Free Will Astrology, Week of February 9
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): I hope you have someone in your life to whom you can send the following love note, and if you don't, I trust you will locate that someone no later than August 1: "I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else." (This passage is borrowed from author Jonathan Safran Foer's book Everything Is Illuminated.)
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):"We assume that others show their love in the same way that we do," writes psychologist Amy Przeworski, "and if they don't follow that equation, we worry that the love is not there." I think you're on track to overcome this fundamental problem, Taurus. Your struggles with intimacy have made you wise enough to surrender your expectations about how others should show you their love. You're almost ready to let them give you their affection and demonstrate their care for you in ways that come natural to them. In fact, maybe you're ready RIGHT NOW.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'd like to bestow a blessing on you and your closest ally. My hope is that it will help you reduce the restlessness that on occasion undermines the dynamism of your relationship. Here's the benediction, inspired by a Robert Bly poem: As you sit or walk or lie next to each other, you share a mood of glad acceptance. You aren't itchy or fidgeting, wondering if there's something better to be or do. You don't wish you were talking about a different subject or feeling a different emotion or living in a different world. You are content to be exactly who you are, exactly where you are.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Want to infuse your romantic interludes with wilder moods now and then? Want to cultivate a kind of intimacy that taps deeper into your animal intelligence? If so, try acting out each other's dreams or drawing magic symbols on each other's bodies. Whisper funny secrets into each other's ears or wrestle like good-natured drunks on the living room floor. Howl like coyotes. Caw like crows. Purr like cheetahs. Sing boisterous songs and recite feral poetry to each other. Murmur this riff, adapted from Pablo Neruda: "Our love was born in the wind, in the night, in the earth. That's why the clay and the flower, the mud and the roots know our names."
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Is there any sense in which your closest alliance is a gift to the world? Does your relationship inspire anyone? Do the two of you serve as activators and energizers, igniting fires in the imaginations of those whose lives you touch? If not, find out why. And if you are tapping into those potentials, it's time to raise your impact to the next level. Together the two of you now have extra power to synergize your collaboration in such a way that it sends out ripples of benevolence everywhere you go.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The poet Rainer Marie Rilke said that people misunderstand the role of love. "They have made it into play and pleasure because they think that play and pleasure are more blissful than work," he wrote. "But there is nothing happier than work. And love, precisely because it is the supreme happiness, can be nothing other than work." I'm sharing this perspective with you for two reasons, Virgo. First, of all the signs in the zodiac, you're most likely to thrive on his approach. Second, you're in a phase of your astrological cycle when this capacity of yours is at a peak. Here's how Rilke finished his thought: "Lovers should act as if they had a great work to accomplish."
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): About 2,600 years ago, the Greek poet Sappho wrote the following declaration: "You make me hot." In the next ten days, I'd love for you to feel motivated to say or think that on a regular basis. In fact, I predict that you will. The astrological omens suggest you're in a phase when you are both more likely to be made hot and more likely to encounter phenomena that make you hot. Here are some other fragments from Sappho that might come in handy when you need to express your torrid feelings: 1. "This randy madness I joyfully proclaim." 2. "Eros makes me shiver again . . . Snake-sly, invincible." 3. "Desire has shaken my mind as wind in the mountain forests roars through trees." (Translations by Guy Davenport.)
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the TV science-fiction show Doctor Who, the title character lives in a time machine that is also a spaceship. It's called a Tardis. From the outside, it appears to be barely bigger than a phone booth. But once you venture inside, you find it's a spacious chateau with numerous rooms, including a greenhouse, library, observatory, swimming pool, and karaoke bar. This is an excellent metaphor for you, Scorpio. Anyone who wants your love or friendship must realize how much you resemble a Tardis. If they don't understand that you're far bigger on the inside than you seem on the outside, it's unlikely the two of you can have a productive relationship. This Valentine season, as a public service, make sure that everyone you're seriously involved with knows this fact.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Love and intimacy come in many forms. There are at least a billion different ways for you to be attracted to another person, and a trillion different ways to structure your relationship. Maybe your unique bond involves having sex, or maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's romantic or friendly or holy, or all three of those things. Do the two of you have something important to create together, or is your connection more about fueling each other's talents? Your task is to respect and revere the idiosyncratic ways you fit together, not force yourselves to conform to a prototype. To celebrate the Valentine season, I invite you and your closest ally to play around with these fun ideas.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Anais Nin wrote the following passage in her novel A Spy in the House of Love: "As other girls prayed for handsomeness in a lover, or for wealth, or for power, or for poetry, she had prayed fervently: let him be kind." I recommend that approach for you right now, Capricorn. A quest for tender, compassionate attention doesn't always have to be at the top of your list of needs, but I think it should be for now. You will derive a surprisingly potent alchemical boost from basking in kindness. It will catalyze a breakthrough that can't be unleashed in any other way. Ask for it!