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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Week of August 12

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Motivational speaker Les Brown says his mission in life is to help people become uncomfortable with their mediocrity. That same mission is suitable for many of you Rams, as well. And I suspect you’ll be able to generate interesting fun and good mischief if you perform it in the coming weeks. Here’s a tip on how to make sure you do it well: Don’t use shame or derision as you motivate people to be uncomfortable with their mediocrity. A better approach is to be a shining example that inspires them to be as bright as you are.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Taurus musician and visual artist Brian Eno has a practical, down-to-earth attitude about making beautiful things, which he has done in abundance. He says that his goal is not to generate wonderful creations nonstop—that’s not possible—but rather to always be primed to do his best when inspiration strikes. In other words, it’s crucial to tirelessly hone his craft, to make sure his skills are constantly at peak capacity. I hope you’ve been approaching your own labors of love with that in mind, Taurus. If you have, you’re due for creative breakthroughs in the coming weeks. The diligent efforts you’ve invested in cultivating your talents are about to pay off. If, on the other hand, you’ve been a bit lazy about detail-oriented discipline, correct that problem now. There’s still time to get yourself in top shape.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Gemini musician Kanye West confesses the decadent and hedonist visions that fascinate and obsess him. Personally, I’m not entertained by the particular excesses he claims to indulge in; they’re generic and unoriginal and boring. But I bet that the beautiful dark twisted fantasies simmering in your imagination, Gemini, are more unique and intriguing. In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to spend quality time in the coming weeks diving in and exploring those visions in glorious detail. Get to know them better. Embellish them. Meditate on the feelings they invoke and the possibility that they have deeper spiritual meanings. (P.S. But don’t act them out, at least not now.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
“Make all your decisions based on how hilarious it would be if you did it,” advises Cancerian actor Aubrey Plaza. I wish it were that simple. How much more fun we might all have if the quest for amusement and laughter were among our main motivating principles. But no, I don’t recommend that you always determine your course of action by what moves will generate the most entertainment and mirth. Having said that, though, I do suspect the next few weeks may in fact be a good time to experiment with using Plaza’s formula.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
In the dictionary, the first definition of “magic” is “the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand and deceptive devices.” A far more interesting definition, which is my slight adjustment of an idea by occultist Aleister Crowley, doesn’t appear in most dictionaries. Here it is: “Magic is the science and art of causing practical changes to occur in accordance with your will—under the rigorous guidance of love.” According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the latter definition could and should be your specialty during the next four weeks.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“The soul, like the moon, is new, and always new again,” wrote 14th-century mystic poet Lalleswari. I will amend her poetic formulation, however. The fact is that the soul, unlike the moon, is always new in different ways; it doesn’t have a predictable pattern of changing as the moon does. That’s what makes the soul so mysterious and uncanny. No matter how devotedly we revere the soul, no matter how tenderly we study the soul, it’s always beyond our grasp. It’s forever leading us into unknown realms that teem with new challenges and delights. I invite you to honor and celebrate these truths in the coming weeks, Virgo. It’s time to exult in the shiny dark riddles of your soul.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
“I have one talent, and that is the capacity to be tremendously surprised,” writes Libran author Diane Ackerman. I advise you to foster that talent, too, in the weeks ahead. If you’re feeling brave, go even further. Make yourself as curious as possible. Deepen your aptitude for amazements and epiphanies. Cultivate an appreciation for revelations and blessings that arrive from outside your expectations. To the degree that you do these things, the wonderments that come your way will tend to be enlivening and catalytic; unpredictability will be fun and educational.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Author and theologian Frederick Buechner writes, “If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, we must see not just their faces but also the life behind and within their faces.” The coming weeks will be prime time for you to heed Buechner’s advice, Scorpio. You’re in a phase when you’ll have extra power to understand and empathize with others. Taking full advantage of that potential will serve your selfish aims in profound ways, some of which you can’t imagine yet.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“Refine your rapture,” advised occultist Aleister Crowley. Now is an excellent time to take that advice. How might you go about doing it? Well, you could have a long conversation with your deep psyche—and see if you can plumb hidden secrets about what gives it sublime pleasure. You could seek out new ways to experience euphoria and enchantment—with an emphasis on ways that also make you smarter and healthier. You might also take inventory of your current repertoire of bliss-inducing strategies—and cultivate an enhanced capacity to get the most out of them.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Are you ready to make the transition from slow, deep, subtle, and dark to fast, high, splashy, and bright? Are you interested in shifting your focus from behind-the-scenes to right up front and totally out in the open? Would it be fun and meaningful for you to leave behind the stealthy, smoldering mysteries and turn your attention to the sweet, blazing truths? All these changes can be yours—and more. To get the action started, jump up toward the sky three times, clicking your heels together during each mid-leap.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Greenland is a mostly autonomous territory within the nation of Denmark. In 2019, US President Donald Trump announced that his government was interested in buying the massive island, describing it as “a large real estate deal” that would add considerable strategic value to his country. A satirical story in The New Yorker subsequently claimed that Denmark responded with a counter-offer, saying it wasn’t interested in the deal, but “would be interested in purchasing the United States in its entirety, with the exception of its government.” I offer this as an example for you to be inspired by. The coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to flip the script, turn the tables, reverse the roles, transpose the narrative, and switch the rules of the game.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Author Doris Lessing told us, “It is our stories that will recreate us.” Whenever we’re hurt or confused or demoralized, she suggested, we need to call on the imagination to conjure up a new tale for ourselves. “It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our phoenix,” she believed. The fresh narratives we choose to reinvent ourselves may emerge from our own dreams, meditations, or fantasies. Or they might flow our way from a beloved movie or song or book. I suspect you’re ready for this quest, Pisces. Create a new saga for yourself.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Week of August 5

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
In her book Sticks, Stones, Roots & Bones, Stephanie Rose Bird reports that among early African Americans, there were specialists who spoke the language of trees. These patient magicians developed intimate relationships with individual trees, learning their moods and rhythms, and even exchanging non-verbal information with them. Trees imparted wisdom about herbal cures, weather patterns, and ecologically sound strategies. Until recently, many scientists might have dismissed this lore as delusion. But in his 2016 book The Hidden Life of Trees, forester Peter Wohlleben offers evidence that trees have social lives and do indeed have the power to converse. I’ve always said that you Aries folks have great potential to conduct meaningful dialogs with animals and trees. And now happens to be a perfect time for you to seek such invigorating pleasures.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Author Joanne Harris writes, “The right circumstances sometimes happen of their own accord, slyly, without fanfare, without warning. The magic of everyday things.” I think that’s an apt oracle for you to embrace during the coming weeks. In my opinion, life will be conspiring to make you feel at home in the world. You will have an excellent opportunity to get your personal rhythm into close alignment with the rhythm of creation. And so you may achieve a version of what mythologist Joseph Campbell called “the goal of life”: “to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Author Gloria Anzaldúa writes, “I am an act of kneading, of uniting and joining.” She adds that in this process, she has become “a creature that questions the definitions of light and dark and gives them new meanings.” I would love for you to engage in similar work right now, Gemini. Life will be on your side—bringing you lucky breaks and stellar insights—if you undertake the heroic work of reformulating the meanings of “light” and “dark”—and then reshaping the way you embody those primal forces.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
