When Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote "To what purpose, April, do you return again? Beauty is not enough," I don't think she could have imagined a spring like this one. I don't think she was writing of the Magnolia trees thick with fleshy blooms and lone, bleary-eyed pedestrians out on their allotted walks afraid to press their faces to a flower that might have graced the face of someone else. They say that, with our absence, the animals are returning, but who amongst us could have known that when Uranus made headway in Taurus, Earth's uprising would look like this? It's true, astrology has answers (as do the April 2020 horoscopes) if you want them. Theories about Pluto's conjunction to Saturn in Capricorn in the beginning of this year. The way Mars got stuck between them just as we were called inside.
Now, dipping into Aquarius, Saturn has a different lesson to offer, and it's about what the collective can do when structures fail us. Mutual aid action rises in the wake of capitalist disaster with people raising bail bonds and rent funds in their cities for those amongst us whom stimulus packages can't and won't reach. Across America, we show up for one another because we live in a country that does not love its people, and because "without tenderness, we are in hell" (Adrienne Rich). Like the Star Tarot card, Saturn in Aquarius offers glimmers of hope. Out of the rubble of bureaucratic nonsense, we find that releasing non-violent parolees is possible, we find that releasing ICE detainees is possible, we find that the workers who are essential are the ones who help us live through each week: our storekeepers, our medics, our refuse collectors, our transit workers. And, if they are essential, then their lives are essential, and it is up to us to help advocate for them.
In the midst of all this, we are still asked to attend to our daily lives. Quarantined or in the trenches, we check in on our loved ones, we do the work we are assigned, we rise and meet the day even if the day looks exactly as the day before. Or, worse. There is some wild part of us that means to go on, and it is for that wild part I write these horoscopes. I hope they find you in a moment of peace, however scarce.
It's not like you, Aries, to question how often you act before you think. Your initiatory nature is one of your superpowers, but while being impulsive has its rewards, these are not impulsive times. Heck, it takes time to plan the best and safest way to go get groceries so, if you're trying to go the distance, as in make a big powerful influential change, that will surely require just as much consideration. March's new moon in Aries left you with some clarity and insight, but it's April that pushes you forward as an ardent individual willing to fight for the collective dream.
The way you communicate plays no small part in how far you'll get. When touch and togetherness are transformed into digital dates, the words that get us from here to there mean more than ever.
Don't rush to say what you think before you're sure you're saying what you mean. Chiron is moving through Aries and, this month, it'll find itself conjunct with Eros and opposing Sappho in Libra. Like all of us in quarantine, the longing to feel close to living things is heightened. What is erotic, what is reciprocal and charged, is sacred. You know, or I hope you know, that what's sacred is almost always precarious. Chiron activates the places in you where a sacred wound lives, always healing never healed. April invites you to attend to that opening as creatively as you can, to reimagine your relationships to other living things, and redefine them for yourself.
I know that you've been here for a long time, dear Taurus, but even a sign in their own element can start feeling out of place. When I say here, I mean at home, of course. I mean lighting votives to the god of your own solitude and big spirit. Or, if you are one the heroes amongst us, the essential workers and the nurses, then when I say "here," I mean steady, showing up with grace. And grace is not the same thing as self-denial, we know that. Grace means knowing fear, facing the truth of the present moment, letting your faith in what's possible guide you through what feels insurmountable.
Despite isolation, despite loss, or in relationship to both of those things, there is sweetness all around you. It arrives by text. It arrives as an offering made by siblings, friends, and co-conspirators. It arrives when, using a language only you know, you are understood.
These sweetnesses, these gifts, might cast a small shadow one by one but, collected together, they form a barrier between you and the grief you know you'll have to face. The grief you've been walking toward and through for a long time: the loss of an imagined future self. And, your own coming to terms with the wholly new person you're becoming. Transformation, when we say we want it, we never know what we'll have to give up and how hard that giving up will be.
Sometimes, wanting to share what's on your heart is not enough reason to share it. Sometimes, time stretches in ways we didn't expect. And, the shape of our days impacts the space we take up (by presence or in absence) in the lives of others who love us in ways we never meant them to. This is not a time for regret. It's not worthwhile or generative for you, dear Gemini, to replay the loop and wish you'd acted otherwise. If in the past few months you've caused harm, even by accident and with otherwise good intentions, this is your chance to make it right.
Harm, of course, is subjective and comes in gradients. Often, we are not sure of our own impact—our own power. Causing harm is a byproduct of being human. We stand on the earth and, with our weight, we crush something living and small beneath us.
Sometimes, we find ourselves stuck between protecting what we value as a singular being and what we value as people in relationships. In this current moment, when closeness and distance both take on wholly different meanings, it can be hard to discern what actions, what choices, will protect the sacred flame that burns within you and what reactions serve to dim that very flame. April finds you just beginning to explore what home means to you, the word, the feelings, the promise of it. If all your life you've sought to make a home with someone else, then April asks you what is created and what is destroyed in the combination of two dreams? If now, in solitude, you are moved to re-imagine what it means to be your own home, then April asks you what kind of home you are for yourself—and if you can sustain visitors.
