• The Carnal Issue

    Horoscopes for May 2017

    The Carnal 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.



    May 2017

    May Day is one of our holy days. Since antiquity, people have been draping flowers over each other and lighting sacred bonfires to welcome back the spring. More recently, people who realized the springtime had been stolen from them began fighting and dying in the streets to assert their sacred connection to the world outside the factory walls. May Day as a workers’ holiday has been recognized by many governments – though not the US, which holds “Labor Day” in the opposite season – but this emphasis on the labor movement still centralizes the wrong message about the holiday: May Day isn’t about work, but about abundance. It’s a time for pleasure and play and sensual reconnection to what stirs our blood and lulls us into a honey-scented stupor. May Day is sacred because plants continue to bud and blossom and wildly proliferate as part of a rhythm we can collaborate with but not control.

    For anarchists and radicals, May Day is synonymous with festivals of resistance, sometimes involving sacred fires. Too often, it also means escalated state repression – which has dramatically increased since Trump’s inauguration. We are at a crossroads where asserting our connection to what is sacred in this world – pleasure, abundance, freedom, mutual care – renders us more visible than ever to the forces that are trying to exert absolute control over a world they can never fully tame. Banners speak of becoming uncontrollable, but we already are. Life is inherently uncontrollable. When we align ourselves with the processes of life, we are protected and enlivened. In prisons, we dream of sunlight and bees humming through honeysuckle bushes as eagles trill high above. In the streets, we dance the steps that stir our blood and assert, again and again, that we are moved by joy despite the spectacle that wants us only to fear. In our homes, feeling disconnected and discouraged, we step outside today and let the clouds and sun and mud and rain and traffic noises and birdsong and broken glass sparkling on sidewalks and kudzu climbing up ailanthus sprouts and desert winds smelling of distant fires fill us completely until we understand how deeply we belong to this world. As the Sun moves into Taurus on the 9th, we move into the season of sensual connection. With Venus moving back into Aries and Mars in Gemini, there are also strong currents of electric excitement in the air. This can be explosive in creative or destructive ways. Its energy is best put to use in acts of courage that look playful and easy.

    Often we feel we’d rather be anywhere but here. We watch TV, read fantasy novels, research the Spanish Civil War, visit other countries, all with the hope of escaping the fear, the despair, the grief. We want something that isn’t this era, this culture, this body, this history. We want to be outside time, before the worst tragedies were set in motion. Sometimes distraction is excellent harm reduction, but this month the springtime needs us. Face what’s real – the beauty and the tragedy. Show up.

    This month I’ll be taking some time off from giving readings, but you can book ahead for dates in June and beyond. As always, the astro-literate are advised to read their rising signs first, followed by the Sun and Moon, and everyone is advised to co-create their destinies this month by taking only what resonates from these horoscopes.

    “The moment of your greatest joy sustains
    Not axe nor hammer
    Tumor, tremor
    Can take it away, and it remains.”

    Joanna Newsom “Time, As a Symptom”


    The board game Bloc by Bloc lets the players enact an insurrection (successful or otherwise) on the playing field of several city blocks. Neighbors, prisoners, students, and the like get into the mix and create occupations and resist the police. There are a few ways of winning, but even in the best endgame there are still riot vans on the board, still territories of the city not yet liberated. This month, your homework is to mash up this game with Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, a book that offers us brief glimpses of 55 imaginary cities in which cultural norms and even physical reality are quite different. We need your visionary spark this month to remind us that “winning” isn’t the point.


    This month’s lesson is about self-sufficiency, or shall we say the myth of self-sufficiency. You are so good at enduring hardship, and can be so focused in your pursuits, that you may feel at times like you are deftly balancing the entire Earth on your shoulders while everyone else runs around incompetently rolling boulders up hills and failing to chase away vultures. Here are two secrets that will help you relax and reconnect this month: 1) the Earth is supporting you and always has. Everything you accomplish includes the assistance and support of myriad beings, from your parents to your partners to the deer that browse silently in the woods behind your house at night to the entire biome of bacteria that populate your intestines and skin and lungs. 2) Compassion is at least as important as strength.


    In all that is unknowable to us, we are most curious about the mysteries of each other’s experiences. We want to know if our cats love us, if our partners feel things the way we do, and if anyone else’s bodies do the weird, idiosyncratic things ours do. Do dogs think about the future? Do you see the same blue I see? Did the ancients even see blue? If you can’t name a color, can you still feel it? What kind of person would torture a baby monkey to understand what makes a baby monkey feel safe? Did that scientist feel safe? How can you feel safe when you live in a world that tortures baby monkeys, especially if you are in fact the person making this happen? Do people only feel safe when they are in control? What happens when none of us can control the future, which is true 100 percent of the time? What could make humans less willing to do harm? Does it have anything to do with how safe we feel? This month, come to terms with the questions we can never answer; the ones we need to keeping asking nonetheless.


