Sagittarius

NOV 22 - DEC 21

In many fairytales, dragons are known to be the guardians of vast treasure. Although many a brave knight saw the fire-breathing obstacle as understandably daunting, the prize beyond it was too alluring. In your world, a fear shouldn't be given nearly as much attention as what awaits you once you conquer it. And conquer it, you will. View your free weekly destiny video.
11 april
Illustrations by Jo Ratcliffe
  • Your Horoscope This Week: June 13, 2021

    This week we find ourselves deep into June and deep into Mercury Retrograde. While the eclipses have come and gone, their influence over us is far from over and emotional after-shocks are to be expected — especially for sensitive babes whose stars line up with these solar events. Goddess bless Geminis especially, but not exclusively. Of course, it’s not all tears for fears in the atmosphere, especially with Mars sliding into Leo on the 11th. There’s a little bit more incentive to show up, show o

  • Catherine Tennant, Telegraph astrologer with a questing mind and a love of conversation – obituary

    Catherine Tennant, who has died aged 73, was an aristocratic Bohemian and astrologer who wrote horoscopes for the Telegraph, Vogue (as Wanda Starr) and Tatler. When her lifelong interest in astrology became professional she looked into her own chart. She was unsurprised to discover there that her great reluctance to have an early night was indeed written in her stars. A visitor to the farmhouse she shared with her husband Sir Mark Palmer might chance upon Mick Jagger or Steve Winwood, the circus

  • Your Horoscope This Week: June 6, 2021

    There’s never a dull moment in the cosmos, and this week’s astrology is certainly no exception. As we roll full steam ahead under Mercury’s apparent retrograde — made ever the more intense with a square to Neptune — it’s likely that many of us will feel like champions after accomplishing a simple errand or, frankly, making it through the work week without an emotional breakdown. Not that some sort of dramatic event is inevitable — although chaos is ostensibly a part of being alive. It’s just tha

  • The Biggest Mercury Retrograde Of 2021 Is Here — Prepare Yourself

    Mercury, computer artwork. Buckle up, because it’s here: the second Mercury retrograde of 2021. Starting on May 29 and lasting until June 22, the Planet of Communication’s backwards dance in Gemini is going to uncover secrets, mess with our communication, and send us into a hectic, glitch-filled frenzy. And, fair warning — Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com, is calling this the most potent Mercury retrograde in all of 2021. There’s only one thing to do now, and that’s prepare. We’ll have the classic Mercury retrograde mess-ups to worry about: travel, communication, technology, and information. But there are a few factors that point to why this particular retrograde may be exceptionally tough to handle. “For starters, it’s beginning while Mercury is forming a conjunction with Venus, so expect to have misunderstandings within relationships during Memorial Day Weekend,” she warns. It’s also happening in impulsive Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury, meaning that the planet is most comfortable in the sign of the twins. “This allows Mercury to reach its full-on trickster splendour, so expect to fall victim of its jokes,” she says. And finally, this retrograde is happening right in the midst of eclipse season and forming a conjunction with the new moon eclipse that’s happening on June 10, magnifying its power even more. Okay, so things are about to be a little intense — but this isn’t exactly new energy. Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck, tells Refinery29 that this is because the pre-retrograde zone began on May 14, and the post-retroshade zone will end on July 7. “We’ll be working with this energy for a while,” she says. “This retrograde will expose secrets, scandals, and add anxiety to our vibes.” Her advice? Be gentle with yourself and others. Stardust says to “give yourself extra time for projects and travel, say ‘hello’ to old ghosts from the past, and make sure your work is backed up in the cloud.” The only way out of Mercury retrograde is through, so taking any and all steps right now to prepare for battle is a must. Because this transit is happening in chatty Gemini, your gatherings may be prone to turning into dishing sessions à la Gossip Girl. “Mercury in Gemini can have loose lips and bring out our inner Blair and Serena,” warns Madi Murphy, astrologer and founder of The Cosmic Revolution. “When Mercury’s retrograde, those messages can end up in the wrong hands or backfiring in our face.” In other words, be extra cautious about what you say and who you say it to — you never know who it’ll get back to. Xoxo. There’s more to look out for, according to Montúfar. She says that during this time, the second of the three Saturn-Uranus squares will take place on June 14, which means that we can expect this Mercury retrograde to bring a lot of news that will impact our world. “During this time, it will be important to protect our psyche from information overload,” she says. “Turning off our phones, getting off the screen, and protecting our energy will be key during this time.” If there were ever a time to go with the flow, it’d be now — flexibility is key here. Although this transit can be nerve-wracking, Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com, says that Mercury retrograde isn’t all that bad. “Retrograde Mercury is not part of a cosmic plan to upset, delay, or screw things up. Rather, this is part of the natural cycle intended to be a time of reflecting and re-doing things that need our attention,” she says. “Even though it can be maddening at times, if you keep this perspective you can make the most of this three week cycle.” Mercury retrogrades always make us feel restless, like we’re not ticking the boxes off our to-do lists fast enough. But while the Planet of Communication is in retrograde, it’s more important than ever to stop and smell the roses. “In the fast-paced world we live in, it can feel like a punishment to have to slow down but, truthfully, it can be a blessing,” Murphy says. “It offers us an opportunity to tidy up, chill out, and get crystal clear on exactly what you need to do to further align with your truth.” It’ll be rocky, sure — but it’s nothing we can’t get through. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Is Jupiter In Pisces The Best Transit Of 2021?How Important Is Your Roommate's Zodiac Sign?Gemini Season Is Going To Be Pure Chaotic Good

  • Your Horoscope This Week: May 23, 2021

    The last week in May is the first full week of Gemini season and, as such, it’s only right that it gets a little chaotic. Jupiter’s ingress in Pisces set a lovely hue to our dream endeavours last week, but this week’s square to the full moon might have Jupiter enthusiasts singing a different tune. While there’s no need to jump to worst case scenarios, it’s worth staying wary of Jupiter’s more negative qualities in and around us: a tendency to bite off more than we can chew, a sense of entitlemen

  • Gemini Season Is Going To Be Pure Chaotic Good

    Move over, Taurus season. After a month spent in the stubborn sign of the bull, the sun is finally moving into chatty, expressive Gemini on 20th May, and it will stay there until 20th June. Gird your loins, people, because the energy is about to shift — big time. Even Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com, is calling this upcoming Gemini season “life-changing.” We’re shifting to vibes that are more intellectual, loquacious, upbeat, and free-spirited, according to Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com — but she warns that this energy can sometimes seem unpredictable and restless. “You may find your time is split in many different directions and your curiosity piqued,” she says. “Enjoy the natural curiosity and desire to interact with others during the Gemini season. Engaging with the world can be a rewarding experience, especially given the past year of isolation.” You’ll be drawn to exploring new spaces and interests, meeting new people, and interacting with others — but may feel pulled in one too many directions. Just remember to give yourself some time to chill and take it easy as you reintegrate back into society. While you’ll feel the urge to communicate more with others and put yourself out there, the energy is ripe for gossip. “Gemini’s agenda is exchanging information which means both collecting and passing it on,” Yana Yanovich, astrologer at Nebula, tells Refinery29. It’s not all bad, though — Yanovich points out that now is a time when learning, networking, connecting with people are of the utmost importance. Make a mental note to think before you speak. Filter your words, and resist the urge to spread information that could hurt someone else. This Gemini season in particular promises to be a transformational period. During this free-spirited time, we’ll all experience “a series of twists and turns,” says Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck. “The twin sign is a known communicator and connector, who loves the gift of gab and often sees the dualistic side to every matter,” she says. “There is no longer one perspective, but two, that will allow us understand matters from a different side.” This way of thinking may help you make more meaningful choices, and overall isn’t a bad way to go through the next month. While the sun is hanging out in Gemini, we’ll experience the second eclipse season of the year, with a lunar eclipse on 26th May and a solar eclipse 10th June. “Eclipses bring changes, turns, and twists, so we must be aware that if we have any natal planets in the mutable signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces — we will most likely experience a big change in our lives,” explains Montúfar. According to Stardust, these eclipses will “make us change the direction that we are taking in life. Our senses will be awakened, urging us to seek a new path.” Change isn’t always a bad thing — a shift in perspective may lead us down a better road than we were on before. So prepare yourself for any kind of evolution, whether it’s where you want to live or how you want to approach work or your relationships over the next month. Gemini season is also bringing us a Mercury retrograde in the sign of Gemini. “Mercury’s backwards spin lasts from 29th May to 22nd June in the air sign Gemini,” says Stardust. “The effects will be felt even more because it’s Gemini Season, and Gemini’s planetary ruler is Mercury.” As always, Mercury retrograde brings along some confusion. “There is a high chance some of the information coming your way may be misunderstood, misrepresented, or miscommunicated,” Yanovich says. “Analyze and filter it carefully before passing it on to avoid unpleasant situations.” Another transit to look out for this Gemini season are the squares between Neptune and three of the natal planets: the sun, Venus, and Mercury. “This will add even more confusion to the mix,” Montúfar says. “It’s important to be aware that we will not be thinking clearly, and that things won’t even be as they seem.” Because of this, Montúfar warns against making any big career or relationships moves — although on the other hand, because change is already among us, she says that the more we go with the flow, the better things will turn out. At the end of the day, Gemini season sounds promising. There’s an energetic vibe in the air, and the possibilities are endless. And you know, even Mercury retrograde isn’t all that bad — as long as you’re prepared, it should be smooth sailing. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Venus In Gemini Marks The Start Of Hot Girl SummerFeeling Extra Flirty? Thank Mars In GeminiThe New Moon In Gemini Offers Us A Chance To Reset

