Star power

Tarotscopes that SLAY: Get your astrology read for filth (July 12-Aug 11 cycle)

Hi everyone. I’m Brandon and I’m your new queer Tarot reader and energy healer. My goal with this fresh-to-death monthly offering is to make esoteric wisdom accessible AF, so that you can use Tarot and Astrology to heal your heart and expand your life. Each New Moon I’ll be coming to you with Tarotscopes that will hopefully encourage you on your path with some specific messages for each sign. Above all, these are written to inspire and empower you!

You’re wondering WTF is a Tarotscope. I got you. It’s like a horoscope, but instead of tuning into just your Astrology (ie. the planets’ influence is on your life), I pull a Tarot card for each sign and through that lens we see what your moonth has in store. I say moonth, where do you think the word MONTH originated? Yeah, from the moon herself. Did I just blow your mind?

Think about it, our Gregorian calendar is totally arbitrary and an outdated holdover courtesy of the patriarchy, okur? Which is why I’ll be releasing these Tarotscopes in concert with the New Moon– so that we can start to become aware of what a natural cycle feels like.

Maybe you’re also wondering what the hell a New Moon is but you don’t want to seem basic; again, I got you. A New Moon, which happens thirteen times throughout the course of a year, is when the moon is wholly invisible to us. This happens because the Moon situates itself between the Sun and the Earth, her illuminated side facing away from us.

New Moons ask us to start over so that we can start better. Think of it as a mini New Year’s Eve that happens every moonth. It’s a great time to make resolutions, start up projects or simply forgive yourself and start anew.


Hey ya’ll, welcome to Cancer season, there will likely be tears. Kidding not kidding. Who is Cancer? She’s a water sign who feels most at home when she’s deep diving into her own emotional waters. Above all Cancers are nurturers, nesters and daydreamers. Which is a nice reminder, as there’s currently a 108 degree heatwave in LA and Mommy needs a break. You can feel Summer approaching her full power and I just want to get in a pool and THAT, sweet babies, is the paradox of Cancer Season. How can we balance our own fire and water (ie. our energy and our emotions) to allow for a safe passage through the Eclipse Season?

Yes, I said it’s Eclipse Season, but don’t panic. Summer is always Eclipse Season. There’s actually an Eclipse Season every six months because that’s how long it takes the Sun to pass from the south node to the north node, or vice versa. And people can get all in their feels about eclipses because they have the reputation of taking things away. Think about it, the moon blocks the sun and it’s as if you forgot to pay the electricity bill. Then suddenly all the lights flood back on. The energy of these celestial bodies eclipsing each other can, and often will, separate you from the things you no longer need. Last eclipse season I lost one of my jobs and the one before that I lost my therapist. But the truth is, it was time for both of those relationships to complete, and I’m far happier now with my new jobs and my new therapist!

This moonth demands you let go and, with Cancer energy in our midst, we will have no choice but to feel the weight of these releases. And while a new moon signifies a new beginning, oftentimes we have to get rid of some old shit before that new start can actually happen. Since Cancer also rules our home, our space of supreme nurturance, perhaps it would benefit you to clear out your house. Throw some junk away, re-organize your bathroom, dust the cobwebs from your meditation corner. If your physical space is clear and welcoming, it will be easier to nurture yourself, and these next few weeks will require a lot of self-nurturing. Stick to the basics: get enough rest, drink enough water, wear sunscreen, move your body, get outside, get a massage, get laid. If there was ever a time to double/triple/quadruple down on your self-care, this is it, honey!

Ok, lastly, I would be doing you a disservice, as your queerdo astrologer/tarot reader, if I didn’t tell you that Cancer is the sign in which the moon herself feels most at home. Think of Cancer as the moon, in the same way Leo is the sun (more on that next time, kitty cats). Therefore this is the biggest MOONTH of the year, so to speak, and your chance to honor the moon within you. Break open the floodgates of your heart. Let your emotions run wild. Dive deep into your subconscious, your hidden needs, your unspoken fears. There’s plenty of sunshine to dry your tears, and you’ll feel such relief having let yourself go.

