TEMPLE OF VENUS: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE GODDESS VENUS

Elyssa Jakim sits down with her hero, the Goddess Venus, for some lessons in love, sex, and relationships for 2017…

The author channeling Goddess Venus

In the spring of 2012, I took a fated voyage to Italy. I toured Rome, Florence, and Venice for two weeks by myself without knowing any Italian except different variations of ciao and grazie. I had experiences that ranged in tint from enchanting to bizarre to intense to delicious to profound.

Of course, I visited the Uffizi Gallery in Florence: the must-see museum city’s must-see museum. After rounding a nondescript corner of this monolith, I found myself face-to-face with Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. The sight was astonishing. Instantly, tears sprang to my eyes at the golden masterwork. I knew Venus. I looked like her. I was her.

Chills ran through my body. Identifying with Venus bundled me in a new layer of self-acceptance, like a warm cloak. The sight of that painting changed something in me.

This all happened before I had discovered that I was a latent medium. But, looking back on my emotional response, I believe this meeting with Venus sealed my future work with her—and my eventual ability to hear her. Since that trip, Venus (and that image of her) has entered my life in countless ways—not least with my Temple Of Venus column for The Numinous, in which I have discussed many ways to work with the energy of the Goddess Venus.

As this column prepares to transition in the New Year (stay tuned for its next incarnation), I decided that a perfect way to pay homage to our Venus would be to let her speak. 

So as we close out 2016, I sat down with the Goddess Venus to get her tips on love and romance for the year ahead. And yes, by sitting down with the Goddess, I mean I went into deep meditation and had a conversation with my hero Venus!

VENUS GREETS US!
“Hello Universe! It is a pleasure to be heard by you. Numinous readers have deep sensitivity. I hope they can feel my vibration through these words.”

ELYSSA JAKIM: What can you tell us about relationships in the current climate, Venus?
GODDESS VENUS: Recently, I have found I want more from my lovers and my standards are elevated, which means you mortals too have been more demanding in your relationships. It’s good to have high standards. But like anything, these high expectations must be balanced. So here is my tip for relationships in 2017: look at your closest relationships, especially with those family members who you perhaps spent more time with during the holidays.

Ask yourself: are my standards fair? Am I being too hard on the people around me? How can I receive the love that they are trying to give, even if they lack the right words? How can I appreciate the effort my loved ones make, even when it doesn’t land quite right? This will free you up into compassion. 

EJ: Are the high standards also helpful?
GV: Yes! The shift into higher standards is very important for those wishing to break their relationship patterns and attract a new kind of love in the new year. If you know you are ready to change how you date and whom you date, start setting your new patterns without delay. Walk your talk. When the same type of person you always date with no positive results asks you out, decline. Cut a date short if you don’t feel honored. It is time to spend time with people who lift you up, enlighten you, who make you laugh, and who make you feel healthy. Be aware of the company you keep.

EJ: What’s your message to the world right now?
GV: Stay close to your heart. It’s easy to look outside of yourself to find the answers, and it is easy to look outside of yourself for despair too. But the thing that is truly sustaining is the energy of your own knowing. People know what is right for them so much more than they think. I see so many of you asking for advice when you don’t really need it.

Is it advice or is it permission you’re seeking? I give you permission right now to make your own decisions. Trust that you have all of the answers inside of you. Especially in this Internet age where there are so many answers. Before googling all the symptoms (physical and metaphysical) simply ask your self what you need. 

Artwork: Bea Toa

EJ: What are your tips for sensuality in 2017?
GV: Get into your body, and get truly sensual! Challenge your lingerie choices. If you always wear a bra, forget it for a day. If you’re always flying free, try something structured and see how it makes you feel. Notice your body’s sensory reaction to clothes. What makes your genitals a little excited when you think about wearing it? What are your sensual fabrics? Read a book of erotica or a book about tantra and practice by yourself. Get intimate and cozy and hot inside to offset the frost. Winter’s dark mysteries can be pretty sexy. 

EJ: Is January really a good time for a detox?
GV: We often indulge during the holidays, since emotions are running high, and being surrounded by family members can trigger this. A way to temper this is to make sure your self-care practices are also on high alert. In January, drink SOOOOO much water. Put crystals in the water to make it more fun! If you have a sweet tooth, perhaps try a spoonful of honey. It may be cold out, but fresh air will help you to re-group and re-ground.

This is not a time of denial. If you’re choosing to eat healthier in January, feel excited by this act of nourishment. Receive the sweetness you maybe crave from other things. From a warm hug. From a great wintery walk. From candles. From kisses in the snow. From romance.

EJ: You are the Goddess of romance, Venus. What does that word mean to you?
GV: It means saying your true feelings out loud. Whether this is a crush or a long-term lover, to me being bold can be really sexy. Remember when you wrote letters to people as a teen, Elyssa? I loved that! You might have been embarrassed, but I found it beautiful! Most importantly, be romantic for yourself. Light candles in your space and play music that feels sexy or heartwarming to you. Sit by the fire, take hot showers, seek heat and warmth. Put red roses or petals in your space. Write yourself a love letter. Cook yourself a nice meal. Take yourself out on your own perfect date. The ways to be romantic are limitless, it’s just important to remember to do it.

