One of the most enjoyable pastimes I indulge in (when procrastinating on my homework) is to re-watch some of my favorite and formative TV shows and discuss, in depth, the astrology of the characters as a way to explain the shenanigans they get into. So when I decided that I was going to re-watch The L Word through the lens of the zodiac, I knew I was in for a particular treat. And now you’re in for a particular treat, because I’ve organized the ever-changing, tumultuous, and vast relationships of The L Word, according to your zodiac sign. Here’s how each relationship on The L Word embodies the core of each sign.
ARIES – Papi and everyone
I’m an Aries, so maybe this is me tooting my own horn, but anything and everything that Papi touches is classic Aries BDE. Papi is the type of Aries that I aspire to be: brash, confident, magnetic, unapologetic, and probably ready to fight at a moment’s notice. She’s a double Aries with a Leo rising. Her fiery “I want it, I got it” energy overtakes every interaction she has. She’s competitive too—especially after Alice’s chart is revealed, wanting to make sure Shane doesn’t usurp her throne. And with the ego-shattering exception of Kit, whom we will not linger on, she’s an unrivaled sex god. Papi, like all Aries, is #1.
TAURUS – Dana and Lara
Dana and Lara represent Taurus energy, not just because Lara is a chef and Dana enjoys the finer things in life. Dana and Lara were a slow burn on the show, their relationship unfolding over the course of several seasons, which is typical of the slow, methodical, and careful way a Taurus lets someone new into their life. Once you’re in, you’re in, though, as represented by the way Lara stood by Dana through her cancer diagnosis, trying the best she could to support her. There’s only so much strain a Taurus can take, though, especially when so much is being asked of them with not much being offered in return. When Dana’s depression and frustration with her cancer diagnosis cause her to tell Lara to leave, the Taurean pride of both players resulted in the painful end of the relationship.
GEMINI – Helena Peabody’s many relationship arcs
Helena and pregnant Tina; Helena randomly buying a movie studio and hiring Tina as an executive producer; Helena’s illegal poker shenanigans and foray into being a sexual servant; Helena in jail; Helena and Dylan. The energy that Helena Peabody brings to her relationships is pure Gemini energy: erratic, impulsive, and making little sense to anyone but herself (and maybe not even herself). Sure, in part, this has to do with the way she was written. But even the sudden changes to her characterization have something of a Gemini quality to them.
CANCER – Bette and Tina
Bette and Tina are going to appear on this list twice since they were largely the central couple of The L Word. Cancer represents what Tina brings to the relationship: nurturing, profound emotionality, a maternal spirit, and a sensitivity that the more masculinely-coded Bette (a power lesbian if I’ve ever seen one, with her plethora of suits) sometimes lacks. While Tina’s relationship with Bette is super on-again-off-again, she’s there for Bette in a crisis, like after Bette’s father dies. She’s the mom-friend of the group, the mom-partner in her relationships (sometimes to her detriment), but just because she’s a softie doesn’t mean she’s someone to be crossed. The crab qualities she brings to relationships mean that she’s not afraid to play hardball, like when she’ll do just about anything to win sole custody of her daughter. Interestingly, Cancer and Capricorn (the other sign that symbolizes Bette and Tina), are sister signs. And it’s not until Bette and Tina start to recognize and make space for some of their similarities (Tina’s toughness; Bette’s need for softness and care) as well as their polar differences, that their on-again-off-again relationship starts ironing out its kinks.
LEO – Marina and Jenny
At first, I was going to assign Marina and Jenny to Scorpio energy—that helplessness in the face of lust and attraction that you feel for someone the first time you make eye contact with them? The way you’re willing to throw all your prior obligations and commitments and relationships out the window? It all screamed Scorpio energy to me, and that was totally what it was like for Jenny the first time she saw Marina. But there was also an honesty and boldness to Marina’s attraction to Jenny that didn’t quite fit, and the queen-like regalness to Marina’s beauty that didn’t quite fit with understated, or even underworld-like, Scorpio intensity. Marina’s warmth, her confidence, and even her entitlement in her pursuit of Jenny give the tone of this relationship a distinct Leonine quality. Showtime even billed Marina as “the hunter” of the group. Queen of the Jungle, indeed.
VIRGO – Dana and Tonya
Tonya starts off as Dana’s overly attentive assistant on the show—clearly, a Virgo element to their relationship, as Virgos, at their best, are known for selfless acts of service. The way the rest of the crew reacts to Tonya also has a distinctly Virgo quality to it. They all think Tonya is ‘too much,’ something that driven and detail-oriented Virgo hears a lot of. Virgo energy has a tough time in relationships, though, and Dana and Tonya are no different. Virgo is about control, perfectionism, and while Dana certainly has her own uptight moments, it’s not to the same degree as Tonya. Controlling Dana’s schedule and potentially killing Dana’s cat, Tonya embodies high-key Virgo energy. Also, when Virgo acts of service are performed for selfish, rather than selfless, reasons—as when Tonya was being an opportunist and trying to further her career by managing Dana’s—it’s not a cute look. Too much of a perfectionist thing ends in disaster, so this relationship was doomed from the start.