Does it feel like all the work you've been doing, all the time and space and classes you've been taking, has led you to this very moment? If so, then you're right, Cancer, because it has. In a world where disparate nations are glued to their screens waiting for good news and the citizens of these nations are fighting every day to feel the ground below them, you are equipped to hold space and offer tools for self-regulation and emotional well-being. These tools hold more value than you know, and in offering them, you reinforce your own purpose and place in the world.
To do this well and with powerful reach, you've got to believe that your offerings are not only life-giving but also sustainable. Like love and like kindness, our ability to be present for others is a renewable resource. The well does not run dry. The well does, however, get crowded.
It's important to remember that you depend on your own resources just as much as your community and loved ones do. To self-regulate and stay hydrated, you can't let everyone else go in front of you before you take what you need for yourself. No matter how much you wish to be the person who defers their needs (financial, emotional, erotic, creative) for those who need it more…. the line, you will find, never ends. Draining yourself and then crawling into a self-protective shell is an old story, you are more than ready to change it. In fact, there's a good chance you've changed it already but keep walking into situations where someone else is acting like the old story is the most recent version. In that case, it's on you to show them who you are.
It's time you stood in your own light, Leo, you've earned it. I know it's not easy to take up space when people already expect it of you, when people act like they know who you are before you even show them. I know you get protective of what matters to you, wanting to perfect the thing itself before you lay it out for open viewing. Even if what you're perfecting is not so much a project but your understanding of your own emotional reality. Doubting whether you really feel what you feel. Doubting whether or not what matters to you matters. This is not the time for perfection, dear Leo, it's a time that necessitates boldness, and being bold often means putting whatever it is you've got going out there and hoping for the best.
There's a charge to the air, a kind of open circuit giving off sparks, and we are part of the machinery, trying to create connection where we can—trying to create and sustain light.
If everyone lives on the internet now, then the internet is changing. It is our medium and our means, it is a portal through which we offer what we can to who we want. In the right hands, the internet has and continues to be a place for revolution—for mutual aid efforts and collective movements. If you are resisting the urge to take up space, imagine the many beautiful ways space longs to be touched by you and lit up. If you are resisting the urge to reach out or speak up and find company in your thoughts and ideas, ask yourself what would need to be changed or altered for you to feel ready. Give yourself a time limit and adhere to it no matter what.
In a perfect idea of a world, we would know right away what kind of life this is. Temporary or permanent. We would look around at the chaos and say, "This is the new normal," and set about trying to make something familiar out of it—something routine. Truth is, many of us are doing just that. And, perhaps, Virgo, you are amongst them. There's nothing wrong with wanting to establish familiarity, with calling something regular because the shape of your days indicates that it is. But, you and I both know that there is nothing regular about what's happening now, nothing normal.
Even situated within a historical understanding of pandemics and international crises, there is much about this moment that remains wholly new. Through the upheaval and the rearrangement, you are called to look again at what it is you value about your time and your relationship to the world outside your home.
Reading this, you might wonder out loud how anyone could NOT build a new relationship to the outside world. Yet there are those amongst us, parents who get lost in the needs of their dependents, freelancers who have always been cooped up at home, artists who are scouring the internet looking for new hustles, whose relationships with time feel incredibly tenuous. Or, like trying to get an hourglass to shift sand through a broken waist. It can feel impossible to direct your energy outward when your world trembles with insecurity but, sometimes, a guidebook set aflame is an opportunity for you to discover something on your own terms.
You've known that the status quo has been fucked for as long as you can remember, and for years you've likely been speaking up and trying to shift the way our world relates to what is obviously awry. For the most part, those of us who spoke out against injustice found ourselves speaking to the choir. Which, while validating, got old and started to feel limiting. As if we could only reach those already affected. As if people could not fathom their interconnectedness. If years of raising your voice or elevating the voices of others only to find the room empty left you defeated, take heart. We are living in another time now, and if there is something you wish to share with the world or shine a light on, you will find a new and bigger audience each time.
The more you put yourself out there, the more you will learn what feels good and right for you. Even if putting yourself out there means simply refusing to spend your time worrying about the standards and practices accepted by your peers and choosing instead to communicate yourself and your experience in a way wholly personal to you.
There is no catch, not really, but it's worth remembering that the more time you spend figuring out what it is you wish to share with the world, the more time you spend with yourself. And, spending time with yourself, your value systems, might have you weighing your own efforts against the efforts of others. It might have you feeling like the people you value most don't seem to have the same values as you. In that case, it's a good time as any to remind yourself that while affinity can be powerful, difference creates the possibility for a support system that is multi-faceted and evenly distributed. Some of us stare Medusa in the eye, and some of us bring statues home and turn them back into people.
Family can mean a lot of different things to different people. Most of us have grown up with one idea of how family should be, based on TV and movies, and a wholly other experience of what family is. Whether you live alone or with chosen family, roommates, or partners, whether you have returned to the place you were born to be present for and offer care to those who have raised you, April finds you examining what it means to belong somewhere and with others. In this moment when countries the world over battle one shared thing and so many people are sharing videos and stories of their loved ones—their lives and their deaths—you are being called to assess what family means to you and who gets to be part of that definition.
