~ HOROSCOPE ~

ARIES

March 21-April 19

In my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia, there\’s a 1500-word piece extolling a few of the many ways in which I feel that living on this planet is a glorious privilege. You\’re in a phase of your astrological cycle when it makes perfect sense for you to write something similar. To be in maximum alignment with cosmic luck, therefore, you should sit down and compose a list of everything that works well for you, delights you, and helps you feel at home in the world. Call it your \”Joy Manifesto.\”

TAURUS

April 20-May 20

For the last nine years the daffodils in my yard have blossomed in mid-February. This time around, however, their yellow blooms sprouted in the first week of January. Another sign of global warming? I don\’t know. So far the flowers\’ early arrival hasn\’t been a problem. They\’re still going strong, showing a hardy resistance to sporadic bursts of cold and rain. According to my astrological analysis, Taurus, you have also ripened a bit prematurely. Ahead of schedule, you\’ve accomplished your upgrade and are ready to try your hand at a spicier challenge. Like the daffodils, you will probably do fine. Just one piece of advice, though: Don\’t scrimp on your efforts to protect and nurture yourself.

GEMINI

May 21-June 20

Having ridden my mountain bike through Marin County\’s hills for years, I\’ve watched Mt. Tamalpais go through endless changes. Depending on the weather, the season, and the time of day, it has been a different mountain on each occasion I\’ve seen it. When the low-slung sun illuminates the thin layer of mist covering it late on a winter afternoon, for example, I can\’t believe it\’s the same mountain that lies beneath a full moon beaming down on it through a hole in the streaming clouds on a summer night. The poet in me says I\’d be justified in giving it a new name on each of the thousands of times I\’ve been in its presence. If you\’re honest, Gemini, you know that my relationship with Mt. Tamalpais is very much like your experience of the people you see every day. They\’re always fresh, always different from who they were last time. This is an ideal time to acknowledge and celebrate that mystery.

CANCER

June 21-July 22

Two people in Evansville, Indiana were exploring an office building they wanted to buy. To the surprise of the owner, they discovered the structure had a second story that had been closed up for decades. The three of them gained access to the hidden area and found business papers that had last touched human hands in 1931. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Cancerian, you will soon make a similar find. Sealed-off parts of your world you didn\’t know existed will become available for your inspection.

LEO

July 23-Aug. 22

The Galactic Question Center at Galquest.blogspot.com asks you to imagine the following scenario: Upon awakening one morning, you find that you are lying on top of a mile-high pole that is 24 feet in diameter. Next to you is a can of unopened chicken soup, a tube of strong glue, a half-mile long rope, and a German shepherd dog. Can you come up with a way to get yourself back down to the ground? I don\’t think you will face this exact predicament in the coming week, Leo, but it has a metaphorical resemblance to a knotty riddle you\’ll be presented with. Fortunately, you have the brain power to solve it.

VIRGO

Aug. 23-Sept. 22

Burton Butler is Northern California\’s top Skunk Whisperer. Because he has developed a special rapport with skunks, he\’s often called on by spooked suburbanites to safely remove the critters when they take up residence in basements and garages. I believe you will have an analogous talent in the coming weeks, Virgo. Due to your smart, unsentimental brand of sensitivity, you will be able to defuse potentially smelly problems with little or no damage to either the stinker or stinkees.

LIBRA

Sept. 23-Oct. 22

In the science fiction film Contact, Jodie Foster plays a scientist who\’s chosen as an astronaut for a solo trip to an alien world far from our solar system. As she careens through a staggering array of sublime celestial phenomena, she muses aloud to herself, half crying, \”It\’s so beautiful . . . so beautiful . . . They should have sent a poet.\” To properly understand and appreciate the experiences that lie ahead for you, Libra, adopt her advice: Awaken the poet within you, and let him or her lead the way as you go on your adventures. You say you don\’t have an inner poet? I disagree. We all have one. It\’s the part of you that thinks like the moon, dreams like the sun, and loves like the earth.

SCORPIO

Oct. 23-Nov. 21

In her San Francisco Chronicle column, Leah Garchik reported that a woman shopping at a local Safeway grocery store had heard \”Blitzkrieg Bop,\” a snarling anthem by the Ramones, playing over the loudspeaker. Was it an unfortunate development that besmirched the integrity of the seminal punk band, or a welcome sign that what was once raw rebel squawk is infiltrating the mainstream? You\’re ready to entertain an analogous question that pertains to your own personal quest for authenticity, Scorpio. Should you compromise a little so as to inject your influence into a setting where it\’s desperately needed? Or should you remain aloof and pure, content to affect mostly just those who already agree with you?

