• The More Things Change Issue
    The More Things Change 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 illustration web

    Illustration by Josie Mosser.


    January 2015

    So ends a long, challenging, inspiring, tragic, and eventful year. Raise your hand if it felt like ten; if you don’t yet recognize who you’ve become. The turning over of the calendar year, while not astrologically significant, is a prime moment to pause, assess, and plan – to offer ourselves the gift of a story in which we get to start over, start fresh. Even in the midst of global and personal disasters. Through crisis and heartbreak. Through precarity and schisms, paranoia and infiltration, infestations and evictions. We need to feel there’s a way to do it better next year. We need to bury our dead and ask them, like Rilke of Paula Modersohn-Becker, not to haunt us but to teach us how to transform.

    And 2015 begins with Saturn having just moved into Sagittarius, prompting us to reconsider what we believe about what’s possible, what’s liberating, and what has always seemed unquestionably true. Where we test our blind faith, we will find better ways of reaching that Sagittarian promise of adventurous, expansive, connective philosophies and practices. We may need to begin where Nietzsche advised, by “philosophizing with a hammer,” and testing the hollowness of our favorite idols. Where have we been lured into dogma or self-righteousness? What information are we ignoring? Where are we trapped by our own desires for freedom?

    Also this month, the passage of the Sun, Venus, and Mercury from Capricorn to Aquarius signals a shift from a sober and careful to a chaotic and electric mood. These horoscopes are offered as one tool amongst many to facilitate that shift; the astro-literate are encouraged to read their rising signs first, then their Sun and Moon signs. As we continue the work of last year, testing our assumptions and ideologies, we can tap into this Aquarian energy to get way more inventive in brainstorming how to do it better this time. Let’s get weird, y’all.

    “I hated waiting. If I had one particular complaint, it was that my life seemed composed entirely of expectation. I expected – an arrival, an explanation, an apology. There had never been one, a fact I could have accepted, were it not true that, just when I had got used to the limits and dimensions of one moment, I was expelled into the next and made to wonder again if any shapes hid in its shadows.”

    Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping


    You’re at a party and there’s a man who just won’t shut up. He’s got an opinion about everything and his voice rises louder and louder, eclipsing the other conversations. You ask him to quiet down but he ignores you. Instead, his tones become even more strident, more piercing. Things escalate quickly. In the midst of wrestling with this man, who has become the target of all your rage, he transforms into a snarling bulldog that you manage to scoop up and carry outside, knowing only that this hostile creature is your responsibility. You have no shoes on and the mud squelches into your socks. You have no idea what you’re going to do next. Dear Aries, this month will bring you lessons in escalation and de-escalation, with a dash of surrealism thrown in. Questions to consider: How much do you have to take on alone? What’s the difference between an annoyance and a threat? And finally, are you ready for things to get freaky?


    Artifacts of cave paintings and earthen structures from the Paleolithic to Megalithic era suggest that early humans communed with the stars by going into deep caves, and built massive, sky-viewing platforms to commune with the earth. At the very least, reflections of the stars painted on cave walls deep underground knit together a continuity between inner and outer, above and below. This may help your orientation towards your environment this month, especially if where you want to go feels inaccessible. You may be stuck in a hole you can’t climb out of, and longing for the stars. Try tunneling deeper down; they may be closer than you realize.  


    It will be impossible to sit still this month, if it’s been your job to sit still. If you’ve been sweeping floors, your broom will drop from your hands. If you’ve been washing windows high up on a skyscraper, dangling precariously over the world, you’ll feel yourself pulled into an open window moments before your suspended scaffold snaps and tumbles earthward. Your ordinary routines will change, and if you don’t learn a new choreography for your daily steps, you’re in danger of stumbling. Stay spry, listen for the new rhythm, and practice some new moves.  


    If you’re not already having a lot of kinky sex (alone, with a partner, or with a crowd), may I recommend you check in with your heart of hearts and ask yourself why not? Maybe it’s not how you’re wired, and that’s fine. But whichever way your desires drift, this will be a month to tease out their edgier tendencies. Let your imagination get strange, turn off your internal censors, and embrace the darkness that’s at the core of all devouring passions. If you’re not in a position to pursue new romances, use this sex magic on your own, like a warming salve or a steamy bath. And yes, it’s okay to cry before, during, and after.   


