March 21-April 19: Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera Tosca premiered in 1900. It featured a heroine named Tosca. In 1914, Puccini’s favorite Tosca, a soprano singer named Maria Jeritza, was performing in a production at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. As she got ready to sing an aria entitled “I Live for Art,” she stumbled and fell. Rather than struggle awkwardly to rise, she pretended that this was all quite natural — called for in the script. She sang the entire piece while lying on the floor. Puccini loved it! Ever since then, most of the singers who have played the role of Tosca have sung “I Live for Art” while prone. I suggest you regard this as an inspirational teaching. What lucky accidents could you make into permanent additions or enhancements?
April 20-May 20: Taurus poet Gary Snyder said, “Three-fourths of philosophy and literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering.” Personally, I think that many of us, not just philosophers and writers, do the same thing. Are you one of us? Your first assignment during the next four weeks will be to explore whether you do indeed tend to convince yourself that you like the cage you were tricked into entering. Your second assignment: If you find that you are in a cage, do everything you can to stop liking it. Third assignment: Use all your ingenuity, call on all the favors you’re owed, and conjure up the necessary magic so that you can flee the cage.
May 21-June 20: “Your body is not a temple,” declared author and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. “It’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” I half-agree with him. I’m deeply devoted to regarding the body as an amusement park. It should be a source of endless fun and enjoyment. We have the right — indeed, I’d say a duty — to wield our bodies in ways that immerse us in the mysteries and miracles of pleasure. But here’s where I disagree with Bourdain: I believe the body is also a temple that deserves our reverence and respect and protective tenderness. Your assignment in the coming weeks, Gemini, is to raise your commitment to treating your body as both an amusement park and a holy temple.
June 21-July 22: Early in his career, Cancerian painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) sold only a few paintings. But eventually his luck improved. Once he was financially successful, he became very generous. He wielded his influence to get jobs for other artists, and mentored many artists, as well. Sometimes he added a few dabs of paint to the finished works of younger, struggling painters, then signed the canvases with his own name so that the works could more easily be sold. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to adopt your own version of Corot’s approach toward those around you who could benefit from your help and support. (P.S. It’s in your selfish interest to do so, although the reasons why may not be clear for a while.)
July 23-Aug. 22: Composer Brian Eno has testified that African music underlies and influences much of his work. He exults in the freedom and unpredictability it encourages. Why? Here’s one reason: In African songs, there are often multiple rhythms. And they’re not locked together; they float freely in relationship to each other. Eno says this is different from Western music, whose salient quality is that all the rhythmic elements are contained “in little boxes” — locked into a tyrannically mechanical clockwork pattern. According to my reading of the astrological omens, dear Leo, the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to experiment with Eno’s insight. How? Escape mechanical clockwork patterns and activate the “multiple, free-floating rhythm” metaphor in everything you do.
Aug. 23-Sept. 22:Are you interested in enhancing your mastery of togetherness? Are you open to my suggestion that you should seek out practical education about the arts of intimacy? Would you be willing to meditate on how you might bring additional creativity and flair into your close alliances? If you answered yes to those questions, the next six weeks will provide you with ample opportunities to dive in to all that fun work. “Collaboration” and “cooperation” will be words of power for you. “Synergy and symbiosis” should be your tender battle cry.
Sept. 23-Oct. 22: As you come to the climax of your Season of Good Gaffes and Lucky Bloopers, I’ll remind you of folk singer Pete Seeger’s definition of a “productive mistake.” He said it had these five qualities: “1) made in the service of mission and vision; 2) acknowledged as a mistake; 3) learned from; 4) considered valuable; 5) shared for the benefit of all.” Let’s hope, Libra, that your recent twists and turns fit at least some of these descriptions!
Oct. 23-Nov. 21: Would you consider making one more push, Scorpio? Can I coax you to continue your half-confusing, half-rewarding quest? Are you willing to wander even further out into the frontier and take yet another smart risk and try one additional experiment? I hope so. You may not yet be fully convinced of the value of these forays outside of your comfort zone, but I suspect you will ultimately be glad that you have chosen what’s interesting over what’s convenient. P.S. In the coming weeks, you could permanently expand your reservoir of courage.
Nov. 22-Dec. 21: A traditional astrologer might say that you Sagittarians typically spend less time at home than any other sign of the zodiac. Some of you folks even rebel against the idea that having a stable home is a health-giving essential. You may feel that you can’t be totally free unless you always have your next jaunt or journey planned, or unless you always have a home-away-from-home to escape to. I understand and appreciate these quirks about your tribe, but am also committed to coaxing you to boost your homebody quotient. Now would be a perfect time to do that. You’re more open than usual to the joy and power of cultivating a nurturing home.
Dec. 22-Jan. 19: The more crooked the path, the faster you’ll get to where you’re going. Every apparent detour will in fact be at least a semi-valuable shortcut. Any obstacle that seems to block your way will inspire you to get smarter and more resourceful, thereby activating lucky breaks that bring unexpected grace. So don’t waste even a minute cursing outbreaks of inconvenience, my dear, because those outbreaks will ultimately save you time and make life easier. (P.S.: During the coming weeks, conventional wisdom will be even more irrelevant than it usually is.)
Jan. 20-Feb. 18: When I was a young adult, I was unskilled and indigent. Many restaurants exploited my feeble prowess at washing pots and pans and dishes, but the meager wage they paid me barely kept me fed and housed. You will perhaps understand why, now that I’m grown up, I am averse to cleaning pots and pans and dishes, including my own. That’s why I pay a helper to do that job. Is there an equivalent theme in your own life? An onerous task or grueling responsibility that oppressed you or still oppresses you? Now is a good time to find a way to declare your independence from it.
Feb. 19-March 20: I suspect your fantasy life will be especially potent in the coming weeks. Your imagination will have an enhanced power to generate visions that could eventually manifest as actual events and situations. On the one hand, that could be dicey, because you can’t afford to over-indulge in fearful speculations and worried agitation. On the other hand, that could be dramatically empowering, because your good new ideas and budding dreams may start generating practical possibilities rather quickly.