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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Week of November 13

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
If there are any potential Aries heroes or leaders or saviors out there, the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to fully bloom and assert your practical magnificence. The lessons you have learned while improvising workable solutions for yourself are ripe to be applied to the riddles that are puzzling your tribe or group or gang. I want to let you know, however, that to achieve maximum effectiveness, you should be willing to do good deeds for people who may not be able to pay you back.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
You’re entering a phase of your astrological cycle when it’s crucial that your receptivity be as robust as possible. To guide you in this delightful but perhaps challenging work, here are good questions for you to pose. 1. Do you know what help and support you need most, and are you brave and forthright enough to ask for it? 2. Is there any part of you, perhaps unconscious, that believes you don’t deserve gifts and blessings? 3. Do you diligently cultivate your capacity to be refreshed and restored? 4. Are you eagerly responsive when life surprises you with learning experiences and inspirations?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
“Many people will not be honest because they fear loss of intimacy and togetherness,” writes self-help author Henry Cloud. But the truth, he adds, is that “honesty brings people closer together,” because it “strengthens their identities.” Therein lies the tender paradox: “The more you realize your separate identities, the closer you can become.” Living according to this principle may not be as easy or convenient as being deceptive and covert, but it’s ultimately more gratifying. Henry Cloud concludes, “Telling loved ones what is really on your mind and telling others what you really think is the foundation of love.”

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
“Maturity is having the ability to escape categorization,” said poet Kenneth Rexroth. That’s the opposite of the conventional wisdom. For many people, the process of growing up and becoming a seasoned adult means trying to fit in, to find one’s category, to be serious and steady and stable. Rexroth, on the other hand, suggested that when you fully ripen into your potentials, you transcend standard definitions; you don’t adhere to others’ expectations; you are uniquely yourself, outside and beyond all pigeonholes and classifications. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to practice and cultivate this sacred art.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Is there an event from your past that would be empowering for you to remember in detail? Is there a neglected but still viable dream you could resurrect, thereby energizing your enthusiasm for the future? Are there old allies you’ve lost touch with but who, if you called on them, could provide you with just the boost you need? Is there a familiar pleasure you’ve grown numb to but could reinvigorate by visualizing the original reasons you loved it? The coming weeks will be a favorable time to meditate on these questions.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Catholic saint St. Francis (1181–1226) loved animals and the natural world. According to one folkloric tale, he was once traveling on foot with several companions when they came upon a place where the trees were filled with birds. Francis said, “Wait for me while I go preach to my sisters the birds.” He proceeded to do just that. The birds were an attentive audience for the duration of his sermon, apparently captivated by his tender tones. Seven centuries later, author Rebecca West offered a critique of the bird-whisperer. “Did St. Francis preach to the birds?” she asked. “Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.” In the coming weeks, Virgo, I encourage you to do the metaphorical equivalent of preaching to both the birds and the cats.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Every now and then I authorize you Libras to shed your polite, tactful personas and express the angst you sometimes feel but usually hide. That’s now! To egg you on, read this mischievous rant by Libran blogger Clary Gay (claryfightwood.tumblr.com): “We Libras are constantly thinking about how to make everyone else comfortable and happy. There’s not a minute going by when we’re not worrying about radiating a soothing and comforting aura so everyone can have a good time. If a Libra is cranky, it’s because they snapped! Because of some non-Libra who doesn’t appreciate them! If a Libra is mean to people, it’s their own damn fault!”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Poet Robert Bly tells us that the door to the soul is unlocked. You don’t have to struggle through any special machinations to open it or go through it. Furthermore, the realm of the soul is always ready for you. Always! It harbors the precise treasure you need in order to be replenished and empowered. I bring this to your attention, Scorpio, because I think that during the next two weeks, you should abide as much as possible in the soul’s realm—the cornucopia of holy truths and ever-fresh riches.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
In my estimation, what you’ve experienced lately has been akin to a fermentation process. It’s as if you’re undergoing a transformation with resemblances to the way that grapes turn into wine or milk becomes yogurt or dough rises before being baked into bread. You may have had to endure some discomfort, which is the case for anything in the midst of substantial change. But I think you’ll ultimately be quite pleased with the results, which I expect will be ready no later than ten days after your birthday—and quite possibly sooner.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Many books have been written about Joan of Arc, a fifteenth-century teenage peasant girl whose improbable ascent to military leadership, under the guidance of her divine visions, was crucial in France’s victory over the English. Among the many miraculous elements of her story was the fact that less than a year before she led troops into battle on horseback, she didn’t know how to ride a horse. She learned by riding around her father’s farm astride his cows. I foresee an equivalent marvel in your future, Capricorn. By this time next year, you will have developed an aptitude that might seem unimaginable now. (P.S. There’s evidence Joan was a Capricorn.)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
The Divine Comedy is one of history’s greatest literary works. Its author, Dante Alighieri, was 43 when he began writing the Inferno, the first part of his three-part masterpiece. Up until that time, he had published just one book and a few poems, and had also abandoned work on two unfinished books. Early on in the Inferno, the not-yet-renowned author presents a fictional scene in which he meets with the spirits of antiquity’s most famous authors: Virgil, Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan. Those illustrious five tell Dante he is such an important writer that he ranks sixth, after them, in his excellence. I’m going to encourage you to dare indulging in behavior like Dante’s: to visualize and extol—and yes, even brag about—the virtues and skills that will ultimately be your signature contribution to this world.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
The Latin word for sea is mare. Flustra is the calm sea. Undisonus means “resounding with waves.” Caeruleus is the sea’s deep shade of blue, aestus is the tide, and aequoreus means “connected with the sea.” My hope is that as you meditate on these lyrical terms, you’ll be moved to remember the first lakes, rivers, and oceans you ever swam in. You’ll recall your time floating in your mother’s womb and your most joyous immersions in warm baths and hotsprings. Why? It’s a favorable time to seek the healing and rejuvenating powers of primal waters—both metaphorically and literally.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Week of November 6

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Aries psychologist James Hillman said we keep “our images and fantasies at arm’s length because they are so full of love.” They’re also quite flammable, he added. They are always on the verge of catching fire, metaphorically speaking. That’s why many people wrap their love-filled images and fantasies in metaphorical asbestos: to prevent them from igniting a blaze in their psyches. In my astrological opinion, you Aries folks always have a mandate to use less asbestos than all the other signs—even none at all. That’s even truer than usual right now. Keep your images and fantasies extra close and raw and wild.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Poet James Merrill was ecstatic when he learned the Greek language. According to his biographer, he felt he could articulate his needs “with more force and clarity, with greater simplicity and less self-consciousness, than he ever could in his own language.” He concluded, “Freedom to be oneself is all very well; the greater freedom is not to be oneself.” Personally, I think that’s an exaggeration. I believe the freedom to be yourself is very, very important. But for you in the coming weeks, Taurus, the freedom to not be yourself could indeed be quite liberating. What might you do to stretch your capacities beyond what you’ve assumed is true about you? Are you willing to rebel against and transcend your previous self-conceptions?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Musician Brian Eno made a deck of oracular cards called Oblique Strategies. Each card has a suggestion designed to trigger creative thinking about a project or process you’re working on. You Geminis might find it useful to call on Oblique Strategies right now, since you’re navigating your way through a phase of adjustment and rearrangement. The card I drew for you is “Honor thy error as hidden intention.” Here’s how I interpet it: An apparent lapse or misstep will actually be the result of your deeper mind guiding you to take a fruitful detour.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
