SEPTEMBER 2023 OVERVIEW
It’s a scientific fact* that you don’t have to suffer in order to enjoy what you love. You do not have to punish yourself for falling short of some invisible benchmark. You can be worthy even if you don’t cross off every item on your list. Look it up!
I was talking to my therapist (shoutout to Fountain Square Counseling) about self-acceptance and guilt–specifically, I’ve noticed that I feel guilt when I accept myself. It occurred to me that the themes I’m facing in my life are a perfect reflection of what’s going on in the stars. And actually, what the heck goes on in a brain that makes someone think they’re bad for loving themselves? Maybe it’s because it’s Virgo season, and all these planets are retrograde!
I know I’m not the only one who does this: request time off from a muggle job months in advance, put a bunch of charges on a credit card for flights and hotels, take the time off and have a blast, and then come back and feel like an idiot jerk for having fun and not paying in cash.
And not just in the regular old post-vacation-depression way. I feel guilty for enjoying myself while massive tragedies are happening all around me–Hawaii is burnt to a crisp, and I’ve seen stories from friends of friends whose lives are uprooted by the destruction of landslides in the the very place I just visited. I know people who can’t afford to go out to a restaurant. Meanwhile, I was just carried through the air on a speeding metal tube with wings to live it up on the coast with some of my besties.
Sometimes, I feel guilty for not being positive even though, forgive me for saying this, we live in a dystopian hellscape. Of course, beautiful, amazing, magical things happen every day, but people’s lives are in literal shambles… so again, forgive me for saying this, but sometimes I feel bad when I enjoy myself.
Cut back to me lamenting to my therapist, who told me these feelings and circumstances are not a measure of my goodness. We are breathing in the air of a society based on meritocracy. I hate it, but the quality of our reward–and how happy we get to be–is traditionally measured by the quality of our work. Unless you do some major work to break free from these societal norms, this is simply a fact. We currently live in a meritocracy (okay, Virgo season, we get it).
This is not how life is supposed to be, my dudes! Enjoying life, experiencing the world with curiosity, allowing yourself to be adventurous and new at something–that is your birthright. Despite what “they” want us to think, we are allowed to be happy, for no reason at all. You aren’t meant to measure your worth and value against your output. You don’t have to earn human rights. All you have to do today is exist.
And this is a major lesson to be faced with going into Virgo season. We are all products of the society we live in. Indy is a pretty good one if you ask me, but still, we don’t escape the pressures of measuring up to some invisible standard or benchmark. Not only are we entering the season of the zodiac that craves achievement, seven planets are retrograding, encouraging an examination of the self and its circumstances in so many ways.
Dare I say it? Mercury retrograde is not a bad thing. Sure, there may be miscommunications and misunderstandings, technology can go haywire, exes can resurface from thin air, things seem to rewind–because they are. That’s what retrogrades are.
Mercury retrograde is actually just an awesome opportunity to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Pay attention to and appreciate where you’ve succeeded and failed, at the same time. You’ve changed. You’ve grown. Perhaps I could use some thoughtful reflection re: why I feel the need to reach a certain “level” and why I think I need to suffer in order to appreciate the good things.
I’m getting super personal here because, by nature, Virgo season encourages us to work hard to accomplish goals. Retrogrades require us to reflect on how we got where we are, whether it’s where we’d like to be or not. That’s part of why I think retrogrades have such a bad reputation: it’s not a choice. Life (and the planets) will bring the appropriate circumstances to be sure you’re faced with the appropriate lesson. This is a universal phenomenon.
But you do not need to work a certain amount in order to achieve the right to enjoy your life, Virgo. You don’t have to do anything to deserve happiness–you just have to exist, remember?
This month, cut yourself some dang slack, babes. You can work your ass off and still not become Warren Buffett. You can be like a monk who sets himself on fire in protest of a corrupt government and still not change the system. You can tithe all your money to a good cause and not be saved. Excruciatingly hard work doesn’t always get you good results.
