Dear July Bunnies,
I hope these horoscopes find you hydrated and surrounded by love. I hope if it’s raining where you are then the rain feels good, like the sky made an offering to you. And, if you are lying in the sun, then you are kissed all over by it, feeling full of summer, your fingers sticky from the sea.
I want to tell you that even if you feel less than who you are, even if this world feels impossible, even if your body hurts, you’re powerful.
And this world is for you. And you are for this world.
P.S. As always, if you feel moved to donate to the making of these horoscopes, there is a paypal button on the side bar for just this! I truly appreciate it.
P.P.S. Thanks, Claire.
“I am tired, beloved, of chafing my heart against the want of you; of squeezing it into little ink drops, and posting it. And I scald alone, here, under the fire of the great moon.”
The waiting is awful, isn’t it? The promise of something big on the horizon might feel like almost too much to bear in the face of the everyday search toward meaning. But, here, on this Earthly landscape you wind your way through the crowd and thrum of humanity. You go home to your apartment full of still beautiful things. You train your telescope on the moon and call it down. You ask her to be one of them.
But the moon won’t come down; she is tacked to sky with her own mission. She can’t be your beautiful thing, can’t be still for you. And you are better for it, for aspiring, for longing toward something bigger than you can fathom. Train your eye on her dark light and ask her to show you more. Open the book, pick up the chisel, and begin the work again. This month let the reaching for greatness be the thing, the love affair you’ve longed for, the jewel in the crown you wear to dress up your ordinary life.
Last night I heard a pack of coyotes yipping and yelling. That sound scared me, so I had to snuggle down deeper in bed. But, at the same time, I wanted to go out there and hang out with the coyotes, yip with them. That is what the Pisces inspires in me, both fear and allure. – Claire Skinner
Pisces, I sit here, in a muggy Crown Heights apartment that is not mine, imagining myself a witness to your revolution. I cup my hands around the shadow of Chiron, press the tips of my fingers to Neptune’s water mark on your spirit. I welcome the whole of you, the twin fish swimming fearlessly in the rivers of ancient human knowledge and knowing. Flowing and Flown. Akashic Record diver, you are the soft seer of this world.
But, what do you let others see? How do you, star of recovery, make space for those who can’t see the wound in you. How do you share the moon with those who do not yet know how to yip at the moon because she scares them? Let down your guard, Pisces, let yourself try and fail again, let your safety come from your belief in yourself, not your isolation.
When I lost you I knew that I would never find a lover kinder than you. Oh, you were not always nice. In fact, you would often get me to doubt myself, underlining my sharp tongue, pointing out my bad humor without subtlety. But, deep into the night you would rise and traverse the rickety staircase because I was thirsty, because you wanted to be the kind of lover who took care.
I don’t wear brown and grey suits all the time,/ do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,/ often. I want my feet to be bare,/ I want my face to be shaven, and my heart–/ you can’t plan on the heart, but/ the better part of it, my poetry, is open. – Frank O’ Hara
The question isn’t whether we’re better now than we were then. It’s what we forgot to see in each other all along, the impulse to go up when one goes down, the sharp and sweet, the hunter and the one who worships the hunter. We wade into the unfamiliar so that we might see our bodies again as if for the first time. We attract what we are not so that we might test our limits. It is what we do at the edge of that difference, how we learn to thrive, even in the most unfamiliar landscape that reveals our boundlessness. So it is with love, with work, with what you bring forth into world.
I hope the summer has been good to you, has given you a wide expanse of sky to run under. I hope that you look up at that sky and see yourself there, expansive too. I hope, I might even know, that this month is neither the beginning nor the end of a love affair you have sparked with your one and only life. You have been, for a long time now, tending to the treasures inside you, like small wildflowers along an un-blazed path. Now your garden is a wild garden and it loves you back, gives you strength.
Still, there are days when solitude feels more like loneliness, when shadows of a past self sit down beside you and you almost forget how much you’ve learned.
Soft bull, when you imagine what it might be like to be your best self, don’t forget to honor all the selves you had to be. There is no rule written that states your sadness and your strength must exist separately. No better time than now to hold what has hurt you, has disappointed you, firmly at eye level so that you might see your part in it, your own responsibility and your forgiveness.
Yesterday I was so sad. I just couldn’t shake it off. Not that sadness needs shaking, not that we aren’t allowed to weep into our kerchiefs whenever we damn well please. It’s just that I’ve been trying to be better about getting on, about being the kind of woman who can knock back a double on the rocks and crack a side smile while I state, without artifice, that life doesn’t always feel worth living.
I know you’re better than me at this. I know that you can scrape your life up of the ground and make something attractive of it, something that obscures sorrow. I know, too, that your sadness is not like mine, not a furious ocean that wears away rocks and lovers alike.
No, your sadness is the quiet kind. The kind that lingers at the edges of your heart even when it feels full, even when you feel loved. And you live with it like we all do, with a kind of resignation, an understanding that one can’t have it all. But, what if this month your sadness got a little louder? What if, instead of making life look good, you didn’t make life anything? Gemini, maybe having it all just means spending some time feeling it all, figuring out what got you here and how you can get where you want to be.
For a long time, I came to you to learn about the order of the world. You were, to me, the high priestess of logic and empathy. Athena of the heart, you knew how to take battling minds and call them to the table for dinner. You were and are always my favorite sparring partner of the mind. These days, I think you’ve grown tired of fighting. Tired of playing the mediator to imaginary realms when life itself won’t give you any room to rest.
