ARIES (March 21-April 19) "Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings," says poet Muriel Rukeyser in her poem "Elegy in Joy." "Not all things are blest," she continues, "but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed." I urge you to adopt this perspective in the coming weeks. Be extra sweet and tender and reverent toward anything that is just sprouting, toward anything that is awakening, toward anything that invokes the sacredness of right now. "This moment," sings Rukeyser, "this seed, this wave of the sea, this look, this instant of love."
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) As you seek more insight on your current situation, consider the possibility that the bad guys may not be as bad as they seem. They might simply be so deeply under the spell of their own pain that they can't see straight. And as for the good guys: I wonder if they are as purely good as they would like you to imagine. It might be the case that they are at least partially serving their own self-interest, while pretending to be utterly altruistic. If there's any truth to these speculations, you'd be wise to stay uncommitted and undecided for now. Don't get emotionally riled up, don't get embroiled in conflict and don't burn any bridges.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Here's your mantra: "I get fresher under pressure." Say it 10 times right now, and then repeat it in 10-repetition bursts whenever you need a tune-up. What it means is that you stay cool when the contradictions mount and the ambiguities multiply. And more than that: You actually thrive on the commotion. You get smarter amidst the agitation. You become more perceptive and more creative as the shifts swirl faster and harder. Tattoo these words of power on your imagination: "I get fresher under pressure."
CANCER (June 21-July 22) "Stories happen to those who tell them," said the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. Modern radio journalist Ira Glass goes even further. "Great stories happen to those who can tell them," he has said. Let's make this strategy a centerpiece of your life plan in the weeks ahead. I have a suspicion that you will need first-hand experience of novel, interesting stories. They will provide the precise nourishment necessary to inspire the blooming of your most soulful ambitions. One way to help ensure that the best stories will flow your way is to regale receptive people with transformative tales from your past.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) "Dear Rob: I'm spreading the word about Beer Week in your town, and I'd love to see you and your beer-loving readers at some of the events. Any chance you can include some coverage of Beer Week celebrations in your upcoming column? Cheers, Patricia." Dear Patricia: I don't do product placement or other forms of secret advertising in my horoscopes. To allow it would violate the sacred trust I have with my readers, who rely on me to translate the meaning of the cosmic signs without injecting any hidden agendas. It is true that Leos might be prone to imbibing great quantities of beer in the coming week, simply because they'd benefit from lowering their inhibitions, getting in touch with their buried feelings and expanding their consciousness. But to be frank, I'd rather see them do that without the aid of drugs and alcohol.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Hoping to stir up some fun trouble, I posted the following message on my Facebook page: "Don't judge someone just because they sin differently than you." A torrent of readers left comments in response. My favorite was from Sue Sims, who said, "Yeah, they might be better at your kind of sin and you might learn something!" That advice is just the kind of healing mischief you need right now. It's a bit ironic, true, but still: Take it and run with it. Study the people who have mad skills at pulling off the rousing adventures and daring pleasures and interesting "sins" that you'd like to call your own.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) The French verb renverser can be translated as "to turn upside-down" or "to reverse the flow." The adjectival form is renversant, which means "stunning" or "astonishing." I think you may soon have experiences that could be described by those words. There's a good chance that a dry, impoverished part of your life will get a juicy, fertile infusion. A deficiency you have worried about might get at least half-filled. An inadequacy that makes you feel sad may be bolstered by reinforcements. Alas, there could also be a slight reversal that's not so gratifying. One of your assets may temporarily become irrelevant. But the trade-off is worth it. Your gains will outstrip your loss.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Professor Martyn Poliakoff creates short Youtube videos to help teach the public about chemistry. In one video, he explains why an explanation he gave in a previous video was completely mistaken. "It's always good for a scientist to be proved wrong," he confesses cheerfully. Then he moves on to speculate about what the right answer might be. I love humility like that! It's admirable. It's also the best way to find out the truth about reality. I hope you will summon a similar attitude in the coming weeks: a generous curiosity that makes you eager to learn something new about stuff you thought you had all figured out.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) On the one hand, menopausal women are no longer able to bear children. On the other hand, they often overflow with fresh possibilities and creative ideas. More time is available to them because their children have moved out of the house or don't require as much care. They can begin new careers, focus on their own development, and devote more attention to their personal needs. So in one way their fertility dries up; in another way it may awaken and expand. I suspect that whether or not you are menopausal, you are on the cusp of a comparable shift in your fecundity: one door closing, another door swinging open.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) The TV reality show Freaky Eaters profiled a woman named Kelly who had eaten nothing but cheesy potatoes for 30 years. Her average intake: eight pounds of potatoes and four cups of cheese per day. "I love cheesy potatoes," she testified. "They're stewy, gooey and just yum-yum-yummy. They're like crack to me." I'm a bit concerned that you're flirting with behavior comparable to hers. Not in regard to cheesy potatoes, of course, but to some other fetish. I will ask you to make sure that you're not starting to over-specialize. It would be wise to avoid obsessing on a single type of anything.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) In the 17th century, polite people referred to mountains as "warts" and "boils on the earth's complexion." So says Robert Macfarlane in his book Mountains of the Mind. Annie Dillard describes the peculiar behavior of educated European tourists in the 18th century. When they visited the Alps, she writes in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, "they deliberately blindfolded their eyes to shield themselves from the evidence of the earth's horrid irregularity." Don't be anything like those dumb sophisticates. When you spy irregularities in the coming weeks, consider the possibility that they are natural and healthy. This will allow you to perceive their useful beauty.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) You are not for sale. Remember? Your scruples and ideals and talents cannot be bought off for any amount of money. You will not be cheated out of your birthright and you will not allow your dreams to be stolen. Although it's true that you may have to temporarily rent your soul from time to time, you will never auction it off for good. I'm sure you know these things, but I suspect it's time to renew your fiery commitment to them.