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Tarotscopes with Brandon Alter: December 2020

By Brandon Alter:

Here’s what you need to know: Scorpio Season is almost over, but she’s already planning to linger. The New Moon in Scorpio, which occurs late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning depending on where you live), opens us up into Eclipse Season—a six-week period of revelation and release that will be distinctly Scorpio flavored. So even though we’ll be charging ahead into Sagittarius Season come October 21st, the sweet–sour sting of Scorpio season will be leaving a strong taste in our mouth for weeks to come. This New Moon opens a portal that lasts longer than one night only. Don’t think of it as a swan song, babies; rather, it sets the stage for what’s to come.

Scorpio energy is all about sex, death, other people’s money, religion, the occult, even politics to some degree—what do these things all have in common? These are subjects that good little boys and girls are taught not to talk about. Which is why this is precisely the time to initiate open dialogue around these taboo topics. There’s a saying in recovery circles that you are only as sick as your secrets, and Scorpio ultimately wants us to be well. In fact, Scorpios can be some of the most powerful healers there are because they aren’t afraid to bring even the darkest wounds into the light.

Eclipse Season happens when the Sun is 18.5 degrees or closer to the nodes of fate. The nodes of fate, also known as the north and south node, are points where the Moon’s orbit crosses Earth's orbit around our Sun. Twice a year, when the Sun gets close to these cosmic hot buttons, fated events occur. The first of two eclipses that ring out 2020 happens on November 30th and the second on December 14th. While these eclipses will be happening in Gemini and Sagittarius, respectively, it is this New Moon in Scorpio that opens the curtain to the blessings and intensity to come.

The energy of an eclipse is fierce but not necessarily punishing; in fact they can bring spellbinding clarity and profound blessings. But if you’ve strayed a little far from your purpose, they can also deliver some serious tough love. I like to think of eclipses as cosmic course correctors, they show up to shove you back on your true path. And the Scorpio flavor of this Eclipse Season will demand that we begin to discuss our secrets, our hidden pain, our shadow; not to suffer unnecessarily, in fact quite the opposite, but so that we can stop suffering in silence and start toward true transformation. Before these eclipses can know where and how to bless us, the Scorpio New Moon asks us to become crystal clear on what we're truly asking for.

Change is the name of the game 2020 wants us to play and, if you’re like me, you’re sick of hearing it. But Scorpio is the true transformer of the Zodiac, teaching us to evolve and grow in ways that refute regression or backpedaling. This New Moon can be a testament to your transformation, a commitment to the new you that 2020 has been trying to unmask. The Sun and Moon both at 23 degrees Scorpio, sextile Jupiter and Pluto at 22 and 23 degrees Capricorn. Translation: Expansive transformation partnering with profound illumination of our emotional depths. It won't be gentle, but who wants a gentle cup of coffee in the morning? This Scorpio New Moon is a strong cup of black joe, and it's what we all need to wake the fuck up; not to the world around us (that’s already been happening) but rather to our own inner longings.

Scorpio energy is about attraction. Simply put, we are what we are attracted to. But consider that sexual energy and spiritual energy are opposite sides of the same coin. There’s a reason why certain people’s pheromones get us going; there’s a reason why we are compelled by certain styles, atmospheres, music, and cuisines. The erotic charge we get when in the presence of something we truly desire is hinting at an ocean of untapped power within us. When we allow ourselves to submerge into this depth of desire, we can begin to operate from our pure authenticity. Your sexuality is a gateway to your spirituality, but I'm not just talking about fucking. I'm talking about arousal, feeling sexually attracted to life itself.  Perhaps this New Moon can feed us the courage we need to face the true nature of our desire and transcend our fear and shame around it. When we can embrace our passionate depths, we can transform fully into the people this current time needs us to be.

Forgive the dramatics, but this is the point of no return. Transformation means you can’t go back. This threshold demands we commit to ourselves, our passion, and our truth in a way that doesn’t allow an escape route. There’s no plan B. There’s only one road out and through; and that road is about to open wide. This New Moon, because it’s in Scorpio, answers to Mars. An auspicious occasion, this chart has Mars stationing direct after months of moving retrograde. The planet of action and ambition is shifting out of reverse and ready to drive full steam ahead. So if you've been feeling hemmed in, penned in, held back—know that it's all about to change. Prepare to be shot out of a cannon, because once Mars goes direct, there are no brakes available; there’s only one speed, and it’s 100 mph.  

There's no shortage of juicy Astrology in these last few weeks of 2020, but I just can’t get into all of it here. So stop fronting like you aren’t hungry for more and join 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 together 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.