Even gods lie down in the occasional field and pluck petals from dandelions. Even goddesses know when it’s time find a good book to live in. What I’m trying to say is even immortal beings take breaks from their roles in this world so that they might remember who they are beyond what they do.
Cancer, summer is your season. Your magic is high and your third eye open wide. You know better than anyone what makes you feel powerful and cared for. Instead of making sense of everyone else’s lives, take time to bring yours into focus.
Leo, when you wrote me, you said you were newly in love, and my heart clapped loud for you. And when you told me of your new shows, your galleries and invitations to perform, I knew the world was clapping with me. But, I sensed sadness in you too, a closed mouth trying to drink from a full cup. And, with that sadness, an inability to see the agent of change in you, the brave animal who knows who they are in this life and what they can make of it.
You have your reasons, your grief over friends and lovers and lives whose loss no language could serve justice to, your fear of loving something you could lose.
Leo, I can’t promise you that you won’t lose again, and I wouldn’t want to. Each loss has brought you closer to who you are, has stripped you of illusions. Since when did our lives become about how hard we can hold onto something? Since when was having something to lose not reason enough to love what you have and who you have yet to be?
When I was in college, a new feminist, I believed words like “safe space” meant something. We would get together in the evening, under fluorescent basements lights, on ratty old couches and ugly stock furniture and make our big signs. We wanted the world to change and although we weren’t quite idealists, and certainly not idiots, we believed that we could change the world with words.
Problem is, despite the occasional relief of seeing a rainbow sticker, you can’t just call a place safe and make it so. So it is with this terrible violent world that grants us legal marriage and burns down Black places of worship. So it is with our inner lives, the jobs we go to and the relationships we hold on to.
Virgo, there are places in this world, people, that will never feel safe even if they look it. It’s not up to you to make them so. But, if you want, you can make the big signs anyway, write the big poems, tell your story one more time. Not because you have to change the world but because in believing you can, you give yourself a reason to stay part of it.
Sometimes, when my throat gets tight, I play a game. I imagine what it might be like to be an animal, a raptor with wind rolling over my airborne body, a snake dragging my belly across the hot cracked world. I imagine I’m a brown bear, wild in an Oregon river, catching salmon in my open mouth. I think about honey in my mane and dirt in my paws.
I cast a wide net for a different body, a different life. I think, maybe, if I were a brown bear my heart would grow strong and grizzly.
You talk so much whisper, Libra, but your heart isn’t half as bad as it feels. In fact, it’s getting better and better all the time. And I’m only telling you this because I don’t think it’s something we get taught. That there’s pain in getting good, there’s a lot of coping mechanisms we have to surrender so that we might rise more swiftly into ourselves, into the air. A lot of shedding before the body we drag through this world is the one we know is home. This month imagine all the animals are with you, in you. They are helping you grow strong; they are leaving honey for you so that you don’t forget what sweetness is.
I wish I could drag you to the beach on a day that looks promising but turns out overcast and cool. I wish I could lay my towels down and remind you that wind bites more the higher you are so come lie down and hold the ground with me. I wish we were two girls, yes girls, on our backs watching the clouds, our upper arms sticky against each other. You could tell me about your journey toward yourself, and I’d say yes, oh each muscle’s a painful callused wound.
If we cried we would do it toward no resolution except that our throats ached from the salt we carried. And, letting the wind dry our faces, our hard hearts would soften up the way sand is soft when dry.
Scorpio, it’s hard to love the small animal in you but you have to try. You have to try even when she looks weak because you must learn how to love yourself through weakness. Try, even when she forgets how to be kind, because being kind means being vulnerable and that takes time. Scorpio, the small animal in you protects your heart., she is the wild thing inside you that knows how to love. So you must be brave in claiming her and feed her well and pet her often.
“the more one is, the richer is all that one experiences. And whoever wants to have a deep love in his life must save for it and gather honey.”-Rilke
Alive with night, I am thinking of you and what you’ve taught me. There are the obvious things, the things that friendships bring out in us, generosity, a striving toward mutuality. And, the not so obvious, like the way you’ve taught me (and you might find this hard to believe) about the construction and maintenance of boundaries. I am thinking now of the many different ways you’ve said no to me.
No you couldn’t drive me to the airport but knew well enough I could take the express coach bus. No you weren’t in the mood for company and were thoroughly enjoying the sensation of your pajama-ed body sinking into the carpet as you stared up into the ceiling with despair. No because no matter how much chemistry we did or did not have sexually, we would love each other for a long time without wounds.
Sagittarius, perhaps I was easy to say no to because you knew I would see underneath to the woman in you who chose to take care of herself first so that she might give of herself without compromise or resentment. This month let that woman be the one who speaks for you, even if she inspires solitude, even if she gets mistaken as unkind.
There is a danger in living life inside the house of yourself, in letting the shape of it shape you. You fill your refrigerator, you sweep the floor and wipe down the dust, and you imagine what it would be like to be seen at your best, in your element, like this. You imagine what it would be like to be seen. To be loved for the good in you.
But, goodness is speculative. Goodness is something we can both keep digging up for each other until our knuckles bleed rough from dirt and neither of us feels good. And neither of us feels clean. So there must be something beyond goodness, beyond the imagined limits of houses we have made of ourselves.
I want to give you what you need but on mutual terms. I imagine your body in a doorframe, a body that has learned to take the shape of that frame, to hold fast to the structure that feel safe, familiar. I want to come into your house but only if you can understand that the people who we let inside us change us as we change them, often irrevocably.