The dog days of summer are upon us dear readers, and so are the auspices of the star of Virgo. While some summer babes might be chasing the last rays of hot light, those of us who worship autumn know that the spin of the wheel is a beautiful thing.
It's no coincidence that Virgo season lines up so cleanly with harvest time, since harvest is just as much about sorting and conserving as it is about pleasure and feasting. While the new Moon, Mercury, Venus, and the Sun only aspect Virgo during the first two weeks of September, Mars stays in Virgo the whole way through, ensuring that we don't forget what it feels like when we apply ourselves so wholly to what we do that we make it a part of us. This energy emerges in every aspect of human life. At our squash-filled dinner tables, our towns flooded with new students, our workdays re-energized with new contracts, and our wardrobes enriched with emerald and ochre tones. There are other transits and aspects at play, as there always are, and it's lovely to feel more and more the possibilities that Jupiter direct can offer us.
Saturn, too, ends her retrograde this month—which might have some of our cardinal signs feeling a little more grease under their wagon wheels. A full Moon in Pisces will give us all a chance to remember why it is we are here and what we hope to do with all that we know now, a chance to reconnect with the parts of ourselves that are not defined by our jobs but, rather, by our calling. And, a new moon in Libra—amplified by Venus in Libra and Mercury, too—will remind us that whatever we hope to accomplish, we don't have to do it alone. Listen to the song of insects as the air changes, watch the patterns of bird formations enlarge as the light dims. We are all in this together.
Everyone wants to believe that they are good at their core; that the work they do is necessary, that the love they offer someone else is love that person can use. Human instinct toward connection is powerful, human desire to affirm our role in the web of relations is even more so. After all, we were raised in a culture that asks us to prove ourselves by what we accomplish—it should only follow that many of us get stuck on the idea that any personal failure we experience is a direct reflection of a failure to prove our worth or, perhaps achieve worth.
But, there is no way to achieve worth, is there Aries? Humans aren't sterling silver cutlery, laying around from some bygone era and accruing value based on the singularity of their make and provenance. People aren't secret paintings reflecting some well-known artist's little-known experimental period. We don't sit around waiting for a keen eye and a knowing appraisal.
People have an inherit worth, whether they are raised to believe that they do or not.
You, my dear Aries, do not need to prove your value or goodness to anyone. Besides, the challenge of "proving" yourself is often one-sided. Feelings of low self-worth are so painful and they can be a heavy fog to lift. In relationship, in collaboration, it feels so much better to reach across the divide of consciousness and ask for what you need: affirmation and clarity. Asking directly for what you need is a sign of strength and the first step toward integrity. In what ways do I make your life better? In what ways do I challenge you? Do you feel that our connection is strong? Is my communication style compatible with yours? The only thing you can fail to do in this framework is to listen and act responsively. And, even if you falter, even if you fuck it up, your core worth remains. Your goodness is always yours, always there. It's up to you to learn how to access it and offer it in a way that feels good and right for you.
Sometimes being sweet to yourself requires a different kind of work. Sometimes self-care has got to be more than swaddling yourself in blankets and watching four hours of The Office. Not that there's anything wrong with rest or even indulging in recumbence when your body needs time and space to feel restored. It's just that oscillating between working yourself to the bone and sinking into a veggie-state trains your body to believe that you can either feel everything or nothing, you can either be a productive machine or a powered down robot.
You are not a machine, dear Taurus. You're not here on this Earth to produce for others or mindlessly consume. You are a sensual animal who craves beauty and purpose. The combination of those two drives is harmony. At your most attuned and energized, you are a purveyor of harmony. Harmony between the conventions expected of us and the singular power of our personal expressions, harmony between the natural world and man-made elegance. Harmony is something you offer your landscape and harmony is something you would do well to offer yourself.
