By Brandon Alter:
The Last New Moon of 2020 is an Eclipse (Because of course it is!)
I truly believe, in my deepest heart, that everything always happens for our benefit. We live in a compassionate cosmos. Sometimes this is hard for us to conceive because so many of the world's dominant religions depict the godhead as elitist and selective, punitive, punishing, even vengeful—but that’s some old whiteman shit. If we can isolate the divine from the context of heterosexual white supremacy, we might get a different taste of divinity. Perhaps then we can begin to trust that all living things are being cared for by an invisible force. So, if this is true, if we are truly being taken care of at all times (even if we can’t understand how or why), then what the fuck was the point of this year?
Why did 2020 have to happen?
2020 had to happen for so many reasons. There are a slew of answers to this important question—personal answers, collective answers—and I invite you to spend some time marinating in all of it. So far we have managed to survive the perfect storm of pandemic, social injustice, inept leadership, rampant corruption, and crumbling systems of bureaucratic infrastructure (I'm sure I missed a few, but that's a good start). Above and beyond any other answer that may come through, I think 2020 has been trying to prepare us to start over. Starting over doesn't mean you failed, it means you've grown. And here we sit, on the precipice of the last New Moon of the year, and we can feel in the marrow of our bones how changed we’ve become, how ready for a new beginning we are.
The general Astrological theme of this year was about dismantling the old, the stale, the tired, and the false. We did pretty good with that. This is not to suggest the task is completed (not by a long shot), but we’ve torn down enough patriarchal ruins that there's a clearing in which we can tenderly begin to build something new. Beginnings are hidden in endings. As a society, we tend to forget that. We obsess on the end of things. How many books and movies and TV shows have been created about "the end of the world"? We fascinate on the end of relationships, the end of careers—I mean isn’t that what cancel culture is all about?
It almost seems like our current civilization is addicted to endings. And while there's nothing inherently wrong with being mesmerized by terminations, it blinds us from being able to see the other polarity of this complex spectrum. I'm talking about beginnings. Endings beget beginnings. Once we’ve buried an old dream, an old job, and old story for our lives, we are available for the new, the fresh, the clean. Monday’s New Moon/Solar Eclipse in Gemini is both a period at the end of a very long chapter and the intake of breath that begins a new one.
Solar Eclipses are known for their intensity and their almost cruel indifference to the firmly entrenched patterns of our life. They are arbiters of endings, great change, and sometimes chaos. They take away, they clear out, they eliminate, but that’s so that your new life can begin. This particular eclipse happens right next to the South Node, a cosmic position that signifies what we are releasing. South Node in Sagittarius is all about letting go the overarching beliefs and “truths” that we have collectively outgrown. Think of the history of art, the progression of styles and techniques. The same is true for philosophy and religion. Not all beliefs age well with time. We are ready to evolve beyond Impressionism and Surrealism—we’re ready for a brand-new style of being. 2020 has been preparing us to simultaneously create and receive it.
At its essence, this year has been a spiritual awakening for everyone, even if you are just coming to realize it. As we wake up to our own numinous self, we are being challenged to question the centuries-old programming we’ve inherited and fiercely let it go. I lovingly think of the South Node as a galactic toilet full of shit we’re ready to flush. The interwoven intricacy of endings and beginnings is poetically expressed in Monday's cosmic ballet. This powerful cosmic portal asks of you this question:
What are you finally ready to release and, more importantly, what are you finally ready to begin?
There's no shortage of juicy Astrology in these last few weeks of 2020. A week after eclipse season fades out, on the very same day the Sun moves into Capricorn, Saturn will meet up with Jupiter—an astrological happening that only occurs every twenty years. If you look up on the night of the 21st, you will literally see them shining right on top of each other. Saturn and Jupiter are the great planetary teachers. Saturn teaches restriction and responsibility, Jupiter teaches expansion and abundance. They have different styles, sure—Saturn utilizes tough love, Jupiter bestows blessings—but their curriculum is the same. Both of these energies are interested in how we can level up. What Jupiter and Saturn have in common is their desire for us to grow.
