SO REFINED: READING FOR THE VIRGO NEW MOON ECLIPSE

The Virgo New Moon Eclipse is an invitation to refine and redesign your world from the inside out, says Sandra Sitron. Artwork: Anastasia Borowska

We have a New Moon Solar Eclipse at 9 degrees Virgo on Thursday, September 1st at 5:03 am ET

The New Moon is a chance to start fresh. And THIS New Moon coincides with a Solar Eclipse, which also speaks to new beginnings. At the time of a Solar Eclipse, we collectively experience a massive reset. If we want to follow the flow of this energy, it is a time to be quiet and feel into where we are ready to make a fresh start.

Occurring in Virgo, the cosmos suggests that this fresh start may be in the area of Self-Improvement. Virgo refines, refines, and refines some more. And Virgo practices. With each new approach Virgo makes practical adaptations and adjustments. Because Virgo is an Earth sign, the focus here is on improving anything that is of the material world. Our health. The environment. The work that we do to sustain ourselves.

I have the sense that this Virgo New Moon Eclipse as being like the moment just before conception. No plans have been made. The DNA has not yet been arranged. We are in the space between breaths; a moment that is at once empty and full of promise. Virgo is so practical, so earthly, and so full of thoughts. This New Moon offers a chance for the thoughts to stop and a door to open. So where does the doorway lead?

As you ponder this question, allow yourself as much space as you need. Know that you can change everything or nothing. Give yourself the gift of agency and of vision. Start asking yourself questions and writing intentions. Know that anything is possible. When you write an intention, imagine how it would feel if that intention were actualized. Muster up this feeling with high-emotion and sit with it momentarily.

These questions may help prompt Virgo New Moon intentions…

– What adjustments do you want to make in your habits?
– What adjustments do you want to make in your schedule?
– What adjustments do you want to make in your work?

If your body could talk, what would IT say to you? What does your body need? Write a letter addressed from your body to yourself. And now ask…

– What is the smallest change you can make to improve your health?
– What would support you most in creating positive changes in your life?
– What is one thing you can easily shift to make your life more efficient?
– What is one thing taking up your time and energy that is not a priority? Can you change it?

***

The Stellium in Virgo
The concentric circles of a ripple in water.
The Moon joins the Sun, North Node, Jupiter and Mercury, all clustered in the sign of Virgo. A grouping of planets and points like this is called a Stellium. A Stellium creates a powerful focus of energy. This energy says: In this fresh start we reflect (Mercury Retrograde,) we expand (Jupiter) and we align with our purpose (North Node). Underlying all of this, we are making practical adjustments that bring us closer to our Earthly ideals (Virgo).

The symbol of the ripple in water shows us how powerful and focused this energy is. What intention caused the ripple in the water? How far will it reach? For there to be a ripple in water, the water must be still. Virgo energy is hardly ever still. Mutable Virgo energy is represented by the spiral—continuous adjustments to thoughts and actions. Part of Virgo medicine is the practice of mindfulness. Stilling the waves of the mind through meditation is a critical piece in the Virgo story. This stellium helps us create mindfulness and set focused new intentions for reflection, expansion and alignment with purpose. Then we can watch the ripples change our lives.

***

The New Moon is in a T-Square with Mars, Saturn and Neptune. A T-Square is an aspect pattern (two squares and an opposition), that looks like an arrow in the sky. It is tension that provokes action. By design, it helps us motivate. The stimulus to motivation is the challenge.

The New Moon Square Saturn and Mars
An arrow flies into the wind.
The arrow in flight is us being brought to emotional action. We can no longer deny our needs. We can no longer deny who we are. We must come to some sort of confrontation with the wind. We are moving through the wind and yet it pushes against us, restricting and blocking. Through the restriction we grow stronger. We need the restriction. We need the confrontation. We need to move through it so that we can finally see the truth.

The New Moon Opposite Neptune
A jigsaw puzzle falls to the floor.
We see the truth but then it vanishes. Or we create a picture of the truth and then realize that it was not real. We need to look and look again. We need to pick up the pieces and decide how they fit together. Maybe they create a different picture than the one we thought we saw. We need to do the work of fitting the pieces together one by one so that we can move toward the big picture that we desire.

This aspect tantalizes us with fantasy. Fantasy is how we manifest what we desire. Yet fantasy is also a construction of our subconscious. If we fantasize without practicing mindfulness, we will falter. If we create stories that are based on unexamined and outdated subconscious beliefs we will be continuously starting the puzzle from scratch.

***

So in the dark of this Virgo New Moon eclipse, sit and quiet your mind. Create a fantasy that reflects your truth. This will be your vision. Put it together piece by piece. Watch as the arrow gains strength and speed. Watch as the ripples of your intentions cause positive change. Pause in this moment before conception, practice stillness, and then use the below mantra for your sign to practice the art of refinement.

Aries :: Aries Rising
“My habits feel healthy and mindful. I enjoy efficiency in my daily life.”

Taurus :: Taurus Rising
“I am a conscious creator. I live a joyous and abundant existence.”

Gemini :: Gemini Rising
“I create a warm and loving nest. I nurture myself and I feel supported.”

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
“I am curious and playful.”

Leo :: Leo Rising
“I feel abundant and easeful. I believe in my inherent worth.”

Virgo :: Virgo Rising
“I fan the fire of my individuality. I am just as I need to be. All is well.”

Libra :: Libra Rising
“I am always connected because all of life is connected.”

Scorpio :: Scorpio Rising
“I encourage my hopes, dreams and aspirations. I envision a bright future for the collective.”

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius Rising
“I align easily with my purpose. I am moving forward.”

Capricorn :: Capricorn Rising
“I seek new philosophies.”

Aquarius :: Aquarius Rising
“I trust that I am safe to feel my feelings.”

Pisces :: Pisces Rising
“I am supported in relationship.”

STRONG EYE ASTROLOGY: AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 4

A sign-by-sign reading of this week’s cosmic climate, direct from the third eye of Sandra Sitron—a.k.a. Strong Eye Astrology

 

Virgo :: Virgo Rising
A balloon floating in the sky. This is an important time for you to zero in on who you are, what you need, and where you are going. The next few weeks will bring a look to the past. What have you not been communicating? Where have you been ignoring your truth? This week, on Thursday’s New Moon, use your imagination to envision how you would like your life to be. Because of the New Moon making a square to Saturn, it may be easier to see what is blocking you from your vision. But Saturn blocks us because he wants us to stop and learn a lesson. The lesson for you could be about denying emotions, or issues with home or family. Or all of the above. Use this time to refocus your desire for self-improvement. Rediscover how you can best be of service to the world. Honor your process by giving yourself the support you need to blossom. Your regiment can include ritual, blessing, prayer, meditation, cleansing, healthy eating, exercise, a structured schedule, or time in nature. The “balloon floating away” symbolizes letting go. Let go of worries and anxiety. Create a vision and focus on that instead.

Libra :: Libra Rising
An orange sunset. Your sunset symbolizes your journey into the night. The night is the subconscious stories and patterns that are not always seen. Over the next few weeks you will revisit old habits and patterns that are no longer serving you. You may need to retreat. You may need to get very quiet so that you can see your deepest truth. Thursday’s New Moon gives you a chance to plant seeds for new habits and new behaviors. To create the new habits, you will have to look at the old habits. You are journeying into the night, into the mist, so use all of your senses and emotions as your guide. Thursday’s New Moon will square Saturn, so you may find that it’s easiest to see your subconscious patterns by recognizing where you are challenged. The challenges will be coming from your mindset (is the chatter of your mind too loud right now?) The challenges may also be coming from relationships with friends, neighbors, acquaintances, or siblings. Or it may be that you need to learn or communicate something important. Seek balance first by giving yourself empathy and creating a dialogue with your innermost self. Write yourself a letter. Journal. Ask yourself questions and wait for the answers. If you are having trouble making decisions it means that you need to pay attention to your true feelings. Watch the bright orange sunset and then journey boldly into the night.

Scorpio :: Scorpio Rising
Drinking a lemonade on the front porch as you watch the storm roll in. This symbol is about calmly watching a storm of emotion. A perfect storm is brewing. But you understand that the plants need the rain, that all of life is a cycle. You understand that the emotions must come through, must be seen, explored, observed. And that then it will pass. Right now your focus is on how all of humanity has the same experience, and how we can all work together to create a better future. The future starts with you. Over the next few weeks you may revisit how you imagine your own future. Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Do you still encourage your hopes, dreams and aspirations? Can you still envision a better future for the collective? As you watch the storm of emotion roll in and you notice how people collectively react, can you stay focused on the solution and not the problem? Use the New Moon on Thursday to create powerful and magical visions and intentions for the future. For you own personal dreams and for the future of humanity. Live in the vision. Live in the solution. Give your wishes to the Moon and let her plant the seeds. The New Moon and Saturn will be square and this aspect creates a challenge that is meant to help you grow. The challenge you are facing comes from a need for security and a possible fear of scarcity. Notice where you feel like you don’t have enough. This feeling may be impacting your optimism. Find small ways to get your needs met. Notice and practice gratitude for what you have. Watch your emotions, learn from your emotions, and nourish yourself with optimism.

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius Rising
A camel on a long walk. The “camel on a long walk” symbolizes your quest and adaptability. Over the next few weeks you may find yourself going over your career goals and ambitions with a fine tooth comb. Are you on track to your destination? Have you gone off course? What details did you miss? What is your true ambition? Thursday’s New Moon brings a moment for you to refocus your career goals and create new intentions for how you want to shine out in the world. The New Moon is square to Saturn. Saturn helps us grow by challenging us. Sometimes this challenge feels like a block. Your challenge is about your identity and personality. Who are you really? Notice if you are getting caught up in public opinion or if you are worrying too much about what other people think. You may be taking yourself very seriously. Allow any challenge that may come up about who you are to help you identify who you want to be out in the world. Adapt like the camel—adapt to new vision of yourself. Then identify your career goals and proceed on your journey.

Capricorn :: Capricorn Rising
Tossing dice. Over the next few week you will be revisiting how you can be of service to the world. Maybe you need to take more risks, as your symbol would suggest. Maybe you need to travel more and find out who you are in relation to the world. Every trip and exploration that you take will be a discovery of something that was missed forgotten. You need to review so that you can move forward fully informed. Thursday’s New Moon happens in the area of your chart that rules travel, exploration and risk-taking. Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Do it so that you can rediscover who you are and how you can serve humanity. The New Moon on Thursday offers you a chance to set intentions for growth, risk-taking, discovery, adventure, exploration, expansion and optimism. The New Moon is square to Saturn. Saturn creates a challenge that is meant to help us grow. Your current challenge comes from unexamined habits and patterns. If you feel blocked, pay close attention to your emotions to discover why. Ask yourself how you are feeling. Ask yourself where the feeling is located in your body. Ask yourself when the first time you had that feeling was. Try to rediscover the root experiences and memories that may be subconsciously creating your feelings. Investigate your subconscious so that you can create more conscious awareness and expand. Take two risks this week. One risk you need to take is to delve deep into the mysteries of your psyche. The other risk is to expand out into the world and discover who you are and how you can be of service.

