By Brandon Alter:
Are you changing? Have you changed? Growth is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it happens all on it’s own. Like a rose-garden, blooming must be tended to. 2020 has been trying to grow us up. The external shitstorm has been deliberately orchestrated to help us make internal shifts. So, have you? Who were you in March of this year? And who are you now?
Hopefully you’ve embraced a major (albeit uncomfortable) growth spurt in your heart and your soul. Maybe you’ve changed your mind about some things, released some antiquated beliefs and replaced them with some new, more helpful thought patterns. The Astrology of these next few weeks is here to help you clarify the changes that have been happening in your own being. And if there haven’t been any changes, these next few weeks are going to be an evolutionary bootcamp that puts you on a fast-track to transformation.
As I write this, Mercury has begun his backward journey through the underworlds of Scorpio. Scorpio energy wants to make the subconscious conscious. It wants to unearth the deep truths and hold them up to the light. Mercury retrograde in Scorpio is like a “Secrets Revealed” episode of The Real Housewives, except you’re the housewife. These next few weeks are a golden opportunity to illuminate the inner workings of your own mind and renew your commitment to slaying your inner saboteur.
We are still in Libra Season, but with Mercury in Scorpio for an extended period of time, we are already getting a taste of the intensity to come. I jokingly (and lovingly) call Libra Season "Pumpkin Spice Latte Season" because Libra is known for their taste and aesthetics and for posing with pretty much anything available to them (a latte, a lipstick, a vase of flowers, etc.). Suffice to say that this Pumpkin Spice Latte Season has been spiked with Tequila. I’m not telling you something you don’t already know when I say that this Libra Season has definitely been spicier than most, and the New Moon in Libra is no exception.
Generally, New Moons are gentle and sweet, they hold space for us to start new cycles and set new intentions. But this New Moon has a different agenda. The chart for this New Moon has the Sun and the Moon squaring Saturn and Pluto and opposing Mars. It’s a tense arrangement of planets, each of them trying to do their own damn thing and being forced to collaborate. If I may, let me try to break this all down for you:
Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, as they have been all year, are attempting to dismantle the structures that keep us from a future worth having. Capricorn is the last Earth sign in the Zodiac, it wants to build things that can last—as as we’ve seen, our current way of living, educating, providing health care, governing, policing, and exchanging with our planet home (I could go on but I won't) is not working. These two planets are trying to teach us why we can’t have nice things; so if we want them, we best prove that we can take care of them.
Meanwhile, the Sun and the Moon are trying to find a path toward justice in Libra. Libra isn’t just about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, expensive candles, and designer jeans; it’s also about rebellion and equality. Venus rules this sign, and she speaks to what we value—sometimes that’s luxury, but what's more luxurious than our sovereign human rights? The Sun and the Moon meetup to discuss partnerships that need to be renewed or released in the interest of true liberation and fairness for all.
And not to be forgotten, on the other side of the wheel is Mars, planet of action and ambition, moving backward in Aries. Aries is the sign of I AM, Libra is the sign of WE ARE. So there’s a bottleneck happening here, a necessary but tight squeeze that asks us to redefine who we are so that we can renegotiate our relationships in the pursuit of a nice future we can actually sustain. Sound intense AF? Well, blame your soul, babies, you signed up for this shit—we all did.
Aries, Libra, and Capricorn—three Cardinal signs—all trying to forge ahead in their own way and yet, in this Lunar moment, they must work together. To me, this New Moon has two big invitations, and the first is all about letting go. Letting go is a process, and it doesn’t happen all at once. Sure, we can chop all our hair off in an instant, we can block our ex’s in a second, and we can throw all our old clothes into a bag and drop them off at Goodwill in less than an afternoon. But a deeper letting go takes time. And while Libra may prefer to play nice on the surface, Mercury in Scorpio demands we go deep. First we have to be willing to sever the connection, to cut the cord, and then we must allow a slow unbinding until we are free. It’s this sort of release the feisty New Moon in Libra wants to initiate for us all.
