a model of the universe

i’ve been burning a red candle since the new moon in hopes of understanding love.

blooming on the heels of a dark winter, a new love changed my whole life, and boldly unfurled for a stranger that almost loved me back. this early love. this, too quick to be love, love. this, how could i possibly? this, massively foolish. this, put it all out on front street.

love. and it was love for a person, and the person is a stranger, and the stranger is getting stranger and farther away. and the love is no longer new but bigger and softer, and sad and mournful, and patient, and willful.

i started a new red candle last night, a seven day tall boy for myself. for the person. for whatever is supposed to come. i prayed. i folded laundry, i washed my floors, i checked my finances, i prayed. i read, i drank water, i drank liquor, i prayed. and then praying, deeply, with eyes open, with palms open, i talked to grandma and she put a hand on my knee and said beta, which means son. and i looked at her and i finally fell asleep so very early in the morning.

i had a dream where i was sitting on the floor of a very old temple that had been razed, only remnants of pillars and an old dusty floor remained and in every direction was dusty old desert and few live animals the color of sand. i asked the temple why was i given this certain and illogical heart, why do i carry so much dumb love and reckless tenderness in a world that hates or fears love? a world that uses love to manipulate, to feed their insecurities or to wield power over one another? why am i made the fool when i feel that love makes me wise?

it answered and told me to wake up.

“to love, be alone”

and i thought to myself,

i am such a dramatic hoe. why am i like this? i was surged with doubt and self punishment. i don’t even know what love is. this is so stupid. i’m just a careless love thot. i just need attention. i really just need to do yoga or some shit. get dicked down or something.  why don’t you go write it in your tumblr, sadboy.

and then i remembered my grandmother. and even if it was a figment of my imagination, i felt ashamed to speak callously about a gift dream she gave me. i humbled myself to the message. “to love, be alone”.

love isn’t loneliness, i know this for sure. when i think of what real love is supposed to look like, i see it existing in moments when we can escape our socialized notions of domination. i feel love when i feel worthy of affection or forgiveness or belonging regardless of what i was conditioned to think i need to do to earn love. if there is no one around you cannot depend on anyone to feel worthy. come to think of it, when you’re alone, there is no “worthy” either. being alone, i think – is being. and being in society is being, but maybe being in relation to power. and maybe power is a natural phenomenon, maybe our relation is power, and together we are power, but it’s important to acknowledge and to be aware of when we go from being humans to being social machines.

“to love, be alone.” what is love alone? i often attribute all these wondrous and brilliant feelings to the presence of another person. i experience love as a revaluation, look at this! i’ve forgotton that i’ve lost you and now you are home! thank god!

 

i seldom get the chance to marvel at them in my own heart, all sparkling and sweet, all mine.

in long stretches of solitude, in the woods of loneliness, after the fear and insecurity subside, i start to understand just how many whims and impulses and desires are informed by power. i can start to see how deeply i believe i can control anything at all, what systems reinforce this idea, and who taught me that in the first place. i see the soldier and the monk and the priest and all the systems of consolidated power. here perhaps ironically, alone, i can see how harmful individualism and statehood, and nationhood, and any idea static identity can be. ideas of worth and dignity are useless alone. there is only this deep humility and humor for my own human foolishness.

and maybe i understand now, the space of humility is the only place that my new stupid love can settle.

maybe it’s all a silly dream and i’ll look back on this and cringe but that’s the point of writing this at all. the future always knows better. by then i’ll know then what it is, but right now, it takes the form of a woman far away. it takes the form of my grandmother with her hand on my knee, it  it flickers and sparks and singes the lip of my candle when i am alone, praying at night.

New Moon In Sagittarius

Planning for Change

Some folks will tell you that the New Moon in Sagittarius is going to be about new ideas, philosophies, and grand schemes. They’ll say take time to recenter optimism in your vision quests. to imbue your future plans with hope. I don’t know about all that but I do know that when something is as close to Saturn as this New Moon is, nothing is ever as simple or as easy as it seems. I think this moon is asking us to do something really weird right now but maybe you’re in a place where it makes perfect sense.

Have you ever been in an argument or a fight with someone you love and deep into the thick of it, you paused, and started laughing at the absurdity of it all? or maybe you’re the type to have a moment of perspective, and soften against the harsh edges conflict. Or maybe you get a chance to return to your body during a break and your whole position changes. Often in these moments of pause or relief we find better strategies for working out conflicts. Sometimes we choose to go with those options and sometimes we double up on our doubts and push through.

I think this moon is like those moments. Our adrenaline drops, we catch our breath, and we see the world differently. We may have entered the arena really knowing what we were fighting for and how we were going to win but sometimes you don’t know what to expect until it actually happens.

It’s hard to describe this alchemical moment of being fiercely engaged – whether it be working yourself to a point of constant sickness, being wildly in denial about a relationship gone bad, or resisting someone else’s demands on your future  – and having to dramatically shift perspective. This is a good thing. In this “eye of the storm” we are offered the option of personal responsibility. We own ourselves and many of us are fortunate to also own our body, our life, our present and future. Taking responsibility for ourselves is taking ownership, claiming our time, our heart, our head.

The New Moon, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury (who is still retrograde) are all gathered together in this dark winter night. Saturn has a very special way of laying just the right amount of pressure for you to build up the strength necessary for what is in store for you next. We either rise to the occasion or get crushed. Venus, on the other side of the New Moon, is social, interpersonal vibrations, and that special thing we call chemistry that brings us together and inspires loyalty for one another. This is why I brought up the fight scene earlier. Now, I don’t know if you are brawlin, bawlin, or just avoiding people altogether right now but I’ll tell you what, you are still in relationship with yourself and those voices in your head are not going to stop arguing by themselves.

