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Friday, February 14, 2020

Week of February 19

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2020 at 3:03 PM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Do you feel ready to change your mind about an idea or belief or theory that has been losing its usefulness? Would you consider changing your relationship with a once-powerful influence that is becoming less crucial to your life-long goals? Is it possible you have outgrown one of your heroes or teachers? Do you wonder if maybe it’s time for you to put less faith in a certain sacred cow or overvalued idol? According to my analysis of your astrological omens, you’ll benefit from meditating on these questions during the coming weeks.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
When she was alive more than 2,500 years ago, the Greek poet Sappho was so famous for her lyrical creations that people referred to her as “The Poetess” and the “Tenth Muse.” (In Greek mythology, there were nine muses, all goddesses.) She was a prolific writer who produced over 10,000 lines of verse, and even today she remains one of the world’s most celebrated poets. I propose that we make her your inspirational role model for the coming months. In my view, you’re poised to generate a wealth of enduring beauty in your own chosen sphere. Proposed experiment: Regard your daily life as an art project.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Have you ever dropped out of the daily grind for a few hours or even a few days so as to compose a master plan for your life? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to give yourself that necessary luxury. According to my analysis, you’re entering a phase when you’ll generate good fortune for yourself if you think deep thoughts about how to create your future. What would you like the story of your life to be on March 1, 2025? How about March 1, 2030? And March 1, 2035? I encourage you to consult your soul’s code and formulate an inspired, invigorating blueprint for the coming years. Write it down!

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Cancerian novelist William Makepeace Thackeray (1819–1875) is famous for Vanity Fair, a satirical panorama of 19th-century British society. The phrase “Vanity Fair” had been previously used, though with different meanings, in the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes, as well as in works by John Bunyan and St. Augustine. Thackeray was lying in bed near sleep one night when the idea flew into his head to use it for his own story. He was so thrilled, he leaped up and ran around his room chanting “Vanity Fair! Vanity Fair!” I’m foreseeing at least one epiphany like this for you in the coming weeks, Cancerian. What area of your life needs a burst of delicious inspiration?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Who loves you best, Leo? Which of your allies and loved ones come closest to seeing you and appreciating you for who you really are? Of all the people in your life, which have done most to help you become the soulful star you want to be? Are there gem-like characters on the peripheries of your world that you would like to draw nearer? Are there energy drains that you’ve allowed to play too prominent a role? I hope you’ll meditate on questions like these in the coming weeks. You’re in a phase when you can access a wealth of useful insights and revelations about how to skillfully manage your relationships. It’s also a good time to reward and nurture those allies who have given you so much.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Doom and gloom dominate the forecasts made by many prophets. They experience perverse glee in predicting, for example, that all the rain forests and rivers will be owned by greedy corporations by 2050, or that extraterrestrial invaders who resemble crocodiles will take control of the U.S. government “for the good of the American people,” or that climate change will eventually render chocolate and bananas obsolete. That’s not how I operate. I deplore the idea that it’s only the nasty prognostications that are interesting. In that spirit, I make the following forecasts: The number of homeless Virgos will decrease dramatically in the near future, as will the number of dreamhome-less Virgos. In fact, I expect you folks will experience extra amounts of domestic bliss in the coming months. You may feel more at home in the world than ever before.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I don’t require everyone I learn from to be an impeccable saint. If I vowed to draw inspiration only from those people who flawlessly embody every one of my ethical principles, there’d be no one to be inspired by. Even one of my greatest heroes, Martin Luther King Jr., cheated on his wife and plagiarized parts of his doctoral dissertation. Where do you stand on this issue, Libra? I bet you will soon be tested. How much imperfection is acceptable to you?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Scorpio comedian John Cleese co-founded the troupe Monty Python more than fifty years ago, and he has been generating imaginative humor ever since. I suggest we call on his counsel as you enter the most creative phase of your astrological cycle. “This is the extraordinary thing about creativity,” he says. “If you just keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.” Here’s another one of Cleese’s insights that will serve you well: “The most creative people have learned to tolerate the slight discomfort of indecision for much longer, and so, just because they put in more pondering time, their solutions are more creative.”

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Sagittarian philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) developed a vigorous and expansive vision. That’s why he became a leading intellectual influence in the era known as the Enlightenment. But because of his inventive, sometimes controversial ideas, he was shunned by his fellow Jews and had his books listed on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books. Understandably, he sometimes felt isolated. To compensate, he spent lots of time alone taking wide-ranging journeys in his imagination. Even if you have all the friends and social stimulation you need, I hope you will follow his lead in the coming weeks—by taking wide-ranging journeys in your imagination. It’s time to roam and ramble in inner realms.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“Absolute reason expired at eleven o’clock last night,” one character tells another in Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt. I’m happy to report that a different development is on the verge of occurring for you, Capricorn. In recent days, there may have been less than an ideal amount of reason and logic circulating in your world. But that situation will soon change. The imminent outbreak of good sense, rigorous sanity, and practical wisdom will be quite tonic. Take advantage of this upcoming grace period. Initiate bold actions that are well-grounded in objective rather than subjective truth.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Renowned Aquarian composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828) created more than 700 compositions, some of which are still played by modern musicians. Many of his works were written on and for the piano—and yet he was so poor that he never owned a piano. If there has been a similar situation in your life, Aquarius—a lack of some crucial tool or support due to financial issues—I see the coming weeks as being an excellent time to set in motion the plans that will enable you to overcome and cure that problem.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
In 1908, British playwright W. Somerset Maugham reached the height of success. Four of his plays were being performed concurrently in four different London theaters. If you were ever in your life going to achieve anything near this level of overflowing popularity or attention, I suspect it would be this year. And if that’s a development you would enjoy and thrive on, I think the coming weeks will be an excellent time to set your intention and take audacious measures.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Week of February 12

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Now that she’s in her late forties, Aries comedian and actress Tig Notaro is wiser about love. Her increased capacity for romantic happiness has developed in part because she’s been willing to change her attitudes. She says, “Instead of being someone who expects people to have all the strengths I think I need them to have, I resolved to try to become someone who focuses on the strengths they do have.” In accordance with this Valentine’s season’s astrological omens, Aries, I invite you to meditate on how you might cultivate more of that aptitude yourself.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Taurus artist Joan Miró loved to daub colored paint on canvases. He said he approached his work in the same way he made love: “a total embrace, without caution, prudence thrown to the winds, nothing held back.” In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to invoke a similar attitude with all the important things you do in the coming weeks. Summon the ardor and artistry of a creative lover for all-purpose use. Happy Valentine Daze, Taurus!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In 1910, Gemini businessman Irving Seery was 20 years old. One evening he traveled to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to see an opera starring the gorgeous and electrifying soprano singer Maria Jeritza. He fell in love instantly. For the next thirty-eight years he remained a bachelor as he nursed his desire to marry her. His devotion finally paid off. Jeritza married Seery in 1948. Dear Gemini, in 2020, I think you will be capable of a heroic feat of love that resembles Seery’s. Which of your yearnings might evoke such intensely passionate dedication? Happy Valentine Daze!

