By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
SAGITTARIUS(Nov. 22Dec. 21): Poet William Carlos Williams said his creative technique could be summed up in the phrase "No ideas but in things." He wanted to see the world as it really was, without imposing theories about what anything meant. In the essay "Rucksack Poetry: How Haiku Found a Home in America," Andrew Schelling captures Williams's approach: "This actual moment! That bedraggled crow! This moonlit evening, that cold rain on your skull! There you stand, inhabiting your body with animal clarity, wide-open senses, and no preconception or abstract idea can touch the experience itself." In accordance with the astrological omens, Sagittarius, your assignment is to find or create five pure moments during which you embody that state.
CAPRICORN(Dec. 22Jan. 19): "Dear Rob: Has the Goddess placed a global embargo on new love? While it doesn't sound like something she'd normally do, I'm wondering if she cast a curse of which I'm unaware? I'm not a cynic; it's just that no one in my acquaintance has experienced new love in a long time. In other words, is Cupid on strike? Has romance boycotted our planet? Out-in-the-Cold Capricorn." To the best of my knowledge, there are no embargoes, strikes, or boycotts like the ones you propose. I've noticed, though, that some of my Capricorn cohorts have experienced dry spells recently. But according to my astrological reckoning, a deluge will soon change all that.
AQUARIUS(Jan. 20Feb. 18): Everything's a learning experience, right? I mean, let's say you absent-mindedly wander down to the bus station to see if your ship has come in. Maybe the shock of being in the wrong place at the wrong time will motivate you to do some research on the actual place where your ship is likely to dock. Or let's say that in your quest for the Real Thing, you somehow end up paired with a replacement or substitute that initially disappoints you but that eventually turns out to give you access to a far more interesting version of the Real Thing than you ever imagined.
PISCES(Feb. 19March 20): Elvis Presley got a C in his eighth-grade music class. Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the deaths of their cats. A piece of paper can only be folded nine times. Bill Gates makes 125 dollars a second. Toupees for dogs are sold in Japan. The oldest goldfish that ever lived was 41 years old and named Fred. Now please forget all of the preceding factoids, Pisces. In fact, purge them so thoroughly that it will be as if you never knew them in the first place. Doing that will be the perfect warm-up for your next big assignment, which is to clear out a nice big empty space in your brain. There are lots of fresh, hot ideas poised to flow into you in the coming weeks. But if you hope to receive them in the proper spirit, you'll have to make more room for them.
Homework Write a short essay on "How I Created Something Out of Nothing." Go to realastrology.com and click on "Email Rob."