Mercury is retrograde, which means hella shit, but right now it’s about not only getting your story straight – but knowing that stories are flexible. For example, you all know someone that, believed their ex was the love supreme but after the break up they retroactively went back and told a completely different story. What if I told you both those narratives they told were true? To realize the difference between then and now isn’t exactly rewriting history, right? It’s experiencing the outcome of change, and change changes you. This is highlighted by Uranus in Aries forming a silky aspect to all those planets I just mentioned and introducing disruption, unforeseen consequences, and ultimately… change.

So you may be asking, OK Diego, so what can I do if I need to get my story straight but everything changes all the time? What is this story anyway? Your story is your life and how you tell it. Our personal narratives are guided by our feelings, choices and circumstances. We cannot change the past and we cannot always change our circumstances so in efforts to claim our narrative we can and center the questions of what we think is a worthy purpose and how can we realize it moving forward. For some folks it’s getting food on the table and recovering from a recent trauma. For others, dreams of the destruction of the carceral system. For many it’s both.

Saturn in Sagittarius has been finding life and purpose under oppression. It’s focusing power has made our pleasure intentional and made our work need meaning. The New Moon is escorting Saturn out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn and is creating a significant opportunity to access the wisdom of change, potential, and planning through deliberate and even meditative audacity. Change is inevitable. Think of the world thirty, or even twenty years ago. Who knew that this would be the world we would be living in? Who hoped for it? Who planned for it?  Take a quiet moment outside tangling obligations and conflicts of the day, drink some water, and let your adrenaline drop. What seeds are you planting for tomorrow? Are you asking for change to accommodate your fear? Survival is real and this is a priority especially for marginalized people. You deserve to live without fear of violence. When you’ve answered that, if you can, ask again but differently, What will you change to accommodate your life?

 

 

*** Art By Inés Ixierda, queer, disabled Bolivian bruja. Check out their etsy shop here.

New Moon in Cancer

Feelings and Healings

Shit happens. We go through this all the time, we fight, we fuck, we break up, we cry, we stew, whatever. Mars Retrograde has surfaced some old wounds that we thought we were done with a long time ago. We thought we were past this. We need to get past this.
The Cancer New Moon doesn’t require a lot to perform healing. She likes baths, oceans, rose water. She deals in intuition, the senses, the comfort and pleasure of the skin. She wants you to feel how it feels because you might have been avoiding some important steps in your journey towards intimacy and fulfillment.

When I think of Cancer I think of the ocean, I think of the tides. When you are caught in a tide the worst thing you can do is try to fight against it. This is our natural inclination, to survive, but this isn’t how the ocean works. When we surrender to the tide she may pull us in deeper, but we can save our energy once the rolling tide passes, and swim to the surface. Of course, this is a metaphor for emotions. Our scariest emotions. Feelings of entrapment, rage, and endless sadness. Of course this is a metaphor for healing. Healing is nonlinear and illogical. It is against our illogical and sit quietly while bombs drop around us. It is counterintuitive to surrender in what feels like a war. It is hard not to beat ourselves up for being to intense or vulnerable or cold. It’s hard to acknowledge that things you thought you were over are not done with you yet.

Our emotions can give us vital information. They can be a green light, an alarm system, a fuel gauge. My bet is that your anger and frustrations are showing you where your boundaries need to be and you are not sure if your ready to build them. Boundaries can mean letting go. They can mean breaking up. But honestly, the ones that are going to go up after these next two weeks are going to be about respecting yourself and the people you love. It’s transcendent. It’s long game. It’s real love. It’s fucking radical.

Just as self care isn’t about taking care of others, self care is not about avoiding responsibility for your actions. It is, in some ways, preparing yourself to be solid enough to be confident in your choices and to act in ways you are proud of so in the times we don’t act in accordance with our integrity, we can recognize it too. When we don’t take care of ourselves, very simple and honest responses can feel like they’re sinking our ships. If we ground our actions in our principles and meet our own needs, being accountable to those we love can be a positive influence in our lives.
Respect the messages your feelings are sending you. Take time to go through them and find where they meet your reality. Witness them. Honor where they came from. Let them be obscure and illusive, avoid emotional hygiene and new age guilt trips about becoming a “whole person”. You are a whole person, though sometimes or most times fragmented, distorted, or broken, you are whole. Yes, respect your feelings and avoid being over protective. What I mean by this is that there are feelings that serve us and feelings that have been products of our environment, ways we have been conditioned to feel that may not accurately reflect what we actually need. Guilt and shame at their best can be markers of where we could have done better. But under patriarchy and white supremacy they are often useless attachments to not being good enough, for needing “too much”, or even being too much. Although the New Moon is a time of new beginnings I think the most successful endeavor we can embark upon this cycle is recognizing old pattens of guilt, shame, or insecurity.
The new moon falls on the 4th of July where, in this country, we set off bombs in “celebration of the liberty provided by our forefathers”. There cannot be a better metaphor for the irony and flat out bullshit this statement is than the scene in a refugee center or a VA hospital on this day. My liberation isn’t celebrated with bombs, beers, or bros. My liberation will be celebrated when every prison is destroyed, all reparations are paid, and patriarchy eviscerated.
May the explosions this evening feed dreams of smashing the state. May all war survivors in this country be held by those they love tonight. May all who were children familiar with gunfire let their tears flood the streets. May the land rise up and swallow it’s colonizers whole. May we celebrate the our love for each other and ourselves tonight and every night. As we heal ourselves, we heal each other. Happy Interdependence Day.