ARIES (March 21-April 19): What's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen in your life? To answer that question is your first assignment. It's OK if you can't decide between the three or four most beautiful things. What's important is to keep visions of those amazements dancing in the back of your mind for the next few days. Play with them in your imagination. Feel the feelings they rouse in you as you muse about the delights they have given you. Regard them as beacons that will attract other ravishing marvels into your sphere. Now here's your second assignment: Be alert for and go hunting for a new "most beautiful thing."
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Not to dream boldly may turn out to be irresponsible," said educator George Leonard. I certainly think that will be true for you in the coming months, Taurus. In my astrological opinion, you have a sacred duty not only to yourself, but also to the people you care about, to use your imagination more aggressively and expressively as you contemplate what might lie ahead for you. You simply cannot afford to remain safely ensconced within your comfort zone, shielded from the big ideas and tempting fantasies that have started calling and calling and calling to you.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Researchers at the University of Oregon claim that in certain circumstances, they can make water flow uphill (tinyurl.com/UphillFlow). I'm not qualified to evaluate their evidence, but I do know that in the coming week you will have the power to accomplish the metaphorical equivalent of what they say they did. Don't squander this magic on trivial matters, please, Gemini. Use it to facilitate a transformation that's important to your long-term well-being.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Dear Rob: Is there any way to access your horoscope archives going back to 1943? I'm writing a novel about World War II and need to see your astrological writings from back then. — Creative Cancerian." Dear Creative: To be honest, I wasn't writing horoscopes back in 1943, since I wasn't anywhere near being born yet. On the other hand, I give you permission to make stuff up for your novel and say I wrote it back in 1943. Most of you Cancerians have good imaginations about the past, and you're currently going through a phase when that talent is amplified. While you're tinkering with my history, have fun with yours, too. This is an excellent time for members of your tribe to breath new life and fresh spin into a whole slew of your own personal memories.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): At Chow.com, food critic L. Nightshade gathered "The 78 Most Annoying Words to Read in a Restaurant Review." Among the worst offenders: "meltingly tender," "yummilicious," "crazy delicious," "orgasmic," "I have seen God," "symphony of flavors," and "party in your mouth." I understand the reluctance of any serious wordsmith to resort to such predictable language in crafting an appraisal of restaurant fare, but I don't mind borrowing it to hint at your immediate future. What you experience may be more like a "party in your head" than a "party in your mouth," and "crazy delicious" may describe events and adventures rather than flavors, per se. But I think you're in for a yummilicious time.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In "Nan You're a Window Shopper," British recording artist Lily Allen sings, "The bottom feels so much better than the top." She means it ironically; the person she's describing in the song is neurotic and insecure. But in using that declaration as a theme for your horoscope this week — the bottom feels so much better than the top — I mean it sincerely. What you have imagined as being high, superior, or uppermost may turn out to be mediocre, illusory, or undesirable. Conversely, a state of affairs that you once considered to be low, beneath your notice, or not valuable could become rather interesting. And if you truly open your mind to the possibilities, it may even evolve into something that's quite useful.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Emily Rubin invited authors to write about a specific theme for a literary reading she organized in New York last September: stains. "What is your favorite stain?" she asked prospective participants, enticing them to imagine a stain as a good thing, or at least as an interesting twist. Included in her own list were chocolate, candle wax, lipstick, grass, mud, wine, and tomato sauce. What are yours, Libra? This would be an excellent time to sing the praises of your best-loved or most provocative blotches, splotches, and smirches — and have fun stirring up some new ones.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Mickey Mouse is a Scorpio, born November 18, 1928. Bugs Bunny is a Leo, coming into the world on July 27, 1940. In their long and storied careers, these two iconic cartoon heroes have made only one joint appearance. It was in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. They got equal billing and spoke the same number of words. I'm predicting that a comparable event will soon take place in your world, Scorpio: a conjunction of two stars, a blend of two strong flavors, or a coming together of iconic elements that have never before mixed. Sounds like you're in for a splashy time.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Harvey Ball was a commercial artist who dreamed up the iconic image of the smiley face. He whipped it out in ten minutes one day in 1963. Unfortunately for him, he didn't trademark or copyright his creation, and as a result made only $45 from it, even as it became an archetypal image used millions of times all over the world. Keep his story in the back of your mind during the coming weeks, Sagittarius. I have a feeling you will be coming up with some innovative moves or original stuff, and I would be sad if you didn't get proper credit and recognition for your work.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): There are 501 possible solutions to your current dilemma. At least ten of them would bring you a modicum of peace, a bit of relief, and a touch of satisfaction. Most of the rest wouldn't feel fantastic, but would at least allow you to mostly put the angst behind you and move on with your life. But only one of those potential fixes can generate a purgative and purifying success that will extract the greatest possible learning from the situation and give you access to all of the motivational energy it has to offer. Be very choosy.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The quality of your consciousness is the single most influential thing about you. It's the source of the primary impact you make on other human beings. It changes every situation you interact with, sometimes subtly and other times dramatically. So here's my first question: How would you characterize the quality of your consciousness? The answer is complicated, of course. But there must be eight to ten words that capture the essence of the vibes you beam out wherever you go. Now comes my second question: Are you satisfied with the way you contribute to life on earth with the quality of your consciousness? It's an excellent time to contemplate these primal matters.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Some martial artists unleash a sharp percussive shout as they strike a blow or make a dramatic move — a battle cry that helps channel their will into an explosive, concise expression of force. The Japanese term for this is kiai. A few women's tennis players invoke a similar sound as they smack the ball with their racquet. Maria Sharapova holds the record for loudest shriek at 105 decibels. The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to call on your own version of kiai, Pisces. As you raise your game to the next level, it would make perfect sense for you to get your entire body involved in exerting some powerful, highly-focused master strokes.