Fly Your Freak Flag: Doing Virgo New School

be your freaky self!I have reached that stage in life where I am finally thankfully starting to not give a sh** what other people think of me. I talk to my flowers. I do past life healings. I deeply enjoy watching the birds at my bird feeder. The highlight of my week (last week) was having a bear in my kitchen. I love to knit, do crosswords, and I haven’t seen Breaking Bad or The Sopranos or Orange is the New Black.

In other words, I’m pretty sure I’m not hip.

I say things that my bonus teens think are really weird.

But you know what? I love that I am my own kind of freakity freak and I’m gonna let that flag fly. Finally.

And so what does this have to do with Virgo?

(Just to track the planets, Jupiter has started his trip through Virgo. Mercury is in Virgo. The sun will ingress into Virgo on the 23/24th of the month depending on your time zone.)

I want a new definition of Virgo. I want some new school, kick-ass associations with this oft-maligned sign.

But Elia, you say, you can’t just change the archetypal meaning of a Zodiac sign because you want to.

Well, yeah, yes I can. Because though we always stay rooted in the ancient stories and associations, I believe astrology is a living art that evolves to reflect the society it is serving. Not all astrologers would agree with me; that’s fine. I want to recognize the aspect of Virgo–virgin–that means she is unto herself. As in, belonging to no person. Un-merged. Whole.

virgo

In her high vibration, this shows up as energy that is in service to the world in a way that is individually crafted, we could even say, artisanal.

Virgo knows her own way. Sets her own bar. Makes her own rules. As I see it, she’s got her freak flag and she flies it!

Typically Virgo gets a bad rap. Associated with accountants and engineers and button-up types, you wouldn’t necessarily associate the archetype of Virgo with freaks or freakishness. But the anal retentive, critical reputation of this sign is earned from the shadow attributes–and nothing to do with Virgo rocking her unique identity.

use-jupiter-transits-astrology-forecasts-800x800Virgo is often identified with the idea of our patriarchal interpretation of the word virgin. That is someone who is sexually “chaste” and often demure, innocent, or powerless.  But the temple virgins who worshipped Vesta, in Roman times, were powerful priestesses who had a tremendously important role in society. They were sexual virgins, true, but they were able to remain unto themselves, that is, belonging to no man. No usual obligations to marry and bear children.

In Greek times the sacred temple virgins, or “prostitutes” of Aphrodite were integrated as a part of Greek religious practice, and they were sexual and powerful. Sacredly sexual priestesses. Also belonging to no man, able to remain unto themselves.

I’m not really inspired to give a lecture here on the goddesses of ancient civilization–nor am I qualified. What is interesting to me is the “unto herself” part of Virgo. The inner core of self-reliant, self-understanding which is the high vibration of this sign. The energy of Virgo that says, I fly my freak flag, because I depend on no-one’s opinion to be “good enough.”

With the upcoming flurry of activity in Virgo, I say let us find the ways the we individuate ourselves and be proud of that. I say, let’s celebrate how we are continually evolving and unfolding beings, offering our best self to the world. Let’s embrace discernment and leave that whole judgy thing behind.

Virgo new school!

How do you fly your freak flag? I want to know!

IMG_0076xo

Elia

ps: my man-friend hates this picture of me–but I love it, cause it was a funny day wearing my hilarious friend’s ginormous glasses! freak-on!

pps: Jupiter is said to be in detriment in Virgo. This is astro-speak for not operating well. I say phtttt! to that . . . Virgo is wise, ever growing; Jupiter is wise, ever expanding . . . Virgo’s temperance can curb Jupiter’s intemperance–sounds like a great combo to me!

For Some Reason I Want to Talk About Food

what does food have to do with astrology?It’s crazy, but when I checked in with what I wanted to write about today–maybe Venus, maybe the activation of the Solar feminine–all that kept coming up was food.

Well, okay. I love to talk about food, eat it, make it. I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting. (I do have Taurus on my Midheaven and Jupiter in the first house.) And Jupiter is in Virgo, which rules health.

