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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.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Week of September 4

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 12:14 PM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
John Muir (1838–1914) was skilled at creating and using machinery. In his twenties, he diligently expressed those aptitudes. But at age 27, while working in a carriage parts factory, he suffered an accident that blinded him. For several months, he lay in bed, hoping to recuperate. During that time, Muir decided that if his sight returned, he would thereafter devote it to exploring the beauty of the natural world. The miracle came to pass, and for the rest of his life he traveled and explored the wilds of North America, becoming an influential naturalist, author, and early environmentalist. I'd love to see you respond to one of your smaller setbacks—much less dramatic than Muir's!—with comparable panache, Aries.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Of all the children on the planet, three percent live in the U.S. And yet American children are in possession of forty percent of the world's toys. In accordance with astrological omens, I hereby invite you to be like an extravagant American child in the coming weeks. You have cosmic permission to seek maximum fun and treat yourself to zesty entertainment and lose yourself in uninhibited laughter and wow yourself with beguiling games and delightful gizmos. It's playtime!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
The ama are Japanese women whose job it is to dive to the sea bottom and fetch oysters bearing pearls. The water is usually cold, and the workers use no breathing apparatus, depending instead on specialized techniques to hold their breath. I propose we make them your inspirational role models. The next few weeks will be a favorable time, metaphorically speaking, for you to descend into the depths in quest of valuables and inspirations.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Renowned Cancerian neurologist Oliver Sacks believed that music and gardens could be vital curative agents, as therapeutic as pharmaceuticals. My personal view is that walking in nature can be as medicinal as working and lolling in a garden. As for music, I would extend his prescription to include singing and dancing as well as listening. I'm also surprised that Sacks didn't give equal recognition to the healing power of touch, which can be wondrously rejuvenating, either in its erotic or non-erotic forms. I bring these thoughts to your attention because I suspect the coming weeks will be a Golden Age of non-pharmaceutical healing for you. I'm not suggesting that you stop taking the drugs you need to stay healthy; I simply mean that music, nature, and touch will have an extra-sublime impact on your well-being.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
If you visualize what ancient Rome looked like, it's possible you draw on memories of scenes you've seen portrayed in movies. The blockbuster film Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott, may be one of those templates. The weird thing is that Gladiator, as well as many other such movies, were inspired by the grandiose paintings of the ancient world done by Dutch artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836–1912). And in many ways, his depictions were not at all factual. I bring this to your attention, Leo, in the hope that it will prod you to question the accuracy and authenticity of your mental pictures. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to get fuzzy and incorrect memories into closer alignment with the truth, and to shed any illusions that might be distorting your understanding of reality.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
I don't know if the coming weeks will be an Anais Nin phase for you. But they could be if you want them to. It's up to you whether you'll dare to be as lyrical, sensual, deep, expressive, and emotionally rich as she was. In case you decide that YES, you will, here are quotes from Nin that might serve you well. 1. It is easy to love and there are so many ways to do it. 2. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. 3. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. 4. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. 5. It was while helping others to be free that I gained my own freedom.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
"When you're nailing a custard pie to the wall, and it starts to wilt, it doesn't do any good to hammer in more nails." So advised novelist Wallace Stegner. I hope I'm delivering his counsel in time to dissuade you from even trying to nail a custard pie to the wall—or an omelet or potato chip or taco, for that matter. What might be a better use of your energy? You could use the nails to build something that will actually be useful to you.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
"I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them," wrote author Amy Tan. My Scorpio friend Audrey once made a similar confession: "I buried my secrets so completely from the prying curiosity of other people that I lost track of them myself." If either of those descriptions apply to you, Scorpio, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to secure a remedy. You'll have extra power and luck if you commune with and celebrate your hidden feelings and buried secrets.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
"No Eden valid without serpent." Novelist Wallace Stegner wrote that pithy riff. I think it's a good motto for you to use in the immediate future. How do you interpret it? Here's what I think. As you nourish your robust vision of paradise-on-earth, and as you carry out the practical actions that enable you to manifest that vision, it's wise to have some creative irritant in the midst of it. That bug, that question, that tantalizing mystery is the key to keeping you honest and discerning. It gives credibility and gravitas to your idealistic striving.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
The coco de mer is a palm tree that grows in the Seychelles. Its seed is huge, weighing as much as forty pounds and having a diameter of nineteen inches. The seed takes seven years to grow into its mature form, then takes an additional two years to germinate. Everything I just said about the coco de mer seed reminds me of you, Capricorn. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you've been working on ripening an awesome seed for a long time, and are now in the final phase before it sprouts. The Majestic Budding may not fully kick in until 2020, but I bet you're already feeling the enjoyable, mysterious pressure.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
If you throw a pool ball or a bronze Buddha statue at a window, the glass will break. In fact, the speed at which it fractures could reach 3,000 miles per hour. Metaphorically speaking, your mental blocks and emotional obstacles are typically not as crackable. You may smack them with your angry probes and bash them with your desperate pleas, yet have little or no effect. But I suspect that in the coming weeks, you'll have much more power than usual to shatter those vexations. So I hereby invite you to hurl your strongest blasts at your mental blocks and emotional obstacles. Don't be surprised if they collapse at unexpectedly rapid speeds.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
In the thirteenth century, the Italian city of Bologna was serious about guarding the integrity of its cuisine. In 1250, the cheese guild issued a decree proclaiming, "If you make fake mortadella . . . your body will be stretched on the rack three times, you will be fined 200 gold coins, and all the food you make will be destroyed." I appreciate such devotion to purity and authenticity and factualness. And I recommend that in the coming weeks, you commit to comparable standards in your own sphere. Don't let your own offerings be compromised or corrupted. The same with the offerings you receive from other people. Be impeccable.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Week of August 28

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Here are examples of activities I recommend you try in the coming days. 1. Build a campfire on the beach with friends and regale each other with stories of your most interesting successes. 2. Buy eccentric treasures at a flea market and ever thereafter refer to them as your holy icons. 3. Climb a hill and sit on the grass as you sing your favorite songs and watch the moon slowly rise over the eastern horizon. 4. Take naps when you’re “not supposed to.” 5. Sneak into an orchard at night and eat fruit plucked just moments before. 6. Tell a beloved person a fairy tale in which he or she is the hero.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
The hardiest creature on the planet may be the bacterium known as Deinococcus radiodurans. It can endure exposure to radiation, intense cold, dehydration, acid, and vacuum. I propose we make it your power creature for the coming weeks. Why? Not because I expect you’ll have to deal with a lot of extreme conditions, but rather because I think you’ll be exceptionally robust, both physically and psychologically. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to succeed at demanding challenges that require you to be in top form, now is a good time to do it. P.S. Deinococcus radiodurans is colloquially referred to as Conan the Bacterium, borrowing from the spirit of the fictional character Conan the Barbarian, who is renowned for his strength and agility.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In the yearly cycle of many Geminis, retreating into a state akin to hibernation makes sense during the end of August and the first three weeks of September. But since many of you are high-energy sophisticates, you often override your body’s signals. And then nature pushes back by compelling you to slow down. The result may be a rhythm that feels like constantly taking three steps forward and two steps backward. May I suggest a different approach this year? Would you consider surrendering, even slightly, to the invitation to relax and recharge?

