Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

Beware of people who act like polite jerks or tone-deaf music critics or emotionally numb lovers. While they may be able to teach you a lot about what you don’t need, they’re not worthy candidates for enduring relationships. Now let’s turn our attention to the question of who exactly does belong on your future team. What encouraging voices should you draw into your inner sphere? What smart adventurers should be solicited as staunch allies? Which respectful helpers should be rewarded for the good influences they’ve had on you? It’s an excellent time to make those determinations.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

When Ireland’s top bookmaker first opened the betting on the existence of God last September, the odds were 20-1 against, and quickly rose to 33-1. But more recently they’ve been down to 4-1. Is this evidence that the Supreme Being is close to a big disclosure? Is some concrete proof about to appear? If I were evaluating the state of your imminent destiny, I’d say yes — maybe not in a way that would satisfy a raging atheist, and maybe not with the blatant splash of an obvious divine intervention. But don’t even dismiss those possibilities, Taurus. It is the season of miracles and epiphanies for you. You should expect sublime help and inspiration.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

My friend Riley was the first member of her family to attend college. None of her hardscrabble Irish forebears had ever pursued higher education. In her senior year, Riley began having nightmares of her relatives trying to stop her from finishing school. In one recurring dream, her great-grandfather burned all her textbooks. In another, a mob of aunts and uncles tackled her and held her down as she tried to get to class. Despite these psychic obstacles, Riley persevered in her studies and eventually got her diploma. The week after graduation, she had another dream: A host of her ancestors came to her in the form of a great choir singing songs in praise of her success. Riley’s psychotherapist speculated that the dream meant she had not only overcome the inertia of her heritage, but had also healed an ancient wound of her family. I believe this is akin to an accomplishment you will be capable of in the coming months.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

I’m in quest of new role models. There’ve been some good ones in my life, and I’m grateful for how they’ve awakened me, but right now I need fresh heroes worth emulating. Know any? I’m not dogmatic about what I’m looking for, and am willing to be surprised, but here are a few qualities I admire: compassion combined with unpredictability, high integrity mixed with an intense commitment to creativity, and self-discipline blended with playfulness. I like smart talkers who are also savvy listeners, and people who have a balance of open-minded objectivity and emotional intelligence. By the way, what’s true for me is true for many of you, my fellow Cancerians: You could use a new role model, too, and it’s an excellent time to go in search of one.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

An American residing in Berlin had leukemia as well as AIDS. Doctors did a bone marrow transplant to cure the leukemia, obtaining stem cells from a healthy donor. The operation was a success — the leukemia disappeared. As an added and surprising bonus, the HIV also left the patient’s body. He has been free of both diseases for two years. I predict a psychological version of this double cure for you in the coming weeks, Leo. The healing you receive for one type of suffering will unexpectedly heal another kind, too.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

There’s a rung missing on your ladder of success. I suppose you could see that as a problem. It means you won’t be able to climb higher by taking two manageable steps, but will be compelled to attempt a giant upward stride. I see this as potentially a good thing, though. The missing rung is exactly the kind of glitch that could activate your dormant reserves of ingenuity. It might even force you to become so smart and resourceful that you’ll ultimately rise to a point you wouldn’t have been able to if your ascent had come more easily.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” said George Orwell. While that’s true for many of us most of the time, I’m betting you’ll be an exception to the rule in the coming week. You will find it easier than usual to escape from the trance of everyday life. As a result, perfectly obvious secrets that have been invisible to you will tap you gently on the forehead and say “Look at me!” After the initial shock, there’ll be a release of tension you didn’t even realize you were carrying around, followed by a warm, fuzzy explosion of raw hope.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

