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This month's horoscopes were written in collaboration with Andi Astre (aka Mystic Sandwich) of The Good Spirit—a curated metaphysical boutique in Vancouver that aims to provide clarity in your spiritual path by way of introspection, intuition, and inspiration. 

In May the calm of Taurus season surrounds us with lush new life, the sweet scents and sights of spring. After some turbulence, the energy stabilizes and supports steady effort. We’re coming out of a couple months of review and reflection. Hopefully we have a better sense of our values, and what we need and want in our relationships. With Venus now direct, and Mercury direct as of May 3rd, the energy begins moving forward again and picks up speed throughout the month. A conjunction between Uranus and Mercury will bring lightning bolts of insight, innovative ideas, and surprising messages. Saturn can help us bring these ideas down to earth, and make something lasting out of them. Mars square with Neptune mid-month may indicate doubt, confusion, or discouragement. Don’t give up. This is just a little test of our conviction. Let’s stay strong and remember: together we create the future through our dreams and actions. 

Zodiac illustrations by Katie Maasik

Aries by Katie Maasik

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

I become aware of the self-defeating thoughts that run in a loop in the background, quietly, but incessantly—like a tired radio station only barely audible. Now that I hear them, I understand they don’t belong to me. Someone else left this station on. I’ve inherited these thoughts from my family and culture. I became so accustomed to them, that I thought they were mine. These thoughts tell me I am lesser. But I know all humans are incredible creations of the universe—beautiful, worthy, and deserving of a good life. The Sun in Taurus inaugurates a new cycle in my house of values, self-worth, and finances. I honour my own value by inviting into my life abundance, support, and sustainable income. I welcome being treated with respect and integrity, and I begin by treating myself that way. I see now that I deserve it. I seek balance by sharing as well as receiving, by offering support as well as accepting it, by seeking intimacy as well as solitude. As the circling thoughts in the background begin to quiet, my mind opens to ideas and insight that are offered to me from realms beyond this one. The daemon whispers to me words that are meant to rocket me to a whole new level of being, to bring me greater freedom and individuality.

Taurus by Katie Maasik

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

A wave of new energy washes over me. I’m revitalized and refreshed. I feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm. I am electrified into presence. The colours and textures are vibrant and pulsing, the lushness of what is wakes me and holds me here. I understand I am infinite. I am so much more than my identity. And yet, I value identity for what it is: a necessary and useful mythology of self. This month, I clarify who I am, and how I present myself to others. In so doing, I feel more at home in the world. I shake any lingering desire to conform or please others as I step more fully into my unique sense of self. Some otherworldly beings nudge me toward loving myself more. They help me see that when I compare myself to others, when I feel greater or lesser, I only undermine my own sense of value. I find self-worth, truly, when I see that everyone is equally worthy. This is mental preparation for next month when I begin a new cycle of worth and value.

Gemini by Katie Maasik

GEMINI
(May 21-June 21)

This month is for Spring cleaning. As I clear and organize and care for the space around me, I do the same within me. This month the Sun shines a light on all the corners in my depths. I see and then clean out the patterns of thought and behaviour that are nothing but old cobwebs and dust. The tired old patterns that only undermine me and clog up my mind. This month I set the intention to release these patterns, and watch the magic happen. In setting the intention, at first, my mind will be busy. It will feel like regressing, but I know that this is just the dust being stirred up. By mid-month, my mind is calmer, more clear, more spacious. I revel in the moments of stillness and presence. I indulge in sensation, in being a human with a body, on earth, capable of experiencing pleasure and embodiment. This presence and pleasure prepares me for making important new social connections, for revolutionary insight that comes in through my social networks and community. I seek balance by bringing the newfound calm with me to the tasks and duties of everyday life. I seek to balance retreat from life, and engagement with it. I seek transcendence in the minutia of the everyday.

Cancer by Katie Maasik

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

This month the Sun and Moon offer me the gift of community. I consider what I want and need from my friendships, contacts, and the groups organizations I belong to. While staying true to my inner guidance and sense of self, I open my arms and my circle. I accept new friendship and connections. I allow myself to belong. I come home to community. I sense my connectedness within the web of humanity, and feel how I’m supported within it. I understand that this web offers opportunities that can make my dreams come true. I seek balance this month by taking time to create, to have fun, to play, and enjoy myself. I remember the part of myself that is forever a child, innocent and present, gifted in the art of play. I know that the more I am myself and express myself in ways that feel true to me, the more I will connect with those who truly see me and accept me for who I am. The more I find belonging, the easier it is for me to contribute in a meaningful way. I receive insight this month into how I can best contribute, how I can offer my unique gifts to the world.

Leo by Katie Maasik

LEO
(July 23-August 22)

More than ever I allow my Leo passion to guide me. The Lion’s bountiful energy can’t be muted, it can only be directed. If it’s not directed, it will find some possibly troublesome outlet for release. This month I gain greater mastery over this incredible creative outpouring of energy. This month I become more and more clear on what I have to offer. I step more fully into my role. I have unique gifts, and an original mode of expression. I have something of value to offer the human community. This month I feel more confident and comfortable in offering my gifts to others. I accept the responsibility and authority that comes with that. I let go of any guilt around doing what I love. I release the notion that we ought to work harder and suffer more. I accept that work can be fun and easy and joyous. I envision a world in which everyone is valued for contributing in the way they desire, according to their unique gifts. I seek balance by also spending time at home, by withdrawing into myself, by seeking comfort, support, and self care. This month I stay open to the inspiration and guidance that Hermes may offer me, the little nudges in the direction of my evolution and joy, the clarity around my personal beliefs and worldview.

Virgo by Katie Maasik

VIRGO
(August 23-September 22)

A new horizon stretches before me as I become aware of how beliefs determine what’s possible. My world is shaken as I release the beliefs I’ve been holding only because I forgot I was holding them. Then my world becomes more open and free. I contemplate new perspectives, new beliefs, new worldviews. I understand that as we evolve, our worldview evolves with us. I see that personal subjective truth is just as important as consensual, factual reality. I let go of the desire to please others. I release the tendency to follow others’ advice. I value the advice, suggestions, facts, and opinions of others, but I hold them up to the light of my own truth. In this way I make decisions that are informed and yet in line with my own soul. Even with this newfound independence, I’m open to support—emotional, financial, energetic—from perhaps surprising sources. I see that giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. I’m comfortable serving others. I’m learning to be served. I see that receiving is a sort of work, and requires me to let go of some aspect of my identity. Life is getting easier.

Libra by Katie Maasik

LIBRA
(September 23-October 22)

This month I consider what intimacy means to me. I summon the courage to go deep, to become entangled. I let my guard down. I know the risk is worth the reward of connectedness. I know that intimacy requires I let go, release my hold, lose some part of myself, give up control. I know there must be a sacrifice to receive the boon of closeness. I open to the other. I see them, feel them, let them in. I listen. I seek balance by clarifying my own boundaries, needs, and values. I seek the balance between giving and receiving. I seek to share while respecting my own limits. As well as allowing for the natural deepening of the relationships I already have, I’m also open to meeting new people. I know that sometimes the most significant connections are made by accident, when and where I least expect it. Someone close to me may surprise me this month. I may receive some shocking news. I accept that part of being in relationship is that others have a will of their own and don’t always say or do what I expect. I expect the unexpected.

Scorpio by Katie Maasik

SCORPIO
(October 23-November 21)

I renew my commitment to relationship. I recall the value of friendships, client relationships, partnerships, collaborations, romantic relationships. I see how integral these connections are to my happiness and well-being. I meet these other souls with openness and curiosity. I want to hear what they have to say. I want to learn what they’re here to teach me. I remember that there is no chance connection—all these souls are in my life for a reason. This month, I gain clarity on the reasons. I set intentions around how I would like to relate to others. I imagine how I’d like to feel in relationships. I call into my life the relationships that I desire, and release the relationships that no longer serve me. I seek balance by clarifying my boundaries, limits, and needs. Uranus in my house of work, daily routine, and health may bring innovation and insight into these areas of my life. The planets may inspire me to shift my routine, release an old habit, tend to my health. When I receive the bolt of insight, I’ll have the motivation to act on it with ease, for the planets are supporting me now.

