• The Rant Issue

    Horoscopes for September 2017: Aim Beyond What You Can Reach

    The Rant 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.



    September 2017

    It’s that time of night when everyone is screaming to be heard over the music and each other. Some people are making out, others are fighting. There’s a rush of excitement and danger as the noise level steadily rises, as the intensity ripples through all of us. Suddenly, the beat skips. The music stops, the lights go out. A hush descends. In the dark, we feel our hearts beating in the same rhythm. We smell each other’s sweat: adrenalin, pheromones, dopamine. It only lasts long enough for us to begin to doubt, but when the light returns it’s somehow different. We’re different. A spell has broken. Something is clear now that we couldn’t see before. Our desires have shifted.

    Last month, day became night briefly. We felt the hot morning grow cold. We watched the light turn sickly on each other’s beautiful faces, rendering us ghosts. We laughed nervously as the vast bowl of the sky turned dark and the birds stopped singing. We remembered the icy death our sun will one day face, taking with it any life that’s left here on Earth. The moon seemed to hesitate as it crossed in front of the sun, reminding us how quickly all life could end, then continued on, leaving us to face the mess we’re in.

    This month, we’re in a new world. On the 6th, the Full Moon in Pisces marks the end of a dramatic eclipse season. As the planets traipse thoughtfully from Leo to Virgo (by the end of the month we’ll have Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars in Virgo), we’re moving from blood-pumping intensity to a time of assessment and adjustment. Virgo is the energy that helps us fix what’s broken, clean what’s dirty, and see the details clearly. Virgo energy is devotional, constructive, and deeply in love with our bodies and minds. Where Leo is a queer dance party, Virgo is the crew that quietly writes, prints, folds, and staples the zines that will help us cope with what happened at the dance party.

    To complicate matters, each planet will oppose Neptune on its way through Virgo. Neptune rules Pisces, Virgo’s opposite pole. Where Virgo wants to create order, Pisces dissolves separations. Virgo strives for accuracy, Pisces proliferates dreams and fantasies. Virgo aches to make the ideal real, Pisces sees no difference between reality and unreality. What the two signs share is devotion – the desire to reach a more beautiful and perfected state of being, and to offer themselves as a guide for others seeking the same. This lends this month a distinct flavor: as we sort through the debris of last month’s intensities, we’re practicing discernment in service of our deepest longings. We will aim beyond what we can reach; this is what we’re supposed to do. Something that is not yet real should be, while much that is currently real ought not be. This month, we get to practice the alchemy of inversion.

    As always, as you read these keep what resonates and disregard the rest. The astro-literate are advised to read their rising signs first, followed by their Sun and Moon signs. I’m available for readings and I’ve also got a live, remote Astrology 101 class beginning this month! Learn more here.


    Aries, you arrive at this encounter already in full gallop. It’s not important that you know how to gallop; there’s a difference between doing a thing and knowing how you do it. Whatever you are propelled toward, it will not be a gentle impact. Your energy will transfer to it and spark a series of explosions. This is actually commonplace for you, but this month you’ll want to take note of how these explosions feel. Like dry bubbles of carbonation roughing up your throat? Like the harmless fizzing of a sparkler in your hand? Like the thunderclap that announces falling building, upending concrete? You get to direct this energy where it needs to go – and protect yourself from the blast.


    To doubt is to align your desires with gravity: to want what is, and no more. You may not identify as full of doubts, but you try to aim for the lowest denominator of emotional risk. This month challenges you to want more – to believe that what you’ve deemed impossible is possible, is even nearby. Follow the impulse that raises your eyes from the ground to the stars above you. Remember that “realism” is merely self-protective. You can leap now and not fear where you’ll land.


    Consider the lesser-known hobbits – those who stayed behind in the Shire and had neither grand adventures nor witnessed the horrors of a broad world ebbing away. Would you rather have been a random Brandybuck than confront the truths you face every day? Think this month about what safety you actually need, and what might double as a trap. You were born for the precisely challenges you’re most worried you can’t handle.


    Believe it or not, you are free to expand your focus beyond the thin strip of urgent existence that has been occupying your attention for months. Vigilant witnessing, in this case, isn’t your only option, much less your best one. Instead, every time you witness something that prompts anxiety or helplessness, dedicate yourself to doing something concrete and purposeful. Your actions needn’t address the source of your anxiety directly. Rather, trust in the chaotic ripplings of cause and effect.


    If you’re doubting yourself right now, you have only to tug slightly at whatever feels unfinished in you and you’ll feel the entire universe ripple in response. Sadly, this rippling is difficult to feel as an external phenomenon rather than some internal vertigo, but trust that you are deeply enmeshed – and ultimately not separate. Let this ease whatever crises of accomplishment or integrity might be haunting you. Draw up the necessary nutrients from your environment like a wise plant, and don’t stress too hard about what your flowers will be just yet. You are transforming in ways that are far from finished.


    This month it’s time to name everything you’ve been ignoring – not with words that you can trade in public, but secret names. Some of these places may be painful, others merely numb. It may be boring to look at them for long. Still others may jut out past what we consider “reality,” but if you look carefully, so do most of us. Team up with fictional allies this month and start drawing up lists of everything you’ve forgotten in your urgent rush toward doing what felt too important to look away from.


    This month, objects may have different motives than you ascribe to them. The emotional narrative you weave around your favorite hoodie or the book you borrowed from an ex and neither read nor returned might be entirely false. Practice inversions in your daily routines; invite the awkward objects closer, hide your safety blankets. Rewrite your relationships to your intimate landscapes.


    Some find love behind the barricades or in the back of a police wagon. Relationships that begin this way carry with them the full knowledge of what you have escaped – and what you haven’t been able to escape. They can veer between buoyant celebration and grim recognition of doom. As police vehicles proliferate in size and number around us, fewer and fewer relationships will arise without these markers. However you’ve come to love the people you love, take a moment this month to nourish the parts of your connections that are rooted not in urgency but in presence.


    Your attention is needed in matters of work and ambition right now, but as you orient towards these tasks, don’t forget to turn around from time to time. Behind you, in the sphere of domesticity and family, mysteries will blossom and unfold. Home has always been fraught with longings you can’t materialize. It’s tempting to let your life’s work propel you forward at all costs, but something is calling you to pay closer attention to where – and with whom – you most need to make home. It may take some time for the answers to become clear. For now, just track the questions.


    In your dreams, the novel of your life writes itself endlessly and without weight. Every tragedy repeats from a few angles before disappearing entirely into a new landscape. What are the benefits of letting your life sift through these filters, granulating and refracting carelessly? Can you breathe in this levity, this infinite circulation of joy and pain and numbness, without resentment – without the need for one final answer? This month asks you to get lighter and more expansive exactly where you might want to contract and brood. Risk opening your lungs a little wider.


    In what remains of the Panamanian rainforest, plants undiscovered by scientists are exchanging polysaccharides. I’m told this has something to do with a resilient ecosystem, with the depth of diversity that protects life from the horrors of monotony and vulnerability to extinction. There ought to be an easy metaphor for human culture here, but you resist any simple generalizations. What you are learning, right now, is that something must fill the emptiness that will otherwise magnetize opportunistic horrors. This is your task this month: not only to fight the horror, but to preemptively refuse to grant it footholds.


    You lack the tools for bending time and space while you are awake, yet you insist that you must do so while you are awake and at no other times, or it won’t be what you call “real.” What is or isn’t “real” could become an unhelpful obsession right now, Pisces. Consider, instead, that as Breton once said, you can defend yourself from everything except your dreams. Lower your defenses and let your dreams permeate the logic of waking life.

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