Week of July 20
© Copyright 2017 Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Greek word philokalia is translated as the “love of the beautiful, the exalted, the excellent.” I propose that we make it your keyword for the next three weeks — the theme you keep at the forefront of your awareness everywhere you go. But think a while before you say yes to my invitation. To commit yourself to being so relentlessly in quest of the sublime would be a demanding job. Are you truly prepared to adjust to the poignant sweetness that might stream into your life as a result?
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It’s a favorable time to strengthen your fundamentals and stabilize your foundation. I invite you to devote your finest intelligence and grittiest determination to this project. How? Draw deeply from your roots. Tap into the mother lode of inspiration that never fails you. Nurture the web of life that nurtures you. The cosmos will offer you lots of help and inspiration whenever you attend to these practical and sacred matters. Best-case scenario: You will bolster your personal power for many months to come.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Two talking porcupines are enjoying an erotic tryst in a cactus garden. It’s a prickly experience, but that’s how they like it. “I always get horny when things get thorny,” says one. Meanwhile, in the rose garden next door, two unicorns wearing crowns of thorns snuggle and nuzzle as they receive acupuncture from a swarm of helpful hornets. One of the unicorns murmurs, “This is the sharpest pleasure I’ve ever known.” Now here’s the moral of these far-out fables, Gemini: Are you ready to gamble on a cagey and exuberant ramble through the brambles? Are you curious about the healing that might become available if you explore the edgy frontiers of gusto?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): I predict that four weeks from now you will be enjoying a modest but hearty feeling of accomplishment — on one condition: You must not get diverted by the temptation to achieve trivial successes. In other words, I hope you focus on one or two big projects, not lots of small ones. What do I mean by “big projects”? How about these: taming your fears; delivering a delicate message that frees you from an onerous burden; clarifying your relationship with work; and improving your ability to have the money you need.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Spain’s most revered mystic poet was St. John of the Cross, who lived from 1542 to 1591. He went through a hard time at age 35, when he was kidnapped by a rival religious sect and imprisoned in a cramped cell. Now and then he was provided with scraps of bread and dried fish, but he almost starved to death. After ten months, he managed to escape and make his way to a convent that gave him sanctuary. For his first meal, the nuns served him warm pears with cinnamon. I reckon that you’ll soon be celebrating your own version of a jailbreak, Leo. It’ll be less drastic and more metaphorical than St. John’s, but still a notable accomplishment. To celebrate, I invite you to enjoy a ritual meal of warm pears with cinnamon.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “I’m very attracted to things that I can’t define,” says Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons. I’d love for you to adopt that attitude, Virgo. You’re entering the Season of Generous Mystery. It will be a time when you can generate good fortune for yourself by being eager to get your expectations overturned and your mind blown. Transformative opportunities will coalesce as you simmer in the influence of enigmas and anomalies. Meditate on the advice of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke: “I want to beg you to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves.”
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I’ve compiled a list of four mantras for you to draw strength from. They’re designed to put you in the proper alignment to take maximum advantage of current cosmic rhythms. For the next three weeks, say them periodically throughout the day. 1. “I want to give the gifts I like to give rather than the gifts I’m supposed to give.” 2. “If I can’t do things with excellence and integrity, I won’t do them at all.” 3. “I intend to run on the fuel of my own deepest zeal, not on the fuel of someone else’s passions.” 4. “My joy comes as much from doing my beautiful best as from pleasing other people.”
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The world will never fully know or appreciate the nature of your heroic journey. Even the people who love you the most will only ever understand a portion of your epic quest to become your best self. That’s why it’s important for you to be generous in giving yourself credit for all you have accomplished up until now and will accomplish in the future. Take time to marvel at the majesty and miracle of the life you have created for yourself. Celebrate the struggles you’ve weathered and the liberations you’ve initiated. Shout “Glory hallelujah!” as you acknowledge your persistence and resourcefulness. The coming weeks will be an especially favorable time to do this tricky but fun work.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I suspect you may have drug-like effects on people in the coming weeks. Which drugs? At various times, your impact could resemble cognac, magic mushrooms, and Ecstasy — or sometimes all three simultaneously. What will you do with all that power to kill pain and alter moods and expand minds? Here’s one possibility: Get people excited about what you’re excited about, and call on them to help you bring your dreams to a higher stage of development. Here’s another: Round up the support you need to transform any status quo that’s boring or unproductive.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” So said psychologist Carl Jung. What the hell did that meddling, self-important know-it-all mean by that? Oops. Sorry to sound annoyed. My cranky reaction may mean I’m defensive about the possibility that I’m sometimes a bit preachy myself. Maybe I don’t like an authority figure wagging his finger in my face because I’m suspicious of my own tendency to do that. Hmmm. Should I therefore refrain from giving you the advice I’d planned to? I guess not. Listen carefully, Capricorn: Monitor the people and situations that irritate you. They’ll serve as mirrors. They’ll show you unripe aspects of yourself that may need adjustment or healing.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A source of tough and tender inspiration seems to be losing some of its signature potency. It has served you well. It has given you many gifts, some difficult and some full of grace. But now I think you will benefit from transforming your relationship with its influence. As you might imagine, this pivotal moment will be best navigated with a clean, fresh, open attitude. That’s why you’ll be wise to thoroughly wash your own brain — not begrudgingly, but with gleeful determination. For even better results, wash your heart, too.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A “power animal” is a creature selected as a symbolic ally by a person who hopes to imitate or resonate with its strengths. The salmon or hare might be a good choice if you’re seeking to stimulate your fertility, for example. If you aspire to cultivate elegant wildness, you might choose an eagle or horse. For your use in the coming months, I propose a variation on this theme: the “power fruit.” From now until at least May 2018, your power fruit should be the ripe strawberry. Why? Because this will be a time when you’ll be naturally sweet, not artificially so; when you will be juicy, but not dripping all over everything; when you will be compact and concentrated, not bloated and bursting at the seams; and when you should be plucked by hand, never mechanically.
[Editor: Here’s this week’s homework:]
Homework: In what circumstances do you tend to be smartest? When do you tend to be dumbest? Testify at Freewillastrology.com.
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