This month starts off slow and moody like we knew it would. What else can one expect when the sun is in Pisces and Mars is in Taurus? Mercury Retrograde helps no one along, inspiring us to either confuse our exes or keep our mouths shut entirely lest something too revealing falls out. Meanwhile, Venus moves into Aquarius and is happy to freak around town practicing high emotional expectation coupled with intellectual emotional detachment—a confusing and stimulating challenge. The new moon is in Pisces this month, of course, and if you're not crying enough about the past, you can spend some time crying about the future. The tenor of your crying—its relationship to a kind of sentimental sweetness—is entirely up to you and your meditation practice.
Meanwhile, Chiron has firmly anchored itself in Aries, and many of us are praying that this is the beginning of the destruction of the cis-hetero-patriarchy. Hearing after hearing has shown us that perpetrators protect each other and their influence can be felt all the way down to the molten core of this country. Perhaps, then, Chiron is right where he should be in Aries—the molten core of the Zodiac—and it'll be a long time before the wounded healer's work is done.
For the ones of us who have survived and aim to keep doing so, our patience has gotten us this far and I pray it sees us through.
Maybe you read somewhere, when you were a child, that only boring people are boring—and held onto that as a self-protective mantra. And, maybe it worked for you. Maybe your commitment to your own becoming, your fierce self-direction, your irreverent force, propelled you forward when longing for companionship nipped at your heels. Maybe, from your perspective, boredom wasn't just a lack of imagination, it was weakness, and weakness was to be transcended at all costs. If some or all of this is true, if it's not boredom, or, rather, it's not loneliness—if it's yearning, if it's grief, if you have spent your most potent years outrunning what makes you feel vulnerable. Well, have you outrun it?
I've never seen a child act more interested or activated after being told that their longing is only a sign of their failing imagination. I have never seen shaming or scolding result in a deeper sense of accountability, agency, or self-worth. It's those things we're after, isn't that so? As children and as adults.
To hear our inner voice clearly so that we might listen to it, to have resources enough to tend to our weaknesses without fear that we will lose what gives us strength. It's hard to take responsibility for the ways we fail ourselves and the ones we love, unless we have a sense of our innate self-worth, a belief that we can do better because we are better. As Chiron makes a nest in your sign this month and your old hurts vibrate brighter in your young heart, pushing you to self-isolate, you might feel far from your creative self. This isn't a coincidence. No matter how wild and wonderful the solitude of your imaginative world is, we create to connect and communicate.
What's that line? Without tenderness, we are in hell. You can't outrun yourself all your life, Aries, and you're probably exhausted from trying. Try a little tenderness with what makes you feel weak instead, try looking at what hurts you with sweetness rather than scorn.
There's an extra burden in being a fixed sign rooted in Earth's energy, and that is the burden of presentation. You, more than most people, know what it's like to feel your foundation crumbling, your tectonic plates shifting, your stream beds eroding, and—yet—on the surface, you give off the steadiness of mountains. In most cases, this works for you. You move through the world wearing the mountain and people come to you to see the bigger picture. This gives you a sense of purpose. You are the god of bigger pictures, so you must know there's always more than one. For instance, the picture of integrity—all things alive working in concert to bring you here at this very moment of tension and transformation. And, the picture of chaos—all things alive unpredictable, uncontrollable, and subject to change.
My friend Karina noted to me recently that so many Russian songs have a woman making a pilgrimage to a mountain top. It's worth noting that all of us, no matter our sign, seek stillness and perspective. You don't need to see those things Taurus, you are those things.
That's why, this month, it might do you well to remember people seek perspective in order to plan a course of action. Mars moving in Taurus might be slow and steady, but it means to be intent on where it's going. It means to make a definite and defining move toward power. Power is all around you, Taurus, and you shouldn't be afraid of it. What you've seen in the hands of dictators and bullies was not power—it was violence. Power is life-force, love, cosmic justice, that truth when it is uttered without fear. And, the truth is, you can mine your past for lessons all day long, but if you don't set your eyes on what it is you're after, you won't see where you're walking, and you'll find yourself making circles around a mountain. This month, look forward.
