For a list of upcoming readings from Lambda Literary Award Finalist and Thom Gunn Award Finalist Michael Klein, click HERE.
By Jane Cassady:
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): To the Pisces who just received the first copies of her first full-length collection of poems: when you send out your review copies, may you get back a million Valentines worth of praise. You are generous and dear, and you deserve it.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Like the couple in the season finale of Portlandia, look for a little extra adventure, even if it comes in the form of pancakes. You will fall in love with yourself all over again.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): Dear Taurus I can’t stop writing to—I miss you. I wish I’d have met you a few months later, I’d’ve know what to do with you. But then, if I wouldn’t have met you, I wouldn’t have known what to learn. If you knew where to find it, you could read a whole list of really specific thanks. Gonna try to make this the last note to you, I promise.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “I’m carrying all of the love of an orchestra.” (Noah and the Whale) Whether you dream of writerly success or for a coop of urban chickens, consider yourself on the right path. Let all kinds of ridiculous love buoy you up and carry you forward.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Swear off whatever you’ve been meaning to swear off, and see if it helps. The stars recently gave up watching The Fashion Police because they are too mean to bodies, and the bodies in our house appreciate it.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): Be as specific with your wishes as this Leo’s request: “I am desiring a place of my own, one bedroom in NYC or University City, love with a man who is dark, tall, and has locs, enjoys working in the community maybe for low pay but he is dedicated and really loves it. Desires children but has none, considers himself more spiritual than religious (of the Christian persuasion), is open minded, liberal, honest, trustworthy and values family. I also desire to lose 20 lbs (lol) and have a child before 34.”
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): ”Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” (Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) Whatever scars you still wear, consider them gifts. Let them carry you forward out of heartbreak and into your next series of adventures. May your first dates be lightning-crack attraction or deep new friendships—dare I say, both!
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Please put Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” on your MP3 player and listen to it often to remind you of what’s stirring inside you. It’s something primal and deep and howly. The stars are sending you every blessing and wish in your quest for it, and please let us know how it’s going.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): To the Scorpio who requested a repeat of last week’s horoscope: It’s hard not to just tell people their true love is coming over and over, every week! Isn’t that why fortune-telling was invented? But the truth is, all kinds of love is coming your way, bounding toward you like a heard of puppies. Open your arms for them.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): You are a box of gourmet chocolates (curse Forest Gump for ruining chocolate box metaphors for everyone) and a beloved series on DVD. Feel free to consume both in one sitting. Enjoy.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Welcome to Spring Training. I’m not really sure what baseball players do there, but I imagine it has something to do with fundamentals. Practice your fundamentals. Play catch, run the bases, do a few hours of batting practice, any way you want to.
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): To my Aquarius friend who is twitterpated: keep making the very most of Spring. Take long daffodil-y walks, go on picnics with children, celebrate any art you want to. You’re doing great!!
By Jane Cassady:
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): You have a knack for telling your friends exactly what they need to hear in order to evolve, bits of wisdom like prizes in a video game. Ask them to do the same, and collect their bright answers like coins.
Aries (March 21-April 18): To the Aries who is going for the Don Draper Merit Badge for Sleeping With One’s Boss—sure, I like to picture this happening in full Mad Men regalia, but you are sooooo much better than him—all the oomph, but light years more humane.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): If there’s anyone in your past who ever underestimated you and made you feel like you are less than your hot, gorgeous self, mentally compose this email (mentally!) (Heading: Dear Jackass) “Sometimes I think about you and all of the fun you are missing.” Then go out and have some more fun. Ha!
Gemini (May 19-June 21): The stars are currently reading The Hunger Games trilogy—we’re right in the middle of Catching Fire and so are you! You are rising up like the districts, livid against wasteful oppressions, and I’m pretty sure you are going to win.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Let jealousy be your guide. Whatever someone else has that hurts your heart, write it out in deep detail, figure out exactly what it is and find a way to get a version of it that is just your own, at least for the time being.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): More projects are on the way, ones that catch your fancy and fill you with momentum. Carry your camera, your notebooks, your sketchbooks everywhere. Blog, write, email, and voice-record your notes. You may not know what you are building, but you are building.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “This is my body, I fuck with it.” (Nicole Homer) This week, your job is to write love letters to your body, which does so much for you. Find it lots of treats and rewards, untoward or otherwise.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): To the stars’ number one dance partner in the world—thank your for every minute of simple joy we can sneak in, for the omnipresent house music in our hearts, for the adorable smiles that go so well with our goth outfits. Let’s put some dancing on the calendar.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Your true love is coming, and it looks like this: someone shy but with enough moxie to get you two together. Someone who appreciates your secret naughty side and the fact that you think the walk of shame should be renamed. Someone to add to your collection of naked pictures, mental or actual.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): Practice following your instincts. Write down three questions and close your eyes. When you open them, you’ll know the answers.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): I’m drawing a blank for you, Capricorn! You must know exactly what to do without me telling you?
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): “When things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!” (Dr. Seuss)
By Jane Cassady:
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Don’t be afraid of the sunlight—plan little outings each day to acclimate yourself. Let the sparkle on the lake and snow get you bright and ready for spring.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Meditate on the first Cadbury egg of the season. Think about the way the chocolate melts into the fondant, the way the faux egg yolk represents all that is good and new. The orange flavored ones are pretty good too. Come to think of it, the stars kind of wish they came in raspberry.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): Keep making good thorough lists of everything you want. Add more little items every day. Include every schedule and nuance. Choose the first three things and then go get them.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): In a recent cutthroat family game of Apples to Apples, my niece decided that trees are more enormous than Mexico. That’s more reasonable than it seemed at the time. Anyway, the blessings you’ll get this week are as enormous and trees AND Mexico.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Last week on This American Life we learned that many wives, upon hearing the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome, become convinced that their husbands have it. Social cues are confusing to everyone, read a lot about spectrums and etiquette.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): Catch up on some introspection you’ve been meaning to get to. Examine and count all of your inner complications. Play solitaire, Tetris, or write some poetry. There’s a lot trying to come out. Google and listen to All The Good that Won’t Come Out by Rilo Kiley.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Sometimes you have to be lost in the woods. When this happens, please make sure you are more Bettie Page than Laura Palmer. Naked in the wilderness, yes, but in a happy way.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): My Libra brother-in-law practices parkour. I believe he goes to a class at the Y. I’m not telling you to jump all over stuff, unless you want to. Just take the longest distance between two points whenever you can.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): During the course of the nicest breakup ever, a pal of mine gave me back my pajamas with a thank you note, a lenticular Valentine of a parrot that says “You Raaawk!” Be as generous as he is, and count your successes accordingly.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): Stop and take a little inventory of the changes you’ve made so far this year. For every little step forward, give yourself a sticker or a ribbon, then wear them all on your shirt all the way ‘til the end of the day, like a kid would.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): All self-help activities should be approached the way that the stars like to do yoga: half-assed. Pick something they say is good for you—deep breathing or vegetables or staring deeply into people’s eyes, and just indulge a little. No need to go nuts about it.
