Galactic Rabbit April Love Notes!

 

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Dear April Bunnies,

This month I have held each of you close to my heart. I have written tiny ideas in my IPhone notes while on the train to work. Have dog-eared books and magazines. I’ve paused mid-conversation in sticky bars to write down the revelatory truth of my friends’ experiences. Yes, there’s no point in arguing with an Aries and there’s no point in trying to push back against that Moon when the pull is so strong. Just go with it. You are having a Sagittarius Problem, I claim tenderly to my sweet friend when she needs to be validated about her social graces. We laugh about our wounds like we’ve just discovered the fussy old things.

Maybe April was the cruelest month for T.S Eliot (possibly for Chaucer too) but if it is cruel then the cruelty is a beautiful stretch. The month opens and our muscles ache and limber. In waking from winter, we take the world in and all its buds prescient with bloom. These love notes were seeds once.

Now they are ready to be yours.

With Spring Sweetness,
Galactic Rabbit

 

P.S. If you’d like to donate to the making of these horoscopes, you can donate at my PAYPAL!
It means a lot to me! I love you!

P.P.S. If you have written me a letter, I will write you back. I am just very slow due to a panicky nature.

P.P.P.S. [Thank you, Claire Skinner, as always. You are the best psychic and even better friend]


 

Aquarius

At the Key Food, with six dollars to spare, I’m desperately rifling through old bunches of kale in search of the most vibrant one. I’m starving and haven’t really eaten a full meal in two days. One of my hands suffers the inevitable cold mist while the other cradles a phone to my ear. My sweet friend is going through her first big breakup and this is the third evening in a row I’m trying my best to say something that might be of use.

We’re on opposite spectrums of radiance, my friend and I. My heart—a soft black stone with a bright red crack; hers—a brilliant clear prism refracting empathy and pain (which is also love). I want to tell her All true love must die, / Alter at the best / Into some lesser thing. / Prove that I lie. But one does not quote Yeats in the hopes of lifting a spirit. Not unless that spirit is the republican spirit of the Irish. Besides, I don’t believe those words completely. It’s just safer for my already ravaged heart if I live like I do.

Dear Aquarius, wherever you are tonight, no matter how little you can understand of what has pushed you to this precipice—this edge—you are powerful enough to face it. Your inner knowing—listen to it—it will get you home. Even if you have start again, even if that home doesn’t exist yet. What I come to, besides a less-than-choice wilted bunch of kale, is that knowledge will not do. Or, to quote yet another wizard (Kierkegaard): Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

 

Pisces

That is what I want of you—out of the sight  & sound of other people, to lie close to you & let the world rush by. To watch with you suns rising & moons rising in that purple edge outside most people’s vision—to hear high music that only birds can hear—oh, my dearest, dearest, would it not be wonderful, just once to be together again for a little while? / / (Just as I wrote those last words the muezzin began to cry his prayer from the little white minaret—he is still singing—) / / One is so silly, isn’t one?—Listening to him it seemed that he was calling us to worship—heaven knows what—something that we both hold dear.

Dear Pisces, I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but quote the whole of that text from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s (PISCES QUEER WITCH SUPREME) letters to Arthur Davison Ficke (SOME DUDE).

Today, as I lie in bed under my ever-flourishing asparagus fern (who I have just decided I will name Edna), I am thinking of you and your soft green heart. Green because I can feel it flourishing too, even if I am far from you. Even if you have never kept me close.

Oh I know these past few years have made a mess of you and, if you are honest, you might say that there have been times when it was you making the mess. Don’t bristle. We can all be toddlers sometimes when we enter a world that existed long before we arrived. Adjustment can be difficult—especially if it feels like you are the one making all the adjustments. Don’t believe that, Pisces. You must learn to be the kind of lover who balances devotion and independence both.

When the universe, when your work, when your family, your lover, made space for you—they had to carve a space out of their own lives. There will be times when you feel the enormity of that offering and there will be times when that space will limit you. Both of these emotions come from within you and are a beautiful challenge, a call to worship something you both hold dear no matter its difficulty.

 

Aries

Old patterns, no matter how negative and painful they may be, have an incredible magical power — because they do feel like home. – Gloria Steinem

The problem with being the kind of person who builds her home in someone else’s love is that it can be hard to look that home over for repairs. Especially if this has been the year when, time and time again, the labor you put into your partnerships eclipsed the work you still have to do on yourself.

