A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF LEO SEASON

Leo season is an invitation to shimmy onto the dancefloor and unleash your realness, say Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Kali Uchis

Leo season grabs us by both hands and pulls us onto the dance floor to shake and shimmy with the sweet sensation that all we have to do is become more of what we already are. Yet the fluorescent feline’s secret jewel box lies buried within the deliciously difficult feeling that when we show up as ourselves, absolutely and completely, sometimes we dance alone, lit only by the fire of our realest, most generously unapologetic essence.

We’re not for everyone—but we cannot be for anyone if we’re not for ourselves. So turn it on, turn it up, and shine your light as you step into the strobe-lit center of your own incandescent value, powered by the sheer deliciousness of being. The message, glamourama glitter kittens, is that it’s alright to trust this life, even when it leaves us to bask alone in our own glow. Because we’ve got to let it show and it’s time for the world to know.

The keyword: Realness

The song lyrics: “What you find/What you feel/What you know now/To be real”—Cheryl Lynn, To Be Real. And check out our Leo season playlist, complete with bubblegum pop, heart-on-sleeve anthems, and glittering grooves.

Leo lady Cara Delevigne

The color palette: Fully saturated jewel tones and glowy, sun-kissed shades—think gold lamé, mouthwatering magentas, and torrid corals.

The style: Lisa Frank and a Vegas showgirl vacation in the tropics—think over-the-top sparkles, shine, fluff, bronzer, silliness, sex and, of course, rainbow leopard print.

The scents and flavors: Sunbaked and succulent—think juicy tomatoes, citrus collisions, tropical infusions, and ice cream dreams. Think coconut La Croix, gourmand scents, Caprese salad, and creamsicles.

The healing: It’s glamorously direct and deliciously simple—go for rollerskating, drugstore makeovers, beachfront carnivals, shared popsicles, or anything that offers full, earnest immersion in the precious present.

SENSUOUS INVITATION OF THE MONTH :: UN-GUILTY PLEASURES (by sign, below)

With this month’s pack of Leo planets beckoning us to become more completely ourselves than ever before, and Mars finally out of retrograde and moving from Scorpio into Sagittarius, we’re being asked to recommit to what turns us on and lights us up, even when our pleasures might be perceived as “uncool.”

This month, we invite you to abandon “good” taste and strip the supposedly guilty of its guilt as you dive heart first into the gaudy, tacky, sentimental, and over-the-top. Start with the suggestions below and then let your imagination run absolutely wild into pure, guileless pleasure, no matter its reputation.

Nicki Minaj

::  ARIES ::
Leo season invites you to infuse your stripped down, embattled spirit with some larger-than-life glamorama and tenderized sweetness. Un-guilty Pleasure: Talk about love and feel it all with Celine Dion’s heart-wrenching, vocal acrobatics.

:: TAURUS ::
Leo season invites you to savor ephemeral pleasures that can’t be tied down or objectified, and to trust so deeply into your worth that you have nothing to lose. Un-guilty Pleasure: Divine the cosmic messages in lottery tickets, happy meal prizes, and boardwalk palm readers just like you would a serious tarot session with a seasoned professional.

:: GEMINI ::
Leo season invites you to utilize your endless penchant for information gathering to playfully and emotionally relate to others’ stories. Un-guilty Pleasure: Old-school slumber parties complete with Cosmo quizzes and rounds of “Never Have I Ever.”

:: CANCER ::
Leo season invites you to own your need for retreat and not wait for permission to feed the secret parts of your soul. Un-guilty Pleasure: Slip away and tuck yourself in with a solo Snuggie and Yankee candle.

:: LEO ::
Leo season invites you to glow, glam, and shine without worrying about who’s watching. Un-guilty Pleasure: Break out the bedazzler and blue eyeshadow and take yourself out for a romantic Olive Garden pasta dinner for one.

:: VIRGO ::
Leo season invites you to step into the scorching-hot spotlight as you rightfully claim full credit for your behind-the-scenes labors. Un-guilty Pleasure: Karaoke lounge night without opting for the private room; think ABBA, Barry Manilow, and beyond.  

:: LIBRA ::
Leo season invites you to trade the shoulds for the wants as you release into multiple versions of the ideal. Un-guilty Pleasure: Challenge your sense of acceptable aesthetics as you celebrate inspirational kitten and sunset photos, colored bras under white shirts, or even toe rings.

:: SCORPIO ::
Leo season invites you to find the juicy humor in your emotional intensity without having to scale it back one single bit. Un-guilty Pleasure: Binge on soap operas and reality shows where the drama runs high; think Melrose, The O.C., and The Real Housewives.

:: SAGITTARIUS ::
Leo season invites you to relax fully in the present moment of courageous creation without having to imbue it with philosophical meaning or needing to sniff out what may be next in line. Un-guilty Pleasure: Get wild and weird with jazzercise, prancercise, square dancing, or line dancing.

:: CAPRICORN ::
Leo season invites you to suspend some of your hard-earned perspective for the deliciously innocent belief that you’re worthy of being adored without having to exercise any effort. Un-guilty Pleasure: Adorn your living space with some Liberace-style “palatial kitsch”: gold- plated picture frames, red velvet lamps, and pink cherubic statues.

:: AQUARIUS ::
Leo season invites you to feel fully into the arduous heat of passionate attachments and let them burn and burn. Un-guilty Pleasure: Start a Nicholas Sparks’ book club and cry your damn eyes out with the ephemeral human beauty of it all.

:: PISCES ::
Leo season invites you to assert yourself completely without needing to ask permission. Un-guilty Pleasure: Clear the dance floor with a show-stopping boogie down to the smooth, mellow sounds of Michael McDonald’s yacht rock.

HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: A TOTAL GUIDE

Tap into the wisdom of the animal kingdom by learning how to work with your spirit animal, says Wolf SisterArtwork: Erin Petson

 

A spirit animal is a reflection of you, and is there to remind you of your inherent wisdom. They represent archetypal energies, typical traits that are personified by a specific creature. Acting as our allies, teachers, guides and protectors, if a spirit animal is showing up in your life, it has a message for you and wants to work with you.

Think, what are this animal’s strengths and how does it act? This is the message for you.

To work with your spirit animal is to step into the power you need most in any moment. This can help you feel more grounded, give you the confidence for a job interview, make you feel more alluring for a hot date or give you the strength to ask for help when you need it. Above all, it can help you to feel more confident, proactive and supported.

:: WHO IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL? ::

Spirit animals have an energy you will resonate with and feel drawn to, sometimes inexplicably. This doesn’t have to be specific to an animal either, it could also be a deity, super hero or even a celebrity! Yes, you could count Beyonce or Mary Magdalene as your “spirit animal.” There will be something familiar about your animal, and they’re there to teach and guide you in a direction that supports you.

Maybe you already have a strong affinity with a particular spirit animal, but if you don’t feel like have the connection yet here are some tips to help you to activate your connection.

A Vision Quest
In the morning, take some time to meditate and invoke your spirit animal to show itself. Create a presence of awareness throughout the day and look out for signs that could represent your animal. Your spirit animal is likely appear to you in a series of synchronicities, where you may literally see it everywhere—on street art, the internet, magazines, books, posters, gifts you receive from friends, dreams or even a chance encounter with the animal itself.

When your animal wants to be seen, it’ll make sure you notice it so keep your eyes wide open. Journal your encounters as these encounters are all insights into what is being revealed to you. You may come into contact with more than one animal, but the animal you see most often is the most prominent message. Think of the additional animals as the supporting acts.

Meditate
You can connect with your spirit animal through meditation, while a guided shamanic journey will lead you to your animal and hold space for you to communicate more deeply with them. There are guided meditations available online (search: “spirit animal guided meditation”) and workshops that hold space for you to meet your spirit animal. Check event listings for sessions in your area.

Dreamtime
Before you go to sleep, ask your spirit animal to reveal themselves to you in your dream. Your intention could be, ” Spirit animal, who serves my highest and best good, please come to me in my dreams tonight. I am open to your wisdom. Thank you for your protection and guidance. You will be remembered in the morning.”

Repeat this invocation as you fall asleep. Make sure that you have a pen and paper by your bed for when you wake up in the morning, and write down what you remember as soon as you wake up and the memory of the dream is still fresh.

Oracle Cards
One of the quickest ways to connect with your spirit animal is to use an animal oracle deck (we love the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck). Connect with the deck and draw a card (or a few cards) to represent what serves you. You can take guidance from the reference book that accompanies the deck but I would also recommend journalling how this card makes you feel, use your intuition to find the meaning. Meditate on the card and see what messages come through to you from the unseen realm.

