aking a day trip to the coast or wandering the streets of an unfamiliar European city are effective for brain-soothing and I highly recommend them. But do you know what I definitely don’t recommend? Doing your makeup for a passport photo, using Google Maps without phone service, oversleeping and missing your guided museum tour, gas prices and most airports. In other words, escapism through travel is a noble and necessary pursuit, but sometimes we need to take our brains on vacation without physically going places.
Astrology can and does serve as a form of escapism. It can offer validation, consistency and comfort. Art offers another respite from reality, whether you are consuming or creating — that is, whether you’re listening to music on your morning commute or doodling idly in your journal. So, to compliment Man Repeller’s invitation to “get lost” this month, why not get lost in art and astrology? Below, you’ll find recommendations for artwork (books, movies, music and more) that will most delight your sign’s classic personality, as well as some speculations about where you personally may excel in the artistic world.
“I belong to quick, futile moments of intense feeling,” Virginia Woolf once wrote. “Yes, I belong to moments. Not to people.” Spoken like a true Aries. In fact, as a ram, you may very well gravitate towards Woolf’s modernist, stream-of-consciousness style of writing. I also recommend downloading James Joyce’s Ulysses onto your Kindle. If you’re not the reading type, Kill Bill feels right up your alley.
As the most energetic and youthful sign in the zodiac, you are both sentimental and bleary-eyed with ambition. You might consider trying filmmaking, which is all about translating emotion with rabid focus and precision. This is a more active form of meaning-making, both visually for consumers and physically for the creators. For those behind the scenes, there’s a myriad palette of opportunities and your story can be told in a way that perfectly fits the pace of your mental whirrings.
Ruled by the planet of beauty, Taureans are uniquely suited for art appreciation. Your sign is the home of great romantics and legendary illustrators of emotion like Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte and Adele. You may find yourself crying while listening to Stevie Wonder songs (another Taurus) but you should definitely listen anyway. I’d be willing to bet that Sofia Coppola movies (another Taurus!!!) will also yank at your stubborn little heartstrings; you can thank her unparalleled command of muted color palettes and ability to convey crippling nostalgia with a single wide shot.
If you haven’t already, consider picking up photography. A beautifully curated Instagram feed definitely counts, but you have to really mean it. Dig up that vague knowledge of the rule of thirds and your brunch photo suddenly looks like the cover of a food and lifestyle magazine! Seriously: photography has become an easily traded commodity in our iPhone-saturated world but only a select few can truly stir up something primal and hidden with such a stationary, seemingly straightforward skill. Look to contemporary artists like Sarah Bahbah and Olivia Bee for inspiration.
You may see your fickle, expressive, distracted nature echoed in cubism — most famously Pablo Picasso but also Georges Braque and Juan Gris. Absurd and abstract surrealism, like the paintings of Salvador Dali, will also appeal to your many-layered, curious mind. Similarly, I recommend reading short stories and sectioned poetry that hone in on intense bursts of feeling. T.S. Eliot and Walt Whitman are some obvious picks (both Geminis) but Jenny Zhang’s excellent Sour Heart novel will wreck you.
As I’ve noted before, Geminis have an uncanny command over the written word. Writing in any form is bound to help you productively channel whatever is churning inside. Gemini is a famously restless sign, easily characterized by a constant blur of motion — but this characteristic applies to your emotions and thoughts as much as it applies to your actions and decisions. Autobiographical writing in particular, as bite-sized as daily journaling or as ambitious as penning a memoir, will truly showcase your vivid inner life.
It wouldn’t be outrageous to assume that you frequently return to movies, tv shows and books you’ve seen or read before; you love the security of knowing how it’s going to end. In the same vein, you can often be found listening to songs that remind you of a specific summer or playing a video game from your childhood that you’ve already beaten hundreds of times. Now, I won’t presume to know what you consumed in your childhood but let me offer some possible alternatives: Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. These stories will trigger feelings of longing and nostalgia while plunging you into the chambers of someone else’s heart. The films Beginners and Frances Ha might do the same in a more modern setting.
