Cosmic Candy: February 3rd – 9th

We are pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with one of our favorite astrologists (and talented yoga pro), Chani Nicholas, to bring you weekly horoscope readings. Check back each Monday to see what’s in the stars for your week!
“Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”
― Toni Morrison
Aries & Aries Rising
“I dream a dream that dreams back at me.”― Toni Morrison
Dreaming, scheming, pleasing, wandering, wondering, and pondering. Letting go and going astray, flying, freeing, forgiving and forgetting. This week is hopefully a moment of pure pause from daily frantic life. This is not to say that you won’t have to go to work and do the dishes, but something more ethereal is calling your name. I see you blasting your favorite tunes and dancing yourself clean in your finest booty-shaking duds for no one but the Goddess of Movement. This is a potentially powerful time for you to tune in and drop out. This is the time for remembering that everything begins first with your internal experience of it. Perhaps what is more powerful is your attitude that precedes your experience and then in turn facilitates it. Happiness is an inside job and so is success. After this past week’s astrology, I would think that you need a moment to reevaluate especially in terms of your ambition, your career and your direction in life. The reevaluating isn’t over, far from it. We are deep into the spelunking mission that is the beginning of 2014 and there is no turning back now. It is a direction that is in direct opposition to the usual movement of your sign. You have the extra added bonus of growth inducing time when you get to see how your strength can be a weakness and to see opportunities to walk with steadier, sturdier steps.
Taurus & Taurus Rising
“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”― Toni Morrison
One of my favorite things is being with my friends during one of those times when I feel like I am actually there with my friends. You know those times when you feel connected, embraced and fully with the people that you are with, free to love them and appreciate them as is? One of my least favorite things is when I am surrounded by those that I love and feel like I am in a glass bubble. The very people that I felt so connected to, so in love with and so understood by now seem so far away even though they are so seemingly near. What has changed, I wonder to myself. Well, the only common denominator is me, unfortunately. I have the power to change the same situation into a win or a loose, into a good time or a bad one and into a score or a debt. This is the bane of being human I suppose, particularly a moody one (which you are far less likely to be). Enjoyment is only one part of the equation for you this week, Taurus. The other piece is a little something I can only describe as being kidnapped by your worst phobia’s, insecurities and wounds. This might leave you in a fun-house of feelings about your friends, your community and your place in it. For the musicians out there, I highly recommend jamming with as many friends as you can. For the poets, read yours words aloud to one another. For the artists, find those that inspire you and for everyone else call up your bestie and get your tuchas’s to a museum. Art helps to mediate funky feelings and strange projections. Don’t believe everything you think this week but enjoy any and all creatively inspired gatherings.
Gemini &Gemini Rising
“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”― Toni Morrison
I know that it’s not popular to celebrate Mercury retrograde, especially because it’s your ruling planet. Retrogrades generally give you extra headachy twists and turns. You are what traditional astrology calls a Double Bodied Sign (modern astrology calls you mutable). This means that you are able to flit about with the changing winds, moving in multiple directions; oh the places you will and do go. This next Mercury retrograde begins in your Tenth House of What The F Am I Going To Do When I Grow Up?! More than what you do out there, it’s important that you understand who you are out there. The beginning of this retrograde begins with Mercury in poetic, pleasure seeking Pisces in a near miss conjunction with Neptune, the dream weaving, delusional devil of a dude. What this implies is that there is a slippery concoction awaiting you this week. I suggest that you drink it for inspiration, but not necessarily for clarity. Inspiration is sometimes like a soft lit portrait of Dorothy Dandridge; the diffused light can hide the hurt and reality of success hard won. This is a truth that awaits once the cameras leave, but the beauty, the dream and the illusion are also real. It points to the muse that is in us all. It’s tricky to straddle what we want to see and knowing that there is also something there that is uglier than we want it to be. Perhaps that’s where it gets interesting, in the places in between. So my question, Gemini, is this: How can you stand in your current predicament (most likely career related) and see your own creative potential without disassociating from the reality of what it will take to get you there?