If you draw an animal that makes you feel uncomfortable, brings up a phobia or a feeling of dislike, this animal can represent your shadow side. This could symbolize something in the animal’s character that you’re avoiding in your life. Take this as an opportunity to tune in to what may need healing in your life. Remember, if this animal is showing up for you, it is there to be seen, and it’s because you are ready. Even if you don’t think you are…

:: HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL ::

Act Like Your Animal
Use the animal’s instinct as a guide for what action you need to take. How does your animal think and act?

Here are a few examples: Stand strong and committed like the bear. Be sensual and independent like the cat. Do some Vinyasa yoga to connect with your flexibility like the snake. Howl at the moon to embody the wolf. Share your wisdom as a teacher like the owl. Seize an opportunity like the magpie.

Check out youtube or some David Attenborough documentaries to study the characteristics of your animal. Have fun with how you embody your animal, no-one else needs to know, and watch to see how people respond to you after you’ve been channeling the ways of your animal.

Dress Like Your Animal
Wear the colors and patterns of your animal to connect with their spirit. This can be a subtle act, for example wearing leopard print underwear to honor your inner wild cat. Let your hair loose to unleash the lion in you. Think of black as the color of mystery and transformation. If your animal is colorful then it’s a sure sign that you need to been seen.

Eat Like Your Animal
Food nourishes us and gives us energy. Animals use food to do this in the purest way, no fad-diets! They forage or hunt for what their body needs and eat specifically to adapt to their environment. Use the dietary habits of your animal as a guide for what will nourish you at the moment. If your animal is a herbivore, try a plant-based diet and see how your body feels. Birds have a very fast metabolism to enable them to stay light so that they can fly, eating little and often. Maybe the message is simply that you take time to slow down to eat.

Meditate With Your Animal
Using a guided meditation, journey to connect with your spirit animal. Ground yourself and when you’ve connected with your animal, visualize the animal’s energy merging with yours. Feel yourself integrating its strength and wisdom. Set the intention to embody the animal’s empowerment for the day ahead. Working with animals is very grounding, so know that your energy will be protected by the animal as it serves you.

Animals are wise and gentle guides. They haven’t forgotten their connection with earth and with us, and they need our help to protect and heal our planet. As always, the healing journey begins with us. This is an invitation to call on your natural superpowers and work with animal instinct to create the change in your life that you’ve been waiting for.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: DRESSING FOR YOUR BIRTH CHART

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim shares how to magnetize your star quality by dressing for your birth chart…

Dressing in red for my Aries Sun sign

Personal style—that Venus-ruled, ever-elusive, je ne sais quoi that some people seem to exude and others find totally elusive. Is this something we’re born with? Can it be cultivated?

I have always been a clotheshorse and a believer in the power of dress to transform and heal us. But when I graduated college, I suddenly felt shy with my fashion choices, and didn’t completely trust myself to choose what worked and what didn’t. My embarrassment and confusion around this reflected a general insecurity that I was feeling, a very poignant and painful: “what the f*ck am I doing with my life?” kind of insecurity.

I began to find my stride in life and fashion as I turned toward healing as a path. Fast forward to a one-on-one shamanic healing training, during which my teacher told me: “You need to wear a bra sometimes.” Yes, really!

She also pointed out that I seemed to be hiding myself under too-loose pieces. I realized that her focus on dress was her way of encouraging me to feel my femininity, my sexuality, my radiance, my strength, and my beauty. And this is what Venus teaches us—that our clothing helps us cultivate our grace and sense of higher/inner self.

Meanwhile, I came across Kimberly Peta Dewhirst of Star Sign Style, an astrologer who helps people navigate the fashion and aesthetics of the zodiac, after she wrote a Numinous article about dressing for your Venus sign. And since Venus is my homegirl, I soon became obsessed and had to know more.

So Kimberly and I sat down for a reading and an in-depth discussion on the astrological tenets of style. She taught me that we are absolutely born with a style and that yes, it really IS personal. “The symbols of the zodiac are archetypes that translate further through color, accessories, image, patterns and attitude. Fashion is a metaphor for who we are, and astrology—the circle of the birth chart—is who we are,” she says.

As such, your chart, an imprint of the moment you were born, contains valuable clues about how to dress completely as yourself—and rather than blindly follow trends, to use fashion to enhance the traits that make us naturally irresistible, and completely comfortable in our skin.

During a reading Kimberly uses the birth chart as a starting point to identify key style signifiers, going on to create a style prescription based on the aspects at play—providing a mood board with images and inspirational celebrities: “That’s a big part of what I do—helping people to relate to their character through the style of the stars,” she says.

For those of us who don’t follow celebrity culture, this may seem irrelevant, but Kimberly insists that: “We all identify with public figures, their struggles, relationship patterns and mode of expression. Beyond the gossip mags, we need to work with these heroes because they tell us who we are—they’re our mirror, in a way.”

My personal style icons, as mapped on my chart

Kimberly has a full style guide for each zodiac sign on her website—and there follows an overview of the key points to consider when dressing, a la Venus, for your chart.

:: RISING SIGN ::
The key is to dress for your rising sign, not your Sun—since the rising sign speaks to the outer personality that you present to the world. This makes it the sign to lean into when making a first impression. My Scorpio rising means I can come across private and secretive, so I do well in styles that shroud me in mystery. Black and deep reds are the colors of this sign, and because Scorpio is the sign of all things unknowable—the occult, taboo sex, other people’s resources, death, and rebirth—it speaks to a dark glamour, suggesting much hidden under the surface.

Rocking my Scorpio Rising, as compiled by Kimberly

:: SUN SIGN ::
The sun is the brightest star in the sky, and as such we often really resonate with our Sun sign which can feel like our “superpower” sign. With my Sun in Aries, a Mars-ruled sign, I can experiment with power dressing and also wearing brighter reds. Attention-seeking Aries rules the head, so can I can also wear statement headgear—which I always have! Kimberly suggested that because of how my Sun sits with the rest of my chart, I can lean into this Aries boldness, and rather than overpowering it will be luminous.

:: MOON SIGN ::
It’s really fun to dress for your Moon, since this represents your emotional core—what makes you feel comfortable, and “at home” (in fact this could hint at your preferred behind-closed-doors style). With my Moon in Scorpio too, no wonder I feel so safe and grounded in black. And when I’m at home, I love to wear a barely-there silk or satin dress, which makes me feel sensual, but is more mysterious than no clothes at all.

:: VENUS SIGN ::
Venus represents how we like to spend money, make friends, flirt, and how we dress to impress. She’s also the sign of beauty, so whenever you align with your Venus, you’re going to feel more beautiful. My Venus in Gemini adds a fun curveball to my fashion sense, since Gemini is a light, mischievous imp—a fairy that’s gone into the dress-up box and come out in a mishmash of sequins and stripes! She likes butterflies and magic dust and is attracted to jewels like a magpie. This has me mixing all types of patterns, wearing pink and babydoll dresses, and generally choosing playful and conversation-provoking pieces (Gemini’s a talker).

:: MARS SIGN ::
If Venus is more about flirting than sex, which is the domaine of passionate Mars. Mars rules our personal power place, and our deep, primal urges. So dressing for a night out on the prowl? Get cozy with your Mars sign. You can also totally dress for the gym in your Mars, which is how we assert our energy. My Mars in hard-working Capricorn means I feel sexy in clothes that are chic, understated, tailored, and just so. Think pantsuits, black lace, button down shirts. Ditto when I want to GET IT DONE, I happen to love white button down shirts at work.

Kimberly also pointed out that I kind of look like a lion, hello Leo Midheaven!

:: THE MIDHEAVEN ::
The Midheaven is the impression we give off before people have met us. It’s our reputation and the spirit that precedes us. Oftentimes, our Midheaven is connected to the tenth house of fame and honors. It flavors our career. It’s how we come across on social media, which is a good starting place for personal branding. I have my midheaven in Leo, which means I am a natural thespian (I pursued acting for the first 25 years of my life). Leo is also proud, and can look regal with gold trimmings (especially about their face), baroque touches, crests, and crowns—hair can be styled to reflect this also, and I would definitely call my hair my crowning glory!

:: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER ::
Through investigating all of these aspects of your chart, you can get a clearer sense of how you can dress as your most alluring, confident and authentic self. Even if you’re intimidated by the idea of dressing for some aspects of your chart, you may find that, through dress, it becomes easier to embody that part of yourself. Then you’re living more fully. And from this place of fullness, your style, like the perfect outfit, can come together seamlessly.

Kimberly is available for personal style consultations via starsignstyle.com or email: [email protected].

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on water magic.

COSMIC FASHION + BEAUTY NEWS: JULY 2016

Material girl, mystical world indeed—Gabriela Herstik rounds up all that’s cosmic in fashion and beauty for July 2016. 

 

Rihanna in Rick Owens
In RiRi’s latest music video, “Sledgehammer,” we’re taken on a journey to a distant planet somewhere far away in the cosmos—where eyebrows are optional and Rick Owens is a necessity. Rihanna dons a burnt orange, draped Rick Owens masterpiece, face tattoos, textured silver cuffs and a matching choker, and the perfect black lips (which you can copy with this Kat Von Dee lipstick.) Who knew, but if anyone can play up the role of galactic fashion alien goddess, it’s Rihanna—proving this Pisces babe to be a truly mystical mama (who’d look perfect on a Starchild Tarot card).

Vivienne Westwood MAN SS17
Aries powerhouse and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood has done it again, creating a genderfluid collection for MAN Spring/Summer 2017. In true Westwood fashion, there were drop crotch velvet trousers in plush scarlet, reworked netted blouses, heart chakra cut-outs, with plenty of layering in the house’s signature stripes. Westwood has always been on the forefront of what’s political in fashion—hello, mother of punk—and, of course, the runway show started with a video message in support of Julian Assange, as he begins his fifth year in unlawful confinement. Who says fashion is all fluff, anyway?

Willow Smith for Chanel
Willow Smith, alien enthusiast and soon-to-be power woman, has been named face of Chanel for the brand’s Fall 2016 eyewear campaign. Smith looks exquisite in the campaign (below) in Chanel shades, an evil eye chain (with plenty of diamonds) and a septum piercing. High fashion is still (!!!) finding its way to being truly inclusive, so signing Smith is a statement to say the least. Last time dreads were featured in a Chanel campaign, it was on a white woman.

SWETE
Is a new leisurewear label from Parsons-trained, London-based, Aussie designer Emily Nam. Easy-to-wear pieces include t-shirts, sweaters, sweatpants, dresses and skirts, inspired by 1990s street culture and woven with a social mission to boot. All cotton is Australian certified organic, which means grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, while Nam only works with suppliers who pay their employees a fair wage. And with a campaign featuring British artist Phoebe Collings-James (above), what’s not to love?

Concrete Minerals Black Magic Collection
100% cruelty-free, vegan and American made, Concrete Minerals has us under their spell—especially since their “Black Magic” collection, which features names like Séance, Bitches Brew and Arsenic, is a everything a witchy woman could want in a mineral eyeshadow. The iridescent shades in hues of cranberry, rose and violet, are super pigmented and made without any preservatives, and are begging to be worn with your layered quartz necklace and cat eye. Bonus—stare into the pots of for long enough and it’s like looking at an ethereal planet somewhere in a galaxy far away…

 

Jeffree Star Cosmetics
The next frontier for celebrity makeup artist and all around bad bitch Jeffree Star is…makeup. Namely his line of cruelty free, Los Angeles-made eye, lip and face products, which are almost consistently sold out already. Perhaps the most noteworthy of his products is his Velour Liquid Lipstick, with names such as Scorpio (a muted lavender/violet), Gemini (a soft brick red) and Dominatrix (a deep chocolate brown). And for a truly otherworldly glow, check out Skin Frost—a highlighter that provides the perfect pixie/ mermaid/alien sheen. On it.

 

BACK TO NATURE: LESSONS IN LOVE WITH PLANT MAKEUP

Connect with mother nature, and recognize your own true beauty. Gabriela Herstik interviews Jess Morgan, the owner of Good4You Plant Makeup

 

Can speaking the language of plants help you become more beautiful? Jess Morgan, owner of Good4You Plant Makeup thinks the answer is a deep, resounding YES. Finding time to appreciate the natural world and to listen to the voice of nature can have a profound effect, one that makes you feel the love of the Universe. And she believes that in honoring this cosmic connection with Gaia we can find beauty in the world around us, AND ourselves.

Plant Makeup is a makeup and skincare company that’s all about this numinous approach to beauty, by crafting products from locally grown/foraged or certified organic flowers and herbs. Here, Jess shares her special brand of plant-based wisdom…

THE NUMINOUS: First and foremost, Good4You started in 2004 in a medical herb greenhouse. Can you tell us more about this experience?
JESS MORGAN: Yes, it’s been a 12-year journey of learning about plants—and wanting to work for them! In my late teens I was searching for the answer to life’s meaning. A major quest—and I found that answer in plants. When I walked into the green house on that special awakening day, I was able to feel this great love in my heart coming from all the green friends that surrounded me. Further, I felt plants wanted me to ‘work for them’ in a way. As humans, we are from the Earth too, but I feel we are becoming disconnected from this. So Plant Makeup is to help people remember.

TN: You also told me you “felt called upon to be a voice for nature in our modern era.” What’s the message they want you want to send?
JM: The highest goal nature has for us is to help us see all the beauty on Earth, and so the message is really for everyone to get outside! As well as to inspire generations to come to be continual care takers of the Earth. I hope everyone can find the inspiration to do more Earth work, as on a deeper level I feel like this can help align everyone more with their true purpose—which is to find a way to live harmoniously with nature, a situation which is out of control right now.

My work is also my own small contribution to awakening people to the fact plants and nature are talking to us at all times, trying to communicate with us through the heart, so they can explore their own connection and further be inspired to take action for the overall good of the planet.

TN: How has this mission cultivated more compassion for you in the way you live and interact with nature personally?
JM: My work has taught me that what we put in and on our bodies is definitely a way of interacting with nature. For example, the more fruits and vegetables we eat, the better we can operate as bio-machines of the Earth. Our minds become clearer and our bodies feel better! For this reason, I personally love a diet (when I can) of fresh juices, rice and beans with steamed vegetables, salads, and lots of kale (I know, such a cliché—LOL).

TN: What’s your advice to someone looking to lead a more natural life?
JM: It’s is hard to do everything sustainably, but it is important to do whatever we can. Investing in a reusable water bottle for example, or riding your bike or walking instead of driving a car. In my experience, making eco-conscious decisions becomes very fulfilling, almost freeing the ego since these choices are connected to a deeper idea about what it means to be a human here on planet Earth. Any anyway, eventually we won’t have a choice about these things.

TN: So how does honoring the earth change the way makeup affects you, if at all?
JM: In using Plant Makeup, we can enhance and honor the cosmic force that we truly are. Since all the products I make are 100% natural, the way I see it there’s nothing in them to block our natural beauty being able to emanate from within.

TN: How do you communicate and honor the plants you work with? Can anybody do this?
JM: Plants and animals communicate through the heart and, yes, everyone can do this— if we keep an open mind. Not that it’s impossible, it’s just not something we’re consciously trained to do in our society. The best way to practice is to just sit quietly outdoors where you can be undisturbed, and invite a quiet mind so that the miracles of nature can be awakened in you. For example, when people talk about finding inspiration when they take a walk in the woods, I believe this is nature calling to us to live our purpose.

I also love to honor the plants I work with by offering bird seed, always composting, and giving thanks for their gifts. When I collect a plant from the earth, in the case of foraging, I ask for permission first. Most of the time the plants say: “Yes, please use me!” They want to share their gifts. But sometimes they say no. Most of the time I am actually “called” to certain patches or led places to discover a specific medicine for someone, a new plant that wants me to learn about them, or simply a secret the Earth wants to share with me to help me admire its beauty.

TN: What’s the most notable thing you’ve learned throughout your journey making plant based makeup?
JM: Be yourself. We have to really stick to our vision in life, which can so easily get toned down by all the distractions around us; technology, our current job, family, world affairs, etc. It might be harder but it’s more rewarding to follow your own dream. It also might not be possible immediately, but any time we step out into nature and think “wow, what a beautiful day,” we are taking a step in the right direction. Overall, Plant Makeup is the manifestation of my own never ending fountain of nature-based inspiration. A reminder to live your art, to be your dreams.