SAGITTARIUS

Nov. 22-Dec. 21

This should not be a race- down-an-eight-lane-superhighway kind of week, Sagittarius. From what I can tell, it\’s got to be an exploratory-meander-down-a- bunch-of-dirt-roads kind of week. In order to be exposed to what\’s important for you to learn, you\’ll have to take the scenic route through back country. Please don\’t be in a hurry. Regard the muddy patches and potholes as your allies. It\’s high time to slow down and smell the cow manure, which might be more accurately referred to as fertilizer.

CAPRICORN

Dec. 22-Jan. 19

A psychologist in the U.K. believes that January 24 is the \”most depressing day of the year,\” at least in the Northern Hemisphere. Cliff Arnall, whose specialty is seasonal disorders, says this day is typically a low point, when glum feelings generated by overcast weather, debt from the holidays, and broken New Year\’s resolutions reach a crescendo. While this might hold true for the other signs of the zodiac, Capricorn, it doesn\’t apply to you. The astrological omens reveal you\’re at the peak of your cycle, when you can triumph over challenges and accomplish breakthroughs that might normally be impossible. I suggest you proceed as if long- standing limitations have become irrelevant.

AQUARIUS

Jan. 20-Feb. 18

A guy I met in a bar in New York\’s Lower East Side discoursed at length on the psycho-spiritual meaning of The Wizard of Oz. \”The Wicked Witch of the West was Dorothy\’s greatest teacher,\” he told me. \”The witch\’s animosity compelled her to learn new tricks, master her circumstances, and ultimately find her way home.\” I hope that lately you have been benefiting from your own personal version of the Wicked Witch, Aquarius, and I trust that you will soon graduate from your need for the lessons he or she has provided.

PISCES

Feb. 19-March 20

Krakow, Poland hasn\’t had a full- time rabbi on duty since the events of World War II decimated the once-thriving Jewish population. Recently that changed with the arrival of Rabbi Avraham Flaks from Israel. He has promised to help build solidarity in the small Jewish community that has arisen since the fall of Communism and the end of the Polish government\’s unofficial policy of anti-Semitism. I foresee a comparable development in your own life, Pisces. You are poised to experience a reawakening of spiritual impulses that have been dormant for some time. If you follow the clues you\’ll be given, it\’s quite possible that a teacher, leader, or other inspirational influence will come to catalyze further excitement.

~ HOROSCOPE ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19):

At New York’s Museum of Modern Art, I brought my face to within a few inches of Vincent van Gogh’s painting, “The Starry Night.” It looked delicious. I wanted to kiss it. Its stars were throbbing and voluptuous. The night sky shimmered with currents of spiraling energy. In the foreground, the cypress tree flared like a shadowy flame. I could also see that the artist had been less than thorough in applying his paint. Especially on the edges, but also in the middle of the painting, slivers of untouched canvas showed through. Fierce, innocent, nourishing, reckless, unfinished, this priceless work drank my attention for a long time, constantly refreshing my eyes with what seemed to be its ceaseless movement. It was exactly what I wish you to be like in the coming week, Aries.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20):

Hundreds of years ago, the Roman Catholic Church conjured up the concept of “Limbo.” It was supposedly a murky realm between heaven and hell that housed the souls of babies who died before they were baptized and righteous people who lived before the time of Christ. Later “limbo” also came to have a non-religious meaning, referring to the state of uncertainty experienced by a person who is waiting for a resolution or decision. Last November, the Church formally retired the concept of Limbo, declaring it to be an outmoded hypothesis that should be hereafter ignored. In the coming weeks, Taurus, you will have an excellent opportunity to escape your own personal version of limbo. It’s time to declare yourself a master of the torturous lessons you were called on to learn while stranded there.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20):

I intoned a Hindu prayer and did a sacred Sufi dance as I stood inside a Native American medicine wheel and carried out parts of a Buddhist ritual while holding a Wiccan wand and Christian cross. My intention was to seek divine favor in helping you open to the possibility that you can expand your spiritual life considerably in the coming months, especially if you go exploring for inspiration outside of the beliefs and rituals that have nourished you up until now.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22):