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): A few weeks ago I set a couple of my friends up and it seems to be going well. Commit a similar act of creativity and conservation and enjoy the results, even if they’re not about you.
By Jane Cassady:
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “My mother was of the sky. My father was of the earth. And I am of the universe, and you know what it’s worth.” (The Beatles) If you happen to be lonely this week or just a little off, don’t worry. There’s probably a lake or a river nearby, some bright clouds to look at. Be sure and wear a warm hat, the stars do worry.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Last weekend, my wife and I went to see Portlandia Live! One of the things they showed us was a slide of a birthday card that Carrie had made for her mother when she was little. It was signed, “Your famous daughter, Carrie Brownstein.” This week, have a child’s amount of faith in yourself.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): The stars would like to thank every Jungian character who ever wandered into our life and helped us see our shadow selves. It is perfectly acceptable to fall in love with your very worst fears, as long as you remember to break up eventually.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): This week, take one negative belief about yourself and rewrite it as a compliment. If everybody says you’re too sensitive, call it perceptive. If they’ve called you flighty, thank your imagination. If you’ve heard before that you’re too emotional, hug yourself and call it sincere.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): The stars love those books wherein the author does something special for a year and then writes about it. Think of a year-long adventure for yourself, even if it’s just a small one. Record your efforts in writing, in mirror-fog, or on the tops of cakes. Celebrate everything you learn.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): At the beginning of the week, our beloved car was broken into, the passenger-side window was smashed and there was glass everywhere. My wife was heartbroken and I wanted to kill whoever did it, but I couldn’t help but be selfishly happy that she’d have to be home for the day. Don’t wait for things to get broken, though, just make a little time to stop.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Okay, so you live in your head a lot, Virgo, but it’s time to take your body on some adventures. That can mean sex, or nature walks, or learning new recipes, or some nifty combination of all three. Get lots of real treats.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): This week it’s time to bring some of your photographs into the physical realm. Print them out or order prints. Make a scrapbook, or bulletin board, or a wall of friends like teenage girls sometimes do. You’ll be amazed by the cheer of sudden company.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” (Semisonic) If you’ve had to let something go lately, don’t despair. It only means that something better, prettier, shinier is on its way. Don’t change a thing, just go ahead and start looking.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): “Hand down we like, we like what we like. Hands down we like, we love, we choose you. We got an eye, an eye for what’s romance. We’ve got our eyes, our eyes trained on you…We love the sound, the sound is what found us, sound is the blood between me and you.” (Wild Flag, Romance)
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Meditate on Carrie Brownstein’s voice this week. Listen to Sleater-Kinney and let it sandpaper out your insides, screech your soul clean. That reminds the stars, we need to get Wild Flag tickets.
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): To the Aquarius starting a new job this week: may the sun shine through the front window in welcome. May you get in many pleasant side-conversations with co-workers. May you never forget your morning coffee at home. Most importantly, may you still have time for parties.
By Jane Cassady:
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): Happy birthday to a favorite Aquarius poet, Hannah McDonald! May the coming year be filled with nerdy love, shiny things, sexy subtext, fancy gelato, and lots and lots of dancing.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): I asked a Pisces that I met at a snuggle party what he’d like from the stars this week, and he said “I’d like to find my community. Oh, and also a million dollars.” Well, I can promise you this—you’ll find whoever you need to find and you will certainly be a snuggle millionaire.
Aries (March 21-April 18): “I ask for what I want and I say no to what I don’t want.” (The Ethical Slut) This week, if something is a maybe, let it be a no for now. Practice your boundaries and take time to yourself whenever needed—there’ll be times later to smush everyone with big big hugs, I promise.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): The stars have been doing some, uh, research into the world of BDSM. The best thing we’ve learned about so far is “aftercare” wherein hurty activities are followed by comforting ones. Apply this practice to your everyday life whenever possible. I recommend pajamas, blankets, and anything with Zooey Deschanel in it.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Collect up all of the Valentines from earlier in the week and build something—a castle, a fort, a simple house of pink and red cards. It’s the symbol of your coming love year, so be thorough.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Find as many ways as possible to stop pretending.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): If you end up with a day off in the middle of the week, don’t spend it on practical things. Lounge around reading magic-themed young adult novels, snuggle with loved ones and cats, make soup that takes a long time and smells delicious.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Who doesn’t love a good bonobo story? A very nice Tantric practitioner recently told me that bonobo chimp groups have a “town crier”—one chimp who is designated to cry all the tears for everyone. You don’t always have to be that chimp, but it’s okay if you are sometimes.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): I’ve decided that I will wear pajamas to any place I can from no on. I just love pajamas so much. I also love how nice a brand new pair of socks feels. Do yourself as many cozy favors as possible this week, even if you’re not quite as ridiculous as the stars are.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “If we look at our lives, we will see clearly how many unimportant tasks, so-called “responsibilities,” accumulate and fill them up. One master compares them to “housekeeping in a dream.” (Soygal Rinpoche) This week, pick four things you think you have to do, and skip them.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): I spent some time in my friends’ former neighborhood the other day. It was fun, but it made me realize how much I’d been missing them since they’d moved away. Then a Valentine came from them the next day, with hand-drawn cartoons of them, speech bubbles saying how much they missed us too. Appreciate the miracle of time spent together, and maybe send a little note.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): I’ve been reading the Percy Jackson books, about the modern-day children of the Greek gods and goddesses. They’re pretty good but it burns me up that they keep characterizing Aphrodite’s children as vain and less powerful than the other heroes. This is just so much (vaguely sexist) bullshit. This week, build altars to the awe-inspiring powers of love and aesthetics. Stop at nothing.
