Every new calendar year, there are all kinds of things circulating on social media about how the previous year was the worst, this year is going to be the best, we finally made it, YOLO #2018GOAT. As the astrological year wraps this month on the 20th, a helpful reminder: every year is the best and worst year. Every year, the sun shows up at the same time and makes you obsess about something; the moon makes you feel feelings and miss people. Mars makes you want to fight and make out, and Venus brings crushes and new friends and empowerment. It goes on and on. We grieve in different ways, astrologically of course, all of them just perfect as they are, with room to grow from the influence of outside signs.

The astrological year ends every year in Pisces, a sign so off-the-radar that it is hard to articulate. This is the space we hold, yearly, that transcends time and space. This is a good time to check in with what you love deeply. This is a good time to daydream. This is a good time to speak to the people you have lost, because they can hear you. This is a time where our dreams are screaming to inform us of something. This is a time for junk food and lazy days and sharing our time softly.

As this year dies, it has lived a full turn around the sun, with all the power and pain and love and tears packed in, and it deserves gentleness. Say sorry, say I love you, and transcend the bullshit. On the 21st, the sun blows up in Aries, bringing bursts of energy and clear eyes. Are you ready for what’s coming this year? There is nothing specific to expect, but you will deal with the things that happen in every turn around the zodiac: identity, self-worth, values, learning, loving, mothering, power, health, beauty, death, sex, money, birth, rebirth, adventure, structure, friendship, and spirituality. Everyone is having these experiences: give them some space.


Sometimes in our dreams we are running away from something as fast as possible, and our legs are paralyzed in quicksand. No matter how hard we try, no matter how afraid we are, we are moving slow. The first six days of this month will feel this way. You can try to take a different route, you can be terrified; but no matter what you do, you will need to slow down. When you spend a good amount of your life looking up and ahead, it is special (and maddening) to have time for reflection. This is a profound time to realign yourself with where you want to add education to your life, and what you want your love life to look like. When the sun goes into your sign on the 21st, you will reenter warp speed, along with the rest of the world—so get equipped with a thorough knowledge of exactly what you want.


In love you often see the object you desire as an untouchable star. Even if you understand logically that this is a human, full of faults and gross habits, they feel shiny and special. And when this object of affection turns into a full-blown love affair, you hold on tight. How could you have ever lived your life before this person? How will you ever live without them? When Venus and Mercury enter your house of spirituality on the seventh, you need to take your love life to church. You need to identify the parts of you that make you precious and holy. Bring into focus what your strengths are, right next to the spaces in which you feel the most doubt and confusion about your flaws. As a whole imperfect human you are your best. In order to call the best outcomes to your life, you need to first fully commit to yourself. Hold on tight.


Of all the things you are doing in your life, there is one thing you are avoiding. The elephant in the room. The insurmountable. This is the month to, at the very least, look at it. The depth and pain and heaviness it holds in your life is worth inspection, and small steps make big impacts. The goal this month is to be able to promote yourself as the best at whatever you are working hardest at; but in order to do that, of course, you need to release this thing, whatever it is. With the full moon on the 17th, there will be considerable advantage to taking big measures for movement. Start then and see how far you can get by the end of the month, especially because when the sun shifts on the 21st, you will have a whole community of people rooting for you.


Discomfort promotes growth in your life. It is time for a change in the way you live daily. This could be something exceptionally simple, like moving furniture around. This could be something so huge, like moving your whole house to a different planet. You need to disrupt thought patterns, and upset your general feelings about what you’re doing regularly, because otherwise the energy that is presenting itself comes out in weird bursts instead of what they are actually meant for—positive growth. From the first to the 20th, the sun is in your house of adventure, so the more fun you can make it, the better. The new moon on the 17th will help you process the feelings around the change, take stock in what you’ve lost, and appreciate how far you have come.


People search for you in moments where they need strength: this is a pillar of your sign. People look to you to tell them how to acclimate, how to deal with everything, and what to do next. Of course, the ways you inspire and move people is partially subconscious, but it is always present. This month, you need to realign yourself with what saves YOU. Mars, the planet of passion, spends the first 17 days of this month in your house of creativity and self-expression. Go to war with a world that has taught you that you are small. You are mighty; you have things to show for it, a voice to be heard. The new moon on the 17th brings everything to the surface, and once it starts, it won’t stop.


There are so many potential changes swirling around in long-term relationships for you from the first to the 20th. Home is in focus in these relationships, so the consideration of moving together or apart is a real one this month. When the sun shifts on the 21st, there will be a period of deep personal reflection and intense awareness of relationship truths. As often as possible, try to keep your actions pragmatic and productive. You know how you feel better when you’re moving around? Go for a walk. This time has a tendency to spiral into stagnation, so taking action as quickly as possible is ideal. When Mars shifts on the 18th, do something for only yourself.


Intellectual growth is an important part of your daily life, and this month realigns you with ways to gain knowledge from the first to the 17th. This would be a good time to teach someone something new, or push your own boundaries by learning something complex. When the sun joins Venus and Mercury in your seventh house of partnership on the 21st, you may feel your long-term relationships illuminated in ways that are challenging but necessary for growth. Remember lessons you have learned. Let compassion and history weigh in. Believe in the process. Balance and trust are key in partnerships, but trusting yourself is first.


From the beginning of this month until the 17th, you can take a specific action to make your career work better with your passion. Work cannot be the best at all times, but there is a universal boost to bring more money to your personal works when you present them to the world. In order for all of your dreams to become reality, you will need to do everything on your own terms. When Mars shifts on the 18th, there may be some important conversations that you need to have in order to decide what direction to take. Slow down enough to talk to the right people.


This is your yearly check-in with your feelings about home. Home is so abstract to your sign. Sure, we can look at the place we sleep most of the time and call it home, but what about where we grew up? What about the people who symbolize home? What about sleeping outside? Isn’t Earth home? Whatever your philosophy, check in. Check in with all the homes. Buy new sheets. Write a letter to your family, past or present, alive or dead. When the sun shifts on the 21st, joining Venus and Mercury in your house of creativity, you will have a tsunami of inspiration in what you are making. Weave in home; it’s a good exercise.


The most exquisite architectural structures in history were built in honor of love and faith. Until the 17th of this month, there is inspiring energy in this type of devotion to a project in your life. Capricorn: what is the masterpiece of your life that you will care about forever, that you will work tirelessly with, that you will treat with love and passion? When Mars enters your sign on the 18th, it is time to get to work. Of course, this could be a tiny replica of a Taj Mahal, but it could also be a relationship, a persistent journey of loving yourself or building community. You are the visionary in this mission.


In the vastness of human experience, it is easy to become untethered if you don’t have a specific, burning, earth-bound direction. Your passions can only take you so far without a feeling of purpose. The 17th and 18th provide monumental opportunities to connect your brain, heart, and history together to understand exactly where you should be and what should be holding your attention and time. With Mercury, Venus, and the sun in your house of learning on the 21st, you will have a newfound passion to learn as much as you can in the new directions you uncover, to achieve your best potential. There is not an incorrect path.


The first six days of this month, Venus, Mercury, and the sun are all in your sign. This is a trifecta of love, ideas, and light. This time promotes your ability to speak your mind, especially in matters of the heart. When Venus and Mercury shift into your house of interpersonal inspection on the 7th, you will be able to add a lot of value to your strongest feelings and ideas. This month also provides a lot of energy to connect with friendships. Direction can be sparked when you talk to someone who cares and wants you to make moves, especially around the new moon in your sign on the 17th. Get on track.

CHRISTINA IGOE | @iamastrology

illustrations KALLIE TIFEAUX @thesubtleneedle