Conscious Horoscopes: Documentary Edition

Sagittarius is the most curious and optimistic of the zodiac signs and this season, ruled by expansive Jupiter, might make you eager for new experiences. You could go for broke in an IRL, adventurous way, but this itch for a fresh outlook can also be scratched via a good documentary. And it being the holiday season, your bank account will probably thank you for this! Documentaries can keep you informed on the pressing injustices of our time — racial and gender inequality, environmental destruction, and corruption, or can simply tell an informative or inspiring story. They are increasingly shown at film festivals and in theaters, but most of the docs below are available via streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or iTunes. So whether you’re hoping to feel inspired, get fired up, or deepen your knowledge, we have the documentary for you. Read on to see which ones your sign should queue up!

Astrological events of the month include:

Illustrated by  Elizabeth Stilwell . Inspired by  Zahra Nemati . 

Illustrated by Elizabeth Stilwell. Inspired by Zahra Nemati

  • On November 22nd, the Sun enters into Sagittarius 

  • Neptune's retrograde ends on November 22nd


Happy birthday, Sagittarius! Over the past five months, Neptune’s retrograde has been at odds with your domestic fourth house and you may have struggled to feel genuine comfort — including your own skin. All that ends on November 22nd and you'll be ready to refocus on yourself in your birthday season. The Sun enters your sign on the same day, giving you the push you need to feel centered and, let’s face it, special. Don’t be afraid to lock in on a new goal as you begin your new zodiac year — your characteristic optimism will certainly help you hit your target. But fresh starts deserve fresh perspectives, so in your downtime, check out these films about the human condition. Learn about the qualities that make us human through The Beginning of Life series, or be inspired by Taryn Brumfitt as she explores the way women feel about their bodies in Embrace. Expand your mind as you discover the awesome potential for future human life on the red planet in The Mars Generation. This season will bring you an expansive outlook, but remember to take care of your present-day needs as well.


Team player, Aquarius, the Sun is crowding into your eleventh house of friendship and groups this season. You’re ready for swank holiday get togethers and chill hang sessions alike — wherever the people are, that’s where you want to be. With your ever present rebellious streak intact, it’s a good time to tune into the ways culture and race shape groups in society. Why not have some friends over, bust out the popping corn, and screen a doc together? Get the lowdown on the South Central LA Latinx scene with Los Punks: We Are All We Have, or how hip-hop healed the South Bronx in Rubble Kings, or peer into the distorted world of Venezuelan beauty pageants in To Be a Miss. Queue them up and take a vote on which one to play (majority rules!) because as long as you’re working the crowd, you’ll be happy.


On November 22nd, the Sun bursts into your tenth house of structures, gifting you a boost in long-term focus, stalwart Pisces. Give into your intuitive nature and uncover the invisible powers that influence our decisions and lives. Interrogate how the culture of masculinity tears down men and boys in The Mask You Live In, or about the forces re-segregating our schools today in Teach Us All. And if you haven’t seen 13th, about the American prison industry, it’s a must. In addition to an interest in the powers-that-be this season, the end of Neptune’s five-month retrograde in your sign will bring about more clarity and persuasive energy. Use what you learn from these films to educate others and channel your passions to be a force for good.


Trendsetter Aries, by November 22nd Neptune’s retrograde will have ended and the Sun will enter your ninth house of risk and expansion. If you’ve felt overshadowed the past five months, it’s now time to get ahead of the curve, aka where you’re most comfortable. Download some fresh knowledge on the culture of fashion to kick off this new season. Be amazed by the underworld of the vintage denim biz with Blue Gold: American Jeans, or watch Fresh Dressed, which traces the roots of hip-hop fashion, or examine the global influence of sneaker culture in Sneakerheadz. Fully inspired, (no appropriation, please) shop responsibly and head into the holiday season with a dope, new look and a deeper appreciation for the history of fashion.


The Sun moves into Sagittarius and your eighth house on November 22nd. The eighth house rules intimacy and privacy, so you may be ready for some deep emotional bonding. Consider channeling that passion into education and action on issues affecting people at their most vulnerable. Tune into the slow erosion of abortion rights in Trapped, or the legal battle against human trafficking on Backpage in I Am Jane Doe, or the fight for trans rights through the story of a family standing up for their young daughter in Growing Up Coy. Your characteristic zeal and grounded nature make you an ideal conduit to transform abstract policies and ideas into tangible stories, and these documentaries might just help you with that as well. There is certainly a movement of truth-telling going on right now, from corruption investigations to assault allegations — you might even feel compelled to chronicle your own story of transformation this season.


The Sun pings Sagittarius, your opposite sign, this season and encourages new connections. This synch up, along with the end of Neptune’s retrograde, has you looking for ways to partner up. Your ruling planet, Mercury, makes you the most cutting-edge of the signs — use this time to explore ways that collaboration is made possible through technology. Nerd out on innovative and cooperative systems in A New Economy, or watch Codegirl, which follows teams of girls from around the world as they develop apps and programs, or queue up the chilling battle for the power of the internet in Killswitch. Connections will come easier than usual for you under Sagittarius — instead of characteristically exiting out of opportunities, try accepting the terms and conditions and see where they take you this time.