Sagittarius by Katie Maasik

SAGITTARIUS
(November 22-December 21)

This month, my work life and day-to-day routine are given a big dose of sunshine. I go along for the ride and accept the new opportunities that come my way. I go with the flow even when the flow moves quickly and in sometimes surprising directions. I seek balance by taking time to retreat and rest, to daydream and find escape when I need it. I ready myself for major creative insights this month. Creativity is a gift offered from another realm. When ideas land in my lap, I honour and respect them as fleeting and precious. I take notes, I make sketches, I do the work required to make something of the insights I receive. Creativity includes all the ways in which we play and find pleasure: romance, laughter, storytelling, children, games, sports. Any of these areas may be electrified, may receive lightning bolts of insight and genius. I’m open to a whole new level of pleasure and joy.

Capricorn by Katie Maasik

CAPRICORN
(December 22-January 19)

This month I’m asked to remember pleasure. I recall the importance of play, fun, joy, laughter, romance, creativity. I see how pleasure contributes to every other aspect of life. With a playful heart, I find it easier to create. I express myself in a way that feels natural and true to myself. I feel more at home in my own skin. I come to more fully accept myself. The way in which I come to more fully accept myself may surprise me: I may receive some insight relating to my early childhood or my relationship with my mother (or primary caregiver). This revelation may be just what it takes to find my own creative flow. I understand that the more I express myself in a way that is natural to me, the more I connect with people who really get me, who really see me. I am finding my people. I see the reciprocal relationship between the community and groups I belong to—my wider circle of friends, and my creative self-expression. I see how friendships and self-expression support each other: it’s through being myself that I connect with others, and those connections bring opportunities and support that further my creative development.

Aquarius by Katie Maasik

AQUARIUS
(January 19-February 18)

The Sun brings energy and focus to my home this month. If I desire to be at home more than normal, I’ll heed the call. There is a time for retreat and rest, and that time is now. And I will need it because my mind is on fire this month. Many brilliant, revolutionary ideas electrify my nervous system. I enjoy the energy and the pulsing, and know that I must take care of my body and mind so the electricity flows smoothly and doesn’t burn me out. I spend time with my closest loved ones. I take long baths. I putter around at home. I seek moments of silence. If I have excess energy, perhaps I’ll do some projects around the home, but my priority is self-care. I seek the balance between home and work, between retreating and engaging with the public. I honour myself for what I’ve achieved in my work, I recognize my hard work, and accept the recognition and rewards that are offered me. And in knowing I’ve done a good job, I rest more easily.

Pisces by Katie Maasik

PISCES
(February 19-March 20)

The inbox is filling up. The phone buzzing with texts and calls. The mailbox is overflowing. The mind is busy. This is the season for messages, communication, thought, and mental work. I go with the flow, knowing there is a time for everything, and for everything there is an ebb and flow. I allow the communication channels to open. I consider the way in which I communicate with others, and set intentions around how I wish to express myself, speak my truth, hear and be heard. I seek balance by withdrawing from time to time, to feel within, and check in with my intuitive guidance. I respect the views and opinions of others, but I don’t lose myself in them: I sift and sort through all these opinions and facts with the sieve of my own worldview and personal sense of truth. With Uranus in my house of finances and value, I allow innovations and brilliant new ideas to bring more abundance into my life. I’m open to possibilities and opportunities I can’t even imagine. I’m ready for life to surprise me.

This month's horoscopes were written in collaboration with Andi Astre (aka Mystic Sandwich) of The Good Spirit—a curated metaphysical boutique in Vancouver that aims to provide clarity in your spiritual path by way of introspection, intuition, and inspiration. 

Where do I end, and you begin? Sometimes it's harder to tell than it should be. Sometimes we lose ourselves in others, or we go to the other extreme and close ourselves off, forgetting that relating is an essential part of who we are. April is a month to contemplate the balance between self and other, to get really clear on who we are, what we value, and what we want—and then to communicate that to others. The stars support us this month to gently yet assertively put words to our feelings, ask for what we need, and state our boundaries. This energy is not about charging forward, but turning within: asking ourselves and our loved ones for clarity. Through this work, our relationships grow stronger.

Zodiac illustrations by Katie Maasik

Aries by Katie Maasik

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

This month I emerge from the darkness of winter into the light of my being. I see clearly the thoughts and behaviours that only hold me back, that maybe served a purpose once, but now only serve to hide my light. Because I see it now, I can let it go. I release what no longer serves me, and in letting go of that weight I emerge lighter and more free. With the innate courage that is the gift of all Aries, I step into the unknown that is my future. I feel the immense boost the universe offers me this month, and I allow it to carry me forward into the future I dream of. I harness this energy to find my voice, to step into my truth, to be unapologetically me.

Taurus by Katie Maasik

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

This month I clear out the closets of my mind and heart. I do the work of spring-cleaning my soul, anticipating how good it will feel to inhabit a newly uncluttered being. My depths are stirred. The dust rises. I become aware of what until now had been unconscious. This month I’m gifted with vision. I see the habits of my soul that I was so accustomed to, I couldn’t see. I see how I’d been holding myself back. This month, I prepare for my coming renewal and rebirth. This month I descend into the watery depths of my soul. I do the work. Because that’s what it takes to be transformed. In undergoing this sacred initiation, I honour myself by taking the time to slow down, rest, and reflect. I nourish myself and give myself what I need.

Gemini by Katie Maasik

GEMINI
(May 21-June 21)

This month I reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. I feel the injection of energy into my social life. This energy enables me to clarify what I need and desire from the people in my life. I see the ways in which I overextend myself and deplete myself by offering too much, by doing too much. I see how I can take care of myself by clarifying my boundaries, by knowing when to withdraw and take time to take care, to reflect, to be quiet. This month I rediscover creativity. I come to better understand the ways in which I express myself. I see how giving myself the time to be creative enhances my social life, and vice versa. The more I am true to myself and my uniqueness, the more I connect with those souls who truly support me in who I am. I see how expressing myself creatively, and the people who support me in that, are the very aspects of life that carry my hopes and dreams to fruition.

Cancer by Katie Maasik

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

This month I feel more at home in the world. This month I come to better understand my role within society. I see clearly that what I have to offer is also what gives me joy. I reflect on how I want to feel when it comes to my career. I consider what I want and need, and take steps toward achieving that. I gain understanding into my own inherent gifts, and I feel the bliss that comes from expressing them. I let go of the guilt I’ve carried from doing what I love. I come to see that doing what I love isn’t selfish, it's how I can best serve others. When, with passion and love, I express my unique gifts, I am energized. Others feel the energy and benefit. I see that there is no conflict between my home life and my public life. I allow myself time to retreat and rest and see how this in turn nourishes my work. I welcome the blessings the universe offers me in my career this month. I know I’m finding my place in the world.

Leo by Katie Maasik

LEO
(July 23-August 22)

This month offers me a whole new paradigm. I contemplate what I believe and what is true to me. With courage, I loosen the hold on my beliefs so that my worldview can evolve. I clarify how I see the world and tap into my own intuitive knowing. I reconsider what is most important to me, and in so doing, my own personal philosophy crystallizes after a period of transition. I come to understand the balance between collecting information, doing research, learning from others, and then turning within to consult my intuition. I see that no one else knows better I do what is true for me. I come to recognize my own authority. I realize that we gain in knowledge by turning away from the information at some point, in order to decide what’s true for ourselves. I see that the facts must be filtered through my own personal worldview. I see that we learn more by learning less. We find wisdom in intuition, and truth in silence. This month, I take the time for silence, in order to discover my personal truth. 

