5 WAYS TO MAKE MERCURY RETROGRADE WORK FOR YOU

Imagine if Mercury retrograde was actually here to help? Here are 5 ways to make Mercury retrograde work for you.

Image: Baron Von Fancy

Mercury retrograde gets a lot of bad press. In fact it’s kind of become like the “gluten” of the Cosmic calendar—we’ve been taught we’re all allergic and that the symptoms, as my friend Michael puts it, are basically a total “cluster flux.”

But what if Mercury retrograde was actually here to help?

I mean, how often to do you get things perfect first time around? How many people do you have “unfinished business” with? And how many situations have you pretty much given up on, assuming they’ll never get resolved?

Instead of counting down the days to the messenger planet’s next retro phase in a state of alternating panic and dread—how about you make Mercury retrograde work for you, and use it to shine a light on the areas of my life that are due for a do-over.

Okay, maybe it’s not the best idea to go hunting down the ex who totally sapped you of your self-esteem and left you feeling like an empty shell—some things definitely are best left in the past. The trick is to trust that anything it’s in your best interest to revisit will present itself to you.

As the brilliant Astro Twins always put it; “Think of the prefix “re-” as a guide for a smoother Mercury retrograde: rethink, redecorate, revise, research, reunite…and so on.”

Read on for five ways to take their advice and make Mercury retrograde work for you…

Illustration: Kelly Smith

Revise a passion project
Got a blog idea, or half-finished novel sitting in a folder on your overcrowded desktop? Now’s the time to dust that puppy off and make the necessary tweaks to fine-tune your vision. Just hold off on launching your project until the retro phase has passed.

Revisit a favorite workout
If you’re stuck in a workout rut (THIS spin class because it’s convenient, that particular run on autopilot) and feeling unmotivated as a result, cast your mind back to the last time you felt really inspired by your exercise regime. Revisiting a favorite instructor or YouTube workout could re-inspire you to get your sweat on.

Reconnect with the people you love
Life gets busy, and it’s oh-so-easy for weeks (hell, months) to go by without so much as a text exchange with the people you actually hold most dear. Take the Mercury retro phase as your cue to write those email and make those calls. Your heart will be so happy you made the effort.

Realize you can’t just erase your past
That niggling health issue you kinda just put a “band-aid” on hoping it would clear up by itself? That friendship you let fall by the wayside rather than have the “honest talk” you need to clear the air? The emotional trauma you stuffed in the closet, but that’s haunting your dreams at night? Now is the time to do the deeper work to address these once and for all, and emerge from the Mercury retro phase feeling lighter and god-to-go.

Revamp your actual closet
No shopping (and especially not online, as Mercury retro will probably mean techno fails and “RE”funds), but rather a re-evaluation of the contents of your closet. Use this post on the art of the psychic closet clear out for some tips, and once you’ve got rid of what’s not working you’ll be able to see what’s missing and THEN hit the stores to re-stock.

So there you have it—five ways to make Mercury retrograde work for you, and come out the other side a shinier, happier person to boot!

Was this article useful? Moon Club is a new monthly mentoring program from The Numinous and Alexandra Roxo that combines astrology with real time coaching on love, sex, work, wellness, and spiritual activism. Read more and sign-up here

JUPITER IN VIRGO: A DREAM IN GREEN

Yesterday, the planet of good fortune and abundance moved signs. In this insightful post, the Astro Twins outline what we can expect with Jupiter in Virgo…Images: E A R T H by Gyéresi Andrea Éva

Changing of the guard! On August 11 2015, expansive Jupiter exits dramatic and flamboyant Leo, moving into clean, green and analytical Virgo until September 9, 2016. Jupiter is the planet that rules luck, personal growth, travel, opportunity and risk. Along with Venus, it’s one of the cosmsos’ two “benefics,” meaning its influence is largely positive. The biggest planet in the solar system, Jupiter represents abundance, so whatever you plant during a Jupiter cycle will grow into a cash crop.

As one of the slower-moving outer planets, Jupiter’s transits color the entire societal attitude and cultural zeitgeist. Jupiter changes signs every 12-13 months, meaning it only visits each zodiac sign once every 12 years. Its last trek through Virgo was from August 27, 2003-September 24, 2004. (Dial back to that era for themes that may arise again in your life.)

Here are few things we can expect while Jupiter tours Virgo through September 2016:

1. Walking the talk: Jupiter in Virgo.
Now that Leo’s grand speeches, public declarations and jaw-dropping debuts are over, it’s time for some follow up—the walk that goes with the talk. Jupiter in Virgo inspires us to roll up our sleeves and do the real work, to make change. In a telling pop culture example during Jupiter in Leo, Caitlyn Jenner filmed her reality show I Am Cait on the road with trans activists.

The episode revealed her ignorance about the struggles of transgender people who don’t share her wealth, fame and public support. While Jupiter in Leo brought Caitlyn Zac Posen gowns, tearful ESPY awards and Vanity Fair covers, Jupiter in Virgo will deliver the equivalent of a quick sociology degree. And we could all use some brushing up in that area, frankly.

Jupiter in Virgo cracks the integrity whip, making sure our own backyards are clean before we stand on our soapboxes. Do we wag our fingers at the world’s transgressions, then privately commit the same deeds? There will be no getting away with that while Jupiter is in Virgo. Beware the self-righteousness of this transit—change begins with ourselves.

2. Jupiter is in “detriment” in Virgo.
Jupiter is “in detriment” in Virgo, meaning it’s slogging through perhaps its least favorite shift – as if the celestial hedonist is doing community service to repent for his overindulgent ways. We just can’t act selfishly on every whim with Jupiter in self-controlled Virgo. Jupiter is the ruler of big-picture thinking and the higher mind, while Virgo is ruled by practical, sensible Mercury—Jupiter’s planetary opposite, in a way.

Jupiter and Virgo can be strange bedfellows, with the supersized planet pushing to expand, and fastidious Virgo fact-checking every little item along the way. It’s like a neurotic nanny trying to tame a hyperactive child on a sugar high. In the best situation, they will provide positive checks and balances for each other, ensuring that our grand ideas can actually go the distance.

3. Sustainability reigns: Earthy Virgo in charge.
After a people-focused year, our attention turns to our processes—and how they affect the planet. Climate change is an undeniable issue we face, and global ambassador Jupiter throws a giant spotlight here. As astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” The human race needs to cooperate with nature if we want to keep on keeping on.

We could draw some inspiration from New Yorker Colin Beavan’s film No Impact Man which documents his family’s efforts to spend one year making as little an impact as possible on the environment: no electricity, automated transportation or non-local food!

Virgo governs digestion so that rule extends to our palates. Bring on the organic produce and kale smoothies. Plant and grow food and put more greenery around your home. Vote with your dollar, opting for sustainably crafted goods that also support local business owners and keep the neighborhood economy thriving.

With Jupiter in Virgo, businesses in “green” industries could boom. You might just make time to hear your friend’s pitch on solar panels, vitamins or supplements now. Since Jupiter is the global truth-teller we can expect to hear more stories about egregious waste dumping and pollution from overseas manufacturers…and hopefully, to see policies and regulations change that.

4. Living in tune with nature, sharing our “stuff.”
No, you don’t have to trade your loft apartment for a yurt this year…but you might airbnb it out for a month while you go shack up in a tent. Jupiter in Virgo calls our culture of excess into question, and people will begin making real lifestyle changes to reduce accumulation. Jupiter in practical Virgo will fuel the cooperative economy. More and more, people are asking: Why own when we can rent, and use only what we need when we need it?

Commune-style living could make a comeback too, with a modern twist. Interestingly, the first-ever kibbutz—a collective community in Israel where people live, work, farm, grow food and raise their families together—was formed in 1909, while Jupiter was in Virgo. We can expect to see a rise in urban farming, shared living spaces and a boom in people unloading their stuff on Craigslist or eBay.

