A SENSORY GUIDE TO VIRGO SEASON 2017

Virgo season 2017 is a time to lay claim to your most pristine values, and show up with utmost integrity says Bess Matassa. PLUS a solo wedding celebration for each Vesta sign … Homepage art: Lexi Kendall

Lay out your laciest lingerie, private dancers. The zodiac’s mystic mami of self-possessed sexuality invites us to bow down at the altar of our beautiful bodies in all their intricate integrity, and to delight in the divine essence of our own, solitary unfolding.

This unmarried siren of self-containment lives with fierce fealty to her internal code, and simply will not give it away for free. As she sifts, assesses, and refines, the zodiac’s everyday alchemist moves in rhythm with the world that surrounds her, working her mettle to transform her metal into 24-karat gold.

It’s a season for deciding exactly what you will stand for, and what you won’t fall for anymore, vestal vixens. Descend into your very own witchy desert land, and marry yourself to the wind and the night and the shifting sand. Wed yourself to the wildest, untamable places inside yourself. Pledge allegiance for life.

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The keyword: Integrity

The song lyrics: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/I’m asking him to change his ways/If you want to make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change”—Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”

Check out BessVirgo Season Playlist, complete with witchy women, singular anthems, and ladies of the canyon.

Erdem AW17

The color palette: 1970s land art and film noir: tumbled stone silvers, cameo creams, copper wheatfields, and herringbone patterns.

The style: Georgia O’Keefe’s open-air Santa Fe atelier meets Elizabethan regality—high ruffled necks, gilded patterning, buttons on sleeves, impeccable tailoring, open-toed sandals, and broad-brimmed hats.

The scents and flavors: careful concoctions, earth goddess essences, and sovereign tastes. Baguettes and subtly spiced soups, herbaceous pestos, harvest grains, dried apricots, frisée, strained labneh, and lavendar pillows.

The healing: everyday alchemy, considered corporeality, and self-governing sexuality. Food and beverage pairings, lingerie shopping, ayurveda, ritual baths, ant farms, and herb gardening.

Image: Lonely Lingerie

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Sensuous Invitation of the Month: Solo Wedding Ceremonies for Your Vesta Sign

The zodiac’s unwed woman is inherently tied to asteroid Vesta, whose streamlined acts of devotion teach us how to activate singular focus and creative containment.

This month, marry yourself to exactly what lives inside of you with a solo wedding ceremony fit for a badass bride …

New to your birthchart? Discover your Vesta sign by looking at your birth year and month HERE.

Vesta in Aries
Virgo season invites you to temper some of your usual no-holds-barred aggression with more calculated maneuvers. Wedding Party: Tossing the bouquet. Strategize your leaps as you catch petals with both ease and assessment. Wedding Anthem:You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC.

Vesta in Taurus
Virgo season invites you to let your work in the world feel both pragmatic and pleasurable. Wedding Party: Cutting the cake. Let determining the contours of your feast fully fuel your self-sufficiency. Wedding Anthem: “Let’s Get it On,” Marvin Gaye.

Vesta in Gemini
Virgo season invites you to release into body knowledge and speak straight from your gut. Wedding Party: Toasting. Carefully planned words meet instinctual, emotive sharing of what lives in your heart. Wedding Anthem:Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” Stevie Wonder.

Vesta in Cancer
Virgo season invites you to let your own past lives lead you home to your core beliefs. Wedding Party: Photo booth. Delight in candid, historical snaps that capture the nostalgia of this very moment. Wedding Anthem:December 1963 (Oh What a Night),” The Four Seasons.

Vesta in Leo
Virgo season invites you to assess your creative contribution so you can fully ignite your eternal flame. Wedding Party: Conga line. Hone some structured dance moves without losing one bit of the party. Wedding Anthem:Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper.

Vesta in Virgo
Virgo season invites you to soften your inner-critic without surrendering your high-quality standards. Wedding Party: Tailoring the gown. Cloak yourself in careful couture that’s both intricately crafted and drop-dead gorgeous. Wedding Anthem:Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Beyoncé.

