End of Summer | Virgo Season 2017
REFINE & DEFINE WEAVING A SEASONAL, ILLUMINATED & ARTFUL LIFE
COSMOMUSE Weaving A Seasonal, Illuminated & Artful Life
Weaving the tangible & intangible of seasonal living. With an interwoven focus on the connection between nature, human nature, and the divine, CosmoMuse aims to tap into a deeply balanced quality of living seasonally. We strive to bring healing energy and enhanced understanding to the undervalued yin element (in males and females alike) in our daily lives while still valuing the yang quality thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been idealized for many millennia. An astrological lens is used to give structure to the progression through our seasons, but many other sciences and arts are used within that framework to give a holistic meaning and perspective to the cycles and rhythms that we all face throughout the hours, days, months, and years. The mystical and organic quality that we try to tap into through our work is meant to help integrate a cyclical understanding of life with the linear mode of living that many of us are more accustomed to.
Refine & Define
August 23rd - September 21st As we ground into the end of summer, we often feel a need to be productive and take advantage of the bounty that our warmest solar months have brought. Planning and preparing for the shift in season comes on strong. We can feel pulled in many directions as we organize and systemize our lives, readying for darker months. There is pressure to feel like a well-oiled machine that’s got all systems running sustainably. A reflection on our typical day-to-day routines and processes can show us what kind of life we are cultivating. Mine is a purposely simple one, but still needs perfecting: Wake early for meditation and breathwork, take the dogs jogging, tidy the house, make time for work (there’s a whole other category of processes to review around getting through your work duties), nibble on healthy snacks throughout the day, get antsy and run a couple of errands, back to work for a few hours, husband arrives home from work, fuss around the house or yard to music, make dinner together and sink into reading, a little extra work or Netflix, off to bed. In review, I know I want a chunk of time in my regular routine for a yoga practice and an artistic hobby (not to mention all of my already cultivated routines needing a bit of polishing). These seem to be the two missing pieces that elude my daily rhythm–things keeping me from feeling 100% whole. Writing this helps me to see where these might fit, and why I hit my head against the wall trying to spin that last section of my ideal (and possible) lifestyle. Virgo Season can be stressful and feel a bit monotonous. Its job is to help us become whole unto ourselves: functional humans who have integrated many aspects of self to become more productive, well, and efficient. Routine can feel tiresome, but let’s look beneath the surface. Take some time to study your processes, to understand the use of your day-to-day responsibilities, and to be thoughtful and aware of your methods. This is a season when you can really get in touch with your purpose. Pay attention and refine your lifestyle to be more whole and meaningful to you. Define the use of each routine and process in your daily life so you know exactly how you develop personal culture. Allow moments to feel humility for what it takes to truly master your own life and reflect that outwardly in thoughtfulness and service. Help those who struggle where you excel. When those around you are helped to be more well, everyone become more whole. In light of the current cultural and political climate, it’s also worth noting an importance for all of us to reflect on our internal diversities and how, with skill, those disparate pieces of self can be woven together to make each of us more uniquely whole and special. This specialness of diversity within can then better be accepted outside of ourselves. A diverse community is intrinsically beautiful and makes us more whole just as the diversity within ourselves does. Allie Couch | Publisher & Creative Director
WELCOMING VIRGO SEASON
IMPRINT CORE TEAM
10 INTO THE SEASON
PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR | ALLIE COUCH EDITOR IN CHIEF | ANN WHITTAKER OPERATIONS | DUSTIN COUCH
THE PROGRESSION TO LATE-SUMMER The zodiac’s solar path moves in a progression that is meaningful. Learn the importance of end of summer’s position.
COVER & PAGES 4,10,12
12 INTO THE STARS
PHOTOGRAPHY | MARIA CORONA MODEL | HOLLY PARKIN ART DIRECTION | ALLIE COUCH
SOLAR & LUNAR THEMES FOR EACH SIGN Learn what Virgo Season means universally as well as for your personal sign. Tune into the Moon’s ebb & flow and the Sun’s vital path.
14 VIRGO SEASON ECOLOGY
© 2017 RED SOFA PRODUCTIONS LLC
MAPPING NATURE, HUMAN & THE COSMOS
Weaving the patterns of Virgo Season from personal energy, to nature’s rhythms, to business trends.
E X P R E S S | USEFUL SERVICE
SPOTLIGHT | MARIA CORONA, CACTUS SALAD
FRESH JUICE BY SIGN | NUTRIENT PACKED
B E | MICHELE QUAN, CRAFTSWOMAN
C H I N E S E M E D I C I N E | LATE SUMMER WELLNESS
A WOVEN WHOLENESS YOU ARE THE STARS & ROOTS
GINGER FERNET COCKTAIL
U.S. PROGRESSED ASCENDANT: VIRGO
HEALING WITH VIRGO ENERGY
The Muse Co-Creators
Browse to the article you want to read.
Ann Whittaker: Priestess Muse Virgo Daily Rituals: Routine & Rhythm
Brooke Musat: Yogi Muse Yoga for Sustainability
Lauren Eimers-Wangrud: Mental Health Muse Making Friends with Your Inner Critic
Cherise Lily Nana: Myth Muse The Potter: Purification, Service, and the Sacred Mundane
The Wellness Gypsy: Nutrition Muse Late Summer Shrimp Gazpacho
Katie Chirgotis: Empath Muse Feeli It All: Check the Boxes
Allie Couch: Seasons Muse The Virgo New Moon: September 19th/20th
Ash Bonelli: Astrology Muse The Pisces Full Moon: Spetember 6th
John Kesler: Mindfulness Muse Facilitation & Inquiry Meditation: Audio
herb infused skin oils
bloom in you
Coming From | Mid-Summer & An Expanding Heart
Into the season. 10
Last season we worked on attracting things, accepting the spotlight, and feeling the power of our hearts and spines. Drama and playfulness reflected the stable summer position when warm days felt good against subtlely and slowly growing mornings & evenings.
This Season | End of Summer & Shifting Gears
Leading To | Autumn Equinox & Harmonizing Notes
A seasonal shift is felt. The final third of each season is one when we must jump into the tides of change and submit to being maleable and versitile. Harvests are full, but the cooling evenings let us know that this is temporary. We scurry to get our worlds in order.
Equal night and equal day have the temperatures and our balance of time feeling peaceful harmonious. We seek to mirror this elegant dance of light and dark in our relationships. The yin half of the year unfolds and others become imortant in this refelctive time. 11
Into the Stars SOLARSCAPE From August 22nd to September 21st we find ourselves in the Virgo solar phase. We feel the Sun rapidly approaching the yin half of the year when autumn and winter bring longer nights than days. We use the Virgo, or end of summer, days to tie up loose ends and get our acts together to feel like complete and whole people. Every person has Virgo ruling an area of thier chart so this sign’s themes of perfection, refinement, analysis, routines, and ritual are universally present, but will show up in different ways depending on your Sun sign and rising sign. Virgo, ruled by Mercury, is a yin, earth, and mutable (or flexible) sign, bringing purpose, process, and wellness into all of our lives. We feel skilled and natural where Virgo falls in our chart. Read your extended Monthly Horoscopes at CosmoMuse.com.
LUNARSCAPE Just as we have solar seasons, we also have lunar cycles that will tint how we experience the ebb and flow of energy throughout the next four weeks of Virgo’s productivity. August 22nd- 23rd: A new moon phase has us feeling a spark of new life and refreshed passions. A need for clarity has us seeking alone time to clear out old debris. August 24th - 28th: This crescent moon phase has us asserting tangible movements and first steps into the passions and intentions that were felt during the new moon. August 29th - September 1st : In the first quarter moon phase, we experience growing pains and challenges to keep our intentions moving forward. . September 2nd - 5th: During the waxing gibbous moon, we are faced with a lighter mood, but one where we aim to climb out of predicaments from last moon. September 6th - 8th: At the Full Moon, we’ll be manifesting and releasing things from our lives. Emotional high tides are felt and balance is sought around these dates. September 9th - 12th: During this waning gibbous moon phase, it’s common to think about the greater good, the world at large, and make expansive choices. September 13th - 15th: Our last quarter moon brings us again to the challenging quarter moon position. This time, challenges that come up will play out more publicly. September 16th - 19th: The balsamic moon has us feeling like sages and less attached. September 20th - 21st: A new moon in Virgo falls in the last days. A new cycle is forming around our work, wellness, and lifestyles. Find some ‘you’ time for extra clarity .
