The Year I Turned 27, Part 1

Oh, youth. I remember the sweet, swan-song days of yore — it almost feels like yesterday that my only concerns were somewhere along the lines of being mad at how early I had to get up for school and not wanting to wear that one ugly hand-me-down sweater my mom got at the Mormon-run thrift shop. For somebody who couldn’t even brush my own teeth without being told to because I didn’t understand the merits of a cavity-free mouth, I definitely peaked when I was 9.

Will Smith Reveals Why 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Character Was Named After  Him - Essence
This is a real-life still of me as a kid being hot shit / Image (c) NBC

Now that I’m the ripe old age of 27, I’m not exactly sure how I’m ever going to capture that vigor again. I’ve been told by the media that I should’ve capitalized on my looks a decade ago when I was at the pinnacle of my youth and that I should think about “settling down” since my “best years” are already behind me. I guess what this means is that I need to learn how to get comfortable with my own mediocrity because it’s all downhill from here. . .

Or something like that.

It’s hard to keep track of what I should and should not be doing at this age since I’m in a weird “in-between” right now. I am no longer young enough to hold capital in industries who love drooling over teenage girls, but not old enough to be told I need to go get some Botox injections before I wrinkle worse than a Shar-pei.  And until I actually turn 30, I can’t even be won over by those little Hallmark cards telling me I should go live it up like an extra in Sex In the City.

The Real Beginning 30th Birthday Card - Greeting Cards - Hallmark
Well I’ll be damned. I guess everything I’ve been doing up to this point is meaningless! Now I have to pressure myself to have a successful 30s or else what the fuck is the point? / Image (c) Hallmark.

All said, I guess that means there’s only one thing left for me to do: bitch about it while getting astrology involved.

But First, A Primer

Believe it or not, I didn’t choose to talk about my 27th birthday just because I feel left out of celebrating a big milestone (although I do think it’s totally bogus how Western culture makes you feel like there’s not much left after turning 21).  Nor did I choose to talk about it as an Angel Number or a numerological concept – if I had wanted to do that, I could find a reason to talk about every single year.  

Instead, I want to talk about turning 27 because I think it’s quite magical from a starry-eyed standpoint.

Consider: if you’re at least somewhat familiar with astrology, then you might recognize 27 as being the precursor to the ever-dreaded “Saturn Return.” There’s no doubt that you’re starting to feel Cronus’ breath on your neck as he asks you if you’re finally ready to live up to your worldly duties, tick-tock-tick-tock. You’re on the cusp of self-actualization and you want to be prepared.

So prepare you do. Or don’t. Saturn doesn’t care either way. What I mean by that is Saturn will force your hand toward your duties whether you’re being good about it or not, and you’ll know if you’re not because the things you’ve been getting away with up to this point will fall apart. Steadfast friends will suddenly fall to the wayside, that partner you think is the one will no longer be, the job you’re working at will feel more like a cage – you get the idea. At some point, you’ve got to “adult up” if you don’t want an unhappy Cronus tearing apart your structures.

I don’t care how old he looks, this motherfucker ate his kids without thinking twice and carries a giant sickle at all times. Be careful that you’re not on his list! / image (c) Lucille Turner

But okay. You know that’s still a year or two off. And my preamble into this article was about turning 27, not 30, so what gives?

What gives is that in order to be ready for your Saturn Return, you need to be in the headspace to do it. You have to take what you’ve been learning up to this point if you want to be capable of handling what Saturn throws at you.  

It is based on my observation and experience that you first undergo two things to help you prepare:

  1. Emotional maturation
  2. Understanding what you feel “called” to do (or your Soul Mission)

Today, we’re going to talk about the first one and what astrological phenomenon that correlates to. Enter:

Secondary Progressions and The Progressed Lunar Return

Progressions are just one of many ways we can expand upon astrology’s interpretive power. Though I talk here today about one type, there are other methods of playing with the natal chart to get different results, all of which are based on how one decides to mathematically move (“progress”) the horoscope.

