Dear Star Babies,
The dog days of summer are upon us, running back and forth, panting against the sticky floor, seeking relief in big cool bodies of water and glistening bodies in the dark. Monsoon season, thunderstorm season, break up and make up and hook up season, basically—Leo season is here, roaring through the night and into daybreak. It's big, and it's beautiful—our desires, our ambitions, our ability to maintain even a modicum of sanity in the face of this insane administration. It's all happening.
I guess this is the product of empire, the ability to build our lives in the light of the Sun and in the face of devastating destruction, and none of us who benefit in this country are not implicated. But we are not isolated in our journeys, and where we strain to care for others and build the world we want, the cosmos moves with us. The lunar eclipse in Aquarius, the solar eclipse in Leo, the night sky opens and closes so that we might face ourselves—our own darkness and our own potential for light.
Take these words as touchstones, as solace, as a meditation to carry until autumn comes.
Whether in partnership or alone, for years now you’ve been working on the question of individuality. What it means to you, what it makes of you, and how you can honor the spark of it. Being an individual in a world that bends each of us into a shape it can recognize is not easy and it will never be. So, you’ve got to be brave. You’ve got to decide every day that the uncharted path is worth traversing, even when that path seems counter to what you imagined it to be, and especially when it challenges you. Look to the leaders who have come before you—where they have dropped the torch and where you might pick it up.
And when power comes to you, that will not be the end of your journey; when recognition comes to you, that will not be the end of your journey. To innovate is to change the way you approach life on a fundamental level. If you’ve never wanted to live an ordinary life, then you can’t treat your life like it’s ordinary. That means working to become your most realized self on and off the page, at work and at home too.
Being a fixed sign can be a tricky thing, being a fixed sign rooted to this earth can be even trickier. It’s not hard to see that the world as we know it is coming apart piecemeal. That while certain aspects of our human existence have always been fraught, now these aspects have begun to lose their veils and their counterbalances—their potential for justice.
All your life, you have walked with yourself and known who you are. You chose your friends based on your deep belief in their goodness, you shaped your beliefs in accordance with what sat well—what felt right. It’s harder and harder to know what’s right these days. It’s getting harder and harder to honor your integrity and recognize when you act out of fear of the unfamiliar. Some beliefs are meant to be stripped from us, some veils were never meant to stay on. Just because you know who you are now, doesn’t mean you know who you’re becoming. Don’t stand in your own way, Taurus, change or be changed.
When your ruling planet is in retrograde (especially in Virgo), you might want more answers than you’re gonna get. You might find yourself getting pulled towards sorting things out and putting everything in its right place, but emotions and life uncertainties won’t stay in the folders you jam them in. If circumstance or conflict or plain old distance has got you feeling far from those whose closeness you crave, practice regaining closeness in a way that feels natural to both of you.
There are many ways to connect with someone you adore, and you know this more than anyone, Gemini. There’s a chance you’ve got a running list of things you love to do together, places you want to go, food you want to try. This month, focus on the plans you’ve laid down and the commitments you’ve already made. Resist the urge to hash out why and how you’ve drifted, use your actions to show affection; words are very unnecessary—they can only do harm.
Strength, we’re taught, is independence. Strength, we’re assured, has a masculine quality, a stoic will to carry on. Strength, some might have you believe, is learning to be hard, impermeable, without give. But you and I both know that strength is more nuanced than all that. How does a palm tree bend in a storm so as not to break? It roots deeper and wider into the earth.
In the dark black earth, only you know the depth of your own root system, Cancer. And that is a secret strength—a divine feminine thing. You know, in your heart of hearts, that when you take care of others, you feel strong, And it’s your choice to keep your strength a secret, it’s your choice to withhold when your needs are not met. But, beware of standing rigid in the wind as if you’ve got something to prove about the past, about why you are the way you are. When a storm comes, it doesn’t ask the trees what’s come before. In a storm, you bend or you break.
On August 7, the full moon will be in Aquarius, and there will be a lunar eclipse. During a lunar eclipse, the earth’s shadow obscures the moon. Aquarius is Leo’s biggest teacher and pushes you toward the collective mind when you are stuck in personal drama. This time around, the full moon won’t give you your lessons without a little self-reflection. This time around, the shadow of the earth, its daily spin, its everyday trouble, might have you wondering why everything feels so charged—so large and looming. It’s large because the moon is large and your life is large too, whether you can see it or not is not the point.
Take time this month to sit with what you’ve learned about who you are and who you want to be in the communities you build around you. This is about love in the big sense of the word, about building and strengthening something that is bigger than you. This is about the sacred. Prepare for the new moon in Leo at the end of this month, which will be a solar eclipse. With what actions have your honored your word? What actions will you take now in honor of your sacred self?
One of my favorite coping mechanisms is making up a story. I’m sure you know how it goes. Yes, this person in your life makes you doubt yourself, but it’s really only because you’re prone to doubting yourself because you weren’t really validated as a kid. And anyway, they don’t mean to say the things they say to you the way they say them; they’re just critical because they’re pushing you to be better and so, really, there’s no point at all telling them how their words are affecting you—you should probably just go home and work on yourself forever so that no one will have anything to be critical about.
