Why the Selfridges Astrolounge is the perfect balance of the mystical and the material…
It’s been so much fun spending time back at Selfridges department store for the launch of my Astrolounge project with them. If you’ve missed this, a) where have you been, and b) The Numinous has basically helped the team at Selfridges create a mystical Christmas grotto. Full of gifts themed around magic and astrology, it’s essentially this site come to life! A total dream project – not least because it’s meant going back to the source of my long-time love affair with luxury. Y-u-m.
Come pay day, Selfridges was always my first port of call in my old fashion magazine life – where “gifting” myself with a new pair of shoes felt like the ultimate act of self-love. I got properly high on the buzz of being surrounded by beautiful things, and the fact I could even afford to shop there it felt like a massive achievement.
And maybe it’s because I’ve got Jupiter, planet of enthusiasm and expansion, in Taurus, the sign governing material possessions – but no matter how far my numinous journey takes me into the spiritual realm, and the understanding that ALL LIFE becomes beautiful when you begin to pay attention and tend lovingly to your inner world, I’ll always be a sucker for a perfectly executed piece of designer life-candy.
Still, it’s been eye-opening to watch the new, numinous me back in that environment. Meaning the new me who rarely spends money on catwalk clothes, because I no longer work in an environment where labels mean anything. Or the new me who prefers to invest in things I’ve found to have a longer-lasting impact on my overall happiness – workshops, retreats, and other healing experiences.
And eye-opening because, having taken a step back from the lure of luxury, I have found myself extremely present to the spell we are placed under in its presence! Because check it out yo, after a week of soaking up the Selfridges vibe, pretty much all I can think about is this intergalactic sweater by Bella Freud (OMG). In the faerie realms they call it the “glamour” – the magic that can turn ashes and dead leaves into enticing fruit and sparkling wine.
All of which is SO not to suggest that I’m somehow a “better” person because I’ve found new ways to experience self-love, or that there’s no deeper value in beautiful objects. Marie Kondo writes brilliantly about material things and their place in the context of our spiritual experience in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, summed up in the quote below. The real beauty for me is in the material / mystical balance, which is everything the Selfridges Astrolounge encompasses so effortlessly.
Check out an edit of the products on offer in the Selfridges Astrolounge, plus details of our Magic Mondays workshops happening in the space, at Selfridges.com/astrolounge
If eating for your body-type is about creating a sense of balance, dressing for your dosha means fashion can be healing too. By Mairi Yunits. Images: Mara Hoffman SS15 collection.
In my past, non-Ayurvedic life, shopping was my weekly meditation. It wasn’t a real weekend without a new outfit – and it certainly wasn’t an outfit if it didn’t include heels and a very tiny black dress.
Hats, bags, skirts, and tops were constantly accumulating in my drawers, and looking back, I can see how the clothes piling up on the outside were the material reflection of what was happening on the inside – layers of bad relationships, poor health choices, un-authentic friendships and lack of self-love, yearning to be organized.
A few twists and turns down the road, I found myself studying to become an Ayurveda Practitioner – which in turn has meant de-cluttering my internal and external wardrobe. Four years later, it’s clear that healing myself on the inside has in turn even-keeled my closet.
Once I had discovered my dosha (in Ayurveda we all fall into three different types physically – you can find yours out here) I began to recognize I was dressing very wrong for my Pitta-Vata constitution. So I took this on as another gateway to my healing process, and ran to the nearest store to purchase all organic cotton blue and green shirts. But also, I’m a Leo (with Leo rising too!) – and running around in T-shirts was never going to cut it.
As time progressed and I began to refine my new sense of style, the idea of dressing for my dosha began to evolve into an art form.
So what is the benefit of dressing for your dosha, and what changes will you notice?
Ayurveda is all about balance, and just as eating the right foods for your physical make-up is about creating the conditions for optimal health, knowing what clothes work best for your dosha can connect the three tiers – mind, body, and spirit.
Seen this way, dressing (and shopping!) becomes an act of self-care, bringing more clarity, flow of communication, and confidence, be it at your next business meeting or simply a Saturday at the farmer’s market.
It’s grounding. While our mystical selves love to float in the ethers (hey all you vatas out there) clothes can help ground us back to our day-to-day life. We each have a message to share, and the proper clothes can give us the stability we need to rock it.
