Astrocreep: Our Hollow Earth

Diagram showing the interconnectedness of fire inside the earth from Athanasius Kircher's Mundus Subterraneus (1664)
Published  June 2015
Diagram showing the interconnectedness of fire inside the earth from Athanasius Kircher's Mundus Subterraneus (1664)

Diagram showing the interconnectedness of fire inside the earth from Athanasius Kircher’s Mundus Subterraneus (1664)

Well met, beloved astrocreeps. The images I present to you here were created as supporting evidence for a 17th century theory that the earth was hollow. Various hollow earth theories are a favorite to meditate on when I’m feeling ill at ease. The Jesuit scholar who dreamed up this particular one believed that the earth’s elements were connected like circulatory systems on a body—all of the fire in the earth, which would periodically erupt from volcanoes, secretly interconnected below the surface. Obviously I love that because it reminds me of the Greek anarcho-nihilist group Συνωμοσία των Πυρήνων της Φωτιάς or “conspiracy of cells of fire.”

Another aspect of the Hollow Earth theory that I love, even though the whole idea is patently stupid, is the possibility that you could go under the earth: just slip away under the surface. Anytime I am sad or embarrassed I have always pictured letting the earth swallow me up. Less like a sinkhole and more like a rupture in the fabric of reality. The plane of the ground presents an opening that only I can perceive and I take my escape. It’s like when you level up in Mario.

It’s like this quilt my grandmother has. It’s a big pastel quilt and it used to hang on the wall in her bedroom. Each small square is light, modest floral motifs, subtle geometric patterns. I’m not really into textiles so I can’t tell you what kind of quilt it is, what school of quilting it falls into, or anything like that. The squares loosely form a bigger, simple pattern out of their differential shade and tone. One square doesn’t fit in, it is darker.

This isn’t a story about “sacred geometry,” which I suspect might be the tribal tattoo of the 21st century. This isn’t some parable of the imperfect cornerstone where it

turns out the strange quilt square is Jesus. Just hear me out. My grandmother speaks quietly and with purpose. She can be quite long-winded. Listening to her reminds me of reading a Kazuo Ishiguro novel, where it’s not until the very end that you see the shape of the characters. In a lifetime of being in that room I had never really focused in on the one square. The whole quilt just had this look of humility about it, like you wouldn’t think to pick it apart or criticize anything about it. It was unassuming like that. The last time I was ever in that room I sat on the side of the bed. I wanted to lie down but I was trying to hold it together. My grandmother was talking in her slow, careful way. Instead of listening, I was thinking about how it was going to be the last time I was in that room. If I had been listening I could probably have told you the origin story of the quilt. I tuned back in when she stood up, her movement alarming me. She was rising to point at the one square, the anachronistic one, and telling me that it was why she wanted the quilt. “I always thought of it as an escape hatch,” she told me.

The quilt a map, the odd square a rupture in its logic. Is the desire to slip under the surface of the earth universal? Hereditary? Intergenerational? Feminine?

antigravity_vol13_issue6_Page_07_Image_0002In January I told you that 2015 would be ours to lose. The proof is everywhere. The ruptures are everywhere. I read pop culture like tea leaves. The eco-crones of Mad Max: Fury Road, the sex-worker militia, the Imperator Furiosa herself… so shiny and chrome. Nicki and Bey palling around hard in “Feeling Myself.” Bey and Jay bailing out Baltimore protesters. After one of the protests, a business painted petulantly onto its boarded up windows “ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR UNDERMINES OUR CAUSE.” A helpful citizen revised it briskly with white paint, corrected it to read “ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR IS OUR CAUSE.”

Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 2 amplifies new awareness gained in May, helps you put new knowledge into action. Mercury goes direct on June 11, and slowly your recent miscommunications begin to heal or fade. New Moon in Gemini on June 16 presents us with two possible paths: how we wish to see things and how things are. Stay on the surface of this world with me and together we will bring the fire above ground.

 

Aries

Great treasures await you who are tapped into the will of the divine. You speak plainly and the truth of it alarms the deceptive and heartens the downtrodden. You are finding true  brilliance in guileless stupidity and the strength of it is burning you out. This month you find out how to preserve your flame for yourself. Is the answer  mercy or revenge? Weigh the evidence  and don’t forget to include your health  in the equation.

