Shadow ‘scopes are horoscopes that hold space for the darker side of your life, and find the redemptive value in the daily awkwardness & agony.
Sagittarius: You awaken to find yourself on ground suspiciously moving as if to tell you that you’re about to take off on a whole adventure before you feel ready. Waking up in this agitated state, you see two transparent peacocks standing adjacent to you, facing the horizon, letting you see both the ground and the vision of what’s ahead through their glorious plumage. But their faces are serious, and the rumbles of your security system say something other than glamour and glory: As in the brute strength of an earthquake, those birds, mustering the claws of the whole world, lift the dirt and rocks of that ground up, leaving only a void, forcing you to go with them to an unknown place.
You now are those peacocks with the vision, carrying all the splendor of your emotions and the meaning you want to make with them, not messing around. You’re also that ground, for even as you relish the exploration of new horizons, Sagittarius, you still cling to frameworks of reality as security systems. The ground rising and crumbling is your creative itch, your act of reaching toward consummation with the people and inquiries that you love, and this moment asks for your willingness to extend that reach far enough that it jumbles the previous language for your quest. It’s now—rise, do, let yourself be seen through, for though safety measures are vulnerable to merciless collapse, your visions and burning passion are indestructible and open to all.
Capricorn: This eclipse you find yourself tucked away in the nook of a steep mountain ridge. Though you’re a climber, your journey seems to have gone into isolated retreat, as you sometimes peek outside, seeing the daredevil rock climbers with all their gear pass by as though you’re invisible in your occluded corner. At a loss for words, there’s something you’re challenged to communicate to yourself in your isolation. You see hieroglyphics on the walls of that secret hiding place and, though you don’t understand the language through which you’re being asked to deliver the message, much less how you’re supposed to do so in such a dubious shelter without contact, the gears of the wet feelings, inaudible within the action-oriented place, demand that you continue the interior adventure.
In the past, someone as ambitious as you would have preferred to climb with those other explorers now peripheral to you in your seclusion. But you now have a task: leaving behind the habitual urge to climb the mountain the same way all the time, with the gear of consensus reality. The loneliness of learning a new language of leadership and service within your echo chamber may feel agonizing, Capricorn, but the screams for contact with those other climbers, showing them another, deeper rhythm of knowing the mountains and nests of daily life, signal that you’re breaking through to an idiom that marries your ambition with a meaningful connection to heritage, contemplation and hidden areas. Scream, shout, and breathe, and be silent—the others will return to you, perhaps crawling, perhaps climbing, and though you’re lonely now, you’ll soon be equipped to lead in ecstatic ways.
Aquarius: This eclipse a tension emerges between two known aspects of you: your aspirational self, extending a vulnerable wish and noble ideal out into the ocean of possibilities, and the rushing demands of your ability to lead a revolutionary city. The fishing line going out into the still lake baits an ideal that’s brought to you in a foreign tongue, rendering you more vulnerable in your desire by virtue of its unfamiliarity. But it soon kindles a storm, and vicious sea monsters whirl a tempest into a complete city brought to your feet. Skyscrapers, traffic, and people in civilized attire all greet you as if you’re their leader, and you must now translate your wish over to this hustling, bustling place that you’re now meeting for the first time. There’s suspicion, as some of these folks smile but also give you the cold shoulder, whispering about you, making you wonder if they’re frenemies.
While this uncomfortable scenario makes you want to send it all back, stop the flow of communication, turn off all the devices and remain with the purity of your single, solitary wish, this eclipse has other plans for you. Can the nobility of your desire endure and guide and inspire through violent arrivals of mixed messaging? Can you forge connections between your vulnerability and the flurry of others’ claims, demands and gossip regarding you? The aspiration itself remains, and this eclipse presents an opportunity to feel it with a fresh heartbeat as it presents to you in a new tongue. When in doubt, laugh—it’s amusing babble, and your laughter cuts through other’s baggage and ill-will, helping all to see the integrity of the higher aim.
Pisces: A strange walk through zillions of clotheslines has you feeling penniless. Blue buckets underneath these ambiguous points of connection, or places to hang your wants out to dry, remind you of the need to fill up the larder: need more income, more worth. A passage through horseback riding gear thwacking together and grazing your scalp brings a feeling of nostalgia, but it feels hard to merge the soothing effect of the authorities of your past with the material and emotional demands of right now. Gaining a larger view, you see that these lines above your head are ropes connecting buildings, and there are many versions of you looking eagerly through the glass windows facing a life-and-death mission: these soul parts crash their heads through those building windows and walk those tightropes all the way to the other side.
What comes into your life now speaks to the risk involved with reflecting upon how far you’ve come, arriving at these edifices that have crystallized your wishes, but also how a transgression of past ‘shalt nots’ is required to break through what you’ve outgrown and walk to the other side without the safety net. Hard ground and empty buckets, this time, serve as catalysts for you to reach those other monuments to your worth. You see that the horizons point neither toward asking permission from your superiors to fill up your bucket, nor a return to the past, but to learning how your signature contribution to the world both erects and connects places just as powerfully as it’s known to dissolve artificial dualities.
