“Out of the gravel there are peonies growing.” -ALIAS GRACE by Margaret Atwood
This is just the beginning, Aries, the first line of Margaret Atwood’s book Alias Grace. It may be important for you to observe what is sprouting from the gravel or growing from the concrete as a reminder of what is possible, this week. If you find yourself feeling somewhat deflated, try to search out what thoughts or situations might be impeding your growth or blocking your sun. Consider that not even rocks or concrete can stop some plants from sprouting.
(XX Judgment Rev/ Can I Change My Mind- Hortense Ellis)
“Dear James: I have begun this letter five times and torn it up five times.” -THE FIRE NEXT TIME by James Baldwin
Sometimes I think about beginnings that never reached an end or like this letter, things I’ve started and torn up five times. There seems to be something in that process, like chewing. You have to keep biting down on whatever you are trying to transform until it becomes something you can assimilate or deliver. This week, Taurus, you may feel impatient, waiting to receive what you intuit is coming, perhaps a letter, or new information. Trust the time it takes, even if you feel exasperated about having to start over or having to wait for someone else to start over.
(7 of Discs Rev/ Hologram- Umm Kulthum)
“Gardens played a large part in my life as a child, but those I remember most clearly, those which featured so vividly in my play and, most particularly, in my inner life of fantasies and dreams, were not real gardens at all, but imaginary ones.” THROUGH THE GARDEN GATE by Susan Hill
This book belonged to my grandmother. When I was twelve she died and I inherited it. I always thought it sort of strange that a 75 year old woman kept what is essentially a children’s book. But the first line helped me understand what may have drawn her to the book in the first place and feels representative of where she and I overlapped in our lives.
Gemini, this imaginary garden may sound familiar to you as well. Right now all is potential, a community of fat seeds ready to explode. Many of these seeds may never leave the garden of your imagination, but this is probably less important than the garden itself. For now, keep watering it all.
(7 of Cups/ Love Is The Drug- Grace Jones)
“The moment was strange.” THE CITY AND THE PILLAR by Gore Vidal
The other day I was at the doctor and in an effort to pin point the discomfort I’d been experiencing, he pressed on my stomach in different places asking each time, “Does this hurt?” A few places I said, “No not exactly.” The feeling was sometimes strange, but not easily described in terms of pain.
Cancer, this may, in some respects, describe your situation this week. Stay present with the feelings, while you could be asked to describe the situation in degrees of pain, you might find that it is actually more accurately described as “strange” and does not necessarily read as a warning sign of some future failure or difficulty.
(7 of Swords/ Dances On The Moon- Charlyne Yi)
“About Me and This Book” LORETTA LYNN: COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER by Loretta Lynn
I got my driver’s license later in life because I lived in Brazil for most of my teen years and missed driver’s ed and all of those deeply American traditions. When I was twenty and I finally got my license, the first tape I listened to in the car was Loretta Lynn. I think most of her songs can be summed up in two sentences, “You had your turn, now it’s mine,” and “This is who I am, take me or get out of my way.” It can translate to somewhat reckless driving, but also helps build confidence when you are new behind the wheel.
Leo, this week you may feel hesitant about the possible realization of your dreams, perhaps you’ve run into a road block. Consider Loretta Lynn’s story and the frankness with which she tells it (“About Me and This Book”). Facing these obstacles is different than writing about them afterwards, but imagining what you will say, how you will speak to these challenges when they are no longer in front of you might be helpful as you confront them now.
(Shaman of Wands Rev/ Is That All There Is- Cristina)
“Eyes mark the shape of the city.” AFTER DARK by Haruki Murakami
This sentence reminded me of an old thought I occasionally come back to: what if green to one person is blue to another? We can never see exactly what another person is seeing (or at least until they come up with some sort of technology for this purpose). A city is viewed by millions of eyes from different angles. The same city opens itself up, hints at possibility and in the next minute makes a fist, or turns its back, but it may only be the eyes that have changed, not the city itself.
Virgo, this week you may find yourself with a new perspective on something you previously felt trapped by. Consider that almost any situation can be unlocked when you look at it in this new way.
(8 of Swords Rev/ Hide and Seek- The Feminine Complex)
“There was a day in my life when I decided to live.” TRASH by Dorothy Allison
Perhaps this line feels dramatic when you hold it against your feelings and various obstacles this week, Libra, or maybe it sounds about right. But in this light it may be easier to see where or when you drag your feet or back peddle. Whatever the difficulty is currently presenting itself, big or small, it may be helpful to frame it in the context of the biggest decision you’ve made (conscious or unconscious), the decision to live.