LIBRA – Dana and Alice
Can you tell that Dana was one of my favorite characters? And her relationship with Alice was one of my favorite relationships of the show. I’m a sucker for best-friends-turned-lovers narratives, and there’s something so Libra-like about these two, from the way it takes them so long to let the masks drop and admit how they feel about each other, to the genuine care, compassion, and fairness in their relationship, to the balance they bring each other when they’re finally together. There’s also Libra-like quality to the way that Alice goes off the deep end when she and Dana break up, stalking her and having dinner with a cardboard cutout of her best friend and former lover. Libras tend to lose their identities in their relationships if they’re not careful. This relationship depicted that darker side to Libra, as well as all its bright cuteness and joy.
SCORPIO – Shane and Carmen
Shane and Carmen, I was rooting for you! On my first go-round, I remember relating super hard to Carmen. I’d even go so far to say she’s an Aries, with her warmth, spontaneity, bluntness, and the way she comes out to her family on the fly (hello, it’s me). But the energy of this relationship is all Scorpio. Scorpios get the reputation of being the most oversexed of the zodiac, and Shane certainly fits the bill—but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the way that Carmen shows up wholeheartedly in this relationship (though not without the Aries tendency to react impulsively when feeling injured or unappreciated). And Shane, well… Shane embodies Scorpio energy not just in how much she gets down and around, but also in the way that she wrecks a good thing because she’s unable to open up, to be vulnerable, and to let Carmen in. Scorpios feel their feelings deeply, so much so that their feelings are like a storm that threatens to overtake them. And while Shane clearly wants to get close to Carmen, she’s never quite brave enough to let herself feel that intensity. Some Scorpios get there. Others… well. Just keep minimum safe distance, I guess, and protect your heart.
SAGITTARIUS – Shane and Dawn Denbo and Lover Cindy
The total bananas nature of this throuple exemplifies Sagittarius relationship energy in a nutshell to me. Just what the hell was going on here? First of all, Dawn is a club promoter turned club owner, a total Sagittarius career path. Secondly, she is totally off her rocker. Anyone who can’t say their lover’s name without the full “my lover Cindy” is on another planet, as Sagittarians so frequently are, making herself the center of her own world, regardless of how the people around them feel about it. (No shade, Sagittarians! I’m a Sag rising. I know how it is.) And while Dawn and her lover Cindy might say that they’re all free-spirited and fun, fun, fun (more Sagittarius), beneath that, there’s some territoriality to this relationship that Shane learns about the hard way.
CAPRICORN – Bette and Tina
Bette and Tina represent the best and worst of Capricorn relationship energy. There’s stability, familiarity, security, responsibility. They love each other, and they’ve been together a long time—and they, more than anyone else on the show, are able to put in the work (Capricorns love work!) required to make a relationship a long-term success. But at the same time as they have all these things going for them, they also have some very real problems in their relationship—as depicted by the rampant cheating and back and forth nature of their relationship, as well as the ways they each try to assert power in the relationship, or the ways that Bette refuses to give up power, and Tina is left trying to regain some of her own standing. The extreme familiarity and responsibility of Capricorn energy can, at times, breed contempt. And Capricorn energy is notoriously bad at being vulnerable or admitting that it’s wrong. This lends itself to the myriad ways Bette and Tina hurt each other over the course of the show, and why trial after trial, it takes them so long to learn and relearn how to be good to each other.
AQUARIUS – Bette and Candace
The only person to top Bette Porter was Candace Jewell, just like I’m certain the only sign that can top Capricorn is Aquarius. While their fling was short-lived, it was certainly sexy: uptight, Type A Bette, struggling with the whirlwind of her emotions and lust, and Candace, as cool and unaffected as I’ve ever seen an Aquarius, untouchable in a way that drove control freak Bette totally crazy. Toward the end of season one, they go to a hotel room, and Candace takes control—from telling Bette not to put the hotel on her own credit card (cool, detached foresight and practicality), to pinning Bette down and telling her matter-of-factly, “You can’t always be in control.” Aquarius energy like this is unlike anything Bette ever experienced before. It was certainly a departure from the emotional Cancerian quality of her relationship with Tina, and therefore, totally irresistible.
PISCES – Everything that Jenny Schecter touches
Listen, we all love to hate Jenny Schecter, and I’ve been burned by enough Pisces energy in my life that this one is partially just me taking revenge. I’ll admit it. But Jenny embodies the very worst of Pisces energy. Dreamy to the point of being utterly self-involved; completely boundaryless when it comes to her emotions, and giving off a supposedly innocent haplessness and deliberate guilelessness that everyone around her wants to protect her at the same time as she’s taking advantage of them. Jenny Schecter is the worst of unevolved Pisces energy. And she brings carnage to all her relationships while escaping, mysteriously unenlightened, to break another heart or wreck another life another day. Don’t venture into these waters, friends. Swim as far away as you can.