Virgo Season is one when you feel a strong pull to get to work and find a purposeful and productive rhythm in your life. Feeling needed and indespensible could be the medicine you crave this season. Try not to overwork. The point of Virgo in your chart is to make you whole and well. Integrate wellness, mindfulness, and a skilled hobby to round out your life.
Do you feel extra sleepy and mystical as we head into Virgo Season? This season lights up your 12th house of restoration. It’s your last stop on your tour around the zodiac and time for you to make sense of all that took place over the past year and extract some symbolic meaning for how it brought you joy, pain, and growth. Music, art, and compassion may come on strong.
T AU RUS
Ruling over your 5th house of creative-expression and leadership, you likely lead with detail and exactitude when put in the role of runing the show on something. You may be very natural and skilled at helping kids get into routines and wellness practices. When it comes to creative projects, you likely gravitate toward the details and cultivating a system.
Humanity in all of it’s complexity and baggage could feel very integrally important to you during Virgo Season as the Sun lights up your 11th house of groups and the progressive. There may be something about being part of groups or movements that brings more wholeness to your life. On the flip side, you bring great detail and organization to the groups that you grace.
GE M I N I
SAG ITTARIU S
Your 4th house of home and family is ruled by the sign of Virgo and moves these to a process of revitalizing. Give attention to how organized, systemized, and prodctive your home is. Try to be less critical with family. Wellness and routine make you feel safe and nurtured in your life. This season could see you feeling vulnerable and working to cultivate security.
Career and aspirations may be on your mind in a big way as we ground into earthy Virgo Season. For all of your big visions and grand schemeing, you are actually quite practical and careful when it comes to career with Virgo ruling your 10th house. Try to identify how wellness, instinct, lifestyle, curating, and/or analysis are things that you work carfeully and diligently at. Career may hold the keys to feeling whole and standing with sustainablility in your life.
CAN C E R
Ruling your 3rd hosue of communication and community, you could be very detailed and exacting in your thought processes, possibly critical of grammar and picky about the communities you engage with. Your refined style here gives you a sharp mind and an enviable ability to understand systems. Try to be less critical of those in your daily communications.
Virgo Season brings big hopes and foreign queries to your path as it rules your 9th house of broadening horizons. Try to push your boundaries during the next 4-weeks and do some things that scare you. See if you can expand the perpectives you currrently hold around lifestyle, perfection, wholeness, and systems to open new doors and dramtically different points of view.
AQ U ARIU S
Virgo Season lights up your 2nd hosue of value and self-worth. This is a season to reignite your ability to boost your sense of worth through feeling useful and of service. Volunteering or helping those in need may boost your confidence as you see your skills creating more wholeness in the world. Giving form to organiztion and refinement is a valuble skillset.
Are health and wellness mysteries starting to creep up on you? Virgo Season sheds a light on your 8th house of intimacy, psychology, power, control, and shared resources (wealth/debt). It’s time for you to unpack things hiding in the dark and secret corners of you soul. Take a good look at how they might be aserting control over you, over others, or allowing others to do so to you.
It’s your personal season, Virgo! With the sun lighting up your 1st house, you get your assertion, personality, and agenda reignited and in the front of the line with the cosmic powers. Although extra energy may be felt, it’s a time when you need to spring clean your life after a full tour around the Sun. It’s a time to find clarity for new direction and passion with the sun blazing down on you. Schedule a lot of ‘you’ time in the coming 4-weeks.
Virgo Season is all about your relationships and how you harmonize in your life. Finding balance between your inner and outer worlds will likley feel important over the next 4-weeks. If things are combative with partners as you move into this season, take a good look at whether you, or they, are being selfish. This is also a time when you may feel compelled to speak up for the underdog and be of service to those who need help finding wellness in life.
Virgo Season Ecology: Mapping Nature, Human & Cosmic Words by Ann Whittaker | Art Direction by Allie Couch Photography by Maria Cornon | Model, Holly Parkin
he science of ecology is a branch in biology that examines the relationships of organisms to one another and their physical surroundings. We humans are organisms relating to each other, other organisms, and our physical surroundings. Each season, we highlight the dynamics of a few relationships you are navigating day in and day out. Every day you are in relationship with nature, work (business), family, community (social), and your body. Here are ways to consider relating to each of these elements during Leo Season: NATURE: Gathering the Harvest There was little to do during Leo Season while the sun and earth were creating in abundance. We watched our gardens, our hearts, and our souls swell with goodness while we played and practiced siesta. But now, if we want to really ingest this growth, we must rise and get to work–deliberately so. Gathering the harvest takes intention and organization. Step back and make a list of all the ways you’ve grown, and make a plan about how you will set about using and sharing it
all in nourishing and meaningful ways. COSMIC: Planetary ruler of Virgo Season, Mercury, in retrograde (until the 5th) IN Virgo This may contribute to a slow Virgo Season beginning. Take time to be introspective about your planning and doing–experiment in your imagination and give things a little more time to gather nutrients from the soil before you put them to use. There’s no hurry here. Once the 5th comes around, you’ll have more clarity on which path you will continue and how. BODY: Overdrive Virgo rules the digestive system (stomach, intestines) and the spleen–part of the immune system. As the last sign in the zodiac to focus on the self, Virgo will organize everything you’ve gone through since Aries season to solidify your self-worth and self-confidence. Take time to find foods that your body digests well, and pay attention as your solar plexus chakra ignites your sense of self-worth.
SOCIAL: Criticism vs. serving and thoughtfulness Virgos brings out our most refining tastesâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;which can turn to criticism if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not careful. This season, use your insight to help others and bring a sense of thoughtfulness to all of your relationships. BUSINESS: Routine, detail, and analysis gets the job done. Fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris kick off on September 7th which is fitting (pun intended) because the axis of Virgo/Pisces rules fashion. And Virgo craftsmanship brings the Pisces dreaming and composition aspects to life. Back-to-school season brings us all back to a much-needed stable routine. Finally, let the games begin! College & NFL football come back with all the stat-driven Virgos ready to roll.
Words & Photography by Ann Whittaker
Express. USEFUL SERVICE “If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that--warm things, kind things, sweet things--help and comfort and laughter--and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.” - Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess I think I spend too much time picking at myself–like a scab that won’t heal because I wish it would just go away rather than letting it alone so that it can finally heal. Perhaps a remedy for all of our hearts, after a season of courageous Leo, would be to refine that new-found courage to a substance that allows us to forget ourselves and share our strength with others. After a season of warmth, fun, growth, and the spotlight, it feels good to simply get to work and let our heartful nature warm all of those around us. Of course, you can only be of service to others when you take care of yourself. Do a little investigating to find out where you are either neglecting yourself or spending too much time thinking about yourself–we all go in cycles, and it’s helpful to identify where you’re at and where you want to be. Most of all, “your heart is always full.” Use it. Share the harvest of warmth and goodness that you planted and nurtured throughout the summer. Make someone a meal from your garden, share something beautiful (in thought or object), bring laughter to a conversation, tell someone how you see them, help someone refine a skill that you know about, show someone that all the doors are open.
A WOVEN WHOLENESS Integrating the self for greater definition. Whole, integrated, organic, woven. These can be daunting words—ones that feel all too unachievable in our lives. These are the words that, as a Virgo Sun, I’d rather focus on than the ones
more superficially assigned to my sign (picky, snobbish, critical, analytical, organized). I resonate very deeply with the ones more holistic in nature. We all have Virgo in us. This sign isn’t embedded to make us robotic, boring, and dry. To the contrary, its placement in our charts shows us where we have
Words by Allie Couch Photography via Unsplash | Ashley Batz, Todd Quackenbush, Bady QB, Nigel Tadyanehondo, LoboStudio, Michael Podger
an organic ability to weave things into a work of craftsmanship. It takes discernment, critiquing, and a sharp ability to systemize in order to do this well, but it all stems from a need to make things whole. The mundane of our routines, working, eating, and exercising habits are threads that are intricately being woven to create our integral selves. Daily
rhythms and thoughtful awareness become sorcesry when attended to, refining and perfecting us, just as a spider masterfully crafts its web. Develop a deeper understanding of Virgoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mystical qualities by practicing mindfulness, studying mandalas, or learning a detailed craft.
