horoscopes

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: APRIL 2016

Hello! It is April! It is the month of my birth and also Gerard Way’s and Kristen Stewart’s and many of our readers and two of my very dearest friends, who were actually born on the same day as me! So! It is a good month, a month I love, and I am very excited for all of us as it unfolds. Here we go!

ts eliot, “the waste land”

Aries: “What You Waiting For?”, Gwen Stefani. Take a chance ’cause you might grow.

There is never going to be a perfect time, Aries. There is never going to be what Jack Sparrow called the opportune moment, some bright shining thing that emerges from the sky and says to you yes, now, yes. There is never going to come a day when all of your conditions are met; there is no ideal time at which everything you undertake will go well. Instead, consider this your signal. This is not the opportune moment, but it is the moment in which you have a choice. You can move, now, out of the shadow and into a light of your own making, or you can stand still and wait for it to find you. Don’t stand still. Don’t wait.

Taurus: “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)”, the Decemberists. Look for me with the sun-bright sparrow, I will come on the breath of the wind.

It is very trying to feel sad in the spring,  and very lonely. It feels somehow inauthentic. But listen, Taurus: your heart does not always correspond to the seasons on Earth. There is a landscape in your soul that is yours and yours alone, dappled with sun and shadow, snow-capped peaks next to the sea. If I can quote Whitman, and I will, you contain multitudes. You are always reflected in the world, no matter what you think, but the problem lies in that often you are not looking for yourself in the right place. This month is for meeting yourself where you are, not where you think you should be.

Gemini: “Golden Slumbers”, the Beatles. Once there was a way to get back homeward.

Your world is getting bigger, every single day, by simple virtue of the fact that you are a living thing. It can make you feel small when you think about it, the tiny boat of yourself in a vast expanding sea. It can make you want to stay still. Instead I want you to try, this month, to think of this widening life as a blessing. You are the same size no matter how many directions you can strike out in; a small fish in a small bowl feels big, but it’s confined. Recognize the incredible mobility that you have and reach for the edges of your map. Carry yourself as bravely as you can.

Cancer: “Tonight I’m Getting Over You”, Carly Rae Jepsen. No more cryin’ to get me through.

Pruning is important. It is vital, this cutting, this weeping of ichor. To stay healthy, to grow, you have to prune yourself down. Examine yourself this month. Look at the core of you, the bright flourishing new growth. Follow the branches of your life out to what is withering; take hold of those things and cut them away. You must be as impassive as you can as you do this. It will hurt, but these things are sapping you, choking you. It will hurt, but you will not miss them when they are gone – this is how you will know you were right. Protect your vitality.

Leo: “Breathe (2 AM)”, Anna Nalick. You can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable.

Balance is so very important. You are a hunting creature, a seeking striving thing, and the incredible, single-minded focus you possess is a double-edged sword. There is a difference between purposeful motion and running yourself into exhaustion. It is not weakness to rest, to acknowledge that you need rest in the first place. Allow yourself some leeway this month. Be gentle with yourself; acknowledge your needs and try as hard as you can to remember that they are valid. Doing this is not straying from the path toward what you want – only pausing upon it.

Virgo: “Like Dylan in the Movies”, Belle and Sebastian. Don’t look back, like Dylan in the movies.

You will get nothing from looking back except a mouthful of salt. This month I want you to keep your eyes forward. Dwelling on what has been will not bring it back or change it; this is a hard lesson to learn but it is crucial. You cannot live your life looking at what you have left behind, at the things you have moved beyond. Start to learn to carry the past with you without taking it out, examining it, turning it over in the light. Eventually you will be able to put it down altogether.

Libra: “Everything I Am”, Kanye West. Everything I’m not made me everything I am.

You are made up of other people, of places and books and movies and paintings, the things you learn from them and the world as a whole. Everything that has ever taught you is a part of you, and this does not make you inauthentic. Even natural things are constructed – think of crystals, think of snowflakes, think of the perfect fluid grace of any skeleton. You can make your own way even as you follow in the footsteps of others – this is how you make yourself better. This is how you make the world better. Don’t be afraid of losing yourself; everything you are is yours.

Scorpio: “BeFoUr”, ZAYN. I can’t be bothered to fight it no more, no.

Try to find it in yourself to be soft this month. It is natural, when the world becomes sharp and hard, to steel yourself against it, to spark against it like flint. It is natural to bite when you are cornered. This is against your instinct – against the instinct of all animals, really – but sometimes the unexpected move is what wins the fight. Let yourself be pliable this month; let yourself yield. Slip out of the grasp of the things that would hold you, crush you, even as you drew blood from their fingers. Live to fight another day.

Sagittarius: “Birdhouse in Your Soul”, They Might Be Giants. Keep the nightlight on inside the birdhouse in your soul.

Things flourish when they are safe. They bloom when they are nurtured. There is always the temptation to dismiss the mundane, the familiar, but there has to be a harbor. There has to be a place where you can put down roots, spread yourself upward and outward and unfurl all your tiny wings. Think, this month, about the places you feel safe, and the people you allow there. Remind yourself of your foundation, the things you can rely on, the ground out of which you will grow. Learn to take these things with you as you navigate the world. Make a home inside yourself, and know that it is safe there.

Capricorn: “Changes”, David Bowie. Turn and face the strange.

Do not be fooled into thinking that you deserve your suffering. Do not be fooled into thinking that sadness is a matter of course. Remember: feelings are finite. This is a beautiful, daunting gift. Everything you feel at every moment is new, no matter how familiar it seems – you are a new person every moment, every breath that you take. There are shades and shades of everything you will ever feel and no two are the same. Listen carefully to yourself this month, the way you would try to make out a very distant, half-remembered song. Witness the minute, dizzying, endless variations of your emotions, and know that you will feel different.

Aquarius: “Out is Through”, Alanis Morissette. I think there must be easier ways

The forest is very dark, but the only way back into the sun is to go through it. It is so difficult, in the moment, in the middle of the darkness, to remember this, but this month I want you to try. I want you to remember that the sun always rises. There is always, always a way forward – there is always meaning. There is a reason you are in the dark in the first place, but the forest tries to swallow it up and keep you there. Do not let the weary actuality of the struggle make you forget what you are struggling towards. Do not lose hope.

Pisces: “Benson Hedges”, fun. You’re beautiful for all your big mistakes.

Memory is a fluid and fickle thing, something ruled by the head and the heart, something ruled by the soles of the feet. It is tempting to ignore it, to dismiss it, to try and escape it, but this month I want you to turn and face it head-on. Your memories are a part of you as much as your blood and your bones, even the ones you don’t love. Let your past exist within you, and know that it does not make you weak. Know that to hold all of these things inside you is a great and terrible thing, something to aspire to, something to be proud of. Know that it is a kind of home.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: IMBOLC & BEYOND

Hello again! Today is witchsong’s birthday. witchsong is an Aquarius, which is charming and altogether fitting, as we are collectively a long-limbed dorky weirdo who loves bananas and Stevie Nicks. It is also Ingrid Nilsen‘s birthday (happy birthday Ingrid, please call me, let’s talk about the new Glossier cleanser). Today is also Imbolc, one of the spokes of the wheel of the year, a historically pagan festival day which marks the beginning of spring and rebirth and all things bright and beautiful. It is also, not coincidentally, Groundhog Day! And in great news, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning. Nor, according to NPR, did his Canadian counterpart, nor did two other independent groundhogs. So! Spring has officially been heralded. Your horoscopes will be a little different today because I want us all to take advantage of this day, which is a good time to begin things, to change things, to believe in yourself.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: IMBOLC (AND FEBRUARY) 2016

Aquarius: Soft music with no lyrics. Piano, not orchestra.

Light a candle, a new candle, white or gold or gray. Sit in front of it, in a position that will keep you comfortable, and stare into the heart of the flame, directly surrounding the wick. Try to empty your mind, to let it fill with light, the gradations of color in the flame. You have to allow yourself to be calm, to let your thoughts go still and quiet, like water. Examine the things that come to the surface, the things that cannot be stilled, and then decide whether or not to keep them. Do not blow out the candle; either extinguish it with your fingers or allow it to burn out.

Pisces: Songs from your childhood.

Take a pomegranate and split it open carefully. Remove the seeds, letting the juice stain the tips of your fingers, your nailbeds. Fill a bowl and look at the seeds for awhile. Think about all the places they could have ended up, the ways they could grow, the potential contained in every single tiny core inside that deep red jewel. Think about planting things, about growth, about the way everything stretches upward toward the sun. Eat the seeds, one by one at first, feeling them crack under your teeth, and then take a big handful and crush it to pulp in your mouth.

Aries: Norah Jones.

Find a notebook, a journal, a sketchbook – anything with blank pages. Find a pen, a good pen, one that you feel comfortable holding. Start writing. Write down the sorrow, the joy, the petty thoughts, the things that you can’t hold inside your heart anymore that you still don’t want to say to anyone but yourself. Write longer than you think you can, past the point of thought. Write at least five pages. When you are done, do not read it over. Turn the page and close the book. Do this again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after, until it becomes a habit.

Taurus: Bluegrass, the almost-country kind.

Find an animal, a small one – go to the pet store, if you need to. Sit for awhile and look at it, the perfection of it. What it is made for. The economy of being an animal, rather than a person, the usefulness of every feature. If you can put your hands on the animal, do so. Feathers, fur, little teeny toe beans, scales, tiny perfect teeth. A cat is a cat is a cat and it knows it’s a cat but it also thinks you are a cat. Think about your animal self, the perfection of it. What it is made for. The usefulness of every feature. Put your hands on yourself. Feel your muscles under your skin, your toes, your teeth.

Gemini: Anything that reminds you of summer.

Draw something today; it doesn’t matter what, it doesn’t matter if you never have. Take a pen, see something inside your head and then make it real, make it exist in the world. The thought takes on substance and form and becomes something beyond yourself, a part of you externalized. It is never weakness to need evidence that you exist, and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Breathe something new out and let yourself take something new in.

Cancer: Something soft, something romantic. Spanish guitar.

Write a letter to someone, one that you have put off for too long. Write to heal wounds, to break the bone in order to reset it. Write everything you have kept yourself from saying. Think about what will happen if you send this letter, and whether this is something that you want. Leave it alone for an hour, come back to it. Read it once more and then seal it in an envelope. When you wake up tomorrow, either burn it or mail it, but do not open it again – physically or mentally.

Leo: Lush electronic songs, the kind with a heartbeat.

Find a body of water. Use your phone, the internet; there is at least a reservoir closer than you think. Drive there, if you drive, or walk. Approach the water, getting as close to it as you can. If it is warm enough, and if it is allowed, take off your shoes and wade. Sit or stand, looking at the water, feeling it against your skin. Let your eyes drift out of focus, listen to the sounds of the wind and the birds and whatever trees are there, and the water. Look into the water until you can feel your blood like the tide, gently rocking. Be still, be silent, be open.

Virgo: Jewel.

Go to the store and purchase a squash, any kind you want. Bring it home and cut it open, scooping out the seeds. Do this with your bare hands. Rinse them, keep them. Wrap the squash and roast it; or if you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, cook the squash by burying it in the hot ashes. Eat it hot, as hot as you can bear, right from the skin and seasoned only with herbs. Think about how everything comes from the earth, returns to the earth, comes again. Roast the seeds, except for a few, and eat these as well. Leave the rest outside, for the animals.

Libra: Satie, the Gymnopédies.

Look for a classical music radio station, something that will play continuously without interruption. Wait for a song you don’t know and find a place to lie down. Turn it up as loud as you can bear it and close your eyes. Try to pick out each individual instrument, follow them, travel with them for as long as you can. Let them find each other again, behind your eyelids, however you visualize them braiding into each other and becoming one sound. So many parts, and yet it creates such an elaborate, seamless whole.

Scorpio: Rumba, something sun-soaked and warm.

Plant something, a small green something. Indoors, outdoors, it doesn’t matter, but do it with your hands. Turn the earth, press the seeds into their small dark burrows and cover them gently. Think about what it is to germinate, to take the leap from not-life to life. Don’t clean the dirt out from under your fingernails right away; don’t break your connection with the earth so quickly. Keep one seed in your pocket for awhile, until you forget it is there.

