ARIES (March 21-April 19): Of course you want to get the best of everything. But that doesn't mean you should disdain cheap thrills that are more interesting and gratifying than the expensive kind. And of course you enjoy taking risks. But there's a big difference between gambling that's spurred by superstitious hunches and gambling rooted in smart research. And of course you're galvanized by competition. But why fritter away your competitive fire on efforts to impress people? A better use of that fire is to use it to hone your talents and integrity.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you own an untamable animal like a bull, the best way to manage it is to provide a fenced but spacious meadow where it can roam freely. So said famous Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, using a metaphor to address how we might deal with the unruly beasts in our own psyches. This is excellent advice for you right now, Taurus. I'd hate to see you try to quash or punish your inner wild thing. You need its boisterous power! It will be a fine ally if you can both keep it happy and make it work for you.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If I were to provide a strict interpretation of the astrological omens, I'd advise you to party hardy and rowdy and strong and often! I'd suggest that you attend a raging bash or convivial festivity once every day. And if that were logistically impossible, I'd advise you to stage your own daily celebrations, hopefully stocked with the most vivacious and stimulating people you can find. But I recognize that this counsel may be too extreme for you to honor. So I will simply invite you to party hardy and rowdy and strong at least twice a week for the next four weeks. It's the medicine you need.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): You are on the verge of achieving a sly victory over the part of you that is unduly meek and passive. I believe that in the coming weeks you will rise up like a resourceful hero and at least half-conquer a chronic fear. A rumbling streak of warrior luck will flow through you, enabling you to kill off any temptation you might have to take the easy way out. Congratulations in advance, my fellow Cancerian! I have rarely seen our tribe have so much power to triumph over our unconscious attraction to the victim role.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Leo journal entry, Thursday: Am too settled and stale and entrenched. Feeling urges to get cheeky and tousled. Friday: So what if I slept a little longer and arrived late? Who cares if the dishes are piling up in the sink? I hereby refuse law and order. Saturday: I'm fantasizing about doing dirty deeds. I'm thinking about breaking the taboos. Sunday: Found the strangest freshness in a place I didn't expect to. Sometimes chaos is kind of cute and friendly. Monday: The nagging voice of the taskmaster in my head is gone. Ding-dong. Let freedom ring!
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): William Boyd writes novels, which require him to do copious research about the real-world milieus he wants his fictional characters to inhabit. For example, to ensure the authenticity of his book Waiting for Sunrise, he found out what it was like to live in Vienna in 1913. He compares his process of searching for juicy facts to the feeding habits of a blue whale: engorging huge amounts of seawater to strain out the plankton that are good to eat. Ninety percent of the information he wades through is irrelevant, but the rest is tasty and nourishing. I suspect you'll thrive on a similar approach in the coming weeks, Virgo. Be patient as you search for what's useful.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here's a new word for you: enantiodromia. It's what happens when something turns into its opposite. It's nature's attempt to create equilibrium where there has been imbalance. Too much no becomes yes, for example. A superabundance of yin mutates into yang, or an overemphasis on control generates chaos. Flip-flops like these tend to be messy if we resist them but interesting if we cooperate. I figure that's your choice right now. Which will it be? The latter, I hope. PS: The reversals that you consciously cocreate may not be perfect. But even if they are baffling, I bet they will also be amusing and magnificent.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When I was 24, I lived in rural North Carolina and had a job washing dishes in a city four miles away. I was too poor to own a bicycle, let alone a car. To get to work I had to trudge down back roads where hostile dogs and drunk men in pickup trucks roamed freely. Luckily, I discovered the art of psychic protection. At first I simply envisioned a golden force field surrounding me. Later I added visualizations of guardian animals to accompany me: two friendly lions and two sheltering wolves. Maybe it was just the placebo effect, but the experiment worked. My allies made me brave and kept me safe. You're welcome to borrow them, Scorpio, or conjure up your own version of spirit protectors. You're not in physical danger, but I suspect you need an extra layer of protection against other people's bad moods, manipulative ploys and unconscious agendas.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I'm not suggesting you should listen to your heart with rapt attention every waking minute for the next four weeks. I don't expect you to neglect the insights your mind has to offer. But I would love to see you boost your attunement to the intelligent organ at the center of your chest. You're going to need its specific type of guidance more than ever in the coming months. And at this particular moment, it is beginning to overflow with wisdom that's so rich and raw that it could unleash a series of spiritual orgasms.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The empty space at the end of this sentence has intentionally been left blank.
The serene hiatus you just glided through comes to you courtesy of Healing Silence, an ancient form of do-it-yourself therapy. Healing Silence is based on the underappreciated truth that, now and then, it's restorative to just shut up and abstain from activity for a while. (As you know, the world is crammed with so much noise and frenzy that it can be hard to hear yourself think — or even feel.) With Healing Silence, you bask in a sanctuary of sweet nothingness for as long as you need to. Please try it sometime soon. Wrap yourself in the luxurious void of Healing Silence.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I hope you won't feel the need to say any of these things: 1. "I'm sorry I gave you everything I had without making sure you wanted it." 2. "Will you please just stop asking me to be so real?" 3. "I long for the part of you that you'll never give me." Now here are things I hope you will say sometime soon: 1. "I thrived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me." (This declaration is lifted from novelist Joshua Graham.) 2. "I'm having fun, even though it's not the same kind of fun everyone else is having." (Borrowed from author C.S. Lewis.) 3. "I'm not searching for who I am. I'm searching for the person I aspire to be." (Stolen from author Robert Brault.)
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Are you fantasizing more about what you don't have and can't do than what you do have and can do? If so, please raise the "do have" and "can do" up to at least 51 percent. (Eighty percent would be better.) Have you been harshly critiquing yourself more than you have been gently taking care of yourself? If so, get your self-care level up to at least 51 percent. (Eighty-five percent is better.) Are you flirting with a backward type of courage that makes you nervous about what everyone thinks of you and expects from you? If so, I invite you to cultivate a different kind of courage at least 51 percent of the time: courage to do what's right for you no matter what anyone thinks or expects. (Ninety percent is better.)