Rob Brezsny crop
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Can you guess what combination of colors makes the most vivid visual impact? Psychologists say it’s black on yellow. Together they arrest the eye. They command attention. They activate a readiness to respond. According to my reading of the astrological omens, this is the effect you can and should have in the coming weeks. It’s time for you to draw the best kind of attention to yourself. You have a right and a duty to galvanize people with the power of your presence. Whether you actually wear yellow clothes with black highlights is optional as long as you cultivate a similar potency.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’m guessing that in a metaphorical sense, you’ve been swallowed by a whale. Now you’re biding your time in the beast’s belly. Here’s my prediction: You will be like the Biblical Jonah, who underwent a more literal version of your experience. The whale eventually expelled him, allowing him to return to his life safe and sound—and your story will have the same outcome. What should you do in the meantime? Here’s the advice that Dan Albergotti gives in his poem “Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale.” “Count the ribs,” he says. “Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals. Call old friends. Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Review each of your life’s ten million choices. Find the evidence of those before you. Listen for the sound of your heart. Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait.”
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): How do you like your tests? Short, intense, and dramatic? Or leisurely, drawn-out, and low-pressure? Here’s another question: Do you prefer to pick out the tests you take, making sure they’re good fits for the precise lessons you want to master? Or do you find it more exciting and adventurous to let fate determine what unpredictable tests get sent your way? Ruminate about these matters, Pisces. You’re due for a nice big test sometime soon, and it’s in your interest to help shape and define how everything unfolds.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): You can blame it on the coming full moon. You can blame it on the gorgeous storm or the epic dream or the haunting song or the suffering you’re struggling to vanquish. All I ask is that you don’t blame it on the alcohol. OK? If you’re going to do wild and brave and unexpected things, make sure they are rooted in your vigorous response to primal rhythms, not in a drunken surrender to weakness or ignorance. I’m all for you losing your oppressive self-control, but not the healthy kind of self-control.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When is the last time you did an experiment? I’m not talking about scientific tests and trials that take place in a laboratory. I’m referring to real-life experiments, like when you try out an unfamiliar experience to see if it appeals to you…or when you instigate a change in your routine to attract unpredictable blessings into your sphere. Now would be an excellent time to expose yourself to a few what-ifs like that. You’re overdue to have your eyes opened, your limits stretched, and your mind blown.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To help take the edge off the darkness you have been wrestling with, I offer you these lines from a poem by Kay Ryan: “The day misspent, / the love misplaced, / has inside it / the seed of redemption. / Nothing is exempt / from resurrection.” In other words, Gemini, whatever has disappeared from your life will probably return later in a new form. The wrong turns you made may lead you to a fresh possibility. Is that what you want? Or would you prefer that the lost things stay lost, the dead things stay dead? Make a decision soon.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Human beings are often unable to receive because we do not know what to ask for,” says the writer Malidoma Somé in his book Water and Spirit. “We are sometimes unable to get what we need because we do not know what we want.” With that in mind, Cancerian, hear my two pleas: first, that in the next six weeks, you will work diligently to identify the goodies you want most; and second, that you will cultivate your capacity to receive the goodies you want most by refining your skill at asking for them.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Julia Morgan (1872-1957) was the first woman licensed as an architect in California. She designed over 700 buildings in the course of her brilliant career, and thrived both financially and artistically. One key to her success was her humility. “Don’t ever turn down a job because it’s beneath you,” she advised. That’s a helpful message for you to hear, Leo. It applies to the work-related opportunities you may be invited to take on, as well as the tasks that your friends, associates, and loved ones ask you to consider. You can’t possibly know ahead of time how important it might ultimately be to apply yourself conscientiously to a seemingly small assignment.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): One of Beethoven’s music teachers said, “As a composer, he is hopeless.” When Thomas Edison was a kid, a teacher told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Walt Disney worked at a newspaper when he was young, but his editor fired him because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” I’m sure there was a person like that in your past -- someone who disparaged and discouraged you. But I’m happy to report that 2014 will be the best year ever for neutralizing and overcoming that naysayer’s curse. If you have not yet launched your holy crusade, begin now.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): As a child, French philosopher and writer Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) loved math. But his father, who homeschooled him, forced him to forego math and concentrate on studying the humanities. Blaise rebelled. When he was 12 years old, he locked himself in his room for days and immersed himself in mathematical investigations. When he emerged, he had figured out on his own some of Euclid’s fundamental theorems about geometry. Eventually, he became a noted mathematician. I see the coming weeks as prime time to do something like the young Pascal did: Seal yourself away from other people’s opinions about who you’re supposed to be, and explore the themes that will be crucial for the person you are becoming.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 1609, Dutch sea explorer Henry Hudson sailed to America and came upon what we now call Coney Island. Back then it was a barren spit of sand whose main inhabitants were rabbits. But it was eventually turned into a dazzling resort—an “extravagant playground,” according to the documentary film Coney Island. By the early 20th century, there were three sprawling amusement parks packed into its two square miles of land, plus “a forest of glittering electric towers, historical displays, freak shows, a simulated trip to the moon, the largest herd of elephants in the world, and panoramas showing the Creation, the End of the World, and Hell.” I mention this, Scorpio, because 2014 could feature your very own Henry Hudson moment: a time when you will discover virgin territory that will ultimately become an extravagant playground.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows,” said 19th-century social reformer Henry Ward Beecher. That might be an accurate assessment for most people, but I don’t think it will be true for you Sagittarians in the foreseeable future. Your animal intelligence will be working even better than usual. Your instinctual inclinations are likely to serve as reliable guides to wise action. Trust what your body tells you! You will definitely be clever enough to be a crow.