Aquarius :: Aquarius Rising
A pig rolling in the mud. The boar or pig symbolizes spiritual strength. Connection to Mother Earth is strong in this symbol. Mud, like blood, can symbolize primordial substance. The next few weeks you may find yourself revisiting you own “mud.” Your deepest primal emotions. Your comfort with life cycles. Birth—Sex—Death—Birth. You may experience a personal rebirth. Thursday’s New Moon creates an opportunity for you to set intentions for letting go. Where have you been holding on to control? Roll in the mud and cleanse and heal yourself. Let everything that is not necessary fall away. The New Moon is square to Saturn. Saturn presents a challenge that is meant to help you grow. The challenge comes from your current ability to believe in a bright future for yourself and the collective. Hold on to your highest hopes and aspirations. If you find it hard to get perspective, focus on the mud. Dig into your emotions and allow cathartic healing to take place.

Pisces :: Pisces Rising
Looking into a clear pond. You peer into the pond and see a clear reflection of yourself. Over the next few weeks you will be revisiting how you are in relationship to others. Do you ask for everything you need? Do you communicate? Are you seen and heard? Do you listen to others? Is there balance? Are you able to give and receive? Thursday’s New Moon will happen in your house of relationship, so this will be your chance to set intentions for your best vision of relationship. What exactly is your vision? Don’t ask yourself what you think is possible, ask yourself what you want. Then give your wishes to the Moon. Plant these seed intentions in your mind. Create affirmations for fulfilling relationships. The New Moon makes a square to Saturn. Saturn helps us grow by challenging us. Your current challenge may have to do with how you are out in the world. You may feel blocked or stuck in your career or vocation. This is an opportunity for you to take yourself more seriously and create the exact career that you want. Part of your purpose is to help people evolve into the highest versions of themselves. Make sure to get enough time for meditation and retreat this week so that you can stay centered in your vision. Take very good care of yourself. Build up your strength as you usher in a new vision of relationship and career while maintaining your own center.

Aries :: Aries Rising
Fireflies. The symbol of the firefly takes us into the world of the insects. Insect symbolism usually points to tenacity, patience and detachment. All of these qualities are important to you right now. Over the next few weeks you will be revisiting the practical systems of your life. Muster up patience and systematically create better habits and organization for yourself. You will be reviewing the details. Digging into the “small picture.” Cleaning out the junk drawer. Thursday’s New Moon happens in the area of your chart that rules self improvement. For this you will need tenacity and detachment. Don’t allow self-improvement to feel self-critical. Instead, focus on setting intentions for healthy habits. Improve your productivity and work flows. Keep chipping away at what isn’t working and make adjustments. Frame these adjustments in a positive light. How would you like your daily life, work and health to feel? Saturn will be making a square to the New Moon. Saturn challenges us so that we can grow. Your challenge will be coming from your philosophies about life. If you are blocked right now, you may decide to review your beliefs about the world. Maybe it’s time to look at the big picture in a different way. Maybe a shift in philosophy will further your ability to expand. Seek out inspiration.

Taurus :: Taurus Rising
Ice fishing. Fragrant smelling begonias. The flowers are bright and delightful. Over the next few weeks you will revisit your relationship with your creativity. You may realize that you need to have more fun. The world needs your special gifts. This New Moon offers you a chance to shine. Set intentions to share your creative spirit with the world. And contemplate how you would like to have more fun and play in your life. The New Moon is square to Saturn. Saturn helps us grow by showing us a place where we are restricted. The challenge you face comes from the area of your chart that rules control and letting go. Where can you relax and become more playful? Maybe you can let go of old emotions by expressing them through your creativity. If you find yourself feeling very somber, it means that you have some digging to do. You need to dig into your deep emotions. Focus on the bright flowers. They can remind you of joy, beauty, and grace as you let go of what you no longer need. When you are unburdened it will be easier to shine bright in the full light of your creative self.

Gemini :: Gemini Rising
Eating grapes off the vine. Nourishing and nurturing yourself. Over the next few weeks you will be reviewing your sense of emotional security. How you take care of yourself. How you work with your emotions. The New Moon on Thursday brings you a chance to set intentions around emotions, home and family. Home can mean the home that you live in now, the home that you came from, your ancestors, or your roots. Family can mean the family that you came from and the family that you create. Think about how you want to process your emotions. Think about what you want your home and family to feel like. Then create powerful intentions and give your wishes to the moon. The New Moon is square to Saturn. Saturn helps us grow through showing us something challenging. This challenge may show up in the area of relationships. Relationships can teach us so much about ourselves. If you are feeling a block or a challenge in the area of relationships, you may be able to work through it by setting intentions for emotional security. Feed yourself those grapes of nurturance. Take care of your inner child so that you are feeling secure. This can help you show up in relationship from a place of internal stability.

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
Swimming laps. Back and forth in the water. Laps symbolize repetition, practice, and health. Water symbolizes your emotions. You need create a practice that can support your mindset. You may be all over the place mentally right now. If so, this would be related to emotional ups and downs. Over the next few weeks you will be re-examining how you think and how your thoughts influence your emotions. The New Moon on Thursday can help you set intentions for learning and connecting. You may need to engage in a lot of conversations with your community. You may want to uncover all of the facts. Get really curious. Interview yourself. Ask lots of questions of yourself and others. But don’t get too attached to what you learn. Just let the learning flow in and see what you find. This New Moon is square to Saturn. Saturn shows us where we need to grow by presenting a challenge. The challenge you are working with has to do with your ability to create healthy habits. A meditation practice will be very helpful now. Find a repetitive practice that feels grounding. Allow yourself to swim back and forth in the pool of your emotions. Notice what comes up with curiosity. Keep churning the waters without getting too attached to your thoughts. There is so much mental energy affecting you right now, notice what comes up in your mind and then let it all go. Set intentions to be lightly curious.

Leo :: Leo Rising
A blazing bonfire. The bonfire symbolizes a ceremony, a party, or a cleansing ritual. Over the next few weeks you will take a closer look at how you sustain yourself. Have you been meeting your basic needs?Do you believe in abundance? This New Moon offers you a chance to set fresh intensions for abundance and security. Build a big bonfire. Watch the leaping flames and burn away any fears of not having enough. Remind yourself that you are sustained by Mother Earth and by your own inherent resilience and creativity. The New Moon is square to Saturn. Saturn challenges us so that we can grow. You challenge comes from believing in your own light and creativity. You shine as bright as the bonfire, but right now it may be hard for you to see your path. You are going through a time period of re-examining how you share your creativity with the world. Use this moment to set intentions that will help you believe in your own worth and creative gifts.

To book a private reading with Sandra email [email protected] or visit Strongeyeastrology.com

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: BURNING MAN PREP AND A COSMIC CONNECTION

Seem like everybody is deep in Burning Man prep? I’m getting ready for next week’s super intense Virgo New Moon Eclipse… Club SÖDA NYC images: Katrin Albert

Hosting Club SÖDA NYC with Biet Simkin and amazing Betsy LaFae

 

:: MONDAY ::
A reiki session with Jessica Brodkin—an energy healer I met recently who used to work for the CIA, and does stand-up comedy on the side. My kinda Material / Mystical gal! And as well laying like a TON of crystals on me (including a perfectly clear quartz Ganesh on my second chakra), what I loved about the way Jessica works is that she also provided a running commentary about what was going on. I really love the concept of reiki—a mystical healing energy that we can all learn how to channel? Yes please!—but since the effects are so subtle I can often leave a session wondering, did anything just happen?!

But as Jessica got my chakras spinning (fave takeaway: “I’m not sure how to describe this except to say your sacral chakra is now looking on fleek”), she also spoke highly intuitively about issues I’m currently facing, gave a cool book recommendation, suggested some crystals for me to work with, and helped me say a forgiveness prayer. Overall, I left feeling like I’d had a total energetic tune-up. Find out more about Jessica and book a session at Loveandlightservices.com

:: TUESDAY ::

Club SÖDA NYC! Biet Simkin and I had an amazing turn-out for our second big Soda event, which (of course) we had timed specifically to coincide with the Sun’s move into Virgo—sign of health, wellbeing, and service. This is the month to really connect to the concept of how a healthy body and mind allows us to most efficiently show up and do our dharma. And, as we head towards next Thursday’s Virgo New Moon, now is the perfect time to let any and all unhealthy habits (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual!) just fall way.

The 9/1 New Moon is also a solar eclipse AND Mercury will have just gone retrograde. Add in a formidable T-square (the Moon, Sun, Mercury and North Node in Virgo will square Mars and Saturn in Sag, and oppose Neptune in Pisces) we are talking some intensely karmic and unpredictable REBIRTH energy out there. I for one intend to be clean and clear and fully on my A-game!

More Club SÖDA NYC vibes: a.k.a. how it feels to get high on your own supply

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Some of my most mystical moments are found in the experience of deep, soul connection with my fellow humans. Doesn’t it feel like MAGIC when that chemistry happens? In love, at work, and in our most precious friendships. I took two hours out for lunch today with a friend who makes me feel that way—and time stopped, the cosmos aligned, and it fed me more than a thousand hours of reiki. Heaven on earth.

:: THURSDAY ::
OMG. Got news that Cara Delevigne and her sister Poppy have ordered two of our Vinyasa sweatshirts to take to Burning Man. That is all.

Vinyasa shirt, $69

:: FRIDAY ::
In fact, for all you Burners out there, may I point you in the direction of some Numinous reading for your journey to the Playa. See you there next year!

How To Survive Your First Time At Burning Man

Is Burning Man A Spiritual Game Changer?

26 Life Lessons My Burning Man Experience Taught Me

HOLY F*CK: IS MODERN DATING ALL ABOUT SECOND BEST?

Is second best enough when it comes to modern dating? Alexandra Roxo breaks her six-month self-love and celibacy regime to find out…

Over sushi last Friday with my friend Kristina, she suggested that perhaps it was time for me to dip a toe back in the dating game. I’d taken a six month break from sex and dating in the name of self-love and self growth, and, Jesus, that felt like long enough. But as Kristina recounted her latest dating exploits, I wanted to run for the hills—a.k.a. bury myself back in Doreen Virtue videos in my muumuu, with nothing but some Coconut Bliss in bed with me!

Okay, so maybe dating isn’t all that bad. I have a handful of friends that have found their “life partners” in the past year. Hopelessly in love. Soul mate status. One couple met on Tinder. One at Burning Man. Two other friends who just passed a decade met their loves out with friends, and just felt instantly “at home.” And these couples keep me full of hope.

