• The Amnesia Issue

    October Horoscopes

    The Amnesia 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.

    Mask oct 05 web

    Art by Kyle Mowat


    October 2016

    And here we are in Libra season, with Jupiter, the planet of happy-go-lucky good times and optimistic exuberance, having just moved into this sign of harmonious peace and justice. But what do we do when there are calls for peace, but there’s no justice yet? Everyone knows how the chant goes. The shadow side of Libra is smoothing over conflict because it looks ugly and unsettling, or denying anger for fear of making waves. There are beautiful qualities to Libra – its willingness to listen and understand, its attunement to what voices are missing, and its impeccable sense of what makes chaos into beauty – but while there are battles on the streets and for our water sources, while the rich and racist still hold more power than anyone should, watch out for the desire to arrive too quickly at solutions that don’t address the core of our problems. Don’t let the desire for reconciliation overcome the love of justice. Throw in your lot with the reading of Libra that pairs it in an eternal dance with its twin, Aries, the sign of war. Love has no substance when it cannot fight for what is fair. Aries and Libra are energies that need each other.

    At the same time, Libra season can support us in forgiving old grudges and tending to our intimate relationships. With Jupiter entering this sign for the first time in twelve years, we’re getting a new perspective on how we see each other. Bickering and ego clashes lose their hold on our hearts. Minor dramas don’t hold our attention as much as the clear shapes our histories make, like lines hovering in the air that trace the shapes we form as we dance together. This is the shape of the friendship that helps you laugh when you’ve been crying for days. This is the shape of the conversations you have with a far-off friend, late at night, that remind you what is still magical in your own story. This is the slightly dimmer shape of the friend who comes bearing subtle barbs and leaves your psyche full of unwanted, rotten dumpstered food. Pay attention to the shapes you’ll be able to see this month. If you’re careful, you’ll be able to track the ways your own energy fills the void and balances whatever’s lacking. Pay attention to debts owed, space claimed. Expect redistribution. In the words of an obliging insurrectionist (quoted once several years ago, for those of you keeping track of these things): “O God of War, Make Peace Between Those Fighting Who Should Be at Peace; Make War Between Those at Peace, Who Should Be Fighting. Break Both the Bonds of Truce, and the Bondage of Struggle.”

    Also this month, a dramatic union of Mars (the erstwhile mentioned god of war) and Pluto (god of death and rebirth) on the 19th can spark a week of intensity. Whether this manifests explosively or through inner revelations, prepare for something to become uncovered, re-discovered, or radically transformed. Plan wisely this month, and enjoy the sweetness as well as the fireworks. As always, take these horoscopes where they resonate and feel free to adapt them to your own uses. The astro-literate are advised to read their Sun signs first, followed by their Moon and rising signs. And you can always holler at me at flaxandgold@gmail.com with questions or to get a reading.

    You are helium. You make everything rise.
    You are so precious the gods quarrel over you.
    They invented time for you. When you didn’t
    like it, they broke the hands from the clock
    so you could write.

    Mary Ruefle


    In my dream last night we were lying side by side comparing whose knees had gotten more busted up in recent events. There was really no way to compare, we concluded. Pain is subjective. Knees are a category, but every knee is unique. And yet I had the feeling you were in more pain, and that because of this you were on the road to a faster recovery. You reminded me that pain is a signal, a conversation. You know how to listen to what’s being said and what’s not being said. You know how to make adjustments. This is really better than avoiding injury, as there’s no such thing as a pain-free life. But to be able to recover requires really understanding the nature of your injury. You have a beautiful opportunity to do just that right now.


    You may be tempted to curl up in a seashell this month, like a Botticelli painting in reverse, possibly titled “The Un-birth of Venus.” But before you seek out any womblike retreat, heed that siren call that reaches you from across great distances (perhaps several oceans, perhaps layers of sedimentary rock), spelling out for you the entire course of history (which begins to sound like so many defeats and lost keys and miscommunications about love) but continuing into the present moment with such a caressing and confident tone that you become more curious about the interstices that link you with the uprisings and orgasms and stolen moments of daydreaming that are occuring now across the globe. You may remember, if you listen to this voice, that there is no such thing as a retreat. There is no world to turn your back on; you carry it with you everywhere. Instead of curling up into some smaller shape, insist on reaching out to touch the filaments and tendrils of life that are all around you.


    It takes tremendous bravery to look extremely foolish. The difference between stupidity and courage is a really just a matter of perspective. How do you judge what risks will receive the approval of history and hindsight? I’m sure you can work out an algorithm, according to your own values, but a more interesting question right now is: how do you give yourself room to experiment – which means allowing for not only the possibilty but the guarantee of failure, of many failures? Here’s a hint: believe that you’ll arrive where you’re trying to go, even if it takes a long time to get there, and that wherever you’re headed is worth being misunderstood for the moment.


    This month you may find yourself papered over with the energetic equivalent of parking tickets. The problem isn’t that you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that you’re staying still when you ought to be in motion. Don’t let the paper beasts of time have their way with you: remember that according to the law of general relativity, your speed of acceleration affects your position in time. Solve this problem by outpacing the gnat-like anxieties of deadlines, schedules, and the bureucracies of a disciplined existence. Recall that the Greeks spoke of two kinds of time: chronos and kairos. The first is the kind that will kill you if you let it. The second is about the quality of certain moments, suspended, as it were, outside of our ordinary lives. Swear your allegiance to kairos, this month, and you’ll find your way out from under whatever’s trying to bury you.


