If there is one place where you find peace, it is at home. Messy or organized, surrounded by your own stuff you feel most at ease. A house altar can help with this.

Even when you only put some candles on a small table: An altar is meant to create a point of peace in your home. Meditating, laying cards, sharing stories with loved ones that have passed away or your spirit guides; everything you want to do with complete peace and privacy, that is why you have a house altar. Do you really need a house altar? No, but it does help you aim your attention inwards. Five tips to decorate your house altar in a way that suits you.

Right Spot

How do you find the right spot for your house altar? Following your gut feeling with a bit of help from Feng Shui. Where do you feel most calm and at ease in your own home? From the center of your home – often literally the middle – the energy spreads through other rooms. Not a good spot for a heavy piece of furniture, but it is the right spot for a house altar. Try different spots, maybe you move the altar every once in a while. Because of its calm and serene atmosphere, it could be you end up in your bedroom. Be mindful to not put too much on your altar, because this will not benefit your sleep.

Furniture

When picking a piece of furniture for your house altar, you can use any creative solutions you come up with: A fruit box, an antique coffee table, or your bedside table. It does not matter what you choose, but there are two criteria you do need to keep in mind: use a low piece of furniture which you can sit in front of and pick a piece that you have a special memory with. This last thing gives your altar special energy that helps you feel safe and calm.

Flowers and Crystals

Elements of nature on your altar make its energy pure. Small cacti, a bouquet of flowers, chestnuts, and dried leaves adorn your altar and bring in the outside air. Are you not the best in taking care of plants, or do you find this a bit messy? Focus on gemstones. Buy a crystal and do not pay too much attention to its effect, but choose one that catches your attention. This way you make sure you put a crystal on your altar that fits you perfectly at that moment. You can figure out its meaning later, which could be fun!

Oracle Cards

Choose a set of oracle cards and put these on your altar, pick one each day, and put it on your altar. Do you have multiple sets of cards? Don’t put all of them on your altar, because this disrupts the energy. They invite you to pick more cards, while it is more useful and calm to let one card do its job. The same goes for pictures of loved ones (that are no longer with us) or items that are special to you: Putting everything on your altar together, can shred the energy and make restless. Change the items on your altar every once in a while, so you can focus all your attention on it, once you put something new on it.

Incense, Sage or Palo Santo

Did you have some visitors, did you have a rough night’s sleep or is there heavy energy in your home? Put a smoking stick of palo santo on your house altar. It smells great and removes or cleanses energy that is not yours. With incense and sage, you can do the same, but the smell is a bit more intense. Just smell and experience what you like best before you put it on your house altar.

Text: Fabienne Peters

Everyone has power animals. A pet, favorite animal, an animal you’re scared of; these are animals that support you during your life journey with their characteristics and symbolic meaning.

Every imaginable animal is a power animal, but there are twelve that – just like Zodiac Signs – fit your birthdate. Look for your astrological totem and get to know its characteristics.

Falcon (March 21 – April 19)

Just like the bird itself, the falcon-type is not afraid to make exciting flights and fly at great heights. No matter how high their position or leap of faith is, they have their target in sight in no time and then make the dive. Falcons are direct and have difficulty with people who dawdle.

Beaver (April 20 – May 20)

Beavers built up a good career, nice family, safe relationship, and a warm home base. And during this building, they are determined and do not try to tell them anything, anything at all. Beaver-types radiate trust, warmth, and stability.

Deer (May 21 – June 20)

The deer is versatile, social, charming, and interested. This type loves to do a thousand things at the same time. They do get bored quickly and like to be in good company all the time. Language and communication are usually a big talent of these types.

Woodpecker (June 21 – Juli 21)

Woodpeckers feel their best when taking care of someone. They are very emotional and sensitive and who like to bond, but do have a difficult time letting go. A woodpecker needs some time to process things and must be alert they do not start worrying too much.

Salmon (Juli 22 – August 21)

For a salmon big is not big enough. These people breathe lust for life, passion, and ambition. They find it very important to be seen for what they’re worth. High expectations of themselves and others can often become too much for the salmon.

Brown Bear (August 22 – September 21)

The brown bear is solid as a rock. Its appearance is impressive, but in reality, he or she is soft and loving. These people work hard and like routine and agreements. They are faithful and loyal and have an extreme dislike for sentiment and melodrama.

Crow (September 22 – October 22)

Kind, fun, and colorful; crows are good company. From the outside, they are socially easy, but on the inside, they can be battling indecisiveness and agitation. A crow is very critical but does not always express this openly.

