Shadow Horoscopes for the Full Moon in Aries (October 20th, 2021)

art by Wren Foxx

ARIES: This full moon you find yourself freely floating in a danger zone of exposed wires, or careening through the space of open wounds during surgery without anesthetics, or the raw bleeding edge of the memories taking you back to the glimpse of all the partners you’ve ever worshiped. These glimpses of partnership, and your efforts to furiously maintain your autonomy within them, color themselves as salons where worship and power dynamics are at play, and these images of bonding split into many vaginal fragments; shells out in space. Your quest for autonomy, and the peak of the awareness of where your relationships have brought you, leaves you groundlessly looking at all the scenes of partnership, as you face any pains of those experiences of coupling, friendship and anguish associated with aloneness. 

As you feel the deep void & yourself out there in space, you also see the potential within this new crisis of living between the shells of intimacy and aloneness. Yours is the challenge of discovering the freedom through transforming your relationship to both partnering & solitary life. As your environment seems to darken and you only see the stars as twinkling glimmers of formidable possibility, options & directions whose will it’s difficult to discern; as you feel might trip and fall at every turn, your task is to position yourself where you are in the cycle. A more profound and mature experience of autonomy is now born within you, and as the pioneer, you’re the one who has brought yourself here. 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. To put it more plainly: 

*This full moon speaks to the central nervous system of your world view, immediate environment and path forward. Consider what you’re giving birth to or letting go of within your life circumstances, and see how you can honor the urges toward more freedom & space while also responding to outer changes with equanimity. 

*Honor any clarity about the impulse to lean into more personal autonomy within your relationships, communicating boundaries while softening to the other, and taking space to go inward as your moods all have their own time signature right now.

art by Wren Foxx

TAURUS. A hidden electric river now demands your attention to the obscure: one at the underside of a cliff, spitting out debris, dead birds & old treasures that you once valued and clung to obstinately, refusing to let go. It’s as if you awaken before morning caffeine with a nagging sensation that there’s a hidden cause, or a hidden piece of knowledge, or an irresistible urge to plunge back into your dream life, containing some sort of key. These inclinations and urges are the first step toward discovering what’s hidden about yourself from you. We all have blind spots, and this full moon calls into question what you think you know about yourself, your agency and your inner world. You love to have your material world ordered & controlled, but who knew there’s a whole reservoir of power underneath the most reliable, sturdy rocks of the canyon of your life? Who knew despite your constant attempts to hold on, there’s a constant catalyst to let go into the vitalizing flow on the underside? 

When you see this cascade, and let it inform your approach to how you order your daily reality, your health, rhythms of sleeping & waking and routine, if you can relax with it, you will find the relief & release that it’s your path to discover. Let your ideas of reality destabilize, soften, melt between states of consciousness. All of those rocks, mountains and monuments to the solid structures, to the pyramids you’ve so diligently built, will still be there—but now you’re discovering what’s most vital underneath it all, the currents transporting you through space and time into the creative release of dogmatic debris and the spewing forth of life force energy. 

This poet has gotten carried away. To say it more directly: 

*You may feel drawn to the freedom with your dream life this full moon. Honor any impulses to spend more time daydreaming or in visionary activities. 

*Notice what’s being born or anything you’re trying to let go of from the past that will make your daily routines flow with more ease. Is there a ‘thingy’ lurking in the background you can free yourself from to go forward?

art by Wren Foxx

GEMINI: Transforming wishes catch you this full moon, confronting you with unfamiliar territories. Part of you feels suspended in mid-air, flying toward your goals with your friends by your side. Another part of you is aware of any straitjackets you still wear, the residue of a conformist police state hovering over your dreams & your risky impulses. Floating up in the clouds ready to swan dive toward your wish, there’s a moment of queasiness while you ready yourself to rip off the suffocating vest that insults your dreams. You now live in the in-between space, the liminality between the sky of your goal’s promise and the underworld where the dirty work happens to make your goal manifest. A free-radical pioneer must look at the whole gestalt of the horizon, both the sky and the belly of the earth that accompanies the realization of a goal. Now that you feel a climactic urge toward taking the risk that’s built up inside you, it’s time to face that dark underbelly—everything you make a point of *not* aligning with your self-image asks for your acknowledgment & respect. 

To not acknowledge that the opposites, the doubts, the surveillance upon your hopes & dreams, also play a role through friction in helping you realize your goals in the first place, would be to ignore the fact that you carry a blind spot just as everyone does. What’s more, you, ever agile, are able to dip in & out of sky & underground, and dipping into the horizon of possibility before diving into the shadows of terror empowers you to pursue your intention from all vantage points. This full moon is a ripening of your ability to go everywhere to translate your goals into reality, even burrowing holes into the ground, the place that may feel most limiting at first, so that each perspective renders you on the frontiers of making unforeseen connections. 

This madman is intoxicated by poetry. Say it directly! 

*You may feel that this moon confronts you with hopeful ventures between you and your friends—either taking on a life of their own or letting go of them. 

*Consider how what feels liberating & forward about play & pleasure are transforming in your life right now. 

art by Wren Foxx

CANCER: You are one who knows how to help us all live together in society; who knows the rules and the markers of protection. And so when there’s an earth-shaking change afoot, you may be inclined to weaponize those rules just as another part of you eagerly, curiously moves toward the revolution of your whole career’s scaffolding. Part of you sees all the shells break and crumble; the pillars to high society collapse to the ground and you hear the echo of generations past as these pillars of salt topple over. The monuments of hierarchy that you once thought validated you are due for an overhaul, as is your perception of your own initiative to carry the torch of the new culture in every leadership role you play in life. 

Crucial during this full moon ripening is to become aware of the little people underground who carry lanterns, lighting the pathway of your life mission’s cultivation toward fresh forms. While there may be a temptation at first to cling to the old ways, or to forge a society among your colleagues, children & witnesses in the model of the past, this is a time to follow your instinct not to weaponize the codes of conduct in polite interaction. It’s a moment to embrace all the change and to know that the underworld itself, though a territory that may feel unfamiliar to you, is its own protective shell. On this moon, you can reframe your idea of what is a nurturing container, and you can do this by acknowledging that the hidden places, too, are valid spots to build a house; are respectable plots to build a platform to educate future generations. Maximize the opportunity to harness your place in the apocalyptic limelight to move the social conversation forward instead of fighting to resuscitate the past. 

This is all cryptic mediumship. Tell it to us in plain terms! 

*This full moon you may feel a ripening of some aspect of your career, or your role as a leader or as a parent, which could mean that you are in the spotlight or that it’s reflected back to you by your elders or your administration. 

*There’s a force trying to move you toward a more free, forward-moving, pleasurable aspect of your career & mission with the depth of integrity behind it. Can you embrace this call? What is being released & born in your career & life mission?

art by Wren Foxx

LEO. Self-love is one of your supreme virtues & resources, and it’s a lifelong adventure to learn the boundary between confidence & haughtiness. This full moon ripens your ability to embrace a new territory. You thought once that you knew the place you are landing on now, whether geographically, intellectually or spiritually. You thought you knew the answers, the systems, the paths. But there’s a peculiar silence in the middle of an empty, darkened clearing in a forest. A part of you sees wolves breathing fire, and inside the flames coming out of their mouths, question marks appear. What is coming into question for you? Within the word “question” is the word “quest” and as the Grail-seeker, quests & questions play crucial roles in your path, Leo. You are one at home with the gold, with the solar light, and to stumble upon this silent, unmapped nighttime ground all by yourself, not knowing where you are, raises an overwhelming number of questions. What’s more, seeing these other beasts mirroring your animality back to you, breathing your element, may at first feel like an identity threat: can you see the potency of your self-expressive powers equally as strong when other creatures display the substance of your expression themselves? 

This may all feel quite humbling, and though you’re a lion, you may feel inclined to howl along with those wolves whether or not fire comes out of you. But the humility is part of this journey: this new clearing you’ve discovered wants to humble you to it. Part of the grail quest is arriving and asking the questions that are on your mind instead of pretending to know the answers, and learning from other creatures. You may think you’re alone, but there are others there able to mirror the stuff of your creative fire back to you. You may think they’re stealing your expression, but they’re actually revealing your abilities to you in a dimension of heat, heart & light that you never dreamed possible— if only you soften yourself, your beliefs and your presumed knowledge enough to listen. 

These are all flights of fancy. Tell it to us plainly! 

*This full moon you may find yourself in a crisis of knowledge, or that your emotions about what ideas or places mean to you run very high. Notice the possibilities of forward action that arise in your mind while also perhaps hanging out in the space of not-knowing before making hasty choices. 

*Alternately, what new confidence in your ideas or in your capacity to expand your horizons & travel is born during this full moon? The crisis may be felt more as a turning point, as the turning of a page onto a new map, with other languages for living or creative landscapes to explore, as long as you listen. 

art by Wren Foxx

VIRGO. Memories and secrets burn sometimes. This heat may feel especially uncomfortable to parts of you that want to control your reality. On this full moon, a part of your inner landscape sees shutters close upon a room with a constant hum, in which you see shadows of murky memories while you huddle under your research desk, trying to protect yourself from the sounds of the past’s inconvenient secrets that are somehow still merged with your primal existence. The specters of sex, death and money set to pursue you like hungry children, and this is all in the environment where you thought you’d have the most control, where you’ve made every effort to make it tidy. It’s ironically in the environment where you’ve tried to exert the most control where the most pain happens, and this moon tries to propel you outside, to discover the freedom within moving between the extreme temperatures of hot and cold. 

If you’re willing, it’s possible to glimpse this freedom in the uncontrolled space, stepping out of that micromanaged office out into the open field: it’s the feeling of standing in silent snow that shows you a sharp contrast from the agony of that regimented, claustrophobic room you were in before. It’s not without pain, but there’s respite, an ability to hear and discern; to see the extremities for what they are within the spacious silence. Part of this spaciousness, too, is knowing you’re not limited to one habitat, when a part of you enters a fiery vortex, leaning headfirst completely into a flaming gyre. If you allow yourself to air out, to leave that controlled space, you discover you can move between that open field and that fire; you can listen to those burning secrets telling you about your money, your jealousies and your desires in your full power, releasing into the embodiment of the connection-maker that you are. 

This is all self-indulgent wishy-washy poetry. Tell us something we can use! 

*You may find yourself confronted this full moon with an awareness of what you share with others: money, sex, or anything profoundly “shared.” Can you exercise strong care for your emotions, giving yourself plenty of space to feel without trying to micromanage everything? 

*What are you giving birth to or letting go of in your shared physical or emotional resources and how can this be a celebratory, freeing experience for you?

art by Wren Foxx

LIBRA. When the space around you and your beloved, or you and your inner partner feels too small, arguments arise. You feel the walls closing in on you, or other walls erecting between you until the craving for the counter-energy to all of this—space & freedom–is so strong that you’d willingly break it all down to help you both experience more sanity together. This full moon ripens your ability to notice when the space that connects you to your love, to yourself, to your passionate subject, only allows for a closed feedback loop that causes you to trip over each other’s arguments. You notice how your bodies become extensions of a container for connection that’s become too old and self-enclosed, demanding to open out into a new horizon. What you give birth to is the busting-open of the walls that only give intimacy a perilous road.

When you’re opened out into space, it may be scary, but there’s so much more room for autonomy, and you suddenly see yourself as an elderly lovers, extending your feet toward the sky as flames shoot out of the soles. This is the release of your vitality that had been trapped, and the climax on this full moon is feeling a full realization of your need to express the fire of your own life within plenty of space. You can gaze upon the other, or the friend, or the subject matter, while you do this, but the birth is of your own spaciousness & freedom in the presence of the other. Fire shoots out of your feet into a receptive sky, and though it’s painful for those mutually enclosing walls to come down, a key component of intimacy is learning autonomy, and a key component of autonomy within partnership is knowing how to extend well-wishes to the other on their journey while you’re there with them, celebrating each of your capacities for pleasure & achievement. 

This is nonsense spoken by a mad poet. Say it to us plainly! 

*This full moon may raise the awareness of any emotional space within close friendships or partnerships that may feel too stuffy or claustrophobic, where you feel you need to claim your space more. 

*Or in your own life, it may remind you of those friendships & partnerships that feel truly urgent and vital for you, that open your heart into space and open the energy centers in your body, and it’s a call to honor those relationships by nourishing the level of liberation that they open up within you.

art by Wren Foxx

SCORPIO: Bloodthirstiness isn’t a foreign feeling to you as someone Mars & Pluto-ruled, and a part of your path involves learning to ride the bloodthirsty passions of anger, lust, desire and revenge, transforming them into an awareness of your life force. On this full moon, a climactic echo of your bloodthirsty desire to control your day’s schedule, pattern and order of eating, working & resting splashes over your awareness. Everything in your day runs—the ink runs, the blood overflows, the nutrients and crumbs of the food pile up & overflow, rubbing up against your instinct to wield power over it all. This represents a ripening of your discernment over where true power comes right now: the power of your will, exerting effort & force over the creation of your routine & rituals, or the power of your ability to surrender. 

