• The Contextual Issue
    The Contextual 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.

    October horoscope image mask mag


    October 2014

    It’s the season of the witch, y’all.

    This month marks the transition from Libra to Scorpio, from a balance between light and dark (literally, at the equinox) to the onset of darkness. If Libra is the crisp light of early evening, Scorpio is the hour when colors darken and edges blur. Shapes lose their certainty and shadows loom, swimming with pinpricks of light. A dark smear on the floor might only be water, but it might be blood – or an animal, crouched and waiting. In this half-light, our eyes can’t be trusted.

    Scorpio is famous as the sign of sex and death, but it also rules the underlying principle for each: shapeshifting. What happens when our edges blur, when miraculous and terrifying transformations are possible. Before a caterpillar becomes a moth it will spend weeks, if not months, as undifferentiated jelly. Cocooned and suspended under a leaf somewhere, it appears lifeless except for occasional twitching to deter predators. You can imagine if caterpillars were prey to the social pressures of our society they might find it hard to justify such a choice, or to convince peers, lovers, and bosses that this messy state is both temporary and miraculous in its importance. Our society has a terrible track record for correctly identifying what’s important. This month offers those of us already running alternate scripts the chance to verify the value of our experiments, even if the data coming in is still incomplete.

    Though the Sun won’t move into Scorpio until late October, the major events of this month are the eclipses, which bring a distinctly Scorpionic undertone of darkness, death, and rebirth. As the paths of the sun and moon intersect twice this month, we’ll have a lunar eclipse on October 8th and a solar eclipse on the 23rd (exactly as the Sun reaches Scorpio). Eclipses heighten emotions and set the stage for dramatic endings and beginnings, surprises and sudden revelations. Think of them as a super-slow-motion strobe light. Brightness, darkness, brightness. What’s different afterward? Bear in mind that things aren’t always as they appear in this liminal time. Especially if you find yourself mid-metamorphosis, as it were, don’t assume the future holds only inert jellyhood for you. There may yet be wings, possibly with natty death’s heads on them.

    Meanwhile, the month kicks off with a steamy three-way between Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus – all in fire signs. This warm, stimulating influence will have the strongest effect on anyone with Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius planets, but should improve everyone’s optimism and sense of adventure, upping the odds that we may enjoy this crazy ride. And Mercury will be retrograde from the 4th till the 25th, adding another note of don’t-expect-this-shit-to-go-as-planned. As always, remember these horoscopes describe broad patterns rather than individual destiny. If you know them, you can read your rising sign first, followed by your Sun and Moon signs, and for a personalized reading find me here.

    “A common slave – you know him well by sight –
    Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
    Like twenty torches join’d, and yet his hand,
    Not sensible of fire, remain’d unscorch’d.”

    — William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


    Whatever you think you know by now about who you are and why you’re here is currently up for review. Not in the creepy, scifi sense of possibly being a replicant whose memories are all fake, but in the miraculous-true-science sense of possibly being a stroke survivor who gets to carefully choose which parts of your former identity to reintegrate. Ideally without undergoing anything as terrible as a stroke. The good news is you now have the motivation to decide which habits really serve you: Drunken unsafe sex? Maybe not. Secret love of 90s pop band The Cranberries? Sure, no harm done. As for the bad news, expect some sustained chaos throughout this overhaul, and pace yourself accordingly.


    This month brings you dreams only half-remembered, like a thunderstorm that barely reaches your sleeping ears. You wake up knowing only that there was a word, a face, a thing that must be done. In this month of cataclysms you’ll be feeling the effects obliquely, as though from the center of a storm. As the world whirls, take a tip from ballet dancers and focus on a fixed spot that is not spinning. If you stay firmly rooted, you’ll stand a chance of helping your friends who are reeling in the wind. Just remember: you are not the storm, you cannot control the storm, and getting swept up by it won’t help anyone.


    With Mercury moving retrograde into Libra for most of this month, you’ll have a rare opportunity to slow down that rapid stream of associations that is your modus operandi. This is an especially good time for writing and revising, cooperative decision making, relationship processing, collective renegotiating, and other feats of thoughtful diplomacy with your friends and cohorts. If these efforts seem to be moving at the speed of molasses, or need to be revisited several times, all is as it should be. Be careful, be thorough, and build something beautiful.


    While it is well known that you are vast and contain multitudes, what is less apparent is what exact assortments of animals, vegetables, and minerals make up those multitudes. What are you hoarding in there, love? There is nothing wrong with being a human Rube Goldberg machine, as long as all your pieces are synchronized. Is there something gumming up the works? Some old resentment? Some secret shame? Odds are that thing was never yours to begin with. Make yourself a promise this month to stop holding on to other people’s bullshit. Toss back all those damp and mildewed bits of flotsam and replace them with something shiny, like agate.


