ARIES [March 21–April 19] Stéphane Mallarmé wrote in a letter to a friend: “I don’t know which of my internal climates I should explore in order to find you and meet you.” The passage alludes to one of the central facts about the nature of reality: The quality of your consciousness is crucial in determining whether you’ll be able to attract the resources that are essential to your dreams coming true. In order to get what you want, you have to work on yourself at least as hard as you work on the world around you.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Is there anything in your life that you don’t want but still find hard to part with? A situation that gives you a perverse sense of comfort because of its familiarity, even though it has a steep emotional cost and doesn’t serve your higher dreams? If so, the coming week will be an excellent time to change your relationship with it. You will make dramatic progress if you brainstorm about how you could break up the stagnant energy that keeps you entranced and entrapped.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] One of my friends says that the Seven Lords of Time will reconvene in their Himalayan sanctuary on December 21, 2012, and reinvent the nature of time, as they last did back in 3114 BC. We would all benefit from some big-time reinvention of time. But that event is still more than three years away. What to do in the meantime? You Geminis now have major power to do some time reinvention of your own. To get the meditations rolling, ask yourself what three things you could do to stop fighting time and start loving it better.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] Soup is your metaphor for the week, Cancerian. It’s the key to your personal power and a model for the approach you should take in everything you do. You might want to eat some soup every day. That will make potent suggestions to your subconscious mind about how to mix lots of ingredients together so that their value and beauty as a totality are more than the sum of their parts. Not just in the kitchen, but in every area of your life, blend many little, miscellaneous things into one big, interesting thing.
LEO [July 23–August 22] Change your password. Ask a question you’ve never asked. Dream up a new nickname for yourself. Change the way you tell the story about an event in your past. Make it a little more difficult for people to have you pegged. Eat a type of food you’ve never tried. Do the research necessary to discover why one of your opinions may be wrong. Add a new step to your grooming ritual. Feel appreciation for a person whose charms you’ve become numb to. Surprise yourself at least once a day.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] One of the best Turkish poets was Seyfettin Bascillar, who worked as a meat inspector in Jersey for many years before his death in 2002. Nobel Prize–winning poet Czesaw Miosz lived in California for over four decades while writing his books in Polish, his native tongue. Iceland’s great poet of the 20th century, Stephan G. Stephansson, lived in Canada most of his life but always wrote in Icelandic. These people remind me of what you’re going through: striving to do what comes natural in a situation different from the place where you learned to be natural and authentic. The fact of the matter is that this feeling of displacement could very well be the key to your success.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] The sun shines brighter on my new home. The old place had resemblances to a cave. My new space is surrounded by a wide sky and drinks in the solar radiance from dawn to dusk. As you might expect, my 15 plants need to drink a lot more than they used to. The watering ritual at the old house used to come once a week, but now it’s every other day. According to my reading of the astrological omens, a comparable shift is occurring in your rhythm, Libra. Metaphorically speaking, more heat and light are coming your way.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Amazingly enough, the good deeds you do in the next 21 days could alone qualify you for a permanent exemption from hell. It seems as if God has cooked up some imminent tests that will give you a chance to garner some ridiculously sublime karma. What’s that you say? You don’t believe in either God or hell? Well, then, interpret the opportunity this way: The good deeds you perform in the coming three weeks could practically ensure that the sins you’ve committed thus far in your life will not stain the world or be passed on as IOUs to the next generation.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] In 1968, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn finished his book The Gulag Archipelago, a scorching indictment of the oppression that he and his countrymen suffered under the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union. Banned for years, it was never formally published in his home country until 1989. Even after that, the new Russian government tried to control the teaching of history by suppressing texts like Solzhenitsyn’s. This year, all of that changed. The Gulag Archipelago became required reading in Russian high schools. At last, the truth is officially available. (Maybe one day, the equivalent will happen in the U.S., with alternate histories by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky finding their way into the curriculum.) I celebrate this breakthrough as a symbol of the events that are about to unfold in your personal life: the long-lost truth finally revealed.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] John, a colleague of mine, is a psychotherapist. His father is in a similar occupation: psychoanalysis. If you ask John whether his dad gave him a good understanding of the human psyche while he was growing up, John quotes the old maxim: “The shoemaker’s son has no shoes.” Is there any comparable theme in your own life, Capricorn? Some talent that should have been but was not a part of your inheritance; a natural gift you were somehow cheated out of in your early environment? If so, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to start recovering from your loss and get the good stuff you have coming to you.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Let’s imagine that an independent filmmaker has been following you around, gathering footage for a movie based on the story of your life. This week, he or she would face a dilemma. That’s because unexpected new subplots may arise, veering off in directions that seem to be far afield from the core themes. The acting of the central players won’t be bad or unskillful, but it might be out of character with what they’ve done before. And there could be anomalous intrusions that impinge on the main scenes, like a bug landing on your nose during an intense conversation. Yet I can’t help wondering if this chapter of the tale won’t be extra-intriguing for just these reasons.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] “Tenderness and rot/share a border,” writes Kay Ryan in one of her poems. “And rot is an/aggressive neighbor/whose iridescence/keeps creeping over.” Your job in the coming week, Pisces, is to reinforce that border—with a triple-thick wall, if necessary—so that the rot cannot possibly ooze over and infect tenderness. It is especially important right now that the sweet, deep intimacy you dole out and stimulate not get corrupted by falseness or sentimentality. I urge you to stir up the smartest affection you have ever created.
Homework: To try the exercises and experiments in “Pronoia Therapy,” an excerpt from my new book, go here: http://tinyurl.com/95ykn.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009