By Brandon Alter:
I don’t know about you, gurl, but child, I have not been loving 2019 so far. Honestly, it’s felt pretty much the same as 2018 . . . maybe even a touch worse. Luckily, all that is about to change, because Astrological New Year has arrived. Happy New Queers, babies! Can you feel that big change in the air? You see, Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, and he brings the beginning of the year with him.
Each year, when the Sun clicks into Aries from Pisces (on the Equinox), our collective cycle starts over. Ordinarily that feels like a great wind sweeping us clear. But this year, Mercury was retrograde during that shift, which made that great wind feel more like a great wail. And with so many planets still in Pisces (I’m looking at you Neptune, Mercury ,and Venus), our fresh start is certainly feeling a little muddy. But all is not lost! The New Moon in Aries is here to give us the initiatory boost we need.
Aries energy is initiating energy. It’s the seedling sprouting up through the soil. The sperm racing to fertilize the egg. When you have to be first in line, or wake up to see the sunrise, that’s Aries. Aries energy is impulsive, sometimes reckless, but it is the vital force required to blast off to new horizons. When we fully surrender to the Aries spirit, we speak before we think, we act before we plan. And that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes the truth needs to be blurted out. Sometimes too much thinking can impede our progress. This New Moon is here to push you forward before you can second guess yourself. And guess what, it’s already here! The official New Moon happened this Friday morning at 12:50 A.M. But the portal is open all weekend!
Remember that the Moon is our heart. It rules over our needs. She is the ultimate queen of our emotions. The Sun, on the other hand, is our ego. He rules over our work, our purpose, our striving, and our mind. When the Sun shifted into Aries, we KNEW the year was starting over. But with this New Moon in Aries, we can finally FEEL that new beginning. This is an extremely auspicious time for you to begin again. This moon, more than any other, is a supercharged reset button on your whole life. But you have to press the button, no one can do that for you. So, if you have been craving your bigger, better life, this is the time to sacrifice who you have been to the great goddess of who you are meant to become.
For this cycle’s Tarotscopes, I felt compelled to pull cards exclusively from Tarot’s great masterpiece, the Major Arcana. Why? Because I consider these cards to be the leaders of the Tarot. And Aries season is all about leadership. Aries is known to be a trailblazer, and these cards serve as the mile markers for your own journey. Also, Aries energy is Cardinal Fire, potent and powerful, and these cards are the just that. As a means to inspire you to pick up your own power, I separated these monoliths of the Tarot apart from the rest of the deck and then picked blindly. I also felt called to use the original Rider Waite Smith deck for this reading. While this deck is undeniably heteronormative and rife with white supremacy and patriarchy, it was the first deck to sear into the modern consciousness. And since Aries is all about being the first, I felt there was no other deck to be used for this New Moon in Aries Tarotscopes.
The Major Arcana is a map. It charts our journey from innocence to enlightenment and back again. In the same way that we can prepare for the weather by knowing what season we are in, the Majors give us a context for where we are in our own process of awakening. But these cards can be used for more than just our lives, they speak to the archetypal phases of becoming. Essentially, these are the twenty-two seasons of existence, and we cycle through these seasons many times in our lives. Whether you are seeking the frame of reference for your life in general, a creative project, or a relationship, the Major Arcana can immediately pinpoint where on the path you are.
In the spirit of Aries, there is no collective card this cycle. Aries is the sign of the self. The key phrase for Aries is: I AM. This moonth isn’t about the collective, it’s all about you. And that’s exactly how an Aries would want it!
Read for your Sun sign and consider it as a forecast for your next Astrological year.
Read for your Rising sign and/or your North Node as a forecast for this next moonth.
This is the second-to-last card in the entire Major Arcana. It is the moment in your journey where you’ve fully awakened to the truth of your soul. In Judgement, we receive a felt understanding of our purpose here on Earth, the work you really came here to do. Judgement appears to say, "Hey girl, you’ve changed. You are not the same. The old version of yourself was burned to the ground many cards ago." Now you stand here, raw, exposed, and wholly alive. You are fully ready to begin your life again as this brand-new, upgraded being. We might even retitle this card "Upgrade." Because that is exactly what you have done, inspiring Aries, you’ve upgraded your whole self.
