A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF VIRGO SEASON

Virgo season brings an invitation to revel in the details, say Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Virgo season asks us to sharpen our tools, clarify our intentions, and get back down to the sweet labors of love that just feel good in our bodies. The zodiac’s so-called “virgin” is actually a fiercely self-contained sensualist who’s married to her own internal code, trusts deeply in her distinctiveness, and finds delicious divinity in daily detail.

It’s a month for relaxing into the subtlest material pieces of our lives—from savored flavors and ephemeral scents to watching the way the light hits the pavement just so—and for relishing in the feeling of processual work that moves with the rhythm of what is without having to prove anything at all.

The astrological Queen of the intricate and the refined reminds us that we are a part of every last thing that surrounds us and that every last thing absolutely matters because heaven is most definitely a place of earth.

The keyword is Alignment

The song lyrics are: “I’m every woman/It’s all in me/Anything you want done baby/I’ll do it naturally”—Whitney Houston, “I’m Every Woman.” Check out our Virgo season playlist, complete with considered lyricism, wild women, and pop gravitas.

The color palette: soft metallics and shifting sands: salmon pinks, rose golds, light caramels, and pure silver.

The style: 1930s Greta Garbo meets Southwestern naturalism: refined yet rustic glamor, caftans paired with high-heeled boots, intricate art deco jewelry, nude lips, loose braids and buns, copper lockets, and just enough coverage to spark the sensuous imagination.

The scents and flavors: simple trusted tastes, herbaceous blends, and medicinal elixirs. Think rosemary, camphor, fresh bread, bergamot, tisanes, and hot cobbler carefully concocted with seasonal fruits.

The healing: considered, refined, and earthily aligned. Try tasting menus, perfume making, Marie Kondo-style closet cleansing, or even the slowly revelatory art of burlesque dancing.

Sensuous Invitation of the Month: Interior Design (by sign below)

With Mercury stationing retrograde in Virgo, Venus and Jupiter entering Libra, and the final Saturn-Neptune square, it’s a month for getting our houses in order, making use of the materials on hand, and bowing at the altar of aesthetics. For letting the material world refine our values and bring us all the way back home to what we truly love. From Barbie dreamhouse jacuzzis to Southern country kitchens, it’s time to realign our environment with our interior selves, and to move majestically and naturally through the spaces that surround us.

ARIES
Virgo season invites you to infuse some of your full-throttle thrill seeking with a careful consideration that strategizes before leaping and allows the world to sometimes have the first move. Design Inspiration: Release into the dazzling sensation of the world infusing the interior by clearing the area around your windows and treating them as pieces of art à la Julius Shulman’s iconic 1960 photograph of the Stahl house.

TAURUS
Virgo season invites you to trust that you already have more than enough of what you need and to tap into your ability to repurpose what you already have into something gorgeously useful. Design Inspiration: Channel the restored farmhouses of Taschen’s Country Interiors as you dig into your soul dirt by repurposing objects, reupholstering prized furniture pieces, and reveling in local rummage sales.

GEMINI
Virgo season invites you to return to the sensations of your body as you learn to read and value environmental cues as much as you do intellectual ones. Design Inspiration: Relax into treehouse dreams with Joel Allen’s British Columbia masterpiece sourced entirely from craigslist materials, and experiment with small seasonal shifts in your own space by mixing indoor with outdoor- even if it’s just tricking out your fire escape with sparkling lights or placing found stones in your sink basin.

CANCER
Virgo season invites you to celebrate distinguished solitude as much as you do emotional relationship. Design Inspiration: Channel the DIY solitude of converted sheds by creating a space of your own—whether it’s affixing glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling for private night dreaming, or cordoning off a corner of shared space entirely for yourself.

LEO
Virgo season invites you to step away from the proscenium as you relax into behind the scenes labors without always having to show yourself. Design Inspiration: Conjure the inward-facing glitter and sparkle of the Madonna Inn’s bombastic Barbie bathroom by decking out your boudoir with jewel-encrusted toiletry boxes, and writing yourself impassioned lipstick messages on your mirror.

