School is back in session and it's not just the kids who will be required to take classes this month. With a T-square in the fixed signs and the Earth signs holding court in the major planets, EVERYONE is going to be pushed to delay gratification and take notes in September.
Fall is the physical and therefore metaphorical time for harvest. Energetically and spiritually that is NOT the case this year. These transits call on all of us to assess our mistakes and miss-judgements, learn from them, and plan a more effective course to more efficiently reach our goals as individuals and as a society. This is not a doom and gloom time…but it is a time of correction. You will notice this all over the world. Situations that were neglected and dormant suddenly become combustible. Irresponsible choices reveal painful consequences. True motives are revealed. Check in with your integrity. Check in with your motives. Remain independent and strong in your individual character. That is all you need to follow this cleansing and yet painful current. The false and extraneous are being removed. Progress is too important for the Universe to sit stagnant right now.
This is not a doom and gloom time…but it is a time of correction. You will notice this all over the world. Situations that were neglected and dormant suddenly become combustible.
Aug 24th- Sep 23rd
“I told you so"
Happy birthday Virgo! We love your commitment to doing everything “100." We love your discernment and your bull*%#^ meter. This truly is your month to shine with all of the major planets harmoniously rewarding your consistency and excellence. You are so good at the routine and the dailyness…but I would like to suggest that you veer from that hyper focus on the mundane a little bit this month. Look up from the detail and into your future. Can you see how big you can be? They are trying to show you. It's time for faith without facts and certainty of vision without clarity or guarantees. Take a cue from our Fire sign friends and let your heart lead you right now. Let your emotions show you the direction. You are meticulously prepared for what is in store for you. I promise.
Sep 24th- Oct 23rd
I love this month for you. The first week of September please make sure that you take time for your relationship. If you aren't in a romantic relationship spend time on a friendship or partnership that means a lot to you. On and after September 11th you get your mojo back. The heaviness that has weighted you down over the last few months lifts and your energy to start new projects kicks in. It is also a time to invent new ways of doing things or to revamp or add to an invention or job description. Travel is also favored this month, especially with friends.
Oct 24th- Nov 22nd
“Seat belts on?"
Virgo season is always a quiet time for you. You are harmonious with the routine and discernment that this mutable earth sign brings. This September, however, the universe has a “T-square" obstacle course planned for our fixed signs including Scorpio. These challenges will have to do with relationships of all kinds. It includes lessons regarding the balance of power, gender equality and it will test to see how strong or weak a relationship's foundation is. You may also have some surprises thrown your way, reminding you that you are not always in control.
Nov 23rd- Dec 22nd
“All action, less talk"
The fire signs that will weather this month beautifully will have one trait that they will lean on heavily; humility. Because this trait is virtually nonexistent in our Leos and Aries friends, my bet is on you dear Sagittarius. It just isn't the time for boastfulness, bravado or blustering. It's a time for perseverance and hard work. Your time to shine will come I promise. There is a wonderful gift for you this month however, in the form of a new moon in your archer's sign on September 16th. That is the night that you should plant your magic beans.
Dec 23rd- Jan 20th
“End of the affair"
The fixed sign T-square this month will be affecting everyone but with Saturn trining Uranus in your earth signs, you get a softer version of the challenge. It will probably show up in the form of relationship strain or surprise. Your spouse could get a job offer in another city. Unspoken grievances suddenly surface. A stagnant romance ends abruptly. As tough as it is, it will be for the better. On a happier note your career and/or asset portfolio should be soaring right now. Remember with the retrogrades, it could be a good time to sell.
Jan 21st- Feb 19th
“Pardon our progress"
I'll give you the good news first. The first week of September should be great for romance so set a date night with your love. The other good news is a boost of energy and momentum going forward with Mars moving into your sign on September 11th. Here is the caveat…watch your frustration and temper. The fixed sign T-square is going to push you to your last nerve. Then, when you are at your stress breaking point, there may be a few surprises thrown into the mix. Calm heads will prevail. Make sure that you keep yours the coolest. Read the intro paragraph again please and lean into the reason why: progress. Aquarians want progress more than ANYONE else, whatever the cost.
Feb 20th- Mar 20th
“Here comes the rain again"
Just when you thought everything was barreling towards resolution…a speedbump. Along with that speedbump is a feeling of sadness or depression, but you just can't quite put your finger on why. I chose the word speedbump carefully. I didn't say stop sign. You are still moving forward you just need to slow down. And the heaviness is just your antennae picking up everyone else's stress and drama from the fixed sign T-Square. It's not yours. Give it back. You're just sensitive to the world in general. All is well. Keep going.
Mar 21st- Apr 20th
“The beauty of negative ions"
I know it isn't your birthday this month but I do hope that you will make a wish on September 16th when the new moon is in Sagittarius. This could be a very powerful and lucky day for you. I would even light a candle or meditate on the first fire of the season because it's a good bet this dream will come true. Mars is moving into your copasetic sign Aquarius but it is squaring Venus and Uranus so get ready for some combustion in your relationship. Nevermind. You are always ready for a fight…in fact you even enjoy an argument so this will be easier for you than most. You understand the value and spirit of clearing the air.
Apr 21st- May 20th
“Slide, slide, slippety slide"
This could be a beautiful month for you if you just MANAGE YOUR TEMPER. There are two types of Taurus: loud ones and quiet ones. Either type could suffer severe frustration this month if they study setbacks from a micro perspective. The loud Taurus folks could do further damage by mouthing off. Our quiet Taurus friends can do internal damage to their blood pressure or worse by internalizing anger. A piece of advice- go big. Think about the big picture. Even the setbacks right now are setting you up for something better. I know it's a cliché but this month don't sweat the small stuff. Slide along with it and you will be fine.
