AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
When I was in my early 20s, I smoked marijuana now and then. I liked it. It made me feel good and inspired my creativity and roused spiritual visions. But I reconsidered my use after encountering pagan magician Isaac Bonewits. He didn't have a moral objection to cannabis use, but believed it withered one's willpower and diminished one's determination to transform one's life for the better. For a year, I meditated on and experimented with his hypothesis. I found it to be true, at least for me. I haven't smoked since. My purpose in bringing this up is not to advise you about your relationship to drugs, but rather to urge you to question whether there are influences in your life that wither your willpower and diminish your determination to transform your life for the better. Now is an excellent time to examine this issue.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
Would you like to shed unwieldy baggage before moving on to your next big challenge? I hope so. It will purge your soul of karmic sludge. It will prime you for a fresh start. One way to accomplish this bravery is to confess your sins and ask for forgiveness in front of a mirror. Here are data to consider: Is there anyone you know who would not give you a good character reference? Have you ever committed a seriously unethical act? Have you revealed information that was told to you in confidence? While under the influence of intoxicants or bad ideas, have you done things you're ashamed of? I'm not saying you're more guilty of these things than the rest of us; it's just that now is your special time to seek redemption.
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
In all of history, humans have mined about 182,000 tons of gold. Best estimates suggest there are still 35 billion tons of gold buried in the earth, but the remaining riches will be more difficult to find and collect than what we've already gotten. We need better technology. If I had to say who would be the entrepreneurs and inventors best qualified to lead the quest, my choice would be members of the Aries tribe. For the foreseeable future, you people will have extra skill at excavating hidden treasure and gathering resources that are hard to access.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Stories have the power to either dampen or mobilize your life energy. I hope that in the coming weeks, you will make heroic efforts to seek out the latter and avoid the former. Now is a crucial time to treat yourself to stories that will jolt you out of your habitual responses and inspire you to take long-postponed actions and awaken the sleeping parts of your soul. And that's just half of your assignment, dear Taurus. Here's the rest: Tell stories that help you remember the totality of who you are, and that inspire your listeners to remember the totality of who they are.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
Author Anaïs Nin said, "There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don't work." For two reasons, Anaïs's formulation is especially apropos for you right now. First, you should not allow yourself to be seduced, tempted or won over by sweet gestures alone. You must insist on sweet gestures that are synergized by a sense of wonder and an appreciation of your unique beauty. Second, you should adopt the same approach for those you want to seduce, tempt or win over: sweet gestures seasoned with wonder and an appreciation of their unique beauty.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Are you more inclined right now to favor temporary involvements and short-term promises? Or would you consider making brave commitments that lead you deeper into the Great Mystery? Given the upcoming astrological omens, I vote for the latter. Here's another pair of questions for you, Cancerian. Are you inclined to meander from commotion to commotion without any game plan? Or might you invoke the magic necessary to get involved with high-quality collaborations? I'm hoping you'll opt for the latter. (P.S. The near future will be prime time for you to swear a sacred oath or two.)
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
In March 1996, a man burst into the studio of radio station Star FM in Wanganui, New Zealand. He took the manager hostage and issued a single demand: that the DJ play a recording of the Muppet song "The Rainbow Connection," as sung by the puppet Kermit the Frog. Fortunately, police intervened quickly, no one was hurt, and the kidnapper was jailed. In bringing this to your attention, Leo, I am certainly not suggesting that you imitate the kidnapper. Please don't break the law or threaten anyone with harm. On the other hand, I do urge you to take dramatic, innovative action to fulfill one of your very specific desires.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Many varieties of the nettle plant will sting you if you touch the leaves and stems. Their hairs are like hypodermic needles that inject your skin with a blend of irritant chemicals. And yet nettle is also an herb with numerous medicinal properties. It can provide relief for allergies, arthritis, joint pain and urinary problems. That's why Shakespeare invoked the nettle as a metaphor in his play Henry IV, Part 1: "Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety," the character named Hotspur says. In accordance with the astrological omens, Virgo, I choose the nettle as your power metaphor for the first three weeks of February.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Knullrufs is a Swedish word that refers to what your hair looks like after sex: tousled, rumpled, disordered. If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, you should experience more knullrufs than usual in the coming weeks. You're in a phase when you need and deserve extra pleasure and delight, especially the kind that rearranges your attitudes as well as your coiffure. You have license to exceed your normal quotas of ravenousness and rowdiness.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
In his "Crazy Lake Experiment" documented on YouTube, Harvard physicist Greg Kestin takes a raft out on a lake. He drops a tablespoon of olive oil into the water, and a few minutes later, the half-acre around his boat is still and smooth. All the small waves have disappeared. He proceeds to explain the science behind the calming effect produced by a tiny amount of oil. I suspect that you will have a metaphorically comparable power in the next two weeks, Scorpio. What's your version of the olive oil? Your poise? Your graciousness? Your tolerance? Your insight into human nature?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
In 1989, a man spent $4 on a painting at a flea market in Adamstown, Pa. He didn't care much for the actual image, which was a boring country scene, but he thought he could use the frame. Upon returning home, he found a document concealed behind the painting. It turned out to be a rare old copy of America's Declaration of Independence, originally created in 1776. He eventually sold it for $2.42 million. I doubt that you will experience anything quite as spectacular in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. But I do suspect you will find something valuable where you don't expect it, or develop a connection with something that's better than you imagined it would be.
CAPRICORN (Dec.22-Jan. 19):
In the 1740s, a teenage Capricorn girl named Eliza Lucas almost single-handedly introduced a new crop into American agriculture: indigo, a plant used as a dye for textiles. In South Carolina, where she managed her father's farm, indigo ultimately became the second-most-important cash crop over the next 30 years. I have astrological reasons to believe that you are now in a phase when you could likewise make innovations that will have long-range economic repercussions. Be alert for good intuitions and promising opportunities to increase your wealth.