Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

Should you rely on hard facts or soft feelings? Would it be advisable to trust your tried-and-true medicine or else a potion brewed from the tongue of a snake, the feather of a crow and a mandrake root? Can you get better results by mingling with staunch allies or with rebel upstarts who have a knack for shaking things up? Only you can decide on these matters, Aries. My opinion? You’ll probably generate more interesting developments by going with the feelings, the mandrake root and the upstarts.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

“We cannot have any unmixed emotions,” said poet William Butler Yeats. “There is always something in our enemy that we like, and something in our sweetheart that we dislike.” I hope that’s OK with you, Taurus. In fact I hope you regard that as a peculiar blessing — as one of the half-maddening, half-inspiring perks of life on earth. The fact, as I see it, is that you are in the thick of the Season of Mixed Emotions. The more graciously you accept that — the more you invite it to hone your soul’s intelligence — the better able you’ll be to capitalize on the rich and fertile contradictions that are headed your way.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

Louisiana porn star Stormy Daniels considered running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010, although she eventually dropped out because it was too expensive. I admired one of her campaign strategies: She went on a “listening tour,” traveling around her state to hear what potential constituents might want to tell her. I encourage you to embark on your own listening tour in the coming weeks, Gemini. It will be prime time for you to find out about everything you don’t even realize you need to know. Adopt a mode of maximum receptivity as you ask a lot of questions. Wipe your mind clean of assumptions so you can get all of the benefits possible from being innocent and curious.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

I love astrology. It excites my imagination and helps ensures that my relationship with the world is never too literal or prosaic. It anchors me in the paradoxical insight that, although many things are out of my control, I have huge amounts of free will. My study of the mysterious meanings of planetary omens provides guidance, keeps me humble, and is a constant reminder that poetry provides an understanding of reality that’s as useful as science. On the other hand, astrology sometimes feels oppressive. I don’t like any system, even one as interesting as astrology, to come between me and the raw truth about reality. I aspire to see the actual person who’s in front of me, not to be interpreting everything she does through the lens of her horoscope. Now I urge you to do what I’ve just done, Cancerian: Express your appreciation for something in your life that provides beauty and power, even as you also critique its downsides.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

Bees pollinate apples. Butterflies perform the same service for lilies, and moths do it for tobacco. Horse chestnut requires the help of hummingbirds to pollinate, wild ginger needs flies, and oak trees depend on the wind. The world’s largest flower, the rafflesia, can be pollinated by elephants’ eyebrows as the beasts use their trunks to search for nectar. My point is that, in the natural world, fertilization is species-specific. Bees don’t pollinate lilies and butterflies don’t pollinate horse chestnut. A similar principle holds true for you, Leo. Can you name the influences that fertilize you? Now’s a good time to get very clear about that, and then seek out a more focused connection with those influences.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Native Americans took care of the land better than the white people who appropriated it, but they were by no means masters of sustainability. Recent research reveals they had a sizable carbon footprint, pumping lots of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as they cleared and burned forests. (More info at tinyurl.com/NativeCarbon.) Taking a cue from that little shock, I’m encouraging you to see if there are aspects of your personal past that should be reinterpreted. The astrological omens suggest that you’d be wise to revise some of the stories you tell about what happened to you way back when.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

British engineer John Reid wants to translate dolphins’ speech into human language. For years, he has been working on the Cymascope, a machine that will help him analyze the basic patterns of dolphin grammar and vocabulary. I encourage you to be inspired by his efforts, Libra. It is now an excellent time for you to devote your ingenuity to improving the way you communicate with alien species like black sheep, fallen angels, feral mavericks, your mother-in-law, odd ducks, co-workers who resemble raccoons and bears, and zombies who don’t share your political views.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I think that sums up the choice you have before you. There is something to be said for going fast; it may be that you can get as far as you need to go by starting immediately and speeding along by yourself. On the other hand, the distance you have to cover may be beyond your ability to estimate in the early days. If you think that’s the case, you might want to opt for the slower-paced power of a joint operation.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