But the rest of us perhaps fall into two categories:

-Those of us in a string of casual romances, engaging with people that seem exciting but just aren’t available or right.

-Or those of us sitting it out and waiting/minding our own business (a.k.a. dancing and having fun and meditating and sometimes feeling bored and starved of love).

So what’s best while searching for true love? Keeping on dating people who don’t seem “in it to win to it” (i.e. are always busy, “wanna keep it chill” and “low pressure with no commitment” blah blah) Or waiting it out? I feel like the easiest thing when it comes to modern day dating and sex is to accept what’s there: perhaps someone hot and fun who meets some of our needs, but not all. Especially since: “You can’t have it all.” Right?

Last week in our first Holy F*ck salon I heard a lot of this. Women accepting half loves. Or a morsel of connection. Or a lot of drunk sex with regretful mornings but fun nights. I’ve talked to friends too who are torn about this. We ponder “Should I go on casual dates? Spend that time on dating apps? Is it worth it if you know your heart’s not in it and neither is theirs?”

I’d been a serial monogamist for ten whole years, and last year upon being single and freshly in Los Angeles I found myself busy but not really satisfied. There was the hot writer who was in a failing open relationship (a.k.a. still in love with someone) but who would stare into my eyes with such passion when we had sex and orgasmed in tandem, and put cinnamon in my coffee.

Then there was the high school teacher who wanted to be called “Daddy” in bed and didn’t tell me he was engaged until date four. The friend of six years who professed his love and then confessed he had a new girlfriend. The Hollywood director who wined and dined me and wrote a part based on my life in his T.V. show, and then mentioned casually on date three he was in an open relationship of two years after ordering me an Uber town car home.

Not forgetting the famous musician who told me he wanted to meet my mom and refused to wear condoms, and who my friend saw on a dating app the next day. All. Unavailable. (And three out of five of these men meditate daily and do plant medicine or Buddhist retreats btw!)

There were women too. And at least they were more forthcoming and told me on date two they were just in it for fun casual vibes or what not. But overall it was a lot of kiiiiinda fun things that didn’t add up to one great thing.

So when I met someone earlier this year mid dating cleanse, who seemed amazing and into me, but who was also in an open relationship, I was like “Nope! I wanna be someone’s number 1!” I’ve had plentya number 2 status in the last year, and I honestly don’t know how I got demoted. So I also said: “Let’s be friends.”

But yes, I’m currently back to dating. And there I am, naked in a bed in a state of post orgasmic bliss, that cool Los Angeles breeze sweeping through the room, after a day having my feet massaged by the very same previously mentioned person. Because after six months of celibacy, I’ve somehow I’ve managed to I convince myself I can adjust my needs and be more progressive—a.k.a. share my lover with his two to three other lovers.

And then he stepped away to take a call. The primary partner of five years. Oh yeah…right. The magic spell lifted and I was reminded of the bigger picture. I was not Queen Bee.

This Rumi quote has echoed in my ears for over a decade: “A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

And I’ve decided this is true, for me. And that it applies to EVERYTHING. Not just love, but work. Friendships. Sometimes something is so close, but just not 100% right. And if you say yes to it anyway, you’re telling your self that you will always settle for less. Worse, in lowering your standards, you could also miss that the thing you really want because now you’re vibrating at a half mast frequency.

As my new friend Andi reminded me on the beach last week: “If it’s not a hell YES it’s a NO!”

When you’re hungry for something, sometimes it’s hard to resist whatever comes along that’s almost what you want. It’s like you know that it’s not quite going to satisfy you, but you eat it anyway—then wish you’d waited for what you really want. And yes, sometimes healthy compromise is key—and only YOU can decipher where the line in the sand gets drawn.

Since my recent experience of making a commitment to loving my SELF, I’ve also found myself inspired and in love with art, nature, friends, my work, all of it. As I was up late the other night, deep in celebration of this, I found this quote by Bjork, whom I’ve loved since I was 18:

“I never really understood the word ‘loneliness’. As far as I was concerned, I was in an orgy with the sky and the ocean, and with nature.”

I hope whether single or attached you can commit to finding your own inner orgy—and I believe that from this place it’s impossible to accept half loves, or half jobs, or half friends. You just smile and wink and mosey along if it doesn’t feel right. And by holding space for the most magnificent YOU, all the other stuff will just begin to filter in.

Alexandra offers one on one mentorship and coaching and her Holy F*ck group salon, which was just featured in Amuse/i-d Magazine. The next session of the Holy F*ck salon will begin September 6th for 6 weeks of chatting/deconstructing/and tuning in around love, sex and spirituality. Sign up here!

FASHION AS SELF-LOVE: THE STORY BEHIND KE7H3R

“Everything, even fashion, is a transference of energy.” Janelle Corpuz Hethcoat, the designer behind KE7H3R, talks fashion as self-love with Ruby Warrington…

It’s not often I come across a fashion brand that aligns as perfectly with our philosophy at The Numinous as KE7H3R by L.A. based Janelle Corpuz Hethcoat, which is chic, modern, and has a sustainable as well as a spiritual and social mission. So when Janelle approached us about helping support her launch for Fall ’16 it was a no-brainer. When I actually got to hear the full story behind the brand, it made me feel even more proud about helping Janelle realize her vision. Read on to get the full scoop on a label to love for ALL the right reasons…

RUBY WARRINGTON: What’s your background and what brought you to fashion?
JANELLE CORPUZ HETHCOAT: I’m a Filipino American, female born and raised in Los Angeles. As for fashion, I went through about 12 years of catholic school where we had to wear uniforms and I think that really fed my need to be visually creative when it came to the way I dress as an adult. In my college years I was a biology major (my very strict Filipino parents wanted me to be a doctor), but I had a lot of older friends who worked as designers. After seeing what they did I was just dead set on being creative for a living. So after many semesters of deliberation I finally said, “Fuck it, I don’t care what my parents think!”—and I changed my major to fashion.

RW: Was there a defining moment for you deciding to launch your own line?
JCH: Last year was crazy. I went through so many hard and character-defining things; a hellish breakup, I got sober, my dad passing away from cancer, losing my job, and finally, finding and marrying my soul mate. One defining moment of many, was going out into my backyard, after maybe weeks of not getting out of bed from depression. I sat there and the sun hit my face and I kind of said to myself, “Well… what now Janelle? After all this what are you gonna do?”

And I guess the voice of my higher self, or maybe my father, told me to just make something with my hands. To stay in the sun and make something. So I started making patterns, cutting fabric, and then sewing up styles in my backyard. I would put the clothes on and post them up on Instagram. People would respond in the comments or text me like “I want one of those! Can you make me one?” and that’s how KE7H3R was born.

RW: The name KE7H3R comes from your study of hermetic qabbalah – can you explain what it means?
JCH: I’ll definitely try! In quabbalah, the Tree of Life is a symbolic description of how the universe came into existence. At the top of the Tree is something called the Kether, which is described as the source of all divine creation. An easier way to visualize this, is to place it on top of your own body—envision Kether as a ball of white light that sits right above our heads, like it’s that divine power that gives us our best ideas, leads us to do our highest good, and guides us to our purpose.

Kether is also associated with the Fool card in the tarot, which I associate with any project where you really have to follow your heart and take risks. I actually pulled the fool card in a reading with myself in my backyard. So when I named this line KE7H3R, I was just honoring the message. I replaced the 7 for T and 3 for E because 7 and 3 are my magic numbers.

RW: And how about the brand’s motto: “- IS +”?
JCH: It means “Less is More”—a motto that means a lot to me. As a brand we stand for both minimalist design and the idea of a capsule wardrobe. We feel that it’s more important to have a few finely made pieces that you can wear forever, than a million poorly made pieces that you’ll throw away at the end of a season.

This is important for a lot of reasons. The first one is the damage that fast fashion is doing to our environment. The second is the harmful and inhumane work environments that this type of large scale fashion subjects people in overseas factories to. And finally, the harm that fast fashion or consumerist fashion is doing to our self esteems…especially for women.

Keeping up with “trends” is exhausting and unhealthy, and suggests that your external purchases are what lead to happiness. A minimalist approach meanwhile, means less time thinking about what you can or should buy, and more time thinking and being grateful for what you already have—including the people around you and the experiences you can be enjoying.

RW: How do you shop for fashion personally?
JCH: For the last two years I have literally only bought my clothes second hand. Or I make them! I will buy the occasional something new, when it comes to stuff you really can’t buy second hand like swim suits, yoga wear, underwear etc. In this case, I will buy locally made stuff when I travel, or special hand crafted things on etsy.

RW: How can your fashion choices become a self-love practice?
JCH: I think fashion is like food. You don’t want the mystery, pumped full of hormones, genetically modified thing inside your body, right? Think about the energy that is put behind creating what you are placing on your body, as your expression and reflection of yourself.

Everything, even fashion, is a transference of energy. When you choose products that are made ethically, you are showing loving concern for the world, which in turn is an act of self-love—because in saying that the rest of the humans on this planet deserve better you are also saying you deserve better.

There’s also what I call “status buying”—when you buy that thing that’s totally impractical and uberly expensive, just to “look” a certain way to everyone around you. I would do this a lot when I was younger, because I thought buying super expensive stuff made me look more successful, more professional, or more advanced in life. I shelled out $800 for 6-inch high YSL pumps that I couldn’t even walk in. And after I would feel like shit.

And so I think your fashion choices can become a self-love practice when you are able to honestly answer: Am I comfortable in this? Does wearing it make me feel like I can be myself?

Discover more and shop the collection at Ke7h3r.com

Designer Janelle Corpuz Hethcoat

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF VIRGO SEASON

Virgo season brings an invitation to revel in the details, say Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Virgo season asks us to sharpen our tools, clarify our intentions, and get back down to the sweet labors of love that just feel good in our bodies. The zodiac’s so-called “virgin” is actually a fiercely self-contained sensualist who’s married to her own internal code, trusts deeply in her distinctiveness, and finds delicious divinity in daily detail.

It’s a month for relaxing into the subtlest material pieces of our lives—from savored flavors and ephemeral scents to watching the way the light hits the pavement just so—and for relishing in the feeling of processual work that moves with the rhythm of what is without having to prove anything at all.

The astrological Queen of the intricate and the refined reminds us that we are a part of every last thing that surrounds us and that every last thing absolutely matters because heaven is most definitely a place of earth.

The keyword is Alignment

The song lyrics are: “I’m every woman/It’s all in me/Anything you want done baby/I’ll do it naturally”—Whitney Houston, “I’m Every Woman.” Check out our Virgo season playlist, complete with considered lyricism, wild women, and pop gravitas.

The color palette: soft metallics and shifting sands: salmon pinks, rose golds, light caramels, and pure silver.

The style: 1930s Greta Garbo meets Southwestern naturalism: refined yet rustic glamor, caftans paired with high-heeled boots, intricate art deco jewelry, nude lips, loose braids and buns, copper lockets, and just enough coverage to spark the sensuous imagination.

