Ask the Astro Poets: How Do I Live My Best Life If I’m Sad?
Twitter’s favorite astrologers are here to help.
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 Sagittarius sun and rising with an Aquarius moon. I can’t ever relate to the descriptions of my people because while I constantly fantasize about freedom and adventure, I’m painfully shy. My anxiety prevents me from acting on my desires. I feel inadequate and unattractive constantly. How is it possible to better tap into my Sagittarius side and experience the “airports, leather jackets, and the possible life?”
A Sad and Anxious Sagittarius
Celebrate Sagittarius Season With Chrissy Teigen, Jane Fonda, and Brad Pitt
Hailey Bieber, born November 22nd, photographed by Colin Dodgson for W Magazine, September 2019.
Janelle Monáe, born December 1st, photographed by Collier Schorr for W Magazine, February 2018.
Scarlett Johansson, born November 22nd, photographed by Craig McDean for W Magazine, August 2004.
Brad Pitt, born December 18th, photographed by Mario Sorrenti for W Magazine, February 2012.
Britney Spears, born December 2nd, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine, August 2003.
Sarah Paulson, born December 17th, photographed by Mona Kuhn for W Magazine, August 2016.
Zoë Kravitz, born December 1st, photographed by Inez and Vinoodh for W Magazine, September 2010.
Ben Stiller, born November 30th, photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine, January 2018.
Amanda Seyfried, born December 3rd, photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine, February 2014.
Jake Gyllenhaal, born December 19th, photographed by Bill Viola for W Magazine, December 2014.
Miley Cyrus, born November 23rd, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott for W Magazine, March 2014.
Tyra Banks, born December 4th, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott for W Magazine, March 2014.
Krysten Ritter, born December 16th, photographed by Mona Kuhn for W Magazine, August 2016.
Nicki Minaj, born December 8th, illustrated by Francesco Vezzoli for W Magazine, November 2011.
Julianne Moore, born December 3rd, photographed by Inez and Vinoodh for W Magazine, 2015.
Jamie Foxx, born December 13th, photographed by Ari Marcopoulos for W Magazine, October 2008.
Katie Holmes, born December 18th, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine, August 2005.
Rita Ora, born November 26th, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott for W Magazine, March 2014.
Chrissy Teigen photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott for W Magazine, July 2016.
Milla Jovovich, born December 17th, photographed by Mert and Marcus for W Magazine, March 2014.
Jane Fonda, born December 21st, photographed by Steven Meisel for W Magazine, June/July 2015.
Jonah Hill, born December 20th, photographed by Ari Marcopoulos for W Magazine, February 2008.
Vanessa Hudgens, born December 14th, photographed by Mert and Marcus for W Magazine, March 2014.
Samuel L. Jackson, born December 21st, photographed by Peter Lindbergh for W Magazine, February 2016.
Hailee Steinfeld, born December 11th, photographed by Mario Sorrenti for W Magazine, October 2017.
Dear Sad and Anxious Sagittarius,
First off, happy Sagittarius season. I always forget about the holidays and remember the real holiday at hand—all of our birthdays! I wanted to answer your question because I think this is how a lot of us feel. We just don’t talk about it.
Being a Sagittarius is beautiful and painful. We project a steel exterior, so hardly anyone asks if we’re okay. We smile when we have to. We endure. And sometimes we don’t smile at all and it’s perceived as bitchy when it’s really strength. Strength! Which we’re then punished for. Or rather, everyone assumes we’re fine and the real burden of being strong takes its toll on us. I feel inadequate almost every day. I feel unattractive almost every day. I needed another Sagittarius to come into my life and say, hey, I see you, I know how you feel. And that Sagittarius was my friend, the poet Morgan Parker, who approached me with real kindness (I know, imagine that). I really want to tell you to find a Sagittarius friend. We’re all sitting in our houses feeling quietly misunderstood, when we can be loud about how misunderstood we feel, together.
The “possible life” is real. Airports are obviously real—you can go to one right now. You can book a ticket to anywhere you like and just go. Sometimes that works. You feel less inadequate, less unattractive. And sometimes it doesn’t. It matters very little if you’re wearing a leather jacket or not (but if you’re going to wear something, I mean, what else is there?). Regardless of where you go, or how many leather jackets you own, those feelings won’t go anywhere until you figure out why they’re there. But the possible life won’t go anywhere either. Even on your worst days, it’s there. This is what every Sagittarius knows but forgets. And you know it, too, because you were brave enough to write this and click send. You wanted to know more about it.