  • Your Horoscope This Week: May 16, 2021

    uThe last days of Taurus season make themselves known this week, hitting the snooze button and begging for just a few more hours of rest. Meanwhile, with Venus and Mercury clamouring for attention and stimulation in Gemini, rest isn’t really on the itinerary. Of course, just because something’s not on the schedule doesn’t mean it’s not available to those who demand it. With the shadow of Mercury retrograde in full effect and the imminence of the Sun’s ingress into Gemini, communication is key if anyone expects to get their needs met — but, we all know how tricky communication can be in a shadow period. On May 21st, the Sun in Gemini will square Jupiter in Pisces, an aspect that’s sure to have us negotiating our expectations. On the collective front, our relationship to knowledge is changing. International issues that were once framed as “conflicts” or “arguments” are reframed within a larger narrative of colonisation and suppression, whether it’s Israel’s inhumane occupation of Palestine, the ongoing war against ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan, or the uprising against police violence in Colombia. We are called to reckon with our role in, our relationship with, our endorsement of the information that is shared and information that’s suppressed. Aries Sun & Aries RisingOn the surface, this week should be a relatively smooth-going one for you and it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself fielding any out-of-turn behaviour or last-minute surprises. But the smoothness of the sea doesn’t dictate the state of what lives below it. If anything, it gives you a clearer view of an internal world that’s much more sensitive and deeply affected than you let on, even to yourself. Let what’s coming in-focus for you come — even if it hurts to acknowledge it, even if you’d rather feel anything else. While it’s true that there are certain tasks, agreements, and commitments that require your attention, being productive will only delay your heart’s needs; it will not quiet them.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoTaurus Sun & Taurus RisingIt’s true that many planets have shifted under the stars of Gemini, including your ruling planet Venus, but you need not rush to keep up. The last few days of the Sun’s journey through Taurus are no less vital to you than when the hot eye of the Sun first glanced upon your stars. Endings offer up their own mixed blessings, even if they seem bitter. Some green things are seeded not to last but rather to enrich the soil for whatever it is we really wish to cultivate. If you can accept that loss — whether it relates to a person, a job, or an opportunity — is only a part of a story rather than the conclusion, then you can turn the page with anticipation, and — dare I say — pleasure.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoGemini Sun & Gemini RisingWhen it’s almost your season and there’s numerous glowing celestial balls in your court, the shadow of Mercury retrograde can feel like a cruel trick. But you are worth your shine and due some fun in the sun, dear Gemini. That’s why it’s worth your while to engage this Mercury shadow period head-on rather than skirting around the issues until the retrograde motion becomes more apparent and spoils the fun. There’s no sleight of hand that can make an issue disappear, and anything swept under a rug is sure to make a noticeable bump later. Reply to that email, file that paperwork, and when you can’t move forward, be candid about what’s holding you back. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCancer Sun & Cancer RisingWith the last days of Taurus season upon us, the ongoing influence of the Taurus new moon, and Mars holding court under your stars, it’s a great time for you to meditate on the difference between your actions and your reactions. Mars rules cardinal Aries and it’s not as comfortable in cardinal Cancer as one might hope. The protective nature of Cancer is heightened under this influence and while it may serve your community and loved ones, it can lead to unintentionally defensive behaviour on your part. Of course, there are moments when defence is called for, but, sometimes, a clarifying question will protect your energy a whole lot more than your armour. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLeo Sun & Leo RisingAs the years go on, the kinds of relationships we are capable of change and transform. There is no formula, no one way these things go, but there is an understanding that while the pleasure of encounter is imminent, closeness takes time. Closeness, or intimacy, is available to any kind of relationship we build and not just with other people, either. There’s intimacy in developing a relationship to your body in a physically challenging practice and there’s intimacy in deeping an artistic one. Whatever or whoever you’re building a relationship with, Leo, remind yourself that it takes time. What things feel like now is only a reflection of the moment, not the limit.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoVirgo Sun & Virgo RisingFor many people, our earliest memories of teachers are those who have authority over us. They are our instructors and our guardians. Occasionally, for those who are curious enough, a teacher can be found in the natural world by way of an animal or a garden. “Curious” might be the operative word here, inviting the individual to identify and acknowledge a lesson rather than receive it. If we’re curious, we begin to realise that we receive lessons whether we notice or not, repeatedly. They’re available everywhere, from anyone. Look again at the small workings of your world, the people, projects, and creatures that fill your week. If there is a challenge, there is a message.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLibra Sun & Libra RisingThere’s this idea in the craft of poetry that working within a form, like a pantoum, can be as freeing as it is restrictive. It’s said that sometimes one needs to know the rules in order to break them — but, rebellion isn’t the only pleasure to be had in doing so. Most living things enjoy a bit of restraint, a rein to pull against, stone on either side of a river, lips tight against a whistle. Form gives us a challenge for which freedom is the answer. If, within your discipline or generative process, you’ve found yourself overwhelmed with choice, consider the forms available to you. Whether it’s a ritual, a routine, or a material constraint, deciding to work with less will serve you more.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoScorpio Sun & Scorpio RisingThe word “secure” is tricky. With lovers, we seek secure attachment but settle for over-processing. There’s the tenuous notion of job security and the failure of social security. Nations are obsessed with security at our borders, but borders are man-made and subject to change, which makes them, by nature, an insecure division. It’s important to remember that security is not a permanent state. And, while it’s valuable for inner work (feeling secure about yourself, your lovability), it can be a trap when we seek it from others (this job is paying me so well, why would I leave?). Try to notice when your need for inner security is in conflict with the transient nature of security from external sources. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoSagittarius Sun & Sagittarius RisingSagittarius is a fire sign, it’s true, but an arrow needs wind and desires direction. If your fire begins in the mind, dear Sagittarius, it’s carried by language into the world. And, there’s no guarantee how your thoughts or ideas will land, but few original things come with guarantees anyway so why wait for one? If you’re holding yourself back, release the arrow. The original thing, the untried thing, that is the test. Those who respond and resonate are the answer. If this week offers you the opportunity to put yourself out there, to take a social or intellectual risk, take it. Your mind was never meant to be a secret, lonely thing. It flourishes in company; it flies.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCapricorn Sun & Capricorn RisingIt’s one thing to know that wealth is more than what’s in the bank and a whole other thing to approach daily affairs that way. The universe, for better or worse, is here to remind you that a community net can be just as valuable as a financial one — if not more so. This reminder can come in various forms. While some can be heavy handed, like realising you’d made a bad deal, you’re just as likely to receive positive reinforcement from mutual admirers. The regard you offer others and your willingness to turn every stone over have not gone unnoticed and won’t. Even if what you sign up for is no sure thing, you can be sure that you have a strong net to fall back on.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoAquarius Sun & Aquarius RisingJust because things can get a little heavy doesn’t mean you can’t prioritise feeling good. It must be some kind of human preoccupation, to immerse oneself in an emotion and make that emotion all there is. But, you know better. You know how to ride a wave from shore to shore, you know that waves can affect a coastline but that the land is something else entirely. Which is all to say that there’s nothing wrong with carrying an emotion instead of lying down in it and letting it carry you. It doesn’t make the emotion any less potent; it doesn’t make your heart any less true.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoPisces Sun & Pisces RisingJupiter has dipped his celestial toe into Pisces and it’s expected that Pisces people will rejoice Especially since Jupiter’s ingress into Pisces is a kind of homecoming. It’s possible that you’ll feel a shift this week, a smooth energetic flow where once there might have been static. This flow isn’t a miraculous one-time occurrence, so you need not treat it that way. It’s always already around you and you are invited to work with it. Choose what comes easily this week. If a current makes itself known, is it a current that would feel good to ride? If a problem arises, can you see its ultimate direction? Say no when no feels right, but focus on noticing to whom you want to say yes.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Venus In Gemini Marks The Start Of Hot Girl SummerIs Jupiter In Pisces The Best Transit Of 2021?Obsessed With Astrology? Thank TikTok — & COVID

  • Is Jupiter In Pisces The Best Transit Of 2021? Astrologers Think So

    Jupiter, computer artwork. Jupiter is one of the luckiest planets in astrology, and it’s making its way into the dreamy sign of Pisces on 13th May. This combo hasn’t happened since 2011 — and it’s something to get excited about. In fact, it’s being described as “a transit all astrologers have been expecting and looking forward to,” according to Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com. This burst of angelic energy is exactly what we need as hot girl summer draws closer. Madi Murphy

