HAPPY BIRTHDAY Leo
(Jul 23-Aug 22)
English author Barbara Cartland published her first novel at age 21. By the time she died 77 years later, she had written more than 700 other books. Some sources say she sold 750 million copies, while others put the estimate at two billion. In 1983 alone, she churned out 23 novels. I foresee a Barbara Cartland-type period for you in the coming months, Leo. Between now and your birthday in 2016, I expect you to be as fruitful in your own field as you have ever been. And here’s the weird thing: One of the secrets of your productivity will be an enhanced ability to chill out. “Relaxed intensity” will be your calming battle cry.
THIS WEEK’s BIRTHDAYS: Murray Bain, Marnie Gillis, Jenn Grant, Megan McDowell, Scott Simpson, Jess Tasker, Erin Thorne
Send your birthday wishes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(August 23-September 22)
"On or about December 1910, human character changed," wrote Virginia Woolf in 1924. What prompted her to draw that conclusion? The rapidly increasing availability of electricity, cars and indoor plumbing? The rise of the women's suffrage movement? Labour unrest and the death of the King? The growing prominence of experimental art by Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso? The answer might be all of the above, plus the beginning of a breakdown in the British class system. Inspired by the current astrological omens, I'll borrow her brash spirit and make a new prediction: During the last 19 weeks of 2015, the destiny of the Virgo tribe will undergo a fundamental shift. Ten years from now, I bet you will look back at this time and say, "That was when everything got realigned, redeemed and renewed."
(September 23-October 22)
"The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble," said psychologist Carl Jung. "They can never be solved, but only outgrown." I subscribe to that model of dealing with dilemmas, and I hope you will consider it, too—especially in light of the fact that from now until July 2016 you will have more power than ever before to outgrow two of your biggest problems. I don't guarantee that you will transcend them completely, but I'm confident you can render them at least 60 percent less pressing, less imposing and less restricting. And 80 percent is quite possible.
(October 23-November 21)
Hundreds of years ago, Hawaiians celebrated an annual holiday called Makahiki. It began in early November and lasted four months. No one worked very much for the duration. There were non-stop feasts and games and religious ceremonies. Community-building was a featured theme, and one taboo was strictly enforced: no war or bloodshed. I encourage you Scorpios to enjoy a similar break from your daily fuss. Now is an especially propitious time to ban conflict, contempt, revenge, and sabotage as you cultivate solidarity in the groups that are important for your future. You may not be able to make your own personal Makahiki last for four months, but could you at least manage three weeks?
(November 22-December 21)
Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Museum of Failed Products is a warehouse full of consumer goods that companies created but no one wanted to buy. It includes caffeinated beer, yogurt shampoo, fortune cookies for dogs and breath mints that resemble vials of crack cocaine. The most frequent visitors to the museum are executives seeking to educate themselves about what errors to avoid in their own companies' future product development. I encourage you to be inspired by this place, Sagittarius. Take an inventory of the wrong turns you've made in the past. Use what you learn to create a revised master plan.
(December 22-January 19)
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Virtually all of us have been guilty of embodying that well-worn adage. And according to my analysis of the astrological omens, quite a few of you Capricorns are currently embroiled in this behavior pattern. But I am happy to report that the coming weeks will be a favorable time to quit your insanity cold turkey. In fact, the actions you take to escape this bad habit could empower you to be done with it forever. Are you ready to make a heroic effort? Here's a good way to begin: Undo your perverse attraction to the stressful provocation that has such a seductive hold on your imagination.
(January 20-February 18)
"Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it," confessed the late, great author David Foster Wallace. Does that describe your experience, too? If so, events in the coming months will help you break the pattern. More than at any other time in the last 10 years, you will have the power to liberate yourself through surrender. You will understand how to release yourself from overwrought attachment through love and grace rather than through stress and force.
(February 19 - March 20)
"Most people love in order to lose themselves," wrote Hermann Hesse in his novel Demian. But there are a few, he implied, who actually find themselves through love. In the coming months, Pisces, you are more likely to be one of those rare ones. In fact, I don't think it will even be possible for you to use love as a crutch. You won't allow it to sap your power or make you forget who you are. That's good news, right? Here's the caveat: You must be ready and willing to discover much more about the true nature of your deepest desires—some of which may be hidden from you right now.
(March 21-April 19)
You'd probably prefer to stay in the romantic, carefree state of mind. But from what I can tell, you're ripe for a new phase of your long-term cycle. Your freestyle rambles and jaunty adventures should now make way for careful introspection and thoughtful adjustments. Instead of restless star-gazing, I suggest patient earth-gazing. Despite how it may initially appear, it's not a comedown. In fact, I see it as an unusual reward that will satisfy you in unexpected ways.
(April 20-May 20)
In accordance with the current astrological omens, I recommend the following activities: Sing a love song at least once a day. Seek a message from an ancestor in a reverie or dream. Revisit your three favourite childhood memories. Give a gift or blessing to the wildest part of you. Swim naked in a river, stream or lake. Change something about your home to make it more sacred and mysterious. Obtain a symbolic object or work of art that stimulates your courage to be true to yourself. Find relaxation and renewal in the deep darkness. Ruminate in unbridled detail about how you will someday fulfill a daring fantasy.
(May 21-June 20)
The ancient Greek epic poem The Iliad is one of the foundation works of Western literature. Written in the eighth century BCE, it tells the story of the 10-year-long Trojan War. The cause of the conflict was the kidnap of Helen of Troy, reputed to be the world's most beautiful woman. And yet nowhere in The Iliad is there a description of Helen's beauty. We hear no details about why she deserves to be at the center of the legendary saga. Don't be like The Iliad in the coming weeks, Gemini. Know everything you can about the goal at the center of your life. Be very clear and specific and precise about what you're fighting for and working towards.
(June 21-July 22)
The comedian puppets known as The Muppets have made eight movies. In The Great Muppet Caper, the muppets Kermit and Fozzie play brothers, even though one is a green frog and the other a brown bear. At one point in the story, we see a photo of their father, who has the colouring and eyes of Kermit, but a bear-like face. I bring up their unexpected relationship, Cancerian, because I suspect that a similar anomaly might be coming your way: a bond with a seemingly improbable ally. To prepare, stretch your ideas about what influences you might want to connect with.