Woo Curious is a bimonthly astrology reading, focused on practical self-care for the woo-curious. Using tarot cards for inspiration, columnist Sam Dylan Finch explores themes of mental health, self-love, and authenticity for down-to-earth advice. If you’re looking for the stars to give a Sign, he hopes you’ll find it here.
August is kicking off with a new moon in Leo. Sounds important, right?
Whenever there’s a new moon, it’s a cosmic reset button, which means it’s a good time energetically to make shit happen.
New moons symbolize new beginnings, and the process of manifesting. Read: revealing, or making tangible, something previously unseen.
If you’re not hip to the lingo, I’m speaking the language of symbolism, my friends. Want elaborate, magical metaphors about the human experience? Astrology and tarot are exactly that.
It’s the OG #RelatableContent, except with stars and cards instead of memes.
So, what does that have to do with the fiery constellation Leo? Think Big Lion Energy, because with all the grandeur and feeling oneself you’d expect with jungle royalty, the new moon means it’s a good time to make your own moves.
And with a performative, all-eyes-on-me sign like Leo, it means stepping into your own potential and being seen.
When pop culture prophet Cardi B says, “I make money moves,” she’s embodying that exact kind of “I know what I’m worth” mood.
But we’re not all Cardi B, so if you need a little help figuring out what that means for you, read this month’s tarotscopes. It’s all about cultivating confidence and getting your mojo back.
Your card: Knight of Swords
Leo, it’s your time to shine. This new moon is in your favor and so is this card. The Knight of Swords is a card of pure ambition, an unstoppable energy on a mission. In the coming weeks, that energy is yours to harness!
This is not a card of second-guessing, holding back, or ruminating in self-doubt. This knight is all in.
But it’s not because he’s completely certain of his plan — it’s that he trusts his own strength and adaptability, knowing he can handle whatever challenges he encounters along the way.
Because while you might feel unstoppable, you’re still a human being. That means eating, sleeping, drinking water, and taking deep breaths, whether you think you need it or not.
Spoiler alert: You definitely do.
That’s because, precious Leo, our Knight is playing smarter, not harder. And in these next few weeks, you’ll need to as well.
That means bringing it back to basics: You need to be nourished, rested, and hydrated to stay connected to your body as you set your sights on whatever project or goal lies ahead.
Your card: The Hanged Man
Have you heard of the serenity prayer? “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Oof. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got 99 problems and that describes… well, all of them.
This is my tough love moment for you, Virgo: You can’t fix everything.
And let’s be honest, if you find yourself jumping from one problem to the next, keeping yourself busy — maybe even sticking your nose where it doesn’t really belong — it might be time to figure out why you can’t sit still.
In other words, when your identity centers around being compassionate and helpful, it can become a source of pride or a distraction — and is that really serving you?
If you’re only deriving your self-worth from what you have to offer other people, it can leave you fragile when things don’t go as planned, or when you’ve burnt out and have nothing left to give.
If that sounds like you, it’s time for a “new moon, new you” commitment. A commitment to better boundaries, yes, but take some cues from our friend the Hanged Man: It’s okay to give yourself permission to do nothing and just hang around.
I’m serious. You’re allowed to slow down, and you probably (read: absolutely) should.
Your card: III of Cups
Libra, I know how hard you strive to create balance in your life. And that’s an admirable trait… most of the time.
This time, it’s distracting, because you know what balance doesn’t offer us? Adrenaline. Recklessness. Impulsivity. Are any of these missing from your life?
Just an observation, but sometimes our most thrilling experiences, best memories, and most creative endeavors all had a few of these ingredients sprinkled in.
If you’re going to channel your inner Leo, it might be time for you to dabble in shaking some really powerful energy loose. Pulling yourself out of your element. Any ideas on where you could shake things up?
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to skydive (though that could be a nice way to get you out of your element). The three of cups is a card of celebrating amongst friends, so get ready to pull in some accomplices for this assignment.
Your card: The Empress
Scorpios are often mistaken for fire signs because of their passionate vibe. But fun fact! They’re actually water signs — which means, deep down, there’s bound to be some powerful emotions stirring.
