Everything you need to know about the Earth opening up and swallowing your planets or the other way around.
Horoscopes by Corina Dross
February begins with a dramatic, tender, passionate and syrupy Full Moon in Leo, heightening our romantic and creative aspirations and offering us all a chance to be a little bit of a diva. Making a few difficult aspects to Mars, Chiron, and Pluto, this Full Moon will also trigger some anxiety (Pluto) about our desires and vulnerabilities (Mars and Chiron). So keep the stakes low for any romantic encounters, in case one or both of you end up reliving old traumas. It is not at all unlikely that your pursuit of loving companionship culminates in both of you curled in a puddle of wounded pride on the elegantly tiled floor of your town’s fanciest restaurant. Go big, but gently.
The less said about this month’s Mercury retrograde, the better. We’ll survive the weirdness and it will be over on the 11th. Meanwhile, on the 18th, the New Moon in Pisces marks the entry of both the Sun and Moon into that sensitive and permeable sign (making a grand total of six astral bodies in Pisces that day!). Expect to get washed away in the collective longing for something blissfully transporting – coupled with blurrier boundaries, heightened sensitivities, and questionable decision making. I’m asking all of you to remember where your keys are and when not to operate heavy machinery, okay?
As always, use these horoscopes wisely as well – taking what you need, rendering the rest into Dadaist poetry, as you see fit. The astro-literate are encouraged to read their Rising Sign first, followed by the Sun and Moon sign. If you need some extra astrological insight and encouragement, you can always shoot me a question or a book a reading at flaxandgold.com.
“Listening is a capacity we hardly know we possess. It is possible to make of the body a sun, which draws sound up like water from a rain puddle. The ears only tell us what we have done, afterwards: but during the listening every cell will incline in that direction, and the entire world will rise into us like glorious, palpable, mist.”
In the life cycle of a mushroom, the fruiting body – what we see and eat – is only one phase in a long process that involves spores too small to see, invisible reproduction, and a hidden neural network that resembles our own brains. When mushrooms pop up, ghostly and luminous, they seem fully formed overnight. This month, people may pop into your life just as suddenly, offering relationships that feel instantly fully formed and solid, but have really been building slowly for quite some time. Don’t freak out or try any karate moves – they’re probably harmless. But also don’t go licking anyone you haven’t properly ID’ed as non-toxic.
Upheaval in your social world may bring out some of your more dubious coping mechanisms this month. Repeat after me: “My loved ones are neither objects nor drugs. I cannot expect them to remain where I left them, like a trusty footstool, or to dose me with attention and approval on cue. They are free to make all kinds of decisions I may not enjoy and there is nothing I can control, really, in their lives.” Instead, I invite you to regain your sense of inner stability by playing a counter-intuitive game called Worst Case Scenario. Make it detailed, hyperbolic, and devastating. And feel yourself at the end of it, having forged a new sense of strength and connection through it all.
Let’s talk about hero worship. Have you been crafting yourself in the image of some rock star, scientist, or bodhisattva who inspired you long ago? Or were you disillusioned too many times by those you wanted as teachers and mentors? Decisions you made years ago about what kind of adult you were trying to become are now ripening: What have you been working hard to be good at, but still doubt your mastery of? Who do you know who could teach you something? Are you ready to step into that role for someone else? Do you still trust your old heroes, or despise the ones who let you down? Take some time this month to rework your scripts about what you’re capable of, who you admire, and how close you are to being really good at the things you’d like to be.
Today I’m going to pose you a question that might sound silly but is deadly serious: Are feelings real? Sure, they have a biological basis and can be linked to hormones and even certain organs (anyone who’s done a liver cleanse can tell you that “storing anger in the liver” is not a mere metaphor) – but how do they inform us about our external (or internal) reality? Are feelings to be trusted and believed? Are you more likely to believe some feelings and not others – fear but not joy? What would happen this month if you got scientific about your emotional world, and started to sort through where and why distortions creep in. If you can, find out what your emotions are accurate about, if it’s not always external reality.
Now is the time for big gestures. Your heart is so full it’s spilling over, your desires are waking you up by flooding the room with light, and you won’t be able to rest until you’ve made some kind of offering to the gods of love. Terribly, they’re known for wanting blood. Short of a literal interpretation, a la Van Gogh’s ear, what can you sacrifice that will give your love the chance to flourish and grow? From where you’re positioned, how can you metaphorically throw down your coat over the mud puddle, or gnaw your paw out of a trap in order to run free to your beloved? Whether your love is requited or not, romantic or platonic, now is the time to do something grand and selfless with it. Stifling that impulse would be tragic.