Let’s think about this from a 3D perspective for a second. When we are studying natal charts we are doing so from the Earth’s perspective, and the Earth – that big, blue, beautiful planet of ours – is a sphere. I know, duh. But this is where the zodiac wheel comes into play: we flatten the 12 zodiac constellations into a 360 degree circle and divide them up accordingly. This means that, from the start of one zodiac sign to the next, there are 30 degrees (360 / 12 = 30).  

Still confused? Let’s zoom in a little and use the Sun as an example.   If you were to track the transiting Sun throughout the zodiac, starting at 0 degrees Aries (which is considered the “real” start of the year because of the Spring Equinox) you would notice that it moved about one degree every day. After about 365ish days, you would notice the Sun back roughly in the same spot, 0 degrees Aries. This is astrology in real-time.

Progressions work a little differently here.

In the case of secondary progressions (the type we’re discussing today) the rule of thumb is “one day for a year.” Going back to our lovely little Sun example, that means we would stretch out the progression of the Sun through the zodiac to one degree per year. Put another way, the Sun would take 365 YEARS to make a full rotation around your progressed chart, a fact that sadly none of us will live to see!

The same rule applies to all the other planets based on their rate of movement. As you might imagine, slower moving planets like Jupiter and Saturn would be stretched out to a timeframe so long that, when using this method, we don’t tend to consider them for this type of progression.

So what about what’s left then?

Well, between the luminaries and the inner planets, the VIP of this type of progression is the Moon. In real-time, the moon takes roughly 2 ½ days to go through a zodiac sign so once again we apply the “one day to a year” rule here and stretch it out. Now it takes about 2 ½ to 3 years to make it through a single sign, the likes of which cumulates into your Progressed Lunar Return when it crosses over your natal Moon after ~27 years. Isn’t math fun?

Astrolog chart sphere animation
From the Earth’s perspective – our perspective – the arrangement of the planets can be understood based on which zodiac sign its in and the latitude/longitude of the houses at that exact moment. Any time we start tinkering with our analysis of planetary movement, we’re really just modifying what’s already happening above us! / Image (c) astrolog

Alright, alright.

You’ve endured my primer and toughed out the wibbly-wobbly math. Now you probably want to know why that wibbly-wobbly math even matters and what it says about your emotional maturation.

Here it is:  the Moon in astrology is about security and emotional comforts. She also deals with our base instincts and represents our Mother, both our literal mother and the ways we want to be mothered by others. What a progressed chart then does for you is it helps you articulate those needs as you age; as the progressed Moon travels throughout each sign/house in your chart, it illuminates that part of your life for a good 2-3 years and exposes you to experiences that (hopefully) add understanding to your own innate needs. Eventually, this accumulates into your Progressed Lunar Return.

Think of it like a pilgrimage, or a hero’s journey. Before you leave, you make sure to pack your creature comforts (your natal Moon) so that the trip is easier.  As you travel, however, you encounter things that can expand, challenge, destroy, and renew your idea of “comfort,” forcing you to adapt to different circumstances. Once you’ve returned home (your Progressed Moon travelling back over your natal Moon), you not only have exposed yourself to new things, but you’ve also learned more about what really makes you tick on a primal level. You are more appreciative of those homely comforts and know how to seek them out regardless of where you are in the world.

Then you do it all over again. Your second (and maybe) third go-around will continue to illuminate different parts of your life and ask you to expand your understanding on what makes you feel secure; safe. But it is in that first pilgrimage that you get to experience the world raw and undiluted.

You learn how to mother yourself.

You learn what you need to surround yourself with and what comforts you when you are distressed.

You learn, above all else, what brings you peace.

Coming Home: A Progressed Lunar Return Story

Open Photo
My parents circa 1990

I grew up poor and spoiled. Whenever possible, my father would bring back treats from his day job as a dishwasher; how much of my daughterly affections were given was gauged by what he had in tow. If I saw a white Styrofoam box, I leapt (El Matador enchiladas were my ultimate comfort food). If it were a toy – a remote controlled car or a doll or even a hand-held radio – I would stare from my seat in the old, oval chair and wait. I wanted to know what the occasion was and if I could play with it now or if he was going to make me wait.

