After several years of studying and practicing astrology, I thought I understood all the major concepts involved. Then I read “The Luminaries” by Liz Greene. I ordered the paperback version on Amazon right at the precipice of my Jupiter return—a time marked by my long-distance relationship becoming one of a four-hundred square foot radius. In the final chapter, Greene discusses the concept of the progressed moon, which travels through each house of the natal chart for two to three years, teaching us lessons of whatever sign rules the house in which it’s residing. Immediately taking to the internet, I discovered that my progressed moon had just entered the eighth house of Scorpio. Before now, I never felt confident enough to contribute a unique take on this notoriously intense sign. I’ve never had a lot of Scorpios in my life, besides my grandpa who’s an extra-terrestrial obsessed, Buddha-loving, walking cliché of everything we’re told Scorpio embodies. Even interacting with him didn’t help me understand the sign’s “dark, underbelly” I kept hearing about. However, living in a progressed, Scorpionic state for the past year-and-a-half, I finally get it. I’ve been living in it.
I often describe Scorpios with two words, “deep” and “intense.” My mind then immediately jumps to Rupaul, a double Scorpio. On each episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race, he does a walk-through with the queens in the werk room, much like Tim Gunn does with the designers on Project Runway. Living in Los Angeles, I’ve done a fair share of paid-audience gigs. With each show I worked on, it became increasingly obvious that there is nothing more seemingly superficial than the job of a reality competition host. Reading from a teleprompter, faking a smile through all that makeup, remembering which camera to look at, and trying your best not to fuck up, because fucking up means wasting everyone’s time and money. It’s exhausting to watch, so I can only imagine how the performer must feel. Rupaul, however, uses his role as an opportunity to break through to his contestants. Rather than giving the queens advice on sewing or padding, he’ll ask, “Why are you so afraid of failure?” To the more light-hearted, this could come off a bit jarring and even condescending. But a little research shows that Rupaul, in typical Scorpio fashion, grew up in a broken home. He’s had to overcome his own demons at a tender age, which naturally lent itself to a deep and intense demeanor. Perhaps I should start describing the sign as “wise.”
My progressed moon is only halfway done traveling through Scorpio’s house, but I already feel lifetimes wiser than I did a year ago. The idea of this house functioning for intimate relationships has always made sense to me. I have an abundance of planets in the seventh house of one-to-one relationships, so with heaps of experience in that area of life, I see how the next logical step is the experience of intimacy. This is where you experience the nitty-gritty of a romantic union—where two people merge spiritually and share a connection beyond having the same taste in music. But we don’t always think about what merging with another individual requires of us. This is where the concept of death enters the scene. When death is associated with Scorpio, it rarely indicates a physical death. Rather, to participate in the Scorpio experience is to experience a death of the ego. A psychological death. Wow, look at me. I sound like Rupaul. But it’s true! The more enmeshed I became in my relationship, the more attention I had to put on my own identity and habits. I’ll never be who I was before this love, because love has transformed me. It broke down my ego and forced me to see myself and the world through a new set of eyes. Of course, this is the silver lining of death—rebirth. And although I just noticed my first grey hair, my soul feels like it’s the first day of school again. I was reborn with more clarity, and spiritual understanding than ever before. Life has more meaning now. Or perhaps life has always had meaning, and it just took my progressed moon to shake me awake. Nevertheless, I think it’s no wonder Scorpios feel so much—love and loss are life’s most meaningful experiences.
Wikipedia states that the idea of centaurs manifested out of a shock to nomads who had never before seen men riding on horses. This accurately describes how I feel when interacting with Sagittarians. I often play a game with my friends in which I propose the question, ‘If you could change any of your three signs, would you, and what would you change it to?’ I would swap my Leo rising for Sagittarius rising. As an Aquarius, I struggle to use my voice to my benefit, a quality that Sagittarius has in abundance. Much like their polarity (Gemini) Sagittarians ooze charisma and possess an innate sense of comedic timing. It’s a quality I sense immediately when interacting with them. When these masters of language and drama begin a monologue, it is akin to watching old footage of Joan Rivers annihilating Britney for wearing denim on the red carpet. Their uninhibited passion will catapult them to near hysterics. But just as you think they’ve lost their grip on reality, they’ll hit you with a joke to remind everyone just how clever and self-aware they really are. Pisces often make the same attempt, but lose sight of their point somewhere in the ethers. Sagittarius nails the punchline and knows when to drop the mic.
