• The Organized Issue

    November Horoscopes: Lose Yourself in Scorpio

    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.



    November 2017

    No one knows the future. Not astrologers, not economists, not meteorologists. You can plan, prepare, and aim your intentions and our body in the directions you hope will create the world you want, but there are no guarantees. Whatever feels stable could falter quite suddenly. We lose each other daily, we lose our way. Each of us will remember and then forget the epiphanies and resolutions that started us on the path we now meander along, lost. 

    Welcome to Scorpio season. Welcome to being lost. It’s not as scary as you might think, once you accept that you don’t have a map. Without a map, there is no particular destination. Each direction has its own appeal, its own adventures. And even if you are still clutching your map, determined to read it, you may not be able to. Night is falling, and the woods are dark, but what concerns us right now isn’t what we can see with our eyes. It’s time to develop other senses, other ways of knowing. As the Sun and Jupiter move through Scorpio this month, we are learning to trust what we know in our bodies, through warmth and coldness, through desire and disgust. Scorpio energy encourages us to feel, to release, and to transform – in that order, preferably. Those who have a hard time letting go will be most challenged by this energy, and also stand to gain the most from it, if they unclench their fists and let what has already passed fully pass away. This is a time of uncertainty, the pause between exhaling and inhaling, the suspension bridge between two shores. If we are brave enough to cast down into the water anything that’s tripping us, blocking us, blinding us, or weighing us down, we will reach the other shore with open arms, ready to be filled up again. 

    Meanwhile, as Mars moves into Libra this month, our collective energy for conflict, self-assertion, and all sorts of passionate activity takes a quieter turn. Above all, we want to connect. We want to love each other clearly, openly, with benign justice in our hearts and minds. We want to offer what is most refined in ourselves for the benefit of each other. We may not have the skills to actually perform these feats – and with all this Scorpio energy, we may not have the clear vision yet, either. Be patient. Ride out the chaos. Yoke your transformative efforts to your deep inner integrity. Practice the skills of loving, fighting, and healing that you want to perfect, and forgive yourself and your friends when your collective efforts remain imperfect. 

    As always, the astro-literate are advised to read their rising sign first, followed by the Sun and Moon signs. You can get at me for personalized readings at flaxandgold.com. Good luck out there! 

    “The raindrops trying
    to put the fire out
    fall into it and are
    changed: the oath broken,
    the oath sworn between earth and water, flesh and spirit, broken,
    to be sworn again,
    over and over, in the clouds, and to be broken again,
    over and over, on earth.”

    Galway Kinnell, “Under the Maud Moon”


    You don’t waste a lot of time worrying. Anything that’s coming after you, you know how to fight it off or outrun it. In each situation, you can do what you must to show up unafraid and ready. If you pan back, though, you may notice something curious: the larger shape of your life seems to be shaped by a few repeating themes – survival, vigilance, starting over. You might not let idle fears take root in your mind, but your actions could be mapped against a terrain called Threat and Reaction. This month offers you a conundrum: you want to relax and trust, but certain parts of your map seem to be overrun over with dragons. Your task this month is to discern which things are not real dragons and can be ignored, and which few genuinely require grappling with. You may be surprised. 


    My dear, I’m sorry to say nothing gets to be terribly easy right now. There may be a harbor to hide in as a storm roars and oceans roil, but that’s not what ships are for. Hiding and idling aren’t the best options for you, either. Rather, ease will arise in you as you develop your skills in navigation. Remember as you face the challenges of this month that you always have more than two choices: You don’t need to stoically suffer the stinging winds and water as they lash against you and threaten to pull you from your boat – and you don’t need to isolate yourself, cut short your motion, and hide until life gets calmer. Get creative, and above all trust that treasures await you when you recognize there are other ways to get where you need to go. What would it take – a heavier boat? A different course? A submarine? A bevy of sea otters, rafted together and bolstering you in their midst? Ask for what you need to have the experiences you want. 


    Chiasmas are those tiny interstices where chromosomes attach themselves to one other. Named for the X shape they form, chiasmas are the channel through which genetic information flows. If the chiasma breaks and doesn’t heal correctly, cells become irregular, and sometimes cancerous. Interestingly, what breaks the chiasma seems to be not an external force, but an internal blockage: when replication ceases, the bond between chromosomes becomes unstable. In other words, we must be continuously renewing and remaking ourselves. Our cells have a plan for what we ought to be, but they are fallible. When they stutter, we begin to shift. Consider this month what it means to let the process of change and renewal be what connects you to others, and to yourself. See growth not as a threat to your connections, but the only thing that will sustain them.  


    When you are afraid of losing control – give it up. This is the fundamental paradox of this month, and it’s easier said than done. But it’s worth a good faith attempt! Once those anxieties creep in and you feel you must manage and arrange and protect and preserve, because goddess knows everyone around is making a right mess of things, it’s time to stop and surrender. Too often, you try to control in the future what you couldn’t control in the past. But guess what? You still can’t control much of what’s going on around you. Dear Cancer, you are braver than you realize. To stop living in fear, make the choice to not be in charge. 


    People keep talking even though it’s technically impossible. Post-structuralists have taught us that between the words we say and the objects we refer to there exists an unbridgeable gulf. We know that language is evolving so quickly we have to keep updating each other about words like “fleek” and how “hopefully” now means “it is to be hoped that” and “literally” now also means “figuratively.” We know how tricky it gets when someone we love uses the word “love” in a different way than we do, and how long we can argue about definitions and intentions. One might be tempted to clam up for good and saunter about with thumbs raised up or down, as the mood strikes one. Not you, though, Leo, not this month! Your fate is bound to the ebb and flow of language through your heart. Recognize its limitations, but make it sing whenever you can. It might help to release the expectation of being understood. 


