• The Street Issue
    The Street 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 horoscopes web

    Illustration by Josie Mosser.


    September 2014

    After a tumultuous summer, September greets us with deceptive calm. The winds have died down, the storms moved on. The conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Scorpio brought painful ruptures for many of us in August. The explosions may be over (as the conjunction wanes in early September) and the wild chase ended, but we’re still a little breathless, a little bewildered. What comes next is either too far off to see, or has just begun to form. This stillness is a critical time for reflection, strategy, and redirection. We may want nothing more than to stop where we’ve been hurled, to fall to the ground and press our faces against the cool dirt, the leaf mulch, the softly weathered newspaper banners. But with the faster planets moving through Virgo and Libra this month, now is not the time for abandon.   

    Virgo, often misunderstood as a sign of prudish, prissy orderliness, is much stronger than it appears. It is a highly active sign, though its activity tends toward the internal and sometimes invisible. Think of Virgo as a membrane that filters our ideas, ambitions, dreams, and desires – holding in tension all that is possible with all that we can imagine. When planets move through Virgo we’re offered a fresh lens for examining the real material of our lives and sorting through what is and isn’t working – as well as clearer glimpse of what we’d like to make real, what is hovering on the edge of possibility. We may want to turn inward under this influence, but it would be unwise to turn off our critical minds and merely rest. Now is the time for conscious, careful alchemical experiments. 

    As the Sun moves from Virgo to Libra on September 23rd (Venus will follow on the 30th) we move from a close examination of our own habits and systems to a broader, airier perspective. Now is the time to find higher ground – some rocky outcropping from which to scan the horizon for distant ships. The 23rd is also the autumn equinox, when light and dark are in balance, when the Earth tilts neither towards or away from the Sun, when our entire planet pauses between waxing and waning. Take this time of equilibrium to gather in what you will need – the people, the fuel, the plans – to face the coming darkness, ideally with a massive bonfire. 

    As always, take in these horoscopes with a sense of what your system needs and license to cast off the rest. For a more nuanced forecast, the astro-literate are encouraged to read their rising signs first, followed by their Sun and Moon signs. 

    “Though there is nothing would help me come to grips with
    a sky that is gaping and yawning,
    there is a song I woke with on my lips,
    as you sailed your great ship towards the morning.”

    “Emily,” Joanna Newsom


    Despite your restlessness, this is a month when striking out to do your own thing will be almost impossible. But whatever schedule or responsibilities are tying you down, you may recognize the benefits of some structured time. This is a particularly good time to start actually taking those herbal tinctures your friends keep making you, to cut back on late-night bacchanalias that leave you dehydrated and moody for days, and to rework your important relationships in ways that are guided by practicality as much as passion.   


    In New Orleans, the unsanctioned parade known as the second line was once banned by white residents who felt threatened by the black tradition. It’s interesting to consider why a group of people playing horns and dancing through the neighborhood would be a source of fear. Racism is the obvious answer, but how that racism operates is worth noting: when one group depends on the subjugation of another, it threatens them to see those who are supposed to be downtrodden coming together in a show of joyous, vibrant strength. It brings to mind how tenuous our hierarchies are, how weak the forces that bind people to higher and lower orders. This month, your assignment is tap into some collective joy and use it as a weapon.  


    Unless you have a deeply antagonistic relationship to home and family, this will be the coziest damn month for you. Expect a little extra support from your loved ones, so that you’ll have time to perfect your imitation of the kitten/baby duck/basket of puppies snuggling up against the sloth/ocelot/manatee. But don’t get stuck getting cozy; remember to treat this month like an artist’s residency, wherever you are. Focus your concentration on something you want to bring into the world. And if you’re at odds with your housing this month, this is the best time to find a better place to dig in for the long haul.


    You’ve seen things no one would believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. And so forth. You tend to keep your stories close, like your one pair of thermals during a long winter. What would it look like to acknowledge that what you’ve witnessed has shaped you, and that you have a voice that can shape what happens around you? What are you an authority on? What are the risks of stripping down the language we use to look smart, or show allegiance to a scene, and baring the details of what you’ve seen, firsthand, and know in your bones?


    What’s the difference between a magpie and a pack rat? While both animals are attracted to shiny objects and have a tendency to hoard their treasures, a pack rat is actually willing to let go of the past. While magpies may line their nests with silver rings, broken mirrors, and car keys, the pack rat will drop whatever she’s carrying to pick up something new. Current research shows magpies may actually have a horror of anything new in their environment, including shiny things. This month’s lesson is not to be a magpie. Sort through your treasures – physical objects, memories, and most importantly objects that are tied up with strong memories – and figure out how to unburden yourself of anything dragging you down. Don’t be scared of the sparkling threads of light on the horizon.


