• The It's Over Issue

    December Horoscopes

    The It's Over 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.



    December 2015

    This month begins with a race against time. The sun is setting as you run, but you’re near the edge of the forest. You’re carrying a heavy branch – more like a tree trunk, really – but that’s neither here nor there. Sometimes we carry trees. Sometimes we run through forests at dusk. True, you are being pursued, but you are fast and sure. None of this is reason for alarm. What does concern you, though, is that you seem to be losing ground. Your feet slip and twist beneath you; you look down – you are wearing flip-flops. However strong and sure and fast you may be, if what connects you to the earth is slippery and insubstantial you will never gain ground.

    As the year closes, as the darkest days approach, a new planetary alignment is forming. For the next three years Saturn will square off with Neptune and we’ll feel a heightened sense of tension between dreams and reality, hope and despair, utopia and pragmatism, our fortified towers and the floods that wash them away. This challenging aspect demands that we establish a strong foundation (Saturn) for our dreams (Neptune), through recognizing our real capacities. If that sounds daunting, consider the many small decisions you make every day as you struggle to balance what you long for with what reality can hold. Now is the time to begin reworking how you materialize your dreams. It’s time to engage with imperfection rather than ignoring it, to acknowledge the real structures and shapes of your daily life and infuse them with magic. Where are the holes that are draining your energy away from your dreams? Like holding a bike tube underwater to see where it’s leaking air, this project calls for total immersion and conscious attention. For some of us, the hardest part is taking the time to stop, find that hole and patch it. For others, the hardest part is learning to be practical about the impractical: working patiently at what feels impossible.

    Throughout the month, make room for emotional excesses as Venus moves through Scorpio (rekindling intense desires and uncovering old wounds) and the Full Moon in Cancer (sign of vulnerability and family bonds) increases our sensitivity on the 25th. Mercury in conjunction with Pluto on the 20th gives us excellent night vision – a necessary reckoning as the Sun enters Capricorn on the 22nd when we’ll experience the longest night of the year. Light your fires, gather your tribe, and shore up those foundations so your dreams have a place to land in the new year.

    As always, read these horoscopes only for what you need in them. For a more rounded forecast, the astro-literate are encouraged to read their rising sign first, followed by their Sun and Moon signs, and for a personal reading, contact me. And if you’re interested in learning more about astrology, check out my new Astrology 101 course that’s launching next month!

    They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
    They pursued it with forks and hope ...

    Lewis Carroll, “The Hunting of the Snark”


    Not like this is a major revelation, but this month would like to remind you that sometimes your desires will get you into trouble. Specifically right now as Mars (planet of oh-damn-please-let-me-have-that-or-I-might-explode) moves through Libra (sign of never-mind-that’s-okay-I’ll-have-what-you’re-having), you may feel less in touch with your desires, which is usually a recipe for confusion and hurt feelings. When in doubt, slow down right now. Or if you can’t slow down, go run around the block alone until your head feels more clear. You don’t have to mess anything up as long as you don’t make any promises you might not be able to keep. Above all, don’t keep any anger bottled up under pressure; keep recirculating it by staying active and in motion.


    If you’ve ever been interested in creating a Gesamtkunstwerk, now is an ideal month to try your hand at it. Some suggestions for the self-identified philistines among you, who may not know where to begin: A giant painted tableaux as the stage backdrop, showing a feral cat triumphant over cities gone dark from power outages, where residents with torches chase fleeing businessmen into the lower right corner. A soundtrack of trumpets and makeshift drums, played by musicians wearing small tables on their heads, à la Hieronymus Bosch’s figure of wrath from the Seven Deadly Sins. As you write the lyrics to the songs the Greek chorus will sing to fill us in on what’s going on, bear in mind that with so much happening it’s okay to keep this part simple. Aim for somewhere between pop songs and nursery rhymes: “The road starts in the dark. The road knows where it goes.” This month, there are no bad ideas. Hold off on serious critique until you’ve got at least an 80-page libretto and all the scenery constructed.


    Edwidge Danticat writes, “an advantage to being an immigrant is that two very different countries are forced to merge within you. The language you were born speaking and the one you will probably die speaking have no choice but to find a common place in your brain and regularly merge there.” This month, you’ll be even more keenly aware of these several voices, and their resistance to merging. You may map out the territories of your world by what language you get to speak where – but your native song-burst will always be welling up inside you, insisting on being heard even in countries where it won’t be understood. It’s worth taking that risk.


    In myth, Procrustes was an unsavory fellow who invited travelers to sleep on an iron bed and then either stretched their limbs to fit it, or cut off any part of them that hung over the edge. He was clearly cruel and terrible, but his ideas has caught on amongst capitalists, utilitarians, and anyone else who prefers prefabricated realities to human inconsistencies. As an expert on shrinking or expanding to adapt to any given situation, you may find yourself in a Procrustean dilemma this month. Has your flexibility become a form of self-sabotage? Do you get to determine your own preferred shape, and ask the world to make room for it? Particularly in your home and your closest relationships, insist on making space for the parts of you that don’t seem to fit.


