by Eric Francis
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Take the time to put your feelings into words and share them. Size is not everything, though I suggest this be longer than a tweet. Reach into some of the unusual depths that you’ve been feeling, and that may be daunting. It is, however, the expression and sharing that will help you validate your experiences and keep your exploration going. If you keep silent, you won’t hear yourself as clearly. If you don’t write down your thoughts, you’re less likely to remember what ground you’re covering. It’s not just your arrival to a new place that counts (and such is inevitable). Rather, it’s how you got there that matters. Remember that this is a spiritual journey and its most interesting places are symbols and ideas—and these are easy to forget. Treat each event or episode in your life as an initiation, which teaches you something, changes you slightly and significantly, and leads you to another place. As you do this, you’re closing gaps and spaces inside yourself, rather than trying to fill them up with something less fulfilling. You’re healing cracks in your psyche and openings in your emotional body. Your overall direction of travel is toward being a more solid, dependable and grounded person. And this is all preparation for something else, for experiences vastly different from what you’ve ever had before. Therefore, make friends with the unfamiliar.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Practice feeling good about yourself. It’s a skill that you’ll learn over time, though you’re being helped significantly by a factor you might not have expected. The one issue that you’ve been affected by most deeply, the one you thought you could never resolve, the one that’s vexed you for years, is finally giving way. Part of what you’re doing is establishing a correct relationship to the past. You know that you cannot just stow it away. You know you cannot drag it around with you. You know that you cannot hold every relationship to the standard of what’s happened in the past. You’re releasing the toxic effects of what you’ve been carrying, and at the same time, you’re learning to claim the most positive lessons from what you went through. This conversion process is the essence of emotional and spiritual healing. Claiming the knowledge and experience you’ve gained, and allowing it to change you, is far more than positive thinking; you might think of it as positive becoming. One image from your solar chart is about embracing the different opposites that you contain within you. Those polarities might be your inner male and female aspects, or any seemingly competing desires or values that you observe. Part of the maturity you’re growing into involves allowing yourself to expand, and embracing those oppositions rather than fighting them.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
The great adventure has begun. The times, they are a-changin’. And who are you really? That’s the journey, and that’s what you are ready to discover. You have so many possibilities and yet you so often approach life the same way. You’re under some intense pressure to set yourself free. But free of what? An idea about who you are, which seems to dictate how you relate to the world. This looks like a search for gender identity. Your feminine side is calling you; she’s trying to get your attention, though she’s having some challenges expressing herself. It’s as if you’re hearing but not listening. Let yourself be drawn into your inner life and, if you feel resistance, remember that this is one of the most fearsome things a person can do. Many pressures you’re under are designed to draw you outside yourself. Yet your inner awareness, your imagination, your ability to feel who you are rather than tell yourself who you are—all of this is calling you. You’re being invited into your own inner sanctum. Don’t fall for the glam, the commercial, or what your social media accounts claim about you. Turn toward the unknown and take your time getting there. In those moments when you feel the least comfortable in your skin, when you feel restless, when you doubt yourself … that’s your invitation, easy to miss.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You are a catalyst in a group initiation of some kind. By this I mean that the evolutionary steps you’re taking are having an influence on the people around you. As you grow into yourself, you’re opening the way for other people to do so as well. As you become more confident, people around you are finding their confidence. As you develop your skills and deepen your commitment level, those who depend on you are becoming stronger in their mission. This truly is “leadership for the new age,” in that your example seems to be what is leading others. Yet it goes much deeper than this. There’s something in the spiritual chemistry of how you mix with others that’s having the deepest effect. It’s not what you’re doing but rather who you’re becoming that is influencing others. Therefore, you can take bigger risks being yourself. Yes, in times past, you may have threatened people by being bold and real, and by expressing your true competence. Now your ability to do so sets an energy pattern that others can follow, including certain members of your family. Now, if your existence gives people permission to be who they are, you’re the one who gives yourself consent to be who you are. Once you get the hang of this, you’ll be wondering what all the fuss and resistance was about.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