The world is once again falling deeply in love with you. Let’s hope that on this occasion (unlike what happened the last two times) you will accept its adoration in the spirit in which it’s given. Let’s hope that if the world offers you the moon, the dawn and the breeze, you won’t reject these gifts and say that what you really wanted was a comet, the sunset and a pie in the sky. There would be nothing sadder than to see the world suffer yet another case of unrequited love.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“Everything is gestation and then bringing forth,” wrote poet Rainer Maria Rilke. “To let each impression and each germ of feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life.” I think it’s also the approach you should take in the coming weeks, Sagittarius, even if you’re not an artist. As smart as you are, there’s an even greater intelligence working discreetly within you that is more slyly brilliant and lushly visionary than your conscious mind. You owe it to your future to let it do its work.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

In his book The Invention of Air, Steven Johnson says that as coffee drinking came into vogue in the 18th century, it became a driving force in the Age of Enlightenment. Prior to that time, alcohol had been the drink of choice — more so even than water. As the stimulant replaced the intoxicant, the level of discourse rose dramatically. Creative ideas flourished and new discoveries and inventions proliferated. I bring this up, Capricorn, because I suspect that you’re entering your own personal Age of Enlightenment. Imbibing caffeine may not be necessary to fuel it, since cosmic energies will be conspiring to inspire your mental processes.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

If you put a corn chip in guacamole, take a bite, then dunk the chip in the bowl again, you’re doing what’s known as double-dipping. Scientists say it transfers about 2,750 bacteria from your mouth to the guacamole. I advise against that kind of behavior in the coming week, and I suggest that you protect yourself against others who might engage in it. This is one time when you should be a purity freak. Meticulous attention to both physical and mental hygiene will be wise. Please protect yourself from germs of both the literal and psychic variety.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

I’ve been asked by the leaders of the Piscean Support Group to pat you on the back — and add a tender, friendly kick in the butt while I’m at it — in celebration of your recent promise to leave your safety zone. They’re a bit worried that you’ll be so enamored of the new reserve of courage you’ve discovered lurking in your depths that you won’t muster the incentive to actually use that courage to its hilt. Please prove them wrong. Show us all what it’s like for a sensitive soul with a lyrical heart to seek raw adventure in virgin territory.

Homework: What’s the name of the book you may write some day — perhaps your memoir? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

For a limited time only, you’re in a position to consciously choose your next problems. This is a tremendous opportunity that I hope you won’t allow to go to waste. By being proactive, you can ensure the arrival of fun and interesting dilemmas, thereby avoiding the frustrating and draining kind. In other words, Aries, if you go looking for provocative new challenges, the same old tired and trivial trouble won’t come looking for you. I suggest you begin the quest as soon as possible.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):
I know where actor Sean Penn lives. It’s a few miles from where I am right now. An out-of-town friend of mine who’s an aspiring screenwriter is pleading with me to drive by Sean’s house and hurl a hard copy of her latest script over the high wall that affords him and his family privacy. My friend imagines that Sean will find it, read it excitedly, and call her up to begin negotiating for rights to use it in a future film. I may do what she asks. It’s my policy not to discourage people’s fantasies about making the connections they need, even if they’re far-fetched. In that spirit, Taurus, I urge you to pursue any hunches you might have about forging alliances that could further your dreams.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized,” wrote Sun Tzu in The Art of War, an ancient Chinese book about success strategies to pursue in tough times. Now I’m conveying this idea to you, Gemini, as you enter one of the most opportunistic phases of your astrological cycle. What else can you do to get yourself in the right groove? First, adopt a perceptive, receptive attitude that attunes you to budding possibilities. Next, respond expeditiously to every little invitation that appeals to you. Finally, keep in mind that luck tends to happen to those who have done the hard work to generate it.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

If you ask young men what experiences have afforded them the most adventurous fun of their lives, a majority will talk about indoor activities. Some will say video games and others their sexual escapades. Only a minority will describe far-flung events in the great outdoors or exotic locales. What about you, Cancerian? Under what circumstances have your most amazing forays into the unknown unfolded? Where have you been transformed in ways that helped you stretch to meet your destiny? I’d like to suggest that it’s time to go beyond those previous benchmarks. You’re ready to transcend your personal limits as you wander into the frontier.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

