TEMPLE OF VENUS: DRESSING FOR YOUR BIRTH CHART

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim shares how to magnetize your star quality by dressing for your birth chart…

Dressing in red for my Aries Sun sign

Personal style—that Venus-ruled, ever-elusive, je ne sais quoi that some people seem to exude and others find totally elusive. Is this something we’re born with? Can it be cultivated?

I have always been a clotheshorse and a believer in the power of dress to transform and heal us. But when I graduated college, I suddenly felt shy with my fashion choices, and didn’t completely trust myself to choose what worked and what didn’t. My embarrassment and confusion around this reflected a general insecurity that I was feeling, a very poignant and painful: “what the f*ck am I doing with my life?” kind of insecurity.

I began to find my stride in life and fashion as I turned toward healing as a path. Fast forward to a one-on-one shamanic healing training, during which my teacher told me: “You need to wear a bra sometimes.” Yes, really!

She also pointed out that I seemed to be hiding myself under too-loose pieces. I realized that her focus on dress was her way of encouraging me to feel my femininity, my sexuality, my radiance, my strength, and my beauty. And this is what Venus teaches us—that our clothing helps us cultivate our grace and sense of higher/inner self.

Meanwhile, I came across Kimberly Peta Dewhirst of Star Sign Style, an astrologer who helps people navigate the fashion and aesthetics of the zodiac, after she wrote a Numinous article about dressing for your Venus sign. And since Venus is my homegirl, I soon became obsessed and had to know more.

So Kimberly and I sat down for a reading and an in-depth discussion on the astrological tenets of style. She taught me that we are absolutely born with a style and that yes, it really IS personal. “The symbols of the zodiac are archetypes that translate further through color, accessories, image, patterns and attitude. Fashion is a metaphor for who we are, and astrology—the circle of the birth chart—is who we are,” she says.

As such, your chart, an imprint of the moment you were born, contains valuable clues about how to dress completely as yourself—and rather than blindly follow trends, to use fashion to enhance the traits that make us naturally irresistible, and completely comfortable in our skin.

During a reading Kimberly uses the birth chart as a starting point to identify key style signifiers, going on to create a style prescription based on the aspects at play—providing a mood board with images and inspirational celebrities: “That’s a big part of what I do—helping people to relate to their character through the style of the stars,” she says.

For those of us who don’t follow celebrity culture, this may seem irrelevant, but Kimberly insists that: “We all identify with public figures, their struggles, relationship patterns and mode of expression. Beyond the gossip mags, we need to work with these heroes because they tell us who we are—they’re our mirror, in a way.”

My personal style icons, as mapped on my chart

Kimberly has a full style guide for each zodiac sign on her website—and there follows an overview of the key points to consider when dressing, a la Venus, for your chart.

:: RISING SIGN ::
The key is to dress for your rising sign, not your Sun—since the rising sign speaks to the outer personality that you present to the world. This makes it the sign to lean into when making a first impression. My Scorpio rising means I can come across private and secretive, so I do well in styles that shroud me in mystery. Black and deep reds are the colors of this sign, and because Scorpio is the sign of all things unknowable—the occult, taboo sex, other people’s resources, death, and rebirth—it speaks to a dark glamour, suggesting much hidden under the surface.

Rocking my Scorpio Rising, as compiled by Kimberly

:: SUN SIGN ::
The sun is the brightest star in the sky, and as such we often really resonate with our Sun sign which can feel like our “superpower” sign. With my Sun in Aries, a Mars-ruled sign, I can experiment with power dressing and also wearing brighter reds. Attention-seeking Aries rules the head, so can I can also wear statement headgear—which I always have! Kimberly suggested that because of how my Sun sits with the rest of my chart, I can lean into this Aries boldness, and rather than overpowering it will be luminous.

:: MOON SIGN ::
It’s really fun to dress for your Moon, since this represents your emotional core—what makes you feel comfortable, and “at home” (in fact this could hint at your preferred behind-closed-doors style). With my Moon in Scorpio too, no wonder I feel so safe and grounded in black. And when I’m at home, I love to wear a barely-there silk or satin dress, which makes me feel sensual, but is more mysterious than no clothes at all.

