It’s officially October, which means that soon homes and doorways across the nation will be decked with electoral placards and slowly rotting pumpkins, equally garish displays. Of course, the month is not just about practicing rituals that have completely lost their purpose. It’s also about figuring out how to make your sexy Halloween costume protest-appropriate and your candy bowl COVID-safe. Venus enters Virgo on the 2, so strategizing around the common good should come a little easier. We begin this month with a full moon in Aries and close it with a full moon in Taurus. Both moons are highly potent, with the Aries full moon making conjunctions to Mars, Chiron, and the Taurus full moon making a conjunction Uranus. In between, we have a new moon in Libra — a balance scale working hard to get us over to the other side of both the moon cycle and the news cycle. Despite Mars retrograde grinding the gears on many an enterprise, both Saturn and Pluto are finally direct, so there’s a release to the pressure that both have built up this year. Of course, Mercury stations retrograde on the 13 in Scorpio, which seems only right. Chaotic energy loves chaotic energy just like misery loves company.
ARIES & ARIES RISING
This month begins with a full moon in your sign. A moon and Sun opposition is a great time to think about interdependence and what relation means for you. It’s important to recognize that while you have a vested interest in being a powerful individual, you are a human being, and humans are a communal species. As a communal species, human beings can get in a bad habit of assuming we know the thoughts and feelings of others simply because we’ve spent time observing them.
While Aries people are used to being innovators, they’re not invulnerable to reactive feelings and impulses. You, dear Aries, could benefit a great deal from choosing to ask rather than assume when emotions run high.
You care a great deal about the effect your actions have on others, especially those you love. You care a great deal about the way people respond to your feelings and your work. Practice observing how other people’s behavior impacts you without judgement. Practice forgiving yourself when you respond from a place of defense or offense. Learning to respond compassionately and authentically is a lifelong exercise, sometimes we miss the mark. Practice apologizing as a power move, one that builds on your integrity.
TAURUS & TAURUS RISING
If you’ve noticed that your activity setting got switched into overdrive this month, you’re not alone, dear Taurus. This month is all about asking you to make good on your word, and since all those projects, promises, and plans you’ve been making/taking on have finally piled high enough to create a shape you both respect and fear, you’re feeling highly motivated. It’s a good thing that your ruling planet transits the sign of Virgo this month, complimenting your excellent service with a feeling of purpose and know-how.
Besides, let it be known that few Taurus people out there would refuse the chance to busy themselves with tasks and to-dos when existential and pragmatic dread are the current natural accompaniment to stillness.
While Taurus might be known for being the Dionysus of the zodiac, their lounging skillset is only ever surpassed by their diligence and grind. Whether you're a Taurus sun, moon, or rising, you like it better when you had to earn it. That goes for pleasure and for work. By the end of October, you’ll be feeling yourself a lot more, activated by all that energy you spent and the rewards of the hustle. A full moon in Taurus on the 31 will be just the treat you deserve. Though, if you’re looking for tricks, those are on the table, too.
GEMINI & GEMINI RISING
It’s not that the things you've been saying have come out wrong so much as what’s coming out of you is landing a lot harder than it might ordinarily, given the state of the world and the subsequent state of the psyches of your friends and loved ones. While it might be useful to hold your tongue a little more or batten your words with caveats and considerations, the best course of action when what you put down doesn’t get picked up the way you’d expect is not taking it personally.
Of course, not taking the reactions of others personally is a lot easier said than done, but it’s never a bad time to try. Apologies are necessary where apologies are due, and deep listening is always best practice but, sometimes, you’re better off stepping back and minding yourself.
Minding yourself is really the work you're after this October, the work that calls to you under all those social obligations and negotiations. You have a vision of how you want to direct your energy in this world. You have a sense of the self you’re striving to grow into and become. If/when shadows of self-doubt fall over these visions and make them harder to walk toward, it’s your job to remind yourself that “future you” is just as powerful as whichever past-self informs those doubts. If time isn’t linear, then "future you" can teach "past you" what you’re capable of.
CANCER & CANCER RISING
It’s true that almost every Destiny’s Child song is a bop, but there’s something about “Independent Women” that’s irresistible. The same can be said about Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone.” These anthems for those of us who are tired of depending on others for sustenance and support don’t get old because the older one gets, the more relatable they become. Not because we age into aloneness, but rather, because we grow into fuller versions of ourselves and the negative space we need to define that self becomes that much more valuable.
This October, the shift from craving space to demanding it might feel daunting at first, but with some kind words and accountability, it will prove liberating. It’s only right to want to devote time and space to yourself when the world is changing shape rapidly.
