~ ASTROLOGY ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

\”Dear Rob: Could you please tell me how I can get the men I like to remove me from the pedestals they put me on? If something doesn\’t change soon, I\’ll have to call down the lightning and obliterate their delusions. Sorry if that sounds violent. It\’s just that storms start building whenever I feel cramped by demands disguised as love. -Over-Idolized Aries.\” Dear Over-Idolized: Good news! You\’ve entered a phase that will be favorable for shattering naive projections and unrealistic expectations. You\’ll also be skilled at escaping neediness that feels like a straitjacket.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

When 46 English scholars completed their translation of the King James Bible in 1610, Taurus writer William Shakespeare was 46 years old. In their version of Psalm 46, the 46th word from the beginning is \”shake\” and the 46th word from the end is \”spear.\” Coincidence? I think not. Just as it\’s no accident that a minute ago I finished reading Psalm 46, and am now composing your horoscope for the period that begins February 15, which is the 46th day of the year. As I write, I\’m sitting in a cafe located at 46 Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay, CA. The people at the table next to me are celebrating their friend\’s 46th birthday, and out the window I can see a runway where there\’s a small plane with a 46 painted on its side. My conclusion? 46 is your lucky number, Taurus, and you\’re about to harvest about 46 tons of eerily delightful synchronicities.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

You seem to be suffering, although in an interesting way, from a metaphysical version of jet lag. Maybe it\’s because you\’ve been stretching your boundaries with such experimental vigor. Or maybe it\’s because you\’ve been engaging in a form of time-travel, exploring the past and future in your dreams and fantasies. In any case, you can take comfort in the knowledge that the warps and tweaks you\’re dealing with are the results of your brave choices. Congratulations as well for having churned up the most useful riddles you\’ve had to ponder since you jumped out of your skin last year.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

I expect you\’ll soon be communing with sore spots and delicate feelings, Cancerian. Allergies may be featured prominently as well–if not the literal kind, then maybe the metaphorical version. People might be extra ticklish, sometimes to the point of irritability. And yet all the squirming will actually be a good sign. It\’ll mean that one of your most confounding contradictions is close to being resolved. For best results, act decisively at the moment when your vulnerability is most intense.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

Imagine this scene. You\’re really thirsty–so dehydrated that you\’re feeling faint. Yet here\’s the weird thing: You\’re walking along the bank of a wide river that\’s so clear you could see the bottom if you looked. But you\’re not looking. In fact, you seem oblivious to the surging force of nature just a few yards away. Is it invisible to you? Are you so preoccupied with your suffering that you\’re blind to the very source that would end your suffering? Up ahead you see a man. As you approach, you see he\’s holding a glass of water. You run to him and beg him to let you drink. He readily agrees. Gratefully, you guzzle the precious liquid, then thank him profusely. As you walk away, he calls after you, \”By the way, there\’s a lot more water over there,\” and he points to the river. Do you hear him? If you hear him, do you believe him? Or do you keep walking, hoping to find another man with another glass somewhere up ahead?

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

It\’s time to take down the \”Under Construction\” signs and clean up the messes from your works in progress. At least for now, your heart has lost its drive for further renovation and rehabilitation. Whether you think you\’re ready or not, then, it\’s time for a grand re-opening. I suggest you offer free toasters or other incentives to pull in new clients, as well as to coax disaffected old ones into returning. It may also help to put up an \”Under New Management\” sign.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

\”What have you learned so far this year?\” I asked my newsletter\’s readers recently. \”I\’ve learned that asking for what I want is the first step toward actually getting it,\” wrote Sarah Pearson. \”And I\’ve learned that the journey you take to try and escape your fate can be as interesting as the fate itself.\” Of all the lessons I\’d love you to learn in the first half of 2007, Libra, those two are my favorites.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

\”My God, these folks don\’t know how to love,\” wrote novelist D. H. Lawrence, \”that\’s why they love so easily.\” He certainly wasn\’t referring to people from your tribe. You Scorpios may find it easy to entertain gusts of lust, but you\’re too smart about real love to dive casually into its mysteries. You want to be a perpetual student who\’s in humble awe of the primal power of deep attraction. You know intimately that no matter how sweet and light love may sometimes feel, it always has the potential to sweep you into the unpredictable depths and change everything forever. Meditate further on these matters; it\’ll prepare you for the coming weeks.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

You want hot gold secrets to ripen in your dark candy soul? Then here\’s what you do: Study the ocean\’s memory for its teachings about moon victories. Extract a fresh green why from the book of storms you dreamed about. When the flowers\’ clouds soar over your shadow, and when night\’s funny sky has turned into warm moist roars, you\’ll know exactly how to look through the sun to the other side of your best fear. (The preceding horoscope may sound crazily lyrical, even poetically feral, but it\’s a perfect embodiment of the attitude you should cultivate in order to have a successful week.)

