Discover more from venus and the pearl
birth of venus
a pearl is born
Welcome, Venusian creature! This is the first installment of Venus and the Pearl newsletter, and I am so honored you’re here.
This first installment is being released on my birthday Friday, 7/14 (7+7)/2023 (7), 7 being the number of Venus, and Friday the day of Venus. It’s kismet.
My name is Andrea Penagos and I’m the Head Venus in Charge around here and the writer of this newsletter. I’m an Licensed Acupuncturist (US, California, and soon British Columbia, Canada), Clinical Herbalist, Reiki Master Teacher, a sensualist, and general Venusian bon vivant. I love a good bath house/spa moment, delicious (mostly nutritious) food, organic herbal teas, flora of all kinds, traveling to new places, and all things beautiful.
Why Venus and the Pearl? As a Cancer Sun, Pisces Moon, Virgo Rising with my Venus (and a stellium) in Cancer I am obsessed with the water (mostly of the turquoise variety), the Goddess, natural beauty, wellness, and my birthstone: the pearl.
Four years ago, I walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage from France through Spain all the way to the ocean in dedication to the Goddess and found the love of my life along the Way (a long, beautiful story for another day). The symbol for this pilgrimage is the scallop shell, which is also the universal symbol of Venus.
I’m a healer who knows the importance of diving into self-care and small luxuries as a way of keeping nourished, radiant, and joyful (continue reading for my thoughts on why luxury is important and life-saving for folks of color). I wanted an outlet to share all the tips and recommendations I have on natural products, restaurants, spas, destinations, teas, recipes, playlists, podcasts, and more that I accumulate just by living life and doing the things I love.
Thus, Venus and the Pearl was born.
Are you a Venusian soul, too?
possibility models for venuses of color
In a world that can be stressful, traumatic, and oppressive, I want Venusian experiences to be accessible to all - especially women and folks of color who may not be able to find the time, resources, and energy to treat themselves as often as their body needs them to.
Everyday luxuries can indeed be attainable, simple, and routine, and I want to share those possibilities here with you, perhaps inspiring you to be a little more mindful and responsive to your daily needs and desires.
As Audre Lorde famously said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare." Care is an act we do privately and publicly, alone and in community. Especially in the case of folks of color, it can save our lives in a world that wants to see us run ragged. Don’t give them that joy!
Consider giving yourself permission to:
Rest more, take a nap, and lounge as your heart desires
Take a weekly bath with Epsom salts, roses, and honey
Lather yourself up in your most sensuous body oil after your bath
Enjoy a delicious cacao or herbal elixir in the morning
Head to the spa with your friends
Journal in the morning or create art for no other purpose than the joy of it. Have you ever read The Artist Way by Julia Cameron?
Go to the ocean, river, or lake for a summer swim and offer flowers or songs to the water
Do, eat, and enjoy anything your Venusian heart desires
Allow the images of Venuses of Color (VOC, if you will) below to flood your consciousness with the reality that folks of color can and do embody ease, opulence, and prosperity. The Venus in my heart is a Goddess of color, forever and always emerging from the ocean, basking in the goodness of this human existence.
*Scroll down to access an offer for Venuses of Color in Los Angeles!
who is venus?
Venus is the Roman goddess of sex, love, beauty, and fertility famously depicted standing in a giant scallop shell flanked by angels as interpreted by the Italian early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli and many more painters over the centuries.
In Greece, she’s known as Aphrodite, birthed from sea foam produced by the severed genitals of Uranus, emerging triumphantly from the ocean whole in her adult form.
In Portugal, she is Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, an incarnation of the Virgin Mary who protects seafarers and bestows mercy on all who seek her.
In Mesoamerica, the Aztecs called her Xochiquetzal, lady of the flowers, goddess of beauty, love, and fertility. Mayan culture knew her as Ix’chel, the Moon Goddess also depicted as a jaguar, ruling over the natural cycles of the earth and its creatures, love, fertility, pregnancy, gestation, harvests, medicine, childbirth, and midwifery.
Darling, Venus is you. Venus is me.
venus, by association
As goddess and planet, Venus is associated with themes such as good fortune, prosperity, success, opulence, beauty, love, nourishment, and fertility.
In her downfall, Venus brings up themes of overindulgence, laziness, gluttony, wastefulness, substance abuse, and addictions of all kinds.
In astrology, Venus is considered the planet of relationships, beauty, love, and money, ruling over the signs of Taurus and Libra. In the body, Venus governs cell growth and turnover, the reproductive system, urinary bladder, kidneys, skin, hair, and the endocrine system (thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, ovaries).
Herbs associated with Venus bring softness, nourishment, and pleasure like rose, cacao, damiana, blue lotus, and mimosa flower. Some Venusian herbs balance our endocrine system like chasteberry, and others astringe essence to preserve vitality like schisandra berry and hibiscus. Moistening or demulcent herbs like marshmallow root and plantain, and female-oriented herbs like lady’s mantle and motherwort also fall under the domain of Venus.
When people are born with Venus in Cancer, they tend to be nurturing, caring, tender, and compassionate. Affectionate and cuddly, they are sensitive, devoted partners who care deeply for their lovers, friends, and family and are not afraid to show it. They appreciate good food, cozy vibes, and a beautiful home where they can relax and be present with themselves and their loved ones. I should know, my Venus is in Cancer, along with my natal Sun, Mercury, and Lilith.