You possess both of these components of power in large measure, and when things overflow, running into your time-pattern as messes & spills, how to you react? Which octave of your power do you sound into the world? Imagine these aspects of power—will and surrender— as two sides of a river, appearing as elemental forces the way sides of a body of water appeared many millennia ago, when the holistic pattern of your powers originated. Imagine these two sides of the river merge into the shape of a serpent’s head, with you as the serpent, your tongue sticking out. Or, perhaps you’re not the serpent but you gaze upon it as an observer, tempted, knowing that a skillful merging with the serpent’s invitation leads you to harness your life force in a way that you’re called upon to do. Whether you bite or yield, this full moon is a climax of your ability to discern when you use each of those powers, doing so with mindful discretion, with plenty of respect for your messes. 

This is archaic poetic drivel. Tell it to us in plain language! 

*This moon my confront you with an urgency around your daily schedule, the cycles of your physical body or diet. What can you let go of within your schedule that will bring you more freedom?

*What has been born within your daily rituals or work, play, food, and rest that has taken on a life of its own? How do you now exert your power in relationship to it?

art by Wren Foxx

SAGITTARIUS: You love the adventure, and on this full moon you glimpse the leap into the farthest tundra, feeling all warmth & cold of your friends, lovers, & those who remind you of the youngest parts of yourself. The part of you that loves to overspend, take gambles on the journey, and engage in questionable bargains appears for full counsel on this lunation. What is your expression of the leap into a creative excursion or love affair? Everyone you’ve ever friended, partied or hooked up with appears around you as skipping giraffes, showing you the quests both into the desert and the frost, inviting you to gallop with them into the landscapes of this risky part of yourself. 

When you gaze down into the drop-offs of the bad bargains, what do you see? You are one to say “damn the consequences!,” moving to a foreign land of complete strangers and no income, living it up—and what creative fire can you make of the lore surrounding you; the lore of the ‘one who gambles’? There are the folk tales with gnomes who show up making deals, forcing the “you” in that story to give away their first-born child. Though you love the interstellar flights of fancy and the horizon of future, what can you make of these past consequences in the name of your future creativity? Can you gaze into the abyss, beyond both the desert and the tundra, and venture into the territory of ‘overdoing it’, of bargaining too hastily, of gambling too compulsively—can you gaze into these excesses consciously, knowing that the creative adventure will come from your past experiences of doing this, and that in the process of coming to this awareness, you discover your autonomous horizon through a conscious, creative exploration of those consequences? 

This is a rambling drunken attempt at poetry. But what actually happens? 

*This full moon you might feel a ripening of recreational experiences, or of your urges toward artistic inspiration in a way that harnesses past risks you’ve taken. Can you embrace all the choices you’ve made, even the mistakes, as grist for the mill of your creativity now? 

*How can you therapeutically honor any reckless parts of yourself that you’ve shut down for a long time, thanking them for wanting you to feel good, while also heeding the voices of caution? What can you create and express socially and pleasurably through this?

art by Wren Foxx

CAPRICORN: There are seasons when ambition reaches a peak, but all within a sheltered, private, quiet container. This full moon there’s a part of you that feels the zeal for climbing and for always more, to heighten the scaffolding and renovate the ceilings even higher up. The emissaries of this ambition, the warriors from ancient times, crash into your home carrying torches enlisting people for the draft. Some deep bottomless craving for more and more whirls around in the members of your home, or your inner beings, who are as the wife in that Grimm tale, The Fisherman and his Wife tale—wanting a mansion, then wanting a palace, then wanting to be the emperor, and then wanting to rule the sun, moon & stars, then wanting to be God. 

We know from the tale that this ambition unravels the fisherman’s wife, as the vessel for our existence can’t expand that much when it becomes too proud. Try to expand the shelter, the container, into a too-high and all-powerful edifice and we end up placed back into humble situations where we learn to appreciate what we already have.  A giant fork scrapes away at our pride, at our blind ambition, when it becomes too lofty, striving to make us appreciate the dense borders & textures of our material reality as we know it. Can we appreciate what we have to eat, and the smooth, solid utensils with which we eat it, so that we are not eaten ourselves? So, too, appreciate your emotional body, the vessel in which you have the freedom to think and feel, and appreciate your shelters for what they are—this full moon, you have the opportunity to expand from where you are and transform a blinding drive for more into an appreciation for the space you inhabit and a discernment of what within your inner & outer shelters you can consciously, mindfully expand. 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Tell it to us directly! 

*You might find domestic themes, or more private emotional themes, arising during this full moon. What are you giving birth to within your home or in your private emotional life, or releasing entirely, to accept yourself where you are?

art by Wren Foxx

AQUARIUS: Sometimes when you and your siblings all have different ideas of the best ways to live & work as a human collective, gossip & rivalries ensue. When these dynamics aren’t emotionally acknowledged, they become bloodbaths, full of intellectual back-biting & callous remarks. It’s as if part of you and your inner & outer siblings are as toddlers playing at the top of a church, seen through a stained glass window competing to see who will be the best & chosen to lead the sermons. Whose ideas of ‘rightness’ do these compulsions to compete and one-up each other serve? In the village where you and your siblings live and ingest ideas, many steeples ascend toward the sky, and rays shoot out of them horizontally, connecting each other. These rays of light, while piercing each other & intermingling, constellate mandalas of electricity, circles of light all around the city. 

It’s as if the incubator for the most petty rivalries between you and your peers are also the incubators for the most vital sacred information to illuminate the whole village around you. This full moon represents an opportunity to check the spirit level of how you articulate your beliefs, and how your words & ideas become mobile, agile in conversation, between you and your brethren. Can you acknowledge any undercurrents of competition or argument without feeling a reactive instinct, without the compulsion to retaliate? Such agility creates the basis for the discourse between all of you to illuminate entire villages, to make you see the numinous orbs around all of you, each in their own way portals toward you & your kin doing your work toward a better coexistence of the species. 

These cryptic words make no sense! Tell it to us plainly! 

*This full moon information and ideas may play a large role in what you put out into the world and how you feel about it. You may feel that your ideas or knowledge are placed the limelight by your peers, or that you’re called to travel and make connections between different pieces of information or geographic locations. 

*What are you letting go of or what are you letting take on a life of its own, in your relationship with your kin and with the places & ideas you connect to each other?

art by Wren Foxx

PISCES: The flickering & dissolving of circumstances in your life are processes familiar to you as the representative of the total dissolve of consciousness into the cosmic ocean. You’re an embodiment of the quote “You’re not a drop into the ocean; you’re the entire ocean in a drop.” This full moon in Aries is, in a way, the contrapuntal energy to that one which characterizes you, as Aries and the full moon both symbolize birth & release: when an entity births into its own living pattern, separate from the human womb or the cosmic womb. As one at home with the cosmic wombs, you’re one who holds the adventure of continuously visiting the borderlines between birth into solid form and dissolving into vast essence. 

This full moon brings such an adventure through the lens of your material resources: it’s as if on a deep, murky sea, underwater, a treasure chest appears which is all of your money & possessions compressed into one box. You want the box to open into ever-expansive vastness, the human side of you craving continuous abundance & security. The box appears in full solidity to dissolve & disappear moments later. From another vantage point, you hold this precious box under flickering archways. Remember,  though the human part of you continuously wants your money & possessions to expand into ever-increasing abundance, the true embrace of your vastness comes with leaning into the flickering gestalt of the whole process of form & formlessness. Now is a time to call upon your full flexibility and own it as your strength: step into the full form of your resourcefulness one moment and embrace the freedom of giving away in the next, knowing that neither is permanent. 

Can we finally have a piece of advice  or a warning to grab onto, or something uplifting? Tell it to us in simple language! 

*You may find that this full moon a focus on your money or your material resources or possessions comes into play, compelling you to release clutter or to recognize any urgency around what you truly need. 

*Remember to honor yourself and your worth. 

Shadow Horoscopes for the New Moon in Libra (October 6th, 2021)

Shadow ‘Scopes for this new moon week are up, featuring the stunning occult art of Jes Anthonis. These ‘scopes took a highly cryptic turn with the current Mercury retrograde, so I’d love to hear what resonates for you. Read for your rising, sun & moon signs. First, an overall commentary on the new moon (shadow ‘scopes for each sign below).

This new moon, desires, intentions, urgencies leap forward or impatiently take turns on the see-saw. Communication loops back, glitching, somersaulting through review after review. Traditionally, new moons are times to plant private intentions as seeds into the ground. Ruled by Hekate, the goddess at the crossroads, it’s a time to do the more internal workings toward the path forward, nourished by an awareness of the potency of darkness—what gifts does Luna give when she’s dark? It’s a time to take the steps in which it’s most beneficial to *not* be seen, knowing our work will bear more visible fruit when the moon has more light. New moons in Libra emphasize partnership, conflict resolution, agreements & disagreements, harmony & discord. 

This new moon is conjunct Mars, planet of pioneering, desire, drive & war. This force of impatient desire becomes extra cranky in Libra because, whereas Libra is other-focused, Mars’ force represents more self-oriented impulses. So at the heart of this new moon’s concord & discord, harmony & conflict, is personal desire in the context of relationship. The naming & claiming of personal desires is at stake, and with Venus at the final degree of Scorpio, this process includes the naming & claiming of the personal wants & needs, yes’s & no’s, that had been previously darkened or hidden. 

Mercury underscores this even more, the trickster’s retrograde dance in Libra playing some heavy-handed pranks: since Mercury involves the mind & communication, all the themes of this New Moon come forward most loudly in their communicative aspect. Misunderstandings in one-on-one relationships can prevail, or revisiting of mundane coincidences (synchronicities) and logistical details that clash with the demands dictated by propriety or emotional tenor of a relationship. But so, too, can reflection & awareness prevail, and effective communication around wants and needs have a fighting chance. We have opportunities to grow in how we communicate more authentically in all of our relationships, our discernment and our embarrassment at our own blind spots growing simultaneously. 

Given all of this, what seeds are we planting, new moon style? It’s an excellent opportunity to begin a new chapter of reflection & review of how your wants & needs are transparent within your most important relationships, beginning with your relationship to yourself. This dynamic is even more intensified with Saturn & Pluto, forces of boundaries and passions that lead to the deepest transformation, stationing direct. As the psychologist Cyndi Darnell writes, “One of the most powerful things you can do in your relationships is to be clear with yourself on what you want and what you offer.” Sometimes we skip over the step of clarity with ourselves—a crucial step in the teachings of the Aries-Libra axis, since our first & always relationship is with ourselves. 

It’s a good time to not search for easy answers, but to ask yourself what kinds of communication would honestly feel good to you, and what you’re curious & feel impatient to explore, and take all those Mars-driven arguments that come up as reminders to go inward first. I’m always available to you whenever you’re seeking clarity on these topics, and if you benefit from my work I encourage you to pledge to my Kickstarter (link in comments) in support of my upcoming year of astrology content creation. 

________________________

art by Jes Anthonis

ARIES. You love new initiatives, and you’ve taken you & your loved one, or the inner image of your beloved, to a divine dinner at a golden altar. Part of you both are massaged by a scalp scratcher, and the initiation of this lovely caress soon turns into a trap for the stagnant parts of each of you. You’re caught in the grasp of a shimmering hand, fingers of the sun’s tentacled rays making you aware of any place you feel held back in your ways of partnering. Can you take these shiny clutches as catalysts for release, knowing that within the clutch is also the glittery hand that massages you toward your own freedom? 

When an army of toy soldiers, the impulse of the cells in every corner of your being to pioneer from a clean slate, appears in front of your dinner and begins crawling all over your face, pulling you into gravity, there’s a part of you that knows an aspect of this “together” fantasy wasn’t yours. This gravitational moment faces you with your own aggressive instinct. Rather than merely destroying what was promised, this is about including the stir-crazy fighting demons into your promised moments of elegance & gift-giving. 

These are the cryptic translations of a mad poet’s inner contacts. Say it in a straightforward manner! 

*This new moon is an opportunity for new beginnings in partnership or close friendship, or an interpersonal communication that teaches you something. Be sure to find a place for your own impatience & fast motion, and explore how you can find fresh ways to do that without hurting the other.

*It’s possible for misunderstandings to occur—let yourself form a new approach to miscommunication by practicing telling yourself and important people in your life how you want to feel.

art by Jes Anthonis

TAURUS. The balancing act between ordering your day in a calculating manner & going with the flow asks for a level-up in your relationship to it this new moon. Part of you feels as if it’s descending, looking for scraps on the ground, the garbage heap all there is to ground you. The schedule blocks of your day’s order of events transform into soggy cardboard boxes of rotten fruit & baked goods. How do you crawl through this schism between your mind that wants to make things “just so” and your body & environment showing you a different kind of pileup as a result of doing that? 