:: VENUS SIGN ::
Venus represents how we like to spend money, make friends, flirt, and how we dress to impress. She’s also the sign of beauty, so whenever you align with your Venus, you’re going to feel more beautiful. My Venus in Gemini adds a fun curveball to my fashion sense, since Gemini is a light, mischievous imp—a fairy that’s gone into the dress-up box and come out in a mishmash of sequins and stripes! She likes butterflies and magic dust and is attracted to jewels like a magpie. This has me mixing all types of patterns, wearing pink and babydoll dresses, and generally choosing playful and conversation-provoking pieces (Gemini’s a talker).

:: MARS SIGN ::
If Venus is more about flirting than sex, which is the domaine of passionate Mars. Mars rules our personal power place, and our deep, primal urges. So dressing for a night out on the prowl? Get cozy with your Mars sign. You can also totally dress for the gym in your Mars, which is how we assert our energy. My Mars in hard-working Capricorn means I feel sexy in clothes that are chic, understated, tailored, and just so. Think pantsuits, black lace, button down shirts. Ditto when I want to GET IT DONE, I happen to love white button down shirts at work.

Kimberly also pointed out that I kind of look like a lion, hello Leo Midheaven!

:: THE MIDHEAVEN ::
The Midheaven is the impression we give off before people have met us. It’s our reputation and the spirit that precedes us. Oftentimes, our Midheaven is connected to the tenth house of fame and honors. It flavors our career. It’s how we come across on social media, which is a good starting place for personal branding. I have my midheaven in Leo, which means I am a natural thespian (I pursued acting for the first 25 years of my life). Leo is also proud, and can look regal with gold trimmings (especially about their face), baroque touches, crests, and crowns—hair can be styled to reflect this also, and I would definitely call my hair my crowning glory!

:: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER ::
Through investigating all of these aspects of your chart, you can get a clearer sense of how you can dress as your most alluring, confident and authentic self. Even if you’re intimidated by the idea of dressing for some aspects of your chart, you may find that, through dress, it becomes easier to embody that part of yourself. Then you’re living more fully. And from this place of fullness, your style, like the perfect outfit, can come together seamlessly.

Kimberly is available for personal style consultations via starsignstyle.com or email: [email protected].

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on water magic.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: BEAUTY IMAGE BEAUTIFUL

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim discovers that even among spiritual circles, body image issues persist…Images: Karis Wakeling-Farren 

Beauty. Isn’t that a gorgeous word? Look at how it sits on the page: regal with all those vowels. I’ve always adored words with lots of vowels: elegant, exquisite, gorgeous, pleasing. Beauty is such an angel word.

Recently in a meditation, I heard the message: “You are more beautiful than you think you are.” This message struck me—it brought a sad little pang to my heart. When I thought more about it, I realized I’ve been experiencing one of those periods where I look in the mirror and think I look weird. Where I’m breaking out more than usual, where I don’t feel particularly connected to my sensual side, where, I don’t know, I just don’t “feel beautiful,” you know?

And I know what it’s about, really, this denial of beauty. I’ve been dancing with body image issues since I was thirteen. There was something wrong with my belly! Why did it stick out from my body like that? Why was I the only one with a strange belly like this? At 17, when other stresses kicked in, I acted on these thoughts and began dieting. I struggled from compulsive dieting for the next eight years.

I had grown up wanting to be an actress, famously a profession of body image perfectionism. When I was 19, I spent my summer as an apprentice at a theatre festival. I recall hanging out in a circle of about 10 women, and the conversation turned to food and dieting. It became clear to me that all these young women who wanted to be actresses had struggled with or were struggling with eating disorder.

All these gorgeous women who I knew as gorgeous because of their insides, their passionate outlook and fearlessness on stage, were folding themselves in one way or another in order to feel included in an exclusive industry: in order to feel included in their own dreams. It was the first time I realized how much I wasn’t alone in this “bad body image” compulsion. And, of course, it’s not just actresses who go through this. It’s all of us.