Love, partnership, collaborative creative venture, these are fulcrum and catalyst to our personal journeys. Yes, we have soul mates and witnesses and lifelong accomplices but make no mistake—your journey is about no one else. Yes, there will be times when it feels like the fastest way toward your destination is to satisfy everyone else’s expectations of you, to perform a kind of work around the needs of others without ever really getting to yourself.

Aries, you can build your home in someone else’s heart but don’t confuse their heartache for the faults in your foundation. Learn to listen deeper for floor rot and roof drip, it’s not unfixable. Imagine yourself the carpenter of your home, which is to say, take care of yourself.

 

Taurus

Everyday, I climb a long staircase in a building devoted to artist studios. Halfway up, my eyes rest on a landing where the words “nobody loves no one” are written in thin letters on the wall. Of course this reminds me of you and that birthday not so long ago when you drove clear out of our tiny town to spend a few hours listening to Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

No, I wanna fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart) / With you. / The world was on fire and no one could save me but you. / It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.

What I love about that song and what I love about you is the way contradiction lives so passionately in your spirit. Last week, I spent two mornings with you. During our first breakfast, you were overworked and over stretched, guzzling caffeine and my reassuring words. The next day, I was running late—frazzled by roadblocks and bad money. “Even if you’re late, just come,” you said. “It’s nice where I am. Peaceful. I’ll buy you breakfast.” And, it was peaceful: my Bloody Mary perfectly viscous, everyone laughing about how crazy everyone is as our eggs popped over our hash browns.

There will be people in your life, people who see the caregiver in you, who will take advantage of the part of you that gives too much. They don’t know, and you often forget, that it’s the vulnerable side of you—the side that aches to be held and cared for and adored—that holds your most enduring and sweetest magic. Now that you have learned to discern the intentions of others, you can better share your sweetest self with those who will nourish you.

 

Gemini

Last night I spent the evening with a three-year old girl, an air sign although not Gemini. We played all the usual games we play when I come to babysit: Play-doh cupcake factory, tickle monster, and my favorite “Where do these toys go? Why don’t you show me?” After a considerable amount of time clearing the floor while shimmy shamming, my young friend wanted to play a new game. The object of the game was fairly simple: She tucks me into a “bed” on the couch and I go to sleep. No I don’t get to put an arm over my eyes. Yes, I must hug this dusty stuffed sleep buddy. Her mama and abba kiss her before bed so yes here is my cheek. Then she leaves me. She leaves me on the couch and part of my job is to just lie there and wait. She’s gone for much longer than you’d expect, pressing little buttons around the apartment, arranging her construction sets. The object of the game (for her) began to clarify: to be in control of one’s solitude while maintaining connection.

Lying on the couch with the sun beating on my eyelids, I thought about how difficult it is to tend to our relationships without cultivating strength in our solitude. What I mean is, how hard it is to be fully present with someone else even if that someone is fully capable of seeing you and celebrating you for exactly who you are and what you have yet to actualize about yourself.

Let me just propose to you, for argument’s sake,
(I do, after all, wear perfume even when you’re away)
that my problem with Love is that it doesn’t signify
in anything but a series of contradictory analogies
that happen to turn me on.

We want our relationships to be beautiful sentences that go one forever by some invention of punctuation, to never feel run-on. But we fragment, we destabilize alone like dependent clauses. You are always an important part of the game and meaning exists, Gemini, when the sentence is not beautiful. The subject (that’s you) must lie down in the sun and wait to be beckoned, but the subject is active and valuable, is an expert at play.

 

Cancer

The word of the day on my computer is sovereignty and Leonard Cohen is singing “That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.” Why does heartbreak never feel old, no matter how many times you go through it? When I was bright-hearted and in love, I sang this song to my sweetheart on mornings when she was waking beside me. When we were far from each other, I sang it into her voicemail box so that she might hear it when she longed for me. Well you should know that our love was great since my singing never was and she still listened.

I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time,
Walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
You know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
It’s just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea…

Relationships change us and in learning to build a world with someone (or someones) else, there are parts of ourselves that we tuck away—parts that don’t quite fit into the blueprint, that don’t fall in rhythm with the daily work that is a shared life. These parts learn to live in the shadows of the lovers’ psyche, to speak in low tones and walk softly.

