Dear Rabbit Friends,
Long ago, when I lived in Portland, Oregon, and drank only rain and locally squished almond milk, I dreamt I would meet a crone. I dreamt that she would teach me how to poultice any wound. We’d walk through her wild garden and she’d make me rub each leaf and bloom. Burdock root for the gut, she would say, and dig it up tenderly, without breakage. Sadly she never came to me or I never left myself open enough to receive her. The closest I came was a Vedic meditation group, wherein a woman who was also not a woman (something more like an energy field or a tiny planet on two legs) introduced me to the rivers of knowledge that flow over us always. Paired off two by two, we stared into each other and reported what we saw: there’s a woman who loves the color blue, you just lost a friend, the number 24. She showed me how to reach in.
I’m a beginner. I have spent the past week reaching in for you hoping what I have found rings true. Pulling out each time has been hard, sometimes painful, and I hope it is of use the way a tree is of use or a flower that opens for a few hours at daybreak. I want to tell you that you, dear human stars, are collectively the crone I’ve been waiting for. I have learned more from you than I ever imagined.
Rivers of Honey, Prisms of Light
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We are all subject to habit and ritual, the small things we do day in and out that call our most constant selves forward. Sometimes one must go beyond the ordinary. Sometimes one is destined for more. I am thinking now of an old Aquarian friend who invoked her feminine power by tattooing a rose on her ass. I swear to you, that rose transformed her body. We all watched her bicycling around town and considered rose-ing ourselves. Or was there another symbol we could imagine, another part of us that needed power and transformation? I got a mermaid etched around my right breast; another friend got a sweet dragon on her arm. Caution, this is not a tattoo advisory. A tattoo is just one example of a spell. Use your beautiful mind and conjure the possibilities. You are a rare thing, a flower that blooms bright in the deepest winter. While the Sun transits through you, Aquarius, consider the grander gesture. What does your body need from you? Imagine yourself standing inside the full light of your power. Behold yourself.
If you’re hurting, sweet one, it’s not your fault. Some of us were born with wilder hearts. Some of us lie down in the dirt road just to feel the crazed pony of love galloping toward us from miles away. Some us know that a healing wound is a prelude to a fresh new ground made for breaking. So we rip ourselves open each night just to get it over with. The moment I began to write this my heart tightened into a fist. Pisces, it’s painful where you are, it’s a dark place and I don’t want to go. The good thing is that you don’t need me, or anyone. You and you alone know the way out. That’s your dark power: the rope that descends from the sky like a god wove it herself. I can feel you climbing, can feel your magic hands stack one on top of the other. Slowly you are learning what it means to take care of yourself in every sense of the word: financially, ambitiously, and passionately. It’s just that the climb is long, arduous. It’s just that there are days when you need rest and resting might mean letting go. Don’t let go. You owe yourself this.
You were the one who taught me how to be in awe of love, how to say yes, to be the kind of lover who bent time and space in the name of desire. You stretched yourself over me and my skin became a cloud of fireflies. You taught me about light. I remember the nights of trying to let go, how I knew you’d walked into the bar before I saw you, my body already gravitating towards yours. I remember the exact way your fingers held onto my hips, how we moved as one although we were already broken. We made out in the alleyway by the Lex, our hearts burning up into ash. And I went home with you. And I went home with you. Fire-star, you taught me to be fearless in my surrender and generous in my forgiveness. This month, tonight, under whatever moon we share, I am asking you to do the same for yourself. Of course there will be loss, there is always loss, but you are a necessary soldier in an army of lovers. What would it look like if you chose to be brave?
I’m writing to you at the edge of a blizzard. The steps to my home are slick with danger and the salt I shake there just lies on the surface. I am writing you at the edge of a blizzard, the snow coming down and down around us, obscuring the color of all things. O beautiful bull standing in the great white fog, who are you now? Who will you love? Who will take care of you when you need taking care of? Stop asking. The sky is larger than the snow will have you believe and the road continues where your vision ends. If you’re not ready, then this is the part where you come inside, make your own meal, and stoke your own fire. But, if you want it be, then this is when you choose to walk toward the unknown. Consider desire, yours, and locate it within you. Remind yourself that desire is not rooted in fear, is not interested in limitations or illusions. It only wants your consent, your surrender. Ask yourself what it might take for you to truly let desire course through you as if it were blood, as if it were vital to your survival. Now hear me when I tell you that it is.
I have, in my own way, loved you all of my life. You were my childhood best friend, my crush, my wolf-pack sister, and my brother. You were the first girl that ever broke my heart and for a long time I held myself at a distance. For this reason, it has taken a long time for me to see you. I want to tell you that there is an incredible generosity in you, a desire to stand guard tirelessly before anyone who needs your protection. It manifests as a beautiful shield you carry. It glimmers in the light and attracts others to you. You are so beautiful in those moments, so clear. But, there is also this loneliness, a quiet thing that eats at you and holds your truest self back when all you want is to call it forward. These days, you can feel it coming on more and more, a dark cloud that gathers in your throat, a restlessness with little release. Twin star, I know that you have had to look for beauty in betrayal one time too many, that you have had to lose. I want to say I’m sorry. I want to say that it’s lovely just to witness you, that anyone should be so lucky.