Fitting, then, that the card we have in front of us is The Empress. She’s the card of natural, effortless abundance, not unlike the majesty of the Redwoods or the heavy sigh of an ocean wave crashing onto the shore.
She’s a fierce Queen B, yes, but her strength doesn’t lie in arrogance — it lies in generosity. She doesn’t hoard her gifts. Instead, she shares them… and so should you.
Which of your gifts are you “hoarding”? Do you have any secret artistic ambitions that you’ve been procrastinating on?
If you notice an uptick in your creative energy in the coming weeks, don’t be surprised, Scorpio. Showboat Leo and emotive Empress are conspiring. Whatever your medium, now’s the time to share yourself creatively.
Your card: The Tower
Alrighty, Sag, don’t panic. I know this card looks a little scary and feels like a sign of impending doom (some people take it literally, like they’ll fall out of a window soon) — but this, admittedly biased, tarot reader happens to adore this card, and I’ll explain why.
Sometimes the most transformative life changes require upheaval. Think: cross-country move, spontaneous job change, new fur baby (or like, actual human baby), etc, etc.
The message of The Tower is exactly that: Sometimes even the most wonderful things turn our lives upside-down for a little while. All major transformations, good or bad, uproot us for a while.
If you’ve heard of the concept of “eustress,” you’ll know exactly what I mean.
It’s the stress that accompanies good events. That’s because big stuff, even when it’s good stuff, is completely disorienting, especially if it involves a major life change.
You might be feeling the stress of The Tower card during a new moon for any number of reasons, and they won’t necessarily be “bad” (i.e., easy to recognize) reasons.
Adventurous Sagittarii are especially prone to accumulating all sorts of this “eustress” as they chase after their interests and ambitions. Sometimes without even realizing it.
It’s easy to practice self-care when we’re feeling lousy, as a sort of emotional band-aid, but we forget that self-care has a place even when things are going our way!
Your card: IV of Pentacles
Pragmatic Capricorn, I’m sad to say that your tarotscope is going to be a bit… blunt this time around. To be clear, this is said with love. Two of my favorite humans, including my beloved therapist, are Capricorns!
If you take a look at the four of pentacles, you might be struck by the… possessiveness exuding from this card.
You could take a literal interpretation of the card: stinginess and hoarding material wealth, accumulation for the sake of it.
But that’s not actually the full story behind this card. Because control is rarely, if ever, about the thing that we’re exerting control over.
For example, control over money? Often stems from a feeling of scarcity, and a fear of loss. Control over other people? Often stems from a similar place, fearing abandonment or powerlessness.
Controlling our food intake (like through restrictive dieting and disordered eating) can give us a similar sense of mastery over our bodies and emotions.
You can probably guess where I’m going with this: What are you exerting undue control over in your life, Cap? And in the spirit of new beginnings, what can you afford to let go of?
Your card: Queen of Swords
Aquarius, I’ll be honest: The things that I love about your sign are also the things that I kind of hate about it.
Your free spiritedness is a double-edged sword, because while a non-traditional way of moving through the world makes you a creative delight to be around, like 99 percent of the time, this can also make you difficult for others to understand, especially if your communication isn’t direct or clear.
The Queen of Swords is a master of emotional boundaries and self-protection. She knows what she wants, she knows what she is and isn’t willing to give, and she draws the lines clearly — she means business.
This isn’t exactly the Aquarius’ way, and that’s (mostly) okay! But if you waffle too much on what you want or need, it can come across as mixed signals, which means someone may cross your boundaries before you realized you needed to articulate them.
A new moon is a great time to practice a new way of moving through the world.
So, in the next few weeks, we’re going to practice cultivating some firm freakin’ boundaries. You can’t protect what you aren’t aware of, so creating some self-awareness is the first step.
Baby steps, though.
Your card: Ace of Swords
Pisces, you’ve got some momentum behind you, don’t you? Aces symbolize new beginnings, as do new moons. And if you’re channeling a fiery spirit like Leo, the circumstances are exactly right for a big breakthrough.
Swords can be symbolic of righteousness, and knowing the empathic Pisces heart, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a cause that you’re deeply passionate about and eager to throw your weight behind.
If you’ve been considering a volunteer gig or a project that could benefit others, this is a great way to put your empathy and resourcefulness to good use.
