By Brandon Alter:
Welcome to Virgo Season, dear reader. It’s a mess out there, isn’t it? Conveniently, the sign of Virgo rules over mental health. And I don't know about you, but mine isn't doing so hot lately. Blame a never-ending global pandemic, blame the Patriarchy, blame the Moon (I always do)—but this Tarot reader, dear reader, is on the struggle bus. Which is pretty much par for the course in Virgo Season. You see, as a sign traditionally ruled by Mercury, the trickster planet that governs our mental realm, Virgo Season can make a head trip of us all. The key is to actually take the trip.
Recently, my low-grade depression has become a full-time boarder as opposed to a part-time guest. In the past when I've felt this familiar shadow creeping up on me, I immediately doubled-down on exercise or breathwork. I did whatever I could to clear the grey smoke from my mind and heart ASAP. But right now, I just don't have it in me. I'm tired. I bet you are too. I'm tired of fighting for my life, fighting to keep afloat, fighting to stay positive. So instead, I'm trying something new. I'm surrendering to it. I'm not struggling against the rip-current, I'm letting it pull me under.
Now, that may sound like a very bad idea. But lately, I'm not so sure. Perhaps this morose visitor is trying to teach me something; maybe, just maybe, it even has a gift. So instead of doing everything in my power to make it walk out the front door, I'm getting into bed with it. And this, actually, might be a more honest approach to healing than just circumventing or immediately medicating that which ails us. Tending the wound means entering into it first.
Why am I pouring my troubles on you? I assure you I haven't lost my overpriced therapist, although I do often wonder if that money wouldn't be better spent on massages, facials, and a personal trainer. I share this because Virgo Season is a time to explore our mind and the wounds, the pitfalls, the deep chasms contained within. I share this because you should know that even as an Astrologer who understands the movement of the planets, I’m not immune to their effects.
You see, there's another planet that rules Virgo—well, technically, it's a minor planet, an asteroid, really, that eccentrically orbits between Uranus and Saturn. His name is Chiron. Chiron speaks to the wounded-healer in all of us. Based on the Greek myths of an immortal centaur with a wound that refused to heal, Chiron became a sought-after healer in his own right, having researched almost every possible cure for his own trauma. In seeking his own healing, he ended up becoming a celebrated source of healing for others, like Oprah—except unlike Oprah, he didn’t give out cars.
Chiron serves as the contemporary ruler of Virgo because Virgo is the healer of the Zodiac. And it's true that healers must first heal themselves: again, see Oprah. So Virgo Season is a time to explore our wounds because, believe it or not, our wounds are our work. Just because we didn't ask for them doesn't mean they don't belong to us. We might think of them as a calling. The more we resist them, the stronger they pull. They are a haunted inheritance, but the ghosts are ours.
So the question Virgo Season poses is: What will we do with them? It's like a classic ghost story; to get the ghosts to leave you must first understand them.
Ok, but listen, there's actually another planetary ruler of Virgo. I know, I know. Do you see why Virgo season can make us mental? All these planetary rulers fighting to rule the sign. Ok, again, not technically a planet, the astronomers call her a planetoid.
The asteroid Vesta also shares governance over the sign of Virgo.
Vesta is one of the four largest asteroids in our solar system, and she shines the brightest of them all—so bright that occasionally she's visible to the naked eye. She harkens back to the vestal virgins of Ancient Rome, named after the Goddess Vesta herself who presided over home, hearth, and the shrine of self. These are the virgins for which Virgo was named. But don't misunderstand the true meaning of virgin, here.
The sign of the "Virgin" actually has more in common with the Erotica-era Madonna than the Madonna and Child. Because these vestal virgins were not necessarily chaste. In fact, some of them would sleep with soldiers returning from war in order to cleanse them of their battle crimes and their grief. They were virgins because no man could marry them and, in doing so, own them. These virgins owned themselves.
Virgo is a sign that encourages self-devotion, a purity not of body but of soul. How can we own ourselves? How can we pry ourselves out of the mouth of capitalism, social media, and collective despair? Perhaps by doing exactly what is suggested by the Hermit Tarot card, the one classically associated with Virgo—by turning inward and tending to ourselves and ourselves alone. One way to devote ourselves to ourselves is to allow our wounds to speak to us, to whisper their secrets and their spells.