While you watch those films, consider picking up a habit of knitting or weaving. I know, I know — you’re going to say that this sounds like a grossly stereotypical suggestion for a Cancer. But you may find the repetitive hand motions deeply reassuring. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of calmly and purposefully working towards a beautiful pattern of your own creation. If this sounds a little too boring for you, learn how to sew and buy an unlined sketchbook; fashion design requires the same combination of procedural rigor and creative skill.
We could beat around the bush, but you and I both know that we Leos love our drama. We want art that feels like it’s bursting inside of us. We want Mick Jagger writhing around onstage and Ariana Grande’s choreography perfectly executed as she simultaneously hits a high note previously unknown to mankind. We want the melodrama of Charles Bukowski, a fellow lion, to makes us feel seen and alive: “Attend the boxing matches, go to the racetrack, / live on luck and skill, / get alone, get alone often, / and if you can’t sleep alone / be careful of the words you speak in your sleep; / and / ask for no mercy / no miracles.”
Perhaps it would be cliche to recommend that you look into dancing and acting but as I suggested above, I don’t much care. There are plenty of Leos who love to write, paint and sing but emotive, exaggerated and performative art is where a Leo truly thrives. Your natural star quality begs to be put on a stage or in front of a camera, to be thrown into a character, to use your body and face to convey meaning. Need I remind you that Jennifer Lopez is a Leo??? She can do it all, and you can too!
Many Virgos will find themselves drawn to realism. True crime shows have become buzzy and trendy recently — thanks to phenomenons like Making a Murderer and, ehem, Catfish — but they were really made for the Virgos of the world. Unabashedly honest documentaries will also hit that sweet spot of keeping you riveted and making you smarter. As for fantasy and fiction, you prefer those genres with a healthy dose of cynicism anchored in history or possibility, like The Crown or Westworld.
Virgos are capable of wearing many hats — not just those weird felt berets we picture on the heads of mustachioed French painters. That is to say, each Virgo is capable of fashioning a variety of worlds, completely according to their own design, and each one will be different from the last. For a Virgo with endless possibilities, you may turn to graphic design. Few artistic disciplines are as unrestricted and free as this, plus technology allows you to translate your vision with such extreme detail and precision that you can easily get hooked. This includes, by the way, brand-building, which is an art and a skill and I don’t want to hear another word about it. If you disagree, take a peek at Beyoncé’s Instagram (or entire career, for that matter) for a Virgo’s 101 Guide to Master Image Control.
If anyone could spend all day sitting in a gallery wrapped wall-to-wall with Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, it’s a Libra. This sign doesn’t get enough credit for being tender and easily moved because it’s also the sign of grit and grace. Thus, you often express your creativity through small acts of rebellion. You need capital-R Romanticism with its rebellious embrace of intuition and emotion, and its interest in nature and imagination. If this all sounds too flowery, you’re mistaken: William Wordsworth’s poems that “dwelt among the untrodden ways,” is Romantic, yes, but so is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Libras are gifted in the visual arts, thanks to the influence of its ruling planet Venus. You are inventive and adaptive with a powerful creative streak and you can make anything into something beautiful and coveted. Making jewelry with used or vintage objects is a particularly rewarding pursuit but you’ll also find solace doing something as small as cutting up a magazine to make collages. Even color-coordinating your daily planner with gel pens will allow you to express yourself in the mundane details of everyday life.
A conflicted, magnetic, eloquent Scorpio will likely gravitate towards art of the same charismatic, sharp-witted caliber. Vince Staples’ rapping, for example, is equal parts insightful and sardonic. Richard Ayoade’s film Submarine is, as the Guardian puts it, “refreshingly rotten.” I have little doubt that, in a gallery full of stunning realism, you would stare longingly at the gilded, disrupted works of Gustav Klimt.
