The summer solstice arrives June 20, bringing the year’s longest day and briefest night. At high noon our shadows will appear shorter than at any other point this year. However, thanks to the lingering stationing of Mercury retrograde, the shadow side of our selves is casting itself long. The only way out is through. Retrogrades work to our advantage when we seek to honestly heal our past rather than force our future forward. 

Gemini

May 21 to June 20   

Apology derives from the Greek apologia, “a speech made in self-defense.” The Latin mea culpa translates to “through my fault.” In the Roman Rites of Catholic Mass, the Latin phrase was repeated three times and accompanied by the penitent beating their hearts with their fists. In this tradition, atonement begins with the admission of failure and a prayer for, not an expectation of, forgiveness. May every “sorry” you speak sound more like deference than defense. 

Notable Gemini: Jose Riza/June 19, 1861

Cancer

June 21 to July 22

Taskmaster astronaut Saturn is in Aquarius and taking up space in your eighth house of intimacy for the next 18 months. Saturn is the mean dad who wants what’s best for you, and this positioning suggests what’s best is an inner circle of people as powerfully connected in the world as they are wholly dedicated to your causes. To align with that personal best, you may have to cut ties with those who don’t, or renegotiate your standards of belonging to include the rogue and the risky.  

Notable Cancer: Roald Amundsen/July 16, 1872

Leo

July 23 to Aug. 22

Leo Hubert Selby Jr. was a high school dropout riddled with TB and leaning on an opiate addiction when he became a writer. Told he didn’t have long to live, Selby eschewed grammar, skipped quotation marks and replaced apostrophes with forward slashes (they were closer on the typewriter). He wanted nothing to edge between the words in his head and the page in his hands. Even, and especially if, it means shaking loose tradition, let nothing separate your mind from your message. 

Notable Leo: Marcus Garvey/Aug. 17, 1887

Virgo

Aug. 23 to Sept. 22

As Mercury is your ruling planet, its retrograde is likely to heighten your emotions. High highs and low lows are forecasted for the Virgo ilk during this transit. Feelings and fears must rise to the surface before they can ultimately, and blessedly, be released. A healthy balance of rollicking joy and crippling despair can be found by seeking small, quiet moments and practicing gratitude for simple graces. 

Notable Virgo: Anne Bancroft/Sept. 17, 1931

Libra

Sept. 23 to Oct. 22

You are adept at anticipating the needs of others, often at the expense of clearly identifying your own. Take very good, very consistent care of your animal self: eat well, sleep deep, take your body for a walk and your mind for a clearing. Do not confuse self-care with overindulgence and do your best to avoid petty distractions, cheap charms, expensive liquor, empty calories and mindless conversation. 

Notable Libra: George Floyd/ Oct. 14, 1973

Scorpio

Oct. 23 to Nov. 21

In his novel, “The One Inside,” late, great Scorpio Sam Shepard writes of running barefoot alongside a half grown horse and a galloping herd of cattle. “I feel as strong as I’ll ever be.” Whether you are running wild through the streets or standing still in your mind, I hope the same feeling finds and fortifies you. 

Notable Scorpio: Julia Agrippina/ Nov. 6, 15 A.D.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22 to Dec. 21

Doomed Romantic and fellow Sagittarius William Blake has a thing or two to teach you about rigidity and receptivity. “The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.” Whatever is suggested to, spoken or asked of you in the weeks ahead, keep the river of possibility flowing free and beware the crocodile of a closed mind. 

Notable Sagittarius: Scott Joplin/Nov. 24, 1868

Capricorn 

Dec. 22 to Jan. 19 

Capricorn Stephen Hawking writes, “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part it would have re-collapsed before it reached its present size. On the other hand, if it had been greater by a part in a million, the universe would have expanded too rapidly for stars and planets to form.” Consider the singular miracle of timing in your own life. Revere what you have done with yours, rather than lament what you haven’t. 

Notable Capricorn: Paul Revere/Jan. 1, 1735

Aquarius 

Jan. 20 to Feb. 18

This week your two ruling planets, strict daddy Saturn and punk rock Uranus, form a square. You will likely feel this tension as a pull between stability and impulsivity. In regard to love, astrologist Kate Rose explains,Saturn looks like an obligation, but Uranus appears as a conscious choice.” This squaring calls you to choose, however terrifying, that which feels warm and right rather than dutifully continuing on with anything that doesn’t. 

Notable Aquarius: Farrah Fawcett/Feb. 2, 1947

Pisces 

Feb. 19 to March 20

My friend Max, a multifaceted gem of a man and a fellow Pisces, recently advised that we would all be better served by serving our instinctual selves. “Trust in lust,” is his creed. Take up his mantle and move in the direction of whatever or whomever brings heat to your cheeks, sweat to your palms and an insistent quickening to your pulse.

Notable Pisces: Madame Mao/March 19, 1914

Aries 

March 21 to April 19

This week your ruler, warrior planet Mars, moves out of breezy Gemini and into the bold land of Leo and your fifth house of games and gratification. The time is nigh to get what you want but with Mercury in retrograde, asking requires more diplomacy than you are accustomed to. Personal requests, like handshakes, hand jobs and handmade furniture should be firm yet inviting. 

Notable Aries: Henry Ossian Flipper/March 21, 1856

Taurus 

April 20 to May 20

Chain-smoking, cocaine-sniffing Taurus daddy Sigmund Freud assures us, “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” Nothing is more offensive to the people of the bull than allowing vulnerability to pull itself up from under their stoic hooves and defensive horns. As every two-bit shrink will tell you, you can’t be known until you are seen and you can’t be seen as strong or otherwise until you are willing to reveal what has, can or could harm you. 

Notable Taurus: Glenda Jackson/May 9, 1936 

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REDA WIGLE is a middle child and Taurus Fire Tiger named after a stigmatic saint. She divides her time and affections between New Orleans and Key West.