Swell’s October theme is Our Shadow Selves. During the liminal space between winter and harvest, what can we learn about our darker, unconscious impulses? How can we access our hidden desires and fantasies? This month, we’re inviting you to put aside your inhibitions, try on new roles, and tap into new sexual and emotional dimensions.
Welcome to October, lovers! This time of year, the days become shorter as we melt into the delicious darkness to play in the shadows of our secret desires and fantasies. While the sun shines in Libra, the sign of partnership, balance, and social justice, we still find ourselves in the midst of political unrest and uncertainty. The intensity of Mars retrograde in Aries squares off with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn, lingering near the degrees that catalyzed the major events of 2020. We also will experience Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, perfectly timed for us to look back in reflection, and notice where adjustments can be made in order to move forward in our full power. Venus shifts from grandiose Leo into practical Virgo early in the month, offering the grounding support as we examine any hidden impulses, shame, or repression around sexual expression, anger, and ingrained capitalist beliefs that we must be striving and achieving 24/7.
Venus moves again, later in the month, into Libra, asking us to continue to consider our partnerships. Take this time to reflect on how you are showing up and the energy you bring to them. Notice the difference between reacting and responding. Libra wants equality and balance between masculine and feminine energy; imagine this relationship as if it were your own breath. Each inhale is feminine energy (Venus) and each exhale is masculine energy (Mars). In order to survive we must have both components working together in harmony. Remember, during times when you may be experiencing anxiety or stress, you can always return to your breath to re-balance and reset your nervous system.
Integration is crucial as the sun shifts into intense Scorpio on the 23rd, when we make our way into the depths of transformation. Commit to going deep and doing the internal shadow work necessary to shift into the new version of yourself you’ve been secretly wishing to embody, allowing your fantasies and hidden desires to be brought up to the surface. Working with your shadow prepares you to receive the caliber of relationships, level of intimacy, and delicious sexual experiences you’ve been calling in. Consider everything you could touch when you’re willing to surrender and release.
Libra & Libra Rising (September 23-October 22)
Happy solar return, Libra! This year has been a mixed bag of high highs and low lows, and while it may not be over yet, your birthday is your personal new year! This month there is a reset that begins with looking backward in order to move forward. All that has happened is part of the path, which of course moves in a spiral rather than a straight line. The more flexible you are at staying present with what is, rather than how you think things should be, the more opportunities for balanced connection become available. Where can you infuse more beauty and pleasure into your daily routine? What fantasies have you been wanting to explore? Tune into your desires by making role play a priority. Your partners are ready to go there with you, and very eager to please.
Scorpio & Scorpio Rising (October 23-November 21)
Journey to your personal underworld this month, Scorpio. The phoenix has to burn before it rises, and although you may resist this part, once the process begins you always seem to remember this is what makes you who you are. Lean into your personal shadow work by seeing and embracing all of your darkest parts. If you are able to own and accept your proclivity for intense experiences, trust that your partners will also be accepting. Even if they appear to be not as comfortable swimming to the depths you crave, they are looking to you to guide them towards the erotic experiences they only dream about. Even if you are solo, you can create a sensual safe space to explore and fulfill your own fantasies, no partner required.
Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising (November 22-December 21)
Launch your arrows far this month, Sagittarius. Whether you are responsibly expanding your social network or making plans for the future, the intentions you set this month will have longterm effects, even if you do not see immediate results. What have you been wanting to explore? Have you been curious about erotic experiences outside of your norm, anything from kink to polyamory? Nothing is off limits or too taboo. This is a great time to explore those communities safely without shame. Slide into DMs and start a dialogue with someone you’ve admired from afar. Alternatively, don’t be surprised if you find sexy strangers or your S.O. sending you some provocative messages. Curiosity and fantasy will spark your interest and arouse your attention if you’re open to it.
Capricorn & Capricorn Rising (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Money turns you on, Capricorn. You understand its value and have respect for it. You’re also willing to put in the work to have it without compromising your integrity. Try not to get too caught up in the hustle this month and taking your work so seriously. Desire and drive come from the same place within the body, and you benefit when you’re able to balance both your pleasure and your productivity. What would happen if your level of professional success was directly tied to how much fun you were having, in terms of laughing, having incredible orgasms, and rest? Don’t deprive yourself on your way to the top. Taking care of yourself helps you perform at your highest level, and you deserve to enjoy every delicious moment of the process.
