For this Valentine’s Day, our theme is Stay Tender: There’s nothing quite like a personal touch, especially at a time when personal touch is hard to come by. Don’t be afraid to reach out with a little tenderness—to others, and to yourself.
Welcome to February, lovers! We spend most of the month of love backpedaling through our first Mercury retrograde of 2021, gifting us the opportunity to slow down and reflect on everything we’ve been trying to move forward with in the new year. Astrology teaches us, through retrogrades, how to work with life’s cycles of growing, resting, and shedding before we begin again. Many experts will recommend waiting to sign contracts and not to begin new relationships during Mercury retrograde, but don’t let that hold you back from taking action when it feels good and your body tells you the timing is right. Taking that little pause to check in with your body’s inner knowing is how you get out of your head and work with retrograde cycles, rather than against them.
February promises to be an interesting month, with Venus joining the sun, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn in futuristic-yet-detached Aquarius. Connect with your partners on a mental level with plenty of flirting, erotic pillow talk, and unexpectedly playful texts, as Aquarius loves to be surprised and intrigued. Mars in sensual Taurus reminds us that once we detach, we are able to reconnect in tactile ways, as this placement wants to feel every inch of our bodies, without being fussy about setting the perfect mood. So give yourself a break—it’s ok to be raw and messy where pleasure is concerned.
Mercury finishes its retrograde on the 20th, just after the sun swims into dreamy Pisces, sprinkling feelings of nostalgia over us. Have extra compassion for yourself and anyone you’re involved with, as Pisces energy brings up sensitive feelings from the past that are ready for healing. Observe what comes up for you and release it to make room in your heart for new beginnings.
Aquarius & Aquarius Rising (January 21-February 18)
Happy solar return, Aquarius! This is a big year for you, with so many planets in your sign, setting the tone for change in unexpected ways. Your ruling planet, Uranus, shakes up the status quo in order to seek freedom and move toward the future. This is where your super powers of detachment come in handy. You are able to step back and observe, while your quick mind comes up with new ideas to share with the collective about how to do this. In your relationships, don’t edit yourself or hide your quirks and kinks; the more you accept and celebrate your sexual expression, the closer your intimate connections become.
Pisces & Pisces Rising (February 19-March 20)
Releasing the past isn’t always easy, Pisces, but it’s a necessary part of the process of moving forward that requires your full participation. If you are feeling extra emotional right now you may be taking on the feelings of the people you care about. Try to utilize the Aquarius energy to detach from what isn’t your own to carry. While empathy is a beautiful gift, remember you can’t do the emotional work for anyone else except yourself. Observe the themes that are coming up right now around relationships and intimacy; these are clues to where you can effectively build better boundaries for yourself. The more solid your foundation becomes, the deeper you can dive into your sensuality and pleasure with others.
Aries & Aries Rising (March 21-April 19)
Revisit your vision board, Aries. Have your dreams and goals shifted? You’re meant to pioneer new ways of being and doing things, but before you take action, look back at the bigger picture and make sure you’re still in alignment with what you’re working towards, and who you’re doing it with. You may find former flames resurfacing this month, so notice how you feel before giving anyone access to your time. Work with the Aquarius energy by detaching from your feelings about a person or relationship in order to discern what you liked and disliked about the experience. Allow this information to inform what you would like to create in your current or future partnerships before running towards your passions.
Taurus & Taurus Rising (April 20-May 20)
Soften your grip, Taurus. With Mars in your sign this month, you may find yourself more rigid than usual when it comes to your work and the ways you relate publicly. Remember when you let go a little, you make room for your sensuality to flow effortlessly. This is your point of attraction, and where your natural gifts shine. Relax your body when you feel frustrated by focusing on your breath. Aquarius energy is all about detachment, and when you work with it you open up new pathways for solutions, assistance, and ease to show up for you. Imagine the ways you could be experiencing pleasure with your newfound free time.