This Summer is packed with potent astrology and I just can’t get into all of it here. Which is why my husband and I have launched our podcast, THE SPIRITUAL GAYZ.  He’s a brilliant astrologer, we’re both gay AF (clearly) and it’s our twice-monthly offering dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality, without pretending it all makes sense. Our first episode explored Jupiter’s transit through Scorpio and this latest episode, which drops tomorrow night, deep dives into this recent Mars retrograde and how it might impact you. Tune in and if you like what you hear (or even if you don’t) please rate us 5 stars! How do you find it? Easy! Click HERE!

Four of Wands

Before I get to your personalized Tarotscopes and read you for filth (I kid, I kid), I want to share the card I pulled for all of us this month. The Four of Wands is a really sweet card and I was very happy to see it. Real talk, I didn’t even pull it. This card literally jumped out of the deck while I was shuffling. So I did what any good Tarot reader does, and I accepted this jumper as our collective card for the moonth.

Four of Wands says keep going. She’s a cheerleader of sorts. She says: baby you got this, look how far you’ve come, don’t stop, you’re almost there, you can do it! And she keeps saying it, sweetly, gently. When I pull this card, it’s a reminder to trust the process I’ve set in motion. Even if I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have to have faith it’s there– and above all, I have to keep moving forward.

The funny thing about leveling up is that there’s always the most resistance right before you get there. If you want to expand, you have to break through the walls of your old boundaries and limitations. Breaking through can be profoundly uncomfortable, but if you keep expanding, you’ll eventually find relief. This card is a warning not to give into the resistance. Don’t stop. You’re being taken care of. There are many energies helping you on your journey so long as you continue to put one foot in front of the other.

I think this message is really important for us LGBTQIA+ folks right now in a rather unsettling world. We cannot, under any circumstances, stop our momentum. There is no going backwards. I know it can look bleak sometimes, these past few weeks have been especially annihilating and I want to take to my bed, too. But as long as we demand to be seen and heard, as long as we keep showing up as our true selves, we are going to be part of building this new world and WE WILL be supported. This is a card about trust, and there’s one thing I can always trust and THAT IS MY HEART. If you lead with your heart, you cannot go wrong.

At its essence, Four of Wands is one of those cards that remind us we have help. You have your ancestors, you have the Earth herself, you have hidden allies beyond measure. Do not give up. You are supported in so many ways. Even if it feels like you’ve been reduced to a snail’s pace, creep onwards, inch forwards, there is a victory JUST around the corner.

Below are personalized Tarotscopes for each sign.

Read your sun sign, and if you know your rising sign you can read that too.

Son of Cups

Hi, Cancer, you have every right to be all up in your emotional life right now. Most of the world is hell-bent on avoiding their emotions, but you are a wise little crab. And you know all the magic is in letting those feels wash over you. That having been said, maybe you’ve been doing a little too much bathing in your feels lately– maybe you’ve been willfully drowning in them. Too much navel gazing can leave us feeling isolated and lonely– and I know that’s not what you’re after. So here’s the invitation with this card: to observe your emotional reality without completely disappearing into it.

Do you see the cup of colors that sits entirely within the swan’s chest? That’s you, holding space for your own emotions. You are maturing into a self-sufficient human who can self-validate and self-soothe. This next cycle is going to assist you in bridging the gap between your inner landscape and the world at large. Consider that you are slowly coming up to the surface, but your anchor is still firmly planted in the depths of your experiences.

At its core, this card is encouraging you to keep moving forwards; this swan is on the move and so are you! You can’t let your sensitivity hold you back. Instead, let it drive you forwards. Even if you don’t know all the answers, even if you don’t feel all the way ready, keep moving. All of the Son cards (Knights in the traditional Tarot) are considered to be the movers and shakers of the deck. You are being asked to embody the swift grace of a swan. Can you take everything you’ve been feeling these past few weeks and use it as fuel to rocket yourself into your next upgrade? I think you can.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Ten of Wands (reversed)

Hi, spicy Leo. Did you notice that this is the exact same card you were faced with last moonth, reversal and errythang? So it looks like you’ve got yourself a stalker card. That’s what we in the Tarot biz call a card that just keeps popping up and won’t leave you alone. And that’s not a bad thing. It means you’re getting an extension. You just bought yourself some more time to let things figure themselves out. So take a deep breath, and try to relax into the current insanity of your lives. I say lives because I know you are spinning lot of plates right now– your work is more demanding than ever, your love life is fiesty and your social calendar is busy AF.

