ARIES (March 21-April 19) What influences do you really, really need to say goodbye to? The next six months will provide you with ample motivation and opportunity to finally bid those farewells. What long-term cycle really, really needs to be drawn to a close, no more hemming and hawing, all loose ends tied up and all mixed signals clarified? Again, the time between now and the middle of June will bring you the necessary inspiration to make it happen. But it'll take deep thought and sustained work and an expanded sense of humor, so get started soon.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) According to astronomer Mark Whittle, the Big Bang began in silence. Soon it crescendoed into a majestic major third chord 50 octaves below middle A. Then it transformed, over the course of a million years, into a wistful minor third chord. In my vision of the first two-thirds of 2010, the music of your life will have a similar pattern: It begins with silence. Next, it progresses into a lush major feel, with spirited and complex contrapuntal themes. Then in June, it evolves into a dreamy, contemplative phase. By late September, however — unlike the Big Bang — you will move into a third act, in which the music of your life returns to the lively mood it had at the start, only now with the gravitas that the reflective phase has instilled.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) I have good astrological reasons to suspect that a year from now, your empire will be bigger. The resources you have at your disposal will be more substantial, the influence you wield will be more meaningful and the responsibilities you oversee will be more demanding. You can't, however, just sit back passively and expect fate to make it all happen for you. You will have to work your assets off: get better organized, clarify your game plan and commit to taking better care of yourself. None of that is mandatory, of course. Being a lazy wanderer with no mission statement is definitely an option. If you do go in that direction, though, don't complain to me next December about how you feel like you're made of cookie dough.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) You will need to learn a lot in 2010. You'll be in a phase when it will be wise to enhance your problem-solving skills and increase the knowledge you have at your disposal. So let me ask you: What can you do to gently shock yourself into prying open your mind? What is it that you don't know but need to know? By the way, the coming year will also be a good time for you to offer yourself up as a teacher. In fact, sharing your knowledge and problem-solving skills will make you more receptive to what you need to learn.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Do you know any world travelers, shamanic healers or visionary entrepreneurs? If not, there's a good chance you'll meet some in 2010, possibly even forge alliances with them. Activists, artists and deep thinkers may come your way too. Another possibility is that cohorts and comrades you've been linked to for some time will embark on mind-expanding quests that blow your mind as well as theirs. One way or another, the coming year will bring you more than the usual benefits and challenges that come from being in relationships.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) I was in my first rock band in North Carolina in the 1970s. We did a mix of cover tunes by David Bowie, Lou Reed and Patti Smith, plus original songs and poetry rants. Controversy arose virtually every time we performed, especially in places like the state fair (where we competed with the cacophony of mooing cows) and frat parties (where we endured the shouted insults of drunken jocks). It wasn't until I moved to California that I synced with an audience that appreciated my idiosyncratic musical sensibilities. 2010 could bring you a comparable transition: finding listeners or hooking up with collaborators who are a better fit for your unique qualities.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) I'm always befuddled by astrologers who preach doom and gloom when they talk about the influence of Saturn. My experience is that the ringed planet provides the greatest gift imaginable: motivation to become the person you were born to be. It steers you away from pursuing goals that aren't in alignment with your soul's code. It pressures you to give up vain fantasies that even if fulfilled wouldn't make you happy. That's why I'm happy to report the good news: As Saturn travels through your sign for much of the time between now and October 2012, you will be prompted and prodded to cut away the irrelevancies that distract you from claiming your birthright.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) There are more than a few grains of truth in the notion that Scorpios revel in the enigmas of eros and death. But I wouldn't reduce your mystique to such a simple formula. I'd prefer to say something like this: You're sexy when you're letting go of your staunch self-control. Or: You're an expert at transcending humdrum modes of awareness by stimulating intense pleasure. Or: If fully harnessed, your orgasmic power could kill off any destructive compulsions you might be harboring. And by the way, 2010 will be one of the best years ever for you to cash in on these capacities.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) 2010 isn't a year to get your head in the clouds, but rather to grow deeper roots. Your job, as I see it, isn't so much to explore the heights, but the depths. I think you should focus on getting to the bottom of things, not the top. Your instrument of choice should be a microscope, not a telescope. Your specialty won't be playing spectacular guitar solos but rather groovalicious bass lines.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) I'm happy to announce that 2010 could be the year when you become a more expert communicator. It's not that you do a bad job now; but there's always room for improvement, and this will be an excellent time to attend to that. Life will bring you an abundance of experiences that will help you learn to listen better, cultivate more tact, read people's body language like a pro and speak the elusive truth with language that's both kind and effective.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) I've known some sensible, well-grounded Aquarians in my life. They're outnumbered, though, by the dominant subtype of your tribe: imaginative improvisers with lightning reflexes and high-flying notions. But even if you belong to the latter group, in 2010 you'll be gaining the capacities of the former. In fact, I think this will be the year you get more things done than you ever have before. Attention to detail will be your specialty. You're likely to excel in mastering the part of genius that's comprised of 98 percent perspiration.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) The pop star Pink is a successful singer. Not only does she have a great voice, she's sold 32 million records and won two Grammies. Recently she added a trapeze act to her live performances. At the MTV Video Music Awards last September, she delivered her song "Sober" while swinging through the air upside down 60 feet off the ground. I was perplexed, wondering, "Doesn't she have confidence that her song and her singing can stand alone?" In 2010, I urge you not to follow her lead. There's no need for you to go overboard as you try too hard to give too much. Just sing your songs.