What Gift Does Your Chart Want? Your Holiday Astrology Gift-Giving Guide

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While gifting to friends and family may seem like a chore, why not use the handy tool of astrology to remove mental roadblocks, stampedes at big box stores and the anxiety of that internet-shopped package left on your rainy stoop (insert sad face emoji).

When looking at gift giving and astrology, consider both the Moon and Venus for friends and family. The Venus sign describes what we value, what we find beautiful and attractive. We might adorn Venus gifts, or partake in foods or craft making. The Moon sign shows where we find comfort, nourishment and restoration. If you are giving a gift to a defined age group such as a class or a youth group, consider using Jupiter as it stays in one sign for an entire year.

*COMPLIMENTARY to readers: If you need help knowing your friend's Venus or Moon sign, email me and I'll tell you free of charge. And as always, remember that people are waaaaaay more complex than a simple Venus or Moon sign. Consider giving a gift certificate for a consultation with Jaysen Paulson from Cosmophilia as the number one best gift for all signs!

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in ARIES: think fast, exciting, hot, adventurous, passionate

Ideas: Make oils infused with chili peppers, power tools to give that feeling of potential, self-defense course for empowerment, a membership to Portland Rock Gym, Bootcamp at Fulcrum, an evening at laser tag, a wilderness survival class from Portland Trackers Earth, take them on the Portland Arial Tram for a death-defying adventure, or surprise them by renting a car and going away for the weekend in the desert and drive fast as you do it. Tip: Local distillery makes Pepper vodka. Blood Mary's!

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in TAURUS: think sturdy, pleasurable, relaxing, practical, sensual

Ideas: Make chocolate truffles with lavender and rose, a rocking chair to enjoy those placid evenings on the porch, essential oils or tinctures to appeal to the senses, a massage, gift certificate to a home goods or clothing store, seeds for planting next year, herbalism classes with Arctos School. You could even make a meal for a Taurus but be sure to beautify every detail including the drinking water. Tip: Clary Sage Herbarium is a Taurus dream.

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in GEMINI: think curious, communicative, sampling, ideas

Ideas: Make your own journal out of old magazines or clothing pieces, take them to Powells Books or better yet Wunderland Arcade to let loose that Geminian energy. Jump around town to many different places, restaurants and parks, Geminis like variety and a sampling of experiences. Keyboard lessons, computer software, soap-making or candle-making kits, lottery scratch-it's, choose-your-own adventure books or any classes in the PCC Community Education catalog. Tip: You can get a ton of records for $20!

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in CANCER: think soft, comfortable, heart-centered, nostalgic

Ideas: Like Taurus, Cancer is the other food-oriented sign, make a beautiful meal, or better yet go to a cooking class together at Hipcooks. For a more adventures Cancers, an Urban Farm City Tour might inspire a garden of their own. A gift certificate to a spa or soaking pool at Common Grounds are thoughtful gifts or an afternoon at the Sellwood antique shops. Other ideas include watching sentimental 1940's movies, a subscription to Ancestry.com, homemade cupcakes or aprons or anything to make the home more comfortable and inviting. Tip: Give the gift of a home cleaning and energy clearing from Moe Bowstern at Clean Sweep.

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in LEO: think flashy, expressive, exciting, playful, creative

Ideas: Make something creative together maybe ceramics at Mimosa studio while having a margarita! Or show-off your talent with a suite at Voicebox karaoke. A Leo loves passion and drama, a show or play tickets are well-suited gifts or improv classes at Curious Comedy Club or a jazzy night at Portland's long-running Jimmy Mak's. Gold is an appropriate idea if you are a human with money-bags, but a backup-plan might be gold flakes on a truffle. Bring a Leo an exquisite stone or gem. Tip: Consider something that makes them shine! A salon gift certificate from Brandie Taylor who does Portlandia, St. Vincent, The Gossip, Rolling Stone, she'll make you feel like a star!

