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Patti Smith hero

Your Horoscope According To Shit Patti Smith Did

Look to the stars for thoughtful insight into your month ahead.

by Alexia Bréard-Anderson

Illustration by Erik Grice

Whether through protest ballads or thoughtful poems dedicated to a dear friend, who better to  usher us into the industrious energies of this realm than poetess, rock legend and queen of bohemia Patti Smith. After all, if you’re not rolling out of bed, showing up backstage to support your friend’s first indie concert and getting fired from that soulless magazine gig, are you truly living? 

Read your Sun, Moon and Rising signs for some tips, tricks & tough love, and may the godmother of punk grant all your wishes.

(December 22 – January 19)

Happy Solar Return, Capricorn! May you celebrate, surrounded by love and blessings for many more years to come. Every birthday presents a new opportunity for growth, for shedding beliefs that no longer serve you and leveling UP! As you transition through this cycle, embrace the energy of our beloved Patti Smith, who has always questioned the status quo, reaching for wisdom just outside of her grasp and approaching life with a childlike awe and curiosity. As she sings in “Higher Learning,” a track released for her 2002 album LAND,Each time, We add a word, We add a breath, We cast a note, We slide a bead, Upon the necklace of all human knowledge.” Confront constructive criticism with grace, rather than reluctance, and accept that invitation to learn (or unlearn!) with an open heart.

(Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Patti Smith is a self-claimed humanist who’s always alchemized her art, poetry and music into essential tools to speak up against injustices across the globe. Ever the nonchalant rebel, she has repeatedly stated that she never creates a song for a hit, but for service. Standing out from her stacked roster of protest songs is the lead single “People Have the Power,” written with her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith (RIP) for her 1988 album Dream of Life. “And the people have the power, to redeem the work of fools, from the meek the graces shower, it’s decreed the people rule […]” This season, toss aside hopelessness, channel your inner creativity and reinvigorate your energy in community. Host an open jam fundraiser with fellow bandmates. Gather your friends to make zines, write love letters, screen films at a local café. Hold your loved ones as close as ever, and accept that housewarming invitation from a new neighbour. Why not? After all, as Patti’s IG bio says: We are all alive together

(February 19 – March 20)

Dream of Life is Patti Smith’s fifth studio album, released in 1988 in collaboration with her husband Fred “Sonic” Smith, after a staggering nine-year (!) hiatus from the music industry. In this record, we observe a subtle shift from her earlier poetic ramblings towards an equally inquisitive, but slightly more peaceful outlook on art, politics and life. Dear Pisces, as the year comes to an end, resist the urge to be everywhere at once and allow yourself to simply be. Somatic exercises could prove to be extra helpful during this time… Whether it’s a simple morning meditation or a little breathwork before falling asleep, aim to integrate small acts of mindfulness into your every day so you can ground those trippy musings and  mystical dreams into the physical realm. 

(March 21 – April 19)

Hey firestarter! As you throw yourself into 2024 and its allure of new beginnings, remember to pause and take stock of your friendships. Who are the people who have stuck around and really been there for you in this past cycle? It’s so easy to fall into the illusion that we must learn and experience everything on our own, but this couldn’t be further away from reality. Even Patti Smith, amidst decades of global fame and recognition, has always prioritized her loved ones, championed her friends and elevated the voices of those in her community. A true artist’s artist, if you will. This season, devote yourself to these friendships. Rekindle platonic intimacy. Write them a poem. Dedicate them a song. Patti Smith wrote an entire memoir, Just Kids, about her remarkable relationship with the late and great Robert Mapplethorpe… What about you?

(April 20 – May 20)

The godmother of punk is known for her disheveled mane of hair and iconic androgynous style. She’s inspired the likes of Morrissey, and there’s a portrait of her shot by Robert Mapplethorpe on Fifth Avenue, New York, in 1975, that has basically reached cult status. You know the one. Patti Smith exudes a beatnik bohemia reminiscent of French Symbolist poets and Bob Dylan, and has been known to outwardly refuse femininity, embodying a timeless, rebellious look. As winter solstice approaches, follow in the rock legend’s footsteps and embrace your EFFORTLESS COOL. Laugh in the face of monotonous beauty standards and let those split ends take centre stage as you roll out of bed and take on the day with the inner knowing that your sex appeal has nothing to do with the latest trend. 

