There must be some scientific fact that can explain the reason why the winter months this year felt 60 days long each while June flew by so fast it's not quite clear if it even happened. No, I'm sure it happened. I'm sure it happened because most of June felt like the first time our country's citizens were made acutely aware of the inhumane treatment imposed on those who seek refuge here; especially those who seek refuge from the gang violence and wars in South and Central America for which our country holds a lot of responsibility.
And, there are a lot of astrologers, a lot of people who study the sky, who know that the events occurring now—their irreparable cruelty—are part of a powerful shift intended to rupture the very foundation of how we live. Not because it hasn't happened before, but because it has. And, it's true that while winter was a shit show, it's also true that it's just now that the Supreme Court passed the travel ban, which serves as a death sentence to so many. It's true that a woman's right to choose her own life over one that doesn't even exist is in danger; it's also true that one would be hard pressed to find “pro-life" advocates donating to foundations which aim to keep asylum-seeking families together and out of detention centers.
All of it is true and still we mean to go on. How to reconcile days spent lolling at the beach or eating sliced apples on clean blankets in the park with these days of horror—which is also a kind of awe—with what humans are willing to put others through under auspices of a higher authority or the promise of a better wage? How to imagine our individual lives, our futures, pressed up against so many futures suppressed, disallowed, and revoked?
Whoever you are, wherever you are, know this: I wrote these horoscopes because I know that in times of suffering, those in danger still mean to make art, fall in love, go to the movies, wear that special dress. I wrote these horoscopes knowing that if you're in danger then I'm in danger. I wrote these horoscopes because I feel the revolution coming, because we are tethered, you in I, in the stars and in the streets.
It might surprise you to hear, Aries, that every Aries in my life has taught me something about the light. It might be of use to you in this moment, especially if you feel heavy with shadow, to remember the many ways you yourself have been a light worker. There is nothing wrong with sitting with our shadows, Aries, nothing wrong with recognizing where darkness resides in us. Darkness will show you what you hunger for and how deeply your hunger roots in you. Your darkness is a sacred and fertile place. Still, to believe that your darkness is total, to convince yourself that pain must be both your teacher and your prison, is to snuff out the fire of your curiosity. Eternal student, pain is only one of your teachers and if there is a prison within you then there is a ring of keys within you too and it chimes a freedom song.
What doors are you willing to unlock within you? What prison have you chosen for yourself? In your life, there are matters of circumstance and matters of habit. Circumstances change on their own but habits and cycles are either chosen or broken.
Aries, your Tarot card is The Emperor, and an emperor at his best always has a plan, understands his position, and knows how to navigate his power. An emperor can build prisons and abolish them. In this age of empire and its cruel ubiquitous reach, its valuable for us to think about power—where it comes from and how we use it. If you carry the energy of the emperor then you carry the energy of a chosen king. A chosen king is blessed by God and by his people; a good king means to serve both before he serves himself. To serve God, one listens for the call of lightness and walks with faith toward that call. And, yes, the Indigo Girls were right about one thing at least, “lightness is a call that’s hard to hear,” so listen: in the mortal realm, lightness is what lifts you up, what gives you forward meaning and refutes shame. When you allow yourself to hear it within you, you will hear it within your people and it will fill you with a supreme love for all your relations.
How often do you remember, dear Taurus, that your ruling planet is Venus? How often do you sit with the planet of love and her power over you? Love for all your relations, your living and your dead, love for warm and cold-blooded creatures, love for your native soil and love for a dream without borders. When Venus was in Leo, love fell from you like so many magnolia petals, thick and plentiful. Ancient and evergreen, you were right to be proud of your hard-won intimacies, right to be proud of the shelter you built so that you might offer shelter. Now that Venus will shift into Virgo and Uranus in Taurus demands earthly action, it’s time to figure out just how much of yourself you mean to offer others and where you draw the line.
Taurus, when you move toward your life, your body breaks a path through the tall wild grass so that your herd might follow. To walk ahead is to walk in the prayer of your elders and solitude is a part of that prayer.