(XV Devil Rev/ Top Of The Mountain- Dorothy Morrison)
“To Marty with Love Grandpa” LUCID LIVING by Tom Freke
This line is taken from an inscription in “Lucid Living,” a book my grandfather sent to me a few years back. My grandfather used to mail books like they were greeting cards. They conveyed more than a card could because they also showed you what he’d been reading and thinking about and also that he’d thought of you in the course of his reading. They were also inspiring because they came from someone sitting at the top of his life and conveyed what he thought was truly important from that perspective. In this case, it was “lucid living,” staying awake.
Scorpio, you may find yourself being presented with various options, roads to take in the week or weeks to come. Try not to step away from these decisions or set them aside. Just sit with them and stay awake. Consider setting an intention now, that when the time comes to make your next move, you will make it “with Love.”
(2 of Swords L/ Simplicity- Ace of Cups)
“In the dry time of the year, the dangerous time, the risk time, an old woman climbed a hill.” THE FIFTH SACRED THING by Starhawk
To climb a hill during the “dangerous time of year” is something someone who doesn’t know any better would do. But it is also something someone would do were they familiar with the risks, but not impeded by the thought of the fear of the dangers.
This week, Sagittarius, you may find yourself at a peak in some area of your life. Your intuition may have guided you through a variety of difficult situations and this week it seems to have led you here to claim some sort of reward for your efforts. Or maybe just meeting the challenges is reward enough.
(4 of Wands R/ Caledonia- Lavender Jane)
“What do you suppose happened to all those Beatniks?” mused a blonde freshman as she drove me back to San Francisco after my reading at Berkeley last year.” MEMOIRS OF A BEATNIK by Diane di Prima
This line was written in 1969. It seems strange and sad that only a few years after the Beatnik era ended some youth would wonder where they’d all gone. It reminded me of old animations of the extinction of the dinosaurs we would watch in elementary school. In a few seconds a living, breathing triceratops became fossilized bones. In this situation, the “blonde freshman” was speaking directly to a notable former Beatnik, the author, Diane di Prima- hardly a fossil. Di Prima says later in the passage, “Things now are more like pretty. A New Age, with a bit of the baby fat still showing. Stay stoned.”
Capricorn, you may find yourself feeling nostalgic for a certain version of the past, but as long as you are alive carrying the flame of whatever feeling or dream you were a part of, there are no fossils only new growth, “a new age.” Keep the feeling alive, as di Prima says, “Stay stoned.”
(2 of Discs Rev/ The Old Grey Goose Is Dead- Jean Ritchie)
“This year it turns out me and my cousin Marlys are going to be in the same room, room 9, Miss Martles’s class.” THE GREATEST OF MARLYS by Lynda Barry
Have you read this book, Aquarius? It is a comic actually, so it was harder for me to determine what the “first line was.” To me comics feel like a neighborhood and books more like a closed door, or something you disappear into privately. I suppose that is because more than half of a comic is composed of generally accessible, visual language, you can drop in, stop by more easily than you can with a book. I found this first line to be nostalgic and comforting. It is easy to recall the feeling of relief upon discovering you were in the same class as a friend or relative.
Aquarius, this week you may be find yourself experiencing a deep satisfying sense of connection to the world around you. Perhaps you are reconnecting with old friends in new places or maybe you are forming new friendships in old places. The world may not feel as small as you feel big.
(10 of Cups/ Meet Me At The River- Miriam Makeba)
“I dreamed I was on a sinking ship.” AIRLESS SPACES by Shulamith Firestone
I’m almost certain I have said these exact words, maybe more than once and more than once these words or ones similar have been met with the following response, “Sounds like an anxiety dream.” I can’t help laughing at the contrast between something as dramatic as a sinking ship and a fleeting feeling of anxiety. But even our subconscious is not without a sense of humor.
Pisces, this week you may find yourself feeling somewhat dramatic about your worries. Try not to catastrophize the situation or if you do exaggerate your anxieties do so in a way that highlights the humor in the situation and then direct your energy towards finding a solution for what really ails you.
(5 of Discs L/ Chilly Winds Don’t Blow- Nina Simone)