Let’s talk about how we hold it together, and how we fall apart, in times like these. We are experiencing more shock, fear, grief, and rage on the daily than our systems can metabolize — all while our familiar forms of collective support have radically changed.
When faced with the impossible, when experiencing profound isolation (or depression, or grief, or fear), we call on all that we love as witness and support. And as this month will be astrologically quieter than recent ones, I invite you to spend June in an immersion of your own choosing: find experiences that will wrap around you with love and help you feel what you need to feel. Call on water: hot tubs and glacial streams and kiddie pools and your morning shower. Call on fire: candles and firecrackers and campfires (in wildfire-safe zones) and the heat of your own hands rubbing together and pressing their warmth over your eyes. Call on earth: the lushness of green living things and ripe fruits and taking off your shoes to wiggle your toes into sand or mud. Call on air: It is Gemini season and we are open to inspiration from the most unlikely sources. Listen to the morning symphony of birds or cars or a neighbor’s radio as you wake up. Write a love letter to yourself in 10 years. Text loved ones you don’t talk to regularly. Make new friends. Get lost walking home as you look for a scenic route. Make room for delight and surprise and surprising delights.
These suggestions may feel trivial in the face of all that is wrong in our world right now, but our goal this month is not to forget or distract from the pain. Neither is it to numb ourselves with routine responses and actions. Gemini season asks us to throw away our ordinary scripts, to be willing to ask questions we don’t know how to answer, and somehow to find ourselves open to joy, wonder, and awe. The only portal toward those states is one that tunnels directly through the mountain of our compacted grief and pain. So I invite you into small, daily immersions to help move what you need to move. There are many ways back into the fullness of your sense of self, and you have willing collaborators in everyone and everything you love. Begin by noticing if you are ready to feel what you need to feel, disentangled from doom narratives or a sense of urgency. Yes, our world needs us to be engaged with transforming it for the better in so many ways. And part of what that requires from us is to look at the world through new eyes.
Notice where we are already beginning. Notice where you are already beginning. You are a part of these times and can help shape the future, however hard it may be to see that. It’s not on you alone, and you may never be able to trace your effects on the world. But when you are able to feel the love, the grief, and the righteous anger in your heart — when you are able to communicate that in any way that helps someone else feel less alone — this is what we’re here to do right now. And the astrology of June is here to help us, especially as Venus moves through Taurus (lushness of the sensual) and Gemini (joy in connection), making a few aspects to the outer planets along the way.
Venus, planet of pleasure, reminds us that fundamental goodness of our bodies and our senses. Venus wants us to remember that intentionally connecting to joy is a sacred responsibility. It is what keeps us able to process and transmute the toxins of despair. Pleasure is not what capitalism tells you it is. This not a buy-yourself-something-pretty-to-fill-that-empty-feeling kind of pleasure. This is not about forgetting or turning away from the pain — this month invites us to be curious about where it hurts and to surround that pain with flowers, to drip honey over it, to sing it songs and offer it the gladness of our living bodies. We exist, here and now, and we have access to pleasure every day. Find ways, this month, to weave this into your healing practices, your relationships, your political work, your daily routine, your envisioning of a future life for all of us.
Wishing you all the sweetness this month.
Immerse yourself in: The reassuring experience of having enough. Savor your meals, and eat until you’re satisfied. Pour your glass full. Block off uninterrupted time to experience a wandering spaciousness within your mind and body. Recognize what you have in abundance, even if it isn’t financial or tangible. Recognize what’s supporting you, even if it’s just the Earth itself.
Immerse yourself in: The fullness of your self — all the perfect moments of your life, still there, ready to rise to the surface and burst into song. The choices you’ve made that you can celebrate—what you’ve said yes to that you’re so grateful you’ve said yes to. What you’ve said no to that has lifted a heaviness from you. The certainty that your life has meaning, that your existence matters, that you get to keep making beautiful choices for yourself.
Immerse yourself in: The rich, surprising, even chaotic strangeness of your own imagination. Restorative solitude in which you have permission to be deeply weird. Connections in which you also have permission to speak to what’s not being spoken, to take the conversation in the direction of our inward worlds, our deepest longings, our unmet needs. And most of all, immerse yourself in your own connection to what you consider sacred, whether through spiritual practice or secular celebration of what gives you joy.
Immerse yourself in: The tidal systems of your own social niche — the ebbing and flowing and whirling of relationships, enthusiasms, separations, collective values, and surprising resonances. The safety of having a tide pool, a harbor, a raft of sleeping otters. Who you get to be because you are part of a larger community.
Immerse yourself in: Recognition of your accomplishments—whether they are public and visible (a published book, winning a grant) or fairly private (cutting ties with an abusive loved one, continuing to recover from internalized fatphobia). Immerse yourself in a deep and abiding trust for your own capacity, even and especially when it’s easier to focus on what you are still learning. Your strength is not the facts of what you’ve done, but your capacity to keep learning and striving, with self-compassion and patience, toward your next best self.
Immerse yourself in: All the books you’ve been wanting to read. All the classes you haven’t had time to take. All the conversations that break open your worldview like the sun rising in a desert land you never know had so many wildflowers. Daily practices of connection to what pulls your forward, toward a future of deepening into learning and teaching and knowing and not knowing.
Immerse yourself in: Rituals of release for all that you’re happy to be done with. Bonfires of old, toxic beliefs about yourself. Scattering the ashes of what you’ve been grieving. Sending back to the universe all the pain you’re done with. Getting to say goodbye. And in so doing, remembering that when you allow the grief to move through you suddenly there is room for joy.
Immerse yourself in: Your profound inner knowing of who is on your team. The solidity of relationships (platonic or otherwise) built up over time, subject to changes and conflicts and distance, but still thriving. A celebration of the amazing people you’ve chosen, and that they have also chosen you and are still choosing you. Maybe you have dozens of these, maybe just one or two—the quantity isn’t as important as the love itself. You are loved. Let yourself receive it.
Immerse yourself in: Curiosity and enthusiasm about the body you’re in, right as it is in this moment. Wondering and experimenting with how you like to move this body, how it tells you what it wants and needs. Choosing what helps you feel strong, centered, and self-loving rather than what feels either punishing or like a hollow reward. Shifting your sense of your body outside the gaze of white supremacist beauty standards, of diet culture, of health normativity. Reveling in what feels good about being in your skin.
Immerse yourself in: Reminders of your innate creativity and charm. Music that makes you want to move your body. Flirtations and crushes (especially when reciprocated or on yourself or a nearby tree). Storytelling that reveals a truth you’ve forgotten. Occasions for a dance party, even if it’s a solo doing-dishes-in-the-kitchen dance party.
Immerse yourself in: A blanket fort that extends throughout your house, from bedroom to hallway to living room, from you front door to your best friend’s front door, from this present moment to the best memory from your childhood, from your innate sense of self-protection to your generous willingness to encompass us all within this profound experience of softness, of safety, of intimacy.
Immerse yourself in: Questioning the ordinary and routine. Inventing games. Comedy in all forms. The failure of language to ever really say what we want it to, but the possibility of leaning into absurdity as a love language: here is a bouquet of imperfect and ridiculous words. Please accept it with all that is unspeakably tender within me.