Here’s how to make a dosha dropping fashion statement.
:: VATA (FALL & EARLY WINTER) ::
My airy social butterflies. First things first (because we all know these things slip the mind); you must avoid being chilly at all costs. I know you love to show off your creative side and make a statement, and a scarf could be just the eccentric addition you’re looking for. Favor outfits that are warming and grounding. Pastel colors can work wonders, and a cozy pair of socks will seal the deal. Soft, warming fabrics such as cottons, linens or merino wool, should be at the top of your shopping list. Stick to flats, as you’re the ones that benefit from the most grounding influences. When you can, go barefoot.
:: PITTA (SUMMER) ::
My luxurious fire elementals. Please don’t let your desire to impress others guide all your outfit choices. The key here is to think light and airy with your clothes. Pittas can easily feel restricted, so make sure there is room to breathe. Silks, linens or cotton fabrics are great. As for colors, keep it calm – white, green and blue will do. Limit pattern. In the summer, carry a hat and sunglasses on you at all times. While black can be a short-cut to the kind of show-stopping looks you love, be careful not to overdue it in the summer months. A Pitta can’t afford to overheat, what with world domination on their hands.
:: KAPHA (LATE WINTER & SPRING) ::
My dear conservative Kaphas. You, my wise friends, tend to go for comfort over fashion. You take the timeless approach and tend to invest in clothes that will last and be practical. While this is a wonderful skill, it can also keep you in a style rut. Next time you find yourself reaching for more practical, neutral colors, spice it up with some purple, red or orange. These colors will give you some extra spunk to get you moving. Partner with light fabrics and throw in a high quality watch to complete the look. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to fashion, it may be the motivation you need.
If you know you embody multiple doshas, focus on your main dosha first and bring in the sub-doshas when you feel they need extra TLC. You can also adjust your attire to the doshic season.
The famous saying in Ayurveda, “it all depends,” applies to getting dressed just as much as your diet or daily routine. So start small, and pay attention to how your clothes are affecting your mood, whether you’re out and about or hanging around the house. As your closet cleans up, you’ll begin to see the magic of dressing for your dosha – and understand more fully that healing does in fact come in all shapes and sizes.
Mairi Yunits is a Pitta-Vata, Green Media Specialist, and Ayurveda Practitioner living in Chicago. Find out more about her work at Livemukta.com
Woah, Fashion Week fun alert! Welcome to Fashion Designer Tarot, in which Vix (a.k.a. the New Age Hipster) imagines a card for six of our favourite catwalk characters…
:: MARC JACOBS – SIX OF CUPS ::
Marc Jacobs embodies the Six of Cups like nobody’s business, which is interesting really because I always see this as the giving and receiving card, small business in a small town card. Marc is very clearly NOT small business these days, and in fact, being born in NYC it’s possible he hasn’t spent much time in small towns at all. But still he embodies an industrious work ethic, and having checked out his latest offerings with my third eye, the romantic notion of small town America he often returns to can be seen in full effect. His signature cartoonish motifs, military stylings and perfume bottles adorned with daisies just scream: “get me out of the big city and back to the back of beyond!” I’m pretty sure in his next life, MJ is coming back as a farmer.
:: VIVIENNE WESTWOOD – THE TOWER ::
Vivienne Westwood was the original 1970’s punk, and there’s no card in the Tarot more punk than The Tower! The Tower comes up in readings when everything you’ve built, everything you believe, and everything you trust no longer serves you, and needs to change – now! Just as the punks wanted to break the chains and see the tower of fascism fall, mixing fashion and politics is as natural to Vivienne as pairing tea with cake. Appearing as herself in risque advertising shoots and using every opportunity in front of a camera to push her stance on climate change, Viv continues to shake up and shock the tower of the fashion world well into her seventies.
