Astrology, Jan. 25, 2024

For best results, Aquarius, be unnatural

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries author Dani Shapiro has published six novels, three bestselling memoirs, and a host of articles in major magazines. She co-founded a writer’s conference, teaches at top universities and does a regular podcast. We can conclude she is successful. Here’s her secret: She feels that summoning courage is more important than being confident. Taking bold action to accomplish what you want is more crucial than cultivating self-assurance. I propose that in the coming weeks, you apply her principles to your own ambitions.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Throughout history, there has never been a culture without religious, mythical, and supernatural beliefs. The vast majority of the world’s people have believed in magic and divinity. Does that mean it’s all true and real? Of course not. Nor does it mean that none of it is true and real. Ultra-rationalists who dismiss the spiritual life are possessed by hubris. Everything I’ve said here is a prelude to my oracle for you: Some of the events in the next three weeks will be the result of magic and divinity. Your homework is to discern which are and which aren’t.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Several wise people have assured me that the pursuit of wealth, power, popularity and happiness isn’t as important as the quest for meaningfulness. If you feel your life story is interesting, rich and full of purpose, you are successful. This will be a featured theme for you in the coming months, Gemini. If you have ever fantasized about your destiny resembling an ancient myth, a revered fairy tale, a thousand-page novel or an epic film, you will get your wish.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Life as we live it is unaccompanied by signposts,” wrote author Holly Hickler. I disagree with her assessment, especially in regard to your upcoming future. Although you may not encounter literal markers bearing information to guide you, you will encounter metaphorical signals that are clear and strong. Be alert for them, Cancerian. They might not match your expectations about what signposts should be, though, so expand your concepts of how they might appear.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I wrote a book called Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings. Among its main messages: There’s high value in cultivating an attitude that actively looks for the best in life and regards problems as potential opportunities. When I was working on the book, no one needed to hear this advice more than me. Even now, I still have a long way to go before mastering the outlook I call “crafty optimism.” I am still subject to dark thoughts and worried feelings, even though I know the majority of them are irrational or not based on the truth of what’s happening. In other words, I am earnestly trying to learn the very themes I have been called to teach. What’s the equivalent in your life, Leo? Now is an excellent time to upgrade your skill at expressing abilities and understandings you wish everyone had.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 1951, filmmaker Akira Kurosawa made a movie adapted from The Idiot, a novel by his favorite author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Kurosawa was not yet as famous and influential as we would later become. That’s why he agreed to his studio’s demand to cut 99 minutes from his original 265-minute version. But this turned out to be a bad idea. Viewers of the film had a hard time understanding the chopped-up story. Most of the critics’ reviews were negative. I bring this to your attention, Virgo, with two intentions: 1. I encourage you to do minor editing on your labor of love. 2 But don’t agree to anything like the extensive revisions that Kurosawa did.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I have selected a poem for you to tape on your refrigerator door for the next eight weeks. It’s by 13th-century Zen poet Wu–Men. He wrote: “Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, / a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. / If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.” My wish for you, Libra — which is also my prediction for you — is that you will have extra power to empty your mind of unnecessary things. More than ever, you will be acutely content to focus on the few essentials that appeal to your wild heart and tender soul.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Psychologist Carl Jung wrote, “Motherlove is one of the most moving and unforgettable memories of our lives, the mysterious root of all growth and change; the love that means homecoming, shelter and the long silence from which everything begins and in which everything ends.” To place yourself in rapt alignment with current cosmic rhythms, Scorpio, you will do whatever’s necessary to get a strong dose of the blessing Jung described. If your own mother isn’t available or is insufficient for this profound immersion, find other maternal sources. Borrow a wise woman elder or immerse yourself in Goddess worship. Be intensely intent on basking in a nurturing glow that welcomes you and loves you exactly as you are and makes you feel deeply at home in the world.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In a set of famous experiments, physiologist Ivan Pavlov taught dogs to have an automatic response to a particular stimulus. He rang a bell while providing the dogs with food they loved. After a while, the dogs began salivating with hunger simply when they heard the bell, even though no food was offered. Ever since, “Pavlov’s dogs” has been a phrase that refers to the ease with which animals’ instinctual natures can be conditioned. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Pavlov had used cats instead of dogs for his research. Would felines have submitted to such scientific shenanigans? I doubt it. These ruminations are my way of urging you to be more like a cat than a dog in the coming weeks. Resist efforts to train you, tame you or manipulate you into compliance.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Before poet Louise Glück published her first book, Firstborn, it was rejected by 28 publishers. When it finally emerged, she suffered from writer’s block. Her next book didn’t appear until eight years after the first one. Her third book arrived five years later, and her fourth required another five years. Slow going! But here’s the happy ending: By the time she died at age 80, she had published 21 books and won the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. By my astrological reckoning, you are now at a phase, in your own development, comparable to the time after Glück’s fourth book: well-primed, fully geared up and ready to make robust progress.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath,” wrote author F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’d like to expand that metaphor and apply it to you, Aquarius. I propose that your best thinking and decision-making in the coming weeks will be like swimming underwater while holding your breath. What I mean is that you’ll get the best results by doing what feels unnatural. You will get yourself in the right mood if you bravely go down below the surface and into the depths and feel your way around.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In honor of this pivotal time in your life story, I offer four pronouncements. 1. You can now be released from a history that has repeated itself too often. To expedite this happy shift, indulge in a big cry and laugh about how boring that repeated history has become. 2. You can finish paying off your karmic debt to someone you hurt. How? Change yourself to ensure you won’t ever act that way again. 3. You can better forgive those who wounded you if you forgive yourself for being vulnerable to them. 4. Every time you divest yourself of an illusion, you will clearly see how others’ illusions have been affecting you.