August Tarotscopes with Brandon Alter

By Brandon Alter:

Let's talk about Sunday's New Moon in Leo, because she's a banger, and if you're tired of hitting your head against the wall, it can help you find a new path toward freedom. It’s time to shine. That’s what Leo Season wants out of all of us. After a month of deep lunar feels courtesy of Cancer Season, the Sun now sings supreme. Time to get out of the pool, dry off, and have a dance party. You see, Leo is the sign in which the Sun feels most at home. And so, in Leo Season we must explore our own Sun and learn how it wants to be expressed.

Every sign has its signature. The Leo Sun sparkles with drama, the Taurus Sun radiates stability and security, the Scorpio Sun is a shadow sun that vibrates with intensity. Learning how your Sun wants to shine is one of the key factors of living your chart. The time is now to explore, accept, and then express your unique Sun Sign signature.

No two Suns are exactly the same. Some are conjunct Mercury, others oppose Pluto; some square Saturn or trine Jupiter; some stand alone. The infinite combinations of Sun + Sign + House + Aspects make the Sun in your chart a unique expression of your soul. We must relearn our soul’s essence if we wish to be the most authentic version of ourselves in the world.

You see, the thing about identity is that it isn’t fixed. Our identities are fluid, they change over time. If we don’t keep checking in with who we are, we might find that we are just regurgitating an old version that is truly no longer alive. The New Moon in Leo offers us a chance to truly put ourselves first and re-discover who we actually are. Maybe being an Aquarius Sun isn't what you thought it was in your twenties. Maybe the stability your Capricorn Sun wants is less about career and more about inner peace. Time to let your Sun re-introduce itself to you. After all, you've been through a lot—and guess what, your sun has, too.

I was reading this very far-out-there book about alien abductions recently (what do you want from me? I’m an Aquarius Sun!), and one of the abductees shared that the way she fended off the aliens’ attempts to control her was to “make her own sound.” Literally. She claimed she had a sound inside herself, a singular tone, that since childhood she’d been able to resonate within herself. She made this sound, and it essentially asserted her agency with the aliens and forced them to back off. I mention this because the idea of one’s own sound resonates beautifully with the invitation of Leo Season.

What is your unique sound? What is your soul’s song? Can the Sun in your birth chart help you understand your true nature more clearly? These are the explorations of the moment. And if it sounds selfish or self-indulgent, good! Ego isn’t the enemy; it’s to be partnered with wisely. Leos have a reputation for making it all about them, but there’s a time and a place for that. Frankly, a healthy ego is a requirement for authenticity. Without a strong sense of ourselves, boundaries blur. And while we are all inextricably connected to one another and this planet, we are also wholly unique.

Consider the cells in your body. Isn’t it a good thing that they have independence and autonomy? Isn’t it good that the cells of your liver don’t blend with the cells of your blood? Isn’t it vital that our brain cells stay separate from our nerve cells? Without some ego, some sense of sovereignty and separation, we would just be one big soup. And while I love soup, I don't want to be it!

Now the shadow of all this Leo energy is not a secret. Self-absorption and self-aggrandizement are rampant in our world, and we keep seeing them play out in politics and The Real Housewives alike. Balance is key. We cannot lose ourselves in other people, but we also can’t forget our place in the larger family of beings. A healthy ego respects the egos of others. It doesn't assert its dominance over but rather empowers others to do the same. Think of Leo icon Jennifer Lopez: doesn't she inspire you to demand more from life? To radiate more brightly, to not take no for an answer? I know she inspires the hell out of me!

Leo energy is heart energy, the heat of love, the courageous fire that burns within and refuses to be extinguished. When Leo energy is high-vibe, it commands attention; when it's low-vibe, it demands it. But maybe Leos aren't so much drama queens as they are super-sized feelers. Life feels big to them, and so they have no other way to express it. Especially now, when the world feels like it's closing in, Leo energy can help us expand our sense of self and our place in the cosmos.

