happy new moon in taurus 🌙

with writing prompts

I have refused to live

locked in the orderly house of

reasons and proofs.

The world I live in and believe in

Is wider than that. And anyway,

what’s wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn’t believe what once or

twice I have seen. I’ll just

tell you this:

only if there are angels in your head will you

ever, possibly, see one.

-Mary Oliver

Happy New Moon in Taurus, beloveds! 

Today’s New Moon is conjunct Uranus, the rabble rouser of the zodiac that, like Prometheus, urges us to break free from the chains that bind. What have you been itching to work on, but keep talking yourself out of? What story keeps kicking around in your brain but feels too “off brand” for you to commit to? What essay do you want to pitch, but feel too unqualified to write? Oh, my audience wouldn’t like that. My agent will say no. It’s too far out for me. I don’t know enough. 

Today’s New Moon conjunct Uranus says you can. In fact, it demands that you break free from the structures that bind, from the responsibilities you feel tied down by. Today’s generative, creative energy isn’t just about manifesting: it’s about evaluating your relationship to the structures you’ve spent the last few years building. The moon/Uranus conjunction is square Saturn, the planet of responsibility and time. It’s time for you to get real about the “shoulds and oughts” you’ve spent years buying into, holding yourself accountable to. What beliefs have you perhaps unconsciously structured your creative life and goals around? What myths of success, of what a novel should look like, of “what sells” have you built your burgeoning career around? 

The world around us is changing, reminding us that life is far too short and precious to spend tying our creativity into knots, trying to fit it into factory-made boxes and pre-ordained paths. 

Give yourself permission to break free. You’ll be surprised what your imagination unleashes.

Writing Prompts for the New Moon in Taurus

  • What project have you not started because it would not sell? 

  • What project are you working on that would entirely change if no one from your current or past life would read it? 

  • How would your project change if you didn’t take the structures drilled into you by your MFA/graduate school schooling into account? 

  • What genre feels too experimental to try… but also, that keeps calling your name? 

  • What kind of project feels too risky? Too wild? Too off-brand? 

a short (and important) note

spoiler: it's about money

Hi all,

I hope you and yours are doing as well as can be expected in the midst of *gestures* all this. 

I wanted to let you know two things,

First, for the paid subscribers -- I've paused everyone's billing cycles for the foreseeable future. The world is unpredictable, and in my experience, Substack subscriptions are one of those small expenses you don't think about until it's already getting deducted from your bank account. 

There's a major reason I can do this, and I want to be transparent about it. A lot of my writer friends with Substacks rely on it as part of their income. I don't. I took a new full-time job as Director of Content for Chani Nicholas last month, which felt lucky and rare all on its own before the world around us changed seemingly overnight. And because of that stability, it feels only right to press pause on y’all’s paid subscriptions for now. 

So, second -- Will the newsletter continue? Yes, in a more truncated form for the time being. I'll be sending out one newsletter a month to everyone, covering the month's transits. 

If this isn't what you signed up for, I understand! For a more regular astro fix, I would strongly recommend Mecca Woods' daily horoscopes at Bustle or Claire Comstock-Gay ("Madame Clairvoyant")'s weekly horoscopes at The Cut. If you want a heady dose of astrologers going long on how the stars are interacting with *all this* then you've simply got to listen to Mecca and Janelle Belgrave's podcast Stars on Fire.

In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands, and don't feel guilty about binge watching your favorite TV show or treating yourself to your fave childhood candy. 

Take care of yourselves (and each other),


new moon in aries (you do not have to be good)

New Moon in Aries

March 24

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. 

- Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

What a last few weeks this has been. First: I hope you and yours are well, safely ensconced in homes with all the comfort food and coffee or tea that you could possibly require. 

Second: This pandemic has really brought out the rise and grind capitalist nature of our industry, hasn’t it? 

You do not have to be good. 

Usually, when writing about new moons - especially for writers - I would focus on how this is a great time, full of energy, to start new projects. That may be the case for you. But it also may not. This moon comes with a built-in emergency exit from that call to productivity, and that is the fact that Chiron, the wounded healer, is sitting right there with the sun and the moon saying, Be still. Pay attention to what hurts. Sink into your body. Honor what you need - and what you want. 

A global crisis is not a time to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting, lamenting the fact that you didn’t send that pitch, haven’t started that revision. Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Treat your body kindly; it’s your vessel. Speak to yourself with gratitude, patience, and respect, as you would a friend. Let yourself love and crave; let your mind wander. 