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in VIRGO: think practical, efficient, conscientious, analytical, helpful

Ideas: Make homemade paper, a rejuvenating body scrub or hawthorn berry jam or pickles. This practical sign would like to improve their craft, a woodcarving kit or a night knitting would be nice, or you could visit the Museum of Contemporary Craft for mutual inspiration. A helpful Virgo may also really like being involved with Rewild Portland to hone their practical and earthy skills. The efficient Virgo would just faint learning about kaizen, the Japanese efficient manufacturing philosophy taking the West by a tidy storm. A first-aid kit or herbal teas in small mason jars is also a cute idea. Tip: Don't go kitschy, novel or single-use, stick to practical.

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in LIBRA: think balanced, refined, aesthetic, beauty, social

Ideas: Where does your Libra friend feel centered? Start there! Make balancing teas like nettles and burdock with some flowers. Libra's like relating so make "friend-dates" in the form of coupons for places like Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Japanese Garden, Portland Art Museum or grab a map at the Hoyt Arboretum and take the tree tour together and top that off with a regal cocktail at Secret Society Lounge. Along the same line think refined culture,  a show at Portland Center Stage or Oregon Symphony tickets. Waltz lessons are a neat idea. Tip: Couples yoga, couples cooking or couples massage.

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in SCORPIO: think transformative, intensity, mysterious, catharsis

Ideas: Make kim chi, miso or kombucha as a present. Gifting old thrillers novels, old occult books or film noir titles. Scorpio likes the depths and investigation and what's darker and more unexplored than Apes Caves near Mt. St. Helen's? Why the Shanghai Tunnels you might say! Other ideas include a walking-tour of haunted sites, a Murder Mystery Dinner or take a trip and finally see the Mystery Spot. What about a tarot reading, pole-dancing, a burlesque show? Yup! Scorpio may have physical-oriented commonalities with Aries too. Ever been to She Bop? Tip: Paying a $1,000 for your Portland studio have you broke? Having your Scorpio over for a deep and connective conversation would be most appreciated. Bonus points if there are tears and cake. 

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in SAGITTARIUS: think enthusiastic, freedom, seeking, questing

Ideas: Make a meal of small plates with dishes from around the world and keep the conversation light with lots of jokes. Rent a bike from downtown and go across the Esplanade down the Spring Water Corridor to see the wildlife refuge. Ride that bike to the International Farmers Market in Lents. Take your Sadge friend to a lecture series at First Unitarian Church (which has hosted forward thinkers like Duane Elgin, Michael Meade, Toni Morrison and Charles Eisenstein), or try Friends of Jung, the Theosophical Society or the Portland School of Astrology. Another option? Dance album or dance party! I suggest 80's alternative dance party 'Shut Up and Dance'. A hike on the Wildwood Trail, a basketball game at the community center or any book on philosophy or spirituality are suitable gifts! Tip: Focus on the freedom, adventure or philosophical aspects. 

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in CAPRICORN: think sturdy, pragmatic, convention, conservation

Ideas: Make meals in jars to be frozen and pulled out on demand. Consider a leather bag, vintage wine/spirits or antique jewelry. Gift accounting software, a certificate of deposit or contribute to their 401K for security and stability. If you're a money-bags, pay their rent for the month of January or take care of their cell phone bill. Encourage a visit to the Rose Test Garden, or Oregon Wine Country. They may also like a visit to the Oregon Historical Society Museum. A classy happy hour 32-stories high at Portland City Grill may do the trick (sometimes you see Basketball players and news casters.) Or for a more humble Capricorn friend, take them to Fly Awake Tea Garden and have Kevin do Chinese Tea ceremony. Tip: Find out your Cappy's long established habits and conventions and buy a gift that fits well into that ritual. 