Notable humans with this placement include Carl Jung, Nicola Tesla, Zendaya, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Barack Obama, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Hart, and Shawn Mendes.
life on venus
In 2020, I moved to Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island to be with my Canadian love and attended Pacific Rim College for their Western Herbal Medicine diploma. I graduated in 2022 and one of the notable courses I took in the program was Medical Astrology taught by Black herbalist Dallas Killian Arrowood. The final project was to choose a planet and narrate a first-person account of what it’s like to live there. Naturally, I chose Venus.
Here’s an excerpt from my final project:
"Venus is an explosion of wildflowers, wild birds, and wild humans. There are rivers of honey flanked by fields of peonies, roses, ranunculus, and sunflowers. Hummingbirds buzz from flower to flower. People lie resting along the banks of the rivers sunbathing naked, eating fresh fruit from golden platters. They walk through the fields robed in thin silks and linens, wind wafting through their hair. There is no shame or guilt on Venus, only pleasure, joy, indulgence, and luxury. Everyone laughs loudly, eats abundantly, and does exactly as they please. There is no fighting on Venus, only clear, compassionate communication and loving speech. Creative expression in the main pastime on Venus in the form of the arts, painting, dancing, singing, and drumming... and lots of napping. Life and love is unhindered, free, abundant, joyful, and always, always a pleasure."
Fanciful? Sure. But believe me, after 3 years of pandemic life, we all need a flight of fancy or two. Let yourself dream.
pearls for your venusian soul
I’ve experienced, paid for, vetted, and loved all of these recommendations and want to share my findings with you (none of these recommendations are sponsored).
HAVN Sauna, Victoria: This outdoor sauna/spa on the deck of a converted barge is EVERYTHING. While I wish it had a steam room, it has 3 dry saunas, 2 hot pools, cold plunges, and killer views in every direction. They serve beautiful herbal tea, and the ticket is good for a 3-hour visit. This is my favorite sauna experience in the city, hands-down.
Charlotte and the Quail, Victoria: This seasonal, whole foods restaurant is located next to the entrance of The Gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP), a 10-acre botanical garden right off the Interurban. Grab a delicious pink rose latte or sit down for a gorgeous, farm-fresh meal, then enjoy a leisurely stroll through the HCP (recieve a discounted entrance rate to the gardens by submitting your dining receipt).
The Still Room, Victoria: If you’re looking for sumptuous, artisan perfumes, look no further than The Still Room in Oak Bay. Professional perfumers Karen Van Dyck and Stacey Moore create their own lines of natural scents, Flore and K Van Dyck respectively, teach workshops, and also lead clients in creating their own custom perfurme. My partner gifted me a session for my birthday last year and with Karen adn Stacey’s help, I created Birth of Venus, an intoxicatingly spicy, floral scent with notes of jasmine, apricots, cardamom, and creamy vanilla. This summer, my scent of choice is Flore’s Sacred natural perfum oil roll-on with notes of rose, incense, and musk. My partner’s favorite for special occasions is K Van Dyck’s The Cinnamon Peeler parfum, with cinnamon bark, orange blossom, blue lotus, and carnation.
State of Ceremony, Ceremonial Oil: Samples of this gorgeous body oil were gifted to participants of the Spirit Weavers Gathering in Cave Junction, Oregon this June. The notes of frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood are transcendent, and for $22 a bottle, I’m filing this under “affordable luxury.”
Pine & Crane, Los Angeles: This casual Taiwanese eatery is my absolute favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, and it now has two locations in Silverlake and DTLA. Fresh, nutritious, and delicious, Pine & Crane has something for everybody. Want a light meal? Order the wood ear mushrooms, lotus root salad, and fried peanut salad. Short on cash? Get the minced pork on rice for $9.50 (it used to be $6 in 2019!). Really hungry? Indulge in the Dan Dan noodles. Everything I’ve ever tasted here is delicious and I always leave happy, nourished, and satisfied. 10/10.
los angeles healing residency
I am thrilled to share that my 2-week healing residency in West LA at La Luz Wellness runs from Sunday, July 16th through Saturday, July 29th!
I will be offering my signature 90-minute treatment including acupuncture, Reiki, and a personalized oracle card reading. For those looking to book a shorter session, 70-minute acupuncture & Reiki treatments are also available.
If you've been my patient before, you know I'm generous with my time and energy. Depending on your specific needs, I will do guasha and cupping, and/or offer herbal, supplement, nutritional, or lifestyle recommendations. I offer guided meditation throughout your Reiki session and give you my energetic and spiritual insights after your session is complete. Venusian beauties, this is an all-inclusive treatment.
Have you been called to work with me? This is your chance. Sessions are bookable via my JaneApp booking platform, and weekend and weekday appointments are available. I offer continuity of care for herbal, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations via online consults, and give referrals for practitioners to work with locally if you want to continue acupuncture treatments.
Venuses of Color, I'm giving back by opening by-donation spots in my schedule for BIPOC baddies who want to work 1:1 with me in Los Angeles. All 70-minute acupuncture + Reiki sessions booked between today and Sunday, July 16th by BIPOC folks will be pay-what-you-can. Don't sleep on this, beauties!
I deeply appreciate your readership, and I’ll see you again in Leo Season for the next installment of Venus and the Pearl!