Sagittarius: Your favorite band in high school.

Fill a bathtub with almost as much water as it will hold, as hot as you can bear it. Take whatever crystals you own, small bright pieces of the earth, and place them in the water. Get in slowly, inch by inch. Let yourself acclimate to the water, even if it bites at first. When you are ready, close your eyes and slip under the water, holding your breath. Listen to the sound the silence makes, the water in your ears, the muffling that is somehow still noise. Listen to your heartbeat, the steadiness of it. Lift your head out of the water slowly, lovingly, and let it drip until it dries on its own.

Capricorn: Love songs.

Write down the things you need to let go of. Do not think about this overlong; do not pretty it up. Write down what you want to leave behind, the ashes you want to rise from. Read this list out loud to yourself as many times as you need to and then light it on fire. Watch it burn until the fire dies completely. Take the ashes somewhere high – a balcony, a hill – and let the wind have them. Do not bury them; this is another way to hold onto something. Watch them go.

Today is the first day of a ceremonial kind of spring, the season where all things are made new, and although this year it’s calendrically speaking today you can celebrate it any time, especially this month. These are all things that will ground you, center you, remind you of your connection with the earth and the physical world, the regeneration that is occurring every moment of every day of your life. Little rituals, small ways to feel in control of your physical self. These tasks are yours to perform whenever you want, this month and every month, any time you feel like you need renewal.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: IT’S 2016

Hello, my precious loves. It has been a year, in both the actual temporal sense and also in the sense it’s meant when people go “It’s been a year.” 2015 was rough! Many bad things happened. Many good things happened, too, because the world is a weird and cyclical thing, but on the whole I am more than ready to welcome the new year. I am a big believer in the theoretical fresh start that a new year brings – I know that there’s backlash against that, like, you can start over any time you want! and I get that, I do, but I also like making resolutions and opening up a new journal and the whole silly parade of things that come with The New Year as an institution. I am canceling my gym membership, which may seem counterintuitive, but it’s half an hour from my house and I was locked into a yearlong contract and it’s just! not! financially sustainable! and one of my resolutions is to stop being so terrible with money. Plus now I’ve got the Fitsugar app (shouts to Fitsugar) and it is rad and free and totally kicking my ass.

Anyway! Horoscopes! I know I have not been the best messenger-of-the-stars this year, and I will not make excuses for that, but another of my resolutions is to be better to y’all. If you’re going to show up every month then so am I! It’s only right! So just know that you have inspired me to do better, to be more consistent, and generally to be awesome. You are all very, very awesome. Tell me your resolutions.

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[image via]

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: JANUARY 2016

PLAYLIST

Capricorn: “The Glory”, Kanye West. Can I talk my shit again?

This is a year for pride, Capricorn. You are – not modest, exactly, but something close to it. Secretive is probably the better word. You stack up all your accomplishments like tiny glowing things and then you clutch them to your chest, fold your wings around them, hide them and their light from the world. This year is for letting everyone know how great you are, okay? This year is for self-promotion. You have, always, this calm confidence that comes from knowing that you are competent, that you are successful, but it’s so internal! You are where you are for a reason, and I think that because you are so quiet about it you tend to forget it. You have achieved so much already, and this year is going to bring so many more opportunities for success to you. I want you to try, really try, to recognize and name your strengths and your victories this year. Look at where you are, know that you got yourself there, and don’t be afraid to acknowledge it. More importantly, don’t be afraid to share it. Vocalizing your success doesn’t diminish it.

Aquarius: “Que Sera Sera”, Doris Day. Whatever will be will be / The future’s not ours to see

You are a long-term thinker, even if you don’t consider yourself to be one. Everything you do is with an eye toward the future, a vision of your idealized life – your idealized self – that is always on the horizon. There are two sides to this coin, and you need to be aware of both of them this year. The good thing about always working toward your goals is pretty evident – you are always working toward your goals. On the flip side, though, is the looming specter of disappointment. The future you envision does not always line up with the present you are in, and sometimes that’s correctable and sometimes it’s not. The challenge you will face this year is learning what you can change and what you can’t, and what is even worth trying to change. You are on the path you’re on for a reason, and just because it seems to be veering away from the point on the horizon you’ve fixed on doesn’t mean it’s not going to take you somewhere wonderful. This year is for knowing that your work will be rewarded, even if it’s not necessarily in the manner you’ve envisioned.

Pisces: “Work B**ch”, Britney Spears. They gon’ try to try ya but they can’t deny ya / Now get to work, bitch!

This is a year for planning your attack, Pisces. You know what you want, but you need to start making actual, concrete plans for getting it. It is very easy, as the dreamiest of the signs, to think about your future in abstract terms. This is good motivation – this is actually key for you, this rose-tinted vision – but in 2016 I want you to slow down just a little bit. I want you to step your focus back from the future to the now. You cope with dissatisfaction with your present by throwing your vision forward, losing yourself in the idea of your eventual success, and I know it hurts but you need to pull your sight back to where you are. In order to get from your present to the future you want, you have to understand exactly where you are now. This is the year for really taking things into your own hands. This year is for making lists. This year is a metaphorical training montage. It is time to figure out exactly where you want to be, and then to start figuring out how to get there.

Aries: “Let’s Be Still”, The Head and the Heart. So just for the moment let’s be still

Your fear of the unknown manifests in interesting ways, the most notable of which is flinging yourself headlong directly into the darkness. Your fight-or-flight always lands on fight, and this is often useful, but this year calls for more care. The thing about blindly forging ahead is that it’s not predicated on anything other than the desire to move, which means it doesn’t necessarily matter where you end up. This year I want you to think about being intentional, about embracing your fear and sitting with it and letting it explain itself to you. Stay where you are and look out into the distance and wait for it to be revealed. Change is coming for you this year, as it does every year, and I want you to work on meeting it coolly, calmly, with a level gaze. When you lunge forward you cut yourself off from any other paths you could take, and it is worth it to look around before you leap! Being more intentional about these things can help you to see more clearly – looking at the path before you take it is boring, I know, but it will help you more than you know in the long term.

Taurus: “Mr. Tambourine Man”, Bob Dylan. Dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free

Taurus is a steadfast sign, a practical sign, a sign of the material world – it is the earth, solid and constant. This year, though, I want you to embrace the intuitive, creative side of yourself. Even as the grounded person you are, you are so imaginative, so in your head, always thinking about some new adventure – this year you need to take the plunge. There is a spark inside you, a tiny flare that only needs the slightest bit of encouragement to become a fire that will warm you at your core. There is so much enthusiasm in you, so much raw unformed energy – I want you to think about letting some of that energy out, this year. It can seem embarrassing or impractical to follow your dreams, especially the ones that are based in something as nebulous and unpredictable as the arts, but you have the strength to take the spark and make it into something that will sustain you. This is not yet a time for planning – you are too good at planning, to good at taking your impulses and corralling them. This is a time for doing, leaping, creating, letting yourself be without worrying about the practical implications of it all.

Gemini: “Roar”, Katy Perry. Used to bite my tongue and hold my breath / Scared to rock the boat and make a mess

You have a tendency to avoid conflict; it is easier to swim down than it is to take the bait. This year I want you to think about what is worth fighting for. There is such a thing as constructive conflict, as difficult as that is to believe, and I’ll be honest – you need some. Deflecting problems, sublimating your anger, these things are useful in the short term but what are they doing for you in the long run? The only way to find out what you’re willing to fight for is to fight. The only way to figure out what a conflict is really about is to let it unfold itself, to look at what is underneath it. I know it’s tempting to let things lie, to hope that they will play out on their own or, better yet, fizzle completely, but they don’t. They don’t, and they won’t, and the longer you wait to start speaking up the harder it will get for you to take that step. This year I want you to be brave; I want you to allow some conflict into your life. I want you to choose your fights; I want you to choose at least one and I want you to fight it. Let yourself be strong enough to face conflict head-on.

Cancer: “Control”, Halsey. I’m meaner than these demons

Your experience of the world is filtered through yourself. Everything that is comes to you through the layers of meat and fluff and frightened neurons that make up a person, and this is a blessing and a curse. Your external circumstances affect you, but it is what’s inside that paralyzes you. This year is going to be about working through things, about recognizing your emotions and meeting them where they are, but not letting them have purchase in your soul. There is caution and then there are self-fulfilling negative expectations, and these seem the same on the surface but one is useful and one will weigh you down like lead. I want you to try and work through the paralysis this year, the one that comes from uncertainty and fear and anxiety. These emotions want you to be hard on yourself, on the parts of you that are most vulnerable, and you do not deserve that. Know these things intimately, for what they are, and know that you can beat them. Try as best as you can to meet the future with joy, even in the face of the unknown.

Leo: “(Un)Lost”, the Maine. Unaware of where I’m going or if I’m going anywhere at all / But I know I’ll take the leap if it is worth the fall

You have a tendency to assume the worst, which can serve you well in terms of looking before you leap but also has the effect of keeping you from the things in life that you cannot guarantee. There is so much in this world that you cannot be sure of, and I know it feels safer to just keep away from those things, but – sorry – think about Finding Nemo. I promised him I’d never let anything happen to him; then nothing would ever happen to him. You can’t keep yourself away from everything that might hurt you, as much as you’d like to try. This year I want you to stop trying so hard. I want you to allow yourself to get hurt. The fear is worse than the actuality of it, and when you stop letting that fear dictate what you do you will find that nothing is as frightening as you have imagined it to be. You will find that although there are things that will hurt you, there are so many more that will reward you for taking that leap.

Virgo: “Animal Instinct”, the Cranberries. The thing that freaks me out / Is that I’ll always be in doubt

There are those who don’t trust the world and there are those who don’t trust themselves and you, Virgo, are the latter. This year I want you to work on listening to yourself, to the still, small voice. I want you to trust your instincts. There is intent in everything you do – you are such a measured sign, so methodical and level-headed, and sometimes you forget that. Trust that you have had reason to do the things you have done; trust that the plans you have made have been made with purpose. This means listening to yourself – and if you genuinely feel that you are moving in the wrong direction, trust that as well. Your instincts are different than self-doubt: one is about self-preservation, about staying alive and whole, and one is about simply undermining yourself. This year is for learning the difference, for learning how to listen to yourself and value your own voice. All the strength that you need is within you.

Libra: “Slow and Steady”, Of Monsters And Men. I move slow and steady / But I feel like a waterfall

Do not rely on the future to bring you what you want. They say that slow and steady wins the race but what that does not mean is that you get to stand still. No life is without challenges. You cannot guarantee your own success, even if it seems assured, and I know this seems frightening but what I mean is that you cannot assume you will have anything you don’t currently have. What I mean is that you need to work, now and always, to get the things you want. You will be successful – you have an incredible drive, an enviable work ethic, an ability to shoulder a tremendous burden – but you cannot simply allow things to come to you. You have to get them. This year is for actively, purposefully moving toward your goals – not hastily, not in a way that takes from others – in a way that is true to who you are at your core. You are a rare combination, a planner and a dreamer, and these facets of your personality can combine to make you lethargic (think making a to-do list and then feeling accomplished), but they also make you a force to be reckoned with. Dream big this year, but don’t stop there.

Scorpio: “Fight Song”, Rachel Platten. And I don’t really care if nobody else believes / ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me 

This year is for taking back a sense of control over your life. You have felt dragged, up to now, pulled through your life by forces larger and more cruel than you, but enough is enough. There are things in this life you cannot control, and this is something that you will struggle with forever, but listen. There are enough things that you can control, things that you can fix your sight on that will make you feel strong. This year is for looking for those things, reminding yourself of the ways in which you have power in your life. You have felt angry this last year, almost directionlessly so, at the wide formless universe, at other people, at nothing, at everything. Take that anger and focus it down to a fine point, something that you can use to move forward, to clear a path. You may not be where you want to be just yet, but the best way to stop feeling that life is something that is simply happening to you is to influence its course. Look for small victories this year, things that will shore you up when you feel rudderless. Remember that you are always moving, always on a journey – you may not know where you are going but you can always, always steer.