    Marilynne Robinson writes: “Having a sister or a friend is like sitting at night in a lighted house. Those outside can watch you if they want, but you need not see them… Anyone with one solid human bond is that smug, and it is the smugness as much as the comfort and safety that lonely people covet and admire.” You are generally amongst those held in the light of mutual regard, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t aware of how it feels to be outside the circle. Of all the zodiac, you are most sensitive to the difference between being liked and being recognized; being popular and being unconditionally loved. This month, hold out for the real thing – not passively, waiting for people to love you properly, but actively. Make yourself into a transmitter whose signals will skim over artifice and status, past the high frequencies of party people and dapper nightbirds, and reach only those who are as curiously composed as yourself, and as ready to engage. 


    Imagine yourself in a boat, facing the rudder and unable to look ahead to where you’re going. You can watch the ripples in the water radiating outward from your passage, the wake behind. You may smell jasmine or spices in the wind one minute, sewage the next. At times, the water will fill with minute fish as red as chrysanthemums, or a bird will drop a turtle on the deck. As marvelous as all this is, the mystery of it can fill you with anxiety. Remember: you are in control of the rudder. You can steer, even if you’re steering blindly: gentle adjustments and redirections will take you far. Just pay attention to the many clues flying, swimming, and washing up around you to help you plot your course. 


    Amidst the well-earned festivities you’re enjoying this month, I’d like you to review how much you’ve accomplished this year, and against what odds, before devoting yourself entirely to the pleasure of constructing paper dolls, paper hats, noisemakers, wooden sailboats, herbal time machines, or whatever else you’ve been itching to make just for kicks. You may feel like spinning in circles like a small child, or like your favorite vinyl album on repeat, but if you get dizzy, remember: you can choose to be the needle and hold it down while everything else spins.  


    You may be tempted this month to take in some windblown traveler, either into your circle of intimacy or your actual home, and offer them some domestic comfort. Be careful in so doing that you aren’t trying to domesticate something wild, or growing resentful of its freedom. Consider the platypus: we don’t all get to have fur and webbed feet, much less a venomous spur that can kill a smallish antagonist. And though our hearts all burn with love for this freakish monotreme, it wouldn’t do to expect it to behave like an ordinary mammal or hope we too, one day, might lay eggs and maintain an abnormally low body temperature if we could only hang out with it long enough. This month’s lesson: how to love without expectations or enclosures. 


    Like a crow who has gathered an excess of shiny treasures from the unsuspecting human world, weighed down now by tinsel strands of metal and glitter that tug in all directions like an unwound maypole, you may be hoarding your own freedom. There are so many shiny possibilities out there: How many options do you need? How many escape routes, future adventures, new dates, new jobs, new identities? Trying to grasp each possible line of flight will only exhaust the muscles you need to fly. In this first month of Saturn’s residency in your sign, take some time to sort through all the futures you won’t actually pursue, and you will feel freer where you are right now.


    In your dream, you’re running on a road that’s crumbling to dust behind you. Pausing, or slowing your pace even slightly, is unthinkable. When did time start closing in on you? How long have you been running? This month, the all-devouring monsters of your anxiety may not slow down, but you should be able to finally swerve aside and get out of their way. Keep an eye out for narrow side-streets, hushed corridors between an avenue of trees, and giant eagles swooping down to carry you elsewhere. What if you didn’t have to choose where you land? What happens if you let yourself be carried? Most important: when you finally catch your breath, what will you say with it?


    If you could channel the potential energy of all your self-doubt into kinetic force, it could power your house for about a year, or send a colony of mice into orbit around the earth. Both would probably make your domestic life a little easier, but meanwhile, the good ideas you haven’t put into motion are gathering dust.  Now is your moment to risk all: with four planets traveling through your sign this month, you’ll be generating a lot of spare electricity that ought to be harnessed and grounded. Dream big. Draw maps. Form coalitions of the willing. Harvest lightning. 


    You may wake up one day this month to find your bed absolutely full, every available inch occupied by limbs and arms and paws and heads and lolling tongues. Some of these bedfellows might be familiar and welcome, while others are unexpected strangers. Someone, human or animal, is experiencing flatulence. Someone has your leg pinned down and you are gradually losing feeling in it. As warm and cozy as this scene may be, you’re having a hard time distinguishing the rumbling of your own stomach from the common hunger. Someone is sobbing and you’re not sure if it’s you. This month will find you full of compassion and wanting to extend yourself so far you begin to lose yourself. It may be time to create some house rules about how many people (or animals, or ghosts, or collectives) are allowed in your bed (or conscience, or sex life, or therapy session) at once.

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