Discover more at Plantmakeup.com

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF CANCER SEASON

A luscious monthly exploration of the cosmic energies for Cancer Season by Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Cancer season coaxes us into the nocturnal realm of hothouse flowers, deep sea skinny dipping, and the glow-in-the-dark feeling that we belong to ourselves completely. It’s a season for standing so profoundly inside our own hearts that what we feel becomes identical to what we believe we ARE—and this belief becomes the unstoppable tidal force that parts the seas of self-doubt.

So break your own heart wide open this month, and take the full plunge without even testing the waters. Mine the juicy, radical tenderness that arises from this emotionally risky business to construct a pathway all the way back to the house of your dreams. Slip out of those old clothes and back into your own skin. It’s time to get soaking wet.

The keyword: Submersion.

The lyrics: “I love it in your room at night/You’re the only one who gets through to me/In the warm glow of the candlelight/Oh, I wonder what you’re gonna do to me” – The Bangles, In Your Room

Check out our playlist, complete with classic crooners, languid ladies, and aural journeys to the interior.

The color palette: a cocktail of crepuscular shades that conjures everything from impressionist water lilies and opalescent conch shells to strangely striped scarabs sporting wicked sapphire and violet backs.

The style: South of France artist’s atelier meets beach blanket bonfire. Undone wavy locks or messy upswept braids paired with glam 50s pinup one pieces, sexy lace-edged smocks and low slung trousers with stacked raffia wedges or slip-on mules, and explorations in inner/outerwear with lingerie inspired pieces and ruffled accents fit for romancing your own heart.  

 

The scents and flavors: deliciously briny, fermented infusions and memory palettes—think everything from kimchi, pickles, olives, and sardines, to grandma’s holiday fruit cake and perfumer Christopher Brosius’ “Archetype” series, which pairs scents with emotional narratives.

 

CB I Hate Perfume

The healing: explore creative boundaries through exercises in sweetly risky exposure—sharing your private writing with trusted girlfriends, signing up for a full-on open mic night, hosting a dinner party without tidying up one bit, or even constructing a terrarium that symbolizes the slow unveiling of your loony inner lifeworld. (NB: perfect timing for our Re-Write Your Love Story women’s retreat!)

SENSUOUS INVITATION FOR CANCER SEASON :: FRAGRANCES (by sign)

With all the recent mutable astro energy now getting a heavy hit from Cancer’s cardinal action, and Mars stationing direct in fixed Scorpio, it’s a month for recommitting yourself to your most private visions—and beginning to wear these fantasies on your sleeve. Become intoxicated by your own secret scents and leave a beautiful trail wherever you go!

:: ARIES ::
Cancer season invites you to explore the exhilarating internal action that’s possible when you courageously commit to a feelingSwap out the potent colognes you spray directly onto your skin and experiment instead with stepping into the mists of a room spray that conjures landscapes built for dreaming and scheming. Think star-studded mountain campfire scents, fresh linens, or meadow flowers. TRY: Somerset Meadow by Crabtree & Evelyn.

:: TAURUS ::
Cancer season invites you to scuba dive down towards a different kind of emotional security that doesn’t have to manifest in the material world. Probe the waters with classic beach scents redolent of salt, suntan oil, and oceanic breezes that remind you of the strength of your flippers, no matter the turn of the tides. TRY: REPLICA Beach Walk by Maison Martin Margiela.

:: GEMINI ::
Cancer season invites you to temporarily fold your wings as you probe the poetics of your inner life without having to constantly externalize or testify. Get back to the basic contours of your own heart with simple, herbaceous blends and lively florals like basil, lavender, lilac, and lemongrass. TRY: Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone.

:: CANCER ::
Cancer season invites you to voyage into the loonier side of the crustacean’s energy with experiments in witchery, weirdness, and self-possessed wilding. Sport a highly proprietary blend of essential oils that mixes dirty, earthy organics with spicy spirituals—think patchouli, sandalwood, burning leaves, incense, and oud. TRY: Patchouli 24 by Le Labo.

:: LEO ::
Cancer season invites you to delight in the curious sensation of actually climbing back into the safety of your clamshell as you learn when to retreat and engage in some solo play. Sample the scents of home with classically comfortable vanillas, candied, playground edibles, or blossoms and botanicals reminiscent of your childhood backyard. TRY: Candy by Prada.

:: VIRGO ::
Cancer season invites you to recommit to your creative force as you revel in building and birthing wondrously imperfect artistic endeavors with your own hands. Celebrate craftswomanship and construction with woodsy cedar, pine, and birch tar accords, and resins, leather, and medicinal notes that conjure the earthily generative spaces of tree houses, libraries, and apothecaries. TRY: Opone by Diptyque.

:: LIBRA ::
Cancer season invites you to experiment with irrational and visionary vibrations as you trade mental acuity and constant assessment for the full-throttle sensation of no longer fighting your gut feelings. Infuse your usually crisp, clean florals with intoxicating blooms and indolic, over-the-top scents, or sample spicy blends of cinnamon and pepper. TRY: Opium by YSL.

:: SCORPIO ::
Cancer season invites you to unclench your fists and unlock your secret diary as you start sharing your inner world with trusted confidantes. Dose yourself in emboldened, exuberant scents that conjure the sun-baked celebration of secrets revealed—think tropical fruits and flowers, gourmand scents, the clarity of citrus accords, and even in-your-face drugstore indulgences. TRY: Sensuous by Estee Lauder.

:: SAGITTARIUS
Cancer season invites you to bring it all back home as you practice recommitting to inner visions as much as outer adventures. Engage in some armchair olfactory voyaging by discovering your dream travel destination’s local scent landscape, and decking out your bedroom in candles and oils that conjure this topography—think anything from Big Sur juniper to Turkish coffee. TRY: Gypsy Water by Byredo.

:: CAPRICORN ::
Cancer season invites you to let your hard-built structures benefit from some saltwater softening as you honor what it would mean to come a little undone (without falling apart). Dose yourself in easy, breezy romantic scents or sample “chypre” fragrances that infuse your woodsy self-sufficiency with a little wet moss. TRY: Citron Citron by Miller Harris.

:: AQUARIUS ::
Cancer season invites you to pair your far-flung, forward thinking visions with curious explorations into your roots as you probe past legacies and lineages. Discover vintage scents like Jicky, Shalimar, Anaïs Anaïs, and decant them into glamorous mid-century perfume vials. TRY: Chanel No.19.

:: PISCES ::
Cancer season invites you to infuse your usually transcendent, boundaryless emotional climate with some highly personalized desire as you practice fighting for your own feelings and learning when to say no. Dab badass, musky, animalic scents into hidden places between your breasts and behind your knees as you recommit to your fierce, untamable feeling nature. TRY: Sahara Noir by Tom Ford.

MATERIAL GIRL MYSTICAL WORLD: ANA DEE OF THE MOON CULT

Ana Dee is the fierce cult leader at controversial alien outfitters The Moon Cult. She talks girl power, hand tattoos, and stylish self-defense with Ruby Warrington…

Ana Dee, a.k.a. Cult Leader

The Numinous: Why should every girl embrace her inner alien?
Ana Dee: I struggled with searching for a label that fit me in the past, and came to realize I couldn’t pinpoint just one. So to me, being an “alien” means you don’t fit any mold, and our following is a sisterhood that relates to this mentality. At The Moon Cult we take pride in being ourselves and offering clothing to girls who are comfortable in their own alien skin. For some, accepting your differences is a life-long journey—but when you choose to love and accept yourself, it’s much easier to love and accept others.

TN: What’s your definition of girl power?
AD: Girl power to me is the feeling that you can take on this world and everyone in it, while exuding hella confidence. This means no doubts, no fears, and ambitious thinking. The girl power mindset at The Moon Cult means that we won’t take shit from anyone and we won’t take no for an answer. Being young and being a woman is hard enough, but with a ‘lil girl power, you can accomplish anything.

TN: Why do you sell self-defense items? Isn’t that promoting violence?
AD: Our customer wants killer protection to match their killer style, and The Moon Cult offers a huge selection for the tough girls. You can never be too careful and we cherish the opportunity to help prevent any harm on anyone. We make sure that all of our posts and products do not promote violence, and explain in every listing that the weapon’s purpose is to protect, or for decoration. When making a weapons purchase with us are also agreeing to your state laws and our privacy terms.

Ana’s hand tattoo

TN: What’s been the most empowering experience of your life—why?
AD: Getting my hand tattooed was an empowering experience for many reasons. One, I did it for me and no one else. Two, it was to prove to myself that I would never conform to a government job, and would self-manifest my own future.

