Every month, the Astro Poets look into the stars and divine the future in their horoscopes for W, much to the delight of their readers here and devoted Twitter followers. Increasingly, their fans began looking to them not just for astrological direction, but for personal advice, too, sending them questions about love, career, even the big existential questions in life. So, we give you: Ask the Astro Poets! Theirs will be a monthly advice column where astrologers and poets Alex Dimitrov (Sagittarius) and Dorothea Lasky (Aries) take turns answering questions from readers about a little bit of everything. From matchmaking and compatibility, friendship or professional advice, the poets of the stars are here to guide you through any challenge:
Dear Astro Poets,
Many years ago, when I was finishing library school, I had my chart read by a local astrologer. From the very beginning of my Master of Library and Information Science, everything inside of me resisted librarianship aside from the actual content (ideas, books, and objects). The astrologer confirmed that I should get out of libraries, do something creative, and stop hiding behind my rising sign (Virgo). I also have five planets in fire signs, including a Leo sun and an Aries moon. She said I should be an actress, but I was and am too shy for that, in addition to having no skill or aptitude. I’ve tried other creative endeavors and side projects but they’ve all failed. Part of my theory regarding my inability to express myself is that I was born during Mercury retrograde. But I have this roiling need that is not satisfied by a desk job, albeit at a neat place (as my Taurus mother reminds me all too frequently, others would ‘kill to be in my position’). Is there still a chance I could catapult myself into a more creative-adjacent career or am I stuck in this unsatisfying, underpaid, pigeonholed fate? How can I get my mom to chill? I’m 32!
Love you, Bored Leo (@valleyofsleaze)
Dear Bored Leo,
The possibility of a creative life and making space for such a life is one thing that keeps fire signs going (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius). These are signs that not only need to be seen, in terms of getting everyone’s attention at a party or in any room, but they also feel a strong impulse to add to the world through the imagination—to bring into being what is not there. Fire signs are often artists, scholars, and visionaries. Right now you’re standing in front of the doors of possibility, eyeing them, not really sure if you’ll even walk up to them.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the astrological concept of Saturn Return, when the planet Saturn finds itself in the identical place it occupied in the sky when you were born. This happens roughly every thirty years and these periods are times of great transformation, soul searching, and change. The first one, which can begin as early as 27 and last as late as 32, is the time when a person becomes the first version of their adult self. But this doesn’t just happen for everyone because of Saturn’s orbit. Some people feel confusion and uncertainty, (which are often things that arrive right before possibility) and do nothing. Don’t do nothing.
Your Saturn Return may have just ended or you may be feeling its after-effects. From your question, it’s obvious that you’re battling with yourself about your true calling. You know one thing: libraries aren’t it. Sometimes we panic and that panic leads to stasis because while we know what isn’t working, we don’t know what will lead us to what is or what that next thing may be. The truth is, the sole act of ending something creates a new kind of inertia. Sometimes that inertia will leave you in a place of deep uncertainty. And it’s actually important to stay in that place (although our fast moving capitalist culture discourages this kind of reflection) because merely enduring it will change you. It’s what the poet John Keats called “negative capability”: “when man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”
What I’m trying to tell you is, begin thinking about quitting your job in a real way. Set up some short term plans that will make it possible for you to give yourself that space of “negative capability.” And then see what happens. In truth, being an artist is an entire life of dwelling in uncertainties and enduring doubt. Even if you reach success—success is always something that’s changing in terms of how we understand it. As a poet, I recently had to make a similar choice. Do I stay at my stable job at an arts nonprofit in New York where I worked with poets (lucky in that way, lucky in how your mother thinks of your job as well), or do I make the leap and give myself all that time back for my writing, without being financially secure or certain. I chose to leap and follow my spirit. That’s the only thing certain about being an artist. That’s what you sign up for: to leap without knowing. That’s also where life lives, and magic, too. They may be the same thing.
Yours in the stars and on Earth, Alex
Dear Astro Poets, I’m a Taurus that falls in love at least five times a day. Sometimes I like to sit in coffee shops or bookstores to people watch and fall in love with the way they move, what they get, how they write, what they read. Facial expressions, inviting eyebrow raises, bewildered smirks. Love—It’s a funny thing. I think I’ve fallen in love with my best friend, “the one that got away.” With the guy on the motorcycle that always has wildflowers peeking out of his backpack. With the tall boy wearing glasses, looking in the science fiction and fantasy section. I don’t know him, but I love him. Some people think that love should be taken seriously, that I shouldn’t throw around the word love without truly meaning it. What do you think? Is there a way to experience love without ever being in a relationship? Yours, a True Romantic Taurus (@JezNicholl)
Dear True Romantic Taurus,
Thank you for your question—it’s such an important thing to consider. After all, it’s a limited society that makes us think love is for a one and only. The truth is that we really can (and will) fall in love with so many people in our lifetimes. Especially how you are defining falling in love, which is about being attracted to people, respecting them, and letting them be.
