6 min read

from the star to the moon

from the star to the moon
star & moon from the phantomwise tarot

hello friends, and welcome to pisces season.

finding the fool comes out in a little over a week, so if you haven't already ordered your copy, you can smash this handy little button and pre-order now. (and some folks are already getting their shipping notifications, so if you get your copy early, feel free to tag me on social media or share as much as you like!)

what might pisces season have to offer? let's get into it.

after hope comes doubt. not always — but sometimes.

at the onset of a journey we imagine things working out, dream of the possibilities that accompany our fresh start, long for change to find goodness and stability and pleasure along the way. with aquarius we harness our fixed air to clear a path, to revel in the starlight, to reorient ourselves towards something good. but after periods of difficulty, of necessary transformation and difficult change, of losing control and scrambling to find it again, we can doubt our ability to feel safe, inspired, connected.

in spite of the star's optimistic brilliance, sometimes the chaos and destruction of the tower leave a lasting reminder of what can happen when we fix our gaze on something that's too far ahead, and forget to pay attention to what's under our feet.

the moon from the phantomwise tarot

and by the time we sink into the baffling twilight of the moon, we may have forgotten hope altogether, and surrender to fear instead.

my first book is making its way into the world. over 200 pages of my dreams and ideas leaving my hands, with no more revisions, no safety nets, no translators. this work that's been mine alone for years will now be a wild thing, independent and distinct, speaking for itself.

it's magical, terrifying, joyful and awful all at once. i can't describe it, won't even try. publishing a book is a glorious, ghastly experience, one that i have both loved and despaired over, one that i hope to do again and again in spite of the challenges and complications. but this first one feels particularly impossible, wonderful, exhausting, exhilarating.

hope drove me to pitch the book, to sell it, to write it, to declare it done. (is a book ever really done? that's another essay.) i relied on my intellect, my sense of truth, my willingness to communicate and edit and make something as sharp, as clear, as i possibly could. but the waiting is agonizing, my heart filled with doubts and fears, uncertainties, questions. wondering if i did enough, if it's good enough, if it will mean as much to others as it does to me.

the hope that got me to this point hasn't left: it's just something i have to intentionally reach for, something i have to constantly, deliberately cultivate. it doesn't come easily, but it hasn't disappeared either. if i'm not careful, fear takes over completely.

this peculiar, shifting energy, this uncertain present wonder living alongside an almost-certain faith in the future, is the magic that lives between the star and the moon.

last month i wrote about the fixed air of the star, and the necessary, clear-eyed hope that comes on the heels of the tower's fiery freefall. as we now turn our gaze towards the moon, the major arcana archetype associated with the dreamy, mutable water of pisces, things can start to feel a bit foggier, a bit stranger.

aquarius and the star want us to come back to our most authentic self, to look at the future with optimism and faith, to break rules deliberately so that we can build something new and true. we've made the decision to leave old ways behind and believe in the possibility of the future, to climb until we're high enough to see past the horizon, to let starlight guide our journey back to ourselves. but even after clarifying our dreams, even after reckoning with what has been lost and found, doubts can still come in.

it wouldn't be hope, wouldn't be faith, if we could prove something for certain, if we knew without a shadow of a doubt that something was true, real, on its way. hope is for what we don't yet know, but believe in anyway.

it's fragile, but hope is also much stronger than it looks.

on the right side, a dark metal ladder leads up to an open roof on a grey concrete square structure. behind it, a dark cloudy sky and a large, full moon glows.
by meg jones wall

in contrast to the star's faith in the future, the moon is an archetype of contradictions, of holding hope and doubt in the same hand, of knowing that an ending is coming that we have no control over.

after the chaos of the tower, after the clarity of the star, the moon wants us to sit in the darkness and let its gentle light guide us away from the beaten path into the wilderness of our vast interiors. this is a nine card, tied to the hermit and the end of the numerological cycle, so the moon also makes space for us to detach, to observe, and to eventually emerge transformed and transfixed, with our eyes on a prize that may feel new but in truth, has probably been living within us for a long, long time.

tower, star & moon from the phantomwise tarot

the moon holds space for all of our veiled desires and dreams, whether they make sense to us or not. it's an archetype of the weirdness lurking beneath the surface, the dreams we're reluctant to drag out into the light, the truths that we want to keep to ourselves.

if the star reminds us that hope is a choice, then the moon wants us to acknowledge what we may be afraid to hope for. where might fear be getting tangled up with those longings, hiding them behind shadows we are reluctant to peer through?

a moon-fueled confession: i've been very careful to not even dream about my book winning any awards, becoming a bestseller, earning accolades, landing on best-of lists, or opening doors to places i don't currently have access to. it feels too much like tempting fate, like setting myself up for disappointment, puts too much pressure on something that i'm already proud of.

there's hope for success, absolutely. but i remain reluctant to let that success take shape or form, even in my imagination. some things feel too big to name or define, even to ourselves.

the mutable water of pisces urges us to dive into those hopeful, fantasy-filled depths anyway, in spite of fear; is willing to go into the murky darkness illuminated only by the eerie, unsettling light of the moon and see what can be found. water refracts light, bends and breaks it, makes it hard for us to see things clearly. yet pisces isn't scared of what may be glimpsed in those secret and distorted underwater places, believes that what we may discover there is essential to who we are.

pisces believes that in letting ourselves observe our dreams, even if we ultimately keep them hidden, we can know ourselves more fully, more truly.

dreams aren't binary. they don't have to only live under cover of darkness or be dragged out into the brilliant, unrelenting sunshine. some dreams can be just for us, while others are desperate to be excavated, and still others can be a secret third thing, something that we figure out as we go.

letting ourselves wander through all of those dreams, all of those familiar and unfamiliar places, is the only way that we can sort out which is which, the only way we can identify the wishes we will keep hidden for ourselves and the ones we will visibly, tangibly pursue.

star & moon from the phantomwise tarot

what have you been discovering within yourself, that you are willing to examine further? which dreams and fears and truths are you unearthing in all of your many depths? what is your heart getting caught up in, that your mind can't argue its way out of? how is hope taking up space within you?

and in being willing to dive deep into those strange and hidden dreams, what endings and beginnings are you open to finding?

for more on pisces, mutable water, and the moon, don't miss my latest round of tarotscopes for autostraddle. wishing you a magical, moonlight-filled pisces season.