Week of January 23rd
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Actor Casey Affleck appreciates the nurturing power of his loved ones. "My family would be supportive," he says, "if I said I wanted to be a Martian, wear only banana skins, make love to ashtrays, and eat tree bark." I'd like to see you cultivate allies like that in the coming months, Aries. Even if you have never had them before, there's a good chance they will be available. For best results, tinker with your understanding of who your family might be. Redefine what "community" means to you.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Author John Koenig says we often regard emotions as positive or negative. Feeling respect is good, for example, while being wracked with jealousy is bad. But he favors a different standard for evaluating emotions: how intense they are. At one end of the spectrum, everything feels blank and blah, even the big things. "At the other end is wonder," he says, "in which everything feels alive, even the little things." Your right and proper goal right now, Taurus, is to strive for the latter kind: full-on intensity and maximum vitality. Luckily, the universe will be conspiring to help you achieve that goal
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): At her blog other-wordly.tumblr.com, Yee-Lum Mak defines the Swedish word resfeber this way: "the restless race of the traveler's heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together." You might be experiencing resfeber right now, Gemini. Even if you're not about to depart on a literal trip, I'm guessing you will soon start wandering out on a quest or adventure that will bring your heart and mind closer together. Paradoxically, your explorations will teach you a lot about being better grounded. Bon voyage!
CANCER (June 21-July 22): How does a monarch butterfly escape its chrysalis when it has finished gestating? Through tiny holes in the skin of the chrysalis, it takes big gulps of air and sends them directly into its digestive system, which expands forcefully. Voila! Its body gets so big it breaks free. When a chick is ready to emerge from inside its egg, it has to work harder than the butterfly. With its beak, it must peck thousands of times at the shell, stopping to rest along the way because the process is so demanding. According to my analysis, Cancerian, you're nearing the final stage before your metaphorical emergence from gestation. Are you more like the butterfly or chick?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "I'm not sure where to go from here. I need help." I encourage you to say those words out loud, Leo. Even if you're not sure you believe they're true, act as if they are. Why? Because I think it would be healthy for you to express uncertainty and ask for assistance. It would relieve you of the oppressive pressure to be a masterful problem-solver. It could free you from the unrealistic notion that you've got to figure everything out by yourself. And this would bring you, as if by magic, interesting offers and inquiries. In other words, if you confess your neediness, you will attract help. Some of it will be useless, but most of it will be useful.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Dogs have a superb sense of smell, much better than we humans. But ours isn't bad. We can detect certain odors that have been diluted to one part in five billion. For example, if you were standing next to two Olympic-sized swimming pools, and only one contained a few drops of the chemical ethyl mercaptan, you would know which one it was. I'm now calling on you to exercise that level of sensitivity, Virgo. There's a situation in the early stages of unfolding that would ultimately emanate a big stink if you allowed it to keep developing. There is a second unripe situation, on the other hand, that would eventually yield fragrant blooms. I advise you to either quash or escape from the first, even as you cultivate and treasure the second.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Whatever adventures may flow your way in the coming weeks, Libra, I hope you will appreciate them for what they are: unruly but basically benevolent; disruptive in ways that catalyze welcome transformations; a bit more exciting than you might like, but ultimately pretty fun. Can you thrive on the paradoxes? Can you delight in the unpredictability? I think so. When you look back at these plot twists two months from now, I bet you'll see them as entertaining storylines that enhance the myth of your hero's journey. You'll understand them as tricky gifts that have taught you valuable secrets about your soul's code.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Manufacturing a jelly bean is not a quick, slam-bam process. It's a five-step procedure that takes a week. Each seemingly uncomplicated piece of candy has to be built up layer by layer, with every layer needing time to fully mature. I'm wondering if maybe there's a metaphorically similar kind of work ahead for you, Scorpio. May I speculate? You will have to take your time, proceed carefully, and maintain a close attention to detail as you prepare a simple pleasure.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I understand the appeal of the f-word. It's guttural and expulsive. It's a perverse form of celebration that frees speakers from their inhibitions. But I'm here today to announce that its rebel cachet and vulgar power are extinct. It has decayed into a barren cliché. Its official death-from-oversaturation occurred with the release of the mainstream Hollywood blockbuster "The Wolf of Wall Street." Actors in the film spat out the rhymes-with-cluck word more than 500 times. I hereby nominate you Sagittarians to begin the quest for new ways to invoke rebellious irreverence. What interesting mischief and naughty wordplay might you perpetrate to escape your inhibitions, break taboos that need to be broken, and call other people on their BS and hypocrisy?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) has had a major impact on the development of ideas in the Western world. We can reasonably divide the history of philosophy into two eras: pre-Kantian and post-Kantian. And yet for his whole life, which lasted 79 years, this big thinker never traveled more than ten miles away from Konigsberg, the city where he was born. He followed a precise and methodical routine, attending to his work with meticulous detail. According to my analysis, you Capricorns could have a similar experience in the coming weeks. By sticking close to the tried-and-true rhythms that keep you grounded and healthy, you can generate influential wonders.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Aquarian author Georges Simenon (1903-1989) wrote more than 200 novels under his own name and 300 more under pseudonyms. On average, he finished a new book every 11 days. Half a billion copies of his books are in print. I'm sorry to report that I don't think you will ever be as prolific in your own chosen field as he was in his. However, your productivity could soar to a hefty fraction of Simenon-like levels in 2014 — if you're willing to work your ass off. Your luxuriant fruitfulness won't come as easily as his seemed to. But you should be overjoyed that you at least have the potential to be luxuriantly fruitful.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): When I'm older and wiser, maybe I'll understand the meaning of my life. When I'm older and wiser, maybe I'll gain some insight about why I'm so excited to be alive despite the fact that my destiny is so utterly mysterious. What about you, Pisces? What will be different for you when you're older and wiser? Now is an excellent time to ponder this riddle. Why? Because it's likely you will get a glimpse of the person you will have become when you are older and wiser — which will in turn intensify your motivation to become that person.
Homework: How could you change yourself in order to get more of the love you want? Go to FreeWillAstrology.com; click on "Email Rob".
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