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Authors Posts by Rob Brezsny

Rob Brezsny

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For the week of April 26

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I have misgivings when I witness bears riding bicycles, tigers dancing on their hind legs or Aries people wielding diplomatic phrases and making careful compromises at committee meetings. While I am impressed by the disciplined expression of primal power, I worry for the soul of the creature that is behaving with such civilized restraint. Take advantage of opportunities to make deals and forge win-win situations. But also keep a part of your fiery heart untamed. Don’t let people think they’ve got you all figured out.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “One of the advantages of being disorderly,” said author A. A. Milne, “is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” I wouldn’t normally offer this idea as advice to a methodical dynamo like you. But my interpretation of the astrological omens compels me to override my personal theories about what you need. I must suggest that you consider experimenting with jaunty, rambunctious behavior in the coming days, even if it generates some disorder. The potential reward? Exciting discoveries, of course.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): According to my reading of the astrological omens, it’s time for you to take a break from the magic you have been weaving since your birthday in 2016. That’s why I’m suggesting that you go on a brief sabbatical. Allow your deep mind to fully integrate the lessons you’ve been learning and the transformations you have undergone over the past 11 months. In a few weeks, you’ll be ready to resume where you left off. For now, though, you require breathing room. Your spiritual batteries need time to recharge. The hard work you’ve done should be balanced by an extended regimen of relaxed playtime.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Apparently, a lot of kids in the U.K. don’t like to eat vegetables. In response, food researchers in that country marketed a variety of exotic variations designed to appeal to their palate. The new dishes included chocolate-flavored carrots, pizza-flavored corn and cheese-and-onion-flavored cauliflower. I don’t recommend that you get quite so extreme in trying to broaden your own appeal, Cancerian. But see if you can at least reach out to your potential constituency with a new wrinkle or fresh twist. Be imaginative as you expand the range of what your colleagues and clientele have to choose from.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In speaking about the arduous quest to become one’s authentic self, writer Thomas Merton used the example of poets who aspire to be original but end up being imitative. “Many poets never succeed in being themselves,” he said. “They never get around to being the particular poet they are intended to be by God. They never become the person or artist who is called for by all of the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet. They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else’s experiences or write somebody else’s poems.” I happen to believe that this is a problem for non-poets, as well. Many of us never succeed in becoming ourselves. Luckily for you, Leo, in the coming weeks and months you will have an unprecedented chance to become more of who you really are.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): On numerous occasions, French acrobat Charles Blondin walked across a tightrope that spanned the gorge near Niagara Falls. His cable was 3 ¼ inches in diameter, 1,100 feet long and 160 feet above the Niagara River. Once he made the entire crossing by doing back flips and somersaults. Another time he carried a small stove on his back, stopped midway to cook an omelet and ate the meal before finishing. Now would be an excellent time for you to carry out your personal equivalent of his feats, Virgo. What daring actions have you never tried before even though you’ve been sufficiently trained or educated to perform them well?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Ready for some subterranean journeys? They may not involve literal explorations of deep caverns and ancient tunnels and underground streams. You may not stumble upon lost treasure, forgotten artifacts and valuable ruins. But then again, you might. At the very least, you will encounter metaphorical versions of some of the above. What mysteries would you love to solve? What secrets would be fun to uncover? What shadows would you be excited to illuminate?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Why would you guzzle mind-clouding moonshine when you will eventually get a chance to sip a heart-reviving tonic? Why spoil your appetite by loading up on non-nutritious hors d’oeuvres when a healthy feast will be available sooner than you imagine? I advise you to suppress your compulsion for immediate gratification. It may seem impossible for you to summon such heroic patience, but I know you can. And in the long run, you’ll be happy if you do.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “You’ll always be my favorite what-if.” Many years ago, I heard that phrase whispered in my ear. It came from the mouth of a wonderful-but-impossible woman. We had just decided that it was not a good plan, as we had previously fantasized, to run away and get married at Angkor Wat in Cambodia and then spend the next decade being tour guides who led travelers on exotic getaways to the world’s sacred sites. “You’ll always be my favorite what-if” was a poignant but liberating moment. It allowed us to move on with our lives and pursue other dreams that were more realistic and productive. I invite you to consider triggering a liberation like that sometime soon.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I’d love to see you increase the number of people, places and experiences you love, as well as the wise intensity with which you love them. From an astrological perspective, now is an excellent time to upgrade your appreciation and adoration for the whole world and everything in it. To get you in the mood, I’ll call your attention to some unfamiliar forms of ardor you may want to pursue: Eraunophilia, an attraction to thunder and lightning; cymophilia, a fascination with waves and waviness; chorophilia, a passion for dancing; asymmetrophilia, a zeal for asymmetrical things; sapiophilia, an erotic enchantment with intelligence.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You could go online and buy an antique Gothic throne or a psychedelic hippie couch to spruce up your living room. For your bathroom, you could get a Japanese “wonder toilet,” complete with a heated seat, automated bidet and white noise generator. Here’s another good idea: You could build a sacred crazy altar in your bedroom where you will conduct rituals of playful liberation. Or how about this? Acquire a kit that enables you to create spontaneous poetry on your refrigerator door using tiny magnets with evocative words written on them. Can you think of other ideas to revitalize your home environment? It’s high time you did so.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Among America’s 50 states, Texas has the third-highest rate of teenage pregnancies. Uncoincidentally, sex education in Texas is steeped in ignorance. Most of its high schools offer no teaching about contraception other than to advise students to avoid sex. In the coming weeks, Pisces, you can’t afford to be as deprived of the truth as those kids. Even more than usual, you need accurate information that’s tailored to your precise needs, not fake news, ideological delusions or self-serving propaganda. Make sure that you gather insight and wisdom from the very best sources. That’s how you’ll avoid behavior that’s irrelevant to your life goals. That’s how you’ll attract experiences that serve your highest good.

