Astrology is bullshit, yeah, yeeeah. Astrology is also really fun!
I ’ve always liked astrology. It’s a consequence of being a Scorpio. When you’re a Scorpio, astrology excuses all of your most unsociable behaviors and tells you you’re sexy all the time. Who wouldn’t be on board with that?
But—probably also as a consequence of being a Scorpio—I never paid much attention to any of the other signs in the zodiac, not until this year, anyway. In these times of racist, sexist, classist dystopia, a harmless egalitarian system of personality categorization and prediction based on birth time suddenly became unprecedentedly appealing to me, and so in 2017 I find myself referring to what I would previously have called “September” or “back-to-school time” as “Virgo season.” Since it is currently Their Time, let’s start making faces with the sixth symbol in the zodiac, mutable earth sign Virgo!
I know and love several Virgos, but one stands out as the exemplary Ur Virgo in my mind. This woman knows more about makeup than anyone I have ever encountered, in regard to both application AND the list of multisyllabic chemicals listed in fine print on the back or underside of the label. She reassured me that life was just beginning when I attained my first forehead wrinkle and taught me how to wield the potent de-undeadifying power of blush.
Once I went to help this woman move residences. Her ex, who she too-politely would not simply tell to gtfo, angst-wailed guitar ballads at us the entire time we hauled all her furniture out of the house and into a truck. Afterward, *I* was exhausted from the heavy lifting and heavier emotional racket, but Virgo couldn’t sleep without first cleaning the bathroom of her new apartment. When she woke the next morning, she launched into action, and within the span of two hours managed not only to clean her new place from top to bottom but straight-up turned that joint into a HOME. We sipped canned champagne to celebrate, then we went out and, in spite of her dogged insistence that no one would ever want to be with her again following the split from her ex, she immediately picked up an extremely built dude approximately seven years her junior to keep her occupied for the evening.
Virgo couldn’t sleep without first cleaning the bathroom of her new apartment.
Though she thrives on routine and the circumstances were far from her typical day-to-day, I think of that weekend every time I try to quantify the essence of Virgo. A Virgo in turmoil is just so ludicrously Virgo, and I mean that as the highest compliment.
Here in Tennessee, Libra has the best skies of the year: so blue, with big white puffy clouds and pleasant gusts of wind, so appropriate for a cardinal air sign! Scorpios often snatch a reputation for being “mysterious,” but in my mind Libras have that quality locked. Clear-eyed and equanimous, how the hell are you supposed to tell what they’re thinking? (Unless they tell you, of course, and I have never known a Libra to hesitate to tell you if you ask.) Once a Libra-Scorpio cusp in his sixties told me “your twenties are for figuring out what you don’t want to do, your thirties are for figuring out what you do want to do, you spend your forties doing it, and your fifties enjoying it.” This was exactly the wisdom I needed to hear on the cusp of my 30th birthday, and also just seemed to me very emblematic of a measured Libra attitude toward life. (Don’t worry — I’m still in contact with him so I can find out what to expect from my sixties, seventies, and so on.)
Also, Jean Claude Van Damme is a Libra. I just thought you all would like to know that.
UGH, Scorpios. What is there to say about Scorpio? Everybody loves us, and everybody also kind of hates us a little bit (except Capricorns, their love for Scorpios is pure). We’re the only fixed water sign in the zodiac, so I think of us as the Ice Sign. We’re also a little reptilian, frankly; we respond positively toward others when they feed us and warm our cold bodies.
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Scorpios secretly believe that they care about what other people think of them…that is, until someone actually does express a negative opinion of a Scorpio and said Scorpio realizes that nothing in the world has ever mattered less. Scorpio has a reputation for holding grudges, but this is only true up to a point — the point when Scorpio forgets about the grudge AND the individual/s against whom the grudge is held and the entire matter simply ceases to exist in the Scorpio’s universe, snuffed out as if whoever inspired the Scorpio’s ire had never been born. Scorpios get Halloween as their holiday, which is proper and correct; Scorpios are unilaterally goth AF regardless of how they present on the surface.