In the spirit of Scorpio transformation and healing, if you're wondering how to engage your own healing process more directly, consider joining us for breathwork. Breathwork is truly magic! If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out on an easy and practically free means of supporting your body, mind, heart, and spirit. We have been hosting online breathwork circles for healing, connection, and empowerment since this pandemic craziness began.  Every other Saturday, we come together to explore where we need to let go, transform, and release into joy, bliss, and profound states of consciousness. It’s a big promise, but breathwork always follows through. This Saturday we will be breathing in that Scorpio New Moon portal and opening up to cosmic connection and deep release. 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!

Last, don’t forget to tune in to The Spiritual Gayz podcast, 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. Not to mention fascinating interviews with groovy cosmic queers like Steven Canals, writer/co-creator of the hit TV show POSE, actress/icon Lena Waithe, and beauty/make-up expert Lihja Stewart.In honor of Scorpio Season, our latest episode was a deep dive into Death, which we promise, is a lot more fun than it may sound! 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!


Your Tarotscopes are below.  

Read for your Sun Sign and, if you’re hungry for more guidance, you can read for your Rising Sign as well.



Nine of Cups (Reversed)

Cups are a suit that a sign like Scorpio can understand because they speak to the water of our lives. When we draw a Cups card, we are being asked to focus on our heart realm. This is where our emotions, relationships, psychic insights, and creative inspiration all pour fourth. The Nine of Cups ushers us into a new era of self-fulfillment, seeking our own heart's needs and meeting them at all costs. There is something profoundly Scorpio about this card because Scorpio energy is relentless when passionate, and the Nine of Cups wants us to re-ignite our passion for being alive, at all costs. If you've ever been fully immersed in a creative pursuit, if you've ever lost track of time in your own imagination, when you contemplate a sunset and you disappear into something larger than yourself—that's Nine of Cups energy. Spend these next few weeks exploring how to ring your own bells and sing your own song. Don't worry if other people look at you askance or question your pursuits. The Nine of Cups is a moment when we turn away from the outer world and plunge into the depths of our heart alone; but don't worry, it's not lonely. So long as you have you, the fullness of your heart and your spirit, loneliness will never visit you. What have you been putting off doing because you don't think other people will get it? Where have you made yourself small so as not to bring discomfort to those around you? The old-school Tarot readers call this the wish card; when it would turn up in a reading, they would encourage you to make a wish. Whatever the reason, they felt the appearance of this card indicated the environment is right for you to make a wish now—right now. So go for it. What are you afraid to wish for? What is the wish you have for your life? Perhaps you, yourself, are a living wish that the universe made. Perhaps the Earth herself wished for you. Maybe long ago your ancestors wished for you. How can you make yourself come true?



Son of Coins

Court cards show up to remind us who we are. There are sixteen court cards, and each suggests an aspect of ourselves that needs to be awakened. The Son of Coins (or the Knight of Pentacles, as it is more commonly called) is you when you continue to commit to your dreams, hour after hour, day after day, even when it seems impossible—especially when it seems impossible.   There’s a nose to the grindstone, head down, just-keep-swimming kind of vibe to this court card. Even if we don’t feel like we are making progress, the Knight of Pentacles doesn’t know about giving up, it only knows about giving over. Here you are a great mover of magic, a master of manifestation, who knows that things only seem to appear overnight. This card represents an aspect of yourself that is wholly committed to making your visions a reality. The Knight of Pentacles isn’t in it for egoistic reasons; the work itself must be the reward.  When you love your work, when you are willing to grow your roots all the way into it, to give it your complete attention for a sustained period of time, then you are expressing this court card in full.   Spend the next few weeks in beast mode and let yourself luxuriate in the hard work of making things come to fruition. There are periods of rest and periods of exertion; you've found yourself in the latter. Remember not to be discouraged by the long road that awaits you. If each day's labor brings you satisfaction, you'll have more than enough drive to finish strong. I know I don't have to remind you about the old story of the tortoise and the hare. But sometimes the oldest stories are the best ones. Slow and steady does win the race, even if our contemporary world is sped all the way, that still doesn't mean you can't achieve more by slowing down.