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I’ve been married twice, both times to the same woman. Our first time around, we were less than perfectly wise in the arts of relationship. After our divorce and during the few years we weren’t together, we each ripened into more graceful versions of ourselves; we developed greater intimacy skills. Our second marriage has been far more successful. Is there a comparable possibility in your life, Cancerian? A chance to enhance your ability to build satisfying togetherness? An opening to learn practical lessons from past romantic mistakes? Now is a favorable time to capitalize. Happy Valentine Daze!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
In 1911, the famous Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and the famous Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani were in love with each other. Both were quite poor, though. They didn’t have much to spend on luxuries. In her memoir, Akhmatova recalled the time they went on a date in the rain at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. Barely protected under a rickety umbrella, they amused each other by reciting the verse of Paul Verlaine, a poet they both loved. Isn’t that romantic? In the coming weeks, I recommend you experiment with comparable approaches to cultivating love. Get back to raw basics. Happy Valentine Daze!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
[Warning: Poetry alert! If you prefer your horoscopes to be exclusively composed of practical, hyper-rational advice, stop reading now!] Happy Valentine Daze, Virgo! I hope there’s someone in your life to whom you can give a note like the one I’ll offer at the end of this oracle. If there’s not, I trust you will locate that person in the next six months. Feel free to alter the note as you see fit. Here it is. “When you and I are together, it’s as if we have been reborn into luckier lives; as if we can breathe deeper breaths that fill our bodies with richer sunlight; as if we see all of the world’s beauty that alone we were blind to; as if the secrets of our souls’ codes are no longer secret.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
In the course of your life, how many people and animals have truly loved you? Three? Seven? More? I invite you to try this Valentine experiment: Write down their names on a piece of paper. Spend a few minutes visualizing the specific qualities in you that they cherished, and how they expressed their love, and how you felt as you received their caring attention. Then send out a beam of gratitude to each of them. Honor them with sublime appreciation for having treasured your unique beauty. Amazingly enough, Libra, doing this exercise will magnetize you to further outpourings of love in the coming weeks.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
[Warning: Poetry alert! If you prefer your horoscopes to be exclusively composed of practical, hyper-rational advice, stop reading now!] Happy Valentine Daze, Scorpio! I invite you to copy the following passage and offer it to a person who is receptive to deepening their connection with you. “Your healing eyes bless the winter jasmine flowers that the breeze blew into the misty creek. Your welcoming prayers celebrate the rhythmic light of the mud-loving cypress trees. Your fresh dreams replenish the eternal salt that nourishes our beloved song of songs. With your melodic breath, you pour all these not-yet-remembered joys into my body.” (This lyrical message is a blend of my words with those of Scorpio poet Odysseus Elytis.)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
The poet Virgil, a renowned author in ancient Rome, wrote three epic poems that are still in print today. His second was a masterpiece called the Georgics. It took him seven years to write, even though it was only 2,740 lines long. So on average he wrote a little over one line per day. I hope you’ll use him as inspiration as you toil over your own labors of love in the coming weeks and months. There’ll be no need to rush. In fact, the final outcomes will be better if you do them slowly. Be especially diligent and deliberate in all matters involving intimacy and collaboration and togetherness.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
[Warning: Poetry alert! If you prefer your horoscopes to be exclusively composed of practical, hyper-rational advice, stop reading now!] Happy Valentine Daze, Capricorn! I invite you to copy the following passage and offer it to a person who is ready to explore a more deeply lyrical connection with you. “I yearn to earn the right to your whispered laugh, your confident caress, your inscrutable dance. Amused and curious, I wander where moon meets dawn, inhaling the sweet mist in quest of your questions. I study the joy that my imagination of you has awakened. All the maps are useless, and I like them that way. I’m guided by my nervous excitement to know you deeper. Onward toward the ever-fresh truth of your mysterious rhythms!”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Aquarian author Derek Walcott had a perspective on love that I suspect might come in handy for you during this Valentine season. “Break a vase,” he wrote, “and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.” I urge you to meditate on how you could apply his counsel to your own love story, Aquarius. How might you remake your closest alliances into even better and brighter versions of themselves?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Piscean poet Saul Williams wrote a meditation I hope you’ll consider experimenting with this Valentine season. It involves transforming mere kisses into SUBLIME KISSES. If you choose to be inspired by his thoughts, you’ll explore new sensations and meanings available through the act of joining your mouth to another’s. Ready? Here’s Saul: “Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis, when you became aware that the greatness of this other being is breathing into you. Licking your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being, and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again—the first kiss of the rest of your life.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Week of February 5

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
You now have the power to make connections that have not previously been possible. You can tap into an enhanced capacity to forge new alliances and strengthen your support system. I urge you to be on the lookout for a dynamic group effort you could join or a higher purpose you might align yourself with. If you’re sufficiently alert, you may even find an opportunity to weave your fortunes together with a dynamic group effort that’s in service to a higher purpose.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
“Victory won’t come to me unless I go to it,” wrote the poet Marianne Moore. In other words, you must track down each victory you’re interested in. You must study its unique nature. And then you must adjust yourself to its specifications. You can’t remain just the way you are, but must transform yourself so as to be in alignment with the responsibilities it demands of you. Can you pass these tests, Taurus? I believe you can. It’s time to prove it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
While at the peak of his powers as an author, Gemini-born Nobel Prize-winner Jean Paul Sartre consumed an array of mood-shifters every day. He quaffed at least a quart of alcohol, smoked two packs of cigarettes, and drank copious amounts of coffee and tea. His intake of pills included 200 milligrams of amphetamines, 15 grams of aspirin, and a handful of barbiturates. I propose that we make Sartre your anti-role model during the next four weeks, dear Gemini. According to my analysis of your astrological indicators, your ability to discover, attract, and benefit from wonders and marvels will thrive to the degree that you forswear drugs and alcohol and artificial enhancements. And I’m pleased to inform you that there could be a flood of wonders and marvels.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I don’t think I’m boring. How could I be? I have an abundant curiosity and I love to learn new things. I’ve worked at many different jobs, have read widely, and enjoy interacting with a broad range of humans. Yet now and then I’ve had temporary relationships with people who regarded me as uninteresting. They didn’t see much of value in me. I tend to believe it was mostly their fault—they couldn’t see me for who I really am—but it may have also been the case that I lived down to their expectations. Their inclination to see me as unimportant influenced me to be dull. I bring this up, my fellow Cancerian, because now is an excellent time to remove yourself from situations where you have trouble being and feeling your true self.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Soprano Helen Traubel and tenor Lauritz Melchior performed together in many productions of Wagnerian operas, often at the Metropolitan in New York City. Friends and colleagues but not lovers, they had a playful relationship with each other. A favorite pastime was figuring out tricks they could try that would cause the other to break into inappropriate laughter while performing. According to my quirky reading of the astrological omens, Leo, the coming weeks will be a propitious time for you to engage in similar hijinx with your allies. You have a poetic license and a spiritual mandate to enjoy amusing collaborative experiments, playful intimate escapades, and adventures in buoyant togetherness.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Eighteenth-century author Samuel Johnson singlehandedly compiled the influential A Dictionary of the English Language, which remained the definitive British dictionary for 170 years. We shouldn’t be surprised that it was a Virgo who accomplished such an intricate and exhaustive feat. As a high-minded Virgo, Johnson also had a talent for exposing hypocrisy. In commenting on the Americans’ War of Independence against his country, he noted that some of the “loudest yelps for liberty” came from slave-owners. I propose that we make him one of your role models in 2020. May he inspire you to produce rigorous work that’s useful to many. May he also empower you to be a candid purveyor of freedom.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Is there a project or situation you’d love to create but have lacked the confidence to try? Now is a time when you can finally summon the necessary courage. Is there a long-running dilemma that has always seemed too confusing and overwhelming to even understand, let alone solve? Now is a favorable time to ask your higher self for the clear vision that will instigate an unforeseen healing. Is there a labor of love that seems to have stalled or a dream that got sidetracked? Now is a time when you could revive its luminosity and get it back in a sweet groove.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Was there a more influential 20th-century artist than Scorpio-born Pablo Picasso? He was a revolutionary innovator who got rich from his creations. Once, while visiting a gallery showing of art made by children, he said, “When I was their age I could draw like Raphael [the great Renaissance artist]. But it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like they do.” In accordance with your current astrological omens, Scorpio, I suggest you seek inspiration from Picasso’s aspiration. Set an intention to develop expertise in seeing your world and your work through a child’s eyes.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
I know a Sagittarius man who has seen the film Avengers: Endgame 17 times. Another Sagittarian acquaintance estimates she has listened all the way through to Billie Eilish’s album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 135 times. And then there’s my scholarly Sagittarian friend who has read the ancient Greek epic poem the Iliad 37 times. I have no problem with this behavior. I admire your tribe’s ability to keep finding new inspiration in sources you already know well. But in my astrological opinion, you shouldn’t do much of this kind of thing in the coming weeks. It’s high time for you to experiment with experiences you know little about. Be fresh, innocent, and curious.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Athens was one of the great cities of the ancient world. Its vigorous art, theater, philosophy, architecture, and experiments in democracy are today regarded as foundational to Western culture. And yet at its height, Athens’ population was a mere 275,000—equal to modern Fort Wayne, Indiana or Windsor, Ontario. How could such a relatively small source breed such intensity and potency? That’s a long story. In any case, I foresee you having the potential to be like Athens yourself in the coming weeks and months, Capricorn: a highly concentrated fount of value. For best results, focus on doing what you do best.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
According to my analysis, the year 2020 will be a time when you can have dramatic success as you re-evaluate and re-vision and revamp your understandings of your life purpose. Why were you born? What’s the nature of your unique genius? What are the best gifts you have to offer the world? Of the many wonderful feats you could accomplish, which are the most important? The next few weeks will be a potent time to get this fun and energizing investigation fully underway.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Physicist Niels Bohr won a Nobel Prize for his insights about quantum mechanics. But he was humble about the complexity of the subject. “If you think you understand it, that only shows you don’t know the first thing about it,” he mused. I’m tempted to make a similar statement about the mysteries and riddles that are making your life so interesting. If you think you understand those mysteries and riddles, you probably don’t. But if you’re willing to acknowledge how perplexing they are, and you can accept the fact that your comprehension of them is partial and fuzzy, then you might enjoy a glimmer of the truth that’s worth building on.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Week of January 29