And also, let me ask you this: who cares? Who are you acting in service of? If the answer is not you, I encourage you to reconsider. This is your whole entire project for Virgo season, my love. That and to read this Mary Oliver poem repeatedly, because in order to deserve happiness, you do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
BIRTHDAY ROYALTY <3 Virgo Placements (Birthday between July 23 – August 22):
You’re used to this type of stress. Unlike everyone else in the zodiac, you’re well-accustomed to placing the burden on yourself–you have long thought that it’s only your own fault if you don’t see the fruits of your labor. This month, as the pressure’s on for the rest of the zodiac, you are starting to realize that you have all the tools you need right here. You’ve already done everything you need to do in order to get what you want (hint: it’s nothing). All year long, you’ve been learning that you don’t have to always be good. This month feels like a bit of a litmus test, and now you know that you don’t even need to study. You’re right where you need to be, and you don’t have to do anything else.
Tarotscopes | 4 of Swords: Give yourself the space to rest and reflect. This is the best gift you can give yourself this month.
NOW FOR THE REST OF YOU...
Libra & Libra Placements (Birthday between September 23 – October 22):
You have the admirable ability to go with the flow, and you can pretty easily adapt to whatever challenges are blocking your path. You’re a chameleon, and people look to you to set the temperature of an environment. If you’re angry, it’ll rub off, and likewise, if you’re pleased, so will they be. Approach newness with openness and see how far you can get by following your instincts. You’re ready for something new.
Tarotscopes | The Fool: You’ve already gone through the necessary change to live a new life. Now you just have to live.
Scorpio Placements (Birthday between October 23 – November 21):
You’re receiving support from unexpected and unlikely sources, and you deserve it. Your growth has been kind of hard-won over the past few months. It feels really good being backed and receiving positive reinforcement from people you didn’t even know were watching. Your world is opening up right now, so don’t be surprised if you get big news and big opportunities. When the stars align, it doesn’t matter what you do or what you have done. It’s simply aligned.
Tarotscopes | Justice: What goes around comes around, and now you’re the one it’s coming around to.
Sagittarius & Sag Placements (Birthday between November 22 – December 21):
This month might feel a little discouraging for you, bb Sag. You’ve put in so much effort to get this thing that you very much deserve, but something just isn’t adding up. Maybe it’s timing. Maybe it’s circumstances. Whatever the case, having it all simply isn’t in the cards for you this month. That’s okay–there are big wins in your future. You just may have to let a dream die this month.
Tarotscopes | Death: In order for new dreams to grow, you have to uproot the dead ones and let them go.
Capricorn Placements (Birthday between December 22 – January 19):
Your intuition is spot-on right now, and everything is clicking into place for you to feel like you’ve gotten what you need out of a situation. You’re about to surpass the growth you thought you could achieve, and then you may realize that sometimes a plant gets too big for its pot. The only way to keep that plant growing and thriving is to prune and replant it. You’re the plant, my dude. What do you need to release to get where you want to go?
Tarotscopes | The Magician: For this one rare moment, you recognize that you have absolutely all the tools needed to accomplish any of your massive dreams.
Aquarius & Aquarius Placements (Birthday between January 20 – February 18):
Jupiter and Uranus are giving you a run for your money this month, asking you to pump the brakes and watch the road. You’re starting to see that something you were counting on to get you out of a rut is an illusion. You can’t actually count on it, but it’s okay. This is actually good. It’s exposing the truth that you are the only one who can release you. The rut is self-imposed. Once you recognize and accept this, it’s full steam ahead.
Tarotscopes | 10 of Wands: You’ve chosen to take on these burdens, so you have to release them on your own. Be honest.
