Sunday, September 9, 2018

New Moon in Virgo: Perfectionism, Slightly Imbalanced

"Balance is the point I cross
on my way to the other extreme."
~ A Mentor of Mine

Baltic Sea (Ost See), Northeast Germany
It’s been several months since I’ve written a post. And do you know why? It’s a 6-letter word called SUMMER. Yes, in and among meeting with you, my beloved clients worldwide, I’ve been traveling in foreign cities, camping in wildernesses, exploring forests, swimming in streams. In the past, I’ve pushed myself to write articles while traveling. But this summer, I decided to tune in, drop out, listen to the flow of rivers, oceans of consciousness in which I’ve had the luxury of swimming. I’ve been online less, resting more.

Even with the unplugging intention this summer, it’s still difficult to live without distraction. So often, I desire to run away, to flee back to my semi-monastic years in India. But the dharma of my life has me here, in the world, doing that imperfect dance of the ever-elusive state known as balance.

Ah, yes, balance. This is where imperfection does its thing, perfectly. Think of a tightrope walker high above the circus. She is never completely in balance. The muscles in her feet, the tiniest bones, are constantly moving, shifting, keeping her aligned. It is never perfect.

I love the analogy of being permanently off-course, and still finding our way to a goal. Think of an airplane at 30,000 feet, en route to Hawaii. The airplane is always just slightly off-course. The auto-pilot technology continuously adjusts, adjusts, adjusts. It appears to be a straight shot all the way to Maui. But the truth is, the plane has been off-course the entire time.

I’ve been practicing yoga asana for 25 years, taking my first course in the UC Davis Experimental College before studios appeared on every corner. My body has changed over the years. Some poses that were mentally scary or seemingly impossible in my early 20’s are now easy – like headstand. I have noticed less flexibility in backbends. And I have far more strength in my 40’s, especially as I’ve taken up trail running in the East Bay Hills. And, with increasing strength has come better balance.

Virgin Mary Chapel, Andechs Monastery, Munich

The Imperfect Art of Health

Today is the New Moon in Virgo, sign of the Virgin - meaning, a woman whole unto Herself. Virgo is often critiqued as the “picky, perfectionist” sign. But I see it more as refinement. Whatever is needed, less or more…that is refinement.

New Shoes in Lisse, Holland
The sixth house of the astrology chart, traditionally ruled by Virgo, is the house of hygiene. And hygiene does not just pertain to physical health. It is also spiritual, mental, and emotional. The word “hygiene” comes from the from Greek hugieinΔ“, meaning the ‘(art) of health.’ Like all forms of art, healthy living is individual, unique, original, and above all, authentic.

What is healthy living for me, may be entirely different for you. What I eat may not nourish you. What you smoke may not support me. Who you sleep with may perplex me. Who I love may confuse you. But the ultimate decider of what is HEALTHY is… YOU. Your own inner authority. You, and your own Higher Self. You decide. Hence, the falsity, the illusion, the LIE of perfectionism when it comes to health, to anything really.

Where are you lying to yourself? Where are you consciously or unconsciously living by the lies imposed upon you by others, by society, by culture? Are the beliefs that you have around what constitutes a healthy lifestyle surreptitiously sneaking in to harm you? Maybe you have a non-binary, non-right/wrong approach to gender, to food, to intoxicants. Maybe your struggle to attain the perfect amount of money, power, prestige, beauty, youth, creative expression, relationship, even mental health or spiritual serenity is driving you insane… even, paradoxically, the desire to attain inner peace – the subtle striving to be a super human. Can you see that sneaking in?
Typisch Deutsches Essen, Brandenburg
What happens if we let go of all that sh*t, no pun intended, and simply practice the art of health, of hygiene, that works for us, today? What happens if we listen to what we authentically need in the moment? What happens if we have faith that we will make the best choice for ourselves? When we say f* off to those rules and belief systems that purportedly protect and help us, but actually strangle our spirits and true selves? What if we trust that we will, like that airplane en route to Hawaii, get exactly where we need to go, all the while being ever-so-slightly off balance, imperfect all the time?