Lately, in an effort to create better health, I began experimenting with a mostly raw diet. I did my research–but not really until after diving in for about 10 days. And not feeling better.

Ten days isn’t really enough time to conduct an accurate survey of a fairly radical diet change–I do get that. And I knew that detox symptoms would possibly occur. I wasn’t worried about that–it was the crazy heartburn I started having. I don’t have heartburn when I eat bacon and cheese and chocolate–now why when I’m eating super clean?

It was frustrating. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t being “rewarded” for my efforts at being a super clean raw eater. I mean, when you try hard, doesn’t that mean you should succeed?

Enter a limiting belief: success is hard won–and if you try hard and don’t succeed you just aren’t perfect enough.

Whoa! Do I believe that? Somewhere I do . . . and that is very classic Virgo thinking (in its shadow, of course). Remember we are in the Venus retro cycle, which began at 0º Virgo, though she’s currently conjunct the sun in Leo.

Virgo in nature
John Wm. Godward’s Golden Hours

Also Jupiter has just entered Virgo, conjunct the 0º mark. Whatever sign Jupiter is in, we feel an expansion of all the energies of that sign. Light or dark, all the tendencies of Jupiter will flow to grow them. Yes, it’s true that Jupiter is considered in astrology to be a benefic (helpful) planet. But as we embrace whatever Jupiter has to teach us, sometimes we learn through excess, or the multiplication of something we don’t want!

As I did. I was making these dreamy bars filled with cashew cream, slathering cashew cheese on my flax crackers, and filling collard leaves with a spicy chipotle paste made with sunflower seeds. This raw thing is pretty easy, I thought, and the foods are super fun to make!

I really hardly ever ate nuts in my previous diet. Besides coconut oil and sprinkling a few seeds on a salad, I didn’t even ever buy nuts–not even that yummy dry roasted Costco mix!

Turns out, in raw food circles, there is a term called “nut gut.” (I know there are less salubrious interpretations of this phrase in some circles, but let’s keep it to food here!) Raw food diets can consist of a lot of nuts. Cheeses, “meats” (made from nuts and veggies) , and oils (coconut) all can be a huge component of the raw food diet.

Even though I was soaking all my nuts, I still got the nut gut. Indigestion from not being able to assimilate all this nutty goodness into my system. So I had to listen to my body. And get off the nut products for another 10 days (even almond milk!) to have any relief of the indigestion.

I loved how light I felt eating raw, but the way to go wasn’t going to be the “fat” version of this food lifestyle. (Raw foodists experiment with the fat or fruit approach to getting calories–nuts, seeds, and avocado are pretty high fat, whereas fruit is not.)

Why do I always try to be perfect?

I realized that with everything I do in life, I approached this experiment in a pretty serious, let’s do it really perfectly kind of way. Sigh. This is how shadow Virgo shows up in my chart. And the Venus love of food . . . her retrograde . . . all the factors weaving together made me realize: this isn’t my path. Slow down, and listen to your body. What do you want to eat?Free Stock Photo of Berries

I had to back up, and look at my motivation, and then realize that I made the decision to “go raw” with my mind, as a response to some physical symptoms I was having (fear of). Well, those symptoms didn’t disappear, and I ended up feeling worse. It didn’t seem that the Universe really wanted me to be raw (for some, though, this is the answer).

When I tuned in, what my higher self really wanted was to stop eating meat and so much dairy.

Health will be a focus for the next year.

Virgo and health go together. So, as we continue to navigate the Venus retrograde, and as Jupiter begins to make tracks through Virgo, listen to what your body is telling you about the food it wants to eat, or any other health related shift that it (your BODY, not mind) is feeling inclined toward.

Jupiter is very intuitive, and in the health conscious sign of Virgo will be sending us signals about what lifestyles are the best for us now.

As we look internally to our self-love and self-care practices (Venus retro in Virgo/Leo), how do we honor the needs of our physical vessels? Can we look with compassion at our habits and limiting beliefs that sabotage our self-love and manifest as pushing for perfection in our physical lives? (or the opposite: I’ll never be perfect so I’ll just be a self-hating slob).

