- VIRGO: Rita Dove
ARIES (March 21-April 19) I'm afraid your vibes are slightly out of tune. Can you do something about that, please? Meanwhile, your invisible friend could really use a tarot reading, and your houseplants would benefit from a dose of Mozart. Plus – and I hope I'm not being too forward here – your charmingly cluttered spots are spiraling into chaotic sprawl, and your slight tendency to overreact is threatening to devolve into a major proclivity. As for that rather shabby emotional baggage of yours: Would you consider hauling it to the dump? In conclusion, my dear Ram, you're due for a few adjustments.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Is happiness mostly just an absence of pain? If so, I bet you've been pretty content lately. But what if a more enchanting and exciting kind of bliss were available? Would you have the courage to go after it? Could you summon the chutzpah and the zeal and the visionary confidence to head out in the direction of a new frontier of joy? I completely understand if you feel shy about asking for more. You might worry that to do so would be greedy, or put you at risk of losing what you have already scored. But I feel it's my duty to cheer you on. The potential rewards looming just over the hump are magnificent.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) I've got some medicine for you to try. It's advice from the writer Thomas Merton. "To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns," he wrote, "to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times." It's always a good idea to heed that warning, of course. But it's especially crucial for you right now. The best healing work you can do is to shield your attention from the din of the outside world and tune in reverently to the glimmers of the inside world.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) I dreamed you were a magnanimous taskmaster nudging the people you care about to treat themselves with more conscientious tenderness. You were pestering them to raise their expectations and hew to higher standards of excellence. Your persistence was admirable! You coaxed them to waste less time and make long-range educational plans and express themselves with more confidence and precision. You encouraged them to give themselves a gift now and then and take regular walks by bodies of water. They were suspicious of your efforts to make them feel good, at least in the early going. But eventually they gave in and let you help them.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) In the spirit of Sesame Street, I'm happy to announce that this week is brought to you by the letter T, the number 2 and the color blue. Here are some of the "T" words you should put extra emphasis on: togetherness, trade-offs, tact, timeliness, tapestry, testability, thoroughness, teamwork, and Themis (goddess of order and justice). To bolster your mastery of the number 2, meditate on interdependence, balance and collaboration. As for blue, remember that its presence tends to bring stability and depth.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) In the creation myths of Easter Island's native inhabitants, the god who made humanity was named Makemake. He was also their fertility deity. Today the name Makemake also belongs to a dwarf planet that was discovered beyond the orbit of Neptune in 2005. It's currently traveling through the sign of Virgo. I regard it as being the heavenly body that best symbolizes your own destiny in the coming months. In the spirit of the original Makemake, you will have the potential to be a powerful maker. In a sense you could even be the architect and founder of your own new world. Here's a suggestion: Look up the word "creator" in a thesaurus, write the words you find there on the back of your business card, and keep the card in a special place until May 2013.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) When novelist James Joyce began to suspect that his adult daughter Lucia was mentally ill, he sought advice from psychologist Carl Jung. After a few sessions with her, Jung told her father that she was schizophrenic. How did he know? A telltale sign was her obsessive tendency to make puns, many of which were quite clever. Joyce reported that he, too, enjoyed the art of punning. "You are a deep-sea diver," Jung replied. "She is drowning." I'm going to apply a comparable distinction to you. These days you may sometimes worry that you're in over your head in the bottomless abyss. But I'm here to tell you that in all the important ways, you're like a deep-sea diver. (The Joyce-Jung story comes from Edward Hoagland's Learning to Eat Soup.)
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) No false advertising this week. Don't pretend to be a purebred if you're actually a mutt, and don't act like you know it all when you really don't. For that matter, you shouldn't portray yourself as an unambitious amateur if you're actually an aggressive pro, and you should avoid giving the impression that you want very little when in fact you're a burning churning throb of longing. I realize it may be tempting to believe that a bit of creative deceit would serve a holy cause, but it won't. As much as you possibly can, make outer appearances reflect inner truths.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) In Christian lore, the serpent is the bad guy that's the cause of all humanity's problems. He coaxes Adam and Eve to disobey God, which gets them expelled from Paradise. But in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, there are snake gods that sometimes do good deeds and perform epic services. They're called Nagas. In one Hindu myth, a Naga prince carries the world on his head. And in a Buddhist tale, the Naga king uses his seven heads to give the Buddha shelter from a storm just after the great one has achieved enlightenment. In regard to your immediate future, I foresee you having a relationship to the serpent power that's more like the Hindu and Buddhist version than the Christian. Expect vitality, fertility and healing.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) In Lewis Carroll's book Through the Looking Glass, the Red Queen tells Alice that she is an expert at believing in impossible things. She brags that there was one morning when she managed to embrace six improbable ideas before she even ate breakfast. I encourage you to experiment with this approach. Have fun entertaining all sorts of crazy notions and unruly fantasies. Please note that I am not urging you to actually put those beliefs into action. The point is to give your imagination a good workout.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) I'm not necessarily advising you to become best friends with the dark side of your psyche. I'm merely requesting that the two of you cultivate a more open connection. The fact of the matter is that if you can keep a dialogue going with this shadowy character, it's far less likely to trip you up or kick your ass at inopportune moments. In time you might even come to think of its chaos as being more invigorating than disorienting. You may regard it as a worthy adversary and even an interesting teacher.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) You need more magic in your life. You're suffering from a lack of sublimely irrational adventures and eccentrically miraculous epiphanies and inexplicably delightful interventions. At the same time, I think it's important that the magic you attract into your life is not pure fluff. It needs some grit. It's got to have a kick that keeps you honest. That's why I suggest that you consider getting the process started by baking some unicorn poop cookies. They're sparkly, enchanting, rainbow-colored sweets, but with an edge. Ingredients include sparkle gel, disco dust, star sprinkles – and a distinctly roguish attitude. Recipe is here: tinyurl.com/UnicornPoopCookies.