Welcome to November, and say goodbye to October which had me laughing at the ghost of T.S Eliot who claimed April was the cruelest month. April my butt. At least in April, there are flowers to look forward to, not this crush of black leaves and unrelenting Venus retrograde sounding the death knell for scores of perfectly fine relationships.
If you've made it this far without processing each other's every emotional injury to death, then congratulations! You're in the home stretch, reader. Or, if October ran your heart into the ground, but you're still reading this with the fire of optimism in your heart despite all of life's attempts to dampen your flame—you are a champion. Feel free to wear a crown or a badge of honor. If you are trans or non-binary, you can wear both. Well, you can wear whatever your fucking want. You deserve a kingdom, queendom, a dome made of your favorite candy that is run collectively, for surviving October. Frankly, for surviving, period.
The truth is there are so many people amongst us in danger, and that danger is nothing new. It's just that these waves of violence are so pervasive, so visible and self-assured in their heritage and right of way, it's a wonder we have any optimism about the future at all. It's a planetary blessing that Jupiter moves into optimistic Sagittarius this month, eventually uniting with the Sun and Mercury to form a triad of truth and possible wave of informed resistance. While Mercury stations retrograde mid-month, it's only a matter of time before Neptune goes direct and Chiron too. It's a small relief that Venus finally goes direct in justice-loving Libra, giving us the chance to practice our faith by finding ways to repair this world.
Intimacy, after pleasure, is a contract we renew with each other. The more you let someone in the more you'll feel known, but to be known is to be seen in your ever-changing fullness. When your relationships raise a mirror and ask you to face the most complicated parts of who you are, it can be tempting to let your eye wander. Seeking solace outside yourself works for a while. Seeking a new relationship, job, or terrain in which you are alien, and therefore still unreadable, can make you feel like it's possible in this life to start over again.
You can start over again, yes, you can do it today, you can do it right now. There's a catch, of course, as there always is, and that catch is you. If you burn everything you've built down, if you start again, if everything is exchanged but you remain the same, won't you, inevitably, find that you built the same problems into a new world?
Aren't you tired of feeling alien? I'm thinking of Audre's claim that the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house and I'm wondering when we'll allow ourselves to admit that even our hearts have become compromised by this world. You deserve tools that refuse practices of self-negation. What if starting over means refusing to go on splintered? If we treat the worlds we build as disposable, if we refuse the power that comes from facing our shadow selves, how will we fortify ourselves against a regime that seeks to keep us alienated and apart?
Venus retrograde in Scorpio (and soon in Libra), this past month hasn't been easy on anyone, but it especially hasn't been easy on you, Taurus. While Venus retrograde ushered in the usual relationship reckoning and inevitable breakups for many of your friends, the planet of love called you toward your own well and asked you to tend to that water. Taurus, we know, is a sign that takes good care of others. They are a solid bet, a fistful of flowers when your life lacks beauty, and a midnight call when panic sets in. Most Taurus people would rather water your garden than admit they are thirsty, most Taurus people run their wells dry believing that the only reason they have water is to offer it to others.
Most Taurus people spend their lives learning how to take care of their hearts before it becomes a triage situation. This month, my sage one, you can act like it's a lesson you've already learned and move forward accordingly.
This year has transformed you more than you could have ever expected, often bringing people into your life as catalysts. Now that the year is closing, autumn turns to winter, and Uranus prepares to stay with you for the long haul, you will find that you are ready to be your own catalyst, your own engine of transformation. Venus goes direct mid-month in Libra but the shadow of her retrograde remains. There will be threads to tie up and contingency plans to draw up but, listen, none of that matters more than the yearning in your heart. What have you denied yourself? What have you hungered for? What have you saved for a rainy day? It's raining somewhere, Taurus, and you could go there if you want, but the truth is you're done needing reasons to put your health and spirit first.
