- Listen for the low faint hum, likened to a heartbeat. The abandoned wild paradox of one movement, one life, one existence, and billions of existences. The secret glyph of infinity tattoed on your third eye; do you feel it? / Moon Angels Malakh Halevanah Cards/ Ryan Rebekah Erev
Dear Galaxy of Moon Rabbits,
It took me a long time to write these little letters. I carried each of you with me, chanting the Zodiac under my breath on subway rides, poetry readings, and dinner parties that lasted into the morning. I wanted to give you something good, as a blessing. When this New Year broke open, I was leaving my mother’s house for the second time in my life, broken-hearted (again) over her inability to love me like I need to be loved (wholly). I felt poor and, in many ways, alone. But, I was not alone and I was not poor. My friends were a rich circle of love around me and my girlfriend affixed my mattress to her car with a true butch grace. Dear reader, you were also with me—giving me purpose.
Let this be the year we make better fools of ourselves. Let this be the year that the love we need comes to us in great generous waves—even if it is not from the direction we’ve been looking toward. Let this be the year that justice feels possible, imaginable. In a world where power is always linked to subjugation, let this be the year we speak to power and it learns to say our names with tenderness in its mouth.
All My Love,
Gala Galactic Rabbit
P.S. Thank you Claire for being the best reader and the most Clairvoyant.
P.P.S. If you want to make a small donation to the writing of these letters, I appreciate all donations. I am endlessly grateful for the gifts I receive and they help me sustain my practice (and fill my refrigerator). Also, the “monthly” function doesn’t work!
What do you dream when the Black Sea calls you home? A body racked with dreaming. I don’t know, dear friend, I’ve all but lost the language of the sea. I wake with an image of my mouth, as if it is all I can remember. I haven’t walked down to the ocean shore, or braced myself against that salt wind singing there.
Have you? Have you left footprints along the wet sand, cold water lapping your numb ankles, a small body sinking into the pliant earth? If neither of us are there… I’ve found you through internet light-beams, here in my dark room where I’ve placed three Lightening Whelks on my windowsill and a knife shaped like a mermaid’s tail.
Come over. Our rooms keep us safe while we lose the ones we love. Let’s make mobiles out of planets that we know and watch them dance across the ceiling: this is Mercury, this is Ceres, a woman’s face with her future cut right out. This crumbling vortex of beautiful sorrows—it needs us, doesn’t it? That’s why it keeps breaking our hearts, because it needs us—poor thing.
“I must be a mermaid,” said (Pisces) Anais Nin. “I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” To love you is to follow you past the body’s limits. All my life, I have walked to the edge of a darkly lit pier and leapt off for you. There, in the underwater world, were sunken Wonder Wheels and glittering scales of women dressed like gorgeous demons.
In the silt sand caverns where we slow danced, a jukebox drowned the sad woman songs. Crazy for tryin’… crazy for cryin’…. crazy for loving you. Yes, you were crazy, I was crazy, in some dry universe the clock chimed midnight—we became regular girls kissing—and it was another year where no one knew how to give their heart to anyone fully and without regret.
Good thing, then, that some of us don’t belong in the dry universe. Pisces, it’s time for you to remember the world you were born to imagine, to create. A world where love is an underwater crystal cave and work is a coral reef—bright red and surprising to touch.
It was the Pride Weekend when I (wo)maned a booth for Parisa wearing panties that said Dirty Queer on the ass, fishnets, and knee high boots. When you came to me, I’m sure you knew I’d say yes. Days later, we drank a little whiskey, a pit bull puppy burrowed at my feet, and you played your accordion for me (yes, we lived inside a queer dream). I was not surprised to find you crying on top of me. I felt in that moment, as many femmes must, like a fragile nest holding a fragile bird.
And, it might do us good to examine who gets to be the nest and who gets to be the bird if we didn’t already know that we are always one and the other. And, it might serve us to negotiate ways in which lovers can be good to each other if I hadn’t said goodbye to you so easily, parked in a van by the needle exchange.
What I want to evoke is my ordinary cruelty: how you tried to give me a home—how I left you. Sometimes we are cruel, lover, sometimes leaving is the best we can do. And, if this year is new, it is new with our old stories inside it. We might make mistakes again, we might both be birds, but we are not as fragile as we were.