Is there a rose garden where you are, dear Taurus? Is there a farmer's market where you can choose, with your discerning eye, the most delightful and delicate ingredients for a dinner that you make just for yourself? Is there an old friend you could ask to tea, with whom you can talk over two beautiful cups of amber liquid and perhaps some scones and clotted cream? Indulgence doesn't have to lack presence. In fact, you might find that acts of sweetness which require you to show up, to be vulnerable, or to actively attune to your senses are acts that offer up a different kind of restoration, the kind that gives you're the peace to walk steadily between extremes.
It's the time of the year again, Gemini. It's time to put all that you've learned to use. The onset of autumn can be a difficult time for many, thanks to the sudden drops in temperature, the changing quality of light. But, for someone as proactive and adaptive as you, the approach of a new season can signal new opportunities—opportunities to try out a whole new version of yourself, opportunities to approach life in ways you didn't know you could before.
What will it be like, do you think, to experience this season as if it is entirely new? How is the harvest different this year? How have your hands changed? Across this country, the young and the old return to classrooms. They buzz with the anticipation of new tools for learning, with the alchemy that is teaching. The feeling of walking through the school supplies section of a department store, the volume slowly turning up on a sleepy town. Even if you are not one of them, their energy, their excitements and their anxieties, will reach you.
This energy, this buzz, flows into you and through you, Gemini, and it will serve you well to make of yourself a funnel or an elegant pen. To collect what pours in and release it with great precision and purpose toward your intended direction. To have faith that whatever you learn this time around, whether you are the teacher, the student, or the audience, will be of value and importance. Trust your creative output, trust your desire to begin again, trust that it will different this time because you are different and that is a beautiful thing.
Your season might be long behind you but your year is just beginning, sweet Cancer. The Jewish people, who are *ahem* the people of the moon, welcome the new year at the end of September this year with an apple dipped in honey and something like an acorn (symbolizing a habit they hope to break) cast into the nearest body of water. You don't have to be Jewish to believe that a new cycle begins in the fall. You can smell the air in the Northeast, its crispness like an apple's flesh, or feel the dry heat condense and settle over the Southwest. You can look up at a Midwestern sky and see its edges tinge that soft darkening lilac, a little earlier every day. You can embrace that, like the moon changes with each new cycle, so do you with each new season.
And, speaking of the moon, the moon will be full in Pisces mid-month. A sign whose energy, at its most potent and powerful, encourages us to understand the limitless possibility of connection between all beings—our interdependence across time and space. Pisces teaches us that we are not separate from our experiences, that what we are is what we call to us, and who we surround ourselves with is an extension of how we relate to ourselves.
The moon in Pisces gives you the opportunity to revisit what you believe about yourself and you place in this world, it gives you the opportunity to feel just how limitless you are—not only in your perceived capacity to nurture (we all know that no one is truly limitless when it comes to how much of themselves they give away) but also in your ability to receive and foster nurturance. Your new shell expands, Cancer, and fills with water while you grow into it. Your new life has some much needed room for sweetness and connection, for eros and for healing touch.
A lot of mindfulness teachings ask us to be present if we want to alleviate our own suffering. That act of physically being somewhere, of looking around and saying, "I'm here," or "I'm glad we're all here," can feel like a kind of presence and, truth be told, somedays even that amount is hard to accomplish. Life is can be such a hustle sometimes and getting your coin can place you in direct conflict with your sensual awareness. Imagine me writing in a strange bed in the middle of Joshua Tree. My friend is sleeping not six feet away, and her breathing is deep. There's a fan whirring over us and outside the door people are stirring. The house is white and full of beige accents, a cool reflection of the 102° desert with its tufts of gold. I want to feel all of this but my body is mostly a computer stand, my neck tight, my mind riding the waves of anxiety, and my spirit is reaching up in the ether to connect with you.
You can be working hard, aligned with your purpose, and still feel far from yourself and the people you love. It's important to remind yourself that in a culture where productivity and popularity (how often you're invited somewhere, how often you feel in line with your peers) are used to measure your success, you will be trained to forget the miracle of a singular connection and the magic of making even one thing that feels authentic to you.
