Bleach your bathtubs, my babies, Virgo season hath arrived. The modality of Virgo is advancement through ritual purification, it is decisive, exacting and at times ruthless in the pursuit of perfection. Virgo is ever operating from a place of intention rather than impulse; words are measured, actions weighed. It is in some ways the sign of our better angels or divine potential.
Bow to the godly, resist the lowly and exult in the humanity we find between.
Aug. 23 to Sept. 22
Fellow Virgo Siegfried Sassoon transformed his combat experience into a collection of poetry so visceral it created the genre of anti-war literature. Sassoon survived the war and the version of himself that fought it, writing, “The fact is that five years ago I was, as near as possible, a different person to what I am tonight. I, as I am now, didn’t exist at all. Will the same thing happen in the next five years? I hope so.” As your solar return arrives, Virgo, I hope, like Sassoon, you stand hopefully and gratefully between who you were and the mystery of who you might yet be.
Notable Virgo: Gene Simmons/Aug. 25, 1949
Sept. 23 to Oct. 22
Ryley Rubin, a New Orleans poet and fellow Libra, writes, “I am convinced growing up is not vertical. I like to think of it more as growing out (of bad habits), growing in (to the person you were meant to be), growing towards (so much more). A summer spent in and around the places that once were home. Conversations with family that felt like surgery. Apologies that felt like Neosporin. Growing onwards (past the past).” I hope Riley’s words act as a compass for you, pointing you not up, but beyond, and ever forward.
Notable Libra: Naomi Osaka/Oct. 16, 1997
Oct. 23 to Nov. 21
Octogenarian artist Zilia Sánchez can trace the origin of her work to a single moment. While her beloved father was dying, she looked out the window and saw a white sheet lying across a pipe. The sculptural quality of that image coupled with her grief to become an aesthetic exploration that has guided her through the decades since. I hope you will bear Zilia in mind as you begin to see the scaffolding of art and promise in your own losses.
Notable Scorpio: Tonya Harding/Nov. 12, 1970
Nov. 22 to Dec. 21
Self-help author Byron Katie views the source of all stress, addiction and negativity as the choice of the individual to empower destructive thoughts. Further, part of her process involves the radical acceptance of temporal order. She writes, “Nothing comes ahead of its time, and nothing ever happened that didn’t need to happen.” I bring you Katie’s strategy and urge you to be discerning with your thoughts, patient with your wanting and steadfast in your belief that it is all unfolding on time and exactly as it should.
Notable Sagittarius: Mads Mikkelsen/Nov. 22, 1965
Dec. 22 to Jan. 19
Fellow Capricorn Jean-Michel Basquiat’s trajectory from humble street artist to international celebrity was meteoric. When the money came, he spent it, using designer suits as canvases, buying wine he didn’t drink and passing $100 bills to panhandlers from the lowered windows of limousines. Biographers argue this behavior is indicative of Basquiat’s feelings of unworthiness and discomfort with affluence. I think it’s a terrific lesson for you, sea goat, in how to approach wealth: believe you deserve while refusing to be defined by it.
Notable Capricorn: Srinivasa Ramanujan/Dec. 22, 1887
Jan. 20 to Feb. 18
Fellow Aquarius Galileo Galilei did not invent the telescope. It was designed by a Dutch glassmaker who intended it for use in military campaigns, allowing warring factions to see distances in detail. Yet, it was Galileo who improved upon the original design and most importantly, pointed it skyward, giving live, star-studded birth to modern astronomy. I offer you this story in the hopes that you will apply it to your own life, water bearer. Perhaps you already have the proper tools at hand, you need only to change your perspective.
Notable Aquarius: Michael B. Jordan/Feb. 9, 1987
Feb. 19 to March 20
My favorite Pisces recently declared, “My only obligation is to my nourishment.” She was talking about dinner but for the intents and purposes of this horoscope, I’m going to take it a step further. The figurative definition of nourishment is “that which promotes growth or development of any kind.” In this sense, fish folks, I compel you to find what feeds you and get to growing.
Notable Pisces: Chester Bennington/March 20, 1976
March 21 to April 19
Writer and fellow Aries Michael Thomas was a scathing critic of the upper class. A silver spoon son with an Ivy League education, he was a curator and a stockbroker before becoming a writer in his 40s. He wrote unflinchingly about the people who occupied the world he came from and the circles he moved in. “They are dreadful people,” he maintained. “Why shut your eyes to the truth?” I bring you the arc of the life of Mr. Thomas to remind you that in order to criticize, dismantle or destroy anything, you must first intimately understand it.
Notable Aries: Thomas Jefferson/April 13, 1743
April 20 to May 20
An advice column recently cautioned, “Do not let work become the protagonist of your life.” As the only member of the zodiac represented by a beast of burden, I think this message was meant specifically for you, Taurus. How to recast your labors as supporting, but never scene-stealing, characters in the story of you? Work hard but take it lightly. Do not break your body on the soil of someone else’s dream; and enjoy, slowly and purposefully, the fruit that blooms from your sweat
Notable Taurus: Duke Ellington/April 29, 1899
May 21 to June 20
Musician, gigantic scarf enthusiast and fellow Gemini Lenny Kravitz grew his trademark dreadlocks out for more than 20 years until the day his ex-wife HRH Lisa Bonet declared he needed to “change his energy.” She correctly sensed that his hair had collected the psychic residue of his past pains and the time was right for letting go. Be it hair, heartbreak or clutter, I suspect you too have a tether in need of cutting, Gemini. Now is the hour to sharpen the blade and shed the dead.
Notable Gemini: Paul McCartney/June 18, 1942
June 21 to July 22
Psychologist and Holocaust survivor Edith Eger writes, “To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself.” As you oscillate between the desire to surrender and the need to control, I encourage you to eschew passivity, aggression, and their ugly child, passive aggressive tendencies, and move forward with the confident, concentrated conviction that you know what is right for you, and only you.
Notable Cancer: Selena Gomez/July 22, 1992
July 23 to Aug. 22
I recently met a Leo who spends a generous amount of time alone, sometimes, but not always nude by firelight on a swath of Central Florida wilderness. When describing his solitude, he said, “I am not by myself, I am with myself.” As a sign that often craves the warmth of company, I invite you to find it, first, always, and often, in the hearth of yourself. Notable Leo: Lori Lightfoot/Aug. 4, 1962