(May 21 – June 20)

From vinyl records and Walkmans to MP3 players and the music algorithm monsters of today, technology has advanced at breakneck speed since Patti Smith’s first poetry reading in 1971, accompanied by guitar player Lenny Kaye in Manhattan’s East Village. While many of us are stuck romanticizing these ‘simpler times,’ no-one has as much of a soothing and AUTHENTIC presence on the interweb as the queen of bohemia herself! Just one glance at her Instagram @thisispattismith and sporadic newsletter says it all! This month, instead of dwelling in the bitterness of missed connections and the nostalgia of pre-Nokia days, embrace this energy and renew your relationship with the technology you have at your fingertips. Call your long distance friend. Read a book or two instead of doom scrolling. Join a rally before reposting something mindlessly, or take a break from social media altogether to lick some stamps and mail out that handful of vintage postcards you’ve been hoarding in your desk drawer.

(June 21 – July 22)

Moon baby, there is no shame in feeling and feeling deeply. Patti Smith is especially conscious of this, having undergone a fair share of loss, tragedy and injustices throughout her life – and she’s always spoken very openly about the role of poetry and music in alchemizing this grief into something expansive. In her own words: “[…] Grief starts to become indulgent, and it doesn’t serve anyone, and it’s painful. But if you transform it into remembrance, then you’re magnifying the person you lost and also giving something of that person to others, so they can experience something of that person.” As you bid farewell to 2023, set aside some space to hold a ritual of remembrance – whether it be for a past self, an ancestor or a friendship that has moved on. Craft it in a way that feels true to you, and allow yourself to release a little bit of that weight and lighten your heart.

(July 23 – August 22)

In multiple interviews, Patti has revealed that it was mostly royalties (in the form of a $120 cheque) from her classic 1978 single “Because The Night” that helped her stay on her feet in one of the most groundbreaking stages of her musical career. It comes as no surprise, Leo, that little has changed since the 70s, with Spotify payouts coming out at less than 0.005 cents per stream for independent artists. As 2023 comes to a close, take a closer look at the little subscriptions and fees that are eating up your personal finances. Is there a way of reallocating them to support your artistic loved ones in a more mindful manner? Maybe this is a perfect opportunity to ditch that Apple Music account, buy tickets to your friend’s indie psychedelic rock concert and show up in person – dressed the part, of course.

(August 23 – September 22)

We know you love a good plan, Virgo! This new year, however, as you delve into that ever-growing pile of meticulously crafted to-do lists, take a page out of Patti Smith’s (literal) book Year of the Monkey: a profound biographical memoir of the artist’s journey through solitary travel and dreamscapes following a high-intensity run of live concerts. Make room for surrealism. Leave little pockets in your jam-packed agenda for some good R&R – because we all know that the truest resistance to this neo-capitalist grind is rest, slowness and reclaiming our right to just trip out, man

(September 23 – October 22)

Although you might know Patti Smith through legendary releases such as “Dancing Barefoot” and her brooding cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” it would be folly to forget the punk rocker’s humble beginnings as a poet. Inspired by the emblematic beat generation and bohemian legends such as Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, the true heart of Patti Smith’s art lies in its duality. Her music is hard to pin down, difficult to define or categorize. It wasn’t until 1974 that the artist decided to fuse the poetry and rock and roll realms and start her first band, The Patti Smith Group. Sweet Libra, don’t let the judgments and criticisms of others keep you from expressing your truth this season. If you’re having a challenging time fitting in or feeling like you belong, take the leap and create your own spaces. You’ll be surprised by who else needs that very same energy.

(October 23 – November 21)

Sometimes you stop to smell the flowers, and sometimes you have to stop and let people know that in all honesty… the flowers are full of sh*t. No-one knows how to peel back the layers of nonsense better than you, Scorpio. This season, stick to your guts and call out hypocrisy when you see it. And get creative with it! Even the ever-eloquent poet Patti Smith was once fired from a prominent music magazine for sitting down to interview Cream guitarist Eric Clapton and asking the single question: “What are your six favourite colours?” Obviously the piece never made it to print, and that marked the end of her journalism career -but look at her now. Embrace life’s surrealism and don’t be afraid to shake things up. 

(November 22 – December 21)

In her second memoir, M Train (2015), Patti Smith recounts travelling to Mexico solely to find a particular coffee that was “grown in the mountains surrounding Veracruz,” after friend and author William Burroughs told her it was the best coffee in the world. As we transition into a new calendar year, pull your bow strings back and aim for only the very best. Identify what is truly worth your time and energy, shed that excess baggage and trust that the bare essentials will get you where you need to go. If Patti can go months on the road, and still be the lightest-packed person on her own tour, then you can too. May your aim be true and your adventures fruitful, and may there always be time for coffee.