“Sure, I’m a writer and a photographer, but (but!) I’m also the stars, I’m you, I’m my greatgrandmother midwife, I’m the nettle in the meadow, I’m the ocean.”
Wander. Words & Photography by Ann Whittaker This is Wholeness: You Are the Stars; You Are Roots in the Depths Come with me, and I will show you that you have always existed in some form or another. Come with me, and I will remind all of us that when we get down to it, when we shed the labels (mom, sister, doctor, artist, teacher), we really are simply the stars in the cosmos, the roots beneath the earth’s surface, and souls gathering and discarding bits and pieces as we move through life. This is a path we are making. We might as well be conscious about it. Come with me, and let’s wander to our essence. “[Scientists] agree that things are composed of atoms, which are themselves composed of subatomic particles, but they now say that these particles do not exist as independent entities– they can only exist as a part of the whole…A proton is made of non-proton elements, and it has a relationship with everything else in the cosmos…Our body is not static…it is a river made of cells…The river itself is always changing, always renewing itself…nothing can exist by itself alone…each thing exists only in relation to everything else.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, The Other Shore Sure, I’m a writer and a photographer, but (but!) I’m also the stars, I’m you, I’m my greatgrandmother midwife, I’m the nettle in the meadow, I’m the ocean. How to digest something so big? It’s an ongoing journey. Wander this path daily. Explore all the things you really are when you get bogged down by the things you think you are. You, dear Muses, are the cosmos.
Words by Michele Quan | Above Photograph by Sarah Elliot Artist and craftswoman of MQuan - handmde ceramics.
Be. ‘Live your life, Life your life, live your life’. These words, from Maurice Sendak ground me and send me on my way. If you haven’t heard the interview with him and Terry Gross CLICK HERE. While I like dreamy things, far off things, mind blowingly awe-some things, i.e. how far away the stars are, how lucky we are to have a moon so big and beautiful to look at, and how the light of it is really only the reflection of the sun. I also like labor–tasks, working with my hands, to-do lists, and organizing like-minded things together in my studio (which I attribute my Virgo rising). I like words and what they point to, what they symbolize, and, together, I put these things into my craft. The craft of making things, the craft of thinking about things, the craft of selling, producing and shipping things. I guess you could say that life is a craft. You craft your life. The Art of Living. Practice is perfect.
Ginger Fernet Cocktail Recipe By Ann Whittaker Photo by Adam Jaime
Celebrate. GINGER FERNET Fernet Branca is an Italian amaro that Argentinians can’t get enough of. Originally, this amaro was carried in pharmacies for its digestive powers (Virgo!). What’s in it? Depending on the brand, there could be a mix of herbs and spices that include: myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and saffron. Here’s a simple cocktail for you that includes learning how to make your own ginger syrup.
GINGER SYRUP 8 oz. peeled ginger, juiced Combine equal parts ginger juice and sugar. Shake until the sugar is dissolved. GINGER FERNET COCKTAIL 1 oz. Fernet Branca 3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice 1/2 oz. ginger syrup Soda water Crystalized ginger
DIRECTIONS: combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 10 seconds strain into glass over ice and add soda water garnish with crystalized ginger
Maria Corona, Cactus Salad: Interview & Recipe
By Allie Couch | Phtography by Maria Corona Some souls are kissed by an undefineable beauty. They emenate something that you want to be around and soak up. Maria Jose Corona Castillo has one of those souls. Hailing form Quertaro, Mexico and currently photographing beautiful events based out of Utah, Maria is a photographer and foodie that we’ve done some creative projects with. We’ve wanted to tap into her in a deeper way for some time. Food always ends up being at the center of our discussions and projects so we decided to surrender to this thread and ask her a bit about her connection to food through her Mexican heritage. In this Virgo Season interview, we dive deep into her roots through a honed and perfected family recipe, Ensalada de Nopalitos (Cactus Salad), that’s been passed down through the generations and that she has kindly agreed to share with us. Allie: Tell us a little bit about your roots in Mexico and how your love of cooking stemmed from your birthplace and/ or family. Maria: I’m not sure if there are enough words for me to express my deep love for Mexico, my birthplace. I was born in Queretaro located in north-central Mexico. A beautiful historic center with fountain-filled squares and stone streets lined with gorgeous bougainvilleas everywhere you look. Queretaro is full with good kind people who will do anything and everything to make you feel loved and welcomed. Everything back home goes around family, friends, food, music, dancing, lots of dancing. I find lots of joy and so much comfort in gatherings–big or small. I find true love in the deep conversations that happen around chopping ingredients, steering pots, and even cleaning dishes. I love to make others feel love and welcome–so, gatherings at my home are a must while I pamper the people I love the most because I strongly believe that food means nourishing not only your body but your soul, and I am honored to share that with the ones around me. Allie: What makes this recipe special to you? Any memories of making it growing up? Maria: Oh good heartwarming memories! To give you a bit of a background on this, my dad is a surgeon and my mom a pathologist and cytologist. They met in med school and have been together since. Saying that, I feel like cooking around my house was very methodical but also crazy? Haha! My mom is an excellent cook and baker, however, my dad, let’s say that although he cooks very yummy stuff, he goes by the premise that everything goes with everything. So creativity at cooking is his forte. Haha! I remember having this dish at my grandparent’s home and later on in my home. Going back to memories with this delicious dish, my dad would perfectly and carefully chop every ingredient like a good surgeon and ask my mom for specific sizes, amounts, and final expectations. I remember my mom playing “Pandora” on the speakers (a music group from back home, not the radio station) and cooking stuff in the stove. My dad, my sister, and I sitting on the island chopping and getting it all ready for my mom. Mmm, maybe I did more pick-eating than actual chopping. Allie: Is there anything you’ve added or changed about about this recipe as you’ve started making it in your adult life? Maria: Not really! Sometimes I add some cheese, although I don’t recall my mom adding that all the time. I think part of me keeping it as it was taught to me originality is part of honoring my memories and remember always where I come from. Some things are too perfect to be changed, right? Allie: Tell us a little bit about eating cactus and what you love about this food item, other ways you love to eat it, and how it’s so accessible in your home town?
Maria: Cacti are just too good not to eat! And also super simple to cook for people who get overwhelmed with complicated recipes with lots of steps. Cacti are seriously a no-brainer. There are so many good ways to eat a cactus! You can replace tortillas with grilled cacti leaves and add some toasty cheese like a quesadilla or your choice of meat with a splash of lime, add them finely chopped to your guacamole or instead of a tortilla chip, chopped to your breakfast eggs and so many more ways! Allie: What other kinds of Mexican dishes would you pair with this cactus salad? Maria: I guess it would depend on how you decide to eat this. As a side dish or as your main course (as tacos!). I love making this because it is a truly adaptable recipe to vegans, vegetarians, or the meat lovers. If it is as a side dish I would say a good cut of meat and a bit of rice or beans. If it’s made as a main dish vegetarian/vegan you could have them as tacos or add quinoa to it. Depending on your food choices, you can add avocado, cotija cheese, and a delicious hint of lime on top.
ENSALADA DE NOPALITOS | CACTUS SALAD Ingredients • • • • • • • • •
7 medium fresh cactus paddles cleaned. 1 lb tomatoes (about 3 cup) You can use 1lb of cherry or 5 plum tomatoes 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 6 Tbsp lime juice 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup chopped cilantro You can add 8oz chopped Panela cheese or sprinkle on top some Queso Fresco. It adds so much flavor and yummines to your dish. • Add some peppers finely chopped if you like a bit of spice! 1 Blanch and rinse nopalitos: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the nopalitos, return to a rolling boil and cook for 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Rinse with water for 1 minute to get ride of some of the slimmy texture.. 2 Toss with remaining ingredients: Place rinsed and drained nopalitos in a bowl with the chopped tomatoes, cheese, and onion. Toss with lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Fold in cilantro You can also, instead of boiling them, grilled the paddles! Cut them and add all of the ingredients. It is so amazing when they’re grilled. You can enjoy this nopalitos by itself or on a taco! So simple yet so full of nourishment.
