TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Fantasize about sipping pear nectar, listening to cello music and inhaling the aroma of musky amber and caressing velvet, cashmere and silk. Imagine how it would feel to be healed by inspiring memories, sweet awakenings, shimmering delights and delicious epiphanies. I expect experiences like these to be extra available in the coming weeks. But they won't necessarily come easily. You will have to expend effort to ensure they actually occur. So be alert for them. Seek them out. Track them down.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Contagion might work in your favor, but it could also undermine you. On the one hand, your enthusiasm is likely to ripple out and inspire people whose help you could use. On the other hand, you might be more sensitive than usual to the obnoxious vibes of manipulators. But now that I've revealed this useful tip, let's hope you will be able to maximize the positive kind of contagion and neutralize the negative. Here's one suggestion that might help: Visualize yourself surrounded by a golden force field that projects your good ideas far and wide while repelling the disagreeable stuff.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
A reader named Kris X sent me a rebuke. "You're not a guru or a shaman," he sneered. "Your horoscopes are too filled with the slippery stench of poetry to be useful for spiritual seekers." Here's my response: "Thank you, sir! I don't consider myself a guru or shaman, either. It's not my mission to be an all-knowing authority who hands down foolproof advice. Rather, I'm an apprentice to the Muse of Curiosity. I like to wrestle with useful, beautiful paradoxes. My goal is to be a joyful rebel stirring up benevolent trouble, to be a cheerleader for the creative imagination." So now I ask you, my fellow Cancerian: How do you avoid getting trapped in molds that people pressure you to fit inside? Are you skilled at being yourself even if that's different from what's expected of you? What are the soulful roles you choose to embody, despite the fact that almost no one understands them? Now is a good time to meditate on these matters.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
In the coming weeks, there will be helpers whose actions will nudge you—sometimes inadvertently—toward a higher level of professionalism. You will find it natural to wield more power and you will be more effective in offering your unique gifts. Now maybe you imagine you have already been performing at the peak of your ability, but I bet you will discover—with a mix of alarm and excitement—that you can become even more excellent. Be greater, Leo! Do better! Live stronger! (P.S.: As you ascend to this new level of competence, I advise you to be humbly aware of your weaknesses and immaturities. As your clout rises, you can't afford to indulge in self-delusions.)
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
I love to see you Virgos flirt with the uncharted and the uncanny and the indescribable. I get thrills and chills whenever I watch your fine mind trying to make sense of the fabulous, foreign and unfathomable. What other sign can cozy up to exotic wonders and explore forbidden zones with as much no-nonsense pragmatism as you? If anyone can capture lightning in a bottle or get ahold of magic beans that actually work, you can.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
A friend told me about a trick used by his grandmother, a farmer. When her brooding hens stopped laying eggs, she put them in pillowcases that she then hung from a clothesline in a stiff breeze. After the hens were blown around for a while, she returned them to their cozy digs. It didn't hurt them, and she swore it put them back on track with their egg-laying. I'm not comfortable with this strategy. It's too extreme for an animal lover like myself. (And I'm glad I don't have to deal with recalcitrant hens.) But maybe it's an apt metaphor or poetic prod for your use right now. What could you do to stimulate your own creative production?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Now would be an excellent time to add deft new nuances to the ways you kiss, lick, hug, snuggle, caress and fondle. Is there a worthy adventurer who will help you experiment with these activities? If not, use your pillow, your own body, a realistic life-sized robot or your imagination. This exercise will be a good warm-up for your other assignment, which is to upgrade your intimacy skills. How might you do that? Hone and refine your abilities to get close to people. Listen deeper, collaborate stronger, compromise smarter and give more. Do you have any other ideas?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
"If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first six sharpening my ax," Abraham Lincoln, one of America's most productive presidents, said. I know you Sagittarians are more renowned for your bold, improvisational actions than your careful planning and strategic preparation, but I think the coming weeks will be a time when you can and should adopt Lincoln's approach. The readier you are, the freer you'll be to apply your skills effectively and wield your power precisely.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Zoologists say that cannibalizing offspring is common in the animal kingdom, even among species that care tenderly for their young. So when critters eat their kids, it's definitely "natural." But I trust that in the coming weeks, you won't devour your own children. Nor, I hope, will you engage in any behavior that metaphorically resembles such an act. I suspect that you might be at a low ebb in your relationship with some creation or handiwork or influence that you generated out of love. But please don't abolish it, dissolve it or abandon it. Just the opposite, in fact: Intensify your efforts to nurture it.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Your astrological house of communication will be the scene of substantial clamor and ruckus in the coming weeks. A bit of the hubbub will be flashy but empty. But much of it should be pretty interesting, and some of it will even be useful. To get the best possible results, be patient and objective rather than jumpy and reactive. Try to find the deep codes buried inside the mixed messages. Discern the hidden meanings lurking within the tall tales and reckless gossip. If you can deal calmly with the turbulent flow, you will give your social circle a valuable gift.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
The best oracular advice you'll get in the coming days probably won't arise from your dreams or an astrological reading or a session with a psychic, but rather by way of seemingly random signals, like an overheard conversation or a sign on the side of a bus or a scrap of paper you find lying on the ground. And I bet the most useful relationship guidance you receive won't be from an expert, but maybe from a blog you stumble upon or a barista at a café or one of your old journal entries. Be alert for other ways this theme is operating, as well. The usual sources might not have useful info about their specialties. Your assignment is to gather up accidental inspiration and unlikely teachings.
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
After George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States, he had to move from his home in Virginia to New York City, which at the time was the center of the American government. But there was a problem: He didn't have enough cash on hand to pay for his long-distance relocation, so he was forced to scrape up a loan. Fortunately, he was resourceful and persistent in doing so. The money arrived in time for him to attend his own inauguration. I urge you to be like Washington in the coming weeks, Aries. Do whatever's necessary to get the funds you need to finance your life's next chapter.