    This month, you have a thick hide and sharp claws. You are stronger than you think. Be careful not to fall prey to those accidents that inevitably occur when folks don’t know their own strength, and be extra careful to listen to the voices that come with these gifts: are you seeing everyone else as a threat and ignoring your own thirst for blood? Interrogate your lashing-out or closing-inward mechanisms. Invite your animal vigor to understand your real motivations.


    This month, your secret power is invisibility. Not usually on the top of the wish list for Leo, invisibility is actually the best medicine for you right now. Being constantly seen and assessed, even when you’re appreciated, is exhausting. There are pieces of you that want to experiment and malinger and get angry and generally create a variety of temporary assemblages in privacy, without interruption. This may look like inactivity or failure or depression or any number of things that we equate with withdrawal and solitude, but remember that even if your work is hidden right now, it’s not a stagnant time. You may not even be able to see what you’re up to, but trust that growth and healing are happening.


    You’ve spent too long curled up in your room dwelling on the sadness of private property and personality quizzes. Abstract ideas are not your friends this month, and the way forward does not need you to pin down all the right words like butterflies stuck to a map of the terrain of hopelessness. What happens when you abandon analysis? What happens when you smell a giant jar of horseradish root, aka “straight edge poppers?” Will you let the burning sensation travel down your sinuses and inspire temporary giddiness, or will you immediately type “sniffing horseradish” into the search engine of your external brain and start reading about how asthmatic mice and how our lungs crave bitter aromatics because something has gone terribly wrong in a world of refined sugars and asthmatic mice in labs? Be careful this month – your efforts to care for yourself can twist into sticky old doom narratives quickly. Go back to the first step: surprise yourself. Repeat this step as often as you need to before coming to any conclusions.


    Now is not the time to doubt what you know most deeply. Long held convictions, love that has transformed and changed, preferences, habits, proclivities – these are all periodically up for reevaluation. You’re coming out of one such period, and the strangeness you see now is just a reflection of you looking at the same view from a different perspective. Don’t assume that the old stories are no longer true just because they look less familiar now.


    You’ve been haunted long enough. Remember those old stories where people played chess with Death? Sometimes Death was quite chatty and popped up again and again in various scenarios, giving hints or cracking jokes. It’s time you turned to whatever specter is looming over you and start teasing it. Open a can of some fizzy beverage. Take off your shoes. Mock the inevitable, and make a place for your worst fears to hang out and get comfortable. They aren’t going anywhere, but they aren’t quite real enough to impede what you’re doing yet. Don’t make them more powerful by pretending they don’t exist – just give them some crackers, listen to them whine for a few minutes, then get about your business.


    When tragedy strikes, we blame ourselves for not having been able to stop it. This can include tragedies that happened when we were so young we couldn’t have done anything to change them – or tragedies that happened long before we were born. Sometimes we hear of a tragedy and curse ourselves that we were far away when it happened and could not stop it. Sometimes we know of a long, slow-motion tragedy and even though we do what we can to try to stop it we are ultimately not able to stop it, and we blame ourselves for not having been able to do more. Sometimes we get so exhausted by the weight of this blame that we can no longer imagine being able to stop any tragedies, and we merely watch as more and more unfold around us. This month, you have two assignments: 1) Recognize how much power you really have. What can you affect, and what is far beyond your reach? 2) Grieve for all that you need to grieve. Grief may feel hard, but it is what will release this weight you’ve been buried under.


    Imagine the long, slow pressure of tectonic plates grinding slowly together, threatening earthquakes but never quite cracking. This is the definition of paranoia: knowing there is a hidden threat, but not knowing where or when it will strike. On some level, you’ve been expecting the worst, keeping your muscles tense and your mind scurrying about strategizing how to handle disaster. This month, you’re invited to consider the mud puddle as an alternate perspective: the forbidden pleasure of splashing in it, the way it might ooze between your toes, the soft muckiness that will dry overnight to a smooth sheen of earth. Your secret this month: you get to move fluidly between the strata of your world. Tectonic grinding doesn’t have to be the dominant motif.


    Effluvia is a beautiful word for a disgusting phenomena. From the Latin for flowing, effluvia are the odorous gases that arise from sickness and decay. We can imagine a certain formality in this name, as learned men and physicians back in the day painstakingly christened every aspect of the body with proper Latin – but we can also hear in it our culture’s deep-rooted fear of change. Flowing is the natural state of all life, according to Heraclitus, who no one can read anymore because his collected works have already decayed into so many fibers of paper pulp and specks of ink or clay. But there is something beautiful about even those processes we fear. This month, your job is to affirm and adorn something unpleasant or uncomfortable, like processing with a partner or sweating out a sickness. Give it a formal or informal name, but make it beautiful.


    The beautiful, terrible lure of hyperbole is that it adds chiaroscuro and dramatic tension to the otherwise subtle indignities of life. Your talents include seeing clearly what is too subtle for others to notice, and choosing how much to emphasize and exaggerate its qualities to make it more visible. This month most of what is important to you will be occurring in the more subtle realms, and it’s up to you to translate what feels important to share in whatever terms other people know how to hear – even if you have to exaggerate wildly to approximate the truth.

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