By Jane Cassady:
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): As long as the weather stays mild, put a walk on the calendar with someone you sort of know. See what you can learn, how much can change each other.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Like everyone, you need to be liked, loved, and snuggled in lots of different ways. Send frilly Valentines to every valued member of the team, including pets. Maybe chocolates for the MVPs.
Aries (March 21-April 18): This Valentine’s Day, give yourself a reward for each of your love milestones this year—every couch you’ve slept on, every walk of the-opposite-of-shame, every movie watched while snuggling, every prolonged series of flirty texts. You’ve accomplished a lot, and this coming year will be even better.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): Look up Madeline Peyroux’s cover of Elliott Smith’s Between the Bars. Think about love, freedom, addiction, and potential. Get chills if you want to.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Your whole year is a Valentine, a never-ending stream of conversation hearts and ridiculous love songs and lavish hugs from children. Everything you do and make is so fruitful. Keep going, make everything.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Whether it’s you or your alter-ego, you’re sure to be glutted with unusual Valentines this year, in the form of pretty cakes or unexpected party-connections. Your whole life is festive and adorable, don’t forget it.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): Enjoy the days that are only naps, maps, and walks, when silence falls over you and yours like a welcome blessing, like the moon on water. Notice the shapes in everything and revel in your life’s design.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): See Pisces, but go ahead and spill out some pink champagne on the pavement for the missing team member(s). He/she/they are on their way, we promise.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): “And my checks have baby farm animals on them, bitch!” (Zooey Deschanel on The New Girl.) You are, as always, the perfect combination of adorable and fierce. Feel free to add ribbons to anything you want to.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): This week, you are a state champion racing turtle; persistent, wholehearted, and at just the right pace. You’re the best and soon, you’ll have the trophies to show for it.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): You’re quite a catch, Sagittarius, and soon, fate will submit to your every whim. Be sure to write a very specific list of everything you want from the Universe. You are sure to get it.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Listen to Close to Me by The Cure and think about what closeness really is: the smells and everyday mistakes of intimacy, the song-exchange of friendship, the warmth of breakfast. Get whichever parts of closeness you can.
By Jane Cassady:
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): “Any time will do.” (TV on the Radio) No matter how much your logistics change, your self and your calendar will remain intact. You will still have time for emphatic snuggles, parties, and many, many episodes of that sci fi series you like.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Whenever I ask people what they’d like the stars to predict for them, they almost always ask for a reduction of stress. I wish I could give each of them a hug, a cupcake, and some indulgent magazines, tuck them into a duvet and cover them in kittens. Do a little bit of that for yourself this week, and send me a picture.
Aries (March 21-April 18): I you think you’ve got to choose between love and rest, there’s no need. Invite a snuggle pal over, tuck yourselves into bed and turn on an episode of Radiolab. It’ll give you the most angelic sleep, and you can always go back and listen later.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): See Pisces.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): If you didn’t feel too inspired back when the year started, consider this another chance at a fresh start. Groundhog Day resolutions may seem inauspicious, but it’s never too late to try again. And again. And again.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): This week, write love letters to all of your favorite inanimate objects. Tell the toaster how accurately it warms your crusts. Tell the coffeemaker that you love waking up to its face. Tell the TV you’ll never forsake it, then maybe go outside.
Leo (July 24- Aug 23): This morning I found a helpful list of knots in my inbox: Somerville, Bowline, Alpine Butterfly, Square Knot, Half Hitch, Overhand Knot, Lark’s Head, and St Josephine. I’m passing this list on to you because I’m sure you’ll know what to do with it better than I do.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Though common sense advice will always point your heart towards openness, it’s okay if it’s taking you a while to get there. You have all the time in the world for aesthetically pleasing trust falls. Take a break and learn to trust yourself.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Congratulations! You have everything you need.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): I just wanted to tell you that a pal of mine built a model of Fallingwater out of Legos. This may inspire you meditate on nature, playfulness, and unity, or it might just be really neat.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): It’s tempting sometimes to catalog your mistakes, to weave them into a necklace, but don’t. Instead, please bless and thank every detour and see what miracles await.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Make a list of all your scattered friends and call them. Build shadowboxes out of the details of their lives that keep becoming new. Hang their memories in your kitchen for company, and spend some time in there making some soup.
By Jane Cassady:
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): Make some space for yourself at the margin of things. Shush the peanut gallery of your past, your fears, your self-doubt, and spell out events in your own formation, according to your own interpretation. We promise it will be worth it.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): On last week’s Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope felt very conflicted about the idea of running a negative campaign ad about her opponent for city council. Like Leslie, find a way to point out the flaws of the situation and still be adorable about it.
Aries (March 21-April 18): “Your heart is both drunk and a kid.” (Marshall Erikson on How I Met Your Mother) Trust your heart and its adorable recklessness. Let it do the equivalent of jumping off the porch roof wearing a towel tied around your neck for a cape. Sometimes hearts land safely.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): Even if you’ve written a list of everything you’ve learned, dressed every bruise and scar, begun every transformation, some things just aren’t about learning or transcendence. Let it stay in your bones until your body is done with it, don’t struggle to be free.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): On last week’s Portlandia, a couple’s attempts to throw a non-conventional wedding nearly tore them apart, yet somehow, the dividing up of their friends turned into a wedding ceremony/basketball game. Find a way to make conflict into something surprising and beautiful.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): According to Wikipedia, “Daylight harvesting is the term used in sustainable architecture and the building controls and active daylighting industries for a control system that reduces the use of artificial lighting in building interiors when natural daylight is available, in order to reduce energy consumption.” This week, please make the most of everything that’s given to you for free.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): “But I reserve a special sort of love—and, yes, it really is love—for my favorite appliance. Slow cooker, all would be lost without you.” (Kristin van Ogtrop) This weekend take time to celebrate this and every other warm thing that simmers.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Okay, so the stars have been watching a lot of TV this week. We are surprised to find ourselves riveted by Desperate Housewives: Brie van De Camp has gone rogue. When her church’s pastor caught wind that she’d been drinking and enjoying casual sex and sought her out at a bar to intervene, she told him “You don’t know me.” Find a similar way to tell false virtue to fuck off.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): This week the stars will find ourselves at two parties benefitting top surgeries. Believe in anything your friends are making themselves into, and pledge to help them get there, preferably if it involves drunken karaoke.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): In the movie/ Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Hercules Unchained, Hercules finds himself marooned on an…island, maybe? There, he is forced to drink the waters of forgetfulness and presumably get lucky with lots of nymphs. Take a break like that any time you can.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): “Jenna, you know how much I hate clubs and dance halls and odeons. They’re all malarkey.” (Liz Lemon on 30 Rock) Feel free to stay home as much as you like, but remember, it’s never too late for now.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Google the video of Neil Patrick Harris singing “Dream” On on Glee. Listen to it a whole bunch of times and believe it. Your dreams will come true if you just keep asking yourself, what would NPH do?
