Is orientation really fluid? Is your crush perfect, or are you ignoring some big red flags? How do you hit on someone with less social power in a respectful way? What does good consent really look like? How do you ever know if you’re actually loved for yourself or some version of yourself you perform? Why do lovers so often get meaner to each other than anyone else? These are the questions that arise again and again throughout our relationships. Sometimes they stop us in our tracks for years; sometimes we explore the answers through trial and error, learning a little more each time.
No matter what other questions you have about love, there’s one question that presses on us continually, though its urgency may ebb and flow: “Do I deserve to be loved, unconditionally, exactly as I am right now?”
Most of us wonder if, at heart, we’re worthy. Are we worth taking care of when we’re sick, worth forgiving when we’re thoughtless, worth listening to when we’re upset, worth paying attention to when we feel invisible? Many of us suspect the answer might be no — or that at the very least we have to hustle hard to prove we’ve got something to offer. We worry that perhaps love will elude us, or forsake us, because we’re too selfish, too damaged, too boring, or generally too much to handle. We live in a broken culture — it rewards some forms of selfishness and is merciless to others, it enforces one beauty standard for everyone, yet us also demands that we constantly update our style and compete for attention. This culture breeds competition and scarcity into our social fabric. What would it look like if we chose a different way of being — choosing relationships that feel cooperative, generous, and expansive?
This month, we get to say no and yes. No to toxic relationship patterns and deeply internalized self-hatred. Yes to sweetness, hotness, surprise, reciprocity, and insight. This month brings us two eclipses — a lunar eclipse in Aquarius on the 7th, and a solar eclipse in Leo on the 21st. The Leo-Aquarius axis is all about love: personal love and collective love. Eclipses are potent times for dramatic change. With these eclipses, we’re all invited to make revolutionary changes in the ways we give and receive love. Uranus, planet of revolutions, social progress, astrology, and queers, plays a big role in this round of eclipses. Whenever Uranus is involved, we have a chance to deeply, fundamentally change old stories and beliefs — to choose something radically new and healing.
This won’t come without some challenge, and this month will probably feel intense and chaotic to many. But what’s being tested right now is your ability to choose what is true and right and good for you — to choose yourself, despite any social pressures to be different, and to choose love that lets us all grow into our most interesting and strangest selves.
As always, the astro-literate are advised to read their rising signs first, followed by Sun and Moon, and everyone is welcome to choose what resonates best for you this month. Remember that during eclipse season (which lasts till the full moon on September 6th) is a time when your perspective might be a little distorted, when so many things are beginning and ending that it’s worth letting the dust settle before trying to reorient. Let yourself be a little disoriented for a few weeks, and see what you can learn.
To check in with how the eclipses are affecting you and your relationships this month, schedule a reading at flaxandgold [dot] com. I’m also running a new live, remote class for everyone who wants to brush up their astrology skills! [Check it out!]
This is an intensely creative time for you — don’t expect anything to stay the same for very long. You’re growing toward new horizons, new ways of connecting, and outgrowing all the things that you picked up along the way but are no longer the right fit. Focus on where you want to be putting your energy — take advantage of the inventive, upbeat energy this month to start something new in your romantic life, whether that means reconnecting with a partner, or finding a brand new relationship. Issues of love are strong for you right now, especially questions about how selfish or generous you want to be (both are dangerous in extremes), and how to move between your personal life and your larger dreams. Above all, this is a month of discovery and exploration — you may be ready for more changes than you thought!
On the 7th, release old attachments to: dispersing your energy far and wide, letting your politics overdetermine who and how you love, disillusionment about groups you once idealized, not feeling you can relax, slow down, or receive love.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: looking for new romances, asking for attention, recovering from intense struggle through gaycations, inviting more levity and laughter into your life, letting it be okay to enjoy flirtation, pleasure, and play.