As I move forward, as especially in mind of today’s connection of Venus with the sun, I reflect on how I want to radically love myself. (yes, I’m obsessed with this theme!) I want to be energetic and healthy so that I can live a long time and do my life’s passions until I drop in the fields. Taking care of myself is one of my radical self-love practices. Being flexible enough to change course (with compassion instead of judgement) when I’m not flourishing is another.

What are your self-care practices?

Remember, these are practices. Meaning we are practicing, not perfecting. (I’m telling myself this).

(And I will be making some nut cheese again, cause it’s just so damn good. But eating sparingly, and listening.)

Resources

Sarah at unsettle.org has a nice post about limiting beliefs today.

I love this raw food website–she’s a great resource and a cheerleader for making the right, not dogmatic choice for your body.

These two cookbooks are amazing, whether you just want to eat salads more creatively or experiment with raw concoctions:

astro.com is the best place to get a copy of your chart, if you don’t have one, and find out where the Venus retro and Jupiter transit of Virgo, will be affecting you personally.

And of course, contact me if you want a more in-depth look at your chart and your health.

Best,

Photo on 4-15-15 at 9.23 AMElia

What is Spiritual Healing?

spiritual healingWhat is Energy Healing?

As a practitioner of energy healing, I get asked this a lot.

What is it? Is it Reiki? Does it work? How? How can it work long distance? Is it spiritual healing? Etc.

I think there are potentially as many forms of energetic/spiritual healing as there are people—but in general, we’re talking about a couple of things:

  • Healing that comes as a result or from the spiritual world.
  • Healing of the spirit through means as various as prayer, spontaneous enlightenment, dancing or sex, to name a few of my favorites. (Not that I’m spontaneously enlightened—but that would be fun!)

I know some people who have received full-on spiritual healing without even really asking for it. The dissolution of actual, physical diseases. There are probably hundreds, if not more, miracles that take place every year. Lourdes, John of God . . . celebrity healers . . . it happens.

This isn’t the norm, however. For most of us, energetic and spiritual healing is something we do ourselves, as a practice, or employ others to do with and for us.

How Does it work? Is it Reiki?reiki healing hands

Reiki is defined by the International Center for Reiki Training as a combo of two Japanese words – Rei which means ‘God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power’ and Ki which is ‘life force energy’ So Reiki is actually ‘spiritually guided life force energy.

Reiki is probably the most well-known type of energy healing in the mainstream. But there are plenty of modalities—Brennan healing science, Donna Eden’s energy medicine, Reconnective Healing, Theta Healing, Matrix . . . they are very different in application but taking the “spiritually guided life force energy” idea, all energy healing is essentially the same.

We are energy.

The Universe is energy.

We are connected. Molecules bumping around together, overlapping, affecting each others’ behavior.

Whether you come at  Oneness from physics or metaphysics doesn’t matter.

Many flavors of energy healing/medicine utilize the chakra system. Others work more simply with the energetic field (aura). Some systems include the client as an active part of healing, and some of the newer methods don’t require you, as a receiver, do really do anything other than be open to change.

In my own practice, which is a blend of Brennan Science, Reiki, and other techniques, I observe that most everyone can feel energy moving in their system while a healing is happening. But if you don’t feel it, it still works. Even during long distance sessions, people have experiences related to the process.

I connect with distance clients in a neutral, healing space I create in the energetic realm. Because the concept of time and space is only a concept, we can be together as energy even if we can’t be in the same room physically. Almost all healers of any modality I know find distance healing to be at least as effective as in-person sessions, if not more so. This wouldn’t work with other types of medicine, which require physical input of some kind. Energy healing isn’t better than other types of healing, it’s just different.

healing handsA Complementary System

Though some people choose to forgo mainstream medical treatment and rely on spiritual and energetic healing techniques to heal physically manifested illness or symptoms, I personally find energy work to function best as a complementary therapy. With emotional and psychological healing, it is effective too, either alone or in conjunction with therapy, depending on the situation.