EJ: How can Numinous readers connect with you in 2017?
GV: My energy is awakening more and more on the planet right now and I invite any one reading this to spend time in meditation with me. And remember, I exist in many forms. I exist as honeybees. I am a planet, obviously. I am white buffalo calf woman. I am the earth. I am sensuality. I am the womb. I am your deep femininity. Please spend some time with me. Please put a red rose in your hair, light a white candle, wear something gold, anoint your body with oil, listen to music, sway, and think of me. I love you so much. Have fun and you will prosper!

Elyssa Jakim is available for intuitive readings that channel goddesses, guides, angels, ancestors as well as astral travel sessions, distance reiki, and more! Check out elyssajakim.com for details on how to work with her. And discover her on Instagram @temple_of_venus.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: LEARNING TO BE LESS HARD ON MYSELF

In her latest Temple of Venus column, recovering over-achiever Elyssa Jakim asks: “How can I learn to be less hard on myself?”

Impish Elyssa aged five

Flashback: The blizzard of 1996. Greater New York metropolitan area. I am eight years old. I’ve spent several days frolicking in the snow with friends. When school resumes session, a fight breaks out on the school bus because I kept a girl’s rainbow shoelace that I’d borrowed for snow stomping. She tells me she knows I stole it. I yell and scream and insult her in self-defense (even though I’d had no intention of returning the lace—it was so beautiful!)

Later, I will feel terrible about this. Forever.

Skip to fifth grade. Every day of fifth grade. I replay all the things I have done wrong socially. The rainbow laces incident. That time I said the wrong thing to the boy I had a crush on. Or said the right thing to the boy my friend had a crush on. And I berate myself.

Repeating and repeating my wrongs in my mind. Every day.

To make amends, I grow up into a perfectionist. An intellectual, and a serious student. Someone who also takes up self-improvement projects a little too readily. Who always has a to do list that includes things like “have fun” or “breathe.”

But today I am a recovering over-achiever.

In fact, I am currently living in a college town…looking after babies for a living. Yes, I feel insecure about this as well; perhaps I have lost my intellect and let my critical thinking skills go. But here’s the thing: as fate would have it, I have stumbled upon the perfect teachers when it comes to the question I seem to have spent my whole life asking: How can I be less hard on myself?

Because in the room where I work, I am swaddled in literal softness of all kinds; soft rugs and pillows, soft baby hair and cheeks; warm hugs; the honey sweetness of baby laughter; the miracle of a sleeping baby in my arms.

And here’s what the babies have reminded me so far…

1. Trust your own innocence
I have noticed, unsurprisingly, that I am always pre-disposed to give the babies the benefit of the doubt. To see “the light of the child” as Maria Montessori puts it. Even when a fourteen-month old deliberately does something “wrong” or “bad,” I can see her full innocence and sweetness—the “wrong-doing” does not make her unworthy of love to me. And knowing myself as an essentially good person, why should I be unworthy of my own self-love when I make a mistake?

2. Be your own parent.
The biggest shift you can make in the direction of self-kindness, in my opinion, is one of self-talk. What if every time you notice yourself feeling anxious, hurt, or self-doubting, you take a big breath and imagine you are the nurturing parent of your self? What would you say to you? It would probably sound like: “It’s okay my darling. I love you and I see you. You’re doing so well. You’re working so hard. I think you’re wonderful.” In moments of self-criticism, a move toward self-compassion and self-softness is what the anxious heart truly needs. If you can remember to be gentle, sweet, and nurturing to yourself whenever you’re tempted to punish yourself, your whole inner landscape will shift.

3. Don’t take things personally.
Because most of the time, the mean things people say or “accuse” you of, aren’t really about you—they’re about them. Strive to shrug off criticism, and don’t hold yourself accountable for the feelings of others. When a baby is upset, I know that it’s not about me. It’s about that child expressing a need for something like hunger or nap or connection. It isn’t healthy for me to take up a baby’s emotions or sense of urgency if I’m helping him, it’s best if I remain calm. When facing tough interpersonal interactions, try to remain calm. I like to zoom out in this moment and remember that we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience. Tapped into this Universal truth, who really cares if someone didn’t like my skirt, or the way I handled a particular situation?

4. You’re exactly where you need to be.
Numinous tarot mistress Lindsay Mack often reminds me of this: “You are exactly where you need to be.” And these words are always a deep reminder straight to my heart space, which in turn relaxes my whole body. Nothing has gone wrong. There is no-one (especially not your self) to blame. In fact, here is an opportunity to accept. To find grace. Your situation isn’t your fault, it’s your opportunity. Your perfect situation for growth. It’s to show you what you’re supposed to be learning right now. Babies are always exactly where they are, in the present moment of being. We are born into raw presence, living one moment at a time. Isn’t that miraculous?

5. Laugh a lot more.
Laughter releases stress in the body. Period. If we can take the seriousness out of life, it frees up the part of us that takes things too seriously. It can also be empowering to laugh at life’s trials and tribulations, to see the humor in any situation. Yogananda tells us to find the company of those who make us laugh to release our worries. You can also watch or listen to things that are funny, or find a laughter yoga class (which NYC friends, Maha Rose Healing Center holds from time to time). Needless to say, baby giggles, cuddle puddles, and facial expressions always have me laughing.