Virgo by Katie Maasik

VIRGO
(August 23-September 22)

I am undergoing a transformation that will bring me to a better place, that will bring more intimacy into my life. Loss, whether of relationships or of my sense of self, is the necessary prelude to gain. Letting go is required in order to transform into someone more whole, more authentic. Not all endings signal failure. Not everything is meant to last forever. I allow myself to grieve, knowing that endings lead to new beginnings. I take this time to reflect on boundaries. Do I allow myself to open to others and to intimacy? The scary thing about intimacy is that is requires loosening my hold on my self. It may even require letting go of some aspects of who I am. I let go, knowing that this is the path to true connection, to real intimacy. I risk this loss, understanding the immense joy it can bring. I have the courage to have the difficult conversations about how to share space and resources, and about what it means to be intimate. This month offers a powerful opportunity to shed layers, to let go of my old self, and to make way for new opportunities, new intimacy, and deeper love.

Libra by Katie Maasik

LIBRA
(September 23-October 22)

I am my own person, complete and whole. This month, I stand more firmly on my own two feet. I am learning to be true to myself, rather than aiming only to please others. Other people may surprise me. They may come and go when I least expect it. They may be kind or hurtful, and I can’t control it. This month I accept that I can’t control others, I can only control my response to them. This month I feel more secure in who I am. I feel better equipped to meet others as equals. This month I consider what I value in relationships, and what I need and want from them. I find the courage to assert my needs and desires, and clear the space for new relationships that truly serve me. I ready myself to meet the people who can meet me where I’m at, the people who will value me for who I am, the people who will treat me as I deserve. I prepare myself for new relationships that feed my soul, enhance my life, and inspire my evolution.

Scorpio by Katie Maasik

SCORPIO
(October 23-November 21)

When life gets busy, I go along for the ride. I surrender to surprise. I welcome spontaneity and the unexpected, knowing that’s where opportunity and insight lie. I discover my capacity for flexibility and adaptation. I bend around the flows of life. I consider how I structure my days, and loosen that structure so that it may shift in accordance with my life. I allow routines to change when they’ve outlived their function. I adapt to the new shape of my new life. I welcome my ongoing transformation. Without guilt or shame or even effort, I release the habits that no longer serve me. A new shape for my life is emerging. It's a structure that is efficient, flowing, easeful. Not because I decided how it should be, but because I allow it to take shape naturally, guided by the rhythms of the stars and earth, guided by my intuition. This month I will watch as my life becomes easier and happier.  

Sagittarius by Katie Maasik

SAGITTARIUS
(November 22-December 21)

I am a deeply creative being. I have unique gifts. There are ideas and insights that flow only through me. I am here on earth to contribute in a way that only I can. This month I open more fully to my own creative genius. This month I receive insights that help me align with my unique gifts. I harness the creative energy that flows through me. When I step out of my own way and open myself to the universe, I become a channel for cosmic creativity. And when I open more and more to who I am, when I discover more and more of my unique gifts, I attract the friends who appreciate me for who I am, and who support me on my journey. I am open to these new people, people who see me for who I am, people with whom I can have a real connection.

Capricorn by Katie Maasik

CAPRICORN
(December 22-January 19)

Grooves and patterns structure the mind from our earliest days. This month I gain awareness of how my mind works, of how I’ve been shaped by my family and early home life. And in so doing I make possible the freedom to choose differently. I unlock the potential to release deeply ingrained mind ruts, to let go of old attachments and habits, to overcome deeply held fears and expectations. I am not the people who raised me. I am not my family. I am not my society. I am myself. This month I am more myself than ever. I allow the natural restructuring of my mind that allows greater freedom and individuality. I connect with my inner child and let it know that I am the adult now and I will give it all the care and love it needs. I will not let it down. I will not let myself down. I am here for myself. I recognize that changes in my home life, in my living situation reflect deeper changes within me. This month I come to feel more at home in the world and in my own skin.

Aquarius by Katie Maasik

AQUARIUS
(January 19-February 18)

This month my mind is fired up with creativity and insight, with new ideas and innovative solutions. I enjoy the creative thoughts flowing through me. I recognize that I need to take care so as to not be run down by my mental effort. I find grounding. I spend time in nature, I make space for silence. I meditate. I do the practices that soothe my soul. Then I harness the cosmic insight that flows through me. This month I’m inspired. I recognize that these ideas are not my own, but are gifted from the universe, and so I treat them with respect. I make use of them. I write them down, I speak to them, I act on them. I harness my inherent capacity to envision the future, and to help humanity reach its highest future potential. I use my creativity in service of this ideal.

Pisces by Katie Maasik

PISCES
(February 19-March 20)

I recognize the paradox that we are all one, yet at the same time I am a unique individual. I recognize my own personal boundaries because I value myself. I am compassionate and sensitive to others, and at the same time I honour myself and my own needs. I recognize that a part of compassion means communicating my needs and boundaries to others. This month I assert myself, gently yet firmly. I feel a renewal in my own self worth. I recognize that I am worthy. I have nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing wrong with me. I am perfect as I am and exactly where I need to be. I am a beautiful creation of the universe and the universe flows through me. I allow the gifts and the abundance the universe offers. I allow myself to feel good, I allow my cup to be filled—because I deserve it.

In our media-saturated lives, an ever-increasing number of messages revolve around “loving ourselves.” The notion of self-love may mean something different for everyone, but the intention behind it is the same—to take charge of our own well-being and happiness.

Here are some ways you can bring acts of self-love into your daily life.

Set Boundaries

Before committing to too much, or doing something that you don’t want to do, check in with yourself. Setting boundaries is a way to know and understand your limits. When you set boundaries, you improve your relationships with yourself and others.

Focus on Your Own Life

Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Try not to waste time comparing yourself to others. If you can get grounded in what you’re doing and where you’re going, you'll be closer to discovering what it is you truly want out of life.   

Practice Self-Care

This may be as simple as taking care of your basic needs - i.e. eating well, getting regular sleep, moving your body, or relaxing. This may slo involve more TLC, such as: cuddle time, taking a bath, creating a beauty routine, or carving out some creative time.

Be Mindful

Breathe full, deep breaths, as often as you can. Breathing slowly helps bring awareness into the present moment, and helps us find acceptance for others, as well as ourselves.

Make Time for What You Love

Find out what makes you lose track of time, and do it! This is especially important for those who aren’t quite ready for the other tips listed above. Making time for what you love can include anything from getting together with friends, playing an instrument, building things, or playing a sport.

Whatever ways you choose to be good to yourself, the essence is always the same—you are valuable and worthy of it!

Acting on impulse can be fun. This month, that lure toward temptation will seem irresistible. Forbidden fruit will always entice us, but ultimately each of us must choose to take that bite. We could blame our actions on impulse. Yet even when we act on impulse, choice remains at the heart of it. When we give in to impulse, we ignore the protective boundaries we’ve build for ourselves and others. We’ve created these limits for a purpose—not to hold us back, but to help us grow. Like a garden thriving in a vast field, we are best when we cultivate small sections of ourselves. This month we will strive to remember the importance of boundaries, even as we skip back and forth across them.

Zodiac illustrations by Katie Maasik

Aries by Katie Maasik

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

This month I am going to move. I am going to move across space, yes—but I’m also going to move the ones around me. My voice will exhilarate and inspire those who need to hear it. My bold style will cause a stir. I am finding my confidence again, and important people are taking notice. But I won’t let myself be roped into their fickle judgements. I’ve learned that with movement comes freedom. The less restrictions I put on myself, the freer I am to explore. I won’t let others bring me down. Instead, I will make this month all about transporting myself and others from one powerful experience to the next. 

Taurus by Katie Maasik

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

Making friends has become easy for me. Everywhere I go, other people follow me! They’re attracted to me like moths to a flame. Yet if I slow down, I recognize that my inner fire is fed by silence. I love the energy others bring into my life, but too much outside activity disrupts my rhythm. To make sense of my experiences, I need time for contemplation. This month will bring me avenues toward that silence. I can choose to race past these opportunities, or I can take a risk and wander the long, meandering paths toward peace.