Aries: Though you’re the master of plundering new lands, what happens when you’re transplanted onto foreign territory in an act of forced expansion, scrambling on ground that’s burning, or rife with flying ice? You scramble to make sure your armor protects you from intruders, pathogens and those trying to spot your weaknesses. But cracks in that body suit seem inevitable: in a parallel time, knights sit atop dark horses wearing centuries’ old rusted uniforms, speaking to the nobility of their mission and the demand of the times to expand beyond traditional default ways. Holes in their eyes welcome spurts of fire and iced balls—unwelcome messages from a land whose madness is unprecedented trying to meet the madness in you. Do you know the extent of this part of yourself?
You’re being tested, Aries, for your ability to first embody the expansiveness yourself into your own undiscovered territories so that you can meet the far off places where others are afraid to tread. This includes bombardment by messages from the weather, inhibiting your ability to see when you already struggle to decipher the stray cuneiform tablets all over the stormy ghost town’s cryptic border walls. Think twice about your knee-jerk reflex to fend off those signals or maintain your status quo sensory and mental capacities, for as you see alien symbols, hear a cacophony of eccentric tongues and feel extremes of heat and chill invading your every pore, know that what your inner senses really seek now is to regenerate their power. This awkward vulnerability of eyes and skin reflect your deep vision and resilience seeking to expand into this undiscovered place, helping its inhabitants, and reporting your discoveries to your loved ones back home.
Taurus: What are you learning about the regeneration of your erotic body, and what insight are you gaining about your responses to fear? Your master teachers of another dimension are plump, grandmotherly gatekeepers of your pleasure bringing you meringue cakes. It seems you can’t trust the sweets their wrinkly hands throw in front of your face: there’s a bitter, acidic or even poisonous underlayer to them, and these Strega Nona knowledge-holders wear frozen grins on their faces, reflective of how you yourself freeze when considering the decaying, impermanent body. Those sweets transform into gargantuan tombstones, confirming your terror on one level, but giving you a hint about the sensual value of aging on another.
Despite your instinct to run from this dream, the message seems clear: you’re invited to rehearse your own death. More precisely, you’re invited to learn, through the generous offering of those elders’ hands, the connection between the pleasures of Eros and the woes of Thanatos. The challenge, Taurus, lies in institutions that confuse this initiation by encouraging you to cling to an innocent status quo of creature comforts. Which offerings provide the gates and channels of knowledge that truly meet your inquiry into the expanded sense of eroticism within decay; which ones only obstruct the view and send you running to hide under the blanket? Perhaps the old folks holding those desserts are somewhere in between. Even so, since the lineage of the sweet death-sculptors makes itself present to you, holding your exploration, you may now embark on the inquiry into the degree to which Woe itself contains sublime delight.
Gemini: A preoccupation with partnership and Other becomes a doctor’s checkup, which becomes your physician taking your vital signs and soon escalates into a passionate kiss. A love affair with your primary care may not have been on the table, but it’s time for a new experience of the one-on-one connection, whether that relationship is brought to you buy symmetrical or asymmetrical power. The thrill of this encounter is that you are both yourself and the healthcare worker, and the journey of you and your lover coming-together is also the journey of you melding with your own confidence and vulnerability surrounding your relationships overall. This includes all of your most meaningful relationships, including between yourself and your subject matter, interests, passions, or secret spites.
The tables really turn when the good ol’ doc grabs a noose, moving to hang you as all of your friends look on. The line between friend and enemy becomes ever more fine, and you suddenly realize that the cultivation of your confidence and vulnerability moves in the same thickening-thinning rhythm as the line across which your compatriots stare at the rope around your neck. This eclipse shows you how growing genuine confidence, and transmuting insecurity into vulnerability, is that dance of traveling back and forth, self and other, not one or the other but squeezed together like threads of a rope locked in a kiss.
Cancer: Your travels and travails bring you a morass of social distancing circles, marking the correct approximation of six feet apart—eyesores in the midst of your majestic journey with a dear companion on horseback or bus-pole. The horizon, while looking exquisite, contains many signposts and boundaries that aim to stop or control your journey, and in the greater distance, a heap of tangled and discarded branches. What’s most important to you is to keep going, but there’s a part of you burnt out from charging forward on your steed and trying to follow the rules of the road, the parameters of work ethic, at the same time. But you’re pulled off your horse into that mess of branches. No more marked places on the trail; no more dictations of distance from your ambitions or your work in the world.
Leaving your companion to the other side of the road and entangling yourself in those twigs, sticks, bark, feeling their elongation and their limitation, myriad fragments or your career, of the arc of your life’s contribution to the world, make themselves clear to you. Though each stick in the woodpile shows you a different piece of your mission, in fact your body contacts each of them simultaneously. For this time period, you have the chance to leave behind the illusions given to you by coconspirators in love and work, and hold a moment unto yourself listening to the arcs of nature, and to the arc of your own lifeline to all the life around you on your terms.
