GALACTIC RABBIT LOVE NOTES 3/28/17

I’m listening to Graceland in my best friend’s apartment singing “I know what I know…I’ll sing what I said.” It’s a song about a woman with a Fullbright and something else, learning and unlearning ways of seeing each other. It’s sort of an album about one kind of America, the kind that I’ve always felt outside of. My family didn’t listen to music together, not Russian and not American, and all the music I knew was MTv mornings and Brooklyn side streets. Honestly, the first time I even heard this record was about three years ago, riding in a car with Claire through Spring time in Michigan—which are all about deluge & thaw—she knew all the words and now I do too. It’s hopeful, something about it, gaining popularity the way it did during the Iran-Contra affair and the final years of the Cold War. Playing on as the AIDS & HIV epidemic spread.

Was he thinking about that too? Were his “role models” gone because a disease was ravaging the most talented bodies of his generation? Then, there’s the fact the he travelled to South Africa to collaborate with artists while the rest of the world divested due to Apartheid. It was considered a betrayal, appropriative, naïve, and then it was considered brilliant. I mean, I’m thinking about time, decades of learning and unlearning. How the world keeps feeling like it could end at any moment and then how it goes on. How creators have been making irreverent choices in the name of art’s higher call for as long as there’s been the threat of war and long before that too.

I’m thinking about us in this moment, this deluge of deceits, each progressive step the U.S made in the past two decades threatened, dismantled, and proudly erased by not only the administration but over half of this country. I’m thinking about hope, who dared to have it eight years ago and who dares to have it now. How these deportations are not new, how Guantanamo Bay never closed, how black people are still getting murdered without consequence, how so much of the responsibility in Syria’s destruction sits squarely on our shoulders. On mine and on yours too.  Four transwomen of color killed in one week. Four.

On my first date with my new therapist, she asked me about “the important pieces of the pie,” family, relationships, career, health, and then the radial influences, leisure, pets, hobbies, etc. She didn’t ask me about the world, the large pie I stand on balancing my smaller pie, and I didn’t tell her. I’m telling you now, reader, and it’s not because the stars told me to or because the masks capitalism wears are falling off one by one into a polluted sea… although they are. It’s because, as the feminist adage goes, the personal is always political. And, the celestial is always also material, what falls apart around us falls apart between us. As above so below. So, when we are tired, burnt out from fighting, calling, yelling in the streets, we must turn to each other. We must come back to each other in the event of separation. Hold each other accountable, hold each other with fierce critical tenderness. We must speak the truth over and over until it is the only thing that’s left, find new ways to love ourselves out of this.

For You,
Galactic Rabbit

 

P.S. Thanks Claire for being my best and first reader.
P.P.S. THANKS TO EVERYONE for reading this and writing me and supporting me loving me the best way you know how.
One day, when I have less anxiety, I’ll write thank you notes to all of you.
P.P.S. Thanks Jennifer Leigh for being the best seer & Kim Menig & Angela Watrous & Kyoko Nakamaru for being my angels.

 


 

AQUARIUS

For some time now you’ve been collecting. Every day something small, a gesture of kindness toward you, a word that unnerved you, an evocative object completely innocuous to others and yet deeply resonant for you. It’s been an important part of your path, this mindful walk toward knowing assembled piecemeal, this collage of life you mean to compose slowly and with great care. Care is an important word here too because the way you care, your kind of tenderness, is not always obvious—not to those you love and not to you either—but it is deliberate and it is deeply intentional. I have known Aquarians who have forfeited their most ardently pursued missions in response to love’s call. I have known Aquarians who have kept passion and desire in a lockbox for years, choosing to be a safe harbor in exchange for denying their hearts.

Do you know, Aquarius, that every star sign is associated with a Tarot card from the Major Arcana? Yours is The Star (XVII), who carries water and pours it into the rivers and into the earth. She is a visionary card, forward thinking, attuned to her higher calling. The ability to envision your future self or selves is a type of intuition and power few have, but you have it.

What to do with a power that gives you visions and asks you to find your way there? Trust it. Trust that you know who you are and what you feel, even if what you feel is pain. Trust that everything you’ve been doing so far has led you here, even if here feels different from what you envisioned. Trust yourself in love, to fall in it and stay in it, to ask better questions and surpass expectations. Trust yourself to learn from your mistakes and to know when a risk is worth taking because, most often, it is.

 

PISCES

There were years when we were lovers of a sort, although no memory accounts for it. When we found each other, out of a mutual loneliness, there was a hole in the fabric of the universe and we set about trying to mend it—believing that we could. I knew the distinct feel of your sheets, the song you liked to put on upon waking, the way you liked your coffee, the feel of your lover’s breast in my hand (because we were boundless, because we wanted to be free). We barely talked about the grief we were born to carry, about being the daughters our mothers drank from like wells. We took care of each other the way night takes care of music, we granted chaos permission and stayed for the aftermath. That is, until we couldn’t, until all there was left to do was leave this underworld city and our hearts too—buried with the ones we lost.

Because the city follows you wherever you go, you have learned to be your own city. Because ruin is also a site of beauty, you are the architect of how others perceive you. It took you years to grow a new heart, didn’t it, Pisces? To trust, against all odds, that there’s something thriving inside of you even as the world teaches you over and over that it will never get better.

Someone must die, must leave you, fire you, miss the whole gorgeousness of you for the parts of you that are wounds—that remain sites of trauma, as is the law of wounds. So, it is up to you to the captain of your lifeboat, the light of the lighthouse, the final push sea that washes you onto shore. Communal pleasure will play its role because joy is necessary and community is vital, you know this. But, neither will sustain if you are not clear-eyed, if your foundation isn’t stable. Note down what you bring into the room of love and what is taken from you. Envision the person you want to grow into, what city of love will you build for her? How will you protect her and honor the risks she’s taken? Walk through your setbacks as she would walk through them, proud and unafraid.

 

ARIES

The sun is setting in South Brooklyn and I’m writing against it, invested in the last shreds of light as they bound the wide avenue resting on an awning or window or my hand right now as I imagine you. I want to talk about dreams. Not the sleeping kind that visit you at night with shrouded meaning. The kind you harbor within yourself, slowly built, dismantled, and built again, waiting for their moment to drop sail and ship out. Despite their shape-shifting (and yours), the bones of these dreams stay with you. You, more than anyone know their power over your selfhood and path.

Over my head, I hear Alicia singing these dreams will make you feel brand new and I think maybe she’s right. It’s like when you pick up a fiction book and you fall in love with a character. You cry for them and you remember what it’s like to love a book, what it’s like to be a child with so many possible worlds in her heart. The book finds that child inside you. She’s reading a book by the window and rushing to get to the end of the chapter before the sun sets. She forgets lamps exist. She forgets anything she needs to forget. You read the book and re-discover the girl, you are evoked.

