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Authors Posts by Rob Brezsny

Rob Brezsny

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For the week of March 22

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Of course you want to get the best of everything. But that doesn’t mean that you should disdain cheap thrills that are more interesting and gratifying than the expensive kind. And of course you enjoy taking risks. But there’s a big difference between gambling that’s spurred by superstitious hunches and gambling rooted in smart research. And of course you’re galvanized by competition. But why fritter away your competitive fire on efforts to impress people? A better use of that fire is to use it to hone your talents and integrity.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you own an untamable animal like a bull, the best way to manage it is to provide a fenced but spacious meadow where it can roam freely. So said famous Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, using a metaphor to address how we might deal with the unruly beasts in our own psyches. This is excellent advice for you right now, Taurus. I’d hate to see you try to quash or punish your inner wild thing. You need its boisterous power! It will be a fine ally if you can both keep it happy and make it work for you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If I were to provide a strict interpretation of the astrological omens, I’d advise you to PARTY HARDY AND ROWDY AND STRONG AND OFTEN! I’d suggest that you attend a raging bash or convivial festivity once every day. And if that were logistically impossible, I’d advise you to stage your own daily celebrations, hopefully stocked with the most vivacious and stimulating people you can find. But I recognize that this counsel may be too extreme for you to honor. So I will simply invite you to PARTY HARDY AND ROWDY AND STRONG at least twice a week for the next four weeks. It’s the medicine you need.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You are on the verge of achieving a sly victory over the part of you that is unduly meek and passive. I believe that in the coming weeks you will rise up like a resourceful hero and at least half-conquer a chronic fear. A rumbling streak of warrior luck will flow through you, enabling you to kill off any temptation you might have to take the easy way out. Congratulations in advance! I have rarely seen our tribe have so much power to triumph over our unconscious attraction to the victim role.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Leo journal entry, Thursday: Am too settled and stale and entrenched. Feeling urges to get cheeky and tousled. Friday: So what if I slept a little longer and arrived late? Who cares if the dishes are piling up in the sink? I hereby refuse law and order. Saturday: I’m fantasizing about doing dirty deeds. I’m thinking about breaking the taboos. Sunday: Found the strangest freshness in a place I didn’t expect to. Sometimes chaos is kind of cute and friendly. Monday: The nagging voice of the taskmaster in my head is gone. Ding-dong. Let freedom ring!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): William Boyd writes novels, which requires him to do copious research about the real-world milieus he wants his fictional characters to inhabit. For example, to ensure the authenticity of his book Waiting for Sunrise, he found out what it was like to live in Vienna in 1913. He compares his process of searching for juicy facts to the feeding habits of a blue whale: Engorging huge amounts of seawater to strain out the plankton that are good to eat. Ninety percent of the information he wades through is irrelevant, but the rest is tasty and nourishing. I suspect that you’ll thrive on a similar approach in the coming weeks, Virgo. Be patient.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here’s a new word for you: Enantiodromia. It’s what happens when something turns into its opposite. It’s nature’s attempt to create equilibrium where there has been imbalance. Too much NO becomes YES, for example. A superabundance of yin mutates into yang, or an overemphasis on control generates chaos. Flip-flops like these tend to be messy if we resist them, but interesting if we cooperate. I figure that’s your choice right now. Which will it be? The latter, I hope. P.S. The reversals that you consciously co-create may not be perfect. But even if they are baffling, I bet they will also be amusing.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When I was 24, I lived in rural North Carolina and had a job washing dishes in a city four miles away. I was too poor to own a bicycle, let alone a car. To get to work I had to trudge down back roads where hostile dogs and drunk men in pickup trucks roamed freely. Luckily, I discovered the art of psychic protection. At first I simply envisioned a golden force field surrounding me. Later I added visualizations of guardian animals to accompany me: Two friendly lions and two sheltering wolves. Maybe it was just the placebo effect, but the experiment worked. My allies made me brave and kept me safe. You’re welcome to borrow them, Scorpio, or conjure up your own version of spirit protectors. You’re not in physical danger, but I suspect that you need an extra layer of protection against other people’s bad moods, ploys and unconscious agendas.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I’m not suggesting that you should listen to your heart with rapt attention every waking minute for the next four weeks. I don’t expect you to neglect the insights your mind has to offer. But I would love to see you boost your attunement to the intelligent organ at the center of your chest. You’re going to need its specific type of guidance more than ever in the coming months. And at this particular moment, it is beginning to overflow with wisdom that’s so rich and raw that it could unleash a series of spiritual orgasms.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The empty space at the end of this sentence has intentionally been left blank. The serene hiatus you just glided through comes to you courtesy of Healing Silence, an ancient form of do-it-yourself therapy. Healing Silence is based on the underappreciated truth that now and then it’s restorative to just SHUT UP and abstain from activity for a while. (As you know, the world is crammed with so much noise and frenzy that it can be hard to hear yourself think—or even feel.) With Healing Silence, you bask in a sanctuary of sweet nothingness for as long as you need to. Please try it sometime soon.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I hope you won’t feel the need to say any of these things: 1. “I’m sorry I gave you everything I had without making sure you wanted it.” 2. “Will you please just stop asking me to be so real.” 3. “I long for the part of you that you’ll never give me.” Now here are things that I hope you will say sometime soon: 1. “I thrived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” (This declaration is lifted from novelist Joshua Graham.) 2. “I’m having fun, even though it’s not the same kind of fun everyone else is having.” (Borrowed from author C.S. Lewis.) 3. “I’m not searching for who I am. I’m searching for the person I aspire to be.” (Stolen from author Robert Brault.)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Are you fantasizing more about what you don’t have and can’t do than what you do have and can do? If so, please raise the “do have” and “can do” up to at least 51 percent. (Eighty percent would be better.) Have you been harshly critiquing yourself more than you have been gently taking care of yourself? If so, get your self-care level up to at least 51 percent. (Eight-five percent is better.) Are you flirting with a backward type of courage that makes you nervous about what everyone thinks of you and expects from you? If so, I invite you to cultivate a different kind of courage at least 51 percent of the time: Courage to do what’s right for you no matter what anyone thinks or expects. (Ninety percent is better.)

