Dear August Love Bunnies,
I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I have, in many ways, been waiting myself. For inspiration to arrive, for the right words to come to me so that I might give them to you. But, as it turns out, there is no such thing as the perfect time or the right words. Surely, I knew that.
Still, I moved slowly and it wasn’t until I witnessed my beloved friends getting married last week that I found the perfect offering. So, I will share with you here what I have written below for the Pisces of this Galaxy.
At a wedding in Oakland, in a Botanical Garden wooden hall lit by soft light and over sixty hearts dipped in honey, I watched two people dance to this song. And in dancing, they offered it to us and each other.
You are a sea of goodness
You are a sea of love
Bless you, bless you, bless you
Bless you for what you are
We can all learn to love each other and ourselves in this way and perhaps we must if we are to know anything about love at all.
P.S. Thank you for supporting me, for believing in me, and for giving me hope every month. I believe in you too.
Once, a sky god could not rest until each star hung just so against the night. That sky god was your ruling planet Uranus. Uranus loved his children but he loved beauty more. Over and over he made small shining gods. Then he destroyed them. I know about that kind of creation, a love that blooms outside the heart and has no blood to live. A love like airplane lights you make wishes on just in case.
How many loved your moments of glad grace, / And loved your beauty with love false or true, / But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, / And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
With your North Star heart, you always mean to be true. You brave the night and orient yourself toward the brightest thing in the distance. But, you must know that even the false is tender, Aquarius. Even the false can call your name. It’s ok if you want to answer, if you surrender to the dream that ruins you. If you want, Aquarius, you can build a whole new life in a new country that has new names for stars. Or, you can choose isolation and call it solitude. Architect of the mind, you hold so many intricate plans inside you, so many different blueprints for Heaven. None of them is wrong, but if I were you, I’d choose what sustains your pilgrim soul. I’d be the man that loved that soul in you.
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the wedding of two people I love very much.Their song selection was “Revelations” by Yoko Ono and Cat Power. Watching their first dance and listening to the song, I thought of you.
Bless you for your greed / It’s a sign of great capacity / Bless you for your jealousy/ It’s a sign of empathy / Bless you for your fear / It’s a sign of wisdom
Pisces you, better than anyone, know the duality of this world. How, each form of suffering, of disjuncture, is also a form of growth and expansion. You move through tributaries of emotions, lovers and buildings and people streets, you swim through the pulse of the current toward the heart of the sea. It’s ok if you are sometimes afraid, if you are sometimes in pain. It’s ok if you want more than you can handle, than you can have.
Let this Aquarian song blessing river into you. Make the decision, every day, to honor your emotions and desires as they come, to hold them up to the light as evidence of your humanity and your journey.
For a long time now, I’ve been asking you to challenge yourself to be brave. I wonder now what that advice must sound like to you, someone who has made a life out of being brave. Perhaps we must learn to define courage in new ways. Your courage, it seems, must witness your anger and put a gentle hand on her shoulder. It must learn how to strip fear from rage so that only hurt remains… and inside of that hurt, empathy and new understanding.
All your life you have been the keeper of fires. Now is the time to understand how fire works, how it breathes and relies on gravity. Anger is a conversation. When tended to it can feed a revolution, when unchecked it can burn down an ecosystem. Your anger is your insight, your brilliant mind, and it is your insecurity—your refusal to grow.
Once, courage must have looked like an obstacle to overcome, a fear to dissipate, an impossibility to make possible. Now, courage must move through you more quietly, slow and insistent light. A kind of daybreak. A beautiful fire that lights up the whole sky.
Recently, I came across an article on boundaries. Boundaries, according to the writer, are difficult to maintain. Especially if you are one of two types of people: asshole narcissist or crazy co-dependent. Since I can’t imagine anyone who would willingly self-identify with either of these categories, I decided to imagine more generous forms.
