- James Noellert
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Author Susan Sontag defined "mad people" as those who "stand alone and burn." She said she was drawn to them because they inspired her to do the same. What do you think she meant by the descriptor "stand alone and burn"? I suspect she was referring to strong-willed people devoted to cultivating the most passionate version of themselves, always in alignment with their deepest longings. She meant those who are willing to accept the consequences of such devotion, even if it means being misunderstood or alone. The coming weeks will be an interesting and educational time for you to experiment with being such a person.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the 1930s, Taurus-born Rita Levi-Montalcini was a promising researcher in neurobiology at the University of Turin in Italy. But when fascist dictator Benito Mussolini imposed new laws that forbade Jews from holding university jobs, she was fired. Undaunted, she created a laboratory in her bedroom and continued her work. There she laid the foundations for discoveries that ultimately led to her winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. I foresee you summoning comparable determination and resilience in the coming weeks, Taurus.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Religious scholar Karl Barth (1886–1968) wrote, "There will be no song on our lips if there be no anguish in our hearts." To that perverse oversimplification, I reply: "Rubbish. Twaddle. Bunk. Hooey." I'm appalled by his insinuation that pain is the driving force for all of our lyrical self-revelations. Case in point: you in the coming weeks. I trust there will be a steady flow of songs in your heart and on your lips because you will be in such intimate alignment with your life's master plan.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “It is not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six,” wrote Cancerian author John W. Gardner. But I would add that more adult Crabs accomplish this feat than any other sign of the zodiac. I'll furthermore suggest that during the next six weeks, many of you will do it quite well. My prediction: You will blend lovability and strategic shrewdness to generate unprecedented effectiveness. (How could anyone resist you?)
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Staring at flames had benefits for our primitive ancestors. As they sat around campfires and focused on the steady burn, they were essentially practicing a kind of meditation. Doing so enhanced their ability to regulate their attention, thereby strengthening their working memory and developing a greater capacity to make long-range plans. What does this have to do with you? As a fire sign, you have a special talent for harnessing the power of fire to serve you. In the coming weeks, that will be even more profoundly true than usual. If you can do so safely, I encourage you to spend quality time gazing into flames. I also hope you will super-nurture the radiant fire that glows within you. (More info: tinyurl.com/GoodFlames)
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Physicist Victor Weisskopf told us, "What's beautiful in science is the same thing that's beautiful in Beethoven. There's a fog of events and suddenly you see a connection. It connects things that were always in you that were never put together before." I'm expecting there to be a wealth of these aha! moments for you in the coming weeks, Virgo. Hidden patterns will become visible. Missing links will appear. Secret agendas will emerge. The real stories beneath the superficial stories will materialize. Be receptive and alert!
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Jungian psychoanalyst and folklore expert Clarissa Pinkola Estés celebrates the power of inquiry. She says that "asking the proper question is the central action of transformation," both in fairy tales and in psychotherapy. To identify what changes will heal you, you must be curious to uncover truths that you don't know yet. "Questions are the keys that cause the secret doors of the psyche to swing open," says Estes. I bring this to your attention, Libra, because now is prime time for you to formulate the Fantastically Magically Catalytic Questions.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In April 1933, Scorpio-born African American singer Ethel Waters was in a "private hell." Her career was at an impasse and her marriage was falling apart. In the depths of despondency, she was invited to sing a new song, "Stormy Weather," at New York City's famous Cotton Club. It was a turning point. She later wrote, "I was singing the story of my misery and confusion, of the misunderstandings in my life I couldn’t straighten out, the story of the wrongs and outrages done to me by people I had loved and trusted." The audience was thrilled by her performance, and called her back for 12 encores. Soon thereafter, musical opportunities poured in and her career blossomed. I foresee a parallel event in your life, Scorpio. Maybe not quite so dramatic, but still, quite redemptive.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I love to see you enjoy yourself. I get a vicarious thrill as I observe you pursuing pleasures that other people are too inhibited or timid to dare. It's healing for me to witness you unleash your unapologetic enthusiasm for being alive in an amazing body that's blessed with the miracle of consciousness. And now I'm going to be a cheerleader for your efforts to wander even further into the frontiers of bliss and joy and gratification. I will urge you to embark on a quest of novel forms of rapture and exultation. I'll prod you to at least temporarily set aside habitual sources of excitement so you'll have room to welcome as-yet unfamiliar sources.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn poet John O'Donahue suggested that a river's behavior is worthy of our emulation. He said the river's life is "surrendered to the pilgrimage." It's "seldom pushing or straining, keeping itself to itself everywhere all along its flow." Can you imagine yourself doing that, Capricorn? Now is an excellent time to do so. O'Donahue rhapsodized that the river is "at one with its sinuous mind, an utter rhythm, never awkward," and that "it continues to swirl through all unlikeness with elegance: a ceaseless traverse of presence soothing on each side, sounding out its journey, raising up a buried music." Be like that river, dear Capricorn!
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?" wrote philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In response to that sentiment, I say, "Amen!" and "Hallelujah!" Even if you will live till age 99, that's still too brief a time to indulge in an excess of dull activities that activate just a small part of your intelligence. To be clear, I don't think it's possible to be perfect in avoiding boredom. But for most of us, there's a lot we can do to minimize numbing tedium and energy-draining apathy. I mention this, Aquarius, because the coming weeks will be a time when you will have extra power to make your life as interesting as possible for the long run.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I know of four different governmental organizations that have estimated the dollar value of a single human life. The average of their figures is $7.75 million. So let's say, for argument's sake, that you are personally worth that much. Does it change the way you think about your destiny? Are you inspired to upgrade your sense of yourself as a precious treasure? Or is the idea of putting a price on your merit uninteresting, even unappealing? Whatever your reaction is, I hope it prods you to take a revised inventory of your worth, however you measure it. It's a good time to get a clear and precise evaluation of the gift that is your life. (Quote from Julia Cameron: "Treating yourself like a precious object makes you strong.")
This week's homework: Send brief descriptions of your top three vices and top three virtues. FreeWillAstrology.com
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