Venus, planet of love, beauty, and care, moves through the final degrees of Sagittarius this week, and on Sunday it enters Capricorn. You might begin feeling more careful and reserved with your affections; you might start feeling hungry for connections that are solid and supportive and true. What kind of care are you giving, and what kind of care do you need?
It can seem, sometimes, like it’s much easier for other people to see your courage than your fear, so much easier for them to respond to your boldness than to your uncertainties. Not being seen completely can be such a lonely feeling, but it’s important not to imagine that this loneliness is the only feeling there is. You don’t have to let your bad feelings expand and expand forever, in the hopes that someone will finally see them. You don’t have to pretend they don’t exist, either. It’s not easy to be your own compass, your own map, but you can do it for now, and you can know that you won’t be lonely forever.
This might be one of those weeks where you feel yourself fully in the middle of things, without either the thrill of a beginning or the satisfaction of an end. This might be one of those weeks where you look around yourself and can see nothing but the unending present. It can be an unpleasant feeling, sometimes — but if you let yourself breathe, it can feel like a gift, too. You’re working toward a resolution, and you’re seeking out answers, and you’re still in motion, and that might be enough. You don’t have to predict the entire future, or know where it’s all leading yet.
This week, if you need to, give yourself permission not to be cheerful, not to be lively, not to squeeze optimism out of every strange piece of news you receive. If optimism starts feeling a little tyrannical this week, you can slip right out of its grasp. This isn’t the same thing as giving up, or as giving yourself over to despair. You can keep living and trying and searching, even without a smile on your face. You don’t need to shine with a constant brightness. The people around you will keep loving you, anyway.
It’s important to remember that there are things other than work, other than productivity, other than success in the eyes of the world. You’ve always known this, but still it’s easy to lose sight of this fact. This week, take a moment to remember what else you care about, to remember how else you could live. There’s value in dreaming, and in the skills that will never make you any money. There’s value in the way you care for other people, in the long slow days doing nothing else but this.
So much of the time, your energy burns hot, but that heat isn’t the only thing that makes you who you are. Sometimes your intensity announces itself with a shout, with a song, with the wave of a flag, but that’s not the only way to be present and alive. Don’t expect your anger always look the same way, or your love for the world always to give off the same kind of light. Your vision can grow cooler and clearer, and your moods can sometimes just shift. Even your own body can change; you don’t have to try to stay the same forever.
Sometimes, avoidance can be a survival tactic, but this week, try your best not to avoid anything — not hard work, not challenging questions, not difficult feelings. Some of these will be more difficult than others. Sometimes, your work will distract you from your feelings, and sometimes your feelings will distract you from the work, and that’s okay. Just try to notice, and then balance yourself again. This week, you can greet your own life with a solid, shining honesty. You can greet the future with a powerful courage.
If you pay careful attention this week, you can experience glimpses of something outside yourself, bigger than yourself, deep and vast and rhythmic. It might feel like you could almost — if you just reached out — find a way to make the whole world make sense. It might feel like you could almost — if you just tried a little harder — find a key to everything. This is a week for seeking and reaching and thinking imaginatively. You won’t find a solution to all the world’s mysteries, but you might feel a surprise, a connection, a life-giving spark.
Whatever else is going on this week — stress or joy or chaos — it’s important to remember how to access your softness, too. It’s important to remember how to be soft with other people, and how to regard your own self with kindness and generosity. Your mind is hard and brilliant as a diamond, and it’s easy to start believing that hard brilliance is the only good thing about you. But it’s not, and you haven’t hardened into your final form. You can still be soft and uncertain and completely alive.
This is a week for writing your thoughts down, or writing your dreams down, or making note of the little daily things that happen. It’s not that you need to record it all for all of history, just that it might be useful to you if you start feeling disconnected from the world you live in. Writing things down makes it harder to forget that you’re even real, that your feelings really happened, that you lived and moved and were here. It’s a way of proving to yourself that you’re still connected to your mind, or to language, or to other people.
In a world as violent as ours, it’s so easy to become convinced that dreaming is an irredeemable luxury, that anything but work is a shameful waste of time. But nobody can labor all the time. Nobody can stay single-mindedly focused on a goal without coming up for air once in a while. It’s crucial, this week, that you make time — even if it’s just a few moments, an evening, the length of your bus ride to work — to rest, time to breathe, time to relax all your muscles and let your thoughts wander, directionless and free.
There’s a tendency, sometimes, to imagine that you need to hold yourself apart from the world, separate and pure and unique in your wisdom. This week, though, don’t work to isolate yourself. You don’t have to focus so much on who you are, for you already are yourself, fully and completely, and nothing can contaminate that. Focus, instead, on your commitments, on what you’ll choose to do. In this changing world, how will you choose to live? In this dangerous world, who will you choose to protect? If it was up to you — and it is — what would you stop doing, and what would you start?
You’re so sensitive to the rhythms of the world, and to the dramas and emotions that weave through each day. So many different songs float through the night, up to your window; so many questions push and pull at your attention. This week, though, it might help to focus your attentions. You can keep your dreaminess and your openness, but you don’t have to dream in all directions at once. You don’t have to carry every last one of the world’s sorrows in your pocket. This week, think about who it is you’re really living for, and let that knowledge guide your actions.