Perhaps the crazy co-dependent is just someone who desperately aches to be vulnerable after a life of having to be walled. And the narcissist? Maybe withholding her full self is the only way she knows how to act strong. There are so many ways that we, bumbling creatures, can fall into these patterns. And, it’s important to remember love can make mirrors of us, both kinds of lovers at once. Narcissus and Echoes.
A boundary is not a rigid thing. Rather it’s a line in the sand, redrawn with every gust of wind or high tide. There are some things we know for sure about who we are and what we are willing to endure. There are many more things we can only begin to make allowance for. Taurus, this Venus Retrograde, consider where you draw your lines. How can you learn to be vulnerable on your own? How can you be strong without fortress?
In Virgo, communication manifests in the tangible world, what you mean is what you do. Words are not enough. How does this affect you, Gemini? Where Virgo digs deep into the work, frantically prioritizing what feels right to her, you flood with language for a world that feels beyond your control. Praxis and practice, you ache to marry the two but how? It might feel like, in this onslaught of conflict, if you could just say one more thing, one more way, everything would fall into place.
You could learn something about hierarchies from Virgo, about when having the last word will not serve. Power is what you leave unsaid, Gemini, power is allowing space for interpretation without fearing what that interpretation might be.
There’s nothing to worry about, anyway, the worst is over. Mercury will slip into Libra soon and you’ll feel the expansive balancing love power of Venus and the exacting edge of Saturn in Scorpio. In this world with its ebb and flow of misunderstanding, you know you can let the waves make a mess of you or you can get up, dry off, and go where you feel seen and loved.
Because Sappho lingers in your orbit, I want to offer you this fragment from (cancer cusp) Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho:
Come to me now: loose me from hard / care and all my heart longs/ to accomplish, accomplish. You, / be my ally.
I’m thinking about how to be your ally, Cancer, or how you can be your own ally. How “all (your) heart longs to accomplish, accomplish.” Slowly you have begun the task of honoring your energy, the service you give to the world, and saving some for yourself. Slowly you have begun to carve out a space for the small kernels of your most intimate desires. You’ve given that space a name.
What now? Nothing to do but love more, love yourself and the want in you. Develop a language for what you desire and practice speaking it. Start with those closest to you then get wider and wider. If there’s a full cup waiting for your lips, let it come. You, who have served the world enough, must trust the world to serve you in return.
When we were younger we knew how to signal our despair. When our hearts were torn, we’d put on our dresses of sadness and wade out deep into the dark. When I needed you, I’d go looking for the lone breath of your cigarette flickering in the violet light of a children’s park. I’d sit beside you, unspeaking, for hours. We knew how to send up smoke, how to be found, but the closer we got the more evident it became that we could not see each other.
The seeing would take time, decades, and even now—there are days when we fail. So often, the failing becomes the thing we hold onto. We forget how much the failing teaches us. Truth is, the more we learn about our hearts and the way they govern us, the better we understand the pain and suffering of others.
Now, when I need you, I text you and say Are you working today? I am suffering. And when I find you, I am not afraid to drag my sadness into the light—to put words around the unsayable. In doing so I give you a chance to see me, to see yourself in me. I hope that in these days ahead when you come to me, you give me the same chance, so that we might be learn how to be vulnerable together, and strong apart.
Three nights ago, in a city where I once loved you, I began to cry with your name in my mouth. We were always laughing, I said and in saying it felt the absence of your laughter. Even as the world fell apart we would wake up laughing. There was and is something about this part of our past life I can’t help but mark as a true loss, as evidence of the beauty of our love, of how necessary we once were to each other.
Not long ago, I found an interview with Leonard Cohen about his song “The Traitor”: (It’s about) The feeling that we have about betraying some mission that we were mandated to fulfill and being unable to fulfill it. And then, coming to understand that the real mandate was not to fulfill it, that the deeper courage was to stand guiltless in the predicament in which you found yourself.