The scents and flavors: simple trusted tastes, herbaceous blends, and medicinal elixirs. Think rosemary, camphor, fresh bread, bergamot, tisanes, and hot cobbler carefully concocted with seasonal fruits.

The healing: considered, refined, and earthily aligned. Try tasting menus, perfume making, Marie Kondo-style closet cleansing, or even the slowly revelatory art of burlesque dancing.

Sensuous Invitation of the Month: Interior Design (by sign below)

With Mercury stationing retrograde in Virgo, Venus and Jupiter entering Libra, and the final Saturn-Neptune square, it’s a month for getting our houses in order, making use of the materials on hand, and bowing at the altar of aesthetics. For letting the material world refine our values and bring us all the way back home to what we truly love. From Barbie dreamhouse jacuzzis to Southern country kitchens, it’s time to realign our environment with our interior selves, and to move majestically and naturally through the spaces that surround us.

ARIES
Virgo season invites you to infuse some of your full-throttle thrill seeking with a careful consideration that strategizes before leaping and allows the world to sometimes have the first move. Design Inspiration: Release into the dazzling sensation of the world infusing the interior by clearing the area around your windows and treating them as pieces of art à la Julius Shulman’s iconic 1960 photograph of the Stahl house.

TAURUS
Virgo season invites you to trust that you already have more than enough of what you need and to tap into your ability to repurpose what you already have into something gorgeously useful. Design Inspiration: Channel the restored farmhouses of Taschen’s Country Interiors as you dig into your soul dirt by repurposing objects, reupholstering prized furniture pieces, and reveling in local rummage sales.

GEMINI
Virgo season invites you to return to the sensations of your body as you learn to read and value environmental cues as much as you do intellectual ones. Design Inspiration: Relax into treehouse dreams with Joel Allen’s British Columbia masterpiece sourced entirely from craigslist materials, and experiment with small seasonal shifts in your own space by mixing indoor with outdoor- even if it’s just tricking out your fire escape with sparkling lights or placing found stones in your sink basin.

CANCER
Virgo season invites you to celebrate distinguished solitude as much as you do emotional relationship. Design Inspiration: Channel the DIY solitude of converted sheds by creating a space of your own—whether it’s affixing glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling for private night dreaming, or cordoning off a corner of shared space entirely for yourself.

LEO
Virgo season invites you to step away from the proscenium as you relax into behind the scenes labors without always having to show yourself. Design Inspiration: Conjure the inward-facing glitter and sparkle of the Madonna Inn’s bombastic Barbie bathroom by decking out your boudoir with jewel-encrusted toiletry boxes, and writing yourself impassioned lipstick messages on your mirror.

VIRGO
Virgo season invites you to rediscover the wild sensualism of your inner witchy woman who follows her own credo. Design Inspiration: Evoke the high-quality, woodsy wildness of the fur, fire, and open air bathtubs of Palm Springs’ Sparrows Lodge with a singular, luxe design piece made from natural materials like a marble slab, bamboo soap dish, or wool rug.

LIBRA
Virgo season invites you to discover the “beautility” in your world by blending your idealized aesthetic sensibilities with down-to-earth usefulness. Design Inspiration: Channel the majestically utilitarian Library of Congress with organizational pieces that are also decadent and gorgeous.

SCORPIO
Virgo season invites you to marry your emotional intensity to material complexity as you investigate the intricate detail of the world that surrounds you. Design Inspiration: Explore the elaborate Art Nouveau design of the Parisian metro system by experimenting with patterned wallpaper or trompe l’oeil at home.

SAGITTARIUS
Virgo season invites you to take your passion and make it happen as you delight in the earthy sensation of grounding your most far-flung visions in the material world. Design Inspiration: Motor west with inspiration from Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and invite the open road into your space with 50s Americana kitsch design elements.

CAPRICORN
Virgo season invites you to celebrate the process of refinement without this having to match internally or externally imposed standards. Design Inspiration: Move towards the sensations of slow cooking and process-based work by conjuring warm Mediterranean-style kitchens through decoratively usable rotating spice racks, hanging fruit baskets, and dishes affixed to the wall.

AQUARIUS
Virgo season invites you to trade in some of your panoramic thinking for delicious attention to detail. Design Inspiration: Delight in the futuristic efficiency of the tiny house movement and play with proportion in your own space with terrariums or dollhouses.

PISCES
Virgo season invites you to step out of the endless seas of possibility to practice the art of discernment. Design Inspiration: Strip down with spiritually-aligned Japanese minimalism and infuse this practice in your own space by cleansing one room, or building your design around a singular object or color.

STRONG EYE ASTROLOGY: AUGUST 22-AUGUST 28

A symbolic reading of this week’s cosmic climate for your sign, direct from the third eye of Sandra Sitron—a.k.a. Strong Eye Astrology

Virgo :: Virgo Rising
At the bottom of a well. The well is deep and symbolizes your emotions, your connections with your family, your mother, your sense of security, your home. If, over the last few months, you have felt murky in regards to home, family, mother, ancestors, or emotions, then the lessons can now resolve and action will become more possible. You must spend time in the watery well. Practice allowing. Practice acceptance. Practice being your own best mother as you sit still with your emotions. Simultaneously this week, your mental faculties are keen and your sense of abundance is reinvigorated. Use these gifts to help yourself process and then act. Going down into the well of your emotions helps you come out stronger and more clear. Tend to your sense of emotional security.

Libra :: Libra Rising
Beaded necklaces. Baubles and gemstones lined up in a row, connected by string, talking to each other through their jingles and jangles. If you have felt as if you cannot speak, as if you cannot be heard, as if you are not seen, as if you don’t fit in— now is your time to feel connected. On certain levels, it may have been hard over the previous levels to communicate with others. This may have manifested in different ways, or a resistance to putting something important on your website, a feeling of being rejected for something about yourself, a shyness, an isolation. Find ways now to clear your throat chakra and speak out. Ask others to reflect back to you what they hear. Communicate. Write the letter or essay you’ve been putting off. This week will bring you an ability to connect better with your community. But you have to take it. The action will depend upon you. And there is a lesson here. The lesson is that you are worthy of being heard and seen. So, mingle and jangle and feel connected.

Scorpio :: Scorpio Rising
A canoe on wavy waters. Your big evolution of the last two plus years is coming to an end. You can finally let go. You can put yourself out to sea in the storm in a little canoe and trust that you will wash up on the right shore. There is finally a sense of resolve this week and its sweetness will move you all the way through to your core. How much richer life is now. How much more of the human experience you understand. If you have not allowed yourself full grief processing over the last couple of years, you may not be ready to land safely on shore. So use this time, while you are still in the canoe of your emotions, to allow yourself to let go. Ask yourself how you feel and let the waves take you where they will. Then you can land! After the storm, you will be on new ground, with a new perspective, and there you will be able to build a strong house. This new perspective will be sustainable and long lasting.

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius Rising
A feast cooked over a fire. This is your celebratory moment. You are able to finally take action. There has been murkiness and drudgery and lack of clarity. And now you can pull the trigger on ideas and projects that you have been putting off. This is time for a feast, to raise a glass, say okay—now it’s happening. Then get back to work. And work, and work. Because right now you are resolving parts of your identity. Embrace your new identity. You are finally pulling the trigger on thoughts and ideas that were previously just floating around in the ether. Say YES, say NO, and move forward. Make your decisions, form your opinions, and go. It’s time to celebrate and then shoot your arrow again.

Capricorn :: Capricorn Rising
A light ray that moves between dimensions. You are able to connect with another plane of existence somehow. Not you usual interest, but now, maybe? Find your ray of light and follow it through to a new way of thinking. A new perspective. Maybe even through the veil to your subconscious or a dreamtime world. You are now ready to make a deep and integral shift. What comes to mind? It could be a feeling, a habit or a behavior that you ready to shift. It could be a fear. Something is ready to resolve and you are ready to close a chapter. The shift will be deep, maybe even subconscious. When it happens, say a prayer of gratitude and then let it go.

Aquarius :: Aquarius Rising
Bumper cars. Here, there and everywhere. You make a move and then you move again. As you go, you bump into another person or idea. “Bumper cars” is a special arena, where everyone is equal and there are meetings. So, expanding this metaphor, if you have felt disconnected, you will now be able to connect. Connect to people who are like you and different from you. You may have dreams of social justice, dreams of a better future for everyone. Connect to those ideas. Any part of you that has felt pessimistic about dreams and visions is ready to fall away now. Do it because being pessimistic gets old. So don’t deny your vision of the future anymore. Now you can say, “Oh yes, I can do the things I want. I can connect with people in the way I want. We are all going somewhere together and I am going to help determine how. This is my vision of the future and I have agency over my little car.”

Pisces :: Pisces Rising
Floral scented perfume. Your perfume metaphorically fills the room. It precedes you. You arrive before you arrive. Over the last few years you have been trying to negotiate how you stand in the public view. This may have to do with your vocation or work. If you have felt like you have been unable to make the kind of impact you have been wanting to make, now you’ll be able to break through into action. Your flowery symbol says that you need to be remembered in a gentle way however. So you won’t want to use force to get yourself remembered. Seep into peoples’ consciousness like a mist. Gain the attention of the world by being exactly who you are and trusting that it will all work out.

Aries :: Aries Rising
An egg in a nest. Are you ready to break through your eggshell? Now you can finally break through to a new perspective. Where you have felt trapped you can now expand. There may be a moment of force. You may actually have to work to break through the shell. The harder you work to break free and become more yourself, the stronger you’ll be. In your new world, you’ll need to be ready to explore, philosophize and form opinions. The time has come where you can synthesize your lessons and move forward to embrace a new philosophy. If you have a ping of anger or resistance this week— look closely to see what belief you are ready to upgrade. This shift will offer you massive freedom and a new perspective.

Taurus :: Taurus Rising
A mat made of grass. The mat is made of individual blades of grass. Merged, they become something new. Something stronger. You may have to open yourself up to merging. Merging in this context means— trusting and letting go. This could be about trusting in a relationship. Or it could be about trusting yourself to move to the next stage in your development. Trusting yourself to evolve. Letting go of something you have been holding on to. Letting go of control. Moving forward. If there has been any resistance or fear about the idea of merging over the last couple of years, this week offers you a chance to complete your lessons and break through. This shift you are experiencing could be about life cycles, grief and trust. Let go and become something new.

Gemini :: Gemini Rising
Parade of elephants. Two elephants walking, one holds the tail of the other with it’s trunk. Link up. Get comfortable depending on another person. Negotiate. Be diplomatic. The elephant is massive and can help you learn to take up space. Own your space, yet be comfortable leaning on another person too. This week, your relationships are shifting. Have you been learning the lessons of the last two and a half years? Now there will be some kind of resolve that has to do in the area of relationships. Some ability to take action. Don’t shy away from this moment. Push through. Discover how to ask for what you need while taking responsibility for your own emotions.

