Organize the Harvest for a Season of Simplicity

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“Living simply makes loving simple.”
-Bell Hooks

Summer has been good to you—really good. There were outings, road trips, mountaintops, moonlight lake swims, farmers’ markets, ocean breezes, and probably a picnic or two. You took advantage of the extra sunlight, and said yes to it all. And now you’re feeling it—a bit overwhelmed and craving simplicity, yes? Hello, Virgo—a season of purification, organization, service and harvest.

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You inhaled summer. Happily. Now it’s time to sift through what will continue to nourish you (keep those essential nutrients) and what has become excess (share it and give it away). Digestion is Virgo’s principle characteristic reminding us that there are consequences to the experiences, places and relationships we consume. Turns out not everything or everyone sits well within our hearts and souls—what seemed like a good idea then might start to result in heartburn if we can’t digest it properly. Pay attention. What isn’t sitting right with you any more?

Make a list. Trust your gut. Make two columns, one labeled “nourishing” and the other labeled “to give away.” Keep the experiences and people that you know deep down inside will continue to bring you strength, well-being, and won’t keep you up at night. The things that feel like you’re forcing them down your throat, say a brief “thank you” and give them up—someone else will find use of use for those things. It can be hard to let go of a good thing, but it might be better for someone else and it creates space for you.

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Of course the first word that comes to mind when organization comes up is clutter—it’s opposite. Organization can be painful because we know how tedious digging through the clutter can be. It’s possible that we fear organizing because there’s a perfection subtly connected to the thought of cleaning something out. We tell ourselves, “I can’t clean out my closet until I have an entire weekend to work on it and the money to buy those shelves I’ll need,” or “I’ll deep clean the garage when…”.

Avoid perfectionism. Once you’ve identified the nourishing elements of your life that you want to keep, don’t mull over them and wait for the perfect circumstances to continue to nurture them. Make your list, prioritize it quickly and succinctly, and simply move forward into all that space you’ve just created. As you spend less time on indulging in everything you thought you needed in your life, you’ll have clarity of heart and mind to offer your gifts to yourself and to others.




The first rule of the harvest: never harvest alone. The excess you are freeing yourself from should not simply be thrown into the trash—there’s a very good chance that the excess and abundance can be shared and provide opportunities for service. Virgo’s harvest season is about both partaking in and sharing the feast with those you love and cherish.

Give and Gather. Is there something you’re giving up that can find life with another? Who can benefit from all that you’ve planted? What can you give away to create space to plant new seeds? A meal shared is better digested—so, too, a life shared is more complete.

Organize a gathering where all the guests can give, receive and let go into a season of simplicity—a direct result of Virgo’s purifying characteristics.

“’Tis the gift to be simple; ‘tis the gift to be free.”
-Shaker Folk Song

Words and Images: Ann Whittaker @annwhittaker9
Bri Cook @brianajeanphoto


Yoga Poses to Produce More Discernment & Refinement

[full_width]CosmoMuse yogi, Brooke Musat, brings us some Virgo Season love with poses that help us balance our yin & yang energy for the current season. Photography by Bus Couch.

With Virgo season upon us until September 22nd, we can all learn a lot about the power of discernment. Being able to sift through the intricacies of life, determining what is good and what is bad, examining the pros and cons of complex situations, and generally being able to celebrate our ability to recognize what is right and wrong for us in any given moment, is something we can thank Virgo and her ruling planet, Mercury, for.

Confidence in Virgo’s ability to discern only gets stronger through their September reign with the sun in Virgo until the 22nd. The influence of the sun can bring intensity to almost any situation, so it is wise to stay balanced by recognizing the importance of rest, relaxation, and a good work/life balance. Virgo’s ruling planet Mercury is also in retrograde during this time, so be cautious not to put all your eggs in one basket, having a backup plan for everything you intend to do is probably a good idea.

A yin outlook accompanies Virgo, and may be the first nod that Fall, cooler temperatures, and longer nights, are on the way. The yin of Virgo should inspire us all to cool our egos, make the most of warm evenings, and refine our lives as we prepare for the opportunities that the next season will bring. When practicing these Virgo inspired postures, be mindful of the yang and yin energies each pose brings. Bharadvaja’s Twist is an effective way to invite yang energy into the body, stimulate the digestive organs, and strengthen the spine. Inspired by Virgo for its ability to benefit the body in a myriad of ways, this pose is surely something Virgo’s gut instinct would approve of.

The passive variation of Bharadvaja’s Twist is more rooted and inspired by Virgo’s earthy element. Elbows, forearms, and hands on the ground can help bring about a sense of peace and calm to an over active sympathetic nervous system. Allowing the head to hang passively can do wonders to release tension in the neck and “shoosh” a mind busy with too much judgment.

Read on for how to adapt the yin and yang postures of Virgo season for your sign’s fire, earth, air or water element.

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Bharadvaja’s Twist :: (Bharadvajasana I)

o Stimulates kidneys

o Stretches hips, chest, side body, thighs, and the tops of the ankles

o Boosts strength in the spine

o Revitalizes internal organs

o Can release tension in lower back


[one_sixth][/one_sixth][two_third]Leo and other Fire Signs (Aries, Sagittarius): Attempt this pose before sunrise or after sunset. Focus on the rhythm of the breath with your eyes closed. If this pose is readily accessible for you, think about holding the posture for a longer period of time, or repeating your expression of this pose with short breaks in-between.

Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): Earth signs should practice this pose in a warm environment that is not too warm where sleepiness or lethargy has an opportunity to sink in. Attention should be paid to creating length or “airiness” into the spine. A great visualization would be to think about the top of the head and root of the sacrum being pulled in opposite directions.

Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): If possible, Air signs should assume Bharadvajasana I right before retiring to bed at an early hour. A location void of unnecessary distractions would help Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius reap all the mental and physical benefits of this posture. If the urge to fidget begins to creep in, slowly begin to circle the head allowing the breath to be the initiator of all movement.

Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Water signs should use their innate gift of awareness to observe the small shifts (tilt of the head, length of the breath, rootedness of the hips, etc) that make this posture more or less intense. Focusing in on the physical should help Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces create distance from emotional burdens they may be carrying.[/two_third][one_sixth_last][/one_sixth_last]

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Passive Bharadvaja’s Twist :: (Bharadvajasana I) Variation

o Stimulates kidneys

o Stretches hips, chest, side body, thighs, and the tops of the ankles

o Boosts strength in the spine

o Revitalizes internal organs

o Can release tension in lower back and neck


[one_sixth][/one_sixth][two_third]Leo and other Fire Signs (Aries, Sagittarius): Fire signs should feel relaxed in this posture. If relaxation does not initially settle in, let go of the weight of the head, focus on sinking the chest toward the earth while gently squeezing the shoulder blades towards one another on the back. Long, deep, inhales and equally long deep exhales should aide in the sense of letting go.

Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn): In the passive variation of Bharadvajasana I, Earth signs could play with modestly rounding and arching the upper spine. Arching with an inhale and rounding with an exhale.

Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): For grounding and a fun all-sign- variation, Air signs could practice this pose with a bolster. If twisting to the right, lay the bolster long ways just beneath the center of your chest. Palms down, stack the hands on top of the bolster. Lay head on stacked hands. Allow the chest and torso to descend toward the earth and become supported by the bolster.

Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Water signs should feel free to luxuriate in the freedom of a dreamy mind in this posture, as long as “dreamy” doesn’t turn into a wandering of the emotions. Intention on celebrating positive parts of the day, or committing to exploring the creative limits of the passive Bharadvajasana I variation are all healthy approaches for Water signs in this pose.

For more Virgo Season inspired yoga, try this restorative yoga sequence


Virgo New Moon Eclipse: Queen of Lifestyle

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]The early morning of Thursday, September 1st, 2016, kicks off a month of eclipse season and with it the Virgo New Moon Eclipse (or a Virgo Solar Eclipse). Eclipses always coincide with new and full moons, as well as makes them 100 times more potent. If one hits a natal planet or major point in your chart, you can expect sweeping changes. For a new moon, they’ll be in the form of initiations and doors opening that never had been for you. You don’t need to have a Virgo Sun to feel the epic shifts coming our way tomorrow. I know plenty of people who are going through big shifts because of this event, in the area of their life that Virgo rules – although a natal Virgo planet will feel this the most.

Virgo is the sign of refinement and perfection with no time for frills and fuss. They need efficiency and purity. Our digestion and gut instinct are ruled by Virgo and it’s the sign that helps us create our daily processes from how we chose to get our work duties done, to how we structure the flow of our day and our routines. In this sense, it rules our health, wellness and lifestyle. Virgo wants us to run like a well-oiled machine: Early to rise, get our workout in, a 10 minute meditation, make a green drink, get showered and groomed, off to work with energy and purpose, post-work errands, make a healthy dinner, tidy up around the house, a batch of laundry while having a quick read-up on something useful – news or an article on how to work more efficiently. NO ROOM FOR FRILLS. This sign is pure and clean. Wherever this sign is in your chart, you will be thoughtful, purposeful, intentional, contextual, perfectionist and sophisticated. [/two_third_last]

[one_half]Simplicity and a mantra of quality over quantity follow this sign around. They know how to create the best lifestyle for anyone, based on the contexts of their lives. If you know a Virgo and need help organizing how you setup your days, give them a shout. They may seem shy or unapproachable on first glance, but at heart this sign NEEDS to feel useful and LOVES to be of service.

With tomorrow’s eclipse, you can be sure that the area Virgo rules for you will see exciting developments and you may have new opportunities around bringing purpose into yours or others lives. In the least, more organization and purpose will be felt.

Here’s a breakdown per sign on how you may feel the events of this lunar cycle:

Aries || Aries Rising
Your work projects and lifestyle, in general, will have an open window to be completley redesigned.

Taurus || Taurus Rising
Your creative expression and leadership style could get a surge of fresh vitality with a hint of efficiency and productivity in your wake.


[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last]Gemini || Gemini Rising
Get ready for a more efficient and healthy home. You may be moving, renovating or simply spring cleaning.

Cancer || Cancer Rising
Communication and the way you think and write may get new opportunities to show off just how detailed and contextual you can be.

Leo || Leo Rising
Your sense of value and self worth may get healthy boost with new lifestyle and purposeful work coming your way.

Virgo ||Virgo Rising
This is your big reset of the year. Chose wisely what your agendas a passions are and watch as door fling open to help you move those forward. Obviously, these will be filled with purpose and useful lifestyle notes.

Libra || Libra Rising
The cosmos are oping up to you with new inspiration. You may have a chance to bring compassion, art and spirituality to lifestyle with a new opportunity.

[one_half]Scorpio || Scorpio Rising
You are being given a window to connect with new groups and friends who like to collaborate like you do – efficiently and with purpose.

Sagittarius || Sagittarius Rising
Your career could be seeing fresh opportunity and a chance to show the world how you can help them be more healthy and live with more purpose.

Capricorn || Capricorn Rising
Opportunities to broaden your horizons through your lifestyle and work could appear.

Aquarius || Aquarius Rising
Purity and purpose in your investments (time and resources) could bring empowering circumstances to your door.

Pisces || Pisces Rising
Relationships are on the rise for you. New developments could appear here that create a healthier and more productive you.

Images via Instagram: Sarah Sherman Samuel[/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]