Vesta in Libra
Virgo season invites you to romance yourself fully without needing a partner, and fall back in love with your private dreams. Wedding Party: The honeymoon. Re-up your faith in fairytale fantasies and endlessly unfolding beauty. Wedding Anthem:Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton.

Vesta in Scorpio
Virgo season invites you to let your intensity inform your integrity as you unapologetically claim your power in the world. Wedding Party: Bachelorette Weekend. Channel the stripped-down wilding of a “don’t ask don’t tell” weekend in Vegas. Wedding Anthem:Lady in Red,” Chris De Burgh.

Vesta in Sagittarius
Virgo season invites you to wed yourself to pure wildness and channel your intrepid inner voyager who knows no bounds. Wedding Party: Destination wedding. Channel the wide-open spaces of solo tripping. Wedding Anthem:Footlose” Kenny Loggins.

Vesta in Capricorn
Virgo season invites you to unabashedly celebrate your desire for structures that endure. Wedding Party: White wedding. Channel long-standing traditions and regal ritual. Wedding Anthem:At Last,” Etta James.

Vesta in Aquarius
Virgo season invites you to crack open the status quo and re-envision what it means to be committed to your cause. Wedding Party: Civil ceremony. Draw clear boundaries between church and state as you birth your humanitarian visions into being. Wedding Anthem:Respect,” Aretha Franklin

Vesta in Pisces
Virgo season invites you to revel in your need for retreat as you get in touch with your own secret touchy-feelies. Wedding Party: Elopement. Pull a delicious disappearing act and relax into checking out. Wedding Anthem:I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.

Bess Matassa is available for private readings and astro-themed events. Connect with her at Mojaverising.com

BEHIND THE BEYONCE VEGAN BACKLASH

What’s up with the Beyonce vegan backlash?! Body image expert and spiritual healthy eating coach Heather Waxman responds to the haters – and talks to Ruby Warrington about diet and spiritual development

Beyonce by Kei Nicolee via Behance.net

Beyonce’s fans were mad because they expected a tour or album announcement (to which I say, “Give her a break and get over it, people!”). Meanwhile, many in the vegan community are angry because they think she’s a hypocrite for wearing fur and “posing with captive elephants and tigers” as one person commented.

Here’s the thing: judgment doesn’t get us anywhere. And since I don’t know Beyonce personally, I don’t know her heart and I don’t know her lifestyle, so it’s not really my place to comment. But what I can say is that we need to appreciate how much publicity eating vegan is receiving as a result. Let’s celebrate that! It’s awesome.

But let’s also focus in on what she said in connection to veganism and positive body image. Here’s a direct quote from Beyonce’s interview on GMA: “I am not naturally the thinnest. I have curves. I’m proud of my curves and I have struggled since a young age with diets and finding something that actually works, actually keeps the weight off, has been difficult for me.”

From what I understand, Beyonce started to eat vegan after she had her baby as a way to lose the baby weight in a natural way – opposed to a quick fix. As a result, she said she experienced many other beneficial side effects – like better sleep quality, improved digestion, and a positive feeling that her vegan choices could effect the people around her and the environment.

Which is all great. But I will point to the contradictory of saying you love your curves, but also saying things like you’ve tried everything to stay a certain weight.

If we have true BODYpeace, we don’t feel the need to do something to “keep the weight off” because we can naturally live and eat in a way that allows us to experience peace with our body. As a result, weight becomes a non-issue. It’s just not something you’re concerned about anymore.

This has got to get way harder living in the public eye, and I’m not sure if this was just a poor choice of words or if she actually does still struggle with body image. But either way, I hope that we can all agree that a.) this is great for the vegan movement and b.) pray that Beyonce (and all women for that matter!) is peaceful and happy in her body and continues to make choices from an authentic and ethical place for her.

Read on for Ruby Warrington’s interview with Heather Waxman about spirituality, diet and body image…

Get Beyonce’s “Kale” sweatshirt here!