Gemini by Katie Maasik

GEMINI
(May 21-June 21)

My family has created many things for me. Opportunities yes, but also boundaries to break down. I feel myself drifting from the weight of my past, but I miss the burden. It comforts me like a heavy blanket. Generations of women before me had to reconcile their futures with my family’s colourful past. I can learn from their successes and failures. I can turn to family members who are not related to me through blood. Partners. Their bonds are made by choice. How do these people navigate my family history? How do they find a place for themselves? I will trace the lines of their histories to draw my own. I will own that limb on the family tree that belongs to me, or I will start my own tree.

Cancer by Katie Maasik

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

Animals will show me the way this month. The animals in my life possess a quiet understanding of the world. They can teach me many things. Together we communicate without words, and savour each moment. We share joy over the smallest surprises. Animals remind me to breathe in the smell of earth and dirt and rain. They show me how to laugh off embarrassment. How to move on from my failures. They show me that life is easier when I don’t take things personally. When I loosen up. When I am able to fill myself to the brim with pleasure. This month I will release my guilt and enjoy a few beastly indulgences.

Leo by Katie Maasik

LEO
(July 23-August 22)

I may feel like I’m crawling through a tunnel this month. I won’t know why I decided to duck inside this lonely underground, but I’ll know that it feels like a big mistake. Others warned me not to go, but I saw something special down there. I thought everyone else was afraid of the unknown. I was proud to venture places others wouldn’t dare! Now I’m confused and miss the world above me. I miss the sun on my face. I miss my friends. I miss the sounds of life. But the silence of this tunnel has felt good. I’ve cleared my head. Now I can head toward the hatch, open it up, and look outside once more.

Virgo by Katie Maasik

VIRGO
(August 23-September 22)

This month I will hunger for recognition. I’m not asking for a parade or a standing ovation. What I seek is a quiet respect from those around me. An acknowledgement. A smile. A tip of the hat. Something to keep me going. I am strong, I’ve always been strong. But it’s my turn to slow down. Someone close to me will help me. If I ask, they will grant me the gift of time. This person will shoulder my heaviest responsibility. I will be able to close my eyes, calm my restless mind, and breathe. But if I want this break, I will need to ask for help. I think I project assurance, but my loved ones see through my confident exterior. They know I struggle alone. They want to help me—I just need to tell them how they can.

Libra by Katie Maasik

LIBRA
(September 23-October 22)

It’s funny how music only has so many notes—yet we’ve been able to create so many beautiful songs. This is how I feel about my own abilities. I have a small box of talents. I hone them every day, so that I may create beautiful things. The more I examine my talents, the more hidden features I uncover. My talents are multi-faced. When I use my talent in an unexpected forum, I am surprised by my new capabilities. But perhaps these skills are not new. Maybe they were always there, but I didn’t know where to look. This month I will look at my talents in a new way. I will consider an alternate way of using them. A way that makes them sing.

Scorpio by Katie Maasik

SCORPIO
(October 23-November 21)

I get frustrated with routine. When I feel forced into ritual, I lash out. I berate people. I scoff at what brings others joy. I refuse to “celebrate the small things” because I’ve got my sights set on something much bigger. I want my life to be fantastic. I want to fill it with interesting people and memorable experiences. I want the things that others can’t have. I’m pretty good at getting those things. But when I chase after the shiny, I don’t see the grey. And the grey is where the good stuff is! It’s in the margins. In the hyphen. It’s the nuance between black and white. But it takes patience and discipline to tolerate all that grey. Grey is confusing! Understanding the grey requires solitude and contemplation. I can get that quiet when I want it—I just have to want it. Maybe I’ll try it this month. Just set aside a few minutes, nothing extreme. I am curious. Let's see what happens...

Sagittarius by Katie Maasik

SAGITTARIUS
(November 22-December 21)

This month I will find myself in the centre of some lively parties. Booze will be a big player in my own personal drama too. Good or bad, its presence will make itself felt. I like the dull blur that alcohol brings to my sharp edges. It’s true, I thirst for something more. But instead of figuring out what that could be, I prefer to focus on feeling good. People think I don’t know that, but I do. Everyone is so quick to judge. I won’t let it get to me. Instead I’ll focus on these parties. I love my people, and I love my place beside them. My way doesn’t have to be their way. I think I’m finally getting to be okay with that.

Capricorn by Katie Maasik

CAPRICORN
(December 22-January 19)

This month I will create something beautiful—and useless. I’ll need to fight every urge in my body to assign purpose to my creation. I just can’t help it. I feel passionately about utility. I am someone who makes myself useful. I expect the same of the objects around me. My tolerance for unproductive things (and people!) is low. I despise wasted time and energy. I want everything to come together and do its part. But somehow, this month, I will accidentally create this useless, yet beautiful thing. It won’t make sense to me at first. I am going to hate it. But if I leave it out for others to see, my opinion may change. When others appreciate its beauty, suddenly it has a purpose—to be seen, to be remarked upon, to be considered. Perhaps I will be able to see the usefulness of such an object. It could be art.

Aquarius by Katie Maasik

AQUARIUS
(January 19-February 18)

I sometimes believe I have more than one soul mate. I mean right now there’s a handful of people with whom I feel an intense connection. Sometimes that connection is physical, sometimes it’s mental. What I take away from it is the feeling. After all, that connection may be a rush that only lasts a few days. Or it may be a deep understanding that leads to a lifetime partnership. No matter the duration of our relationship, I know my connection to these people is real. There are only so many times a person is overwhelmed by love. I’m going to enjoy every single, tiny manifestations of that love.

Pisces by Katie Maasik

PISCES
(February 19-March 20)

This month is going to feel like a blessing. I will feel rested, and able to access the silence I’ve been craving. A peaceful reprieve like this has the power to illuminate a new side of myself. I will gain access to a deeper knowledge. My body has been busy storing this knowledge inside.  My body has been waiting for the right moment to share it with me. Now is that time. I am going to feel fully alive for a long stretch. I will travel far. I will swim upstream with newfound purpose. I will use my wisdom to teach others. I will show them a new way of looking. I will look at the world in a new way. I will look at myself in a new way.

Dark, dreary and cold weather can leave you feeling tired and lazy. Your energy levels lower, and you can feel little to no motivation. That’s why slow, mindful morning rituals become an even more important part of your self-care during the colder seasons.

If you need a little inspiration, here are my top 5 rituals to start your morning right!

    • Practice Gratitude
      • Your alarm has gone off and it’s time to start the day, but before you reach for your phone and check emails, Instagram or Facebook, take just 2 minutes to close your eyes, set your intentions and start your morning with gratitude. This simple step can reset your entire take on the day, and inspire positivity in the face of another dark winter morning.
    • Breathe
      • After your mindful start, reach for aromatherapy to set the mood for your day. My go-to for winter mornings is a blend of lemon, frankincense and cedarwood. This grounding yet uplifting combination energizes and motivates you to make the most of your day. Add a couple of drops to your diffuser and take 5 deep breaths before moving on.
    • Hydrate
      • Now, before anything else, reach for a glass of water. After a (hopefully) long sleep, it’s time to slowly wake your body up and encourage gentle detoxification before breakfast. I love a simple glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon or a combination of mint, filtered water and chlorella—a blue-green algae native to Japan and absolutely packed with nutrients like potassium, chlorophyll, magnesium and beta-carotene.
    • Move
      • Now, try a quick and gentle 1 minute stretch, or use a dry brush to encourage blood flow and healthy circulation after a deep sleep. This easy step will wake you up more quickly than your daily cup of coffee, without the crash!
    • Nourish
      • Now that you’re prepared to properly digest and assimilate nutrients, it’s time to eat! To prepare you for the day ahead, reach for a warm smoothie or cup of overnight oats filled to the brim with important nutrients and healthy fats. Remember to eat slowly and with intention. Chew your food thoroughly and put your spoon down between bites. Try to mindfully enjoy each and every bite.

