Monday, April 19, 2021

Plants Ruled By Mercury: Lemon Grass

Lemon Grass


Lemongrass, or Cymbopogon Citratus, is a clumping grass that has amazing, citrus-scented leaves. The leaves and stems are popularly used in Thai and Veitnamese dishes, but they have many other uses, making C. Citratus a valuable addition to your garden.


Lemongrass is a perennial that thrives in zones 9 and 10, but it can be kept in pots in cooler zones. Grown outside, lemongrass can grow from 3-5' tall and up to 4' wide. Mine went from a little clump of maybe 12” to a massive 7' tall monster in less than a year - and with multiple haircuts! Don't worry, indoors and/or in pots, you can expect it to grow much more slowly. If your plant is in a container, you probably won’t see any flowers, but a very large or outdoor plant might show a few stalks of green flowers that give way to seeds, similar to rice and other grasses.


Lemongrass prefers full sun and a soil that is rich and moist. In containers, use a mix of one third compost, one third topsoil, one sixth peat moss and one sixth vermiculite. Feed container plants liquid fish emulsion and seaweed once a month during the summer. Use a pot that is at least 12" and keep the soil well-watered but not drenched. When the temperatures cool, over winter your Lemongrass in a sunny South or East facing window.


Once your plant is at least a foot tall, leaves and stems can be harvested continuously. The leaves can have paper-sharp edges, especially if you rub against the grain, so take care when harvesting and handling them, especially if your plant gets big.


You can use the leaves and stems fresh, dried or frozen. Dry C. Citratus in a dehydrator or by keeping small bundles in a warm place that is out of direct sunlight. Freeze in ice cubes with either water or oil.


Lemongrass is most well-known as an ingredient in recipes. It can be used in stir-fries, soups, and pastas, with tofu and with lots of different vegetables. But it is quite versatile and also makes a refreshing addition to tea blends, potpourris and scent sachets. 


Lemongrass is not bothered by pests and in fact, can be used to make a great bug repellent. But if you do keep your Lemongrass indoors, you may find one pest that surprises you- your cat! Cats love to eat Lemongrass leaves, I catch my cat snacking every time she passes by them. 


Astrologically, Lemongrass is ruled by the planet Mercury, the sign of Gemini and the element of Air.


Mercury represents the mind. Gemini is an energy of quick, two-sided thinking. And Air is also about intelligence, mental faculty and communication.


Lemongrass can stabilize the mind. It supports quick-thinking and lends mental focus. Lemongrass can connect two-sided thinking and ease that sense of being wishy-washy, or having moods that morph on a whim. 


Lemongrass is refreshing and invigorating.


It clears away old conditions, and is great for cleansing away unwanted energies. Use it as a wash, in a bath, in a tea or even in a room spray. 


Lemongrass tea is mentally rejuvenating and calming for the nerves. It eases the mental fatigue that can come from a racing mind.  It improves mental dexterity and can even give memory a boost. Try making a memory boosting tea by combining it with rosemary.

 

You can also try adding it to your bathwater to initiate a fresh start in your life. Use it together with lemon zest, mint, rosemary and epsom salt to add a zing to your next soak.

Or make a yummy scented spray! Spritz the room when you need to clear the energy or even just clear your head. This will freshen up an office with stale energy, clear out your living room after a visit from your complaining In-laws and even wake up your mind during that dreaded 2:30pm slump.

Lemongrass is also great to utilize during Mercury Retrograde. Just spritz into the air to keep the channels of communication clear.

If you like learning about plants and planets in this way, check out this article I wrote about Roselle Hibiscus or click here to watch my FREE class about Growing your own medicine in your backyard or home.

Remember:

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

Please read the descriptions carefully, do your own research and practice common sense and safety.

Always consult your physician before using or ingesting any herbal remedies.

