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    Happy Astrological New Year: Get ready to thrive

    Words by Kirstyn Lewis
    Happy New Zodiacal Year
    The new astrological year starts just past 8:00 pm Dubai time on 21 March,2023. The New Moon in Aries will be at 0º sidling right up to the Sun Aries, which is also at 0º in the house of long-term commitments. It looks like you are kick-starting your energy in a new direction, and Jupiter has already started to pave the way by opening up opportunities for you. What a perfect time for empowering new moon affirmations and intentional beginnings!
    The stars are asking, how and in what ways can you thrive? There is a deep focus on career, reputation and status and the determination to succeed is evident. It looks like you must take a risk by thinking outside the square, and learning from any mistakes you may have made in the past. All talk and no action will not unfortunately drive things forward.
    Those taking a more out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach to issues around work should be careful. Jealousy, criticism, and gossip are building. But wait, it looks like any hidden enemies will soon be flushed out. You’ve had plenty of time to think about a situation, can you contribute instead to a fresh perspective and approach?
    Those working in caring professions or recruitment, film and television, photography, writing, spiritual practices, or water-related industries including sport, and marine biology, should expect new projects they’ve been working on to take hold very soon.
    There is an opportunity for pioneering and competitive types amongst you to see your potential take off in a good way over the next few months. You are not seeking fanfare; you just want to feel more appreciated, preferably doing something you love or for yourself.
    Are you starting a new enterprise or thinking of going into partnership with a friend? The stars are shining brightly for you. Make sure over the next three years you bring to the market something useful around communications, for use at home or whilst travelling. It should be made to last and seems to be a great gift idea, it’s a winner!
    The biggest astrological news for the New Year is that Pluto is changing signs, albeit moving at a snail’s pace into Aquarius on 24 March. Pluto is an exceedingly powerful planet, he waited to make his move in Aries season so everyone would understand who’s the Boss. Since February 2008, he has systematically broken down seemingly more conventional ways of doing business, traditional leadership models, and corporate structures. He affects not only you personally but also entire generations as he uncovers what has been covered, affecting us for the rest of our lives.
    We will be given a preview from 24 March until mid-June 2023 when he slowly slips back into Capricorn. Pluto takes around two years to settle into his new role.
    Pluto is about to become more risk-taking in what he wants to destroy, reform or fuse together. He also rules phobias and obsessions, anonymity and regeneration. What calls your attention? Don’t be too self-assured, there is a strong possibility that you will have to solve complex problems alone and unaided. Expect some surprises you didn’t see coming.
    For some, Pluto brings risks around gambling, financially or emotionally. For others, we see an uptake of more online erotica or sexual manipulation, or the opposite looms; a life of celibacy.
    Pregnancies appear more troublesome, for no apparent reason. Pluto rules the eliminative and reproductive systems. Some women may take longer to fall pregnant or need to rely on scientific methods. Although fewer children appear to be born during this time, they will be Universally more spiritual, sensitive and ‘in touch’.
    Will secrets be exposed around children, relatives, or even romance? Will you be involved in forbidden or dangerous love affairs that make you feel “emotionally alive”?
    Until January 2044 and just beyond, we will all see great gains in technology, science, space travel and women’s health can be expected. What’s very interesting will be revelations or a sense of enlightenment around how we choose to pass over. Acceptance around death, rebirth, and reincarnation appears to gain traction as scientists discover that life is not quite how we think it is. Spiritualists, energy workers and astrologers will also become more commonplace in the workplace, or as more widely accepted professions.
    We also see that Mars is about to wrap up an extra, super-long transit through venturesome Gemini. He has been playing games and in some instances, not being honest, since August 2022. Thankfully we have had enough, so welcome his move into Cancer on 26 March.
    Highlighted around this energy, are still things to finish off related to foreign shores and in-laws. More difficult aspects point to a moral or ethical battle you may be having. Are you feeling combative? Are you involved in something controversial? Has someone been unwilling to compromise because they are sticking up for someone else?
    You may want to protect your energy and reputation; emotionally driven quarrels are indicated. All the pent-up frustration centres around someone you love deeply or someone close to your heart. They are directly related to your life’s journey.
    Alternatively, it could also relate to a scheming authority figure, so watch out for manipulation there and be prepared to stand your ground.
    That said, Mars in Cancer is not a comfortable placement for an action-oriented planet. He struggles to operate effectively and get outcomes. It’s all steam without an engine so expect a temperamental couple of months ahead. It’s likely you may not see a victory until after 21 May.
    Over the last three days of March and mid-way through its Aries transit, Mercury nestles right up to Jupiter in the house of commitment. They’re talking about your future.
    Perhaps you ‘feel’ that you are on the verge of something great; things are certainly looking up, particularly around work. Those with softer, feminine energy should watch out for deals and agreements as roles with more responsibility are on the table. However, it’s not the time to discuss your dreams. Position yourself instead as a futurist who can drive the groundswell of financially viable new-age concepts and directions, particularly when having important career conversations.
    Mars in Cancer who has just entered the house of fortune, fame and honours, will also be making a lovely aspect to Saturn in Pisces on 28 March putting you in the spotlight. Make sure you are looking your most graceful and ladylike best. If you have any doubts, Venus and Uranus will be working hard to unblock them and help you get out of your comfort zone with sparkle and an exciting allure. See! The stars are all working together to help you.
    The only downside you may wish to consider is a Venus-Uranus conjunction which can be tricky if you are seeking answers around love. Venus seeks love and harmony, and Uranus freedom, variety and an escape route. There can be some unexpected excitement in the air. For some, this aspect indicates multiple liaisons are at play, but you probably already had an inkling. Others may confuse friendship and love. There is no point in dreaming. Wait until 11 April onward and have the conversation, even if you may not get the answers you want. It could be time to put yourself in the driver’s seat and move on.
    How will you shine? It’s time to step into your dignified, idealistic self and know that karma is in play.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied & Featured Image: Instagram @sarashakeel More