“Pleasure is one of the most important things in life, as important as food or drink,” wrote Cancerian author Irving Stone. I would love for you to heed that counsel, my fellow Crabs. What he says is always true, but it will be extraordinarily meaningful for you to take to heart during the coming weeks. Here’s how you could begin: Make a list of seven experiences that bring you joy, bliss, delight, fun, amusement, and gratification. Then make a vow—even write an oath on a piece of paper—to increase the frequency and intensity of those experiences.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
At times in our lives, it’s impractical to be innocent and curious and blank and receptive. So many tasks require us to be knowledgeable and self-assured and forceful and in control. But according to my astrological analysis, the coming weeks will be a time when you will benefit from the former state of mind: cultivating what Zen Buddhists call “beginner’s mind.” The Chinese refer to it as chuxin, or the mind of a novice. The Koreans call it the eee mok oh? approach, translated as “What is this?” Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield defines it as the “don’t-know mind.” During this upcoming phase, I invite you to enjoy the feeling of being at peace with all that’s mysterious and beyond your understanding.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Author Anne Lamott wrote that, and now I’m conveying it to you—just in time for the Unplug-Yourself Phase of your astrological cycle. Any glitches or snafus you may be dealing with right now aren’t as serious as you might imagine. The biggest problem seems to be the messy congestion that has accumulated over time in your links to sources that usually serve you pretty well. So if you’ll simply disconnect for a while, I’m betting that clarity and grace will be restored when you reconnect.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Have you been saving any of your tricks for later? If so, later has arrived. Have you been postponing flourishes and climaxes until the time was right? If so, the coming days will be as right a time as there can be. Have you been waiting and waiting for the perfect moment before making use of favors that life owes you and promises that were made to you? If so, the perfect moment has arrived. Have you been wondering when you would get a ripe opportunity to express and highlight the most interesting truths about yourself? If so, that opportunity is available.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
“I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes,” writes Scorpio author Maxine Hong Kingston. That would be an excellent task for you to work on in the coming weeks. Here are your formulas for success: 1. The more you expand your imagination, the better you’ll understand the big picture of your present situation—and the more progress you will make toward creating the most interesting possible future. 2. The more comfortable you are about dwelling in the midst of paradoxes, the more likely it is that you will generate vigorous decisions that serve both your own needs and the needs of your allies.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons,” says actor and director Denzel Washington. “When you shine bright, some won’t enjoy the shadow you cast,” says rapper and activist Talib Kweli. You may have to deal with reactions like those in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. If you do, I suggest that you don’t take it personally. Your job is to be your radiant, generous self—and not worry about whether anyone has the personal power necessary to handle your radiant, generous self. The good news is that I suspect you will stimulate plenty of positive responses that will more than counterbalance the challenging ones.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Capricorn occultist Peter J. Carroll tells us, “Some have sought to avoid suffering by avoiding desire. Thus they have only small desires and small sufferings.” In all of the zodiac, you Capricorns are among the least likely to be like that. One of your potential strengths is the inclination to cultivate robust desires that are rooted in a quest for rich experience. Yes, that sometimes means you must deal with more strenuous ordeals than other people. But I think it’s a wise trade-off. In any case, my dear, you’re now in a phase of your cycle when you should take inventory of your yearnings. If you find there are some that are too timid or meager, I invite you to either drop them or pump them up.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
The people who live in the town of Bazoule, Burkina Faso regard the local crocodiles as sacred. They live and work amidst the 100+ creatures, co-existing peacefully. Kids play within a few feet of them, never worrying about safety. I’d love to see you come to similar arrangements with untamed influences and strong characters in your own life, Aquarius. You don’t necessarily have to treat them as sacred, but I do encourage you to increase your empathy and respect for them.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your body naturally produces at least one quart of mucus every day. You might not be aware of it, because much of it glides down your throat. Although you may regard this snot as gross, it’s quite healthy. It contains antibodies and enzymes that kill harmful bacteria and viruses. I propose we regard mucus as your prime metaphor in the coming weeks. Be on the alert for influences and ideas that might empower you even if they’re less than beautiful and pleasing. Make connections with helpful influences even if they’re not sublimely attractive.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Week of July 29

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is renowned for his buoyancy. In one of his famous lines, he wrote, "I am awaiting, perpetually and forever, a renaissance of wonder." Here's what I have to say in response to that thought: Your assignment, as an Aries, is NOT to sit there and wait, perpetually and forever, for a renaissance of wonder. Rather, it’s your job to embody and actualize and express, perpetually and forever, a renaissance of wonder. The coming weeks will be an especially favorable time for you to rise to new heights in fulfilling this aspect of your life-long assignment.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I live in Northern California on land that once belonged to the indigenous Coast Miwok people. They were animists who believed that soul and sentience animate all animals and plants as well as rocks, rivers, mountains—everything, really. Their food came from hunting and gathering, and they lived in small bands without centralized political authority. According to one of their creation stories, Coyote and Silver Fox made the world by singing and dancing it into existence. Now I invite you to do what I just illustrated: Find out about and celebrate the history of the people and the place where you live. From an astrological perspective, it's a favorable time to get in touch with roots and foundations.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "When I look down, I miss all the good stuff, and when I look up, I just trip over things," says singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco. I wonder if she has tried an alternate approach: looking straight ahead. That's what I advise for you in the coming weeks, Gemini. In other words, adopt a perspective that will enable you to detect regular glimpses of what's above you and what's below you—as well as what's in front of you. In fact, I suggest you avoid all extremes that might distract you from the big picture. The truth will be most available to you if you occupy the middle ground.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The Italian word nottivago refers to "night roamers": people who wander around after dark. Why do they do it? What do they want to accomplish? Maybe their ramblings have the effect of dissolving stuck thoughts that have been plaguing them. Maybe it's a healing relief to indulge in the luxury of having nowhere in particular to go and nothing in particular to do: to declare their independence from the obsessive drive to get things done. Meandering after sundown may stir up a sense of wild freedom that inspires them to outflank or outgrow their problems. I bring these possibilities to your attention, Cancerian, because the coming days will be an excellent time to try them out.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Notice what no one else notices and you'll know what no one else knows," says actor Tim Robbins. That's perfect counsel for you right now, Leo. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, your perceptiveness will be at a peak in the coming weeks. You'll have an ability to discern half-hidden truths that are invisible to everyone else. You'll be aggressive in scoping out what most people don't even want to become aware of. Take advantage of your temporary superpower! Use it to get a lucid grasp of the big picture—and cultivate a more intelligent approach than those who are focused on the small picture and the comfortable delusions.