It's only March, Gemini, even if it feels like you've lived a year since the end of December. The changes you started making at the close of 2018 were small seeds and now they're all around you, flourishing into real living aspects of your life. Are there people surrounding you now that were strangers only months ago and have suddenly transformed into family? Conversely, have you actively chosen to distance yourself from people in your life who were once part of your most intimate trusted circles? Maybe this is obvious but, when you invest in yourself with time, attention, and intent, when you focus all that creative energy you so generously pour onto others toward your own self, you get to know yourself again.
And, getting to know yourself means registering what feels forced to you, and false. It means reckoning with the ways in which you might have lived rejecting what is sacred to you, times that you chose the safety of bonds that expected less of you so that you might act like less.
The seeds you planted are the garden you care for now, slowly and with no guarantees. You show up, you watch for growth, you fortify the walls of the hothouse, you wait for your season. As for the self you've been getting to know, the one emerging out from layers self-doubt and perhaps shame, trust her to arrive in her own sweet time. You don't have to craft her image before you start becoming her. You are already becoming your next iteration. The more you work to describe her, expect her, and decode her inner workings, the more you limit her. No book, no class, no track is more valuable to your growth than simply being present, witnessing your choices and their reasons, and allowing the future-self space to materialize.
While February got your creative gears turning, March is here to remind you that community matters, friendship matters, and intimacy matters, even if it doesn't attend to the larger issues that you're facing. While taking workshops, classes, or planning collaborations is a great way to feed some of your social hunger, it might not satiate your need for human connection and companionship. Your work is important, yes, and don't think for one second it's not obvious that you have been busting your butt getting projects off the ground. Your labors and your tenacity are valid, visible, and valuable. Put those three V words in your mouth and savor them.
Being a cardinal sign can be an empowering thing, a moving thing. These past few months, you have used your generative power to honor your vision. You've doubled down on yourself even when the world filled you with doubt, even when you were not sure. Often, this meant a great deal of time toiling and an even greater time alone. The month, this new moon, this lunar node access is here to remind you that your work is a means toward living your life, Cancer, but it isn't your whole life.
It's not enough to say you miss people, so make concrete plans. Dare yourself to reach out first, to set the date, to walk across the bridge and sit with someone you trust who you can cry with, someone with whom you can lift the veil of exhaustion and anger to reveal the well of fear from which you have been taught to drink. Allow others to witness you so that you might see yourself—your strength—reflected in their eyes. There are some things only loved ones can teach us about ourselves. "There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep," wrote Adrienne Rich, "and still be counted as warriors."
Today I'm wondering about the patterns of the Earth and how we mirror them. I'm thinking about the ocean as a life-giver and as humanity's dumping ground. A whole world unknown to us—rich with life that is ancient and wiser than us—and we fill it with poison. People with a lot of water in their heart seem to carry this betrayal, this cycle of non-reciprocity. Earthy people, too, move with a sense of finality—protective and punitive with their boundaries. And, fire? Fire lays siege to California's coast, its wealth. Fire cleanses the forest for new life, but fire can become an unwieldy force, fueled by carelessness, climate crisis. Fire sprints like it's got to burn everything in sight before the story is done.
Leo, where does fire live in you? Your warmth, your radiance, yes. Your heat, magnetism, ineffable desire: a gift for burning. All those things are smoke around the source.
Tell me about the source, Leo, your anger, your rage, your active resistance to a world that is not beautiful, is not mad with beauty. When it is self-aware, when it is courageous, your anger is the fire that brings forth the phoenix of change. When it is born of insecurity, projection, your anger takes the place of your grief, setting fire to that which sustains you.
There is power where your sadness lives, there are keys inside your grief about who you want to be, I think you know this. Even when you conceal your needs from others, even when you guard yourself from being known, you must have a sense that what you guard is not weak—it is sacred. When you spend time alone, you can hear the wisdom at the core of your anger—your heart. So, this month, spend time actively listening. Especially when you're alone, especially when you'd rather check out. What's sacred in you wants to be nurtured, not burned.
Did last year's frenetic energy set the pace for this year, Virgo? Did you run into 2019 with your tank near empty and your bank account demanding the receipts? Perhaps February was a month of reckoning for you, a month where 28 days felt like standing in line at the DMV until your legs buckled and you found yourself half-expecting to walk out the doors and be in any city in America. It's not easy to secure your livelihood, it's not easy to show up and do the damn thing. And, the unfortunate truth is, we don't mature into it, we acquiesce to the rigors of the material world—its banal necessities.
