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.
Born with an inherent sense of the world’s most rewarding values, Libra struts through life with apparent ease. I’ve often wondered if these individuals received a secret philosophy class in lieu of kindergarten, or even a confidential handbook. They experience everyday events with the kind of optimism that puts SpongeBob Square Pants to shame, skipping through malls and parks with child-like wonder…literally. My Libra grandmother used to propel herself through our grocery store by riding the shopping carts like a scooter. But, why wouldn’t she? With a fresh pink manicure and perfectly styled hair, she beamed as if her morning routine included a dip in the fountain of youth. Acting as an example of beauty comes natural to these Venusian types. But even in the twenty-first century, people are inclined to prioritize themselves above the idealized unity Libra seeks. Nothing is more toxic to these individuals than the inevitable ugliness that humans display.
Libra’s relationship with beauty is not middle school lust. More akin to the unconditional love between parent and child, it is far more serious than a summer fling. It is experienced at a spiritual level. This is why their passion extends beyond a great haircut, or an Instagramable cheese board. Librans require more than just a pretty dish; the meal must taste good too. And beyond that, it should provide sustenance. It shouldn’t cause harm to other living things. And it should never be a source of greed or over-indulgence. It should satisfy not only the taste buds, but the body, mind, and spirit. Because this bond with beauty rests in their core, Libra can’t help but project it as the answer to all that is ugly and painful. Acts of ugliness can prompt a passion so great, that you may forget you’re talking to an air sign. I’ve always felt that Libra is the least detached of its counterparts, feeling in balance with intellectualizing.
Around ninth grade, the calls from my Libra grandmother subsided. Showing more interest in my younger sister, they began their weekly Starbucks sessions without extending the invite. One morning, as my sister was applying foundation to her face, getting ready to enjoy a chocolate Frappuccino with Grandma Kathy, she spoke her Sagittarian truth. “Grandma doesn’t hang out with you anymore because she says you’re bad at conversation,” she stated. My mom reassured me that I am not bad at conversation, that she’s said similar things to her, that she’s just being a Libra…I made my own cup of coffee and shuffled to my room.
Librans face a peculiar contradiction. On the one hand, they can’t stand feeling like they’re not being treated with the same consideration they offer others. On the other hand, they typically despise confrontation. Tension doesn’t promote beauty, and neither does addressing an issue with someone. The problem with this contradiction is that it makes them appear fake. I can’t count the number of times I’ve discovered a Libra was upset with me from someone else. I still prefer that to overhearing my Libran friend vent about me in the next room, before greeting me in a soprano voice and a plastic smile. I’m not perfect, but neither is anyone else. And Librans could prevent a lot of turmoil if they could muster the courage to confront people about their frustrations—directly and immediately. Because they have to let it out in some form, and it’s better to hear it from the source than to hear it from my grandfather in a church parking lot. Libra has endless wisdom to share, and most people could benefit from learning how to treat others more fairly. When Librans realize that their gift is not inherent in the vast majority of humans, they can access deeper understanding and compassion. And in turn, they can aid the human race, sprinkling our earth with beauty.
Aquarius isn’t known for its sensitivity. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I’m bad at comforting. In general, air signs don’t process their emotions in the same way as other signs. And in the Aquarian’s case, it’s an experience more like writing a research paper—coping through hurt by intellectualizing it until a thesis, argument, and concluding statement have been formed on why I started crying at Starbucks yesterday. I once read in a Liz Greene book that Aquarians can run the risk of entering depression without even realizing it, mistaking intellectualization for healing. In this way, I suppose I’m grateful for my contradiction—a douse of water forces me to face the pain. But even if I had the driest natal chart in the world, I would still feel. Emotions are what make us human and no one is void of them, not even the “robot” of the zodiac.
Ruled by Uranus, Aquarius is known as the sign of the future, always seeking that which is new and unconventional. I believe there’s much to be said about this in correlation to their detached, mechanical energy. They understand that the planets never pause their orbit, and obsessing over yesterday can easily sink you in yesterday’s emotions. Never living in the past, it prefers to move forward…with a sense of peace that comes from knowing we’re all in this together.
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.
Does my closet have enough space for my Taurus moon? I considered asking my landlord this as she began her tour of our new apartment. My triple air roomie seemed to think it was just fine, clapping his hands with uninhibited enthusiasm at every reveal of a new nook or cranny. My new closet is the largest I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. It takes up the length of an entire wall, with a wide shelf adorning the top. The left side has two rods, one several feet above the other, to allow for twice the storage. The right side is mammoth, with dimensions almost deep enough to encompass my dozens of sequined accent jackets. But in regard to my original question, the answer is no. My closet is not big enough for my Taurus moon. I’m not sure if Kim Kardashian’s closet is big enough for my Taurus moon. And why is that? Because I love things.
My other roommate is a double Taurus. He never has enough money for the five dollar cover at Clifton’s, yet it seems like every day there’s a new package at our door. I sigh as I turn over the cardboard and discover what I already knew. Another package for the double Taurus. What is it this time? Another criterion DVD? Another Blondie record on vinyl? Fancy caramel syrup for his morning latte? All of the above?
Christian and I have both been labeled “stingy” at one point or another, but he’s not stingy when it comes to Trader Joes’ fresh mozzarella, and I’m not stingy when it comes to Argon oil shampoo, because although I wear my hair curly, I need the Brazilian oils to reduce frizz while I live in the least humid city in the world. It’s worth ten extra bucks, I promise. Or at least that’s how I rationalize it at the CVS self-checkout. What I’m trying to say is, it’s not a matter of being stingy, it is a matter of knowing our opinions and having the patience and determination to obtain the objects we deem valuable. We’ll take caution to avoid spending more than we have, because how else will we accumulate the funds for our following purchase? I’ll eat nothing but pasta for a week if it means I’ll be able to afford the pair of pastel pink Adidas I’ve been eyeing since Sunday. And now they’re half off! It’s a life of earthy comfort, a life of simple pleasures, a life of pretty mugs and good sex. It’s a pleasant existence to take part in, if only I had a second closet.