Tarotscopes with Brandon Alter—September 2020

By Brandon Alter:

Is it just me or has the elasticity of our days gone slack? Every Monday, my therapist asks me to recount the past week, and my mind goes blank. Hours blur. I feel like it’s always 6 p.m. and I’m having to figure out what to make for dinner, again and again and again. I ask friends on the phone, "Did I just talk to you yesterday or was that two weeks ago?" "Gurl, we talked this morning," they reply. I wander the house, the dog follows me like a shadow: What am I looking for? Where am I going? My husband asks, "What’s wrong, babe?" I have no words; the best I can muster is to say, "I feel unmoored." I feel unmoored.

He admits that before he met me he’d never heard anyone use that term. It’s a nautical expression that refers to a ship having lost contact with the dock, nothing tethering it to land. I don’t know where I picked it up; I’ve never been a sailor—maybe in a past life but probably not. I feel unmoored. I repeat it like a mantra. I chant it, silently, out loud, whisper it to the dog, to the olive tree out back, to anyone who will listen. I feel unmoored. And as I lean into it, as I accept it, it changes shape. Instead of lamenting this feeling of confusion—this sense of being completely unanchored to anything—I start to celebrate it. I let it liberate me. "I’m unmoored," I proclaim.  I’m free.

What does this have to do with Astrology, you might be wondering? Well, before there was time as we know it, before there were the seven days of the week and the Hallmark holidays, and Summer Vacation, there were the seasons. The seasons were how we charted time. They are an unchanging cosmology to which we can anchor ourselves. And these four essence energies haven’t gone anywhere. The original Astrologers determined the Zodiac meanings based on the happenings of the seasons on Earth. The cold, sometimes aloof expressions of Capricorn and Aquarius are not separate from the chilly winter frosts that accompany their birth. You see, we are the seasons. And as the outer (and somewhat arbitrary) structures of our contemporary lives continue to fall away, what we are left with is the truth of who and what we are.  

We can look to the wheel of the Zodiac to help us understand who we are and where we are. Especially now, as our distractions and illusions melt faster than the glaciers, I find it a helpful practice to ask questions of myself that align with the Cosmic Season in which we find ourselves. The question that rules Leo is: How am I? And I don’t mean like “How are you doing?” I mean HOW do you behave, how do you express yourself? How do you truly want to be? When left alone to your own devices, how do you move through the world? What is your unique style of existence?  

If no one were watching, if you couldn’t post about it on Instagram, how would you naturally shape your days? Would you be writing poetry in the nude? Would you be cooking lavish meals in your Sunday best?  Would you be quietly sipping pink champagne by a creek somewhere? This is the perfect time to commit to discovering your true nature—especially now as there is more space than ever before to be as we truly are. If we can stop performing our lives for others and live them fully for ourselves, we will be tapping into the true power of Leo Season.

The truth is, we have always been unmoored.  We just got really good at pretending otherwise. These inherited fictions (the Stock Market, Gucci, Valentine’s Day) are just stories that we have raised up as unchanging gods—but they are false gods and nothing more. The original gods are nature, and to those gods we are now returning. We might feel unmoored because we are being forced to question everything, to denounce our comfortable prisons in exchange for the wilderness of a new frontier. But as we lose our ability to distract from the truth of who are, what we gain is a sense of the divine order which permeates.

Leos live from the heart. And they live, primarily, for themselves. Yes, low-vibe Leos can be narcissists, the same way low-vibe Aquarians (Leo’s opposite sign) can be martyrs. But they are both coming at the same ontology from a different angle. Serving oneself is serving others. Honoring your innate nature is crucial if you're going to be of any good to anyone else. The mantra of this season is this: If you’re always putting out the fires of others, you’ll never be able to tend to your own. This is the time to pull your energies all the way back so that you can focus on yourself. Once you’ve fully explored and understood the HOW of your life then you can choose to put your magnificence in the service of others. But slow down, babies, that’s what Virgo season is for, and we aren't there yet.

The Leo New Moon that perfects Tuesday evening is the flag we plant in the ground that claims our lives for ourselves. Living for others isn’t as easy to spot as it seems—our ego's machinations can be insidious. We’ve been so thoroughly indoctrinated into the church of achievement that it takes practice to discern where societies' programming ends and your true desires begin. This New Moon is a window of clarity to ensure that we are living our best life. It’s a golden opportunity to take back your sovereignty from the powers that be and affirm that your life is your own and you get to live it however your heart deems best.