~ ASTROLOGY ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

In recent years, groups of students at Yale and other Ivy League universities have pioneered a unique cultural trend: naked parties. Those in attendance at one of these invitation-only affairs agree to spend the evening in their birthday suits. \\\”The dynamic is completely different from a clothed party,\\\” reports Yale coed Megan Crandell, quoted in The Scotsman. \\\”People are so conscious of how they\\\’re coming across that conversations end up being more sophisticated.\\\” Your assignment, Aries–should you choose to accept it–is to bring the phenomenon of the naked party to your own locale. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you\\\’re meant to be a social catalyst who inspires people to strip away their defenses and practice the art of radical authenticity.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

Your web of allies is a crucial part of your pursuit of happiness. The stimulation and support you ask them for are vivid evidence that you love life and have a strong sense of what\\\’s good for you. Every now and then, however, you need to remember that it\\\’s important to avoid falling completely under their influence. You\\\’ve got to resist peer pressure, and declare your independence from the crowd\\\’s power to shape you. Now is such a time, Taurus.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

\\\”Never eat food you did not prepare yourself,\\\” wrote journalist David Filipov about the lessons he learned while traveling in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, \\\”and never eat out of the same dish as 12 paramilitary stormtroopers you\\\’ve just met.\\\” Draw inspiration from Filipov\\\’s approach, Gemini. Dare yourself to explore an exotic frontier, but exercise great discrimination while you\\\’re learning the ropes and getting the lay of the land.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

It\\\’s Be Your Own Muse Week, Cancerian. How should you observe this festival? Here\\\’s one suggestion. First, visualize in detail your dream lover . . . your ideal soul mate . . . the embodiment of everything you find attractive. Second, imagine that though this person feels the same way about you, there is a very good reason why the two of you can\\\’t make love or be together as a couple for a long time. Next, feel the sweet torment of your unquenched longing for each other, the impossible ache of fiery tenderness. Finally, picture all the ways you will work on yourself in the coming years to refine your soul and perfect your love, so that when the two of you can finally be united, you will have made yourself into a gorgeous genius–a pure blessing and exquisite gift for your beloved.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

Chinese scientists have discovered that the behavior of snakes is a reliable predictor of earthquakes. In the lead-up to a temblor, the reptiles act oddly, slithering frantically out of their nests if they\\\’re in their natural habitat, or hurling themselves head-first against walls if they\\\’re being kept in laboratories or zoos. I mention this, Leo, because I\\\’ve had two dreams recently about snakes wearing party hats, sipping cocktails, singing karaoke, and dancing on tabletops. Each dream also featured several of my Leo friends acting pretty much like the snakes. If I factor in these nocturnal portents with my analysis of the current astrological omens, I interpret them as prophecies that the Leo tribe will soon be experiencing metaphorical \\\”earthquakes\\\” of liberating pleasure and cathartic fun.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

The swan is a beautiful bird, right? If you see one gliding across a pond, it evokes in you a feeling of calm. In fairy tales, it\\\’s a symbol of natural grace, an emblem of animal elegance. But those lovely associations are becoming irrelevant in England, where swan populations have grown so massive and voracious that they\\\’re threatening ecosystems and damaging biodiversity. I guess we could say that their destructive overabundance exemplifies the theme of too much of a good thing. It\\\’s an apt metaphor for the challenge I believe you\\\’ll face in the coming days, Virgo.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

You recently went through a phase whose quality I might compare to a dry, crunchy, bran-heavy breakfast cereal without milk. It fed your hunger, though it wasn\\\’t particularly tasty or thrilling. It was highly concentrated and good for your digestion. Now you\\\’re slipping into a kind of Cracker Jack mode, with lots of airy puffs of popcorny sweetness and an occasional nut, climaxed by a toy surprise. The Cracker Jack phase will be more like a snack than a meal, though, and it won\\\’t last too long. By next week at this time, I\\\’m guessing your life will have resemblances to a hearty, organic, five-grain hot cereal sweetened with maple syrup and cinnamon.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Don\\\’t feel bad if you come from a dysfunctional family. Studies done by The Institute for the Study of Universal Addiction indicate that 97 percent of all families are dysfunctional. You should, however, feel bad if you pass up the opportunities you now have to heal the ravages caused by your dysfunctional family. Here\\\’s a good place to start: By trying to dissolve your habit of feeling victimized, damaged, or burdened by the people with whom you shared your original home, you could release yourself from a curse you\\\’ve been casting on yourself–and magically set in motion overdue changes in your other family members.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

