from the stars for the week of Aug. 17…
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
It’s time to play a game called Do-It-Yourself Horoscope! Here’s how it works: I provide a skeleton outline of your fortune, and you fill in the blanks. This exercise is designed to boost your self-reliance and compel you to seek answers more aggressively from your inner teacher ‘— skills that are especially important for you to develop right now. Ready? Weave the following threads together to create your oracle. 1) The magic toy is within reach. (2) Sexy heresies are risky and wise. (3) It’s good to take liberties as long as you do so with gentle sensitivity. (4) Are you smart enough to be pregnant with well-earned hope? (5) A funky asset is 18 percent larger than normal. (6) The sinewy, supple, serpentine approach will require all your concentration and provide all you need.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Born under the sign of the Bull, my friend Sarah is a stupendously creative person. Her flow of fertile intuition never seems to stop. She attributes this blessing, which is also a bit of a curse, to her relationship with an imaginary friend she calls Eliza. ‘“Eliza is mostly my mysterious and helpful muse, but sometimes she fills me up with too much good stuff,’” she says. ‘“She can give me so many insights, ideas and inspirations that I feel like I’m going to explode.’” In the coming week, Taurus, I suspect your experience will resemble Sarah’s. Would you like to know the best way to ensure the abundance doesn’t turn into excess? Make room in your life for a flood of invigorating changes.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
Wheat is an essential part of your diet, but you’ve probably never harvested wheat plants in their raw state and prepared them by hand for eating. If you did, you’d begin by using a scythe to cut down the tall stalks in the field. Then you’d beat them with a flail, separating the heads of wheat from the straw. Next you’d remove the fibrous outer husk that surrounds each kernel of wheat. Finally, you’d grind the kernels in a mill, turning them into flour. I highly recommend that you actually do this or something similar in the coming week, Gemini. Focus on some precious form of sustenance that you take for granted (either metaphorical or literal), and give yourself firsthand experience of everything it goes through to get from its source to you.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
The wisdom I’m about to offer is always useful, but especially right now. Please take it to heart as you wrestle with the tricky opportunities that are becoming available. ‘“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words,’” wrote Philip K. Dick in his essay, ‘“How to Build A Universe That Won’t Fall Apart in Two Days.’” ‘“If you can control the meaning of words,’” he continued, ‘“you can control the people who must use the words.’”
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
A company’s CEO is its chief executive officer, and the CFO is its chief financial officer. Even if you already serve in one of those roles, I’ll ask you to give yourself a different title for at least the next two weeks: CVO, or chief visionary officer. In fact, please become an excitable purveyor of thrillingly out-of-the-box ideas no matter what line of work you’re in, or even if you’re unemployed. It’s time for you to dream up possibilities that have been inconceivable until now. But also keep in the back of your mind this caveat, courtesy of business visionary Tom Grueskin. When asked by Fast Company, ‘“Can the imagination ever run too wild?’”, he replied, ‘“The imagination itself, no. What’s done with it, yes.’”
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
It’s actually not the darkest just before the dawn. The time when there is least light is about 2 a.m. Metaphorically speaking, you passed through that dense dimness about ten days ago, and are now muddling through a phase that’s equivalent to the hour right before the dawn. It may not be a cheerful romp through fantasyland, but neither will it be a scary tribulation in a dank nightmare. You’re almost home free, Virgo. Don’t you dare get superstitious on me now.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Have you heard of the term ‘“doughnut lies’”? They’re what happens when people create misleading impressions by leaving out important facts from the center of what they say. Be especially careful to avoid them in the coming week, Libra. Neither be victimized by them nor victimize anyone yourself. It has rarely been more important than it is right now to be devoted to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (P.S. But it’s fine to eat more than your usual quota of doughnuts.)
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
I couldn’t believe the show I saw on the cable channel Spike TV: ‘“Blind Date with a Crack Whore.’” Fred, a twenty-something stockbroker, got set up on a date with Propecia, a fortyish crack whore. I watched with horrified fascination as she rejected all his gentile attempts to create rapport, constantly turning the conversation back to where they could score some crack. I bring this to your attention, Scorpio, in hopes it will serve as a shining example of how not to proceed in the near future. You have in place everything you need to experience a week full of intensely meaningful adventures with allies who bring out the best in you. Therefore, don’t flirt with senseless, random distractions ‘— like blind dates with crack whores, for instance. And don’t do what I did, which is waste precious time entranced by stupid crap. Give every spare moment to capitalizing on the integrity-filled success that’s available.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
Just as today’s fundamentalists quote the Bible to rationalize their persecution of homosexuals, some 16th-century Christians used the good book to justify slavery. I predict that our descendants will look back with equally horrified amazement at both of these errors. And that thought is a good introduction to your assignment in the coming week, Sagittarius. What intolerant, ignorant, or hidebound beliefs do you hold that will be embarrassing to the Future You? It’s a perfect time, astrologically speaking, to divest yourself of them. (P.S. I don’t mean to imply you’re more narrow-minded than the rest of us; we all have short-sighted opinions we won’t be proud of when we’re older and wiser. It’s just that this is your special time to free yourself of yours.)
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
‘“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished,’” wrote novelist Louis L’Amour. ‘“Yet that will be the beginning.’” He could have been describing your life in the coming week, Capricorn. Just when you’re sure you’ve gone as far as you can go, worked as hard as you can work and exhausted all the possibilities, you will find the secret to a sweet, fresh gamble that will awaken your most brilliant innocence.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
While filming an underwater scene for her upcoming movie The Blue, actress Jessica Alba accidentally found herself in uncomfortable proximity to a shark. Rather than panic and flee, though, she thumped it on the nose, causing it to swim away. I nominate her to be your role model in the coming week, Aquarius. While I don’t expect you to have a literal encounter with a shark, I do expect you to have a brush with a metaphorical version of that creature. The best response will be a metaphorical version of a swift, simple jab delivered with matter-of-fact courage.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
In public restrooms everywhere, a new kind of sign has appeared in recent years. It says, ‘“Janitors will no longer remove graffiti from the walls.’” I urge you to find such a place in the coming week, Pisces, because it’s there, surrounded by a wealth of vulgar, cracked, and populist wisdom, that you will get the precise revelation you need to make the right decision; it’s there you will see the exact writing on the wall that cuts to the heart of your confusion and breaks open an epiphany. You might also stumble upon other useful information in equally shabby environments. For a limited time only, divine reminders will come in unexpected forms.