It's all about Cancer and Leo this month and I'm not just talking about the Sun. I'm talking about both signs hosting house parties to which so many planets are invited it's hard to keep track of who hasn't seen who crying in the bathroom or dancing on the table top. No one knows who broke the glass in the kitchen and everyone is kind of sorry but not sorry enough to stop acting badly.
The duality of these forces is a little like the set of The Outsiders when all the boys were sad about Johnny and ready to fight but also kind of just hoping they could sit around reading Robert Frost poems all night and talking about feelings.
If all these S.E Hinton references are lost on you, don't worry about it. What's important is understanding that feelings are not facts and although they provide information, it's the kind of information not available to everybody and for this reason they can't be used to justify unkind behavior. Besides, if we are to move towards a world where we can fight against evil forces shoulder to shoulder, then we've got to allow for miscommunication. So, be generous with each other this month, and be patient, too. Whatever's gold now is worth treasuring, even if it doesn't stay.
One night, at a party, a new friend and I were discussing dating different signs. Of course, anger came up, because learning how to witness and hold the anger of those you love is part and parcel of loving someone. Ruled by Mars and the element of fire, it’s no surprise that the anger of an Aries is legendary. Once an Aries believes they have been called to battle, very little can sway them toward compromise and nearly nothing will inspire retreat.
These qualities make Aries excellent champions and protectors (when the end of the world as we know it arrives, they will show the rest of us how to survive). But, in relationships, one can only play the protector and champion for so long before it’s time to take off the armor and connect as equals. That’s when things can get tricky for you, Aries, since it takes practice recognizing that, when you treat the ones you love as opponents, there are no winners; even when you win, you lose.
This month, Mars is going to spend a lot of time in sensitive, insightful, Cancer so you should take this opportunity to think about the ways you hide behind your battle armor when what you really want is to rest and recharge in connection and reciprocity. Put your sword down, Aries: To protect a heart, you’ve got to place it beside another heart.
What I like about you, Taurus, is that you know when you’re no longer having fun. Yeah, you’re a good sport and a regular at the Bacchanal, but you don’t need the jug to be dry and the bowl to be picked clean before taking your leave. This resistance to FOMO is one of your greatest powers and anyone who spends time with you learns from you. We also usually end up in your kitchen at 2am eating elaborate leftovers and watching Janet Jackson videos.
In relationships and friendships, you are not so different. When it’s time to go in, you go all in, and if there’s a Taurus in this world who doesn’t have a revolving door of house guests and live-in lovers—well, I don’t know them and don’t want to. But the abundance of love you have to give to others is not a resource that refills itself and when it’s time to leave, you know it.
Problem is, knowing isn’t everything. Knowing when to leave doesn’t make leaving any easier and knowing what you don’t want isn’t the same as knowing what you do. In fact, sometimes being too sure of what you know really gets in the way of you learning something new. Wise Taurus, isn’t summertime a good time to take a risk on something you know you shouldn’t just for the fun of it?
I know you set out to have lots of fun this summer but, as it often does, life has gotten in the way. Seems like there’s always something you forgot needed tending that needs you now. Seems like, despite your supposedly flighty attention span and your generally light touch, you’re the only one equipped to take charge and move things forward in your various relationships and contracts. Perhaps, in moments like this, it’s better to act as if “there’s nothing to it but to do it,” even if it secretly takes all the strength you can muster—even if you’re scared you’ll fuck it up.
You won’t fuck it up, Gemini, and, even if you do, nothing stays fucked up for too long. That’s a good thing to remember because you don’t want to get yourself so worked up about what needs fixing you forget to enjoy what’s going right. The Sun might have shifted out of Gemini but Venus has pulled up ready to play and it knows how to treat you right.
When all that emotional labor and leadership takes its inevitable toll, when things get dark, go find a field of fireflies. Be on the lookout for perfect summer nights full of witty banter and silly outfits. Be vigilant about your playfulness and be generous with it. It’s a powerful medicine for you and all those close to you.
Wow, with all these planetary transits in your sign, I’m surprised you’re even calm enough to be reading this right now. In fact, I want to acknowledge your decision to take this very moment to collect yourself and read something that, while helpful, is not exactly directly related to your survival. Getting your shit together is important, of course, but it shouldn’t mean wringing out every drip of fun out of your life. Self-betterment isn’t self-punishment, after all.
