HELLO, WITCHSONG. Welcome back to your monthly horoscopes. I have some exciting news before we get started, which is this: the column has officially been christened! The witchsong horoscope column will henceforth be known as BELIEVE IN THE SKY, and I want to talk about why a little bit, so bear with me.
BELIEVE IN THE SKY comes from Katie Coyle‘s book Vivian Apple at the End of the World, which I love, which you should read, which everyone should read. It made me laugh and it made me cry, and it made me feel very profound and very strong emotions, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Vivian Apple is about a lot of things but it is mostly about belief, which is something that I struggle with constantly in a variety of ways. I want to believe, is the thing, and I am making that joke but I am also deadly serious. I so desperately want to believe in something, and I do, more often than not, but it is such a challenge sometimes. I have never believed in nothing, I will say. In brief – I do believe in something, I really do, but I don’t know what that something is. Or I didn’t, until I read this passage:
“What are you thinking about, Vivian Apple?” Peter asks. He’s been sleeping behind his sunglasses in the passenger seat, his feet up on the dashboard, but now he sits up straight.
“Nothing.” I say it automatically, then change my mind. “Actually, I was thinking that I feel very small out here. Like I’m just a speck on this highway on this planet in this universe. It’s really weirdly comforting. Like, this must be how Believers feel all the time. That there’s just so much more going on in the world than whatever’s going on with me.”
Peter says nothing. I glance away from the road and see that he’s smiling. “What?”
“It’s just, that came dangerously close to a statement of belief. Which, if I recall your claim correctly, I’ve apparently been trying to get out of you for two months.”
“Peter,” I say, very seriously, “I finally trust you enough to tell you: I believe in the sky.”
Listen: it’s so simple. I believe in the sky. I was raised in the West, in the part of the country where the sky stretches for years of your life, where fourteen-thousand-foot-tall mountains can’t even compete with it, an upside-down bowl the color of which you can’t even imagine unless you’ve seen it. I have heard people say that it’s oppressive, people who aren’t from here; they get nervous, all that sky pressing down on them. They feel too small. For me it’s the opposite, and I guess that’s an accident of birth, but I think all belief is, to an extent, so. I believe in the sky. I believe in its wideopen expanse, its lack of judgment. I believe that it has a purpose, and I believe that it sees us in some small and intangible way, and I believe that it is there above me through the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night. The sky is my constant; I am attuned to it in a way that I never fully realized until I moved briefly to a place where I couldn’t see it. It is absurd to me that anyone could not believe in something larger, something more than us – I don’t mean to get preachy here, and I won’t, but what I am saying at the least is this: you are here reading this column, I think, because you believe in something bigger than yourself, something that is older than time, that has a place in the fabric of the universe between the pinpoints of light and silence. As above, so below: that’s what they say, and here we are, under the sun, pinned to the earth, circling outward until the end of everything. I believe in the sky; I believe in its constancy. I believe that it is an indicator of something more, something greater and brighter and bigger, and I can’t really say anything more specific than that because I don’t honestly know how. I believe in the sky, and I hope you do too, but at the very least, believe in my belief, at least while you are here, at least while I have you to say things to.
So, without further ado.
Pisces: The new day dawns, and I am practicing my purpose once again. “All Will Be Well”, the Gabe Dixon Band
No matter where you go, there you are. That’s the paraphrased title of a book about meditation, but I want you to consider it on a more practical level. You are where you are; in life, in space, in time. You have agency – you are not a leaf on the wind; you are a bird, and sometimes you get tired and you land, but you can always fly again. What I’m trying to say here is that you need to take this month and work on feeling okay about where you are in your life. The plans we make for ourselves are often thwarted, but there are still ways to achieve your dreams, and there are still new dreams, too. You have not failed, in a grand cosmic sense; you have not lost your way. You are where you are, and it may not be where you thought you were going but you are there. Believe in your crooked path; it has forks and twists and turns and sometimes it disappears altogether, but it is yours. Believe that it is taking you where you should be.
Aries: If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together. “I See Fire”, Ed Sheeran.