Homework: What’s the part of you that you trust the least? Could you come to trust it more? Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

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For the week of March 15

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The more unselfish and compassionate you are in the coming weeks, the more likely it is you will get exactly what you need. Here are four ways that can be true: 1. If you’re kind to people, they will want to be kind to you in return. 2. Taking good care of others will bolster their ability to take good care of you. 3. If you’re less obsessed with I-me-mine, you will magically dissolve psychic blocks that have prevented certain folks from giving you all they are inclined to give you. 4. Attending to others’ healing will teach you valuable lessons in how to heal yourself—and how to get the healing you yearn for from others.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I hope you will consider buying yourself some early birthday presents. The celebration is weeks away, but you need some prodding, instigative energy now. It’s crucial that you bring a dose of the starting-fresh spirit into the ripening projects you’re working on. Your mood might get overly cautious and serious unless you infuse it with the spunk of an excited beginner. Of course only you know what gifts would provide you with the best impetus, but here are suggestions to stimulate your imagination: A young cactus; a jack-in-the-box; a rock with the word “sprout” written on it; a decorated marble egg; a fox mask; a Photoshopped image of you flying through the air like a superhero.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Many Geminis verbalize profusely and acrobatically. They enjoy turning their thoughts into speech, and love to keep social situations lively with the power of their agile tongues. Aquarians and Sagittarians may rival your tribe for the title of The Zodiac’s Best Bullshitters, but I think you’re in the top spot. Having heaped that praise on you, however, I must note that your words don’t always have as much influence as they have entertainment value. You sometimes impress people more than you impact them. But here’s the good news: In the coming weeks, that could change. I suspect your fluency will carry a lot of clout. Your communication skills could sway the course of local history.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your world is more spacious than it has been in a long time. Congrats! I love the way you have been pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into the wilder frontier. For your next trick, here’s my suggestion: Anticipate the parts of you that may be inclined to close down again when you don’t feel as brave and free as you do now. Then gently clamp open those very parts. If you calm your fears before they break out, maybe they won’t break out at all.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I like rowdy, extravagant longing as much as anyone. I enjoy being possessed by a heedless greed for too much of everything that feels rapturous: Delectable food, mysterious sex, engrossing information, liberating intoxication and surprising conversations that keep me guessing and improvising for hours. But I am also a devotee of simple, sweet longing … pure, watchful, patient longing … open-hearted longing that brims with innocence and curiosity and is driven as much by the urge to bless as to be blessed. That’s the kind I recommend you explore and experiment with in the coming days.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You know that forbidden fruit you’ve had your eyes on? Maybe it isn’t so forbidden anymore. It could even be evolving toward a state where it will be both freely available and downright healthy for you to pluck. But there’s also a possibility that it’s simply a little less risky than it was before. And it may never become a fully viable option. So here’s my advice: Don’t grab and bite into that forbidden fruit yet. Keep monitoring the situation. Be especially attentive to the following questions: Do you crave the forbidden fruit because it would help you flee a dilemma you haven’t mustered the courage to escape from? Or because it would truly be good for you to partake of the forbidden fruit?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I expect you will get more than your usual share of both sweetness and tartness in the coming days. Sometimes one or the other will be the predominant mode, but on occasion they will converge to deliver a complex brew of WOW!-meets-WTF! Imagine chunks of sour apples in your vanilla fudge ripple ice cream. Given this state of affairs, there’s no good reason for you to be blandly kind or boringly polite. Use a saucy attitude to convey your thoughtfulness. Be as provocative as you are tender. Don’t just be nice—be impishly and subversively nice.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “I want to gather your darkness in my hands, to cup it like water and drink.” So says Jane Hirshfield in her poem “To Drink.” I bet she was addressing a Scorpio. Does any other sign of the zodiac possess a sweet darkness that’s as delicious and gratifying as yours? Yes, it’s true that you also harbor an unappetizing pocket of darkness, just like everyone else. But that sweet kind—the ambrosial, enigmatic, exhilarating stuff—is not only safe to imbibe, but can also be downright healing. In the coming days, I hope you’ll share it generously with worthy recipients.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Saturn has been in your sign steadily since September 2015, and will continue to be there until December 2017. Some traditional astrologers might say that you are in a phase of downsizing and self-restraint. They’d encourage you to be extra strict and serious and dutiful. To them, the ringed planet is an exacting taskmaster. There are some grains of truth in this perspective, but I like to emphasize a different tack. I say that if you cooperate with the rigors of Saturn, you’ll be inspired to become more focused and decisive and disciplined as you shed any flighty or reckless tendencies you might have. Yes, Saturn can be adversarial if you ignore its commands to be faithful to your best dreams. But if you respond gamely, it will be your staunch ally.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Born in the African nation of Burkina Faso, Malidoma Somé is a teacher who writes books and offers workshops to Westerners interested in the spiritual traditions of his tribe. In his native Dagaare language, his first name means “he who befriends the stranger/enemy.” I propose that we make you an honorary “Malidoma” for the next three weeks. It will be a favorable time to forge connections, broker truces and initiate collaborations with influences that you have previously considered foreign or alien.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): EVERY relationship has problems. No exceptions. In the beginning, all may be calm and bright, but eventually cracks will appear. Here’s the corollary to that rule: EVERY partner is imperfect. Regardless of how cool, kind, attractive or smart they may seem in the early stages, they will eventually unveil their unique flaws and troubles. Does this mean that all togetherness is doomed? That it’s forever impossible to create satisfying unions? The answer is HELL, NO!—especially if you keep the following principles in mind: Choose a partner whose problems are: 1. Interesting; 2. Tolerable; 3. Useful in prodding you to grow; 4. All of the above.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Would you like some free healing that’s in alignment with cosmic rhythms? Try this experiment: Imagine that you’re planning to write your autobiography. Create an outline that has six chapters. Each of the first three chapters will be about a past experience that helped make you who you are. In each of the last three chapters, you will describe a desirable event that you want to create in the future. I also encourage you to come up with a boisterous title for your tale. Don’t settle for My Life So Far or The Story of My Journey. Make it idiosyncratic and colorful, perhaps even outlandish, like Piscean author Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

What are the main dreams that you want to accomplish by 2025? Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