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

I was watching Oprah\’s TV show at 2 a.m. \”Take off your shirt and look down,\” she told me. I don\’t automatically do everything the World\’s Wealthiest Woman tells me, but I trust her a lot. So I did what she suggested. What she said next, however, revealed that she wasn\’t actually talking to me. \”Eight out of ten women are wearing the wrong bra!\” she exclaimed. \”Are you?\” She then gave tips on how to select an undergarment that\’s just right for a woman\’s shape, size, and posture. I watched in perplexed awe. How could so many people be ignorant about such a fundamental thing? Later, while meditating on your astrological omens, I realized there\’s a comparable phenomenon going on in your world. You\’re missing something important about one of the basic facts of your life. Please find out what it is.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

In solidarity with eternal flux and in the name of all that\’s both rowdy and holy, I hereby declare change to be a good thing. Furthermore, in accordance with the astrological omens, I announce that change is especially healthy for you right now. I mean it, Aquarius. Change is not only not a bad thing. It\’s downright wonderful. So let\’s rise up bravely, you and I, and proclaim that change is the essential nature of the universe–that it\’s one of the most prominent and resplendent qualities of God Herself. From now until forevermore, let\’s agree to celebrate change, to welcome it, to revere it–starting this week. Amen, namasté, blessed be, shalom, and hallelujah!

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

I believe you\’re climbing up out of the primordial ooze for the last time. You\’re done! Never again will you be fully immersed in the stinky depths of hell on earth! Never again will moody despair comprise more than 49 percent of your worldview. From now on, you will be smarter about how to avoid unnecessary pain and misery. You will also be a better escape artist. Now go buy yourself a graduation present.

~ ASTROLOGY ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

Happy Valentine Daze, Aries! On this lover\’s holiday, let\’s see what we can do to purge some of your old romantic karma. With a cleaner slate, you\’ll be freer to create the kind of love you really want in the future. To begin, write a list of the worst sins you\’ve committed against your ex-intimates. Include behavior that was ignorant, cruel, or unconscious. Next, think of atonements you might make for the hurtful things you did. For instance, you could send your ex an \”I\’m sorry for the craziness our relationship caused you\” letter. Finally, Aries, forgive yourself of your errors.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

Happy Valentine Daze, Taurus! During this lover\’s holiday, I encourage you to devote yourself full-time to acting like a person who\’s in love. Even if you\’re not currently in the throes of passion for a special someone, pretend you are. Everywhere you go, exude that charismatic blend of shell-shocked contentment and blissful turmoil that comes over you when you\’re infatuated. Let everyone you meet soak up the delicious wisdom you exude. Dispense free blessings and extra slack like a rich saint high on natural endorphins. (I assure you that this assignment is in perfect accord with the astrological omens.)

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

Happy Valentine Daze, Gemini! I hope you\’ll be *very* specific about what you want from intimacy and collaboration in the coming months. To get you in the mood, I\’ve written a personal ad for you to use. Or create your own, borrowing from the spirit of mine. Here you go. Slapstick thinker with refined sensibilities seeks a saint-like sinner with insanely cool style for a long-distance joyride towards the outskirts of Nirvana. Established meditation practice and a good bedside manner are desirable. Would it be too much to ask that you might also have a high level of emotional intelligence without boring me to death with your maturity? Is it possible that you\’ll be an entertaining talker who also knows how to listen with your wild heart turned up all the way? Let\’s keep reinventing ourselves forever.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

Happy Valentine Daze, Cancerian! I sing a sly WOW toward the sky and murmur a resonant YOW toward the earth in rowdy reverent gratitude for the wonders that come your way from the special people in your life. I send out a special YAYA and GAGA to that Mysterious Other who has the power to challenge you, teach you, confound you, inspire you, and love you almost as well as you love yourself. Long may your story unfold in all of its enigmatic glory! Long may you liberate each other from your suffering!

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

Happy Valentine Daze, Leo! I predict that more love will flow into your life in the future. Why? Because beginning now, you will remove the obstructions that have been interfering with that flow. That\’s not all. More love will flow into your life because you\’ll decide that you are actually very lovable–more lovable than you\’ve previously acknowledged. That\’s not all. More love will flow into your life because you will vow to invoke in yourself a tremendous surge of willpower that will make you hungry to give love, to bestow blessings, and to extend favors. You\’ll derive deep pleasure, a real libidinous thrill, from radiating generous emotions in all directions.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

\”You\’ve been walking the ocean\’s edge, holding up your robes to keep them dry,\” writes Coleman Barks in his translation of the 13th-century poet Rumi. What he means is that you\’ve been too tentative and inhibited in your relationship with the tidal forces of love; you\’ve been holding back from giving your total devotion to the primal power that fuels the universe. \”You must dive naked under and deeper under,\” Barks and Rumi continue, \”a thousand times deeper!\” Consider taking the poets\’ advice, Virgo. If you can\’t manage diving a thousand times deeper, try to least make it a hundred times. Happy Valentine Daze!

