By Brandon Alter:
TAROTSCOPES THAT SLAY
For Eclipse Season (July 2–July 31)
The tides are high, babies. If you've been feeling particularly edgy, angered, or just downright depressed, there may be an Astrological explanation for that. Cancer Season has arrived, and as the first water sign of the Zodiac, she stirs the emotional soup. But that's just the start of it, because Cancer Season is always an emotional one. That doesn't explain the especially high states of anxiety in and around our collective experience—that we can blame on Eclipse Season.
Eclipse Season happens twice a year with six months respite between them. Sometimes we get three eclipses in a season; this go round we have only two . . . but they are powerful AF. I like to think of eclipses as cosmic course correctors. They help us get where our soul wants to go. Eclipses like to take things away—literally. They take away the light of the sun or the moon. First the Sun, this Tuesday July 2nd; then the moon, two weeks later on July 16th. Energetically, eclipses help us release the things we've been clinging to for so long. Sometimes they also bring in miracles we've been too afraid to pray for. Above all, eclipses bring clarity. They turn out the lights so that they can be turned back on. It's like coming back into your own home after a long vacation; you see it with fresh eyes—sometimes you smell it fresh, too. And that can be horrifying but also, ultimately, healing.
These eclipses are here to help us evolve, individually and globally. But they will not do it for us. Like all Astrology, you must partner with the cosmic energies if you are wanting to make change. It's like buying all the ingredients for a cake and then setting them down on your kitchen counter, hoping the cake will bake itself. Gurl, it wont. So we must measure and mix, fold, stir, and pulse these astrological energies so as to bake the lives we've been waiting for.
Tuesday's Solar Eclipse happens in Cancer, the sign of the Matriarchy and the moon herself. Because this is the sign where the moon feels her most comfortable, Cancers can be quite witchy, magical, and possess deep intuitive abilities. This Solar Eclipse, which is also a New Moon, gives ALL of us access to the psychic powers of this sign. I want you to think of this Eclipse as an initiator. It will certainly take things away but it can also help you start anew.
What Tuesday’s eclipse wants to initiate in us is a more intuitive way of living and striving. You see, the Sun is our Ego, our soul. Its light is going to be veiled by the moon, our heart. When the sun comes back, it is forever changed. So too our means of asserting our will in the world will be rearranged by the power of the Cancerian new moon. It’s not that you have to surrender your ambition, it’s just that there is a softer, more magical, deeply synchronistic way to make it all happen. Your ego has a lot to accomplish, but it can’t force its will. This eclipse will teach us to trust our own extrasensory abilities and lean into the mystical as a means to manifest the physical. Your ego may not trust your heart. Your ego may not trust your magic. This eclipse can alter that.
Two weeks later, the Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn invites us into a profound letting go. We are being challenged to release our toxic masculine energies. You see, Capricorn can represent the Patriarchy, and this Eclipse can help us release our own inner patriarchal voices. I don't care how woke you think you are, all of us need to continue to root out the deeply entrenched patterns that keep us feeling small, separate, and unvalued. We all have voices in our heads that tear us down, that belittle us, that talk us out of pursuing our dreams. But the truth is: YOU would never talk to yourself that way. Those voices aren't you. Those voices are the voices of the Patriarchy disguised as our own inner monologue. And if you are vigilant, you can root them out.
The last piece of astrology that needs mentioning is the Mercury Retrograde that happens next Friday, the 7th of July. Remember that retrogrades are not a punishment or a curse. They are a pause. They give us a chance to slow down, to sift through our lives and make new connections. If we are always moving forward, we struggle to see the patterns in our lives. Eclipse Season plus a Mercury Retrograde is a brilliant recipe for clarity. This could be the month where you really see how you have been getting in your way for so long. And you finally make those changes you’ve been resisting—and guess what? It can be easy. It can be fun. It could be easier than ever to put down the pipe, the bottle, and to pick up the pen, the paintbrush. Give yourself that permission. Watch miracles happen in your own life.
Speaking of miracles, on July 27th in Los Angeles, I’ll be starting my three week Tarot class which I playfully call Tarot + Vino. But you don't have to drink to enjoy the offering. It's happening on three consecutive Saturdays in July and August, so maybe I should've called it Tarot + Brunch-O, but . . . let's be real, that doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Each class comes with delicious food, nourishing teachings, my personal notes on the Tarot, and wine/coffee/tea/juice. You also get your own deck to keep (The Wild Unknown Deck, to be exact) and two mini-readings from yours truly throughout the course of the class. If you have been wanting a safe space to explore your own psychic potential (and let's be real, everyone is psychic) then THIS is the class for you! The first three Flapper Press readers who sign up before July 7th with the code FLAPPER can save $50.
Lastly, if you’re not listening to The Spiritual Gayz yet, what’s the hold up? Do you not like podcasts? Do you not like me? My husband and I started this offering over a year ago now, and it just keeps growing and expanding. Our latest episode was a deep dive into Jupiter and how its placement in your birth chart is a gateway to abundance and expansion. We keep it fun, we keep it fresh, we keep it one-hundred, okur? And if Astrology isn’t your thing, you should go back and listen to our episode all about the Major Arcana—or how about our interview with LGBTQ icon Lena Waithe? And if you love it, why not share the love? Please find your individual Tarotscopes below.