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else," wrote playwright Tom Stoppard. That's ripe advice for you to meditate on during the coming weeks. You're in a phase of your astrological cycle when every exit can indeed be an entrance somewhere else—but only if you believe in that possibility and are alert for it. So please dissolve your current assumptions about the current chapter of your life story so that you can be fully open to new possibilities that could become available.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "One must think with the body and the soul or not think at all," wrote Libran author and historian Hannah Arendt. She implied that thinking only with the head may spawn monsters and demons. Mere conceptualization is arid and sterile if not interwoven with the wisdom of the soul and the body's earthy intuitions. Ideas that are untempered by feelings and physical awareness can produce poor maps of reality. In accordance with astrological omens, I ask you to meditate on these empowering suggestions. Make sure that as you seek to understand what's going on, you draw on all your different kinds of intelligence.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "I always wanted to be commander-in-chief of my one-woman army," says singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco. I think that goal is within sight for you, Scorpio. Your power over yourself has been increasing lately. Your ability to manage your own moods and create your own sweet spots and define your own fate is as robust as I have seen it in a while. What do you plan to do with your enhanced dominion? What special feats might you attempt? Are there any previously impossible accomplishments that may now be possible?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Your meditation for the coming weeks comes to you courtesy of author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau. "We can never have enough of nature," he wrote. "We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander." Oh, how I hope you will heed Thoreau's counsel, Sagittarius. You would really benefit from an extended healing session amidst natural wonders. Give yourself the deep pleasure of exploring what wildness means to you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Author and activist bell hooks (who doesn't capitalize her name) has taught classes at numerous American universities. She sometimes writes about her experiences there, as in the following passage. "My students tell me, 'we don't want to love! We're tired of being loving!' And I say to them, if you're tired of being loving, then you haven't really been loving, because when you are loving you have more strength." I wanted you to know her thoughts, Capricorn, because I think you're in a favorable position to demonstrate how correct she is: to dramatically boost your own strength through the invigorating power of your love.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian author Langston Hughes (1902–1967) was a pioneering and prolific African American author and activist who wrote in four different genres and was influential in boosting other Black writers. One of his big breaks as a young man came when he was working as a waiter at a banquet featuring the famous poet Vachel Lindsay. Hughes managed to leave three of his poems on Lindsay's table. The great poet loved them and later lent his clout to boosting Hughes' career. I suspect you might have an opening like that sometime soon, Aquarius—even if it won't be quite as literal and hands-on. Be ready to take advantage. Cultivate every connection that may become available.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Author Faith Baldwin has renounced the "forgive and forget" policy. She writes, "I think one should forgive and remember. If you forgive and forget, you're just driving what you remember into the subconscious; it stays there and festers. But to look upon what you remember and know you've forgiven is achievement." That's the approach I recommend for you right now, Pisces. Get the relief you need, yes: Forgive those who have trespassed against you. But also: Hold fast to the lessons you learned through those people so you won't repeat them again later.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Week of July 22

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
“The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.” Aries playwright Samuel Beckett made that observation, and now I’m passing it on to you as you glide into an extra-creative phase of your astrological cycle. I hope you will regard Beckett’s idea as an open-ended encouragement to improvise and experiment. May it rouse you to brainstorm about novel possibilities. May it inspire you to explore fresh trends you could launch. May it mobilize you to imagine the new worlds you might *Big Bang* into existence.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Author Diane Ackerman tells us, “So often loneliness comes from being out of touch with parts of oneself.” That’s the kind of loneliness I worry you may be susceptible to right now, Taurus. You’re a bit out of touch with aspects of your psyche that are crucial for you to include in your total sense of self. You’ve been neglecting to nurture certain soulful qualities that keep you healthy and wise. Please note: It won’t be useful to try to find those parts of you in other people; you will have to locate them in your own depths. Here’s the good news: The coming weeks will be an excellent time to do just that.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
“Someone ought to do it, but why should I?” Author and activist Annie Besant identified that sentence as the motto of people who are moral cowards: those who know about an injustice but do nothing to address it. Very few of us have completely avoided that behavior. Most of us, including me, have now and then chosen to serve our need for comfort instead of standing up against corruption or unfairness. But I think it’s more important than usual that you Geminis don’t engage in such moral cowardice now. More depends on your integrity and bravery than you realize.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Born in 1936, Cancerian author and activist June Jordan was a black feminist bisexual born to Jamaican immigrant parents. When she was growing up, her father beat her and her mother committed suicide. Later, she raised her child alone as a single mother. Despite the challenges she faced, she published 28 books, won numerous awards, and wielded significant influence. How did she do it? She was a highly evolved Cancerian in the sense that she put a priority on treating herself well. “I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect,” she testified. I’d like to make that your keynote for the rest of 2020. Your task is to achieve June Jordan-levels of self-care.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
“How can I communicate to wild bunnies that I am their ally?” asked a Twitter blogger named Ghost Girl. That question is a good place to start my oracle for you. In the coming weeks, I think you’ll be wise to meditate on how to enhance your relationship with all kinds of wild things: animals, people, weather, landscapes, and your own exotic thoughts and fantasies. In my opinion, you will upgrade your intelligence and well-being by increasing your access to influences that don’t necessarily play by conventional rules and that draw their energy from primal sources.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
It’s never too late to have a rebellious adolescence—hopefully bigger and better and smarter than any you’ve had before. And according to my analysis, now would be a favorable time to get started. Is there any stuffy authority you’d be wise to flout? Any dumb and oppressive conventions you would benefit from breaking? Any stale old traditions you’re primed to ignore so you can create some lively new traditions? In my estimation, you will generate good fortune for yourself if you try some benevolent mischief and creative experiments.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Your word of power for the coming weeks is *ubuntu*, a Zulu term meaning “I am because we are” or “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Nobel Prize-winning theologian Archbishop Desmond Tutu writes, “A person with *ubuntu* is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished.” I hope that between now and August 25, Libra, you will put *ubuntu* at the center of everything you do. Make it an intensely practical practice.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them,” says Scorpio-born Liberian politician Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” I trust you’ve arrived at this realization on your own in the past few weeks. And I hope you have audaciously expanded and supercharged your dreams so that they do indeed surpass your current ability to accomplish them. If you have not yet done this daring work, please attend to it now. If you have done it, move on to the next step: making definite plans to acquire the power and resources necessary to achieve your new, improved dreams.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“The soul should always stand ajar,” wrote Sagittarian poet Emily Dickinson, “That if the heaven inquire, / He will not be obliged to wait, / Or shy of troubling her.” I’m confident that this will be a fertile meditation for you in the coming weeks. So what does it mean? By “heaven,” I assume Dickinson meant marvelous interventions, sacred revelations, and lucky accidents—and maybe also soulful invitations, out-of-the-blue opportunities, and supernatural breakthroughs. What do you think, Sagittarius? What can you do to make your soul ajar for phenomena like those?