Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

“Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization,” said George Bernard Shaw more than six decades ago — and it’s still true. It’s very important that you be more discerning than newspapers in the coming weeks, Aries. You can’t afford to confuse a minor mess with a major snafu; it would be a big mistake to treat a small temporary detour as a permanent loss of momentum. Please keep your melodramatic tendencies in check, even as you appreciate the entertainment value of your ever-shifting story.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

I know many Tauruses who are skilled at selling products and services, but less adept at presenting themselves. They don’t mind being pushy and strategic when it comes to shaping the opinions of others, as long as they can remain a bit shy about showing others exactly who they are. If this is true about you, I propose that you work on changing it. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to be bold about expressing the totality of your beauty and making sure that everyone who matters to you gets to see it in its full glory.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

You’re not scared of acquiring more clout and luster, right? You won’t get nervous if you suddenly have to deal with more success than usual, right? You won’t run away if a power spot you’ve been cultivating for yourself finally starts providing you with the opportunities and responsibilities you’d been hoping for, right? I just hope you’re ready to handle the good stuff that’s available, Gemini. Please don’t confuse this enjoyable stress with the other kind.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

In her essay “The Possible Human,” Jean Houston describes amazing capacities that are within reach of any of us who are brazen and cagey enough to cultivate them. We can learn to thoroughly enjoy being in our bodies, for example. We can summon enormous power to heal ourselves, develop an acute memory, enter at will into the alpha and theta wave states that encourage meditation and creative reverie, cultivate an acute perceptual apparatus that can see “infinity in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower,” and practice the art of being deeply empathetic. Guess what, Cancerian: The next six months will be one of the best times ever for you to work on developing these superpowers. To get started, answer this question: Is there any attitude or belief you have that might be standing in the way?

(Here’s Houston’s essay: tinyurl.com/PossibleHuman.)

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

The depths are calling to you, Leo. Can you hear their subtle melodies? Don’t worry, I’m not referring to the icky, stinky, creepy depths; I don’t mean that you’ll have to lose yourself in a chaotic miasma, or wander speechless in a claustrophobic maze. No. The deep place I’m talking about is maybe the cleanest, most well-lit abyss you’ve ever had the complicated pleasure to explore. I’m not saying there’ll be no hairy riddles to deal with, but I am saying that even the hairy riddles will be interesting, at least a little fun, and helpful in your efforts to purify yourself.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

I’m no fan of the climate change that’s rocking every corner of the planet. In fact, I oppose it; I protest it; I resist it. However, I do need to acknowledge that there is at least one upside: The world is becoming more fragrant. Scientists say that as carbon dioxide levels rise, plants will release more aromatic chemicals known as “biogenic volatile organic compounds.” The smell of growing vegetation could intensify by as much as 40 percent in the coming decades. This situation is not a precise metaphorical match for your upcoming destiny, Virgo, but I do see some similarities. Things are going to be getting hotter for you, emotionally speaking — and that will be stimulating, often even pleasurable, to your senses.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

An interviewer asked me, “What is the most difficult aspect of what you do?” Here’s what I said: “Not repeating myself is the hardest thing. And yet it’s also a lot of fun. There’s nothing more exciting for me than to keep being surprised by what I write. It’s deeply enjoyable to be able to feed people clues they haven’t heard from me before. And when I focus on doing what gives me pleasure, the horoscopes write themselves.” I hope this testimony helps you in your own life right now, Libra. If you’re afraid that you’re in danger of repeating yourself, start playing more. Look for what amuses you, for what scrambles your expectations in entertaining ways. Decide that you’re going to put the emphasis on provoking delight in yourself, not preserving your image.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

I am a big fan of your analytical intellect, and would never advise you to shove it out of the way so that your emotional intelligence can rule uncontested. But this is one time when I think the latter needs to get more say than the former; your emotional intelligence has license to take precedence over your analytical intellect. In that light, please consider the following counsel from my Facebook friend Sophia Veleda: “I do not consider emotions to be the dirty redheaded stepchild of the frontal cortex. Our emotional selves are more intuitive, faster, smarter (by means of being able to take in more data at once), and just as capable. The frontal cortex is as likely to make errors due to data omission as the emotional center is likely to get a degree of magnitude wrong.”