    You know those cheesy movies where someone adopts a shy wallflower and transforms her into a pretty, popular girl – usually by swapping out thick glasses for eyeliner and lip gloss? It’s a flimsy premise, but we rarely consider that being the popular kid may not be everyone’s ambition. Some of us are comfortable on the margins, and would rather work in small affinity groups than be widely sought after. This month, with both the Sun and Venus transiting your sign, you’ll be like the ugly duckling offered a chance at stardom – which may not be to your taste. If it isn’t, don’t feel you need to give the public some shiny, sanitized version of yourself to deflect their gaze. Instead, put everyone to work on a project that’s important to you. 


    I see you on a cliff, striking a dashing pose, your faithful familiar leaning against your knees, sniffing the wind. Yes, you have worked hard to get to this place of clarity, where the air is so thin it seems to open up into another world, where you can almost see the atoms dancing in the puffy white clouds, madly exchanging electrons with no sense of greed or self-preservation. Even so, don’t go getting smug about it. Draw maps, and mark your path with bits of string as you descend so you’ll remember what to do next time you’re lost in the muggy lowlands.    


    August lit a match, and it’s in your fingers. Something has been stirred up, and you have the power to keep it in motion or let it die down. As Mars moves away from Saturn it will be harder to keep the fire alight, so you’ll have to choose: do you need a bonfire? Do you need to burn old journals and bills and dying floral arrangements, and keep yourself in a circle of warmth? Or would you rather drop the match and let the darkness smooth over the hills and rooftops, the sleeping sidewalks and distant alleys? To answer this, check in with your body. If you’ve been wound up too much to sleep, subject to rashes or accidents, you might want to drop that match and let the night envelop you. Siding with Saturn means slowing down to conserve your strength. But if you need a jolt of energy and passion, now is the time to cup your hands around the flame and find some kindling. 


    Dearest adventurer, in your desire to reach every extreme you may have created one of those shapes that nature abhors – something like a broad, branching tree with shriveled roots. You may be performing circus tricks to keep the whole thing in the air, building branches further out on slender limbs, hoping if you stay in motion that collapse won’t be able to keep up. With any luck, you are not yet the cartoon character hovering in mid-air, about to look down. Take some time this month to reinforce the foundations of any ambitious project, and the less ambitious ones while you’re at it. Get your hands in the dirt. Check for fungus and parched soil. Repair any dry rot. Make sure that rope is strong before you jump off any cliffs. 


    Please take this moment to consider what kind of pleasure you feel in your body. Is it linked to received sensations, or a sense of power and mastery you have over yourself? There is a fine line between the pride you might feel in your strength and the shame you might feel at any sign of weakness. If you’re struggling with your body as a project you can never perfect, take a moment to appreciate all the systems that are working without your conscious control, performing dazzling feats of chemistry and physics to keep your blood sugar stable, your brain rich with oxygen, your blood free of bacteria or toxins, your heart steady, and your bones strong. And if one of these systems has failed you, if you are ill or injured – now, especially, is the best time to connect with pleasure. 


    Yes, you should look for a better job, or a better hustle, or a way to do without one. Yes, it’s a great time for you to be in school, or starting a free school, or writing philosophical tracts, or writing on subway walls. Achievement and scholarship will come easily to you right now, but there is another dimension that you might not want to look at. Whether through heartbreak or trauma, someone in your life has left you with a wound that hasn’t quite healed. It can heal, though, and this is a good time to begin that process. Find people you trust, and experiment with how intimacy can feel restorative rather than frightening. Make this a project you take as seriously as your other goals. 


    Imagine that you live near a pond. A long time ago, you might have stumbled in the tall grass and kicked your sequined slippers into the brackish water. Perhaps you were a little tipsy, or feeling especially carefree. At the time it delighted you to watch them catch the light on their way down, but in the years since then the algae and weeds have scummed the surface of water, turning it opaque. This month, the sun will pierce through this murkiness and you’ll catch sight not only of these waterlogged slippers but a hundred other treasures you’ve let slip away over the years. Whether this brings you a reconnection with old loves or a final goodbye, you’ll have a brief space to see things clearly and make a conscious choice.

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