Everything you need to know about the Earth opening up and swallowing your planets or the other way around.
Horoscopes by Corina Dross
Eclipse season always ups the ante.
Are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of past generations? Or is it merely easier to look backwards than forwards? Everything in the past is already lost. At a great distance, tragedies become the stuff of epic poetry and expensive blockbuster movies. It’s easy to side with doom; it asks nothing from us. It’s harder to imagine the future as something fundamentally new, harder still to look clearly at the present moment and see what we can do with all this raw material: the restrictions, the tragedies-set-in-motion, our massive outrage, digital connection paired with personal isolation, old grudges, deep wounds, millenarian panic, our incredible talents, this love we share that is still with us and still surprising us, the music we need to hear, the spirit that whips through us and lifts us and fills us with the kind of courage we’ll need this year.
Astrologically, 2017 is a time to dismantle and destroy systems of oppression, while trusting we can grow the food, the muscles, and the loving bonds we’ll need to sustain us in the new world. We cannot know what this will look like; but we can pledge not to let the past determine the future. One of the most refreshing signs I saw in the demonstrations last weekend protesting the new travel ban read: “First they came for the Muslims, and we said not this time, motherfuckers!”
“Not this time, motherfuckers” is a good mantra for the astrology of this month. Mars and Venus have both moved into Aries, the sign of courageous resistance. As the planets of love and war both occupy this combustive sign, we must remember, in all struggles, to stay sensitized to what we love and what we are together, to fight in a way that opens us to each other and to the best of our potential.
Meanwhile, the biggest event of this month is the double eclipse, with one eclipse in Leo and one in Pisces. Eclipses herald a time of collective, dramatic change. Like exponentially more powerful full moons and new moons, they interrupt our assumption that we’ve answered the biggest questions of our lives and can merely continue on the course we’ve chosen. The first, a lunar eclipse at 22 degrees of Leo on February 10th, opens us to our own vulnerable creativity. What is at stake in this time is our ability to express what is really true, without fear of ridicule or isolation, and to keep an open conduit to our source of inspiration. Now is not the time to stop learning to play guitar; it’s time to use your guitar as a weapon against fascism.
On the 26th, a solar eclipse at 8 degrees of Pisces will complete the eclipse cycle (though its energy will linger several weeks). Pisces is the sign of abolishing borders between self and other, between our individual egos and the vast experience of life. These eclipses tell two parts of the same story: that we must open ourselves both to our truest sense of self and to a kind of connectedness that dissolves all sense of separation. Paradoxically, reaching inward and reaching outward is fundamentally the same operation.
Eclipse season always ups the ante. January ended with two weekends of dramatically increased stakes, as masses of protestors disrupted business as usual across the US and in solidarity across the world – February may be just as fierce, if not more so. Remember to keep drinking water, eating plenty of nutritious food, and sleeping as much as you can. Remember you are both fire and fluid. We cannot know exactly what this month will bring, but we can always choose the ways we direct this brilliant power and ardent love we each carry.
As always, take these horoscopes as suggestions more than concrete premonitions. If you have some astro-savvy, read your rising sign first, followed by your Sun and Moon signs. I’m available for astrological readings, and this is the last month to claim a Discounted Reading for Comrades if you want a focused look at the best ways you can show up for yourself and change the world for all of us.
“When you’ve robbed a man [sic] of everything, he is no longer in your power. He is free again.”
Your heart this month is like in an old Soviet illustration in which an angry man with an angry sneer rides his horse angrily under tall, billowing clouds with a seagull wheeling overhead. The wild eyes of the horse are angry, too, as is the seagull; the clouds themselves tower angrily, massed in layers of red ink frothing into austere, frozen white. Even the earth clumps and melts under the angry hooves of the horse, refusing to stay solid and quiescent. Your task this month is to find the true meaning behind your anger, and its most beautifully compassionate expression. You cannot act just to satisfy your own pride or hurt feelings: the horse will revolt, the bird fly away, the clouds and earth conspire to create mud which will blind you as you fall. Instead, let love guide your rage and direct you on your path.
In a library you find a hand-drawn map of the last three years of your life, charting your unexpected journey away from a lost homeland (but was it ever really yours?) and circling all the foreign places you’ve explored since then. Parts of the map are smeared, and the names of the lakes and rivers are written in a language that no longer exists, but nevertheless you recognize the general shape of things. There is where you feared you’d be trapped forever. There is where the biggest betrayal unfolded. And there, and there, are the rivers that feed the larger artery you managed to find at night, after a series of covert investigations, that bore you away from the worst of it and into a place you can only damn by calling it unfamiliar. Safely on the other side of this trip, you carry your exile within you. This month invites you to go home again, to find the home you’ve never lost and knock on the door.
Legend has it that Gabriel García Marquez was down to his last peso when he had the creative breakthrough that helped him write One Hundred Years of Solitude, channeling the ghosts of his past and the stories of his grandmother into the epic novel. You may not have to hit rock bottom this month in order to plumb your creative depths, but some vulnerability and a big push are in order. What stories have been whispering themselves into your ear for months and years now? What stories have grown stale and brittle enough to be blown away? How do the stories you live by help you become the force you’d like to be in this world?
