Gih-na-sha (Old sign: Capricorn) Think. Think hard. Now soft. Then hard. You’re ready. Give yourself a sound bath. Take an actual bath if you want to. I suggest listening to a raga of Nikhil Banerjee on repeat. Listen carefully to the layers of sound. Let the musical planes fly in and out of your consciousness, and allow yourself to experience awe. Harder to think when you are experiencing unfettered wonder. The gaze of the Ever-Becoming Face In all your thinking have you ever really solved anything for good? Every invention of man requires an exchange. The human mind may guess at the things lost but will not really know it until the exchange has been made. The invention of metal coinage. The telephone. The atom bomb. Meditate on what you are willing to exchange for progress.
Hahp-e (Old sign: Aquarius) Your ova hang snugly in your cho-cho. Con l’uva si fa vino. Whinos are skittering around you these days. Come mai non vai in vacanza? Rome is dirtier than usual. The seagulls winter among the spoils of garbage. Chi si spaglia? Go somewhere with a winter clime that’s different from that of your homeland. Go quickly. However you can. Travel light and do your utmost to break up your quotidian existence.
Hehk-eht (Old sign: Pisces) This is the fucking season. The public has spoken in deed, and the crown of your spawn will crown nine months from now. Give your creation time to incubate and develop. Your efforts will be vastly rewarded come harvest time. Have compassion for yourself! You will barely recognize your chicks when they hatch.
Kah-le (Old sign: Aries) Your mother’s heartbeat. The pace of her gait. Tell-time body of rhythms. The swish-swash makes your fingerprints. So, when did Time become a mechanical fossil, Kali? Was it your doing? Let me be more clear. Rhythm is natural to all. Even heartless vegetables can tell time. The drums erupt from every ancient human quay. But when did tick-tocking time start? That Hitchcockian suspense, that high anxiety of the clock face’s imperturbable countenance, that drip Drip Drip… Did that drip, drip, drip start with a water clock or a water wheel? The tides toll the time for every mariner and fishermonger. The swish-swash of the womb. When did the church bell bend its tolling to each machine-computed second-minute-hour? During the French Revolution, inspired by the Enlightenment’s great throbbing raisons, the French created their own decimalized Revolutionary Calendar for all measures of time. Revolutionary Time divided the day into 10 decimal hours, the decimal hour into 100 decimal minutes and the decimal minute into 100 decimal seconds. During World War One, Germany’s War Ministry requisitioned and melted down 1000s of ancient church bells and pipe organs to repurpose them into a grim new kind of clockwork tuned to the rate of 600 rounds per minute. Time is very different when we have got the Maxim gun, and they have not. But was it something innocent, like a golden geared bauble for a young emperor? An Antikythera Mechanism? When did that infernal drip-tick-drip-tick-drip-tick-tocking time begin? When did the heart become a ticker? We slept in roadways on the outskirts of towns And awoke with the dawn. Another night and we got tired and We put our pillows down in a cornfield and faced the Starry Plough. In the morning we awoke and mustered for the hunt. The North is boar country. Boars as big as bears. We lost a man to a tusk in the thigh; he bled out and his gore mingled on the ground with that of our kill. We will eat of this boar until spring.
Ah-naht (Old sign: Taurus) Anything alive in this wasteland is very well concealed. There a toad croaks. There a badger sharpens his claws on a dead tree trunk. Salamanders are in frozen stasis in tiny crags. The moonlight is cold, and the mother clutches her young. Mamma, you better button up the mouth of the cave and sharpen a stick. Harden the stick in the fire. You can’t spell “mammal” without “mamma.” This month it is vital that you mammal up. Feed the babe from your breast and regard your ability as magic. You made this creature from your body. Calcium from your bones. Iron from your blood. Sipping stardust from a supernova mash. Be a nurturer this month your efforts will amortize for years to come!