    It doesn’t take much time, but you’ll notice that starting your morning with focused intention and gratitude allows space for more positivity and joy. And at the end of the day, don’t worry—after all, spring is right around the corner!

    Strawberry & Rose Overnight Oats

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup (heaping) rolled oats
    • 2/3 cup homemade rose & cashew nut milk
      • 1 cup soaked cashews 
      • 2 cups rose tea
      • 1 soaked medjool date
    • 1 tbsp chia seeds or ground flax
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • Pinch of salt
    • ¼ cup chopped organic strawberries
    • Glug of dark maple syrup

    Instructions

    • For the nut milk
      • Place cashews in a bowl, cover with filtered water and soak overnight
      • Boil water and pour over 2 tbsp rose petals - allow to steep overnight
      • In the morning, add 2 cups of rose tea, cashews and medjool date to blender
      • Blitz on high speed for about 1 minute 
      • Strain through a nut milk bag into a sterilized jar (keeps in fridge for approximately 5 days)
    • For the oats
      • Whisk together oats, chia, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, strawberries and cashew milk in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Spoon into a jar with a tight fitting lid
      • Close and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before eating
      • In the morning, stir and add a bit more nut milk if necessary
      • Top with extra chopped strawberries and rose petals
      • Enjoy!

    - Kelsey

    xx

    In honour of February being the month of love, I wanted to share some herbs that I use to nourish my heart on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Listed below are five of my favourite heart-warming herbs for you to enjoy with the ones you love.

    heart herbs

    Hawthorn/Thornapple (Crataegus sp.) - this thorny tree produces berries that are high in antioxidants, protective for the physical heart, and soothing as a herbal tea 

    Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - in traditional herbal medicine, the oil extracted from rosemary leaves are used to increase circulation in the body and strengthen the heart

    Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) - the essential oil produced from these flowers are used in aromatherapy to calm and slow down the rate of the heart

    Rose (Rosa sp.) - the petals can be steeped into rosewater, or distilled into an essential oil to emotionally comfort the heart

    Holy Basil/Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) - this flowered plant is most commonly infused as a tea and, according to Ayurvedic traditions, it nourishes the spirit and energetically uplifts the heart 

    Send some love to your heart this month, by adding one or two of these herbs to your herbal tea, diffuser, or cooking. 

     

     

    If you have any pre-existing heart or medical conditions, consult with your herbalist, naturopath, or health care physician before experimenting with any herbal remedies. 

    February is a month of love. Valentine’s Day celebrates the love between partners, but love comes in many powerful forms. Love can unite us and break down our boundaries. When fear threatens to cloud our vision, love reminds us of what matters. Love is the force connecting us when we stand together. Love will help us crack the wall so the light can shine through. But love can only take us so far. When people we love are in danger, we take action. We gather together and show our numbers. We will remind strong forces outside ourselves that fear is not an answer we will accept. Together, we can break through. Together, our love can do great things.

    Zodiac illustrations by Katie Maasik

    Aries by Katie Maasik

    ARIES
    (March 21-April 19)

    I have a serious question. Why is it, that when the past chooses to repeat itself, it only ever repeats the bad stuff? When I see the danger approaching, I have to laugh. I know this trouble! I’ve seen its kind before and it does not bring a lesson that I need to learn again. I know its hardships very well. I’ve fought and overcome this beast countless times before. Yet here it is again, all up in my face! Maybe I didn’t scare it away well enough last time? I admit I’ve been busy, quietly working away on my own life. I’ve been creating happiness for myself, no one can fault me for that. For the first time, I’ve stopped looking over my shoulder. I’ve finally felt peace! I won’t let the beast ruin this for me. And yet...I’ve heard whispers. They say that while I’ve been safe, others have never known my safety. They say they need help. Maybe it’s time to step up and use my power. Perhaps the past is repeating itself for a reason after all..?

    Taurus by Katie Maasik

    TAURUS
    (April 20-May 20)

    I want to find someone I can respect. I want to look up to someone again. Maybe it’s difficult for me to find this person because I’m a leader myself. I resist following others. But even a leader needs an example to follow: even I have my blind spots. I want to trust someone who can point out my weaknesses, someone who will help me strengthen them. I want a mentor. But where do I look? Perhaps this person is already in my life. Perhaps my heart has pointed them out, but I've ignored my instinct. Maybe I was afraid to get closer. The energy from confident people is often intimidating. I know whoever this person is, they will not need anything from me. I know their happiness will come from within. Materialism is something I struggle with at times. I want the things around me to broadcast my success! I need possessions to prove that I am who I say I am. I think a mentor can help me grapple with this. If I can gather the courage to seek out this person, perhaps they can show me the way toward fulfillment.

    Gemini by Katie Maasik

    GEMINI
    (May 21-June 21)

    I will take on a new name this month. The name could come in many forms, with many results. It may be given to me freely, or bestowed on me with a heavy responsibility attached. I may choose to snatch up this name to make it my own. It may signify nothing more than harmless fun, like a dumb nickname earned on a wild night out. On the other hand, the new name could give rise to big changes in my life, with fresh responsibilities. Names have always been very important to me. I sense their significance and power. I’ve seen how a name can be a great blessing or curse. If I choose to take on this new name, it may shield me and cover me like a disguise. I could find myself entering unusual places, and creating strange connections with people I never thought I’d meet. This name is my ticket to new experiences. I'm ready for the challenge.

    Cancer by Katie Maasik

    CANCER
    (June 21-July 22)

    In the past, I’ve been the one to remain calm during catastrophe. People I care about look to me to make sense of the chaos. They think that my calm comes from courage, but I know better. My calm comes from acceptance! I figure if I’m on the way out, the least I can do is go out with dignity. Okay, I’m joking...mostly. I like using my black sense of humour to lighten the mood. But these days I haven’t been laughing so much. It’s hard to even muster a smile when there’s trouble everywhere I look. I’ve been doing the crab thing and retreating into the safety of my shell, but I’m the only one who fits in here! I’m okay, but what about everyone else? Seems like now is the time to dig out a foundation for something. It will start out small, but over time it could become the base of a great shelter. A shelter that could put a roof over the heads of many people. I carry my sense of home with me everywhere I go—perhaps it’s in me to share that comfort. 

    Leo by Katie Maasik

    LEO
    (July 23-August 22)

    Not to sound full of myself, but everyone wants me right now! They want my ideas, and my energy, and well...some of them want more if you know what I mean. It’s fun to be in demand! I’m super energized by all the attention, but maan! Everyone wants my input on every little thing! Close friends are sad that I’m so busy, and new friends want to see more of me. I feel like dozens of people are each trying to take my time. I’m getting divvied up like slices of pizza over here—if this keeps up I there won’t be any of me left! I seriously gotta take a step back. It’s just hard when there’s so much going on. I want to be a part of everything! But yeah, I gotta take a breather. All this attention is addictive. I can be healthy about it, or I can jump right into the chaos. Guess which one I’m going to pick? Hah! 

    Virgo by Katie Maasik

    VIRGO
    (August 23-September 22)

    My nighttime visions show me who I can become. In my dreams, I move swiftly and easily through the air. I feel weightless and joyful. My burdens are released from on high. They fall from my body and plunge deep into the waters below me. I lose sight of them as they sink into the unfathomable darkness. I am sad, though. I know when I awake, I will be back in the depths, treading water with my burdens weighted beneath me once more. But when I sleep, I see the lightness. I feel peace. If I truly desire it, this peace is attainable in my waking life too. But it’s so much simpler for me to remain here, treading water. I know I can access this peace—I’ve already felt it within me—I simply need to let go, look down, and see what’s holding me back.   