Homework: What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever done? Testify! Go to Realastrology.com and click on “Email Rob.”

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For the week of April 19

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): After George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States, he had to move from his home in Virginia to New York City, which at the time was the center of the American government. But there was a problem: He didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay for his long-distance relocation, so he was forced to scrape up a loan. Fortunately, he was resourceful and persistent in doing so. The money arrived in time for him to attend his own inauguration. I urge you to be like Washington in the coming weeks, Aries. Do whatever’s necessary to get the funds you need to finance your life’s next chapter.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Fantasize about sipping pear nectar and listening to cello music and inhaling the aroma of musky amber and caressing velvet, cashmere, and silk. Imagine how it would feel to be healed by inspiring memories and sweet awakenings and shimmering delights and delicious epiphanies. I expect experiences like these to be extra available in the coming weeks. But they won’t necessarily come to you freely and easily. You will have to expend effort to ensure they actually occur. So be alert for them. Seek them out. Track them down.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Contagion may work in your favor, but it could also undermine you. On the one hand, your enthusiasm is likely to ripple out and inspire people whose help you could use. On the other hand, you might be more sensitive than usual to the obnoxious vibes of manipulators. But now that I’ve revealed this useful tip, let’s hope you will be able to maximize the positive kind of contagion and neutralize the negative. Here’s one suggestion that may help: Visualize yourself to be surrounded by a golden force field that projects your good ideas far and wide even as it prevents the disagreeable stuff from leaking in.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A reader named Kris X sent me a rebuke. “You’re not a guru or a shaman,” he sneered. “Your horoscopes are too filled with the slippery stench of poetry to be useful for spiritual seekers.” Here’s my response: “Thank you, sir! I don’t consider myself a guru or shaman, either. It’s not my mission to be an all-knowing authority who hands down foolproof advice. Rather, I’m an apprentice to the Muse of Curiosity. I like to wrestle with useful, beautiful paradoxes. My goal is to be a joyful rebel stirring up benevolent trouble, to be a cheerleader for the creative imagination.” So now I ask you, my fellow Cancerian: How do you avoid getting trapped in molds that people pressure you to fit inside? Are you skilled at being yourself even if that’s different from what’s expected of you? What are the soulful roles you choose to embody despite the fact that almost no one understands them? Now is a good time to meditate on these matters.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the coming weeks, there will be helpers whose actions will nudge you—sometimes inadvertently—toward a higher level of professionalism. You will find it natural to wield more power and you will be more effective in offering your unique gifts. Now maybe you imagine you have already been performing at the peak of your ability, but I bet you will discover—with a mix of alarm and excitement—that you can become even more excellent. Be greater, Leo! Do better! Live stronger! (P.S. As you ascend to this new level of competence, I advise you to be humbly aware of your weaknesses and immaturities. As your clout rises, you can’t afford to indulge in self-delusions.)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I love to see you Virgos flirt with the uncharted and the uncanny and the indescribable. I get thrills and chills whenever I watch your fine mind trying to make sense of the fabulous and the foreign and the unfathomable. What other sign can cozy up to exotic wonders and explore forbidden zones with as much no-nonsense pragmatism as you? If anyone can capture greased lightning in a bottle or get a hold of magic beans that actually work, you can.