I have written at length about Scorpio’s ability to move people with music — mostly because I want to name-drop both Lorde and Drake whenever possible, but also because most Scorpios constantly feel as though they are on the edge of destruction. This is rarely true but it makes for poignant and extraordinary writing. Lyricism and poetry are particularly befitting for a Scorpio who, like fellow scorpions Sylvia Plath, Kurt Vonnegut and Anne Sexton, are constantly expressing ways to communicate light, share experiences and seek companionship.
You may often feel, in the words of famed Sagittarius Lewis Carroll and plenty of lukewarm typographers, that you can’t go back to yesterday because you were a different person then. You crave newness and possibility, like the characters in Jean Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou: fickle, wandering, indecisive people in search of greater meaning. Huge, timeless classics like the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies illustrate the big-budget adventures that you have inside your mind every day. Also, Billie Eilish is a Sagittarius too, in case you’ve been looking for new music that makes you feel both weird and understood.
Painting, possibly the most classic art form, may seem a tad blasé and uninspired. But if this is your initial reaction, you’ve forgotten that the world of painting is an immeasurable kaleidoscope, such that even you can’t get bored. You can bounce between styles — from Andy Warhol’s unapologetically loud pop art to Mark Rothko’s understated, ominous expressionism — in a matter of weeks or days or minutes. You can live all your lives on canvas, simultaneously.
Capricorns tend to prefer a mix of honesty and vagary in their artwork, from Anaïs Nin’s elegant, astral poetry to Arctic Monkey’s Alex Turner and his swaggering, starry-eyed crooning. You may also enjoy a dash of macabre here and there — not unlike another fellow Capricorn, Edgar Allen Poe (although his taste was less a dash of macabre and more an unadulterated flood). Capricorns claim to want everything straight-forward and organized at all times but being ruled by Saturn, your mind is bound to wander and project. What you really want is truth, purpose, and ingeniousness.
Your orderly manner of thinking and knack for leadership lends itself well to art that thrives with innovative design and boundary-pushing. Architecture is an ideal outlet for these skills, as it follows a structure but also begs to be reinvented. On a smaller scale, ceramics and pottery often require specific techniques while also creating opportunities for uniqueness — like a flourish of paint or decor.
For any readers who are cursed enough to remember the blogging boom, I offer this: Aquarius is the “Tumblr art hoe” stereotype personified. (If that line is lost on you, consider yourself lucky.) Aquarians are the most likely sign in the zodiac to have an extensive, many-hued interest in art — particularly because they tend to have a profound grasp on an artists’ ability to speak up, comment on injustices and right wrongs. You’ve probably been binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale already, especially since the book was written by someone with an Aquarius moon. If you didn’t read 1984, Animal Farm or Beloved in school, do it literally right now. Art that gives interesting commentary in unexpected ways also appeals to you, like in Gone Girl (that “cool girl” speech says it all).
For an Aquarius, everything is art. To you, human lives are constant, varied, ever-changing performance pieces that can cause real ripples in a larger society. Everything can be read as biographical and revealing, from your handwriting to your relationships. When you’re consciously creating, your style may gravitate toward personal pieces that combine everyday objects and performances (think Tracey Emin’s “My Bed,” or “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With”). You could publish your daily journal without any edits and it would likely read like an illustrated, novelistic memoir.
According to the ultimate Pisces (Dr. Seuss), nonsense “wakes up the brain cells” and “fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” This is very much the Pisces life philosophy: imagination and wonder will help ease the bumpy road of living life. More specifically, your interests will likely find a home with illustrators like Natalie Foss, bands like Beach House, and experiences that give you a sharp, panging, starry-eyed wonderment, like Mihoko Ogaki’s “Milky Way” figures.
To generate this sensation in your everyday life, your best bet is to learn an instrument. Pisces natives are typically very gifted the musical realm, perhaps because your delicate sensibilities and attention to detail. You are particularly tuned (haha) for the intricacies of hands-on creation. Even though you probably listen to an arsenal of full albums every single day, making your own music is a remarkably calming — and genuinely, verifiably beneficial — experience that feels both expansive and grounding for your chaotically vivid mind.