Listen: think about the life you really want. You only get to think about this life while you’re alive. Even if you never get what you want, you have the opportunity to imagine it, to make a plan to get it. The imagination has everything to do with reality. I’ve never given up on the possible life, because reality is so awful. We’re supposed to be satisfied with being in love with one person for the rest of our lives, working for the man, and never having enough time for our passions? It’s all so fake. No way. All of this is the opposite of the possible life.
So what do you really care about that you can control? Do you paint? Write? Play sports? Collect plants? Fly air balloons? The possible life is inside that thing. You can get it. You can keep yourself alive by making something out of what’s already yours. That’s the way you tap into being a Sagittarius, by finding it outside of people, outside of jobs, outside of all the other things. The Sagittarius knows to keep looking—that’s the whole reason we love airports.
Lots of love to you, Alex
Far Far From Land
Vionnet dress; Erickson Beamon necklace (worn in hair); Kenneth Jay Lane ring (worn as nose ring, throughout).
Marchesa gown; Bliss Lau body chain.
If you cannot make the prince fall so much in love with you that his every thought concerns only you, then, the first morning after he has married another, your heart will break and you will become foam on the ocean.Vera Wang Collection dress; Armor body chain; Dior ring.
Marc Jacobs gown; Armor body chain; Dior ring. Beauty note: Restore hair’s luster with Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair 60 Sec Treatment.
Chanel cape; Bliss Lau body chain. Beauty note: Keep sun damage at bay with Avon Anew Clinical Skinvincible Multi-Shield Lotion SPF 50.
Vivienne Westwood Gold Label dress; Armor body chain; Dior ring.
That which we consider beautiful down here in the ocean, your fishtail, they find ugly up on earth. They have no sense; up there, you have to have two clumsy props, which they call legs, in order to be called beautiful. Michael Kors gown; Dior ring.
Giorgio Armani vest; Bliss Laubody chain; Dior ring. Beauty note: La Mer the Cleansing Lotion treats the most delicate skin with kid gloves.
Monique Lhuillier gown; Bliss Lau body chain; Armor bodychain. Beauty note: Even mermaids need their beauty sleep. Up the effects with Dior Capture Totale Nourishing Oil-Serum.
J. Mendel gown; Dior ring. Beauty note: Lips get a hit of color and hydration with Maybelline Color Elixir in Caramel Infused.
Dior dress; Bliss Lau body chain.
Alexander McQueen dress; Dior ring (in mouth); Kenneth Jay Lane ring. Beauty note: Tiny synthetic pearls deliver a bounty of antioxidants to skin in Dr. Brandt DNA Transforming Pearl Serum.
It was the last night that she would breathe the same air as he, or look out over the deep sea and up into the star-blue heaven. A dreamless, eternal night awaited her, for she had no soul and had not been able to win one. Christopher Kane dress; Dior ring.
Christopher Kane dress; Dior ring.
Ralph Lauren Collection dress; Erickson Beamon necklace (worn in hair); Armor body chain; Dior ring.
Carolina Herrera blouse; Blumarine dress.Produced by And Production. Photography assistants: Emma Dalzell, Catherine O’Gorman. Fashion assistants: Clémence Lobert, Ethan Benjamin. Mermaid tail by the Mertailor Eric Ducharme. Printed by Graeme Bulcraig at Touch. Special thanks to April Potts of Eglingham Hall & SFX (GB) Ltd for the tank. Text adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, 1836.
Dear Astro Poets,
I’m an Aries with a Pisces moon, and I’m having difficulties understanding some conflicting internal impulses. For example: when my sun sign is motivated to take over the world, my moon sign will be in need of serious relaxation and self-care. On top of this dichotomy—between angry ram and sad fish—I’m also dealing with an indecisive Gemini ascendant.
I really do love my inner multitudes and the contradictions that they produce, but how can I develop a concrete sense of self when there’s all that noise?
With love, A Conflicted Aries
Dear Conflicted Aries,
I got so excited when I saw your question in our Astro Poets inbox, so I’m psyched to be writing back.
