WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF MASCULINITY?

The “divine feminine” is often invoked as a Now Age ideal for our gender evolution. But how to really dismantle systems of patriarchal oppression? Trans man and diversity and inclusion activist, Aaron Rose, shares his vision for the future of masculinity …

Photo: Aziz Acharki

From Parasitic Patriarchy to Abundant Symbiosis 
When Now Age mystics speak of “divine masculinity,” what they are describing is simply: masculinity. Exalted qualities of heart-centered action, fierce loyalty, innovative logic, and earthly strength are what masculinity truly is. Everything else is an aberration, a mistaken idea, and a misuse of energy.

The divine masculine is complemented by the divine feminine archetype: the universal energy of intuition, receptivity, nurturance, creation, and collaboration. These energies are not inherently gendered. They flow within all of us.

So how do we reclaim healthy or conscious masculinity? How do we end our crisis of sexual violence? How do we build a world with true gender equality?

In the #metoo era, it can sometimes feel like the goal is total eradication of an inherently “toxic masculinity,” an embrace of androgyny, or an exclusive exaltation of the feminine. But the destination of our evolution is not about erasing our differences or course correcting from toxicity to divinity; it’s about reclaiming gendered archetypes while embracing an even wider spectrum of expression.

Patriarchy is the collectively held (and externally manifested) idea that men are superior to people of other genders, that there are right and wrong ways to be men and women, and that there are rewards for reinforcing these ideas, and penalties for violating them.

And if patriarchy is a result and a manifestation of parasitic scarcity consciousness, then we’re more than ready for abundant symbiosis.

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A Different Way to Be Human
When I first began my transition from female to male, I was terrified of becoming a man. It was who I was – a person who had been female-assigned at birth and who felt called to a male identity and masculine embodiment – and yet, I could not have been more scared.

As a woman, I had lived a life defined and constrained by male violence – from the abuse of family members, to the harassment of strangers on the subway, and the subtle discrimination at work. The manhood I saw around me did not represent the kind of person I wanted to be. And the people I loved were quick to reinforce this idea: You’ll become a tool of the patriarchy, they said. The world doesn’t need another MAN.

On a physiological level, I knew that taking testosterone (in the form of hormone replacement therapy) was right for me. My body needed it, hungered for it like a too-late dinner after a long day. But on an emotional level, I was paralyzed, wracked by immobilizing guilt.

I was afraid of losing the part of myself that cries at Pixar movies and gathers my friends into huge hugs and composes love letters to my beloveds. The part who really, really listens to my people when they’re hurting. I was afraid of embodying toxic masculinity. I was afraid of becoming (even more of) a stranger to myself.

This deterministic model of gender is one we’re all used to. We’ve all heard “that’s just how men are” and any number of absolutist statements that divide the population squarely down the middle, into two prescribed boxes: man and woman. I was just as trapped as anyone.

But equally, in making the choice to transition I knew I was signing up for a lifetime commitment to proving the idea that there was another way to be a man than what I had been shown. That ultimately, there was a different way to be a human altogether.

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Dismantling the Deal with the Devil
This commitment, this faith in the future of masculinity, has fueled my decade’s plus of evolving work in diversity and inclusion—a key part of which is leading conscious masculinity workshops in which men and masculine people of all genders have an opportunity to take themselves off of cultural autopilot and reclaim healthy masculinity.

Patriarchy invites men to make a deal with the devil: trade your eternal wholeness and humanity, in exchange for earthly and temporal power.

Time and again, I witness men become emotional in my workshops when we talk about gender equality and allyship. When I ask why, they say things like: “I feel like I don’t have anything else to offer,” or “What more do you want from me?,” or “Not everyone gets to be treated so nicely, you know.”

As the conversations unfold, we identify, again and again, that they are fundamentally bewildered about why or how they should be giving something to someone else that they do not feel they have themselves: gentleness, a reason to truly accept themselves, a full range of self-expression, emotional presence.

⁣⁣In my workshops, we inventory our masculinity stories, going all the way back to our first memories. And themes emerge, like the first moment of shame, often attached to a memory of playing with feminine clothing, hugging other boys, or crying when we were sad. We bring loving witness to these wounds, and then we choose again.

If the story was: “when I am emotional, the people I love reject me”—we elect to write a new story: “my vulnerability brings me closer to the people I care about.”

Photo: Sir Moon

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What is your role in this process? Here are 4 ways we can all help bring about the future of masculinity … 

1// Separate masculinity + femininity from gender identity and sex assigned at birth.
“Sex assigned at birth” is the label you were assigned at birth based on the external anatomy your doctor observed. Gender identity is your innate, internal, sense of your gender.

Within our current western gender model, which has its origins in European colonization and white supremacist social control, sex assigned at birth, gender, and gendered energy are all conflated. If you are male assigned at birth, it is assumed you will be a man, and that you will behave in a masculine way. This deterministic model belies the truth of our experience — the truth that indigenous people of many cultures have always embraced — that there are as many possible genders and gendered experiences as there are people.

For example, I currently have a pretty masculine embodiment – short hair, muscles, a deep voice, a flat chest, traditionally male clothing. However, my energy is a blend of masculine and feminine – I am a go-getter who is often charging forward on the next big idea AND I create space for the people I love to be vulnerable, where I too surrender into vulnerability with them.

We all contain both masculinity and femininity. The unique mix and balance of this energy within us is as essential as the flow of oxygen into our lungs and bloodstream.

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2// Conduct a patriarchal thought detox.
What are the stories you’re telling yourself about men and masculinity, and about gender overall? Do an inventory of your beliefs about masculinity and men, and choose some different stories.

Some of our big collective stories that you may have running on cruise control include: men should not be emotional, women are more emotional and nurturing than men, there are only two genders, men are just like that, what your body looks like determines your gender, and more.

Set a timer for 10 minutes, write these old stories out, and then decide what you want to replace them with. Write down your new narratives and reread them out loud every day for 21 days.

One my biggest autopilot scripts was that conscious men are few and far between, and that if I was really myself and spoke about gender the way I do, then I would have few connections with men, personally and professionally. I’m choosing to tell a different story now, to affirm that conscious stewards of masculine energy are all around me. And you know what? Bit by bit that community is emerging.

