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ARIES "Do you know what insomniac dyslexic philosophers do?" asked one of the 20th century's great thinkers, Terence McKenna. "They stay up all night wondering if dog really exists." That just happens to be your assignment — whether or not you're an insomniac dyslexic philosopher. In other words, it's time to intensify your exploration of life's deepest questions — even as you remember to do so with sparkling good humor and the intention not to take yourself too damn seriously.

TAURUS In Buddhist tradition, bodhisattvas are seekers who put their service to others above their personal goals — even above their quest for enlightenment. In the eighth-century prayer "The Bodhisattva Path," poet Shantideva wrote, "May I be the doctor and the medicine/For all sick beings in the world/Until everyone is healed." That's a high standard to live by. In asking you to try it out for a limited time, I'm not expecting perfection. But the people in your life fervently need you to be a source of strong medicine. More than that, you need to initiate the changes in your life that will ensue if you make yourself into a soothing balm, a potent remedy, a love tonic.

GEMINI When East Timor gained its independence from Indonesia after a long, bloody struggle, the United Nations temporarily took control of the new nation, inundating it with aid and support. But the international agency's work was short-lived, lasting just three years, and ultimately became known as Quickfixville. The errors resulting from its hurried efforts have been hard to undo. Don't make a similar gaffe in the coming weeks. It's not enough merely to have good intentions. Be deliberate and thorough as you undertake your corrective actions.

CANCER It's almost time to bring an end to your phase of resting and recouping. The self-protective mode has served you well, but if you stay in it much longer it'll backfire. Soon you'll need a wake-up call, an inflammatory summoning. If I were there with you, I might sing you the opposite of a lullaby — a disturbing yet inspiring rant designed to rouse and excite you.

LEO I was sitting in San Francisco's Cafe Gratitude, meditating on your horoscope. In my notebook I'd doodled a giant hand reaching down to earth from the clouds. It was holding a silver platter that bore a book titled "Fresh Instructions." This gift was being offered to a half-lion, half-human creature that represented you. Shortly after I finished this drawing, a woman came into the restaurant; her T-shirt had a message that was the perfect caption for the image I'd made: "Maybe God has bigger plans for you than you have for yourself."

VIRGO The 5.5 million people who live in Papua New Guinea speak 820 different languages, or one per every 6,707 people. Two villages within an hour's walking distance of each other may use utterly different tongues. The situation there has a certain metaphorical resemblance to the current state of your fate. The various parts of your world aren't communicating with as much fluidity and frequency as they should be. Your job in the coming weeks is to serve as a master translator, spreading understanding among them. It's time to unite the fragments.

LIBRA Uber-model Elle McPherson has been nicknamed "The Body" for 20 years. But now another star of the fashion runway, Heidi Klum, is trying to horn in on the title. She, too, has begun to call herself "The Body," enraging McPherson and her team. While these two superegos fight it out, I'm going to borrow their trademark and apply it to you for the next three weeks. Why? Your physical organism will be at the peak of its health and attractiveness. If you listen closely, it will give you good ideas about ways to further promote your well-being. Even more than usual, it will be a source of wisdom and pleasure. You will have every right, therefore, to call yourself "The Body."

SCORPIO In his book A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative, Roger von Oech quotes one of his clients, an architect: "Play is what I do for a living; the work comes in organizing the results of the play." Make this your guiding principle in the coming weeks. Ask the universe to give you lots of opportunities to mess around and improvise blithely and resurrect your playing-in-the-sandbox consciousness. Come up with good excuses to let your attention wander and explore previously off-limits fun and games. A few weeks from now, you can begin organizing all the good ideas that your frisky experiments will generate between now and then.

SAGITTARIUS The phase you're entering may prove to be ridiculously confounding — both absurdly extreme and very funny. Yet the immediate future also promises to provide you with opportunities to outgrow limitations you may have imagined were permanent. To honor this blend of slapstick confusion and juicy potential, I'm offering you two pieces of advice. Eleanor Roosevelt: "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Edward Teller: "When you get to the end of all the light you know and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly."

CAPRICORN You may not have God on your side, but you've got the next best thing. Invisible means of support will soon become visible. I'll go so far as to speculate that you'll be the beneficiary of a conspiracy to help you achieve goals you didn't even know you needed to achieve. In light of the fact that you will have most of the help you could possibly require, I can think of only one piece of advice that might prove useful: Being a little rowdy or impish could give your goodness greater impact.

AQUARIUS "What is Great Purple?" asks poet Nanao Sakaki in his book Let's Eat Stars. Is it "a piece of purple sky floating in my lover's eyes?" he speculates. "A cloud made of purple wine passing over Mount Fuji? The shadow of a star visible only to birds?" Brainstorm your own answers. You now have a special relationship not only with plain old everyday purple, but with sublime, magnificent, life-changing PURPLE. Develop a closer relationship with whatever Great Purple means to you.

PISCES "What's irritating about love is that it's a crime that requires an accomplice," said French poet Baudelaire. This is a perfect brainteaser for you to contemplate right now. Start your musings by trying to figure out what the hell he meant. Ask yourself, in what sense is love a crime? Obviously, he's not saying it's literally a felony or misdemeanor. Is he implying, then, that love, when practiced correctly, disrupts routine, disorganizes the orderly flow and violates conventional wisdom? That's what I conclude, but you may have a different opinion. Let's also meditate on why Baudelaire thought it's irritating that love requires an accomplice. Personally, I don't understand that. While I enjoy breaking the rules of respectable behavior by myself, I also find it exhilarating to have a co-conspirator. What do you say?

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