• The Multiple Worlds Issue
    The Multiple Worlds 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 horoscope illustration

    Illustration by Josie Mosser.


    December 2014

    Gather round, y’all, it’s time for an old story, possibly the oldest story: the dying of the light and its fight to be reborn. As we near winter solstice, we're coming up on that day when the sun barely makes an effort, rising late only to skirt the horizon in a dim and distant arc before ducking under the red earth. Over the millennia that humans have been aware of this cycle, we've collectively determined that now is a good time for as much partying as we can manage. Sagittarius, where the Sun will be most of this month, is the sign of relentless enthusiasm in the face of all that is dark and troubling. Tapping into this buoyant, expansive mood will help all of us this month who are exhausted from the Scorpionic depths of the last few months.

    Which is not to say we're quite out of those deep, dark, inky depths. Not only are we nearing the longest night, but as three planets move out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn near the end of December, each one will cross paths with Pluto, the dominatrix of all that is doomed and dying. In Capricorn, Pluto is interested in demolishing whatever entrenched structures and consolidated power are paralyzing us. Folks with planets in Capricorn or Cancer will be especially affected by this push toward uncomfortable readjustments. Commit to undoing toxic patterns in your relationships when Venus joins Pluto on the 20th, especially if any of your intimacies have oppressive, possessive, or abusive dynamics. With the New Moon and winter solstice following on the 21st and 22nd, this week is a good one for taking a big leap towards regaining power-with and abolishing power-over.

    All this, and we're also due for another exact square between Uranus and Pluto, the sixth of seven between 2012 and 2015. For those who haven't been following along, this tense aspect between outer planets spells a time when social upheaval is the new status quo. Finally, Mercury will cross paths with Pluto on the 24th, so watch out for hidden intensities and family secrets to spill out during festivities. Tread carefully there, unless it's time for some liberating ruptures.

    Part of Pluto's challenge is to make sense of loss and change that we didn't expect, and wouldn't have chosen. Pluto defies the comforting cycles of time: its orbit is wildly erratic compared to the other planets. Drawing on the Sagittarian energy of this month, we can ask ourselves: Where is the brightness in this pain? How does fire connect us? Who is in our pack, and how loudly can we howl?

    “I want to show them all that we can't be touched
    That we too out of hand and we move too much
    And we can take all that pressure
    Cause we don't want nothing at all
    Except for maybe some more of us.”

    P.O.S., “Lock-picks, Knives, Bricks, And Bats”


    Have you ever used a vise? It satisfies the human impulse to grip and hold things with a tenacity our soft hands could never summon. It's usually a good idea to attach the vise to a larger, more grounded object like an anvil or a table. Otherwise whatever it is you're hoping to hold stationary is liable to fall, with the vise, according to the whims of physics, perhaps stubbing a toe or putting an eye out in its progress downwards. This is important for you this month, dearest Aries, because your charming spontaneity and clumsiness will be amped up to such a degree that you might as well be made out of fireworks and hydraulics. Be sure to tightly clamp down anything you don't want popping off, and remember that a vise is also handy for holding still anything you want to take a swing at. Just be sure to keep those two categories clear!


    If we collapse two Greek myths into one and imagine that Atlas wasn't tasked with shouldering the weight of the Earth, but was made instead to roll it incessantly up a hill, we can imagine how you're feeling right about now. Digging your forehead, or your right shoulder, or whatever part of you feels toughest and most stubborn into the earth and pushing it as hard as you can might be the best you can achieve this month. The earth may not yield, but you will appreciate the sense of concentrated effort. And no, no one will thank you for it, so let your own satisfaction in persevering be enough for now. Next month your efforts may bear some fruit.


    The tricky thing about desire is how quickly it divides: no sooner have you tasted the longed-for fruit than new longings begin to multiply and tessellate, crowding out the fullness of experience with so many loud emptinesses. How many times have you felt, exhilarated, that you'd discovered the real truth about what motivates you? How many times have you then lost the thread and found yourself far downstream, exhilarated to uncover different truths? Your task this month is to let yourself get incredibly specific about all the terrible, impossible, contradictory, banal, and confusing things you want – letting none of them rule out any of the others. In the words of the poet John Ashbery, “Our desires are extremely simple: a glass of purple milk, for example, or a dream of being in a restaurant.” There is sufficiency, if you're big enough to encompass it.


