Week of August 26, 2005

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22): Who did you start out to be, Virgo? It’s time to remember that. I urge you to muse about the ways you could benefit from renewing a connection to your origins. Revisit your earliest sources of truth. Think about whether you’re still on track to become the person you knew you could be when your vision was still fresh and innocent. Here’s a good way to anchor your explorations in concrete reality: meditate on the scientifically verified fact that with each breath, you re-inhale at least one molecule you first took in during the minutes after you were born.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19): Minnesota radio station KNUJ came up with a unique proposal for how the governor and top legislators could deal with their intractable conflict: They would have a wrestling match in a large vat filled with sauerkraut. I think you should adopt this idea for your own use, Aries – though I suggest that maybe you and your adversary conduct your grapple in a sweeter-smelling substance than fermented cabbage. How about Jell-O or pudding, for instance? One way or another, find a constructive way to resolve disagreements or hostilities by using a half-playful, half-serious approach.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20): Surveys show that many parents in England cut away the crusts before serving bread to their children. Responding to this need, a baking company has begun marketing bread without crusts. I mention this, Taurus, because pre-made crustless bread is a good metaphor for the experiences you’ll soon be offered in abundance: soft, spongy sweetness that you can freely access without having to break through any hard outer layers. I won’t be surprised if you get tired of it after a while, though, and start seeking out adventures with more crunch. But in the short run, you might find it very relaxing.
GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20): “If you dig a hole deep enough into the earth,” the grandmother of my friend Carlos used to tell him when he was a kid, “you can see the sun rise at night.” From a metaphorical perspective, that’s good advice for you right now, Gemini. In order to get to the highest place possible, you might have to dive down deeper than you ever have before. To find the illumination you need, you should probably explore the densest darkness.
CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22): In his horoscope column in The Onion, retired machinist Lloyd Shumner told those of us born under the sign of Cancer: “You lack initiative, which means that you usually wait until someone yells ‘Get funky!’ before you get funky.” The coming week will be the perfect time for us to prove him wrong, my fellow crabs. Our initiative will be overflowing, especially in regards to tasks that involve getting funky.
LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22): According to the legends of many cultures, every one of us has a doppelganger somewhere on the planet: a person who looks exactly like us. The modern sciences of genetics and statistics go further, saying that there are at least 80 people worldwide who are our spitting image. If you’re ever going to meet one of these doubles, Leo, it will probably be in the coming weeks. But even if you don’t, I predict that the whole world will become a giant mirror, reflecting back to you visions of yourself that you haven’t been able to see before.
LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22): Physicist Jonathan Huebner says scientists are running out of bright ideas. “We are approaching the point when the rate of innovation is the same as it was during the Dark Ages,” he wrote in New Scientist magazine. That argument seems wrong to me. Everyone I know is awash in the changes unleashed by new technology. But just in case his theory has any merit, I call on Libran inventors to begin reversing the trend. After all, you’re now at the height of your ability to generate constructive novelty. So are all the rest of you Librans, for that matter. Get out there and unleash a flurry of good changes.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): Located north of the Arctic Circle, the Northwest Passage is a body of water that joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Large parts of it are frozen over most of the year, though, so it’s not a practical way for ships to travel. The US regards the Northwest Passage as international territory, but Canada recently claimed it as its own sovereign territory. Canadian Defense Minister Bill Graham foresees a time when global warming will have melted so much ice that it will become a viable sea route of great value to his country. Be like Graham this week, Scorpio. Peer into the future and scan for potential resources that are as yet unrecognized or unready. Make them yours now, while they’re still cheap and available.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): I live six miles from one of the world’s most notorious penitentiaries, San Quentin. Both Charlie Manson and Sirhan Sirhan have spent time there, and a recent riot injured 42 inmates. Though I’ve never had a major itch to visit the place, I felt differently after hearing about a gift store within the prison walls. I corralled a friend and the two of us made an impulsive field trip there. As we grazed amidst the prisoners’ handiwork, including birdhouses fashioned out of cigar boxes, paintings of clowns on velvet and banjos made from bedpans, I had a psychic epiphany. I realized that my situation was similar to your imminent future: You, too, will find weird little treasures while just visiting a place where other people are trapped.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): Let’s discuss the differences between dumb, unproductive pain and smart, useful pain. The former is the kind you keep being drawn back to out of habit. It’s familiar, and therefore perversely comfortable. The latter is the kind of pain that surprises you with valuable teachings and inspires you to see the world with new eyes. While stupid pain is often born of fear, wise pain is stirred up by love. The dumb, unproductive stuff comes from allowing yourself to be controlled by your early conditioning and from doing things that are out of harmony with your essence. The smart, useful variety arises out of a willingness to live passionately and with a sense of adventure. Can you guess which type I’m urging you to gravitate toward right now, Capricorn?
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): To promote my new book, “Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia,” I’ve tried to set up lectures at bookstores. One place I contacted was A Clean Well-Lit Place for Books in San Francisco. It turned me down. Ironically, I was later able to score a gig at a spot called A Dirty Poorly-Lit Place for Books. It’s a seedy dive in a rundown neighborhood. My audience was a handful of rowdies instead of the well-heeled crowd that might have seen me at the other store, and I sold just one book. But I enjoyed my time thoroughly, as my uninhibited congregation joined me in my favorite rituals, like kicking our own asses, burning money, throwing imaginary stones at heaven and dancing in slow-motion on tabletops. Would audience members at A Clean Well-Lit Place for Books have done that? I think not. The moral of the story, Aquarius: it’ll be very lucky if you, like me, have to settle for your second choice in the coming week.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20): You don’t need to know how your computer and car work in order to use them. Their inner workings may be unfathomable, but that doesn’t matter as long as you benefit from what they do for you. Let’s apply that same principle to a certain relationship that is perplexing you. You obviously get something out of your alliance with this person, since you’ve chosen not to leave it. Yet you seem bothered by the fact that you can’t figure out what you are to each other and where you’re supposed to go next. My advice? For now, stop trying to understand it. Just surrender to the fruitful mystery. Simply let your connection perform its enigmatic magic.