The Saturn/Jupiter conjunction happens at 0 degrees Aquarius, the gateway of the cosmic air sign known for inventiveness and eccentricity. Jupiter and Saturn's explosive date-night initiates a new cycle around Aquarian themes that will play out for at least the next 20 years, but probably longer. It's a major moment that deserves more exploration than I can provide here, which is exactly why you should join us at The Spiritual Gayz Astro Club. This a place for people who share a love of Astrology to come together in community to learn, grow, and laugh. Astro Club is a monthly gathering dedicated to expanding your knowledge of the cosmos, connecting you with like-minded seekers, and gazing into your individual charts to get a better sense of where the current energy is taking root in your life. Join us here!
Each moonth, we will facilitate a discussion about the energy of the current Zodiac sign and assist you in understanding how to work with it instead of getting worked over by it. We'll also unpack the major transits of the moonth ahead and take a look at the charts for both the New Moon and the Full Moon, providing you ritual suggestions for both. Most of all, we'll all get to commune in a safe space where you can interact with us in real time and get all of your astrology questions answered. For those who can't join us live, a recording of Astro Club will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
Aquarius is the sign that rules over groups, technology, and hope itself. Having Saturn and Jupiter in this sign all year will empower us to connect with others in order to uplift ourselves. In the spirit of Aquarian optimism and healing, consider joining us this Saturday for our last breathwork of 2020. Breathwork is an active meditation that opens up your ability to sense into mystery and magic. The breath reveals blockages within you that are ready to be released. This practice promotes deep connection to your own heart, spirit, and sometimes can even invite profound visions, revelations, and bliss. It’s a big promise, but breathwork always follows through. It’ll be strong medicine for your soul, a safe place to expand your spirit, and the playlist is always lit AF. Sign up here!
Don’t forget to tune into The Spiritual Gayz podcast; this is our twice monthly offering dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality without pretending that it all makes sense. We have tons of episodes on Astrology and Tarot and healing and magic. Our latest episode was a deep dive into eclipses; timely, no? And next week, we can't wait to release an incredible conversation we got to have with Don Kilhefner, LGBTQ activist, community organizer, and co-founder of the Radical Faeries. Don has been on the frontlines of gay liberation for over fifty years, and his wisdom is immense, to say the least! If you’ve been looking to expand your spiritual horizons in a fun, accessible way, look no further! And if you’re already a fan of the podcast, please consider rating us 5-stars or leaving us a glowing review. It seems like no big deal, but these two things can really help us grow our community!
Lastly, as you prepare your holiday gifts with care, consider supporting a small business (i.e., US—The Spiritual Gayz!). Readings make a great gift, they always fit, and we even make up super cute gift certificates you can email or print out! Feel free to email us for more details!
Ok babies, that's all for now. You'll find your Tarotscopes below.
Read for your Sun Sign, and if you're hungry for more guidance, read for your North Node. Don't know where your North Node is? All the more reason to sign up for Astro Club!
Four of Swords
The suit of Swords take us on a journey of self-inquiry. It assists us in understanding who we are and why we operate the way we do. No card in the suit does this more profoundly than the Four of Swords, which invites a deep excavation of your mental foundation. Your thoughts are not random and arbitrary; they have roots that lead deep into your past. Find where they started, and you can uproot them at the source.
Generally speaking, this card signifies a moment when you reflect on the past to gain clarity on how it affected you, negatively and positively. I think of this card as a moment of reprieve; the storm has passed, the pain of the break-up fading. As you safely return to the battlefield of your past, you can sift through the wreckage and find gems, hidden gifts, and insights.
Pema Chödrön says, "Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know." In this context the past is not out to get us, it's out to heal us, to help us, to grow us up and get us unstuck. You're almost ready to kiss your past goodbye, but before it sets sail for oblivion, make sure you learned exactly what it was trying to teach you in the first place. As all this eclipse energy happens in (or next to) the house of your sun, there may be more chaos and illumination than usual. Trust that what you're seeing about yourself and your past is the truth.
