By Stephanie Gailing, MS
Astrologer & Wellness Alchemist
Editor’s Note: Starting this month, we’re bringing a new column your way, one that focuses on feeling your best during every solar cycle. We’ve tapped our friend Stephanie Gailing, MS—an astrologer and wellness alchemist—to share her wisdom as a guest contributor. With the Sun beaming through Virgo from August 23 to September 23, here are some stellar suggestions for wellness. Enjoy and salud! — T&O
Each year, when the Sun fields its way through Virgo (August 23 – September 23), we experience the ability to tap into the discerning, methodical, and nature-loving qualities that this sign represents. And while this may help us simplify our lives, strive for betterment, and get our affairs in order, this time—like all others—may also offer us a cornucopia of unique challenges.
Turning to wellness astrology, and keeping in mind the unique strengths and vulnerabilities of Virgo, we can find stellar ways to foster vitality, reduce stress, and fine-tune our well-being so that we can harvest better health.
Below you’ll find self-care strategies to feel your best during Virgo Season.
Virgo Wellness Mantras:
- Watch the worry
- If it affects my mind, it affects my body
- Find beauty in the imperfections
Virgo Stress-Reducing Allies:
- Thinking critically: Is doing this actually good for me?
- Moving your body
- Breaking large projects into smaller steps
In wellness astrology, different aspects of our anatomy and physiology accord with the twelve zodiac signs. Those that are associated with Virgo include the small intestine, pancreas, and gall bladder, as well as the digestive system in general.
Promote Digestive Health
It makes sense that Virgo rules the small intestine; after all, discern and assimilate are not only two functions closely tied to this systematic sign, but also the key roles of this part of the body. During Virgo Season, it’s a great idea to focus on bolstering digestive health. Key in on possible food sensitivities; doing an Elimination Diet can help you identify foods that may be triggering not only digestive upset but also a battery of others symptoms including headaches, brain fogginess, and mood swings. If you feel sluggish after eating fat-filled foods, support your gall bladder with lemon water, artichokes, and by reducing saturated fat intake.
We’re apt to slice and dice situations during Virgo Season, dissecting facts to analyze the ins and outs of every detail. Argh! While this can lead to great insights, it can also be a direct route to a stream of worry and anxiety. And given Virgo’s mind-body connection, the consequences may evidence as both disquietude in the mind and stress in numerous parts of the body. Recognize that not every situation needs endless analyzing. Practice being more accepting of people—including yourself—without going into fixer mode. We all have “flaws” but during Virgo season you can either rake people over the coals or try appreciating the beauty of the imperfect. Some of those quirks are kind of cute, at the end of the day.
Take A Breath
High-strung Virgo vibes can make us quick to react, treating every request for our help or demand for our time as if it’s urgent. And while response time may be shorter, first, take a breath — or how about three deep ones — to calm the mind and invite discernment. Try the three-hour rule when you can: When a triggering message that has you spinning in the land of worry lands in your Inbox, wait three hours (or even a whole day) before writing a reply. What seems like a code red crisis might actually be “no big deal.” Either way, it will be better managed with a cooler head.
Virgo Season is the time to connect to the bounty of the land. You can be in the rhythm of this earth-honoring sign by forging a more personal relationship with your food. Eat with the seasons, enjoying the late summer harvest of berries as well as the early fall crops that are at their freshest. Buy locally grown produce at your supermarket, or commit to shopping more frequently at farmer’s markets as ways to enjoy fresher foods as well as support your regional economy. One strategy to get even MORE local is to start growing your own food. Even if it’s just a couple of herb pots to start, there is nothing like nourishing the plants that nourish you. Or, set up the grow lights for an indoor garden that you can enjoy year round.
Foods to Consider
According to traditional Chinese medicine, bitter flavor enhances the workings of the Virgo-ruled small intestine. Therefore, bitter greens—whether dandelion greens, arugula, sorrel, or endive—can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet at this time. How it works? Bitter foods stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and bile; plus their fiber-richness is a GI boon. If these leafy veggies aren’t your thing, and you still want get the bitter benefit, consider adding a splash of herbal bitters—the ones that they use in cocktails—to your pre-meal water.