For a long time, Aries, you’ve forged ahead with sword in hand. A warrior, you made a way where no way was, but what for? A warrior was a child once and all children are dreamers so a warrior is a dreamer first and always—no matter what illusions fall away or what trouble comes. Aries, when you set out, you believed you could build a world for yourself. A beautiful world, a world worth living in. That world is still yours if you want it. Protect that world.

 

TAURUS

In the hotel room you let me share with you, I’m always sleeping when you leave and you’re sleeping when I return. Between the rustled wake of a bed shifting or the jar of a door opening, we try to offer each other a moment of re-connection. I drunkenly recount the strangest events of the night before declaring I can speak no more and you gladly fall back dreaming. You, through the gauzy light of morning, tell me the three places I can find you throughout the day and of course I find you in none of them. It occurs to me that I’m always trying to find you, not because you’re missing and not because it’s urgent. Sitting across from each other sipping coffee, we’re developing a “havingness”—an ability to receive abundance—and reflecting it to each other.

And you are the one who is always teaching what endurance looks like, how to grieve with dignity, how to love generously even when you feel like love is the last thing you were built to give. Our conversations are mostly dry jokes that ride on the back of a mute loyalty to not turn away from each other—no matter what the other sees. Keep on, you say, when you know I want to quit and I feel in you a great will.  Keep on and I’ll keep on, I hear you say, I have a purpose, you have a purpose.

Taurus, there will be weeks when your endless projects will indeed feel endless and your tireless heart will exhaust itself on people who don’t know the first thing about taking care of you. And, yes, there will be desire, collected and unspent, bellowing in the bull pen of your body. Let it be known that to be adored is something you deserve in this world. To give yourself away and be claimed, proudly, soft and powerful at once. All the beautiful things you want to make in the world? Keep on. All the ways in which you are trying to better yourself? Keep on. All the doors in you that you closed a long time ago, afraid of what would come? Open them.

 

GEMINI

For me, writing isn’t a way of being public or private; it’s just a way of being. The process is always full of pain, but I like that. It’s a reality, and I just accept it as something not to be avoided.

-Jamaica Kincaid

Not long ago, we walked circles around a hotel bar, which was ringed with white walls and artificial rivers. Your hands wound and unwound around themselves. We wanted to dance or I wanted to be dancing with you or we were engaged in a very measured dance where we kept our bodies near to each other and looked outward. Your shape-shifting form of care made it impossible to guess who was tending to whom and whose needs. Instead, it seemed that by the very fact of nearness, we re-assured each other that it was safe to gather all the information the world was offering us and report back. What have you found? What do you think it means? What are you willing to risk to know more?

It would be impossible not to notice that underneath all the gathering, all the parsing of visual stimuli, signified and signifier, there was pain. Yours and mine. A quiet thing. And, it is true that people who don’t know how to make sense of their pain spend a lot of time making sense of everything else, as if starting from the farthest point and working back to the body. As if what was found and righted out there will serve as instruction manual.

We know people are not their living situations, their jobs, their books, and certainly not their significant others. But, these are the parts of our lives we use as scaffolding. We start from the outside and look for whatever gives us structure and encloses us in its meaning. If the structure is maintained and built intentionally it will do well to shelter the building. The building in the center, which is us, remains. The building is inherently a site of beauty and ruin. It wants to be rebuilt, supported, and modeled in its best interest. The scaffolding of your life will not do any of those things for you. The scaffolding is only a shelter, it’s you who are the architect.

 

CANCER 

When you are a creature who lives in water and traverses land, you know the difference between a life lived subject to turbulent waves and a life exposed to birds of prey. On land’s surface, what can harm you is unpredictable. Seagulls, too, become birds of prey, as do fishermen and careless wanderers. Comparatively, the sea is familiar, you feel the currents shift through you and move with them, you dig deep inside the sand and wait. But, in this life nothing is as familiar as you want it to be and even our most intimate landscapes will shift right from under us. Everything you feel and have felt is not everything you know. One is always subject to what some of us call fate and what the rest of us call circumstance.

This is the year of accountability, of pushing yourself to take note of where you are and what has gotten you here and at what cost. This is the moment when I tell you, Cancer, that although there is much unwritten in our lives—our circumstances are subject to our will. Just as our nation must look unflinchingly at who represents us now and how we, as citizens, are culpable, so too must you look head on at the god of your life. What is the driving force of your decisions? Is it love? Is it fear? If this country insists on stealing the truth from us, we must do our damnedest to live in our truth.

Cancer, insisting on the familiar is not truth, it’s coping. On the surface of the sea, the waves argue and the sun beats down. Avoidance isn’t the same as forgiveness. Let go the past and your past self in it, then you are ready to serve the higher good.

 

LEO

It’s late night when you text me from the other coast asking “Are you up, still? Are people up?” And, of course, I’m up because I’m always up—trying to figure out how to talk to owls and listen to morning bird song—trying to have it all. It’s always the same sadness, not the one between us but the ones within us, we were probably born to carry them. And, maybe we’re born to carry each other too. Otherwise, how did such heavy souls find each other and in finding each other generate so much lightness?

You post an article about old souls being forever lonely because they’re so particular. I post a small grief relating to my mother and dozens of women answer, pulling from their own well of loss. I am reminded, again and again, that loneliness can be a mood, an invoked state. When we walk through darkening streets alone, I am calling you and you are calling me, soon one of us will answer—something we both know and are better for it.

Love brought you here and it keeps you here—but love is a child you raise in the house of yourself. Behold pleasure, behold betrayal, behold the beauty of expectation—the hopefulness of it in such a hopeless world. I guess what I’m trying to give you is reassurance that you can have what you want, you can be loved for exactly who you are but you’ve got to be vulnerable to know that. That means risking loneliness, risking your ego, risking admitting you’ve made a mistake without being afraid that mistake will define you.

 

VIRGO

On the patchy green gay magnet that is Dolores Park, we were in the summer of our discontent. We loved those idle clouds and furrowed our brows at love, its magnitude of destruction, its lure. I wrote the poems walking to you and read them reclining in the grass, you said they were good when they were not good. Remember Pride? How my ex sat down with the girl she was leaving me for on the scarf I had spread on the grass? I stared, amazed at how much pain a gesture so small could evoke. You were livid for me, shooting off sparks. We walked around the block punching the air and swigging Jameson.

I think about that time as a time of truth. We were in a city that was not ours (but would later become yours), risking more than we had to risk. We had come because of relationships but something else too. A deep need to fight for the world we want to have or could have if we just believed hard enough.