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3// Understand that this work is not just for “bad guys.”
When I discuss my conscious masculinity work, I often witness men immediately deciding that it’s not for them. Or women deciding that it’s not for their husband or their brother or their friend. Because they’re already “good.” They haven’t assaulted anyone recently. They don’t make gross jokes.

⁣We have this mainstream idea that there are “those guys,” those really bad guys, who have really messed up, who really need to get their act together. They’re the problem. They’re the patriarchy. They’re the ones who need an intensive on conscious masculinity. ⁣But the truth is that this work is for ALL of us. We all have an opportunity and a responsibility to become stewards of a new era of masculinity, of gender, of humanity.

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4// Embrace and reclaim the masculinity within yourself.
No matter your gender, you contain an alchemical blend of both masculinity and femininity within yourself. How does your masculinity manifest? In the clothes you wear? In the role you play in your relationships? In the way you tackle a project or negotiate a deal? In the fictional characters you identify with and seek to emulate? How conscious is your masculinity? How much have you chosen it, rather than operating it on autopilot? What do you love about your masculinity? How does it symbiotically complement and amplify your femininity? What do you wish others could see about it?

Write a love letter to your masculinity. Honor what you learn about yourself in the process.

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5// Practice inviting others into this conversation.
Where do you see others running on autopilot about masculinity and femininity? Maybe you’re a mom and you see how other parents assume so much about their children based on their sex assigned at birth. Assuming how their child’s body looks determines what their gender will be. Assuming boys will be tough and girls will like pink. Assuming girls will be nurturing and boys will be adventurous.

Just the other day I spoke with a mother who was grappling to understand why her 8-year-old son had been described by a teacher as “sensitive” and “safe” for the other kids to play with, because of how gentle and unaggressive he was. “I would have no problem seeing my daughter this way,” she said. “But it’s hard to compute how a boy could be described like that. It’s not how I see him.”

Maybe you’re a man and you are aware of how conditioned you are to not call out other men when they say something sexist, or to shame each other for expressing emotion. Maybe you’re a woman who feels super supported by your community of women, but feels like your male partner, family member, or friend, isn’t conscious of his masculinity and how it impacts you.

It’s okay to call the people into your life into greater accountability and connection. To do this, get honest about what your unique role is, however uncomfortable or scary it might feel. Whoever you are, your voice matters, and others will resonate with it.

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A Manifesto for Conscious Masculinity 
The work of remaking our relationship to masculinity and femininity is, like all other fundamentally spiritual work, ultimately about restoring our capacity to self-determine our identity, to trust our intuition, and to unconditionally love ourselves.

We are the generational clean-up crew, taking ourselves off of the autopilot our ancestors ran for centuries, mending the wounds they did not know how to tend. As we emerge from the shadow, it is our birthright to embody unprecedented levels of self expression, connection, and ease. It is the work of a lifetime, but it’s why we’re here. And we don’t have to do it alone.

The future of masculinity is not an erasure of the traditional masculine archetype (ie strong, rugged, powerful, action-oriented), but a conscious release of the shadow sides of these traits (domination, control, emotional suppression, violence) and a conscious choosing of what our masculinity means to us. ⁣⁣

The future of masculinity is the reclamation of this true divine masculine archetype, by whoever resonates most deeply with that energy.

The future of masculinity is amends and repair for generations of harm done, the honest reckoning of personal and collective shame and grief for violence committed, or violence not stopped.

The future of masculinity is an embrace of action without aggression, of leadership without dominance, of impetus and initiation without steamrolling, of grace without repression.

The future of masculinity is creation without collateral damage, strength without silencing, devotion without obsession, responsibility without control, power with rather then power over.

The future of masculinity is the intentional embrace of intuition, rather than the unconscious whim of instinct.

In short, it is a human life, fully and bravely lived, with self-love and connection with a Universal intelligence at its core, with nothing to prove and everything to share.

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Ready for more support reclaiming a positive masculine archetype, for yourself, or someone else in your life? Registration is open for my online Conscious Masculinity Intensive. Use code NUMINOUS for 20% off all ticket levels through next Tuesday, November 20th. It’s open to men, masculine people of all genders, and allies; we even have a few parents of male-assigned-at-birth kids joining too! Join us in co-creating the future of gender, together.

THE 2018 CANCER WANING MOON WANTS YOU TO FIGHT FOR YOUR FEELINGS

As Venus prepares to travel retrograde, the 2018 Cancer Waning Moon marks a powerful moment to integrate our feminine and masculine, and embrace the fierceness in putting our feelings first, says Jennifer Racioppi
Photo: Timothy Paul Smith

Waning Quarter Moon / October 2 2018 / 5:45am EST / 9 degrees Cancer

The 2018 Cancer Waning Moon invites a poignant pause. With Venus moving towards her retrograde station and descent into the darkness, the Cancer Waning Moon asks everyone, regardless of their gender orientation, to adopt the feminine qualities within.

This can be an aggressive position for Venus when she embraces her warrior aspects, and this Moon’s relationship to Venus profoundly amplifies our powers of intuition, empathy, and feminine moxy. As we prepare for her retrograde journey by surrendering what is no longer aligned, feminine values and voices will rise … 

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//The Cycle//
The Waning Quarter Moon falls at the halfway point between the recent Harvest Aries Full Moon and the upcoming Libra New Moon. This halfway point asks us to actively release our blocks to success. What’s standing between you and the fruition of your most heartfelt intentions and goals? Consider what you can let go of, and burn it, baby.

From a long-term perspective, this Waning Quarter Moon brings intentions set with the Cancer New Moon on July 4, 2016, to fruition. What are you cultivating in your life now that relates to what you hoped and prayed for on the New Moon in July 2016?

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//The Transits//
This Moon occurs just three days before Venus, the planet of love and beauty, stations retrograde. Venus will travel retrograde from October 5th- November 16th. Unlike Mercury, who goes retrograde 2-4 times per year, Venus only travels retrograde once every 18 months. As one of the most potent transits of 2018, this brings with it strong and necessary medicine. Her retrograde periods support realignment with feminine values.

This Waning Cancer Moon forms a perfect manifestation trine to Venus at the degree of her station, 10 degrees of Scorpio. The water trine deepens emotional introspection, and supports inner alignment in preparation for the upcoming retrograde cycle. And with Mars simultaneously clearing his retrograde shadow (finally) at 6 degrees of Aquarius, he makes an air trine to the Libra Sun.

