I’m writing this newsletter as a preemptive apology because I am now MEUS’s new Astrologer. And I am not an astrologer.
Here’s what happened:
Marichelle: “Damn, Caroline can’t write the weekly horoscopes for MEUS.”
Me: “Want me to try?”
Marichelle: *blank stare* “Su…sure? Wait. Really?”
There you have it. I am currently your Reluctant Astrologer.
I’ve never been into Astrology and it’s not because of skepticism or anything of the like.
It’s because of Malcolm.
Backstory: Astrology is just infused in a lot of Queer culture. And at a Queer party years ago, this person Malcolm whom I considered a friend at the time, started going off on Virgos. Now I had just gotten my chart done at a different Queer party (which happened multiple times because Queer parties) and apparently I’m like a quadruple Virgo or something. Anyway, so Malcolm is like, “Virgos are the worst, I can never be friends with a Virgo and this girl I was dating was a Virgo and I like, HAD to dump her the second I found out bla bla bla bla.”
Then I said, “Malcolm, I’m a Virgo.”
“Oh, you don’t seem like a Virgo.”
“The fuck, Malcolm.”We were never the same after that.
So I wrote off Astrology except for “Free Will Astrology” which I read every week in The Village Voice. The horoscopes, written by Rob Brezsny, never felt deliberately vague, heavy handed or trying to really predict anything. They were just super nice, short affirmations. I read all the horoscopes, not just mine.
And then the Village Voice got weird altogether and I stopped reading it.
Brezsny has been writing and publishing his weekly “Free Will Astrology” horoscope column since 1980. An astrologer, author, and musician, he describes his horoscopes as "a poetic language of the soul", comparing it to "a Neruda poem, Kandinsky paintings or a Nick Cave song."
Yeah, sorry that’s not gonna happen but I am very inspired by his approach:
"I predict the present. I don't believe in predicting the future."
The head of the mainstream New York Astrology Center called Brezsny's column "silly". I’m not totally sure but if there is some fringe, anti-establishment astrology movement, I bet they would think that is punk as fuck.
Anywho, years later and presently, I volunteer myself to write the weekly horoscopes for MEUS because the moment Marichelle got word she needed a new person to write the horoscopes, I remembered “Free Will Astrology” with a flood of warmth.
I’m going to try and conjure that warmth I felt when I would grab the Village Voice and sit in my shoebox apartment in NYC and read “Free Will Astrology” with a smirk.
And I’ll know I have made it if the New York Astrology Center calls my column, “silly,” NAY, “nitwitted.”
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Spirit Animal: Lamb
Peaceful, Prophetic, Patient
The hell is up with you Taurus?! Because I have a solid group of friends that are all Taurus AND born on May 15th. You are a bunch of sweet lambs!
Active listening, that’s what I think you've got a talent for. We often hear the phrase “active listening” yet while everyone can practice it, some just have an innate knack for it. But here’s the thing, you can’t carry it all, you have to put some of it down. Like being used to a backpack full of bricks and when you take one out, the weight distribution feels uncomfortable. So you put the damn brick back in.
Practice being uncomfortable with the weight distribution of processing instead of always holding.
Because “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” - Lionel Richie on American Idol (can you believe that profound shit?!)
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Spirit Animal: Beaver
Hard Worker, Loyal, Tireless, Family First
Slow the fuck down, Gems! This is the time to balance it out. I’m sure the weather shift has you eager to go make that dam killer but exerting yourself will lead to a burn out. It’s unsustainable.
This may be confusing advice but as an act of self-service, think on a new project that you initiate and ask for assistance in carrying it out. Be the director and don’t do all the work! Appreciate the bravery of starting something new and the vulnerability of asking for help.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Spirit Animal: Dragon
Seeing One’s Most True Self, Balancing the Ego
Oof, Cancer, this feels intense and not just because a Dragon is a mythical creature.
It’s funny because when I see the only fictional animal in this particular deck AND it correlates with the ego, it does make me wonder how tricky it is for us to balance what we expect of ourselves versus who we really are.