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“Everything is complicated,” wrote poet Wallace Stevens. “If that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.” I agree! And therefore, I conclude, you should shed any resentment you might feel for the fact that our world is a crazy tangle of mystifying and interesting stories. Drop any wish that life will stop being so fascinatingly messy and confusingly intriguing. Instead, why not celebrate the deep riddles? And revel in the intriguing complexity? And give holy thanks for the paradoxical beauty? Everything I just said should prepare you well for the next four weeks.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You’ll be extra sensitive to stimuli in the coming weeks. Every little event will touch you more intensely than usual. Every perception will flow into you with an unusually strong potential to move you and influence you. That’s why I think you should be vigilantly self-protective. Erect a psychic shield around yourself. Make sure your boundaries are firm and clear. Affirm your unshakable commitment to deflecting vibes that aren’t of use to you and welcoming vibes that will enhance your well-being.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow founded Goop, a company that markets exotic, expensive health treatments. She claims that far-infrared gemstone therapy and crystal-based sound-healing baths will dissolve your negativity. Allowing bees to sting your scars will supposedly cause the scars to fade. Drinking “sex juice,” a blend of watermelon and alkaline water, will enhance your libido. The “collagen martini,” which is a mix of vodka, vermouth, olive juice, and collagen peptides, will smooth your skin’s wrinkles. I’m favorably disposed to you taking strong actions to improve your well-being in the coming weeks, Pisces, but I recommend that you try cheaper, more reliable modalities than those Paltrow recommends. Like what? Ample sleep and good food, for starters, along with fun exercise, time in nature, enjoyable meditation sessions, and tender expressions of love.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Week of July 15

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 1:25 PM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
“If the time is not ripe, we have to ripen the time,” wrote Aries educator and activist Dorothy Height. This approach worked well during her 98 years on the planet. Her pioneering advocacy for African American women generated a number of practical improvements in their employment opportunities and civil rights. In accordance with the current astrological omens, Aries, I highly recommend her guiding principle for your use. You now have the power to ripen the time, even if no one else believes the time is ripe.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
“Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know.’” A wise and talented woman said that: Nobel Prize-winning poet Wisława Szymborska. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it’s excellent advice for you to embrace during the coming weeks. You’re close to finding and accessing a mother lode of inspiration, and one of the best ways to ensure that happens in an optimal way is to make “I don’t know” your mantra. In other words, be cheerfully devoted to shedding your certainties. Lose your attachment to the beliefs and theories you tend to overly rely on. Make yourself as empty and clear and spacious as you possibly can.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Gemini-born author Djuna Barnes (1892–1982) was a world traveler who wrote in several different genres, ranging from lesbian fiction to essays on boxing to plays that used poetic language. She was experimental and empirical and experiential. On one occasion, she voluntarily submitted to the force-feeding endured by hunger-striking suffragists so she could write about what it was like to be tortured. Another fun fact about Djuna: Every morning, she did up her hair and put her make-up on, then climbed into bed and wrote for many hours. In the coming weeks, Gemini, I recommend you draw inspiration from every aspect of her life—except the torture part, of course. The coming weeks will be a fine time to be versatile, exploratory, and committed to expressing yourself purely in whatever ways make you comfortably excited.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
As a Cancerian, you have a natural propensity to study and understand what author Margaret Atwood describes as “echoes and emptiness and shadow.” I believe this aspect of your repertoire will be especially active and available to you in the coming weeks. For best results, regard your attunement to these echoes and emptiness and shadow as an asset, even a precious talent. Use it to discern what’s missing or lost but could be recovered. Invoke it to help you navigate your way through murky or confusing situations. Call on it to help you see important things that are invisible to others.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
“Time can turn a scab into a beauty mark,” said actor and screenwriter Nia Vardalos. That’s a rousingly poetic speculation—and more metaphorically true than literally. But I suspect that if it ever might have a useful and meaningful application to an actual human struggle, it will be yours in the coming months. In my view, you are in fact capable of harnessing the magic necessary to transform a wound into a lovely asset. Be bold and imaginative as you carry out this seemingly improbable feat—which is actually not improbable.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Would you like to boost your mental and physical health in the coming weeks? Try this: Immerse yourself in the understanding that you’re interconnected with everything in the world. Tell yourself stories about how the atoms that compose your body have previously been part of many other things. This isn’t just a poetic metaphor; it’s scientific fact. Now study this passage by science writer Ella Frances Sanders: “The carbon inside you could have existed in any number of creatures or natural disasters before finding you. That particular atom residing somewhere above your left eyebrow? It could well have been a smooth riverbed pebble before deciding to call you home. You are rock and wave and the peeling bark of trees, you are ladybirds and the smell of a garden after the rain.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
It’s a favorable time to celebrate the fantastic privilege of being alive. Are you willing to believe that? Will you cooperate with my intention to nudge you in the direction of elation and exaltation? Are you open to the possibility that miracles and epiphanies may be at hand for you personally? To help get yourself in the proper mood, read this passage by Libran author Diane Ackerman: “The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sunstruck hills every day.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
‘”Deciding to remember, and what to remember, is how we decide who we are,” writes poet Robert Pinsky. That’s useful counsel for you right now, Scorpio. You’re entering a phase when you can substantially reframe your life story so that it serves you better. And one of the smartest ways to do that is to take an inventory of the memories you want to emphasize versus the memories you’d like to minimize. Another good trick is to reinterpret challenging past events so that you can focus on how they strengthened you and mobilized your determination to be true to yourself.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“A person must dream a long time in order to act with grandeur,” wrote Sagittarian author and activist Jean Genet. “And dreaming is nursed in darkness.” According to my analysis of your astrological omens, this is an apt description of what has been unfolding for you, Sagittarius—and will continue to play out for you in the next two weeks. If you’re aligned with cosmic rhythms, you have been nursing your dreams in darkness—exploring and cultivating and learning from the raw creative energy that is simmering and ripening in your inner depths. Keep doing this important work, even if there are not yet any productive results. Eventually, it will enable you to “act with grandeur,” as Genet said.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau said, “There are truths that one can only say after having won the right to say them.” In my estimation, you have recently earned the right to express a fresh batch of scintillating and useful truths. Please do us all a favor and unveil them—preferably with both candor and tact. In behalf of everyone who will benefit from your insights, I’m sending you congratulations for the work you’ve had to do on yourself so as to win them.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“After you make a fool of yourself a few hundred times, you learn what works,” testifies musician and singer Gwen Stefani. In my own life, I’ve had to make a fool of myself more than a few hundred times to learn what works. My number is closer to a thousand—and I’m still adding new examples on a regular basis. In the coming weeks, Aquarius, I highly recommend that you try what has served me and Gwen Stefani so well. You’re entering a phase when your foolishness will generate especially useful lessons. Being innocent and wildly open-minded will also be very useful.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
“It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution,” wrote author and futurist Alvin Toffler. While I hesitate to declare that idea to be absolutely and always true, I do recommend it to you in the coming weeks. Given the fact that you have recently been expanding possibilities and cultivating breakthroughs, I’d love to see you keep on pushing forward until you climax your momentum. To boost your courage, try to think of a crazy cry of exhilaration you might exclaim as you make your leaps, like “YAHOO!” or ‘HELL YES!” or HERE I COME!”