Test any new herbal with a small sample before utilizing a full application. A small percentage of people have allergies that even natural, organic substances may aggravate. A substance that is completely harmless and even healthy for one person might cause an allergic reaction in someone else.  Use at your own risk

For more about plants and planets, follow along on Instagram!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Aries New Moon

New moon in aries

Today we start a new cycle in the sign of Aries. The planets are all propelling towards the future and we all feel like things are on a fast track. Set yourself on a more aligned path with the magic of this fresh, forward moving energy that is invigorating us all.

If you haven't chosen a goal to work on, spend some time today getting clear on what you want to work toward as the energy builds this week, because it can lead to anger and frustrations if not properly channeled. 

Since this New Moon is also making a square towards a pivotal point of our past, its a good time to look back on December 2020 to see what goals and dreams were on your mind at that time. This upcoming period will align us with the next steps of progress for whatever we were focused on at that time.

This goal can possibly see fruition under the Full Moon in Aries during Libra season later this year. And it can see growth as soon as the next full moon later this month. The dreams, goals and events of December will show progress around and after the upcoming eclipse season in June.

                photo by @sarashakeel

Its a great idea to make little one-line notes in your planner for this purpose, so you can go back over the patterns of energy and see how they might affect you next.

Some may recommend journaling, but with so much Mars and Aries energy at this time, we are better off burning it off! Get out there, check goals off your list, spend some time moving your body, and enjoy the astrological start of the year.

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

FULL MOON IN LIBRA

FULL MOON IN LIBRA

Venus-Sun together in Aries across from the Full 🌙 in Libra at 8° brings 1-1 connections to the forefront.

📷 @sarahshakeel

Something has been building since Venus reached her Heliacal set 6 weeks ago and especially since the New Moon in Pisces 2 weeks ago. That watery Sun-Moon connection was floating on the fins of a beautiful Venus-Jupiter conjunction. Something magical, like the song of a Siren is swelling and cresting on the shore. Is it merely an illusion or something more substantial?


Mercury closing in on a conjunction with Neptune in dreamy Pisces means murky waters need to be carefully chartered; There could be beasties lurking behind the seaweed curtain. Not all that glows is gold, beware mere bioluminescence trying to steer you off-course.


Can you keep your feet steady in the current of change or will you get swept away by it's waves?


The key is to swim sideways, towards Saturn in Aquarius. Grandfather time in the sign of the WaterBearer is trine to the Mars-North Node and sextile the Venus-Sun-Chiron crew. 

Slow steady steps as planned, is the only way forward, Saturn will lead us safely to the shore as long as we put in the work and take the time to check things twice.


Mars together with the North Node and Chiron mixed in with the Aries Sun-Venus configuration can be like the Knight of Cups waiting for us on the beach with a warm towel and a healing hot drink. Journal with a cup of tea, watch a nostalgic movie, or take your sandwich outside to soak in the healing vibes this energy has to offer. Leave the past behind so that next weekend when Mercury ingresses Aries, you are ready to step back into the bustle of spring with a splash.





Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Venus Trine Pluto


Venus Trine Pluto Person In a Relationship


Do you have Venus Trine Pluto in your birth chart and now you are ready to dig deeper into what that means?


Or maybe you are dating a Venus Trine Pluto person and you want to understand them and your relationship better?



That's great, because a Venus Trine Pluto person would really love that about you.



It's also great then, that you are here. You're in the right place to learn what the Venus Trine Pluto aspect means in a relationship. Whether this aspect is about you or someone you care about, read on to find out what it all means and how you can approach this energy to your highest benefit.




Natal Venus Trine Pluto Person In a Relationship




When Venus touches Pluto in the natal chart, this usually signifies a person that values having an intense, perhaps even complicated, relationship. They feel that they must deeply know their partner, that they must have an intertwined connection with their significant other.


They are all or nothing about what they value and what they love. It's either black or white, because gray is not their way.