“Dear Rob: In my dream last night, I was playing with a lion in my garden. Suddenly it jumped up, put its paws on my shoulders, and got face-to-face with me. I realized it could either swallow my head or kiss me. I was excited by the possibility of the kiss and also scared because I sensed it wanted something from me but I didn’t know what. Can you offer any insight? — Leo in Limbo.” Dear Leo: A lot of Leos are dealing with themes like this right now. Here’s how I’d sum them up: The thing that’s most appealing to you happens to be wild. You need to exercise caution even as you go forward to engage with it more intimately. Just as you want something from it, it’s asking for something in return. You’ll have to know exactly what that is in order to protect yourself from its wildness.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

In the course description for a fiction-writing class at Sarah Lawrence College, professor Mary LaChapelle encourages her students to practice the art of enchantment. “How do we avoid succumbing to safe and unoriginal decisions,” she asks, “and aim to recognize and trust our more mysterious and promising impulses?” This happens to be an excellent question for you to keep in mind right now, Virgo, whether you’re about to create something or are starting a new chapter in the epic story that is your life. (P.S. “If you cannot be a poet, be a poem,” advises actor David Carradine.)

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

Evolution has given the human body a profound capacity to cure itself with its own resources, writes Roger Jahnke in his book The Healer Within. And yet most of us neglect to call on this inner reserve of natural medicine, looking mostly to drugs and doctors for the miracles we long for. Whether or not you read Jahnke’s book, I hope you will deepen your relationship with your inner healer in the coming weeks. It’s prime time to take a more active role in shaping your well-being.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said that the U.S. Constitution “only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” That’s a good reminder for you, Scorpio, as you enter a phase when you’ll probably have more success than usual if you hunt for pleasure, joy and bliss. I suggest that you draw up an appropriate strategy to employ during the coming weeks. Start by creating a list of at least three sources of delight with which you want to commune. Then write descriptions of how you’re going to increase and expand their presence in your life.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, the value of petroleum rose 40 percent. But by mid-January it had plummeted precipitously, even losing 12 percent in one day. As a result, suppliers started withholding large reserves from the market. For weeks, supertankers full of civilization’s most important fuel circled aimlessly offshore, refusing to unload their precious cargo until prices rebounded. I suggest you consider imitating their behavior, Sagittarius. Don’t make your best stuff fully available until your target audience is ready to reward you appropriately for its true worth. It’s OK to tease, though — or do anything ethical that will increase the demand for your services.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Even when you are not feeling your best, you try hard. You’re strong when things are broken. Where there is hurt, you rise up with surprising resilience to provide help and inspiration. If there are people who don’t know where they are or where they’re going, you are often a beacon of calm. Thank you, my beautiful friend. I applaud your urge to fight for justice not only in service to yourself but also on behalf of others who can’t be as composed as you are when things are broken. And I’m happy to inform you that the favors you’re doling out now will ultimately be returned in kind when you least expect it.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

I feel much better. Today I underwent plastic surgery for the first time. An intervention specialist over at the Consumer Counseling Center removed 40 percent of my credit cards from my wallet. She then cut them in half and burned them, releasing fumes that sent me spiraling into an altered state of consciousness that revealed to me the steps I must take to upgrade my approach to money. In that state I was also able to have psychic visions about the nature of your financial karma. What I saw is that you, too, would benefit right now from expanding your mind and changing your habits in all matters related to earning, spending and saving money.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

 If a cow is given a name by her owner, she generates more milk than a cow that’s treated as an anonymous member of the herd. That’s the conclusion of a study done by researchers at Newcastle University in the UK. “Placing more importance on knowing the individual animals and calling them by name,” said Dr. Catherine Douglas, “can significantly increase milk production.” Building on that principle, Pisces, I suggest that you give everything in your world names, including (but not limited to) houseplants, insects, cars, appliances and trees. Of course this is always a good idea, because it enhances your connection with all of creation. But it’s an especially smart approach now, when getting more up-close and personal should be your specialty.