(That being said, stay on your meds if you need them–and find a healer who can work with your regular doc or therapist closely).

In my practice I work primarily with the psycho-spiritual dimension—that is, the mind and spirit. Beliefs, past life issues, emotional clearing. Dis-ease begins in the energetic field, and manifests at some point as sickness in the body. The more we can keep our fields clear, and resolve past life issues, the greater chance we have of health on every level.

This doesn’t mean we are somehow flawed if we get sick—obviously there are many other contributing factors. But unresolved emotional stuff creates stress in the body. When chakras are blocked, distorted, or not functioning properly, then real-time issues can arise in the physical.

Spiritual healing is something that anyone can do for themselves. personal growthWe all know on some level how to lay on hands with intention. Kissing the boo-boo or holding a body part in pain are perfect examples of this.

Energy healers take the time to receive training—varying levels of it—and in the case of Brennan Science healers, do a tremendous amount of personal growth work as well.

Personal development is part and parcel of becoming a healer, in my opinion. Because—how can I help you clean up your aura if mine is clogged with all sorts of unresolved gunk? And how can I be a clear, listening channel if I don’t know how to deal with transference or be truly in contact with a client?

As for the client—the more you are present with your own issues, and working toward emotional freedom and awareness, the more effectively you can receive the work of a healer.

Some would disagree with this—but in my practice I’ve found it to be true.

Healing is not about the magic bullet (though we often want it to be!) It can be miraculous, to be sure. Mostly it is a process of clearing and intention—and being responsible for ourselves. Even with the help of a healer, it is up to the receiver to take up the healing being offered/performed. To make the necessary life changes to make the healing effective. To recognize and say no to dysfunctional patterns and limiting beliefs.

And, I hope your healer will model this for you: the gentle, transformative energy of self-compassion.

Practicesanimal healing

Right now, if you can, finish this post and then head outside. Wherever you live, within a short distance, there must be a tree, a garden, a florist, or a grocery store. Go plant bathing.

Yeh, plant bathing. Plants and the natural world transmit incredibly positive healing energy. Flower bathing is one of my favorite types of energy transmission . . . and you can give to them too!

Or, if you are ready for it, mineral bathing. Being with stones, earth, mountains . . . if you’re reading this in Antarctica say, in the springtime, head out and be with the quiet stones of those dry valleys. Crystals, stones–obvious healing energies.

Or—and this is also a powerful form of spiritual and energetic healing—animal bathing. Petting animals, being in their presence (in the wild best, of course—zoos are kinda traumatic), giving and receiving love, even from a random puppy will boost and transform your energetic field, if you let it.

And then there’s star-bathing . . . you get the idea.

Experiment! And let me know how it goes.

Best,

EliaIMG_0629

Why August is A Really Good Time to Transform Your Relationships

venus_topoLove relationships are always the number one thing that clients ask about. Hands down–and I mean, really, hands UP if you have issues around relationship!

Of course, this is part of the human journey! Part of our evolutionary intent as described by the Asc/Dsc axis, Venus, Mars, Juno . . . all the gang.

So why is August such a powerful month? Because Venus is retrograde in Leo (though she started at 0º Virgo–more on that in a minute), and we have the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, and Mars all transiting through Leo–and Venus retro territory–throughout the month.

What Leo has to do with Love

Popular astrology doesn’t always associate Leo with love. But the highest vibration of the Lion’s energies is a concept I want you to write down: radical self love.

This is the most healing practice we can embrace if we want to transform our relationships. I would add, even, the word responsibility. As in, radical self-love self-responsibility.

Because it is our responsibility, as adults, to give ourselves the love we need. First. Foremost.'Seedling'_sculpture,_Saltwell_Park_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1597617

I was inspired by a meditation this morning, part of Deepak & Oprah’s latest meditation series on Grace and Gratitude. Deepak–in his lovely wise-papa voice–said that as children, we learn to place the source of love, nurturing, and security outside of ourselves, on our parents. Fair enough–but as adults, we need to recognize that the source of love–big, Divine, love–is inside of us, and never, ever leaves us.