Cancer, you’ll be ready to give and get a little TLC as the Sun pops into your sixth house of health and service. You can also dish up some care for Mother Earth, mixed with a pinch of your penchant for all things epicurean by watching documentaries on the way our food systems interact with the environment. Learn about the delicate balance bees provide in Keep the Hives Alive, get fired up while watching WASTED! The Story of Food Waste (or this free mini-doc). Ready for action? Time to feed your spirit watching Theater of Life, which documents a gourmet chef’s quest to feed people who are homeless or refugees. You are content when nurturing others so as Neptune ends its retrograde in your ninth house of grand plans, digest this inspiration, find your center, and embark on purpose-driven planning as the new year approaches.


Your passion for creative pursuits is on fire as the Sun brightens your festive fifth house on November 22nd. As the natural ruler of this zone, you will feel at home amidst the heightened drama of the holiday season. Get a jump on the festivities with a film screening on one of your favorite subjects: drama. Pop on a documentary about the film industry — with a conscious twist. Queue up Reel Injun, which chronicles the depiction of Native Americans in film. Or the story of Ousmane Sembene, the self- taught novelist, filmmaker, and father of African cinema, in Sembene! And you will definitely be inspired by the intersection of art and activism of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. Share these stories with your friends and colleagues and then lead a discussion around creativity and representation in art — this will become all the easier as Neptune’s retrograde in your eighth house bonding ends on November 22nd.


For the last five months, your attempts at commitments may have been foiled by Neptune’s retrograde. The haze will lift on November 22nd and your intentions will feel more grounded. In addition, the Sun slides into your toasty, cozy fourth house on the same day. Pop on your pjs, pile on the blankets, and hunker down with some docs. This is also an ideal time to start thinking about your resolutions for the new year — and these films might help you narrow your focus. Worried about agricultural stability? Sustainable is a must-watch to understand the globalized industrial food system and its resulting environmental issues — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use. Want to cut down on waste? A Plastic Ocean offers up the causes and some solutions to the world’s plastic problem. (Or watch Pharrell’s free mini-doc on the same subject here.) Interested in a vegan lifestyle? Terra is not only absolutely gorgeous, but is also informative as it examines the relationship between humans and other species on Earth. Whatever issue you choose to tackle, the reign of Sagittarius is the perfect season to nurture and firm up your intentions for the upcoming new year.


Restoration is ahead, Libra, as Neptune finally ends its five-month retrograde in your sixth house of health and wellness. You’ll feel even more invigorated to get back on track with the help of these documentaries. Investigate the sinister connection between sugar and the food industry in Fed Up, or get fired up about one girl’s fight against reductive state-mandated BMI testing in her district in The Student Body. And take note of the shift in health consciousness emerging in urban communities via Feel Rich. These topics hit the right balance between justice and wellness — which is exactly what you're looking for right now. And the Sun in your third house of communication this season will make it easy to share a workout, fresh recipe, or deep convo with a friend. Tune in to these films and your own health and you’ll be feeling back to your old bright-eyed self in no time.


Your passions and senses collide this season as the Sun begins its reign in your second house and Neptune’s retrograde in your fifth house ends. This, along with your characteristic love of hidden agendas, has piqued your interest in the mysteries of the world. Having just finished your birthday season, you are probably both broke and exhausted, so think about doing your investigating from the comfort of home. You can still get your blood pumping as you follow activists exposing the hidden world of exotic animal trade in Racing Extinction, or the undercover intelligence organizations, activists, rangers, and conservationists that infiltrate the corrupt global network of ivory trafficking in The Ivory Game. On the lighter side, be transported to winter in north Japan and witness the secret world of saké brewing as you watch The Birth of Saké. And if you haven’t seen Cosmos...well, you should. These films will expend some of your excess intellectual energy, but save a little bit in order to regroup after the season of Scorpio and get ready for the coming new year.


It’s your pre-birthday season, Caps, so time to tie up loose ends. The holidays are revving up, but take care not to over-commit to going out. You’ll feel more like conserving your energy at home as the Sun slips into your sleepy twelfth house on November 22nd. Consider queuing up some solid, inspirational tales and binging on good vibes. Follow the rise of activist, feminist, and labor hero, Dolores Huerta, in Dolores. Watch Misty Copeland make history as the first African-American principal dancer of the legendary American Ballet Theater in Ballerina's Tale. Or track the life and work of two extraordinary women writers in Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and The Center Will Not Hold. When you do decide to party hardy, you’ll have an easier time with social interactions as Neptune finally ends its months-long retrograde in your communication house — and these docs will give you plenty to gab about too!