Yes, what if?

Trust that your body-mind-spirit know exactly what they need. Uniquely you. So, take an end of summer holiday, and drop the stress-monger super ego perfect voice, just for today.

Erin Reese is an author, spiritual guide, astrologer, and modern psychic reader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with clients all over the world. For readings and spiritual counseling by Skype, phone or email, contact her directly. She can be reached at

Summer Holiday Scrapbook

Practicing headstand - imperfectly - on Mother Earth - German countryside
Running in Former East Berlin

Rolling Stones, Olympiastadion, Berlin

South Lake Tahoe Bear Friend

Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe Basin

Reichstag Dome, Berlin
Backpacking, Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness


  1. holy sh*t is right!! this is pure medicine for my soul. yummy. nourishment. refreshing. relief. oh virgo! oh saying f* off to internalized rigid authourity! so so so much what i have been working on, as you know. i really really love the photos of the scrumptious chocolatey dessert. makes my mouth water. thank you so much for this delicious and relaxed meal. i can breathe a little easier already. love you so much!!!

    1. "delicious and relaxed meal" - love it. so glad this inspired!

  2. ps...i love the vacation photos!

  3. So timely!! Absolutely perfect! And thank you for sharing the great travel photos too.

  4. For the first time in a long time, I've been waking up at 5:30 every morning to practice yoga / meditate. How long depends on how the day looks - sometimes it an hour and a half, sometimes 45 minutes, sometimes just child's pose. And it is working wonders. At what is usually a buzzy time of year, I've been able to maintain a degree of centeredness. And I've made major life decisions - moving back to Maine after eight months in Chicago, getting out of a fairly serious, fairly unhealthy relationship (choosing single parenting over a financially secure situation with a man that my son will never love), trusting that I could get by on a part time job and that something else would open up, and it is ... working towards buying my first home. All sans the need for approval from a therapist (stopped that), parent, or partner. Because, "shockingly", only I actually know, deep down, what is right for me, and when. Not to say that I'm not going to consult with a financial advisor before making any huge moves. My road has most definitely not been straight and narrow, but I'm finally arriving at a point where I can find joy in the moments that make up my life - morning yoga, breakfast on my deck, walking my dog, getting my son to school (sometimes just a little late, without stressing), teaching high school kids to make real art, shlepping all around the state to soccer games and loving it (without resenting the fact that yes, I'm a soccer mom - something I never imagined I'd be). There's something about being in my late 30's, and having suffered enough, been dependent enough (emotionally and financially and psychologically), and been insecure enough about my physical appearance, that I've grown tired of relying on other people to affirm my existence. Stumbling across a Huffington post article on how not to be a pushover in business (or in any other area in life) definitely helped. It's not that I feel like a superwoman, or like I don't need anyone, but I have what I need, I live somewhere that I love, and I am in the process of creating a life that I want. Thanks, Erin, for sharing. I only had one session with you last year - a birthday gift from my dearest friend - and I still reflect on it. And I quite agree, that through yoga, you can cultivate physical strength and mental discipline that lead to spiritual strength. Om, shanti.

    1. Much appreciation for your comment. Thank you for taking the time to express yourself and share your yoga with us.

  5. Wow Erin, somehow I missed this one until today - and it was posted on my 40th birthday. We will not call it my best birthday ever when in fact I finally started to come out of the mild depression I had been fighting for months as the clock struck midnight on the 11th and the day was done. I envy your vacations but am so grateful for all the wonders of my life, not the least of which is you. I think I saw you at Alicia's show - I attended with a new boyfriend who I've grown quite attached to, as I seem to do. Loved this post and identified with much of it. Happy for your many travels and wishing you well. :-)

    1. Thank you Nicole! I am glad you're doing well and having fun with a new wonderful person in your life...

  6. One more thing, I too can do a kick-ass headstand. Love em...!

    1. Headstands rock! (still can't do handstand... maybe in 10 years!)