    It may feel sometimes like everything you enjoy and have worked hard to become good at, every spark of creativity, every brilliant solution, is destined to become merely a form of self-marketing, offering rich folks some kind of well-crafted experience. What then? Cease to be good at things? Human strike? Is there a way to germinate something subversive in the heart of your bonhomie and performed authenticity? Where is there room for open opposition? Now is a time when you could either be too paranoid or too vulnerable, but there is clarity if you look for it. Treat any conflict as a chance to get clearer on what ways of being you embrace and oppose, and who's with you in this.


    With the optimism of an Italian Futurist crafting manifestos about chrome and violence while mid-motorcycle leap, you're poised to spin this month on its head. Shiny new ideas may be falling in your lap like so much looted candy. If you have the resources to implement the shenanigans you're dreaming up, this could be a memorable time. Make sure you can remember it, though – steer clear of experiences that may induce memory loss, whether through concussion or binge drinking. Forgetting the past is how folks end up smashing their way out of almost all outdated cultural forms, only to embrace nationalism.


    Being inert isn't a state you particularly enjoy. I'm afraid you're caught in something of a waiting game, though. There is a wasp humming around the edge of your tea cup, and it will either sting you, fly away, or fall in and drown. Until the wind blows it one way or the other, your choices are limited. If it helps, you can make lists in your head of what to do to avoid getting stung, what to do if you get stung, and what to do when this impasse has ended. Meanwhile, there is a colony of harmless ants exploring the tablecloth and forming a calm, purposeful line across the silver spoon. There is nothing you need to do about them.


    In the life in which you finally put on that Victorian finery you have secreted away and walk out into the fields of tall, drooping flowers that drop flecks of golden pollen on your hair and ensnare your embroidered cuffs with their stiff leaves, there is no such thing as arriving. When you reach this life you will be dreaming instead of the life in which you swim in the Aegean sea amongst the last surviving monk seals, watching the splayed sunlight pattern their dark bodies. Whatever wholeness you are striving for now, your images of the future are a living part of your present moment, and deserve to be savored as such.


    Saturn will be leaving your sign on December 24th, ending several years of his austere, discriminating eye watching your every move. To say a proper goodbye, think about the experiences you've had since October 2012 that have tested your ability to plan, to manifest, and to do without. Where have you been stretched thin? Where have you built muscle? What have you had to give up? What ancient fear have you faced and stared down? And if you're sad to see this solemn figure go, don't worry – you'll have a chance to catch up next summer when Saturn retrogrades briefly back. Meanwhile, I encourage you to take a deep breath, unbutton your pants, kick off your shoes and do something frivolous.


    You are something of a lightning rod right now – friends will either flock to you or run away. With the Sun, Venus, and Mercury in your sign this month, you're getting turned up to eleven. Sagittarian energy brings the confidence of an adventurer who knows they will return home, a reveler who never suffers a hangover, a translator who trusts there is a key to unlock all correspondences. There is no guarantee, however, that this confidence is grounded in reality. You're good at trusting that things will work out, somehow; now is the time to recognize all the work that goes on behind the scenes of that “somehow”.


    If you're paying attention, you'll see worlds ending while others struggle to be born. Dramatic stuff, but even apocalypse has become ordinary. As Borges writes: “From time to time the world is destroyed by the flame that created it, and then is born again to experience the same history. Again the same molecular particles fuse, again they give form to stones, trees, people–even to virtues and days, because for the Greeks there is no noun without substance.” But is it always the same world? If it's possible to fashion something new from the wreckage, you hold the tools this month. Show us what you can do.


    If procrastination and insomnia have driven you to the narcotic embrace of digital companionship, you are probably awash in conversations between strangers that are pushing all your buttons. Be they news anchors or trolls or clueless, racist commenters, stop and ask yourself: Would you let these people into your home? Why let them into your head? And, by extension, how are the ways you're hiding from the world right now reinforcing your low opinion of said world? What would it take to move from paralysis to passion, and from passion to meaningful connection?


    People may think you lack ambition, but that's because your ambitions don't have entirely obvious channels. Say, for example, you are a small child playing amongst other children at the seaside on a summer's day. They may all be vigorously shaping castles with buckets and sand as you sit watching, impassive. What a casual observer might not notice is the intensity with which you watch the waves, how they tower and hang in the air, and the patient schemes you're forming for some vast, aquatic architecture. In short: your ambitions are often too large to register in the ordinary world. This month, if there is a way to bring them through, call on your broader network of friends (those with buckets) to help you out.

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