When, weeks ago, you offered me your empty apt, I was grateful but didn’t think much of it. We met over brunch and, afterward, three keys attached to a beaded strawberry fattened my pocket. How was I to know that I would spend NYE and the day following amongst your charged altars and magic cards? That your bed would carry my body and the women I love softly (as if for the first time) into the New Year, binding us together like flowers that know nothing about death?
One woman lying on her back with whale medicine at her throat—yes it was hers—but I thought of you and how you were with us watching. Recording the history of untethered love and wild resistance. I filled the bathtub with hot water and salt. Someone started crying in the laundry closet and we held her. In your home we were sanctified and made new.
If you are ever afraid your love is not enough, my hoofed angel, I stroke your fur and feel the golden threads. A world holding tiny worlds inside itself—you create micro universes with your loving attention. Anyone who is dear to you is dear to God.
If there were a time machine we would both get on. Go back to our young hearts, our small furred animals, leash-less. We would be gentle with ourselves, each other. I would let you find my hand in the dark; I would walk with you slowly toward who we are now.
Instead, I remember the way the world ate at you. How your body was a sliver in the night—shining and gone. I remember the dance floor and our delighting, the lovers who looked into you like one might into a mirror, the pills and potions that did you no good.
In a story about the edge of love and violence, Gemini Lidia Yuknavitch writes:
This is kind of how we get through our lives: we tell ourselves stories so that what’s happening becomes something we can live with. Necessary fictions.
Maybe I had some hard lessons to learn about the difference between doing good work and trying too hard to be a woman.
Woman. Like anyone even knows what that is still.
You don’t have to let fear write the story of your life. You don’t have to prove your worth. Our failures are just moments in time, the weight they bear is the weight we give them. This month, I want you to imagine that being a woman, being a man, being gender-fluid force never contained fully by the structures imagined in this lifetime is not about defining your limits. Imagine the edge of your destiny like a body blurring with the infinite universe. Your heart is shaped—more or less—like everyone’s heart, start there and work your way out.
In a small apartment, on NYE, we are like planets staying close to each other. If we are strangers, tonight we are not strangers. I am your witness, watch you pull yourself out of a bad orbit. I have so much to tell you already, you say. You put your hand on my back to steady yourself. Little moon, you change shape all night. Snake charmer. Fox barking the hungry call of midnight lovers who must risk it all to find each other. The pendulum swings open and wide beside your heart, for hours you wear a lightening bolt between your breasts.
This is an image of your power. On your best days, it saves you, brings the right people into your life and turns harmful energies away at the door. But, there are other days—days you have seen too much of lately—when your power to make the best of your environment becomes a burden, leaves you feeling depleted and smaller than yourself.
In my hand I am holding a card for you. It is the Eight Of Swords. It’s asking you to clear a mental path through the debris of expectations and emotional hang-ups that don’t belong to you. This card is asking you what boundaries mean to you, what you are willing to do to maintain them, and how honest you are willing to get when your wellbeing is on the line.
For as long as I can remember I have hated zoos. To see a lion pacing a small enclosure, his great haunches tight, his big beautiful head swinging from side to side—searching—it filled me with immense dread. I was afraid of a world that taught children such a cruel way to love an animal. But zoos are only emblematic of a larger cultural failure.
[A trophy hunter poses with her kill. She is proud and easy on the eyes, which does not mitigate the corpse that lies inanimate beside her. On the internet, someone asks, “What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?”]
We have been taught from a very early age, that to love something that is powerful we must strip it of its wildness, this desire to command love’s gaze and contrive devotion. We want to come very close, the tips of our noses almost brushing the bars of the cage so we can be intimate. But, one can’t love a lion like that.
There are times we must lie to get through this life and take care of others. But, if you have found yourself clawing at the walls…if a lover, or a job, or a project has left you feeling trapped—if you have felt your heart dying—don’t let yourself be tamed. To be alive is be free, Leo. Break the cage, come clean.
I get caught up in the word “deserve” often. What does it mean to deserve someone, something, some world beyond this one? When the Black college students of Yale and NYU demand a learning environment they might feel wholly seen and acknowledged in, should it matter whether someone deems them deserving in particular? Who are these someones that decide when “fair is fair,” and why do they matter?
The demand is the thing, a small bird with a hungry throat. If the birds are not fed, there are no birds, no music, no seeds, and no flowers—a chain broken. But, lovers, the chain belongs to everyone, its work is to keep this world together. Each link deserves the next.