  • As A Young Black Woman, I’m Glad Office Culture Is Dying

    “Barbados was great. It’s still quite, you know, colonial,” said one of my senior colleagues as he recommended the Caribbean island as a holiday destination to a group of coworkers. I was shocked at his lack of awareness, brazenly using the word ‘colonial’ without acknowledging that it doesn’t exactly evoke warm, positive feelings for everyone. I could have stormed over to him, telling him why that word made me feel uncomfortable, or I could have run to HR to complain. But I did nothing. Instead, I simply ignored the conversation and focused on my looming deadline. This incident occurred pre-pandemic and is one of the reasons why I dread returning to the office. COVID-19 created a huge shift in the way we work and last year saw most office workers switch to working from home. Aside from the benefits of having a routine, seeing the people I like and having access to an array of mouthwatering (if overpriced) lunch options, the office is something I would like to leave in the past. Black women, like me, are often at a crossroads between wanting to take a stand against microaggressions at work and wanting to fade into the background to protect our peace. Being in the office, for me, meant feeling drained by 3pm, flattened by the weight of endless small talk and the constant pressure to be social, then the exhaustion I felt when I was judged for not wanting to be social. A 2020 YouGov poll of over 2,000 office workers found that most (57%) of those who were working from home don’t want to return to the office, while only four in 10 (39%) say they don’t want to work from home when the coronavirus crisis is over. Facebook, Reach PLC and Dropbox are among the companies which have decided to make working from home the default for most of their employees after COVID. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, like me, some workers are reluctant to go back to normal. Twenty-three-year-old Amina is one of them. Amina moved to Ipswich before the pandemic to work as a software engineer and was relieved when she was told she could start working from home. “The constant battle between trying to figure out how to fit in without compromising what makes you who you are was exhausting,” she says. “Not only was I happy saving so much on travel but I also realised how much of a morning person I’ve always been and how much travelling into work disrupted that.” She continues: “I could run all my errands in the house before my 9am stand-up sessions with the team. I wasn’t getting punished for taking a nap during my lunch break. And although there were days I was at my desk for longer, at least I didn’t have the dreaded feeling of waiting for the next bus in a packed environment — and my bed was seconds away.” Amina adds that had it not been for the shift to working from home, she wouldn’t have realised how much she was being exploited as the only Black woman on her team, which led to her deciding to put her wellbeing first and quitting her previous job. London-based Ella, 23, previously worked in corporate events. She recently returned to the office but hasn’t been enjoying it. “I feel like you have to make your conversations personal with colleagues, such as discussing relationships and holidays,” she tells R29. “It feels toxic because I have boundaries and don’t really want to do things like this. One time in the office I was asked what my dating preferences were, which felt way too personal.” Ella also has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which makes office culture even more daunting for her. “It means I process information much longer than the average person and struggle to make conversation with new people,” she explains. “At home, I see that I focus better by being within my own space with my ‘walls of inspiration’. I’m able to close my eyes and refocus on a task if need be. Being in my room and at my desk feels better to do work as I get to just be my full happy self, without pushing myself to make awkward conversation.” Thirty-year-old Jennifer is also neurodivergent (dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD) and has always felt pressure to explain the intersectionalities of her identity to her colleagues. Previously based in Belfast, working for a major telecommunications company as a devOps big data engineer, she was constantly reminded that she was different. “I always found myself teaching my colleagues about my struggles and the lessons they can take from it,” she says. “At first, it felt like advocacy and making a difference but eventually, it became mentally exhausting,” Jennifer explains. Even lunchtimes in the canteen became something she dreaded because she’d get stared at. “It was a combination of curiosity and uncertainty on how to communicate with me as a Black person,” she adds. “I eventually stopped eating in the canteen on my own and would instead eat out, eat at my desk with headphones on or just find a room that wasn’t being used so I could avoid the uncomfortable attention.” She has now moved to London, working for a new company completely remotely, and feels safe, comfortable and able to bring her full self to work. Tasha Bailey, an accredited psychotherapist and member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, explains that Black women being torn between authenticity and assimilating is very common. “Cultural assimilation in the workplace is when someone has to adopt the dominant culture to resemble everyone else,” she explains. “It can be an implicit or explicit process of erasing cultural differences and intersections as a way of centring whiteness.” It can have a detrimental psychological impact too, leading to feelings of anxiety and imposter syndrome. Tasha argues that on the whole, the ‘end’ of office culture is a good thing. “Working from home allows individuals to have space from the social context of work,” she continues. “There might be less social obligations, less microaggressions and more capacity to be yourself. For many BIPOC cultures, work life and personal life are separate. And a level of protectiveness over their professional selves is often necessary due to the levels of institutionalised racism they have to battle.” To build a more inclusive culture for Black women, Tasha suggests workplaces look at their stats regarding not only diversity but retainment too. She also warns that workplaces should be open to receiving some difficult feedback, without ego or defences getting in the way. For Black women navigating the workplace, she suggests reading Sophie Williams’ Millennial Black and Anti-Racist Ally for advice and support. But ultimately, Tasha emphasises that the onus should be placed not on employees but on workplaces. “This is not a tick box exercise but something which requires constant reviews and relearning,” she adds. “Stick by the objectives that you have set to make the office more inclusive, and keep working on them.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?I'm A Black Beauty Founder Fighting COVID & RacismWorking With Black Women Makes Me More SuccessfulBlack & Brown Women Are Reviving Tarot & Astrology

  • Your Horoscope This Week: May 9, 2021

    No matter what the weather on your side of the world, the second week of May is sure to be a reprieve in an otherwise stormy season. The new moon in Taurus on the 11th cups the dark waters of April’s full moon in Scorpio and transforms them with a bright sliver of possibility. This lunation is uninterested in complications and determined to find pleasure wherever pleasure is on offer. Pleasure, here, can be as hedonistic as a night-in with a new date and an array of libations. Or, it can be the simple relief of carving out time and space to direct all your attention toward an activity that gives you a sense of purpose. Jupiter shifts into Pisces for the time being, encouraging the dreamers inside each and every one of us to rise up and claim more space in the mundane world. The air is buzzing with potential, bolstered by Saturn’s trine to Mercury on the 12th which is sure to usher in a great deal of clarity to all prospects and soften the Mercury retrograde shadow that starts to creep in on the 14th. The reins loosen and the ropes are allowed to hang slack, a gift of increased freedom and individual responsibility. Here, we are called to rely less on authorities who don’t always have our best interests in mind and temper ourselves for the sake of our communities. We are tasked with holding reverence for both our individual joy and our collective agreements. Aries Sun & Aries RisingIf you’ve gotten the sense that this coming week is a great time to work on building some foundations for your future ambitions, trust your intuition, because it is most certainly on the right track. The new moon in Taurus is here to help you break ground and move your plans steadily forward. If you find that acting on whatever opportunities arise is at odds with your more personal affairs, it might be time to change your perspective. What might appear in the form of a distraction or emotional obstacle can very well serve to enrich your understanding of what you’re planning. Everything occurs in relation to everything else. Anything can be a teacher if you’re open to learning.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoTaurus Sun & Taurus RisingSometimes, when one looks at an open field, it can be tempting to notice what’s missing from the scene rather than what’s available to us in the present moment. Longing for what’s past can feel like a sacred ritual, a way to underscore what something meant to us and to keep it close. But, by now you must know, dear Taurus, that there are other ways to hold something sacred — ways that recognise the life cycles of all living things, including the life of a relationship. What comes also goes, what had a story before us has a story after us. So this week, when you come upon a space of possibility, do your best to see what’s there that’s good and get it while you can.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoGemini Sun & Gemini RisingFor some people, a dry spell followed by a flood of information and correspondences can feel like chaotic weather. But, for Mercury-ruled magicians like yourself, new data means new tasks. Whether you’re simply digesting what comes through, or you’re responding in kind, this week is sure to fill you with a sense of purpose. With Mercury in your sign making a trine to Saturn on the 12th, there’s an optimistic and exciting nature to the responsibilities you take on at this. It’s a good week to make plans, to set things in stone, and trust that the commitments you make will not only serve you well but inspire the same level of commitment from others.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCancer Sun & Cancer RisingWhen people speak of shadow work, of personal excavation, they often speak of the heavy work. But learning to work with the wounded parts of ourselves and the magic medicine they hold isn’t restricted to retreat, crying jags, and processing. Sometimes, the best kind of healing is the kind that comes through play and experimentation. It should come as no surprise to you, Cancer, if the joy that’s available to you this week amplifies the edges of whatever darkness you nurture. Light defines shadows, throws them in your path. But, they’re just a part of the experience — they don’t have to diminish it. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLeo Sun & Leo RisingIt can feel good to have people depend on you, especially when their regard is the result of your steadfast support. That kind of faith can feel a lot like love, especially for someone who so rarely asks for help yourself. It’s important to recognise, dear Leo, the emotional toll of anticipating the needs of others. It’s important to remember that not all reliances are born of love and so, not all support can be received with grace and gratitude. This week, as the new moon lights up your 10th house, try to imagine what other roles you can play in your social networks, roles that highlight what you bring to the table rather than who you can be for someone else.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoVirgo Sun & Virgo RisingThis week’s new moon might arrive under the auspices of slow-and-steady Taurus, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the days ahead are bound to move at an energetic pace. Set your intentions, dear Virgo, and then get to work! Saturn in Aquarius trines Mercury in Gemini on May 12th and the aspect is sure to offer up a good amount of clarity on all kinds of pressing matters, especially ones having to do with making plans and coming to mutual agreements. The stabilising force of this aspect is a gift and, if you key into it, it’s sure to keep you on track through the upcoming Mercury retrograde.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLibra Sun & Libra RisingIt’s one thing to know that everyone processes big emotions differently and a whole other thing to relate to others with that knowledge in mind. When the events that elicit these big emotions are shared ones, it can be doubly hard to recognise that while two people can share an experience, they rarely experience it in the same way. Two realities are possible and intimacy can truly flourish when more than one reality is given validity. This week’s new moon in Taurus encourages you to facilitate space for your own emotional experience by gently parsing out what feels true for you right now, even if it’s not true for others. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoScorpio Sun & Scorpio RisingThis week’s new moon in Taurus is a moon concerned with your relationships. It’s a moon that invites you to share yourself and your resources with others. You are encouraged, Scorpio, to let your defences down, to show up fully and trust that you will be received. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially if keeping an emotional distance has felt like finding safe harbour in an otherwise tumultuous season. Try your best to remember that you are not the same person you were last year — very few people are — and therefore all attempts at connecting are new terrain. Sometimes old relationships deserve a new approach. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoSagittarius Sun & Sagittarius RisingWhile it's almost certainly true that work has been the major focus of this season for you, the new moon in Taurus offers you a feeling of discipline and determination around that work. if you’re open to shifting your perspective or — better yet — your methods, you’ll encounter a greater sense of your capabilities and your limitations. Believe it or not, understanding your relationship to time leads to a lot more free time. Saturn trine Mercury in Gemini the day following the new moon is an aspect that boosts general clarity around communication issues and, in your case, spreads the new moon’s strategic influence to your more intimate connections.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCapricorn Sun & Capricorn RisingKnowing what we want — what could or does bring us pleasure — is sometimes a far cry from knowing how to go about getting it. This week’s new moon in Taurus aims to show you a steady path toward what you desire and leaves it up to you to start down that path — to prioritise it. Saturn, your ruling planet, trines Mercury the day following the new moon and gives a purposeful, clarifying shine to the intentions you’ve set forth. New details and missing pieces are sure to come into focus if you’re ready to receive them. Work with the universe, Capricorn, since the universe has all but conspired to work for you.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoAquarius Sun & Aquarius RisingSometimes showing up for others means showing up for yourself first. The phrase “self care” feels like it’s everywhere, but, apparently, the more we use a phrase and the wider it spreads, the farther we get from knowing what it can mean for us. While internet infographics can help us parse between activities and rituals that pertain to our physical, mental, and spiritual health, so many of these options can stack up as one person’s pleasures and another person’s chores. One fool-proof way to figure out what you can do to help yourself feel cared for is simply asking yourself the question and allowing any answer — no matter how silly or mundane — to be valid. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoPisces Sun & Pisces RisingThis coming week holds a great deal of sweetness for mutable signs (Gemini, Pisces, Sagittarius, and Virgo) and Saturn’s trine to Mercury in Gemini is sure to help direct that sweetness toward a well-placed catchment system: a budding connection, cupped hands, an open mouth. It’s important to focus on where the honey flows and follow it there, Pisces — especially since other people's communications fail to lead you in the right direction. You know more than most that language is an imperfect tool and the directions of others rarely applies to the journey you’re on. Trust your inner compass; no matter what you settle on, you’ll find you’re far from lost.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseObsessed With Astrology? Thank TikTok — & COVIDHow Important Is Your Roommate's Zodiac Sign?

