Beatrice di Folco Portinari was the principal inspiration for Dante Alighieri’s Vita Nuova. Painting by Rossetti.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Your anti-role model—the person you should be the opposite of — is the Scorpio warrior, U.S. General George Patton, also known as “Old Blood and Guts.” He once said, “Practically everyone but myself is a pusillanimous son of a bitch.” That’s an attitude you should especially avoid in the coming weeks, since your success will depend on you seeing the best in people—even if they sometimes don’t seem to warrant it. P.S. It may be okay to think of yourself as “Old Blood and Guts” if and only if you dedicate your ferocity to the service of smart love and ingenious collaboration. Happy birthday to Eamon, Ryan Cleary, Ben Jackson, Bryhanna Greenough and Sara Tilley.
Sagittarius (Nov 22 – December 21)
Congratulations, Sagittarius! Free Will Astrology’s Task Force on Creative Suffering has confirmed that your current dilemmas are exceptionally interesting and useful. You have demonstrated an impressive talent for getting embroiled in riddles that promise to bring out your dormant reserves of vitality and ingenuity. The dumfounding questions you’ve been wrestling with are high-caliber tests that have drawn you closer to the heart of the reasons you’re here on Earth. Take full advantage of this beautiful mess, my dear. Chaos this fertile is hard to come by.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
When Dante was nine years old, long before he became one of Italy’s supreme poets, he fell in love with Beatrice, an eight-year-old girl he met at a May Day party. They never had a close relationship. In the years after their initial encounter, they met infrequently, and both eventually married other people. But Beatrice played a crucial role throughout Dante’s life, although she died at the age of 24. She was not just his muse, but also his “beatitude, the destroyer of all vices and the queen of virtue, salvation.” Dante even wrote her into his Divine Comedy in the role of a guide. Is there any person or influence in your life equivalent to Beatrice? Any once-upon-a-time blessing that might be ready to give you the fullness of the gifts it has been waiting all this time to deliver?
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
I would love it if you could find a sword that could cut itself. Or a fire that could burn itself. Or some water you could wash. But even if you can conjure the magic to attract an experience that simply resembles one of those marvelous paradoxes, it would set in motion a series of epiphanies that would liberate you from an inferior paradox — a confusing absurdity that is not worthy of you and that has been draining your life force.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
The planets are aligned in such a way that suggests you may be able to experience an orgasm solely by meditating. This rare cosmic alignment also means that it’s conceivable you could generate money or attract new resources by following your holy bliss, or that you might stumble upon the tricky treasure you’ve been looking for in all the wrong places. But I can’t say for sure that you will actually be able to capitalize on any of these remarkable opportunities. It will depend on whether you can more fully express one of the skills that is your birthright as a Pisces: being wild and disciplined at the same time.
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
There was a time when wetlands were considered dismal and unproductive. At best they were thought to be a waste of space, and at worst stinky breeding grounds for insect pests. For over 200 years, many marshes, bogs, and swamps were filled with dirt and transformed into places suitable for farms, houses, and recreational areas. But all that has changed in the last 30 years. Science has rehabilitated the reputation of wetlands, showing how crucial they are. They clean toxins from water, help control floods and soil erosion, and are home to more biological diversity than any other ecosystem. The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to make a comparable conversion, Aries. Something you once demeaned or underestimated could become an inspirational catalyst.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
In the coming week, you will have the potential to articulate what has never been spoken before and to name truths that everyone has been avoiding. Uncoincidentally, you may also be able to hear what you’ve never been able to hear up until now and tune in to truths you’ve been oblivious to. As you might imagine, Taurus, you must fully activate both of these capacities in order for either to function at its best.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Nature’s rhythm is cyclical. Everything alive waxes and wanes. If you’re smart, you honor that flow by periodically letting parts of your world wither or go to sleep. If you’re not so smart, you set yourself up for needless pain by indulging in the delusion that you can enjoy uninterrupted growth. According to my reading of the astrological omens, Gemini, this is your time to explore the creative possibilities of ebbing and slackening. Ask yourself the following question, which I’ve borrowed from the Jungian author Clarissa Pinkola Estes: “What must I allow to die today in order to generate more life tomorrow?”
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Pregnant women sometimes have unusual cravings. From the fourth to sixth month of her daughter’s gestation period, for example, my friend Marta was on occasion beset by the longing to eat toothpaste. I’ve known other women who fantasized about nibbling on mud, coffee grounds, and chalk. Fortunately, they all resisted the urge, which is what health practitioners recommend. Instead they tried to figure out if their bodies were trying to tell them about some legitimate deficiency of vitamins or minerals. I offer this to you as a metaphor to keep in mind. As your own special creation ripens, you may experience odd desires. Don’t necessarily take them at face value.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
It might be tempting to turn your home into a womb-like sanctuary and explore the mysteries of doing absolutely nothing while clad in your pajamas. And frankly, this might be a good idea. After the risks you’ve taken to reach out to the other side, after the bridges you’ve built in the midst of the storms, after the skirmishes you’ve fought in the Gossip Wars, you have every right to retreat and get your homebody persona humming at a higher vibration. So I say: Be meticulously leisurely as you celebrate the deep pleasures of self-care.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
“Hey Rob: I was having trouble finishing my novel — typical writer’s block. So I sidetracked myself into making silly creative projects — papier-mache chickens, masks made out of junk mail, collages incorporating bottle caps and dryer lint. I can’t say any of it is ‘art,’ but I feel creative again and my house is full of colorful stuff I whipped up myself. If you wait to be perfect, I concluded, you’ll never make anything. I tried something I knew I’d be bad at, so failure didn’t matter. Now I’m branching out with my inadequacy — not waiting for Mr. Perfect but having a beer with Joe Flawed, forgetting to be right all the time, admitting that I haven’t a clue. I’ve become smilingly, brilliantly dumb. —Inappropriate Virgo.” Dear Inappropriate: Congrats! You’re doing exactly what I want to advise all Virgos everywhere to try.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
At a yard sale today, I paid a dollar for a stained, pocket-sized horoscope book with many of its pages missing. The reason I made such an odd investment is that it had a forecast for Libra for the first part of November 2009, and this forecast struck me as even more useful than the horoscope I had composed for you. As a public service, I’m providing it here. “The graceful dragonfly lives for just a few months. But a sequoia tree’s time on earth can last 2,000 years. In the same way, some bonds, some creations, some worlds, endure for a mere blink in eternity, while others are destined to outfox the ravages of time. What will be the lifespan of the dream you recently hatched, Libra? It is time to decide and take action.”
Homework: I invite you to launch a crusade to raise the level of well-being everywhere you go. Report results to FreeWillAstrology.com