~ ASTROLOGY ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

For all we know, in your past life you were a virgin who was thrown into a volcano to appease a fire deity. But whether or not that\’s an actual fact, we can say this with certainty: At some time in your current life, you made a great sacrifice in an effort to pacify a person whose anger or violence or manipulativeness you were intimidated by. Now I say unto you, Aries, that it\’s an excellent time to fix any distortions that were unleashed in your life because of that sacrifice. You\’ve got the personal power and insight you need to set the healing in motion. Halloween costume suggestions: the mythical phoenix; a virgin-turned-warrior carrying the severed head of the fire deity; a fireman, firewoman, or firedancer.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

\”Empathy is the most radical of human emotions,\” says activist Gloria Steinem. What does she mean by \”radical\”? I think the word implies audacity, fierceness, and extreme courage. It connotes a revolt against the status quo, a transcendence of what\’s normal and habitual. And that\’s exactly the spirit I hope you bring to your expression of empathy in the near future, Taurus. To enjoy life to the fullest, you should marshal an extravagant ability to feel what others are feeling. Halloween costume suggestions: Be a mirror, a psychotherapist, a giant ear, or a sponge.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

My writer friend Jeff Greenwald is looking for a publisher for his book Fifty Ways to Leave Your Comfort Zone. I think it\’s a great concept, which is why I\’m surprised that some of Jeff\’s colleagues discouraged him from using that title. \”At this tormented moment in history,\” said one person, \”the last thing anyone wants to hear is how to do what\’s inconvenient and nerve-wracking.\” To be true to your current omens, however, that\’s exactly the advice I\’m duty-bound to offer you, Gemini. The most interesting pleasures you can generate in the next few weeks will come from leaving your comfort zone. Halloween costume suggestion: whoever is least like you in the whole world.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

Spiritual teacher A.H. Almaas believes that a genuinely creative act is always motivated by generosity. If that\’s true, how do you explain all the ego-obsessed \”geniuses\” who treat everyone like dirt even as they churn out their supposedly brilliant art? In any case, I\’m siding with Almaas\’ definition, and I advise you to keep it in mind now that you\’re in the most imaginative and self-expressive phase of your astrological cycle. To ensure that your creative juices keep flowing in ways that make you feel really good, dedicate them to spreading inspiration and giving gifts. Halloween costume suggestions: a pregnant painter, a flower exuding bursts of pollen, a sexy midwife.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

If you visit the Polish village of Szymbark, you\’ll find an upside-down house. Philanthropist Daniel Czaplewski hired a team of construction workers to build it in the reverse position with meticulous detail. The floor is above you, with all the furniture hanging down, and the ceiling is what you walk on. I urge you to make this place your power symbol in the coming weeks, Leo. Use it to inspire you as you experiment with changing your home around every which way. Dare to be crazy, wise, and funny as you rearrange, reinvent, and renovate the domestic vibes. Halloween costume suggestion: an upside-down house. (See a news story on the place at tinyurl.com/2ywstz.)

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Writing in the L.A. Times, Rosa Brooks bemoaned the budgetary cuts that have caused the mass firings of reporters at many major newspapers. This sad development means there are \”fewer persistent, nosy people with a mandate to wander around the world asking questions.\” Whatever you do in the coming weeks cannot single-handedly fix this problem, of course. But it will be your astrological mandate to be a persistent, nosy person wandering around asking questions. Halloween costume suggestions: journalist, spy, muckraker, whistleblower.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

A survey of Russians revealed their thoughts about the best ways to get rich. A third of them said that stealing is most effective, whether that comes in the form of embezzlement, fraud, extortion, or plain old larceny. I don\’t recommend that approach to you, Libra, even though you\’re in an astrological phase that\’s favorable for increasing your wealth. Instead, consider these strategies: working harder and smarter, expanding and deepening your web of connections, intensifying your commitment to excellence, and reading a book like Personal Finance for Dummies. Halloween costume suggestion: an impeccably styled schmooze specialist carrying a wad of big bills and a Wall Street Journal.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Don\’t eat stale candy from a vending machine where it has sat for six months. Don\’t seek advice from people who haven\’t changed their minds about anything since the last century. And don\’t wear clothes you acquired before 2005 or cling to attitudes you adopted before last month. Catch my drift, Scorpio? You need to evade every influence that tends to keep you frozen in the past. In fact, I\’ll go so far as to say that it\’s time to make yourself fully available for the healthiest kind of future shock. Halloween costume suggestions: a grinning exclamation point, a rose bud about to burst open, a welcome sign, a religious devotee dressed in white.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