Five of Cups (Reversed)

Listen, it's your party and you can cry if you want to. In fact, you must. The party I'm talking about is your life, Capricorn. And while it's your second nature to keep it together at all times (and at all costs), the cards would suggest you need to take a moment and break down a little. The Five of Cups asks us to make friends with our grief. Friends with our grief? I can feel you revulsing, straining to understand. But listen, where we don't give ourselves permission to feel the truth of our lives, we literally stop them from unfolding. Consider this moonth your opportunity for a profound emotional reset, a chance to break down in order to break through. This isn't about throwing in the towel; nobody said admit defeat. Rather, just be honest about where you are disappointed in how things have turned out so far. Notice I said so far. The game isn't over, far from it. But before you can return to playing you need to clear your heart from everything that's been weighing it down. The good news is that in the reversed position, this card can come in softer. Perhaps it's a beautiful gentle weeping as opposed to an ugly cry on the bathroom floor. But sometimes reversed cards are quieter; they can be sneaky, and if we don't pay attention we may miss them entirely. So don't carry on with business as usual this moonth. Look for invitations to release, to feel your feelings, to let go the heaviness and the sadness that's lurking right behind your eyes. The sooner you give yourself permission to be human the sooner you can get back to being the superhuman badass everyone expects you to be.


Aquarius Six of Coins

The Six of Coins is like springtime, when all the flowers begin to bloom. Imagine being a flower in Spring; after months of holding tight and staying small in the bud, we get to expand into our true size. We get to show off our true colors and perfume the air. This is the invitation of the Six of Coins: to bloom. But it may be more than just your personal petals unfolding. The Six of Coins (or Pentacles as they are more commonly called) is the call to notice everything in your life that is growing ripe and ready for plucking. Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset said, "Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are." It's a staggering observation to notice we really are exactly what we pay attention to. Well, start paying attention to what's really good. Start noticing what's growing well and what's growing up. I would wager that the appearance of this card suggests that you won't have to look too hard to find some serious stirrings of abundance and prosperity in your immediacy. Success is a vulnerable precipice, it requires us to be more open than failure. Expansion sounds great until you're exactly in the midst of it. Let yourself soften this moonth and notice where you are winning, gaining, and evolving. It's ok to feel insecure about achievement, it's ok to struggle to accept a compliment. So struggle to bloom but refuse to shut down, to harden yourself to what you've worked so hard to garner for yourself. It might be the cusp of winter, but for you, things are blooming. So don't apologize, don't hold back, and bloom!


Pisces Son of Flames

Court cards show up to remind us who we are. There are sixteen court cards, and each suggests an aspect of ourselves that needs to be awakened. The Son of Flames (or the Knight of Wands as it is more commonly called) is you at your most dynamic and charismatic. Think of the last time you felt deeply empowered and fully alive. Or when did you last allow an unfiltered expression of your authenticity and ingenuity? That’s the Knight of Wands, an aspect of yourself that never holds back its brilliance and talent.   Wherever and whenever you feel like a rockstar, you embody this card. Librarians are rockstars in the library, chefs in the kitchen. The dynamic quality of this card isn't always loud, but it’s always electric. And no matter how quiet you may be, the Knight of Wands always turns heads when walking into a room. Ask yourself: When did I last feel like rockstar? When did I last feel my own vibrancy oozing out from every pore? Let your answers guide you to recapturing that feeling in your present moment. Life is meant to be lived, hard. It's time for you to recommit to adventure and excitement. If you've been playing it safe and staying small, the Son of Flames is a strong reminder to see yourself as a seductress of life. To quote one of my favorite songwriters, "There are mouths to be kissed before mouths to be fed, and a lot in between in the meanwhile. And a girl ought to celebrate what passes by." So light yourself on fire this moonth and celebrate living. It's high time you remembered your power and the fun you can have while wielding it.


Aries The Lovers (Reversed)

This card speaks to our individuation from society, culture, and family—basically it's the teenager of the Tarot who does what they want, when they want, and doesn't give two fucks about the consequences. It's an important period of development, when we separate who society (or our parents or partners) would have us be and really begin to explore who our hearts would have us be. That's the love the Lovers speaks too—self love, babe.

You see, the Lovers isn't actually about love at all, it's about choice. While we may not get to choose who or what we love, we do have a choice about whether or not to make ourselves vulnerable to those feelings. This doesn’t just happen outside ourselves. We must choose to become vulnerable to our own inner polarities. We must choose to unite our opposing edges. The Lovers invites us to meditate on the multiplicity of the self. Who in us has been ignored or unloved? And how can we choose to love them and let them express through our lives?

Perhaps this moonth finds you in need of a reminder that you choose the life you live. You choose it with your words, your thoughts, and your actions. You choose your life one day at a time, one hour a time—minute by minute. You can choose to renew your habitual relationships, work, and habits, or you can choose something new. It's very easy to fall into the trap that we are powerless. But you are an Aries, a fiery leader and warrior of individuality and innovation. Time to remember that you are choosing more than just your life, you're choosing who in you gets to live it. Choose wisely.