Knowing well that the tattoo would prevent future employment at many places, it represented that I was successfully running my own business and didn’t have to think about a “plan b” anymore. When you work for yourself, you can wear what you want, dye your hair, have long nails, and most importantly, BE YOURSELF.

TN: What makes you cult leader material?!
AD: I feel that so many girls can relate to my lifestyle, and my experiences, and I try to be as open as possible with the struggle and hardship I’ve faced to show girls that it’s possible to overcome anything and create their own destiny. Particularly due to the vicious and endless cycle of social media judgment I’ve experienced.

I also often feel like the “mom” to most of my friends, even being the youngest of the bunch! I simply want to take care of everyone around me and make others happy. I definitely put others’ happiness before my own, and feel this is part of my purpose on this planet.

We got a look into the mystical world of this badass material girl!

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label: Wildfox

Dress, $161, Wildfox

My shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

Loafers, $135, Jeffrey Campbell

My fragrance: YSL Black Opium

YSL Black Opium, $90-$115

My jewels: Swarovski

Cuff, $199, Swarovski

My pampering: A weekly massage

My home: Condo

My food: GMO-free is the way to be!

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening: Yoga, tea, emails

My sign: Scorpio, can’t you tell?

My mantra: “Expect nothing, appreciate everything.”

My healer: Mother Nature

My reading: Art of Seduction: An Indispensible Primer on the Ultimate Form of Power

My transformation: Building a thick skin

My mission: To spread love and inspire others

Shop the collection at TheMoonCult.com

Tie-dye halter onesie, $35, TheMoonCult.com

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF GEMINI SEASON

Enter Gemini season—with a tribute to the one and only Prince, in this month’s exploration of the current cosmic energies by Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Gemini season beckons us to strap on our butterfly wings and sample the infinite possible pathways through the kaleidoscope of our lives. The zodiac’s iridescent muse reminds us that we can choose “both, and,” rather than “either, or,” and that it’s all just happening without us always having to understand.

It’s a month for simply letting the Universe happen through us, without judgment and sometimes without any filtration at all. So click your ruby-slippered heels together three times, and turn your story inside out. Bend it. Stretch it. Paint it twenty-five shades of rainbow-kissed wilderness. And remember that certainty is brittle. Indeed, that certainty begs to be broken.

The keyword: “Threshold.”  

The song lyrics: I’m not a woman/I’m not a man/I am something that you’ll never understand” – Prince, I Would Die 4 U

Check out our playlist, complete with street sounds, exploratory electronica, and rogue tunes from across the pond. And while our musical Gemini patron saint isn’t on Spotify, we’ve included special Prince picks in our sign-by-sign selection (further below).

The colors: Somewhere over the rainbow and way beyond Kansas with iridescence, shimmer, and glitter, cracking us open to prismatic perspectives.  

The look: Ethereal glitter rock, expansive androgyny, and high/low cultural collisions. Feathers, gossamer, fabrics that move, and star-studded stilettos paired with men’s leisure wear.

 

The scents and flavors: Dazzlingly disorienting mixtures of synthetic and organic that both excite and confuse our olfactory sensibilities. Think Thierry Mugler’s ecstatically strange “Angel,” street meats, and unexpected snacks like lavender ice cream or nasturtium salad.  

The healing: Mind-altering descents into the urban fray: think wandering flea markets and bazaars as we revel in cacophonous sensory mosaics; signing up for an off-the-beaten path walking tour or scavenger hunt; or maybe just brunching in a new neighborhood or sampling a fresh food truck.  

GEMINI SEASON BY SIGN :: COLOR PALETTES AND PRINCE JAMS!

With all four mutable signs playing a key role in the cosmic landscape of Gemini season, it’s a moment to don our mood rings and delight in chameleon color palettes as we let the full spectrum of visual and emotional luminescence into our apartments, makeup bags, and beyond. In the wise words of the Purple One: “I wish there was no black or white/I wish there were no rules.”  

:: ARIES ::
Gemini season invites you to experiment with energetic androgyny as you mix your masculine action principle with some radio tower receiving, and revel in the curious sensation of not having to commit to a particular end goal. Think color collisions fit for a tough yet bedazzled Jem from the Holograms.

Prince Anthem:Cream”

:: TAURUS ::
Gemini season invites you to quicken your pace and get out into the melee as you let your tightly-held values collide with alternate belief systems. Infuse your usual chocolate truffle palette with the levity of some candied Jordan almond pastels.

Prince Anthem: Pink Cashmere”

:: GEMINI ::
Gemini season invites you to celebrate the full expression of your circulatory, winged sociability while also finding some ballast to soothe your nervous system. Activate your inner Rainbow Brite with Skittles shades and playground primaries.

Prince Anthem: Controversy”

:: CANCER ::
Gemini season invites you to break up calcified habitual patterns and practice voicing your emotional needs directly. Radicalize and renovate your clam shell with electric neons fit for an 80s prom queen Ariel.

Prince Anthem: When Doves Cry”

:: LEO ::
Gemini season invites you to practice glowing brightly without having to stand at the center of the action, as you trust in an individualism that doesn’t need to be spotlighted. Let your full-on solar power kick back under a Capri sun with summer sorbet shades and limoncello yellow.

Prince Anthem: Raspberry Beret”

:: VIRGO ::
Gemini season invites you to celebrate the dazzling dance of information gathering without having to worry about developing expertise. Honor the ever-unfolding spectacle with ballet slipper pinks and mint julep shades fit for a midsummer night’s dream.

Prince Anthem: Nothing Compares 2 U”

:: LIBRA ::
Gemini season invites you to say yes to both ends of the spectrum and to infuse your high-minded idealism with some “beginner’s mind” buoyancy that’s deliciously judgement free. Conjure newness with clean slate greys and an unexpected splash of sparkling limeade.

Prince Anthem: Diamonds & Pearls”  

:: SCORPIO ::
Gemini energy invites you to explore fusing your “go deep or go home” mentality with a fresh curiosity that can contain both gravitas and levity. Old Hollywood femme fatale enters the technicolor age with a palette that trades vampy purple for ombréd lilacs as you play with varying levels of potency.

Prince Anthem: Private Joy”

:: SAGITTARIUS ::
Gemini season invites you to celebrate the “unknown” with in the known as you infuse your sense of far-flung adventurism with a little local exploration. With a rare succession of two Full Moons in your sign this season, it’s a moment for colors that conjure nocturnal howling, lunar metals, and the air that fans your bonfire.  

Prince Anthem: Little Red Corvette”  

:: CAPRICORN ::
Gemini season invites you to mix your proclivity for wise maturity and getting the job done with some juicy, youthful playtime. Deck your life out with a boss lady leisure palette perfect for yacht parties and transcontinental jet setting.

Prince Anthem: Sign O’ The Times”

:: AQUARIUS ::
Gemini season invites you to sample the infinite array of possible perspectives without having to commit to a credo. Summon your prismatic potentials with colors fit for splashing in a forest pool or climbing to the top of some magically elven tree where you can just sit back and let it all be.

Prince Anthem: 1999″

:: PISCES ::
Gemini season invites you to balance your penchant for continuous emotional intake with a little intellectual detachment and some soft-focus solitary retreat. Relish shades of wine, roses, and terracotta as you let this rich, grounded palette soothe some of this season’s mutable madness.

Prince Anthem: Purple Rain”

PSYCHIC AWAKENING: FROM FASHIONISTA TO SHAMANISTA

Fashion stylist Colleen McCann knew something had to give when people started shouting “witch!” at her in the street. Here’s how she went from fashionista to shamanista, and found a way to merge both her worlds…

Shit got real when I heard my first “voice” in the Bodega on South 4th Street and Bedford Avenue over a fight about bananas – and I haven’t looked back. Okay, let me rewind a bit first.

My name is Colleen McCann and up until six years ago I was a typical Brooklyn girl. I lived in Williamsburg, I rode the J-train to the city every day. I brunched at Five Leaves, I threw elbows at sample sales and I had a successful 15-year career in the fashion industry as a designer, stylist, brand consultant and serial entrepreneur.

So what happens when you add “hearing voices” to your repertoire? Well, you start hearing more voices and rubbing elbows with the spiritual renegades that roam the streets of the city.

During the next fashion week, a gypsy woman approached me and wanted to further examine my vibrant green aura at her psychic salon. I darted away and she kept calling “Wait, this is really important come back!”