Just the same, people are either obsessed with this person or just can't stand them. People are either magnetized or repelled by them. They have a strong presence, even if they try to creep in or lurk in a corner, people just notice this person. This person is the type of person that others just feel walking into a room.


In love, a Venus Pluto type will want complete mutual obsession. When they're with someone, the relationship status is all-consuming. The Venus Pluto person loves passionately and with intensity, and they want the same in return.


They tend to get emotionally entwined with their partner in a way that makes them feel connected on a deep, almost energetic level. This person wants to be in love all the way down to the aura. They want to know their partner's whole soul, explore their psychological nooks and crannies, and see how their most secret wheels and cogs work.


Though this person might not give up their secrets as fast as they expect to get them from others. When Pluto touches Venus in the natal chart, it creates a person that highly values privacy. The Pluto-Venus person might hesitate before sharing all of themselves until this they are sure of their partner's loyalty/fealty. Even deep into a relationship, partners may feel there is still more of this person to explore, more mysteries to unravel. And they are probably right. 



A Venus Trine Pluto person may love to keep secrets. They may even have secret loves, hidden behaviors or private obsessions. 



It reminds me of a show I watched long ago, Sex and the City (very Venus and Pluto). In one episode, the girls share the "secret single behaviors" that they wouldn't want a partner to know about. One person, Carrie, likes standing at the counter eating saltines with grape jelly while flipping through fashion magazines. For another, having two bathrooms is a must, because for her, taking a poo was her secret behavior. In this same way, the Pluto Venus person may prefer to keep certain quirks to their self. 


They may also have a tendency to harbor secret obsessions. This could range from something big like secretly loving someone for a long time but never telling anybody about it to something small like maybe secretly loving astrology or something like that. And Pluto likes to collect things, so this type might enjoy having a private collection of some sort. It could be a drawerful of lingerie, a collection of tarot cards or maybe even a secret savings account.



With two money planets, Pluto and Venus, in a harmonious trine, this person probably has a fondness for money. 



Venus and Pluto both care about money. Venus is about value and valuables and abundant resources. Pluto is about money as power, inherited wealth and deep, hidden resources. With the trine we can expect an easy flow of energy. In this aspect, Venus, the minor benefic, can apply her principles of balance to the extremes of Pluto.


This person also values passion and power and may be attracted to people in positions of power or even celebrities. They may be attracted to having a powerful partner or to power plays within the relationship. Or this person could be a power player of some sort.


With a trine aspect between Pluto and Venus, they've learned to balance along the edge of chaos without jumping into the abyss, but this person still craves depth and transformation from a partnership.


In some cases, these types might even crave chaotic, dramatic or possibly abusive situations. This is not usually the case with the easy flowing trine aspect, but the ease of flow could also bring too much passion or too much drama into the partnership.


A great way for this person to find more peace and balance in their relationships is by directing the more passionate and dramatic energy of this aspect into some sort of artistic pursuit. 


The Venus Pluto type may in fact be a passionate artist of some sort since Venus is related to the arts, beauty, and other harmonious things. They may have a passion for fashion, a flair for decorating their home or maybe a love baking bread. Sometimes it's an art that may not seem so artsy at first glance. Perhaps they are painstakingly rebuilding a classic race car, or this person loves turning all of their scraps into compost.


Channeling their passion into passion projects like these is a healthier way of utilizing this powerful, beautiful energy. If this person has a little too much drama sprinkled into their relationships, they might benefit from redirecting this energy in a constructive way. 


Even if this person are not an artist, they may still be extreme about how they value the arts. If this person loves to read, for example, they might buy all the books of a new favorite author and read them all in an intense binge. Or this person might buy all of their favorite musician's albums and splurge for killer seats at their concert.


This person, more than most, admires the plight of the butterfly. The process of cocooning then remerging is one that this person is very familiar with. Transformation pumps their passion, rebirth gives them a sense of renewal. 


These types might love fresh starts like New Year's Eve, or Back-to-school.  Or they may feel re energized after leaving the salon with a new look, or pulling out seasonal clothes when the weather changes or maybe getting a new tattoo.