Despite the fiery eclipses, this month has you still feeling a little sleepy and tender. With your ruling planet Venus moving through watery Cancer, you’re approaching relationships from the deep wells of your innermost heart — all the Leo energy right now might feel a little harsh, like walking into a bright room after a moonlit walk. The solar eclipse on the 21st brings some changes to how you handle all those deep feelings — especially where they concern your home and family. Expect revelations about what will help you root down deeper and feel more secure, so you can do what you’re here to do with confidence. Let your relationships shift without worrying you’ll lose the ones you love, and remember that it’s okay to be at a loss sometimes. This month is for learning, releasing, and letting your closest people get even closer.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: being overly focused on work and responsibilities, trying to attract people by being competent rather than available, working too hard for relationships that don’t support you, denying yourself downtime.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: taking a welcome retreat, sharing food and comfort with your chosen family, asking for and letting yourself receive care, getting some cuddling, reconnecting with your vulnerability.
You are getting smarter right now, but it might feel like a lot happening all at once. Especially in your relationships, you could be maturing out of old patterns and naming what you really need with a level of accuracy that felt impossible until quite recently. This isn’t always true for you, but this month you WILL be able to think your way out of a lot of places you’ve been trapped. But your harder mental patterns can also get kicked up right now, so be sure to hush up the voices that aren’t polite or helpful — you’re here to listen to the sudden flashes of insight that show you the way forward. Most important, this is a good month for clearing the air, declaring love, asking folks out, and generally solving problems with your beautiful words.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: relationships that take you away from your own center, longing for the unavailable folks, diffusing your passions so much you can’t act on any of them, running away from connections when they get too familiar.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: getting a brand new perspective on an old relationship, telling a new story about what’s possible, talking more openly with your lovers, being way more vocal about your desires, letting yourself sing more, letting love surprise you.
With Venus hanging out in your sign this month, you’re working a little extra charm. But surface glitter isn’t quite enough to resolve the deeper issues coming up — especially if you feel trapped performing any kind of role to get that positive attention. Remember that you shouldn’t have to set aside your feelings to connect with others — your worth doesn’t depend on how well you can give, solve problems, pretend to be cheerful, or apologize for yourself. You deserve love because you are alive and connected to all of us. Take a break from tracking all the things that are wrong or could go wrong, and let yourself relax into whatever experiences help you feel truly connected to pleasure and abundance. Let the rough moments show you where you’re growing — you get to believe in yourself harder from now on.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: being your lover’s therapist (and vice versa), thinking hot sex will solve relationship issues, being overly involved with your lover’s emotional issues, giving in ways that make you resentful later, expecting to be let down, disappointed, or betrayed.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: knowing that you’re a catch, trusting your partners to have your back, recognizing where you can relax and feel supported, building longterm, calm, sustainable intimacy, better understanding your own needs.
This month is a big deal for you, dearest Leo. Say goodbye to anything that feels like it’s been dragging on, half-finished and murky, or has never really started. You’re in a brave new world, even if you can still see where you’ve been so recently. And for the most part, it’s a better one. Most things flow easily for you this month — if you can handle the speed at which they flow. Your desires, commitments, and sense of self might change rapidly this month, but these are all major steps forward. An anxiety that comes up this month will probably be about what you’re leaving behind — you may not feel ready, yet. Take some time to grieve anything that’s passing, even as you welcome exciting new discoveries.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: commitments that are starting to suffocate you, having unequal levels of give and take, identifying too much with a partner — or letting them become too engrossed in your identity, not knowing what you want, fearing what you desire, being unable to make choices that are good for you in the long term.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: Reinventing yourself, learning what makes you happiest, loving who you are whether or not you’re partnered, noticing where you want to step back from or move closer toward intimacy, practicing self-assertion in all your relationships.
Oh Virgo, so much of what’s happening for you this month is hidden, subterranean, and hard to name. It’s not that you won’t experience the same fireworks as everyone else, it’s just that it might feel harder to know what to do with these new sensations, longings, and revelations. You’re generally happiest when you have enough information to form a reasonable plan — this month heightens your attention but doesn’t give you a lot of concrete actions. What does this mean for your relationships? Let yourself surrender to not knowing, for a little while. Accept insights that come through dreams and gut feelings, but don’t be in a hurry to understand right away what to do about them. Seek out what feels right to your heart and body — let your mind in on the secret only when those other parts are satisfied.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: seeing love as full of problems to solve, being overly attentive to someone else’s needs and growth, power imbalances in relationships, working through the hard patches from a sense of duty rather than joy.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: surrendering to the flow of an experience, releasing attachment to definitions and structures, feeling connected despite distance, letting mystery be part of your connections, letting love entirely recharge you.