This is not about love, about measuring it out in spoonful; and, it's not about re-writing the story of your life to center those who are here for you now versus those you aren't. This isn't even about other people.
This, dear Scorpio, is about recognizing the many ways life up until now has kept you from accessing the resources available to you. Your support system which can be and is made up of blood relations, past lovers, new friends, community elders, and—this is the big one—wisdom passed down to you through generations. Not because it wasn't available but because you weren't ready to hold all of it at once. You are ready now, Scorpio, and you will find that what you hold, holds you up and not back this time.
Like everyone in capitalist hell, your relationship to your finances is under deep investigation. Not by the government so much, since even tax deadlines have been delayed, but by the very act of existing through this contemporary moment. While our country and the citizens who believe in its rulership parse through when calling a worker "essential" means giving them life-risking mandates and when it means giving them enough money and supplies to survive their tasks, you are called to look at your own value systems and their strata.
What do you need to sustain yourself through this? What work of yours is essential and imperative for the future world that you are now daring to imagine? What constraints have you allowed the world to impose upon you and what rules were made to be broken because they were not made with the welfare of people in mind?
To break rules, to allow yourself more than you were permitted, to believe you deserve what feels good rather than what is accepted, is not easy. And, it doesn't happen all in one go. There's no Big Important Paper to burn or email to send out. It's a daily commitment to raising your head a little higher and releasing those shoulders hunched against your ears. It's spending time with your body and recognizing that money comes and goes, but your body is a one-time deal. It is, in fact, your most consistent resource for connection to yourself and others. Your richest text and most abundant return.
Last night I had a dream about my Capricorn friend. He had vowed to read me a poem in the rain while eating an everything bagel. I didn't take him seriously, why would I? But, there he was, sending me live videos of himself in the night rain reciting verses covered in seeds. In my dream, I kept calling him until I woke up wanting to remind him that no prior commitments, no vows, no daring acts of kindness are worth more than his health. I am here with you, dear Capricorn, to remind you of the same thing.
What takes a toll takes different shapes, but this month, more and more likely, what takes a toll on you is your belief that you are somehow responsible for the state of all things and all people. Especially, but not exclusively, those who do or have depended on you.
It's true that when you're an employer and your business is forced to close its doors, you must make choices that directly impact your employees. And it's true that if you are a medium between a person who needs to be paid and the person who pays them, your emails from the depths of isolation matter. Being a parent and constructing the days of your kids so that they are fruitful and fostering of hope. Being a caregiver in any capacity of any version of family. Still, there is only so much we can give of ourselves on any given day, and the days now are not what they were. They couldn't be, and you can't be either. When you are disciplined with how much energy you give away before you show up, you show up more fully—more powerfully for those who need you.
How can there be so many ways to learn the same lessons? You would think that once the world and its structures started coming apart at the seams, your lessons would be done, dear Aquarius, but you and I both know your lessons are not done. For one thing, if you're reading this, then you're alive, and as long as you're alive, life's got a book for you to read. For another thing, you're stubborn and you'd rather act like life is happening to you as if for the first time every time than look around and notice the patterns.
There are, of course, plenty of Aquarians out there ready and willing to chart their bad habits to then make a Google Doc out of them. Those Aquarians probably have a Virgo moon. Still, even the most self-helped Aquarius out there gets blurry vision when the writing on the wall conflicts with their coping mechanisms and escape tactics. It's highly understandable, Aquarius, none of us really wants to be here *gestures at the empty apartment and chaotic energy.*
But, we've got to be here—and so do you. The end of April will have you stirred toward collective action in ways that you haven't been before. It will have you feeling equipped to aid and assist others, to make your mark. To prepare for that energy, the rest of April has you going inward in a big way. Study as if you want to pass the test, Aquarius. Read the board. Your ideas about independence are changing. Your sense of your own capabilities is changing. Your intuition and your trust in it is growing. Let it happen.
Your birthday might have been in February and March but, April, dear Pisces, ushers in a season you thrive in. Lots of people think of Pisces as a tributary or a moving river. I like to think of Pisces as those bodies of water, yes, but also, I think of Pisces as the rain. Days of rain and pale sky over the Eastern seaboard, you are the one that forces the careless inside, proving that logic and moral appeals are nothing compared to an unrelenting element.
Eros is in Pisces through mid-April, and Ceres enters Pisces on the 23rd. Between these two asteroids, smaller planets, minor influences, is a living world, and you, more than most, are hearing its call. The streets are empty, but the trees are loud with rain and color. This month, if you can, if you are given the chance, seize every opportunity to connect to the natural world.
What is erotic is not always what is sexual. Or, what is sexual is not always between people. The Earth, despite our presence on it, remains alive and fertile. It receives your touch, and it returns it even when touch is forbidden everywhere. Music is a kind of fertile ground too, and art of all sorts. Whatever you make for pleasure and the expansion of your own joy. In Uses of the Erotic, Audre Lorde wrote, "The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire. For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves." Plant a seed somewhere, Pisces, press your hands into the earth even if that earth is collected in a bucket on your fire escape.