Incendiary horoscopes

Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Horoscope is always buoyant.  Apropos of February, this week’s horoscope  has a valentine theme (for a link, see the button with the toilet plunger in the right sidebar):

Of all the signs of the zodiac, you Geminis are most likely to thrive if you experiment with new approaches to kissing in the coming weeks. To whip up your fervor, read incendiary texts like William Cane’s The Art of Kissing. Conspire with an imaginative partner to conjure up a new kissing game or even a sacred kissing ritual. And come up with your own interpretations of the following kiss techniques: the throbbing kiss, the sip kiss, the butterfly kiss, the tiger kiss, the whispering kiss. Happy Valentine Daze!

Is that a frivolous horoscope?  His Sacred Advertisements  are back too. This week’s ad:

Borrowing the words of poet Pablo Neruda (as translated by Stephen Tapscott), I’ve prepared a love note for you to use as your own. Feel free to give it to the person whose destiny needs to be woven more closely together with yours. “I love you between shadow and soul. I love you as the plant that hasn’t bloomed yet, and carries hidden within itself the light of flowers. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. Because of you, the dense fragrance that rises from the earth lives in my body, rioting with hunger for the eternity of our victorious kisses.*

Googling William Cane, I find he’s an entertaining speaker on the college circuit, but that he does have serious advice about kissing, gathered, so he says, from  sixteen years of research and interviews with a hundred thousand people.  In fact, part of his book is even online (and unfortunately seems written from an assumed male point of view).  This bit is from the philosophy section about how to kiss like Kierkegaard:

The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard argued that whatever you do in life you’ll regret.  In other words if you kiss her you’ll regret it and if you don’t kiss her you’ll regret it.  That’s the human condition because we can never be sure what is really best in any given situation.

How to apply this to kissing? Simply remember to embrace uncertainty when you’re with your lover. Approach her and let yourself wonder, Is this the time to kiss or is this the time to refrain from kissing?  Move closer,…

And when your lips finally do touch those of your beloved — for touch lips you will! — at that very moment you’ll be inundated with a philosophical ecstasy that can double your kissing pleasure for along with the enjoyment of the kiss you’ll simultaneously experience the thrill of existential doubt about the rightness or wrongness of the kiss.  Ah, what joy to doubt! What bliss not to know!…

As for Neruda’s sonnets, see the end of this post for Soneto XVII in English and the original Spanish.

Every once in a while, Brezsny does some long-range predictions.  A few weeks ago he did one for Gemini:

Gemini Horoscope for week of January 21, 2010

“Let us not underestimate the privileges of the mediocre,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. “Life becomes harder and harder as it approaches the heights — the coldness increases, the responsibility increases.” I bring these thoughts to your attention, Gemini, because in the next two months you’ll be in a prime position to renounce some of the “privileges” of your laziness. Please hear me out. I’m not saying that your lackadaisical attitudes are any worse than mine or anyone else’s. But there come times in everyone’s cycle when he or she has a chance to outgrow those lackadaisical attitudes so as to reach a higher level that’s both more demanding and more rewarding. This will be one of those times for you.

Oddly enough, this was the same week Paul Valéry’s bee poem L’Abeille crossed my computer screen (it didn’t cross my desk now, did it) at the same time I ran across Hillary Retting’s e-book The Little Guide To Beating Procrastination, Perfectionism and Blocks : A Manual for Artists, Activists, Entrepreneurs, Academics and Other Ambitious Dreamers.

The first horoscope may be frivolous or perhaps deeply serious, but which horoscope is the most piquant?


Cien Sonetos de Amor (100 Love Sonnets)
XVII (I do not love you…)
Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.


Soneto XVII

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

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