It’s Experiment with Your Self-Image Week — a time when it would be invigorating to shift and play with your identity. During this reinvention phase, you might find you can change yourself on the inside simply by rearranging yourself on the outside. So have fun wearing clothes you’ve never donned before. Entertain yourself with a new hairstyle. Speak in foreign accents or use words you don’t usually utter. Amuse yourself with a variety of novel approaches to walking, laughing, gesticulating and moving your face. Think of your persona as a work of art that you love to tinker with.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t,” said physician James Gordon. “It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” That’s why you may soon appear to the casual observer, Capricorn, as someone who’s able to call on enormous reserves of willpower. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you are now more amenable to change than you’ve been in a long time. In fact, I suspect that in the coming weeks you’ll be willing and even eager to initiate transformations that seem heroic to people who are addicted to the status quo.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

All belief systems, ideologies, philosophies and religions are mostly wrong, even though many of them have chunks of useful information that contribute to the common good. Said another way, absolutely no one has the whole truth, but pretty much everyone has a part of the truth. Now, it so happens, Aquarius, that your little fraction of ultimate wisdom is currently clearer and stronger than usual. That makes you especially valuable to your gang, family or tribe. It doesn’t mean you should be the supreme arbiter of correct thinking forever, but it does suggest that right now you should exert extra leadership with forceful grace.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

Think back over the course of your life, and identify any worthy ambitions that got irretrievably blocked or frustrated or squandered. Once you’ve named those lost chances, do a ritual in which you completely let go of them. As much as possible, give up all regrets. Flush the sadness. Forgive anyone who interfered. Wipe the slate clean. Only by doing this can you open the way to an opportunity that’s lurking just outside your awareness. And what, exactly, is that opportunity? Even if I told you, you wouldn’t know what I was talking about. Your ability to find it requires you to do the preliminary work of purging your remorse for missed opportunities.

Homework: Is it possible there’s something you really need but you don’t know what it is? What might it be? Write Truthrooster@gmail.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

“You don’t want to be the best of the best,” said Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. “You just want to be the only one who does what you do.” That’s always good advice, but it will be especially apt for you during the next few weeks. You’re entering a phase when competing with other people will get you nowhere fast. What will get you somewhere fast is nurturing your unique talents and proclivities. Do you know exactly what they are? If you’re even a little fuzzy, make it your quest to get very clear.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

What is the “soul,” anyway? Is it a ghostly blob of magic stuff within us that keeps us connected to the world of dreams and the divine realms? Is it an amorphous metaphor for the secret source of our spiritual power? Is it a myth that people entertain because they desperately want to believe there’s more to them than just their physical bodies?

Here’s what I think: The soul is a perspective that pushes us to go deeper and see further and live more wildly. It’s what drives our imagination to flesh out our raw experience, transforming that chaotic stuff into rich storylines that animate our love of life. With the gently propulsive force of the soul, we probe beyond the surface level of things, working to find the hidden meaning and truer feeling. I’m bringing this up, Taurus, because it is Celebrate the Soul Week for you.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

“Nothing changes until it’s changed in everyone’s memories,” said poet Alice Notley. I urge you to keep that in mind as you move forward, Gemini. In recent weeks, you have helped untie a knot that once seemed impossibly tangled, and you deserve kudos for that. But your job isn’t done yet. Your next task is to work on loosening the snarls and smoothing the kinks that still linger in the imaginations of everyone involved.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

My friend Ariel’s 6-year-old daughter, Juno, doesn’t understand why anyone would build streets that run in a straight line. Isn’t it more fun if the highways and byways are crooked and curvy? Shouldn’t people want to get to where they’re going by veering this way and that, relishing the playful twists and turns? That’s where the best action is, says Juno, and I agree: in the tweak, in the twirl, in the winding way — not in the beeline route that leaves no room for improvisation. That’s especially true for you right now, my fellow Cancerian.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