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    Astrologists Share the Journal Prompts That Can Transform Your 2023

    While a clean, blank slate (read: the new year) brings with it an air of excitement, it also comes with added pressure, leaving you wondering where to even begin (and–if you’re like me–anxiety-ridden that I’m already somehow behind). The good news: Journaling can be just what you need as a jumping-off point to make sh*t happen. If the 4.4 billion views #journaling has on TikTok or the benefits journaling has on your mental health and well-being haven’t already convinced you to put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard), consider this your sign to get writing.
    I tapped into the expertise of astrologists to kick us off, because writer’s block is real and 2023 is all about doing the most. We’re not talking the “Dear Diary” of the past or cliche prompts, but rather deep self-reflection to (actually) achieve your best life. Remember that there is no right or wrong answers when it comes to journaling, and you won’t get dinged for improper syntax, spelling, or grammatical errors. Translation: Your journal—whether notebook or app—is a safe, judgment-free zone. Ahead, astrologists share the practices they swear by to reach your goals in 2023. 

    Why 2023 is an important year to start a journaling practice
    So you set an intention to take up journaling this year, but your new notebook has been sitting pretty on your desk collecting dust since January 1. Sound familiar? Well, if there was ever a year to channel your inner Sylvia Plath, it’s 2023. “We have lucky Jupiter in Aries this year, so it’s all about being bold and brave, creating opportunities for yourself, and pushing the limits,” said Iva Naskova, a western astrologer at Nebula. “2023 gives all of us a chance to take control and adjust our life the way we see fit and think it’s best. So self-reflection and writing about your future can help you manifest happiness, abundance, good health, and success.”
    Whether we care to admit it or not, we are often our own worst enemies—you know, the harsh inner critic, the overanalyzing, not trusting your gut. All the more reason to jot down your thoughts and create the life you want. “This is a year of understanding what is really going to be there for you, and where you need to become more self-reliant and anti-fragile,” conveyed Jill Loftis, an astrologer and Founder of Nuit Astrology. “It’s time to take responsibility for who you are and where you are going. It is up to you to decide if you are successful; if you are happy. And typically, there is one person standing in your way—you. That should become abundantly clear this year, and instead of scattering your energies, take the momentum of the beginning of this year to get clear and take charge.”
    Journal prompts to start the year off

    What makes you thrive and excites you? How can you make your everyday experiences richer and more endearing? 
    What aspects of your life have always stayed the same and why? What can help you make a change and move forward? 
    How can your life experiences help you expand and grow, and in which direction?
    What one self-defeating habit or pattern do I need to eliminate and how can I focus all of my energy and resources to healing that destructive habit?