So you may be struggling right now with the nuance of where you are at right now versus what you expected. Maybe when you were a kid you really thought, “I’m going to have a pet dragon named Edie and we will fly through space.” And then you found out dragons don’t exist and your dreams were crushed.
But the kid that envisioned flying through space with Edie does exist. And that kid is more self aware of your imaginative drive than you are right now. So tap into that! We throw around the phrase “inner child” to the point of dismissal but as a social worker, let me tell you, your inner kid IS your spirit animal. Even if your inner kid is basically a small drunk person, tune in and you’ll see it’s just being drunk with wonderment.
Also, watch what you eat this week because the Dragon apparently lives in the Manipura Chakra in your naval and to me that just screams indigestion.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Spirit Animal: Peacock
Inner-Beauty, Compassion, Assimilator of Anything
So when I pulled this card for Leo I was like, “*snort*, Leos…always wanting attention.” And I was going to just simply copy and paste the lyrics to Katy Perry’s song Peacock and call it a horoscope.
But then I got to thinking, Leo, hell yes. Strut and enjoy the seasonal change when we throw off our puffy coats that make us all look like mushroom sleeping bags. And here’s a page we can all take out of the Leo’s Peacock book: Enjoy how it feels, not just how it looks. Because I often wonder how lifting it must feel to stretch plumage that maybe just expresses how exhilarating extroversion relieves tension. And damn it, it’s an eye-catching and beautiful thing.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Spirit Animal: Hummingbird
Positive, Enthusiastic, Spiritually Resourceful
Um, as a Virgo, this’ll be a tricky one. Because if you have met me, you know I naturally have an Eeyore disposition.
But I move through life with all of the characteristics of the Hummingbird just very, very, very subtly? Maybe?
Maybe I’m starting to see a theme emerge here. SPRING. We are in fact entering weather where this time last year, the Covid vaccine was just rolling out and giving us hope. We had a new president rolling out a new administration, there was more opportunity to come a bit closer to each other and begin returning to work in person.
A year later and I don’t know about you, but I feel there’s a collective exhaustion. AND right now, the only thing I keep hearing from people when small talk occurs that actually resonates through the “weather talk” is that there is genuine appreciation for the weather change. It actually is not just small talk.
Harness the shit out of that, Virgos. For the first time in a LONG time, there is a spiritually deep appreciation of Spring.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Spirit Animal: Camel
Resourceful, Independent, Knows One’s Self
My first girlfriend is a Libra. My current partner is a Libra. I’ve dated many Libras. And I use to smoke Camels. Huh.
Ok, let me shake off this selfish-realization and just say that you’re killing it. However, if this Venus entering Pisces thing is saying take in the beautiful nuance of things, maybe you gotta not just appreciate your resilience but also tap into a little bit of reliance too. Its reciprocal and open systems are the most robust. And water, drink water! You hear me, Marichelle?
I think that’s the thing, maybe you’re moving through life right now thinking it’s a desert and while that is completely understandable given the general state of the world, and reserves feel like they are tapping out, this is also a time when the planet’s robustness still comes through despite it all. While we can certainly all learn a thing or two about harnessing resources and respecting the balance of preservation, enjoying the fruits of labor is a source of energy in of itself.
So cool, you know yourself really well! But we wanna know you too. Don’t just be a one way conduit.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Spirit Animal: Cobra
Pausing, Waiting, The Inner Teacher
I keep hearing Madonna's Justify My Love in my head and that part where she’s saying “wanting…needing…waiting…” came into my head when I saw the description of Cobra.
Oh you sexy Scorpios. Of COURSE you pulled a Cobra!
And while it’s extra sultry that you may be sitting there, all aloof and all knowing, maybe this time around you can be the student.
I see that it would be very easy for me to take a BDSM approach to your horoscope here but I’ma pivot.
This week, be open to not always knowing. Share your knowledge and listen carefully to others interpretations of your teachings. Cultivate relationships that grow with careful exchange.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Spirit Animal: Elk
Stable, Resilient, Headstrong, The Father
Oh shit, Saggies, I got Father issues so this’ll be tricky.