Lots of toddlers in Indonesia smoke cigarettes, not just the chain-smoking 2-year-old in the famous YouTube video (tinyurl.com/SmokerKid). But don’t you dare let your inner child get started on a similar habit anytime soon, Leo.  Make sure that sweet young thing is exposed to only the very best influences; feed him or her only the healthiest food, air, water, sounds, sights, images and stories. The innocent, curious, wide-eyed part of you is entering a phase when rapid growth is going to happen, one way or another. It’s your job to guarantee that the growth goes in the right direction.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

“We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly,” wrote Anais Nin. “We are mature in one realm, childish in another.” In you, Virgo, the discrepancies have been especially apparent lately. For example, your brainy insightfulness has been on a hot streak, while your gut wisdom has not. But I suspect this situation to shift in the coming weeks. My reading of the astrological omens suggests that your emotional intelligence is set to thrive. It will be fine if you concentrate on that phenomenon with all your heart, even if it means investing a little less energy in being an analytical whiz.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

In the old Looney Tunes cartoons, Wile E. Coyote is constantly chasing after the Road Runner, a long-legged bird that prefers running to flying. Presumably, Coyote would eat the Road Runner if he ever caught him, but he never does; the bird’s too fast and smart. In one recurring motif, the Road Runner dashes into the entrance of a cave that’s cut into a wall of sheer rock. When Coyote tries to follow him, he smashes into the rock, and it’s revealed that the cave entrance is just a very realistic painting. I suspect that you’re going to have the Road Runner’s power in the coming week: an ability to find and use doors that are inaccessible to other people.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

I recently discovered a blues-gospel artist named Famous L. Renfro, who is also known as “The Flying Sweet Angel of Joy.” His soaring, gritty music had a medicinal effect.  It seemed to say to me, “You have the power to change your life in the exact way you want to change your life.” Your assignment, Scorpio, is to find a new source of music or art or literature or film that has a similar effect on you: a flying sweet angel of joy that inspires you to do what has been hard for you to do. According to my reading of the astrological omens, such an influence is within your reach right now.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Your old self is the fuel you will use to burn your old self to the ground. This bonfire will liberate your new self, which has been trapped in a gnarly snarl deep inside your old self. It’s only at first that you’ll feel freaked out by the flames. Very quickly, a sense of relief and release will predominate. Then, as the new you makes its way to freedom, escaping its cramped quarters and flexing its vital force, you will be blessed with a foreshadowing of your future. The intoxication that follows will bring you clarity and peace of mind.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“Do we love Heaven more than God?” asks poet Paula Cisewski in her book Ghost Fargo. I think that’s the kind of cryptic question you Capricorns would benefit from mulling over in the coming weeks. Your mind needs to get its customary categories shaken up and rearranged . . . needs its habitual grooves broken up and diverted . . . needs its easy certainties flushed and abandoned. Can you think of any other queries that will help you accomplish this noble work? Let me offer a few to get you started: 1. Do we love love itself more than we love the people we say we love? 2. Do we fear failure so much that we interfere with our cultivation of success? 3. Do we obsess on our longing to such a degree that we miss opportunities to satisfy our longing?

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

The Sanskrit word buddhi refers to the part of us that adores the truth. It’s good at distinguishing between what’s real and what’s false, and is passionately attracted to liberation. Although it may go into long periods of dormancy in some of us, buddhi never falls asleep completely. It’s always ready to jump into action if we call on it. According to my reading of the astrological omens, Aquarius, the buddhi aspect of your psyche will be extra special, big, strong and bright in the coming week. In my opinion, that’s better than winning the lottery.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

I like how snowboarder Graham Watanabe described his experiences at last February’s Winter Olympics. He wasn’t content with making a generic comment like “It was awesome!” or “No words could describe how great it was!” Instead he got florid and specific: “Try to imagine Pegasus mating with a unicorn and the creature that they birth. I somehow tame it and ride it into the sky in the clouds and sunshine and rainbows. That’s what it feels like.” As you break through your previous limits in the coming weeks, Pisces, I’d love to hear you summon some bursts of articulate jubilation akin to Watanbe’s.

Homework: Which actor or actress would be the best choice to play you in a film about your life? Go to Realastrology.com and click “Email Rob.”