You are both the moon and the crow’s black wing spread open. I adore your quiet power, your tireless work toward holding up the night. In your heart is a space few can imagine, a capacity for love that is boundless and without conditions. It is not a space, however, that is invulnerable to cruelty and the unkindness of others has the power to affect your greatly. Perhaps this month you can skip the meditation on forgiveness, on maintaining your gentle core while protecting yourself from pain. It is wise to remember that cruelty is a tool, a gesture that demands attention. It is a letter you don’t need to open, a word you can leave filling up someone else’s mouth. It is hard to be the moon. Emotions lapping at your feet wave after wave. Their source and intention are not your concern. You have bigger things to accomplish. There is dancing to be done, after all, in the company of stars.
Remember the night we talked about everything? The hours kept coming on and we leaned into them, laughing. You were wearing that funny fur hat you love and pouring me whiskey after whiskey. We were casual about our sadness, sprinkled it like salt on the bread and butter necessary-ness of our friendship. I felt like kids again, I let the Leonard Cohen records you put on flow over me like melodramatic medicine and I couldn’t love you more. Now that we are apart, I worry. I worry that you wake into a day that is without music. You are so busy blaming yourself for the shortcomings of the night before you forget how fucking amazing you are, how much power you have over the world around you. It doesn’t suit you, this refusal to find humor in life’s harsh lessons. Things end, they fall apart, they disappoint you; even stars burn up and die. Should we forever drag ourselves across a dark sky repenting? You are the Sun, a small universe, create something new, start again.
Once, every woman we knew stroked the witch in her. We covened in small apartments and wove together like tight baskets filled with midnight. We let the fire call us by our names and we burned the books of men who did not deserve our company. Once you thought you knew what stood in your way, now you know better. Now you know that the only book that needs burning is the one you keep buried in your heart: book of lies, book of wish I was what I am not, book of regret, book of impossible. Last year was the year you let your heart destroy you. Wild one, remember the river? The beer and oranges you placed around its mouth as offerings? This time around there is nothing left to sacrifice; you are the one you’ve been waiting for. Every step you make towards self-care is a step toward power. Imagine the book of what your life cannot be. The book you wrote that has ruined you. Breathe deep and strike a match. Now you’re awake, now you’re on fire. See your reflection? Clearer and clearer.
You might not be my lucky star but you’re lucky. You have, time and time again, found your way out of a dark forest using only your heart for a compass. In the clearing, where the moon could finally reach you, the city sparkled below like a promise and you forgot to look back at the thicket you had narrowly escaped. Looking back might have meant realizing that there were parts of you that never made it out of that darkness, parts of you that you would just as soon forget. In your own way, you have begun you descent toward the future you have always wanted. Or, at least the future that makes the most sense for you as you are now. But, forgetting is an active practice. One must commit to the art of it, to its consequence. One must decide that forgetting is better than learning and in doing so one must admit a love of disappointment. Don’t you think you can do better? Under this new night sky, shine your heavenly body on me, Lucky Star. Don’t be afraid to honor your mistakes, they are your quickest path to being the lover you always knew you could be.
I have done my hitch over the plain houses, light by light: lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind. A woman like that is not a woman, quite. Remember when your heart was a fortress, a kingdom indestructible? Women loved you without protection, moths sacrificing themselves to your flame. Was that what power felt like, to love and love more without breaking? To let the broken come to you? Now it seems as though your nights are meant for sleeping. Women come or they don’t come. Who can know these things? Who is allowed the privilege of knowing? There is too much water in you; a cup that can’t stop spilling and it shames you. You were meant to roam the dark forest of desire, not to build a home from the bones of lovers gone. Now your heart, that bastard, keeps gorging itself on the wrong meal. Or, the right meal but the wrong mouth. Fuck it. The right mouth. It’s everything else that’s wrong. It’s you, the burning kingdom, the wayward witch and empty house. Let it burn; leave nothing behind.
Billy Idol (Sagittarian rock god) is on the radio and we are dancing along in our seats, pumping our fists softly in the air, trying to do our work. Our backs hunch in concentration and our coffee gets cold with all that thinking. Truth is, you are so tired of doing. You would rather be sleeping. Little sister what have you done? Nothing. You would rather be drinking. What’s with all these big questions that just keep coming on when you haven’t got answers? Who does this world need me to be? How do I make something that matters? Oh archer, sometimes questions are just doors we walk through. They lead to hallways, exits, whole towns we never knew we wanted to explore. Each one with its own significance. Sometimes the biggest baddest bravest thing you can do is stop looking for answers and take pleasure in the asking. Here is a door, and here, and here. Open them. Open them. Open them.
Often you have asked the world to prove itself to you, knowing all along that every deal has a debt that needs repaying. “If there is a shred of goodness in you, you will grant me this,” you cried, knuckle deep in the dirt. And the dirt gave way, and you got… something. Sometimes it was exactly what you asked for, often late, often to your great surprise. And sometimes, what you asked for shifted to become what you needed, what you could not have known was missing until it came to you. Perhaps the world has proved itself enough for a while, even though turning on the news will break your heart, even though the living feels irreparable. If there is work to be done, it is your turn to do it. In your hands, the earth you clawed up in the name of goodness had begun to dry up. How will anything grow there if you refuse to water it?