Snake (October 23 – November 22)

Deep emotions, repeating transformations, and a mysterious appearance are characterizations of the snake. These people know the highest heights and the deepest lows of life and stay clear of superficiality. They are exciting people who stand in the shadows just as easily as in the light.

Owl (November 23 – December 21)

Enthusiasm characterizes the owl. These people love a challenge and discovering new possibilities and chances. There is nothing an owl does not have a well-thought opinion about. These people are adventurous and always keep their independence.

Goose (December 22 – January 19)

Gooses work hard and do this with full commitment. They are people who do not like finery, because that what is practically necessary is enough for them. Gooses do not have too many friends, but the ones they have are for life.

Otter (January 20 – February 18)

You can expect surprises when dealing with an otter. These people see life as one big experiment. They investigate and make plans to manifest their ideas, but do not always carry these out. Their eccentric and unpredictable character is their trademark.

Wolf (February 19 – March 20)

Wolves are sensitive and artistic. These people need seclusion to recharge, they are a sponge for other people’s emotions, atmospheres, and impressions. This makes them very adept as a medium, coach, or therapist.

Text: Fabienne Peters

In a stimulating environment, it is easy to lose yourself, get stuck in your head, or feel restless constantly. With the following four crystals, you can find peace again and focus on yourself better.

1 Agate

Agate is a beautiful gemstone that is known for its ability to provide stability and grounding Originally, it was used to protect people from “negative” energies, in other words, everything that comes at you from outside that you would prefer to keep out of your life. Agate comes in many colors. “Cool” colors (grey, green, and blue) are most suited to grounding and creating peace. Use agate as a focal point during meditation, or hold it during meditation and feel how its energy fills you up.

2 Selenite

Selenite is ideal for bringing balance and quiet into your life. Selenite vibrates from a high and light energy, connecting with a stat that is known as “flow”. Flow means having a focus in a calm way, or enjoying “being busy”. Selenite is a cleansing gemstone: it cleanses other stones, but you can also use it as part of a cleansing ritual or during an energy healing such as reiki. In addition, selenite is the perfect gemstone to put on your nightstand, as it can guide you into a calm, restful mood, which is needed for the perfect night’s sleep. Of course, you can also put it under your pillow.

3 Clear Quartz

Clear quartz is a translucent “white” crystal of the quartz type. It is a magnificent crystal which has a beneficial effect in the broadest sense of the word. It connects energetically with the crown chakra, allowing you to see things from a different, higher perspective. This can give you the strength to banish conflicts in your mind. The clear quartz stimulates a clear mind, even amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You only have to touch it or give it your full attention. You can do so during meditation, or by placing it on a spot on your desk.

4 Amethyst

Amethyst has a deep purple color and is related to the clear quartz. This gemstone has a calming, cleansing, and protecting effect. With an amethyst, it is easier to get in touch with higher energy in a safe way. Do you have an aptitude for clairvoyance? This crystal is the ideal tool. Take it in your hand for a clearer vision. With an amethyst you can find the silence within yourself and you will get a deeper understanding of what is really important to you. It can also help you process and let go of grief.  

Curious About the World of Crystals?

On the 28th of September our course “Working with Crystals” will start. During this Instagram course, you will learn how to use the power of crystals in your daily life, in 10 modules. For more balance, energy, self-confidence, and love. Sign up now!

Gemstones and crystals are loved: More and more people use them to provide themselves and their surroundings with an energy boost or to give their intention a little extra strength. With these tips, you can surround yourself with the positive energy and healing powers of crystals.

1 During Meditation

Gemstones and crystals make meditation even more powerful. Hold the crystal in one or two hands, close your eyes, and focus your attention on your breathing. Some crystals can help you to ground better during meditation, others give energy and help you be more loving for yourself.  Whether a stone works for you, depends on who you are and what you need that moment. So experiment a bit with different types of crystals.

2 In Your Pocket

The more you (physically) get in touch with gemstones, your awareness of its energy will grow more and more. By carrying a crystal with you (for instance in your pocket, handbag or wallet) you can use this energy every moment of the day. Jewelry with gemstones is also a great option.

3 On Your Body

Placing crystals on certain places of your body could have a stronger effect than just holding one. When a chakra needs a bit of attention, lay the matching crystal on the chakra point, or near it, to bring out all emotions, and make your energy flow freely.

4 During Yoga

Put one or more gemstones on or near your yoga mat to surround yourself with positive and calming energy during your practice. Or put a crystal on your body, when you arrive at the end of your series, during savasana. This will help you focus on your inner world even better and relax more.