If you are someone with a Venus Pluto Trine, An artistic pursuit can help you channel this energy in the most positive way. This will use up some of the intense energy of this aspect and leave you with more balance and less drama in your relationships.


If you are in a relationship with a Venus Pluto Trine person, LEEP into love by:


-Letting them keep their secrets and maybe let them in on one of yours. They will cherish it. 


-Encouraging their artistic passions and give them room to be obsessed with their art. 


-Embracing their need for transformation. Be okay with the rotating hair color or that latest tattoo. 


-Pursuing personal growth as a couple, embracing change and transformation; Be Butterflies together.





Want to know more about you or your relationship?

Get a Celestial Soulmates Astrological Report



This report is actually THREE reports in one.


Learn about yourself and your relationship with this in-depth analysis that evaluates you, your partnership planets and those of your significant other. Use this information to gain deep insight into how you, your partner and your relationship functions. By understanding yourself and your bond, you can make the most of this special connection. 


Order your Celestial Soulmates Astrological Report now.


Friday, October 9, 2020

The Secret to Understanding your Natal Chart in Astrology

 The Secret to Understanding your Natal Chart in Astrology



Astrology is hitting the mainstream and more folks are tuning in to its energies and rightfully so.

Astrology can help you discover deep insights about yourself and set you on your authentic life path. It can confirm that you are taking the right steps or if you are not, it can show you where in life you need to pivot. Astrology can help you plan your week and structure your goals for maximum person success. It can help you understand what truly makes you happy, what makes you tick, what makes you, you.

But you can't just look at your Sun Sign- although this is a fantastic place to start. If you really want to benefit from astrology, you need to look at your birth chart to see what's at play.

But once you do open that chart and see all those lines and symbols, it can feel so overwhelming. What does it all mean? Which parts matter and which parts are minor?

There is a secret to help you start sorting it all out.

Simplified Approach To Reading An Astrological Chart


This approach will simplify your chart to focus on what's most important. It is so much easier to read your natal chart like this. This helps you get familiar with the whole picture before you break it down into details.

First, you have to make sure you are looking at what really matters.

Many free chart generators include minor aspects, planets, points or asteroids that can clutter the chart and make it feel impossible to read. I recommend using astro-charts.com because you can customize it. Follow these steps to simplify your astro-chart and do a quick whole-chart analysis.



Simplify Your Natal Chart in 4 Easy Steps


First, go to astro-charts.com and Creatour Birth Chart by entering your birth details into the form. If you do not know your birth time, you can use noon.

Once your chart appears, go to the settings button. On a mobile this will be directly under the circle chart, on a desktop it will appear to the right of the chart. 

Under settings, scroll down to the Planets and Asteroids tab and open it. If you know your exact time of birth, then you will only uncheck Chiron and North Node. If you don't know your exact time of birth, then you will uncheck Chiron, North Node, Ascendant and MC.

Next, open the Aspects tab that is beneath it. Uncheck all the aspects listed after Sextile. To be clear, uncheck Quintile, Octile, Septile, Novile, Semi-sextile, Quincux, and Sesquiquadrate. This should leave you with only the five major aspects- Conjunction, Opposition, Square, Trine and Sextile can stay.

Finally, you will go to the Orbs tabs. Type a 6 into the boxes for Conjunction, Square and Opposition.

Hit the Apply Settings Button at the very bottom.

The chart should appear much clearer now. The aspects that remain are the most relevant ones. 

Now before you start trying to understand what each of those lines even means, do a quick and easy whole chart analysis.

Fast and Easy Whole-chart Analysis 

Looking at the whole chart before you dive into individual aspect analysis can give you incredible insights in a very short time.

Is the chart lopsided with planets clumped together or are they evenly spaced? Is the chart heavy with aspects or clean and direct? Are there any shapes formed by the lines of the aspects as they cross the circle? Triangles are very common, but there could also be a square, a seesaw, a basket, a kite and more.