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Week of July 8

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
“As beautiful as simplicity is, it can become a tradition that stands in the way of exploration,” said singer Laura Nyro. This is practical advice for you to heed in the coming weeks. According to my analysis, you’re scheduled to enjoy an extended engagement with rich, fertile complexity. The best teachings won’t be reducible to a few basic lessons; rather, they’ll be rife with soulful nuances. The same is true about the splendid dilemmas that bring you stimulating amusements: They can’t and shouldn’t be forced into pigeonholes. As a general rule, anything that seems easy and smooth and straightforward will probably not be useful. Your power will come from what’s crooked, dense, and labyrinthine.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
You may think that playing heavy metal music and knitting with yarn don’t have much in common. And yet there is an annual contest in Joensuu, Finland where people with expertise in needlework join heavy metal musicians on stage, plying their craft in rhythm to the beat. The next Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship will be July 15-16, 2021. This year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic. If it had been staged, I bet multiple Tauruses would have been among the top ten competitors. Why? Because you Bulls are at the peak of your ability to combine things that aren’t often combined. You have the potential to excel at making unexpected connections, linking influences that haven’t been linked before, and being successful at comparing apples and oranges.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In 1848, Danish King Frederick VII agreed, under pressure from liberal agitators, to relinquish some of his absolute power. Thereafter, he shared his decision-making with a newly formed parliament. He was pleased with this big change because it lightened his workload. “That was nice,” he remarked after signing the new constitution. “Now I can sleep in every morning.” I recommend him to you as an inspirational role model in the coming weeks. What so-called advantages in your life are more boring or burdensome than fun and interesting? Consider the possibility of shedding dubious “privileges” and status symbols.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Cancerian author Mary McCarthy provides you with a challenge you’ll be wise to relish during the rest of 2020. She writes, “Everyone continues to be interested in the quest for the self, but what you feel when you’re older is that you really must make the self.” McCarthy implies that this epic reorientation isn’t likely until you’ve been on earth for at least four decades. But judging from the astrological omens, I think you’re ready for it now—no matter what your age is. To drive home the point, I’ll say it in different words. Your task isn’t to find yourself, but rather to create yourself. Don’t wait around passively for life to show you who you are. Show life who you are.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Some night soon, I predict you’ll have an agitated dream while you’re asleep: a nightmare that symbolizes an unresolved conflict you’re wrestling with in your waking life. Here’s a possible example: A repulsive politician you dislike may threaten to break a toy you loved when you were a kid. But surprise! There’ll be a happy ending. A good monster will appear in your dream and fix the problem; in my example, the benevolent beast will scare away the politician who’s about to break your beloved toy. Now here’s the great news: In the days after your dream, you’ll solve the conflict you’ve been wrestling with in your waking life.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“Love is the best school, but the tuition is high and the homework can be painful,” writes author Diane Ackerman. I’m guessing that in recent months, her description has been partially true for you Virgos. From what I can tell, love has indeed been a rigorous school. And the tuition has been rather high. But on the other hand, the homework has been at least as pleasurable as it has been painful. I expect these trends to continue for the foreseeable future. What teachings about intimacy, communion, tenderness, and compassion would you like to study next?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
“A single feat of daring can alter the whole conception of what is possible,” wrote Libran novelist Graham Greene. His words can serve as a stirring motto for you in the coming weeks. I sense you’re close to summoning a burst of courage—a bigger supply of audacity than you’ve had access to in a while. I hope you’ll harness this raw power to fuel a daring feat that will expand your conception of what is possible.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
“It’s not always easy to tell the difference between thinking and looking out of the window,” wrote poet Wallace Stevens. That’s a problem you won’t have to worry about anytime soon. The coming weeks will be a favorable phase for you to both think and gaze out the window—as well as to explore all the states in-between. In other words, you’ll have the right and the need to indulge in a leisurely series of dreamy ruminations and meandering fantasies and playful explorations of your deepest depths and your highest heights. Don’t rush the process. Allow yourself to linger in the gray areas and the vast stretches of inner wildness.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
The coming weeks will be a favorable time to undertake a transformative vision quest, even if the exigencies of the pandemic require your quest to unfold primarily in your inner realms. The near future will also bring you good fortune if you focus on creating more sacredness in your rhythm and if you make a focused effort to seek out songs, texts, inspirations, natural places, and teachers that infuse you with a reverence for life. I’m trying to help you to see, Sagittarius, that you’re in a phase when you can attract healing synchronicities into your world by deepening your sense of awe and communing with experiences that galvanize you to feel worshipful.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“To love well is the task in all meaningful relationships, not just romantic bonds.” The author and activist bell hooks wrote that. (She doesn’t capitalize her name.) In accordance with the highest astrological potentials, I’m inviting you Capricorns to be inspired by her wisdom as you upgrade your meaningful relationships during the next six weeks. I think it’s in your self-interest to give them even more focus and respect and appreciation than you already do. Be ingenious as you boost the generosity of spirit you bestow on your allies. Be resourceful as you do this impeccable work in the midst of a pandemic!

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“One-half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it,” wrote author Sydney Howard. Now would be a perfect time to act on that excellent advice. Is there any obstacle standing in the way of your ability to achieve a beloved dream? Is there a pretty good thing that’s distracting you from devoting yourself wholeheartedly to a really great thing? I invite you to be a bit ruthless as you clear the way to pursue your heart’s desire.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Author Ellen Goodman writes, “The truth is that we can overhaul our surroundings, renovate our environment, talk a new game, join a new club, far more easily than we can change the way we respond emotionally. It is easier to change behavior than feelings about that behavior.” I think she’s correct in her assessment. But I also suspect that you’re in a prime position to be an exception to the rule. In the coming weeks, you will have exceptional power to transform the way you feel—especially if those feelings have previously been based on a misunderstanding of reality and especially if those feelings have been detrimental to your mental and physical health.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Week of July 1

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Aries author Marge Piercy writes, “The people I love the best, jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows.” The Aries people I love best will do just that in the coming days. Now is not the right time to wait around passively, lazily hoping that something better will come along. Nor is it prudent to procrastinate or postpone decisions while shopping around for more options or collecting more research. Dive, Aries, dive!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Calvin and Hobbes is a comic strip by Bill Watterson. It features a boy named Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes. In the first panel of one story, Calvin is seated at a school desk looking perplexed as he studies a question on a test, which reads “Explain [Isaac] Newton’s First Law of Motion in your own words.” In the second panel, Calvin has a broad smile, suddenly imbued with inspiration. In the third panel, he writes his response to the test question: “Yakka foob mog. Grug pubbawup zink wattoom gazork. Chumble spuzz.” The fourth panel shows him triumphant and relaxed, proclaiming, “I love loopholes.” I propose that you use this scenario as your victorious metaphor in the coming weeks, Taurus. Look for loopholes! And use them to overcome obstacles and solve riddles.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