You’re an alchemist of the pileup—and sometimes that’s a material heap; sometimes it’s a mental one. Often the ideation of piles of chores you think will benefit your life (through their stability & consistency you think they’ll give you) churn out trash instead. This is an initiation into your ability to negotiate the disconnect between the calculated order you think will bring you harmony and the gritty reality thrown in front of you. 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say it in plain language! 

*Nutrition, diet, daily schedule and negotiation figure prominently into your life this new moon.

*Set the intent to balance short-term and long-term pleasure in what you consume, what you serve & how you work.

art by Jes Anthonis

GEMINI. Alone & together, free & relational—these are tensions you’re caught between now. This new moon a part of you may feel possessed—the mad, artistic quester of creation within you, yearning to somehow sublimate all that gossip pecking away at your soul into something of beauty or play. A murder of crows—everyone you’ve ever partied with, turned to formidable birds—latches onto the vessel of your creative expression, the stimulation of what you’re creating and the words of hatred for it both equally part of the journey. Your expressive impulse receives a grand stage, a red carpet in space that it seems all the past naysayers, or cranky misfits, in your life themselves have a say in helping you create, if you let them. 

You may now see all these generative soul-parts as brothers & sisters, following you from under the carpet of celebration of your work, seeking acknowledgment for what they’ve contributed to the party. This new moon, in the festivities, events or acts of creation you’re putting together, is balancing you as someone bound to nobody, not relationally tied down, and at the same time, you as a sibling to everyone around you. Can you be your brother’s keeper *and* be radically free? 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Put it more plainly! 

*You may feel caught between answering to others in recreational or artistic endeavors and listening to your own curiosity & free-associative whims. While being conscientious, treat the balancing act as an experiment. 

*A review of how you want to create and play going forward is in store. What kind of pleasure interests you? What kind of creativity? See if you can find irreverent answers, and all the more so for any doubts that come up.

art by Jes Anthonis

CANCER. Acting as the point of balance between two sides of your family is not always easy, and you sometimes feel as though you’re tasked with serving as the diplomat between ancestral demands. This moon represents a fresh moment of clarity & intensity in your ability to juggle the needs lurking within your bloodlines. It’s as if you’re expected to keep an even keel while dragging a human train of grandparents, aunts & uncles out of the ocean floor, onto shore. 

You then place the warring perspectives within your DNA along the sides of the beach, and your seated position between them allows for a moment of pause, silence, respite. For once, you don’t need to *do* anything or force perspectives to agree. This is an opportunity to acknowledge how conflictive emotions within yourself are complex, not always lending themselves to a simple answer, and how often the best communication occurs by letting all parts of self-and-other know you’re willing to pull them out of the storm to safety, while giving plenty of silent space. 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Tell it to us plainly! 

*This moon may bring family, parental or emotional demands to the foreground, or a sense of private time, or moments only with closest family members. 

*Take this moon as an opportunity to review & reflect on how you communicate with your most private self and those who represent “roots” to you. Celebrate layered complexity.

art by Jes Anthonis

LEO. There’s a part of you that feels alone on the open, dark road within a promise of new sparks of knowledge, or speed, gracing your journey. The ideas and winding roads appear in a shimmer from an aerial distance, but strangely, as you maneuver forward they fall upon your head as bird droppings. The lines of thought that others promised you would bear fruit, or the paths ahead that take you through an invigorating scenic route, are now up for some serious scrutiny. What empty roads leave you feeling unseen, in the name of fulfilling a wish or an adventure other parts of you promised? A cathartic roar into the ghost town sphere around you shows how important it is for you to feel seen and heard.

What opportunity is there for you to lean into the promise of adventure itself as an expression of your taste for glamour & romance? Then, what opportunity is there for you to honor your impulse to stay where you are, cheering on the promises, adventures and schemes of others from afar, helping them charismatically create & re-envision a new framing of “promise,” “adventure”, and “idea” itself? 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something plain! 

*You may have an opportunity to take  journeys this new moon, either geographically or intellectually, that influence your next chapter.  

*confusion that ensues from these journeys is a chance for you destroy the idea that “loyalty” equals submissive pleasing or agreement.

art by Jes Anthonis

VIRGO. Others may be asking you to give, and you’re pushed in each situation to follow the questioning of an inner voice asking what’s in it for you. Though you fancy yourself the giver par excellence, there’s a part of your soul that’s been pulled into a tiny mountainside hole full of gold—the space in you where, up to this point, you’ve visualized your capacity to *receive* as microscopic. Make way for the golden discs showering upon you, filling your mouth with complete circles of self-worth. You may at first hold all this gold in your cheeks shamefully, as if you’ve done something naughty. But it’s a time to review why that inner space for receiving has been small, explore anywhere you’ve felt undeserving, and roll in those coins wanting you to receive them. 

You may know consciously that giving & receiving is a dance, but you tend to want to remain the giver. What if you took this as an opportunity to review how you take in the gifts of that cavity of gold? As it expands, you may worry the ruptures in your self-image will be an avalanche that’ll destroy you, but those discs turn to a sublime shower on your soft body. You can enjoy the gift—and then enjoy giving the gift all the more.

This is the spittle of an eccentric poet. Explain yourself! 

*Themes of the way you relate with resources, worth and receiving & giving pop up during this new moon. 

*How can you take this as an opportunity to reframe your relationship to receiving—and receive in full knowledge of your worth in spite of others telling you to give more & more?

art by Jes Anthonis

LIBRA. This new moon you may have found yourself zooming around many race tracks trying to squeeze your partner, or the shadow-other within you, into the zooming car. Roads appear & disappear in the sky as you’re chased by the fireball of argument. This momentum is disrupted by a flavor of aloneness, a solitude, as if your partner is both there & not-there. The moment you turn to them they vanish without a trace—and there you stand crying in front of an old oil painting. The momentum & the crashes may overwhelm at first, but lessons lurk within them. 

There are times when squeezing your partner into the vehicle isn’t the be-all-end-all, and when it’s time to let yourself pioneer ahead in that red racecar autonomously. There are times when the race tracks & comrades turn into air, insubstantial, fickle, or dissolving so you can discover smooth harmony anew. The inclusion of the other within your urgent race to your goal may feel too forced right now, but that doesn’t mean all is lost, for it’s the feelings experienced with the other that catalyze each of your awareness of the need for freedom. These feelings provide the raw beauty you need right now. In the highs of the celestial freeway & the lows of the private art-viewing catharsis, you discover partners within yourself, freshly aware that not only can you survive the arguments; you can transform them into passionate heat, whether alone with yourself or with a devoted but equally free Other. 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. I apologize for none of it, but shall put it more simply! 

*Your whole environment, world view and life situation is turning a page into an entirely new chapter right now. Who is on board with you for this new chapter?

*What forces or people clash with your needs? Feel into these clashes and let your body respond, in the spirit of an internal review. There’s an inner stillness amid all the outer races toward change, and that stillness will provide you with discernment if you let it. 

art by Jes Anthonis

SCORPIO. A genre-bent, gender-bent & species-bending confusion looms over a part of your soul seeking spiritual balance this new moon. You stand as a wise grandmother, part grizzly bear, over the stove of your dreams. Mixing waters in burner pots, balancing the clear with the psychedelic, it’s as if phantoms of your beloved partner, or your hidden nemesis, lurk in the tea you’re heating up. In fact, your world is opening—the contrasts in the waters’ temperatures & levels of clarity prepare you for the wide-openness of the sky as you step into a new way of relating to your inner & outer worlds. 

Those hot & psychedelic colors in the water come from the Other’s urgency as the hidden quickening of what the dream figures, lovers & predecessors offer you. Since you champion the clear, stark ice, you’re naturally suspicious, but you also look curiously toward where their alluring neon fury wants to take you. A rainbow high-tide wave ripple transposed into the wind soars upward, inviting you & your unseen bestial heritage up to a new way of relating to spirit. 

This astrologer is intoxicated on poetry. Say it more plainly! 

*You may find gossipy argument becoming a theme in your dream life this new moon. Take it as an opportunity to clean the filters of how you let your inner voices speak to you; how you relate to them with respect & boundaries equally.

*It’s a good time to seek solitary mental stimulation, or to consciously spend time with someone who connects you to the spirit world or your spiritual path. 

art by Jes Anthonis

SAGITTARIUS. With your friends & comrades you carry a tightrope. In your relationship with your inner wishes, there’s a dynamic between the urge to destroy & the urge to create. One moment you & your friends or your inner wishing-buddies, look like standing cockroaches—or is it valiant warriors?—wielding axes, chopping shit up for the sake of it, in the name of what you tell yourself is important. The next instant, you’ve stood at the edge of a canyon cliff, its ridge chipped off until you all fall, catch yourselves, and cheer each other on to climb back to stability again. In a moment of respite from all this, you sip tea sweating in a shelter as the vultures overhead carry their own ropes. 

The tautness & slack show you different ways of relating with the desires of the wish-groups within you, and the wishes of your comrades. How do you all support each other and balance urgency with patience? How can you let the ground underneath you fall, knowing it’s yielding an opportunity for you all to climb and see from a new perspective? Can you honor the creative and destructive instincts of roach & knight, of the axe throwers & the rock-climbers-in-love, and see that all exist in you, treating them with equanimity, not axing anyone or anything important around you? 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something plain! 

*this new moon you may see an opportunity to gather with friends, or to gather your hopes & dreams together, and more into an expanded context. tread mindfully. 

*enjoy the urgency of Mars conjunct the new moon but be mindful of sensitivity and care of self & others.

art by Jes Anthonis

CAPRICORN. Standing on a cold, hard platform, you’re aware of exposing yourself in the public eye. This time, though, it’s not the everyday public only, but the one from generations ago containing the opinions of everyone who has ever fought you. The onslaught of opinions, others’ ways of receiving how you’ve exposed yourself, may temporarily disorient you, flinging tarry spit over the eyes of your inner wounded politician, momentarily taking your senses away. The bats of responsibility & confusion, and of how to expose yourself in your most important relationships, work their magic to destabilize a part of you that feels too locked into one pattern of public communication. 

While it’s true that a part of you feels exposure to your onlookers as a shot of freezing hard anti-sympathy, any temporary disorientation & opposition from others represents a chance to step out of a tired pattern of being the boss. After you’re brought to your knees, your decisiveness returns to you, wrapping you in a wintry blanket, balancing your decrees & orders with silence. The world listens, hearing barely perceptible echoes of the emotional repercussions of everyone who has ever taken orders from you, and to the open fields making it all possible.   

In plain terms, you madman! 

*You may experience demands to be diplomatic in more public or career-oriented settings. Honor your experience while embracing the other’s perspective. 

*There’s a chance for new beginnings in your career & life mission, especially in the context of how you harmoniously work with others & balance accommodating their perspectives with your own decisive action. 

art by Jes Anthonis

AQUARIUS. There’s a part of you secretly intrigued, seduced, by the dogmatic gatekeepers, or by the tutors who turn into lovers who turn into mean taskmasters before you renounce it all in the name of your own vision. This new moon, you see the beginnings of your cosmic vision through the composition of mystical creatures laid out in the sky. In the celestial spheres of your mind, there’s an opportunity to articulate the enchanted aspect of your quest for expansive knowledge in a new way. But it must be balanced with the need to eat the dark horse, leaving a hole in that same composition—eating the dark horse of your pride, of thinking you’ve filled everything in and made it all *just so.* 

Balancing the enchanted landscapes of that expanded context with its need to have holes, empty space, and room for guidance from people you meet along the way, is part of your fresh beginning this new moon. How can you dance between the act of relishing the harmony of your complete vision of the world with the challenge to eat your own self-satisfaction, leaving room for the imperfection that invites collaboration? 

Tell us what it all means, you embellisher! 

*There’s an opportunity for a new beginning in study or travel, or perhaps publishing. Be open to guidance from those who have your best interest at heart, whatever you are thinking of expanding in one of those areas. 

*Be okay in the midst of a time when it’s tempting to know it all or have someone else know the answers for you. Be ok with not knowing, reviewing & reflecting instead. 

art by Jes Anthonis

PISCES. This new moon, you may feel caught in a partition between turbulent waters, a part of you suspended in the air between rising waves. The call to discern what baggage is truly yours from what burdens are others’ to carry, has you in a balancing position between one wave of urgency & another. Part of you feels peaceful in this airy gap, not yet knowing which emotion you’ll flow into, your nervous system not caught in the undertow of a single challenge but examining two from a liminal point of view. Another part of you, though, feels as a fish needing the water of your natural emotional habitat, even if it’s burdensome. 

This, in and of itself, is a dance—You have an opportunity to initiate the dance of flowing into the cathartic charge of one debt, one secret, one unpaid bill, one intimate merging, then rising above and out of it, letting the others & the burdens take care of themselves. You’re charged with rolling in the depths of those sharks of the past in order to also gain an outside perspective; suspending in middle air in order to deliberately submerge yourself in the mood, renouncing argumentation, but choosing the tempest when it feels good. 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something plain & simple! 