It’s these shadow selves that rise smoky and thick in the throat when there is crisis, when the world you have built with the ones you love is no longer the one that fits your needs. Listen to these parts of you for they are sacred parts. They will teach you how to fight for your big love as your truest self. They will teach you how to fight for yourself.

 

Leo 

When I get to your apartment at 10 am so that I might welcome your incoming renters, the previous ones are still there. They’re a handsome couple, straight, a political critic and a composer. English isn’t their first language so they smile at me every couple of minutes. The two of them are late with their check out yet they move slowly, ambling in and out of the bathroom, murmuring in the bedroom, shuffling their bags closer to the door. The time crunch makes me anxious and I lie down on the couch, still half asleep myself. It’s early evening in Russia and I wonder what you’re doing there.

When the couple finally shuffles out into the living room, I climb the ladder to your lofted bed and begin the surprisingly difficult task of changing the sheets. The guy pokes his head in and remarks, “Eh this is hard!” Then he points to the instructions you left for them. Next to my number, the words best friend. “Good friend! Ha ha!” he exclaims. “Sure,” I reply, thinking about all the times the year when I needed you and there you were. The least I can do.

And that’s how it is when you ask for exactly what you need. No matter how difficult, or how early for a nightowl, the people you have taken care of will take care of you. This is more than reciprocity (although it is also that). This is about trusting that the love you give to those who are precious to you, the amount you extend yourself, it’s precious to us and it’s never wasted.

 

Virgo

Once, when I was breaking up with a lover, or a lover was breaking up with me, I flew across the country to haunt her. I housesat and couch-surfed and when I was selling poems or starving myself, I was reading Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson. That novel saved something in me, some bright light that was edging towards being doused, and when I was done I gifted it to the woman who left me.

About a decade later, I saw it at a friend’s house and decided to re-read it. I wanted to see how it would affect me now, what work it could do on my very different heart. It was a book that I remembered as difficult—linearly unwieldy, untrustworthy narrators, a constant shifting plot. That might still be so. It is also a book about beginning with loss. A book that takes an orphaned heart up into its arms and teaches it songs of survival.

The stories I want to tell you will light up part of my life and leave the rest in darkness. You don’t need to know everything. There is no everything. The stories themselves make the meaning. The continuous narrative is a lie. There is no continuous narrative, there are lit-up moments, and the rest is dark.

We tell our stories so that we might find the root, the reason why we came together and the reason why we failed. We think that we might use the past as a light to see, a little lamp as we dive deeper into big commitments, generative life endeavors and all the Big Things one learns to take on.

The past informs you as long as you keep returning to it—examining, turning over—and it is important that you do. This will ultimately gift you wisdom. That said, it is also important to honor this moment, as it is now, its own story with its own light and gorgeous revelations. This will grant you eyes with which to see in the dark.

 

Libra

Dear friend, If there were such a thing as saving someone–what I wouldn’t give to save you from your amorphous sadness. Whatever animal you keep at the spine-rock of your skeleton, sucking the song of your marrow dry. If I could coax it out like a wild thing from dark cover, give it sugar and sweet words. It loves a soft hand but not as much as the knife’s edge, I know.

13th street starlets
fan their lashes curbside, holler

Get it, honey

which I take to mean
quit sleeping easy

& shimmy down a backstreet
to slip off last year’s
sweetness & reserve

The wanting itself
suddenly enough.

*

But, there is no saving anyone else–no person or job or city or angel that will serve as an escape hatch from yourself. Perhaps one doesn’t save themselves anyway. Rather, make it your mission to consume every little bit of who you are–the parts you offer up and the parts you are ashamed of. Practice touching your body, your spirit, and your creative force without judgment. There is a future in that desire, a world you deny yourself that wants more than anything to have you.

*Alina Pleskova

 

Scorpio

I read this study a while back about how girls are done a disservice in their formative years. How they are praised for being talented or smart rather than acknowledged for the hard work and effort they put toward achieving their goals. For this reason, many girls grow up to be people who are afraid to go outside their comfort zone and develop a new skill lest they be found out: not smart, not talented enough. Instead, they limit their opportunities and their chances to thrive as deeply engaged and driven adults.