Still, there must be something beyond the check marks, the job acceptances, contracts, and inevitable accolades. There must be something you're after, Virgo, that has nothing to do with security or sustenance and everything to do with your brilliant singular vision.
You know, they say there's no point in making new plans and no point in starting new projects when Mercury goes retrograde. Mercury is your lord and, in Pisces, Mercury's messaging is best left on read. Consider, then, returning to an old project that really needs your attention—your well-being. I'm talking top to bottom. Body and mind, heart and spirit. I'm talking more than a workshop, and more than the self-improvement aisle in the bookstore. Do you have a therapist? Do you have a ritual practice? Do you feed your body what it needs? Do give your muscles a chance to stretch and grow? Do you show up for yourself like you would for someone you love?
Sometimes, each of the signs will speak a different language to me. Sometimes the aspects weave very different narratives, and sometimes these differences are superseded by a collective need: the need to return to the body as the staging ground for resistance. This is ultimately a Piscean need and a Piscean wisdom. What do I mean by resistance in this case? I mean resisting the narrative that we must make ourselves beautiful, that we must take care of others before we take care of ourselves, that rest is a luxury, that expressing anger or pain will make us unlovable. That we must choose between protecting ourselves and having the kind of community one might call family.
To resist this messaging, to look at yourself unadorned like you might look at beloved in the morning when they are unguarded and radiating beauty. To produce less and sleep more so that you might be fully present in your making hours to the world and its abundance. To express a firm "no," to love yourself more than you fear abandonment. This is your work, Libra, and your magic. In claiming it, you lead the way for others.
But, how does that translate to the everyday? We can't always be brave, we can't always make ourselves a full meal. Start by being present. If you don't celebrate the ways you're growing, trying, expanding right this very moment, who will do it for you? When was the last time you gave yourself flowers? When is the last time you took yourself to see a movie? Give yourself a night where all your minutes are accounted for—a date with yourself for yourself—a night where you touch every part of your body and say, "Thank you for teaching me who I am, even if it hurts."
It would be a just world if healing were linear. We would move out of harm, through pain, and into recovery like flaming arrows flying through a waterfall into a cavern where all good things stay safe. What would await us in that cavern? A boundless world of pleasure? Indisputable truth? A compass for right and wrong that is never broken, always guiding us. I wish that it were so, Scorpio, I really do. A just world, the hope of a final unbroken self, would give so many of us something concrete to live for, a big reason to keep going through it, whatever "it" is.
There are other reasons to keep going, don't you think? Hasn't the world offered you proof, time and time again, that your heart is a good heart? That you're meant for something bigger than you can see? You don't get to know everything, Scorpio, and that's a blessing.
We can't have the unbroken self just like we can't have the unbroken world. We were born onto violated land, violence is our inheritance. But, so is resilience, the way seaweed absorbs radiation, the mysterious fuzz of pussy willows that stays on even in winter. There's always some point in the day when the sky is an impossible color and the sun streams into a quiet room. Even if you're not there, joy has visited you and left its calling card. Joy is gathering for you little by little in this chaotic world, and it will be ready when you're ready. There's no rush.
You never cease to amaze me, the many ways you work around a problem, how you break bad habits as quickly as you spot them. Just the other day I was talking to a Sagittarius I adore, who said, "I realized I was watching too much TV, so I started going to bed earlier and waking up earlier, now I live a whole life before darkness falls." Another Sagittarius gives me a full rundown of her hours: "First, I'm finishing this cup of coffee, then I'm heading over to a steam room. After I come back, I'll do one freelance task and follow it up with an invoice. After that, therapy, and then submitting to literary magazines and finally an exercise class." When I tell her she's attending to every aspect of her human condition, she says, "I really am."
If these Sagittarians are making you feel a little behind in self-development, don't worry, they are two people who have both had a lot of therapy. Not all of us are so lucky. Besides, the admiration I feel for Sagittarian tenacity is only matched by my incredulity that they can spend so much time seeking self-improvement and yet somehow ingeniously subvert opportunities for real healing at every turn.
My friend says it's a true conundrum, she says it's because centaurs are skittish. I think that it might be because you're too clever for your own good, because you've already written out a story for how you'll feel on the other side before you've taken the time to get there. This month, the stories you've been relying on will not serve you as they so often have. You might find yourself more willing, more open and ready, to retrace your steps and revisit a self you convinced yourself you'd left behind long ago when you went out in search of bigger answers.
