Week of July 21

By Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Nitrogen comprises 80 percent of the Earth's atmosphere, but plants can't access it in its gaseous form. That's a problem, because plants need nitrogen to live. Luckily, there are five million lightning strikes on our planet every day. The fierce heat they generate compels nitrogen to blend with oxygen, thereby forming nitrous oxides, which are soluble in water and carried into the ground with the rain. There the plants drink up the nitrogen with ease. The moral of the story, Aries, is that without lightning, there'd be no plants, which means that you are utterly dependent on the lightning for your sustenance. In the coming weeks, you will receive abundant evidence of how much you need metaphorical kinds of lightning   as well.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "People who do not break things first will never learn to create anything," says a Tagalog proverb. I'd like you to remember that in the coming days, Taurus. It may be quite important for you to make mistakes. Your path to the next stage of mastery might even require you to take some detours into mediocrity. In fact, I bet that one of the keys you stumble on while you're off-track will eventually allow you to unlock a higher expression of your unique genius.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In his commencement address to Stanford's graduating class, Apple CEO Steve Jobs reminisced about the time, many years ago, when he was sacked by the company he started. "It turned out that getting fired was the best thing that could have happened to me," he said. "The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." In telling you this, Gemini, I am definitely not predicting that you will lose your job. My purpose is to encourage you to cultivate the frame of mind Jobs described. Here's another angle on the perspective I hope you'll make into your permanent modus operandi: "In times of change, learners inherit the earth," wrote Eric Hoffer, "while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Every now and then I go down to the booth at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk where you can find out how fast you throw a baseball. You hurl the ball as hard as you can, and a speed gun tells you your score. In all the years I've tested myself, I have never topped 65 miles per hour–until this week, when I posted an astounding 74 mph, which is 14 percent higher than ever before. I've been feeling lately that my strength and physical energy have been exceptional, and this was hard proof. The astrological omens suggest it's because those of us born under the sign of Cancer, like me, are currently enjoying a time of maximum vitality and rapid growth. Take advantage, my fellow Crabs.

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