***

So, how does all this baby talk connect to the goddess Venus? In the mythology of Venus, we are always asked to consider her birth—that moment she arrives on the shore, born of the sea, resplendent. It’s funny to me that Venus was not born as a baby, but as a total babe. She was born and exists as the fullest expression of her being. She exudes self-confidence, which comes from true self-kindness. She is not a goddess who typically represents nurturing or mothering such as Mother Mary or Quan Yin.

But, in her luminosity, she is a wonderful teacher of self-compassion. She helps us to find the wild and free and sensual within ourselves. Being with babies and with Venus teaches us that we can always begin again. We can always infuse our lives with freshness, sweetness, and softness. We can always rebirth ourselves to be more loving. See the sweet little babe in you, and know that you are always worthy of love and even rainbow shoelaces. Protect her and hold her like you would a treasured gem. Come back to the Venus in you, and know you are glorious. That should make it easier to be less hard on yourself.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on healing our money issues.

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.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: A GUIDE TO WATER MAGIC

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim embraces her inner mermaid with a guide to water magic…


Water is perhaps my number one healer and teacher, since I have experienced so much magic with this element. Many moons ago, in deep meditation, I heard clearly: “You are a water witch.” That was my title.

Do you feel at home in water? Do you ever think you must have been a mermaid? Are you thirsty to step into your water witchiness? Are you a water witch too?

Last fall, I journeyed to the Pacific Northwest and found myself in the company of some serious water stewards—more water witches! At the Pacific Women’s Herbal Conference, Lorraine Bayes held a water ceremony and I felt as though I were home. Then in Oregon, I found the magical Camilla Blossom Bishop through word of mouth. When we met, she told me she was teaching a course about how to be a water healer. I was being led back to water again.

With Camilla, I learned how to conduct a water ceremony, and how to fully honor this element. The capstone of this experience was a ritual in which I floated in a chemical free salt pool that held water from around the world. Once again, I felt that I was home. I emerged radiant and resplendent. And now it’s your turn.

Here’s my guide to water magic, whatever element you call your own.

:: DRINK LOVE WATER ::

Here’s a message for you, channeled from Venus herself (remember she was born of the water):

Charge your water with love! In 1999, Dr. Masaru Emoto famously taught the world that water molecules hold the vibration of the thought one applies them. If you hold water with the intention of love, water crystals make a beautiful shape. If you hold it with fear or anger, they make jaggedy, almost viscerally painful shapes.

The sum of this is: we drink what we think! So, how can you love up your water?

Here’s what Camilla taught me: put the water in a beautiful vessel. Breathe into your heart and feel its loving sweetness. Imagine the love from your heart moving into the pitcher or cup. Imagine that this water is being fully purified into its highest, most optimal, healthy state. Now, get creative! Sing to your water, listen to beautiful music, add flower essences and crystals. Then drink up the nectar of life. Take joyful sips. This is very subtle, but your water will taste better and it will fill your body, soul, and mind with love. Water is thought to be the first medicine, so let yours heal you.

:: BATHE IT IN ::

When I was a little girl, I used to dunk my head in the bath water, sing, and swish my hair to and fro, believing I was a mermaid. Past life recall perhaps?

Bathing is an ancient practice for health, rejuvenation and beauty. The tranquility and solitude of the bath make it a perfect way to practice self-love and self-care. The bath lets us reset and get to know ourselves very deeply. I like to think of water as feeling—and as such, bathing allows us to pay homage to our emotional state. The water holds us like the womb. It also helps us to know our sensual and sensitive sides.

As far as practical magic goes, bathing is one of the most effective aura cleansers there is. The water we bathe in holds our emotions, thoughts, and physical tension, which are able to release down the drain. If you think you’ve been picking up a lot of other people’s stuff, or just want to clear and reset, put sea salt, Epsom salt, and/or baking soda into your bath and let yourself be cleansed.

You can make your bath time even more powerful by creating a theme for your bath. One example is Mermaid Paradise: Put hibiscus and lily flowers in your bath with sea stones, shells, blue and green candles, and your favorite essential oil. Or how about a Yummy Goddess Heart Bath? Rose petals, rose water, rose quartz, Himalayan sea salts, soft tea-light candles and music.

When you’re ready to drain your bath, see anything and everything that’s not serving you wash away.

:: GET BLESSED ::

One way to practice being a water witch, a water alchemist, and a true mermaid, is by helping to heal the waters of the Earth. The gorgeous thing here is that when you bless water you are being blessed in return. It’s a beautifully symbiotic relationship.

How can you experience this? Visit a body of water, and put your intention of love and healing into the water source. This means you can sing to the water. You can tell it your hopes and dreams. You can put loving words into it like “peace, beauty, love, tranquility, and gratitude.” You can make a wish into the water. You can tell your water source how beautiful she looks. You can bring her flowers or another such gift. It sounds like what we do with the drinking water, right? It’s all one, my darling.

Another way to bless water is to find a water deity you connect to—I love Yemaya, Venus (duh!), and mermaids. Call upon this divine being and ask to connect with her. Breathe all your love into the water with the help of your divine team.

Whatever your method, after you send your love into the water, stand back as something miraculous happens. The water will send love back to you. This might feel like a wave of love or positive energy. Or it might feel like nothing at all. But it will happen. Your subtlest of energies will sense it. And because “water is feeling,” don’t be surprised if you come over quite emotional.

***

In embracing water magic, I salute you on your journey back to your mermaid self. May these suggestions open the door to your own discovery of who you really are. Report back with your tales!