There's this pervasive myth most of us are raised with and around, the myth that our partnerships are proof of our goodness, that to be whole, we must prove ourselves worthy of love by another. This myth is fortified by a culture that rewards us for staying in unhealthy relationships rather than being alone, promotes us for devoting our energy to bosses that undermine our humanity, and demands loyalty to friendships that force us to hide integral parts of our nature. And, I'll admit, there's some truth to what we fear, when we act violently or without mindfulness, it is true that we push people away and end up isolating ourselves.
Feeling abandoned, alone, or without affection can signal that your inner pain has leaked outward and affected those close to you. Such a state might invite you to turn inward and practice self-soothing and repair. Your feelings are not proof or evidence of who you are as a friend, lover, or community member. They are feelings—not facts—and feelings change.
If you have been feeling your creative work hit a wall, go back to a project you've set down and pick up a thread. If you have been feeling far from your friends, reach out to three people you feel at ease with and make a concrete date with a least one. If something has blocked the channel of love that flows between you and your sweetheart, address the block candidly and trust that your sweetheart would rather it not be there too. This month, focus on what you know for sure, on the present tense, on what you have rather than what you're afraid to lose.
I know we've had this talk before, and I don't want to be a broken record with you, Cancer, but I think it's worth mentioning one more time. Anger is powerful and necessary, but it will not sustain you. Anger is active and protective, but it is a branch, not a root. If you are plagued by invasive thoughts, invasive fears, invasive weeds that threaten the foundation of what you have worked so long to build, consider that the only way to truly get rid of them is to follow them down to the root and use both hands.
Maybe you're afraid. Maybe you think you're not strong enough to face what lies underground growing thicker every day. Or, maybe you've faced it on your own already, in some ways, but the work that's left requires two people, and you are afraid to ask for help when help means being vulnerable. Can it be true, Cancer? Have you, an animal adept at riding emotional waves and facing whatever they bring to shore, convinced yourself that your anger is more powerful than your vulnerability?
Okay. You wouldn't be the first or last person in the world to choose hardness when the world needs softness, and you have every right to push back and to defend yourself. But, Cancer, as you work on yourself and your career, you will have no choice but to acknowledge that life refuses to be compartmentalized. To tend the garden of your life, you've got to be intimate with the dirt and that requires softness, softness even as you plunge the spade firmly down.
Let's talk about home, Leo, what it means to you and what it is. Where you're living now, would you call that home? Would you say that you retreat there to restore your energy and replenish your well? Does your home feel fixed or does it feel unstable? Perhaps you've been dreaming of leaving. Or, you've already left, and now you don't know where you're going to. This month brings hard lessons in the realm of home for you, and in order to grapple with them, to learn them well enough not to repeat too soon, you've got to expand what counts as home in all its iterations.
Here, we begin with the obvious thing: shelter. The place that bears your name, that holds your sacred things and loved ones, the place that, over time, begins to feel and smell like you. Practice staying present in the place you call home, Leo, mind where you have laid your anxieties and sorrows down haphazardly. Note what stills your heart and gives you peace and do more of that. If you are housed, then you are lucky to be housed, and you should act accordingly. Treat the space where you keep what belongs to you like a part of you because it is.
The less obvious thing is your family, chosen and blood, beloveds and friends. Practice witnessing with whom you feel at home and who you have chosen to build home with. Do you provide shelter for each other from the world outside? Are there repairs that need to be made? Are there people you call home who will not give you a place to rest? They are not your home. Are you yearning to return to someone who makes you feel impossibly safe and tended to?
Are you yearning to tend to yourself? To make yourself a home worth living in? Is your spirit hungry in your body, undernourished, pale? Why don't you come home to yourself then, Leo?
The door is open, always. You can let yourself in.
Well, it took a village and an obscene amount of accomplishments, but the stars have finally conspired well enough to get you on the path to believing in yourself. Just in the nick of time, too, since the opportunities are rolling in one by one and all that you need do is show up. Well, okay, not just show up. Show up and show out, show them what you got, show whoever's considering you what they'd be missing if they chose anyone else.