  • Venus In Gemini Marks The Actual Start Of Hot Girl Summer

    This image shows the visible yellow cloud tops of Venus, rather than the solid surface revealed by radar. Whether you’re looking forward to hot girl summer, shot girl summer, or just… summer, it’s safe to say that the vibes are high as we enter the warm-weather months. And on 8th May, Venus, the Planet of Love and Desire, enters chatty Gemini, amplifying the already fun and flirty energy straight through until 2nd June. Gemini is one of the free spirits of the zodiac. “This airy placement for romantic Venus focuses more on intellectualism and communication than anything else,” says Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck. During this transit, you’ll be more drawn to partners who can hold their own in a back-and-forth — meaning that if the words aren’t flowing, you’ll more than likely be going. This is a pretty significant theme throughout the transit, mostly because our social lives will be a top priority for us, according to Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com. But we’ll want novelty too. When Venus is in Gemini, “routine situations can be quite dull and boring, as are dogmatic, predictable people and routines,” Hale says. For the next few weeks, don’t fight the urge to try new things and meet new people. Make fun, adventurous plans with friends or invite someone out for a spontaneous date. If you’re already in a relationship, the transit tends to be pretty cerebral. “For couples, Venus in Gemini is all about mental stimulation, so sex becomes brainier,” Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com says. “A good debate or even a board game can be the perfect foreplay.” For single people, Venus in Gemini is a very flirtatious transit, though not the best time to take a relationship from “talking” to “official,” notes Montúfar. During this stretch, Venus will aspect Neptune, the Nodes of Destiny, and Saturn, Stardust points out. This means that “fated and past life connections will come our way, only to leave us perplexed as to which direction we should take,” she says. Montúfar adds that these placements tend to bring about serendipitous meetings, brand-new beginnings, and sudden endings, especially in your love life. On 21st, Venus in Gemini will form an opposition to Juno (which Montúfar calls the asteroid of commitment) in Sagittarius. “This is another aspect that spells splits and endings in relationships,” Montúfar warns. “With both Venus and Juno in freedom-seeking signs, it might be harder than ever to commit!” If you’re feeling on the fence about a certain potential love, or anything really, it’s totally okay to take your time making a decision right now. “In true Venus in Gemini style, think and talk it over many, many, many times,” Stardust says. Intellect is rewarded while Venus is in Gemini, so don’t feel rushed to make choices that could have a significant impact in your life. But for the most part, as far as transits go, this one is pretty fast-paced and exciting, promising a month that’s filled with adventures. So, embrace the flirty, freedom-loving energy and get ready to have some fun — you deserve it. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseObsessed With Astrology? Thank TikTok — & COVIDYour May Horoscope Is Here

  • I tried a new 'epigenetic' kit to see how fast I'm ageing – it was hard not to panic at the results

    Who hasn’t looked in the mirror this past year and wondered how fast they’re ageing? We all know that our faces can give away our worst excesses, but for those who dare to look deeper, recent advances are allowing scientists to measure our biological age with ever greater accuracy. The emerging science of epigenetics has unveiled how our lifestyles interact with our genes, affecting how fast we age, and our risk of diseases such as cancer or heart disease. Studies have shown that factors such as stress, diet, sleep, weight and whether we smoke can switch our genes on and off – and these effects can be passed on to your children and grandchildren too. Now tests are arriving which analyse epigenetic markers, which sit on the outside of a person’s genes and change over time, to estimate their speed of ageing. “Your epigenome is changing all the time and underpins most diseases and how we age”, says Dr James Brown, Head of Genomics at fitness supplement company Bio-Synergy. He gives the example of the BRCA genes – variations of which dramatically increase your risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer. “Just because you have a BRCA variation doesn’t mean you’ll get cancer – but epigenetics can turn it on, which can subsequently create breast cancer”, says Dr Brown. “If you have a heightened epigenetic age that’s a good barometer for how your health is: if you have a very high age it’s when, not if, you get ill.” Bio-Synergy offers a £219 test which analyses the epigenetic markers on genes related to memory, ageing, hearing and eyesight, as well as inflammation levels, and gives an overall “age” for each area after comparing your markers to a dataset of people of various ages. If both your chronological and biological age are 40, this means your epigenetic markers on ageing genes are similar to the typical 40-year-old in the dataset. I don’t smoke, eat far more fruit and vegetables than what’s recommended, exercise every day and (almost) always stick within the guidelines on drinking, so was intrigued but quietly confident when he offered me the chance to try it out. In the autumn of last year, I spat into a tube and sent off a sample of my genetic code. When the results arrived via an app on my phone in April, it was not the glowing report I was hoping for. While my chronological age is 26, my biology puts me at almost 30, with my eye age at 30.5 – meaning I may be more at risk of losing my sight as I get older. My “memory age”, at least, is a healthy 23.8, and my hearing is 24.5. The DNA results I get with the epigenetics (the test offers insights on dozens of metrics affecting your appetite, weight, heart, gut and bone health) give clues as to why that may be happening. According to the test, I have genes that make me more prone than the average person to suffer accelerated ageing caused by stress. I did feel like a year of lockdowns had aged me and now it seems I was probably right. Brown says I’ve actually got off lightly: he spoke to one woman whose biological age was estimated at 20 years ahead of her real age after a year of dealing with Covid as well as the illness of a loved one. It’s hard not to panic at the news I seem to be living “fast”, but how accurate can this test be? There are plenty of experts who are wary about the advent of home epigenetic testing kits, given that the science is still in its infancy. “I don’t think you should be very worried”, says Dr James Flanagan, a reader in epigenetics at Imperial College. He says a biological age that’s anywhere between four years above or below your chronological age is considered to be within the normal range. He is very wary of paying any attention to the epigenetic “ages” the test gives for memory, hearing or eyesight, given the lack of research on those areas so far, but says the test’s overall score for biological age may be worth thinking about if it comes out much higher than your real age. For example, if your epigenetics say that internally you’re 60, but according to the calendar you’re only 50, then your risk for cancer might be closer to that of a 60-year-old. “It’s not perfect but that’s the concept”, he says. Some research is showing that epigenetic testing has promise in predicting disease risk and longevity. A study by Columbia University and the University of Exeter used a blood test and other measurements such as waist-hip ratio to calculate the speed of ageing of a group of adults, all aged 38. Seven years later, those whose tests had suggested they were ageing the fastest all performed worse in tests of balance, co-ordination and cognition. But Dr Flanagan says we’re still learning exactly how our lifestyles interact with our genes: “While we know healthy eating and exercise correlate with healthy epigenetic ageing, we don’t know that they cause that.” The best evidence so far is on smoking, he says. The epigenomes of non-smokers are different to that of smokers, but once people give up the habit, it slowly returns to normal. “We can detect that you smoked 30 years ago [from your epigenetics] so it lasts a very long time,” says Flanagan. Other factors like diet and stress haven’t been studied in as much detail. While we can say that people who eat poorly tend to have higher epigenetic ages, there have not yet been trusted intervention studies on this – where someone has their epigenetics studied before and after taking up a healthy diet. This type of study would be crucial to prove that slower epigenetic ageing is caused by a better diet, says Flanagan. “It’s like horoscopes”, he says. “You can correlate as much as you want, but you need to prove it.” My results have nevertheless got me thinking about what I can do to bring down my epigenetic age. Brown says that as much as you can fast-forward it with a bad lifestyle, you can also rewind the clock by taking better care of yourself. Exercise is key, and you don’t need to do much of it: he recommends at minimum a 20-minute walk first thing in the morning, and another after you finish work in the evening. Anything that lowers your inflammation levels will help so he suggests tweaks to your diet. “Processed food is inflammation in a packet”, he says. “Eat fresh fruits, salads, vegetables and get Omega-3 in fish oil, krill oil or algae.” He adds that finding ways to reduce stress is also important – whether it’s meditation, exercise or enjoying hobbies. Poor sleep is strongly correlated with a poor biological age, and increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity apparently – which is bad news for me as a chronic insomniac. Animal studies have also shown that calorie restriction or intermittent fasting can slow ageing too. “Definitely reduce calorie content from processed foods”, Brown says, also advising to eating only between the hours of 10am and 7pm. Other than that, the usual health advice applies: papers on halting biological age suggest eating more fruit and vegetables, as well as fish, could help. The jury’s out on whether that’s worth £219 to know: “You don’t need a genetics test to tell you to exercise and eat vegetables”, says Flanagan. Would you try a £219 epigenetic test? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Your Weekly Horoscope: May 2, 2021