Elyssa will be holding a water ceremony at our Numinous “Re-write Your Love Story” retreat at Maha Rose North. Book with a friend before June 17 and you’ll each qualify for $50 of— email [email protected] to enquire about this early bird discount.

For more information on Elyssa’s offerings (including custom baths!), visit elyssajakim.com.

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

A NUMINOUS RETREAT: RE-WRITE YOUR LOVE STORY

Love-centered astrology, meditation into the heart space, water ceremony, creative writing, crafting, sharing, and play…it’s our first Numinous retreat! And an invitation to Re-write Your Love Story.

Friday, July 15th- Sunday, July 17th

The Numinous Presents :: Re-Write Your Love Story

A Holy F*ck + The Temple of Venus Women’s Retreat

Location: Maha Rose North – Catskills, Upstate NY

Love, dating, sex, partnership: where do you stand on these Venus-rules issues? What are the stories you have inherited and internalized about love, and how would you like to re-write them?

Join Numinous founder Ruby Warrington, with contributors Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim, for a weekend of discovery and creativity tailored toward telling your True Love Story. During this magical weekend, we will delve into our femininity and sensuality. We will release old wounds that may be blocking us from getting the love we want, to manifest the love we do want. We will balance our career driven warrior women with the open-hearted goddesses we are.

Think: love-centered astrology, meditation into the heart space, water ceremony, creative writing, crafting, sharing, and play.

Read on for the actual schedule…

Healing space at Maha Rose North

:: FRIDAY ::
3:30pm – 5:30pm: Arrivals.

6:00pm – 7:00pm: A Welcoming Feast and meet & greet.

7:30pm – 9:45pm: Workshop 1 HELLO HEART. Let’s get real about where we’re at with sex and love, setting our intentions as individuals and as a group. An open discussion and sharing circle with live coaching, led by your guides for the weekend.

:: SATURDAY ::
7:30am – 8:00am: Morning Angel Meditation led by Alexandra.

8:30am – 9:30am: Breakfast.

10:00am – 12:00pm: Workshop 2 RE-WRITING OUR LOVE STORY led by Ruby. What are the fairy stories we tell ourselves about love? What are the myths about romance and dating that we’ve absorbed, both individually and as a collective? And what fantasies have we bought into about what it means to be a sexual woman? In this workshop we will delve into our birth charts, using storytelling and journaling exercises to excavate these often limiting beliefs, examine how they may have shaped our love story to date, and re-write the script of a more authentic, fulfilling, and heart-centered future love story.

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch & personal Time. Journal. Lay in the grass. Sing in the woods. Cry. Be.

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Workshop 3 DO IT LIKE A DOLPHIN led by Elyssa. Lemurian water ceremony with mermaids and water fairies in the nearby lake. BYOB. (Bring Your Own Bikini)

BYOB (bring your own bikini) for the water ceremony

6:30 pm – 8:30pm: RITUAL DINNER aka PRIESTESS FEAST There was something to the way the Greeks and Romans did it. Though we won’t be communally purging this time, we will be lighting candles, wearing beautiful dresses, and ceremonially celebrating together.

8:30pm – 10:30pm: Workshop 4 HEART 2 HEART RITUAL led by Alexandra. Let’s get deep into what’s holding us back, clear some shit out and hold space for release and clearing in the heart and womb space. We will work with the Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene energies and archetypes, balancing our own polarities of Divine Feminine energy. Ending with a burning ceremony.

:: SUNDAY ::
7:30am – 8:00am: Morning Angel Meditation led by Alexandra.

8:30 am – 10:00am: Workshop 5 GET WHAT YOU WANT We’ve talked to our hearts and our wombs, we’ve the cleared old stories out. Now what? Let’s manifest our true heart’s desires, and and cultivate our sensual sides. This workshop introduces concrete tools for manifesting true love and partnership to incorporate into your daily practice. Followed by live coaching.

11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Workshop 6 FAIRY BRUNCH A date with your inner Wood Nymph
led by Elyssa. We will call in our fairy spirits to bring sexiness, play and fun to our love lives
over brunch!

2:30pm – 3:30pm: CLOSING RITUAL We will pull our energies together to seal the deal, sending our prayers into the earth and heavens with a candle that we can all take home.

Accommodation at Maha Rose North on The Numinous

:: PRICING ::

Retreat with all meals and two nights lodging | $640

Retreat with all meals and camping | $600

Retreat with all meals | $520 (guests to arrange own accommodation)

Sign-up online here. EARLY BIRDS! Book with a friend before June 17 and both receive a $50 discount. Installment payment plans are also possible—please contact Maha Rose to inquire on: [email protected].

:: BIOS ::

Ruby Warrington is a writer, curator, creative consultant, and founder of The Numinous, an online magazine where “material girl meets mystical world.” With 18 years’ experience in lifestyle journalism, she was formerly Features Editor for the UK Sunday Times Style magazine, and her writing has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. Ruby has also been an astrology enthusiast since she discovered, aged three, she’d been born in the year of the Dragon. Her first book, a volume of “mystical self-help,” will be published by Harper Collins in Spring 2017.