:: STELLA MCCARTNEY – ACE OF CUPS ::
Stella McCartney’s classically feminine vibe can only really relate to the suit of cups. The cups cards help us to dive deep into our emotions, discovering all the gems that lie beneath, and helping us to harness our water energy rather than wind up an emotional wreck. Stella has most definitely got a hold of her own cups, making the Ace of Cups the perfect card for her. Her collection for SS15 is overflowing with gorgeous deep ocean blues, shimmering sunlight on sea metallics and beautiful flowing dresses the colour of breaking waves. And Stella appears to be balancing out her water energy with air this season too. Birds bask on the backs of deep blue cardigans, perfect for keeping you warm by the lake on a chilly evening out beneath the stars.
:: KARL LAGERFELD – THE HIEROPHANT ::
Le Lagerfeld is basically the self-appointed Pope of the Church of Fashion. In Tarot we can relate these kinds of characters to The Hierophant card – supposedly the landline between you and your God, and Karl has the God of style on speed dial! The Hierophant is never ‘wrong’ about anything. He never admits to his mistakes, because he doesn’t make any! Pastor Karl has been involved in numerous controversies; calling Adele ‘fat’, saying he didn’t like Pippa Middleton’s face, oh, and don’t even get me started on his opinions about the use of animals on the catwalk. But he thinks all these things are totes fine, and unfortunately so do many of his black leather clad congregation.
:: DONATELLA VERSACE – THE CHARIOT ::
With the gold Medusa as her emblem, Donatella Versace is soooo the Chariot card. But the Chariot isn’t only about fancy Greek footwear and Swarovski bling. This card reminds us that in order to get moving in our lives we have to balance both light and dark. We need to give and receive – allow our sphinx to pull, but steer them where we want to go, right? Donatella takes 2000-year-old Grecian drapery and makes it relevant. She adds golden talismans to ward off evil spirits as you stroll around the mall, and reminds us that every new season in the fashion world is just another pause in the cycle. Nothing is new, and yet everything is new. And this is what keeps the wheels of Versace’s Chariot moving forward.
:: ALEXANDER WANG – THE MOON ::
Mystery, intuition, stillness, the quiet power within. These are all aspects of The Moon, the Tarot card that depicts Alexander Wang to a tea. A white leaf tea with no sugar, no milk and no sweetener. Wang’s stark, monochrome designs embody the power and beauty of a full Moon on a cloudless night. Of course, there are also brief flares of colour – perhaps blue for a passing comet, or a dash of metallic silver for a falling star. If you’re looking for the perfect wardrobe this season to help you dress like the Moon cycles, then Alexander has you covered.
Here it comes…the countdown to BURNING MAN 2014 is on! As the final preparations take place, we canvassed the most seasoned Burners of the Numinati to compile the ultimate pre-playa check-list…Images: Reka Nyari and Michael Chichi
Sun, sand, palm-trees and organic produce as far as the eye can see… yep, it’s L.A. baby…and we’re hitting it fast & hard. Welcome to 36 hours in L.A. Numinous style. By Raquel Griffin.
Okay before we even get started with our Los Angeles travel guide: TIP #1. As lovely as L.A. is her traffic is legendary so to beat the gridlock blues we suggest you make like the locals and plan your pleasure-seeking based on what side of town you’re on: which means EAST SIDE (Silverlake, Los Feliz, Echo Park, Hollywood) vs. WEST SIDE (Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica, Topanga, Malibu, Pacific Palisades). Though not a hard and fast rule it definitely beats having to endure a 2-hour round of car karaoke while you’re stuck on the 101. Trust us on this one.
SATURDAY – EAST SIDE
10AM: Tarot Reading at HOUSE OF INTUITION (Echo Park)
Billing themselves as “space of love and light specializing in spiritual guidance,” set yourself up with a stop at The House of Intuition. Located in a sweet cottage nestled above a busy street in Echo Park what the House lacks in size it makes up in services…from Astrology, Aura and Chakra Balancing, Reiki, Animal Communication, Sound Therapy and Meditation all your spiritual needs promise to be met within its walls. Need to know why Fido won’t cozy up with you and your new beau? Crown chakra feeling a bit off-center? Grab a session with any of the reputable readers & practitioners here and get it all taken care of. Easy.
For every gal who has ever dreamed of raiding Stevie Nicks’ wardrobe, this one’s for you. Steeped in 70’s Cali goodness, TAVIN stocks an impeccably curated selection of boho-gypsy gear perfect for your witchy-woman-festival-girl-tour-de-force look…tambourine not included.
