• The Lawless Issue

    Horoscopes for August 2018: How to Get Unblocked

    The Lawless 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.

    Horoscopesaug2018 web


    August 2018

    Keeping calm and carrying on isn’t something I generally recommend. Whose agenda does that serve? What atrocities must one overlook to obey this principle? But this month, with hella tricksy astrological firecrackers popping off at all hours, it might be worth remembering to breathe slowly and completely till your lungs are absolutely full and then absolutely empty. It may not hurt to remind yourself that things are just a little extra right now and you don’t need to throw lighter fluid on any unwanted fires. By all means, use this energy to keep cultivating the necessary fires. Be the tricksy firecrackers you wish to see, and so on.

    Specifically, this August brings us the third eclipse of the summer, rounding out many themes that arose last summer (think relational earthquakes, political tremors, etc.). Meanwhile, Mars, planet of all things that want to be on fire, is moving retrograde till the 27th. What does a fire moving backward mean? A tendency to sputter out as it covers the same ground and all its fuel is spent. Blinding smoke. Standstill. Confusion. If Mars rules both our desires and our fighting spirit, this retrograde period asks us what is blocking our momentum: despair? heartbreak? paralyzing fear? scattered urgency? We must live into the answers of how to get unblocked. Our primary lesson under this transit is how to patiently adapt to difficult times.

    One blessing is an easy aspect between Jupiter, planet of “if we can change this lightbulb, we really can change the world,” and Neptune, planet of utopia. We may be frustrated, sad, and stuck in various ways, but this is a month that rewards dreaming big. Get creative. Get unreal. Harness the improbable.

    I’ve got limited availability for readings this month as I’ll be traveling! But if you’re in the Bay Area (Santa Cruz, SF, Oakland) get in touch for an in-person reading in the first two weeks of September.

    As always, for these horoscopes read your Venus and Moon signs first, followed by your Sun and rising. Use these for what they can give you, and completely ignore whatever doesn’t resonate. Good luck out there this month!

    “With happiness, the true opposition is not between the future and the past. Rather, it splits the present into a conservative representation focused on security and an urgent, enthusiastic attachment to what has never taken place and yet is coming .... happiness means thinking, ‘Love what you will never see twice.’”

    Alain Badiou


    The slowest dog in the pack spends the summer ambling a few paces behind the others, unsure exactly how to play. Eventually he retreats to the comforting shadows of under-the-table or upstairs-on-someone’s-unmade-bed. He lives for the scent of things, and for those solitary frolics in early morning when no one is zipping past, outrunning him and nipping at his feet. If you identify with this gentle canine, I’m sorry to say that time itself is a pack of rough dogs tumbling around you this month. You get to sniff one blade of grass for an hour if you need to, but it will take some effort to ignore the bustle of activity around you. Retreat when you can; stand your ground when you can’t. You get to enjoy the specific flavor of each day, despite the ceaseless alarm bells of urgency.


    The first lesson of this month, though not a new one, is Everyone Is Always Too Far Away. This has been true for a long time, but you may feel it hard right now. The second lesson of the month is Love The Ones You’re With. This isn’t a command to resign yourself to convenient-but-lesser forms of intimacy—rather it’s a call to recognize and appreciate those who have stuck around. Pay extra attention to friends who have weathered more than a few years with you, and to your closest platonic partnerships. Romance the hell out of these friends this month. Celebrate what is still beautiful and thriving in this trash world.


    In the life cycle of a mushroom, the fruiting body – what we see and eat – is only one phase in a long process that involves spores too small to see, invisible reproduction, and a hidden neural network that resembles our own brains. When mushrooms pop up, they seem to emerge all at once out of nowhere. This month, old friends and new will emerge in ways that remind you there is more under the surface in your social world than you are always tracking. What they offer you may be pleasant, mind-altering, or downright toxic – patient observation is the key, here, and the self-restraint that will keep you from rash decisions about motivations you can’t yet see.


    Orogeny is the process by which the earth makes mountains. Pushed on by every horizon, the soft crust of the planet folds and deforms. It may take millions of years for the collision to produce a Himalaya, but like a wallop on the forehead, it brings to the surface what was politely buried under skin. Sea level rocks rise up to the mouths of volcanos. A mountain is evidence of injury, but it also proclaims there is nowhere left to go but up. Whether your injuries are hidden or visible right now, you know which direction you’re headed.