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
Beetles in the sand. It’s time to get really grounded. The best way for you to get grounded right now is to remember to nurture yourself. You are so good at taking care of other people. Over the last couple of years you have been learning how to do the same for yourself. This intention reaches an apex this week. Synthesize your lessons. Be gentle with yourself, but take action on your new healthy habits. Your emotions are soothed by lots of structure in your daily life right now. Wake up at the same time, go to bed at the same time. Get the right amount of exercise. If you feel inspired to begin a program of self-improvement, take the opportunity. Now is your moment to invest in yourself, physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Leo :: Leo Rising
A sundial. A sundial is a clock that uses the position of the Sun to tell time. It’s a simple tool designed to use the Sun’s light in a practical way. Maybe you are learning how to use your own light. Maybe the time has come for you to honor your creativity, your special individuality, your fire. How can you best funnel this energy? You have been learning how to be more yourself, to stand up straight and tall and share your light with the world. Synthesize these lessons. Don’t make yourself smaller than you are. If you take action this week, you may have a creative breakthrough. Radiate light, warmth and generosity. Focus on love and self-expression.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: CRYSTAL LIPGLOSS + A LINK TO OUR VIRTUAL RITUAL

Crystal lipgloss is a thing. Plus a link to our virtual Full Moon ritual, a facial for the soul, and a shout out to Shaktibarre…

Attempting to pout in my new Ruby crystal lipgloss by Gemmed

:: MONDAY ::
A box of goodies from Goddess Provisions, INCLUDING a lipgloss by Gemmed named “Ruby” containing actual crystal dust (Labradorite, Moonstone, Opal, Pyrite and Sunstone). I mean. Goddess Provisions is a subscription service where you receive a box of 4-6 high vibe items—snacks, tinctures, crystals etc—by mail each month, all 100% vegan and cruelty free, and all in aid of inspiring your spiritual practice. And there’s lipgloss. #magicmonday. Find out more at Goddessprovisions.com

:: TUESDAY ::
Not really a lot going on in the Mystical stakes. Except for quite a few phone calls and emails back-to-back about moving stuff forward that’s felt stalled for MONTHS. Thank you, Saturn direct.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Hosted my virtual Full Moon ritual with Alexandra Roxo! For starters we had almost 300 people sign up, which blew us both away and was a reminder of how excited people are to come together to share their Moon manifestations. FULL Moons are a time to celebrate what’s coming to fruition in our lives, and for me, the Aquarian vibes of this Moon have been very much reflected in all kinds of collaborative efforts beginning to take shape. So y’know, watch this space!

Another fave take-away from our ritual? A new daily practice of smudging down my technology. For real. If you think about it, our computers and phones are interacting with energy from hundreds, if not thousands of people every day. I first tried it out when I found myself going down a really low-vibe comparison hole on Instagram. Giving my iPhone a quick sage wash spiraled me right back UP the Unicorn horn—you might wanna give it a try! You can listen to the recording here.

We’ll be hosting our virtual rituals monthly. Look out for details!

:: THURSDAY ::
A beautiful, nurturing facial with Melanie Herring. Describing her practice as “skin therapy, soul deep,” Melanie sees the skin as a doorway to the inner realms of healing, and incorporates intuitive energetic work while simultaneously nourishing the body’s largest organ of detoxification…the skin. “It’s sacred work that honors the vulnerable nature of being seen,” she told me.

Facials are not something I regularly indulge in (see my use of the word “indulge”!), but as I relaxed into a semi trance state on Melanie’s table I was reminded—yet again—that regular self-care is actually one of the cornerstones of a truly balanced life. Also, how did the simple act of being held and cared for by another human being become a “luxury”? Today reminded me it’s a necessity. Discover more about Melanie and her work at Melanieherring.com

:: FRIDAY ::
Excited for the opening of Shaktibarre tonight, a new yoga+barre+activism+sustainable wellness space in Williamsburg. I met founder Corinne Wainer at a Lululemon event back in May, and was blown away by her vision and her sheer balls! The woman is committed to finding ways to make yoga and other wellness practices available to all, and so the studio will offer sliding scale pricing as well as host regular free community events. Hell to the yes. (And future Shakti-Numi collaborations to follow, no doubt!) Find out more and book a class at Shaktibarre.com

SHINE YOUR LIGHT: READING FOR THE 2016 AQUARIUS FULL MOON

Shine your light to illuminate a collective effort and your manifestations will bloom…is the message for the Aquarius Full Moon, says Sandra Sitron.

Join our virtual Full Moon ritual! Click here or on the image to sign up

We have a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius on August 18th at 5:26 am ET

A Full Moon happens when the Sun and Moon oppose each other. They face off, and the Sun’s full light shines on the Moon’s surface. This week, the Sun is in Leo and the Moon is in the opposite sign, Aquarius. This is a time of higher energy. All of the Moon’s emotional and intuitive power is amped up by the force of the Sun. It’s a time to act.

Think back to the seed intentions you set at the New Moon on August 2nd. Now you are harvesting some of those intentions. The next two weeks will be about reflecting on what you’ve learned and readying your soil for the seeds of the next New Moon, in Virgo on September 1.

A note about this Full Moon Eclipse

Is this an Eclipse, or isn’t it? In star-gazing circles there is some debate as to whether or not this counts. Because there are many different ways to calculate eclipses, some sources are listing this as an eclipse, yet others are not, including NASA. Earth’s shadow gets verrrrrry close to the Moon, but the shadow won’t be visible from Earth. I think that this Full Moon will feel like an Eclipse—meaning it will feel like a massive reset.

As such, this is time for change. A time to pull the plug and then plug back in. To close the book on a chapter. To start with a fresh perspective.

Use this powerful energy to fire up your body, mind, and spirit, and experience cathartic release. Cleansing actions are recommended now. Sweat. Cry. Dance. Take a salt-water bath. Laugh until you can’t breath. Spin in circles. Run. Howl at the Moon. Breathe. Get it all out!

***

THE MOON AND ITS MESSAGE
“Waving a sparkler.”
Celebration. This Full Moon is helping you communicate what’s in your heart. So shine forth unapologetically, for all of us. The Aquarius Full Moon points us to a picture of the future—one in which humans are connecting through their gifts. Sharing, collaborating, working together. Individuality is healthfully elevated, not in a narcissistic way, but in a balanced and beautiful way.

This Full Moon can deliver this understanding directly into our hearts, if we are ready for it. If we have prepared the channel to receive the download. “Believe in the future” says this Aquarius Full Moon. Believe in your own light. Believe in the power of the collective. Give freely. Receive freely. Commune. Shed all of the stories that make you smaller than you are.

***

MOON SEXTILE URANUS AND INCONJUNCT BOTH MERCURY AND JUPITER
“An acrobat on a tightrope juggling fire.”
This acrobat is busy. Multitasking. A Yod (the shape formed by these aspects together) is like that too, as it is a combination of two very different types of energy. And what we have here are actually two Yods, so there is even more going on.

A Yod is an aspect pattern that looks like a narrow triangle. Because of this it’s also called “the Finger of God.” This moniker brings to mind the feeling of this aspect. It is a feeling of fated expectation. But this strong sense of expectation can be uncomfortable, when the outcome has not yet been realized. The planet at the tip of the pointing finger is called the Focal Planet. In this Yod there are actually two Focal Planets together, mindset Mercury and expansive Jupiter…

MERCURY AND JUPITER CONJUNCT IN VIRGO
“The acrobat practices on the tightrope.”
With both Focal Planets in Virgo, this energy says: practice your craft, improve, do it well, and make it perfect. But, don’t, whatever you do, get caught up in worrying about potential problems. Don’t allow your mind to get stuck in a critical mode of thinking. Don’t be judgmental of yourself or anyone else. If you do, you will fall off your tightrope. If you look down, or allow anxious thinking to overtake you, you will drop the fire you are juggling. So stay present. Stay in the moment so that you can accomplish this impressive acrobatic feat.

Mercury and Jupiter are Inconjunct the Moon and Uranus. An Inconjuct is “almost there, but not quite.” So it’s a little frustrated. It doesn’t know what to do, exactly. But it knows it wants to do something. The Yod joins this frustrated energy with a pleasing and harmonious sextile between the Moon and Uranus. The message: you may not know how, just yet, but you can create a new and unexpected path for yourself.

It is tenaciously pushing you through frustration and toward your desired outcome. It is urging you past the risk and into the glory.
You will need to focus on the details. But by staying conscious of your emotions and staying open to inspiration, you will make it through.

SUN TRINE URANUS
“A clear radio signal.”
Uranus’ inspired thinking is coming through loud and clear. This is epiphany energy. Keep your mind open to new possibilities. How do you keep your mind open? Focus on the vision. Don’t overthink. Turn the radio dial to receive the signal and wait to see what comes through.

VENUS TRINE PLUTO
“A rare flower in bloom.”
The plant has stored up enough energy to create a rare and beautiful blossom. It has worked through obstacles and circumstance and allowed a cycle to come to completion. And it did so naturally. It did everything in it’s own perfect time. It let itself blossom. And it will let itself fall away. It moves gracefully through the cycle of life and death. This is exactly what Venus Trine Pluto offers you. The beauty of the cycle. The beauty of blooming in your own perfect time. Allow the process.

IN SUMMARY
This is a moment to commune with others and share your light. Push through frustrations to glory. Allow inspiration. Allow the process.

***

FULL MOON ACTIONS BY SIGN

Leo :: Leo Rising
Communicate something important to you to someone else.

Virgo :: Virgo Rising
Meditate. This is best action that you can take right now. You are in an especially productive frame of mind, so settling your mind and raising your vibration through meditation will make you unstoppable.

Libra :: Libra Rising
Give something. And ask the Universe to help you receive something.

Scorpio :: Scorpio Rising
Nest. Pay extra attention to your home space.

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius Rising
Mingle. Get out into your neighborhood and connect with your peers.

Capricorn :: Capricorn Rising
Do something luscious and sensual. Eat a beautiful meal. Get a massage. Do something that feels good.

Aquarius :: Aquarius Rising
Celebrate! It’s not often that we stop to be appreciative of ourselves. Take a moment to be ecstatic. Mark this moment in your favorite way.

Pisces :: Pisces Rising
Do some dream journaling. This is your time to connect with your inner symbolism and intuition.

Aries :: Aries Rising
Find out what everyone else thinks.

Taurus :: Taurus Rising
Work. This may be a big vacation time, but for you, this time period is best spent working.

Gemini :: Gemini Rising
Travel. Take a vacation. If you aren’t able to get away, explore a different way of thinking.

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
Create a letting-go ritual for yourself. Close a chapter.