Sagittarius: “Mushaboom”, Feist. Old dirt road / Knee deep snow / Watchin’ the fire as we grow old

This is a year of growth for you, the kind of growth that comes from stability, from establishing something you feel is permanent. It will be a time for considering your beliefs – about the universe, about love, about yourself. Look around and appreciate all the things you have created for yourself. This has been a year of upheaval and confusion, and you are entering now into a time where all things will become clearer, more still. You have been tested; now is the time to examine yourself and your life to see what passed the test and what did not. What are the parts of you that have made it through the fire? This burnished version of yourself, this elemental, sleek thing, this is what you will settle into this year. You are always evolving but this is a more measured, more contemplative act, testing the edges of the skin you wear and finding it to fit well. Think about the person you have become, and what had to happen to bring you into the world as you are now. Think about where you will go from this new, stable foundation, and how.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: NOVEMBER 2015

Hello my babies, hello my honeys, hello my ragtime gals. I would like to shout out to twitter user @ravvy_rachel who very sweetly tweeted at me that she was in need of some news from the stars, which served the dual purpose of warming the dreary cockles of my heart to an incredible degree (they read the horoscopes!!! my brain shrieks) and also of getting my ass into gear because this November started off terribly, and I’ve been using that as an excuse but sometimes you gotta turn your own tides, you know? [Britney Spears voice] Choose your own destiny. ANYWAY. Here is a thing for you, before we get into this, and I will preface it by saying that it has gotten me through some cold bleak winters, and I shove joy like a knife into my own heart isn’t not the point of everything, anyway, anyway:

Reasons to Survive November
Tony Hoagland

November like a train wreck—
as if a locomotive made of cold
had hurtled out of Canada
and crashed into a million trees,
flaming the leaves, setting the woods on fire.

The sky is a thick, cold gauze—
but there’s a soup special at the Waffle House downtown,
and the Jack Parsons show is up at the museum,
full of luminous red barns.

—Or maybe I’ll visit beautiful Donna,
the kickboxing queen from Santa Fe,
and roll around in her foldout bed.

I know there are some people out there
who think I am supposed to end up
in a room by myself

with a gun and a bottle full of hate,
a locked door and my slack mouth open
like a disconnected phone.

But I hate those people back
from the core of my donkey soul
and the hatred makes me strong
and my survival is their failure,

and my happiness would kill them
so I shove joy like a knife
into my own heart over and over

and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.

Try to love your November life, this month, and all the months that follow in its footsteps. Now we can get started.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: NOVEMBER 2015

PLAYLIST

Scorpio: “You Learn”, Alanis Morissette. You live you learn.

I love Scorpios. I’m not supposed to love Scorpios, I think, logistically – this is one of those pairings that does not necessarily work – but some of my favorite people in this whole world are Scorpios and I admire them and value them and it is your birthday month, Scorpios, so happy birthday. This month I want you to think about learning, about the ways you are shaped by the world. It is hard to admit that you are still learning, and it is even harder to try and learn not just from people you deem worthy. You are so vast and so smart and so capable of absorbing all the information that the world has to give you, but you tend to only accept it from certain sources, in certain forms. This month I want you to open your heart to places and people and things you would not generally expect to have anything to teach you. It is a frightening thing not to know everything, to open yourself to the idea of being wrong, of changing your mind, but this is the way you grow. This is the way you become more. You take everything in and distill it down to the things you know to be true, and sometimes these things change and sometimes you change and this constant unfolding is so, so important. Don’t be afraid to keep learning; don’t be afraid to be changed.

Sagittarius: “Little Me”, Little Mix. I’d tell her to speak up – tell her to shout out – talk a bit louder – be a bit prouder.

Just because sometimes you don’t want to hear what you have to say doesn’t mean that the world feels the same way. This month is for probing gently at your feelings of inadequacy, of self-doubt, turning them over and exposing them to the light. You have a tendency to hide, to focus inward, to assume that you have been talking too loudly and too long for anyone to still be listening. I am not saying that your impulse is wrong; if you feel that you need to remove yourself from the world for a bit I want you to do that. But what I also want is for you to be sure that self-doubt isn’t what’s driving you. There are times when a little bit of isolation, of contemplation, is exactly what you need to replenish yourself. There are other times, though, when your self-imposed exile comes from fear and doubt and not from a need to be alone with yourself, and that is dangerous. The more you assume that you should not be heard the less you will make yourself heard, and your voice is too important for that. Try to nurture yourself, this month. Try to remember that you are your harshest critic.

Capricorn: “Everything is Connected and Everything Matters (A Temporary Solution to a Permanent Problem)”, empire! empire!. What It Takes To Move Forward.

I was watching Jane the Virgin the other night, and I thought of you at a certain point. Jane has writer’s block, and her writing group mentor says to her, “Most of the time the problem is further back.” The problem isn’t with the actual scene she’s stuck on, it’s further back in the book. It’s deeper than she thinks. Capricorn – the problem is further back. Your current situation seems isolated, sudden, a sharp jagged uptick in an otherwise smooth line, but I want you to take a hold of that line and follow it back, notice its actual texture. This month I want you to think about how you have come to be where you are, and the things in your life that have made you and shaped you and brought you to this point. By focusing so intently on the present moment you are sort of – sort of Bell Jar-ing the situation, does that make sense? You can’t slam a cup down over this moment and separate it from the stream of all the other moments that make up your life. This is not limbo, and everything that is happening now is influenced by larger and more subtle things than you are presently aware of. Try and widen your perspective, this month – zoom out on the map, if you will. Look how far away the rivers start before they converge. You will find your way forward by looking at the path you’ve taken.

Aquarius: “Fear and Loathing”, Marina & the Diamonds. I’ve lived a lot of different lives. Been different people many times.

Don’t let the tilting of the world, the constant spinning and shifting of the ground beneath your feet, don’t let this shake you away from who you are. You have an incredibly strong sense of self, a candle that burns in the hollows of your gut and does not waver, but lately the flame is dimming. The uncertainty of your life is scraping away at you, scaring you away from the person you know yourself to be. There will always be situations in which you don’t react like yourself, choices you make that you’ll look back on and think who was that person, what was I thinking, but these things do not invalidate who you are. Part of being a person is acknowledging that you contain multitudes, that sometimes you contradict yourself, and knowing still in an unshakable way that you are a cohesive whole. Whatever is happening lately has you feeling like your grip on yourself is lessening and that is a frightening and difficult thing, but try to hold on to this: It will pass and you will remain. Even if you change you will remain, and you will know the truth of yourself even in the darkest night. Don’t let anyone or anything make you unsure of that.

Pisces: “Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset”, Modest Mouse. I claim I’m not excited with my life anymore.

I want you to read “Leaves of Grass” this month. I want you to think about forcing yourself toward pleasure, about the idea that smiling can actually make you happier. I want you to do this because you have a tendency toward fixating on the things that you hate, the things that bring you pain and sorrow, and in naming them so directly and so often you give them power. This month I want you to think about “dismiss whatever insults your own soul”, about the idea that you can let go of the things that hurt you. I know this is hard, I know, but I want you to be firm and vocal about the things you love. Notice the things that bring you joy and address them, talk about them, replace the litany of darkness with a flood of light. It is maybe the hardest thing in the world to just not think about something and I am not asking you to do that, because I genuinely don’t yet know how to do it myself. What I am asking you to do this month is to try and lessen the power that the painful things have over you by giving them less space in your life, in your mind and your heart and your thoughts. They won’t be gone – they will never be gone – but the less attention you pay them the less you will notice them curled in the corner. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

Aries: “Mouthful of Diamonds”, Phantogram. You’ve got a mouthful of diamonds and a pocketful of secrets.

There is benefit sometimes in playing it close to the chest, Aries. This is counter to everything that the fire in your blood tells you, the impulsive shout of your birth that thrums in your veins, but it is worth knowing. You do not have to speak it out loud for it to be true, and you do not have to give away any part of you. It is tempting to lay yourself bare to be picked over like a carcass, submission as a form of power, of control, but there is a different and colder kind of power in silence. Naming your demons gives them less power, toss of the hair yeah that happened but it’s whatever, but this has become more of a reflex than a genuine urge to speak of them. When you feel like you have to talk about it in order for it to be real, when you feel like you have to legitimize yourself by exposing your rawest places, you’re no longer in control. You are offering pieces of yourself on an altar that is already slick with blood and the only things that will take heed of this are scavengers. Be cautious, this month, with the bits of yourself you put on display. Every time you open your mouth diamonds tumble off your tongue, and it is worth it to decide who really deserves them.

Taurus: “Take Care”, Beach House. I’ll take care of you if you ask me to. 

Imagine that you are a plant. This should not be difficult. Imagine that you are a plant and that there are specific ways to ideally care for you. What are those ways? That is your task this month, Taurus. I want you to establish with yourself what it looks like to nurture you, to take care of you. Once you do that I want you to think about who, in your life, actually takes care of you. Who do you allow to care for you? Who cares for you in a way that doesn’t mesh with your plant-care manual? There are different ways to express love, obviously, but much of our unhappiness comes from the knowledge that we are, empirically, being loved, and yet not being able to feel it in a way that resonates with us. Maybe someone is overwatering you, to continue my plant metaphor, because they love you so much and they’re so worried you’re going to dry out, but they’re not listening when you tell them you’re actually good with a once-a-week watering. This month I want you to think about the people in your life that take care of you and the ways in which they do that, and I want you to find your way toward making the ways that you need care clearer to them. You deserve to be loved as carefully and intentionally as you love others, and the only way to do that is to first really understand what you need and then to speak it.

Gemini: “The Chain”, Ingrid Michaelson. And if you come around again then I will take the chain from off the door.

The things you have loved have a way of coming back to you. This is because you have loved them well, as you love all things, and because you are a soft and tender creature. This month I want you to think about the fact that it is your choice whether or not to accept them when they return, your prodigal beloveds. They return, but they left in the first place. It is not in your nature to be cruel and so you allow them in, but in doing this you manage to be cruel to yourself, reopening old wounds, accepting less than you deserve. Your willingness to see the good in people is a beautiful thing but it is a soft spot in a suit of armor made almost entirely of soft spots. Listen: It is well within your rights to lock the door when the past comes knocking, to examine apologies for truth, and ultimately to choose not to open your heart again. You do not owe anyone a second chance, is what I’m saying, and anyone that tries to make you feel that way – yourself included – is wrong. Be discerning, this month, and really think about who deserves more of you than they’ve already taken. Keep yourself safe.

Cancer: “End of the Day”, One Direction. You love who you love, there ain’t no other way.

You don’t have to understand someone to love them. You have so much love to give, it pours out of you almost without your permission, and so you try to ration it in this way, to stem the flow and direct it in a way that feels safer, that you can justify. We have so much in common, they really get me, we’re like, soulmates. You have loved so many people and so many of them have hurt you, and it doesn’t make sense that you would continue to fall in love so deeply and openly, to keep your heart as full as it is. Love doesn’t make sense, though, and this is your blessing and your curse: you love so much. You can look for kindred spirits, of course, but what you can’t do is mold someone into a person that you feel like you should love, the idea of a person who deserves your love. You don’t have to understand them, they don’t have to share your interests or your hobbies or your flaws; if these things happen they are great but you cannot force them. You love who you love, as One Direction says, you follow your heart even though it’ll break sometimes. The danger of being a person so capable of love is that you will be hurt, and shared circumstances don’t mitigate that. Be brave this month, all months. Take every leap; don’t close yourself off.

Leo: “Control Freak”, Copeland. You lose your mind if you lose control.

You are a very proud creature, Leo, of course you are, and you have every right to be because you are a force of nature. What you need to know, though, what you need to hold on to through this month, is this: you don’t have to do everything on your own. This requires you to trust other people – their abilities, their judgment, their choices. It is difficult for you to relinquish control, especially because you are generally very good at doing things. But listen – it’s not about your ability to do things all on your own. It’s about the fact that it’s not good for you to do so. You don’t have to be constantly proving yourself. You don’t have to be the first one into the fight, the last one to leave the office, the most tired person at the party. You know? You don’t have to do things all on your own and maybe even more importantly, you don’t have to do everything perfectly. You don’t even have to do everything right! You hold yourself to these impossible standards, you run yourself ragged and then you wonder why your edges are fraying, so this is what I am telling you. Cut yourself some slack this month. Delegate some responsibility; let people help you. Not because you need it, but because you could use it. You don’t have to play your life on xtreme difficulty hell-level, okay? Take naps, use cheat codes. Leave work at five and don’t feel bad about it.

