April 2022 Horoscopes: Portents, Omens, and the Curse of the . . . Trope!
With the advent of Spring comes budding flowers, chirpy birds, frisky squirrels, and days full of sunshine and warmth. Sounds absolutely dreadful, doesn’t it? But, no worries, this month’s set of horoscopes whisks you away into the devilishly delicious Gothic- and horror-inspired setting of your fondest literary nightmares! Let the astrological tropes begin!
(Disclaimer: Please note that these mock horoscopes are meant for entertainment only, and are not meant to be taken as actual advice, past/present/future predictions, or in any factual, accurate, scientific, or truthful context.)
Aries (March 20—April 19). Feisty, trouble-making Aries picked a fight with the wrong person, and they found themselves on the next boat out of town . . . heading to Australia as a convict, perhaps. But the characteristics that forced Aries into these dire straits are exactly what’s needed(Disclaimer: Please note that these mock horoscopes are meant for entertainment only, and are not meant to be taken as actual advice, past/present/future predictions, or in any factual, accurate, scientific, or truthful context.) to not only survive in their new locale, but rise to the top of the social ladder. They may find themselves as the head of their own profitable estate, where they can live the life they’ve always felt they’ve deserved. Soon, though, the demands of being a settled property owner wear on the adventurous Aries, and they’ll mysteriously disappear while riding through the Bush, leading to whispered rumors of evil curses or vengeful enemies. Don’t Go in the Basement: If a smitten Aries character invites you on a picnic deep in the Outback, I’d suggest you’d politely decline the invitation. You may be the one that “mysteriously disappears”*, while the Aries emerges ten years later no worse for the wear from their adventure in the Bush.
Taurus (April 20—May 20). Steadfast Taurians yearn for the simpler life, and they’ll work hard to achieve their dream; a dream where they give up the hectic and impersonal vibe of the big city for a quaint and picturesque small town where traditions thrive and things rarely change. Despite the Taurian love of constancy and old-fashioned values, they may be oblivious to the fact that they are, and will always be, an outsider to the town, whose years of isolation from the outside world made them a close-knit and insular community. Don’t Go in the Basement: This stubborn sign better have an exit strategy in place in case they need to flee in the middle of the night: a packed overnight bag, a car with a full tank of gas, and even a pet carrier for little Fluffy. Taurians might also invest in an emergency generator in case someone cuts the power to their house, or a have a safe room stocked with supplies to last them until their big-city friends come to rescue them from the horde of deceptively charming locals.
Gemini (May 21—June 20). Geminis could spend an eternity exploring the world’s subterranean catacombs and never get bored. Every twist and turn could reveal a mystery yet to be uncovered. Once they’ve charmed their way into the catacombs that are off-limits or not fully explored, you can bet they’ll be keen on cracking some secret code or uncovering hidden messages in the tombs’ decorations and script. Don’t Go in the Basement: Geminis are not only curious, they’re impulsive. They may not even be planning to explore the catacombs until they happen by the entrance on their travels—perhaps even on the way to their local coffee shop. The lure of the unknown will be irresistible to the Gemini, and they may slip away from the tour on an exploration of their own—only to find themselves forever lost. But the Gemini would take consolation in that their own accidental entombment in the catacombs becomes a mystery that other curiosity seekers hope to solve.
Cancer (June 21—July 22). For a Cancer, family is everything. So, naturally, they’ve planned the perfect vacation for their loved ones. They haul their family off to the lakeside cabin where there’s something to please everyone—dips in the lake, fishing off the dock, strolls through the nearby woods, or board games for the whole family to play after roasting hot dogs and marshmallows around a cozy fire. Until the fog rolls in off the lake, that is. But what better way to unite a family then going up against sinister force lurking in the mist? Either way, the Cancer will have achieved its most prized dream, even if they have to take down an unseen enemy to protect their beloved family. Don’t Go in the Basement: Maybe resist the temptation to tell ghost stories around the fire, dear Crab. Who knows what creatures these old tales can awake from the depths of the lake? Or what ancient horrors lurk in the shadows beyond the crackling fire, waiting to be called to life. And, perhaps, leave the Ouija Board at home, too, alongside the cell phones and other electronic devices.
