ARIES (March 21-April 19): I started producing some good work within 10 years of launching my writing career, but I didn't hit my stride until the 18th year. From what I hear, many other skills require a long training period as well. According to an Aikido adept I know, for example, a practitioner may require 30 years to master the moves and spirit of that martial art. And as for the ability to carry on a successful intimate relationship: It usually takes a lifetime. I hope this line of thinking helps you get a more practical perspective on the specific prowess you're trying to develop, Aries. Keep in mind that it probably wouldn't be worth learning if you could become a wizard in a flash. There's no rush. Give yourself credit for how far you've come already.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Talk to yourself more and better. Not just with streams of chatter that meander aimlessly. Not with darts of self-deprecation mixed in with grandiose fantasies. No, Taurus. When I urge you to talk to yourself more and better, I mean that you should address your self with focused tenderness. I mean that you should be driven by the bold intention to lift up your mood, praise your skills, shower blessings on your vulnerabilities, and love yourself down to the core. You will attract cosmic assistance if you do this playful work. You will bathe your subconscious intelligence with healing luminosity.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I climbed the endless steps to the sanctuary, brushing off large spiders that kept landing on me. I stood in the rain for hours waiting for the gates to open. The guardian of the threshold wouldn't let me in until I answered his tricky and sometimes insulting questions. Through it all, I maintained my patience and poise and reverence. At no time did I give in to the temptation to curse the difficulties. And when I finally entered, when I got my chance to penetrate to the heart of the rose petal-strewn labyrinth, my persistence was rewarded. As I knelt there in amused awe, face to face with the sacred jokester, I got a useful answer to the most important question in my life. Would you like a comparable experience, Gemini? It's possible in the coming week.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Visionary philosopher Buckminster Fuller said that "Pollution is nothing but resources we're not harvesting." If that's true, Cancerian, you've got a lot of resources available to you right now, although they will have to be converted from their smoggy and effluvial state. So for example, if you're a songwriter, the noxious emotions floating around could be raw material for a sparkling tune. If you're a lover, the peculiar vibes you're dealing with could inspire you to prevent a dumb pattern from repeating itself.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The monsoon rains have not blessed eastern India with their usual downpours this year. In response, frustrated farmers have resorted to a radical ritual: asking their unmarried daughters to get naked and plow the fields. They believe that this will embarrass the weather gods into acting correctly. In general, I approve of being creative in making appeals to deities, but I recommend that you use a different approach. Rather than shaming them into providing you with more love and mojo, try flattering them. As if you were celebrating Halloween early, go around impersonating a god or goddess who is overflowing with love and mojo.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Two annoyances that had been bugging you before your exile have been neutralized. But you've still got at least one more to go, so don't relax yet. In fact, I think you should redouble your vigilance. Check expiration dates on your poetic licenses and pet theories. Scrub the muck from your aura, even if your friends seem to find it "interesting." And learn to read your own mind better so you can track down any disabling thoughts that might still be lurking in remote corners.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Your upcoming adventures will probably make no sense—unless you redefine what constitutes "sense." If you do that, your adventures could make absolutely lucid sense in a backward, upside-down way that will rejuvenate you sexually, spiritually, and emotionally. Here's another approach to understanding the point I'm trying to make: The epic drama you're about to begin may yield no apparent lesson and provide no practical guidance—unless you empty your mind and give up hope for extracting specific lessons and guidance—in which case you will be flooded with wise insights.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): What tricks have you employed to outwit your fears in the past? Remember them. Review them. Next, think about the people who have inspired you to be more courageous than you imagined were capable of. If you take these two actions, you will prepare yourself well for the week ahead. I'm not saying that the things you're scared of will be any bigger or badder than usual. But I want you to know that you now have the potential to gain a robust new power over them.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You are currently getting more miles per gallon and more bang for the buck than you have in a long time. Your IQ is creeping higher. Your knack for scoring good parking places is at a peak. I'll even go so far as to say that it's been quite a while since you've been teased by such thoroughly useful temptations. And get this, Sagittarius: I suspect that you have an enhanced instinct for taking smart risks. The only downside of all this good news is that you may not know your own strength. That means you should test it fast; find out more about its potential. Otherwise, you might break someone's heart by accident, or prematurely shatter the illusions of a person who's not yet ready to stop living in fantasyland.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I wouldn't be surprised if your whole life passed instantly before your eyes one day soon. Not because you'll come close to literal physical death or anything dangerous at all, but rather because you will have a brush with a magic power that could be yours in the future—a magic power that will be possible for you to fully own only if you cut the umbilicus that links you to a dying source. Wow. Did I really say that in a fun little astrology column? And are you really prepared to change your life because of something you read in a fun little astrology column? I hope so. In the coming weeks, it'll be the fun little things that have the greatest potential to align you more closely with your soul's code.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the days ahead, you may not realize what you're looking for until you find it. I advise you, therefore, to put into action the following five-point plan. 1) Suppress any know-it-all tendencies you might have. 2) Revive your childhood talent for being voraciously curious about everything. 3) Ask more questions than you've ever asked before. 4) Figure out how to be receptive without being passive, and how you can be humble without muffling your self-confidence. 5) Consider the possibility that you have a lot to learn about what's best for you.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I've borrowed a fable from the ancient Greek writer Aesop to create a parable you can use in the coming weeks. Once upon a time there was a very thirsty crow. Rain hadn't fallen in a long time, and the creek from which she'd always drunk had dried up. Searching and searching for a bit of moisture, the crow finally happened upon a tree under which sat a ceramic pitcher with some water in it. But the pitcher's neck was narrow, and the crow couldn't fit her beak past it to reach the water. Inspired by desperation, the crow at last got an idea. Why not drop small rocks into the pitcher, making the water's level rise? And that's exactly what she did. How sweet it was when at last she quenched her thirst.