By Jane Cassady:
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): Last weekend, I found out that a friend of mine who seems quite mild-mannered has a great knack for tying people up. This week, make a point of discovering these hidden treasures, not just in others, but in yourself.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “It is always sad when the awesome people have their hearts compressed by heartbreak. It takes time, which sucks, but hey, at least it’s something we have in abundance. What if it took uranium to get over a heartbreak?” (Joseph Prisco) As time helps your griefs peel away, fill yourself up with as many beautiful experiences as you can. If you want, all of those experiences can be books.
Aries (March 21-April 18): When I was in the grocery store the other day, I saw the following tabloid headline: “Adele Finds Love.” All of your torch songs were well spent. What comes next is so much better.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): Some things defy cost-benefit analysis. Some memories are worth a little trauma. Some trust is always a little bit misspent. Trust yourself, Taurus. You know which risks are best to take.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Your life is a snow day. Enjoy the (metaphorical, maybe) kids being home and the video games aplenty. Read nice young adult novels and/or indulge in dumb romantic comedies. Pour yourself a little hot chocolate, and rest.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): You know enough for now. Give the learning curve a rest and take a nap on a nice plateau. All of the striving and struggle with be there when you decide to open your eyes again.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): On last week’s Portlandia, a nice couple put a fire pit in their backyard, only to have to extinguish it because it conjured up rollicking S&M fantasies. This week, you can risk those fantasies, or just admit that you’d rather hold hands.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “But it is wonderful to think that if one day all of us humans, regardless of race or creed, could lay down our differences and create a human chain by circling the globe and holding hands, we would all come down with exactly the same cold.” (Steve Martin) Your ability to collect connections is beautiful and quite worth any incidental sniffles.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): You are walking around with quite the bag of tricks.Think of ways to make space for them, to arrange them artfully. Find fun places to stand and wait and holler.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Ask for everything in the world this week. Apply for stuff, send letters to influential strangers, make long distance phone calls (even if there isn’t really such a thing any more) while you paint. See what surprise connections emerge and make the most of them.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): In Diablo Cody’s movie Young Adult, Charlize Theron’s character goes on a fool’s errand to correct the past by seducing her high school boyfriend, who is now married. You know better than to rewrite history, and you have no need to.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): In case you didn’t know, the stars have a part time job at the library. Yesterday we were doing a project on inventions and one student invented the Disguise Machine. She said you could simply step inside, press the button, and become whatever you want. That’s what it’s like for you this week, so choose wisely.
By Jane Cassady:
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Do something untoward this week. Talk too loud about secret things and get outraged when they shush you. Skip church in favor of erotic poetry readings. Think about that person you are not supposed to think about. Ask for more than you ever have before.
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): If this is your time to take a break, make the most of it. Spend whole Tuesdays writing letters to yourself. Catch up on beloved series. Hug your nearest and dearest a hundred million times or tell them (nicely) to go away and leave you in peace. This is your time now, take it.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): You have all of the moxie in the world this week. You are as brave as children. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, push them down and walk away. Enjoy the rest of the playground. I recommend the swings.
Aries (March 21-April 18): To the dear Aries headed off on a first date: may he be cuter than his profile picture, and say the same about you. May the conversation flow without questions or prompts. May it end with a blush, a giggle, a kiss. May the evening end optimistically and full of light.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): You are not stranded. Whatever limits you feel at the moment are temporary. You can Houdini yourself out of any unwanted or imagined shackles if you proceed optimistically. Make every kind and hopeful choice. Take whatever risks will get you to magic or escape velocity.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Stop putting it off. Whatever you’re lusting after, whether it’s time to read for pleasure or a nap in a treehouse by the beach, start moving toward it. You deserve every wish, as lovely as the talent in your perfect hands and heart.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Thank goodness Portlandia is back! In last week’s episode, Carrie realized that her old-camp-friend-turned–mixologist loves her based on the elaborateness of the cocktail he serves. She follows him to Southern California to give him a mixtape, and they find true love. That’s the kind of quest I want you to go on. Good luck.
Leo (July 24- Aug. 23): “Worry is NOT well-spent on things that are already making me happy.” (Olivia Conti) That shiny thing you were always looking for is with you, and for the moment, it always will be. Don’t fuss with the edges of it or dwell on differences, even if they seem too deep. What’s keeping it there is deeper.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “The way of love is not a subtle argument.” (Rumi) When the stars asked for requests this week, almost everyone asked for patience, but what you really need is faith. Whatever you are waiting for, it’s coming, and when it does, you will not have to talk it into anything. You won’t have to try so hard, just listen and know.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): The stars recently began poking around on the online community FetLife and aside from the possibility of making nice new friends with good imaginations, we like seeing our platonic friends in somewhat compromising positions. Take a risk like that this week, Libra, pretty and fun and vulnerable. We trust you’ll remember the safeword.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Call your latest adventure a success. Take any and all positive feedback to heart, and get ready. You have everything you need now, your dedication, your pretty eyes and soulful photographs, your steady heart and reliable texts. Follow it all through and get exactly what you need.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec 22): To the Sagittarius hoping to learn to be less hypocritical: Walt Whitman said “I contain multitudes,” and I find that that makes a good excuse for almost anything. Learn to love your contradictions, blush and apologize and move on from mistakes, and follow your own advice as often as possible, but not always.
By Jane Cassady:
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): It’s simple: walk away from anyone who doesn’t love you, or like you, exactly as you are. Stop trying to find the right pose, or line, or inflection of voice. Just get up and walk away, toward yourself.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): This is one of those weeks where the stars ask you to make lists. When you wake up tomorrow, write down everything you’re looking for, and don’t leave out any little detail. Then post it up around town like street art, and see what comes.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): The stars like to have many support groups, for every wish, fear, and deviation. Get several of those for yourself, and spill out every hope.
