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Rob Brezsny crop
Rob Brezsny crop
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Long after the artist Amedeo Clemente Modigliani died, his paintings sold for millions of dollars. But while alive, he never got rich from doing what he loved to do. He expressed frustration about the gap between his ambitions and his rewards. "I do at least three paintings a day in my head," he said. "What's the use of spoiling canvas when nobody will buy anything?" I hope you don't arrive at a comparable conclusion, Gemini. It's crucial that you NOT keep your good ideas bottled up in your imagination. You need to translate them into practical actions, even if there's no immediate or obvious benefit in doing so. Expressing yourself concretely has rarely been more important than it is right now.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): In 1967, dissidents dreamed up a novel way to protest America's horrific Vietnam War. They marched to the Pentagon, the military's headquarters, and performed an exorcism to purge the place of its evil. With the power of songs and chants, they invoked magic spells designed to levitate the 6.5 million-square-feet building into the air. Their plan didn't quite work in a literal way—the Pentagon remained firmly fixed to the ground—but the legend they spawned was potent. When I heard about it years later, it inspired me to become an activist. I see myth-making as a worthy goal for you right now, Cancerian. Dream up an epic task or project that will fuel your imagination for a long time.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In 1926, surrealist artist Max Ernst painted "The Blessed Virgin Chastising the Infant Jesus in Front of Three Witnesses." It shows Mary vigorously spanking her son as he lies on her lap. Nowadays, the image doesn't seem nearly as scandalous as it did when it first appeared. Even some Christians I know find it amusing, welcoming the portrayal of Jesus as a genuine human being with lessons to learn. What would be your equivalent of creating a cheeky image like this, Leo? How could you achieve cathartic release by being irreverent toward something or someone you respect? I recommend it. (See the image: tinyurl.com/SpankingJesus.)
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It's prime time to promote cross-cultural liaisons and interspecies relationships, Virgo. I encourage you to experiment with hybrids and facilitate the union of diverse interests. You will be working in alignment with cosmic trends if you strengthen the connections between influences that belong together, and even between influences that don't know they belong together. So see what you can do to facilitate conversations between Us and Them. Negotiate peace treaties between Yes and No. Look for legitimate ways to compare apples and oranges.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Gonzo columnist Mark Morford wrote a list of liberated behaviors he wants to cultivate. Since you're in the emancipatory phase of your yearly cycle, I invite you to try some of his strategies. 1. Have a gentler grip. Let go of tight-assed attitudes. 2. Make deeper penetration. Don't be satisfied with surfaces. 3. Raise the vibration. Isn't it a waste of precious life energy to mope around in a sour and shriveled frame of mind? 4. Appreciate appreciation. Treat gratitude as an emotion of the same caliber as joy. 5. Cultivate ecstatic silliness. Develop a blissful ability to take everything less seriously. 6. Drink the awe. Allow astonishment to seep in. (More: tinyurl.com/morford joy.)
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): From an astrological perspective, now would be a good time to go on a meditation retreat for a few days or make a pilgrimage to your ancestral homeland. You would generate just the right shifts in your brain chemistry by doing something like that. Other recommended adventures: reviewing the story of your entire life from your first memory to the present moment; writing a brief letter to the five people you have loved best, telling them why you've loved them; spending a day outside of time, when you don't consult a clock or use electronic media for the duration.