ARIES (March 21-April 19) The German government sponsored a scientific study of dowsing, which is a form of magical divination used to locate underground sources of water. After 10 years, the chief researcher testified, "It absolutely works, beyond all doubt. But we have no idea why or how." An assertion like that might also apply to the mojo you'll have at your disposal as you forge new alliances and bolster your web of connections in the coming weeks. I don't know how or why you'll be such an effective networker, but you will be.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) The United States Congress spends an inordinate amount of time on trivial matters. For example, 16 percent of all the laws it passed in the last two years were devoted to renaming post offices. That's down from the average of the previous eight years, during which time almost 20 percent of its laws had the sole purpose of renaming post offices. In my astrological opinion, you can't afford to indulge in anything close to that level of nonsense during the next four weeks. I urge you to keep time-wasting activities down to less than 5 percent of your total. Focus on getting a lot of important stuff done. Be extra thoughtful and responsible as you craft the impact you're having on the world.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) What if your unconscious mind has dreamed up sparkling answers to your raging questions but your conscious mind doesn't know about them yet? Is it possible you are not taking advantage of the sly wisdom that your deeper intelligence has been cooking up? I say it's time to poke around down there. It's time to take aggressive measures as you try to smoke out the revelations that your secret self has prepared for you. How? Remember your dreams, of course. Notice hunches that arise out of nowhere. And send a friendly greeting to your unconscious mind, something like, "I adore you and I'm receptive to you and I'd love to hear what you have to tell me."
CANCER (June 21-July 22) In his book Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad says that the Cancerian singer-songwriter Steve Albini is a "connoisseur of intensity." That means he's picky about what he regards as intense. Even the two kinds of music that are often thought of as the embodiment of ferocious emotion don't make the grade for Albini. Heavy metal is comical, he says, not intense. Hardcore punk is childish, not intense. What's your definition of intensity? I see the coming weeks as prime time for you to commune with the very
best expressions of that state of being. Be a connoisseur of intensity.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) There's a butterfly sanctuary at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minn. It's called the Enchanted Garden. As you enter, you see a sign that reads, "Please do not touch the butterflies. Let the butterflies touch you." In other words, you shouldn't initiate contact with the delicate creatures. You shouldn't pursue them or try to capture them. Instead, make yourself available for them to land on you. Allow them to decide how and when your connection will begin to unfold. In the coming week I suggest you adopt a similar approach to any beauty you'd like to know better.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Do you ever fantasize about a more perfect version of yourself? Is there, in your imagination, an idealized image of who you might become in the future? That can be a good thing if it motivates you to improve and grow. But it might also lead you to devalue the flawed but beautiful creation you are right now. It may harm your capacity for self-acceptance. Your assignment in the coming week is to temporarily forget about whom you might evolve into at some later date, and instead just love your crazy, mysterious life exactly as it is.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Novelist Jeffrey Eugenides says he doesn't have generic emotions that can be described with one word. "Sadness," "joy" and "regret" don't happen to him. Instead, he prefers "complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions," like "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy" or "the excitement of getting a hotel room with a mini-bar." He delights in sensing "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" and "sadness inspired by failing restaurants." In the coming days, I think you should specialize in one-of-a-kind feelings like these. Milk the nuances! Exult in the peculiarities! Celebrate the fact that each new wave of passion has never before arisen in quite the same form.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) After analyzing your astrological omens for the coming weeks, I decided that the best advice I could give you would be this passage by the English writer G.K. Chesterton: "Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a person can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of set rules and set tasks."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) My general philosophy is that everyone on the planet, including me, is a jerk now and then. In fact, I'm suspicious of those who are apparently so unfailingly well-behaved that they NEVER act like jerks. On the other hand, some people are jerks far too much of the time, and should be avoided. Here's my rule of thumb: How sizable is each person's Jerk Quotient? If it's below 6 percent, I'll probably give them a chance to be a presence in my life – especially if they're smart and interesting. This gauge may be useful for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) The French painter Cezanne painted images of a lot of fruit in the course of his career. He liked to take his sweet time while engaged in his work. The apples and pears and peaches that served as his models often rotted before he was done capturing their likenesses. That's the kind of approach I recommend for you in the coming days. Be very deliberate and gradual and leisurely in whatever labor of love you devote yourself to. No rushing allowed! With conscientious tenderness, exult in attending to every last detail of the process.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) "Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it." So said the eccentric, outspoken and hard-partying actress Talullah Bankhead (1902-1968). Can you guess her astrological sign? Aquarius, of course. Her greatest adventure came from trying to keep up with all the unpredictable urges that welled up inside her. She found it challenging and fun to be as unique as she could possibly be. I nominate her to be your role model in the next four weeks. Your assignment is to work extra hard at being yourself.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) The Dardanelles Strait is a channel that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. In some places it's less than a mile wide. But the currents are fierce, so if you try to swim across at those narrow points, you're pushed around and end up having to travel five or six miles. You will have a comparable challenge in the coming days. The task may seem easier or faster than it actually is. Plan accordingly.