    Are the good times killing you? With the grand trine this month involving Jupiter in your sign, it might be tempting to relax and bask in feelings of freedom and power. Jupiter often brings a sense of passivity, as though the promise of eternal youth and fame is wafting through the grape vines, about to fall as sweetly as pollen on your parted lips. In the real world, this is a time when you feel a heightened longing for the golden age. Your dreams are so big they may not fit into the laws of physics, as they’re currently understood. Break the laws if you have to, as long as you’re putting in some serious work to manifest what you want so badly.


    You will always envision the best possible version of anything you encounter, and it’s often fun to figure out all the steps toward achieving it, especially if this part involves diagrams and lists, and even if you never intend to complete the project. This is a month when you may want to step this business down a notch. There is too much that needs your attention, and most of it resists a systematic approach. If you must strategize, strategize ways you can keep from attempting too much and disappointing yourself. Narrow your focus. There is a road that runs between your two extremes, curving from time to time but veering neither up into the mountains of perfection nor down off the cliffs of despair. You’d best keep your eyes on the white lines and the guard rail.


    I thought I saw you in a crowd today, Libra. It was a much older version of you, as though you’d found a time machine to travel back to 2014, so that you could walk by me and smile enigmatically as though you’d been having really good sex every day for twenty years, or perhaps more obviously, as though you’d invented a time machine and the space-time continuum was now your proverbial oyster. I thought about our small hopes for the future: Maybe we will have land. Maybe we’ll live near each other. This vision spoke of something very different – of a risk that paid off. I got the sense whatever course you’re about to pursue will be important for many years to come. If you have any big decisions to make in the next six months, picture yourself in thirty or forty years, smiling enigmatically and in possession of a thrilling secret. How do you get there?


    Do we live in the worst of all possible worlds? Terry Gilliam’s latest dystopian satire sure looked like a documentary. Politicians and their corporate rulers hardly bother to pretend anymore that we don’t live in an Orwellian nightmare. The grief and rage we all carry, if fully expressed, would shut down society as we know it. Instead, we tend to shut ourselves down. You have more power than you think, here. Which isn’t to make false promises about happy endings. I mean merely that what you feel is important, and what you are is important. Take yourself seriously. This is a time to claim your place in the world as an agent of change – however that resonates for you, and without any guarantees.


    At times when your life is a sustained cry of “make the boring go away!” this month may remind you that interesting times are a mixed blessing. To put it mildly, there is a lot going on. Perhaps you’re thrilled to reconnect to risk and change and the glorious unknown. Be thrilled in such a way that you don’t go injuring yourself, as the stars may be irresponsibly encouraging you to drink that extra beer and then ride your bike home blindfolded. You don’t need to impress those jerks. And though your enthusiasm is charming, you have every right be exhausted by this influence as well. Luckily for you, your fatigue is also charming – just splay yourself roughly upon a willing chaise lounge until the world stops spinning.


    Do you know how angry you are? I’m not sure myself, but it might be time to check. Have you been nursing a grudge or fixating on minor irritations? Are you puffed up with some sort of self-righteousness? Has someone been needling you while you take the moral high ground and refuse to respond? Or are you merely impatient for changes that are slow to come? Whatever the circumstances, expect a break of this tension on the 27th this month. Whether this is a violent rupture or a slow release of steam will be entirely up to you.


    What with the increasing pressures of keeping yourself housed and fed and presentable to the world, you may have overlooked something: You don’t actually need to be useful. This may sound counterintuitive, or even like fighting words, but it’s true. You can take pleasure in being considerate, thoughtful, and helpful. You can make a living at it, if you like. But never make the mistake of thinking your inherent value lies in these traits. You are not a tool, you are an event. You require no excuses, no justification. Just bear that in mind this month.


    Chances are you’ve never considered a job as a professional comedian. Few of your acquaintances may even realize how funny you are; maybe only one or two close friends are in on the secret. Whether you ever choose to reveal your powers publicly is up to you, but consider this month a time to devote yourself to honing them. Subtlety is your friend, except when it comes to dance moves. Study the art of the understatement. And perhaps most importantly, pretend that everything you’re doing is entirely regular.

    Back Issues

    read the full Mask Magazine back catalog

    Mask Magazine

    Mask Magazine


    Mask Magazine

    Send an email to yourself with resetting instructions

    loading ...