I’m always left wondering how this quality comes so naturally to them. Perhaps I’m clouded by my own Mercury in Pisces (communication isn’t my greatest skill), but it is evident to me that Sagittarians are born with a unique gift, one that I cannot help but envy. One Sagittarian friend of mine was devastated to discover that he has no Air in his chart. He asked, “Does that make me dumb? Aren’t air signs the intellectual ones?” The very idea that he was comparing his intelligence to mine was laughable. This is someone who ENJOYED the SAT because it offered him a “fun challenge.” As the sign that rules the ninth house of higher knowledge, it’s typical for these sun signs to have an intellectual focus in life. The ability to detach, however, can prove foreign to a Sag with too much earth or water. Sagittarius is the sign of expansion, which is a process with the potential to last a lifetime. Therefore, throughout their truth-hunting journey, they should stay privy to biases which may lead to passionate delusion.
Sagittarians’ need to expand and discover the truth fuels most of their actions, even if they’re not totally conscious of it, and much of their passion is a result of this. Whether it’s as trivial as knowing what time The Bachelor airs, or an obsession with comprehending all the facts in politics, when a Sagittarian begins its rise to reality TV level hysterics, pay attention to the subtext. More than likely, they’re up in arms in the name of the truth. Unlike Gemini, whose focus is fixed on facts and personal truths, Sagittarius is concerned with universal truths—higher laws, politics, and philosophy. With the state of our world today, it’s no wonder they’re always displaying their reactiveness, even if they’re technically the most mature of the fire signs. Although, in typical fire nature, they move on just as quickly as they react. Quick to forgive, Sagittarians are often said to have a heart of gold. I try to avoid describing signs with clichés such as, “heart of gold,” but the term does speak to each fire signs’ unique ability to see beyond flaws, and love intensely. Sagittarius exudes spunk, high-energy, and drama. Combine this with their universal perspective and moral focus, and you get someone who embodies a special kind of super-human, a real centaur.
October 11th fell in the middle of my 17-day retreat from Los Angeles. Nestled beneath three layers of blankets, I woke up next to my boyfriend of two months and watched the snow cascade down his window framed by Christmas lights. I celebrated the occasion the way I celebrate every big moment in my life—with a fresh everything bagel with cream cheese. My time in Boulder provided the opportunity to work on my writing while Garrett attended class, my first “I love you” since high school, and an editing gig that resulted in a hefty pay check. I traveled to Boulder twice more before Garrett graduated in December and began applying for engineering jobs in Los Angeles. I texted my mom one afternoon leading up to my Jupiter return with the kind of question an astrologer never knows how to answer: “Since my Jupiter is trine my Venus in the seventh house, do you think the cosmos will offer me a boyfriend this year?” After eight months of sharing an address with a man I only met a year and a half ago, I can’t help but feel that Jupiter hacked my phone.
If I hadn’t purchased my MacBook, I could have never made my first short film—a goal I didn’t even realize I wanted to achieve a year ago, or perhaps it just didn’t seem realistic at the time. Nevertheless, something pushed me to not only create a film, but to present it at my apartment’s monthly film screening. Each compliment I received reminded me why I never dropped $500 on a comedy writing class. I learned that I already possess the tools to produce high-quality narratives. Six completed scripts later, I wonder what was stopping me before.
Many would argue that this approach is actually quite mature, even more mature than the “mature signs.” And their head-on attitude makes for a healthier lifestyle than that of the more cautious signs.
Aries exhibit child-like attitudes in other aspects of life as well. They love a challenge, and putting all of their energy into achieving a goal is a quality which comes quite naturally to them. As a child, I had zero fear of rejection. Auditioning for every musical I possibly could, on top of dance class, cheerleading, gymnastics…I even ran for school office just so I could present a speech to the entire student body. I pursued the spotlight without an ounce of hesitation. And at home, I wasn’t much better, forcing my friends to act in my productions of Felicity: An American Girl Play, and coercing my parents into devoting an entire evening to living room theatre. Cut to me at twenty-four years old and I’m too afraid to play guitar at home out of fear of pissing off my roommates. I’m not sure when I lost the spirit of the ram, but boy do I miss its presence. Aries carry this spirit with them their entire lives—a quality I very much envy.
My mom describes it this way, “While everyone else is debating whether or not to do something, the Aries in the group is already doing it.” In the moon position, this intense need for excitement can prove challenging. If the moon isn’t nurtured in a healthy way through competition or frequent skydiving, then it must find some other way to get it’s fix. This can lead to attention-seeking displays or someone who unconsciously creates drama just for the thrill of it. Many Aries moon people thrive at competitive sports, because it’s the perfect outlet for all of that Arian energy. Lebron James, Tom Brady, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are just a few professional athletes born with their moon falling in the first sign.