As Virgo is all about efficiency, a food that has numerous health benefits may be quite appealing during this time. Enter umeboshi plum paste, a staple in Japanese cuisine that can be found at natural food stores and Asian food markets. Made from pickled plums, it has alkalizing properties that help curb indigestion and enhance mineral absorption; plus, it has the stellar reputation of being a great hangover remedy. Combined with well-cooked rice, it’s part of a traditional Japanese remedy used to combat that under-the-weather feeling.
During Virgo season, a perfectionist bent creeps in, and the next thing you know we are holding ourselves to levels that are sometimes difficult—or impossible—to accomplish. We may try and try to do things “just so” but yet if we don’t meet our ideal(istic), self-imposed standards, we can be flooded by self-deprecation or an impeccable sense of guilt. Pine flower essence relaxes self-judgment so we can accept and celebrate who we are, while also leaving past “mistakes” behind.
The Virgoan bent towards purification and organization may have us becoming ritualized in our attempts to attain greater health. This is wonderful, except if we veer too far along the ascetic path and being too rule-bound cuts us off from the natural flow of joy, rather than inspires us with vitality. Rock water encourages our ability to honor the spirit rather than the letter of the law, inspiring more flexibility and receptivity as we set our sights on the pursuit of greater well-being.
Looking for a ritualistic and relaxing way to approach the Virgoan desire for purity and detoxification? Look no further than herbal wraps. During this treatment, you are swathed in herb-infused linens. The heat-inducing cocoon that this creates, coupled with the herbs’ stimulating effects, urges your body to release toxins. After you’re unwrapped and the botanical infusion washed away, you’re slathered with moisture-enhancing lotion.
Steam Baths and Saunas
Traditional bathhouses—such as the Russian banya, Turkish hammam, and Korean jimjilbang—offer an ordered and ritualized approach to cleansing, just what we seek during Virgo Season. For example, at the banya, you alternate between sweating out toxins in a sultry sauna and cooling off by plunging into cold water. The heat brings blood to the surface of your body while the cold sends the blood flowing inward to nourish your organs.
A quickie at home alternative? Draw a hot bath and let the room fill with steam. Soak in the tub until your body temperature elevates. Then, stand up and turn on the shower to the coldest setting and let it wash over you for a few seconds. Although the icy blast can be a bit shocking at first, you’ll get a warming rush right after you turn off the cold. Hello detoxification magic!
Looking for a great way to settle a busy fluttering mind? Channeling this season’s organizational and purification orientation to systematize your environs can help inspire calm. Choose your target: whether it’s your closet, file cabinet, or desk drawers, or another realm that’s been calling out for a bit of TLC. Tidying up can help you do something productive with your critically oriented mind—so that it’s focused on other things than just yourself and all the flaws that seem to come out of the closet during this month. Plus, it’s a great investment of time and energy, as the simplicity it creates makes everything seem to flow more readily.
Become a Maker
Virgo Season is a great time to dive into arts and crafts, embarking on DIY projects that can allow you to flex your creative muscle and relax your wound-up mind. Channel your inner Etsy maven and upcycle a thrift store bookcase, make a beaded necklace, or add some cool patches to a pair of shredded jeans. Get your homespun fix by canning peaches and tomatoes or making a scrapbook of summer memories. Just watch that nagging inner critic. The point of this exercise is not perfection. Don’t judge what you make, just revel in the appreciation that whatever you cast into form is uniquely yours, and something only you are capable of creating.
Lean on a Tree
Earthy Virgo calls us out into Mother Nature where we can relax in the natural rhythms of her cycles. Head to the park (or your own backyard) and find a tall tree to lean on. Notice the strength of the trunk, the depth of its roots, how high and far the branches extend. The stability of a tree can be ultra grounding during this anxiety-provoking solar spell.
This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health condition or disease and is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or healthcare provider.
About Stephanie Gailing
As an astrologer and wellness alchemist, Stephanie Gailing weaves together stellar insights, flower essence therapy, dreamwork, and compassion-based coaching. Author of Planetary Apothecary: An Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness and her new Stellar LookBook series, Stephanie counsels clients, teaches workshops, writes about holistic well-being, and crafts custom-designed flower essence elixirs. Based in Seattle, she frequently travels to New York City, and works with clients all over the world. You can find more about her and her work at her website Planetary Apothecary.
Image via harrietleemerrion.com