*Themes of resources you share with another may come up this new moon. Make sure to reflect & not jump to conclusions taking time to understand the other’s perspective or making a practice of revisiting later when you can be more objective. 

*There are new opportunities for intimacy, for finding ways to verbalize what feels good to you, whether between you & a partner or you & yourself.  

Shadow Horoscopes for the Week of August 30, 2021

The Shadow ‘Scopes, horoscopes for your sign written by yours truly, are up for this week! This week’s column features the art of Madeline Manning. Among the many things for which Madeline is known, one of them is that she makes legendary toilet seats!  Check out her work. My own personal voice of horoscope-writing still feels fresh. 

In a way it feels as though it’s in its infancy, and in another way I feel as though I’m striving earnestly to tap into a deep lineage of bards, ecstatic poets & griots going back to ancient times. I call them “shadow ‘scopes” because my intent is for horoscopes to include dream life, the life of the unconscious, and to respect the dark & hidden taboos of your life so that our shadowy sides can gain metaphoric fulfillment without causing as much grief in the literal daily life. My dream would be to make shadow ‘scopes a kind of artistic medicine through reading, listening & contemplation. 

I experimented with an adjustment & addition to them this week, though, after realizing that often when I write these I’ll hold a dialogue in my head that goes something like, “yes, this is all genuine, but give the reader something practical that they can use.” This has also come from real conversations with friends who ask questions: “but what will happen? Break it down for me, Nate!” So I tried something new: another voice interrupts the horoscope, in a rhetorical pivot that takes inspiration from some of the ecstatic poets—the liberation songs of Tibet and the Sufi poets both came to mind in a flash of inspiration, though I don’t at all claim to do justice to or appropriate either of them. There’s a convention sometimes during a poem or a chant when the speaker says something such as, “this is nonsense spoken by a madman. I apologize for none of it!” Or the poet will refer to themselves in the first name and interrogate/laugh at everything that just came out of their mouth. 

In this week’s column, I end each ‘scope in the spirit of saying, “what’s all this poetic embellishment for? Give it to us in plain language!” and I then offer a few bulleted points of practical, mundane ‘takeaways’ that you as the reader can use for the week. This is new so we’ll see if this sticks. I would love to hear your feedback and how those rhetorical shifts sit with you and also how your horoscopes resonate. Read for your sun sign & rising sign—and, why not, your moon sign, too! 

When preparing to write for each sign, I laid down on the floor, Vitruvian Man style, spreading my limbs at different angles to represent the zodiac, grunting, growling, breathing & intoning into my hands and feet. Tracking the path of the moon and mercury, I felt motions of opening & closing onto particular images that then appeared before me, which animated each horoscope’s life. It was a journey that left me darn thirsty for a long time afterwards—and then later I discovered that through synchronicity, one of Madeline’s paintings is entitled “Thirst.” Stay hydrated, friends, and thanks for reading. 

“DinDin” by Madeline Manning

ARIES. This week a part of you can’t resist seeing phantom masks of your parents in the face of your beloved partner, or dear friend, or subject matter, or part of yourself sitting across from you at the table who juices you up with love. The appearance of those drama masks of your roots, from deep in the ground of your genealogy tree, makes part of you uneasy. Dreams of two birds on a tree branch singing love songs to each other seemed promising; you & your beloveds exploring that path of non-hierarchical partnership has formed an integral part of your life quest. But that branch now feels delicate, with an opening, quaking ground. Those formidable faces of the DNA molds, part of which have served as vessels for the creation of your own form, shake the lightness of partnership into the depth & gravity of the deepest past. What will you each find out about the other, when you discover the nuances of those genetic codes, now that the sleeping dog of the parental complexes has awakened from across the dinner table, and every morsel of food entering your mouth & your beloveds’ mouth becomes overshadowed with nourishment or abandonment? 

While the body feels queasy at all this, there’s an opportunity here to slow down & listen. Those tree branches, the ones that support your partnership with your lovers, your subject matter & yourself as reflections of how your spirit ascends into the fullness of a higher perspective, are more resilient than they appear. The shaking ground that makes all communications and all food for the body & soul appear suspects of genetic violence doesn’t need to cause such a stir that the promising lovebird branch snaps, and even if one does, there are other branches on the tree that you can equally use as conduits for your journey of love, emotional awareness, & deep listening.  

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something direct!

Well, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*You’re emotionally sensitive to themes of home, privacy, parents & roots this week. Give yourself some reflection time. 

*You may be initiated into trying to overcome everything through diplomacy in your one-on-one partnerships. Remember that listening is key. 

*Your physical & mental energy levels ask that you slow your body down a bit this week.

“Drip Drip Drip” by Madeline Manning

TAURUS. A part of your soul feels taken on a trip down dark roads toward a mysterious lighthouse—perhaps with a group of school friends, or dear brothers & sisters, or co-conspirators. The purpose of this journey, or of the journey of all the interior communications between you & your friends, feels shrouded in spirits of the nighttime breeze, collaborating to see what illumination comes out of you & your friends’ willingness to make the unknowns your collective center. And while a part of you resists an adventure in the dark to this abandoned shore, or to a less-often-visited place of connection, or the call at night to the person you haven’t spoken to in a long time, there’s an equal feeling that the car, the kayak, the train and the airways are connecting you & them from underneath your conscious will. 

While at that place, at a simultaneous short & long distance, you nest in some branches, creating a giant bird’s nest for your winged self. When your peers join you and you all collectively rest on the shore, it becomes apparent that the rough, spiky branches at this temporary together-away-home represents another telephone line to yourself; a memo to your mind to rejuvenate your circadian rhythms, rooting your relationship to day & night out of its frenzy of production & consumption and back down to the sensual simplicity in which you’re the expert. Lean in and enjoy how this voyage into minimalist night shows you a reflection of your winged creativity exploding the ocean tides into arching fireworks—that sweet vision of the future soon to come after this nocturnal reset with your comrades.  

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something direct!

Well, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*You’re trying this week to communicate what constitutes balance for you in your health & daily routine. 

*You’re sensitive & pulled toward short journeys with people who feel kinship with you this week. Take these excursions as opportunities to recharge and glimpse new information about your daily rhythms. 

*Intensity about friends, lovers & artistic inspiration feels prominent. 

*Mind the subconscious gossip and rein yourself in when necessary, holding equanimity of response as an intention.

“whispered gains” by Madeline Manning

GEMINI. In swift movement serving every which direction and with some vague sense that you’re responsible to lead a pilgrimage, you find yourself saddled with baggage, tasked with the challenge of carrying yourself and your possessions, or long-held concepts or personas, up a steep path. It’s as if you and those close to you carry pieces of furniture on your backs, and when reaching the summit, there’s both an incinerator to shred them all, and a palace to move them all into. It seems a drastic decision, but both lead to the same outcome, as you don’t move into the palace to cozy up to any of these old chairs. The queasiness of responsibility thrust upon you to declare which precious objects to shred & which to exalt blurs into a cloudy sky above you, sending you a clear message: you, Gemini, are the one who constantly discovers new mobility, rather than finding yourself stuck operating within a binary of exalting & dismissing what has been dear to you. Despite initially feeling obligated to stand still, pacifying the gang of sofa-carriers, an imp tells you it’s time to transgressively change vantage points in order to truly move the energy behind these stuck perspectives that everyone’s held like prized possessions. 

Your presiding god, Hermes, circulates electric rivers up toward that mountain peak, gifting you with the instantaneous insight, collapsing this summit into gravity. And while at first this induces panic among everyone around you—“but we had made it to the top, and we were discovering finally what to do with everything we held dear!”—you know this as an initiation into the true demonstration of your mobility as you show everyone how to run up the sides of those dirt walls into which everything collapsed an instant ago. Your bodies & perspectives invert, become more agile, and you realize that all the toil of carrying that furniture was only a mock trial as you now flip your scripts willingly, playfully, running up & down without any pretense of authoritatively knowing anything, without deciding the fate of any idea or person before it’s gone on the adventure of its life through you as a conduit.  

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say it in plain language!

Well, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*You’re communicating to yourself how you can flip the creative script. 

*Don’t be afraid to find ways to reassess approaches to your creativity in fun, low-maintenance ways with any collaborators, partners or lovers, with an eye toward taking future risks. 

*There’s intensity & sensitivity in the realms of your roots and emotional body. Allow yourself to maintain your mobility, agility and flexibility when everyone else’s rigidity is unraveling them.

“Cruisin’ for a Freakout” by Madeline Manning

CANCER. For someone such an expert at nourishing the family nucleus, your challenge is to let protective containers fragment or expand when the time has come to sprout a new vision of family on different soil. This week, Cancer, some internal earthquakes & intensities in the deep valleys of your roots, and the family tree containers you serve to maintain, catalyze your curiosity about what it means to lean into the intense emotion & shift. What does it mean to stand your own ground when those in your immediate environment take advantage of your empathy? What does it mean to feel the ground break apart around you and yet still proclaim your emotional boundaries? In these valleys that have constructed the frame of your environment & worldview, dragons from another culture greet you. A burning bush in the distance that precedes doctrine compels you toward it. Cyclones whirling in the air bring you into contact with the constantly shifting mythic territory of the places you’ve imagined as a stasis within yourself and your family.

This week provides you with a chance to entertain those strange twists & twisters, the numinous calling to sometimes shift ground, change the floor of the house, and to appreciate the allying creatures & emotions that move you to those different inner & outer shelters. What feels like overwhelming intensity is sometimes really the invitation to see all the previously invisible friends in our DNA, in the hundreds-years-old family house, or in the land where your roots have dwelled for centuries, who help you when you acknowledge them—and when you proclaim your own boundaries against the habitual conflicts that arise within the status quo shelter.

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. I apologize for none of it, but shall put it more simply:

*You feel sensitive this week to what’s right up close in your environment this week; it feels that the geographic landscape or way of seeing your world is completely shifting. 

*You may feel pulled every which way due to the constant exposure of your empathy. Communicate your emotional boundaries amid the shifting landscapes without losing yourself in others’ feelings or information.

“Will a Chemist have Mercy” by Madeline Manning

LEO. In the temple where you explore what your ‘royal’ quality is really all about, this week brings vigorous chanting & intoning to that inner room. All the precious sacred objects, or visions of the future, memories of the past, or dreams you have at night, sparkle and ask that you give a second look to what constitutes vision & what constitutes delusion. There appears an empty throne in this monastery—one on which it would be logical for you to assume your rightful place. What does it mean to see yourself absent on the spot where you’d most likely be seen? All the charged objects & life dreams contained in this room ask you to view the whole space, taking a moment to look inquisitively rather than sitting in that golden chair right away. Singing bowls and brass statues pop into the air spontaneously in smoke. A mishmash of voices, announcing various goings-on, overtake the serene chants. 

What all seems like confusion about how you assume the position of royalty, how you express your creativity in the spotlight, and why, is asking you to lean into its mystery. For what regenerates your sulphuric lion’s hunger to create if not a dose of confusion every now and then? When the tables turn on what you see as royal & dignified, instead of seeing this as an obstacle, it can actually become the cosmic force that rejuvenates your ability to assume your place in the limelight. To see all the reverent shrine offerings explode up toward the tapestries, to hear a choir of confused announcements on top of concentrated prayer, and to do all this recognizing that the throne is empty because royalty needs expression through a fresh pattern of values—all this sparks an opportunity to make your style of owning the room, performing & ruling, much more visionary. 

This is utter poetic drivel. Try saying it a little more plainly!

Well, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*You may feel magnetized toward visions, daydreams & mysterious genealogical tugs this week.

*Communication feels strange, and you may sometimes feel invisible. It’s just the weather. 

*Journaling may help so that you can hear your own thoughts, and enjoy the time off stage to recharge your batteries & stay still, nourishing your inner life.

“Night and Day I was a Stranger” by Madeline Manning

VIRGO. Sometimes you don’t realize that your own dreams shower you in confetti, but your sense of shyness or embarrassment makes you feel as a clown when you walk into the great cafeteria of all the friends you ever had and everyone greets you with laughter. It’s a bit like that this week, Virgo, and the key is knowing the spirit of that laughter , the colors of the streamers worn on your sleeve of self-worth, and the intensity you feel with the charge of your goals so close to your heart. A chunk of the great hall where everyone presents their school science projects suddenly falls into outer space, the cafeteria itself open to the starry sky. You’ve been receiving training in making your wishes truly yours, and for a moment you may feel confused by the glimpse of so many comrades suddenly disappearing into a celestial oblivion. 

But that’s not the whole story—when the communing with others becomes too distracting this week, you’re gripped back into the urgency of seeing your wishes in all of their darkness & brightness, and you’re challenged to open yourself to these new tugs on your heart. It’s right at the moment when you let others’ expectations, or values, trample on the posterboard of your ambitions detailing all the work & research you’ve done, when the whole room blows open and you find yourself, too, opened & unroofed. The showering down of partyware calls you into one of your most ancient realms of service: the jester as the irreverent healer & utterer of the sacred message. The opening up of the claustrophobic hall, despite the old validation that it carried while closed (the validation of your winning others’ approval), presents you with a radical reckoning of your soul’s ability to now receive its divine attire from above. You can let others laugh and laugh at yourself as you make space for the revelation of *you* playfully owning how you now wish to serve.