This combination offers us profound resources that we can use to harmonize the masculine and feminine, both within ourselves and for the collective. 

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//The Square//
This cardinal square between the Libra Sun and Cancer Moon instigates an in-depth look at personal values. Fairness (Libra) squares safety and security (Cancer). As you prep for both the Venus retrograde station, and October 8th’s Libra New Moon, let the cardinal focus empower you to stand strong in your values. Now is not the time to let old limiting beliefs and insecurities stand in your way.

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//The Opportunity//
This Waning Quarter Moon amplifies feminine prowess. The Sun in Libra, who is ruled by Venus, prepares us for Venus’ descent into her underworld. Venus, who represents love and beauty has two sides— she the goddess of love and the goddess of war. The feminine, after all, protects what she loves.

We can expect this lunar moment to elicit deep emotional connection. Use it to your advantage. Prepare yourself for the upcoming Venus station and Libra New Moon by standing up and fighting for what YOU believe!

For more Moon wisdom, or to book a coaching session with Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com.

HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR LILITH SIGN

In astrology, our Lilith sign connects us deeply to our primal instincts and natural impulses. As she travels through revolutionary Aquarius until 2019, Rebecca Farrar reveals how to use your Lilith sign to awaken your inner wildness …

Photo: Maxine Caron

Both revered and feared, the goddess Lilith has long been associated with the more shadowy aspects of spirituality. Stemming from the Hebrew word laylah, meaning “night,” her symbols include creepy crawlers such as serpents and the screeching owl, as well as the dark/crescent moon.

The first wife of Adam, Lilith refused to submit to his sexual domination and fled Eden to mate with the Angel of Death, giving birth to hundreds of demon babies per day. After realizing his mistake (how could he not miss a woman like that!), Adam asked God to bring Lilith back—but she refused. And God created docile Eve as his new mate.

While Eve represents the patriarchal, acceptable version of womanhood, closely associated with Venus, Lilith represents the primal, instinctual feminine that puts her needs first and seeks approval from no-one. A feminine that is rising in 2018, and which we each embody—irrespective of biology, gender expression, or sexual preferences. In astrology, it’s little surprise that Lilith in Capricorn from November 2017 through August 2018 (the sign ruling the patriarchy), has been the backdrop to the #metoo movement.

There are four astrological points representing different aspects of Lilith’s dual role as both devouring mother and enlightened goddess. But the most talked about is Dark Moon Lilith—an alignment position rather than a physical planet, indicating the point in the Moon’s orbit farthest from Earth.

Last month Lilith moved into Aquarius, where it will remain until May 2019, awakening consciousness around Lilith’s unpredictable and earthly instincts, and pioneering a new vision of empowered femininity. Currently, Lilith squares Uranus in Taurus and is in exact conjunction with the South Node, calling on us to birth something radically new as a collective.

On a personal level, our Lilith sign and house placement shows us how we can uncover a deeper connection with our own primal instincts. To find Lilith in your chart click HERE, enter your birth information, choose “Extended Chart Selection,” scroll down to “Additional Objects,” and select “Lilith.” *Make sure to read for both your Lilith sign AND the house that holds Lilith in your chart.

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LILITH IN ARIES // LILITH IN THE 1st HOUSE
With this placement, Lilith craves expression that matches a strong identity, and is asked to explore how personal passion fuels instinct.
Journal Prompt: How does my sexuality inform an aspect of how I or others see me? In what situations do I use my intuitive gut-instincts and where am I afraid to?

LILITH IN TAURUS // LILITH IN THE 2nd HOUSE
Related to self-worth and values, with this placement Lilith wants to own her power without relying on others. Cultivating magnetism beyond seduction and in service of love itself may be a part of your Lilith mission.
Journal Prompt: What skills of sustainability or survival do I practice? How can I cultivate more of my own self-acceptance (who cares what God or Adam thinks)?

LILITH IN GEMINI // LILITH IN THE 3rd HOUSE
Here, Lilith wants to create a healthy dynamic with receiving and giving information, and its important to learn to own wisdom for yourself.
Journal Prompt: Where can I open up my sense of wonder about myself and the world around me? Am I afraid that learning new things from people means they are dominating me in some way?

LILITH IN CANCER // LILITH IN THE 4th HOUSE
Emotions or home life may be where Lilith in Cancer reveals her raw side the most (though 100 babies a day may be out of the question). The relationship to the family may also be a catalyst for expressing and harnessing the goddess’ power.
Journal Prompt: Am I willing to express my feelings to the fullest extent or do I keep them quieted down? How can my emotions offer a gateway into my connection with the natural world?

LILITH IN LEO // LILITH IN THE 5th house
With this placement, Lilith may manifest through more private sexual and creative acts of self-expression. Take pride in the many ways artistic potential moves through you.
Journal Prompt: Do I hide my creativity or art for fear of rejection or isolation? Can I integrate Lilith through story, visual art, another form of expression?

LILITH IN VIRGO // LILITH IN THE 6th house
With this placement there can be a sense of duty or responsibility that takes over Lilith’s needs. Pay attention to when you may be afraid to leave “Eden” because of an agreement.
Journal Prompt: How can I become less rigid of my day-to-day routines and allow more creative chaos? Do I feel tied to what I should do rather than doing what is best for me?

LILITH IN LIBRA // LILITH IN THE 7th HOUSE
There can be a tendency to project Lilith qualities onto others with this placement, and it’s important to reclaim her within so that she doesn’t show up through external domination.
Journal Prompt: How can I own more qualities of Lilith for myself? If I’m befriending or connecting with people who hold this energy, how can I reclaim it for myself?

LILITH IN SCORPIO // LILITH IN THE 8th HOUSE
Here, Lilith becomes a powerhouse for personal transformation and awakens depth through intimacy (though it may be necessary to have sex with the Angel of Death to do so!)
Journal Prompt: Do I hide my desire for power and domination? How can I honor Lilith’s wildness and primal power as a part of my internal process?