    In a recent bout of nostalgia about New York in the 1980s, when the city still wore spray paint and glitter on its sidewalks and rusty subway cars, you took to carrying around a large piece of cardboard in case you met anyone who wanted to breakdance with you. But it got soaked in the rain, and bent as rush hour commuters squeezed past it, and when you turned your back for a moment a teenager had stolen it to turn it into a projector box for their space phone. Here’s the thing about time: everything is beautiful once it becomes a story. But stories are slow beasts, and need your full attention. There’s something uncanny about the present moment that will only reveal itself to you with your patient observation. It may be that the past is closer than you think. Shut out the rush of noise, and use all your strength to listen.


    There comes a time when you have to choose: are you a koala or a limpet? Do you grasp a tree momentarily while pursuing lofty, eucalyptus-scented ambitions, or do you attach yourself to a fixed, subaquatic destiny and let fate take its course? It’s true that this binary leaves out a lot of options. We can also throw jellyfish into the mix, but only as seen from above as they drift like stop-motion paintings near the surface of the waves, their motives inscrutable. To be less opaque, this horoscope is asking what kind of lover you are to all that needs loving in your life. If you’re at a loss, may I offer one final suggestion: In Calvino’s short story “The Distance of the Moon,” a man who has fallen in love with the Moon spends one final flirtatious evening helping to push it away when it begins to move farther from the Earth. “…he was unable to conceive desires that went against the Moon’s nature, the Moon’s course and destiny, and if the Moon now tended to go away from him, then he would take delight in this separation just as, till now, he had delighted in the Moon’s nearness.”


    It’s easy to get tired of the Gregorian calendar, with its predictable leap years and utter lack of carnival days during which all social rules were overturned. If you want to celebrate your birthday or another day of note, you’re more drawn to the French Revolutionary calendar, whose hold on the public imagination lasted no longer than a dozen years and whose months eloquently named the seasons (Brumaire for the foggy season, Fructidor for when the fruit ripens). As Jupiter moves into your sign for the next twelve months, you will be in love with the grand gestures. Let your fantasies get lavish, your invitation lists epic. This is a year for you that should be marked by fireworks, cannon shots, and a certain sense of the picturesque. Whether you mark this year as beginning on the 10th Vendémiaire CCXXV, or through a more idiomatic system of measurement, be sure to make it mean something.


    As the Velvet Underground asks, who loves the sun? And the response: Not everyone. With Venus moving through your dark and brooding sign this month, the bright heart of the world is aiming its full force at all of the freaks and misfits, queers and criminals; those cast out and those locked up; in short, everyone who’s learned to distrust the daylight and the story arc of ordinary love. Under the influence of this spell, you can help remind the rest of the world that the experience of love is something rich and dangerous, and it will break you open. Loving means being willing to transform, and knowing that even in the best of all worlds you will lose the one you love (to death, if nothing else). Love is the ultimate acknowledgment of mortality, and act of bravery in the face of all the world can hurl at us. Especially in the first two weeks of this month, expect some wayward moths to come find your flame. Teach them what you can.


    Pope John XXI is your patron bugaboo this month, haunting your library and warning you not to get too comfortable. In late May of 1277, this scholarly pontiff was enjoying some solitary reflection alone when the ceiling of his study collapsed and he was crushed to death by his books. I know it’s terrible outside, but staying inside won’t keep you safe, this flattened ecclesiastic admonishes. It may be pertinent, as well, that this pope had recently written a tract refuting certain laws of physics because they didn’t accord with religious teachings. Some 20th century scientists quipped that gravity crushed him soon after he tried to deny it as a force. How do you escape such a fate this month? Pay attention to the forces at play around you, and don’t hide from the unknown.


    The world isn’t going to just destroy itself like you once thought it might, opening a rapturous rupture for all that is ineffable to dance under a strange sun to melodies yet unimagined. Rather, the parts you love most seem to be most vulnerable right now, while the juggernaut of all that is terrible has claimed destructive glee as its own. Where does that leave you? Struggling between a desire to be the superhero who can undo it all and the recognition that all superheros harbor a streak of fascism. Here’s your assignment, then, for this momentous month: can you find the fissures and cracks in the great marble statue that is temporarily sculpted to resemble our civil society? Can you guess where a light tap of the chisel might do most good? The lightest of taps might be all that’s needed, if there are others across the creamy, cold face of this planet who are conducting similar experiments.


    There is a certain quality to the paintings of Eduard Vuillard that perfectly describes your month. If you’re not familiar with him, he is a gentle post-Impressionist whose densely patterned paintings often lose themselves in subdued glee, or rather, lose their subjects to the decorative fabrics and wallpapers that dwarf them. If you can’t picture this phenomenon, picture a jumble of trees and bushes at dawn in a well-ordered city park, where a slight breeze is ruffling a few leaves just enough that they appear to be waving at you in greeting. This month brings complexity, subtlety, and humor. Use these tools to deflect any hidden stresses that arise from as-yet-indescribable states of longing or rage.


    This is a slippery-sweet month for you, full of overflowing cups and overripe plums and other metaphors for over-the-top sensual pleasures. Remember, though, when everyday life becomes the stuff of hedonism and escape, you’re only building a routine that will trap you later. If you have any room for self-analysis right now, ask yourself what kinds of freedom you can access through intimacy, through affection, through self-disclosure, through orgasm, through therapy, through meditation. What happens when the beautiful life isn’t something you retreat to in order to escape the other pressures, but a vessel for liberation in its own right?

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