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Ask a Witch is StyleCaster’s advice column offering sage advice and practical magic for modern problems. Every Friday, our resident witch Roya Backlund will answer your most vulnerable conundrums through the lens of astrology, Tarot, and spirituality. Submit questions to askawitch@stylecaster.com, along with your birth information—date, time, and location—as well as birth information for other parties involved, if you have it. Hex what vexes you: Ask a Witch.

Dear Roya,

Why can’t I get over my ex-best friend?

Over the years, I’ve outgrown a lot of friends from my hometown. I almost feel estranged from my hometown in general. This feeling of alienation intensified after I turned 27, which is when I went through a devastating breakup with my ex-best friend, Rose.

I don’t understand how this happened, because all I did was express my honest feelings to her. I felt like she was taking my kindness for granted and that she was putting me in a lot of uncomfortable situations. For example—I’ve been in a serious relationship for over 6 years now, and anytime I’d go dancing with her, she’d always want me to tag along with some guy she had just met. I was fine with it when we were single. But even when we specified that we were having a girl’s night, she would bring along a man. My boyfriend felt uncomfortable that I’d always end up at some random guy’s house whenever I was with her. I also told her that she’d been abusing substances and that it worried me.

I’ll admit, how I communicated these feelings to her wasn’t in the best taste. I wasn’t in a good head space then and didn’t feel ready to talk to her about this, but my frustration boiled up. I wish I could have taken more time to process my feelings first.

Rose responded by going after my boyfriend, saying he was the reason for the distance growing between us. Knowing her as long as I have, I had a hard time with this. When I look back on it, she’s shown a tendency to hate all of her friend’s boyfriends. I believe this is because she hasn’t had a steady boyfriend herself.

A while later, I did apologize for how I handled the situation, and never got a response. We had been friends since the 4th grade, and best friends since we were 20. We stopped talking in 2020… and I’m 30 now. Will she and I ever find each other again?

Sincerely,
Haunted Heart

Photo: Alexander Bemis. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster

Dear Haunted Heart,

Everyone prepares you for how painful a romantic breakup can be, but nobody ever tells you friendship breakups are actually a thousand times worse. Why? Because we expect romantic relationships to end, but we’re taught that friendships are supposed to last forever. It feels like a failure when they don’t, as though it goes against the laws of nature.

The fact that your relationship with Rose ended with so much hanging in the balance makes it even harder, as you were left without closure. This loss is something so many women can relate to, especially in adulthood. I, too, lost my best friend in 2020 and our relationship also ended with her decision to not respond to me during a heated exchange. Like you, I mourned this loss for years. I could not stop rehashing the situation over and over again with anyone who would listen, as I was left to make sense of what happened on my own. You’re a Scorpio moon and I’m a Pisces moon, and when your moon is in one of the water signs—Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces—you’ll always tend to ruminate more on the past than on the present. It’s tough for us soft-hearted folk to let go. (Learn more about your moon sign.)

Since you shared your birth chart information with me, as well as Rose’s, I would love to explore the astrology of why you feel haunted by the loss of your friendship and estranged from your hometown. I’ll also touch on the astrology of your relationship with Rose and explore your synastry, or compatibility. (Learn how to calculate your birth chart.)

Right off the bat, I see that building and maintaining long-term friendships is incredibly important to you. Capricorn is your rising sign, which means your birth chart is ruled by Saturn in Pisces in the third house of close friends and communication. You are someone who craves camaraderie and you would do anything to protect the sanctity of your friend group. (Learn more about your rising sign.)

Your chart ruler—Saturn—is also in a harmonious trine with your Scorpio moon in the 11th house of community, emphasizing an emotional need for meaningful social exchange. However, the way you’ve strived to have many great friendships has not always left you fulfilled. The moon—which symbolizes your home and family—is not comfortable when it’s in Scorpio, as it is prone to feeling abandoned or easily misunderstood. It loves hard, overreacts when provoked, and then obsesses over what may no longer fixable. Chances are, you’ve felt as though no matter how hard you try, your love has not always been reciprocated or appreciated by your hometown friends. And the reasons why still keep you up at night.