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A friend told me about a trick used by his grandmother, a farmer. When her brooding hens stopped laying eggs, she would put them in pillowcases that she then hung from a clothesline in a stiff breeze. After the hens got blown around for a while, she returned them to their cozy digs. The experience didn’t hurt them, and she swore it put them back on track with their egg-laying. I’m not comfortable with this strategy. It’s too extreme for an animal-lover like myself. (And I’m glad I don’t have to deal with recalcitrant hens.) But maybe it’s an apt metaphor or poetic prod for your use right now. What could you do to stimulate your own creative production?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Now would be an excellent time to add deft new nuances to the ways you kiss, lick, hug, snuggle, caress and fondle. Is there a worthy adventurer who will help you experiment with these activities? If not, use your pillow, your own body, a realistic life-size robot, or your imagination. This exercise will be a good warm-up for your other assignment, which is to upgrade your intimacy skills. How might you do that? Hone and refine your abilities to get close to people. Listen deeper, collaborate stronger, compromise smarter and give more. Do you have any other ideas?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my ax,” said Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s most productive presidents. I know you Sagittarians are more renowned for your bold, improvisational actions than your careful planning and strategic preparation, but I think the coming weeks will be a time when you can and should adopt Lincoln’s approach. The readier you are, the freer you’ll be to apply your skills effectively and wield your power precisely.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Zoologists say that cannibalizing offspring is common in the animal kingdom, even among species that care tenderly for their young. So when critters eat their kids, it’s definitely “natural.” But I trust that in the coming weeks, you won’t devour your own children. Nor, I hope, will you engage in any behavior that metaphorically resembles such an act. I suspect that you may be at a low ebb in your relationship with some creation or handiwork or influence that you generated out of love. But please don’t abolish it, dissolve it or abandon it. Just the opposite. In fact, intensify your efforts to nurture it.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Your astrological house of communication will be the scene of substantial clamor and ruckus in the coming weeks. A bit of the hubbub will be flashy but empty. But much of it should be pretty interesting, and some of it will even be useful. To get the best possible results, be patient and objective rather than jumpy and reactive. Try to find the deep codes buried inside the mixed messages. Discern the hidden meanings lurking within the tall tales and reckless gossip. If you can deal calmly with the turbulent flow, you will give your social circle a valuable gift.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The best oracular advice you’ll get in the coming days probably won’t arise from your dreams or an astrological reading or a session with a psychic, but rather by way of seemingly random signals, like an overheard conversation or a sign on the side of a bus or a scrap of paper you find lying on the ground. And I bet the most useful relationship guidance you receive won’t be from an expert, but maybe from a blog you stumble upon or a barista at a café or one of your old journal entries. Be alert for other ways this theme is operating, as well. The usual sources may not have useful info about their specialties. Your assignment is to gather up accidental inspiration and unlikely teachings.

Homework: At least 30 percent of everything you and I know is more than half-wrong. Are you brave enough to admit it? Describe your ignorance at FreeWillastrology.com.