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
My favorite ancient Greek philosopher was the rascal Diogenes. As a joke, he carried around a lantern during the daytime, proclaiming, “I am just looking for an honest man.” When Alexander the Great, the most powerful man in the world, came to meet Diogenes while he was relaxing outside and asked him if he needed any favors done, he replied, “Yeah, stop blocking my sunlight.” As for Plato, Diogenes complained that the famous philosopher talked too damn much and misinterpreted the teachings of Socrates. I encourage you to borrow some of Diogenes’ attitude in the coming weeks. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it’ll be healing for you to experiment with being brassy, saucy, and sassy. Emphasize what makes you most unique, independent, and self-expressive.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Taurus author Anthony Trollope (1815–1882) published his first novel at age 30. During the next 37 years, he completed 48 additional novels and 18 works of nonfiction. Critics liked his work well enough, but were suspicious of his prodigious productivity. When they discovered that one of Trollope’s motivations for writing was to make money, they disapproved. Then they found out that Trollope kept a watch nearby as he worked, determined to generate 250 words every 15 minutes. The critics hated that even worse. Creative artists are supposed to court inspiration, not adhere to a schedule—at least according to the critics. But I approve of and recommend Trollope-like behavior for you in the coming weeks, Taurus. Cosmic forces will be on your side if you do.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In accordance with the astrological indicators, I invite you to rise and soar and glide during the coming weeks. I encourage you to expand and enlarge and amplify. Don’t wait around hoping to be asked to explore and experiment and improvise—just do those things. It’s high time for you to enjoy stirring quests and research projects and missions dedicated to discovery. Be a fun-loving pioneer. Sample the joys of being a maverick and outlier.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I love living in the material world. Its crazy-making demands and exhilarating rewards are endlessly entertaining. Despite having been born as a fantasy-prone, overly sensitive Cancerian, I’ve become fairly earthy and well-grounded. I have a good job, a nice house, a smart wife, and an interesting daughter. On the other hand, I also love living in the soul’s realm. I have remembered and recorded an average of three dreams per night for many years. Although I don’t take drugs, I cultivate alternate states of consciousness through meditation, prayer, and ritual. I’ve long been a student of depth psychology, which has trained me to be as focused on my soul as my ego. In accordance with current astrological omens, my fellow Cancerian, I urge you to hang out more than usual in the soul’s realm during the coming weeks.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Can I talk you into being more tender and open-hearted toward the people who care for you? I don’t mean to imply that you are currently too hard and closed. But all of us can benefit from enhancing our receptivity, and the coming weeks will be prime time for you Leos to do just that. I think you’ll find it easier than usual to deepen your listening skills and intensify your sensitivity. You’ll have an acute intuitive grasp of the fact that you can earn yourself huge blessings by expressing love and compassion in very practical ways.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
All of us are in service to someone or something—to certain people or ideas or situations. We provide them with help or energy or mirroring or love. We are dutiful in attending to their needs and wants. For some of us, our service feels like a burden. It’s grating or humbling or inconvenient, or all of the above. For others of us, being of service is fulfilling, even joyful. We find a rich sense of purpose in our devotion to a higher cause or deeper calling beyond our selfish concerns. Among the 12 signs of the zodiac, you Virgos are more likely than most to carry out the latter kind of service. I bring these thoughts to your attention because the coming weeks will be an excellent time to re-evaluate, reconfigure, and reinvigorate your own service.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Author David Markson imagined what it would be like to write a novel that lacked conflicts or confrontations—in other words, a novel unlike any ever created. Libran author Ursula Le Guin also fantasized about stories with plots that weren’t driven by strife and struggle. Since many of us are addicted to entertainment that depends on discord to be interesting, we might find it hard to believe Markson’s and Le Guin’s dream would ever happen. But I’m pleased to inform you, Libra, that your life in the coming weeks may be exactly like that: a fascinating adventure with few hassles and wrangles.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
According to Scorpio painter Georgia O’Keeffe, success is irrelevant. The most crucial life-long effort that anyone can be devoted to is “making your unknown known.” Did she mean making your unknown known to yourself? Or making your unknown known to other people? Or both? According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to do both. So I hope you will tease out your best and biggest mysteries from their hiding places. Give them expression.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You Sagittarians have a talent for burning bridges that really do need to be burned. Your intuition often guides you to assess when the time is ripe to withdraw from connections that no longer benefit you. On the other hand, you sometimes burn bridges prematurely. You decide that they are in such disrepair that they’re of no use to you, even though it might serve your ultimate interests to fix them. I offer these thoughts as a preface for my advice: 1. Refurbish rather than burn a certain bridge you’re a bit disenchanted with. 2. Build at least one new bridge that will be valuable in the future.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
The shape of the planets’ orbits around the sun is elliptical, not circular. Capricorn astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) was the first person to figure this out. He didn’t like it. He really wanted the orbits to be circular. That would have been more satisfying to his aesthetic and spiritual sensibilities. Explaining the arduous labor he did to arrive at his conclusion, he wrote, “Take pity on me, for I have repeated these calculations seventy times.” In the big picture of our understanding of the universe, of course, his discovery was felicitous. It’s not a problem that the orbits are elliptical, merely the truth. In the coming weeks, Capricorn, I foresee you engaging in a process that’s metaphorically comparable to Kepler’s. Hard work will yield useful, if unexpected results.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Please don’t imitate or repeat yourself in the coming weeks. Refrain from relying on formulas that have worked for you before. Resolve to either ignore or rebel against your past as you dream up fresh gambits and adventures. Treat your whole life like an improvisatory game that has just one purpose: to attract and stir up useful novelty. If you do these things, Aquarius, I can practically guarantee that you will win the game.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Poet Robert Bly believes that each of us has a special genius, and the key to understanding and fully activating that genius is in our core wound. In other words, the part of us that got hurt the worst is potentially the generative source of the best gifts we have to give. Do you know where that is in yourself: the wound that could be the source of your blessing? Now is a great time to investigate this tantalizing mystery.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Week of January 22

