I'm writing to you from Los Angeles, where May is gloomy and the highest temperatures of the day last for around two hours, somewhere between one and four o'clock. The smog is thick, and it's hard to see stars; somehow the moon feels farther away than it should be. There's a tense juxtaposition of nostalgia and hopelessness. The palms—once forced upon the landscape by old Hollywood landscapers, but now iconic L.A. flora—sway in various states of distress. Coca-Cola uses tarot to advertise its new packaging, Uber makes a joke about horoscopes, someone on the other side of this screen calls astrology less of a spiritual practice and more of a tool—as if to have a spiritual practice is to live without sense, without reality.
Spirit, I assure you, reader, is one of the realest thing we've got. Realer than court shows that pay actors $75 to play defendants. Realer than sucking on something that looks like a USB to give yourself a nicotine hit every few minutes while promising to be healthier than tobacco. Realer than every promise to reunite refugee children with their parents. Realer than any promise our government has ever made to the indigenous people who have always lived here, and continue to live here, no matter the poisoning of the water and the desecration of holy land.
"And how have I used rivers, how have I used wars
to escape writing of the worst thing of all—
not the crimes of others, not even our own death,
but the failure to want our own freedom passionately enough
so that blighted elms, sick rivers, massacres would seem
mere emblems of that desecration of ourselves?"
I recite this Adrienne Rich poem under my breath almost beyond my own volition, knowing that it remarks on a different landscape. Knowing that I am trying to evoke Rich's deep Taurean knowledge in this Taurus time, knowing that a poem that interrogates the collective dissonance of love's promise in a time of never-ending, limitless, war is the only poem.
It takes a long to time to learn the right speech, how to communicate from a place of personal and emotional dignity. Emotional intelligence, after all, isn't taught in school. It takes work to understand what we want and where our feelings are coming from. Longer still to figure out how to convey our emotional reality to another person in a way that feels clear, and direct. And, even when we think we've got the words right, there are intentions to consider, and implications: what we meant to say and what we said instead. It's true that how people interpret our words is often out of our hands. Texts on codependency remind readers that we can't control how others feel about what we say, and repressing our own thoughts or emotions for the imagined sake of the other is a recipe for resentment. Making up stories about what someone meant instead of asking them, making up stories about what someone wants to hear, these habits create scenarios where no one's needs get met and everyone gets hurt.
Those codependency texts are right as rain, Aries, but it's worth remembering that language is a tool humans developed so that they might communicate with each other. It is a means of connection through expression and if the language you're using isn't fostering the connections you yearn for, well, it wouldn't hurt you to work on your language.
Maybe, like many Aries, you'd rather learn the hard lessons yourself and make your own path rather than unfold a map charted by those who came before you. Authenticity is important to you, and you don't want anyone telling you how to communicate, not even a text. It would be valuable to consider that most language and communication style is inherited. That even the ones of us who speak an entirely different language from our parents will find tonal and gestural similarities with them. We learn how to communicate very early on, in reaction and response to what we are exposed to. Taking control of your communication style and interrogating it, is not a threat to your authenticity—it is an advancement.
Below, some of the bro-y drama queens of the zodiac answer our questions
Letting go isn't easy for you, Taurus; it never has been. Your word is king, and you see things through to the very end, even if holding on means getting dragged through fire and pummeled with rain. You give your all to projects and to people, and it takes a lot for you to throw in the towel—especially because you love a good towel with sentimental value. Even when you decide that someone can no longer be a part of your life, you reserve a room for them in your heart. It's not always the case that the room inside your heart is one they can come back and live in. Sometimes, that room is barricaded, sometimes that room is a panic room, an incinerator, or an archive. But, it's always there, taking up perfectly good space.
Maybe, somewhere along the line, in a world full of disposable treasures and surface-level connections, your devotion to past commitments was something that made you feel honorable. This month will task you with figuring out when honoring your word is more valuable than honoring your heart.
If you're picking up what I'm putting down, you already know that the answer is never. It is never worth it, Taurus, to risk the integrity of your spirit in service to an image you have cultivated for others. If putting your needs first will disappoint other people in your life, your coworkers, your friends, or your lovers, consider this: You can only be the protagonist of your own story. What I mean is, the worst kind of betrayal, the most difficult thing to come back from, is not an action that causes pain to others. It is rather an agreement you enter, to betray yourself over and over until you can no longer trust your own heart to guide you. The projects you walk away from, the people you let go of, they have a life without you. You don't have a life without you, Taurus. You are all you've got.