When a sign finds herself in the shadow of her ruling planet, she feels a great pull. When Mercury’s shadow flows over you, take time to think about the parts of you that you’ve labeled traitor. How has fear of loss, of betrayal (done to you, done by you), kept you from being the kind of lover and creator you know you can be? Remember love’s city, how it flooded with tears and kept afloat with laughter. In this new life, there is deeper courage in you, Virgo, deeper strength.
This flower reminds me of a summer night / that ripened in a backyard in Brooklyn under / a tent that was just a sheet draped over some / strategically tied string fastened to corners/ at seventy degree angles like we were / equating a math problem / under this canopy my head rested in your lap / my mind wandered out into the night air
Last night, while painting sunflowers at three am, I remembered you. Petal after petal, limb to limb, your heavy head full possibilities in my lap. I wanted to keep our love alive longer than I wanted you. You kept cutting the stems and I kept placing them in water. Or, you kept saying it’s over and then you kept saying come back. Until there was nothing to come back to, until we could barely recognize what we ever fell in love with.
Under the math of who stays and who goes, who wants more and who doesn’t have enough, under the canopy of what gets left behind, we were just trying to love each other for a little while. And that was a noble thing, a worthwhile thing.
In this Venus retrograde, while you are sitting down at the table of your heart fixing bad equations, don’t forget the sunflowers. How they change, not only the table you sit at but also, the room where that table stands. There are sunflowers growing wild outside too, Libra, full of hundreds of seeds just waiting to open in your mouth.
Let’s give ‘em something to talk about, Scorpio, a little mystery to figure out. Who knows more about mystery than you? Who knows better how to hold it pulsating and alive in her dark hand? It’s a good thing you know what you’re good at holding because this year has already taught you so much about what you’re willing to lose. There are people out there who wouldn’t see the blessing in these lessons but you’re not one of those.
You want Scorpio, you want without expectation or assumption or regret. You want in the places that once flooded with need because you need so little now.
Above you, the Sun is a Lion opening his red mouth. If you’re hungry, watch the Lion hunt. Your future might be unclear but it’s not without direction. This is when what you do becomes much more important then who you’ve been. This is when you harness your hunger, spot your game, and earn your feast
In a Pitchfork interview, about her penultimate album Biophilia, Björk said: “I had to reach so long—between solar systems—to connect everything.” Of her last album, Vulnicura, she can barely speak at all without choking up. In fact, days ago, Björk announced her decision to cancel the Vulnicura tour, describing the performance of its songs as too painful.
And isn’t that the way is seems to go, Sagittarius? First, one feels compelled to hold it all together then, one can barely hold onto oneself. The last few months might have felt just like this, a continuous labor, followed by an utter exhaustion. Well, good things come, as they always do (and must). How else could we survive in this world, this solar system of horrors and delights?
Björk doesn’t intend to give up now. She’s just gonna keep making beautiful things, first out of heartbreak and then out of healing. She knows that in surrendering to making, she is remade. What have you to learn from your fellow Sagittarian? This month, begin again. Create what you know you must. It’s necessary for the world and for you.
All night I’ve been sitting in my best friend’s apartment watching videos of visual artist Janine Antoni (Capricorn). We’ve listened to her describe the experience of publicly mopping a floor with ink using her hair. How the mopping and black ink was evocative of her mother, how being down on her hands and knees made her feel vulnerable, and how she reclaimed power from that position.
I was doing work that was about process, about the meaning of the making, trying to have a love-hate relationship with the object. I always feel safer if I can bring the viewer back to the making of it. I try to do that in a lot of different ways, by residue, by touch, by these processes that are basic to all of our lives…
Capricorn, I am thinking about the ways in which you reclaim power. How do you, in the process of making—of creating and manifesting in this world—negotiate the places where power is transferred, where it can be lost? Capricorn, if you feel powerless, you are not powerless… not over your own life, anyway and isn’t that the only life you’ve got? And, if you are down on your hands and knees, make sure it’s because you want to be, because you know that submission is a gift and a demand.