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Illustration by Irene Goddard

It’s another full moon! This time our guiding constellation is the passionate (read: headstrong) Aries. If you don’t speak woo, allow me to translate: Full moons are a time of releasing and making room for the new. And with a fiery zodiac like Aries, you might find yourself a little on edge, clinging to resentment or struggling to move on.

Put another way, Taylor Swift captures the essence of this full moon perfectly in her new song “The Archer”: “I cut off my nose just to spite my face,” she sings, “then I hate my reflection for years and years.”

Where are you getting in your own way? Where are you making things more difficult for yourself? And most importantly, how can we release whatever is holding you back?

These burning questions will likely define this fiery full moon in Aries. The good news is, you already have the answers you’re looking for. It just takes a gut check to find them.

Let’s see what the cards have to say.

Your card: Three of Swords

Aries, I won’t sugarcoat this card: It’s heartbreaking — literally. It’s usually depicted as three swords cutting through a heart. This card isn’t really known for its subtlety.

This doesn’t always symbolize a messy breakup, though, as some folks tend to assume. Your heart could be broken for any number of reasons. In fact, I see this card surfacing most often when someone is grieving for a loss they were unprepared for.

Heartbreak doesn’t always look the way we expect it to. And grief doesn’t always mean losing a significant other. Sometimes, the most difficult things to grieve are simply parts of ourselves we’ve lost along the way. It can be as subtle as longing and as quiet as nostalgia.

So, what’s really weighing on your heart, Aries?

Is it a hobby you enjoyed when you were younger but haven’t made space for as an adult? Or an old friend you’ve drifted from, or a question from your past that was never answered? It could simply be the memory of a happier chapter in your life and your struggle to recapture the joy you felt back then.

Your self-care to-do:

This calls for a grief ritual, I think. Start by cultivating a safe space. Light some candles, put on your favorite sweater, and get comfortable. Set aside 20 minutes to journal, starting with the sentence, “I wish I hadn’t lost…” See what comes up for you. No matter how small it seems, give yourself permission to grieve it.

When you’re done writing, find a way to symbolically release that grief, even just a little. I like to use a hair mask to condition my hair, gently combing it through, and then carefully rinsing it away. I like to imagine that all of my troubles are being teased apart like tangles and washed down the drain.

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Your card: Ten of Swords

The Ten of Swords usually depicts a figure lying facedown with 10 swords stuck into their back. It’s a card that tends to symbolize a painful ending or betrayal. I see this card most often when people have been victimized in some way, resulting in a loss of safety or trust in others.

Taurus, can I tell you a story? Many years ago, when my partner and I were walking to a cafe we often frequented, we were almost run over. An SUV full of men blew a red light as we tried to cross the street, yelling as they sped past us, “Straights have the right of way!”

I kept searching in my mind, trying to understand what I had “done wrong.” I wasn’t holding my partner’s hand. I wasn’t decked out in rainbow attire. The offense was that I simply existed as a queer person in public.

It was a violation that wounded my soul. That incident meant I would never truly be safe, and existing will always involve risk. I wrestled, very deeply, with the fact that my very existence had somehow provoked violence.

Taurus… who or what has left you feeling as though it isn’t safe to be who you are?

When I’ve been victimized in a way that leaves me ashamed of my own being, there’s only been one reliable path to healing: finding my people. I needed to see people like me, living vibrantly and unapologetically, to be reminded that there’s beauty within the danger of my being.

Your self-care to-do:

There’s beauty in the danger of your being, Taurus. This is the stuff that people climb mountains for. It’s why we went to the moon and tried to find the bottom of the ocean.

Find your community so your beauty reflects back at you, so that you’ll remember that what others reject in you is also a secret source of power, one they fear precisely because they can’t take it from you.

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Your card: Ten of Cups

Gemini, this is such a sweet card. The Ten of Cups is thought of as being a card of emotional fulfillment and contentment — that moment when it seems that things are finally coming together, and happiness is within reach.

What I’ve learned, though, is that just because happiness is within reach doesn’t mean we’re willing to accept it.

If you’re someone who’s been burned a few too many times, happiness can be downright terrifying. Sometimes, a mediocre, melancholy life can feel safer, because at least you aren’t waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop, or left wondering if you truly deserve it.

If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. I’m a recovering self-saboteur, who had associated joy with inevitable disappointment… to the point where I’d become outright panicked whenever my life was going well, looking for ways to stir the pot just because the chaos felt more familiar to me.

Happiness isn’t dangerous, though, Gemini, even if it feels that way. It’s part of being alive, and it’s your right as a human being on this earth to experience it.

Your self-care to-do:

We’re going to start with baby steps. Start with simply resisting the urge to self-sabotage or overthink your joy. When you notice that you’re having a good day or experiencing some kind of joy, get into the habit of consciously acknowledging it. Name it.