May 21st- Jun 21st
“Now you see me…"
There are so many big forces batting you and everyone else around this month. Gemini natives are better at weathering storms than most because of their mutable nature. The fixed T-square this month isn't easy for anyone but it is harder for those that push back. Geminis never push back. Please do not mistake their passivity in the face of impossible odds for weakness. Their mercurial adaptability is their secret weapon and admirable strength. And with Mars moving into Aquarius on September 11th, our Twin sign friends will be able to shuck and jive around adversity faster than anyone.
Jun 22nd- Jul 23rd
“Joy in the Purpose"
This month will be challenging for everyone but I believe that the Virgo sun will take the edge off for our Cancer friends. Cancer finds a home in Virgo. It's a time to rest in the routine. Cancers love the consistency of duty that Virgo brings. Yes the squares could bring surprise setbacks or the proverbial wrench in the machine but Cancer can lean into the peacefulness in the commitment to their cause or project. There is also a profitable money release that could happen on or around September 10th. This Venus trine could also bring sweet moments with a loved one. Take notes because Cancer is one of the best signs to teach us what to focus on in adversity. It's not WHAT we are having to fight against that matters. It's the joy that we have a family, company, organization or cause that we love dearly to fight FOR.
July 24- Aug 23rd
“Oh captain my captain"
Happy Fall dear Leos! I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you are going to be at the center of many things this month (and you love that.) The bad news is that the center that I am referring to is that of a big storm. It could be family dynamics coming to a combustible head. It could be that the foundation of your relationship will be tested. It could be that surprise challenges are thrown into your best made plans. Like the dignified monarch that you are: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. Your kingdom depends on it. Your subjects are looking to you for leadership. This isn't your darkest hour, this is a time of preparation and correction so that your dreams will have the right fertile ground from which to flourish.
I walk into a room full of men and I know exactly what they're thinking: "What does she know about whisky?"
I know this because many men have asked me that same question from the moment I started my career in spirits a decade ago.
In a male-dominated industry, I realized early on that I would always have to work harder than my male counterparts to prove my credibility, ability and knowledge in order to earn the trust of leadership stakeholders, coworkers, vendors and even consumers of our products. I am no stranger to hard work and appreciate that everyone needs to prove their worth when starting any career or role. What struck me however, was how the recognition and opportunities seemed to differ between genders. Women usually had to prove themselves before they were accepted and promoted ("do the work first and earn it"), whereas men often were more easily accepted and promoted on future potential. It seemed like their credibility was automatically and immediately assumed. Regardless of the challenges and adversity I faced, my focus was on proving my worth within the industry, and I know many other women were doing the same.
Thankfully, the industry has advanced in the last few years since those first uncomfortable meetings. The rooms I walk into are no longer filled with just men, and perceptions are starting to change significantly. There are more women than ever before making, educating, selling, marketing and conceptualizing whiskies and spirits of all kinds. Times are changing for the better and it's benefitting the industry overall, which is exciting to see.
For me, starting a career in the spirits business was a happy accident. Before spirits, I had worked in the hospitality industry and on the creative agency side. That background just happened to be what a spirits company was looking for at the time and thus began my journey in the industry. I was lucky that my gender did not play a deciding role in the hiring process, as I know that might not have been the case for everyone at that time.
Now, ten plus years later, I am fortunate to work for and lead one of the most renowned and prestigious Whisky brands in the world.. What was once an accident now feels like my destiny. The talent and skill that goes into the whisky-making process is what inspired me to come back and live and breathe those brands as if they were my own. It gave me a deep understanding and appreciation of an industry that although quite large, still has an incredible amount of handmade qualities and a specific and meticulous craft I have not seen in any other industry before. Of course, my journey has not been without challenges, but those obstacles have only continued to light my passion for the industry.
The good news is, we're on the right track. When you look at how many females hold roles in the spirits industry today compared to what it looked like 15 years ago, there has been a significant increase in both the number of women working and the types of roles women are hired for. From whisky makers and distillers to brand ambassadors and brand marketers, we're seeing more women in positions of influence and more spirits companies willing to stand up and provide a platform for women to make an impact. Many would likely be surprised to learn that one of our team's Whisky Makers is a woman. They might even be more surprised to learn that women, with a heightened sense of smell compared to our male counterparts, might actually be a better fit for the role! We're nowhere near equality, but the numbers are certainly improving.
It was recently reported by the Distilled Spirits Council that women today represent a large percentage of whisky drinkers and that has helped drive U.S. sales of distilled spirits to a record high in 2017. Today, women represent about 37% of the whisky drinkers in the United States, which is a large increase compared to the 1990s when a mere 15% of whisky drinkers were women. As for what's causing this change? I believe it's a mix of the acceptance of women to hold roles within the spirits industry partnered with thoughtful programs and initiatives to engage with female consumers.
While whisky was previously known for being a man's drink, reserved for after-dinner cigars behind closed doors, it is now out in the open and accessible for women to learn about and enjoy too.
What was once subculture is now becoming the norm and women are really breaking through and grabbing coveted roles in the spirits business. That said, it's up to the industry as a whole to continue to push it forward. When you work for a company that values diversity, you're afforded the opportunity to be who you are and let that benefit your business. Working under the model that the best brand initiatives come from passionate groups of people with diverse backgrounds, we are able to offer different points of view and challenge our full team to bring their best work forward, which in turn creates better experiences for our audience. We must continue to diversify the industry and break against the status quo if we really want to continue evolving.
While we've made great strides as an industry, there is still a lot of work to be done. To make a change and finally achieve gender equality in the workplace, both men and women need to stand behind the cause as we are better collectively as a balanced industry. We have proved that we have the ability to not only meet the bar, but to also raise it - now we just need everyone else to catch up.