You fucking commit, Aries. You are really, really good at carrying things out, at setting a goal and achieving it, at picking a side and fighting it to the bitter end. This can be dangerous, though; mindless movement is often no better than being at a standstill. This month, I want you to think about what it is you’re doing, what the tasks that you’ve set for yourself are. I want you to think about where you are headed, and why. I want you to think about what is intentional and what is not. I want you to think about the things you have set in stone. I want you to think about what you believe. Are you angry because you are angry, or are you angry because you have been angry? One is a candle, a steady warming flame; the other is a wildfire and it will consume you if you let it. The purity of focus that you have is a gift and a curse, and the sooner you learn to channel it the better you will wield it as a weapon.
Taurus: I know I was born and I know that I’ll die; the in between is mine. I am mine. “I Am Mine”, Pearl Jam
Sometimes you want to only be one person. Sometimes the way you feel doesn’t seem like the way you should feel and it is so tempting to hide, to shrink, to ignore the inconvenient parts of you. But that won’t help, and you’ve never been good at hiding. This month your first step is to get back in touch with yourself – all of it. To ground yourself within yourself in whatever way you choose, to situate your spirit inside your body. You are real, inside and out. There is something precious and glittering inside you, your soul, the flame of your being. Everything inside you is electric and it fills you to bursting; your fingertips, your toes, your scalp. These are all yours, all these things are yours. It is difficult to claim your own self sometimes but you must. Believe in your own reality first and foremost. No matter how many things you are, you are always you. You are always your own.
Gemini: Your heart’s been stolen, eyes wide open; trust is broken, but I’ll make you believe again. “Make You Believe”, Little Mix
Your poor heart has taken a beating this last month, Gemini. You are not a lot of bark and not a lot of bite, and still you get bitten more often than you should, so much more often than you deserve. It takes a lot of faith, in yourself and in others, in the world, in the wide spinning universe, to keep on the way you do. To keep believing the way you do. You know yourself best, and that is what I want you to remember this month. You alone know what you want, and you are well capable of getting it. Your own wounds sometimes keep you from voicing things, afraid that you might wound others, but remember: you have learned from cruelty. You know what is okay, and what isn’t. There is a difference between speaking for yourself and speaking over another. Don’t lose touch with yourself this month; stay close to your own heart. Don’t be afraid to speak. Don’t be afraid to bite.
Cancer: Say my name, you know who I am! “Uptown Funk”, Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
You are preceded by a lot of things: clouds of fog, creeping fear, swarms of butterflies, a name. I am probably kidding, but you have a reputation, Cancer, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. For whatever reason you are prone to making a name for yourself wherever you go, and this is both a monster of your own making and something that is simply a result of your pointed existence. You are a polarizing creature, and this is something to be proud of, something to cultivate. Take this month and think about how you are perceived, and how you want to be perceived. No one is quite as capable at constructing themselves as you. You know yourself better than anyone and you get to choose what parts of yourself to conceal, to display, to fan and unfold and press to your chest. Think about how to hone your craft, and how to use it to your advantage.
Leo: I believe in medication, and I believe in therapy, and I believe in Crystal Light ’cause I believe in me, yeah; it’s so uplifting, fuck yeah! “Modern Chemistry”, Motion City Soundtrack
Quiet strength is still strength, Leo. Sometimes just continuing to exist is strength. Sometimes you are a very small rock and the ocean is so large, so flat and gray against the sky. I know it feels like the waves are rising sometimes, like you will drown, but if you stand still and don’t panic you will find that the water never quite reaches your lips. It isn’t always a show of force, the way you think it needs to be, the way you’re told it should be. It isn’t a shout and a flare in the dark. It is sometimes just being; just a chin lifted high. It is showing up and getting beaten and showing up again. It is believing in yourself against impossible odds. Confidence has been weirdly and improperly conflated with swagger, but listen. What I am asking of you this month is not bravado but simple, unwavering belief: in your continued existence, in the small engine of your heart, in yourself.
Virgo: Did I get this straight? Do you want me here, as I struggle through each and every year? All these demons, they keep me up all night. “Up All Night”, Blink-182
You don’t have to fix everyone. The sooner you commit that to memory the sooner you will begin to claw your way out of the grave. The most claustrophobic feeling in the world is everyone’s wants and needs, pressing in on you, filling your eyes and ears and mouth and lungs, and I know you feel like you need to fix things. I also know you feel like you can’t breathe. There is a reason these things can’t coexist, and it is this: your ability to fix things – whether it’s relationships between your friends, whether it’s someone else’s broken heart, whatever it is – is inversely proportional to how heavily you feel these things are your responsibility. You are not tasked with fixing someone simply because you love them, Virgo. You are tasked only with helping to fix them when they ask you to. This month you need to work on believing in the strength of others. Trust them to deal with the things they can, and trust them to know that you are there when they can’t.
