As in the song by Bryan Adams: 
It’s a new world it’s a new start
It’s alive with the beating of young hearts
It’s a new day it’s a new plan
I’ve been waiting for you
Here I am
Here I am

August 2018. The energies of this month add up to 19. The year, 2018 = 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11, and we add August, the 8th month of the year to this, and get 11 + 8 = 19. This reduces to 1, so all the attributes of the number 1 apply to August. Numerologically, we write this as 19/10*, as it is one of the karmic malefic numbers. The karmic 19/10* forces the person to be independent and strive for self-realization and self-development. It is a test of courage, initiative and self-determination. When the will of the 1 is cultivated, together with the 9’s compassion, real progress can be made.

This month has strong yang or male energies. Yang energy is about doing, striving, and setting those goals towards success.

So what is this thing called success? Success is merely the reaching of pre-intended goals. Nothing more, nothing less. You may have many goals in different areas of your life, some that need to be reached daily, others over a longer time period. Reaching what you set out to do in the allocated time period is success. Many small successes lead to big successes.

New long-term projects can be started this month. Careful decisions should be taken to get the best results in future. Set those goals and visualise and “feel” the outcome. Use your innovative side and maintain your originality.

This month is aimed at moving you forward. Set the goal and do what you say you are going to do. That is called integrity. Keep your word to yourself and you will learn to trust yourself. How you do ANYTHING is how you do EVERYTHING. If you can’t keep your word to yourself on the little things, you will not trust yourself to achieve the big things. These will become your habits. Successful people have successful habits. Simple.

If you have not yet stepped into your own power, are dependent on others, or even just holding yourself back for fear of failure, situations may force you to take initiative. Be bold and take that step. This may arise after leaving a marriage, being retrenched, or as a result of the death of a loved one or spouse. Whatever the situation, take that first step forward. Take comfort knowing that you elected to incarnate into this situation, for exactly this reason. Blame nobody. Take action and know that you are stronger than you may think.

Affirmations for this month of August:

• It is safe for me to be an authority
• It is safe for me to be unique
• It is safe for me to be creative
• It is safe for me to stand out
• I can be creative and prosperous at the same time

Become independent! Take control of your life. Lead with compassion. As 2018 is an 11/2* universal year, take others into consideration with every decision you make.

Ethical issues might arise, so don’t be tempted to look the other way in a matter concerning integrity. Speak out in defence of the weak and downtrodden. Be wary of making decisions at the expense of someone else.

Are you feeling powerless? Both abusing power and feeling powerless are egos out of balance.

If you are using a position of power to manipulate others in any way, whether through “my way or the highway”, tears, sulking, blackmail or any other means, expect a backlash. It feels like the Universe has kind of had enough of this energy, rampant in the 1900’s where male dominance, ambition and getting ahead in life at any cost were the order of the day. Manipulation is where one person is used for the benefit of another. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power, and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda. It is a month where any manipulation or power abuse could potentially backfire and blow up in your face, as 19 is a karmic number. An eye for an eye…

Here are 18 of the most common manipulation techniques:

1. Territorial Advantage

A manipulative individual may insist on you meeting and interacting at his/her office, home, car, or elsewhere where he/she feels ownership and familiarity (and where you lack them).

2. Let You Speak First to Establish Your Weaknesses

By asking you general and probing questions, manipulators establish a baseline regarding your thinking and behaviour, from which they can then evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. This questioning with a hidden agenda can occur either at the workplace or in personal relationships.

3. Manipulating with words

Lying, making excuses, being two faced, blaming the victim for causing their own victimisation, bending the truth, strategic disclosure or withholding of key information (mushroom policy), exaggeration, understatements, one-sided bias of an issue, denial… These are all examples of this. Often a manipulator will deny what they are accused of doing, saying it never happened.

4. Overwhelm You with Facts and Statistics

Some individuals enjoy “intellectual bullying” by presuming to be the expert and most knowledgeable in certain areas. They take advantage of you by imposing alleged facts, statistics, and other data. Some people use this technique for no other reason than to feel a sense of intellectual superiority.

5. Overwhelm You with Procedures, Red Tape and Distractions

Certain people use red tape, like paperwork, procedures, laws and by-laws, committees, and other obstacles to maintain their position and power, while making your life more difficult. This technique can also be used to delay fact finding and truth seeking, hide flaws and weaknesses, and evade scrutiny. Like the “I will get back to you” or the “Put it in an email and send it to me” kind of situations to get you to hopefully give up and go away while manipulating you to spend time and effort on obeying their instructions. The strategy of distraction consists of deviating the attention from the important problems by means of continuous inundation of distractions and insignificant information. They do this in politics often, keeping the news focused on racism for example, while bigger issues go unnoticed in the background.