Everything I said to you last moonth is still true this moonth. In fact, I would encourage you to go back and read it again. Because you are still in Ten of Wands, you are still learning how to master your energy so you can take on bigger and better projects. But, I think the big piece of the puzzle here is to start asking for help. And you need to start looking at why you are so damn resistant to doing that. You cannot do this alone. Not because you aren’t clever, resourceful and shining– but because you are not supposed to this alone.

In the Tarot, the Nines represent a type of individual or personal completion. The Tens, as bridges to mastery, represent a collective or universal completion– ie. it isn’t just about you anymore (which I know is hard to hear for a Leo). But think about it this way: everyone you ask for help is now on your side. The more people you elicit to assist you on your way, the bigger the fan base you accumulate.

You are being challenged to invite your community into your struggle right now. Who do you know that gives great advice? Ask them for some. Who do you know that is a killer organizer? Reach out to them to help you re-organize your life. If you let someone else shine for a second, so you can re-charge your batteries, you’ll still get the credit for a job well done. And, at the very least, you’ll be gorgeous and well rested for your approaching birthday!

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Father of Cups (reversed)

Something really cool is happening in your world, Virgo. Our first Tarotscope together (back in May, remember that?) I pulled the Mother of Cups for you, inviting you into your deepest emotional and intuitive depths. Then last moonth I pulled the Son of Cups, which encouraged you stay attuned to your emotions but begin to surface, a dual awareness of your feelings and the world at large. And now, this cycle you are being invited into the Father of Cups, which will complete the journey. You just can’t plan this stuff, it’s the magic of Tarot. There’s a really profound transformation happening around your emotions and relationships right now and I’m stoked to be helping you navigate it.

Father of Cups is a badass. He has mined his own darkness, his own despair, and he has begun to heal it. Now he can hold space for others. What is holding space? It’s making yourself available to other people’s pain, the same way a therapist will allow you the room to talk and feel and explore your life. Let me be clear, I don’t mean taking on other people’s problems. Keep your boundaries firm, gurl. This cycle wants you to use some of what you’ve been learning in the past two moonths to help others. That doesn’t mean you’re required to have wise Yoda-like things to say. You can just be present, be open, be accessible to your community– you’ll be shocked that the wise Yoda-like things will come out of your mouth anyway.

Even in the midst of our own healing journeys, we can be tremendously impactful to others. Maybe you are still reeling from the past few moonths, but you are actually further along than you think. The appearance of this card reveals that you are ready to be an authority, to be a source of support for others. The fact that this card came in upside down, probably means you DOUBT if this is true. Well, trust me, it’s true. You’re ready. Because you have taken the time to be with yourself these past few cycles, you are now well prepared to step into a leadership role. So, step up, sweet Virgo. Be the drag mother, dance coach, therapist, you always wished you had. You’ll find that your own personal healing will increase as you lend your heart to healing others.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Mother of Pentacles (reversed)

Greetings, gentle Libra. This is a perfect card to accompany your journey through Cancer season because this card speaks to your ability to nurture yourself. The Mother of Pentacles asks us to embody the energy of a huge hug and hug ourselves ferociously. She combines the elements of Earth and Water, like a soothing mud bath or a detoxifying mud mask, you are in dire need of some grounding and clearing and deep soul caretaking. This is your time to take care of yourself, to self-soothe, and self-nourish. With the energy of this card in your corner, you are primed to receive it!

The appearance of this card signals a need to mother yourself. You are both the child and the parent. So I have to ask, have you been a good boy or a bad one? Have you been a helicopter mom or totally absent? See, we have so many people inside of us, and we have to care for them all. Maybe you’re really good at being the disciplinarian Dad, getting shit done, making rules, earning cold hard cash. But how is the little gay boy inside you doing? Is he being paid enough attention, too? These are the sorts of questions I want you to roll around in this cycle.