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in AQUARIUS: think eccentric, revolution, team-oriented, idealistic

Ideas: Make your Aquarius friend art or a zine about their life. Write an astrological transit report for the year ahead or get them a gift certificate for a consultation. Buy comic books, graphic novels, UFO stories or high consciousness science documentaries or watch the Zeitgeist series together. Take them to OMSI after Dark or the oddly-placed Pirate-themed Glow-in-the-Dark Miniature Golf in Downtown Portland. Whisk over to Alberta Last Thursday (if it's still cool and alternative by the time you read this) and stay for a Vaudeville show. Aquarius appreciates spending it's time for the good of the people or group so check your local awesome revolutionary bookstores (In Other Words, Laughing Horse Book Collective) for the most current protest or march or considering donating to a cause in your Aquarius friend's name: no-kill cat shelter House of Dreams, or Smyrc for sexual and gender minority youth. Or finally get a Pabst at the Rose City Rollers. Tip: 4th grade chemistry sets are bonus points.

Venus, Moon or Jupiter in PISCES: think compassion, imagination, dreamy, mystical

Ideas: Make photography or art for them, or infused liquors and cordials. Pisces is highly imaginative and is attracted to glamour so see a show at Darcel's, watch musicals from the 1940's, or get a certificate to the art cinema. A Pisces may enjoy the Portland Art Museum or Velveteria, the velvet painting museum.  Our sensitive friends may also really enjoy a Float Tank session, a Flower Essence healing session, a reiki attunement or the Healing Waters psychic fair (I once saw a guy there who said he was on Oprah.) Connecting with nature is the right way to go for Pisces so head to the Ocean. Stones and gems are a neat idea also hydrosols and sprays, yoga certificates (yoga and astrology at the People's Yoga!), ecstatic dance and romantic dinners work too. Tip: Think subtle, energetic, imaginative, mystical, soft and sweet.


Sagittarius Kosmo Kitty


Caturday returns in Sagittarius!

A Sagittarius Kosmo Kitty is quite the adventurous cat, slipping out at night through the cat door. This larger-than-life cat prefers to travel to distant worlds and distant cultures enjoying the thrill of meeting new humans, new cats and learning new things. A Sadge Kosmo Kitty may have a taste for the exotic and flare for the worldly. Kosmo Kitty may know how to hold chopsticks and know how to dance the folk steps of Germanic people. Next time you let your cat outside, imagine the journey he or she will embark upon.

"A journal of a 1,000 steps begins with one paw." Lao-tzu

Scorpio Kosmo Kitty

87 cat attack

Scorpio Caturday!

Some people refer to Scorpio as "the bad cat", but this is non-sense. Each cat has it's good and bad, the Mars-ruled sign of Scorpio just isn't afraid to show it. While a Scorpio cat will be clingy, cuddly and cute, they can also be obsessive, secretive and NEVER forget any wrong-doing from a human, animal or toy. When this scorpion cat strikes, it does so with precision and extreme focus. If the Scorpio cat becomes quiet (and perhaps has it ears back with tag wagging violently from side-to-side), it may be on the attack as this emotional water-sign cat has trouble communicating it's needs and would rather claw, clamp, bite and back-leg-kick it's way to resolution.

The physical appearance of the Scorpio cat is slender with a sexy cat-body and walks with a deep intense stare into the eyes of any ill-fated human. These cats are also subject to feelings of inadequacy and can be self-destructive, always trying to get and bite it's own tail. This intense cat loves the dark, hiding under boxes or grocery bags, and dangerous sports such as jumping from the tall armoire in a single leap. Scorpio cats also benefit from being neutered or spayed as they will continuously have sex on everything and over everything you love.

Astrology of 2016

Andrea L. Gehrz & Jaysen Paulson: Astrology of 2016-the Cosmic Weathers

Are you wondering what the weathers will be like this year? Do you like to go with the flow? If so, join us for a wonderful evening of predictive astrology!

In tonight's forum, Jaysen Paulson and Andrea L. Gehrz will be covering the upcoming planetary events of 2016. The night is geared towards astrologers and newbies alike. Together we will prepare for the astral weathers, welcoming and preparing for the new vibes as they come in. Specific transits this year will be given for specific birthdays to include all levels of astrology-knowledge. Come and see if you, your friend or family member will be riding the cosmic weathers in 2016!

Digital Download Running Time: 112 minutes.


New Digital Downloads on the Astrological Houses

Two new digital downloads are up on the Portland School of Astrology website!