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
If you decide to travel to a particular place via hot air balloon, you must be prepared for the possibility that your route will be indirect. At different altitudes, the wind may be blowing in different directions: toward the east at a hundred feet high, but toward the southwest at two hundred feet. The trick for the pilot is to jockey up and down until finding a layer that’s headed toward the desired destination. I see your life right now as having a metaphorical resemblance to this riddle. You have not yet discovered the layer that will take you where you want to go. But I bet you will soon.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Considering how bright you have been burning since the Flame Angels designated you as the Hottest Cool Person of the Month, I hesitate to urge you to simmer down. But I must. Before there’s a meltdown in your vicinity, please lower your thermostat. Not a lot. Just a little. If you do that, everyone will continue to see your gleaming charisma in the best possible light. But don’t you dare extinguish your blaze. Don’t apologize for your brilliant shimmer. The rest of us need your magical radiance.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Shogun is a bestselling novel about an Englishman who transforms himself into a samurai warrior in seventeenth-century Japan. Written by James Clavell, it’s over 1,100 pages long. Clavell testified that the idea for the story sprang up in him when he read one line in his daughter’s school book: “In 1600 an Englishman went to Japan and became a samurai.” I suspect it’s highly likely you will soon encounter a seed like that, Virgo: a bare inspiration that will eventually bloom into a Big Thing.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Libran athlete Mickey Mantle is in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. He had a spectacular 18-year career, winning the Most Valuable Player Award three times, playing in 12 World Series, and being selected to the All-Star team 16 times. So it’s astounding that he played with a torn ligament in his knee for 17 years, according to his biographer Jane Leavy. She quoted an orthopedic surgeon who said that Mantle compensated for his injury with “neuromuscular genius.” I’m thinking that in the next few weeks you’re in a position to accomplish an equivalent of Mantle’s heroic adjustment.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Most people who belong to the Church of Satan neither believe in nor worship Satan. (They’re atheists, and don’t believe in the supernatural.) I think a comparable principle is true for many rightwing fundamentalist Christians. Their actions and words are replete with bigotry, hard-heartedness, materialism, and selfishness: so contrary to what the real Jesus Christ taught that they in effect don’t believe in or worship Jesus Christ. I mention this, Scorpio, in hope of inspiring you to take inventory of whether your stated ideals are reflected in the practical details of how you live your life. That’s always an interesting and important task, of course, but it’s especially so for you right now. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to purge any hypocrisy from your system and get your actual behavior in close alignment with your deepest values.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
It’s the right time for you to create a fresh mission statement and promotional campaign. For inspiration, read mine: “My column ‘Free Will Astrology’ offers you a wide selection of realities to choose from. With 4,212 years of dedication to customer service (over the course of my last 13 incarnations), I’m a reliable ally supporting your efforts to escape your oppressive conditioning and other people’s hells. My horoscopes come with an ironclad guarantee: If the advice you read is wrong, you’re under no obligation to believe it. And remember: a panel of 531 experts has determined that ‘Free Will Astrology’ is an effective therapy for your chronic wounds and primordial pain. It is also dramatic proof that there is no good reason to be afraid of life.”

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Here are good questions for you to meditate on during the next four weeks. 1. How can you attract resources that will expand your mind and your world? 2. Are you bold enough to reach out to wise sources and provocative influences that could connect you with useful tricks and practical treasures? 3. What interesting lessons can you stir up as you explore the mercurial edges, skirt the changeable boundaries, journey to catalytic frontiers, and make pilgrimages to holy hubbubs? 4. How best can you encourage lyrical emotion over polished sentimentality? Joyous idealism over astringent zealotry? Exuberant integrity over formulaic kindness?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize that the best you can do is choose which rules you want to live by,” wrote author Wallace Stegner, “and it’s persistent and aggravated imbecility to pretend you can live without any.” That will be an excellent meditation for you during the coming weeks. I trust you are long past the time of fantasizing you can live without any rules. Your challenge now is to adjust some of the rules you have been living by, or even dare to align yourself with some new rules—and then completely commit yourself to being loyal to them and enjoying them.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Given the astrological omens that will symbolize your personal story in the coming weeks and months, I think Piscean author Nikos Kazantzakis articulated the perfect prescription for you. I invite you to interpret his thoughts to fit your circumstances. “We’re going to start with small, easy things,” he wrote. “Then, little by little we shall try our hand at the big things. And after that, after we finish the big things, we shall undertake the impossible.” Here’s an additional prod from Kazantzakis: “Reach what you cannot.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Week of Aug. 21