New ideas about relationships are calling you, though existing situations in your life need your attention. Humans tend to have a difficult time coming up with a clear yes or a clear no. They also have challenges with a clear hello and goodbye. Taken together, these four values comprise the most important boundaries you can have. They are the gas, brakes, and steering of your life. Saturn in your opposite sign Sagittarius is saying that it’s time to put your hands on the controls of your life and master these basic concepts. It’s true that you have the question of what to do with your existing commitments. The real question is: whom and what are you truly invested in? Be clear with yourself about this. There’s no point wasting anyone’s time with the appearance of commitment when your soul is not really there. Nobody really wants to pretend, or wants you to pretend. One clue that may seem materialistic (but is actually more metaphysical) is to notice when and on whom you like spending money. This is a good indicator of love, specifically, noticing where your energy flows easily. Time will give you similar clues. Around whom do you not feel rushed? Who do you always have time for, no matter how busy you are? Alternately, if you feel guilt, you’re getting a message that a situation is bad karma. Trust yourself.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re in an excellent position to transform your financial situation: to get some new clients or gigs, and to renegotiate some existing ones. Yet the basis of this is a discovery that you make about yourself, which establishes in your own heart the value of your work. There’s a parallel discovery about offering yourself rather than sacrificing yourself. When you give yourself sincerely, it will feel as if you gain rather than lose something. You will feel the actual experience of how ideas increase when they are given away. Your solar chart also describes a scenario you should be aware of. There’s some situation that’s easy to see and that’s getting your attention. There’s some other object on the radar—whether it’s an idea, an offer or an opportunity to work with someone—that’s subtler and easier to overlook. Therefore, take some time to turn your attention from what you’re focused on, and from what seems the most important, and look around for what seems (at first) to be less significant. Look and listen carefully. This might involve someone considerably younger than you are, whose thoughts would be easy enough to dismiss. Or the value of your own idea might not be obvious at first. In truth, this is likely to be the most interesting thing you have going on, and it will develop nicely.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
This month’s Full Moon in your birth sign (exact February 10) is inviting you to break consensus and do what you want. It would seem that there’s a committee of some kind saying you must live the way you supposedly agreed to, and that if you don’t, bad things will happen. Whether this is implied or being stated outright, I would encourage you to question this notion long enough to walk through an open door and try something new. You don’t have to live your life by consensus. The thing is, Leo is both an individualistic sign, and also one sensitive to the needs of the group or the tribe. Once you understand this about yourself, it will be easier for you to have some balance in your life. However, at first, you may feel like you’re stealing. But you cannot steal yourself. Your life is your life—it’s really that simple, and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is playing a game that can only happen with your consent. What is the actual nature of your commitments to others? What exactly did you promise them? And what was your promise to yourself, before they even met you? That’s the true promise you must keep. As you do that, as you reaffirm your commitment to yourself, certain partners are likely to rise to the occasion with you.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You’re making some excellent strides establishing your emotional independence. You can use your circumstances to help you. For example, physical space is one of the most helpful tools in the quest to assert who you are. You need space to yourself, and plenty of it. Take the initiative and create that for yourself, whether you have to ask everyone to go out for the afternoon, find a place to hide for a day or two, or get a room of your own somewhere. There is one question that your solar chart is presenting, though: to what extent do you link sex with marriage? This might be in the most literal sense, of thinking that sex is only appropriate in wedlock (this idea somehow persists, even if meekly), but it’s more likely to take the form of an erotic encounter being an implied contract of some kind (a boldly persistent idea). This is the hook. Whatever you may choose, you must set the terms of the agreement where an intimate experience is concerned. Take leadership; state your terms and your expectations. Ask for these things from anyone you share yourself with. You have just enough detachment right now to see through the fog and come up with some original ideas. You’re much more adventurous than you let on; society has invented all kinds of devices to deal with people like you.