ARIES (March 21-April 19): In North America, a farmer who grows wheat gets only five percent of the money earned by selling a loaf of bread made from his crop. When my band recorded an album for MCA, our contract called for us to receive just seven percent of the net profits. I encourage you to push for a much bigger share than that for the work you do in 2012. It will be an excellent time to raise the levels of respect you have for your own gifts, skills, and products — and to ask for that increased respect, as well.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For much of the 19th century, aluminum was regarded as a precious metal more valuable than gold. It was even used for the capstone of the Washington Monument, dedicated in 1884. The reason for this curiosity? Until the 1890s, it was difficult and expensive to extract aluminum from its ore. Then a new technology was developed that made the process very cheap. In 2012, Taurus, I'm predicting a metaphorically similar progression in your own life. A goodie or an asset will become more freely available to you because of your increased ability to separate it from the slag it's mixed with.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The coming year will be a good time for you to consider investigating the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Devotees of this religion call themselves Pastafarians. Their main dogma is the wisdom of rejecting all dogma. Having such a light-hearted approach to spiritual matters would be quite healthy for you to experiment with. For extra credit, you could draw inspiration from a church member named Niko Alm. He convinced authorities to allow him to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's license photo. Having a jaunty approach to official requirements and formal necessities will also serve you well.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Terrence Malick's Tree of Life is an ambitious work that deviates from formulaic approaches to film-making. Some observers hated its experimental invocation of big ideas, while others approved. *New York Times* critic A.O. Scott compared the movie to Herman Melville's Moby Dick, one of America's great works of literature. Here's what Scott wrote: "Mr. Malick might have been well advised to leave out the dinosaurs and the trip to the afterlife and given us a delicate chronicle of a young man's struggle with his father and himself. And perhaps Melville should have suppressed his philosophizing impulses and written a lively tale of a whaling voyage." Using this as a template, Cancerian, I urge you to treat 2012 as a time when you will be like Melville and Malick in your chosen field. Trust your daring, expansive vision.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I love the way they celebrate the New Year in Stonehaven, Scotland. A procession of revelers swings big flaming baskets around on the ends of long chains. I recommend that you carry out a comparable ritual as you barge into 2012, Leo. Symbolically speaking, it would set the perfect tone. The coming months should be a kind of extended fire festival for you — a time when you faithfully stoke the blaze in your belly, the radiance in your eyes, and the brilliance in your heart. Are you ready to bring all the heat and light you can to the next phase of your master plan? I hope so. Burn, baby, burn.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Historian David McCullough wrote The Greater Journey, a book telling the stories of ambitious young American artists who relocated to Paris between 1830 and 1900. They had to move away because their home country had no museums or art schools at that time. You Virgos may want to consider seeking a similar enlargement of your possibilities in the coming months. As you seek out the resources that will help you follow your dreams, be prepared to look beyond what you already know and what's immediately available.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Professional basketball player Ron Artest petitioned the court to let him change his name to "Metta World Peace." "Metta" is a Buddhist term that signifies loving-kindness and benevolence. When the new moniker finally became official, Metta World Peace sealed a radical shift away from his old way of doing things, symbolized by the time he leaped into the stands in the middle of a game to punch a fan in the head. The coming months will be an excellent time for you Libras to initiate a rite of passage that will expedite an equally dramatic transformation.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Many of the questions we had as children never got resolved or answered to our satisfaction. They still remain marinating in the back of our minds. Meanwhile, fresh queries keep welling up within us as the years go by. After a while, we've got a huge collection of enigmas, riddles, and conundrums. Some of us regard this as a tangled problem that weighs us down, while others see it as a sparkly delight that keeps making life more and more interesting. Where do you stand on the issue, Scorpio? If you're in the latter group, you will be fully open to the experiences that will be flowing your way in 2012. And that means you will be blessed with a host of sumptuous and catalytic new questions.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The first half of 2012 will be an excellent time to for you to exorcize any prejudices you might be harboring toward anyone who lives or thinks differently from you. You'll be able to see your own irrational biases with exceptional clarity, and are also likely to have exceptional success at scouring yourself free of them. This will give you access to new reserves of psychic energy you didn't even realize you were shut off from. (P.S. I'm not saying you possess more intolerance or narrow-mindedness than any of the rest of us. It's just that this is your time to deal brilliantly with your share of it.)
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In Botticelli's painting The Birth of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love is shown arriving on dry land for the first time after having been born in the ocean. Naked, she is trying to cover her private parts with her hand and thigh-length hair. Her attendant, a fully clothed nymph, is bringing a cloak to cover her up. Analyzing this scene, art critic Sister Wendy suggests it's actually quite sad. It symbolizes the fact that since we humans can't bear the confrontation with sublime beauty, we must always keep it partly hidden. Your assignment in the coming year, Capricorn, is to overcome this inhibition. I invite you to retrain yourself so that you can thrive in the presence of intense, amazing, and transformative beauty.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The coming months will be an excellent time to take an inventory of your life to determine whether there are any ways in which you act like a slave. Do you find it hard to defeat an addiction that saps your energy and weakens your ability to live the life you want? Are there institutions that you help sustain even though they cause harm to you and others? Is it hard for you to change or end your relationships with people who are no damn good for you? Are you trapped in a role or behavior that is at odds with your high ideals? Discover what these oppressors are, Aquarius — and then summon all your intelligence and willpower to escape them.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): California engineer Ron Patrick put a jet engine in his silver VW Beetle. Now he's got a 1,450-horsepower vehicle -- but it's not legal for him to drive on public highways. In the coming year, Pisces, I suspect you'll be tempted to try something similar: create a dynamic tool with a modest appearance or a turbo-charged source of energy in a deceptively small package. But if you do, please make sure that you can actually use it to improve your ability to get around and make your life better.