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
It's not cost-efficient to recycle plastic. Sorting and processing the used materials to make them available for fresh stuff is at least as expensive as creating new plastic items from scratch. On the other hand, sending used plastic to a recycling center makes it far less likely that it will end up in the oceans and waterways, harming living creatures. So in this case, the short-term financial argument in favor of recycling is insubstantial, whereas the moral argument is strong. I invite you to apply a similar perspective to your upcoming decisions.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
African American slaves suffered many horrendous deprivations. For example, it was illegal for them to learn to read. Their oppressors feared that educated slaves would be better equipped to agitate for freedom, and took extreme measures to keep them illiterate. Frederick Douglass was one slave who managed to beat the ban. As he secretly mastered the art of reading and writing, he came upon literature that ultimately emboldened him to escape his "owners" and flee to safety. He became one of the nineteenth century's most powerful abolitionists, producing reams of influential writing and speeches. I propose that we make Douglass your inspiring role model for the coming months. I think you're ready to break the hold of a certain curse—and go on to achieve a gritty success that the curse had prevented you from accomplishing.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
For twenty-five years, businessman Don Thompson worked for the McDonald's fast food company, including three years as its CEO. During that time, he oversaw the sale and consumption of millions of hamburgers. But in 2015, he left McDonald's and became part of Beyond Meat, a company that sells vegan alternatives to meat. I could see you undergoing an equally dramatic shift in the coming months, Gemini: a transition into a new role that resembles but is also very different from a role you've been playing. I urge you to step up your fantasies about what that change might entail.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
"The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot," wrote author Audre Lorde. As an astrologer I would add this nuance: although what Lourde says is true, some phases of your life are more favorable than others to seek deep and rapid education. For example, the coming weeks will bring you especially rich teachings if you incite the learning process now.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
The American idiom "stay in your lane" has come to mean "mind your own business," and usually has a pejorative sense. But I'd like to expand it and soften it for your use in the coming weeks. Let's define it as meaning "stick to what you're good at and know about" or "don't try to operate outside your area of expertise" or "express yourself in ways that you have earned the right to do." Author Zadie Smith says that this is good advice for writers. "You have to work out what it is you can't do, obscure it, and focus on what works," she attests. Apply that counsel to your own sphere or field, Leo.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Yisrael Kristal was a Polish Jew born under the sign of Virgo in 1903. His father was a scholar of the Torah, and he began studying Judaism and learning Hebrew at age three. He lived a long life and had many adventures, working as a candle-maker and a candy-maker. When the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945, Kristal emerged as one of the survivors. He went on to live to the age of 113. Because of the chaos of World War I, he had never gotten to do his bar mitzvah when he'd turned thirteen. So he did it much later, in his old age. I foresee a comparable event coming up soon in your life, Virgo. You will claim a reward or observe a milestone or collect a blessing you weren't able to enjoy earlier.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Sailors have used compasses to navigate since the eleventh century. But that tool wasn't enough to guide them. A thorough knowledge of the night sky's stars was a crucial aid. Skill at reading the ever-changing ocean currents always proved valuable. Another helpful trick was to take birds on the ships as collaborators. While at sea, if the birds flew off and returned, the sailors knew there was no land close by. If the birds didn't return, chances were good that land was near. I bring this to your attention, Libra, because I think it's an excellent time to gather a number of different navigational tools for your upcoming quest. One won't be enough.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
What do you want from the allies who aren't your lovers? What feelings do you most enjoy while you're in the company of your interesting, non-romantic companions? For instance, maybe you like to be respected and appreciated. Or perhaps what's most important to you is to experience the fun of being challenged and stimulated. Maybe your favorite feeling is the spirit of collaboration and comradeship. Or maybe all of the above. In any case, Scorpio, I urge you to get clear about what you want—and then make it your priority to foster it. In the coming weeks, you'll have the power to generate an abundance of your favorite kind of non-sexual togetherness.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
As the CEO of the clothes company Zappos, Sagittarius entrepreneur Tony Hsieh is worth almost a billion dollars. If he chose, he could live in a mansion by the sea. Yet his home is a 200-square-foot, $48,000 trailer in Las Vegas, where he also keeps his pet alpaca. To be clear, he owns the entire trailer park, which consists of 30 other trailers, all of which are immaculate hotbeds of high-tech media technology where interesting people live. He loves the community he has created, which is more important to him than status and privilege. "For me, experiences are more meaningful than stuff," he says. "I have way more experiences here." I'd love to see you reaffirm your commitment to priorities like his in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. It'll be a favorable time to do so.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Medical researcher Jonas Salk developed a successful polio vaccine, so he had a strong rational mind. Here's how he described his relationship with his non-rational way of knowing. He said, "It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It's my partner." I bring this up, Capricorn, because the coming weeks will be a favorable time to celebrate and cultivate your own intuition. You may generate amazing results as you learn to trust it more and figure out how to deepen your relationship with it.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Aquarian environmentalist Edward Abbey once formulated a concise list of his requirements for living well. "One must be reasonable in one's demands on life," he wrote. "For myself, all that I ask is: 1. accurate information; 2. coherent knowledge; 3. deep understanding; 4. infinite loving wisdom; 5. no more kidney stones, please." According to my analysis of the astrological omens, now would be an excellent time for you to create your own tally of the Five Crucial Provisions. Be bold and precise as you inform life about your needs.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
"We may be surprised at whom God sends to answer our prayers," wrote author Janette Oke. I suspect that observation will apply to you in the coming weeks. If you're an atheist or agnostic, I'll rephrase her formulation for you: "We may be surprised at whom Life sends to answer our entreaties." There's only one important thing you have to do to cooperate with this experience: set aside your expectations about how help and blessings might appear.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Week of August 14

