Photographer Lorna Simpson, Leo.
Photo illustration: Preity Kinha; Photos: Getty
Early Thursday morning, the communication planet Mercury enters Virgo, where it can easily express its analytical and detail-oriented side. It becomes impossible to ignore problems in your workplace that go unnoticed; No resentment in your relationships can be hidden anymore. It’s easy to write a great romantic story about the course of your life, but for now, don’t neglect the details. While Mercury is in Virgo, you can clearly see what is going well and what is wrong or missing. Instead of pretending these things aren’t important or are too unimportant to be worth fixing, you can take action to correct them. You’ll be glad you did.
Lately you’ve been struggling with the idea that you don’t deserve to be loved. Before anyone can genuinely care for you, as you imagine, you must complete an astonishing amount of inner work; Before you can share your life with someone else, you must first become perfect on your own. But this puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on you. While it is important to work on yourself, perfection is not a reasonable expectation. Close relationships are not prizes to be earned for ridding yourself of all imperfections. Instead, intimacy can aid the growth and healing process. Others can give you back your best self and can finally make you feel completely alive.
Sometimes the (perfectly normal) anxiety you feel when you have to have the courage — to stand up for yourself, admit a deep feeling, or take a big career risk — prevents you from doing it at all. You’re telling yourself that you’re smart by playing it safe, and that things aren’t going to work in your favor anyway. But by refusing to act, you’re also anticipating great possibilities. More than that, you are denying yourself the intense excitement of acting bravely. Even if your risk is never overcome, it will still be worth the risk, even if it is only a way to remind yourself that you always have the strength and freedom to take action.
This week, you may feel a strong sense of completeness. The relationships that were once achieved are suddenly not enough. The creative projects that impressed you last week reveal all their cracks and flaws. What is important at this moment is to remember that you cannot take care of everything at once. If you focus on small inconveniences, you will leave less energy to charge forward; If you’re going to keep pushing boldly forward, you’re going to have to let some of the details go. Either strategy can be good. Just know that you will have to choose.
You are aware, good at reading between the lines. Simply by paying close attention, you can usually say what people want, what they think of you, and what feelings are simmering under the surface. But no matter how smart you are, or how many times your observations prove correct, there will still be cases when you get them wrong. This week, it’s important to remember that you don’t know everything. Sometimes the only way to get to the truth, to best understand your loved ones, is to ask and honestly listen to what they have to say.
It may surprise you to hear that dreaming big doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It requires a special combination of audacity, imagination, and a willingness to look beyond boring and limited practical problems. You have the rare gift of coming up with new and exciting ideas, based on your belief that everyday life shouldn’t be bleak but wonderful. This week though, you’ll benefit from paying attention to the less luminous components in your ideas. For now, dealing with details will not weaken you and your plans. Instead, it will help you bring them into the real world, to achieve the life you were already dreaming of.
It’s hard to be generous with others when your prospects and place in the world are insecure. When you worry about not having enough to walk around, it seems like it’s more risky to share it; When you fear that those around you will act selfishly, it is tempting to stock up on what you have. But this week, generosity will make your life easier and your relationships stronger. It will remind you how good society can be. Even if you don’t fully trust that giving up your time, resources, or energy is wise now, try anyway. You will be amazed at how much you will get in return.
It surprises you that everyone has become unnecessarily pessimistic and eager to find fault with everything and everyone, even with the universe itself. They may not criticize you personally, but it’s hard not to be defensive. You don’t have to tolerate villainy, of course. Just remember that sometimes criticism stems not from a lack of love but from a lot of it. What at first glance appears to be an outright condemnation may in fact be an attempt to make things better. And you can follow their example: you can also fight for everything you deserve.
This week you have permission to stop trying to convince others of your value. You might imagine that if you make a strong enough argument, if you come up with exactly the right combination of words, you can convince someone who doesn’t care about you to change their mind. In fact, this is rarely effective. Either they see how special you are, or they never will. The best use of your time is to work on proving it yourself – To act like you love and believe in yourself, as you know you deserve to be here, because you do.
Lately, your future seems so uncertain that it’s tempting to give in proactively, to the assumption that happiness is out of your reach before you reach it. The safest step, as you can imagine, is to keep expectations low. But this week, nothing good can come of accepting mediocrity, from limiting your imagination to possible but uninspiring compromises. Amazing things are possible but only if you aim to fulfill your heart’s true desire. Chances are you won’t find exactly what you’re looking for (we rarely do in life), but the quest itself will change you and your life for the better.
You can find countless reasons, these days, to grieve and fear; Despair keeps you at every turn. Your friends try to please you, often with limited success. Happiness seems inappropriate when so many people suffer. You know you are more than justified in feeling sad and afraid. But no matter how normal your emotions are, it’s still necessary to find ways to keep living and keep fighting. If joy isn’t feeding you right now, try solving or getting angry instead. You can find amazing strength in the sheer determination not to let yourself be defeated.
When good fortune is scarce and you can’t catch up on the relief you need, retreating into fatalism and desperation can seem like your best or only option. But it is not. You can refuse to accept the whims of the universe as final, and refuse to compromise on the struggle to make your life and society better. There are ways to create your own strength, your own luck. Not through spells and magic but through teaming up with a group of people. This week, there are a lot of things that you might feel pessimistic about, but when you get together, when you believe in your ability to do great things together, then your luck begins to change.
A part of you struggles to be confident in your work (and in yourself) until others indicate their approval. External validation gives you permission to love and believe in yourself. What’s more, it’s a feeling Good Let’s enjoy the warmth of admiration. This is not a bad thing. You don’t need to deny your life-affirming interactions. But the goal this week is simply to remember that you don’t need to they. You are awesome, brave, and live your life in the best possible way, and it will remain true whether or not anyone tells you.
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