I don’t know when it began for you, dear Scorpio, that sinking feeling that maybe there are people in this world who never get to live up to their full potential and maybe you’re one of them. It’s easy to cite moments of trauma: loss of lovers, loss of family members, loss of self. It’s harder to look firmly at your life and consider that self-doubt was something ingrained into you. You must have been a powerful child, perceptive, quick to engage whatever text was set before you. Someone, or many someones, taught you to doubt that power in yourself, to imagine its source outside you rather than within you. Someone taught you that the world would either grant you favor or not and if you didn’t have it then—you sure as hell won’t have it now. But those people / institutions were wrong. You can earn the favor of the world simply by deciding you will work hard enough to deserve it.

 

Sagittarius

It’s just like we’re in Jane Austen novel, you say to me as we depart from the airport in our Lyft. I agree; my hands clasped tight with excitement in my lap. We take in the wide expanse of Los Angeles, the meaty thruways and old punks with loafers. Our rented room is four flights up the stairs and our guide gifts us a bottle of wine upon entry. Once he leaves us we try on each other’s various dresses and impractical shoes, trade jewelry and lipstick. We take relaxing potions and set the scene: our three nights devoted to social grace and intellectual hunger.

Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings / Mansfield Park /Austen (Sagittarius)

Despite our crisp petticoats and perfectly poured martinis, it’s the end of the night and the mornings with you that sustain me. Our play marriage entirely Bostonian, our bodies un-touching through the night, yet you dream that my dead father comes to you in a gesture of sweetness. When I arrive at the house gate at 3 am and a stranger approaches me, it is you rushing down the stairs exclaiming I know I should have put on pants but I mean to protect you! When, in the morning, you burst into tears over the busy nothings waiting for you at home—the work you do that goes unappreciated—I tell you I mean to take care of you. Beloved friend, I know you are good at pressing on. Tell me what ails you anyway, so that I can care for your heart while you walk your path toward self-empowerment.

 

Capricorn

There are certain kinds of knowledges that readers take for granted. We know, because Zora Neale Hurston told us so, that there are years that ask questions and years that answer. But, how does one live inside a year that asks questions, that just keeps asking relentlessly. The year touches your shoulder in the morning as you wake, the year tugs you toward the same breakfast you make everyday of your goddamn life, the year is with you filing your taxes and folding your clothes and goddamnit the year won’t shut up.

Were you made for the consumption of a world that does not sustain you? Were you made to serve any one person or revolution without first learning how to care for yourself? How can you care for yourself when yourself is splitting apart? Are you tough enough to live through this? When you live inside a year that asks questions, you are the one with the answers. The year that asks questions pushes you forward but it is not in charge. You are. You make the rules.

 

 

Galactic Rabbit January 2016!

 

         d2e92770-4446-48bd-9092-a98aa9bb2c4c

  1. 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!

PayPAL! 


 

 

Aquarius

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.

 

Pisces 

“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.

 

Aries 

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.

 

Taurus

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.

 

Gemini

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.

 

Cancer

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.

 

Leo

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.

 

Virgo

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.

 

Libra

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.

 

Scorpio

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.

 

Sagittarius

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.

 

Capricorn

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER STAR LOVE NOTES!

Dear Octo-bunnies,

Here are my love letters for you this month. For weeks I have sat before the facts, the planets and transitions, the rogue comets and fierce planetoids. I’ve taken your phone calls and cupped your questions in my palms. I’ve loved you, each and every one, intimately and from a distance.

The year gets darker, the night gets longer and, for many of us, depression lingers at the edges. But, we have learned how to be our own light when the day is not enough. Or we are still learning, or we are lost and wandering dark streets like a foreigner in the city of ourselves. Don’t be afraid and don’t get angry with yourself.

Let the long night, the shadow journey, be a kind of solace. Your time alone, your time to manifest. What comes to you might not be within your control but it is within your power. And, if you find yourself needing to recharge, lie down for a while and count each star above you as your friend.

XO,

Galactic Rabbit

P.S. THANK YOU CLAIRE SKINNER (She’s amazing, she’s a poet <3)

P.P.S OMG you should totally donate to helping me write Galactic Rabbit if you can! Because it saves me every time. PayPal!

Shout out to Kim Menig, Sarah Morrill, Elizabeth Kennon Williams, and Abby Cooper for their big generous loving gifts (amongst beautiful wonderful others)!