Leo is the Sun, which is a star, a star that shines brightly AF. It lights up a whole solar system, organizes it, keeps it swirling. But it’s just one star. The opposite sign of Leo, Aquarius, is represented by the starry night sky—constellations of stars and galaxies. Meditating on one star in a constellation helps me understand this dynamic more clearly. We must shine in the ways that only we can, but not without realizing we live among other shining stars. And together, our stars in sequence create cosmic pictures, tell celestial stories, mystic stories, legends about our lives throughout history.

The Zodiac only exists because all the stars shine. Without the Sun, the visible planets, we wouldn’t have Astrology. So this is not the time to diminish your light. But it’s also not the time to shine more brightly than is honest. Each of us has a unique star signature; this Leo Season, figure out how your soul wants to sign your name—and then write it in the sky!

Your Tarotscopes are meant to help you make the most of the New Moon.

They are heart-centered spells that resonate for your month ahead.

This month, start by reading for your Sun Sign.

If you're hungry for more, feel free to read for your Rising and Moon Signs.


Nine of Swords (Reversed)

The essence of Leo, the Cosmic Lion, is courage. The Nine of Swords shows us someone in the throws of fear, wide awake and anxious in the wee hours of the morning. But the fact that this card came in upside down suggests that the Leo Sun knows how to hold fear back, how to keep it at bay. Perhaps this is the true definition of bravery: not the absence of fear but rather moving forward in spite of it.

Maybe there's even a wisdom in fear, if we let it guide us. Instead of moving through the world in a way that avoids the things we are scared of, what if we made decisions based on the opposite? Could fear be a divining rod that leads us in the direction of our density!?

Spend these next few weeks doing the very thing that scares you. Let fear teach you, compel you, speed you along.


Eight of Cups (Reversed)

The essence of Virgo, the Celestial Healer, is being of service. The Virgo Sun shines healing wherever it goes, it can’t help it. And healing happens in layers. It's a curious, non-linear process that forces us to trust what we feel, not what we know. The Eight of Cups shows a figure walking away from the eight vessels it once cherished dearly. This card suggests that your heart has evolved, the things that you once relied on are no longer of value to you.

Healing does that to us. It changes us and forces us out into the world seeking new avenues of satisfaction. The upside-down quality of the card suggests you may be resistant to walking away. Maybe you’re overidentified with what’s wounded in you instead of what’s healed. Maybe you got used to being wounded and moving in artificial ways that kept your tender spots safely hidden.

The reason why we must abandon these perfectly good cups is because they no longer quench our thirst, no matter how beautiful and unbroken they may be. Sometimes we walk away because we feel in our heart the time has come to move on—it’s as simple as that.


Knight of Swords

The essence of Libra, the Cosmic Peacekeeper, is balance. Libra energy knows how to equalize and restabilize, it can play devil’s advocate easily because it really can see an issue from all sides. Perhaps that’s why the Knight of Swords is here for you this month. The Knight of Swords gives us permission to change our minds, especially when we start to feel rigid, dogmatic, and overly positional.

Think about what you wanted to be when you grew up. Aren’t you glad you changed your mind? Or else we’d all be astronauts or tennis players or presidents. Just because you used to believe something was true doesn't mean you’re held hostage to it. Go ahead, change your mind.

Think of this energy as a great benevolent tornado that sweeps your mind clear of anything that feels wooden and antiquated. Most importantly, let it sweep away those old limiting beliefs you have about yourself.


King of Cups (Reversed)

The essence of Scorpio, the Celestial Detective, is discovery. Scorpio energy wants to dig deep and won't rest until it's unearthed the depths of the depths. It’s interested in exploring relationships and intimate exchange. Often this energy wants to expose what’s hidden and bring light to dark places. The King of Cups, as the healer of the Tarot, shares resonance with this sign. Both are comfortable holding space for the pain, shame, and the trauma of others. Both are hard to scare.

Since this card came in upside down, however, the invitation would be to set boundaries this month. Be careful of playing the healer for others when it’s you who really needs the healing. Just because we are good at counseling and comforting others doesn't mean it can replace our own self care.

Sometimes we just need to say no. Not because we don’t want to but because we just don’t have it to give. Give to yourself this month. Give abundantly.