When I think of the Judgement card, I actually think “No Judgement.” Because this is when you look back at your whole life and you understand why every pitfall and poison arrow was necessary. When you see why you had to go through everything you went through, you realize how to love your journey in its entirety. Because all the break ups, the break downs, the breakthroughs . . . they led you here. Take a moment and pat yourself on the back for surviving your quest. Receive your progress!
The work around this phase of becoming is to not fall back into your old habits. This is the NEW YOU, remember that. Now you must call in the new ways of relating to yourself and others. You must seek new paths that align with who you are now. Be vigilant with yourself. Don’t allow the old to creep back in. Imagine Judgement as a portal, a cosmic doorway that leads to a brand new existence—all you have to do is step through it and never look back.
The Star (reversed)
The crisis is over. Take a deep breath and let yourself exhale completely. You are out of the dark woods of the Tower (the card which precedes this one) and now you can begin to heal. The Star serves as a gateway to a realm of cosmic medicine. Through starlight, all injuries mend magically. And this card has appeared as a sign to let you know the worst is truly behind you. But the wounds exposed during this recent dark night of the soul are what need your immediate love and care.
Healing happens because you intend for it to happen. Your desire and willingness to become whole is the most important factor in any healing work. The Star combines the three archetypes of the sacred feminine: the maiden, the mother, and the crone. In Star energy, you have access to all three of these states of being. You have the purity of the maiden, the passion of the mother, and the wisdom of the crone. Allow these three facets of your own soul to merge and shimmer. Another way to think about this is that your wounded child (the maiden) has been revealed to you and needs your attention. Through your connection to your own maternal quality (the mother) and the wisdom of your ancestors (the crone) you have ALL the tools you need, right now, to achieve some deep and profound healing.
The work around this phase of becoming is to pull yourself out of your regular life so that you can attend to the more numinous aspects of your being. The fact the card came in upside down is likely speaking to your resistance around this deep invitation toward self-care. You may feel like you don’t have time or money to really take this on right now. You may feel like you don’t have the resources. But those are all just false stories. he Star will find you wherever you are, so long as you can get quiet and still. Take a mini vacation, take a half day off, or just take lunch alone and call the Star into your heart. She will bathe you in her healing waters if you let her.
Don’t take it all so seriously, gentle Gemini! It’s just life! The Fool has arrived to invite you into playfulness and possibility. The only limitations you are bound by are the ones you have agreed to. You see the Fool isn’t even the first card in the Major Arcana; the Fool is the ZERO card. This means that Fool energy exists before conditioning, before right and wrong. The Fool is the cosmic egg of unlimited potential, and your willingness to take risks and leap headlong into your life will unleash the magic of this archetype.
Fool energy generally appears when we are starting a new project, a new job, navigating a new city or relationship. But sometimes it just means you need to take a new approach to the same old shit. Remember that the Fool is impervious to societal expectations and categorization. Try not to impede your happiness with what other people think. Fool energy is here to shake up your entrenched ideas of how things are supposed to go. Crazy logic is your guide now—don’t assume anything. The Fool is present and receptive, without baggage from the past or cares toward the future. They have a wholehearted trust that the cosmos will always provide for them.
The work around this phase of becoming is to allow yourself to be moved by nature, the universe, the goddess (whatever the hell you call the larger cosmic forces at work). The Fool knows themself to be a vessel for spirit, and they let themselves be carried through their lives without judging or classifying. To the Fool, all is joy, all is pleasure, all is of value. Shake down the old structures of your life and give over to serendipity, magic, and above all FUN.