This astrologer is intoxicated on poetry. Put it more plainly!

Well, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*Negotiation may feel as though it’s taking a considerable amount of energy this week, but you’re also aware of your own goals in a potent way. Lean into that tension.

*You have a chance to really tap into your sense of self-worth and to hold a balanced conversation with yourself & others about your financial situation. Reflect holistically on how income connects with your own sense of worthiness, and know that you are deserving of abundance.

“Still Life!!” by Madeline Manning

LIBRA. What do you know about your body? What are the physical blisters that also cover the inner debris, sometimes disguised as knowledge or relevant information? Is there a part of you wearing your enemies on your sleeve like a badge of honor? The aches and pains, and the uncertainty they produce, veil something about the arc of knowledge you’re going toward this week. There’s a part of you all ready to use your juicy eloquence in your finest circles, and another part of your soul in a sanatorium, where spirits come to your bedside asking you what you’ve learned about your talents, body & well-being. 

It’s not about formulating words for what you think you know; it’s about giving some attention to each cut that releases fluid out, and each crumb that you take in. These somatic sources of output & input become inspiration for all corners of your mind in the background, no matter what others say. Facades may be tempting, including the temptation to push forward in diplomacy, but looking downward and at the smaller extensions of yourself reveals that those smaller parts, too, contain infinity, including the momentary pains. 

In plain terms, you madman!

Well, Libra, if I were to state it plainly, what could I say?

*Your attention this week turns toward communication & diplomacy. 

*It’s important you check in with your body & mind regularly in a week when it may feel like an overflow of communication & responsibility is given to you. 

*You may feel magnetized toward appearing in the spotlight or in a role in which you need to act as a caregiver. 

*Take care not to gossip or become a magnet of slander.”

“Downpour” by Madeline Manning

SCORPIO. “Now you see me, now you don’t.” There are emotional tugs on your heart to move front & center, appearing before the eyes of your close associates & sharing what you’ve learned, but it’s all equally shrouded in mystery, and when you try to communicate, there’s a part of you that can’t hear your own words through the water in your ears.  Echoes of what your mother & father would say come through to you while you’re at the remote gatherings, and your words bounce back, others reflecting back to you the side of you that you don’t see & everyone else sees. 

It’s as if there’s a demand to shift from an emphasis on the *content* of what you’re communicating to knowing *that* you’re communicating. The water in your ears and the imagined animosity from rival friends & lovers, those who want to possess your spot in the public glare, is a side effect of how you typically resist the vulnerability of public attention anyway. But you can take it as an opportunity to cut through any illusions about yourself when reflecting upon the leadership roles assigned to you. A theme for the next couple of months: remember that knowing thyself is most important first, so before delivering the emotionally charismatic messages that cut through others’ delusions, make sure you’ve cleaned the water out of your ears by achieving self-honesty. 

Tell us what it all means, you embellisher!

Well, here it is:

*You may feel an emotional test of your knowledge happens this week, or an emotional pull toward study, traveling, or seeking a new source of inspiration. 

*Mercury entering your 12th house can bring the communication of visions & delusions both. It’s important to keep in mind the instruction not to take anything personally—words can be twisted and not make any real sense. 

*It’s a time to capitalize on the intensity of friendships & social circles that energize you.

“Prized Blister” by Madeline Manning

SAGITTARIUS. It may seem this week that out of the underworld spring ghostly demands for you to take care of any unfinished business: crumpled tax return, money secrets and generations worth of papers staled by cigarette ash & tabooed sexual conversations surround you, asking for your attention. The cobwebs of desire, subtext & avoidance, and the threat of those fears linked to the primal foundation of survival threaten to leap out at you. “The ghosts of the past and their bad habit of barfing everywhere” (Hafiz) But this is because it’s a time to hold yourself accountable for dispelling illusions about your foundations, including the foundations of what you share with others. 

If you van view all this not as a hassle but as an opportunity, Sagittarius, you will experience the soaring eagle of emotional confidence, giving you a view of the summit on the path you’re now exploring beyond your wildest dreams. What at first seemed a dead prison of old systemic & genetic injustices now reveals itself as a vessel for you to learn the value of rising, rooted in a faith in your survival free from denial, and the true value of your mobile perspective that soars, dives & explores after doing what’s necessary to rejuvenate its confidence.  

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something direct!

Well, here it is: 

*You may feel pulled into areas of life where you’re merged with others, such as accounts, the intimate bedroom, taxes or inheritances.  

*There’s an opportunity to refresh yourself in engaging the sport of charming & persuading those in your social circles, and to discover how others reflect your goals back to you. 

*The balance of your career & private life feels volatile, so when in doubt, give yourself time to rehydrate and go inward.

“The Garden and the Gardener” by Madeline Manning

CAPRICORN. Split between a cramped office swarming with old parchment, and a ship upon a tempest-tossed sea, you’re confronted with the soreness in your bones that accompanies the responsibility to deliver the message. It suddenly seems that the burden is yours to navigate the waters amid conflicting messages that carry centuries of war, and that you must now step into your calling as the responsible guide. But echoes of the elders within you have questions: that dryness in your chest may remind you of lovers from aeons ago questioning your ability to charm, to lead diplomatically, to seduce. Voltaire’s reminder of the necessity to seduce, as opposed to only knowing how to conquer, rings in your ears, and in your cool reservation the moment may come to confront your insecurity over the elegance & magnetism with which you’re able to deliver difficult messaging. 

But it’s not only a matter of confronting this insecurity; it’s also about cultivating it. The responsibility foisted upon you this week, Capricorn, is an acknowledgement of your expertise in an area for which you’re often not given credit—the sustenance of the scaffolding & bone structure of human security. You’re not here now to fight for a status quo, but to captain the ship as a model of facing the storm with an even keel. As in Keats’ notion of “negative capability,” it’s not your burden to fight for the dominance of conventional, known ways, but to charm that storm, along with the before and after, with your ability to navigate the harsh news over those waters, in the office chair, and in your spine, you as the skeletal container navigating the multiplicity of uncertainties. Your charm is in your courage to tend to the messages of your bones, durable in many environments and in the face of destabilizing news. You show the world, and yourself, how to re-stabilize after destabilizing, rather than insisting on a permanent status quo, by holding an intimate conversation with your own skeleton.   

This is the spittle of an eccentric poet. Explain yourself!

“Well, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*what your closest relationships have said to you carries intense emotional weight on your mind this week, so it’s important to withdraw your projections from those you love and take back your power.

*There’s intensity in the demand to travel or to communicate a message in a specific way. Stay grounded and be open to new ways of adapting to the scenery & the news. 

*You may feel on the spot and in the position to communicate, so remember that listening & reading the room is key first.”

“Thirst” by Madeline Manning

AQUARIUS. You awaken into the week as if feeling that all your baggage across multiple timelines have stuck to you for so long that they’re finally ready to wash away. This baggage includes both the resourceful and the cumbersome; not only those possessions and bills of the present, but also what has sustained you & bonded you to others in the past. What comes to light through their sappy, honeyed textures as they cling to your person is how you’ve also felt poisoned by some of the possessions that have insisted on holding onto you or vice-versa. You’re an innovator of “the good,” Aquarius, a visionary of what’s good for humanity, and suddenly it’s as if all the supplements you’ve taken turn black & melt in their bottles. All the precious books shrivel up, withered & dog-eared. The remedies of the past reveal their need for you to allow them to dissolve in order to uncover the more genuine medicine of the present. 

This journey of discovery demands that you allow the negative recognition of what’s “stuck” to you until the great opening of the tides on your inner being yields genuine medicine for you, your partners, friends, and the greater good. It’s when you stand, facing out & ready to commune with the planet’s waterways and rocky paths, allowing the recognition that too much has stuck to you and there’s no need to force the knowledge or medicines of the past to work any longer—it’s at this point that the roaring current opens your tissues. All that’s stuck to the inner linings of your body unsticks, and your great calling as the innovator of the human collective sings its song of freedom & rejuvenation once again. 

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something more plain & simple!

Well, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*You may feel emotionally pulled toward finding a new approach to nourishment, health & the right medicine for yourself & others. 

*There may be a discovery or a step into the need to diplomatically communicate knowledge across global channels.  

*There’s are intense feelings linked to possessions & values. Be sure to cut any disempowering energetic cords.

“Early Still” by Madeline Manning

PISCES. The separation can hurt so much, as becomes apparent on the heart monitor of your daily life, when this week, it’s possible that a part of you feels the pangs of friend or partner traveling great distances—either geographically or psychically—by necessity. All the times you’ve spent your libidinous self-expression at parties, on stages, or during any festivities, come flooding into memory, trying to connect any light-heartnedness of past social connection to the present to bring some balm to the grief of separateness. An arcade or casino of the soul with makeshift fortune tellers & slot machines may appear, promising outlets for the expenditure of that emotionally creative energy & of all that potential to express love. 

These casino temptations both guide the way and lead astray: they carry the addictive potential to numb you to the pain of longing for the Friend, or the Beloved, but they also teach you about all the plugins for your ability to Enjoy. They show you how the cycles of your distances from loved ones teach you, through reflection, about your personal experience of happiness—both with others and while alone with yourself. So this week, Pisces, may feel as a reminder that ties aren’t only happy-go-lucky; close heart bonds also make you feel the sweet sorrow of waterways breaking into a landmass. But what seem on the surface to be separations are actually teachers of appreciation for the delight of communing with your friends & lovers across timelines & geographies—for the reason such a river’s current floods into the earth of your heart is to bring the water of emotion, longing and reflective sharing to your heart connections, initiating you into your work of deepening & transcending distance.  

This is nonsense spoken by a madman. Say something plain & simple!

Well, Pisces, here’s another way of seeing it: 

*there’s tenderness about friends & partners and autonomy or separation within them can show up as a prominent theme this week. 

*Mind your creative emotional energy. Take care not to let it leak toward addictive spending sprees and consider gearing it toward creative self-expression. 

*Honor the rejuvenating capacity of all emotions when you connect them to an artistic channel and communicate honestly to yourself & others.

Shadow Horoscopes for the Full Moon in Aquarius (Week ending in August 22, 2021)

Prologue (scroll down to the end of this intro for your sign):

This is a full moon week in which we’re inclined to feel either a sense of ‘completeness’ to begin with, an internal nudge to synthesize elements back into the picture that we may have left out, or an urge to cut & edit to whatever extent best serves our sense of a complete picture. In my own life, I noticed how when Mercury, the communicator & trickster, entered Virgo, Ana & I were editing my new podcast— an example of the cutting, splicing & rearranging necessary to make something wholly itself. There can be, on the one hand, a feeling of contentment that everything in our lives is complete already, finding the contentment within the simplicity of what is. 

And on the other hand, the impulse to rearrange, decompose & recompose, is an integral part of Mercury in Virgo’s instinct…a place where the benevolent trickster is most dignified; most able to hack the interwoven patterns of the universe in a way that serves grounded, tangible, practical reality. This can be a heady week, concerned with discernment (“this, not that!”), health, anchoring, & simplifying. But we can also approach all of these concerns intuitively & viscerally rather than splitting hairs with analytical diagnostics: what happens when we sit with what is, or with a prevailing pattern, and let ‘right action’ reveal itself to us in a nonconceptual way? 

Venus in Libra puts another spin on concerns for completeness, where the lenses through which we see right patterns, right order, & whole pictures are those of relationships, which shape the frame in which we think the tapestries of our lives need to reveal themselves this week. An enthusiasm for relationship and a longing for the celebration of how certain relationships make us feel whole figures heavily into this picture.

 A counterpoint occurs, though, when Uranus’ station retrograde (8/20) lurks in the backdrop of the week ready to bounce, turning any sense of status quo completeness on its head. Uranus’ retrograde station, occurring simultaneously with the weekend of a Full Moon in Aquarius, favors the “impulse to rearrange, decompose & recompose” side of the equation. Uranus retrograde is like seeing yourself suspended in a floating headstand, supported by all of your comrades, carried out into space where stars shoot through the soles of your feet, transmitting the energy to utter the new thinking that will save our lives. This is a great opportunity to relax into change and to increase the intolerance for discomfort that comes with a growth spurt. How are you innovating past old ways of thinking that no longer serve the present moment & the bigger picture in the same way? 

