprehension, understanding, & discrimination. We not only digest food but we digest thoughts and emotions as well. If you crave sour things, you may be looking for clarity. It also awakens the mind and gets energy moving. In excess, it is tied to jealousy, criticism, hyperactivity, & agitation.

Pungent – think onions, garlic, chilis, and anything that adds heat to foods. This taste also helps with digestion and helps move stagnation in the body (think about runny noses after having spicy food). The emotions tied to this taste are enthusiasm, excitement, clarity, and vitality. When you crave the pungent flavor do you feel stagnant in your life? Are you craving excitement and adventure? In excess, it can point to aggressiveness, anger, competitiveness, and envy.

The next two tastes are not craved as often as the others as they are typically consumed mixed with other tastes.

Bitter – the bitter taste is quite cleansing and beneficial to the liver (think greens) – at one time it warned us of ingesting foods that contained toxins and to some is still a turn-off or is masked with other tastes such as sweet (coffee cocoa, tea). The bitter taste is tied to self-awareness, introspection, clarity, and detachment from the material. In excess, loneliness, separation, and cynicism.

Astringent – this “taste” is more of a mouth reaction than a flavor. It is the drying or sometimes puckering of the mouth typically due to tannins (think dry wine, underripe bananas, and pomegranate). The astringent taste is found subtly in a lot of herbs and spices as well as some foods. It is beneficial for the organs and helps release moisture and waste from the body. The positive emotions are grounded, collected, and cohesive. In excess; fear, resentment, rigidity, and anxiousness.

The next time you crave a certain food or find yourself eating a lot of one thing, consider the taste associated with it and ask yourself – is my emotional body trying to tell me something? How do I feel in this moment and what void am I trying to fill? Is it hunger? Nutrients? Or do I need to address some emotions?



Dianne Carol is an Ayurveda wellness coach as well as being trained in various healing modalities.  You can find her working at the register of Crystal Visions where she loves to meet and talk to the customers. She is also available for readings and energy work at the store.



Link to previous Blog Post: Animal Communication: A Pet Project by Jonna Rae Bartges

Animal Communication: A Pet Project by Jonna Rae Bartges

Animal Communication: A Pet Project
by Jonna Rae Bartges

Years ago, when I lived in San Diego with my late husband, we were always taking little excursions to explore the near-by mountains.  Big Bear Lake was a favorite spot.

During one of our sojourns there, we visited the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.  Its team responds to all types of animal emergencies, and they’re able to return 90% of the animals they care for back into the wild.  It’s only when an animal has been injured to the extent that it could never survive on its own that it becomes a permanent resident.

So it was with a majestic Great Horned Owl, whose wing had been shattered by a bullet.  The magnificent beast was sitting on a limb of a tree, calmly staring at us from behind the wire fence encircling his little patch of earth.  Even though he was well-loved and cared for by the sanctuary team, I felt bad he couldn’t fly free.

“I’m so sorry you’re in this cage,” I thought at the beautiful creature.

“Who among you is NOT?” he immediately demanded telepathically.  Startled, I stepped back.  And then I sent the wise being so much love and gratitude.

Animals have always been talking to us, and they’re NOT just thinking, ‘what’s for dinner?’  It’s WE who need to be trained to listen.  In this blog, I’m sharing the seven steps to talk to animals, and the biggest mistake we can make when trying to connect.  Sit!  Stay!

1.Get into your heart.

We tend to be in our heads most of the time.  This is where we store knowledge.  Every book we’ve ever read, every class we’ve taken, everything we’ve ever experienced or heard someone else talking about – all that takes up a lot of space in our head.  Our head is also the source of our judgment, editing, projecting – all of which we’re doing, consciously or unconsciously, every moment of every day.

To prove this to yourself, turn on your TV.  Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and just listen to the audio from whatever program you have on.  If the sound had a color, what color would it be?  If the sound had a shape, and a texture, what would THAT look like?  Again, what color is the sound?  And how does it make you feel?