LILITH IN SAGITTARIUS // LILITH IN THE 9th HOUSE
Aspects of Lilith may consciously or unconsciously be a guiding force for ideals or religion. Here, Lilith leads with the heart and seeks truth. Above all else, utilize this placement to be guided by instinctive wisdom.
Journal Prompt: What is my relationship to religion and to the feminine in my spiritual seeking? Is my instinctive self expressed in my spiritual practices?

LILITH IN CAPRICORN // LILITH IN THE 10th HOUSE
With this placement, Lilith may be reflected in how you’re seen publicly but not how you feel internally. Claim your natural self-authority and allow it to inform your own version of feminine legacy (who knows, maybe you too can have four astrological points named after you?)
Journal Prompt: Can I use Lilith’s power in my career or work? Do I take responsibility for themes of authority, or fear them?

LILITH IN AQUARIUS // LILITH IN THE 11th HOUSE
As Lilith nears your natal placement, you may feel called to bring more of Lilith into modern consciousness. Your ability to tap into the collective means you are able to help create a future vision of how this goddess serves the whole.
Journal Prompt: Is my community full of Liliths or wild feminine figures? Or do I play that role of going against the grain in groups?

LILITH IN PISCES // LILITH IN THE 12th HOUSE
In the placement of spirituality and unity, Lilith craves connection to the whole. Gifts of this Lilith position include opening up to visionary abilities and intuition.
Journal Prompt: Do I fear Lilith and my own unpredictable nature? Can I integrate more of Lilith through connecting with the spiritual dimension of nature?

WHY THE GODDESS DIANA IS A FEMINIST ICON

As the heat of Leo Season urges us to sparkle and shine, the myth of the Goddess Diana shows how to stoke the flames of our wildness, says Rebecca Farrar …

Photo: Kyle Loftus

As one of the few virgin goddesses, Diana represents being whole unto oneself, and her myth honors this wild and free part of our nature.

According to legend, she begs her father, Jupiter, to liberate her from marriage and motherhood so that she can roam free with her friends, the Nymphs and hunting dogs.

Diana’s name comes from the Proto-Indo-European meaning “to shine,” and derives from the same Latin root meaning ”daylight.” In Ancient Rome, she was celebrated with August’s festival Nemoralia, or Festival of the Torches. During the weeklong tradition, hunting was forbidden and dogs were instead decorated with flowers. Her followers carried torches to Lake Nemi, outside of Rome, and left offerings of fruit in the forest.

While she is often thought of as a Moon goddess, she is also an active, protective force of the forest, known as the Goddess of the Hunt. Diana’s independence and caring instincts create a beautiful balance between lunar and solar energies—something we can all model as we seek to integrate the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves, creating a more equitable world.

Diana links us to sisterly love, feminism, and action heroines. Her archetype is reflected in our own psyches as WILDNESS in its purest form, and our connection to creatures and nature alike … 

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The asteroid Diana, discovered in 1863 by a German astronomer, currently sits at 20 degrees Aries, near Eris, the sister outsider. Together, these two asteroids in such a strong fire sign uplift and empower feminine energies.

Diana’s placement in our birth chart points to where we crave freedom and yearn to be barefoot running through the forest with our animal companions. It may also reveal where we are constantly on the “hunt” for something.

**To find Diana in your chart, go to  astro.com, enter your birth information, choose “Extended Chart Selection,” scroll down to “Additional Objects,” and type in 78.

Use the suggestions below to come more into contact with the many facets of Diana and her wild nature:

1st house // This placement suggests an identity empowered by the Diana’s protector and warrior. Try archery or another form of outdoor solo sport to awaken this natural protector energy.

2nd house// Diana had a deep love for nature and the Earth. Foraging for food or forest bathing would be fun hobbies to build a relationship with this archetype.

3rd house// Athena was known for her intellect, but Diana was in constant communication with her companions. Study bird communication, bird watching, or read about animal behavior.

4th house// Diana was well-known for being a protector of women and children. In this placement she is deeply intimate with the lunar and menstrual cycles. Pay attention to the Moon’s cycles and spend time at night outside, soaking up its light. (**Side-note: Ruby has her Diana here, so makes total sense she set up Moon Club!)

5th house// During Diana’s weeklong celebration, creating fire and more sources of light was an important element. Talents such as starting a fire or wood splitting are necessary wild skills to explore with a 5th house Diana.

6thhouse// Running around in the forest, it was important for Diana to know which plants did what. This location in the chart implies botany and plant identification as a way to honor the goddess.

7th house// Diana had lovers, both male and female, though wasn’t in a committed partnership, as her energy was instead more focused on appreciating nature. Experiment with art using sticks, pine needles, or tree bark for a woodsy aesthetic.

8th house// Spending most of her time outside, Diana was also deeply attuned to nature’s death and life cycles. With fall on the horizon, learn more about how different trees stay alive in winter and make it a point to notice the change in seasons. You may also want to study more about the many esoteric traditions that honor the Tree of Life.

9th house// The exploratory and adventurous side of Diana meant she was constantly on the move. Stray from the familiar forest trail and discover new ground, whether it be a new hiking area, tree climbing, or a forest on another side of the world.

10th house// With this placement, Diana strives to be sensible and to own her authority. She craves solitude and self-reliance. Take classes on wilderness survival or utilize the forest’s gifts for your quiet contemplation.

11th house// An 11th house Diana exemplifies her need for freedom and liberation from traditional roles. Focus on cultivating community with other wild souls who crave time in nature, such as communal hiking or camping.

12th house// Nature may evoke a mystical or flow state experience in this house. Imagination, such as photography or film, may be a gift, or even taking time to meditate under a tree.

Photo: Ben Waardenburg

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And no matter where the asteroid is in your chart, harness your own wild and free spirit with the suggestions below … especially potent during her festival from August 13-17th! 

// Food // Easily foraged foods such as mushrooms or berries, or seasonal fruits and vegetables.

// Workout // A run or walk through the forest, perhaps spending some time bird watching. If you are extra adventurous, an archery lesson would certainly make Diana shine.

// Watch // Hunger Games or Wild (Katniss and Cheryl Strayed both connect well with Diana’s spirit). Or try the documentaries American Revolution: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggsor, and Maya Angelou’s And Still I Rise.