Aries (March 21-April 18): When I told my dad about some troubles I’d been having, he said, “Well, how long do you have to be sad for?” Hopefully not too long, but I am glad to give a little time to loss and learning, if it makes things better the next time around.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): To the Taurus who says he’s fallen into the trap of not writing because of love—just go with it. It’ll only last a little while (the not-writing) and when the words come back, they’ll have grown and burst and blossomed. We promise.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): The parties are over and you have finished the leftovers, every elaborate cookie. Now is the time to clear out everything, to return to eating finite amounts, to take long walks and think what the future might be.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): To the Cancer who sent the stars a Zen Cats calendar—it says “When we Look Deeply into the Other, we find Ourselves.” (Honshin) That seems like as good of a resolution as any. Let’s give it a whirl.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): You are a bed with flannel sheets, a flannel comforter, a cup of tea. You are my favorite pajamas, everything that I need to wake up fresh and new and clearheaded and beautiful. You are the best influence, thank you.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “And the memories of me will seem more like bad dreams, just a series of blurs, like I never occurred. Someday, you will, be loved.” (Death Cab for Cutie) Keep yourself still, make yourself listen, hold yourself to it—you know what you really want, and it’s coming.
Libra (Sept 24-Oct 21): This time of year, the light’s hard to find, but you’ve found it, streaming through the trees, through clouds of chimney smoke, off the ends of your pen and paintbrush. This is the year that you make it all, the year that you make it all new.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): I’m not sure if I’ve made it clear what a good job you’re doing, but you really do have some special skills. This week, prepare to be rewarded, then asked for more, then rewarded again.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): To the Sagittarius who is hermit-ing right now, recovering from hard times: darling, your pillows love you, and so does the duvet, your books, your video games, the forgiving blue light of the television. Wrap yourself in those loves, and the stars’ love, and feel better.
By Jane Cassady:
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): If possible, throw a penny in the fountain in front of Cezanne’s Large Bathers in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Make a wish about the way light hits things. Study the blues and darks and shimmers. If you are not in Philadelphia, any fountain will do.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): “Without deviation, progress is not possible.” (Frank Zappa) Study the little ways to change the path this year, Aquarius, and celebrate the ways in which your pretty deviations have already been so fruitful.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): This year will bring you almost everything you need if you do the following: Get lots of sleep. Take a long time to cook supper sometimes. Go on ridiculously long walks. Confide in ones who deserve it. Write things down.
Aries (March 21-April 18): To my dad, who is a standup comedian but also on a on a day-job hunt: everything is coming to you, jokes and money, free time and slots in famous lineups. Remember the time you fist-bumped Richard Lewis? It’ll be like that.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): “Hand in hand is the only way to land, always the right way round.” (The Cure, Love Cats) Should you find yourself next to someone who needs more trust-falls than resolutions, be sure to catch her.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “More Nellie, less Laura.” (Jean Gray, The Blame Game) It isn’t so much that you have to take up the habits of (as Alison Arngrim calls her character) a prairie bitch, but this year it’s okay to stick your little nose in the air at anyone who really deserves it, even if you’re a sweet little half-pint at heart.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, / Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; / Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, / In the bleak midwinter, long ago.” (Christina Rossetti) Inside you, it’s the opposite of that, so go ahead and make more warmth.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): May you spend the new year snuggling, watching and rewatching beloved series’, and listening to your wife complain just a little less. You will find the perfect job, use your perfect design skills, and hit the snooze alarm for snuggling more times than you can count.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “Give us the spirit of the child, who is not afraid to need; who is not afraid of love.” (Sara Moores Campbell) This year, you’ve made great strides in trust, so if you’re still nursing wounds from that risk, wear them proudly and then let them go.
Libra (Sept 24-Oct 21): “The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths.” (Bruce Nauman) I’ve lost count to how many times the stars have told you to paint, or make stuff in whatever way you like, but really, is there ever any better advice?
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): May the new year find you happy and snuggled on the couch, forgetting whatever has been or will be lost. At the moment, just go ahead and have everything.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): “Sometimes even frogs have rainy days.” (Kermit, Pictures in my Head) If you want to, you can indulge in a little bit of year-end melancholy, because so much happiness is coming for you in 2012, you won’t even know what to do with it.
The soundtrack to Leigh Binder’s How to Kill Harry (now available instantly from the SRP store for your brand-spanking-new Kindles, Nooks, iPads, Fires, hell, even your stone-age computer) reflects SRP’s first digital-exclusive novel perfectly. Raw and tender, odd and vulnerable, these are the hymns of Harry Fein:
- Rufus Wainwright “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”
- The Eels “Novocain for the Soul”
- Death Cab for Cutie “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”
- Johnny Cash “I’ve Been Everywhere”
- Liz Phair “Flower”
- Dr. Hook “I Call That True Love”
- Dandy Warhols “Godless”
- Patty Griffin “Forgiveness”
- OMC “How Bizarre”
- Lemonheads “Rudderless”
- Beck “Already Dead”
- Tom Petty “Running Down a Dream”
- Foo Fighters “MIA”
- The Jam “That’s Entertainment”
- Natalie Imbruglia “Identify”
By Jane Cassady:
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): You are a cookie-decorating contest. Awards will be given for “Jolliest,” “Best Wrapped,” and “Best Winter Wonderland Reenactment.” Decorate meticulously, get sticky and sugar-high, and win.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Yours is the biggest family I know. May your holiday be filled with friendly cooking, emphatic children, and dear, unlikely moments of privacy and peace.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “Don’t try to swim against the tide. You want to be there, and you’ve already done so much to get there… this is not where you are trying to land. Follow the stream. You will be great.” (Shanny Jean Maney)
Aries (March 21-April 18): You are a miracle and I love you. Who could ever say no to that face? Have fun talking pretty people into things that are complicated and fun. And remember, you are so much of the stars’ strength.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): To the Taurus librarian who made a request: yes, you are nearing escape velocity. This is where it all gets easier. Your children will have jobs and spouses that they/you love. Your table will be full of long-lasting light. (Confidential to a pal: you are my “Red Rider 200 shot carbine action range model air rifle with a compass and this thing that tells time built right into the stock.” Best present, thank you.)
