by Eric Francis
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You’re beginning one of the most intriguing months in many seasons. A total solar eclipse in your sign, Mercury retrograde in your sign, and Jupiter leaving your sign, combine to create a unique set of circumstances. Let’s take them one at a time. The eclipse is like being reborn, with all the perils and potentials thereof. Said another way, you’re catching up with much growth and progress that you had either not noticed, or not added up on your karmic balance sheet. Update your files and proceed with full credit for all that you’ve learned. Mercury retrograde in your sign looks like what some call a searching and fearless moral inventory. Yet as a Virgo, you must remember that you tend to over-judge yourself, so I suggest you take this on the level of discovering all that is right and true and beautiful about yourself. Learn to see yourself and your life from a benevolent perspective. You have learned plenty the past year about how much you have to offer, and I suggest you make this knowledge a permanent feature in your psychological makeup. As for Jupiter leaving your sign, that means it enters Libra; and for you, that’s a comment on self-esteem. This is not something that’s given to you; rather, it’s something that you must claim for yourself, and the time is ripe.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
The big news, of course, is that Jupiter is entering your sign this month. For reference, the most recent time that happened was way back in late September 2004, which leads me to a question: Are you still facing the same old fears, or have you found your confidence? I suggest you not make any assumptions; really consider this one. Fear and confidence work in a ratio. The more confidence you have, the less you are inclined to worry about things that might trouble other people. Another theme is generosity. I’ve noticed something grim in the 12 years since Jupiter was last in Libra, which is that being sincerely helpful has grown ever less fashionable—or worse, it makes less and less sense to many people. The ethos of taking, of getting what you can, of taking advantage, seems to seep through a lot of rhetoric about integrity. You have something to gain by being generous, which is peace of mind. I would propose that you have a need to live knowing that you’re doing everything that you can do for everyone you can do it for. To do this, you must go beyond what you think your capacity is. You must stretch a little, and that is what Jupiter does. You will have many opportunities this year to set small things right—and some big ones, too.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Do you feel protected? It’s time to tune into that feeling. Your sign is more given to anxiety than the astrology books say, plenty of which is social anxiety about what you think other people think about you. If you knew the sheer volume of energy you’ve wasted on this topic, you would be amazed. No matter how grounded and secure you are in fact, you will scramble that feeling by projecting judgment onto others. Two bits of information might help. People think less about you than you think they do. They have a lot of other people on their mind. Second, it does not matter what most people think or feel, unless they have some direct power over you, or unless you specifically care about them. This will require some sorting out. Your astrology this month is a wild tour of your civic and social world. You will see and notice a lot; you’ve got the power of discernment when it comes to deciding who means what to you, and why. Yet you can afford to go light on your assessments, and you can afford to notice those with whom you share goodwill. Suspicion and judgment in any form will block your perception. There are some people who really have your back. They care about you just because they do. Notice who they are.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Whatever happened in late August was in some way life-altering; which is to say, it looks like you had a moment of clarity. An innovator of therapy named Fritz Perls once said that his definition of learning is discovering that something is possible. So I would ask: what did you discover is possible? Did you challenge yourself to do something that made you push your abilities or talents? That might even include challenging someone who had undue authority in your life. You might have challenged a belief that was holding you back; and if you have not quite squared up to that yet, there’s still time. You remain determined to live your life your way, beyond what’s typical even for you. Take this advantage while you have it. You can proceed with the confidence that your truth is your truth, and if you don’t live for that, you’re not really living. This will, of some necessity, involve conflict. This doesn’t need to be jackets-off, outside type of conflict, but it might mean some abrasion. Little scrapes and skirmishes will help you get clear about who you are and what you want. And nearly everyone on the planet needs practice standing up for themselves. Before long you will be able to dial this back and be on friendly terms with the many people who see, and moreover feel, who you are.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You tend to split hairs over your beliefs, as if trying to determine which are more true than others. Here is the thing. Belief is just belief. The problem is that when something so frail is assigned authority, that thing can take authority over you. For example, you might have a belief about integrity, and that can take on the stature of a god in your mind, while doing little to influence you in a positive way. Your astrology for the next few weeks is challenging you to consider this issue. What do you believe and why do you believe it? When you encounter one of these thought forms, ask yourself this question, and listen for the answer you get. Then ask again and take it deeper. You might conclude that belief per se is meaningless. It would be a compliment to call it fiction, since fiction at least involves the conscious weaving of a reality for a specific purpose. Yet it works a little like that—the purpose often being convenience. Don’t be afraid to go out of your way to find out what’s actually true for you. That might include going somewhere to conduct a personal inquiry, in search of what is real. The decisions you make this month can influence not just your long-range view of your future, but also your actual destination. Keep your eyes open and shine your light into the dark.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
It looks as if you’re ready to go someplace exotic, or at least to travel further than you can drive. In any event, you need a change of scenery and a change of pace. This will help you see the greater possibilities that you contain. When you can feel your own potential, you have a much greater chance of making it real. And that is the very thing that is opening up for you now. If you tune in, you may feel the scale of your entire future. This might manifest as what in the Seth material is described as your “probable selves.” You have many; many people you can be, things you can do, and places you can go. Hold that potential open as you make some important decisions this month around your finances and your career. You are starting to see the futility of certain attachments that are not furthering your cause. Before long, you’re sure to notice a certain attractive power of one particular goal. It’s seemed like a nice idea; though, when Venus moves in your favor later this month, you’re likely to be drawn to this with passion and creative lust. You’re intelligent enough to work with a clear strategy, and clever enough to know that part of that strategy must include leaving certain things to what some call luck or fate. Keep your feet loose and your wheels turning around.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