Sagittarius people are like cartoons — the Road Runner, not poor ol’ Wile. E. You can’t spring a trap on a mutable fire sign; they always land on their feet. I only marry Sagittariuses, who, given their proclivity for adventure and totally indefatigable sense of self, are uniquely equipped to tolerate Scorpio nonsense. Plus, it’s fun to wake up each morning and say things like, “…is that…a didgeridoo?” “Yeah, I got up early and drove across town to wake your brother up with it.”
You can’t spring a trap on a mutable fire sign.
People are always trying to give my husband things: concert tickets, antique furniture, cookies. Once at the grocery store a man yelled “STOP” and sprinted to the checkout to physically grab a package of shop towels out of Justin’s hand before the teller could ring them up. It turned out that the shop-towel-snatcher had an entire box of unopened heavy-duty shop towels sitting in the back of his truck in the parking lot, and he apparently just couldn’t stand to watch a Sagittarius pay for the product when he could give him a whole carton for free instead.
I know another Sagittarius in a relationship with a Scorpio, gender-flipped from my own scenario. Her motto is “more lipstick, less bullshit,” and she has a permanent case of sex-eyes.
As Dr. Mindy Lahiri explains so perfectly, a “best friend” isn’t actually a specific person, but a tier of friend. I got an embarrassment of ‘em! That acknowledged, the two individuals with whom I feel most comfortable as my own most essential not-trying-to-entertain-anyone self are both cardinal earth Capricorns. Perhaps not coincidentally, I bonded with both of these women while playing video games together — Caps feel most comfortable when they’ve got a task to do. Both of my Capricorns are mind-blowingly good at any new game they happen to pick up, which follows, I suppose: Capricorns like to do a little leisure work to relax when they’re not working at their paid jobs.
Capricorns are also, unsurprisingly, mind-blowingly good at their professional careers. Capricorns never give themselves enough credit. Both of my Capricorns are also somewhat cheerfully nihilistic — it paradoxically calms their anxiety to assume that the worst is definitely going to happen. So, when we’re all struggling to survive in the coming post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland, try to make sure you end up in a bunker with a Capricorn.
I found myself a little stumped when it came to designing a look to represent Aquarius, as the two Aquariuses I interact with most regularly are a bearded philosopher and an extremely beautiful man who imagines that he is ugly. *I* tried to imagine what I would look like if the spirit of an extremely beautiful but unaware bearded philosopher lived inside of me, and this is what came out.
Aquarians gotta keep their minds busy and colorful to stay warm as a fixed air sign whose birthday falls in late January to mid-February. I feel like I would be much braver about experimenting with psychedelic drugs if I were an Aquarius.
Then there’s Pisces, sign of my much-beloved brother’s wife and also Rihanna. Pisces is a mutable water sign, and Pisces morphs into whatever form she needs in order to suit her environment…or maybe it’s just that the environment morphs in order to suit her. Pisces enjoy a long bath. Pisces can all pull off too many accessories at once. Pisces are all good at dancing in high heels. Pisces all look good in purple. Pisces are supposedly bound to their overwhelming emotions, according to astrological texts I have read, but I have never ever known a Pisces to let a pesky little thing like a feeling get in the way of her making money. Pisces are incredibly empathetic, however; I have oft witnessed sis-in-law grow murderously outraged on others’ behalf. Don’t get on the wrong side of a Pisces, just don’t.
Once, via Instagram, I witnessed one of my favorite Pisces arrive at the beach — wearing a tiny swimsuit, obviously — and perform an exuberant death drop into a crashing wave to express his delight at his oceanic surroundings. Y’all, if that ain’t the most Pisces thing I have ever seen in my entire life.
My mom is 5’2″, claims to be 5’3″. Once, when she encountered a refrigerator door that was frozen shut, she gave the thing a massive heave and ripped it entirely off its hinges. My mom is an Aries.
My husband’s sister is an Aries. Good luck trying to take a walk with that woman: She travels at hyperspeed and continually makes you crack up with laughter; I can never manage it without ending up embarrassingly out of breath.
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My brother-in-law’s gf is also an Aries, and quiet, which, when I met her, was new in my experience of Aries. Then we were left alone at the table for a moment and she immediately stuck her fingers into the hot wax dripping from a candle flame, a big goofy grin on her face. Aries.
