By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES [March 21–April 19] Ernest Hemingway said that his best work was a very short story consisting of six words: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." Here's another gem, written anonymously: "The last man on earth heard a knock on the door." Your assignment in the coming week, Aries, is to be as pithy as these two exemplars. Proceed on the assumption that your effectiveness will thrive in direct proportion to your brevity and concision. Assume that you will get what you want only by using the fewest actions and words.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "Too bad 90 percent of the politicians give the other 10 percent a bad reputation," said Henry Kissinger. I'm tempted to draw a similar conclusion about physicians, cops, lawyers, performance artists, and a host of other professionals with whom I've had direct contact. Whether or not you agree with me, please be very picky in the coming days, Taurus. If you're seeking "experts" to counsel you, do background checks, get personal references, and try to catch them with their guard down.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Do you realize that you now have a great potential to instigate ringing surprises? Your knack for healing the seemingly unhealable is at its peak, as is your ability to accomplish the impossible, acquire insight into the incomprehensible, and feel equanimity amidst the uncontrollable. What do you plan to do with all that mojo, Gemini? I suggest that you act like a character in a fairy tale who has been given three wishes—not two or four, but three.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] "Dear Rob: My mother tells me I'm fat but feeds me pork rinds. My strongest supporter is a person I want to wrap up like a mummy, put in a canoe, and push out into the middle of the lake. I'd embrace my contradictions if I could, but I can't because they've got me surrounded like a pink-haired, cross-dressing SWAT team frothed up on Red Bull. Can you point me in the direction of the exit from this circus-like hell? —Crazy Crab." Dear Crazy: I detect a lot of wit and style in your meditations. Maybe that's the purpose of this limbo you're temporarily lost in: to build your skill at being lively and feisty and smart, no matter what your outer circumstances are.
LEO [July 23–August 22] I love this excerpt from Rilke's "The Seeker" (translated by Robert Bly): "I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song." Please compose your own personal variation on this poem, Leo. It's an excellent time to fantasize about what you're circling around and what force of nature you might be.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Your role model is Tilly Trotter, a 74-year-old grandmother who lives in the U.K. She took up archery two years ago despite the fact that she was blind. Recently, she pulled off a rare feat, shooting her arrow so precisely that it split another arrow already lodged in the target. Among archers, this is called a "Robin Hood." According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you're primed for something similar, Virgo: a riveting triumph that would be difficult even for those who don't have to deal with a limitation like yours.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Here's transpersonal psychologist Roger Walsh, writing in the December 2001 issue of IONS Review: "We tend to forget what an extraordinary time this is, that for the first time in history we have the entirety of the world's spiritual and religious traditions available to us, and we can practice them . . . without fear." I advise you to take full advantage of this extraordinary freedom, Libra—especially to think about adding some practices and magic from outside your established belief system.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In her natal horoscope, Icelandic chanteuse Björk has the sun, moon, and Neptune in the sign of Scorpio. Here's how she describes what it's like being her: "I have to re-create the universe every morning when I wake up, and kill it in the evening." Sound familiar? That's a pretty good summary of the temperament of your tribe— especially right now, as you navigate your way through the astrological House of Resurrection.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Most astronomers are irrationally prejudiced against astrologers. They typically deride our ancient art without ever having read any of the masters whose work articulates the core principles of astrology. It's the equivalent of speaking about the theory of relativity without ever having studied Einstein. Despite their disdain, I don't hate them back; on the contrary, I celebrate their efforts to understand the universe and make abundant use of the information they've gleaned. Be like me in the coming week, Sagittarius: Appreciate those who don't appreciate you, especially if they're doing good work that can benefit you and others.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] This would be a good week to celebrate failure — to laugh about the comic horror stories of your past, to gain a new appreciation for the prickly lessons you've learned, and to let go of any regret, shame, or anger you might still be lugging around. I'd even recommend that you and your friends stage a "Brag About Your Failures" party. Try to outdo each other as you render in ignominious detail the things that went wrong, the mistakes you made, and the people whom you let down. I think you'll be amazed at how effective this is at dissolving the karma left over from those misadventures.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Maybe you've conceived a child at some time in your life; maybe you never have or never will. Whatever the case, even if you're a man, I invite you to visualize the experience. Imagine that a force of nature has germinated, that you are carrying another life within you. Then try to approximate the uncanny twinge that a pregnant woman senses when her fetus first moves. This exercise will be a rehearsal for the psychic quickening you will soon enjoy.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] In her journals, Sylvia Plath said there are two different ways to be free of desire. The first is when you are "dead and rotten inside and there is nothing in the world." The second is when you are "so full and rich and have so many inner worlds that the outer world is not necessary for joy, because joy emanates from the inner core of your being." In the past, Pisces, you've had a few encounters with the "dead and rotten" state, but I believe you're now in the "full and rich" phase. During this period of grace, you really won't need anything that you don't already have. My advice? Start the celebration!
HOMEWORK What's the best possible mess you could stir up—a healing mess that would serve the cause of liberation? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.