    Why you should journal with the phases of the moon
    If you’ve ever noticed yourself in your feels during a full moon, that was no coincidence. In astrology, the moon represents your emotions—your feelings, hopes, fears, moods, relationships. And your journaling practice should vary with it. “Consistent action through the ebbing cycles of life is so key for living your best and astrology echoes that with its monthly moon cycles,” affirmed Julien Elizabeth, astrologer and yoga teacher. “My best tip for staying aligned is reflection and journaling with the phases of the moon. Life is always shifting and so too can our perspective to it.” Elizabeth suggests beginning with the new moon (January 21) to initiate a new cycle, and then staying steady with these weekly (or daily!) prompts to witness your growth.
    Liz Simmons, an astrologer and tarot reader, agreed: “Astrological journal prompts are best used during new moons, full moons, and when a planet enters a new zodiac sign. Depending on the astrological period, we can use the journal prompt to plan, set goals, or reflect. For example, new moons can be the perfect time to journal about new opportunities, manifestations, resolutions, and more. Full moons are more of a reflective period, so this is the time to journal about what has unfolded during this past lunar cycle and what you have gone through.”

    Journal prompts for each moon cycle

    New Moon: great energy for setting intention and orienting yourself for the cycle ahead.

    What dream or vision do you want to stay aligned to this month?
    What negative or unhelpful habits are you ready to transform?
    What actions or practices can you commit to integrate your vision and build upon your intentions?
    Where do you see yourself in six months? What are your top three goals or resolutions that you want to pursue during these next six months? What will inspire you to move forward during these next six months?

    Waxing Crescent Moon: a phase of small actions and building confidence, great for getting organized.

    What do you need to feel confident, energized, and engaged with your life right now?
    What strengths are needed to work towards your intention?

    Quarter Moon: great energy to come back to your “why” and check in with yourself, your actions, and how you’re feeling.

    What hurdles are you experiencing in your vision? 
    Where do you feel yourself out of alignment?
    Where is their pressure or intensity building in your life? How can you lean into the pressure that feels productive and helpful? Where can you lean away from any intensity that feels limiting or distracting?

    Full Moon: a powerful time to release what isn’t working and celebrate progress made.

    What are you learning most about yourself and your circumstances this month?
    What behaviors or patterns can you identify as blocking my progress?
    How can you honor these unhelpful patterns and release them to create more space for growth? (Creating a ritual or ceremony is great!)
    What have you learned or experienced over the last six months? What are three high points and three low points that stand out to you from this lunar period? What can you take away from this lunar cycle?”

    Last Quarter Moon: This is a time to get grounded back into the self and reflect on how you’re showing up this month.

    What are you celebrating about yourself this lunar cycle?
    What routines or rituals ground you and help you feel well cared for?

    Waning Crescent Moon: The days leading up to the next new moon are for reflection.

    Free write on what you feel grateful for and how you feel about the month’s cycle.

    Here’s What Astrologists Say To Add to Your Wellness Routine RN More

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    The Wellness Habit You Need To Start Before 2022 Ends, According to Your Zodiac

    It’s no secret that taking time to practice self-care is crucial for your overall health. But with a plethora of wellness rituals out there, how do you know exactly which one will help you feel your best? It turns out the answer is written in the stars. Turning to your sun sign can provide some guidance on the best way for you to recharge, relax, and renew through the rest of this year and into the next. Keep scrolling to learn the wellness habits to start before 2022 ends, according to your zodiac sign.

    Aries: Get out in nature

    Although getting in movement is an absolute-must for an Aries, it can be easy to put exercise on the back burner when you’re exhausted or it’s freezing outside. But even during the coldest months, there are numerous health benefits to getting out in nature—even if it’s for a brief period of time—so make it a priority to get outside more. This can be done through hot girl walks, hiking, or even a quick walk to your mailbox. You may need to bundle up, but implementing movement into your routine and breathing in fresh air regularly will leave you feeling rejuvenated and calm.
    Taurus: DIY spa treatments

    As a Taurus, you love the finer things in life. Carving out time to pamper yourself is guaranteed to soothe you, and what better way is there to cater to your indulgent side than with some DIY spa treatments? This can be anything from face masks and mani-pedis to body scrubs and everything in-between. If you really want to create a relaxing atmosphere, light some candles, play some ambient music, and wrap yourself up in a plush robe with a glass of rosé in hand.

    Gemini: Practice gratitude

    As a Gemini, your spontaneous nature and insatiable curiosity make it so you’re always on-the-go and onto the next goal or project. This makes it easy for you to forget and appreciate all that you already do have, which is why taking the time to practice gratitude can be so beneficial. No matter how you do it—whether you think of three things you’re thankful for when you wake up in the morning or write in a gratitude journal—practicing gratitude will help you slow down and be more present. And when you’re present, you can fully soak up everything the world has to offer.