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

There are thousands of things in the world that provide you with only mediocre nourishment; the influences that deeply enrich you with their blessings are much smaller in number. To say it another way: You derive a bare amount of inspiration and teaching from the great majority of people, songs, images, words, stories, environments and sights; whereas you draw life-sustaining illumination and spirit-ennobling motivation from just a precious few. Your task in the coming weeks, Sagittarius, is to identify that special minority, and to take aggressive steps to be in more ongoing communion with it.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Research suggests that more and more American high school students are getting good grades every year. The number of A’s doled out has been going up steadily. Does that mean kids are getting smarter or that teachers have relaxed their standards? I don’t have a definitive answer for that. But I do have a theory that all over the world, the Capricorn tribe has been growing more intelligent in recent years. Your increase in 2010 was especially notable. There may have been a bit of tapering off lately, but I expect that to change soon. The omens say you’re due for another growth spurt in your ability to understand how the world works.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Is there anything you tend to hoard, Aquarius? Anything you store up in excessive amounts? Are there emotions you cling to past the time they’re doing you any good? Do you notice yourself feeling pangs of acquisitiveness when in the presence of particular treasures or symbols or pretty things? If so, this is an excellent time to work on dissipating those fixations. In the coming days, you will have cosmic assistance whenever you exert your willpower to undo your fanatical attachments to just about anything.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

I’m hoping that you will grant your ego more permission to shine in the coming weeks, Pisces. I’m hoping you will allow it to unveil more flash, feel more zeal, and exert more force. After all your earnest bouts of self-sacrifice, you deserve a poetic license to brag like a hip-hop millionaire. After putting in such tireless devotion to maintaining an oceanic sense of self, you have every right to bust out a crisp, ferocious blast of “I am!”

Homework: Though sometimes it’s impossible to do the right thing, doing the half-right thing may be a viable option. Give an example from your own life: http://www.freewillastrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES (March 21-April 19)

“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls,” said comedian George Carlin. “There are mornings when your dreams are more real and important than your waking life,” says my favorite dream worker. “There are times when the doctor isn’t feeling well, and only his patient can cure him,” says I. Now it so happens, Aries, that in the upcoming week, your life is likely to pass through an alternate reality where all three of the above conditions will prevail — as well as other similar variants and mutations.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Hua Chi, a Buddhist monk in China, takes his devotions very seriously. For the last two decades he has performed as many as 3,000 prayers every single day in the same exact spot at his temple. Part of me admires his profound commitment, while part of me is appalled at his insane addiction to habit. It’s great that he loves his spiritual work so deeply, but sad that he can’t bring more imagination and playfulness to his efforts. I bring this up, Taurus, because I think it’s a good time, astrologically speaking, for you to take inventory of the good things you do very regularly. See if you can inject more fun and inventiveness into them.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

“To the scientist there is the joy in pursuing truth which nearly counteracts the depressing revelations of truth,” said science fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. The clear implication of this statement is that there’s always a sense of loss that comes with discovering the way things really are. I protest this perspective. I boycott it. As proof that it’s at least partially wrong, I offer up the evidence provided by your life in the days ahead. From what I can tell, the gratification that you feel while hunting down the truth will be substantial, and yet it will ultimately seem rather mild compared to the bliss that arrives when you find what you’re looking for.

CANCER(June 21-July 22)

People listen when Eric Schmidt speaks. He’s the CEO of Google, a company that has major power in shaping the future of information. In recent months he has been riffing on the disappearance of privacy. Because our lives are becoming interwoven with the Internet, he believes it will become increasingly hard to keep any secrets. “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know,” he says, “maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” This is especially true for you right now, Cancerian. In the coming weeks, I encourage you to maintain the highest standards of ethical behavior. The lucky thing about this situation is that news of the good deeds you do and smart moves you make are also likely to circulate far and wide.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22))

Six years ago, a friend of mine came to believe she had died in a previous incarnation by being thrown off a horse. From that time on, she felt stuck. She became convinced that her life energy would remain in a state of suspended animation until she learned to feel comfortable on a horse. Fear kept her from even attempting that for a long time, but recently she got up the courage to begin. Her efforts were bumpy at first, but rapidly improved. As she gained confidence as a rider, every other aspect of her life bloomed, too — just as she’d suspected. I think her experience could be useful for you to learn from in the coming months, Leo. What’s your biggest, oldest fear? Is there anything you could do to start dissolving it?