Alexandra Roxo is a filmmaker, writer, and creative intuitive coach. She has been making films and shows about her spiritual journey with the Divine Feminine for the last 15 years, including the hit show Be Here Nowish and as a writer for the Numinous. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The New Yorker, i-D, Dazed, The Wall St Journal, London Times and more. She has been leading group rituals and women’s circles, high priestessing weddings, and facilitating creativity healing workshops off and on for 10 years.

Elyssa Jakim is a Reiki master, ceremonialist, and intuitive. She is a co-founder of Fairy School, held at Maha Rose, an after school program connecting children to their magic. She likes to connect adults to magic too, and has been known to incorporate fairies, unicorns, and mermaids into all aspects of her life and work. Elyssa co-created The Temple of Venus with The Numinous, a community art space and later monthly column focused on healing issues around love, sex, femininity, and everything in between. She received her Reiki Mastership with Lisa Levine, founder of Maha Rose.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: BEAUTY IMAGE BEAUTIFUL

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim discovers that even among spiritual circles, body image issues persist…Images: Karis Wakeling-Farren 

Beauty. Isn’t that a gorgeous word? Look at how it sits on the page: regal with all those vowels. I’ve always adored words with lots of vowels: elegant, exquisite, gorgeous, pleasing. Beauty is such an angel word.

Recently in a meditation, I heard the message: “You are more beautiful than you think you are.” This message struck me—it brought a sad little pang to my heart. When I thought more about it, I realized I’ve been experiencing one of those periods where I look in the mirror and think I look weird. Where I’m breaking out more than usual, where I don’t feel particularly connected to my sensual side, where, I don’t know, I just don’t “feel beautiful,” you know?

And I know what it’s about, really, this denial of beauty. I’ve been dancing with body image issues since I was thirteen. There was something wrong with my belly! Why did it stick out from my body like that? Why was I the only one with a strange belly like this? At 17, when other stresses kicked in, I acted on these thoughts and began dieting. I struggled from compulsive dieting for the next eight years.

I had grown up wanting to be an actress, famously a profession of body image perfectionism. When I was 19, I spent my summer as an apprentice at a theatre festival. I recall hanging out in a circle of about 10 women, and the conversation turned to food and dieting. It became clear to me that all these young women who wanted to be actresses had struggled with or were struggling with eating disorder.

All these gorgeous women who I knew as gorgeous because of their insides, their passionate outlook and fearlessness on stage, were folding themselves in one way or another in order to feel included in an exclusive industry: in order to feel included in their own dreams. It was the first time I realized how much I wasn’t alone in this “bad body image” compulsion. And, of course, it’s not just actresses who go through this. It’s all of us.

As years have passed, I feel better about me. A lot. I’m no longer dieting, and I feel I can accept whatever it is I have chosen to eat. However, I now find myself in many other women’s circles that mirror the above one. Healing circle. Meditation Circle. Brunch table. And to tell you the truth, even though these are circles of loving, empowered people, I’m often still worrying about the size of my belly.

The tendency toward self-blame is always there lingering in the background—and I’d like to posit that it is for many of us. It’s an elephant in our yoga studios and sound baths. We’ve had so much programming about how we’re supposed to look for our whole lives, that body anxiety just feels like a channel many of us have been set to. Especially if you live in a trendy city, and the street suggests fashion putting your body on show.

In groups and even just among friends, I’ve started paying attention to when my body image insecurity comes up. I get in touch with my inner knowing and I ask, “Is this mine?” Often, I hear “no.” It belongs to a peer. It belongs to a friend. Doing this has helped me understand, once again, that I am truly not alone in my insecurity. That it is SO MANY OF US who feel not right in ourselves.

Everyone, everyone has that something: “I’ve got a great body, but my skin sucks.” “I love my hips but my eyes kind of cross sometimes and I think I look messed up.” “My face is weird.” “I should look more masculine.” “I should look more feminine.” We compartmentalize ourselves and obsess over our “wrong” thing. So of course, even if the thought is usually not mine, it IS mine too. It’s all of ours. And we “empath” it back and forth to one another.

At this point, I’d like to bring up that this is the ego’s favorite myth, that: “There is something wrong with me.” Psychologist Tara Brach brilliantly describes this concept in her book Radical Acceptance:

[T]he universal sense that “something is wrong” easily solidifies into “something is wrong with me.” When I look into my own feelings of unworthiness, sometimes I can’t point to any significant way I’m actually falling short. Yet just this feeling of being a self, separate from others, brings up a fundamental assumption that I am not okay…Believing that we are separate, incomplete, and therefore at risk, is not some malfunction of nature. Rather, this perception is an intrinsic part of our human experience—indeed of all life.

Brach makes it clear: it’s our sense of alone-ness that makes us feel wrong. The great irony of course is that we’re all together in feeling separate. And there is nothing wrong with you or me or us. There may, however, be something wrong with the society we live in (“The universal sense that something is wrong…”). There may be something wrong with the messages that we ingest and unknowingly propagate.

The author today

But what is the gift of these insane societal standards? What is the gift of the insecurity?

Disagreeing with the ego’s unloving ideas strengthens the mind and soul. When you choose to say “no” to this habit of self-attack, when you choose love in favor of compulsion, you are growing. You are claiming your worth. You are getting stronger each time. Whenever we actively proclaim the Truth to the unloving self, we are paving the way for freedom.

