• The Mommy Issue

    July 2016

    The Mommy 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.

    Horoscope bottom

    Art by Mike Funk


    July 2016

    The thunderstorms of July break trees, electrify the air, and reduce all solid earth to viscous mud. We don’t get to sit this one out.

    There are forces at work that are dramatic, if not always dangerous, but there is also a promise of shelter – even if it’s only the warm mud. This month may feel like a muddle of strong urges, longings, irritations, and desires. Mars has gone direct after a month of backward meandering, which means the parts of ourselves that vibrate fiercely with the desire to fight and fuck and feel powerfully alive are once more free and flowing. Whatever stalled or went awry last month can be reworked and rekindled now.

    Meanwhile, with three planets in Cancer, we’re more aware of our need for tenderness, intimacy, and that longed-for moment when we get to flop down onto a waiting bed – ideally into a warm embrace or a tangle of furry companion animals – and just be done with it all for awhile. These contradictory energies – the need for rest, retreat, and restoration, and the forward propulsion of our vital life force – make this a tricky month. Watch out for getting your wires crossed and aggressively demanding or forcing acts of care. At its best, this month offers us a chance to remember that anger and care are intrinsicly linked; anger offers us an intimate understanding of what parts of ourselves need protection and defense.

    As always, read these horoscopes only for what resonates. The astro-literate are advised to read their rising signs first, followed by the Sun and Moon signs. To book a personalized reading, find me here: flaxandgold.com.

    “I only wanted to see you bathing in the purple rain.”

    Prince, “Purple Rain”


    Wondering if the raccoons that frequent your porch at night will accept some token of esteem, rather than scraps of charity that might render them dependent (and worse, allow them to start trusting humankind), you fashion them a crown of used tinfoil. But in the blue light of predawn, when their squat and nimble shapes appear at your back door, they refuse this gesture and instead hold up their arms for something you can’t even imagine. Do they want to be picked up, so they can climb on your shoulders and head and reach the roof of your house? Do they want to pull you outside with them, to join their nocturnal scavenging? Who would you become if you could learn what they want from you?


    Acatalepsy is what the ancient Sceptics called the unknowability and incomprehensibility that is the characteristic of all things. One of the fundamental tenets of scepticism, acatalepsy is at it’s heart a profession of ignorance – a declaration that all we claim to know is provisional and incomplete. You’re fond of expressing your own ignorance as an act of humility, but also as a ruse to learn what other people think is going on. It’s a safe position, to force someone else to define reality on their terms. But what if the question is less, “is this real?” and more “how does this function?” Perhaps none of us ever see the same red as one another. Perhaps nothing we can see and touch has any real existence outisde our own minds. If everything is fiction, how does fiction work? What are its uses, its possibilities? Spend some time this month shushing your rational mind and letting the impossible, improbable, and downright imaginary worlds teach you some new tricks.


    You’ve got 99 problems and your friends are all of them. It’s not that they’re all badly behaved, necessarily, but the throng of them in their thronginess is not doing you any favors right now. This month, you have permission to stop trying to fit in. Have no fear of FOMO. Get as grumpy as you need to be to recognize that sometimes anger is the sweetest tenderness you can offer yourself. Bask in the warmth and safety you offer yourself by warding off any influence (however well-intentioned) that isn’t helping right now. You may feel those red flames of rage flicker into their hottest color: blue.


    In this oceanic month of your birth, when heat turns to vapor and oceans grow emerald green with algae on the surface while their depths become a deeper blue, you’re learning how to sing between the waves that fill your mouth with brine. It may sound uncomfortable, but the rhythm is easy once you find it. A burst of joy, a ducking under. An ode to sunlight, a breath caught and held beneath. The waves will never stop, but you can always dive deep or float above them. Find your perfect rhythm. Let your song be effortless and continuous.


    You may long for the tenderness of long embraces, days languidly rolling in bed with a loved one, or even time alone luxuriating in not being a responsible adult. Indulge those dreamy states where you can this month, because you’re also being asked to catalyze all kinds of dramatic changes – especially in your relationship to home and family. You must summon tremendous confidence, clarity, and will to push forward the new world you’ve been imagining, that is now on the brink of being born. Don’t give up on these efforts. Reward yourself when you’re exhausted by taking a bath that lasts as long as the entire album Purple Rain.