As years have passed, I feel better about me. A lot. I’m no longer dieting, and I feel I can accept whatever it is I have chosen to eat. However, I now find myself in many other women’s circles that mirror the above one. Healing circle. Meditation Circle. Brunch table. And to tell you the truth, even though these are circles of loving, empowered people, I’m often still worrying about the size of my belly.

The tendency toward self-blame is always there lingering in the background—and I’d like to posit that it is for many of us. It’s an elephant in our yoga studios and sound baths. We’ve had so much programming about how we’re supposed to look for our whole lives, that body anxiety just feels like a channel many of us have been set to. Especially if you live in a trendy city, and the street suggests fashion putting your body on show.

In groups and even just among friends, I’ve started paying attention to when my body image insecurity comes up. I get in touch with my inner knowing and I ask, “Is this mine?” Often, I hear “no.” It belongs to a peer. It belongs to a friend. Doing this has helped me understand, once again, that I am truly not alone in my insecurity. That it is SO MANY OF US who feel not right in ourselves.

Everyone, everyone has that something: “I’ve got a great body, but my skin sucks.” “I love my hips but my eyes kind of cross sometimes and I think I look messed up.” “My face is weird.” “I should look more masculine.” “I should look more feminine.” We compartmentalize ourselves and obsess over our “wrong” thing. So of course, even if the thought is usually not mine, it IS mine too. It’s all of ours. And we “empath” it back and forth to one another.

At this point, I’d like to bring up that this is the ego’s favorite myth, that: “There is something wrong with me.” Psychologist Tara Brach brilliantly describes this concept in her book Radical Acceptance:

[T]he universal sense that “something is wrong” easily solidifies into “something is wrong with me.” When I look into my own feelings of unworthiness, sometimes I can’t point to any significant way I’m actually falling short. Yet just this feeling of being a self, separate from others, brings up a fundamental assumption that I am not okay…Believing that we are separate, incomplete, and therefore at risk, is not some malfunction of nature. Rather, this perception is an intrinsic part of our human experience—indeed of all life.

Brach makes it clear: it’s our sense of alone-ness that makes us feel wrong. The great irony of course is that we’re all together in feeling separate. And there is nothing wrong with you or me or us. There may, however, be something wrong with the society we live in (“The universal sense that something is wrong…”). There may be something wrong with the messages that we ingest and unknowingly propagate.

The author today

But what is the gift of these insane societal standards? What is the gift of the insecurity?

Disagreeing with the ego’s unloving ideas strengthens the mind and soul. When you choose to say “no” to this habit of self-attack, when you choose love in favor of compulsion, you are growing. You are claiming your worth. You are getting stronger each time. Whenever we actively proclaim the Truth to the unloving self, we are paving the way for freedom.

Choose an affirmation today for your unloving habit and resolve to challenge it in order to gain freedom. Mine is: “I know that these fears about my body are untrue. I know I am so much more than this body. I surrender these fears to love.” This can, of course, be applied to any flavor of compulsion, not just body perfectionism. And of course, whenever we free ourselves, we free our sisters and brothers, too. The grip of group insecurity relaxes, we’re all getting spiritually lighter together. Which, in my humble opinion, is way more important than physical lightness. This is a spiritual workout!

These hurts also build empathy and compassion. How could I, Elyssa, help others love their bodies if I hadn’t run the whole gamut of fear and love in my own thinking? Thus our misfortunes become our miracles.

I told a friend about my meditation, the one in which I heard, “You are more beautiful than you think you are.”

“What do you mean by that?” He asked. “Physically?”

“Yes, physically.”

“Go to your heart,” he said. “Go to your heart. That’s where beauty lives. Focus on the feelings inside your heart and you will know you’re beautiful. Then your whole self responds.”

I love this. And, it is true. And when I talked to Venus, Venus told me: “You are all beautiful. You are all divine. You are all so much more radiant than you know.” Go to your heart. Find the beauty and resilience there. “Heart.” That’s got a nice vowel assortment too.