In this world, even when you feel alone you are never alone. Turn around and see the hearts that follow your heart, patiently waiting for your word. Breathe deep the fertile terrain, the wet dark earth and warm gold grain. What’s animate is also with you and awaits your reverence. If you are wondering when life will offer returns for all your offerings, you are after the wrong returns. Today and every day, the world returns to you and shows you a new way to fall in love with it, even when your heart is exhausted, even when you’re not sure. You have work to do, Taurus, and it is larger than any institution that seeks to make contracts with you. You have work to do and it is work that might go unwitnessed by your peers but it will not be unfelt. Like the earth, the grass, the magnolia trees, you need not earn their love and respect through what you give them.
On the night of the full moon in Capricorn that closed June, I sat in my living room with a Gemini witch, striking black kitchen matches. We lit Cedar, Sage, and Palo Santo. We shuffled the cards, cut them, and shuffled again. I ran a Rose Quartz over the Celtic Cross, she sang along to Heart’s “What About Love.” The Tarot told us everything we already knew, the lessons we’ve been trying to be done with our entire lives: how to recognize that we’re already the people we’ve been hoping to become, how to reckon with the inheritance of loss, how to hold a cycle without spinning out in it. Even when what surfaces is expected, there is a pleasure in the cards, in looking again at the work before us like a spiritual checklist:
What have you done today in service to your highest self?
How will you play an active role in embodying who you feel yourself to be?
In what circumstances do you feel empowered to revoke consent?
You more than anyone know that you are not tied to story you were given. You have spent your whole life re-writing endings, changing songs, updating codes, beginning again in new countries and new relationships. Why should the story of your heart be any different? If there’s anything that those have hurt you taught you about yourself, let it be that you exist outside their opinions and their shadow—that you can step out anytime. Under the Strawberry Moon, suffused by the scent of holy wood and '70s rock goddesses wailing What about love? I only want to share it with you, we thanked the cards and each other. In this world, we get to choose who we allow to see us, who we trust with our hearts, who we sit with and work to witness wholly. Choose yourself, Gemini, as your first and best witness and be mindful of anyone you call in that tries to change that choice.
Over the weekend, with the sun coming down hot and giving me sunburns in designs I would have never predicted, I watched the tide come in on Riis Beach. Queers of all kinds took full advantage of our little slice of sandy queertopia, running into the choppy ocean topless, practicing handstands, kissing beard to beard. “I don’t think anyone has a particularly good time during Cancer season,” my friend said to me from across the blanket, “not even Cancers.” I had to admit that none of my Cancerian loved ones seemed to be having a particularly easy summer, if easiness is how we’ve come to measure goodness—which is not always the case but will often be. In fact, come to think of it, many of the Cancers in my life weren’t really having an easy year.
Perhaps, then, easiness would not suffice as a measure of goodness. At least, not in a world which asks us to choose so often between goodness and survival. Perhaps, goodness would be well measured by who it sustained and who it harmed, what it named as sacred and what it taught us to let go.
Cancer, as July sprawls before you heavy with emotional resonance, there’s not much to do but feel it all. In fact, with a partial Solar Eclipse occurring in your sign mid-month and a lunar eclipse at July’s end, you might find yourself flooding with all the eclipse season has to offer. Particularly sensitive to the moon’s magic, and especially charged by a partial Solar Eclipse in Cancers, Cancers everywhere would be wise to get their provisions ready. What provisions? You might ask. Provisions for recovering from your personal reckoning, provisions for dealing with hard truths and making hard choices, provisions for what is not always easy but what will ultimately serve your highest good. A cheap cabin rental with your BFF and some rom-coms or a stack of books to get lost in, perhaps?