Leo (July 23—August 22). It’s a tricky thing to pick a literary trope that befits a Leo, as this is the sign most known for originality and for standing out amidst the masses. But a Leo would be crushed if they went unnoticed so I’d place them in a setting where they could be challenged to stand out, despite a system in place that, perhaps, encourages rule-following and conformity. Because when the Leo flouts the established order of a boarding school, they do it with style, and can win over even the most stern and disapproving Victorian-era headmistress/headmaster. Don’t Go in the Basement: While eventually the strict environment of the boarding school will chafe against the Lion’s dynamic and unconventional spirit, I’d caution the Leo from running away. While Leo’s luck may continue to hold out, and they live an exciting existence in creative-minded Paris, gothic literature is also filled with sordid examples of debauched individuals who paid a terrible price for rebelling against societal norms.
Virgo (August 23—September 22). Virgos are often said to be the caretakers of the zodiac. As such, they’ll be donning their aprons and bravely entering into service where the need is most. And these asylums and hospitals of yore are no places for the weak of spirit, or of stomach. Virgos may be less motivated by that spirit of altruism and more by the drive to live a moral and upright life. In some ways, a life spent in service is their own sort of rebellion against the established social order, and it frees them from the demands of family and other restrictions. While they work hard, they still have time to appreciate the finer things in life, and easily discard their bloody aprons for a night out at the opera, or nestled in a lavish sitting room with a good book and a strong cup of tea. Don’t Go in the Basement: While serving in a hospital or an asylum on the home front is one thing, serving as a medic in the time of war is quite another, and even the most resilient, dedicated Virgo may not be immune to the real-life horrors on the battlefield. They could return home haunted by the ghosts of trauma by all they have witnessed, and not even a strong cup of tea can cure that.
Libra (September 23—October 22). Libra’s phantasmagoric nature is drawn to the murky and mutable magic of marshlands. It may even be hard to tell whether they’re chasing will o’ the wisp, or they are the wisps incarnate themselves. These ephemeral signs may sneak out at odd hours of the night, seeking fairies under certain phases of the moon. If discovered, many Librans would claim to be sleepwalking or pixie-mazed in order to avoid being labeled a witch, or mad. They’re probably the stuff of legends, themselves, or, at the very least, the source of many fairy tales. Don’t Go in the Basement: No matter how tempting it is, it’s perhaps best not to yearn after the neighbor’s rampion, or taste the food and drink of fairies, or follow the aforementioned will o’ the wisp deep into the swamp. But, even then, I’d probably take the risk right alongside the wishful Libra, wouldn’t you?
Scorpio (October 23—November 21). Urban landscapes evoke their own form of spooky dread. City markets filled with all sorts of artifacts and strange foodstuffs, deserted playgrounds, and, of course, dark alleys where any sort of menace could be lurking. The question remains: why is the Scorpio haunting these back alleys? Are they monsters of the dark, themselves? Pickpockets helping themselves to the treasure of unsuspecting citizens? Or maybe they’re just a police officer on the beat, trying to ward off the evil that blooms amongst these litter-strewn sidewalks. Don’t Go in the Basement: Whatever purpose the Scorpion has on these gloomy urban pathways, it’s probably best not to ask. They can take care of themselves, and might even decide to make you their mark. So, if you see a Scorpio headed your way, pull your collar up, cast your eyes downward, and don’t forget your walking stick with a knife hidden in its handle. (We know why a Scorpio is there, but why are you?)