Seven of Cups (Reversed)
You are being presented with a bevy of options for your future. Basically, you’re the bachelorette, and there are seven delicious bachelors before you. They all look good, like really, really good. They have nice butts and big arms and every single one of them knows exactly the right words to say. If you could choose them all, you would—but the thing is, you can’t. Because deep down you know that only one of them really speaks to your heart. But how will you pick the right one? How will you see through the slick performances and uncover your one true love?
The Seven of Cups describes precisely these sorts of maddening decisions. It's like trying to go grocery shopping when you're starving—everything looks good and you inevitably buy things that go bad or get hidden in the back of the pantry for years. Learning how to make good choices for the future is a skill, and it's one you're about to practice for the next few weeks.
You see, there are dreams and then there are delusions, and it can be difficult to tell the two apart. Some dreams seem like delusions until you achieve them; some delusions feel like dreams until you’ve been chasing them for decades. Your next chapter depends on your ability to discern one from the other. And only your heart can really see to the clear, bright core of the matter. Don't think about the right choice, feel into it. Which one feels good in your body? Which one makes you feel warm? Forget what looks good on paper, forget the most lucrative path—think like the bachelorette, follow your heart and don't forget your lip gloss.
Seven of Swords
The human mind is amazing. It’s also a maze. When we decide we don’t want to acknowledge something, it’s incredible the lengths we will go to avoid reckoning with the undesirable truth. The Seven of Swords speaks to such a moment, where we use our considerable intellect and cleverness to avoid the proverbial elephant in the room.
What we resist, persists. You can’t outrun the truth forever. Or maybe you can, but what would the point of a life like that be? It’s time to tell the truth on yourself, Aquarius. Turn yourself in for thought crimes and face the punishment. It’s time to stop tip-toeing around that elephant in your living room and start to unravel the reason it’s there in the first place.
Don’t waste any more time in a maze of avoidance and distraction. Stop pretending you’re on path and have the courage to honestly notice just how far you’ve strayed. Maybe you’ve stumbled deep into the woods, that’s fine—it happens to the best of us. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t grind yourself down; that’s just more avoidance and distraction. But maybe, just maybe, you’re not as far off the road as you fear you are. Maybe you’re only huddled on the shoulder on the highway of your destiny. A few right steps and you’ll be straddling the median in no time.
What is Strength, really? It's not about overpowering someone else, that's force. It's not about muscling through difficulties, that's resiliency. Strength is a deeper tenet, a quality of the heart to not just endure but to thrive. Strength calls us to the temple of devotion, it asks us to consider what in our lives is truly worth fighting for. Above all, Strength suggests tapping the courage required to turn away from the crowds of strivers and starlets and consider the true value of a life well lived.
I always think of this card as a yearning in the heart that demands to know what else life has to offer. In some ways, it's a card that signifies a return. After exploring the outer world of fame and fortune, status and success, we walk a winding inward road to rediscover that which we thought all the outer trappings would satisfy. The strength that Strength refers to is a quiet, steady, unrelenting pull to examine the inner motivations of our lives.
You have learned how to hold your mask to cover your true face. You have been told how lovely your mask is, how splendidly it has been crafted. And yet these compliments leave you unsatisfied. And so you turn to Strength as the first step in rediscovering the face behind the mask, your true self. Not everyone knows how to be brave enough to do this, but you do.
The Hanged Man
Surrender might as well be a four letter word. In fact, it almost is; "Fuck it" is the battle cry of surrender. And it's a good one for you this season. You can't force things to happen any faster than they will happen. All you can control is your level of resistance or acceptance. And for you, spicy Aries, it's the latter.
The Hanged Man asks us to be in complete acceptance at all times. It's a card that has deep spiritual connotations, a hanging that promotes bliss and enlightenment as opposed to pain and death. When we let ourselves be taken care of, when we trust in a large plan, we can relax into the river of our days no matter what shows up. Where we attempt to control the uncontrollable, we inevitably end up more bruised and battered than we've been.
Think like water, and flow. Don't go through the obstacles, swim around them. Trust the current. If it's moving fast, take the ride. If it's ambling along, enjoy the lazy river. And simultaneously, as you surrender to the external circumstances of your life, seek out the inner river as well. Which passions, curiosities, and inclinations within yourself need to be allowed and accepted more deeply? There is profound healing in the Hanged Man; when we accept the world around us as it is, we can accept ourselves as we are. Don't fight either river, just say fuck it and flow.