Eh-shu (Old sign: Gemini) To the town of Agua Dulce, Eshu rode one winter’s day; came riding from the south side and had a lot to say. No one dared to stare too long No one dared to do wrong For the god that rode among them sang a loney cowboy song A lonely cowboy song. “I have come for your children. I have come for your old. I have come from the south side to cull your dearest fold. Your near and dearest from the fold to the cold.” A chorus of the townsfolk protested Eshu’s dirgey hollow song And despite their fear they cried out singing all along. “You’ve come to spread your evil sipping from your pools. In truth you’re a scofflaw and we will not be fools.” Eshu laughed heartily and whipped his head around. His stare smote three elders that ragdolled to the ground. The groans and moans of people mixed with Pluto’s verse Youth fell next and a palfrey pulled a dismal iron hearse. An ancient iron hearse. Eshu turned his horse around and rode back to the south. The sad chorus sang with sunken mouth. “The shovels gave no succor; the ground was frozen stone. The frozen victims were propped up so we wouldn’t feel so alone. We served them tea and crumpets We stuffed their mouths with trumpets And danced into the night with fires burning bright. The dead are thawing fast and here and there a breath tells us that their spirits are tricksters. But the steaming soon subsides and rigor alone resides in the bones of our brothers and sisters.” Allow Entropy into your heart!
Tah-na (Old sign: Cancer) Loneliness is the empty winter forest. Get out of bed and declutter your life. You’ve nested long enough. Stop feeling so bad for yourself. Everybody’s holiday is shitty one way or another. You took some risks and lost, but there is no reason to shy away from your prognosticators. You have the ability to survive in the slim margin above chance but below the extreme luck-skill filter. Be prepared! The Unknown is now your God!
Marutuk (Old sign: Leo) Bodies of water are wondrous womanly swells. There is a serene calm here on the Thames. The water flows gently and violently through thee, Potomac. The canal under a Venetian bridge. The pond at my uncle’s farm. The preternatural calm of Crater Lake. The august vastness of the Pacific swallows all. The lap lapping of Hornby Island coves. The tide pools teem with a humble intrepidity. Long Tom’s muddy stillness. Make yourself a river this month! Pick your favorite and make an altar to remind you of your mascot’s comportment.
Jan_Kah-noom (Old sign: Virgo) The Great Filter looms large above your creation. You might think the Filter a great fleet of alien doomsday machines hovering over monuments to humanity’s magnificence; but, no, these contrivances are the creation of your own creation. On the bright side, your creation has had the ability to destroy itself for at least seven decades. You may believe they have chosen the path of a slow, procrastinating death. No need to die today. Maybe tomorrow? As of this writing, several branches of your creation still desire to create a future. Force yourself to be future-oriented during this transition to the new year.
Hih-fes-tuhs (Old sign: Libra) Thou hast coiled thyself in thine owne indestructible chains, HEF. How many goddes hours will it take thee to remedie the self-inflicted bind? Thou hast ymagined in thy monstrous, mechanical, monomaniacal mind a terrible instrument that thou hast highte, the joymurderer. The device rends time and space: the only way to cut thine eternal chains. But Murphy’s Law still operates freely in thy divine realm. Believe in the Deity that is Entropy. And as always gird your lions and your loins.
Ter (Old sign: Scorpio) What a great judge is Winter! And Death threshes brittle chaff with his terrible scythe. We call out for our mothers and our fathers, alas! They have passed on. But Winter is your time to gather strength. You are akin to a bear in your need for slumber. Hibernating for most of the month will do you some good. Adjust your CPAP and for God’s sake clean your mask! Meditate upon the implicit meaning of your actions late in the month. Write a list of everything you have accomplished and try to find the inner meaning of your routine’s narrative. Hint: Make several thick stews.
Shang-te (Old sign: Sagitarius) The Palace of Diocletian in Split, Croatia is a throne fit for your winter lodging, Shang-Ti. Every amenity Croatia can offer is at your fingertips. Because you are the lion, you took the lion’s share at the holidays. Look at your blood! It’s running white with fat! Take your time in this shoreside palace! Perform your ablutions in the baptistery! Watch what you eat! Avoid odd meats like lamprey; you haven’t the constitution. Winter will let you finish that big passion project. Cuddle up with your babies and complete what you set out to do! Hot stone massage daily!