For the week of March 8

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As soon as you can, sneak away to a private place where you can be alone—preferably to a comfy sanctuary where you can indulge in eccentric behavior without being seen, heard or judged. When you get there, launch into an extended session of moaning and complaining. I mean do it out loud. Wail and whine and whisper about everything that’s making you sad, puzzled and crazy. For best results, leap into the air and wave your arms. Whirl around in erratic figure-eights while drooling and messing up your hair. Breathe extra deeply. And all the while, let your pungent emotions and poignant fantasies flow freely through your wild heart. Keep on going until you find the relief that lies on the other side.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “I’ve always belonged to what isn’t where I am and to what I could never be,” wrote Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). That was his prerogative, of course. Or maybe it was a fervent desire of his, and it came true. I bring his perspective to your attention, Taurus, because I believe that your mandate is just the opposite, at least for the next few weeks: You must belong to what is where you are. You must belong to what you will always be.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Nothing is ever as simple as it may seem. The bad times always harbor opportunities. The good times inevitably have a caveat. According to my astrological analysis, you’ll prove the latter truth in the coming weeks. On one hand, you will be closer than you’ve been in many moons to your ultimate sources of meaning and motivation. On the other hand, you sure as hell better take advantage of this good fortune. You can’t afford to be shy about claiming the rewards and accepting the responsibilities that come with the opportunities.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Seek intimacy with experiences that are dewy and slippery and succulent. Make sure that you get more than your fair share of swirling feelings and flowing sensations, cascading streams and misty rain, arousing drinks and sumptuous sauces, warm baths and purifying saunas, skin moisturizers and lustrous massages, the milk of human kindness and the buttery release of deep sex—and maybe even a sensational do-it-yourself baptism that frees you from at least some of your regrets. Don’t stay thirsty, my undulating friend. Quench your need to be very, very wet. Gush and spill. Be gushed and spilled on.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Would you like to live to the age of 99? If so, experiences and realizations that arrive in the coming weeks could be important in that project. A window to longevity will open, giving you a chance to gather clues about actions you can take and meditations you can do to remain vital for 10 decades. I hope you’re not too much of a serious, know-it-all adult to benefit from this opportunity. If you’d like to be deeply receptive to the secrets of a long life, you must be able to see with innocent, curious eyes. Playfulness is not just a winsome quality in this quest; it’s an essential asset.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You’re ripe. You’re delectable. Your intelligence is especially sexy. I think it’s time to unveil the premium version of your urge to merge. To prepare, let’s review a few flirtation strategies. The eyebrow flash is a good place to start. A subtle, flicking lick of your lips is a fine follow-up. Try tilting your neck to the side ever-so-coyly. If there are signs of reciprocation from the other party, smooth your hair or pat your clothes. Fondle nearby objects like a wine glass or your keys. And this is very important: Listen raptly to the person you’re wooing. P.S. If you already have a steady partner, use these techniques as part of a crafty plan to draw him or her into deeper levels of affection.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Let’s talk about a compassionate version of robbery. The thieves who practice this art don’t steal valuable things you love. Rather, they pilfer stuff you don’t actually need but are reluctant to let go of. For example, the spirit of a beloved ancestor may sweep into your nightmare and carry off a delicious poison that has been damaging you in ways you’ve become comfortable with. A bandit angel might sneak into your imagination and burglarize the debilitating beliefs and psychological crutches you cling to as if they were bars of gold. Are you interested in benefiting from this service? Ask and you shall receive.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Evolved Scorpios don’t fantasize about bad things happening to their competitors and adversaries. They don’t seethe with smoldering desires to torment anyone who fails to give them what they want. They may, however, experience urges to achieve TOTAL CUNNNG DAZZLING MERCILESS VICTORY over those who won’t acknowledge them as golden gods or golden goddesses. But even then, they don’t indulge in the deeply counterproductive emotion of hatred. Instead, they sublimate their ferocity into a drive to keep honing their talents. After all, that game plan is the best way to accomplish something even better than mere revenge: Success in fulfilling their dreams. Please keep these thoughts close to your heart in the coming weeks.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “The noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world,” wrote Martin Luther (1483-1546), a revolutionary who helped break the stranglehold of the Catholic Church on the European imagination. I bring this up, Sagittarius, because you’re entering a phase when you need the kind of uprising that’s best incited by music. So I invite you to gather the tunes that have inspired you over the years, and also go hunting for a fresh batch. Then listen intently, curiously and creatively as you feed your intention to initiate constructive mutation. It’s time to overthrow anything about your status quo that is jaded, lazy, sterile or apathetic.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Either you learn to live with paradox and ambiguity or you’ll be 6 years old for the rest of your life,” says author Anne Lamott. How are you doing with that lesson, Capricorn? Still learning? If you would like to get even more advanced teachings about paradox and ambiguity—as well as conundrums, incongruity and anomalies—there will be plenty of chances in the coming weeks. Be glad! Remember the words of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr: “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Lichen is a hardy form of life that by some estimates covers six percent of the earth’s surface. It thrives in arctic tundra and rainforests, on tree bark and rock surfaces, on walls and toxic slag heaps, from sea level to alpine environments. The secret of its success is symbiosis. Fungi and algae band together (or sometimes fungi and bacteria) to create a blended entity; two very dissimilar organisms forge an intricate relationship that comprises a third organism. I propose that you regard lichen as your spirit ally in the coming weeks, Aquarius. You’re primed for some sterling symbioses.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If you normally wear adornments and accessories and fine disguises, I invite you not to do so for the next two weeks. Instead, try out an unembellished, what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach to your appearance. If, on the other hand, you don’t normally wear adornments and accessories and fine disguises, I encourage you to embrace such possibilities in a spirit of fun and enthusiasm. Now you may inquire: How can these contradictory suggestions both apply to the Pisces tribe? The answer: There’s a more sweeping mandate behind it all, namely: To tinker and experiment with the ways you present yourself … to play around with strategies for translating your inner depths into outer expression.

Homework: For an hour, act as if you’re living the life you’ve always wanted to. Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