Today, so many years later, I’m think about risk and I’m thinking about anger. I’m thinking that a full moon in your sign illuminated your darkness—where you keep your anger, where you keep your grief. Then the moon left you but all those feelings resonate, stay. It has taken you so many years to get exactly where you are and, in many ways, those years have served to clear the debris so you can begin the most important journey of your life. You can be angry at what you’ve lost, you can grieve what has passed, you can feel it all, Virgo. Just remember to look around and be damn proud of how far you’ve come to be so near your truest self.

 

LIBRA

For the past month, I’ve moved through an unceasing sadness. It hasn’t always been bold or thick, sometimes it was a cold air I pulled into my lungs as I walked across the street. Sometimes, I would wake up with it already gripping my heart. Today I left my apartment and started walking north. I knew I would eventually come to the most Southern point of Prospect Park. At the archway, I was struck with the memory of my first girlfriend who had lived just across the street from that very entrance. Like a time-traveler, I felt my body become soft and the years pull away. Suddenly it was 6am on a summer morning twelve years ago, I had stayed up all night watching her sleep and slipped out with the first sliver of light. There she was, wearing pajama pants running out after me, asking me to come back, calling me her pretty faggot and fingering my velvet blazer from the night before. She was asking me to believe that she could love me.

So many times, I said goodbye to her at that archway, a visceral memory of her boy-body swaying toward and away from mine. Today, I walked past the arch and toward the pond. Yes, we’d sat by the pond before, feeding ducks. Now, a swan moved across the muddy surface, a handful of geese spraying each other at the bank. I sat on a bench nearby, very aware of how cold the air felt.

“Make a choice,” Stephen Dunn wrote in a poem called Between Angels, “to read or love or watch, / and increasingly I watch.” The birds always return, although they are not always the same birds. It doesn’t matter which birds they are, we recognize them as the universe making a gesture. A gesture of what? A circle. You have loved before; you have felt greater sorrow and greater joy.  “I do not mind living / like this. I cannot bear / living like this. / Oh, everything’s true / at different times.”

 

SCORPIO

I want to admit to you that I spent the morning listening to women singing folk songs. It started with a conversation about spring, how flowers want the rain although it’s cold, how sometimes, what they want can kill them if there is too much of it. And, of course, most of those songs I listened to were about love. Well, not love exactly. Sort of around love or love as a kind of path we walk around ourselves. You know that moment in “Closer to Fine” (I know you know that moment) when Amy and Emily sing “Well, sadness has a hunger that’s insatiable and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.” I’ve been thinking about that lightness, looking for songs, poems, essays, anything that calls me to that lightness.

Over text, I reached out to a Scorpio I know, a poet—someone who could be my friend but isn’t yet because friendship takes time and is precious. I said “You know when you’re sort of absorbing and absorbing everyone’s struggles and sadness? Then you realize that you’re drowning in it, in your sadness and the sadness of those you love, and you think “what is my life?” And, even though you know better it feels like your life might be nothing?” “Yes, I do know all of that,” she texted back, “You need to fuck someone, babe, don’t you think?” We went back and forth on the merits of fucking “someone.” The lightness, I think, was the fact that I could text a practical stranger and have them think about what might bring me pleasure.

To listen for the call of lightness is not easy, but you can try. The trying is a beautiful work. In a field by a farm or wooded area, the sound of lightness might come. I have heard it in the tongue of a donkey named Romeo, licking a brick of salt over and over. The rasp of it. And, the horse that Romeo protected, there was lightness when the horse stood still and breathed out softly as I ran my hands over its flank. In the city, there are no horses, but there are young queers who will offer you friendship and talk to you about “the artist’s way” over coffee. They will run their hands through their hair and glance up at you and make you feel wise and fragile all at once—like yeah, maybe you should fuck someone but, also, the flowers are breaking through the earth right now. Some because of the rain, some in spite of it.

 

SAGITTARIUS

When my Sagittarius friend comes over, she brings me 5 types of liquor in small glass bottles because “I like little bottles.” I pour her a drink from a big bottle I have and we sit across from each other talking about women we know who are fearless in their creativity. It’s a windy night but we go into it anyway, I’m convinced there’s a party at the local bar but I’m wrong. We sit for a while at a private table and I don’t know how it comes up but, all of a sudden, I’m telling her that no one has ever taught me how to love anyone, that I had no examples of it growing up. It might be a wild claim but I notice she’s crying. The tears well in her eyes without brimming over.

She’s someone I’ve known for a long time. When I look at her, I see her present self and her past self. I see the young queer who moved to NYC in search of truth. Who was raised Mennonite, that is, who was home-schooled and sheltered and imagined her own queerness out of the secret of her heart and ran toward it. Bleached her hair, made lattes, earned a leather jacket from an on-and-off-again lover. I have watched her absorb the world, witness it, fall in and out love, quietly enduring her private sorrows in ways I’ve learned to recognize as her grace. At the bar, I hold her for a while because she lets me.

I can see her future self, too, but it’s a not a guarantee. The shape of our future selves change all the time because we want them to. And, of course there are days when our future selves seem impossibly difficult to fathom. When we’re either hard on ourselves for how little progress we’ve made towards our dreams or we convince ourselves we don’t know what we want—that we don’t know who we are.

It’s all a trick, Sagittarius, an illusion. You are never not on your path. Time works on you, cities affect you, childhoods instill difficult mechanisms of avoidance, but who you are—oh, that is a knowing that never leaves you, that always drives you.

 

CAPRICORN 

My friend L calls me and when I pick up the phone, she asks very frankly, “Do you think good triumphs over evil?” I laugh because this is the kind of conversations I am always having with L. It’s been years of impromptu political and philosophical debates spurred by some small exchange at her office or an article she’s read online. In many ways, these exchanges fill me with a deep gratitude, it’s a gift to have a friend who is so different in her approach to the world, so willing to change her own mind or at least consider the minds of others. It is also a gift to have a friend who, no matter how much you disagree with her, will never allow that disagreement to breed hostility between us.

I don’t take long to answer her question. I’ve been thinking about this world all day and the horrible things that happen in it. “No,” I am sure of my answer, “good doesn’t always triumph. Sometimes the terrible thing is the thing that remains.” She accepts my answer without interrogation, it’s not really the reason she called. It’s a three-hour phone call and we’ve covered everything from the DAPL protest to the fact that my mother will never be the mother I want.

I’m listening to her but I’m also above us, listening to a conversation between two women who have known each other since they were 14 years old. I’m thinking about what binds her to me, a kind of mute loyalty to the friends we make in this life—a desire to be each other’s support systems. And, then I’m above our conversation, higher up, thinking about the people who come into our lives who inevitably disappoint us in some way that can feel irredeemable. What makes someone irredeemable? Perhaps this is just another way the evil triumphs over good—erasing it—I’m not sure. I’m just sitting here, after getting the phone, thinking about compassion, I’m thinking, Capricorn, about how it’s important for you to try and see the good in everyone, the possibility for good. Even if you can only love certain people from a distance.  Capricorn, maybe there are some betrayals you could learn to forgive, some fights that are no longer worth fighting.