We devote a lot of energy to wishing and hoping about the meaningful joys we’d love to bring into our lives. And yet few of us have been trained in the best strategies for manifesting our wishes and hopes. That’s the bad news. The good news is that now is a favorable time for you to upgrade your skills at getting what you want. With that in mind, I present you with the simple but potent wisdom of author Maya Angelou: “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” To flesh that out, I’ll add: Formulate a precise statement describing your heart’s yearning, and then work hard to make yourself ready for its fulfillment.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
What are the key parts of your life—the sources and influences that enable you to be your most soulful self? I urge you to nourish them intensely during the next three weeks. Next question: What are the marginally important parts of your life—the activities and proclivities that aren’t essential for your long-term success and happiness? I urge you to corral all the energy you give to those marginally important things, and instead pour it into what’s most important. Now is a crucial time in the evolution of your relationship with your primal fuels, your indispensable resources, your sustaining foundations.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“When she spoke of beauty, he spoke of the fatty tissue supporting the epidermis,” wrote short story author Robert Musil. He was describing a conversation between a man and woman who were on different wavelengths. “When she mentioned love,” Musil continued, “he responded with the statistical curve that indicates the rise and fall in the annual birthrate.” Many of you Virgos have the flexibility to express yourself well on both of those wavelengths. But in the coming months, I hope you’ll emphasize the beauty and love wavelength rather than the fatty tissue and statistical curve wavelength. It’ll be an excellent strategy for getting the healing you need.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
“One language is never Libran blogger Ana-Sofia Cardelle was asked, “What is your signature perfume?” She said she hadn’t found one. But then she described how she would like to smell: “somewhere between fresh and earthy: cinnamon and honey, a rose garden, saltwater baked in the sun.” The coming days will be an excellent time to indulge in your own fantasies about the special fragrance you’d like to emanate. Moreover, I bet you’ll be energized by pinpointing a host of qualities you would like to serve as cornerstones of your identity: traits that embody and express your uniqueness.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Studies suggest that on average each of us has a social network of about 250 people, of whom 120 we regard as a closer group of friendly acquaintances. But most of us have no more than twenty folks we trust, and only two or three whom we regard as confidants. I suspect that these numbers will be in flux for you during the next twelve months, Scorpio. I bet you’ll make more new friends than usual, and will also expand your inner circle. On the other hand, I expect that some people who are now in your sphere will depart. Net result: stronger alliances and more collaboration.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
I blame and thank the Sagittarian part of me when I get brave and brazen enough to follow my strongest emotions where they want to lead me. I also blame and thank the Sagittarian part of me when I strip off my defense mechanisms and invite the world to regard my vulnerabilities as interesting and beautiful. I furthermore blame and thank the Sagittarian side of me on those occasions when I run three miles down the beach at dawn, hoping to thereby jolt loose the secrets I’ve been concealing from myself. I suspect the coming weeks will be a favorable time to blame and thank the Sagittarian part of you for similar experiences.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Persian polymath Avicenna (980–1037) wrote 450 books on many topics, including medicine, philosophy, astronomy, geography, mathematics, theology, and poetry. While young, he tried to study the Metaphysics of Aristotle, but had difficulty grasping it. Forty times he read the text, even committing it to memory. But he made little progress toward fathoming it. Years later, he was browsing at an outdoor market and found a brief, cheap book about the Metaphysics by an author named al-Farabi. He read it quickly, and for the first time understood Aristotle’s great work. He was so delighted he went out to the streets and gave away gifts to poor people. I foresee a comparable milestone for you, Capricorn: something that has eluded your comprehension will become clear, at least in part due to a lucky accident.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
In addition to being a key figure in Renaissance art, fifteenth-century Italian painter Filippo Lippi had a colorful life. According to legend, he was once held prisoner by Barbary pirates, but gained his freedom by drawing a riveting portrait of their leader. Inspired by the astrological factors affecting you right now, I’m fantasizing about the possibilty of a liberating event arriving in your life. Maybe you’ll call on one of your skills in a dramatic way, thereby enhancing your leeway or generating a breakthrough or unleashing an opportunity. (Please also re-read your horoscope from last week.)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
“Stand high long enough and your lightning will come,” writes Piscean novelist William Gibson. He isn’t suggesting that we literally stand on top of a treeless hill in a thunderstorm and invite the lightning to shoot down through us. More realistically, I think he means that we should devotedly cultivate and discipline our highest forms of expression so that when inspiration finds us, we’ll be primed to receive and use its full power. That’s an excellent oracle for you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Week of October 30

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Do you have any skill in fulfilling the wishes and answering the prayers of your allies? Have you developed a capacity to tune in to what people want even when they themselves aren’t sure of what they want? Do you sometimes have a knack for offering just the right gesture at the right time to help people do what they haven’t been able to do under their own power? If you possess any of those aptitudes, now is an excellent time to put them in play. More than usual, you are needed as a catalyst, a transformer, an inspirational influence. Halloween costume suggestion: angel, fairy godmother, genie, benefactor.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Author Amy Tan describes the magic moment when her muse appears and takes command: “I sense a subtle shift, a nudge to move over, and everything cracks open, the writing is freed, the language is full, resources are plentiful, ideas pour forth, and to be frank, some of these ideas surprise me. It seems as though the universe is my friend and is helping me write, its hand over mine.” Even if you’re not a creative artist, Taurus, I suspect you’ll be offered intense visitations from a muse in the coming days. If you make yourself alert for and receptive to these potential blessings, you’ll feel like you’re being guided and fueled by a higher power. Halloween costume suggestion: your muse.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
More than a century ago, author Anton Chekhov wrote, “If many remedies are prescribed for an illness, you may be certain that the illness has no cure.” Decades later, I wrote, “If you’re frantically trying to heal yourself with a random flurry of half-assed remedies, you’ll never cure what ails you. But if you sit still in a safe place and ask your inner genius to identify the one or two things you need to do to heal, you will find the cure.” Halloween costume suggestion: physician, nurse, shaman, healer.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Cancerian artist Marc Chagall (1887–1985) was a playful visionary and a pioneer of modernism. He appealed to sophisticates despite being described as a dreamy, eccentric outsider who invented his own visual language. In the 1950s, Picasso observed that Chagall was one of the only painters who “understood what color really is.” In 2017, one of Chagall’s paintings sold for $28.5 million. What was the secret to his success? “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works,” he testified. “If from the head, almost nothing.” Your current assignment, Cancerian, is to authorize your heart to rule everything you do. Halloween costume suggestion: a heart.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
The Dead Sea, on the border of Jordan and Israel, is far saltier than the ocean. No fish or frogs live in it. But here and there on the lake’s bottom are springs that exude fresh water. They support large, diverse communities of microbes. It’s hard for divers to get down there and study the life forms, though. The water’s so saline, they tend to float. So they carry 90 pounds of ballast that enables them to sink to the sea floor. I urge you to get inspired by all this, Leo. What would be the metaphorical equivalent for you of descending into the lower depths so as to research unexplored sources of vitality and excitement? Halloween costume suggestions: diver, spelunker, archaeologist.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“We have stripped all things of their mystery and luminosity,” lamented psychologist Carl Jung. “Nothing is holy any longer.” In accordance with current astrological omens, Virgo, your assignment is to rebel against that mournful state of affairs. I hope you will devote some of your fine intelligence to restoring mystery and luminosity to the world in which you dwell. I hope you will find and create holiness that’s worthy of your reverence and awe. Halloween costume suggestion: mage, priestess, poet, enchantrix, witch, alchemist, sacramentalist.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