Since the card came in reversed, and reversals always have to do with you, I’m curious how you are resisting this internal call to care for yourself. Do you feel like you don’t deserve to be mothered? Or maybe it’s just that you’re so good at taking care of everyone else, you’ve forgotten how to tend to your own needs. That’s ok. Your needs will reveal themself to you quite quickly, so long as you’re not filling the space with other people and their needs and their feelings and problems and– you see where I’m going with this? It’s addicting to caretake others, and you’re hooked, honey. You have to learn how to give your best to yourself before you give it to everyone else!

Look, Libra, let’s get real. I love you, and I know you because I’m an air-sign just like you. You have to stop taking care of other people as a means of taking care of yourself. I know it feels good to care and nurture others, but it is keeping you from nurturing yourself. Stop putting other people first, stop caring about other’s opinions (especially their opinions OF YOU). For this cycle, give no fucks except for yourself. I know you could be the coolest mom in town, if only you’d give your gifts to yourself first.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Eight of Wands (reversed)

Look at this card, it’s electric. Can you see the lightning brining the whole wheel back to life? That’s the essence of this card: a resurrection. Something in your life which you thought was dead, or at least long ignored, is coming back. But not in a spooky way, like your psycho ex-boyfriend. More like a creative project you’ve had on the back burner suddenly re-ignites, more appealing than ever. Or this could be the time when your stale exercise routine suddenly catches fire. This next cycle is inviting you into a swift upgrade, but you have to be here for it.

Since the card came in reversed, and reversals always have to do with you, I’m curious how you are resisting this upgrade. What in your life is asking for resuscitation, and how are you ignoring the call? Maybe it’s a creative project that too many people rejected– well the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, so why have you given up on this dream? Maybe your creative project was ready, but the world wasn’t ready to receive it. Timing is everything, and this card is saying the time is NOW (RIGHT NOW) to get back on the horse and ride into the sunset.

For what it’s worth, here’s my intuitive hit for you, Scorpio. Wands speak to the realms within our lives that spark. This means sexuality, totally. This means creative work, absolutely. But Wands also rule over our spiritual lives. And I am feeling like this card is a HUGE invitation to get back into the river of Spirit– whatever that means for you. I mean, hell, you’re reading a Tarotscope for goddess’ sake, so clearly you have some inkling towards spirituality.

Here’s the deal, what you choose as your spiritual practice doesn’t really matter. All roads lead to enlightenment, you just have to pick one and stick with it. Maybe it’s time to revisit your cobweb covered meditation corner, or unroll your dusty yoga mat. Maybe it’s getting out into nature and communing with the spirits of the land. Whatever it is, it’s important you start to feel connected to a larger purpose and plan. Eight of Wands is going to help you find that reconnection, but you have to follow the breadcrumbs.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Mother of Cups (reversed)

I’m so excited to have this little heart to heart with you, Sag, because I love this card and I want you to love it too. Mother of Cups shows up when we are entering into mystery, stillness and silence. It invites us to embody an intuitive state, like a monk deep in meditation. But I can feel your resistance to it, because this invitation is not your usual habit. You like to move fast, dance, fly through life keeping everyone on their toes– and you should, that’s your true nature. But this card is asking you to explore your edges, to spread out where you usually hold back.

This cycle is a perfect time for you to take a deep dive into your own inner landscape– and then stay there. Mother of Cups is one of the deepest, most psychic, highly-attuned cards in the deck. She is visiting the dark womb of herself, the void, the place where words cannot enter. And in this place she gathers wisdom, power and deep knowing. I would wager that perhaps some of your psychic gifts are starting to reveal themselves to you– and I know sometimes that’s scary, sometimes it’s confusing as hell. But the more comfortable you can become in your own depths, the more you will have to give the world.

Here’s the deal, Truth Seekers: there is a lot to be learned from relationships, from the outside world, from travel and adventure. But the most potent truths will only reveal themselves from within. I think you would really benefit this moonth from slowing down, getting quiet and turning inwards. I’m not saying you have to clear your whole social calendar. But try to whittle it down some. Spending more time in your own company will bring you closer to this inner blooming.

