By Brandon Alter:
The good news is that Eclipse Season is officially over.
This second Cancer New Moon that occurs on the morning of July 20th serves as an official period to mark the end of a particularly turbulent emotional sentence. The bad news is that the Astrology of 2020 is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’ve been trying to race to the finish line, you’re going to burn out before you get there. And while the Astrology of 2021 is gentler and sweeter by far, we can’t just close our eyes and white knuckle it through the rest of the year, because the future is written in the present.
We must engage with where we are right now if we wish to be present for a better tomorrow.
By now, I think it’s fair to claim that we are in survival mode and that our health and safety should be the primary focus. Survival mode is bare bones, lean, moment to moment. It requires all of ourselves. Whether or not you have admitted it to yourself, a global pandemic (especially of these proportions) plunges all of us in the deep end of the survival mode pool. So if you’re pretending that it’s still business as usual, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Because survival mode is a full-time job, it begs of us direct and immediate access to our instincts and our intuition; and reconnection to our intuition is exactly what Cancer Season has been trying to do for us. Through our sensitivity to our emotions, we can begin to touch the subtler messages of our own inner knowing.
In a time when there’s so much misinformation and contrary behavior, your deepest inner wisdom is always your best bet.
I don’t care what the CDC or your governor says, if the thought of going out into the world puts a pit in your stomach, listen to that. If it doesn't feel safe in your bones, it doesn't matter what other people are saying. Your body is the most psychic instrument you have, and ignoring its wisdom goes against the evolutionary genius that brought us humans to where we are today.
Learn to listen to your gut, and then trust it above all else.
It’s rare that we get two new moons in Cancer in a row. And it's significant because Cancer is the sign that answers to the moon most directly. This amplifies the energy around a need for an emotional reset. Especially after such an intense Eclipse Season, I think we could all use an emotional hot stone massage. Note that the specific nature of this new moon could feel slightly oppressive to your internal state as it opposes Saturn, the planet of restriction. But ultimately, it wants you to take full responsibility for how you take care of yourself. Basically, it wants you to focus on just the next step you can take. Throw aside your grand plans, your goals for five years from now—what can you do today to feel better? And tackle tomorrow when it arrives. This is a practical, nuts-and-bolts new moon. It's about honoring your needs on a moment-to-moment basis and not sacrificing your immediate desires for a lofty future goal. All we have is now, so we best work with the now we've got.
The key is to make sure that external forces aren’t pressuring you to make choices you’re not in full agreement with. This is exactly why we must be listening to our deepest selves for guidance. This is not only tied in to the greater personal transformation we’ve all been moving through this year, but also on the collective level. This New Moon, like most of the Astrology of 2020 so far, will continue to illuminate the patriarchal structures that have been standing in the way of important change. And it is change that can come in the form of loving, emotionally charged ideals. This new moon is the time, more than ever, for us all to allow the Divine Feminine to take the reins! It’s a good one for meditation and spell work too. Above all, it's a moon that wants to restore our capacity to love.
Love is the ultimate healer and weapon. Love is not useless or weak, it is in fact the most potent force in the world.
The other cosmic bright spot is that Mercury completed its latest retrograde last week. The headline of this retrograde is that you must know the past to fully understand the present. So, with this shift forward, it’s time to get your mind back on track. It’s best to consider the lessons that Mercury wanted for you during its time in Cancer. Remember that Cancer is all about nurturing; it’s about connecting to your emotional body. So, when Mercury goes through there, it’s a meeting of the heart and the mind. Your thoughts can be easily clouded by your emotions. Hopefully the rest of this month will offer you a little more clarity, where the heart and the mind can work together instead of being at odds with each other.
Leo Season charges in on July 22nd. This is the time for creativity and play to take hold. But with that can come a roar for attention. Be careful of who or what you decide to give your attention to. Try to gear your mind and heart toward the lighter side of life, as best you can. Your strength will also come into greater demand during this season. But you will feel more capable of calling it forth, as needed. Again, just remember to find more moments of levity at this time.
The number one thing to avoid during this season is ego, and not just the negative side of your own.
Everyone will be feeling really important, so let them. Just don’t let it get in the way of doing what you need to do to be your most joyful, hopeful self. You should let yourself get excited for what is possible.