Quickly followed by my encounter with Joe of the Marcy Street subway platform, who came up to me and said: “Don’t worry about him” and proceeded to read every single thought I had on my mind about my then recent breakup with my boyfriend. I said to Joe “Wait, what did you say you did for a living?” He was a mattress salesman. We enter a long pause together, and he then says: “But I’m really into Astrology.” He winked at me and got off at the next stop.

The real icing on the cake came when this crazy lady on 33rd Street started screaming violently: “witch, witch, witch!” I turned around to see who crazy pants was aiming her opinions at, and unfortunately it was me. Run! I thought…but was I running from the eccentric pupu platter of NYC street weirdos, or was I running from my newly found freakish self?

Colleen’s old life involved a lot of shoes

Okay Universe, I hear you loud and clear. Time to get a second opinion – and maybe not at the psych ward.

So where do you turn in a situation like this? I was scared, embarrassed, uneducated on all subjects of mystical matters. Also, just plain fucking freaked out. But as luck would have it a random girl, now one of my best friends, came up to me in the hallway at my client’s office in midtown and randomly (or not so randomly) asked if I believe in psychics.

“Ummmm, I guess so?” I said, thinking: “Oh god she knows! She sees something is happening to me!” She proceeded to direct me to a psychic who had his mystical lair in the back of a 2nd floor botanical emporium in the flower district.

Following my nose, I soon found myself walking up a set of rickety, shabby chic stairs and swatting cherry blossoms and orchids out of my face to get to the unmarked door of my future destiny. I felt like I was headed for the latest speakeasy – one that was not yet reviewed on Yelp.

Walking in, I was greeted by a man I don’t even think remembered my name. But his black eyes locked with mine and he ran over and grabbed my hands and said: “Oh, honey you’re not crazy, you’re psychic! Sit down and let’s discuss.”

I stood, frozen, and as if watching a movie montage I flashed back through all the “WTF” moments I actually experienced since childhood. Do you remember those grade school contests where you had to guess the number of jelly beans in the jar? Well, I would guess the exact amount every time.

There was the time my little sister was playing tea party with her two imaginary friends, Dan and Carl, and I sat in silence thinking: but I see them, what’s she talking about?

Well – I may have been a weirdo, but at least I now knew what kind of weirdo I was, and I embarked on a mission to figure it all out. Which meant I did what any brazen New York girl would have done…I traded my high-heels for hiking boots and decided to get educated on all things mystical.

Shamanista boot camp…

I attended Shaman school in the wilds of the Chilean outback and against the desert back drop of Joshua Tree. As part of my training, I traveling the unpaved paths of Mount Shasta, Hudson Valley, Big Sur, Kauai, and any other energetically charged hot spot I could get to between days on set.

I have studied Peruvian Shamanism with the Four Winds Society where I learned how to do hands on healing with the chakra system and how to connect with my spirit guides. I also learned the art of channeling in the Nordic and Celtic traditions and regularly attend sessions with a group of Curanderas where I learn about plant medicine and tinctures.

In my free time? You can generally find me in a crystal shop in the back woods of Chinatown, where I learn about gems, mediation, astrology, auras, Feng Shui and medicinal teas from a group of women I affectionately call “The Chinese Crystal Mafia”.

I really put myself through the mystical wringer in an effort to work with my inner freak, but in the process I found I had manifested a whole new calling out of this adventure to reclaim my sanity. So now what?

As I continued my trip down the crystal-laden rabbit hole I started feeling a lot of internal moral conflict, not to mention external physical exhaustion, with the double life I was living. Arriving on set, it would be impossible to ignore the toxic side of the fashion industry: greed, vanity, ego, drug addiction, workaholism, alongside a whopping dose of eating disorders. Did I really want to subject myself to this any longer?

Being a fashion stylist is back breaking work. The hours are long and the work very physical. There are always a plethora of personalities to juggle in the room, and not to mention the constant jet-lag. So what’s a girl to do? I had been maneuvering this double life for six years straight, and I needed to make a shift. So instead of turning my back on the industry that had embraced me for so long, I decided to take my lemonade…and make a lemonade stand!

It was simple: my fashion clients have become my healing clients. These days, I address the underlying issues in my well-dressed community, as who better than me to truly understand the unique brand of pressure and stress they experience day-to-day.

Truth be told I was a little nervous to start telling my crew what I had been up to in my free time. Would I be socially ostracized? Would I lose my clients? As I started confessing my weekend whereabouts, people would stare in silence for a minute and then say something: “Ohhhhh, that explains a few things. When can I get a session?!”

Eureka! There was room in my life for my passions to coexist. I did however have to make a few changes to accommodate my morals, schedule, energy level and a budding new business.

Since coming out of the Shamanic closet, I started a business called Style Rituals. I use my fashionista roots AND my spiritual know-how to realign the energetic body with the physical body. I may still clean out someone’s closet, but we are removing low vibrational clothing, along with a hands on healing, manifestation techniques, altar building and a discussion with their spirit guides.

And while the majority of my work now is healing-based, I also made a conscious decision to do fashion projects with people I enjoy being around, or who’s projects are doing good in our society.

Next up? I’ll be taking my place as resident Shaman with LA-based Daily Bliss Yoga Retreats when we head to Thailand in March. And I’m creating an online webinar to help women who are spiritually blasting wide open and have no idea what’s happening to them work out the, ummm, “kinks” shall we say.

Having been there and done that, I’m honored to be able to help others that are going through exactly what I did. To help them remember who they really are, and re-gain their sovereignty – while navigating modern life in the modern world.

Find out more about Colleen and her work at Stylerituals.com

TEMPLE OF VENUS: HOW TO WORK WITH GODDESS VENUS

Sexual healing, and access to your abundance mindset. Elyssa Jakim introduces a new monthly column devoted to the Goddess Venus…

Portrait: Keith Barraclough

In the summer of 2015, the Numinous and I teamed up to create an interactive art installation and event space called the Temple of Venus. As an altar to the goddess Venus the installation served as a healing space: the events at the Temple were a way to address our questions and questings regarding love, sexuality, beauty, money and everything else Venus touches. So why did we choose Venus? Who is she? How might the goddess inspire and impact your life? How are you already an embodiment of Venus? All questions I want to answer with this column!

Six months after creating the temple, Venus has not stopped working with and guiding me. And so this is a space for me to share some Venetian wisdom each month, to help get our juicy, abundant, sexual, prosperous selves truly flowing.

Venus is the Roman goddess of love, beauty, sexuality, abundance, desire, fertility, and finances. She is known as Aphrodite in Greek mythology. Astrologically, the planet Venus (don’t you love when your goddess is also a planet?) rules relationships. So, for example, if you’re born with Venus in Scorpio, your way of being with and relating to people is imbued with the energy of a fiercely loyal and passionate Scorpio.

Artist: Katerina Alivizatou

Goddess Venus teaches us to be accepting of all facets of our womanhood and sexuality. In fact, one of the qualities that separate Venus from the Aphrodite myth, is that Venus was also the goddess of prostitutes. She allows for sexuality to be fluid, to exist in a space without judgment. In her brilliant book, Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide, celebrated tantra teacher Barbara Carrellas offers the reader a “sexual permission slip” or a series of permissive statements about how one can choose to regard sex.

A particularly strong one is: “I give myself permission to talk about sex as a safe, sane, and consensual act that brings health and pleasure to the world.” Venus celebrates this perspective. I find Venus to be a powerful goddess for sexual healing because she shows us that sex is beautiful. She shows us that sex is a gift of pleasure from the Divine, and she helps us tap into that pleasure.

When preparing for a ceremony in the temple with Lyndsey Harrington and Kat Hunt of Moon Church, we decided to invoke the goddess Venus and tune into her energy in order to decide how to best serve her with our ritual. We were flooded with her essence: it felt orgasmic and ecstatic, yummy and beautiful. She told us that she loved milk, honey, pearls, gold, kisses, and roses. And Kat said that she felt it showed that as well as the goddess Venus, the other Greek and Roman gods and goddesses are waiting for us connect with them.

This message was eye-opening to me. I realized that in much of my goddess worship and ceremony, I had never thought of the Greek and Roman goddesses as vital, present, divine forces waiting to help us. I’d worked with the Divine Mother Mary and Kwan Yin before but never with a Greco-Roman goddess directly. What I’ve since learned is that Venus is so ready to bestow her love and magic and beauty upon those who are willing to invoke her with an open heart. And that she can help you tap into your sexual and goddess essence and your sense of worthiness in such deep ways.

