Ask the Astro Poets is the monthly advice column by W's resident astrologers, Alex Dimitrov (Sagittarius) and Dorothea Lasky (Aries). At the halfway point of every month, they take a breather from writing poetry and horoscopes, and take your questions about love, career, even the big existential questions in life. From matchmaking and compatibility, to friendship, professional, and dating advice, the poets of the stars are here to guide you through any challenge:
Dear Astro Poets,
I’m a Virgo who has a lot of trouble with self-care. I fit many of the Virgo stereotypes. I work a lot, and I have infinite goals and lists to check off, but one thing I can’t get right is giving myself time to simply do nothing and relax. I know Capricorns are workhorses, but honestly, we give them a run for their money. I feel so much guilt when I’m not being useful, whether professionally or as a friend, and my obsession with productivity also hinders my ability to open up to friends at times. It’s almost crippling, and I don’t know what to do. Do you have any advice?
A Virgo Workaholic
Dear Virgo Workaholic,
Earth signs organize their lives around work, which gives them a very tangible sense of meaning. Whenever something bad happens—even when someone dies or a big life plan falls through—they keep working. This is how they get through trauma, and through daily minutia, too. Their investment in the material world is actually exemplary of their very real belief in it. Sure, they grapple with the existential like we all do, but they’re so focused on what they can actually control (or allow themselves to think they can)—their careers, relationships, their homes—that it grounds them enough to allow for the illusion of control over everything else. It’s a great trick in a way. That’s why earth signs are incredible business partners and, as you mentioned, attentive friends.
A Virgo is always going to take care of someone’s physical needs with urgency. But emotionally, it’s a little more difficult for them. They have a hard time opening up, even to themselves. One thing Virgos are always battling—and also thriving off of—is this idea that they’re superhuman. That somehow every task and need can be managed with enough preparation and foresight. This can be crippling, and if one small thing on the list goes unchecked, or not according to plan, they think the entire enterprise has fallen apart. At the end of the day, self-care has little to do with lists. It’s messy and it’s ongoing, and, most importantly, it's constantly changing. Sometimes a ritual or mode of pleasure just stops working. Virgos are not big fans of change. They often treat the self with the expectation that it will perform at maximum capability or at its best, however they remember that best to be.
What I want to tell you, because I’ve seen how difficult it can be with my Virgo friends, is to allow the people you care so deeply about, the people around you and the ones you yourself take care of, to see more of the mess and frustration you go through. That’s healing alone. I know this is hard because it’s a way of relinquishing control over that immaculate Virgo image, but let them really see you. Let them help, even if that doesn’t mean managing something or accomplishing a task. Listening, processing, surviving everyday chaos—these are all things Virgos need to find more tangible meaning in. They matter. Even when they don’t necessarily yield immediate "results" or "progress."
Burberry jacket; Y/Project top and trousers. Beauty note: Streamline skincare with Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation SPF 20. Photographed by Mario Sorrenti.
Almost every Virgo I know also loves taking care of plants, which obviously take care of us, too. Buy three or five or 15. Then invite all your fire and water sign friends over (air signs and Virgos—I don’t know about that) and have a long feelings sesh. I promise you that at the end of the day, we'll still see you as strong and accomplished and remain in utter awe of you.
Here’s my Virgo confession: I used to really resist you guys because I found you all a bit cold and calculating, but now I’m so into Virgos. You have a huge heart. Don’t forget that, and don't forget to let it also take care of you.
Your Sagittarius fan,
Dear Astro Poets,
I’m an Aquarius lady with a Sagittarius moon. Lately—or maybe whole my life, but I didn’t realize it until now—I’ve had a thing for Sagittarius men. I’ve had lots of first dates with them and they always go well. There’s so much passion, and I feel like our initial connection is invincible. Quickly, I fall madly in love with them. But no matter how good the date, the next morning, or even a few joy-filled weeks later, they they're just gone. I never hear from them again.
I know that an Aquarius is kind of a perfect match for a Sagittarius, but I just can’t make them stick around for too long. Am I doing something wrong? What should I do?
An Aquarius Stuck on Sagittarians
Oprah Winfrey, born January 29th. Photo by Juergen Teller for W Magazine.