If we want sovereignty over our mental health, we must first understand where we have mental pain. Capitalism demands we work for others and prove our worth to the world, but Virgo also rules work itself. As the sign that ushers in harvest season, this is a great time to roll up our sleeves and dive in. But perhaps "the work" we need to accomplish isn’t for a company or for a check, it's the work required to express our pure essence for no one else’s benefit but our own. Devoting ourself to ourself is actually quite the opposite of our current landscape where we regularly devote ourselves to others. Even as we post and pose on socials, we are asserting ourselves to others, not devoting ourselves to our own true nature.
The New Moon in Virgo wants us to partner with ourselves for a change. Work with ourselves. Maybe even make love to ourselves. This moon answers to Mercury, the ruler of the sign, who currently sits in Libra with that sign’s ruler, Venus. This is a blessing. A New Moon presided over by the goddess of love and beauty herself, sitting pretty in her home sign, can help us work with ourselves, take ourselves in hand and heart. And to make matters even better, Venus herself also trines Jupiter (ruler of expansion and lucky breaks) in Aquarius, also a blessing. If we can take this invitation, seek our own inner sanctuary, we might find our wounds can bless us.
Virgo energy is sacred.
Vesta, the brightest asteroid in the sky, rules the sacred flame in the sacred chamber of our hearts. Your wounds are sacred, too. If only you could surrender to them, get to know them. Maybe depression, anxiety, despair is only a mask being worn by a more compassionate being, a holy being—if we let them it, maybe they will drop the mask, reveal themselves in full, and in doing so allow us to understand who they really are, once and for all.
New Moon Blessings to all of you!
You’ll find your Tarotscopes below.
Read for your SUN SIGN first.
If you want more, by all means,
read for your MOON SIGN and RISING as well.
Let me start off by acknowledging that this is not a classic Tarot card. It’s actually a bonus card that is unique to this particular deck, the Oliver Hibert Tarot. But Oliver is a psychedelic witch and a true magician who knows what he’s doing, so I keep it in the deck and use it when it shows up. And I think it's important to remind you, dear Virgo, that you are one of the most magical signs in the Zodiac.
People always get jazzed up around Scorpio Season, as if they are the only sign that knows how to cast a spell or read a fortune. But let us not forget that Virgos are inherently magical; they are the herbalists, they run the apothecaries. They know folk remedies, healing recipes, and how to eke magic from all things. So perhaps the Magic card has arrived to remind you that you have access to profound, mind-blowing magic.
Even as an Earth sign, what you see isn’t always what you get. This month is a good time to explore the hidden side of your Virgo nature. Lean in to what feels right as opposed to what looks right. Maybe the recipe needs to be a little messy to let the magic through.
Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune waits for no one. When change comes a-knocking, either open your door or prepare for your door to be ripped off its hinges. This is a card that signifies a sharp left turn somewhere in your life. But don’t be scared, it’s a good change, I promise.
Maybe a job opportunity coming in out of the blue, maybe an epic move or a book deal. When the Wheel of Fortune is in your cards, it’s a good time to buy a lottery ticket and take a risk on abundance. The Wheel of Fortune is connected to the planet Jupiter, benevolent ruler of growth and prosperity. As the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter wants to empower your expansion, and through the Wheel of Fortune, that's exactly what he’ll do.
Whether it’s a surplus of clients, opportunities, or just a big stack of books and the time to read them, your life is ready to grow. Even if you feel like everything’s going really good in your life right now and you’d rather stay the course, the Wheel has other plans. When the Wheel chooses to spin, you have one of two choices: roll with the Wheel or get crushed underneath it. I’d suggest the former.
The World is one of those cards that rarely makes an appearance. It’s a mysterious card that brings the entire Tarot voyage to a close. As the last card of the Major Arcana, it suggests a completion of an immense nature, inviting us into closure and celebration. Births are The World, deaths are The World, and so too are graduations and anniversaries and quitting smoking and publishing a book or going back to a childhood home.
Somewhere in your life is a big ending that wants your attention and admiration. And somewhere in that ending hides a sweet new start. But before you can plant the new, you gotta bury the old. Celebrate this transition, it deserves it.
The World wants us to notice the cycles of our lives. It’s a card that suggests enlightenment and illumination. Through the lens of the World, we can see ourselves more clearly, more objectively. Through the lens of the World, we can do what we came here to do without getting bogged down in the drama of daily life. Through the lens of the World, we can organize ourselves and, in doing so, organize the cosmos, dancing with life and death, finalities and beginnings.