Listen, it’s not Leo season yet but I can feel you pushing it. Maybe it’s because Mercury just slid into Leo or because the Sun is your ruling planet and it’s about to put on a celestial show, what with Eclipse season coming on, but I swear Leo energy is creeping right up on Cancer season like they’re dancing cheek to cheek. Actually, just making that comparison has me thinking about George Michael (one of my favorite Leonine Cancerians—Sun In Cancer, Moon in Leo) and that song of his “'I’m never gonna dance again. Guilty feet have got no rhythm. Though it's easy to pretend, I know you're not a fool.” It’s got me thinking about the vows we make to each other and to the world, how we ask each other to dance and choose who follows and who leads. The dancers depend on the music and each other, they learn to dance together or they are better off dancing alone.
Leo, on whom do you depend? Summer is the season you most often thrive in but something keeps getting between you and the rhythm. I can’t help but think that if you’re feeling off then your spirit could use a little tuning. That if you’re feeling off it’s because the world is off. Don’t you know that when the universe strikes a note all instruments resound?
It’s not Leo season, but isn’t it always kind of Leo season? Especially when a Leo enters the room or Mercury slides into Leo and then retrogrades. Lucky for everyone, Leo takes the role of audience as much as it takes the role of lead, channeling the position of the Sun each month. If you’re down, my love, if you keep losing sight of the stars that burn for you, let the watery moon energy of Cancer teach you something about love: how to collect it within you like a well to drink from, how to protect what you hold dear with steadfast humility. When the eclipses come, you will be called to step into the dance again, to make choice about who you are on this dance-floor we call life. You will be asked to play an active part in your life and be accountable for how that part plays out. Know that no outcome is predictable, that you can dance alone, you can lead, you can follow, or you can lean against the wall watching the magic unfold. No outcome is predictable but, Leo know this, even the most passive choice will have a powerful outcome.
Astrologer Renee Sills once described Venus in the natal chart as the ways in which one offers their sweetness to others. This month, with Venus hanging out in Virgo, I’m wondering about the ways in which you offer your sweetness to your world—your intimate circle and your larger circumference. I’m thinking about Virgo tenderness: your deft eye for the pleasures of others, your keen sense of aesthetic alignment, your care basket packed impeccably and shipped to arrive just in time when your ailing friend needs it most. With Mercury, Virgo’s ruling planet, in Leo, sweetness floods you and it is a proud sweetness—you mean to offer yourself to the ones who recognize the true meaning of your offering.
Venus in Virgo underscores what Virgos and the rest of the signs who love them already know: that a service-top loves good directions and strong boundaries. Anything less threatens the delicate balance of their offering, which thrives on choosing to fulfill a need which tethers their power acutely to their surrender. In the wider frame, the workforce, the troubled world, a Virgo wants to help and they want to help precisely. Like most everyone, they benefit from a sense of specialization, a sense that what they bring to the table is incomparable and of great demand.
A Virgo like you wants to be called in with respect and care, a Virgo like you will offer your best when you feel your best reflected back to you. Why shouldn’t you make demands of those who have so often been restored under your care? Why shouldn’t you expect recognition for the weight of your effort, an effort that not only envisioned the foundation but secured the support? Virgo, your sweetness deserves to fall on a knowing tongue. You have every right to demand a better audience.
Sometimes you’ve got to let go more than once. Sometimes, no matter how well you loosen your grip, what you wish to release won’t release you. Instead, it stays beside you, floating on an invisible tether only you can feel. To let go again, you’ve got to learn to see the tether for what it is, you’ve got to examine the energetic contracts you’ve made alongside the verbal and material agreements. An energetic contract can surprise you; often written long before the circumstance through which it speaks, an energetic contract means to transform you. Libra, you more than most know that transformation is not yoga retreats and linen trousers. Often, loss is required for transformation. Often, some parts must be destroyed.
Destruction can be scary for a Libra, a sign invested in social harmony and navigation of forgiveness, but even Libras know that there are moments when forgiveness won’t serve the forgiver. Or, at least, that whatever we were taught forgiveness looks like (a receiving of apology, a welcoming back into the fold) it will look otherwise to you. This month, call in your angels, your elders, your guides, and have a roundtable. Recount with them moments past when what was dear to you was also deadly, when you were taught the hard way why some things burn. Nothing that was lost has left you less whole. And, haven’t you found, time and time again, that beauty comes brilliantly through fire?
