• The Depravity Issue

    June 2016 Horoscopes

    The Depravity 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 june 04 2

    Art by Kyle Mowat


    June 2016

    Let’s talk about what we don’t know. Some of the infinite things we don’t know are thought to be unknowable (“How will I die?”). Some have a range of “right” answers (“Where should I live?”). Some have answers that will become clear in time (“Should I have unprotected sex with this person?”). Some questions can be asked again and again, with different answers (“Is this relationship good for me?”). With Sun and Venus in Gemini this month, these are the questions that pepper our conscious minds, wake us up at night, and arrange themselves into pro and con lists. Giddy, gleeful, and meandering, Gemini energy tests reality through its allegiance to wonder and surprise. While its opposite sign, Sagittarius, thrives on belief systems by which to understand the world, Gemini delights in poking holes into what we think we know. But there are also things we don’t know that we don’t know that we don’t know. That is, the category of things we think we know but whose mysterious depths we have not plumbed. These are the unknowns-masquerading-as-knowns that often sneak up on us during life-changing transitions, when we ask ourselves: “Why didn’t I see this coming?”

    This month, we’ll get a chance to ask the right questions, and we may be able to prevent a future avalanche – or at least get a head start before it buries us. This first week of June, especially, our indomitable, girl-detective planets in Gemini will uncover some clues about the longstanding tension between Saturn (grumpy old patriarch who subsists on one cracker a day and wants you to pull your pants up) and Neptune (pyschedelic prophet of non-duality who wants you to drop out and follow your bliss). These two forces are squaring off for the entire year, but their bickering is especially loud this month. You may feel torn between structure and dissolution, the conservative work ethic and the dream of transcendence, a sense of what’s solid and a belief that we are all floating in the space between our atoms. Saturn tells us that reality is finite and knowable, that we needn’t concern ourselves with the intangible. Neptune promises that life is stranger and more fluid than we know. To kickstart you on your Gemini questioning-of-the-previously-unquestioned this month, here are a few freebies: What dreams of yours are dying? What dreams are being born? Has something solid recently washed away? What structures do you need to keep from drowning? Can they be porous? What kind of dwelling can you build on water? Do you need to believe harder in the physical world, or do you need a dose of faith in the intangible?

    Add your own questions to this list, and by the end of the month you may have a few new provisional answers. As always, read these horoscopes with a keen sense of questioning. The astroliterate are advised to read their rising sign first, followed by Sun and Moon. And if you’ve been procrastinating on signing up for my Astrology 101 class, the earlybird discount has been extended to June 15th! You can also get in touch for a reading.

    “But stand brave, life-liver
    Bleeding out your days
    In the river of time
    Stand brave:
    Time moves both ways.”
    —Joanna Newsom, “Time, as a Symptom”


    Never believe the fools who tell us there are only five senses. There are at least eight, when we include our sense of being-in-space (proprioception), our sense of our own internal organs (interoception), and our sense of balance (vestibular). In a few decades, we’ll surely have discovered more. Being sentient means being porous, being filled with sensation. Much of the confusion of life arises when we don’t trust our senses (because we’re taught to ignore most of what we pick up on), or when we don’t know how to act on the information we get (is this nausea a gut feeling about something, or just a virus?). This month, your senses will be turned way up. Tips for not getting confused by all the messages streaming in like the scent of peonies and the buzzing of bees: Stay well fed. Move slowly. Make up words for anything you can’t name. Hush up any channel that’s distracting you when you need to pay attention to the others. Then you’ll be able to hear the questions you need to ask yourself right now, and – if you listen carefully – their answers.


    In the dreamworld version of your life this month, the books piled up on your bed next to you (arranged roughly in the shape of your absent lover) begin whispering to you as you sleep, telling you the stories their authors hadn’t been able to track down. We see a montage sweeping from ancient Alexandria to the barricades of the Paris commune, and ending on your own inkstained fingers as you hold a book that is writing itself – ink filling the pages smoothly, urgently. Before you wake up, though, it’s worth asking what hasn’t been added to the book in your own hands. What story can’t you tell right now?


    One of your alter egos is a helium balloon, but you don’t have to expose that secret identity just yet. You can expand without floating away; save your escape trajectory for a real emergency. You can be festive without knocking your head on the ceiling in your excitement, or parroting some trite sentiment about graduations or birthdays. Celebrations of all kinds can happen every day this month, without most people even realizing what’s going on. On your mission of stealth joy and covert festivity, interview yourself about the pros and cons of being a balloon: Do you enjoy being light and bouyant? Do you ever fear growing too big and exploding? What do you do when you begin to sag? How do you feel about strings, and those who hold on to them? What’s the perfect height to hover at? Do you want to grow up to be a hot air balloon?


    Holding a blue, cobalt stone that fits into the center of your palm (below the pads of fat that root each finger, above the lifeline that drifts down to your wrist), make a fist. Imagine that anyone you decide to punch with this smooth-blue-stone-in-fist will lose some of their worst qualities, like so many invisible teeth getting knocked out of their heads. Packing such a powerful punch, who would you choose to knock some sense into first? You can choose yourself, but be careful not to render yourself unfit for further combat.