5 In a Grid

A Crystal Grid is a collection of crystals that make a certain shape. You can use a premade shape (try Google) or you can place the stones based on your intuition. Putting together a grid is a very mindful activity and can help you strengthen your intentions.

6 Part of an Altar

A house altar helps make you feel at peace in your own home. When you use crystals on your house altar you can add terrestrial energy. Do you work with a certain intention? Write it down and put a gemstone on top of it.

7 As Home Decoration

With crystals in your interior, you kill two birds with one stone. They are beautiful to look at, and they also have a positive influence on the energy and atmosphere in the house. Choose a single, large crystal as an eyecatcher, or put a couple of different smaller stones together.

8 Self-care

Did you know you can let your face shine even more by using crystals? For instance, put a gemstone in your bathwater (check if the crystal can withstand water, you can Google this) or make your own facial care with gemstones.

Do You Want to Get the Most Out of Your Crystals?

Making a crystal grid, doing crystal affirmations and meditations, tips to pick the right stone, and a crystal calendar: During the Happinez Instagram course “Working with Crystals’” you will discover how you could use the healing effects of gemstones and crystals in your daily life. Sign up now!

September is all about taking good care of yourself. With the Sun in Virgo, the focus will be on a healthy diet and with Mars in Aries, we can start our workout fully energized. What can you do to become fitter?

Aries

With a little push from Mars, you do not need any encouragement to start exercising. But be careful you do not push your limits too much. Do not force yourself. There is something like working out too much, which makes you more susceptible to injuries. Or eventually, you will get so tired from exercising so much, that it results in not doing anything at all.

Pay some more attention to planning those rest days. Use these to work on your inner part of fitness. By meditating for instance. Visualize you become stronger and faster. This way you can train from your couch or favorite chair, and still work on your condition, while your heart muscles and lungs get the time to recover. Foodwise, it is important to stay clear of products that could push you into overdrive, like energy drinks, sugar, coffee, and cola. Even green tea and chocolate could be too much. Instead, choose products that calm down your inner warrior a little. Dairy and bananas could have a calming effect. To get a good night’s rest, you could eat a small portion of products with loads of magnesium, like nuts, with your dinner.

Taurus

As a Taurus, you are not naturally inclined to get much exercise. But you do have one quality: Once you start, you will be unstoppable, because you do have endurance. Long walks suit you better than sprinting 100 meters. Think about a challenge for this month, in which this element of perseverance comes forward. Make sure you build it up slowly, so you profit from the support of Mars optimally. For instance, start with walking for half an hour a day, and later build up to an hour a day.

Considering food, there is much improvement possible. As an earthy Taurus, you love full and creamy flavors, and sweets are irresistible. Besides that, a Taurus also starts snacking when having stress.

What could help to resist these fatty products, is eating many products that literally come from the earth. Potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, onions, cassava are all products that saturate well, contain many fibers, and match your need of a hearty meal, without being too heavy. They are also rich in natural sugars, which makes it easier to resist that chocolate bar…

Gemini

As an air-element, it could happen that you are not channeling your energy in the right way. Instead of going for a swim or a bike ride, you will sit at home and worry, or surf the Internet endlessly. You could miss the signal that your body needs exercise. With Mars in Aries, you will get the help you need to listen to this signal more closely. It is very important to not get ahead of yourself. A typical Gemini-pitfall, during a workout, is not paying close attention to your breathing. You could go too fast, which makes you feel out of breath, and this can result in giving up too soon. Ask help from a personal trainer, he or she can make sure you stay in the right zone. This an especially good idea, because as a Gemini you will have a better motivation when you don’t have to work out alone.

Regarding your diet, it is good for you to pick products that help you deal with the upcoming fall. Products that mentally give you a summer-like feeling. Mostly citrus fruits have this quality, so put it on your personal menu every day.

Cancer

With Mars in Aries, it can be hard to divide your energy well. One day you are sweating for hours in the gym, and the next day you will be a couch potato. The advice from the stars is to focus on regularity and rhythm for your workout-schedule this September. Plan your workouts for at least a week. Mix up the more intense forms of exercises with those that bring you peace, like yoga or pilates, and plan your week accordingly. Do pay close attention, and do not get ahead of yourself. Especially when doing weight training. You could have the urge to get a heavier weight, attempting to reach your goals sooner. But if you know this is your pitfall, you will reach a better result this September.