To book a private readig with Sandra email her at [email protected] or visit www.strongeyeastrology.com

HOW I BECAME MY OWN REBOUND RELATIONSHIP

Rather than indulging in a post-break-up rebound with another person, engage in a fling with yourself says Emma Whitehair…  Artwork: Maja Planinac

The first thing that “rebound relationship” googles up is: “an attempt to fill a hole in your life… to avoid the pain of a breakup.” And there’s few of us unfamiliar with that visceral craving to have something, or someone, fill the void left by the ending of an intimate human connection.

Even though my last breakup didn’t involve a breakdown, letting go of a lover often leaves me feeling bereft. That special closeness lost, gone forever, with them having known me so intimately.

So I grieved a little, before my gut suggested—actually shouted pretty loudly—that I needed to treat this hole as space for growth. This was my time to face my fear of being single, pack up my emotional baggage and elope. With myself.

Unlike the quick fix of a fling, or a replacement insta-relationship, rebounding with yourself is about so much more than simply avoiding heartache. No one else can offer the same level of security, unconditional love or acceptance, as a divine relationship with yourself.

As I have discovered, this kind of self-generated love allows your life to flow with joy, and for things to start magically falling into place. In the words of Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. So, how about a three-way with mind, body and soul; be part of the self-love revolution!

There are many routes to saying a passionate yes to yourself, and while each person’s path is as individual as them, here are a few things that helped ignite a romance with the soul mate under my very nose. Literally.

:: TUNE IN TO YOUR INNER WISDOM ::

A.k.a. your intuition, as only it knows what your true needs are, and how to go about getting them met.

‘Focusing’ was a technique I learned on a course at the West London Buddhist Centre. A reflective practice that involves taking a curious awareness into your body and listening for messages, simply close your eyes in a quiet place, as you would to meditate, but instead, sense what needs your attention.

Describe out loud what you are experiencing. Is your chest tight? Stomach heavy? As I described my constricted throat the words resonated deeply, and the words that followed flowed, like a stream of consciousness. with my body, not my head, leading. “There is so much sadness I need to release…talk about….to heal…”

Then the visuals came. I saw an anxious, pining Wolfhound—frantically scratching at a locked door and whining to be let out. It took a few days to process this but eventually it dawned on me: this was a clear message to step away from the door to the outside world, and deepen my meditation practice.

:: UP YOUR MEDITATION GAME ::

As Einstein said: “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.”

Although I previously had a vague meditation practice, I wanted to try a new technique in order to get a better connection to my inner self, and Transcendental Meditation was the gateway.

From the first session, I noticed how effortless it was to meditate using a mantra as a stepping stone. And a few weeks in, I had my first experience of transcending, which will stay with me forever—I was hardly using the mantra at all, my breathing became shallow and I felt a melting sensation, like I was disappearing into unboundedness. My head become weightless, like a helium balloon before I felt an an ecstatic rush. It was the feeling of falling in love, with myself. Grinning from ear to ear, I was hooked.

The more I meditate, when negative thoughts and emotions inevitably creep up, I have the tools to observe them with curiosity and acceptance. So regardless of what’s happening in my life experience, I can get to some serenity. Not quite cosmic consciousness yet, but slowly and surely getting a little closer.

:: DEAL WITH THE JUNK IN YOUR TRUNK ::

And I don’t mean sorting out your loft, although that of course can help too (just speak to Marie Kondo). Most of us have issues holding us back in one way or another, and a breakup is the perfect time to find the right professional to help with some emotional sat nav.

For me that person was Fiona Arrigo. With a background of 30 years in psychotherapy, Fiona runs haute holistic healing retreats in rural Somerset, where she carefully assembles a crack team for bespoke programs. Orchestrated treatment by treatment, the therapists all compare notes to ensure the next session works with the discoveries from the one before.

Checking in with me each day of the retreat, with just a little guidance during our chats, Fiona helped me untangle my past, understand some of my triggers and shift a lot of the sadness I have been carrying around since the ‘dark ages’.

Note: aside from Fiona’s healing retreats, she also has clients from all over the world she ‘sees’ for skype therapy sessions.

:: EXPERIMENT WITH HOLISTIC HEALING ::

Be open to finding multi-discipline healing techniques to help you feel more integrated. The investment in yourself is worth it.

My The Arrigo Programme retreat gave me the opportunity to try everything from Acupuncture, Kinesiology and EFT to Soul Fragment Retrieval. Astrological Counselling being the biggest eye-opener—helping me understand recurring obstacles, life lessons and talents.

On this retreat I also hit a sweet spot with Tibetan Pulsing—an energy work using a diagnosis from the iris of the eye, which gives a feeling of such deep peace. Transformational Breathwork was another game changer, and Matrix Re-aligning allowed me to have a conversation with my deceased mother’s spirit, releasing some of the grief I’d been holding on to for years.

:: HAVE A SING-ALONG ::

From Kirtan Kriya to church choir or karaoke, the benefits of singing are scientifically proven. Encouraging deep breathing, it uplifts your spirit and gives a sense of well-being

Personally, I prefer warbling along into a hairbrush at the top of my voice, in the privacy of my own home. Get it all out by wallowing with Adele or having a rage-along with Alanis. Then move on by creating a feel good playlist of songs such as State of Independence, Ch-Chng and Love Me. Or take the anthems of co-dependence, and change the object of the lyrics adoration to Self. Let It Go may or may not also be on repeat. Sorry neighbors.

:: TALK TO YOURSELF ::

Not like a crazy lady, but like you would talk to your lover—using words of self-appreciation not depreciation. Develop an affectionate conversation with yourself and respond to any negative thoughts with compassion, acknowledging them but not letting them linger.

Be reverent, congratulatory and give compliments regularly. Look, really look at yourself in the mirror, hush the critical voice and observe with the eyes of love. Thank your body. Be your own cheerleader.

Deepen your self-love practice at out next Club SÖDA NYC event, Sex, Lies & Alcohol, August 23 in NYC. Details and ticket info here.

STRONG EYE ASTROLOGY: AUGUST 15-AUGUST 21

A symbolic reading of this week’s cosmic climate for your sign, direct from the third eye of Sandra Sitron—a.k.a. Strong Eye Astrology

Leo :: Leo Rising
A flag is raised, a bugle is heard. This is a new day. The bugle blares to announce the rising of the sun. Wipe sleep out of your eyes as you head to the flagpole with the other campers and get ready for the day to begin. Anything can happen today. It’s filled with promise. Something has been reset during the night. Make this week into a ceremony. Make sure that you shine forth with all of the promise of who you are. You are hitting the reset button on how you see yourself. Who are you? Everything can be new. You can start over entirely. And here’s the wrinkle: In Astrology, the identity house is linked to the partnership house, and both of those are getting a make-over this week. So, this week is about how you communicate who you are. Maybe you need to get clear about what you say No to and what you say Yes to. Maybe you need to set some boundaries in order to have enough energy to really share your Leo Light with the world. Empathize with yourself, so that you can empathize with others. Show up for yourself, so that you can show up for others. Let this practice be uplifting and filled with the promise of you living in your light.

Virgo :: Virgo Rising
Walking alongside a river. One foot placed in front of the other. A slow and contemplative walking meditation. Walking on the Earth next to the Water. In Astrology the Earth element is about making sh#t happen in the material world. The Water element is about Intuition and Emotions. This week you have Earth and Water houses getting highlighted. You need to hone your productivity, systems, workflows, health and habits. Yet, you also need to follow the stream of your intuition. (*cough*MEDITATE*cough*) If you feel anxious, get quiet. If you feel overworked, get quiet. If you feel scattered, get quiet. Listen. And then listen more. And then ask. And then listen again. This week offers you an epiphany that comes from the deepest depths. Busy your hands and body with work or movement, then open yourself to the sound of your heart.

Libra :: Libra Rising
Bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. A gift. Either given or received. This week, the Full Moon lights up your giving/receiving axis. Be filled up with light and love. Give your love. And open up to receive. Meditate on giving and receiving. Think about which one you do more. Then try to balance out. If you are giving too much or having trouble receiving, it may show up as taking on too much responsibility. Are you saying yes to everything and trying to fill in all the voids with your generosity? Do you have trouble accepting gifts or compliments? If you are receiving too much or having trouble giving, it may show up as laziness or narcissism for sure. But it also can show up as withholding your approval. Are you being critical or judgmental of others? Don’t separate yourself from others because of scarcity fears. Open up and lean in. Relax. There is enough light for everyone. The world needs what you have to offer. And you need what everyone else has to offer too. Give generously and receive fully. If you need help finding balance, just ask the Moon to help you.

Scorpio :: Scorpio Rising
A fish slipping out of reach. Into the emotion-ocean you go. Get as comfortable with your emotions as a fish is in water. This week the moon lights up all the needs and feelings of your Inner Child. How do you feel? What do you need? Bring into your conscious awareness your most basic feelings and needs. Give your inner child whatever it is you feel you are lacking. In Astrology, the area of the chart that rules emotional security is linked to the area that rules career and vocation. How can you shine in the public eye if you aren’t basically secure? This is your moment to recharge your sense of emotional safety and shine brighter than ever out in the world.

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius Rising
Pigeons flocking around breadcrumbs. Hanging out with the group. Breaking bread. Chatting. This week, you are in the thick of it all. Pay attention to what you learn. Gather all the facts. Investigate and stay open-minded. Interview those around you. Get curious. If you open up your mind enough, you will have a breakthrough. This breakthrough may help you revise your philosophies which will lead to high-level expansion. Learn from your friends and acquaintances. Communicate with others to see something important in a new way.

Capricorn :: Capricorn Rising
A million butterflies flying toward the sun. This week you have a chance to get secure in your body and change your basic beliefs about abundance. This could be a moment of transcendence. Find out. See if you can feel so enlivened and enriched in your body and mind that you actually evolve to the next level. Don’t worry about the small frustrations. Push past them. This is no time to get stuck. Just keep climbing toward the sun.

Aquarius :: Aquarius Rising
Peering through a telescope. You are looking closely at something far away. Are you looking at yourself? What do you project away from yourself? What bothers you about someone else that is actually about you? Maybe you are around a lot of “angry” people. If so, ask yourself what unexpressed anger you are holding. Maybe someone else’s confusion is frustrating to you. If so, where are you lacking clarity? Is someone else going too fast or too slow? Then maybe you need to regulate your own pace. Look through the telescope at yourself to gain more understanding about how you relate to other people. This week offers you a chance to make a breakthrough in a relationship. Investigate your relationship with yourself to find out how.

Pisces :: Pisces Rising
Eating ice cream. Surround yourself with sweetness. This week, the Full Moon lights up your imagination sector. You can refresh your relationship with your dreams, spirituality, and symbolism. Where are you lacking the sweetness of magic and ritual? When can you allow yourself dream time? Dream time was so valuable to you when you were a child. We get caught up in the particulars of daily life and we are systematically trained out of day-dreaming. Create space for magic and enchanted fantasies. Build a fort in your living room, stare out the window, journal, write poetry, paint, listen to music. Make it all oh-so-sweet. Do it just for yourself. And somewhere along the way you may drift behind the veil and into another dimension. Enjoy it.