My mother, meanwhile, was doling out a constant helping of Whatever-I-Want so long as it was the start of the month. The regularity of her Social Security benefits combined with the fact that she didn’t work meant I could be spoiled at any time. On a perfect day, I would head to Shopko with mom, pick up a new Bratz doll, and then be back in time for dad to come home with something twinkling in his hand, no strings attached. At least none that I could see.

So goes the tale of a girl whose natal moon is in Virgo.

In astrology, Virgo symbolizes service. Service to ourselves, to others, and to the Earth. We are duty-bound creatures who want to care for all living things if we can help them because we are in tune with the rhythm of the soil. That does not, however, mean that that service is all we are, or all we do. It’s important that this placement has the chance to explore our curious impulses without being shamed if we “fall short” the first time. More than that, it’s important that we are shown affection without the caveat of needing to “perform” for that affection. That means love is given not just when we get good grades or do all our chores.

I remember the first time I did not come home from school with good results. I was in 5th grade and our homework assignment was to do a state report – easy enough. I chose New York and, with a little web searching and borrowing of my grandparent’s printer, was able to cobble together a serviceable presentation. What I hadn’t realized was that there were multiple things we were supposed to research about the state; I had only done the bare minimum. The result was a not-so-satisfying D.

Dad was the unhappiest that I had seen him. He overheard what happened while I was talking to mom as we got out of the car. The gift of the day – a white teddy bear with a big, red heart – fell limp in his hand as his shoulders slumped over. Where he was about to greet me with a smile, he frowned, staring at me with disbelief for so long that I wanted to vanish on the spot. I still got the gift, but it was on the condition that I would have to listen to him rant on-and-off about how disappointed he was and that he expected me to do better, be better.

Eventually, I was given a chance to fix the grade in the easiest fashion possible: bring something to the class that comes from the state. Since Coca-Cola was made in New York in the late 19th century, all I had to do was bring in a few 12-packs to appease both my fellow classmates and the teacher. This brought my grade up to a meddling C.

The good news is, is that this particular type of incident didn’t happen again. It didn’t have a chance to; dad passed away part-way through 7th grade. The people I lived with afterwards were not as insistent that the occasional C would spell my doom.

But I was. That day had cemented itself into memory, an instinct I called mine despite it not being born from me. I did not need to be pressured to do good in school because I pressured myself. I could live with a B and make peace with a B- but spirits willing, never a C. A C meant disappointment. A C meant I would not succeed.

It sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Yet this – among other toxic, even abusive conditions – sharpened me into my own worst enemy. Though I summoned the strength of my Virgo moon to work my way to an out-of-state college, I carried in my body these untruths. Anything not up to my own implanted standards sent me into a downward spiral, the likes of which I could only crawl my way back from once I had recognized these beliefs as a foreign object lodged in my cells.

After years of therapy and unlearning, I can now emerge from the other side of my Progressed Lunar Return some the wiser. In order to claim myself again, I was called to cleanse that which Virgo rules: I had let go of the need to equate affection with productivity. I had to (re)learn what love without expectation meant. I want to serve but only when I am called to do so by joy, not exchange.

⚠️ IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! ⚠️

If you’ve been a regular of my blog, you might’ve noticed some recent changes to the menu, the biggest one being that I am now accepting readings DIRECTLY through here!

What changed, you ask?

I’M REBRANDING THE MAIN WEBSITE!

Like a phoenix from its ashes, something more glorious is going to be reborn from the dust pile that will soon be The Sterile Slut. It’s going to be more in line with what I like doing of course, but it’s also intended to make more sense for visitors. There will be more clarity between the two websites and what I offer.

Nothing here is going to change – much. Rather, I will be adding and improving on what’s already here by making it feel like its own self-contained website. I will be making new social media for this site and even give it its own storefront, but those are things that can only happen once the rebrand is complete.

Until then, I simplified the Book-a-Reading process if you’ve wanted to work with me but felt the old set-up (Square) was too convoluted to navigate (which I’m inclined to agree).

