HAPPY BIRTHDAY PISCES
(February 19 - March 20)
In 2014, NASA managed to place its MAVEN spacecraft into orbit around Mars. The cost of the mission was $671 million. Soon thereafter, the Indian government put its own vehicle, the Mangalyaan, into orbit around the Red Planet. It spent $74 million. As you plan your own big project, Pisces, I recommend you emulate the Mangalyaan rather than the MAVEN. I suspect you can do great things—maybe even your personal equivalent of sending a spacecraft to Mars—on a relatively modest budget.
This week's birthdays: Selena Cotter-Earle, Aaron Hartling, Christian Murray, Erica Penton, Nakeah Young
Send your birthday wishes to email@example.com.
(March 21-April 19)
The coming weeks might be a good time to acquire a flamethrower. It would come in handy if you felt the urge to go to a beach and incinerate mementoes from an ex-ally. It would also be useful if you wanted to burn stuff that reminds you of who you used to be and don't want to be anymore; or if you got in the mood to set ablaze symbols of questionable ideas you used to believe in but can't afford to believe in any more. If you don't want to spend $1,600+ on a flamethrower, just close your eyes for 10 minutes and visualize yourself performing acts of creative destruction like those I mentioned.
(April 20-May 20)
Taurus aphorist Olivia Dresher writes that she would like to be "a force of nature," but "not causing any suffering." The way I interpret her longing is that she wants to be wild, elemental, uninhibited, primal, raw, pure—all the while without inflicting any hurt or damage on herself or anyone else. In accordance with your astrological omens, Taurus, that's a state I encourage you to embody in the coming weeks. If you're feeling extra smart—which I suspect you will—you could go even further. You may be able to heal yourself and others with your wild, elemental, uninhibited, primal, raw, pure energy.
(May 21-June 20)
In some major cities, the buttons you push at a crosswalk don't actually work to make the traffic light turn green faster. The same is true about the Close Door buttons in many elevators. Pushing them doesn't have any effect on the door. Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer says these buttons are like placebos that give you "the illusion of control." I bring this phenomenon to your attention, Gemini, in hope of inspiring you to scout around for comparable things in your life. Is there any situation where you imagine you have power or influence, but probably don't? If so, now is an excellent time to find out—and remedy that problem.
(Jun 21-Jul 22)
Philip Boit was born and raised in Kenya, where it never snows except on the very top of Mount Kenya. Yet he represented his country in the cross-country skiing events at the Winter Olympics in 2002 and 2006. How did he do it? He trained up north in snowy Finland. Meanwhile, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong competed for Ghana in the slalom in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Since there was no snow in his homeland, he practiced his skills in the French Alps. These two are your role models for the coming months, Cancerian. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you'll have the potential to achieve success in tasks and activities that may not seem like a natural fit.
(Jul 23-Aug 22)
In the process of casting for his movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, director David Fincher considered selecting A-list actress Scarlett Johansson to play the hero. But ultimately he decided she was too sexy and radiant. He wanted a pale, thin, tougher-looking actress, whom he found in Rooney Mara. I suspect that in a somewhat similar way, you may be perceived as being too much something for a role you would actually perform quite well. But in my astrological opinion, you're not at all too much. In fact, you're just right. Is there anything you can do—with full integrity—to adjust how people see you and understand you without diluting your brightness and strength?
(August 23-September 22)
In 1993, an English gardener named Eric Lawes used his metal detector to look for a hammer that his farmer friend had lost in a field. Instead of the hammer, he found the unexpected: A buried box containing 15,234 old Roman silver and gold worth more than $4 million today. I bring this to your attention, Virgo, because I suspect that you, too, will soon discover something different from what you're searching for. Like the treasure Lawes located, it might even be more valuable than what you thought you wanted.
(September 23-October 22)
"The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover," wrote author James Baldwin. "If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see." To fully endorse that statement, I'd need to add two adverbs. My version would be, "The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to kindly and compassionately make you conscious of the things you don't see." In accordance with current astrological omens, I recommend that you Libras enthusiastically adopt that mission during the coming weeks. With tenderness and care, help those you care about to become aware of what they've been missing—and ask for the same from them toward you.
(October 23-November 21)
For thousands of generations, our early ancestors were able to get some of the food they needed through a practice known as persistence hunting. They usually couldn't run as fast as the animals they chased. But they had a distinct advantage: They could keep moving relentlessly until their prey grew exhausted. In part that's because they had far less hair than the animals, and thus could cool off better. I propose that we adopt this theme as a metaphor for your life in the coming weeks and months. You won't need to be extra-fast or super-ferocious or impossibly clever to get what you want. All you have to do is be persistent and dogged and disciplined.
(November 22-December 21)
Wompsi'kuk Skeesucks Brooke is an Indigineous American woman of the Mohegan tribe. According to her description of Mohegan naming traditions, and reported by author Elisabeth Pearson Waugaman, "Children receive names that are descriptive. They may be given new names at adolescence, and again as they go through life according to what their life experiences and accomplishments are." She concludes that names "change as the individual changes." If you have been thinking about transforming the way you express and present yourself, you might want to consider such a shift. Two thousand nineteen will be a favourable time to at least add a new nickname or title. And I suspect you'll have maximum inspiration to do so in the coming weeks.
(December 22-January 19)
For many of us, smell is our most neglected sense. We see, hear, taste and feel with vividness and eagerness, but allow our olfactory powers to go underused. In accordance with astrological omens, I hope you will compensate for that dearth in the coming weeks. There is subtle information you can obtain—and in my opinion, need quite strongly—that will come your way only with the help of your nose. Trust the guidance provided by scent.
(January 20-February 18)
Essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb says humans come in three types: Fragile, robust or antifragile. Those who are fragile work hard to shield themselves from life's messiness. The downside? They are deprived of experiences that might spur them to grow smarter. As for robust people, Taleb believes they are firm in the face of messiness. They remain who they are even when they're disrupted. The potential problem? They may be too strong to surrender to necessary transformations. If you're the third type, antifragile, you engage with the messiness and use it as motivation to become more creative and resilient. The downside? None. In accordance with the astrological omens, Aquarius, I urge you to adopt the antifragile approach in the coming weeks.