Choose an affirmation today for your unloving habit and resolve to challenge it in order to gain freedom. Mine is: “I know that these fears about my body are untrue. I know I am so much more than this body. I surrender these fears to love.” This can, of course, be applied to any flavor of compulsion, not just body perfectionism. And of course, whenever we free ourselves, we free our sisters and brothers, too. The grip of group insecurity relaxes, we’re all getting spiritually lighter together. Which, in my humble opinion, is way more important than physical lightness. This is a spiritual workout!

These hurts also build empathy and compassion. How could I, Elyssa, help others love their bodies if I hadn’t run the whole gamut of fear and love in my own thinking? Thus our misfortunes become our miracles.

I told a friend about my meditation, the one in which I heard, “You are more beautiful than you think you are.”

“What do you mean by that?” He asked. “Physically?”

“Yes, physically.”

“Go to your heart,” he said. “Go to your heart. That’s where beauty lives. Focus on the feelings inside your heart and you will know you’re beautiful. Then your whole self responds.”

I love this. And, it is true. And when I talked to Venus, Venus told me: “You are all beautiful. You are all divine. You are all so much more radiant than you know.” Go to your heart. Find the beauty and resilience there. “Heart.” That’s got a nice vowel assortment too.

PS: This post marks my one-year anniversary of writing for the Numinous! From Spring to Spring, I am grateful for all of the gifts.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on the practice of receiving.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: HOW TO RECEIVE

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns with some wise words on the practice of receiving… Artwork: Megan Thorp-Levitt

The paragon of the divine feminine, Venus is born of water. She, like water, receives, or takes in. Receiving then is the nature of the feminine, right? But paradoxically, we often talk about women as “givers.” The woman is the mother, the gatherer, the caretaker, the nurturer. And of course, we all give and receive, regardless of gender. But I want to posit that many of us, women in particular, are not receiving enough.

Especially if you’re an empath or a healer and a highly sensitive person, you may feel as if your tank is constantly empty. As if you’re “giving” all the time, in small and subtle ways – like giving up your ability to make decisions, giving up your lunch hour to a friend, giving up your freedom because of “should’s” or “supposed to’s.” Are you an over-giver? Venus is here to help!

The first thing to remember is that receiving is not about doing. It is about simply being and allowing. But society is set up for us to do, and do, and do some more. We’re taught to do our homework, to get good grades. We’re expected to be brilliant self-starters and become CEOs of our own empires. Our society loves masculine, Yang phrases that get us fired up like: “hit the ground running,” “just do it,” “get it done,” and “killing it.” And well, ehem, can I please get a “fuck that”?

Receiving is your birthright as a divinely feminine creature. Here are some ways to receive…

:: RECEIVE GIFTS ::

A receiving practice is really about cultivating deeper awareness about what you’re already receiving. By truly acknowledging what you receive, you can take this energy in consciously and use it to refill your tank.

A simple way to do this is to receive your gifts! Whenever someone offers to pay for you, cover the tab, or gives you some kind of gift receive it willingly. Say “thank you” with graciousness, and do not offer to pay instead. Feel into the sensation of receiving by taking a second to breathe in the kindness and the loving feelings it brings up. Visualize this feeling filling you up.

Now try it with praise. When someone compliments you, do not leap in to downplay your worthiness! Breathe it in. Receive this gift. It may feel awkward at first, but once accepted, it can feel so good. I’m going to give you one right now to practice: with “You are an incredible being, always doing the best you can. I love you and I see you.” No joke, that is the truth!

Another great way to receive more “gifts” is to ask for help and favors. Can’t reach a top shelf and a tall person is nearby? Ask them for help! This is a really simple way to receive and I’ve noticed in doing this that people really like being given a simple, discrete way to help out. Try it with kids. They LOVE it.

In fact, one of my favorite phrases about receiving is: “receiving empowers the giver.” So be a gracious receiver and empower the people who give to you. It makes everyone feel good.

:: RECEIVE THE PRESENT ::

The present moment is always ripe with abundance and possibilities, and so when we stop to just be, we get in touch with our receiving nature. We are “being” rather than “doing.” (NB: I have learned so much about this from my dear friend Lindsay Mack, who now writes the Numinous Tarotscopes).

A great way to be more present is to practice deep listening. Next time you’re in conversation, notice the cadence of your interlocutor’s speech. Notice each word. Take them in. This is deep receiving.

Is there someone in your life you can do a better job listening to? Make a commitment right now to listen more deeply in conversation with this person (I’m doing it too, believe me). Really receive his or her words, and see what you notice. Were you keeping yourself from receiving this person’s love in certain ways? How can you take in more of the love that’s all around you? Which brings me too…

:: RECEIVE NATURE ::

Nature is always waiting to shower you with her myriad gifts. So whenever your tank is really low, take any opportunity you can to find nature. Even an office plant or the sidewalk tree will help you to reset.

In many belief systems, nature is the feminine polarity of the divine — that’s why we call her “mother nature” and “mama earth.” By stepping out into nature, we are refreshed. We are filled to the brim with nature’s essence, which is a mirror of our own. We are reminded of our inner nature, which is peace, strength, love, beauty, wonder, and so much more.

An energy healing secret is this: when you’re tired, touch a tree. And on a long hike through rugged terrain, touch tons of trees! They will energize you. Once when I went out in nature with a teacher of mine, we were connecting with trees, and she was teaching me how to feel the spirit of a plant. I turned to a Ponderosa Pine and exclaimed, “This tree needs love.”