    Cancer: Take baths

    Of all the signs, Cancers are the most caring. However, as natural empaths, they often feel drained, so taking the time to recharge and renew is crucial. Since Cancers are ruled by the element of water, taking baths can be incredibly restorative. Water has long been associated with cleansing your mind, body, and soul, so get intentional with your bath routine and add crystals, flowers, dried herbs, or Epsom salts for added benefits.
    Leo: Call loved ones

    As much as Leos love the spotlight, they also love connecting with others, and research has found that social connection helps improve physical health and overall wellbeing. Chatting with your loved ones over FaceTime or Zoom will help nourish and strengthen the bonds you share with your loved ones; you’ll stay updated on what’s going on in their lives and vice versa. To cater to the part of you that feels an inherent need to shine, swipe on your favorite lipstick ahead of time or throw on a new outfit to show off for the camera.
    Virgo: Meditate

    Virgos tend to be extremely meticulous, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Sure, it’s good to be organized, but planning everything down to the last minute can be stressful and exhausting. So before the year comes to an end, set a goal for yourself to meditate once a day, even if it’s just for two minutes. Meditation will help you relinquish some of that control you’re always trying to hold on to, clear your mind so you can make better decisions, and make you feel more grounded and calm.
    Libra: Stretch

    As a Libra, maintaining balance in all areas of your life is a necessity, and stretching regularly or in place of exercise occasionally can help ensure everything in your body is working in harmony. The tighter you are, the more prone you become to injury and the more tension you inevitably carry around with you. Additionally, stretching has been shown to increase serotonin levels and decrease stress. There are so many stretches out there that go beyond the basics, but for starters, check out these stretches that are good for digestion, these stretches that help anxiety, or these stretches that can help you orgasm for an added bonus. 
    Scorpio: Journal

    Scorpios may have a mysterious aura, but they’re in tune with their emotions and often experience emotional extremes deep down. The best way to release those deep-rooted feelings? Journaling. Not only will journaling prevent negative or bitter feelings from building up, but it will also help you work through and analyze any tricky or uncomfortable emotions you’re currently experiencing. In turn, you’ll see things more clearly, which will help keep you from becoming cynical and suspicious of everyone you meet.
    Sagittarius: Cook new recipes

    Being born under a Sagittarius Sun means being born with wanderlust in your blood, so it’s not surprising that people with this sign in their astrology birth chart are often prone to feelings of restlessness and boredom. Although traveling is the best way to satisfy this craving for exploration, making new recipes is the next best thing. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different cuisines and recipes from all around the world. You’ll learn more about other cultures, expand your cooking skills, and have the opportunity to incorporate healthier foods into your diet.
    Capricorn: Drink a gallon of water per day

    Capricorns are all about practicality, and drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest and most practical wellness practices you can incorporate into your daily life. Not only does a gallon a day keep the wrinkles at bay, it also makes your body feel better. Staying hydrated helps alleviate aches and pains, improves circulation, and acts as a natural detoxer. The easiest way to ensure you’re drinking enough water is to carry around a large water bottle with you at all times. And if you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding in slices of lemon, orange, lime, or cucumber.
    Aquarius: Practice Yoga

    The entire goal of yoga is to bring the mind and body together, which can be especially helpful for Aquariuses. As an air sign, you’re naturally rational and idealistic, but this logical POV makes it easy to become detached. Practicing yoga can help you get in touch with your emotions, which can teach you how to deal with them—no matter how uncomfortable they may be. Once your mind, body, and heart are working in tandem, you’ll feel more balanced and better than ever.
    Pisces: Work with crystals

    As the dreamer of the zodiac, you have an uncanny ability to reach beyond what is tangible and experience things others cannot, which is exactly why you should work with healing crystals. There are numerous crystals recommended for those born under a Pisces Sun, but two of the most popular are amethyst and aquamarine because they’re the two birthstones associated with this sign. Amethyst is associated with the crown and third eye chakras and can help anyone struggling with the need to escape by releasing a calming vibrational energy and promote better sleep by placing it underneath your pillow. Likewise, aquamarine is associated with the throat chakra and courage, so wearing it around your neck can help empower you to try new things and communicate effectively. Be sure to do your research so you can find the crystal that works best for you.

