• The Camp Issue

    July Horoscopes: Turn up Your Feelings for Cancer Season

    The Camp Issue
    Horoscopes 3

    Everything you need to know about the Earth opening up and swallowing your planets or the other way around.


    Corina Dross is an artist, astrologer, and rabble-rouser best known for her illustrated card deck, Portable Fortitude. Based out of Philadelphia for the last ten years, she’s currently splitting her time between the East Coast and the Northwest.

    Alive right now 16 up web

    Illustration by Kyle Mowat


    July 2017

    Feelings are a physical reality. Cascading hormones create conditions in our bodies: our guts get squishy, our hearts ache, our faces burn, our muscles constrict. Feelings connect us to our physical limitations, to the uncontrollable material reality of living as a complex organism, affected by countless other organisms.

    This kind of vulnerability is considered shameful. Misogyny has given us all kinds of insults for the desire to feel emotionally connected and supported, including the dismissive term “needy.” Humans are social animals; we rely on emotional bonding to survive. What we need on a emotional level is far from trivial. Feeling left out, unloveable, unseen, or unwanted aren’t signs of weakness – how we respond to these feelings is the key. Feelings get us in trouble when we can’t tolerate their intensity – like those patriarchal scumbags who lash out against those they feel ought to offer them love or sex. If we can’t tolerate the vulnerability of our deepest grief and longings, we’re liable to  cause serious damage to the people around us. Feelings themselves are inevitable as the tides; they’re part of what it means to live as a complex system of electrical impulses and hormones. How we respond to our strongest feelings is one of the few things in our control that can shape our future. 

    With three planets in Cancer this month, all our feelings are turned way up, massing up like storm clouds on the horizon. Cancer is the energy of the nurturing parent. It’s about how we feed and comfort small children, and how, as adults, we look to each other for this kind of love.

    How many of us have weird, painful, twisted, or downright dangerous memories from being little? How many of us have struggled in our adult relationships while a part of us still reacts like a child in danger – lashing out when we feel threatened, running away when anything gets difficult, or shutting down when we feel rejected? In short, how strong is that trauma response of fight, flight, or freeze? Cancer is the sign that wants to hold us tightly and stroke our hair as we move through these intense reactions, when it feels like we can’t trust anyone but ourselves. Cancer energy is here to help us heal, but to do so we’ve got to face these hard patterns, and risk feeling deep vulnerability.

    This doesn’t have to mean confessional poetry or causing scenes. It might mean that you let yourself cry, or let someone you trust in on how scared you are. Only you know what will work for you, and you won’t unlearn your hard-earned survival defenses overnight. This is important work, though, even more so because it’s ignored and devalued in our culture. How you handle this part of yourself will determine much about how you’re able to show up for your friends, build resilience together, and face real threats coming from folks that are most definitely not your friends.

    Take some time this month to learn what you need to feel safe enough (absolute safety is a myth) with folks in your life, who you want to share deep intimacy with, and who you trust just enough to struggle alongside. We can’t always draw lines between who’s “good” and “bad” – some people clearly cause massive harm, others rarely cause any, but there’s a vast middle area where our friends and comrades can be prickly, obnoxious, careless, and make poor choices – but can also be fiercely loyal, loving, and brilliant. What can you do right now to minimize your own capacity to hurt your friends, and maximize our collective potential?    
    As always, the astro-literate are advised to read their rising sign first, followed by the Sun and Moon. And you can (holler at me for readings)[http://www.flaxandgold.com/readings] or anything else you’re curious to know about! Good luck out there this month! As the old poster says: Be careful with each other so you can be dangerous together!

    “I’ve been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand
    Could these sensations make me feel the pleasure of a hooligan?”

    Mashup of Joy Division’s “Disorder” and Los Fastidios’ “Antifa Hooligan”


    It’s not enough just to be angry. It’s not enough to use all your innate energy as long as the sun is out, busting up everything you come across and trying to force the world into a kinder shape. It’s not enough to merely end each day exhausted. This month, you need a different kind of patience and a different way to focus. Something is welling up inside you. Something is ready to overflow. Let yourself be a beast who knows how to water the soil, not just dig deep grooves into the dry earth. 


    It often feels you have only two choices: you can lock yourself into a monastic tower and scrape your ideas into some useful form (the act of which momentarily relieves the pressure of mere existence) – or you can toss yourself into the world of people like flotsam on a wave, letting your environment float you ever farther from that shore where your work is waiting. If these are indeed your only options (which is probably incorrect), your best bet right now is to choose hermitude. You have important work; the ebbs and flows of your social world can wait. 