I put my hand on the tree and breathed into it. I let it take me on a little visual journey and it showed me how it was a mama bear. It grounded me. It made me feel safe. I laughed, telling her, “Obviously this tree didn’t need love. She just wanted to give me some of hers.” My teacher nodded: “That’s usually how it goes.”

It turns out, of course, Ponderosa Pine was exactly the medicine I needed for what was going on in my life at the time. So receive your dose of nature. Give your heart to the earth and she will give you so much it will bring you to your knees (in the rapturous way).

:: RECEIVE YOUR LIFE ::

This bears repeating: receiving is following your intuition. This section has fewer tangible steps, for it is intangible and highly personal – yet so many of us are striving to learn how to follow our intuition as one by one we “wake up.”

Difficult, since following your intuition may go against the Yang ways we have been taught (do your homework, go to college, no days off, time spent doing nothing is SLACKING). But this is needed in order to balance the energy on this planet right now. So, can we embrace the slack? In the Western world, we have been living in such a masculine paradigm, that it’s time to strengthen our other muscles – the intuitive receptive muscles. Yes, the pelvic floor muscles just to complete the metaphor!

So how can you be more intuitive, and open to receiving messages from spirit? Where can you put space in your life just to be and listen to your inner guidance? Here is the biggest secret of all: the Divine is standing right next to you, ready to guide you, ready to give to you every day if you let it.

So let go and let God. Do less to receive more (wisdom, love, creativity). It’s funny, it’s miraculous, but it works! And it feels damn good. Bowing to you, may you receive all the gifts and may you feel radiantly receptive, revivified, and rejuvenated.

Please note: this article is intended to be useful to all, regardless of gender. We can all use help with receiving.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on connecting to your inner child through crafting.

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.

MY MYSTICAL WEEK: KUNDALINI HEAVYWEIGHTS, THE POWER OF SAGE, AND A BOX OF TREATS

Will I ever be hardcore enough to be one of the kundalini crew, asks Ruby Warrington?

I HUNG WITH THE KUNDALINI HEAVYWEIGHTS. So kundalini yoga is generally one of those things I do because I don’t want to. I figure anything that makes my ego flip-out the way this practice does has gotta be good for furthering my personal ascension goals – plus I’ve experienced some of my most profound life realizations on my sheepskin. Like full-on psychic visions about the best next steps to take in life. So when I learned that Guru Jagat (a.k.a. the woman spearheading the current kundalini global takeover bid) was hosting a retreat with her Rama Institute in Glastonbury last weekend, OF COURSE I extended my recent stay in the UK so I could go.

Here’s a sampling of the kind of stuff that went down:

Daily 4am sadhana. Literal translation: “spiritual exertion towards an intended goal”. My translation: “a battle of ego over sleep-deprived mind, and absolute evidence that kundalini yogis – who practise sadhana every morning – are the most hardcore of yogis.”
My first 2.5 hour meditation. About 4.30am on Saturday morning, Guru Jagat announced she’d had a download that we were going to do the “Master’s Touch” meditation that morning. Here’s a video. We did this for 2.5 hours (but faster, without music, and with our hands held in the ‘crossed fingers’ position). TF for her caveat that anybody “new” to kundalini was welcome to nap if needed.
Shopping for Jupiter rings. One think I love about the kundalini community is that they’re generally dripping with jewels – and the first opportunity we got we headed to Stone Age, a high-vibe crystal jewelry store in Glastonbury town. Wearing a ring on your Jupiter finger (the pointer finger) is said to symbolize power, leadership and authority…which is interesting since most women were saying they don’t like wearing rings on that finger because it feels “ugly” and “clunky.” Hmmm!
A trip to the top of the Tor. As in, the hill that presides over Glastonbury – and which is also the axis of the mythical Earth Zodiac (which, never fear, I will write about at length in another post!) Cut to bemused stares from the ‘regular’ tourists, as our 40-strong group moved from seated meditation in the grass (substituting sheepskins for black trash bags to protect our kundalini whites)…to insane selfie excitement in the natural wind machine created by the ruins of St Michael’s castle (see below).

I BOWED TO THE POWER OF SAGE. I actually had to leave the retreat early (which means I missed seeing Merlin’s Cave, the crop circle excursion, and the final 4am sadhana AT THE TOP OF THE TOR), because of an electrical issue that needed sorting in my London home. My shower had been giving off a *tingle* of electrical charge (eek), and the electrician had already been in twice to figure out what was causing it – to no avail. He needed to do a deep dive he said, and un/rewire my entire house to get the bottom of this one (see dollar signs stretching to infinity in my mind’s / third eye).

I figured I might as well do my bit, so I picked up a GIANT bunch of sage at Star Child Original Medicinal Botanicals in Glasto and smudged my place the night before – paying extra attention to the bathroom. I mean it could easily be an energetic problem, right? Ghost of tenants past making a watery plea for freedom? And what do you know, 15 minutes into the job, my man Shane had found and fixed the problem! He was scratching is head over how he’d missed it before…while I smiled inside cos I figured I’d essentially smoked that mo-fo out.

I RECEIVED A BOX OF TREATS. One thing I miss about my “old life” in the mainstream media is the constant stream of free beauty products I used to get sent. In fact, there was a whole other lesson in ego eradication when the supply dried up once I left my old staff job. But when I returned back to NY, I was amazed to find a box of beauty goodies from Blue Mercury awaiting me – and even better, the majority of them were all natural!