5. Drop the selfie stick; pick up the talking stick.
It’s time for more mindfulness, says Jupiter in Virgo—to put down the gadgets for an hour and get back to IRL encounters. While we don’t predict that the likes of, say, Snapchat will go anywhere, serenity could set in if we carve out technology-free spaces (both in public or at home).

We’ll be more present with the people in our midst; less worried about attracting a million random followers. We’ll find joy in being of service to our fellow humans instead of competing to be the biggest superstars. It sounds downright old-fashioned, but this wrinkle in time might just buy us another era on Planet Earth.

6. The “Internet of Things” takes over
If anything, technology will become more integrated into our lives. Virgo may be an earthy hippie, but it’s also a data-loving nerd (think: an early adopter of Burning Man going off the grid but rocking serious tech skills). The “internet of things” (ioT) could expand under Jupiter in Virgo.

More of our everyday objects will become embedded with sensors and electronics, a la “geek chic” wearable technology (an industry projected to balloon by the billions). We may even see an innovation that helps us detach from our physical gadgets while still remaining “wired.” Will our entire identities soon be stored on the cloud?

7. Taking it to the polls: Rocking the vote?
With a U.S. presidential election year falling during Jupiter’s tour of Virgo, we could be due for another “Rock the Vote” era of grassroots change and socially-aware constituents (interestingly, the splashy Rock the Vote campaign was founded in 1990, while Jupiter was in Leo).

Jupiter in Virgo will demand integrity and follow-through from any politician who hopes to make it through the rounds of debates and primaries. If we’re lucky, Jupiter in Virgo may also help to inspire record voter turnout before it leaves in September 2016.

8. Health, science and fitness industries soar.
Virgo is the ruler of health and science, so new trends in medical care and the wellness industry could arise. Buying “local and sustainable” could become more of a mainstream trend, as consumers become ever more savvy in their research about food and product safety. We may see amazing advancements in medicine, too—for example, technology that allows doctors to predict and prevent brain diseases (such as dementia) long before they reach their full-blown state.

Artificial intelligence, robots and other innovations that once seemed like grist for a sci-fi movie could become integrated into our daily lives. Geneticists are even working to bring back extinct species, such as the carrier pigeon, which died out in 1914.

9. Coaching and “how-to” businesses thrive.
Coaches and consultants might also experience a heyday, as Virgo’s perfectionism has us all in self-analysis overdrive. Analytical Virgo doesn’t skimp on the details, so people will be hungry for advice on improving their practical skills: budgeting, dressing, decorating, parenting. If you’re an expert, look for ways you can package your knowledge as helpful advice.

Jupiter rules publishing and broadcasting, so consider marketing your unique skills through a YouTube video series, a “helpful tips” podcast or a how-to ebook. For best results, focus on simplifying a difficult process or giving people basic instructions. Jobs in the service sector will also grow, since Virgo is the ruler of service. Everyone, pitch in now…

How do you think Jupiter in Virgo will rock your world? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your hopes and dreams for this next cosmic portal.

NOTES FROM THE NUMIVERSE: 26 LIFE LESSONS MY BURNING MAN EXPERIENCE TAUGHT ME

Confession: My Burning Man Experience was too full-on to be called fun, says Ruby Warrington. But when it comes to life lessons, a week on the Playa delivered pure gold.

So I wasn’t planning to write about my Burning Man Experience (BME). And not because ‘what-happens-on-the-Playa-stays-on-the-Playa,’ but because I have been embarrassed to admit that I didn’t have THE MOST AWESOME TIME OF MY LIFE. I feel like this is the response my friends all were all expecting when they asked, with the utmost and cutest enthusiasm, to hear my tales; ‘OMG how was it?!?!?!?!’ Because ‘I had the time of my life,’ is pretty much the standard response when you ask people about their BME.

But Burning Man is HARD. It forces to you face yourself in ways we have devised so very many modern distractions (television, the internet, flushing toilets, retail therapy) to avoid. It is also a hot, horny, fear-and-loathing-inducing humdinger of a festival, and considering the only way I could ever do Glastonbury was by staying in a local B & B where the owners gave us a glass of chilled Chablis before we headed into the fray each day, I should perhaps have guessed that my BME would kind of be a challenge.

But if I’ve learned ANYTHING this year (thanks to this lady in particular), it’s that challenges are what we human beings are here for! And that a fully textured life is always about the road less travelled. So friends, followers, here are the vital and sometimes evolutionary lessons my BME taught me:

We are hopelessly addicted to stuff: Witness hundreds of Burners buying up literally the entire contents of Walmart in Reno in preparation for a week of ‘radical self-reliance’ in the desert. Next year (oh yes, there will be a ‘next year’) I pledge to make ‘minimalism’ my motto.

Enforced fun can still be fun: We’d been on the road for pretty much 40 hours straight (give or take a whiskey-infused power nap) by the time my friend Sophie and I made it through the gates to hunt down our fellow campers – leaving my husband Simon in what was shaping up to be an 8-hour wait in ‘will call’ for his ticket. As a BM ‘virgin’ it was the greeters’ job to make me lie down on the Playa and make a ‘dust-angel’ to mark my entry. I was not in the mood, but getting to lie down for a minute did put a smile on my face.

Anticipation is the mother of the anti-climax: Even if you haven’t been to BM, you know what BM looks like, right? This is because we live in the information age, goddamnit, and sites (like this one) won’t stop publishing pictures of Black Rock City and its freaky-deeky population. I actually kind of hated myself for not being ‘in awe’ of what I saw out on the Playa my first day. Was I that jaded? But I basically saw exactly what I saw in the images and YouTube clips I’d GORGED on before the event. In fact, if you haven’t been to BM and you think you might go at some point in the future, maybe stop reading now. The joy of discovery is a beautiful thing.

Just follow the signs…

But nothing can prepare you for the TRIP that is your first night on the Playa: Thankfully you can’t photograph a feeling, and here’s a sensation you’ve never got to experience before and will never experience anywhere else. It’s just you, your bike and a sea of LEDs. No roads, no rules, no edge separating Earth from the rest of the Universe.

Being an Aries with Sag rising and Cancer Moon makes for a very conflicted camper (see above re. Glastonbury): The Aries and the Sag want PARTIES, PEOPLE, ADVENTURE! The Cancer needs ALL MY CREATURE COMFORTS, INCLUDING LOTS OF PRIVACY, ALL THE TIME. Yikes.

And…if you have a Water Moon, try to camp with at least one other Water Moon: My gift to my beautiful fellow campers was a personal astro reading, so I had all their chart information ahead of time. And wouldn’t you know, I was headed into a desert storm of pure Fire and Earth. Which of course made for the most incredible camp set-up (fully functioning kitchen, hand-washing station, outdoor shower – with curtain, evaporation pool for our grey water) and a consistent party vibe (mushrooms for breakfast, a carefully calculated six cans of beer per person, per day, plus a seemingly limitless supply of spirits). But my goodness, the outpouring of emotions when I finally managed to track down my friend Tali, and her blessed Scorpio Moon.

I am a total music snob: Tali says it’s because I’m an Aries, who she always admires for our “discernment” (erm, I believe “arrogance” is another adjective associated with my sign). But I also blame (again) my Cancer Moon. To make me move, music has to have soul. Worse, anything that can be loosely categorised as dubstep, breakbeat, trap, minimal techno, EDM or drum ‘n’ bass actually causes a physical reaction in my body that feels a lot like anger. WFT? Even if I’ve taken really amazing drugs (not that I necessarily think drugs are amazing, see below). Unfortunately, these seem to be the preferred genres of most DJs manning the art cars and sound systems at BM, providing a 24-7 soundtrack to life on the Playa straight out of my worst musical nightmare. But thank f*** for a camp called Basshenge!!! Pumping out a soulful, heartbeat bassline that kept me dancing in the dust ‘til dawn, I <3 Basshenge.

