In this year of isolation, disruption, and anxiety we’ve reached a halfway point of sorts: On the 1st, we’ll have a full moon in Aries. That means we are six months past the new moon in Aries on March 24th, which for most countries was the week when we entered lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19. Aries is the sign of getting shit started and doing what it takes to survive—at its best it brings courage and initiative and at its worst a panicked, hot-headed individualism. As a full moon completes what a new moon begins, this month we’re coming to the end of a specific Aries cycle: our relationship to fear and courage, to beginnings and momentum, to independence, and to what makes us feel passionate and riled up. As of the 1st, we’ve reached a reckoning where the seeds we planted in March are now ripening.
If you’re thinking, “Well that’s swell because I’m pretty sure the seeds I planted then were panic, relationship conflict, and worsening mental health,” you’re not alone, my friend. You might find issues coming up around Aries themes, and they may remind you of how your life has changed since late March, but this full moon isn’t here to throw back in your face every coping strategy you’ve been using to get by. Rather, it can help you reflect on what kind of person you are becoming this year—how the times are shaping you, and how you can participate in shaping yourself. And while Aries is an energy that taps into our glorious courage and fierceness, it can also push too hard and go it all alone — cooperation and collaboration aren’t its strengths. If we stay stuck in the Aries response, we fight hard and fierce and all alone until we burn out. But the Aries full moon always happens when the Sun is in Libra, sign of patience and balance, and it’s that Libra energy that’s bringing us the opportunity to move from fear to understanding, from imbalance to balance.
It can be hard to think about balance in such unbalanced times, and hard to imagine what we can do that will be sufficient to meet the needs of these times. Six months into the global pandemic, Covid-19 is still shaping our response to the unbalanced world around us. From the wildfires in Oregon to the wildfires in the Brazilian rainforest, from the infuriating lack of justice for Breonna Taylor to all the fears around the upcoming US presidential election, we are in a time of massive grief and massive change. There’s no way we can face this as isolated balls of rage (Aries’ shadow side). We need Libra right now to bring us into encounter with each other, to help us listen better and slow down. To hear what’s really being said. To make room for each other’s experiences and perspectives. Libra is the diplomat of the zodiac, but it’s also deeply invested in justice and speaking for whatever is being ignored or left out. Libra is a sign that wants all voices at the table. And this Libra season we’re experiencing two retrogrades: Mars, ruler of Aries, is still retrograde (until November 13th) and Mercury will be stationing retrograde on the 13th (till November 3rd).
Retrogrades always ask us to review, revise, and retrace our steps to figure out what we’ve missed. With Mars and Mercury both retrograde in the second half of the month, watch out for impatience and wanting to know the answers and the action plan NOW. The changes we are experiencing are vast and have a long arc into the future—we can only do the best we can where we are now, knowing what we know. With all the astrological intensity of these times, it can also be a beautiful time to get real with yourself. There is time, there is space, and there is an energetic pressure to be examining your own fears and impulses, your assumptions, your tendency to overwork or escalate conflicts or feed your own anxiety. Relationally, this is a beautiful time to repair and find balance, though it will take works. Astrological influences are still stirring up all our harder feelings and fears for the first half of the month, and with Mercury retrograde in the second half clear communication may be difficult.
Six months into the global pandemic, closing out what was initiated at the Aries new moon, it’s okay if you don’t know where you are or who you are. It’s okay to be at your growth’s edge and making mistakes. It’s okay to have no idea what’s coming next. It’s okay to set boundaries to conserve your energy and preserve your wellbeing. It’s worth understanding who’s got the same values and goals as you, even if they’re also making mistakes, and who is worth forgiving. It’s worth seeing past language and understanding people’s actions. We are moving from fear to understanding this month, and to do so we need to do some internal balancing first and foremost. The better you understand your internal world and make room for all the parts of yourself to add their voices, the better you’ll understand everyone around you and what a path forward looks like. This attempt to understand and balance is the gift of this time.
Ordinarily I close with a shout-out to look me up for a reading, but this month I’m not booking clients as I’m recovering from surgery! (more about that in an upcoming Balsamic Moon Blog post. I’ll be giving readings again sometime in November and you can check flaxandgold.com/readings or my Instagram for updates. And if you want a little more astro knowledge every month, join me on Patreon. First tier starts at only $2 a month and higher tiers include entries for free readings.
Good luck out there, my friends! I’m wishing you courage and patience, good solitude and deep connection, and being held in divine queer love as you navigate this time!
