"Deep Meditation Is One of the Best Drugs Out There"

Your existential guide to the month ahead.

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LIBRA

(September 23 to October 22)

Happy birthday, Libra! If your mind is an apartment building, what is taking up the most real estate in there? I say, draw a picture of a building. Draw a bunch of windows — at least fifteen. Throughout the course of a day, whenever you find yourself thinking (or dare I say obsessing) about something, write it in a window. If you run out of windows, then write it in the clouds. Ask yourself: Is this what I want to be filling my building with? Are there any other tenants I'd prefer to see move in?

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SCORPIO

(October 23 to November 21)

There is a myth in the human race asserting that the people, places, and things that are more challenging to us are more worth having. But this is sometimes untrue, especially when it comes to love and/or creative collaboration. This month, simply go where it's warm. Go where you are wanted. Trust in ease.

SAGITTARIUS

(November 22 to December 21)

Eat something gooey, soft, or even liquidy with your hands, and do not allow yourself to use a napkin. Sometimes it's important to lick your fingers and just be with yourself in that messy way. Also, btw, you are always allowed to forgive yourself for everything.

CAPRICORN

(December 22 to January 19)

A fixed identity allows us to feel safe, because it creates the illusion of control in our lives. But the truth is, a fixed identity is a mirage. This month, consider some of the labels you've held on to only so as to possess a feeling of containment. Maybe let yourself leak a little.

AQUARIUS

(January 20 to February 18)

The phrase "Rest in power" applies not only to the dead but to the living. What are your ideas about power? Are there certain qualities, actions, or struggles that you feel are implicit to getting and maintaining power? Where do these ideas come from, and do they even feel like you? This month, consider the idea that power can come from a state of rest as much as it can arise from struggle.

PISCES

(February 19 to March 20)

I've come to realize once again, through a renewed commitment to my meditation practice, that deep meditation is one of the best drugs out there. I'm not sure why, but something inside me said that I should share this information with you this month. So I'm going to go with my instinct and do just that: Pisces, meditation can be a really good drug. Also, anyone can meditate.

ARIES

(March 21 to April 19)

What does it actually mean to heal emotionally? And how do we know if we are healing? One good sign is when the things we once found acceptable are no longer acceptable at all. Another sign is when the things we may not have been able to sit with in the past suddenly become things that we can easily sit with — and maybe even delight in.

TAURUS

(April 20 to May 20)

It can often be hard to let go of resentment, because our moods are always shifting. One minute, you can feel at peace with a situation, and the next you can become totally enraged again. It can also be hard because sometimes we feel like we are supposed to be angry, even if the anger is exhausting. This month, if you're tired of being angry, say to yourself repeatedly: The act of forgiving is for me and not for them.

GEMINI

(May 21 to June 20)

This month, trust in the fact that unless you are hurting another living creature, there is never anything wrong with liking the things you like. Sometimes we feel that our preferences should be different, based on social expectations or fear of perceived judgment. But I'm telling you, it's safe to trust that what you are naturally drawn to is what's for you.

CANCER 

(June 21 to July 22)

It's not our negative character traits that get us into trouble so much as our defense of them. This month, if you find that you have made a mistake (or there is the possibility that you have made a mistake), be open to honestly admitting it whenever it comes up, without the need to defend yourself. Things will turn out better this way, and you might even find that you like the letting go.

LEO

(July 23 to August 22)

The annoying thing about self-esteem is that it can't be achieved to any lasting measure through glittery things, accomplishments, requited love, beauty, or other people's opinions. I'm sorry. The other annoying thing about lasting self-esteem is that it comes from doing estimable acts. 

VIRGO

(August 23 to September 22)

It's the harvest time now, and Virgo is the goddess of the harvest. To the Greeks, the harvest goddess was Demeter, obsessing about her daughter Persephone in Hades. To Christians, she is Mary, and we all know Mary had a lot to deal with as a Jewish mother with a renegade prophet on her hands. This month, give those girls a break and don't try to control anyone's behavior. Maybe buy a bunch of vegetables or fruits. Eat them all by yourself.

Melissa Broder is the author of four collections of poems, including Last Sext (Tin House 2016), as well as So Sad Today, a book of essays from Grand Central.

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