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Taurus season inspires us art girls for selfcare
Plants, mung bean brownies and silk are just the beginning
Art Girls Jungle 26 Apr 2019

As the sun enters Taurus on April 20, the fiery, scattered energy of Aeries fades into a much more grounded vibe. The good new is that all the shit that’s recently hit the fan is about to settle down. Whatever tensions Aeries brought to the surface with its ultra direct vibe, think of them as fertilizer for new growth and development.
Taurus energy is much more gentle and receptive. Over the next month, expect personal and professional projects to slowly ripen and bear fruit. Instead of launching new initiatives, focus on gradually pushing ahead existing ventures. With Taurus, slow and steady wins the race. It’s a sign that doesn’t like sudden change, so you’re better off taking the time to check in on existing artists, do maintenance on your website, or strengthen relationships with existing clients than, say, launching a new location.
That means that you also get more time to focus on self-care. And no, I don’t mean buying yourself the new Gucci clogs—Taurus is an earth sign that wants you to slow down, get grounded, and savor life’s basic luxuries.
And no industry needs more grounding than the art world. In every sense, art world is the complete opposite of down-to-earth. With all their high ceilings, minimal décor and white walls, museums and galleries are very airy spaces. What’s more, the industry’s vibe is distinctly cerebral. From curators to writers to dealers, most art world professionals deal with intangible figures and abstract concepts. Even today’s contemporary art scene leans more towards the conceptual than the physical. Except for artists with more physical practices, we’re a pretty disembodied bunch. Besides Taweesak Molsawat carrying a bag of soil for four hours through the streets of Bangkok each day, there’s not a whole lot of digging around in the dirt that goes on.
But Taurus is all about physical, sensual reality, making this a great season to get back into your body. I know—it’s the middle of art fair season, and your body feels more like a train wreck than a temple. If you’ve been on the caffeine-alcohol-crash-repeat rollercoaster lately, there’s no shame.
But there’s no time like Taurus season to start taking some gentle measures to regain your balance. Download Flux; do the Goop working-girl detox (it’s only three days, you can do it); wind down with a yin yoga YouTube class before bed. Do whatever it takes to make you feel more like a human being and less like a human-shaped cyborg, a shell of makeup and Comme des Garçons, filled with Basquiat auction prices, oat milk lattes and undigested emotions.
To help you get your gallerina self-care on, here are five specific products and practices that you can adapt to find some more stillness and sweetness in your life. We even have a little something for every area of your life, from work to health to fashion. Without further ado, meet the ultimate gallerina’s Taurus season guide to self-care.

1) Work: plan on paper

planner
Planners by Julia Kostreva.
Taurus’ work style is plodding and methodical. That means putting a few things on your to-do list every day—and actually getting them done. If you’re like me and your to-do list is more like a moodboard-meets-bucket list that’s equal parts aspirational and delusional, this could come as a challenging but welcome change. And if you’re an air sign who’s allergic to planning of any kind (hey, that’s what interns are for), hear me out.
Instead of, or in addition to, planning your life across a tangled web of iPhone notes, iCal, sticky notes and little reminders scribbled in pen on the inside of your wrist, try out the good old pen and paper technique. Just for a month—that’s all I’m asking.

Step one:

Go out and buy yourself a really beautiful, Taurus-approved notebook. I’m talking leather-bound, papyrus pages hand-pulverized by ethically compensated indigenous people in Peru.

Step two:

You get to use it. Each morning, flip to a new page and write down five—only five!—things to get done that day. Just five. If you finish those, you’re allowed to keep plowing ahead, of course, but you might discover that you actually work more efficiently when forced to focus in on the essentials essentials.
By making you weigh your priorities carefully each morning, the exercise will push you to move into your day more deliberately. You’re less likely to get distracted by random things that come up—an email about getting involved in a new fair, an idea for an opening several months away that pops into your head mid-day. All other things are relegated to the background, so you can work steadily and efficiently on the most pressing jobs at hand. Of course, if Larry himself walks through your gallery doors, you’re allowed to toss the list and prostrate yourself at his feet.

2) Sleep: a self-massage before bed

abyanga
Contrary to what Glossier would have you think, the best thing you can do to get the fresh-faced, glowing complexion of a California surfer teen is to get your sleep. Simple, easy and free, sleeping enough is the under-practiced, if not underrated, beauty trick of our day. And that’s to say nothing of sleep’s countless health benefits, including reduced risk of mortality. That’s right, death.
Sleeping is a good thing to get into the habit of doing year-round, but since Taurus is all about taking care of your body with simple luxuries, this month is a great time to step up your sleeping game.
I know what you’re about to say—but I don’t have time to sleep more! So here’s something you can do to get the most out of your sleep without spending more time snoozing. Drumroll, please… oil massage!
That’s right, oil massage—and the best part is, there’s no salon or little Thai lady walking on your spine involved. This is a self-massage that you can do at home as you wind down for bed. It takes all of 10 minutes, but it’ll help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply by releasing tension before you go to bed. The less tension you’re holding when you lie down, the less time you’ll spend tossing and turning, the more restorative your sleep will be. But don’t take my word for it—check out the literature on the subject.

