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.