Gemini (May 19-June 21): For the holidays, your family will be together. Children will ignore their toys to hug you. There will be exactly enough meatballs, and everyone will love their presents. Most importantly, though, you’ll be holding the right hand(s) and happy.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): To the Cancer who called me complaining that all of the Christmas decorations at home make him feel like he’s “living in a department store, and not a particularly expensive one.” The important thing is, like the Muppets, you and your beautiful wife are artists of both joy and melancholy. Thanks for giving them both their due. This voicemail is art in itself.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): Like the girl who was frozen in a vault on that planet where fish swim in the clouds on Doctor Who, you will have a perfect Christmas day. Unlike her, though, your days are not quite so numbered. Find a million little ways for joy and peace, and take them all.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “I wouldn’t even know where Destiny’s balls are.” (Henry, (Adam Scott) on Party Down.) I am confident that you will figure it out.
Libra (Sept 24-Oct 21): Mindy Kaling says that one of the titles she considered for her book was Sometimes You Just Have to Put on Lip Gloss and Pretend to Be Psyched. You’re already pretty psyched, but feel free to smile a little wider, to anticipate just a little more joy, to shine your beautiful eyes with hope.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): It gets dark early, yes, so you may be tempted towards unhelpful tangents about Frosty the Snowman as a metaphor for the finiteness of life. Instead, cuddle in, watch a movie or ten, and wait for the light to start coming back. It will!
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): “I do not know which to prefer, / The beauty of inflections / Or the beauty of innuendoes, / The blackbird whistling / Or just after.” (Wallace Stephens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird) Marvel at the in-betweens of things, and let the rest of it go.
By Jane Cassady:
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Dear mentor and friend, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated you. I hope the heat isn’t too bad where you live, and that you and the dogs are happy. Here, its time for editing, and for a little break from writing paragraphs about all the things I am not doing, at least for a little while.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Don’t be surprised if some old friends arrive at your holiday door with ridiculously-decorated cookies and Marcel the Shell’s new book. Here’s to a year of doing whatever Jenny Slate tells us to, to the oversize Christmas lights around your door, to the pretty woods you live in.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): If it shocks you sometimes what’s missing, write it all down, please—what you’ve traded in for the things you really needed, the new rooms in your house like in a dream, the adorable faces calling you “family,” and the warmth, oh, the warmth.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Find as many versions of “It’s Cold Outside” as you can. I like the She and Him version and of course the one from Glee—listen to them all through the day and night, until your life is a marathon of festive seduction.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Hit on the girl and/or boy you like at the company Christmas party—there’s something about tinsel, isn’t there, about colored lights warming boozy cheeks. Get a little (but not too) Mad Men about it, and don’t do anything the stars wouldn’t do.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): “Yeah, you really got me now. You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’. (The Kinks) Oh Taurus, just grab on tight to whatever distracting you. When you do, everyone will be grateful, and cheerful, and spent, purring with something like grace.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): To my sister, posting the Christmas Picture of the Day every day this month-what would we do without you to document us, and open you home to us, and let us watch a million hours of Big Bang Theory on your couch. Gemini, you are the kindest and best.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): On the most recent season of Bored to Death, the fictional version of Jonathan Ames went on a quest for his biological father and it went horribly awry. Your quest isn’t like that. Whatever you’re looking for, it’ll find you, and it’ll open you like flowers.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): Though we may in fact be too old for poetry shows in unheated artists’ studios, you make the best of it—drink hot chocolate, snuggle under a blanket, get a little warmth onstage. Soon enough, you’ll be home and warm, watching long spates of sitcoms.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “More than a mere weariness, it implies the feeling of having been used, of being raw. It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and, ultimately, of soul; a feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness. In short, it means being undramatically pushed up against the wall of oneself.” (John Clellon Holmes)
Libra (Sept 24-Oct 21): “Charlie Brown is a blockhead, but he did get a pretty nice tree!” (Lucy Van Pelt in A Charlie Brown Christmas) Whatever modest thing you and your friends can find, wrap a blanket around it, dress it up nice, and sing around it. You’ll always know how to make a whole lot from a little.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Relax. Anyone near you is lucky to have you near, you don’t have to worry. Take a look at your beautiful face in the mirror. Think of some wishes that you would like granted, and the stars will do their very best.
In mere weeks, How to Kill Harry by Leigh Binder becomes the first novel and the first digital-exclusive, full-length eBook published by Sibling Rivalry Press. Recently, SRP Publisher Bryan Borland and Binder traded emails and discussed the release of the book, the novel’s appeal, and the transition from print to digital.
Bryan Borland: Well, well, well. If it isn’t Mr. Leigh Binder. I thought I smelled cigarettes and waning testosterone. Ya know, I realize I have no idea how to pronounce your name. Is it Leigh B-eye-der? As in, “I have dozens of love poems written about a certain, sexy publisher from Arkansas organized by date and kept in my three-ring binder.” Or is it “Ben-der.” As in, “I’ve been clean and sober for nearly ten minutes. I need to go on a bender.”
Leigh Binder: Yes, the troubling name thing. It’s Binder as in binding contract, as in all the very embarrassing things you make me do for your amusement, the stuff in small print I didn’t bother to look at. The first name is Leigh as in “Drop off the key Lee and set yourself free.” Something my wife says quite often when I start to whine.
And really B, there’s only one dozen poems about your sexy legs. It’s sad really, because of my heretofore-mentioned “waning testosterone,” my wife is thinking of trading me in for, coincidently, one dozen eBooks.
BB: Glad to finally know how to say your name! After all, I’ve “known” you quite a while, electronically speaking. We were both part of a pretty close-nit group of poets and writers who supported each other’s work through the blogosphere in 2008 and 2009, a time in which the publishing industry really frowned on the concept of posting one’s work on a personal website. I never bought into that idea and found that sharing my work online did a couple of things. It kept me writing regularly and gave me confidence in my identity and ability as a writer. We both still post new and unpublished work on occasion. Can you describe your experience as a writer who blogs? Has blogging your work impacted your writing and your career as a writer?
LB: Before I dared to venture into cyber-space, I used to carry all these notebooks around. It was ridiculous, something Kerouac did, so I figured I should do it too! I remember moving into my Seattle pad; not a stitch of furniture but all these god damn notebooks filled with several thousand poems from over twenty years, rejection letters and scribblings from the ludicrous question machine aka my mind. A lot of it was written in longhand or on a typewriter, before computers, let alone blogs. Man, the notebooks were lined up against the walls and accounted for what I considered my life. It was a seriously fucked-up moment. “Now, I realize” he says! Seriously, if you’re not careful, a writer’s life can become totally pathetic.