// Read // Rachel Carson (or other eco-feminist authors), Audre Lorde, Malala Yousafzai, and Gloria Steinem (because Diana loves activism and empowered women). Or try the classic, Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

// Home // Diana’s home is nature, so bring more of it indoors by decorating with pine cones and leaves, or wood art. She is also linked to forest creatures such as deer or rabbits. Adding touches, such as deer antlers or a papier-mâché deer head, will also do the trick.

HOW TO BE A TIDE: A MESSAGE FOR CANCER SEASON

In the thick of Cancer season’s deepest feels, spoken word artist and Moon Club founding member Lisa Luxx’s exclusive new poem, “How To Be A Tide,” reminds us that our most tempestuous emotions are our beautiful birthright …

How To Be A Tide is a poem about the movement and motion of being woman. It’s a dialogue about finding our most supreme beauty in that familiar expansion and contraction. About how much can be gained from seeing ourselves as individual waves in the ocean of sisterhood.

One great purpose of poetry is to turn familiar aches into unfamiliar blessings; to subvert moaning into marvelling. The instability of a hormonal body could drive a person mad if they’re pressurising themselves to maintain a static constant. So for me, as an incredibly tempestuous person, I traversed this tidal metaphor as a bid for freedom.

I’ve been philosophically exploring the nature of beauty for the past year or so – what it is, what it does and why that might be – writing out my revelations and dreams. This piece is about taking ownership of one’s own beauty. When you no longer have the resources to flow outwards, that means your beauty – enriched now – is coming back home to you. – Lisa Luxx 

How To Be A Tide will be published in Luxx’s upcoming collection Breastmilk Martini, which is out later this year with New River Press.

NON-BINARY BEAUTY FOR GEMINI SEASON

Treat yourself to the full Gemini season rainbow with Eunice Lucero‘s non-binary beauty picks …

Photo: Rawpixel

Thankfully, we’ve begun to embrace that gender is anything but a binary concept—it’s not black and white, or worse, pink versus blue—and Gemini season is prime time to embrace the full spectrum of the rainbow. No shade to feminine frills, but this month we’re feeling sleek, minimalistic buys that are as sassy as they are inclusive.

We’ve listed our selections for each Gemini placement, but these products truly are for everyone. Curious about what Gemini rules in your chart? You can do you birth chart HERE for free. Oh and bonus, we also put the spotlight on product pairs and groups—as Geminis know, twinning is twice the fun …

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1// Sun in Gemini: Panacea The Aegis Daily Facial Moisturizer, $46 for 50ml, and The Aegis Daily Facial SPF, $38. Named after the Greek word for “all-healing,” you love witty products that talk the talk, but that have integrity too. This line is made of premium ingredients all in a straightforward, easy-to-use formulation—appealing to your smart, ingredient-based approach to skincare. The moisturizer’s potent yet streamlined cocktail (hyaluronic acid, Japanese seaweed, fig extract) delivers lightweight nourishment and syncs up with your penchant for thoughtful content; the SPF is scentless and non-greasy, allowing you some hassle-free fun in the sun, as you can’t let UV rays cramp your networking steez. Best yet? They’re both TSA-friendly, because, of course, you’re all about leaning into that natural wanderlust.

Panacea Moisturizer & SPF

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2// Moon in Gemini: Meant The Absolute Balm, $45 and The Wonder Polish, $43. Multitasking is the name of the game for this delightfully chic line, which totally simplifies your shower routine—and gives mood-groomers like you a break from overthinking! Your decisions, particularly with beauty indulgences, are as mercurial as your mile-a-minute convo skills, so dual-purpose winners take the anxiety out of choosing between style and substance. Prep with the polish, which is an organic body scrub and an in-shower moisturizer (it has coffee, sugar and avocado—basically brekkie for your bod), then indulge in the anti-oxidant-filled balm, whose soft formula doubles as a sexy, cozy salve that treats and soothes.

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3// Ascendant in Gemini: Schwarzkopf Professionals BlondMe® Instant Blush Blonde Beautifier in Steel Blue and Strawberry, $22 each. Your youthful looks and charming open-mindedness give you the moxie for the latest trends; you’re not afraid to try new things, which is why you were probably first on the candy-hair bandwagon when it hit the scene years ago. Prolong those rainbow-unicorn vibes while giving your look a current spin with a pair of non-committal pastel sprays specifically formulated for lightened or blonde locks. Spray and comb through for a fest-best ’do, or even use the light blue shade to help tone that on-trend dusky platinum when it turns brassy. The colors last up to five washes—enough time to stay breezily on-point for your next soirée.

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4// Mercury in Gemini: Cydney Mar Wellness Energetic Body & Mind Adrenal Support, $38, and Jecca Correct & Conceal Palette in Medium, $21.80. A ball of restless energy, you’re undoubtedly at home in an intellectually stimulating environment. Eclectic, versatile and super quick on the uptake, life can definitely burn you out if you’re not careful! A supplement that gives a gentle energy boost via rhodiola, a.k.a. nature’s secret weapon against fatigue and mental burnout, is great for nervous types. Fun fact: Rhodiola also helps improve allergy resistance, which is clutch for you Mercs in Gemini who are so plugged into their social surroundings. Once you’re set on the inside, fine-tune any remaining imperfections with a concealer palette that impeccably neutralizes, because as you’ll learn time and again, life is nothing but a play on balance.

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5// Venus in Gemini: Pinrose Pillowtalk Poet Eau de Parfum, $65 for 50ml, and Bite Beauty Limited Edition Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Gemini, $26. Words are the way to your heart; lively, sparkling conversation is what you consider the biggest turn-on. Communication is also the main vehicle for your charms, making you an expert in the art of smooth-talking and flirty conversation, not to mention that perfectly placed double entendre. Maintain this seductive signature with a perfume that’s made for morning-after banter—a powdery, fresh-laundry scent evokes a light, gender-neutral vibe—and seal the deal with a two-in-one (!) lippie, in shades that mirror both sides of that quirky Gem personality.

Pinrose “Pillowtalk Poet” Parfum

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6// Mars in Gemini: Context Nude Balm in Heartbreaker, $20, and dōTERRA Basil Oil, $26.67. Gentle reminder to all you Mars in Gemini firecrackers: The pen is mightier than the sword, particularly where you’re concerned. An impassioned orator and writer, you are SO not one to shy away from a healthy debate to get your point across—so perhaps a muted, non-threatening lip balm can help soften those blows (also try and keep your convo nasty-free, just like the balm’s formula). For that changeable energy though, go for an oil blend that heightens focus and keeps your social ADHD from going haywire. Tip: Rub on your pulse points and inhale with three deep breaths, especially when you start feeling fidgety.