 

Little Summer Disappearance

Hi Sweethares,

I’ve decided to let this month lie down and bring you new love notes come September’s opening, use August to “recharge my inner crystals”–yes, I wrote that and I laughed at myself and then I decided, no, I’m serious. I’ll also be working on my other writing projects (did you know these love-notes could well become a memoir!?).

This will be my first month off in years and I’m doing my best to see it as a good choice, a tiny reboot, rather than a failure of dedication.

Anyway, I love you. The Moon loves you. The Aquarius Lunar Eclipse, it’s revelatory and revealing. Guard your secrets and polish your ambitions.

Fate, up against your will.

JULY 2016 Love Notes

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Dear Summer Hares,

Today is July 19th and there is a full moon in Capricorn. Today would have been my father’s 79th birthday so I’m thinking of him and who he taught me to be and who he never got to be and why. My father was already disabled when we came to America. He had a vulnerable heart and spent most of his time being my caregiver, organizing the apartment, and hiding needful things in useful places where we never found them again. Once, in a life before I ever knew him, he had been a photographer, a “speculator” in Moscow’s shadow markets, and an alcoholic. My mother said he “loved women” and that I must have taken after him. He spent a lot of time alone in this country and when he died, his death was just like his life here—neglected by doctors, numerical, shrouded in a language he never understood.

When I think about my place in this country, as a refugee turned citizen, as a Jew fleeing violence and a girl too gay to ever go back, I wonder what it feels like to belong anywhere and at what cost? Citizenship is dissociation, the art of forgetting: to belong in America is to forget America. What wars has this country waged for its citizens and against them? We fill our tanks, we pay our taxes. Who walks blithely over the graves black and brown bodies make—men and women both, named and unnamed? This toxic whiteness—which is not new but is also not inevitable—is a pollution we accept, build houses on, grow food in, swim. It is a thriving not in spite of death but because of it. Patriarchy—root of capitalism, which is fascism’s disguise, which claims there are those of us who are disposable—how can we extricate ourselves from its power? That, too, is a mythology our money has made real.

I spend my days unraveling, following a thread of violence and suppression that only has to whisper its presence in order to expel power over me and who I believe I am meant to be in this world. And what about you, reader? What have you agreed to so that you might feel this free?

-GR

P.S. You can support the writing of these astro-loveletters at my paypal site OR

You can donate to FIERCE instead, an organization I value in NYC
“FIERCE is an LGBTQ youth of color-led organization. We build the leadership, political consciousness, and organizing skills of LGBTQ youth.  In New York City, we organize local grassroots campaigns to fight police harassment and violence and increased access to safe public space for LGBTQ youth. ”


 

Aquarius

It was not until I became a student of women’s liberation ideology that I could understand and forgive my father. I needed an ideology that would define his behavior in context. The black movement had given me an ideology that helped explain his colorism (he did fall in love with my mother partly because she was so light; he never denied it). Feminism helped explain his sexism. I was relieved to know his sexist behavior was not something uniquely his own, but rather an imitation of the behavior of the society around us.
All partisan movements add to the fullness of our understanding of society as a whole. They never detract; or, in any case, one must not allow them to do so. Experience adds to experience.

-Alice Walker “Can I Be My Brother’s Sister?” Ms., August 1979

Today I’m thinking about the fullness of your experience, what you allow yourself to feel
and know—deep in your bones—and what you file away for a later date when you think you’ll be ready. Our books only teach us so much. And countries too, with their invented histories, their every-day pleasures and heaps of garbage, what can they tell you about your purpose in this world? Your reflection glimmers beautiful in shop windows and is gone.
I want to believe, given all this war and death and violent denial, that this summer has been easy for no one. Still, time presses down on us with her thumb and demands work, demands we eat, demands we smile when someone takes a picture of us standing under a waterfall. And you must go to the waterfall, Aquarius, no matter how broken the world. You must go to the waterfall and watch the cataract beat down on the rocks at its foot, watch the water shape them. In what other types of suffering is beauty born? And when is beauty a seed? And when is beauty a burden?

Pisces

You run the hot water over the dishes in the sink, of which there are many. They are evidence of a beautiful morning, a morning making food for a lover or a friend or your kid—who is coloring now in the other room and really only sometimes on the table instead of the paper—which is to say, evidence of your life. There is soap too, in this water, breaking down grease from butter and meat and from meals before this meal. Is this what it’s like to have a beautiful heart? Small tasks adding up to a daily life, which is not removed, which has today to worry about and tend to.

You tend to it. You pluck each dish from the hot basin and think about gloves, about needing some. You can do this. You can clean each separate thing, sometimes gently and sometimes with your elbow deep in it. This work is an offering, a gratitude, a time to think about the rest of the day and the many meals that follow this one. Not all of them will be beautiful but each one will be a choice you have made in response to some kind of hunger.

Once, life was a different room everyday. You walked in and walked out, you were always changing but nothing felt changed. These days, you walk into the same room and it is the room of yourself. In this room, you let the right ones in and you know you are strong to care and be cared for, both. In this room, you do the work, you get dirty and you come clean.

Aries

In response to a question about the future of Queer art in relation to “Society’s” progress and growing acceptance of “Others,” Avram Finkelstein, famous for his political and collective-focused art (Silence = Death poster), replied:

I think the idea of queerness as we’re talking about it at the moment, in academic circles, the idea of queerness as a way of describing otherness will always be true. There’s only room for 1 percent to rule the world. We can’t all rule the world, although, I’ve spent my life trying to figure out how we can.

And that’s what my work is about—it’s a battle, and you never stop fighting, and every time you figure out one way to navigate power structures, they figure out another way to absorb it, so it’s a constant, ongoing struggle.

The generosity of the artist’s vision, his ability to balance grief and action, pride and humility—I wasn’t surprised to find out he was an Aries. Aries, the visionary, the optimistic heart, the one who believes a skill they don’t have is just something they haven’t learned yet.

For the past few weeks your generosity has drained you. In order to care for those who depend on you, you split your world into two: creator and nurturer. You felt like you had to choose and in choosing lost sight of how—in the many other lives you’ve lived—the two not only met but also thrived at once. Aries, you maker of new possibilities, rest up and let your collective visions return to you. Imagine a life where the nurturer in you has boundaries that rise up out of love and never out of fear, where the creator in you makes art that is a reason to live in this world.

Taurus

In another world we are walking shoulder to shoulder through an exhibit called Twice Militant. It’s at the Brooklyn Museum’s Sackler Center and it’s all about Lorraine Hansberry. We want to honor her brilliance of course, to scan her ingenious arguments for the liberation of women, black and gay in particular, her commitment to being exceptional and her suffering from it. Her suffering feels very present in the room the way genius can change the air when it is made visible.