Find the balance: When you’re afraid, you need to act and move. Running, chopping wood, swimming, dancing, even a hot shower if your body isn’t capable of more exertion. If you don’t move fear through your body it can lodge as an innate sense that you can’t trust anyone, can’t trust life, can’t trust yourself. This month, find the balance that will help you know who in your life you can rely on, and help you remember you don’t need to do this alone. I repeat: you don’t need to do this alone. Maybe you’ve had experiences of love where you felt trapped by other people’s expectations and rules. It doesn’t have to look that way, and you get to choose commitments that don’t limit you but help you expand. You deserve this, and you’re capable of it. Tip your balance back toward letting people in and learning what’s going on for them.
Find the balance: You may be feeling sluggish or bogged down by your daily life—there is too much drudgery and routine where there used to be familiarity and comfort. Especially if you’re still experiencing social distancing and a dramatically reduced external world, you may have become so used to this that you’ve forgotten the stress it causes. And most likely you’re handling the stress through escapism, whether that’s playing games on your phone whenever you have a free moment, or drinking an extra glass of wine every night. However you’re escaping the drudgery, it’s time to swing the balance back toward being here and now. Basically, you deserve a better vacation than that. To get unstuck from habits of escapism that have become numbing rather than enlivening, ask yourself: How could I be enjoying this time off more? What would help my body feel alive and relaxed?
Find the balance: There is a specific loneliness you’re feeling right now that has nothing to do with how many people love you or how they’re showing it. There is a part of you that’s asking for love and recognition that can only come from you, first. Until you claim this part of you, whatever nets you cast out into your social world won’t bring home what you need. No amount of emojis or likes or flirtatious texts, no amount of heartfelt listening and support can take the place of you learning to love you—especially the parts of you that feel unloveable. Swing the balance back toward your own specialness right now. Recognize that you are important in ways that have nothing to do with your social capital, privilege, or productivity. Especially if you are in conflict or unpacking oppression (what you’ve experienced, perpetuated, or both), this is a time to swing the balance back toward total love for yourself as you’re learning and growing.
Find the balance: Though this may feel impossible right now, the balance you’re seeking this month is all about your home and family: If you work from home, how can you dedicate places of your house where work doesn’t bleed in? How do you set limits and make sure you’re able to deeply relax and let your mind go inward when it needs to? If you live with family or loved ones, what kinds of negotiations do you need to make sure you’re not stuck in patterns of avoidance or overextension? The magic of this time for you is potent, and it’s offering you a chance to reflect on what will help you feel safest, most held, most loved, and able to heal from all the daily stresses at the end of the night. What new arrangements will help you release stress patterns that need to get unstuck?
Find the balance: There are conversations you need to be having, and they may not be the ones you’ve been having. They definitely aren’t the one-sided conversations you have with yourself—wondering what a friend meant when she said that thing, or fighting with an ex-partner in your mind. You have a tendency right now to want to solve it all through language. If language is your tool, how are you using it against yourself? Or are you carelessly hurting others by gossiping or saying something unkind without thinking? Or are you obsessively scrolling through social media, looking for novelty and distraction when what you need is deep connection? Find balance right now by dipping under the words and getting into the heart of what you’re trying to share, and what you need to hear. Who do you need to be talking to right now? What do you want that conversation to change?
Find the balance: You have a talent for dissatisfaction — which is to say, you are an idealist at heart. You know how it should be, how you long for it to be, and the real world so often disappoints you. So you go back and forth between trying and giving up, exerting effort and retreating into a self-protective mode. Where are you in this cycle right now? Can you let your dissatisfaction help you understand your deepest desires? Can you start honoring those desires in your daily life, in small rituals or gestures that let you know you get to have what you need, what brings you pleasure and peace and stability? Right now you have a delicate balance to strike—finding that sweet spot between over- and under- exerting, between wanting to fix the whole world and then giving up on changing anything ever. Remember to be slow and steady. Remember the work is never done, but you are here to find joy in doing your part of it.
Find the balance: This is a month for facing fears, particular the fears you have around relationship. Raise your hand if you’ve been hearing these voices in your head lately: “everyone will always leave me, I can’t be alone, I need to hold on to what I have even if it’s not great, can everything stop changing, relationship changes mean I’m abandoned.” Any of that sound familiar? In this month of Libra energy, one of your tasks is to bring your sense of what’s missing to that one-sided conversation: Who are you glad has left your life? Who are you happy you’ve left? What can you do alone that’s better than trying to do with someone else? How does stepping away from others and towards your own heart teach you who you are? What changes are you welcoming? Take all the time you need to work with these questions and start reframing your fears. And remember, you don’t have to be all alone or do this all alone—what you’re looking for are the times and ways that being alone can be luscious.