Let it be enough for you to remember that when one contract is broken, another one is written, and it is you who gets to set the terms this time. Let it be enough for you to remember that you are but one of many animals that is called to transform yourself regularly, to molt into a new self, knowing full well that somewhere between what was and what must be is death. It’s you that’s got to choose to live and you that’s got to let whatever is dying die.
Release isn’t always valve cranking open, a rush of water pounding through. Release can be an aloe slowly off-shooting roots and offering pups newly green through the soil. Release can be slow and purposeful, a practice in stepping further and further away from the truth you already know toward another kind of truth entirely. Release is euphoric when it’s immediate but practiced daily and with intention, it becomes a path toward sanity—a means toward clarity in all our communications and commitments.
If these past two years have taught you anything, it’s that when the large release won’t come, the slow one can be enough. You, with your assortment of self-criticisms and impossible standards, have had to learn again and again that healing is far from linear and success changes shape according the human who attempts it. Success might look and feel nothing like what our world has tried to teach us it is.
You are far from predictable, Scorpio, you are only half the stories you know about yourself and only a glimmer of the stories others have chosen to believe about you. When you release your hold on the story you’ve written about what your future self should look and act like, you allow yourself a wider range of possibilities. With Jupiter finally out of Retrograde motion on July 10th, your forward motion will begin to return to you. When you are not called to act in community, in protest and in celebration, let these next couple of weeks be weeks suffused with thoughtful solitude. Write more, record what is recently past and its collection of impacts. July is for sitting with gratitude and making an action plan.
This morning, over coffee, you asked me if these horoscopes will have a theme. Last month’s theme was love, you offered, what will this month be? I said, I think the theme is always love but I think of love widely—that kind that springs out of sex and the kind of love you cultivate for what you are called to create in the world. Still, sucked in by intellectual pursuit, as I am prone to do near you, I started looking for the secret string that might weave this work together. What I’ve come to, after nine signs in, is the word inheritance. Inheritance has, both visibly and invisibly popped up in most of these horoscope meditations. Inheritance is what I’m thinking about as I write this note to you.
This month you are being called to do your work and that call comes from every direction. Surrounded by omens and synchronicities, you will find your poetic memory heavy with daily collection and aching to be emptied out onto the page. Newly occurring images and sounds will resonate with your ancestral knowing, will drop a bucket in the well where all your meanings are made. Circumstances will fall into place so that you might be placed before your own personal grindstone. This energy means to be used by you, Sagittarius, this energy is moving through you as you read this.
It would be safe to say that the end of Jupiter Retrograde might have something to do with it. It would stand that a full moon in Capricorn really makes a Sagittarius reckon with the course of their own trajectory. It would not be unheard of to imagine that this coming eclipse season might have Sagittarians digging a little deeper into the drive behind their impulses and their repulsions. What’s cosmic, Sagittarius, is the web that threads these celestial events and the history of their occurrence. It’s the same web that pushes a needle through your personal history and cinches it a little closer to the place where your name is stitched. Be proud of the steps you have taken to get where you are as well as the direction you are bounding toward. Your personal work is the place where your inheritance gains value. Whatever wealth has meant before, it must mean something entirely new now.
Everyone knows that you’ve got a lot to offer. Everyone knows that you might just be the best person for the job. The hitch is that it doesn’t matter what everyone knows, it only matters what you recognize within yourself, what expectations you intend to meet, what limits you’ve set for the sake of your own safety. Capricorn, you’ve been rolling that rock up the same hill day in and day out like a god has damned you do it. If you love that rock so much, you might want to do something with it that moves you away from bitterness and resentment. You might want to roll that rock towards home or an open plain so that you can revel in the power of it rather than sweat beneath its weight.
