The art of Laura Berger discovers communion in curious places. Below, she talks positive imagery, humanness, and making art as a healing practice.
Whether lounging under palm fronds or tucked inside rainbows, Laura Berger’s figures delight in their sheer nakedness. As they collide with the wondrous world and each other, they appear both freshly hatched and deeply wise. “I guess I’m often painting what I dream of,” says the artist and yogi. And what does she dream of? Chosen families, phones with cords, and the imperfectly perfect adventure of living.
On the healing journey: I think I’ve been on that journey for many years, ha! It’s an ongoing process for most of us, right? I think making things is a good way to generate natural healing vibes, and the themes I’m working with are very positive. So when you spend many hours working on positive imagery, I like to think it slowly, slowly sinks in and has an impact, both consciously and subconsciously.
On chosen families: My own family is now very small, so I have this very deep longing to be a part of a close-knit group of people who can fill in that void a little bit. Like a chosen family—a group where you can feel completely safe to be wholly who you are, and where you can experience a sense of true understanding and belonging. I don’t currently have that in my life, but I value it so much. I miss the old way of communicating. Let’s do handwritten letters and face visits and pony rides and get phones with cords that stay in our houses when we go out.
On surrendering to the experience: Life unfolds so randomly and imperfectly perfectly. I’m interested in the push and pull between trying to control our experiences and accepting what comes, and how this works. Questions that there’s no rigid answer to. I think a lot about death, ritual, adventure, and finding ways to honor ourselves and sit calmly in the center of all of these conflicting experiences that we have.
On discovering humanness: I feel like [making art and practicing yoga] just gets you closer to the experience of it: more aware of your own extremely complex human-ness and the equally complicated human-ness of others. Hopefully you find more compassion across the board, and more appreciation for and empathy towards this shared, insane experience of being a human that we are all swimming through.
On the most challenging part of the creative process: Sitting down and starting.
And the easiest: Anytime after I’ve actually started.
On the moments when you feel most alive: When I’m not trying to do anything but be alive.
Thinking about which form of therapy will suit your unique needs? Wolf Sister has some suggestions for every sign of the Zodiac…Image: Karolina Daria Flora
When checking out the right therapy for your sign below, remember your Sun sign only represents one aspect of your total being. Read for your rising sign (the outer you) and moon sign (the inner you) too to see what resonates. If you haven’t done so already, you can click here to enter the date, place and time you were born and generate your chart for free.
:: A R I E S :: Mars is the ruling planet of this sign and is associated with the head. Aries tend to be over thinkers, thoughtful by nature but with wandering minds that can lead them to anxiety and overwhelm. Meditation would be ideal to calm those overactive thoughts but to sit still for any amount of time may not resonate with many rams!
Yoga literally translates as union of the mind, body and spirit, and this active meditation is the ideal remedy to balance and recalibrate you when overwhelm takes over. With this holistic practice, free spirited Aries gets to stretch, focus and bring you into the NOW. Find it: Book a trip to one of the Wanderlust festivals and get your yoga fix with a side of Aries-style adventure! Wanderlust.com
:: T A U R U S :: This earthy sign loves life’s comforts. Ruled by Venus, a planet of sensuality and luxury, the body parts ruled by Taurus are the neck, throat, thyroid gland, larynx, chin, lower jaw, ears, tongue, vocal chords and tonsils. When Taurus is experiencing a mind/body/spirit disconnect, it may physically manifest in one of these areas.
Aromatherapy Taurus loves to be pampered, and making some ‘me’ time with an aromatherapy massage while channeling the earth’s essence through the power of natural fragrance will soothe your spirit and bring you back down to earth (where your energy feels most at ease). Find it: Get all the information you need at the National Institute for Holistic Aromatherapy.
:: G E M I N I :: The sign of Gemini is articulate, busy, charming, adaptable, lively, indecisive, intelligent, sociable and spontaneous – in fact ‘change’ is a constant theme for Gemini. Ruled by Mercury, this planet governs the hands, fingers, arms, shoulders, upper ribs, lungs, nerves and nervous system. It may be hard for some of you Geminis to relax!
Qoya is a movement practice for expressing oneself through dance. This practice encourages creative expression through the body, by connecting to your essence and embodying your divine feminine and sensual nature. This practice is a great way for Gemini to channel your exuberant energy. Find it: Qoya founder Rochelle Schieck runs retreats all year long. Visit Loveqoya.com for more info.
:: C A N C E R :: This sign is highly intuitive and emotionally charged. Naturally empathic, those born under Cancer may have a tendency to over-eat (subconsciously) to protect themselves from harsh energy and stresses around them. When feelings aren’t channeled correctly and buried away, this disconnect may manifest as a digestive imbalance – indigestion, food intolerances and other issues with the Cancer-ruled gut.
Nutritional Healing will help you learn more about how food affects your body. It’s also important for Cancers to understand how our emotions affect our food choices and how the body processes food when we’re in different emotive states. With mindful eating, emotional and physical stress can be reduced. It isn’t about prescribing a ‘diet’ but developing a relationship with food that nurtures and nourishes holistically. Find it: The Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida is dedicated to healing through diet and runs programs all year round. Hippocratesinst.org
:: L E O :: Leo is ruled by the Sun and is associated with the most powerful organ in the body – the heart. Very independent, it’s important to feel like you are in charge. Leo’s love to rule, your mantra is ‘I WILL’. A big theme for Leo is pride. Your ego may demand respect and adoration, and when you’re feeling ignored or less than, this may manifest physically as back problems, heart ailments and lethargy.
Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta bhavana) is a meditation practice for developing compassion. This practice comes from the Buddhist tradition, but it can be adapted and practiced by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation; it is essentially about cultivating love. This meditation will help tame your determined and sometimes domineering nature, using the practice of compassion to go with the flow and call more love into your life. Find it: Just log on to YouTube! There are many metta meditations for you to explore and experiment with here.
:: V I R G O :: The Virgo mind is extremely organized and analytical, as Virgos have a strong need to understand themselves and the world around them. You prefer to channel your energy practically than through your emotions. The earth in this sign can make you relentless when it comes to solving a problem and getting a job done, which means sometimes you can forget to make time for self-care.
Counselling/psychotherapy will appeal to Virgo’s analytical side, and a good therapist will encourage you to tune into the psyche to understand yourself (and your emotions) better. This practical approach to removing personal blocks by gaining insights into the subconscious is a way for Virgo to be guided to a place of deeper self-realization and empowerment. Find it: Talk Space is a new service that allows you to connect with a therapist instantly via text. Check it out at Talkspace.com
:: L I B R A :: Libra is the sign of peace and harmony, diplomacy, beauty and aesthetics. Ruled by the planet Venus, Libra tends to play the nice guy and can refrain from speaking their truth in order to keep the peace. The body parts ruled by Libra are the lower back, kidneys and adrenal glands.
Art therapy is a creative method for self-expression, where the therapist interprets the symbolism that is communicated through the art created. The idea is that allowing yourself to get lost in the moment creating your beautiful masterpiece, your subconscious is freed to communicating your inner most feelings and thoughts. Art therapy is a great way for Libra to channel energy into creating something beautiful, while receiving insights from your subconscious for personal development. Find it: You can find out more and locate an art therapist near you at Arttherapy.org
:: S C O R P I O :: Scorpios are known for being mysterious, deep, magnetic and determined. A theme for Scorpio is self-mastery. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, and this planet can influence the energy flow of the reproductive organs, as well as with the kidneys and bladders.
Kundalini yoga The word Kundalini translates as ‘coiled’, referencing a ‘serpent’ of energy at the base of your spine. The intention of Kundalini yoga practice is to uncoil the serpent and release the energy within – starting at the base of the spine (the root chakra) and moving it up through the top of the head (the crown chakra). Focusing on breath and movement, it is a mental and physical challenge Scorpio will find strength in committing to. Find it: The RaMa Institute in Venice, CA, is a hub for the thriving Kundalini community and you can take classes remotely at Rama-tv.com
:: S A G I T T A R I U S :: Sagittarius is known for being adventurous and optimistic, always in pursuit of higher knowledge and experiences! As an active fire sign, you would rather be doing something interesting than wallowing in your emotions for too long. Ruled by the planet Jupiter, the body parts associated with this sign are the liver, hips, thighs, pelvis and femur.
Light Grids is an energetic therapy that encourages you to release blocks in your life helping you connect to your authentic self. Working on a subconscious level to bring deep change and empowerment, Light Grids therapy tunes into your energetic blueprint and targets your core belief systems. Facilitating healing, alignment to your highest self and giving you a deeper understanding of your life. Find it: Jody Shield is a UK practitioner bringing Light Grids therapy to the masses! You can also book a Skype session with her at Jodyshield.co.uk
:: C A P R I C O R N :: Capricorn is one of the most driven and dedicated signs of the zodiac. An earth sign with a strong work ethic, Capricorn is led by Saturn, the planet associated with the skeleton, joints and teeth. When you are overworking yourself, self-care may fall by the wayside and tension may build up in these areas.
CranioSacral therapy is a hands-on technique that restores the flow of energy in the body. It facilitates the release of blocked energy and tensions stored in the body, relieving pain and associated dysfunction. Often used in conjunction with osteopathy, the light touch in this therapy encourages the body to relax and rebalance, enhancing flexibility and well-being. Find it: The Breath of Life clinic in London runs regular retreats internationally, which incorporate CranioSacral therapy with yoga and other body work. Breathoflife.co.uk
:: A Q U A R I U S :: The free spirit of the zodiac, Aquarius’s purpose as a humanitarian is to break the outdated paradigm and call in the ‘nu’! You are independent and may come across as detached, but it’s just because you like to do things in your own Aquarian way. Your ultimate dream is to always being true to yourself, never to anyone else’s standards. Aquarius rules the circulatory system, ankles, Achilles heal, calves and shins.
Sound healing facilitates healing on a physical, emotional and spiritual level with the intentional use of various different interments – crystal singing bowls, drums, chimes, bells and gongs. The frequencies emitted work on a cellular level, and with this form of healing you are lulled into a relaxed state while the sound frequencies wash over and through you with their healing effects. Find it: Eileen McKusick is one of the leading practitioners in sound healing. Find out more about her work at Eileenmckusick.com
:: P I S C E S :: The dreamer of the zodiac, Pisces straddles both the material and the mystical worlds – and sometimes this can mean interpret what they want to see. Pisces may be vulnerable to disappointment because they are so idealistic. Even with the talent and resources that they possess, their limiting self beliefs and low self-esteem may hold them back.
Tarot therapy may appeal to your ethereal nature. When life is mirrored back to you by the magic of the Tarot, it can be easy for your imaginative and artist sign to recognize the bad habits and destructive cycles you keep finding yourself in. Insights from a talented Tarot therapist can encourage and inspire in all the right places. Find it: Our very own Louise Androlia is available for Skype readings internationally! Connect with her at Louiseandrolia.com
What therapy have you found works best for you, and why does it chime with your chart? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your story