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 4:06 PM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
How did sound technicians create the signature roar of the fictional monster Godzilla? They slathered pine-tar resin on a leather glove and stroked it against the strings of a double bass. How about the famous howl of the fictional character Tarzan? Sonic artists blended a hyena's screech played backwards, a dog's growl, a soprano singer's fluttered intonation slowed down, and an actor's yell. Karen O, lead singer of the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, periodically unleashes very long screams that may make the hair stand up on the back of her listeners' necks. In accordance with astrological omens, I'd love to see you experiment with creating your own personal Yowl or Laugh or Whisper of Power in the coming weeks: a unique sound that would boost your wild confidence and help give you full access to your primal lust for life.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough," said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ex-President of Liberia. In accordance with astrological imperatives, I propose that we make that your watchword for the foreseeable future. From what I can tell, you're due to upgrade your long-term goals. You have the courage and vision necessary to dare yourself toward an even more fulfilling destiny than you've been willing or ready to imagine up until now.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
How did our ancestors ever figure out that the calendula flower can be used as healing medicine for irritated and inflamed skin? It must have been a very long process of trial and error. (Or did the plant somehow "communicate" to indigenous herbalists, informing them of its use?) In any case, this curative herb is only one of hundreds of plants that people somehow came to adjudge as having healing properties. "Miraculous" is not too strong a word to describe such discoveries. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Gemini, you now have the patience and perspicacity to engage in a comparable process: to find useful resources through experiment and close observation—with a hardy assist from your intuition.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Today the city of Timbuktu in Mali is poor and in the throes of desertification. But from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, it was one of the great cultural centers of the world. Its libraries filled up with thousands of influential books, which remained intact until fairly recently. In 2012, Al-Qaeda jihadists conceived a plan to destroy the vast trove of learning and scholarship. One man foiled them. Abba al-Hadi, an illiterate guard who had worked at one of the libraries, smuggled out many of the books in empty rice sacks. By the time the jihadists started burning, most of the treasure had been relocated. I don't think the problem in your sphere is anywhere near as dire as this, Cancerian. But I do hope you will be proactive about saving and preserving valuable resources before they're at risk of being diluted, compromised, or neglected.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Moray eels have two sets of jaws. The front set does their chewing. The second set, normally located behind the first, can be launched forward to snag prey they want to eat. In invoking this aggressive strategy to serve as a metaphor for you in the coming weeks, I want to suggest that you be very dynamic and enterprising as you go after what you want and need. Don't be rude and invasive, of course, but consider the possibility of being audacious and zealous.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
It's relatively rare, but now and then people receive money or gifts from donors they don't know. Relatives they've never met may bequeath them diamond tiaras or alpaca farms or bundles of cash. I don't think that's exactly what will occur for you in the coming weeks, but I do suspect that you'll garner blessings or help from unexpected sources. To help ensure the best possible versions of these acts of grace, I suggest that you be as generous as possible in the kindness and attention you offer. Remember this verse from the Bible: "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Libra-born Ronald McNair was an African American who grew up in a racist town in South Carolina in the 1950s. The bigotry cramped his freedom, but he rebelled. When he was nine years old, he refused to leave a segregated library, which prompted authorities to summon the police. Years later, McNair earned a PhD in Physics from MIT and became renowned for his research on laser physics. Eventually, NASA chose him to be an astronaut from a pool of 10,000 candidates. That library in South Carolina? It's now named after him. I suspect that you, too, will soon receive some vindication, Libra: a reward or blessing or consecration that will reconfigure your past.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Scorpio author Zadie Smith wrote, "In the end, your past is not my past and your truth is not my truth and your solution—is not my solution." I think it will be perfectly fine if sometime soon you speak those words to a person you care about. In delivering such a message, you won't be angry or dismissive. Rather, you will be establishing good boundaries between you and your ally; you will be acknowledging the fact that the two of you are different people with different approaches to life. And I bet that will ultimately make you closer.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
"Nothing fruitful ever comes when plants are forced to flower in the wrong season," wrote author and activist Bette Lord. That's not entirely true. For example, skilled and meticulous gardeners can compel tulip and hyacinth bulbs to flower before they would naturally be able to. But as a metaphor, Lord's insight is largely accurate. And I think you'll be wise to keep it in mind during the coming weeks. So my advice is: don't try to make people and processes ripen before they are ready. But here's a caveat: you might have modest success working to render them a bit more ready.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
"For though we often need to be restored to the small, concrete, limited, and certain, we as often need to be reminded of the large, vague, unlimited, unknown." Poet A. R. Ammons formulated that shiny burst of wisdom, and now I'm passing it on to you. As I think you know, you tend to have more skill at and a greater inclination toward the small, concrete, limited, and certain. That's why, in my opinion, it's rejuvenating for you to periodically exult in and explore what's large, vague, unlimited, unknown. Now is one of those times.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
"Look into my eyes. Kiss me, and you will see how important I am." Poet Sylvia Plath wrote that, and now, in accordance with astrological omens, I'm authorizing you to say something similar to anyone who is interested in you but would benefit from gazing more deeply into your soul and entering into a more profound relationship with your mysteries. In other words, you have cosmic permission to be more forthcoming in showing people your beauty and value.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
In his Anti-Memoirs, author André Malraux quotes a tough-minded priest who served in the French Resistance during World War II. He spent his adult life hearing his parishioners' confessions. "The fundamental fact is that there's no such thing as a grown-up person," the priest declared. Even if that's mostly true, Pisces, my sense is that it is less true about you right now than it has ever been. In the past months, you have been doing good work to become more of a fully realized version of yourself. I expect that the deepening and maturation process is reaching a culmination. Don't underestimate your success! Celebrate it!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Week of August 7

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
When it came time to write your horoscope, I was feeling unusually lazy. I could barely summon enough energy to draw up the planetary charts. I said a weak prayer to the astrological muses, pleading, "Please don't make me work too hard to discover the message that Aries people need to hear; just make the message appear in my mind." As if in response, a voice in my head said, "Try bibliomancy." So I strolled to my bookcase, shut my eyes, pulled out the first book I felt, and went to a random page. Here's what I saw when I opened my eyes: "The Taoist concept of wu-wei is the notion that our creative active forces are dependent on and nourished by inactivity; and that doing absolutely nothing may be a good way to get something done."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
There's an old Rosicrucian vow you might have fun trying out: "I pledge to interpret every experience that comes my way as a communication of God with my soul." If you carry out this intention with relaxed playfulness, every bird song you hear is an emblem of Divine thought; every eavesdropped conversation provides hints of the Creator's current mood; the shape that spilled milk takes on your tabletop is an intimation of eternity breaking into our time-gripped realm. In my years of offering you advice, I have never before suggested you try this exercise because I didn't think you were receptive. But I do now. (If you're an atheist, you can replace "God," "Divine," and "Creator" with "Life.")

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Below are unheralded gifts possessed by many Geminis but not commonly identified by traditional astrologers: 1. a skill for deprogramming yourself: for unlearning defunct teachings that might otherwise interfere with your ability to develop your highest potentials; 2. a sixth sense about recognizing artificial motivations, then shedding them; 3. a tendency to attract epiphanies that show you why and how to break taboos that may once have been necessary but aren't any longer; 4. an ability to avoid becoming overwhelmed and controlled by situations you manage or supervise.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
In 1993, I began writing a book titled The Televisionary Oracle. By 1995, I had generated over 2,000 pages of material that I didn't like. Although I was driven by a yearning to express insights that had been welling up in me for a long time, nothing about the work felt right. I was stuck. But finally I discovered an approach that broke me free: I started to articulate difficult truths about aspects of my life about which I was embarrassed, puzzled, and ashamed. Then everything fell into place. The process that had been agonizing and fruitless became fluidic and joyful. I recommend that you try this strategy to dissolve any mental blocks you may be suffering from: dive into and explore what makes you feel ashamed, puzzling, or embarrassed. I bet it will lead to triumph and fulfillment, as happened for me.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
I am overjoyed that you're not competing for easy rewards or comparing yourself to the mediocre crowd. Some people in your sphere may not be overjoyed, though. To those whose sense of self isn't strong, you may be like an itchy allergen; they may accuse you of showing off or acting puffed up. But freaks like me appreciate creative egotists like you when you treat your personality as a work of art. In my view, you're a stirring example of how to be true to one's smartest passions. Keep up the good work! Continue to have too much fun! I'm guessing that for now you can get away with doing just about anything you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Let's enjoy a moment of poignant silence in honor of your expired illusions. They were soulful mirages: full of misplaced idealism and sweet ignorance and innocent misunderstandings. Generous in ways you may not yet realize, they exuded an agitated beauty that aroused both courage and resourcefulness. Now, as those illusions dissolve, they will begin to serve you anew, turning into fertile compost for your next big production.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Old rules and traditions about how best to conduct intimate relationship are breaking down. New rules are still incubating. Right now, the details about how people express their needs to give and receive love seem to be riddles for which there are no correct answers. So what do you do? How do you proceed with the necessary blend of confidence and receptivity? Can you figure out flexible strategies for being true both to your need for independence and your need for interdependence? I bring these ruminations to your attention, Libra, just in time for the "Transforming Togetherness" phase of your cycle.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
It's time for your once-a-year shout-out to your most audacious possibilities. Ready? Go ahead and say, "Hallelujah! Hosanna! Happiness! Hooray for my brilliant future!" Next, go ahead and say, "I have more than enough power to create my world in the image of my wisest dreams." Now do a dance of triumph and whisper to yourself, "I'm going to make very sure I always know exactly what my wisest dreams are."

