Thursday, November 5, 2015

Horoscopes to Wear Sweaters To

Gather round, ye astrological astronauts, and cozy up to my latest witch proclamations. These go down especially nice with a good cocktail (Manhattans, anyone?), or, if you're abstaining, a hot chocolate made with real milk.

ARIES: I recently joined this Facebook trading group, where people will post photos of stuff they don't want—tables, half-eaten loaves of banana bread, unopened and slightly outdated tech—and then go "ISO" things to replace them. People are in search of the weirdest things, but the same general categories keep coming up: succulents, haircuts, mirrors, "consumables" (you're fooling no one, stoners), and, always, tall cans and tokens. It's this weird proxy economy that couldn't exist if we weren't terrible at just getting rid of stuff. We always seem to want something in return.

TAURUS: When a woman gets knocked up, there are very few objectively great things that happen to her body. The whole nine months are basically just one long ooze. The exception? Goddamn, pregnant hair looks amazing. Add in that "glow" people talk about? It's like they're radiant from the chin(s) up. Perhaps, Taurus, you too have a unexpected and time-limited glory in which you can revel.

GEMINI: One of the weirdest (to me) subgenres of film is Christmas horror, but not only does it exist, Christmas horror has a rich and bloody history reaching back to the Canadian X-mas horror classic Black Christmas. One of my favourite Christmas horror movies is Rare Exports, a Norwegian movie featuring a very off-putting Santa and a bunch of homicidal—and, um, full-frontal naked—elves. It's so weird, you guys. But it's also kind of charming, and it's actually not all that scary. It's more of a ninety-minute wtf-fest where the intersection of gore and nostalgia and amazing Scandi scenery are at its peak. Which is all to say: seeking out life's strangest intersections can be a beautiful thing.

CANCER: My sister spends her life flying between her office in the city, her work zone in the hinterlands, and her boyfriend and family three provinces away. There's something in her spirit that really enjoys this, but Cancers are known for being homebodies. Y'all like your creature comforts. Maybe this is why, when she travels, she brings her personal totems with her: favourite sweaters, an iPod loaded with pop music, her At Bat baseball app. It keeps her grounded even as she makes a habit of never quite knowing where she might wake up tomorrow.

LEO: I love office supplies. Index cards, binder clips, printers that work right out of the box without having to whack the side and pray to Jesus that everything is hooked up: magical talismans, one and all. Having a well-stocked office supply cabinet makes me feel prepared—which, when you think about it, is just another word for safe. The illusion of safety can be a powerful one, and not all bad. After all, I'm way more willing to take a risk when I feel like I have a net underneath me, even if that net is made up of paper clips and half-inch binders.

VIRGO: Can I level with you? It took me a full year to read The Hobbit, which is ridiculous because that book is not long. My husband's copy of the book is 279 pages, which is about the same as a Stephen King short story. I think it took me so long to wade through it for the same reason I'm lukewarm on Star Wars and I don't really care about the Beatles: not having been exposed to them as a kid, I missed the rush of discovery and wonder that those pop culture touchstones can create. Encountering them as an adult, I understand, on an academic level, why people dig them; they just don't make me feel anything. This year, I stopped apologizing for that. It's not my fault the timing didn't work out.

LIBRA: "I feel cheated never being able to know what it's like to get pregnant, carry a child and breastfeed,” once said noted feminist Dustin Hoffman. Allow me to fill you in, D: stick a bicycle pump in your belly button and inflate your stomach until you can no longer see your pubes, then go on a 45-day crying jag. Experiences that seem magical from the outside are often very much not once you're strapped in for the ride, and it can be tough to know, when, exactly, the payoff stops making sense. Maybe you, too, Libra, are engaged in something feels way different on the inside that it seems on the outside. Maybe you could share with the group a little more.

SCORPIO: I've been really coveting black Nike running shoes lately. I went through an intense clogs phase, and I still love my Blundstones, but there's something about a breezy pair of runners that make me go "mmmm." But all the art-school girls I see are still clutching their dirty white Chucks like they're the effing holy grail, and now that I'm in my thirties, I can't tell if they're weird or if I am. It feels shallow to "still care" about fashion, as if that's something I'm supposed to give up as I get older—like I have to trade that brainspace for, like, knowing about investments or something. But also: this stuff matters to me. Sometimes, you gotta give in to the parts of your brain that cares deeply about superficial stuff.

SAGITTARIUS: I have this recurring daydream in which I'm a farmer. I see myself with a baby goat slung around my neck as casually as a Milanese millionaire would wear an ascot, and I walk the rows of my crops—lavender? Hops? Peach trees?—with the comforting buzz of artisan honeycombs coming from somewhere over the next rise. I wear galoshes because I have to, and my hair is wiry yet alluring. This daydream has pretty much zero in common with actual farming, and is just an escapist fantasy whenever I find myself spending too much time on the computer...but it's also really useful, because it points out what I'm lacking: physical work, a connection to nature, a sense of purpose. It helps what's missing throw a shadow.

CAPRICORN: So Trudeau filled his cabinet with women, and you know who wants to talk about it? Cab drivers. Cab drivers definitely want to ask you about your opinions on Trudeau and his political harem, and they definitely have opinions themselves, although they won't share them until they suss out where you fall on the political spectrum. I get the sense that Toronto cab drivers, as a group, have some of the highest levels of diplomacy and tact on the face of the earth, even though they scare me half to death when I'm cycling and they're going extinct in the face of Uber. Maybe Trudeau can repurpose Toronto cab drivers as ambassadors; lord knows they have the skills for it.

AQUARIUS:You know what pains me? Justin Bieber is having A Moment. I've listened to "Sorry" about 300 times, and you know what? I'm NOT SORRY. That damn song is really catchy. Bieber is doubly embarrassing because, like me, he's from Stratford; unlike me, he's a gazillionaire pop star who has silly tattoos and wears/acts like the dumbest shit on earth and people are always like, "You're from STRATFORD?! Do you know JUSTIN BEIBER?!!!??" and first of all, no, and secondly, ugh. But I am powerless in the face of "Where Are U Now," as all reasonable humans must be. And you know what helps? Watching the "Sorry" video for the 301st time. Those girls can daaaaaance.

PISCES: Did you notice a lot of tandem bikes this summer? I sure did. I saw them everywhere, and I can't help but wonder if they're in a renaissance, or if they've actually been there the whole time. I feel like this is a metaphor for something: maybe there's a slightly unusual trend that will pop into your life soon, making it a bit weirder and more delightful. Maybe that thing is already circling you like a friendly, dopey shark, and you just need to start noticing it. Maybe join a tandem bike gang—it will obviously have an even number of members—and keep your eyes open on the road.

Image via The Bold Italic