• The Joy Issue

    Horoscopes for June 2018

    The Joy 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.



    June 2018

    This Gemini season is a prism, a magnifying glass, a microscope, a kaleidoscope. Dizzying is an apt descriptor. Gemini broadens our field of perception and flattens our sense of scale. Epiphanies and irrelevant fixations crowd our minds; conversations crowd our days; crowds swarm in and out of focus.

    This month begins bright and shiny and full of possibility – one of the least challenging times, astrologically, of the year. If you can experience multifaceted joy in this time, please do so. If you think you’ve forgotten how, start humming the tune and the words may follow. If you’re too suspicious of joy and ease to trust this calm spell, now is the time to grieve. The New Moon in Gemini on the 31st aids and abets all projects that are devious, verbose, widely broadcast, and cunningly intricate. On the 26th, Mars will turn retrograde for the rest of the summer, slowing and gumming up the slick momentum of the time. Mars is our life’s blood. When Mars turns retrograde, we feel it as the suck of the tide pulling away from shore, exposing all the sea creatures and lost sunglasses and buried treasures in the slurping tide pools that remain. In other words: Get a few things in motion before the 26th, and then prepare for a collective slow-down to reassess what’s been invisible underneath all our hot-blooded activity. Expect some frustration and a few miraculous discoveries as you sift through it all.

    As always, read your rising sign first, followed by your Sun and Moon signs. And you can holler at me at flaxandgold.com for more specific insights and support for your adventures, epiphanies, and fixations.


    The moth that came to me in the dream I had about you was translucent as the slick membrane that surrounds a newborn creature. Its veins were pale green, and its wings were still wet with memory of another form. It spread them tentatively, as if to remind us both that transformation is painful and uncertain. And yet we spoke as if this didn’t affect us, as if neither of us was aware of what’s changing rapidly in your life right now. You held in your hand several industrious ladybugs, whose shiny opacity you found reassuring. I realized it was fine for you to focus on these strong shells, these compact and efficient forms. The moth that has landed, for now, on the lampshade behind your head is still stretching its wings, still deciding about the risk of flight. You can take a breather, too, before completing your metamorphosis.


    The Atlas Mountains in the Maghreb hug the coast of Northwest Africa, shielding the interior like an arm draped around a beloved’s shoulders. But the ancestors of these mountains, their substrata and almost forgotten forebears, were a range of mountains that also gave rise to the Appalachians of North America, when those two continents butted up against each other and raised this wrinkle in the earth, then separated. We must wonder if the Atlas Mountains miss their Appalachian counterparts. Perhaps they feel such a deep subterranean affinity that the ocean between them barely registers as an obstacle. Perhaps it is enough that they share a common history, that they shaped each other. This month, the piece of you that has traveled far away will insist on being acknowledged. Whether you do so with joy or grief, or both, is up to you.


    In search of wonder, watch out for merely getting hoodwinked into a conversion scam this month. The marvelous will surround you, true. The miraculous may erupt around you as you walk down the street – toxic municipal water becoming sparkling spring water, empty condos crumbling into earth and then into dark, healthy soil – but you cannot get sidetracked by any one story that purports to explain how and why and how to make this all happen again, infinitely, until all the evil is erased and all the good is instated forever after, amen. Honor how much stranger the universe is than what we can fully describe. Let yourself be moved by an impulse toward the inexplicable, the unintelligible, the paradox. Here you will find the sacred thing you’ve been looking for, whether or not you can explain how you found it or how to hold onto it.


    For so long, you’ve been seeing as good that which is available. There is a survivalist logic in this, the way you can make a sandwich out of government cheese and some old pancakes if needed, or the way you let love in like sunlight prying through a dense forest, where you wait like some wildflower at the very bottom of this whole affair, basking in the spring warmth that fades quickly as the leaves grow larger and choke out the sun again. Don’t snub survival. But this month, you have the option of full, radiant sunlight and meals cooked with thought and care. There is abundance waiting for you to notice it. Can you accept it? (No is a totally valid answer, by the way – as long as you know why you’re refusing it.)


    You may not want to interrupt your plans for this month, but you are invited to spend as much time as possible painting your toenails (preferably gold) while eating fruit whose dull shine encloses bursts of sweetness (possibly grapes?) and inventing dance moves with which to woo some lover (you know which one). Refuse any more responsibility than you must accept to merely live. Even if you must go to funerals or trials or hospitals, even if you are steeped in tragedies and chaos, it is your solemn obligation to usher some eros into your world.


    As you consider patience the way you might examine an insect that you have decided to draw but have not yet learned to love, you recognize the game you play with waiting: if you want a certain flower to bloom, every day you wake up and imagine the beauty of this flower. You count its petals. You wonder exactly what shade of rose or violet or fiery orange it will be. You close your eyes in order to see it better. And at some point, your exhausted imagination slides away and you remember that this flower has not bloomed and may never bloom. To prevent the kind of despondency that could turn you away from gardening, try this game instead: Keep your eyes open. Pay attention to the flowers that are blooming now, even if they’re merely dandelions and not the night-blooming cereus you’re waiting for. If your cereus ever blooms, it will want to hear about its cousins the dandelions. It will want to know what they sky looked like weeks before it was born. There is a story you’re creating now that you must remain a part of, or nothing that blooms in the future will make sense.