Of course, it is important to eat healthy, many vegetables and fruit. But in September it is important to pay attention to your fluid intake. During the transition from summer to winter, you will feel less thirsty, which makes you forget to drink water. Drink a large thermos of tea every day: This period hot beverages are better than cold ones.

Leo

Because Mars is in the friendly sign Aries, you benefit from the energy that this planet gives us all to the maximum. That is why September is the ideal month to convert your good intentions into actions. To set goals for yourself concerning your workout schedule, or to start a new type of workout. You will probably notice your heart responding well to you challenging yourself, pushing your limits. Choose power yoga, power pilates, running, or spinning. Also very Leo: Workouts with a fun factor, like Zumba or Salsa. You will notice your endurance will increase quickly, especially when you alternate short sprints of high intensity with longer runs with a lower intensity.

With help from Mars you will use much energy, but this is no excuse to not look at your nutrition intake. Because the days are getting shorter, the need for food increases and it might take more effort to stay the same weight. Gaining a little weight in the fall is natural, but by picking the right products you will keep it in hand. It could help you to eat more products that light your inner fire. Red peppers for instance. So indulge yourself with some spicy curry’s!

Virgo

Mars will help you see through unconscious patterns, that undermine your attempts to work out. That is why it is good to pay attention to the phase before your workout. Procrastination for instance. Where does it come from? Maybe it is about the other ways you sabotage your healthy habits. In September you can flip the switch on a deeper level. But it does take some searching to find the right mode. Your attempts to exercise will have a better effect later in the month, so keep going. Now you know this, you also know that improvement is already possible tomorrow. What could help you break those negative patterns is to listen to motivating meditations.

The stars do not need to tell you anything about healthy nutrition. But sometimes you can dig in your heels a bit and fill your empty stomach with all kinds of unhealthy “non-food”. Actually, in September the same applies to your workout habits. Research why this type of food sometimes has a hold on you, and define for yourself how to get the control on your eating habits back. Food that will benefit you: Dates, nuts, figs, apples, and quinces. They help you align you mentally and physically.

Libra

The burst of energy from Mars could go into bickering and competition. But when you choose an exercise with a competition element, you can get rid of this energy. It will be a lot more peaceful at home, while you will feel satisfied and fit. The advice from the stars is to go work out together. Like tennis or squash, for instance. But running or biking together is also a possibility, when you make it into a competition, like “I race you to the next tree”. Important is that you look for a certain intensity, which makes your heart pound fast and you have to breathe deeply. The past few weeks could have felt as “suffocating” for an air-sign like you. That is why it is important to shift your focus to your breathing and to notice you can once again breathe fully. An extra help could ba a Pranayama meditation.

Regarding food, most Libras are not very excessive. You do not binge regularly, and the day after you compensate by eating less. But you could have gained some weight during this last period. You probably don’t need to do much to lose this weight: just don’t buy those cookies, and eat some fruit instead.

Scorpio

Mars will provide you with more energy to exercise, but this energy mainly focuses on the need to execute a movement perfectly. When doing yoga, ballet, pilates, and weight training you can have fun with this, but when you want to go running or want to see results quickly, the focus on details can get in your way.

It is always better to go with the flow, so this month choose workouts in which you can express your love for details. This way you can prevent feeling frustrated and disappointed. In the workouts that we have listed before you can make the most process while experiencing the moment.

Maybe you have swept your eating habits under the rug, or did you get rid of the scale, because you don’t want to know what the status is. But there will be a turnaround in September. You can benefit from keeping a food diary so you are conscious of what you eat. But also make a list of the healthy things you do want to eat. Your fall food is cacao. Not as a chocolate bar, but like homemade (vegan) chocolate milk.  Or add a spoon of cacao to your oatmeal.

Sagittarius

Just like Leo and Aries, you can enjoy the maximum support of Mars all through September. This means your good intentions to start working out again will turn into action. You are able to aim your focus and vigor towards your goals. Condition and endurance will increase fast when Mars is so favorable to you. There are no real pitfalls. Unless you turn your need for exercise into traveling. No matter how tempting it may be to (maybe finally) go out again, by taking a train, plane, or sitting in a car you are not doing your body any favors. A cycling or walking tour, on the other hand, fits this period perfectly. Especially when you have to climb, you will reach unprecedented heights.

As a Sagittarius, you could have the tendency to ignore the importance of a healthy diet. You may not want to think about it. But you do react fast and good on improvements made to your diet. In September, try to feed your inner fire with hot soops, ginger, wasabi, radishes, and horseradish. You could notice that your need for sweets will decline and your waist slowly getting smaller, without making any further effort.