Now, just ‘pretend’ that you’re moving your ears down onto your heart.  You’re now listening to that TV show through those ears on your heart.  If the sound you’re hearing had a color, what color would it be?  As you continue to listen through the ears on your heart, if the sound had a shape, and a texture, what would THAT look like?  Again, what color is the sound as you’re listening through your heart, and how does it make you feel?

So, could you notice any kind of a difference in what you were perceiving as you shifted your focus from your head to your heart?

The head is Knowledge, where we judge.  The heart is Wisdom, where we compassionately connect.  The more you practice shifting from your head into your heart, the more profound a difference you’ll be able to detect.

Our pets, and all animals, are coming from that heart-centered perspective.  So, the first step in effective animal communication is shifting your ears, and your mouth, onto your heart. You’re going from a place of judgment to one of lovingly syncing up.

2. Don’t make eye contact. That’s a power thing.

Instead, respectfully keep your eyes focused down to show respect and submissiveness.

3. Ask permission to connect.

There’s a chance the animal just doesn’t desire to link up with you at this very moment.  So silently, with your mouth on your heart, ask the animal if they’d like to communicate with you.  Stay in that heart-centered space of compassion and respect.  You’ll be able to just ‘feel’ if the animal is interested or not.

4. Listen to see if they want to speak first.

When pets or even wild animals can feel you’re inviting connection in a positive, non-threatening way, you may find they’ve been waiting patiently for you to be receptive.  They just might have something to say to YOU now that they realize you’re truly listening.

5. Ask your question.

As you’re picturing your mouth being right there on your heart, ask the animal your question either silently or out loud.

6. Listen for the answer.

Just like when you were listening to the TV through your heart, it might feel a bit awkward at first trying to ‘hear’ what your pet is saying to you.  As with anything, the more you work at this, the easier it’s going to become to quickly get in the receptive zone and receive accurate information.

7. Thank the animal.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  Let the animal know you appreciate its patience with you as you learn this new ‘language.’  Remember, this new form of connecting is strange at first for your pets, too.  They’re not used to you shifting into their wavelength so intentionally, so give them a grace period to get used to it, too.

Shifting from your head into your heart to connect is a very powerful tool, and you’ll quickly see how it can completely change the dynamic between you and your pet in the most positive way.

Another effective method to communicate with the beasties when they’re venturing into the dark side is to shift your consciousness into your heart again, and this time, send them a picture of the behavior you DO desire of them.

For instance, when your dog is barking, what will you probably say?  “STOP BARKING,” right??  And what picture is that sending to the pup?  Your words, and the emotion behind them, are clearly sending your pet a strong picture of them barking.  Instead, think of what the ideal behavioral shift would be – maybe a silent, happy puppy playing with a favorite toy?  Send that thought to the dog instead and watch what starts to happen.

Be patient – you’re introducing a whole new way of connecting with your pets.  Both you and your animals will be making some profound energetic shifts.  But give it a try!  Linking up with your pet in such a compassionate and deep way can be a real treat – for both of you.

GOOD human!


Jonna Rae Bartges created PSI: Practical Spirituality Institute to be the happy medium between the worlds of science and spirit. She’s a Reiki Master attuned by Virginia Samdahl, Emmy-winning TV producer, author, speaker, and approved provider of professional development contact hours for nurses.  Every second Saturday at Crystal Visions, she teaches an interactive workshop to help people connect with their natural intuitive ability.  Learn more on her website at




Link to previous Blog Post: Enhancing Your Intuition and Spiritual Connection by Julie King