Taurus Four of Feathers

This may be a little heady, but Feathers are the mental realm, so I'm gonna take a stab at it. That's a pun, by the way, because Feathers in this deck are more commonly called Swords elsewhere. And swords are how we cut through the illusions of our lives and get to the meat of it. Our minds are invaluable because without them how would we metabolize our experiences into meaning? How would we know what story we're really writing with our lives in the first place. In his eerily prescient classic 1984, George Orwell wrote, "who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." I share this with you because you are sitting at an important threshold where you might be able to wrangle some new control around your past. The Four of Feathers invites us to return to the crises we've survived to mine the gifts of those tough times. You see, usually when we're getting through the worst of it we're too hunkered down in survival mode to really get a sense of what's going on. But from your calm, centered present, you might be able to look back and gain some wisdom. With a new look on your past, you might have a brand-new look on life in general. Fours in the Tarot are foundations, they give us a chance to rebuild our bottom floor in a sturdier, more honest way. There's an emotional and intuitive foundation that's available for you this moonth if you can be courageous enough to imaginatively take yourself back in time and observe some of your harder moments. When we can safely review our trauma from a distance, we may discover many gems we couldn't pick up at the time. Even more, we may gain some perspective on why we are how we are. The past is indeed a strong indication of the future, but the past can be rewritten as we gain more knowledge and awareness. We know that history is written by the winners—perhaps you're ready to claim your winnings and tell your story as you lived it.


Gemini Father of Coins (Reversed)

Court cards show up to remind us who we are. There are sixteen court cards, and each suggests an aspect of ourselves that needs to be awakened. The Father of Coins (or the King of Pentacles as it is more commonly called) is you when you take absolute responsibility for your life through your control of the world around you. This is an extremely powerful expression of your will that can be used to either build empires or tear them down.  As a master of the Earth element, this aspect of self suggests you are standing in your power and calling all the shots. There is tremendous self-confidence here.   Who in you holds the self-esteem of a conqueror? When did you last feel like a true warrior? When we can own our success and be generous with our wealth of resources, time, and wisdom, then we are surely living as the King of Pentacles. But it's not so simple as all that. When is it ever simple for a Gemini, am I right? This card came in upside down, which complicates the issue. Reversals (what we call an upside card) can indicate an aversion or an over-reliance on this type of expression. Are you controlling too much in your life right now? Are you trying to force the world around you to bend to your needs? Or have you completely given up any sense of control at all? They might be opposites, but they really express the same thing. We can only control ourselves and our reactions to things. When you stand in King of Pentacles energy, you take responsibility for what is truly yours and you leave the rest to fate, or the birds, or Cher. Don't spend this moonth shirking your responsibilities but don't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders either. Remember where your true power lives, in your confidence—and if that's feeling anemic, figure out how you can beef it up. This new world needs you feeling your most resilient, resplendent self!


Cancer Nine of Feathers

Our mind is not out to get us; it's out to protect us. Unfortunately, its methods of protection can induce anxiety and depression. The Nine of Feathers presents us with an opportunity to put our mind in check. I lovingly call this card the Drama Queen card because, let's face it, our minds can be major drama queens. They do this to help us prepare for worst-case scenarios, but very rarely does the worst case come to fruition. When we can respect our mind without getting taken for a ride, we are fully embracing the magic the Nine of Feathers can provide. Feathers in this deck are more commonly called Swords. Swords are connected to the element of air and represent our mental realm. To me, Swords explore our identity through the stories we tell ourselves. And sometimes we need to remember that not every story that passes through our brain is a good one or even a true one. Remember, you don't have to believe everything you think! Perhaps you've allowed your mind free reign for too long— if left unchecked, it'll keep you up all night ruminating about the end of the world. Sometimes what's good for the soul is terrible for the ego. Sometimes our struggles end up being the sweetest portal for growth. Spend these next few weeks observing your brain chemistry and making sure you're not over identifying with it. If your anxiety or depression is running amok, remember that you are not your anxiety or depression. You're allowed to feel your feelings but let them move through you like the flu. You don't have to sit with drama until you understand it, you don't have to speak sense to your mind when it's clearly hysterical—sometimes storms come into town for no particular reason, and the best advice is to just let chaos run its course and be free and clear on the other side.


Leo Eight of Coins

Whenever I see this card, I think of this song, which really fits our quarantine lifestyle right now. And it would be an appropriate theme song for you this moonth as you get down to work—from home (or not). You see, the Eights in the Tarot are evolutions; they bring us into a new dimension, like from 2-D to 3-D. Or imagine an ape slowly becoming a human; evolution is a slow process but then there’s a moment when BAM, you’re just a brand-new being. The Eight of Coins (or Pentacles) is trying to help you evolve your craft. It’s not that your old tricks are bad or even ineffective, it’s just that if you keep relying on your old bag you’ll never develop your new skill set. Whether you’re a doctor, a lawyer, an interior designer, or a producer of immersive multimedia pop-up theatrical events, let these next few weeks evolve your game.