Turn off the TV, put down your book and your phone and all your usual distractions and explore your own inner ocean. Swim around in your depths and just notice what you feel, what you sense. Don’t expect these deep dives to make sense, don’t expect to be able to talk about it– just allow yourself the experience. Let it wash over you. You are the truth you seek, and you are more magnificent than you realize.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Seven of Wands

Howdy, Capricorn, first of all, I just want you to know that if you haven’t been feeling like your most badass, boss-bitch, self lately, there’s a good reason for that. Cancer is your polar sign, meaning it’s directly opposite to you. So Cancer season can often be very challenging for Capricorns because you are literally swimming in the energy of everything you are not. There’s lots of sensitive, moody waters swirling around us, and you just want to get to work. Well, the good news is, you can. In fact, this card, the Seven of Wands, is the trailblazer card. But you may be the only one who is actually on the trail.

At its essence, this card encourages us to go it alone and against the odds. It makes so much sense that this card came through for you this moonth– because you’re still trying to make a big mark on the world, while everyone else is just trying to find a pool. So fine, let ‘em. Your job this cycle is to not let others get in your way. Some people may look at you with some side-eye when you tell them what you’re up to. Well, fuck ‘em. Some people may tell you what you’re trying to do isn’t possible. They’re wrong. You need to keep blazing that trail. And eventually everyone who said you were crazy, is gonna start buying what you’re selling– and wont that last laugh feel fantastic.

In my opinion, all of the Seven cards in the Tarot are spiritual cards. They challenge us to make sure we are approaching our life from a soul-centered place. And since Wands is the suit that rules the realm of spirit in our lives, this card really wants you double down on your soul’s purpose. Ask yourself, is this endeavor deeply connected to the unique purpose you have in the world? Or is it just a good business plan? You have to feel in the marrow of your bones that THIS is what you came here to do, this is the larger thing you can dedicate your life too. Once you feel that truth singing throughout your body, no amount of obstacles will derail your progress. Look at the image of this card, one wand illuminates every other wand around it. You are that wand, Capricorn, that light in the dark. So burn brightly and shine on.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Six of Cups

What up, kooky Aquarius? I’m really happy to deliver the news that we are in the Six of Cups this cycle. This is one of two cards in the deck that I feel a deep soul connection to because I am a healer and this card always invites us into deep healing. Remember, if Five cards are a necessary contraction, the Sixes are the expansion that follows. Six of Cups is an expansion of your own heart, and what could be more beautiful than that?

Just look at this card for a moment. You are this tree. And we know that the tallest trees have the deepest roots. Your roots are your history, Aquarius, your childhood, your upbringing. And your roots are the wounds that happened there. This cycle is an opportunity to strengthen your roots. How? By acknowledging where you are still hurt and opening up to the natural process of healing. You see, we heal backward so that we can grow forward. If you don’t enter into and clear your past, you will always be ruled by it. Our unhealed wounds are either the catalyst to own our authenticity or they are the hungry monster that never gets satiated.

Our bodies store everything that has ever happened to us. The good, the bad and the ugly. They store these experiences until we gently encourage our bodies to let them go. This can be uncomfortable for sure. But the good news is, the most painful piece of this experience is already over. The residual discomfort or sadness you experience as you revisit the trauma of your early years will pale in comparison to the relief you will feel having resolved it.

Allowing yourself to heal will open you up in new ways. Healing can be fun, too, it doesn’t have to be all therapy and ugly cries. Get creative with your healing. Take a stand-up comedy class and learn to laugh at your issues. Write songs about your shitty parents. Create a drag persona who can help you transform your agony into eleganza. That’s what I did and she’s gorgeous!

