Everything you need to know about the Earth opening up and swallowing your planets or the other way around.
Horoscopes by Corina Dross
When we left the city, we thought we were starting over. Snow covered our tracks like so many empty pages at the opening of a book: the silence necessary to begin again. The future shone like pure negation, like the sun filling an unformed sky but not yet illuminating any particular world. Like waking from the bad dream of the 21st century, and its relentless rehashing of the Industrial Revolution, of colonial expansion, of witch burnings and statecraft. Only our deepest desire – to be outside of history – could lead us to imagine some kind of future that could break with all that had gone before. Only in this newly ruptured time could we be our real selves, resplendent in the innocence that waits for us on the other side of our violent and sordid histories.
What we forgot is that time is a loop, and that nothing is ever erased. We begin with paper and charcoal, with a bit of spit and some pebbles in our shoes, and we continue shaping and reshaping these humble materials. Paper wets and dissolves and dries again into paper. Rocks roll this way and that under our instep, sometimes almost forgotten and sometimes filling the world. The future continues to fill up with molded plastic and the industrial froth of pharmaceuticals fizzing through the rivers and oceans. But though our history won’t release us, it will allow us to borrow and recombine.
This month we have a glut of planets in Pisces, the sign of blurred boundaries and imaginative leaps. It’s also the sign of redemption, or at least the longing for a perfected time when telepathy and music structure our social relations. One of Pisces’ gifts is letting us transcend our ordinary selves, and with that in mind your horoscopes this month position you firmly in the world of fiction. It’s also eclipse season, with the Solar Eclipse on March 8th in Pisces, and the Lunar Eclipse on the 23rd in Libra. Eclipse season is a time when stories begin and end, when we transform from one phase of life into another (as yet unknown), and they can feel like the hush in the center of a storm – or like the storm itself. All the more reason that this month is a good time to let your sense of being a stable, fixed self dissolve into the Piscean waters. As always, read them for what resonates and rewrite what doesn’t. The astro-literate will benefit most from reading their rising sign first, followed by their Sun and Moon signs. To learn more about your chart and current transits, contact me for a reading, and to learn more about astrology check out the new online course Astrology 101.
“I know you’re protecting the light of lichen
But oh you look like a morning star”
Rabelais, in his epic Renaissance farce Gargantua and Pantagruel, tells a story of a minor king who is facing a powerful opponent. Before the battle he consults some advisors, who assure him that victory will be easy: they counsel him to split his army in half, leaving one part to defeat his enemy (who will easily be conquered, they say) and sending the other half on a voyage of pillaging and conquering that ranges throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, “taking wherever you come, without resistance, towns, castles, and forts.” In the sheer giddy enumeration of each town and port that he is sure to vanquish, the advisors seem to have a well-considered plan for world domination. Wherever they go, they are sure to overpower anyone in their way. Late in the conversation, an old man interrupts and asks, “Where will it all end? What will you do when you’ve conquered all these lands?” The king replies, “When we return we shall sit down, rest, and be merry.” “But what if you never come back? Wouldn’t it be better to feast and rest now, without exposing yourself to so many dangers?” Your fortune this month depends on several key questions: 1. Are your plans for the future epically unrealistic? 2. Would you rather risk everything, and potentially fail miserably, or risk nothing and miss out on potential adventure?
In the first 100 pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the author throws a dinner party to introduce the reader to all the characters in his novel, demonstrating impeccable aristocratic manners. Time passed more slowly in the 19th century, and a contemporary reader may feel impatient with all that formality. If you are devoted to collecting tangible details (of your past, of the historical past, of grounds for believing in the future), Tolstoy’s method may feel reassuring. Time, after all, is best when catalogued, folded, and ironed. The luxury of a long book is the promise of having the time to read it; of no earthquakes interrupting your solitude, no deadlines intruding on your concentration. But if you are at war with Time, you might find yourself skimming over hundreds of pages of dense prose this month to reach the essence of your story, and losing the thread entirely. I’d offer, in that case, this option of focusing instead on this simple Basho poem: “A bee/staggers out/of the peony.”