If something feels uncomfortable in your relationships, now’s the time to move toward it to investigate. Be brave, and don’t take things personally if they’re not about you. You’re in a long process of transforming all the old, outdated stories you learned about how relationships have to look — this month can speed you much further in this process. Trust your instincts, ask questions from a place of genuine curiosity (don’t be cringing as you wait for an answer), and above all recognize what each of your relationships means for you — if all someone is doing is helping you feel wanted or less alone, it might be time to let that connection fade. The energy you give to the relationships that really matter will come back to you in all kinds of ways right now, so be bold and show your gratitude.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: never feeling seen as special, choosing unfulfilling pleasures (like eating desserts you don’t really like, having sex that isn’t your style, but hey, it’s better than nothing), looking for attention to fill a sense of emptiness, getting stuck in flirtations that lead nowhere.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: letting your connections to larger groups, collectives, and communities be your focus, letting love inspire you and radicalize you, taking love-based action to improve the world, recognizing how your relationships are part of larger social systems.
This month may tug on some old wounds — especially if you’re still working through issues with your family of origin (and how many of us are ever done with that?). But the goods news is it doesn’t leave you to wallow in those memories, or those feelings, for long. What the eclipses bring you is the opportunity to step out of old stories, old patterns, and especially old pains in order to pursue the version of your life where you get to be a total badass. It might help to do some kind of releasing ritual on the 7th, consciously letting go of what isn’t serving you, to make room for the new experiences coming your way. On the 21st, take advantage of the big push forward you’re getting to take a new risk in your relationships — something exciting, but that won’t have devastating consequences if you’re a little impatient or clumsy in your approach!
On the 7th, release old attachments to: emotional defensiveness, holing up at home, feeling too vulnerable to go out and socialize or flirt, holding on to old grudges, getting caught up in housemate or family drama.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: recognizing your competence as a partner, seeing how love can bring out your strength, choosing partners that support your path in life, getting realistic and working hard at the relationships that matter most.
The fiery energy of this month’s eclipses is just what you need right now. The solar eclipse on the 21st is especially potent for you, as it brings an adventurous and expansive energy that revitalizes you to your very core. Your romantic life is buzzing with potential right now, whether that means new lovers, renewed courtship with a steady partner, or falling in love with yourself in brand new ways. However this energy manifests, make room for it by consciously calling in experiences that will help you feel excited about life again, and recognize that you are able to inspire and excite others. Keep your eyes open — both the people and experiences that will most fire you up right now might look a little different than you expect. Welcome love in all its forms, and enjoy the ride!
On the 7th, release old attachments to: circular thinking about relationship problems, getting a lot of perspectives but not trusting your own, processing conversations that never resolve the hard feelings, trying to explain yourself to people who will never understand.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: unusual or unexpected encounters, love as a thrilling adventure, expanding your horizons through intimacy, letting passion expand your sense of capacity, feeling connected to something larger.
This month’s eclipses highlight questions of give and take in all your relationships. Are you always the daddy and never the boi? Are you way more comfortable being the one in charge, the one with all the answers and plans and back up plans — the one who never shows vulnerability, need, or confusion? If there’s anything about this role that’s got you trapped right now, unable to access the depths of your desires and needs, expect that to shift this month. The eclipses, especially the solar eclipse on the 21st, invite you to call in your fullest emotional range and recognize how much of your brightest, most passionate nature get buried when you identify too strongly with always being in control. Let this time stir you up in the best ways, bringing you excitement and release.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: insecurities of all kinds, choosing stability over growth, holding onto anything that isn’t working anymore, fearing you’ll never have what you need, giving too much in order to receive anything.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: deepening intimacies, taking new emotional and sexual risks (not super dangerous ones!), facing what’s hardest and moving bravely through it, letting yourself fully release pain and grief from past relationships and encounters.