Sound clash is sleep deprivation for the soul: The only thing worse than waking up to a full on trap set happening right next to your RV at 9am, is a full on drum ‘n’ bass set happening 10 feet away at the same time. Note to organisers: my friend Gina had a lovely idea – “an hour of silence” every day. (Note to self: add a set of noise cancelling headphones to the minimal ‘must-haves’ list for next year)

“Love is Love”, especially in the desert

“No critters live in the desert”: How cool is this – apparently there’s a special camp in BRC for people to drop off random animals and bugs they find in their camp. This is because, seeing as the desert conditions are too harsh for any living thing to survive (erm, no shit), any “critters” have to have travelled in with you. Even better, there’s some kind of Dr Doolittle animal sanctuary outside the Playa where they all get deposited after the event. What a fun time we had imagining how that little man-made ecosystem is progressing year-on-year!

But BRC is actually a very safe place for humans to live: Discussing the medical room stats listed in the Black Rock Gazette one morning, our camp-mate Bryan (a professional anaesthetist – which, yes, makes for some very interesting conversations about recreational use of ketamine) was able to confirm that the incidence of accident and injury is way lower than the average American metropolis. Despite the lack of rules and policing, and the disproportionately high incidence of all-day intoxication in BRC.

A mini torch makes the best MOOP: Okay, I might have fallen off my bike riding over it out in the deep Playa, but having a mini torch to strap to my Vega Jewelry crystal necklace was a revelation – literally! Mainly down to no more hold-your-breath-and-guess moments in the porta-potties in the dead of night. Yay PERSONAL ILLUMINATION!

The Playa is not a beach: It is a beautiful, uncompromising, arid, dust-bowl. Not to be confused with somewhere to kick back, relax and sink a few cold ones before cooling off in the surf.

Hedonism is one of the deepest expressions of human spirituality: Since when did hedonism get such a bad name anyway?? In the dictionary, it’s defined as – the belief that pleasure or happiness is the most important goal in life. The fact that people will go to so much effort in the pursuit of this ideal, suggests to me a serious pleasure/happiness-unbalance in our daily lives. And being happy means being better equipped to want to contribute to other people’s happiness. This is one of the best BM lessons of all.

Men, even gay men, think very long, wavy hair is sexy. Even if it’s green: I have never received more compliments from the opposite sex than the night I donned this wig. This must be why women get addicted to hair extensions. And doesn’t it say something interesting about gender representation? No matter how progressive the humans, the Disney Princess vision of female beauty still holds sway.

“Radical self-expression” = a lot of costume clichés: See top hats, striped meggings, faux-fur moon boots, leather bras…and green wigs. Turns out most of us humans actually prefer to conform, and a couple of days into the 80kg dressing up box of sequins, wigs and fake tattoos I’d lugged from Brooklyn, I too became acutely aware that I was actually putting together a series of ‘Burning Man outfits’ that were less about an expression of my own personal style than a desire to fit in. I worked in fashion for a long time, I know what that is. Next year I’m just gonna pack a bikini, some Teeki yoga pants, and my boiler suit (below), which is what I ended up feeling most ‘me’ in.

Basically, the best boiler suit ever

I might have had my Burning Man moment a decade (and a half) ago in Ibiza: Between the ages of 24 and 32, I made a twice-yearly pilgrimage to the ‘spiritual’ party island of Ibiza. And daytime dancing at Distrikt, downing shots of Whisky with old gay dudes in leather skirts, riding out at night into a sea of LEDs, allowing myself to merge with the Cosmos out on the edge of the Playa…was basically flashback central to then. What I got from ‘the Ibiza years’ was a sense of connection to a tribe of likeminded hedonists, a deep respect for the numinous beauty of nature and a lot of dancing in the sand beneath the stars. Sound familiar? So now I know I’ve ‘been there, done that’, time to set some new intentions for my BM experience next year.

The best Bloody Mary’s are frozen Bloody Mary’s: But what you don’t get in Ibiza, is some dude named Dave serving up the most incredible frozen Bloody Mary’s (just freeze the mix and stir in lashings of vodka as it melts) in exchange for a sweaty hug. In Ibiza the Bloody Marys will set you back $25.

In no way, shape or form do drug highs measure up to spiritual highs: I first took E when I was 14, and it helped me understand a whole other plane of human existence (not to mention get out of facing my feelings about my parent’s divorce). It took about 20 years for me to realize that seeing as that veil had already been lifted, I would never experience the same sense of ‘enlightenment’ from drugs again – and that in fact, taking drugs is kind of like opening the door to your soul to an unknown entity and handing over the controls (which is why a lot of drug highs feel so scary). There are lots of drugs at BM, and part of my brain (the drunk part) still believes in those kind of highs. But experience – mainly experiences of the numinous variety – has shown me that when your soul is allowed to navigate its own route to bliss, there is no fear, there is no comedown and there is UNLIMITED POTENTIAL FOR PERSONAL GROWTH.

But take enough and you might experience time travel: So my friend-who-shall-remain-nameless met a ‘medicine woman’ dancing at Robot Heart, and asked; ‘what can I learn from you?’ They spent the next 24 hours together out in the deep Playa, during which time the medicine woman gave my friend ‘more drugs than I’ve taken in my life – cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, molly’, and my friend claims she experienced time travel and understood that immortality is entirely possible. Those are the kind of drug experiences I guess I would like to have, but am basically scared s***less of.

Even in the deepest of Playa, where you literally feel like you are on the edge of the Cosmos, a tweaking raver from Liverpool will hunt you down and try to fill your head with her relationship problems: Know that you do not have to let this totally kill your mushroom buzz, and that it is always within your power to simply stand up, kiss her goodnight and ride away.

Sunset: navigating the duality of night and day

Life is an exercise in duality: Clean, dirty; give, receive; high, low; hot, cold. All of which it feels like BM is set up to make ABUNDANTLY CLEAR.

Whiskey Flats RV park (Hawthorn, NV) is the Park Hyatt of RV parks: Okay maybe our perspective was somewhat skewed…but man, I could have kissed the pristine, floral-scented toilet when we stopped off here on our way back to Vegas to clean our RV and empty the putrid ‘black water’ tank. Oh and they also have free coffee and a Laundromat!! I’ve always loved doing laundry. Doing it here was like doing laundry on ecstasy. This is the website in case you need it for next year.

Digital cold turkey isn’t difficult: I’m addicted as the best of us, but I can honestly say I didn’t miss social media or email ONCE during my BME. I even found it hard to let it back into my life, like I’d got a newfound respect for exactly how DICTATOR-LIKE it is. The sense of serenity that comes from being offline is blissful, and observing my online life from the other side I was able to witness the physical, emotional and intellectual hold technology has on us. But, you know, now I’m fully back on the juice and loving it.

I am actually obsessed with the Body’s Ability To Bounce Back (BABB): Okay it’s taken a week to muster the brain cells and the discipline to get this post together, but that’s a lot to do with the fact I’ve also spent a lot of time marvelling at how GOOD IT FEELS to inch my way back into the healthful, spiritually aligned, fully embodied state I usually seek to maintain (a.k.a. get over the comedown). Bryan (the anaesthetist) said he still marvels daily at the BABB, how our organism is consistently seeking to bring itself into balance. Seriously, gotta love the BABB.

Even in the most Mystical of Worlds, I am very much a Material Girl: But I’ve always been pretty upfront about that one, hey.

My life is really freaking awesome: Since my return to the ‘default’ world, I’ve been feeling THE IMMENSEST AMMOUNT OF GRATITUDE FOR – in no particular order of wonderfulness – being clean, fresh water and the sewage system, work that brings me so much satisfaction and helps me define my ‘edges’, electricity, the bond I share with my beautiful husband, groceries, my cat purring, blowdries, the Internet. And an event like Burning Man, for helping me TRULY appreciate the fact.

