Week of October 20, 2006

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): In his book A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative, Roger von Oech quotes one of his clients, an architect: “Play is what I do for a living; the work comes in organizing the results of the play.” Make this your guiding principle in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Ask the universe to give you lots of opportunities to mess around and improvise blithely and resurrect your playing-in-the-sandbox consciousness. Come up with good excuses to let your attention wander and explore previously off-limits fun and games. A few weeks from now, you can begin organizing all the good ideas that your frisky experiments will generate between now and then.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): The phase you’re entering may prove to be ridiculously confounding—ridiculous both in the sense of absurdly extreme and very funny. Yet the immediate future also promises to provide you with unprecedented opportunities to outgrow limitations you may have imagined were permanent. To honor this synergistic blend of slapstick confusion and juicy potential, I’m offering you two pieces of advice. The first is from Eleanor Roosevelt: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” The second is from Edward Teller: “When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.”
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): You may not have God on your side, but you’ve got the next best thing. Invisible means of support will soon become visible. Life may even give you permission to have your cake and eat it too. I’ll go so far as to speculate that you’ll be the beneficiary of a conspiracy to help you achieve goals you didn’t even know you needed to achieve. In light of the fact that you will have most of the help you could possibly require, I can think of only one piece of advice that might prove useful: Being a little rowdy or impish could give your goodness greater impact.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): “What is Great Purple?” asks Japanese poet Nanao Sakaki in his book Let’s Eat Stars. Is it “a piece of purple sky floating in my lover’s eyes?” he speculates. “A cloud made of purple wine passing over Mt. Fuji? The color of a full-blooming magnolia’s root? The shadow of a star visible only to birds? The light of the last water you drink?” I invite you, Aquarius, to brainstorm your own answers to the question “What is Great Purple?” According to my reading of the astrological omens, you now have a special relationship not only with plain old everyday purple, but with sublime, magnificent, life-changing PURPLE. It’s a perfect moment to develop a closer relationship with whatever Great Purple means to you.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20): “What’s irritating about love is that it’s a crime that requires an accomplice,” said French poet Baudelaire. This is a perfect brainteaser for you to contemplate right now, Pisces. Start your musings by trying to figure out what the hell he meant. Ask yourself, in what sense is love a crime? Obviously, he’s not saying it’s literally a felony or misdemeanor. Is he implying, then, that love, when practiced correctly, disrupts routine, disorganizes the orderly flow, and violates conventional wisdom? That’s what I conclude, but you may have a different opinion. Let’s also meditate on why Baudelaire thought it’s irritating that loves requires an accomplice. Personally, I don’t understand that. While I enjoy breaking the rules of respectable behavior by myself, I also find it exhilarating to have a co-conspirator. What do you say?
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19): “Do you know what insomniac dyslexic philosophers do?” asked one of the 20th century’s great thinkers, Terence McKenna. “They stay up all night wondering if dog really exists.” That just happens to be your assignment, Aries—whether or not you’re an insomniac dyslexic philosopher. It’s time, in other words, for you to intensify your exploration of life’s deepest questions—even as you remember to do so with sparkling good humor and the intention not to take yourself too damn seriously.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20): In Buddhist tradition, bodhisattvas are seekers who put their service to others above their personal goals—even above their quest for the supreme peace that comes from enlightenment. In the eight-century prayer “The Bodhisattva Path,” poet Shantideva wrote, “May I be the doctor and the medicine/ for all sick beings in the world/ until everyone is healed.” That’s a high standard to live by. In asking you to try it out for a limited time, I’m not expecting perfection. But my analysis of the astrological omens suggests that the people in your life fervently need you to be a source of strong medicine. More than that, you need to initiate the changes in your life that will ensue if you make yourself into a soothing balm, a potent remedy, a love tonic.
GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20): When East Timor gained its independence from Indonesia after a long, bloody struggle, the United Nations temporarily took control of the new nation, inundating it with aid and support. But the international agency’s work was short-lived, lasting just three years, and ultimately became known as Quickfixville. The errors resulting from its hurried efforts have been hard to undo. Don’t make a similar gaffe in the coming weeks, Gemini. It’s not enough merely to have good intentions. Be deliberate and thorough as you undertake your corrective actions.
CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22): It’s almost time to bring an end to your phase of resting and recouping. The self-protective mode has served you well, but if you stay in it much longer it’ll begin to backfire. Soon you’ll need a wake-up call, an inflammatory summoning. If I were there with you, I might even sing you the opposite of a lullaby—a disturbing yet inspiring rant designed to rouse and agitate and excite you.
LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22): I was sitting in San Francisco’s Cafe Gratitude, meditating on your horoscope. In my notebook I’d doodled a giant hand reaching down to earth from the clouds. It was holding a silver platter that bore a book whose title was “Fresh Instructions.” This gift was being offered to a half-lion, half-human creature that represented you. Shortly after I finished this drawing, a woman came through the front door of the restaurant and sat at a nearby table. Her t-shirt had a message that was the perfect caption for the image I’d made: “Maybe God has bigger plans for you than you have for yourself.”
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22): The 5.5 million people who live in Papua New Guinea speak 820 different languages, or one per every 6,707 people. Two villages within an hour’s walking distance of each other may use utterly different tongues. The situation there has a certain metaphorical resemblance to the current state of your fate, Virgo. The various parts of your world aren’t communicating with as much fluidity and frequency as they should be. Your job in the coming weeks is to serve as a master translator, spreading understanding among them. It’s time to unite the fragments.
LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22): Uber-model Elle McPherson has been nicknamed “The Body” for 20 years. But now an almost equally legendary star of the fashion runway, Heidi Klum, is trying to horn in on the title. She, too, has begun to call herself “The Body,” enraging McPherson and her team. While these two superegos fight it out, I’m going to borrow their trademark and apply it to you Libras for the next three weeks. Why? Because your physical organism will be at the peak of its health and attractiveness. If you listen closely to its signals, it will give you good ideas about actions you can take to further promote your well-being. Even more than usual, it will be a source of wisdom and pleasure. You will have every right, therefore, to call yourself “The Body.”