It can be shocking to realize how unhealed we are once we explore our wounds. Especially as LGBTQIA+ witches, we might be rattled to realize how hurt we really are. How profoundly our culture and society has failed us. But once we get to the root of our wounds, they no longer have any power over us. They actually become the gateway to our FREEDOM. And I want you to have that freedom so you can expand beyond your wildest dreams. If you are interested in exploring breathwork, reiki, energy healing or other non-traditional healing modalities, please reach out and let me help you on your journey of healing. This moonth is primed to be the profound shift and re-birth you’ve been waiting for.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

The Empress

If I had to choose my favorite card in the deck, this is it. The Empress is the divine mother, think Mother Nature, Gaia, Pachamama. She invites us into our sensuality and our passions. She coaxes our beauty and encourages luxury and abundance. She is the energy of deep maternal nurturing that helps us feel grounded and sovereign. Above all, she escorts us into our gorgeous femininity. Does that sound good to you, gentle Pisces? Because that’s who you get to work with this cycle. The Empress reminds us of our right to be here, our interconnectedness with all living things, and she demands that we get out into nature and experience her directly!

I think this card is so important for you, sensitive, psychic Pisces. Because you can spend so much time trapped in your head, swimming around in the invisible world, the Empress is the medicine you need to balance this out. The Empress says: be here now, feel the wind, smell the flowers, celebrate your body. She wants you to be present with the world of form and to lavish in it. This moonth would be a great time for you to get into the kitchen or the garden and get your hands dirty. It’s a great time to treat yourself to fancy dinners or top-notch produce. If you haven’t bought yourself something pretty in a while, treat yourself. The key word here is PLEASURE. Spoil yourself. Celebrate yourself. Life can be challenging and complicated. But there are always simple pleasures available to us.

Let me be clear, I’m not talking about superficiality. I’m not talking about frivolity. I’m talking about deeply nourishing self-care. I’m talking about giving yourself the best because you deserve the best. Yes, we are spiritual beings having a human experience– but for the time being, we are here, on this planet, in these bodies. So we might as well enjoy ourselves. We might as well taste all the flavors, seek out all the colors, drape ourselves in all the fabrics and decorate ourselves with all the jewels. Because I believe in beauty. I think it is of tremendous value. When we see beauty, whether it’s a sunset, a Lanvin gown or a really hot guy, it illuminates our own inner beauty. And that is the magic of the Empress, the powerful reminder that EXACTLY AS YOU ARE, RIGHT NOW, you are gorgeous, you are magnificent and you own everything.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Nine of Pentacles

Heyyy, feisty Aries, and welcome to success. This card here bodes well for your business and your bank account. Now I’m not saying you’re about to get Oprah rich, but there’s certainly some abundance coming through. At its purest, the Nine of Pentacles represents the self-sufficiency that allows for personal freedom. You are learning that you can rely on yourself, and that you can bring home your own damn bacon. It’s an energy of having all your needs met, maybe not in excess, but you have what you need. And if you’re not feeling that way, maybe you need to open your eyes and start counting your blessings.

In the Tarot, Nines represent a type of completion. The Nine of Pentacles asks us to look to our physical world for those satisfying endings. Maybe you’ve just completed a major project. Maybe you’ve just gotten a promotion. Maybe you quit your soul-sucking job and are exploring how to work for yourself. Whatever it is, make sure you celebrate your progress.

When we take responsibility for ourselves, we can do whatever we damn please. And that’s a very important thing for an Aries to feel. You need your freedom, you need your space, you need to be able to do things your way. Nine of Pentacles encourages you to create a life that will support you in this. So if you are sick of corporate jobs, stop accepting them. If you are tired of traveling so much for work, quit. Or maybe there’s a way you can change how you do your job without having to leave it. You see, you are in control. Maybe you’ve given your control away, for benefits, for status, or just because you were lazy. Well, zaddy, those days are over. You are the ruler of your own universe and this card suggests you are taking that responsibility seriously.

Look, adulting is not fun. To be all the way real, I hate it. But we do it because it affords us the freedom to live life on our own terms. If you’re not there yet, trust that the appearance of this card means you are on your way. You are building your independence brick by brick. And by the end of this moonth, I think you’re gonna be cashing some checks and feeling yourself in a major way.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Strength (reversed)

Strength is the card that visits us when we realize our ego has led us astray. The Chariot is the card that comes right before this, and it symbolizes a period of time when we have achieved success. We have status. Our ego’s are happy. And yet something in us is still unresolved. There’s a sneaking suspicion that what we were promised would make us happy, has somehow failed us. And so we turn to Strength to show us where our true selves are. Rachel Pollack, the brilliant scholar and high-priestess of the Tarot says, “Strength allows the inner passions to emerge, as the first step in going beyond the ego.”