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Aquarius

On a celestial dance floor where the mind and the heart keep forgetting how to move together, you are the one whispering one two three, one two three. Every now and again they fall in step gorgeously, but they fall out of step too, and just as easily. You are the one guiding them back to a mutual rhythm so you must speak steady and be sure. But, what if you’re not sure? What if there are days when no amount of clear communication and processing will do? What if it’s the wrong song, a clumsy night? I mean, what if there are nights when the mind and the heart just can’t seem to make it work?

In The Waves, Virginia Woolf writes: Let us again pretend that life is a solid substance, shaped like a globe, which we turn about in our fingers. Let us pretend that we can make out a plain and logical story, so that when one matter is despatched—love for instance—we go on, in an orderly manner, to the next.

There is pleasure in pretending but there is a price too, Aquarius. Pretend long enough and you forget that the heart and mind live in one body, yours, and are always touching always signaling, always flagging what it is they’re looking for. You are the voice and the dance floor. If your heart hesitates, if your mind just can’t find a reason to keep dancing, perhaps the best thing to do is change the song.

 

Pisces

Lie back, Pisces. Are your feet apart? Are your palms up? Collect energy and rock your head. Air enters and leaves you, in with faith, out with fear. Each limb, each digit, a point of connection. In some universe, a loved one is touching the tip of you. Are you worthy of their touch? Are they worthy of you? It’s ok if you don’t know the answer is yes. Or what you are worth. Your body floating in a river outside time, river of loss and river of regret, but you’re right here breathing. Where do you need extra healing? Where do you collect your pain?

I keep thinking of fire, the image of hands rubbing together, the sound of finger print skin on palms, the feel of fat, blood, and bone within.  I find myself in the center of looking into shapes that surround me.  I attempt to make patterns, layering one into the next, often with such questions: How to participate, to point, to pull back, to listen? Where do I fit in between these tables: eater, poet, judge, hungry person, floater?*

Float, river of glittering laughter and river of soft kisses, where do you keep all your pleasures? Practice un-naming each wound and letting them go. Let go over and over again. Relax your ego and soften the heart. Long ago, you vowed to heal yourself, now move outward. Everyone you have yet to love is at the tip of you. Mirror the heavens, Pisces, and rise generous into the world.

*Ronaldo Wilson/ POETICS STATEMENT IN THE GREAT AMERICAN GRILL

 

Aries

Aren’t you the one who moved across the country with barely enough money to fill your pockets and only the idea of what freedom might look like? Aren’t you the one who wrote stories deep into the night and danced until daybreak imagining a new future, a new world full of bodies pulsing beautiful rebellion? Maybe it was easier, then, to invent the world you wanted and believe in yourself enough to make that world become. Perhaps life has been a little too strict with your young heart and asked you to prove your courage a few too many times. And maybe you are done with proving anything and angry at a world that refuses to see the work you’ve done to get this far.

In her poem “she said, meditate on rage,” Akilah Oliver writes: i am inventing. i am inventing. i am inventing a woman who i can let live in beauty inside of me. i am forsaking. i forsake myself. the scarred scared bitch who answers to my name is just too hard to hear.

Is your disappointment holding you back, Aries? Is it shifting how you see yourself and your possibilities? You invented yourself once: that lover whose whole life is a journey back toward tenderness. Tenderness as a practice in letting go when what you’re holding holds you down, tenderness like a knife at a dying deer’s throat. You’re strong enough to do it again and better, bigger, this time.

 

Taurus

There are close to 20,000 trees in Central Park. Black Cherry, Cedar and Magnolia, Birch and Black Tupelo. I know this because I looked it up. Walking beside you, under the blazing foliage, I can only call them beautiful and dying. You are like me, a city girl, and you’re still chain smoking like you did when we were fourteen and had fire red hair like this tree…. and that tree too. Years ago, on a fall walk like this one, we perched on surface roots and planned our futures. I was the selfish one, running toward whatever felt good. You bent your branches toward sacrifice “If I do this, then I can give my sister this, I can give my mother this.” And you moved toward math and marriage and money but yours was a wild heart too, an artist’s heart and it was never far behind you.

In her lyric essay “Notes from and on a Landscape: Hell, Fire, and Brimstone,” Elizabeth Willis writes:

At what cost do we separate thought from feeling?/ / What acts of will and imagination remain in the uncombed weeds of the past, beyond the histories we have been conditioned to repeat?