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) declared that English writer Lord Byron (1788–1824) was the greatest genius of the 19th century. Here’s an interesting coincidence: Byron regarded Goethe as the greatest genius of the 19th century. I bring this to your attention, Aries, in the hope that it will inspire you to create a similar dynamic in your own life during the coming months. As much as possible, surround yourself with people whom you think are wonderful and interesting and enlivening—and who think you are wonderful and interesting and enlivening.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Taurus-born Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) was a renowned German composer who lived most of his life is Germany and Austria. He became so famous and well-respected that England’s Cambridge University offered him an honorary degree if he would visit the campus. But Brahms was too timid to risk crossing the English Channel by boat. (There were no airplanes and Chunnel in those days.) He declined the award. I beg you not to do anything even remotely like that in the coming weeks, Taurus. Please summon the gumption necessary to claim and gather in all you deserve.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming weeks will be one of those rare times when you can safely engage with influences that might normally rattle you. You’ll be protected as you wander into the unknown and explore edgy mysteries. Your intuition will be highly reliable if you make bold attempts to solve dilemmas that have previously confounded and frustrated you. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to get a bit wild and exploratory, this is it.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) is regarded as one of England’s greatest painters. He’s best known for his luminous and imaginative landscapes. His experimental use of light and color influenced the Impressionist painters who came after him. But the weird thing is that after his death, many of his works were lost for decades. In 1939, a famed art historian found over a hundred of them rolled up like tarpaulins in the basement of an art museum. Let’s apply this event as a metaphor for what’s ahead in your life, Cancerian. I suspect that buried or lost elements of your past will soon be rediscovered and restored. I bet it will be fun and illuminating!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
In my early adult life, I lived below the poverty line for many years. How did that impact me? Here’s one example: I didn’t own a mattress from ages 23 to 39, but rather slept on a two-inch thick foam pad that lay directly on the floor. I’m doing better now, thank you. But my early experiences ensured that I would forever have profound empathy for people who don’t have much money. I hope this will serve as inspiration for you, Leo. The next seven weeks will be the Empathy Building Season for you. The cosmos will reward you if you build your ability to appreciate and understand the pains and joys of other humans. Your compassion will be tonic for both your mental and physical health.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Ancient Greek author Theophrastus was a scientist before the concept of “scientist” existed. His writings on botany were influential for hundreds of years after his death. But some of his ideas would be considered unscientific today. For example, he believed that flute music could heal sciatica and epilepsy. No modern research suggests that the charms of the flute can literally cure physical ailments like those. But there is a great deal of evidence that music can help relieve pain, reduce anxiety, reduce the side effects of drugs, assist in physical therapy, and even make you smarter. And my reading of the current astrological omens suggests that the therapeutic effects of music will be especially dramatic for you during the next three weeks.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
“Learning to love is difficult, and we pay dearly for it,” wrote the serious and somber author Fyodor Dostoevsky. “It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship,” he added. All that’s true, I think. To hone our ability to express tenderness and warmth, even when we’re not at our best, is the most demanding task on earth. It requires more courage than that of a soldier in the frenzy of battle, as much imagination as a poet, and diligence equal to that of an architect supervising the construction of a massive suspension bridge. And yet on the other hand—contrary to what Dostoevsky believed—sometimes love is mostly fun and inspiring and entertaining and educational. I suspect that the coming weeks will be one of those phases for you.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
How well do you nurture yourself, dear Scorpio? How diligent are you in providing yourself with the sustenance that ensures your body, mind, and soul will thrive? Are you imaginative in the ways that you keep yourself excited about life? Do you take strong measures to avoid getting attached to mediocre pleasures, even as you consistently hone your focus on the desires that lead you to joy and deep satisfaction? The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to meditate on these questions.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Seven books of the Bible’s Old Testament refer to a magical place called Ophir. It was a source of exotic finery and soulful treasures like gold, peacocks, jewels, frankincense, and precious sandalwood. One problem: No one, not even a Biblical scholar, has ever figured out where it was. Zimbabwe? India? Tunisia? Its location is still unknown. I am bringing this to your attention because I suspect that in 2020 there’ll be a good chance you’ll discover and gain access to your own metaphorical Ophir: a fount of interesting, evocative resources. For best results, be primed and eager to offer your own skills and riches in exchange for what this fount can provide to you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Capricorn filmmaker Steven Soderbergh says it’s crucial for us to have a well-developed story about who we are and what we’re doing with our lives. It’s so important, he feels, that it should be the trigger that flings us out of bed every morning. We’ve got to make our story so vivid and interesting that it continually motivates us in every little thing we do. Soderbergh’s counsel is always good to keep in mind, of course, but it will be even more so for you in the coming months. Why? Because your story will be expanding and deepening, and you’ll need to make the necessary adjustments in how you tell your story to yourself.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
I’m a big fan of self-editing. For example, every horoscope I write evolves over the course of at least three drafts. For each book I’ve published, I have written but then thrown away hundreds of pages that I ultimately deemed weren’t good enough to be a part of the finished text. And yet now and then, I have created a poem or song in one rapid swoop. My artistic artifact is exactly right the first time it flows out of me, with no further tinkering needed. I suspect you’re now entering a phase like that, Aquarius. I’m reminded of poet Allen Ginsberg’s operative principle: “first thought, best thought.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Who don’t you want to be, Pisces? Where don’t you want to go? What experiences are not necessary in your drive to become the person you were born to be? I encourage you to ask yourself questions like those in the coming weeks. You’re entering a phase when you can create long-term good fortune for yourself by knowing what you don’t like and don’t need and don’t require. Explore the positive effects of refusal. Wield the power of saying NO so as to liberate yourself from all that’s irrelevant, uninteresting, trivial, and unhealthy.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Week of January 15