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

Where I live, 35 percent of all high school students confess (or brag) that they have engaged in binge drinking, which is defined as imbibing five or more alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period. According to my reading of the omens, your inner teenager may soon be longing to flirt with that kind of intense and total release. Can I talk him or her out of it? As much as I sympathize with the younger you’s need to escape the numbing effects of the daily grind, I’m asking the adult you to step in and assert your authority. Try to find a more constructive approach to liberation.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

Why did feathered dinosaurs evolve wings? Paleontologists in Britain have a new theory: It added to their sexual allure. The head researcher at the University of Manchester speculated that “maybe they ran around with their arms outstretched to show off how pretty their feathers were.” Eventually, those forearms became wings that came in handy for flying. In other words, the power of flight did not originate from the urge to fly but rather from the urge to be attractive. Oddly enough, Taurus, this approach to understanding evolution would be useful for you to meditate on in the coming weeks. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you could develop some interesting new capacities as you work to enhance your appeal to people who matter.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

On the subject of being divided, novelist Iris Murdoch wrote the following: “He led a double life. Did that make him a liar? He did not feel a liar. He was a man of two truths.”  Whether you deserve the generosity of that interpretation still remains to be seen, Gemini. It is possible that your version of doubleness will be rooted in deceit or delusion rather than sincere and honest duality. Of course, I’m rooting for the latter. Please do all you can to ensure that you’re being authentic, not manipulative.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

My friend Ariel’s 6-year-old daughter, Juno, doesn’t understand why anyone would build streets that run in a straight line. Isn’t it more fun if the highways and byways are crooked and curvy? Shouldn’t people want to get to where they’re going by veering this way and that, relishing the playful twists and turns? That’s where the best action is, says Juno, and I agree: in the tweak, in the twirl, in the winding way — not in the beeline route that leaves no room for improvisation. That’s especially true for you right now, my fellow Cancerian.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

Would you be delighted if I arranged to get an offshore oil-drilling rig named after you? Probably not. Would you celebrate if you won a prestigious all-expenses-paid vacation to the hottest war zones in Afghanistan? I doubt it. So don’t accept dubious honors and gifts like those, Leo. Be clear that you’re not interested in ego strokes that are irrelevant to your long-term dreams. If you hope to get the prize you’re aiming for, you will have to say a definitive no to supposedly good things that you don’t really want.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

The nature of the game is changing. Do you know which game I’m referring to? I mean the one that everyone’s playing but no one’s acknowledging they’re playing. The rules of the game had held steady for quite some time, but recently they began to shift. Now, even the game’s rewards are in the process of metamorphosing. My advice? You don’t necessarily need to splash a big dose of raw candor all over the place, but I do recommend that you at least tell yourself the truth about what’s going on.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

My Facebook friend Robert Goldberg has come up with terms for you Libras that put a more positive spin on your reputation as fence-sitters. He suggests “fence dancer” or “fence warrior.” You don’t always deserve to be bestowed with those honorable titles, of course. Sometimes you really do molder there in your intermediate position, paralyzed by indecision and unable to do what’s in the best interests of anyone, including yourself. But on other occasions — like now — you have the power to use your in-between status dynamically, coordinating the opposing interests to work as a whole that’s greater than the sum of the parts.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

