ARIES Yawning often occurs during the time we're moving from a passive state to an active one, like when we're waking up in the morning or when we've decided to get up off the couch and head out for a jog. Professor Robert Provine, an expert on the subject, says that concert pianists and Olympic athletes typically yawn as they gear up for their moments in the limelight. Judging from these facts, I imagine you'll soon be indulging in more yawns than usual. You're about to go from a phase of relative inertness to one of mind-jiggling adventure.
TAURUS Surveys show that two out of every 10 people have bought stuff they found out about through e-mail spam. While you're no doubt too sophisticated to be among that number, you might want to open your mind to the possibility. You may soon receive useful information and out-of-the-blue inspiration from sources you've ignored — even chattering gossipers and questionable teachers and TV news shows. Don't be too sure you already know where your juiciest clues will be coming from.
GEMINI Florida's Pensacola Christian College has a strict code of conduct that regulates the interaction of male and female students. One of the forbidden acts is "optical intercourse," also known as "making eye babies." This occurs when two people gaze into each other's eyes too long and too deeply. Luckily, you don't attend Pensacola Christian College, and will thus face no prohibitions if you choose to carry out my advice: Make eye babies in abundance during the coming week. This is the best time in eons for you to build soul-to-soul intimacy with those who've earned your exuberant trust. P.S. If you don't have a lover with whom you want to make eye babies, do it with a good friend, a favorite animal or in a mirror.
CANCER A literature professor told me an amazing fact: Many of Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to the tune of the traditional folk song "The Yellow Rose of Texas." I like this unexpected resonance between high art and rustic style, between subtleness of mind and earthy feelings, between elite ideas and populist execution. Furthermore, I recommend that you yourself try similar blends in the coming week.
LEO "Nature loves courage," said visionary philosopher Terence McKenna. "It shows you it loves courage because it will respond to your brave commitment by removing impossible obstacles." While I believe this is always true, it's especially apropos for you right now. You've fallen short of your potential because you have not yet summoned more than a fraction of the boldness that lies within you. But this is a turning point when you finally have what it takes to tap into your dormant reserves. I hope you rise to the occasion, and so does nature.
VIRGO "What this country needs is a good 5-cent reverie," philanthropist Paul Mellon once said. I completely agree. There are more than enough dreams that tempt us to spend a fortune; fantasies that cost a hundred million dollars to make; expensive head trips that distract us from enjoying the simple things in life. I suggest you keep this theme uppermost in your mind. Focus on a marvelous reverie that will set you free for free. Daydream about a pearl of great price that you can have for a song.
LIBRA Mother Jones magazine reports that the widow of Black Panther founder Huey Newton is trademarking his slogan, "Burn, baby, burn," for use in marketing her new barbecue sauce. Meanwhile, the insurance company AFLAC has trademarked the quacking of the duck in its TV commercial, MGM has trademarked the roaring of its lion and Pillsbury has trademarked the giggling of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Do you have a signature phrase, gesture, noise, trick, service or product? This would be an excellent time for you to shelter it with a trademark, patent, copyright or other kind of protection.
SCORPIO In his book Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas says the planets don't emit invisible forces that shape our destinies as if we were puppets. Just as clocks tell time but don't create it, the heavenly bodies show us the big picture but don't cause it. Quoting Plotinus, Tarnas writes "the stars are like letters that inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together." Can you work yourself into a state in which you perceive this sublime interconnectedness? You desperately need to. If you can, you'll catch profound glimpses of the overarching purpose and meaning of your life. Everything in the world, not just the planets' positions, will be full of signs for you to read.
SAGITTARIUS As I take my daily bike ride, I pass a place where a beer-truck driver named Elijah lives. It's a trailer with old tires and rusty tools littering the driveway. Today there was a new addition: a 1975 Chevy El Camino. It had a bumper sticker that read "Theresa and Johnny's Comfort Food — Live Free or Die." The whole scene reminded me of the message I want to convey to you. First, I believe you should bring into your sphere a fresh old thing that's an amalgam of two different categories, akin to Elijah acquiring a brand-new 31-year-old vehicle that's half-car, half-truck. Second, I think you should make sure you feel extremely secure — stocking up on the equivalent of "comfort food" — as you initiate a major push for liberation.
CAPRICORN You: difficult to push around, more hungry for intimacy than you let on, smarter than 85 percent of the people you know. Me: provider of friendly shocks, fond of playing a didgeridoo in the rain, outrageously tolerant of other people's eccentricities. So is there any hope of a relationship between us? Of course. We're having a relationship right now, aren't we? Maybe it's not the exact kind of connection you'd like, but you've got to admit there's value in it. Now please apply that lesson to your thinking about all your close alliances: Love them for what they are; don't criticize them for what they're not.
AQUARIUS In one of his poems, the late, great Charles Olson praised "lovers of the difficult." He wasn't cheering on people who perversely enjoy suffering; rather, he meant to express his admiration for those whose lust for life drives them to seek answers to the knottiest questions. He was recommending that we wrestle with intractable problems whose solutions unleash blessings on the world. In the coming week, I encourage you to be one of these lovers of the difficult.
PISCES The dance called the waltz is regarded as schmaltzy, but it was the punk music of its era. After its first appearance in England in 1816, an editorial in The Times of London called it obscene, a dance worthy only of prostitutes, because of its "voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressure on the bodies." My prediction is that you're currently entertaining a new trend that will have a history not unlike that of the waltz. It may cause a ruckus in the beginning, but will eventually become the pinnacle of normality.