I feel like starting to eat ‘healthy’ like Beyonce is the beginning of a lot of people’s spiritual awakening. Do you agree? Why is this?
I absolutely agree. As we let go of foods that are not serving us, we notice that those foods were doing a really good job at numbing out a bunch of stuff we didn’t want to feel. So as we start to eat cleaner, our thoughts and feelings become cleaner too – and that can feel amazing and joyful, but also very intense depending what we were avoiding dealing with. And that’s usually when people turn to spiritual practice for help.

We also see a lot of ‘extreme’ diets in spiritual + self-improvement circles – why is this?
Whenever I see or hear the word ‘extreme,’ the concept of perfectionism instantly comes to mind. And that’s what causes problems, isn’t it? We’ve all heard the cliché “perfection doesn’t exist” – but we don’t live by it as a society, as Beyonce knows only too well. I think most people opt for extreme diets because they think looking a certain way will help them truly love themselves. But that’s not how it works.

I want to add that I actually think that the word “self-improvement” is also damaging, particularly for sensitive souls, because it implies we’re somehow not good enough, which only perpetuates the quest for perfection. What I’ve come to conclude lately is that we’re not necessarily here to improve ourselves. It’s more that embarking on a spiritual path the aim is to become more of ourselves. It’s more about an unfolding, a peeling back, layer by layer, of who we thought we were, only to allow who we really are to be revealed. Which can be messy, beautiful, and terrifying! But, I believe, it’s what we’re all called to do.

But discipline and asceticism have long been associated with spiritual development – do you see echoes of this in things like juice cleansing, etc?
I do, but I think we need to define “discipline” before we dive into this. The word has the same root as the word “disciple” – which means to be a devotee of a certain philosophy. But the word discipline has been turned into something that’s just not fun – so, I prefer to use…devotion.

I think when we lean into our spiritual development with a strong air of devotion…that’s when the miracles unfold for us. And so I also think we need to be disciplined with, or devoted to, things that we have discovered we need to do so we can show up for life ready to give love, receive love, and serve those around us.

This can include juice cleansing, if that’s what you feel called to do! But as every individual body is different, I think it’s important to first get to know your body and also to consider your own mental / spiritual relationship with the concept. I tried (and failed) so many detoxes and cleanses. So, when it came time for me to want to consider detoxing for spiritual purposes, I had to first heal the mental issues I had with cleanses and learn the real “why” behind them, before I was ready to check it out.

What are the warning signs for you as a coach that healthy has tipped into obsessive?
There are a bunch of warning signs, but these are the most common ones I have seen, and they’re always present in my clients.

– You know things have turned obsessive if you’re doing one or more of these:
– You’re constantly thinking about your next meal and counting calories
– You’re obsessed with counting your macros, or avoiding certain foods or food groups because you’re afraid they’ll make you gain weight
– You’re avoiding certain foods or food groups because you want to “fit in” with the fitness / spiritual community you’re a apart of
– You restrict your food all day and then binge eat at night
– You have to work out for a specific amount of time or you have to do a specific type of workout because you’re afraid of gaining weight…and if you don’t have a chance to do that work out, you feel depressed and like your day is ruined

So what do you think a healthy and spiritually aligned attitude to food really looks like?
Our definition of health and spirituality is very individual, but I do believe there is a common thread tying every version of a healthy relationship to food together, and it sounds something like this: “I eat for vitality, freedom, and pleasure.” (Notice how I said vitality – not vanity).

This is definitely where I’m at now, and it’s allowed me to feel the happiest in my body I’ve ever felt. Vitality, freedom, and pleasure are not exclusive, though! I went on vacation last week and vitality went out the window for me. I wanted to eat for freedom and pleasure. So, I ate a bunch of things I normally don’t eat when I’m home like frozen yogurt, sweet potato fries, and chips and guacamole. It was great! When I returned home, I couldn’t wait to return to feeling that vitality. It’s a constant dance.