VIRGO(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

“I’m not confused,” said poet Robert Frost. “I’m just well mixed.” I would love that to be your motto in the coming weeks. You’re entering a phase of your cycle when you should be extra curious about blending ingredients in new combinations. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that the cosmos will respond enthusiastically if you take steps to make yourself the embodiment of lush diversity. Celebrate complexity, Virgo! You will generate unexpected strokes of good fortune by experimenting with medleys and syntheses that appeal to the jaunty parts of your imagination.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

In addition to their standard offerings, the yoga teachers at Atlanta’s Tough Love Yoga center (toughloveyoga.com) sometimes offer exotic variations. During their “Metal Yoga” classes, for instance, the soundtrack for their stretching and breathing exercises is heavy metal music. Here’s their promise: “Melt your face off in a very relaxing, healing way.” That’s the spirit I’d like to see you bring to your life in the coming week: vehemently intense but tenderly curative; wickedly fierce but brilliantly rejuvenating.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

I would love to see you play with your food this week. And draw pictures on walls. And have conversations with winking statues and talking trees and magic toasters. I’ll be thrilled, Scorpio, if you watch cartoons about furry animals outwitting maniacal robots and if you entertain fantasies of yourself pushing a cream pie in the face of an obnoxious authority figure. But given how dignified and discreet you tend to be, I realize the chances of any of this actually happening are miniscule. Can I at least coax you into hopping, skipping and dancing around a lot when no one’s watching?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“Better keep yourself clean and bright,” said George Bernard Shaw. “You are the window through which you must see the world.” Take that advice to heart, Sagittarius. This is an excellent time for you to do any necessary work to get yourself cleaner and brighter. I’m not at all implying that you’re a dusty, greasy mess. But, like all of us, there’s a continuous buildup of foreign matter that distorts the view and that must be periodically washed away. If you do it now, your work will be extra smart and effective.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

The state of Wisconsin is famous for its cheese, so it wasn’t a big surprise when its state legislature decided to honor the bacterium that’s essential in making cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Colby cheese. So as of last year, Lactococcus lactis is the official state microbe. I would love to see you decide upon your own most beloved microbe sometime soon, Capricorn. How about naming Ruminococcus or Peptococcus as your personal favorite among all of your gut flora? It’s that time of year when it makes cosmic sense to acknowledge and appreciate all of the small and hard-to-see things that keep you thriving.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Don’t put your shoes on before you put on your socks this week, OK? Refrain from polishing off a piece of cheesecake and a bowl of ice cream before dinner, and don’t say goodbye whenever you arrive at a new destination. Catch my drift, Aquarius? Do things in the proper order, not just while engaged in the fundamental tasks of your daily rhythm, but also in the long-term processes you’re carrying out. Each step in the sequence needs to prepare the way for the next step. Keep a clear vision of the organizing principle that informs your work.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

Many people know John Mellenkamp’s song “This Is Our Country” because it was used in a commercial for Chevy Silverado trucks. But if they’ve only heard it that way, they may be under a mistaken impression about its meaning. The ad quotes just a fraction of the lyrics, including “So let the voice of freedom / Sing out through this land / This is our country.” What the ad doesn’t include are other lines like “And poverty could be just another ugly thing / And bigotry would be seen only as obscene / And the ones that run this land / Help the poor and common man.” Let this serve as a cautionary tale for you, Pisces. Make sure you get the rest of every story — not just the partial truth, but the whole freaking thing.

Homework:
What most needs regeneration in your life? And what are you going to do to regenerate it? FreeWillAstrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

“Before I loved you, nothing was my own,” wrote Pablo Neruda to his lover in one of his sonnets. “It all belonged to someone else — to no one.” Have you ever experienced a sense of being dispossessed like that, Aries? A sense of there being nowhere and nothing in the world that you can call your own? And have you ever fantasized that your emptiness could be remedied by the intimate presence of a special companion? I wish for you to have that consoling experience in the coming week. In fact, I predict it. Happy Valentine Daze!