The Hanged Man (reversed)
This is one of those cards that has a pretty bad reputation on just name alone. I get it: nobody wants to be hanged. It’s a brutal image, and yet the Hanged Man looks beatific—he even has a halo. This is what happens when we give our life up to the highest power and trust that we are actually being taken care of all the time (even when it doesn’t seem like it). The Hanged Man is connected to Neptune, who rules over dreams and visions, and the invitation around this card is to become quite spiritual in your ability to accept your circumstances and allow your life to happen to you.
The key word here is surrender. Are Cancers good at letting go? I know you can flow with your own tears, but can you flow with the cosmic river? You see, surrender has two directions: One is inwards, surrendering to your own authenticity, your needs and passions. The Hanged Man encourages us to stop negotiating our needs and rather claim them as part of our unique medicine. But the other direction of surrender is external. You can’t control the people around you, you can’t control time. This is a season of letting all that go. The work around this phase of becoming is to give up your need to control how your life is supposed to unfold. That’s not really your business right now. There’s a time for manifestation and making things happen and then there’s a time for throwing yourself into the wind and trusting it will deliver you to safety. This next chapter of your life is about the latter. Pay attention to the invitations in your life and the mystical connections that will affirm that you are in fact on the right track.
Justice comes after the big change, the shake-up, the lease signing. It sometimes feels like, Oh fuck, what did I just do? But that’s just your fear talking. Justice is when we can start to comprehend the vision of our life; i.e. what we are really here to do. I would venture that the past year has been gently leading you toward this revelation. And now you are slowly realizing that your mission is bigger than you. You see, Justice isn’t about our puny human legal system—Justice is about divine justice. We all have karma. We all have a destiny. As yours starts to reveal itself to you, you are tasked with starting to unpack how your work in this life is to restore balance to a broken world.
Growing up, my father had two pieces of advice he used to say to me all the time. The first was: if you plant roses, you get roses; if you plant weeds, you get weeds. It’s simplistic but gosh darn it, it’s true. This is one meaning of the Justice card, the inescapable law of cause and effect. The other advice my Dad would offer up regularly was this: the Universe is always watching, and the Universe never sleeps. This phrase too, expresses Justice’s message: you cannot hide from who you are or the choices you have made. Justice reminds us that when we live in right relationship with all things, there is no score to be settled. But when we act out of alignment with all things, we have reason to fear.
The work around this phase of becoming is to begin to integrate your soul’s purpose into your daily grind. Being an arbiter of divine justice may not be your official job or career, but you can fold it into whatever you do each day. You don’t have to be Mother Teresa, you don’t have to join the Peace Corps. All you have to do is make sure you are planting the right seeds with your words, your actions, and your relationships. Are you leaving each place you visit better than you found it? When you can effortlessly walk through the world as a blessing, leaving no wake, you are fully embodying the deep magic of Justice.
The High Priestess (reversed)
Welcome to your most psychic season, Virgo. The High Priestess has chosen you. When we accept her invitation, we find ourselves transported to a realm of mystery and darkness. This is the card that rules the Tarot herself, this is the gateway to divination. I know you have a passion for order and control, but the High Priestess exists in the space between worlds—she serves as a bridge between the invisible world and the physical one. Her call is the call of your own intuition, that small, wise voice inside yourself that whispers the universal truth. You cannot control her, you must learn how to partner with her. Sometimes you take the lead, but more often than not, you follow.
Above all, this card invites you into silence and stillness. Your journey, for now, is an inward one. Find the path back to your most sacred inner temple and meet with the High Priestess there. When we allow the mystery of her to wash over us we start to see signs everywhere. Our life becomes like a mystical scavenger hunt seeking spiritual clues. This card came in upside down because you are resistant to the mysterious in yourself. You feel your deep psychic potential, and it scares you. Well, honey, there’s nothing scary in there, there’s just the truth of who you are. And the sooner you stop running from your powers, the sooner you can start using them for good.
The work around this phase of becoming is to get comfortable with the unknown. Start to discover how your intuitive gifts manifest. Do you see visions? Do you hear messages? Does your body tell you who to trust and who to avoid? The more you can begin to open up to the unexplainable aspects of your existence, the more you can give up your convenient answers, the more you will truly understand.