Well, stories that excuse you from demanding emotional respect from others and practicing emotional respect for yourself can keep you going for a long time, but mostly going home and organizing your anxiety-tinged resentments in size order. Don’t you think it might be worth it to try something else this month? While Mercury is in retrograde in Virgo, it’s no time to have big conversations about feelings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show up for yourself and bear witness to who you are in the present tense. Stay when you want to leave, Virgo, honor your emotions rather than try analyzing them away.
It’s bigger than you, isn’t it? For the first time in a long time, you can stand at the shoreline of your emotions and see that the ocean isn’t yours to understand. When the waves come, when they crash against you, when they topple you over or make you change your mind and turn around, they are waves and you are you—always. This is a form of surrender, a kind of wholeness exactly when you feel like you might fall apart.
There will be days this month, Libra, when you feel prepared to take on any sorrow—any uncertainty. You will amaze yourself with your resilience, psychic mind, and strange endurance. Hold on to the self you recognize in those days, memorize her posture, her self-belief, her tenacity. When the tide rises without warning, when the waves are coupled with rip tide, you can summon her, and she will get you through.
You’ve probably got a really good reason for ignoring your intuition. You’re probably still recovering from Saturn hanging out in your house, making you go above and beyond to prove your worth in every aspect of your life like you weren’t already full of self-doubt and existential dread. Like, is it just you or did your intuition start speaking another language at some point and now you’re scrambling just to learn the conversational basics? “I need to,” “I want to,” “I need directions”—who can fault you for ignoring what you can barely make sense of?
You know more than you think you do, Scorpio, and definitely more than you’re willing to admit to yourself right now. With Mars in Leo this month, not to mention Sun in Leo, and then the new moon in Leo end of the month, it might do you good to take a page out of the book of great Leo Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Reclaim Your Time. Maybe you and your intuition can do some kind of trust fall exercises or bonding experiments/ Journal more, make plans with people who make you feel like yourself, go to the ocean and float on your back for a long time.
When you're young, it's not so hard to choose a path and start galloping. Our worlds are narrowed down for us, and we imagine what we can from what we already know. You like to draw? What about architecture? You like to write? What about professor? You like to do lots of drugs and make friends? Party promoter! Often, the paths we gallop down in our youth don't take us anywhere near where we imagined they would. And, even if they do, we find that we grow listless when we feel like we've got nothing left to imagine for ourselves.
But, as you know, Sagittarius, feelings are not facts and just because you feel stuck doesn't mean you're actually stuck. In fact, one quick look around you and you'll find your predicament is quite the opposite. You have everything you need: resources, support, and an insatiable thirst for information, to imagine something brilliant to gallop toward. Maybe you think you're stuck, but you're just scared of putting yourself out there. It's okay to be scared and do it anyway. No risks no rewards, Ponyboy.
How is it possible to have so many obstacles set before you yet so much luck on your side? I've got to hand it to you, Capricorn, it's not easy to recognize that the universe has your back, to show up for this life when it's serving up hard lesson after hard lesson, layers of unexpected loss. Yet, no one is surprised in the many ways you do show up, every day, often for people who would not—were they pressed—show up for you.
That's because you know, at your core, that kindness and care are not in service to your or anybody else's ego. Something bigger than you keeps the score, so you don't have to. But, just in case you get worried, in case you start to feel unseen in your efforts and your generosity, take time out of this month to step back and note your lucky breaks, the friends who will always take your call, the partnerships that sustain you. When you're tired of being a support system, reach for your support system and don't hesitate to tell them who they are.
Never let it be said that the universe doesn’t provide, Aquarius. You wanted intimacy? You wanted to be close to the heart? You got it. What you might have not expected: reopening of wounds, dissociation, the onslaught of old griefs. What healers know: No growth without rupture, no Eros without vulnerability.
You are the healer now, Aquarius, and you are in your own care. This is what showing up is, what love is, an untangling, a reimagining. This month you are a night-blooming flower, root-bound, thriving. This month, the planets uproot you and settle you amongst companions. The earth is soft, the moonlight generous, the other plants—a good match. And, yes, change is difficult, so you’ve got to adjust. Acclimate. Yes, change will bring up all those old fears you thought you’d worked your way out of. But, you’re already here—arrived, open, and becoming new. Take it in and let it take you.
You are known far and wide for the softness of your heart, Pisces, your dreamy commitment to daily grace. And, it’s true that you’re a dreamer, a shifting star that imagines up possibilities where there were once none. It’s true, too, that you are good at sweetness, at saying just the right thing to soothe an aching heart. These gifts are your charm and your armor and, as Aaliyah (RIP, baby girl) once sang, at your best you are love.
But what are you at your worst, Pisces? When you’re depleted, when you doubt your own resources, when the dream world you use for solace is shadowed by the chaos of your every day, where does your sweetness go? If you have taken your lessons in stride these past few years, then your sweetness is something you offer to yourself in times of hardship. This month, life will you give you ample opportunities to practice self-healing, self-care, and self-motivation, and I suggest you take them. Until you learn to treat yourself with kindness when things are rough, you won’t be able to fully recognize and accept the kindness and care of others.