• The Proximity Issue

    December Horoscopes: Packing For the Revolution

    The Proximity 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.



    This December, Packing For the Revolution

    We already know what we need to do, we only need to learn how – which we will discover by trying. And despite the increasing isolation amplified by our devices and our geographic distance, we get to do this together.

    Find your people. They may fall along lines of identity or affinity (which don’t always align), they may be your chosen kin or your blood ties, your neighbors, colleagues, lovers, or co-collective members. You may know them from the streets or from your childhood. There may be many more than you know, outside any of these categories. Learn how to recognize them; and learn how to recognize those who can’t be trusted. Don’t waste your time arguing with those ones; focus on building trust with the ones you can rely on. We need all of us, positioned in each of our sacred and unique lives, reaching out to the network of everyone we love. We need all of our skills. Many of us are already doing what we need to do, and have been at it a long time. Some are just waking up and wondering where they should go. Remember that we are vast, and that we pulse in and out of activity like electrical impulses along the arms of an octopus. Start where you are, with what you love, with what you most want to defend.

    These horoscopes are guided by the Sagittarian energy of the month, reminding you what you already have and what you can trust about yourself. Sagittarius is the sign of optimism, synthesis, and the kinds of connections we make between the microcosm and the macrocosm – those moments when a veil is lifted and we understand more, when we see over the rim of the horizon. Our culture is facing a new era, and we need all our skills to fight the coming battles. In the spirit of the road-trip game, “I’m packing for the revolution, and I’m bringing ...,” each horoscope reminds you what you can offer. Each month, I encourage you to read a few signs (because your sun sign is only a tiny fraction of your full chart), but this month I urge you to read the sign for your Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Mercury, Venus, and Mars, and create a map of your resources from amongt them. If you don’t know your chart and don’t care to look it up, read all the signs and choose the ones that call to you most. We each contain the entire zodiac, and each of the twelve signs correspond to a way of being strong and capable.

    I’m available for readings for anyone who wants more insight or to talk through the current terrain, internally and externally. I’m also offering discounted readings for comrades, focusing on how you can make the most of your potential to participate meaningfully in the struggle against oppression, whether that’s something you’re already doing or trying to find your way into. And stay tuned for a free Skills for Sensitives offering in the coming weeks, designed for folks for whom anxiety and empathy can cause problems.

    “The foe oft-times, having the foe in sight
    Is tired with standing though he never fight.”
    — John Donne, “Elegy to His Mistress Going to Bed”

    I’m packing for the revolution, and I’m bringing ...


    ... courage. Risks, boldness, initiative, action, conflict. You instinctively move toward what is dangerous and what is new. Hard times offer you a chance to shine. Whether or not you are comfortable taking big risks, you end up happier when you do. Of all the signs, you are best suited to the moments of struggle that call for conflict, defense, and direct action. Remember that not everyone can do what you do, and not everyone should – try to forge caring connections to people who can support you even if they are never with you in the streets or behind the barricades. Check yourself regularly about what risks are strategic (you might consult friends about this), when it’s time for you to rest (only you will know), and who the real enemies are – then keep those hoodies up.


    ... resilience. Imagine a tree with old, deep roots. Perhaps it’s an oak, thickbarked and strong. Or maybe it’s a slender willow, looking always like it’s about to fall and kiss the earth. This tree is old enough that it has dug deep into the earth; though winds may buffet it, they cannot break it. Deer may chew its bark, storms may down leaves and branches. None of this impedes the sacred communion between earth and water; nothing obstructs the life pumping systolically through the vessels of the core of the tree. During times of great urgency, we often feel we must run about, doing all the things ceaselessly without sleeping. You hold the power, though, of stillness and refuge. Offer them first of all to yourself, to keep your own core strong. This models the virtue of inner spaciousness and revolutionary patience for the rest of us. When you feel strong, you are capable of mountainous achievements – not least of which is the haven you create for those in need. If you are feeling fragile this month, or if fear has locked you away into self-preservation-at-all-costs, remember where you are connected to the current of brave and beautiful souls who may need your help at times, and whose presence in your life helps keep you rooted.


    ... connections. Think of circulation: leaves blown in a whirlwind; bees dancing directions to each other; whispers soaring on the backs of radiowaves. You are a conduit for thousands of connections, social and intellectual, personal and political. You hold the multi-colored threads of a thousand stories. You know what others don’t, you know what you don’t know, and you’re never satisfied until you’ve learned more. We need you to tell us the stories that make sense of our situation: not palliatives, not false hope, not empty propaganda, but what you have distilled that is real. We need your analysis and your creativity, your social skills, your boundless curiosity about what we’re doing and why. Remember not to lose your own core truth as you collect everyone else’s, though: your voice is just as vital.


    ... care. Neoliberalism has tried to commodify care; the patriarchy scoffs at it as weak. They are both wrong. Care is not only essential to our survival, it makes life livable. Buying and selling it as a labor reduces it to a segregated function, instead of a way of being. As we gear up for a sustained struggle, we will need tenderness and skillful listening and attention in all areas of our life. We will need to feel enfolded, welcomed, fed, and valued. To quote an old poster, we will need to be careful with each other so we can be dangerous together. This does not mean, dear Cancer, that you need to empty your boundless reserves of empathy for everyone in crisis. Only you know how much you have to give; if you tend to overextend, now’s the time to learn your limits and steward your energy well. Care doesn’t have to be a scarce commodity, and you’re not the only one who can offer it. But when you have the resources, you are particularly good at it. Remember to teach those for whom it comes less naturally that 1) this is an important skill, and 2) they also need to learn it.