Your worth is not in your productivity. Creative output requires creative input. If you don’t rest, burnout is a guarantee. 

Listen to how this new moon is calling you. Consider this new moon - the first of the zodiacal new year here in Aries season, fresh off the vernal equinox - an opportunity to start inhabiting your relationship to your own creative energy and expectations of that energy in new ways. This energy calls for bold confrontation, for setting out on a new path. Let that new path emerge.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Saturn in Aquarius

March 21, 2020-July 1, 2020 (when it will retrograde back into Capricorn); then again, for the next few years, on December 17, 2020

We honor the new moon in the wake of the great taskmaster, Saturn, shifting signs for the first time in years: from empire-building Capricorn to community-minded, innovative Aquarius. Saturn, the lord of winter, rules both of these signs, which are so oriented toward building structures that will last. But in Aquarius, there is a shift, a focus: let’s break down the structures that don’t serve us. Let’s build a new life, in our own image. 

How will this long transit - that we will be discussing for years to come - invite you to examine and reshape your structures, commitments, and relationship to time in varying parts of life? Here’s a quick guide to where your focus may be: 

For Aries Risings… communities, friendships, and humanitarian efforts  

For Taurus Risings… career, public image, identification/reaching of long-term goals

For Gemini Risings… publishing, higher education, beliefs/philosophy, long-term journeys

For Cancer Risings… shared resources, taxes, inheritance, death (metaphorical)

For Leo Risings… committed partnerships, including business partnerships that involve contracts (agents, editors)

For Virgo Risings… everyday work life, routines around individual health/wellness 

For Libra Risings… creative energy and playfulness, also children 

For Scorpio Risings… home, roots, lineage, family

For Sagittarius Risings… daily routine, everyday writing, short-term journeys, relationships with siblings and neighbors

For Capricorn Risings… material resources and financial income, sense of self-worth 

For Aquarius Risings… relationship to yourself and your identity, the public nature of your work as it is associated with you as a person

For Pisces Risings… spirituality, the subconscious, working behind-the-scenes on projects

A note for those of you born with Saturn in Aquarius in the early 1990s: This marks the beginning moment where themes will start emerging for your Saturn Return. Some astrologers consider the entire 2.5 years that Saturn is in a sign to be a person’s Saturn Return; generally, I focus on the weeks surrounding the point where this transiting Saturn exactly reconnects with your natal Saturn as the real crucible where themes come to a head. 

But the transit’s long years do hold much thematic work for you around your relationship to responsibility, structure, time management, and career, if you’re willing to engage. Saturn Returns don’t happen to us; they are an inextricable part of the growing up process, challenging you to take responsibility and accept the consequences for your choices. Saturn is the taskmaster of the zodiac, sometimes called Father Time, said to govern our karma - ever keeping us grounded. Lean in to what this period brings up for you. Every day is not going to be a crisis, but every day is an opportunity for you to do that hard internal work of spinning straw into gold.  

Mark Your Calendar

March 30 

Mercury in Pisces clears its retrograde shadow

Finally, at last, the planet of communication, ideas, and travel clears its retrograde shadow. Technology issues and two-ships-in-the-night conversations get clear. However, Mercury is still in Pisces, where it’s more about dreamy metaphor than concrete narrative, so be extra direct in your communication with people, especially as it’s more likely to be over the phone/text.

Mars enters Aquarius

We get a slight reprieve in the heavy urge to work work work as the planet of action shifts from Capricorn, where it is powerfully driven to accomplish, into Aquarius, where it feels lighter and easier on the mind even as it is driven toward intellectual action. 

March 31

Mars in Aquarius conjunct Saturn in Aquarius

Powerful energy that could go a number of ways. Some folks may feel extra-inspired to get things done, as active Mars and taskmaster Saturn meet, no doubt helping all of us get clear on our next steps. However, Mars and Saturn are also really tough planets to work with, and this day may tend toward the depressive end of the scale for some. Honor what your body needs; the work will still be there. There’s a lot of activity in the sky to hook into, when you’re ready for it. 

April 3

Venus enters Gemini

We all might find ourselves a little unsettled with the being at home, as Venus shifts from Taurus, which so loves a good comfort food situation, shifts to Gemini, where it requires mental activity, exciting group conversations, new intellectual stimulation. This is a high input/output energy situation. Schedule your group chats in advance.

