By Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): An American named Kevin Shelley accomplished a feat worthy of inclusion in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” While wearing a blue satin martial arts outfit, he smashed forty-six wooden toilet seats over his head in just one minute. Some observers may be inclined to dismiss his efforts as frivolous and ridiculous. But I admire how he playfully mocked his own competitiveness while fully expressing his competitiveness. He satirized his ego’s drive to be first and best even as he achieved the goal of being first and best. I recommend you try something similar. You’re entering a phase when you’ll be wise to add a bit of humility to your bold self-presentation.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You are about to make the transition from plodding to skipping; from moping to exulting. You will no longer be bogged down by cloudy doubt, but will instead be buoyed by giddy hope. To what do we owe this imminent turnaround in your fortunes? One reason is that it’s Justifiable Narcissism Week—for Tauruses only. During this jubilee, the Free Will Astrology Council on Extreme Self-Esteem authorizes you to engage in unabashed self-worship—and to corral a host of other people who want to join in celebrating you, praising you, and helping you.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): An eagle does not catch flies. A lion won’t hunt for mice. A gourmet chef shuns recipes that call for canned soup and potato chips. And I trust that you won’t indulge a hankering for non-nutritious sweets and treats that would spoil your appetite for more robust sustenance. You understand I’m not just talking about your literal eating habits, right? Interpret this oracle metaphorically, please.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Now is an excellent time to phase out fantasies that bog you down or drag you backward. Are you up for that challenge? Can you summon the courage to leave the mediocre past behind? If so, here are your assignments: Wean yourself of longings to reconstruct bygone pleasures. Forget about trying to be like the person you used to be and to have the keys you used to have. Stop feeding the feelings that keep you affixed to obsolete goals. Break any taboo that makes you scared to change what needs to be changed.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The artist Amedeo Modigliani lived in Paris from 1906 until his death in 1920. For most of that time, he was destitute. Proprietors of local stores and restaurants sometimes accepted his art work as payment in lieu of actual money. They didn’t necessarily appreciate it, though. One food seller used Modigliani’s drawings as wraps for the fried potatoes he sold. Another stashed the artist’s paintings in his cellar, where they turned into feasts for rodents. Too bad for these short-sighted people and their heirs: The worth of Modigliani’s works eventually increased, and some sold for millions of dollars. In the weeks ahead, Leo, don’t be like those food sellers. Know the value of what you have, even if it’s still latent.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I’ve got three new vocabulary words for you. I need them to provide you with the proper oracle. First is the German term Schwellenangst. It refers to timidity or nervousness about crossing a threshold and heading into unknown territory. The second word is a new English term, “strikhedonia.” It means the joy that rises up when you feel the courage to say “to hell with it.” The third word is from Portuguese: desenrascanço. It means the spontaneous improvisation of haphazard but ultimately effective plans. Now let’s put them all together: To conquer your Schwellenangst, you must summon a bolt of strikhedonia and have faith in your ability to carry out desenrascanço. (Thanks to other-wordly.tumblr.com for the new words.)
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Desire can conquer fear. Love trumps cowardice. The power that your tenderness affords you may not completely dissolve your doubt and worry, but it will quiet them down so much that they will lose their ability to paralyze you. These truths are always good to keep in mind, of course, but they are especially useful to you right now. No obstacle will faze you, no shadow will intimidate you, as long as you feed your holy longing and unshakable compassion.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): On August 2, 1830, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, was King of France for twenty minutes. (It’s a long story.) I offer this to you as a cautionary tale. A few weeks from now, I don’t want to have to be comparing you to him. If you hope to hold your new position or continue to wield your added clout for longer than just a little while, you should take all necessary steps. How? Nurture the web of support that will sustain you, for example. Don’t burn a single bridge. Cultivate real empathy, not just the showy kind. Avoid manipulative behavior, even if you think you can get away with it. Be a skillful gatherer of information.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Golda Meir was Prime Minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. Her admirers described her as “strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people.” She had a good sense of humor, too. “Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses,” she said. “He took us forty years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil.” I bring this up as a teaching story for you, Sagittarius. If you plan to make any big moves, transitions, or journeys in the coming months, I suggest you choose destinations that will allow you to gain access to wealth-building resources.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Do you know what phase of your cycle it is? Here are a few hints. It doesn’t come around often. It’s not characterized by predictable events or boring certainties. And it may allow you, even encourage you, to take a break from being your usual self. Give up? OK. I’ll tell you. You have entered the Nicolas Cage Phase of your cycle. Cage is a Capricorn, but not a typical one. He’s eccentric and manic and certifiably batty. He refers to his acting technique as “Nouveau Shamanic,” once lived in a fake castle, and owns a Lamborghini that belonged to the legendary tyrant, the Shah of Iran. For our current purposes, he has also testified, “I am not a demon. I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther. I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion.”
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Here’s one of my goals in life, Aquarius: to show you a type of astrology that does not infringe on your free will, but rather clarifies your options. In this horoscope, for instance, I will outline your alternatives so that you will be fully informed as you determine what course of action will be most closely aligned with your high ideals. Ponder the following question, and then briskly exert your freedom of choice: Would you prefer to have love make your head spin, knock you off your feet, tickle your X-factor, kick you gently but firmly in the ass, or all of the above?
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds by using time and pressure,” says pastor Rick Warren. “He is working on you, too.” Let’s make that idea your meditation, Pisces. If the word “God” doesn’t suit you, substitute “life,” “nature” or “Wakan Tanka,” the Lakotan term for “The Great Mystery.” The essential point is that you are being worked on and shaped by forces beyond your conscious awareness. Some of them are vast and impersonal, like your culture, the media, and the entertainment industry. Others are intimate and close at hand, like your genes, your childhood imprints, and the characters you encounter daily. Now is an excellent time to contemplate all the influences that make you who you are.
Homework: What idea, feeling, or attitude are you enslaved to? What can you do to escape your slavery? Write [email protected].