ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Here's how you can tell if you have a bad psychotherapist or counselor," says my friend Laura. "She or he buys into all your BS, never questions your delusions, and builds your self-esteem even if that makes you into an a**hole." I agree with Laura's assessment, which is why I'm going to spend our short time together today calling you on your BS, prodding you to get introspective about your delusions, and not pumping up the parts of your ego that really should be melted down. Next week maybe we'll get back to gazing adoringly into each other's eyes, but right now you'll benefit from some tough love.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This will be an excellent time to read five books simultaneously, snack constantly on delicacies while avoiding heavy meals, climb a tree with an adventurous friend and make careful yet wild love right there, refuse to practice any form of meditation that doesn't involve laughing, buy ten cheap alarm clocks and smash them with a hammer out in the middle of a meadow, pretend to be a feral teenager who's allergic to civilization, and throw invisible stones at any god, angel, or genie who won't help you get the love you want.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): American poet William Stafford, winner of the National Book Award in 1963, wrote a poem every morning for 40 years. "I keep following the hidden river of my life," he said. "And I don't have any sense of its coming to a crescendo, or of its petering out either. It is just going steadily along." I'd like to nominate Stafford to be your honorary role model, Gemini. Here's your assignment: Every morning for the next 20 days, carry out a brief ritual (no more than a few minutes long) that feeds your lust for life and engenders a blessing for yourself or someone you care about.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your assignment in the coming week is simple but tricky: Take devalued ideas or trivial objects or demeaning words, and transform them into things that are fun, interesting or useful. Here are some precedents to inspire you: what the punk movement did when it made safety pins into earrings; what gays did when they mutated the insulting term "queer" into a word of power; what the resourceful TV hero MacGyver did when he put powdered make-up into a confetti cannon and shot it at evil CIA operatives, temporarily blinding them and allowing him to escape.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): It's a perfect time to work more intensely on cultivating a healthy relationship between money and your soul. For inspiration, read this wise counsel, articulated by Margaret Young and quoted in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. "Many people attempt to live their lives backwards. They try to have more money in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want."
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "There have never in history been so many opportunities to do so many things that aren't worth doing," wrote novelist William Gaddis. That's important for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks. You'll receive a flood of invitations, but only some of them will be intimately related to the unique work you're here on Earth to do. Those few may be so amazingly useful, though, that they could dramatically change your life for the better. Please say no to all the others so you can attend to the good stuff with your heart on fire and your mind as fluid as a mountain stream.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Have you ever heard of the First Law of Holes? It says that if you get in a hole, you should stop digging. Please obey that law in the coming week, Libra. Once you realize there's no other place to go but down if you continue your course of action, nothing - not even your pride - should keep you committed to that course. Now here's the Second Law of Holes: If you are able to scramble up out of the hole before it gets too deep, you should then spend some time filling it in so that you don't fall into it if you come back that way later in the dark.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Most intelligent people realize that global warming is underway. This awakening is good, but I'm worried that it may be diverting attention from a more profound crisis: the Mass Extinction Event that's killing off animal and plant species at a pace unmatched since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The possibility of there being future draughts, rising ocean levels and crazy weather is daunting, but the more devastating fact is that Earth's precious eco-diversity is dying now - not just from global warming, but also from pollution and a host of other mischief caused by humans. What does this have to do with your horoscope - I mean, besides it being a call to expand your understanding of our planet's environmental crisis? The scenario I've described is a metaphor for your personal life. What important issue might you be obsessing on in a way that blinds you to an even more all-encompassing issue?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The largest rubber duck race in history took place last year on Ireland's River Liffey, with 150,000 yellow vinyl contestants vying to cross the finish line first. It was a charity event to raise money for sick children. I mention this, Sagittarius, because if anyone could organize an adventure that would top that extravaganza, it would be you in your current state. You're at the peak of your power to marshal the forces of playfulness in a holy cause.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Last November, Major League Baseball announced that New York Mets' pitcher Guillermo Mota had tested positive for steroids and would therefore be suspended for 50 games at the beginning of the new season. A month later, the Mets signed Mota to a new, two-year, $5 million contract, despite knowing that his recent accomplishments on the baseball field had almost certainly been inflated by the steroids' boost. I foresee a comparable scenario unfolding in your life, Capricorn. You'll be rewarded in the wake of a penalty or limitation that was imposed on you, and the gain will outstrip the loss. It may even be the case that the good thing coming your way will be related to or aided by the "bad" thing you did.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "I'm interested in the boundaries where things change into other things," writes Orene, one of my MySpace friends. Those boundaries should be your primary hang-out in the coming weeks, Aquarius. They are where all the most interesting action will be, as well as the teachings you need most. Would you like some foreshadowing about what things will be changing into other things? Pay close attention to your dreams for clues, and muse on this list: goodbyes that morph into awakenings; banishments that become pilgrimages; adversaries who transform into allies; decay that alchemizes into splendor; and serpent energy that turns into spiritual fire.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): While snorkeling in the ocean off the coast of Hawaii's Big Island, I had a conversation with a dolphin. She gave me clarity concerning a question I've been wondering about. I asked her, "What can Pisceans do to make sure their overflowing emotions don't cause the kind of chaos that undermines their ability to get things done?" I swear the dolphin answered me telepathically, because even though I couldn't understand the hubbub of shrieks and clicks she unleashed in response to my inquiry, my mind was suddenly filled with the following thoughts: Pisceans must love their oceanic emotions unconditionally . . . must see their endless inundation as a privilege and a blessing . . . must learn to surf the endless tidal wave not with a fearful sense of being a victim but with an exhilarated gratitude for the primal power of the adventure.