It’s the last full week of the calendar year, and the moon is waning, traveling through Leo, Virgo, and Libra. Here, while the sun is in Capricorn, you can clearly see the world as it is, and you can plan for the days ahead. What have you accomplished this year, and what will you carry forward with you? Even if you can’t count on miracles, even if you can’t count on magic, what brave and faraway goals will you work toward anyway?
Maybe you’ve been waiting for everything around you to change with a snap, for the quiet darkness around you to arrange itself in a single instant into something magic and bright. This week, though, you’re still moving through the middle of things. It might feel like you’re not progressing quickly enough, but don’t let that make you afraid. This isn’t the time for the sudden, stunning leaps into the future, but for continuing to do the work in front of you, and to continuing to trust in what you’re doing, and for keeping to your steady, forward course.
Maybe it’s felt like your own powers have been no match for the crushing, violent world — like you’ve been a casualty of forces outside your control. If you’ve felt lost or if you’ve felt small, this is a week for taking some of your own power back, and for catching hold of your own life again. This doesn’t mean you have to repair every bad thing or rebuild the entire world, bending and shaping until it becomes bearable again. It just means that in your own small corner of the planet, your courage is more than a match for whatever you’ll face.
It can be easy to feel that your gifts are a poor match for this world, sometimes — like you’re equipped with the wrong tools, or like you’re trapped in the wrong city, the wrong time, the wrong planet. But just because it’s not pleasant here or not easy, that doesn’t mean the world doesn’t need you. This week, think about the bravest thing you’ve ever done, and remember that you could do it again. Think about the best dream you’ve ever dreamed, and let it inform the way you move. Nothing you’ve done has been wasted. You’re where you need to be.
This week, it might be useful to question some of your ideas about the world, and your assumptions about your own place in it. Sometimes, what feels like selfishness is really selfishness, but sometimes it’s a healthy regard for your own boundaries and worth. Sometimes, what feels like unbearable ambition is truly unbearable, but sometimes it’s really just a solid, unrelenting belief in your own right to have a future. It’s good, once in a while, to check in with yourself, or with the people who whose wisdom you trust, to make sure the world hasn’t convinced you to give up your best power.
This week, it might be easy to take other people’s wild unpredictability as a personal affront, as though their own messy selfhoods are in direct competition with yours. Most of the time, other people won’t do what you want them to, won’t live the way you wish they would, won’t speak the exact words you want to hear from them — and this is a week for remembering that’s okay. This is a week to be as generous as you can. Try to think about what you really need, and where you’re willing to be soft. Everyone is only trying to live, just like you are.
You’ve lived through so much just in order to be here right now, and the whole time, while you were surviving, you were also observing, witnessing, waiting. Wisdom has accumulated in your hair, in your bones, in the dreams you don’t remember in the morning, and you don’t always even know it’s there. This week, pay attention to the messages your body gives you. Your own past self has something to tell you, something that can make you braver, or something that can make the world easier to bear.
At first, when you start to notice your own undeniable presence in the world, it can be almost disturbing — like you’re stuck to the ground when you’d rather be pure energy, like you’re trapped in human form when you’d rather be an idea, a question, a mystery. You’re so good at balancing that it’s easy to start to believe that you’re the fulcrum around which everyone else pivots, but you’re not: you’re a part of the balance, too. You’re not a neutral observer in your own life, but an active force all your own.
Sometimes, it’s your desire that makes you most powerful; it sharpens your vision, lets you move through the world with a crisp and sparkling clarity. But sometimes your hunger stops being a tool, and starts instead to feel bottomless and blank. Sometimes your desire stops feeling like a light in the darkness, and starts instead to feel more like the darkness itself, deep enough to swallow you whole. It isn’t wrong to want so much, but this week, don’t focus on the ache in your heart, but rather on the power in your hands, on your feet on the ground.
Sometimes, the most joyful thing is to stretch your limbs, to find yourself in unfamiliar territory, to be on the move. Sometimes, though, better than all of that, is the feeling of returning home again. There’s nothing wrong with revisiting the places where you feel most like your old self. There’s nothing wrong with returning to the parts of your mind filled with the words and stories you already know best. Everything doesn’t have to be new all the time. There’s value in pushing forward and outward, but there’s no shame, either, in returning to spend time on solid ground.
There are times when it’s hard to find anything solid enough to hold; sometimes everything in the world feels light as air. Sometimes nothing feels like enough. And sometimes, even when you’re ready to move, the ground won’t hold steady beneath your feet. But this week, finally, the world might start communicating to you in your own language again. This week, the magic in the world will be just right to make you come alive. You don’t have to know everything, and you don’t have to have the whole future planned out, but there’s no better time to move, to try, to do your thing.
It can make the world seem more manageable when you can imagine a simple, straightforward connection between hard work and good results. But sometimes, your hard work leads to results in ways you can’t foresee, in ways you can’t necessarily understand even after the fact. It might seem brutal and discouraging, this week, if your hard work doesn’t lead directly and immediately where it should. But it’s important that you don’t let this discourage you, that you don’t let it stop you from trying. Sometimes the path is just longer than you can see when you first set out. And sometimes, kindness is offered before it’s been earned.
This is a week for sweeping away the cobwebs that have built up in your head, a week for clearing out some of the clutter that’s accumulated in your heart. You don’t have to love everyone in the world with an equal fire. You don’t have to meet every one of the world’s aching needs, or chase every last one of your own desires down long twisting streets. Sometimes there’s freedom in keeping your options open and dreaming of everything; this week, though, the freedom is in allowing yourself to make a choice, to say yes and to say no.