For example, this can be as simple as saying aloud, “I’m so happy right now,” or placing your hand on your heart while thinking, “I see you, joy.” It could be sending a text to someone you got coffee with, thanking them for such a fun afternoon. It could be taking the extra time to celebrate your successes or share your good news with a loved one. Whatever it is, don’t go on auto-pilot when you’re feeling good. Get grounded; invite it in.

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Your card: The Hanged Man

Confession: The Hanged Man is honestly #Goals for me. He’s hanging upside down from a tree, his ankle tied to a branch, but Cancer… he’s totally, bafflingly zen about the whole situation. He’s completely surrendered to it, not at all pressed about what will happen next.

He trusts the answer will come when it comes. He accepts what he can’t change, and instead of resisting his fears, he leans into them. He’s learned to find a sense of comfort in what is clearly a very uncomfortable situation.

You can do this, too, Cancer. Have you ever thought about how water simply takes the shape of the container it’s in? You’re a water sign, and whether you believe it or not, you have the capacity to be resilient in the face of change and uncertainty.

The key is that rather than trying to resist the situation, you practice accepting life on life’s terms. Easier said than done, but when you’re hanging upside down, if you’re still for long enough, you might realize that a change in perspective was exactly what you needed all along.

Your self-care to-do:

I hate to be That Person™ who tells you to meditate… but here we are. Have you ever tried a guided meditation, Cancer? A quick Google search of “radical acceptance meditation” will likely yield some good results. Surrender is really just a fancy way of saying “accepting what is,” and meditation can be a great entry point into this practice.

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Your card: Four of Cups

The Four of Cups usually depicts someone sitting under a tree with three cups, being offered a fourth cup, which — based on their body language (crossed arms, nose turned down) — they’re very clearly not into. The Four of Cups is the epitome of “hard pass.”

Priorities, Leo. It’s much easier to turn down that fourth cup when you’re clear on what you want, and what does and doesn’t serve you.

And “serving you” doesn’t always mean that it boosts your popularity or opens up doors for you. It’s not about personal glory. In fact, it’s better to think of it as “something that moves you in the direction of healing.”

Because at the end of the day, Leo, glory isn’t healing. The dopamine rush of professional success or popularity can be mistaken for healing, but when you go to bed at the end of the night, does it make you feel connected? Does it make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger? Does it truly feel meaningful to you?

Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

If you aren’t clear on what healing looks like for you, Leo, you’ll be turning down all the wrong cups and still come up empty.

Your self-care to-do:

It’s time for a reframe, Leo. Instead of thinking about how you want your life to look, ask yourself how you want your life to feel. Connected? Energized? Peaceful? Passionate? Get really, really specific about the emotional reality you want to inhabit.

Once you’re clear on it, try drafting a list of activities and people that bring you closer to this feeling. Congrats, Leo: You’ve now got a sense of where your priorities lie. And when that fourth cup comes around, be sure to ask yourself, “Does this serve me?”

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Your card: Ten of Pentacles

The Ten of Pentacles is the card of abundance and family. This card often shows up for people who have taken on the role of “provider.” Their instinct, when looking at the privileges and blessings they have, is to spread the wealth and make sure everyone is taken care of.

Providing is a beautiful instinct. It’s part of the legacy that’s allowed human beings to survive; generosity is the heartbeat of every strong community.

But Virgo, here’s the thing about roles… it’s OK to reassess them. It’s OK to step back from them. It’s OK to let someone else take the lead. And more importantly, whatever role you play shouldn’t come at the expense of your own mental health and well-being.

Are you familiar with the concept of an “understudy,” Virgo? In big theater productions, every major role is assigned an understudy in the event that someone falls ill or can’t perform. Having an understudy means there’s always a plan B. As they say in the biz, “The show must go on.”

If I had to guess, Virgo, your generosity hasn’t exactly extended to yourself. When you look at the roles you play in your life, do you have an understudy? If you need to rest and recover, do you have backup, or have you not carved out the space to take a breather?

You can probably guess where I’m going with this, Virgo.

Your self-care to-do:

Write a list of all the people and projects you feel responsible for. Yes, every single one. Who are you providing for? Who and what are you giving your time, energy, and resources to?

Next to each item, answer this question: “Will it fall apart without me?” If not, pat yourself on the back for having the necessary support around you! But if your answer is “probably” or “yes,” it’s time to start looking for your understudy. Where can you delegate? Who can you turn to if you find yourself burning out? Make a plan and carve out the space you need to be human.

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Your card: Seven of Swords

The Seven of Swords is an interesting card. It usually depicts a mischievous figure, carrying a bundle of swords as they peer over their shoulder, as though they’re getting away with something. Some interpretations of this card are pretty literal, implying some kind of trickery or deception.