Burningman.com

COUNTDOWN TO BLACK ROCK CITY: 51 BURNING MAN ESSENTIALS

Here it comes…the countdown to BURNING MAN 2014 is on! As the final preparations take place, we canvassed the most seasoned Burners of the Numinati to compile the ultimate pre-playa check-list…Images: Reka Nyari and Michael Chichi

:: JANA PINCHBECK, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR PLANETARY CULTURE ::

Friends. I am coming with my two best girlfriends from London and a few from New York. I cannot imagine BM without a court of fabulous sexy friends

Masha Lunara Feather Hair Clips, $98. Expect to have lucid dreams if you fall asleep wearing these!

Sun protection. Heliocare Ultra SPF 90 Cream 50 Ml. is the best ever non-greasy natural plant extract that protects your skin from burning sun on the playa

Shannon Shiang Phoenix Wings Pendant, $225. Shannon’s pieces take inspiration from sacred geometry and nature

The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell (Thinking Classics) by Aldous Huxley. The only book that I am taking this year, recommended by a friend James Oroc who is the author of Tryptamine Palace

:: CLOSET – DRESS FOR THE EXPERIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT ::

Religion Insignia Faux Fur Coat, $328.90
Feather Junkie Earrings, $80
JADEtribe Cross-Body Bag, $198
Teeki Capri Leggings, $52
Bandana, $88, Marc by Marc Jacobs
River Island Biker Boots, $69.95
Magenta Anime Curls Wig, $16.99
Touchtip Tie-dye Gloves, $26.99

:: TALI EDUT, CO-FOUNDER, ASTROSTYLE.COM ::

Interactive giveaways. These are great icebreakers, like these Metallic Jewelry Temporary Tattoos. People love to adorn themselves there, so when you can help them channel that, all the better

Fresh food. Forget what you heard about only eating out of cans or Tasty Bites. This woman’s suggestions have kept me well fed on the playa

A comfy chair. There’s a lot of time to lounge when the Sun is out and a sturdy camp chair like this Telescope Casual Cabana Beach Folding Chair is a godsend

Battery operated costume lights. A strand of Ultra Thin 30 Micro LEDs with a little battery pack are great. I love to drape them over my faux-fur coat (another Burner essential)

No Rinse Bathing Wipes. Kind of like a baby wipe on steroids.

:: CAMP – MAKE YOUR HOME THE SWEETEST HOME ::

Bubble Inflatables Blow-up Couch, $51.88
Boombotix Boombot Portable Weatherproof Speaker, $26.97
White Magic Room Spray, $16
First Aid Kit, $29.94
Espiritus Del Ande Palo Santo, Wiraqoya and Copal Incense, $20

:: VICTORIA KEEN, DESIGNER ::

An offering for the temple. Think, photos of loved ones that have passed, a significant object, or simply some heartfelt words to leave there

Teeny glass vials with cork stoppers to collect some playa dust in. Some people make them into necklaces

Vega Jewelry Aqua Aura Quartz, $325

Proper eye wear. The sun is serious out there

Raw organic energy bars. To keep with you at all times in case you are having an adventure and don’t want to be bothered by finding food

Gaia Goddessa Head-dress, $400

:: KITCHEN – NOURISH YOUR BODY, NOURISH YOUR SPIRIT ::

Cider vinegar (your all-purpose cleaner) – Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar by Bragg (1 gallon) $19.09

Aloha powdered greens, $40

Aloe Force (to keep things flowing on the go) – Herbal Whole Raw Aloe Vera Juice 32 fl. oz. $35.60

Veev Sustainable Acai Spirit, $34.99

Coconut oil (for your food and your face) – Barlean’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 16-Ounce Jar, $12.99

Urban Moonshine Organic Digestive Bitters, $7.99

:: COSMETIC – ALL HAIL THE EMBODIED BODY BEAUTIFUL ::

Lulu Organics Jasmine Hair Powder (dry shampoo), $30
Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner, $24
Lotus Wei Joy Juice Perfume, $45
Suti Fabulous Organic Foot Balm, $30
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, $14
Remee Lucid Dream Enhancing Eye Mask, $100

 :: ERICA JAGO, FOUNDER, JAGO YOGA ::

An old journal to burn in the temple. Time to say c’est la vie to the past and bring good fortune to the future

Socks. Cleaning my feet, moisturizing, then putting on a new pair of socks = heaven! (Happy Socks, $12)

An open heart. Can you love everyone the same, without holding rank and expand your limits on love?

A fanny pack. Filled with gifts to hand out to special people I meet during the ride (Pendleton, $119)

K-Y Jelly. The bike seat gets brutal after day five, especially when all you wear are bikini bottoms. Just a little bit can smooth things out. You can thank me later 🙂

www.burningman.com

NOTES FROM THE NUMIVERSE: MOON SIGNS AND THE EMOTIONAL BODY

Last week’s New Moon in Cancer felt like a tipping point for some major personal transitions. And all because I womaned-up, learned to love my Moon and embraced my emotional body. By Ruby Warrington.

When I first met Marma Katie a few months back (as in Ayurvedic “marma” massage – she’s the go-to girl among my NYC Numis), she started telling me all about her Moon Puja. We were at the launch of Nadya Andreeva’s Happy Belly book, which felt like a fitting place for a discussion about an ancient spiritual fasting practice designed to support your mental and emotional balance, while also easing any issues with the digestive system (unsurprising that the emo Moon rules the gut).

The Puja, which is performed every Monday (yup, Moon-day), involves taking only clear or white liquids from sun up to sun down, at which point you chant your Moon mantra, light a candle and break the fast with a small white cookie, sweet or piece of cheese.

“It’s for anybody who’s Moon, or mother energy, is in a compromised position in their chart,” Katie explained. As the Moon also rules the feminine principal, “treating mainly women on a Monday, particularly mothers and grandmothers, has become part of my practise too,” she went on.

We didn’t go into the details of her Moon placement there and then, but obviously our conversation got me thinking about my Moon, which I’ve been feeling very tender towards lately – to the point that Moon signs have become my latest astro obsession.

Representing the mother, as well as our emotional body, my Cancer Moon sits directly square (challenges, tests, inhibits) my Sun, in my intense eighth house (death and rebirth, sex and money). Even more “compromising,” it’s in a tight aspect conjunct Saturn (self-sacrifice, patience, austerity). Poor little Moon! Um, perhaps the Monday Puja was for me too?

 

Turns out that in Vedic astrology (relevant because the Puja is an Ayurvedic practise) my Moon is in my ninth house, and is actually “very, very blessed” – this info via text from Marma Katie’s astrologer out in LA. “Your mom is kind of like your guru, though she’s very tough. She’s a truth teller. Not always fun, but at least you know where you stand,” he told me.

Uh…word. She’s also a Jungian psychotherapist, and so let’s just say that conversations can get pretty deep, pretty fast. There’s not a lot of space for small talk in our relationship (but hey, at least we know each other’s deepest, darkest insecurities).

So anyway, no Puja for me. I have to say I was a little bit disappointed, as I quite liked the idea of a diet of coconut water and cauliflower soup one day a week – plus I’d already been eyeing up this pearl ring, as you’re supposed to wear a piece of jewelry to rep the Moon energy too. But all my research has actually felt like part of an on-going process of getting to know my Moon, which has been a healing journey in itself.

I first began to understand my Cancer Moon on the Astro Twins’ Become Your Own Astrologer retreat last year. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, which I interpreted as a double whammy of sensitive, watery, intuitive energy – and sitting right below disciplinarian Saturn, in that medieval eighth house, first I wanted to make it my scapegoat. “Moon, it’s your fault I get so insecure about money. Moon, it was you who let my first boyfriend use sex as a weapon of control. Moon, you’re the reason I have such an emotional digestive tract!”

But I quickly got over all that self-pitying bullshit, and realized I should actually welcome my emotionally empowered Moon as a soulful counterpoint to all the fire in my chart (Sag rising, Aries Sun and a Chinese Fire Dragon to boot). “Do you sing?” asked one of the other women on the retreat. Apparently all the divas – Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin – are Aries with Cancer moon. In other words, walking egos with serious soul 😉

And actually, my first conscious effort to bring forth my Moon energy was an East Village karaoke session with the Twins soon after the retreat. Usually enough to bring on a mild anxiety attack at the mere thought, but surprisingly empowering in the moment.

