Discover more from venus and the pearl
leo szn edition
Greetings, Venusian beauty!
Welcome to the second installment of Venus and the Pearl.
While this Substack is decidedly not an astrology newsletter, it is Venus-themed and we are currently in the midst of many BIG Venus transits, so let’s dive in.
We are nearing the midpoint of a Venus Retrograde cycle in the sign of Leo. Retrogrades of all kinds give us an opportunity to reflect, review, repair, and re-do. In this case, Venus retrograding in the sign of Leo centers our relationship to our self-worth, self-love, and self-care, asking us to focus on what we value and how we choose to embody abundance, deservingness, and joy.
Next week is marked by a cazimi (conjunction) on August 13th between Venus and the Sun. As these two planets merge in the sky, the Sun momentarily fuses with Venus in a fiery embrace. This moment invites us into centering intimacy, connection, pleasure, desire, and union within ourselves and with others.
After this conjunction, Venus completes her underworld journey as an Evening Star (rising after the sun) and emerges triumphantly as a Morning Star (rising before the sun). It’s a very phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes moment.
Leo, the astrological sign we are currently traveling through, is the brave-hearted lion, the eternal child, the bright Sun of the zodiac. Leo embodies the delights of summer, the innocence and bravery of youth, and our ability to show up as our authentic Self. Lions love to be seen and heard, casually shining in all directions with a relaxed, rooted confidence.
When Venus is in Leo, she gives MCE - Main Character Energy. She is a charismatic, gracious, creative, and sensual Queen. Venus in Leo takes great care of herself, and has lots of fun doing it. When out of alignment, Venus in Leo becomes demanding, arrogant, attention-seeking, and conceited.
Celebrities with a Venus in Leo placement include some of our favorite beauties: Salma Hayek, Selena Gomez, Madonna, Dita Von Teese, Monica Belucci, Zoe Saldana, Greta Garbo, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lawrence, and Canada’s very own Pamela Anderson.
Venus Retrograde in Leo + Venus Cazimi + Morning Star Venus ask us to ponder:
How can I embody Main Character Energy and care for myself accordingly?
How can I bring more connection and intimacy into my relationships?
In what ways am I rising triumphantly from the ashes?
Can I show up and shine my light even brighter?
What is my understanding of “having enough”?
Where am I living in scarcity or overindulgence?
How can I lean into more joy and pleasure?
reflections from the city of angels
I took a birthday trip to Los Angeles in the last half of July, and it was absolutely wonderful. I celebrated my birthday with a whirlwind list of events: breakfast at Highly Likely Cafe, a K-Pop treatment at Olympic Spa in the late morning, Carousel Lebanese Restaurant in Hollywood for lunch, and Jazz at LACMA in the evening. It was a full, beautiful 36th birthday where I got to see all my favorite people and do a few of my favorite things. <3
Also, I offered a two-week healing residency in West LA, which I had been dreaming about for years! It was such a joy to see +30 incredible patients at La Luz Wellness, a clinic owned by Jessica De Leon, L.Ac. a Guatemalan-American licensed acupuncturist who I went to school with at Yo San University in Marina del Rey, CA.
During the LA healing residency, folks came in for:
🌿 A spiral fracture
🌿 Back + joint pain
🌿 Irregular cycle
🌿 Fertility issues
🌿 Poor digestion
🌿 Adrenal burn-out
🌿 Seasonal allergies
🌿 Immune dysregulation
🌿 Anemia (of various kinds)
🌿 Grief + sadness (lots of it)
🌿 Anxiety, depression, + stress
🌿 Life transitions
🌿 General well-being
So much gratitude to Jessica and the whole La Luz Wellness team for their hospitality and making this healing residency a beautiful, heart-opening experience. I absolutely loved working in this healing portal, and I can't wait for the next opportunity to receive patients at La Luz again.
Overall, the trip was an absolute joy and highlighted the fact that LA will always be home - no matter how far I am or how long I’ve been gone. Also, in true Venus in Leo fashion, LA stays being that B*. PERIODT.
venus of color - ivy lee, l.ac.