\\\”Man is least himself when he talks in his own person,\\\” observed Oscar Wilde. \\\”Give him a mask and he\\\’ll tell you the truth.\\\” Using that as our hypothesis, Sagittarius, I urge you to adopt playful disguises to help you express yourself this week. You could go to a costume store and buy a mask of one of history\\\’s great communicators. (How about Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, or Eleanor Roosevelt?) Or you could simply pretend to be a slightly different person than your normal self. Speak in a foreign accent. Take on the body language of a hip-hop artist or professional wrestler. Or imagine that you\\\’re already the person you\\\’ll be three years from today.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that you\\\’ll be more animalistic than usual in the coming weeks. Your instinctual intelligence will be high, which means you\\\’ll have a good sense of who to trust and who not to trust. In fact, your body will be offering you a stream of valuable information about other matters as well, from tips on how to rise higher in the pecking order to clues about where to find the best hunting grounds. It\\\’s also likely that you\\\’ll be hornier and wilder than usual. That could be quite fun or it could get you into trouble. Which way it goes will depend on how well the human in you both respects and controls the animal in you.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

The cosmic powers-that-be are encouraging you to be a brazen instigator of novelty, a pioneering magician who dares to initiate inspired trends that may upset the status quo. If you can summon the charismatic nerve to cooperate with this prod, Aquarius, there\\\’s no telling what drastic acts of benevolent disruption you could conjure up. And they would ultimately lead, I have little doubt, to constructive innovations. (P.S. Would you believe me if I told you that a previously dormant section of your genetic code is primed to spring into action?)

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

In her book Frankenstein, Mary Shelley created a monster who was smart and sensitive. He felt empathetic pain for the suffering of Native Americans. He desperately wanted a mate. He read Milton\\\’s Paradise Lost, and felt a grieving kinship with the struggles of Adam depicted therein. In accordance with current astrological omens, Pisces, I encourage you to acknowledge and express love for your own inner Frankenstein monster–the tormented, disfigured, and yet powerful part of your psyche that needs your compassion. I\\\’m sure that this will prevent it from doing what Shelley\\\’s fictional character ultimately did, which was to go on a rampage–and will maybe even set it on a course to become a force for good.

~ASTROLOGY~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

\”When are your cats old enough to learn about Jesus?\” asks The Onion, America\’s finest newspaper. Think about that question for a while, Aries. Then, once you\’ve worked yourself up into a riddle-solving frame of mind, move on to these other, more pressing brain-teasers: When will you finally be old enough to figure out what you want to do when you grow up? When will it be the right time to reveal your secret super-powers to the world? How long are you going to wait before you get around to being completely committed to what you were born to do?

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

Should we attribute any oracular significance to the fact that hundreds of flowers bloomed on a cherry tree in Brooklyn during the first week of winter? Is it a portentous marvel akin to, say, the births of three white buffalos on a farm in Janesville, Wisconsin? (The odds of a single white buffalo are a million to one.) I don\’t know for sure, Taurus, but my meditations do suggest that the Brooklyn miracle is an apt metaphor for a scenario you\’ll soon be experiencing: an early ripening of a possibility that you had assumed wouldn\’t be ready or available for quite some time.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

In 1958 Chinese dictator Mao Zedong declared sparrows to be enemies of the state. Because their diet included farmers\’ crops, he said, they were a threat that had to be eliminated. Under his orders, the Chinese people spent 72 consecutive hours scaring the birds with loud noises, preventing them from landing and causing hundreds of thousands to die from exhaustion. An unforeseen consequence arose later, though, when there was a population explosion among the insects that the dead sparrows would have eaten. Plagues of grain-devouring bugs swept the countryside, leading to mass starvation among the human population. The moral of the story, as far as you\’re concerned: Learn to tolerate and even love a mild pest that has redeeming qualities and whose influence keeps away a truly noxious pest.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

Let me clarify your situation for you, Cancerian. Up until a short time ago, you\’d been wandering through halls of mirrors, metaphorically speaking. Then you spied a hammer on the floor, got seized by a rash impulse, and proceeded to smash a lot of glass–again, metaphorically speaking. That was the first step to finding your way out of the labyrinth. Now you\’re ready for the next step: actually escaping. As you head out, I advise you to be careful that you don\’t cut yourself on all the shards. Liberation is near enough; there\’s no need to rush. Walk calmly and carefully towards the sound of the heartbeat you hear in the distance, metaphorically speaking.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