For the week of March 1

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I predict that you will have earned the title of Master Composter no later than March 26. Not necessarily because you will have packed your food scraps, wilted flowers, coffee grounds and shredded newspapers in, say, a deluxe dual-chamber tumbling compost bin. But rather because you will have dealt efficiently with the rotting emotions, tattered habits, decrepit melodramas and trivial nonsense that has accumulated; you will have worked hard to transform all of that crap into metaphorical fertilizer for your future growth. Time to get started!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It’s a good time for you to wield your emotional intelligence with leadership and flair. The people you care about need more of your sensitive influence. Any posse or tribe that you’re part of will benefit from your thoughtful intervention. So get out there and build up the group morale, Taurus. Assert your healing ideals with panache. Tamp down the insidious power of peer pressure and fashionable nonsense. You have a mandate to wake up sleepy allies and activate the dormant potential of collective efforts.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you were ever in your life going to be awarded an honorary Ph.D. from a top university, it would happen in the next few weeks. If there were even a remote possibility that you would someday be given one of those MacArthur Fellowship “genius” grants, now would be the time. Likewise, if you had any hopes of being selected as one of “The World’s Sexiest Chameleons,” or “The Fastest, Sweetest Talkers on Earth” or “The Planet’s Most Virtuoso Vacillators,” the moment has arrived. And even if none of those things happen, I’m still pretty sure that your reputation and status will be on the rise.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You’re wandering into places that you’ve always thought you should be wary of or skeptical about. Good for you! As long as you protect your innocence, I encourage you to keep exploring. To my delight, you have also been fantasizing about accomplishments that used to be off-limits. As long as you don’t overreach, I invite you to dream boldly. And since you seem to be in the mood for big thinking, here are other revolutionary activities to consider: Dissolving nonessential wishes; transcending shrunken expectations; escaping the boring past; busting irrelevant taboos.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I did a good job of raising my daughter. She turned out to be a thoughtful, intelligent adult with high integrity and interesting skills. But I’m not sure that my parenting would have been as effective if I’d had more kids. I discussed this issue with Nathan, a guy I know. His six offspring are all grown up, too. “How did you do it?” I asked him. “Having just one child was a challenging job for me.” “I’ll tell you my secret,” Nathan told me. “I’m a bad father. I didn’t work very hard on raising my kids. And now they never let me forget it.” In the near future, Leo, I recommend that you pursue my approach in your chosen field, not Nathan’s. Aim for high-quality intensity rather than scattershot quantity.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In her poem “Not Anyone Who Says,” Virgo writer Mary Oliver looks down on people who declare, “I’m going to be careful and smart in matters of love.” She disparages the passion of anyone who asserts, “I’m going to choose slowly.” Instead she champions those who are “chosen by something invisible and powerful and uncontrollable and beautiful and possibly even unsuitable.” Here’s my response: Her preferred formula sounds glamorous and dramatic and romantic—especially the powerful and beautiful part. But in practice it rarely works out well—maybe just 10 percent of the time—mostly because of the uncontrollable and unsuitable part. And now is not one of those times for you, Virgo. Be careful and smart in matters of love, and choose slowly.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The poet Rainer Maria Rilke bemoaned the fact that so many of us “squander our sorrows.” Out of self-pity or lazy self-indulgence, we wallow in memories of experiences that didn’t turn out the way we wished they would have. We paralyze ourselves with repetitions of depleting thoughts. Here’s an alternative to that approach: We could use our sadness and frustrations to transform ourselves. We could treat them as fuel to motivate our escape from what doesn’t work. I mention this, Libra, because now is an excellent time to do exactly that.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It’s time for the Bliss Blitz—a new holiday just for you Scorpios. To celebrate it properly, get as buoyant as you dare; be greedy for euphoria; launch a sacred quest for pleasure. Ah, but here’s the big question: Can you handle this much relief and release? Are you strong enough to open yourself to massive outbreaks of educational delight and natural highs? Some of you may not be prepared. You may prefer to remain ensconced in your protective sheath of cool cynicism. But if you think you can bear the shock of unprecedented exaltation and jubilation, then go ahead and risk it.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In his book The Horologicon, Mark Forsyth gathered “obscure but necessary” words that he dug out of old dictionaries. One of his discoveries is a perfect fit for you right now. It’s “snudge,” a verb that means to walk around with a pensive look on your face, appearing to be busy or in the midst of productive activity, when in fact you’re just goofing off. I recommend it for two reasons: 1. It’s important for your mental and physical health that you do a lot of nothing; that you bless yourself with a healing supply of refreshing emptiness. 2. It’s important for your mental and physical health that you do this on the sly as much as possible; that you avoid being judged or criticized for it by others.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I wish your breakfast cereal came in boxes decorated with Matisse and Picasso paintings. I wish songbirds would greet you each morning with sweet tunes. I wish you’d see that you have more power than you realize. I wish you knew how uniquely beautiful you are. I wish you’d get intoxicated with the small miracles that are happening all around you. I wish that when you made a bold move to improve your life, everyone greeted it with curiosity and excitement. And I wish you would let your imagination go half-wild with fascinating fantasies during this, the Capricorn wishing season.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “You’re a different human being to everybody you meet,” says novelist Chuck Palahniuk. Now is an excellent time to contemplate the intricacies and implications of that amazing truth—and start taking better advantage of how much freedom it gives you. Say the following statements out loud and see how they feel: 1. “My identity isn’t as narrowly circumscribed as I think it is.” 2. “I know at least 200 people, so there must be at least 200 facets to my character.” 3. “I am too complicated to be completely comprehended by any one person.” 4. “Consistency is overrated.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your immediate future is too good to be true. Or at least that’s what you, with your famous self-doubt, might be inclined to believe if I told you the truth about the favorable developments that are in the works. Therefore, I have come up with some fake anxieties to keep your worry reflex engaged so it won’t sabotage the real goodies. Beware of dirty limericks and invisible ladders and upside-down rainbows and psychic bunny rabbits. Be on guard against accountants wearing boxing gloves and clowns singing Broadway show tunes in runaway shopping carts and celebrities telling you classified secrets in your dreams.

Homework: What’s the best surprise that you could give yourself right now? Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