Jaysen Paulson: The Astrological Houses

If planets are actors and signs are the mood of a play, what are the houses? The astrological houses are the where--the stage where action happens. In this one hour teleclass, Jaysen will explore each house through astrological symbolism and the life cycle. The angles, some history and sample planets through the houses will also be mentioned.

Digital Download Running Time: 67 minutes.


A Walk Through the Houses - an Astrological Meditation

When we are learning astrology, we tend to do this in an intellectual way, which isn't necessarily good or bad, but we can begin to learn about ourselves and our charts by tapping into what we already know about ourselves. A Walk Through the Houses is a guided astrological meditation where we walk through each one of your houses. Grounding exercises and two pauses for reflection, journaling, drawing or dreaming are given in this recording.

NOTE: Remember to not be driving or operating machinery when listening to this recording.

This is a novice or beginners class but is also suited to intermediate and even advanced students. If you are looking for a beginners class and more intellectual information on the Houses themselves, check out the Astrological Houses by Jaysen Paulson.

Digital Download Running Time: 90 minutes.

Canvas and the Cosmos

Participants head out on a museum quest of archetypes to find meaning in the art pieces to answer their questions through their own interpretation of symbolism. 

Participants head out on a museum quest of archetypes to find meaning in the art pieces to answer their questions through their own interpretation of symbolism. 

Project Title: Canvas and the Cosmos

Project Location: Portland Art Museum

Project Duration: November 2014 - current

The languages of archetypes permeate our culture in ways that tend to go unnoticed. Archetypes are encoded in our books and films, our advertisements and ideas, even within our relationships. And both astrology and art are languages of archetypes, preserved through stories they travel through time, woven into culture fabrics that give us messages and models, lessons and ethics and even inspiration in times of hardship.

With Canvas and the Cosmos, astrologer Jaysen Paulson has selected 22 basic archetypes of the 12 zodiac signs and 10 astrologically significant planets in order to create a unique experience for guests at the Portland Art Museum. With the help of Astro Die, three 12-sided die with planets, signs and houses, guests think of a question and cast the die. 

a museum goer ponders and photographs the piece selected for Neptune.

a museum goer ponders and photographs the piece selected for Neptune.

Cards with the image of the piece and it’s location are then given to the guest while Jaysen explains the house that they rolled on the Astro Die, such as what the 2nd House in astrology means, or the 11th house. The guest is then instructed to locate the two art pieces of sign and planet they rolled and synthesize their own meaning based on their individual interpretation, their own intuition and their own symbolism. As a consulting astrologer, Jaysen believes that astrology is equal parts analytical, mathematical, methodical and other left-brain functions coupled with the interpretative, the impressionable, the emotional, the experiential and other right-brain functions. With this project, participants are encouraged to discover the meaning for themselves. 

Astro Die are available to purchase through the Portland School of Astrology. Click on photo.

Astro Die are available to purchase through the Portland School of Astrology. Click on photo.

This makes the experience subjective in the eyes of the querent, filtered through what they know from their own experience. Participants fascinating report noticing color, shape, contrast, technique, and any information written about the piece or artist in the accompanying placard as relating to their question to gain a deeper understanding to what they were seeking. Sometimes even the title of the piece or the artist name is information enough to them.

What really makes this project valuable are the teachable moments that occurs with participants tapping into their own intuition. Reaching into what they are already know about themselves, sometimes subconsciously or even perhaps unconsciously, museum-goers get a moment to check-in with themselves through the reflective image of art to see how they really feel about a subject, action, or interest. 


Because pieces in the museum change often, the experience is never the same twice. 


Canvas and the Cosmos is currently running on Friday nights from 6:30-8pm concurrent with Portland Art Museum’s 5 After 5 event which is 5-8pm, each Friday. $5 for museum entrance. 

Canvas and the Cosmos is also conducting a quarterly tour of all 12 signs with Portland Art Museum volunteer docent Ellen Freeman. Check Portland School of Astrology website for further details and current dates.