Madame Coco’s Weekly Horoscope for Bookish and Clever People

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Gather ’round, children, for it’s time again to read the stars, seek answers in your cards, and let the things which we do not know be known. So count your cards and lay down the bones. Let’s come together to seek out the potential in what comes next. It is a new year, my sweet ducks. Let’s find out what lies ahead.


Aquarius

A person kneels and empties a bucket of water; the image reads "Aquarius"

January 20 to February 18

“Huge Molasses Tank Explodes in North End,” the papers read. That’s right. In 1919, Boston experienced one of its largest historical tragedies to date: The Great Boston Molasses Disaster. Over 26 million pounds of molasses were released into the street after a a large steel tank had broken, creating a crashing wave 25 feet tall, 160 feet wide, and moving at 35 mph. The incident claimed over 21 lives, injured 150, and destroyed miles of infrastructure (some even claim that you can still smell the molasses to this day when it is hot out). Yet, all that remains of this disaster? A small green plaque, located at Foster and Commercial. The way we commemorate and remember is funny, isn’t it? Some things we are never willing to let go, some we do everything in our power to be rid of. I only implore you, my dear Aquarius, to think long and hard about what it is you wish to forget and always wish to remember. Our culture is quick to tell us what is deserving and what gets a tiny plaque in a busy intersection, but I know you’ll be able to use your wits and sensitive soul to give the world a little more when it comes to the game of remember and forget.


Pisces

Two fish swim in a circle, and the image reads "Pisces"

February 19 to March 20

My dear Pisces, I hope you get a visit from the Baku. I know that sounds like a veiled threat, but in reality, it really might be just the cure you need. The Baku is a dream-eater, a Japanese spirit being that while shy and semi-mythical, is a fierce nightmare consumer, a good spirit that protects you from the terror of bad dreams, conveniently subsisting off them for nourishment. Now, in order for the Baku to come visit you, you will need to draw a picture of the Baku and slide it under your pillow, all before you fall asleep. How you represent the Baku is a matter of choice: some say it is like a pig with long legs and a snout, some swear that it has an elephant’s head and a tiger’s claws. However, I implore you to take the liberty into your own hands and create your own Baku specific to what it is you need to sleep soundly this week. Troubled slumber is a nightmare unto itself and you, Pisces, have a lot to be dreaming about. Make those dreams sweet.


Aries

An image of a clip art ram that reads "Aries"

March 21 to April 19

Aries, I certainly don’t want to short-change you with your outlook this week, but I’m a firm believer in saying everything you can with all you can. So I’ll say this:

Breathe.

That’s it. The week is coming down heavy on your shoulders. Take a breath. Take a deep breath. Let it in your lungs and out, soothing your jangled nerves and allowing your shoulders to relax. I know it is the time for all things now. But you can’t continue living if you aren’t breathing. Slow down, my sweet one. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.


Taurus

An image of a bull that reads "Taurus"

April 20 to May 20

You know that feeling when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and the anticipation is killing you, so you keep going outside to see if they’re there ? The Inuit call that Iktsuarpok. Of course, in English, there is no direct word for it, only a jumbling of describers and explanations that hopefully fit together, but English offers nothing nearly as seamless as that Inuit word. English tends to be like that. We jumble and directly explain, losing a good amount of the lyrical quality that tends to find its way into other languages. We would rather describe an experience using many words, rather than having one word that gives a definition that is loose and flowing, and that while not accurate in its definition, is accurate in its emotion. Taurus, I know you are a headstrong creature bent on forceful logic, but there is a magical quality to words that can’t be found in your own language that I suggest you take comfort in. Find languages that fit in the internal state rather than a group of words that describe everything all at once. Iktsuarpok, my sweet one.


Gemini

GeminiI was thinking of you, dear Gemini, when shuffling my tarot cards this week. It just so happens that I pulled the The Tower, a card of equally productive and destructive qualities. There is nothing more horrifying than a forest fire, right? It razes, destroys, and takes no prisoners. But the thing about the very same destruction? It allows for a new rebirth. The scorched earth soaks up the ashes of the destruction, creating a fertile new soil in which life springs forth immediately. That’s what The Tower is like: the destruction of and breaking-down of the castle of the ego. The walls you built to hide your secrets must come tumbling down. Expectations are shattered and illusions of security are burnt to the ground. To be fair, they never really existed anyway, even if they did comfort you. As the writer of ATA-Tarot says so clearly, “The crown on this card must be worn on by a human head, not placed atop a tower of cold stone”. Take your crown Gemini. It’s time.