But that’s not really how I tend to see it.

More often than not, I find that when this card comes up in a reading, it’s for people who fear being “selfish.” Except, usually, they aren’t being selfish at all. They just feel that way any time they try to prioritize themselves or have needs, especially if that means disappointing or sidelining someone else in the process.

Just because you feel you’ve betrayed someone, Libra, doesn’t mean you actually have.

Sometimes, to take care of ourselves, the only choice we have is to prioritize our own needs before anyone else’s. And while it may be uncomfortable, sometimes this requires that we acknowledge that we’re a person with valid and important needs.

There’s an assumption with this card that someone must be committing a crime, when in reality, that’s what we’ve projected onto it. Maybe they’re taking back what’s theirs. Maybe the situation is more complex than it appears. (After all, our supposed “trickster” still managed to leave two carefully placed swords behind!)

Which leads me to wonder… where, Libra, have you decided that you’ve been selfish in your own life? And is that really the whole story?

Your self-care to-do:

In my opinion, every single human being should have at least three self-care nonnegotiables in their lives. Mine are food (no, you won’t schedule this meeting during my lunch hour, thanks), sobriety (this circus doesn’t need more monkeys, I promise), and my mental health (if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my therapist~).

This means that if a relationship or a situation interferes with my ability to eat, sustain my sobriety, or preserve my mental health? It’s off the table. And if I have to steal five swords to cut you out of my life? I’ll do it.

Libra, you know what to do: What are your self-care nonnegotiables? And can you release the idea that it’s selfish to protect them?

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Your card: Nine of Cups

The Nine of Cups is often referred to as the card of “wish fulfillment” — when something you’ve deeply wanted is finally within reach. It’s not always a concrete goal, like a dream career or finding a life partner. Sometimes, it’s just pure gratitude for what we have. It’s the kind of overwhelming joy that comes with feeling supported and fulfilled.

Sounds pretty sweet, right?

…Scorpio, I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t always feel so sweet.

In 2017, I lost one of my best friends by suicide, and like clockwork, as soon as something truly joyful happens in my life, I spiral into a sense of guilt. I think about how my friend was denied the chance to experience what I’m now experiencing; I feel as though my happiness betrays everyone else who isn’t able to feel it with me.

This is a truth I need as much as you do: Denying ourselves happiness is not noble. It doesn’t bring anyone else any closer to their own joy. And in my case, it’s not going to bring my friend back, either.

Making ourselves miserable doesn’t help anything or anyone. It often makes it more difficult to show up in the world in the compassionate, powerful ways we would like to. If we get in the way of our own happiness, we also get in the way of our own efficacy, agency, and ability to make the world a much better place.

Your happiness isn’t a betrayal. It’s a beautiful part of the human experience that you, just like anyone else, deserve to have. I promise you this.

Your self-care to-do:

Is there something you can indulge in, some kind of luxury that would feel really good for you right now, Scorpio? Maybe it’s a nice meal, a massage, a new book. It could be as simple as buying the slightly more expensive chai next time you grocery shop.

If you feel guilty about joy, lean into that guilt. Indulge as a healing practice. Indulge as a way of facing your fears. Indulge as a way of challenging yourself to love and hold yourself more deeply, more affectionately. Notice what it changes for you. You might be surprised.

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Your card: Six of Cups

The Six of Cups usually depicts a child offering a flower to another, a sweet gesture that exudes innocence. When this card appears, it’s usually during a time in which someone’s past — especially their childhood — is being revisited.

I’ll admit, I didn’t have a fantastic childhood by any stretch. And in my darker moments, when I’ve decided to take a stroll down memory lane, I’ve had a propensity for fixating on the very worst aspects of what I experienced. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t hard to do. I had plenty of material to work with.

I’m not saying you should disregard the very real wounds you carry. Instead, I’m here to remind you (as gently as I can) that even in those dark chapters, there were moments of mercy.

For example, when I reflect back, I remember how my older brother would shine a flashlight in my face to wake me up early on Christmas morning, just to dance around the tree and shake all the boxes. I remember how whenever one of us got hurt, we would both cry, and our parents had to try to figure out which one of us was actually hurt… and which one just felt bad for the other.

That tender relationship truly sustained me when I felt I had no one else in the world to turn to. He handed me a flower where nothing else seemed to grow. Recalling those moments of sweetness offers a small spark, when there was only pitch darkness in my mind.

Sag, there are moments of grace — moments that spared us our hearts from breaking completely — where we least expect them. We just have to remember to look for them.