More updates will be coming soon. I’ll make a separate announcement when things start to settle more into place, but until then, I hope you enjoy this new, if temporary, format!

About The Author

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Jasmine Sierra is freelance content creator, poet witch, and amateur boudoir model all at the same time. She holds her Master’s degree from Splading University and currently resides in Seattle, WA; she would love it if you would consider supporting her by booking a reading or signing up for her Patreon!

If You Think Capricorns Are Boring, Read This

Cover Art (c) Georges Muchery

Oh, Capricorns. Aren’t they so hardworking? You admire pop astrology’s description of their willpower — they are often portrayed as willing to scale to the top of the mountain and preserve through all storms, so much so that sometimes, you wish you had that kind of work ethic for yourself (because you’re a Gemini and we all know Geminis are lazy, lol)!

Over It GIF - Clueless OverIt EyeRoll - Discover & Share GIFs
If Geminis are rolling their eyes after that stereotype, imagine how tired the Caps of the world are.

Before we progress: There’s full bias here since I roll under the sign of the sea-goat myself. I, as most Caps, are not immune to the ego-stroking flattery that comes when other signs acknowledge our ability to haul ass under trying circumstances. Getting shit done when you’re tired, or you’re full of self-doubt — I like to think it’s a superpower to keep going when you want to give up. And I love that we Capricorns will see a goal we think is worth it and slam our foot on the gas pedal to get it, regardless of whether it’s mastering knitting or climbing up the corporate ladder.

I should also clear the air and say that yes, of course this isn’t just a Capricorn problem. Pop astrology, in order to maintain accessibility, will often dilute all of the zodiac signs individual qualities down to a handful of keywords so that it’s easy to remember which sign represents what. For example, I know that if I took a shot for however many times I saw words like “dreamy, spiritual, and spacey” tied in with Pisces, I’d probably need to be wheeled in to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

But enough about that, though. Let’s deconstruct this pervasive belief that Capricorns are a drag.

Part 1: Understanding the Cancer/Capricorn Axsis as a Way to See Where the “Boring” Stereotype Comes From

I have noticed a particular lack of interest for Capricorn in the pop astrology realm. Accounts on Instagram will make memes of all the signs, often relegating us to being a “buzzkill,” “workaholic,” or, if they’re feeling nice, “the snarky know-it-all.” Now and again, I’ve encountered a meme where Caps get forgotten altogether — we aren’t even a footnote that gets to be a part of the memery.

Thank Lordt there’s fellow Cap-specific accounts capturing the nuance of our personality.
Credit @capricornmemes_

Look, I get it. The shadow side of our sign can be quite dry. Capricorns who are operating on a lower vibration get so caught up in chasing the paper, they don’t leave a lot of room for things like fun, or relaxation. A “boring” Capricorn is one whose most exciting moment of the day came when they found out they were made Employee of the Month. A “boring” Capricorn thinks having a social life will hinder their goals and may thusly give people the cold shoulder, intimidating people away the same way an iron fortress hovering over a visiting knight does. It can be hard to form a relationship (platonic or romantic) with somebody whose only defining personality trait is that they “work hard.”

Now, I could cue the “not all Capricorns are like that” line because it’s true, we’re not. But I’m not going to throw the low vibrational Caps under the bus like that because — even as “droll” as they can be — I can see where that energy comes from. Low vibrational Capricorns may come off as “boring” to a lot of people, but it’s (usually) not because they want to; rather, they are operating from this “work hard” mentality because they are afraid.

They are afraid because they have seen or experienced what it was like to grow up in poverty.

They are afraid because people and systems they once trusted have betrayed them, people they thought they could rely on.

They are afraid to lack in a world that can and will take from them at a moment’s notice.

To them, working hard and building up a secure financial base is the most surefire mean of “protecting” themselves from outside threats. But where does that energy come from? Where does this “lack” mentality exist in a sign that can appear to others as being so sure-footed and prepared?

It’s important to remember that zodiac signs do not exist in a vacuum. When looking at the 12 constellations on a natal chart wheel, signs make aspects to each other.

