ARIES (March 21-April 19): Progress rarely unfolds in a glorious, ever-rising upward arc. The more usual pattern is gradual and uneven. Each modest ascent is followed by a phase of retrenchment and integration. In the best-case scenario, the most recent ascent reaches a higher level than the previous ascent. By my estimate, you’re in one of those periods of retrenchment and integration right now, Aries. It’s understandable if you feel a bit unenthusiastic about it. But I’m here to tell you that it’s crucial to your next ascent. Let it work its subtle magic.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You are most likely to be in sweet alignment with cosmic rhythms if you regard the next three weeks as a time of graduation. I encourage you to take inventory of the lessons you’ve been studying since your birthday in 2019. How have you done in your efforts to foster interesting, synergistic intimacy? Are you more passionately devoted to what you love? Have you responded brightly as life has pushed you to upgrade the vigor and rigor of your commitments? Just for fun, give yourself a grade for those “classes,” as well as any others that have been important. Then—again, just for fun—draw up a homemade diploma for yourself to commemorate and honor your work.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Are you ready to seize a more proactive role in shaping what happens in the environments you share with cohorts? Do you have any interest in exerting leadership to enhance the well-being of the groups that are important to you? Now is an excellent time to take brave actions that will raise the spirits and boost the fortunes of allies whose fates are intermingled with yours. I hope you’ll be a role model for the art of pleasing oneself while being of service to others.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian author Lionel Trilling (1905–1975) was an influential intellectual and literary critic. One of his heroes was another influential intellectual and literary critic, Edmund Wilson. On one occasion, Trilling was using a urinal in a men’s room at the New School for Social Research in New York. Imagine how excited he was when Wilson, whom he had never met, arrived to use the urinal right next to his. Now imagine his further buoyancy when Wilson not only spoke to Trilling but also expressed familiarity with his work. I foresee similar luck or serendipity coming your way soon: seemingly unlikely encounters with interesting resources and happy accidents that inspire your self-confidence.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Poet Conee Berdera delivered a poignant message to her most valuable possession: the flesh-and-blood vehicle that serves as sanctuary for all her yearnings, powers and actions. “My beloved body,” she writes, “I am so sorry I did not love you enough.” Near the poem’s end she vows “to love and cherish” her body. I wish she would have been even more forceful, saying something like, “From now on, dear body, I promise to always know exactly what you need and give it to you with all my ingenuity and panache.” Would you consider making such a vow to your own most valuable possession, Leo? It’s a favorable time to do so.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Luckily, the turning point you have arrived at doesn’t present you with 20 different possible futures. You don’t have to choose from among a welter of paths headed in disparate directions. There are only a few viable options to study and think about. Still, I’d like to see you further narrow down the alternatives. I hope you’ll use the process of elimination as you get even clearer about what you don’t want. Let your fine mind gather a wealth of detailed information and objective evidence, then hand over the final decision to your intuition.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Certain artists are beyond my full comprehension. Maybe I’m not smart enough to understand their creations or I’m not deep enough to fathom why their work is considered important. For example, I don’t enjoy or admire the operas of Wagner or the art of Mark Rothko. Same with the music of Drake or the novels of Raymond Carter or the art of Andy Warhol. The problem is with me, not them. I don’t try to claim they’re overrated or mediocre. Now I urge you to do what I just did, Libra, only on a broader scale. Acknowledge that some of the people and ideas and art and situations you can’t appreciate are not necessarily faulty or wrong or inadequate. Their value may simply be impossible for you to recognize. It’s a perfect time for you to undertake this humble work. I suspect it will be liberating.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio-born Ralph Bakshi has made animated films and TV shows for over 60 years. His work has been influential. “I’m the biggest ripped-off cartoonist in the history of the world,” he says. Milder versions of his experience are not uncommon for many Scorpios. People are prone to copying you and borrowing from you and even stealing from you. They don’t always consciously know they’re doing it, and they may not offer you proper appreciation. I’m guessing that something like this phenomenon may be happening for you right now. My advice? First, be pleased about how much clout you’re wielding. Second, if anyone is borrowing from you without making the proper acknowledgment, speak up about it.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Vainly I sought nourishment in shadows and errors,” wrote author Jorge Luis Borges. We have all been guilty of miscalculations like those. Each of us has sometimes put our faith in people and ideas that weren’t worthy of us. None of us is so wise that we always choose influences that provide the healthiest fuel. That’s the bad news, Sagittarius. The good news is that you now have excellent instincts about where to find the best long-term nourishment.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.” I believe this same assertion is true about people of all genders. I also suspect that right now you are in a particularly pivotal position to be a candid revealer: to enhance and refine everyone’s truth-telling by being a paragon of honesty yourself. To achieve the best results, I encourage you to think creatively about what exactly it means for you to tell the deep and entire truth.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Through some odd Aquarian-like quirk, astrologers have come to harbor the apparently paradoxical view that your sign is ruled by both Saturn and Uranus. At first glance, that’s crazy! Saturn is the planet of discipline, responsibility, conservatism, diligence and order. Uranus is the planet of awakening, surprise, rebellion, barrier-breaking and liberation. How can you Aquarians incorporate the energies of both? Well, that would require a lengthy explanation beyond the scope of this horoscope. But I will tell you this: During the rest of the year 2020, you will have more potential to successfully coordinate your inner Saturn and your inner Uranus than you have had in years. Homework: Meditate on how you will do just that.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In 1637, renowned English poet John Milton wrote Lycidas, a poetic elegy in honor of a friend. Reading it today, almost four centuries later, we are struck by how archaic and obscure the language is, with phrases like “O ye laurels” and “Ah! who hath reft my dearest pledge?” A famous 20th-century Piscean poet named Robert Lowell was well-educated enough to understand Milton’s meaning, but also decided to “translate” all of Lycidas into plainspoken modern English. I’d love to see you engage in comparable activities during the coming weeks, Pisces: updating the past; reshaping and reinterpreting your old stories; revising the ways you talk about and think about key memories.
Did you mean, in your Libra horoscope, Raymond Carver instead of Raymond Carter? Ray Carver is not a novelist, but he does write. And he writes fabulous short stories.