Gemini & Gemini Rising (May 21-June 20)
Oh, the places you’ll go without needing to leave your house, Gemini. This month your brilliant mind is buzzing with new ideas while simultaneously processing the past. Notice how they feed one another, making new connections, then moving away to make room for your next ah-ha moment. This is the alchemy of Aquarius energy, helping you detach from the emotional impacts of past events in order to free up space for fresh perspectives. You’re eager to share your ideas and hungry for dialogue, which creates some delicious tension for your love life. Mars in Taurus reminds you, Gemini rules the hands, so let your fingertips guide you away from tweeting and onto soft skin that is begging to be touched.
Cancer & Cancer Rising (June 21-July 22)
Power and control take on a sexier tone this month, Cancer. What role have you been too shy to play? Stepping into that which is opposite your comfort zone is where the heat is, followed by the tender aftercare that solidifies the intimate bond between you and your lovers, making the moment that much sweeter. With Mercury retrograde, old memories are bound to come up for you, so use the Aquarius energy to detach from carrying them around any longer. Your willingness to release past pain opens new pathways to connecting, rather than swimming in feelings of separateness. It’s safe to experiment and focus on creating through pleasure.
Leo & Leo Rising (July 23-August 22)
Focus on your partnerships in new ways, Leo. What old ideas about relationships and intimacy have been holding you back from experiencing what’s written in your heart? Thanks to Mercury retrograde for bringing up the echoes of observations made when you were young that became subconscious stories that don’t belong to you. These may come in many forms, such as former lovers resurfacing or through curious self-inquiry, perhaps journaling about your past to uncover what may have been hiding in plain sight. Aquarius season is asking you to detach from these beliefs in order to dive deeply into your desires without fear.
Virgo & Virgo Rising (August 23-September 22)
Where are you putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, Virgo? Have you been scrutinizing your body or health routine, analyzing how you can optimize your life to meet an unattainable level of perfection you think you should be at? Notice how these standards don’t exist for those you love—you’re able to see them as perfectly imperfect beings doing their best. Is it possible for you to have that same level of compassion for yourself? Work with the Aquarius energy to detach from any aspects of your self-care regimen that may be potentially harmful in order to create a practice rooted in joy and pleasure that sets you up for an expansive year.
Libra & Libra Rising (September 23-October 22)
Tap into your creativity, Libra, especially when you’re feeling stuck or frustrated. Innovation and inspiration come when you let it flow through you rather than trying to force something to happen. Be a channel for alchemy by taking a step back and allowing yourself the space to play and experiment—you’ll be pleasantly surprised at where this may lead you. The gift of Aquarius energy is offering you the ability to detach from the need to please everyone while you’re finding your sweet spot. Allow Mars in Taurus to help you maintain your sense of balance by grounding you in your body, focusing on how good it feels to touch and be touched.
Scorpio & Scorpio Rising (October 23-November 21)
Nurture the home within you, Scorpio. The psychological depths of where you came from and who you are at your core are an ocean with no clear bottom, which may frighten some. But you understand the importance of churning up the unexamined sediment in order to determine what can be cast aside and what treasures may be lurking below the surface of ordinary awareness. What you find during this Mercury retrograde are all clues to understanding your deepest needs required to form a solid foundation. Who would you like to be there with you? Aquarius energy wants to know in what ways can you ask for support by helping you detach from your past in favor of welcoming intimacy and connection.
Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising (November 22-December 21)
Speak your truth, Sagittarius, but don’t be surprised if your words come back to haunt you. The ways you communicate your ideas and express yourself are up for review. You’re not being canceled; the point of being called out is to help you refine your message and the vehicle in which you deliver it. Mercury retrograde is showing you where and how necessary adjustments can be made. It’s a wonderful time to make amends or share when someone else’s words did in fact hurt you. Beneath anger usually lies hurt and fear; allow it room to breathe so you can heal and move forward. Work with the Aquarius energy and detach from any dogmatic ideals that may be holding you back from connecting expansively with others.
Capricorn & Capricorn Rising (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Lead with generosity, Capricorn. You value your dedication to building your dreams in practical ways. Make it known when you see those qualities in your relationships, by showing them your appreciation in tangible ways. Make the most of the Aquarius energy by detaching from the idea that your way is the best way, and put your effort into really hearing what others want from you before you take action. Your connections benefit from an open mind and open-hearted approach that comes when active listening is a cultivated skill you prioritize developing. There is nothing sexier or more valuable than feeling fully seen and heard by your partners.