ARIES (March 21-April 19) "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff. "It's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before." While your crisis is nowhere near as pressing as those faced by Obama's team, I recommend that you adopt a similar attitude in the coming days. Just assume that any breakdowns you experience will allow you to make breakthroughs that were previously impossible. Take advantage of a spiritual emergency to accomplish a spiritual emergence. As you deal with a scary trial, use it as an impetus to find a sacred trail.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Your key theme for the week is Healthy Obsessions. Not Melodramatic Compulsions or Exhausting Crazes or Manias That Make You Seem Interesting to Casual Bystanders, but Healthy Obsessions. To carry out your assignment in the right way, you will have to take really good care of yourself as you concentrate on tasks that fill you with zeal. This may require you to rebel against the influences of role models, both in your actual life and in movies you've seen, who act as if being sick and imbalanced is integral to one's genius.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) The closest modern relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex may be the chicken, says geneticist John Asara. He came to this conclusion after studying tissue from a 68-million-year-old T. rex bone. I invite you to try the following thought experiment: Envision a couple of monstrous influences from your past — big bad meanies who hurt you or scared you. Imagine they were like T. rex back then. Close your eyes and see their faces glaring from the beast's skull. But then imagine that in the intervening years they have devolved and shrunk. Picture them now as clucking chickens pecking at seeds in the dirt.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Scientists and fundamentalist Christians don't share much common ground, but one thing most of them agree on devoutly: There's no such thing as reincarnation. I'm pleased to be able to offer you the chance to rebel against their dogmatic delusion. It's an excellent time to try out the hypothesis that you have lived many times before and will live many times again. For one week, act as if it were true and see how it changes the way you feel, think and act. What if everything you do has repercussions forever?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) This horoscope presents three clues for you to work with. No. 1: I know a psychotherapist's son who, while growing up, rarely received the benefits of his father's psychological expertise. "The shoemaker's child has no shoes," my friend says. No. 2: In the Bible's book of Mark, Jesus declares, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house." No. 3: A neurologist of my acquaintance suffers from migraine headaches that he has been unable to cure. Meditate on how these alienations may reflect situations that you're experiencing. If they sound familiar, take action. It's prime time to heal them.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) One reason I've been put on this earth is to expose you to a kind of astrology that doesn't crush your free will, but instead clarifies your choices. In this horoscope, for instance, I'll crisply delineate your options so that you may decide upon a bold course of action that's most in tune with your highest values. Study the following multiple-choice query, then briskly flex your freedom of choice. Would you rather have love: 1) knock the wind out of one of your illusions, thereby exposing the truth about what you really want; 2) not exactly kick you in the butt, but more like pinch and spank you there, inspiring you to revise your ideas about what it means to be close to someone; 3) spin you around in dizzying yet oddly pleasurable circles, shaking up your notions about how to keep intimacy both interestingly unpredictable and soothingly stable.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Cartoonist Gary Larson defines luposlipaphobia as the fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor. There's a real danger you could fall victim to that deluded phobia. And it's definitely a delusion; no timber wolves are in your immediate future. If you hope to avoid this anxiety, as well as other irrelevant and unproductive superstitions, you should have a nice long talk with yourself as soon as you finish reading this. Be very clear and strict and rational as you explain how important it is to be very clear and strict and rational right now.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Maybe you shouldn't mend your supposedly "evil" ways if your "evil" ways are about to mutate into a fascinating new approach to goodness. Maybe the very quality that has threatened to cause your downfall has now become the key to your upgrade. And maybe the thing that has made you most nervous about yourself will soon start ripening into a beautiful asset that will activate reserves of life energy you didn't know you could have at your disposal.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Jakob Dylan has created a solid musical career. He's a bit defensive, however, about the possibility that the fame of his father, Bob Dylan, has played a role in his success. His contracts specify that he never be called "Bob Dylan's son." I understand his longing for his work to be judged on its own merits, and I sympathize with his urge to be independent of his heritage. But in the coming weeks, I advise the opposite approach for you. You will place yourself in alignment with cosmic rhythms by acknowledging all the influences that helped you become the person you want to be.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Throx.com sells socks in threes, so if you lose one you have an extra to take its place. Their ingenious marketing plan resembles the approach of those romance addicts who always date two or three people just in case one dumps them. Which brings us to my main advice for you this week: Have a backup plan. Keep an alternative handy. Make sure you won't run out of the stuff you really need.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) My Chevy got stolen in San Francisco on a January night some years ago. The thief smashed the steering column with a tire iron to get to the ignition wires. Eventually the cops recovered the car and returned it to me, but no repair shop could ever completely fix the transmission, and though the car sort of worked for another 18 months, I was never able to shift it into reverse again. Driving a vehicle that only moved forward presented problems that required creative solutions. It was an apt metaphor for my life at the time, when I found it impossible to go backward in any way. I suspect it will also be one of your operative metaphors in the coming months.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) "The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little," wrote the spiritual activist Thomas Merton. Judging from your current astrological omens, I suspect that's a warning you should heed. The time has come for you to consider the possibility that you aren't thinking big enough — that you need to actively rebel against the voices telling you to sit back and accept your comfortable limitations. In a sense, the cosmos is giving you license to ask for more.