Kristen McMenamy.

Ask the Astro Poets: How Do I Live My Best Life If I'm Sad?

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

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

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.

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,

Dorothea

Related: Ask the Astro Poets: Are My Dating Standards Unrealistic?