Queen of Pentacles (Reversed)
The Queen of of Pentacles is the archetypal mother of the Tarot. She is a benevolent figure who nurses her children to good health, empowers them to find their own unique brand of happiness. The Queen of Pentacles is you when you take yourself lovingly by the hand and tend to your most immediate needs the way a good mother would.
This is a time to take care of yourself: body, mind, heart, and spirit. This is a time to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water and learn that you can trust yourself to take care of yourself. Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep, well-balanced meals, and unconditional self love.
But the message grows in complexity here because your card came in upside down. Sometimes a reversal (what we call the inversion of the card) suggests a surprise in the energy—an innovation of our understanding. Perhaps you need to mother yourself differently at the present. Maybe the ways in which you’ve taken care of yourself in the past are no longer resonating for you. That’s ok. A good mother knows that sometimes the best parenting is to have ice cream for dinner or let the kid fake sick to skip school.
Ten of Pentacles (Reversed)
The Ten of Pentacles is one of those cards people wish to see turn up. It suggests abundance, prosperity, and gifts from the cosmos. Even when it comes in upside down, as yours did today, the generous nature of this card is unaffected. There are big blessings coming through—maybe they’ve already come through. Did you clock them?
You are what you pay attention to. If you pay attention to what you do have, you tend to get more. But if you pay attention to what you don’t have, you become empty, desperate, and grabby-handed.
Gratitude is a practice, and it doesn’t come easily to us all. Maybe this month wants to find you at the gratitude gym, strengthening your muscle of heartfelt appreciation. It’s not about writing a list of the things you have, it’s about feeling in your bones how lucky you are to have them. Sit with one aspect of your life at a time until you really feel blessed by it. No thing is too small over which to feel gratitude, no thing too large.
Queen of Cups
The Queen of Cups is a mysterious figure, hard to pin down, ever-changing, and elusive. She suggests that you are undergoing a profound transformation, one that words cannot address or clarify. Imagine yourself as the Queen of Cups, standing on the ocean floor, holding court with mermaids and electric eels. Who knows what other creatures might be lurking in those watery depths? They are your allies, they can help you navigate these hidden realms.
In the midst of your own transformation, you may lack context. You may not know who you are becoming. That’s ok. Trust the process. It’s a cliche, but it holds true: does the caterpillar know what is happening to it? Does it get a picture of a fully formed butterfly before it enters into the cocoon? No, dear one, it does not. All it can do is surrender to the great change.
Let yourself move outside of your mind this month and into your heart. Let your feelings guide you toward yourself. Don’t attempt to categorize or narrate this deep inner voyage; rather, allow the voyage absolute reign. Give over to it. Let it dazzle you and surprise you. Let it offer you new experiences and new aspects of your own being. In time, you will be able to look back and understand this period of your life. But now is not that time. Do not attempt to understand, rather seek only to experience.
Death reversed is a soft death, a gentle death, a death that you can cuddle up to. Death reversed is when you finally get to your hotel room after a long day of travel and the bedsheets are crisp and cold and you could lay there forever. Death reversed is when you no longer resist the shape of your life, you embrace it. And in embracing it, you let the shape of your life shape you.
This month, a profound letting go calls to you. Accept it. Trust that acceptance will heal you, will soften you, will tuck you in at night—if you let it. Consider the Death card less of an end and more of a beginning. I often refer to it as the Death/Re-Birth card. Now, we can’t just skip the death and head straight to the re-birth, because some part of you does need to die a good, sweet death. But as soon as that’s done, there's a beautiful sunrise waiting for you.
Death is a natural process. All things die. Dreams, too. Now, don’t be scared. The Death card isn’t here to suggest literal death. It’s here to lay your old stories to rest. But don't spend too long at the memorial. Instead, focus on what is bright and becoming. Focus on who you are ready to be now that you are no longer beholden to who you’ve been.
Seven of Cups
You might feel like everyone and everything is vying for your attention right now. And while at first that might be flattering, eventually it’s maddening—like Lady Gaga having to move through a mob scene every time she steps outside for a latte. So the key to this month is to discern what really needs your attention and what can survive without it.
The figure in the Seven of Cups is being presented with choices, not necessarily infinite possibilities, but certainly an overwhelming amount. You can’t choose them all, as you only have two hands, so at most you can only choose two of these, maybe three depending on how big your hands are. The challenge here is how to pick the right ones.