    ... magnetism. “In the dark times will there be singing? Yes. There will be singing about the dark times.” Attention constellates around you. There is a bright spark in you that inspires. You can warm the cold, convince the dubious, comfort the wretched. The way you live out your story teaches us what matters in our own lives. The microcosm of your self reflects all the joys, horrors, and unanswered questions of the larger world. We need your enthusiasm, vulnerability, art, music, dance, performance, warmth, loyalty, passion, individuality. Find the cords that connect your sense of self to the world that has shaped you, and the more subtle cords that connect you to the world you’d like to shape. It is only in using your self as a vehicle for shared catharsis that you’ll feel your real power, not in popularity for it’s own sake. Whether your voice is loud and clear or soft and shaky, sing us into the new world.


    ... insight. You don’t just have to be the bookkeeper of the Wobblies, or whatever other humble organizational task you’re imagining a Virgo might play in the rev. If you actually are a Wobbly bookkeeper and enjoying your life, more power to you, but for the rest of you, your mantra is this: you stand between the Real and the Ideal. Like looking at a magic eye puzzle, you can squint and superimpose the one on the other. Start small, and be specific. Where can you nudge reality more toward the ideal? Where can you get more realistic about your ideals? Stay alert, stay focused on what is at hand that you can affect, with a slight gesture here and there. Take on problems you know you can solve, however ambitious they might be. Instead of shutting out your anxiety, let if guide you toward what’s most meaningful right now, without letting it overwhelm you. Hold a still place in the center of the maelstrom, weaving the winds of fate around you with precision and wisdom. Apply this to whatever you touch, no matter how minor. And remember to offer yourself and others compassion for the mistakes we have made, and will continue to make.


    ... perspective. You’re in a contradictory situation. On the one hand, you’re not particularly excited about conflict. You tend to avoid arguments and social tension when you can; you’re exhausted by ugliness and ignorance. On the other hand, you are enraged by injustice and you have the ability to see what others don’t see. You speak for the overlooked, the ignored, the neglected, the unpopular. You balance whatever’s missing in any milieu. Resist your urge to look away right now, to comfort and distract yourself. Make your politics personal. Take this personally. Filter the horror through your finely tuned aesthetic and ethical responses, and offer us something beautiful, true, and moving.


    ... crisis-response. On a literal level this can mean wound care, conflict de-escalation, emergency triage, and, more broadly, insistence that we face what we’re hiding from and take action to assess and process the damage. You are capable of unflinching bravery while witnessing the worst humanity is capable of; better yet, you can summon a surgical precision to intervene exactly where you’re needed, like a scalpel cutting out a dangerous object without severing vital arteries. We need your ability to see into the shadows, your understanding of how to remove and transform toxins, and your no-bullshit bedside manner. Remember you can ask us for home-cooked meals, for long walks in nature, for a stable base that will dissolve your cynicism and re-knit your ravelled sleeve of care.


    ... faith. Nihilism is a luxury right now, and one we can’t afford. Faith is illogical, cannot be proved or disproved by theories, but exists nonetheless through the bouyancy and brilliance of the way it illuminates you from the inside, whispering: “all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.” Your faith may have nothing to do with gods, religions, ghosts, the afterlife. Your faith may attach itself to the inevitability of the sunrise, the coming of springtime, the soothing warmth of a wood stove. Whatever image is your patronus, you have chosen life; and within life joy as at least as strong as horror, love at least as strong as fear. Your mission is to keep believing what others dismiss as cliché: another world is possible. If you feel your spirits flagging, remember that you can’t be chained to any routine or obligation, however necessary, that crushes your sense of freedom and adventure. Volunteer for whatever role will help you maintain freedom of movement: scout, bard, correspondent, soapbox orator.


    ... strategy. The world has not changed suddenly, though a certain current may be escalating swiftly. The seeds of repression, domination, and entrenched power maintained by force were planted many generations ago. It is our task to keep weeding and planting, and we need your longterm vision and understanding of cycles of time. Teach us what resistance looks like over the long haul, and how to judge the efficiency of our actions. Dig into the archives of all our predecessors and ancestors who have fought and won; remind us what our legacy is. Learn what mistakes we shouldn’t repeat. Be gentle to those who are muddling along blindly right now, and resist the urge to take control. Teach, don’t dominate. Learn as you teach. You may be an expert in certain areas, but you will always be a student in others.


    ... liberation. “Birds in the sky, you know how I feel. Breeze floating on by, you know how I feel.” This may not be a new day and new dawn in which any of us are feeling particularly good, but you live in the future as much as the present. You can imagine crystal-clear possibilities the rest of us can only dimly surmise. More than any other sign, you know that you are here to help usher in a better world, and you’re undaunted by the seemingly intractable structures and institutions of this one. You’ve gotten free of the Matrix, you’ve gotten free of Marx, you’re unstoppable – just don’t forget to take us with you on your mental leaps.


    ... compassion. There’s been much talk on the Left of having empathy for Trump supporters, often mistaken for the entire white working class. There’s an idea that we can love the evil out of them, if we try. Beware these sentiments, dear fish. Compassion and empathy are easy for you, they flow out of your fingertips when you’re trying to tie your shoes or open a bag of chips. But don’t be distracted into focusing on those who are doing the most harm, when the most vulnerable are becoming ever more so. Some of you may feel called to try to convert the ignorant through friendship and love; know that it is a long road, with uncertain gains. Take it seriously if you try it; friendship is a real bond, not a political stunt. Most of all, we need compassion and empathy sorely where we stand, where you stand – at the center of your own network of friends and lovers and acquaintances and colleagues, as the child of your complicated parents, as a sibling or a parent, perhaps. Learn how compassion can guide action, holding people accountable without denying their humanity; forgiving without permitting future harm.

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