ARIES (March 21-April 19): My Aries friend David’s acupuncturist diagnosed his current condition as an “encroachment of phlegm in his triple heater.” That’s also an apt metaphorical description of what’s going on in your psyche. Your internal engine — the fire in your belly — is a bit clogged by a sluggish stream of swampy, snotty feelings. I suggest you take action to purge this creeping effluvia. A good way to start would be to do what Gestalt dream workers do: Imagine that the effluvia can speak, and ask it to tell you what it wants.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Borrowing some words of poet Eliza Acton and mixing them with mine, I’ve prepared a love note for you to use as your own. Feel free to give these words to the person whose destiny needs to be woven more closely together with yours. “I love you as a glad bird loves the freedom of its wings. I love you as I love the first lily of spring exploding with clear fragrance in the moonlight. I love you as I love the swell and hush of a low melody that brings the past to life again. I love you as I love the tone of a soft-breathing dawn whose soul has awaken for me alone.”
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Greek mythology, the Procrustean bed was a torture device. Anyone foolish enough to lie down on it would be forcibly modified in order to fit its exact dimensions. A person who was smaller than the bed would be painfully stretched and those who were too big would have their body parts amputated. I beg you not to climb into any situation that resembles that bed, Gemini. You need an adaptable niche that will adjust to your unique needs and talents, not a rigid pigeonhole that squeezes and bullies you into assuming its shape.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Dear Rob the Astrologer: I recently discovered your column, and I like it. But I’m wondering if I’m approaching it in the right way. Although I’m a Crab, all 12 of your horoscopes seem to make sense to me and describe how I feel. Is this OK? — Curious in Austin.” Dear Curious: You Cancerians are very versatile and empathetic these days. Given how open you are to being taught from every angle, you have my blessing to glean useful information from the horoscopes for all of the signs. This phenomenon will probably run its course by September 23, and after that you may find that only the Cancer horoscope really works for you.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I’m not so interested in predicting the future as I am in creating the future. Why waste even a minute worrying about how things will turn out when you can devote your energy to making things turn out the way you want? It’s true that in the horoscopes I offer you, I speculate about what may be coming. But my purpose in doing so is to describe favorable scenarios that you can use your willpower to manifest. Right now, for instance, I won’t prophesy, “You may soon be blessed with a valuable new resource.” Rather, I’ll say, “Get out there, Leo, and acquire a tool or fuel or asset that will help you become more practical about fulfilling one of your dreams.”
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “I have dreamed in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas,” wrote Emily Bronte in Wuthering Heights. “They have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.” One of your main assignments in the coming week, Virgo, is to identify a dream that can work that kind of magic on you. If there is no such dream currently seeded in your imagination, find a new one to plant there.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “The apocalypse won’t be all that bad,” Bible scholar Parker Creaston told the Weekly World News. There’ll be a “brief period of mild to moderate disorder,” after which will come an extended period of “worldwide peace and harmony.” Similarly, Libra, your fear of impending chaos in your personal sphere will turn out to be overblown. Yes, you may suffer temporary shortages and inconveniences, as well as what we might call a metaphorical “traffic jam.” But you can forget about mountains of fire, seas of blood, and hordes of locusts from the bottomless pit. They will definitely not be showing up.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You’ve reached a phase in your astrological cycle when you have special power to expand, deepen, and enhance your web of allies. My advice? Don’t just schmooze and party, but rather schmooze and party with an evangelical sense of purpose, taking advantage of the fact that people are more likely than usual to see you as attractive, be sympathetic to your cause, and lend you their support. The connections you forge and the synergetic collaborations you ignite in the next three weeks could be major factors in your success in 2009.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to the Guinness World Records website, the world record for opera singers receiving curtain calls is Luciano Pavarotti, who got 165 after his 1988 show at the Deutsche Opera in Berlin. If that mark is ever broken, it may soon be accomplished by a Sagittarian performer. That’s because you people will be at the peak of your potential to garner acknowledgement, recognition, and rewards in your chosen field. Here’s a secret about how you can take maximum advantage of that potential: Imagine that there is a higher, finer level of excellence that’s beyond what you’ve understood as excellence up until now. Then figure out what you’d have to do to rise to that higher, finer level.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Below is an excerpt from a Charles Baudelaire poem, as translated by Louis Simpson. “Ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking ... ask what time it is, and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: ‘It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.’” It is a perfect time in your astrological cycle to draw inspiration from that counsel, Capricorn. In addition to wine, poetry, and virtue, consider trying anything else that might work to achieve the desired exaltation, like meditation, dancing, sex, dream work, or a vision quest.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Thanks for the entertainment you’ve provided so far in 2008, Aquarius. Since last January, you have sent a nagging demon packing and corrected a kink in your integrity. You’ve paid off a load of karmic debt left over from the old days and have even begun to dissolve an outdated psychosexual imprint. Before I announce your reward for all this good work, though, I’d like you to make more progress on tempering your obsessive side. See what you can do to convert it from a part-time liability into a full-time asset.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “The real secret of magic is that the world is made of words,” said the sage Terence McKenna, “and that if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.” I’d go even further and say that you can actually shape your world through your use of language. Do you really want to live amidst infertile chaos where nothing makes sense and no one really loves anyone? Then speak with unconscious carelessness, expressing yourself lazily. Or would you prefer to live in a realm that’s rich with meaning and beauty and interesting mystery? Then be discerning and creative in how you speak, primed to name the novel truths that are always being born right in front of your eyes. Of course you always have the power to create heaven or hell through the words you choose, Pisces, but right now is a potential turning point when you could form good new habits.•