• The Joy Issue

    Horoscopes for July 2018

    The Joy 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.

    Carwash web


    July 2018

    July is here to thwart our desires and whip our frustrations into a fine foam. We’re here to find new ways of getting what we want, and new uses for pent-up energy. As Mars moves retrograde until August 27th, we are collectively facing a slow down in our impulsive, assertive, aggressive, and erotic urges. We are more aware than ever of what isn’t fair, what isn’t working, what’s making us wild and uncontrollable, and what paths won’t take us anywhere we want to go. The best use of this energy is to pay attention and take notes. Get curious, get thorough, get methodical even, about how you let the fiery energy of passion – rage, lust, vitality, self-defense, and shenanigans move through you. What fires are worth starting? What fires need stamping out? How do you handle the discomfort of feeling restless and ineffective? How do you handle not getting what you want? What can we all discover when we work with this energy instead of against it? Will we react less impulsively and more strategically? Will our stamina increase? Will our blockades last longer? Will we finally build the barricade to end all barricades? Will we slow down and halt deportations? The only way to know is to experiment.

    Meanwhile, two eclipses this month set the stage for some deep feelings and some major detachment. The solar eclipse in Cancer on the 12th helps us feel what we haven’t wanted to feel yet. Make some room for emotional revelations and expression that week, especially if you have planets in Cancer, Capricorn, Aries or Libra. And the lunar eclipse in Aquarius on the 27th invites us to take a step back and look at the larger picture, to get a bigger perspective and some intellectual distance on the struggles we’ve been thrashing around in all month. Eclipses always bring insights about what needs to change – in your own psyche, in your household, in your romances, in your city, in civil society, in the Anthropocene, and so on. Take notes, and make plans.

    I have limited availability for readings this month as I finish drawing 2019’s calendar of small spells. As always, for these horoscopes read your Venus and Moon signs first, followed by your Sun and rising. Use these for what they can give you, and discard anything you don’t need. Good luck out there!


    You’ve been on the qui vive long enough to mistrust promising beginnings. Even so, what’s cleaner and shinier than a new beginning? This month doesn’t promise that what’s shiny and new will stay that way for long, but it does offer you an interesting opportunity to sustain whatever you begin. Imagine your actions right now as notes on a piano – only this piano has its sustain pedal stuck down. Each note you play will reverberate so long your life may become regarded as an avant-garde masterpiece of some kind, like John Cage’s 639-year-long organ piece. If you are trying to start new habits, this is a good time to make sure they will stick. If you’re picking up some less desirable habits, well, those may stick around for a long time, too.


    There are more things to do right now than you can tally – some promising, some viscerally unappealing, some nigh impossible. Abundance your gift this month, though it may feel like what is most abundant are your responsibilities. But they aren’t the worst kind of chores – most correlate to something like needing to plan what allergy-friendly, low-glycemic foods one could lick off a lover’s body. In other words, the promise of an exciting time looms in your near future, but you still need to do the groundwork. Don’t give in to the myth of urgency. Most of what feels like a crisis is not actually a crisis. Most of what feels like it needs to happen immediately can wait. But sooner or later, you will need to give your full attention to each of the things that waits for you, and accept the consequences of how you decide to triage. The stars strongly recommend you keep a record of this time, to look back on later with awe and a friend who’s good at time management.


    Ptolemy writes: “Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth.” Clearly he meant this as an ode to the transcendent joys of contemplating the universe, but you, my friend, are too often at risk of not having your feet touch the earth. This month, it’s time to turn away from the serried multitude of stars in their fascinatingly circular course and look down at your real, mortal feet. For extra credit, you might want to stand in the dirt while you do this. Get nice and muddy – the kind of mud that coats your skin and reminds you that you are practically the same creature as an elephant or a rhinoceros. If you find a calm enough body of water to muck about the edges of, any little squiggles of light zipping about in the sky above you will be reflected in it. Keep looking down. Keep contemplating your animal body, your connection to earth and water, and just how slowly you can move.


    So here’s the thing about dedicating yourself, as you have, to a life of beauty and truth. You will keep losing both of them and when you look you’ll usually find them in different places each time – a river or the spire of a library or the eyes of someone you love but cannot communicate with. The one constant will be that to approach the place where they are hiding, you’ll have to traverse a flooded area that can appear so daunting that you end up wandering back to the last place you saw them, hoping they’ll turn up. Really, the quickest way is to go through the flood. Each time, it will take you where you need to be, though you may get soaking wet and exhausted swimming the expanse. That’s why this month your birthday gift from the universe is a boat.


    Like a dog or cat that always wants to sleep on the tallest, softest thing in the room, you’ve got a need this month for a comfortable perch from which to watch the chaos below. Let yourself retreat as far as you need to. Let yourself snore, if snoring will help you expel your disgust for what people are up to, while helping you gather your strength for the next time you are down amongst them, risking injury. This month, though, you need some reckoning time. What matters most will be the force that propels you back into life, when you are ready – not any external crisis calling you down into the mess that will certainly be waiting for you when you are ready to meet it effectively.