Virgo: “The House That Built Me”,  Miranda Lambert. I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am. Out here it’s like I’m someone else. I thought that maybe I could find myself.

Be careful of the idols you choose. You are clever enough and determined enough to become them, to shape yourself in their image and emerge from a mold of your own making time and time again. You are capable of such self-transformation, of learning so precisely and completely how to be what you admire, that you need to be more judicious with your admiration than others do. This month is for thinking about the things you value in others and why you value them, and what they would mean to you if they were part of you instead. Burrow down inside yourself and examine what you know to be true, what you would like to change, what you value that is present in your own soul. Keep hold of these things, keep them in your sight, and you will be better able to discern what it is about a person that captivates you, makes you want to befriend them, makes you want to be them. What is charming in another person may feel disingenuous in your own skin; if you transform yourself with an eye only on the horizon you may lose sight of the shore.

Libra: “I Don’t Want To Let You Down”, Sharon Van Etten. When dreams grew black I didn’t want to see the light.

The ease with which you navigate people makes you distrust them, which is an interesting but understandable way to respond to your particular gift. You wear many masks, Libra, and it serves you well and there is a bright genuine core inside you that suffuses you no matter what, but you are aware of what you are projecting all the time. You’re always on, always ready. You are so good at sussing out a motive, at understanding what someone wants from a given situation, but lately you’re reaching a sort of terminal velocity with it. What I’m saying is that if you expect the worst from people you will find it. It is impossible not to disappoint someone who expects to be disappointed. There are caveats here, obviously – your radar for bullshit is peerless, and if you are genuinely getting bad vibes from someone I want you to trust yourself – but what I want you to work on this month is approaching people with an open mind. Game recognizes game, is what they say, but I want you to consider the possibility that there is no game. The interpersonal situations in which you find yourself are sometimes veiled negotiations, contests, but they’re not always. Trust yourself enough to know that you will feel it when someone is trying to play you; trust the world enough to know that most of the time, they won’t be.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: OCTOBER 2015 (SPOOKY EDITION)

HAPPY MONTH OF HALLOWEEN. My apologies again for being the worst sky-messenger. The theme of this month is THINGS THAT FRIGHTEN AND/OR HAUNT YOU AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: OCTOBER 2015

PLAYLIST

Libra: “Witch”, the bird and the bee. I am nothing like the girl you thought I was without your love.

Happy birthday, Libra. My gift to you is this: You are not created by the gaze of others. You are a prism which reflects and takes in and refracts and shines, but you are not something that only exists in the eyes and minds and hearts of someone else. There is a version of you that exists for everyone that knows you and even more versions for those that don’t, but what never changes is the small round stone of your soul, in the core of you. You know yourself better and truer than anyone can. You are a hall of mirrors endless and dizzying but you alone know which figure is not a reflection, a shade. I think sometimes you put on these other selves because it is easier to be what you are thought to be than to be what you know you are, but you don’t have to. It is a powerful thing, to be able to slip in and out of so many masks, but only if you remember that’s what they are: masks. You, the real you, you are underneath and you shine through everything, for everyone worthy of seeing you.

Scorpio: “There Goes the Fear”, Doves. Think of me when you’re coming down, but don’t look back when leaving town.

You are afraid of yourself. You are afraid of your own fear, the fathomless depth of it. You feel like you shouldn’t be afraid and in this way you become more afraid. Does that make sense? You are so afraid of what it means to be afraid, of what it means to allow fear into yourself, into your life, but when you don’t acknowledge it – when you shut it out, pretend it’s not there – you’re creating a different kind of fear for yourself. You’re creating this nebulous ball of nervous energy, this splinter-sharp idea that you are not allowed to be afraid because you shouldn’t, and it peels layers of you away. When you deny your fear you deny the part of yourself that feels it, that feels a reason for it, and maybe more importantly you deny yourself a way to overcome it. If you keep yourself from looking at it you will never really know the shape of it, and you will never be able to tame it. Fear is not weakness – it is a survival instinct, and you are teeth and claws, and if you let yourself feel it you will learn from it. You will only get sharper.

Sagittarius: “Comeback Kid”, Sleigh Bells. I know it’s hard but you gotta deal with it.

Someone will take care of you. I want you to imagine that I’m tucking you in as I say this, ok? Someone will take care of you. You are self-sufficient and resilient and wildly independent but there is a corner of your heart that is afraid that you are this way because there is no other way for you to be. That you take care of yourself and others not because you want to but because you have to. That you will always be the one in charge, the one to make the decisions, the one to shoulder the burden. This might be true – you might never feel like you want to put it all down and I hope that for you, I do. But what I want you to know, this month and all months, is this: if you do feel that way, if you should feel like you need to be the one that is taken care of for a change, don’t be afraid. It is not weak or small to want help, to need help, to ask for it. You are so beloved, not only because of how much you care, and there are those who would climb mountains and swim rivers and walk through hell for you. You don’t have to carry everything, you don’t have to carry everyone. You never, ever have to go through it alone.

Capricorn: “Dressed in Black”, Sia. Yeah I had locked my heart, I was imprisoned by the dark.

You are afraid of vulnerability when you can’t use it as a weapon. I don’t mean a strategic lowering of defenses, a calculated break in the facade. I mean genuine vulnerability, the kind that is almost embarrassing, almost indecent in how naked it makes you – not physically, but emotionally, spiritually, in front of another. Your walls are your armor, your heart is your keep, and you would rather die than let anyone see you that way. But if you never go out and you never let anyone in you’re in prison, and this month I want you to think about whether or not that is worth it. There is a difference between being careful and being cold and although it may benefit you in most cases to tend toward the latter, there will come a time when you want something different. Don’t be afraid to let someone in, to let yourself out. You’re not given to excess or to visible emotion, and to have them both at once feels overwrought and silly and foolish. To let yourself be vulnerable in that way you have to trust yourself. Trust that you are careful enough that when you have this impulse, this weakening, it’s real, and it means something, and it’s worth it.

Aquarius: “The Thoughts that Give Me the Creeps”, Hellogoodbye. What if your love is not the same as it seems inside my brain?

It’s real, Aquarius. It’s real and it’s happening, all the time, every day. You are real. There are only so many ways to misunderstand the world and I know that fear that you carry with you in the pit of your belly like a coal, that you are wrong, that you have always been and will always be wrong, but listen. The world as it is only ever is through lenses. You are never going to be able to look at something divorced of yourself, of the flesh and bones and the intangible glowing thing that it all filters through to. But this is the beautiful part: you don’t have to. Trust yourself, this month, and trust in the way that things appear to you. Dreams feel real when you’re in them, you know, and if later you look back and you feel differently that’s okay, too. It’s not the same out there as it is in here, but it’s that way for everyone. It’s real. And it’s so, so beautiful.

Pisces: “Tokyo Witch”, Beach House. All I want to believe is that I am better / round and round / All I want you to see is that I am better / round and round

You’re okay. I want to say that first and I want to say it loudest; you’re okay. You are your own worst critic and I know I say that to you a lot but it comes from a deep place inside you, one that I understand, one that I want so desperately to help you carry. What I want you to think about this month is this: Just because you could be better doesn’t mean you aren’t amazing right now. I know that sounds trite but I need you to look past that, to really see the truth of it. There is a future in which Beyoncé is even better at singing than she is right now. Does that mean she is not literally the best singer of our young lives? No! It just means that, like, there’s always another step forward in your journey, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t come a long way already. So this month I want you to focus on that. Not on how much better you can become, but how much better you already are. You and Beyoncé, okay? You and Beyoncé. Believe that you are better, because you are.

Aries: “Haunted”, Beyoncé. What goes up, ghost around. I know if I’m onto you you must be onto me.

Do not confuse this, Aries. I cannot make this more solemn, more weighty. I’m talking more about Beyoncé than I really meant to this month but listen. She is wrong about this. She is allowed to be wrong, because she is Beyoncé, but you cannot afford to be wrong. Do not assume for one single second that because you are haunted by someone that that person is similarly haunted by you. You cannot afford this luxury, this false vengeance, this phantom of hope. You cannot keep chasing these will o’ wisps further out into the fog; you are leaving pieces of yourself along the way. Fire goes out if you spread it too thin and you are worth more than that. Stop chasing what you think someone else feels because you feel it. Save your time and your energy, save even your ghosts for what deserves them.

Taurus: “Haunted”, the Limousines. You’re welcome in my home but it’s haunted.

It is easy to imagine that you are ruined in some way, that there is a bloodstain on your soul that will never come out. The past trails you like smoke, tethered around your wrist, wisping along behind you. You are not haunted, though, as much as you feel it, as much as you fear it. Just because you are carrying something doesn’t mean you can’t put it down. It doesn’t mean that it’s a part of you that defines you. You are the sum of many things and some of them, yes, are terrible but so many more of them are not, and in the end it is the good in you that is weighed before it all. You are not your damaged parts, you are not the hurt you have done or the hurt you have suffered. You carry these things, you cradle them in your bones and your blood but they are not ghosts and neither are you one. If you feel haunted it’s because there’s something you don’t want to be carrying anymore. Think, this month, about what those things are, how to tell which to put down and which you want to live with. Don’t let it follow you around.

Gemini: “Haunted”, Mr Little Jeans. Don’t worry I’ll keep pretending I will.

You didn’t even flinch and my heart was breaking still. It is a frightening and sobering thing to confront the ghost of love. Ghost means dead, ghost means gone and yet ghost means present, visible, cold. Ghost means haunting. To acknowledge that love can end, that it can be real and true and good and still end, is one of the scariest and most difficult things you can do but it will heal you, in time. I promise you this. Do not do yourself the disservice, the cruelty, of pretending that you don’t care, that it doesn’t matter, that it didn’t matter. Don’t smile until you’re ready; don’t be afraid to hurt and keep hurting. Acknowledge that it was real; give it the substance and flesh that you know it deserves and then let it walk away from you.

Cancer: “I Was A Fool”, Tegan and Sara. I was a fool, I was a fool for love.

Love makes all of us reckless and wild and sometimes too eager, and you are motivated by love more than most. You are more susceptible to its traps, its dangers, its dark and searching corners. Or – at least – that is your fear. To love so deeply that it hurts you, to love such that it is your downfall. Sometimes this is the case – sometimes the wrong person gets your love, gets a part of you. But sometimes it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s only so much you can tell yourself that love will hurt you before it does. Things go bad on their own often enough that you are doing yourself no favors by assuming they will, by digging that grave all by yourself. I’m not saying you need to dive headlong into everything, casting your suspicions to the breeze, but what I am saying is this: it doesn’t make you foolish to love and be wrong about it. It doesn’t make you anything but human.

Leo: “Haunted Love”, Cheerleader. What it is I’m chasing I really couldn’t say.

A predator is not uncertain of its prey. This is what I want you to remember, this month. A lion does not pause during the chase to wonder whether this is the correct antelope to be chasing. There is only the hunt and the victory. Think about that, this month. There is a reason that you’ve chosen the goals you’ve chosen, even if it’s lost to you now. Try and remember what you started chasing, and why, and then let it go and revel in the soft quick thud of your feet on the ground. You only have to fix your eyes up ahead to remember your objective, out there in the distance. You want to second-guess it because you fear failure; it is easier to doubt the entire chase than it is to run and leap and miss, to go hungry. But you will never, ever catch anything if you don’t try for it in the first place, and that’s what this month is for. Don’t second-guess yourself, don’t pretend you don’t know what it is you want. Remember what you’re chasing; don’t be afraid to try and catch it.

Virgo: “The Haunted Man”, Bat for Lashes. Yes your ghosts have got me too, but it’s me and you, I can’t run.

