This month, the stars are making moves, the kind of moves that make for good theatre about the irresolute differences found along generational divides. Law-abiding Saturn retrogrades, moody Pluto retrogrades, self-righteous Mars works himself into a fit all in Daddy Capricorn. Meanwhile, Mercury retrogrades (and then lands in shadow zone), Chiron moves his furniture, the New Moon initiates change, and Uranus rebels all in that infant terrible Aries.
Sophocles' Antigone comes to mind now, in her fight to honor her brother and renounce the law of the land which did not honor the higher law of love and familial duty. Ancient Greek texts stay relevant, it seems, since so many young people today are calling for a Constitution that puts their lives and the memories of lives lost before the investments of politicians. Like in Antigone, each act of rebellion is smoothed over by dawn and re-performed with a sense of irreverent duty. So many shootings, in schools, in movie theatres, in nightclubs and churches. We forget that some gun-related crimes are state-sanctioned, we fail at regulating the state. Like Thebes, this country overlooks the madness of its leaders, their unrepentant re-occurring crimes against humanity, the glaring absurdity of their justifications.
And what about our lives? Our small webs of connection and relation? Venus stations in Taurus and what's closest to us still offers us pleasure: the roses might burst from the bud any day, the sun so warm we take our coats off, the sweet and understanding way a friend might reach across the table and place their hand on yours. Relish it when you can get it, reader. The veil between public life and private life is as thin as gauze, especially for those of us who have already lost more than we care to recount. What's gone won't return, we know, but life arrives regardless of our grief. It's bursting through the dirt, it's changing the trees, it's working on our hearts.
It’s an important time for you, little ram, and the road ahead might feel smoother than it has in a long time but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to ask a lot of you. Your sense of self, your sense of creative purpose, has been radicalized by the past few years—reflecting the disquiet of a nation in discord—and you’ve come up with a deep appreciation for your own gifts. What you offer this world, what can so often be mistaken for practical service, is often an outpouring of unconditional love. Mars in Capricorn clarifies your drive and gives it a knightly nobility.
For the craft you work to master, for the house you rebuild each season, for the people and animal who depend on your willpower, what you offer returns to you threefold.
Still, reward is part of a cycle, and while you may feel yourself on top of the wheel, it will serve you to never forget the functions of wheels and their inevitable turn. Chiron, wounded healer, has been squeezing Pisces’ heart like a lemon juicer for years and is finally ready to gallop over to your house. Although Chiron promises to bop between Pisces and Aries for the next year, this transit marks his first visit and, let me tell you, he’s the kind of guest that takes up space. Expect the bubbling of old hurts and an echoing of traumatic memory and start collecting the tools you need to face yourself because the only way out is through.
In the Northeast, with the spring equinox already behind us, it’s not unusual to find buds poking their small heads out of the dark earth. Snowdrops and then crocus, sometimes a daffodil or a patch of lily of the valley. It’s a hopeful feeling, and you’re a part of that, the sign of earth, of resplendence, a fixed point on the wheel that returns and returns again. What’s that T.S. Eliot said about April in “The Waste Land”? “April is the cruelest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain.” T.S. Eliot knew all about cruelty, institutionalizing his own wife, so he must have recognized himself in the season’s change, but let’s not talk about him for too long.
Let’s recognize, instead, that cruelty can be a precursor to beauty, and if memory and desire stir in you—then wake it up. You, Taurus, are ruled by Venus, the planet of love, and this month it returns to you. I’m so glad Venus is transitioning through your little piece of sky, Taurus, because you deserve to dabble in a little sweetness. I hope it fills you up little bull, I hope it softens your heart to anyone who has aggravated you this month. I know it’s not your style and no one is telling you to turn into a doormat or an amnesiac. But, I think it might do you good to try a little forgiveness, try loosening your grip on your memory of injustices and cruelties endured. Imagine yourself small and hungry in the world, a bumblebee rambling in the new air. Let Venus lead your heart to the sugar bowl.