Virgo Daily Rituals Words by Ann Whittaker Photograph by Chad Stembridge
There’s no better remedy for summer burnout than a dose of routine and organization–thank you, Virgo. In some ways ritual is synonymous with routine–we get in a rhythm that heals and serves ourselves and our communities in a way that sustains all the growth we’ve just experienced. Find wholeness as you begin to put all the pieces together this season. Here’s some daily suggestions to catapult you into this season of harvest: BODY Morning Check in with your body while you take deep inhales and exhales. Ask yourself a few questions: 1. How does my body need to move today? Yoga, a run, a nap, dancing, walking around the neighborhood? 2. What nourishment does my body need to feel loved and strong? 3. Who can I sit with and provide the calm and warmth of human touch? This could even be yourself, if you can’t think of friends or family you’d like to be with. Evening Thank your body for showing up. Get to bed earlier than you have been throughout the summer.
Bedtime routine should be sans electronic devices. Light a candle, read a book, breathe in the dark in your bed (inhale: “I am”, exhale: “whole”) until you slowly fall asleep. MIND Set a mindfulness alarm for every hour, and try to watch/observe your thoughts for 3 minutes. Check in with your thoughts. Are you worried or anxious? How does worry or anxiety help the people you work/interact with? How does it help you? What does being alive mean to you, right now? How did the last hour go? Would you repeat it, or is change in order? Do you feel whole? Remind yourself you’re whole, right now, without doing anything. Take a deep breath. SPIRIT Make a goal to do one thing for your spirit every day: take a walk in the mountains, take a 30 minute tea break in silence, get rid of one object that’s weighing you down, make yourself a nourishing meal, make a bouquet of flowers, say “no” to something/someone who is depleting you, say “yes” to something that you’ve always wanted, read a poem, write a love letter (to yourself!), draw a picture of the ocean, etc.
Photograph by Anda Ambrosini
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Individuality is only possible if it unfolds from wholeness.â&#x20AC;? - David Bohm
Virgo Yoga: Sustainability Words & Photography, Ann Whittaker | Yogi Model, Brooke Musat | Art Direction, Allie Couch
Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana :: (Wide-legged standing forward fold) Forward folds aren’t necessarily thought of as a balance pose, but when you add a twist your body’s weight distribution enters new territory. Drishti (where you focus your gaze) and breath are everything to keep from falling over. Steady your gaze on something in the distance while focusing your attention internally on the breath–mindfully “watching” each inhale melt into an exhale. Sometimes the work is easier when you don’t focus on the challenge of the work, but where there is calm and ease within the pose. • • • •
Stimulates digestion and circulation Detoxes and cleanses Tones abdominal muscles Reduces stress, anxiety, fatigue
Revolved Warrior II with hands behind head :: (Parivrtta Virabhadrasana II) As Virgo is the work horse of the zodiac, you’ll want to harvest as much energy as you can to sustain you through your ambitious (but efficient!) to-do lists. Perhaps summer has been good to you, and there’s a lot to harvest–you’ll need all the extra (natural) energy you can get to use everything you’ve gathered. This pose is named after the god Shiva–known for his many eyes, hands, feet, and clubs–you might just need to feel like you’ve got an extra hand or two as you digest everything on your plate. • Energizes the entire body, increases stamina • Stimulates abdominal organs
Reverse table top with eagle legs :: (Purvottanasana) This pose will definitely stoke your abdominal fire as you hug all of your muscles to the midline of your body to stay balanced. Intense poses take time to inhabit–so don’t rush it. If you want to sustain this pose, go through the process of setting up your foundation and moving into the pose with your breath. This pose is work and exposes the heart and abdomen. Be gentle to be efficient. • • • • •
Deep stretch to chest, abdomen, spine Builds strength throughout all core muscles Improves balance and posture Improved digestion and elimination Improved balance and focus
Making Friends with Your Inner Critic By Lauren Eimers-Wangrud, MEd, MS, CMHC, LCGC Photography by Thien Dang
“Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice.” - Joyce Carol Oates, Author, b.1938 Social media has made it impossibly easy to compare oneself to just about anyone these days, but the inner critic has never needed fancy technology or complicated means to make itself known. This often omnipresent voice can be blamed for discouraging personal growth to inciting anxiety attacks, so why would we want to cozy up to this internal critic? Virgos are known for their perfectionism and self-criticism, so let’s take this season to determine how our inner critic can serve us instead of stunt us.
your way. But this can prevent us from evolving and enkindling ourselves. This first step of viewing your inner critic as a friend instead of a foe can save precious energy and angst because we don’t have to fight with our friends, but we certainly can have a thoughtful conversation with them. Your inner critic may know your every fear and phobia, but they don’t have a clear perception of the possible good that can come from taking risks or chances. This is where an internal dialogue to speak pragmatically to yourself about the situation that caused this critic to surface can take place. In true Virgo form, a list of pros and cons can be helpful in trimming away the unwarranted worry and distill your decision down to the facts – something your inner critic can easily overlook.
“let’s take this season to determine how our inner critic can serve us instead of stunt us.”
We often hear we need to silence or ignore the voice that says “can’t” and “shouldn’t,” but failing to shut that voice off can leave us feeling like even more of a failure or phony. An argument can be made that instead of trying to ignore or battle this inner critic, a better use of that energy would be to acknowledge and understand why this voice is present and speaking to us. Try to think of your inner critic as an overlycautious friend – one who wants to protect you and keep you safe. This friend knows your deepest insecurities and vulnerabilities, so they can speak to your heart when challenges and changes come
You can challenge your fearful friend about the possibilities of the outcome if you did say “yes” to challenges and opportunities that come your way. Even revisiting instances where your inner critic had the upper hand and an opportunity was passed over can be helpful in exploring alternative results and where they could have taken you. Just because you declined to take on a different role or try something new in the past, don’t let your inner critic dictate your future decisions for you.
Unfortunately, this friend has also absorbed cultural norms and standards that can cause a person to look at their body, relationships, life goals, and other facets in their life, in an unfavorable and unrealistic light. This is where we need to remember, if this voice is speaking up, they are woefully misinformed about where true happiness lies and what gratitude can bring. Just as we’d remind a pessimistic friend about the positives, we can do this to ourselves. Thank our bodies for their ability to move us through our days, thank our wrinkles for marking the passage of time and the privilege to cultivate them, thank our unions and friendships for sustaining and supporting us. Honor your own processes and pace, realizing only you know what directions and cadence are best for you. Taking the time to explain this gratitude to your inner critic can be an exercise in self-acceptance. While our inner critic may be noisier during times of growth, showing it (and ourselves) a little compassion can work wonders. And over time, this noisy friend may find less and less to be worried about and you’ll find more time to say “I can” and “I will.”
“Honor your own processes and pace, realizing only you know what directions and cadence are best for you. ” 43
Myth & Archetype: The Potter Purification, service, and finding the sacred in the mundane. By Cherise Lily Nana of Muse Bespoke | Ceramics by Michele Quan
young woman sits in a studio filled with indigo-glazed pots, hanging plants, and mahogany shelves stacked with books on the art of ceramics. The sun streaming through the window kisses the back of her chair in the same spot it does each day, enveloping her with a warm sense of knowing. Between her legs, she cradles the pottery wheel, delicately yet firmly working the clay in her hands. She loves this practice, this craft that allows her to connect with the earth with such immediacy and grace. She is endlessly inspired by the process of making, bringing her skill and care to the objects while also knowing that the details of the end product are ultimately out of her control. We can learn so much about life by peering into the world of a Potter. As an archetype, this craftswoman teaches us all about the Virgoan themes of refining our offerings and defining where we can be of service. We begin by bringing order to chaos. A potter first removes all the tiny pockets of air from the clay. If this isn’t done properly, she runs the risk of having the object explode in the kiln during the firing stage. This process requires us to examine any holes in our current lifestyle. What are the gaps that need to be filled in our day-to-day existence? The Potter encourages us to go over the details of our habits and routines to work out where we could bring more efficiency into our world. It may seem mundane, but without creating this order in our daily lives, we deny ourselves the energy needed to be of service to others; if we constantly exist in a chaotic sandstorm, we’re not able to see more than a few feet in front of us.