And what role does taking pleasure in what we eat play in our spiritual development?
Do you have a year to talk about this?! I think one of the most volatile things we’ve done as a society is completely neglect food as a source of pleasure. For example, some of my clients – even though they enjoy eating healthy meals – still equate healthy eating with it being stripped dry of pleasure. Or they think of making meals as another annoying chore on their to-do list instead of an incredible act of self-care and self-pleasure. We’ve lost touch with our feminine relationship to food – which means that for a lot of us, our bodies and our souls are screaming at us, “I just want to feel pleasure!” Enter those “guilty” vegan ice cream binges.

When we hear the word “pleasure” we instantly think of sex. But to me, pleasure is about actively engaging all my senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing, and intuition. When we can become devoted (there’s that word again!) to bringing all our senses to every meal, that’s when we really start to feel pleasure and come to a place of BODYpeace that allows to finally feel spiritually and physically nourished.

Has changing your diet connected you to your spiritual practice? Connect with us and share your story on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

If this conversation resonates with you, you can read more from Heather Waxman in her and Kasey Arena’s book BODYpeace: Release Shame and Discover Body Freedom
– a 30-day guidebook marrying the spiritual and the practical side of food and body discovery. To book a 1:1 session with Heather, click here.

WHY TOO MUCH SOCIAL MEDIA IS BAD FOR THE SOUL

We know, we know…too much social media can be a recipe for the dreaded “compare & despair”. Life coach Lucy Sheridan shares why it’s so easy to fall for the filter factor, and how we can all fight back.

Supermodel selfies found on Harpers Bazaar

This NU digital age means it’s easy for us to take for granted the power at our fingertips and how technology can make our lives more streamlined, where before there might have been effort and chaos.

Increasingly though, the “power couple” that is technology and social media, presents an interesting and complex counter dynamic to the no-brainer benefits of the digital world.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I think social media is amazing. It’s one of the best ways to keep in the loop with people we know and love (and people we don’t for that matter – ex stalking, anyone?)

It feels like geography and time zones no longer matter. There’s the arrival of a baby in one feed, and a stack of amazing paleo pancakes in another. The significant and the small sit side by side as we consume the constant updates we allow to flood our lives.

We’re also more accessible than ever. I’ll bet you’ve been found by, and searched for, your school buddies from your distant past as well as that cool girl you sat next to at that workshop last weekend. These connections have evolved our networks and with this our feeds fill with more and more “news”.

The irony is that these increased connections can create a feeling of acute and uncomfortable separation. There’s a sense that there’s lots going on “over there”, and yet when we look at our own lives it’s crickets and tumbleweed.

Cue the “compare & despair” phenomenon that’s so aggressively on the rise.

We can’t all be Beyonce getting a private tour of the Louvre…

If you’re like me, you may have looked at your feeds and thought everyone is basically:

• Having loads of amazing sex
• Building businesses overnight
• Living more spiritually than Gabby B
• Raising beautiful, perfectly behaved vegan children
• Moving into a home from MTV Cribs (Google it kidz)
• Eating only the most delicious food in exclusive VIP restaurants
• Enjoying luxury as standard when it comes to going on vacay

I fell deep into a pit of compare & despair after a high school reunion a couple of years ago, when my online habits and perceived place in my digital world began to have serious effects on my offline life.

More and more I felt disconnected from other people and, more worryingly, from myself. And I was supposed to be the Zen “life coachy” one in my gang? Uh-oh #Fail and #FML.

In short, my ego had been having a field day fixating and obsessing over all the areas I appeared to be falling short.

According to my feeds I wasn’t thin enough, clever enough, entrepreneurial enough, interesting enough – basically, just not “enough”. How that ego magpie pecked away at my confidence.

But waking up to what I call the “filter factor” snapped me out of my downward spiral.

Miranda Kerr posts a selfie with her new diamond encrusted watch…

After sitting uncomfortably with my negative feelings, I realized I was as much a perpetrator as I was a victim. After all, if I was over-thinking the angle, tone and words to use in my posts, then surely others were too?

Starting to notice, hone in on and stare my insecurities in the face was a difficult but necessary process to free me from my distracted ego state and make friends with myself again.