“It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves,” wrote philosopher and activist Simone Weil. I’m hoping that this horoscope of mine can help you avoid that mistake. In the coming weeks and months, you will have a stronger-than-usual need to be seen for who you really are—to have your essential nature be appreciated and understood by people you care about. And the best way to make sure that happens is to work hard right now on seeing, appreciating, and understanding yourself.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Some readers wish I would write more like Cormac McCarthy or Albert Camus or Raymond Chandler: with spare simplicity. They accuse me of being too lush and exuberant in my prose. They want me to use shorter sentences and fewer adjectives. To them I say: It ain’t going to happen. I have feelings similar to those of best-selling Cancerian author Oliver Sacks, who the New York Times called, “one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century.” Sacks once said, “I never use one adjective if six seem to me better and, in their cumulative effect, more incisive. I am haunted by the density of reality and try to capture this with ‘thick description.’” I bring these thoughts to your attention, my fellow Cancerian, because I think it’s important for you to be your lavish, sumptuous, complex self in the coming weeks. Don’t oversimplify yourself or dumb yourself down, either intellectually or emotionally.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Travel writer Paul Theroux has journeyed long distances by train: once from Britain to Japan and back again, and then from Massachusetts to Argentina. He also rode trains during part of his expedition from Cairo to Cape Town. Here’s one of his conclusions: “It is almost axiomatic that the worst trains take you through magical places.” I’d like to offer a milder version of that counsel as your metaphor for the coming weeks: The funky, bumpy, rickety influences will bring you the best magic.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Philosopher Miguel de Unamuno declared, “Everything that exalts and expands consciousness is good, while that which depresses and diminishes it is evil.” This idea will be intensely true for and applicable to you in the coming weeks, Virgo. It will be your sacred duty—both to yourself and to those you care about—to enlarge your understandings of how the world works and to push your awareness to become more inclusive and empathetic. What’s your vision of paradise-on-earth? Now is a good time to have fun imagining it.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
What do you want to be when you grow up, Libra? What’s that you say? You firmly believe you are already all grown up? I hope not! In my vision of your destiny, you will always keep evolving and transforming; you will ceaselessly transcend your existing successes and push on to accomplish further breakthroughs and victories. Now would be an excellent time to rededicate yourself to this noble aspiration. I invite you to dream and scheme about three specific wonders and marvels you would like to experience during the next five years.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has advice that would serve you well in the coming weeks. She says, “Keep a little space in your heart for the improbable. You won’t regret it.” In accordance with your astrological potentials, I’m inclined to amend her statement as follows: “Keep a sizable space in your heart for the improbable. You’ll be rewarded with catalytic revelations and intriguing opportunities.” To attract blessings in abundance, Scorpio, be willing to set aside some of your usual skepticism and urge for control.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Author Malidoma Somé lives in the U.S. now, but was born in the West African country of Burkina Faso. He writes, “In the culture of my people, the Dagara, we have no word for the supernatural. The closest we come to this concept is Yielbongura, ‘the thing that knowledge can’t eat.’ This word suggests that the life and power of certain things depend upon their resistance to the categorizing knowledge that human beings apply to everything.” I bring Somé’s thoughts to your attention, Sagittarius, because I suspect that in the coming weeks, you will encounter more than the usual number of experiences that knowledge can’t eat. They might at times be a bit spooky or confounding, but will mostly be interesting and fun. I’m guessing that if you embrace them, they will liberate you from overly literal and materialistic ideas about how the world works. And that will be good for your soul.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Pioneer Capricorn scientist Isaac Newton is often hailed as one of history’s greatest geniuses. I agree that his intellectual capacities were sublime. But his emotional intelligence was sparse and feeble. During the time he taught at Cambridge University, his talks were so affectless and boring that many of his students skipped most of his classes. I’ll encourage you to make Newton your anti-role model for the next eight weeks. This time will be favorable for you to increase your mastery of three kinds of intelligence beyond the intellectual kind: feeling, intuition, and collaboration.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
When future writer (and Aquarius) Charles Dickens was 12 years old, his parents and siblings got incarcerated in a debtors’ prison. To stay alive and help his family, he took a job working 12 hours a day, six days a week, pasting labels on pots of boot polish in a rotting, rat-infested warehouse. Hard times! Yet the experiences he had there later provided him with rich material for the novels that ultimately made him wealthy and beloved. In predicting that you, too, will have future success at capitalizing on difficulty, I don’t mean to imply you’ve endured or will endure anything as harsh as Dickens’ ordeal. I’m just hoping to help you appreciate the motivating power of your challenging experiences.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Maybe you feel that the ongoing pandemic has inhibited your ability to explore and deepen intimacy to the degree that would like to. But even if that’s the case, the coming weeks will provide openings that could soften and remedy your predicament. So be extra receptive and alert to the clues that life reveals to you. And call on your imagination to look for previously unguessed and unexpected ways to reinvent togetherness and tenderness. Let’s call the next three weeks your Season of Renewing Rapport.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Week of June 24

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
In addition to being a magnificent storyteller, Aries author Barbara Kingsolver raises chickens at her home. “There are days when I am envious of my hens,” she writes, “when I hunger for a purpose as perfect and sure as a single daily egg.” Do you ever experience that delightful rush of assurance, Aries? I suspect that you’re likely to do so on multiple occasions in the coming weeks. And if you are indeed visited by visions of a perfect and sure purpose, your next task will be to initiate practical action to manifest it in the real world.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Nobel Prize-winning Taurus physicist Richard Feynman got his undergraduate degree from prestigious MIT and his PhD from prestigious Princeton University. Later he taught at prestigious Caltech. But his approach to education had a maverick quality. “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent, and original manner possible,” he advised his students. I think his strategy will work well for you in the coming weeks, which will be a favorable time to gather valuable information and polish your existing aptitudes.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
You’re entering a phase when you’ll have the potential to upgrade and fine-tune your relationship with money. In the hope of encouraging that prospect, I offer you the counsel of author Katharine Butler Hathaway. “To me, money is alive,” she wrote. “It is almost human. If you treat it with real sympathy and kindness and consideration, it will be a good servant and work hard for you, and stay with you and take care of you.” I hope you’ll consider cultivating that approach, dear Gemini: expressing benevolence and love toward money, and pledging to be benevolent and loving as you use the money you acquire.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
“Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant?” Author Diane Ackerman asks her readers that question, and now I pose the same inquiry to you—just in time for your Season of Transformation. “We are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors,” Ackerman says. I will add that you Cancerians now have the potential to be *exceptional* shape-shifters and magical reinventors. What new amazements might you incorporate into your life? What dazzling twists and twinkles would you like to add to your character? What will the Future You be like?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Qabalistic teacher Ann Davies asked, “If you stick your finger in the fire, do you then complain that it is unfair when your finger gets burned? Do you call the fire bad?” I offer you this caution, Leo, because I want to encourage you not to stick your fingers or toes or any other parts of you into the fire during the coming weeks. And I’m happy to inform you that there are better approaches to finding out what’s important to learn about the fire. The preferred way is to watch the fire keenly and patiently from a modest distance. If you do so long enough, you’ll get all you need.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In accordance with upcoming astrological portents, I urge you to engage in a vigorous redefinition of the term “miracle.” That will open you up to the full range of miraculous phenomena that are potentially available in the coming weeks. For inspiration, read this passage by Faith Baldwin: “Miracles are everyday things. Not only sudden great fortune wafting in on a new wind. They are almost routine, yet miracles just the same. Every time something hard becomes easier; every time you adjust to a situation which, last week, you didn’t know existed; every time a kindness falls as softly as the dew; or someone you love who was ill grows better; every time a blessing comes, not with trumpet and fanfare, but silently as night, you have witnessed a miracle.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