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7// Jupiter in Gemini: Non Gender Specific Everything Serum, $65, The Art of Shaving Engraved 3 Blade Razor, $175. You’re genuinely curious and outgoing, leaving you with no shortage of friends, and perhaps even a handful of admirers who enjoy your “the more, the merrier” approach in social situations. Your magnanimous vibe is echoed in your choice of self-care too: You love starting with a positive, clean slate, and a clean shave, with a quality razor, is as tabula rasa as it gets! Follow up with an equally high-minded serum that’s not afraid to go big: As the name suggests, this optimistic formula targets nearly all major skin issues, from lines to pores to hyperpigmentation, with a lovely, all-folks-welcome smile on its face.

Non Gender Specific Everything Serum

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8// Saturn in Gemini: KNIGHT CO. Exfoliating Face Scrub, $30, and Complete Moisturizer, $30. Crisp and simple, yet with an exacting attention to detail, it’s no surprise that you resonate with expertly curated products that don’t waste time on frivolities. Not only is this no-nasty exfoliant too chic not to flaunt on your shelf (you’re all about understated, almost curt-like quality), it’s also made with natural and organic ingredients. Same with the moisturizer, which wears so light on skin and imparts a soft matte glow, which people know is a hallmark of your cool confident look.

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9// Uranus in Gemini: Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set for Combination/Oily Skin Types, $48. A bit dry one day, crazy-oily the next? Sometimes travel can wreak havoc on a complexion, as changes in temps and hormonal levels can be zany AF. Thankfully you’re no stranger to unpredictability (and frequent flyer miles!), and even welcome both with a gregarious, offbeat spirit. Thank your innate good-naturedness, or, you know, having a handy, backpack-friendly, beat-anything set of natural face and body boosters in tow. Just saying.

Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set

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10// Neptune in Gemini: Fluide Blue Trio (liquid lipstick, glitter and nail polish), on sale for $35. This wonderfully inclusive brand’s lip, nail and glitter set is made for nebulous Neptune Gems, who practically embody sparkle in thought and deed. For this wildly imaginative lot, communication is more intuitive and facts are more like suggestions anyway, right? And besides, anyone who doesn’t get your big-picture mentality can immediately be waved off, stat, with a perfectly pigmented, 7-free vegan mani and matching pout.

 

Fluide Blue

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11/ Pluto in Gemini: Context White Charcoal Detox Mask, $45, and Absorb Skin Care The Face Oil, $110. Detoxing, whether physically, mentally or energetically, is a requisite in this day and age, and Pluto Geminis embrace this purge like a fish to water. Keeping things fresh and cutting edge highlights your love of renewal and change, and a luxe charcoal mask, followed by a refreshing serum made of all of nature’s best stuff (organic pomegranate and other omegas and antioxidants) is all the doctor ordered to kick-start your skin—and psyche—into gear.

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12// Chiron in Gemini: MMXV Infinitude Universal Facial Treatment, $225, and The Better Skin Co. Zit No More Acne Treatment, $18. Maybe you never got over that niggling middle-school bout of insecurity keeping you from speaking your truth; maybe it’s just a paralyzing self-doubt of not being articulate or well-versed enough, or being the subject of other people’s toxic gossip. Squash all these irrational bad news bears and start building your confidence from the outside in, with a skin saver that gives you one less thing to feel anxious about. Follow it up with a game-changing miracle cream that also tackles seven main concerns, literally making your glam as foolproof as can be.

HOW TO BALANCE YOUR HUSTLE AND FLOW

As we emerge from our wintry cocoon and head toward the Spring Equinox, how do we keep worldly ambitions aligned with our intuition? Greta Solomon shows us exactly how to support our soul goals by balancing hustle and flow …

Greta gets her hustle on

There’s never been a better time to be a self-driven woman with big dreams, and a big heart. In the past, we were taught to err on the side of caution when it came to career. When I left my full-time gig to go freelance in 2002, I was warned not to leave gaps in my resumé.

Now, taking a year out is seen as decidedly grown-up. It’s all about the side hustles, taking big leaps, and embracing the highs and lows of being your own boss.

But to truly succeed on your own path, is about more than simply “making it happen.” It also means being in the creative flow. Without mastering this, it’s easy to feel stifled and frustrated, as you try to muscle through inevitable blocks.

In the corporate world, we’re taught to operate in fight or flight mode. Success often means “putting out fires” and dealing with crises. Many of us have absorbed this mentality. That work is all about pushing, striving and achieving linear goals. That it requires stress and strain.

But to get your own business off the ground—and see it thrive—we need to exist in an Alpha brain state. The state of being alert yet relaxed, this is where you can access your intuition, and write, think and speak most freely.

Read on for my tips for dipping into your Alpha, and using your flow to fuel a successful business …

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1// Schedule flow time in your diary
Meaning blocks of time where you deliberately do activities that create flow—ESPECIALLY when you have deadlines and tons on your “to-do” list. You could have a head-clearing walk, do a workout, or chop some veggies to make a big salad. Cooking, driving, running and showering help you get out of your mind and into your body. Listening to music at 60 beats per minute can also get you in an Alpha state, priming you to do your best work. Find what works for you.

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2// Make important decisions when you’re in your flow
Five years ago, most of my writing skills training clients were sales teams in the corporate world. So, a coach advised me to call myself a “sales expert” and totally ignore the fact that I taught writing. This was VERY, VERY wrong advice, that led me away from my true path. At the time, I was juggling a new baby and a newly-published book. I was frazzled and couldn’t think straight. I recommend using your flow time to carefully consider your big career choices.

Greta in full flow

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3// Know your personality type, so you can do things YOUR way
Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type (you can take a free version HERE)? Having this info means you’re less likely to second guess yourself when it comes to the BIG decisions. For example, I’m an “INFP” type, which means I’m introverted, sensitive and rely on intuition to make choices. I’m unconventional and enjoy working alone, but my empathic nature means I also connect very well with people. Knowing my type has helped me to feel confident about building a business based on writing, speaking and coaching.