Homework: What’s your secret beauty — the great thing about you that no one knows about? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

I invite you to get all the mind-blowing sex you can this Valentine season, Aries. The entire cosmos will be on your side if you generate erotic wonders that rearrange your thought processes. For best results, cultivate the attitude described by the philosopher Voltaire in a letter to his partner Marie Louise Denis: "Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed."

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an inner life." That’s the perfect seed idea for you to meditate on this Valentine season. It suggests that expressing the truth about who you are is not something that amateurs do very well: Practice and ingenuity are required. It also implies that courage is an essential element of successful intimacy. You’ve got to be adventurous if you want to weave your life together with another’s.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

A mischievous voice in my head rose up as I was contemplating your astrological omens. It said I should tell you to make love in a bed covered with ten-dollar bills. I asked the voice if this was a cracked metaphor for a more practical piece of advice. The voice just cackled. So I’ll have to surmise what it was driving at. First, it could mean that you should make a business proposition to your lover or spouse, or somehow collaborate with each other to increase your prosperity. Second, maybe you should spend money on enhancing romance, either by taking a workshop to upgrade your intimacy skills or getting creative about fostering togetherness. Another possibility is that you should add imaginative and humorous touches to your love-making, like by doing it in a bed full of money.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

Over the course of your lifetime, if you’re average, you will spend about 336 hours kissing. But why be average? Especially now, when the cosmos is begging you to use your mouth to incite ingenious bliss and explore the frontiers of closeness? To be in maximum alignment with the great cycles of nature and make God happy, I suggest you experiment with Guinness-Book-of-World-Records-levels of smooching and licking and sucking. If you can’t find a human partner to collaborate with, then kiss the sky, the trees, the rivers and even the mist. P.S. For extra credit, use your mouth to murmur lyrical praises and whisper poetic temptations.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

It’s a perfect time to cast a love spell on yourself. You don’t necessarily need to consult any pagan books about how to proceed. It may even be better if you improvise your own homemade conjurations and incantations. I can think of two main goals for you to accomplish with your spell. (But feel free to add others.) First, rouse your imagination into visualizing romantic possibilities you’ve been closed to before. Second, make sure you banish the curse that you yourself cast on your love life once upon a time. P.S. For best results, stand naked in front of an altar crammed with magical objects that symbolize both lust and compassion.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

"The person one loves never really exists," said Arthur C. Clarke, "but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion." Your assignment, Virgo, is to prove Clarke at least partially wrong. See if you can figure out a way to dissolve or elude your own projections long enough so that you can see the raw truth about a certain person you crave or adore or care about. Not a reflection of the dream lover who hides in your heart. Not a fantasy you wish your beloved would become. But the perfectly imperfect soul who is actually there in front of you.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

The Madonna of Orgasm Church is a Swedish institution. Its leader claims that the sect is not obsessed with sex, nor are orgies included in the regular worship services. Rather, deifying the orgasm is a symbol for cultivating a lust for life. Making love is just one of many ways to experience peak states and explore the spiritual potencies of pleasure. You don’t have to be a member of the church to experiment with this approach, Libra. I hope you’ll have fun with it during this Valentine season, which happens to be a time in your astrological cycle when seeking intense bliss and cathartic release is your sacred mandate.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

In creating this oracle, I’ve borrowed words from the artist and poet Wolff Bowden. Please steal them from me and use them in cryptic, affectionate communiqués that will deepen your connection with someone who makes your heart sing. Here’s the first batch: "You belong to love as wheels belong to roads, as grapes belong to the blossoming of taste, as corn belongs to crows, as shadows belong to the ache of heat, as happiness belongs to the capricious pangs of the soul." Here’s the second: "May the color blue behold your body while sun washes your shoulders near the window. May your lips refuse the kiss unless your heart is home. May euphoria find you in the place where you are lonely. May you light a billion candles with your mind."