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21). There comes a time in the life of the Sagittarian adventurer’s life when they feel like they’ve explored every corner of their world. As this sign may have the misfortune to be born in a world that hasn’t yet developed the technology to explore all the corners of the universe as well, they may be intrigued about the most elusive mystery of them all: what happens after you die. So you may find them frequenting sites like churches, cathedrals, monasteries, synagogues, and mosques, or other sacred places, depending on their spiritual or religious beliefs. They may also attempt to seek answers through séances or other forms of communication with departed souls. Don’t Go in the Basement: The Archer may find themselves in a graveyard on a night when the veil between worlds is purported to be thin. While Sagittarians are the best able to handle revelations about what happens after death, they run the risk of the knowledge driving them mad. However, rest assured, they’ll be in good hands under the care of a devoted Virgo at a local asylum.
Capricorn (December 22—January 19). Capricorns are even more industrious than Virgos, as they are driven to be successful in everything they do. Capricorns don’t compete with others, only themselves, and they prefer their own company as a result. While taking a position at a lighthouse or light station is not only grueling in terms of labor, there’s the additional sacrifice of living in a state of near-total isolation for their term of their service. Still, work, to a Capricorn, is its own form of entertainment, and when they’re not maintaining the light, they tend to their garden and their livestock, and read books to keep their mind as fit as their physical body. Don’t Go in the Basement: It’s probably best that the Capricorn is the sole tender of the light. In the Capricorn’s eyes, nobody else will do the job as well as they can. So, if the government with its usual characteristic wisdom that hasn’t changed throughout the years decides that two people need to be tending the light, remember the historically based lore of homicidal lightkeepers!
Aquarius (January 20—February 18). Back when the car was still a novel invention, it’s a fair assumption that Aquarians would have been among the first to go bumping around on the roads. While the Water Bearer always has their eye on the future, there’s a part of them that is nostalgic for certain periods, locales, or items of bygone days. This nostalgia comes from their memories of past lives, and so Aquarians embrace the past in this context. One way to stay connected to the lives they’ve lived before is to indulge in old-fashioned activities, like road trips along Route 66, for example. However, things may take a turn for the worse when the Aquarian’s vehicle is found by the side of the road, lights on, and doors left wide open. Look at it this way, though, Aquarian’s disappearance may attract out-of-this-world attention as a possible UFO abduction. Don’t Go in the Basement: It’s probably not wise for the modern-day Aquarian to take a drive along a highway that’s thought to be haunted or cursed in some way—such as U.S. Route 491 in New Mexico, which was also called the Devil’s Highway (it used to be Route 666). I’ll say this, though, in a state where dirt roads are in better shape than many of the paved roads, it’s not a surprise that more commercial routes like this get a bad rep!
Pisces (February 19—March 20). Pisces yearn for old-world grandeur. They’ve lost count how many times they’ve read the complete works of Eyre and Du Maurier and Holt. So they seek out a manor estate of their own, often buying the place with as many of the original furnishings intact as possible. And it’s even better if the place hasn’t been ruined with such modern amenities like central heat; after all, those roaring fireplaces did the job just fine back in the day, right? When this imaginative sign isn’t gazing out over the misty, rainy landscape, they’re taking long, rambling walks on the nearby moor or waltzing through glamorous ballrooms. Don’t Go in the Basement: Pisces, I sincerely appreciate your romantic sensibilities, but are you sure you wouldn’t rather have a penthouse loft in a vibrant city, or a beachside condo in a tropical hot spot? Breathing in the mold of eons from those selfsame drapes that date back to when the house was built isn’t good for your health, you know! Besides, aren’t you tired of hearing that constant wailing from the haunted attic?
*a nod to Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, which was also made into a film
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“Bringer of Nightmares and Storms.” Horror writer Willow Croft is usually lurking deep in the shadows of her writer cave, surrounded by formerly feral (but still fierce!) cats for company. Visit her here: http://willowcroft.blog, or check out her other services here: https://kirsten-lee-barger.mailchimpsites.com/.