    Libra by Katie Maasik

    LIBRA
    (September 23-October 22)

    I’m balancing my work ethic with my desire for new things. Tbh, I think freedom is tipping the scale for me. I want to give myself a break, and break free from the comfort of my routine. I mean I love doing great work, but if I don’t keep to a rigorous schedule, things fall out of whack. I hate when that happens! Everything always in its place, please. Plus I haven’t been feeling like my usual efficient self. There’s a fog hanging over everything. So yes, a little leisure may be the antidote for all this labor. I know I don’t need to travel far, but I do need to pick up and move somewhere new for awhile. Maybe I'll venture to the next town over. I could take a walk, eat at a new restaurant, look at some cute dogs—whatever it is, I need something novel to bring a little colour into this grey. Time for a much-needed jolt!

    Scorpio by Katie Maasik

    SCORPIO
    (October 23-November 21)

    I like to get down to work. I’m lucky because I’ve always been free from the burden of impressing people. No one motivates me except me. My drive has always come from within. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I don’t care about others. In fact the whole reason I do a good job is because I want to do my part! We’re in this together whether we like it or not—we might as well work hard to make it easier for everyone. What I really despise is when people think I don’t notice when they’re slacking off. Just because I can carry you, doesn’t mean I want to. This month I’m going to encounter someone who looks like they’re messing around. From every angle I can see, this person is simply wasting time. But I’m going to fight my instinct to tear into them—because there’s something going on with them beneath the surface. I know all about hiding weakness—which is exactly what this person will be doing. I’ll need to soften my blunt approach this time. They may have a growing problem that I can help cut away, before it gets out of control and entangles the rest of us. 

    Sagittarius by Katie Maasik

    SAGITTARIUS
    (November 22-December 21)

    I like to romanticize the past. I have this idea that things were better back then, but when I stop and think about it, I’m actually having some of my best times right now. Part of that is the headspace I’m in. I used to worry more. I think I used to get too inside the heads of everyone around me. Now I’m okay with letting them think what they think. I keep inside my own head, I worry about my own needs. Turns out my head is full of enough stuff to keep me occupied anyway. I’m feeling so creative these days! I’m making cool shit and really seeing the world in technicolour. I might still wear my rose-coloured glasses now and then, but I’ve decided it’s okay. I need a little dose of romance in my life. As long as I remember to keep my needs in focus, I can give myself up to a hopeful dream now and then. 

    Capricorn by Katie Maasik

    CAPRICORN
    (December 22-January 19)

    The thing I’ve been building is finally up and running. It took me years to plan it out. I doubted I would ever get it the way I wanted, but all those long hours I spent toiling alone are finally paying off. Now it’s finally complete, and I can rest as it does its work. So why do I feel strange? I realize I’ve traded uncertainty for peace and security. On the surface, that should make me happy—I like a solid foundation to stand on. But I also like to work hard. I like the struggle. Nothing has ever felt real to me unless I earned it. And now this: freedom, time to myself, a wide space to fill. It’s overwhelming. The thing I built is running well right now, but it would take so little to hijack it. Maybe I should break it down! Then I’d have a purpose again! But I know this isn’t the answer.  I will spend this month tinkering and honing my skills again—I will find a new project. A new passion. A new thing to build up and make me feel alive. 

    Aquarius by Katie Maasik

    AQUARIUS
    (January 19-February 18)

    I like doing things my way. I’ve got a unique way of seeing the world and making my mark. In the past when I’ve let others take the lead, the results are well...let’s just say they weren’t what I expected. Whenever I let other people lead, I almost always wish I’d stepped in earlier to help things move in the right direction. Does that make me a control freak? I like to think of myself as a creative director, but maybe I do tend to micromanage the people closest to me. It’s just that since they’re such a reflection of me, I want them to be great! I put a lot of pressure on them. I guess I could give them—and myself—a break once in awhile. This month I’ll try to let go and accept another person’s vision. Often people want to give me things, but they’re afraid the gifts won’t impress me. I’m going to let them know I appreciate them as they are. I’m going to be grateful for the effort they take with me. In turn, I’ll ease up my own efforts—so there’s room for their vision too. 

    Pisces by Katie Maasik

    PISCES
    (February 19-March 20)

    Love feels elusive to me sometimes. I can feel closed off when other people are connecting. I often feel left out on my own. But this isolation is self-inflicted. In truth, I’m surrounded by love—it’s just not the type of love I’m expecting. I have a version of love in my mind. I seek it out in its entirety, and nothing else will do. But I am learning to let love have its rougher edges. Sleek, idealized love is no longer for me. I am ready to open my heart. I know opening up leaves me vulnerable, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I look around—I mean really look—I’m going to see the love I seek. It’s there in the kind words from a friend, and the warm smile from a stranger, yes. But it’s also there in the hearts of a few special people. These are the people who understand me most. These are the ones who see my true self. The ones who help me remain open, so I can love them back. The ones who want to love me the most, if I will let them. 

    julia khan anselmo woodlot

    Julia Khan Anselmo is the founder of Feisty Feast, a series of long table dinners where speakers share stories and inspire meaningful conversation. Thank you to Julia for inviting us into her beautiful home We shared some tea as we spoke of family, friends, and the resilience of the feminine spirit. 

    All photos by Alison Page

    Describe your work. When did you first know it was what you wanted to do?

    I am the founder of Feisty Feast, a long table dinner event that brings women together to connect over a divine feast, meaningful conversation, and beautiful atmosphere. It’s an exciting time to be a woman and, I believe, it's one of the best times to be a woman. It’s so important for us to come together and lift one another up. My events are intended to unite and empower women in the feminine spirit and to give women in the community a platform and a voice to bring to light the many, many issues that affect us.

    "My events are intended to unite and empower women in the feminine spirit and to give women in the community a platform and a voice to bring light the many, many issues that affect us."

    julia khan anselmo woodlotjulia khan anselmo woodlot

    I’ve had eleven events thus far, all ranging from stories of how women have endured and healed—from living with a terminal illness, to the idea of exploring non-monogamy, to learning about the positive effects of slow fashion and natural dyes, to female sexual empowerment. I strive to create a warm, open-minded, safe and magical space for women to commune, listen and talk. It's my goal for the women who attend my events to leave feeling inspired, well fed and to go out into their communities uplifted and hopefully open to holding space for the women in their lives. All the magic happens when we let our guards down and share the most vulnerable parts of ourselves.

    julia khan anselmo woodlot
    I knew what it was I wanted to do after getting laid off from a job in a company I had always wanted to work for in 2013. That was a tough time for me, I went on Employment Insurance for a year and explored what it was that I actually did with my time, rather than what it was I should be doing because of my previous work experience and the university degree I hold. I was meeting incredibly inspiring women, cooking and exploring different cuisines from around the world, and hosting dinner parties every week, so I began Feisty Feast.

    Describe your space and your favourite parts of it.

    I’m in love with beauty and aesthetics and creating beautiful spaces. My home is a sanctuary for all the things that are important to me. Cooking and hosting dinners, meditation, tea, making love and creating. My taste and sense of style are inspired by a sense of classic old world interiors, textiles collected from travels, and a strong western influence from Alberta. I try to only purchase and keep things in my home that are functional and mean something to me. We live in a world where people consume so much, so I’m making an effort to be more intentional with my purchases and surround myself with only the essentials. 

    "We live in a world where people consume so much, so I’m making an effort to be more intentional with my purchases and surround myself with only the essentials." 

    julia khan anselmo woodlot

    What is the toughest thing about being your own boss?

    For me, it’s a combination of self-doubt and discipline. I’m getting better and having a routine practices like tea and meditation, yoga and running are useful. I'm easily distracted. I feel I could accomplish so much more if I were to able to direct my focus, but it's a challenge and I'm getting better!

    julia khan anselmo woodlot

    Do you have any rituals that help you unwind at the end of the day? 

