July 9-15: Work Backwards 

Visualize the blossoms that will come from the seeds you're planting, Cancer

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CANCER (June 21-July 22)
When novelist John Irving begins a new book, his first task is to write the last line of the last page. Then he writes the second-to-last line. He continues to work backwards for a while until he has a clear understanding of the way his story will end. Right now, Cancerian, as you hatch your next big phase of development, I invite you to borrow Irving's approach. Visualize in detail the blossoms that will eventually come from the seeds you're planting. Create a vivid picture of the life you will be living when your plans have fully ripened.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
You have cosmic permission to lose your train of thought, forget about what was so seriously important, and be weirdly amused by interesting nonsense. If stress-addicts nag you to be more responsible, tell them that your astrologer has authorized you to ignore the pressing issues and wander off in the direction of nowhere in particular. Does that sound like a good plan? It does to me. For now, it's your sovereign right to be a wise and innocent explorer with nothing much to do but wonder and daydream and play around.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Even the most provocative meme cannot literally cause the Internet to collapse from overuse. It's true that photos of Kim Kardashian's oiled-up butt spawned a biblical flood of agitated responses on social media. So did the cover shot of Caitlyn Jenner in Vanity Fair and the Youtube video of a tiny hamster noshing tiny burritos and the season-five finale of the TV show Game of Thrones. But none of these starbursts unleashed so much traffic that the Web was in danger of crashing. It's too vast and robust for that to ever happen. Or is it? I'm wondering if Virgos' current propensities for high adventure and rollicking melodrama could generate phenomena that would actually, not just metaphorically, break the Internet. To be safe, I suggest you enjoy yourself to the utmost, but not more than the utmost.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
The coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to acquire a new title. It's quite possible that a person in authority will confer it upon you, and that it will signify a raise in status, an increase in responsibility, or an expansion of your clout. If for some reason this upgrade doesn't occur naturally, take matters into your own hands. Tell people to refer to you as "Your Excellency" or "Your Majesty." Wear a name tag that says "Deputy Director of Puzzle-Solving" or "Executive Vice-President of Fanatical Balance and Insane Poise." For once in your life, it's OK to risk becoming a legend in your own mind. P.S. It wouldn't be a bad time to demand a promotion—diplomatically, of course, in the Libran spirit.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Between now and July 22, your password and mantra and battle cry is "serendipity." To make sure you are clear about its meaning, meditate on these definitions: a knack for uncovering surprising benefits by accident; a talent for stumbling upon timely help or useful resources without searching for them. Got that? Now I'll provide clues that should help you get the most out of your lucky breaks and blessed twists: 1. Be curious and receptive, not lackadaisical and entitled. 2. Expect the unexpected. Vow to thrive on surprises. 3. Your desires are more likely to come true if you are unattached to them coming true. But you should formulate those desires clearly and precisely.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
On behalf of the Strange Angels in Charge of Uproarious Beauty and Tricky Truths, I am pleased to present you with the award for Most Catalytic Fun-Seeker and Intriguing Game-Changer of the Zodiac. What are your specific superpowers? You're capable of transforming rot into splendor. You have a knack for discovering secrets that have been hidden. I also suspect that your presence can generate magic laughter and activate higher expectations and wake everyone up to the interesting truths they've been ignoring.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
"Who is that can tell me who I am?" asks King Lear in the Shakespeare play named after him. It's a painful moment. The old boy is confused and alarmed when he speaks those words. But I'd like to borrow his question and transplant it into a very different context: your life right now. I think that you can engender inspirational results by making it an ongoing meditation. There are people in a good position to provide you with useful insights into who you are.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
What's hard but important for you to do? What are the challenging tasks you know you should undertake because they would improve your life? The coming days will be a favorable time to make headway on these labors. You will have more power than usual to move what has been nearly impossible to move. You may be surprised by your ability to change situations that have resisted and outfoxed you in the past. I'm not saying that any of this will be smooth and easy. But I bet you will be able to summon unprecedented amounts of willpower and perseverance.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Franz Kafka produced three novels, a play, four short-fiction collections, and many other stories. And yet some of his fellow writers thought he was uncomfortable in expressing himself. Bertolt Brecht said Kafka seemed perpetually afraid, as if he were being monitored by the cops for illicit thoughts. Milena Jesenská observed that Kafka often wrote like he was sitting naked in the midst of fully-clothed people. Your assignment in the coming weeks is to shed such limitations and inhibitions from your own creative expression. What would you need to do to free your imagination? To get started, visualize five pleasurable scenarios in which you feel joyful, autonomous, generous, and expansive.

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
How can you fulfill your potential as an Aries? What strategies will help you become the best Aries you can possibly be? Now is an excellent time to meditate on these riddles. One of my Aries readers, Mickki Langston, has some stellar tips to inspire you: 1. One of your greatest assets is your relentless sense of purpose. Treasure it. Stay connected to it. Draw on it daily. 2. Love what you love with pure conviction, because there is no escaping it. 3. Other people may believe in you, but only sometimes. That's why you should unfailingly believe in yourself. 4. It's your duty and your destiny to continually learn more about how to be a leader. 5. Don't be confused by other people's confusion. 6. Your best friend is The Fool, who will guide you to laughter and humility when you need it most, which is pretty much all of the time.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
While making a long trek through the desert on a camel, British author Somerset Maugham passed the time by reading Marcel Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time. After finishing each page, Maugham ripped it out and cast it away. The book weighed less and less as his journey progressed. I suggest that you consider a similar approach in the coming weeks, Taurus. As you weave your way toward your next destination, shed the accessories and attachments you don't absolutely need. Keep lightening your load.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
"I have gathered about me people who understand how to translate fear into possibility," writes John Keene in his story "Acrobatique." I'd love to see you do the same, Gemini. From an astrological perspective, now is a favorable time to put your worries and trepidations to work for you. You have an extraordinary capacity to use your doubt and dread to generate opportunities. Even if you go it alone, you can accomplish minor miracles, but why not dare to think even bigger? Team up with brave and resourceful allies who want to translate fear into possibility, too.

Go to RealAstrology.com for Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes and daily text-message horoscopes. Audio horoscopes also available by phone at 877-873-4888 or 900-950-7700.

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