    According to the Talmud, dreams are generally insignificant but can also be “1/60th of prophecy.” It’s hard to know which bits to take seriously. And yet, whatever the actual content of dreams, how you interpret them is usually more important – the words that describe what it meant can affect reality, can draw down the demons or angels of potential and infuse them with life. This is why the Talmud cautions to be careful about who you approach to interpret your dreams, and why there is a Jewish prayer for the amelioration of dreams (in which you gather three people to recite “This was a good dream!” with you). This month, you have a lot of dreams that are itching to come true. Your assignment is to find the friends and teachers who will be able to speak these dreams into life, and ameliorate the dreams-in-progress that have gotten out of control.


    Some things we learn quite suddenly, like the need for better-behaved dogs or at what temperature a book of Maoist poems will burn. Other understandings dawn on us more gradually, like the falsity of the dichotomy between hippies and punks (though not between hippie music and punk music), and the persistent need to be asking better questions. This is a month when slow discoveries are dawning on you, having been growing in secret, below the surface for a long time now, and they may have the appearance of sudden insights. Even if they show up as surprises, take them seriously. They have deep roots. You can’t turn your back on what you know you know. I mean, you can, but it won’t solve anything and you’ll eventually end up needing a blindfold and earplugs, too. Better to name what you know and stand by it, however you came by that knowledge. Don’t second-guess yourself, and don’t wait for things to change back to the way the were.


    What is the secret of the name you say to yourself under your breath when you’re alone? Do you know who you’re calling to? Do you understand that what you’re reaching for – be it in the past or future – is something sacred that you’ve lost your way back to? If you’re like most of us, you’ve hidden it somewhere in your own body – buried in a knot of tightened muscles, or pulsing between the electrical currents of your heartbeat. If you look for it there, you’ll feel it come back to you the way it feels when you slip into a bath that’s the exact right temperature. This month, you need to remember your way back to that sacred thing that might feel lost. It’s so much closer than you realize. It’s going to feel so good when you let yourself back in.


    There’s a charming error message that appears on my phone sometimes, when its tiny computer brain can’t quite process what I’m asking it to do. I may be trying to read my email, and instead of showing me new messages or my inbox full of old messages, a blank screen will appear with a cartoon sunrise and the words: “Nothing to see here! You’re all done for the day!” This is essentially your horoscope for July: Turn off your phone. You’re done with that world for now. The sun has just risen, and you have the whole day ahead of you. You are free. You can go anywhere. You can do anything. You may fall in love, but it’s more likely someone will fall hard for you. Adventures will be transformative – make them your first priority. Above all, don’t reboot your phone and glare at its little spinning wheel for several minutes, cursing the waste of your precious time. You don’t need to know what’s going on there. The constraints of capitalism will still be there when you’re done.


    You’ve thought for a long time that your best weapon is a broom – a vast push-broom with bristles so militant and efficient that nothing remains in their path. This is the broom you’ve used when every tragedy began to break. Engraved into the handles, as though by an elegant bolt of lightning, are the words: “Shut It Down.” And no one can say your floors are not clean. Sparkling. Spotless. No broken glass, no blood stains visible at all. But here’s what you may not have realized: you are sweeping away the foundation of what you’re trying to build, again and again, when it becomes slightly imperfect. This is not the time to grandly sweep away all evidence that you’ve been disappointed. Instead of reaching for a broom, consider hairbrush – preferably the kind with widely spaced, gentle prongs. The kind you’d use to untangle a sensitive-headed child’s freshly washed hair. And instead of threatening the disordered world with this tool, offer it to someone you trust, and show them where you need something combed out of your system – carefully and gently. We all know you can take much tougher treatment. But can you take gentleness, and the messiness of life-in-process?


    What is the first thing you think of when you wake up? What about the last thing you think of when you fall asleep at night? If you’re falling in love with someone, or grieving a major loss, or under a specific constant stress, your answer may be clear. Otherwise, you may want to keep a record of these first and last thoughts as your consciousness veers in and out of view. Once you have a clear picture of what lingers most for you, this month invites you to dedicate yourself to ushering that energy where it needs to go. Maybe you need to release a lost love. Maybe you need to scream in frustration. Maybe you need to shake in fear. Maybe you need to open you heart to something so beautiful you’re afraid of the moment it will change. There is a certain kind of courage required of you right now. When you begin to resolve in your waking what keeps lingering at the edges of sleep, the quality of both your waking and dreaming lives will dramatically shift.


    At the risk of being pigeon-holed, a part of you has agreed that this is the month you will act as an oracle for those who need it – provided they’re willing to accept their fortunes in the form of dad jokes and memes. Be sure to set clear conditions for your oracular services: 1) petitioners must be people you already love who have cooked you at least one good meal in recent memory, and 2) the work of interpretation is entirely up to them, so if you have Virgos in your life asking for dream interpretation (see above) you may need to send them elsewhere. It’s also fine to keep some Virgos around to interpret your messages, as long as they don’t ask you for confirmation or denial. You are merely here to share your visions, not to explain them.

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