There’s teepee inside. It’s a clothing store ANNNDD there’s a T-E-E-P-E-E inside…only in L.A. and gosh darn it we LOVE that. Filled with a gorgeously curated selection of hand crafted items from local artisans like the shop’s owner, jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley, the Dream Collective aesthetic is all about embracing primordial forms and influences from indigenous cultures. Whether choosing an evil eye cuff from Kathryn Bentley’s collection, a card from Thunderwing Press or a pair of Cali-cool handmade leather sandals from Beatrice Valenzuela, at Dream Collective curating a magical, mystical lifestyle lair is all in a day’s work.
A cute little sliver of a shop in Silverlake, The Eco-Apothecary is a stroke of brilliance. Filled with handmade Sulfate Free, Paraben free, Vegan and Organic home, bath and body products, the store’s large selection runs the gamut from detergent to hairspray and everything in between. Products are sold in bulk and you can bring a bottle and filler’ up or you can purchase one of the hundreds of colorful glass and BPA free plastic containers sold at the shop. And if that weren’t enough you can even take a whirl at creating your own signature fragrance with the extensive selection of handmade essential oils on hand…Ooh la la.
2PM: Thai Massage Yoga @ THE RAVEN SPA (Silverlake)
If you’re in need of some LA style pampering The Raven Spa & Healing Center is the place to go for the Thai yoga massage of your life. Guaranteed to melt stress and leave you feeling like a blissed-out bowl of jello, this signature treatment gives new meaning to the term “afternoon delight.”
Housed in a gigantic nondescript warehouse, Shareen Vintage is one of the most glorious vintage experiences ever. Actually the words vintage orgasm come to mind. Lined wall-to-wall with dresses, skirts and blouses from the 1950’s through the 1980’s, a knowledgeable member of Shareen’s sales staff will be assigned to you to will commence whisking you thorough their extensive collection while piling clothing up as you go along based on their sharp style assessment. Once you have your goods you’ll be given a “spot” to disrobe in what looks like a giant vintage living room. Since this place is strictly ladies only, the act of playing dress-up quickly turns into a party, with fellow customers randomly coo-ing and ahhing over each others wares. A couple of things to know before you go: 1) There are no “dressing rooms” so if you’re a little shy about stripping down to your skivvies we highly suggest you bring a slip 2) There are no price-tags. Each item is priced at the moment of sale by Shareen but fear not, prices mostly range from $20-$80.
This amazing in-the-cut organic/vegan/macrobiotic Japanese hotspot tucked away on the third floor of an indoor mall in Little Tokyo is the perfect place to re-stock your tank while showing your tastebuds just how much you really care.
9:30AM: Morning worship @ AGAPE SPIRITUAL CENTER (Culver City)
If you you’ve ever watched the film “The Secret” then you’re familiar with Dr. Michael Bernard-Beckwith, founder of Agape Spiritual Center. Described as a “trans-denominational” church all are welcome at Agape, even atheists. Agape is all about “creating a community and a practice that is the embodiment of evolving consciousness” or what they like to call “new thought-meets ancient wisdom”. With pre-service meditation time, guest speakers like Marianne Williamson and “sermons” that often focus on our role as infinite beings co-creating reality, to say that Agape is not your momma’s church is an UNDERSTATEMENT. Add in a house band that serves up some serious guitar riffs and a choir that covers the Rolling Stones and you have the quintessential “church” for the new age. Hallelujah.
Imagine a sleek, gourmet vegan and raw restaurant, now plop it down in the middle of a hip locale like Venice or Larchmont and what do you get? CAFE GRATITUDE. Created in Berkeley and recently expanded to Southern California, CAFE GRATITUDE is all about delivering dazzling dishes with a side of positive affirmations – plates are printed with statements like “I am Humble” and “I am Open Hearted.” With a menu that’s beyond healthy and a waitstaff that’s beyond attractive, it’s no wonder this has become THEPLACE for the kale and green smoothie set. And did I mention they have coconut bacon? A couple of tips on the menu: 1) Make sure to order a cup of “I am Immortal”…STAT. Made with Reishi, Shilajit, Ormus, coconut milk, raw honey & cinnamon..it’s a Cafe Gratitude love affair in a cup 2) Be prepared to want everything placed in front of you including their beautifully decorated “hamsa” water jugs and “What are you grateful for?” dishes. 3) Save room for dessert. Now, this might seem obvious but it’s easy to get side-tracked here. Trust us on this one. You’re welcome.
