Free Will Astrology: February 9 through 15, 2011

ARIES [March 21–April 19] "Before I loved you, nothing was my own," wrote Pablo Neruda in one of his sonnets. "It all belonged to someone else—to no one." Have you ever experienced a sense of being dispossessed like that, Aries? And have you ever fantasized that your emptiness could be remedied by the presence of a special companion? I wish for you to have that consoling experience in the coming week. In fact, I predict it. Happy Valentine Daze!

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] You're very familiar with the inexhaustible longings that you harbor in your depths. Your hungers for love and connection are never far from your awareness. But the sad thing is that you often regard this as a vulnerability that disempowers you. This season, I'm asking you to change all that. I'm urging you to see your yearnings as strengths . . . to celebrate them as fuel for your vitality . . . to treat them as crucial ingredients in your lust for life. Take it from someone who has seen too many people crippled by their lack of passion: You're lucky to be so well-endowed with desire.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Happy Valentine Daze, Gemini! Here's my prescription for making best use of the cosmic currents: Be enchanting, but in an understated way. Be charismatic and flirtatious and serenely wild. Show how sexy it is to be relaxed. Be unpredictable, always in the service of showing how much you care.


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CANCER [June 21–July 22] Your love story has elements of a farce mixed with a soap opera, fairy tale, and ghost story. For a normal human being, it might be too intense and convoluted to deal with; it requires so much willing suspension of disbelief and involves so much letting go of certainty that no one in their right mind would agree to its demands. Luckily, you're not a normal human being these days. That's why I say unto you: Ride this snaky tale for all it's worth. Enjoy every plot twist and riddle as if you've been given an epic myth you can ponder and learn from for the next 10 years. Happy Valentine Daze, Cancerian!

LEO [July 23–August 22] "I think, therefore I am," declared Descartes. Couldn't he have said, "I feel, therefore I am" or "I sense, therefore I am"? During this season, I suggest that you put the emphasis on those other proofs of identity, not Descartes'. From what I can tell, intimacy is most likely to thrive if you liberate it from excessive thinking and lubricate it with generous amounts of trans-rational contact. Make lots of room for the aroma of freshly washed hair, the shimmer of peaceful excitement, the shuddering solace of moist skin, the zing of poignant empathy, the wisdom of wandering hands, and the telepathy of shared perceptions.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Happy Valentine Daze, Virgo! What's the best way for you to celebrate love? Here's a good suggestion: Write haiku-like poems on red paper and leave them around for a special someone to find. You can borrow the following, adopted from the work of Raymond Roseliep. 1) "mist on my mouth—air you touched." 2) "I tried to bring you that one cloud in this cup of water." 3) "black raspberries—your name breaking in the soft burst." 4) "love song: I enter your mirror."

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Happy Valentine Daze, Libra. It's my astrological opinion that you need more jokes, comedy, and humor in your romantic adventures. To inspire your efforts, I present the winning entry from last year's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. It was judged the worst possible opening line for a novel, but it's perfect fodder for the project I've assigned you: "For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss—a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil."

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] This Valentine season, you have considerable potential to bring more lyricism into your close relationships. To stimulate you in that noble effort, I'm borrowing from the poetry of André Breton: "Your neck is pearled barley. Your hair is a wood fire. Your mouth is a bouquet of stars. Your eyelashes are a child's first stroke of writing. Your eyebrows are the edge of a swallow's nest. Your shoulders are dolphins' heads under the ice. Your fingers? The ace of hearts. Your armpits? Beechnut and midsummer night. Your arms are the sea foam and flood gate foam. Your feet are bunches of keys."

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] "Love that stammers, that stutters, is apt to be the love that loves best," wrote Gabriela Mistral. That's an important theme to keep in mind during the season of amour. Your job as a lover is not to be inflated with the perfect knowledge of how to proceed, not to stride forcefully into each romantic nuance with your confidence exploding . . . but rather to stumble along humbly, waging experiment after experiment, striving to kindle the spark, unleash the deluge, conjure the whirlwind, burrow into the dirty, sacred depths—or whatever the idiosyncratic truth of the moment calls for. Happy Valentine Daze, Sagittarius!

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