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
During the next three weeks, I advise you to load up on copious amounts of caffeine from Monday at 8 a.m. until Friday at 6 p.m. Then drastically cut back on the coffee and consume large amounts of alcohol and/or marijuana from 6:01 p.m. on Friday through 6 p.m. on Sunday. This is the ideal recipe for success. JUST KIDDING! I lied. Here's the truth, Sagittarius: Astrological indicators suggest you would benefit from making the coming weeks be the most undrugged, alcohol-free time ever. Your potential for achieving natural highs will be extraordinary, as will your potential to generate crucial breakthroughs while enjoying those natural highs. Take advantage!

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I don't presume you should or will gleefully embrace the assignment I'll propose. The task may indeed be too daunting for you to manage right now. If that's the case, don't worry. You'll get another chance in a few months. But if you are indeed ready for a breathtaking challenge, here it is: Be a benevolent force of wild nature; be a tender dispenser of creative destruction; be a bold servant of your soulful dreams—as you demolish outmoded beliefs and structures that have been keeping a crucial part of your vitality shackled and latent.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
I have cast a feisty love spell that will be triggered in anyone who reads the first line of this horoscope. And since you have done that, you are now becoming even smarter than you already were about getting the most out of your intimate alliances. You're primed to experiment with the delights of feeling with your head and thinking with your heart. Soon you'll be visited by revelations about any unconscious glitches that might be subtly undermining your togetherness, and you'll get good ideas about how to correct those glitches. Astrological rhythms will be flowing in your relationships' favor for the next seven weeks!

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
I estimate that about 25 percent of your fear results from your hesitation to love as deeply and openly and bravely as you could. Another 13 percent originates in an inclination to mistake some of your teachers for adversaries, and 21 percent from your reluctance to negotiate with the misunderstood monsters in your closet. But I suspect that fully 37 percent of your fear comes from the free-floating angst that you telepathically absorb from the other 7.69 billion humans on our planet. So what about the remaining four percent? Is that based on real risks and worth paying attention to? Yes! And the coming weeks will be an excellent time to make progress in diminishing its hold on you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Week of July 31

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
"Dear Diary: Last night my Aries friend dragged me to the Karaoke Bowling Alley and Sushi Bar. I was deeply skeptical. The place sounded tacky. But after being there for twenty minutes, I had to admit that I was having a fantastic time. And it just got better and more fun as the night wore on. I'm sure I made a fool of myself when I did my bowling ball imitation, but I can live with that. At one point I was juggling a bowling pin, a rather large piece of sweet potato tempura, and my own shoe while singing Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir"—and I don't even know how to juggle. I have to admit that this sequence of events was typical of my adventures with Aries folks. I suppose I should learn to trust that they will lead me to where I don't know I want to go."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
In his poem "Wild Oats," poet W. S. Merwin provided a message that's in perfect alignment with your current astrological needs: "I needed my mistakes in their own order to get me here." He was not being ironic in saying that; he was not making a lame attempt to excuse his errors; he was not struggling to make himself feel better for the inconvenience caused by his wrong turns. No! He understood that the apparent flubs and miscues he had committed were essential in creating his successful life. I invite you to reinterpret your own past using his perspective.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Even if you're an ambidextrous, multi-gendered, neurologically diverse, Phoenician-Romanian Gemini with a fetish for pink duct tape and an affinity for ideas that no one has ever thought of, you will eventually find your sweet spot, your power niche, and your dream sanctuary. I promise. Same for the rest of you Geminis, too. It might take a while. But I beg you to have faith that you will eventually tune in to the homing beacon of the mother lode that's just right for you. P.S.: Important clues and signs should be arriving soon.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
What would a normal, boring astrologer tell you at a time like now? Maybe something like this: "More of other people's money and resources can be at your disposal if you emanate sincerity and avoid being manipulative. If you want to negotiate vibrant compromises, pay extra attention to good timing and the right setting. Devote special care and sensitivity to all matters affecting your close alliances and productive partnerships." As you know, Cancerian, I'm not a normal, boring astrologer, so I wouldn't typically say something like what I just said. But I felt it was my duty to do so because right now you need simple, basic, no-frills advice. I promise I'll resume with my cryptic, lyrical oracles next time.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Let's check in with our psychic journalist, LoveMancer, who's standing by with a live report from inside your imagination. What's happening, LoveMancer? "Well, Rob, the enchanting creature on whose thoughts I've been eavesdropping has slipped into an intriguing frontier. This place seems to be a hot zone where love and healing interact intensely. My guess is that being here will lead our hero to breakthrough surges of love that result in deep healing, or deep healing that leads to breakthrough surges of love—probably both."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Virgo figure skater Scott Hamilton won an Olympic gold medal and four World Championships. He was a star who got inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and made a lot of money after he turned professional. "I calculated once how many times I fell during my skating career—41,600 times," he testified in his autobiography. "But here's the funny thing: I also got up 41,600 times. That's the muscle you have to build in your psyche—the one that reminds you to just get up." In accordance with current astrological omens, Virgo, I'll be cheering you on as you strengthen that muscle in your psyche during the coming weeks.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
What's the story of your life? Psychologist James Hillman said that in order to thrive, you need to develop a clear vision of that story. How do you do that? Hillman advised you to ask yourself this question: "How can I assemble the pieces of my life into a coherent plot?" And why is this effort to decode your biography so important? Because your soul's health requires you to cultivate curiosity and excitement about the big picture of your destiny. If you hope to respond with intelligence to the questions and challenges that each new day brings, you must be steadily nourished with an expansive understanding of why you are here on earth. I bring these ideas to your attention, Libra, because the coming weeks will be an excellent time to illuminate and deepen and embellish your conception of your life story.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
"Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide," wrote psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. I think that description fits many people born under the sign of the Scorpio, not just Scorpio artists. Knowing how important and necessary this dilemma can be for you, I would never glibly advise you to always favor candid, straightforward communication over protective, strategic hiding. But I recommend you do that in the coming weeks. Being candid and straightforward will serve you well.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Sagittarian poet Aracelis Girmay writes, "How ramshackle, how brilliant, how haphazardly & strangely rendered we are. Gloriously, fantastically mixed & monstered. We exist as phantom, monster, miracle, each a theme park all one's own." Of course that's always true about every one of us. But it will be extraordinarily true about you in the coming weeks. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you will be at the peak of your ability to express what's most idiosyncratic and essential about your unique array of talents and specialties.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Sometime soon I suspect you will arrive at a crossroads in your relationship with love and sex—as well as your fantasies about love and sex. In front of you: a hearty cosmic joke that would mutate your expectations and expand your savvy. Behind you: an alluring but perhaps confusing call toward an unknown future. To your left: the prospect of a dreamy adventure that might be only half-imaginary. To your right: the possibility of living out a slightly bent fairy tale version of romantic catharsis. I'm not here to tell you what you should do, Capricorn. My task is simply to help you identify the options.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
How many handcuffs are there in the world? Millions. Yet there are far fewer different keys than that to open all those handcuffs. In fact, in many countries, there's a standard universal key that works to open most handcuffs. In this spirit, and in accordance with current astrological omens, I'm designating August as Free Yourself from Your Metaphorical Handcuffs Month. It's never as complicated or difficult as you might imagine to unlock your metaphorical handcuffs; and for the foreseeable future it will be even less complicated and difficult than usual for you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
People who sneak a gaze into your laboratory might be unnerved by what they see. You know and I know that your daring experiments are in service to the ultimate good, but that may not be obvious to those who understand you incompletely. So perhaps you should post a sign outside your lab that reads, "Please don't leap to premature conclusions! My in-progress projects may seem inexplicable to the uninitiated!" Or maybe you should just close all your curtains and lock the door until your future handiwork is more presentable. P.S. There may be allies who can provide useful feedback about your explorations. I call them the wounded healers.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Week of July 24

