Rob Brezsny crop
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Metaphorically speaking, you have recently come into possession of some new seeds. They are robust. They are hardy. They have the potential to grow into big, strong blooms. So when should you plant them, metaphorically speaking? I’m going to suggest that you wait a while longer. It wouldn’t be bad for them if you sowed them right now, but I think their long-term vitality will be even greater if you postpone the planting for at least a week. Two weeks might be better. Trust your intuition.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Flemish artist Jan van Eyck (1385-1441) was renowned for his innovative mastery of oil painting. He signed many of his works not just with his name but also with his motto: Als ick kan, Its idiomatic translation is “The best I can do.” What he meant was that he had pushed his talent and craft to the limit, and then stopped and relaxed, content that he had given all he could. I invite you to have a similar attitude as you wrap up the projects you’re currently involved in, Aquarius. Summon all your passion and intelligence as you create the most excellent outcome possible, but also know when to quit. Don’t try too hard; just try hard.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It’s an excellent time to rise up and revolt against conventional wisdom. I urge you to immunize yourself against trendy groupthink as you outwit and outmaneuver the status quo. Have fun and activate your playful spirit to the max as you create workarounds to the way things have always been done. At the same time, Pisces, stay acutely attuned to your compassion and common sense. Don’t be a quarrelsome intransigent. Don’t be rebellious just to please your ego. If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to pull off a graceful insurrection that both soothes and stimulates your soul.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Whose enemy are you? Are you anyone’s adversary or obstructionist or least favorite person? Answer honestly, please. Don’t be in denial. Next question: Do you derive anything useful from playing this oppositional role? If your answer is yes, that’s fine. I won’t try to talk you out of it. Continue to reap the benefits of being someone’s obstacle. But if, on the other hand, you get little value out of this negative relationship, now would be a good time to change it. You have more power than usual to free yourself from being an antagonist.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You Tauruses are customarily more grounded than the rest of us. But this week, I’m wondering if you will be tempted to escape the laws of gravity and rebel against the call of duty. I suspect that your dreams, at least, will feature uninhibited forays into the wild blue yonder. While you’re sleeping you may float weightlessly in an interplanetary spaceship, become an eagle and soar over forests, wear a futuristic jet pack on your back and zip through the sky, sail across the Serengeti Plains in a hot-air balloon, or have a picnic on a cloud with a feast of cotton candy and sponge cake and mint tea. Would you consider bringing this kind of fun into your waking life?
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): What part of your life is too small, and you want to make it bigger? Is there a situation that’s overly intense and dramatic, and you wish you could feel more light-hearted about it, less oppressed? Are you on a quest that has become claustrophobic, and you’d love to find a way to make it more spacious and relaxed? If you answered yes to any of those questions, Gemini, there’s good news. Very soon now, you will have a close encounter with the magic you need to open what has been closed and expand what has been narrow. Be alert for it. Be crafty as you gather it in and harness it for your use.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): In her poem “Catch a Body,” Ilse Bendorf says she dislikes the advice “Don’t ever tell anybody anything.” On the other hand, “Tell everyone everything” isn’t the right approach, either, she says. Judging from your astrological omens, Cancerian, I surmise that you’re wavering between those two extremes. You’re tempted to think you’ve got to do one or the other. Should you cultivate the power that comes from being silent, and keep people guessing about your true feelings? Or should you seek greater intimacy but risk giving away your power by confessing all your inner thoughts? I suggest you take a middle path. Tell the vivid truth, but carefully and incrementally.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If a substance has been burned, it can’t be burned again. There’s no flammable stuff left to feed a fire. That’s simple physics. Now as for the question of whether a person can be burned more than once—we’re speaking metaphorically here—the answer is, unfortunately, yes. Some folks don’t learn from their mistakes and don’t have enough emotional intelligence to avoid the bullies and manipulators who burn them again in the future. But I’m confident that you aren’t one of these types, Leo, or that at least you won’t be in the coming days. You may have been burned before, but you won’t be burned this time.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year,” said author Peter Drucker. “People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” In general I agree with that assessment. But I think it needs to be altered for your situation in the coming months. Here’s the adjusted version of the formula: Virgos who don’t take risks in 2014 will make an average of 3.1 big mistakes. Virgos who do take risks in 2014 will make, at most, a half a big mistake.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “You know what the greatest tragedy is in the whole world?” asks novelist Terry Pratchett. “It’s all the people who never find out what it is they really want to do or what it is they’re really good at. It’s all the people who never get to know what it is that they can really be.” If that description applies to you even a little, Libra—if you’re still not completely sure what you’re good at it and what you want to do—the coming months will be prime time to fix that problem. Start now! How? Open your mind to the possibility that you don’t know yourself as well as you someday will. Take vocational tests. Ask smart people you trust to tell you what they think about your special aptitudes and unique qualities. And one more thing: Be wildly honest with yourself about what excites you.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In his book Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition, Ben Schott dreams up new compound German words for use in English. Here’s one that would serve you well in the coming week: Fingerspitzentanz, meaning “fingertips-dance.” Schott says it refers to “tiny triumphs of nimble-fingered dexterity.” His examples: fastening a bracelet, tightening a miniscule screw, unknotting, removing a recalcitrant sticker in one unbroken peel, rolling a joint, identifying an object by touch alone, slipping something off a high shelf. Both literally and metaphorically speaking, Scorpio, you now have an abundance of this capacity. Everything about you is more agile and deft and limber than usual. You’ll be a master of Fingerspitzentanz.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The four elements that compose cocaine are the same as those that make up TNT, caffeine, and nylon: hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. The combinations and proportions of elements are different in each substance, of course. But the point, for our purposes, is that the same raw materials lead to different results. I foresee a similar drama unfolding in your own life, Sagittarius. How you assemble the ingredients you currently have at your disposal could produce either a rough and ragged high, a volatile risk, a pleasant stimulation, or a useful resource. Which will it be?