For me, this meant tuning back into the things I’d found it all too easy to tune out – i.e. my spiritual practice, spoken conversations and daily non-events that actually kept me grounded and in tune with myself.

Real connection happens in the spaces between our online and offline lives. The moments with #nofilter, where the failures, the poor choices, and the average, regular days are. Where nothing that interesting happens, and yet you still smile at someone in the street, laugh at a joke you heard or move your bag to let someone sit down on the subway.

I may still apply ‘Amaro’ to all my Instagram pics to make my skin look awesome but, when I do, I know I’m consciously tinkering with what people will see on the surface…just like everyone else is.

Supermodel selfie found on Harpers Bazaar

Here are six things to think about when fighting the filter factor:

Life is not a zero sum game. That is, just because you see someone else winning or succeeding does not mean you’re missing out or failing. Trust that you’ll get back what you’re putting in, whether that’s your parenting style, yoga practice or the new blog you’ve started. Stay focused on your own goals and remember there’s more than enough success to go round!

You never know the full story. What we see posted on Facebook and other channels is a snapshot of a result and does not show the hard toil and ugly tears that are part of the process of success.

Fine is fine: Most of the time life is fine. Only fine – and that’s okay! I can’t remember the last time my Wednesday afternoons were particularly epic, amazing or unforgettable. They’re usually just…fine.

Reality can have bite. Sometimes I make a point of posting stuff about the little things that make a day extra fine. A chalk drawing on the pavement in a not-very-cool-part-of town, a feather landing at my feet or finding the EXACT change for the parking meter in my pocket. Those little wins are the ones the prove the Universe has your back, boo! You don’t need to dress them up – they’re beautiful in any light and happen much more regularly than you realize. Be brave and post those every day miracles on your social media.

The power of an actual digital detox. This doesn’t mean deleting your Facebook STAT. How about just turning down your exposure to what’s distracting you, and reframing how you use your time. For example, if you’re rocking up to a job you hate day after day, instead of just scrolling Twitter on your way, perhaps use your commute to search job sites or tweak your CV. Or even stare out the window and be present, giving yourself the gift of a peaceful moment to help you decide what you really want.

Go back to basics. A “like” here and a retweet there can make us feel present and included in the lives of those we love. In fact it’s easy to forget that feelings of real connection are created and nurtured face to face. Taking the time out to really connect with those you love – whether it’s a meet up planned nine months in advance or a Skype call at the weekend – you’ll not only get the big news first hand and in detail, but you’ll feel the love of supporting your friends on their journey and vice versa.

Lucy Sheridan is a Life Coach hell bent on helping Gen Y girls overcome the comparison caused by social media and get what they want OFF-line.  Find out more at www.proofcoaching.com

Facebook.com/ProofCoaching

Twitter & Insta: @lucysheridan

GET DOWN AND GET GOD: A DANCE PARTY WITH THE DIVINE

What if the way to enlightenment wasn’t through your crown chakra…but your feet? Nadia Noir heads to the nearest dance party to find out.

Prayer and meditation are awesome tools for channeling moments of introspective clarity. But as a spiritual species that spends an unfathomable amount of time psychoanalyzing ourselves through mantra apps, self-help books on Audible.com, and grounding ourselves through following our favorite guru via social media, channeling a primal version of Miley Cyrus while gyrating to Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” can be a bridge into unbridled bliss. We live in our heads enough already. Enter the body-purifying sweat of a good old-fashioned, orgiastic dance sesh.

It wasn’t just the ancient Greeks who encouraged the human iterations of their gods, goddesses and muses to get down and get God through song and dance. The Torah calls for dancing, not only as a celebration of God or as a way to worship, but as a way to create the frenzied, supercharged atoms between two lovers in Song of Solomon. In Hinduism, there are the Apsarases, 23 celestial gods that dance to “express the supreme truths in the magic of movement.” Sufis twirled themselves into ecstasy and the Ancient Egyptians thought of everything they did in life as one eternal dance. They even danced at funerals, ready to dance their way through the darkness of death and into the afterlife.

