By Brandon Alter:
My husband and I recently moved to a small town on the outskirts of Los Angeles County. We're only twenty minutes from the North Hollywood Home Depot, but it feels like a world away. The temperature is always about ten degrees cooler than the city proper. Wild peacocks roam the streets of the neighborhood. Ground squirrels and spry green-gray lizards pretty much own the land we live on.
As of writing this, I've seen two owls up close, hundreds of giant crows and ravens, hawks a plenty, and these cute little blue birds that lap up the puddles our sprinklers leave behind in the morning. But the real stars of the show are the graceful bobcats and sly coyotes that have graced us with their presence, both in person and late at night lurking on our doorbell camera. I have jokingly said to my husband, "We bought a Zoo."
Two Sundays ago, I found myself in the ravine below our house. I'd been putting off coming down here since we moved in because there was just so much trash. Both the sheer volume of garbage plus the steep incline daunted me. Water-damaged boxes, plastic bottles, and styrofoam food containers littered the hillside. It was clear no one was planning to pick it all up; it was up to me. I mean, I do live here now, after all. So in full-on Sunday-Afternoon-Dad mode, gloved, masked, and tank-topped, I made my way into the ravine. For a couple hours, I gathered up the debris, including a tragically haggard magenta fleece zip up, leftover roofing tiles, and one very sad volleyball. I filled bag after bag with these remnants of construction, meals, and neglect. Later, as I made my way out of the ravine with that first full bag of trash, I spotted the most pristine owl feather I have ever seen. It was just lying there, glinting in the sunlight; I was surprised it hadn't flown away on the breeze. But also, I knew it was a message from the ravine: "Thank You." You see, I saw the ravine not as a just a place but as a being, an abandoned and suffering being, and I wanted to do right by her. I think she wanted me to know that she saw me too.
This is a small but powerful example of what can happen when we open ourselves up to communication with the unknown. These sorts of encounters are what Pisces Season is made for. It's a time to remember that there's so much more than what you can see.
Another story, if you'll allow me: Last Friday, I found myself on a new hike near home. It was nearing sunset, and I had to make it back home to teach a 6:30 class, but I'd just stumbled upon a hidden trail and was desperate to see where it led. As I scrambled up the rocky path, I knew I was cutting it close on time. All the sudden, truly out of nowhere, I thought, Ok, Brandon, 300 more steps, but then you turn around. So I counted each footfall until I hit three-hundred. And there she was, a deer, still as starlight, high on the hillside, framed in the spotlight of the magic-hour glow. If I had only walked two hundred and ninety-nine steps, I wouldn't have cleared the bend and been able to see her. That last step revealed her. She, too, like the owl feather, was waiting for me.
I could tell you about the hike I went on yesterday where two crows kept following me for about an hour. They were on the other side of the canyon when I thought to yell out to them, "Hey, friends, how's it going?" Immediately one made a beeline for me. Its little crow legs dangling as it danced aggressively all around me—a little too close for comfort to be completely honest. I could tell you how they were both waiting for me a little while later on a white wooden cross that marks the top of the peak. I could tell you about the owl that landed on the electrical pole in my backyard at dusk. The same night, I was planning to hang the owl-shaped mezuzah we purchased for our new home. When you open yourself to these inter-species communications, it can easily become overwhelming.
Pisces Season can be a lot. Like a lot, a lot. That's why I'm telling you all these little tales in the first place. It's like a doorway you crave to walk through and simultaneously fear. And this sense of the vast unknown, so close by, can make us want to reach for things to stable ourselves, to control the uncontrollable. As a recovering Marijuana addict, I know about reaching for things all too well. I used to reach for joints like life rafts. Even in recovery, I still find myself reaching for things: a latte, a cookie, new earrings, vintage rugs, porn, you name it. But the thing I'm really reaching for, through all these other things, is Spirit. I have been trying to reach directly for the Goddess more and more these days. Which is exactly why I find myself out in nature, on epically long hikes, trying to connect to that larger, ephemeral source that might help me remember I belong here.
You see, as the last sign of the Zodiac, Pisces is when the boundaries blur. That brings both blessings and challenges. In some ways, it's easier to connect with the invisible world, your imagination and the hidden depths of your heart. But on the other hand, you can easily feel swallowed up by all these things. It's a season in which we can easily feel out of control. And there's nothing wrong with that; in fact, that truly is the medicine of this current moment. Letting go is the reason for this season. Consider that we are now approaching the end of another year, Zodiacally speaking. It's a time to reflect and release. Some dreams came true, others turned to dust. Some relationships grew stronger, others withered away. Some goals were achieved, some were forsaken or thwarted. It's a season of endings, caring for endings, gratitude for endings. The cosmic waters of this mystical fish called Pisces ask us to surrender to the source of all things and prepare to begin again.
Of course, we are always beginning. Each breath resets our system. Each night's sleep clears the slate. The New Moon that comes moonthly reminds us that it's never too late to start over. But there's a bigger invitation coming through: Are you letting go now? Are you ready to release everything that's come before? There are new adventures just beyond our grasp, waiting for us—and the best way to encounter them is without the heavy baggage of our past. This New Moon is a bright one, pure, sparkling, full of compassion, vision, and grace. The chart shows Venus, Neptune, Sun, and Moon all gathered together in the invisible sanctuary of Pisces. It's a jam-packed portal to prayer, imagination, intuition, and spiritual exploration.