Another piece of wisdom that we can gain from the Potter is the importance of purification. Ceramics are often utilized as water filters, and working with clay also involves purification in the firing stage. The flames in the kiln wash over the wares to set their form, evaporate moisture, and melt the glaze. Fire is known as a symbolic purifier across numerous cultures and mythologies; one of which is the Hindu fire god, Agni, whose triadic nature embodies fire, lightening, and the sun. Agni’s purpose is to transform the gross to the subtle, and in this way, fire can be used as a metaphor for burning off the parts of ourselves that could use a little refinement. Virgo is the midway point in the zodiac, and as such, bridges the gap between the personal and the transpersonal realms. In this way, you could say the task here is to burn through any dysfunctions in the ego, to embody a state that is more conducive to being of service to the greater good. A healthy ego is an important aspect of self, and balance is found somewhere between the underactive and overactive ends of the egoistic spectrum. So, much like ceramics require the right temperature in the kiln, we don’t want to destroy the inner resources of our ego altogether, but an element of purification enables us to refine its structure and connect with the world around us. After all, service is an essential part of our everyday lives. The Potter knows this. Her objects are made with love, and while they may not be as showy as other art forms, it is one of the most practical crafts that we all enjoy daily.
There is much beauty in savoring the flavors of our food, picked from the ripe earth, in these handmade earthenwares. The experience gifts us with the opportunity to connect with a sense of humility. To give ourselves over to the present moment of the everyday is a direct way to commune with our innate spirituality, and to witness an essence of the sacred in the mundane. 45
Shrimp Gazpacho Recipe by Lindsay LaPaugh, The Wellness Gypsy | Photograph by Dustin Couch
Virgo season initiates harvest season. Farmers have spent all year preparing their crops to be ripe, abundant, and overflowing. The Farmers Markets will be packed with perfectly ripe tomatoes, zucchini, fresh herbs, lettuce, garlic, onions, and peppers. Food this time of year doesn’t need a lot of extra seasoning or prep to taste amazing. It’s picked at its ripest and the flavors are vibrant that a little salt, pepper, and fresh herbs are all you need to make an amazing dish. Gazpacho, a traditional Spanish dish is one of my favorite ways to highlight the star of this month: tomatoes. Gazpacho is traditionally served cold, with tomatoes and a variety of fresh, raw vegetables. The recipe below features shrimp, but you can easily make this a vegan version and skip the shrimp all together. The best part about this soup? It tastes even better the next day. So grab yourself a loaf of local crusty bread and cool down with this summer favorite.
• • • • •
Combine first four ingredients (garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice) into a bowl, set aside.
• • • • • • • •
4 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED 2 TBSP OLIVE OIL 2 TBSP RED WINE VINEGAR 2 TBSP FRESH LEMON JUICE 1/2 LB. COOKED SHRIMP, PEELED, DEVEINED 6 LARGE TOMATOES, CHOPPED 1 BELL PEPPER 1/2CUCUMBER, SEEDED, CHOPPED 1/2 ONION, CHOPPED 4 CUPS TOMATO JUICE 2 TBSP FRESH BASIL, CHOPPED 2 TBSP FRESH PARSLEY, CHOPPED REAL SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE
Mix tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, tomato juice, basil, and parsley in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix olive oil and lemon juice mixture into bowl with veggies. Serve into bowls and add shrimp on top. Serve with fresh parsley, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Feel It All: Check the Boxes Words & Photograph by Katie Chirgotis of Eothen Many of us enjoy, even crave, a sense of purpose. We wake anticipating we have X amount to do in Y amount of time before Z deadline. A patterned expectation in our concept of what we’re “meant” to do – a tensile thread of Virgo in all of us. Let’s skew primitive with this notion of Purpose. At its most basic, we’re biologically positioned to make more of us. Hang on, hang on. I am the first to say, loudly, that as humans we struggle with over-population and the abuse of finite resources. I’m not party to the “house and a yard with a dog and 2.5 kids” algorithm. I do not have children, but am not close-minded to the shift. As a 30’s millennial in good health, fortunate enough to have been born into a relatively stable first-world country, it’s something that could happen. A sentiment shared by many fellow 30’s, millennial, healthy, stable friends who – can’t get pregnant. Infertility. Borderline taboo, talked about in hushed tones, rarely acknowledged. Why? One of my theories is the Virgoan desire for a body’s efficiency, clarity, effectiveness. Heavy expectations on our earthly forms are often “do what I need/want you to do but do it while I…” • • • •
Aim for perfection in all aspects of my personal and profession life. Achieve great feats, but with limited down time for body and mind. Remain “awake” in the world 24/7 by being digitally accessible and with nonstop presence on social media. Rely on pre-programmed widgets to track my steps, food intake, meditation practice, menstrual cycle, dating life, ad infinitum.
It’s generalized, and I could go on, but I bet you can check the boxes for your own experience. We are MANIACS. Like many, the Virgo sensibility has been one I’ve struggled to understand–associating with event planners, my tax accountant (Heather, love you), and OCD in various manifests. But in this exercise, when we consider our efforts toward perfection (Virgo) necessitating rigorous planning (Virgo) which requires an acute sense of awareness (Virgo) particularly in the realm of our health (Virgo) ESPECIALLY if we struggle in creation, in this case of more life (VIRGO) – the sensibility rings clear. Why do so many women and men hold silence as they carry the guilt and shame neatly packaged with the association that something’s “not working?” Perhaps this is where we work with the powerful aspects of complicated Virgo, no matter where or who we are in the journey. Turning attention back to essence, reclaiming the clarity of our inherent value. Refining our process, discarding the superfluous “extras” that just weigh us down and muddy up our energies. Awakening our senses to the body’s needs, honoring time to rest, to reflect. Deeply considering what we need to be in good health. Tapping into our wholeness through non-judgement, key components in allowing for to whatever our personal shift may be. Caring for ourselves, and caring for each other. The tensile thread of Virgo, pulling us ever closer to understanding the clean outline of being human.
Virgo New Moon: September 19/20th By Astrologist Allie Couch | Photograph by Jinen Shah We’ve just embarked on a new trend with our monthly New Moons. For the past year, the New Moon gateway-moments in time, when intentions start to form, have been arriving in the early degrees of each sign. The intentions that arise at New Moons push our evolution for the year ahead, specifically around the themes that the sign it falls in holds. The first ten degrees of a sign, where the past year of New Moons have taken place, are ones that are still pushing into a new energy. A beginner’s mind may be feeling like an extension of us due to this—especially as we’re also navigating a 1 numerological year, ruling fresh beginnings. Lots of new starts and awkwardness has been rubbing against our boundaries and making us hit some walls around our understandings. This trend will slowly start to change as last month Leo had two New Moons—the second one reorienting the timing of our coming New Moons to fall in the last degrees of the signs they are in. This September’s Virgo New Moon has a lot to absorb going into it. Let’s take a quick look at last year’s Moon to help us grasp what I mean by this. We had our Virgo New Moon as a solar eclipse on September 1st in 2016. This meant that not only were we forming Virgo intentions in an early-ish degree of this sign, but an eclipse is also a reset button when we start new 8-9 year cycles for themes pertaining to the sign. It’s a time when the rhythm of the earth, Sun, and Moon gets disrupted and a new one starts to form.
Productivity, quality, wholeness, wellness, service, a need to be needed, and craft are all on the rise and getting redefined in our lives. The specific degree of last year’s eclipse pointed toward trying to wrap our heads around duality and the transcendence of duality. It may be something we’ve poked and prodded at since last September and are likely just starting to grasp in a more whole way. A strong ability should now be arising in us to realize just how complex life, and we, are—and to be able to see above that in order to see outside of our dualistic shadows. This year, the Virgo New Moon will fall in the 28th of 30 degrees of Virgo. This degree is a very transformative one and will certainly push us in challenging, but ultimately fulfilling, ways over the next year. We may be faced with certain crisis and decisions as the Virgo Moon ebbs and flows through our lives in the next 12 months. Ones that will test our character, our ability to work hard, and our ability to be decisive in the face of tough choices. The events that arise, likely and especially at the Virgo Full Moon in February, will show us a new way of pushing ourselves and result in a wholeness of character that we did not know we were capable of. We may face necessity of crucial change in health matters, lifestyle, work duties, or in things pertaining to our nurse and nanny archetypes. It may be time to cut the chords of dependence on being needed so that we and others can push ourselves to be more whole unto ourselves and not because we are depended on. On the other hand, we may be forced with decision of having to get help or make others get help when there’s a strong need for dependence in order for recovery or wellness. There’s a lot of grey matter to navigate in the health and wellbeing of everyone and everything and this will likely be a year that reveals just how far we can push ourselves with decisiveness and transformation. Culturally, societally, and politically this may be seen through currently failing Virgoan topics such as healthcare, welfare, or prescription drug epidemics. Those who see the decay of these programs may feel a need for unpostponable decisions. Recognition in our abilities could arise, as much as it terrifies us, to be able to step in and be catalysts for absolute necessity in transformation. Many government and other systems could be faced with needs for decisive action. Looking at the other planets involved with this New Moon, we get a few more layers to think about. Quinqux erratic and revolutionary Uranus, this Moon could at times have us needing to be different and go against the grain to truly revolutionize the brilliant ideas we have. Goddess asteroid Ceres is sextile, coming in with some of her gifts: nourishment and bounty. We may have more resources available to us for our wellness efforts if we take the time to look and be resourceful. Trust your gut over the next year, dear Muses. When difficult decisions arise that test your resolve and your ability to put all of you forward with intricate wholeness, these tests can be met with the magic of Virgo. An energy just as profound that will manifest in a deeper and more capable version of you.