If you’re still perpetually feeling low-grade anxiety or self-abusing your ten pound weight gain, maybe that’s because the answer isn’t in your crown chakra. Sure you can keep seeking a connection to a higher power, but you might never understand what true liberation is until you strip away your sins at classes like Sheila Kelley’s S Factor, talk up to yourself at Patricia Moreno’s Intensati, bump-and-grind your way into a state of Bhakti at Yoga Booty Ballet, or the spiral-sensationalizing of Buti.

But about just hitting up a dance club and twerking shamelessly to a raunchy Nicki Minaj song, feeling the sensation of strength and pleasure crawling up your root chakra, through your core and into your heart. You could stomp it out to some metal like the world’s sexiest Kali, destroying the earth below you and incinerating any doubts you have in yourself. Or, if that’s too hardcore for you, if you’re one of those supple, gentle souls that drowns in tears and whiskey, go sing some old country songs by Patsy Cline at your local karaoke dive bar. Studies even say that moderate drinking accompanied by karaoke is super good for your health.

And in case you’re like, “When am I going to have the time to do any of this stuff? I’m a super woman trying to be a spiritual being having a human experience and those bills don’t pay themselves,” here are four easy steps to just sing when the spirit says sing and twerk when the spirit is like, “Work it girl.”

GET OVER YOURSELF
That’s right. Who cares if you’re flabby or ungraceful or if you’re hailing a cab on a busy street. The minute negativity starts creeping into your psyche, do a little dance on the sidewalk or belt out some Beyonce. The only person who is embarrassed by what you’re doing is you. Maybe other people are jealous or hating, but a majority of people will feel inspired by your little performance. They might just join in. Spontaneous soul-healing flash mob? Sounds awesome.

PLAY ON, PLAYA
Keep a playlist on your iPhone for those times that you really need to really play. Songs you can dance to in the mirror while dripping wet from the shower or to encourage anyone around you to join you for a slow dance. If that sounds awkward, ABBA usually works.

RECORD YOUR POSTERIOR FOR POSTERITY
Have you ever looked back at pictures of yourself when you were in high school or college or some other time you were mired in angst and depression and went, “Damn. I looked hot. What was my problem?” It’s always good to keep visual reminders to yourself that sometimes your pain can be blown out of proportion by your own psyche. There’s no better way to document yourself than at the height of some fun time; dancing, singing, glowing. You might grimace, but guarantee you, when you’re 70-years-old, you’ll be thinking, “I was having the time of my life.” Like me in this video singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” I kind of hate it, but in five years I’ll love it. Don’t shortchange your future with how you feel about yourself today.

GRAB YOUR PARTNER BY THE HAND
Mix things up in your relationships with some Sir Mix-a-lot and a mixed beverage of your choice. Or just let the wild nymph out to play and make up some songs in the middle of  a hike or something. Start a fake band. Create a fake dance. In fact, keep faking on it ‘til you make it. Let your fake persona, the confident and sassy one, override your warped internal programming to bring out the “real” and really dope damsel and dimepiece that is you.

But you know, some things work for some people and other things work for other people – a really simple and trite statement, but it’s true. If you hate something, you’re not going to keep doing it. If meditating and mantra-repeating doesn’t work for you, you’re not broken. You’re not spiritually unevolved. It’s just up to you to find out what you vibrate with. And maybe, just maybe, what will really reshuffle your chakras and shake up your soul is a sultry striptease in front of one other living being who will never judge you—your cat.

Read more from Nadia Noir at Illuminadia.com

@NadiaNoir

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

TURNED ON: LIFE AS A CONSTANT STATE OF AROUSAL

In the first of a regular column on sex and spirituality, Ellie Burrows explains how getting really turned on is about allowing your body to open up to the world around you. Portraits: Katie Fischer.

I’m always turned on. I walk the earth in a constant state of arousal. It’s. The. Best.