It’s common during a Uranus retrograde station to feel a sense of itchiness under our skin, and to feel that progressive change needs to happen in one or more areas of life. In other words, with this Full Moon in Aquarius synchronized to Uranus retrograde, we may feel the *energy* of change without feeling the *content* of those changes, those level-ups or those evolutions. And that’s okay. It’s part of the process. So how do we relax into change, including the discomfort that comes with it? Well, it may help to consider that in the case of Uranus, change will never mean a return to stale normalcy, to a ‘status quo ante’, so if you feel threatened because you’re worried it will all force you return to a toxic aspect of the past, you can exhale right now…Uranus doesn’t do that! Uranus is interested in helping you inhabit the next shoe size up, not forcing you to keep wearing a smaller shoe size after your feet have grown. So to embrace the new unknown, tap into the mental state of surrender, and of comradeship. Practice giving your weight & letting go. Revisit all the odd, quirky experiments you’ve backlogged in your journal that you’ve wanted to try out for your projects. Breathe through it all and let the chorus of stardust enter you from toe to head so you can utter those innovations into your life, becoming the next octave of yourself.  And I’m always available to you when you are seeking support.

________________________

art by Katy Pinke

ARIES. Some friends sit in a circle in a secluded cabin, and in your mind’s eye you can’t entirely tell if these are your people or not. They may be your friends, but on different timelines, from generations past, or innovators from all eras who found themselves here through a twist of their soul’s fate or through an assignment. All that speculation aside, the sitting configuration looks as mundane as a committee seated in a circle, with some of the members’ attention on social niceties, others distracted, pacing, and still others with a lilt in their voice that suggests an agenda, or a knowledge of who has all the money in the room & where they’re hiding it. You wake up with pillow marks on your face to this room, realizing that even if you’re unsure of the identities of those present, you’re the one who called this meeting. In a flash, the room begins to lift off the ground, skyrocketing you all into the air as it transforms into a space shuttle. 

Gazes & snide thoughts turn toward you in an acknowledgement that you set this ship onto automated control, wanting to send you all into outer space. What was your agenda? This full moon represents a ripening for you, or a climactic reminder of some kind of creative launch, a group takeoff in which you set the controls & the catalysts, that you may be either ready to release or revisit. Mind the undercurrent of distraction or preoccupation with the values, clout, wealth or prestige that certain members of this group carry. Instead of allowing material concerns to sneakily disguise themselves as creative or spiritual concerns, let those distractions & preoccupations make you reflect on what those signposts of power really mean to you. 

art by Katy Pinke

TAURUS. Standing center stage and feeling the blinding glare of a spotlight, a heroic part of you ready to disseminate all of what you came here to bring to the public eye feels a once exalted & queasy. There’s a part of you holding a glimpse of a moment you’ve long been waiting for: dancing in front of your friends & family, a triumphant celebration of the values held by the energy current that made you all choose to be alive at the same time. You sense that it’s an opportunity to, in the words of Nietszche, “Stand balanced like a goddess of victory without growing dizzy & afraid,” but at the same time, the light’s glare induces dizziness & a fair share of panic. You can’t see all the onlookers; you can only see a promising reminder of your destiny through the sheer force of the habit of focus you’ve developed, so the attunement & warmth you seek for your channel’s momentum feels as though it’s withheld from your sight. 

But trust this reminder that, as an earth sign, you’ve diligently worked toward the ability to conjure up an image of your destiny at will, and you’ve been so faithful to this practice that now the season to step into the limelight to sing the song that eloquently describes human treasure, and the value of the species, is a natural occurence. An opportunity can sometimes feel like a crisis, or as if everything is happening at the same time faster than you think you can handle, especially since you love to plod away in preparation. But in truth, you’ve been working toward this for a long time: your luminous power now envelops you, a halo over your full bull body, and a profound release is afoot. 

GEMINI.You may feel at moments a bit like the Fool during this full moon, leaping in every direction while sometimes unsure of where you are going & why. Luckily this is a familiar character for you, as you love leaping across every gap you can find, your aerial risk itself connecting many gaps that others wouldn’t dare risk bridging unless they had all the dense materials. But this time, Gemini, you’re leaping across a full canyon, or a wide gulf, and while there’s a rush that accompanies this big jump, there’s also a mystery. Some magnetic force seems to pull you suggestively, as if a hand of fate making you think it’s all your discovery but gleefully sending nudges & signposts. At times this feels like the hand of a faceless, bodiless ancestor, the phantom limb of a genetic coding you’re destined to either repeat or heal. At other moments it may look like a lover’s hand, or the tug of a desire to discover something new about a place or a person.

The way you relate with the mysteries amid the histories of your deep caves is essential to mind & mine as you make long flights, contemplative jumps & frolicking boat rides across your worlds. You’re undergoing an initiation into a sense of yourself as master navigator, and part of this navigation is the journey of the jump between shores in which you can translate what those phantom hands mysteriously pulling on you are trying to say, without fearing that they’ll bind you to anything. This is a key component of your power and on this full moon, it’s reached a time of  full (Fool) exposure.

art by Katy Pinke

CANCER. In one version of your nocturnal full moon life this cycle, your domain appears as strong as a fairy tale tower with plenty of whispered taboos waiting in its corridors. Bats in a diamond formation fly through the windows, and when they shroud your marital bed, supporting you & your beloveds, or spouses, or the other you, or the partner you imagine next to you, their proposal of feral support causes a stir. You consciously know yourself to be a wild animal sharing in ecosystems with other wild animals, and that your inner lair of fantasies shaped by all of your favorite stories supports this ecosystem. Still, something about these dark guests crashing the love party, or disturbing your beauty sleep, awakens the mad destroyer in you.

The funny part of it is that once they enter, they’re actually supporting you, your circadian rhythms, your cycle, your longings and the periods of touch & distance. This is a time to realize that the community you’ve longed for, and the home you’ve tried to make, also includes unexpected organisms. The planetary support system includes not only those you habitually focus on and who catalyze familiar feelings of creative energy within you, but also the ones who awaken the madness to start a genuine conversation about support. As Rumi once said, “meet them at the door laughing and invite them in, and be grateful for whoever comes, because each guest has been sent as a guide from beyond.” You can do this while also remembering that it’s still your house!

art by Kate Pinke

LEO. A part of you may feel that an illusory enemy seems to chase you while you’re unaware this full moon, kicking up dirt in an old country western or a cranky bald trickster in a cartoon. Doctors’ instruments may be used as an overlay on your relationship, or onto your fantasies of partnership: the scalpel, digging and extracting the relational gold, has the potential to sever you from your autonomy and turn you into one long piece of metal on the hospital bed of the one-on-one connection to self, subject matter or beloved. The frustration of the open mouths at the two ends of dentist’s chair, both receiving treatment, is that neither of you truly need each other, but are wondering where the pleasure lies in accompanying the other out of desire instead of need.

These tools of balancing and relating, when they’re melted into a gel, into a silvery liquid instead of trapping an energetic love loop with their hard penetrative boundaries, can become allies for your personal expression & ability to feel yourself if you do that work of melting them. Even the gaze of the rival, of the pesky Other, trying to trip you up, possesses surgical tools that you can melt with your seductive charisma. Remember that the only way you truly trip and injure your body is when you take those binding inquiries of the other to be solid realities, rather than potent metals you can mutually dissolve with your curious gazes. Mind your mane & your scalp, and when you realize that you *desire* rather than *need* the other, the hygienic tools cease to bind you to anyone or anything; you cease to merge into dependency, and you instead melt each of your inquiries into the deliciously volatile curiosity between you and everything you partner with in life. 

art by Katy Pinke

VIRGO. Just before you wake up this morning you have a liminal glimpse of what it’s all going to be. Nurses from old lives sit beside your bed. Smells of ancestors in colonized environments fight over who had the spotlight and who had physical & spiritual well-being. Stars hang over open-roofed monasteries creeping with earthly bugs & underworld parasites alike. In an effort to give some levity to these landscapes you reach for coffee, or tea, or your morning ritual, taking care not to miss the insight from your dream life, still left over as residue. 

But as you’re waking up there, you realize you once feared those landscapes, and you also feared that the moment before you woke up, all those who only cared about making their voices heard would take away your agency. And you realize that instead of continuing to fear them, you now relax into the lack of control over knowledge, instead tasting the articulateness of each distinct flavor of the mental states on the journey toward waking up: the psychedelically colored water of dream, the sleepy seed around the eyelids when the daily brain rises, & the contentment of your smile sitting at the table. You renounce control over your image and reputation because, despite the inner critics telling you that you must remain always the one who cleans up after the party, you come to a renewed awareness of yourself as the master articulator of each geographic territory of knowledge. Since you release the control over what you know, nobody else can articulate each wakeup call, and each state of vision & inner knowing, the way you now can. 

art by Katy Pinke

LIBRA. The temptation of the party tugs on your adolescent heartstrings that remind you of those first yearnings for horizontal, non-hierarchical relationship. The shining punch bowl potion, which contains generations of bro vomit in disguise, calls you as a possibility of entering the world in the slinky outfit of your charisma. As you swirl it around your mouth (with the same voracity of the passersby in Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away,” when they eat as if possessed and then turn into pigs), all the partygoers yell & cheer you on toward your transformation. But who you’re transforming into, in all its glory and its ‘feeling itself’, for you, cries out for a balanced attitude toward the grotesquely base part of the new you and the refined feline in that same new you.

What part of you demands more, becomes a conduit for pleasure, and uses your friends as conduits, even though you may deny these parts of yourself? In what way can you bring your subterranean secret love of the power structures of taxes, financial relationship dynamics and secret online sexual affairs into this punch bowl circle; the ceremonial passing around of the elixir in which everyone becomes a never-before-heard-of version of themselves, or else experiences a return to adolescence? Can you transform your middle school friends and frenemies into a circle of comrades and give space to all your raging hormones, letting them roar and scream and moan in the delight of transformation’s expression itself?

art by Katy Pinke

SCORPIO. What couples in your family tree were unable to have a fulfilling sexual and emotional relationship? In the recesses of your memories, or gossip about what might-be memories, a crying infant seeks affection & attunement in the middle of a house with no light that’s been sexually sterilized. You’re invited to pay attention to this infant who might announce itself anonymously—it could be an aunt, or a grandmother, or a fragment of you. The part of you that wants a hug seeks to reconcile its shame over coming so far, creating a world for itself in which that’s finally possible, against the background of a childhood full of city sewage where everyone needed to labor against disease and refrain from hugging. A patch of fabric, tainted with waste & excrement from brushing up against dad’s leg in spite of itself, or herself, or yourself, when you weren’t allowed to hug but yearned to—opens its secrets to you. 

The range of expression, and compassion you can bring to others, over challenges like these, has reached a climax. You can now talk to those dead fathers as well as the people in the here-and-now who are struggling without knowing why. The barriers against affection, and the cold fears that once tried to sabotage the unfoldment of your personal sexuality, have a direct impact on the connectivity of your one-on-one relationships, but the difference is that now you’re transforming the experience with your awareness. The sounds of the undeniable craving of love, and the openness of those fabrics that couldn’t deny the pervasive appetite for attuned touch at all costs, await you with reflections you are finally ready to assimilate.

art by Katy Pinke

SAGITTARIUS. Messages come through to you on scrolls of paper that you’re not sure are real, and from anonymous senders. It’s as if there’s a meta paper trail of messages that seem meant for you, but you’re unclear if they’re good-willed, empowering or disempowering. You may suspect that they’re rife with gossip, given that there’s a switch in you that goes off saying, “I don’t accept the messaging of the old.” This reveals a deep concern that the onslaught of new communications coming toward you will force upon you a return to the past. Even the good spirits of kind-hearted messages from brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors & friends dissolve into dark calligraphy, neutralized into the illusion of a demand to do something you don’t want to do, or to hold your breath for as long as you can as you venture forth onto a horizon that’s a copycat sunlit orange, with the postal delivery worker as the only distinct ‘Other’.

But deep down, you know yours is the innovation of the messaging, and that the dissolving of all uplifting spirit into a charcoal ambivalence on these scrolls is linked to an old habit of trying to moralize every communication of each day. The new change to embrace lies in seeing that there’s actually a person behind each of these messages. And part of the horizon of enlightenment toward which you walk is about exploring these persons who reach out to you, love you, wonder about you. So in place of requiring a dogmatic stamp of approval before each message and interaction, direct that spiritual integrity toward the degree to which you absorb the content of the message, and let each person coming to you find their unique place in your daily life without you charcoaling their singular spirit first. 

art by Katy Pinke

CAPRICORN. Realizing that some form of currency—a dollar, a coin, clout, a kiss—did *not* bring you into the realm of the gods leaves one version of you seated, sulking, with your back turned to the heavens. The irony is that an incredible urge overcomes you to let all your currency fly out of your hands, out of your reservoirs of safes wherever you’ve buried your gold deep into the earth, and release it orgasmically, with plenty of curiosity about death, toward the sky. It’s useful to reflect upon how the underworld, in some mythologies, is the place of both bliss & torture, Elysium & Tartary, and your erotic holding-and-releasing power over your currency makes you receptive to both of these expressions of the chthonic realms if you become conscious of it. 