When a card comes in upside down, it means that we are somehow reversed to receiving this energy. It doesn’t change the energy itself. So while the true nature of this card reveals that you are resilient, the appearence of Strength reversed would indicate that you are not feeling that way right now. So here’s what I want you to do: I want you to think back on challenges you’ve overcome in your life. And I want you to remember how strong you are. Not superficial strength, heart strength. You see this card marks a dramatic shift in a person’s life: no longer is the ego or the mind calling the shots. Strength appears when we are ready to live a heart-centered life.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, your ego is an asshole. You will never have enough cars, jewels or celebrity friends to satisfy it’s cravings. So abandon it. Let your heart, your lust for life, lead you forward. Muster up the courage to explore your deeper yearnings and reboot your resiliency. This is a cycle where the power dynamic within yourself is shifting; your sneaky weasel of a mind is abdicating the throne, and your heart is now the ruler of your life.

Maybe it would help you to start your day with a brief heart meditation. While you are still in bed, stack your hands on your heart center (south of your collar bones and north of your sternum) and breathe into what you feel. Just a few minutes will do. This simple act of reconnecting to your heart will allow you to be more in touch with it throughout the day. And that’s what Strength really is: acting from your heart, speaking from your heart and listening through your heart. And when you start to feel like life is testing you, you can sink back into your heart, let it remind you that YOU are resilient as fuck and you will be just fine.

***Schedule your own one-on-one with Brandon here and follow him on Instagram @thebrandonalter and on Twitter @thebrandonalter.***

Seven of Swords (reversed)

Happy New Moon charming Gemini. This is one of those cards where just looking at the picture will give you a good sense of what’s going here. There’s some deception at hand. Something is being hidden from you. And the culprit is you. You are the sneaky little fox. You are hiding a sword from yourself and that’s going to get in your way. And what are swords? They are the stories we tell ourselves, our thoughts, our habits. Clearly there is a resistance to accept all of yourself. And until we accept ourselves, we cannot change a fucking thing.

You see, the Seven of Swords is the card of self-deception. And I hate to be so harsh, because we are sign soulmates after all, but you gotta get real with yourself my love. You’ve been selling yourself a story about your life that just isn’t true and you gotta wake up to your bad habits. Look at the card again, six swords going in one direction, one hidden sword going in the other. That one hidden sword is going to unravel all the efforts of the six above. Is this sounding like your life? You have made huge progress, you’re working hard, but that one thing you don’t want to face is the gateway to your expansion. So face it already.

Now the deeper medicine of the card is that there is a spiritual nature to this crisis. All of the Sevens in the Tarot have to do with taking on a spiritual perspective. In this case, it’s looking at your mental realm through a spiritual lens. The invitation is to make sure you are actually walking your talk, practicing what you preach. Often this card shows up when people are resistant to being honest with themselves about their beliefs. Like all those rich white ladies in yoga pants who buy crystals and fancy themselves enlightened, but are actually just resting on privilege. It’s time to make sure your spiritual practice isn’t just a feel-good escape, but rather a furnace for your resiliency.

The good news (and I know you need it) is that this card is the bridge to integrity. By facing yourself fully, by telling the truth on yourself, you will become an example of righteousness in the world. And I think you’re actually going to have a pretty graceful experience of this because sometimes a reversed card just means you need it real bad. I think this card is upside down for you, clever Gemini, because you are so ready to get out of your own way. And this cycle is the perfect time to do just that.

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BRANDON ALTER is a queer healer, teacher and writer living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about sharing spiritual tools that actually work and helping others reconnect to the wisdom of their hearts.

Brandon’s mom took him to his very first psychic when he was seven, and since then he as devoted himself to the study of Tarot, Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Astrology and Shamanic Skills. Above all, he believes that a spiritual life should be FUN; if trauma hurts like hell (and it does), healing should be a pleasure to experience and behold.

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