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For the week of February 22

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): My astrological radar suggests that there’s a space-time anomaly looming just ahead of you. Is it a fun and exotic limbo where the rules are flexible and everything’s an experiment? That might be cool. Or is it more like an alien labyrinth where nothing is as it seems, you can hear howling in the distance and you barely recognize yourself? That might be weird. What do you think? Is it worth the gamble? If so, full speed ahead. If not, I suggest a course correction.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Someone on Reddit.com asked readers to respond to the question, “What is the most liberating thought you’ve ever had?” Among the replies were the following six: 1. “If new evidence presents itself, it’s OK to change my beliefs.” 2. “I get to choose who’s in my life and who isn’t.” 3. “I am not my history.” 4. “You can’t change something that has already happened, so stop worrying about it.” 5. “I am not, nor will I ever be, conventionally beautiful.” 6. “I don’t have to respond to people when they say stupid s— to me.” I hope these testimonies inspire you to come up with several of your own, Taurus. It’s a perfect time to formulate liberating intentions.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It has been a while since I told you that I love you. So I’m doing it now. I LOVE YOU. More than you could ever imagine. And that’s why I continue to offer these horoscopes to you free of charge, with no strings attached. That’s why I work so hard to be a playful therapist and an edgy mentor for you. That’s why I am so tenacious in my efforts to serve you as a feminist father figure and a kindly devil’s advocate and a sacred cheerleader. Again, I don’t expect anything in return from you. But if you would like to express your appreciation, you could do so by offering a similar type of well-crafted care to people in your own sphere. Now would be an excellent time to give such gifts.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “I like the word ‘bewilderment’ because it has both ‘be’ and ‘wild’ in it,” says poet Peter Gizzi. I propose that you go even further, Cancerian: Express a fondness for the actual experience of bewilderment as well as the word. In fact, be willing to not just tolerate, but actually embrace the fuzzy blessings of bewilderment. In the coming weeks, that’s your ticket to being wild in the healthiest (and wealthiest) ways. As you wander innocently through the perplexing mysteries that make themselves available, you’ll be inspired to escape formalities and needless rules that have kept you overly tame.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Are you familiar with psychologist Carl Jung’s concept of the shadow? It’s the unflattering or uncomfortable part of you that you would prefer to ignore or suppress. It’s the source of behavior about which you later say, “I wasn’t acting like myself.” Jungians say that the shadow hounds you and wounds you to the degree that you refuse to deal with it. But if you negotiate with it, it leads you to beautiful surprises. It prods you to uncover riches you’ve hidden from yourself. I mention this, Leo, because any shadow work you do in the coming weeks could generate rather spectacular breakthroughs.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You could make a vow like this: “Between now and April 15, I will be relentless in getting my needs met. I will harbor a steely resolve to call on every ploy necessary to ensure that my deepest requirements are not just gratified, but satiated to the max. I will be a dogged and ferocious seeker of absolute fulfillment.” If you want to swear an oath like that, Virgo, I understand. But I hope that you will try a softer approach—more like the following: “Between now and April 15, I will be imaginative and ingenious in getting my needs met. I will have fun calling on every trick necessary to ensure that my deepest requirements are playfully addressed. I will be a sweet seeker of unpredictable fulfillment.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): How would Buddha ask for a raise or promotion? How would Jesus tinker with his career plans as he took into consideration large-scale shifts in the economy? How would Confucius try to infuse new approaches and ideas into the status quo of his work environment? Ruminate deeply on these matters, dear Libra. Your yearning to be more satisfyingly employed may soon be rewarded—especially if you infuse your ambitions with holy insight. How would Joan of Arc break through the glass ceiling? How would Harriet Tubman deal with the inefficiencies caused by excess testosterone? How would Hildegard of Bingen seek more emotional richness on the job?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I suspect that you would benefit from acquiring a new bedroom name, my dear. But should I be the one to give it to you? I’m not sure. Maybe you could invite a practical dreamer you adore to provide you with this crazy sweet new moniker. If there is no such person to do the job (although given the current astrological omens, I bet there is), I’ll offer the following array of amorous aliases for you to choose from: Wild Face; Kiss Genius; Thrill Witch; Freaky Nectar; Boink Master; Lust Moxie; Pearly Thunder; Peach Licker; Painkiller; Silky Bliss; Slippery Diver; Swoon Craver.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Soon I’ll be off on my first vacation in 18 months. At first glance it might seem odd for an astrologer like myself to have selected two Sagittarians to be my housesitters. Members of your sign are reputed to be among the least home-nurturing people in the zodiac. But I’m confident that by the time I return, raccoons won’t be living in my kitchen, nor will my plants be dead or my snail-mail stolen or my TV broken. The current astrological omens suggest that most of you Centaurs, at least for the foreseeable future, will display an uncommon aptitude for the domestic arts.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The near future will be mutable, whimsical and fluky. It’ll be serendipitous, mercurial and extemporaneous. You should expect happy accidents and lucky breaks. Your ability to improvise will be quite valuable. Do you believe in lucky numbers? Even if you don’t, yours will be 333. Your sacred password will be “quirky plucky.” The cartoon characters with whom you will have most in common are Bugs Bunny and Road Runner. The place where you’re most likely to encounter a crucial teaching is a threshold or thrift shop. Your colors of destiny will be flecked and dappled. (P.S. I suspect that an as-yet-undiscovered talisman of power is crammed in a drawer full of junk.)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Treat your body like a sublime temple, please. And regard your imagination as a treasured sanctuary. Be very choosy about what you allow to enter into both of those holy places. This strategy is always a wise idea, of course, but it’s especially so now, when you are extra sensitive to the influences you absorb. It’s crucial that you express maximum discernment as you determine which foods, drinks, drugs, images, sounds and ideas are likely to foster your maximum well-being—and which aren’t. Be a masterful caretaker of your health and sanity.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): What would your best mother do in a situation like this? Please note that I’m not asking, “What would your mother do?” I’m not suggesting that you call on the counsel of your actual mother. When I use the term “your best mother,” I’m referring to the archetype of your perfect mother. Imagine a wise older woman who understands you telepathically, loves you unconditionally and wants you to live your life according to your own inner necessity, not hers or anyone else’s. Visualize her. Call on her. Seek her blessings.

Homework: Find a new person or institution you can eagerly and earnestly respect. Report on your triumph at Freewillastrology.com.

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For the week of February 15

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): By my estimates, 72 percent of you Aries are in unusually good moods. The world seems friendlier, more cooperative. Fifty-six percent of you feel more in love with life than you have in a long time. You may even imagine that the birds and trees and stars are flirting with you. I’m also guessing that 14 percent of you are weaving in and out of being absurdly, deliriously happy, sometimes without any apparent explanation. As a result of your generosity of spirit, you may be the recipient of seemingly impossible rewards like free money or toasted ice cream or unconditional tenderness. And I bet that at least 10 percent of you are experiencing all of the above.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I am launching a campaign to undo obsolete stereotypes about you Bulls. There are still backwards astrologers out there who perpetrate the lie that many of you are stingy, stolid, stubborn slowpokes. As an antidote, I plan to heighten everyone’s awareness of your sensual, soulful sweetness, your tastefully pragmatic sensitivity and your diligent, dynamic productivity. That should be easy in the coming weeks, since you’ll be at the height of your ability to express those superpowers. Luckily, people will also have an enhanced capacity to appreciate you for who you really are. It will be a favorable time to clarify and strengthen your reputation.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Will Giovanni surreptitiously replace Allesandra’s birth control pills with placebos? Will Camille take a hidden crowbar to her rendezvous with the blackmailer? Will Josie steal Jose’s diary and sell it on eBay? Given the current astrological omens, you may have an unconscious attraction to soap opera-type events like those. The glamour of melodrama is tempting you. But I’m hoping and predicting that you will express the cosmic currents in less toxic ways. Maybe you’ll hear a searing but healing confession after midnight in the pouring rain, for instance. Perhaps you’ll break an outworn taboo with ingenious grace, forge a fertile link with a reformed rascal or recover a lost memory in a dusty basement.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): All naturally-occurring matter on Earth is composed of 92 basic elements arranged in various combinations. Since some of these appear in trace amounts, they took a long time for humans to discover. In the 18th and 19th centuries, chemists were exuberant when they tracked down seven of the 92 in a single location: An underground mine on the Swedish island of Ytterby. That small place was a mother lode. I’m predicting a metaphorically similar experience for you, Cancerian: New access to a concentrated source that will yield much illumination.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The next four weeks will be an excellent time to upgrade your understanding of the important characters in your life. In fact, I suspect that you will generate good fortune and meaningful synchronicities whenever you seek greater insight into anyone who affects you. Get to know people better, Leo! If there are intriguing acquaintances who pique your curiosity, find out more about them. Study the oddballs you’re allergic to with the intention to discern their hidden workings. In general, practice being objective as you improve your skill at reading human nature.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 1787, English captain Arthur Phillip led an eight-month naval expedition to the southeastern part of the continent now known as Australia. Upon arrival, he claimed the land for England, despite the fact that 250,000 Aboriginal people were living there, just as their ancestors had for 2,000 generations. Two hundred years later, an Aboriginal activist named Burnum Burnum planted the Aboriginal flag on the White Cliffs of Dover, claiming England for his people. I encourage you to make a comparably artful or symbolic act like Burnum’s sometime soon, Virgo—a ritual or gesture to assert your sovereignty, evoke a well-deserved reversal or express your unconquerable spirit.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The ancient Roman rhetorician Quintilian authored a 12-volume textbook on the art of oratory. As ample as it was, it could have been longer. “Erasure is as important as writing,” he said. According to my reading of the astrological omens, that counsel should be a rewarding and even exciting theme for you in the coming weeks. For the long-term health of your labor of love or your masterpiece, you should focus for a while on what to edit out of it. How could you improve it by making it shorter and more concise?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Do you know about the long-running kids’ show Sesame Street? Are you familiar with Big Bird, the talking 8-foot-tall yellow canary who’s one of the main characters? I hope so, because your horoscope is built around them. In the Sesame Street episode called “Don’t Eat the Pictures,” Big Bird solves a riddle that frees a 4,000-year-old Egyptian prince from an ancient curse. I think this vignette can serve as a model for your own liberation. How? You can finally outwit and outmaneuver a very old problem with the help of some playful, even childlike energy. Don’t assume that you’ve got to be relentlessly serious and dour in order to shed the ancient burden. In fact, just the opposite is true. Trust blithe and rowdy spirits.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Your lessons in communication are reaching a climax. Here are five tips to help you do well on your “final exam:” 1. Focus more on listening for what you need to know rather than on expressing what you already know. 2. Keep white lies and convenient deceptions to a bare minimum. 3. Tell the truth as strong and free as you dare, but always—if possible—with shrewd kindness. 4. You are more likely to help your cause if you spread bright, shiny gossip instead of the grubby kind. 5. Experiment with being unpredictable; try to infuse your transmissions with unexpected information and turns of phrase.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The meaning of the Latin phrase crambe repetita is “cabbage reheated, twice-cooked.” I urge you to avoid partaking of such a dish in the coming weeks, both literally and figuratively. If you’re truly hungry for cooked cabbage, eat it fresh. Likewise, if you have a ravenous appetite for stories, revelations, entertainment and information—which I suspect that you will—don’t accept the warmed-over, recycled variety. Insist on the brisk, crisp stuff that excites your curiosity and appeals to your sense of wonder.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Here’s your mantra for the next three weeks: “I know what I want, and I know how to glide it into my life.” Say this out loud 11 times right after you wake up each morning, and 11 more times before lunch, and 11 more times at bedtime. “I know what I want, and I know how to glide it into my life.” Whenever you do this little chant, summon an upflow of smiling confidence—a serene certainty that no matter how long the magic might take, it will ultimately work. “I know what I want, and I know how to glide it into my life.” Don’t let any little voice in your head undermine your link to this simple truth. Lift your heart to the highest source of vitality you can imagine.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “We cannot simply sit and stare at our wounds forever,” writes Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. “We must stand up and move on to the next action.” That’s your slightly scolding but ultimately inspirational advice, Pisces. According to my astrological analysis, you have done heroic work to identify and investigate your suffering. You have summoned a tremendous amount of intelligence in order to understand it and further the healing. But right now it’s time to turn your focus to other matters. Like what? How about rebirth?

