• The Persona Issue

    November Horoscopes

    The Persona 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 2015

    Welcome back to the dark time of the year, on the other side of the veil. These months leading up to winter solstice bring an energy of releasing, integrating, and renewing. Our night vision has become clearer. The language of our dreams has become baroque. The many layers we get to move between are like snake skins; we shed our old protections each time we come back home and devise new ones each morning as we leave. With a heightened awareness of endings, this season brings a hushed time to bear witness to what we’re carrying, what we’re dreading, what we want to keep safe.

    With Venus and Mars, planets of how we love and fight and desire, moving as a pair from Virgo to Libra in the middle of the month, we’ll be highly aware of what relationships need skillful interventions (Virgo analysis) and when it’s time to band together to get through this all (Libra partnering). On the 26th, that old dominatrix Saturn will begin a chess match with the slippery Neptune, and what’s at stake is our ability to hold onto our ideals against the cannon shells of reality. For about a year we’ll feel this battle playing out in the background of our daily lives, asking us to consider our deepest hopes and disillusionment, to adjust our practices so we can dream without getting lost in nightmares. Saturn always brings the energy of reality testing; often through conservative urgings. Neptune dissolves the boundaries of ordinary reality, helping us see intangibles and possibilities. As their tense connection begins, consider where in your life these energies are strongest, and how to work with what’s best in each of them. Finally, on the 20th a rough encounter between Venus (how we love) and Pluto (how we handle power) may open our eyes to an unsustainable pattern in our relationships: be ready to release what’s ready to fall.

    As always, read these horoscopes only for what you need in them. For a more rounded forecast, the astro-literate are encouraged to read their rising sign first, followed by their Sun and Moon signs, and for a personal reading, contact me.

    “There are times when certain objects magically transform. Sometimes the pole of a volleyball net becomes a battering ram, the scales of justice become an ice pick, and chunks of concrete grow wings and help shake the very foundations they constituted.”

    Neal Shirley and Saralee Stafford, Dixie Be Damned


    A quick-moving storm as seen from the train: flat-bottomed clouds the size of continents, extending and lingering, spreading their black shadows over the farmlands below. And then you’ve outpaced them, or they’ve sped away from you. A blue patch of sky opens like a picnic basket, and you’re not in Kansas anymore. This month, as you speed away from certain troubles remember what you’re speeding toward. Your emotional landscape this month could be punctuated by brief but violent storms: don’t let these steer you off-course. You’ll need to be working with your instincts and reactions right now, so pay attention when the world seems covered in shadows, and pay attention to where you find yourself when the sky clears.


    Beware the temporary triumphs of science. Paleometeorologists, for example, who ponder what weather conditions existed when the last woolly mammoth was consumed by ice, seem harmless enough. They peer back through the cold mists of time and see icebergs, windstorms; what they miss is a glimpse of Robert Peary as he pillages the sole treasure of an Inuit band, a sacred meteorite whose iron they used to fashion harpoons and tools. For all their scrapings with scalpels and tapping on hollow rocks, they miss the larger shape of the world. Bear this in mind through this dark season: you may find what you’re looking for, but don't neglect the shape of the world around it. The lesson lies not in how far you can see, but how well you understand the shapes you can’t see.


    If you have maintained your childlike sense of wonder, it may feel like all you’ve got left this month. You are hereby empowered to name anyone who challenges it an enemy – whether they believe they have all the answers (and it’s all bad news), or they’ve sampled every pleasure and grown bored, or if they merely spoil the magic of a given moment by being unimpressed. These bursters of balloons must be shunned and warded away this month. If their arrows have already hit home, emergency measures are called for: Make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar. Watch David Attenborough wax poetic about birds of paradise. Imagine the exact texture and weight of a cloud.


    In Dominic Pettman’s Taxonomy of Bruises, we find a world of small hurts, each classified and tagged with a Latin name. From the second category (civic/public): contusio verax, a bruise received for openly speaking one’s mind, and contusio pusillanimitate, a bruise received for not speaking when one should. From the third category (internal/invisible): contusio luctus, a bruise located beneath the rib-cage stemming from grief, and contusio existentialis, a bruise created throughout the flesh by the daily pummeling of existence. Whatever small hurts you’ve gathered from speaking or not speaking, from grieving and merely living, now is the time to do an internal inventory. Name them, release them, and you’ll be less afraid to gather more.