What holds onto us, what always holds, are the secret things. The lists she wrote privately, her likes and dislikes, her contradictions and her clear river of want:

Lorraine Hansberry, age 32, 1962:

I regret
That love is really as elusive as everybody over 30 knows it to be
….
My consuming loneliness
All the friggin’ hurts in this world
That a certain lady let my letter be read!
The shallowness of the people who have come into (and lately been expelled from) my life.

I like
69 when it really works
The first scotch
The fact that I almost never want the third or even the second when I am alone. Praise fate!
The inside of a lovely woman’s mouth
The way little JW looks in the movies
Her coquettishness
Her behind—those fresh little muscles
Parts of the lingering memory of a betrayer

I am proud
that I am losing some of those fears
that I struggle to work
hard
against many, many things
and on my own
of my people

I should like

to be utterly, utterly in love
to work and finish something

Taurus, as this month comes to a close and the full moon rises thick with strong will, I want to imagine you writing a list. You can start with the easy things—a job that fulfills your strong spirit, when you have enough money to make time with friends luxurious. These things are easy because you know the limits of the material world. Now go deeper. To work and finish something. Now go deeper.

Gemini

You’re in my room with the door closed and I can hear the drill driving into the drywall. All day you’ve followed amiably like a bright kite string as our mutual love, my best friend—your lover, tugged us along. Here to there, this way then that—she’s the boss, even when the plan is in my best interest, even when I’m the one who said Ikea? Fort Tryon Park? She says soft serve AND hot dogs, house margaritas and a whole pizza pie.

We might have our own concerns but none of them apply. Yes bring it all over. Let’s make a room beautiful together, bending seductively over hammers.

It’s not impossible to commit to beauty, after all, to a day spent tightening and un-tightening the same curtain-hanging system. And isn’t this a kind of worship? A kind of being there for each other—the witnessing of daily tasks: bringing bags in from the rain, fumbling for the dropped screw through the under-bed dust bunnies, the sticky margaritas that splash up everywhere.

Dear Gemini, if the words that fill you now seem impossible to say, it is ok to make what you mean. To offer up the physical thing: small offerings, gentle tidings, something material you’ve imbued with love power. This is about ritual and intention. About having a clean heart. But, keep in mind that an offering won’t guarantee you anything, not love or secrets or even a gift in return. An offering is made for the pleasure of giving, the lightness of it. I see you, your Gemini gift might say, you are so important to me—this is a symbol of my gratitude.

 

Cancer
I’m listening to “Don’t Stop Believing” at my local café and the song is turned on too loud (Can one even listen to the song on low? you might ask and I might answer…yes). It’s infiltrating my mind and flooding me with images of who we were a decade ago: irreverent philosophers, whimsical radicals, patriarchy smashers. Who knew Bon Jovi could conjure up such feminisms?

Last week, I found you in the East Village and we took turns people watching. At our final destination, Tompkins Square Park, we watched a six-person cover band sing American hits. Everyone danced in their own way: one women swayed her arms up from her fold-out chair while her husband thrashed around a few feet away, a young man walked the periphery pumping his limbs in rhythm to the beat. We were talking about loss and heartache, about when what we love holds us back and when it helps us grow. We were also talking about people, the people dancing, the people we love, the people walking by with dogs that looked exactly like them.

Even though it looks entirely different than how it once did, I know I grew up in that park. I fell in love with lost girls, I thrashed around in misogynist mosh pits and I want to tell you that it’s ok, everything. That even though we’re grown up, we’re not done yet. When we were young, we felt large in the world and everything was ours. Now we are smaller and so we lose things: our old self-beliefs, the futures we thought we wanted, the parents we imagined we could have. We can’t have everything, Cancer, not even most things. But we can have a bench to sit on, a bad song to sing along to, a good friend who rubs our hand gently and says Even if it feels impossible, one day you’ll be grateful that you lived through this.

Leo

I knew I had no business there, in that stark white basement room full of bodies wringing hands and tapping feet. I went anyway. I went every week on a Thursday evening for a month until, faithfully, I was bestowed a 30-day chip, a coin with the number 1 on one side and the words One Day At A Time on the other. And yes, there was alcoholism in my family, plenty stories of the man my father had been and who my brother was becoming. But, I wasn’t there to think through either of their lives or the effect they had on me. I was just chasing a dead relationship in a foreign city and I needed ways to nurse my sense of self-worth.

What I understood: Sobriety isn’t always practiced in weekly meetings guided by a nameless God and twelve step lists. Sometimes it’s the practice of seriousness in regards to the self, of understanding emotional limits and physically wrenching restraint. I didn’t give up substances, I didn’t get sober, but that month of listening, of impromptu post-meeting dinners held in the generous homes of women with long beaded necklaces and wise eyes, drew a line around my body and defined me: a boundary between my own pain and the pain of others, the place where our lives met and diverged.

This month, I encourage you to think about what sobriety means to you. Even if you are wandering home drunk, even if the soft rattle of Klonopin in your tote bag brings you a sense of safety. I know you might be out there doing the hard work of fighting for your life. I understand that you might be nursing a soda at the bar, leaving parties early because the smell of pot is bringing up waves of nausea. But, Leo, your commitment to yourself—to knowing your own limits—is more than what substances you consume. It’s the relationships you have, the jobs you take on, the amount of time you spend sitting still within your own grief so that you might touch its edges and soften them with that touch.

Virgo

Just as I sat down to write this lovenote a Virgo texted me and asked whether or not she is crazy, a Virgo who I don’t know well, a good friend of good friends, almost family. I couldn’t give her a straight answer, mainly because I know that for many Virgos “crazy” is a loaded word and an even more loaded state of being. Perhaps it’s because Virgos give so much of themselves up to other people, their love leaks through their very presence—their hands and their good deeds. Or perhaps it’s their mutable nature mixed with their very human(e) sign that can feel nothing less than crazy when our country—and this world—feels on the brink of very great disaster. It permeates our being, this suffering racist world, whether or not we know it.

I think feeling out of place can make you feel crazy. I think buying dozens of self-help books you never finish can make you feel crazy, especially if your idea of self-help is unraveling the minds of great philosophers. I think that folding your whole self into the life of someone else, whether it is because you are afraid to lose them or afraid to find yourself, can make you crazy.

If this month of late night bacchanals and badly timed commitments has left you feeling alienated, outside of some greater picture, outside of yourself and what means most to you—I understand. Virgo, returning to yourself is a work that is never over. We fuck up, we start again, we find reasons to be better versions of ourselves that are beyond us—whether it be the work we have left to do, the people (sometimes very small) who look up to us, or all the lives that have conspired to bring us to this very troubled moment.