For the week of April 12

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Before visiting Sicily for the first time, American poet Billy Collins learned to speak Italian. In his poem “By a Swimming Pool Outside Siracusa,” he describes how the new language is changing his perspective. If he were thinking in English, he might say that the gin he’s drinking while sitting alone in the evening light “has softened my mood.” But the newly Italianized part of his mind would prefer to say that the gin “has allowed my thoughts to traverse my brain with greater gentleness” and “has extended permission to my mind to feel a friendship with the vast sky.” Your assignment in the coming week, Aries, is to Italianize your view of the world. Infuse your thoughts with expansive lyricism and voluptuous relaxation. If you’re Italian, celebrate and amplify your Italianness.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It’s closing time. You have finished toiling in the shadow of an old sacred cow. You’ve climaxed your relationship with ill-fitting ideas that you borrowed from mediocre and inappropriate teachers once upon a time. And you can finally give up your quest for a supposed Holy Grail that never actually existed in the first place. It’s time to move on to the next chapter of your life story, Taurus! You have been authorized to graduate from any influence, attachment and attraction that wouldn’t serve your greater good in the future. Does this mean that you’ll soon be ready to embrace more freedom than you have in years? I’m betting on it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The heaviest butterfly on the planet is the female Queen Victoria’s Birdwing. It tips the scales at two grams. The female Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is the butterfly with the longest wingspan: More than 12 inches. These two creatures remind me of you these days. Like them, you’re freakishly beautiful. You’re a marvelous and somewhat vertiginous spectacle. The tasks you’re working on are graceful and elegant, yet also big and weighty. Because of your intensity, you may not look flightworthy, but you’re actually quite aerodynamic. In fact, your sorties are dazzling and influential. Though your acrobatic zigzags seem improbable, they’re effective.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Picasso had mixed feelings about his fellow painter Marc Chagall, who was born under the sign of Cancer. “I’m not crazy about his roosters and donkeys and flying violinists, and all the folklore,” Picasso said, referring to the subject matter of Chagall’s compositions. But he also felt that Chagall was one of the only painters “who understands what color really is,” adding, “There’s never been anybody since Renoir who has the feeling for light that Chagall has.” I suspect that in the coming weeks, you will be the recipient of mixed messages like these. Praise and disapproval may come your way. Recognition and neglect. Kudos and apathy. Please don’t dwell on the criticism and downplay the applause. In fact, do the reverse!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is the title of an old gospel song, and now it’s the metaphorical theme of your horoscope. I advise you to climb a tall peak—even if it’s just a magic mountain in your imagination—and deliver the spicy monologue that has been marinating within you. It would be great if you could gather a sympathetic audience for your revelations, but that’s not mandatory to achieve the necessary catharsis. You simply need to be gazing at the big picture as you declare your big, ripe truths.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If you were a snake, it would be a fine time to molt your skin. If you were a river, it would be a perfect moment to overflow your banks in a spring flood. If you were an office worker, it would be an excellent phase to trade in your claustrophobic cubicle for a spacious new niche. In other words, Virgo, you’re primed to outgrow at least one of your containers. The boundaries you knew you would have to transgress some day are finally ready to be transgressed.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): For more than a century, the Ringsaker Lutheran Church in Buxton, North Dakota hosted rites of passage, including 362 baptisms, 50 marriages and 97 funerals. It closed in 2002, a victim of the area’s shrinking population. I invite you to consider the possibility that this can serve as a useful metaphor for you, Libra. Is there a place that has been a sanctuary for you, but has begun to lose its magic? Is there a traditional power spot from which the power has been ebbing? Has a holy refuge evolved into a mundane hangout? If so, mourn for a while, then go in search of a vibrant replacement.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Most people throw away lemon rinds, walnut shells and pomegranate skins. But some resourceful types find uses for these apparent wastes. Lemon rind can serve as a deodorizer, cleaner and skin tonic, as well as a zesty ingredient in recipes. Ground-up walnut shells work well in facial scrubs and pet bedding. When made into a powder, pomegranate peels have a variety of applications for skincare. I suggest that you look for metaphorically similar things, Scorpio. You’re typically inclined to dismiss the surfaces, discard the packaging and ignore the outer layers, but I urge you to consider the possibility that right now they may have value.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You’re growing too fast, but that’s fine as long as you don’t make people around you feel that they’re moving too slowly. You know too much, but that won’t be a problem as long as you don’t act snooty. And you’re almost too attractive for your own good, but that won’t hurt you as long as you overflow with spontaneous generosity. What I’m trying to convey, Sagittarius, is that your excesses are likely to be more beautiful than chaotic, and more fertile than confusing. And that should provide you with plenty of slack when dealing with cautious folks who are a bit rattled by your lust for life.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Until recently, scientists believed that the number of trees on the planet was around 400 billion. But research published in the journal Nature says that’s wrong. There are actually three trillion trees on Earth—almost eight times more than was previously thought. In a similar way, I suspect that you have also underestimated certain resources that are personally available to you, Capricorn. Now is a good time to correct your undervaluation. Summon the audacity to recognize the potential abundance you have at your disposal. Then make plans to tap into it with a greater sense of purpose.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The poet John Keats identified a quality that he called “negative capability.” He defined it as the power to calmly accept “uncertainties, mysteries and doubts without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” I would extend the meaning to include three other things not to be irritably reached for: Artificial clarity, premature resolution and simplistic answers. Now is an excellent time to learn more about this fine art, Aquarius.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Are you ready for a riddle that’s more enjoyable than the kind you’re used to? You may be too jaded to embrace this unusual gift. You could assume that it’s another one of the crazymaking cosmic jokes that have sometimes tormented you in the past. I hope that you’ll welcome the riddle in the liberating spirit in which it’s offered. If you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as it teases you in ways that you didn’t know you wanted to be teased. You’ll feel a delightful itch or a soothing burn in your secret self, like a funny-bone feeling that titillates your immortal soul.

