Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Today brings the solar eclipse and new moon in Aquarius — a doorway to the beginning of the Lunar New Year of the Earth Dog. This momentary solar disappearance is like heaven’s wink: a reminder that we’re all on this amusing ride together. Win or lose, it’s a shared experience made tolerable by faith in our fellow humans.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Though generations before you did things a certain way and the principles they used to get through life are still relevant today, modern problems require you to build on that foundation. You’ll acquire new tools in the weeks to come.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). The best way to predict what happens next is still the same as always: Make it happen. Today’s work may be a bit rushed, but it’s still remarkable and generous if not as polished as it might have been had you more time.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). The antidote to selfishness is publicity. Most would avoid the shame of being called out for putting one’s own interests before the interests of loved ones, teammates or the group — unless, of course, selfishness is the cultural norm.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Is any creature on the earth built for empathy? It could be argued that empathy plays against individual survival instincts. It’s definitely not the first instinct of humankind, yet it’s definitely required for the survival of our species.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Don’t wait until life forces you to sprint. Just sprint to energize things. Just sprint to prove that you can. No one can sprint for the whole of the race, but a good marathon runner builds the occasional sprint into the over-all plan.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You’re going to do the brave thing — not because you have less to lose (if you had nothing to lose, it wouldn’t be brave) but because you realize more than the others do that your action is what’s sorely needed.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). The situation will trigger your competitive instincts. Suddenly it will be important to dress, talk and move like the winner. Much of this will come naturally to you, although some degree of study may also be involved.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You won’t be satisfied with just any result. You want your work to be artful and useful, or you’d rather not turn it in at all. The thing is, you’re not the best judge of this today. Just turn it in.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). The omens warn against selling your future for today’s quick fix, and yet fixing something quickly doesn’t always spell trouble in the future. So examine your options from a long-term perspective, and do your best.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). In general, your life is easier when you make fewer promises. However, everything you do sets up an expectation. The promises are implicit. And every one you keep builds trust that you’ll keep them in the future, too.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). How you imagine yourself will define your position. What one person considers a position of weakness another may consider a position of strength.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). As you climb the mountain to get a better view you make yourself more conspicuous to those below. This may not be your aim, but you should be aware that the beauty and knowledge you seek will make you more influential.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (Feb. 15). You seek clarity, and you’ll find it. You’ll understand where your power lies and how to use it. This will manifest in a much less serious way than it sounds: Delight and enjoyment will open as many doors for you as hard work and study. Trust yourself, and believe the forces are working to lift you and let you fly. Aries and Capricorn adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 9, 20, 22, 1 and 17.

HOW TO WRITE A LOVE LETTER IN 12 STEPS, PART FOUR. See the archives for parts one through three.

Step Seven: What’s in it for you? What are your feelings? What do you want?

Example: I’ve been a mess thinking that you might move to Rhode Island. I want you to stay in Oregon. If you stayed I would make it so worth your while. I’d tell you every day how beautiful you are.

Example: I want to hold your hand through the scary parts of the movie. I want to hold your hand through the scary parts of life.

Step Eight: Wrap it up.

Example: What I’m trying to say is… if you move to Rhode Island, I’m going to have to move with you.

Example: I know now that we can’t be friends, unless we’re the kind of friends who are married.

Step Nine: The signoff. This part’s significance far outweighs its word count.

Here are a few ideas: “Your fan,” “As ever,” “Always and forever.”

Although, is there something more creative you can think of?

CELEBRITY PROFILES: On this day in 1564 the father of science was born. Galileo Galilei invented a telescope to see into the heavens. His belief that the sun was at the center of our system caused him to live out his days under house arrest. In the year Galileo was born the sun entered Pisces on the early side, and this great mathematician and physicist had four luminaries in the prescient sign of the fish.

Write Holiday Mathis at HolidayMathis@gmail.com.