When Libras become authoritative enough to wield clout in their own sphere of influence, it’s often due to three factors: 1. the attractive force of their empathy; 2. their abilities to listen well and ask good questions, which help enable them to accurately read people’s emotional energy; 3. their knack for knowing specific tricks that promote harmony and a common sense of purpose. If you possess any of these talents, dear Libra, the next eight weeks will be a favorable time to employ them with maximum intensity and ingenuity and integrity. You’re primed to acquire and wield more leverage.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
There is only one kind of erotic intimacy between consenting adults that can truly be called “unnatural”: an act that is physically impossible to perform. Everything else is potentially vitalizing and holy. No one knows this better than you Scorpios. You’re the champions of exotic pleasure; the connoisseurs of blissful marvels; the masters of curious delight and extraordinary exultation. And from an astrological perspective, the coming weeks will be a time when these aspects of your character could be especially vivid. But wait a minute. What about the pandemic? What about social-distancing? What about being cautious in seeking intimate connection? If anyone can work around these constraints so as to have sexual fun, it’s your tribe. Use your imagination!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
When he was 22 years old, Sagittarian-born Werner Heisenberg received his doctorate in physics and mathematics from a German university—even though he got a grade of C on his final exams. Nine years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics because of his pioneering work on quantum mechanics. What happened in between? One key development: He was mentored by physicists Niels Bohr and Max Born, both of whom also garnered Nobel Prizes. Another factor in his success was his association with other brilliant colleagues working in his field. I hope this story inspires you Sagittarians to be on the lookout for catalytic teachers and colleagues who can expedite your evolution. The planetary omens are favorable for such an eventuality.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You Capricorns aren’t renowned for causing controversy. For the most part you’re skillful at managing your reputation and keeping it orderly. But there may soon be a departure from this norm. A bit of a hubbub could arise in regards to the impressions you’re making and the effects you’re generating. I’m reminded of Capricorn author J. D. Salinger, whose book *Catcher in the Rye* was for a time widely taught in American schools but also widely banned because of its allegedly controversial elements. These days the book is regarded as a beloved classic, and I suspect you will weather your commotion with similar panache.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Novelist Tom Robbins articulated a vision of what it means to be bold and brave. He said, “Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness.” I’m hoping you will make that formula your keynote in the coming weeks. The time is right for you to summon extra amounts of fortitude, determination, and audacity. What new possibilities are you ready to flesh out in ways that might prod you to revise your beliefs and welcome transformation and expand your awareness?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Joan of Arc performed her heroic and magical feats in 1430 and 1431. But she wasn’t canonized as a saint until 1920—almost five centuries later. It took a while to garner the full appreciation she deserved. I’m sure you won’t have to wait as long to be acknowledged for your good deeds and fine creations, Pisces. In fact, from what I can tell, there’ll be a significant honor, enhancement, or reward coming your way sometime in the next four months. Start visualizing what you’d like it to be, and set your intention to claim it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Week of June 17

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
My Aries friend Lavinia told me, “The fight I’m enjoying most lately is my fight to resist the compulsion to fight.” I invite you to consider adopting that attitude for the foreseeable future. Now and then, you Rams do seem to thrive on conflict, or at least use it to achieve worthy deeds—but the coming weeks will not be one of those times. I think you’re due for a phase of sweet harmony. The more you cultivate unity and peace and consensus, the healthier you’ll be. Do you dare act like a truce-maker, an agreement-broker, and a connoisseur of rapport?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
“The answers you get depend upon the questions you ask,” wrote physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn. That’s always true, of course, but it’s especially true for you right now. I recommend that you devote substantial amounts of your earthy intelligence to the task of formulating the three most important questions for you to hold at the forefront of your awareness during the rest of 2020. If you do, I suspect you will ultimately receive answers that are useful, interesting, and transformative.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
“A finished person is a boring person,” writes author Anna Quindlan. I agree! Luckily, you are quite unfinished, and thus not at all boring—especially these days. More than ever before, you seem willing to treat yourself as an art project that’s worthy of your creative ingenuity—as a work-in-progress that’s open to new influences and fresh teachings. That’s why I say your unfinishedness is a sign of good health and vitality. It’s delightful and inspiring. You’re willing to acknowledge that you’ve got a lot to learn and more to grow. In fact, you celebrate that fact; you exult in it; you regard it as a key part of your ever-evolving identity.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
“To hell with pleasure that’s haunted by fear,” wrote Cancerian author Jean de La Fontaine. I’ll make that one of my prayers for you in the coming weeks. It’s a realistic goal you can achieve and install as a permanent improvement in your life. While you’re at it, work on the following prayers, as well: 1. To hell with bliss that’s haunted by guilt. 2. To hell with joy that’s haunted by worry. 3. To hell with breakthroughs that are haunted by debts to the past. 4. To hell with uplifts that are haunted by other people’s pessimism.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Experiment #1: As you take a walk in nature, sing your five favorite songs from beginning to end, allowing yourself to fully feel all the emotions those tunes arouse in you. Experiment #2: Before you go to sleep on each of the next eleven nights, ask your dreams to bring you stories like those told by the legendary Scheherazade, whose tales were so beautiful and engaging that they healed and improved the lives of all those who heard them. Experiment #3: Gaze into the mirror and make three promises about the gratifying future you will create for yourself during the next 12 months.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night is one of the world’s most treasured paintings. It has had a prominent place in New York’s Museum of Modern Art since 1941. If it ever came up for sale it would probably fetch over $100 million. But soon after he created this great masterpiece, van Gogh himself called it a “failure.” He felt the stars he’d made were too big and abstract. I wonder if you’re engaging in a comparable underestimation of your own. Are there elements of your life that are actually pretty good, but you’re not giving them the credit and appreciation they deserve? Now’s a good time to reconsider and re-evaluate.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Now is a favorable time to make adjustments in how you allocate your attention—to re-evaluate what you choose to focus on. Why? Because some people, issues, situations, and experiences may not be worthy of your intense care and involvement, and you will benefit substantially from redirecting your fine intelligence in more rewarding directions. To empower your efforts, study these inspirational quotes: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” —philosopher Simone Weil. “Attention is the natural prayer of the soul.” —philosopher Nicolas Malebranche.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Scorpio poet Marianne Moore’s poem “O To Be a Dragon,” begins with the fantasy, “If I, like Solomon, could have my wish . . .” What comes next? Does Moore declare her desire to be the best poet ever? To be friends with smart, interesting, creative people? To be admired and gossiped about for wearing a tricorn hat and black cape as she walked around Greenwich Village near her home? Nope. None of the above. Her wish: “O to be a dragon, a symbol of the power of Heaven—of silk-worm size or immense; at times invisible. Felicitous phenomenon!” In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to be inspired by Moore in the coming weeks. Make extravagant wishes for lavish and amusing powers, blessings, and fantastic possibilities.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