Find the balance: It’s so easy to be checked out right now. Reality is extra real, and there’s no shame about the need to retreat from time to time. But if you do feel shame about that, you might find that your retreat time isn’t actually doing what you want it to do—restore you, heal you, help you access more parts of yourself. If you’re feeling stuck, start retracing your steps. What have you turned away from that you’re able to reconnect with? Have you gotten too comfortable in isolation, in low-level depression, in obsessing about the election as a way to not feel your own grief? How do you claim your here and now as somewhere worth being? How do you retreat in ways that are actually restorative, that help you get back in touch with your dreams and with the beauty of existence? Find the balance that will gently swing you back toward joy (which means you’ll need to move through grief on the way).
Find the balance: It’s hard to think about the future right now. Everywhere we see signs of systems collapsing, of past stability crumbling, of people driven by fear and greed doing irreparable harm. We are at a turning point, and through the smoke we need people who can still see a horizon worth heading toward. This is a talent you may have, especially when people you love turn to you for encouragement or inspiration, but your reserves of optimism may be pretty low right now. If you’re obsessing about what you can do to save the world (or your community, or your forest, or your collective, or your children’s future), now is the time to remember that you are acting not as one individual but as part of an infinite network. People you have never met, people in other countries, people from other times, people who might look like plants and animals, people who you’ve only read about in books—there is a larger fabric of meaning holding you, if you look for it. If you remember it. Begin with this recognition. And find your balance by recognizing the real power and scale of your actions. Who can you help, today? Do you need help, too? What are you modeling for the people who look up to you? What are you learning from the people you look up to?
Find the balance: Let’s talk about control, honey. You thrive when you have a plan, when you know what your work is, and when you know how to do it. The upheaval of the past six months has thrown all this sense of control out of balance — maybe you’re lost at sea and don’t know the way forward, or maybe you’re holding even more tightly onto the control you think you have. In your relationships, this could translate into self-control (no one gets to know how I really feel) or control of others (if you really loved me you would do what I want). Finding balance means starting to understand what you can and can’t control, and where that energy is best directed. You do need a plan, you do need a project. And it needs to feel aligned with the world you’re trying to create, and the self you’re trying to become. If you’re at a loss, remember to do the counter-intuitive move: Let your mind rest. Let yourself dream. Dream your way back to yourself.
Find the balance: You come to life when you’re engaged in world-building—when you have an opportunity to help shape the future through your own specific vision. Whether you apply this energy to activism, your career, or your relationships, you need to be working with what is possible—not just what is. But in times of crisis and upheaval, your vision can get stretched thin. While you have a powerful sense of purpose and mission, you aren’t always flexible. It takes you some time to adapt to new conditions, especially in your closest relationships. Your optimism can quickly become pessimism, and you may find yourself shuttling between “this can be the best” and “this is actually the worst.” Right now, finding balance means finding your faith—finding that intuitive sense of being carried along on a wave of momentum, and getting to drop your oars and lean back in the boat and rest. Of course, in this metaphor you aren’t in the boat alone. Someone else is scanning the horizon, someone else is making sure the oars don’t fall into the water. Can you trust this? Can you name who’s watching over things right now so you can rest? If you can’t, it’s time to ask for that kind of help.
Find the balance: More than all the other signs, you are attuned to the collective feelings—which right now are strong grief, rage, and fear. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? You probably have ways of blocking the big waves of feelings from the world at large, but it can be harder to block them when they’re coming from your nearest and dearest, who are part of the bigger pattern. So ask yourself, have you waded too deep into the waters of grief without actually letting yourself cry? Have you witnessed too much pain without believing in the possibility of healing? Are your eyes opened to the crises of this time without being able to see a transformed future? Finding balance for you means remember that this moment is going to change, and that there will be something else on the other side of it—and that the work we do now to grieve, to heal, and to transform what’s killing us and our loved ones matters. What you do now, however small, matters. Find your way back toward making the future happen, step by step.
Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. We will never put our site behind a paywall because we know how important it is to keep Autostraddle free. But that means we rely on the support of our A+ Members. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you’re able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?