ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Sanskrit word tapasya is translated as “heat,” but in the yogic tradition it means “essential energy.” It refers to the practice of managing your life force so that it can be directed to the highest possible purposes, thereby furthering your evolution as a spiritual being. Do you have any techniques for accomplishing that — either through yoga or any other techniques? This would be a good year to redouble your commitment to that work. In the coming months, the world will just keep increasing its output of trivial, energy-wasting temptations. You’ll need to be pretty fierce if you want to continue the work of transforming yourself into the Aries you were born to be: focused, direct, energetic and full of initiative.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Live out of your imagination, not your history,” says Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. While that’s always true, it will be especially crucial for you to remember in 2012. This is the year you can transcend stale traditions, Taurus — a time when you can escape your outworn habits, reprogram your conditioned responses and dissolve old karma. You will be getting unparalleled opportunities to render the past irrelevant. And the key to unlocking all the magic will be your freewheeling yet highly disciplined imagination. Call on it often to show you the way toward the future.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Comedian Steven Wright says his nephew has HDADD, or High Definition Attention Deficit Disorder: “He can barely pay attention, but when he does it’s unbelievably clear.” I’m predicting something like that for you in the coming week, Gemini. You will encounter more things that are dull than are interesting, but those few that fascinate you will awaken an intense focus that allows you to see into the heart of reality.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): As I contemplate the most desirable fate you could create for yourself, I’m reminded of a lyric from one of my songs: “We are searching for the answers / so we can destroy them and dream up better questions.” Here’s what I’m implying by that, Cancerian: This is not the right time for you to push for comprehensive formulas and definitive solutions. Rather, it’s a favorable moment to draw up the incisive inquiries that will frame your quest for comprehensive formulas and definitive solutions. That quest is due to begin in two weeks. For now, raise your curiosity levels, intensify your receptivity and make yourself highly magnetic to core truths.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource,” said author Jorge Luis Borges. “All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” I agree that this advice isn’t just for writers, but for everyone. And it so happens that you are now in an astrological phase when adopting such an approach would bring you abundant wisdom and provide maximum healing. So get started, Leo: Wander through your memories, reinterpreting the difficult experiences as rich raw material that you can use to beautify your soul and intensify your lust for life.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “Poetry is the kind of thing you have to see from the corner of your eye,” said the poet William Stafford. “If you look straight at it you can’t see it, but if you look a little to one side it is there.” As I contemplate your life in the immediate future, Virgo, I’m convinced that his definition of poetry will be useful for you to apply to just about everything. In fact, I think it’s an apt description of all the important phenomena you’ll need to know about. Better start practicing your sideways vision.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A Swedish man named Richard Handl decided to conduct a scientific experiment in his kitchen. Would it be possible to split atoms using a homemade apparatus? He wanted to see if he could generate atomic reactions with the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium. But before he got too far into the process, the police intervened and ended his risky fairy tale. I bring this to your attention, Libra, as an example of how not to proceed in the coming weeks. It will be a good time for you to experiment around the house — refining your relationship with your roommates, moving the furniture around and in general rearranging the domestic chemistry — but please avoid trying stuff as crazy as Handl’s.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 1878, Thomas Edison perfected the phonograph, a machine that could record sounds and play them back. There had been some primitive prototypes before, but his version was a major improvement. And what were the first sounds to be immortalized on Edison’s phonograph? The rush of the wind in the trees? A dramatic reading of the Song of Songs? The cries of a newborn infant? Nope. Edison recited the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” When you make your own breakthrough in communication sometime soon, Scorpio, I hope you deliver a more profound and succulent message.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I suspect you may soon find yourself in a situation similar to the one that 19th-century American president Abraham Lincoln was in when he said the following: “If this is coffee, please bring me some tea. But if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” In other words, Sagittarius, you may not be picky about what you want, but whatever it is, you’ll prefer it to be authentic, pure and distinctly itself. Adulterations and hodgepodges won’t satisfy you, and they won’t be useful. Hold out for the Real Thing.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Last summer, before the football season started, sportswriter Eric Branch wrote about a rookie running back that San Francisco 49er fans were becoming increasingly excited about. The newbie had made some big plays in exhibition games. Would he continue performing at a high level when the regular season began? Were the growing expectations justified? After a careful analysis, Branch concluded that the signs were promising, but not yet definitive: “It’s OK to go mildly berserk,” he informed the fans. That’s the same message I’m delivering to you right now, Capricorn. The early stages of your new possibility are encouraging. It’s OK to go mildly berserk, but it’s not yet time to go totally bonkers.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In summer, the pickleweed plant thrives in the saltwater marshes around San Francisco Bay. In many places, bright orange patches of the dodder plant intermingle with the pickleweed’s sprightly jade green, creating festive displays that suggest nature is having a party. But there’s a secret buried in this scene. The dodder’s webby filaments are actually parasites that suck nutrients from the pickleweed. In accordance with the astrological omens, Aquarius, I’ll ask you if a situation like that exists in your own life. Is there a pretty picture that hides an imbalance in the give-and-take of energy? It’s not necessarily a bad thing — after all, the pickleweed grows abundantly even with its freeloader hanging all over it — but it’s important to be conscious of what’s going on.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “That in a person which cannot be domesticated is not his evil but his goodness,” said the writer Antonio Porchia. I invite you to keep that challenging thought close to your heart in the coming days, Pisces. In my astrological opinion, it is an excellent moment to tune in to your wildest goodness — to describe it to yourself, to cherish it as the great treasure it is, to foster it and celebrate it and express it like a spring river overflowing its banks.