ARIES (March 21-April 19) According to some historians, Barack Obama won't be the first American president with African ancestry. As many as six previous presidents may have had black ancestors, with Warren Harding and Dwight Eisenhower being the most likely. None of the others claimed their heritage, however, choosing instead to pass as pure white. Obama is the first to acknowledge his bloodline. In the coming weeks, I see you as being in a position with certain metaphorical resemblances to Obama. You'll have the opportunity, though it may be a bit nerve-wracking, to thrive by celebrating a truth that no one before you has been brave enough to take advantage of.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) This week's advice comes to you entirely from the great jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. 1) "Don't play everything or every time. Let some things go by. What you don't play can be more important than what you do play." 2) "A note can be as small as a pin or as big as the world; it depends on your imagination." 3) "Whatever you think can't be done, somebody will come along and do it." 4) "A genius is the one most like himself."
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) It's time for you to phase out at least 60 percent of your fears; the cosmos is poised to assist you. What's that? You're afraid you can't live authentically without a hefty amount of anxieties? You secretly believe that you'd be bored if you didn't have your worries to entertain you? Well, here's an idea that might work: Simply replace your hackneyed, knee-jerk fears with a slew of silly and outlandish ones. They'll allow you to feel the friction you rely on to feel alive, but they won't bog you down. For example, you could contract automatonophobia, the fear of ventriloquist's dummies, and apeirophobia, the fear of infinity. Other good choices might be kyphophobia, the fear of stooping, and tutraphobia, the fear of otters.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Maurice Krafft has made a career of filming places where hot lava is flowing. National Geographic describes him hiking across the crater floor of an active volcano in Tanzania: The ground is not erupting in torrents of fire and burning liquid rock, but is constantly bubbling and exuding. Through long years of experience, Krafft knows exactly where to walk so that his shoes don't catch on fire. If you are going to attempt a metaphorically similar adventure in the coming weeks, make sure you've studied up on the ins and outs of the terrain. This is no time for guesswork or naive faith.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) The world's record for most people running in a "Stiletto Sprint" is 265. That's how many put on 3-inch-high heels and competed in an 80-meter race in Australia last September. It's possible that your imminent future will have metaphorical resemblances to that event. If you want to strive for a certain goal, you may have to take on some limitation or handicap. My advice? Don't spend a minute resenting the imposed impediment. Just push ahead with cheerful equanimity and pluck. You can win your equivalent of the Stiletto Sprint.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "Dear Rob: I have the golden eggs. That's the good news. The bad news is that they're taking waaayyyyy too long to hatch. I've been giving them all the love and care I can possibly spare — keeping them warm, playing them Mozart symphonies, thinking good thoughts toward them — but they're still just sitting there inert. Any suggestions to speed up the process? — Impatient Virgo." Dear Impatient: From my understanding, the golden eggs are valuable exactly as they are now. You really don't need them to hatch yet.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Mexican scientists have discovered a way to transform tequila into diamonds. Even the brands that sell for $3 a bottle work fine as raw material. The catch is that the diamonds produced are too small to be used for jewelry. But they do have numerous practical uses: in surgical instruments, for example. You now have it in your power to preside over a comparable alchemical change. What could you do that would be like turning lead into gold or tequila into diamonds?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Beginning with Plato, a number of philosophers have proposed that humans suffer from a collective amnesia about where we come from and what we're doing here on Earth. Other thinkers have suggested that our amnesia goes even further and is more personal, blocking us from remembering our previous incarnations. Then there are the modern psychologists who note that for most of us, the experiences we have before we learn to speak are virtually inaccessible to our memories. That's the bad news. The good news is that at least some of your amnesia will fade in the coming year, allowing you to glimpse and maybe even gaze steadily upon previously hidden panoramas. And it all starts soon.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) According to expert gerontologists, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards should have passed on a decade ago. The man has abused his body so thoroughly, his continued survival is a mystery. You're currently in an excellent position to achieve equally stupendous feats of persistence: More than ever before, you have a dogged capacity to keep pushing — even in areas where you've been flighty or sketchy in the past. I'd say this is an excellent time to deepen your commitment to your dreams in very practical ways.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) In one of his journal entries, Henry David Thoreau wrote about stumbling upon a single stalk of corn deep in the woods. It looked out of place there, so far from any cornfield, growing next to a pine tree. And yet it was doing just fine. How did its seed get there? By wind or animal? I suspect you will soon make a comparable discovery: a blaze of vitality that seems out of its element but is perfectly beautiful. Should you pluck it or engage with it or simply admire it? The freshest part of you knows the answer.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) This could be an epic year. I'm hoping you won't be satisfied with merely coasting along on the positive vibes that will be flowing in abundance. Rather than just enjoying your rising popularity, why not use your popularity to double your clout? Instead of simply increasing your productivity, why not supercharge your creativity at the same time? How about using your high levels of mental acuity to figure out ways to enhance your emotional intelligence? While this year will probably be pretty good no matter what, with some regular tweaks of your willpower you could make it amazingly great.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) If you're reading this horoscope, you're not a Cambodian orphan who grew up as a slave in a brothel or a Sudanese man kidnapped by a militia and forced to do heavy labor 18 hours a day or one of the 27 million other victims of human trafficking. But you may be yoked and subjugated in a less literal way, perhaps to an addictive drug or an abusive relationship or a job that brings out the worst in you. The good news is that the coming months will be a favorable time for you to escape your bondage. Maybe it'll help you muster the strength you need if I inform you that your freedom won't be anywhere near as hard to achieve as that of a literal slave.