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4// Plan and plan some more—because creativity also needs a container
But don’t just sit at a computer and make spreadsheets. Go on quarterly or yearly planning retreats, where you switch off from everything and map out your vision in both pictures and words. Creativity is truly your secret weapon when it comes to business success. After all, there are no new ideas, products or services—it’s all about your unique spin on things.

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5// Sometimes you just need to hustle hard
It’s fine to hustle when you need to—when the deadlines are stacked up, opportunities are popping, and there are bills to pay. But do it consciously and mindfully. Keep your time in the Beta energy zone to a minimum. Then schedule plenty of time to rest and recover afterwards—as well as some space to just go with the flow!

Ultimately, there is no short cut to building your own business. But knowing exactly where you’re putting your energy and why, will help to prevent burnout. It’s about learning to protect your sacred creative
time, so you can hustle with heart, and create a business that lasts.

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Greta Solomon is an author, creative writing coach, business writing trainer and former journalist for British newspapers and magazines. She is the author of “Just Write It! How to Develop Top-Class University Writing Skills” (McGraw-Hill, 2013) and the forthcoming book “Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life” (pre-order it HERE from April 15th for fab bonuses). She lives in South West London with her husband and daughter, runs creative writing workshops for bloggers and the business world, and coaches people to bring their own books to life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 8 REASONS TO CHARGE YOUR WORTH

Caught up in feelings of guilt about “for-profit” spirituality? Spiritual CEO, Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine, tells you how to lose your money-making shame and charge your worth …

Lisa Levine, embracing her worthiness

Q: “I would love advice on making money in a spiritual marketplace. How do you make money when a majority of spiritual people that you know and talk with (aka your audience) are against spirituality-for-profit? Like, what if my audience expects me to do things like tarot readings for free because … well … they’re spiritual in nature.”

Lisa Levine: Why should we charge for our spiritual work? This is a tough one, but totally necessary to confront if we want to fully embrace our calling.

Here are my top reasons for trusting in the value of exchange and getting comfortable with charging your worth  … 

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#1  This is the work that God/Universe/Goddess has called us to do. If it’s a part time, just for fun, thing then yes, let it be a hobby and keep your day job. But, if the Universe is calling, really calling you to do this as your full time, overtime, everyday gig then it’s necessary to be paid for it. Simply for practical reasons. The Universe doesn’t want us to suffer in exchange for doing what we are called here to do.

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#2  It’s all about exchange. If we don’t receive something for our work then there is an imbalance in the Universe. The person who received a reading or session from us will be indebted to us in some way. This is not a good situation to be in. We want freedom and we don’t want anybody to owe us anything! It doesn’t have to be money. It could be an amazing meal, painting your house, watching your dog … get creative. But receive.

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#3  Charging money teaches us how to receive. My first massage teacher, Elaine Marie, told our class, “You’re all going to have to get used to charging money for love.” As healers, we love to give. And it’s much more comfortable, as when we are giving we are also in the position of power. To receive, we actually have to be vulnerable to allow the money, love, meal, house painting in. This can be more challenging. But this is part of our work as spiritual healers, and mastering it we can teach others how to do the same.

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#4  If we don’t receive, we will burn out. Then we can’t do our work in the world. How do we know when we are burnt out? The two biggest signs are that we feel tired and / or angry. If we want to do this work we must learn to receive: financially and energetically. If we don’t allow others to support us, we will get depleted.

Lisa’s money musings

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#5  People value things they pay for. Especially in the western world. We receive more when we pay more. Sometimes, if we receive something for free we don’t value it. I was seeing an acupuncturist for some time who cost $300 a session. You can be sure I did every piece of homework he gave me and took responsibility for my part in the healing process.

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#6  Money asks us to balance our feminine and masculine. I have found that most men find it a lot easier to charge for their services than most women. The feminine aspect loves to give and love and nurture, so it can feel awkward to charge for something that just flows through us naturally. But the masculine understands the business side of life and work. If you are using your time and skills, you charge for them. Period. Access your masculine business side for the business side of your business. Then, in session, access your feminine flow. We all have both. Let them marry to make a strong spiritual business.

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#7  We want to do this work for a long time. There’s a lot of work to do, and the Universe needs us to be in this for the long haul and for us to be supported in building our career. Look at what stories you may have about needing to struggle or work inordinately hard to achieve success or stability. Rewrite those stories!

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#8 Growing your business is part of your spiritual work. The more you practice your skill (Tarot, Reiki, etc.) the better a practitioner you will be. And through this practice, you will also learn about all the other energetics surrounding spiritual work. There are times when you can give your gifts freely and there are times it is important to charge. Pay attention to your intuition. Most spiritual work requires us to be in business for ourselves, which opens up a whole other Universe of opportunity to grow and evolve. Keep up with your own spiritual work. This will feed you the most, allowing for clarity and and awareness to grow.

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions”

WHY FEBRUARY IS THE MOST FEMINIST MONTH

It’s time to upgrade your normative notions of Valentine’s Day date nights. Lucy North tells us why why February is the most feminist month … Art: Naro Pinosa 

Art: Naro Pinosa

It may still feel cold outside—but Spring is coming! And this precious period of in-between is actually a key time of year to tap into the Divine Feminine through the ancient practice of co-creating with Gaia, the seasons, and nature.

While many of us have sold ourselves to the Monday-Friday lifestyle, the origins of these days actually connect us to Divine Feminine energy. After all, Monday is actually “Moonday” and Friday is dedicated to the Goddess Freyja. The Divine Feminine is both the beginning and the end, and a reminder of our power to break free and make time be whatever we want.

In response to the seven-day week of patriarchal DOING, here are seven reasons to reclaim February as the most powerfully feminist month …

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1// V.Day Actually Celebrates Your Erotic Sovereignty 
Before it was renamed by the Roman Catholic Church, Valentine’s Day was originally known as “Freyja’s Day.” Freyja was the Pagan Goddess not of romantic, but of erotic love, and on February 14th women would hand out cards to as many men as they desired.

Transcending the gender stereotypes of today, women were seen not only the gateway to new life, they were considered at one with the desire, love, and sexual energy that runs through nature. Reclaiming this celebration of women as desire itself (rather than objects), realigns us with our ability to create anything we want.

