ARIES (March 21-April 19): Back in the 1920s, the governor of Texas was determined to forbid the teaching of foreign languages in public schools. To bolster her case, she called on the Bible. "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ," she said, "it's good enough for us." She was dead serious. I suspect you may soon have to deal with that kind of garbled thinking, Aries. And it may be impossible to simply ignore it, since the people wielding it may have some influence on your life. So what's the best way to deal with it? Here's what I advise: Be amused. Quell your rage. Stay calm. And methodically gather the cool, clear evidence about what is really true.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A few weeks ago, the principal at a school in Bellingham, Washington announced that classes would be canceled the next day. What was his rationale? A big storm, a bomb threat, or an outbreak of sickness? None of the above. He decided to give students and teachers the day off so they could enjoy the beautiful weather that had arrived. I encourage you to make a similar move in the coming days, Taurus. Take an extended Joy Break -- maybe several of them. Grant yourself permission to sneak away and indulge in spontaneous celebrations. Be creative as you capitalize profoundly on the gifts that life is offering you.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Japan it's not rude to slurp while you eat your ramen noodles out of a bowl. That's what the Lonely Planet travel guide told me. In fact, some Japanese hosts expect you to make sounds with your mouth; they take it as a sign that you're enjoying your meal. In that spirit, Gemini, and in accordance with the astrological omens, I encourage you to be as uninhibited as you dare this week—not just when you're slurping your noodles, but in every situation where you've got to express yourself uninhibitedly in order to experience the full potential of the pleasurable opportunities. As one noodle-slurper testified: "How can you possibly get the full flavor if you don't slurp?"
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Here's a thought from philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: "A person will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push that door." I'd like to suggest that his description fits you right now, Cancerian. What are you going to do about it? Tell me I'm wrong? Reflexively agree with me? I've got a better idea. Without either accepting or rejecting my proposal, simply adopt a neutral, open-minded attitude and experiment with the possibility. See what happens if you try to pull the door open.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If you have been waiting for the right moment to perfect your party skills, I suspect this might be it. Is there anything you can do to lower your inhibitions? Would you at least temporarily consider slipping into a chronic state of fun? Are you prepared to commit yourself to extra amounts of exuberant dancing, ebullient storytelling, and unpredictable playtime? According to my reading of the astrological omens, the cosmos is nudging you in the direction of rabble-rousing revelry.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Where exactly are your power spots, Virgo? Your bed, perhaps, where you rejuvenate and reinvent yourself every night? A place in nature where you feel at peace and at home in the world? A certain building where you consistently make good decisions and initiate effective action? Wherever your power spots are, I advise you to give them extra focus. They are on the verge of serving you even better than they usually do, and you should take steps to ensure that happens. I also advise you to be on the lookout for a new power spot. It's available.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Reverence is one of the most useful emotions. When you respectfully acknowledge the sublime beauty of something greater than yourself, you do yourself a big favor. You generate authentic humility and sincere gratitude, which are healthy for your body as well as your soul. Please note that reverence is not solely the province of religious people. A biologist may venerate the scientific method. An atheist might experience a devout sense of awe toward geniuses who have bequeathed to us their brilliant ideas. What about you, Libra? What excites your reverence? Now is an excellent time to explore the deeper mysteries of this altered state of consciousness.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When explorer Ernest Shackleton was planning his expedition to Antarctica in 1914, he placed this ad in London newspapers: "Wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success." Would you respond to a come-on like that if you saw it today? I hope not. It's true that your sense of adventure is ratcheting up. And I suspect you're itching for intense engagement with the good kind of darkness that in the past has inspired so much smoldering wisdom. But I believe you can satisfy those yearnings without putting yourself at risk or suffering severe deprivation.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "I'd rather not sing than sing quiet," said the vivacious chanteuse Janis Joplin. Her attitude reminds me a little of Salvador Dali's. He said, "It is never difficult to paint. It is either easy or impossible." I suspect you Sagittarians may soon be in either-or states like those. You will want to give everything you've got, or else nothing at all. You will either be in the zone, flowing along in a smooth and natural groove, or else totally stuck. Luckily, I suspect that giving it all and being in the zone will predominate.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In 1948, Nelson Mandela began his fight to end the system of apartheid in his native South Africa. Eventually he was arrested for dissident activities and sentenced to life imprisonment. He remained in jail until 1990, when his government bowed to international pressure and freed him. By 1994, apartheid collapsed. Mandela was elected president of his country and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Fast-forward to 2008. Mandela was still considered a terrorist by the United States, and had to get special permission to enter the country. Yikes! You probably don't have an antiquated rule or obsolescent habit that's as horrendous as that, Capricorn. But it's past time for you to dissolve your attachment to any outdated attachments, even if they're only mildly repressive and harmful.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As a renowned artist, photographer, and fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld has overflowed with creative expression for 50 years. His imagination is weird and fantastic, yet highly practical. He has produced a profusion of flamboyant stuff. "I'm very down to earth," he has said, "just not this earth." Let's make that your mantra for the coming weeks, Aquarius: You, too, will be very down to earth in your own unique way. You'll follow your quirky intuition, but always with the intent of channeling it constructively.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In the following passage, French novelist Georges Perec invites us to renew the way we look upon things that are familiar to us. "What we need to question," he says, "is bricks, concrete, glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, the way we spend our time, our rhythms. To question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us." A meditation like this could nourish and even thrill you, Pisces. I suggest you boost your ability to be sincerely amazed by the small wonders and obvious marvels that you sometimes take for granted.
Homework: Name one of your least useful attitudes: a belief or perspective you know you should live without, but which you haven't had the courage to banish.