If you take this opening seriously, if you walk back, you might find that there is a power in your past self that you couldn't see before and when you see it, you can have it back.
I know it's still winter and winter is your season for as long as it lasts, even when it snows in April. Snow queen, king of the dead woods, to imagine the weight of your love is to witness a wall stacked floor to ceiling with mason jars full of stone fruit, preserved and glistening, a song of survival. It's a gorgeous song, and the crisp cold air makes the honeyed hew of your offering shine vibrant. Still, it's worth noting that it's no longer canning season and, although temperatures are still cold on the Eastern seaboard, we live in a time of trade and hothouses. We live in a world where the art of apricot jam and orange marmalade is made less precious by out-of-season fruit unfreezing in big box stores, and pears packed in boxes like jewels.
It's good that you know how to prepare for the hard times. It's magic that you have stores of all the needful things in case your loved ones need them. It's admirable that you work so hard so much and so proudly for the world you want. But, the world doesn't need you to work yourself down to the bone, and you are of no use to anyone when you break your back over your broken spirit.
It's not that your work doesn't matter either, Capricorn. It does. Even if there are simpler ways to go, even if there are other people doing the same thing differently. Your work matters just as much. There is no dearth to our hunger for what other human beings create. You make it, we want to taste it. We need you, but we need you whole and centered, charged. And, it's not that all work and no play makes you dull—it doesn't. What it does do is make you forget what all your work is for. Not to prove your value to someone else, not even to prove your value to yourself, but to create a small world within this world—a noble thing, an uncorrupted thing—and protect it with your life.
What does it mean to be the wind that bears the water? A wave is always forming, never final. What makes it fixed? A commitment to cycles? Wind has a purpose, it was born knowing its task, just like you. Knowing your work, your deepest purpose, is more than most of us can say. What you're here to do, what you're here to carry, it's not news to you—it's a vision board. And, "vision" is the word this month for many of the other signs, Aquarius, as Pisces energy floods us from both the Sun and the new moon. Vision, creative direction, it flows over you too—of course, it does, how could it not? It's just that what flows over you won't sustain you, won't nurture you, it'll only give you the illusion of form (here we return to the wave).
Try to remember that the wave is only one of your forms. Try to remember that you are also clouds, snow storms, the relief of a monsoon over Arizona, the prayer for rain over California. Try to remember that no matter how limited this material plane makes you feel, your spirit is unlimited.
Venus is in Aquarius this month, beauty comes to you without root or owner—like flowers harvested from god knows where. You can rest in the beauty of those flowers, Aquarius, you can get stoned off the rootlessness of things and this would be in line with the Pisces forces that surround you. But, Aquarius, you know that there is story to those flowers—you know that there's injustice somewhere at root. Don't be afraid to turn away from your vision board and seek the answers of your roots. What emotional inheritance follows you like a dark cloud you've mistaken for your own body? Detachment is powerful when it gives you strength, detachment is a liability when it keeps you from yourself.
For many people, the month or so that the Sun spends in your sign can be a magical time, a big light coming on. The Sun's energy is vital and life-giving, it can give us a sense of our own power and potential. It can show us where the horizon is and how time works us over until we are new again. When the Sun shines over the water, surface levels are revealed. What was murky and dark becomes an aquatic scene—schools of fish, plankton, sea life. March, too, can work you over like this, revealing the intricacies of your schedule, the depth of your commitments, the small intimacies of your routine. March can, in many respects, show you where your energy leaks out of bad habit and where it flows when you are in alignment.
March can help you visualize the "what" of your days, but it can't show you the "why." Much like the Sun can only illuminate the shore and never the depth. The "why" is something you'll have to seek out for yourself, if you're seeking it, and I think you are.
Separation isn't easy for you, Pisces, but it is natural. Just as quickly as the universe flows through you so does it flow past. Attachment is something you practice in service to Love, but your affection moves around anchors and away from them. Your new life lies ahead of you and, if you move forward like it's possible to find something, someone, some path that honors your dreams and your purpose here in this lifetime, then you will find it. This is how visualization works, how prayer works, how healing works.
This month, while the vital light of the sun spills and refracts over you, let what you witness in your daily life inform what you wish to see in your near future. Try on your ambitions like one might try on a new pair of glasses: Check for fit, check for accuracy, check for style, and make the necessary adjustments.