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2// 28 Days Means Lunar Power
Before being scrapped by the Church, the year adhered to the Goddess calendar—meaning there were 13 months and not 12, which reflected the 28 day cycle of both the Moon and womb.

Being only 28 days long, February is the only month of the year that still respects the Goddess calendar, and honors how the seasons and year really flow. This month, treat your womb like a second heart (whether or not you have a literal or metaphorical space there). Listen … what does it want to birth?

Art: Naro Pinosa

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3// Imbolc Challenges the Madonna-Whore Complex
The pagan calendar marks February 1st as Imbolc—an important step towards March’s Spring Equinox. This is the time to release some of our 9-to-5 programming in favor of a kind of “land feminism” that lets us co-create with the upcoming Equinox’s tantric energy.

The Celtic Triple Goddess Brigid, synonymous with this day, is the Queen of the Underworld, the Mother of all beings, and the Mistress of the Elements. Whether it’s the sacred prostitute, the Divine Mother or the snake in the garden of Eden, the Divine Feminine holds and honors it all. Think of February as a time to break free from the pain of having to be “one type of woman”—and to exchange archetypal constraints for a wildish knowing.

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4// Pisces Season Wants You to Wombifest  
As the Sun enters the final zodiac sign of Pisces on February 19th, right before the birth of the new astrological year, it’s time to create a nourishing, protective womb that will enable you to tap into the oceanic source of all life.

This means retreating from the “busy-ness” of everyday life, and setting some boundaries to re-connect with your soul. Just like a mother that needs to retreat for the last month of pregnancy, create a safe space for you as Divine Mother to meditate, breathe, make love, self pleasure, journal, paint, sing, do yoga, and eat well. Rest in the womb and let your Divine Child emerge!

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5// Saturn in Capricorn Spells Sacred Union Time 
2018’s sees the Goddess month of February with Saturn in the sign of Capricorn, spelling out the start of something huge for the Divine Feminine. Capricorn is technically a “yin,” or feminine sign, but it’s also cardinal, with a mountain-building, masculine energy that asks us to blend action and intuitive knowing.

The Divine Masculine can only come THROUGH the Divine Feminine. It will only come through an open heart and the womb of collective feeling—and, yes, as with any birth, through pain. Women and those who embrace the Divine Feminine have been socially okay’ed to feel more of this, so we must lead the way. This integration asks us to do what we love by taking action, and watch the fear fly away.

Art: Naro Pinosa

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6// The Aquarius New Moon Catapults Us Into Fairy Territory
When people are told they’re “away with the fairies,” it’s almost a derogatory comment. We say it’s time to celebrate our visits with the fairy realm!

With a New Moon in Aquarius on February 15th, it’s time for the Divine Feminine to swoop high, dream big—and to astro travel our dreams into the 3rd dimension. This New Moon also ends the longest complete lunar month of 2018 (the last New Moon was on January 16th, giving us 29 days, 18 hours, and 48 minutes). Mama Moon is giving you extra time to push on through, with a clear focus on new beginnings.

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7// Mama’s Wide Open During Eclipse Season
With January 31st’s Super-Blue-Blood Lunar Eclipse bonanza, and the upcoming Solar Eclipse on February 15th, the first two weeks of Feb see us in the middle of two incredibly catalytic aspects. It’s like the universe has its legs wide open in breach position providing a gateway though which we can birth projects, artistic endeavors, networks, and relationships that reflect our divine purpose.

Goddesses: F is for February, F is for Fertility, F is for the future. Reclaiming feminist February means pretty much get it on with the universe!

Lucy North is a writer, healer, and artist. She will be running a Goddess Healing Circle in honor of Freyja this Tuesday, February 13th, at The Alchemist’s Kitchen in New York. Click HERE to reserve your spot. She will also be holding an “I’m Every Woman” Goddess Circle at RA MA New York on Sunday, 25th February. Find out more and reserve your space HERE

WHAT’S YOUR ASTEROID GODDESS SIGN?

Want to harness your full feminine force through the stars? Activate some serious girl power with your asteroid goddess sign, says Rebecca Farrar. 

With the Sun traveling through Virgo, the only female figure in the zodiac, it’s the perfect moment to harness the power of the zodiac’s feminine archetypes.

Just as modern women often face a limited expression of the feminine, traditional Western astrology often relegates us to either the mother (Moon) or lover (Venus).

Luckily, the four asteroid goddesses (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Juno) open up a world beyond traditional roles of wife and mother, and lead us into a deeper exploration of our feminine complexity.

By diving into both the “positive” and challenging aspects of these placements in our charts, we can heal limiting dichotomies and make space for the re-emergence of a fuller expression of our feminine force …

Below, your guide to navigating and activating these placements in your chart. **New to your birthchart? Discover your asteroid signs by looking at your birth year and month HERE.

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:: CERES :: Roman Goddess of Agriculture, Grain, Fertility, and Mother-Daughter Relationships  
Ceres energy recognizes the paradox roles we inhabit as both our own parent and child. It also teaches us where we easily provide nurturance, love, and care to ourselves and others.

Illuminated Expressions: Self-parenting, nurturing self and others, acceptance of cycles of birth and death, caregiving

Shadow Expressions: Intense attachment to mother, projection of our unmet needs onto others, eating disorders

Placement by Sign: Unveils our deepest needs and reinforces our self-care priorities.

  • Ceres in Fire Signs: Nurturing and nourishment through movement (Aries), exploration (Sagittarius), and self-expression (Leo). *Make time for having mini-adventures, or celebrating your need for independence and dominance through traveling or starting your own side business.
  • Ceres in Earth Signs: Feels cared for with sensuality (Taurus), stability (Virgo), and commitment (Capricorn). *Connect with nature by taking a guided nature walk, learning more about the native plants or animals where you live, or spending time outside barefoot.
  • Ceres in Air Signs: Communication (Gemini), cooperation (Libra), and individuality (Aquarius) are places to foster nurturance. *Educate yourself on social justice and equality through taking classes or participating in activist groups, or explore art and design.
  • Ceres in Water Signs: Offer yourself and others nurturance by appreciating your need for feeling loved (Cancer), deep emotional bonding (Scorpio), or connection to spirit (Pisces). *Make time for seeing a therapist or being in groups where vulnerability and emotional expression is honored. Or volunteer your