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Aries Leo Sagittarius
Taurus Virgo Capricorn
Gemini Libra Aquarius
Cancer Scorpio Pisces
Horoscopes for week of February 1, 2001

Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
Snow rarely falls where I live, north
of San Francisco Bay, but on winter nights the temperatures
often gets down to freezing. Yet that doesn't stop renegade
roses from popping out in January and February. Today, a
single, huge, yellow goddess-yoni of a blossom is exploding from
a high stem in my backyard. It's the only vibrant color in sight.
Every other flowering plant is dormant. The scene reminds me
of you, my dear: blooming, as you are, in the midst of an
environment that outwardly seems inhospitable.

  Verticle Oracle card Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Be more like a wild horse and less
like a golden retriever; more like a mysterious game with no
time limit and less like a puzzle with several pieces missing;
more like a song by P.J. Harvey and less like a movie by Ron
Howard. Can you handle all of that, Taurus? For extra credit,
try these tricks, too. Be more like a secret garden and less like
a six-lane highway. Trust more in provocative information you
don't fully understand, and speak less about the obvious facts
you know all too well. Become more of the person your parents
didn't want you to become and less of the person you fear you'll

  Verticle Oracle card Gemini (May 21-June 20)
One of the perks you enjoy from
communing with this column is that I provide inside information
about the gods' moods. This week, for instance, I've discovered
that Saturn (a.k.a. Father Time) is inclined to grant you quite a
few extra hours of free time, but only on the condition that you
don't waste it on trivial diversions. So be diligent about feeding
your soul's need for fascinating freedom, Gemini. I'll bet that if
you show Saturn how wisely you use his boon, he'll offer more
of these dispensations in the future. Would you be willing to
schedule your leisure time activities with the same discipline
you do your work hours?

  Verticle Oracle card Cancer (June 21-July 22)
In January of 1978, I produced my
first horoscope article for the Good Times, a newspaper in
Santa Cruz, CA. In the ensuing 23 years, I've created 1196
consecutive weekly columns, never once missing a deadline.
How've I managed to be so tenacious? I mean besides the fact
that I was born under the sign of Cancer, which is renowned for
its perseverance? I think it's because I've been passionate
about continually reinventing my approach to both astrology
and writing. I've always vowed that I'll do whatever it takes to
make sure the work is fun and interesting. As you consider
committing yourself to a certain long-term involvement in the
coming weeks, my fellow Crab, think about borrowing my

  Verticle Oracle card Leo (July 23-August 22)
Hundreds of images were considered for
use as metaphors in your horoscope this week. Finalists
included refugees crossing a border as they return home, two
hands at first wrestling but then joining in a handshake, Britney
Spears slow-dancing with Eminem on the deck of an aircraft
carrier as hundreds of doves fly overhead, and a teenage
Palestinian boy and teenage Israeli girl making out in the back of
a BMW with a bumper sticker that reads "Visualize Whirled
Peas." In the end, only one image was absolutely perfect for
you, Leo: a plastic jar of white glue at the center of a
flower-bedecked shrine in the wilderness.

  Verticle Oracle card Virgo (August 23-September 22)
If you had been alive 500 years ago,
you probably would not have even known of the existence of
coffee or petroleum. Today, of course, they're among the most
precious fuels animating the lives of almost everyone you know.
I predict that you will soon experience an analogous
transformation telescoped into a few short months. A source
you've been barely aware of up till now will become like coffee
and petroleum for you by next September. You'll hardly be able
to believe you were able to live without it all this time.

  Verticle Oracle card Libra (September 23-October 22)
Dear God, I pray that You will bring
Librans gold satin bras or red leather jock straps so that they
might be moved to express a more riotous side of their
natures. And sweet Lord, I pray that in order to stimulate a
healthy creative frenzy in those born under the sign of the
Scales that you will conspire to put into their possession a
self-help book that revs up the wilder parts of the mind, like Natalie
Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer
Finally, oh Almighty Wow, I'd greatly appreciate it if
you'd influence Libras to work harder at becoming happy. Maybe
you could get them to read the Dalai Lama's The Art of
or David Meyers' and Ed Dieners' book, The
Science of Happiness.
Amen and a-women.

  Verticle Oracle card Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
I've just returned from my
diplomatic mission to the disputed territory where your
nightmares are holed up. I think I've talked them into laying
down their weapons and freeing their hostages. All you have to
do in return is listen to them rant for a while and maybe give
them a little kiss and hug. Drawing from my vast experience as
a tamer of demons, I'd say that they've resorted to extreme
measures only because they're desperate for your attention.

  Verticle Oracle card Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Warning! Danger! Beware! On
February 3, Mercury goes retrograde!
The preceding was a
public service announcement that I will now proceed to ridicule.
I'm sick and tired of the Chicken Little School of Astrology.
I'm terribly bored by the superstitious folks who expect
crossed signals and communication snafus whenever Mercury
appears to move contrary to its usual direction. Listen up,
people! This happens three times every year in a perfectly
routine manner. Let's save our belief in evil omens for events
that are unpredictable, like supernovas and weird comets.
There is nothing inherently crippling about Mercury retrograde --
unless you devoutly fear there is, in which case your check will
be lost in the mail and you will suffer a misunderstanding with a
friend. But if you'd prefer to base your actions on a more
accurate assessment, please act as if it's an excellent time to
work on becoming a better communicator.

  Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Here's a new word I came across
in "Harper's" magazine: "taurocoprology." It means the study of
bullshit -- how to use it creatively, how to recognize when it's
being used, and how to make it work for you instead of against
you. If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, Capricorn,
it will be of vital importance for you to deepen your mastery of
taurocoprology in the coming weeks. Hype, white lies, and
excessively creative storytelling will flourish unless you

  Verticle Oracle card Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
"Dear Dr. Brezsny: Why are we
always told by all the 'experts' that we have to begin at the
beginning? Think of how much time and trouble we could save if
we could begin at the end, or at least in the middle. Right now,
for instance, I would love to skip all the boring baby steps I'm
being forced to take. Can't you rig the astrological factors to
make it possible for me to zip right to the giant steps?

--Big Thinking Aquarius."

Dear Big Thinker: Funny you should bring this up. Are you
psychic? It just so happens that the planetary omens strongly
suggest you'll soon have a good excuse to leap free of the
tortuous preliminaries and head straight for the meat of the

  Verticle Oracle card Pisces (February 19-March 18)
If you're like me, you cringe as you
survey the lazy decisions and passive behavior that checker
your personal history. You wonder what you could have possibly
been thinking when you treated yourself carelessly or alienated
a reliable ally or failed to act on a breathtaking invitation. I
don't know about you, but I sometimes have to fight off the
belief that the wrong turns in my life weigh more on the scales
of destiny than the moments of grace. Luckily for you, though,
Pisces, February is Amnesty Month for all Fishes who are willing
to admit the error of their ways. To the degree that you work
to correct the bad habits that have led you astray, the cosmos
will liberate you from the lingering inertia caused by your old

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