6. Raising Their Voice and Aggression

Raising the voice during discussions is a form of aggressive manipulation. The assumption may be that if they project their voice loudly enough, or display negative emotions, you’ll give in and give them what they want. The shouting is frequently combined with strong body language such as standing or intimidating gestures. When a manipulator accuses a victim of wrongdoing, they are making the victim defend themselves so the manipulator is able to mask their own manipulation techniques. The focus is on the victim, not the accuser. This is also known as gaslighting: turning the light onto the victim to distract attention from themselves. Rage and aggression can shock a victim into submission. The anger is also a tool to shut down any further conversation on the topic as the victim is scared and instead focused on controlling the anger of the aggressor. They might make thinly veiled threats, or come right out and threaten you. Intimidating behaviour isn’t always physical. They might also stalk you, or physically intimidate you by hurting you, or by punching holes in walls, or breaking things. Victims often feel like they are safer staying with a manipulator rather than walking away.

7. Negative Surprises and Giving You Little or No Time to Decide

Some people use negative surprises to throw you off balance and gain a psychological advantage. This can range from offering a lot less money than something is actually worth in a negotiation situation, to a sudden profession that she or he will not be able to come through and deliver in some way. Typically, the unexpected negative information comes without warning, so you have little time to prepare and counter their move. The manipulator may ask for additional concessions from you in order to continue working with you. If they are constantly moving the goal posts in order to confuse you, then it’s likely you’re dealing with a manipulator. It is common in sales and negotiations for a manipulator to put pressure on you to make a decision before you’re ready, hoping that you will “crack” and give in to the demands.

8. Negative Humour, Judging and Criticism

Critical remarks, often disguised as humour or sarcasm, can make you feel inferior and less secure. These can include comments ranging from your appearance, to your older model smart phone, to your background and credentials, to being two minutes late and out of breath. By making you look bad, and getting you to feel bad, the manipulator hopes to impose psychological superiority over you. Or the manipulator openly picks on you. By constantly marginalising, ridiculing, and dismissing you, he/she keeps you off-balance and maintains superiority. The manipulator deliberately fosters the impression that there’s always something wrong with you, and that no matter how hard you try, you are inadequate and will never be good enough. Significantly, the manipulator focuses on the negative without providing genuine and constructive solutions, or offering meaningful ways to help. A manipulator will often be sarcastic about their victim in front of others to lower the self-esteem of the victim and to show others how powerful they are.

9. The Silent Treatment, Punishment and Isolation

By deliberately not responding to your reasonable calls, text messages, emails, or other inquiries, the manipulator presumes power by making you wait, and intends to place doubt and uncertainty in your mind. The silent treatment is a head game where silence is used as a form of leverage. Punishment can include anything from constant nagging, shouting, the silent treatment, physical violence to mental abuse. It is far easier to keep a person under control if they are isolated from family members and friends who could point out to a victim that being treated like that is not acceptable. In my own marriage we moved almost every year, just about when I had finished unpacking and settling the children into new schools and fixing the garden and the house and could start making new friends and become more involved in the community. I was also not allowed to work, and was kept busy every day looking after children and tending to the house, the garden and the finances. Whenever I earned money, I was punished by having equal or more than what I earned removed from the budget, so that I was always kept in financial deprivation.

10. Pretend Ignorance and Diversion

This is the classic “playing dumb” tactic. By pretending he/she doesn’t understand what you want, or what you want them to do, the manipulator makes you take on what is their responsibility. Some children use this tactic in order to delay, stall, and manipulate adults into doing for them what they don’t want to do. Some grown-ups use this tactic as well when they have something to hide, or some obligation they wish to avoid. Diverting the conversation away from the perpetrator’s act and moving the conversation onto a different topic is a typical way predators manipulate their victims. A true manipulator will feign utmost shock and confusion at being accused of any wrongdoing. Their surprise is so convincing that the victim may question their own judgement.

11. Guilt-Baiting, Rewarding and Mood Swings

Examples of this are unreasonable blaming, targeting recipient’s soft spots, holding another responsible for the manipulator’s happiness and success, unhappiness or failures. By targeting the recipient’s emotional weaknesses and vulnerability, the manipulator coerces the recipient into ceding unreasonable requests and demands. Never knowing what mood someone is going to be in is a very useful tool to the predator. It keeps their victim off balance and makes them more malleable. Some manipulators reward victims for “obeying”. This includes buying expensive presents, praising them, giving money, constantly apologising for their behaviour, excessive charm and paying them lots of attention. Someone who manipulates will often guilt trip their victim by saying that they don’t care about them, or that they are selfish or their life is easy. It all helps to keep that person confused and anxious. Somehow in some way, a manipulator’s cheating, lying, and other bad behaviour will be your fault. Perhaps they will tell you that you needed to be home more, or to spend more time with them, lose weight, gain weight, dress sexier, dress less sexy… or give you the classic “Look at what you made me do” speech.