    This month the riches of an imperfect heaven open and drop upon you, like a modern day Caliban. Junkyard wrecks in the light rain. Shimmering grease-puddle rainbows. Car alarm songs of the urban mockingbird. Even over the concrete wastelands, there is a rosy dawn. This is a month of finding unspeakable beauty in the broken and the ordinary. You may want to start a collection, to hold you through the winter months. Things that will look good by candlelight. Things that sound good when they’re out of tune. If you’re willing to take a chance on these unexpected treasures, you’ll feel more at home in your own imperfect skin.


    Remember how it feels when you wake up disoriented and don’t quite recognize your room? Your eyes may land on your favorite hoodie draped across a chair: before your brain pieces together what it’s seeing, your heart already knows it’s important. Brain: "That shape? It's black. It's a cloth thing. Yes, for wearing. Something ordinary, one of many. Not essential for survival." Heart, even less articulate: "A beloved thing! Companion of protective threads! Holder of the past! Of me, but not me, but close to me in a distance I can never close!" This month you may experience longer passages of this internal dialogue between your heart and brain, both puzzling over what matters to you and why. Let them both have their say, and hold them in balance as best you can.


    There is something precious you’ve been neglecting for too long. You know its name because you hear it in your dreams every night. Don’t believe for a minute you have to put up with this haunting merely because you lead a busy life with no time for so much that you love. Even if you can’t give it your full attention, offer it a gesture: write its name on a piece of wood and wrap it in a yellow cloth. Place it in a spot where it can hear bees. Sooner or later it will begin to shift and grow. The cloth will fall away. Read the new name you find there, and you’ll learn there are new ways you can connect with this important thing.


    An octopus has an intelligence that baffles human understanding. Their tentacled bodies are covered in neurons and sense receptors, meaning that each arm of an octopus can think for itself, and smell, taste, and see what it’s touching all at once. Without having any visual receptors for color, they’re also able to perfectly camouflage themselves against any background. The octopus, playful and powerful creature of the deep, is your totem invertebrate this month. As the planets move from Libra to Scorpio, you’re being flooded with intuitive understandings you can’t always translate clearly – and what you do with them can be much larger than the sum of their parts. Don’t worry if you baffle people (or even yourself) in the process.


    You know about hope, that thing with feathers. But there are scarier things with feathers: cheap boas gone sticky on the dance hall floor, racist Halloween headdresses, possibly dinosaurs, definitely bedbug-ridden pillows abandoned on the side of the road. It’s important to distinguish your innate sense of optimism from its unsavory counterparts – illusions and impulses that will leave you sticky, itchy, and ashamed. As planets in Scorpio tap-dance through your blind spots this month, don’t go picking up any stray feathered things just because they look familiar. Which is to say, don’t be so sure you know exactly what’s going on right now. Wait this dance out until you’re sure you know the rhythm.


    If Thoreau had his way, instead of working on creative projects we would be striving to “carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look.” In other words, put down those chisels and garden shovels, those fine-nibbed pens and sewing needles and channel all that energy toward carving a brilliant architecture from your daily life. Critics may point out that asking us to turn our days, which the poet has called “these silver, rushing waterfalls of time,” into something as static as a sculpture stifles joy. Heed these warnings. There are things we carve, and there are things we are astonished by. Side with astonishment this month.


    If you had your life to live again, would your direct your younger self away from the worst tragedies and accidents? Would you not have said yes to that fateful adventure, or no to that lost love? Would you have resisted the generosity of fate, who wants only to heap your plate full of experiences and insist that you eat them all? This month you’re offered a chance to integrate the harder memories and old wounds: have you fully grieved them? Fully raged about them? Are you ready yet for a new serving of experiences?


    Your to-do list this month: 1. Ambition, figure out if you need this. 2. Crow on the train tracks, figure out what it’s looking for. 3. Colored flags, decorative, assemble and string through the arms of a short tree. 4. Magpie of emotions, ask yourself what feelings you may have picked up because they looked shiny but can drop now. With so many planets in Virgo, it’s time to get organized and practical about all your modes of being that resist logic. Don’t normalize your weirdnesses, but do find the right sized drawers for each one.

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