Taking into consideration the impending Mercury retrograde, I kept things short and to the point. Consider these your cosmic marching orders. Read for your SUN and your MOON. (Also, don’t panic, 10 out of the 12 signs had cards that came in upside down. We can chalk that up to the fact that Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto are currently retrograde, and Mercury is about to join that party. A reversed card is like a retrograde planet; it is neither good nor bad, it just adds a needed layer of complexity to the message.)
Eight of Swords (Reversed)
This butterfly is ready to expand, and yet these swords seem to prevent its metamorphosis. Remember that swords are the stories we tell ourselves. This card speaks to a mental expansion that is wanting to occur if only we could transcend our self-imposed limitations. You are limitless, you are boundless—but until you believe that, no further transformations can occur. At the end of the day, you are the person standing in your own way. Pay attention to where and how you are blocking your own growth. You have enough time, you have enough resources, and you have enough talent to make it all happen. When you can believe in this with your whole heart, you will be ready to fly. Let these eclipses take your mental blocks from you. It can be easy to let that shit go.
Ten of Cups (Reversed)
Your community is calling to you this moonth. The Ten of Cups comes when we are ready to take our heart out into the world but not the whole world-- our immediate village. Remember that once we lived in villages. We knew our neighbors intimately, we relied on them. We not only knew how to be vulnerable to them, our well-being depended on it. Share your heart, your whole heart with your immediate village. And if you don’t know who or where your village is, that would be your first step. Isolation is a plight of this modern world. Don’t retreat inwards. Don’t try to do this all by yourself. There is so much support, so much sweetness right outside your front door. But you must enter into it open-hearted. Let these eclipses take away your resistance to showing your vulnerability. It can be easy to let that shit go.
The Tower (Reversed)
If there is one card in the Tarot that embodies eclipse energy, it’s this one. The Tower is the hand of the goddess, coming in to remove our comfortable but false prisons. Sometimes it feels like an existential crisis, sometimes it feels like being lost in the woods of your own life. But the key is to surrender. Stop fighting the direction your life is trying to take you in. Resistance is futile. The Tower always wins. Generally, a reversal tends to soften the energy of this card. So imagine that the Tower is a stretch limo trying to generously usher you from one chapter of your life to the next. Let these eclipses take away every false belief you have, your inner critic and your heavy judgment (of yourself and others). It can be easy to let that shit go.
Father of Wands
Something transformative is about to happen to you. Perhaps you already the feel the great storm of your own power brewing. The Father of Wands is arguably one of the most forceful cards in the deck. He is fire of fire, meaning that he is electric, transcendent, and wholly magical. He is the sorcerer of the deck, and he can empower others with his words, his deeds, and his presence. This card is a reminder that you can do the most good for others when you stand fully in your own power, first and foremost. Step all the way into your power. If it makes other people uncomfortable, fuck ‘em. You cannot afford to stay small any longer. Step all the way into your gifts. Pack up all your doubt and set it on fire. If you let them, these eclipses will relieve you of your passivity. They will shred your laundry list of excuses for hiding from your magic. It can be easy to let that shit go.
Ace of Pentacles (Reversed)
The Ace of Pentacles signifies a new beginning in the physical realm. This can mean a new job, a new home, a new car, diet, or hairstyle. But no matter the outer manifestation, the inner message is the same: you are ready for a completely different method of engaging with the world. Of all the Aces, this card really gives you a clean slate, a white canvas. Perhaps you don’t want this fresh start, perhaps you were happy with the way things were (even though you knew they weren’t all that great). Well too bad. Spirit does for us what we can’t seem to do for ourselves. Stop resisting the fresh opportunities cropping up all around. You, above every other sign in the Zodiac, thrive on transformations. So here is your opportunity to thrive as a new version of yourself. Let these eclipses take away your resistance to starting over. It can be easy to let that shit go.
Nine of Pentacles
You lucky little truth seeker. While everyone else is struggling with upside down cards and deep existential crises, this Eclipse Season has a different agenda for you. The Nine of Pentacles is a moment in time where we fully step into our true value. We receive a felt sense of our worth in the world—and if we are smart, we monetize that shit. These next four weeks are prime time for you to be recognizing your skills and selling them. You have tremendous gifts, and you deserve to be compensated for them. But that doesn’t always mean money. We live and breathe capitalism so that seems like the easiest way to make sure our efforts are rewarded. But there are other ways exchange can occur. Your job this moonth is to make sure you are being seen, heard, and above all valued for everything you contribute. Let these eclipses take away your resistance to receiving your full worth. It can be easy to let that shit go.