The placement of the currency itself and how it works for your momentary happiness or struggle on this horizontal plane is not quite the point— and you know this deep inside, but there’s still sometimes an over-focus on the possessed & possessive object. As it flies toward the open-mouthed heavens, don’t let your back turn to them for too long. Messages about joy await you. Instead of throwing your head down & forward in disillusionment, you now throw it up & back, offering out your disappointment in the rejections of what you had to offer, of the gifts you thought were only yours, to some elated celestial place. In this gesture of surrender & offering, your connective tissue is suddenly decorated with lightning, knowing the ephemeral quality of worth in your life, but equally able to tap into your place of origin, where you can return to at will.

art by Katy Pinke

AQUARIUS.Your chance to strike out and proclaim the emotional climax of your self-discovery may feel as though it’s reached a crescendo in its time of initiation. The environment is strange, though: the home feels like a shoebox, one in which you already packed your luggage and moved away from deep in the past, or with frozen pictures of your parents & siblings surrounding you constantly. You’re trotting over your sleeping sisters’ heads toward some kind of horizon where you expect, once you’ve broken past a certain moldy wall of this box canyon full of those you deem too complacent for your taste, you’ll find the ultimate charismatic partner. It’s not so much a “grass is greener” syndrome that’s caught you, but a process of the proclamation of finding your creative capacities within a house populated by a sleeping crowd going into hibernation. The perspective easily waffles & baffles, where alternatively, that horizon you go toward includes a center stage spot *only* for you, your agency & your accomplishments, so thirsty are you for your freedom that any idea of a partner at all disillusions you. Or, the bodies that ambiguously support your movement through space, in their slumber, suddenly wake up, agitated, their latent emotional conflicts with you reaching a climax that hollers you out on your journey.

It’s the instability of the nature of the situation’s climax, and how it relates with your autonomy, that triggers this sense of the horizon’s promise—whether that promise means for you a partner, an artistic spotlight, or a vacation full of delicious melancholy all by your lonesome. You will do well to remember that all is not what it seems, especially when your perception goes every which way. Deep in those walls that have temporarily appeared to you solid & frozen lie organisms that conspire with all their might to assist you in your freedom—and that freedom does, indeed, start with your social & planetary consciousness, acknowledging that those persons & beings of all kinds are present to you.  

art by Katy PInke

PISCES. If you’ve been saying things lately such as “What a nightmare!” you wouldn’t be at all alone. In many ways, you’re the one who has needed to do the heavy lifting, or holographic walking-through, of bringing the conceptual expressions of collective togetherness into a more emotional place of genuine empathy. You’re the one who knows that without the fluidity, warmth and literal fluid that comes with the connection of the emotions to spirit, our attempts to live together as a species would be in vain, drying out into dehydrated vanity. This additional translation of ideals into emotional gestalts with which you’ve been tasked has forced you to travel to the moon and to extract all kinds of feelings, even nightmarish ones, in order to relocate tenderness & distill experiences to their heart essence.

There seems to be an opportunity during this full moon wherein instead of you feeling caught inside of the nightmare, you glimpse yourself going to the moon and catching pieces of the silver pie, reflecting on all dream components including the nightmarish. Your elderly soul, your adeptness at expressing ineffable realities in ways that transcend words, capably transmits the necessary words of caution to all your social circles: if we can’t learn to live with the nightmares within ourselves and each other, and gently begin to explore their nuances, then we will continue to struggle to shift the paradigm. Yours is the wisdom hidden within the previous recent millennia, and while on this full moon people may think they’re coming to you for information or guidance they can apply right away, it’s time to show them how it really works to take a homeopathic dose of silver from the moon. 

Shadow Horoscopes for the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius (December 14th, 2020)

all cover art by Sarah Casey (follow her on Instagram: snakesrcool)

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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

art by Sarah Casey

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.

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Support the guest artist who provided cover art for this week’s Shadow ‘Scopes! Follow Sarah Casey’s work at snakesrcool on Instagram.

Shadow Horoscopes for the Lunar Eclipse in Gemini (November 30th, 2020)

Shadow ‘scopes are horoscopes that hold space for the darker side of your life, and find the redemptive value in the daily awkwardness & agony.

ARIES

Hirohiko Araki, sketch from “Jojo’s Bizarre Words”

Aries: Urgent impulses on a rampage to deliver messages bring you into a knife fight this lunar eclipse. The daggers carry memos on them of aggressive words rooted in pent-up thoughts and feelings about your brothers. There’s a thought that through this swirling, spiraling motion of all the blades flying through the air, you’ll all reach a conclusion and cut open a new territory, revealed through your knife’s sharpness, into an emotional climax that paves the way for a new way of talking to each other.

The moon advises you to not second-guess yourself, but be aware: when messages inscribed on those shiny blades are poisonous, it’s important to remember that when you’re the thrower, the true poison lives in any words of malice embedded in those memos, and its toxicity will rub off first on your own psyche. You’re the lord of discovering what was previously undiscovered, and it’s worth considering that throwing mean words with the motion of your new creative instinct will contaminate the environment of the trails you are blazing. Instead, let the beauty of your urgency and the edge of competition cut through perceived limitations.

TAURUS

Hirohiko Araki

Taurus: You find yourself overlooking a pasture full of moldy old couches trapping cows who are only trying to settle into their habitat. In this scenario, you are both the voyeur-farmer looking out the window wanting to see greener pastures and the cows themselves trapped by discarded couches piled up on top of each other. One part of you relishes the vision of discarding your prized possessions; another part of you clings to them so tightly that it’s hard to move anywhere or nourish yourself, overcrowded by them. While a part of you wants to be in the here and now and another equally wants to visualize a grass-is-greener scenario, taking either of these routes requires being reminded of all your junk first.

Those sofas grow a fungus that rots their material. What was once a velvety luxury on your skin, tempting you toward repose, now calls for a reevaluation of the messages you’re sending yourself and your fellow cows about how you handle possessions. Is there a way to relate differently with the old material, and is there a way to relate differently with the freedom to imagine the new? When you realize that possessions exist to be the foundation and the adornment of your nourishment, rather than to bottleneck acts of self-care, you’re free to unbind yourself from the discarded furniture, relocating and repurposing it as what carried the memories that fed your soul in the past, as you yourself now breathe fresh air in an open field.

GEMINI

Hirohiko Araki

Gemini: This lunar eclipse you’re looking both ways crossing a highway with cars and buses zooming and crashing into each other in every direction. You’re trying to cross the street so you can assume your role as the spokesperson for a subject you hold dear to your identity in an awkward setting—the subject itself must be articulated in the middle of turbulent motion. The trouble is crossing the street seems impossible when all the vehicles are driven by extraterrestrials: the terrain, usually familiar on the terrestrial ground in a way even you take for granted, transforms its scope and the movement it can handle, when beings with foreign demands drive on top of it.

What are the ideas, bits of information and nanothoughts in your mind doing? There’s something you hold precious and seek the freedom to stand for & deliver, but your monkey mind is giving birth to a language that’s shifting moment by moment. When you assume the podium at the rest stop, and your audience of those poised to hear your enthusiastic opinions on your subject matter sit listening, weary from the journey, rest assured that the sound waves of all those drivers from another planet will only stain your expression of your freedom if you let it all be perceived as incomprehensible motion. What you’re up to, both within yourself and in your external world, is creating a sphere that accommodates the sturdy ground and the dizzying motion—the ground’s view of sturdiness itself transformed into an ability to be dizzy within your zealous pursuits.

CANCER

Hirohiko Araki, “Gold Experience Strikes Back”

Cancer: Curled up into a ball on an isolated bed, sucking your thumb and rocking back and forth, there’s a part of you finding yourself torn about not saying the right thing. It may be your long lost sister, or fourth great grandmother, institutionalized with a single lightbulb hanging over their head, in pajamas and tears. Their/your life from the real outside world gathers into a saltwater bubble as you reckon with all its agonizing components—bitterness, perceived failures to protect, or perceived shortcomings in forging a nurturing nest—your most raw and vulnerable self gushing forth before you’re ready to walk on to land where you set up new homes.

In the midst of your anguish, a book carrying many stories appears to you: a folk pamphlet, or a holy book that had been buried under a grandparent’s bails of hay for hundreds of years. It contains balms for remorse and the pain inflicted by demons, antidotes you can easily apply in the spirit of brushing your teeth. The messages contained therein, both verbal and nonverbal, form a bridge between your past hurts and your sense of possibility: the most profound shelters may not be the ones you had built, or the alienating one in which you currently find yourself, but in the primal urges of your predecessors to pass their warmth on to you and in your unique interpretation of how you will rejuvenate their insulating barns and straw for your loved ones. Your grief and hope are held equally by the invisibles in their echoes of care.

LEO

Hirohiko Araki, “How Many People?”

Leo: A revolution happens, or at least a mirage of one, and this Lunar Eclipse you stand apart in a crowd proclaiming victory under a radical sun, all the members of your party dousing themselves in pure alcohol. There’s a surge of Dionysian frenzy to this expression of solidarity: it’s as if every member of the movement arrives at the same place, yearning for the limelight that’s limited to a pebble on a suburban ground. What at first appear as elbow rubs and intimate thuds of camaraderie turn out to be each person desperately wrestling to be the last one standing on that lone rock, each for themselves pushing & shoving with a voracious appetite for the status of the charismatic leader.

Where are you in this dynamic? In one moment, the supreme ruler; in the next, pushing to assert your place; in yet another, drunk on the pride this feeling of group belonging gives you. But you shake yourself awake: you’re not one who wants to “belong,” you long to lead and to gift others with the radiant expression of your unique creative voice. In the intoxication of the group, which wears the colors of tragedy, connecting you all with the oceanic swallowing of the individual, there is to be found, if you catch it, the source of that vital pulse of your own sovereign voice, felt as a roar surfing along the wave before any wipeout or blackout. The pushes for attention and the oblivion into the herd, for you, aren’t the point right now—it’s catching that hydrated uniqueness carefully among the dangers of an orgiastic tempest.

VIRGO

Hirohiko Araki, “Flash Flood Warning”

Virgo: Have you ever thought about your parents as another species? This Lunar Eclipse, a reckoning regarding your mother’s work in this human world arrives to you, as she walks off into a sunset. “My mother is a dinosaur,” echoes as a relevant reflection in the air as you recognize your roots and traditions as belonging to a type of organism utterly distinct from you. Or, perhaps, the roots from which you have grown into a full being feel fossilized to you, and you’re now ready to cast the imposing guardian-figure as a T-Rex, letting their habituated expressions of criticism and affection both walk into the distance never to return to you speaking the language you knew together.

It’s natural to feel dislocated, to feel that there’s a part of ourselves that’s anti human, or unhuman, and perhaps an even more everyday feeling is that the parents belong to a soul-tribe vastly different from what you’re here to do. Since you love to integrate and interweave patterns, Virgo, these thoughts sometimes feel unwelcome to you. But this is an opportunity to honor traditions passed down and the work you’ve done as a leader, public servant or parent in another way: eventually, what’s always comforted or tortured us, too, must learn a new language, which means it must first be released, walking off a cliff at sunset. It also means those who comforted and tortured you possessed origins outside of the way you, by necessity, perceived them at the time. Know that you are graced by a connection to a deep past whose form looks completely Other. Use that awareness to learn your own language of honoring and loving.

LIBRA

Hirohiko Araki

Libra: If you were to pinpoint and draw out the most vital sources of your expansion and purpose, you may intellectually acknowledge the terrifying, unpredictable creatures as playing a role, but letting them out to roam around is another matter. On this Lunar Eclipse there’s an animal that speaks many languages inside of a golden cage at an abandoned circus. You may have thought you were coming to observe many specimens from a distance, and in your carefully thought out ethical framework you may feel betrayed that the conventional circus parameters have abandoned you, left you alone with this grizzly ape. But the ‘it’ asks to be released from its cage, a sadistic prison that makes its polyglot self froth at the mouth, its gargantuan knowledge spewing forth in an incoherent spittle of foam. Much to your own surprise, you open the cage and leave the rest to the unknown.

Just what are these tongues spoken by that furry friend-foe? The many biological imprints within you each demand a voice, and while it’s tempting to merely think about this and observe from afar, there’s an instinct in your pounding heart that knows this One animal contains the key to the Many. Your attraction to unleashing it knows that out of this instinctual center flow the articulation of many idioms previously forgotten. The volition of your reason can partner with the situation here, thinking that the choice is its own, saying, “unleash the polyglot beast so that I, too, can have a pet fetish.” The inroads and whirling hoops between reason and unreason depend first on busting open those cages, however beautiful they may appear.

SCORPIO

Hirohiko Araki, “Crazy Diamond is Unbreakable”

Scorpio: Thrown onto the shore choking on storm-tossed water, you feel this Lunar Eclipse like you’re carrying two of you, and you can’t tell if you’ve just had dark sex that’s washed you up among all of that seaweed, or if it’s this other You on your back that’s made love to the fears within your own heart. What sorts of lovemaking make you feel elementally merged in one moment and drowning in the next? Alternating with the sense of yourself-as-submerged-lover is a keen ability to reflect on the experience, to discriminate between the myriad lovers and haters present in your life the moment you can breathe again. There’s a double you, a corpse and grinning skeleton, that seems to relish your heart in all of its want and terror. It talks of what has died, what is to die, and what has appeared as a phantasm of “debt.”