Leo: Ever-ready to create in an open, receptive and romantic landscape, you’re poised to conceive in the heat of passion. It’s as if you’re copulating with a beloved under a thin blanket in the moonlight despite warning signs, disapproval, or ill will from others. When you’re in the heat of creation, no fields of stinging bugs could stop you even if they tried. The lover underneath you, though containing the seed possibility of resentment, envy, or itch, is someone or something you know to be a necessary portal to your expansion, and it’s important to remind yourself of this: what you love, despite its barbs and potions, despite surrounding you with swords laced in poison ivy, represents a part of you moving toward another stage of conception. Who are you, anyway?
Under that desert blanket, when you see a tarantula, followed by many other spiders at first you freak: you’d have been more comfortable with those human saboteurs of your love. But these arachnids bring you a realization that what’s being foiled is not your human love; it’s your perspective, your ability to see not only as a lion, but as a spider weaving worlds for others. Let yourself see and weave connections to what you love in a different way and touch other, unknown parts of the ground. What can seem to be devotion to a passion can actually be fixation. What can seem to be a sexually transmitted disease can really be growing more pairs of legs to touch the untrodden ground and kiss the moon discovered by the newly conceived family of births and decays.
Virgo: Everything in the kitchen and living room is a mess, and just when you’re concerned with picking everything up off the floor, all kinds of fumes rush through your sphere. In another dimension, all shades of smoke combine: car exhaust, gas, carbon monoxide, swirling around and creeping through the domestic environment in shades of gray, red, black, forming a haze that sounds the alarm. But what feels most foreign is not that this happens—this, to you, somehow strikes as a just climax of the chaotic, conflicting needs of every bit of energy in your house to establish a ground for adventurous intimacy, crashing into each other’s agendas. At least your orderly mind makes sense of it that way.
What feels strange are the voices bellowing from heroic heads trying to save your breath and help you clear it all up. The repairmen call speaking in gibberish; they’re trying to help, but speak a language unknown to you. It’s up to you to learn to love the messiness of the home trying to be intimate with you, constellating all that clutter, and to call back to those outcries of renewal from the firefighters, cleaners, plumbers, inspectors. The unknown idioms sounding the alarm bells through your kitchen are trying to clear the space, bringing the sources of the fumes into a condensed pillared, a dreamy haze that holds a tender, spicy homage honoring both your longing for renewed intimacy and your heady debris. You may wish to reject others’ methods, but the unfamiliar is working its magic on you, and it’s time to breathe through the breathless.
Libra: Venturing into a land full of fresh thought and shady, if stimulating, sights to see, communication in the trip breaks down. It’s not you, its’ the signs: they. All carry illegible shapes bordering on the absurd, meanings of “stop” and “go” blurring into one another, moose and elk warnings running their ink, stickers torn, poles sideways threatening to crash through windows. You’re beginning to wonder if someone’s duped you, sending you out only to fail to discover anything new because all the surrounds grow increasingly incomprehensible to the point of hostility. But in one flash, as if tripping on your trip, those distortions on the road signs expand, becoming solid, flying up into the air as drone helicopters. There’s a serious destination and there’s also unfailing speed that crescendoes quickly, and it’s hard to tell whether you’re observing all this from a parking place or whether you are one of those helicopters, your insides move and morph so fast. When the flying vehicles hover over a pile of crashed parts, you realize that the terminus of this whole voyage is that junk pile, and you will those helicopters within your field of awareness to crash-land into the heap.
To the junk pile you go—but it’s not what you think. You, who would habitually go to the luxury hotel only to continue to be in constant motion, taking all those travel signs for granted, now steam with all the rejected parts because it’s time to reassess, and experiment with, the way of moving through your environments. This is a marked opportunity: rather than being the air that invisibly marks the motion, the ways, the channels to and from, you’re now an animal with determination in its eyes, arising from that trash heap on its own two feet, walking out into the world and experiencing the adventure as a creature that walks, wants and proclaims itself within its surroundings.
Scorpio: The agony of self-worth and of who determines your worth, in word and number, concretizes in sticky foreign currency all over your body, as you sit in a stark room—bathroom? interrogation room? —while mopping up all the residue of others’ prejudices, all the ill-timed spills that left this workplace and this living space in a sorry state. Your labor, value and desperate expressions of opinion lack a sympathetic ear or a just compensation, but you sound the battle cry of your gold and speak in icy tones into an intercom anyway. Cold water from the mop bucket and ice water from the shower heads splash onto you as cruel payback—you offer your perspective and others have shrunk from it, calling it too heavy, too intense.
If they’re seeking revenge by giving you torture showers, it won’t work, Scorpio: you of all people know best that external expressions of pleasure, pain and worth don’t last, and so you’ll respond to that frigid deluge by wrapping yourself in a blanket of international bills. You know that even if the receptacle of your worth, your means of exchange, makes itself unavailable to you or adopts a standard that’s unknown to you right now, your supreme power resides in the knowledge of your resilience, what’s unchanging through all the mutating currencies. Those trying to silence you and subjugate all the fun of your volatility only strengthen your reserves, your ability to wear the unknown, arbitrary standards of value as a terrifying blanket, serving as an emblem of your ferocity long after monetary standards have sounded their last death gasp.
Support the guest artist who provided cover art for this week’s Shadow ‘Scopes! Follow Sarah Casey’s work at snakesrcool on Instagram.