Cancer & Cancer Rising
“Her mind traveled crooked streets and aimless goat paths, arriving sometimes at profundity, other times at the revelations of a three-year-old. Throughout this fresh, if common, pursuit of knowledge, one conviction crowned her efforts: …she knew there was nothing to fear.” ― Toni Morrison
The good news is that the creative juice that is coursing through your veins is better than anything else that could. The not so good news is that your tendency towards being noodle-y is extra high. Put it this way, Cancer, you just want to run away with the circus, but like really far away. Some of you might be reading this while already on vacation. If that is so then I say let yourself go all the way. However, if there is some sort of creative project that you are also tending to then this is the time to try and harness some of the elusive, magical potion of the moment that is also lethal when abused. This Thursday, Mercury stations retrograde right next to Neptune, both in Pisces. This is an extremely dreamy, wet n’ wild combination that is fascinating to experience but very hard to make sense of. If I were you I’d let my imagination run wild while keeping myself literally tethered to reality. This is the stuff that dreams are made of and these are the times when visions, dreams and communications with the other side become guiding posts for your growth. I’d also be on the lookout for teachers, guru’s and sea captains, anyone who can swim to the depths with you and show you how to float down stream. You’re in your element right now, but it won’t last for long. Enjoy being at home among the other sea creatures but remember that we still need you above sea level and on solid ground. Though this is a truly healing moment, Mercury stopping to change directions right before a planet that is associated with redemption, intuition and psychic healing. I’d focus on being part of your own solution via forgiveness through the cool cleansing waters of this very Pisces moment.
Leo & Leo Rising
“Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.”― Toni Morrison,
While your focus is still on the person right across from you (what are they thinking about you anyways?) and the realities that come with relating (no, but for real, what are they thinking about you all?) remember that you aren’t defined by the opinions of others. What anyone else thinks of you is simply none of your business. I’d like you to pay attention to the times when you let your boundaries slip this week in your conversations with said individuals. There may be a desire to merge too quickly or to give up your boundary when you know darn well that you should not. In fact you are in this really, um, interesting (?) moment of being both messy and overly structured. Or your partner is. Perhaps it’s that you are vacillating between the two or trying to make peace with both. See how confusing it is? Is it you or is it them? Are you too available or too self contained? Are your insecurities whispering plans of shutting down the shop? Are your delusions trying to convince you that you shouldn’t heed the red flags that are being waived in front of you? Looks like it’s time to straddle whatever it is you are trying to ride cowgirl/boy cause the saddle is waiting.
Virgo & Virgo Rising
“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”― Toni Morrison
Our collective fear, especially when it comes to sexuality, is a stunning testament to the power of denial. The fact that pop culture propagates the idea that sex, sexuality and gender should all run in the same neat little line is one of the most limiting beliefs we could hold. I mean, I hear that is how it works for some people. For those of us who swing from different trees recognize that Gay/Straight/Bisexual fit only a fraction of the folks that chose anything outside of the Heterosexual Handbook. So then, it’s only logical to carry this line of thinking through into the rest of our lives, no? For you, Virgo, I encourage you to carry this concept into all of your intimate relationships as your ruling planet, Mercury, stations retrograde in this domain of your chart. You may be introduced to a component of your partnerships that was hidden from view. This could be something otherworldly and overwhelmingly awesome or could be something confusing, complex and ultimately problematic. I suggest holding whatever comes up with an open hand. It’s bound to change shape so don’t be too sure about what is appearing before you but enjoy it nonetheless if possible.