First of all, it’s nice to be thinking about astrology in terms of the self, versus in relation to other people. I know that my interest in astrology originally stemmed from trying to understand a love interest (a particularly tortured Gemini in a lifetime of Gemini lovers), and I think that love is what brings lots of people to astrology. At the same time, astrology is of course also a discipline that can be applied to an understanding of the self, and the self’s own inner workings and constellations.
As for why I’m so excited to address your question, your concerns are a lot like my own. I’m an Aries with a Scorpio moon and a Sagittarius rising, so I feel you. It cause so much conflict when so many people meet a different person than your inner soul. Many people may form opinions of you as carefree, given your Gemini rising, only to then meet the passionate and forceful Aries, and then the mutable peace-seeking Pisces. And I feel your frustration with that. All of these energies can certainly cause a lot of noise within a person.
Spring Into Aries Season With Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, and Kristen Stewart
Reese Witherspoon, born March 22nd, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine.
Diana Ross, born March 26th, photographed for W Magazine.
Pharrell Williams, born April 5th, photographed by Mario Sorrenti for W Magazine.
Lady Gaga, born March 28th, photographed by Katherine Wolkoff for W Magazine.
Celine Dion, born March 30th, photographed by Martien Mulder for W Magazine.
Keira Knightley, born March 26th, photographed by Steven Klein for W Magazine.
Model Paloma Elsesser, born April 12th, photographed by Alex Hodor-Lee for W Magazine.
Patricia Arquette, born April 8th, photographed by Alex Prager for W Magazine.
Sarah Jessica Parker, born March 25th, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine.
Michael Fassbender, born April 2nd, photographed by Jeff Burton for W Magazine.
Elle Fanning, born April 9th, photographed by Mario Sorrenti for W Magazine.
Actor Paul Rudd, born April 6th, photographed by Andreas Laszlo Konrath for W Magazine.
Kristen Stewart, born April 9th, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for W Magazine.
Ewan McGregor, born March 31st, photographed by Dan Winters for W Magazine.
Saoirse Ronan, born April 12th, photographed by Mario Sorrenti for W Magazine.
Adrien Brody, born April 14th, photographed by Tierney Gearon for W Magazine.
Emma Thompson, born April 15th, photographed by Juergen Teller for W Magazine.
Victoria Beckham, born April 17th, photographed by Steven Klein for W Magazine.
Mariah Carey, born March 27th, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine.
Jessica Chastain, born March 24th, photographed by Tim Walker for W Magazine.
David Oyelowo, born April 1st, photographed by Tim Walker for W Magazine.
Claire Danes, born April 12th, photographed by Inez & Vinoodh for W Magazine.
Rooney Mara, born April 17th, photographed by Mario Sorrenti for W Magazine.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, born April 18th, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for W Magazine.
Robert Downey Jr., born April 4th, photographed by Ari Marcopoulos for W Magazine.
Kate Hudson, born April 19th, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for W Magazine.
Emma Watson, born April 15th, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine.
Luke Evans, born April 15th, photographed by Mert and Marcus for W Magazine.
Jennifer Garner, born April 17th, photographed by Craig McDean for W Magazine.
America Ferrera, born April 18th, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine.
As an Aries, I’m always jealous when I meet an Aries with a Sagittarius moon. They seem so in tune with themselves and with their id, and so at peace with their full-on fire. Meanwhile, us fire signs with water moons really do have a burden. Our emotional sides can get the best of us, but then we don’t always know how to express ourselves. We aren’t, of course, privy to all of the strengths real water signs have, of hiding and morphing themselves when their feelings get the better of them. Instead, we have our warring knights to protect our watery hearts, and nothing to protect the knights themselves. It’s a puzzle.
I think the key to having a concrete sense of self is to realize that this is an impossible goal for anyone. (Yes, even those lucky all-fire people.) Our self is a multiplicitous entity, and every day it’s bombarded with energy, which hopefully changes it for the better. So instead of giving in to the conflict, make the self a party that each of your sides are invited to. I’ve been trying to do this myself lately, to make a table where my Scorpio moon can sit down with my Aries self and their wild Sagittarian sister and just be.
After all, the sides of our personalities don’t have to blend together—they just need to be together in harmony. And as the Gemini god Prince once said, “life is just a party” anyway!
All my Aries love, from one Aries to another,
Related: Ask the Astro Poets: Are My Dating Standards Unrealistic?