Dear Lovely Aquarius,
Thank you for your question! I definitely feel your pain. I, too, have had lots of really fun first dates with Sagittarians, which had me certain that by the fourth hour of knowing each other, they'd just hurry up and propose… only to then get my heart crushed when I never heard from them again. I’ve also definitely had lots of “love at first sight” Sagittarian feelings. I remember meeting one for the first time in an airport; it felt like a Bunsen burner had been lit with 600 tons of gasoline as soon as I saw him from across the room.
With your Sagittarius moon, I can only imagine how madly in love you can feel for a really fun Sagittarius. Our moons are our first instincts and the parts of our personalities that we don’t show to everyone, but that we feel palpably, all of the time. That's why we become attracted to people who are the signs of our moons—sometimes uncontrollably. Your moon draws you to Sagittarians, without you even realizing it. It can be very hard to stop this force.
On top of that, you're an Aquarius, an air sign. Air and Fire signs are naturally drawn to each other, as they feed each other’s instincts. Aquarius and Sagittarius are trined, which means they have a strong foundation for friendship and extra compatibility. It’s very difficult for trined signs not to like each other; most enduring romantic relationships are either between signs of the same element or signs that are trined.
Vanessa Paradis and Samuel Benchetrit
Actress and eternal Chanel muse Vanessa Paradis tucked her ex Johnny Depp a bit further away into her past when she married the director Samuel Benchetrit in a small ceremony outside of Paris at the end of June. Their union turns out to have brought about one for her daughter Lily-Rose Depp and Benchetrit's son Jules Benchetrit, who's pretty much the Timothée Chalamet of France, too.
All things considered, it does make sense that you and a Sagittarius would have an easy chemistry and enjoy being together. The problem you outline—how to make a Sagittarius stick around past a couple of days––has to do with keeping them around to make this chemistry more of the lifelong variety. I must say that this problem has less to do with you being an Aquarius and more to do with a Sagittarius being a Sagittarius. It’s a bit astrologically cliché to say, but Sagittarians are about as anti-commitment as they come. They hold the ideal of free self-expression above almost all else, and they are known for not wanting to get tied down by too many things, if they can help it. I’m sure the Sagittarians you've dated have loved being with you, but it was in fact this joy that made them look for the quickest exit. They detest the idea of being trapped, and sometimes, too much of a good thing makes them feel this way. They're also brutally honest, so as soon as they feel the need to make their exit, they aren’t going to waste anyone’s time pretending or say more than necessary. After all, most of the time in these situations, the perfect thing to say is nothing.
As far as my advice goes, if you want to make a Sagittarius stay, you have to give them the feeling that they're absolutely free to leave at any moment they want to. You have to be careful, especially early on, not to mention anything that has to do with commitment or your plans for the future; if they get any idea that you're already picking out your wedding outfit, they'll freak out. You also have to be as independent as possible and not show that you need much from them. At the same time, though, you have to be a bit of a leader, which means being confident and a little bossy. Despite what they say to the contrary, Sagittarians, with their mutable natures, actually want you to call the shots in most situations.
I know this all sounds a bit confusing, but when you get one of those hot Sagittarians to stay past week three, I know you will think it's all worth it! Still, if you get sick of trying to convince one to stay, I might recommend that you call up that giggly Libra you met last week. That Libra might seem a little too aloof for you at first, but once they get to know you better, they'll be into your Aquarian energy and spicy moon, and in, forever. I bet you'll have a great time with one. Try it out! And most of all, good luck!
Yours in Fire and Air love,
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton
We should have known this year of unexpected commitment was coming after 2017 ended with Gwen Stefani telling Giada De Laurentiis that she and Blake Shelton—who became both People’s Sexiest Man Alive and her soulmate seemingly overnight—don’t actually talk to each other much. Instead, they prefer to “just sing like a musical, and everything we sing is like ‘I love you.’ It’s pretty much the whole time like how great we are.” That’s pretty much all they’ve been telling the media over the past year, too—even though they’ve been dating since late 2015. If they’re suddenly genuinely as lovestruck as they seem to be, then best wishes. We just can’t help but shake the idea that something must be off, though, since neither of them has ever once showed a single sign of reluctance when it comes to fawning over the other. Or exhaustion. Or, in fact, anything less than ecstatic enthusiasm. Which is in itself exhausting.
Related: Ask the Astro Poets: What Do I Do If I Fall in Love With an Incompatible Sign?
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