Homework: Imagine that you have time-traveled to one of your favorite places in the year 2020. What do you see? I’m at Truthrooster@gmail.com.

For the week of February 8

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your reputation is in a state of fermentation. Will this process ultimately produce the metaphorical equivalent of fine wine or else something more like pungent cheese? The answer to that question will depend on how much integrity you express as you wield your clout. Be as charismatic as you dare, yes, but always in service to the greater good rather than to self-aggrandizement. You can accomplish wonders if you are saucy and classy, but you’ll spawn blunders if you’re saucy and bossy.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Using a blend of warfare and diplomacy, Napoleon extended French control over much of Western Europe. In 1804, he decided to formalize his growing sovereignty with a coronation ceremony. He departed from tradition, however. For many centuries, French kings had been crowned by the Pope. But on this occasion, Napoleon took the imperial crown from Pope Pius VII and placed it on his own head. Historian J. David Markham writes that he “was simply symbolizing that he was becoming emperor based on his own merits and the will of the people, not because of some religious consecration.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Taurus, you have the right to perform a comparable gesture. Don’t wait for some authority to crown you. Crown yourself.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Have you heard the fable about the four blind men who come upon an elephant for the first time? The first man feels the tail and declares that the thing they’ve encountered must be a rope. The second touches one of the elephant’s legs and says that they are in the presence of a tree. The third strokes the trunk and assumes it’s a snake. Putting his hand on a tusk, the fourth man asserts that it’s a spear. I predict that this fable will NOT apply to you in the coming weeks, Gemini. You won’t focus on just one aspect of the whole and think it’s the whole. Other people in your sphere may get fooled by shortsightedness, but you will see the big picture.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): For now, at least, your brain is your primary erogenous zone. I suspect that it will be generating some of your sexiest thoughts ever. To be clear, not all of these erupting streams of bliss will directly involve the sweet, snaky mysteries of wrapping your physical body around another’s. Some of the erotic pleasure will come in the form of epiphanies that awaken sleeping parts of your soul. Others might arrive as revelations that chase away months’ worth of confusion. Still others could be creative breakthroughs that liberate you from a form of bondage you’ve wrongly accepted as necessary.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Human beings upload 300 hours of videos to YouTube every minute of every day. Among that swirling flow is a hefty amount of footage devoted exclusively to the amusing behavior of cats. Researchers estimate that there are now more than two million clips of feline shenanigans. Despite the stiff competition, I suspect that there’s a much better chance than usual that your cat video will go viral if you upload it in the coming weeks. Why? In general, you Leos now have a sixth sense about how to get noticed. You know what you need to do to express yourself confidently and attract attention—not just in regards to your cats, but anything that’s important to you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I know that you haven’t literally been wrestling and wrangling with a sweaty angel. But if I were going to tell a fairy tale about your life lately, I’d be tempted to say this: Your rumble with the sweaty angel is not finished. In fact, the best and holiest part is still to come. But right now you have cosmic permission to take a short break and rest a while. During the lull, ratchet up your determination to learn all you can from your friendly “struggle.” Try to figure out what you’ve been missing about the true nature of the sweaty angel. Vow to become a stronger advocate for yourself and a more rigorous revealer of the wild truth.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Even if you’re not an occult wizard or pagan priestess, I suspect that you now have the power to conjure benevolent love spells. There’s a caveat, however: They will only work if you cast them on yourself. Flinging them at other people would backfire. But if you do accept that limitation, you’ll be able to invoke a big dose of romantic mojo from both your lower depths and your higher self. Inspiration will be abundantly available as you work to reinvigorate your approach to intimacy and togetherness.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Here’s some advice from Scorpio writer Norman Rush: “The main effort of arranging your life should be to progressively reduce the amount of time required to decently maintain yourself so that you can have all the time you want for reading.” It’s understandable that a language specialist like Rush would make the final word of the previous sentence “reading.” But you might choose a different word. And I invite you to do just that. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to devotedly carve out more time to do The Most Important Thing in Your Life.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sixteenth century Italian painter Titian was renowned for his brilliant use of color. He was also prolific, versatile and influential. In 2011, one of his paintings sold for $16.9 million. But one of his contemporaries, the incomparable Michelangelo, said that Titian could have been an even greater artist if he had ever mastered the art of drawing. It seems that Titian skipped a step in his early development. Is there any way that your path resembles Titian’s, Sagittarius? Did you neglect to cultivate a basic skill that has subtly (or not so subtly) handicapped your growth ever since? If so, the coming weeks and months will be an excellent time to fix the glitch.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Our obsessive use of digital devices has diminished our power to focus. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span has shrunk to eight seconds—one second less than that of a typical goldfish. I’m guessing, though, that you Capricorns will buck this trend in the coming weeks. Your ability to concentrate may be exceptional even by pre-internet standards. I hope you’ll take the opportunity of this fortunate anomaly to get a lot of important work and play done.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The time is now, brave Aquarius. Be audacious about improving the big little things in your life. (That’s not a typo. I did indeed use the term “big little things.”) For example: Seek out or demand more engaging responsibilities. Bring your penetrating questions to sphinxlike authorities. Go in search of more useful riddles. Redesign the daily rhythm to better meet your unique needs. Refuse “necessary” boredom that’s not truly necessary. Trust what actually works, not what’s merely attractive. Does all of that seem too bold and brazen for you to pull off? I assure you that it’s not. You have more clout than you imagine. You also have a growing faith in your own power to make subtle fundamental shifts. (That’s not a typo. I did indeed use the term “subtle fundamental shifts.”)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Love does not at first mean merging, surrendering and uniting with another person,” wrote the poet Rilke, “for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?” That’s an excellent meditation for you to entertain during the Valentine season, Pisces. You’re in the right frame of mind to think about how you could change and educate yourself so as to get the most out of your intimate alliances. Love “is a high inducement for the individual to ripen,” Rilke said, “to become something, to become a world for the sake of another person.” (Thanks to Stephen Mitchell for much of this translation.)

