TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Beware of mounting desires to stuff your face with chocolate and ice cream. Guard against a growing fondness for sugary emotions and syrupy words. Be skeptical of any attractions you might have for niceness and innocence. It's not that any of these longings are inherently wrong, of course — just that they'd be counterproductive unless they're mixed with stronger measures. What you really need is a rough, tough sweetness. A wild, robust sweetness. A sweetness that can kick ass and move mountains.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As much as you've been hurt when you've had your heart broken in the past, you should also be grateful. That stinging sadness has helped make you more sensitive to both your own feelings and those of other people; it has shaped you into a more compassionate soul who's acutely attuned to how fragile we all are. If you're lucky, the romantic sorrows of old have made you so brave you're now willing to risk everything for real love. You've become smart enough to act is if there's nothing more important than opening yourself to a beauty that excites your deepest reverence.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): You don't need my mothering. You don't need clucking advice or the crotchety voice of experience or tips on how to change yourself. You don't need anything or anyone unless they fuel your serious quest to have more fun. I use the word "fun" advisedly, knowing that in common parlance it implies frivolous distraction and the compulsive pursuit of consumer fantasies. But in Brezsny's Dictionary for Hope Fiends, "fun" is defined as follows: "a guilt-free encounter with delight that raises your IQ by inspiring you to break out of your limited self-image and ask for more than you've ever dared."
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You haven't been asking the wrong questions, exactly. It's just that you haven't been asking the most precisely relevant questions. So you're not getting fabulously useful answers. Want to borrow some of mine? Try these: 1) What information or experience would you need in order to heal your divided sense of home? 2) How can you attract into your life the person or influence that'll motivate you to make the root changes you seem unable to accomplish under your own power? 3) How can you burn away the 90 percent of your fear that's all in your mind so you can concentrate on the other 10 percent that's really worth worrying about?
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I see it as your job to make a mess — a constructive, interesting mess, of course — in any place that's beginning to resemble a museum. I don't think you should literally turn paintings upside-down or spray-paint the bust of a Greek god. But imagine pulling off the benevolent equivalent of these pranks in an environment where excessive order and decorum are causing an increasingly painful decline in soulful, spontaneous vitality. Try a little healing mischief, please.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Love thrives when neither partner takes things personally, so please cultivate your devotion to forgiveness and divest yourself of the urge to blame. Love is a game in which the rules keep changing, so be crafty and improvisational as you stay alert for each unexpected twist of fate. Love enmeshes you in your partner's unique set of karmic complications, so make sure you're very interested in his or her problems. Love is a laboratory where you can uncover secrets about yourself that have previously been hidden, so be ravenously curious.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The writing is on the wall. I'll translate: "Knock this damn wall down. It ain't protecting you from what you fear and it's isolating you from what you love." What do you think of that, Scorpio? I'll tell you: You should do what the message demands — and more. Once you get the hang of destroying rock-solid illusions, I suggest you keep demolishing. A good choice for your next target would be the mental block that's prevented you from bidding goodbye to a pretty lie. After that, how about toppling that jerk on a pedestal?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Scholar Robert Graves tells us that "In ancient Ireland, the ollave, or master-poet, sat next to the king and was privileged, as none but the queen was, to wear six different colors in his clothes." The ollave, he adds, was also a judge and seer, and tutored the king in morality. In contrast, our culture relegates poets to the margins of every debate. After September's terrorist attack, for example, only Maya Angelou, in an ephemeral appearance on "Nightline," managed to crack the procession of pundits, lawyers and politicians that dominated the airwaves. I propose that we're all suffering from a dearth of lyrical, nonliteral views. You of all people can't afford to tolerate this soul-killing ambiance. For God's sake, drink in good poetry ASAP. Suggestions: Rumi, Hafez (also spelled "Hafiz"), Neruda, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Robert Bly.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You're like a dream-weaver who has just remembered you're dreaming. You're like a singer with the power to deliver lyrical wake-up calls that are as tender as a lullaby. You're like a wizard in possession of an elixir that will bestow disciplined enthusiasm on whomever drinks it. You're like an inspired foreman who has had a vision of how your employees can be motivated to do even better work and enjoy their jobs more.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): All signs point up, Aquarius. So do the metaphors. When I asked my meditating mind to provide images to match your astrological omens, three bubbled to the surface of my awareness: spawning salmon leaping upstream and ascending a waterfall; angels struggling to climb a frayed rope ladder to a hovering hot-air balloon; and a boy in medieval garb arduously shimmying up a towering beanstalk leading to a castle in the clouds. Here's my interpretation: Though you'll have to push hard to accomplish it, you're destined for a higher perch and a sweeping vista. Halloween costume suggestions: spawning salmon, an angel holding a ladder, Jack of "Jack and the Beanstalk" fame.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Can the human aura be seen by talented psychics who have opened their third eyes? Maybe, though I don't know for sure. I myself am unimpeachable evidence, however, that auras can be sniffed by those who have activated their second noses. In fact, I can smell your aura all the way from here. It's pungent but enticing, zesty and brisk. It reminds me of a fragrance I once enjoyed while in the presence of an inspired artist — a blend of oil paints and turpentine, espresso and pizza, night-blooming jasmine in the garden outside, and the tangy mix of sweat and endorphins wafting from the genius at work. My interpretation: You are primed to create a tour de force that will dramatically expand your world. What pose would it be a big relief for you to drop? In what part of your life are you faking, and what could you do to escape that bind? Write:
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