ARIES (March 21-April 19): Mythologist Joseph Campbell analyzed fairy tales for clues about how the human psyche works. For example, he said that a fairy tale character who’s riding a horse is a representation of our relationship with our instinctual nature. If that character drops the reins and lets the horse gallop without guidance, he or she is symbolically surrendering control to the instincts. I bring this to your attention because I suspect you may soon be tempted to do just that — which wouldn’t be wise. In my opinion, you’ll be best served by going against the flow of what seems natural. Sublimation and transcendence will keep you much stronger than if you followed the line of least resistance. Homework: Visualize yourself, as you ride your horse, keeping a relaxed but firm grasp of the reins.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I will provide you with two lists of words. One of these lists, but not both, will characterize the nature of your predominant experiences in the coming weeks. It will be mostly up to you which emerges as the winner. Now read the two lists, pick the one you like better, and instruct your subconscious mind to lead you in that direction. List 1: gluttony, bloating, overkill, padding, exorbitance. List 2: mother lode, wellspring, bumper crop, gold mine, cornucopia.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In his poem “Interrupted Meditation,” Robert Hass blurts out the following exclamation: “I give you, here, now, a magic key. What does it open? This key I give you, what exactly does it open?” How would you answer this question, Gemini? What door or lock or heart or treasure box do you most need opened? Decide today. And please don’t name five things you need opened. Choose one, and one only. To do so will dissolve a mental block that has up until now kept you from finding the real magic key.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): The following excerpt from Wendell Berry’s poem “Woods” captures the essence of your current situation: “I part the out-thrusting branches and come in beneath the blessed and the blessing trees. Though I am silent there is singing around me. Though I am dark there is vision around me. Though I am heavy there is flight around me.” Please remember this poem at least three times a day during the next two weeks. It’s important for you to know that no matter what murky or maudlin or mysterious mood you might be in, you are surrounded by vitality and generosity.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A half-dead blast from the past is throttling the free flow of your imagination. Your best possible future will be postponed until you agree to deal more intimately with this crumbled dream, which you have never fully grieved or surrendered. So here’s my advice: Summon the bravest, smartest love you’re capable of, and lay your sad loss to rest with gentle ferocity. This may take a while, so be patient. Be inspired by the fact that your new supply of brave, smart love will be a crucial resource for the rest of your long life.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Five times every day, devout Muslims face their holiest city, Mecca, and say prayers to Allah. Even if you’re not Islamic, I recommend that you carry out your own unique version of this ritual. The next three weeks will be a favorable time to cultivate a closer relationship with the inspirational influence, the high ideal, or the divine being that reigns supreme in your life. Here’s how you could do it: Identify a place that excites your imagination and provokes a sense of wonder. Five times a day for the next 21 days, bow in the direction of this treasured spot. Unleash songs, vows, and celebratory expostulations that deepen your fierce and tender commitment to what you trust most and love best.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “The road reaches every place, the short cut only one,” says aphorist James Richardson. In many cases, that’s not a problem. Who among us has unlimited time and energy? Why leave all the options open? Short cuts can be valuable. It’s often smart to be ruthlessly efficient as we head toward our destination. But here’s a caveat: According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you’re now in a phase when taking short cuts may be counterproductive. To be as well-seasoned as you will need to be to reach your goal, you should probably take the scenic route. The long way around may, in this instance, be the most efficient and effective.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Truth is like the flu,” says poet James Richardson. “I fight it off, but it changes in other bodies and returns in a form to which I am not immune.” In the coming days, Scorpio, I suspect you will experience that riddle first hand — and probably on more than one occasion. Obvious secrets and wild understandings that you have fought against finding out will mutate in just the right way to sneak past your defenses. Unwelcome insights you’ve been trying to ignore will finally wiggle their way into your psyche. Don’t worry, though. These new arrivals will turn out to be good medicine.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): According to Guinness World Records, the most consecutive hours spent riding on a roller coaster is 405 hours and 40 minutes. But I suspect that during the next 15 months, a Sagittarian daredevil may exceed this mark. I have come to this conclusion because I believe your tribe will be especially adept and relatively comfortable at handling steep rises and sudden dips at high speeds. And that won’t be the only rough talent you’ll have in abundance. I’m guessing you could also set new personal bests in the categories of most frequent changes of mind, most heroic leaps of faith, and fastest talking.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Whether we like to admit it or not, all of us have acted like puppets. Bosses and teachers and loved ones can manipulate us even if they’re not in our presence. Our conditioned responses and programmed impulses may control our behavior in the present moment even though they were formed long ago. That’s the bad news. The good news is that now and then moments of lucidity blossom, revealing the puppet strings. We emerge from our unconsciousness and see that we’re under the spell of influential people to whom we have surrendered our power. This is one of those magic times for you, Capricorn.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A few weeks ago you undertook a new course of study in the art of fun and games. You realized you hadn’t been playing hard enough, and took measures to correct the problem. After refamiliarizing yourself with the mysteries of innocent joy, you raised the stakes. You began dabbling with more intensive forms of relief and release. Now you have the chance to go even further: to explore the mysteries of experimental delight. Exuberant escapades may become available to you. Amorous adventures could invite you to explore the frontiers of liberated love. Will you be brave and free enough to meet the challenge of such deeply meaningful gaiety? Meditate on this radical possibility: spiritually adept hedonism.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Poet Sharon Dolin compares artists to sunflowers. They create “a tall flashy flower that then grows heavy with seeds whose small hard shells you must crack to get to the rich nut meat.” As I contemplate the current chapter of your unfolding story, I see you as being engaged in a similar process, even if you’re not literally an artist. To be exact, you’re at the point when you are producing a tall flashy flower. The seeds have not yet begun to form, but they will soon. Later this year, the rich nut meat inside the small hard shells will be ready to pluck. For now, concentrate on generating your gorgeous, radiant flower.