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
After analyzing unusual animal behavior, magnetic fluctuations, outbreaks of mayhem on Twitter, and the position of the moon, a psychic has foretold that a moderate earthquake will rumble through the St. Louis, Missouri area in the coming weeks. I don't agree with her prophecy. But I have a prediction of my own. Using data about how cosmic forces are conspiring to amuse and titillate your rapture chakra, I predict a major lovequake for many Aries between now and August 20. I suggest you start preparing immediately. How? Brainstorm about adventures and breakthroughs that will boost exciting togetherness. Get yourself in the frame of mind to seek out collaborative catharses that evoke both sensory delights and spiritual insights.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
"Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are," wrote Taurus philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. You could use that idea to achieve a finer grade of peace and grace in the coming weeks. The navel-gazing phase of your yearly cycle has begun, which means you'll be in closest alignment with cosmic rhythms if you get to know yourself much better. One of the best ways to do that is to analyze what you pay most attention to. Another excellent way is to expand and refine and tenderize your feelings for what you pay most attention to.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano wrote that in Havana, people refer to their friends as mi sangre, my blood, or mi tierra, my country. In Caracas, he reported, a friend might be called mi llave, my key, or mi pana, my bread. Since you are in the alliance-boosting phase of your cycle, Gemini, I trust that you will find good reasons to think of your comrades as your blood, your country, your key, or your bread. It's a favorable time for you to get closer, more personal, and more intimate. The affectionate depths are calling to you.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Your emotional intelligence is so strong right now that I bet you could alleviate the pain of a loved one even as you soothe a long-running ache of your own. You're so spiritually alluring, I suspect you could arouse the sacred yearning of a guru, saint, or bodhisattva. You're so interesting, someone might write a poem or story about you. You're so overflowing with a lust for life that you might lift people out of their ruts just by being in their presence. You're so smart you could come up with at least a partial solution to a riddle whose solution has evaded you for a long time.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
The Queen of North America and Europe called me on the phone. At least that's how she identified herself. "I have a message for your Leo readers," she told me. "Why Leo?" I asked. "Because I'm a Leo myself," she replied, "and I know what my tribe needs to know right now." I said, "OK. Give it to me." "Tell Leos to always keep in mind the difference between healthy pride and debilitating hubris," she said. "Tell them to be dazzlingly and daringly competent without becoming bossy and egomaniacal. They should disappear their arrogance but nourish their mandate to express leadership and serve as a role model. Be shiny and bright but not glaring and blinding. Be irresistible but not envy-inducing."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Congrats, Virgo! You are beginning the denouement of your yearly cycle. Anything you do to resolve lingering conflicts and finish up old business will yield fertile rewards. Fate will conspire benevolently in your behalf as you bid final goodbyes to the influences you'll be smart not to drag along with you into the new cycle that will begin in a few weeks. To inspire your holy work, I give you this poem by Virgo poet Charles Wright: "Knot by knot I untie myself from the past / And let it rise away from me like a balloon. / What a small thing it becomes. / What a bright tweak at the vanishing point, blue on blue."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I predict that between now and the end of the year, a Libran genetic engineer will create a new species of animal called a dat. A cross between a cat and a dog, it will have the grace, independence, and vigilance of a Persian cat and the geniality, loyalty, and ebullient strength of a golden retriever. Its stalking skills will synthesize the cat's and dog's different styles of hunting. I also predict that in the coming months, you will achieve greater harmony between the cat and dog aspects of your own nature, thereby acquiring some of the hybrid talents of the dat.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Scorpio poet Marianne Moore (1887–1972) won the Pulitzer Prize and several other prestigious awards. She was a rare poet who became a celebrity. That's one of the reasons why the Ford car company asked her to dream up interesting names for a new model they were manufacturing. Alas, Ford decided the 43 possibilities she presented were too poetic, and rejected all of them. But some of Moore's names are apt descriptors for the roles you could and should play in the phase you're beginning, so I'm offering them for your use. Here they are: 1. Anticipator. 2. The Impeccable. 3. Tonnere Alifère (French term for "winged thunder"). 4. Tir á l'arc (French term for "bull's eye"). 5. Regina-Rex (Latin terms for "queen" and "king").

