CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
First Posted: 1/16/2013
Don’t gild the lily. In case you’re not familiar with that lovely phrase, it refers to unnecessarily adding ornamentation to something that’s already beautiful. To do so actually insults and detracts from the beauty that’s already there. True artistry is sometimes about knowing when to stop, when enough is enough. Unfortunately, the lily you’re almost guilty of gilding is a person, in this case, one who might actually be upset by your actions, which could be perceived as compensation for a flaw – in them. Bad idea. If you find someone beautiful, let them know, and leave it at that.
It’s a great week to blast the heat and invite all your friends (and your friends’ friends, and your friends’ friends’ friends) over for an underwear party. Ask your guests to shed clothing (and egos) and booze it up at your place. Remove outfits and useless attitudes and connection-blocking pretensions are likely to go with. It’s hard to act snooty while standing around the kitchen in bra and boxers. Most people would rather just relax and get into it. Whether you follow my specific suggestion or not, make it your goal this week to help people lose their shirts. They’ll thank you for it later.
Although it’s tempting when you experience a setback to let yourself lapse into total slobby oafishness, don’t. These days Mom isn’t around to catch the mildewy towels that are crawling around by themselves or clean up the plates of half-eaten food that have learned to speak their own names. If you must create new and bizarre forms of life, make them up yourself. That’s right – it’s your special privilege this week to channel your laziest, messiest impulses into throbbing inspiration. Don’t waste it by making an actual mess you’ll have to waste time cleaning up later.
At the Batu caves in Malaysia, devotees of the Hindu God of Strength, Lord Muruga, make pilgrimages every year to perform rituals during the holy festival of Thaipusam. Their devotion to the god supposedly makes them impervious to pain. For eight hours, they pierce cheeks, tongue, and other body parts, pull carts from hooks in their backs, or walk across hot coals. Whether the divine force (which also mysteriously keeps their wounds from bleeding) comes from a reclusive cave-dwelling deity or from their own faith-born inner strength is mostly irrelevant. Pray to whatever it is you believe in this week and you’re likely to have your prayers answered.
This week you might be tempted to set up an art gallery displaying every tool you have in your basement workroom or kitchen junk drawer. Why would you feel compelled to place screwdrivers and Allen wrenches on pedestals? Because seeing beauty in function is your specialty this week. Pure aestheticism is not for you right now: a sturdy pair of scissors, a warm knit cap, a cast iron frying pan – that’s where it’s at for you, beauty-wise. This week, throw out the things in your life that are merely pretty but basically useless, be they clothing, kitsch, or (somehow attractive) leeches in human form.
After escaping from their enslaved home planet, Exxor, Zan and Jayna developed the unlikely Teen Trouble Alert, a sort of telepathic connection to their target demographic. It would alert them whenever some 13-19 year-old was in danger. They and their comical blue monkey, Gleek, would creatively help these imperiled adolescents. It’s not often you get to identify with superheroes, but you should this week. Like them, you’ll have a keen sense about who might need help you can give. Don’t shirk your duty. Whether you’re acting alone or as part of a team, cry out, Wonder Twin powers, activate! and get to work.
I’m proud of myself. I haven’t learned to control my moods or suppress my ridiculous extremes. But I’ve learned from them, developed techniques for managing them and moving through them. I don’t think medicating an unpleasant emotion to death is always the answer. But I also can’t let my emotional swings jeopardize my fragile stability. So I compensate. I find something to hang onto as the feeling bowls me over. You should, too. It’s not in your best interest to ignore, deny, or squish the problems that are flooding your life, Mississippi-style. Just grab something that won’t wash away and wait for the overflow to drain out to sea.
You know what our problem is? We’re too talented. Because we’re good at so many things, we don’t specialize. For instance, I have no fewer than five projects going at the moment. I could give you the same advice I give myself: the shortest path to gratification, reward, and results is by choosing one thing and just plugging away at it until it’s done, then tackling the others. But I know you won’t take it, just as I don’t. Instead, you’ll probably prefer settling for the same consolation I pick for myself: someday a whole lot of people are really going to be impressed with you, but not this week. ‘Til then, keep the ball rolling.
God, I’m so in love, she croons. How can I keep myself from sabotaging my own happiness? Sound familiar? My answer, in three parts: (1.) Remember that everything changes, good and bad. (2.) Knowing about entropy and impermanence can help you live in the glorious moment instead of anticipating (and helping create) a dreaded future. (3.) Remember the inevitability of misery – even if this situation stays good, something will happen to make you unhappy at some point. Remembering that could help you really experience your current joy without fear or guilt – you’ve already paid your dues, and you’ll pay some more at some point, so there’s absolutely no reason to hold back on being ecstatic now. I’ll quote my favorite Thai advertisement as your mantra this week: Enjoy the enjoy.
Get out of the house! Now. Leaving your home shouldn’t be a process. You can’t prepare for every eventuality, so don’t try. This time, rush out empty-handed. Forget your sunblock or smokes. They won’t matter – you’re out to expand your territory (why you spent all autumn toughening your shell), not rehash familiar stories. Traveling light will aid your mission – you’ll be able to go further abroad, and when you inevitably butt heads treading on someone else’s home turf, you’ll have an easier time dancing around your opponent if you don’t have a suitcase-sized purse or pockets full of junk weighing you down.
Biomimicry is when we copy another creature’s adaptations for our own purposes. For instance, the inventors of Velcro imitated the cocklebur’s hooked barbs. I’d like to coin a new term: Astromimicry. Just imagine what you could accomplish if you decided to wear the patience of a Taurus, the sensitivity of a Pisces, or the wise pragmatism of a Virgo. Lately, you’ve let yourself feel too restricted by the fact that you’re a Scorpio. Astrology should only empower, not limit you. For instance, because you’re a Scorpio, you know your power to act boldly, but you shouldn’t feel obligated. Use what works. If being a wallflower will help you get what you want this week, by all means – blend in.
Can you imagine anything duller than being forced to sit still for hours and listen to someone else’s tedious problems? Definitely not your forte, yet it’s something that may be required of you this week. My tip: make Mopey buy you drinks, at least. It’s not easy for you to pretend to be sympathetic – you just don’t understand whining about one’s troubles instead of doing something about them. Drinking will make sympathy easier. Not everybody can be as action-oriented as you. But if you listen, cluck, and nod at the right times this week, you should be seeing more action than you can handle by next week. Bottoms up!
Jan. 16, 1985
Jan. 17, 1922
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