hello friends, and welcome to september.
some quick housekeeping: my spread architect offerings (both the monthly subscription and the one-time service) are still available for purchase, now at their permanent pricing. you can check out all of my spread resources, courses, and offers by clicking the button below, and don't forget that i also have an etsy shop!
i'll be opening for readings again shortly, and i'm also preparing to launch a brand new course, and will be sharing some teasers, mood boards, songs, spreads, and other goodies in preparation via my instagram. keep an eye on your inboxes as subscribers always get first dibs to classes and offerings!
as we move from the moon to the sun, and from summer into the early days of autumn here in the north hemisphere, i truly hope you're finding ways to care for yourself. especially in the united states, things feel impossibly hard, with anti-trans and anti-queer laws everywhere, wildfires raging, strikes lingering on as working conditions worsen, student loans restarting (join the strike here), COVID continuing to make folks sick (please keep masking!), abortion laws getting weirder, and so much more.
give yourself breaks from the news. go outside when you can. drink lots of water, and eat food that truly nourishes you. tell your loved ones how much you care about them. hug your pets.
above all, please be gentle with yourself, and patient with those you love. i'm glad you're here, and i hope this month's meandering essay helps you feel a little less alone, a little less stressed, a little less afraid.
you're doing great.
my winter solstice-born, snow-loving partner likes to call me a lizard, especially in the summertime. i love heat and sunshine, crave it like a reptile, need it to feel like myself. when the temperatures soar i want to find hot rocks and scalding sand to settle onto, want to do nothing but enjoy that endless radiance and the lazy relaxation it brings.
the fact that i’m incredibly pale, that my sensitive skin can scorch just by sitting for too long next to an open window, that i can’t actually be in the sunshine for more than a few moments without uncomfortable consequences, feels like a cosmic joke.
i love the sun, but it doesn’t love me back. i’m a pale, chronic insomniac who loves to wear black, who dresses more like a vampire or a recovering emo kid than someone who clearly wants to be out in the sunshine all day. in spite of a lifelong, religious devotion to sunscreen, it’s hard for me to soak up the sun the way that i’d like to, the way that i crave, without getting badly burned.
if we wanna get a little weird, it’s a laughingly literal reflection of my natal chart, almost too on the nose to be worth mentioning. my leo moon, tucked into my third house of communication and expression, craves acknowledgement but shrinks under the heat of an unwavering gaze, of too much attention. she answers to my sixth house scorpio sun, broody and passionate, more comfortable in the shadows than the spotlight, more content asking questions than answering them. i desire admiration, but rarely receive it gracefully. i crave authenticity, but don’t want to give too much of myself away. i delight in mystery, but worry i'll be forgotten.
i might desire the sun, might crave its heat and brilliance, might delight in that exposure to warmth and comfort — but in reality, i quickly wither under that powerful, endless blaze. literally and figuratively, the sun is too much for me.
yet the sun is an essential, eternal, impossible-to-avoid reality. in life on this planet, in astrology, in tarot’s major arcana, the sun is a central figure, a necessary nucleus. we simply cannot survive, cannot grow, cannot blossom, without it.
one of the last cards in the fool’s journey, the sun is traditionally associated with joy: celebration, connection, abundance, success, completion, delight. it's the magic of being seen and appreciated, the knowledge that we have accomplished something important, the integration of desire and realization tangling together into a deep sense of satisfaction.
but on the heels of the moon's strange revelations and endlessly shifting mysteries, the sun's brilliant light shining directly into our eyes can feel paralyzing in its power, overwhelming in its severity, demanding in its scope. this isn’t a gentle suggestion or a quiet whisper — no, the sun’s powerful blaze and sharp clarity is a shout, a cry, sometimes even a deafening roar to own our magic, to feel pride in who we are, to let the world see us and our accomplishments. it can give us whiplash if we’re not careful, can blind us if we step too quickly from the moon's shifting shadows into the sun's golden light.
how to rectify this? how to find comfort, even joy, in a light that feels too bold, too brash, too intense to be relaxing? how do we soak up the sunshine without getting burnt to a crisp?
while the tarot archetype of the sun may feel fixed, a shining beacon of happiness and success, there is so much more to this archetype than simply "celebration." in astrology, the sun represents ego, authenticity, radiance. it's our will, our vitality, our consciousness. it's our courage, our authority, our sense of self.
our sun is how we burn, how we glow, how we shine. in both tarot and astrology the sun is tied to our sense of deep satisfaction, the recognition of who we are and what we need and how we work. (not work as in our job or career or the way we make money, but work as in function, as in movement, as in success.)
our sun is how we let ourselves be seen, how we reveal ourselves, how we know ourselves. it's our truth of self, our soul both raw and refined.
if you haven't read or watched good omens yet, i won't spoil it for you. but i can tell you that the story is built around a 6,000-year relationship between an angel and a demon, two beings who have seen everything that's ever happened and gotten to exchange knowing smirks about it, who have constantly turned towards each other when there was nowhere else to go. and while their relationship is complex and layered (and is not technically the only thing that the story is about, not that you would know that from a03 or my 20-year obsession), the truth in this story that i want to highlight is that nothing is ever black and white.
the demon isn't inherently evil just because they asked the wrong questions of the wrong beings at the wrong time. the angel isn't unerringly right just because they kept their halo, just because they follow the rules, just because they believe in things they can’t explain. even these immortal creatures have to make complicated choices without clear answers, question their leaders, long for the agency to make their own decisions.