Simply put, get ready to sweat for success and refine your technique in the process. Plan to discover that your work is growing, expanding, and revealing itself to you in new ways. Are you starting to get a sense of what your life's work really is? I’m not talking about just how you pay the bills. I’m not even necessarily talking about what you went to school for. I’m talking about the work your soul came here to do. I know that’s an enormous question and more than a little esoteric, but I know you can handle it. The Eight of Pentacles invites an awareness of the overarching theme of your time here on Earth. And there’s no time like the present to start to unpack what that evolution looks like. As you find yourself busy as hell this moonth, ask yourself if you are still enjoying what you do! When we think about the grandiose plan of our soul’s purpose, it’s common to probably envision Oprah-sized lives. But the soul’s purpose isn’t just something you do, it’s how you live. It’s the energy you bring to every encounter and exchange. Our work is so much more than the books we publish or the jobs we hold. Start to meditate on the legacy you’ll leave behind. Is it a legacy of kindness? Of liberation? Of ingenuity? It may surprise you. Make sure the evolution of your day job is in alignment with the bigger work your soul came to do and you will happily work (from home) for the rest of your days.


Virgo Magic

What is called Magic in this deck is better known as The Magician. The Magician works in tandem with the greater hidden creative and generative forces of our reality. They are not the source of creation, but they do know how to direct the source of all power toward their goal. When we find ourselves manifesting our desires with the help of unseen forces, we are channeling the Magician. A true Magician knows they are merely the vessel through which the divine can work, bridging earth and sky, as above, so below—the Magician brings divinity to earth and infuses divinity with their own humanity. This is all to say that before you can cast a spell on your life, you need to be crystal clear on what spell it is that you are casting. These next few weeks are a golden opportunity to let yourself in on your secret desires. What is it that you truly want for your life? Creation without intention is chaos, you can't just wave a magic wand willy-nilly and hope for something good to happen. The Magician allows the magic through setting a strong intention. The will utilized by this archetype is the will to set forth toward a goal. This is exemplified by the principle that if you can't say out loud what it is that you want, you’re not ready to have it. When manifesting, spellwork, intention setting, etc., always say, "THIS or something better." (This way you leave room for the things you don’t even know you need.) When I teach manifestation to students, I tell them that the most important thing to focus on is the WHAT not the HOW. When we are in alignment with the divine, HOW things happen can be surprising and downright magical. That's not up to us to decide. What is in our power is exactly WHAT we desire. It's like going grocery shopping the day before throwing a party. If you don't know what sort of party you're throwing, your time in the store will likely be scattered, stressful, and ultimately unsuccessful. But if you have a list, and I know you Virgos love a list, there's nothing to stop you from throwing the party of your dreams. Get clear on what you want for your life, keep asking for it, keep committing to it, and don't be surprised if magical forces intervene to make it come true.


Libra The Hierophant

Here's a little history lesson you didn't ask for: The Eleusinian mysteries were one of the first organized religions of humanity, and they were given to the people of Eleusis by the Goddess Ceres/Demeter, (the original Earth Goddess, the Great Mother, Goddess of Fertility, Agriculture, and the Harvest), hence the term Eleusinian mysteries. If you recall, it was Ceres/Demeter who lost her daughter Persephone to the underworld for half of the year; which is why for six months of the year, the harvest waned, crops would not grow, and days grew short and cold. Hierophant is a Greek word for "priest," specifically the type of priest who was initiated into Ceres' particular school of spiritual magic. The mysteries that Ceres gave to humanity were these original teachings of life, death, and rebirth. They were Earth-based revelations that offered a direct experience of these mysteries, emboldening the initiates to face death without fear—knowing that it was only one stop on a perpetual cycle of transformation. The Hierophant represents your initiation into higher spiritual learning. But where to look for it? Everywhere. You don't need a guru or a teacher, everything is a teacher; your life is the greatest guru of them all.  The Babylonian Talmud taught that while religion has value, even without a formal spiritual education we could learn everything we need to know from the animals and the Earth herself. Spirituality, for humans, is sourced from this very planet we call home. So what does this mean for you and your moonth ahead? It means trust the books showing up on your path, trust the dreams that visit you. There's a big teaching coming through for you, but you must be attuned to receive it. If you've been asking for the next step to become clear, this is it! But it may be a whisper, it may be a riddle; so stay alert and you will find what you seek.


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.

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