In the story of our lives, the narrator doesn’t have to be reliable, doesn’t have to make good on every past promise. Even if you love the work you do, even if you are good at it and are rewarded, it doesn’t have to be everything you are.  The world you chose for yourself yesterday does not have to be the world you give your whole self to.

 

Gemini 

Remember when you came over and we read poem after poem to each other? I had seen you around, had noticed your undeniable beauty and the way you always found a way to touch me, but I was careful. I was careful because you held your brightness back and I was desperate for a girl with light to spare. Still, in my small kitchen, over childhood photographs and a little bit of liquor, I was charmed by the truth-teller in you. You were a prince bearing her wounds matter-of-factly, without artifice or need, and it moved me toward you. It was not your sadness I admired, it was your ability to face that sadness head on.

In an interview with TIME, Jamaica Kincaid said: One doesn’t have to pursue unhappiness. It comes to you. You come into the world screaming. You cry when you’re born because your lungs expand. You breathe. I think that’s really kind of significant. You come into the world crying, and it’s a sign that you’re alive

If you have found yourself without words these days, Gemini, or if you have felt the weight of your own sadness like a stone in the mouth, hold on. Sometimes the words won’t come out right and what you say is nowhere close to what you mean. You’re one way then you’re another. Pursue happiness instead of being “one way.” Take time for yourself, write yourself a love song, a love song for your spirit, for your health.

 

Cancer

Remember years ago, around this time of year, when we stayed at your family farm? The days were bright with harvest and we lolled in the green grass unafraid of ticks. I want to remember more about that weekend, what kind of friend I was to you, what we talked about deep into the brisk farmhouse nights. Instead I recall two moments precisely. One: I tried to herd the sheep without you and they moved toward me terrifying like a black cloud. Two: My then-lover was living nearby and I met her outside under a full moon (yes I remember it was full). She was a cancer too, a cancer who broke my heart simply by being who she was. But who was I? I pressed the ring she gave me back in her hand.

In her essay “By Way of Booze and Broccoli,” Stephanie K Hopkins writes: It’s not in the ability to lift heavy objects or hold my drink or suck a man bone dry where I find my strength; it’s in the soft lens of recognition, in the turning toward my own fumbling self and softening, not trying to hide her. And it’s in the fluidity of self, the being able to let go of what holds us back, like myths, like what we thought was magic but was really accident, and continue to rewrite ourselves.

I’m thinking about that weekend now because in so many ways you have seen me move through heartbreak, a kind witness. Now you must become a witness to your own heart, no matter how painful that is, no matter how many truths rush toward you like an angry herd of sheep! Feel yourself moving through different kinds of heartbreak as you touch the edges of yourself, who you once believed you were and who you are capable of becoming.

 

Leo

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” I have read this James Baldwin quote from The Fire Next Time often, the words running over his pensive face in a poster or packed ornately into a pink scalloped frame. They slip into progressive Valentine’s Day cards and sweet wedding pamphlets. They compel us towards a kind of profundity, a way of understanding the vows we make to each other. Rarely have I seen the quote reposted with the words that follow that first line:

I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.

Perhaps it is easier for us to imagine that love (at it’s simplest, at it’s most visible) can do it all for us, or that the passion in our hearts—our desire to be good or good at—is enough to move us toward a kind of redemption. What if we have no idea what love is (let alone who or what we are) and everything we have named it thus far has only been lip service to the god of it? What would your path toward grace look like then, Leo? What masks are you willing to take off so that you might see it?

 

Virgo

Recently, Mary Oliver—blessed Virgo poet of learning self-love—revealed a new poem coming. The lines she offered? I have refused to live/ locked in the orderly house of/ reasons and proofs.

The poem is called “Felicity,” and I am thinking of what felicity might mean for you in this celestial moment, when so many planets come to you with their blessings. What if the house you refuse to live in is the one you built and in building, loved? Yes reason, yes proof, yes order you thought you wanted all those things. You set your own rules, your own laws for the kind of person you had to be and who that person had a right to love.

When love comes and, true to its nature, it is not at all what you are expecting, what would it take for you to leave that house behind? Who will be without it? Here is your body, your handful of stars under the night sky, here is the world you wanted—offering itself over and over again. To realize yourself limitless, you have to leave the house that locked you up behind, even if you love it, even if it’s yours.

