LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The German poet and philosopher Friedrich von Schiller liked to have rotting apples in his desk drawer as he worked; the scent inspired him. Agatha Christie testified that many of her best ideas came to her while she was washing dishes. As for Beethoven, he sometimes stimulated his creativity by pouring cold water over his head. What about you, Libra? Are there odd inclinations and idiosyncratic behaviors that in the past have roused your original thinking? I encourage you to try them all this week, and then see if you can dream up at least two new ones. You have officially entered the brainstorming season.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It's expensive for the U.S. to hold prisoners at its Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba: $800,000 per year for each detainee. That's 30 times more than it costs to incarcerate a convict on the American mainland. According to the Miami Herald, Guantanamo is the most expensive prison on the planet. How much do you spend on locking stuff up, Scorpio? What does it cost, not just financially but emotionally and spiritually, for you to keep your secrets hidden and your fears tamped down and your unruly passions bottled up and your naughty urges suppressed? The coming weeks would be a good time to make sure the price you pay for all that is reasonable - not even close to being like Guantanamo.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): What time is it, boys and girls? It's Floods of Fantastic Gratitude Week: a perfect opportunity to express your passionate appreciation for everything you've been given. So get out there and tell people how much you've benefited from what they've done for you. For best results, be playful and have fun as you express your thanks. By the way, there'll be a fringe benefit to this outpouring: By celebrating the blessings you already enjoy, you will generate future blessings.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Telling the whole deep truth and nothing but the whole deep truth isn't necessarily a recipe for being popular. It may on occasion provoke chaos and be disruptive. In an institutional setting, displays of candor may even diminish your clout and undermine your ambitions. But now take everything I just said and disregard it for a while. This is one of those rare times when being profoundly authentic will work to your supreme advantage.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Show me the money" is a meme that first appeared in the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire. It has been uttered approximately a hundred trillion times since then. Have you ever said it in earnest? If so, you were probably demanding to get what you had been promised. You were telling people you wanted to see tangible proof that they valued your efforts. In light of your current astrological omens, I propose that you use a variation on this theme. What you need right now is less materialistic and more marvelous. Try making this your mantra: "Show me the magic."
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): My acquaintance Jacob fell for a woman who also professed her ardor for him. But in the midst of their courtship, as the mystery was still ripening, she suddenly left the country. "I've got to go to Indonesia," she texted him one night, and she was gone the next day. Jacob was confused, forlorn, dazed. He barely ate for days. On the sixth day, a FedEx package arrived from her. It contained a green silk scarf and a note: "I wore this as I walked to the top of the volcano and said a five-hour prayer to elevate our love." Jacob wasn't sure how to interpret it, although it seemed to be a good omen. What happened next? I haven't heard yet. I predict that you will soon receive a sign that has resemblances to this one. Don't jump to conclusions about what it means, but assume the best.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Here's the curious message I derived from the current astrological configurations: It's one of those rare times when a wall may actually help bring people together. How? Why? The omens don't reveal that specific information. They only tell me that what seems like a barrier might end up serving as a connector. An influence that in other situations would tend to cause separation will in this case be likely to promote unity. Capitalize on this anomaly, Aries!
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In my first dream last night, I gave you a holy book that you left out in the rain. In my second dream, I cooked you some chicken soup that you didn't eat. My third dream was equally disturbing. I assigned you some homework that would have helped you discover important clues about tending to your emotional health. Alas, you didn't do the homework. In the morning, I woke up from my dreams feeling exasperated and worried. But later I began to theorize that maybe they weren't prophecies, but rather helpful warnings. Now that you've heard them, I'm hoping you will become alert to the gifts you've been ignoring and take advantage of the healing opportunities you've been neglecting.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There's a good chance that your rhythm in the coming days will resemble a gentle, continuous orgasm. It won't be stupendously ecstatic, mind you. I'm not predicting massive eruptions of honeyed bliss that keep blowing your mind. Rather, the experience will be more like a persistent flow of warm contentment. You'll be constantly tuning in to a secret sweetness that thrills you subliminally. Again and again you will slip into a delicious feeling that everything is unfolding exactly as it should be. Warning! There are two factors that could possibly undermine this blessing: 1) if you scare it away with blasts of cynicism; 2) if you get greedy and try to force it to become bigger and stronger. So please don't do those things!
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Philosopher Jonathan Zap provides the seed for this week's meditation: "Conscious reflection on the past can deepen the soul and provide revelations of great value for the present and future. On the other hand, returning to the past obsessively out of emotional addiction can be a massive draining of vitality needed for full engagement with the present." So which will it be, Cancerian? One way or another, you are likely to be pulled back toward the old days and the old ways. I'll prefer it if you re-examine your history and extract useful lessons from the past instead of wallowing in dark nostalgia and getting lost in fruitless longing.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Picture a TV satellite dish on the roof of a peasant's shack in rural Honduras. Imagine a gripping rendition of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" played on the mandolin. Visualize the Dalai Lama quoting Chris Rock a bit out of context but with humorous and dramatic effect. Got all that? Next, imagine that these three scenes are metaphors for your metaphysical assignment in the coming week. Need another hint? OK. Think about how you can make sure that nothing gets lost in the dicey translations you'll be responsible for making.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Here are some ways to get more respect: 1) Do your best in every single thing you do - whether it's communicating precisely or upholding the highest possible standards at your job or taking excellent care of yourself. 2) Maintain impeccable levels of integrity in everything you do - whether it's being scrupulously honest or thoroughly fair-minded or fiercely kind. 3) On the other hand, don't try so compulsively hard to do your best and cultivate integrity that you get self-conscious and obstruct the flow of your natural intelligence. 4) Make it your goal that no later than four years from now you will be doing what you love to do at least 51 percent of the time. 5) Give other people as much respect as you sincerely believe they deserve. 6) Give yourself more respect.
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