ARIES (March 21-April 19): Don't take your time, Aries. Move double fast and strategize from many angles, always thinking 10 steps ahead. Please don't keep your hands clean, either. Play with the muck and roll in the mud and learn from the dirt. And don't you dare be measured and balanced. Instead, be an intense and relentless initiator of decisive actions. One last thing: Don't play nice and sweet. Be a holy troublemaker, a noisemaker who breaks the silence and keeps it broken.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In what areas of your life are you trying too hard? How might you be undoing your good intentions by grasping them so tightly that you've squeezed out all the juice? In what ways are you so boxed in by habitual thoughts that you're not spontaneous any more? It's a perfect moment to fix these problems, Taurus. To begin getting yourself in the mood, relax every muscle in your body - especially your achy-breaky desire muscles - and half-sing, half-shout an exuberant "YO!"
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your patron saint of the week is Beatrice Wood (1893-1998), whose association with surrealist artists and her bohemian life as a painter and actress earned her the title "The Mama of Dada." At the age of 92, she finished her autobiography, which was entitled I Shock Myself. Your first assignment, Gemini, is to do three things in the coming week about which you'll be able to say, "I shock myself." Your second assignment is to imagine that you're 92 and looking back with pride at the top ten smart things you did to shock yourself into a heightened state of awareness in the years between now and then.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Any strength can turn into a liability if it's taken too far. Any skill may lead you astray if expressing it becomes a compulsive habit that distracts you from responding authentically to the raw truth of the moment. That's why every now and then I have to advise you (and me, too, since I'm a Crab) not to nurture the hell out of everyone, even though it comes naturally to you. This is one of those times. Please suppress any urges you might have to take care of everyone except yourself. In the coming week, your duty is to be your own mommy and daddy.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I have extensive experience with writing in the dark. Every night for many years I have awoken in pitch blackness to write down my dreams. I also take notes while watching movies in theaters, scrawl poems on redeye plane flights while all the other passengers are sleeping, and jot down my meditations as I stroll in the hills after midnight. I recommend that you try this yourself, Leo. It's prime time to peer inward and think hard . . . to sharpen your perceptions of the invisible world . . . to gather impressions from the edgy frontier where your conscious and unconscious minds overlap.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Say the following words aloud, please: "Give it to me raw!" How does it make you feel when you allow that demand to come out of your mouth? I hope it fills you with a sense of playful power. If you're in alignment with cosmic influences, "Give it to me raw!" is a pithy embodiment of your proper relationship with the world. Now try these corollary statements: "I want the full blast of purity! Don't hold anything back! Serve me up the maximum dose! I want the elixir of life, not the hors d'oeuvres! Bless me with the whole truth and nothing but! I'm in love with the flood, not the trickle!"
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): My archaeologist buddy Frank is of course a devotee of the theory of evolution, but he likes to have fun being blasphemous about some of its conclusions. Recently he told me, for instance, that all the ancient bones that have ever been found and used to deduce the course of human evolution, from homo habilis to homo sapiens, would fit in the back of a pick-up truck. "Pretty slim evidence for ideas that purport to explain millions of years of history, eh?" he said mischievously. Can you identify a comparable situation in your life, Libra? Is there a fundamental assumption you're loyal to even though the data that prove it are scanty? This is a good time to gather more information and re-evaluate your assumptions.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): America's former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky addressed an assembly at my daughter's high school. He read from his translation of Dante's Inferno and took questions from students. After hearing Dante's description of the nether regions, one boy asked Pinsky what his personal version of hell was. The poet said that each of us creates our own hell. The fearful and negative interpretations of reality with which we infect our imaginations constitute curses that we cast on ourselves. They terrify and enslave us so thoroughly that most of the difficult outer circumstances we encounter are mild in comparison. Your next assignment, Scorpio, is to work on dissolving the hell you carry around in your own mind.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There used to be a store outside of Boston called Venus Envy. It sold sexy religious supplies and holy sex toys. I wish there was a place like that near you, because you're in a phase that's ideal for learning more about erotic spirituality. In lieu of that, here are other ways you could milk the opportunities. (1) Read the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, in which she gives vivid accounts of her ecstatic communion with divine beings. (2) Invoke the wild intelligence that rises up in you when you're infatuated with a romantic partner, then redirect that feeling toward the entire world. (3) Pray while you're making love and make love while you pray.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Women are much more willing to talk about both their disasters and delights than men," says poet and workshop leader Robert Bly. I hope that you men refute his assertion in the coming week, because it'll be a favorable time for Capricorns of all genders to spend quality time testifying and singing and wondering about the most vivid experiences from your past. You're liable to attract a variety of blessings if you come to new understandings about your disasters and delights. The best way to do that is to revisit them and revision them with fresh language.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Are we being sentimentally unscientific when we refer to the heart as the seat of the soul? Or does that idea contain a truth that surpasses reductive rationalism? In A Dictionary of Symbols, J.E. Cirlot reports that in the Jewish tradition, meditation involves "speaking to one's heart." According to Christian tradition, the Kingdom of God resides in the heart. Hindus say the supreme god Brahma lives there, and in Islam, the heart is referred to as the throne of God. If you can get your modern prejudices out of the way, Aquarius, your next assignment is to have a sustained, intimate, heart-to-heart communion with your heart. Learn more about its secret thoughts. Converse with it as if it were the literal source of your emotional intelligence. Proceed on the hypothesis, as French philosopher Pascal did, that "great thoughts come from the heart."
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Dear Rob: I appreciate your help in cueing us in to the mysterious workings of our unconscious minds. I describe what you do not so much as reading the planets to predict our future. Rather, you conspire with us to expose and then overcome what we're hiding or repressing or fearing. It's often a daunting task, but I love it! - Ever-Braver Pisces." Dear Ever-Braver: I believe the upcoming weeks will be a Golden Age in your tribe's efforts to expose and then overcome what you're hiding or repressing or fearing. I expect that you'll break up the artificial dam that has been clogging up your imaginative flow, thereby unleashing a flood of creativity.