    Imagine a vertical line drawn down the center of an ordinary sheet of paper. On one side, in obnoxiously tall letters, you’ve written: WINNING. On the other, in an equally expressive hand, is LOSING. Each title presides over a list of events that have happened, that might have happened (in distant memory and vague dreams), or that you’re pretty sure will happen (in your assessment of what you can expect from yourself and the world). I won’t presume to know which column is currently in the lead, but I will tip you off that this month these clean divisions might not stay so clean. Items in one list may suddenly jump to the other, the titles of each column may waver in and out of coherence (“HINTING” and “CHOOSING” one minute, “SPINNING” and “OOZING” the next) – most dramatically, those vertical columns may lose their rigid boundaries and form circles and even Venn diagrams, pointing you toward that paradoxical land where victory and defeat aren’t separate.


    The spell you’re working this month involves gathering in and having a place to hold all the things that are necessary to your next phase of life. Examine your containers (houses, soup tureens, thick-enough skin, intimate relationships) for any leaks. Examine everything you introduce into these containers for how well it will nourish you. Your energy is circulating ambitiously fast and high right now, and that spiraling vortex a little bit above your head can easily crash down to your feet if you don’t pay attention to these two basic things: necessary resources, and containers equipped to hold them.


    Back in the day, every organ in the body was linked to an emotion; the gallbladder, for example, was the seat of bitterness, resentment, spite, and malice. Curing the diseased organ also meant relieving the emotional suffering that accompanied it. When medicine was also magic, worshipers of Asclepius (Greek god of medicine) gathered in temples where they would lie amongst non-venomous snakes that slithered across the floors, and be licked by sacred dogs, and discuss their dreams with the priests, whose interpretations of those dreams would guide their prescribed cures. This month, you will feel called to this Asclepian approach to healing, taking turns as both patient and priest. Gather with the like-minded. Consecrate a temple. Collect impressions and invite your favorite sacred animals to participate.


    If you know how to take it easy, now is the time to take it so. There may be parties, and you may be the life of them, rather than hiding quietly in a corner or fighting with an ex. There may be back rubs that don’t veer into unwanted flirtation or accidental injury. There may be ponies, but I’m not making any promises about that one. There may even be a sense of having a enough, and of being enough, to be able to relax about it all. Remember that being able to relax and enjoy the easier parts of this month will make the harder parts easier to bear, as well.


    You have a strong need for certainty right now. You dream of stockpiling assurances and guarantees, hoarding them for the winter, stacking them like folded blankets at the foot of your bed, forming a tower that will softly collapse and bury you until the spring – when there will be room again for uncertainty and hesitation. You can imagine planting the seeds of future surprises now and letting them germinate in the cold ground, while you remain swaddled in a world that is entirely predictable – at least for a little while. Always enamored of extremes, you need only be careful you don’t overcorrect, running toward the safety of some structure that is too stifling for you to bear for long.


    Scientists have long been fascinated by the tardigrade (affectionately known as the “water bear”), a micro-animal that is seemingly impossible to kill. Tardigrades can survive extreme heat or cold, dehydration, radiation, and pressures six times greater than that found in the deepest oceans. These implausible creatures swim slowly through their habitats like eight-legged bears lazily hunting salmon, unconcerned with their status as most rugged creature. How have they attained this Nietzschean indifference to danger and harm? Through bulletproof armor? Through really believing in themselves? Hardly. The tardigrade is a master thief. They have no qualms about stealing (okay, sharing) the DNA of all kinds of foreign organisms. They steal so much foreign DNA they are basically five sixths tardigrade and one sixth other beings. To be a tardigrade is to be a tiny multitude, absorbing anything interesting you come across. Dearest seagoat, consider a similar plan for this month: derive your strength from being permeable, curious, and eager to absorb your surroundings.


    This month may feel as though you’ve prepared for an elegant party, the kind with muted jazz and quiet discussions of the trendy new authors and global disasters, but instead you found yourself crammed into an overstuffed van with a rowdy crew of political puppeteers and all their giant puppets. Worse, you’re expected to play a starring role in the theatricals. It’s important that you find a way to connect to the people who inspire you most right now, and offer yourself in service to your highest ideals – but the opportunities to do so may feel complicated. Whenever possible, negotiate for what you need and how you want to join the party.


    All night you dream of a fox dipping through the legs of a wolf. The smaller creature is red, the larger black. There is snow on the ground and a lighthouse in the distance, whose beams wash over your mind’s eye as the red shape flickers under the black and holds still for a heartbeat, perfectly framed under the sable arch. If only you could wake up with wet paw prints on your pillow, your nose red from the wind, and burrs in your hair – then you’d be able to really commit to this life. Without this, you are perpetually homesick. How do you break this impasse and let the wilderness lead you to a sense of belonging here, among the living? This is your assignment this month, and you’re encouraged to experiment with howling and running naked through the snow, teeth bared to the wind.

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