Anyone else would be running to mommy screaming when this double dead-alive soul agent becomes so starkly real, but that’s what this Lunar Eclipse is for in your case, Scorpio: to eye the fragments of your erotic and deadly experience for who and what they are. The key is not taking the gossip about your scandals, liaisons, betrayals and especially, debts, too literally or seriously. Though it’s wise to keep the discerning guard up, this skeleton has a sense of humor, and part of the whole joke lies in the fact that “debt” is only a lame cousin of death. Rather than owing anything, you ask these solicitors to identify themselves, and upon knowing them with clarified expectations, everything that each party genuinely entered the encounter for will be surrendered.

SAGITTARIUS

Hirohiko Araki

Sagittarius: At the marriage altar, you and your partner wear sunny smiles, and a murder of crows gathers above your heads. The news they deliver speaks not of evil, but of the ways you and your beloved are unshackling your own freedom from the serious white-hairs in the crowd gazing with sunken eyes at the ceremony. Those critical birds bring your awareness to a realm above the apparent soul concerns of both you and your beloved—whether that beloved takes the form of a partner, an inner love flame or an impassioned relationship with a field of inquiry. They direct you, through their chilling caws, toward your genuine orientation: the quest of the blazing light of the erotic seeker’s mind.

The throng of older folks looking on, the crows warn, may only appear to hold the keys to the knowledge of love and freedom that you seek. You find many of those sitting suits respectable in their ability to guard the gates of enlightened exploration covering a wide ground. What’s important today, in this passionate meditation on freedom and erotic union, is your awareness of the choice to point your gaze toward that promising orb above the arches even if—and especially because—there’s no ready-made language for that part of the quest. The old gatekeepers of tradition in the audience may talk to you about autonomy and partnered union, but what’s yours to articulate must be found looking not only at the way others have articulated the mysteries of self & other through the ages, but into the open sky of private soaring and utterly naked ‘two-as-one’.

CAPRICORN

Hirohiko Araki

Capricorn: Thermometers slide under the tongues of your brethren, taking the temperature of the inner urges to deliver the messages that demand communication. You isolate yourself in walls of junk food fixing your gaze on their nutrition facts labels, sitting on an airy bag of chips. In some moments you’re watching all the action from afar; in others, you’re right up close and checking everyone for fever. Every being around you wears labels of excess sodium, fat, or sugar, and all the chemicals drench the mop you splash on the floor. What is real and good, and how do you know? What is the bundle of real and good tasks worth pursuing and can you hang on to the units of information that are indications of this goodness as a secure foundation on which to perform your acts of service?

It seems important to you this Lunar Eclipse to quantify the toxicity or health of what’s around you and you’re torn between observing those evaluations from your prime minister’s seat, running around taking everyone’s temperature, and being the bedridden patient yourself. When in doubt, insulation and isolation seem to pave the way to the true service: the patient attention to your mind revealing itself to itself. Underneath the prejudicial labels of more of this, less of that, which already depends upon measurement instruments and standards of the past, you’re asked to take a trip back to the evaluative tools of the even deeper roots, which is inquiring how you can find inner silence and respite within all the panic, vulnerable physicality and cleanup. Your ability to go to ground zero and let your mind speak from the altar of silence will illuminate a genuine code for you to discern the integrity of your health, environment and its troublemaking potions.

AQUARIUS

Aquarius: You find yourself frantically flying toward all the usual mechanisms to emotionally withdraw, having fun and embracing humanity, only to re-find yourself kissing a snarling monster over flames. You thought it would all be the pleasant kind of fire, the one over which you possess some control, but in fact, you’re face to face with that growling boar showing you the full-fledged immersion into emotion. The speech of someone in the trenches of anger and vulnerability sounds different from the polite utterances of a professor of feelings making pronouncements from an ivory tower. Here, Aquarius, you’re sweating and delivering primal grunts, screams, cries, with urges to kiss, hump, and beg while you’re surrounded by flames.

It feels awkward because you had planned it to all carry on in the spirit of a festive celebration, and now everything is ablaze with fire and condemnatory lingo. But it’s a necessary passage for you to come down from the tower of space and burn yourself every now and then, charging fully into the heat of the passions that take you on an adventure away from your ability to fly high and stay above it all. What’s in it for you, in this case, is learning a new language of feeling consumed by those passions, and taking into your family of lovers not only what you consider ‘human’, but also what you consider vicious and bestial.

PISCES

Hirohiko Araki, “San Diego Beach- September 23, 1890- 2 Days to Start, Part 3”

Pisces: This lunar eclipse brings you the ultimate workout—the strife of lifting a heavy antique table with a circle of your ancestors sitting on top. You carry the weight of all the parental and multigenerational voices on your shoulders, hearing all of their warnings and comforting memories and cautionary tales above your ears, and wonder when you’ll be able to release your psychic strain and drop them. There’s a paradox at work here, Pisces: on one level, the ultimate weight falls upon you. On another level, you’re so adaptable and permeable right now that all appearances of a burden will dissolve instantly if you allow them to.

Moving from light to heavy is something you’re used to as a being with one foot in the trans personal, etheric worlds and the other in the ultra-materialistic world of form. This lunar eclipse asks you to merge the light, weightless world in your presentation of your glorious predecessors to it, with the dense ground, forest, rock, brick and ambition. Can you lift your lineage up to the sky on that heavy table while standing on one leg, feeling the breeze move over you, witnessing the whole process, knowing in your honoring of those who came before that all the warnings and curses too are stirred as nutrients into the soup cauldron between heaven and earth, boiling a warm & nourishing meal?

World Shadow Horoscope, November 29th, 2020

November 29th, as queasy schoolchildren eating too much candy and overstuffed with reading assignments, we try to escape the “shoulds” by running behind the schoolhouse into the enchanted barn of curiosity. Not everything is as it seems in there either, though—just as our appetite for goodies was insatiable before a bellyache, the hunger for knowledge of the secrets to our daily living gives us an existential ache. Though the air smells of the most promising library books, the barn is full of little doll faces of headmasters & strict teachers staring into our eyes. In fact, we’ve made these dolls, it seems: at first, we mocked and prank-called those gatekeepers who told us the way the quest for knowledge and life purpose “should” happen, then we sentimentalized & honored them, and now we find ourselves questioning yet again.

An earthquake suddenly shatters all those dolls to pieces. Centuries-old occult rebels in wigs carrying parchment invite us to drink with them in a den, and carrying a sack of the broken doll faces, we’re shown the first step in breaking ties with a vocabulary that dogmatically constricts the way we conceive of life purpose. Drinking moonshine, holding a Constitution, dancing rudely on the table, these lodgers say, “shred it!”—the document, the words of your life story that must be rethought, regenerated, rewritten in a new language.

Past the table of rowdy constitution-shredders, we see fire in a mirror reflecting the true nature of our minds back to us, asking for all those smashed pieces of old educators, and your own face in a wrinkly caricature, too, to be thrown into that flame. “Your fears, gossip and mockery—distorted echoes of curiosity—become burned in the awareness of your burning inner purpose.”

World Shadow Horoscope, November 28th, 2020

November 28th, change knocks at the door and fertilizes the ground as comfort freaks cling tightly to pillows. We’re sobbing couch potatoes and busts of household masters insisting that our creaturely attachments stay intact through the ruptures, and that the status quo over which we coo holds its place. But eco-demands to face the wanted and the unwanted blow in the wind and thorny vines knock against our windows. House contractors, just gone blind, set up renovation sites on wastelands full of noxious weeds already killing all the crops and livestock.

The imagination, wondering what’s redemptive about this state of affairs, this chokehold of change amidst overgrown weeds, puts bouncy sandals on our feet: even if we begin on hot coals, we can go anywhere if we but imagine. Dogs leap out of the under-earth, recently revealed after those blind contractors uprooted the foundations, teaching us how to soar back and forth from the hollows that are often invisible. Since the imagination itself has weeds, and we’re asked to start from the bottom, we now must imagine anew. Once we’re able to see what gates have opened from the shifting foundation, we’re able to see and go where we choose. And now that the ground itself has opened up, all of its brambles, wild roses, dandelions and stinky plants become the guides to our rejuvenated fertility.

Neptune Stations Direct: The Week of 11/23-11/29/2020

This week is one long crescendo toward a Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on November 30th. The symphony of the week’s transits include, most notably, Neptune stationing direct and Venus’ opposition to Uranus. The cosmic forces pull the curtain back to how our innermost longings and values have transformed, and how this sea change relates to our imagination. Neptune contains many gods and goddesses, including Dionysus, Tiamat, the Christ figure, and Poseidon. Each of these involve fragmentation, a blurring of boundaries, overwhelm by oceanic forces and the thought of the heart. 

On June 23rd, when Neptune stationed retrograde, we faced a Solar Eclipse in Cancer. This time, Neptune stations direct promptly before the *lunar* eclipse in Gemini. Whereas solar eclipses are about influxes of energy, lunar eclipses are about giving birth and releasing energy. This means that whatever has gestated in the imagination over the last five months, in a new form, will soon give birth to something meaningful and climax in a more significant way—or, it might all be exposed as a mirage. 

The notion of revelation, of pulling the curtain back, is a timeless metaphor that calls to mind an old story about a king. Skeptical about the existence of any realm other than the literal, material plane, the king asks a holy man in the woods if he could see a glimpse of Paradise. The sage, who is dying, tells the king that if he knocks on his gravestone in the hours after death, his wish will be granted—but, at the same time, he warns the king to be careful what he wishes for, saying that it’s best to wait to see paradise until his time has come. The king ignores the warning and knocks on the grave as instructed. When the ground opens and the king tumbles underground, the dead sage pulls a curtain back to reveal…and the story does not say precisely *what* is shown to the king, but seemingly for an instant, he sees his glimpse of paradise. The consequences are dire, though: he reemerges from underground seven hundred years later, dethroned, with nobody knowing his identity. 

Let’s make the story relevant to the current astrological and personal moment: how can we engage in a creative relationship with our imagination instead of one ignoring warnings or split off from its power? How can we apply imagination in our lives and what have we learned about it since June 23rd? How does the frenzied consumption of coffee, wine, love & attention amplify our insight or exacerbate the foggy messes, or both? Time will tell. Time will expose the extent to which we’re nourished by the garden of romantic imagination and the extent to which the weeds of that same garden take up all the sunlight, nutrients and space. 

One way those weeds show their faces is through the extremes of euphoria and depression that the yearning for paradise and source creates. Those extremes become perceived as weeds in the garden when they put the analytical brain sound the alarm bells, making us think that we are conflicted or ill, when sometimes, what are labeled ‘internal conflicts’ are themselves illusions of a mind trying to analyze and separate living reality into manageable fragments. 

Another way weeds show their faces is as deception, felt on both private and public levels. Whatever deception has been in the works since mid June (or longer) will either be exposed for what it is or be allowed to run amok in a deluge. The opposition of Venus (values) and Uranus (the renegade) pushes us into embracing change rooted in the raw material that’s been gestating in the imagination these past several months. These planets oppose each other in Taurus and Scorpio, an axis that’s about transformed desire and constructive power. When the vitality that regenerates desires is ignored and power remains secretly corrupt, Venus-Uranus will encourage this lack of integrity to destroy itself with its own deceit. In other cases, it festers and spreads, creating mirages upon mirages. 

We are participants in this and the choice is ours: how can we relate beautifully and wildly innovate the expression of our transformed desires? How can the power that’s destructive expose itself as counterproductive to the integrity of the current forms that our values take? 

And it’s important to remember that on subtler levels, these epiphanies don’t unfold in an either/or fashion, but as volatile mixtures of light and dark and rainbow.

World Shadow Horoscope, November 26th, 2020

November 26th- An oily ground populated with smoldering soldiers and lovers brings to our awareness the passions trying to unblock themselves. Secret agents scan and sniff; those amorous fighters breathe deep, ready to go to battle with their limitations. A cavern opens to the rogue exploration of secret longings leading to low-rumbling invasions of boundaries. We probe, pry and pivot, all in the name of moving past the barriers of outmoded convention and knee-jerk dread.

Behind the battlefield, a live scarecrow stands tall in the woods, and bats come and go, feasting upon his flesh. We are the surge of animality in those bats and the scarecrow itself, too, guarding what’s necessary to preserve in order for our limits to be transcended, offering our eyes for dinner, scrapping the old way of seeing. The bats remind us how the human must give its talent to the animal world and not hoard it. This includes honoring and offering, in a spirit of creative surrender, to the passions of the animal realms uninterested in human convenience: anger, lust, regression, terrified nighttime, irrepressible need. Our expansive offerings make us guardians of the feast, at peace with the inherent unrest that gives existence its pulse.

-World Shadow Horoscope, November 26th, 2020