By Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Although obstacles and difficulties frighten ordinary people,” wrote French painter Théodore Géricault, “they are the necessary food of genius. They cause it to mature, and raise it up… All that obstructs the path of genius inspires a state of feverish agitation, upsetting and overturning those obstacles, and producing masterpieces.” I’d like to make this idea one of your guiding principles, Aries. In order for it to serve you well, however, you’ll have to believe that there is a sense in which you do have some genius within you. It’s not necessarily something that will make you rich, famous, popular, or powerful. For example, you may have a genius at washing dogs or giving thoughtful gifts or doing yoga when you’re sad. Whatever your unique brilliance consists of, the challenges just ahead will be highly useful in helping it grow.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Yes, I know that the bull is your totem animal. But I’m hoping you’re willing to expand your repertoire, because it’s a ripe time for you to take on some of the attitudes of the king of beasts. Consider this. The naturalist and shaman Virginia Carper notes that lions have strong personalities but cooperate well. They’re powerful as individuals but engage in constructive group dynamics. In many cultures, they have been symbols of nobility, dignity and spiritual prowess. To adopt the lion as a protective guardian spirit builds one’s ability to know and hunt down exactly what one wants. Would you like more courage? Visualize your lion self.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 2011, I may do a tour of North America, performing my show “Sacred Uproar.” But for the foreseeable future I need to shut up and listen. I’ve got to make myself available to learn fresh truths I don’t even realize I need to know. So, yeah, next year I might be ready to express the extroverted side of my personality in a celebration of self-expression. But for now I have a sacred duty to forget everything I supposedly believe in and gratefully shuck my self-importance. By the way, Gemini, everything I just described would be a good approach for you to consider taking in the next three weeks.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Is it true what they say—that you can never have too many friends? If you don’t think so, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your position. And if you do agree, then you should go out and get busy. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re likely to be extra lucky in attracting new connections and deepening existing alliances in the coming weeks. The friendships you strike up are likely to be unusually stimulating and especially productive. To take maximum advantage of the favorable cosmic rhythms, do whatever you can to spruce up your inner beauty.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I have compiled a set of four affirmations that I think will keep you on the right track in the coming weeks. Try saying them at least twice a day. 1. “I am cultivating Relaxed Alertness, because that will make me receptive to high-quality clues about how to proceed.” 2. “I am expressing Casual Perfectionism, because that way I will thoroughly enjoy being excellent, and not stress about it.” 3. “I am full of Diligent Indifference, working hard out of love for the work and not being attached to the outcome.” 4. “I am practicing Serene Debauchery, because if I’m not manically obsessed with looking for opportunities to cut loose, those opportunities will present themselves to me with grace and frequency.”
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The Great Wall of China is the largest human construction in the world, stretching for almost 3,900 miles. But contrary to legend, it is not visible from the moon. According to most astronauts, the Wall isn’t even visible from low Earth orbit. Keep this in mind as you carry out your assignment in the coming week, Virgo. First, imagine that your biggest obstacle is the size of the Great Wall of China. Second, imagine yourself soaring so high above it, so thoroughly beyond it, that it disappears. If performed regularly, I think this exercise will give you a new power to deal with your own personal Great Wall of China.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the early 1990s, actors Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were engaged to be married. In honor of their love, Depp got a tattoo that read “Winona Forever.” After the relationship fell apart, though, he had it altered to “Wino Forever.” If you’re faced with a comparable need to change a tattoo or shift your emphasis or transform a message anytime soon, Libra, I suggest putting a more positive and upbeat spin on it—something akin to “Winner Forever.”
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the Bering Strait, Russia and America are 2.5 miles apart. The International Date Line runs through the gap, meaning that it’s always a day later on the Russian side than it is on the American. I suggest you identify a metaphorically similar place in your own life, Scorpio: a zone where two wildly different influences almost touch. According to my reading of the omens, it’s an excellent time for you to foster more interaction and harmony between them.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I have a group of colleagues who half-jokingly, half-sincerely refer to themselves as the Shamanic Hackers of Karmic Justice. The joking part of it is that the title is so over-the-top ostentatious that it keeps them from taking themselves too seriously. The sincere part is that they really do engage in shamanic work designed to help free their clients from complications generated by old mistakes. Since you’re entering the season of adjustment and atonement, I asked them to do some corrective intervention in your behalf. They agreed, with one provision: that you aid and abet their work by doing what you can to liberate yourself from the consequences of wrong turns you made in the past.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The Weekly World News reported that a blues singer sued his psychiatrist for turning him into a more cheerful person. Gloomy Gus Johnson claimed he was so thoroughly cured of his depression that he could no longer perform his dismal tales with mournful sincerity. His popularity declined as he lost fans who had become attached to his despondent persona. I suspect you may soon be arriving at a similar crossroads, Capricorn. Through the intervention of uplifting influences and outbreaks of benevolence, you will find it harder to cultivate a cynical attitude. Are you prepared to accept the consequences that may come from being deprived of some of your reasons to moan and groan?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Educational specialist Dr. Howard Gardner believes I.Q. tests evaluate only a fraction of human intelligence. He describes eight different kinds of astuteness. They include the traditional measures—being good at math and language—as well as six others: being smart about music, the body, other people, one’s own inner state, nature and spatiality. (More here: bit.ly/Shrewd.) I bring this to your attention, Aquarius, because you’re entering a phase when you could dramatically enhance your intelligence about your own inner state. Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to know yourself much, much better.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): South Carolina now requires subversive people to register with the state if they have the stated intention of overthrowing the government of the United States. I have no such goal, so I remain free to operate unlicensed in South Carolina. I am, however, participating in a movement to overthrow reality—or rather, the sour and crippled mass hallucination that is mistakenly called “reality.” This crusade requires no guns or political agitation, but is instead waged by the forces of the liberated imagination using words, music, and images to counteract those who paralyze and deaden the imagination. I invite you to join us. You’re entering a phase when you may feel an almost ecstatic longing to free yourself from the delusions that constitute the fake “reality.”