    I prefer a morning practice as opposed to the evening because it helps me steady my busy mind and get me to a place of focus. I have a dedicated tea practice that was introduced to me a few years ago by my dear friend Nathalie Kelley. It involves setting up a space to come and rest, to just be and think and drink tea. The practice and ritual of pouring tea is where I love to begin my day. But, a long hot bath at the end of the day with a fine glass of Japanese whiskey is pretty great too. And, one more! I love cooking with friends and having a big communal Sunday supper, with African Jazz and a lots of candles: Woodlot candles, of course.  
    julia khan anselmo woodlot
    julia khan anselmo woodlot

    What is:

    ...a piece of art you wish everyone could see?

    My educational background is in Art History, so this is a very difficult question for me to answer because it’s hard to choose just one piece! But I’ll do my best. I’ve always been drawn to art that is experiential and art that uses the body as a medium to communicate a message.  Though I have never experienced this art piece, or performance artwork personally, I feel it would be a powerful one. I first learned about the artist Marina Abramovic while studying in London in 2008 and am inspired by her steadfast relationship with the themes of endurance, vulnerability, and power. Her Piece The Artists is Present is one I wish everyone could experience, including myself. Maria sits in a red dress in the gallery space from open to close without getting up. Open entering the space the audience is invited, one by one to sit across from her at a table and look into her eyes. I think having that space and time to do something so intimate with a complete stranger is powerful.

    julia khan anselmo woodlot

     ...a book you wish everyone would read?

    I’m reading a book by Esther Perel called Mating in Captivity that’s enlightening on the subject of desire in long-term relationships. In her book she discusses the philosophical question of whether you can desire that which you already have. Through eloquent and relatable examples, she draws on the history of love, marriage and her knowledge of sex to give an honest and realistic understanding of modern love, sex and relationships, and the pressures we all experience. I find her writing exceptional, it's a very difficult book to put down. I'm also enjoying Rupi Kaur's book of poetry, Milk and Honey. Kaur is a young Canadian writer of Indian decent sharing her life through words on being a woman of colour, universal shared experiences of femininity, abuse, relationships, sex and family. She speaks to my heart.

    julia khan anselmo woodlotjulia khan anselmo woodlot

     ...a place you wish everyone could visit?

    I think it’s important to visit wherever your roots are from. To know where you come from and find out how that has shaped you and your family; to know your ancestral history so you can better understand yourself is important in my mind. My mother is Trinidadian and my father, Portuguese, but I grew up in Calgary, Alberta. It was so far removed from extended family and family traditions, I always felt out of place there. My mother sent me to Trinidad when I was five years old to learn about Trinidadian culture, and meet my many aunts, uncles and cousins. I remember it was overwhelming because there were so many of them, but it left a strong impression on me and gave me a better understanding of my mother and where she came from. It left me wanting to learn more. A couple of years ago, I went to Portugal and felt very at home and connected to the land, culture and people. This year I will be going to India where my ancestry on my mother’s side of the family is from. I’m so excited to receive all of the challenges, beauty, and wonder that India has to offer.

    julia khan anselmo woodlotjulia khan anselmo woodlotjulia khan anselmo woodlot

    January marks the beginning of a great transformation. Last year was a difficult time for many of us. We were forced to make difficult decisions about the lives we were living, and the people we would like to become. Positive changes are coming later in the month, but 2017 kicks off with mercury still in retrograde. We must prepare for breakdowns of all sorts, as miscommunication will rule us until January 8th. Be wary of technology, especially when sending messages through email and texts—there are simply too many occasions in which our intentions can be misunderstood. Mercury retrograde is always a tumultuous time, but we must remember that even chaos has its value. Only through struggle can we reach our full potential, and form a sincere vision of the people we can become. Stay strong, our vulnerability will push us closer to truth. 

    Zodiac illustrations by Katie Maasik

    Aries by Katie Maasik

    ARIES
    (March 21-April 19)

    I usually have a solid idea of what I want. When people around me say I should want something different, I rarely give in. I’m a natural leader and people trust me. But sometimes I do go too far. Sometimes I need to step back, and wait a moment before jumping to a decision. I’ll need to be extra patient this month or my ambition may get the better of me. I know if I want to be a great leader, I need to learn how to share my power. Over the next few weeks I’m going to feel overwhelmed. Delegating some of my responsibilities will help everything make more sense. It’s hard for me to truly trust people, but I am going to work hard to open up. The more knowledge I share with the people around me, the more relief I will feel as I begin to unload my burdens.

    Taurus by Katie Maasik

    TAURUS
    (April 20-May 20)

    There are pieces of my life that I want to reimagine this year. Now is a good time to step back and evaluate, to think about what I want. If I’m honest with myself, I’ll admit that I’ve been working hard to uncover something. I am finally ready to tackle the skeletons in my closet. It’s not going to be easy, but I know if I can move beyond simple black and white, I will find something wonderful in the grey. As someone who sometimes clings to easy answers, I know this is a big step forward for me. I am so open to complexity right now! I know I will always value tradition: it reminds me of what I love, and helps ground me in the past. But this month I will examine the structures that hold these traditions in place. I can build on the values that make up my foundation, and let go of the shaky beams propped up by habit alone.

    Gemini by Katie Maasik

    GEMINI
    (May 21-June 21)

    I am going to be so busy this month. I can’t believe how much my checklist is growing! But it’s a new year! So why isn’t my slate wiped clean? I’m ready to forget about my mistakes and start all over. But when I look around, the blur of the holidaze is still fogging my vision. All my little indulges have started to add up! It looks like I’ve racked up a debt that’s going to weigh heavily on me for awhile. Ugh, but what else is new? I’m used to living beyond my means. Often it’s the only way to get what I want! Starting this month, I am going to work hard. I will check items off my list and earn my keep for real. I’ve learned the hard way that my big dreams come with even bigger price tags. So this year I am going to be much more intentional with my choices. I am going to slow down and plan my movements. I won’t fill the void with things I don’t need. Instead I will seek out love. I will spend my time creating memories with the people I trust. Their guidance is a rope that can pull me out of this hole I keep digging.

    Cancer by Katie Maasik

    CANCER
    (June 21-July 22)

    When people talk about “self-care” I get stressed out. It feels like one more thing I’m expected to be good at! If I don’t meditate for an hour every day, does that mean I’m a terrible person? That I’m not enlightened enough? Does my Instagram feed need more yoga poses and less dog noses? But petting cute dogs makes me feel good, and I’ve never been the flexible type! I feel so overwhelmed by all this advice. External voices are so loud that I can’t hear my own. This month I promise to set aside time to think about what I truly value. The holidays are wonderful, but they also brought a lot more stuff into my life. I am ready to concentrate on how I feel inside, instead of accumulating more things to decorate my outside. I am looking forward to clarity. This year will pose many challenges, but I’m going to learn a lot. First things first. I will focus on how I treat myself, instead of what I decide to treat myself to.

    Leo by Katie Maasik

    LEO
    (July 23-August 22)

    I’ve always felt in touch with my body, but lately it feels like a stranger. My brain is doing all the heavy lifting, and it’s starting to take its toll. My mind can’t stop racing. I’m constantly restless, and I can’t concentrate for more than a minute at a time. I’ve tried using technology to solve these problems: now I can count my steps, and track my heart rate, but I’m still overwhelmed. What should I do with all these stats? And how come this new sleep app isn’t helping me sleep better? I feel so worn out and disconnected. It’s like my body is trying to talk to me, but I can’t hear it over all this noise. Maybe I need a break. This month I’m going to take a breather from the mayhem. All this monitoring is putting me at a remove. I can’t completely disconnect, but maybe I can shut things off for an hour or two. I’ll go for a walk and leave my phone at home. I’ll turn off my laptop and read a magazine. Whatever I do, I’m going to do it slowly and with purpose.

