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] In The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce defines history as: "an account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools." Bear that in mind as you interpret this: You won't make history in the coming weeks. Instead, you will help generate an interesting and important story that will involve unfamous people who have little political power or military skill, but have a great deal of potent grace and nuanced strength and soulful intelligence.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "Dear Rob: Are you holding back some painful truth from us Tauruses? I feel like you're going too easy on us, and as a result, I'm missing some clue I desperately need. Please tell us what it is so we can face it and get on with life. —Semi-Elegant Bull in a China Shop." Dear Semi-Elegant: I'm not aware of having withheld a painful truth from you Tauruses. But maybe I haven't been forceful or clear enough in saying that one of your primary tasks is to study hard and think deeply as you learn more about how to create peace and serenity in your life.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] In "The Boiling Water," Kenneth Koch wrote: "A serious moment for the water is when it boils/And though one usually regards it merely as a convenience/To have the boiling water available for bath or table/Occasionally there is someone around who understands/The importance of this moment for the water—maybe a saint,/Maybe a poet, maybe a crazy man, or just someone temporarily disturbed/With his mind 'floating,' in a sense, away from his deepest/Personal concerns to more 'unreal' things." I encourage you, Gemini, to be one of those crazy floaters: Tune in to the serious moments that are normally outside their personal concerns. You need a strong dose of the hidden reality behind the obvious reality.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] "When I grow up," writes Ramona McNabb, "I want to be a river." In the coming year, that would be a worthy aspiration for you as well, Cancerian. You'd generate a flood of benefits by cultivating your ability to be perfectly yourself as you flow ever onward in rhythm with the sky and earth, unimpeded by the fluctuations of light and darkness, and in love with the ceaseless movement of your own strong currents.
LEO [July 23–August 22] For Swiss citizens, it's immoral to pluck wildflowers and throw them aside. That's because this enlightened country has a Bill of Rights for plants. The 22-page document strongly urges respect for the feelings and dignity of all vegetation. Think about including this mindset in your ethical code, Leo: It's time for you to expand your sense of right and wrong—not just in relation to plants, but to everyone and everything in the world.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "Many people feel guilty about things they shouldn't feel guilty about," wrote journalist Sydney J. Harris, "in order to shut out feelings of guilt about things they should feel guilty about." Your assignment is to figure out whether this description applies to you. If it does, be brave as you expose the truly guilt-worthy stuff you've repressed. Helpful cosmic energies will flow your way if you uncover what you need to atone for, and then atone for it.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] While working on the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson hung out at a tavern in Philadelphia and drank beer. While contemplating how to motivate you Libras to seek more autonomy, I was strolling along a California beach sipping a piña colada and watching windsurfers. I hope you, too, will put yourself in a relaxed and playful mood as you dream about all the things you could do to emancipate yourself in the coming months.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] If you use a cell phone, you have in your possession a metal called coltan. Most of the world's coltan comes from the Congo, and is mined by Rwandans who often work for militias that sell coltan illegally to finance their military operations. The land where this metal lies is also the home of the mountain gorilla, an endangered species that is being decimated as the miners and militias kill them for food and savage their habitat. Keep this in mind the next time you call a friend. While you're at it, use Google and your imagination to meditate on the origins of all the resources in your life. It's prime time to know more about their origins. You will benefit from getting familiar with the roots of whatever gives you power.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Ninety-seven percent of all youth play video games, dwarfing the number of kids who participate in activities like basketball and track. That's why I'm an advocate of making video games an Olympic sport. We should recognize where the real future of competitive sports lies. I mention this, Sagittarius, because it would be a good time for you to start upgrading your video game prowess in preparation for a possible berth in the 2012 or 2016 Olympics. In fact, the moment is right to plan on getting the training you'd need to become a master of any skills that may eventually win you rewards, even if they're not yet getting their rightful due from our culture.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Most art critics long regarded Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) as a second-tier modern painter, writes Don Thompson in The $12 Million Stuffed Shark. But that estimation got upgraded in 2006, when one of Klimt's paintings sold for $135 million. Art history was rewritten with a checkbook, says Thompson. According to my reading of the astrological omens, there's a possibility that your worth will also jump to a higher octave in 2009, Capricorn. But unlike Klimt, who didn't do anything new, you'll have to take action to earn your rise in status. How? 1) Practice forgiveness with more intensity; 2) Be more tolerant of imperfection in yourself and others; and 3) Expand your capacity to give.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] In Poets' Jade Splinters, Lu Ji says: "Avoid the morning flower in full blossom and gather instead evening buds which are not yet open," telling people not to rely on what has already ripened, but to concentrate on what's still in embryonic form. Lu's colleague, Song Zijing, adds a complementary thought: "If you always use a compass to draw a circle and a ruler to draw a square, you will always remain a slave." Both Lu and Song's counsel will work very well for you in the coming year, Aquarius, even if you're not a poet.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] Every few years, a panel of Hindu and Buddhist judges in Nepal chooses a new "living goddess," a young girl who serves, until she reaches puberty, as an incarnation of the deity Taleju. Each candidate, in order to be eligible for the role, must pass this test: She must show no fear as she spends a night alone in a room filled with the bloody heads of ritually killed buffaloes and goats. Consider the possibility of carrying out a more humane equivalent of that ceremony, Pisces. For one night, keep symbols of what you're afraid of in the place where you sleep. To do so would be an excellent way to earn the right to graduate to the next level of your spiritual evolution.
Homework: What would be the most fun and interesting thing for you to make next? Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.