Written in the Stars with Shelley von Strunckel

One only has to look to the stars to feel somewhat daunted by them. It comes as no small wonder therefore that the world has always had such a keen interest in the astrological arts. To help us navigate the infinite heavens, we consulted with renowned astrologer Shelley von Strunckel whose spookily accurate readings will surprise you…

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Smythson-Star-Sign-Collection

Though you may not have realised it, it is highly likely that Shelley has been guiding you for a while. In 1992 she created the first ever astrological column for the London Sunday Times and since then she has written for the likes of the Evening Standard, Tatler, Vogue, Elle and the BBC.

As this time of year is particularly relevant for contemplating star-crossed lovers, we asked Shelley to use her famed insight to create an astrologically informed gift guide.

Aries 20 March – 18 April

What they think they want

These fiery creatures think they want the latest, probably seen on their favourite superstar. But their tastes move on swiftly, which means that what thrilled them last week won’t now. Besides, they’ll head out to acquire whatever it is they’re obsessing about before you can buy it.

What they really want

Listen to what they’re talking about – probably non-stop. These are their core passions or interests, and are likely to be something they’d never have thought of acquiring for themselves. This isn’t just about stuff, it could well involve access to a performance, gallery or place.

Taurus 19 April – 19 May

What they think they want

Being ruled by elegant Venus, sensual Taurus adores refinement, in life and in gifts. As a creature of habit, they insist they want the same as last year, and will stick to the familiar and then, not surprisingly, complain of being bored.

What they really want

They want, and need, change. A break from the familiar. The secret is to buy from a brand they know or a familiar product but with a twist. The gift could be scent, edible (chocolate!) or practical, such as a diary. Whatever the case, matters such as texture, colour and presentation are crucial.

Gemini 20 May – 19 June

What they think they want

Clever, restless Geminis are always on-trend, first to discover the latest, then drop it when something else appears. What they want changes from one day to the next. For them it’s normal but it is hugely frustrating for those who’re struggling to find that perfect gift.

What they really want

This is a surprise, given Gemini’s cool edginess, but, they’re touched by gifts that are on-trend but that last – and are sensual. Led by their restless minds, Geminis need to be reminded of life’s pleasures. A lush scarf, a brightly coloured wallet, a membership to their favourite museum.

Cancer 20 June – 21 July

What they think they want

This, the first of the three sensitive, intuitive water signs will chose a new version of something familiar, mostly because they respond as much to the sentiment behind the gift, as the gift itself. This can be reassuring but, ultimately, bores them as much as it does you.

What they really want

The trick is to find a link to those feelings, but make it something that broadens their horizons. This can be via design, a visit to someplace new but with links to the past, a new book about a familiar topic or a photo or painting of a much loved place.

Leo 22 July – 21 August

What they think they want

Leo’s ruler is that gilt orb, the Sun; this dominates their style and taste. Yet despite their enviable flair, they can get stuck in a rut. They’ll explore new looks, new activities and pleasures yet go back to what and who they know.

What they really want

The best gift, therefore, is one that extends that glam look and lifestyle. Break a pattern. Get them out and about. Select a day at the latest lux spa, a session with the private shopper at a new, but elegant, store or champagne, but of course in special, super elegant, packaging.

Constellation-Star-Chart

Virgo 22 August – 21 September

What they think they want

Because Virgo taste is refined and recognisable, mean these selective individuals can get stuck in a rut and, as their nearest and dearest know, can be frustratingly unadventuresome, sticking to the tried and true.

What they really want

The cleverest Virgo gift, therefore, puts a new spin on the same tie/scent/bottle of gin that’s become a tradition. The way out? Classes, a scent workshop, a gin tasting, something that broadens those Virgo horizons and, equally, the gift-givers’ options.

Libra 22 September – 21 October

What they think they want

One of the two signs ruled by Venus, Libras have an innate refinement; they know what they like and whether it’s home décor, clothing or an evening out, stick to the familiar, if only to avoid the offensiveness of poor taste elsewhere.

What they really want

Finding a gift for Libra may seem challenging but, because they’re all about relationship, the secret is the ‘dual-gift’. Give them what they like, those cashmere socks, that special brand of Cognac. Then plan a joint event, a day away, a special dinner. It’s the latter they’ll remember, and cherish.

Scorpio 22 October – 20 November

What they think they want

Those closest to these creatures of habit soon learn that venturing into new territory gift-wise only leads to disappointment. The obvious solution is an annual gift, something the Scorpio expects and is delighted with, but which isn’t exactly thrilling for those giving these gifts.

What they really want

The solution? It requires detective work. Note what intrigues your Scorpio, what they read about or see that’s of interest. Then make it happen. There’s an essential twist. Let them know well in advance. Whatever it is, they’ll need time to get used to the idea. Once they do, they’ll be thrilled.

Sagittarius 21 November – 20 December

What they think they want

Born under perhaps the most inquisitive sign of the zodiac, Sagittarians will usually be the first to discover new ideas, music and places to go. They say they don’t want much, and that’s true. They’re more about action than acquiring ‘stuff’, although their homes and wardrobe testify otherwise.

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What they really want

The ideal won’t seem sexy; it’s an antidote for that chaos. Engage a professional organiser in to tackle the morass that is the Sag’s desk, or somebody to sort those cupboards. Or, alternatively, organising a day away from everything, a time to ignore life’s mundane tasks and savour its pleasures.

Capricorn 21 December – 19 January

What they think they want

One of the problems with selecting gifts for Capricorns is their choices for others are so apt, clever yet classic. Worse, when asked what they’d like, they’ll respond with a shrug, mostly because whatever the desire, they’ll want the best, and that means it’ll be in in the Rolls Royce price range.

What they really want

The secret? Little things but genuine. Never, ever buy a Capricorn fake or imitation anything. Instead, march into that astronomically priced, name-brand store and ask to see something within your price range.

Aquarius 20 January – 18 February

What they think they want

Aquarians are, by nature, the future on two feet. Their thinking and their delights are a taste of what the rest of the world will want, but in a decade. And that’s what they want, whether it’s tickets, travel or scent from an obscure flower only just discovered in the Amazon. Or, well, you get the point.

What they really want

Since only another Aquarian shares this futuristic perspective, the best gift is one that makes it possible for your Aquarian to have more of what they love, be it via gift certificates or just plain cash to spend on their latest discovery. They will love and, and love you for it.

Old-Constellation-Figures

Pisces 19 February – 19 March

What they think they want

The single word ‘idealist’ sums up the Piscean nature. They want the world, the lives of others and their own life to be perfect. That being their passion, they want ‘accessories’, to make that happen, which can involve where they live, what they wear or do. It can be difficult to get or very expensive.

What they really want

A Piscean gift, therefore, refers to their passions but take them further. They’re obsessed with a certain designer/author/filmmaker/restaurant. Make it possible for them to have more of exactly that. It may not seem imaginative to you but it will absolutely thrill them.

 

© Shelley von Strunckel 2016

Portrait of Shelley von Strunckel courtesy of Mark C O’Flaherty. All other images sourced via Pinterest

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