Planetary Trends for July 2024 by Belinda Dunn

WHAT’S UP – July 2024
Belinda C. Dunn
Cancer New Moon
July 5 @ 6:57 pm
Capricorn Full Moon
July 21 @ 6:17 am
Fireworks and fanfare, parades and picnics, the United States celebrates 248 years of history. However, at this crucial turning point, July begins with more questions than answers. No matter where one turns these days, there is little availability of forthright and reliable answers, much less consensus.
No doubt, pundits and prognosticators of every persuasion are attempting to predict outcomes. It’s almost laughable, except so many prevailing issues are dead serious.
At every turn we hear the word, “unprecedented,” and astrologers agree. A major confluence of planetary trends confirm the unique and unpredictable nature of current events, but used wisely, astrology is a cosmic weather report. With this in mind, let’s begin with overall trends for July, and conclude with my annual, “Astrological State of the Union.”
The first week of July is very active as Mercury enters Leo on the 2nd. On the positive side, Mercury transiting through Leo is playful and entertaining, fun loving and creative. Symbolized by the majestic lion, this zodiac sign of leadership is naturally proud, strong and courageous. Inspirational speaker Simon Sinek has this to say, “Leadership is the awesome responsibility to see those around us rise. You, everyone of us, can choose to be the leader we wish we had.”
In general, Mercury is the planet of communication, governing the essential processes of thinking, learning, writing, speaking and listening. At its best, Mercury bestows intelligence, mental agility, curiosity and discernment. As Mercury transits through Leo, individuals and groups may proudly and vehemently defend their point of view. Fixed opinions and stubborn mindsets may prove difficult to counter. Even under threat, the lion will never back down, and fight to the end. This is a month to avoid getting caught in circuitous arguments, and choose your battles wisely.
In particular, Mercury opposes Pluto on July 2-4, stirring up trouble. Watch for obsessive thinking, power struggles, confrontation, disclosures and revelations. Later in July, Mercury squares Uranus on the 21st, the first of three aspects. Due to a retrograde phase in August, Mercury will activate this planet of unexpected turnarounds over the next seven weeks. Anything goes in this turbulent and stormy election season as Mercury squares Uranus for the second time on August 18, and again on September 6-7.
Life happens against the backdrop of the 28 day lunar cycle, and New Moons are optimal for planting seeds of intention. Time set aside for contemplation, assessment and goal setting is fruitful and productive. Like having a wind at our back, the more we consciously participate in natural cycles, the more cosmic forces can assist.
On July 5th, New Moon in Cancer sets the stage for upcoming events. In addition to Moon conjoining Sun, beautiful Venus joins the party, beginning to rise in the evening sky on July 11. All together, these factors indicate a return to home base. Also transiting through Cancer, Venus amplifies heartfelt issues surrounding home and family life. Venus reminds us that security is not just material comfort, but a sense of emotional safety, bonds of affection and acceptance.
Fast forward to the Full Moon on July 21st. Now things really begin heating up in a perfect storm of astrological trends. In addition to the uncertainty of Mercury square Uranus, the Full Moon intensifies power struggles. And pouring more fuel on the fire, Mars conjuncts Uranus on July 15, entering communicative Gemini on the 20th. All together, these trends collide during the RNC Convention, and although outcomes are undetermined as of now, the social atmosphere is obviously inflammatory and volatile.
Let’s zero in on the Full Moon, and the message it presents. Along the eastern seaboard, illuminating the nation’s capital, Sun rises at dawn as Moon sets in the west. Additionally, conjoining the Moon, Pluto is setting in the west. Astrologically, this is an amazing synchronicity with long term implications for the nation and world. Symbolically, it’s all about authority and leadership, power and control. Heavy handed, forced control is no longer advisable or effective for society at large. At its best, despite appearances, these planetary trends support a widespread redefinition of power for generations to come.
With all this in mind and heart, let’s turn to the United States as reflected in astrological trends. The most widely used chart is calculated for July 4, 1776, 5:10 pm, Philadelphia, PA. This is an ideal time to take a broad view of the nation’s destiny since Neptune is stationary, and retrograde on July 2nd. In other words, Neptune continues to be a prominent influence similar to that historic day in 1776. In fact, if Neptune had been discovered, and the founders had telescopes, they would have seen Neptune directly overhead. Getting perspective on Neptune is key to understanding the country.