True that.

(We leave love, sometimes, when we forget how wonderful we are, just because we are.)

Leo asks us to enjoy the reflection the world gives us for our playful efforts, yes. But to ultimately evolve to the place where we don’t need the outer world to tell us how lovable we are–that is the most empowered knowing we can arrive at. And the most empowered place from which to love each other.

Venus Retrograde

So the retrograde cycle of any planet asks us to review the territory that planet governs and is traveling through. Venus asks us to look at:

  • relating and relationships (not just romantic)
  • our creativity
  • our sensuality
  • our relationship to pleasure
  • the expression of our feminine (yes, even for men)
  • our values
  • our talents
  • how we survive (strategies, money, expression of our talents)

Now, add the Leo filter, and the question becomes: how in all these areas could I/do I maintain an attitude of radical self-love?

If you know where Venus is in your chart natally, you can also add the layer of your natal Venus issues, whatever sign she’s in. (sign up for my list for a FREE Venus report!)

Do you know the area of your chart that has 14ºLeo to 0º Virgo? This is where much of the action of the month will be.

Venus and Virgo732px-DomenichinounicornPalFarnese

Venus’ retro period is also flavored by Virgo, since she changed direction at 0º of this sign.

The highest vibration of Virgo is the sacred sexual priestess, wisdom keeper, and healer who goes beyond her own Self to serve the world.

If we are truly to embody our highest self and gifts for the world, we first have to journey through Leo, and learn–what?–radical self love and self responsibility. Then are we free to give our gifts in that humble, pure, unswerving Virgo way.

Behind all the Leo rumbling and roaring, your highest self is waiting to emerge. Shining with all the grace Leo brings. Glowing with all the wisdom Virgo embodies.

The Rest of the Gang

imagesLeo and the 0º Virgo mark are going to be stimulated and expanded by Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars. This means that the degrees of Leo that Venus’ retro travels through (14º to the 0ºVirgo) are getting all kinds of energy so that you can really get into this great time of self-discovery.

That second half of Leo’s 30 degrees–so 15-30º–are all about developing the self-love that needs no reflection. The radical self-love I keep on about!

All the planets are there, making sure you get the message. Feel the love.

  • Jupiter to expand you and bring you wisdom
  • Mars to energize and inspire your drive and manifestation
  • Mercury to communicate and learn
  • Venus to help you really integrate that YOU are the shining star of your own life

Practices

write a letter to yourselfOk, so it’s not as though many of us have mastered this self-love thing. There are zillions of practices that can help us come back to ourselves and check in. So here’s a few.

They are really easy. And they will help transform your relationships–which we all want.

  • Write a letter to yourself. Include all the things you love about yourself. Be over the top, super-loving–imagine if you were the best mother of yourself ever. Keep this handy for days when you don’t feel so great.
  • Connect to your authentic pleasure. We starve ourselves of this crucial aspect of life. Do you love flowers? Visit a garden or even a florist shop–buy yourself a bouquet. If you enjoy movement, let yourself go dancing or dance in your kitchen. Love a good mystery? Go to the library and get an old favorite or explore a new author–then unplug and give yourself an hour or two. Swaddle under a nice blanket with a cuppa tea, a press full of coffee, or a dry martini. You get the idea.
  • Meditate. If you feel you can afford it, purchase one of the Chopra Center meditation series. They’re awesome! Even 5 minutes a day helps you to center. Heart chakra meditations are good too–just sit for a few minutes and focus on the heart chakra. Think of people, places, and things that you love. Create a vibration of love in your body. Give it to yourself.
  • Practice acceptance. If you have moments of feeling off, lonely, sad, or unworthy, just be with the feelings without attaching a story to them. Accept that this is how you feel in the moment, and you will be surprised at how quickly the emotions pass.
  • Have some fun!!!! That’s what Leo loves . . . so get out and play.

Photo on 4-15-15 at 9.23 AMWith love,

Elia

 

 

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