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The New Inquiry 36, Stars: Editors’ Note

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This is the editorial note to TNI Vol. 36: Stars. View the full table of contents here.

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Aries: It’s been nice to have your insecurity mistaken for composure. Every intact fish skeleton you pull from your mouth at the dinner table flicks pinpricks of blood at your guests. This month’s Stars issue of The New Inquiry might not solve the problem of your appetites, but it will help you focus on more stratospheric matters.

Taurus: The glow of the laptop on your face in this otherwise dark room is comforting but remember there’s no vitamin D in digital light. You need more analog pleasures and if you don’t find them in reading Adam Elenbaas’ essay on astrologers to the stars then you can always go out and find some mud to roll around in.

Gemini:  Aspiration isn’t the same thing as ambition; the latter requires a plan. Last year you were torn between training as a pilot and setting fire to a prison; this year, you’ll split the difference and fly to the moon. Two filmmakers, Larissa Sansour and Frances Bodomo, plot out how women from majority-world nations can reach the stars. It’s possible you can too.

margin-ad-leftCancer: Your winter wardrobe is marred by the nail marks you press into your palms. A cooler approach to the new year demands retiring last year’s layers and finding lesser-known hands to hold. Want to make your crush fall in love with you? Turn to our resident Marooned Alien Princess for advice. But remember that the safety you’re craving is more a question of armour than amorousness.

Leo: This year, achieve new radiance by burning out. You hope you’ll end up moving to the desert to commune with the sun and find someone kind and local to listen to your dreams in the morning. But sexual novelty pools in the big city and you navigate only by your libido. Or if you feel you’ve tried everything here, move to another planet entirely: In “No Spin Zone,” Erik Petigura discusses the recent boom of exoplanet discoveries.

Virgo: It is an understudied medical phenomenon, but just like leaves expand and contract to receive water, organs swell and shrink in tides. A bruised chest could be the sign of an expanded stomach, or hard rain. In “Cause/Affect,” Charles Gaines applies systematic logic of the subjective world. Art might have innards too, but their biological reality is debatable.

Libra: Objects in the bedroom mirror may appear closer than they are. Could a zero-sum game with the significant others in your life be making it harder to see not only them, but also yourself? If you’d like your reflections to become more relational, try Lindsay Catherine Cornum’s “The Space NDN’s Star Map,” where earthly tradition and cosmic exploration merge through an expanded sense of what it means to live together.

Scorpio: Identifying as an omen is narcissistic, not self-deprecating. You might have a special interest in transformations that can’t be undone, but death and destruction are everyone’s familiars, not just yours. If that loss of singularity makes your head spin, join the Committee to Destroy Outer Space, or at least read their manifesto. Once the outside has been abolished in favor of this world of inner lives, you’ll see that you’re only haunting yourself.

Sagittarius: Watch out for the defective units among those action hero figurines of yourself. At least one has a hand where its head should be and has spent all night dreaming of thumbs. And collectors will go wild on eBay for another’s broken heart. All bodies, even yours, can be threatened by fantasies of improvement: Black Sun Rising A.M. Gittlitz shows how Nazi cosmology has been inherited by the technofuturism of the new right.

Capricorn: Fear can be glamorous, just convince yourself it’s something you inspire. Out-drama the upcoming year. Allow yourself to outsize others’ shadows with longer teeth and sharper toe points. Every year is a chance for you to accumulate new wisdom, but make sure you use your powers for good. If you’re not sure what side you’re on, “Cloudy Logic” by Robin James might bring clarity.

Aquarius: You’ve seen the future and you’re bored already, so don’t feel guilty for reverting from last year’s extremes to new ones. Do it for the Vine. In an interview with Hannah Black, The Jeane Dixon Effect discusses astrology’s queer promise.

Pisces: Even if you achieve your dream of dissolving in stardust, you’ll still have to pay the rent. In this world, however much you dislike it, your unfinished errands won’t pass as a metaphor for the chaos of a complex mind. In “Islamic Astropolitik,” Muslim astronauts show that the daily rites of prayer apply in orbit. The cosmos needs Earth to secure it. Do your laundry.

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