Neptune’s influence can be difficult to detect, because it manifests in extremes. The highest expression is idealism, the perfect picture, as put forth in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” While these are inspiring and admirable ideals for the founding of a country, at this juncture, this brings us to another gigantic question mark. How realistic are these ideals given the current social environment?
This brings us to the darker side of Neptune which distorts spiritual truth for personal gain, and thereby codifies it into ideology. Depending on social norms, culture and historical context, beliefs shift and change over time. So, what happens when idealism meets reality? The natural spiritual aspiration of Neptune gets lost in translation. Ideals become tainted, spun, twisted and turned into concepts, dogma, religion, politics, and moralistic declarations of right and wrong.
Even the Bible states, “For now we see through a glass, darkly.” It is virtually impossible to replicate, or even understand, spiritual reality in this world of form. Neptune’s influence is otherworldly, literally out of this world.
Again, the United States chart is very revealing in that Neptune is overhead, but in stressful aspect with another prominent planet, Mars. Not only does this increase patriotic tendencies, but the collective identity asserts itself blindly at times, driven by passionate beliefs that may, or may not, be true. Mars fights for what it “thinks” is right.
Not only this, but Mars is in communicative Gemini. On the plus side, the country has led the world in telecommunications, transportation and technology. Mars in Gemini is naturally curious, exploring and traveling the globe. An interest and appreciation of other nationalities has made it the most diverse country in the world. Home to the everyday hero, this planetary combination supports humanitarian outreach at home and abroad.
As of May 25th, Jupiter entered Gemini, and over the coming year, these characteristics will become even more pronounced. In perfect synchronicity, Jupiter conjoins Uranus in the USA chart on July 4th. And, Jupiter conjoins Mars in the USA chart next spring, April 30, 2025. Promising a pivotal year for the country, Jupiter bestows optimism, abundance, opportunity and good fortune. So no matter what is happening politically, many circumstances stand to benefit from Jupiter’s positive rays.
In fact, Jupiter is the planetary ruler of the USA chart (Sagittarius Ascendant), and the overall social environment leans toward friendliness, honesty, joviality, generosity and growth. However, when taken to extremes, Jupiter’s potential morphs into prideful arrogance. Comedian and commentator Bill Mahar says, “In a study of eight developed countries, USA students scored dead last in math skills, but were #1 in confidence in math skills. Yes, we’re #1 in thinking we’re #1 !”
The next important piece to the puzzle is more technical, but bears interpretation. Astrologers pay attention to the calculated timing of a progressed Moon 30+ year cycle. As of March 25, 2024, the country experienced a progressed New Moon in Pisces. Loosely interpreted, this trend represents conclusion, the ending of cycles, but literally the dark of the Moon without clear direction. Generally, it takes a full year before new direction becomes apparent, and this brings us to 2025.
Additionally, transiting Saturn is exactly conjoining the USA progressed Moon in Pisces. To review, Saturn is bottom line reality, down to earth, practical and responsible. Society is enduring a tremendous push and pull between illusory and fabricated “truth,” and common sense. In the end, Saturn will prevail, but using the analogy of a jet plane coming in for a very bumpy landing . . . what will it take for citizens to come to their senses?
To answer this question, let’s return to the USA chart. As mentioned, Neptune is prominent at the apex of the chart. But, importantly, Neptune was in Virgo that July day in 1776. This position is the epitome of pragmatic and practical realism, putting ideals to work in the name of service to the greater whole.
However, currently transiting through Pisces, Neptune is opposite its original placement in Virgo. Essentially, Neptune dissolves boundaries of everyday awareness, opening consciousness to greater meaning and purpose. Presently, a majority of people find themselves stuck in the daily grind in lives devoid of meaning, and bereft of purpose.
Over time, this has created a vacuum for other forces with their agendas to take hold and take over. This is the most challenging effect of Neptune. The human psyche is malleable, and depending on conditions, susceptible to manipulation, programming, coercion and control. And if this isn’t enough adversity, the darkest side of Neptune involves all manner of intoxicating substances, and mental illness.
On national and global levels, one planetary cycle after another is peaking and ending this year. In so many words, the call to pray for the soul of America is not too far off. Individually and collectively, we are hard pressed to examine and redefine guiding principles in order to effectively address a multitude of issues. This is not the time to hide one’s head in the sand, but face reality squarely, heroically, and “keep on keeping on.”
Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation.;

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