Seven of Pentacles
Time is our most valuable currency. What you spend your time on is the true cost of your life. We don't stop and consider this often enough. More often than not we find ourselves wasting time, frittering days and weeks away over meaningless projects, disingenuous people, and self-defeating personal narratives. But not anymore! The Seven of Pentacles represents a moment where you thoughtfully decide how to plant your time in ways that bloom satisfaction and meaning for your future.
Think of your life like a living altar, all the days of your life arranged on the table. How will you tend the hours and weeks of this next season in a way that feels beautiful and meaningful to you? The way you live your life, every moment of it, is like a ceremony; so only give yourself to the things that light you up. The universe will give us more of what we are already doing. If we want things to change, we have to change them. Then the momentum can work in our favor. Simply put, if you don't like apples, don't tend the apple tree. If you don't want more corporate clients, stop taking them on.
At its essence, this card reminds us that our physical lives are only the part of the iceberg that floats above the surface. The hidden quality of our lives is expressed in how we spend our time and what we pay attention to. Arrange your life in such a way that the numinous is palpable in the very simplest daily activities—this will renew your passion for living and be a continual reminder of those things that you truly deem living for.
It’s not a competition, but I don’t think anyone has been through it more than you lately. The good news is that in order to heal, you have to be wounded. And I think if you took a long, hard look in the mirror, you would notice that you are pretty damn hurt. Or forget the mirror and feel into your heart instead. What is it holding? Where is it ready to let go?
Of all the cards in the Tarot, the Star invites us into the safest space possible. It’s a deus ex machina that literally pulls us out of the fire and sets us safely on the cosmic shore. The only challenging thing about this card is that you can’t really attend to anything else while you’re in it. It’s like trying to take a work call during a hot stone massage. Spend these next few weeks in complete surrender to your own self care. Give yourself permission to explore what makes you feel good. I’m not talking shopping, sex, and cheesecake—I’m suggesting that instead of trying to numb what ails you, courageously investigate how to heal what ails you.
This card is connected to your sign soulmate, Aquarius. Aquarius brings healing because it knows how to step all the way back and see the patterns. Sometimes the most healing thing can be a shifting of perspective, a new context that reframes exactly what it is we are trying to mend. These are the revelations that await you when you Google Earth on your life and spend a few weeks observing yourself from a cosmic cloud.
Queen of Wands
Cancers are known for being emotional beings, they live amongst the waves of feeling like mythical sea creatures riding the currents of feeling into the watery depths. The Queen of Wands is you when you can treat your emotions like gasoline and light them on fire. And what do emotions on fire look like? Sensuality. You have more than just a sensitive heart, don't neglect your body, your skin, your sex.
This court card is known as the witch of the deck, and her witchcraft is seduction, glamour, and spellcasting. There are many types of magic—ritual magic, ceremonial magic, magic that comes from alchemy and intellectual understanding—but the Queen of Wands practices magic that must be lived. Every meal cooked, every bath drawn, even the anointing of perfume, the attachment of a false eyelash, the tying of a shoelace is a spell.
The Queen of Wands is you when you are truly alive in both worlds, the inner and the outer. Think about what you experience when you take a long hike in nature or take in a sunset—there's the outer beauty, yes, but there's also an internal response to all that beauty. The Queen of Wands receives and participates in that exchange between what is seen and what is felt, what is known and what is awakening.
Five of Pentacles
Here's the deal, you're pretty fucking great, and you're also incredibly resourceful, but that doesn't mean you have to do everything all by yourself. There is a moment in all our lives where even if we could be entirely self-reliant there's no benefit in doing so. Asking for help demonstrates self-worth. So often we think that if we seek assistance we are revealing weakness, but it's truly the opposite. Only those who are genuinely confident in themselves can reach out for aid. You've been spending the last few months proving yourself; your confidence is growing, and now you can spend some of it on getting the support that you need.
