ARIES (March 21-April 19) Here's actor Bill Murray's advice about relationships: "If you have someone that you think is The One, don't just say, 'OK, let's pick a date. Let's get married.' Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if, when you come back, you're still in love with that person, get married at the airport." In the coming weeks, I suggest you make comparable moves to test and deepen your own closest alliances. See what it's like to get more seriously and deliriously intimate.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Some firefighters use a wetter kind of water than the rest of us. It contains a small amount of biodegradable foam that makes it 10 times more effective in dousing blazes. With this as your cue, I suggest you work on making your emotions "wetter" than usual. By that I mean the following: When your feelings arise, give them your reverent attention. Marvel at how mysterious they are. Be grateful for how much life force they endow you with. Whether they are relatively "negative" or "positive," regard them as interesting revelations that provide useful information and potential opportunities for growth.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a BBC TV miniseries set in the early 19th century. It's the fictional story of a lone wizard, Mr. Norrell, who seeks to revive the art of occult magic so as to accomplish practical works, like helping the English navy in its war against the French navy. Norrell is pleased to find an apprentice, Jonathan Strange, and draws up a course of study for him. Norrell tells Strange that the practice of magic is daunting, "but the study is a continual delight." If you're interested in taking on a similar challenge, it's available.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) We humans have put buttons on clothing for seven millennia. But for a long time these small knobs and disks were purely ornamental – meant to add beauty but not serve any other function. That changed in the 13th century, when our ancestors finally got around to inventing buttonholes. Buttons could then serve an additional purpose, providing a convenient way to fasten garments. I foresee the possibility of a comparable evolution in your personal life. You have an opening to dream up further uses for elements that have previously been one-dimensional. Brainstorm about how you might expand the value of familiar things.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) You would be wise to rediscover and revive your primal innocence. If you can figure out how to shed a few shreds of your sophistication and a few slivers of your excess dignity, you will literally boost your intelligence. That's why I'm inviting you to explore the kingdom of childhood, where you can encounter stimuli that will freshen and sweeten your adulthood. Your upcoming schedule could include jumping in mud puddles, attending parties with imaginary friends, having uncivilized fun with wild toys and drinking boisterously from fountains of youth.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) While still a young man, Virgo author Leo Tolstoy wrote that "I have not met one man who is morally as good as I am." He lived by a strict creed. "Eat moderately" was one of his "rules of life," along with "Walk for an hour every day." Others were equally stern: "Go to bed no later than 10 o'clock," "Only do one thing at a time," and "Disallow flights of imagination unless necessary." He did provide himself with wiggle room, however. One guideline allowed him to sleep two hours during the day. Another specified that he could visit a brothel twice a month. I'd love for you to be inspired by Tolstoy's approach. Now is a favorable time to revisit your own rules of life. As you refine and recommit yourself to these fundamental disciplines, be sure to give yourself enough slack.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Many astronomers believe that our universe began with the Big Bang. An inconceivably condensed speck of matter exploded, eventually expanding into thousands of billions of stars. It must have been a noisy event, right? Actually, no. Astronomers estimate that the roar of the primal eruption was just 120 decibels – less than the volume of a live rock concert. I suspect that you are also on the verge of your own personal Big Bang. It, too, will be relatively quiet for the amount of energy it unleashes.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) For now, you are excused from further work on the impossible tasks that have been grinding you down. You may take a break from the unsolvable riddles and cease your exhaustive efforts. And if you would also like to distance yourself from the farcical jokes the universe has been playing, go right ahead. To help enforce this transition, I hereby authorize you to enjoy a time of feasting and frolicking, which will serve as an antidote to your baffling trials. And I hereby declare that you have been as successful at weathering these trials as you could possibly be, even if the concrete proof of that is not yet entirely visible.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) One afternoon in September, I was hiking along a familiar path in the woods. As I passed my favorite grandmother oak, I spied a thick, 6-foot-long snake loitering on the trail in front of me. In hundreds of previous visits, I had never before seen a creature bigger than a mouse. The serpent's tail was hidden in the brush, but its head looked more like a harmless gopher snake's than a dangerous rattler's. I took the opportunity to sing it three songs. It stayed for the duration, then slipped away after I finished. What a great omen! The next day, I made a tough but liberating decision to leave behind a good part of my life so as to focus more fully on a great part. With or without a snake sighting, I foresee a comparable breakthrough for you sometime soon.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Canadian author Margaret Atwood has finished a new manuscript. It's called Scribbler Moon. But it won't be published as a book until the year 2114. Until then, it will be kept secret, along with the texts of many other writers who are creating work for a "Future Library." The project's director is conceptual artist Katie Paterson, who sees it as a response to George Orwell's question, "How could you communicate with the future?" With this as your inspiration, Capricorn, try this exercise: Compose five messages you would you like to deliver to the person you will be in 2025.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Every hour of your life, millions of new cells are born to replace old cells that are dying. That's why many parts of your body are composed of an entirely different collection of cells than they were years ago. If you are 35, for example, you have replaced your skeleton three times. Congratulations! Your creativity is spectacular, as is your ability to transform yourself. Normally these instinctual talents aren't nearly as available to you in your efforts to re-create and transform your psyche, but they are now. In the coming months, you will have extraordinary power to revamp and rejuvenate everything about yourself, not just your physical organism.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) The coming weeks will NOT be a favorable time to seek out allies you don't even like that much or adventures that provide thrills you have felt a thousand times before. But the near future will be an excellent time to go on a quest for your personal version of the Holy Grail, a magic carpet, the key to the kingdom, or an answer to the Sphinx's riddle. In other words, Pisces, I advise you to channel your yearning toward experiences that steep your heart with a sense of wonder. Don't bother with anything that degrades, disappoints or desensitizes you.