“One language is never enough,” says a Pashto proverb. How could it be, right? Each language has a specific structure and a finite vocabulary that limit its power to describe and understand the world. I think the same is true for religion: one is never enough. Why confine yourself to a single set of theories about spiritual matters when more will enable you to enlarge and deepen your perspective? With this in mind, Libra, I invite you to regard November as “One Is Never Enough Month” for you. Assume you need more of everything. Halloween costume suggestion: a bilingual Jewish Santa Claus; a pagan Sufi Buddha who intones prayers in three different languages.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In his novel Zone One, Scorpio author Colson Whitehead writes, “A monster is a person who has stopped pretending.” He means it in the worst sense possible: the emergence of the ugly beast who had been hiding behind social niceties. But I’m going to twist his meme for my own purposes. I propose that when you stop pretending and shed fake politeness, you may indeed resemble an ugly monster—but only temporarily. After the suppressed stuff gets free rein to yammer, it will relax and recede—and you will feel so cleansed and relieved that you’ll naturally be able to express more of your monumental beauty. Halloween costume suggestion: your beautiful, fully exorcised monster.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice,” testified poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. “Had I abided by it, I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.” This is excellent advice for you. I suspect you’re in the midst of either committing or learning from a valuable mistake. It’s best if you don’t interrupt yourself! Halloween costume suggestion: the personification or embodiment of your valuable mistake.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Cleopatra was an ancient Egyptian queen who ruled for 21 years. She was probably a Capricorn. All you need to know about her modern reputation is that Kim Kardashian portrayed her as a sultry seductress in a photo spread in a fashion magazine. But the facts are that Cleopatra was a well-educated, multilingual political leader with strategic cunning. Among her many skills were poetry, philosophy, and mathematics. I propose we make the REAL Cleopatra your role model. Now is an excellent time to correct people’s misunderstandings about you—and show people who you truly are. Halloween costume suggestion: your actual authentic self.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Around the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the eleventh sign of the zodiac, Aquarius, will be capable of strenuous feats; will have the power to achieve a success that surpasses past successes; will be authorized to attempt a brave act of transcendence that renders a long-standing limitation irrelevant. As for the eleven days and eleven hours before that magic hour, the eleventh sign of the zodiac will be smart to engage in fierce meditation and thorough preparation for the magic hour. And as for the eleven days and eleven hours afterward, the eleventh sign should expend all possible effort to capitalize on the semi-miraculous breakthrough. Halloween costume suggestion: eleven.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Author Robert Musil made a surprising declaration: “A number of flawed individuals can often add up to a brilliant social unit.” I propose we make that one of your mottoes for the coming months. I think you have the potential to be a flawed but inspiring individual who’ll serve as a dynamic force in assembling and nurturing a brilliant social unit. So let me ask you: what would be your dream-come-true of a brilliant social unit that is a fertile influence on you and everyone else in the unit? Halloween costume suggestion: ringleader, mastermind, orchestrator, or general.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Week of October 23

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Singapore has one of the world’s lowest fertility rate. A few years ago, this state of affairs prompted the government to urge Singaporeans to have sex on an annual holiday known as National Day. A new rap song was released in the hope of pumping up everyone’s libidos and instigating a baby boom. It included the lyrics, “Let’s make fireworks ignite / Let’s make Singapore’s birthrate spike.” I have a different reason for encouraging you to seek abundant high-quality sex, Aries. According to my analysis, tender orgasmic experiences will profoundly enhance your emotional intelligence in the coming weeks—and make you an excellent decision-maker just in time for your big decisions. (P.S. You don’t necessarily need a partner.)

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
In the 1530s, explorer Jacques Cartier led expeditions from France to the New World. As Europeans often did back then, he and his team were rude and brutish to the indigenous folks who lived there, stealing their land, kidnapping some of them, and slaughtering herds of great auks in a bird sanctuary. Yet there was one winter when Cartier’s marauders got crucial help from their victims, who gave them vitamin C-rich pine needle tea that cured their scurvy. I suspect you Tauruses will embark on quests and journeys in the coming months, and I’m hoping your behavior will be different from Cartier’s. When you arrive in unfamiliar places, be humble, curious, and respectful. Be hesitant to impose your concepts of what’s true, and be eager to learn from the locals. If you do, you’re likely to get rich teachings and benefits equivalent to the pine needle tea.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Many software engineers have enjoyed The Pragmatic Programmer, a book that helps them develop and refine their code. One popular technique the book offers is “rubber duck deprogramming.” Programmers place a toy rubber duck in front of them, and describe to it the problems they’re having. As they explain each line of code to their very good listener, they may discover what’s amiss. I recommend a similar approach to you as you embark on metaphorically debugging your own program, Gemini. If a rubber duck isn’t available, call on your favorite statue or stuffed animal, or even a photo of a catalytic teacher or relative or spirit.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Read the following passage from Gabriel García Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. “Gaston was not only a fierce lover, with endless wisdom and imagination, but he was also, perhaps, the first man in the history of the species who had made an emergency landing and had come close to killing himself and his sweetheart simply to make love in a field of violets.” I admire the romantic artistry of Gaston’s dramatic gesture. I applaud his imaginative desire to express his love in a carefully chosen sanctuary filled with beauty. I praise his intense devotion to playful extravagance. But I don’t recommend you do anything quite so extreme in behalf of love during the coming weeks. Being twenty percent as extreme might be just right, though.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
In his song “Diplomatic Immunity,” rapper Drake disparages tranquility and harmony. “I listen to heavy metal for meditation, no silence,” he brags. “My body isn’t much of a sacred temple, with vodka and wine, and sleep at the opposite times,” he declares. Is there a method in his madness? It’s revealed in these lyrics: “All that peace and that unity: all that weak sh-- will ruin me.” In the coming weeks, Leo, I urge you to practice the exact opposite of Drake’s approach. It’s time to treat yourself to an intense and extended phase of self-care.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
It’s a favorable time to refresh your relationships with your basic sources and to make connections with new basic sources. To spur your creative thought on these matters, I offer the following questions to meditate on. 1. If you weren’t living where you do now, what other place might you like to call home? 2. If you didn’t have the name you actually go by, what other name would you choose? 3. If you had an urge to expand the circle of allies that supports and stimulates you, whom would you seek out? 4. If you wanted to add new foods and herbs that would nurture your physical health and new experiences that would nurture your mental health, what would they be?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Mushrooms have spores, not seeds. They’re tiny. If you could stack 2,500 of them, they’d be an inch high. On the other hand, they are numerous. A ripe mushroom may release up to 16 million spores. And each spore is so light-weight, the wind can pick it up and fling it long distances. I’ll encourage you to express your power and influence like a mushroom in the coming days: subtle and airy but abundant; light and fine, but relentless and bountiful.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
