Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that when our rational minds are working at their best, they inspire us to cultivate our most interesting and enlivening passions. They also de-emphasize and suppress any energy-draining passions that might have a hold on us. I'm hoping you will take full advantage of this in the coming weeks, Cancerian. You will generate good fortune and sweet breakthroughs as you highlight desires that uplift you and downgrade desires that diminish you.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
Leo author Wendell Berry suggests, "It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey." Although there's wisdom in that formulation, I don't think it's true a majority of the time. Far more often we are fed by the strong, clear intuitions that emerge from our secret depths — from the sacred gut feelings that give us accurate guidance about what to do and where to go. But I do suspect that right now may be one of those phases when Berry's notion is true for you, Leo. What do you think?
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
In 1750, more than 250 years after Columbus first visited the New World, Native Americans were still a majority of the continent's population. But between 1776 and now, the United States government stole 1.5 billion acres of land from its original owners — 25 times the size of the United Kingdom. Here's another sad fact: Between 1778 and 1871, America's federal administrations signed over 500 treaties with Indigenous tribes — and broke every one of them. The possibility that these sins will eventually be remedied is very small. I bring them up only to serve as possible metaphors for your personal life. Is there anything you have unfairly gained from others? Is there anything others have unfairly gained from you? The next six months will be prime time to seek atonement and correction.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Libran Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh advises you and me and everyone else to "seek the spiritual in every ordinary thing that you do every day." You have to work at it a bit, he says; you must have it as your firm intention. But it's not really hard to do. "Sweeping the floor, watering the vegetables, and washing the dishes become holy and sacred if mindfulness is there," he adds. I think you Libras will have a special knack for this fun activity in the coming weeks. (Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a series of "Mindfulness Essentials" books that includes How to Eat, How to Walk, How to Relax, and How to Connect. I invite you to come up with your own such instructions.)
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
My unexpected interpretation of the current astrological omens suggests that you will be wise to go naked as much as possible in the coming weeks. Being skyclad, as the pagans say, will be healing for you. You will awaken dormant feelings that will help you see the world with enhanced understanding. The love that you experience for yourself will soften one of your hard edges, and increase your appreciation for all the magic that your life is blessed with. One important caveat: Of course, don't impose your nakedness on anyone who doesn't want to witness it.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
If you analyzed the best-selling songs as measured by Billboard magazine, you'd think we were in the midst of a dangerous decline in population. The vast majority of those popular tunes feature lyrics with reproductive themes. It's as if there's some abject fear that humans aren't going to make enough babies, and need to be constantly cajoled and incited to engage in love-making. But I don't think you Sagittarians, whatever your sexual preference, will need any of that nagging in the coming days. Your Eros Quotient should be higher than it has been in a while.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt, born under the sign of Capricorn, writes, “Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.” In my view, that's an unwarranted generalization. It may sometimes be true, but is often not. Genuine beauty may also be elegant, lyrical, inspiring, healing, and ennobling. Having said that, I will speculate that the beauty you encounter in the near future may indeed be disruptive or jolting, but mostly because it has the potential to remind you of what you're missing — and motivate you to go after what you've been missing.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
On July 21, 1969, Aquarian astronaut Buzz Aldrin was the second human to walk on the moon. It happened during a spectacular astrological aspect, when transiting Jupiter and Uranus in Libra were trine to Aldrin's natal Sun in Aquarius. But after this heroic event, following his return to earth, he found it hard to get his bearings again. He took a job as a car salesman, but had no talent for it. In six months, he didn't sell a single car. Later, however, he found satisfaction as an advocate for space exploration, and he developed technology to make future trips to Mars more efficient. I hope that if you are now involved in any activity that resembles Aldrin's stint as a car salesman — that is, a task you're not skilled at and don't like — you will spend the coming weeks making plans to escape to more engaging pursuits.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
Astronomers say the Big Bang birthed the universe 13.8 billion years ago. But a star 190 light years away from Earth contradicts that theory. Its age seems to be 14.5 billion years, older than the universe itself. Its scientific name is HD 140283, but it's informally referred to as Methuselah, named after the Biblical character who lived 'til age 969. Sometimes, like now, you remind me of that star. You seem to be an impossibly old soul — like you've been around so many thousands of lifetimes that, you, too, predate the Big Bang. But guess what: It's time to take a break from that aspect of your destiny. In the next two weeks, you have cosmic permission to explore the mysteries of playful innocence. Be young and blithe and curious. Treasure your inner child.
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
Columnist Linda Weltner says that there's a dual purpose to cleaning your home, rearranging the furniture, adding new art to the walls, and doting on your potted plants. Taking good care of your environment is a primary way of taking good care of yourself. She writes, "The home upon which we have lavished so much attention is the embodiment of our own self love.” I invite you to make that your inspirational meditation for the next two weeks.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
"For peace of mind, I will lie about any thing at any time," said author Amy Hempel. Hmmmm. I'm the opposite. To cultivate peace of mind, I try to speak and live the truth as much as I can. Lying makes me nervous. It also seems to make me dumber. It forces me to keep close track of my fibs so I can be sure to stick to my same deceitful story when the subject comes up later. What about you, Taurus? For your peace of mind, do you prefer to rely on dishonesty or honesty? I'm hoping that for the next four weeks, you will favor the latter. Cultivating judicious candor will heal you and boost your intelligence.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
In her essay about education, "Don't Overthink It," philosopher Agnes Callard reminds us, "No matter how much we increase our investment at the front end — perfecting our minds with thinking classes, long ruminations, novel-reading, and moral algebra — we cannot spare ourselves the agony of learning by doing.” That will be a key theme for you in the next four weeks, dear Gemini. You will need to make abundant use of empiricism: pursuing knowledge through direct experience, using your powers of observation and a willingness to experiment.