 

Taurus

Whatever was getting you through doing work you hate may seem to have evaporated. Ways you used to cope with it or make it up to yourself fall flat. The next step feels mysterious, but you’re clear on how you feel about the past. That makes it easy to only look backward. Careful of that. And beware  people whose promises seem too good to be true. Just as Hatebreed warned,  “they’ll do anything to sell deception.”

 

Gemini

It takes a Gemini to understand that  sometimes the best course of action  involves hiding how you really feel, especially if it’s dark or unproductive. Behavior can alter reality and you don’t want little ripples, you want to make purposeful waves. You have the power to be detached enough to use injuries as information. Forgive but don’t forget. As Hatebreed promised, “I won’t live in denial. And I won’t turn  the other cheek.” Stay calm in your truth. Be calculating but not cold.

 

Cancer

Changing is so simple. You just have to do everything different. Moonchildren are masters of holding on to things too long. I probably should be dropping this vital info somewhere more high profile than your individual forecast,  but there’s something I discovered with other mystic-friends called Post-Taoism: The Way Breaks Down. Embrace destruction as the perpetual state. Let Hatebreed’s words become your new mantra: “I will not bow down because of our past. I see now mankind was not meant to last.”

 

Leo

Why was I the only one laughing in the movie theater during Fury Road when Immortan Joe’s (unwilling) mistress said the baby that would result from her coerced pregnancy was going to be ugly? A terrible situation deserves  terrible words. On this topic, Hatebreed reminds us: “I was thrown into this living hell. I didn’t ask to be this way. I was thrown into this living hell.” You’re filled with awful purpose, but you might not get to be the one who exacts punishment. Let it be enough to know that the punishment may happen at all.

 

Virgo

In love right now, you are needy but warm. Being dependent isn’t a crime. If you change the way you think about  yourself and your past, your prospects and strengths as a person will also change. Use the remainder of the Mercury retrograde to forgive yourself for the ways you’ve blown it in past relationships—this will throw a wrench  into patterns repeating. As Hatebreed asks us, “How can you face the world? When you can’t face the mirror. How can you leave your past? With blood on your hands?”

 

Libra

June is a month for emotional disarmament. You haven’t exactly been manipulative, but you have been approaching certain situations with specific goals. You can’t control someone else’s desires with your wishes. Instead, engage with no fear in your heart, seeking intimacy and understanding instead of results. Acquiesce to whatever is happening, but observe with unyielding clarity. This will subtly guide your next movement.

 

Scorpio

“We’ve lost the chance to save this dying world,” Hatebreed warned us in 1997. This raises also the question posed by The Splendid Angharad: “Who killed the World?” We are all our own worlds born both helplessly of circumstance and utterly of our own making. Self- acceptance is hard but it’s the only antidote for your particular poisons. Self-acceptance is hard but don’t look at yourself with any illusions. Identity is a desert, a man-made disaster.

 

Sagittarius

When you rise above adversity, you do it for yourself, and you do it because it’s your nature. You don’t do it to inspire  everyone around you, but let me share  that it has that effect anyway. Just keep rising, keep climbing, fortified by the knowledge that below you, crowds cheer. The heat of your ascent dries their tears. Focus on the horizon. Be careful with your words around the New Moon—your complementary opposite, Gemini, is not always gentle with your subconscious.

 

Capricorn

You’re not usually controlled by anger, but when the rage rises up it can incapacitate you. This month will present an opportunity to convert your bitter upset into productivity. Use that  kill-energy to bring purpose to even mundane tasks. As you process receipts, wash dishes, scrub toilets, answer  phones, open mail, or take out the trash, be heartened by Hatebreed’s bold prediction: “For the rest of your fucking life you will mark my words.”

 

Aquarius

Your month will be full of subtle  diagonal movements. Be as open-  minded as you can be, without the usual chorus of internal skeptics and critics. You will enjoy success and communion if you engage with the bald actualities of life. Eschew self-deception, brush away the white lies of loved ones. Hatebreed offers this wisdom for your June: “They say what we don’t know will never hurt  us, but nothing could be further from the truth.” The truth can only be.

 

Pisces

Lovely dripping Pisceans don’t mind being the odd one out in a crowd. People find you charismatic but you’re just moved by the charisma of all the natural and social phenomena you observe. In this way, you transmit messages and are yourself a medium.  You’re weakest when you edit yourself and second-guess. Instead, focus on raw production and let a trusted friend or colleague make the revisions. Surround yourself with people who understand your tastes and you will be unstoppable.

 

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