This month I want you to think about when it is worth it to stand by someone, to fight beside them, to stay with them. I want you to think about what the difference is between helping someone to carry a weight and letting it crush you. You don’t help anyone by hurting yourself, even though your instinct is always toward sacrifice. I want you to try and find the good in self-preservation this month, in keeping yourself safe and whole and healthy. It is so hard to prioritize yourself, especially when those you love need you, and I don’t want you to abandon them. I want you to make sure that you find balance. There is a give and take in every relationship, and both of those things can be present in different ways at different times, but it can’t just be you giving and giving and suffering and whittling yourself down to nothing. Think about when to run, and why, and trust yourself when you decide.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: August 2015 (POP PUNK EDITION)

HAPPY AUGUST. The year is literally flying by??? It is a horrifying and glorious thing??? If you’re going back to school soon don’t fret, we are here for you; if you’re done with school and you don’t even know what month it is because everything is the same all the time, we’re here for you, too. The end of summer is hot and sticky and slowmoving and it can get weird inside your head, so try and take care of yourselves. Eat a lot of watermelon; if you have a snow cone stand near you probably get a bunch of those. Stay cool, stay above water.

This week is pop punk week here at witchsong! We are all gonna spend five days talking about the whiny boys and girls that made us who we are and it’s only fitting that your horoscopes reflect that.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: AUGUST 2015 (POP PUNK EDITION)

 

Leo: “The Best Damn Thing”, Avril Lavigne. Give me an A – always give me what I want give me a V – be very very good to me R – are you gonna treat me right? I – I can put up a fight give me an L – let me hear you scream loud!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear lions. You are so magnificent and fierce and beautiful.

168b0f56e799ed32e6aa8525f4e3a0bb(if you’re not watching Steven Universe, please do that. That’s for everyone, not just Leo. It’s for your soul. I promise.)

This month I want you to think about how strong you are, how much of a force and a light. I want you to think about the fact that lions don’t kill with the force of their bite, with rending and tearing. They clamp down on the throat and they suffocate their prey. All those teeth, all those claws, and still they choose a softer violence. Strength looks different in everyone, is what I am saying. The thing I want you to do this month is to work on finding what yours is, how you wield it. I want you to work on using it productively, I want you to work on asking for what you want. A large part of this is allowing yourself to want things and – even more than that – to feel like you deserve those things, because you do! You do. Take some advice from Avril – demand to be treated right, and be willing to fight for that, however it is that you decide to fight.

Virgo: “Grand Theft Autumn,” Fall Out Boy. Maybe he won’t find out what I know – you were the last good thing about this part of town. 

It is hard to miss people; it is hard to feel like the best and brightest parts of you are gone. Your past will kick you in the teeth sometimes when you least expect it, lean out of a darkened corner and flash a smile and say remember me? Of course you do. And sometimes there’s nothing you can do. Sometimes you have to let it wash over you, to remember the things that you want so desperately to forget. Sometimes you have to miss things. Sometimes you have to acknowledge that something good has left your life so that you can look directly at the hole that it tore. This month is for looking, for mourning, for allowing yourself to feel these losses. The only way you can start to close the wound is to expose it to the air.

Libra: “Say Anything Else,” Cartel. Who you are is not up to them. Stop getting up for the let down.

You are fluid and shifting and capable of charming almost anyone, and this is a skill, it is a weapon. But there is a danger in it, which is this: you are so good at inhabiting different skins that you can forget which one you actually live in. You are good at getting what you want, at keeping situations calm and kind and diplomatic, at finding balance and creating harmony, and these things are so important. It’s when you let it define you – when you become “the mediator”, when you engage only to smooth things over, you lose the part of yourself that wants to take a side. Sometimes you need to take a side! Sometimes you have to trust your gut; sometimes balance isn’t the answer. This month I want you to work on defining your edges, on deciding when you want to take a side. You don’t necessarily have to – you can stick to that middle line all you want – but I want you to know when you actually mean it. Don’t let your desire to keep the peace override your deeper feelings.

Scorpio: “Ocean Avenue,” Yellowcard. There’s a piece of you that’s here with me.

This month is for fresh starts, for finding the beautiful places in your life, in your memory, past and present. Think about all the places you have loved, all the people you have loved in them. Think about the incredible fact of your existence, your interaction with others, the small bright things you have saved up over the course of your years on this earth. You are a constellation of the people and places and things that you value; you are made of so many memories, oceans of love. This month I want you to think about that, about the things that have made you, the things you carry with you. Things are changing; things are always changing, but no matter where you go there are bits and pieces of your life that are part of you like breathing, and some of them hurt and some of them heal. Examine them this month; make sure you’re carrying what you want to be carrying.

Sagittarius: “My Friends Over You,” New Found Glory. Though you swear that you are true I’d still pick my friends over you.

This month is for friendship, as all the months are for you, honestly. You love so hard, you give so much. You are an incredible partner in all relationships because you work so hard. You think about everything, all the ways you can express love, all the ways you can help the people you care about. This month I want you to think about the people in your life and the ways you show them how you care – and how they show you the same. Take time to do little things for them – these things nourish you as well. Celebrate them, gather them around you and let yourself be comforted. Make dinner, wrap yourself in love. Give and be given to, and remember that the family you choose is always, always more important than the one you’re born to.

Capricorn: “All the Small Things,” blink-182. Always, I know you’ll be at my show, watching, waiting, commiserating.

The people in your life that love you do so because you are worthy of love. This is the first thing you need to think about this month, that you deserve the love you are shown. The next thing is that you often don’t notice love when it’s expressed because when you express love, Capricorn, it’s big and intense and consuming. You don’t talk about your feelings until they are burning a hole in your chest, and you assume everyone else is hiding their cards as well as you are. But listen – this month I want you to try and notice the small things that people do for you, because those things are a declaration of love as strong as your own, but quieter. They come to your show, they send you flowers. They write you a letter. All of these things are love in their own way, and it’s hard for you to feel loved sometimes because you don’t always realize that. Look for love, this month; try to recognize it when it comes in small packages, and remember that you deserve it.

Aquarius: “Basket Case,” Green Day. Sometimes I give myself the creeps. Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me.

Don’t overthink it, this month. It’s easy for you to get lost in your head, the twisting alleyways of your mind, the dreamy impossible routes that your thoughts follow. Sometimes this is a good thing – most times, this is a good thing – you are endlessly creative, inventive, literally an ocean of ideas. But when your thoughts turn dark, which they can, it colors everything like black ink in water, spreading and curling and eventually turning everything the same dark color. Try your best to fight that, this month. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you catch that thought before it gets its hooks into you – if you recognize that sometimes you’re worrying just to worry – you can pull it wriggling back out of the water. It takes effort and practice and I won’t lie, it doesn’t always work, but you gotta try. You deserve that from yourself, and you have the strength to do it.

Pisces: “The Anthem,” Good Charlotte. I could never live the way they want. 

The world can be a difficult place for a soft-shelled creature like you. It often feels like it’s trying to close you down, shut you off, squeeze your soft edges into strange hard new shapes. And it’s hard to resist that! It’s hard to feel like you’re constantly fighting against some sort of supposed-to-be, some mold you don’t quite fit into. To keep your softness in the face of that, in the face of a world that wants to make you hard – that takes more strength than you often believe you have. But you have it, you have it in spades, because it takes courage and fierceness and an incredible kind of endurance, to stay soft, stay sweet. Stay hopeful and good and remember that you don’t have to be anyone except who you are. Remember that you have come this far without a shell, without becoming brittle. That’s when you break; you won’t break.

Aries: “Seventy Times Seven,” Brand New. Is that what you call tact? 

Don’t be so quick to burn your bridges, Aries. Your anger burns hot and bright and it is usually justified, usually directed where it should be. But you hold grudges; those coals smolder forever inside your mind. You look in on them from time to time, breathe a little life into them, just enough to keep them glowing. Sometimes you stay mad because you forget how to be anything else. Sometimes your anger outlasts your hurt, outlasts your reason. Holding onto your anger is justified when it keeps you sane, keeps you safe. The fire keeps you warm but it’s not worth it if it’s burning you, too. This month I want you to think about how you hurt yourself when you hurt others. Sometimes that’s the only way, but remember: you need to keep yourself safe before anything else.

Taurus: “I’d Do Anything,” Simple Plan. Will you remember me? ‘Cause I know I won’t forget you.

This is a season of loss, the end of summer, the folding and closing and dying of flowers. Everything changes, ends, becomes something different and new and old at the same time. You can’t keep everything still forever, as much as you want to, as much as you need sometimes just a moment of peace, of quiet, of stability. You can’t keep the petals from falling; all you can do is keep your memory of them intact. I want you to work on that this month, on looking at the past without letting it hurt you. It’s easy to let the light of the present color things, to make you wistful, to make you mourn. But you do the past a disservice when you only look back in sadness, and you do one to yourself as well. Value your memories; value your feelings. Let what you feel run through you, accept it, let it in, but then let it go.

Gemini: “The Middle,” Jimmy Eat World. Just try your best. Try everything you can. 

It’s a simple directive but it’s so hard, it is maybe the hardest thing in this world. Try your best. Wake up and try, every morning, try. Try to be a person, whatever that means for you that day. Stay in bed, get up, go to work, go to the park. Every minute of every day is a decision that you have made to try, and it can feel like climbing an endless mountain in a whistling bonedeep wind but it is such a miracle; you are such a miracle. To keep making that decision! To keep getting up, to keep climbing. Think about how strong that makes you, this month; think about what an endless reservoir of power you have within you. Think about how you can find ways to keep your joy, to notice beauty even as you climb. Try as hard as you can, this month, to really notice your reasons for trying.

Cancer: “This Photograph is Proof (I Know You Know),” Taking Back Sunday. Remember more than you’d like to forget.

The dark side of being a Cancer is that you carry everything with you, all the time, always, memory in your soul like a weight. It’s hard for you to forget things, anything, and that is a blessing and a curse. You carry everything beautiful with you, the joys of your life, but you also carry the sadness, the darkness. You carry the things that you want to forget and you can’t put them down but this month I want you to try. Try to think about making room in your heart, your head, your body, for the things that lift you up and give you hope. It is not an easy thing to do, to consciously turn away from the things that hurt you, I know – it feels like turning your back on them, it feels like surrender. But it is the bravest thing you can do, and the kindest to yourself.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: July 2015

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PLAYLIST

Art for witchsong horoscopes is done by the beautiful and talented Briana Finegan of advicecollage.tumblr.com, and her work is available for purchase at Society6.

Cancer: “Head Over Heart”, Mathai. I’m so done with my old ways, this time I’ll face it head over heart.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby crambs. I hope it is marvelous so far. You get two full moons this month – one on the 1st and one again on the 31st (the blue moon!). Cancer is ruled by the moon – you know this – so expect to feel very powerful but also very tender this month. You are an exercise in contradictions, Cancer. You are capable of being so strong, and so viselike in your grip on things, your defense of yourself and the way that you care, but you are led first and foremost by feelings and sometimes they can get the better of you. Caring is never a weakness, but it can lead to weakness – does that make sense? Don’t be afraid not to care, is what I mean, especially this month but all the time. You don’t owe anyone your love, despite how much it feels that way. It is easy for you to love and because of that you give it unearned, but this month try and think about ruling your heart a little better, guarding yourself a little more.

Leo: “Lanterns Lit”, Son Lux. I’ll break from the weight of my mind… I will labor by singing light. I’ll keep my lanterns lit.

Sometimes your path is so clear, shining bright and welcoming before you; sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you know where you’re going but it’s so far in the distance that it’s almost a mirage, and that is hard for you. You’re so strong, so stubborn, so determined to get what you want, and those are good, valuable things about you. But they make it hard for you to deal with setbacks, with bumps in the road, with anything that forces you to deviate from your plan. This month I want you to try and take your eyes off the distance, Leo. I want you to look at what is under your feet, at what is directly in front of you, around you. Your path is unfolding the way that it should be, and no amount of ignoring your current situation is going to move you forward any faster. I am loath to say “stop and smell the roses”, but I do want you to slow down, to feel your feet on the ground. To measure your steps, to be present in this moment that is your life. Imagine yourself as a lantern – you can’t glow far enough to illuminate your future, as much as you want to. Move forward, and bring the light with you.

Virgo: “Appreciated”, Rixton. Cause it’s you who takes care of everyone else / You need to allow me to help / You are appreciated.