We are also offering our very first Astrology course called CHART + SOUL: The Magic of Astrology,beginning
August 5th and running for eleven weeks. This class is designed to give you a practical understanding of how to read your birth chart and feel empowered to use it. Over the course of eleven weeks, we will cover all twelve signs of the Zodiac, the planets themselves, how they aspect one another, and the twelve houses that set the stage for all this energy to play out. You'll leave feeling confident to begin to interpret your own chart, and maybe even your friends' charts, too! Registration is now open, and it's going to be a great deal of fun. This course is designed to satisfy both beginners (who literally know nothing about Astrology) and still be challenging to intermediate astrologers who are ready to take their practice to the next level. In addition to the live classes, you'll also receive extensive original notes and access to our Astrology Webinars and Breathwork Circles. We are thinking of this course as a virtual sanctuary to empower and support all the seekers who are feeling the weight of these times—so please don't hesitate to join the beautiful group that's assembling.
Considering the auspicious nature of two New Moons in Cancer in a row, once again I felt compelled to pull cards that align with your MOON SIGN, not your sun or rising.
If you don’t know your MOON SIGN, it’s a quick Google search away. If we consider the SUN SIGN our outer compass, the MOON SIGN is the inner compass. The sign in which the moon sat during your birth informs the method through which your needs get met, how your self-care can be most effective, and (most interestingly) the way your personal magic wants to express.
PS: I’m still here giving readings and supporting healings, so if you are feeling in need of a little extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out! And ya’ll know we have a podcast, riiiight? In fact, our little podcast just turned two years old! But don't worry, we are not losing steam; in fact, we are working harder than ever to make The Spiritual Gayz podcast not just entertaining but uplifting, empowering, and hopefully nourishing to your spirit. You’ll find it wherever you get your podcast fix: iTunes, Spotify, the works!
Knight of Cups (Reversed)
Just because you're the deepest feeler in the Zodiac doesn't mean you have to be at the whim of your emotions all the time. You'll notice the Knight of Cups stands on the banks of the river, symbolizing the ability to observe the river of the heart without getting swept away by it. Our emotions are a language that our inner being uses to communicate to us the deeper truth of our existence—but not every sentence is literary gold. Some emotions are just old wounds being triggered. Some emotions are just reactions to the assholes on the street who don't wear masks. Not every emotion needs to be enacted; some (most) just need to be observed.
The invitation this moonth is to be able to hold space for your bottomless emotional capacity without losing yourself in the depths of your depths. Talk about your feelings to yourself, out loud, like you are the narrator of the movie of your life. It may be difficult to remain objective when there are so many triggers, but that's the nature of this obstacle course. You can't practice not getting swept up in your feels if there aren't any feels to begin with. Remember, emotions are transitory, they pass. Be calm, cool, and considerate and let the storm pass.
Queen of Cups
The Queen of Cups is a figure of mystery and transformation. I always imagine her sitting on the ocean floor, hanging out with all those deep-sea creatures who almost feel mythical in nature. She represents our ability to dive deeply into our own inner strangeness and allow it to reconfigure into a new sense of ourselves. She is deeply psychic and almost otherworldly. In fact, it is this very card, the Queen of Cups, that is the only Tarot card I have ever lost in my decades as a reader; and only two years later did she reemerge inside another deck I rarely use. She walks between worlds, is more there than here. This can be thrilling but also challenging because the Queen of Cups is all experience, what she lacks are words.
The invitation this moonth is to allow yourself to marinate in the slow inner changes that have been happening for some time. Let yourself be a stranger to yourself. Don't try to understand what is going on with you, trust that it is a necessary part of your evolution and lean all the way into the mystery of it. When you're on the other side of it you can write a book about it, or a least a blog post. But for now, live the ever-growing mystery that is you. You are transforming on a deep soul level, enjoy it—this sort of adventure doesn't happen every day.
Three of Wands
Virgo Moons have the heart of a healer; they can analyze, assess, and ultimately realign the world around them. But sometimes they can get easily mired in the nitty gritty of being alive. There's an impulse of perfectionism around their inner world that can create an environment of anxiety and self-criticism. The Three of Wands invites a true visionary quality to emerge in the Virgo Moon. It's a card that acts as a portal to our psychic gifts and ability to see the big picture around who we are and why we are here. If you're here to heal the world, does it really matter that your hair is a mess? No gurl, it doesn't. Let yourself be reminded of your bigger vision for your life this moonth; it will serve as medicine when you start to be unnecessarily hard on yourself.
Your work this moonth is to pay more attention to the invisible world than the easily graspable material one. There are powerful visions awaiting you, but they can't be accessed through control or discipline. The realms that call you to their attention can only be accessed by letting go. Let yourself live as if in a dream this moonth. Be gentle with yourself and see if you can move like water, flowing in the liminal space between dreams and reality. Is there really a difference between them, after all?
