• The Organized Issue

    December Horoscopes: A Mountain of Unwept Tears

    The Organized 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 2017

    More than two decades ago, we changed the map in Seattle. More than a decade ago, we were still talking about how Another World was Possible. Yet here we are now, staring down the barrel of one of the more dystopian futures we could have imagined, and it can feel difficult if not downright dangerous to speak of hope, of optimism, of prefigurative dreams.

    Nonetheless – we find ourselves inexorably returning to the imaginal realms. We’re already feeling the need. We feel the promise of Afrofuturist science fiction, of rituals, of hexes, even as memes. We understand the need to create inhabitable worlds. We see the places these can arise most clearly in the world of the possible, the intangible, the fictional. We’re starting to understand how these worlds do, in fact, bleed into and reshape the mundane world.

    As this month opens, we find Jupiter, planet of joyous optimism and uncontrolled enthusiasm, moving into a harmonious aspect to Neptune, planet of our connection to transcendence, imagination, and compassion. This is the first of three aspects that will unfold throughout 2018. As these vast bodies move through the water signs of Scorpio and Pisces, we’re meeting distinct opportunities to access our deepest desires, our strongest dreams, our core faith in transformation, healing, release, and compassion.

    The water signs correspond to the water in our bodies: tears, sweat, blood, come – the physical manifestations of passion and compassion, pain and joy. Water is the element that connects us to our inner worlds. Jupiter in Scorpio is like Santa Claus visiting the underworld, dropping presents throughout Hades like Easter eggs. With this placement lasting well into the next year, we’re collectively opening to depths we may have shunned earlier. Certain risks will feel more... fun. Old wounds and ancient traumas might feel easier to access, easier to finally release.

    Our collective enthusiasm will be focused on intense emotional self-discovery and transformation. When we add Neptune to this mix, our idealism explodes into a million sharp crystalline snowflakes that melt even as we see them hovering in the air, each one a potential universe. If Jupiter in Scorpio brings us into some underground cavern full of dark pools of water and mysterious rustlings, Neptune in Pisces invites us to dissolve into mist – the kind of mist that holds rainbows, portals, the key to time travel.

    This month, and periodically throughout 2018, we are being asked to reconnect to sincerity and optimism. We are being asked to re-dream the world. We are being given the tools of enchantment, catharsis, and ecstasy.

    As this year ends, the goal isn’t to ignore the tremendous losses, the vast devastation. Rather, as Jupiter and Neptune begin to trine, we have the choice to fight with a set of tools that we may have overlooked as no longer relevant. It’s our job to relearn their weight and heft, and to refashion them for the current struggle.

    As always, take these scopes for whatever they can help you with and discard the rest. I’m taking a break from readings this month to focus on writing new classes, but you can always hit me up with questions or to book readings in the new year at flaxandgold.com.

    “How do you choose your name? How do you choose your life?
    How do you choose the time you must exhale and kick and rise?”

    “Divers,” Joanna Newsom


    Because you don’t live in the depths of the oceans, you are an exception. You are among the fringes of life on this planet that have chosen a bright and earthy existence, free of the tremendous pressures of the roiling deeps. You can jump and feel temporarily weightless. You can ignore the ocean inside of you. Except in months like these, when the ocean within insists on spilling out. Find a bivalve to commiserate with. Write a song to some barnacles. Let the saltwater stain whatever has become too unbearably proper. Reconcile with the reality that you are bound to make a mess.


    Even the ocean has tide pools where some boundary contains and stabilizes – however briefly – the currents that wash all matter down to the size of sand. This is where you would live, if you had to make your home in water. This month, however, the currents are pulling you out toward the open sea – particularly toward the Western horizon where the sun glitters off triangular crests of the waves in a pattern that mirrors writing. You feel the strong lure of everything you are not, of the lives not chosen, of the worlds that aren’t your home. Your choice, this month, is not whether to remain enclosed or to surrender to the open water – rather, it’s to learn what can encompass both you and all this Otherness. Is it the shoreline of a continent? The idea of gravity? The possibility of love?


    Imagine a field at sunrise, each blade of grass heavy with dew, every spiderweb almost collapsing from the weight of water beading along its surface. Water we cannot see saturates the earth, brimming with wet mineral smells. In this scenario, water holds dominion in all the tiny spaces the sun has not yet claimed for air and fire – for clarity, for logic, for rational discourse. This month, you champion these unclaimed, unsung globes of pure potential as they arise every morning, to be destroyed at every noon. Something is being reborn in you, every morning, that vaporizes in the light of the day’s ordinary tasks. Try to remember your mission – the one your dreams are so urgently imparting to you – long enough to subvert a little of the ordinary logic of your days.