    The first week of May begins with an Aquarian quarter moon, an invitation to reflect on what, if anything, we’re ready to release as we follow the moon's glow through the dark and toward a new cycle. Mercury moves under the stars of Gemini by Monday, but not before it forms a square at 28° Taurus to Jupiter at 28° in Aquarius. The adage “rejection is protection” works well in this case, a reminder that sometimes you’ve got to hedge your bets until all the information is on the table — especially when it comes to making agreements that last a lot longer than they take to make. Meanwhile, the Sun in Taurus makes a square to Saturn in Aquarius, reminding us what everyone knows about our best-laid plans — their lack of a guaranteed outcome. But, life’s not all planning and plodding along. Venus, under the auspices of Taurus, makes a trine to Pluto on May 6th, a shadowy aspect that’s open to a little sexual tension, but will settle for some past-life revelations. By May 8th, Venus will leave the comfort of her home in Taurus for the play-space that is Gemini territory, but not before making a square to Jupiter while positioned at 29° Taurus. While we watch the stars and chart their weather, it’s important to remember that the world we’re a part of and constantly learning from creates its own constellations of meaning. In this world, India faces a devastating COVID outbreak and in this work, India needs our help. A masterdoc of grassroots and mutual aid efforts is available for those who understand that while the astrology practised in the UK and US is quite different from Hindu astrology, our knowledge of the stars and their meaning owes a great debt to Indian people.Aries Sun & Aries RisingThis week, as Ceres spends her last days under the stars of Aries and your long-time resident Chiron prepares to make a difficult aspect to Mars in Cancer, it would serve you well to assess what you’re available for emotionally rather than focusing only on logistics. It’s okay to cancel, to keep a calendar day open. When your attention is called away from home affairs and toward your wider community, it’s important to remember that while opportunities and invitations are fleeting, your priorities rely on your steadfast commitment to them. That’s what makes them priorities.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoTaurus Sun & Taurus RisingWhen the Sun beats on the Earth for long enough, what germinates below ground begins to surface. Attention, love, familiarity, and abundance are crucial to your wellbeing, but it’s not uncommon for the deeper and more difficult things to bubble up when you feel held and safe. The human psyche likes to wait for all conditions to be right. If this week finds you juggling opposing emotions or, rather, trying to figure out where those big feelings are coming from and what they mean, have heart. The clearest path to understanding something is simply allowing it to happen.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoGemini Sun & Gemini RisingWith your ruling planet, Mercury, moving under your stars this week, you’re likely to experience a boost in all things Mercury related. This is a great time to reach out, to make your concerns known, to express yourself, and make some firm fun plans for a future date. Just be mindful of where you put all that energy, dear Gemini. Venus’s transit into your sign come May 8th is sure to make you keenly aware that what you put out has a direct effect on what you get back — even if the relationship between the two is not entirely perceptible. Like attracts like, for better or worse.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCancer Sun & Cancer RisingThis week begins with an Aquarian quarter moon and if you’re looking for reasons to act a little unconventional, you’re in luck. Not that you ever really need a reason to let loose, what with Cancer’s reputation for being a bit of a clown. Life is silly, even when it’s hard — maybe especially when it’s hard. Why shouldn’t life’s most emotionally susceptible sign experience a little release? Take it where you can get it and get it while you can, especially if pleasure is in the picture. With the asteroid Psyche transiting Cancer, the hijinks are bound to lead to revelations.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLeo Sun & Leo RisingIf you want work, there’s work to be had this Taurus season. Not the mundane, endless-task kind of work, either. The kind that’s bound to change how you experience the world, how you plan to be a part of it. But, as Mercury and Venus shift from your house of profession and reputation into your house of friendship and good hopes, incoming invitations should come as no surprise. You don’t have to choose between spending time nurturing connections and strengthening your new position. Sharing what you’re passionate about with those you love is a power part of that work.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoVirgo Sun & Virgo RisingAs Mercury leaves Taurus and moves under the stars of Gemini, you’re likely to find yourself making some big moves of your own. If you’ve been good to yourself in the weeks past then you’ve taken time to reflect on the lessons you’ve learned so far and what it is you’re hoping to learn moving forward. These step-back strategies will serve you well in the week ahead, as you shift gears into drive. If you haven’t been good to yourself, it’s never too late. You are embarking on something incredibly important to you. The *why* of the matter is just as important as the how.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLibra Sun & Libra RisingAs a cardinal sign, you know well enough that life is full of cycles big and small. The big changes can be dramatic and sweeping but the small ones can be just as resonant, the undulations following a crashing wave. Venus, your ruling planet, shifts from Taurus to Gemini by this week’s end and you might find the transit beckoning you toward a different kind of presence. A loving and critical eye of appreciation for all that you have left to learn in your new environment. Until then, do your best to ask questions even when the answers seem implied — in fact, especially then.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoScorpio Sun & Scorpio RisingSince Taurus season can be especially taxing for Scorpio babes, it’s a great time to home in on the understanding that the shadowy parts of our emotional experiences are necessarily the places where great mysteries are kept. The word mystery, in this case, isn’t meant to summon the great detective in you. The great mysteries of sex and death and birth, are folded into our smaller ones. One such mystery reveals itself to those who learn to be better lovers by holding their solitude sacred. Do your best to turn toward the mystery, Scorpio, turn inward out of love rather than fear.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoSagittarius Sun & Sagittarius RisingIn communication with others, it’s imperative to leave space for the unknown. And, accounting for the unknown is not always limited to one side of an interaction, it’s not always within the realm of what’s false or what’s omitted. Rather, it’s about accepting that humans do a great job of missing what doesn’t fit their narrative or rejecting new information in favour of a story. In this way, humans can be fallible but, also, forgivable. Try your best to let the small stuff slide this week, Sagittarius. Save your emotional energy, your processing energy, for the relationships that replenish you.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCapricorn Sun & Capricorn RisingWith the asteroid Eros (in your first house of self) creating a flowing aspect to Uranus (in your 5th house of pleasure), which is applying its own flowing energy to the asteroid Vesta (in your 9th house of divination), it’s not a stretch to say that if the night belongs to lovers, then the night belongs to you. So claim it. Whether you’re reading this after a miraculous Beltane weekend or you’re relishing a solitary moment suffused with soft light and scented with ripe fruit, if you are moving against servitude and toward pleasure, then you are exactly where you should be. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoAquarius Sun & Aquarius RisingThis week opens with a quarter moon in Aquarius and two squares: between Mercury in Taurus and Jupiter in Aquarius and between the Sun in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius. Because both Saturn and Jupiter deal with boundaries and ongoing systems, their tense aspects to the Sun and Mercury can feel stymieing, even personal. It’s important to remind yourself that an obstacle can be both a nuisance and a form of protection. When you can’t move forward, turn around. There might be something crucial you’ve forgotten. Something you’ll need when the boundary gives way.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoPisces Sun & Pisces RisingIt can be difficult to remember that the roles we happily accepted once need not be the roles that keep on defining us. Despite the world’s ever-ongoing investment in making us pick a box and stick to it, the truth of who we are to ourselves and to each other is ever evolving. The evolution is not simply up to time or timelines, it can occur to us like a mount at the end of a long climb, or precipitously — all at once and dangerous with possibility. If it no longer fits, if it doesn’t feel right, there’s no shame in saying so. You get more than one chance to say who you are. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseCharge Your Vibrators: Venus Is In TaurusPluto Retrograde Will Bring Big Changes

  • Your May Horoscope Is Here, & These Are The Dates Your Dreams Could Come True

    Get ready to rock this May! Mercury enters Gemini on May 3, followed by the swift planet’s retrograde journey, which lasts from May 29 to June 22. Take stock of the communication shakeups and technological breakdowns that will begin during the pre-retrograde shadow on May 14, because it’ll be the story that we’re working with until Mercury leaves its post-retrograde (aka, Retroshade) zone on July 7. Romantic Venus moves into dualistic Gemini on May 8, offering up options when it comes to how we proceed in relationships and love. Then on May 11, the New Moon in Taurus gives us the chance to lead with the heart in all matters of our lives. Soon after, on May 13, expansive Jupiter enters Pisces, and will be in the mystical sign until July 28 (then again in late December, and on and off throughout 2022). Jupiter’s slow journey through the transcendental water sign will be a time to evolve our dreams and healing.The Sun enters Gemini on May 20, which means we’ll be more talkative and wanting to hang with others more than ever. Then Saturn begins it’s retrograde journey on May 23 in Aquarius. This period, which will last until October 11, is a time of deepening commitments, slowing down in life, and being kinder to ourselves. The total lunar eclipse (which also serves as the second Supermoon of 2021) in Sagittarius on May 26 ends the vision that we cultivated during the Sagittarius New Moon on November 26, 2019. Now’s the time to ask ourselves: What have we learned? How have we grown? The lunar eclipse is a rude awakening that’s meant to align us with our truest path in life. Stay tuned for major awakenings and changes.AriesNo one knows more than you that it’s never too late to align yourself with and commit to what you love. Being the one of the most passionate signs of the zodiac lends you the motivation to chase your dreams without hesitation. The caveat is that the New Moon in Taurus on May 11 and Jupiter’s planetary ingress into Pisces on May 13 will make you search your heart for inspiration. Don’t fret! Saturn’s retrograde journey that commences on May 23, followed by the total lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26 allow you to find your purpose and desires. They’ll just take a minute to come to fruition, due to Mercury’s seasonal retrograde that begins on May 29 and lasts until June 22.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoTaurusThe New Moon on May 11 aligns with your Sun and marks a fresh start for you. The good news (which will propel you forward throughout the month) is that Venus’s ingress into Gemini a few days before, on May 8, urges you to push yourself to the max and stand up for yourself. There will be some bumps while attaining greatness in your personal life and vigour this month, but your resourceful mind will help you to sort through them. As long as you don’t let your ego get in the way of making the best decisions for yourself, you can create the inner world you’ve dreamed of during Jupiter’s entrance into Pisces on May 13 and the total lunar eclipse on May 26, two majorly transformative transits.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoGeminiFor the first time in a long time, abundance is coming into your life full throttle (or maybe more so than ever). Your career goals will begin to flourish and take flight when expansive Jupiter enters Pisces on May 13. This amazing celestial energy will rev up the amount of opportunities that are headed to you. Use this time to your advantage by manifesting and drawing in the new part of your professional vision. With the right amount of charisma and inventiveness you can make such possibilities come to fruition during the lunar eclipse on May 26 and by revising your old professional plans during Mercury’s moonwalk from May 29 to June 22. The sky’s not the limit this month, Gemini. Dream bigger than before.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCancerLet’s get real about your goals. What do you want to bring into your life? If you’re feeling lost in the flow of the ocean, you’ll be able to make a long list of obtainable dreams during the New Moon in Taurus on May 11 and Jupiter’s movement into Pisces on May 13. You just need to have faith in yourself and trust the process, even when obstacles come in your peripheral vision during Saturn’s retrograde, which begins on May 23. Don’t let minor setbacks or the negative voices in your head keep you from success during May 26’s lunar eclipse and Mercury’s backstroke from May 29 to June 22. Believe in yourself, and others will begin to as well. Most importantly: Be gentle with yourself this spring, Cancer.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLeoThe direction of your career is transforming and reforming during the New Moon in Taurus on May 11. Allowing yourself to pursue new professional avenues and inventive ways to make money will not only boost your confidence, but also your bank account. Making sure that you’re receiving the income that you deserve when the Sun enters Gemini on May 20 and Saturn begins its retrograde journey on May 23 is key to allowing you to maintain a healthy relationship with your job. It’ll also give you the freedom to be more creative in the work that you do during the lunar eclipse on May 26. Diving deep into your desires and implementing your artistry into your career is going to help you to reach greater creative heights and professional fulfilment.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoVirgoIt is time to change with the times. Opening your mind up to a new philosophy when Venus moves into Gemini on May 8 and during the New Moon in Taurus on May 11 will broaden your perspective and give you the motivation to seek special ways of understanding yourself in relation to the world. This will get you into gear for Jupiter’s entrance into Pisces, which will make you willing to accept accountability for your actions, thereby lighting up the alliances and bonds you have with others. The lunar eclipse on May 26, followed by Mercury’s planetary retrograde that begins on May 29, will test the knowledge that’s recently been brought to you. Be aware: The energy is making you want to regress, instead of moving forward.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLibraTweaking situations and relationships will help to make them better when Venus enters Gemini on May 8 and during the Taurus New Moon which occurs on May 11. Be forewarned that this will take a lot of work, but is doable if you’re up for the challenge. Even the littlest things will seem emotionally hard in regards to evolution when Jupiter enters Pisces on May 13. The more you compromise and see the bigger scope of matters, the easier it’ll be to attain such sentiments during the lunar eclipse on May 26. Changing your reaction and perception of matters is key during Mercury’s retrograde journey from May 29 to June 22. The pursuit of happiness is obtainable and in your hands, if you move towards it.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoScorpioYour intimate relationships have been high and low for quite some time. Luckily, the New Moon in Taurus on May 11 gives you the chance to rebuild and start fresh with others. The only potential setback is that you may be unsure if you’re fully invested in working matters out for the long haul, which will be felt during Saturn’s retrograde, beginning on May 23. Cracks in the foundation of such partnerships will be exposed, and you’ll be likely to second-guess your feelings during the lunar eclipse on May 26. Knowing that you don’t have to commit to keeping the dynamic going will be helpful as Mercury begins his backward journey on May 29, allowing you to assess the future of these personal relationships.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoSagittariusYou may feel as though you’re not getting enough attention and appreciation from your friends on May 13 when Jupiter swims into Pisces. Your outgoing demeanour will become more reserved, urging you to take time away from others and reflect on relationships. The probability for conflicts with your crew will be high on May 26, when the lunar eclipse has you wanting to confront matters with them. Mercury’s planetary retrograde on May 29 will make you want to give others second chances — a courtesy you’ll extend to your friends, being the idealist that you are. But by the end of this transit on June 22, you’ll realise that you can’t forget the past — even though you can make amends with others. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCapricornConsider investing your time in a new hobby during the Taurus New Moon on May 11. This will give you the confidence to bring your innermost visions to life and let the world see your talents. As you enter Gemini Season on May 20, you’ll want to focus on your artistic interests and do research to see if you can make these projects a source of income. Committing to a passion project is a great way to distract you from the intense lunar eclipse on May 26. However, you’ll need to be conservative with the amount of money you pour into your newly found interest during Saturn’s planetary retrograde that begins on May 23 to ensure you don’t go in the red with this endeavour.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoAquariusRomance is in the air, urging you to level up a sweet flirtation or become closer with your significant other. This vibe will peak on May 20, when the Sun enters Gemini. During the New Moon in Taurus that occurs on May 11, you’ll manifest a deep connection with another, bringing you into the new astrological season on a high (especially during Saturn’s planetary moonwalk on May 23). As long as you’re able to create safe boundaries with yourself and others when Jupiter enters Pisces on May 13, then you can manifest an ideal partnership based on mutual respect. The caveat is that the lunar eclipse on May 26 and Mercury’s planetary moonwalk on May 29 will bring out unconditional sentiments in love.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoPiscesMay is an extremely busy month for you, so get ready to flap your fins and swim with enthusiasm — especially during the New Moon in Taurus on May 11 and when your planetary ruler, Jupiter, aligns with your Sun on May 13. All this action will begin to take its toll on your sensitive feelings, as you’re not giving yourself much time for R & R. Allow yourself a few moments to recharge when the Sun enters Gemini on May 20. And instead of doing everything on your to-do list with gusto during the lunar eclipse on May 26, try to complete at least half of your errands and tasks. This will give you time to reflect and relax on May 29, when Mercury retrograde commences.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Your 2021 Horoscope Is HereThis Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseAre Saturn Returns Real?