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You are big enough to handle anyone’s erratic behavior. You are broad-minded enough to handle the self-centered way that many people act. But how much do you want to endure? Notice when your patience is on half-empty rather than when it’s running all the way out. Notice who consumes the most of your resources. And most of all, notice who notices you—that you’re a person with feelings, desires, and needs. Those are the people you want in your life: individuals capable of taking care of themselves and who offer a measure of mutuality. You would probably say that’s tops on your list of qualifications for partner or friend, though how often does it work out that way? At the moment, it’s easy for you to get drawn into the service-to-others thing in a way that can go out of control. This calls for conscious decision-making. Be aware of the commitments you’ve made to others and the extent to which they are expecting or demanding more than what you’ve offered. You might also notice when someone is mirroring back to you one of your own tendencies that you want to let go of. The more you work on yourself, the less tolerant you will be of people who do anything less than honor your full personhood. You must treat yourself well first, and others will follow suit.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Remember that experiments are just that: the exploration of experience, and of your awareness. You have a few of these going on in both your personal life and your less-personal work life. Notice the overlaps and the connections between them. People are people, no matter what supposed role they play. The whole issue of appropriateness is overrated, as you know, and you may find yourself crossing various lines this month. The one thing to be careful of is where sex meets money. The one place that calls for a boundary is where your financial life meets your amorous life. This is less about spending money and more about who controls it. Keep a grip on your business affairs, make your own decisions and then be as generous as you want. Nothing you say or do implies that you’re anyone else’s property. If anyone gets that idea, you’ll want to notice, so listen for the subtle clues. Your life is a kind of gift economy, wherein people have the opportunity to share with one another. Yes, this goes against the grain of our whole economic system and the prevailing theory of relationship. You have the strength and the integrity to stand up to this in your own life. You are your own person, and everyone will be happier for recognizing that basic fact.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Saturn is in your sign and that may describe certain emotional challenges you’re facing. It might seem as if these challenges are coming from outside you. Yet your inner life is where the energy is flowing, which includes your emotions and also how you respond to events in your environment. You’ll make more progress on the kinds of maturity that Saturn is here to teach if you keep your locus of awareness internal. Spend as much time alone as you can and really feel what amounts to a world that you contain. You’re integrating certain experiences from your distant past, on the way to finding your way to the present. This will continue through the late winter and into the spring. Yes, it’s more typical for the Sagittarian quest to be an adventure in the world. It’s bolder and more daring to take your desire to unravel the mysteries of the planet into your own heart and soul. As you do this, your relationships will change. You will be more sensitive to how you feel about people, and you’re more likely to notice the subtle influence they have on you. And when you branch out into the world, you’ll notice different things and feel more connected to your inner core; more receptive and approaching a more harmonious state with the people around you. Go in before you go out.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Pluto in your sign is still pushing, pulling, and stretching you, though I also hope you’re getting the message to aspire to bolder and more interesting things. That means having an idea of what’s bold and interesting to you, and reaching beyond your current circumstances, particularly in your profession. Make sure you aspire to what you really want, just in case you get it. That’s the whole thing with success: it’s demanding. Once attained, it often feels like you must earn it again every day. If you claim to have some knowledge, one of the first things you’re likely to discover is how much you need to learn; and something must motivate that process of education. Let that be love: not the love of image, or of appearance, or of the idea of something, but the actual thing itself. Have as few illusions as you can, lest you become disillusioned; and if you do, be grateful when illusions are replaced by something closer to reality. It’s a delicate balance, between reaching to exceed your grasp and taking on too much responsibility—and there may not actually be a point of equilibrium. The one thing you can do, over and over again, every single day, is resolve to be true to yourself and make each choice consciously. Then verify again and again that you’re actually faithful to yourself.
monthly horoscopes graciously contributed by:
beautifully illustrated by Deirdre Tanton