I’m not sure that is how everyone defines being in love with someone. There are some people (most of them have at least one planet in Scorpio), who think that love is a soul-crushing, hyper-worldly connection where every molecule of your being longs for the other person even when you are with them. Maybe that only happens once in a lifetime. Let us know if and when you find that. I think you’ll know.
As a Taurus, you are a very sensual person. You can appreciate the delightfulness in existing and in the small wonders of the everyday. I believe you when you say you’re in love with all of these people. I’d also believe you if you told us you were in love with a car or some lipstick or a random lunch thermos. Taureans are ruled by Venus so they have great taste and can appreciate beauty, but unlike another sign who is also ruled by Venus (Libra), a Taurus is of the earth. One of the best traits about you is that you can see the beauty in the rough, un-manicured world and fall in love with specific things, while also being able to fall in love with the mystery of being.
You want to know if you can experience love without ever really being in a relationship. The answer for some signs is, sure, and of course. But the truth is, whether you know this now or not, a Taurus wants and needs a lifelong love. You might be out dancing every weekend, hooking up with whoever is hot, but I know you want to be by that fireplace in the winter soon, eating gourmet popcorn and sausages with your soul mate and trusty dog by your side (forever and ever and ever). If you need more elucidation of your dream, listen to a Stevie Wonder song. That Taurus god tells us what it’s like to believe in The One. He makes being trapped and obligated in monogamy forever seem so....I don’t know...desirable.
I’m not a fortune teller, per se, just an astrologer and a poet—but trust me on this, something tells me you’re going to find that one person soon. It’s almost fireplace season after all.
And you’re a Taurus, baby, you always get what you want.
I love you, Dorothea
Dear Astro Poets, I’m in a bit of a special situation. Not only am I dating another Libra, but we share the exact same date of birth: October 10, 1994. What are the pros and cons of this relationship, especially since it’s long distance—two and a half hours of driving normally, but this semester one has half happened while studying abroad in Europe.
P.S. We’re both guys if that changes anything. Thanks! A Concerned Libra
Dear Concerned Libra,
My parents were also born on the same date, December 19, one year apart, both Sagittarians. With two Sagittarians the conflict will often center around who has the most freedom. Libras are obviously different (though they match well with a Sagittarius if you ever need to look for another boyfriend). Since Libras tend to be an incredibly introspective and cerebral sign, you’ll both likely be doing a lot of thinking about how the other person is making you feel, or might be making you feel, or how you’re anticipating they’ll make you feel, or the feeling of the anticipated feeling—you get it.
Libras don’t have a problem thinking through difficult emotions or problems. Expressing themselves to one another may be a challenge because one of you must give up on what I will call “the aloof presentation of feelings” that Libras often lead with. Meaning, they’ll articulate a fragment or the tip of the iceberg of something they’ve thought through extensively, just to test how the other person will react, and then choose to reveal more or not depending on the reaction they get. They will do this all while maintaining an appearance of not really being too invested in the feeling or the reaction—when they very much are.
Vulnerability is something Libras won’t necessarily contribute first in a relationship but deeply value and respect when they see the other person is willing to give it. They often lead with the mind, not the heart. This means one of you will have to put your heart on the line first, in a clear and demonstrative way. Because that’s the other thing: Libras are not into playing games. They want the real thing and will pursue only the real thing, even if it may appear like they’re just floating along and trying to have as much fun as they can. That’s a classic Libra protection device. The “I’m just in it to see how things go” approach. A Libra is always thinking ahead, into the future, wondering what exactly the future is, what love is, why any of us are here really. They can get lost in these thoughts and may well be the philosophers of the zodiac. Libras make incredibly thought-provoking partners, so you’re in luck.
In terms of two Libras dating each other long distance, I’d suggest doing something like reading the same book together in your separate cities, or seeing the same movies, and then having phone “dates” to talk about them, and not just your regular phone calls or texts about your daily lives. Libras love to feel like life can be more than the surface of the everyday—more ideas, deeper obsessions, highly curated aesthetics—and they love to discuss these things and feel both heard and challenged by their partner. It really can work out with two Libras. And maybe like my parents, who had a Sagittarius child (me), you guys will end up having a Libra dog or cat or plant or kid. Who knows. Let yourself fall for him. The mind is best alongside the heart.
With a bow, an arrow, and wishing you future love, Alex
Have your own questions for the Astro Poets? Email them your queries at email@example.com and include your Twitter handle if you want to be personally answered.
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