Libra

What’s passion anyway and who knows where it comes from? For a long time, it all seemed sort of cut and dry: some people are passionate people and some are not; passion exists in some nebulous part of our psyches, evoked from us if the flute plays just the right song. O if it were so then make it so, sister. What I’ve come to, and this knowledge was not wanted but needed, is that there is no lack of passion inside anyone and passion is not summoned from the outside by anyone.

If you want to pray to the goddess of passion on your own terms, to light a large votive candle, look no further than the face (and Amazonian everything) of Serena Williams. Libra-extraordinaire, Serena is asked to prove to the world over and over that she is worth adoration. It must be daunting to work so hard, to give up your life, to know that your own country will cheer for a stranger before it cheers for you. Watch this woman, only in her thirties, this world a trembling passionate muscle in her arms:

“I felt a lot of pressure I guess, I put a lot of that pressure on myself. Obviously had some tough losses… I had to start looking at positives and not focusing on that one loss…Once I started focusing more on the positive I realized that…um… I’m pretty good, and then I started playing better.”

Passion, you have it, more than enough—even on the days when you feel weak and small in the world. Make something. Make something everyday even if you’re feeling like nothing you do is close enough to your dreams. Focus on the way small wins lead to the big ones. Focus on Serena, or any Amazon who raises her racket and never backs down.

Scorpio

Once, in rags and mesh, you were two girls belonging to no one. The East Village community gardens were just as much yours as the open sky raining. Each night, when you ran away from your family, you ran to her little storefront teeming with roaches and radical road shows—women and books and guitars and lost cats. You were seventeen, queer, and unafraid to die. She read your tarot card under a tin tile ceiling painting dry-blood-red. Now, over a decade later, you’re sitting in a blue-carpeted living room and a Himalayan salt lamp is glowing over the Ikea furniture. It’s a different era but the magic has only gotten stronger.

She turns over your cards one by one and you know she’s the only one you trust to tell you who you’re becoming—since you’ve been becoming in front of her for so long.

Queen of Pentacles, the signifier, eight of pentacles the cross, and so it goes: a reading where the universe screams abundance and you can’t look anyone in the eye. This is the truth you’ve known all along, the only thing that has kept you going despite your most valiant, self-destructive, efforts. Whatever you believe in—it believes in you. However empty your pockets, your cup overflows. Bring the cup to your lips, Scorpio. This month, make a contract with the universe. Honor it everyday and in your best interest. Don’t let yourself down and you’ll not be let down. Promise.

Sagittarius

I’m lying alone on a beach in Cherry Grove and so far I’m the only naked one here. Both my girlfriend and I have Eileen’s books out on the blanket. She’s re-reading Chelsea Girls, which is making me nostalgic for when I was reading Chelsea Girls. It was so good all of it, the butch bravado, the playful puppy-dog narcissism. I’m reading Maxfield Parrish but the poems—there’s labor in poems—they make all these holes threw me. I just want to laugh about Sagittarian impulses like in “1969” where she wrote:

We were both Sagittariuses and had enjoyed standing outside the library at night, smoking cigarettes and talking about sex. We laughed a lot.

Ugh, and I’m so selfish I don’t care I want every life we’ve lived to exist all at once. Like right now. We could be drinking G&Ts together over a big cabbage salad while I scan your essay and you scan my third eye AND we could be watching the sunset over a strip club in LA, splitting a Xanax for the road AND you could be walking me along Coney Island beach in the middle of October and letting me kiss you because my father is dead. I guess we cry a lot too. Laughing and crying, all the women we’ve been together—it’s getting easier.

I don’t care if I’m the only naked one out here; don’t be afraid to be feminine. I’m getting up and going in the water. Can’t you feel your most vibrant capable selves returning? I feel it. Everything you’ve been doing has brought you to this moment. Don’t be afraid to choose your life on your own terms.


Capricorn

What does it mean to be self-made and how to go about the business of un-making oneself? There are pop cultural narratives of course: the overnight success, rags-to-riches, the lonely girl who got herself out of a nothing town and into the arms of a big city stud. There are narrower interpretations as well, the mural artist discovered on the street, the YouTube singer gone viral, how one perfectly crafted Tindr profile got someone their life partner. These stories serve to fill our imaginations with limits, to keep us wanting the same thing—so that we might never question what is underneath all this wanting. Narratives of fabricated lives, of blind luck, tell us nothing about the day-to-day work of loving one another and ourselves. They give us no road maps for becoming; they say sky’s the limit but they paint a sky on the ceiling over our dreams.

Well, what if our dreams are deeply rooted in one another? What if, beyond the painted ceiling there’s a universe where you and I—we can build the world we want? We would first have to look at ourselves: the person you imagine yourself to be, the unique and only “I.” Ask: Have I fallen victim to capitalist ideology? Has the hardness and scarcity of this world found its way inside me and, despite my best intentions, I have harmed more people than I’ve helped, lost more friends than I care to admit?

There will always be two sides to our lives (and maybe more, maybe many more): the side that is illuminated and the underside the floats us down this river. Capricorn, have you dealt with the underside? Seek counsel, journal your nightmares, take a swimming class. I know you trust your intuition but maybe it’s time to learn other kinds of trust.

November Love Notes & Horoscopes

Dear Love Bunnies,

I woke up on the couch in my best friend’s apartment. On the ground not too far from me, another friend from my youth lay sleeping. He woke up, mumbled incoherently at me, and then fell back down. When she emerged from her bedroom with her love, we put on Neutral Milk Hotel and wandered around the apartment picking up last night’s refuse: When did I make this float? Whose pizza slice is this? No one here would have ever purchased THAT beer. Is it hot? Thank god that smell is not me. Is it unbearably hot?

Perhaps this is the Sunday scene in apartments of young people all over this country, ritual of reckoning with the hours between midnight and 4am when the world was a pleasure pulse. How our bodies float up into morning with a poisonous buzz about them, wanting only carbs and coffee and soft laughter. Polenta pancakes sizzling on the pan, an experiment. Someone draws at a sunny kitchen table and someone else helps me download Indesign. We’re artists, we want to better ourselves; we cut organic strawberries into tiny bits. And, I feel bold in my leisure, the reason for last night’s debauchery being the anniversary of my birth.

The mug I’m slurping coffee from right now has the phrase “One Day At A Time” printed on it and it pleases me. I’m writing so slowly inside this den of healing, approaching my responsibility to the world and to you with great reverence. I’m full of love too, a love I have pulled with both hands from a dark room I was born into. I want to use that love to be good to you.

What I know for sure is that friendship is powerful. In these darkening days, gather close and take care of each other.

 

A Galaxy Is New Each Time.

Galactic Rabbit

If you’d like to donate to the making of this love labor, here is a paypal link:
PayPal!   (there is also a button on the sidebar) 🙂

P.S. Big thank you to Claire Skinner, as always, for being my true Cosmic Sage.