If you\’ve been put on a pedestal by a person who admires you a little too much, it\’s likely you\’ll have to climb down from that pedestal in the coming weeks. If you\’ve been floating up in the clouds, it\’s time to get your feet on the ground. In fact, Sagittarius, if there\’s any way in which you\’ve been too high and mighty, too far outside and beyond, you\’d be wise to leave it behind in favor of a more down-to-earth perspective. This is very good news, by the way. After an initial jolt, life will be more interesting and people will become more helpful. Halloween costume suggestions: an angel coming down a ladder, a parachutist, a celebrity drunk in rehab.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

A 12-year-old sea lion at the Pittsburgh zoo has taken up painting. Maggie\’s trainer had to coax her at first, but now she truly enjoys swabbing canvases with paint-soaked brushes. Let\’s make her your inspirational role model, Capricorn. It\’s an excellent time to cultivate and refine your instinctual nature . . . to teach your inner animal new tricks . . . to bring more conscious intention to things that come second-nature. Halloween costume suggestion: the creature you\’d be if you weren\’t human.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

A 30-foot-high shaft of concrete draped in straw sprouts from an altar at an amusement park in Changchun, China. According to the China Folk Culture Association, this phallic symbol celebrates \”our ancestors\’ pursuit of happiness and prosperity.\” Even if you\’re a lesbian, I suggest you make a comparable tribute to divine virility, Aquarius. Perform a ritual to tap into the archetypal energy of the Wild Man. Make or buy a lucky talisman that will inspire the full bloom of your martial exuberance and primal will. Halloween costume suggestions: Dionysus, Pan, a shamanatrix with a strap-on, a transgender magician with a huge wand.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

Bending the rules of the game? Blowing off the expectations of the pack? Circumventing the conventions of the way it\’s always been done? Good work, Pisces. But why stop there? How about if you invoke an outrageous spiritual truth so you can suspend a humdrum old law of nature or two? After all, lyrical transgression is your specialty these days. It\’s one of those rare times when your \”sins\” are likely to be so sublimely necessary that they will generate no bad karma. Halloween costume suggestion: Blend a deity with a superhero, like Buddha and Spiderman, or the goddess Athena and Storm from X-Men, or Jesus and Neo from The Matrix.

~ ASTROLOGY ~

ARIES



(March 21-April 19)

In his book The Primary Colors, Alexander Theroux writes that yellow is the color of \”early bruises, forbidding skies, dead leaves, dental plaque, foul curtains, speed bumps, and callused feet.\” And yet, he muses, yellow is also the color of \”the generous sun, butter, candlelight, ripening grain, translucent amber, and spring itself.\” I suspect that in the coming week, Aries, you will have encounters with a situation that is as paradoxical as yellow. Whether your experience is more like wrapping yourself in foul curtains or basking in the generous sun may depend largely on whether you summon a determination to see the best in everything.

TAURUS



(April 20-May 20)

Speaking on the authority of the expansive planet Jupiter, I hereby free you from all inferior temptations. In the coming weeks, you will, by cosmic decree, be enticed by only the finest, most uplifting temptations. That doesn\’t mean you should automatically succumb to the charms of those temptations. The more important point is that you should allow them to influence you — to change you around every which way. Trust that the impact they have on you, as they invite you to follow them, will inspire you to express yourself more beautifully and upgrade your relationship with yourself.

GEMINI



(May 21-June 20)

Last August, a woman in Pennsylvania experienced a miracle when she cut open an eggplant. The seeds were arrayed in the shape of the word \”God.\” Felicia Teske regarded it as a divine sign that had been sent to comfort her for some difficulties she had recently experienced. She felt deep gratitude for the gift. Nevertheless, she cooked up the vegetable and served it to her family for dinner, though not before saving a slice that she offered for sale on eBay. I urge you to follow Felicia\’s lead in the coming week, Gemini. Magnetize yourself to epiphanies and breakthroughs that will simultaneously feed your soul, your body, and your bank account.

CANCER



(June 21-July 22)

You could be like a thunderstorm that rejuvenates a parched landscape. At the same time, you have the power to express yourself like a thousand-foot waterfall. Why not take advantage of both these potentials? Be both helpful and charismatic, nurturing and alluring. Be of humble service as you flout your magnificence. This is one of those grace periods when you can do good and look good and feel good. I hereby dub thee the Flow Master.