Sure, we can all appreciate the strong one in the corner that silently anchors the room with their solid composure. But that can easily tip over to the creepy dude in the corner that doesn’t say shit but glares at everyone and only gets up when no one else knows how to fix the breaker when the lights go out.
But the damn Elk NEVER shares where the breaker box is!
This week, know that you’re a pillar and that’s wonderful but you don’t always have to keep your composure. And that doesn’t mean that your foundation is weak, it means that you’re willing to illuminate to yourself and others where there may be fissures to repair and therefore gain strength.
Because “When you win you win. And when you lose, you learn.” - Lionel Richie AGAIN! My gawd!
I amend my whole horoscope for you, Sag. Just be Lionel Richie.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
Spirit Animal: Vulture
Guardian and Purifier, Essential for Rebalance
I wonder if you're going to find yourself in situations where mediation is needed and while it’s not the funnest job, you may be the best equipped for it.
It’s a thankless job being in the trenches and bringing order to chaos. It’s like you have the capability of slowing time down and shifting everything into a place it needs to be where others are still in real time, do not have the capacity to see your multi-level chess moves and just take the reorder of things for granted.
So I simply suggest that while you are in those moments, take in the gift that is slowing down time, seeing the intricacies more deeply than others and know that you have the reliance and trust from others to see them in sharp-relief that transcends time.
Know you are deeply appreciated in those moments by your fellow vultures and underdogs.
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
Spirit Animal: Crow
Spiritually Strong, Creative, Watchful
So apparently The Crow has some major Christmas Carol vibes where you can tap into the past, present and future. I’m all about a Dickins approach to this.
“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”
Go on, Dickens, you timeless genius!
Recently, specifically the past two years under the precariousness of the pandemic, we haven’t had much opportunity to wander physically but it feels that many of us have been forced to wander psychically. I’m hard-pressed to believe that even the most spiritually grounded folks out there haven’t had to have a reckoning or two about what “home” means. Where time becomes nonlinear and our reliance on routine breaks down.
This week, tap into wandering a bit further into a timeless venture of what “now” really means to you. Not everyone has a physical home and physical houses come and go.
Where do you anchor home in your timeless timeline?
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Spirit Animal: Stingray
Developing Confidence, Sense of Self or “Spine”
Way harsh, Animal Cards.
Don’t worry, you have a spine. But according to the Stingray, you gotta pivot. If not now, eventually because the dilemma will just repeat.
So I’m gathering since Venus is entering Pisces this week, mayhaps you should take this shit seriously. And I’ll join you on this as a sober person.
When I reached a point in my life that it became clear that the bravest thing I could do, the best way I could “grow a spine” and overcome my self-destruction was to actually like myself. I wasn’t at a place where I could by any means love myself, but I could do like.
I share this with you because while at first I was all indignant you got the Stingray card, I remember when I shifted from being ashamed to being proud. Wether it was being gay, being homeless, being an alcoholic, being a woman etc. I mean look at that, this world is hellbent on breaking your back if you fall under any of those categories and much more. But you can’t break what isn’t broken.
So all I ask is you take one of those deep parts of you that make you feel ashamed, guilty, less than or any type of believed deficit you hold and sit with it. See how much perspective it’s given you until you finally see how rare of a gift it is.
And you may just hear…
“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” - Lionel. fucking. RICHIE!!!
Currently watching: American Idol hence Lionel Richie inspo. Marichelle found this clip of Douglas Mills singing Strange Fruit, passed out from awe and then started watching the current season. Just feel good vibes that the kiddos can watch along with.
Currently reading: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
I absolutely love science fiction but the genre is so riddled with the white male western canon that reading Butler’s take on dystopia reaches multiple levels and intersections of humanity that elevates a reader’s perspective to unimaginable heights and depths.
Currently listening to: Gossip
I remember when I first heard Fire Sign (hey, that relates to astrology!!!) and Beth Ditto’s voice knocked the wind out of me.
Safe Way Out is partnering with La Brujas Club to bring the community a free self-defense workshop followed by self-expression and poetry. At Harper’s Cafe this Tuesday, April 5th from 6:30-8:30 pm. Come through!