What's the catch, you ask? Of course, you do. There is no catch, there's never been a catch. The world has always moved toward you this way, Virgo. It's you that turned away afraid you weren't ready for the thing you wanted most. But, now you know: When you believe that you are strong enough to bear the power and weight of your own expectations, you are entrusted with meeting them.
Alright, so you're on the path to fulfillment, who isn't? It's just like you to want a fuller picture, a pie where every piece is accounted for. I'll tell you this, Virgo, when you focus on doing what you do well, you will attract the kind of company that makes you even greater. If you feel unaccompanied on your path, if you feel that your accomplishments are weakened when they are not shared with others, then it is your job to create space in your work and in your life where like-minded others can gather and thrive and celebrate with you. Oh? You've always good at that? Okay. Prove it.
Libra, listen, if someone came up to me today and offered to tattoo "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose" (Janis Joplin) on my ass, I would wholeheartedly agree to it. And, no, not just because it would be great company for the song lyric on my other butt cheek, "What have you done for me lately?" (Janet Jackson). All brilliant artists with the initials JJ on standby, please, while I bring you this prescient message: There is no universal law that seeks to pose your relationships against your freedom.
Your agency and self-determination are just that, yours, and no amount of intimacy or inter-dependence can threaten it. When you compromise yourself, you do it by your own will. And here, we return to your regularly scheduled programming with another great piece of advice attributed to our long-departed Joplin, "You better not compromise yourself. It's all you got."
Your ruling planet, Venus, in retrograde motion hasn't gone easy on you. And, despite the planet's return to apparent direct motion mid-month, Venus isn't done with you yet. A shadow is a shadow, it has its own ideas and it falls where it likes. It's not your job to smile in the face of heavy times, and neither is it your job to carry it on your own. With Venus conjunct Ceres in Libra, the work of moving out of the underworld will be aided by relying on each other. Not by trading the role of caregiver and dependent, but by acknowledging one another as equals.
The hardest part of healing is the recognition that something is wrong. Like learning that you've been dissociating during sex this whole time or excavating the memory of someone you love hurting you. They say you can't find a cure by only treating the symptoms, that you've got to find a root. Still, to begin, you've got to notice the symptoms, and that part is harder than you'd think.
For many of us, survival has always meant pressing on, being bigger than our troubles, and taking pride in what we're willing to endure. And, for many of us, that sort of bitter, self-negating, endurance will no longer do. Scorpio, this is your season, so why endure when you can thrive?
With one of your ruling planets, Mars, in Pisces, you might be tempted to slip back into old habits that put the feelings of others before your own well-being. It's true that Pisces supreme Nina Simone sang, "You got to learn to leave the table when love's no longer being served," and perhaps it's better to stop the track there, where the message is still empowering. Witch sister, I know you know how to leave and do fine by your own damn self. This November, I dare you to stay. Stay present. Stay open. Bear witness to your life even if that means facing old wounds. If love isn't being served then serve yourself. It's your table.
You know, for an adventurous Ponyboy, you sure do like to limit yourself. What's that about, I wonder? Maybe it depends on how you've been raised or how you've learned to imagine yourself. Perhaps, if you were born wild and boundless, untethered, you grew up knowing how to listen to the yearning in your heart and give it credence. But, the chances of that kind of upbringing are significantly low, and it's much more likely that you were the kind of animal that was tamed early on and encouraged to value your adept restraint. Your ability to work and work and work and find reward in having more work to look forward to.
And, it's true that there is a time and place for restraint, for—excuse me—reining in your horses, but there's a time, too, for running full speed ahead and listening to the sacred call of your wild spirit. Sagittarius, the time for the latter is upon you now. Work will be there when you return.