Example 1: Pop astrology says Scorpios and Capricorns are compatible because Scorpio (which is two signs away from Capricorn) sextile each other. Sextiles are positive aspects where potential can be unlocked if recognized, thus promising an “easy flow” once understood.

Example 2: Pop astrology says Aries and Capricorn butt heads a lot because they square each other. Squares are tense astrological aspects that are difficult to reconcile because the way each sign wants to achieve something is disagreed upon.

And on it goes. I bring this up because it helps to keep in mind that the signs communicate with each other, sometimes nicely, sometimes not. Which leads me to my next point:

A simplified visual of my examples above. Note the “opposition” aspect between Cancer and Capricorn. Oppositions between signs are the backbone for understanding the foundation of what each zodiac sign desires, and how they go about getting what they want.

Because the zodiac doesn’t operate in a vacuum, it’s easier to understand the “droll” Capricorn when compared to it’s equally negative counterpart, the “weepy” Cancer. On the surface, these lower vibrational manifestations of the two signs can’t seem any more different. What does being a big crybaby have anything to do with a dead-inside office worker?

The keyword when looking at the Cancer/Capricorn opposition is security. Consider: the crab (Cancer’s symbol) protects itself by hiding inside its shell. For a Cancer, security is found from the inside-out. This is why Cancer is also associated with the mother; the mother provides a nurturing, emotionally validating environment for her family to thrive in. When those around her are secure, they in turn make her feel grounded, providing a comfortable environment for her to be vulnerable in. A secure Cancer is one that finds strength in their rawness — a crab that doesn’t have to hide.

For Capricorn, the sea-goat, security is found from the outside-in. Goats climb mountains to avoid would-be predators. Among their own, they brawl frequently, wanting to snuff out weaker links and keep their groups small. To show weakness is not something they are afforded if they want to avoid the rare (but very real) threat of falling off the cliff. And as the opposite to the motherly Cancer, Capricorns earn the title of “The Father of the Zodiac.” The father provides with substance. You know that he loves you because he goes to work every day and busts chops to make sure there’s a roof over your head and food on the table. He provides the physical bedrock for which his family can rest in; only when he knows they are safe and taken care of does he feel like he can show his more tender emotions. Put more simply, a secure Capricorn is one that is happy with the legacy they’ve built — a goat who doesn’t have to keep climbing.

Part 2: What Does a “fun” Capricorn Look Like? Visiting the Myth of Capricornus

So now you understand some of the reasoning behind why Capricorns might come off to others as “boring.” Yet you’re still not convinced that we can be “fun,” either. Seeing as I don’t know you very well, dear reader, I’m going to narrow down the list possible reasons to one of two things:

a) You are newer to astrology and so most of what you encounter is only a surface-level analysis (this isn’t a bad thing, it just means you’re still learning)!

Or,

b) You’ve had too many bad experiences with those “boring” Capricorns (which is valid, but casting your personal biases on a whole group of people makes you believe it’s a universal truth when it’s not)!

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reboot as Drama Series in the Works – /Film
Everybody has their hang-ups. I know I’ve met passive-aggressive Cancers who have done me wrong, and super detached Aquarians who strung me along…but I don’t assume all of them do these things, y’know?

Regardless of which school of thought you’re coming from, I’m going to explore what a “fun” Capricorn looks like through the lens of mythology, partly because a mere anecdote lacks persuasion, but also because I think understanding the sign’s history will make you do a double-take when you compare it to current pop astrology meanings.

The constellation Capricornus was first documented in 2nd Century by Greek astronomer Ptolemy. It’s two mythological representations are Amalthea, the foster goat-mother of Zeus, and the Greek god Pan, the so-called patron of shepherds.

In Amalthea, you get the provider. Her legacy is Zeus himself; because she shielded him from danger and kept him nourished while keeping him hidden from Chronos, Zeus was able to forge from her his thunder-shield and the horn of plenty, one of the ultimate symbols for abundance. There’s a reason it’s called a “cornucopia” when something is overflowing!

last unicorn, the - lady amalthea look | LostUnicornIcons | Flickr
Though she is commonly referred to as a goat, some believe Amalthea was a nymph, which would still make sense considering nymphs are minor deities of nature, often associated with a fertile earth.