Of course, with Saturn RIGHT THERE my hardest lessons happen to be where my Moon is (all the money stuff, the sex stuff, the personal power schtick). But I’ve also come to understand that she, along with my girl gang of incredible female friends, is there to nurture me through them. And that confronting my most emotionally painful, most basic truths (safe in the knowledge that my courageous Aries Sun is also right there by my side) is the fast track to some seriously high vibe eighth house transformations – not least when it comes to my relationship with my mother. It also makes sense that the energy surrounding last week’s New Moon in Cancer felt like a tipping point for many of these transitions.

So where’s the Moon in your chart? If living a richly textured life is about connecting mind (as I see it, your Sun), body (rising sign) and soul (the Moon), then embracing your Moon and all it has to teach about your emotional life is an essential part in bringing your whole self to the table – in life, in love, 24-7.

Once you’ve downloaded your personal birth chart, click here for a full interpretation of the Moon in each house.

MOMMY DEAREST: MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS BY SIGN

Stumped for how to honor your mamma this Mother’s Day? Ophira Edut, co-author with her sister Tali of Momstrology: The Astro Twins’ Guide to Parenting Your Little One by the Stars, has some ideas…

Aries mom: Diana Ross

The Aries Mom: Take her advice.
Supermom Aries wants nothing more than to hear these four words: “You were right, Mom.” So throw her a mother-knows-best bone. Aries rules the mind, and she wants her savvy smarts to be appreciated. Today, do things HER way. Take her out—to her favorite restaurant or a movie in her genre of choice…the one you’ve been resistant to try. You never know, she could be on to something after all.

Taurus mom: Audrey Hepburn

The Taurus Mom: Say it with flowers.
Nice ones from her favorite florist, please, arranged tastefully in a cool box (like these from Olive and Cocoa). Present them with a few impeccably wrapped high-end gifts: scarves, jewelry, nice accessories. Visual Taurus is ruled by aesthetic Venus, and this traditional mom loves beautiful presentation. This is one sign you can’t skimp on for Mother’s Day, so go designer—or at least, go decadent.

Gemini mom: Angelina Jolie

The Gemini Mom: Join in one of her hobbies.
Versatile Geminis have a million interests—books, music, films, trivia. Instead of tuning out, tune in. As the sign of the Twins, she loves to share information and discuss. Get two tickets for the show of her choosing, then analyze it over a fun meal afterward. Or, buy two copies of the same book you both want to read, and call her to discuss as you devour.

Cancer mom: Jerry Hall

The Cancer Mom: Book a family portrait session.
Say cheese! With the Cancer mom, you’re never too to pose for a professional shot of the family—the more generations involved, the better. To avoid being immortalized in a yuppie setup (everyone barefoot in jeans and matching white oxfords…you know the deal), arrange a sitting with a creative photographer. Or heck, you could even send a snapshot to an artist and commission a painting.

Leo mom: Madonna

The Leo Mom: Play dress-up with her.
Broadway, here we come! The Leo mama loves to hit the town with her lion cubs, so pull out the formalwear…and all the stops. Start with an early Mother’s Day brunch, then head to a Mama Mia matinee (or some other blockbuster musical). While you’re still humming “Dancing Queen,” finish with some disco fries and a giant hot fudge sundae at the diner—in your pearls or suit-and-tie—since she loves to do high and low in a single day.

Virgo mom: Beyonce

The Virgo Mom: Sit down for a real conversation.
The Virgo mom loves to talk—and not just idle chitchat either. She wants to know your hopes, dreams and opinions, and to share a few of her own. Book a day of undistracted quality time with her. Find a fancy hotel that serves high tea where you can hear her thoughts on life over petit fours and fragrant blends. Let her fuss over you a little—but grab the check before she tries to pay it, since the Virgo mom loves to give, but isn’t always comfortable receiving.

Libra mom: Kim Kardashian

The Libra Mom: Treat her to a day of beauty.
The lovely Libra mom savors all the pretty things in life. Treat her to all the traditional trappings: flowers, a spa trip, a special brunch, and all the Hallmark trimmings. Give her an occasion to get dressed up—and don’t forget the card! Sentimental Libra will treasure your Mother’s Day tributes forever. Tell her how much she means to you, and all the reasons why.

Scorpio mom: Goldie Hawn

The Scorpio Mom: Bond with one of your unique “me and mom” pastimes.
You know those favorite activities that you shared with your mom as a kid? Maybe it was taking a bike ride to your favorite little picnic spot, getting mani-pedis, or baking chocolate-chip banana bread and eating the whole loaf while it was still warm. Whatever it is: do that. As the sign of one-on-one bonding, the Scorpio mom cherishes those special things that only the two of you understand: inside jokes, little rituals, decadent splurges a deux. Remind her that she’s irreplaceable by re-enacting those beloved memories.

Sagittarius mom: Jane Birkin

The Sagittarius Mom: A day of adventure—with or without you.
The spontaneous Sagittarius mama is always multi-tasking, so take her away from her to-do list and off for a day of fun. Whether you head out into nature or go the “urban explorer” route, she’ll love getting away for an unstructured day of discovery. Hint: if she’s a newer mom, the independent Sag might appreciate having a few of those hours all to herself, where she can let her own inner compass guide her, and explore without having to answer to anyone but herself.

Capricorn mom: Kate Moss

The Capricorn Mom: Take over her duties.
The Capricorn mama works hard, so give her a day—or a week—off. Whatever task she toils over, take it out of her hands. Gardening, cleaning the house, walking the dog…maybe you do it for her, but even better, how about hiring a service to handle this chore for six months to a year? She may grumble for a minute, but when she comes home to crisp sheets or an impeccable yard, this dutiful mama might finally put her feet up and let herself enjoy some much-deserved rest.

Aquarius mom: Yoko Ono

The Aquarius Mom: Road trip!
Spontaneous and nomadic, the Aquarius mom loves the unexpected. Rent a car or pick her up, then go explore a town a couple hours away. Whether you collect shells on the beach then go to a quaint little crab shack, or drive into the big city, she’ll love being your co-adventurer on this Mother’s Day quest. Feel free to surprise her, too—Aquarius is the sign of the unexpected, so she’ll enjoy the thrill of anticipation.

Pisces mom: Cindy Crawford

The Pisces Mom: Gush a little, would you?
Stock up on the Kleenex and let the tearjerker moments begin! Raise a Bellini (or three) to your Pisces mom, and acknowledge all the sacrifices she’s made for you. Don’t hold back on the effusive praise because let’s face it, she’s been there for you like nobody else. It doesn’t take much to make this mushy mama misty-eyed. But go a little over the top anyway—the Pisces mom loves a glamorous setting!

Momstrology: The Astro Twins’ Guide to Parenting Your Little One By The Stars is out now. For lots more on parenting and astrology visit Momstrology.com

@AstroTwins

2014: THE HORSE VS. THE SEVEN UNIVERSAL YEAR

Today’s Aquarius new moon marks the Chinese New Year of the Horse. What kind of energy will this usher in for 2014? And how will this vibe with the numerological Seven Universal Year? Astro Style’s Ophira Edut and Practical Numerologist Felicia Bender weigh in…

Image: Truong Buugiam’s Seven Horses

Saddle up! The lively Chinese Year of the Horse is upon us, and the message from the cosmos is to get ready for ACTION. Energetic and frenetic, the Horse year is a big departure from 2013′s internal, and sometimes insidious, Year of the Snake (think about Sagittarius versus Scorpio energy).

Last year was all about transformation and exploring the inner landscape. And now that we’ve shed all that skin and shape-shifted into wiser, worldlier versions of ourselves, it’s time to share this with the world, loud and proud.