Pisces Full Moon: September 6th By astrologist Ash Bonelli | Photograph by Conrad Dear Muses, Changing of the tides is what we will call this particular full moon. Lunar experiences always usher in a shift in the emotional current, but with all of the other energetic changes occurring at the same time there is added gravitas. Full moons are an opposition between the sun, our current solar path, and the moon, our mood. This zodiacal staring contest plays off of one another to help create universal balance and to remind us that each sign has something to offer the other. Shadow and light can only exist with the integration of the other. This full moon falls in the sign of Pisces. The visionary of the zodiac that is meant to paint the fantasy that we strive towards. The sun is shining upon luna from the sign of Virgo. The sign that represents the work we must craft in order to reach that beautiful fantasy. Both signs are very creative in their own way. One creates with its mind and the other with its hands. The two can execute a person’s full potential when both energies are fully engaged. Sitting right next to the moon is Neptune, the modern day ruler of Pisces. This ethereal combo has multiple manifestations. It could heighten our ability to see behind the veil of any illusions or on the flip side it can create some. Pisces and Neptune are slippery slopes to traverse. Add the moon and you’ve got an extra dash of feelings to fuel your dreams. You will want to take the high octave here and use this energetic conjunction to take notice of your thoughts, emotions, and intuitive insights but don’t drown in them. We can go off on psychic-fueled love benders with bad people or substances so easily during these particular cosmic events. Up the selfcare, do something creative and pay attention while driving please! Only have your head in the clouds while soaking in a nice hot bath. Also joining the party is Mars moving to Virgo on the same day. He leaves his fiery kingdom to embark upon the earthy, grounded soil. This shift from Leo to Virgo is quite striking in energetic tone and we will definitely feel it. We’ve just endured a month of passionate and illuminating eclipses that we must now take stock of and put into action. Virgo likes precision, hard work, and dedication. Crossing off a list of to-do’s while attaining their goals is a dream come true. It takes that level of focus to make some of our dreams manifest though. All of those details that are not so fun represent the bridge we must cross to attain our hearts wishes. See, both the sun and moon play important roles here. That balance of opposites creates worthy results.
Mercury has been in Virgo for an exceptionally long duration due to him being retrograde, but, as of yesterday, he went direct! Now that the retrograde is over it’s time to weave in the lessons we learned through his backtracking sojourn. Mercury rules Virgo, so this was an extra powerful retrograde. Conveniently, all of these changes are happening around the same time. The bits of insight you gained from this particular retrograde are there to help you process the wisdom of this full moon. This moon is sort of a grand finale to the retrograde, as well as all of the fiery energy of the last month. Pisces is here to calm, soothe, and give us some much needed rest. Lastly, this is all leading us up to the final Jupiter/Uranus opposition on the 28th. This aspect has been in play since December 2016 when the story began. We had another hit in March, which gave us some awareness around the heart of the story line. Now as we approach the final opposition we will see the results play out. Jupiter in Libra has been amplifying the need to relate, connect, and create harmony. Uranus in Aries has been all about independence and freedom. This opposition has been asking us how we can create both elements in our lives. How can we be free yet committed and involved? Do our relationships hinder our independence? If so, is it us or them? These are all questions to start pondering under this dreamy full moon. All of these threads weave together in the bigger picture of our lives. To find the freedom to achieve our heart’s desires we must get out of our own way, get focused, be open to change, call on friends when we need help and keep the dream alive. Happy Full Moon & the new season ahead! xx Ash
Find Greater Wholeness Through
Fascilitation & Inquiry
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A Mindfullness Polarity Practice
By: John Kesler of IPPI (Integral Polarity Practice Institue)
1 . T W E L V E MINUTES
2 . A PEACEFU L SPOT
3. A Q U IET MIN D
In this eight minute audio recording, John Kesler of Integral Polarity Practice shares some thoughts around how the polarity of asserting knowledge/ yeilding to knowledge relates to the season of Virgo and its qualities of discernment and flourishing.
This is a quick audio, but the concepts introduced are ones that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need peace and quiet to consider and absorb. Our suggestion would be to listen to this in the peace of you own home in an area where you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be disturbed by other people or noises.
The last few minutes of this audio will guide you through a meditative practice that will help you to quiet your mind and find greater openess to being present in the moment. Learn how to connect to this calm place, helping you to find more emergent and spontaneous creativity.
Cultivating Virgo Four good practices during late-summer. By Allie Couch & Ann Whittaker
RE AD T H I S
MINDFULNESS: Committ to a morning routine that allows you to be with your breath and gets you in touch with what’s importatnt about your coming day. It can help you to approach all that comes at you with more presence and mindfulness. Breathe in, breathe out. Stay with the breath, stay with your body, feel the rhythm and how natural it is to live when all you have to focus on for 15 minutes is breathing. This short morning practice of sitting with yourself, witnessing what arises in you without judging, and finding space between mind and matter, can help you tune into a frequency that’s a bit more refined. Life slowly but surely takes a purposeful detour as you find a strengthened resillience and a more positive reaction to stress. It may not be nirvana that presents itself to you in this small morning commitment, but your personal culture does shift.
ESSENTIALISM: By Greg McKeown. I’m not quite sure when “having it all” became a cultural ambition, but when I think about it now, after trying for most of my life to “have it all,” I’m just tired and worn out and feel defeated. Maybe I don’t want it all. I don’t want everything at the buffet because maybe I don’t actually enjoy all of that food–especially all at once. Essentialism is a guide book to help you digest through “it all” to discover what the right things are for you at the right time. “It’s about the pursuit of the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.” Perhaps you could say it’s about living seasonally within your own personal cosmic makeup.
FEEL WEL L
P U RE OB S E S S I ON
STREAMLINE: In a season when we feel the need to be our most productive and our most efficient, we can turn our superhuman, analytical power inward to reflect on our days. The point of Virgo Season is not to stress us out, but it can get way out of control if we aren’t careful. The point is to make us whole. Being whole also means cutting out the superfulous. Instead of trying to do and be everything, be more by cutting things from your life and routines. Simlify your lifestyle.
HOLISTIC: In everything you do, be thoughtful and ask questions that help you to see a full story. For example, in purchasing produce, learn about the farm that grew the item. Do they treat their people well? Do they treat the planet well? Are they local, regional, or a big conglmerate? By getting a more full picture and weaving the story of this item into the story of your life, you may see that this item doesn’t cultivate wellness—or it may cultivate wellness in many lives and locales.
Photgraphy: Stefan Stefancik, Aga Purta, Jacob Townsend, Jesse Belleque
The U.S Progressed Chart Unfolds a New 36 Year Cycle By Allie Couch Photograph by Philipp Henzler
There is a lot going on with the sign of Virgo these days. The royal star Regulus moved in a few years ago igniting a new kind of feminist movement that’s getting stronger by the year. In my opinion, it’s also totally redefining some female and earth magic archetypes as well as uncovering forgotten and buried histories of what this sign embodies. This is a whole article on its own that CosmoMuse will dive deeper into in our next yearly guide. This month I wanted to share something that’s based on my own observations and instincts. Just to be up front, not all astrologist will agree with me, and that’s okay. Based on the timing that I have, over many years, watched, tweaked, and rectified, I have landed on a time that I believe is accurate for the birth of the U.S.A, as a nation. If my time is correct, then this nation’s progressed ascendant entered Virgo in April of 2015. This is no small thing. In my lifetime, this is the first time the ascendant has progressed into a new sign. I was born after Leo took ruler-ship in September of 1976. All the changes, resisting, new emphasis, and different perspective that we are seeing in the U.S., is in part to do with this big shift in gears. This is a long transit that we are diving into that will last until July of 2053. Now, more than ever, it’s time to understand the energy of Virgo, to see how she will play out in the complexities of this young nation (who has yet to experience all rising signs), and to know how to work with her energy to be a more active part in being able to mold and visualize what can be done with her powers. This is the first time that we are seeing and initiating through the prism of Virgo’s eye in this nation. This will bring new skill, an emphasis on craftsmanship, quality over quantity, wellness, discernment, purity, perfection, and critiquing.