Perhaps they were a gift from Jupiter, planet of abundance, who just moved signs into my house of health and wellbeing. Or from Venus, Goddess / planet of beauty, as a thank you for honoring her with our Temple of Venus art project this past month. I mean, these are the kind of questions a girl has to ask when goodies appear from out of no-where. And my fave product in the box? A chemical-free nail lacquer from Smith & Cult in a shade of poppy red called Kundalini Hussle – of course.

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.

MY MYSTICAL WEEK: A REIKI DETOX, A FLORAL REMEDY, AND A SERIOUSLY SEXY SEEKER

In a new weekly dispatch from the front lines of the Now Age, Numinous founder Ruby Warrington reports on a very mystical week…

I got sick after I took my Reiki 1. This time last Friday, I was having the magical healing powers of Reiki put into my hands at at workshop in our Temple of Venus. I only realized a couple of weeks ago that Reiki is something anyone can do – opposed to this mystical gift you have to be born with – and once I learned that it was kind of like, duh, why wouldn’t you learn how to channel the Universal source energy for the healing of all?!

During the training they talk about this “21-day detox” that happens afterwards, as your chakras open up to receive the Reiki – which, in me, decided to manifest in a mutha of a summer cold. I know it was the Reiki ‘cos I never get sick, and lo, when I posted about this on Instagram, it seemed I was not the only one! So lesson no. 1 of this mystical week, when you do your Reiki training book it for a time when you can just, y’know, lay low and absorb it all for a few days afterwards.

I restocked my supply of Unburdened by Alexis Smart. There was a phase a year ago or so when I was heavily into having custom flower essences blended for me by the wonderful Kerri Aab. You can read more about why I love working with the flowers here, but if you’ve ever had a good experience with Bach’s Rescue Remedy, imagine that, but designed to address all the anxieties and stresses specific to YOU in the same subtle-yet-profound way.

Alexis Smart is Kerri’s West coast counterpart, and when I told her about the crazy-but-good juggling / balancing act that is basically my life right now, she sent me a bottle of an off-the-shelf blend called Unburdened. It hit me like floral valium, and so I wasn’t surprised to learn that it actually contains lots of the same flowers that Kerri used to put in my custom blends. New favorite thing to bulk order online in moments of summer-cold-induced anxiety and stress.

I finally met the beauty behind Benshen. Speaking of herbal alchemists, natural beauty line Benshen by Desiree Pais is seriously blowing up right now. I’ve been using her mantra-infused Serum No. 1 for a couple of months and we’d been trying to get a juice date in, but there was the aforementioned crazy-but-good juggling / balancing act that is basically my life, and then she was at the Summer Solstice Sadhana (she’s a serious Kundalini yoga head), and so it only just happened.

I loved hearing Desiree’s story, as she’s the definition of the word ‘seeker’ to me. A true Scorpio (determined, intense, and seriously sexy), Benshen is the result of its creator’s own search for a meaningful and lasting solution to her own skin issues, which has also led to a total re-evaluation of her diet, wellness practises, and even her relationships. I mean, this girl has done the work and then some, and so it’s no wonder the cosmos is lending its support to the success of her new line.

What did you discover about yourself and the cosmos this week? Connect with me and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Benshen Serum No. 1, $70

THE TEMPLE OF VENUS IS OPEN!

Last night saw the launch of The Temple of Venus, a Numinous community art project in collaboration with energy healer and artist Elyssa Jakim – and we want you to get involved! Image: Victoria Keen Goddess Tribe series

Welcome to the #summeroflove, Numis! We’re beyond excited to announce The Temple of Venus, a community art project dedicated to the Goddess of beauty, love, and abundance.

Based in Williamsburg, BK, and created in partnership with energy healer and artist Elyssa Jakim, the Temple is an interactive altar celebrating our community, the power of love, and the energies of the divine feminine. And the CRAZY serendipity leading up to the launch makes us feel like Venus herself basically MADE US DO IT.

Housed in a private residence (in what is actually called the “Venus” building!) and open to all, we are inviting healers, seekers and modern mystics to contribute their offerings and wisdom throughout this two-month period, creating an ever-evolving container charged with positive vibes.

Open from 7/7 through August 19, the planet Venus will also retrograde in artistic, playful Leo for the second half of the project – creating a cosmic portal for healing our attitudes to love, money and beauty through creativity.

The altar room itself will be a space for meditation, prayer, contemplation and healing, while a second space will be available for larger group gatherings and workshops. And if you just want to come make an offering to Venus and soak up the healing energies, the space will also be open for drop-in appointments each Wednesday between the hours of 3 and 5pm. International offerings by mail or Skype are also welcome!

Any donations collected will go towards the maintenance of the space, after which all funds will be gifted to The Doula Project.

Want more info? Contact us: [email protected], or connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with your questions and suggestions.

All events will be listed at Thenuminous.net/events – here’s a taster of what’s lined up to date:

7/10: Reiki 1 workshop with Elyssa Jakim

7/15: Be Here Now(ish) screening and open discussion

7/18: Tarot readings with Lindsay Mack

7/31: Full Moon Sacred Drum Circle with Wild Soul Healing

8/12: Flower Crown making workshop with Aurora Botanica