Our Earth is part of the solar system and we are part of our Earth. When there’s cosmic revolution, there’s personal revolution, too. It’s true that those who depend on your presence and care might have a hard time recognizing your needs; we’re not really taught to grant the same level of internal complexity to others that we grant ourselves. So, it’s on you to recognize your needs first and model what recognizing them looks like. Your boundaries are yours to maintain and no one else’s. Your “hard no” is only as sacred as you treat it.
LEO & LEO RISING
It’s that time of year on the Eastern seaboard again — when the air is crisp, the apples sweet, and the nights lengthen by the day. It’s also what the youth like to describe as “cuffing season.” If your leonine life is in sync with the general leonine astrology, however, this season is not so much about locking it down with someone else and more about locking down your commitment to causes and collaborations that feel meaningful to you. Nothing like getting fired up about injustice to keep you warm at night!
Libra, after all, isn’t the sign of love so much as she is the sign of partnership, and we can be all kinds of partners: partners in crime, partners in the struggle, gumshoes scoping out a suspicious case (that Breonna Taylor grand jury is particularly suspect).
Venus, Libra’s ruler, can teach you a great deal about sharpening your vision when comes to what you want to achieve. This energy is far from passive: it sets goals and it forges on when the going gets tough, adjusting to the environment by building an intimate relationship with it. If you are attempting the unfamiliar, remind yourself that everything you know now was unfamiliar once. That anything you embrace can become a part of you. When the month ends, it’ll be easier to assess the results of your efforts. For now, celebrate each day that you rise and meet the work where you both are.
VIRGO & VIRGO RISING
They say that knowing is half the battle, and they’re absolutely right. Knowing, especially knowing as much as you do, is a gift, but if that knowing doesn’t lead to doing than the burden of carrying all that information around is bound to wear on you. Perhaps even build resentment. The matter at hand, dear Virgo, has less to do with what you “know” should happen and more to do with accepting what is beyond your control. Which is, as we know, everything beyond your own behavior. So, focus on your behavior.
In what ways are you transforming your relationship to your purpose? In what ways has your understanding of what you owe others and what you are owed shifted?
If you’re having trouble reading the room, Mercury in Scorpio invites you to deepen your perception. Communication isn’t necessarily your strong suit this month, and plans are bound to shift (especially with Mercury stationing retrograde on October 13) but sometimes development is less of a forward motion and more about putting down roots and spreading underground. If you can attend to your ambitions with a balanced sense of what’s possible, you’ll find yourself attracting exactly what you’re putting out: a steady forward moving energy.
LIBRA & LIBRA RISING
Happy birthday, beautiful Libra. Hopefully this month, with all its complexity, finds you well celebrated. Hopefully, you’re feeling like you’re exactly where you should be, and the spirits around you only confirm that. It can be difficult for cardinal signs to stand still and take in their position without judgement. It can be difficult for a Libra to look around and not immediately imagine an alternative scenario that is somehow even more in line with their vision. It can be hard to stay present when you’re a wind of change, of turning seasons.
With your ruling planet transiting Virgo for a good deal of this month, it’s more than likely that you’ll be feeling a little antsy and a lot ready to make some strategic changes to what you’re producing and how you’re producing it.
There’s a new moon in Libra on the 16 and there’ll be time for building up soon enough, so don’t rush. Focus instead on the air around you. If your mind races, race it over the earthly things that accompany you, like the fur of an animal or the leaves slowly collecting at the corners of the rooftop. Refine your relationship to your environment, how it informs who you are presently and what you need. When Venus transits Libra by the month’s end, your powers will be heightened and you will be situated enough to use those powers wisely.
SCORPIO & SCORPIO RISING
If an existential crisis is a crisis of/relating to existence, can you call it an existential crisis if you’re consistently feeling like you’re straddling reality and the abyss? It would follow that outside reality, in the great void, definitions are allowed a kind of murkiness. And, maybe, by that logic, you’re allowed a little murkiness too. Words like intensity, perception, sharpness, and will are often assigned to Scorpios, and they’re all true. But, having an abundance of such qualities doesn’t preclude the occasional bout of aimlessness, indecision, and ennui.
Even if you’re finding yourself on the receiving end of continuous generosity and good fortune. Even if what you’re working on is exactly what you’ve spent countless years working toward, you don’t have to perform and endless dance of gratitude.