    Your Zodiac Sign Might Be the Secret to Feeling More Confident and Happy—Here’s How To Tap In More

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    Your Zodiac Sign Might Be the Secret to Feeling More Confident and Happy—Here’s How To Tap In

    If you know the basics of astrology, you know that your zodiac sign can tell you a lot about your personality traits or who you’re most compatible with. Whether you’re a secret-keeping Scorpio, adventure-seeking Sagittarius, or initiative-taking Capricorn, there’s no denying the insight the stars can give into our truest selves. But did you know that each star sign has a color associated with it? And by tapping into your sign’s specific hue, you can level-up your best qualities, self-awareness, and confidence? “Representing the zodiac sign’s overall feel, certain colors can highlight the most powerful attributes of each sign,” explained Maria Hayes, an astrologer and tarot reader. “Knowing your zodiac color is crucial, as you can feed it to your subconscious energy, further bolstering your inner talents.” Bottom line: Wearing your color can empower you to live your best, happiest life. 
    But there’s more good news: Not only can you harness your power color through what you wear, but also via your decor style and wellness practices. So take this as a sign to go paint the town [insert your color]. Read on to find out which color is best for your zodiac sign and how to bring out its good vibes for optimal energy, abundance, confidence, or happiness–straight from astrology experts.

    How do I harness my zodiac sign’s color?
    Lucky for us, there’s no special formula for activating the energy of the colors written in the stars for our signs. Whether you decide to go the fashion or decor route, you can’t go wrong. “Wearing your power color through clothes, accessories, makeup, and nail polish is a classic choice to channel your sign’s innate energy, but there are many other options, especially for those days when you just can’t get away with wearing bright blue eyeshadow,” said Charlotte Kirsten, a psychotherapist and master astrologer. Kirsten also suggested surrounding yourself with your power color in your home with objects like wall art, flowers, cushions, curtains, or books to help welcome and absorb your sign’s positive energy. 
    Amy Zerner, an astrologer and author of Astrology for Wellness and Mindful Astrology, recommended further channeling your power color through meditation. “Clear your mind, take a few deep breaths, and stare at an object in the color,” she described. “Breathe in the color until you can feel it deep inside of you. Repeat this ritual whenever you feel as if you need to bring healing, happiness, prosperity, or any other good thing into your life.” Sound intriguing? Kirsten breaks down each sign’s inner color below:

    Your Power Color

    Red reflects Aries’ bold and brazen nature and amplifies their natural courage, desire for adventure, and reverence for life. This headstrong ram loves nothing more than being in charge of their own destiny! Ruled by the fearless and feisty planet of Mars (AKA the Red Planet), Aries are strong-initiative takers and aren’t afraid to make risky decisions in pursuit of true freedom.

    Being an Earth sign, it’s no surprise that the color of nature—green—reflects Taurus’ down-to-Earth and practical side. It’s no coincidence that green is also the color of money, wealth, and financial security, which fits this luxury-loving bull sign and its affinity for being pampered and the finer things in life. Green helps Taureans channel their innate prosperity and natural gift for creating and attracting abundance.

    The inspiring and life-giving yellow reflects Gemini’s childlike wisdom and curiosity. Yellow, the world’s happiest color, helps the dualistic twins learn new things, channel their intellect and mental prowess, and keep their spirits high even on the darkest of days. 

    Ruled by the silver-hued Moon, the comfort-seeking crab is deeply in tune with its motherly, caring instincts. Silver not only reflects Cancers’ calmness, serenity, and higher spiritual self, but it also helps them connect with their intuition and effortlessly pick up on the energies in a room. Tied to many mythological stories and tales, the color silver also acts as a guard, helping Cancers ward off evil spirits and malice.

    Orange or Gold
    Lively and vivacious, Leo knows exactly what it takes to be the life of the party. These lovable lions channel their warm, friendly, and infectious energy to inject spontaneous fun into any situation. Ruled by the luminary sun, Leos are incredibly outgoing and aren’t afraid to give new experiences a whirl. Orange and gold help Leos channel their inner confidence, reveal their true selves, and show off their warm and generous nature.

    An earthy, life-giving color, brown reflects Virgo’s practical, grounded, and systematic approach to life. This analytical and data-driven sign prides itself on its ability to act independently and the color brown aids in fulfilling that goal. Virgos can use brown as a symbol of personal growth, helping them work through even the toughest of problems, obstacles, and challenges. 

    Pink reflects Libra’s delicate and soft, yet charming nature. Obsessed with beauty and symmetry, Libras are the true aesthetes of the zodiac. They adore fine art, intellectualism, and nurturing deep bonds with others, and pink helps them tip the scales in their favor. Ruled by Venus, the planet of love, Libras can use pink as a way to strengthen relationships, promote self-love and compassion, and even enhance their diplomatic skills to solve conflict in the lives of others.