    Don’t let this month be a Brueghel painting that never actually happened. Or even one that has, à la "The Land of the Cockaigne." Living joyously in the moment has its defenders, and I’m certainly not one to knock it – but for you, right now, there's a risk that you're running from your real creative work to pursue forgettable, momentary pleasures. Don’t settle for low-calorie bliss, for encounters you’ll barely remember in a year and that won't leave a mark on your soul – especially if you're not leaving your mark. Hold out for slower, deeper joys.


    Romantic bliss will not solve much, unfortunately. It can just smooth the rough edges of your days. Don’t get lost in dreams right now, or you’ll miss out on important experiences. There is a mountain to climb, and even though there may be silver fish sparkling in that mountain stream, flashing and flitting their little fins about, you have no time to get lured off course. Cleave to your path. Don’t be tempted by sirens, humble or otherwise. Questions of home (where? how many? are they all moldy?) will be important right now, but you can only answer them by pursuing your larger calling, which may take you far from home.


    While losing your way between city buses, you may find yourself walking on a desolate stretch of quasi-highway, smelling the haze of burnt grease and diesel that hovers between you and the sky. Passing an eternity of fast food joints and Walmarts, you hope that distant intersection on the horizon will be the street you need. Meanwhile, you notice a dirt path alongside the sidewalk that disappears into blackberry bushes, and reappears a few yards later. Retracing your steps when you realize the street is not the one you need, again you see this path that looks for all the world like a trail into the wilderness. Already late for your appointment, you clamber into the underbrush and prickly bushes that lead along the edge of a ravine, through the parking lot of a Burger King, and emerge on an overlook surrounded by wild roses, where a great blue heron roosts above a calm pond. Though you can still hear the cars roar by, you are invisible to them, as they are to you. In a choose-your-own-adventure moment, you need to decide this month whether the heron or the city bus will take you where you really need to go.


    Watching a hummingbird peck at and unravel lichen from a branch, you may feel a similar longing to have a long, slender beak with which to pick at the interwoven strands of your life. This! Goes! Here! This! Has! Got! To! Go! Away! Now! All! Y’all! Better! Quit! Your! Noise! And in no time at all, what was a mass of twisty roping tangle has become an open space, with only a few stray fungal specks caught on your beak and fluffing about your feathers. The problem with this approach, dear frantic little bird, is that what you’re pecking apart today could sustain you tomorrow, if you pay attention to what might be nourishing in that tangled bundle of life. Jab at something truly useless if you need to be sharp and incisive right now, and be gentler with the delicate life before you.


    In the dream where you became a real centaur, a process made possible by advanced body modification techniques, your core anxieties about this transition concerned intimacy: Would humans accept your half-beast form? Would they resent your ability to run faster than any of them? What bed could accommodate the heft and size of your horsey hindquarters? Would you be able to cuddle with hooves, or would a stray kick be fatal to your bedpartner? Despite these reservations, you seemed sure of your choice, and by the end of the dream you were galloping wildly with a motorcycle gang, finally at home in your body. This, after all, is your first and last home – though the people you partner with along the way can create another home for you, this month. Look for the ones who aren't put off by your wildness.


    Let’s say that people's energy can take on a physical form, like a cherry or a wasp. A sweet smile cast your way becomes a cherry. A rude driver hurling invectives, a wasp. A friend masking hurt feelings by being sweetly cruel, a wasp within a cherry. And so on. This month, your path takes you through a cherry orchard with several wasp nests hanging from the trees. Two tools will come in handy: a small basket and mirrored sunglasses. Use the one to gather the sweetness of each day, and the other to deflect attacks.


    Petrichor, the name for the scent of wet earth when it rains, was coined by two scientists in a rare moment of poetry. The phenomenon itself is fleeting, and fills the heart with a sense of longing and satisfaction, achingly intertwined. The name derives from the Greek petra, meaning stone, and ichor, the divine liquid that runs through the veins of the gods, sustaining their immortality. Rain falling on stones becomes divine nectar, dripping through the veins of a stone god, floating through space. Catching the scent, we get a whiff of eternal life. This month, instead of solving, investigating, or analyzing the problems at hand, take a minute to name an experience that has not yet been properly catalogued.


    The shyest mountains in the world are the tallest, hiding their faces in clouds and veiling themselves in snow. These are also the youngest mountains, before millenia of weather grind them down into soft, green mounds that sheep may wander onto without danger. What, then, is the link between shyness and danger? Are we more awkward when we're young because we know how volatile we can be? Why do we need to hide our vastness, our sharpness, our surprisingly deep and icy fissures? Dearest fish, now is the time for you to be less shy about how dangerous you can be. One minute, you've got these deep icy fissures, and the next you're just swimming about with humble little fins. Make up your mind! Stop hiding in the clouds, or dipping into the rivers. Let the sweet little sheep know they may get into trouble hanging out with you. Resist erosion!

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