Ask the Astro Poets is the monthly advice column by W's resident astrologers, Alex Dimitrov (Sagittarius) and Dorothea Lasky (Aries). At the halfway point of every month, they take a breather from writing poetry and horoscopes, and take your questions about love, career, even the big existential questions in life. From matchmaking and compatibility, to friendship, professional, and dating advice, the poets of the stars are here to guide you through any challenge:

Dear Astro Poets,

I’m a male Gemini with a Scorpio moon. I’ve been out of the dating game and am looking to get back in. I’m not into casual flings. I have a very long checklist for what I look for in a guy—intelligent, honest, quiet, etc. This not only makes me extremely intimidating, but limits my options. I feel as if I’m too picky. I came close to finding what I wanted with my last boyfriend (a Pisces) until he started contacting me only when he wanted to have sex. I don’t want that again. On the other hand, a lot of my other friends seem to have short affairs with no strings attached and no problems. Am I doing something wrong? Should I loosen up and get over myself, or will my fastidiousness pay off in the long run?

A Very Intense Gemini

Dear Very Intense Gemini,

That was intense. I can tell you know what you want by how declarative your sentences are. I’m glad you’ve moved past the Pisces, because that wouldn’t be the long-term match I see you needing. With Gemini and Scorpio in your chart, two of the most unpredictable and insatiable signs in the zodiac, someone who brings you emotional stability and is overall reliable, even in a boring way, would be good for you. Someone like a Taurus or a Capricorn. You’d never take a Virgo seriously because they come with too many arbitrary rules and Geminis have no time for that.

I think you can’t get over your fastidiousness even if you tried. I think that’s the good news. Your high standards and intensity will push a lot of people away from you, and probably the right people toward you. But this could take a long time. (Trust me, I know.) Since you’re a Gemini, I can see how you might dream about the possibility of having romantic flings, at least as a distraction. I hate to say this, but your Scorpio moon won’t allow it. That’s where your real desire to be known comes from—to be fully understood, constantly attended to, and worshipped. Nothing about your sun/moon combination is casual. I know Scorpios have a reputation for having many lovers, but while they’re with those lovers they're anything but casual. They want to be fully consumed. And this is what your moon is constantly reminding you of.

What you don’t want to do is bore yourself with people. Geminis can get in trouble at times because they’ll go on a second, third, or even fourth date when they’re not exactly sure if they should, even when they more or less know they aren’t into it. Dates with Geminis are often more about them, and how they choose to perform and present themselves. This is why once they have an audience, they don’t like to give it up.

Try not to do that. Trust your very discerning and judgmental Scorpio moon. It may feel severe at times, but it also contains the immense passion (on the other side of judgment) which will make the right person fall in love with you. I always say this, but people who know what they want are intimidating to most everyone. They shouldn’t be, because those are the people who waste your time the least. But seeing someone who knows exactly how they want to live and won’t compromise really pushes people’s buttons. They wish they had the same conviction. You’re ahead in the long run. I know it can get lonely in the moment, but your Scorpio moon will guide you toward the real. Trust me.

Your equally discerning Sagittarius,

Dear Astro Poets,
  I’m writing to you from a place of stubborn unwillingness (Leo sun, Aquarius moon) to confront my rising sign (Capricorn). I’m having trouble accepting the idea that this grave and workaholic-like temperament is the face I present to others. Dealing with the fact that I’m a Capricorn rising is so painful because it gets at all of my insecurities, like how I curl up into myself when meeting people for the first time—the layers of gauze I wrap myself in, the muffled screaming from my insides when I begin to realize hints of confusion or disinterest from people I’m trying to connect with. Thinking about it has been a trigger, taking me back to moments of discovering nasty gossip about me from people who perceive me as bitchy or rude.

I find myself wanting to move past my Capricorn—to find ways to suppress it being my first impression to others, whom I wish could see the Leo-Aquarius in me instead. Maybe it’s about recognizing what irks me most about myself. So, how can I accept how people perceive me when perceiving it in others drives me crazy? I feel like I’m getting to know myself for the first time. As a Leo still struggling to fit in, I need your advice—should I embrace my rising? Or try to move past it?   Yours truly,
  Leo-Aquarius but Capricorn Masked

Dear Fabulous Leo,

First of all, we love you. The question you ask is important and so crucial to a deeper understanding of astrology. As you know, even though people associate astrology with just the 12 sun signs, there's more to each person than each alone. Indeed, this misunderstanding can often be why people distrust the validity of astrology; they'll look at a horoscope and read for their own sign, and get upset when it doesn’t match their experience perfectly. But as we know, rising signs are important. (Some astrologers in fact ask you to consult your rising sign when you read your horoscope, but that’s another story.)

They’re important, but they aren’t everything. And your struggles are real, but I want to put them a bit in perspective, because a rising sign should not feel like it’s trapping you. You can think of a rising sign like a filter on your personality; a social mask, as it were, or a stage for people to get through when they get to know you. However, it in no way defines you, in the way that your sun sign does. You are a Leo! And I feel your fire from here.

Perhaps you see the ways your Capricorn rising has created a distance between yourself and others, but I wonder if that's really your Leo at work, and also perhaps your Aquarius moon. A Leo can be very standoffish until they realize who their friends are. And an Aquarius can end up creating as much distance between themselves and the outside world as possible—until they've decided to be obsessed with something or someone. People could also be feeling these energies when they meet you.

Capricorn energy sometimes has a reputation of being aloof or a workaholic. But think of the Capricorns you know and consider if they’re really that way. They’re sometimes not serious at all, telling jokes from the second you meet them (usually at the expense of everyone else’s feelings). Capricorns are boisterous and have enormous personalities. They change the world around them constantly (think Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dolly Parton). I bet that people see this strength in you from the moment they meet you, and that it makes them want to know you better.

All this to say, I feel you. It’s normal to feel frustrated about your rising when it feels deeply different from who you want to be, or who you feel you are. I have Sagittarius rising and while it can attract people and create fun atmospheres when I go places, I often get upset that it creates a barrier to people getting to know the real me. And the real me—Scorpio moon—is nothing like the Sagittarius party animal people see at first. These tensions are real, but their complications make life magical and true.

So, know this: all of our sides are beautiful! You are beautiful, and I am sending good luck to your fierce Capricorn armor, your superior Leo costume, and your wild Aquarius heart.


Related: Ask the Astro Poets: Can I Make a Sex Schedule With All My Partners?