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Happy Valentine Daze, Libra! After careful meditation about what advice might help you expand your experience of intimacy, I\’ve decided to offer you the following meditation. \”Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly. It wants to rip to shreds all your erroneous notions of truth that make you fight within yourself, and with others.\” So writes Daniel Ladinsky in his translation of a poem by Hafiz. Love, he continues, \”sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.\” That\’s a pretty good description of where I think you are in your current relationship with love, Libra. I hope you\’re brave enough to cooperate with its gift.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Happy Valentine Daze, Scorpio! I dare you to up the ante in your relationship with a special someone who both frustrates and inspires you. One way to do that might be to say the following to that person: \”We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours. I want to hold you close like a lute, so that we can cry out with loving. Would you rather throw stones at a mirror? I am your mirror and here are the stones.\” (This passage was written by the 13th-century poet Rumi and translated by Coleman Barks.)

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

\”From studying the samurai art of kendo,\” writes a reader named Amanda, \”I\’ve learned that some of history\’s most fearsome warriors derived their great strength from sublime tenderness.\” Your assignment during this season of love, Sagittarius, is to act on that advice in every way you can imagine. I want you to be a sensitive juggernaut of courage and daring in the coming months, and I believe the best way to do that is to intensify your commitment to mastering the art of ingenious intimacy. Happy Valentine Daze!

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Happy Valentine Daze, Capricorn. I dare you to say the following to a special someone with whom you want to be closer: \”Your face is true and your hair is perfect and I love you. You make boats in my dreams and you speak without words and I love you. Your fears unnerve me and your questions amuse me and I love you. I love you not only for who you are, but for the interesting person I become when I\’m with you. I say I love you and love you and love you until the words become the constant song of your voice in my head and the original ache of memory in my soul. I love you more than life and death, more than everything that\’s in between the light and the dark. Do you believe me? Try harder. Do you believe me now? I\’m always with you, which is why I know you will never abandon yourself.\”

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Happy Valentine Daze, Aquarius! During this lover\’s holiday, I\’m praying for you to have mind-boggling communions with smart-mouthed, quick-thinking virtuosos who are at least as brilliant as you. To be frank, I don\’t care whether or not these communions are with attractive members of your favorite gender. In accordance with the promises of your current astrological omens, I just want to see you stimulated to the point of spiritual and intellectual rapture by kaleidoscopic give-and-take sessions.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

Happy Valentine Daze, Pisces! My team of Prayer Warriors and I are sending you surges of the smartest love we can conjure up. Through the sweet fierce force of our high-tech magic, we\’ve transformed our hearts into the equivalents of 100,000-watt broadcasting towers that are dosing you with wave after wave of primal adoration and appreciation. Open yourself to our gift, please. It\’s as real as a thunderstorm, as potent as the Buddha\’s libido. If you\’ve felt that no one could ever see you for who you really are, let us prove you wrong. If you\’ve fantasized that no one will ever be completely on your side, surrender to the overwhelming evidence that we are your shockingly friendly allies.

~ ASTROLOGY ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19):

I have one little whisper of warning and one big blast of encouragement for you. First, the warning: Don\’t be like the ancient Roman emperor Caligula, who declared war on Neptune, god of the sea, and commanded his troops to hurl their spears into the water. Now here\’s the encouragement: If you heed my warning, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to go to war, metaphorically speaking. There\’s a 95 percent chance that your cause will be just, a 90 percent chance that you\’ll be able to enlist a solid fighting force, and an 85 percent chance that you\’ll acquit yourself with resourceful courage.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20):

In his book *Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships,* psychotherapist John Welwood writes, \”Psychological work focuses more on what has gone wrong: how we have been wounded in our relations with others and how to go about addressing that. Spiritual work focuses more on what is intrinsically right: how we have infinite resources at the core of our nature that we can cultivate in order to live more expansively. If psychological work thins the clouds, spiritual work invokes the sun.\” In my opinion, Taurus, both approaches are useful, depending on the season of your life. For the foreseeable future, though, spiritual work should be your emphasis.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20):

It\’s a scary responsibility to give people astrological advice. What if I suggested that you call in sick (even though you\’re not sick) so you could wander off into the Great Unknown in quest of close encounters with mind-blowing teachings? And what if in the course of following my suggestion you learned so many lessons about how to permanently expand your frontiers that you then decided to burn down a bridge to nowhere and give away most of your emotional baggage and live in greater devotion to your soul\’s radically simple needs? Could I then get sued by someone in your life who really doesn\’t want you to escape your traps?

