Real Astronomy

July 11-17, 2018

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ARIES (March 21–April 19)  Your key theme right now is growth. Let’s dig in and analyze its nuances. 1. Not all growth is good for you. It may stretch you too far too fast—beyond your capacity to integrate and use it. 2. Some growth that is good for you doesn’t feel good to you. It might force you to transcend comforts that are making you stagnant, and that can be painful. 3. Some growth that’s good for you may meet resistance from people close to you; they might prefer you to remain just as you are, and may even experience your growth as a problem. 4. Some growth that isn’t particularly good for you may feel pretty good. For instance, you could enjoy working to improve a capacity or skill that is irrelevant to your long-term goals. 5. Some growth is good for you in some ways, and not so good in other ways. You have to decide if the trade-off is worth it. 6. Some growth is utterly healthy for you, feels pleasurable and inspires other people.

TAURUS (April 20–May 20)  You can’t sing with someone else’s mouth, Taurus. You can’t sit down and settle into a commanding new power spot with someone else’s butt. Capiche? I also want to tell you that it’s best if you don’t try to dream with someone else’s heart, nor should you imagine you can fine-tune your relationship with yourself by pushing someone else to change. But here’s an odd fact: You can enhance your possibility for success by harnessing or borrowing or basking in other people’s luck. Especially in the coming weeks.

GEMINI (May 21–June 20)  You wouldn’t attempt to cure a case of hiccups by repeatedly smacking your head against a wall, right? You wouldn’t use an anti-tank rocket launcher to eliminate the mosquito buzzing around your room, and you wouldn’t set your friend’s hair on fire as a punishment for arriving late to your rendezvous at the cafe. So don’t overreact to minor tweaks of fate, my dear Gemini. Don’t over-medicate tiny disturbances. Instead, regard the glitches as learning opportunities. Use them to cultivate more patience, expand your tolerance and strengthen your character.

CANCER (June 21–July 22)  I pay tribute to your dizzying courage, you wise fool. I stage-whisper “Congratulations!” as you slip away from your hypnotic routine and wander out to the edge of mysterious joy. With a crazy grin of encouragement and my fist pressed against my chest, I salute your efforts to transcend your past. I praise and exalt you for demonstrating that freedom is never permanent but must be reclaimed and reinvented on a regular basis. I cheer you on as you avoid every temptation to repeat yourself, demean yourself and chain yourself.

LEO (July 23–August 22)  I’m feeling a bit helpless as I watch you messing with that bad but good stuff that is so wrong but right for you. I am rendered equally inert as I observe you playing with the strong but weak stuff that’s interesting but probably irrelevant. I fidget and sigh as I monitor the classy but trashy influence that’s angling for your attention; and the supposedly fast-moving process that’s creeping along so slowly; and the seemingly obvious truth that would offer you a much better lesson if only you would see it for the chewy riddle that it is. What should I do about my predicament? Is there any way I can give you a boost? Maybe the best assistance I can offer is to describe to you what I see.

VIRGO (August 23–September 22)  Psychologist Paul Ekman has compiled an extensive atlas of how emotions are revealed in our faces. “Smiles are probably the most underrated facial expressions,” he has written, “much more complicated than most people realize. There are dozens of smiles, each differing in appearance and in the message expressed.” I bring this to your attention, Virgo, because your assignment in the coming weeks—should you choose to accept it—is to explore and experiment with your entire repertoire of smiles. I’m confident that life will conspire to help you carry out this task. More than at any time since your birthday in 2015, this is the season for unleashing your smiles.

LIBRA (September 23–October 22)  Lucky vibes are coalescing in your vicinity. Scouts and recruiters are hovering. Helpers, fairy godmothers and future playmates are growing restless waiting for you to ask them for favors. Therefore, I hereby authorize you to be imperious, regal and overflowing with self-respect. I encourage you to seize exactly what you want, not what you’re “supposed” to want. Or else be considerate, appropriate, modest and full of harmonious caution. CUT! CUT! Delete that “be considerate” sentence. The Libra part of me tricked me into saying it. And this is one time when people of the Libra persuasion are allowed to be free from the compulsion to balance and moderate. You have a mandate to be the show, not watch the show.

SCORPIO (October 23–November 21)  Emily Dickinson wrote 1,775 poems—an average of one every week for 34 years. I’d love to see you launch an enduring, deep-rooted project that will require similar amounts of stamina, persistence and dedication. Are you ready to expand your vision of what’s possible for you to accomplish? The current astrological omens suggest that the next two months will be an excellent time to commit yourself to a Great Work that you will give your best to for the rest of your long life!

SAGITTARIUS (November 22–December 21)  What’s the biggest lie in my life? There are several candidates. Here’s one: I pretend I’m nonchalant about one of my greatest failures; I act as if I’m not distressed by the fact that the music I’ve created has never received the listenership it should have. How about you, Sagittarius? What’s the biggest lie in your life? What’s most false or dishonest or evasive about you? Whatever it is, the immediate future will be a favorable time to transform your relationship with it. You now have extraordinary power to tell yourself liberating truths. Three weeks from now, you could be a more authentic version of yourself than you’ve ever been.

CAPRICORN (December 22–January 19)  Now and then you go through phases when you don’t know what you need until you stumble upon it. At times like those, you’re wise not to harbor fixed ideas about what you need or where to hunt for what you need. Metaphorically speaking, a holy grail might show up in a thrift store. An eccentric stranger may provide you with an accidental epiphany at a bus stop or a convenience store. Who knows? A crucial clue may even jump out at you from a spam email or a reality TV show. I suspect that the next two weeks might be one of those odd grace periods for you.

AQUARIUS (January 20–February 18)  “Reverse psychology” is when you convince people to do what you wish they would do by shrewdly suggesting that they do the opposite of what you wish they would do. “Reverse censorship” is when you write or speak the very words or ideas that you have been forbidden to express. “Reverse cynicism” is acting like it’s chic to express glee, positivity and enthusiasm. “Reverse egotism” is bragging about what you don’t have and can’t do. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to carry out all these reversals, as well as any other constructive or amusing reversals you can dream up.

PISCES (February 19–March 20)  Poet Emily Dickinson once revealed to a friend that there was only one Commandment she ever obeyed: “Consider the Lilies.” Japanese novelist Natsume Sōseki told his English-speaking students that the proper Japanese translation for “I love you” is Tsuki ga tottemo aoi naa, which literally means “The moon is so blue tonight.” In accordance with current astrological omens, Pisces, I’m advising you to be inspired by Dickinson and Sōseki. More than any other time in 2018, your duty in the coming weeks is to be lyrical, sensual, aesthetic, imaginative and festively nonliteral.

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