    Waves are an entirely different phenomenon to a surfer than they are to someone drowning. Too often, you’ve felt yourself to be the one knocked under – shipwrecked, without a life raft, buffeted and doggedly keeping your head alone above water. It may surprise you to learn, this month, that you are just as capable of surfing as you are of desperately-not-drowning. There is something near at hand that can double as a surfboard. Use it to keep afloat, and you’ll find yourself moving from disasters to adventures.


    Life has found niches in the darkest recesses of the ocean, but there are still great patches of salt water, heavier than ordinary seawater, that form tremendous lakes at the bottom of the sea floor. These lakes are inhospitable to life – they form a dead zone within a kaleidoscopic carnival of freakish eyes on stalks and silvery flippers and garishly spotted scales. This month, you live on the fringe of this lake, shuttling between these worlds: the bustling proliferation of life begetting and destroying life, and the calm, thick absence that can feel at times like a reprieve and at times like a deep sadness. Your job is to witness what happens here, so you can tell us all how it felt when you surface.


    Lake Bonneville was a prehistoric lake that once covered a vast portion of Utah and parts of Nevada. Its waters were lost to a flood about 14,000 years ago, but before that it may have evaporated and reformed as many as 28 times in the last 800,000 years. Take this as a reassuring sign that your own vacillations and indecisions are nothing, from a geological perspective. As an exercise, imagine the birds and fish and Megatheria and Baluchitheria that gathered around this basin of fresh water – what do you feel as you picture the changes in those populations as they lake evaporated and reformed again and again? Joy in renewal? Exhaustion at change? Inevitability of loss? Whatever you answer will help you learn what it is you need to finally commit to the next phase of your life.


    Diving bells have been in use since antiquity to marvel at the wonders of the deep, and scavenge for shipwrecked treasures. Enclosed containers on a long umbilicus, these chambers equalize the pressure of deeper waters while allowing the diver to remain suspended in air while immersed in water. This month, you cannot escape the depths but you can maintain a bubble of impenetrable calm as you explore them. There are treasures in the darkness that have lain undisturbed for centuries. Do you want to plunder, though, or merely marvel?


    You are the flood and the flood is you. You are the rising ocean waters, the melting ice caps, the oil-slick slapping waves along the coast, the hurricanes that let water become like a multitude of birds in flight, rising up in righteous fury. You have become death, the destroyer of worlds. You have become Tiamat, goddess of primordial creation. On a more practical note, you have this in common with almost everyone around you – you’ll just know it while others may try to ignore it. What do you do with this saturating, dissolving, uplifting, and terrifying power? On another practical note, you’ll probably have to keep going to work and trimming your toenails. Just remember as you do so that you’re also harnessing the elemental forces of all life. I’d suggest you aim your sights beyond mere practicality even as you tend to the practical, and align your will with the deepest transformation you can imagine.


    Get this: long before oil rigs made them fashionable, Noah’s Ark supposedly had a moon pool. This hole in the center of the boat, completely enclosed by walls that extend from the bottom of the hull to the top of the roof, mimics the digestive canal in the human body which extends from mouth to anus, entirely sealed off from the rest of the body. Within these cavities, a different kind of life swells. Moonlight shines, one must imagine – though to extend that metaphor we must imagine moonlight glinting off wet teeth and descending down the gullet and improbably reflecting off moist viscera until it arrives where the sun doesn’t shine. It is this descending path that concerns you this month, specifically the desire to arrive at the bottom of things while staying safely sealed off from disturbances. It is possible to do this, but you may lose a lot of light on the way down. Decide if that’s worth the sacrifice.


    If there were an undertow that worked in reverse, pulling you up and toward your destination rather than down and away, capitalism would have already found a way to enclose and commodify and cheapen this miracle. It’s worth considering, though, if there are such subtle currents in your life and if they help you clarify, before you even know it, what your real destinations are. This is such a month when you might find yourself swept up and toward a goal you’d forgotten was dear to your heart. The trick is to trust you’ve chosen the right current to bear you along, before you’re entirely sure it will take you where you need to go.


    It’s time to sing of icebergs, of glaciers, of the slow and solemn greenish light that only penetrates partially into their dense cores. When water masses up into something so toweringly earthlike – a mountain of unwept tears – we know that something serious is afoot. What does it mean when flow is interrupted? What are the benefits of preserving and accumulating feelings until they tower above you, opaque and solemn? You know what you’re trying to protect at the core of each of these. You know how your world must be reshaped if you allow any of them to melt. But do you know what happens when ice is your only tool for self-protection?


    Your mascot this month is a waterfall: or, more specifically, the water that doesn’t fall. Most of a waterfall descends beautifully if predictably down some scenic rock face, but there are also the bits that mingle with the air. This vapor, or more specifically, these minute droplets about to become vapor – these pre-vaporous, floating elements are what will spur you towards your goals right now. To review: 1) you can be beautiful without being predictable, 2) you can defy gravity longer than you’d think, 3) pay attention to the moment when you’ve veered away from the expected path but haven’t yet succumbed to the expectations implied by your new path.

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