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

"Greet one another with a holy kiss," says the Bible’s first book of Corinthians. I think that’s great advice for you. What I take it to mean is that when you come together with someone you care about, bestow a kiss that’s more than merely affectionate or polite. Use it to invoke a sense of sacred space, surrounding the two of you with a mood of deep gratitude for the privilege of being alive. Even further, make your holy kiss be a prayer for the well-being of your ally, an affirmation of your desire that he or she will thrive and prosper and become the gorgeous genius he or she was born to be.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Would you like to stir up deeper and smarter intimacy? Are you interested in attracting good surprises that would air out your romantic dogmas? Do you think it might be fun to discover a new love secret? To encourage these happy developments, Capricorn, carry out the following assignments. First, practice loving something or someone you don’t understand. Second, any time you start longing to be loved more than you are, make it a point to go out and love someone more than you have in the past. Third, visualize your heart growing softer and warmer and more receptive.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

"When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours," wrote author Robert Fulghum, "we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love." I mention this, Aquarius, because the Valentine season will offer you ample opportunity to bask in the wonders of mutually compatible weirdness. It could come in the form of friendship or romance or some other collaboration, but one way or another it will help you feel less alone in the world, suggesting that maybe you’re not an extraterrestrial time-traveler from the 29th century after all.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

We’re faced with an economic downturn as well as the need to take strenuous measures to heal the environment. Does that mean we have to dial down our pursuit of happiness? Are we obligated to have less fun and deny ourselves pleasure? I say no, as do the editors at TreeHugger.com. One of their articles, for example, gives extensive advice on how to have great sex in small, fuel-efficient, low-emissions cars. With this as your inspiration, Pisces, identify five other ways to enjoy yourself without having to spend a fortune or hurt the earth. It’s an excellent time, astrologically speaking, to experiment with the hypothesis that cutting down on consumerism can help you discover new approaches to feeling really good. (For other ideas, check out tinyurl.com/6ofzvt.)

Homework: Proposed experiment: Carry out an act of love that’s unique in your history. Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19):

I was watching a martial arts competition on ESPN TV. It featured a fierce macho dance-off, in which rivals took turns brandishing their high-octane warrior choreography. At one point, the announcer waxed poetic as the eventual winner pulled off a seemingly impossible move: "And that was a corkscrew illusion twist rodeo spin!" In the coming week, Aries, I urge you to do something like that yourself — maybe even a few times. As you seek to take your game to a higher level, unveil your personal version of the corkscrew illusion twist rodeo spin.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20):

There’s one supreme standard by which your progress in the coming weeks should be ultimately measured: Will you understand yourself better at the end of the adventures than you do at the beginning? A new privilege may come your way, or an honor that’ll perk up your résumé, and maybe even a breakthrough that’ll help dissolve your phobia of success. But they will only manifest a fraction of their potential unless you heed my updated version of Socrates’ best soundbite: Know thyself — or else.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20):

Scientists say that 90 percent of your brain is composed of fat. My own investigations have revealed, on the other hand, that less than 20 percent of your soul is made of fat. So the two balance each other out pretty well. In the coming days, however, I expect that both your brain and soul will be adding the equivalent of more lean, highly toned muscle. As a result, your mental acuity should increase as well as your spiritual insight. You’re likely to be getting smarter and wiser. I hope you will bring these growing abilities to bear on every important decision. Alone, neither is enough.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22):

Born in 1822, my great-great-great grandfather Edward Dembowski was a bohemian philosopher and columnist who led a revolutionary struggle to liberate Poland from plutocrats and foreign occupation. A feminist long before most European men entertained the issue of women’s liberation, he edited a journal that was the main organ of the "Enthusiasts" who fought for women’s rights. He’s one of my heroes! I invite you, Cancerian, to delve into your own ancestry to see if there are inspirational role models like Dembowski. According to my reading of the astrological omens, it’s an excellent time to activate more of your dormant genetic potentials.  One good way to do that: Use your imagination to establish psychic and spiritual links to your admirable forebears.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22):

Dating your first cousin? I don’t recommend it anytime soon. Likewise, I’m here to talk you out of surrounding yourself with people who always agree with you, and I hope you won’t try to milk an old resource for the same help it has provided countless times. In the foreseeable future, Leo, please downplay and de-emphasize the kinds of unions that result from like attracting like. Instead, think cross-fertilization. Catalyze exotic blends, unexpected combinations, and mergers of elements that have never been mixed.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