A Taurus is a sensual, enigmatic, practically perfect being
Most people know what makes them feel insecure. Usually, a social situation, sometimes an intimate one. There's being vulnerable publicly, like when dancing in a circle or singing into a microphone; and there's doing so privately, like letting someone know how their words affected you. There's class difference and cultural difference, body shaming, and attachment issues. The things and situations that make people feel insecure are endless. But, what about security? Is it as clear to you what makes you feel secure as what makes you feel insecure? For most people, the answer to this question is "not so much." Generally speaking, security is less of a guttural feeling and more of a concept. We overcome our feelings of insecurity while we work toward notions of security, whether that security is tied to our finances or our relationships.
It's true that there is no map for feeling good, no marked destination and no singular compass to get us all the way there. What we find, with time and countless error, is that is not enough to devote ourselves to jobs that promise stability. And, it is not enough to go all in on relationships with people who seem to have all the qualities we imagined our partners should have.
Security, Gemini, isn't a certificate you receive when you've earned enough credits. It's a house you build within yourself, a home you maintain. It needs a strong foundation of self-knowing, recognition of trauma and its effects, compassion for where shame is buried. Acceptance for what might get dug up when you do renovations—like getting sober or negotiating custody agreements. Security isn't something the world gives you, even if it might seem like money and romantic love is all you need. Both of these things come as easily as they go. Both of these things can be your teachers, but they can't be your home. You are where you return when you need to remember who you are. Maintain, Gemini, you grow more resilient every day.
Understanding what we owe each other is something that philosophers have grappled with for a long time. In some ways, the query is simple: What do I owe you and what do you owe me? The answer to this query can take a simplistic form as well: tit for tat; battledore and shuttlecock; I scratch your back, you scratch mine. But, are our emotional relationships and creative partnerships ever so transactional? Isn't there a limit to what we owe another person and when we can be sure that limit has been surpassed? The very un-simplistic truth is, you can never be sure. There is no red banner that follows the many red flags, no toll bridge that finally lifts after signaling that you may not cross. What we endure, we reason with. What we reason with, we learn to accept.
Trouble is, there is a difference between accepting a situation for what it is and accepting that situation as part of your necessary reality. Interpersonally, what we allow by not enforcing boundaries with action, what we give of ourselves in the name of what is owed vs. what is spiritually sustainable, is how we learn the difference between self-harm and self-love. Globally, when we accept political frameworks and institutions that undermine our core beliefs of social justice to flourish with the premise that they "still do a great deal of good," "are well-meaning," and "intend to change their structural issues later," we reward resistance to change with allegiance. We reward harmful behavior with our commitment and our labor.
This month will reveal several turning points to you, especially in your daily routines, your professional image, and your personal ambitions. These turning points will almost definitely be related to the personal relationships, commitments, and contracts you have made with others. If you find yourself resisting the turn, if you resist moments of change, ask yourself if there is something you are owed. Ask yourself who will balance your books in your absence.
Who teaches us how to be our own best boss? What pedagogical praxis has been used on us, what parenting concept explored in our youths? What, ultimately, has prepared the many of us who are culturally disposed toward self-doubt and deference to authority and old guard, to not only claim our own personal power but to shift our position within power structures? Within the capitalist state, within the white cis heteropatriarchy, within a world that refuses individualization even as it extols its virtues, there are few amongst us who carry the tools to negotiate a life that is in service to our highest potential and our sense of highest good.
That doesn't mean that those tools aren't for us, and it doesn't mean that the life we want is inherently doomed to be forever outside our grasp. For the most part, you know this, Leo. For the better half of the day, your heart takes great leaps of faith—whole Sahara-sized leaps—toward possibility and greatness. And, it isn't wrong to experience self-doubt. It isn't a weakness to admit your fear of failure, it's just the human part of you speaking to the lion.
What does the Lion answer back? How do you cultivate your courage? The courage to change, the courage to resist those that aim to tame you, the courage to let yourself be seen—knowing being seen means vulnerability and understanding that retreat, while useful when injured, means starvation in the long run. If you spend your time hedging your bets, if you look to others' lives to indicate the outcomes of your own, you mistake your own life for a circus show with predictable curtains, steaks, and cages. But, your life isn't a circus, Leo. It's the one wild thing. Only your hunger and your instinct can get guide your heart. No risk no reward, my lion.
Life sure has a way of reminding you that whatever happens, happens right on time, doesn't it? It's been an unusually busy time for you, Virgo. In fact, it's been a season of checklists, loose strings, and renewed commitments. If you're like any of the Virgos I know, that probably means you've periodically opened your laptop to a browser with three or more different tabs belonging to three or more different email accounts and calendars. Of course, many a Virgo thrives under such time-induced duress. In fact, show me a Virgo who doesn't look at an overcrowded planner as a puzzle that they've been tasked to solve, laminate, and frame, and I'll show you a Virgo who needs a life coach or at least a team sport/workshop/development course to join to get MOTIVATED and ACTIVE.