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
It's conceivable that in one of your past lives you were a pioneer who made the rough 2,170-mile migration via wagon train from Missouri to Oregon in the 1830s. Or maybe you were a sailor who accompanied the Viking Leif Eriksson in his travels to the New World five hundred years before Columbus. Is it possible you were part of the team assembled by Italian diplomat Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, who journeyed from Rome to Mongolia in the thirteenth century? Here's why I'm entertaining these thoughts, Sagittarius: I suspect that a similar itch to ramble and explore and seek adventure may rise up in you during the coming weeks. I won't be surprised if you consider making a foray to the edge of your known world.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
When the dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago, the crocodiles didn't. They were around for 135 million years before that era, and are still here now. Why? "They are extremely tough and robust," says croc expert James Perran Ross. Their immune systems "are just incredible." Maybe best of all, they "learn quickly and adapt to changes in their situation." In accordance with the astrological omens, I'm naming the crocodile as your creature teacher for the coming weeks. I suspect you will be able to call on a comparable version of their will to thrive. (Read more about crocs: tinyurl.com/ToughAndRobust.)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
"My only hope is that one day I can love myself as much as I love you." Poet Mariah Gordon-Dyke wrote that to a lover, and now I'm offering it to you as you begin your Season of Self-Love. You've passed through other Seasons of Self-Love in the past, but none of them has ever had such rich potential to deepen and ripen your self-love. I bet you'll discover new secrets about how to love yourself with the same intensity you have loved your most treasured allies.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
"Poems can bring comfort," writes Piscean poet Jane Hirshfield. "They let us know . . . that we are not alone—but they also unseat us and make us more susceptible, larger, elastic. They foment revolutions of awareness and allow the complex, uncertain, actual world to enter." According to my understanding of upcoming astrological omens, Pisces, life itself will soon be like the poems Hirshfield describes: unruly yet comforting; a source of solace but also a catalyst for transformation; bringing you healing and support but also asking you to rise up and reinvent yourself. Sounds like fun!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Week of July 17

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
An Aries reader sent me a boisterous email. "I was afraid I was getting too bogged down by my duties," he said, "too hypnotized by routine, too serious about my problems. So I took drastic action." He then described the ways he broke out of his slump. Here's an excerpt: "I gave laughing lessons to a cat. I ate a spider. I conducted a sneezing contest. I smashed an alarm clock with a hammer. Whenever an elderly woman walked by, I called out 'Hail to the Queen!' and did a backflip. I gave names to my spoon (Hortense), the table (Beatrice), a fly that was buzzing around (Fallon), and a toothpick (Arturo)." According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Aries, you'd be wise to stage a comparable uprising.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Welcome home, homegirls and homeboys. After observing all your homesteading in homes away from home, I'm pleased to see you getting curious about the real home brew again. I wonder how many times I'll say the word "home" before you register the message that it's high time for you to home in on some homemade, homegrown homework? Now here's a special note to any of you who may be feeling psychologically homeless or exiled from your spiritual home: the coming weeks will be a favorable time to address that ache and remedy that problem.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
The world is full of eternally restless people who seethe with confused desires they don't understand. Fueled by such unfathomable urges, they are driven in unknown directions to accomplish fuzzy goals. They may be obsessed in ways that make them appear to be highly focused, but the objects of their obsession are impossible to attain or unite with. Those objects don't truly exist! I have described this phenomenon in detail, Gemini, because the coming months will offer you all the help and support you could ever need to make sure you're forever free of any inclination to be like that.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
What would you say if I asked you to tell me who you truly are? I wouldn't want to hear so much about your titles and awards. I'd be curious about your sacred mysteries, not your literal history. I'd want to know the treasured secrets you talk about with yourself before you fall asleep. I'd ask you to sing the songs you love and describe the allies who make you feel real. I'd urge you to riff on the future possibilities that both scare you and thrill you. What else? What are some other ways you might show me core truths about your irrepressible soul? Now is a good time to meditate on these riddles.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Isaac Asimov wrote a science fiction story about a physicist who masters time travel and summons William Shakespeare into the present time. The Bard enrolls in a night school class about his own plays—and proceeds to flunk the course. Modern ideas and modes of discourse are simply too disorienting to him. He is unable to grasp the theories that centuries' worth of critics have developed about his work. With this as a cautionary tale, I invite you to time-travel not four centuries into the future, but just ten years. From that vantage point, look back at the life you're living now. How would you evaluate and understand it? Do you have any constructive criticism to offer? Any insights that could help you plan better for your long-term future?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
The coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to buy yourself toys, change your image for no rational reason, and indulge in an interesting pleasure that you have been denying yourself for no good reason. In addition, I hope you will engage in at least two heart-to-heart talks with yourself, preferably using funny voices and comical body language. You could also align yourself gracefully with cosmic rhythms by dancing more than usual, and by goofing off more than usual, and by wandering in the wilderness and seeking to recapture your lost innocence more than usual.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Although you'll never find an advertisement for Toyota or Coca Cola or Apple within my horoscope column, you will find hype for spiritual commodities like creativity, love, and freedom. Like everyone else, I'm a huckster. My flackery may be more ethical and uplifting than others', but the fact is that I still try to persuade you to "buy" my ideas. The moral of the story: Everyone, even the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, is selling something. I hope that what I'm saying here purges any reluctance you might have about presenting yourself and your ideas in the most favorable light. It's high time for you to hone your sales pitch; to explain why your approach to life is so wise; to be a forceful spokesperson and role model for the values you hold dear.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You are growing almost too fast, but that won't necessarily be a problem—as long as you don't expect everyone around you to grow as fast as you. I suspect that you also know almost too much—but I don't anticipate that will spawn envy and resistance as long as you cultivate a bit of humility. I have an additional duty to report that you're on the verge of being too attractive for your own good—although you have not yet actually reached the tipping point, so maybe your hyper-attractiveness will serve you rather than undermine you. In conclusion, Scorpio, I invite you to celebrate your abundance, but don't flaunt it.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
The snow leopards of Central Asia crave a lot of room to wander. Zoologists say that each male prefers its territory to be about 84 square miles, and each female likes to have 44 square miles. I don't think you'll require quite that vast a turf in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. But on the other hand, it will be important not to underestimate the spaciousness you'll need in order to thrive. Give yourself permission to be expansive.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
"I want to do things so wild with you that I don't know how to say them." Author Anaïs Nin wrote that in a letter to her Capricorn lover Henry Miller. Is there anyone you could or should or want to say something like that? If your answer is yes, now is a good time to be so candid and bold. If the answer is no, now would be a good time to scout around for a person to whom you could or should or want to say such a thing. And if you'd like to throw in a bit more enticement, here's another seductive lyric from Anaïs: "Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Did you hear the story about the California mom who started a series of forest fires so as to boost her son's career as a firefighter? She is an apt role model for behavior you should diligently avoid in the coming weeks. It's unwise and unprofitable for you and yours to stir up a certain kind of trouble simply because it's trouble that you and yours have become skilled at solving. So how should you use your problem-solving energy, which I suspect will be at a peak? I suggest you go hunting for some very interesting and potentially productive trouble that you haven't wrangled with before—some rousing challenge that will make you even smarter than you already are.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
The heroine of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is curious, adventurous, and brave. First she follows a well-dressed rabbit down a rabbit hole into an alternate universe. Later she slips through a mirror into yet another parallel reality. Both times, with great composure, she navigates her way through many odd, paranormal, and unpredictable events. She enjoys herself immensely as she deals with a series of unusual characters and unfamiliar situations. I'm going to speculate that Alice is a Pisces. Are you ready for your very own Alice-in-Wonderland phase? Here it comes!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Week of July 10