You should heed the call and do it before Mercury stations retrograde in your sign mid-month. Think bigger than a nice date or a dinner out, think bigger than splurging on some nice boots or that hardcover copy of the new Odyssey translation (a woman's work! what will it reveal?!). Isn't there a place you've been meaning to return to? Isn't there a herd you'd love to press your pony heart against? At least for a little while, put away that story, the one that claims to be good is to be tame. Work is not your whole life. It can't be. Isn't there an older story that lives in you and in your bones? Your wildness is your inheritance.
If you listen hard enough, long enough, they'll talk to you. Your ancestors, your elders, your long-gone beloveds who walk with you even when you feel as if you are in the depths of solitude. In fact, I would venture to suggest that they are with you especially then. Dear Capricorn, do not think for one minute that the ones you pray to do not hear you. Do not dare imagine yourself without guides and sacred protection when the world feels unbearable, when you are called to suffer loss after loss. There are Christians in this world that will tell you, "God never gives you more than you can bear," and they're not wrong. But, tonight, I will not talk of God or what God gives us.
I don't know who God is. I don't know what kind of God lets children die in detention centers, separated from their parents and starved for touch. What I know is this: There is more than life on Earth and what separates us from our dead is a thin membrane. I know that love lives in our spirits and long after people leave us, love ties us to each other.
It's November, Scorpio season, Samhain, and the veil is thinner than a spider web. I believe you. I believe that you are powerful. I believe that power is the opposite of violence, no matter what this world tries to teach us. Violence is rooted in fear, Capricorn. Power is born between people. It is a kind of love, a kind of trust. I'm saying this to you because I can hear you questioning your faith and your own experience. I'm saying this to you because there's a part of you that dreams of abandoning the work that is sacred to you and your becoming. And, to that part, I say: wait.
Priestess of the four winds, I beseech thee! Come, gather your waves and seeds beneath my window and stay with me a while. Tell me, again, of the worlds beyond this one, of the lives we are living on a parallel plane. Show me the mountains there and the rivers, the shorelines rich with sediment and sentient creatures that whistle songs to each other. Show me the world you remember when you close your eyes, the world you visit when you dream, so that I may know all the animals lost to this Earth.
Aquarius, share with me your other worlds so that we may return to this one and call it what it is: a dying system, a planet aching to burn itself to the ground so that it might begin again and raise more grateful children. Here, we have only ourselves to hold accountable.
Here, we must live into the truth of who we are and how we've sought to destroy ourselves. Which is not to say that you have not been fruitful. Which is not to make any claims against your brilliant work, your creative diligence, your commitment to weaving the web of relations. In so many ways, Aquarius, your work is more than enough. Enough for what? Enough to sustain you. Enough to get you through. You know that too, but there's something more you want. What is it? Forgiveness? Another go at building a world that is better than this one and sharing it with the one you love? Go ahead. Build it, build it even if no one comes. The work of repair is a prayer toward self-forgiveness, which is the by far the hardest kind to earn.
Wild water creature, welcome to the season of shadows. Have the waters been murky where you are? Have you spent your night swimming in dark water, mistaking the glimmer of a hook for another fish's scales? Mars in Pisces is a funny creature, slippery and hell-bent. Makes me think of salmon swimming upstream to die after mating in the riverbeds. I think it's true that salmon were born wanting this, that they swam against the current toward sex and death like so many floppy disks programmed to run one program and one program only. Nevermind wondering what floppy disks are. They're of no use to you now, and neither is that post-coital salmon.
Instead, let's return to the situation at hand. Within you, a need to move toward something big and redemptive, something bigger than what life has offered you so far. Within you, passion, resistance, pain, grief, an untapped well of talent and affection, all the trappings of a personal revolution or another panic spiral. Your call.
I'm playing with you. I know it's not that simple. Nothing's ever simple for you and certainly not now when, unlike all the other fish that spawned in late summer, you're plunging your body against the current now. Toward what end, Pisces? Intensity? A dangerous substitute for intimacy. Besides, you've got this human body, this free will, this chance to take your programming to task. This month, don't take any risks you can't afford to take. Intimacy, recognition, and purpose, you deserve those things. You need not sacrifice yourself to have them.