This year brings us the Wood Horse, which is said to be the tamest of the five elemental Horses (the others are fire, earth water and metal). While there may be an overall vibe of stubborn determination in the air, it will be milder than in other Horse years (think back to 2002, year of the sociable water Horse, and what was going on for you then). The last Wood Horse year was 1954, while anybody born in Horse years 1966, 1978, 1990 and 2002, can look forward to a twelve months of good fortune and new beginnings. The Horse year is also said to be good for travel, the global economy and romance.

Here, a few tips for staying in the saddle in the months to come:

EMBRACE FREEDOM
Throughout 2013, ‘control’ was a dominant theme with the cunning Snake at the helm. Now, the unbridled Horse year invites us into wide-open spaces and new terrains. Explore as widely as you can, and extricate yourself from arrangements that feel too confining. Couples or business partners dealing with jealousy, trust issues and possessiveness will need to overhaul the relationship to survive this cycle. During a Horse year, we are especially sensitive to people crushing our spirits and trying to rein us in. Let creativity be your compass.

KEEP YOUR HOOVES MOVING
If you sat lotus or played armchair philosopher all the way through 2013′s serene Snake year, you may be all the more enlightened for it. But now it’s time to emerge from that sheltering cocoon and DO something. Apply all your newfound insights to a tangible project. Put your talents on display. Spread the word about what you’re up to instead of jealously guarding every idea. In a Horse year, you need to act quickly and decisively. However, you’ll have to walk a fine line not to act rashly. When in doubt, feel it out—a little crowdsourcing or opinion never hurts. Horses are collaborative animals, and teamwork makes the dream work.

KNOW WHEN TO SAY “NAY” AND WHEN TO MAKE HAY
It can be easy to feel scattered during a Horse year. Yes, we just told you to keep moving, but you don’t want to gallop too far off the trail either. With so many ideas and exciting offers, it’s tempting to race off at the sound of every starting gun. During a feisty and restless Horse year, we need to pay extra attention to the due diligence that we’d rather just skip over. The Year of the Horse may be great for getting us into action…but what are we acting on, exactly? Discipline yourself to plan, research and prepare. Work with an expert. Hire a coach or a mentor, especially if you’ve got flashy ideas but your skills are a little rusty. Behind every winning horse, after all, is a masterful trainer. Before the big event, you must practice, practice, practice, and learn to trot before you can gallop.

GROOM THYSELF
Vanity is a hallmark of the proud horse, so pay extra attention to your appearance and don’t be shy about spending a little extra in the salon. With Jupiter moving into theatrical Leo for a whole year on July 16, the second half of the Horse year should produce some interesting looks on the SS15 runways. The 1990 Horse year was the year we discovered Kate Moss, when she appeared for this amazing shoot in cult Style magazine The Face, and the year grunge culture spawned a whole new way of looking at fashion. If you’re decorating or entertaining, aim for cheerful and bright colors, minimal clutter and an arrangement conducive to spirited conversation. Oh, and make sure the sofas can be pushed aside for an impromptu dance party. Your gatherings could also give way to a few love matches or serendipitous business connections, and whenever you attend a party, always dress well and have your business cards at the ready.

DON’T GET FOOLED BY THE “SHOW PONIES”
While the Snake year was an introvert’s paradise, the Year of the Horse is tailor-made for extroverts. This means we can expect lively conversations but also a lot of big talkers and inflated promises (or “sparkle ponies,” as we like to call them). Enjoy these characters for their entertainment value, but know that they might not be able to deliver much more than a good show. On the flipside, check your own ego at the door. Pride can be a stumbling block during the Year of the Horse. People will insist that they’re right even when it’s obvious they’re actually digging themselves deeper into a pile of horses**t. Others will insist on doing things THEIR way, even when it’s the hard way. If you catch yourself caught up in such an act, pull in the reins and check yourself before you stampede over your own success.

Get the scoop on 2014 with The AstroTwins’ 2014 Planetary Planner, an extensive ebook with predictions for every zodiac sign. Enter the code ‘numinous’ for an exclusive 30% discount.
@AstroTwins

THE HORSE VS THE UNIVERSAL SEVEN YEAR 

Now look before you leap… Image: Ryan McGinley

As we often find in life, the Year of the Horse and the Seven Universal Year appear to offer us a clash of energies in 2014. And yes, these energies have the power to both compliment and complicate our lives this year.  How so?  If the Year of the Horse is a “gitty-up” year, full of action-oriented energies, then the Seven Universal Year allows us the space for introspection which will help us assimilate all that’s taking place on a soul level.

This will involve some “parallel play” – meaning your focus will shift from outside influences (the rip-roaring, get-out-there-and-DO-IT energy of the Horse) to what’s going on inside (the energy of the Seven Personal Year).  As long as you’re aware of this duality, you can really tap into the power of this dichotomy.

Also understand that while the Seven Universal Year indicates a more reserved and contemplative energy, it doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly find yourself dropping everything and crawling into a cave.  Your world will move at its usual pace – and yet on the inside you’ll be able to process what’s going on at a deep and profound level. The Year of the Horse will provide you with ample opportunity to truly question who you are in a raw and authentic way.

Let’s say you land a new job offer (active, Horse energy). This year you actually get to decide if it’s speaking to your true self, the passionate you. Is it reflective of your authentic life purpose?  You might be more likely to decline the offer on these grounds this year, rather than jump on it because it’s offering you a hefty raise. Just one example of how these two seemingly conflicting energies will work in tandem with each other to make 2014 a red-letter year for your personal evolution, both in the material and spiritual worlds.

For the full lowdown on what the Seven Universal Year means for YOU click here.

But how can we all optimize our successes and find satisfaction in this Seven year?

Some DOs and DON’Ts for 2014:

DO understand that this is a year that you get a Free Pass to contemplate your own navel.

DO anything that relates to spiritual growth, including (but not limited to) taking a retreat, reading (and reading some more), taking classes that are job related or spiritually minded (or both), and saying yes any opportunity to expand your sense of your authentic self.

DO take the extra time and energy to take care of your health. This can mean scheduling an outstanding surgery, going to the dentist for the first time in hoever long, or starting a new exercise routine or nutritional program. It’s a great year to practice meditation.

DON’T hit the ground running and think that 2014 is the year to launch your new business or take on lots of extra hours at the office. If you do, you’ll feel as though you’re hitting your head against a brick wall. Wait until next year (2015) to pump up your business life. This year: gathering knowledge. Next year: implementation.

DON’T ignore anything emotional that comes up for you this year. If you face down your feelings in a fume of denial, you’ll have missed out on exponential personal growth.

DON’T dig your heels in and resist the call to expand yourself. If you do, you’ll win a Victim of the Year Award for 2014. And you’ll deserve it.

Felicia Bender is The Practical Numeroligist.
@FeliciaBender1

NEW YEAR, NU YOU: RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR SIGN

A new year might just be another pinprick in the infinite now, but still, it brings with it the energy of change and transformation. What will this mean for you in 2014? The Astro Twins look at how the planets have been shaping our resolutions, and how your sign can be a better, more brilliant person in the year to come.

Ready, set, goal! The first day of 2014 featured a new moon in driven Capricorn, the master strategist sign. Before the champagne flutes have been emptied and the calendar pages turned, many of us will have already set our sights set on a major milestone or two. Amplifying the future-focused effect, the Sun, communication planet Mercury, romantic Venus and penetrating Pluto are also circulating through Capricorn. There’s nothing light or casual about the dreams we’re weaving for 2014. But watch out: lest we become too ruthless about it, there’s a cosmic intervention from fiery Mars in Libra, which will form a tense square (90-degree angle) to the new moon and heavy-hitting Pluto. Libra is the sign of relationships, so perhaps Mars is sounding the alarm—don’t steamroll others in your quest for your holy grail.

Looking for a deadline for your dream casting? Mark your calendar for July 12, 2014, when a Capricorn full moon will bring the seeds you’re planting as the year opens to fruition or a turning point.

