Everyday Slow - Rituals: Interview with Emily Vasbinder - Women's Circles, Astrology, and Self Care
Emily Vasbinder is one of our favorite people to follow on instagram - consistently serving us grounding reminders to check in with ourselves and delve deep into our own self discovery. Her practical take on astrology, motherhood, and person-hood is as inspiring as it is comforting, giving us all the permission to squeeze in those moments of reflection.
We asked Emily a few questions about her path to astrology, daily practices (even navigating them with kids), and hosting monthly women's circles here in St. Louis.
In a few sentences, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Emily Vasbinder and I am most proud to be a mom to Willa and Trey, and the host of monthly moon circles here in St. Louis. My values are love, family/community, and connection. I am a Cancer sun, Libra moon, Taurus rising, and an enneagram type 9w1 (dreamer) for anyone that is into that sort of thing. So basically I am a no-drama, self-care queen who is into making everything and everyone around me feel beautiful.
What has lead you to this place of sharing your story and helping others?
Self-discovery. I realized a couple years ago that I was living my life just trying to look like everybody else. And I didn’t honestly know who I was or what my purpose was in this life. So I started studying astrology and learned so much about myself and the unique gifts I have to offer the world. We all have these gifts, we just might not be aware of them. And we are all so beautifully different from each other and that is something to celebrate. Can you imagine the kind of world we would live in if every person understood what they were uniquely good at and actually went out into the world and did just that? That’s what motivates me: helping women realize and share their gifts.
What is your favorite everyday ritual (even if you don't get to it every day)?
Honestly, I am not good at the morning or evening rituals that seem to be all the rage now. I wish I was, because they seem like the kind of thing that a person with their sh*t together would do, but its just not for me at this stage of life. I do, however, cook for myself every day and feel like this is such a powerful expression of self love. I connect deeply to the nurturing side of being a Cancer so taking good care of myself really comes naturally to me. And being in the kitchen making beautiful, nourishing food is the most grounding thing I can do.
You speak a lot about reminding ourselves to check in, to set intentions so we can be mindful before we act. Do you have any tips on ways to remind ourselves to do this?
Setting intentions is something that just came into my life last year but has had a profound impact. Intention setting, allows me to think proactively about how I want to feel during an upcoming season instead of simply going wherever it takes me. It grounds each season in a unique purpose.
My intention setting practice is based around each astrological season. This is why I started hosting moon circles for women at the start of each new sign. It offers an opportunity for us to pause our busy lives and share in the ritual of checking in with ourselves and what we need in the coming month. I love doing this in a group because we get to share with each other what we are feeling and help each other get to a clear intention. There is so much power in women sharing their stories and I think it is a void in our community today.
But you don’t have to set intentions according to astrology. It can be any time. Most of us set them at the beginning of the year. And recently I have enjoyed setting one at the beginning of each season (thinking about Spring now). I even pull a tarot card some days that guides me towards a daily intention. It can be any time, just do what feels good to you. And once you have it, write it down. Tell it to a friend. Affirm it to the universe regularly so that you don’t forget it. My intentions are usually just one word and I try to have it be the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing before bed. I also write them in my journal every day...that I actually journal :)
Are there any tools you recommend for people wanting to look deeper into their personalities and motives? Was there a catalyst for you in this journey?
We are lucky that there are so many tools for self-discovery available to us right now. For me, I have connected the most with astrology. And to be honest, I am overwhelmed by a lot of it. But I understand the basics of what my sun, moon and rising signs say about me. And I would encourage anyone, especially during times like these, to do the same. There is so much power in being crystal clear on what you have to offer the world, and the many tools for self-discovery (astrology, human design, enneagram, etc.) help you understand this.
For example, in my experience with learning astrology, I connected deeply to the nurturing aspect of being a Cancer. I thrive when I am taking care of people, cooking delicious food, and having deep conversations. Now that I know this, I am able to lean into it more. That’s why I started hosting the moon circles, because I realized that they aligned perfectly with these things that felt so natural to me. We all have these things that come almost effortless to us. I would encourage anyone to use any of the many tools for self-discovery to get clear on these. So that you can use them to push the collective forward.
What sort of practices do you use to guide your children in this journey?
My kids love hearing about my moon circles, playing with my crystals, pulling tarot cards with me (I have an spirit animal deck that they use), talking about gratitude, all of it. And I feel lucky to have discovered all of this at a time when my kids can understand it for themselves and incorporate it into their lives. Recently, after months of begging, I finally let my kids have a moon circle at our house for the winter solstice. They invited a few friends and we sat by the fire and talked about what we wanted to get out of this winter and what we wanted to leave behind. I bought them each a small crystal (favorite part by far, hah!), let them pull cards, journal and then share their intentions with the group. The things they said were so pure and enlightening that it brought tears to my eyes. I firmly believe that children are far more capable than we give them credit for. They are looking for ways to connect, with themselves and the people they love. And these types of practices help cultivate that.
What is the one piece of guidance you would give a woman suffering from stress and overwhelm in her everyday life?
Have clearly defined boundaries and know what grounds you. In other words, know what you need to stay away from and what you need more of in your life to feel balanced. So when I get anxious (which still happens often), I pay attention to what triggered that feeling and whatever that is, is a new boundary for me. I used to try to ignore or numb out or make excuses for my anxiety but now, I accept it for what it is and try to understand where it is coming from. For me this means going somewhere alone where it is quiet and letting it flow through. This sounds sophisticated but it’s not. Most of the time it is literally just me laying on my bed with noise-cancelling headphones on, breathing deep and listening to what my body is telling me. And I stay there for as long as it needs to flow through. And I get answers every time. Its when I don’t give the anxious feelings space to breath that they become a problem.
Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of this lately! The current situation we are in is triggering for all of us in different ways, which forces us to have stronger boundaries than before. Reading anything beyond the headline of news these days is violating a boundary for me. So is following certain people on social media. And having conversations with certain people. This is not easy because talk of current events is everywhere but its a non-negotiable for me. To obey my boundaries is a form of self-care and self-respect.
And then we have to know what grounds us. What brings us out of our heads and back down to the Earth? For me its simple things like cooking, breathing fresh air, being in nature, pulling tarot cards, soaking in a salt bath, hugging my people. These help me get back to that balanced state. But they are different for everyone so feel into what yours are and do them every day. This is self-care. And it is vital in the modern world. Because when we take good care of ourselves, we can take good care of each other. And we need each other more than ever right now.
Thank you Emily for your thoughtful energy and being bold enough to share your journey. We can't wait to join you for another women's circle.