hello, dear friends. this year has held a lot of challenges already, as we continue to navigate my partner’s recent medical emergency and i slowly find little pockets of time for writing, client work, and rest. earlier this week i received a natal chart reading from my talented friend diana harper, a brilliant astrologer whose insights gave me so much to consider as i think about my future, my dreams, and my endurance — and as we move into aquarius season, as we consider our individual goals through the framework of the collective, as we approach our challenges with unique, creative solutions, i’m thinking a lot about what i want this year to be. what am i working towards, and how will those objectives impact the people around me? how is my work shifting, and what does that mean for my sense of purpose, drive, and focus? which new personal dreams are emerging, and how do those dreams intersect and overlap with broader, collective movements?
what have i been forcing myself to endure and overcome, when i could offer myself grace instead?
the star has so much to teach us about what healing really is, about the power of recovery, about the wisdom of new perspectives. do yourself a favor and spend a moment stretching out your limbs, shaking out your shoulders, spreading your fingers and wiggling your toes. grab a glass of water, a mug of tea, or light your favorite candle. create a space for yourself to read and meditate, even if just for a few moments.
let’s dive in.
the devil & the star
capricorn, the sign the sun has just moved through, is associated with cardinal earth, with the archetype of the devil, with ambition and success and intense, incredible focus. we tend to equate capricorn with determination, goal-setting, leadership, organization: in short, we see them as the go-getters, the head honchos, the badass bosses who get shit done and keep everyone around them in line. and while this isn’t wrong, it’s also not the full picture. capricorn isn’t just an essential cog in the wheel of capitalism, isn’t just obsessed with growth and control.
capricorn teaches us about time, about devotion, about investments. what matters to us, that we are willing to structure our lives around? what do we believe in, that we will create systems to enact and empower? what do we want to accomplish, that we can apply consistent, steady attention to? and when we layer in the meanings of the tarot’s devil, we ask ourselves these questions through another lens: where are we so desperate for control that we have lost sight of everything else? where are we unable to say no, unable to see clearly, unable to see the bigger picture? where are we so driven towards success or ambition that we have lost hold of other things that matter?
in other words, what is threatening to break us apart?
in the major arcana, there’s an archetype that lives between the devil and the star: the tower. this card of chaos, of destruction, of permanent and powerful change, can mean so many things — but at its heart, the tower pushes us into a new cycle, forcing us to abandon the old ways and reach for something different. we aren’t always willing participants in this change, often greeting this card with trepidation rather than anticipation. but i find tower moments are often defined by our ability to eventually look back at them and say, “that was absolutely terrible and absolutely necessary.”
don’t misunderstand me: this isn’t a love-and-light way of saying “pain always leads to growth” or “what doesn’t kill you make you stronger.” every difficult experience is not a tower experience. every minor irritation does not have to make us stronger. every challenge or obstacle does not have to have a wider meaning. every bad thing does not have to make us better people.
sometimes, things just suck for awhile.
instead, think of the tower as a moment of striking, impossible-to-ignore clarity. this is breaking old patterns, old limits, old restraints — freeing us from everything that’s been holding us back, shattering the fears and beliefs that have kept us in a rut.
the tower pushes us past our limitations and obsessions, whether we like it or not. it cracks us open, breaks us apart, lets light into the dark, hidden spaces and illuminates us in a new, unexpected way.
the tower forces us to see ourselves in our entirety, and then allows us to leave that version of self behind.
in the same way that capricorn holds depth and power, challenging our assumptions, the devil also gives us a lot to consider. this archetype isn’t just about retreating into familiar destructive habits, about burning it all down to get what we want, about being endlessly beholden to our ambitions. the devil is also the voice that whispers in our heads and hearts that we are small, that we are not capable, that we are not worthy. it’s also our worst fears dictating our actions. it’s also our shadow, telling us that we don’t deserve to have what we want, that we should aim lower, that we should stop trying.
when everything in our life starts to revolve around that dark, dangerous voice, the tower shows up to help us see our restrictions, to see the ways that we have been limited by our own fears. and after the tower breaks those chains, the star slowly, gently, graciously offers glimpses of healing light, giving us something to fix our gaze towards.
the star shows us the world on the other side of grief.
this is an archetype of hope and belief and faith, of wonder, of wisdom. it’s not just our wounds healing with minimal effort, our troubles just evaporating out of nowhere, solutions just magically emerging like some deus ex machina in the final act. the star instead is a moment when the dust clears and the ground settles, when we gaze up at the sky and see pinpricks of radiance guiding us forward. we glimpse the quiet starlight and it reminds us of the light that we carry, the light that we generate, the light that sustains and supports us.
the star is the effort that we make towards a new life, a new scope, a new future. it’s possibility, potential, promise. it’s the belief that we can dream of more, that we are capable of more, that we are worthy of more. what gives you hope? what encourages you? what inspires you? and which pains, which doubts, have you been enduring, that you are ready to leave behind?
we are living through impossibly dark times. there’s no point in pretending that we aren’t. and rather than pressuring ourselves to keep producing and thriving and building, the star and aquarius season want us to reimagine our futures, to remember the light in the darkness. in the wake of the devil and the tower, how has your perspective shifted? what have you discovered about yourself, and how are you allowing that new information to change what you work towards, what you dream about, what you hope for?
in recognizing all that you’ve become aware of, what are you going to do with that knowledge? in considering the star, in remembering our broader yearly archetype of the lovers, what do your dreams mean for your partnerships, your communities, your collectives? how are you allowing yourself to be supported, encouraged, lifted up? how are you letting your light mingle with the light of others?
put your present in the context of your past, the ambitions of your future. how will let you truth reshape your desires? what are you daring to wish for? and what are you going to do to make all of those dreams come true?
for more on aquarius season, including a spread to work with and individual readings for all twelve signs of the zodiac, head to autostraddle for my latest round of tarotscopes. and if you’re also still thinking about your year ahead, don’t miss my piece on the numerology of 2022, and our universal year of the lovers.
thank you for reading, and wishing you a bright, brilliant aquarius season.
this post features cards from the vindur deck (second edition). all photographs by meg jones wall.