  • The Full Moon In Scorpio Offers Us The Gift Of Knowledge

    Sometimes it can feel like full moons are a gift the sky gives us. Not a tissue-paper gift, not porcelain and fragile with lightness, despite all the light we see. A full moon has energetic weight, and this full moon in Scorpio is no exception. A supermoon under the stars of a fixed water sign, the Scorpio full moon takes up all the energy in the room; it sits in the pit of your stomach, sending signals to your heart that there’s something amiss. It’s not a doom and gloom scenario — although Scorpios love a dash of both in an otherwise resplendent scene. Rather, it offers up the gift of knowing that there’s more to know, it reminds us of the burden of understanding that there’s an underside to everything. This Taurus season, a full moon in Scorpio gives us the chance to hold both collective grief — something that is not only personal, but also our collective inheritance — and the pleasure of being alive at the same time. In the northern hemisphere, thick and fleshy petals from magnolia trees flutter past lilac blooms, the earth pungent with renewal. In the southern hemisphere, the last of the harvest clings to the vines and birds begin their northern migration. One case is won, but another life is lost. What has died, returns, and what’s beloved is surrendered to time. Whether or not you have a personal faith practice, the influence of Taurus season is an influence of faith — that our efforts will survive us, that our love and devotion is a sacred offering, however brief. The opposition between the Taurus stellium and the Scorpio full moon creates a T-Square with Saturn in Aquarius. Saturn in Aquarius is an enduring influence, vested in big-picture thinking. Aquarian energy is not so different from that of the other three fixed signs. Aquarians carry the gravitas of Taurus, the emotional acuity of Scorpio, the magnanimity of Leos. But, they carry these attributes like currents, recognizing that the emotions and responses they stir up are impermanent. To make a lasting impact, Saturn in Aquarius strives to build a system that can respond to the winds of change, a system that rides them. While Taurus and Scorpio understand that all things change, they resent how often change occurs without warning, and without their expressed consent. Control is a fixed sign delusion, rooted in fear of loss. To overcome it, Scorpio and Taurus spend a great deal of energy resisting attachments and denying their own needs. While it’s true that attachments can be a fast track to sorrow, they’re also part of the human condition. We are creatures of habit and even the most ascetic amongst us will find themselves checking a nearby fire escape for the cat that lives there and flushing with pleasure when the familiar fuzzy face appears, languidly interested in her observer. Attachments are also, apparently, fast tracks to pleasure, to chemistry between good friends and the familiar scent of someone you loved once and still do. Under the full moon in Scorpio, we’re invited to locate the many attachments we are capable of, from the most dramatic to the mundane and routine. We’re encouraged to observe the many faces of those attachments, how they serve us when we enjoy them and how they teach about the life cycles of all things when we no longer can. A cherry tree is a feast for the eyes in April, but the fruit that follows the fall of her blossoms is a feast worthy of that loss. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseMercury Is In Taurus, So Take Things Really SlowYour Horoscope This Week: 25th April 2021

  • Pluto Retrograde Isn’t Like Mercury Retrograde — But It Will Bring Big Changes

    Computer generated rotation of the planet Pluto in cosmic stellar space. 3d rendering of an abstract background. Elements of this image are provided by NASA. Erase all the negative hang-ups you have about retrogrades. When used correctly, they can be a positive tool for growth — a change to reflect and move forward. Such is the case with Pluto retrograde. From 27th April to 6th October, the Planet of Destruction will enjoy a backwards dance in the ambitious sign of Capricorn. This isn’t an entirely new spot for Pluto; it’s been hanging out in the sign of the goat since 2008 — the year that gave us the first Twilight film and Barack Obama’s first term as president — and it’ll stay there until 2024. Pluto goes retrograde once a year, for around six months each time, so we’ve felt and survived the effects of this retrograde plenty of times before. Still, each retrograde has the potential to bring us new growth, so being prepared for can’t hurt. Until Mercury retrograde, which has a habit of making itself known through communication and tech mishaps, it’s common for Pluto retrogrades to go unnoticed, says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com. Despite the subtlety, Pluto still affects our lives, in very specific ways. “Pluto’s farness from Earth is representative of the areas of life that it rules: psychology, power, regeneration, and the subconscious mind,” says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com. “Basically, Pluto rules taboo topics that lie under the surface and that are hard to talk about.” When it retrogrades, we’re given the opportunity to review everything we’ve learned or experienced surrounding these subjects in the previous six months, while the planet was moving direct, Montúfar explains. “Unlike those retrogrades of the natal planets, Pluto’s take longer to manifest, but have more long-term effects,” she adds. Madi Murphy, astrologer and founder of The Cosmic Revolution, says that this transit asks us to look at where our power is being challenged. “Since Pluto is in Capricorn, we are dealing with matters specifically involving business, structure, patriarchal constructs, karma, and stability, both on the individual and collective level,” she explains. “Under Pluto’s influence, we are called to examine themes like our psyche, our subconscious selves, shadow work, and transformation.” Murphy says that we don’t call Pluto the Planet of Destruction for nothing — the planet loves to “implode anything that is inauthentic.” Luckily, this retrograde graces us with the energy to work on ourselves — which we’ll need, since we’ll be facing some pretty big (and sometimes difficult) truths about ourselves. Murphy says that this transit specifically asks us to be radically honest about where we need to take more accountability in our lives. “Pluto wants us to stand fully in the light of our truth by owning our deepest and darkest selves. You can use this transit for your personal empowerment by looking at the ways you self-sabotage or get in your own way and making small adjustments,” she says. “What are the things you do that hold you back from your spiritual evolution? When you face them and decide to make changes, you will become aware you have way more power than you realise.” One thing to keep in mind: This transit is often more about thinking than doing, says Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck. “Pluto is a planet that pushes us to evolve, but when retrograde there are delays in moving forward with necessary changes,” she says. “It just means that we’re slowing down the movement towards growth. Matters will be exposed, but the way in which we go to correct them won’t be as swift as usual.” The key here is patience. If you’re solution-oriented, it can be frustrating to see areas of your life that need work without feeling like you can fix them. But sometimes, we just have to sit with some information for a beat before taking action to course correct. Pluto retrograde is all about slow, transformational change. So now’s the time to ask yourself what in your life needs a refresh, and tackle it head on. The only thing you’ll regret doing during Pluto’s backwards dance is nothing at all. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseCharge Your Vibrators: Venus Is In TaurusMars In Cancer Is Bringing Out Our Inner Homebody

