Astrology: Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your next assignment is to inject more fun into your job — or into anything that feels like work. You’ve got a head start because lately you’ve been playing harder than usual. That should give you creative momentum as you reinvent your approach to activities that push you to your limits and test your resolve. Be open to the possibility that you don’t have to keep being bored and cranky in places where you’ve assumed you will always be bored and cranky.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I asked the spirits for a vision to symbolize your imminent future. The scenario that came up was a pair of toddlers dressed in fine purple satin garments and wearing golden hats. They were wandering around inside a ritual circle drawn with white chalk in a green meadow. Vases of cut flowers and statues of gods and goddesses ringed the circle. What does it mean? Maybe this: Two magnificent possibilities have recently been born or will soon be born. You should cast a protective spell around them, letting them amble and dally within a proscribed area as their magic ripens.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Some spas now offer their clients “butt facials.” The cost for smoothing and toning the lower realms can range up to $800. At that price, I can’t in good conscience mandate the procedure for you. But the omens are favorable for you to take special care of things at the bottom of your life, even if they are more metaphorical in nature. So please brainstorm about how you could upgrade your ballast, strengthen your foundation, and give your center of gravity a boost.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Studies show that 58 percent of us think our IQs are higher than average. That can’t be true, of course. But maybe one sign of a person with a below-average IQ is the delusion that he’s pretty intelligent. However, I confidently predict that at least 58 percent of all Cancerians will exceed the mediocre norm in the coming weeks. The figure may even rise as high as 75 percent. The omens suggest you have the potential to be smarter than you’ve ever been. Use your acuity constructively!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Was there a dream that you abandoned some time ago? A power you recklessly gave up? Do you ever think longingly about a knack or skill that withered away because you stopped wielding it with the regularity and excellence it demanded? It’s time to revisit defeats like those, Leo. According to my analysis, you’re in good shape to reimagine the original experiences in ways that could help you recover what was lost.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “The advantage of the incomprehensible is that it never loses its freshness,” wrote Paul Valery. From that perspective, I bet you’ll be sparkling and brisk in the coming days. You will be cheeky and saucy, crisp and rosy, bright and well-ventilated. There’ll be so much delightfully hard-to-understand novelty flowing your way that you will be awakened again and again and again, rising to a higher level of awareness each time.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Henry David Thoreau accomplished a lot. His book Civil Disobedience inspired Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. He wrote about nature with a precision and care that prefigured modern-day environmentalism. But Thoreau also knew how to relax and wasn’t anxious about living up to other people’s standards. One passage in his journal reads, “For many years I was a self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms and did my duty faithfully, though I never received payment for it.” He’s your role model for the rest of 2008. May he inspire you to give yourself the slack you need and compete with no one but yourself as you become more of the unique work of art you were born to be.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Everyone’s life is a hero’s journey, yours included. You have been on an epic quest ever since you first realized that your destiny is unlike anyone else’s. But like all of us, you sometimes lose sight of this big picture for months at a time. You may even be fairly happy as you focus on your daily details without any thought of where you’ll be years from now. If that’s the rhythm you’ve been in lately — and I suspect it is — it’s about to change. Your immersion in the next major phase of your hero’s journey will begin soon.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Michelangelo never finished two-thirds of the sculptures he started. Basketball mega-star Michael Jordan failed on 26 different occasions when he was given the ball to try the game-winning shot as time ran out. Of Bob Dylan’s 57 albums, maybe only 15 of them are masterpieces. I hope these facts will give you some perspective on the down times in your own track record. More importantly, in the coming weeks you should have access to the kind of energy that Michelangelo, Jordan, and Dylan had when they were creating their legends.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “The bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes,” wrote Plato in The Republic, “either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye quite as much as of the bodily eye.” He goes on to say that a person’s vision is perplexed when he leaves the light and enters into the shadows. And when he moves from the murk into the brightness, it takes a while for his sight to adjust to the dazzle. According to my analysis, you had to deal with the first kind of temporary blindness about three weeks ago and will begin experiencing the second kind any day now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In addition to food, air, water, sleep, and love, every human being needs stories. No one can psychically survive without the continuous flow of narrative. And just as there is a big difference between the physical nourishment provided by a salad or by a candy bar, so is there a wide range of quality in the stories you expose yourself to. Soaking up episodes of the TV show “The Girls Next Door” will probably deplete your energy and lower your intelligence, while reading Tom Robbins’ novel Jitterbug Perfume may sharpen your perceptions. What I’m saying is always true, of course, but it’s especially important to keep in mind right now. From what I can tell, you’re ravenous for beautiful, uncanny, uplifting stories.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions,” said British writer Antony Jay. If you’d like to be in close alignment with cosmic rhythms, keep that meditation in the foreground of your awareness. Your imagination will be extraordinarily fertile in the coming week, and I can’t think of a better way to deploy it than to smoke out and lovingly annihilate the lazy, useless, and just plain bad questions that threaten to lead you and others astray.

Homework: Do you remember the last time you loved yourself with consummate artfulness and grace? See if you can recreate that golden age. Testify at

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