In fact, Venus is a symbol of the divine feminine (and remember we use the Venus symbol “♀” to mean “female”). Venus was born of the water, and water is a sublimely gorgeous metaphor for the female principal. Water receives, it takes in. It is abundance, it is creation, it is sensitive, it is psychic, it is adaptable. As women, as birthers, we are able to tap into the deep waters of creation and imagination.

Water is our element, and the goddess Venus reminds us to claim all of its gifts. In working with her directly, we learn how to be better receivers, better lovers, and better mothers to ourselves and others. And the planet Venus has a twin flame: it is the planet Earth. May this column honor the waters of Earth and the fires of our twin planet to create cosmic balance and upliftment for all.

Up next month: A Venus-inspired meditation for calling in your soulmate.

HEY GOOD LOOKIN: WHEN’S YOUR VENUS RETURN?

We celebrate our birthday once a year, right? Wrong – you also have a beauty birthday, says Kimberly Peta Dewhirst of Star Sign StyleArtwork: My Dinh via Behance.net

Wait, what does your “beauty birthday” even mean?!

Your traditional birthday is also known as your “Solar Return,” referring to when the sun (solar) returns to the place in the zodiac where is was when you were born. Hence how we coined the phrase: “Many happy returns!”

And so your beauty birthday is when Venus, planet of all things aesthetic, makes the same repeat visit.

Now you might already know your Venus sign, which says lots about the way you shop, flirt, dress up, and conduct friendships – your Venus sign reflects your tastes, and the image of your Venus zodiac sign can provide an aspirational archetype to express yourself through.

For example, if you’re a Pisces with Venus in Aries, imagine a hot, feisty passionate woman as your fashion and beauty muse (i.e. Pisces Rihanna, who has Moon and Venus in Aries). Your Sagittarius woman with Venus in Scorpio meanwhile, will totally gravitate towards a sultry look, a little more mysterious and private than the typical jovial nature of the archer (think of Sagittarius plus Scorp Katie Holmes).

And at some point during every year (for about one or two days), planet Venus is also in the exact position she was when you were born. Now, because of the constant nature of the Sun and its path through the zodiac signs we know that our birthday falls on the same day every year, making it super easy to plan a get-together.

Venus, on the other hand, can go retrograde (as we found out last year!) and so it’s not so straightforward calculating your “beauty birthday” – but it’s definitely worth it.

Why? Because your beauty birthday is when the stars are aligned for you personally when it comes to looking your best, attracting the right relationships, and getting a great deal on any luxury purchases you’re planning to make. Matters around money and your female relations can go well too – essentially, all things Venusian. (Hint: watch out for tomorrow’s special post on the Goddess Venus for more intel!)

So when Venus returns to the position of your “natal Venus” in your chart, this is no time to hide away – instead, come out, get dressed up to the nines, and celebrate your beauty birthday! Make it a time to indulge your senses, surround yourself with friends and notice how you attract likeminded people.

In fact, why not invest in a fabulous piece for the occasion? It’s a great day to get a new haircut, or even make-over your look at your favorite beauty counter.

Knowing the position of your “natal Venus” (where Venus appears in your birth chart), you’ll be aware when the planets are vibrating on her too – for example, you could have a slow moving planet like Pluto or Uranus passing over your personal planet of love, offering their transformative qualities to your relationships by “transit.” Invaluable information to have at your fingertips, I think you’ll agree!

Want to know your beauty birthday? Order a 2016 Astrological Calendar and Kimberly will calculate your beauty birthday for the coming year. Simply include your time, date and place of birth in the order notes (and try and get your time of birth as close as possible).

Kimberly’s brilliant calendar also includes the path of Venus in 2016, as well as the sign the Moon is passing through each day. The below YouTube video tells you more!

https://youtu.be/V03h4iiiUE0

LUNAR LOOK-BOOK: FULL MOON SHOPPING FOR YOUR SIGN

Woo-hoo here comes Black Friday! Navigate the bargain-fest to bring out the best in you with these Full Moon shopping tips from Twelve Faces of Style. Images: Joie So Hryggur // Styling: Naddy Sane

Following the darkness of the New Moon, the night sky begins to fill with light. Now, as Lady Luna reaches her fullness, expect to see important dreams and goals come to fruition around you. The Full Moon also acts as a cosmic spotlight, illuminating what areas of your life need a little TLC. As her light then begins to wane in the thirteen days that follow, you’re likely to find that your energy mirrors her own. Your reserves of strength (and, yes, patience) may ebb, encouraging you to cull, release, and complete.

In this guide, we shine a light on how each sign can make the most of the Full Moon’s potent rays and stay strong as she becomes dark once more – because even the most stylish wardrobe needs a refresh every now and then.

:: ARIES ::
If there was ever a time to “know thyself”, this is it. Honor your identity by tossing anything purchased in an attempt to fit in. Instead, shop for foundational pieces that fill basic gaps in your wardrobe. Put the urge to make impulse purchases on pause. If you’re feeling a strong attraction to pieces with a fiery vibe (i.e. red vibrant lipsticks, statement accessories, or anything with an edge), sit on it. By the New Moon you should know whether or not it’s going to light up you up for the long haul.

:: TAURUS ::
With Venus ruling your sign, focus your Full Moon shopping on restoration of the home, heart and body. Take inventory of the linens, blankets, pillows and accessories of your abode. Donate gently used items and replace with heavy comforters, cable-knit sweaters, and luxe throw pillows. Pro tip: this is the perfect time to invest in that cashmere travel set. But don’t let your desire for sensual pleasures turn you into a hermit!

:: GEMINI ::
As the zodiac’s communicator, you know it’s all about how you tell your story. Under the Full Moon’s powerful glow, examine what messages your wardrobe and creative aesthetic are sending. If you want to be seen with more authority, let your Full Moon shopping include a couple of statement power pieces that shine a light on your inner BO$$. Those ten-inch glitter heels you couldn’t leave home without in your younger years? Hand them off to the little sis.

:: CANCER ::
Get the banish bin ready for your ex’s sweatshirt, and shed anything taking up space in the closet that represents who you once were but no longer identify with. Nourish your heart and spirit with pieces that showcase your true savvy, strength and sex appeal. Start your Full Moon shopping with a cashmere v-neck and accessorize with a snuggle from a newly adopted kitty cat. If you’re a new mama, invest in some comfortable yet chic active wear. Caretaking doesn’t have to mean letting your own needs slide.

:: LEO ::
You’re the host with the most, but being the life of the party has its drawbacks. We know how much you love to share your wealth with the world around you, but under the Full Moon, it’s time to do YOU. Show the world your inner lioness through bold colors, va-va voluminous outerwear, a bright Persimmon lip and accessories with flash. Take a chance on pieces that push you even further out of your comfort zone, and you’ll inspire your fans to do the same.

 

:: VIRGO ::
Darling, Wolford is calling! Bras, panties, socks and stockings past their prime or – gasp! – forming holes need to go. Make space for an undergarment upgrade in French lace and soft silks, and invest in the proper shapewear for a smooth silhouette. Look to classic, mid-century lingerie design for inspiration. In the meantime, keep an eye on tendencies toward being overly critical of yourself and others. Sometimes, it’s enough just to simply be a witness.

:: LIBRA ::
This lunar cycle is here to help you polish your wardrobe and social life until it sparkles. Replace old and cakey make-up. Hit the dry cleaners. Restock on lint rollers. Empty your evening bags inner pockets of old tissues and bits leftover from nights on the town. Next on the list: shop for a fine set of china. What’s a good primping without a dinner party to follow? You aim to please, but for the next thirteen days, rein in any desire to be accommodating where it’s not deserved.

:: SCORPIO ::
It’s time to strip down and get naked. After some deep soul conversation and physical intimacy of your choice, use the power of the Full Moon to reinvent yourself – or channel the energy of recycled beauty from the past. Shop for unusual, antique jewels that dazzle with both diamonds and meaning. But buyer beware: overly nostalgic items can kill your vibe, while too much darkness in your wardrobe can leave you feeling emotionally depleted and uber-sensitive.

:: SAGITTARIUS ::
As the bohemian of the zodiac, use the Full Moon cycle to illuminate your next travel destination and gather inspiration for your upcoming adventures. Stock up on photo heavy coffee table books with full page spreads of faraway lands and magical voyages. Once the New Moon arrives, grab your passport and hit the road. Style tip: though you yearn to take off, over the next few weeks choose green for grounding. Too many brights could throw your energy into overdrive.

