PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your immediate future is too good to be true. Or at least that's what you, with your famous self-doubt, might be inclined to believe if I told you the truth about the favorable developments that are in the works. Therefore, I have come up with some fake anxieties to keep your worry reflex engaged so it won't sabotage the real goodies. Beware of dirty limericks and invisible ladders and upside-down rainbows and psychic bunny rabbits. Be on guard against accountants wearing boxing gloves and clowns singing Broadway show tunes in runaway shopping carts and celebrities telling you classified secrets in your dreams.
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
I predict that you will have earned the title of Master Composter no later than March 26. Not necessarily because you will have packed your food scraps, wilted flowers, coffee grounds and shredded newspapers in, say, a deluxe dual-chamber tumbling compost bin. But rather because you will have dealt efficiently with the rotting emotions, tattered habits, decrepit melodramas and trivial nonsense that has accumulated; you will have worked hard to transform all that crap into metaphorical fertilizer for your future growth. Time to get started!
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
It's a good time for you to wield your emotional intelligence with leadership and flair. The people you care about need more of your sensitive influence. Any posse or tribe you're part of will benefit from your thoughtful intervention. So get out there and build up the group morale, Taurus. Assert your healing ideals with panache. Tamp down the insidious power of peer pressure and fashionable nonsense. You have a mandate to wake up sleepy allies and activate the dormant potential of collective efforts.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
If you were ever in your life going to be awarded an honorary PhD from a top university, it would happen in the next few weeks. If there were even a remote possibility that you would someday be given one of those MacArthur Fellowship "genius" grants, now would be the time. Likewise, if you had any hopes of being selected as one of "The World's Sexiest Chameleons" or "The Fastest, Sweetest Talkers on Earth" or "The Planet's Most Virtuoso Vacillators," the moment has arrived. And even if none of those things happen, I'm still pretty sure that your reputation and status will be on the rise.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You're wandering into places you've always thought you should be wary of or skeptical about. Good for you! As long as you protect your innocence, I encourage you to keep exploring. To my delight, you have also been fantasizing about accomplishments that used to be off-limits. Again, I say: Good for you! As long as you don't overreach, I invite you to dream boldly, even brazenly. And since you seem to be in the mood for big thinking, here are other revolutionary activities to consider: dissolving nonessential wishes, transcending shrunken expectations, escaping the boring past and busting irrelevant taboos.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
I did a good job of raising my daughter. She turned out to be a thoughtful, intelligent adult with high integrity and interesting skills. But I'm not sure my parenting would have been as effective if I'd had more kids. I discussed this issue with Nathan, a guy I know. His six offspring are all grown up, too. "How did you do it?" I asked him. "Having just one child was a challenging job for me." "I'll tell you my secret," Nathan told me. "I'm a bad father. I didn't work very hard on raising my kids. And now they never let me forget it." In the coming weeks and months, Leo, I recommend that you pursue my approach in your chosen field, not Nathan's. Aim for high-quality intensity rather than scattershot quantity.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In her poem "Not Anyone Who Says," Virgo writer Mary Oliver looks down on people who declare, "I'm going to be careful and smart in matters of love." She disparages the passion of anyone who asserts, "I'm going to choose slowly." Instead she champions those who are "chosen by something invisible and powerful and uncontrollable and beautiful and possibly even unsuitable." Here's my response: Her preferred formula sounds glamorous and dramatic and romantic—especially the powerful and beautiful part. But in practice it rarely works out well—maybe just 10 percent of the time—mostly because of the uncontrollable and unsuitable part. And now is not one of those times for you, Virgo. Be careful and smart in matters of love, and choose slowly.
The poet Rainer Maria Rilke bemoaned the fact that so many of us "squander our sorrows." Out of self-pity or lazy self-indulgence, we wallow in memories of experiences that didn't turn out the way we wished they would have. We paralyze ourselves with repetitions of depleting thoughts. Here's an alternative to that approach: We could use our sadness and frustrations to transform ourselves. We could treat them as fuel to motivate our escape from what doesn't work, to inspire our determination to rise above what demoralizes and demeans us. I mention this, Libra, because now is an excellent time to do exactly that.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
It's time for the Bliss Blitz—a new holiday just for you Scorpios. To celebrate it properly, get as buoyant as you dare; be greedy for euphoria; launch a sacred quest for pleasure. Ah, but here's the big question: Can you handle this much relief and release? Are you strong enough to open yourself to massive outbreaks of educational delight and natural highs? Some of you might not be prepared. You might prefer to remain ensconced in your protective sheath of cool cynicism. But if you think you can bear the shock of unprecedented exaltation and jubilation, then go ahead and risk it. Experiment with the unruly happiness of the Bliss Blitz.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
In his book The Horologicon, Mark Forsyth gathered "obscure but necessary" words that he dug out of old dictionaries. One of his discoveries is a perfect fit for you right now. It's "snudge," a verb that means to walk around with a pensive look on your face, appearing to be busy or in the midst of productive activity, when in fact you're just goofing off. I recommend it for two reasons: 1. It's important for your mental and physical health that you do a lot of nothing; that you bless yourself with a healing supply of refreshing emptiness. 2. It's important for your mental and physical health that you do this on the sly as much as possible; that you avoid being judged or criticized for it by others.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I wish your breakfast cereal came in boxes decorated with Matisse and Picasso paintings. I wish songbirds would greet you each morning with sweet tunes. I wish you'd see that you have more power than you realize. I wish you knew how uniquely beautiful you are. I wish you'd get intoxicated with the small miracles that are happening all around you. I wish that when you made a bold move to improve your life, everyone greeted it with curiosity and excitement. And I wish you would let your imagination go half-wild with fascinating fantasies during this, the Capricorn wishing season.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
"You're a different human being to everybody you meet," novelist Chuck Palahniuk says. Now is an excellent time to contemplate the intricacies and implications of that amazing truth—and start taking better advantage of how much freedom it gives you. Say the following statements out loud and see how they feel: 1. "My identity isn't as narrowly circumscribed as I think it is." 2. "I know at least 200 people, so there must be at least 200 facets to my character." 3. "I am too complicated to be completely comprehended by any one person." 4. "Consistency is overrated."