Aries :: Aries Rising
A frog’s long tongue. How far can you reach? Reach outside of yourself. Find the highest perspective. Receive nourishment from the ideas and philosophies that are elevated. You don’t have time for anything that doesn’t reflect your highest octave of energy. No pettiness. No ego. Reach to your future. Hit the reset button on your dreams and aspirations. It’s time to review those. What’s your vision? Don’t focus on what you think is possible. Think about what you want. You get to have the exact life that you want. Start dreaming about it. Then raise your level of gratitude so that you vibrationally match whatever it is that you want. Reach lil’ froggy, reach.

Taurus :: Taurus Rising
The darkest night sky, sliding through the darkness into nothingness. It’s interesting that this symbol came through, because the bright Full Moon is lighting up the part of your chart that rules the public stage. This should be about brightness and a crystal clear realization of who you are in society. But this Full Moon is an eclipse, so instead it’s about letting all of that go and dissolving into the void. What can that mean? Does it mean that you have been holding on too tightly to an image of yourself that no longer fits? Do you need to let go of something so that you can achieve the status you are seeking? You are a builder and it can be hard for you to backtrack, or start over. You would rather just keep accumulating. This is a moment to reassess. Take a step back and see what needs to dissolve into nothingness. It’s a new beginning.

Gemini :: Gemini Rising
Lunchtime at the school cafeteria. You are receiving nourishment, education and sociability. Three of your favorite things. Now that you are fed, it’s time to move out of the cafeteria and into the world. Explore. Graduate. This is a chance for you to define your opinions and raise your level of enthusiasm. You have been in a long period of reassessment. Things have not been so easy lately. What have you learned? Take that knowledge and reach out of your comfort zone. It’s time to elevate your thinking and answer some of your big questions about life. You need to be able to see the big picture and to do that you going to have to get yourself in motion. Get out of the cafeteria and cover more ground. Find a new perspective.

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
A baby wrapped up in a canoe floating down the river. Swaddle yourself up in blankets. Find a cove, a nook, some kind of sturdy container for yourself. You are on a journey. You are making a transition. It’s time to evolve to the next level. Part of your work is always to nurture your Inner Child. This is super important now. Give yourself the love you need. On a basic level, this just means be really nice to yourself. Thinking about the child version of yourself can help you remember who you are, what you need, and what you needed that you feel like you didn’t get. When you know all of that, you can give it to yourself. Start by creating an image of yourself as a kid in your mind. Sit her down next to you and have a conversation. If you needed emotional security when you were young but you didn’t get it, tell that kid version of you “you are safe.” If you needed companionship, tell her “you are connected to all beings at all times.” If you needed to be understood, tell her “you are seen and you are perfect just the way you are.” This week you need to evolve and you simply can’t do it if parts of you are dragging behind. Get all the parts of you into the canoe and prepare to move on.

SOLID PROGRESS: SATURN DIRECT FOR YOUR SIGN

As motivator Mars joins Saturn direct in Sagittarius, Shari Zollinger shares some insight for where each sign will begin to see solid progress…

Saturn lapel pin by Hood Rat Rough Diamond on Etsy.com

SATURN DIRECT IN SAGITTARIUS (8/13/16—12/20/17) :: KEYWORD – “MOMENTUM”

In the late summer of 1938 three young, French nationals, Genevieve and Bernard de Colmont and Antoine de Seynes, arrived in America to take their kayaks down the Green and Colorado Rivers (a feat that had never been attempted before). This French Trio brought with them state-of-the-art kayaks, cameras, camping gear and, because they didn’t trust American drinking water, all the beer they could carry. This was no small feat, as they would have to paddle down 900 miles of very rough water. Three months later they rowed into Lee’s Ferry, Arizona river-worn but transformed by the experience.

Saturn turned direct in Sagittarius on August 13. Do you feel a new sense momentum? Retrogrades often remind us to slow down, practice patience, to revise our to-do lists and check our supplies, twice. And with Saturn direct and moving again, warmed also by the energy of Mars in Sagittarius, the time is ripe to set sail on an adventure/venture that’s been some time in the planning. Like the French trio, the time has come to point our paddles downstream.

Saturn direct in Sagittarius is not however, about doing things fly-by-night. Preparation is extremely important, as Saturn wants to methodically build the right foundation, to make sound calculations, and to consider any and all costs involved. The French trio was well prepared for their journey; dear readers you must do the same.

Sagittarius housing both Saturn and Mars insists that the intention with any ventures put into motion now is to grow, expand, and learn. It’s time to take that class, to fly to Indonesia for a yoga teacher training, to learn a language, start a non-profit, activate a latent passion. But by all means ground each activity with common sense, a good plan, sturdy walking shoes, and plentiful supplies of your beverage of choice.

Below, a Saturn direct in Sagittarius reading for each sign…

The French trio, Genevieve and Bernard de Colmont and Antoine de Seynes, ready to set off on their trip

Aries: MOMENTUM and HIGHER GOALS
How do I incarnate a dream? Master fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkein took the world he created so seriously he developed a language for its characters. Although you may not be creating a language you are encouraged to take your visions and dreams seriously enough to let them spill wondrously, and almost fully formed, out into reality.

Taurus: MOMENTUM and OTHERS (Intimacy)
We know our Taurus friends to be enduring lovers. During this Sagittarius season take your love-style to the next level by considering this juicy word: interdependence. Blending with others in your life will have you smiling and learning in deep and beautiful ways.

Gemini: MOMENTUM and RELATIONSHIPS
There is no truer test of the solidity of a relationship than when you travel together, especially internationally. Dearest Gemini, go there with your lovers and closest collaborators and take on the test of your commitment to each other. Hint: travel with books and b-line it to a beautiful body of water.

Cancer: MOMENTUM and WORK
Focus, direction and goal setting at work make it much more enjoyable to meet friends after work for sweet down-time and sparkly conversation. And when you’re truly invested in ALL the things that contribute to your wellbeing, you’ll find yourself with boundless energy for being of service in the world.

Leo: MOMENTUM and CREATIVITY
Think of food as the Muse dear Leo, and you as its apprentice. Dream up new recipes, seek out exotic cuisines, let your Muse take you to happy soul-inspired meals and even late night binges watching with Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. All in the name of sheer, unbridled pleasure.

Virgo: MOMENTUM and HOME
In The Wizard of Oz, a girl and her dog end the movie with your new mantra Virgo: “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” Find a luscious pair of soft, ruby-colored slippers and dig deep into the magic of your private sphere—the secure bedrock of your grandest plans.

Libra: MOMENTUM and COMMUNICATION
Learning what to say and when to say it is your daily practice right now, and has you craving good ole fashion conversation. Finding your voice is imperative and although it might be a little squeaky from underuse it’s a tool that gets stronger the more you use it!

Scorpio: MOMENTUM and MONEY
Do I believe I have something valuable to contribute to the world? Yes I do! The world right now dear Scorpio being your vibrant, local community. The mantra think global, act local is yours for this transit. Your innate talents + manifestation gives you a successful glow.

Sagittarius: MOMENTUM and SELF-IMPROVEMENT
What do you want dear Sag? There are an abundance of opportunities but I’d consider focusing on the long game. Dust off the passport; pull out your suitcase for you may be taking a solo, soul-searching trip in the next month or two. A much-needed check in with self is the right ticket.

Capricorn: MOMENTUM and SOUL
You are ready to take your spiritual life to the next level. A died-in-the-wool pilgrimage is in order even if you never leave your home. Honing this numinous part of yourself, could also find you working your solid magic on or off the yoga mat. Write down your dreams.

Aquarius: MOMENTUM and COMMUNITY
What is the sweet cause you are cheerleading and feel most passionate about? Use your innovative magic to whip a grassroots idea into shape and see it ride off into the sunset, banners waving. The disempowered are relying on you. It’s time to take your ideas to the streets!

Pisces: MOMENTUM and MY CALLING
The big picture talent of Pisces comes out and takes its place as part and parcel of your life’s work. Finally your unique vision merges with what you consider to be your sacred calling. The details come into focus and you find yourself magically incarnating one solid brick at a time.

To book a session with Shari or for for more information please find her at Sharizollinger.com

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: HELLO MOJO AND AN EVENING WITH THE CACAO GODDESS

Enter the 8/8 Lion’s Gate…and an encounter with the cacao goddess, a return to my mojo, and a meeting of minds with Amanda “Moon Juice” Bacon.

Just hangin’ in my hammock loving the 8/8 vibes of the Lion’s Gate

:: MONDAY ::
Happy New Year! According to the Mayans, that is, for whom 8/8 marked the planetary new year. Also the opening of the mystical “Lions gate” portal (8/8 through 8/12—a.k.a. this week), marked by the star Sirius moving closer to earth and aligning in Orion’s belt, which perfectly syncs up with the Pyramids in Giza. Linked to the numerology of 8/8, the astrological sign of Leo, and the Strength tarot card (which traditionally shows a woman holding the jaws of a Lion) the message is basically “MAJOR POWER PORTAL”! So let’s see what went down for me…

Sarah’s altar to the cacao goddess…

:: TUESDAY ::
My first cacao ceremony! Thanks to a particularly switched-on editor in the UK commissioning me to write about cacao for The Times newspaper. #progress. And as the cosmos would have it, The Alchemist’s Kitchen was hosting a ceremony tonight with Numinous contributor Sarah Eve Cardell. Sarah’s been working with the cacao goddess for about 10 years, and the first thing she advised the 60-odd people in attendance was that: “it doesn’t taste pretty.” Not your average cocoa treat, in other words.

But I actually did like the bitter chocolate taste of the thick, gloopy glassful I was instructed to drink down as fast as possible—even if made throat a little raw and my mouth go slightly numb. Since we’d already been around the circle to share our intentions for the ceremony (mine, to invite the energies of collaboration and mutual support in my current projects) now it was time to journey.

As we all found a place to lay down and zone out (or rather in, to the visions of our heart center—since cacao is known as heart medicine), I felt a little nauseous, the cacao sitting kind of queasy in my stomach. But soon I was transported to a lulling trance state on the sounds of a gong bath by Jarrod Mayer. I actually think I drifted in and out of sleep, and while I didn’t have particularly strong “visions” (like I have in, say, breathwork sessions with Erin Telford, or Deborah Hanekamp’s medicine readings), towards the end of the experience I received a kind of “pat on the back” from what felt like a loving maternal presence for the work I’m currently doing—particular my Club SÖDA NYC initiative.