What I mean is, if you expel all your power and energy trying to change the way others relate to you, you never really get a chance to experience the pleasure of working with and building with people that value and cherish your effort.
You can’t change what people see, or even how they treat you, by proving yourself based on the rubric of some invisible standard. The only thing you can change is your boundaries, what you’re willing to do for love, what you’re willing to take for the team, what you have ascertained is your fair share of the work. With June’s full moon in Capricorn behind us, Mars Rx weaving in and out of your sign, Saturn Rx taking up residence full term, and Pluto—that old ice blue ghost—kicking up old insecurities for the long haul, what you’re experiencing is not new to you. It’s fear-based, it’s the avoidance of a rebirth, it’s the maintaining of an old story passed down to you that disrupts your power. The thing is, Capricorn, these celestial influences might be old and the stories you’ve inherited even older, but you are a new season. You are ready to take up space in this life, to choose which rock you commit your body to and which way that rock rolls, or if it even needs rolling at all.
If you call a dear one crying, dear Aquarius, they will pick up the phone. If you lost your wallet, your id, your sense of dignity, your language in the heat of the moment… They will listen to you tell them how it all went down. They will listen because they choose to listen, because before they met you they drew a circle and you were in it. They will listen and they will give you their soft words but it is not because you owe each other. Intimacy is a contract made without obligation, it rejects pre-assigned benchmarks, it is not always equal or fair but it always looking for a way to be kind—even when it misses the mark.
Your ruling planet, Uranus, in Taurus is proud, stubborn, and invested in turning over the dirt until the Earth is breathless with life. It will push until it hears the answer it wants. It is willing to push so hard it pushes away. Uranus in Taurus wants to know what makes a person feel secure and strong and resolved. In its RX shadow period, Uranus in Taurus needs help choosing community over isolation, revolution over coping mechanisms. Uranus in Taurus knows its place in the ecosystem, hears the heartbeat beneath the Earth, feels the suffering of animals and humans alike. When this influence pushes through you, when it is retrograde, when there is a lunar eclipse in Aquarius that awaits you, it’s time to reckon with your shadow self—the opacity of it—how you wrap the veil so well you forget what’s underneath.
If intimacy is what you’re after, Aquarius, you’ve got it. This universe boasts intimacies of many forms and they are all within your possibility. Consider they friends you call, consider the mountains reflected in the water and how that too is a landscape If you ache for beholding, for witness, for being seen on your own terms, consider the ways you allow the world to behold you. Consider the terms you agree to when you commit your time to a place that seeks to use you, when you allow someone to adorn you with the wrong name.
What if the remedy is a good time, Pisces? What if what you need, deep in your heart of oceanic hearts, is to figure out what makes you feel good all the way through and do that for a long, long, time? It’s not that you don’t know how to party, you’re no stranger to getting wild, to claiming “no regrets” when you’re well on your way toward making some new ones. You like the water when it’s dark, you like the way what hides beneath the surface chooses to reveal itself. And, it’s not that the dark is the problem, Pisces, since you revel in the unknown and how known it feels with you. It’s just that you might be more permeable and more easily swayed than you’re willing to admit. You might have let someone convince you or you might have convinced yourself that what feels good now is good enough for you.
But, what if it’s not good enough? What you could feel better than you’ve felt in a long time? Regret is the not only indicator of a choice that need not be made again, not when you have intuition as powerful as yours, Pisces. All these eclipses will have the tides on alert and you are no exception to the mood.
If there’s a commitment you made this summer that has you feeling uneasy, consider the power of your word—when keeping it with regards to someone else’s experience is akin to breaking your own personal contracts with yourself. If there’s a plan you’d much rather make with yourself, make that plan this month. If this project has someone else’s name all over it, you should give it to them instead. If the care you offer to someone close to you is not replenished with care, offer care to yourself instead. The first and deepest betrayal is the one we commit against our own selves so, as Janis Joplin once said, “Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got.”