this is the stuff that goes on in most of my group chats

I’ve been thinking about this space, and writing. April was a hard, hard month. I’ve always appreciated being surrounded by April and May babies in my life, getting to experience the twin forces of Aries fire and luxurious and solid Taurus earth, but there’s been a lot of other people’s stuff these past weeks that’s made me feel unanchored from myself. I strayed from the power of these seasons by forgetting to celebrate myself. I sank deeper and deeper into just functioning and pitching in to hold up what felt too heavy and broken that somewhere in the work, I forgot myself.

I learned about North and South Nodes in an astrological chart recently, thanks to this column by Gala Mukomolova. “In your natal chart, the nodal placements represent the points that the moon crossed the Earth’s orbit around the sun. These points symbolize south and north nodes—where you’re coming from and where you need to go. Or, more particularly, the values and talents you accumulated in your previous life and the work of your soul in this life.” My North Node is in Pisces, which means my South Node is its opposing or sibling sign, Virgo. This is a simplistic explainer for what that means, but I’m baby so it was helpful: “People with Virgo and Pisces lunar nodes are constantly balancing fact versus fantasy, intuition versus logic. You can be a masterful manifestation magnet but also a micromanager seeking answers and explanations.” I especially love the sentence “At times, these nodes can go too far off the woo-woo deep end” because this newsletter is probably one piece of many in the enjoyable woo-woo deep end of my late 20s early 30s.

I’m known to be quite organized, which is one of the generalizations about Virgos. There’s a practicality to how I approach life that I’ve chalked up to my dad’s leading parenting ethos of raising us to know how to care for ourselves and care for ourselves well, no matter what happens (most relevant to my dad: his death). But it wasn’t something I could make sense of in my BIRTH CHART you guys. I’m all fire and water, strong will and feelings, wanting to lead, wanting to nurture. Where was this practical earth and pentacles energy coming from?? Why do I love lists so much and why do I get so much joy from packing and organizing mess?? Didn’t feel like I found that in my Aries Mars. I’m a birth chart amateur (I also recently read this article on how the internet is making learning astrology more accessible to the masses and how that means all of us are astrology amateurs now) and I’ve yet to have my chart read by someone more practiced and learned, so I feel like the “answers” are there and I just don’t know the language. But being able to anchor this part of myself to one small bit of earth in my chart felt important*, it felt as enlightening as when I first learned about moon and rising signs, that there was more than the narrow box of sun signs, and “being a Leo”.

Recently I also retook the Myers-Briggs test, and for the first time in years the quiz yielded a non-INFJ result. I spun out, I won’t lie. It was ridiculous and it was deeply serious. I couldn’t deal with my new type. It didn’t gel. I read the description distractedly, discounting every new sentence like I was spitting out seeds, and yet still reading as if the letters were going to rearrange themselves into something I knew and liked better. I told Cass and Dhany, because we usually talk about this stuff, I told Liy for the same reason. I freaked out, they retook the test too, THEIR results were different too, Dhany’s like wtf is this hippie bullshit (she famously does not have an F and is a strong T), Cass is like chill and being like okay I can see how mine makes sense, I’m like NO I HATE IT, I retook the test again and it was STILL the same different result but more ASSURED, Liy was like you’re the INFJ-iest INFJ I know, I reject this. I’m like, SAME.

Reader, the only thing that changed for my result was one letter. The N curved up into an S. I retook the test on another site that gave you the top 3 likeliest matches based on your answers (and would only release your ~true type~ if you paid for the premium whatever which lol never) and it gave me ENFJ and INFJ as very good matches, and the third option – a good match (no very) – was ISFJ. This I could accept better. One of a few options, okay sure. Some days I’m more S than N, and I liked that blurriness better, that movement along a spectrum (that revolved around my INFJ essence).

As you can see, some afternoons I have a little less to do than usual. I don’t know why I’m writing all this down or if it will make sense to you, but it was the story I felt like telling when I opened up the text editor. Sometimes you want new parts to your well-worn story so your fingers can touch something new, and sometimes the introduction of new texture chafes and pricks and itches. It was a little easier to read endless articles telling me about my personality based on charts and quizzes than it was sitting in the hollow room of myself trying to remember what I’m working towards. I’m waking up again, remembering the red amaranth seeds I’m growing in a DIY greenhouse on our back deck (an upturned clear plastic container), my birthday trip to Vietnam in August with my partner, the things I wrote down as my aspirations back in January, that there are new books I’d like to find time to read (and that I’ll add to Goodreads first in the meantime). That I’m promising myself again and again and again in this hard slog of a year to give things time, that the hard stuff is in the service of something worthwhile, that I am capable of making my present GOOD and not just bearable as I work towards a more open and promising and exciting future.

I’m being flung on two 14-hour journey (with layovers) for work next week, to a place where I’ll be lucky if the temperature breaches 20 degrees Celsius – boo, hiss. I am seeding joy in myself by preparing for it, and by giving myself the reward of being a tourist while I’m in a place I’ve been to before but don’t get to go to so often. Travelling long distances = afternoon at a museum on an off day. Handling logistics = buying a ticket to a movie I’d never get to see on a big screen at home. Being away from home and my comforts = consuming good food and drink ALONE and away from the people I work with (who are lovely and who I will see enough of at the end of this trip). Being COLD WHICH I HATE SO MUCH = all the complaining, which everyone must magnanimously put up with.

Thanks for reading. I hope your May is warm and comfortable and with pockets of time to spend on silliness. It would be delightful if you replied this with the tools you use to tell the story of your Self (do you use MBTI, are you another INFJ, do you use enneagrams, are you chaotic lawful, have you been Slytherin ride or die since you were 12), but only if you want.

Previously, I wrote about my first times with tarot and shared some things I hoped would be helpful for others coming to tarot. If you'd like to subscribe, click here. Please feel free to share this newsletter with a friend 💌

* According to my progressed chart, which Cass and Dhany told me about in March, I’m a Virgo sun now but that felt like too much to add to the already precarious Jenga tower of this newsletter so maybe next time. You can find out your progressed chart here though.