“I cannot seem to feel alive unless I am alert,” wrote author Charles Bowden, “and I cannot feel alert unless I push past the point where I have control.” Yikes! That’s a pretty extreme approach. But I suggest that you consider trying it out in the coming week.  If you hope to seize even one of the multiple opportunities that are swirling in your vicinity, you will need both supreme focus and a loosey-goosey willingness to respond to novelty. So don’t tense up and blank out and try to wrestle the mysterious flows into submission. Use your sixth sense to find the groove, and relax into it.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried,” said Winston Churchill. He was defending his favorite political system, asserting that its imperfections are superior to the flaws of monarchy, plutocracy, anarchy, theocracy and the rest. I invite you to use a similar gauge as you evaluate the belief system that’s at the center of your life. Does it sometimes lead you astray, cause you to see things that aren’t really there, and fill you with confusion — but in ways that are more life-enhancing than any other belief system you know of? Or is your belief system actually kind of toxic? Should you consider replacing it with another set of organizing principles? If it’s the latter, now would be a good time to begin making a change.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Connie Post, my beloved former editor at the Dayton Daily News, sent me a haiku-like poem that I’d like you to ponder: “November trees / which are living? / which are dead?” I’m hoping this will put you in the mood to mull over an even bigger question, namely: What parts of your own life are withering and what parts are thriving? In my astrological opinion, it’s very important that you know the difference, and act accordingly.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Numerologists say the number 10 signifies completion, wholeness, totality. It could rightly serve as your lucky number in the coming weeks — a symbol of your power to draw long-term processes to a climax on your own terms. But you might also want to consider using 11 as your emblem of good mojo. That number denotes the drive to surpass the success you’ve earned before — to transcend easy triumphs and conventional wisdom so as to reach for a more challenging conquest. Either way, Aquarius, I think you’ll be flying high for the foreseeable future, so there’s no need to worry about which way you should go. If you do choose 11, the risks will be somewhat greater and the rewards more interesting.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

In Moby Dick, Herman Melville suggested that ideally a person should be a “patriot to heaven.” Poet Gary Snyder wrote, “I pledge allegiance to the soil / one ecosystem / in diversity / under the sun / with joyful interpenetration for all.” Seminal environmentalist Edward Abbey said, “My loyalties will not be bound by national borders . . . or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language or culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.” I recommend you experiment with this perspective in the coming weeks, Pisces. You don’t have to tone down your love for your tribe or country. Just see if you can expand your sense of belonging . . . extend the borders of your comfort zone . . . and feel at home everywhere you go.

Homework: What’s the best, most healing trouble you could whip up right now? Go to Freewillastrology.com and click “Email Rob.”

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

In Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, one of the characters makes a vulgar observation about the odd attractions that sometimes come over us human beings: “Anyone who falls in love with a dog’s behind will mistake it for a rose.”  It’s my duty to point out that the opposite occurs, too. People may think a marvelous thing is worthless, and dislike it or ignore it as a result. Van Gogh’s paintings, for example: He sold only one while he was alive, although today his work is regarded as extraordinarily beautiful. My advice to you, Aries, is to avoid both of these errors in the coming week.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

Poet Paul Eluard frequently fantasized and wrote about his dream woman, but he never actually found her. “The cards have predicted that I would meet her but not recognize her,” he said. So he contented himself with being in love with love. I think he made a sound decision that many of us should consider emulating.  It’s a losing proposition to wait around hoping for a dream lover to show up in our lives, since no one can ever match the idealized image we carry around in our imagination. And even if there were such a thing as a perfect mate, we would probably not recognize that person, as Eluard said, because they’d be so different from our fantasy. Having said all that, Taurus, I’m happy to inform you that the next two months will be prime time for you to cultivate your connection with an imperfect beauty who’s good for you.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

When you begin treatment with a homeopathic doctor, his or her first task is to determine your “constitutional,” which is the remedy that serves as your fundamental medicine — the tonic you take to keep your system balanced and functioning smoothly. Mine used to be “aurum,” or gold, but due to certain shifts in my energy, my doctor ultimately changed it to “lac lupinum,” or wolf’s milk. After analyzing your astrological omens, I’m guessing that you might need a similar adjustment in the regimen that keeps you healthy. Your body’s needs seem to be evolving. Consider making some changes in the food you eat, the sleep you get, the exercise you do, and the love you stir up.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

“Freedom is in the unknown,” said philosopher John C. Lilly. “If you believe there is an unknown everywhere, in your own body, in your relationships with other people, in political institutions, in the universe, then you have maximum freedom.” I think this is the most important thought you could meditate on right now, Cancerian. You are close to summoning the magic that would allow you to revel in what’s unknown about everything and everyone you love. And that would dramatically invigorate your instinct for freedom.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