Our first featured Venus of Color is Oakland-based beauty Ivy Lee, L.Ac. of Luminae Wellness. Ivy is a Taiwanese-American licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, energy healer, and mother who comes from a long line of East Asian practitioners of traditional medicine. Ivy is a speaker and teacher of fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, seasonal wellness, emotional alchemy, and life design. With Venusian Libra Sun (Libra is ruled by Venus) and Moon in Leo, Ivy is perfect to kick off our first Venus of Color (VOC) feature!
Ivy and I met once in person circa 2019 at Oakland’s Burma Superstar restaurant over Laphet Thok (tea leaf salad) and other delicious Burmese dishes, and we’ve been IG friends ever since. Aside from being colleagues, Ivy and I have another thing in common - our partners are craftsmen.
Ivy makes beautiful botanical skincare, and she recently gifted my partner a tin of her newest herbal balm, Maker’s Hands, formulated in honor of those who dedicate their hands to making things. This earthy salve moisturizes and repairs the skin with organic, sustainably-sourced ingredients like yarrow, plantain, comfrey, calendula, lavender, olive oil, beeswax, and vitamin E. It now lives in my boo’s bathroom drawer to moisturize his hands after his post-work shower.
I also received two of Ivy’s botanical oil blends, Align and Royal Ease. My personal favorite is Align, a blend for connecting the mind, heart, and Higher Self with magnolia, rose, and frankincense in a base of almond oil. Royal Ease connects us to divine play, feminine creation, and luminosity with patchouli, jasmine, and cardamom, also in an almond oil base. These oils are beautiful, natural, and perfectly sized to carry in your purse for a mid-day spruce up.
Feature Question: What does being a Venus of Color (VOC) mean to you?
“Being a VOC means shining in my unique beauty. It means appreciating this body that loves rice and freckles that have been blessed by the sun. It’s remembering that herbal medicine is in my blood and with incense I can open a portal to spirits. So no matter what struggles I face as an Asian American woman, I am rooted in the wisdom of my ancestors and I have the alchemical power of the lotus to blossom in life, with beauty.” - Ivy Lee, L.Ac.
sacred flora - mimosa
Mimosa or Persian silk tree, Albizia julibrissin, is a flowering tree associated with Venus that blooms during the height of summer with striking, fragrant pink pom-poms. The bark and flower are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and are known as He Huan Pi and He Huan Hua, “collective happiness bark/flower”. Mimosa bark and flower are synonymous with moving stagnant emotions, mood balancing, and heart healing. Used in decoction, tincture, or glycerite (my favorite), both herbs are indicated for sadness, heartbreak, depression, and loneliness - profound medicine for post-pandemic times.
According to Dan Bensky’s iconic Materia Medica, Mimosa has more uses than just calming the spirit and relieving the constraint of Qi (vital energy). Bensky also mentions the bark’s usefulness in alleviating pain, reducing swelling, reconnecting sinews and bones, and resolving abscesses when taken internally and applied topically. The flower is indicated for insomnia, forgetfulness, irritability, and feelings of pressure in the chest.
In Traditional Mexican Medicine (TMM), Mimosa bark is known as tepezcohuite, and is often used topically in antiaging creams and burn-healing products. Rumor has it that tepezcohuite is Salma Hayek’s secret to avoiding Botox - she swears by it!
I happen to have a mimosa tree in my back yard in Victoria, and for three consecutive years I’ve made tincture and glycerite with the flowers. In the winter, I blend the preparations with homemade St. John’s Wort tincture* and use it when I need a reminder of bright, summer days. Beautiful heart-healing medicine, indeed.
*St. John’s Wort interacts with many medications, especially SSRIs and MAOIs, so if you’re on medication, do your research, consult your doctor, and/or work with a qualified herbalist to make sure this herb is right for you.
pearls for your venusian soul
I have experienced, paid for, vetted, and loved all of these recommendations and want to share my findings with you. None of these reviews are sponsored.