Test this hypothesis: The answer to a pressing question will come within 72 hours after you do a ritual in which you ask for clarity. Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

For the week of April 5

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Be interested in first things, Aries. Cultivate your attraction to beginnings. Align yourself with uprisings and breakthroughs. Find out what’s about to hatch, and lend your support. Give your generous attention to potent innocence and novel sources of light. Marvel at people who are rediscovering the sparks that animated them when they first came into their power. Fantasize about being a curious seeker who is devoted to reinventing yourself over and over again. Gravitate toward influences that draw their vitality directly from primal wellsprings. Be excited about first things.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Are you weary of lugging around decayed guilt and regret? Is it increasingly difficult to keep forbidden feelings concealed? Have your friends been wondering about the whip marks from your self-flagellation sessions? Do you ache for redemption? If you answered yes to any of those questions, listen up. The empathetic and earthy saints of the Confession Catharsis Corps are ready to receive your blubbering disclosures. They are clairvoyant, they’re non-judgmental and best of all, they’re free. Within seconds after you telepathically communicate with our earthy saints, they will psychically beam you 11 minutes of unconditional love, no strings attached. Do it! You’ll be amazed at how much lighter and smarter you feel.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Now is an excellent time to FREE YOUR MEMORIES. Here are my thoughts on the subject: 1. You could change the way that you talk and feel about your past. Re-examine your assumptions about your old stories, and dream up fresh interpretations to explain how and why they happened. 2. If you’re holding on to an insult someone hurled at you once upon a time, let it go. In fact, declare a general amnesty for everyone who ever did you wrong. By the way, the coming weeks will also be a favorable phase to FREE YOURSELF OF MEMORIES that hold you back. Are there any tales you tell yourself about the past that undermine your dreams about the future? Stop telling yourself those tales.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): How big is your vocabulary? Twenty thousand words? Thirty thousand? Whatever size it is, the coming weeks will be prime time to expand it. Life will be conspiring to enhance your creative use of language … to deepen your enjoyment of the verbal flow … to help you become more articulate in rendering the mysterious feelings and complex thoughts that rumble around inside you. If you pay attention to the signals coming from your unconscious mind, you will be shown how to speak and write more effectively. You may not turn into a silver-tongued persuader, but you could become a more eloquent spokesperson for your own interests.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): We all need more breaks from the routine—more holidays, more vacations and more days off from work. We should all play and dance and sing more, guiltlessly practice the arts of leisure and relaxation and celebrate freedom in regular boisterous rituals. And I’m nominating you to show us the way in the coming weeks, Leo. Be a cheerleader who exemplifies how it’s done. Be a ringleader who springs all of us inmates out of our mental prisons. Be the imaginative escape artist who demonstrates how to relieve tension and lose inhibitions.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): People in your vicinity may be preoccupied with trivial questions. What’s more nutritious, corn chips or potato chips? Could Godzilla kick King Kong’s ass? Is it harder to hop forward on one foot or backward with both feet? I suspect that you will also encounter folks who are embroiled in meaningless decisions and petty emotions. So how should you navigate your way through this energy-draining muddle? Identify the issues that are most worthy of your attention. Stay focused on them with disciplined devotion. Be selfish in your rapt determination to serve your clearest, noblest and holiest agendas.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I hope that by mid-May you will be qualified to teach a workshop called “Sweet Secrets of Tender Intimacy,” “Dirty Secrets of Raw Intimacy” or maybe even “Sweet and Dirty Secrets of Raw and Tender Intimacy.” In other words, Libra, I suspect that you will be adding substantially to your understanding of the art of togetherness. Along the way, you may also have experiences that would enable you to write an essay entitled “How to Act Like You Have Nothing to Lose When You Have Everything to Gain.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If you have a dream of eating soup with a fork, it might mean that in your waking life you’re using the wrong approach to getting nourished. If you have a dream of entering through an exit, it might mean that in your waking life you’re trying to start at the end rather than the beginning. And if you dream of singing nursery rhymes at a karaoke bar with unlikable people from high school, it might mean that in your waking life you should seek more fulfilling ways to express your wild side and your creative energies. (P.S. You’ll be wise to do these things even if you don’t have the dreams I described.)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you’re a Quixotic lover, you’re more in love with love itself than with any person. If you’re a Cryptic lover, the best way to stay in love with a particular partner is to keep him or her guessing. If you’re a Harlequin, your steady lover must provide as much variety as three lovers. If you’re a Buddy, your specialties are having friendly sex and having sex with friends. If you’re a Histrionic, you’re addicted to confounding, disorienting love. It’s also possible that you’re none of the above. I hope so, because now is an excellent time to have a beginner’s mind about what kind of love you really need and want to cultivate in the future.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your new vocabulary word is “adytum.” It refers to the most sacred place within a sacred place—the inner shrine at the heart of a sublime sanctuary. Is there such a spot in your world? A location that embodies all you hold precious about your journey on planet Earth? It might be in a church or temple or synagogue or mosque, or it could be a magic zone in nature or a corner of your bedroom. Here you feel an intimate connection with the divine, or a sense of awe and reverence for the privilege of being alive. If you don’t have a personal adytum, Capricorn, find or create one.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You could defy gravity a little, but not a lot. You can’t move a mountain, but you may be able to budge a hill. Luck won’t miraculously enable you to win a contest, but it might help you seize a hard-earned perk or privilege. A bit of voraciousness may be good for your soul, but a big blast of greed would be bad for both your soul and your ego. Being savvy and feisty will energize your collaborators and attract new allies; being a smart-ass show-off would alienate and repel people.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Here are activities that will be especially favorable for you to initiate in the near future: 1. Pay someone to perform a service for you that will ease your suffering. 2. Question one of your fixed opinions if that will lead to you receiving a fun invitation you wouldn’t get otherwise. 3. Dole out sincere praise or practical help to a person who could help you overcome one of your limitations. 4. Get clear about how one of your collaborations would need to change in order to serve both of you better. Then tell your collaborator about the proposed improvement with light-hearted compassion.