Homework: Don’t get back to where you once belonged. Go forward to where you’ve got to belong in the future. Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

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For the Week of January 25

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Westward Ho! is the name of a village in southwestern England. Its name is impressive because of the exclamation point. But it’s not as dramatic as that of the only town on Earth with two exclamation points: Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, which is in Quebec. I invite you Aries folks to be equally daring. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you have a cosmic mandate and poetic license to cram extra !!!!s into all of your writing and speaking, and even add them to the spelling of your name! Why? Because this should be one of the most exciting and ebullient phases of your astrological cycle—a time to risk showing just how enthusiastic and energetic you are!!!!!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The New York Film Critics Circle named Casey Affleck the Best Actor of the year for his role in the film Manchester by the Sea. In his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony, Affleck gave a dramatic reading of quotes by David Edelstein, a prominent critic who has criticized his work. “Mumbly and mulish,” was one of Edelstein’s jabs about Affleck. “Doesn’t have a lot of variety,” was another. A third: “Whenever I see Affleck’s name in a movie’s credits, you can expect a standard, genre B picture—slowed down and tarted up.” I suspect that in the coming weeks, Taurus, you may get a vindication comparable to Affleck’s. I suggest that you have wicked fun with it, as he did.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The roulette wheels at casinos in Monaco have 37 pockets. Eighteen are black, 18 are red and one is green. On any particular spin, the ball has just less than half a chance of landing in a red or black pocket. But there was one night back in August of 1913, at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, when probability seemed inoperative. The little white ball kept landing on the black over and over again. Gamblers responded by increasingly placing heavy bets on red numbers. They assumed that the weird luck would soon change. But it didn’t until the 27th spin. (The odds of that happening were 136,823,184 to 1.) What does this have to do with you? I suspect that you’re in a comparable situation—the equivalent of about 20 spins into an improbable streak. My advice: Don’t bet on the red yet.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Born to a religious mother on July 8, 1839, John D. Rockefeller amassed a fortune in the oil industry. Even in comparison to modern billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, he’s the richest American who ever lived. “God gave me the money,” he said on numerous occasions. Now I’m going to borrow the spirit of Rockefeller’s motto for your use, Cancerian. Why? Because it’s likely that you will be the recipient of blessings that prompt you to wonder if the Divine Wow is involved. One of these may indeed be financial in nature. (P.S. Such boons are even more likely to transpire if you’re anchored in your sweet, dark wisdom and your holy, playful creativity.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): What influence do you need most in your life right now? Are you suffering because you lack a particular kind of help or teaching? Would you benefit from having a certain connection that you have not yet figured out how to make? Is there a person or event that could heal you if you had a better understanding about how you need to be healed? The coming weeks will be a favorable time to get useful answers to these questions—and then take action based on what you discover.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The next two weeks will be a favorable time to kiss the feet of helpful allies, but not to kiss the butts of clever manipulators. I also advise you to perform acts of generosity for those who will use your gifts intelligently, but not for those who will waste your blessings or treat you like a doormat. Here’s my third point: Consider returning to an old fork in the road where you made a wrong turn, and then making the correct turn this time. But if you do, be motivated by bright hope for a different future rather than by sludgy remorse for your error.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the beginning was the wild cabbage. Our ancestors found that it had great potential as food, and proceeded to domesticate it. Over the centuries, they used selective breeding to develop many further variations on the original. Kale and kohlrabi were the first to appear. By the 15th century, cauliflower had been created. Broccoli came along a hundred years later, followed by brussels sprouts. Today there are at least 20 cultivars whose lineage can be traced back to the wild cabbage. In my astrological opinion, you Libras are in a wild cabbage phase of your long-term cycle. In the coming months you can and should do seminal work that will ultimately generate an abundance of useful derivatives.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 1733, workers finished building the New Cathedral in Salamanca, Spain. But if you go there today, you will see two seemingly modern elements on one facade: Carvings of a helmeted astronaut and of a gargoyle licking an ice cream cone. These two characters were added by craftsmen who did renovations on the cathedral in 1992. I offer this vignette as a metaphor for your life, Scorpio. It’s a favorable time to upgrade and refine an old structure in your life. And if you do take advantage of this opening, I suggest that you add modern touches.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I suspect that in the coming weeks, you will be afforded opportunities to bend the rules in ways that could make life simpler, more pleasurable and more successful—or all of the above. To help you deal with the issue of whether these deviations would have integrity, I offer you these questions: Would bending the rules serve a higher good, not just your selfish desires? Is there an approach to bending the rules that may ultimately produce more compassionate results than not bending the rules? Could you actually get away with bending the rules, both in the sense of escaping punishment and also in the sense of being loyal to your own conscience?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I don’t necessarily guarantee that you will acquire paranormal powers in the coming weeks. I’m not saying that you will be able to foretell the future or eavesdrop on conversations from a half-mile away or transform water into whiskey-flavored coffee. But I do suspect that you will at least tap further into a unique personal ability that has been mostly just potential up until now. Or you may finally start using a resource that has been available for a long time. For best results, open your imagination to the possibility that you possess dormant magic.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A London-based think tank does an annual study to determine which of the world’s countries offers the most freedom. The Legatum Institute measures indicators like civil liberties, social tolerance and the power to choose one’s destiny. The current champion is Luxembourg. Canada is in second place. France is 22nd, the U.S. is 26th and Italy is 27th. Since I’m hoping that you will markedly enhance your own personal freedom in the coming months, you might want to consider moving to Luxembourg. If that’s not an option, what else could you do? The time is ripe to hatch your liberation plans.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I love to see dumpsters that have been decorated by graffiti artists. Right now there’s one by the side of a busy road that I often drive down. Its drab gray exterior has been transformed into a splash of cartoon images and scripts. Amidst signatures that look like “Riot Goof,” “Breakfast Toys” and “Sky Blooms,” I can discern a ninja rhinoceros, a gold-crowned jaguar and an army of flying monkeys using squirt guns to douse a forest fire. I suspect that it’s a perfect time for you to be inspired by this spectacle, Pisces. What dumpster-like situation could you beautify?