O Virgo, I have seen you drag the broken chain behind you. I have seen you pocket fistfuls of food while birds starve in your heart. I can’t tell you what you deserve, Virgo, I can’t promise you that love is always going to be enough. But, in the great light of you magnanimous spirit and your soft sensitive heart, let me remind you this: what your pain wants most is forgiveness.
Every couple of years I notice articles circling the internet describing the passing down of intergenerational trauma. How our fears and sorrows, our deepest sources of grief, are etched into our DNA and delivered into the bodies that come from our bodies. A sadness like a vampire inside you—immortal. These sorts of scientific findings compel me to wonder how quiet pain is measured. I think about the way my mother’s face turns dark at the mention of sex. I think about my father’s bad heart and how, when we were states apart, my body felt him fall to the floor. I fell down too; I cracked my chin open. Unconscious, I pissed myself and was ashamed.
In an essay about Serena Williams, in Citizen, Claudia Rankine writes:
Yes, and the body has memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight. The body is the threshold across which each objectionable call passes into consciousness—all the unintimidated, unblinking, and unflappable resilience does not erase the moments lived through, even as we are eternally stupid or everlastingly optimistic, so ready to be inside, among, a part of the games.
Libra, yesterday your body was a living record of all that has happened to you and before you. Today, your body is just a human body—it is muscle, blood, and bone. In order to protect it, the stories that evoke shame must have a different ending. You must be brave enough to write them.
This summer, my lover was listening to Bonnie Rait sing Angel Of Montgomery with John Prine on the car radio. She was moved to tears and moved me with her. She’s been singing it all year now, another sign ruled by Mars. When I come to Bonnie, I go to the dark-side of Scorpio magic where the firey goodness I carry with me feels extinguished in the swamp of my depression.
Me, I’m lying in bed under this Mars Retrograde, Scorpio-singing along:
There’s flies in the kitchen I can hear ’em there buzzing
And I ain’t done nothing since I woke up today.
How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening and have nothing to say.
Dear witch sister, if you, like me, can feel Mars spiral back inside you—hold on and ride. Despair is a good teacher to the ones of us who have been students of melancholy all our lives. Despair is a god we understand. This month let yourself carry the sad songs in your bones. Make skeleton music in your sleep. When the day rises, rise with it. Wear your invisible blue cloak to the office, reply to the emails while humming sodalite vibrations. Return home, get on your knees, pray.
Last night, at a bar in Bushwick, a Cancer friend and I talked about what it takes to overcome anxiety so that one might write—create—do the damn thing. “We must put lazy away,” I told her. “We’re not lazy, we would spend all night searching a moonlit desert for our lover’s ring, lose a whole afternoon to polishing our grandmother’s good silver. It’s just that writing terrifies us.”
In response to writing terror, her psychiatrist put her on a beta-blocker, a drug archers use to keep their arrows true. Stringing an imaginary bow across her chest, she mimed a pointed arrow and said, “there are pills that let you shoot steady between babum babum babum.” A parallel world exists, dear reader, where archers and writers share the same cyborgian cell structure in their aim toward perfection. “Are you still on the drug?” I asked her, enchanted by the futurity of our emotions, by the sound of an arrow that splits a heartbeat in half. “No. It took away my adrenaline.”
Turns out we need the terror to create, turns out there is no perfect pill, no easy solution that lets us be our best selves comfortably and without risk. Besides, a professional archer can’t be caught using performance enhancement drugs. Like them, you must learn to shoot from the heart and not despite it.
In a coffee shop in the Middle of Nowhere, Brooklyn, I am listening to Capricorn Aquarian cusp Chan Marshall sing Metal Heart on the Late Show with David Letterman. Somewhere between performance art and public unraveling, Chan’s body slips in and out of rhythm, in and out of itself. She holds the microphone like it pains her to bring it near her mouth.
I want to think about what Cat Power’s, or any Capricorn’s, metal heart feels like. What compels a metal heart to ache? Does it clang painfully when you beat your chest in atonement? Does it feel like a burden? Chan Marshall wrote this song from out of a nightmare, an earthquake. The earth started shaking, and dark spirits were smashing up against every window of my house … I had a tape recorder with me so that if they found my body, they’d know my soul was taken. They’d have proof. What was I going to say to people? I didn’t know, so I started singing all these songs.
Capricorn. This new moon, I want you to imagine your metal heart like a canteen you carry with you across long dry distances, sipping from slowly and with wise restraint. Your metal heart is not extra weight, not too hard to hold. It will get you through this dark winter road and to the other side.