“Sometimes the easiest way to get something done is to be a little naive about it,” writes computer engineer Bill Joy. I invite you to consider the value of that perspective, Scorpio—even though you’re the least likely sign in all the zodiac to do so. Being naive just doesn’t come naturally to you; you often know more than everyone else around you. Maybe you’ll be more receptive to my suggestion if I reframe the task. Are you familiar with the Zen Buddhist concept of “beginner’s mind”? You wipe away your assumptions and see everything as if it were the first time you were in its presence.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Is it always a bad thing to be lost? To wander in the unknown without a map? I’d like to propose a good version of being lost. It requires you to be willing to give up your certainties, to relinquish your grip on the comforting dogmas that have structured your world—but to do so gladly, with a spirit of cheerful expectancy and curiosity. It doesn’t require you to be a macho hero who feels no fear or confusion. Rather, you have faith that life will provide blessings that weren’t possible until you got lost.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“Worrying is the most natural and spontaneous of all human functions,” wrote science educator Lewis Thomas. “Let’s acknowledge this, perhaps even learn to do it better.” I agree with him! And I think it’s an ideal time for you to learn how to worry more effectively, more potently, and with greater artistry. What might that look like? First, you wouldn’t feel shame or guilt about worrying. You wouldn’t regard it as a failing. Rather, you would raise your worrying to a higher power. You’d wield it as a savvy tool to discern which situations truly need your concerned energy and which don’t.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“Some wounds go so deep that you don’t even feel them until months, maybe years, later,” wrote Aquarian author Julius Lester. Pay attention to that thought, Aquarius. The bad news is that you are just now beginning to feel a wound that was inflicted some time ago. But that’s also the good news, because it means the wound will no longer be hidden and unknowable. And because you’ll be fully aware of it, you’ll be empowered to launch the healing process. I suggest you follow your early intuitions about how best to proceed with the cure.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
If you’ve been having dreams or fantasies that the roof is sinking or the walls are closing in, you should interpret it as a sign that you should consider moving into a more spacious situation. If you have been trapped within the narrow confines of limited possibilities, it’s time to break free and flee to a wide open frontier. In general, Pisces, I urge you to insist on more expansiveness in everything you do, even if that requires you to demolish cute little mental blocks that have tricked you into thinking small.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Week of October 16

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Untitled Document

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
“We can’t change anything until we get some fresh ideas, until we begin to see things differently,” wrote Aries psychologist James Hillman. I agree. And that’s very good news for you Aries people. In my view, you are more attracted to and excited by fresh ideas than any other sign of the zodiac. That’s why you have the potential to become master initiators of transformation. One of my favorite types of plot twists in your life story occurs when you seek out fresh ideas and initiate transformations not only in your own behalf, but also for those you care about. I bet the coming weeks will bring at least one of those plot twists.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Metaphorically speaking, Taurus, you are now crossing a bridge. Behind you is the intriguing past; in front of you, the even more intriguing future. You can still decide to return to where you came from. Or else you could pick up your pace, and race ahead at twice the speed. You might even make the choice to linger on the bridge for a while; to survey the vast vistas that are visible and contemplate more leisurely the transition you’re making. Only you know what’s best for you, of course. But if you asked me, I’d be in favor of lingering on the bridge for a while.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
As I write this, I’m sitting in a café near two women at another table. One sports a gold cashmere headscarf and pentagram necklace. The other wears a dark blue pantsuit and a silver broach that’s the glyph for Gemini the Twins. HeadScarf shuffles a deck of Tarot cards and asks PantSuit what she’d like to find out during the divination she is about to receive. “I would very much like you to tell me what I really really want,” PantSuit says with a chuckle. “I’m sure that once I find out that big secret, I’ll be able to accomplish wonders.” I hope the rest of you Geminis will be on a similar mission in the coming weeks. Do whatever it takes to get very clear about what you want most.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was meandering through an Athenian marketplace, gazing at the appealing and expensive items for sale. “How many things there are in this world that I do not want,” he exclaimed with satisfaction. I recommend you cultivate that liberated attitude. Now is a perfect time to celebrate the fact that there are countless treasures and pleasures you don’t need in order to be charmed and cheerful about your life. For extra credit, add this nuance from Henry David Thoreau: People are rich in proportion to the number of things they can afford to let alone.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
I invite you to try this exercise. Imagine that one springtime you grow a garden filled with flowers that rabbits like to nibble: petunias, marigolds, gazanias, and pansies. This is a place whose only purpose is to give gifts to a wild, sweet part of nature. It’s blithely impractical. You do it for your own senseless, secret joy. It appeals to the dreamy lover of life in you. Got all that, Leo? Now, in accordance with current astrological omens, I suggest you actually try to fulfill a fantasy comparable to that one in the coming weeks.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
My Virgo friend Lola got a text-message from her Scorpio buddy Tanya. “Why don’t you come over and chill with me and my demons? It’ll be entertaining, I promise! My inner jerks are howlingly funny tonight.” Here’s what Lola texted back: “Thanks but no thanks, sweetie. I’ve been making big breakthroughs with my own demons—giving them the attention they crave without caving in to their outrageous demands—and for now I need to work on stabilizing our new relationship. I can’t risk bringing extra demons into the mix.” I suspect this is an accurate description of what could be happening for you, Virgo.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In ancient holy texts from India, soma was said to be a drink that enhanced awareness and alertness. According to modern scholars, it may have been a blend of poppy, ephedra, and cannabis. In Norse mythology, the beverage called the Mead of Suttungr conferred poetic inspiration and the ability to solve any riddle. One of its ingredients was honey. In Slavic folklore, raskovnik is an herb with the magic power to unlock what’s locked and uncover hidden treasures. It’s not a four-leaf clover, but resembles it. I invite you Libras to fantasize about using these three marvels. To do so will potentize your imagination, thereby boosting the cosmic forces that will be working in your favor to enhance your awareness, confer inspiration, solve riddles, unlock what’s locked, and find hidden treasures.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) was a visionary genius in numerous fields, including architecture, design, engineering, and futurism. In the course of earning 40 honorary doctorates, he traveled widely. It was his custom to wear three watches, each set to a different time: one to the zone where he currently was, another to where he had recently departed, and a third to where he would journey next. “I know that I am not a category,” he wrote. “I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb.” I recommend his approach to you in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Be a verb! Allow your identity to be fluid, your plans adjustable, your ideas subject to constant revision.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“Art is good for my soul precisely because it reminds me that we have souls in the first place,” said actress Tilda Swinton. How about you, Sagittarius? What reminds you that you have a soul in the first place? Beloved animals? Favorite music? A stroll amidst natural wonders? Unpredictable, fascinating sexual experiences? The vivid and mysterious dreams you have at night? Whatever stimuli bring you into visceral communion with your soul, I urge you to seek them out in abundance. It’s Soul-Cherishing and Soul-Enhancing Time for you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
The coming weeks will be a favorable time to arrange a series of high-level meetings between your body, mind, and soul. You might even consider staging an extravagant conference-like festival and festival-like conference. The astrological omens suggest that your body, mind, and soul are now primed to reveal choice secrets and tips to each other. They are all more willing and eager than usual to come up with productive new synergies that will enable each to function with more panache and effectiveness.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“I believe in inhabiting contradictions,” writes Aquarian author and activist Angela Davis. “I believe in making contradictions productive, not in having to choose one side or the other side. As opposed to choosing either or choosing both.” I think Davis’s approach will work well for you in the coming weeks. It’s not just that the contradictions will be tolerable; they will be downright fertile, generous, and beneficent. So welcome them; honor them; allow them to bless you with their tricky opportunities and unexpected solutions.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Piscean pianist Frédéric Chopin (1801–1849) was a poetic genius whose music was full of sweetness and grace. “Without equal in his generation,” said more than one critic. Today, more than 170 years after his death, his work remains popular. Recently an Italian sound designer named Remo de Vico created an original new Chopin piece that featured all 21 of the master’s piano nocturnes being played simultaneously. (You can hear it here: tinyurl.com/NewChopin.) As you might imagine, it’s a gorgeous mess, too crammed with notes to truly be enjoyable, but interesting nevertheless. I’ll counsel you to avoid a similar fate in the coming weeks, Pisces. It’s fine to be extravagant and expansive and mulitfaceted; just don’t overdo it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Week of October 9