Capricorn

As a Capricorn, you could struggle a bit with the bursts of energy coming from Mars this Month. Naturally, you have a tendency to do too much, to get ahead of yourself. Mars strengthens this tendency, which can cause injuries or you might even overtrain yourself. The most important advice the stars can give you is to take it easy. Suppress your tendency to be the best or to be hard on yourself. Try to enjoy the exercises themselves, make your training experience a form of meditation and plan some resting days; this way you can be proud of yourself at the end of September.

Regarding your diet, it might be the time to look into your inclination to always go to the extreme. Or you are very disciplined (fasting, extreme dieting) or you are secretly eating a whole pack of cookies or a bag of chips. September is a good month to bring more balance to your eating habits. Make sure you have a good base pattern, in which there is space for little excesses every one in a while. This will provide much long-term peace. And because fall is approaching: cook many dishes with mushrooms, they provide comfort and warmth.

Aquarius

As an Aquarius, you could have the tendency to only plan your exercises when you are feeling up to it or when you have the time. It could be that you are not developing a good routine. This is what stops you from moving along in your process, no matter how hard you are trying. In September, Mars provides you with the energy to make workouts a fixed part of your week and to build up regularity and discipline. Use this to your advantage, before the cold season really hits us. You could also discover that your muscles develop quicker than normal. This is the advantage of doing a workout that is based on strength. But also when you rather be lying on your yoga mat, you will notice your muscles like to work hard.

Training and food: You handle them the same way. You often choose what you are up for last-minute. This is why you could lose control of your eating habits. In September, try to plan your meals one to three days ahead. Eat more salty products: mussels, samphire, wakame, and nori give you an extra boost.

Pisces

Your relation with Mars is a bit halfhearted this September. You notice an increase in the motivation to work out, but it can be difficult how to give shape to this. Maybe you lack inspiration, or you cannot figure out the planning of the lessons. What you could to, to make the best of it, is to meet with a personal trainer. With someone cheering you on and teaching you new techniques, you will find your way quicker. It also helps when exercise comes naturally. Like when you hear music, that makes you dance, or because you’re at sea and you want to go for a run all of a sudden. Use these moments: They are just as useful for your body as endlessly training in the gym.

Before you can eat healthier, it is needed to tackle any addictions. Many Pisces have a weakness for alcohol or sugar. Make work of this and you will see you will start to eat more legumes, vegetables, nuts, and wholegrain products by itself. Sour and fermented products like kimchi, pickles, balsamic, and yogurt help the health or your intestines, this is very important when changing from summer foods to fall foods.

Text: Johanna Blok

This Wednesday at 7:21 the Full Moon will be in Pisces. This Full Moon will have much influence on your emotional life.

⁠Pisces is a dreamy, ethereal, and sensitive sign. When the Full Moon is in Pisces, you will be extra sensitive and observant towards your surroundings. Which can make you feel insecure and become passive. ⁠This Full Moon is changeable and asks you for some flexibility and an open attitude towards change. It can enlarge your sense of compassion, unconditionally, and your intuitive awareness, but can also make you feel overwhelmed and emotionally confused. ⁠

With Pisces, you will get the chance to connect deeply with the Earth, the source, and the divine. And if you are invested in a creative or spiritual search, you will profit from the immense imagination of Pisces during this Full Moon. ⁠

Full Moon

The Full Moon is about awareness, intuition, instinct, and coming to meaningful, personal realizations. It can be an emotional time for many, and this will be emphasized extra by Pisces. This is because the Moon and the Zodiac Sign Pisces are both belong to the element water.

That is why Full Moon in Pisces is a good time to drink more water, spend more time at the waterside, take a steam bath, or a regular one, or take a shower.

Uranus

There is a deep, awakening energy in this Full Moon. Not only because it is in the natural psychic sign Pisces, but also because it has a harmonious alignment with Uranus. Uranus is the planet of awakening and change. It encourages you to see things from a new perspective; your awareness will shift and heighten.

The trick is to be completely aware, in your body, but also for everything that happens around you. Simple mind, body, and spirit exercises make it easier to ground and center.

Shopping, having deep conversations, going to the gym, philosophize; in all of your friendships, you will find something that fulfills you.

You might think: With all my friends? I only have the one. Friendship has a different meaning and plays a different part for everyone. It could be interesting to look at your friends (and yourself) from an astrologer’s perspective, by using the book The Astrology of You by Gary Goldschneider. What characterizes a Gemini or a Sagittarius as a friend. Discover it now!

