Venus' Return, and a Birthday Party for Inner Makeup

This past weekend I celebrated Venus returning to the exact point she occupied when I was born. Today, I also celebrate the birthday of Inner Makeup, the astrology business and ever evolving spiritual practice I founded two years ago. What do returns mean in astrology, and what do birthdays mean in astrology? Returns do not mean what they do in finance, a profit from an investment, rather, a return in astrology is a recapitulation of a theme, albeit slightly different, as the planetary bodies are constantly in motion. Similarly, a birthday is the exact point where the sun returns when a person or event was born, with slightly different planetary configurations.  The theme of my Venus, and her return, is drama, occupying the expressive sign of Leo; thus we endeavoured to celebrate the sweetness of Venus, the brightest “star” in the sky with a grand party where I sang the celestially-themed East of the Sun, West of the Moon. This heavenly configuration also featured the North Node of Karmic Future and Mercury, the planet of communication, in close aspect in the creative sign of Leo. Venus is also a particularly social sign, so harnessing all of this Venusian and Leo energy was paramount. Similarly, the birthday chart of Inner Makeup also featured Venus prominently, with a similar prominence in the chart emphasizing Venusian energy. But besides the sweet indulgences of Venus, how does one go about celebrating astrological phenomena?

In Western astrology, the signs symbolize the seasons, which is a wholly different conception of astrology from Indian astrology, or even NASA, whereby the signs as constellations take precedent. Western astrology is based on the sun, the amount of light shed throughout the year, and its subsequent creation of the seasons as experienced on earth. Thus, we endeavoured to offer seasonal delights for our guests to celebrate each sign, or season. Take a look below to see our interpretation of each dish as embodying each season. 

Aries, The Ram


The Sun is exalted in the sign of Aries, the fiery, powerful manifestation of spring's awakening, the spring equinox. For this, we selected spring lamb, a robust, aggressive choice paired with chimmichuri sauce.

Taurus, The Sitting Bull


If Aries is the violent burst into spring, Taurus is its beautiful flowering. For this spirit, we chose earthly tri-colored carrots paired with cumin creme fraiche. 

Gemini, The Twins


Gemini are the children of the zodiac, and exhibit a sunny, airy, playful, curious, and mischievous duality, embodying the sunniest time of the year. Confetti cookies were the natural choice!

Cancer, The Crab

Perhaps the easiest selection of the bunch, Cancer is the ancient crustacean. For this we spruced up the ceviche with a Thai-style crab. 


Leo, The Lion

The sun finds its home with the lion, the fixed, lazy days of late summer. Sweet tomatoes are to be found, and we prepared a dramatic roasted cherry tomato tart.


Libra, The Scales

Libra is literally the fall of the sun, the autumnal equinox that sheds equal day to night. Yet the fall, like love, is beautiful, and we prepared an apple pie cake to symbolize this most beautiful time of the year. 


Scorpio, The Scorpion

The most intense sign of the zodiac, where the beautiful leaves of autumn are undertaken by the sting of the scorpion, we sought to create the most daemonic dish, a dark chocolate ganache with amareno cherries. 


Sagittarius, The Archer


To capture the blunt, forward spirit of Sagittarius's arrows, we offered antipasto spears.

Capricorn, The Goat


The grounded, conservative nature of Capricorn was captured in roasted cauliflower with tzatziki and harissa sauce.

Pisces, The Fish


Along with the crab, Pisces was somewhat easy to embody, the fish. Last but not least, we prepared smoked salmon on naan bread. 

Apologies to Virgo and Aquarius, as we missed photographing you. Virgo was a virgin rose and Aquarius was an innovative orange blossom spherical ice cube drink. How are you reflected in the seasons and signs of astrology? Contact me to book an Inner Makeup session to explore your personal astrology. 

A New Moon, A New Year

Celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year with the Dragon at Boomtown Casino in Harvey, LA

Celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year with the Dragon at Boomtown Casino in Harvey, LA

Most astrology focuses on the Sun—Your Will and Purpose

But what about the Moon?