    If we imagine a city of small hills, with each hilltop a vista point from which a dweller can survey the other neighborhoods with a sense of superiority, we may get a sense of why someone might run naked through a park late on a warm evening in early summer. “All these slumbering houses are on my team,” they might think. “None of the outsiders from those other hills can reach me here. My body is attuned to this hill. I roll down the hill until I am as covered in grass as the hill itself.” But if this freethinking hedonist happens to run past visitors from a distant hill or even a distant city, sitting quietly under a tree watching rabbits graze – what then? Would their grass-coated nakedness and shrieking wildness inspire in these visitors a longing to be equally free? Would the visitors feel embarrassed to witness something so intimate, a communion between person and place they could not share? And you, dear Libra, which character in this story are you this month, and which would you rather be? (Hint: the best role is the city itself).


    You draw your lessons this month from birds: specifically the controlled, swift descent of house sparrows from the eaves of a building and the majestic, lunging flight of a Muscovy duck from its pen to the chimney of a nearby house. Flightless mammals that we are, we see a bird drop and imagine falling; we see a largish, awkward creature rise house-high and imagine getting trapped on that roof. Our own frailty flavors our fears of ascents and descents; we imagine failing – falling as failing, rising as having no choice but to fall. This month, dear seer of horizons and depths, you are reminded that you can fall and rise and fall again as lightly as birds when you trust that you have business in both worlds, and no one is locking you into either one.


    Consider the life of a barnacle: they cement themselves to a fixed spot, but sometimes find that spot underwater and sometimes in the barren air. When underwater, they open and grasp hungrily at floating specks of life. When above water, they close and resemble stones. We can imagine the concern they might feel for the un-shelled, un-rooted sea life they watch floating about with no shelter and no place to belong. We can imagine how kindly they might try to reach out and offer one such jellyfish a vacant shell to nest in, a bite of food, a sense of community. But the jellyfish subsists on different fare, has different values. Just so, you may find yourself loving someone right now to whom you’d like to offer the abundance of your life: your strong friendships, your faith in some kind of future worth living, your favorite poems, some kind of warm home. But this may be someone who needs wilderness and an end to borders to ever feel at home; someone for whom poetry dislodges them and helps them drift. Remember that when you cannot offer those you love the resources you have, you can at least offer your recognition.


    Your horoscope this month, dear sea-goat, comes to you via the flora and fauna of a bygone age. Imagine the strange mammals of the Pleistocene – the massively antlered ungulate Megaloceros giganteus, the giant American camel, the miniature horses, epiphytes the size of those horses hanging from gingko trees, and all the various mammals later museums would nickname “Coyote-sized Bear Dog,” “Slender, Pig-Sized Rhino,” and “Long-legged Hell Pig.” Imagine the smell of orchids and early roses, choking the air with sweetness. This is the smell paleobotanists catch a faint whiff of as they sweept the dusty surface of their fossils showing feathery leaves and root furrows. Something was happening then, before the ice came, that had an internal cohesion we can only guess at. Much, much more was happening than we have record of or can piece together. This is how our memories work, as well. This month you have the chance to get archeological about your recent past: what pieces were you missing out on because you were so delighted by the charismatic megafauna and intensely heady scents? What else was happening?


    When we were younger we knew a punk who was always throwing house shows to raise money to buy saplings. He would then plant these young trees anywhere he could in the city, sometimes tearing up concrete to do so, sometimes choosing abandoned lots or empty windows of dirt in the sidewalk grid. Eventually, the city would uproot these unauthorized trees or bulldoze them to make room for more buildings. Fully aware of this, he called his tree-planting project The Lost Cause. This act of hopeful nihilism, or quixotic optimism, or poetic tragedy – whatever you want to call it – is your entry point this month for something you’ve been both hoping for and despairing of. Can you let yourself fully embrace the thing you long for, even as it crashes around you like a wave?


    The salmon is an oddity among fish for its capacity to live in both saltwater and freshwater. Fish must constantly regulate their internal salt levels according to the salinity of their environments, and few have bothered to adapt to both environments. The mechanism that keeps salt in the fish, when the water might leach it out, is entirely different than the mechanism that pumps salt out of the fish when the environment is too saline. When the salmon migrate between saltwater and freshwater, they take a few days to adjust to the new climate. I imagine they feel in those days much how you do when you realize you’ve been using an outdated coping tool for a new situation – isolating to the point of loneliness, empathizing to the point of overwhelm, or merely imagining what could be when you had the tools to make it real. This month, let your fancy internal mechanisms switch gears as often as they need to for your shifting environments. You are adapted to many worlds, if you give yourself time enough to notice what they offer you.

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