Oh sweet Cancer, you deserve to enjoy everything you’ve been working so hard to manifest, so what’s in your way? Could it be that despite how much time and energy you’ve invested in crawling out of that old too-small shell, how brave you’ve been busting out soft and vulnerable in the world, you don’t know if the new shell you’ve grown this past year is strong enough?
It’s strong enough, you’re strong enough, to shift old co-dependent patterns that keep you stuck in cycles of stagnation and depletion and you don’t have to leave behind everything you’ve ever known to do it. When the crab grows her new shell, she doesn’t leave the ocean and she doesn’t worry about how the ocean will accommodate her. She knows that the water helps her shell grow thick and strong. She knows that everything she needs is on the other side of her metamorphosis.
Proud little lion, it must be quite taxing to keep acting like you know exactly what you’re doing when you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. It must take a lot out of you waking up every morning knowing that people in your life are waiting to take your lead and the last thing you’re interested in at this very moment is leading. And, it’s not that you can’t, it’s not that you’re not up for it. It’s just that sometimes it feels good to know that when you let go of the reigns, you can trust someone to take hold of them. It’s a relief, really, a necessary emotional rest.
Emotional is the key word here because whether you realize it or not, the work you do out in the world is your emotional labor—it overflows from your big heart and through your whole body. You work yourself right into the ground and you’re not invulnerable. You need to be taken care of and you need to learn how ask for it.
Leo, practice actively receiving care. Lions belong to prides for a reason. In a pride, leadership is shared amongst the strongest. Take stock of who you surround yourself with and how much faith you place in their ability to take care of themselves. To grow powerful, people have got to carry their own weight and you do them a disservice by shouldering it for them.
It’s natural to be afraid of suffering. Suffering is painful, arduous, and it’s not something one willingly walks toward (the exception being certain forms of Catholicism and sadomasochism—that not coincidentally often go hand in hand, but I’m sure you know all about it). Yet suffering is a great teacher and is often linked to some of life’s greatest pleasures; take love and witness what it asks of us. Some people spend their whole lives writing just one book. As one of Jenny Holzer’s projections states: Pain can be a very positive thing.
At the crossroads of experience and knowledge, in the dark you rely on your senses as best you can but there are times when you’ve got to press up hard against an edge to learn your limit. Your choices are these: you can find yourself lost in the senseless dark over and over, taking superficial risks to avoid emotional ones, waking up with bruises and learning nothing. Or, you can walk into the dark willingly and surrender to the eros of emotional risk knowing you might get your heart broken, knowing you might fail at the one thing you’ve dreamt of doing.
There’s intimacy in walking toward what scares you most and, in that intimacy, the possibility of freedom too.
When Venus is in Gemini it’s like Libra’s fun cousin is in from out of town and all she wants to do is stay up all night talking about everything or stay out all night getting into trouble after trouble after trouble. And, it’s not that Libra’s opposed to that sort of thing. Libra knows how to rally and she’s certainly invested in being the kind of host who shows her guests a great time.
It’s just that sometimes Libra gets so caught up in the limitations of things (think: finances, health, obligations) she finds it hard to figure out what’s self-imposed and what’s expected of her from others.
This can be a particularly difficult social quality since Libra has a tough time letting people down. Such a tough time, in fact, that she might actively push people away so as to avoid the whole mess altogether.
I’m only telling you this, Libra, in case it’s a pattern you know intimately, the one where your limitations take over your life rather than fortifying it. This month, spend time thinking about boundaries: the fear-based ones and the ones rooted in self-knowing. And when you’re done with all that thinking, take a walk outside. Note that the blue sky is what we see but what we’ve got is infinite space.
Here’s a fun fact you might’ve not considered: You don’t need to prove your love or worth to anyone. I mean, hear me out. I know this sounds like well-worn self-help knowledge and you’re probably sitting over there rolling your eyes but, honestly, I think it bears repeating. You don’t need to prove your love or worth to anyone.