Photograph by Aaron Burson
Three Trends To Watch: U.S. Progressed Ascendant in Virgo Discrimination & Discernment Our country is waking up to discrimination in a more whole way. Every sign has light and shadow. We are seeing this very clearly in Virgo’s domain right now. Virgo is the master of discrimination and discernment—which can be good and bad. We need discernment to recognize that our nation has been guilty of gross discrimination (and to do something about it). On the other hand, in the negative, those who can’t see the beauty of diversity internally, thus externally, use discrimination to discern in the name of purity. We will prioratize the wholeness of this issue for many years. Skill & Service Craftsmanship, holistic living, serving, feeling useful, and qulaity over quantity will grow in popularity. Too much of any sign can grow some pathologies. Nearly 39 years with Leo taking the lead in the U.S.’s chart has turned us into a nation of over-consumers and feeling entitled to the spotlight. We’ve grown much strength, creativity, and courage, but our time has come to show that we can turn our star powers into something productive and of use. It’s our new mission to refine, become a more skilled people, and to share and care for our neighbors. Once Virgo is done with us, we could see national pathologies around criticism and exactitude. Health & Wellness The wellness of a nation can make us stronger and more capable. Healthcare, welfare, drug dependency. These are obvious issues for Virgo to be shoving in our faces. If we can get a handle on things, Virgo will push for a new focus on wellness and preventative health. An emphasis on healthy lifestyles is what Virgo wants for us. It’s a sign that can push into overworking but at its core, it wants a well-rounded lifestyle that is healthy and effective. I’m sure this will need a surge of grassroots help before the government will take it seriously, but now is the time to push for wellness, more work/life balance, and holistic approaches to living. WHOLENESS: At it’s core, with all of its quirks that may drive us a bit mad: critiscisms, picking apart, putting back together, tweaking, refining , and exactitude, Virgo just wants us to be whole, to become skilled at life, and to help each other out. Don’t give into critiscism for the sake of criticism. Give constructive notes rather than sarcastic retorts. Be thoughtful in your service rather than cynical in judgements. Get to know yourself wholly, your neighbors wholly, strangers wholly, and then the nation wholly. Work hard to find your essence and become masterful at sharing that essence. Be useful and helpful. Use discrimination and discernment for innovation rather than out of fear. Make the next 36 years a time when you contribute to the diversity, effectiveness, and wellness of this nation. 61
Fresh Juice by Sign Words & Styling by Astrologist Allie Couch Photography by Ann Whittaker
All systems go. Virgo is a wizard with systems–including our body’s systems. With Virgo Season lording over our health, it’s the perfect time of year to take a good look at the parts of the body that each of our signs rule and make sure that we are giving them thoughtful care with a boost in nutrients that speak directly to us. Be sure to look at both your Sun sign and rising sign, and then flip the page for custom juice concoctions for each. Aries: Head, eyes, brain Taurus: Throat, neck, thyroid, ears Gemini: Lungs, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, parasympathetic nervous system Cancer: Chest, womb, hormones Leo: Hair, spine, heart Virgo: Sympathetic nervous system, gut, intentines, digestive system, spleen Libra: Kidneys, adrenal glands, endocrine system, butt Scorpio: reproductive organs, bowels, bladder, excretory system Sagittarius: Hips, thighs, liver, sciatic nerve, pituitary gland Capricorn: Bones, joints, skin, teeth, skeletal structure Aquarius: Shins, calves, ankles, circulatory system Pisces: Feet, toes, adipose tissue, lymphatic system
TAURUS Choose items that will clear and sooth your throat: anit-inflamatory, mucus clearing, cough suppressing, antiseptic, astringent, antibacteria. 3/4 cup water 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 Tbsp raw, local honey 1 tsp grated fresh ginger 1 tsp cayenne pepper
ARIES Fats and carbohydrates for the brain and vitamin A for the eyes. 1 cup coconut water 1 Tbsp avacado oil 1 Tbsp chia seeds 1/2 cup kale juiced 1/2 cuo broccoli greens juiced 1 cup blueberries 64
CANCER Lauric acid for for hormone production, omega 3 fatty acids for homone balance, carrot fibers to detox excess estrogen. 3/4 cups fresh apple juice 1/4 cup carrot juice 2 Tbsp chia seeds 1/2 banana blended 2 Tbsp coconut oil
GEMINI Folic acid for tissue development in parasympathetic nervous system, potassium for nerve health, and B6 & calcium for proper nerve function. 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice 1 cup of spinach juiced 1 cup of kale juiced 65
VIRGO Take care of digestive tract, restore electrolytes and potassium, anti-inflamatory, lower cholestoral to regulate bowel function, herbs that speed up and digestion and ease indigestion. 3/4 cup fresh apple juice 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 Tbsp chia seeds 2 Tbsp fresh juiced mint 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
LEO Items that lower cholesterol, reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol, folic acid to reduce homocysteine, high potassium. 3/4 cup grapefruit juice 1/4 cup pineapple juice 1 kiwi juiced 1 mango juiced 66
SCORPIO Green superfoods for potency, spices that promote circulation, energy flow, and stimulates nervous system. 3/4 cup fresh pear juice 1/3 cup green kale juiced 1/3 cup red kale juiced 1/3 cup spinach juiced 2 cloves garlic juiced 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
LIBRA Fresh fruits and veggies with lower potassium for your kidneys and good iron. 1/2 cup fresh apple juice 1/2 cup fresh pear juice 1 peach juiced 1/2 cup of blueberries 1 cup of kale juiced 67
CAPRICORN High calcium, anti-inflamatory items, and lots of anti-oxidants. 1 cup fresh apple juice 1 cup blueberries juiced 4 medium carrots juiced (preferably different colors)
SAGITTARIUS Support cleansing, chlorophyll to soak up toxins, glutathione to cleanse harmful toxins, flavaniods and beta-carotene. 3/4 cup fresh apple juice 1/2 cup fresh beet juice 1 cup of spinich juiced
PISCES Detoxifying fruits, superfood greens for removing harmful chemicals and toxins, omega 3 fatty acids for lymph flow, nutrient-dense green powders for an extra immune boost. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1 cup raspberries juiced 1 cup kale juiced 1 cup spinich juiced 2 Tbsp chia seeds 2 Tbsp Spirulina or Chlorella
AQUARIUS Citrus and vitamin C to thin blood and strengthen capillary walls, improving circulation, iron for red blood cells, spices for increasing metabolic rate. 1 cup fresh grapefruit or orange juice 1 cup broccoli greens juiced 1 tsp fresh grated ginger 1 tsp cayenne pepper 69
Virgo Season Shopping Guide
Muse stylings for the holistic sorcery of Virgo Season. Functional symbols, practical organics, and craftmanship have us reminded of the importance of detail and finishing work.
EYE BY MQUAN
LIMITLESS HOOP EARRINGS
CERAMIC FRENCH PRESS
ROOT + RISE ALL HEAL BALM
Beacuase symbols of awareness help us remeber. We have fallen in love with this beautiful handmade ceramic eye. It serves as a great reminder to keep up your mindfulness and awareness practices. Place it near your alter or in the room where you practice meditation or yoga. XS, S & L.
Because you’re whole. Just the right size and they’re simplistically elegant to go with any look.
Because you might need a pretty little pick-me-up with all the working you’ll be doing. 850 mL. Brew perfect, full-bodied coffee in the traditional french press method. This handmade ceramic press pot is a functional and beautiful addition to your kitchen table.
Because our skin needs wellness too. This 8 herb balm has healing properties to aid any ailment from a bite to a burn. Virgo is our master apothecarist with wellness and healing being embedded in their DNA. Let this season infuse some of it’s herbal wisdoms in you with this blam for all uses.