“The world needs what you’ve got…so keep giving it?” was the message I shared with the group afterwards, Sarah having reminded us that whatever came through for us was also a message for everybody in the circle. And since you, dear readers, are part of my circle too, let’s take this as the message the cacao goddess also has for YOU.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Maybe it’s the Lion’s Gate, maybe it’s the cacao, and maybe it’s because Mars finally moved into Sagittarius last week (likely a combo of all three)…but today I found myself thinking: “whoa, I’ve got my mojo back!!” Like the speed at which I can feel myself processing stuff, and the energy welling in my veins again this week, has made me realize I’ve been operating on half speed or something for most of this year. And well, what can I say but bring. It. On! (And where can I get my hands on some medicinal grade cacao please?)

:: THURSDAY ::
More talk of magical medicinals, as I got to interview my friend Amanda Bacon, founder of Moon Juice, for the UK’s Red magazine today. Also more #progress, since Amanda was slammed by many in the mainstream media when a food diary she once shared with Elle re-surfaced earlier this year.

Her response to that whole situation? “Taking the harsh words away, I was interested in getting to the essence of: what are people really saying here? They’re saying that they don’t understand it. They’re saying that they’re skeptical. They may not believe in it. They’re afraid that they’re not invited or included, and it’s not for them,” she told me.

As such, it actually became an opportunity for this savvy businesswoman to find ways to refine her message—that we can all use food to heal and feel amazing—for the masses. Next up? Two new stores in LA, and her first cookbook, The Moon Juice Cookbook (above), out in November this year. 10 years ago, even green juice felt far out; 10 years from now, it’ll be Sex Dust for breakfast.

:: FRIDAY ::
Planning my own mini ritual to close the Lion’s Gate tonight. And to thank you, cosmos, for another magically mystical week.

STRONG EYE ASTROLOGY: AUGUST 8—14

A symbolic reading of this week’s cosmic climate for your sign, direct from the third eye of Sandra Sitron—a.k.a. Strong Eye Astrology

Leo :: Leo Rising
Branches of a willow tree reaching toward a pond. Stretch. Stretch yourself to get grounded. Imagine a cord of light reaching from your root chakra into the center of the Earth. Put your bare feet on the ground. Early in the week you have access to an easy stability that helps you accomplish practical goals. The more grounded you feel, the easier this will be. This is an excellent time to boost your sense of self-worth. Part of your purpose at this time is to achieve a feeling of security, and moreover, to believe that you are worthy of feeling secure. It turns out that in order to share your creative fire (which is what you are learning how to do right now), you need to feel confident and financially stable. You are pushing yourself to reconcile these ideas. At the weekend, stretch yourself to think out-of-the-box. Reach for the higher perspective. If you want to dissolve into a dreamy and otherworldly experience with a loved one, then curb the part of your mind that is critical. Critique is necessary for improvement, but it can also kill the mood. Instead of criticism, choose discernment. Be very aware of whatever situation you are in, and if you decide you feel safe, allow yourself to dissolve into spiritual oneness.

Virgo :: Virgo Rising
Crystals. In magical circles, crystals are thought of as helpful friends that have a specific job to do. They do their job well. They offer support to those who ask politely. Early in the week, set yourself to your favorite task. Don’t back down. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. You will have plenty of energy and focus available. You can either imagine yourself to be like a crystal (focused and reliable,) or you can actually enlist the help of some crystal friends if that is your thing. This is your time to work with the energy of the Earth to get things done. Be active and practical. But ask for help. At the weekend you will need to really dig in to understanding where your emotional support comes from. You will want to know more about what being a partner to someone means. How can you love fully without losing yourself in another person? This is a good question to put to the crystal committee.

Libra :: Libra Rising
A hamster twitching his ears. Hamster medicine asks you to get in tune with your spiritual purpose and to call in your tribe. The clue that the hamsters ears are twitching as it listens closely shows us that you need to listen to your intuition. Be alert and be present. Especially early in the week pay attention to your emotions and what they are telling you. Your emotions and intuition are giving you strong messages. By the weekend you will then need to work on communication. Can you communicate your emotions? Can you tell the world what your soul needs? Doing so will help get you off the hamster wheel and help you break free.

Scorpio :: Scorpio Rising
Rays of light streaming through a cloud. Reaching for enlightenment. Reach past the ego and toward the big picture. Less interest in what serves your own purposes and more interest in the greater good. Early in the week, you get lots of easy energy from other people, so get out there and share your ideas with the group. Some of the pressure is off and maybe it is even time to elevate away from the past and focus on the future (finally). At the weekend you do need to get clear about your security on this earthly plane. Figure out what makes you feel good in your body. Rays of light streaming through clouds is heavenly sight. Your work this week is to transcend the mundane, while keeping your feet firmly on the ground.

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius Rising
A pyramid gleaming in hot sun. A pyramid is so solid. You are creating an edifice. A strong structure of beliefs that will support you for a long time. This is about your career and how you shine out in the world. You have lots of harmonious support early in the week to work on your career goals. It’s a good time to plan and build. At the weekend you need to check in with your emotions as well and make sure that your emotional foundation is strong. Are you making choices that are in alignment with your identity? Take advantage of higher energy levels that will help you push through any creative blocks. Think of everything you do right now as laying another brick in the pyramid— building yourself up to reach the apex.

Capricorn :: Capricorn Rising
The color blue. A deep, saturated azure. Among other things, blue symbolizes wisdom. This is time for you to reach for the highest truths, philosophies, spiritualities and ethics that are available to you. As a Capricorn, you move through the world with all eyes upon you. You can’t get away with anything! You are called upon to be responsible. Early this week reach for wisdom. Imbue your actions with meaning. Figure out what you believe in. At the weekend, something may feel emotionally off. If so, it is a time for more meditation. Search for spiritual meaning as well as philosophical meaning. Allow yourself to be inspired.

Aquarius :: Aquarius Rising
Swinging gently on a hammock. Cradle your heart. Swing gently on the hammock and feel as if you are held. You need to feel very safe, so that you can explore the depths of your emotions and move through to the next level. Cocoon yourself so that you can emerge the butterfly. As an Aquarius, your instinct might be to skip the deep emotions, you can be good at detaching when you want to be. But the Universe wants you to sit with these feelings so that you can gain more understanding and then transcend. At the weekend your social groups require more attention, so it is especially important that you spend some time understanding your emotional needs beforehand. The more you understand yourself, the more stable you will feel moving forward.

Pisces :: Pisces Rising
Catching raindrops on your tongue. Open yourself up to inspiration. Open yourself as much as you can. This week is all about partnership. To be in partnership you need to be willing to be open when you would rather be closed. To be in partnership you need to share your heart. To be in partnership you need to allow yourself to lean back. This week you find stability from sharing your heart. At the weekend, the theme continues, although you may realize that you need to fan the flame of your inner fire in order to share your light with someone else. So mind your boundaries! And allow yourself to receive the nourishing rainwater of inspiration.

Aries :: Aries Rising
A field of red flowers. It’s time to pay attention to nature’s beautiful details. Find something outside of yourself to be amazed by. Slow down and look closely. You need to pay attention to the machine that is your body and make sure that it is well oiled. Focus on details of your life. How you interact with technology, your diet, your activity levels. Focus on your productivity at work. Do this so that you can operate on a higher level. You really have the energy to make things happen now, as losing as you keep yourself in good health. By the weekend, your attention will shift to less mundane, earthly interests, so fine-tune things while you have the attention span for it. At the weekend you will be reaching for more expansive thinking.

Taurus :: Taurus Rising
Sifting through dirt. Are you panning for gold? If you can combine your creative energy with your fortitude and resilience, you will be rewarded. To use the energy best, you’ll need to become a swirl of activity and connect with your higher philosophies. Connect with your creative dreams. Act. Do. Circulate. Most of all, don’t be afraid to shine. Expect recognition. This is the pathway to sustainability. This is how you use the current energies to build your empire. At the end of the week, your journey becomes more emotional and less action oriented. Use the weekend as a time to connect with your deepest desires. Then it will be time for you to allow yourself to slow down and receive.

Gemini :: Gemini Rising
Splashing in puddles. Splash, play and nurture your inner child. It’s time to regress a little bit, just so that you can remember what it’s like to have fun and be taken care of. You may need to remember this so that you can take care of someone else as well. A deep emotional exchange is recommended during the week and by the weekend you will be working on setting up some compromises in your relationships. Find a way to make the peace. And don’t forget to play and have fun too!

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
A snail in it’s shell. You need to find balance between going inward to restore, and being out in the world. There is a lot of planetary energy moving into your house of communication, so you will want to be emotionally ready to talk and learn at a quick pace. Use this week as a chance to say the things you need to say. Anything that has to do with learning and teaching is also recommended now. Circulate and be social. By the weekend you will be devoting your time to getting all the details of your life in order, so you won’t have as much time for friends. Really use this social time well. Learning from the people around you will help you learn about yourself and your philosophies.

To book a private reading with Sandra email: sandrasitron@gmail.com or visit: Strongeyeastrology.com

THE NUMEROLGY OF 8/8

Felicia Bender explains how to use the powerful numerology of 8/8 to bring about your greatest manifestations…

A day to channel your inner Daenerys

Question: What could possibly be more exciting than Leo season?

Answer: Leo season and the magical manifestation energy of the number 8!

In Numerology, the number 8 brings energy related to manifestation in the material world. It’s all about money, power, and achievement. And don’t misread the 8 as relating to “money only.” This energy is all about personal empowerment, since we really can’t fully manifest in the material world without a strong sense of self—and a consistent ability to be resilient, ethical, and hard-working.

Still, the numerology of 8/8 offers a strong vortex of manifestation energy that’s there for the taking. This is a powerful day to take a long-term view of your goals. Are you happy with your financial situation? If so, keep doing that. If not-so-much, then using this day to sit down and take a deep look at where you are, how you got there, and perhaps where you want to be instead, is mandatory.

And as a passing thought en route to the grocery store won’t cut it. This requires some concerted soul-searching and a bit’o long-term planning. Because the energy of the 8 isn’t “light.” It’s not particularly easy-breezy or “lucky.” Rather, the 8 brings ideas and desires into the material world ONLY when there is a solid focus, a plan, organization, and some elbow grease.

And when the going gets tough, the 8 gets going!

This month, the double 8 of 8/8 is a platform from which to launch our practical dreams, whether it’s a desire for a healthy and passionate relationship, a new job or career more suited to our talents, and that offers more money. This isn’t about fly-by-night endeavors. So make a plan. Tap a more business-like attitude. And most importantly, take yourself seriously!

This may cause some real “OMG I’m just not good enough” feelings to bubble to the surface. Don’t avoid them—we actually benefit when we take a look at our perceived weaknesses. We get to investigate where they originated and get serious about how we can get past self-sabotage and into our empowerment. You are the embodiment of the Divine, hear you roar!

So get ready to rumble and take advantage of this powerful opportunity to launch your “what’s next” plan of action. Take the high road and don’t succumb to defeatism, victimization, or any other negative “ism.” The 8 amplifies all that we think about and act upon, so step up and make it count.