FIRE. Image: Matt Malloy (via @Liberatum)

ARIES
With the new moon in your tenth house of career and long-term goals, you’ve had your eyes on the corner office, a lifetime achievement award or a prestigious coup in the year to come. You want 2014 to be about recognition for your hard work, to be known as an expert or leader in your field. And why shouldn’t you? But Mars in your partnership house reminds you that behind every star is a best supporting cast mate. Your lesson this year? Don’t let naked ambition overshadow that devoted person who’s been the wind beneath your gossamer wings. Resolve to make room in the spotlight for two.
Your resolution style: Your hotheaded approach means you’re first out of the gate when it comes to stating your intent for the year ahead, but with so much fire-starter energy at play your good intentions can quickly run out of steam. Try to accept that you can’t manifest everything overnight, keep focused on your long-term goals and success will be yours.

TAURUS
Practicality? Bah humbug. Yesterday’s new moon illuminated your expansive ninth house, giving you a thirst for adventure and new horizons in the year to come. Travel, publishing or study will appeal to you more than security for once in 2014. But stressful Mars in your detail-driven sixth house reminds you not to throw ALL caution to the winter winds while you’re mapping out our hopes and dreams for the year to come. There are administrative details to address before you pack your carry-on and race off for a standby flight to Burma. The cosmos is urging you to take a leap of faith…but pack your parachute!
Your resolution style: The best things come to those who wait, right Taurus? Slow to embrace change, world domination is all about the long game to you. On the flipside, it can be hard for you to shift negative habits – the key is to focus on creating healthy new ones instead.

GEMINI
Peel and reveal. With the new moon having shone a light on your eighth house of intimacy, as 2014 begins you’re dissolving false layers and delving into the deeper realms of emotion and spirit. The eighth house is all about merging, so you could have set your sights on an engagement, a pregnancy, a joint financial venture or something else entwining for the year to come. But knock knock, Gemini: are you getting lost in that cozy cocoon a deux? Mars in your playful fifth house reminds you not to get SO caught up in your private world this year that you stop expressing yourself. How boring the world would be if Geminis went radio silent. Speak up—the world needs to hear your novel ideas this year, too!
Your resolution style: Your variety-seeking nature means you’ve no doubt started the year with a to-improve list as long as your arm – you’re open to every idea the cosmos has to throw at you! But this scattergun approach can be your downfall. Instead, try to focus on one or two big shifts you truly want to affect this year.

WATER. Image: Pietro Canali (via @Liberatum)

CANCER
Make it a double. The Capricorn new moon opened the year with a pileup in your relationship house, which has you thinking in twosome terms. Your plans for 2014 center around collaborations, for business or love, and you’re ready to make it official. Or, you might be particularly pressed to create goals that mesh with those of your mate. But red-hot Mars in your fourth house of home, family and emotional foundations waves its flag. You can’t take care of everyone else if you don’t nurture yourself. Some Cancers might even feel a twinge of baby fever, while your partner is less keen on the stork stopping by. Stand up for what YOU want in 2014, too, Cancer.
Your resolution style: Your personal goals are often ruled by your emotions – which, of course, can change overnight. What felt like exactly the fresh start you needed yesterday, could be totally off today. So try a more practical approach instead, and focus on the external things that could change your life for the better.

LEO
With yesterday’s Capricorn new moon in your health and organization house, you were no doubt up early on New Year’s Day, ready to hit the gym, de-clutter your entire house or tackle some other narrowly-focused goal. In fact, you may be all business this year, with your sights set on exactly what you want. But while precision is important when you’re trying to manifest, don’t forget to let the universe be your co-pilot. Mars in your third house of kindred spirits and communication reminds you to step back and let others play a hand, too. Instead of trying to control situations in the year to come, or do it all yourself, open a dialogue and even team up. Just because you CAN do it all alone, doesn’t mean you should.
Your resolution style: All change! Big and dramatic is the way you do everything in life, including your approach to personal development. Your heart is in every promise you make yourself about the year to come – but the only way you’ll stick to your guns is by keeping it light, and bringing a healthy dose of playfulness to proceedings.

VIRGO
Express yourself! The new moon in your outspoken and passionate fifth house has gifted you with a playful and dramatic flair as the year begins. Will 2014 be the year you step into the spotlight and let your dazzling personality take center stage? Virgos get a bad rap as being boring pencil pushers, but your natural wit means can actually be quite hilarious. What else could be in store for 2014? Romantic adventures, a creative renaissance and more fun. Just watch your budget. With aggro Mars in your money and work sector, duty won’t just drunk-dial you…it will blow up your phone. Make this your priority as you map out the year ahead, even as you let yourself be spontaneous.
Your resolution style: You always have a plan, don’t you Virgo? Resolving to make things better comes as naturally as breathing to your analytical sign, but this can also manifest as undue anxiety about the future. Instead, try focusing on how you’d like to transform your world one day at a time.

AIR. Image: Alexandre Buisse (via @Liberatum)

LIBRA
In the mood for nesting, anyone? The Capricorn new moon in your fourth house of home and family opened the year with a cozy and domestic vibe. Your resolutions for 2014 might center around family, babies, self-care and creating more security overall. You might even search for a snug retreat to call home. But before you zip up that onesie and bid the outside world goodbye, check your priorities. Go-getter Mars is in Libra until July 25, reminding you that you’ve got a big public role to play in the year to come. Resolves to nurture yourself and your loved ones, but not at the expense of your star power.
Your resolution style: You live a fairly balanced life Libra, and don’t really vibe with the all-or-nothing energy that can surround resolutions season. But sometimes we need to take a stand if we want to evolve. If this is you, try not to let the opinions of others sway you from the path you know is best for you.

SCORPIO
You’ve got a lot to say about 2014, Scorpio, thanks to yesterday’s Capricorn new moon in your third house of communication and ideas. In fact, you your head (not to mention your inbox) could be spinning with all the ideas you have cooking for the year ahead. Just don’t forget to carve out room for rest and healing. With Mars in your sleepy twelfth house of closure, you’ll also need to honor your limits and set healthy boundaries with all the colorful (but sometimes exhausting) people you’ll meet. It never hurts to check references, too, as there could be a couple of flaky or even shady ones in the bunch. Resolve to screen ‘em carefully before inviting anyone new into your private life this year.
Your resolution style: When you decide to do something, it can quickly become your latest obsession. Great for sticking with the program, but perhaps not always the healthiest approach? To keep things in perspective, try giving yourself a cut off point to take a step back and see where you’re at.

SAGITTARIUS

The year began with a Capricorn new moon in your second house of work, money and stability. You may be the zodiac’s adventurer, but it looks like this year’s goals will center on financial security. You want to build a nest egg, simplify your schedule and prioritize. Indeed, that will line the path to a more predictable life, which (perhaps for the first time ever) sounds pretty enticing. You’re also eager to regain any lost confidence, and this new moon sees you remembering your value. Just don’t get so mired in the day-to-day that you stop dreaming in 2014. With Mars in your visionary and free-spirited eleventh house, you need to plant one foot in the present while the other dips a toe in unchartered waters.
Your resolution style: Why would you not succeed in bringing about the life changes you desire? Full of optimism, you’re the master of positive intentions – but don’t forget, you need to back this up with some hard graft too. Stay enthusiastic by continually seeking to learn more about whatever it is you’re ushering in.

EARTH. Image: Xiao Yang (via @Liberatum)

CAPRICORN
Take the crown, Capricorn—2014 belongs to you! With a new moon and a planetary powwow in your sign as the year begins, it’s time to put your personal goals and agenda center stage. The stars align for you to put yourself first, and don’t you dare feel guilty about that either, o’ dutiful one. But alas, as you enjoy a more “carpe diem” vibe, you’ll still need to attend to your responsibilities. Go-getter Mars in your house of career and long-term goals could turn the spotlight on your professional life. Just don’t slip into total “company man” mode. Aim for that brass ring or coveted title, but this year’s theme is to step into being the star player, not just the dutiful soldier.
Your resolution style: No stranger to structure, your hardworking approach means “resolve” might as well be your middle name. Yes, discipline you can do – sometimes to extremes. Try to let yourself off the hook a little if you slip up. You’re only human, after all.

