Aries (March 21–April 19): "He in his madness prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace," wrote Leo Tolstoy in his novella The Death of Ivan Ilych. The weird thing is, Aries, that this seemingly crazy strategy might actually work for you in the coming days. The storms you pray for, the tempests you activate through the power of your longing, could work marvels. They might clear away the emotional congestion, zap the angst, and usher you into a period of dynamic peace. So I say: Dare to be gusty and blustery and turbulent.
Taurus (April 20–May 20): Quoting poet W. H. Auden, author Maura Kelly says there are two kinds of poets: argument-makers and beauty-makers. I think that's an interesting way to categorize all humans, not just poets. Which are you? Even if you usually tend to be more of an argument-maker, I urge you to be an intense beauty-maker in the next few weeks. And if you're already a pretty good beauty-maker, I challenge you to become, at least temporarily, a great beauty-maker. One more thing: As much as possible, until April 1, choose beauty-makers as your companions.
Gemini (May 21–June 20): To have any hope of becoming an expert in your chosen field, you've got to labor for at least 10,000 hours to develop the necessary skills — the equivalent of 30 hours a week for six and a half years. But according to author William Deresiewicz, many young graphic designers no longer abide by that rule. They regard it as more essential to cultivate a network of connections than to perfect their artistic mastery. Getting 10,000 contacts is their priority, not working 10,000 hours. But I advise you not to use that approach in the coming months, Gemini. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will be better served by improving what you do rather than by increasing how many people you know.
Cancer (June 21–July 22): "I sit before flowers, hoping they will train me in the art of opening up," says poet Shane Koyczan. "I stand on mountain tops believing that avalanches will teach me to let go." I recommend his strategy to you in the coming weeks, Cancerian. Put yourself in the presence of natural forces that will inspire you to do what you need to do. Seek the companionship of people and animals whose wisdom and style you want to absorb. Be sufficiently humble to learn from the whole wide world through the art of imitation.
Leo (July 23–Aug. 22): The marathon is a long-distance footrace with an official length of over 26 miles. Adults who are physically fit and well-trained can finish the course in five hours. But I want to call your attention to a much longer running event: the Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race. It begins every June in Queens, a borough of New York, and lasts until August. Those who participate do 3,100 miles' worth of laps around a single city block, or about 100 laps per day. I think that this is an apt metaphor for the work you now have ahead of you. You must cover a lot of ground as you accomplish a big project, but without traveling far and wide. Your task is to be dogged and persistent as you do a little at a time, never risking exhaustion, always pacing yourself.
Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): In old Vietnamese folklore, croaking frogs were a negative symbol. They were thought to resemble dull teachers who go on and on with their boring and pointless lectures. But in many other cultures, frogs have been symbols of regeneration and resurrection due to the dramatic transformations they make from egg to tadpole to full-grown adult. In ancient India, choruses of croaks were a sign of winter's end, when spring rains arrived to fertilize the earth and bestow a promise of the growth to come. I suspect that the frog will be one of your emblems in the coming weeks, Virgo — for all of the above reasons. Your task is to overcome the boring stories and messages so as to accomplish your lively transformations.
Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): "Your anger is a gift." So proclaims musician and activist Zack de la Rocha, singer in the band Rage Against the Machine. That statement is true for him on at least two levels. His fury about the systemic corruption that infects American politics has roused him to create many successful songs and enabled him to earn a very good living. I don't think anger is always a gift for all of us, however. Too often, especially when it's motivated by petty issues, it's a self-indulgent waste of energy that can literally make us sick. Having said that, I do suspect that your anger in the coming week will be more like de la Rocha's: productive, clarifying, healthy.
Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): "Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist," says novelist Nicole Krauss. In the coming weeks, I suspect you will provide vivid evidence of her declaration, Scorpio. You may generate an unprecedented number of novel emotions — complex flutters and flows and gyrations that have never before been experienced by anyone in the history of civilization. I think it's important that you acknowledge and celebrate them as being unique — that you refrain from comparing them to feelings you've had in the past or feelings that other people have had. To harvest their full blessing, treat them as marvelous mysteries.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): "Look at yourself then," advised author Ray Bradbury. "Consider everything you have fed yourself over the years. Was it a banquet or a starvation diet?" He wasn't talking about literal food. He was referring to the experiences you provide yourself with, to the people you bring into your life, to the sights and sounds and ideas you allow to pour into your precious imagination. Now would be an excellent time to take inventory of this essential question, Sagittarius. And if you find there is anything lacking in what you feed yourself, make changes!
Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19): According to a report in the journal Science, most of us devote half of our waking time to thinking about something besides the activity we're actually engaged in. We seem to love to ruminate about what used to be and what might have been and what could possibly be. Would you consider reducing that amount in the next fifteen days, Capricorn? If you can manage to cut it down even a little, I bet you will accomplish small feats of magic that stabilize and invigorate your future. Not only that: You will feel stronger and smarter. You'll have more energy. You'll have an excellent chance to form an enduring habit of staying more focused on the here and now.
Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18): One of the legal financial scams that shattered the world economy in 2008 was a product called a Collateralized Debt Obligation Squared. It was sold widely, even though noted economist Ha-Joon Chang says that potential buyers had to read a billion pages of documents if they hoped to understand it. In the coming weeks, I think it's crucial that you Aquarians avoid getting involved with stuff like that — with anything or anyone requiring such vast amounts of homework. If it's too complex to evaluate accurately, stay uncommitted, at least for now.
Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20): "I wish I knew what I desire," wrote Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, born under the sign of Pisces. "I wish I knew! I wish I knew!" If he were still alive today, I would have very good news for him, as I do for all of you Pisceans reading this horoscope. The coming weeks will be one of the best times ever — EVER! — for figuring out what exactly it is you desire. Not just what your ego yearns for. Not just what your body longs for. I'm talking about the whole shebang. You now have the power to home in on and identify what your ego, your body, your heart, and your soul want more than anything else in this life.
Culture Spy - April 20, 9:52 AM
Culture Spy - April 13, 12:18 PM