ARIES (March 21-April 19) To manufacture one penny, the U.S. Treasury spends 1.4 cents. To process petroleum for use in operating a car, the oil industry expends 20 percent more energy than the gasoline yields. These are the kinds of situations you've urgently got to avoid in the coming week. You need to get substantially more out of any project than what you put into it. So choose your fuel wisely. Be resourceful in your push for greater efficiency.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) The outsourcing of fortune-telling is well underway. Psychics and astrologers from India have been showering me with e-mail invitations to take advantage of their services. "By the grace of the towering flames of goodness that burn the roof of our temple," said one, "we have pledged to slave away our lives to cause the happy encroachment of bubbling karma on your masterful head. We will coax and guide the effects of various planets on the living accidents of your health so as to ease your slippery ride." I suspect you'll soon get puzzling offers of help like this. You may even be given gifts you can barely make sense of and receive blessings that seem irrelevant or unlike anything you imagined you needed. My advice: Don't ignore them. They will ultimately turn out to be quite useful.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) If I were you, I'd pursue other adventures besides hanging from a cliff by my fingernails and sweating bullets. But if that kind of thing really gets you off and teaches you the lessons you think you need, I'll give you my grudging astrological permission to continue — providing that you stop no later than May 20. But if you'd consider trying some less manic and more constructive ways to explore your heroic urges, I have a few suggestions. You could wrestle the angels who will only give you their gifts if you fight for them. You could break off relations with green-eyed monsters and yellow-bellied soul-suckers. Or you could dive into the abyss and try to retrieve the treasure that got hurled down into the muck some time back.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) What is the holiest river in the world? Some might say the Ganges in India. Others would propose the Jordan River or the River Nile. But in accordance with current astrological omens, I say the holiest river is the one that's closest to where you are right now. Your assignment is to go to that river and commune with it. Throw something valuable into it as an offering, and ask it to teach you how to feel more reverence and amazement and curiosity for everything in your life. By the time we meet here next week, I hope you will have walked on holy streets, praised holy people, hugged holy trees, kissed holy ground and even shopped at holy stores.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) In the game of bowling, a score of 300 is called a perfect game. It used to be rare, but in the last two decades it has become far more common. The change is due more to technological advances in balls, pins and lanes than because of a rise in players' athleticism. Make this your metaphor of the week. How might you be able to upgrade your chances for success by getting better equipment? How could you get more value out of your existing skills by calling on the help of machines, props and tools?
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "Have you heard of the ‘Nine Pregnant Women' rule?" asks businessman Scott Mills. "It takes nine months to have a baby — but you can't get the job done in one month with nine pregnant women. That rule applies to any project: As you think about managing the time that's available to complete a project, it's critical that you identify which steps you must complete sequentially." I suggest you install the Nine Pregnant Women rule at the center of your meditations right now. The time is right for you to gaze at the big picture of your life, and then formulate a revised set of long-term plans.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Through a tip from one of my readers, I discovered that the California State Division of Unclaimed Property was holding $405.85 for me from a class action lawsuit settled 15 years ago. The agency had a very old address on file, and didn't know how to get in touch with me. I contacted them, and am now a bit richer. I predict you will experience a comparable event in the coming week. It's possible that like me, you'll gain possession of a resource you didn't even know has been yours. Or maybe you'll inherit your great-uncle's coin collection or be reunited with a dream you lost track of. In one way or another, I believe the past will give you a gift.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) "The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place," said Pablo Picasso, "from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing stranger, from a spider's web." Now substitute your own name for "the artist" in the above statement, and you'll have your assignment for the coming week. In other words, be alert for and open to the feelings flooding toward you from every direction. Regard the whole world as a giant classroom where you'll be taking a crash course to upgrade your emotional intelligence.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Many of us have a superficial notion of the nature of healing, writes Philip Kingsley in his book In the Dark Places of Wisdom. We think that "healing is what makes us comfortable and eases the pain." But the truth is, "what we want to be healed of is often what will heal us if we can stand the discomfort and the pain." Make this your central theme for now. See if you can stave off your urge for ease as you marinate longer in the aching confusion. "If we really face our sadness," says Kingsley, "we find it speaks with the voice of our deepest longing. And if we face it a little longer we find that it teaches us the way to attain what we long for."
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) You're growing almost too fast. You know almost too much and you're almost too attractive. Furthermore, you're on the verge of being ridiculously smart, absurdly popular and outlandishly creative. To avoid having any of this spawn jealousy in others, you should probably go overboard in expressing humility — even if you have to fake it a little. Another step you could take to minimize any problems people might have with your amazing beauty is to be extravagantly generous in sharing your wealth.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) The Chinese government has 100,000 spies checking up on the Internet habits of its 1.3 billion people, 42 federal agencies are busy mining the personal data of Americans, and the Canadian government has bestowed law enforcement officials with sweeping powers to eavesdrop on its citizens. There is unfortunately next to nothing you can do about these invasions. You can, however, fight back effectively against another kind of thought police: the voices in your head that love to monitor and judge your activities. It is now an excellent time to turn down the volume of the loud people from your past (and present!) whose expectations you have internalized.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Math whiz Ian Fieggen has determined that there are 1.96 trillion ways to lace up your shoes. On his website, Ian's Shoelace Site, you can get instructions for 47 of those methods, as well as 17 different approaches for tying your shoes. You currently have a capacity for mastering detail that rivals Fieggen's. I just hope you use it to accomplish more useful and ennobling projects than his. Be a stickler with a higher purpose.