Invited to your pity party this month are: high-school journals; love letters from exes; photos of happy times you’ll never see again; a handmade gift from an old friend who drifted out of your life; and gallons of your beverage of choice. Wallow long enough to really believe you’ve been abandoned and betrayed by the only people who will ever love you and you may begin writing a tear-soaked complaint against the gods. You’ll find what comes out, if you’ve really let yourself drop through the bottom, is less tragic than tragicomic; more overwrought Morrissey than suicidal Nick Drake. This isn’t the worst thing; let your pain be stretched so far as to become ridiculous, and easy to laugh along with.
Your horoscope this month, dearest Libra, will involve learning (or remembering) some fancy words. The first is prolegomenon: a formal prelude to a larger work; and the second is anathema: a thing that is cursed and denounced. It may feel your path this month is skittering between these two edges; that all your efforts feel preliminary, still – as though you’re writing the world’s longest introduction to a book you’ll never quite begin – and at the same time, that approaching the heart of your great work brings you up against ideas, habits, and perspectives that you abhor and denounce. Either approach will work, but choose one and follow it till you find yourself either piling up so many introductions that you've in fact created a body of work, or you've engaged with so much you find abhorrent you've developed an alternate path through sheer necessity.
Choose wisely who you share a bed with this month, as there’s a good chance you’ll be eavesdropping on their dreams. Though that may sound voyeuristically enticing, remember that you’ll also be taking on their anxieties, their nightmares, their distorted and repetitive vignettes, their inability to read anything clearly, their sex dreams that end before orgasm. If your own dreamworld is enough to manage, take this time as a solitary retreat from having bedfellows – otherwise, let some cutie know how good you are at banishing monsters, teaching people to fly, and helping those hot dreams last a little longer.
One could argue that cycles are the most natural thing going. Consider, for example, the cycle of the seasons, the Krebs cycle, the water cycle (whereby it circulates between liquid, solid, and gas states), even bicycles, which were simultaneously invented by many people across the world – but just because certain cycles seem inevitable doesn’t mean we ought to let them stay that way. Take, for example, cycles of amnesia. When something terrible happens and we are stricken to the core, we may spend a few impassioned hours or days or weeks in agony, trying to heal the damage and prevent future harm, but eventually the strong emotions seep away and ordinary life sweeps back in, smoothing over our sense of urgency. Pay attention, this month, to your tendency to remember only the good things. Don’t be lulled into repeating any harmful cycle that you have the power to end.
Remember the myth of Eros and Psyche, in which Psyche’s love for Eros earns her immortality? According to the myth, when Psyche's sister sees the glorious house of the gods where Psyche lives with Eros, her happiness is poisoned from jealousy. But there’s another version of this story. In C.S. Lewis' retelling of this myth, the sister can't see the house, can’t taste the food, and is convinced her beloved sister – snatched away and mourned as dead – has gone mad living in the wilderness, playing at tea parties with spring water and wild berries. The tragedy that ensues stems entirely from that inability to inhabit the same reality as someone you love, and the violent effort to shake them back into your own. Your mission this month is to learn how to see what you can’t yet see in the stories people tell you, to make room for not only uncertainty but the paradox of conflicting truths. In time, as you hone this skill, you’ll be able to see the threads that unite seemingly opposed realities – and you’ll be better and greeting everyone you love on the terms they require.
We know now that the brain is plastic, which means it can and does regenerate neural networks. This is why some stroke survivors can make such dramatic recoveries – while parts of their brains are destroyed, new paths form to take up the work of sensing, communicating, and orienting in space. What science is still dubious about is the ability to spontaneously regenerate damaged nerve cells. Whatever may happen in our physical bodies, on a psychic level, you are doing just this. Whether you like it or not, expect a heightened sensitivity to everything that wafts within your ken, and take some time to slow down and sort out all the puzzling new information. If sensitivity is intelligence, as some thinkers claim, you’re about to get much, much smarter.
This month there is no way out but through, baby. Whatever you’ve been putting off or shying away from, now is the time to grit those teeth, gird those loins, and plunge into the cold, foaming brine that may also contain jellyfish or those fish that can camouflage themselves as a part of the ocean floor and gentle plants swaying in its currents. You may get stung, you may get bit. You may even be swallowed by some prehistoric leviathan, but you will be spat out at last and be able to swim to the farther shore with a story worth telling and a better idea of how to comport yourself among underwater society. Ready, set ...