Week of August 18

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. The 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."


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