Your self-care to-do:

Memory lane doesn’t always have to take you to a dark place. Can you take some time to dabble in nostalgia? Maybe enjoying a movie you used to love or catching up with an old friend, awakening the parts of your brain that have still held on to those silver linings after all these years?

Part of reclaiming our past is ensuring that we don’t lose those sparks that kept us alive. Honor the goodness — not because it betrays the memory of the pain you endured, but because it’s part of what allows us to heal and remember who we are underneath it.

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Your card: Three of Pentacles

“If you want something done right,” the saying goes, “do it yourself!”

I think if each zodiac had a bumper sticker, this would be top of the list for Capricorns. And I get it, to an extent. A lot of the time, you know exactly what you’re doing. It’d be a hell of a lot easier to get things done if folks just left you to it.

Here’s the thing, though: This only makes sense if you also believe that efficiency is the point. And this means that all the stuff we gain from collaborating with others is irrelevant, even if some of those gains extend far beyond the task in front of us.

If you get caught up in the fact that things are moving too slow for your liking, you’ll miss all the amazing opportunities that come from working on a team. There are entire poems written about this, Capricorn. Remember the road less traveled? Sometimes the journey itself is the real reward (a cliche with an important kernel of truth).

While you could do plenty of things on your own just fine, don’t make the mistake of disregarding collaboration as a lesser form of work or a chore. If you get too impatient, you’re only depriving yourself of a valuable experience. Remember, everyone you meet has something to teach you.

Your self-care to-do:

Things are often greater than the sum of their parts, Cap. Sometimes, slowing down to appreciate everyone’s unique contributions, challenging one another, and looking at things from a new perspective all have inherent value.

In the weeks to come, make yourself more available for opportunities to collaborate. If there’s a project you’ve been stalling on, why not invite some feedback, or look for ways to transform it into a team effort? This might make you cringe at first, but I can say from experience that I’ve rarely encountered someone who believed that keeping an open mind was a mistake.

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Your card: Two of Wands

With the Two of Wands, we see someone who seems to have the entire world in their hands — but they’re hesitating, afraid to leave their comfort zone. While they understand that this moment is brimming with potential, the high stakes have rendered them stuck (at least in the moment), unsure of how to move forward.

Story time: I find that the more something matters to me, the more I find myself afraid to move forward and make a choice. But lately, I’ve been practicing really naming what’s underneath my indecisiveness. What I’ve realized is that, oftentimes, if I’m feeling stuck? It’s just my body’s physiological response to caring deeply about whatever is in front of me.

Aquarius, there’s nothing wrong with being emotionally invested in the decisions you make. In fact, it’s an incredible sign of growth, because it means you CARE about what happens to you, and the role you play in that.

Grappling with decision anxiety means you give a shit about yourself. I want you to continue having that level of care about your life and well-being! The key, though, is remembering that it’s more important to trust that you’ll adapt regardless of what you choose, rather than attempting to make perfect decisions all the time.

Because usually? There isn’t really a “perfect choice” at all. Just choices, all with varying outcomes.

Your self-care to-do:

Did you ever have a magic eight ball growing up? When I started struggling with anxiety about making decisions, my therapist and I hatched a plan that, for an entire week, if I spent more than 1 minute dwelling on a choice I needed to make, I’d let my magic eight ball make the decision for me.

You don’t even have to go out and buy one! They have apps for that nowadays. It might seem silly, but it got me unstuck during one of the more anxious chapters of my life. Give it a whirl and see how it shakes things up.

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Your card: Queen of Swords

The Queen of Swords is probably best known for her intellectualism. It’s often said that her pragmatic, no-nonsense approach allows her to make fair and informed decisions, making her an intimidating but enviable leader who others are drawn to.

In tarot, some of us look at the position of the card to help determine its meaning. When a card is reversed, it usually signals there’s internal work to be done in that area. When the Queen of Swords is reversed, it means one’s intellectualism has likely overridden their sense of compassion.

With a fiery full moon in play, I’d say it’s fair to look at the position of this card, too. Pisces, I know how important it is to have firm boundaries to protect your mental health, and to create a healthy distance between yourself and those who might trigger you.

But in the process of setting these boundaries… are you making sure you haven’t lost sight of the humanity of others, even folks you don’t particularly like?

If your resentment or sense of overwhelm is hurting your ability to move through the world in a thoughtful, compassionate way, it’s worth exploring how you’ve reached this point.

Your self-care to-do:

Make a renewed commitment to humanizing those around you, starting with a willingness to face people, even and especially when it’s difficult. Sometimes, it’s as simple as opting to have conversations in-person rather than over text, or giving someone a call (preferably video — look them in the eye!) when we’d rather avoid someone altogether.

In the end, you’ll likely feel better having stuck to your values and showed up authentically. And you’ll be flexing some important muscles in communication while you’re at it.

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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.