    Right now the only way out is through, darling. What was ice has become ocean, what was ocean has become desert. Whatever waves are buffeting you like so many plastic beads across the surface of your life, lolling back and forth under a harsh sun, you have only to plunge below to begin your transformation. Or rather, to complete this phase of transformation. You’ve been in process for about a year now, but this final stage isn’t one you can forego. Hold your breath, dive deep, trust the future.


    Admit it: you don’t know what you want. Or rather, what you want keeps shifting and changing as you learn more about what’s possible—and what you’ve tried, now, and don’t need to explore any further. In order to live blissfully into all these unknowns, I recommend finding somewhere to store your possibilities—a tree with easily counted leaves that you can number with a felt-tip pen, or the cliff next to a river with many thin slabs of clay stacked like dinner plates. Find something with finite but dizzyingly vast countable components. You want to be awed. You want to remember there are choices, even if you spend the rest of this month just marveling at them.


    Here’s a lesson all shapeshifters learn in time: you are not separate from your environment. There is no essential you that you can shore up against time and tide and fortune. But you do get to choose your surroundings, to some extent, and now is a perfect time to browse through the catalog pages of the world and test out some new terrains. To guide you, look for those places that you can’t name but already love. Look for a horizon where the trees sway in a pattern that seems familiar. Look for the mountain that has always been too shy to show its face, on a clear day when the fog has lifted. Home is not a place, but an unfolding in time. You’re already on your way back.


    You’re a pro at that guessing game where you look at a brick wall or a newspaper or a national border and say “There’s something terrible going on in there.” You can even guess, without looking too closely, what kind of terrible, how long it’s been going on, and what you can or can’t do about it. Where your judgment falters is in looking into the eyes of someone who cares about you. “Something terrible going on” is your automatic response, and it seems merely regular for people to be harboring secret terrors. It doesn’t trip you up too much, except in those moments when someones’ face lights up when you walk in the room and your heart wants to believe this is true—or when someone cuts an apple in half to share with you and you want to believe it isn’t poisoned. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes generosity is real. Sometimes someone just sees you clearly and adores you, with no delusions or hidden agendas. Make room for this also to be true.


    Consider the bowerbird, deemed the most behaviorally complex of all birds. The males of the species build elaborate installation sculptures to attract a mate. Some birds specialize in blue – working in blue flowers, blue bits of stone, blue berries. Others favor white or brown themes, stacking twigs and mushrooms, carefully discarding bits of wood that have begun to rot into the wrong color. One theory for these constructions, which serve no practical purpose, is that they signal robust health to potential mates – another theory, equally plausible in my book, is that birds left to their own devices (with abundant food and few predators) get freaky because they can. Left to your own devices, what bizarre obsession would you patiently pursue? Now is a good time to get on that.


    There are a few things to do when something ends: you can pretend it isn’t happening and go on with business as usual; you can acknowledge it but pretend not to feel anything about it; or you can mourn. Mourning is seriously the best option, especially when it involves fire, dancing, and loud, animal wails. This month may not bring new endings, but it will remind you of what you’ve wanted and couldn’t keep over the last year. Burn those loose ends. Burn bridges if you can get away with it. Let the memories rise like ash into a sky that has other uses for them.


    Events of the past year have filled you with the desire to walk alone into the nearest desert and learn to live like the succulents do, filling yourself with the sparse love available from the elements and growing long spikes to ward off those who want to steal this hoarded sweetness. You have been learning that solitude isn’t the worst thing. You’re just about at the farthest edge of this pendulum swing, though, and over the next twelve months you’ll be moving back toward togetherness. Let it be different, this time. Swing out in a new direction, with all the insights and none of the bitterness this year has brought you.


    It’s not that you’re against climbing rooftops to shout about your love of the moon or French radishes or some elegant sans-serif font, it’s just that none of the available rooftops feel right in this moment. They’re all too industrial, too broad, too pigeon-populated, too reflective of all the exhaled hopes and ambitions of the bustling world. What you need right now is a tiny rooftop, something intimate and no more than one-story high. A place where your audience will mostly include tiny acorns and a sleeping owl. It’s okay if that’s the only audience you want right now, but this point is crucial: staying inside THINKING about shouting your love of the world at acorns and owls is nothing like the act of actually doing it.

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