April 4

Jupiter in Capricorn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn

A potent day where our ideas and beliefs are thrown into the fire of transformation. How will they emerge? A good day for journaling, introspection, and sitting with long-term projects that may be in need of some fresh energy. 

Next time - a post for paid subscribers only - we will be discussing:

  • The Full Moon in Libra

  • Mercury, the planet of communication, entering intrepid Aries

  • And more!

happy new moon in pisces!

feelings yielding creative abundance

New Moon in Pisces

February 23

The New Moon comes to us with an abundance of feelings and opportunity. Pisces has the potential to unlock the deepest parts of ourselves, if we’re willing to go there; to get in the nooks and crannies of the discomfort, to confront the pain, to hold our frightened, angry inner child that comes rearing out at the most inopportune moments. 

This New Moon is about accessing the creativity that your conscious mind stubbornly thinks you don’t need, is afraid to go after. This is about diving deep into the well, because you know you can trust yourself to come back up. Buoyed by a connection to hardworking, responsible Mars in Capricorn, this moon has the potential to sow abundant creative seeds in your life. 

If your rising is [sign], then this new moon is especially about… 

Aries… spirituality, accessing more of the subconscious and your hidden life

Taurus… immersing yourself in community, allowing yourself (and your work) to be supported

Gemini… owning the emotional roots of your work as valid, accepting the emotional, public nature of your work 

Cancer… seeking out new adventure, challenging your existing belief structures, accepting the value of emotional knowledge 

Leo… coming to a deeper understanding of the creative resources and intimacy you share with others, particularly those you are in committed partnership with 

Virgo… how your emotional life, committed partnerships, and creative work intersect; where do you find support therein, and where could there be more

Libra… how your emotions manifest themselves in your body; the body keeps the score, as the saying goes, and has its own knowledge

Scorpio… starting or renewing a new creative project on the horizon

Sagittarius… how you are building a safe, foundational emotional life at home 

Capricorn… allowing yourself to imbue some dreaminess into your daily writing life, reimagining what is stale in the everyday

Aquarius… initiating new cycles around your beliefs re: money and value, honoring boundaries with your bank account

Pisces… how you see, accept, and honor yourself, in all your multitudinous, creative glory

Venus in Taurus

March 5-April 3

We all get a little leisure come early March. Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and culture, enters Taurus, one of her home domains, where she loves being. The trick to working with Venus in Taurus is embracing the urge to treat our bodies well and truly valuing the time that our work requires - and the rest it requires. 

When it comes to manifestation energy, Taurus is extraordinary. It’s the planter of the earth signs, the spring season earth sign. Trust that. Trust that this is a season to grow the seeds you’re planting, that your due diligence and consistency will bring them to fruit without you shedding blood. Working yourself to the bone is not necessary, now. Let nature and time do their thing. 

Mark Your Calendar

February 23

Venus in Aries square Jupiter in Capricorn

Today, you want to fight for what you believe in. Fight for yourself. Fight for your own value. Channel that energy into sending invoices and tracking down any missing money from those publications or contract clients that haven’t paid you yet. Maybe avoid the Twitter wars, which are bound to flare up. 

February 25

Sun in Pisces sextile Mars in Capricorn

This is a great work day, as action star Mars invigorates the sun with some of its powerful Capricorn work ethic. Today, find your focus, set your timer, and get to work. 

February 26

Mars in Capricorn sextile Mercury Rx in Pisces

If you’ve been struggling to really focus and get the right words out during this retrograde period, today will help you feel better. Mars comes along and has a supportive chat with Mercury, helping you channel those fuzzy feels into concrete language. 

February 29

Mercury Rx in Pisces sextile Uranus in Taurus

Mercury connects with Uranus for the second time this month, bringing another unexpected insight. Happy Leap Year! 

March 4

Mercury Rx enters Aquarius

Mercury will retrograde back into Aquarius, where it spent some time earlier this year, and where it will also station direct the following week. Look back at what projects you were working on at the end of January for some insight into what this may bring up for you, creatively.

March 8

Sun in Pisces conjunct Neptune in Pisces

This is a heady day, full of potential creative inspiration. Get out of your house and go to a place that inspires you: a park, a museum, a favorite restaurant, the riverside. Go for a drive. Go lay in your backyard and get high. This is a Peak Pisces Daydream Day.

Next time (a subscribers’ only letter!), we’re discussing,

  • Aries Season!

  • The Full Moon in Virgo

  • SATURN ENTERING AQUARIUS! (this one is big!)

  • And more!

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