(August 23-September 22): Arthur Turner, a Virgo reader from Austin, is upset with my recent horoscopes. In his e-mail, he wrote the following: “You’re making me mad with your predictions of non-stop positivity, Brezsny. I need more dirt and grit and muck. I’ve got to have some misery and decay to motivate me. So just please shut up with your excess projections of good times. They’re bringing me down.” Here’s my response to him and to any other Virgo who feels like him: I’m afraid you’re scheduled to endure even more encounters with cosmic benevolence in the coming week. If these blessings feel oppressive, try to change your attitude about them.
(September 23-October 22): The humorous science journal Annals of Improbable Research published a paper entitled “The Effects of Peanut Butter on the Rotation of the Earth.” Signed by 198 Ph.D. physicists, it came to this conclusion: “So far as we can determine, peanut butter has no effect on the rotation of the earth.” If possible, Libra, I suggest you summon a comparable amount of high-powered expertise for your own purposes. But please make sure that those purposes are weightier than the question of peanut butter’s role on our planet’s movements. Round up the best help you can, yes; call on all the favors you’re owed and be aggressive in seeking out brilliant support; but only for a truly important cause.
(October 23-November 21): September 16 is the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. So begins 10 days of repentance. Whether or not you’re Jewish, Scorpio, you are entering an astrological phase when taking stock of yourself would be a brilliant move. That’s why I invite you to try the following self-inventory, borrowed from the Jewish organization Chadeish Yameinu. 1. What would you like to leave behind from the past 12 months? 2. What has prevented you from living up to your highest standards and being your very best self? 3. What would you love to bring with you into the next 12 months? 4. Who served as a teacher for you in the past year? 5. Were you a teacher for anyone? 6. Is there anyone you need to forgive? 7. How will you go about forgiving?
(November 22-December 21): If I’m accurately interpreting the astrological omens, the coming months will be a soulful feast in which every day will bring you a shimmering revelation about the nature of your soul’s code and how best to activate it. Reasons for grateful amazement will flow so freely that you may come to feel that miracles are routine and naturally occurring phenomena. And get this: In your dreams, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty will get married, win the lottery, and devote their fortune to fostering your spiritual education until you are irrevocably enlightened. (I confess there’s a slight chance I’m misinterpreting the signs, and everything I described will be true for only a week or so, not months.)
(December 22-January 19): A reader named Marissa begged me to insert a secret message into the Capricorn horoscope. She wanted me to influence Jergen, a guy she has a crush on, to open up his eyes and see how great she is. I told her I wouldn’t do it. Why? For one thing, I never try to manipulate people into doing things that aren’t in alignment with their own desires. For another, I faithfully report on my understanding of the tides of fate, and refuse to just make stuff up. I urge you to have that kind of integrity, Capricorn. I suspect you may soon be invited or coaxed to engage in what amounts to some tainted behavior. Don’t do it. Make an extra effort to be incorruptible.
(January 20-February 18): “The far away, the very far, the farthest, I have found only in my own blood,” said poet Antonio Porchia. Let’s make that thought your keynote, Aquarius. Your assignment will be to search for what’s most exotic and unknown, but only in the privacy of your own heart, not out in the great wide world. For now at least, the inner realm is the location of the laboratory where the most useful experiments will unfold. Borrowing from novelist Carole Maso, I leave you with this: “Make love to the remoteness in yourself.”
(February 19-March 20): It would be an excellent time for you to elope, even if you do so with the person to whom you’re already mated. You might also consider the possibility of wearing a wedding dress everywhere you wander, even if there is no marriage ceremony in your immediate future, and even if you’re a man. And if neither of those ideas appeals to you, please at least do something that will symbolize your intention to focus on intimacy with an intensified sense of purpose. Fling rice at yourself. Seek out someone who’ll give you lessons in how to listen like an empathetic genius. Compose and recite vows in which you pledge to become an utterly irresistible and reliable ally.
(March 21-April 19): You will never be able to actually gaze upon your own face. You may of course see a reasonable likeness of it in mirrors, photos, and videos. But the real thing will always be forever visible to everyone else, but not you. I think that’s an apt symbol for how hard it is to get a totally objective view of your own soul. No matter how sincere you may be in your efforts to see yourself clearly, there will always be fuzziness, misapprehensions, and ignorance. Having said that, though, I want you to know that the coming weeks will be an excellent time to see yourself better than ever before.
(April 20-May 20): I’ve got four related pieces of advice for you, Taurus: 1. The most reliable way for you to beat the system is to build your own more interesting system. 2. The most likely way to beat your competitors is not to fight them, but rather to ignore them and compete only against yourself. 3. To escape the numbing effects of an outworn tradition, you could create a fresh tradition that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning. 4. If you have a problem that is not only impossible to solve but also boring, find yourself a fascinating new problem that will render the old problem irrelevant.
(May 21-June 20): “Dear Doctor of Love: My heart is itchy. I’m totally serious. I’m not talking about some phantom tingle on the skin of my chest. What I mean is that the prickling sensation originates in the throbbing organ inside of me. Is this even possible? Have you heard of such a crazy thing? Could it be some astrological phenomenon? What should I do?—Itchy-Hearted Gemini.” Dear Gemini: I suspect that it’s not just you, but many Geminis, who are experiencing symptoms like yours. From what I can tell, you have a lot of trapped feelings in your heart that need to be identified, liberated, and dealt with.
(June 21-July 22): If you make a conscious decision to combine plaids with stripes or checks with floral patterns or reddish-purples with greenish-oranges, I will wholeheartedly approve. If, on the other hand, you absent-mindedly create combinations like that, doing so because you’re oblivious or lazy, I will soundly disapprove. The same holds true about any hodgepodge or hybrid or mishmash you generate, Cancerian: It’ll receive cosmic blessings if you do it with flair and purpose, but not if it’s the result of being inattentive and careless.
(July 23-August 22): Should we boycott the writing of Edgar Allan Poe because he married his 13-year-old cousin when he was 26? Should anti-drug crusaders stop using their iPhones when they find out that Steve Jobs said that “doing LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life”? Should we stop praising the work that Martin Luther King Jr. did to advance civil rights because he engaged in extramarital affairs? Those are the kinds of questions I suspect you’ll have to deal with in the coming days, Leo. I encourage you to avoid having knee-jerk reactions.