It's hard when things don't go your way, when time moves syrup-slow and opportunities dry up before you even raise a cup to your lips, to remember that just because you don't get what you've been striving for doesn't mean that the hard work you put in was all in vain. It can be tempting to allow moments of hardship or instability to influence your sense of self and value. Why then, isn't it equally tempting to allow moments of clarity and reward to sustain your sense of your own advancement and increasing skill set? Perhaps there's greater emotional risk in believing in yourself and your accomplishment. Perhaps many of us have come to believe that getting our hopes up too high is a sure-fire recipe for getting our hopes dashed.
But, isn't it true that hope doesn't work that way at all? Haven't you noticed, Virgo, that no matter how low your expectations are, you can still be disappointed? And, isn't it true that no matter how big you let your heart get around a new idea, a new job, or a new person, you never really lose your sense of reason and resolve? Whatever's led you to feel discouraged and dissuaded, remember that the lessons you learned about yourself made the work worth it. Whatever's working in your favor now, Virgo, you're allowed to enjoy it. So, enjoy it.
This month has many promising opportunities in store for you, Libra, not least of which is the opportunity to finally close a chapter on an old story you've long stopped having a vested interest in writing. Examples of this old story are old friendship dynamics you've outgrown, familial patterns you've worked hard to break in your adult life, romantic structures that are no longer serving you, or projects that no longer represent your values. The opportunity to close these chapters is only an opportunity, it's not a promise, and if the idea of turning the page buoys your spirit, it's worth noting that turning the page will require active choice on your part, intention and follow through.
Fortunately, follow through isn't something you lack, Libra. At least, not when you have a clear sense of the situation and a reasonable understanding of your ethos in relation to it. Perhaps, then, what's necessary is a deeper commitment to recognizing how your ethos has evolved, what it was then and what it is now.
Ethos, if you don't know, is the root of ethikos or ethics, the study of morals. Generally, ethos refers to the fundamental beliefs and values of a person or peoples. And, since you're here and love to learn, I'll share with you that ethos originally meant accustomed place. This month, I'm interested in both these definitions for you Libra, in what you might imagine is the "accustomed place" of your belief system—what you expect to find acceptable and within reason—and what your fundamental values are now, how they might have changed while you were busy getting accustomed. Your ethos, you might find, is more situational than you'd like to admit. Context, time, and experience can change the way you relate to a situation or person. Time refutes what we were once convinced was irrefutable. In any case, Libra, you have the right to change your mind.
It is often said that Taurus is the sign of deep commitment. And, it's true that your "opposite sign" loves to dig her heels in deep when she's found the hill she means to die on, or at least wait for death until something else comes along. The thing is, if you know enough about astrology, or at least enough about the hidden lives of others, you'll find that when it comes to commitment, Scorpio and Taurus are not so different. Both are fixed signs, and both exhibit traits of "wholeness" and maturity long before they have any idea what either of those words mean to them or how they actually function in a person's life. Many Scorpio and Taurus people seem to age backward, taking on lots of responsibilities as children and becoming more and more resistant to the "adult" world as they age. Encouraged by their emotional fortitude, they started off in the deep end when they were too young to recognize the toll it would take on their spirits. For this and myriad other convoluted reasons, both signs tend to carry deep yearning for, and misgivings about, commitment.
This month begins with a Taurus new moon which is as good of an indication as any to sit with your fear of commitment, Scorpio. What you imagine as your hesitancy to give your word to a person or institution before you know your heart is in it, what you imagine is your sense of accountability and honor, and what might conversely be your way of avoiding a depth you're afraid you'll drown in.
But, I don't think it's the drowning that scares you. I think you've been nursing a bad belief that you court your own suffering, that drowning is the only thing you're good at and you're afraid to give your bad belief a chance to prove itself. Perhaps you even opted out of water entirely. Perhaps you've been lots of time sitting on the shore of your life pretending to be a piece of glass, something once broken, smoothed by time, beautiful and without purpose. A person is not a piece of glass. A person can say yes without having to play the story out in their head every time. A person can't control the future simply by opting out of it. Have a little more faith in your future self, Scorpio. Trust your intuition and your will to live.
There are many ways to feel abundance, Sagittarius. Consummate philosopher, you understand the various nuances of what wealth is more than most. There is, of course, monetary wealth, and those of us who have never felt the reassurance of a fiscal net know more than most how precarious life can be without it. But, there is also the wealth of human relations, wealth of love and connection that provides for us in moments of personal precarity and moments of celebration as well. There's intellectual wealth, wealth of imagination and the gift of curiosity, the ability to experience the richness of existence through ideas, information, and re-invention. There's physical wealth too, the ability to use your body as you wish, to gain access with ease, to experience presence because of consistent well-being. All of these and more—I'm sure you can imagine more—are examples of what you can consider personal resources.