  • Your Horoscope This Week: 25th April 2021

    This week’s Pluto Retrograde begins on Tuesday April 27th at 26° and will end on October 26th at 24° Capricorn. This is a fairly long transit whose shadow period has already been in effect for some time. Pluto Retrogrades happen every year, lasting between five and seven months and, true to the themes Pluto represents, they encourage us to reflect on our own relationship to power. In this case, power is a manifold subject, one that invites conversations about death, debt, disease, and disability and what we strive to control in order to avoid the reality of those topics. Pluto is interested in our personal relationship to our mortality, but it’s also invested in the larger story of humanity, of viruses, of what dies and what comes from the decay. A full year after the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, April endures the Taurean way — methodical, determined, and invested in showing up as the best and most authentic version of itself. Against self-betrayal and against self-compromise, the consistent credo of Taurus’s fixed values are buoyed by the force of the Scorpio full moon on April 26th. Perfecting at 7° Scorpio right before Pluto’s apparent retrograde, the Scorpio full moon reminds us that our fear of losing control is the only thing we have control over; change is inevitable and so we might as well make our changes count. This is a great week to reflect on the ways our understanding of attachment and resources has changed. Ask yourself how your expectations of your loved ones have changed since April 25th of last year. Do you feel yourself being more generous with the human mistakes of others? Or do you find yourself numbing out when your intimate circles mirror the carelessness you witness in the wider world? Reflect on what you need to feel secure in your resources and your relationships since that time last year. In what ways do you create space for what you need, and in what ways do you de-prioritise what you need? Who does it serve?Aries Sun & Aries RisingThis week opens with Mars making a flowing trine to the full moon in Scorpio. Your ruling planet under the stars of Cancer, your fellow cardinal sign, is as bold as it ever is, but it’s also bolstered by Cancer’s intuitive knack for knowing the right approach to a difficult situation. Of course, to use your intuition you’ve got to turn down the white noise machine that is daily life and daily disputes, and tune into the quiet of what you know to be true in your big beautiful heart. It’s easy enough to get sucked into other people’s drama — especially when it beats dealing with your own — but you don’t have time to wade through someone else’s muck. You’ve got a home to run and a heart to mend. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoTaurus Sun & Taurus RisingBy Monday, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Uranus will all be under the stars of your sign and it’s not unlikely that you’ll be feeling the full effect of this stellium. A solar return is a potent time and the days around it are rich with self-reflection, especially for those sensitive to the moody full moon in Scorpio. Taurus, try your best to avoid being hard on yourself for decisions you’ve made in the past. Of course, it’s hard to go back on your own word, especially when it comes to promises you made to yourself. But, your famous loyalties should lie with the person you are in the present moment, not the person you imagined you’d be.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoGemini Sun & Gemini RisingWith the full moon in Scorpio in your house of maladies, it’s likely that you’ll be navigating some big feelings about your body and its capacity/capability this week. Some of us were raised to regard and respect our bodies, but most of us were taught to override what we feel in favour of what others want us to feel. This disjuncture between those two realities can hit heaviest in moments regarding sexual consent, but it can be felt in more mundane moments of self- betrayal as well, like being afraid to ask for a break or accommodation. Don’t let your past experiences keep you from advocating for yourself, and remember that sometimes saying something plainly is saying it best.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCancer Sun & Cancer RisingWith Mars in your sign this week, you should expect to feel a boost of your already burgeoning superpowers, which are not so much new as they are re-imagined — a bigger better crab-shell, more adept to the environment you inhabit now. This week opens with a big, sumptuous full moon in Scorpio, which forms a flowing aspect to Mars. It’s just like Sappho (allegedly) declared: What cannot be said, will be wept. For any other sign such a sentence would be startling, but you know that crying, if it happens, is just a wave moving through, and already gone. Crying can be proof of pleasure just as much as it can be evidence of pain. When the big feelings come, ride them to shore, Cancer. You are more than in your element, you are leading the way.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLeo Sun & Leo RisingWith the full moon in Scorpio opposing the Sun (and Uranus) in Taurus, it’s likely this week will bring up tensions between your commitments to the outer world and your sense of belonging and kinship. A stellium in Taurus is a great time to think about what your ambitions are and what purpose they serve in your life. How have you come by your aspirations? On your own, or through the projections of others? As Pluto retrogrades in your sixth house of service, reflect on the jobs you’ve left behind and bad habits you’ve kicked. Wasn’t there a driving force? You can tap into that force, that self-knowing, now. You don’t have to wait until the universe strong-arms you.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoVirgo Sun & Virgo RisingIt’s said that the 3rd house is the house of communications, rituals, roommates, and siblings. What these somewhat disparate topics have in common is the process of becoming known through daily exchanges. Traditionally, the moon finds joy in the 3rd house, so the full moon in Scorpio presiding over your 3d house is a joyful moon. Because Scorpio yearns to be known, because Scorpio is a sign that often feels misunderstood, the process of becoming known is both brilliant and anxiety-producing. Try to remember, dear Virgo, that sometimes stepping outside your official role enriches your relationship to it and to the people who support that role for you.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLibra Sun & Libra RisingWith Mars in Cancer making a trine to the full moon in Scorpio, you can move forward knowing that your gut instincts are correct and the odds are in your favour. This is especially true when it comes to figuring out the relationship between your self-expression and your resources. This isn’t about working harder and putting the pressure on, however, although it might be tempting to go about things the old way. But scarcity models and self-sacrifice just don’t have the same pay-off that they used to. This week is about reevaluating what you need to feel secure enough to put yourself out there in a way that feels true to who you are now, knowing what you know.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoScorpio Sun & Scorpio RisingTaurus season can make a Scorpio feel like it’s time to give ye old relationships a shake and see what falls off the tree. But, underneath the instinct to clear what’s rotten is a drive to see more clearly what remains true. To reconnect with and venerate the connections that feel genuine. It’s a drive that Venus in Taurus revels in. But, with the full moon in Scorpio this week and Pluto’s retrograde in your house of communications, you might consider taking a beat and breather before you say something you hardly mean. Dedicate alone time to the kid inside you, be their best friend first. Spring will last for a while and not all the blooms have shown their true colours yet. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoSagittarius Sun & Sagittarius RisingA stellium in your 6th house this week might have you feeling less like a bull in the heather and more like a bull in a tightly packed corral. April is often a busy month, especially in the northern hemisphere, as businesses and institutions file their papers for the spring quarter. But an animal is always an animal, nose to the grindstone or not. While some of your tasks are non-negotiable, it would serve you to purposefully schedule time against business and toward spaceness. Not a “break from” but a dedication to daydreaming and roaming. Honor the part of you that knows you were not born to simply produce things for others. You are the only one who can do this for you.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoCapricorn Sun & Capricorn RisingWith Venus, in the company of the Sun and Mercury, continuing to preside over your 5th house of pleasure and self-expression this week, you’ll be feeling the lovelight if you haven’t already. This is a great time to share what you’ve been working on with the world. Don’t worry about things being rough around the edges or imperfect; knowing you, the unfinished offerings you bear are the gold standard by anybody else’s account. Besides, it’s a necessary truth that what we put out there isn’t for everyone — and that’s a good thing. Our people find us by signals and signs that we put up. Your offerings aren’t simply contributions, they’re invitations. Illustration by Stefhany LozanoAquarius Sun & Aquarius RisingFull moon feelings are necessarily complicated for a sign that rules the waves. Spring tides can bring on big waves of emotion and the Scorpio full moon is all too good at making those emotions take up the entirety of one’s days. There’s nothing wrong with wading into the deep, little star, but it can be brutal on the immune system to stay there. If the waves rise up over your head and you find yourself tired of treading water, consider what small things can tether your back to the land. Imagine daily tasks and routines like a rope that remind you that your emotions are potent, but not ever-lasting. In the mundane world, ordinary magic can be a remedy if you reach for it.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoPisces Sun & Pisces RisingWhile Sagittarius is often credited with being the traveller of the Zodiac, your association with Jupiter grants you a passport to other worlds all your own. What’s important to remember is the hierarchies these mythologies gloss over, the relationship between the tourist and the native, between gods and supplicants. Saturn found joy in your 12th house, relief from the pressures of time, but this week it makes a square to both the moon and all the planets lining up in Taurus — a reminder that there's a world that demands your attention and haste. But, what’s widely known might not be enough to help you make necessary choices. Guidance is first and foremost internal, but overcoming your biases is no easy task; and yet, it is essential now.Illustration by Stefhany LozanoLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseMercury Is In Taurus, So Take Things Really SlowMars In Cancer Is Bringing Out Our Inner Homebody

  • Mars In Cancer Is Turning Us All Into HGTV Superfans

    Mars, computer illustration. After its transit through flirty and playful Gemini, Mars, which governs how we take action and go after our desires, is making its way over into emotional, loyal Cancer on 23rd April. This placement will put us on the defensive: We may feel more compelled to protect ourselves, protect others, and reach for things that truly make us feel safe. Fiery Mars isn’t actually super-comfortable in the sign of Cancer, where it resides until 11th June. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to Madi Murphy, astrologer and founder of The Cosmic Revolution. “Some say Mars has a difficult time in Cancer because Mars is all about fast-acting decision making and Cancer tends to be more nurturing, passive, and a total homebody. However, I disagree,” Murphy says. “While Mars may move slower as it wades through the Cancerian waters, we get to feel a different type of heat.” Mars in Cancer can bring up a kind of strong-willed, protective “mama bear energy,” Murphy says. As such, this transit often creates an opportunity to strengthen our connection with our family and our homes as a whole. We should channel these protective vibes inward first, and ensure our home base is in order. Take that advice figuratively and literally: Connect with your closest loved ones, but also clean out clutter so your space feels fresh, comfortable, and nourishing. We’ll want a peaceful space, because this isn’t the calmest transit. “Expect emotions and feelings to run higher than normal while Mars transits through Cancer. You may feel on top of the world one day, and then down in the dumps the next,” says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com. This is because the sign of Cancer is ruled by the moon, and “the moon changes signs and moods every 24 hours,” Hale points out. “Our energy and action will be attached to the lunar cycles during this period.” Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck, notes that this transit is a good time to practice asserting our needs and asking for what we need in order to feel secure. During this transit, “when we’re pushed outside of our comfort zones, we will act out,” she warns. “Passions will be momentary but will run deep when they’re felt.” That said, this isn’t a selfish energy — it’s just self-protective. One of Cancer’s primary traits is empathy and sensitivity, which can also make us vulnerable to a blow-up, adds Valerie Mesa, astrologer and daily love horoscope writer for Astrology.com. Our desire to keep ourselves safe can make us suppress or ignore our emotions, but that can lead to passive aggression or even outbursts. It’s important to let yourself feel your feelings during this transit, and find a safe way to release them. One suggestion: Take advantage of the domestic side of Cancer. Dive into those DIY home improvement projects you’ve been seeing on social media over the past year. “We suddenly have more energy for house repairs, family outings, intricate recipes, and more importantly, protecting our safe haven,” Mesa says. This sort of work can help you burn off some energy and think through any emotions that come up during this transit. Even if you’re not normally a homebody, Mars moving through Cancer may bring out that side of you. Sure, many of us have been hoping to get outside a little more right now, as the weather gets nicer and more people get fully vaccinated, but don’t fight your nesting instinct. Ensuring that you’re feeling protected and comfortable, especially at home, will pay huge dividends in your peace of mind. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Your Horoscope This Week: 18th April 2021This Taurus Season Is Going To Be Really IntenseMercury Is In Taurus, So Take Things Really Slow

