04 May Your existential horoscope: Stay off Google for a while
I don’t think astrology is real, but I love it anyway. 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.
It is time to admit that you have never seen the movie Stalker, although somewhere along the line people seem to have developed the impression that you are a keen admirer of Tarkovsky’s work. This is because you lied about it, a little bit, when you were younger and worried about appearing sophisticated. You once heard yourself referring to Tarkovsky as “the great man”, even though you don’t care about him or love him at all. We have all pulled this kind of stunt at some point, but it is time now for you to rid yourself of this burden, and others like it. Joyfully admit to your relative cultural ignorance. Own the fact that you are something of a philistine. It’s actually very charming and refreshing, especially in these taxingly pretentious times. Make it your thing.
You will soon be the recipient of an unexpected and baffling gift. The intentions of the giver might be obscure to you. The gift itself might be bewildering. Why would someone think you would appreciate an old-fashioned thermometer, or a book on the history of wheat? Why would someone give you a plastic packet full of foreign coins in very very small denominations? What is the purpose of such things? It is up to you, this month, to figure it out. Whatever it is, and whoever it comes from, the gift has great significance, and you need to work out how to use it, so keep your wits about you.
I saw this legend baby at an airport the other day. Name: Roksana. I know her name was Roksana because I heard it being hollered very loudly several times over the course of about an hour. The thing with Roksana was that she was just a small kid who wanted to be on the move. Her mum kept trying to make her sit down and stay still and stop running away, and Roksana was having literally none of it. She was constantly making a break for it, scampering around the duty free with her arms outstretched, just so sweet and excited for anything this world had to offer. She had a good hat on. It is doubtful that Roksana ever sleeps. This month, you are Roksana. There are so many adventure to be had, and it is going to be very hard to keep you in one place. You will keep your friends and family in a constant state of agitation, but it will be very fun for you.
You will find yourself giving many weird compliments, this month. It will be like you’ve forgotten some essential step in the compliment-giving process, and instead of making people pleased, you will make them sad and even a bit frightened. You will want to tell someone that they look nice, but you will say something like, “Wow, nice LIPSTICK. NICE BROWN LIPSTICK.” They aren’t even wearing lipstick. You will say “COOL HAIRSTYLE” to someone who has not changed their hair in like 10 years. They will step back, alarmed. They will think you are being sarcastic, or that you are gaslighting them. You are not! You are simply trying to make them feel groovy about themselves, but unfortunately you are not succeeding. Confine yourself to remarks about the weather, for the moment.
You know how there is that one person who you know is a complete dickhead, but who everyone else seems fucking delighted by? We both know what I mean. A grown up version of one of those little kids who would pinch you under the table where the moms couldn’t see. You have been walking a weary and lonely road for so long now, hating this person with your whole heart while everyone else is just bursting into fond laughter at even the mention of their name. Well. Well now. The end of the road is suddenly in sight. Time to be richly vindicated, my friend. Your pals will turn to you with wonder and say, “You were right. He is a complete dickhead. He is straight-up terrible, and I was a fool not to see it all these many years. We all hate him now and he can’t come to any of our birthday parties. You were right, you were right, you were right.” FINALLY.
Have you ever seen a cat playing with a mirror? This works best if the mirror is leaning against a wall rather than attached to it. What happens is the cat sees itself in the mirror and thinks Hey! Another cat! Now we can do some good playing! Then the cat goes behind the mirror in search of its new best friend, and is dejected and confused to find nothing there. Back to the mirror. Hey! There’s my new best m8 the cat again! Behind the mirror again. Nothing there. Sad. This month, you are that cat. This is not as lonely as it sounds. Take this as an opportunity to realise that you don’t actually need anyone else in order to have a good time. You have an endless capacity to amuse yourself, and you are quite capable of blowing your own mind, so have fun.
There is garden variety stubbornness, and then there is Scorpio stubbornness, and that is a whole other kind of movie. That is a whole other genre, in fact, with its own set of codes and established conventions. I grew up with one of the most hardcore Scorpios on the planet, and so I know what it is to try and get one of you to do something you do not want to do. It is near-impossible. It is achieved only in the rarest cases, but what I am here to tell you is that this month will be full of such cases. You will suddenly find yourself doing all sorts of garbage that you have no wish to do. Your trademark intractability will disappear, and you will put up only the most token resistance when someone forces you to go to Kirstenbosch. Your friends and family will rejoice.
You hate being by yourself. I would not go so far as to say you are actually incapable of it, but you might as well be. You will go to incredible lengths to avoid being alone, and things have gone far enough. You are beginning to sap the strength of your companions. This is a good month, then, to address this imbalance. Practice being by yourself for small bursts. Go have lunch by yourself every day this week. This sounds easy, and indeed it is easy. The hard bit though is not telling anyone about it. Have lunch by yourself and then don’t say anything about it. Act like it is just a normal thing you are doing. Spend a night at home alone and do not live tweet a single minute of it. This will be very good for you, and you know it.
You are going to develop a compelling and old-fashioned affliction, this month. People don’t say a lot of words about gout, anymore, but I can assure you that it is still real. Gout is still taking people out, and so is hysterical blindness and things where the sun gives you a rash. You are maybe going to get a problem where you go violently dizzy when someone talks about Italy (this happened to Nietzche), or where you come over all faint at the sight of someone eating eggs. I don’t know. You like things to make sense, but this month you will be at the mercy of arcane and mysterious forces, and you are just going to have to live with it. Stay off Google for a while.
A story for you, this month. A very dear friend of mine who has been almost aggressively happily married for long, now, told me that sometimes she looks at the beautiful peaceful face of her sleeping husband, cups her hands around her mouth, and whispers I hate you right into his ear. She said it gives her a great sense of calm. She obviously doesn’t hate him, but relationships are absurd creations, and we all have a lot of feelings and irritating ways of clearing our throats and so on, and sometimes we just need to whisper awful things into the ear of the person we love the most in the world. It makes us feel better, like maybe we have just had some kind of good drink. Love is complicated, is what I am telling you. None of us are exempt.
Find something that no one really gives a shit about, and become incredibly good at it. This is how winners are born. Look to the former Soviet bloc for inspiration. They decided that they needed to be good at the Olympics, and that the way to do this was to attain complete mastery of all the sports that absolutely no one gave a fuck about until then. And they did it! Many gold medals! Much angry patriotism and waving of flags and shouting loudly about being the best. A gold medal is still a gold medal, even if it is for something like wrestling or the wrong kind of gymnastics. I hope you understand what I am telling you, this month. Find a gap, and take it. Winning is still winning even if there is essentially no one else in the game.
You like to come across as the numero uno free bird in town, just so mega independent and unwilling to be tied down, so this month is going to be a bumpy ride for you. You’re going to be feeling very clingy indeed. You won’t want to be all needy and in constant need of the kind of reassurance that no sane adult really has the time or the inclination to provide, but you will nevertheless be overcome by these feelings. What is the source of them? How will you master this? What is going to happen to the Aries brand? Is everything going to think you are just this massive drip, now? Enough questions. Take it easy. Your vicious exuberance will return pretty soon, and you will be back to stomping on the hearts of the weak in no time at all.
Missed a few horoscopes? Find them all over here.
Illustrations by Lauren Mitchell.