By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
ARIES (March 21-April 19): He "cleans up well" is prison lingo. It refers to a convict who, upon leaving jail, is able to overhaul his appearance and demeanor so thoroughly that no one can tell he has served time. I believe that in the coming weeks you will have access to another version of this skill. You will so completely erase the traces of your own personal version of "incarceration" that everyone will assume that you've always been a free bird.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In an effort to create safer streets, some European towns are getting rid of traffic signs and stoplights. The theory is that if drivers have no visible aides to guide them, they will slow down and be more considerate. "What we want is for people to be confused," says an official of the German town of Bohmte. "When they're confused, they'll be more alert and drive more carefully." In this spirit, and in accordance with your astrological omens, I suggest that you spend a week exploring the virtues of living without any rules. Instead, rely on your intuition about what's most righteous and authentic to do in every situation. Proceed on a case-by-case basis, without invoking general principles or overarching theories.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Before you attempt a quantum leap of faith over the yawning abyss, please remove your 500 pounds of defense mechanisms first. Your success in soaring the whole distance will require you to be free of emotional baggage. As long as you fulfill this simple prerequisite, I'm in favor of you risking the transition. It's about time you summoned more zeal to follow the path with heart, even if that path resumes on the other side of the great divide.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): There's a place in Venezuela where lightning storms rage 10 hours a night, 150 days of the year. It's where the Catatumbo River flows into Lake Maracaibo. Humans put their lives at risk to be near this persistent storm. The upside of the phenomenon is that it generates a significant portion of our planet's ozone, and produces so much light that it helps ships navigate up to 250 miles away. If you encounter anything with a metaphorical resemblance to the Catatumbo lightning in the coming days, I suggest you enjoy it from a distance. That way, it'll provide you with all of its benefits and none of its dangers.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A psychotherapist friend told me that most of his clients' problems fit into one of three categories: ordinary but interesting; bizarre and interesting; bizarre but dull. What's your style, Leo? Even if you're normally the "ordinary but interesting" type, I suspect that you've entered, at least temporarily, the ranks of the "bizarre but interesting" crowd. There's a big potential perk to this development. It may supply you with a steady flow of colorful melodrama, allowing you to win friends and influence people as you regale them with tales of your strangely entertaining life.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Having friendly arguments will be an excellent strategy for generating clarity in the coming days. Since everyone has a piece of the truth but no one has more than a piece of the truth, the whole story will have to be assembled from a variety of fragments. I foresee you and your cohorts banging your partial truths together, fighting and collaborating in an untidy quest to transcend each of your own narrow perspectives. Your mantra is William Blake's assertion that "without contraries there is no progression."
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): George W. Bush is the most unpopular U.S. president in history. His 19 percent approval rating in February was even worse than that of the king of disgrace, Richard Nixon. A growing consensus among historians also suggests that Bush is the worst president ever. The debacle of the Iraq invasion is the chief factor in that appraisal, but there's so much more. To name a few: the plunging value of the dollar, the stupendous national debt, the rapid degeneration of the environment, the catastrophic loss of civil liberties, and the abuse of human rights. And yet Bush has done one wonderful deed that has been unsung: He has poured billions of dollars of aid into Africa, more than any previous president. In accordance with your current astrological omens, Libra, I challenge you to do what I just did: Look for redemption in an influence that has created a mess or broken your heart.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A heterosexual man who is seeking a partner often doesn't want a woman to be complete unto herself; he hopes she'll feel inadequate and lost without him. Similarly, many hetero women demand that their men be absolutely dependent on them. Those of the gay persuasion aren't necessarily any different; quite a few also prefer their consorts to be unable to thrive alone. But there are also plenty of people who want their intimate relationships to be an alliance of strong, equal, independent partners. Where do you stand on this issue, Scorpio? It's an ideal time for you to cultivate a longing for a bond in which you are complete unto yourself and your partner is complete unto himself or herself.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Hello, I am Vimala Blavatsky, the Winter Witch. Rob Brezsny asked me to make a guest appearance in your horoscope. Since spring is imminent, I'll soon be retiring from my public work and will begin the research, meditations, and prayers that will prepare for the new round of therapeutic magic I'll offer next winter. But I'm still available for a while longer to help you finish any work you've been doing in the following areas: building solid psychological foundations, taking total responsibility for your fate, pruning away extraneous wishes and dead-end dreams, and getting down to the core of every issue. How have you been progressing on those tasks? If you need a boost, send out a telepathic request for me to appear in your dreams. I'll be there.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The editors of the Our Dumb Century claim there are 40,000 jokes crammed into the book's 256 pages. It took 12 people two years to come up with this humor onslaught, they say, or four and a half jokes per person per day. I advise you to triple that output in the coming week, Capricorn. Even if you don't normally think of yourself as a comedian, the astrological omens suggest that you will be funnier than you've ever been. That's fortunate, because in order to get the most out of the upcoming opportunities, you should unleash a flood of wit and hilarity.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "The composer Stravinsky had written a new piece with a difficult violin passage," writes Thomas Powers, quoted in the book Sunbeams. "After it had been in rehearsal for several weeks, the solo violinist came to Stravinsky and said he was sorry, he had tried his best, the passage was too difficult, no violinist could play it. Stravinsky said, 'I understand that. What I am after is the sound of someone trying to play it.'" Keep this story close to your heart in the coming week, Aquarius. It will give you the proper perspective as you, too, go about the work of doing the best you can at a task that is virtually impossible to perfect.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A century before the New Age movement began, French playwright Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was conversing with the dead. I want to tell you what the spirit of Galileo told him at a séance, because it's the perfect message for you to hear right now: "You know what I would do if I were in your place? I'd drink from the milk basin of the Milky Way; I'd swallow comets; I'd lunch on dawn; I'd dine on day and I'd sup on night; I'd invite myself, splendid table-companion that I am, to the banquet of all the glories, and I'd salute God as my host! I'd work up a magnificent hunger, an enormous thirst, and I'd race through the drunken spaces between the spheres singing the fearsome drinking song of eternity." (Source: Conversations with Eternity, translated by John Chambers.)
In addition to this column, Rob Brezsny offers EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES and DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES designed to inspire you. To buy access, go to RealAstrology.com.