Rose is a Virgo rising, and because both of your ascendants are in earth signs, you’ve enjoyed an easy rapport and chemistry on the surface. But if you dig deeper, you’ll see that the viscera of your relationship has always been complex. At times, even weird, dark, and painful. Rose’s Venus is in Aries, which means her Venus is in “detriment”. Aries is a sign that makes love planet Venus prone to cutting people off as soon as the going gets tough. They’re not famous for sticking around to work on things. Her Venus is also in the eighth house of passion, intimacy, and secrecy, which means Rose’s relationships are often disrupted by jealous influences. With your Mercury in Pisces falling into Rose’s seventh house of allies and enemies, there was certainly competition between you. Even so, I sense the deeper jealousy was Rose’s resentment of your boyfriend. From her perspective, you prioritized him over her. She may have felt threatened by the idea that he was taking her place, which is not your fault and not fair to you. (Learn more about the 12 houses of astrology.)

Whether it feels that way or not, Rose was tuned in to the frequency of your emotional fluctuations. Rose’s Venus in Aries forms an exact square with your Capricorn rising, which means Rose was deeply invested in your feelings, to the point where any perceived negativity from you was automatically deemed a threat. There is also a foundational incompatibility between you, as your Venus in Aquarius forms an exact square with Rose’s moon in Taurus. This can indicate that you do not speak each other’s love languages; that you’ve both felt like your kindness is being overlooked or taken for granted by each other. (See what love language your Venus sign speaks.)

Regardless, your love and empathy for Rose knows no bounds. When you said you were concerned about her substance abuse, I believe you. Your Chiron—a.k.a “the wounded healer”—is exactly conjunct Rose’s Virgo rising. You both experienced the same hardships and your friendship was based on how much you related to each other’s pain. In this relationship, you were the one who always showed the most concern, concentrating your healing efforts on Rose as you tried to help her through her problems. Despite all your best intentions, Rose may not have felt ready to face these issues—and that’s why your ability to see exactly what she’s going through left her feeling defensive and avoidant.

There is never a timeframe for how long it takes to move on from a loss like this. However, one thing’s for sure—the reason you can’t stop thinking about it is because you’re deeply entrenched in the healing process. Currently, the North Node of Destiny is moving through Aries, bringing progress to your fourth house of home and family. (In astrology, the North Node symbolizes what you’re moving toward and what you’re destined to experience.) Chiron is also meeting you in the fourth house, urging you to release all the pent-up emotions surrounding your roots and coming-of-age friendships. Although you may feel bitter and nostalgic for the good old days, that’s only because you’re still processing what transpired. And while you may miss what once was, you also know that what you really miss is yourself. Remember—you were also 50 percent of your relationship with Rose. (See what North Node you were born under.)

Continue to feel these complicated emotions. Keep talking about it. Healing is never a straight path, but a meandering maze. The way you process this grief will become the framework for the new life you’re building; it will form the fertile soil from which your happiness grows. It will also allow you to slowly redefine what home and belonging can look like. I promise that eventually, you’ll be able to remember Rose in a way that doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. But first, give yourself permission to hurt. Ignore the pressure to move on and forget about her, because there will always be a rose—thorny and blood-red—growing in the center of your heart. Forgetting her is futile. You already know that.

Because you’re a Capricorn rising, April 2024 will be a big month for you. Mercury in Aries will retrograde through your fourth house of home and family from April 1 to 25. This will bring you back to your hometown, resurrecting connections from your past that help you reflect on how everything has evolved since your breakup from Rose. Slowly but surely, you’ll gain a brighter picture of what happened, what changed, and why, giving you the acceptance to move forward unencumbered. Let yourself create space for something new, as a total solar eclipse in Aries will also strike your fourth house on April 8, ushering in exciting changes that take your attention away from the past. (If your sun or rising sign is in Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, April is bound to be a transformative month, as the astrology will kickstart new beginnings).

While I can’t guarantee that you and Rose will ever reconcile, I can ensure you’ll find each other in other ways. Just because your friendship is no longer active does not mean it’s truly over. Your memories are just as alive as ever, and as you process this loss, you’ll find that your experiences together continue to shape you, inspire you, and eventually, even comfort you. And that, my friend, is the bittersweet beauty of loving someone when they’re no longer physically there. Love doesn’t stop just because you’re not talking—it just changes form.

Dreamily,
Roya

About Roya

Roya Backlund is StyleCaster’s Senior Lifestyle & Astrology Editor and a professional witch. Born in Los Angeles on May 26—the same day as Stevie Nicks—she’s been obsessed with the zodiac since she discovered she was a Gemini as a child. Her interest in mysteries and the occult began in the metaphysical section at her local Borders. If you’re a fan of astrology, spirituality, and witchcraft, you’ve probably read her horoscopes and lifestyle articles, which have appeared elsewhere in Elite Daily, PopSugar, Astrology.com and more. Whether you want to delve deeper into your birth chart or interpret signs from your spirit guides, Roya’s got you covered.

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