You don’t need to put yourself second so that someone else feels like No. 1. The people you need in your life are the ones who thrive when you thrive. They want you to put yourself first, they trust that you are generous and will show up for them when you can. You don’t need to overextend, overcommit, or expend all your energy anticipating the needs of others. No amount of selflessness will grant you control over how others see you.
The truth is, those who are meant to see you for who you are will see you. You don’t need to rip your heart out of your chest and prove your suffering, your suffering is radiant and elicits concern but you don’t want concern. You want reciprocity but reciprocity can’t find you when all you do is give yourself away.
We’re all familiar with what it’s like to be down. How a miscommunication, a bad decision, an acute loss, can puncture our daily lives. Sadness can be rootless and amorphous or it can be a familiar wound that refuses to scab. Regardless, sadness changes the color of things, it numbs the mouth. We know how to recognize lack. What’s harder is knowing when you’re happy. Not drunk, not high off an adventure, not flooded with the endorphins of desire—just happy.
Could it be, Sagittarius, that you are happy? That the world, tragic and unjust as it is, has allowed you a sense of peace. Could that be reason why you’re feeling more yourself these days, more open to dreaming, more excited about the world in front of you?
It can be difficult to see past errands and arguments and parking tickets but maybe this is how happiness thrives, in concurrence with daily life, and maybe you’re afraid being happy means it’s time to close the book. Good news, Sagittarius, it turns out that being happy doesn’t mean the end of anything. Happiness sustains you as you close one chapter and begin another.
Every day you build the house. If it’s stormy weather, if rain soaks the back of your neck as you crouch on your heels smoothing concrete, you build the house. When the sun beats down and steam rises off the foundation, you build the house. Capricorn, you know you’ve got a long way to go but you know you’ve come a long way too. The person that you were before wasn’t ready for this kind of work but you’re ready now and you can’t concern yourself with those that offer false concern, who say “you build too much, you’ve got to rest.”
Some people don’t have the heart to rest and advice is easy to hand out but what you need is support. If they don’t offer their hands, their good work, what good have they got to offer you?
When you build your house, you mean to share it but it’s okay to build that house alone. It’s hard, but it’s okay.
Capricorn, it’s not your job to worry about filling space. What’s important is the integrity of the structure, the solid foundation, the intention of shelter. The work you’re doing now is a commitment you’re making to yourself. Any partner worth their salt will stand in awe of that commitment, will join you in pleasure of that work.
There are many ways to know yourself and none of them are through someone else. You understand this better than anyone and you’ve spent years excavating the tunnels of your making, the heavy metals of memory, the ancient artifacts of personal history. It hasn’t been easy, this exploration, it hasn’t been without pain and great loss. Still, there were moments of joy, of relief, of deep visceral recognition. There were moments of pounding loneliness, even in the company of loved ones.
To want to share the hardest parts of your journey with others is understandable but it’s not always possible. This is important to remember lest you take it as sign of abandonment. It’s not a question of love, of want, of commitment, it’s just that not everyone can walk your path because not everyone knows how.
Aquarius, if you’re lonely, it’s okay that you’re lonely. It’s okay even if you’re not single, even if your heart is heavy with love like an anchor. Loneliness doesn’t have to be emptiness. Loneliness can be a small pocket you place something beautiful in just to keep it safe.
Chiron’s in retrograde again and I’m sorry, Pisces. I know it can’t be easy housing the wounded healer for so long. I know you want your lessons to be done and, truthfully, there’s only so much any one person can take of crisis in the name of personal growth. You deserve a break, a sexy date, a camping trip, a reward for all the work you’ve done and that’s exactly what I want you to spend your summer doing. Let your healing manifest alongside your leisure. Be your own best company and be grateful for the times you are alone—these are the moments when the busyness of others has conspired to give you creative freedom. Use it well.
What you shouldn’t spend your time doing is focusing on everybody else’s lives and offering help where help’s not needed. Just because you’re willing to give everything up doesn’t mean you’re selfless. That’s not how love works.
You’ve got to know that self-avoidance is not the practice of a strong healer. You’ve got to know that you can’t take care of anyone under the condition that they distract you from taking care of yourself. You probably know all this but what if it’s time for a reminder? You should go for a long walk. You should make something new and share it only with yourself.