Everything turns me on: my morning ritual of almond butter and raw honey toast accompanied by black tea with a dash of milk; an episode of Scandal; a conversation about the Universe; a pair of Alaia boots; meditation dance at 5Rhythms; riding the subway listening to Beyoncé; having my hair pulled; cleaning my bedroom; practicing mindfulness; fancy lingerie; a cute puppy on the street and its hot owner holding the leash. Basically, I’m experiencing one big Lifegasm.

Last weekend, I was strolling through Manhattan with the current object of my affection. We stopped at a corner and waited for the crosswalk to change. He let his hand brush up against my ass and I felt an energetic burst in my second chakra. A simple gesture with a massive impact, my vagina actually pulsed, warmed, relaxed, and opened for him. My body sent out a physical invitation hoping for an RSVP marked “Will Attend”. An example of arousal in its most pure form (and for the record, he attended, to it, later).

If we’re most familiar with arousal in a sexual context, most of us associate it with being DTF. And frankly, I’ve come to believe that’s totally limiting. We should really consider all the definitions of “arouse”: to awaken, excite, evoke. The highest level of arousal happens when we’re alert and open to all that’s around us. It’s about the expansion of our sexual energy well beyond the confines of sex.

Turned on from sunrise…
…to sunset

In ancient Taoist traditions, life force energy is called chi and supposedly we can feel this energy moving through us. The subset of this energy that’s specifically sexual or creative is called ching, which is believed to be essential to our health and wellbeing. Well, I can definitely feel my ching moving through me and it’s absolutely vital to my existence. But somewhere along the way, through various forms of cultural conditioning, we were taught that this energy should be strictly reserved for the bedroom. I think the Taoists, Justin Timberlake and I are all agreed that it’s WAY better when we bring sexy back into everything.

So how do we do this? How do we carry that powerful energy beyond the bedroom? How do we decorate every moment with this sexual electricity? Well, firstly we need to allow it to spread beyond our penises and pussies. It needs to evolve and literally “grow up” into our hearts and minds. We need to make like an aroused vagina and feel it pulsing through our entire bodies, warming the cold parts of ourselves, thereby relaxing our insides and creating an opening in our beings.

So let’s try a simple visualization. Imagine you’re staring at a chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery on 74th and Amsterdam (if you don’t know what this is I feel mildly sorry for you, and instead invite you to just envision the moistest, most chocolate chocolate chip cookie in the world). How do you feel about this cookie? What does it look like to you? To me it’s a big, dense, delicious, warm pile of goo and I can’t wait to have it in my mouth.

Turned on by cookies…
…and being Buddha

I’m breathing in the intoxicating smell of fresh baked goodness. I can feel the desire for this cookie all over my body. I can feel my deep appreciation for the cookie in my heart. My mind is doing summersaults just thinking about those chocolate chips dancing on my tongue. Holy shit, this cookie is turning me on. I can’t stop smiling at it. But see, I don’t want to actually fuck the cookie. The experience of eating it, appreciating and enjoying just became heightened, elevated and way more awesome.

Sometimes arousal happens to me on a subway when I see someone give up a seat to a pregnant lady or a senior citizen. I feel a pulsating sensation in my chest, a sense of warmth spreading through my being. I can’t help but smile at this display of human kindness and feel a deep connection to the other beings on the train. For a moment, I am in love and energized by the small simple gesture of one human towards another.

The vagina is the mother of all gates and most people think it’s the only doorway to arousal. And yes it’s an arousal superhighway, but for me, arousal is really about accessing the heart and I use my whole being and all my senses to do that. If my heart isn’t activated and engaged, then I can’t be turned on.

Real arousal creates openings in our being. It’s a state of connectedness with the world around us, in which we let it awaken and excite us. It’s the sensation of being genuinely excited about life. This column will touch upon arousal in many different ways. Often sex will be the entry point, but ultimately it’s about elevating our consciousness around our sexual energy to enhance all our experiences. Most sex columns are about getting off. This is an arousal column and it’s going to be all about turning on.

Ellie Burrows is a storyteller, seeker, mystic and guide living in New York City. Discover more at Ellieburrows.com 
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