CANCER (June 21-July 22): Once upon a time, weren’t you the master builder who never finished building your castle? Weren’t you the exile who wandered aimlessly while fantasizing about the perfect sanctuary of the past or the sweet safety zone of the future? Didn’t you perversely nurture the ache that arose from your sense of not feeling at home in the world? I hope that by now you have renounced all of those kinky inclinations. If you haven’t, now would be an excellent time to do so. How might you reinvest the mojo that will be liberated by the demise of those bad habits?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In accordance with the astrological omens, I have selected three aphorisms by poet James Richardson to guide you. Aphorism No. 1: "The worst helplessness is forgetting there is help." My commentary: You have the power to avoid that fate. Start by identifying the sources of healing and assistance that are available to you. Aphorism No. 2: "You do not have to be a fire to keep one burning." My commentary: Generate all the heat and light you can, yes, but don't torch yourself. Aphorism No. 3: "Patience is not very different from courage. It just takes longer." My commentary: But it may not take a whole lot longer.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You may not know this, but I am the founder and CEO of Proud to Be Humble, an acclaimed organization devoted to minimizing vanity. It is my sworn duty to protest any ego that exceeds the acceptable limits as defined by the Geneva Convention on Narcissism. However, I now find myself conflicted. Because of the lyrical beauty and bighearted charisma that are currently emanating from your ego, I am unable, in good conscience, to ask you to tone yourself down. In fact, I hereby grant you a license to expand your self-love to unprecedented proportions. You may also feel free to unleash a series of lovely brags.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The next 28 days will not be a favorable period to sit around passively wishing to be noticed. Nor will it be a good time to wait to be rescued or to trust in others to instigate desirable actions. On the other hand, it will be an excellent phase to be an initiator: to decide what needs to be done, to state your intentions concisely, and to carry out your master plan with alacrity and efficiency. To help ensure your success during the next 28 days, make this declaration each morning before breakfast: "I don't want to observe the show. I want to be the show."
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "In life, as in bicycling, pedal when you have to, coast when you can." So says author James Lough, and now I'm passing on his advice to you — just in time for your transition from the heavy-pedaling season to the coasting-is-fun phase. I suspect that at this juncture in your life story you may be a bit addicted to the heavy pedaling. You could be so accustomed to the intensity that you're inclined to be suspicious of an opportunity to enjoy ease and grace. Don't be like that. Accept the gift with innocent gratitude.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "When a jet flies low overhead, every glass in the cupboard sings," writes aphorist James Richardson. "Feelings are like that: choral, not single; mixed, never pure." That's always true, but it will be intensely true for you in the coming weeks. I hope you can find a way to tolerate, even thrive on, the flood of ambiguous complexity. I hope you won't chicken out and try to pretend that your feelings are one-dimensional and easily understandable. In my opinion, you are ripe to receive rich lessons in the beauty and power of mysterious emotions.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Pop artist Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. His idea had a resonance with the phrase "nine days' wonder," which as far back as Elizabethan times referred to a person or event that captured the public's fascination for a while. You Capricorns are entering a phase when you're far more likely than usual to bask in the spotlight. Between now and September 2017, I bet you'll garner at least a short burst of glory, acclaim or stardom — perhaps much more. Are you ready for your close-up? Have you prepped for the influx of attention that may be coming your way?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): One of my readers, Jay O'Dell, told me this story: "After my cancer surgery, a nurse said to me, 'You may as well try magical thinking. Regular thinking hasn't helped.' I said to the nurse, 'Well, why the hell not?' That was seven years ago." In bringing O'Dell's testimony to your attention, I don't mean to suggest you will have any health problems that warrant a strong dose of magical thinking. Not at all. But you may get wrapped up in a psychological twist or a spiritual riddle that would benefit from magical thinking. And what exactly is magical thinking? Here's one definition: The stories that unfold in your imagination have important effects on what actually happens to you.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Let's talk about X factors and wild cards and strange attractors. By their very nature, they are unpredictable and ephemeral, even when they offer benevolent breakthroughs. So you may not even notice their arrival if you're entranced by your expectations and stuck in your habitual ways. But here's the good news, Pisces: Right now you are not unduly entranced by your expectations or stuck in your habits. Odds are high that you will spy the sweet twists of fate — the X factors and wild cards and strange attractors — as they float into view. You will pounce on them and put them to work while they're still fresh. And then they will help you hike your ratings or get the funding you need or animate the kind of love that heals.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): During winter, some bears spend months hibernating. Their body temperatures and heart rates drop. They breathe drowsily. Their movements are minimal. Many hummingbirds engage in a similar slow-down — but they do it every single night. By day they are among the most manic creatures on Earth, flapping their wings and gathering sustenance with heroic zeal. When the sun slips below the horizon, they rest with equal intensity. In my estimation, Aries, you don't need a full-on immersion in idleness like the bears. But you'd benefit from a shorter stint, akin to the hummingbird's period of dormancy.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Dear Dr. Brezsny: A psychic predicted that sometime this year I will fall in love with a convenience store clerk who's secretly a down-on-his-luck prince of a small African country. She said that he and I have a unique destiny. Together we will break the world's record for dancing without getting bitten in a pit of cobras while drunk on absinthe on our honeymoon. But there's a problem. I didn't have time to ask the psychic how I'll meet my soul mate, and I can't afford to pay $250 for another reading. Can you help? —Mopey Taurus." Dear Mopey: The psychic lied. Neither she nor anyone else can see what the future will bring you. Why? Because what happens will be largely determined by your own actions. I suggest you celebrate this fact. It's the perfect time to do so: July is Feed Your Willpower Month.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Of all the concert pianos in the world, 80 percent of them are made by Steinway. A former president of the company once remarked that in each piano, "243 taut strings exert a pull of 40,000 pounds on an iron frame." He said it was "proof that out of great tension may come great harmony." That will be a potential talent of yours in the coming weeks, Gemini. Like a Steinway piano, you will have the power to turn tension into beauty. But will you actually accomplish this noble goal, or will your efforts be less melodious? It all depends on how much poised self-discipline you summon.