All illustrations by Erin Filson.
LIBRA Sept 23 – Oct 22 —October cometh, and with it brings tidings of the happiest of birthdays to you, dear Libra! Blow out the candles and wish as you will, then buckle down to deal with the warmongering Mars mania that will rule your entire month. Full of fire and residing in your fourth house of home, roots, family and security, this means dealing with a fair amount of upheaval or change. Balance the heat with cooler salads and fresh sorbets, and avoid chili peppers and wasabi at all costs. An afternoon ritual of mint iced tea and fresh watermelon will cool the cresting waves of distemper, and you’ll have the opportunity to branch out from your usual chicken salad recipe. Try a sweet corn salad with green onions, pancetta crisps, fresh dill and a lemony goat cheese while you soak up the rays of sun that dominate your first house – the spotlight is on you, and this is an opportune time to think about the mask you’ve been wearing out into the world. Just in time for Halloween, eh? Rather than hiding away, tackle your issues of self-perception and image while Jupiter brings you luck and opportunity for expansion and recognition! A costume party might be in store, and you’d better test your hand at making the best cocktails you can possibly scare up. Let unmasking be your theme, and reveal the hidden flavors of gin with ginger beer, the secret desires of tequila with candied limes, and the deepest devotions of vodka with fruit-laced simple syrups. It’s a month for being a liberated Libra, indeed.
SCORPIO Oct 23 – Nov 21 — Shrouded in mystery and intrigue, your October reputation is absolutely on the line. Until the 19th, Venus is in your first house of image and renown. This is a charming idea, full of Venusian amour and affection, but might make your secretive side completely uncomfortable. Your vulnerability is on display, which could end in vengeance and disaster rather than enlightenment and rare opportunities for intimacy. Strive for the latter, and feed the romance with candlelit dinners and aphrodisiac foods. Raw oysters with a squeeze of lemon and a shallot-studded vinaigrette shall be hand-fed to your lovers, followed by feasts of dark chocolate-covered strawberries. Decadent blue cheese smothered in champagne jam with a macchiato chaser will deliciously illustrate the dark undertones of your personality coming out to play with lovable Venus. Speaking of partnerships, the Sun and Jupiter have conspired together in your twelfth house, where your secret identity hides. Take heed of this development, because the only way to survive the uncovering of your much-needed privacy might just be to hide away. Snacky tidbits like water crackers, jams, salami, almonds, and of course cheese will help you weather the storm. By Halloween, you’ll be prime to get back into costume and hide away your fantastic and enviable secrets.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 22 – Dec 21 —As we slip into Fall, the leaves aren’t the only thing changing in October. The Sun is illuminating your eleventh house of friendship, and thus exaggerates your personal partnership qualities. Your capacity towards friendships, groups, and non-emotional relations will be put under the proverbial microscope – if you’re doing well in social situations, you’ll feel the warm glow of approval! If not, there will be inevitable discomfort. To test this (hopefully) productive era, schedule a lunch date with each of your closest friends throughout the month, and enjoy a simple and hearty soup – salad – sandwich kind of lunch smothered in catch-up conversation. Saturn is in Saggitarius as well, and that will undoubtedly cause an internal discord with your image and appearance. While it might not manifest in such literal ways, keep your complexion in top shape with healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados, flaxseed, or salmon. With confrontational Mars in your second house of personal resources and talents, be wary of rushing into things or pulling the trigger on big financial decisions or acquiring property or possessions. Practice restraint and balance the instability by reinforcing your good daily habits – lots of water, whole grains and fruits, dairy in moderation, and a bit of chocolate when you’re feeling down.
CAPRICORN Dec 22 – Jan 19 —As the temperature begins to drop and the scenery changes, remember that the sun continues to shine even when we cannot see it. This month, the Sun and Jupiter are both enjoying a stay in your tenth house of career, ambition, and social status. The focus is all about who you are and where you’re going, with lucky Jupiter bringing possibilities of travel for your job or international connections. Your tenth house is at the highest point, or mid-heaven, on the star charts, which means you’re looking up (and moving up!) to a potential promotion. That means October is no time for messing up your meal game at work – nail down a plan for seasonally appropriate and professionally portable lunches and snacks that will keep you focused on the right goals rather than wondering when you can sneak off to the break room. Rice cakes with tuna, Brie, chutney, and fresh herbs will keep you full and focused, or a homemade sweet potato hash with shredded pork might earn you a promotion all by itself if the boss catches a whiff. Just keep an eye out for fiery Mars this month in your image-centric first house. Everything from your hair to your clothes to your business cards will be in the spotlight, and if you feel threatened, you’ll drown in the stress. Herbal tea with local honey and a protein punch of aged cheddar and Finocchiona salami will make you feel elegant while keeping a properly-fueled physique. Stay energized, and you won’t be seized by Mars Madness.