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2020 at 1:59 PM

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Comedian John Cleese has an insight I hope you’ll consider. He says, “It’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent than it is to do important things that are not urgent. It’s also easier to do little things we know we can do than to start on big things that we’re not so sure about.” I hope you’ll make this advice a priority in the coming weeks. You’ll be wise to prioritize important tasks, even those that aren’t urgent, as you de-emphasize trivial matters that tempt you to think they’re crucial. Focus on big things that are challenging, rather than on little things that are a snap.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Author Honoré Balzac (1799–1850) was born with sun and Mercury in Taurus and in the tenth house. Astrologers might hypothesize from these placements that he was ambitious, productive, tenacious, diligent, realistic, and willful. The evidence supporting this theory is strong. Balzac wrote over 80 novels that displayed a profound and nuanced understanding of the human comedy. I predict that 2020 will be a year when you could make dramatic progress in cultivating a Balzac-like approach in your own sphere. But here’s a caveat: Balzac didn’t take good care of his body. He drank far too much coffee and had a careless approach to eating and sleeping. My hope is that as you hone your drive for success, you’ll be impeccable in tending to your health.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Before he was 21 years old, William Shakespeare and his wife had birthed three kids. When he was 25, while the brood was still young, he started churning out literary masterpieces. By the time Will became a grandfather at age 43, he had written many of the works that ultimately made him one of history’s most illustrious authors. From this evidence, we might speculate that being a parent and husband heightened his creative flow. I bring this to your attention because I want to ask you: What role will commitment and duty and devotion play in your life during the coming months? (I suspect it’ll be a good one.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Cancerian-born painter Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) didn’t align himself with any artistic movement. Early on, his work was an odd blend of French Post-Impressionism and 14th-century Italian painting. I appreciate his stylistic independence, and suggest you draw inspiration from it in 2020. Another unique aspect of Spencer’s art was its mix of eroticism and religiosity. I think you’ll enjoy exploring that blend yourself in the coming months. Your spiritual and sexual longings could be quite synergistic. There’s one part of Spencer’s quirky nature I don’t recommend you imitate, however. He often wore pajamas beneath his clothes, even to formal occasions. Doing that wouldn’t serve your interests. (But it will be healthy for you to be *somewhat* indifferent to people’s opinions.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1440s. In subsequent decades, millions of mass-produced books became available for the first time, making their contents available to a far wider audience than ever before. The printing press caused other changes, too—some not as positive. For instance, people who worked as scribes found it harder to get work. In our era, big culture-wide shifts are impacting our personal lives. Climate change, the internet, smart phones, automation, and human-like robots are just a few examples. What are doing to adjust to the many innovations? And what will you do in the future? Now is an excellent time to meditate on these issues.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You’re skilled at the art of self-editing. When bright new ideas well up in you, you understand they are not yet ready for prime time, but will need to be honed and finessed. When your creativity overflows, tantalizing you with fresh perspectives and novel approaches, you know that you’ll have to harness the raw surge. However, it’s also true that sometimes you go too far in your efforts to refine your imagination’s breakthroughs; you over-think and over-polish. But I have a good feeling about the coming weeks, Virgo. I suspect you’ll find the sweet spot, self-editing with just the right touch.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Thomas Love Peacock was a Libran author whose specialty was writing satirical novels that featured people sitting around tables arguing about opinions and ideas. He was not renowned for cheerful optimism. And yet he did appreciate sheer beauty. “There is nothing perfect in this world,” he said, “except Mozart.” So much did Peacock love Mozart’s music that during one several-month stretch he attended six performances of the genius’s opera *Don Giovanni*. In this spirit, Libra, and in accordance with astrological indicators, I encourage you to make a list of your own perfect things—and spend extra time communing with them in the coming weeks.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Jean-Michel Basquiat started his career as a graffiti artist. When he evolved into being a full-time painter, he incorporated words amidst his images. On many occasions, he’d draw lines through the words. Why? “I cross out words so you will see them more,” he said. “The fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.” In the coming weeks, you might benefit from discreetly using this strategy in your own life. In other words, draw attention to the things you want to emphasize by downplaying them or being mysterious about them or suggesting they are secret. Reverse psychology can be an asset for you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Because of the onslaught of the internet and social media, lots of people no longer read books. But in 2020, I highly recommend that you *not* be one of that crowd. In my astrological opinion, you need more of the slow, deep wisdom that comes from reading books. You will also benefit from other acts of rebellion against the Short Attention Span Era. Crucial blessings will flow in your direction as you honor the gradual, incremental approach to everything.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“I love to be surprised by something I have never thought of,” declares Capricorn actor Ralph Fiennes. According to my analysis of the astrological aspects, you’ll be wise to make that one of your top mottoes in 2020. Why? First, life is likely to bring to your attention a steady stream of things you’ve never imagined. And second, your ability to make good use of surprises will be at an all-time high. Here’s further advice to help ensure that the vast majority of your surprises will be welcome, even fun: Set aside as many of your dogmas and expectations as possible, so that you can be abundantly receptive to things you’ve never thought of.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them.” So said one of the most famous and influential scientists who ever lived, Aquarian-born naturalist Charles Darwin. In accordance with upcoming astrological factors, I invite you to draw inspiration from his approach. Allow yourself to explore playfully as you conduct fun research. Just assume that you have a mandate to drum up educational experiences, and that a good way to do that is to amuse yourself with improvisational adventures.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
“How do you get your main pleasure in life?” That question was posed to Scorpio author Evelyn Waugh and Piscean social reformer William Beveridge. Waugh said, “I get mine spreading alarm and despondency.” Beveridge said, “I get mine trying to leave the world a better place than I found it.” I hope you will favor Beveridge’s approach over Waugh’s in 2020, Pisces—for two reasons. First, the world already has plenty of alarm and despondency; it doesn’t need even a tiny bit more. Second, aspiring to be like Beveridge will be the best possible strategy for fostering your mental and physical health.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Week of January 8