You are very, very nose-to-the-grindstone, in a way that is simultaneously indispensable to everyone around you and also routinely completely unnoticed. You don’t often call attention to the things you do for others, to your incredible work ethic, and that is fine – you thrive best when your efforts aren’t under a spotlight. This month, though, I want you to draw attention to it – your own attention. You work so hard so regularly that I think you think it is less important than it is, less valuable, less deserving of reward. This month I want you to think about the things you have done, the successes that you have had, the work you so relentlessly do, and I want you to take a vacation. Even if it’s a few hours, I want you to relax, to appreciate yourself, to do something that doesn’t have a measurable outcome. Take yourself to the movies; buy yourself a Slurpee. Do something to appreciate yourself – you won’t let anyone else do it, and that’s fine, it’s who you are – but someone should. You’ve earned that.

Libra: “Everybody But Me”, Lykke Li. Though this room is too small I’d rather stand against the wall / And hope that no one sees me.

Charisma and diplomacy go hand in hand, and you have both in spades. You don’t like conflict, which is understandable, but often you bend too far backward to keep it from happening. This month is a month for asking yourself when it is important not to back down, to stand your ground and risk a fight. Compromise is all well and good until it becomes everyone except for you getting everything they want – I know it’s hard for you, I know it seems unfair, but you need to put yourself first. Or at least you need to put yourself somewhere on the list! Any kind of confrontation grates on your nervous soul, I know this, but I need you to try, this month. You are so careful with your battles, with what you choose to engage with, so I don’t need to tell you to be wary. I need to tell you to be brave, and to be gentle with yourself, and to remember that you are part of any real compromise. Remember that fairness includes you.

Scorpio: “Fight Song”, Rachel Platten. And I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ’cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. 

You are a sharp, pointed thing, and people often mistake that for some kind of cruelty, an innate mean streak, as if self-possession and sourness were somehow at all the same thing. But you have this incredible ability to see the good in things, a small voice in the back of your mind that lends you this beautiful optimism, this unvanquishable persistence of being, somehow. Against all odds, in whatever circumstance, you are there picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, making sure your stilettos aren’t scuffed. I hesitated even to call it optimism because it is more practical than that, it is sort of an unwavering calm composure, a quiet but unshakable confidence born of the knowledge of your own competence. This month I want you to remember that, when things feel dire; listen for that small voice when things seem on the verge of breaking you. Remember your belief in yourself. Nothing has broken you yet and nothing will.

Sagittarius: “Home”, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. There ain’t nothing that I need. Home is wherever I’m with you.

You are a creature of habit, someone who values consistency and stability and people that can bring those things to your life. Even when everything around you is changing, you keep a sort of security blanket wrapped around yourself, a cocoon of familiarity that sustains you through whatever happens. This next month is going to be one filled with change, with new opportunities and new people, and it’s important that you take time to remind yourself of what “home” means to you; where it is and isn’t. You are so formidable, but you draw strength from the things that comfort you. Keep them close, this month, keep them present, and let them buoy you up when you feel as though you are sinking. You are the sum of many parts, a careful amalgamation of the things you care about; remember this. Remember who you are. You are home.

Capricorn: “1234”, Feist. Oh, you’re changing your heart. Oh, you know who you are.

Go sailing this month, if you can. Situate yourself in the middle of something vast and calm; a field, a forest, a parking lot. The world has shifted and it continues to shift, and you are shifting with it. Take this month to think about your place in your own life, if that makes sense, and how to keep yourself centered. The trappings of your life are important but they are nothing compared to your heart, your feelings, the things you hold dear. No matter where you go you will have these things, and no matter how much you change you will always be yourself. You are a very deep river, Capricorn, and sometimes even you forget how strongly you feel, how much you can care, but this month is the time for you to remember it. You have maybe the most sense of self of any of the signs, but you rarely think to maintain it. This month I want you to indulge it, to think about your feelings clear down to your core. Reassert yourself to yourself.

Aquarius: “Bombastic”, Bonnie McKee. You know I’m playin’ like no more Mr. Nice Guy!

You are very malleable, and this is something I very much consider a skill, a strength. The ability to go with the flow, roll with the punches, is something that very few people have, and no one has it quite the way you do. But. Sometimes you are owed more than the flow; sometimes you deserve to divert whole rivers. I want you to think, this month, about whether you want the things you are given, the things that you continue to accept. And I want you to begin to think about how to ask for the things that you want, and how and when it is appropriate to take them by force. You deserve happiness, and it is often your way to forgo that in favor of the happiness of others, and sometimes not even their happiness, just – just to keep from rocking the boat. To keep things running smoothly. Think about Buffy, this month, think about punching a car so hard it stops moving. Think about what you deserve.

Pisces: “Gotta Work”, Amerie. Sometimes it’s gonna be days like this / Sometimes it’s gonna be rain like this / Sometimes you’re gonna feel pain like this / Sometimes you gotta work hard for it.

A large part of getting by in this world is learning to manage your expectations, to adapt what you expect from yourself and from the world based on what is actually happening to you. You are a dreamer, Pisces, and it is a beautiful and valuable thing, but sometimes you have to break an egg to make an omelet. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to. I am never, never saying that you should give up on your dreams – what I mean rather is that you need to value your dreams enough that you are willing to do things that aren’t your dreams, in order to get to them. Am I making sense? You have to have enough faith in yourself to do things that you don’t immediately see the benefit of, and you have to have enough faith in what you want to wait for it, to keep working and waiting and striving. Think about Chutes and Ladders, this month; sometimes all you can do is keep playing the game long enough to win. Everything can be worthwhile if you try to find the worth in it.

Aries: “Me and You”, She & Him. You’ve got to be kind to yourself. 

No one expects more of you than you do. This is a gift and a curse on par with Spider-man’s powers. You are capable of doing such incredible things, of pushing past limits that other people don’t even know are there and then pushing further. This is the first edge of the sword, the one that you use to slice your way forward, the one that is a weapon for you. The other edge, the edge that bites into your palm as you swing, is that you are never going to be happy with yourself. You keep raising the bar, gripping that sword tighter, savoring the sting and the heat of your own blood in your palm, and where does it end? Where can it ever end, when your own biggest critic is yourself? This month I want you to look at yourself as objectively as you can; as you would look not at a friend or a lover but as you would look at a stranger. Consider yourself not based on what you expect of yourself but what you expect of the world. There will be a disparity – it’s in your nature – and it’s your job, this month, to figure out how to be kinder to yourself.

Taurus: “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)”, Ne-Yo. Much as you blame yourself, you can’t be blamed for the way that you feel.

You are not as hard to love as you think you are, dear one. You are polarizing, sure, and you are stubborn and indefatigable and sometimes infuriatingly logical, but you are not difficult to love, no more than anyone else is. They say you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you, which I think is terrible bullshit, but I do think this: You don’t have to love yourself to accept the truth of the love that others have for you. I know how hard it is not to question someone’s love for you, and I won’t ask you to do that – sometimes that impulse comes from a warning-place, a place that should be listened to. What I am asking you to do this month is to have faith in the people you care about, the ones who love you; whether you agree or not, they see something in you worth loving. Not everyone will love you, but not everyone loves anyone, you can’t change that. But if you allow for the possibility that you are genuinely loved, you open yourself up to the idea that you are lovable. You deserve to at least consider that idea.

Gemini: “Memories”, Eisley. I’m the one who is gone / But there’s beautiful things that spring from these rows / With their musical names and musical sounds.

It is so easy to become bored with life, to slip into a routine that leaves you disenchanted. It is tempting beyond words to draw yourself in, curl up tight within your own soul and examine everything for flaws. Being at peace with yourself, within yourself, is a valuable skill, but if you wrap yourself too tightly you cut yourself off. Self-imposed isolation is healthy only insofar as it lets you gather your strength; when it persists longer than that it becomes a kind of ouroboros. When you’re so tightly focused within yourself, on your unhappiness, on the flatness that seems to pervade your world, you miss the things that the world is trying to present to you – opportunities, people, small birds on your windowsill. If you ignore the world for too long you will lose it, is what I’m saying, and there is so much in it for you. Take this month and try to turn your focus outward, toward the small bright things that flicker in the landscape you find so dull. Once you start looking for them, you’ll find there are more than you’d ever dreamed.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: JUNE 2015

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: JUNE 2015

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PLAYLIST

Art for witchsong horoscopes is done by the beautiful and talented Briana Finegan of advicecollage.tumblr.com, and her work is available for purchase at Society6.

Gemini: “A Good Horse,” the Cardigans. These are the promises I can keep; to live like I must and ride with the dust in my face; in grace.

Happy birthday, sweet one. It has been a trying year but you are so resilient, so resourceful. This month things will get easier, a little, but only if you really focus on not overcommitting yourself. There is only so much of you, and it’s so tempting to stretch yourself as thin as you can go but eventually you will snap. Pull some of your little tendrils in, back into your comfort zone. Make promises that you know you can keep, but more importantly, watch yourself and keep from making those that you know you can’t. When you get overwhelmed you have a tendency to do and say things you either don’t mean or can’t follow through on, and the stress it puts on you is a burden that I don’t want you to have to carry. Think things through, this month; take it slow. Don’t be afraid to say no, to stay home, to take your time. You are worth that care.

Cancer: “i,” Kendrick Lamar. Blow steam in the face of the beast; the sky can fall down, the wind can cry now, the strong in me, I still smile – and I love myself.

This month is for focusing on yourself. You are a light, something that radiates love and acceptance and caring, but this month I want you to turn that light inward. It is so tempting, when you are as other-focused as you are, to spend all of your emotional time and energy on those you care about, but that can get to a point where it’s coming at your own expense. In your busy day-to-day life there’s not often much time for too much introspection, but try and make a point of it this month wherever you can. There is a small voice inside you that needs to be listened to, no matter where you’re at in your journey. Take the time to check in with yourself, in small ways, whenever and wherever you can. Think about grounding; think about caring for yourself as strongly and as willingly as you do for others.

Leo: “Wherever You Go,” Clint Black. You can run from yourself but you won’t get far; wherever you go, there you are. 

You are where you are, Leo, and either it’s through your own actions or a larger and more inexorable force, and either way, you’ve got to come to terms with it. This is a month for examining your paths, your current situation, as honestly and directly as you can bear. It is sometimes hard to shine a light on ourselves, to turn over motivations and meanings and see what wriggles out, but it has to be done for you to move forward. In a world where so many things are out of your control, it is so important to take responsibility for the few things that are truly of your own making, and sometimes those things are hard. But they are yours, and it will benefit you to come to terms with what is and is not something you can influence. This is not a time for judging yourself, blaming, casting doubt. This is a frank appraisal of what is, without value judgments, in order to figure out what will be next.

Virgo: “I Think I Can,” Animal Collective. What’s in the way?

Bumps in the road are part of the journey. I know that’s trite, and unsatisfying, and kind of maddening, honestly, but it is true and I need you to carry it with you this month. You are so quick to condemn your time as wasted, and I understand the impulse, but I want you to think this month about the fact that everything you do is part of your journey, of who you are. Sometimes things feel insurmountable, and sometimes they are, but more often than not they are things you can learn from. You eat the elephant one bite at a time, if I may use a weird metaphor, and sometimes all you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. Try and face whatever setbacks you’re dealing with this month in the belief that you will best them. You are so much more capable than you often believe yourself to be.

Libra: “Shake It Out,” Florence + the Machine. I’m always dragging that horse around. 

How are you suffering, Libra? How can you let it go? That is your task for this month; to address the things in your life that are draining you, that make you feel like you are fading. Remember that every feeling ends, even the ones that feel like they will follow you to your grave. It’s so easy to get stuck in a spiral of sadness, of loss and remembering, and it can be the most difficult thing in the world to climb back out. This month I want you to think about ways you can help yourself climb. About how best to remind yourself that you have gone through darkness before and come out the other side. My advice to you is to let yourself feel everything, this month. Let whatever is eating at you hit you like a train, let it wash over you, be present and aware in it and then – let it pass. Let it drift away like a storm that’s spent itself.  Let yourself discover how to heal.

Scorpio: “Take Your Time (Coming Home),” Fun. Take your time coming home. Hear the wheels as they roll. Let your lungs fill up with smoke; forgive everyone. 