VIRGO
Virgo season invites you to rediscover the wild sensualism of your inner witchy woman who follows her own credo. Design Inspiration: Evoke the high-quality, woodsy wildness of the fur, fire, and open air bathtubs of Palm Springs’ Sparrows Lodge with a singular, luxe design piece made from natural materials like a marble slab, bamboo soap dish, or wool rug.

LIBRA
Virgo season invites you to discover the “beautility” in your world by blending your idealized aesthetic sensibilities with down-to-earth usefulness. Design Inspiration: Channel the majestically utilitarian Library of Congress with organizational pieces that are also decadent and gorgeous.

SCORPIO
Virgo season invites you to marry your emotional intensity to material complexity as you investigate the intricate detail of the world that surrounds you. Design Inspiration: Explore the elaborate Art Nouveau design of the Parisian metro system by experimenting with patterned wallpaper or trompe l’oeil at home.

SAGITTARIUS
Virgo season invites you to take your passion and make it happen as you delight in the earthy sensation of grounding your most far-flung visions in the material world. Design Inspiration: Motor west with inspiration from Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and invite the open road into your space with 50s Americana kitsch design elements.

CAPRICORN
Virgo season invites you to celebrate the process of refinement without this having to match internally or externally imposed standards. Design Inspiration: Move towards the sensations of slow cooking and process-based work by conjuring warm Mediterranean-style kitchens through decoratively usable rotating spice racks, hanging fruit baskets, and dishes affixed to the wall.

AQUARIUS
Virgo season invites you to trade in some of your panoramic thinking for delicious attention to detail. Design Inspiration: Delight in the futuristic efficiency of the tiny house movement and play with proportion in your own space with terrariums or dollhouses.

PISCES
Virgo season invites you to step out of the endless seas of possibility to practice the art of discernment. Design Inspiration: Strip down with spiritually-aligned Japanese minimalism and infuse this practice in your own space by cleansing one room, or building your design around a singular object or color.

10 WAYS TO WORK WITH VENUS RETROGRADE

The planet of love, money and luxury goes retro this week. Star Sign Style’s Kimberly Peta Dewhirst has 10 ways to make this Venus retrograde work for you…Images: The Bedroom by Tasmin Jade Donaldson via Behance.net

Romance, fashion, friendship, affection, intimacy, sweet moments and all the girlie things (think: sugar, spice, all things nice), are ruled by the goddess / planet Venus. The same goes for money and your bank balance, and all things sensual (beautiful scents, pleasing art scenes and landscapes, valuables, material wealth, riches etc.)

And she’s all set to do an about turn – a.k.a. begin a retrograde cycle – from July 25 – September 6.

Before you freak out at the sight of the “R” word (man has Mercury retrograde got some explaining to do), Venus retrograde could actually be a good thing for your relationships, your indulgences and your bank balance.

While Mercury rules all things communication related (technology, social media, commerce), it makes sense that the confusion that accompanies this planet’s retrograde phase can throw us some seriously frustrating curveballs.

But with Venus retrograde, we can expect our sensual nature to be activated and investigated, as we are asked to contemplate, reflect on and review what and who we love, how we show affection, flirt and attract a mate. Also, our relationship to money, our sense of self-worth, and attitudes to abundance.

One word of warning, however. If you hear people complaining during a Mercury retrograde phase that they messaged the wrong person and lost their mobile phone, during Venus retro listen out for and beware making outlandish declarations of love, and avoid extravagant purchases made on a whim.

Here are ten ways to make this Venus retrograde phase work in your favor…

1. Reassess What Beauty Means To You
Venus rules how we dress up and beautify ourselves and our surroundings – in fact, you can look to your Venus sign for clues on your personal style. When Venus retrogrades you can remodel your choices, and this is a great time to create a mood or inspiration board to redefine your personal tastes.

Do NOT however book in for a drastic haircut or get the decorators in just yet – this is the contemplation stage. Wait till Venus goes direct to make any major changes (dates below).

2. Review Your Finances
As Venus rules over money, the retrograde period is prime time for rebalancing your books. But hold off implementing any financial overhauls – this period is for reevaluating your commitments, tying up loose ends, and revisiting old debts. It could be a great time to go and get a refund and have people pay up, or likewise to reimburse or repay any debts that have been hanging over you.