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
“Love is when you meet someone who tells you something new about yourself,” wrote poet André Breton. I think that’s an excellent principle to put at the top of your priority list in the coming weeks, Aries. To be in maximum alignment with cosmic rhythms, you should seek input from allies who’ll offer insights about you that are outside your current conceptions of yourself. You might even be daring enough to place yourself in the paths of strangers, acquaintances, animals, and teachers who can provide novel reflections. There’s just one caveat: Stay away from people who might be inclined to fling negative feedback.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Constantine P. Cavafy’s poem “Waiting for the Barbarians” imagines the imminent arrival of an unpredictable agent of chaos. “The barbarians are coming today,” declares the narrator. Everyone in town is uneasy. People’s routines are in disarray. Faces look worried. What’s going to happen? But the poem has a surprise ending. “It is night, and the barbarians haven’t come,” reports the narrator. “Some people have arrived from the frontier and say that there aren’t any more barbarians.” I propose that we use this scene as a metaphor for your life right now, Taurus. It’s quite possible that the perceived threat isn’t really a threat. So here’s my question, taken from near the end of the poem: “What are we going to do now without the barbarians?”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Some folklorists prefer the term “wonder tales” rather than “fairy tales.” Indeed, many such stories are filled with marvelous events that feature magical transformations, talking animals, and mythical creatures like elves and dragons and unicorns. I bring this up, Gemini, because I want to encourage you to read some wonder tales. Hopefully, as you do, you’ll be inspired to re-imagine your life as a wonder tale; you’ll reframe the events of the “real world” around you as being elements in a richly entertaining wonder tale. Why do I recommend this? Because wonder tales are like waking dreams that reveal the wishes and curiosities and fascinations of your deep psyche. And I think you will benefit profoundly in the coming weeks from consciously tuning in to those wishes and curiosities and fascinations.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I suspect that in the coming days you’ll be able to see into everyone’s souls more vividly than usual. You’ll have a special talent for piercing through the outer trappings of their personalities so as to gaze at the essence beneath. It’s as if your eyes will be blessed by an enhancement that enables you to discern what’s often hidden. This upgrade in your perception may at times be unsettling. For some of the people you behold, the difference between how they present themselves and who they actually are will be dramatic. But for the most part, penetrating to the depths should be fun, enriching, even healing.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
“This heart is rusty,” writes poet Gabriel Gadfly. “It creaks, it clanks, it crashes and rattles and bangs.” Why is his heart in such a state? Because he has been separated from a person he loves. And so he’s out of practice in doing the little things, the caring gestures and tender words, that a lover does to keep the heart well-oiled. It’s my observation that most of us go through rusty-heart phases like this even when we are living in close proximity to an intimate ally. We neglect to practice the art of bestowing affectionate attention and low-key adoration. We forget how important it is for our own welfare that we continually refresh and reinvigorate our heart intelligence. These are good meditations for you right now, Leo.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired,” writes novelist Chuck Palahniuk. I agree! And that’s a key meditation for you right now. Your assignment is to enhance and upgrade the inspiration you feel about the activities that are most important to you—the work and the play that give you the sense you’re living a meaningful life. So how do you boost your excitement and motivation for those essential actions you do on a regular basis? Here’s a good place to begin: visualize in exuberant detail all the reasons you started doing them in the first place.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I hope you are embarking on a vigorous new phase of self-redefinition. I trust you are excited about shedding old ways of thinking about yourself and eager to revise and re-imagine the plot of your life story. As you do, keep in mind this helpful counsel from physicist Richard Feynman: “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Genius is 99 percent perspiration and one percent inspiration.” It’s often attributed to inventor Thomas Edison. Sixteenth-century artist Michelangelo expressed a similar idea. “If you knew how much labor went into it, you would not call it genius,” he said about one of his masterpieces. I’m guessing that you Scorpios have been in a phase when these descriptions are highly apropos. The work you’ve been doing may look productive and interesting and heroic to the casual observer, and maybe only you know how arduous and exacting it has been. So now what do you do? I say it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Celebrate! Give yourself a thrilling gift.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you,” declared astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. If that’s even a little bit true, I bet you won’t believe it in the coming weeks. According to my analysis, the universe will make a great deal of sense to you—at times even exquisite, beautiful, breathtaking sense. Life will be in a revelatory and articulate mood. The evocative clues coming your way about the nature of reality could tempt you to believe that there is indeed a coherent plan and meaning to your personal destiny.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In 2005, Facebook was a start-up company barely on the map of the internet. Its president asked graffiti artist David Choe to paint murals on the walls of its headquarters. Choe asked for $60,000, but the president convinced him to be paid with Facebook stock instead. Years later, when Facebook went public, Choe became a multi-millionaire. I suspect that in the coming months you will be faced with choices that are less spectacular than that, Capricorn, but similar and important. My conclusion: Be willing to consider smart gambles when projects are germinating.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“Experiment is the sole source of truth,” wrote philosopher and polymath Henri Poincaré. “It alone can teach us something new; it alone can give us certainty.” He wasn’t merely referring to the kinds of experiments that scientists conduct in laboratories. He was talking about the probes and explorations we can and should carry out in the course of our daily lives. I mention this, Aquarius, because the coming days will be prime time for you to do just that: ask provocative questions, initiate novel adventures, and incite fun learning experiences.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
In my opinion, Piscean singer, poet, and actor Saul Williams produces high-quality art. So he has earned a right to critique mediocre art. In speaking about movies and TV shows that are hard to enjoy unless we dumb ourselves down, he says that “we have more guilty pleasure than actual f------ pleasure.” Your assignment in the coming weeks, Pisces, is to cut back on your “guiity pleasures”—the entertainment, art, and socializing that brings meager returns—as you increase and upgrade your actual f------ pleasure.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Week of October 2

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
In 1956, the U.S. federal government launched a program to build 40,000 miles of high-speed roads to connect all major American cities. It was completed 36 years later at a cost of $521 billion. In the coming months, I’d love to see you draw inspiration from that visionary scheme. According to my analysis, you will generate good fortune for yourself as you initiate a long-term plan to expand your world, create a more robust network, and enhance your ability to fulfill your life’s big goals.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Taurus-born Youtube blogger Hey Fran Hey has some good advice for her fellow Bulls, and I think it’ll be especially fresh and potent in the coming weeks. She says, “Replacing ‘Why is this happening to me?’ with ‘What is this trying to tell me?’ has been a game changer for me. The former creates a hamster wheel, where you’ll replay the story over and over again. Victimized. Stuck. The latter holds space for a resolution to appear.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
