from the moon to the emperor
exploring the magic between pisces and aries
hello friends, and welcome to a brand new astrological year! aries season and the beginning of spring here in the northern hemisphere so often feel rife with possibility, wonder, potential, joy, and excitement. and while there are a lot of difficult things happening in our world right now, i would invite you to make these few moments of reading an opportunity for calm, reflection, and anticipation. we can only hold so much stress, so much grief, so much pain. give yourself permission to let go of any tension in your body, to drink some water or tea (or whiskey, if you want - you deserve it), to do something kind for yourself.
it’s aries season. give yourself permission to keep dreaming.
from the moon to the emperor
when we think about pisces, we often think about sensitivity, empathy, healing. this final sign of the zodiac, mutable water, is dreamy and compassionate, caught up in fantasy and illusion, able to make space for things that aren’t completely sensible, aren’t totally explainable. pisces knows how to find these curious and beautiful things that are buried within us, understands the necessity of digging up those internal curiosities that can harm and heal. in recognizing our own innate wildness, in letting ourselves run free to explore and scream and feel, we discover new truths about ourselves, see the fullness of who we really are.
we are not just the image that we present to the world, are not just a facade of keeping everything together. being human is messy, complicated, beautiful, challenging, and just plain fucking weird sometimes. pisces makes space for all of that otherworldly questioning, for the wonder and awe and confusion that come up when we grapple with our own innate complexities. this is an energy of awareness, of holding more than we usually let ourselves hold. this is a different kind of truth.
because honestly: isn’t it exhausting trying to be perfect and palatable all of the time? isn’t it draining worrying about what other people think of us, of putting their opinions above our own authenticity? isn’t it frustrating to keep pretending everything is fine, when so many things are crumbling around us?
pisces and the moon don’t give a shit about respectability, about being proper, about civility. they want us to be authentic, to be real, to be honest. the moon wants us to quit letting fear stop our ambitions in their tracks, and instead to explore all that dwells within us, to stumble around in our own darkness until we find those strange jewels and hold them up to the moonlight. pisces doesn’t want us to hide what makes us special, weird, magical. this energy want us to dig out the broken bits inside of ourselves and see them for what they are: reminders of strength and power, of the ways we have survived, of the healing that has happened and is happening and will continue to happen.
the shift from aquarius to pisces can sometimes feel overwhelming, going from soaring through crisp air to diving straight down into the murky depths. but when we shift into aries season, and come to the beginning of a new cycle, it can be empowering, exciting, energizing. it’s a chance to take all that we’ve learned and apply it to our biggest dreams, our most powerful ambitions. aries in many ways is true idealism, the belief that we can always try again, start over, find a fresh beginning. this cardinal fire is determined, independent, ready and raring to go: giving us a chance to prove ourselves, to create something brand new, to make our mark on the world around us.
in other words, this is the moment that we start to make those big dreams actually come true.
we see this same passion, drive, and focus in the emperor, the birth card connected with aries. this archetype is associated with discipline, organization, setting limits for ourselves and our work, protecting our dreams and pushing towards a bright, defined future. and while the moon and the emperor don’t sit next to each other in the fool’s journey, looking at these cards side by side offers some beautiful food for thought.
one is the very picture of control, order, leadership, bright sunshine and clear skies, while the other is pure wildness, exploration, surrender to our most feral and untamed desires under the surreal, glowing moonlight. one creates boundaries, establishes and recognizes limits, while the other one smashes those restrictions to bits.
living under the moon may be dreamy and bizarre, wrapped in mystery and uncertainty — but in giving name to the unnamable, in running through the wilds of our subconscious, in untangling all that dwells in our shadows and hidden spaces, we discover aspects of ourselves that we don’t always acknowledge. and armed with this new knowledge of self, this sharp clarity, we can move into a new cycle with purpose, drive, intention. we can leap into action, can grab our dreams with both hands, can take control of our longings.
aries and the emperor aren’t here to put limits around our potential, aren’t trying to stifle or smother all of that creative wandering. instead they ask us: now that you know what you want, what are you going to do about it?
this is a chance to double down on your wildest, most expansive desires, to put your money where your mouth is, to commit to something that may have previously felt out of reach. what is your riskiest dream, your biggest fantasy, your most private longing? what would your life look like if you chased after what you wanted, instead of tucking that yearning away? what would being your most authentic self look like, and what is holding you back from pursuing that version of who you could be?
aries season isn’t just about control, boundaries, or setting limits: it’s also initiation energy, a spark on a powder keg, an invitation to throw caution to the wind and make real, concrete plans towards achieving what you want. how can you set yourself up for success? how can you get organized, gather resources, assemble a team, make a budget, and clarify a long-term vision? which daily systems and broader structures can help you protect your energy, your time, your focus, and how can you put restrictions into place that empower you rather than frustrate you?
(if you aren’t sure what this energy might look like, grab your tarot deck and pull out the emperor, as well as the minor arcana fours. these cards can help offer you more concrete, practical tips for creating boundaries, establishing movement, defining goals, and clarifying purpose. what does it mean to feed your fire, protect your mind, guard your heart, fortify your resources? what are you growing, and what are you defending?)
we don’t have to define success in the same way that capitalism does. we can decide what we want our legacies to be, can create new frameworks for prosperity, can determine our own metrics for wealth. we can make our own rules, and choose when to break them. we can thrive on our own terms, but this kind of triumph requires us to be real with ourselves about who we are, and who we want to be.
think about where you were in march of 2021. what were you dreaming of, that you’ve made reality? what were you working towards, that you’ve reached or even exceeded? what were you discovering about yourself, that you’ve dragged out into the light?
and over the past month, the past six months, what have you come to recognize within yourself, that is aching to get out?
aries wants us to stop denying our longings, to stop rationalizing away our dreams, and instead to light a fire under our own asses and go after everything that we want. don’t wait for permission, don’t worry about what everyone else might think, don’t put off your desires because you think there might be a better time or place or person to do the thing that you yourself are longing to do.
what do you want? and what are you willing to do to get it?
my queer tarotscopes for autostraddle won’t be going up until tomorrow, and will include more details on aries and the emperor as well as card readings for all twelve zodiac signs. i’ll be sharing a spread on this month’s theme with paid subscribers in a few days, and i’ve also just added a few new spread collections to my website.
lastly, keep your eyes peeled for a big announcement later this week - i’m going to be offering a free introductory session on tarot and numerology in a few weeks, and i hope you can make it!
have a beautiful and inspiring aries season, and a magical start to this new astrological year.
images from this post feature cards from the this might hurt tarot deck and the astrology oracle deck. all photographs by meg jones wall.