What is solid and what will last? This month, you pause while ascending the steps of an academic building – one of those old edifices whose marble steps have been slowly worn hollow by generations of soft feet so that when it rains they catch the water and reflect the clouds back to grey sky, somehow brighter in reflection than in the sky itself. These hollows, smooth and gradual, are the result of soft impressions repeated thousands, millions of times over the course of generations. They haven’t exactly softened the stone, but they have made it capable of holding an amorphous fluidity. This is what will last, dear Cancer, if you are patient enough to tend it: your capacity to hold what is dynamic and fluid, what can reflect something brighter than this current moment. Tend this capacity of yours with faith and continous, gentle pressure, knowing that you are part of generations of shapers.
Though you are a fire sign, this is winter and even you are subject to freezing. We can imagine something lurking in the basement of your house that has become frozen multiple times, each time growing a larger protective shell, like an ice cube that attracts more ice from the air around it. Through the distinct layers of ice, you may be able to make out something green in the center. Springtime, probably, or at least something indicative like a sprig of rosemary in flower. Melting is painful, but it’s the only way through this month. The pins and needles, the burning rush of blood, the chafed skin losing numbness, recommitting to experience and flux – all this will be strongest for you on the week of the 10th when the lunar eclipse in your sign disrupts what has been growing hard and cold in you. This could be a time for celebration, though you’ll feel the joy a little later. For now, watch the crystalline patterns that form as each layer melts, holding symbols and words in tension before they, too, melt.
“Not wasteland, but an inverted forest / with all the foliage underground” – so runs an incomplete line of poetry from a Salinger story he later suppressed from publication. And such is the theme of your month: there is energy and activity and lush growth, but it is all happening deep within you, in fragments and mysterious imagery. The eclipses of this month ask you to find your way back to those wells that never run dry, but whose location often eludes you. Spend the first half of the month in hermitude and meditation; when you emerge, you’ll have clear insights about your commitments to those you love most.
In your younger days, lace was a thing to be ripped off as soon as it became a barrier to intimacy. These days, you may find yourself carefully starching old lace in fresh milk, as your grandmother learned from her grandmother. It’s not that your desires are fundamentally different, now, it’s just that your responsibilities have shifted. The world has become larger, and older, and more fragile. Your senses of what is possible and what is ideal have parted ways, only to meet at certain crossroads, fleetingly. This month’s eclipses ask you to reconsider how you tend to all these worlds: have you allowed someone to rip away not only some frippery but your own sense of potential? Have you been as careful with your aspirations for this world as you have been with its relics?
If this month were a font, it would be all-caps. If it were an orchestra, each instrument would be a kettledrum. If it were a limo, it would be covered in gold spray paint and set on fire at the presidential inauguration. How down are you for an even wilder ride than last month? Because there are secret things happening under all the bombast, and you can always choose to follow those quieter paths if they appeal to you. Not everything important is dramatic and obvious; sometimes a harp is just as resonant as a kettledrum. Don’t get fooled into thinking all the noise is the point.
Some of the Tzarist Russians who left their country during the Revolution remained devoted to the old regime so much that they formed together in fellowships to commemorate their fallen leaders. They published pamphlets ornamented by photos of the Romanov family, the staid Tzar and his wife and five daughters all floating in the clouds, surrounded by crosses and wreaths of roses. They added the martyred royal family to their list of saints, venerating them even more strongly once their old way of life had completely disappeared. Now, I’m not saying that you long for some aristocracy to restore meaning to our fractured world, but you do nurture a similar tendency in your own heart: it is easiest for you to devote yourself to something you believe is right and good, but that either no longer exists or has not come into being. This faith in what you cannot touch is a double-edged sword – it can keep you engaged in collective liberation even when times look bleak, or it can propel you to foolish delusions about a world that only feels better because it isn’t this one. This month urges you to ask yourself the tougher questions about where you put your faith, and how you justify your actions.
There is probably a German word for the different kinds of thoughts you can have in different places, but I may have to be in a library or in Germany to find it – you get my drift? I don’t mean only where you can find certain information, but the entire flow of thought and mood that relies more on our environment, external and internal, than English knows how to express. Thus we can imagine walking thoughts, early-morning-still-in-bed thoughts, subway thoughts, low-blood-sugar thoughts, massive crowd thoughts, abandoned building thoughts, and many, many more. To the extent that you identify with your thoughts, it’s imperative that you get somewhere this month that will allow your environment to fill you, and you to reflect and refract it differently. Where can you think yourself into the shape you’d like to take?
Your patron animal this month is the bowerbird, the most ingenious and artistically gifted of all birds. In courtship, the bowerbird creates processional bowers for its love, studded with all manner of blue berries or white fungi, no tiny piece of nature trash out of place. It is this obsessional fervor, directed toward the securing of love, that guides you this month – though what you’re really seeking is recognition and shared values. Let your romances be strange and your friendships disarming. Whatever resources you feel you’re guarding through solitude, now is the time to share them.
Zugzwang is a chess term for a certain dilemma where the obligation to take your turn puts you at a disadvantage. From the German, “compelled move,” it describes any situation wherein you must move, yet any move will increase your peril. Dear thoughtful and struggling Pisces, luckily for you this month is not a game of chess. You are not compelled to make any move until you’re positive it’s going to increase your joy and capacity. Meanwhile, learn from what others would like you to give up: it is probably the one thing you ought to hold onto.