The Moon (Reversed)
The Full Moon Eclipse is in your sign on July 16th, and here’s the Moon card just for you. The Moon invites us into our shadow, our unconscious. It brings light to our dark places. The appearance of this card in your sign is a strong message: use these energies to transform your shadow—or else be the victim of them. Start now. Have the courage to face yourself fully. What are your deepest fears? Where are your childhood or adolescent traumas still running your whole life? These eclipses may surprise you. You may not be as healed or as whole as you like to present in the world. Remember, you have to feel it to heal it. And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you haven’t felt the full weight of your own wounds. Let it out, all the way out, and you’ll never be back here again. Generally, a reversal tends to soften the energy of this card. So imagine that the Moon is your fairy godmother coming in to transform your inner demons into warriors of light. Let these eclipses take away your anxiety. Let them dispel your fear. I know the world has hurt you, but you need to release your firmly rooted need to overcompensate for that deep pain. It can be easy to let that shit go.
Welcome to the season of your heart, wacky Aquarius. Let’s be real, as Air signs, we love big ideas, sweeping theories, and flying 20,000 feet above sea level. We like to point out the patterns and tell other people where their problems are. But as far as our own hearts are concerned, we tend to avoid them like the plague. Our hearts are not necessarily the most comfortable place for us to sit; emotions don’t come easy to us. If you’re anything like me, you may not even know where the path to your heart is. Well get ready for a redux because all of that is about to change. Strength is connected to Leo, your polar opposite, and Leo rules the heart. We need this next moonth of transformation to bring us into the depths of our heart-centered yearnings. The heart holds the secrets. The heart knows why we are here and what we are here to do. You can’t think your way into the heart—you must feel your way. Let these eclipses take away your resistance to feeling your way in the world (as opposed to over-thinking). It can be easy to let that shit go.
Ace of Cups (Reversed)
The suit of cups rule over the things in our life which flow: your relationships, your creativity, your intuition, and your deep well of feels. The Ace of this suit signifies finding a new flow, particularly around issues of the heart. I know you’re a Pisces and emotions come easily to you. I know your heart is not a stranger to you. But perhaps you resent it. Perhaps you are tired of being so easily moved and feeling the slings and arrows of this broken world. Well honey child, get over it. That’s your gift. You are here to feel; sometimes you have to feel extra to make up for those who can’t feel at all. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim of it. The Ace of Cups is here to help you find a new way of living in your heart. I’ve never met a Pisces who wasn’t at least a little bit of an empath, and empaths need boundaries or else they just puddle through their lives. Let these eclipses teach you how to work with your deep sensitivities but release the onus that you have to be the feeler for the world at all times. It can be easy to let that shit go.
Son of Cups (Reversed)
The Son of Cups is a mirror that spirit wants you to see yourself in. This is an aspect of ourselves that holds the dual awareness of the head and the heart—meaning that you can recognize your triggers without being triggered by them. When we allow ourselves to fly off the handle, to rage and regret, to let someone have it, what we are actually doing is gripping more tightly to our triggers. If we can coolly observe ourselves and allow these unpleasant feelings to move through us like the flu, we can actually begin to evolve beyond them. That is exactly your invitation this next moonth. Which might mean you are looking at four weeks of serious emotional challenges. Give yourself permission to notice everything you are feeling throughout the course of the day and try to name it. Don’t judge it. Don’t act from it. Interrogate it. Investigate it. Dance with it. Pour it some tea and ask it where it came from. Let these eclipses take away your resistance to marinating in your feelings. Don’t put your feels on somebody else; sit with them, and before you know it, they’ll be gone.
If the Death card is an invitation into transformation, then Judgement is when that transformation has been achieved. You are not the same. You have been on a journey that has taken you into the darkest woods and the brightest vistas. You have met with monsters and magicians. You have been wounded, betrayed, abandoned, but now you are healed. At its essence, this card asserts that you have been profoundly rearranged. Now, before your journey comes to its thrilling conclusion, you must take a moment a fully receive how changed you are. The hero can only return home as an upgraded version of themselves or else the hero’s journey was for naught. Can you take this next moonth and be awed at your own metamorphosis? Only by accepting that you are a completely different version of yourself will you be able to make new choices and live a new life going forward. Let these eclipses take away your past and each of your previous incarnations. It can be easy to let that shit go.
Five of Swords (Reversed)
The Five of Swords is a mental contraction, like writer’s block or a migraine. It’s not a pleasant card, but it’s big medicine if you take it. Essentially, this card signifies the moment where we start to realize how hard we’ve been making our lives based on the inner turnings of the wheel of our mind. Once we realize how many hoops we make ourselves jump through, we can simplify our process. You leak so much energy through your worrying, your doubting, your competition (with yourself and others). Each and every one of us will eventually have to slay our mind, so stop giving yourself a hard time about it—that just elongates your process. But this Eclipse Season is all about an opportunity to clear out your head so you actually enjoy your time spent in there. Your mind doesn’t call the shots, you do! Let these eclipses take away your negative mental chatter. It can be easy to let that shit go.
***Give a reading as a gift or schedule your own reading or healing with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and @thespiritualgayz.***
BRANDON ALTER is a queer healer, Tarot reader, teacher, 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. He is the Tarot reader in residence for The Numinous and he 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 Shamanic Skills.