    Virgo by Katie Maasik

    VIRGO
    (August 23-September 22)

    Maybe I’m being myopic, but last year didn’t seem so bad! Everyone else was struggling to stay afloat, but not me. I guess I’m just lucky? I mean sure, I had some setbacks, but it’s nothing I couldn’t handle. I’m the most competent person I know! People depend on me. If I couldn’t hack it, we’d all be in some serious hot water. I can’t let my weakness show, I don’t want to alarm people. If I let myself dwell on things (just a few things, really!) I might be able to pick out a few personal problems. Let’s see...well, my work felt scattered. I was pulled in every direction but forward. And my love life surprised me more than once, and not always in the good way. And my health has been better. But overall I handled everything! There’s a few holes in my boat—but so what? It’s not like I’m sinking. Hahaha…okay yes, I’m laughing nervously. Maybe I have been slightly in denial. Alright, alright, I suppose it’s time to bail out some of this water this month, before I spend another year in over my head.

    Libra by Katie Maasik

    LIBRA
    (September 23-October 22)

    I have been laying low for awhile, but I don't feel shameful about it. I needed to heal. I dealt with some heavy things last year. My desire to hide away was only natural. To recharge I had to escape and get away from it all. But I’m finally starting to feel stronger. My wounds have hardened into tough scars. I know it’s time to venture out into the world again. I’m ready to face the familiar sights and sounds that once overwhelmed me. I have developed new ways of being that will help me thrive. But I am going to be rusty, there’s no doubt about that. I will falter more than once. I will struggle. My new ways may startle old friends, but I will be patient. If they’re meant to remain in my life, they’ll come around. Most of all I will be patient with myself. I will remember how far I’ve come. And for the first time in a long while, I will let myself hope.

    Scorpio by Katie Maasik

    SCORPIO
    (October 23-November 21)

    Strangers usually raise my suspicion. When I turn a cold shoulder to newcomers, others look down on me. They assume I’m close-minded, but they don’t know the trouble strangers can bring with them. I do. I’ve created a beautiful ecosystem of people and places that are dear to me. My life is a delicate balance. But it took me a long time to put it in order—and the last thing I need is someone new barging in and disrupting things! So why do I have a feeling that’s exactly what’s in store for me this month? I’ve been raising my fences higher, but maybe I’ve been going about it all wrong. I know, I know—now and then I should open the gate. But it’s hard for me! What if all the good things I hold dear fly out the door and away from me? What if the newcomers bring unfamiliar traditions that challenge my own? Strangers often signal change. I need to prepare. Whether I’m ready or not, change is coming.

    Sagittarius by Katie Maasik

    SAGITTARIUS
    (November 22-December 21)

    I love my home, but I get restless facing the same walls each day. To stir things up, I often venture out to seek new experiences. My travels have introduced me to interesting people from all walks of life, and I like to file away each new personality type I encounter. This knowledge has instilled me with confidence. I like to imagine I’m a good judge of character—I even think I’ve got a good grasp on why certain people do the things they do. That’s why last year, when someone close to me betrayed my trust, I was shocked to my very core. Their deception blinded me with so much pain and self-loathing that it was easy to miss the power I was unlocking inside. That pain awakened new abilities within me. As the first month of this new year begins, I am still mining my core for strength, but hindsight is finally offering me a window. I can begin to see my breakdown as a chance for true reformation. I'm ready to come back, stronger than ever.

    Capricorn by Katie Maasik

    CAPRICORN
    (December 22- January 19)

    I’m off to a wobbly start for 2017. I feel a little like Mariah Carey during her NYE performance: I’m ready to kill it, but nothing is lining up right. People aren’t doing their jobs, they’re not pulling their weight, and I’m left looking like the fool. But what are you supposed to do? Sometimes things are out of your hands. So far I’m just rolling with it. If last year taught me anything, it’s that laughter is my best survival tool. For these first couple weeks, things will feel completely out of control. I just might start laughing a little too hard. I’ll probably freak out the people around me, but that will just make me laugh even harder. What can I say? The madness helps keep me sane. As the month goes on, things will quiet down. I’ll grope for the control levers, and finally switch off some of this noise. Until then, I just gotta hold on.

    Aquarius by Katie Maasik

    AQUARIUS
    (January 19-February 18)

    When things go well for me, I get caught up in a wave of excitement. I can’t help it! Once I see the light of possibility on the horizon, I storm ahead into uncharted waters. My enthusiasm has led me to great things. But sometimes it’s led me to big complications—like it’s going to this month, when others begin to blindly follow my lead. I may try to convince them to stay back where it’s safe, but it’s too late. They’ve seen the opportunities my brashness can bring. If I truly want to avoid some serious complications, I’ll need to step into a teaching role. This won’t be easy. My natural charm gets me out of most jams, but I’ve never tried to pass my power of persuasion on to another. My charms usually only work for me! I suppose if I practice lending my power to others, instead of only using them for my own gains, it could feel natural after a while. Hey, I guess in the end it works out for me too: I feel at my best when I’m helping others.

    Pisces by Katie Maasik

    PISCES
    (February19-March 20)

    When I look back at 2016, I see way more lows than highs. I don’t know if that’s my fault, but I’m praying that all these negative vibes are on the way out. I just can’t take it anymore—last year was full of too much heartache! One thing I will say, is that I’m proud that I was able to meet my troubles head on. When it comes down to it, I showed a lot of courage. And all those great people I attracted last year? They’re going to stick around and keep supporting me. When times are rough, I will move closer to what matters. For me, that’s the family I’ve created for myself. I will begin this new year by reaching out to those who helped me through my struggles. Maybe I can return the favour: maybe I can be the strong one for once.

    The holidays generally mean more stress, less sleep and mindLESS indulgences that we would ordinarily skip. Unfortunately, all of this (and more) can contribute to issues like unwanted weight gain, low energy levels, mood swings and an angry, inflamed complexion!

    Luckily, with just a few minor adjustments, this holiday season might end up being your most mindFULL one yet!

    • Just BREATHE
      • The excitement of your favourite treats, festive cocktails, and time spent catching up with friends and family often means forgetting to be present in the moment. Take time out for a mini-meditation (just three big deep breaths will make a difference) during the course of your evening and stop to notice your surroundings. This pause in activity will allow you to recognize if you’re still hungry, if you really need that second (or fifth) glass of wine, and whether or not it’s time to wrap it up and head home!
    • Pick & Choose
      • During the holidays, you may feel short on time and stressed out when it comes to getting everything done. Remember—you don’t have to say yes to everyone! If you don’t have the time, or if you’re feeling tired and in need of a good sleep—just say no. Boundaries are incredibly important for your overall well-being, and can help keep you sane in the midst of the holiday chaos.
    • Is This Worth It?
      • When it comes to indulging in your favourite holiday treats, always ask yourself: is this going to make me feel more or less healthy? Is this culturally significant? Is this a 10-out-of-10 on the delicious scale? Is this worth it? When do you decide to treat yourself always remember—a decision that is intentional and mindful means there is no guilt. 

    The Best Chocolate Truffle Recipe Ever!

    Rose & Cacao Chocolate Truffles

    When I choose to indulge, I often reach for these easy nutrient-dense, homemade fudge truffles. Although still technically a dessert, they’re low in sugar and absolutely packed with some of my favourite skin-saving nutrients like calcium, magnesium and potassium to keep me looking and feeling my best this season!

    Makes approximately 20 truffles

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup coconut oil
    2/3 cup organic crunchy peanut butter
    4 tbsp cacao powder
    4 tbsp dark maple syrup
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    2-4 drops food grade rose essential oil (depending on taste preference)

    Directions:

    1. Add all ingredients to your blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

    2. Pour into a freezer safe dish and let set for at least 1-2 hours until firm.

    3. Remove and scoop one tsp-size amount at a time.

    4. Shape into a ball and roll in more cacao powder.

    5. Top with rose petals—because we eat with our eyes first! 

    Truffles will keep for up to four weeks in the freezer: if they last that long!

    I hope you all have a beautiful holiday season! Enjoy!

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