The essence of Pisces is communion with the divine. It's so easy, in this physical world, to forget that you are the divine embodied. And that makes sense, because some days we feel more like trash in the ravine than the living body of the Goddess. But that doesn't mean you aren't the living body of the Goddess. Who can say why (Capitalism, the Patriarchy, our own insecurities) we are constantly pressured to reach outside ourselves for spiritual connection? But it's not untrue; the Goddess is out there, too. She's in the rainclouds and the thunder, the spring flowers and the weeds, the gnats and the butterflies. She's in Oprah and Rihanna, Cher too—she's in Venus, the Moon, and the Pleiades. She's in seeds that never root and burnt homemade bread. But she's also in you. She is you.
I reach for nature because nature reminds me of myself as a perfect divine creation. But even without access to majestic mountains and trickster crows, I could still find the Goddess within. And wherever you are, you can too. You don't need a view. You don't need to have bought a zoo. After all, this world is a grand illusion, built to remind us how divine we are. It's not trying to distract us or confuse us; it's just that we keep reaching out when everything we reach for is a mirror trying to nudge us to reach back in.
The Pisces New Moon is a mirror too; she's the face of the divine showing you your own face. You, dear one, queer one, you are a divine spirit walking. And before you begin again, you must meet yourself, as you are, in purity and shadow and exquisite soul. You must forgive yourself and let yourself be forgiven. Drop the heaviness, grieve the disappointments, and set yourself free.
This is usually where I tell you all the wonderful things that the Spiritual Gayz are offering, our magical Astrology course that's just starting up (and that you can still join!), the podcast, the healing breathwork circles and glorious Astro club—but you probably know about these things already. And if you don't, you can find every offering organized on our website. So, in the spirit of Pisces Season, I'm just going to get right to the messages.
This month, your Tarotscopes have been crafted around the question: What needs to be let go?
Read for your Sun, your Moon too, perhaps and even your rising; hell, read for your North Node and maybe your South Node too.
Read 'em all if you want! The more you can let go of, the more free you'll be for your new beginning when she comes.
The Sun (Reversed)
You're ready to let go of hiding.
The Sun is your spotlight, and it's time to be seen.
Shadow is no place for you anymore.
You've had your time to recover there,
to lick your wounds and come back together.
You are whole now, even if you don't feel like it.
The rest of you will assemble when you stand on the stage of your life.
No more waiting, hesitating, negotiating, equivocating.
While you hedge your bets, others will come and claim the space that is yours.
That has always been yours. Trust me, they will.
And baby, we don't want them—we want you.
Four of Swords
You're ready to let go of the past.
You've mined your trauma and understood your history.
Now it's time to step into your destiny.
The past is just a story, told to make sense of where we've been.
Tell yourself a new story, about where you are going.
There's no one to blame anymore.
Every villain in your life was doing the best they could.
Even you, at your worst, were doing the best you could.
Forgive them all, especially yourself.
Understanding can only take us so far; action is what you need.
Your journey moves forward now, not backward.
King of Pentacles (Reversed)
You're ready to let go of victimhood.
There are no victims in the kingdom of compassion, only martyrs.
It's time you call the shots; it's time you own all of yourself.
You've always held the power.
Even when you gave it away, it was your choice to do so.
Hear me when I say, "You run your fate."
Stop resisting your will.
Stop giving it away to the loudest voice, to the tallest man.
Your time and energy belong to you.
Spend it only on those you love, starting with yourself.
Nine of Pentacles
You're ready to let go of insecurity.
It's time to stop apologizing for your gifts and start celebrating them.
Release your accomplishments, your long list of accolades and achievements.
You don't need them where you are going.
Awards don't build confidence. Confidence attracts awards.
All you need is your absolute belief in yourself.
And then, wherever you find yourself, you will make it into a palace.
Not because of what you've done, not by hanging pictures of your glowing past on the walls.
It will be a palace because you are the riches, the treasure, the light.
Let go whatever holds back your glow.
And maybe, there's a shine in you you've never shined before. Shine on.
You're ready to let go of your addictive tendencies.
Those things don't have the same power over you that they used to.
The spell has been broken.
The sorcerer sheds his handsome disguise and reveals the monster he's always been.
Let go the quick fix.
Let go the easy escape.
It's time to pick up your discipline,
to face your shadow and kiss him firmly on the lips.
If the Goddess is us, the Devil is too.
The Devil is you.
Bow to him and let him go.
Five of Cups
You're ready to let go of your sadness.
It doesn't really belong to you in the first place.
He's always been a visitor, biding his time before the next great adventure.
When you release him, you'll find there's so much space for joy.
And babe, it's time for joy.
You hold your hands around your heart like you were squeezing blood from a stone.
Stop gripping it like it might run away.
It's your heart—where else would it go?
Soften your hands. Soften your heart.
The melancholy was necessary, but it was just an introduction.
Your story is about ecstasy.
Knight of Swords
You're ready to let go of self doubt.
It must be exhausting always questioning yourself.
Stop chasing your own tail and changing your mind.
It's time to trust that you really do know what's best for yourself, and often others.
There will always another way. There will always a better choice.
You can't let that wicked perfection impede what is very well good enough.
There is so much more to be said for an imperfect attempt than a perfect fantasy.
Besides, the river you swim in changes around each bend.
The stroke you start with is never the stroke with which you finish.
Best to just begin.
Two of Swords (Reversed)