The Five of Pentacles can represent a moment in our lives when we need to break down in order to break through. In the Tarot, Fives are sacred contractions. They force us to get lean and hungry, to essentialize our lives so that we can determine what is truly necessary and what is just fluff. This is that moment for you.
Sometimes help comes in the form of people who can save the day, provide a shoulder to cry on or a nice warm meal. But sometimes the help we need is spiritual in nature. The Five of Pentacles is that moment on an airplane, when the turbulence gets real bad and even the atheists start to pray. Before your ride gets too bumpy, see if you can't open yourself up to some invisible assistance. There are spirits of places and hidden powers more magnanimous than you can imagine, all of them wanting to swoop in to help you accomplish your next great dream—all you have to do is ask.
Nine of Pentacles (Reversed)
You do not have to prove your worth. Your value as a human is innate. The damage that capitalism has done to our self-worth is immense; it demands we work for our right to exist. If we don't radiate productivity, we are measured worthless. But the truth is, we are valuable simply because we are here. We don't need to succeed or compete to be worthy of love, light, and resources. A star has value because it shines as itself—you are so much more like a star than you realize. A tree doesn't compare itself to others (at least I don't think so). Birds don't trade resumes. And they all find themselves taken care of.
The Nine of Pentacles is a moment when you have a felt sense of your own true value. Not because of any singular accomplishment but rather because of a deep spiritual understanding of your presence. When we can stand in our uniqueness, let it inform our every encounter, we are living this card. There is no one like you, there will never be anyone quite like you; that is your value, it's as simple as that.
This may prove a challenge for Virgos who thrive on perfection and often have a PhD in self-criticism. But just for these next few weeks, try to feel your value measured by your presence as opposed to your productivity. There is tremendous confidence to be mined in these—the confidence comes from your pride in being you. It's an ineffable and esoteric sort of self-love, and yet it's the same kind of personal empowerment that grows the flowers, sustains the rivers, and lights up the skies.
Two of Wands (Reversed)
She’s ready for adventure! But also she’s terrified of the adventure. She’s bored and restless and pacing her cell, but also she doesn’t want to upset the status quo. She has to make a choice, and yet she wants to have her cake and eat it too. Sound familiar? It should. She is you.
The Two of wands shows up when we’re ready for the next chapter. We’ve tasted some achievement, and we might be a little drunk on success. And that is dangerous because it keeps us from continuing to explore the unknown. This is not a time to keep turning out the same old safe solutions. This is a time for you to begin to envision what is next for you. If you keep producing more of the same you will be feeding the gnawing hollowness that you have felt growing for some time. Instead, get excited for new challenges and grand surprises.
You get to decide your next chapter. No one else has that power. So what is it that you are literally aching to explore? Sure, it’s risky, it’s uncertain. But all the best stories start out that way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this next moonth is a choose your own adventure. Will you stay in the castle, safe, well-fed, lonely, and dissatisfied? Or will you begin to plot a grand caper into new lands? Pull out a map, dust off your compass, saddle your horse, and ride off into your destiny.
Six of Wands (Reversed)
The Six of Wands wants us to learn how to move in the world without expending unnecessary energy. It's best described as a moment when the plane ascends above the cloud banks that cause the turbulence. So consider where there is turbulence in your life, and can you rise above it? Not all battles need to be engaged, not all the tea needs to be spilled.
Sixes represent a type of grace, an expansion that prepares us for our next evolution. In the suit of Wands, the Six teaches us how to grow our energy in ways that radiate out from our inexhaustible core. You are being taught a new way of moving in the world, but sometimes learning a new skill has us falling on our face. Don't get discouraged if you take the bait or fall for the trap. Just dust yourself off and remember how you fell in when Spirit would have you step back.
At its essence, this card wants to teach us that life can be infinitely easier than we imagine. Sure, struggle and strain make for good drama, but unless you're on a reality show, you're not trying to sell tickets to your life. Explore where you could be making things harder than they need to be. Inquire into why you want to fight certain battles in the first place. There are clear blue skies, always, above the clouds—wouldn't you rather just spend your time up there?
BRANDON ALTER is a spiritual healer, Tarot reader, Astrologer, 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 and 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 the myriad ways one can work and heal with the help of the spirits.