“Poems, like dreams, are a sort of royal road to the unconscious,” writes author Erica Jong. “They tell you what your secret self cannot express.” I invite you to expand that formula so it’s exactly suitable for you in the coming weeks. My sense is that you are being called to travel the royal road to your unconscious mind so as to discover what your secret self has been unable or unwilling to express. Poems and dreams might do the trick for you, but so might other activities. For example: sexual encounters between you and a person you respect and love; or an intense night of listening to music that cracks open the portal to the royal road. Any others? What will work best for you?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.” Capricorn hero Martin Luther King, Jr. said that, and now I’m conveying it to you. In my astrological opinion, his formula is a strategy that will lead you to success in the coming weeks. It’ll empower you to remain fully open and receptive to the fresh opportunities flowing your way, while at the same time you’ll remain properly skeptical about certain flimflams and delusions that may superficially resemble those fresh opportunities.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“If it makes you nervous—you’re doing it right,” says the daring musician and actor Donald Glover. Personally, I don’t think that’s true in all situations. I’ve found that on some occasions, my nervousness stems from not being fully authentic or being less than completely honest. But I do think Glover’s formula fully applies to your efforts in the coming weeks, Aquarius. I hope you will try new things that will be important to your future, and/or work to master crucial skills you have not yet mastered. And if you’re nervous as you carry out those heroic feats, I believe it means you’re doing them right.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Piscean author Patricia Hampl understands a lot about the epic tasks of trying to know oneself and be oneself. She has written two memoirs, and some of her other writing draws from her personal experiences, as well. And yet she confesses, “Maybe being oneself is always an acquired taste.” She suggest that it’s often easier to be someone you’re not; to adopt the ways of other people as your own; to imitate what you admire rather than doing the hard work of finding out the truth about yourself. That’s the bad news, Pisces. The good news is that this year has been and will continue to be a very favorable time to ripen into the acquired taste of being yourself. Take advantage of this ripening opportunity in the coming weeks!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Week of June 10

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 4:00 AM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
During her 90 years on the planet, actor and singer Marlene Dietrich reinvented herself numerous times. She had superb insight into the nature of shifting rhythms, and a knack for gauging the right moment to adapt and transform. Good timing, she said, came naturally to people like her, as well as for “aerialists, jugglers, diplomats, publicists, generals, prize-fighters, revolutionists, financiers, and lovers.” I would add one further category to her list: the Aries tribe. Make maximum use of your talent in the coming weeks.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Author and theologian Frederick Buechner writes, “There is treasure buried in the field of every one of our days, even the bleakest or dullest, and it is our business to keep our eyes peeled for it.” In alignment with current astrological potentials, Taurus, I’ll name that as your key theme. More than usual, breakthroughs and revelations and catalysts are likely to be available to you in the midst of the daily slog—even when you’re feeling bored. Make it your business to be on high alert for them.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
According to novelist Octavia E. Butler, “Positive obsession is about not being able to stop just because you’re afraid and full of doubts.” That’s what I wish for you in the coming weeks, Gemini: positive obsession. It’s also what I expect! My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that you will have the pluck and craftiness necessary to veer away from murky, disturbing versions of obsession. Instead, you’ll embrace the exhilarating kind of obsession that buoys your spirit in moments of uncertainty. I foresee you making progress on your most important labor of love.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
William Thomson, also known as Lord Kelvin (1824–1907), was a Cancerian physicist and mathematician who contributed to the understanding of thermodynamics and other areas of scientific and engineering knowledge. Despite his considerable intelligence, however, he was myopic about the possibility that humans might one day fly through the air while seated inside of machines. In a 1902 interview—a year before the Wright Brothers’ breakthrough experiment—he declared, “No aeroplane will ever be successful.” I suspect you could be on the verge of passing through a Lord Kelvin phase, Cancerian. You may at times be highly insightful and at other times curiously mistaken. So I urge you to be humbly confident and confidently humble!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Author Marianne Williamson tells us, “Spiritual growth involves giving up the stories of your past so the universe can write a new one.” And what exactly does it mean to “give up the stories of your past”? Here’s what I think: 1. Don’t assume that experiences you’ve had before will be repeated in the future. 2. Don’t assume that your ideas about the nature of your destiny will always be true. 3. Even good things that have happened before may be small and limited compared to the good things that could happen for you in the years to come. 4. Fully embrace the truth that the inherent nature of existence is endless transformation—which is why it’s right and natural for you to ceaselessly outgrow the old plot lines of your life story and embrace new ones.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Philosopher and astrologer Marsilio Ficino wrote, “Mortals ask God for good things every day, but they never pray that they may make good use of them.” I hope that in the coming weeks, you Virgos will disprove that cynical view of human beings. As I see it, you will be more likely than usual to actually receive the blessings you ask for. And I hope—in fact, I predict—that when you receive the blessings, you will then aggressively seek the help of God or Life or your deepest wisdom to make good use of them.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I was hiking under a blue sky in a favorite natural location: the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just north of San Francisco, where sublime vistas provide views of ocean and mountain. Although I was in a good mood, at one point I spied empty Budweiser cans amidst the wild jewelflowers. “What kind of nature-hater was so careless as to despoil this wonderland”? I fumed. For a few moments I was consumed with rage and forgot where I was. By the time I recovered my bearings, the bobcat and red-tailed hawk I’d previously been observing had disappeared. That made me sad. My anger was justified but wasteful, irrelevant, and distracting. It caused me to lose touch with some glorious beauty. Don’t be like me in the coming days, Libra. Keep your eyes on the prize.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
“I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old,” wrote poet Charles Baudelaire. Was he bragging or complaining? Did the weight of his past feel like a burden or did it exhilarate him and dynamize his creative powers? I’m hoping that in the coming weeks your explorations of your past will feel far more like the latter—a gift and blessing that helps you understand aspects of your history that have always been mysterious or murky.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you’re primed to navigate your way through a sweetly gritty, tenderly transformative, epically meaningful turning point in the history of your relationship with your favorite collaborator or collaborators. If that sounds too intense, you could at least accomplish an interesting, stimulating, educational shift in the way you fit together with your best ally or allies. It’s up to you, Sagittarius. How much love and intimacy and synergy can you handle? I won’t judge you harshly if you’d prefer to seek the milder version of deepening right now. Besides, you’ll probably get a chance to go further later this year.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Actor Emma Thompson tells us, “I wish I wouldn’t have to say this, but I really like human beings who have suffered. They’re kinder.” Adding to what she observes, I’ll say that for many people, their suffering has also made them smarter and more soulful and more compassionate. Not always, but often, it’s the pain they’ve suffered that has helped turn them into thoughtful companions who know how to nourish others. I urge you to make a special point to converse with people like this in the near future. In my estimation, you will benefit from intense doses of empathetic nurturing.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Lake Elsinore is a city in southwestern California. Last spring, torrential rains there caused a “superbloom” of poppies. Millions of the golden-orange wildflowers covered many acres of Walker Canyon. They attracted another outbreak of beauty: thousands of painted lady butterflies, which came to visit. The magnificent explosion was so vast, it was visible from a satellite high above the earth. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re experiencing a metaphorical superbloom of your own right now, Aquarius. I hope you will find constructive ways to channel that gorgeous fertility.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Lucumi is an Afro-American religion with Yoruban roots. Its practitioners worship their ancestors, and seek regular contact and communion with them. According to Lucumi priestess Luisah Teish, “Sometimes the ancestors deem certain information so important that they send it to the subconscious mind without being consciously asked.” It’s my belief that all of us, whether or not we’re members of the Lucumi religion, can be in touch with the spirits of our ancestors if we would like to be—and receive useful guidance and insight from them. The coming weeks will be a time when you Pisceans are especially likely to enjoy this breakthrough. It’s more likely to happen if you have an intention to instigate it, but it may come to pass even if you don’t seek it.

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