Purchase HERE for $165 - $450
Purchase HERE for $54
Purchase HERE for $120
Purchase HERE for $14 -$28
SAMAYA MEDITATION CUSHION
LIVE EDGE CUTTING BOARD
CATORI LIFE PYRAMIDS CUFF
Because you’ll need some comfort and breathing this season. The most essential and versatile cushion for any meditation practice. Whether you’re sitting for hours or a moment, our classic round cushion helps keep your posture at an ideal natural balance so you can stay relaxed and alert during meditation without muscular strain.
Because you need many tools with you. Handmade in Morocco, this straw and genuine leather strap backpack is the ideal tote. Whether you’re riding a bike or walking with your craft tools, the backpack makes a style statement and keeps your hands free. Just as convenient for grabbing a few groceries at the farmer’s market, this basket bag is your new summer necessity.
Because your kitchen deserves to be beautiful and whole. Elegantly shaped wood cutting boards, available in a variety of sustainably harvested species. Handcrafted by local San Francisco wood worker, Luke Bartels. Each board is meant to be well-loved and used, simply oil with a natural cutting board oil after washing.
Because you deserve to wear a statement that indicates your wholeness. The pyramid is the spiritual symbol for the union of self and soul, self, and source. Representing expanded awareness, energy, and strength. The perfect piece of jewlery to push into your inner Virgo qualities of awareness and wholeness. Use code COSMOMUSE at checkout for 25% off.
Purchase HERE for $79
Purchase HERE for $62
Purchase HERE for $100
Purchase HERE for $68
A Guided Breathwork Practice Press the Audio Icon Below
Healing With Virgo Energy
By: Allie Couch
38-Minute Late-Summer Breathwork Pair with THIS Spotify Playlist.
Let your body’s intelligence & heart find clarity and speak to you about your deepest truths. Recently trained in holding space for this healing breathwork, I wanted to bring this to the CosmoMuse family and platform in a way that was accessible to all Muses. Grab a blanket and find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed—some also like to hold crystals or sea stones during the process. If you are familiar with clearing energy, go ahead and do that with sage or cedar, as well as put any oils on that are speaking to you. A mist of water or rose water will also help to integrate all four elements into the room. Of course this is all optional. If these things are unfamiliar to you, not to worry. This is just
a preference that some have to clear a little extra space for the energetic body to work through you. This process will clear and open your chakras as well oxegenate your body. It’s totally safe, although some will experience some discomfort, intense tingling, and hand curling. If at anytime you feel unwell, it is up to your discreation to pause or stop altogether. I have not heard of anyone who’s been hurt by this breathwork, but it intensely pushes energy around so can feel strange and unfamiliar. Lay down, grab a blanket and press play.
Chinese Medicine: Late Summer Wellness Tips By Melissa Zapp, owner of Flow Acupuntcure | Photography by Ann Whittaker Acupuncture & Natural Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah Chinese Medicine recognizes five distinct seasons instead of just the four we celebrate in the western world. This unique fifth season is referred to as “late summer” and begins the 3rd week of August and extends until the Fall Equinox. It is the shortest season of the year, lasting only 4-6 weeks. Late summer is ruled by the Earth element in Chinese Medicine and is represented in the body by the spleen. Earth element is all about grounding and nourishing the body, and during late summer the best way to encourage this is to avoid extremes. MODERATION IS KEY during this time of year, and making sure you aren’t participating in any unbalanced habits or lifestyle activities (for example: too much heat/cold weather, too much/too little food, too much/too little work or sleep, etc.) is essential for spleen health and reaping all the benefits the earth element has to offer. The Earth element is held within the spleen (and its partner, the stomach) in Chinese medicine. The spleen has many important jobs within the body, including regulating metabolism and digestion, obtaining nutrients from food to nourish your muscles and blood, mental focus, and overall energy levels. The spleen needs nutrients from food to do its job, and therefore we must provide it with healthy, nutrient-rich foods. Spleen loves warm, cooked foods (too many raw fruits and veggies can be taxing on the spleen over time) and the best foods for a healthy spleen are yams, pumpkin, squash, rice, millet, beans, mushrooms, chickpeas, and fresh ginger. Follow these additional tips to enjoy a splendid, grounded late summer that feeds your body and mind!
1. CAL M Y O UR MIND
3. FLEX YO U R MU SCLES
A happy spleen allows you to feel grounded, nourished, and secure. However, when spleen/earth gets out of balance the mind begins to feel anxious and full of worry and ruminating thoughts. If you have struggled with anxiety or excessive worry, late summer is the BEST time to retrain your brain and calm your mind. Starting a meditation practice and learning mindfulness or cognitive-behavioral techniques are great ways to regain mental balance and clarity. Eating earth-nourishing foods, acupressure/acupuncture, and exercise will all help your mind integrate these new habits and rewrite old thought patterns.
The spleen is responsible for building healthy, strong muscles. Bodies that have a hard time gaining muscle mass, or have soft, weak muscles can be due to a spleen that isn’t functioning optimally. Feeding your spleen with it’s favorite foods (see above) and nourishing your muscles with nutrients and blood will help gain more tone and strength and will usually show an improvement in energy and digestion too!
Mental focus, or “yi” (pronounced ‘yee’) which allows us to concentrate and intensely focus on one task at a time is also ruled by the spleen. Any difficulty in concentrating and staying on-task (think ADD or OCD) can arise from a spleen imbalance. Late summer is a great time to improve mental focus and strengthen your yi. A good exercise for this is to challenge yourself to do ONE task at a time throughout each day, especially eating (this means no watching tv, reading, or working during your meals!)
2. AC U P RE S S URE: S P L EE N- 3 The earth acupoint on the earth meridian, Spleen 3 is a POWERFUL point to nourish and ground. Any issues with digestion (constipation, loose stools, stomach ache, etc) or low energy can be helped with this point, in addition to clearing mental fog and improving concentration. Located on the inside of the foot, at the base of the metatarsal joint of the big toe.
Making sure your muscles have proper blood flow via daily stretching, yoga, and movement is key to helping your spleen during this process. Being sedentary makes it hard for your body to circulate blood, so be sure you are getting movement every day, especially if you sit at a desk all day long. Gentle weight training (don’t overdo it! Moderation is key!) is a good way to help your spleen slowly and effectively build new muscle tissue that is healthy and strong.
4. ACU PREASSU RE: STOMACH -36 Another Earth point, ST-36 is referred to as the “sea of nourishment.” For anyone feeling burned out, fatigued, or emotionally drained this point is essential to start rebuilding your energy reserves. This point is on the stomach meridian and is also the ruler of the abdomen which benefits any issues like nausea, appetite, digestion, or abdominal pain. It is a point famously used for energy, strength (both physical and emotional,) longevity, and boosts immunity. Ancient texts describe it as though it is one of the keys to immortality! This point is located one hand-width below the knee (or next to the ‘tibial tuberosity’ on your shin) on the outside of your shin bone.
Photograph by Britt Chudleigh of a CosmoMuse Full Moon Mingle. Lauren Brady of Suacey and Kitsch | Prop Styling Allie Couch | Art Direction & Design
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JOIN THE PART Y!!! Host your own Full Moon Mingle and feel like part of a world wide Moon Party. Simply plan a party on or near the Full Moon. It can be as simple as a potluck with close friends or an elaborate shindig, possibly hosted by a bar or in tandem with a birthday party. Post a pic to IG with the tag #CosmoMuseMoonMingle Compare notes on how Lady Luna impacted the night. We’ l l g a t h e r a l l o f t h e t a g g e d p a r t y p i c s a n d c r e a t e a g l l e r y o n o u r blog where we can all comment and talk about the night’s vibe. Stylize Let the night be easy and free-form. The point is to allow people to r e fl e c t o ff o f e a c h o t h e r , j u s t a s t h e s u n i s d o i n g w i t h t h e m o o n . W e fi n d o u r p e r f e c t m i r r o r s w h e n a l l o w e d t o m o v e a r o u n d a n d c o n n e c t . Ta k e a w a y s We’ l l p o s t s o m e f u n i n f o m r a t i o n a l d o w n l o a d s 1 w e e k b e f o r e t h e Fu l l Moon to have on hand at your Mingle. Simply set them out on a small table as takeaways or conversation starters.
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