LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the course of her long career, Libran actress Helen Hayes won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony. Years before all that glory poured down on her, she met playwright Charles MacArthur at a party in a posh Manhattan salon. Hayes was sitting shyly in a dark corner. MacArthur glided over to her and slipped a few salted peanuts into her hand. "I wish they were emeralds," he told her. It was love at first sight. A few years after they got married, MacArthur bought Hayes an emerald necklace. I foresee a metaphorically comparable event in your near future, Libra: peanuts serving as a promise of emeralds.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Welcome to the Painkiller Phase of your cycle. It's time to relieve your twinges, dissolve your troubles and banish your torments. You can't sweep away the whole mess in one quick heroic purge, of course. But I bet you can pare it down by at least 33 percent. (More is quite possible.) To get started, make the following declaration five times a day for the next three days: "I am grateful for all the fascinating revelations and indispensable lessons that my pain has taught me." On each of the three days after that, affirm this truth five times: "I have learned all I can from my pain and therefore no longer need its reminders. Goodbye, pain." On the three days after that, say these words, even if you can't bring yourself to mean them with complete sincerity: "I forgive everybody of everything."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): For the foreseeable future, you possess the following powers: to make sensible that which has been unintelligible ... to find amusement in situations that had been tedious ... to create fertile meaning where before there had been sterile chaos. Congratulations, Sagittarius! You are a first-class transformer. But that's not all. I suspect you will also have the ability to distract people from concerns that aren't important ... to deepen any quest that has been too superficial or careless to succeed ... and to ask the good questions that will render the bad questions irrelevant.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In the past 11 months, did you ever withhold your love on purpose? Have there been times when you "punished" those you cared about by acting cold and aloof? Can you remember a few occasions when you could have been more generous or compassionate but chose not to be? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, the next three weeks will be an excellent time to atone. You're in a phase of your astrological cycle when you can reap maximum benefit from correcting stingy mistakes. I suggest that you make gleeful efforts to express your most charitable impulses. Be a tower of bountiful power.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In 1415, a smaller English army defeated French forces at the Battle of Agincourt in northern France. Essential to England's victory were its 7,000 longbowmen — archers who shot big arrows using bows that were six feet long. So fast and skilled were these warriors that they typically had three arrows flying through the air at any one time. That's the kind of high-powered proficiency I recommend that you summon during your upcoming campaign. If you need more training to reach that level of effectiveness, get it immediately.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Let's imagine your life as a novel. The most recent chapter, which you'll soon be drawing to a close, might be called "The Redemption of Loneliness." Other apt titles: "Intimacy With the Holy Darkness" or "The Superpower of Surrender" or "The End Is Secretly the Beginning." Soon you will start a new chapter, which I've tentatively dubbed "Escape from Escapism," or perhaps "Liberation From False Concepts of Freedom" or "Where the Wild Things Are." And the expansive adventures of this next phase will have been made possible by the sweet-and-sour enigmas of the past four weeks.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the 1980s, two performance artists did a project entitled A Year Tied Together at the Waist. For 12 months, Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh were never farther than eight feet away from each other, bound by a rope. Hsieh said he tried this experiment because he felt very comfortable doing solo work but wanted to upgrade his abilities as a collaborator. Montano testified that the piece "dislodged a deep hiddenness" in her. It sharpened her intuition and gave her a "heightened passion for living and relating." If you were ever going to engage in a comparable effort to deepen your intimacy skills, Aries, the coming weeks would be a favorable time to attempt it.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the coming weeks would you prefer that we refer to you as "voracious"? Or do you like the word "ravenous" better? I have a feeling, based on the astrological omens, that you will be extra-super-eager to consume vast quantities of just about everything: food, information, beauty, sensory stimulation, novelty, pleasure and who knows what else. But please keep this in mind: Your hunger could be a torment or it could be a gift. Which way it goes may depend on your determination to actually enjoy what you devour. In other words, don't get so enchanted by the hypnotic power of your longing that you neglect to exult in the gratification when your longing is satisfied.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When the wind blows at 10 miles per hour, a windmill generates eight times more power than when the breeze is five miles per hour. Judging from the astrological omens, I suspect there will be a similar principle at work in your life during the coming weeks. A modest increase in effort and intensity will make a huge difference in the results you produce. Are you willing to push yourself a bit beyond your comfort level in order to harvest a wave of abundance?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cuthbert Colling -wood (1748-1810) had a distinguished career as an admiral in the British navy, leading the sailors under his command to numerous wartime victories. He was also a good-natured softie whose men regarded him as generous and kind. Between battles, while enjoying his downtime, he hiked through the English countryside carrying acorns, which he planted here and there so the "Navy would never want for oaks to build the fighting ships upon which the country's safety depended." (Quoted in Life in Nelson's Navy, by Dudley Pope.) I propose that we make him your role model for the coming weeks. May his example inspire you to be both an effective warrior and a tender soul who takes practical actions to plan for the future.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Eighteenth-century musician Giuseppe Tartini has been called "the godfather of modern violin playing." He was also an innovative composer who specialized in poignant and poetic melodies. One of his most famous works is the Sonata in G Minor, also known as the Devil's Trill. Tartini said it was inspired by a dream in which he made a pact with the Devil to provide him with new material. The Infernal One picked up a violin and played the amazing piece that Tartini transcribed when he woke up. Here's the lesson for you: He didn't actually sell his soul to the Devil. Simply engaging in this rebellious, taboo act in the realm of fantasy had the alchemical effect of unleashing a burst of creative energy. Try it!
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The planets have aligned in a curious pattern. I interpret it as meaning that you have cosmic permission to indulge in more self-interest and self-seeking than usual. So it won't be taboo for you to unabashedly say, "What exactly is in it for me?" or "Prove your love, my dear" or "Gimmeee, gimmeee, gimmeee what I want." If someone makes a big promise, you shouldn't be shy about saying, "Will you put that in writing?" If you get a sudden urge to snag the biggest piece of the pie, obey that urge.