I know astrology isn’t real, but I love it anyway. I know astrology isn’t real, but I once spent a very happy summer reading every word Linda Goodman ever wrote, and I believe that it changed me as a person. I know astrology isn’t real, but Virgos and Aquariuses are my favourites. Do I think that this qualifies me to write monthly horoscopes? Obviously not. Am I going to do it anyway? Yes. Think of these as existential horoscopes, or else the end result of me reading Susan Miller until my eyes start hurting.
Don’t @ me about how astrology is stupid OR to tell me that I am showing insufficient reverence for a great and mystical tradition. I already know both those things. I am holding those contradictory truths in my mind, and I’m not even a Gemini.
You’ll be radiating a powerful, fizzy energy this month. You’ll have sparks shooting from the top of your head. It will verge on the unsettling. Acquaintances will walk away after a conversation with you, and they will think That person is strange as hell. I like it. You know the little kid in Peanuts, the one with the large cloud of dust all around him? He is called Pigpen. Everywhere he goes, the dust cloud goes too. You’re Pigpen this month, except instead of dust, you’re going to be enveloped in a cloud of weapons-grade charisma. This is traffic stopping stuff, so be careful with it. Spend it wisely. The cloud will not settle on you forever, but there is almost nothing you cannot accomplish while it is with you.
Buckle up, because you are going to have the sex dream of an absolute lifetime, and it is going to be about a person you have never once thought of like that before. You are going to wake up with your cheeks aflame, and you are going to attempt to distract yourself with projects all month, but it will not work HA HA maybe you are in love with them now. Are you? No? Sure about that? It is the end of autumn, and the afternoon light is breaking your heart, and this whole thing is going to mess with your head for a while. The only way you will figure this out for certain is if you think about it constantly, if you write worried lists about it on till slips, if you wake up every day with this person’s name in your mouth. All the best with that.
I had this very terrible anxiety dream once. I was all tangled up in an absurd, appalling situation, and I could not at all figure out how to get out of it. I believed myself to be stuck, and then suddenly I looked down at my hand, and I was holding a set of keys! To a van! To MY van. I realised that all I had to do was just hop in and drive away, putting this ridiculous situation behind me. Remember that, this month. It’s not always appropriate to just bail, but sometimes it is the answer. Sometimes the beautiful and obvious solution to whatever is getting you down is to just hop in that metaphorical van and drive away. You don’t always have to engage. Sometimes you can just leave. Keep that in mind.
Remember when you were small, maybe eight, and you were falling asleep and the very clear thought came into your head that everything was fine? You thought “I have no worries in this life”, and you fell asleep knowing it was true. This month, you’ll have lost your house keys, and you will be scrabbling around on the floor and as a side crisis you will realise that you hate what you are wearing, it is so terrible, and there is a scary voicemail on your phone which you have not yet been brave enough to listen to, and you will briefly consider letting yourself die right there on the pavement. Then, as you rest your head against the concrete, that same feeling you had when you were eight will wash over you, reviving your spirit utterly. It will stick with you, this month. Everything is going to be fine.
My friend Frith and I were sitting on my sofa when I got this exceptionally weird text from someone I have known for a long time. We both looked at it for a while, and I said “I have no idea how to respond to this.” Frith turned to me and said “You know what my motto is in these situations? When in doubt, escalate. Raise the stakes.” This immediately struck me as a profound truth, and one that you should strive to live by this month. Libras are calm and moderate creatures by nature, but this a month for escalation. Raise the stakes. Respond unpredictably. Next time you are faced with a puzzle, try to solve it by making things weird. Take it up a notch. You’ll have an incredible time.
The stars are lined up this month to beguile you into making a genuinely foolish decision. You must resist. You must remove yourself from temptation’s path. Do not eat anything new this month. Do not decide that you can wear a different kind of pants from your usual ones. Do not look at pictures of sunglasses that you usually think are stupid. Play it real, real cool with social media. Hide your phone from yourself when you have had more than two drinks. You’re going to wake up every morning this month thinking WHY NOT, but try and take it easy. Turn your head away. If you do not, you will be swept up in a series of unfortunate sartorial events, and your best friend will not recognise you as you cross the street to meet her.
Have you ever had it happen that you are in a house with an extremely loud fridge, and at first it drives you up the wall, but then you just sort of get used to it? You acclimatise to that weird humming, and you believe that you don’t even hear it anymore. It’s only when the electricity goes out that you realise how loud it actually was, how badly it was getting to you. You sit there in the silence for a bit and you cannot understand how you had tolerated that noise even for a second. This month brings that same sensation. Things have been bad for you – not the worst, but just this persistent low grade discomfort and sadness, this hum in the background that you have gotten used to. This month it will stop. You will sit there in the silence for a bit, and you will see that things could be different.
A lie you told many years ago is attempting to catch up with you. Avoid this happening at all costs, because it will be so much worse than you think. The lie itself was pretty bad, but the fact that you have concealed it for so long is the real eyebrow-raiser. There is no telling what will happen if this all gets publically aired. Maybe you should skip town, actually. Just for a bit, until the lie gives up and goes away. Maybe you should book a plane ticket to San Diego and then just cruise right on across that border into Mexico. Think about it.
This is a good month to realise at last that no one understands you. No one can make you out at all. You are an amazing person, a mystery. How do you do it? How can one person hold their cards so close to their chest? The best part is, you have no idea you are like this. You believe yourself to be an open book, and you are so, so wrong about that. Frowning and staring out the window is not the same as telling someone how you feel. Asking for a cigarette is not a shamingly obvious declaration of love. No one has the faintest idea what you are thinking, ever. Seriously, you are amazing.
I read this great thing, once: a description of an Alsatian sticking its head out a car window and barking, and the bark sounded exactly like the words “fuck off”. This is what the world is going to feel like for you, this month. It will feel as if everything is telling you to eff off. Cats will hiss at you, and you will not know what you have done wrong. Your phone will blink in an overtly hostile manner. You will trip over everything. It will seem as if many traps have been laid. Don’t worry about this too much. It will go away soon.
Something so good is going to happen to you this month. So good. It is going to blow the minds of your many haters. You will try not to be too pleased about this aspect of the triumph, but a terrible and proud smile will come over your face when you are alone. Your nostrils will gently flare. This is what princes must feel like, you will think. Constantly preoccupied with the taking down of their enemies. It’s true – that is what they feel like. The reason they are princes, though, is that they keep it to themselves. You must do the same. I once read a terrifying bit of career advice which said “in the company of others, act as if no enemy could possibly hurt you.” Cherish this information.
This is a month for feeling stripped away, and for being moved by stupid shit. You will see an extremely eccentric child, or a sassy old person, or a happy dog, and tears will spring to your eyes. This world is such a heavy place, and this is your month for seeing that clearly. Please enjoy. Please send emails to your pals with the subject line “Fuck”, and please tell them everything you are feeling. You never do that anymore. Write an email about how everyday stuff freaks you out so badly, sometimes. You wear stoicism well, but you must balance this with the occasional admission that you are sometimes breathless with unnameable emotion. It’s fine.