The shapes and spacing of the planets tell us which planets or signs in the chart are most important. If a planet has a lot of lines, is part of a lot of shapes or even part of one big shape, it can indicate that this planet matters and its energies strongly affect you. For example, let's say your Sun is in Libra but it has very little action in the chart. Meanwhile, next door in Virgo, you have a clump of three planets with Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. Those Virgo planets are going to be a focal point of your life and a place where you put a lot of your energy. This also means that the typical Libra description might have less influence on you, and you may display strong Virgo qualities instead.

Once you look at your whole chart, the next thing you want to do is scroll down to see the special features of the chart, if there are any. Things listed here can be a great place to start diving into the meanings of your chart.

Next, you want to figure out what mode(s) and what element(s) are dominant in your chart. Sometimes this is mentioned in the special features, but you can figure this out by plugging your planets and their signs into this chart and adding up the columns. 

The mode let's you know how you handle change. Mutables are always changing, Cardinals are first to make the change, and Fixed folks don't like to change. A mostly mutable person might have trouble with changing to much and not being very grounded. A Cardinal person will take charge but can also be selfish. A Fixed person is steady, usually reliable or loyal, but they can be stubborn, too.

The element describes your overall temperament. There are four elements- Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Like fixed energy, Earth energy is stable, reliable, grounded. A person with a lot of Earth energy will like working and having security. They don't mind the toil as much and are often willing to roll up their sleeves. An Air person is more preoccupied with communicated and sharing ideas. This person may enjoy learning, skill-building and reading. The Fire person is usually full of action, the doers, movers and makers of the zodiac. This person is passionate, and often fueled by a creative drive. They want to make something of themselves and of the world! Water people are more sensitive and in tune with their emotions. These are most likely empathetic, caring people, that have a great listening ear and want to make a difference in the world. 

Most of us have a mix of these qualities, and you may find that you have two dominant modes or three elements that share planets equally. In this case, it may be helpful to take note of what is lacking from your chart.  Let's use the same example of Sun in Libra, and three planets in Virgo. With all that earthy, Virgo action, this person could search out friends or a partner that has dominant Water energy. This will help fill the elemental hole this person feels and give them a sense of balance or completeness in their life. 

With your simplified chart and your whole chart analysis complete, you now have an overall feel of what type of personality you have and what areas of your chart- and your life- might be most important to you. Now you are ready to start digging into the more complex part of astrology- aspects. 

Get A Personal Reading

Still feeling overwhelmed? Or maybe you are too impatient to wait? Consider hiring an astrologer for a personal reading. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Plants That Are Ruled By Venus: Roselle




Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is also called Florida cranberry or Jamaica sorrel. Indeed, it is prized in Jamaica as a tasty, festive drink that is traditionally brewed around Christmas. But it is popular in many countries- for an upscale jam in Australia, as a fresh summer treat in northern Europe, as a sour green in African curries, as a Mexican agua fresca and so much more. Many parts of the plant, including the seeds, leaves, fruits, and roots, are used either medicinally or in foods.

Medicinally, it is most often used as a diuretic, to reduce hypertension, to treat scurvy, to ease cough, to treat anemia and to balance liver disorders, but there are many more ways it has been used as plant medicine.