    Black represents Scorpio’s powerful, demanding, and mysterious aura. Ruled by shadowy Pluto, the color black helps Scorpios build deep and soulful relationships with those around them, bringing out their passionate side. It also has a guarding and grounding effect for this water sign, aiding it in an emotional and physical rebirth after times of disaster or upset.

    Engaging and inspiring, this wanderlust-driven sign is known for its freedom-seeking and independent nature, and purple only enhances it. A symbol of elegance, royalty, and scholarship, purple helps Sagittariuses tap into their creative energy, allowing their most brilliant ideas to shine! It drives them to venture into a journey of self-discovery and continuously seek new horizons. 

    The epitome of responsibility, this hard-working and pragmatic Earth sign knows exactly what it takes to become self-sufficient in this world, and grey only serves to bolster this energy. Grey enhances Capricorn’s logic, traditionalist views and utmost determination. Some may say it’s a boring color, but sometimes it’s the boring, nitty-gritty tasks that get us to where we want and that’s exactly the energy that grey brings into a Capricorn’s life. 

    Aquarius has a rebellious streak running through their veins, both in action and thought, and blue allows the sign to tap into its imaginative and free-spirited personality with ease. Whenever they feel their innovative side is stifled, Aquariuses can tap into their power color to release creativity and new ideas. Blue helps this eccentric air sign thrive on individuality and uniqueness, allowing them to march to the beat of their own drum.

    Aquamarine or Light Green
    Ruled by dreamy Neptune, the god of the sea, this visionary fish derives its energy from its deeply felt emotions. Aquamarine enables Pisces to tap into their sensitive, intuitive, and deeply imaginative self. Pisces should especially embrace light green when they need the courage to go after what their heart desires.

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    We All Have a Little Witch In Us—These Wellness Rituals Will Help Bring Out Yours

    No doubt about it–fall is magical. The leaves change into all sorts of vibrant hues, the scent of cinnamon is everywhere you go, and the chill in the air bites in a way that almost feels personal. It’s a season that feels so alive, so it’s no wonder that fall is directly tied to mysticism. So much so that one of the key images of the season is a witch (Hocus Pocus, anyone?). Of course, with that title also comes dated stereotypes of what it means to be a witch: flying broomsticks, evil cauldrons, and a desire to eat children. But the true definition of a witch isn’t so easy to nail down.
    Historically, witches, or people accused of being witches, have come in many different forms, but most of them were women, and they were far from monstrous. Rather, they were masters of wellness, specializing in herbalism, midwifery, and other healing practices. Modern women are turning these rituals more mainstream, finding deep connection to the earth and nature, and leaning into practices that enhance their quality of life. So if you really think about it, embodying your inner witch is in itself a wellness practice. Read on for some wellness rituals that witches throughout the ages have used and loved that will help amplify your health for fall and beyond.

    1. Be more intentional with essential oils
    Scent is known to trigger both emotion and memory, so you can use scent to enhance your sense of self and impact the way you relate to the world around you. Instead of just the typical diffusing lavender oil to relax or sniffing peppermint oil for energy, DIY your own potions (see what I did there?) so you can tap into the kind of energy and emotion you associate with that scent at any time. Sniff or diffuse a wide range of essential oils (eucalyptus, lemon, etc.) and either see how the scent makes you feel or you can associate an affirmation to the smell.
    To take it a step further, blend your own concoction by starting with a base like jojoba or extra virgin olive oil, and pour into a small vial with a roller ball for easier application. Add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice to the base (essential oil alone might be irritating for the skin, which is why you combine with another oil to dilute) to rub onto temples, wrists, or other pressure points when needed. Top off the vial with some flower petals or fresh herbs to enhance the smell while beautifying the blend. As with all rituals, remember that setting an intention for the practice will amplify its effects. Assign a word (like bravery, compassion, or confidence) to your potion and apply the oil to your skin whenever you need to be reminded of that intention. 

    2. Update your bath routine
    Baths have been important for both hygiene and ritual for centuries. Water has often been used not only to cleanse the body, but also your mind and energy. And when you’re intentional about supplementing your bath water with herbs, flowers, or crystals, you can amplify its healing properties. Forget boring bubble bath–there are countless combinations you can create when devising your bath ritual. I like basil or eucalyptus plants to relax muscles, lavender or chamomile to relax the mind, rose petals and basil for skin glow, or crystals like Rose quartz and Amethyst to clear out anxious energy and invite peace into your space. 
    I believe that if you’re drawn to a particular plant or crystal, your intuition is guiding you to use it for your benefit. But if you’re a researcher like me, feel free to hit the books (like here or here) for all the healing properties that plants and stones have to offer. Go wild and apply whatever calls to you. Once again, bath rituals are sealed by the intentions you set for them, so think about what you’re cleansing, renewing, healing, or inviting in.