This is a big month for you, especially if you have any planet close to 15 degrees of Aquarius. The lunar eclipse in your sign on the 7th signals a time when you get to deeply release all sorts of patterns that have been present with you so long they may feel like core pieces of your identity. Just keep breathing deeply if it gets intense, and remember that whatever changes come up now are less scary than they seem. There’s a lot lined up to support you through this — your job is mainly to align your head and your heart. Are your choices and beliefs deeply based on your heartfelt feelings? What fears do you carry about getting swept away? What helps you feel truly alive? Expect all your relationships to undergo some energetic cleaning out and restructuring, but keep focusing on who you need to become through this process — which will be with you for the next six months, so no rush!
On the 7th, release old attachments to: feeling alone — ultimately unknowable and unloveable, feeling relationships will threaten your autonomy, feeling you must give up something about yourself for love, being overly focused on a partner and losing your sense of self.
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: achieving a real partnership of peers, balancing give and take, being able to discuss anything that comes up, making a real commitment, understanding yourself better through love, being able to choose solitude if a current partnership is no longer good for you.
There is an overall sweetness and tenderness to your relationships this month, despite the prevailing energy of sweeping changes. What you’re letting go of is primarily your own confusion, fears, and desire to hide what’s truest in your heart. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable where it matters most right now, and remember that loving people deeply means showing up for them in practical ways, not just offering them your swooniest swoony eyes and writing songs for them. You’ve been undergoing a long but steady transformation in how you understand your own self-worth, and this eclipse season — especially the solar eclipse on the 21st — will speed up this process. Don’t be afraid to change dramatically right now, if what you’re growing into feels right.
On the 7th, release old attachments to: hiding, secrecy, unfounded anxieties, poor energetic hygiene (emotional merging, not practicing safer sex, etc.)
On the 21st, welcome new experiences of: showing your devotion through acts of care, being recognized and adored for what you can teach someone, insisting on good boundaries (emotional, energetic, physical) to keep you and your lovers safe.
I have a question!!
I remember your horoscopes used to have a note about reading your Venus sign first. Some others suggest reading Rising or Moon signs. Is there a particular methodology astrologers use that determines which sign to highlight? Like would you make your readings differently if you wanted to focus on Rising signs vs say Mars signs?
Ah! You’re right, this month I had so much information to give I forgot the reminder about which planets to read for! So, most horoscopes you want to read your rising sign first—but since these are relationship-focused, you’ll get a lot out of reading for your Venus and Moon signs first, as they are heavy influences on your relationship needs and style. If you know your chart, you can read every sign that a personal planet falls in (those are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Venus) for a really well-rounded approach.
Most horoscopes are calculated for just the rising sign or Sun sign, but I’d say even with those horoscopes you can read the signs of all your planets and get a little more insight!
I just wish my horoscope would tell me what to make for dinner. I mean, Leos rule and all that, but I’m just not feeling it today.
Tomato pasta. Bon appetit. :)
A giant salad with deli ham and soft boiled eggs and a lot of ranch dressing :) :) :)
I went with chicken quesadillas. Flour tortillas are insanely easy to make. I knew none of you would be able to sleep until you knew. I have that effect on people.
Was that Leo enough?
How do you always manage to write horoscopes that fit me? So many mags don’t.
Yeah, been having a lot of chances where it was easier to be selfish lately & been tempted to. So this morning I set up myself with a bunch of rules I can actually (realistically) abide by to stop being as selfish.
“On the 7th, release old attachments to: feeling alone — ultimately unknowable and unloveable, feeling relationships will threaten your autonomy, feeling you must give up something about yourself for love.”
Wow, for the first time in the year or so I’ve been on Autostraddle, this horoscope actually fits me. I’ve avoided dating for the past 2 and a half years because my previous 11 year relationship left me with all of those feelings.
So much of this resonates with me! Insert praise hands emoji.
how is this always so accurate :O
How do these horoscopes always sound like a blunter, more prescriptive version of my therapist?
Interesting; wondering how MercRx meshes with perception of eclipses
Hey just swinging by to say the Aquarius read for the 7th was 100% accurate! Wheeeee!
Ha ha! Hard same. It’s encouraging to hear this alarming resurfacing of a very bad old pattern at the outset of a brand new chapter in my life happened so that I could get rid of this piece of junk. I’m ready+will put in the work to dismantle it while looking forward to the blessed 21st!