It’s so easy to confuse a delusion for a dream, it’s so easy to ignore a dream because it comes to you disguised as work; the key here is to get clear on what is actually being offered to you. Take a step back and really observe the opportunities from a bird’s eye view. The more objective you can be, the more empowered you will feel to really choose what’s good for you.
Knight of Wands
The Knight of Wands is a badass. Think Grace Jones. Think David Bowie. Think Lil Nas X. It’s someone who gives no fucks and is determined to express their whole self, no matter what other people think. When you embody this energy, you are dynamic, charismatic, electric, and engaged. When the Knight of Wands walks into the room, people notice.
This isn’t something you can fake or manufacture. The Knight of Wands is all about allowing your essence to move through you out into the world. Where are you blocking yourself? Where are you diminishing your humanity? The key here is to stop judging yourself and let yourself go.
The suit of Wands encourages us to take action in our lives. It wants to help us capture our inner spark and set shit on fire. When was the last time you felt that way? Think back to the last time you felt like a rock star in your life. What were you doing that allowed you to feel that way? How could you give yourself permission to feel more of that now?
Four of Swords
How did you get here? No, really. How did you? Wherever you are, your choices led you here. Sorry, not sorry. The Four of Swords wants to help you make sense of your journey thus far. It’s a calm spot in a rough voyage. A retreat in the midst of war. This is a sweet spot, a safe harbor, to look back and try to understand how your life has led you here.
Fours in the Tarot suggest foundations. And the Four of Swords suggests a robust new mental foundation that comes from a deeper understanding of your personal story. There are gifts in your past that you couldn’t mine when you were just trying to survive them. But now you can reach back through time and pluck those gemstones to put in your crown. Our circumstances shape us, they influence our inner narrative, they add to the legend of our lives. We are not victims of what has happened to us, but we are shaped by it.
Understanding our past is a gateway to liberation from it. Once you have a better handle on why you think the way you do, or approach life the way you do, the more free you are to change it up. But until you respect the effect the past has had on you, you will be unable to escape it.
Eight of Swords (Reversed)
Time to break free of your mind. The Eight of Swords shows up when we need some help noticing our own self-imposed limitations. Sometimes the most imposing barriers in our lives are ones we built by ourselves a long time ago. Let yourself consider: what might you do if you hadn’t already determined it couldn’t be done?
As our mind evolves, we start to see where we’ve held ourselves back unnecessarily. Sometimes we do this out of fear, sometimes we do this because we were taught to stay small or be polite. Well, in the words of Cher ala Moonstruck: Snap out of it! The time is now to let yourself surprise yourself.
There’s a caveat to all of this, however, because your card came in upside down. And to that I would say be careful of trying to tear down the barriers of others this month. Show everyone how it’s done as opposed to coming in hot and heavy-handed. People aren’t always ready to see where they’re holding themselves back; but you are, so focus on you, and you’ll inspire others to do the same.
Eight of Pentacles
The Eight of Pentacles indicates a month of productivity and engagement with work, an evolution of your technique and skill. This is a card that comes up a lot for Leos, which is interesting because we don’t often associate Leos with old-fashioned hard work. But the truth is that Leos have a hell of a work ethic, they just make it look like play.
Think about Jennifer Lopez, Angela Basset, Madonna— these famous Leos are truly tireless in their robust tending of their careers. But they make it look like fun! And I assure, it is not always fun. Waking up at 5 a.m. to work out every single day is not fun, but I’m sure J.Lo makes it fun. So that’s the lesson: work hard, but make it fun.
Through our ability to play, a Leo specialty, we can innovate our work. When we take ourselves less seriously, it’s amazing what we can accomplish. Allow your career to move to the next level, not by forcing it, but by tickling it. Hell, let it tickle you. If you can let your work make you laugh, you’ll never resent heading to the office.
THE SPIRITUAL GAYZ are Brandon Alter and Angel Lopez, healers, husbands, teachers, and mystics for a modern age. With their combined experience of over forty years of Tarot and Astrology expertise, they aim to demystify the mystical and make spiritual practice accessible and effective. Through their podcast and their Spirit School, their goal is to create safe spaces for queer people of all kinds to gather together in spirit.
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, heal and grow with the help of the spirits.