    3. Light some incense to reset energy in your space
    Many different cultures throughout history have burned herbs and incense as a way to clear stale energy from a space to make it feel vibrant and fresh. With the rise in palo santo and sage becoming more mainstream, it’s important to honor and remember where they come from, so do your research and honor the ritual. For incense, Frankincense and Myrrh are two options that have withstood the test of time and are still known for their healing properties. When it comes to lighting herbs and incense, do your research and find a type that calls to you to clear out space in. your home. 
    And remember, intention has to be at the core of any ritual. If it’s not, the practice is just fluff. Set the intention to clear stuck energy and invite fresh, loving vibes into your home. As the scent lingers, visualize the space being utilized in a way that feels good to you. This is a great ritual to do consistently, especially when you’re using your space as a work-from-home set-up. This ritual can help you meet specific goals at work, or ease out of work mode into relaxation. 

    4. Future journal to become the person you want to be
    You didn’t think I’d write a witchy post without at least one nod to spell-casting, did you? Journaling is a powerful way to cast daily “spells” because you are quite literally alchemizing your thoughts into tangible words on a page. Journaling in itself is a little bit magical. When you journal your intentions for how you want to feel, what you want to be doing, or how you want to be acting in the future, you’re better able to visualize yourself in that future role. This makes it easier to embody yourself in that role now, which is one of the fastest ways to manifest the life you want.
    So go ahead and write about the higher version of yourself. Then focus on all the elements I just laid out: how you want to feel, how you want to act, and what you’d like to be doing in the future. Take a few moments to embody who it is you’ve just written about, and notice how your energy shifts. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

    5. Choose a single-word affirmation for each day
    If journaling feels like too lengthy an endeavor, another quick alchemizing trick is to choose a word or phrase that you want to embody on any given day. For example, if you have a big meeting you’re a little nervous about, “capable” might be your word of choice. Visualize yourself completely personifying this word and feel free to write it down somewhere that will be visible to you all day long, like on a post-it note by your desk. It can be just as powerful to embody a single word as it is to envision an entire future for yourself, so long as you set the intention to make it stick.

    6. Connect with nature on a regular basis
    Science has proven that electrons on the earth’s surface can transfer energy from the ground to our bodies, calming our nervous systems. We know that nature is healing. But guess what? Cultures, tribes, and world religions have known that for thousands of years (including witches). Anyone with a keen sensitivity to shifting energy will argue that the effects of this particular ritual are undeniable. Try earthing or grounding, which involves walking barefoot outside, or forest bathing, which means being in nature (a trail, forest, park, etc.) to reap more benefits.
    Take a moment to feel your bare feet on the ground in whatever way feels comfortable. Visualize any energy that does not serve you being pulled into the ground, feel gratitude for the oxygen that trees and plants supply, and check in with yourself if there are any insights that come up for you. You might be surprised what comes through. This is an especially good ritual for those of us with busy minds because it encourages us to slow down and reconnect to our inner voice of wisdom. Trust me when I say, your nervous system will thank you.

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    The Self-Care Activity You Should Try, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

    Constructing a self-care routine that makes you feel good and empowers you to live your best life is all about finding activities that you enjoy and boost your mood. So if you’re tired of the same old face masks or bubble bath self-care routine, it’s time to switch things up. We look to the stars to tell us how to spend our time and even what career moves to make, so why not look to them to see what self-care activity we should be trying? We’ve got you covered. Read on for the activity you should add to your self-care toolkit based on your zodiac sign. 

    Get physical
    If your Sun is in Aries, you likely thrive in challenging situations and competitions; this is when you feel most alive. If you feel bogged down by emotions, try getting some movement in and releasing those feelings with some type of physical activity. Hit the gym, take a kickboxing class, train for a marathon—do something that involves challenging yourself and moving your body (Psst, want to know which type of workout is best for Aries? Click here).

    Pamper yourself
    Taureans are highly connected to the physical world and love the luxurious. You are immensely aware of your body and have a deep appreciation for sensual pleasures. You find comfort in the tangible and are all about enjoying the pleasures of life. Book or give yourself a mani-pedi, splurge on a full spa day, or DIY spa treatments at home. No matter how you treat yourself, make sure you feel pampered. 