CANCER

(June 21-July 22):

You\’re being compelled to get reacquainted with forbidden dreams and buried secrets and hidden truths. Be honest: It\’s not so bad; it\’s probably even a bit thrilling. Though it may generate some pungent and poignant dramas, you\’ve got to admit that the dramas are pretty entertaining. And besides, if you can find a way to feel amused as you cooperate with these forbidden dreams and buried secrets and hidden truths, they will ultimately dissolve obstacles that have been postponing your future.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22):

In her book *Traveling Mercies,* Ann Lamott says the two best kinds of prayer are \”Help me, help me, help me\” and \”Thank you, thank you, thank you.\” The former was appropriate for you to unleash a few weeks ago, Leo, but these days the latter makes more sense. I know some of you may think that\’s a waste of time. Of what practical value is it to express gratitude for what you\’ve already been given? Here\’s why: Expressing exuberant thanks tends to attract into your life even more reasons to be thankful; it turns you into a magnet for blessings.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

When Martin Luther King Jr. was 12 years old, he was so depressed he tried to commit suicide. I\’m glad he didn\’t succeed. He grew up to be one of my heroes: a peaceful warrior who fought for justice with militant love. Studying his life, I learned that it\’s possible for a man to have both a well-honed intellect and a fierce spiritual faith. He showed me that uplifting passion, lyrical language, and inventive imagination are essential elements of political activism. He proved you can be devoted to divine mysteries without turning into a fundamentalist fanatic who hates non-believers. In accordance with the astrological omens, Virgo, I urge you to draw inspiration from a hero who means as much to you as King does to me. For extra credit, find out how this indomitable soul managed to triumph over his or her life\’s low points.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

\”The disease of niceness cripples more lives than alcoholism,\” said writer Raymond Chandler. That\’s an exaggeration, in my opinion, but I think his point is important–especially for you Libras right now. As much as I love your ability to cultivate harmony, seek out beauty, and find the common ground between people, I encourage you to let the sweet and polite sides of your nature recede into the background for a while. Emphasize feistiness and grit. Tap into the fiery, primal aspect of your nature that drove you out of your mother\’s womb and into this world in the hour when you were born. Be inspired by the creator gods and goddesses of ancient myth, who playfully forged millions of beautiful things using wind, mud, tears, and lightning.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Some people think of me as a pure Californian, marinated in Left Coast politics and raised on New Age memes. But the truth is I spent the first 12 years of my life in the Midwestern heartland, the next six years on the East Coast, then nine years in the South. I\’m as mongrel a breed of American as it\’s possible to be. Though I may bloom with Californian-style eccentricities, my roots are deep in down-to-earth cultural memes. Now I\’d like you to do for yourself what I just did, Scorpio, only more so. Remember in detail your origins. Take inventory of the places that have helped make you who you are. Note wryly the differences between what people imagine you to be and what you know you are.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Even though it\’s illegal, marijuana is now America\’s biggest cash crop, generating more revenue than corn and soybeans. Official government sources won\’t acknowledge this fact, of course, and the major media would prefer to ignore it. Let\’s use this situation as a metaphor for your personal life, Sagittarius. Meditate on the following three questions. (1) Is there a valuable asset that you neglect to account for when you take inventory of your total resources? (2) Is there a Big Important Thing that you don\’t fully acknowledge? (3) Do you play down the power of a transformational agent that\’s taboo or not fully accepted?

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

\”The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something,\” wrote art critic John Ruskin. \”To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, all in one.\” Your assignment in the coming week, Capricorn, is to make Ruskin\’s idea your method. In other words, lay aside everything you think you know, suspend your reflex to impose your beliefs on every situation you encounter, and behold the world exactly as it is. If you do it right, you\’ll experience pleasure beyond measure. More than that, you\’ll change everything you see into a more beautiful version of itself.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

Seven centuries ago, there were Christian religious fanatics in Europe who demanded that all women must cover their ears. Why? Because the Virgin Mary had been inseminated through that part of her body by the Holy Spirit. The fanatics feared that other women might be susceptible to the influx of invisible ear-penetrating entities that weren\’t so benevolent. And how does this relate to you? While I\’m not worried that you\’ll be literally invaded, I do think you should be careful about what words and sounds you let slip into your ears. There\’s a good chance you\’ll be metaphorically impregnated by potent messages that arrive via that route. Make sure they\’re positive messages that will make you thrive.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20):

Patches of yellow forsythias and blue gentian flowers have sprouted high in the Austrian Alps this winter, appearing where snow usually dominates the landscape. I predict that you\’re about to experience a metaphorically similar phenomenon, Pisces. There\’ll be an unprecedented blossoming in a situation that has previously been unable to support growth. I wouldn\’t be surprised if some of your frozen assets began to thaw as well.

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