Aries are all total babes. They’re also total bruisers. A cardinal fire sign in a full-on berserker rage is an amazing sight to behold, but stand back.
Taurus is the witchiest of all the signs. Tauruses have SO MUCH HAIR. Tauruses give great unimpressed stare — not the death laser glare of a Scorpio but more of a flat, relentless “….so?” in response to your best attempts to dazzle them. But then, if they choose to let loose with it, Tauruses also have really loud laughs.
Taurus is opposite Scorpio on the zodiac wheel, and maybe that’s why I had the bitterest friend blow-up of my adult life with my best Taurus (over something that wasn’t really her fault, but I’m a Scorpio and I was mad anyway). “I don’t want to lose your friendship,” she said, “is there anything I can do to fix this?” “Yeah,” I said, “just leave me alone until I eventually cool off.” And you guys? That bitch DID!! She didn’t try to talk me out of it, she didn’t offer any unnecessary apologies, she just peaced out and did her Taurusy thing until one day a year later I realized I wasn’t mad at all anymore and in fact really missed my Taurus. And then she didn’t even throw it in my face when I turned back up in her life, she was just like “oh good, you’re here,” and we carried on even tighter than we were before. Fixed earth signs, man. Nothing short of an earthquake could rattle that woman’s composure.
Gemini, on the other hand, have no composure, but that’s what we love about them! If a Gemini feels something, you’ll know it; Gemini are not known for keeping their thoughts to themselves. Gemini is the only sign who can use the word “mercurial” to self-describe without immediately thereafter suffering me laughing them off the face of the planet. Gemini all come across to the layperson as extroverts, but that’s just because they talk all the time whether anyone else is around or not. Every single individual Gemini is the eccentric fairy god-aunt of your dreams.
My mutable air role model is a boss baller who chairs a university department. At home, she has a unicorn-themed guest bedroom and keeps a literal cabinet full of jewelry in her kitchen.
Cancer makes me think of two things: glitter and swimming pools. Well, three, perhaps: glitter, swimming pools, and obsession. Most astrologers tend to associate the obsessive Cancer quality with other people, painting Cancers as compulsive romantics, but the Cancer closest to me loves art as if the act of creation is a biological necessity. They just can’t stop making images allllllllllll the time, I mean ALL the time—they are the art-makingest art maker I have ever known. I have seen them cover an entire gallery in tiny dots of paint on each itty-bitty bubble of approximately 1,000 Scantron forms; they found it relaxing.
Ruled by the Moon and the lone cardinal, rather than mutable or fixed, sign of the zodiac water trio, Cancer is the most mermaidy of the signs to me. Hell, now that I think on it, the Little Mermaid herself probably was a Cancer.
Lastly (lol, like they’re ever lastly in life) we come to Leo. I know precisely one Leo who is as cosmetically extra as Leos are “supposed” to be: fake eyelashes for everyday, bright nose highlight to lead the way. My best Leo once told me she was going to put on makeup, so I settled in for a wait — she returned less than 30 seconds later with perfect eyeliner, no other makeup, ready to walk out the door for pizza in the South wearing an I’M WITH HER shirt. Another Leo in my life doesn’t bother with makeup at all. She just shows up, and you’re damn happy about it. Actually, now that I think about it, the primary physical commonality between all of my bosom Leos (ha!) is that they all have awesome racks.
The main similarity between my Leos (besides great boobs) is that they’re all very *present* wherever they happen to be. They’re supposed to be the center of attention, based on most astrological wisdom, but I notice that the middle of the spotlight is often a pretty blinding place to be, and Leos? They don’t let much slip past them. They take everything either 1,000% seriously or not at all so, and the line between can be awfully fine and even waver back and forth from moment to moment.
Leos all have gorgeous smiles.
Astrology is bullshit, yeah, yeeeah. Astrology is also really fun! As astrology will always tell you: You’re perfect, except when you’re not, and when you’re not that’s all right too. Prepare yourself for bad times and appreciate the good. Date and befriend people you’re compatible with; guard your heart but keep yourself open to connections that might surprise you. Enjoy the fabulousness-conferring effect of this week’s full moon in Pisces, and if you find yourself feeling lonely this weekend? Call a Gemini.