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
When comedian John Cleese was 61, his mother died. She was 101. Cleese testifies, “Just towards the end, as she began to run out of energy, she did actually stop trying to tell me what to do most of the time.” I bet you’ll experience a similar phenomenon in 2020—only bigger and better. Fewer people will try to tell you what to do than at any previous time of your life. As a result, you’ll be freer to be yourself exactly as you want to be. You’ll have unprecedented power to express your uniqueness.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Renowned Taurus philosopher Bertrand Russell was sent to jail in 1918 because of his pacifism and anti-war activism. He liked being there. “I found prison in many ways quite agreeable,” he said. “I had no engagements, no difficult decisions to make, no fear of callers, no interruptions to my work. I read enormously; I wrote a book.” The book he produced, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, is today regarded as a classic. In 2020, I would love to see you Tauruses cave out an equally luxurious sabbatical without having to go through the inconvenience of being incarcerated. I’m confident you can do this.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
It’s common to feel attracted to people because of the way they look and dress and carry themselves. But here’s the problem: If you pursue an actual connection with someone whose appearance you like, there’s no guarantee it will turn out to be interesting and meaningful. That’s because the most important factor in becoming close to someone is not their cute face or body or style, but rather their ability to converse with you in ways you find interesting. And that’s a relatively rare phenomenon. As philosopher Mortimer Adler observed, “Love without conversation is impossible.” I bring these thoughts to your attention, Gemini, because I believe that in 2020 you could have some of the best conversations you’ve ever had—and as a result experience the richest intimacy.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Mystic poet Rumi told us the kind of person he was attracted to. “I want a trouble-maker for a lover,” he wrote. “Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame, who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate, who burns like fire on the rushing sea.” In response to that testimony, I say, “Boo! Ugh! Yuck!” I say “To hell with being in an intimate relationship with a trouble-maker who fights with fate and quarrels with the sky.” I can’t imagine any bond that would be more unpleasant and serve me worse. What about you, Cancerian? Do you find Rumi’s definition glamorous and romantic? I hope not. If you do, I advise you to consider changing your mind. 2020 will be an excellent time to be precise in articulating the kinds of alliances that are healthy for you. They shouldn’t resemble Rumi’s description. (Rumi translation by Zara Houshmand.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
The 18th-century comic novel Tristram Shandy is still being translated, adapted, and published today. Its popularity persists. Likewise, the 18th-century novel Moll Flanders, which features a rowdy, eccentric heroine who was unusual for her era, has had modern incarnations in TV, film, and radio. Then there’s the 19th-century satirical novel Vanity Fair. It’s considered a classic even now, and appears on lists of best-loved books. The authors of these three books had one thing in common: They had to pay to have their books published. No authority in the book business had any faith in them. You may have similar challenges in 2020, Leo—and rise to the occasion with equally good results. Believe in yourself!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
I’ll present two possible scenarios that could unfold for you in 2020. Which scenario actually occurs will depend on how willing you are to transform yourself. Scenario #1. Love is awake, and you’re asleep. Love is ready for you but you’re not ready for love. Love is hard to recognize because you think it still looks like it did in the past. Love changed its name, and you didn’t notice. Scenario #2. Love is awake and you’re waking up. Love is ready for you and you’re making yourself ready for love. Love is older and wiser now, and you recognize its new guise. Love changed its name, and you found out. (Thanks to Sarah and Phil Kaye for the inspiration for this horoscope.)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Renowned Greek sculptor Praxiteles created some famous and beloved statues in the fourth century B.C. One of his pieces, showing the gods Hermes and Dionysus, was displayed inside the Temple of Hera in Olympia. But a few centuries later an earthquake demolished the Temple and buried the statue. There it remained until 1877, when archaeologists dug it out of the rubble. I foresee a metaphorically equivalent recovery in your life, Libra—especially if you’re willing to excavate an old mess or investigate a debris field or explore a faded ruin.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Over a period of 74 years, the Scorpio philosopher and author Voltaire (1694–1778) wrote so many letters to so many people that they were eventually published in a series of 98 books, plus nine additional volumes of appendixes and indexes. I would love to see you communicate that abundantly and meticulously in 2020, Scorpio. The cosmic rhythms will tend to bring you good fortune if you do.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. He was also the richest. At the end of his life, experts estimate his worth was as much as $250 million, equivalent to $1.3 billion today. But in his earlier adulthood, while Picasso was turning himself into a genius and creating his early masterpieces, he lived and worked in a small, seedy, unheated room with no running water and a toilet he shared with twenty people. If there will be ever in your life be a semblance of Picasso’s financial transformation, Sagittarius, I’m guessing it would begin this year.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Let’s get 2020 started with a proper send-off. According to my reading of the astrological omens, the coming months will bring you opportunities to achieve a host of liberations. Among the things from which you could be at least partially emancipated: stale old suffering; shrunken expectations; people who don’t appreciate you for who you really are; and beliefs and theories that don’t serve you any more. (There may be others!) Here’s an inspirational maxim, courtesy of poet Mary Oliver: “Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
In a poem titled “The Mess-iah,” spiritual teacher Jeff Foster counsels us, “Fall in love with the mess of your life . . . the wild, uncontrollable, unplanned, unexpected moments of existence. Dignify the mess with your loving attention, your gratitude. Because if you love the mess enough, you will become a Mess-iah.” I bring this to your attention, Aquarius, because I suspect you’ll have a better chance to ascend to the role of Mess-iah in the coming weeks and months than you have had in many years.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Comedian John Cleese believes that “sometimes we hang onto people or relationships long after they’ve ceased to be of any use to either of you.” That’s why he has chosen to live in such a way that his web of alliances is constantly evolving. “I’m always meeting new people,” he says, “and my list of friends seems to change quite a bit.” According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Pisces, 2020 will be a propitious year for you to experiment with Cleese’s approach. You’ll have the chance to meet a greater number of interesting new people in the coming months than you have in a long time. (And don’t be afraid to phase out connections that have become a drain.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Week of January 1

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
“We are all hostages of the joy of which we deprive ourselves,’ wrote poet Odysseus Elytis. Isn’t that an astounding idea? That we refuse to allow ourselves to experience some of the bliss and pleasure we could easily have; and that we are immured inside that suppressed bliss and pleasure? I call on you, Aries, to rebel against this human tendency. As I see it, one of your main tasks in 2020 is to permit yourself to welcome more bliss, to aggressively seize more pleasure, and thereby free yourself from the rot of its nullification.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
At age 22, Taurus-born Dutch citizen Willem de Kooning sneaked into the United States. He was a stowaway on an Argentina-bound freighter, and stealthily disembarked when the ship made a stop in Virginia. As he lived in America during subsequent decades, he became a renowned painter who helped pioneer the movement known as abstract expressionism. His status as an illegal immigrant rarely presented any obstacles to his growing success and stature. Not until age 57 did he finally became an American citizen. I propose we make him one of your role models in 2020. May he inspire you to capitalize on being a maverick, outsider, or stranger. May he encourage you to find opportunities beyond your safety zone.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
When British novelist E. M. Forster was in his late 30s, he had sex with another person for the first time. Before that he had published five novels. After that, he produced just one more novel, though he lived till age 91. Why? Was he having too much fun? Looking back from his old, age, he remarked that he would “have been a more famous writer if I had published more, but sex prevented the latter.” I suspect that sensual pleasure and intimacy will have the exact opposite effect on you in 2020, Gemini. In sometimes mysterious ways, they will make you more productive in your chosen sphere.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
“Every part of our personality that we do not love will regress and become hostile to us,” wrote poet Robert Bly. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t suffer from this problem at least a little. That’s the bad news. The good news for us Cancerians (yes, I’m a Crab!) is that 2020 will be a favorable time to engage in a holy crusade to fix this glitch: to feel and express more love for parts of our personality that we have dismissed or marginalized. The result? Any self-sabotage we have suffered from in the past could dramatically diminish.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
As a young adult, Leo-born Raymond Chandler worked as a fruit-picker, tennis racquet-stringer, and bookkeeper. At age 34, he began a clerical job at the Dabney Oil Syndicate, and eventually rose in the ranks to become a well-paid executive. The cushy role lasted until he was 44, when he was fired. He mourned for a while, then decided to become an author of detective fiction. It took a while, but at age 50, he published his first novel. During the next 20 years, he wrote six additional novels as well as numerous short stories and screenplays—and in the process became popular and influential. I present this synopsis as an inspirational story to fuel your destiny in 2020.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
The fame of Virgo-born Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533) has persisted through the ages because of Orlando Furioso, an epic poem he authored. It tells the story of the Christian knight Orlando and his adoration for a pagan princess. This great work did not come easily to Ariosto. It wasn’t until he had written 56 versions of it that he was finally satisfied. I suspect you may harbor an equally perfectionist streak about the good works and labors of love you’ll craft in 2020. May I suggest you confine your experiments to no more than ten versions?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Leonardo da Vinci worked on his painting The Last Supper from 1495 to 1498. It’s a big piece—about 15 by 29 feet. That’s one reason why he took so long to finish. But there was another explanation, too. He told his patron, the Duke of Milan, that he sometimes positioned himself in front of his painting-in-progress and simply gazed at and thought about it, not lifting a brush. Those were times he did some of his hardest work, he said. I trust you will have regular experiences like that in 2020, Libra. Some of your best efforts will arise out of your willingness and ability to incubate your good ideas with concentrated silence and patience.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
By 1895, Henry James had already published 94 books. He was renowned in the U.S. and England, and had written the works that would later lead to him being considered for a Nobel Prize. Then, at age 52, although he was not physically fit, he decided to learn how to ride a bicycle. He paid for lessons at a bicycle academy, and cheerfully tolerated bruises and cuts from his frequent falls as an acceptable price to pay for his new ability. I admire James’ determination to keep transforming. Let’s make him a role model for you in 2020. May he inspire you to keep adding new aptitudes as you outgrow your previous successes.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
When Sagittarian composer Ludwig van Beethoven created the Eroica symphony in the early 1800s, many observers panned it. They said its rhythms were eccentric, that it was too long. One critic said it was “glaring and bizarre,” while another condemned its “undesirable originality.” This same critic concluded, “Genius proclaims itself not in the unusual and fantastic but in the beautiful and sublime.” Today, of course, Eroica has a different reputation. It’s regarded as a breakthrough event in musical history. I’ll go on record here, Sagittarius, to say that I suspect you created your own personal version of Eroica in 2019. 2020 is the year it will get the full appreciation it deserves, although it may take a while. Be patient.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I’m going to speculate that sometime in the next six months, you will experience events that years from now you’ll look back on as having been the beginning of a fresh universe for you. What should you call this launch? I suggest you consider elegant terms like “Destiny Rebirth” or “Fate Renewal” rather than a cliché like the “Big Bang.” And how should you celebrate it? As if it were the Grand Opening of the rest of your long life.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
In 2020, I believe you will be able to summon the insight and kismet necessary to resolve at least one long-running problem, and probably more. You’ll have an enhanced ability to kick bad habits and escape dead-ends and uncover liberating truths about mysteries that have flustered you. Frustrations and irritations you’ve grudgingly tolerated for far too much time will finally begin to wane. Congratulations in advance, Aquarius! The hard work you do to score these triumphs won’t always be delightful, but it could provide you with a curiously robust and muscular kind of fun.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Let’s say you wanted to dress completely in silk: shirt, pants, vest, scarf, socks, shoes, hat, underwear all made of silk. And let’s say your dream was to grow and process and weave the silk from scratch. You’d start with half an ounce of silkworm eggs. They’d hatch into 10,000 silkworms. Eventually those hard-working insects would generate five pounds of silk—enough to create your entire outfit. So in other words, you’d be able to generate an array of functional beauty from a small but concentrated amount of raw material. By the way, that last sentence is a good description of what I think your general approach should be in 2020. And also by the way, dressing in silk wouldn’t be too crazy an idea in the coming months. I hope you’ll have fun cultivating your allure, style, and flair.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Week of December 25