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

You’re very familiar with the inexhaustible longings that you harbor in your depths. Your primal hungers for love and connection are never far from your awareness. But the sad thing is that you often regard this as a problem — as a vulnerability that disempowers you. This Valentine season I’m asking you to change all that. I’m urging you to see your enormous yearnings as strengths . . . to celebrate them as essential fuel for your vitality . . . to treat them as crucial ingredients in your lust for life. Take it from someone who has seen too many people crippled by their lack of passion: You’re lucky to be so well-endowed with desire.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

Happy Valentine Daze, Gemini! Here’s my prescription for making best use of the current cosmic currents: Be enchanting, but in an understated way. Be slyly charismatic and innocently flirtatious and serenely wild. Show how sexy it is to be sublimely relaxed. Make judicious use of small acts of friendly mischief. Be affectionately unpredictable, always in the service of showing how much you care.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

Your love story has elements of a farce mixed with a soap opera, fairy tale and ghost story. For a normal human being, it might be too intense and convoluted to deal with; it requires so much willing suspension of disbelief and involves so much letting go of certainty that no one in their right mind would agree to its demands. Luckily, you’re not a normal human being these days, and you’re not particularly in your right mind. That’s why I say unto you: Ride this snaky tale for all it’s worth. Enjoy every plot twist and riddle as if you’ve been given an epic myth you can ponder and learn from for the next 10 years. Happy Valentine Daze, Cancerian!

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

“I think, therefore I am,” declared the philosopher Descartes. Couldn’t he have equally said, “I feel, therefore I am” or “I sense, therefore I am”? During this Valentine season, I suggest that you put the emphasis on those other proofs of identity, not Descartes’. From what I can tell, intimacy is most likely to thrive if you liberate it from excessive thinking and lubricate it with generous amounts of trans-rational contact. For love’s sake, empty your head of abstractions, opinions, and theories. Make lots of room for the aroma of freshly washed hair, the shimmer of peaceful excitement, the shuddering solace of moist skin, the zing of poignant empathy, the wisdom of wandering hands, and the telepathy of shared perceptions.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Happy Valentine Daze, Virgo! What’s the best way for you to celebrate the season of love? In accordance with the astrological omens, here’s a good suggestion: Write haiku-like poems on scraps of red paper and leave them around for a special someone to find. You can borrow the following samples, adopted from the work of Raymond Roseliep. 1. “mist on my mouth — air you touched.” 2. “I tried to bring you that one cloud in this cup of water.” 3. “black raspberries — your name breaking in the soft burst.” 4. “love song: I enter your mirror.” To get more inspiration, check at tinyurl.com/brisk88.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Happy Valentine Daze, Libra. It’s my astrological opinion that you need more jokes, comedy and humor in your romantic adventures. If you’re too serious about seeking the pleasures of love, you can’t get what you want. To inspire your efforts, I present the winning entry from last year’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. It was judged the worst possible opening line for a novel, but it’s perfect fodder for the project I’ve assigned you: “For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss — a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.”

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

This Valentine season, you have considerable potential to bring more lyricism into your close relationships. To stimulate you in that noble effort, I’m borrowing from the poetry of Andre Breton. See if you can adopt this style of expressing yourself (or steal the actual words) as you reach out to a person you’d like to be closer to: “Your neck is pearled barley. Your hair is a wood fire. Your mouth is a bouquet of stars. Your eyelashes are a child’s first stroke of writing. Your eyebrows are the edge of a swallow’s nest. Your shoulders are dolphins’ heads under the ice. Your fingers? The ace of hearts. Your armpits? Beechnut and midsummer night. Your arms are the sea foam and flood gate foam. Your feet are bunches of keys.”