AQUARIUS
A mystical and healing year is in store, as the January 1 new moon lit up your twelfth house of the subconscious, creativity and closure. A good part of your work in 2014 will be letting go of limiting beliefs, toxic influences and shabby or shopworn parts of your life that no longer serve you. This could be the year you visit an ashram, or just enjoy more solitude at home. But don’t disappear into your bubble. With motivator Mars in your ninth house of travel, adventure and learning, you are being urged to maintain contact with the wider world—and the curious part of yourself. In between holing up in the studio or tending to the needs of loved ones, plot some mind expanding getaways for the year to come.
Your resolution style: You’re always full of ideas about the changes you want to manifest, some of which can be fairy radical. Finding a group of like-minded individuals with whom to map uncharted territory will be key to your success – just don’t go zooming way of piste for the sake of being different.

PISCES
The more the merrier: that’s your mantra for 2014. With yesterday’s Capricorn new moon lighting your social eleventh house, the New Year smells like team spirit. Look for ways you can join forces with avant-garde thinkers now, both in person and virtually since technology is highlighted, too. The cucumber-cool eleventh house also helps you detach from drama, rather than getting sucked into its quicksand. Sound familiar, Pisces? You will also feel the urge to take a break from the crowds (and social media) to reconnect with your spirit in 2014. Is there a retreat that’s got your name on it? Mars in your intense and inward eighth house warns that you’ll need regular escapes to detox from the intensity of the year to come.
Your resolution style: You let your intuition be your guide when it comes to mapping the course ahead, and vision boards might as well have been invented for your creative sign. Which all looks great in your mind’s eye – but remember you have to put the peddle to the metal and knuckle down to actively making things happen sometimes too.

For an in-depth look at what 2014 will hold for your zodiac sign, download The AstroTwins’ 2014 Planetary Planner. Use the code ‘numinous’ for 15% off your purchase.

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BIRTH CHART FOR AMMA THE HUGGING SAINT

As Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī, a.k.a. Amma, celebrates her 60th birthday today, the Astro Twins Ophira Edut examines the chart of the Hugging Saint – a woman who was born to heal the world.

Walking through New York City’s East Village, I recently spotted a red bumper sticker plastered to the curb bearing the words “Love is telepathic.” Groovy sloganeering aside, there’s one person on this planet who would probably agree. Her name is Amma, and she’s hugged 33 million people all over the world. That’s right—hugged. Ordinary people like us, from all walks of life, stand in line for hours for a magical if momentary embrace from the woman whose name, given to her as a teenager, means “mother.”

With seven planets forming a six-pointed star in feminine signs this July (a grand sextile, in astro-terminology), there’s no surprise our world is crying out for mother energy. The planet and its inhabitants need nurturing, compassion and connection like never before. So when The Numinous asked me to analyze Amma’s chart for her 60th birthday, I couldn’t say no.

I myself have never been hugged by Amma. I came to the Manhattan Center while she was in New York City, saw the long line, and my impatient Sagittarian nature overrode my desire for a spiritual squeeze. Full astro-disclosure: with my stiff Capricorn rising, I was secretly relieved. I once became notorious for being a “one-armed hugger,” and if I can get out the door with a wave instead of an embrace, I’m good. Yet, I also think it’s because I’ve spent too many years trying to be “serious” and responsible, trapped by my own stoic body language. I’m probably starving for affection, and will be the person who bursts into tears the second I meet her.

After hearing raves about Amma’s healing touch, I came to regret my moment of impatience and uptightness. I have certainly felt her radiant love telepathically since then, just seeing the glow she’s given friends, hearing about her incredible presence, and of course, by looking at her astrological chart. Now, I’m gonna have to let go of my silly stance and let myself experience Amma up close. Until her next visit, it will just be through the planets in her horoscope wheel…which is kind of an esoteric embrace in my world.

Here’s what stands out in Amma’s birth chart to me:

All you need is love: Sun in peacemaker Libra.
Amma, not surprisingly, is a Libra. In fact, she has four planets in the sign of unconditional love, peace and harmony. Libra rules relationships and interpersonal matters, and perhaps this is why Amma can stay awake 22 hours on an average day, giving hug after hug. In my experience, many Libras don’t really like or need to be alone—in fact, they thrive on the energy of other people.The planets Amma has in Libra are the Sun (her identity), Mercury (communication and touch), Neptune (healing and compassion) and Saturn (authority and stability). No surprise she can radiate sacred, comforting Neptunian energy but also has the dignity given by heavyweight Saturn. The combination of glamorous Neptune and serious Saturn has the marker of someone who is, in essence, a professional healer or empath. Naturally, she’s so much more than that. While she’s got her arms wrapped around the world, Amma also runs a huge, largely volunteer-run non-profit that serves orphanages, hospitals, programs for widowed and elderly people, and builds homes for the homeless worldwide. Since Saturn is also about building and structure, no surprise that she her giving also takes on concrete form.

Amma’s moon sign is steady, salt-of-the-earth Taurus.
The moon governs our feminine energy, and shapes the kind of mother women will be (even if they are spiritual mums, like Amma). Set in sensual Taurus, the most grounding and affectionate zodiac sign, Amma’s moon sign gives her the power of healing touch.

Playful, yet dignified: Amma has a regal Leo rising.
According to her sources, Amma was born at 9:09 am, which dictates the ascendant, or rising sign, in the chart. The rising sign rules the “face” you show to the world, the first impression you make, or your appearance. Amma has the beauty, presence and passion gifted by a Leo ascendant. Her expressive face, radiant smile and protective Leo hugs are all part of this chart factor, too. Leo is ruled by the Sun, the giver of vitality and joy. As a result, Amma’s “hugs” are probably more an exchange of life force energy—or a transmission of her own abundant supply of it, awakening people from feeling separate, isolated or alone.

Energized by giving: she has Mars and Venus in Virgo, the sign of service.
Energizing Mars and love planet Venus are both in Virgo, the helper and healer sign. Perhaps this is also why Amma stays awake for the majority of the day giving. With Mars here, she’s energized by her acts of service—and says as much herself. Venus adds palpable love, beauty and harmony to the equation. Both are in Amma’s first house of fame, making her a public figure for her work.

Mother to society: revolutionary Uranus is in Cancer, the mother sign.
Uranus is the cosmic liberator, in Cancer, the sign of the mother and nurturer. Nestled in Amma’s eleventh house of groups, humanitarian work and social reform, she has indeed become a virtual mother to the world.

A karmic destiny to serve: North Node in Aquarius, sixth house of service.
The north node (destiny point) in Amma’s chart is Aquarius, the zodiac’s humanitarian sign. It’s also in her sixth house of service. Her south node (past life karma) is in regal Leo, in the twelfth house of compassion and healing. This indicates that she’s had fame and fortune in past lives, and doesn’t need to live a life of luxury this time around. However, she carries the energy and fullness of having experienced the pleasure of material riches in former lifetimes. She is abundant, rather than lacking—although she spends her life hugging, the residual Leo energy also helps her avoid lapsing into the “martyr mother” role. Amma is not quiet, invisible and suffering silently. She’s the buzzing center of all the action. Aquarius is the sign of groups and communal living, and Amma lives her entire life in a crowd. She’s a leader, the hub of her many charities that run without her being present.

So here’s a 60th birthday hug, 33 million strong, to Amma. I hope one day to experience an in-person hug from her.

Read The Numinous interview with Amma here. 
www.amma.org

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@astrotwins

BECOMING MY OWN ASTROLOGER: ASTRO TWINS RETREAT


I’ve always thought astrology was the coolest thing. The idea that my soul chose to be born at a particular time, so that in this life I would embody certain personality traits to help me on my karmic journey. And as a believer in what’s meant-to-be, isn’t the circumstance of your birth the ultimate?
Continue reading “BECOMING MY OWN ASTROLOGER: ASTRO TWINS RETREAT”