Pisces & Pisces Placements (Birthday between February 19 – March 20):
Baby Pisces, this month, it’s important for you to be super careful that you’re not just people-pleasing or making your decisions on what’s best for others. You are the main character and not the rude way that you probably buck at. You’re the only one who can ensure your success and happiness, and the same goes for everyone in your life. You can’t make people happy. You can’t force someone’s success. If you’re acting on behalf of the idea of what’s good for someone else, you’re literally just wasting your energy. If we all just did what was best for us, we’d find the people we’re truly in harmony with.
Tarotscopes | Queen of Pentacles: You have to put your own happiness first–you can’t take care of other people by neglecting yourself.
Aries & Aries Placements (Birthday between March 21 – April 19):
Be wary of making emotional decisions and commitments. This month, you’re extra susceptible to misunderstandings, and it’s possible you’ll rub someone the wrong way with your reaction to them. Your ruling planet, Mars, is having a huge impact on you throughout the season. You can’t predict or control how people respond to you, but no matter how unpredictable, it’s important to be mindful of how you’re affecting people. This month, watch out for coming on too strong, being overly opinionated, and trying to impose your own beliefs. Just as much as you expect people to adapt to you, adapt to them.
Tarotscopes | King of Swords: While you may be speaking the truth and simply calling it how you see it… maybe you just don’t always need to say it.
Taurus & Taurus Placements (Birthday between April 20 – May 20):
Okay, hear me out: sometimes setbacks are necessary? Sometimes you don’t get what you want on the timeline that you want it because there’s something better on the horizon that you just can’t see yet. You know you’ve earned what tf you want right now, but just in case you’re not seeing the results just yet, remember that everything is working out in your favor in divine timing. And now I’ll say this in a normal-person way: you’ll get what you want when it’s right for you. If you’re not seeing it come just yet–even if you’ve already done this–it may be productive for you to consider how you can align even more with what you want.
Tarotscopes | The Wheel of Fortune: I hate it, but you can’t always get what you want, and also, what is meant for you will find you. But only when it’s time.
Gemini & Gemini Placements (Birthday between May 21 – June 20):
You simply cannot force whatever it is that you’re trying to make happen. You are hitting a wall, and it’s for a reason. You can’t place human timelines on divine circumstances. Unfortunately, we always seem to try to test and challenge this fact. It’s the human condition. This is for the best, though, and obstacles are just speed bumps. You have not lost it, and you have not failed. It may feel like this is an impassable range right now, but please believe this: you’re bigger than you think, and I know you’ve done harder things than this.
Tarotscopes | Strength: Remember all that hard shit you overcame? That was you. You fucking did that. Let that sustain you.
Cancer & Cancer Placements (Birthday between June 21 – July 22):
We all know that it’s the most prevailing stereotype about Cancer: you’re nurturing. It’s true, though. This month, you are getting by and thriving on the care that you’re giving to others, though. Taking care of your nearest and dearest is what makes you feel most alive, and it’s honestly beautiful. So pure. We love to see it. You are reaching a threshold this month where you’re giving everything you can, and you see that it only has the ability to get you so far. Don’t let that get you down, though. Speedbumps are necessary.
Tarotscopes | Temperance: Life (and relationships) are a give and take. If you got everything you wanted right now, you wouldn’t even want it anymore.
Leo & Leo Placements (Birthday between July 23 – August 22):
Of all the signs, you are especially susceptible to disappointment this month. You have *expectations*, and you want to see results ASAP. Disappointment is due in part to the fact that you are having a hard time telling the difference between rejection and respite. Sometimes people just need to take a little step back, and let’s be real, your personality can light up and consume a room. A breath isn’t the same as a betrayal. It’s soooo easily conflated these this month. You need something right now, and it’s important to remember that it’s not a betrayal when someone isn’t at your beck and call.
Tarotscopes | The Sun: Rain on your wedding day, a cloudy day on vacation, a thorn in your side. Still, there’s a lot to be thankful for.
Photo of the Spellsisters by Schwebach Photography.
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