ARIES (March 21-April 19) This would be an excellent time for you to visit terminally ill patients in a hospice or go on a tour of a maximum-security prison. You might also travel to the Slum Theme Park in Americus, Ga., where Habitat for Humanity has built replicas of the leaky-roofed, dirt-floored, bug-infested huts that so many millions of the world’s poor call home. In other words, I recommend firsthand exposure to people whose problems are much more demanding than yours. To do so would provide a shock that would inspire you to conquer the personal challenge you find most daunting.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) These last two weeks before the solstice will stir up a vortex of novelty in your depths. Among the sparkly surprises swirling around down there will be some intuitions about your life in 2008, so stay on high alert. Snag every one of those prophetic glimpses. Here are questions to focus your attention: What new interests are gestating within you? How is life asking you to modify your ideas about who you are? What do you suspect will be your best three creations in the coming year?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) I love how electrifyingly your intelligence works – how fast you comprehend things that other people require many twists and turns to grasp. But I don’t love how your quick mind sometimes alienates you from those who are moving more slowly, and I don’t love it when that undermines your ability to capitalize on your brilliance. Fortunately, I don’t think this will be a problem in the coming days. From what I can tell, you will have fun without making any karmic messes.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Hell isn’t an imaginary place dreamed up to scare the faithful, according to Pope Benedict XVI. He says sinners are actually tortured by fire for all eternity. My opinion is that his crazy talk is less worthy of consideration than the rants of the homeless guy downtown who thinks evil reptilian extraterrestrials have taken over George Bush’s brain. Purge any tendency you might have to believe in cartoony notions of hell; that will free you to meditate on the possibility that we do in fact suffer for the pain we cause others. Not by being literally tortured in a demonic realm, but rather by the ugliness we have unleashed inside us. It’s a good week for you to spend quality time in your personal hell, making up for any hurtful or greedy or unconscious things you may have done in 2007. (P.S. You’re not any guiltier than the rest of us; it’s just that this is a good time for you to atone.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) To many Tibetan Buddhists, the snow lion is a symbol of fearless joy, which is a cornerstone of their spiritual practice. I trust that in 2007 you have learned a lot about this quality, and I hope you will make it the basis of your daily rhythm in 2008. These last two weeks before the solstice will be an excellent time to integrate all the teachings you’ve absorbed about fearless joy, and to prime yourself to take your mastery to the next level.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) In some places, you can’t buy a gun 15 minutes after you get an itch to hold it in your hand. In America, for example, a few states force you to delay your purchase for a short time. Many countries require couples seeking marriage licenses to endure a cooling-off period of a few days. I urge you to adopt this approach to making important decisions. Impose a waiting period on yourself if you’re thinking about acquiring heavy artillery, intensifying your relationship commitment, altering your consciousness or any other big action.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) You’re coming to the climax of the season of fertile tension and productive arguments. (Let’s hope you haven’t allowed it to devolve into the season of fruitless disputes and awkward silence.) As you prepare to harvest the opportunities that have been made available, I offer three pieces of advice from essayist Joseph Joubert. 1) “Never cut what you can untie.” 2) “It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” 3) “The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) You won’t believe how talented you’re going to be at blending pragmatism and idealism in the coming days. You may be amazed at your knack for being down to earth and up in the clouds at the same time. Among the feats you could accomplish: making money doing what you love; acquiring crucial nuts and bolts for a long-deferred fantasy; and turning lead into gold just in time to make a big down payment on a dream boat, dream home or dream trip.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) A man in Santiago, Chile, won $250,000 in a contest held by his bank. There was only one catch: In accepting the money, Mario Habit had to abide by the bank’s stipulation that he spend all of his winnings in one day. Summoning a manically relaxed concentration, he succeeded, paying off his substantial debts while also buying two cars and three apartments. I believe a comparable opportunity is about to come your way. You will be offered a new resource or blessing that has to be used quickly in order for it to be fully available and effective.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) The phrase “new roses” can serve as an antidote to neurosis in the coming days – as a kind of magical spell. Invoke it whenever you’re in danger of getting undermined by either your own neurosis or someone else’s. If you notice, for instance, that your subconscious mind is spiraling down into a sour fantasy stirred up by one of your habitual fears, start muttering a cheerful round of “new roses, new roses, new roses.” If your allies engage in compulsive behavior that they tend to get stuck in when stress overflows, chant “new roses, new roses, new roses” in a blithe, sing-song tone.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Few people realize that in the 15th century the Buddha was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. He was officially called Saint Josaphat, a name that’s derived from the word “bodhisattva,” which refers to a deeply compassionate person devoted to becoming an enlightened being. Virtually every element of Josaphat’s life story as reported by the Church is a duplicate of the original legends about the Buddha. I expect to see a comparable theme unfold in your life in the coming weeks. You will get credit, honor or acknowledgement that seems accidental, or comes from an unexpected source. Like the Buddha, you will richly deserve the reward, even though it may feel odd at first.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) How would you go about relocating Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro to the south of France? How might you undo and fix the debacle of America’s occupation of Iraq? What steps could you take to creatively disrupt the pathological family patterns that have knocked you off-center for years? In 2008, I predict that you will have extraordinary potential to solve impossible problems like those. More than ever before, you will be able to attract the help and summon the inspiration necessary to accomplish goals that have previously seemed beyond your power. And it all starts now.

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