Don’t be afraid to commit to things, Scorpio. I know it feels like the rug is gonna get yanked out from under you at any minute, and I know it’s paralyzing. Listen – the best way not to lose things is to never try to have them in the first place, but that’s no way to live. You deserve what you want, what you’ve been working for, and you can’t let the fear that it won’t pan out stop you from trying. There is a difference between a comfort zone and a cage, and this month I want you to examine yours and make sure it’s the former and not the latter. The boundaries that keep you safe can hem you in if you’re not careful, and you’re stronger than that. It can be overwhelming to move toward what you want, but you have everything it takes. Don’t let your past define how you approach the future – move forward and know that you’re going where you need to be.

Sagittarius: “National Anthem,” Lana del Rey. He says ‘be cool’ but I don’t know how yet. 

CHILL OUT, SAGITTARIUS. Chill the FUCK out. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to yell. I love you and I’m worried about you. You are doing so much! You are doing so much, and there is a fine line between “busy and productive” and “spinning a thousand plates until you burst into flames”. This month I just want you to take care of yourself, okay, I want you to think about what is really deserving of your time and your attention and your effort. You bring such force to everything that you do, and you are routinely very successful in doing so, but focusing on too many plates means eventually you’re not focusing on any. Take this month to think about how to direct your energy more purposefully; figure out what your priorities are and address them one by one, rather than all at once. It is hard to slow down when you’re as full-throttle as you are, but I promise you it is worth it. Take care of yourself!

Capricorn: “Where Is My Mind?,” the Pixies. Try this trick and spin it, yeah. 

Something is undermining your general sense of stability this month. You are a very unflappable sign, generally speaking, and even when your feathers are ruffled there is still the sense that you are very much standing on firm ground. What has changed? What in your life is eroding your foundation, making you shaky? It’s important that you take this month and really examine things, both internally and externally. Your unwaveringness comes from stability, from a sense of knowing who and where you are, and whatever is messing with that needs to be uprooted and flung away. As a long-term-focused person, this is especially important; what you are doing now is very often the foundation for what you perceive to be your future, or what you would like it to be. Take some time this month and figure out what will make you feel more comfortable, more stable, more like yourself, and pursue it as best as you can. Get your feet back on the ground.

Aquarius: “Here Comes the Sun,” the Paul Simon live cover. It feels like years since it’s been clear. 

This will be a good month for you, Aquarius, a calm and placid month. You have been working so hard for so long, and it’s that dedication that has led you to where you are. Lift your nose up from the grindstone for a minute and look around – you are more of a nature baby than you often let yourself be, and the weather is changing for the better. Go outside, close your eyes, sit in the sun. Let yourself be content in the moment and realize that you have earned it; this should be the tone of the whole month for you. Find the harmony in your life and acknowledge it, reflect on it, luxuriate in it. There are always more things for you to work at, to achieve, and you will come to them, and you will do them with the same determination which you bring to everything. But for now, for this month, find time to appreciate yourself, and the things you have done, and the place you are at in your life.

Pisces: “Keep Your Head Up,” Andy Grammer. I know it’s hard to remember sometimes, but you gotta keep your head up, then you can let your hair down. 

Good things are coming for you like a freight train, and it’s so tempting to dispense with all the in-between stuff, the things standing in the way of the future, but listen. The in-between things are how you get there, and I know it’s frustrating, but you have to remember that this month.  You can’t get from point A to point Z without passing through all the others, and the more you try to avoid them, the more frustrated you will be when you have to deal with them. And you will. Don’t lose your enthusiasm, this month; don’t forget why it is that you want to get to point Z in the first place. Keep that star fixed above the horizon, and know that every little nuisance you deal with now is another step closer to where you are going. Don’t get bogged down looking at your feet, thinking how far you have to go; keep that bright excited spark inside you, keep your head up. It’s closer than you think.

Aries: “Let the Wind Carry Me,” Joni Mitchell.  I’m a wild seed again; let the wind carry me. 

You gotta reorient your thinking, Aries. This month is going to be really taxing otherwise. Lately it feels like you are a pawn, a toy, a tiny paper boat in a hilariously wide, rough river, and you hate that. The ram loves control; the ram does not like to be led, or pushed, or pulled. But sometimes you gotta roll with the punches; sometimes you have to just lean into it. I know it feels like life is just something that is happening to you, and that’s very foreign, and not altogether welcome. But listen: it is something that happens to you, and there’s times when you can direct it and there’s times when you just have to acknowledge that the universe has other plans. This is one of those times, and I know it runs counter to every instinct that you have, but you have to just go with it, this month. Let the world take you where it will, and trust that it’s happening for a reason. Trust that you will end up where you need to be, even if it’s not where you planned. Remember: rhythmic rolling and punching.

Taurus: “Heel Turn 2,” the Mountain Goats. Cling to my convictions even when I get hurt. 

It’s going to feel like you’re being challenged this month, fundamentally, on a level that you’re not comfortable with. This month is going to demand that you turn inward and really examine the things you believe in, because they’re going to be tested. You are strong and stubborn and capable of withstanding this, but you have to be firm deep down in your heart of the things that you stand for, of what you’re willing to defend. Take this month and think about what you truly believe; about what motivates you, about what propels you along in life. Think about what it means to you to be true to yourself, and who that self is, and how best to shore it up and nurture it. Really define for yourself what it is that you value, what matters to you, and let it hold you up this month. Let yourself acknowledge your own value, and let yourself find out how to protect it. Be brave, be true.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: May 2015

HI KITTENS. We’re quitting 8tracks. It takes eight million hours to make a playlist and it shuffles it if you try to listen to it more than once and QUITE FRANKLY we are all too pretty and busy to deal with it. So I have made a Spotify account which you are free to be friends with me on if that’s something you’re into, and I will be posting the playlists there and giving you a lil link to them! I will also be copying the last few months over to there as well. Hopefully this works for all of you! If you are at work/somewhere without desktop Spotify it should still work on the ONLINE WEB PLAYER but please let me know if this is an annoying solution to the problem!

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BELIEVE IN THE SKY: MAY 2015

PLAYLIST

Art for witchsong horoscopes is done by the beautiful and talented Briana Finegan of advicecollage.tumblr.com, and her work is available for purchase at Society6.

Taurus: “Pumpin’ Blood,” NONONO. This is your heart: it’s alive, it’s pumping blood.

Happy birthday, my earthiest of earth-signs darling. You are so alive, such a living breathing rooted thing, and this month I want you to think about what it means that the earth is alive even during the winter. Persephone is only underground, and she is whole and hungry in the land of the dead, and whether it’s now or in six months she’s going to find herself in a field surrounded by flowers. It’s tempting to pin yourself too strongly to the seasons – you are a child of the earth, after all, and you are turned and moved and warmed by it – but you are a force of your own. You are a green shoot growing and you are capable of that growth even when the earth is blanketed in snow, because you are part of it and yet apart from it, something stronger and so, so bright. It’s May and it’s your birthday and you are young and green, you are resilient, and you transcend what even the earth cannot. Remember that, this month, and celebrate it – your vitality.

Gemini: “Amy AKA Spent Gladiator 1,” the Mountain Goats. Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive/Do every stupid thing to try to drive the dark away.

It’s time to get a little raw, a little wild. This is a month for remembering what an incredible creature you are, a thing of sharp teeth and sharper words, something that is beautiful and terrifying. Read The Secret History this month: “…what could be more terrifying and beautiful [than] to throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown back, throat to the stars, ‘more like deer than human being.'” You are a human but you are so much more, so much less, something elemental and primal and yet infinitely complex. Do what you need to do this month; play with matches if you think you need to. Let the wildness inside you drive you where it wants. Reconnect with yourself, and then let yourself loose on the world. Don’t forget how powerful you are. Do what you need to do to remind yourself of that.

Cancer: “Cosmic Love,” Florence + the Machine. So I stayed in the darkness with you. 

There is a lot of power in loving as much as you do; as often, as deeply. There is a lot of strength, and I want you to remember that this month when you are feeling less-than. You are soft and tender but like a peach; there is a stone in the center of you. You can close your fist on a peach and send its flesh dripping through your fingers but you’ll hurt yourself once you’ve squeezed tight enough, and I want you to remember that. Love doesn’t make you weak, the right kind of love. It makes you strong and guards you and leaves the core of you protected. You have that strength in spades but you shouldn’t need it, is what I’m saying, and I want you to remember that this month. Don’t let anyone squeeze you too tight. Don’t let anyone bruise you.

Leo: “Hallelujah,” Panic! at the Disco. You’ll never know if you don’t ever try again so let’s try, let’s try, let’s try.

Yoda said there is no try and, like, he’s right about a lot of things but he’s not right about that. Sometimes there is only try, and try, and try and try and try beyond the limits of what you think you’re capable of. Sometimes – more often than sometimes, honestly – sometimes trying is more important than actually succeeding, because trying is the part where all you have is belief in yourself. Trying is the part before you ever see a result, the part where all you’re going on is the faith that what you’re doing will mean something. And that is what makes it mean something. Am I making sense? You are always becoming, you are always growing and changing, but when you let go of the rudder – even if all you’ve been doing is clutching it in the midst of a hurricane – you let go of some fundamental part of yourself. Don’t stop trying, this month. Try to try. Keep trying.

Virgo: “Long Highway,” the Jezabels. Long highway, mesmerizing / Long highway, paralyzing.

You’re waiting for a train that will take you far away. You don’t know where this train will take you, but it doesn’t matter. Why? Listen, Virgo, now. In this quiet moment in the rushing blood of your heart. Why doesn’t it matter where the train is going? Why are you here, now, in the middle of the tracks? You don’t have to tell me. You don’t have to tell anyone. But you need to know it, for yourself, in your bones. Take this month and think about where you are, and what you hope for, and what sits heavy in your belly like a lead weight. Take this month and figure out what it really is that you want to leave behind. Escaping is fine but if you take the wrong things with you by accident you’ll never get free. It’s not the house that’s haunted.

Libra: “Young Blood,” Bea Miller. We make our own luck in this world.

“Do what you love” is a lie, and it’s killing you. You are so caught up in this idea that what you do isn’t “real” until you love it, until you are finally doing what you dream of. And that is a beautiful ideal, and I wish it for you and everyone, but I want you to realize this month that you don’t need it. Work is a means to an end in the society that we live in, and quite frankly those of us with jobs are lucky to be employed at all (Tina Belcher “In this economy?” dot gif). Take this month and think about what you do love – the end to which your work is a means. Don’t beat yourself up about working where you do, no matter where it is. It’s a stepping stone, whether it’s to a different job or just to buying brand-name soaps, but it is so important, and once you learn to view it as something that it’s okay for you not to love you may find you actually like it more.

Scorpio: “Breathe Me,” Sia. I am small and needy, warm me up and breathe me.

It is so hard, sometimes, to remember your joy. It is so easy to get swept away in this terrible river of obligations, of fear and worry and doubt, and I won’t lie to you – it’s a deep river, it is. But it’s narrow in places, and not always as swift as it feels. Don’t be afraid to reach out of it, this month – to whatever and whoever makes you feel safe, makes you feel less like drowning. Try and find your joy again, this month, however you can. There are so many terrible things but there are so many good ones, small ones, things to armor yourself with against the things that would break you, these jagged things in this dark river. Remember them, and find them, and cup them to you like the small blessings they are. You aren’t going to drown in here.

Sagittarius: “I Feel It All,” Feist. The wings are wide; wild card inside.

You are allowed to be happy and sad at the same time. You are allowed to rejoice in everything you love and still feel sorrow in the back of your mind, in the corners of your heart. This is normal. This is the human condition. The world is so large and cruel and wonderful. The ocean gives us life and it’s beautiful beyond anything you’ve ever seen but it drowns people and it holds monsters and we won’t stop filling it with trash. All of these things are true; so many seemingly impossible things are true. Neither can live while the other survives and yet both live. All of these things exist simultaneously, and it is not within me to ask you to focus solely on one thing, to stop feeling one emotion at the expense of another. There are so many sadnesses, small and large, personal and impersonal, and at least as many joys. They are all yours to let run through you like wind, and the course they take can’t be defined. Don’t cut yourself off from what you feel.

Capricorn: “Don’t Waste My Time,” Little Big Town. I felt so sure, I never questioned why.