Aries (March 21 – April 20)

Aries has a crowd of friends and acquaintances, which keeps this sign pretty busy. He or she is a loyal friend that allows people to enter their heart easily. However, it might be difficult to meet with them often, with the great exception of their best friend, which they involve in everything.

Taurus (April 21 – May 21)

Having drinks, shopping, going on a vacation; with a Taurus friend by your side you will enjoy the good life. When you need Taurus, he or she will put everything aside to help you. Friendship and loyalty are very important to them. They like to give advice and are convinced of the value of their counsel.

Gemini (May 22 – June 21)

Time flies when you’re having fun with your Gemini friend. Lightness, happiness, and humor characterize these types in a friendship. Severity and difficulty they rather stay clear of. They will take a step back and meet you when you are in a lighter phase of your life.

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)

Cancer likes to have one good friend for which they will walk through fire. They spend a lot of time with this person and can be jealous when he or she spends a lot of time with another. They see through their friends and will eventually show their own palette of emotions completely.

Leo (July 23 – August 23)

Leo is adept at friendships. They come alive while spending time with friends and will stand with them in good and bad times. They like to be in touch often, but if this is not possible, they will adapt. A condition for a Leo is that the giving and taking – emotionally – is balanced.

Virgo (24 August – September 22)

Virgo friends have a sharp intuition: They will get in touch at exactly the right moment. Do you feel out of balance lately? Did you get a new job? Your Virgo friend will send you a text message. They are very supportive and empathic, but they find it hard to ask for help themselves.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Libra has many friends; close and superficial ties fill their circle of friends. They make friends quickly but say goodbye just as easily. For obvious reasons, they think so themselves, but it is not always as clear for their now ex-friends.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

The most critical sign, concerning friendships, is Scorpio. This sign does not need anybody. They only need friends with which they can have fun on a party level and most important an emotional level. Their best friends have a profound and flexible nature.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

Life with a Sagittarius friend is a party. These types are optimistic and love to go on an adventure with you. You should ask them about their inner world: They will not talk about this easily, even though it is important for them to discuss it with someone.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)

Are you friends with a Capricorn? Then you are probably his or her best friend. Capricorn friends are serious and sometimes a bit heavy-handed, but completely open and honest once you have stolen their heart. For their friends, a Capricorn would do anything.

Aquarius (January 21 – February 19)

Friendships for an Aquarius is essential. Not so much for the emotional support they get from this or might offer themselves, but mostly for the inspiration and life lessons. Aquarius prefers to discuss and philosophize with a group of their most interesting friends.

Pisces (February 20 – March 20)

Pisces see through their friends’ emotions. They will be there for them; wherever they are, whatever the issue. Their door is always open. A Pisces does not have many friends, but the friendships they do have are based on a deep connection that could last a lifetime.

Want to Know More?

Text: Fabienne Peters

Hummus is said to have its origins in Israel, where it’s even seen as the number one national dish. In fact, hummus, a delectable purée of legumes, sesame, garlic and oil, has conquered the rest of the world too. Here’s the basic recipe, plus some surprising variations. If you store your hummus in a closed jar in the refrigerator, you can enjoy it for at least a few days!

Basic Recipe for Hummus

Put 250 g dried chickpeas and ½ tsp baking powder* in a bowl. Add cold water until the chickpeas are well covered and leave to steep for 1 night. Drain the chickpeas, put them in a pan, and add fresh water until they are covered by about an inch. Add ½ tsp baking powder and bring it to boil. Boil gently for 1 hour until the chickpeas are soft. Keep 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the rest.

Peel 1 large clove of garlic and chop it very finely, together with some salt. Put the chickpeas and the salty garlic plus 4 tbsps white tahini in a blender and blend into a smooth mass. Add 3 tbsps of the cooking water or as much as you need for a nice soft hummus; it has to keep a little of its firmness. Season with lemon or lime juice and a little extra tahini and salt to taste. Put the hummus in a nice bowl and drizzle on 2 tbsps fresh olive oil. Sprinkle on some roast cumin seeds and some za’atar, a mix of dried herbs with oregano, thyme, sesame, and pepper, among other things. Tastes good with toasted pita bread and crudités, on whole-wheat pizza, bread, as a basis for a vinaigrette, in soups, with roast vegetables or with almost any kind of salad.