    Let’s talk about glamour. Rationalists have railed against its slippery power for centuries. In the age of photoshop, Hollywood blockbusters, and social media, everyone has immediate access to enhanced reality, visual trickery, and illusions than ever before. We each carry tiny reality-distorters in our pockets everyday. But to what effect? Enchantment can either lead us blind and barefoot down dubious paths, or it can heal and inspire us. Sometimes it does both at once. This month, it’s time to examine the illusions you create and those you fall under. What do they produce? Is that the world you want?


    You are more than your family histories, but certain memories may be extra strong right now. Take some time to sort through all the tangled stories. What beauty were you born into? Where are the bright spots you’re carrying forward? Where have you cut a cord, letting certain stories die with you? What other influences have you invited to shape you? Let yourself be watery this month, taking the shape of your environment – but remember to choose your environments with care. You’ll know the folks who can help you find a useful shape by their calluses and lack of callousness. 


    In my dream you were kicked out of prison for bad behavior. You laughed as they escorted you out – could it really be that easy? Could you really be the first to discover this? In dream logic, freedom is the essential state and anything that blocks it is an illusion. In your waking life, where is this also true? Can you see the ways a new beginning is opening through the cracks in everything that tells you it’s impossible? Some walls may take a long time to demolish, but the sunlight streaming in will last for eons longer. Be the sun this month, and sneak through. 


    Are you feeling uprooted and drifting? What can you find right now that isn’t disposable, even if you don’t hold on to it forever? Remember that surfaces are deceptive, and that most of what you’re seeing now is a projection based on the past. Our brains take a long time to learn something new as really different than what we already know. Slow down so you can let yourself be surprised. Imagine this as the time you’ll long for when it’s over: what can you savor now, what stories can you collect to tell the ones who didn’t get to live it?


    This month greets you like a spinster librarian with a sly smile, reminding you that hedonism is possible behind the most austere disguises. A month of honey and roses, non-dairy ice cream and tropical fish eyeshadow, surrealist games and meandering bike rides, awaits you. Moderate your indulgence just a little if you’re the type to go to destructive extremes, but otherwise there ain’t nothing wrong with merely gathering the sweetness of the season. 


    In The Topography of Tears, photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher captures tears under a microscope – each with a different crystalline structure, each categorized by what feeling or situation prompted the tear. Her taxonomy is brief and incomplete, allowing for the deep mystery of why and how these structures form – patterns that look far more architectural than fluid. This month, allow your own mysteries to rely on supportive structures – however temporary or fluid they may be – to hold you through deep transformation. There is some serious sweetness in store for you along the way, if you can let yourself relax into it. 


    If you don’t miss someone right now, you’re not doing it right. Which is to say, your goal is to live as many lives as you can, which means establishing the kind of lifelong intimacies with people in different worlds that will mean you’re always heartsick for someone. Believe it or not, this is your version of the good life. Being able to long for someone is proof that you’re deeply connected; being away from them is proof that you’re still committed to your path. You will cycle back around in time – let yourself open more to wherever you are right now, trusting in those long, slow loves that will be there when you come back to them. 


    If you’re having nightmares this month, draw a chalk spiral on your bedroom floor and sleep in the very center. Claim the protection of fractals and the Fibonacci sequence. It’s easier to access this power than you think – science has only named what we are all already. More likely, though, is that the you’ll be someone else’s nightmare right now. This menacing strength may be exactly what you want to front with, but make sure you’re aiming all your fierceness in the right direction. Not all the threats are as big as they seem. 


    Remember that just because you have some superhuman powers that you rely on to do what others only dream of, that doesn’t mean you never need to rest. Your needs may seem few and simple, but for this reason it’s even more important that you don’t ignore them. This month is an especially good time to let other people make your life a little messier. The rewards will be far greater than the headache of cleaning up. 


    This month is like one of those logic puzzles where you’re shown a variety of objects on a table (an apple, your left hand, an eyelash, a toothbrush) and asked how many of these are you. The problem is, logic like this can only go so far. Do you offer an answer that affirms the questioner’s limited understanding of reality, or do you let things be weirder? Whatever choice you make, this is a month when you get to be multi-dimensional, in all senses of the word, whether or not you choose to explain it to anyone.

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