Cancer

An image of a clip art crab which reads "Cancer"

June 21 to July 22

It happened in Georgia not long ago that a farmer and his wife decided to sleep late, like the rich folk do. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, the kind that brings all God’s creatures out to play. But not these farm folk. No, they just slept and slept and slept. The crows were gathered in a large oak tree, having a big morning meeting. They noticed that there was nobody stirring around the house, and that the corn was ripe in the field. So they adjourned their meeting mighty quick and flew over to the field to eat some corn. “Caw-n, caw-n,” they cackled excitedly. The old rooster woke up to their activities and started to crow excitedly to the sleeping family. “Wake up, wake up, wake up!” The farmer and his wife just kept sleeping, and the crows kept eating the corn. “Caw-n, caw-n,” they called. “The crows are in the corn! The crows are in the corn!” The rooster cock-a-doodle-dooed with all his might. The farmer kept snoring, and his wife just rolled over and pulled the pillow over her head. The rooster was frantic. He tried once more: “The crows are in the corn. They’re pulling up the corn!” The farmer and his wife kept right on sleeping. And the crows kept right on eating. The old turkey came strolling into the yard and watched the proceedings. Finally, he said to the rooster: “The corn’s all et up, all et up, all et up.” When the farmer and his wife finally rolled out of bed, they found that the corn was all gone. That is why in Georgia we say, “The crows are in the corn,” when it is time to get up.

Cancer, I beg of you, with this nonsensical tale, how are you going to get up? How are you going to pay attention to the pressing urgency of what lies right in front of you? Sirens, roosters, and turkeys are all letting you know, but in the end, it is only you that can wake up. Now wake up to what, I certainly don’t know. But I do say, it is time to wake.


Leo

An image of a clip art lion which reads "Leo"

July 23 to August 22

“We were all like a gaggle of hermit crabs without shells, flopping around trying to find ourselves,” says author and self-proclaimed Bleachy Hair, Honky Bitch, Hollis Gillespie. “Instead we found each other, and that’s just as good, I guess.” I love Gillespie’s resignation to the absolute chaos of the world. Life, she deems, is pretty unexpected. We make plans, the universe laughs. We try and find the solid stuff to put under our feet, at least enough to prop up onto, and the universe pulls it right out from underneath our feet (and continues to laugh). But in spite of all this, you got to laugh. No one likes the awkward and muffled muddling through life. We much more prefer high-highs, and seek meaning in the low-lows, but frankly? We just muddle a lot. Or rather, flop around like a bunch of washed up hermit crabs. But given your headstrong and forthright nature, Leo, you tend to hate the muddling. The uncertainty. The “things not going according to plan.” I know it’s tough to let go of all of that, and I don’t think you should at this point. But maybe, just maybe, try flopping on your back and scuttling a wee bit. Perhaps in the scuttle, you’ll find someone kind enough to turn your shell over. Maybe that’s all we really get.


Virgo

A person sits on the ground holding up a flower; the caption reads "Virgo"

August 23 to September 22

Ever heard of Huacas de Moche, dear Virgo? It is the site of two temples, the Huaca de la Luna and the Huaca del Sol, both built by the Moche civilization in northern Peru. The temples served as cultural touchstones, community centers, pottery storage, and worship center to Ai-Apaec, god of life and death in the Moche culture. Ai-Apaec kept the human world in order, and as thanks for doing so, the temples often served as spots of human sacrifice. Archeologists found 42 skeletons of sacrificial victims and those graves indicate that the sacrificial offerings took place during a severe El Niño season (what better way to stave off a severe hurricane than sacrifices?) Ceramics also dug up from the temples suggest that the two huacas might have also been a site for a cult of the dead or a link to deity worshipping. We, of course, will never know for certain, but there is something to be said on the nature of sacrifice. I certainly am not suggesting you go out into the world and knock off a few folks in the name of good fortune. But good fortune does require sacrifice. Fate is when luck or the gods or whatever it is you seek out in the universe smiles on those who have set easier things aside in the name of what it is they want. Instead of seeing your efforts as just efforts, think of them as sacrifices to the gods, my sweet Virgo. Put out into the universe what you hope to get back. Sacrifice is just another name for that.


Libra

An image of scales that reads "Libra"

September 23 to October 22

James Oliver Curry not only cooks, but the man knows how to find food with awesomely weird names. Spiny Lobster in Crazy Water. Anything Rice. Shaking Beef. A favorite? Ugly but Good Hazelnut Cookies. A fine and honest title, one that reduces the pressure to replicate a professional’s recipe sans the professional’s team, food stylist, and years of experience. But enough about that, let’s get down to the cookies.

First you’ll need 4 large egg whites, a pinch of salt, 1 1/3 cups sugar, and 3 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts.

Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Whip the egg whites and salt in an electric mixer with the whisk on medium speed until they are white and opaque and beginning to hold their shape. Increase the speed to medium high and whip in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to whip the whites until they hold a firm peak. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the ground hazelnuts.