Libra: But that’s just me, and I ain’t perfect, I ain’t a saint but I am worth it. “All Me”, Drake
Value must be met with value. You are the scales; you know this, and yet. Think, this month, about the precious sharp pieces of you, about your time. Think about what you are worth. Let me tell you: it is more than you think. It is difficult to examine your life in this way, to think about whether certain things and people are worthy of you, but let me tell you: it is better than wasting the best and brightest parts of yourself on the things that don’t deserve it. The more you accept your own value, the better you will be able to recognize what is deserving of your time and your energy – what will reward you, what will give back to you even as you give. It is not wrong to want something in return for what you give, and it is not wrong to dismiss the things that only take from you. Don’t be afraid to let things go; better things are coming.
Scorpio: I’m gonna clear my head. I’m gonna drink that sun. “Get Out the Map”, Indigo Girls
It is hard to be restless but it is harder to have somewhere to go, and somehow right now you are both, Scorpio. You are itching to go, go, go so badly, but listen: you can’t shoot an arrow without knowing your target or you risk hurting something. It is a terrifying thing when the whole world is open to you, but it is differently and equally terrifying to put your finger down on the map. Too many choices is paralyzing, but no choice at all is immobilizing. The first choice is whether or not to go, and you have made that, but now you are in the strange and terrible limbo that comes in its aftermath. This month you need to parlay with yourself, with every part – your fear, your doubt, not just the things pulling you away but the things that are urging you to stay. Ask yourself why it is you are leaving, and what you are leaving, and believe that those answers will lead you where you need to go.
Sagittarius: ‘Cause everybody’s got their way I should feel; everybody’s talking how I, can’t, can’t be your love, but I want, want, want to be your love, wanna be your love for real. “Be Be Your Love”, Rachael Yamagata
You have known yourself long enough to know when you want something. There is no shame in giving your heart away; there is no shame in wanting to be half of a whole. They say you fall in love easily but what they mean is that you find something to love wherever you go, and there is bravery and honesty in that. Emotions are devastating things, titanic in their comings and goings, and you feel them so completely. That is a skill that few others possess. Love is dangerous and difficult and you have had it and lost it so many ways, so many times, and still here you are. It’s all right to be discerning, and it’s understandable when you’ve been burned too many times. This month, though, I want you to think about whether your discernment has become simply denying yourself. I want you to believe that your heart, though it is fickle and fragile and leaps in your chest like a caged creature, is telling you something real and true.
Capricorn: I am the best. “I Am The Best”, 2NE1
You are in your prime, you beautiful, prickly creature. You are sharp and perfect, and you have earned everything that you have. This is a month for enjoying yourself, for reveling in the life you have made for yourself. There are still things to do, and choices to make, and sometimes you get really hung up on that – on everything that is left. On what you can do better, what you have yet to do, the miles that you have yet to walk. But listen: you will do those things, you will get there, and losing sight of what you have already accomplished won’t get you there faster. Don’t diminish what has passed by comparing it to what is to come. Don’t rob yourself of the praise and comfort you deserve because of what you have yet to do. The things you have done are done; the life you have made is yours. Take this month and really appreciate what you are capable of. Soak in your success and learn from it, and take it forward with you.
Aquarius: Just open up and sing – I’m vulnerable, I’m vulnerable; I am not a robot. “I Am Not A Robot”, Marina and the Diamonds
The price of being confident, competent, the beloved golden baby of the zodiac, is that a lot of times you don’t realize when doing it your way isn’t working. I don’t mean this in a bullheaded-I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong way. What I mean is that a lot of times you suffer through things that you don’t need to because you don’t realize you can ask for help. It is not weakness to need help, Aquarius, and it is not a failure to acknowledge your failings. Anyone who makes you feel that way – who makes you feel small for showing them your need – that person is poison. Spit them out. This month is for assembling your confessions, and for deciding who to give them to. It is terrifying to believe in someone that way, but unless you do you will never get out from under your own weight. There is someone out there who will bear your burden with you, who will understand you, who will help you shoulder what you insist on carrying alone.