To put it simply, Aries are initiators. When I consider the four elements making up the zodiac, it’s hard to imagine earth, air, or water kicking off the astrological season. It must be fire. It must be the element defined by inspiration, because inspiration is where it all starts. And it must begin with the cardinal fire sign, Aries—the only sign confident and capable enough to set the remaining signs in motion, just as they’ve kept me in motion since the first grade.
My mom and I once found ourselves in a heated conversation with a distant family friend. Well, they handled most of the talking while I nodded between sips of Pinot Grigio; I am an Aquarius after all. But watching as they discussed parenting, marriage, work, colonoscopies, etc…I began to notice certain verbal trends appearing consistently throughout their dialogue. What began as small-talk, metamorphosed into a one-upping competition somewhere between my third and fourth glass of Barefoot. “I wake up at 5 AM every morning so I can have my coffee, feed the dogs, straighten my hair, and get to work before everyone else,” my mother complained.
There was not a doubt in our minds that this woman had been disillusioned. She had to be a Capricorn.
As the grandfather of astrology, Capricorn ranks high amongst the most serious signs of the zodiac. For the most evolved earth sign, success is not a dream; it’s a necessity—an ideology which proves to benefit nearly every Capricorn I know. Think of the most objectively successful people in your life. How many of them were born in late December or early January? I bet it’s more than a few. Their ambition is innate. But with innate ambition, comes innate fear. The astrological goat is so driven by success, that it will unconsciously label casual activities as potential threats to achieving their goals. I’ve encountered this with my Capricorn friends possessing common anxieties such as a fear of flying, or a fear of drugs and alcohol. In some cases, these threats blossom into crippling paranoia, like my great-grandmother whose fears were so paralyzing, she opted for a life spent entirely indoors.
It may seem immature when your Pisces moon friend breaks down crying because you didn’t offer them coffee in the morning. But listen to the words they’re spouting between incoherent sobs, and you’ll soon realize it’s not about the coffee. And if you let them cry it out, you’ll discover exactly what the problem is. They won’t hang on to their anger and use it against you later like a Scorpio. Pisces is far too genuine for that, and they didn’t want to submerge you in their deep sea of emotion in the first place. The difference between Pisces and the rest of the water signs is that Pisces love to maintain a positive attitude. However, they’re still a water sign. They can’t start a single task until they’ve fully experienced the pain, but once they have, that’s it. You can continue your day, void of weirdness and anxiety.
Pisces pick up on astrology faster than Disney channel stars drop their first pop albums. It’s easy to grasp the sign descriptions you read in September’s issue of Cosmo, but the twelfth sign takes this to another level. One second you’ll be describing Aries’ essence, and the next they’ll be the star of the party, guessing everyone’s signs with 95% accuracy. “She’s an Aries, isn’t she?” Miranda will whisper. “That’s right. She is an Aries.” If you’re anything like me, this will prompt a combination of jealousy, pride, and admiration for the naturally-gifted water sign. It’s never long before my Pisces students, become the Pisces teachers, rewarding me with anecdotes such as “Libras don’t want you to think they’re crazy, but boy are they crazy.” Their gift lies in their ability to feel. They don’t overthink, they experience.
Sure, they miss minor details, like how much time it will take to drive from Plantation to Fort Lauderdale, or the number of times they stated their last sentence in varying ways. But it’s because they leave those monotonies to the Taureans and Virgos of the group. Pisces have bigger fish to fry. Get it? Because their symbol is the fish? …I apologize. I have too many planets in Pisces.
Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A dose of Gemini in your chart is hardly a death sentence. In fact, I usually tell them to avoid the cliché sign descriptions you find in magazines and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls instead, which my mom and I define as the most accurate display of astrology’s symbolic twins. It contains all of the sign’s greatest traits, neatly packed in forty-three minute segments of speedy banter, Stars Hallow gossip, and witty comebacks. It’s worth noting that Lauren Graham is a Gemini moon herself.
And while they may have short attention spans, they’re also some of the best conversationalists I’ve ever met. Their brains seem to operate at a pace twice the speed of any other sign, which is a great testament to their wit and innate ability to excel at comedy—especially Improv. Perhaps their talent with words is why so many successful rappers were born in early June. I can always spot a Gemini because they’re fun in a more complex way than Leo or Aries. It’s not that they’re the last ones at the party, or the loudest, or even the heaviest drinkers. It’s that they radiate a certain intelligent humor and effortless charisma that makes everyone else seem incredibly dull. Geminis have something uniquely special. Perhaps everyone else is simply jealous.