Then there’s Pan. Half-human, half-goat, Pan is considered a God of the wild, fertility, rustic music, and “improptus.” He was once so taken by a nymph’s beauty that he pursued her despite her feeling from him; by the time he had “caught” her, Zeus had heard her pleas, having turned her into reeds. Angered that he couldn’t have her as he had so desired, he destroyed the reeds, only to later weep at the destruction his anger caused. Pan has also been depicted with Dionysus, the God of wine and revelry.

The Youth of Bacchus 1884 William Adolphe Bouguereau
If you know anything about Dionysus, it’s that he had whole cults devoted to the art of pleasure. Festivals would often take place at night, in private places, and with an abundance of alcohol flowing. And if Pan was apt to hang out with Dionysus…you see what I’m getting at?

In the constellation’s mythos, you can see the duality. When we Caps are called forth to provide, we open our hearts and an abundance of care flows from our horn of plenty. Instinctually, even lower vibrational goats know this; what appears to you as surface-level status chasing could be to them an opportunity to get a raise, which in turn may be to because they want to help a relative make ends meet. Resentment may fester within them, but they know the pain of lacking in our very material, capitalist-driven society, and so they work hard to provide — sometimes at the expense of closing out everybody else to do it.

However, one of the problems Capricorns need to face in order to elevate themselves to a state of “higher” vibration is understanding that it’s okay to let their hair down and take care of themselves, too. Like Pan, a Cap in tune with themselves recognizes their deep-seated desires, letting them connect with each emotion with their whole being.

They let themselves be okay with their anger, feeling it out as it spreads from the coil of their gut.

They let themselves be okay with their happiness, reveling in the joys of life and not being ashamed to hit the dance floor from time to time.

They let themselves be okay with their lust, pursuing that which interests them with a determination more fierce than an Aries and more calculated than a Scorpio.

At the end of the day, you’ll know a “fun” Cap when you see one because they are secure enough to share their “horn of plenty” with others. They ditch their “lack” mentality and switch to one of “abundance,” knowing that even if others take from their cornucopia, there is plenty more where that came from.

Concluding Thoughts

First off, If you’ve got this far in reading my article, bless you.

Second off, if you got this far but still aren’t quite convinced that Capricorns can be “exciting,” I implore you to look at the “sea” part in “sea-goat” as well. Consider that another one of Pan’s most famous myths had him hiding in the Nile from the raging titan Typhon. In order to escape, he turned the lower half of his body into that of a fish. On a more literal level, we can see Pan’s strategic move as very Capricorn — he used rational wit and the resources around him to elude danger.

But if we take a second look, his willingness to temporarily abandon his surefooted goat-legs in favor of a fish tail shows that Capricorns are steeped in spiritual potential as well. There are times where our pragmatic nature cannot surmount a task, and it is in those times that we must remember to dip our feet in the water in order to search beyond ourselves.

A Capricorn firing on all cylinders is rarely surface-deep, and it could just be that they aren’t interested in showing you what hides beneath the water’s surface. It could also just be that you don’t find Capricorns interesting because you don’t want to take the chance to peer deeper — maybe you prefer having an instant connection, or somebody who isn’t bound up in so many layers. That’s okay either way, but just remember: there’s a reason the Devil takes the form of a goat.

Image of "The Tarot of the Devil” 8.5"x11" Watercolor Print
I didn’t touch on this as much because I wanted my analysis of Capricorn to be more literal, but Lucifer himself takes on the form of a goat-man in many popular depictions of him. And in tarot, the Devil — which represents Capricorn — stands for all things hedonistic. How can a sign so “dry” represent the most primal and pleasurable when it’s keenly aware of it’s nature? Credit: Micah Ulrich

Additional Reading and References

About Pan
Capricornus Constellation: Facts & Myths
Reframing Capricorn
Zodiac and the Tarot: Capricorn Relates to The Devil