The Empress is a natural fit for a Libra Moon, they are both ruled by Venus/Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, connection, and perfection. While the Libra Moon can be prone to people-pleasing and taking care of others as a means of taking care of themselves, this card would call forth a more selfish manner of living—at least for the next month. Spoil yourself. Splurge. Remember, luxury isn't about how much you spend, it's about how much you enjoy yourself. No matter where you are, there are sunrises and sunsets, there are breezes and cool earth and the lavish pleasures of your body. Give over to the sheer simple joy of being alive in the world.
The invitation this moonth is to lean into passion and pleasure. Do you really know what gets you hot? Do you really know what lights you up like a Christmas Tree? This moonth is a laboratory to experiment with what brings you joy. Life is only worth living if you actually want to be alive. So take these next few weeks and explore your innate passions for living. Apologize to no one. Let your authenticity reveal itself to you, pleasure by pleasure, and you'll be living it in no time.
Seven of Swords
The Seven of Swords is when you get to step into your power as the ultimate truth teller. But that doesn't mean you get to read everyone for filth—it actually means you have to read yourself like the library never closes. Don't mistake it for a card of absolute purity. It only knows the truth because it has a deep understanding of its capacity to lie, to self-deceive, and ultimately to self-sabotage. This moonth is all about getting free of your own inner mental labyrinth. What would the truth of your life be if you weren't too scared to admit it? What if you could stop lying to yourself and immediately live the truth? Well, guess what, you can! This is a card that asks us to bring our lies into the light so that we can be free of them.
This moonth is a great time to start questioning everything you think. I don't mean to second guess yourself at every turn, that would be exhausting. But just keep your heart open to where you might be continuing to lie to yourself about what the truth really is. Lies tend to be complicated and convenient. So if you're really wondering what the truth feels like, it's direct and it's often uncomfortable—most often the truth is inconvenient. But your willingness to enter into its inconvenience will change your life for the better.
Nine of Pentacles
The Nine of Pentacles is a moment in your life when you really understand your worth; not as an intellectual idea, not as a resume or a list of accomplishments—you understand your worth because you feel it in your bones. The Sagittarius Moon is always seeking something: knowledge, excitement, truth, drama. It never rests. But when did you allow yourself a moment to receive your progress? Sometimes the seeking distracts us from the very thing we are seeking in the first place. You don't have to do anything to be worthy of respect and love. You don't have to earn your life—you can simply enjoy it.
Your work this moonth is to be your own best cheerleader. You don't need to learn new skills to love yourself harder, you just need to sit with yourself, hands on your heart, and feel the unconditional love your heart has for you. When you are connected to this felt sense of how valuable you are, based on your authenticity and your very beingness, the world around you will rearrange to reflect your worth back to you. You don't have to prove yourself, you just have to accept yourself for dreams to come true.
King of Swords (Reversed)
The King of Swords is the archetypal teacher of the deck. This is a card that is an authority on wisdom and shares the truth through speaking and writing. But just because you're wise AF doesn't mean you need to be on the clock all the time. In fact, sometimes our inner need to teach others distracts us from receiving our own more subtle teachings. The time has come for you to teach yourself. Take a month off from being responsible for the learning of others and make sure that you are giving yourself the opportunity to keep your own learning going. Your inner sage is happy to be sharing its gifts with the world, it just wants to make sure you're getting the medicine too.
This moonth is a really great time to ensure that you are the first person you ask for advice. For the moment, you don't need to read any more books, take any more classes, or research any new projects. Be your own teacher and leader. Listen inward and take your own advice. Imagine you were your own student, how would you guide yourself, how would you schedule yourself? If you're really struggling with certain aspects of your life, write yourself a letter that would advise you as if you were someone else. You will be astounded at how effective you can be at leading yourself forward.
The High Priestess
The Aquarius Moon can be one cool customer. Naturally aloof, objective, and able to give great advice—they hover above the scene as opposed to putting themselves firmly in it. In this way they are well positioned to receive intuitive insight based on their inherent neutrality. However, the Aquarius Moon has a tendency to use the cleverness of their heart as opposed to the crazy logic of it. The High Priestess invites us to enter into the realms of mystery and magic that our intellect can't always comprehend. If we are always looking for reason, we will miss out on the truth that unexplainable
synchronicity and vision can provide.
Lean into your inner psychic gifts this moonth, even if you don't think you have them—ESPECIALLY if you don't think you have them. Everyone has access to the High Priestess, everyone has the capacity to reach into nothingness and pull out a message. But for some reason, the High Priestess has chosen you to tend her temple this moonth. Trust your dreams and your intuitions, leave your analyzing and understanding on the shelf. There are mysteries waiting for you to experience them, but you won't necessarily be able to comprehend them; that's ok, take the ride anyway.