You are so good at working, Capricorn. You are so dedicated, so impossibly thorough, so stubborn. Don’t get me wrong, you are very willing to walk away from things that don’t reward you. But – sometimes you don’t know what rewards you, or you’re mistaken about it. Sometimes you think something will reward you because you want it to, so badly, and you ignore a lot of signs that it’s not going to. But you deserve better than that. Take this month and think about why you are pursuing what you are, and whether it’s going to give you what you deserve. There is a difference between something being difficult and something being fruitless, and it’s easy for you to blur the lines between those two. Just because you want it to pay off doesn’t mean it will, and it’s worth it this month to make sure that your work isn’t going unrewarded.

Aquarius: “Landslide,” Fleetwood Mac. I’ve been afraid of changing ’cause I built my life around you, but time makes you bolder – even children get older. I’m getting older too.

You are so young, no matter how old you are. You are still growing, still not fully formed. Sometimes it feels like you are permanent, immutable, like you have finally ascended into the phoenix of yourself but then you shed another skin. This is normal; this is good. Don’t be afraid of change. Take this month and think about your past lives, all the people you have been. Think about how solid you felt, how real, how final. You were real – don’t get me wrong – but you are real in every iteration of yourself, every new layer. Evolving doesn’t make who you were any less real, and your past selves live within you like flames. You are you are you, and you are changing whether you realize it or not, and that means nothing, and it means everything. Let yourself be; let yourself grow.

Pisces: “Sun Daze,” Florida Georgia Line. Work on my lay back, ain’t nothing wrong with gettin’ my sun daze on.

You have reached the light at the end of the tunnel, or – let me find a less death metaphor. You have made it through the eye of the needle, for now, and you deserve a rest. Be gentle with yourself this month, be soft. Let yourself sit around, sleep in, read magazines. You have done things you thought you couldn’t possibly do; you have done them, and now you are here. There is still work to be done – there is always work to be done – but you have reached a kind of summit, a peak in the high unending mountains of your life. Everything is spread before you and below you, sparkling in the sun, and you are going to descend upon it like a falcon. There is always more to do, always more to climb, but rest, now, in the knowledge that you have climbed successfully before. You will again.

Aries: “Hero,” Regina Spektor. It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright. No one’s got it all. 

Everything is going to be okay, Aries. That is all I can give you, but it is so important, and I want you to really hear it. It’s going to be okay. You are strong, but that’s not all you are, and what’s more – there are so many people around you that are strong too. You don’t always have to be the hero. Sometimes it’s okay to let yourself be saved, to fall into someone’s arms. You can’t be everything for yourself, as much as you want to. Some things have to come from somewhere else; some things you have to let in. Take this month and think about what it means to you to be whole, and then think about what it means that you are whole. Even if you feel you’re missing crucial bits of yourself, even if you feel like you can’t be whole because you feel weak, small, empty, listen: you are whole. You are whole even when you aren’t enough for yourself, and you have to learn to acknowledge that. Let help find you; let yourself be weak. It’s alright.

BELIEVE IN THE SKY: APRIL (1D EDITION)

Hello, lovebugs. I am so sorry this is late, I am so sorry! I love you all a lot. I have been dealing with some personal stuff that is at least in part related to how terrible the month of March was for most of us, and like, that’s not an excuse, but I am sorry and I hope we are all still friends.

I had planned to do a One Direction-themed tarot column during our 1D week, but as many of you remember, everything went to hell in a handcart and a lot of stuff didn’t end up happening. And then stuff kept not happening, and here we are and it’s April and you don’t have any horoscopes. So guess what is happening! Yes, yes, yes. It’s time for BELIEVE IN THE SKY: ONE DIRECTION 2015. We’re only nine days in, and I’m hoping that the rest of this month will be beautiful and filled with song and light and no one will hurt you or leave you or otherwise make it difficult for you to focus on what’s important. This is my weird benediction to you, my darlings, please forgive me and stay with me and I promise we won’t be late again.

1dhor

PLAYLIST

Art for witchsong horoscopes is done by the beautiful and talented Briana Finegan of advicecollage.tumblr.com, and her work is available for purchase at Society6.

Aries: Spaces

HEY ARIES. IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY. You know what that means, right? Survival. Complete and total victory again, yet again, as our beloved JD says. You have stayed on this gigantic spinning rock for another year, and you have done so against incredible odds. I am proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself. Listen: my specific advice to you this month is this. Let something beyond fire guide you, at least at first. Don’t lead with anger, don’t be so quick to judge, to turn and walk away. You are so often smoldering, ready to flash into something that will burn, but a lot of times that is irrevocable. There is a difference between a controlled burn and a wildfire, and I want you to think about that this month. There are some bridges you want burned, but just – just make sure before you burn them, is what I’m saying. Don’t be the first to walk away unless you mean it. If you burn, burn slowly, burn true, burn clean.

Taurus: Strong

You are such an enigma, Taurus. You are the strong and silent type, you are the steadfast warm and able guy. You are so often a rock for others, and sometimes it comes at the expense of your own stability. This month I want you to think about boundaries, about what you give away and what you keep. I am not at all saying that you should stop being there for those you love – that is one of the best things about you, Taurus, and I would never ask you to change that part of yourself. What I am asking is that you consider some balance, some equilibrium. You thrive on being able to support the ones who need you, but there is a point past which it becomes a drain on you, no matter how much you want to pretend it doesn’t. There are more constructive ways for you to be strong, and one of those is this: to lean on one another, so that both of you are both being held and holding each other up. You give so much to those who love you, and you don’t see how desperately they want to give back to you. Let them make you strong.

Gemini: She’s Not Afraid

So many things are flowering right now, Gemini, and you are one of them. I know you feel all wrong right now, crumpled up and confined, elbows in your sides and everything seems so dark somehow, but it’s because you’re a bud. There is nothing wrong with this close darkness – sometimes the things you think are confining you are simply waiting for you to be ready. Reach out, this month, start to unfold yourself. Press against those walls as hard as you feel like, or not at all – if you’re not ready it’s okay. The season is long, and it’s going to be warm for so many days. You have as much time as you need, and that’s what I want you to remember. Whenever you do decide to start flexing, wiggling, getting ready to unfurl out of the place you’ve been in for so long, the sun will be out. The world will welcome you with open arms. Don’t be afraid.

Cancer: What Makes You Beautiful

You have such love in you, such a nurturing grace, a kind of lifegiving energy. You are maternal, and what I mean when I say that is that you care for everything, people and animals and whatever else, as if they were your own flesh and blood. You defend them with teeth and claws, you lick their wounds, you get up at two in the morning to feed them. You are as close to God as a person can get, Cancer, in terms of unconditional love. Your heart is so big and so brave and so eternally ready to give, overflowing, never ending. The thing is, though, is that you don’t always realize that the street runs two ways. Listen: you are worthy of as much love as you give away if not more, and it is in your interest sometimes to demand it, and to walk away when it’s not given to you. There is so much out there that deserves your love that will return it.

Leo: Something Great

So many things are about to start happening for you. You are at the top of a roller coaster, teetering breathless, in the moment before the plunge forward. You are in the moment before everything begins. This is the time where the work happens, and I know you are frazzled and scared, but let me tell you that you are more than capable of doing what you need to. You have so much light in you, such a quiet reserve of strength. Imagine, okay, that you are squeezing forward through a very tight space. It seems eternal, and it seems impossible, but know this: beyond this painful, narrow point there is an expansion so wide and so sudden that your heart will not quite believe it at first. Keep squeezing forward, keep believing in yourself. The reward will be beautiful beyond anything you’ve dreamed.

Virgo: Don’t Forget Where You Belong

I know you value stability, and peace, and I know that you feel like you have neither of those things right now. Everything is changing all the time, and there is so little to hold on to, it seems. This month is the time for taking stock of the things in your life that haven’t changed, the things you can count on. I promise that they are there – all you need to do is look for them. It is so hard, to disengage yourself from this panic, this feeling like the floor will never stop dropping out from under you, but for your own sake I need you to try. Take a little inventory of your life, of the people and things you feel are constant, and realize that there are more of them than you thought. Hold on to those things with all your might, and know that you are safe and loved and that no matter what changes there are some things that never will.

Libra: Nobody Compares

Your sign is so often associated with justice, Libra. The scales. This is tired, but it’s not necessarily untrue, and it might behoove you this month to take it a little more into consideration. What I’m saying is that you are something of a leader, a beacon, a person that people take cues from, whether you like it or not. You are strong and compelling and bold, and these things make people want to listen to you. I’m not saying you have to get on that platform and end the evils of the world, but I am saying that it is worth remembering. Your action, or inaction, in any given situation, is more of a model than you realize. This month, think about what you are saying-without-saying, what you are endorsing, what you stand for. It is worth it to be very sure of these things, to know for certain what you value, what you are made of, what you represent, what you will go to battle for.

Scorpio: Rock Me

When the weight of things seems insurmountable it is so tempting to simply stop, to give up, to let yourself be crushed under everything that faces you. You are smarter than that, though, and quicker and fiercer and more dangerous, and I don’t want you to forget that. You are such a force, even when you feel less-than, even when you feel like you are weak. You are, like, baseline incredibly strong, and you’re so used to that that when you feel the slightest bit weaker than usual, the slightest bit powerless, you assume that things are much worse than they are. But listen! Even weak, a scorpion can kill and eat something. You have so much in your arsenal and all you have to do is remember that it is there. Your perception of what is stopping you is so much greater than your perception of yourself, and I want you to try very hard this month to reverse that, to get closer to the truth. To remember how strong you are.

Sagittarius: Save You Tonight

Don’t burn out. Remember that you are just one person, and that the world is very large. There is no shame in asking for help, in being a person that needs help. There is no shame in wishing, however briefly, that you were a child again, tucked in with the night-light on and a bright shining future stretching before you. What I want you to try and think about this month is that you are still that child, even now, even as you try to save the world. It is not weakness to feel alone, and to want someone to take care of you. It is human, and it is something that you need to allow yourself. Even the greatest superheroes have sidekicks; even they need to be saved sometimes. Try to ask for help this month, whenever you need it, and try as hard as you can to remember that you deserve it. It’s okay.

Capricorn: Little Black Dress

At your core, Capricorn, you are a very cold fire. I mean this in the best way, in a way I am envious of. You are so controlled, so very cool. If Capricorn were at Hogwarts it would be a Slytherin, and I love Slytherin. What I am saying is that you know what you want and you do what you need to in order to get it. There is very little room for unnecessary emotion with you, which can be a great strength but can also be a weakness. This month I want you to think about how much you’re letting yourself feel, if that makes sense. Whether you are holding yourself back from some emotion, something inside of you. You have the capacity for unflinching honesty and I want you to direct that at yourself, at your feelings, at what you feel is necessary. I want you to think about the idea that letting yourself feel things is not always a weakness.

Aquarius: Alive

You are perhaps the most adaptable, mentally, of all of the Zodiac signs, and what I mean when I say that is that it takes very little to acclimate you to new ideas, new things. This month will test the limits of that incredible elastic patience of yours, and I want to tell you this now – it is okay if there are things you can’t handle. It is okay if there is something you can’t adjust to right away, or even at all. Your flexibility often reaches a point where it feels expected, roll with the punches, take it easy, but that is not something that is required of you. It is not all that you are, and you will know in your core when it feels dishonest and this month I want you to try and be aware of that. There are things a person cannot take, whether they are small or large, and it is not your job to take them anyway. You are allowed your breaking point, and what’s more, you are allowed many points before that point. Listen to yourself, and trust yourself.

Pisces: Stand Up

You are so much braver, so much more capable of bravery, than you give yourself credit for. This month I want you to think about all of the things you have done in your life, how far you have come, the person that you have grown into. You didn’t get here by being weak, no matter how much you consider yourself that way. You have fought to be where you are, and you have earned it, and because of that it is reasonable and valid when you feel fear. You are not some cowering thing afraid of everything life throws at you, and because of that when you are scared you need to take yourself seriously. Don’t dismiss yourself, your feelings, your trepidation. Value yourself and what you have already accomplished enough to trust what you feel, and to work through it as you have done so many times before. Don’t belittle yourself; accept your emotions as they are and know that they are true and real and part of you, and that they will pass and you will remain.