So, Sagittarius, take good stock and ask yourself what your personal resources are. Give yourself time to ascertain your relation to wealth—do you welcome it? Do you fear it? And what is there to fear about accepting what you have? Besides, of course, that in naming it you lay claim to it, and once you know you have something, you know you can lose it.
If this spectrum of claim and loss is what you fear, consider the idea that by not acknowledging what is available to you, you risk not fully experiencing the depth that resource could offer.
If, when taking stock of your physical wealth, you recognize that you have spent a great deal of time denying your own capacity for strength and for pleasure, do more than take note of your own resistance. You are changing, your resources are changing, your corporal state is changing, and, it's time your relationship to all that you have changes, too.
When we look back, it can seem clear why things needed to end the way they did. Or, if it's unclear why they needed to end, then how that end came about anyway—incrementally—as if by domino effect. Time and hindsight is like that, it clarifies the river of information, pans the silt until what remains are a few nuggets of truth we might call gold if we didn't know any better. But, you know better, don't you, Capricorn? You know that someday you'll look back on this moment and the truth you're seeking, about yourself, about the people in your life, about love and the many ways it can break us open or just break us, will feel like a small worry stone you've carried in your pocket all this time. Easily accessible, always there.
If only you weren't so keen on doing things the hard way. If only you could isolate the voice inside your head that speaks your truth from all the other voices you've internalized, the ones that make you doubt your worth, that make you doubt what your heart already knows.
But, just like you can't change the past, you can't know all the cards until they're put down on the table. And, even when the cards are before you, understanding their impact, how you came to collect the hand you did and why you had to fold or double down—that comes later if it ever comes all. You can only change your relationship to the present tense, you can only be sure of what's happening now, who you are at this moment, what's within your line of vision and your personal ability. You've got to make a choice about what your life looks like from here on out, Capricorn, because otherwise the choice will be made for you.
I know you're changing, and you know it too. It doesn't matter if it doesn't show yet, if on the surface the waves remain calm and the fish in the water have no sense of a sea change. You have a sense. You feel it coming, a resistance to the old ways of doing things, a refusal to identify with an image of yourself that no longer fits what you feel. And, maybe that means you've been changing your wardrobe. Maybe you've been noticing how often you skip songs you used to listen to on loop as if they told the story of your heart. Maybe you've been going to sleep earlier, waking up earlier, saying "no" when you don't feel an emphatic "yes," and letting someone else's "maybe" translate as not enough to buy your time.
The new moon in Taurus will have you focusing on your home and domestic sphere in particular, and you might find yourself paying special attention to how you construct and maintain the spaces and circles that act as your home base, your recharging station. This might be as complex and weighty as renegotiating your time commitments to family members and close relationships.
Or, it can be as simple as recognizing that it might be in your best spiritual interest to purge yourself of a great deal of sentimental detritus that is no longer your aesthetic or your concern.
In truth, your small incremental changes are not nothing, they are in service to and symptomatic of a greater shift within you. A shift toward a self that is more integrated, more accepting of the parts of you that up until now felt unreachable or submerged. As if the temperature beneath a glacier in your heart has slowly risen and any day now the glacier is going to give way.
Below, some chill aliens of the zodiac answer all your questions
Some people will tell you that knowing what you want is only half the battle. But in many cases, it's not even half. After all, you've got to consider if you what you want is what you need, if it's actually in your best interest—or, if it's just something you've been telling yourself is the one thing missing all this time. It's not enough, after all, to seek relationships with people you can idealize in certain contexts or frameworks. Not when you find that these same people are the ones you respect less and less the more time you spend with them. It's not enough, in the long run, to apply for a job whose qualifications you can meet when, ultimately, you yearn to work in a different field entirely. Or, it's enough for right now, but right now can quickly grow into a year, and a year into a life before you know it.
The other half of the battle (toward what? fulfillment?) is knowing why you want what you want. It's recognizing the many times you've traded what you needed for what was most readily available. It's reckoning with the spiritual cost of that trade and understanding that, in order to break a cycle or a pattern, you've got to pay attention to it. You've got to spend time with yourself, understand your own motives, understand what's gotten you to the same spot over and over if you want anything to change.
Maybe you're reading this thinking, I've spent enough time reflecting. And maybe you have. Proof of the work you've done toward your own self-betterment becomes apparent if you allow yourself time to see it. Proof of the work that's left to be done works in much the same way. Note the parts of your life that allow you to feel authentically yourself, perhaps even proud. Note the pieces of the pie that bring up doubt for you, insecurity, and possibly shame. The pieces are not separate, they inform one another and sustain the whole. If you're feeling stronger in certain parts of your life, turn toward the parts of yourself that need you most.
Below, two sensitive geniuses of the zodiac answer your questions