The British government recently legalized civil partnerships for gay couples, giving them the same rights and privileges as married heterosexuals. I suggest you regard this breakthrough as a vitalizing symbol for what you yourself can accomplish in the coming weeks. Unions that you never thought possible will be within your power to create. Previously unimaginable connections will become normal and natural. You will have the potential to be a catalyst, mediator, and lubricant for a host of fresh combinations.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22):

On behalf of Saturn, the Lord of Karma, I hereby invite you to take advantage of a very ripe opportunity to make substantial reductions in your debt—your karmic debt, that is, not your financial debt. (Though I have it on good authority that lowering your karmic IOU will have a ripple effect that will ultimately alleviate the struggles with money you might be suffering from.) But to return to the main point: This is one of the best times ever for fixing the mistakes you made in the past, atoning for the pain you have caused, and correcting the imbalances that resulted from your careless behavior.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

I’ve discovered a new way to stimulate my psychic powers. I simply eat large amounts of wasabi, the bracing horseradish-like paste that’s traditionally served with sushi. Its astringent potency seems to crack open an inter-dimensional wormhole in my brain through which news of the future pours in. After meditating on the astrological factors coming to bear on you, I ingested the stuff to give my divinations some extra oomph. Here’s what I came up with: You need the equivalent of the wasabi approach right now—some gentle shock, self-administered, that will extend the range of your normal perceptions.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

While riding my mountain bike out in the wilds, I passed an oak tree growing on a hillside. On the slope below it, one of the tree’s thick roots poked up through the ground for about three feet, then re-entered the earth. I immediately thought of you and your imminent future, Libra. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, your roots will soon be exposed, giving you a vivid glimpse at what has been going on below the surface all this time. The foundations of your life, which are normally hidden from view, will be at least partially open to your exploration and study.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Balding, five feet tall, and heavy set, 61-year-old Scorpio actor Danny Devito is not renowned as an embodiment of male beauty. That’s what helped make his appearance on an episode of the old TV show “Friends” so amusing. He played a striptease artist dressed as a cop who came to entertain Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe. The spectacle of him dancing provocatively as he removed his clothes was appalling, fascinating, funny, and ultimately harmless. I predict you will have at least two experiences that fit this description in the coming week.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

In an interview with The New York Times, the Dalai Lama spoke of how he deals with sexual feelings. As a monk who has taken a vow of celibacy, he said he’d prefer not to experience that appetite at all. “If you itch, it’s nice to scratch it,” he mused, quoting the Buddhist teacher Nagarjuna. “But it’s better to have no itch at all.” This counsel applies to a wide variety of situations, including one that will be especially important for you in the coming months. I suggest that you take an inventory of your needs and urges and compulsions, and try to dissolve those that have little meaning or purpose for you in the big picture of your destiny.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

The San Francisco 49ers football team recently endured one of its worst seasons ever. But as the losses piled up, head coach Mike Nolan continued to profess an optimism that seemed deluded to most observers. After an especially galling defeat in the team’s 13th game, however, he finally confessed he was a little down. In response, San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter Ray Ratto exulted, “At least Mike Nolan isn’t calling a chemical fire the Aurora Borealis anymore.” I bring this up, Capricorn, because in recent months you have now and then suffered from the reverse problem: It’s like you’ve been gazing at the Aurora Borealis and theorizing it’s a chemical fire. But this glitch in your attitude is now becoming untenable. Your pretty good luck is evolving into damn fine blessings. It’s time to acknowledge the beautiful truths in all of their glory.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

German scientist Juergen Zulley specializes in research about the hours we spend unconscious lying in our beds every night. He has come to the conclusion that a lack of sleep can make you stupid, fat, and sick. It weakens your memory, decreases a hormone that helps control your cravings for food, and undermines the healthy function of your heart, digestive system, and circulation. I would add that sleep deprivation reduces the time you spend dreaming, which compromises your mental hygiene. All of these consequences would be major problems for you in the next two weeks, Aquarius. If anything, you need to sleep more than usual. I implore you to get at least eight hours a night. More would be better.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20):

Officials in the California coastal city of Malibu recently updated their manual on emergency preparedness. In the event of a tsunami, they advised the public, surfers should not try to ride the tidal waves, but should flee inland. While that might be good counsel from a literal perspective, Pisces, on a metaphorical level I think you should do the opposite in the coming week. As the tidal wave of opportunities flows toward you, don’t run away. Instead, do your best to surf it as far and as long as you can.

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