Everything you need to know about the Earth opening up and swallowing your planets or the other way around.
Horoscopes by Corina Dross
Before the horoscopes, an announcement! Registration is now open for Astrology 101, a new online course. If you’ve ever wanted to learn astrology and got stuck somewhere (not knowing how to translate symbols into sentences, being turned off by heteronormative books), this class might be the answer. In eight lessons you can download and work through at your own pace, you’ll learn how to actually think like an astrologer while working with your own chart. Packed with visual aids and exercises, the course draws on six years of teaching this material and I’m excited to offer it online for the first time.
If, like me, you’ve hibernated through the first week of the year, congratulations! You’ve already survived the hardest aspects of this month. We’ve had a taste of last year’s Uranus-Pluto square on the 10th as the new moon in Capricorn touched on those planets, reminding us of the volcanic, the chaotic, the stubborn, and the explosive possibilities of confronting power head-on. Plutonian themes (death and rebirth, appropriate use of power, underworld encounters) will persist this month as Mars (planet of passion) moves into Scorpio (energy of regeneration through opening old wounds). For every sign, this offers an opportunity to step into a new relationship to our personal power by recognizing and releasing something we’ve outgrown. And watch out for Mercury retrograde (from the 5th to the 25th) as a time when travel and communication can get a little weird, especially near the end of the month when retro Mercury joins up with Pluto – long buried secrets and grudges could be aired. Do your part to help that energy be a healing process rather than merely stirring up more resentment. This is a mucky month, more swamp than winter wonderland, so trudge lightly till we reach firmer ground.
As always, take these horoscopes in a spirit of inquiry and ignore anything that doesn’t resonate. The astro-literate are encouraged to read their rising signs first, followed by the Sun and Moon signs.
We know that wolves don’t dress as sheep in order to hunt, but it’s worth noting that parasites do inhabit ants and force them into unnatural ant behavior in service to the reproduction of the parasite infiltrator. Can you imagine an alternate animal camouflage, say raccoons wearing a discarded bearskin rug with a plan that’s less about personal survival and more about exploding the hierarchies between large predators and smaller scavengers, and leveling the social structures of woodland creatures? If you have to camouflage yourself this month, disguise yourself as whatever shape will get you the most leverage in the worlds you’d like to level.
Think back to the time before the current crisis. Perhaps it’s hard to locate; perhaps there have been a long string of crises, setting each other off in succession throughout recorded time, as though the fates were had constructed a Rube Goldberg device inspired by Walter Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History. But if you search your old journals or old emails or old dreams you will find a time before the worst thing happened. You’ll recognize it by the quality of light (saturated) and the pace of your thoughts (lively but meandering). It’s time to get unstuck from whatever froze you there; time to coax yourself (a lively being, saturated and meandering) back into yourself.
Time was when you expressed your love primarily through words: love letters, eager questions, private jokes and the detailed telling of complicated dreams. A relationship was an agreement to be in conversation, period. Right now you may be surprised to feel the stirring of passions that can’t be named, desires that resist discussion, and visions of carnal and spiritual union that defy description. Don’t be in a hurry to name any of these just yet.
If given the choice to take a break from being human for the rest of the month, would you rather have roots or be able to fly? Flight is clearly the sexier option (you rarely hear “photosynthesis” on a list of superpowers humans wish they had), but for you it might be more tempting to sink your toes into the soft ground and let osmosis do it’s thing while you relax. In some form, you’ll have these options presented to you this month: dig down deeper, or consider your power for flight. Don’t be influenced by what anyone else would choose, and remember you’ll get back your human shape in time.
It’s as though you found a pharmacy that dispensed the medicine you actually need, no toxic mash of petrochemicals with scary side effects but the real deal, and now some unabashed thieving mice have made off with your pill bottle, leaving only gnawed bits of the vegetarian capsules as a trail to their hole under the wainscoting. And like a cartoon cat, it’s your job to track these scamps down and recover your key to immortality. Except rewrite this story now with the mice being played by your own obsessive thought patterns, and the cat being your capacity for patience and attention.
Even when you read the tarot you’re on the lookout for a logical conclusion, a rational agenda, or at least a list of pros and cons. It’s not that you don’t have other ways of moving toward the future – it’s just the other methods fill you with doubt. When you think of the Pythia of ancient Delphi opening her mouth and letting voices sing through her, you remember she perched above underground springs that in all likelihood drugged her with escaping ethylene gas. Are you afraid your connection to the mysteries is merely a hallucinogenic hydrocarbon? How can you let yourself be a vessel for song this month, without needing to know what sings through you?
For several hundred years, the common folks of ancient Rome would express their disgust with the ruling class by periodically taking off into the hills, abandoning the city to those who didn’t know how to cook a meal or fix a broken sandal. Eventually, the nobles would get desperate enough to compromise on some small point, and the plebeians would return. What bound them to their cities, where oppression waited, rather than staying free in the hills? Was it the free entertainment of chariot races, the lure of distraction? Or did they miss the heft of a hammer in their hands? What is keeping you from your own secessio plebis this month? If you can, withdraw to the nearest hill to consider what keeps you in the traps you could easily escape.
Let’s say you’re a pirate. The maps you have available maybe aren’t the most reliable, ornamented as they are with sea monsters and informed largely by the idea that the mapmaker’s country of origin is the largest land mass on the Earth. Your task this month is to locate those secret places where people buried treasure, without necessarily trusting their own accounts of how to get there or knowing what the treasure will be. Though you’ll be doing some deep investigation and suffering no fools, this is also an experiment in optimism: In unlikely places, if you look hard enough, you will find strange riches.
Leave off trying to be impressive just now. Whatever image you try to craft, you’ll explode it in a few weeks (or days, or hours) because your energy is focused on so much beneath the surface that you’ll forget to keep up appearances. You don’t need them. What you’re working on right now has the power to nourish you for years to come, if you take it seriously. Don’t let yourself be too distracted by any kind of attention, positive or negative. Be a hermit, and bring forth your masterpiece.
The days may come when you feel every tactic has failed. The incessant injustices and stresses, microaggressions and tragedies, illnesses and petty betrayals may wash over you like so much rainwater over a tar roof. From this bottoming out of your spirit, it may feel silly to strive for anything. But living without hope is like holding your breath for a very long time. If you want to live, you have to gasp and feel your heart pound against your ribcage as you fight for air. Your gift this month is the return of your fighting spirit. If the rain is incessant, be the lightning.
Falling asleep on the subway, you dream of twirling your slender mustache in triumph over the black-and-white landscape where you’ve chained the population of an entire city to the train tracks while they mutter under their breath and struggle to reach their phones – plotting revenges that will be heartbreakingly minor: Twitter sarcasm. Dismissive cat memes. A strongly worded screed against the owning class, stapled to telephone poles whose wires stretched far out of sight. Waking up one stop before you have to get off, you’re reminded of how much power one person can have, and how little power millions can have when they believe they’re powerless. Your assignment this month: reconnect with your revolutionary imagination (even if practical applications feel out of reach).
Your horoscope this month is brought to you by ring-tailed lemurs, the fanciest of primates. What you’re to learn from them is not only the art of being dapper, the ability to band together and separate as needed without much fuss, but primarily their chaotically joyous locomotion. Lemurs lemuring about do so in strange sideways leaps. Whatever you’re focused on this month, remember that all eyes are on you (so you’d better have some backup), but also that you get to decide which way to leap.