    This month, you’ll be getting most of your assignments in your dreams. In the first dream, you understand yourself to be part of some kind of group effort, like an orchestra dispersed across a large stage or a football team arrayed on yards of emerald green. Each member of this group has a special role, like being a flautist or a quarterback, and each focuses on their own task while helping to coordinate the larger goal. Your task is small, but crucial: you have to ward off a few demons and keep them from scoring any points against your team. You’re to do this by drawing on your deepest reserves of self-confidence. They will try to come at you by criticizing your achievements, your body, your aspirations – any place they think you might be open to attack. All you have to do is remember that they’re wrong and laugh them off. Pay attention to the dreams that follow this, when the ball is in play. These demons are sneaky enough to take on a few different forms, but you now know exactly how to defeat them.


    It doesn’t matter how tall you are. This month, while standing in the shower on a morning when you feel the likelihood of living up to the dreams of your youth is dwindling like so many iridescent soap bubbles down the drain, you will suddenly be possessed by the spirit of someone taller. It will feel like your spine has lengthened by about three inches, your brain will feel a little more aloof and aquiline, your eyes will fill with a golden haze somewhere between nostalgia and relief. This taller self, now shielding you from the worst of your decisions, will effortlessly set all your affairs in order, and leave you free to pursue your real dreams. Take advantage of this moment of grace and reprieve; unburden your soul and your workload. Refuse the stress that accompanies the maddening indignities of our days, and remember you are protected within this shining, upright person.


    There comes a time you have to decide if you’d rather write graffiti or footnotes. Can you reduce your life’s epic intellectual wranglings to a phrase that might fit on a bumper sticker, or be hastily scrawled on a train window as the doors are opening? Would you rather expand your sense of self so large that it takes four hundred annotated pages to essentially write, in language as shimmering and opaque as a fire opal, I WAS HERE? This month, experiment with what kind of scale best fits the words you need to say. You can always choose silence, but in that case others might write (and footnote) your story for you.


    You know how it feels when you dissociate: your consciousness floats up from your body and everything goes numb. You refuse the home you’ve been inhabiting and strike out in search of a better body or world to come back to. Sometimes the differences don’t have to be dramatic: you may just want to find the world where the recipe for Egyptian Blue wasn’t lost in the fourth century, around the time the Christians were coming to power in the Roman Empire. Or you might need to do some internal alchemy, like the kind that renders Prussian Blue non-toxic – and even medicinal – because of the way the iron binds the otherwise poisonous cyanide in it. Right now, pay attention to the desire to drift away from your present circumstances. Know also that there is something like iron that is binding you to a certain form. What form might that be, something that can be beautiful, and even healing?


    Herodotus writes of an Athenian named Sôphanes, who distinguished himself in battle by bringing along an anchor tied to his belt. When he engaged the enemy in combat, he’d drop his anchor as a sign that he refused to retreat. When he’d won that fight, he’d pull up the anchor and run off to the next fray. Herodotus doesn’t mention the exact size of this anchor: Was it heavy enough to moor a vast ship? Was it bulky enough that we must imagine Sôphanes stumbling bravely with a pronged iron shape almost as tall as himself, whose spiked arms resembled ungainly wings of an albatross? Or was it, as it were, a pocket anchor – easily pulled back on a chain, decorated with filigree and rubies – more a symbol than an effective means to keep him rooted on the field? This is an important question for you this month, as you decide how hard you’ll have to work to make it clear that you mean business. Choose an anchor too small, and your statement will become a joke. Choose one too large, and you’ll defeat yourself just in carrying it.


    What good are feelings, anyway? Sticky, sharp, and embarrassing, they clog the smooth gears of thought. They may even derail years of patient effort, exploding like an unexpected hurricane that shatters the windows of an architect’s studio and drowns the blueprints. This month, however, your task is to find a constructive use for your feelings. Being able to identify and sort them is the imperative first step; when you get more ambitious, you’ll know if your task at hand is to create a pond of tears (for saltwater fish to live in), a fortress of anger (preferably of rammed earth), or even some improbably airy castle of joy (with amethyst-tinted skylights).


    For years, you’ve progressed with the secret understanding – a pact made with your younger self – that everything you choose is provisional. At each fork in the road, you’ve reassured yourself that you’ll only go down it a little way, and you can always turn back and make another choice later. Perhaps if you close your eyes and concentrate, you can even see a map of all those forks – a trail of breadcrumbs that leads you back to the moment of that pact. Maybe you can even see a patch of sapphire sky through the trees at that crossroads, a surprising color that can only be that bright in memory.

    Your gift this month is that you will be able to make another choice, without needing to retrace all your steps and start again. It’s as though you can bend the road and bring your beginnings back to where you are now. But don’t get greedy to change too much, unless you really do want to start over completely.

    Back Issues

    read the full Mask Magazine back catalog

    Mask Magazine

    Mask Magazine


    Mask Magazine

    Send an email to yourself with resetting instructions

    loading ...