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“Love that stammers, that stutters, is apt to be the love that loves best,” wrote poet Gabriela Mistral. That’s an important theme to keep in mind during the season of amour. Your job as a lover is not to be inflated with the perfect knowledge of how to proceed, not to stride forcefully into each romantic nuance with your confidence exploding . . . but rather to stumble along humbly, waging experiment after experiment, striving to kindle the spark, unleash the deluge, conjure the whirlwind, burrow into the dirty, sacred depths — or whatever the idiosyncratic truth of the moment calls for. Happy Valentine Daze, Sagittarius!

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Happy Valentine Daze, Capricorn! Borrowing words from poet Amy Lowell, I’ve created the nucleus of a love note for you to use as your own. Feel free to give these words (and others you write yourself) to a person whose destiny needs to be woven more intimately together with yours. “Your shadow is moonlight on a plate of silver; your footsteps, the seeding-place of lilies; the mystery of your voice, a chime of bells across the windless river air. The movement of your hands is the long golden running of light from a rising sun. Young horses are not more limber than your thoughts. Your laughs are bees buzzing around a pear tree. I dare to reach to you. I dare to touch the rim of your brightness.”

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

When some Westerners hear the term “tantra,” they think it’s a New Age codeword for lavish sex. But in its original form, tantra is a philosophy that advocates spiritual union with all of creation, not just erotic union with an attractive partner. Tantric practitioners might engage in metaphorical “love-making” with lizards, birch trees, clouds, toasters, rivers and quirky friends, among other wonders. I recommend that you experiment with this perspective, Aquarius. I bet you’ll find that cultivating lusty compassion for the entire world will enhance your personal intimacy with the people you care about. Happy Valentine Daze!

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

In many of the weddings I’ve been to as a guest, the love birds have sealed their vows with a chaste kiss — a formal gesture that wasn’t imbued with much spontaneous passion. But in a recent marriage ceremony I attended, the new husband and wife showed little inhibition at the climax. They French-kissed in a prolonged embrace that also included ample groping. In the coming week, I urge you to put yourself as much as possible in situations where you can express that kind of free-wheeling spirit. Happy Valentine Daze, Pisces!

Homework: Name the one thing you could change about yourself that would improve your love life. Testify at Freewillastrology.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

Now and then, members of other astrological signs complain that I seem to favor you Aries above them. If that’s true, I’m certainly not aware of it. As far as I know, I love all the signs equally. I will say this, however: Due to the idiosyncrasies of my own personal horoscope, I have been working for years to get more skilled at expressing qualities that your tribe tends to excel at: being direct, acting fearless, knowing exactly what you want, cultivating a willingness to change, and leading by example. All these assets are especially needed by the people in your life right now.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

I’ve found that even when people are successful in dealing with a long-term, intractable problem, they rarely zap it out of existence in one epic swoop. Generally, they chip away at it, dismantling it little by little; they gradually break its hold with incremental bursts of unspectacular heroism. Judging from the astrological omens, though, I’d say that you Tauruses are ripe for a large surge of dismantling. An obstacle you’ve been hammering away at for months or even years may be primed to crumble dramatically.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

My brother Tom and I used to be on a softball team in Santa Cruz. I played third base and he was the pitcher. For one game, he showed up with a new glove that still had the price tag dangling. I asked him if he was going to snip it off. “Nope,” he said, “it’ll subtly distract the batters and give me an advantage.” That day he pitched one of his best games ever. His pitches seemed to have extra mojo that kept the hitters off balance. Were they even aware they were being messed with? I don’t think so.  In fact, my theory is that because Tom’s trick was so innocuous, no one on the opposing team registered the fact that it was affecting their concentration. I suggest you try a similar strategy, Gemini.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

A famous atheist named Edwin Kagin has incorporated performance art into his crusade against religious believers. Wielding a hairdryer, he “de-baptizes” ex-church-goers who want to reverse the effects of the baptism they experienced as children. The stream of hot air that Kagin blows against their foreheads is meant to exorcise the holy water daubed there way back when. Could you benefit from a similar ritual, Cancerian? If you have any inclinations to free yourself from early imprints, religious or otherwise, you’re in a favorable phase to do so.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

In an old “Star Trek” episode, a woman visits the starship’s medical facility seeking chemicals she needs to start a hydroponic garden. The chief doctor, who has a high sense of self-worth and a gruff bedside manner, scowls at her.