AQUARIUS Jan 20 – Feb 18 — Five shifting planets and a full moon this month are giving you loads to think about, and lots of questions will arise for Aquarius! With the radiant sun shining through your ninth house of travel and exotic cultures, ask yourself if you are truly a born explorer. Take a culinary journey through the cuisines of India, Ethiopia, Portugal, Israel, and Greece to excite your palate with the possibilities. There’s no wrong answer, with Jupiter sharing the sunlight and a sudden shift from tunnel vision to a widescreen lens, you might be traveling internally through your belief system, religion, or philosophies. This is a rare opportunity to feed the soul with heavenly explosions of flavor – triple cream Bries, beef carpaccio, lemon-laced olive oils, truffle mushrooms, and fine wines are in store for you as you dig deeply into your vast interior designs. Imposing Saturn is visiting your eleventh house meanwhile, which could mean a bit of hard work on the friendship front. Perhaps an acquaintance will suddenly demand more attention, or a usually easy-going pal will become fussy and require your every devotion. Is it bad chemistry, or just bad decisions? Think of teamwork-focused activities, like preparing a meal together or throwing a joint hors d’oeurves soirée, and put the friendship through its paces to find the answers. Don’t say yes to the impossible, just say yes to a well-timed tapas night!
PISCES Feb 19 – March 20 —Things are happening this October for you, and it’s not just the usual Halloween parties and pumpkin patch exploits. The sun is shining in your eighth house of shared resources, or what you share, owe, or inherit. With a light on your partnerships, also, get ready to own up to the problems that exist there – a couple of late business dinners might go a long way to keeping this enlightened period a happy and productive one. Make reservations at a swanky steakhouse, and treat your business partners like pampered clients, but spend the real moments solving any underlying problems. Keep your eyes on your assets as a full moon on the 16th puts a glow on your second house of personal resources, talents, and finances. With so much focus on these two houses this month, October is not the time for extravagance in the kitchen. Not that you have to resort to packets of ramen, but snatch up fresh veggies from farmer’s markets, and ask about the specials at the butcher counter. When it comes to cheese, use sparingly and go for French Raclette and fresh Mozzarella to make meager meals more magnificent. Mars always wreaks a bit of havoc, causing manic feelings and igniting passion – he’s in your eleventh house of friendships, and this means you are at risk of getting carried away with a new pal or a friend’s latest big idea. Remain objective, and maybe try and eat lunch solo this month to avoid the mania.
ARIES Mar 21 – Apr 19 —And here we are, Aries, the farthest from your birthday as we could possibly be. This may sound like a negative, but with the Sun in your seventh house and a full moon on the 16th in your first house, October can be a pivotal month for you. The Sun is illuminating your lovers – past, present, and future, and with Jupiter also in your seventh house, this means a potential milestone. Marriage, divorce, moving in, having a baby, falling in love…anything is possible! To prime your outlook for the most positive change, practice falling in love with new, rare, and decadent ingredients like bacon jam, white truffle oil, and handmade buffalo milk cheeses. Find new favorites, offer them your affection, and let them change your culinary life. For the full moon, prepare yourself for a deluge of questions surrounding your image, appearance, or reputation. Now is NOT the time for haircuts and plastic surgery, but eating healthy is absolutely paramount for mid-month. No or very little sugars, low cholesterol foods, and lots of protein will keep you feeling trim and tight for when the light of the moon illuminates your insecurities. Also remember that because of the spotlight, people are always watching you to see how you react…
TAURUS Apr 20 – May 20 — With the Sun in Libra and in your sixth house of health and well-being, everything about your body will suddenly become extremely obvious. What’s good, what’s bad, and what needs work is a major focus for Taurus in early October. This might go far deeper than surface-level for you, and it doesn’t necessarily mean a crash diet! Heart-healthy foods like tuna, walnuts, and fresh berries are highly recommended, and may we also suggest a glass of red wine in the evenings to keep you happy and healthy. A full moon in Aries on the 16th means the lunar illumination of your twelfth house of secrets. Things will come to light in your innermost self that you won’t even be able to share with your best friend. Fight darkness with darkness, in the form of intensely dark chocolate and secretive cups of French roast coffee in hidden cafe corners. As you work through these issues alone, it might also be necessary to turn wholeheartedly to comfort foods – homemade mashed potatoes and gravy might be dinner for the whole week (and if you ditched the potatoes completely and opted for spoonfuls of rich, salty gravy alone, we wouldn’t blame you one bit). Manic Mars in your ninth house means a cycle of hot-and-bothered-ness dealing with travel, other cultures, deeper beliefs or religion. Breathe deeply and slowly, and avoid the international foods aisle at the grocery store until the cycle ends around mid-month.