King of Cups
Everyone is an empath. Everyone is a healer. Everyone is highly sensitive. But that doesn't mean that everyone experiences these truths about themselves. It can take time and effort to peel back all the layers of protections that numb us to the truth of who and what we are. But the truth is that you are a powerful healer and that your life wants you to be holding space for others. So get your ego out of it, it's not about you—it's being asked of you. Claim it. Healers are connected to the divinity within themselves, and as a result can help reconnect others to the divinity within themselves. In the same way that our skin regenerates and our bones mend, our heart and spirit can heal too when planted in the soil of unconditional love and divine magic.
This moonth is time to heed the call of your heart and step up to be a force for healing in the world. Now, that doesn't mean that everyone you meet is your client. Healers need boundaries too. But begin to observe your life with this question in mind: what am I being asked to heal in this moment? You might find that your work, your relationships, even your passions are conspiring to help you make a better world through your ability to intuitively bring love and alignment into everything you touch.
Ten of Pentacles
Manifestation is greatly misunderstood at this time in our collective evolution. The story of manifestation as it's understood by the general public is that you can create anything you want if you just think about it hard enough. It makes it seem as if magic is in our ability to direct our will. But I know plenty of people who strain their brain to cast a spell, and still the outcome is unchanged. Manifestation is about understanding that everything you want already exists. You don't have to do anything but allow it to come to you. You have to clear the way for your magical resources to find you. All that effort and will can block what you want as it valiantly tries to make it through the boundary of your desire. Desperation blocks blessings, trust allows them clear passage.
The Ten of Pentacles is a moment in your evolution when you can trust the abundance of your life as it is. From this place of gratitude, the bounty keeps on coming. We get so caught up in the physical and the material that we forget all things begin in the dark void of creation first. If we are separated from that generative force, our will can't bring us anything but a headache. Think of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat; the rabbit was always there, the magician just needed to reach into the fecundity of the void to perceive it.
Eight of Pentacles
The Eight of Pentacles is an evolution of your work in the world. Where we don't evolve, we get left behind. As we grow, learn, and change, our work and techniques shift, too. This moonth may be a gigantic leap forward for you in how you perceive your career. There's a sense that the best thing you can do for yourself this moonth is throw yourself into your work with abandon. But don't misunderstand me here, your real work may have nothing to do with what you do for money. I'm talking about the work your soul came here to do. Our soul's purpose is rarely the position we hold within the company, rather it shapeshifts to accommodate all the different ways we interact with the world.
This moonth is an opportunity to meditate on what you really want to do with your life. Now is an especially potent time to strip your desire of its external trappings. What is it you really love about your work, or conversely, what is it that you can't stand? You have the power to live a life of purpose and fulfillment but not without getting a clear sense of the marrow of your work. You might even think about your legacy, what is it you wish to leave behind. That may help you get on the scent of where your life is trying to lead you.
Two of Cups
You're falling in love with yourself in a whole new way. Forget the dating apps, you're in a full-blown relationship with yourself, and it's gorgeous. The Two of Cups is a moment that allows us to partner more fully with ourselves and draw from the edges of our being. Where you were once compartmentalized, you are now finding yourself more integrated. There are parts of yourself that have wanted to be expressed for so long, and you're finally drawing from the courage required to let them live your life. Once we understand how many different energies compose the singular human being, we can begin to let our paradoxical essences out to play.
Use this moonth to play with yourself, to dance with your light and dark, your masculine and feminine, your foolish child and your wise elder. Give yourself permission to walk two roads at once, to fall apart on the bathroom floor in the morning and dance yourself in ecstasy later in the afternoon. No one said being a human being had to make sense, so give over to the messy bliss of being alive. Seek out all the strangers in your heart who are also you and let them dance too, let them cry too. Let them all have your unconditional love. Above all, love yourself every second of every day, because without your own love you are truly lost.
BRANDON ALTER is a Shamanic healer, Tarot reader, teacher, mystic and writer living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about sharing spiritual tools that have helped him reconnect to the wisdom of his heart. Brandon is a thoroughly trained healer, astrologer and yoga teacher who co-hosts The Spiritual Gayz with his husband, a twice-monthly podcast dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality, without pretending that it all makes sense. Brandon’s mom took him to his very first psychic when he was seven and gave him his first Tarot deck when he was eleven. Since then he has devoted himself to the study of Tarot, Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Astrology and Shamanic Skills.