After a dark, cold, and rainy winter, what feels better than the sun? Is there a more beautiful sight than a desert sunrise or an ocean sunset? Why does the Sun make us feel so good? Because we are light beings, and when we can step into the light, we remember who we are. That is what this card wants for you right now, to step into the spotlight and be seen for who you truly are. The Sun is a simple card, it speaks to uncomplicated pleasures. When it appears in a reading, its message is one of optimism, a strong signal that things are in fact going your way.
Can you give yourself permission to shine? Will you step out from the shadows, behind the scenes, and claim your due? I know you have a tendency to take care of everyone else first, but right now, you need to be the diva of your own life. This is hard for a Libra, I know. But listen, if you can’t receive your own radiance, how can you expect anyone else too? This is the season for you to really take stock of how brilliant and accomplished you are. Even if you don’t have a book deal—especially if you don’t have a book deal. The Sun isn’t about winning the lottery, it’s about the joys money cannot buy. And those you have in abundance.
The work around this phase of becoming is to enjoy everything. Stop and smell the roses, all of them. Tell your friends you love them. Spend extra time cuddling with your dog. The Sun is the sweetness of life. It’s up to you to attune to the bounty around you; soak it up, let it sink in, you are blessed, and you are a blessing.
There has to be more than life to this! Am I right, Scorpio? Have you been feeling those pesky naggings from your heart? The Strength being spoken to in this card isn’t about brute force or sheer will. The Strength card is a bolstering of the strength required to go against societal expectations and follow your own heart toward your destiny. When you quit your day job to pursue your passion, that’s Strength. When you move to a new city because it’s always been your dream, that’s Strength. When you stop going along with the river and swim upstream, that’s Strength. When you become aware of your own mortality and decide to pursue only those things that fully resonate in your heart, honey, that is the Strength this card is talking about.
In the journey of the Major Arcana, Strength comes right after the Chariot. The Chariot is the will of the ego to achieve at all costs. The Chariot is ambition and success. It’s the mansion on the hill, the million Instagram followers, the book deal. But if you are incomplete in your heart, no amount of success, fame, or fortune can heal you. nd that’s where Strength shows up. To empower you to question the deeper desires of your life.
The work around this phase of becoming is to try and see your life through your heart not your head. And I would wager that since this card came in upside down, it’s been a hot minute or two since you really entered into your heart and sifted the contents. Don’t worry, no matter how long you’ve been away, your heart will always welcome your return. It may take a little bit for that warm homecoming, but it will happen. Ask your heart how to proceed with your life. Its answers may surprise you. And then call upon Strength to answer your heart's call.
Wheel of Fortune
This is truly your time, Sagittarius. The Wheel of Fortune is connected to the planet Jupiter, the cosmic sky god of luck and abundance. You should know about Jupiter because he is your ruling planet. And he happens to be in Sagittarius (where he is happiest) this whole year. Suffice it to say, you are being well taken care of by the stars in the sky, and there are some groovy big changes ahead. The Wheel of Fortune is coming in to shake up your life and rewrite your future. That doesn’t mean you can coast exactly, but pay attention to the major invitations in your life right now. The energy around you is one of excitement and acceleration.
The Wheel of Fortune comes at exactly the halfway point of the Major Arcana’s story. This is when we realize our old tricks can only get us so far. The map leads to a dead end. The things we thought we wanted no longer seem to appeal. Change comes to us, and change comes from within us. The Wheel of Fortune is the outer change to signify the inner transitions that have already been occurring. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner state. Change comes when we have changed. And gurl, you've changed.
The work around this phase of becoming is to explore your adaptability. We waste so much of our energy trying to fight the inevitable. Don’t waste your efforts in those futile attempts. Rather, let the great change come and then roll with the punches, make the most of it. You might be surprised to discover these significant changes in your life are actually bringing you closer to joy and fulfillment, not further away. Remember, you’ve got Jupiter on your side—trust that everything is happening for you, not against you.