“The soul has illusions as the bird has wings: it is supported by them.” So declared French author Victor Hugo. I don’t share his view. In fact, I regard it as an insulting misapprehension. The truth is that the soul achieves flight through vivid fantasies and effervescent intuitions and uninhibited longings and non-rational hypotheses and wild hopes—and maybe also by a few illusions. I bring this to your attention because now is an excellent time to nurture your soul with vivid fantasies and effervescent intuitions and uninhibited longings and non-rational hypotheses and wild hopes.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I know people of all genders who periodically unleash macho brags about how little sleep they need. If you’re normally like that, I urge you to rebel. The dilemmas and riddles you face right now are very solvable IF and only IF you get sufficient amounts of sleep and dreams. Do you need some nudges to do right by yourself? Neuroscientist Matthew Walker says that some of the greatest athletes understand that “sleep is the greatest legal enhancing performance drug.” Top tennis player Roger Federer sleeps 12 hours a day. During his heyday, world-class sprinter Usain Bolt slept ten hours a night and napped during the day. Champion basketball player LeBron James devotes 12 hours a day to the rejuvenating sanctuary of sleep.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Actor and dancer Fred Astaire was a pioneer in bringing dance into films as a serious art form. He made 31 musical films during the 76 years he worked, and was celebrated for his charisma, impeccable technique, and innovative moves. At the height of his career, from 1933 to 1949, he teamed up with dancer Ginger Rogers in the creation of ten popular movies. In those old-fashioned days, virtually all partner dancing featured a male doing the lead part as the female followed. One witty critic noted that although Astaire was a bigger star than Rogers, she “did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and while wearing high heels.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, you may soon be called on to carry out tasks that are metaphorically comparable to those performed by Rogers.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Your number one therapy in the coming weeks? Watching animals. It would be the healthiest thing you could undertake: relax into a generously receptive mode as you simply observe creatures doing what they do. The best option would be to surrender to the pleasures of communing with both domesticated AND wild critters. If you need a logical reason to engage in this curative and rejuvenating activity, I’ll give you one: It will soothe and strengthen your own animal intelligence, which would be a tonic gift for you to give yourself.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Every time my birthday season comes around, I set aside an entire day to engage in a life review. It lasts for many hours. I begin by visualizing the recent events I’ve experienced, then luxuriously scroll in reverse through my entire past, as if watching a movie starring me. It’s not possible to remember every single scene and feeling, of course, so I allow my deep self to highlight the moments it regards as significant. Here’s another fun aspect of this ritual: I bestow a blessing on every memory that comes up, honoring it for what it taught me and how it helped me to become the person I am today. Dear Libra, now is an excellent time for you to experiment with a similar celebration.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
“Depression is when you think there’s nothing to be done,” writes author Siri Hustvedt. “Fortunately I always think there’s something to be done.” I offer this hopeful attitude to you, Scorpio, trusting that it will cheer you up. I suspect that the riddles and mysteries you’re embedded in right now are so puzzling and complicated that you’re tempted to think that there’s nothing you can do to solve them or escape them. But I’m here to inform you that if that’s how you feel, it’s only temporary. Even more importantly, I’m here to inform you that there is indeed something you can do, and you are going to find out what that is sooner rather than later.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“How inconvenient to be made of desire,” writes Sagittarian author Larissa Pham. “Even now, want rises up in me like a hot oil. I want so much that it scares me.” I understand what she means, and I’m sure you do, too. There are indeed times when the inner fire that fuels you feels excessive and unwieldy and inopportune. But I’m happy to report that your mood in the coming weeks is unlikely to fit that description. I’m guessing that the radiant pulse of your yearning will excite you and empower you. It’ll be brilliant and warm, not seething and distracting.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I envision the next twelve months as a time when you could initiate fundamental improvements in the way you live. Your daily rhythm twelve months from now could be as much as twenty percent more gratifying and meaningful. It’s conceivable you will discover or generate innovations that permanently raise your long-term goals to a higher octave. At the risk of sounding grandiose, I predict you’ll welcome a certain novelty that resembles the invention of the wheel or the compass or the calendar.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Modern literary critic William Boyd declared that Aquarian author Anton Chekhov (1860–1904) was “the best short-story writer ever,” and “the first truly modern writer of fiction: secular, refusing to pass judgment, cognizant of the absurdities of our muddled, bizarre lives and the complex tragi-comedy that is the human condition.” Another contemporary critic, Harold Bloom, praised Chekhov’s plays, saying that he was “one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre.” We might imagine, then, that in the course of his career, Chekhov was showered with accolades. We’d be wrong about that, though. “If I had listened to the critics,” he testified, “I’d have died drunk in the gutter.” I hope that what I just said will serve as a pep talk for you as you explore and develop your own original notions in the coming weeks.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Pisces-born Dorothy Steel didn’t begin her career as a film actress until she was 91 years old. She had appeared in a couple of TV shows when she was 89, then got a small role in an obscure movie. At age 92, she became a celebrity when she played the role of a tribal elder in Black Panther, one of the highest-grossing films of all time. I propose that we make her one of your inspirational role models for both the coming weeks and the next twelve months. Why? Because I suspect you will be ripening fully into a role and a mission you were born to embody and express.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Week of September 25

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Comedian John Cleese speaks of two different modes toward which we humans gravitate. The closed style is tight, guarded, rigid, controlling, hierarchical, and tunnel-visioned. The open is more relaxed, receptive, exploratory, democratic, playful, and humorous. I’m pleased to inform you that you’re in a phase when spending luxurious amounts of time in the open mode would be dramatically healing to your mental health. Luckily, you’re more predisposed than usual to operate in that mode. I encourage you to experiment with the possibilities.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Upcoming adventures could test your poise and wit. They may activate your uncertainties and stir you to ask provocative questions. That’s cause for celebration, in my opinion. I think you’ll benefit from having your poise and wit tested. You’ll generate good fortune for yourself by exploring your uncertainties and asking provocative questions. You may even thrive and exult and glow like a miniature sun. Why? Because you need life to kick your ass in just the right gentle way so you will become alert to possibilities you have ignored or been blind to.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Novelist John irving asked, “Who can distinguish between falling in love and imagining falling in love? Even genuinely falling in love is an act of the imagination.” That will be a helpful idea for you to contemplate in the coming weeks. Why? Because you’re more likely than usual to fall in love or imagine falling in love—or both. And even if you don’t literally develop a crush on an attractive person or deepen your intimacy with a person you already care for, I suspect you will be inflamed with an elevated lust for life that will enhance the attractiveness of everything and everyone you behold.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You know your body is made of atoms, but you may not realize that every one of your atoms is mostly empty space. Each nucleus contains 99 percent of the atom’s mass, but is as small in comparison to the rest of the atom as a pea is to a cathedral. The tiny electrons, which comprise the rest of the basic unit, fly around in a vast, deserted area. So we can rightfully conclude that you are mostly made of nothing. That’s a good meditation right now. The coming weeks will be a fine time to enjoy the refreshing pleasures of emptiness. The less frenzy you stir up, the healthier you’ll be. The more spacious you allow your mind to be, the smarter you’ll become. “Roomy” and “capacious” will be your words of power.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
“We don’t always have a choice about how we get to know one another,” wrote novelist John Irving. “Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly—as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth.” This principle could be in full play for you during the coming weeks. For best results, be alert for the arrival of new allies, future colleagues, unlikely matches, and surprise helpers.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In North America, people call the phone number 911 to report an emergency. In much of the EU, the equivalent is 112. As you might imagine, worry-warts sometimes use these numbers even though they’re not experiencing a legitimate crisis. For example, a Florida woman sought urgent aid when her local McDonald’s ran out of Chicken McNuggets. In another case, a man walking outdoors just after dawn spied a blaze of dry vegetation in the distance and notified authorities. But it turned out to be the rising sun. I’m wondering if you and yours might be prone to false alarms like these in the coming days, Virgo. Be aware of that possibility. You’ll have substantial power if you marshal your energy for real dilemmas and worthy riddles, which will probably be subtle.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