This would not be a good week for the rapid consumption of a six-pack of Heineken, a pint of Southern Comfort, a quart of tequila, and a double bong load of skunk weed. On the other hand, it would also be a bad time to stay stone-cold sober, play strictly by the rules, and be meticulously devoted to dignity. In other words, Leo, strike a balance between sloppy excess and fastidious perfectionism. In fact, be as slippery as you need to be in order to avoid getting squeezed between two extremes of any kind. The middle path will be safest, smartest, and most stylish.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

I hate greed almost as much as I hate hatred. So I was mistrustful when your inner teacher hinted that I should look in the thesaurus under \”acquire\” for clues to your major themes in the coming months. There I found words like \”amass,\” \”collect,\” \”gather,\” \”secure,\” \”earn,\” and \”take possession.\” After duly meditating on your astrological aspects, I decided that what your inner teacher was driving at is this: 2007 should be a time of building up your reserves, carving out a more substantial niche, and getting the tools and resources and training that will provide a foundation for your dreams well into the future. So here\’s my question to you: Can you engage in this much acquisition without becoming grasping, predatory, and manipulative? Personally, I\’m sure you can.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

To create a pearl, an oyster needs an aggravating parasite inside its shell. It builds layers of calcium carbonate around the invader, gradually fabricating the treasure. How long does it take from the initial provocation to the finished product? Five years for a pearl of average size, and as many as ten years for a big one. I hope that puts into perspective the tenacious work you\’re doing on your own master project, Libra. It may seem sometimes as if you\’ve been striving to transform your irritant for an eternity, but you\’re actually right on schedule.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Employees who work at the Grand Canyon are not supposed to tell visitors that the monumental gorge is over five million years old. Officials are worried that doing so might offend fundamentalist Christians who suffer from the delusion that Noah\’s flood created the Grand Canyon a few thousand years ago. Keep this vignette in mind during the coming week, Scorpio. Let it serve as a warning beacon. I suspect that like a non-fundamentalist tourist at the Grand Canyon, you\’re going to be fed a line of BS that was designed for people who can\’t handle the truth. Either that, or someone will withhold the facts from you out of a concern that you\’d be furious to have your assumptions questioned. As an antidote, be extra devoted to learning the real story that\’s hidden beneath the official account.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

\”There is nothing in the world more futile than the attempt to find out how a task should be done when one has not yet decided what the task is.\” Philosopher Alexander Meiklejohn said that, and now I\’m relaying his advice to you. Please ignore it if you\’re having no trouble at all figuring out what you should do next. But if you are the least bit fuzzy about your future direction, spend some time in the coming days defining the precise nature of your short-term goals.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Your body, mind, soul, and hairdo have at least temporarily slipped into the kind of alignment that makes you a lightning rod for messages from the future. Want to glimpse a vision of the best three things you can accomplish in the coming year? Sit yourself down in a sanctuary, banish every last shred of fear for 15 minutes, and visualize the person you will be on January 20, 2008. Then ask that beautiful character to telepathically communicate his or her rich secrets to you.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Your whole life passed before your eyes in a flash, and yet you survived. The veil parted and revealed sights too weird and wonderful to consciously register, changing you in ways that won\’t fully sink in for months. Now you may feel as if you\’re waking up at 3 p.m. after an all-night binge. You might be so overloaded with uncanny new wisdom that you don\’t quite know what practical use to make of it all yet. But have no fear: As your birthday approaches, you\’ll begin to understand the teachings you didn\’t even know you absorbed.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

Due in part to the relentless barrage of disguised brainwashing in the form of ads, news, and entertainment, most people are not themselves an average of 45 percent of the time. You, however, are currently refuting that scary statistic in style. Your percentage of being-true-to-yourself is at an all-time high, and holding steady above the 85 percent mark. Keep up the good work, Pisces. In fact, take advantage of your momentum to push for even greater authenticity. Say exactly what you mean even more. Think your own thoughts even bigger and louder. Exorcise every last one of the celebrities, entertainers, salesmen, and authorities who have demonically possessed you.

Homework: Imagine that one of your heroes comes to you and says, \”Teach me the most important things you know.\” What would you say? Testify at www.RealAstrology.com.

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