The other invitation of this New Moon takes us back to my initial question: Are you changing? If so, what actions can you implement to make sure your changes stick? The old you has momentum, and if you don’t watch it, the old you will be living your life again sooner than you can say retrograde. There’s a practical approach to change, and we must make sure to do everything in our power to support ourselves as we endeavor to stay the transformed new people this year has gifted us.
This New Moon wants you to change to support your change, you dig?
What people, places, things, events, stories, histories, ideologies, thought patterns, habits, inner dialogues, words, practices, and styles are just not aligned with you anymore? And can you begin the process of letting them go? This New Moon will help you; it can assist you in profound ways, making you stronger than you ever believed possible. But it can’t do it for you. You must take the first step into the river, then and only then will it come in like the current and carry you downstream.
The last piece of this that needs to be addressed is Venus. Venus rules Libra, and she rules this New Moon. So where is she? She’s hanging out in the middle of Virgo, a sign that has her feeling productive and pragmatic. Virgo energy tends toward perfection, so we may be tempted to abandon any attempt that we can’t fulfill perfectly—that would be foolish. Perfection is a myth. It can’t be achieved, even Beyoncé chips a nail every now and then.
So the goal for this New Moon is just to start trusting that an imperfect beginning is worth more than no beginning at all.
The good news is that Venus is opposite Neptune in Pisces in this New Moon chart. Neptune in Pisces is the goddess of prayer in the temple of spirit, an incredibly blessed albeit ephemeral placement. This means that when we do some work on Earth, we get helped by the heavens. There’s a bigger picture playing out, and though we may not be able to see it, trust that our bite-sized portions of the whole are vital, adding to the cosmic cookie. This is to say, do what you can and only what you can, no more and no less.
If it feels like a lot, that’s because it is. But with Mercury and Mars moving backward through November 4th and 14th respectively, there’s a chance to clean up our messes before we charge ahead. Slow and steady is the tempo of this dance break. And if the stars don’t feel particularly gentle, that’s an opportunity for you to soften up even more. Don't feel rushed, don’t feel pressured to take the bait of drama and discord; this is a sacred time for release and renewal. Don't let the politics tell you otherwise. Self-care is your priority. You can’t be the new you if you’re too busy taking care of everyone else.
For more specific Cosmic Updates and Tarot Wisdom, I highly encourage you to tune into The Spiritual Gayz. This is our twice monthly podcast 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. If you’ve been looking to expand your spiritual horizons in a fun, accessible way, look no further!
In the interest of Mercury and Mars Retrograde, your Tarotscopes are bite-sized bits of razor-sharp encouragement. Use them like a machete to clear your way through the jungle of your life. Read for your Sun Sign, and if you’re hungry for more, read for your rising.
Wheel of Fortune (Reversed)
The Wheel of Fortune, whether upside down or rightside up, always indicates big blessings ahead. Sometimes the reversal means the blessing will be disguised as a curse—but don’t let that fool you. There’s opportunity ripe for the plucking so long as you're well prepared to advantage when the time comes. Expect the unexpected but anticipate abundance, even from the most unlikely of sources.
Eight of Wands
Some of the planets may be moving slowly, but for you things are about to pick up the pace in a major way. The Eight of Wands indicates that projects long brewing are coming to fruition. Maybe something you’d almost given up on comes roaring back to life. Your job isn’t to ask why now, why me, or why not. Your job is to say thank and you hold on as tightly as you can.
Your adventure just caught fire, your sailboat just caught wind, so trust you’ll be taken exactly where you need to go.
King of Cups
The King of Cups is the healer of the deck. Having successfully resolved your own wounds, you can begin to share your unique magic with others. This is a powerful card that speaks to your ability to hold space for others. Sometimes this means holding space for the pain of others, but it can just as often mean holding space for their joy. The King of Cups is a channel, allowing the stories and songs of the collective to flow through their veins. Remember, you can heal with more than your hands: words heal, music heals, art and dance can heal just as powerfully as two-ton crystal.