“I just cut my bangs in a gas station bathroom,” confesses a Libran blogger who calls herself MagicLipstick. “An hour ago I shocked myself by making an impulse buy of a perfect cashmere trench coat from a stranger loitering in a parking lot,” testifies another Libran blogger who refers to himself as MaybeMaybeNot. “Today I had the sudden realization that I needed to become a watercolor painter, then signed up for a watercolor class that starts tomorrow,” writes a Libran blogger named UsuallyPrettyCareful. In normal times, I wouldn’t recommend that you Libras engage in actions that are so heedlessly and delightfully spontaneous. But I do now.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You could call the assignment I have for you as “taking a moral inventory” or you could refer to it as “going to confession.” I think of it as “flushing out your worn-out problems so as to clear a space for better, bigger, more interesting problems.” Ready? Take a pen and piece of paper or open a file on your computer and write about your raw remorse, festering secrets, unspeakable apologies, inconsolable guilt, and desperate mortifications. Deliver the mess to me at Truthrooster@gmail.com. I’ll print out your testimony and conduct a ritual of purgation. As I burn your confessions in my bonfire at the beach, I’ll call on the Goddess to purify your heart and release you from your angst. (P.S.: I’ll keep everything confidential.)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Two hundred years ago, Sagittarian genius Ludwig Beethoven created stirring music that’s often played today. He’s regarded as one of history’s greatest classical composers. And yet he couldn’t multiply or divide numbers. That inability made it hard for him to organize his finances. He once wrote about himself that he was “an incompetent business man who is bad at arithmetic.” Personally, I’m willing to forgive those flaws and focus on praising him for his soul-inspiring music. I encourage you to practice a similar approach with yourself in the next two weeks. Be extra lenient and merciful and magnanimous as you evaluate the current state of your life. In this phase of your cycle, you need to concentrate on what works instead of on what doesn’t work.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“When you hit a wall—of your own imagined limitations—just kick it in,” wrote playwright Sam Shepard. That seems like a faulty metaphor to me. Have you ever tried to literally kick in a wall? I just tried it, and it didn’t work. I put on a steel-toe work boot and launched it at a closet door in my basement, and it didn’t make a dent. Plus now my foot hurts. So what might be a better symbol for breaking through your imagined limitations? How about this: use a metaphorical sledgehammer or medieval battering ram or backhoe. (P.S. Now is a great time to attend to this matter.)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
In 1965, Chinese archaeologists found an untarnished 2400-year-old royal bronze sword that was still sharp and shiny. It was intricately accessorized with turquoise and blue crystals, precision designs, and a silk-wrapped grip. I propose we make the Sword of Goujian one of your symbolic power objects for the coming months. May it inspire you to build your power and authority by calling on the spirits of your ancestors and your best memories. May it remind you that the past has gifts to offer your future. May it mobilize you to invoke beauty and grace as you fight for what’s good and true and just.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret,” wrote Piscean novelist Gabriel García Márquez. I will add that during different phases of our lives, one or the other of these three lives might take precedence; may need more care than usual. According to my analysis, your life in the coming weeks will offer an abundance of vitality and blessings in the third area: your secret life. For best results, give devoted attention to your hidden depths. Be a brave explorer of your mysterious riddles.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Week of September 18

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
We're in the equinoctial season. During this pregnant pause, the sun seems to hover directly over the equator; the lengths of night and day are equal. For all of us, but especially for you, it's a favorable phase to conjure and cultivate more sweet symmetry, calming balance, and healing harmony. In that spirit, I encourage you to temporarily suspend any rough, tough approaches you might have in regard to those themes. Resist the temptation to slam two opposites together simply to see what happens. Avoid engaging in the pseudo-fun of purging by day and bingeing by night. And don't you dare get swept up in hating what you love or loving what you hate.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
"I tell you what freedom is to me: no fear." So said singer and activist Nina Simone. But it's doubtful there ever came a time when she reached the perfect embodiment of that idyllic state. How can any of us empty out our anxiety so completely as to be utterly emancipated? It's not possible. That's the bad news, Taurus. The good news is that in the coming weeks you will have the potential to be as unafraid as you have ever been. For best results, try to ensure that love is your primary motivation in everything you do and say and think.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Some things don't change much. The beautiful marine animal species known as the pearly nautilus, which lives in the South Pacific, is mostly the same as it was 150 million years ago. Then there's Fuggerei, a walled enclave within the German city of Augsburg. The rent is cheap, about one U.S. dollar per year, and that fee hasn't increased in almost 500 years. While I am in awe of these bastions of stability, and wish we had more such symbolic anchors, I advise you to head in a different direction. During the coming weeks, you'll be wise to be a maestro of mutability, a connoisseur of transformation, an adept of novelty.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Granny Smith apples are widely available. But before 1868, the tart, crispy, juicy fruit never existed on planet Earth. Around that time, an Australian mother of eight named Maria Ann Smith threw the cores of French crab apples out her window while she was cooking. The seeds were fertilized by the pollen from a different, unknown variety of apple, and a new type was born: Granny Smith. I foresee the possibility of a metaphorically comparable event in your future: a lucky accident that enables you to weave together two interesting threads into a fascinating third thread.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
"Every masterpiece is just dirt and ash put together in some perfect way," writes storyteller Chuck Palahniuk, who has completed several novelistic masterpieces. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you Leos have assembled much of the dirt and ash necessary to create your next masterpiece, and are now ready to move on to the next phase. And what is that phase? Identifying the help and support you'll need for the rest of the process.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In 1959, scandal erupted among Americans who loved to eat peanut butter. Studies revealed that manufacturers had added so much hydrogenated vegetable oil and glycerin to their product that only 75 percent of it could truly be called peanut butter. So began a long legal process to restore high standards. Finally there was a new law specifying that no company could sell a product called "peanut butter" unless it contained at least 90 percent peanuts. I hope this fight for purity inspires you to conduct a metaphorically comparable campaign. It's time to ensure that all the important resources and influences in your life are at peak intensity and efficiency. Say NO to dilution and adulteration.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In 1936, the city of Cleveland, Ohio staged the Great Lakes Exposition, a 135-acre fair with thrill rides, art galleries, gardens, and sideshows. One of its fun features was The Golden Book of Cleveland, a 2.5-ton, 6,000-page text the size of a mattress. After the expo closed down, the "biggest book in the world" went missing. If it still exists today, no one knows where it is. I'm going to speculate that there's a metaphorical version of The Golden Book of Cleveland in your life. You, too, have lost track of a major Something that would seem hard to misplace. Here's the good news: If you intensify your search now, I bet you'll find it before the end of 2019.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
In 1990, the New Zealand government appointed educator, magician, and comedian Ian Brackenbury Channell to be the official Wizard of New Zealand. His jobs include protecting the government, blessing new enterprises, casting out evil spirits, upsetting fanatics, and cheering people up. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to find your personal equivalents of an inspirational force like that. There's really no need to scrimp. According to my reading of the cosmic energies, you have license to be extravagant in getting what you need to thrive.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