GEMINI May 21 – June 20 — Happy October, Gemini! We’ve made it this far into 2016, and things are looking good. Both the Sun and Jupiter are in Libra, illuminating your fifth house of hobbies, pleasures, pursuits, and creativity. This cycle will put a major focus on your sex life (or lack thereof), and your ego, confidence, and self-esteem are under scrutiny. Bathe in your successes and learn from your failures, all the while feeding your sensual side with tantalizing tidbits like lusty Italian olives, spiced prosciutto, and luscious, creamy sheep’s milk cheeses. Jupiter also throws focus on the children in your life – whether they are your own, your partner’s, your friends’, or whatever non-human thing you produce (think music or writing or art). A fantastic moment for growth and discovery, let these literal or metaphorical children guide you to creativity and wonder—OR plan a huge charitable donation to feed children across the world, and spend a bit of time out of your own kitchen and in a local soup kitchen. Powerful Saturn is in your seventh house of relationships and love, and this means a pivotal time of evaluating yourself, your partner, and your partnership. If you are single, you’ll be facing some fears and concerns about finding love. Address your gastronomic loves immediately by indulging in Alaskan King Salmon fillets for one, filet mignon and asparagus, and a single serving of cream-drenched chocolate mud cake.
CANCER June 21 – July 22 — Interesting developments are brewing in your fourth house that might become the talk of the whole neighborhood! Dealing with homes, family, housemates, and property, the Sun is beaming on a cycle of change and adjustment in these areas that could attract some attention. You’ll either find yourself in the middle of Pleasantville or trapped in the Connecticut town of Beetlejuice fame. Investigate what seems fine but is really troubled, or what seems tumultuous but is really inherently good! Step one is cooking at home, so that you’re close at hand to deal with any issues, and step two is to illustrate the dilemma with dishes like black pudding and toad-in-the-hole: seemingly dark, distressful, and disgusting, but full of health, heart, and wholesome flavor. For the full moon rising on the 16th, your tenth house of career and public standing is illuminated and will begin a cycle of pulling in different directions. This is not a time to start new projects, or incredible stress and pressure will ensue—stick to your breakfast routine without fail for the week, and let consistency guide you through the rough bits. With Venus lighting up your passions and hobbies this month, focus on making your solos into duets, and partnership will be your biggest asset. Tag-team dinners for October, and play a delightful game of collaboration when cooking with a friend, roommate, or lover.
LEO July 23 – Aug 22 —It’s not time for hibernation yet, dear Leo, and if anything we expect you to stand and deliver a familiar roar! The Sun and Jupiter are both having a stay in your house of communication, family, and short-term travel. Genetic connections, siblings, and neighbors are playing an important role now, and watch for opportunities to be introduced to foreign ideas or concepts. Stay wide open and ready to learn – accept any offer to try new cuisines, and look for human passports to show you the way. Ask a new acquaintance to cook you a dish from their background while you supply the beverages, and you’ll be surprised at the amount you have to absorb. A full moon in your ninth house on the 16th means a week of mixed feelings, caught in a tug-of-war between the sun and the moon. Travel might arouse homesickness, and you’ll need to put on a tough face and get through it with grace and elegance. No matter where you find yourself, feed the tempest onslaught with recipes from your childhood and a well-placed favorite snack. French fries can work emotional wonders, you know. For a bright spot of good news, with Venus’s help, this is a miraculous time to engage with a new housemate or family member. Find common ground, like a favorite restaurant or cocktail, and enjoy the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.
VIRGO Aug 23 – Sept 22 —The universal spotlight is pointed inevitably on your financial situation in this cycle. Possessions, extravagance, skills, and talents are all under question this month, and it is very important to spend some time finding some clarity and competence with all that you will handle this month. Are you rich or poor? Financially stable or in dire straits? Happy with your skills and talents or feeling useless? Jupiter’s luck in your second house means you’re in prime condition to reap the rewards of bargains, generous loans, bonuses, and freebies. When shopping for food in October, follow the sale signs and specials with diligence! You know you can turn a deal into a meal with a splash of spice and kitchen confidence. Venus is next door in your third house of communication, family, and neighbors, and cooperation is definitely the key. Collaborate while turning bargain beef into bourguignon, and don’t be afraid to ask a neighbor for a cup of sugar – they may have the secret ingredients you need to accomplish your gourmet goals. Just be wary of Mars making a passionate plea for havoc-wreaking in areas surrounding hobbies, children, love, or lust. You’re hyped up, and it’s better to wait before jumping headlong into conflict. Take a tea break, have some candied nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano, and cool your emotions with a scoop of gelato.