As I write this for you, I’m listening to a Liszt transcendental etude. Sometimes I get a little funny about my devotions, like, in this moment, I recognize that I would choose to listen to this one Hungarian composer over any Russian-Jewish one (my people). But then, I look up Liszt and find out we share the same sun sign, that he never charged his students for lessons, that he worked to honor music’s sacred call, and I can’t help but feel that my allegiance must move beyond the ethnographical and into the sublime.
So it is sometimes with what we love and what we seek to love, to see ourselves reflected in the other. There will be months, even years, when the answers will come to you easily. When you know, by the shape of what is before, what your relationship to that thing or person must be. I don’t think that this is one of those times. I think you’ve got to let yourself live a little deeper into what life is bringing your way this month, Gemini. Set your expectations aside so that you won’t get in your own way when you begin to surpass them.
There’s an opening in you, a beginning, a little spark that needs tending much more than it needs intellectualization. Don’t worry what it looks like from the outside, don’t worry about confusing others as your sense of self shifts. You have a right to shed the past and all affiliations that stifle the sublime in you.
You wanted change, but you didn’t want it like this. You wanted to walk down a different path, but the path you chose is harder than the one you left behind. It’s a little ridiculous, isn’t it Cancer, how often we think we know what we’re going to get or what we should get or what—dare I say it—we deserve. Life is changeable and makes us no promises. Not even time lives up to its reputation, some wounds never heal, some scars never fade. And, who are we to demand that it be otherwise? Haven’t you, sweet one, known a great love? Haven’t you felt the golden light of friendship or the shine of recognition and reward? If you think hard enough, you’ll remember, that sweetness makes its own mark, and that mark is just a permanent.
This month will begin with a full moon in Libra, arch in a new moon in Aries, and finish with a full moon in Scorpio. This month, let all things Capricorn deal with themselves, Cancer, while you use your cardinal energy to push your transformation forward. Let people surprise you, let your guard down, risk being vulnerable for the intimacy it offers you. Whether your heart is held together with glue and bits of twine or it’s as whole and strong as a wild horse’s (if you are a wild horse, congratulations), it’s in the right place, and that’s what matters now.
While the world goes to war over laws and systems that should have been changed a century ago, you get to spend this month making sure care and reciprocity come first. That’s a form of resistance.
What would it mean for you to commit to what empowers you? Imagine a life where what you offer others is as fulfilling to you as it is to them, where taking care doesn’t mean losing time. How do you attend to what sustains you, what keeps you going when inspiration slows to a slow trickle and circumstances don’t line up distinctly in your favor? Plug into the part of you that creates for the sake of creating. The sacredness of that. How do you cultivate your own sense of wonder and for what purpose? Can you, proud one, offer gratitude without performing a role as the loving grateful one?
These are large human quests, the kind of worries that roll up the shore in small cyclic tides, pulling at your toes and threatening to rise up past your comfort zone and soak you to the bone. Maybe some sort of surrender is in order, a private prayer that you might make for no audience.
It hasn’t been an easy year, I know. And, it’s understandable, the hunger that rises out of despair and what we do to feed it. When we relate to our bodies through addictions, love obsession, work obsession, tv, food, whatever allows us to focus on the other as our source and our lighthouse, we shutter the house of ourselves and no sun comes through. It’s harder to see your own reflection in the dark, hard to know what’s changed and what remains. The answers have got to come from you if they come at all. Playing in the shadows has its appeal, sure, but you were made to walk in the light.
What do we owe each other? Compassion? Yes, compassion, to recognize that not all kinds of suffering are visible or recognizable, to attend to human connection from a place of care and reciprocity. Respect? Perhaps, although it is admittedly difficult to offer respect to those who do not offer it in turn. Sometimes, to hold someone accountable for their behavior is a kind of respect too, to say, “I see in you a person who could treat others better, who has the capacity to understand the harm they cause.” Consequently, to hold someone responsible, and allow them to make amends, is more loving and kind than to ignore their behavior and resent it.
When we build a world together, across great distances and across dinner tables, we owe each other a chance to make that world a little better than how we found it. What we don’t owe each other, however, is our lives and our life force.