Why is she bothering him with such a trivial request? “Now I know how Hippocrates felt,” he complains, “when the King needed him to trim a hangnail.” (Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is referred to as the “Father of Medicine” because of his seminal influence on the healing professions.) I suspect that sometime soon, Leo, you will be in a position similar to the ship’s doctor. Unlike him, however, you should carry out the assignment with consummate grace. It’ll pay off for you in the long run — probably in ways you can’t imagine right now.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

In Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem,” he sings, “There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” From what I can tell, Virgo, the week ahead will be one of the best times all year for welcoming the light that comes through the cracks. In fact, I urge you to consider widening the cracks a little — maybe even splitting open a few new cracks — so that the wildly healing light can pour down on you in profusion.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

When was the last time you created a masterpiece, Libra? I’m not necessarily talking about a work of art; it might have been an exquisite dinner you prepared for people you love . . . or a temporary alliance you forged that allowed you to accomplish the impossible . . . or a scary-fun adventure you risked that turned you into a riper human being with a more authoritative standing. Whether your last tour de force happened seven weeks ago or seven months ago, my sense is that you’re due for another one. The cosmic rhythms are conspiring to make you act like an artful genius.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Why is everything so eerily quiescent right now? Should you be worried? Has the momentum been sucked out of your life? Have you lost your way? Personally, I think you’re doing better than you realize. The dormancy is a temporary illusion. To help give you the perspective you need, I offer you this haiku-like poem by Imma von Bodmershof, translated by Petra Engelbert: “The great river is silent / only sometimes it sounds quietly / deep under the ice.”

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

I saw ex-Poet Laureate Robert Hass read and discuss his poem “Etymology.” He said that while many of the fluids of the human body are named with English words, at least one isn’t: the moisture of a woman who is sexually aroused. The Anglo- Saxons did have a word for it, he noted: silm, which also referred to the look of moonlight on the water.

“Poor language,” Hass concluded, bemoaning a vocabulary that ignores such an important part of human experience.

Your assignment, Sagittarius, is to correct for any problems caused by poor language in your own sphere. If you’ve been lazy about articulating your meaning or needs, then please activate your deeper intelligence. If there’s a situation in your life that’s suffering from a sloppy use of words, reframe its contours with crisper speech. You could even coin some new words or borrow good ones from foreign tongues.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Stand-up comedian Arj Barker says that when he writes each of his jokes, he’s thinking that all he needs to do is make it funny enough to get at least three people in the audience to laugh at it. More than three is gravy, and he hopes he does get more. But if he can just get those three, he believes, he will always get a lot of work in his chosen profession. In accordance with the astrological rhythms, Capricorn, I urge you to adopt a similar approach. To be successful in the coming days, you don’t need an approval rating of 80 percent.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

The renegade spiritual sect known as the Church of the Subgenius values one treasure above all others: not salvation, not enlightenment, not holiness, but rather Slack. And what is Slack? It is a state of being in which everything flows smoothly — a frame of mind so unfettered and at ease that the entire universe just naturally cooperates with you.

When you’ve got abundant reserves of Slack, you don’t strain and struggle to make desired events unfold, and you don’t crave things you don’t really need. You’re surrendered to the greater intelligence that guides your life, and it provides you with a knack for attracting only what’s truly satisfying. Happy Slack Week, Aquarius! I suspect you will have loads of that good stuff, which means your freedom to be your authentic self will be at a peak.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense,” said writer Gertrude Stein many decades ago. Isn’t that about a thousand times truer in 2011? It takes rigorous concentration not to be inundated with data. But that’s exactly your assignment, Pisces. It’s absolutely crucial for you to be a beacon of common sense in the coming days. To meet your dates with destiny, you will have to be earthy, uncluttered, well-grounded, and in close touch with your body’s intuition. If that requires you to cut back dramatically on the volume of information you take in, so be it.

Homework: Happiness, that elusive beast, sometimes needs to be tracked through the bushes before capture. Send a description of your game plan for hunting down happiness in 2011. Write to Truthrooster@gmail.com.

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