Aquarius & Aquarius Rising (January 21-February 18)
Explore new territory this month, Aquarius! Getting weird and pushing boundaries is your jam when you get to be in control—what happens when you’re on the other side? That would certainly be a plot twist that provides you with the right balance of delight and uncertainty to pique your interest and capture your attention. No need to go looking for excitement, plenty will be finding its way into your life in unexpected ways, asking you to move past any fears or resistance to change, while challenging any controlling behavior that may be holding you back from diving deep into the void of expansion. Trust that when you take risks they will show you new layers of yourself that have been waiting beneath the surface. When your fantasies become reality, they won’t lose their juicy magic—they become a part of your erotic evolution.
Pisces & Pisces Rising (February 19-March 20)
Embrace transformation, Pisces. This month you have the support of the cosmos to dive deep into your relationship with power, control, and intimacy. What role have you been playing in your relationships? It’s time to take responsibility for yourself and what you really want from them. Once you identify your desires within your intimate relationships, notice where you have repeated the same actions expecting different results. Subtle shifts can be uncomfortable, yet yield incredible results in terms of the connectivity and reciprocity you experience. It’s not your responsibility to heal others or take on their pain in order to feel a deep connection. This can be achieved by reserving your sex magick powers for those who have done the work to heal themselves.
Aries & Aries Rising (March 21-April 19)
What do you want from an intimate relationship, Aries? This begins with the relationship you have with yourself. What is the quality of your self-love? This month your interactions will be mirrors, reflecting the answers to these questions to you. With your ruling planet, Mars, retrograde in your sign, everything is up for evaluation, from the way you take action in the world, to the way you process anger—the anger you have for what is happening in the world to the anger you have toward yourself. If you choose to accept the invitation to this shadow work, you will make tremendous progress in outgrowing old behaviors that no longer serve the powerful, integrated person you are becoming.
Taurus & Taurus Rising (April 20-May 20)
Pleasure and politics are on the menu this month, Taurus. You can balance between your activist agenda and your erotic appetite by re-adjusting your routine to accommodate what you are most passionate about. Try not to overload your calendar with events, as you may need more sleep this month than you thought. It’s ok not to have as much energy as you would like; self-care means saying “no” to others is part of saying “yes” to yourself. Focusing on you isn’t selfish, it’s restorative, and in order to be effective, you must make time to recharge. Prioritize your sex life and indulge in your desires. Orgasms are an amazing stress reliever, and can be achieved whether you have a regular partner or not.
Gemini & Gemini Rising (May 21-June 20)
Work your dual nature this month, Gemini. Duality can be sexy when you allow yourself to play multiple roles—the more outside the box, the better! Tapping into your pleasure right now helps you get out of your head and be present, which offers incredible stress relief at a time when there isn’t much anyone can control. Make the most of the energy this month to try on new identities and act out your fantasies. The options of places to go out may be limited, but your imagination is an unbounded source of inspiration and creativity. Don’t be afraid to explore the entire spectrum of eroitc experience; if it turns you on, let it take you beyond your comfort zone, where growth and change await.
Cancer & Cancer Rising (June 21-July 22)
Get cozy in your nest, Cancer. This month you may find yourself cancelling plans in favor of the comforts of your own space. It’s ok if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to take a break to nourish yourself and reclaim your energy. Most people don’t understand your inherent need to care for those around you, and sometimes you feel responsible for their feelings to the detriment of your own. Try not to worry about disappointing people—those who love will always understand the importance of rest and self-care. Slow down and turn your nurturing love inwards, think of what is decadent to you. This year hasn’t allowed much space for indulgence, and that can throw the ability to feel worthy of receiving out of balance. Be generous with yourself.
Leo & Leo Rising (July 23-August 22)
The world is your stage, Leo: What message are you ready to share? This month, lead by example, and show your network that you can balance social responsibility with a safe social life. Advocating for the causes you’re most passionate about as well as promoting joy and the importance of mental health will no doubt be keeping your calendar packed this season. You live in the light, and always shine for others, but what about your hidden dark side? Allow yourself to dive deep into the shadowy realms of your desires as we creep closer to Scorpio season. Unearth the fantasies that simmer below the surface. Experiment with what comes up without trying to control yourself—surrender is the key to unlocking new levels of your identity.
Virgo & Virgo Rising (August 23-September 22)
What do you value about partnership, Virgo? This is an incredible time to dive deep into the significance of relationships in your life. What role do they play in your own self-worth and how does this inform how you go about relating to others? There is tremendous transformation happening for you in the areas of pleasure and romance. It demands that you do the necessary shadow work that may have been holding you back from experiencing the levels of intimacy you deserve. You naturally enjoy giving to your partners; there is true pleasure for you in being of service. Own the part of yourself that would love for someone to show up for you, and name what that would look like for you so that you can be open to receiving when love, in all its forms, is offered.