After Cervantes wrote his first volume of Don Quixote (a novel purporting to be a true biography), he let ten years pass before he released the sequel. In that time, a different writer penned a second novel about Don Quixote in an early instance of fan fiction. When Cervantes, on the verge of finishing his own second volume, heard about this, he proceeded to write this False Quixote into the adventures of his True Quixote, sending his knight to the towns the False Quixote had visited in the impostor book, quizzing the supporting characters from that book, and exposing him to be an impersonator. For good measure, Cervantes also included a scene where the apocryphal book was being tossed about in hell – and ended his second volume with not only the death of Don Quixote, but a notary there to authorize it, thereby preventing any future authors from resurrecting him. Beloved Gemini, this month you may stumble upon some imposter version of yourself: either in your social world, or in your own consciousness. Has a False You been spread about by well-meaning admirers, or have you laid yourself open to being dramatically misread? Before you decide how to deal with this doppelgänger, make sure you’re quite sure which you is the true one.
In To the Lighthouse, Mr. Ramsay, who is blocked while trying to write a work of staggering genius that will secure his immortality, dashes about the gardens of the Scottish vacation house muttering lines of poetry, including Cowper’s “We perish’d, each alone:/But I, beneath a rougher sea/And whelm’d in deeper gulfs than he.” Ramsay takes a morose pleasure in his own sense of failure, of victimhood, even, as he thrashes about with the Big Idea he can’t quite tackle. Cowper’s poem about a death by drowning sets up the story of a man abandoned by his crew and the gods to die alone, only to emphasize that the poet himself has suffered an even worse fate! Dearest Cancer, in this bleak March remember to indulge in such melodramatics only when you are feeling well-fed, well-loved, and able to laugh at yourself. You may feel like a captain adrift far from your ship or a writer bereft of language; as long as you can inhabit those metaphors, there’s a spark of pleasure left in you. Tend it and help it grow this month.
Like Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde loved to convey the deepest truths through the most foppish characters. So we have the fussy Polonious sanctimoniously intoning “To thine own self be true ...” and so we see the dandy Lord Goring follow “What is unfashionable is what other people wear” with “Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself ... To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” You’re in good company, then, when you toss out your brightest gems as though they were nothing special, and cultivate an air of artificiality around your deepest truths. Don’t fool yourself, though: context may allow you to be seen as trivial, but you are anything but. Following the lead of tricksters, jesters, and dandies throughout history, use your charm to skewer deserving targets.
Jane Eyre is the ultimate wish-fulfillment novel for those who don’t believe in happy endings, or don’t believe that happy endings are ever really happy. As the novel follows its fiery, aloof, and angry heroine through early horrors and gothic servitude, we glimpse inside the mind of someone who has pretended to make peace with the injustice of the world and wants nothing more than a notebook in which to paint her private visions and to be left alone long enough to do so. And yet. Passion, long-simmering and sleeked down like her smooth hair and impeccably modest dress, will persist in ruining everything. Only in the ruins of the established world can Jane find anything like happiness, which she eventually claims with a fierce sense of freedom. Your question this month, secret believer in happy endings, is to identify what you need to ruin in order to feel that freedom.
Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji offers a glimpse of the “floating world” of Heian Japan, where courtship was conducted via calligraphy and strategic glimpses of silk sleeves, where not only seduction but love itself had been refined into a form of art; passion and tenderness were lovely for themselves, but more importantly they were excuses to write poems. Lovers chose one another based on their aesthetic judgment, their ability to turn a phrase, wield a brush, or color coordinate their robes. Would that your personal and professional life could be conducted along similar principles. Wherever you can insist that they do, you’ll be closer to what you’re here to do.