In a culture that measures you by your ability to output and plug in but rarely affirms your humanity, it's your job to cultivate a personal sense of awe. Awe that you get to feel deep connection with people, even if you can't always be around them. Awe that your body has been with you your whole life—changing as you change. That your body now was once a child's body and now, what is it? What does it do for you and what can you do for it? Awe that you are alive, that you can take one deep breath, fill up your lungs, and then release it. And that this has something to do with trees. Awe that you have a mind that is a powerful machine, a machine you can train and teach new things every day.
While Virgo "season" might have started in late August, the energy of several planets transiting Virgo at this very moment is only getting more and more powerful. Mercury, planet of information and communication (your ruling planetary body) transits Virgo until mid-month when it moves into Libra. You might feel your style of communication and love language amped up and affirmed, especially with Mars in Virgo as well. If there's a hoop that calls to you at this moment, Virgo, shoot your shot. This advice goes for flirtation and expressions of affection as well since Venus is in Virgo until mid-month. People are moved to and moved by acts of service so your excellent presence will be admired and appreciated. Your efforts will last well past the shift into Libra since Libra energy loves to affirm collaboration and connection.
Sappho, too, is moving into Virgo and that means reciprocity between people who are in service to the feminine divine are heightened for you right now. Just as Saphho wrote almost all her odes to Aphrodite, you, too, are welcome to imagine that the goddess of love walks with you now and blesses you whenever you extend yourself toward that which is feminine outside and within you. Feel free to pick up a string instrument, my friend.
Speaking of asteroids, while Mercury, Mars, Venus, and of course the Sun transiting your sign might boost your sense of your own magic and power, Juno's transit in Virgo can be a double-edged sword. Juno, is a loyal and devout energy, great for getting projects of the ground and relationships back on their feet. But, she is also a goddess who was driven to jealousy by a lecherous violent god. Do your best, dear Virgo, to pivot away from comparison. Honor your own power by regarding it as entirely singular.
While some of these summer babies might be mourning the loss of long days and warm nights, you and I think both know that autumn is where it's at for you. Whether you're an easily recognizable social butterfly or an introvert with deep set social graces, summer can take a toll on a Libra who's driven to hustle hard, yet uncomfortably aware of any and all fun she might be missing. Not that you're necessarily more afflicted by FOMO than others, it's just that you treasure the communities you create and you're sensitive to the levels in your well of inspiration—when it's overflowing and when it's running dry.
September alleviates the pressure of summer fun and the loneliness of summertime blues. Virgos prioritize structure and routine and they pave the way for what you love most: bountiful meals with your chosen family, crisp slow walks through the park, and nights inside making beautiful things while the air turns cold.
I remind you of all this because it can get easy to get swept up in what you'll miss and forget just how much you're looking forward to. It can feel like you're the last dog chasing those dog days of summer lest you miss your one chance to feel joyful and free. You won't. Joy is inside you, changing shades and putting on its leather boots.
There are many ways to come into your power and very few of them feel good at first. For you, as for many people who were called to grow up way before your time, strength has come through the loss of perceived power. What you were handed, resilience and coping mechanisms, were tools that served you for a time and made you feel indestructible. Surely, much of this year has taught you that those tools were not actually parts of your core self, that they could be put down, that you don't have to pride yourself on surviving when you're something bigger and greater is available to you.
But, to step outside of long-ago learned protective patterns can feel like opening your fist and walking open palmed into a battle: vulnerable—even stupid.
It's not stupid to believe that you are strong enough to face what you're afraid of. It's not stupid to let yourself rely on people, to bet on your big idea, to love people, or, conversely, to accept that love without respect is not enough for you and can never be. Scorpio, is your fortress has been feeling like a cage, there's only one way to find out how free and strong you can be.
We spend most of our lives preparing for difficult moments, for moments when it might be hard to hold onto our faith or our belief in our power. If we're lucky, we have elders who work hard to prepare us for rainy days with wise words and emotional support. Still, rare is it to meet a person who has been raised or raised themselves to prepare for the moments when the good in our lives feels too good to be true.