    Let’s say you don’t like fireworks. They’re loud and dangerous and remind you of the neighborhood you lived in for twenty years, where gunshots and fireworks intertangled and you never knew when you heard that POP! if someone was dead or if it was just kids having fun. Furthermore, the colonial idea of shock and awe and patriotism – bombs and fireworks as spectacle of empire…you could go on. Now imagine you’re on a date where you’re expressing this perfectly reasonable opinion, and as you leave the theater you see fireworks over the horizon, celebrating a local festival. You clutch each other in the cold and watch shimmering trails and neon parabolae and pale flowers made of fire blooming and hanging in midair before dissolving. The air is cold. There are warm arms around you. You don’t know yet what the night will hold, but already it is falling over itself to show you miracles. Dearest Virgo, your assignment this month is simple: don’t let old associations block you from new pleasures. 


    Imagine a soldier, home from war. Imagine arms that no longer bear the weight of weapons, lungs that expand precipitously in the absence of restraining uniforms and flak jackets. Imagine the dizzying weightlessness of peacetime, the muscle memory that pulls the body back into defense and attack under a harmless sky. What is there to protect and defend in this world? What are the right tools, the right gestures, the right words to repair what has been broken? As Mars, god of war, moves through Libra, sign of peace, you are facing fundamental questions about why and how you need to fight to create more loving, just, and connected conditions in your life. Don’t reject the gifts Mars brings you – find the least harmful methods to effect the changes you need to see. 


    Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain presents a set of characters who correspond to certain planets. Each is adorned with an upside-down glyph of their planet, and each character plays out an inversion, or perversion, of their planet's traditional astrological meaning. Pluto, who is the astrological ruler of death and transformation – and a potent planet for you and this current month – becomes a bringer of social death rather than regeneration. Jodorowsky’s Pluto is a capitalist trying to push the idea of streamlined housing units that are so many tiny coffins. Freedom, he promises, comes from having no home and no family. Individualism, isolation, being stuck in a tiny box – these are the forms of social death that have no regenerative possibilities. Total disconnection is a form of living death, the inversion of what our lives should be – constantly unfolding processes of connection, made possible by constant change. Your challenge this month, brave Scorpio, is to die in generative ways, not to live in sterility and isolation. 


    On a map of Venice from the 1500s, eight anthropomorphic winds blow from the edges to the center, tossing tiny boats across the cross-hatched seas. Each wind is associated with a Latin name, a single letter, and sometimes a star. Some bear calm, cherubic faces while others are bearded and furrowed in concentration. We can imagine the life of a sailor then, calling the winds by name and imagining their faces as intimately as one might see the face of a beloved friend at home. We can also imagine that these devices for naming, coding, and personifying invisible forces were an quixotic effort to control the uncontrollable – to classify chaos. Winds that can speed us on our way or totally wreck us are still mysterious; all our sensitive barometers and anemometers and the super computers that assess all the data still cannot tell us what will happen when the wind rises – how fast it will move, where it will strike. This month, adventuresome Sagittarius, you already know you’re operating without a map. But you do get to choose a wind. Choose it wisely, name it after your desired destination, and picture its face as the face you most want to see. Then set your course and trust in chaos. 


    Which would you prefer: to achieve something extraordinary, some pinnacle of civilization, or to destroy civilization altogether? Whichever path appeals to you most, beware a tendency to become monomaniacal about it. The whiteness of the whale is all well and good, but it behooves you to think about some grey area this month. You are renowned for being able to accomplish whatever matters most to you, despite personal injury or inconvenience, despite being misunderstood. Dearest Ahab, your task right now is to see your goals as more complex and nuanced, less of a direct path up a mountain to the peak. Let yourself meander. Gather more information. Don’t feel you have to finish your life’s work just yet. 


    Consider the tardigrade. Not only can it survive extreme conditions (heat, cold, pressure, outer space), it bounces back quickly from the state known as “tun” – near total system shutdown. This is the kind of resilience humans can only dream of – especially those of us who find our capacities decreasing with each new crisis. Scientists are studying what makes tardigrades so damn resilient, and some of their preliminary research shows that tardigrades yoink DNA from just about everyone and everything they encounter. The secret of their adaptability is to be more than just a tardigrade: to be also cactus and granite and warm, humid breeze and the cool starlight that reaches through the vacuum of space. This month, inquisitive Aquarius, remember that you among all the signs are best adapted to being a tardigrade. Share your secrets, and teach the rest of us how to become more than what we are. 


    If you’ve ever found yourself in a cuddle pile or orgy, you’ll recognize the phenomenon wherein the touch you impart to one friend arises from a touch you receive from another. When three or more people intertangle their bodies, the feedback loop of intimacy broadens and disperses its causality more widely: I kiss your forehead because I am kissed. I trust that the one who kisses me will have tenderness directed back to them through the circuit we create. Even if scenarios of group sensuality aren’t your cup of tea, tender Pisces, your lesson this month is this: You exist in a circuit, not just in monads or dyads. The energy you send into this circuit will cycle back to you, eventually. Most important, you’re not solely responsible for meeting everyone’s needs. There are enough hands and arms and eyes to hold us all. 

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