3. Resist The Lure Of Luxe
Just as buying electronic equipment isn’t advisable during Mercury retrograde, you’re better off waiting to buy any luxury goods and beauty related purchases now. Avoid large expenditures where fashion and frivolities are concerned – this is not the time to pull together a capsule wardrobe of ‘investment’ pieces, and definitely not on credit. Your instincts about what’s worth the splurge could be off during this period, so stick to window-shopping.

It could however be a great time to manifest and attract some beautiful vintage or second-hand pieces into your life – think flea markets, and antique fairs. One mans trash is another’s treasure, as the saying goes, and people could be reviewing their valuables during this time.

4. Research Your Purchases
One way to use the Venus retrograde to you advantage when it comes to shopping, is to know the true value of what you’re buying and make an informed choice. It can be a great time to barter and bargain, as long as you’re the one in the drivers seat (and you’ve researched the returns policy).

5. Retreat From The Dating Scene
Projects, relationships, people and businesses all carry an astrological imprint, and a relationship commenced during Venus retrograde could get off to a repetitive or exasperating start. At best you could have a long, drawn out honeymoon period, while a suitor could seem far more magnificent, charming and fabulous than they really are. Then, when Venus resumes normal function the rose tinted glasses come off.

If you do meet somebody, don’t trust the heat of the moment during the Venus retrograde. Instead, enjoy the flirtation stage and plan to commit when the planet goes direct.

6. Re-evaluate your relationships
If you’re in a relationship however, Venus retrograde offers you an opportunity to resolve any issues with your partner and recommit – if you’re wed you may even decide to renew tour vows!.Reaffirm your love, rekindle and reignite the romance, rejoice…and reproduce! Now is the time to reassemble the jigsaw of your relationship to create a more beautiful picture.

7. Remember The Good Times
Venus retrograde speaks of past relationships coming out of the woodwork (that goes for both romances and friendships), and reminiscing together actually be therapeutic, especially if you’re ready to go back and dig up treasures from the past. Ensure a reexamination is positive by appreciating the good times, even if you acknowledge that you aren’t right for each other now. Seek gratitude for the happiness you experienced in that moment. But if you DO decide an old flame could be reignited, the Universe could well support you now.

8. Revisit Your Passions
Venus favors feminine hobbies, and you may rediscover a love of jewellery making, beauty and fashion, make-up and hair, baking, flower arranging and interior decoration now.

With Venus retrograde in the creative sign of Leo (the majority of the time) the energies throughout the retrograde period are particularly supportive for recreation and play. The Numinous Temple of Venus is a perfect place to explore this energy, and you can check out all the upcoming events and workshops here.

9. Rethink The Sweet Stuff
Sounds silly but if you suffer from sugar cravings, Venus retrograde could be just the time to tackle your habit! Venus rules over cakes, biscuits, sweets (candy) and chocolate. There are so many documentaries on the hazards of this highly addictive substance (I’m talking about the refined white stuff – not sugars found in fruit), and once you research and reeducate yourself on this subject, this could be a supportive phase to regain control over a sweet tooth.

10. Reinstate Femininity
Invite the divine feminine into your world and cement its presence with this Venus retrograde. Dedicated some quality time to friendships with the women you love, taking time to really appreciate their soft yet strong attributes – embrace womanhood and what it means to be an empowered female today. Regroup or plan a reunion with your girls, recollect and celebrate them and why you value their friendship. Repair and patch up relationships that are lacking.

Your star dates as follows…

• Venus enters the shadow period Sunday 21st June
• Venus goes retrograde – Saturday 25th July
• Venus goes direct Sunday 6th September
• Venus is out of the ‘retrograde zone’ by 9th October 2015 – phew!

Author Kimberly Peta Dewhirst would love to hear your stories to support her growing understanding of the Venus retrograde period. Email: [email protected] with your birth data (time, date and place of birth) and details of your Venus retrograde experiences. (All information will be kept confidential)

Numinous community art project and interactive altar The Temple of Venus is a space dedicated to celebrating and healing anything that falls under the remit of the Goddess planet, and is open until August 19.