Libra & Libra Rising
“I get angry about things, then go on and work.”― Toni Morrison
Well, you aren’t out of the woods yet. While I may not have warned you about the beginning of this year sufficiently, I can confidently say that you are at least not even half way through. Do not despair! There is a sort of mini break right now. I say mini break because most things will be at the very least less intense than this past week was, goodness me! If I were you I would take the next few days to integrate whatever that just was. Let me be clear, I am not implying that it was bad but I am pretty sure it was something important for your growth. If it had anything to do with firming up your boundaries in relationships and getting to know your anger in its many forms then you are on the right track. Take care of yourself first, Libra. You’ll be shocked at how much relief you get. This week’s big news is that the planet of communication, Mercury, is stationing retrograde (appearing to stop and change directions) in your Sixth House of service and menial tasks that must be done. The potential here is for things at work to go awry. Keep one thing in mind (or written on your forehead); everything is happening for your spiritual growth. If that doesn’t float your boat then perhaps thinking that whatever is happening is happening, so why resent it? Use feigns to fuel your work. I generally experience a significant revelation on the days Mercury changes direction much like something that has finally given way to gravity and dropped to the floor off my desk, it gets my attention. Pay attention to whatever gravity grabs between Wednesday and Friday (but especially on Thursday). You’ll get a hint about what this next retrograde has in store for you.

Scorpio &Scorpio Rising
“For me, Art is the restoration of order. It may discuss all sort of terrible things, but there must be satisfaction at the end. A little bit of hunger, but also satisfaction.”― Toni Morrison
Look, if we as a species aren’t able to envision our way out of the messes that we increasingly find ourselves steeped in, then we don’t have a hope in hell. If we can’t see a future where babies, bees and butterflies can rock out with the best of us, then we may as well just call it now.  We all know that we can’t go on living like we are for much longer. You know it, I know it and every teenage blogger knows it. We cannot waste every precious resource (mostly out of sheer boredom, a healthy dose of narcissism and existential terror) and refuse to pay the bill when the party is over. We can’t do it for obvious reasons like science and logic. We also can’t do it because we weren’t meant to be blobs of indistinguishable goo rolling around in Prada complaining all day that we didn’t get enough “likes” on our latest Facebook post. If we were meant for that then I want off this cheap carnival ride because I want to live in a world where folks are praised for their creative genius, innovative architecture and poetic landscaping. I want to live in a world where every child’s mind is honored as an undiscovered vault of creative possibilities. I want to live in a world where imagination isn’t commodified but cultivated, curated and cared for. We know that ingenuity strikes in backyards, barnyards and brownstones just as much as it does in laboratories, study halls and mensa meetings. I want to be proud of the human race. I want to say, “yes! I am one of them, we are us and I wouldn’t want to be another.” I want to want to be here with all of you and cheer each other on as we all discover the hidden gems that lay within us when we mix our mindstuff with our heart matter and let the two explode onto the canvas of life. If I can’t have that right now, Scorpio, then I charge you with this task. Be willing to wing it and stretch yourself into unimagined creative possibilities. Take “no” out of your field for the moment and chant “yes” under your breath. Chant just loud enough so that the dream weavers, tricksters and spirit dancers can hear you, help you and guide you on your way.
Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising
“All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”― Toni Morrison
My suggestion is to use this week to focus on healing any issues that have been percolating at home or with your blood family. Holding resentment, any amount of it, will only weigh you down.  At the same time, it inhibits any real interaction with the one you hold accountable. As my friend and mentor, Nancy, keeps telling me, “your spiritual growth depends on no one but yourself.” No one and no event, especially one from your past has any real power over your emotional maturity. While it’s so validating when others take responsibility for their insanity we cannot afford to sit around and wait for such admissions. You cannot step into the same river twice. You can fool yourself into believing that you are with sentiments like, “Nothing ever changes!” or, “So in so always does such-in-such.” What if it’s you that always sees it that way? What if it’s you that is wearing an old pair of glasses looking out of an outdated prescription? It would be good for you to visit the past, without dwelling in it this week. Focus on what it is that is resurfacing from years gone by.  Instead of being bummed that it’s up yet again for inspection see how with consciousness there is an actual chance of it being healed. When all else fails, get on your knees, literally, and pray that any resentment, pain or blame be removed from your misunderstanding.