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
You're in the Land of Green Magic. That's potentially very good news, but you must also be cautious. Why? Because in the Land of Green Magic, the seeds of extraneous follies and the seeds of important necessities both grow extra fast. Unless you are a careful weeder, useless stuff will spring up and occupy too much space. So be firm in rooting out the blooms that won't do you any good. Be aggressive in nurturing only the very best and brightest.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Eight years ago, researchers in Kerala, India went to the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and climbed down into centuries-old vaults deep beneath the main floor. They found a disorganized mess of treasure in the form of gold and precious gems. There were hundreds of chairs made from gold, baskets full of gold coins from the ancient Roman Empire, and a four-foot-high solid statue of a god, among multitudinous other valuables. I like bringing these images to your attention, Taurus, because I have a theory that if you keep them in your awareness, you'll be more alert than usual to undiscovered riches in your own life and in your own psyche. I suspect you are closer than ever before to unearthing those riches.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Children need to learn certain aptitudes at certain times. If they don't, they may not be able to master those aptitudes later in life. For example, if infants don't get the experience of being protected and cared for by adults, it will be hard for them to develop that capacity as toddlers. This is a good metaphor for a developmental phase that you Geminis are going through. In my astrological opinion, 2019 and 2020 are critical years for you to become more skilled at the arts of togetherness and collaboration; to upgrade your abilities so as to get the most out of your intimate relationships. How are you doing with this work so far?

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Vantablack is a material made of carbon nanotubes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the darkest stuff on the planet. No black is blacker than Vantablack. It reflects a mere 0.036% of the light that shines upon it. Because of its unusual quality, it's ideal for use in the manufacture of certain sensors, cameras, and scientific instruments. Unfortunately, an artist named Anish Kapoor owns exclusive rights to use it in the art world. No other artists are allowed to incorporate Vantablack into their creations. I trust you will NOT follow Kapoor's selfish example in the coming weeks. In my astrological opinion, it's crucial that you share your prime gifts, your special skills, and your unique blessings with the whole world. Do not hoard!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Hi, my name is Rob Brezsny, and I confess that I am addicted to breathing air, eating food, drinking water, indulging in sleep, and getting high on organic, free-trade, slavery-free dark chocolate. I also confess that I am powerless over these addictions. Now I invite you to be inspired by my silly example and undertake a playful but serious effort to face up to your own fixations. The astrological omens suggest it's a perfect moment to do so. What are you addicted to? What habits are you entranced by? What conditioned responses are you enslaved to? What traps have you agreed to be snared by? The time is right to identify these compulsions, then make an audacious break for freedom.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
When cherries are nearing the end of their ripening process, they are especially vulnerable. If rain falls on them during those last few weeks, they can rot or split, rendering them unmarketable. So cherry-growers hire helicopter pilots to hover over their trees right after it rains, using the downdraft from the blades to dry the valuable little fruits. It may seem like overkill, but it's the method that works best. I advise you to be on the lookout for similar protective measures during the climactic phase of your personal ripening process. Your motto should be to take care of your valuables by any means necessary.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Please don't try to relax. Don't shy away from challenges. Don't apologize for your holy quest or tone down your ambition or stop pushing to get better. Not now, anyway, Libra. Just the opposite, in fact. I urge you to pump up the volume on your desires. Be even bigger and bolder and braver. Take maximum advantage of the opportunities that are arising, and cash in on the benevolent conspiracies that are swirling in your vicinity. Now is one of those exceptional moments when tough competition is actually healthy for you, when the pressure to outdo your previous efforts can be tonic and inspiring.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
I can't decide whether to compare your imminent future to a platypus, kaleidoscope, patchwork quilt, or Swiss army knife. From what I can tell, your adventures could bring you random jumbles or melodic mélanges—or a blend of both. So I'm expecting provocative teases, pure flukes, and multiple options. There'll be crazy wisdom, alluring messes, and unclassifiable opportunities. To ensure that your life is more of an intriguing riddle than a confusing maze, I suggest that you stay closely attuned to what you're really feeling and thinking, and communicate that information with tactful precision.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Every year, thousands of people all over the world go to hospital emergency rooms seeking relief from kidney stones. Many of the treatments are invasive and painful. But in recent years, a benign alternative has emerged. A peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal presented evidence that many patients spontaneously pass their kidney stones simply by riding on roller coasters. I doubt that you'll have a literal problem like kidney stones in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. But I do suspect that any psychological difficulties you encounter can be solved by embarking on thrilling adventures akin to riding on roller coasters.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
In his book The Histories, ancient Greek historian Herodotus told the story of a six-year war between the armies of the Medes and the Lydians in an area that today corresponds to Turkey. The conflict ended suddenly on a day when a solar eclipse occurred. Everyone on the battlefield got spooked as the light unexpectedly dimmed, and commanders sought an immediate cease to the hostilities. In the spirit of cosmic portents precipitating practical truces, I suggest you respond to the upcoming lunar eclipse on July 16-17 with overtures of peace and healing and amnesty. It'll be a good time to reach out to any worthwhile person or group from whom you have been alienated.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
My astrological colleague Guru Gwen believes that right now Aquarians should get scolded and penalized unless they agree to add more rigor and discipline to their rhythms. On the other hand, my astrological colleague Maestro Madelyn feels that Aquarians need to have their backs massaged, their hands held, and their problems listened to with grace and empathy. I suppose that both Gwen and Madelyn want to accomplish the same thing, which is to get you back on track. But personally, I'm more in favor of Madelyn's approach than Gwen's.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
As a self-taught rebel poet with few formal credentials, I may not have much credibility when I urge you to get yourself better licensed and certified and sanctioned. But according to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming months will be a favorable time for you to make plans to get the education or training you're lacking; to find out what it would mean to become more professional, and then become more professional; to begin pursuing the credentials that will earn you more power to fulfill your dreams.

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