LEO



(July 23-Aug. 22)

For years, rural villagers in China\’s Henan province cooked and ate the giant bones they found buried in the earth. They believed they were ingesting what was left of flying dragons, thereby drawing on the creatures\’ healing powers. But a year ago, scientists from the big city informed the villagers that the magic bones were actually the skeletal remains of dinosaurs, not dragons. In the wake of this revelation, some people have stuck to their belief in the curative properties of the bones, while others have decided that they were deluded and moved on. I expect that you will soon come to a comparable fork, Leo: You\’ll discover surprising, possibly disruptive information about a source whose energy you\’ve drawn on for a long time. Will you leave it behind or will you reinvent your relationship? I don\’t know what the right decision is, only that you should trust your own intuition, not anyone else\’s.

VIRGO



(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

A study by the University of London\’s Institute of Psychiatry concluded that overindulgence in text messaging and emailing typically leads to a ten-point loss in IQ, whereas pot-smoking causes a decline of only four points. You probably won\’t have to worry about either of those dangers for a few weeks, though, since you\’re entering an astrological phase when your mind will be working more efficiently than usual. In fact, given how smart you\’ll just naturally be, you could actually afford to kill off some brain cells. Even if you toke up while texting, your IQ is likely to be above your normal level.

LIBRA



(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

In China\’s Zhejiang province, many of the cities specialize in making a single product. For example, Datang township manufactures one-third of all the world\’s socks. Wenzhou creates 70 percent of the cigarette lighters on the planet, and Songxia has cornered the market on umbrellas, churning out 350 million per year. I\’m not necessarily saying that you should copy their approach, Libra. But if you have recently had inklings about cultivating a certain specialty you\’d love to pursue with more intensity, the coming weeks will be an ideal time to set that process in motion.

SCORPIO



(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

While traveling long distances, birds are constantly napping. They can close one eye at a time, allowing one side of the brain to sleep. I hope you\’ll be inspired by their technique in the coming weeks, Sagittarius — not by literally snoozing in mid-air as you soar across abysses during your leaps of faith, of course. Rather, I\’m suggesting that you become a master of inducing utter relaxation for brief spells between each of your daring, heart-pounding exploits. Stay poised, good-natured, and full of grace even while you\’re in the thick of adventure.

SAGITTARIUS



(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

While traveling long distances, birds are constantly napping. They can close one eye at a time, allowing one side of the brain to sleep. I hope you\’ll be inspired by their technique in the coming weeks, Sagittarius — not by literally snoozing in mid-air as you soar across abysses during your leaps of faith, of course. Rather, I\’m suggesting that you become a master of inducing utter relaxation for brief spells between each of your daring, heart-pounding exploits. Stay poised, good-natured, and full of grace even while you\’re in the thick of adventure.

CAPRICORN



(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Your symbol of power in the coming week is a book by businessman Robert Rodin entitled Free, Perfect, and Now: Connecting to the Three Insatiable Customer Demands. He talks about how important it is for a company to provide cheap prices, excellent quality, and quick responses. That\’s a good formula for you to remember as you brainstorm about how to generate greater interest in the products and services and experiences you create. But I also encourage you to meditate on the theme of free, perfect, and now in its widest sense. How can you bring more of the exuberant spirit of that mantra into everything you do?

AQUARIUS



(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You now have the potential to do in your own field what painter Joe Bravo has done in his own field: branch out in unexpected directions and claim territory few people have ever explored. Bravo executes his works of art not on canvases but on tortillas, some of which are almost three feet in diameter. He earns as much as $3,000 for his masterpieces. In your own sphere, Aquarius, what would be the equivalent to painting on tortillas? This is a perfect time to make a move.

PISCES



(Feb. 19-March 20)

In his book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, religious scholar Mircea Eliade speaks of Qaumaneq, a special capacity that may be magically obtained by Eskimo shamans. It\’s \”a mysterious light the shaman feels inside his head, an inexplicable searchlight, a luminous fire. It enables him to see in the dark, both literally and metaphorically speaking, even with closed eyes, allowing him to see through darkness and perceive things that are hidden from others.\” Even if you\’re not an Eskimo shaman, Pisces, you now have the potential to wield a power with resemblances to Qaumaneq.

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