P.P.S. Also big thank you to Angela Watrous who is always supporting me. She is
magic empathic healer of the heart so you should reach out to her at: http://www.restorativeempathy.com/

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Aquarius

Do you remember the story of Persephone? The goddess who Pluto chose and captured, dragged into the underworld, and plied with pomegranates? This is how Greco-Roman myth explained the seasons: Ceres, her mother, besot by grief and rage, abandoned the kingdom of the gods and went to live amongst man. She refused to give the world harvest until her daughter returned.

While Ceres is in Aquarius, I want to know her story. Not the loss, and not the grief, but what came forever after. I want to know about a woman who knew her power so well, her worth so acutely, that in keeping it for herself she changed the way a world sustained its people. As a god, a creator, a mother.

I want to know how her story sits inside of you, how Ceres walks with you through this dark and empty field. Whatever came before, be it sorrow or challenging circumstance, it has brought you to this place of great transformation. Can you feel the power building inside you? You don’t owe it to anyone, you can do with it whatever you wish and the world will shift accordingly.

 

Pisces 

I guess I must admit to you now that although I have read lots and lots of feminist theory, there’s only one book that I know practically by heart and that book is Precarious Life by Judith Butler. As a New Yorker who came of age after 9/11, this book was a companion to my hopeful spirit. It would crest over the hard shores of Hannah Arendt’s On Violence and create new frameworks for emotional resistance. What power is there in mourning, in turning the eye of surveillance back onto the self? What can I do from where I am?

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Because war does not begin and end with a final bomb or a toppled statue, because the nature of countries and their people are forever remade, when I turn to Precarious Life, I look for a way to understand how I move through the world everyday.

When you are not the master of yourself, you might act in ways that cause suffering because you are unsure and suffering. Try to forgive yourself for loving someone precariously. When you are an animal haunted by loss, you must hold reverence for unknowing, even as it pains you. In loss we are remade, not for better or for worse, but in great symphony with the world. That, too, is a benediction.

 

Aries

On the record player, an old record spins marvelously, the tone rich and beautiful with idiosyncrasies. Maybe it’s Tina Turner or Nancy Sinatra, I’m only half listening. I’m thinking about you, how good you are at getting better, how good you are to me. I’m thinking about this time last year when you gave me absolutely the wrong gift for my birthday and I broke down crying. How, since then, you have made amends a thousand times over even though you didn’t have to, even though I forgave you almost right away. Each gift you have given me since, each small charm and literary treasure, has paled under the great big shine of your love.

I know you feel like, too often, your work goes unnoticed, like despite every effort you make towards acting with great care—few can see your generous heart. But, Aries, it’s not so. Your heart is the most obviously thing about you, even when you speak harshly, even when the mistakes you make cause a ripple of pain in the world. It’s not irreparable.

Care must arise concomitant to discord and I’m in awe of how you care for those you love. Because we have come from different worlds, we speak a different love language. And yet, in coming together, we venture to write a book. It’s an act of courage, this book, and there is bound to be confusion. What is lost in translation, if anything, and does it matter when the fragments are so rich with life?

 

Taurus

In looking for examples of romantic friendship, I came upon this letter to Edith Wynne Matthison by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

I shall try to bring a few quite nice things with me; I will get together all that I can, and then when you tell me to come, I will come, by the next train, just as I am. This is not meekness, be assured; I do not come naturally by meekness; know that it is a proud surrender to you; I don’t talk like that to many people.

Although Edna was not a Taurus but a Pisces, it made me think of you and the power of your friendship instantly. I was reminded of your generous heart, your great loyalty, how the ones you love are saved by your enduring devotion. Even in your forgetfulness, in your distraction, you move through the world with a perfect balance of great force and great tenderness.

It is said that Venus was born from the foam of the sea, where waves beat upon a rocky shore. So your goddess, your great ruler, came into power where water and air met earth. This month, as Venus has moved from Virgo to Libra, I have spent time thinking about who you are at your most powerful. And this is about love, as it always is. About learning, again and again, that no act of care is a wasted moment. That the wider you open up yourself to the universe, the wider the love returned. And it will come in all shapes and all ways because whatever comes, you have spent years learning how to carry it.

 

Gemini

A long time ago, a woman gave me a book, Angel In the Deluge by Rosario Murillo. I read the book cover to cover—the English and the Spanish alongside. Then, I researched the poet. First lady of Nicaragua for decades, Rosario Murillo was once a revolutionary, a woman who fought with the Sandinistas and gave shelter to guerillas. A Gemini-Cancer cusp, an activist poet, a fighter-lover, Rosario is a feminist heroine for many women. But, power is not as easy as that, not when you raise your fist with one hand and wear the ring of the president of a nation. Power corrupts or power favors corruption (a white hat in a dirty business won’t stay white long).

My international knowledge is limited and it’s not within my wheelhouse to pass judgment on Murillo. Rather, I am interested in talking about duality. About who we are and who we were. How a poet turned first lady can no longer speak for the women under her, how our past lives inform our possibilities and our limitations. One line from Angel in the Deluge rings back to me: I am a different season.

A long time ago your anger pushed you to change how you moved through your life, it pushed you to change the world around you into a world you could love a little more. Now it collects in you, a quiver in the hands that shows at all the worst times. And perhaps this, too, is about power. About letting the people around you define you and what you have to offer. Winter comes, Gemini, but within you is a different season—a world surfacing from sleep, bursting fiercely from the earth.

 

Cancer

Before I was born, my father had two other daughters from other families. I remember the one right before me, Masha. In old photos from Moscow, where I am a child and she is a teenager holding me with my cheek pressed to hers, Masha laughs with her whole face. I know that my father is on the other side of the camera, that the love in her face mirrors his. In America, there were no phone calls and no letters. Not when my father lived and not when he died. What he knew of his daughters, their lives and small miracles, he kept to himself and took with him.

My father was a Cancer, a man who loved his family, who built his life around that love. He was also a secretive man who he kept his deepest sadness in the most private depths of his heart. My father had a sick heart, a heart that held him back his whole life.

This world will ask you to let go of something everyday. Let go of those sunglasses you left on the train, let go of the “successful” person you thought you’d be by now. In letting go, you create space for the world you want rather than the world you’ve come from. Just remember that letting go doesn’t mean forgetting. It doesn’t mean locking your past away inside yourself for fear that in facing it you might face a part of yourself you can’t forgive.

 

Leo

Last night my Leo-hearted lover gave me a birthday present, The Red Book of Carl Jung. As I scanned the pages for an entry point, “The Desert” fell open to me and I read aloud: Why is my self a desert? Have I lived too much outside myself in men and events? Why did I avoid myself? Was I not dear to myself? Leo, I cried through the words, I couldn’t hold them wholly in my mouth.

Only life is true, and only life leads me into the desert, truly not my thinking, that would like to return to thoughts, to men and events, since it feels uncanny in the desert. My soul, what am I to do here?