Kobe Pearl and Gem Co., Redondo Beach, CA: On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I went to the Redondo Beach Pier for a routine family visit to Captain Kidd’s Fish Market & Restaurant (a longstanding tradition), and we all got pearls at Kobe Pearl and Gem Co.! For $15, you choose your own 5-year-old Japan-farmed oyster with a guaranteed pearl in it and then get it appraised by the jewelers. You can get your pearl set in an assortment of silver jewelry at the shop, or take it home as-is. Fun fact, the substrate planted in the oysters to form the pearls are pieces of shell from the Mississippi River! I got a tear-drop shaped blue grey black pearl and had it set in a shell pendant as a gift from my boo. My older sister Jannie chose an oyster with TWO blue grey black pearls in it, which was the sweetest because she was with her daughter Sarah! They also set their pearls in shell pendants. A crowd-pleasing, affordable luxury moment that I recommend to any and all pearl-loving Venuses. 10/10.
Cacao Madre Sol, Tabasco, Mexico: This June at the Spirit Weavers Gathering, traditional healer and fierce Venus of Color Madre Jaguar gifted me a gorgeous block of fermented chocolate from Cacao Madre Sol. This artisanal cacao company from Tabasco, Mexico focuses not only on making excellent chocolate, but it also generates employment for indigenous women and single mothers. Cacao is a heart-opening spiritual ally, helping to facilitate introspection, emotional healing, and mental clarity. I like to prepare my cacao with coconut milk, honey, and rosewater for extra heart-healing sweetness. You mean I can drink beautiful chocolate and support indigenous single mothers? I’ll take six. Contact Madre Jaguar to order.
Olympic Spa, Koreatown, Los Angeles: This is an oldie but goodie. Nobody does a spa moment in LA like the Korean Spa. And nobody does it like Olympic. Post-pandemic, you’ll have to book a treatment to access the spa, but this also means you get to enjoy the facilities with less people, which is a major plus IMO. I was here on my birthday last month with two of my closest friends, and I got the K-Pop treatment where a Korean auntie in an iconic black bikini (IYKYK) scrubbed me down and proceeded to bathe me in honey and actual cow’s milk (peak Venus). To top it off, we rubbed elbows with 90’s supermodel Amber Valetta in the Himalayan salt room fully naked - a very LA moment.
Highly Likely Café, Los Angeles: I’m a Mid City girl through and through, and have loved this café since it opened in West Adams in 2018. I live for their $8 Chagaccinos, which I famously claimed only had chaga in them (for years) - I was wrong. They’re made with chaga AND expresso, and they’re absolutely dreamy. During my 2-week trip to LA, I ate breakfast there three times and loved their Mediterrean eggs, chickpea shakshuka, and pibil bowl (which is more like a tostada than a bowl). The mere thought of their Chagaccinos messes me up emotionally (just slightly) and TBH, I can’t wait fly back to LA just to have another one.
Zingaro Floral Perfumery, Victoria: This sweet, old world perfumery and flower shop on Johnson Street is a welcomed addition to what is essentially Victoria’s Main Street. Zingaro is owned by Irish floral designer and perfumer Palma Cafolla, who you can often see toiling amongst the flowers and talking shop with patrons about her signature perfumes. My partner recently gifted me a bouquet with lavender-colored roses, a leather-bound notebook, and a rose geranium-scented Tarot Glowing Facial Mist, all of which are lovely. A visit for some flowers or a little gift is totally worth it.
Have you been called to work with me? Online herbal consults are bookable via my JaneApp booking platform, as well as distance Reiki sessions with oracle card readings for clients in the US + Canada.
I will be vacationing in an undisclosed, sunny location for the entire month of September (gasp!), so if you’d like to book in before or after then, sessions in August and October are now available for online booking via Jane App.
I deeply appreciate your readership, and I’ll see you again in Virgo Season for the next installment of Venus and the Pearl!