This month ends a long cycle in your relationships and begins another. We might be talking about something that dates back eight to 10 years. That’s quite a while, especially with time speeding along in dog years. Plenty has happened to you; and as you take a step forward, it’s time for a review of what this past decade of relationships has been about. Consider the people, consider the patterns, and consider how your expectations have evolved over time. One hint I can offer you is that as time has gone on, you’ve made peace with what a quirky individual you are. You’ve figured out that your priorities are different, your values are different, and that your drive to be your individual self—almost at all costs—is genuinely unique. This discovery may have come gradually, or it may have come all at once (of course, after building up for a while). Now comes a kind of summation of all your progress and experience. If you feel like you’re heading into unknown and uncertain territory, you’re in the right place. Yet, despite some sense of intensity and living on the edge, you have every reason to be confident. I would sum it up simply in a few words: you’ve reached a stage of life where a real exchange is possible. That translates to: give consciously, and receive graciously.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
If you’ve been wanting for company, you won’t be for much longer. There is companionship in the stars, which means that you’ll have a variety of possibilities available. People have a way of aiming low in their relationship choices. We’ve all been there, and seen it more times than we can count. You have your options open, and I suggest you leave it that way for a while. You don’t have to commit to the first person who you think might be acceptable, and you don’t have to compromise. Stand in your truth, and see who responds to you as the person you really are. This will take some time. And in that time, you’re free to do what you want, and with whom. See if you can stand back from the idea that you owe anyone your loyalty, fidelity, or exclusivity for as long as you need to have some fun and to truly discover who the people around you are. Far from violating the rules of civil society, you might say you’re violating the rules of low self-esteem. Over the past year or so, you’ve emerged as someone original with a unique mission. There are people in the world who recognize you for these qualities. Those are the people you want in your life: those who are friendly, supportive, encouraging, and genuinely loving. Settle for no less.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You’ve made an investment in the technical aspects of what you do the best. This has necessitated a long phase of using the “beginner’s mind” technique, even though you’re not a beginner. Said another way, you’ve had to stretch your capacities, your skills, and your knowledge. There have been some frustrating moments, perhaps, but along the way you knew you were doing the right thing, and you kept doing it. By all indications, it looks like you’ve succeeded at attaining a new level of talent at something you’ve done reasonably well for quite a while. Now you begin a journeyman phase—that is, of being fully qualified to do the work that you do. Along this part of your trip, understate your abilities. Never claim mastery; rather, let others claim it for you. Make sure that your workshop is as beautiful as your work. You thrive on working in a pleasing, well-outfitted environment, one that reflects your personal style. Make an investment in yourself here. Keep doing what you do with style, passion, and your impeccable sense of aesthetics and you’re headed for an unusual phase of professional accomplishment. Just remember that your true calling is some form of art, which in any event means doing whatever you do artfully and beautifully and letting this be the one relevant metric of success.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
The obsession with security that our society has developed during the past 15 years has a parallel on the human level: how is it possible to feel safe on our planet at this time? There are days when everything seems to be unraveling. We are constantly reminded of what’s supposed to threaten us, from mosquitoes to the nuclear arsenal. The spiritual approach is to declare yourself the safe place. You become your own sanctuary. Yet the private dimension is one of the most menacing for many people, where their own inner voices, such as the critic or the moralist, leave them the least room to be themselves, or to feel safe. Yet inner poise is what you must cultivate, and you have many opportunities to do so. One thing your astrology indicates is an inner exploration of the sources of insecurity as they are rooted in your childhood experiences. You might avoid these memories and emotions as one way of dealing with them, though I suggest you address them directly. This is the simplest way to neutralize the power they seem to hold over you. When you hear an inner critic or authority speaking, ask yourself: whose voice is this? If you can get past this layer of turbulence, you will feel safer, and you will tap into a well of wisdom and knowledge from which you will surely benefit.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You certainly have plenty on your mind and your plate. That’s a beautiful thing—you’re involved with your own life. Yet at times you may feel a little overwhelmed, as if your life is living you. When that happens, slow down and make some decisions; rearrange your schedule; eliminate what’s not truly necessary and emphasize what is. Amidst the sheer volume of thought and activity, you may find it easy to focus on the single most significant thing you need to be doing, and there most certainly is one. Pay attention to what you’re called to do the first week of the month. If you need a clue, I can give it to you in one word: Writing. But what exactly? The thing you’ve been wanting to do very nearly forever. What if you’re not a writer? There is some element of analysis and exposition, in written words, of the thing that you do the best. It might involve a business plan, a proposal, a grant, your CV or resume, or that important letter you need to write. This might involve an intimate aspect of your life, such as your journals (dust them off, in any case). There is a special role that both reading and writing have, which is the cultivation of inner, private space, and your sense of self. Ultimately, this is what you’re working toward.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
From the look of your solar chart, you’ve just experienced some kind of personal breakthrough that’s taken you closer to being an artist, a lover, or a free spirit. You’ve worked hard for this; you’ve had to face many inner demons and insecurities, and the result has been a surge of creative and sexual energy. This has helped you overcome an inner block that’s been interfering with your fun and passion for a while. The thing to remember is that it’s possible to revert to old ways of being. It’s easy to get scared of being “too free” or “too powerful.” In fact freedom feels like a dangerous state to many people, which is why humans so often revert to some form of unfree. You have to decide what you want, and what you’re willing to do in order to have it. If you want to get into the flow of energy, ideas, and pleasure—that is, vital force—I have a few suggestions from your astrology. One is to avoid moral judgments on pleasure of any kind. Another is to step back from people, whether friends, partners, or colleagues, who express such judgments. Preserving and developing your newfound space to explore your potential will in part depend on cultivating relationships that support you rather than diminish you. Those relationships are available, though you must set the criteria.
monthly horoscopes graciously contributed by:
beautifully illustrated by Deirdre Tanton