Seven of Cups
Choose with your heart, not with your Ego. Plenty of choices are presenting themselves to you this moonth, and you must be careful not to select only the opportunities that seem most lucrative. The Seven of Cups asks us to feel deeply into our passion and our purpose before moving forward with our goals. Consider if you are truly proud of the work you are producing right now. Does it sing your heart’s true song? That and only that is what requires your keen attention right now.
Seven of Swords (Reversed)
Stop being too clever for your own good. If it looks like sabotage and it smells like sabotage, it’s sabotage. Pay attention to how you’re getting in your own way—probably by making things more complicated than they need to be. The Seven of Swords is an invitation to tell the truth on yourself, the hard truth, the ugly truth. But ultimately, this one sneaky sword of truth you’ve been hiding from is the only information you need to liberate yourself.
You’re ready to graduate from magic college and start working on your PhD. The Hierophant shows up to initiate us into the depths of mystical knowledge and higher learning. Perhaps you’re ready to commit to learning a new skill, a new trade, or a new philosophy. Perhaps your spiritual practice is ready for some evolution. Trust that the right books are being put in your path and the right classes are appearing. They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears—you’re ready!
Ten of Swords
Stop fighting your evolution. The old you is dead. But that doesn’t mean it can’t resurrect itself and usurp your life. This is a moment to step out of an old cycle of suffering. Trust in the awareness that has been populating your mind. You don't have to keep struggling in the same old way. This moonth presents a major opportunity for rebirth. But these windows of opportunity don’t last forever. Jump, even if you don’t feel ready; jump before the old you can pull you back.
Queen of Swords (Reversed)
Maya Angelou said it best: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." You know the truth, you can feel it in your guts. Stop pretending it’s not true just because it’s not convenient. Truth hurts, but ultimately it can heal. Your job is to tell the truth, with love, on everyone and everything you see—including yourself. Take off your blinders and unbind your tongue; you are a truth teller, and we need your wisdom now.
When did you stop believing in Magic? When did you agree to the belief that you have to do it all yourself? No, we can't waste our lives wishing for a fairy godmother to come and make all our dreams come true. But when we act as if magic is real, it’s amazing the unexplainable blessings that show up. Pretend the impossible is possible, pretend that magic is real: how would that change how you’re living your life? Maybe the only magic you really need is to remember that your dreams are real and you deserve them coming to fruition. They are, and you do.
Gurl, you’ve been working yourself to the bone, stressing yourself out, running your nervous system into the ground, and spirit is saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (cue the Donna Summer). The Star shows up when we need to be taken away from here and into a cosmic realm of healing and understanding. Even if your schedule is cramped and your budget slim, you need to put your self-care first and remember what’s really important. Your deeper soothing is a priority, and please think of your wise, gentle soul—that’s who needs your attention right now.
Ace of Swords
What if your life up until now was just the exposition of your story? Every single job, relationship, success, and failure has been the prequel to the main event of your life, starting now. The Ace of Swords shows up with a brand-new story for your life; and sometimes that means a new cast of characters and wardrobe to boot. Give yourself permission to start over, not because you’ve failed but because you’re finally wise enough, resilient enough, and powerful enough to begin the thing you always knew you were here to do!
Five of Wands
Comparing yourself to others is an act of violence against your authentic self. I didn’t make that up, Iyanla Vanzant did, and that lady knows some things, okay? You get in your own way when you put yourself up against others because every flower blooms in its own season. Your job is to shake up your status quo and get your energy moving again. Keep your eyes on your own paper and focus on clearing some space to catch the wind. Nobody can help you with that but yourself.
BRANDON ALTER is a spiritual 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. Brandon is a thoroughly trained healer, astrologer and yoga 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.