As food, the leaves can be used as a cooked green, or added sparingly to salads for a fresh zing. It is a popular accompaniment to fish dishes in various parts of Asia. The seeds are high in protein and can be roasted, used as a coffee substitute or fed to chickens. But the calyx is the part of the plant that everyone is after. This fleshy, bright red cup-like structure contains the plant's seeds. The color and tart taste of the calyces makes them a good replacement for cranberries or rhubarb and useful in pies, sauces, cordials, punches, jams and even wine. I made a Sweet Roselle Syrup with just, sugar, water and fresh calyces. Roselle is high in pectin, so no additional ingredients were necessary (other than time and patience) to achieve a nice, thick consistency. I layered a chocolate cake with this syrup and it was a family hit! I think it would also be interesting on pancakes or as a tangy component in a wing sauce.
The calyces can also be used to make a delicious drink, a tea that is high in Vitamin C, and renowned in countries world wide. I'm not surprised its named after the Rose even though it produces a modest hibiscus flower, because the Rose is the most well-known flower in the world. Roselle is similarly popular, but on a lesser scale. This plant is an annual that can't handle temps below 40F. It grows in the tropics, suited best to zones 9-10, and produces fruit after about 4 months, usually in and around October. Use tender leaves and shoots for cooking throughout the growing season. Harvest calyces when they are plump and shiny. Often the tips of the calyx will scrunch together in what I've dubbed "the kissy face" when they are ripe. Be sure to separate them from the seeds before using them in recipes. The calyces can be stored frozen or dried or processed into the many delicious treats mentioned above. Astrologically, I would classify it as Venusian- ruled by Venus. The nickname, Roselle, that connects Hibiscus sabdariffa to Venus' flower, the Rose, gives us our first clue. The plant bears fruit in October- Libra season- which is also ruled by Venus. The "kissy face" the fruit makes when its ripe, is also very Venusian to me. However, its medicinal properties, are where we can see such a relationship. Hibiscus sabdariffa is often used as a diuretic, which helps the kidneys (ruled by Venus and Libra) release more urine. It has an emollient effect that can remoisten dry skin, or soothe a cough in the throat (ruled by Taurus and Venus). It also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, which all aphrodisiacs are ruled by Venus. It also used in cases of diabetes, which is a Venusian disease. Roselle also restores the blood in anemic patients, and thins the blood in cases of hypertension. The blood is ruled by Mars and Aries, the complementary opposites of Venus and Libra. Fevers, also ruled by Mars, are often treated with Roselle, too.

Most plants/planets have this complementary opposition of uses and characteristics. There are also Mars-ruled plants that treat Venus-affiliated issues. Nettles for example, is a Mars-ruled plant that puts out its blood-nourishing leaves in early spring, during Aries season. But it puts out its seeds during Libra season, and these seeds can be used to treat kidney conditions.

If you are interested in learning more about plants and planets from this perspective, check out this lemon grass article I wrote or check out my FREE class about growing medicinal plants in your own backyard or home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Easy 5 min Meditation for Mercury Retrograde

 

Mercury, among other things, represents the mind.

Your mind is like a personal antenna that transmits and receives information. It can to tune into, amplify and send out any thought.

Your thoughts directly impact your emotions (Moon), your behavior and actions (Mars), what life experiences you attract (Venus), your life path (Sun), your luck (Jupiter) and your karma (Saturn). Your quality of life literally depends on your ability to use the power of your mind. 

To control your mind is to control your destiny.This is why it is so important to be selective of the thoughts you pay attention to.

What thoughts do you choose to focus on?

We have all experienced negative outcomes from acting on negative thoughts at some point in our lives. I know I have. But it isn’t about wishing negative thoughts away. We can’t actually get rid of them. Even the Dali Lama admits to getting angry many times a day. But we can choose not to act on them.

Yogi Bhajan said we have just 3-5 seconds to process and release negative thoughts before they create karma for us. That’s nothing, a few blinks or a breath of fresh air. It can pass before you grab it.

How do we control our mind to take advantage of such a tiny moment?
You need mental self-discipline. The Mind is a Muscle that needs training. This training requires time, discipline and devotion.

But getting started is simple. A 5 minute meditation practice is all you need to begin. Right now.

Easy 5 Min Meditation for Mercury Retrograde



Plants Ruled By Mercury: Lemon Grass

Lemon Grass Lemongrass, or Cymbopogon Citratus, is a clumping grass that has amazing, citrus-scented leaves. The leaves and stem...