Homework: Say “I love you” at least 25 times a day for the next seven days. Report your results to Truthrooster@gmail.com.

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For the week of January 18

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you more attracted to honing group dynamics or liberating group dynamics? Do you have more aptitude as a director who organizes people or as a sparkplug who inspires people? Would you rather be a Chief Executive Officer or a Chief Imagination Officer? Questions like these will be fertile for you to meditate on in the coming weeks. The astrological omens suggest that it’s time to explore and activate more of your potential as a leader or catalyst.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): An eccentric Frenchman named Laurent Aigon grew up near an airport, and always daydreamed of becoming a commercial pilot. Sadly, he didn’t do well enough in school to fulfill his wish. Yet he was smart and ambitious enough to accomplish the next best thing: Assembling a realistic version of a Boeing 737 cockpit in his home. With the help of Google, he gathered the information he needed, and ordered most of the necessary parts over the internet. The resulting masterpiece has enabled him to replicate the experiences of being a pilot. It’s such a convincing copy that he has been sought as a consultant by organizations that specialize in aircraft maintenance. I suggest that you attempt a comparable feat, Taurus: Creating a simulated version of what you want. I bet it will eventually lead you to the real thing.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The weather may be inclement where you live, so you may be resistant to my counsel. But I must tell you the meanings of the planetary omens as I understand them, and not fret about whether you’ll act on them. Here’s my prescription, lifted from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: “We need the tonic of wildness, to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.” And why does Thoreau say that we need such experiences? “We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor … to witness our own limits transgressed … ”

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Welcome to the most deliciously enigmatic, sensually mysterious phase of your astrological cycle. To provide you with the proper non-rational guidance, I have stolen scraps of dusky advice from the poet Dansk Javlarna (danskjavlarna.tumblr.com). Please read between the lines: 1. Navigate the ocean that roars within the seashell. 2. Carry the key, even if the lock has been temporarily lost. 3. Search through the deepest shadows for the bright light that cast them. 4. Delve into the unfathomable in wordless awe of the inexplicable.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): What exactly would a bolt of lightning taste like? I mean, if you could somehow manage to roll it around in your mouth without having to endure the white-hot shock. There’s a booze manufacturer that claims to provide this sensation. The company known as ODDKA has created “Electricity Vodka,” hard liquor with an extra fizzy jolt. But if any sign of the zodiac could safely approximate eating a streak of lightning without the help of Electricity Vodka, it would be you Leos. These days you have a special talent for absorbing and enjoying and integrating fiery inspiration.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Eighteenth-century painter Joshua Reynolds said that a “disposition to abstractions, to generalizing and classification, is the great glory of the human mind.” To that lofty sentiment, his fellow artist William Blake responded, “To generalize is to be an idiot; to particularize is the alone distinction of merit.” So I may be an idiot when I make the following generalization, but I think I’m right: In the coming weeks, it will be in your best interests to rely on crafty generalizations to guide your decisions. Getting bogged down in details at the expense of the big picture—missing the forest for the trees—is a potential pitfall that you can and should avoid.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal penned the novel Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age. It consists of one sentence. But it’s a long, rambling sentence—117 pages’ worth. It streams from the mouth of the narrator, who is an older man bent on telling all of the big stories of his life. If there were ever to come a time when you, too, would have cosmic permission and a poetic license to deliver a one-sentence, 117-page soliloquy, Libra, it would be in the coming weeks. Reveal your truths! Break through your inhibitions! Celebrate your epic tales! (P.S. Show this horoscope to the people you’d like as your listeners.)

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When Pluto was discovered in 1930, astronomers called it the ninth planet. But 76 years later, they changed their minds. In accordance with shifting definitions, they demoted Pluto to the status of a mere “dwarf planet.” But in recent years, two renowned astronomers at Caltech have found convincing evidence for a new ninth planet. Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown are tracking an object that is much larger than Earth. Its orbit is so far beyond Neptune’s that it takes 15,000 years to circle the sun. As yet it doesn’t have an official name, but Batygin and Brown informally refer to it as “Phattie.” I bring this to your attention, Scorpio, because I suspect that you, too, are on the verge of locating a monumental new addition to your universe.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The tomato and potato are both nightshades, a family of flowering plants. Taking advantage of this commonality, botanists have used the technique of grafting to produce a pomato plant. Its roots yield potatoes, while its vines grow cherry tomatoes. Now would be a good time for you to experiment with a metaphorically similar creation, Sagittarius. Can you think of how you might generate two useful influences from a single source?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Some guy I don’t know keeps sending me emails about great job opportunities he thinks I’d like to apply for: A technical writer for a solar energy company, for example, and a social media intern for a business that offers travel programs. His messages are not spam. The gigs are legitimate. And yet I’m not in the least interested. I already have several jobs I enjoy, like writing these horoscopes. I suspect that you, too, may receive worthy but ultimately irrelevant invitations in the coming days, Capricorn. My advice: If you remain faithful to your true needs and desires, more apropos offers will eventually flow your way.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The word “nay-sayer” describes a person who’s addicted to expressing negativity. A “yea-sayer,” on the other hand, is a person who is prone to expressing optimism. According to my assessment of the astrological omens, you can and should be a creative yea-sayer in the coming days—both for the sake of your own well-being and that of everyone whose life you touch. For inspiration, study Upton Sinclair’s passage about Beethoven: He was “the defier of fate, the great yea-sayer.” His music is “like the wind running over a meadow of flowers, superlative happiness infinitely multiplied.”

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If I’m feeling prosaic, I might refer to a group of flamingos as a flock. But one of the more colorful and equally correct terms is a “flamboyance” of flamingos. Similarly, a bunch of pretty insects with clubbed antennae and big fluttery wings may be called a kaleidoscope of butterflies. The collective noun for zebras can be a dazzle, for pheasants a bouquet, for larks an exaltation and for finches a charm. In accordance with current astrological omens, I’m borrowing these nouns to describe members of your tribe. A flamboyance or kaleidoscope of Pisceans? Yes! A dazzle or bouquet or exaltation or charm of Pisceans? Yes! All of the above.

Homework: What part of yourself are you scared of? Is it time to give that part a peace offering? Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

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