Your Zodiac sign can tell a lot about you, from what kind of a romantic partner you are to what kind of work environment you thrive in. It also has a lot to say about your deepest, darkest fears.
So let's take a peek into the dark side of the star chart. What you find may alarm you, but it can also help you achieve true freedom. After all, a person who has faced their greatest fear and emerged victorious can handle anything!
Aries (March 21–April 20): Fear of Losing Loved Ones
Whether it's through a parting of ways or death, Aries never want to see their long-term relationships come to an end. That leads to some positive qualities, such as nurturing relationships and voicing love out loud.
However, it can also rob you of the time you do have together. The secret is to dwell in the present. In a way, your worst fear is already true: You will lose everything and everyone you've ever loved. That's just the deal.
Rather than dwelling on that fact in fear and sadness, learn to accept the reality of loss. Just remember what James Baldwin wrote in his epochal book of essays The Fire Next Time: "We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is."
Words to live by for an Aries.
Taurus (April 21–May 21): Fear of Chaos
If you know a Taurus, you know that they're some of the most stable people around. They like it that way, and they like a world full of stability and realized expectations. When things go off script, they get very uncomfortable.
If you zoom out far enough, though, chaos is all there is. When the Taurus can accept that all "stability" is localized, temporary, and fleeting, they can begin to unwind the resistance they fling into the unthinkable complexity of space and time. Won't that feel nice?
Gemini (May 22–June 21): Fear of Failure
Geminis tend to be perfectionists, so failing is not an acceptable option. While this fear can fuel good habits, like focusing and hard work, it can also lead to perpetually feeling discontent.
There's an interesting paradox about the fear of failure. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only thing a stuck Gemini can really do is follow the old showbiz advice: Fake it till you make it.
You might always feel like a fraud and a failure, but you can't allow that to stop you from acting on your desires. Eventually, that fear of failure will become a distant thrum. It is unlikely to ever go away completely, at least not until it's too late. But a distant thrum you can live with.
Cancer (June 22–July 22): Fear of Being Left Out
Being sensitive and caring makes Cancers some of the tenderest people in the world. That's a great quality for a friend, but it leaves those people very vulnerable. When they are rejected, they take it hard.
There's an easy way to work on this fear, slowly whittling it down over time until a cruel little nubbin stands where once there was a great tower of horrors.
It's social media. Do you really think your friends are going to do something great and not post it? You now have the ability to track all of your friends pretty much 100 percent of the time. At least if they are leaving you out, you'll know about it.
That should be some consolation for the Cancers of the world.
Leo (July 23–August 22): Fear of Mediocrity
Leos work hard and want to succeed beyond everyone's expectations. So when it's their time to shine, they want all of their friends and loved ones to care. Nothing hurts them worse than going unnoticed.
In a way, though, the fear of mediocrity is a scientific problem. Anxious Leos are simply facing a distorted sample size. Our media rewards and promotes extraordinary talent. We pay more attention to our media than we do to our real lives. That leads to an unrealistic view of personal achievement, and Leos catch this social illness with astonishing ease.
The solution is to pay more attention to the people in your life. Odds are they aren't astronauts and rock stars. The cure for fear of mediocrity is not to strive; it is to accept lowly station then to unlearn the illusion of lowliness.
Virgo (August 23–September 23): Fear of Codependence
Virgos crave order and independence. Relying on someone else means more instability in their lives than they would like. Being stuck in a relationship with a disorganized person is a Virgo's worst-case scenario.
Actually, this is a pretty rational fear. Anyone who's found themselves stuck in a codependent relationship (and who hasn't?) knows that. You're on your own, Virgo.
Libra (September 24–October 23): Fear of Causing Pain
Libras are so empathetic and loving that to hurt someone else is their biggest fear. Of course, they are the least likely to actually do this, but the thought of doing so can physically pain them.
For a bit of wisdom on the subject of causing pain, we'll turn to an unlikely source. In an absurdly long profile of celebrity chef and roustabout Anthony Bourdain, The New Yorker's Patrick Radden Keefe probed the dissolution of Bourdain's earlier marriage. The chef's then-wife didn't want the life of fame and hassle that Bourdain's burgeoning television career would bring. Bourdain did; he wanted fame and hassle.
"There were things that I wanted, and I was willing to really hurt somebody to have them," he is quoted as saying.
We'd like you to think about that, Libras.
Scorpio (October 24–November 22): Fear of Intimacy
These confident people are invulnerable to being hurt, or so it would seem. In reality, they shut others out because they are afraid of opening up and being vulnerable to emotional pain.
As a gang of Scorpios ourselves, this makes perfect sense to us. Our quote here comes from Sting, though terribly out of context, of course: "Please don't stand so close to me."
Sagittarius (November 23–December 21): Fear of Losing Independence
The free spirit and spontaneity of the Sagittarius are their defining traits. That's why being beholden to someone else is one of their biggest fears. A controlling boss or an overbearing partner is a Sagittarius' worst nightmare.
This fear is less a weakness than a lifestyle choice. We're not saying you should give in to crass confrontation all the time. Just slip out the back, Jack.
Capricorn (December 22–January 20): Fear of Public Shame
Capricorns work hard to realize their dreams, and they want others to see and appreciate what they've accomplished. Their number one fear is that when they present the results of their hard work, people will reject or dismiss it.
That's a tough one, Capricorns. All we can say is that learning to take your lumps is part of getting through life. We will all insert our feet in our mouths. We will all work hard on things that other people don't value. In short, every single one of us is just one wrong audience away from public shame at all times.
Acceptance of pain is probably your best bet here.
Aquarius (January 21–February 19): Fear of Weakness
An Aquarius wants to protect others and be strong. They pride themselves on staying cool and being dependable. Their biggest fear is that they won't have the courage or strength to stand up to adversaries.
We highly recommend working on this fear when you're young. Among other things, the aging process is a steady dwindling of physical power. We all end with disabilities if we live long enough.
Get cool with failure. Shake hands with mortality. Learn to admire the wings on a butterfly and a housefly alike. Otherwise you're going to have a rough time, no matter what your zodiac sign is.
Pisces (February 20–March 20): Fear of Abandonment
Most Pisces love to interact with others, and they value relationships above all else. That's why even the thought of being rejected or shunned hurts these normally thick-skinned people.
Some Pisces react to this fear by shunning first, lest they be shunned. That's a mistake. Work on trusting friends and loved ones. There's a reason they're your friends and loved ones, after all.
Also, everyone should be in therapy. All the time.