1PM: Some reading time @ THUNDER BOLT BOOKS (Santa Monica)
Thunder Bolt Books is by far one of the best spiritual bookstores we have EVER set foot in. Though a small-ish space, Thunder Bolt is packed ceiling to floor with every spiritualist book you could imagine…from obscure titles you could swear were “only available on Amazon” to newly released must-haves. What’s also refreshing is that works from all traditions are welcome here, so expect a great range on everything from Catholicism to Voodoo. And if that weren’t enough they’ve also got a fabulous $5 used book bin AND the biggest single cut crystal in the WESTERN HEMISPHERE. Yep. It’s pretty awesome. And if you’re nice, the super sweet and knowledgeable store manager Bobby might just pour you a cup of tea and you two can just kick back and shoot the breeze.
** Not open Sunday, but worth checking out if you’re in Santa Monica: THE HOMEOPATHIC PHARMACY
Staffed with amazingly knowledgeable homeopaths, this place is an alternative health junkies dream. Got something that ails you? From herbs to salves, to standard & hard to find homeopathic products they’ve got a remedy for EVERRRYYYTHING. **RECOMMENDED PURCHASE:Net Remedies #9. Like Rescue Remedy on steroids, it’s a super potent homeopathic cure-all for everything from cold & flu, to overexertion, neuralgia and anxiety. It’s like the perfect first-aid kit in a bottle that’s also small enough to fit your purse….and who doesn’t need that, right?
3PM: More vintage shopping @ HIDDEN TREASURES (Topanga Canyon)
Tucked away in the hills of Topanga Canyon, like something out of a dream HIDDDEN TREASURES is a vintage lover’s Shangri-La. In a time when the term “vintage” has become almost synonymous with unbelievably high prices, Hidden Treasures is an anomaly…an amazingly well-stocked (Kate Moss & Lenny Kravitz are fans), fairly priced vintage-store where you can still find pristine 20’s dresses and gorgeous buttery 60’s leather jackets attrue vintage prices (items range from $20 -$150). But don’t expect the “curated” 5-items-on-a-rack experience here. The selection and the space are expansive so be prepared to dig. It’s also worth checking out the $10 bin out in front – a quick look might yield a serious score. And don’t forget to ask Mary Bee, the store manager, about the “back room” because what you see in there might just render you speechless.
6PM: Kundalini yoga @ GOLDEN BRIDGE (Santa Monica)
A sweet intimate spot and the newest outpost of the L.A. Kundalini mecca that is Golden Bridge (yes Demi Moore’s studio of choice), this is the perfect place to get your good vibes on. Plus it’s Gurmukh, people…It’s G-U-R-M-U-K-H.
8:30PM: Dinner @ MATTHEW KENNEY’S – M.A.K.E. RESTAURANT (Santa Monica)
Home of the pitch-perfect fine dining / raw food experience, super-star chef Matthew Kenny’s M.A.K.E. Restaurant is as good as it gets. Can’t get enough M.A.K.E. in your life? Well there’s an app for that. Matthew Kenny’s got an “Everyday Raw Detox app” featuring 100 recipes for healthier living. Now how smart is that?
10pm: Cocktails poolside @ the BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL (Beverly Hills)
Seal in the high vibes of your visit with a nightcap at the Beverly Polo Lounge, not only the epitome of old school Hollywood glamour but meeting point of some seriously positive ley lines. According to L.A. psychic Aiden Chase; “There’s an energy field in the land here that supports wishes and dreams. The city’s natural ‘good vibe’ energy, from the Hollywood Hills to the ocean has supported people’s dreams from actor to entrepreneur for over 100 years…” And, interestingly, Chase pinpoints the Beverly Hills Hotel as “a huge power center” of this energy. In fact, “if I’m having a bad day, I will go there, meditate in the gardens and feel much better. I always have my meetings at this hotel, and they always turn out successful.” So kick back with a mojito and get your manifestation station on. A whole City of Angels will be listening.