Whenever I find myself doubting astrology, it’s always the same sign that brings me back to my senses. All it takes is one conversation, or interview rather, with a bubbly blonde to remind me of the obvious consistencies that make studying astrology so worthwhile. After about an hour of answering questions about myself, eliciting enthused “ooohs” and “ahhs” from my conversation counterpart, I feel confident enough to ask the inevitable: “Are you a Libra?” Conversations with Libras have the same sort of unique energy as attending a Broadway musical. Bringing joy to the audience is always the primary goal. Many Libras will execute this idea with such impeccable form and flair that it will leave those who are void of Libra’s talents feeling inferior. Big fat losers in the art of conversation. And as the ultimate relationship sign, Libra must receive the same efforts they so lovingly impart on others.
Your sweet loved one who once showered you with compliments and love letters, may stop offering to pick up your vanilla latte before your mani/pedi appointment. It could leave those they’re close with feeling like all of that affection they were once so eager to extend, was actually just a show. And most Libras would never admit this, but for many it does becomes an artificial display--a show that requires great time and effort. However, they continue to perform with sunny stamina because they expect to receive orchestra tickets to your limited run of “Libra Appreciation: The Musical” the following weekend. It is no wonder why some of the personal signs complain that Venus’ ruler makes them feel like shit.
“That’s when you know someone doesn’t know shit about astrology. When they say something idiotic like, ‘I hate Aquarians.’ Like, that’s not possible. They’re wrong.” -Alex Nightingale
Aquarians want everyone to get along, but they’ll stop before their actions lead to confrontation. There’s a reason why you never see an Aquarius on Real Housewives. Art acts as a medium for the humble Aquarius to express all their unspoken ideas. And they tend to be pretty good at it. The quality of their art is of the upmost importance, and they have the focus to execute a project to perfection. Plus, if you know an Aquarius well, you’ll know that behind their eccentric exterior, lies a chronic fear of embarrassment. However, this fear fuels them, and it tends to pay off once the project is complete.
This air sign doesn’t shine in a room bustling with acquaintances. They’re not like Libra or Gemini. Aquarians are the wallflowers observing everyone from the corner of the party. Arms crossed, mouth stiff, they’re most likely sporting their best resting-bitch-face. But don’t let their detached nature fool you, these people are far from bitchy! Start a conversation with them and you’ll be surprised by their eagerness to discuss any topic. They love conversation, but they prefer debating Game of Thrones fan theories, to discussing the fluctuating humidity in Fort Lauderdale. If you’re skilled enough to move past small-talk, you’ll find that Aquarians are an excellent buddy to have. Their support is unwavering, and they seldom turn down an adventure. They’re there when you need them, and they know when to give you your space too. In the end, they just want to facilitate peace and help everyone get along. “Unless that’s not what you want! Whatever you want is fine. I’m go with the flow.” -An Aquarius in response to this article probably
I collect Cancer-rising friends the way I used to collect state quarters, with patience and appreciation as I quietly gawk at their beauty. I used to judge their sensitive exteriors, fiddling with my hair tie as I noticed the liquid forming in their eyes. ‘Oh god,’ I’d think. ‘They’re gonna want me to comfort them. I’m an Aquarius. I don’t know how to do that shit.’ As I’ve entered adulthood and befriended more and more Cancer-ascendants, I’ve come to understand them better than the 2nd grade version of myself who made my Cancer-rising grandmother cry at a cheerleading competition. They’re sensitive—yes. And it is not a quality they’re proud of. However, unlike a lot of Aquarians, they don’t judge others for spontaneous outbursts. As I become more in touch with my planets in Pisces, and endure breakup after breakup, and live in a world where Trader Joe’s discontinues their champagne vinaigrette, I find myself depending on my Cancer friends. I know that when I knock on Jordee’s door at 11PM after I’ve just been dumped, she’ll listen while I cry, make me toast, and force me to drink water. And two weeks later, she’ll check-in to repeat the process without complaint.
With that being said, I advise everyone to go hug a Cancer today. However, there is a dark side to the first of the water signs. All that love and emotion doesn’t come without its, sometimes irrational, dramatics. After all, Taylor Swift is a Cancer moon. But understanding that it usually comes from a place of raw, uninhibited emotion makes it difficult for us to fault them. They make excellent best friends. But maybe take caution before handing them a guitar and a country record deal.