Capricorn & Capricorn Rising
“Something that is loved is never lost.”― Toni Morrison,
Mostly I’m wondering how many of you are still standing after this past week’s trip into the underworld. I was having a really deep conversation about your astrology tonight with a Capricorn colleague. We got to a particular point in the conversation where there was a moment of clarity about the trials and tribulations that you have been going through, Capricorn. Basically it boils down to this: whatever last week brought you was most likely the point. What I mean by that is if there was conflict than the point of having said conflict was to learn about how you deal with it. As you know, most likely better than most, life isn’t supposed to be anything, let alone easy. While hard times can build character they can also give us the best excises out there to build walls, thick indestructible barriers which are not the same as boundaries. Now, I am the last person to point fingers about being overly self-protective, defensive or emotionally removed. I assume that anyone that is has phenomenal reasons for being so. It’s just that, as you know there comes a point where in order to feel love, loved and lovable. We need to negotiate when, where and how much we hold ourselves back or give ourselves away to the world. When we get a handle on what healthy boundaries can feel like, we can glean a sense of what may be possible for us; in love of course but in life at large.
Aquarius &Aquarius Rising
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”― Toni Morrison,
Refuse to let anything own you, Aquarius. Last week’s new moon is just starting to catch flight.  Anything that you started working on will need more of your attention and love. Keep stripping away the extraneous and give yourself to what is most important. I would use this week’s astrology in some of the most practical ways you can by looking at what you spend and why. This is not a time to be unconscious of how you spend your cash which is to say your precious energy. I would advise spending more of what you have on others in anonymous ways or in person. I had a strange thing happen to me tonight. On the way to Whole Foods I had an urge to buy someone without enough food a roasted chicken-totally random yearning. As soon as I thought it I dismissed it, but when I got out of my car there was a man who told me he was hungry so I asked him what he wanted. He of course replied, “Chicken.” So I got to fulfill my premonition (and Jewish yearning) and fed someone. I’m not telling you this because I think I’m a good person. Truth be told I left feeling like an asshole in my warm car and bag full of food left with nothing to do but shake my fist at a world that values the almighty dollar over life and the dignity it deserves. The reason why I am telling you this is because that man helped me understand something really important about the value of intuition and how money can be a way to facilitate a deeper understanding of what I value and why. Money in and of itself can’t keep us apart from one another, only we can do that. And that’s worth so much more than a roast chicken at Whole Foods.
Pisces & Pisces Rising
“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough.”
― Toni Morrison
The good news is that your ruling planet is exalted this year. This means that it’s more than likely that you’re doing better and that is possibly a reality that is jussssst sinking in, or will soon. It’s something to notice nonetheless (any good news is praiseworthy). The thing with this week is that Mercury stations retrograde in your sign right next to Neptune meaning that there is a deep and distinctive magical mayhem brewing in you. The combination brings to mind mermaids playing mandolin’s, yodeling misfits meandering through mist filled fields and friendly giants maneuvering silently through the great Sequoias of Northern California. There are moments that fit us like a glove. There are moments so strange filled with the quirks that fit us too perfectly to ignore so perfectly that we have to recognize them as ours. Our moments are important to know so that we may step into them with our full being, our entire hearts, our wild histories our perplexing present and our unknown future. When we claim something as our own we claim the right to make magic. I know that Mercury retrograde has a Bad News Bears stigma attached to it. I want to challenge you to cast off most, if not all of what you have been told is difficult. See if you can’t look at every situation with more playful wisdom than naysayer doom. Magic is being able to remember that when we step outside we are home and when we are inside we are never alone. Magic is just remembering the mystery and bowing to it. Magic requires little effort; it is allowing all that ever was and all that ever will be into the room. If we want to partake in making magic then it requires our attention, intention and affection. Most of all magic requires that we get the hell out of the way so it can do what it does. [Pisces’ horoscope this week was inspired in part by this post here!]
*Special editing thanks to the spectacular Laurence Joseph Jones.
For more information please visit Chani’s personal blog, UntilTheStarsFallFromTheSky, or for personal astrology readings please contact Chani directly at chani [at] chaninicholas.com.
American Apparel's Newest Underwear Model is 62 & Other Links to Read in Bed
American Apparel's Newest Underwear Model is 62 & Other Links to Read in Bed
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