THEN ONE DAY BLOGGING COMETH… It was perfect! All your shit contained, backed up, dated, copy-written (in theory, anyway), all sorts of cool categories and ways to get your stuff out to the world so people could read it? I was in heaven.
The coolest part was how I ended up meeting all these great writers, yourself included (No, it wasn’t in my contract to say that), all doing the same thing I was doing. Hey don’t get me wrong, I was discerning. I was way too busy to sit around and read some of the stuff considered “good” writing by political pundits and apologists. The writers I tuned into were raw and unapologetic, shameless in the blatant exposure of their souls. You and your crowd B, that’s where I found awesome words being put down and relentlessly put up for scrutinizing. I scanned, typed, edited, posted, pasted and made ready for ejaculation into cyber-space, 1500 posts in two years. Sometimes I’d put out two or three poems or flash fiction a day. That became four books in a single year. It was an adventure in self-expression I didn’t think possible.
But blogs are more than posting and commenting. To the writer who has to get it out, will die if they aren’t pounding the keyboard, who don’t give a fuck whether someone reads their stuff because some things have to be addressed regardless of outcome, you know what I mean, you’ve been there; to those writers like myself, having a blog was the answer to every question back then.
BB: So, your lovely better half, Julie, wants to trade you in for a dozen eBooks. Technically, you’d still be in her life if she made the swap, considering SRP is re-issuing your 2010 novel, How to Kill Harry, as its first digital-exclusive novel. Why did you allow Harry, which you originally self-published and refer to as your child, to be reincarnated in this manner?
LB: There are two answers to your question. The first being, I’m a bad parent. I created my boy Harry, and said, “Okay kid, you’re on your own!” Sure, I sent off manuscripts to the big publishing houses but became impatient and self-published with good results. It’s funny; I never received more glowing rejection letters than from HTKH. They loved my writing style, but there was always something that bugged them; mostly content. Let’s face it, there’s death on every page of that book. Death isn’t exactly a subject traditional publishers like force fed to them by an unknown.
On the second part of your question, I believe in Harry’s story and the philosophy behind it. When you get past the murder, mayhem and abuse, you’re still left with questions about why you feel the way you do about tragedy; which was my intent. Being a huge Albert Camus fan (nobody made smoking look cooler!) I decided to write the second half of the book in the theater of the absurd to take the edge off. It’s been my experience we can never see past the questions we don’t fully understand. I needed to explore death. Then I needed to share my findings because I’m a writer, and then move on with life.
SRP has graciously allowed Harry to still ask the question… why? The format isn’t all that important really, so it was an easy decision when you presented the opportunity.
BB: You will always have the distinction of being the first novel published by SRP. But you hold another distinction. You’re the first straight man to be published by SRP. I mean, you’re not even a little bit gay (though you have complimented my legs to increase your royalty percentage). Why should SRP’s big gay following read a book by Leigh Binder?
LB: I love firsts, they’re so…virgin-esque. Ya know B, everyone dies. HTKH is a book that explores the possibility that life is defined by death. It brings to light how we move through those feelings of tragedy and loss and how it defines us.
Is life/death meaningless? It is to the dead. The living are left to wonder; some with guilt, some with fear, some with a sense of adventure. Yet like it or not, we all must deal with it at some point. Nothing is proven; everything is based on conjecture or faith. What do we do with that? What happens when faith is no longer enough? Sadly, Harry inherited the sins of the father and was forced to the gutter of existence, the place you meet your angels and demons at the same time, the place you truly understand that when it comes to death, you’re fucked so it might be smart to get some understanding.
The book was dedicated to “Anybody who ever needed a ride.” By that I meant, anyone with enough courage to consider taking a ride past daily (safe) routine and into the infinite unknown via seedy back streets and alleys, the place where the real outlaws and misfits live. A place I like to think SRP has built a home, or maybe in my case… a midnight mission.
From my POV that’s a lot of folks who should add How to Kill Harry to their cart. But then that’s just my biased opinion.
BB: Mr. Binder, when Hollywood comes calling (and makes us both rich by offering you a movie deal), who should land the lead role of Harry Fein?
LB: Harry in Hollywood??? Ha! That’s easy… Adrien Brody. I just want to hang outside his set trailer in my Rocky Balboa sweats and yell, “Aaaaadrieennnnn!!!”
BB: You’re insane. But I dig it. This might be a good time to tell you I’ve decided to release your book on Christmas Day rather than the contractually specified January 1, 2012.
LB: Really, Christmas Day? You know I’m Jewish, right?
BB: Ha. I think it’s perfectly appropriate to give them Mr. Leigh Binder for Christmas, all wrapped up with a red bow. After all, you’re part of SRP now. It’s all about pleasing the reader. And speaking of being part of SRP, please close this interview the way you’re contractually-obligated to close every interview…
LB: (Exactly how it reads in my contract) Bryan Borland is a sweltering, well-endowed steamroller of lust and passion. Also, Levi Johnson, if you are reading this, you are to immediately report to the Sibling Rivalry Press offices.
BB: Thanks, Binder. But next time, I expect you to have that last part memorized. It’s in your contract.
GET HOW TO KILL HARRY ON CHRISTMAS DAY FROM SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS
By Jane Cassady:
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Happy belated birthday to one of the stars’ favorite people in the world, Lori McGinn! Your coming year will be filled with daffodils, Lost episodes on demand, children’s craft projects, grace, and lots of family snuggling. You deserve to be a hug millionaire, don’t forget it.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): You are as beautiful and risky as camping on a second date—take this opportunity for very fresh air, hiking, and a warm-front acquaintance despite the cold.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Sometimes I mix up statistics class with OK Cupid, and this is a good thing. Write as many notes to as many cute faces as you can possibly stand to, and it’s probable that your dance card will overwhelm you.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Conduct an interview with yourself ten years ago, or maybe even twenty. See what risks you would’ve taken, what scandalous demands you would have made without thinking, what staircases you would have feverishly disrobed on. Be just a little more like that person.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Take this time to embroider all of the progress you’ve made onto merit badges. Sew every snuggle, poem, and promotion, and wear it all like a proud sash. More is coming, and soon, so you’d better be ready.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): I gave up online Scrabble because of a bad conversation there, but a Taurus pal sensibly told me that I shouldn’t blame Scrabble for this, and says I should take it up again. Think of everything you’ve neglected because of grief and consider taking them all back.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Every year, on the night that we put up the Christmas tree, I make eggnog bread pudding for my wife and me to eat in front of sitcoms before tackling the untangling of lights. Add several made-up traditions to your repertoire, the more decadent, the better.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): You are of course ending the year with more milestones and accomplishments than ever before—years are like that. Cut out ten paper snowflakes for every new thing you are proud of, and string them up on every mirror.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): You are like a craft workshop at the nature center—wholesome, happy, pure, and prone to collecting leaves for their design qualities. Wrap it all up into a wreath and hang it on the door. I promise that no one will steal it.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): I learned from last week’s “Poly for the Holidays” episode of Polyamory Weekly that hosting a dinner can be a way of expressing one’s submissive side. I never though of it quite that way, but this week, feel free to be of service in any way you see fit, especially if it involves elaborate desserts.