In the epic novel Moby Dick, there are vast chapters in which nothing much happens by way of moving the plot forward, and then there are flashes where everything happens. One of these moments is the passage where Ahab gathers his crew and nails a doubloon to the mainmast, promising that piece of gold to the first person to spot the white whale he’s hunting. The doubloon, skewered and offered as reward, represents the moment Ahab twists the course of the story to follow his own doom. The desire for that reward leads almost every sailor on board to accept the strange terms of their voyage, and plunge willingly into disaster. Your lines of inquiry this month lead you to two important questions: 1. What prize has your past self nailed to the mast, compelling you forward on your current path? 2. What are the risks of changing course, of spending some time adrift and not hunting fame or fortune?
Ben Okri’s hallucinatory epic The Famished Road begins “In the beginning there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.” This hungriness of roads and rivers is something you know too well: if you let them, they’d swallow your whole life as they pushed you onwards, along twists and turns and over unseen horizons. In many moods you welcome this adventurous tug, as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit sings merrily “The Road Goes Ever On.” But Okri’s vision is a little darker, and a little more representative of the pressures weighing on you this month. What is a hungry road but a mirror of late neoliberal capitalism, seeking out new enclosures? What does it mean to let such a road propel you onward? The secret to resisting these pressures right now lies in the secret of the road: that it was once a river. Where can you reconnect with what is fluid and meandering in your life right now, especially if parts of it are feeling paved over and sped up?
Shakespeare writes in A Winter’s Tale that “a sad story’s best for winter.” But can you take any more sad stories? Doesn’t daily life provide an abundant, one might say excessive supply to meet its quota? In the play, a tragic mistake appears to kill an innocent and beloved character, but when the mistake is acknowledged and atoned for, she is brought back to life as if by magic ... about sixteen years later. One lesson you could take from this is that tragedy is merely taking the short view of things, or that some mistakes might cost you more than a decade of regret before you begin to see a renewal of hope. Over that span of time, cause and effect can get murky. For purposes of clarity, you might want to spend this month 1) loudly acknowledging your regret for any harm you’ve caused, and 2) actively listening to anyone doing the same. Mutual forgiveness might not bring the dead back to life, but you’d be amazed at what it can restore, if you’re patient.
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the titular monster first begins to understand humanity when he stumbles across a bag of books, which conveniently contains works by Plutarch, Göethe, and Milton. This convenient bundle teaches him about high and noble ideals (Plutarch), the depth of human feeling (Göethe), and the idea of good and evil (Milton’s Paradise Lost) – or of insiders and outsiders; the chosen and the rejected. In your early attempts at understanding the species you’ve been born into, you may have resonated with these same chords. Specifically, that we’re capable of the highest ideals but these may get compromised by all our messy feelings, and in figuring this all out we make a lot of moral proclamations about right and wrong that conveniently sort us into the chosen ones and the outsiders. Guess which side the monster found himself on? And guess which side you often see yourself on? Your assignment this month, beloved and chosen human, is to throw away that Milton and focus on the other two. Infuse your ideals with passion. Refine your emotional responses according to how you’d like to behave. Resist the idea that your differences make you monstrous.
Bruno Schulz’ short story, “The Street of Crocodiles,” begins with a glimpse into the lascivious underbelly of an industrial European city. Commerce and sexuality hang in the air, equally frightening in their intermingling and their power to prey on middle-class desires. The narrator speaks with horror of this seedy neighborhood, but the real tragedy of the story is that it can’t live up to the erotic nightmares it promises; Schulz’ city offers nothing more than an empty simulcra of decadance. Your lesson this month? Your dreams and your nightmares may be identical, and it’s worth noticing how substantial either of them are. If you’re generating all that adrenaline, dopamine, and cortisol in your very real guts and brain about a series of abstractions, is there something tangible behind your idea-of-the-thing that is too scary to confront? Or is your deeper fear that there isn’t anything tangible behind any of it? Spend this month debunking Descartes and establishing proof for your existence (and connection to the physical world) that has nothing to do with your ability to theorize.