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Tarotscopes with Brandon Alter: November 2020

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