 

Libra

In her beautiful poem “Salt is For Curing,” Sonya Vatomsky writes: I don’t / feel / haunted. Exactly. More like a spice jar that’s holding / more inside than volume would suggest possible. My / little tin lid fits snug but the pressure is really something.

So I’m thinking about the spice of life and the chance that such a spice might be sorrow. So what? So what if it’s sorrow? A jar you carry with you and—you can’t help it, cupped in your hand—it changes everything you touch. Stop me if my Russian flavor is a little out of hand but here’s something the cookbooks don’t tell you: sorrow doesn’t stop you from falling in love, it doesn’t stop you from being a mad genius or knightly girl. Sorrow belongs to you, a survival tool like a canteen of water or a sword you cast through the brush.

What if you open the jar and let the pressure out? What if everything you have and everything that’s coming is yours because you have learned how to eat your way through sorrow? A spice exposed to the world slowly loses potency and after a while you can barely make out the taste.

 

Scorpio 

With the lunar eclipse, we experienced conditional darkness. Darkness like a trick, a slight of hand. If the Sun casts light on the Earth and the earth gives the moon it’s red shadow, a refraction, who is the woman standing in the mirror? There is no math in magic, no solve for X in terms of Y. One body feels unbearably heavy with memory; one looks up and sees themself small in the universe. Neither one is a liar. Scorpio, it might surprise you to find that the truth lying flat no longer concerns you. You want a truth that knows how to move, how to lay down with a lover and wake up alone without sacrificing the whole of herself. Penumbra, what is obscured and still remains, indelible planet.

“The day’s blow / rang out, metallic–or it was I, a bell awakened, / and what I heard was my whole self / saying and singing what it knew: I can.” –Denis Levertov

You can, Scorpio, you can live as both darkness and light. You can move toward love even at your most vulnerable, you can bet on yourself each time—even if the stakes are high. You knew too much, grew old too soon, now knowledge is just one way to read a map that’s always changing. Moving forward must be an act of courage, of ambition.

It’s doesn’t matter where you start. Where luck is an illusion and hard work a love letter to the firebird within you, try harder. When you lose, lose again and harder.

 

Sagittarius

One night, in a bar at the edge of town, we were talking about that one guy, you know the one, who introduced you to his wife as the girl who “wears a lot of turquoise.” We marveled at the implication, the obvious social slight. In a perfect world, I would have remembered to tell you that turquoise was a stone worn by soldiers on horseback, an amulet that protected them from falling. That it was a perfect charm for your journey.

It would have been good, then, to explore the ways in which we intuitively make ourselves more powerful. To witness our preferences in companion, work, play and, yes, even adornment as choices we have made for the betterment of ourselves.

In her essay “On Self-Respect,” Joan Didion writes: The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself; no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions. One shuffles flashily but in vain through ones’ marked cards the kindness done for the wrong reason, the apparent triumph which involved no real effort, the seemingly heroic act into which one had been shamed. The dismal fact is that self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others.

Sagittarius, if you have found yourself lacking strength this month. If you have, in a sense, exhausted your social graces in an effort to be invited to the table, stop looking outward. Tell me who you are again, what you want to do in this world, show me all the tools you carry with you—in you—that are more than enough to see you through.

 

Capricorn

In interview up at Jezebel, writer Sandra Cisneros was asked “When and why have you felt most at home in your body and in your home, are they one in the same, do they rarely overlap, do they always overlap?” To which she replied, in part, “You must feel safe in your physical space. You have to have a state of safety and peace, safety from intrusion. You have to carve out private time to be your own confidant. This helps you see the beauty around you…”

I’ve been wondering about safety as a negotiation, that moment when you say I feel ugly inside this conversation- I feel unseen and untended to and the person you’re speaking to actually hears you over the voice in their own head. Safe like a space where you keep what’s valuable locked up inside yourself and every time you copy the key for someone else, every time you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you want reciprocity—respect.

Wanting that kind of safety, wanting not a warm blanket and a lover but to be loved through and within weakness, is knowing that safety is a house made out of intentions—a house we try to live in until it proves unlivable. Each time a wreckage, each time a re-imagining of shelter. Capricorn, no one can make you safe, not even you. Safety is hinged on a controlled set of outcomes and life has taught you more than once that nothing is for sure. So there must be another way to experience beauty, another reason to do what we do: love, create, go on.