Libra (Sept 24-Oct 21): On this year’s Christmas episode of How I Met Your Mother, ACDC and an elaborate light display came into play in cheering up a friend. To your friends, you are that many lights and that much very emphatic music.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Like those teenagers making out in the car in Manos: The Hands of Fate, you just can’t seem to stop kissing. Good for you! Don’t let anything stop you.
By Jane Cassady:
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): For those of us who fall towards the middle of the Muppet/human spectrum, asking ourselves “Am I a man, or a Muppet?” can be kind of tricky. This week, be adorably grateful for all the things at which you are in-between.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): And speaking of in-between, courtesy of my wife’s Scrabble dictionary, I present to you the word ambivert, which means a person who is both an introvert and an extrovert. This week, take time to be a social butterfly, yes, but also time to cocoon. (Even though, sorry, cocoons are mainly for moths.)
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): This week, catch up on girl talk, the activity, and Girl Talk, the dude who makes excellent mashups out of pop songs. On a related note, raveling and unraveling have the same definition.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “I think Marcel the Shell is my patronus.”(Shanny Jean Maney) You couldn’t be more right. You sleep eight to a muffin, worry over loved ones who’ve floated away, and like to smile “because it’s worth it.” We adore you for all of these qualities and so many more.
Aries (March 21-April 18): This week, your advice comes from megacute Jenny Slate: “For some, having a thick skin means preparing for the worst—arming yourself for a huge battle. But that notion allows negativity to define you. Rather, I work to maintain an unwaveringly extra-positive self-image. Even when my contract wasn’t renewed on Saturday Night Live last year, I remained 100-percent confident in my abilities. One decision on someone else’s part, whether they’re affirming or rejecting you, is ultimately minor. You are your constant, and your opinion of yourself is what matters most.”
Taurus (April 19-May 18): “You’re telling me it’s in the trees, in the trees. It’s not, it’s inside me. You’re telling me it’s on the ground, all around. It’s not, it’s inside me. You’re telling me it’s in disguise, well use your eyes–it’s not, it’s inside me.” (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Grey Cell Green) Now would be a good time to stay put, to go ahead and have what you’ve been looking for.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “You’ve got everything that you need, right in front of you.” (The Muppets) Singing along to the new Muppet Movie soundtrack with my sister and niece on the way back from day-after-Thanksgiving shopping was one of the happiest things of ever. Be prepared for a month filled with moments exactly as adorable as that.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): This week, thank and snuggle all of you learning curves. My friend Andrea says that a butterfly has to fight to get out of its chrysalis, because that’s how it builds up strength in its wings. If it doesn’t struggle enough, it won’t be able to fly. This makes me feel better about my statistics homework, among other things.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles… and that’s a theory. Nine hundred years and I’ve never seen one yet, but this will do me.” (Doctor Who)
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “Gonna walk right up to him, give him a great big kiss, MWAH!” (The Shangri-Las) Lately, forces have been conspiring against your tendency to overthink things. Just let them.
Libra (Sept 24-Oct 21): Don’t forget how much you like to sit and make art. Put on some nice music and get out your paints. Spend an afternoon just on colors and yourself.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): This is a week to make optimistic purchases including, but not limited to, lots of new makeout music. The stars would like to suggest A Very She and Him Christmas for those who are holiday-minded, and anything by The Shins for those who are not.
By Jane Cassady:
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): I recently went to a performance at the Circus School near my house, and it inspired me to tell you this: meditate on hoops, and silks, and ropes, balance, foolproof costumes, and funny magic tricks. Also, as always, sequins.
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): It’s the end of the semester and everything’s up in the air. Plow through your homework so that you can get on with the festivities, the toasts, the walks around downtown under the snowflake lights.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): “Lose your mind, lose it now, lose your clothes in the crowd. We’re delirious; tear it down, ‘til the sun comes around.” (Ke$ha, Take It Off) It’s time to listen less to your inner Hermione Granger and more to your inner Ke$ha. Put a dance night on the calendar with your cutest and silliest friends.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Rewatch the movies of your early twenties. It’ll be like a reunion of everyone you’ve ever snuggled with. Involve piles of blankets and lots of tea.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Thanks once again for lending the stars your swagger. If we’re feeling shy, we always ask ourselves what you would do and end up blushing and happily indulged. We really can’t thank you enough.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): It’s time to send everyone lots of presents, even if they’re metaphorical, all tied up in pretty ribbons. The rewards will be many, and warm, and frosted. Probably with sprinkles.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Every year, my sister and I wake up early the day after Thanksgiving and start our Christmas shopping. It’s much more relaxing than people think it is. You can go to the store in your pajamas, get an eggnog latte, bring home the big, fat holiday Real Simple, then snooze/eat pie.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Count the things you are grateful for, yes, but also think of all the many people who are grateful to you. Nod them a “You’re welcome” or write them long, informative letters.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): “I’ll love you for my whole life through. I can’t stand to see you sad. I can’t bear to hear you cry. If you can’t tell me what you need, all I can do is wonder why.” (Marshall Crenshaw, Someday, Someway) Tell the universe every little thing you need, and it’ll do its best to get it to you.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): See: Aquarius.
Libra (Sept 24-Oct 21): Don’t forget that the stars take requests, dear, and I like this request to much, I’m going to quote it directly: “Just a reminder that I have to stop putting myself down and holding myself back. Also, that a positive and loving heart is a powerful thing.” Thanks for writing Libra, pal.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): This week, you are as reliable as The Beatles on shuffle—think of how few of those songs are actually unlistenable—only two or three. Pretty good probability.