Dose/Ines Vuckovic

A lost liberal turns to the stars for guidance.

Since day one of the Trump administration, I’ve felt like a pig’s foot in a jar of vinegar?—?sour, disconnected, trapped. As much as I try to channel my anger into positive action, most days I feel totally lost, buried under a growing pile of deeply upsetting news.

During such dark times, many people turn to religion or life coaches for guidance. But as a lapsed Catholic with a less-than-desirable bank account, I need another option. So this week, I turn to my horoscope.

As a covert member of the cult of astrology since age 10, I’m used to checking the daily Cancer horoscope and thinking, “Huh. That’s interesting.” But this week I’m releasing my skepticism and letting my sun sign lead the way.

While some sources tell you all about how Saturn’s opposition with Jupiter will influence Mercury in retrograde, etc., I’m looking for astrological instructions on how to avoid a pit of despair. So we’re gonna play this middle school style and rely on the straightforward advice of horoscope.com. I can’t read any more angry tweets or political think pieces so please, stars, just tell me what to do next.

Horoscope, you are dead on about this negative energy. Every morning at 8am I wake up to NPR news and by 8:15 there’s already some fresh hell from Washington that’s got me feeling like a shrieking tea kettle, releasing a steady plume of rage steam.

Not sure about those investments, though. At 25, my only investments are my very new 401K plan and the pricey suede bomber jacket I justified as “an investment in cool.” And since you can’t technically put a price tag on flyness, I do the next best thing: check my 401K statement. While I have saved roughly enough to take a nice vacation after retirement, Mass Mutual informs me that if I continue to save at my current rate I’ll be $200K short of what I’ll need for survival in my golden years. Not really the big payoff I was hoping for.

How else can I attempt to win big? Oh how bout uh, THE FRIGGIN LOTTERY?! With luck on my side I buy two scratch-offs from 7-Eleven and get to work with my new lucky penny. Why is this penny lucky, you ask? Because I dropped it on the floor a bunch of times until it landed heads up. You gotta make your own luck, my friend.

Although I didn’t win any real money, I did win the chance to cash in my ticket for a new one, free of charge. A fresh opportunity is maybe the greatest luck we can ask for.

Of course I feel stressed and hot-headed: BETSY DEVOS WAS CONFIRMED THIS MORNING AND I AM FURIOUS.

For the past two weeks I’ve called, emailed and faxed my senators with heartfelt pleas to not flush our education system down the toilet. And yet, they confirmed a woman with zero experience and zero fucks given for public schools.

On any other day I might have silently fumed at my desk, hate-reading The New York Times. But thanks to my horoscope, today I know how to channel my energy: MUNDANE CHORES THAT I AM GONNA CRUSH WITH THE FURY OF A THOUSAND FLAMES.

Let it be known I did not take my frustrations out on any human person, just this dirty old dumpster that could totally take it.

Oh come oooonnnn! Are you telling me that on top of our government lighting itself on fire now I have to worry my sister’s secretly angry with me?! I give her a call on my lunch break to clear up any latent conflict:

“Steph, if you’re mad at me about something you have to tell me. My horoscope told me so.”

“What? No…”

“Okay.”

“Okay.”

Then we discussed plans to go camping on her birthday. It was totally fine and not at all tense. For once reality is better than my horoscope predicts.

Ooh la la! While I currently have no lover to court, I’m all for seductive sophistication. So I break out the sexiest outfit I own: my Halloween costume from last year when I went as a 1980s business woman (I have a thing for 9 to 5”). With a little spritz of perfume and some extra girthy shoulder pads, I’m suddenly transformed into a no-nonsense professional.

As goofy as it seems, this get-up really does help me feel more confident and assertive in the workplace. By the end of the day, my bullshit intake level is reduced to zero.

It’s the end of the week and I feel slightly less like pickled pig’s foot. Still pretty sour, but maybe now the lid’s been opened and I can breathe a bit. Was it luck? Or did I earn it? Today’s horoscope is giving me little in the way of guidance. I guess it’s saying, you’re doing your best, take a dang chill pill.

While I still called my senators and kept up with the swirling news shitstorm, I also took more time to reflect on my needs. And it turns out kicking a dumpster is extremely therapeutic. Thanks, horoscope! See you after my next breakup!

All images by Dose’s Drew Wittler.