:: CAPRICORN ::
Your sign is famous for its stamina, but in order to keep that up, make sure you’re nurturing your body and your spirit. Take this time to strengthen your physical vessel. Check those pearly whites. Stock up on vitamins and minerals. Banish toxins in the body. Make an appointment for an oatmeal bath and mud mask at the spa. Invest in a spiritual retreat, and tap your inner well of confidence. Capricorns are realists, but don’t let your pragmatism veer too far into glass half-empty territory.

:: AQUARIUS ::
The next thirteen days may see you feeling more in tune with your traditional ruler (Saturn) than your modern patron (Uranus), but don’t let that keep you stuck in a rut. Liberation (a la Uranus) is your key to unlocking the power of the Full Moon. Follow your visions and seek out the avant-garde in your garments and accessories. Opt for tops and pants that allow for brisk movement, easy travel and circulation through the legs. Try cutting out caffeine and sweets for a clearer mind and more bolt-from-the-blue epiphanies.

:: PISCES ::
Under the Full Moon’s dreamy rays, ask yourself if your current creative and wardrobe aesthetic allows you to swim in your fullest self-expression. If the answer is no, get in touch with your inner muse by weaving silver threads, headbands, or beads into your mane, and purchase a new dream journal to record messages from the subconscious. Worth noting: Pisces is naturally intuitive, and this moon phase may heighten your connection to the subtle realms. Make sure you keep both feet firmly planted on terra firma.

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: SHIVA ROSE

Meet Shiva Rose, Earth mother and holistic creatrix, and discover the fashion and beauty finds that rock her Mystical world…

“We escaped Iran when I was ten years old, one cold winter night as the country was in the throes of a bloody revolution. We traveled to Germany, then London and finally to California, where my mother and her family is from. We settled in LA.”

So speaks actress, activist and curator Shiva Rose, whose lifestyle blog and online store The Local Rose celebrates her local community of artisan makers and mystics. And it was going from “a childhood nurtured on imagination and nature to life as a refugee,” that in fact fueled her passion for fashion and paved the way for her current incarnation as a woman dedicated to promoting a holistic, healthy and authentic lifestyle.

“I was a bit shy and awkward, and the trauma of escaping a revolution didn’t help. My refuge and escape from this reality was immersing myself in what I loved best, which was old European/Hollywood films and great books. I fell in love with story telling and being told stories,” she says. “I feel today I do this with each product I create and curate. The story behind the power of the ingredients rules me.”

Shiva Rose currently lives with her two daughters, Colette Blu, 19 and Charlotte Rumi, 10, in the Santa Monica Mountains, where the family is virtually self-sufficient. In itself an important part of her evolution as a woman.

“I feel like I have only become an adult in the last five years. There have been immense challenges and yet I have so much strength now that things that I couldn’t even dream of doing a few years ago are a welcome treat now. Things like fighting off a pack of coyotes that are trying to get my chickens by the light of the moon in my garden!”

The most vital lesson of all on her life path, however; “is that i have finally realized no one is going to make me happy unless I am happy, content and fulfilled on my own.”

Here’s a peek into the Mystical World of Shiva Rose, Earth Mama and Material Girl.

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
“Clothes designed and made by my community like Awave/Awake and Rachel Craven.”

Awave Awake Fall 2015 collection

My shoes
“Celine on a fancy day. Hand made moccasins most days.”

Manitobah handmade moccasins, $149

My scent
“Faith Essential Oil (on my site shop) or Rose oil from Amma.”

Essential Faith Oil, $65

My jewels
“Tantric pearls worn through meditation to soak up the high vibrations.”

Tantric Meditation Pearls, $595, Nine Treasures

My pampering
“Daily evening goddess baths with my handmade Moon Rose Salts and then my Nectar Body Oil.”

Rose Moon Sea Salts, $50, The Local Rose

My home
“Minimal astral treehouse!”

My food
“Organic and hand picked from my garden ~ fresh salads and fruit crumble with raw cream.”

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My Awakening
“I awake before my children and creatures so I can have a few cups of Living Tea in meditative silence. If I am bending time that day, I will do a few Kundalini sets.”

My sign
“Aquarius with a Scorpio Moon, thus the dance between light and dark.”

My mantra
“Wahe Guru” and “I am Love.”

My guru
“Mama Earth and Father Sky.”

My reading
“So much to devour and learn. At the moment Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams; books on bee keeping, and The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.”

My transformation
“So many, I’m always evolving and transforming ~ but the most recent when I got divorced 7 years ago, and my life broke apart and then open.”

My mission
“To raise compassionate daughters, to walk in beauty every day, to be a custodian of Mama Earth.”

Read more about Shiva Rose and shop her collections at Thelocalrose.com

MAKE YOUR OWN FASHION ENERGY ORACLE DECK!

Don’t know what to wear? Make your own fashion energy oracle deck for some divine style guidance, says says collage artist Monica Ruiz…Images featured are a selection of cards from Monica’s handmade deck

We were sitting on our friends lanai one evening last summer, listening to a single gal pal say what she was looking for in a partner, including good “fashion-energy…”. To which I replied, “omg yes! I am such a believer in fashion energy!”…to which she replied; “Oh, I said passion-and-energy…”

But what is “fashion energy?” I believe fashion goes beyond how an outfit or accessory can make you look, and taps into how we want to feel. Why do we gravitate towards a certain color (black), material (modal, denim) or print (snow leopard, moon-phase)? I believe it’s because we emit different energetic vibrations with what we choose to dress up in.

Our choice of outfit can cause us to feel nostalgic, sexy, modern, rebellious…We might wake up in the same body every day, but we become a different being through the way we spend our time, the moods we encounter – and the clothing choices we make.

On my “lazy” days I’ll put on a cropped tank, some high-waisted denim cut-off shorts and my converse, with my hair in a top bun and my Numinous Chakra sweatshirt tied around my waist.

Other times, I’ll wear my Urban Outfitters Kurt Cobain t-shirt as a dress, with black shorts underneath and my old Costume National moto boots. Last week I wore an old
flannel from the ‘90s with my Isabel Marant sneakers. I had to be at work at 5am and was too tired to think – but I knew my Marant’s would make me feel like less of a slob.

The key is to get familiar with how different aspects of fashion make you and your spirit tick. Stay inspired by trying new things of course, but staying true to your personal fashion energy means always looking and feeling your best.

There are definitely certain brands out there that I legit salivate over. Rodarte, Balmain, Liberated Heart. The sleeveless tops by the Wild Unknown, and the quartz crystal jewelry from aletheia & phos. But in the last year I have become entranced with Free People, to the point that I even started re-purposing my older FP catalogs to fashion my own “fashion-oracle” deck!

Inspired by a friend’s yoga workshop, these soul-cards help me tap back into my unique fashion energy whenever I’m having a nothing-to-wear moment – when this happens, I simply pick a card to help guide me through my closet or dresser drawers.

Feeling blah? When I look at my NATURAL or FREE card, this may simply translate as a no makeup or jewelry day, and instead I’ll my two favorite crystals in my pocket and wear cherry-flavored Chapstick along with my high-top leopard print wedge Vans sneakers.

My WILD AT HEART card reminds me to keep having fun in the concrete jungle, while my WILD ONES card reminds me of my sacred sisterhood, and the magic of long summer days feeling some tie-dyed bandeau vibes!

Over a Skype session, I recently pulled the I AM A TRAVELER card for a friend traveling through Europe for the summer. She’s also a believer in fashion energy, and this
card reminded her that she is able to re-create herself through different fashion cultures and tap into another side of herself.

Now it’s time to make your own fashion energy deck – here’s what you’ll need:

A selection of fashion and travel magazines, and catalogs
Exacto knife (key item)
Glue stick or rubber cement
Cardstock
Scissors

1) Search the magazine and catalogues for images (clothes, background images and words / phrases) that resonate with your personal “fashion energy.”
2) Use your exacto knife to cut out your image as perfectly as possible. Breathe and stay zen for best results, cutting along the edges of the image as closely as possible. When you put your figure against your backdrop, it will/should look surreal!
3) Measure out the cardstock to the size and shape you desire for your deck, and cut into equal-sized pieces.
4) After cutting your cards, choose a background image for each and glue them onto one side of each card.
5) Now glue your main model / fashion image onto the background.
5) Finally, find a space on each card to glue an inspiring phrase or word. The only rule when combining background / image / words is to not over-think this process. This is about YOUR energy and celebrating all the elements of fashion YOU love.

You are now ready to start using and sharing your cards as your very own fashion oracle – have fun with it!

What defines your fashion energy? Connect with us and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

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.