PS: This post marks my one-year anniversary of writing for the Numinous! From Spring to Spring, I am grateful for all of the gifts.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on the practice of receiving.

COSMIC CULTURE FOR MAY 2016

Check out Amelia Quint’s round-up of cosmic culture for May 2016, bringing you the most mystical new releases in music, film, and literature…

Queen Bey

:: MUSIC :: 

BEYONCÉ

If you haven’t watched or listened to Lemonade yet, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful musical events of our generation. More than an album or documentary alone, Lemonade is a work of feminist, activist art. Fueled by the blues and righteous anger, Queen Bey’s Moon – Uranus – Lilith in Scorpio conjunction roars louder than ever. Lucky Jupiter is transiting her Virgo sun in the selfless twelfth house, immaculate timing for her to give the world such an amazing gift.

Lemonade is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and Tidal.

PEACHES

Peaches

Already a mainstay in the electronic music world, Maya Jane Cole’s NSFW brand of genderfluid, sexually charged charisma has her poised for mainstream success. Peaches’ new album, Rub Remixed, was created entirely by female and female-identifying producers – how’s that for divine feminine? Her Sun, Moon, Venus, and Neptune are aligned in magnetic Scorpio, and she has Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, a placement known both for its poetic potential and ability to shock.

Rub Remixed is set for release on May 27.

:: TELEVISION ::

Prince

Don’t waste your precious energy on TV this month, as May is heartbreakingly devoid of any high-vibe premieres. Instead, take the time you’d spend binge-watching Netflix and pay respects to the incredible artists that have recently passed beyond the veil.

David Bowie

Watch Prince as he debuts his signature purple style and Jimi Hendrix worthy guitar riffs in Purple Rain, or David Bowie in his iconic turn as the Goblin King in Labyrinth. Light a candle, listen to their music, or perhaps write something of your own. Ask yourself: “What legacy do I want to leave behind in this world when I move on to the next?”

:: FILM ::

HIGH RISE

High Rise

An adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s critically acclaimed novel, this dystopian thriller follows the tenants of a luxury high-rise apartment building as they descend into Lord of the Flies-esque tribalism. The novel is a cutting critique of materialism and excess in modern society – must know themes for any modern mystic. If the Kubrick inspired poster is any indication (A Clockwork Orange, anyone?), this is going to be good.

High Rise is scheduled for US release on May 13.

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Alice Through the Looking Glass

What witch can resist the charms of Lewis Carroll? In this sequel to the live-action 2010 film, wild card Gemini Johnny Depp reprises his role as the Mad Hatter, along with many other original cast members including Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. In keeping with the ancestors theme, Alan Rickman is featured here as the voice of the Blue Caterpillar. Go for the memories of Professor Snape, stay for what’s sure to be an magical escape.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is scheduled for US release on May 27.

THE WITCH

You can read our full review of The Witch in last month’s Cosmic Culture post, but great news…

The Witch will be available on DVD on May 17. Yes, please!

:: BOOKS ::

THE INNER FIX: BE STRONGER, HAPPIER AND BRAVER

Addictive Daughter

In the first book from Persia Lawson and Joey Bradford, the YouTube self-help divas known collectively as Addictive Daughter share their personal strategies for navigating life in an overstimulating world. With practical videos like “The Trick to Manifesting Your Ideal Lover”, “Why It’s Okay to Be Jealous of Your Friends”, and “How to Stop Anxiety & Panic Attacks in an Instant,” their written advice is sure to be as entertaining as it is enlightening.

The Inner Fix will be available on May 19 via Yellow Kite Books.

365 TAROT SPELLS: CREATING THE MAGIC IN EACH DAY

365 Tarot Spells

Are you a tarot lover who wants to learn magick? This book is for you! In Sasha Graham’s follow-up to 365 Tarot Spreads, she offers a spell for every day of the year based on the archetypes of the tarot. According to the book description, each spell has a list of ingredients, visualization, meditation, affirmation, and card layout — oh my! With enchantments for money, career, creativity, love, and more, Graham definitely has your magical needs covered.

365 Tarot Spells will be available May 8 via Llewellyn Worldwide.