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Denmark during World War II. In 1943, Hitler ordered all Danish Jews to be arrested—a first step in his plan to send them to concentration camps. But the Danish resistance movement leapt into action and smuggled virtually all of them to safety via fishing boats bound for Sweden. As a result, 8,000+ Danish Jews survived the Holocaust. You may not have the opportunity to do anything quite as heroic in 2020, Aries. But I expect you will have chances to express a high order of practical idealism that could be among your noblest and most valiant efforts ever. Draw inspiration from the Danish resistance.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
When she was 31, Taurus writer Charlotte Brontë finished writing her novel Jane Eyre. She guessed it would have a better chance of getting published if its author was thought to be a man. So she adopted the masculine pen name of Currer Bell and sent the manuscript unsolicited to a London publisher. Less than eight weeks later, her new book was in print. It quickly became a commercial success. I propose that we make Brontë one of your role models for 2020, Taurus. May she inspire you to be audacious in expressing yourself and confident in seeking the help you need to reach your goals. May she embolden you, too, to use ingenious stratagems to support your righteous cause.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
2020 can and should be a lyrically healing year for you. Here’s what I mean: Beauty and grace will be curative. The “medicine” you need will come to you via poetic and mellifluous experiences. With this in mind, I encourage you to seek out encounters with the following remedies. 1. Truth Whimsies 2. Curiosity Breakthroughs 3. Delight Gambles 4. Sacred Amusements 4. Redemptive Synchronicities 5. Surprise Ripenings 6. Gleeful Discoveries 7. Epiphany Adventures 8. Enchantment Games 9. Elegance Eruptions 10. Intimacy Angels 11. Playful Salvation 12. Luminosity Spells

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer,” wrote author Zora Neale Hurston. According to my astrological analysis, Cancerian, 2020 is likely to be one of those years that asks questions, while 2021 will be a time when you’ll get rich and meaningful answers to the queries you’ll pose in 2020. To ensure that this plan works out for your maximum benefit, it’s essential that you formulate provocative questions in the coming months. At first, it’s fine if you generate too many. As the year progresses, you can whittle them down to the most ultimate and important questions. Get started!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
The Roman Emperor Vespasian (9–79 AD) supervised the restoration of the Temple of Peace, the Temple of Claudius, and the Theater of Marcellus. He also built a huge statue of Apollo and the amphitheater now known as the Colosseum, whose magnificent ruins are still a major tourist attraction. Vespasian also created a less majestic but quite practical wonder: Rome’s first public urinals. In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you Leos to be stimulated by his example in 2020. Be your usual magnificent self as you generate both inspiring beauty and earthy, pragmatic improvements.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
When Virgo author Mary Shelley was 18 years old, she had a disconcerting dream-like vision about a mad chemist who created a weird human-like creature out of non-living matter. She set about to write a book based on her mirage. At age 20, she published Frankenstein, a novel that would ultimately wield a huge cultural influence and become a seminal work in the “science fiction” genre. I propose we make Shelley one of your role models for 2020. Why? Because I suspect that you, too, will have the power to transform a challenging event or influence into an important asset. You’ll be able to generate or attract a new source of energy by responding creatively to experiences that initially provoke anxiety.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Libra-born mystic poet Rumi (1207–1273) wrote that he searched for holy sustenance and divine inspiration in temples, churches, and mosques—but couldn’t find them there. The good news? Because of his disappointment, he was motivated to go on an inner quest—and ultimately found holy sustenance and divine inspiration in his own heart. I’ve got a strong feeling that you’ll have similar experiences in 2020, Libra. Not on every occasion, but much of the time, you will discover the treasure you need and long for not in the outside world but rather in your own depths.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Among his many accomplishments, Scorpio rapper Drake is an inventive rhymer. In his song “Diplomatic Immunity,” he rhymes “sacred temple” with “stencil.” Brilliant! Other rhymes: “statistics” with “ballistics”; “Treaty of Versailles” with “no cease and desist in I”; and—my favorite—”Al Jazeera” (the Qatar-based news source) with “Shakira” (the Colombian singer). According to my analysis of the astrological omens in 2020, many of you Scorpios will have Drake-style skill at mixing and blending seemingly disparate elements. I bet you’ll also be good at connecting influences that belong together but have never been able to combine before.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Sagittarian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) embodied a trait that many astrology textbooks suggest is common to the Sagittarian tribe: wanderlust. He was born in Prague but traveled widely throughout Europe and Russia. If there were a Guinness World Records’ category for “Time Spent as a Houseguest,” Rilke might hold it. There was a four-year period when he lived at fifty different addresses. I’m going to be bold here and hypothesize that 2020 will NOT be one of those years when you would benefit from being like Rilke. In fact, I hope you’ll seek out more stability and security than usual.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Fifteenth-century Italian metalworker Lorenzo Ghiberti worked for 28 years to turn the Doors of the Florence Baptistry into a massive work of art. He used bronze to create numerous scenes from the Bible. His fellow artist Michelangelo was so impressed that he said Ghiberti’s doors could have served as “The Gates of Paradise.” I offer Ghiberti as inspiration for your life in 2020, Capricorn. I think you’ll be capable of beginning a masterwork that could take quite some time to complete and serve as your very own “gate to paradise”: in other words, an engaging project and delightful accomplishment that will make you feel your life is eminently meaningful and worthwhile.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You’re wise to cultivate a degree of skepticism and even contrariness. Like all of us, your abilities to say NO to detrimental influences and to criticize bad things are key to your mental health. On the other hand, it’s a smart idea to keep checking yourself for irrelevant, gratuitous skepticism and contrariness. You have a sacred duty to maintain just the amount you need, but no more—even as you foster a vigorous reservoir of receptivity, optimism, and generosity. And guess what? 2020 will be an excellent time to make this one of your cornerstone habits.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) finished writing The Divine Comedy in 1320. Today it’s considered one of the supreme literary accomplishments in the Italian language and a classic of world literature. But no one ever read the entire work in the English language until 1802, when it was translated for the first time. Let’s invoke this as a metaphor for your life in the coming months, Pisces. According to my visions, a resource or influence that has previously been inaccessible to you will finally arrive in a form you can understand and use. Some wisdom that has been untranslatable or unreadable will at last be available.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Week of December 18