The first time I ever planted a garden was last summer. It wasn’t easy. The soil in my backyard was hard clay that I could barely penetrate with a shovel. Luckily, a helpful clerk at the garden store revealed a solution: gypsum. All I had to do was pour the white powder on my intransigent dirt and wet it down for a few days. The stuff performed as advertised on the package: It “worked like millions of tiny hoes,” loosening the heavy clay. A week later I was able to begin planting. In the coming days, Leo, I think you could benefit from the metaphorical equivalent of a million tiny hoes. You’ve got to break down a hard surface to create a soft bed for your seeds.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Recent research suggests that yawning raises alertness, enhances cognitive awareness, reduces stress, and strengthens the part of the brain that feels empathy. Andrew Newberg, M.D., goes so far as to recommend that you regularly induce yawns. He says it helps you solve problems, increases your efficiency, and intensifies your spiritual experiences. (Read more here: http://bit.ly/YawnGenius.) So here’s my advice, Virgo. During the current phase of your astrological cycle — which is a time when self-improvement activities are especially favored — you should experiment with recreational yawning.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Check out this haiku by Mizuhara Shuoshi, translated from the Japanese by William J. Higginson: “Stuck in a vase / deep mountain magnolia / blossoms open.” Does that remind you of anyone? It should. I think it pretty much sums up your current situation. More accurately, it captures the best possible scenario you can strive to achieve, given your circumstances. Yes, there are limitations you have to deal with right now: being in the vase. And yet there’s no reason you can’t bloom like a deep mountain magnolia.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Technorati, a search engine for blogs, says there are well over 100 million blogs on the Internet, and that figure doesn’t include millions of Chinese language blogs. So self-expression is thriving on a global scale, right? Not exactly. Most blogs — the estimate is 94 percent — have not been updated for at least four months. In accordance with the current astrological indicators, Scorpio, I expect you to do something about this problem. Refresh your blog in the coming week, or consider launching one if you don’t have one. But don’t stop there. Use every other way you can imagine to show the world who you are. Be articulate and demonstrative and revelatory.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

I think you can handle more hubbub and uproar than you realize. I also suspect you’re capable of integrating more novelty, and at a faster rate, than the members of all the other signs of the zodiac. That’s why I think you should consider interpreting what’s happening in your life right now as “interesting adventures” instead of “disorienting chaos.” The entire universe is set up to help you thrive on what non-Sagittarians might regard as stressful.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“Dear Rob: My boyfriend’s heart is in the right place. He likes to give me flowers. The only trouble is, the bouquets he brings are homely. A recent batch was a hodgepodge of blue delphiniums, white carnations and red geraniums. Is there any way to steer him in a more aesthetically correct direction without deflating his tender kindness? — Unsatisfied Capricorn.” Dear Unsatisfied: In my astrological opinion, one of the tasks you Capricorns should be concerned with right now is learning to love the gifts that people want to give you. Maybe at a later date you can start training them to provide you with exactly what you want. But for the moment, it won’t kill you to simply welcome and celebrate their generosity.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Your new vocabulary word for the week is “skookum,” a term from the Chinook Indians that is still used in some parts of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. My astrological colleague Caroline Casey says it means “in cahoots with good spirits” and “completely made for the job.” Wikipedia suggests that when you’re skookum, you’ve got a clear purpose and are standing in your power spot. According to my reading of the omens, Aquarius, these definitions of skookum fit you pretty well right now. (P.S. When skookum is used to describe food, it means delicious and hearty, which could definitely be applied to you if you were edible.)

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

In the coming days, it’s crucial for you to be spontaneous but not rash. Do you know the distinction? Read the words of psychologist Abraham Maslow: “Spontaneity (the impulses from our best self) gets confused with impulsivity and acting-out (the impulses from our sick self), and there is then no way to tell the difference.” Be sure you stay true to the vitalizing prompts arising from your inner genius, Pisces — not the distorted compulsions erupting from your inner maniac.

Homework: Imagine that thanks to scientific breakthroughs and good luck, you’re still alive in 2090. What’s your life like? Testify at Truthrooster@gmail.com.

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