All about abhyanga

To do an abhyanga, or an ayurvedic self-massage, all you’ll need is some oil, a towel and your shower. Traditionally, either coconut or sesame oil is used, but if you don’t want to smell like a Chinese restaurant, you can swap in your favorite essential oil-infused product. Prep your bathroom by turning down the lights, lighting a few candles and maybe putting on some nice spa music. Then strip down, get a towel and a bathrobe ready, and get ready to love on yourself.
Ayurvedic tradition has a pretty specific sequence of movements for the abhyanga. Basically, you’ll be working your way down from your scalp to your toes, massaging each part of your body. The whole thing will take between 5 and 20 minutes. Afterwards, just step in the shower to rinse off the extra oil with warm water—try not to use too much soap to let the oil seep into your skin as you sleep. Then, hop straight into bed (no looking at your phone!) for the deepest, most Taurus-vetted sleep of your life.
If you’re really feeling it, put your legs up against the wall for 20 minutes while you close your eyes and meditate before you sleep. I have a yoga teacher who swears it helps you detox by flushing all the blood towards your lymph nodes—this is not medical advice, but she does look pretty damn radiant. Wake up, hopefully 7-8 hours later, with baby-smooth skin and a healthy glow that would make Gwyneth Paltrow jealous.

3) Food/soul: bake mung bean brownies

brownies
Taurus is all about nourishing yourself, body and soul. And, well, nothing gets them both in one fell swoop like a fresh tray of warm brownies. Brownies are the Taurus of baked goods, and I’ll tell you why. Rich and filling, they even happen to be the color of the earth—and remember, Taurus is an earth sign. A good brownie is also very grounding—as in, if you’re not careful, you’ll literally be on the ground, clutching your stomach because you ate the whole tray.
And since eating the whole tray is the biggest risk factor of brownie baking, here’s a recipe that healthy enough that you won’t feel like shit if that happens. And yes, I’m speaking from experience. No sugar coma here—instead of refined sugar, white flour, eggs and butter, this recipe just has… beans.
Don’t be scared. I don’t know how it works, but mung beans make the perfect earthy base for this rich brownie batter. They taste every bit as decadent as your garden-variety Ghirardelli mix, but a whole lot better for you and for the environment. That’s right, I’m talking vegan. And since Taurus is all about digging your hands in the dirt, baking from scratch is an obvious Taurus self-care activity.

The recipe

This recipe was adapted from Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary, Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook by Sahara Rose Ketali. Personally, I add cinnamon and shatavari, an adaptogenic herb that may or may not help balance your hormones, boost your energy and soothe your nervous system. Healthy and filling enough for a quick breakfast, satisfying enough for a 3pm pick-me-up when you’re crashing at work, your new brownie best friend is here.
1.5 cups cooked mung beans
.5 cups cacao powder
.5 cups quick oats
20 drops liquid monk fruit sweetener or 6-8 pitted Medjool dates (you can also use stevia, agave, maple syrup or sugar to taste – you won’t need much)
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
.5 tsp baking powder
.25 tsp salt
.5 cups dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping
1 tsp shatavari
1-2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips and blend until smooth
  • Stir in chocolate chips and spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan. Batter will be a bit crumbly, but that’s fine. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips over the top.
  • Bake for 16-20 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips over the brownies. Allow to cool before slicing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days—or eat immediately with your hands. Wash down with oat milk. Hide the evidence. Thank Taurus.
4) Style: silk, silk and more silk. And linen, and cotton.

silk
After all those brownies, you’re going to need some nice, new drawstring pants that are chic enough to wear to work and forgiving enough to hide your food baby. Don’t worry—bikini season is still a few months away, plus, who gives a shit? Every body is a bikini body, and that includes your post-brownie body. Kayla Itsines is great and all, but we’re team Rubens over here.
Along with our earthy luxury theme this month, we recommend giving your wardrobe the gift of natural fibers. They’re eco, they’re chic, and they feel hella good against your skin as the weather heats up. You’re going to need a wardrobe that breathes if you’re going to be wading through the subway swamp every morning, if you know what I mean.
Look no further than silk and linen. Personally, all my favorite silks came from thrift stores. Thrifting is easy on the environment and on the wallet, plus, older pieces tend to be better built to last. Very Taurus. But since you might not have the time to go digging through flea markets all weekend, here are some Taurus-vetted silk, linen and cotton pieces that we’re loving for spring. For bonus Taurus points, get them in earth tones.
ciaolucia
By Ciao Lucia.
christy dawn robe
By Christy Dawn.
guru jagat collection
Guru Jagat Collection 01

5) Home: plant a plant

Whether you’re a first-time plant mom (or dad, or gender nonconforming parent) or a seasoned veteran, you can never have too many plants in your life. Unless you’re planting palm trees in a shoebox-sized NYC apartment, that is. They purify the air, help calm you down, and feng shui the shit out of the space. Plus, Taurus’ color is green, so this is one way to introduce a little more greenery into your space.
Head to your nearest home goods store or nursery, pick out a cute little seedling to take home, and most importantly, plant it with your own two hands. Water it with love (and water) every day and watch your baby grow. Next time you’re having a gallery-induced panic attack on your living room floor, it’ll be there in the corner, a gentle Stoic, indifferent to your minor tragedy, a reminder that the world is much bigger than your tiny, temporary problems.
Here’s some plant inspo to get you started:
plants3
plants2
plants1

Text by Katya Lopatko.
Images via @juliakostreva, @theayurvedaexperience, @scientifically.sweet, @sighswoon, @ciao_lucia, @christydawn, @gurujagat, @botanicalwomen.

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