* Baking powder speeds up the cooking and softening process

Hummus with Herbed Yogurt

Prepare the hummus using 250 g dried chickpeas, following the basic recipe above, but without the salty garlic. Whisk 6 tbsps Greek yogurt together with 1 tbsp tahini, 1 clove garlic, crushed, ½ tsp ground coriander seeds, the zest of ½ lemon, salt, and pepper. Finely chop a mix of fresh herbs such as thyme, dill, flat-leaf parsley and oregano, and mix 6 tbsps into the yogurt. Gently fold the herbed yogurt into the hummus just before serving.

Goes well with warm falafel, tomato, finely chopped red onion, and warm pita bread.

Green Hummus with Broad Beans

Prepare 200 g dried chickpeas following the basic recipe on page 141. Let 250 g frozen broad beans thaw a little, then peel off the white fleece. Briefly boil the beans, drain them and rinse them with cold water. Put them in a blender together with the cold chickpeas, 30 g pistachio nuts, 1 small clove of garlic, crushed, 3 tbsps tahini, ½ bundle of fresh coriander and ½ green pepper. Mix into a soft purée, adding the juice of 1 lime and some of the cooking water. Before serving, drizzle on some olive oil and sprinkle with some pul Biber (Turkish red pepper flakes).

Delicious with cucumber, avocado, and strips of lavash bread (Turkish flatbread, from the Turkish supermarket).

Carrot Hummus

Boil 100 g dried chickpeas following the basic recipe on page 141. Put 100 g red lentils in a bowl with plenty of water and leave for 30 minutes. Drain the lentils and put them in a pan. Add enough water so the lentils are about an inch under. Bring to boil with the lid on and boil gently for 15 minutes. Drain if necessary and leave to cool.

Peel 1 small carrot (about 200 g) and chop it. Remove the seeds from ½ red pepper and chop it. Cut 1 clove of garlic into three sections. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté the carrot together with ½ tsp cumin, the red pepper, and the garlic. Add 2 tbsps of water, then cover and stew for 15 minutes. Add ½ tsp turmeric and the juice of ½ lemon. Cover and leave to cool. Put the chickpeas, the red lentils, the stewed carrot, and 3 tbsps tahini in a blender and mix it into a nice smooth purée. Add a little cooking water if necessary. Season with lemon juice, an extra pinch of tahini, and some salt.

Serve with bitter vegetables like white radish, radicchio, turnip cabbage, and paprika, plus strips of warm flatbread.

Hummus, the Healthy Snack

Chickpeas are low in calories but very nutritious. They contain slow carbohydrates that make you feel full for a long time. Hummus on a cracker is perfect when you’re craving a snack between meals.

Another good reason to eat hummus

Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are super healthy. They contain lots of fibers that boost digestion, and also lots of protein (which builds up the muscles), iron (important for the production of hemoglobin), and zinc (to boost your immune system).

Recipes: Bart Stuart / Photography: Marcel van Driel

In all our horoscopes, Black Moon Lilith is in a certain sign. It is not a planet, but an astronomical point in which the Moon is furthest away from the Earth.

The Black Moon Lilith can help you understand the dark side of your personality –  the things you rather not see or hear. Think of anger, intense deep sadness, or insatiable desire. Often you are inclined to not associate the characteristics of the black moon with yourself. But looking at these characteristics in the eye may help you further your inner development.

Power From Previous Lives

The Sign the Black Moon stands in carries a sort of test element. You are challenged on qualities you, according to astrology, have acquired in previous lives. Imagine you are very good at giving and receiving love (Cancer). The Black Moon in Cancer challenges you to hold onto this power during the most perilous situations. Another example: You are analytical and blindly trust your intellect (Virgo). The Black Moon challenges you to combine your intellect with your feelings. Investigate on which levels you are challenged and maybe visit an astrologer if you want to know more.

Discover your Black Moon Sign here

Black Moon in Aries

Moving forward in their own way; this is something people with their Black Moon in Aries want. Their challenge lies in dealing with difficult people and making compromises.

Black Moon in Taurus

Security; this is something people with the Black Moon in Taurus prefer. But by always going for the safe option, instead of the unsure one, they could miss a lot of opportunities. Taking the leap stimulates the Black Moon.

Black Moon in Gemini

The Black Moon in Gemini creates mediators in heart and soul. These people have the inclination to pretend everything is all right when it actually is not. Challenge: allowing emotions and embracing the fact that life does not always go smoothly.

Black Moon in Cancer

Setting boundaries for people with their Black Moon in Cancer is essential: not clinging to a bond there isn’t and not accepting being clung onto by others.

Black Moon in Leo

Allowing yourself to shine and letting others shine as well, this is the goal for people with the Black Moon in Leo. Their big challenge is: Taking a step back and observe, instead of wanting to direct everything.

