Week of July 15, 2005

CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22) During my years in college, I enjoyed watching the evolution of Richard, a shy geek in my creative writing classes. Long before he penned a single good poem, he was a bohemian art poseur. On his backpack there was a button with the image of rock poet Patti Smith. He often wore a T-shirt bearing a quote from poetry icon Allen Ginsberg, and he was never without his book of Rimbaud poems. Everywhere I went I saw him scribbling ostentatiously in his journal as he chain-smoked clove cigarettes. To my surprise, Richard’s work gradually began to match his persona. By sophomore year he’d spawned some evocative poems, and soon after he graduated, he published a fine little book. In his development I witnessed a perfect example of the saying, “you become what you pretend to be.” That’s an excellent theme for you to meditate on right now, Cancer.
ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 19): “Always star in your own movie,” said novelist Ken Kesey. In other words, don’t let some charismatic authority or well-meaning companion play the lead role in your great adventure. Don’t be a supporting actor or actress who only indirectly advances the plot of your life story. This is an ideal time to meditate on this matter for several reasons: 1. You’ll soon be given an opportunity to be a hero or heroine. 2. You’re showing flashes of star quality. 3. Your creative powers are especially available for use in ripening your fondest dreams.
TAURUS (Apr 20 – May 20): You really need a new 7,000-square-foot home with 15 bedrooms, three Jacuzzis, a state-of-the-art kitchen, expansive views, terraced gardens and a swimming pool. If you can’t afford that right now, you should at least spruce up and renovate your inner environment. I suggest you throw out a bunch of old psychic furniture, repaint the walls of your imagination, and plant some make-believe fruit trees in your conscience.
GEMINI (May 21 – Jun 20): Pablo Picasso is the patron saint of getting paid for doing what you love to do. Over 200 of his paintings sold for more than a million dollars apiece, and he didn’t have to wait until he was dead to get a lot of that money. He’s your role model in the coming weeks, Gemini. It will be an excellent time for you to not only follow your bliss, but also PROFIT from following your bliss. Turn your thoughts to Picasso whenever you need a boost. Imagine that, like him, you can find a way to be secure about money as you do what makes you feel at home in the world.
LEO (Jul 23 – Aug 22): An archaeologist found 2,000-year-old date seeds in an excavation at King Herod’s palace on Israel’s Mount Masada. He brought them back to a lab at his university and left them in a drawer. They eventually caught the attention of botanist Elaine Solowey, who decided to see if they’d grow. Seven months later, one plant was over a foot tall and had six healthy leaves. An ancient seed, lifeless for so long, had bloomed. I foresee a comparable development in your life, Leo: You will retrieve a dormant kernel or fading ember from the past and bring it to life.
VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sep 22): Even if you’re an intellectual atheist who doesn’t believe in mysteries you can’t see, I encourage you to make Artemis your ally. The goddess of wild places, she asks you to believe that the best place to rest and recharge is not a luxurious spa where all your needs are attended to, but rather a lush wilderness deep in the middle of nowhere. Artemis loves the animals, and she loves the animal in you. She arouses your instinctual fertility, which may fill you with a kind of longing that awakens your creativity. A fierce nurturer, she feeds your soul by stirring your sense of adventure. She unleashes the wild woman within you, even if you’re a man.
LIBRA (Sep 23 – Oct 22): There is a proverb from the American culture of the early 21st century that I’d like to run by you, Libra: “Never reveal all you know, confess everything you feel, show how much you care, or give all you have.” According to my astrological analysis, this is the worst possible advice you could receive in order to thrive in the coming weeks. In fact, if it were up to me, you’d do just the opposite. I understand if you can’t bring yourself to do that, especially if you’re an American. Nonetheless, that’s what would be good for you.
SCORPIO (Oct 23 – Nov 21): When I saw the grandmother of one of my friends dancing exuberantly at a party in a San Francisco warehouse, I was confounded. “Isn’t she 80 years old?” I asked my friend, who was one of the DJs. “82, actually,” he said nonchalantly. “She’s in great shape.” But my amazement wasn’t based merely on how much energy she had; her agile movements were stunningly sensual. I’ve rarely seen young dancers display so much erotic abandon. I decided that she’s a rare example of a person whose aging process has not made her rigid and cautious, but just the opposite: It has lightened and liberated her. She’s a good example for you right now, Scorpio. You should be cultivating the kind of maturity that will loosen your inhibitions and banish your fears.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21): Pink elephants are usually invoked in the same spirit as flying pigs. Both are emblematic of silly fantasies generated by intoxication or an aberrant imagination. And yet the truth is that there ARE such beasts as pink elephants. Many of them live in India where the soil is red. They constantly spray dust on themselves to serve as a barrier against insects, and in so doing take on a permanent pink hue. Let’s make those pink elephants your power animals in the coming week, Sagittarius. They’ll be an inspiration as you start turning one of your seemingly unlikely or impossible dreams into a practical reality.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19): The astrological omens will soon favor a splashy union. It could come in the form of a wedding or a reworking of your marriage vows. It could mean an adventurous collaboration with a business partner or a deepened commitment to an old ally. You might even consider intensifying your devotion to an idea that inspires you, or to sharpening your concentration on a future event that will marshal your lust for life.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18): A man in Illinois was growing increasingly impatient with his two houseguests. He didn’t like how much crack they smoked, and was hesitant to bring a potential girlfriend home for fear she’d be turned off by the seedy ambiance. Unable to convince the drug-crazed parasites to leave, he resorted to an extreme measure: He set his own house on fire. The ploy worked, in the sense that his house was empty again. Unfortunately, the damage was so extensive that he himself couldn’t live there anymore. Make sure you don’t do anything similar in the coming week, Aquarius. There are lots of effective ways to get rid of a certain annoyance without hurting your own interests.
PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20): Psychiatrist R.D. Laing espoused a view of insanity that’s radically different from the conventional wisdom. He said the rules of the game in the so-called normal world are crazy and sick. So when a person has a breakdown and no longer agrees to play by those rules, it’s actually a sign of vitality. In fact, a period of chaotic rebellion may be the only way to burst free from the lunacy of everyday life. Eventually, of course, the escapee has to return to a semblance of mental health and create a new relationship with the normal world, though in such a way that he or she will be less susceptible to its pathologies. Often the process I’ve just described is a terrible ordeal, even when it results in a dramatic healing. But right now, you can experience a fun and enjoyable version of it.