The Moon is the Embodiment of Communication, Emotion, and Spirit

The Goddess

Opposite God


What is the Moon’s Message to You?

That is the Will and Purpose of This Column

Published Every Monday—Moon Day


This week is really the beginning of 2018. After coming down from the massive Super Moon at the beginning of this year, this new moon in the serious sign of Capricorn, along with five other planetary bodies, signals a year of structure-seeking, slow, and steady success. Down the street from me, there is a Vietnamese Lunar New Year’s celebration happening, ringing in the year of the Dog. The Dog is quite different from the Goat, less serious and more fun-loving, and that is the Dog’s fall in Vietnamese folklore. But the combination of the two will yield massive success for you in 2018, a care free attitude combined with sober planning, execution, and discipline. Today is also the birthday of Martin Luther King, the greatest leader to come from the United States. I was fortunate enough to hear Coretta Scott King speak at my alma mater, New England Conservatory, as I played for the commencement ceremonies my junior year. She spoke of her courtship with her husband, feeling blessed that they were called to Montgomery, Alabama, to protest in the bus boycott, and hoped that speaking at New England Conservatory would inspire her to get back into singing. She was a beautiful, self-possessed, earthly Taurus, the best manifestation of that sign and spirit, and her husband, Martin Luther King, was Capricorn, the greatest expression of ambition and success.  


Aries: 2018 could shape up to be a huge year for your career, but you must pace yourself. Place reasonable checks on your hard-driving nature, and the stars will take care of the rest.


Taurus: 2018 can be the year where you rise above the pleasures of the earth which you hold so dear. The roots that hold you in place have the ability to transport you to the heavens, and other realms of travel and knowing, if you’d only climb the beanstalk.


Gemini: 2018 will be the year where you dive into the deep, dark recesses of your soul, and make great gains. Integrating and placing structure around the rejected parts of your psyche, not your preferred domain, will prevent you from flying too high in the sky and being burned by the sun.


Cancer: 2018 will put an inordinate amount of emphasis on other individuals, relationships, and partnerships of all kinds. But remember who you are, Cancer, and never forget that love and home are the domains where you triumph.


Leo: 2018 will be the year where you put your warmth and creativity to work for you, but not without some balancing and adjusting. You succeed when you nurture yourself, the sculptor and objet d’art, working in tandem, a singular act of love and creation.


Virgo: 2018 is the year where you can truly do what you love and love what you do. Work and service are your hallmarks, but they won’t be mutually exclusive from what you love doing, and in turn, your own personal success.


Libra: 2018 will be the year of your family and home base. You’re so used to juggling and judging that which the universe throws at you that you lose the anchor of your home. No matter, as you’ll have it this year, as long as you make the necessary judgments with regard to people, places, and things that don’t nurture your home base.


Scorpio: 2018 will be the year of communication, short trips, and siblings. These aren’t necessarily the natural fields in which you play, but place some structure around these areas in your life and see how a little light-hearted, playful communication can lift you up.


Sagittarius: 2018 can be a great year for you, if you harness your fire. Remember, Apollo drove Helios’ sun, and the next sign over, Capricorn, asks you to put the reigns on your exuberance and optimism. Cautious optimism is always better than unbridled optimism.


Capricorn: 2018 and the next several years really are your years with so much planetary activity in your sign. Appreciate and be grateful for the gifts, but don’t let it get to your head, as your ambitious, success-seeking nature can do.


Aquarius: 2018 will be a year, ironically, about the past. Dredging up past karma and shedding light on the unconscious motivations that drive your present will lead you to the future visions you hold so dear.


Pisces: 2018 will be a year for succeeding, but in an unconventional way. If you get yourself organized, you will have much success with friends, larger social organizations, and even the wishes you dare to make, but only if you find some suitable, structured channels in which to swim, as a lone fish and with your school.


I’m Dan Beck, an astrologer and writer based in New Orleans, LA. To personally explore the Moon’s Messages and other spiritual themes, book an Inner Makeup session by calling 504-313-8706 or e-mailing dan@innermakeup.net.