As Barack Obama’s inauguration day approached, some astrologers were aghast that he would be taking the oath of office when the moon was void-of-course. In their eyes, this aspect is a bad portent for any new enterprise. If Obama would only postpone the oath for 35 minutes, they said, everything would be fine. He didn’t, of course. But then the improbable happened. Chief Justice John Roberts, who was administering the oath, got the wording wrong, and Obama went along with it. Scholars then speculated that the oath wasn’t fully official. The next day, when the moon was no longer void-of-course, Roberts and Obama redid the ritual, making things right. And that’s how an apparent mistake allowed Obama to elude the curse of superstitious astrologers. A seemingly inconvenient delay in your own process, Virgo, will bring an equally beneficent loophole for you.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

"Everything has been figured out, except how to live," sneered the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. That’s not completely true, of course, which he might have discovered had he not closed his dogmatically cynical mind to the countless humans (many unknown to history) whose lives have been great works of art. Starting from these thoughts, Libra, you are hereby invited to regard the next 11 months as a time when you will make your own life a masterpiece — a labor of love that is ingeniously imagined and lyrically wrought. Unseen forces and unexpected allies will come to your assistance if you do.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

I’ve got three questions for you, Scorpio. First, where will you go next to satisfy that special need of yours — you know, the need that demands ever-fresh varieties of fuel? Second, who will you enlist in your ongoing efforts to change your environment so that it’s more compatible with your drives? And third, what helpful influences will you seek to attract into your sphere as you upgrade and refine your ambitions? The coming weeks will be a good time to cultivate your web of alliances as you address these questions.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

A substantial fraction of the world’s scientists are funded by the military. This saddens me. I wish we lived on a planet where most scientists were in service to peace and plenty, working to solve social and environmental problems. But corrupt exploitations of the scientific method are no excuse for me to banish it from my repertoire. I use it frequently. Likewise, I draw tremendous inspiration from the life and teachings of Christ, even though I don’t belong to a Christian church and am distraught about the devastation wrought by the fundamentalist mindset. Would you consider applying this approach to your personal life, Sagittarius? For example, maybe you could come to a new appreciation of your parents’ gifts without losing sight of the ways they messed you up. Or perhaps you could forgive your heroes for their slight lack of integrity, or borrow good ideas from a way of looking at the world that partly offends you.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

You may find it hard to believe that imprecise language could undermine your ability to merge with your heart’s desire, but it’s true. Your biggest wish may never be fully granted as long as you’re lazy or sloppy about how you articulate it. Try this: Write down a brief statement that crisply sums up the one experience you want more than anything else in life. Preface it with this assertion: "I am doing everything possible to accomplish the following goal." Memorize this magic formula and repeat it twice a day until your wish is fulfilled, even if that takes 10 years. P.S.  It will work best if you don’t include anything about how certain people need to change in order for your longing to be fulfilled.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

"What is a weed?" asked Ralph Waldo Emerson. "A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Your assignment, Aquarius, is to identify a weed-like thing in your life whose rich possibilities have not yet been fully realized. Bear in mind, as you ruminate, that there are some weedlike things that would not be particularly valuable even if you did ultimately tease out their full potential. Your task is to find a weed whose transformation into a plant will be especially useful to your unique needs.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20):

Many Americans believe China is a society that puts an abnormally high emphasis on keeping its citizens in line through punishment. But the truth is that only 1.2 percent of China’s 1.3 billion people are in the slammer, whereas the U.S. has jailed 7.7 percent of its population of 300 million. In other words, my home country has a much higher percentage of our people behind bars than they do. I bring this to your attention, Pisces, as a prod to free some of the parts of yourself that you’ve imprisoned. Declare amnesty for the miscast captives and repressed workers within you. Bring the level down from the U.S. rate of incarceration to the Chinese level.

Homework: Do you know precisely what you need in order to feel pretty good most of the time? If not, go on a quest to find out.

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