Black Moon in Virgo

People with their Black Moon in Virgo shy away from their intuition. For them, the challenge lies in not only trusting their intellect but also trusting their feelings blindly.

Black Moon in Libra

Choosing yourself, this is what the Black Moon in Libra preaches. The harmony these people strive for, no matter what, only exist by the virtue of their own honesty.

Black Moon in Scorpio

The Black Moon in Scorpio ensures a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences that are not always positive. The challenge? Staying positive. These people are more resilient than they think.

Black Moon in Sagittarius

Being happy with everyday life; this is what the Black Moon in Sagittarius asks of us. This is a big deal for these people because being content is something they abhor intensively.

Black Moon in Capricorn

Good is not good enough for people with their Black Moon in Capricorn. They want the best of the best but need to accept that this is not always possible or a necessity.

Black Moon in Aquarius

Someone with their Black Moon in Aquarius will have to deal with challenges about their sense of freedom. They have to discover that real freedom is within themselves. The Black Moon in Aquarius tells us to stop looking for it elsewhere.

Black Moon in Pisces

People with their Black Moon in Pisces are very gifted intuitively. But, they can be very dependent and sensitive, which could become harmful. Their challenge: Discover where they stop, and where the other begins.

text: Fabienne Peters

Astrology can bring many insights about your current relationship, but did you know the stars can also tell you some interesting things about your ex? Sometimes your ex is still present in your life, or they might be on the sidelines. We zoom in on those types.

How do you recognize the behavior of the twelve Zodiac Signs in their role as an ex-lover? Writer Gary Goldschneider, known for his many books on astrology, tells us more about each sign.

Aries (March 21 – April 20)

A relationship with Aries often ends with much fanfare. Especially when Aries has a reason to be angry about (or so he or she thinks), they will be angry for a long period of time. Do you want to make something of this connection? Make it right. Because eventually, Aries will be forgiving.

Taurus (April 21 – May 21)

Whatever happens, a Taurus never runs away from his or her responsibilities. Money issues and agreements about the children will never cause much trouble. Taurus stays reliable, but the door to their heart can close fast and easy.

Gemini (May 22 – June 21)

When a relationship or marriage feels like a too-tight fit, breaking up the relationship can provide more space and air, which can cause a surprising turn. Instead of running like the wind, Gemini will knock on your door and show him or herself as a committed and even a devoted friend.

Cancer (June 22 – Juli 22)

When Cancer gets rejected, there is big trouble. This hurts these types of people so intensely they can have feelings of anger and jealousy towards their ex-partner for years. When they end the relationship themselves, there is no problem and this might even give them a feeling of strength.

Leo (July 23 – August 23)

If you treat a Leo with subtlety and respect, ending the relationship can be harmonious and friendship could be a good possibility. When sarcasm and negativity enter the stage, Leo will be very on edge and will do whatever necessary to keep his or her feeling of self-respect intact.

Virgo (August 24 – September 22)

Virgos would rather end something swiftly and move on then sticking to their ex-partner. When this is necessary like when there are children involved, they will deal with everything neatly and honor the agreements. Instantly a lasting emotional distance will arise.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

After a relationship, a Libra will stay charming and friendly. So, when a partner keeps getting in touch, they can be mesmerized again by this type. When a Libra is rejected or dumped, he or she will tag the relationship as a meaningless part of their (love)life.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Rejecting a Scorpio may come back later to bite you in the ass. These people will do anything to make you feel how much you have hurt them. Not by causing drama and sentiment, but by being recalcitrant and taking emotional revenge. Be mindful of this and finish everything neatly.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

Polite, calm, and friendly; Sagittarius-partners try their best to make the ending of a relationship run smoothly, no matter the situation. They do not shy away from discussions or fights, but when this is the case they will choose the road with the nicest view of the future.

Capricorn (22 December – 20 January)

Capricorn-exes can show true interest in their ex-partners years after the actual relationship. As long as they are treated with respect – on which they insist! – they will treat their former partner the same way.

Aquarius (January 21 – February 19)

Getting up and go one is the creed of Aquarius-exes. Immediately after ending the relationship they will keep distance and will not get closer. They go on with their lives right away, in a different direction in which there is no place for you anymore.

Pisces (February 20 – March 20)

Pisces are forgiving, but find it very hear to get a clear view of what they want and need. Break-up or continue the relationship? Stay in touch or have no contact at all? They do not know, and will keep in touch until they know for sure your story together has come to an end.

 Text: Fabienne Peters