12. Victimhood

The purpose of manipulative victimhood is often to exploit the recipient’s good will, guilty conscience, sense of duty and obligation, or protective and nurturing instinct, in order to extract unreasonable benefits and concessions. The manipulator will themselves take on the role of victim in order to gain sympathy and compassion from those around them by using exaggerated or imagined personal or health issues, dependency, co-dependency, deliberate frailty to elicit sympathy and favour, playing weak, powerless, or the martyr. A manipulator knows that if they can get you to feel sorry for them, then they can manipulate you into switching your focus from their bad behavior to all their trauma or other underlying reasons for their behaviour. They’ll try to get you to focus on their bad childhood, stress at work, their alcoholism, maybe their terrible ex-wife, or how depressed they’ve been. They may tell the victim that they are suicidal, need to go to rehab or detox, or perhaps that they think they have cancer. There are no lengths that these manipulators won’t go to, and many times their pity-inducing stories aren’t even real.

13. Love-bombing and Devaluation

Narcissists typically use love-bombing as a manipulation tactic. They will turn on the charm and get you hooked into thinking this is the best relationship ever, then drop you like a ton of bricks without explanation. By using charm, praise or flattery, they gain the victim’s trust. The victim is naturally happy to receive such compliments but in doing so it lowers their guard. Predators such as psychopaths and sociopaths do not know how to love someone other than themselves, and cannot feel empathy, but they pretend to in order to deceive others into being part of their lives.

14. The strategy of degradation

To make something unacceptable acceptable, the manipulation is often applied slowly and progressively, over a duration of months or years. This is a phenomena that I like to call “The frog who gets boiled alive”. The analogy is that a frog who jumps into very hot water will get such a fright that he will jump right out again, but a frog placed in water that is slowly heated will boil alive. This is something people in healthy relationships do not understand – how someone can allow themselves to get to the point where they are being dreadfully victimised and manipulated and abused, and yet do not leave the manipulator.

15. Triangulation.

Triangulation is similar to a love triangle, although it does not only happen between lovers. Triangulation can happen in any dynamic that involves three people: at work, with children, with friends. A triangle is created with two other people that the manipulator pits against each other to where they believe that each other are the problem, and not the manipulator. This is a dirty trick, and works to keep the blame off of the manipulator, as well as creating an ego feeding frenzy for them. They get their kicks from being fought over, or from knowing that they have enough power and control to upset people to such an extent that they can cause a lot of conflict and stress. This recently happened to me in a business situation, but I saw red flags immediately, confronted the manipulator and walked away from the situation. It reminded me too much of past situations where I saw the “mistress” as the problem and not my husband, and I have learnt a lot since then.

16. Hope.

Manipulators do an oscar-winning performance of getting their victims to believe that this time they really will change. So it’s understandable why the victim keeps believing them. When a Narcissist was once asked why he thought women kept coming back to abusive men, he just smiled and replied: “Because hope dies last.”

17. Faith

Manipulators often use religion to manipulate vulnerable masses and to prevent them from applying critical thinking to situations. Many dreadful things are done in the name of religion, and I for one was physically beaten “out of love” and forced into submission by the “head of the household” in the name of religion, and had vows of “till death do us part” thrown in my face. The church’s “help” in the situation consisted of telling me I needed to be a better wife, go to church more often and pray. Just the other day I was manipulated into not speaking my truth by being told it was a day of rest, because it suited the person at the time to use the Sabbath day as a way to silence me. Naturally this did not go down well with me.

Here are 9 comebacks for dealing with a manipulator:
1. “No.”
2. “I’m very busy right now. Maybe we can discuss this some other time.”
3. “I need you to take a step backwards.”
4. “Don’t talk to me.”
5. “I will talk to you when you calm down.”
6. “My feelings are just as valid as yours.”
7. “That is not acceptable.”
8. “I have value and worth too.”
9. “Go away!”

So, until next month, there is much to ponder about going forward into a new era of uncharted territory. Become aware of where you are being manipulated and get out of the game! YOU are all that stands between success or failure, happiness or unhappiness.

So here are some of the positive traits to focus on in this month of August 2018:
Strong will power, determination, pioneering spirit, originality, leadership ability, unique individuality.
• This energy is highly stimulating, both mentally and verbally
• Life is often bountiful. Providence opens doors
• There is a strong desire for self-actualization
• Pioneer thinking (preparing or opening a new way) brings new possibilities into being
• Many awakenings and new beginnings occur
• Take the initiative with confidence
• Always move forward! Never accept defeat!
• Be future-oriented. Live on the cutting edge
• Move like a pathfinder, with conviction
• Ignite the spark in others and be a catalyser for others` minds
• Welcome the innovative approach. Be a self-starter
• Let the new vision open now
• Be bold and enterprising. Become an entrepreneur
• Magnetise and manifest what you visualise – without harming others
• Cast your bread upon the waters
• Make self-care a priority
• Look to new horizons; live for the untried and impossible
• Be ready to risk
• Be independent and work towards autonomy

Much love
Janet ♥