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
The English word “hubris” means prideful, exaggerated self-assurance. In the HBO TV series Rome, the ancient Roman politician and general Mark Antony says to his boss Julius Caesar, “I’m glad you’re so confident. Some would call it hubris.” Caesar has a snappy comeback: “It’s only hubris if I fail.” I’m tempted to dare you to use you that as one of your mottoes in 2020, Aries. I have a rather expansive vision of your capacity to accomplish great things during the coming months. And I also think that one key to your triumphs and breakthroughs will be your determination to cultivate a well-honed aplomb, even audacity.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
For years I’ve lived in a house bordering a wetland, and I’ve come to love that ecosystem more than any other. While communing with reeds and herons and muddy water, my favorite poet has been Taurus-born Lorine Niedecker, who wrote about marshes with supreme artistry. Until the age of 60, her poetic output was less than abundant because she had to earn a meager living by cleaning hospital floors. Then, due to a fortuitous shift in circumstances, she was able to leave that job and devote more time to what she loved most and did best. With Niedecker’s breakthrough as our inspiration, I propose that we do all we can, you and I, as we conspire to make 2020 the year you devote more time to the activity that you love most and do best.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In the English language, the prefix “re” comes at the beginning of many words with potent transformational meaning: reinvent; redeem; rediscover; release; relieve; redesign; resurrect; rearrange; reconstruct; reform; reanimate; reawaken; regain. I hope you’ll put words like those at the top of your priority list in 2020. If you hope to take maximum advantage of the cosmic currents, it’ll be a year of revival, realignment, and restoration.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I won’t be surprised if you’re enamored and amorous more than usual in 2020. I suspect you will experience delight and enchantment at an elevated rate. The intensity and depth of the feelings that flow through you may break all your previous records. Is that going to be a problem? I suppose it could be if you worry that the profuse flows of tenderness and affection will render you weak and vulnerable. But if you’re willing and eager to interpret your extra sensitivity as a superpower, that’s probably what it will be.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Does the word “spirit” mean anything to you? Or are you numb to it? Has it come to seem virtually meaningless—a foggy abstraction used carelessly by millions of people to express sentimental beliefs and avoid clear thinking? In accordance with astrological omens, I’ll ask you to create a sturdier and more vigorous definition of “spirit” for your practical use in 2020. For instance, you might decide that “spirit” refers to the life force that launches you out of bed each morning and motivates you to keep transforming yourself into the ever-more beautiful soul you want to become.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
“There are people who take the heart out of you, and there are people who put it back,” wrote author Charles de Lint. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, your heart will encounter far more of the latter than the former types of people in 2020. There may be one wrangler who tries to take the heart out of you, but there will be an array of nurturers who will strive to keep the heart in you—as well as boosters and builders who will add even more heart.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Composer Igor Stravinsky was born a Russian citizen, but later in life became a French citizen, and still later took on American citizenship. If you have had any similar predilections, Libra, I’m guessing they won’t be in play during 2020. My prediction is that you will develop a more robust sense of where you belong than ever before. Any uncertainties you’d had about where your true power spot lies will dissipate. Questions you’ve harbored about the nature of home will be answered. With flair and satisfaction, you’ll resolve long-running riddles about home and community.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
“Friendship is a very taxing and arduous form of leisure activity,” wrote philosopher and educator Mortimer Adler. He was exaggerating a bit for comic effect, but he was basically correct. We all must mobilize a great deal of intelligence and hard work to initiate new friendships and maintain existing friendships. But I have some very good news about how these activities will play out for you in 2020, Scorpio. I expect that your knack for practicing the art of friendship will be at an all-time high. I also believe that your close alliances will be especially gratifying and useful for you. You’ll be well-rewarded for your skill and care at cultivating rapport.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
In 1933, Sagittarian artist Diego Rivera was commissioned to paint a huge mural in one of the famous Rockefeller buildings in New York City. His patrons didn’t realize he was planning to include a controversial portrait of former Soviet Communist leader Vladimir Lenin. When the deed was done, they ordered him to remove it. When he refused, they ushered him out and destroyed the whole mural. As a result, Rivera also lost another commission to create art at the Chicago World’s Fair. In any other year, Sagittarius, I might encourage you to be as idealistic as Rivera. I’d invite you to place artistic integrity over financial considerations. But I’m less inclined to advise that in 2020. I think it may serve you to be unusually pragmatic. At least consider leaving Lenin out of your murals.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
“People mistake their limitations for high standards,” wrote Capricorn author Jean Toomer. In my astrological opinion, it’s crucial that you avoid doing that in 2020. Why? First, I’m quite sure that you will have considerable power to shed and transcend at least some of your limitations. For best results, you can’t afford to deceive yourself into thinking that those limitations are high standards. Secondly, Capricorn, you will have good reasons and a substantial ability to raise your standards higher than they’ve ever been. So you definitely don’t want to confuse high standards with limitations.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Historians once thought that 14th-century Englishmen were the first humans to track the rhythms of the planet Jupiter using the complicated mathematics known as calculus. But in 2015, researchers discovered that Babylonians had done it 1400 years before the Englishmen. Why was Jupiter’s behavior so important to those ancient people? They were astrologers! They believed the planet’s movements were correlated with practical events on earth, like the weather, river levels, and grain harvests. I think that this correction in the origin story of tracking Jupiter’s rhythms will be a useful metaphor for you in 2020. It’s likely you will come to understand your past in ways that are different from what you’ve believed up until now. Your old tales will change.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
China produces the most apples in the world. The United States is second. That wasn’t always true. When Europeans first reached the shores of the New World, crab apple was the only apple species that grew natively. But the invaders planted other varieties that they brought with them. They also imported the key to all future proliferation: honeybees, champion pollinators, which were previously absent from the land that many indigenous people called Turtle Island. I see 2020 as a time for you to accomplish the equivalent, in your own sphere, of getting the pollination you need. What are the fertilizing influences that will help you accomplish your goals?

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