Homework: Who’s the person you’d most like to meet and have coffee or a drink with? Why? Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

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For the week of March 29

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The dragon that stole your treasure will return it. Tulips and snapdragons will blossom in a field that you thought was a wasteland. Gargoyles from the abyss will crawl into view, but then meekly lick your hand and reveal secrets that you can really use. The dour troll that guards the bridge to the Next Big Thing will let you pass even though you don’t have the password. APRIL FOOL! Everything I just described is only metaphorically true, not literally.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): According to legend, Buddha had to face daunting tests to achieve enlightenment. A diabolical adversary tempted him with sensual excesses and assailed him with vortexes of blistering mud, flaming ice and howling rocks. Happily, Buddha glided into a state of wise calm and triumphed over the mayhem. He converted his nemesis’ vortexes into bouquets of flowers and celestial ointments. What does this have to do with you? In accordance with current astrological omens, I hope that you will emulate Buddha as you deal with your own initiatory tests. APRIL FOOL! I wasn’t completely honest. It’s true that you’ll face initiatory tests that could prod you to a higher level of wisdom. But they’ll most likely come from allies and inner prompts rather than a diabolical adversary.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Since I expect that you’ll soon be tempted to indulge in too much debauched fun and riotous release, I’ll offer you a good hangover remedy. Throw these ingredients into a blender, then drink up: A 1,000-year-old quail egg from China, seaweed from Antarctica, milk from an Iraqi donkey, lemon juice imported from Kazakhstan and a dab of Argentinian toothpaste on which the moon has shone for an hour. APRIL FOOL! I deceived you. You won’t have to get crazy drunk or stoned to enjoy extreme pleasure and cathartic abandon. It will come to you quite naturally—especially if you expand your mind through travel, big ideas or healthy experiments.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Hire a promoter to create gold plaques listing your accomplishments and hang them up in public places. Or pay someone to make 1,000 bobble-head dolls in your likeness, each wearing a royal crown, and give them away to everyone you know. Or enlist a pilot to fly a small plane over a sporting event while trailing a banner that reads, “[Your name] is a gorgeous genius worthy of worshipful reverence.” APRIL FOOL! What I just advised was a distorted interpretation of the cosmic omens. Here’s the truth: The best way to celebrate your surging power is not by reveling in frivolous displays of pride, but rather by making a bold move that will render a fantastic dream 10 percent more possible for you to accomplish.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Endangered species: Black rhino, Bornean orangutan, hawksbill turtle, South China tiger, Sumatran elephant and the Leo messiah complex. You may not be able to do much to preserve the first five on that list, but PLEASE get to work on saving the last. It’s time for a massive eruption of your megalomania. APRIL FOOL! I was exaggerating for effect. There’s no need to go overboard in reclaiming your messiah complex. But please do take strong action to stoke your self-respect, self-esteem and confidence.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Race through your yoga routine so you have more time to surf the internet. Inhale doughnuts and vodka in the car as you race to the health food store. Get into a screaming fight with a loved one about how you desperately need more peace and tenderness. APRIL FOOL! A little bit of self-contradiction would be cute, but not THAT much. And yet I do worry that you are close to expressing THAT much. The problem may be that you haven’t been giving your inner rebel any high-quality mischief to attend to. As a result, it’s bogged down in trivial insurrections. So please give your inner rebel more important work to do.