Friday is the winter solstice — the longest night of the year, but the start, finally, of Capricorn season. Here, all your wild dreams can become solid and real. Here, you can know what exactly it is that you’re working toward. Here, your courage is not just some bright ideal, but a tool you can use. On Saturday, a full moon in Cancer will ask you to honor not just your ambitions but your feelings, too. If a long-buried emotion comes back to light, let yourself feel it. You can trust what your body knows. Your love won’t lead you astray.
It’s easy to imagine that if the air isn’t shimmering around you, if you don’t feel the electric charge of impending danger, if your life isn’t constantly changing, then there’s no magic happening. This week, though, is for the magic doesn’t necessarily thrill you at first. This week is for returning to earth for a moment. It can feel, sometimes, as though any softness, any weakness, will destroy your spirit, will swallow you whole, but it won’t. It won’t kill you to lean into the quiet part of yourself that just wants comfort and familiarity and kindness.
The question you keep asking yourself is how you can be useful, but this is a more complicated question than it seems — there are so many other questions bound up in it. What does it mean to be of use in the world? What does it mean to use your time well? It’s easier to measure yourself by other people’s standards than to develop your own, but it won’t work. Don’t count on anyone else to have the answers you need right now; don’t rely on old and well-worn stories that were never written with you in mind.
You’ve been working so hard lately, and it might feel tremendously unfair that you haven’t seen the results yet, that you haven’t reached the faraway city you’ve been traveling toward, haven’t reached the point where it all clicks into place and becomes simple. Life requires so much from you, all the time, and after a point it can be hard to remember why. This is a week to keep going anyway, and to find sustenance where you can. Someday the future you need will get here, but for now there’s joy to be found in your relationships, and joy to be found in just doing the work.
Maybe you’ll feel driven to care for other people this week, to offer them every bit of love and goodness you have. But this is a week for accepting other people’s care, too. You’re good at living with other people’s tricky, prickly moods, but living with their kindness and generosity is another challenge altogether. It shouldn’t feel so difficult to accept something sweet, but it’s hard sometimes to feel worthy. It’s hard to be vulnerable enough to need someone else. This week, don’t be so focused on giving that you can’t accept the gifts that you’re offered in return.
Your love stretches so wide across the world; without any constraints, however, it can grow brittle and tired and thin. So you’ve become good at drawing boundaries for yourself, good at naming what you will and will not do, good at identifying the line where your body ends and the world begins. Even the clearest boundaries can slip and get muddy without maintenance, though, and this is a good week for strengthening them again. It’s a good week for naming the things in the world that are not acceptable to you, and also for gently retreating out of spaces where you don’t belong.
Sometimes, the best path forward is to work within the structures you’ve been given, but sometimes those structures are no longer useful. This is a week for remembering that you’re allowed to leave existing structures behind, and that doing so doesn’t mean you’re casting your vote for chaos. It doesn’t mean you’re giving up on order and rigor altogether. It’s possible to create new forms, new rules, new structures for living. Rebelling against this world doesn’t mean you’re rebelling against all worlds. Resisting a bad future doesn’t mean you see no future at all.
Sometimes, when you’re feeling a little low, it can start to feel like your whole outlook on the world just isn’t sharp enough, pointed enough, piercing enough. It can start to feel like your ranging, generous curiosity just isn’t the right tool for the job of living in these times. But the world doesn’t need another person to turn their generosity into sharpness and their love into an argument. You already have a good, clear mind, and you don’t have to transform or rewire it — you just have to use it well.
You aren’t the only person in the world with feelings like yours, though it can feel that way sometimes. You aren’t the only person in the world who is trying, who is seriously, courageously grappling with the depths of the world’s darkness. This week, be careful not to create a story for yourself where you’re the only real human left on earth. Loneliness is real, of course, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually all alone. You can choose isolation, but remember that solidarity is an option, too.
Even for you, so brave and alive, it can feel unbearably vulnerable to want big things for yourself. It’s easy enough to speak in generalities, easy enough to dream about broad good things, but envisioning the specific sweet life you really want can feel dangerous, as though you’re asking to be cursed, as though you’re inviting an avoidable kind of pain into your life. This week, don’t try to stop yourself from wanting everything you want. Don’t try to drive away the pain of loss before you’ve even given yourself the chance to desire, the chance to try, the chance to live.
Sometimes, it feels like the world requires a trade-off — you can have stability or motion, but only one. You can have success or you can have fun, but you have to pick. This week, you won’t have to choose between the things you need. You can find a steadiness that doesn’t require your mind to stagnate. You can be solid and true even while you keep turning and seeking. What could you do if your full, weird self had space to breathe? It’s a remarkable kind of gift, so do your best to use it.
Sometimes, it just feels like there’s no proper outlet for your best energy. It’s so golden, so blazing, so bright, it could carry you all the way to the moon if it just got the chance, but instead you’re stuck using it all just to survive, just to make it through each day. This week, the pressures of the world won’t miraculously melt away, but they might ease, just a little. Use this new space to remember how bright and curious you really are. Use this new space to imagine a life where your ranging, glowing mind can move again.
This is a week for resisting the dark gravitational pull of isolation, and for pushing back against your own thoughts when they lead you toward loneliness. The world will do some of this work for you, bringing people and possibilities into your life, but it’s your job to see the possibilities where they open up, to follow the shimmering lines that radiate outward from you. Sometimes, connection with other people is sudden and sublime and undeniable, but sometimes it’s something to nurture and something work toward, steadfast and brave.