CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "It's a terrible thing to wait until you're ready," proclaims actor Hugh Laurie. He goes even further: "No one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready." His counsel is too extreme for my tastes. I believe that proper preparation is often essential. We've got to get educated about the challenges we want to take on. We need to develop at least some skills to help us master our beloved goals. On the other hand, it's impossible to ever be perfectly prepared and educated and skilled. If you postpone your quantum leaps of faith until every contingency has been accounted for, you'll never leap. Right now, Capricorn, Laurie's view is good advice.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): You love autonomy. You specialize in getting the freedom and sovereignty you require. You are naturally skilled at securing your independence from influences that might constrain your imagination and limit your self-expression. But here's a sticking point: If you want the power to help shape group processes, you must give up some of your autonomy. In order to motivate allies to work toward shared goals, you need to practice the art of interdependence. The next test of your ability to do this is coming right up.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Nothing is really work unless you'd rather be doing something else." So said Taurus writer James M. Barrie (1860-1937), who created the Peter Pan stories. Your challenge and invitation in the coming months is to increase the amount of time you spend that does not qualify as work. In fact, why don't you see how much and how often you can indulge in outright play? There'll be no better way to attract grace and generate good fortune.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here's my proposal: Get in touch with your madness. And don't tell me you have no madness. We all do. But listen: When I use the word "madness," I don't mean howling rage, hurtful lunacy or out-of-control misbehavior. I'm calling on the experimental part of you that isn't always polite and reasonable; the exuberant rebel who is attracted to wild truths rather than calming lies; the imaginative seeker who pines for adventures on the frontiers of your understanding. Now is an excellent time to tap into your inner maverick.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Here's an excerpt from Dorianne Laux's poem "Antilamentation": "Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read to the end just to find out who killed the cook. Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark. Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot. Not the nights you called god names and cursed your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch, chewing your nails." I'm giving you a good dose of Laux's purifying rant in the hope that it will incite you to unleash your own. The time is favorable to summon an expanded appreciation for the twists and tweaks of your past, even those that seemed torturous in the moment. Laux doesn't regret the TV set she threw out the upstairs window or the stuck onion rings she had to sweep off the dirty restaurant floor, and I hope you will be that inclusive.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Modesty is the art of drawing attention to whatever it is you're being humble about," said Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious absurdist whose likeness often appears on the cover of Mad magazine. I'm here to tell you, Leo, that now is an excellent time to embody this aphorism. You are in a perfect position to launch a charm offensive by being outrageously unassuming. The less you brag about yourself and the more you praise other people, the better able you will be to get exactly what you want. Being unegotistical and non-narcissistic is an excellent strategy for serving your selfish needs.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's," says a character in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel Crime and Punishment. I don't agree with that idea 100 percent of the time. Sometimes our wrong ideas are so delusional that we're better off getting interrupted and redirected by the wiser insights of others. But for the near future, Virgo, I recommend Dostoyevsky's prescription for your use. One of your key principles will be to brandish your unique perspectives. Even if they're not entirely right and reasonable, they will lead you to what you need to learn next.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "I love kissing," testifies singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. "If I could kiss all day, I would. I can't stop thinking about kissing. I like kissing more than sex because there's no end to it. You can kiss forever. You can kiss yourself into oblivion. You can kiss all over the body. You can kiss yourself to sleep." I invite you to temporarily adopt this expansive obsession, Libra. The astrological omens suggest that you need more sweet, slippery, sensual, tender interaction than usual. Why? Because it will unleash sweet, slippery, sensual, tender emotions and sweet, slippery, sensual, tender thoughts, all of which will awaken a surge of dormant creativity. Which you also need very much.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Everything has been said before," said French author André Gide, "but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." I am happy to inform you that you're about to be temporarily exempt from this cynical formulation. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will be able to drive home certain points that you have been trying to make over and over again for quite a while. The people who most need to hear them will finally be able to register your meaning. (P.S. This breakthrough will generate optimal results if you don't gloat. Be grateful and understated.)
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Do you want more money, Sagittarius? Are there treasures you wish you could have, but you can't afford them? Do any exciting experiences and life-enhancing adventures remain off-limits because of limited resources? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, now would be an excellent time to formulate plans and take action to gather increased wealth. I don't guarantee total success if you do, but I promise that your chance to make progress will be higher than usual. Cosmic tendencies are leaning in the direction of you getting richer quicker, and if you collaborate with those tendencies, financial magic could materialize.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Fate has transformed a part of your life that you didn't feel ready to have transformed. I won't offer my condolences, though, because I've guessed a secret that you don't know about yet. The mythic fact, as I see it, is that whatever you imagine you have had to let go of will ultimately come back to you in a revised and revivified form — maybe sooner than you think. Endings and beginnings are weaving their mysteries together in unforeseen ways. Be receptive to enigmatic surprises.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Good news: Your eagerness to think big is one of your superpowers. Bad news: It's also one of your liabilities. Although it enables you to see how everything fits together, it may cause you to overlook details about what's undermining you. Good news: Your capacity for intense empathy is a healing balm for both others and yourself. At least potentially, it means you can be a genius of intimacy. Bad news: Your intense empathy can make you fall prey to the emotional manipulation of people with whom you empathize. Good news: Your willingness to explore darkness is what makes your intelligence so profound. Bad news: But that's also why you have to wrestle so fiercely with fear. Good news: In the next four weeks, the positive aspects of all the above qualities will be ascendant.