"Do silly things," advised playwright Anton Chekhov. "Foolishness is a great deal more vital and healthy than our straining and striving after a meaningful life." I think that's a perspective worth adopting now and then. Most of us go through phases when we take things too seriously and too personally and too literally. Bouts of fun absurdity can be healing agents for that affliction. But now is NOT one of those times for you, in my opinion. Just the reverse is true, in fact. I encourage you to cultivate majestic moods and seek out awe-inspiring experiences and induce sublime perspectives. Your serious and noble quest for a meaningful life can be especially rewarding in the coming weeks.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Before comedian Jack Benny died in 1974, he arranged to have a florist deliver a single red rose to his wife every day for the rest of her life. She lived another nine years, and received more than 3,000 of these gifts. Even though you'll be around on this earth for a long time, I think the coming weeks would be an excellent time to establish a comparable custom: a commitment to providing regular blessings to a person or persons for whom you care deeply. This bold decision would be in alignment with astrological omens, which suggest that you can generate substantial benefits for yourself by being creative with your generosity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Actress and author Ruby Dee formulated an unusual prayer. "God," she wrote, "make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear." As you might imagine, she was a brave activist who risked her reputation and career working for the Civil Rights Movement and other idealistic causes. I think her exceptional request to a Higher Power makes good sense for you right now. You're in a phase when you can generate practical blessings by doing the very things that intimidate you or make you nervous. And maybe the best way to motivate and mobilize yourself is by getting at least a bit flustered or unsettled.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Syndicated cartoon strip "Calvin and Hobbes" appeared for ten years in 2,400 newspapers in fifty countries. It wielded a sizable cultural influence. For example, in 1992, six-year-old Calvin decided "The Big Bang" was a boring term for how the universe began, and instead proposed we call it the "Horrendous Space Kablooie." A number of real scientists subsequently adopted Calvin's innovation, and it has been invoked playfully but seriously in university courses and textbooks. In that spirit, I encourage you to give fun new names to anything and everything you feel like spicing up. You now have substantial power to reshape and revamp the components of your world. It's Identify-Shifting Time.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Week of September 11

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Hi, I'm your sales representative for UnTherapy, a free program designed to provide healing strategies for people who are trying too hard. Forgive me for being blunt, but I think you could benefit from our services. I don't have space here to reveal all the secrets of UnTherapy, but here's an essential hint: every now and then the smartest way to outwit a problem is to stop worrying, let it alone, and allow it to solve itself.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
People in Northeast India weave long, strong suspension bridges out of the living roots of fig trees. The structures can measure up to 150 feet and bear the weight of hundreds of people. In accordance with astrological omens, let's make these marvels your metaphors of power for the coming weeks. To stimulate your meditations, ask yourself the following questions. 1. How can you harness nature to help you to get where you need to go? 2. How might you transform instinctual energy so that it better serves your practical needs? 3. How could you channel wildness so that it becomes eminently useful to you?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
If you climb to the top of Mt. Everest, you're standing on land that was once on the floor of a shallow tropical sea. Four-hundred-million-year-old fossils of marine life still abide there in the rock. Over the course of eons, through the magic of plate tectonics, that low flat land got folded and pushed upwards more than five miles. I suspect you Geminis will have the power to accomplish a less spectacular but still amazing transformation during the next ten months. To get started, identify what you would like that transformation to be.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
In 1996, when Gary Kasparov was rated the world's best chess player, he engaged in a series of matches with a chess-playing computer named Deep Blue. Early on in the first game, Deep Blue tried a move that confused Kasparov. Rattled, he began to wonder if the machine was smarter than him. Ultimately, his play suffered and he lost the game. Later it was revealed that Deep Blue's puzzling move was the result of a bug in its code. I'll encourage you to cultivate a benevolent bug in your own code during the coming weeks, Cancerian. I bet it will be the key to you scoring a tricky victory.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
American hero Harriet Tubman escaped slavery as a young woman. She ran away from the wealthy "master" who claimed to "own" her, and reached sanctuary. But rather than simply enjoy her freedom, she dedicated herself to liberating other slaves. Nineteen times she returned to enemy territory and risked her life, ultimately leading 300 people out of hellish captivity. Later she served as a scout, spy, and nurse in the Union Army during the Civil War, where her actions saved another 700 people. In 1874, the U.S. Congress considered but then ultimately rejected a bill to pay her $2,000 for her numerous courageous acts. Don't you dare be like Congress in the coming weeks, Leo. It's crucial that you give tangible acknowledgment and practical rewards to those who have helped, guided, and supported you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Novelist Wallace Stegner wrote, "Some are born in their place, some find it, some realize after long searching that the place they left is the one they have been searching for." I hope that in the last nine months, Virgo, you have resolved which of those three options is true for you. I also trust that you have been taking the necessary actions to claim and own that special place—to acknowledge it and treasure it as the power spot where you feel most at home in the world. If you have not yet fully finished what I'm describing here, do it now.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Earth's species are going extinct at a rate unmatched since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Among the creatures on the verge of being lost forever are birds like the cryptic treehunter and spix's macaw, as well as the northern white rhino and the vaquita, a type of porpoise. So why don't we clone the last few individuals of those beleaguered species? Here are the answers. 1. Cloned animals typically aren't healthy. 2. A species needs a sizable population to retain genetic diversity; a few individuals aren't sufficient. 3. Humans have decimated the homes of the threatened species, making it hard for them to thrive. Conclusion: Cloning is an inadequate stopgap action. Is there a better way to address the problem? Yes: by preserving the habitats of wild creatures. Inspired by this principle, Libra, I ask you to avoid trying halfway fixes for the dilemmas in your personal sphere. Summon full measures that can really work.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Though patched together and incomplete, the 2,200-year-old marble sculpture known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace is prominently displayed at Paris's Louvre Museum. It's a glorious depiction of Nike, the winged goddess of victory, and is regarded as one of ancient Greece's great masterpieces. For hundreds of years it was missing. Then in 1863, an archaeologist discovered it, although it was broken into more than a hundred pieces. Eventually, it was rebuilt, and much of its beauty was resurrected. I see the coming weeks as a time when you, too, could recover the fragments of an old treasure and begin reassembling it to make a pretty good restoration.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
"I've learned that I must find positive outlets for anger or it will destroy me," said actor Sidney Poitier. That can be a dynamic meditation for you during the next three weeks. I think you will derive substantial power from putting it into action. If you're ingenious and diligent about finding those positive outlets, your anger will generate constructive and transformative results.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In 1905, at the age of 30, Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote the novel Anne of Green Gables. It was a tale about an orphan girl growing up on Prince Edward Island. She sent the manuscript to several publishers, all of whom rejected it. Discouraged, she put it away in a hatbox and stored it in a closet. But two years later, her ambitions reignited when she re-read the story. Again she mailed it to prospective publishers, and this time one liked it enough to turn it into a book. It soon became a bestseller. Since then it has sold over 50 million copies and been translated into 36 languages. I figure you Capricorns are at a point in your own unfolding that's equivalent to where Anne was shortly before she rediscovered the manuscript she'd put away in the hatbox.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
The Toxorhynchites are species of large mosquitoes that don't buzz around our heads while we're trying to sleep and will never bite our skin or suck our blood. In fact, they're our benefactors. Their larvae feast on the larvae of the mosquitoes that are bothersome to us. In accordance with astrological omens, I propose that you be alert for a metaphorically comparable influence in your own life: a helper or ally that might be in disguise or may just superficially seem to be like an adversary.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Audre Lord identified herself as a black writer, lesbian, librarian, mother, feminist, civil rights activist, and many other descriptors. But as ardent as she was in working for the political causes she was passionate about, she didn't want to be pigeonholed in a single identity. One of her central teachings was to celebrate all the different parts of herself. "Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat," she testified. These approaches should be especially fun and extra meaningful for you in the coming weeks, Pisces. I encourage you to throw a big Unity Party for all the different people you are.

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