Yes, it’s good to count your blessings, to affirm your accomplishments, but it’s just as important to accept that there’s nothing fine about the world in which you’re doing fine. The world you are ostensibly imagining a life in, a future. Feelings, apparently, can be impervious to logic, so convincing yourself what you should feel rarely works. Take time instead to notice how often you show up even when you don’t want to, how good you are at keeping your word. You don’t have to make any big decisions for the comfort of others, you don’t owe anyone more than what you’ve got to give.
SAGITTARIUS & SAGITTARIUS RISING
We live in a culture that asks us to define ourselves all the time, a culture that wants to know who we think we are so it can contrive to sell us back to ourselves, to provide us with an image we can never fully live up to no matter how much money we spend or how hard we work. We can’t live up to it because our own expectations shift. We can’t live up to something that changes shape each time we get near enough to touch it. So why do we do it?
Perhaps, because trying on form is one kind of pleasure and breaking from form is a renegade pleasure all its own.
This month is a great month for you, dear archer, to break away from a form that no longer fits. Imagine shrugging off an idea you had about yourself as a meditative practice, or a game. A little challenge that won’t hurt because ideas can always be picked back up if you need them. If you find yourself wishing you could be more like someone else, pretend you are and do one thing that person would do—just to see. If you find yourself doubting your ability to pull something off, whether it’s an outfit or a scheme, imagine you have exactly what it takes. At worst, nothing will change. And, at best, you’ll find that you can change anything.
CAPRICORN & CAPRICORN RISING
There’s really no such thing as smooth sailing in a pandemic, or an uprising, or—heck—the end the government as we know it. So, let’s not call it smooth sailing. Let’s say that the month ahead promises a direct course, however strenuous, across the choppy waters that make up the metaphor of our current lives. With Saturn stationing direct on the 29 of September and Pluto following suit on October 4, the weight of the world and the shadow it casts won’t be hanging heavy on your shoulders the way it has for the past year.
Not that you haven’t grown used to the weight, you have. And, there’s something to be said about the way a burden can become familiar, a kind of safety. In this economy, it’s riskier to act from a place of boundlessness. It’s risky to try lightness lest nothing anchors you.
It’s imperative that recognize, every day, that just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you were put on this Earth to deplete yourself doing it. It’s important to remind yourself that even if you’re equipped to do the heavy lifting, the hard stuff, you deserve that lightness. You deserve to float, day dream, make frivolous plans, choose pleasure, and bet on joy. You don’t need to be anchored to stay safe, you don’t even need a boat. You know how to swim.
AQUARIUS & AQUARIUS RISING
It can be a little difficult to fill your life with tiny gourds and other autumnal garbage when the rest of the country is experiencing harvest time as the true meaning of “reaping what you sow.”
You’re a sensitive creature, attuned to the pulse of the stars, and as a sensitive creature, you know that the fear and smoke crowding the atmosphere is far from clearing. If anything, it’s getting thicker. Like anyone with a sense of compassion, you’re charged with figuring out your role in the new world coming. And, like any average space babe, you’re charged with figuring out just what embodying that role will look like and who will help you fill it.
We are none of us alone, not in the streets and not in the universe, and that’s by design. Who would we learn from if not each other? What would be the point of language if there was only one?
You can collect the tiny gourds, you can make a nest, you can lean in to the energy that Ceres brings as she travels across the drying fields, which is both power and grief, but then you’ve got to check your messages. This month is all about connection for you, dear Aquarius, connecting with living beings and connecting with the wisdoms of beings who are no longer here. If a book catches your attention, pay special attention to why it has chosen you, because it has. If friends reach out, look for patterns in what they offer you and what they ask of you.
PISCES & PISCES RISING
As I write you this horoscope, the moon is bright and almost full outside my night window. The moon, like you, has a mutable nature in the sense that she is known by the light she reflects, by the way her shape appears to change depending on where she places herself. The moon, like all living things older than people, has a great deal to teach us. One good lesson might be that no matter what we face on Earth, no matter how discordant our days, there is a universe beyond us and a cosmos full of many new moons.
I remind you of the world beyond because the world beyond needs your attention. I remind you of that world because, if you’re not mindful, you might forget and wind up waiting on someone or something that makes you feel small in all the wrong ways.
Feeling small should be a pleasure. Feeling small should feel like stroking one pebble on a big pebbly beach or wading out into dark water at night. Feeling small is a beautiful reminder that you exist in relation to bodies, all kinds of bodies, bigger and bigger and bigger than you know. So, if there’s someone or something that gets you feeling small in some other way, some way that coded with projection or insecurity or fear, don’t give that entity your energy or your time. Protect your small and keep it lovely at all costs.