    Learn something new
    Geminis are highly curious and like to collect new information. They also need to recognize and nourish both their introverted and extroverted sides, so self-care for Geminis means having equal time alone and with others. Try researching a new subject, taking a class, or watching an exciting documentary to spark your curiosity, then discussing your thoughts and new findings with a friend or family member. You can also join a book club to have some alone time reading to recharge, and then come together as a group to care for your extroverted side and discuss. 

    Try therapy or journaling
    As a Cancer, comforting loved ones is what fulfills you most. You love to take care of other people and help with their problems. However, as a natural empath, you tend to take on those problems and prioritize your own needs last. The best way you can care for yourself is spending time to mentally and emotionally work on you. Schedule some time with a therapist to talk about your feelings (it will be a much-needed change from listening to everyone else’s!) or try journaling to reflect on your needs and get any negative emotions out on paper. 

    Create something
    Whether they like it or not, Leos are born stars who need to shine. To care for your truest self, tap into your creative side and then share it with the world. Of course, getting involved in your local play or impressing the crowd at karaoke night will give you a rush from all the applause, but you can also try starting a blog or taking creative photos for friends and family. The attention-seeking part of you will feel nurtured and loved through sharing your work with other people, and your creative side will feel fulfilled. Leos, don’t dull your sparkle—you feel best when you shine. 

    Declutter your home
    Virgos, you often feel the need to be perfect and need a reminder that perfection isn’t possible (or enjoyable). However, a clean home can help you feel more in control of your entire life and helps you feel more centered in your environment. Instead of focusing on how to make your home “perfect,” identify where you can use your decluttering skills to purify and organize to make your life simpler instead of putting more pressure on yourself. BTW, decluttering your mind counts too. 

    Make a list of positive affirmations
    Libras like to keep the peace and feel most fulfilled when they’re well-liked. While your ability to bring harmony and prioritize other people’s feelings is admirable, it often means you forget about your own needs and maybe focus more on being liked than being happy. To revert your attention back to your happiness instead of the happiness of other people, make a list of go-to affirmations to recite daily or go-to when you need a little extra support.

    Schedule alone time
    Although they may not reveal their emotions to other people, Scorpios can have intense emotions very easily. To care for yourself, it is essential for Scorpios to release your feelings safely so you don’t have built-up resentment or emotions you haven’t let out. Scorpios enjoy privacy, so self-care is about retreating from people and doing whatever makes you feel safe. Make sure you have “off-time” to not only recharge, but also to release any built-up emotions through meditation, journaling, or even just taking a nap. Schedule it into your calendar and make alone time intentional every day. 

    Try something new
    It should come as no surprise that these fire signs feel most alive when they’re on an. A Sagittarius feels most nourished and fulfilled when exploring something new, so it’s important to continuously try things and be exposed to new experiences to feel your best. Let your intuition guide you and try that activity you’ve been dying to try or maybe even the one you never thought you would do. Take a cooking class, book a solo trip, find a new hobby, explore a new city, or read a totally different genre. You’ll be surprised to find how invigorated it makes you feel. 

    Take more breaks
    Capricorns, you’re probably only reading this article because everything on your to-do list has been finished. With your Sun in Capricorn, you tend to make sure every item on your to-do list has been completed before making time for self-care or even for fun. Nourishing your mind and body doesn’t come easy to you. In fact, you might even see it as a reward, not as a necessity. Taking breaks (and learning to be OK with taking breaks) is the best thing you can do to care for yourself. So if you must, add “relax and do nothing” to your to-do list, and then make sure you do it. 

    As the most detached of all signs, Aquariuses don’t show or talk about emotions very often. They don’t like to dwell on negative feelings and care about finding solutions more than focusing on the problem. If you don’t feel inclined to self-reflect through journaling or meditation, care for yourself through caring for others instead. Find a project you care about, and then raise money or donate your time to help. You’ll feel good helping a good cause and will feel recharged when you’re putting your time and effort to good use. 

    Do something creative
    Unlike Aquarius, Pisces are very comfortable discussing their emotions and feelings. You’re incredibly intuitive, empathetic, and can often take on other people’s problems and feel them yourself. Because of your dominant empathy, you probably feel the need to escape quite often, so channel these emotions into healthy forms of escapism. You thrive when you use your creativity and feel your best when you are able to work your imagination. To you, art is like meditation. Try painting, creating music, or writing fiction to soothe your mind and get out of your current reality for a little bit. 

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