ARIES (March 21-April 19): Here's Malcolm Gladwell, writing in The Tipping Point: "We need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that sometimes big changes follow from small events, and that sometimes these changes can happen quickly. ... Look at the world around you. It may seem an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push—in just the right place—it can be tipped." You are now within shouting distance of your own personal tipping point, Aries. Follow your gut wisdom as you decide where to give a firm little push.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Welcome to the autumnal garden of earthly delights, Taurus. It's a brooding, fermenting paradise, full of the kind of dark beauty that wouldn't be caught dead in a spring garden. There's smoldering joy to be found amidst this riotous flowering of moody colors, but you won't appreciate it if you're too intent on seeking bright serenity and pristine comfort. Be willing to dirty your hands and even your mind. Feel the moss on your back, the leaves in your hair, and the mist on your bare legs. (P.S. If you like, you can take what I just said as an elaborate metaphor.)
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here's a vignette described by columnist Thomas Friedman: "Ludwig Wittgenstein once remarked that if you ask a man how much is 2 plus 2 and he tells you 5, that is a mistake. But if you ask a man how much is 2 plus 2 and he tells you 97, that is no longer a mistake. The man you are talking with is operating with a wholly different logic from your own." I'd like to suggest, Gemini, that for you right now the whole world is like the man who swears 2 plus 2 is 97. At least temporarily, you are on a very different wavelength from your surroundings. In order to understand what's coming toward you, you will have to do the equivalent of standing on your head, crossing your eyes, and opening your mind as wide as it'll stretch.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you want to grow vanilla beans, you have to pollinate the plant's flowers within 12 hours after they bloom. In nature, the only insect that can do the job is the Melipona, a Mexican bee. Luckily, humans can also serve as pollinators, which they do on commercial vanilla farms. They use thin wood splinters or stems of grass to perform the delicate magic. I'm thinking that you resemble a vanilla bean right now, Cancerian. It is the season when you're extra receptive to fertilization, but all the conditions have to be just right for the process to be successful. Here's my advice: Figure out exactly what those conditions are, then call on all your resourcefulness to create them.
Sam Adams Even our most sophisticated drilling machines have barely made pinpricks in the Earth's surface. The deepest hole ever dug was 40,000 feet, which is just 0.2 percent of the planet's 20-million-foot radius. I offer this up as a spur to your imagination, Leo. The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to plumb further into the depths of anyplace or anything you're intrigued by—whether that's a subject you've always wondered about, a person you care for, the mysteries of life or the secrets of your own psyche. You could reach the equivalent of five million feet into the Earth's innards.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): National Geographic speculates that most of the species on Earth are still unknown and unnamed. While 1.2 million life forms have been identified by science, there may be as many as 7.5 million that are not, or 86 percent of the total. I suspect that this breakdown is similar to the situation in your life, Virgo. You know about 14 percent of what you need to know, but there's still a big frontier to explore. The coming months should be prime time for you to cover a lot of new ground—and now would be a perfect moment to set the stage for that grand experiment.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I suspect that you will have a minor form of good luck going for you this week. It probably won't be enough to score you a winning lottery ticket or earn you a chance to get the answer to your most fervent prayers. But it might bring you into close proximity with a financial opportunity, a pretty good helper or a resource that could subtly boost your stability over the long haul. For best results, don't invoke your mild blessings to assist in trivial matters like finding parking places or avoiding long check-out lines. Use them for important stuff.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Try to be surprised by something every day," advises Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. That's an inspirational idea for everyone all the time, but especially for you Scorpios right now. This is the week of all weeks when you have the best chance of tinkering with your rhythm so that it will thrive on delightful unpredictability. Are you brave enough to capitalize on the opportunity? I think you are. Concentrate your attention on cultivating changes that feel exciting and life-enhancing.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Dear Rob: I was born on Nov. 30, and am quite attached to having it as a birthdate. But there's a complication. While in Iraq in 2006, I was half-blown up by a bomb, and had a near-death experience. When I returned from my excursion to the land of the dead, I felt I'd been born anew. Which is why I now also celebrate Sept. 24, the date of the bombing, as my second birthday. What do you think? Two-Way Tamara." Dear Two-Way: I believe we'd all benefit from having at least one dramatic rebirth in the course of our lives, though hopefully not in such a wrenching fashion as yours. In fact, a fresh rebirth every few years or so would be quite healthy. If it means adding astrological identities to our repertoire, so much the better. Thanks for bringing up the subject, as it's an excellent time for Sagittarians everywhere to seek out an exhilarating renewal.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Social climbers are people who are focused on gaining higher status in whatever circle of people they regard as cool, even to the point of engaging in fawning or ingratiating behavior. Soul climbers, on the other hand, are those who foster the power of their imagination, keep deepening their connection with life's intriguing enigmas, and explore the intersection of self-interest and generosity toward others. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you could go far in either of those directions during the coming weeks, Capricorn—but not both. Which will you choose?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): An Australian man named Daniel Fowler has more giraffe tattoos on his shoulders than any other human being on the planet. So says the Universal Record Database at recordsetter.com. Meanwhile, Darryl Learie is now the only person to ever be able to insert three steak knives into an inflated balloon, and Billy Disney managed to inject a world-record 31 sexual innuendoes into a rap song about potatoes. What could or should be your claim to fame, Aquarius? This would be an excellent time to try to establish your reputation as the best at your specific talent.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "You have to know how far to go too far," said poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. I reckon that's good advice for you right now. You're at a phase of your astrological cycle when you really can't afford to keep playing by all the rules and staying inside the proper boundaries. For the sake of your physical and psychological and spiritual health, you need to wander out beyond the limits that you've been so faithfully respecting. And yet, on the other hand, it would be a mistake to claim you have a right to stop at nothing. Know how far to go too far.
Homework: Which of your dead ancestors would you most like to talk to? Imagine a conversation with one of them.