HAPPY BIRTHDAY Libra
(August 23-September 22)
In 1936, Libran author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about the “crack-up” he had experienced years earlier. It included this tough realization: “I had been only a mediocre caretaker of most of the things left in my hands, even my talent.” Let’s use this as a seed for your oracle. Have you been a good caretaker of your talent? Have you been a good caretaker for other things you are responsible for? Look within yourself and take inventory. If there’s anything lacking, now is an excellent time to raise your game. If you’re doing pretty well, reward yourself.and who knows what else?
THIS WEEK’s BIRTHDAYS: Ansgar Gruber, Dan MacCormack, Selena MacLeod
Send your birthday wishes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(October 23-November 21)
On a late summer day in 1666, Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree in his mother's garden in Lincolnshire, England. An apple fell off a branch and plummeted to the ground. A half-century later, he told his biographer this incident inspired him to formulate the theory of gravity. Fast forward to 2010. Astronaut Piers Sellers got on the space shuttle Atlantis carrying a piece of Newton's apple tree. He took it with him as he escaped Earth's gravity on his trip to the International Space Station. By my reading of the astrological omens, now would be an excellent time for you undertake a comparable gesture or ritual. With a flourish, update your relationship with an important point of origin.
(November 22-December 21)
Most birds don't sing unless they are up high: either flying or perched somewhere off the ground. One species that isn't subject to this limitation is the turnstone, a brightly mottled shorebird. As it strolls around beaches in search of food, it croons a tune that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology calls "a short, rattling chuckle." In the coming weeks, this creature deserves to be your mascot—or your power animal, as they say in New Age circles. Why? I doubt that you will be soaring. You won't be gazing down at the human comedy from a detached location high above the fray. But I expect you will be well-grounded and good-humored—holding your own with poise amidst the rough-and-tumble. As you ramble, sing freely!
(December 22-January 19)
Let's discuss that thing you are eyeing and coveting and fantasizing about. My operative theory is that you can enjoy it without actually having it for your own. In fact, I think it will be best if you do enjoy it without possessing it. There's an odd magic at play here. If this desired thing becomes a fixed part of your life, it may interfere with you attracting two future experiences that I regard as more essential to your development. My advice is to avoid getting attached to the pretty good X-factor so as to encourage the arrival and full bloom of two stellar X-factors.
(January 20-February 18)
"Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way," said philosopher Alan Watts. You have either recently made a personal discovery proving that this is true, or else you will soon do so. The brain-scrambling, heart-whirling events of recent weeks have blessed you with a host of shiny new questions. They are vibrant replacements for the tired old questions that have kept at least one of your oldest dilemmas locked in place.
(February 19 - March 20)
"There is for everyone some one scene, some one adventure, some one picture that is the image of his secret life," said Irish poet William Butler Yeats. I invite you to identify that numinous presence, Pisces. And then I urge you to celebrate and cultivate it. Give special attention to it and pay tribute to it and shower love on it. Why? Because now is an excellent time to recognize how important your secret life is to you—and to make it come more fully alive than it has ever been.
(March 21-April 19)
New York City's Diamond District is home to over 2,000 businesses that buy and sell jewelry. Throughout the years, many people have lost bits of treasure here. Valuable bits of gold and gems have fallen off broken necklaces, earrings, watches and other accessories. Now an enterprising man named Raffi Stepnanian is cashing in. Using tweezers and a butter knife, he mines for the rich pickings that are packed in the mud of sidewalk cracks and gutters. "The percentage of gold out here on the street is greater than the amount of gold you would find in a mine," he says. I'd love to see you get inspired by his efforts, Aries. Dig for treasure in unlikely places where no one else would deign to look.
(April 20-May 20)
In 1987, a college freshman named Mike Hayes was having trouble paying for his education at the University of Illinois. He appealed for help to the famous newspaper columnist Bob Greene, who asked each of his many readers to send Hayes a penny. The response was tidal. Although most of the ensuing donations were small, they added up to over $28,000—enough for Hayes to finance his degree. I encourage you to take a comparable approach in the coming weeks, Taurus: Ask for a little from a lot of different sources.
(May 21-June 20)
The word "abracadabra" is a spell that stage magicians utter at the climax of their tricks: the catalyst that supposedly makes a rabbit materialize from a hat or an assistant disappear in a puff of smoke. There's no real sorcery. It's an illusion perpetrated by the magician's hocus-pocus. But "abracadabra" has a less well-known history as an incantation used by real magicians to generate authentic wizardry. It can be traced back to Gnostic magi of the second century. They and their successors believed that merely speaking the word aloud evokes a potency not otherwise available. I invite you to experiment with this possibility, Gemini. Say "abracadabra" to boost your confidence and enhance your derring-do. You already have more power than usual to change things that have been resistant to change, and intoning some playfully ferocious "abracadabras" may put your efforts over the top.
(June 21-July 22)
The 17th-century writer Rene Descartes is regarded as the father of modern philosophy and the founder of rationalism. His famous catchphrase is a centerpiece of the Western intellectual tradition: "I think, therefore I am." Here's what I find amusing and alarming about the man: He read almost nothing besides the Bible and the work of Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas. He said that classic literature was a waste of time. Is that who we want at the heart of our approach to understanding reality? I say no. In accordance with the astrological omens, I authorize you to instead adopt one or both of the following formulas: "I feel, therefore I am" or "I dream, therefore I am."
(July 23-August 22)
You can't give what you don't have. Here's a corollary: You can half-give what you half-have, but that may lead to messy complications and turn out to be worse than giving nothing at all. So here's what I recommend: Devote yourself to acquiring a full supply of what you want to give. Be motivated by the frustration you feel at not being able to give it yet. Call on your stymied generosity to be the driving force that inspires you to get the missing magic. When you've got it, give it.
(August 23-September 22)
I suspect that one of your allies or loved ones will get caught in his or her own trap. The way you respond will be crucial for how the rest of the story plays out. On the one hand, you shouldn't climb into the trap with them and get tangled up in the snarl. On the other hand, it won't serve your long-term interests to be cold and unhelpful. So what's the best strategy? First, empathize with their pain, but don't make it your own. Second, tell the blunt truth in the kindest tone possible. Third, offer a circumscribed type of support that won't compromise your freedom or integrity. a