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August 15, 2013

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CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The Paris Review did a story on novelist William Gass. The interviewer asked him why he wrote his books. That was “a very dumb question,” he sneered. Nevertheless, he answered it, saying, “I write because I hate. A lot. Hard.” In other words, his primary motivations for expressing himself creatively were loathing, malice, and hostility. I beg you not to use him as your role model, Capricorn. Not now. Not ever. But especially now. It is essential to your long-term health and wealth that you not be driven by hate in the coming weeks. Just the opposite, in fact: The more you are driven by love and generosity, the better chance you will have of launching a lucky streak that will last quite a while.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are,” said author Marianne Williamson. “Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is.” Your assignment, Aquarius, is to seek out the deepest possible understanding of these truths. To do that, you will have to identify the unripe, shadowy qualities of the people who are most important to you. And then you will have to find it in your smart heart to love them for their unripe, shadowy qualities almost as much as you do for their shiny, beautiful qualities. 

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Aldous Huxley was the renowned 20th-century intellectual who wrote the book Brave New World, a dystopian vision of the future. Later in his life he came to regret one thing: how “preposterously serious” he had been when he was younger. “There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,” he ruminated, “trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling …Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.” I would love for you to put this counsel at the top of your priority list for the next ten months, darling Pisces. Maybe even write it out on a piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Normally, International CAPS LOCK DAY happens only once a year, on June 28. But in alignment with your current astrological omens, you have been granted the right to observe the next seven days as your own personal International CAPS LOCK DAYS. That means you will probably be forgiven and tolerated if use OVERHEATED ORATORY and leap to THUNDEROUS CONCLUSIONS and engage in MELODRAMATIC GESTURES. You may even be thanked—although it’s important to note that the gratitude you receive may only come later, AFTER THE DUST HAS SETTLED.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): William Turner was a 19th-century English landscape painter born under the sign of Taurus. His aim was not to capture scenes in realistic detail but rather to convey the emotional impact they made on him. He testified that on one occasion he had himself tied to the mast of a ship during a snowstorm so that he could experience its full effects firsthand. The result was “Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbor’s Mouth,” a painting composed mostly of tempestuous swirls. What would be the equivalent for you, Taurus? I’m trying to think of a way you could be perfectly safe as you treated yourself to an up-close encounter with elemental energies.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Some years back, the Greek government launched a huge anti-smoking campaign. In response, cigarette sales spiked dramatically. When my daughter was six years old, I initiated a crusade to ban Barbie dolls from our home forever. Soon she was ripping out pictures of the accursed anti-feminist icon from toy catalogs and leaving them on my desk. With these events in mind, I’m feeling cautious about trying to talk you into formulating a five-year master plan. Maybe instead I should encourage you to think small and obsess on transitory wishes.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Wings are a constraint that makes it possible to fly,” the Canadian poet Robert Bringhurst reminds us. That will be a good principle for you to keep in mind during your own adventures during the coming weeks. I suspect that any liberation you are able to achieve will come as the result of intense discipline. To the degree that you cultivate the very finest limitations, you will earn the right and the power to transcend inhibitions that have been holding you down.

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August 15, 2013

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