Scrape the batter into a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is heated through, about 8 minutes. Use 2 spoons to form 3/4-inch cookies. Use one spoon to scoop up some batter and the other to scrape it off the first spoon, rounding it somewhat as you do, and drop the cookies onto the prepared pan, spacing them about 1 inch apart from each other in all directions. Bake the cookies until they are well colored and slightly firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool.

The lesson in all this? The best things? Are usually not the prettiest things. Sometimes, as Curry points out, they can be downright ugly. But don’t underestimate the ugly. Ugly is where magic happens, where things transform. Take full advantage of the ugly this week, my dear Libra. You’ll need it to get to the sweet.


Scorpio

A clip art image of a scorpion that reads "Scorpio"

October 23 to November 21

In Veracruz-Llave, Mexico stands the Monumento al Volador, a larger than life statue of a man playing music, head tilted up to the sky and feet on tippy toes. The man looks so undeniably joyful, so passionately in his music, that one would swear that he was flying. Well, to be precise, that is what the monument is designed for — “Monument to Flying”. He does not quite literally sprout wings, as all humans at one point or another have wished to do. But he does fly in that metaphorical sense, where, when you find the thing that you are divined to do, it is quite literally the spiritual lift off, the moment of spreading your own wings and soaring. Scorpio, how are you going to memorialize your own Monumento al Volador? What is the thing that makes you stand up high on your own tippy toes and tilts your whole body towards the sky? What is it that gives you wings?

Go ahead, I’ll wait.


Sagittarius

Clip art of the Sagittarius symbol.

November 22 to December 21

“We stand there with this big smile of respect between us,” says author Toni Cade Bambara. “It’s about as real a smile as girls can do for each other, considering we don’t practice real smiling every day, you know, cause maybe we too busy being flowers or fairies or strawberries instead of something honest and worthy of respect . . . you know . . . like being people.” Oh, the promise and pressure of being the perfect woman. You’ll never live up to it, my dear Sagittarius. Hell, none of us ever will. But you’ll always see those around you, trying as best as they can, hoping that one day they will wake up not as flawed individual women, but as something much more acceptable to the world, like flowers or faeries. Well, I say fuck that, my sweet one. Fuck that strawberry shit until the cows come home. Being flawed might not be the most comfortable and enjoyable spot in the world, but it is an honest spot. Always start there. Besides, strawberries rot, flowers wilt, and faeries? Only exist on the pages of a book, often written by a man. Go be something bigger, my dear Sagittarius. Go be bigger.


Capricorn

A clip art image of a goat that reads "Capricorn"

December 22 – January 19

I’ve sought out one of my favorite Greek folktales for you this week, Capricorn. Perhaps it’s divine-like crack at wisdom will speak to your own worries this week.

There was once a man who had a beautiful cat. She was so loving that one day he wished out loud, “Dear Cat, if you were only a woman, I’d marry you!” Aphrodite, the goddess of love, heard his wish and changed the cat into a beautiful woman. The man and the cat woman were married and lived quite happily together until one night…

The beautiful woman was sitting on her bed and into the room came a mouse. She crouched on her hands and knees, pounced on the mouse, and began to eat it, much to her husband’s alarm! Aphrodite looked down from the clouds and, seeing this, turned the woman back into a cat. Aphrodite chuckled, “I can change the outer appearance of a creature, but to truly make a difference, I guess I must change its inner character first!”

Change is a funny thing, no? We certainly must change; though, I think as Aphrodite pointed out, sometimes it is best to change for our own selves, or better yet, if we are itching for change, to go deep inside rather than find that quick fix. I’d like to think one could do both, a little inner-searching and a haircut, but sweet Capricorn, that’s for you to know and find out. Happy searching this week. I do hope you find your own catwoman.


ADVISEMENT FOR ALL THE SIGNS THIS WEEK: I’m putting you on the three step plan sweet peas. I advise taking it once in the morning and once in the evening. Ready for your step-by-step plan?

  1. Your thoughts aren’t real. Rarely, they are honest. They are mostly just thoughts. Like ghosts or farts, they eventually pass.
  2. You can notice your thoughts. Don’t pay attention to them though. Or at least, not always.
  3. Don’t feel the need to forgive yourself. There is actually nothing to forgive. Just let it go. Let. It. Go.
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[E]Coco Papy

Coco is a writer and burlesque performer. Born in the Deep South and based out of Brooklyn, New York, she performs and pens regularly, with gusto. You can catch more of her work at http://cocoepapy.tumblr.com/
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[E]Coco PapyMadame Coco’s Weekly Horoscope for Bookish and Clever People

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