The Empress comes early in the unfolding of the Major Arcana. After the Fool and the Magician, after the High Priestess, comes the Empress. Where the High Priestess leads us into the dark night of mystery, the Empress ushers us back into the physical world. You might even imagine her as the spirit of the Earth herself, the Earth Goddess. And she reminds us of our maternal instincts, what it might mean to be a Mother in this world. She stokes our passions and our ferocity to care for our children, even if those children are our animals or our creative ideas needing our nurturing.
The Empress is ruled by Venus, a planet that loves to love, a planet that has expensive tastes, a planet that thrives in sensual and seductive realms. The invitation this cycle, clever Capricorn, is to return to the wisdom of your body. Your body is a little Earth in and of itself. Your ability to tune in to the physical pleasures of being alive will help remind you of what’s really important in the first place. What are you passionate about? What lights you on fire? What allows you to really feel yourself, as a sexual, vital, luxurious being? Those are the interests of the Empress, and for the next cycle, they are yours as well.
The work around this phase of becoming is to return to the Earth. Start to pay attention to the Earth as a living being. What would that feel like to move through the day in relationship with the Earth? To mindfully receive where your water and your food is coming from. Can you open your heart up to the luscious medicine of Spring? In a Shamanic worldview, the spirit of the Earth herself dreamt us into being. She was lonely, and so she dreamed us into this world, and she is still dreaming us into being. It is her constant dreaming that keeps us here. The more you can be in contact with the great dreamer who is dreaming you into being, the more connected you will be with the dream that is your life.
Temperance is the angel of moderation who invites us into balance. This card acknowledges that we have gained some mastery over our own dualistic nature. Now that we have mapped our shadow and our brilliance, our ego and our heart, our inner world and outer contributions, we can start to bring all of ourselves in right relationship. Now that you have found all of your edges, how will you start to weave them toward the center of your being. How will you begin to knit yourself together? That is the medicine of this card.
Temperance is the willingness to change up our entrenched ways of being. Instead of doing the same of old shit, we look at each situation and consider what is really being called up out of us in response. If you imagine yourself like a magic cauldron, what ingredients are you throwing in there? Temperance asks us to combine ourselves properly. Not just once, but on a moment to moment basis. You’ve been profoundly transformed recently, and you can’t just keep going about things in the same old way. Temperance is the ability to knit together the old tricks and some new skills. It’s not all or nothing. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The work around this phase of becoming is to grow wary of compartmentalization. Have you gotten into the habit of being one person at work and one person at home? Do you have many different masks you wear around town? If so, Temperance invites you to begin to synthesize yourself. Find your unique way to honor all of yourself, all the time. That is the true nature of Temperance.
The Hermit invites us into our own inner sanctuary. It is the season of our life where we willingly withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the outer world. Hermit energy ask us to turn our attentions inward so that we can attune to our inner vision. The Hermit isn’t some sage or guru outside of yourself, the Hermit is you! You are a guru, and it’s high time you started to relate to yourself in this way.
Here’s the deal, sis. You are ready now, right now, to be your own teacher. You have profound wisdom swirling inside you. But if you’re always so quick to be absorbed into someone else’s energy, you surrender your own innate knowing. This next chapter of your life is about being your own authority. You really do know what’s right for you, so stop asking around and start asking inside. You see the lantern the Hermit holds? That’s your heart-light, and it needs tending. Make sure your inner lamp is lit, magical Pisces. Only when you are lit from within can you truly see.
The work around this phase of becoming is to disconnect as completely as you can. There is nothing for you right now in the external world. But if you can walk the road inward, you will find an embarrassment of riches. Be mindful of your phone usage. Be mindful of how much energy you give away to others. Be mindful of how you hide from yourself in relationships with others. The Hermit isn’t easy, because all of our cultural messaging is about reaching out. Reaching in is almost revolutionary in this day and age. But you can do it, and you must. There is only one form of guidance for you right now, and that is your own.
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