A reminder: When what you give of yourself starts to feel less like a ritual and more like an obligation it is not an offering made from a place of love. A wise woman once told me that whatever I do out of fear of being unloved or punished is a recipe for falling out of love with myself. To honor her words, I suggest you brew a recipe for falling in love with yourself. To serve as an example to others in your life, figure out a way to honor what your time and care are worth. Recognize when you’re undervalued, recognize when you undervalue yourself, and call people lovingly back to the negotiation room.
It’s lovely to begin a month with the full moon in your honor, a moon that honors everything you’ve done to get to this point. It’s lovelier, stil,l to begin the season of spring. There’s got to be something familiar about the scent of the earth changing over, what deaths Libra initiates, Aries resurrects, and so begins another cycle of watching the world wake up, thrive, and eventually decline. You are a good watcher, Libra, an observer of intimacies. You understand where things begin and what power beginnings hold, how to place living things in relation to each other so that they grow together.
What’s harder for you to reckon with is the past, the weight of it and its implications about your own patterns. When have you, dear Libra, put the well-being of others before your own without stopping to think what abandoning yourself might cost the both of you?
Many diplomats live in countries that are not native to them, many peacemakers must endure alienation, and many times you’ve traded what felt safe/fulfilling to you for what would serve the immediate moment. It’s okay to make accommodations in times of trouble, to use the scales when your heart won’t answer, but just because certain patterns repeat doesn’t mean they repeat forever. On the loom of this life, there are two threads, the one that hangs vertically, the tension of being alive, and the one that weaves horizontally, creating the pattern of what being alive looks like at this moment. If a weaver can tire of the same old same and begin a new horizontal weave, or a use a whole new loom entirely, why can’t you?
It’s an honor to love something, to consider the face of a living being and feel joy at getting to witness them. It’s an honor to love something, to sit before an empty screen or canvas and rise from it changed, transformed by the act of transforming, even if slightly. To become a master of something you love is to end a love affair, which in many ways maintains its urgency through the quest and desire to know the other. That’s why there’s so much eros in reading multiple texts by one author, always outside your reach and yet so close, and why zoos are the ultimate example of relational despair. What’s captured and contained is at once known and simultaneously unknown forever.
It’s imperative that you spend some time, Scorpio, recognizing just how much you don’t know. It would do you good to admit that, despite whatever wisdom you’ve managed to accrue while you’ve been alive, there are intentions, histories, dreams, and experiences which you are not privy to that shape lives outside your own. And if you don’t know, then you shouldn’t waste time hurting your own feelings with stories.
It’s easy, in this social media world, to imagine that what you’re offered is enough to construct the whole story. To be clear, this isn’t a horoscope about minding your own business—although it couldn’t hurt—and it’s not a horoscope about avoiding commitment in that sort of Mariah Carey “Butterfly,” “if it comes back that’s how you know” type way. This is a horoscope about the eros in unknowing, practicing adoration for ordinary things that are not yours (a poem, a hummingbird), and in sitting with gratitude for all the ways the world and the people in it have conspired to take care of you without ever saying “this is what you owe me in return.”
I know it’s not easy to hold your horses, especially after a year of training them to jump the big hurdles and become sure bets in the big race. Perhaps, rather than imagining yourself held up, reigned in, and thwarted, you might imagine this double-the-retrograde-double-the-fun time as a time to figure out what race is worth your beautiful horses’ involvement. After all, just because you’re good for something doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
While the planets call us in to reflect on our relationships to the world and consequently to each other, it would do you some good to hammer out your relationship to time. How much is your time worth, Sagittarius, and how often do you undercut yourself? Can you imagine and initiate practical systems into your life that allow you to honor the value of your own time?
In evaluating your energy, where it is restored and where it leaks, you might find that, despite your easy-going façade, your mood and well-being is deeply affected by those you build your life beside. While this is true for many caring, loving, people, I venture to state that you are of a different sort. The difference lies in your demeanor, which is almost always open and warm, which asks you to meticulously engage in the labor of performing “okayness” so well, you can—at times—forget to check in with yourself at all. Check in with yourself, Sagittarius, especially if you’re not the sort that gives others a reason to check in on you. Perhaps all those beautiful horses you’ve got don’t have their heart in the race. Perhaps they’re looking for another kind of field entirely.