these beings of light and shadow ultimately have to decide who they are, for themselves — even when it's scary, even when it hurts, even when it doesn't work out exactly the way they’d hoped.
everything has nuance, greyscale, potential. everything has layers, deeper meanings, contradictions. everything is capable of both brilliance and failure, light and dark, joy and sorrow. even the sun, fixed and focused, can teach us of the power and certainty of change.
our feet may feel firm on the ground yet the earth keeps spinning and twisting, dancing through its orbit, showing us various sides to that fixed, life-giving star as it moves into different signs and energies. we watch the sun shift across and through our sky in its familiar patterns, yet the sun itself does not change — we do. not just in our daily responses to the sun's light, but also gradually, slowly, over time.
part of the way we change, part of the way we grow, is through our connections, through the things that we share and reveal and display, and the things we choose to keep hidden. the sun archetype isn’t just about the individual: sitting in the final line of the major arcana, that community-oriented evolutionary line that speaks of collective consciousness and transformational narratives, the sun is also about the us.
as archetype nineteen, the sun is a one card (1+9 = 10, 1+0 = 1), the third and final major in the magician constellation: the individual and the collective both; the one who stands apart and the ones who stand together. one is a contradiction in terms, innovation and trailblazing alongside united visions and collaborative efforts. one as one, and one as many. apart and together, distinct and blended.
this duality is essential to understanding the number one, because no matter how true to ourselves we are, no matter how well we know and love and celebrate our individual uniqueness, we still live in the world, in a society. we cannot survive alone. one person can create tremendous beauty, or tremendous destruction, depending on their visions and values. one union can bring down an entire industry, even if another person or group is standing stubbornly in the way. power can shift and flow, depending on who is holding the reins, depending on how united we are in our opposition.
because when we turn ourselves all the way up to 11, when we stop apologizing for who we are, when we take up the space we want to take up in the places that we want to be, others take notice, and take inspiration. we twinkle and sparkle, burn deep and true, shine bright like a diamond. and we share our light with those around us, too.
the sun isn’t just bland happiness, satisfaction with wherever we’ve landed. the sun is hope that is realized, visions that have come true, aspirations that were reached and perhaps even surpassed. it's getting what we wanted and then some, a feeling of overflowing abundance. the sun is grace.
but it’s also owning all of our facets, all of our strangeness, all of our mysteries. it's also letting ourselves be seen in our fullness, flaws and all. it's also stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight, allowing ourselves to be viewed and valued from every angle, acknowledging the magic in the pieces of ourselves that might not yet have been polished to a glossy shine but are still essential to who we are.
we don’t have to be seen by everyone, everywhere, all the time. we don’t have to strip down to our skin, reveal our deepest secrets, bare our most tender, vulnerable selves to anyone who asks.
the sun isn’t about tearing ourselves apart just to be visible, just to be noticed.
but it is about letting ourselves be witnessed, be held, be appreciated. it is about being able to be our full selves, at least with ourselves, and with the people who see and love and value and celebrate all of us.
the sun wants us to be known, even if we only grant that privilege to a few. the sun wants us to let our light shine, even if some days it feels dimmer than others.
you can want attention but hate asking for it. you can want to succeed but not know what that success looks like. you can want to be loved but not know how to love yourself. these things are not mutually exclusive.
the sun's clarity isn't solely for the things that are finished and completed, polished to perfection, without flaw or blemish. the sun is for all of us, all of me, all of you. it's for all of the weird pieces that are still clicking into place, all of the truths you're still figuring out, all of the successes and failures and joys and sorrows.
the sun doesn't have to just be about soaking up the spotlight, letting every single part of ourselves be seen, revealing every secret and flaw and mistake. it’s not about celebrating when we don’t want to or laughing through pain. the sun instead can be about owning who and where and what we are, about honoring every facet of self even if we don't understand them all yet.
this is recognizing what we were made for and accepting it, finding peace in it, learning to see the magic in it. it’s about the process of reaching for happiness, even if we aren’t quite sure where it lives, where it comes from, where it hides sometimes. it's about believing that we'll find it, even when we can't see it.
it's not about having every solution, about being satisfied in every way. it's about understanding that there are aspects of triumph and grief in nearly everything, that there is no perfect answer, that we get to change in some ways and stay the same in others.
satisfaction and magic are daily treasures to gather and cherish, not a finish line to be crossed.
here's what i think: the sun wants you to be real about what you need, from yourself and from others, whether that's asking for affirmation or screaming into the abyss or rejoicing over a big win or crying over a major disappointment.
the sun wants you to shine a light on the parts of yourself that you love the most, the things about you that bring you so much goddamn joy, the ways that you glow authentically, truly, fully.
the sun wants you to find your way home to yourself, and also to rejoice in the homes that you have found along the way, the homes you have made in people you love, the many homes that have taught you about who you are and what you need and how you love to be loved.
what if instead of burning you up, you let the sun’s radiance feed you? what if instead of avoiding the spotlight, you found the one that truly fit? what if you learned to dance in your own light, and to invite others to dance there with you?
what if instead of waiting for yourself to be perfect, you celebrated exactly who you are, right now?
wishing you a brilliant, dazzling, connected and confident september, friends.