CANCER (June 21-July 22): Capricorns may be the hardest workers of the zodiac, and Tauruses the most dogged. But in the coming weeks, I suspect you Cancerians will be the smartest workers. You will efficiently surmise the precise nature of the tasks at hand and do what’s necessary to accomplish them. There’ll be no false starts or reliance on iffy data or slapdash trial-and-error experiments. You’ll have a light touch as you find innovative shortcuts that produce better results than would be possible via the grind-it-out approach.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): My friend's 12-year-old daughter Brianna got a B on her summer school math test. She might have earned an A if it weren't for a problem her teacher had with some of her work. "You got the right answer by making two mistakes that happened to cancel each other out," he wrote on her paper next to question seven. I suspect you will soon have a similar experience. Leo. But the difference between you and Brianna is that I'm giving you an A. All that matters in the end is that you succeed. I don't care if your strategy is a bit funky.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Have ever fantasized about being a different gender or race or astrological sign? Do you suspect it might be fun and liberating to completely change your wardrobe or your hairstyle or your body language? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to experiment with these variables, and with any others that would enable you to play with your identity and mutate your self-image. You have a cosmic exemption from imitating what you have done in the past. In this spirit, feel free to read all the other signs' horoscopes and act on the one you like best. Your word of power is "shapeshifter."
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Golden Goose Award is given annually to "scientists whose work may have been considered silly, odd or obscure when first conducted," but which ultimately produced dramatic advances. Entomologists Raymond Bushland and Edward Knipling were this year's winners. More than 60 years ago they started tinkering with the sex life of the screwworm fly in an effort to stop the pest from killing livestock and wildlife throughout the American South. At first their ideas were laughed at, even ridiculed. In time they were lauded for their pioneering breakthroughs. I suspect you'll be blessed with a vindication of your own in the coming weeks, Libra. It may not be as monumental as Bushland's and Knipling's, but I bet it'll be deeply meaningful for you.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I hope it doesn't sound too paradoxical when I urge you to intensify your commitment to relaxation. I will love it, and more importantly your guardian angel will love it, if you become a fierce devotee of slowing down and chilling out. Get looser and cozier and more spacious, damn it! Snuggle more. Cut back on overthinking and trying too hard. Vow to become a high master of the mystic art of I-don't-give-a-fuck. It's your sacred duty to steal more slack from the soul-anesthetizing grind.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I regularly travel back through time from the year 2036 so as to be here with you. It's tough to be away from the thrilling transformations that are under way there. But it's in a good cause. The bedraggled era that you live in needs frequent doses of the vigorous optimism that's so widespread in 2036, and I'm happy to disseminate it. Why am I confessing this? Because I suspect you now have an extra talent for gazing into the unknown and exploring undiscovered possibilities. You also have an unprecedented power to set definite intentions about the life you want to be living in the future. Who will you be five years from today? Ten years? Twenty years? Be brave. Be visionary. Be precise.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Here's one strategy you could pursue, I guess: You could spank the Devil with a feather duster as you try to coax him to promise that he will never again trick you with a bogus temptation. But I don't think that would work, frankly. It may have minor shock value, in which case the Devil might leave you in peace for a short time. Here's what I suggest instead: Work at raising your discernment so high that you can quickly identify, in the future, which temptations will deliver you unto evil confusion and which will feed and hone your most noble desires.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): After a cool, dry period, you'll soon be slipping into a hot, wet phase. The reasonable explanations that generated so much apathy are about to get turned inside-out. The seemingly good excuses that provided cover for your timidity will be exposed as impractical lies. Are you ready for your passion to roar back into fashion? Will you know what to do when suppressed yearnings erupt and the chemicals of love start rampaging through your soft, warm animal body? I hereby warn you about the oncoming surge of weird delight — and sing "Hallelujah!" for the revelatory fun it will bring.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I'm composing your horoscope on my iPhone after midnight on a crowded bus that's crammed with sweaty revelers. We're being transported back to civilization from a rural hideaway where we spent the last 12 hours at a raging party. I still feel ecstatic from the recent bacchanal, but the ride is uncomfortable. I'm pinned against a window by a sleepy, drunken dude who's not in full control of his body. But do I allow my predicament to interfere with my holy meditation on your destiny? I do not — just as I trust you will keep stoking the fires of your own inspiration in the face of comparable irritations. You have been on a hot streak, my dear. Don't let anything tamp it down!
ARIES (March 21-April 19): You now have more luxuriant access to divine luck than you've had in a long time. For the foreseeable future, you could be able to induce semi-miraculous twists of fate that might normally be beyond your capacities. But here's a caveat: The good fortune swirling in your vicinity may be odd or irregular or hard to understand. To harvest it, you will have to expand your ideas about what constitutes good fortune. It may bestow powers you didn't even realize it was possible to have. For example, what if you temporarily have an acute talent for gravitating toward situations where smart love is in full play?
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A directory published by the U.S. Department of Labor says that my gig as an astrologer shares a category with jugglers, rodeo clowns, acrobats, carnival barkers and stuntpersons. Am I, therefore, just a charming buffoon? An amusing goofball who provides diversion from life's serious matters? I'm fine with that. I may prefer to regard myself as a sly oracle inflamed with holy madness, but the service I provide is probably more effective if my ego doesn't get the specific glory it yearns for. In this way, I have certain resemblances to the Taurus tribe during the next four weeks. Is it OK if you achieve success without receiving all of the credit you think you deserve?
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Over the course of a 57-year career, Japanese movie director Akira Kurosawa won 78 major awards for his work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oscars. Among the filmmakers who've named him as an inspirational influence are heavyweights like Ingmar Bergman, Werner Herzog, Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese. But Kurosawa wasn't too haughty to create lighter fare. At age 86, he departed from his epic dramas to create a 30-second commercial for a yogurt drink. Did that compromise his artistic integrity? I say no. Even a genius can't be expected to create nonstop masterpieces. Be inspired by Kurosawa, Gemini. In the coming weeks, give your best to even the most modest projects.