Week of August 10
© Copyright 2017 Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): I hope you’re making wise use of the surging fertility that has been coursing through you. Maybe you’ve been reinventing a long-term relationship that needed creative tinkering. Perhaps you have been hammering together an innovative business deal or generating new material for your artistic practice. It’s possible you have discovered how to express feelings and ideas that have been half-mute or inaccessible for a long time. If for some weird reason you are not yet having experiences like these, get to work! There’s still time to tap into the fecundity.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano defines “idiot memory” as the kind of remembrances that keep us attached to our old self-images, and trapped by them. “Lively memory,” on the other hand, is a feisty approach to our old stories. It impels us to graduate from who we used to be. “We are the sum of our efforts to change who we are,” writes Galeano. “Identity is no museum piece sitting stock-still in a display case.” Here’s another clue to your current assignment, Taurus, from psychotherapist Dick Olney: “The goal of a good therapist is to help someone wake up from the dream that they are their self-image.”
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Sometimes, Gemini, loving you is a sacred honor for me — equivalent to getting a poem on my birthday from the Dalai Lama. On other occasions, loving you is more like trying to lap up a delicious milkshake that has spilled on the sidewalk, or slow-dancing with a giant robot teddy bear that accidentally knocks me down when it suffers a glitch. I don’t take it personally when I encounter the more challenging sides of you, since you are always an interesting place to visit. But could you maybe show more mercy to the people in your life who are not just visitors? Remind your dear allies of the obvious secret — that you’re composed of several different selves, each of whom craves different thrills.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Liz, my girlfriend when I was young, went to extreme lengths to cultivate her physical attractiveness. “Beauty must suffer,” her mother had told her while growing up, and Liz heeded that advice. To make her long blonde hair as wavy as possible, for example, she wrapped strands of it around six empty metal cans before bed, applied a noxious spray, and then slept all night with a stinky, clanking mass of metal affixed to her head. While you may not do anything so literal, Cancerian, you do sometimes act as if suffering helps keep you strong and attractive — as if feeling hurt is a viable way to energize your quest for what you want. But if you’d like to transform that approach, the coming weeks will be a good time. Step One: Have a long, compassionate talk with your inner saboteur.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Each of us comes to know the truth in our own way, says astrologer Antero Alli. “For some it is wild and unfettered,” he writes. “For others it is like a cozy domesticated cat, while others find truth through their senses alone.” Whatever your usual style of knowing the truth might be, Leo, I suspect you’ll benefit from trying out a different method in the next two weeks. Here are some possibilities: trusting your most positive feelings; tuning in to the clues and cues your body provides; performing ceremonies in which you request the help of ancestral spirits; slipping into an altered state by laughing nonstop for five minutes.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Would you scoff if I said that you’ll soon be blessed with supernatural assistance? Would you smirk and roll your eyes if I advised you to find clues to your next big move by analyzing your irrational fantasies? Would you tell me to stop spouting nonsense if I hinted that a guardian angel is conspiring to blast a tunnel through the mountain you created out of a molehill? It’s OK if you ignore my predictions, Virgo. They’ll come true even if you’re a staunch realist who doesn’t believe in woo-woo, juju, or mojo.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This is the Season of Enlightenment for you. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will achieve an ultimate state of divine grace. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll be freestyling in satori, samadhi, or nirvana. But one thing is certain: Life will conspire to bring you the excited joy that comes with deep insight into the nature of reality. If you decide to take advantage of the opportunity, please keep in mind these thoughts from designer Elissa Giles: “Enlightenment is not an asexual, dispassionate, head-in-the-clouds, nails-in-the-palms disappearance from the game of life. It’s a volcanic, kick-ass, erotic commitment to love in action, coupled with hard-headed practical grist.”
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some zoos sell the urine of lions and tigers to gardeners who sprinkle it in their gardens. Apparently the stuff scares off wandering house cats that might be tempted to relieve themselves in vegetable patches. I nominate this scenario to be a provocative metaphor for you in the coming weeks. Might you tap into the power of your inner wild animal so as to protect your inner crops? Could you build up your warrior energy so as to prevent run-ins with pesky irritants? Can you call on helpful spirits to ensure that what’s growing in your life will continue to thrive?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The fates have conspired to make it right and proper for you to be influenced by Sagittarian author Mark Twain. There are five specific bits of his wisdom that will serve as benevolent tweaks to your attitude. I hope you will also aspire to express some of his expansive snappiness. Now here’s Twain: 1. “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” 2. “Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.” 3. “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” 4. “When in doubt, tell the truth.” 5. “Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.”
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “My grandfather used to tell me that if you stir muddy water it will only get darker,” wrote I. G. Edmonds in his book Trickster Tales. “But if you let the muddy water stand still, the mud will settle and the water will become clearer,” he concluded. I hope this message reaches you in time, Capricorn. I hope you will then resist any temptation you might have to agitate, churn, spill wine into, wash your face in, drink, or splash around in the muddy water.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In 1985, Maurizio Cattelan quit his gig at a mortuary in Padua, Italy and resolved to make a living as an artist. He started creating furniture, and ultimately evolved into a sculptor who specialized in satirical work. In 1999 he produced a piece depicting the Pope being struck by a meteorite, which sold for $886,000 in 2001. If there were ever going to be a time when you could launch your personal version of his story, Aquarius, it would be in the next ten months. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should go barreling ahead with such a radical act of faith, however. Following your bliss rarely leads to instant success. It may take years. (16 in Cattelan’s case.) Are you willing to accept that?
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Tally up your physical aches, psychic bruises, and chronic worries. Take inventory of your troubling memories, half-repressed disappointments, and existential nausea. Do it, Pisces! Be strong. If you bravely examine and deeply feel the difficult feelings, then the cures for those feelings will magically begin streaming in your direction. You’ll see what you need to do to escape at least some of your suffering. So name your griefs and losses, my dear. Remember your near-misses and total fiascos. As your reward, you’ll be soothed and relieved and forgiven. A Great Healing will come.
[Editor: Here’s this week’s homework:]
Homework: When they say “Be yourself,” which self do they mean? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.
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