Courtney Love, cancer.
Photo-illustration: Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images
Early Tuesday morning, Neptune begins retrograde. Over the next five months, the dream planet will lose some of its usual power, and as it does, your fantasies will lose some of their power to you. For better or worse, you will have to reckon with the world as it really is, without the dubious comfort of wishing. As scary as it is now, you need to get rid of your illusions about the world in order to be able to make decisions based on reality. Then Tuesday night, New Moon in Cancer asks you to recommit yourself to caring for the people around you. This is not about big gestures or “accidental acts of kindness”, but about finding a way to weave love into the fabric of your life, to actively create opportunities to nurture – and be nurtured – in your daily existence.
Armed with boundless energy and enough willpower, you feel you can overcome almost any challenge. But this week, it’s crucial to remember that you don’t have to constantly work at 100 percent capacity. That is simply not possible. You are not a machine. You experience natural ebbs and flows in your vitality, motivation, mood. These fluctuations may not be convenient or welcome, but that doesn’t make them any less real. There is time for action and time for rest; moments to keep pushing and moments to step back and regroup. Let your own rhythms guide you.
From your point of view, sometimes it seems like people (including you) never truly change: when it comes down to it, we are what we are. And that is true to some extent. Deep in your core is an unmistakable, inextinguishable spark yournost. But this way of thinking can make you cynical about the ability of others to develop and prevent you from seeing how much you have grown. You are still basically your own, but over time you have become stronger and wiser. This week, reminisce about the experiences and past versions of yourself that brought you here. When you acknowledge that you have already changed, it is easier to imagine that you will continue to grow in an even more surprising and beautiful way.
When every problem, from interpersonal drama to political crisis, seems urgent, it is almost impossible to know where to direct your energy. You dream that you can do it all at once, give your attention and support to every person, goal and community that needs it. But as long as that is your goal, you will not succeed. You are just one person and your time is limited. Let this week be your goal to find your priority: whether it’s focused on one repaired relationship or one small political victory in your city. You can find the necessary hope and conviction when you know for sure what you are doing.
When the future seems bleak, as it is now, you have a particularly strong tendency to turn to the past — some earlier, rosier season of your own life, or even the time before your birth, when you imagine life was simpler, when the odds weren’t so great against our. You are afraid that you will never get back what you lost. And it’s true that you can’t turn back time, but this week you can reshape your thinking. The dream is not to go back to a past that had a lot of problems of its own, but to create something completely new. The happiness you want will come from moving forward, not looking back.
It can be difficult for you to accept the help of other people. Maybe because you strive for an unattainable vision of proud self-sufficiency. Or maybe it’s because you don’t believe you “deserve it.” You are aware that everyone is currently exhausted and you fear that seeking anything from those in your community will only further deplete their resources – whether material or emotional. But this week, when you let others support you, it won’t just enrich you your life but also theirs. You deserve to be taken care of by your friends, and they deserve the opportunity to take care of you. It makes everyone interdependent stronger.
No matter how much you give – how much of your time, your work, your love – there will always be those who will blame you for not doing more. Instead of recording your efforts, they point out how much more work needs to be done. Instead of thanking you, they harp on any small part of yourself that you have kept to yourself. This week, it’s important to remember that it’s not a shame to take care of yourself as well. Everyone has a role to play in this life – you don’t have to do it all, and no one should expect that from you. Without guilt, just keep doing what you can.
A strong sense of optimism can be helpful, even vital, for going through the darker hours of life. But this week, that optimism may be harder to maintain than ever. Even when you are confident in your faith in this world could be wonderful, you are also constantly presented with evidence of how little it is in reality. While your self-confidence may be exhausted, you don’t have to give up hope. Seeing the world with clear eyes means seeing how much you are against, yes, but also seeing how many people are on your side. You will be reminded that it is still possible not only to fight, but also to win.
Lately, you can’t avoid the impression that everyone is having a better time than you. On social media and in person, you see others falling in love, enjoying the fulfillment of social life, and maintaining their full capacity for joy. You feel it in your heart like the loneliest person in the world – as much as your brain knew it couldn’t be true. But if you pay more attention, this week, you will recognize that others are suffering alongside you. And that can change everything. Instead of waiting for someone else to save you from your isolation or anxiety, you can turn to others who are also experiencing it and go through it together.
Every so often in your life, shortcuts have occurred to you: chances to quickly jump forward in your career or to take your relationship to the next level before the foundation is solid. There’s nothing wrong with exploiting happiness that way, but eventually it may become necessary to fill in some gaps to complete the steps you’ve skipped before. This week you may worry about moving backwards or be afraid that you have done everything in the wrong order. But life is never as linear as others pretend. Don’t fight over it or imagine you missed vital opportunities. You were on the right track the whole time for you.
This week you may find that you need to work harder than usual to protect your time and conserve energy. People around you – not only loved ones, but also acquaintances and even strangers – will intrude on you with unsolicited advice, provocations for discussion and endless auctions for your attention. And while sometimes it’s generative to engage, other times it just makes it harder to focus on your own goals and desires. To do something – to enjoy life at all – you may have to start saying no. You can still let some people and some ideas inside. Just figure out which ones.
There are many occasions when it is useful, even necessary, to approach world problems (and your own) with a sense of urgency: you are aware that your time on earth is limited, and that is so many that you want to finish. But remind yourself this week that it is neither healthy nor feasible to live in constant readiness. No matter how hard you push, how fast you move, you will never do everything you have to do and you will definitely not experience all the joy the world has to offer. So allow yourself to slow down, no matter how much work is left. Just do a few things well.
It makes perfect sense to look at the world around you and try to visualize what the future might bring, only to end up being discouraged. It seems that everywhere people are deprived of necessities, human rights, and the most cruel and greedy people are accumulating power, and no one will save you – at least you don’t see it. But as natural as it is to get lost in melancholy, it’s not the best thing you can do right now. The situation is bad, but not hopeless. It is still worth fighting for – for the world and for your happiness. Don’t give up.
Take Claire Comstock-Gay’s book, A guide through the stars of Madame ClairevoyantOut now.
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