  • My Secret Life Of Fantasy Online Window Shopping

    “I spend hours on Deliveroo and Uber Eats, putting things in my basket but not buying them,” Melissa* tells me, laughing intermittently as she speaks. “I might spend 10 minutes at Wahaca, hypothetically choosing a selection of tacos I’ll never eat and then move over to Whole Foods where I’ll do a food shop that I’ll never actually receive.” During the pandemic, with restaurants closed, virtual window shopping or fantasy shopping has become a favoured pastime for Melissa, who lives alone in a one-bedroom flat overlooking east London’s skyline. She has, she says, found true peace in an unexpected part of the internet: the bottomless baskets of her food delivery apps. “It’s weirdly soothing and methodical,” the 35-year-old digital executive muses. “I’m constructing imaginary meals and menus, looking at new products – it takes me away from the stress of work and coronavirus.” Melissa could afford to buy the food she’s browsing – she earns around £70k – but that would defeat the point. This is an exercise in the imaginary which soothes her anxieties about reality. For as long as there has been internet shopping, there has been virtual window shopping. Back in 2008, when user interfaces were still reasonably rudimentary, Amazon created windowshop.com. It was intended to allow users to browse the site’s bestselling products with previews. The New York Times raved about it. The experience was powered by a plug-in called Cooliris which The Times dubbed a “new immersive approach to Web navigation”. Of course, much of this is now incorporated into the experience of browsing any site, with videos of models walking down catwalks, high-res product photos and, often, a wish list function to help you collate items you cannot afford and/or will likely never purchase. Now, as with most things that happen on the internet, fantasy shopping – like dating – is just a digital version of something that people have always done offline. Window shopping has a surprisingly progressive history (well, as progressive as anything that speaks to the norms of consumer capitalism can ever be). In the 18th century, as Western countries industrialised and urbanised, people moved from rural communities to expanding towns and cities. Window shopping, promenading through arcades, emerged as a form of recreation or entertainment for the new middle class bourgeoisie that was created by emerging industrial economies which, in turn, created a demand for consumer goods. For middle and upper class women, it was one of the few activities deemed acceptable to be seen doing in public, allowing them to leave their homes. As stupid as it sounds, it makes me feel hopeful to think that, someday soon, maybe I will have an occasion and a reason to actually check out my basket.Rosie Over the last year, when we could not leave our homes, is it any wonder we built alternative realities by browsing shops from which we were suddenly cut off? Shopping might not seem like a key part of women’s liberation but our economic power is, in fact, tied to our (relatively recent) liberty. Like Melissa, 30-year-old Rosie, a fashion buyer from Cheshire who earns a slightly above-average salary of £31k, can’t stop fantasy shopping. She does it every day. “It’s usually clothes and jewellery I’ll never be able to afford,” she explains. “I set the price limit to something ridiculous – in the thousands – on high end sites just so I can imagine what life would be like if I had money.” As she ‘shops’ she explains that she can almost feel herself drift off. For her, this practice is a meditative daydream and it has ramped up during the pandemic. “I start saying to myself, I could wear that when we get to go to pubs again or When I get to book a holiday… Not only am I fantasy shopping,” she reflects, “I end up creating fantasy scenarios about when I’ll be able to wear the clothes I can never buy.” “As stupid as it sounds,” Rosie adds, sounding slightly embarrassed, “it makes me feel hopeful. It makes me think that, someday soon, maybe I will have an occasion and a reason to actually check out my basket.” I suppose you might also call this ‘manifesting‘. Melissa and Rosie might be slightly embarrassed about their behaviour but the truth is that they’re using online stores exactly as they’re intended. Dr Dianne Cyr is a professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. She has spent years conducting research concerning how companies can create online shopping experiences that result in a shopper’s trust, satisfaction and online loyalty. Online shopping, she says, is designed to play to our emotions. “We have found that it is important for e-tailers to pay attention to creating warm and social environments that create a psychological connection with the user,” she explains. “We call this ‘social presence’ and the online shopper will perceive the website as warm, personal, sociable. It creates a feeling of human contact.” This, she says, can be achieved by features like rich text which isn’t too formal, personalised greetings, videos of actual human beings and other appealing visual elements. Dianne notes that research she has previously worked on indicates that these ‘social presence’ elements of the online shopping experience are more important for women than men. Of course, she adds, it is even more important to the retailers themselves because it can “lead to enhanced trust, satisfaction, and e-loyalty – which results in greatly enhanced revenues for online retailers.” You might think that retailers would hate us for window shopping. It’s much easier to fill a basket online and abandon it than it is in a physical store. However, as online shopping has advanced, they’ve managed to turn it to their advantage. Window shopping is encouraged, says Dianne, because it fosters ‘e-loyalty’ and the hope is that you will return, one day, to your wish list and buy at least some of the items you fantasise over. Research on consumer happiness suggests that anticipation of the purchase increases happiness. Ann Fiore Another technical term for this is ‘hedonic consumption’. It refers to the multi-sensory and emotional arousal we experience while shopping. Fantasy plays a huge role in consumption; it is part of our emotional response to the products we view – we imagine them in relation to ourselves – and, says Ann Fiore, a professor specialising in hospitality at Iowa State University, companies are getting better and better at exploiting it online. “We call this telepresence,” Ann says. “It is feeling like one is in the physical store in the offline world even though you’re actually online. It is created by high quality simulated sensory information as well as the simulated ability to interact with the product by rotating images and watching videos of it.” You may have noticed some stores now including high quality photos on site of other customers or influencers wearing their clothes. I too engage in fantasy shopping and I am always particularly drawn to these. I’ll sometimes find that I have spent hours on Matches Fashion, curating outfits for weddings I haven’t been invited to because the fictitious proposals that would bring them into being haven’t actually happened yet. I come to and resolve to stop. But then I see that someone I admire has curated a wish list for the site and I’m off again. Before I know it, there’s a £4,000 Loewe coat in my basket. This is deliberate, Ann says. The more sensory information, the better. Telepresence, she adds, persuades us by encouraging the fantasy. “Research confirms that seeing oneself using a product in positive imagery increases the likelihood of purchasing it. The idea is that customers see themselves in scenarios using the product – such as fantasising about dancing in a new dress when out with friends after a yearlong period of social lockdown.” Before the pandemic, Ann says that “about 76% of online shopping baskets were abandoned in the UK.” Over the last year, she has read reports that suggest this practice has increased by around 10%. This, she concludes, should come as no surprise. While browsing shops can serve a very utilitarian function – we go to the kitchen section of John Lewis to assess the weight of a pan before buying it – it can also offer us a much-needed escape from reality. “Research on consumer happiness suggests that anticipation of the purchase increases happiness,” Ann says. “So the act of filling up a basket alone may foster anticipation and create happiness. During the Great Depression, people escaped reality through films with stars dressed in stunning wardrobes. As a consumer society, today’s option may be to escape reality by filling online baskets with our own fantasy wardrobes.” *Some names have been changed to protect identities Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Manifesting Money With Instagram InfluencersObsessed With Astrology? Thank TikTok — & COVIDI Think I've Forgotten How To Socialise

  • This Taurus Season, Things Are Going To Get Really Intense

    Today, the sun is moving into stable, dependable Taurus. The theme for this season is growth. And while the overall energy may be a big shift from what we experienced during fiery, impulsive Aries season, this month promises to be no less transformative. “The sun in Taurus is a time to become steady on our feet, get grounded, and turn our attention to more material concerns,” says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com. “This represents the second sign of spring when the seed begins to grow, and our new beginnings from the previous month should start to show some growth.” This season will bring sensuality, creativity, and inflexibility to our lives, according to astrologer Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck — and good things are about to happen. “We will deal with matters in a more stubborn and inflexible way, which will help bring us towards our dreams,” Stardust says. “The upside to this transit is that we will not veer from our innate artistry and visions. This means that we’ll be more creative and driven towards what we want to give to the world on our terms.” Taurus is all about prioritizing what you want — so be a little selfish this month. The season of the Bull is all about taking action and being productive, which is a welcome vibe switch from impulsive and wildly creative Aries season. Madi Murphy, astrologer and founder of The Cosmic Revolution, says that now is all about enjoying the process. “During this time, we all have permission to take our time and bring a little bit more mindfulness to our magic,” she says. “Taurus also prefers quality over quantity, so it may be time to do some editing of any projects that don’t totally light you up. Strength and concentration are the superpowers available to you right now.” You heard her: As much as possible, de-prioritise all of the tasks on your to-do list that don’t speak to your soul or spark your creative fire. That way, you can focus on completing the things that really matter to you — and you’ll be more likely to knock those tasks out of the park too. While things will move along a bit more lackadaisically compared to when we’re in Aries season, this particular Taurus season is more charged up than usual. “This Taurus season is set to be a wild ride,” says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com. “During this time, both the sun and Mercury will be forming intense connections with Uranus and Black Moon Lilith in Taurus, as well as Saturn in Aquarius, bringing surprises, obstacles, and endings.” Montúfar says that this intensity will be especially noticeable during the 26th April 26 Super Full Moon in Scorpio — so mark your calendars, because it “will bring an important situation to a climax,” she notes. The major thing to watch out for this month is stubbornness: Be aware of getting in your own way. “The shadow side of Taurus can keep us digging our heels into our comfort zones, old habits, or our opinions of the ‘right way’ to do things,” warns Murphy. “Releasing control over the small details is a tip that will go a long way when we are working with Taurean energy.” If you work on striking that balance, Taurus season will be yours for the taking. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Mercury Is In Taurus, So Take Things Really SlowCharge Your Vibrators: Venus Is In TaurusYour Horoscope This Week: 18th April 2021