It makes sense, dear Sagittarius, that when the good times come, it can feel hard to hold them. Especially if they come framed by difficulty. Beauty and joy, it appears, happen regardless of the hard times.
Remember, wild-hearted one, that you deserve pleasure. You deserve to enjoy your life even if—especially if—your life has some tough lessons to teach you about advocating for yourself and letting other people define your boundaries for you. Whatever feels good for you right now, let it. I promise you we all learn our lessons better when we're having fun.
You know how to work hard, I know that, and you know how to double down and stick it out when the going gets tough. And, it's true that while these past few years have offered you some surprise opportunities, they've also taught you that no matter how hard you work for what you have, investment—financial or otherwise—is not enough to make you stay.
No matter how much you crave to feel assured and secure, you are first and foremost a creature who needs to live authentically and in alignment with your integrity.
Whatever you do to live, however you sustain yourself and those who depend on you, you have a right to want more. You have a right to take time for yourself. You have a right to carve out space for your art or your one wild crazy idea. Even if you've needed a lot of support, even if you've failed before, you have a right to choose something that calls to you because you have strong intuition and know a good deal. Don't waste your own time or good sense telling yourself otherwise.
This month I'm thinking about the ways that each of us can hone our intuition and strengthen our natural psychic abilities. This month for Aquarius feels like a small gate. A gate like a doorway with no door. A framework that, once you notice, you are welcome to pass through.
It stands before you as an undeniable division between one experience of reality and the beginning of something else—not entirely unconnected but different nonetheless. To walk toward this gate, to pass through it, is to believe you will never lose yourself—no matter how unfamiliar your landscape, you remain your own.
And, it's not that you're gripped with any specific fear of losing yourself, Aquarius. On the contrary, you are the kind of person who has always known who you are. It's knowing what to do with yourself that's been hard for you, knowing how to access and apply all that you felt and knew at your core to be true.
No, you weren't born with a fear of being lost. But, there's a good chance you spent a good deal of your precious time guiding other people who felt lost toward safe shores. There's a good chance that in the process of being surrounded by so many people who didn't know who they were and therefore couldn't possibly fathom all that you could be, you lost track of your inner compass, got spun around, and considered yourself one of them. You are not one of them even if you're still spinning and filled with doubt. This doubt was given to you, it isn't yours and you don't have to carry it. You know exactly what makes you feel alive and gives your life purpose. Trust that walking toward that knowledge is as good as any compass in your hand.
While having so many planets in Virgo—your polarity, Pisces—doesn't exactly mean smooth sailing for you, it sn't bad news, either. All work and no play might make some people a dull boy, but all play and no work is just as boring. Work, when it is done right, can be as engaging and fulfilling as play, if not more so. Especially when you have something to say about it! With your bright and inventive imagination, a chore or task can transform into a beautiful opportunity to engage an object, a job, or a situation in a profoundly new way. And, sure, it might take you twice as long as someone who's all business, but you, more than anyone, know that time is relative.
If all that Virgo-energy doesn't have you engaging new systems in engaging new ways, then what might it have you doing? Well, there's more than one kind of information to make sense of in our daily lives. With the moon filling all the way up in Pisces mid-month on the same day that Mercury and Venus move into relationship-focused Libra, the first two weeks of Virgo-heavy September can have you finally sorting all those feelings you've been dragging around from month to month waiting for the "right time" to set them down and have a steady look.
Don't be afraid, Pisces, and don't let the intensity of the recent past cast too much of a shadow on your future. Facing the weight and impact of what's been weighing on you can seem like a huge burden on the outset, but it is also one of your greatest superpowers. It's good to remember that there's no way to know what comes next, no matter how perceptive and intuitive you are, so what comes next is just as likely to be fantastic. It's good to remember that whatever was promised and whatever transpired has already happened and can't, in theory, happen again.