Because Carl Jung was a Leo and because Sun is in Scorpio, I feel I must share these words with you. If life has led you back to yourself, if you are in the desert, then you are right where you should be. Yes, your shadow follows you always where the light won’t reach, let it, shadow is a sign of life and only life is true. Not shame. Not regret. The desert of your soul grows bold in the night and your shadow-self is a coyote’s call, a small shape rabbiting up from the burrow. Leo, let darkness live in you, wild as she wants to be. You’re strong enough to house her.

 

Virgo

We are told that we only get one chance at this life, that those who are good at love, those who are good, are rewarded with enduring friendships and expansive opportunities. So we try to be the kind of people who deserve good things, the kind we imagine we might be if not for the weight of our humanness. It’s hard work maintaining an illusion, trying hard not to fail when failure is inevitable. Good thing, then, that despite having one known life, our chances are immeasurable. That one can begin again at any time.

Last night, as we rode the late night train together, and we told each other the stories of our lives, we were recreated. I have known your face since we were teenagers, I have watched it change; have watched you scrub each mask off year by year until the man you were meant to be shone right through. And yet, when I spoke to you of my heartbreak, when you spoke to me of the child in you, it was as if we had been strangers in a dark room all our lives—the lights slowly came on.

Yes, I have heard fear in your voice, a hesitation toward truth for fear of what it might cost you. But, Virgo, I see the heavy good in you and how it lingers around the softness of your eyes. Even if you’ve made mistakes, even if you’ve failed to meet your own impossible standards, you are worthy of all the love that comes to you.

 

Libra

There we were in your bedroom, the kind of scene all lesbian romantic comedies consider employing. I was inexperienced, young and confident to a fault, lingering at your doorway, the edge of your bed. Older, you wore your wary animal just below the thick strap of your belt. You were on the edge of yourself and then you were a beautiful weight with me. Yes, of course, a Tegan and Sara song was playing. Yes, your mouth was on mine as one of them sang it’s a silly time to learn to swim on your way down, a Virgo-Libra call to surrender to beauty and all its unruly conclusions.

I’m thinking about our love tonight, I think of it often. Not the blue stars on your hips I made small wishes on, not the way Prospect Park was our bedroom, or the color of your dawn rounding your shoulder.  No, I think about the way we were bad angels serving desire just so we could know what it is. How you would say listen, one day I will leave and I don’t want a reason to stay like you were a boat and I was an anchor. I would say good, go. And there we’d be, in some dark water.

I want to tell you that dark water is a good teacher and that the treasures you’ve salvaged from each wreckage are perfect gifts. The world needs them now. You can be any kind of angel that you want. Angel of desire, of nurture, angel of the big beautiful idea come to life.

 

Scorpio

Dear Scorpio, I wrote a letter to my dear friend Claire Skinner (Clairvoyant Sagittarius Supreme). I told her I was anxious about this work, this life that has so many deadlines and so few rewards. This is what she wrote back:

Today I’m practicing radical radical attentiveness (yes that’s 2 radicals!). I’m being as gentle to myself as possible. It’s challenging because I have to acknowledge my very small fears in order to be attentive to them, such as: what if the Trader Joes near my house is architecturally unappealing and vibrationally sad? That is the smallest fear imaginable. And says a lot about my relationship to the way things look and feel. And, on a rational level, it’s ridiculous. Being attentive is hard. This is my long way of saying: if you’re sleepy, you’re sleepy. What if you indulged it recognized your smallest “silliest” feelings, the ones you won’t share because they’re idiosyncratic and probably tied to personal Freudian shit and childhood trauma. You may not have to like these feelings, but they are yours. 

It was cruel (cruel to be kind?) the way Saturn stayed with Scorpio for so long. How it made Scorpio navigate the dark unknown path without a map and only a sliver of moonlight for guidance. Now that Saturn has moved into Sagittarius, you might find yourself ready to rest and you can. You can turn around and look at all the ways you have grown this past year, how you have been brave in your transformation. Be proud of yourself. You didn’t have a map because all the old maps were wrong. Rest for a little bit, yes, then get up. You’ve got work to do, Scorpio, you are the mapmaker now.

 

Sagittarius

Sagittarius, you, more than I, have a keen sense that the months ahead will be all about the work. Yes, you have labored. You have spent countless hours tending to each task before you; you have earned each and every cent using a mixture of willpower and determination never seen before. I will tell you now that there is great honor in all you’ve accomplished—even if it felt small in the grand scheme of your life. It was important to build your nest and line it well.

Sagittarius, as you continue to maintain your nest’s integrity, don’t forget that this is the time when your magic deepens. The material world is hollow without spirit and your work is needed in the psychic realm.

In the artist’s way, Julia Cameron writes: When we put the pen to paper, we articulate things in our life that we may have felt vague about. Before you write about something, somebody says, ‘How do you feel?’ and you say, ‘Oh, I feel okay.’ Then you write about it, and you discover you don’t feel okay.

There is a striking world in you with a wild landscape, a world that vibrates with sad wisdom and erotic hunger. I know you feel it growing large in you, Sagittarius, it’s too big to keep inside.

 

Capricorn

When I discovered Sade I was seven or eight years old. I was rummaging through my brother’s tapes trying to find something new (I’d worn out that Coolio single) when I saw “Stronger Than Pride.” From the moment I slipped the tape into my red Sony Walkman and pressed play, I knew something I had not known before. Music was to be my companion, my friend. I took Sade everywhere, but especially to Welfare offices with my mother where I was her halting timid translator. In those government dens where all mothers walk a tightrope between indignity and pride, I held my mother’s hand and Sade held mine. And I know I talk about Sade with you often but she is the High Priestess of my love archives.

Sitting here waiting for you/ Would be like waiting for winter/ It’s gonna be cold/
There may even/ Be snow 

I want to tell you what is was like to be the daughter of a witch who worshipped convention, a woman who rewarded my translator duties with a new dress from Rainbow or Strawberry and would later take all the quarters from my piggy bank so we could have clean clothes. All I wanted was to buy myself a book.

I still really really love you,

O Capricorn, tough lover, good witch, maker of beautiful somethings from so much nothing, you go out on the tightrope everyday just to bring something back—some kind of hope. Survivor, if you need a small hand to hold you steady, to help you get across, ask for it and love with be there. Love is stronger than pride.

 

 

 

 

July Galactic Rabbit

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.

 

-Galactic Rabbit.

 

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.

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Aquarius

“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.”

-Amy Lowell

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.

 

Pisces

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.

 

Aries

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.

 

Taurus 

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.

 

Gemini

 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.

 

Cancer 

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

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?

 

Virgo

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.

 

Libra

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.

 

Scorpio 

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.

 

Sagittarius

“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.

 

Capricorn

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.