Swoonscopes: Unleash Your Inner Aquarius and Fight the Power
Casual question for you: Are you fed up with the systems and institutions within which you're required to work? Do you ever think to yourself: there has to be a better way to do *gestures to all of Life* this? If yes, let me tell you that you're not alone: the Aquarians and I are with you! What's that sound? Can you hear the Aquarians sing? They're singing about revolution *air horn blast* Welcome to Aquarius season, everyone!
If Sagittarius season was about pushing boundaries, then Aquarius season is about not just pushing those boundaries, but joyfully knocking them down with sledgehammers and bulldozers, a la the Berlin Wall. The worst phrase an Aquarius could ever hear is "that's just the way things are." Absolutely not, they scoff, already rolling up their sleeves while gleefully twirling their sledgehammers. In Capricorn season we worked hard in our fields, in this world, and now that we know how it works—well, let's make it better. Aquarius season is giving us the imagination and creativity to envision how the world should be and the courage and rebellious spirit to pursue that change.
That's not to say that, personality-wise, Aquarians are bulldozers themselves. On the contrary, an air sign (I know what you're thinking: they're symbolized by the water-bearer, shouldn't they be a water sign? You would think! But they're air signs through and through) whose season stretches from around MLK Day to Presidents Day (or January 20th to February 18th, for all of the non-Americans out there,) Aquarians are deeply charming weirdos. Please know that I say that with so much love and affection. Think about Aquarians Harry Styles and Laura Dern, for example, and you'll know exactly what kind of energy I'm talking about. These are the kinds of people who can easily achieve the change they want with words and charisma alone. It makes total sense that this sign is ruled by Uranus, the planet of change and revolution.
The best part about Aquarians is that there's such a range to them—a sign of progressive change, they range from tech bros to hippies. Everyone contains multitudes, and Aquarians have a bewildering, enviable complexity of both effervescence and sharpness. The moral of the story here is that you should never underestimate them and what they can achieve. Harness that powerful energy, friends and ask yourself: What can you change and achieve? How can you alter your world for the better?
Going Off Script by Jen Wilde
When Bex scores an internship to work on her favorite TV show, she's beyond stoked. Unfortunately, her dreams of contributing to the show are immediately dashed—as a Production Intern, her job mostly consists of getting everyone coffee. Bex takes matters into her own hands by writing her own script and sharing it with the head writer, who loves it so much that they take it... and pass it off as their own! Bex is furious, but with no power, there's nothing she can do. Resigned, furious, and disillusioned (is this just how things in the TV industry are?) Bex soldiers on, until the unforgivable happens: They take her favorite lesbian character and write her as straight! Screw working in the "system." Bex is going to fight back, and luckily she has a (very cute) ally to help her.
This wilde-ly (sorry not sorry) fun and romantic story is a perfect read for anyone who's ever been frustrated by how shows have (badly) handled your favorite characters and plot points and who wishes they had the power and position to fight back (beyond writing excellent fanfic, that is.)
The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
In the kingdom of Sabor, people are divided into strict social castes, named after birds. Fie is the future leader of the lowest caste, the Crows, who are known as Mercy-Killers. Fie has begrudgingly accepted her fate in life—until she and her family of Crows are unexpectedly drawn into a plot that involves the Crown Prince Jasimir and his bodyguard Tavin, who have faked their deaths to escape the ambitious, ruthless Queen. Fie doesn't want her Crows—who are already scorned and shunned by society—to be in danger, until the prince gives her an offer she can't refuse: Help him, and once he's king he'll protect the Crows from harm. Fie accepts, and soon the three will be pushed to their limits about what they're willing to sacrifice to fight for their kingdom—and ultimately make it better.
This epic fantasy follows Fie's rise from leader-in-training to a revolutionary, who discovers that merely surviving is no way to live at all. Fie demonstrates true bravery: feeling fear for what she could lose if she fights, but doing so anyway, because she knows that ultimately the rights she's fighting for will create a stronger, better kingdom.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
Artemisia lives her life the only way a woman in Renaissance Italy can: in the shadows. A talented painter in her own right, Artemisia is relegated to mixing colors and finishing paintings for her choleric painter father Orazio (who, at his best, is only merely mediocre anyway.) Despite her age and gender, Artemisia is determined to prove herself as a strong artist in her own right, and when her father hires Agostino Tassi to teach her perspective, she feels that her dreams are finally coming true. Inspired by biblical stories of women like Judith and Susanna, Artemisia begins to thrive... until her relationship with Agostino changes, as he grooms and eventually rapes her. Artemisia could stay quiet, or she could take him to the courts, which would involve harsh questioning, invasive physical testing, and emotional and mental anxiety—all on her part, rather than his.
A story of bravery and truth, inspired by the story of real-life Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi, this novel-in-verse is beautiful, heartbreaking, enraging, and inspiring, of a woman who refused to remain quiet and in the shadows, no matter the cost, to achieve her dreams and live a better life than what 1600s society dictated for her.
That's it from me! See you next month to finish out the astrological calendar in dreamy Pisces season.