There are no guarantees in life, we know this. Still, it can be hard to accept the truth of the matter, that you can fetch the right ingredients, follow a recipe to a T, mix and blend tirelessly, wait patiently, and still open the oven and find the results have let you down. You might be nodding your head now, acknowledging that chemistry is a fickle companion and can ruin a perfect day after one careless move on your part. But, what if we’re not talking about making flan or achieving a golden airy profiterole, what if we’re talking about the job offer that keeps falling through, the acknowledgments that won’t put money in the bank, the website that hasn’t brought new clients to your email box?
Kendrick Lamar says, “Careers take off you just gotta be patient,” and he’s not wrong. But, he is a Gemini, and patience to a Gemini is equivalent to the time span a dog observes her human place a bowl of kibble down, signal wait, and then exclaim with sweetness, “Okay, eat!” Capricorn’s patience is in a different realm entirely. In fact, it must come from a planet named patience many light years away, where patience is a by-product of all native organisms and coats that planet’s atmosphere in a low enduring hum.
Maybe patience is no longer the virtue you need work with. How to invoke what work and time can’t seem to bring to the table? Perhaps it’s not about the ingredients. Perhaps it’s the baker that fudges her own good efforts and stands in the way of her own abundance. Is there a part of you, Capricorn, that would rather see yourself punished than fed?
Just because you devote your time to understanding how the heart works doesn’t mean you know when your own heart is in the wrong place. Just because you’ve read the texts on communicating your intent doesn’t mean your intent shows through in each of your communications. Our individual sense of meaning makes communication an alchemical process, half-known compound, half-up in smoke. It’s important you admit to yourself what most often gets lost in language since language is sure to be your stumbling block this month.
Whether it comes from the act of asking for what you need or recognizing what someone else is asking of you, be mindful of the ways you map your own sense of the world onto the lived experiences of others. Sometimes, it can be an act of grace to admit that you don’t know, that what is being presented to you is actually illegible to you, that you would rather have an explanation than perform understanding. To perform understanding is an act of ego, to ask for clarity is an act of love. You might find that, with the right amount of inquiry, what you assumed was being presented to you was never meant to be something you grappled with at all. And that will save you energy, that will ultimately provide emotional relief.
Not all problems are yours to grapple with, not all hearts speak a language you’re trained in, not all forms of injustice will benefit from your advocacy. When you are relieved from the post of interpreter and surveyor, you are free to devote your time to your own heart—how to sort it out, where it’s leading you, and why you’ve so adamantly refused to spend time listening to it.
If this past month has taught you anything, it must have shown you what happens when you really reach out to others. Mind you, when I say reach out, I don’t mean a moody post on Facebook about how no one ever shows up, and I don’t mean a selfie that’s bluer than Billy Holiday with a caption listing all your grievances. I mean figuring out who you trust, who you would love to show up for one day, and extending yourself to them directly with an inquiry into their well-being, as well as an honest accounting of your own. If you have been intentional like this, if you put true emotional effort into building a bridge so that someone feels welcome on your side, you found that people are even kinder and more generous than you’ve allowed yourself to hope for. More often than not, people want to be of use to each other, they want to offer care whenever offering care is emotionally possible.
If you haven’t built the bridge, if you’ve refused yourself the kindness of reaching out to others. If you convinced yourself that your failures and burdens are your own making and therefore yours to shoulder alone. If you’ve tested people by silently waiting rather than lovingly asking, you will have found more ways to hurt, to let yourself down.
Pisces, Chiron has spent so many years with you, teaching you that your wounds can be a wisdom or a liability and it’s ultimately up to you to decide. Decisions like that, I’m afraid, must be made many times over—because we are creatures of habit, because we’d rather get in our own way than endure the suffering of growth. What’s that they say about trauma? Some of us are afraid to learn who we are outside of hurt, some us are afraid to stand accountable for our willingness to hurt others. Pisces, you have known the depths of the ocean where the dark is darkest and the cold is otherworldly, what have you got to be afraid of when you face yourself?