Rob Brezsny crop
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” When I came across that quote while surfing the Web, I felt that it jibed perfectly with the astrological omens that are currently in play for you. Every website I consulted agreed that the speaker of this wisdom was Socrates, but I thought the language sounded too contemporary to have been uttered by a Greek philosopher who died 2,400 years ago. After a bit of research, I found the real source: a character named Socrates in Way of the Peaceful Warrior, a New Age self-help book by Dan Millman. I hope this doesn’t dilute the impact of the quote for you, Leo. For now, it is crucial that you not get bogged down in quarreling and brawling. You need to devote all your energy to creating the future.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Do you know that you are a host for more than 10,000 different species of microorganisms? Many of them are bacteria that perform functions essential to your health. So the stunning fact of the matter is that a large number of life forms share your body and constantly help you in ways about which you have no conscious awareness. Might there be other examples of you collecting benefits from unknown sources? Well, do you know who is responsible for providing you with the water and electricity you use? Who sewed your clothes and made your medicine? Who built the roads and buildings you use? This is an excellent time to take inventory of all the assistance, much of it anonymous, that you are so fortunate to receive.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): More often than not, your fine mind does a competent job of defining the problems that need solving. It comes up with concise questions that lead you in the right direction to find useful clues. It gathers evidence crisply and it makes smart adjustments as the situation evolves. But after studying the astrological factors currently at work, I’m a little concerned that your usually fine mind might temporarily be prone to suffering from the dreaded malady known as paralysis through over-analysis. To steer yourself away from that possibility, keep checking in with your body and your feelings to see what alternate truths they may have to tell you.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): By the standards of people who don’t know you well, the triumph you achieve in the coming days might seem modest. But I think it will actually be pretty dramatic. Here’s my only concern: There’s a slight danger you will get grandiose or even a bit arrogant in the aftermath of your victory. You could also get peeved at those who don’t see it for the major achievement it is. Now that I’ve given you this warning, though, I’m hoping you will avoid that fate. Instead you will celebrate your win with humble grace, feeling gratitude for all the help you got long the way.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.” So said French writer André Breton. I suspect that many of us feel the same way, which is kind of depressing. But the good news for you, Sagittarius, is that there will be times in the coming months when you will get as close to naming that mysterious thing as you have ever gotten. On more than a few occasions, you may be able to get a clear glimpse of its true nature. Now and then you might even be fully united with it. One of those moments could come soon.
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.