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Research shows that a typical working couple devotes an average of four minutes per day in meaningful conversations. I suggest that you boost that output by at least 10 percent. Try to engage your best companion in four minutes and 24 seconds of intimate talk per day. APRIL FOOL! I lied. A 10-percent increase isn’t nearly enough. Given the current astrological indicators, you must seek out longer and deeper exchanges with the people you love. Can you manage 20 minutes per day?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In a way, it’s too bad that you’re about to lose your mind. The chaos that ensues will be a big chore to clean up. But in another sense, losing your mind may be a lucky development. The process of reassembling it will be entertaining and informative. And as a result, your problems will become more fascinating than usual, and your sins will be especially original. APRIL FOOL! I lied, sort of. You won’t really lose your mind. But this much is true: Your problems will be more fascinating than usual, and your sins will be especially original. That’s a good thing! It may even help you recover a rogue part of your mind that you lost a while back.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You say that some of the healthiest foods don’t taste good? And that some of your pleasurable diversions seem to bother people you care about? You say it’s too much hassle to arrange for a certain adventure that you know would be exciting and meaningful? Here’s what I have to say about all of that: Stop whining. APRIL FOOL! I lied. The truth is, there will soon be far fewer reasons for you to whine. The discrepancies between what you have to do and what you want to do will at least partially dissolve. So will the gaps between what’s good for you and what feels good, and between what pleases others and what pleases you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You should begin work on a book with one of the following titles, and you should finish writing it no later than April 28: The Totally Intense Four Weeks of My Life When I Came All the Way Home; The Wildly Productive Four Weeks of My Life when I Discovered the Ultimate Secrets of Domestic Bliss; The Crazily Meaningful Four Weeks When I Permanently Anchored Myself in the Nourishing Depths. APRIL FOOL! I lied. There’s no need to actually write a book like that. But I do hope that you seek out and generate experiences that would enable you to write books with those titles.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If you were a passenger on a plane full of your favorite celebrities, and the pilot had to make an emergency landing on a remote snowbound mountain, and you had to eat one of the celebrities in order to stay alive until rescuers found you, which celebrity would you want to eat first? APRIL FOOL! That was a really stupid and pointless question. I can’t believe I asked it. I hope you didn’t waste a nanosecond thinking about what your reply might be. Here’s the truth, Aquarius: You’re in a phase of your astrological cycle when the single most important thing you can do is ask and answer really good questions.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You now have an elevated chance of finding a crumpled one-dollar bill on a sidewalk. There’s also an increased likelihood that you’ll get a coupon for a five-percent discount from a carpet shampoo company, or win enough money in the lottery to buy a new sweatshirt. To enhance these possibilities, all you have to do is sit on your ass and wish really hard that good economic luck will come your way. APRIL FOOL! What I just said was kind of true, but also useless. Here’s more interesting news: The odds are better than average that you’ll score tips on how to improve your finances. You may also be invited to collaborate on a potentially lucrative project, or receive an offer of practical help for a bread-and-butter dilemma. To encourage these outcomes, all you have to do is develop a long-term plan for improved money management.

Homework: Carry out a prank that makes someone feel good. Report results at Truthrooster@gmail.com.

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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.

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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