Yes, find new ways to bring your caring spirit into the world! But with a caveat, though, dear Pisces.
Because all that empathy can lead to something called “compassion fatigue,” which you’re likely all too familiar with.
Believe it or not, my assignment to you is not to go and start a charity — chances are, you’re already donating to, or involved with a lot of different causes.
Instead, I want to caution you against biting off more than you can chew.
Your card: VI of Wands
The six of wands is something of a “victory lap” — it calls for celebrating your successes, and taking ownership of the hard work you put in to get where you are.
Coincidentally, it’s a card that’s ruled by Leo, which means some element of public recognition is called for.
But there’s a flip-side to all this. Sometimes fear or guilt can interfere with our ability to truly own our accomplishments and make us feel undeserving of the success that we have.
So, Aries, my question for you is this: When’s the last time you allowed yourself to celebrate your successes… without deflecting?
Instead of saying, “Sure, I did this well, but… [it was easy, I had a whole team behind me, it was a fluke, insert-excuses-here],” it’s time to channel some of that Leo energy and simply name your strengths without apology.
Where are you “winning” in life right now, and who can you invite to celebrate alongside you? Whatever it is, my challenge to you is to find a way to celebrate — no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Your card: Ace of Cups
This is a card of emotional abundance, of giving and receiving love, of generosity and self-compassion.
Aces symbolize new beginnings and cups are the suit associated with emotion. In other words, this is the card that says, “When we feel ourselves, we have even more to offer others.”
There are a lot of opportunities available to you right now, and to make the most of them, it’s important that you aren’t pouring from an empty cup.
If you’re an extrovert like me, this could mean letting others dote on you a little bit, or spending quality time with a sweetie.
If you’re an introvert, perhaps some self-pampering or a staycation. Whatever it is, this card calls for a good dose of loving affirmation from the people you love and, just as importantly, from yourself.
Can you take note of when you’re “in your element”? For me, it’s putting on an outfit that makes me feel like an actual fire emoji, and walking to brunch like the gay diva that I am.
Your card: The Sun
Sweet, sweet Gemini! You’ve got my favorite card in the entire deck.
The Sun symbolizes radiance, positivity, perseverance — all that good stuff that emerges after a period of darkness. And being a Gemini, I’m going to guess you aren’t unfamiliar with the darker side of things.
One of the things I love about this card is that it plays on the theme of childlike wonder, which grownups in general could use a lot more of.
Geminis have a tendency to rationalize a little too much, so you can probably guess where I’m going with this: As you look for opportunities to recharge, where can you get playful?
As a kid, I loved running through sprinklers. I’m not sure why, but nothing felt quite so liberating as sprinting across the lawn, leaping back and forth through freezing cold water. What’s your metaphorical sprinkler, Gemini?
Maybe it’s stopping for a cone of soft serve ice-cream on your way home from work, reading a favorite fantasy novel, or buying yourself a stuffed animal on the boardwalk that makes you smile.
Your card: X of Cups
The Ten of Cups is often thought of as the “happy family” card, but as someone who didn’t exactly have such a picturesque childhood, I don’t take this card so literally.
Family can mean a lot of things, and for those of us who are queer, family usually refers to something called “chosen family.” But it can take some time to really get comfortable with the idea of “choosing” family.
I remember confessing to my therapist once that I wasn’t sure if my parents really understood me. I knew that they loved me, of course, but did they really get me?
He said something that changed my life that day: “It’s okay to demote your parents.”
That’s when I realized something: Sometimes self-care looks like rearranging the relationships in your life.
I’m bringing this up, dear Cancer, to remind you that the Venn diagram of people who love you and people who “get” you is exactly that — a Venn diagram.
And when I think of chosen family, I think of people who make me feel both loved and seen. Who are those people for you?
Not who you think they should be, because sometimes the relationships we choose to prioritize and the ones that are most supportive of our growth and well-being aren’t always the same.
Who is in that sweet spot of both loving and witnessing you? And how can you put more energy behind the connections that serve your highest self?
Sam Dylan Finch is a writer, editor, cat dad, and Professional Internet Gay living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Say hello on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and, if you can find it, a really old Ello account that he still doesn’t know how to delete.