ARIES (March 21-April 19): When life gets weird, should you take refuge in decorum and tradition? Should you intensify your commitment to the humdrum? Is it wise to dress more conservatively, act more dignified, and smile more automatically? I say no. When the daily rhythm veers off track into unexpected detours, I say it's prime time to gleefully depart from The Way Things Have Always Been Done. In fact, I advise you to cultivate your rebellious questions and celebrate the unusual impulses that bubble up. They will help you harvest the epiphanies that life's weirdness is tempting you to pursue.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "When you die," says the Koran, "God will call upon you to account for all the permitted pleasures you did not enjoy while on earth." There's a similar idea in the Talmud: "A person will be called upon to account, on Judgment Day, for all the permitted pleasures he might have enjoyed but did not." This thought should serve as a central theme for you in the coming weeks, Taurus. Don't worry, you won't die for many years. But to activate your highest spiritual potentials in the near future, you must plumb the depths of bliss, joy, amusement, and fun.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your intentions have been fine, but
you've been a bit off in executing your intentions. It's like you were building
a love nest in a parking garage; as if you've been hosting a dinner party with
fascinating guests at McDonald's; as if you were confessing profound secrets to
a narcissist who wasn't really interested. In other words, Gemini, you have
been doing the right things in the wrong places. But I expect that a lucky
break will soon shove you out of this awkward disjunction, bringing your style
and content into harmony. (P.S. Why not go out and induce that lucky break
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Lishui is a rapidly growing
industrial city in China. With the government's help and blessing, developers
have been transforming rugged farmland into level parcels suitable for
manufacturing facilities. In recent years, engineers have used dynamite and
dump trucks to flatten 108 hills and mountains. The official motto that guides
workers is "Each person does the work of two; two days' work is done in
one." While I don't normally recommend that you engage in such extreme
labors, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to make an exception. You'll
have cosmic forces on your side if you do the work of two as you carry out the
equivalent of demolishing mountains.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The bad news is that Indonesia has the
fastest rate of deforestation on the planet, and is one of the top three
producers of greenhouse gas pollution. The good news is that on November 28,
the people of Indonesia will unleash the most intense orgy of tree-growing in
the history of the world. They're scheduled to plant 79 million saplings in 24
hours. You Leos might also consider undertaking a massive display of fertility
in the next three weeks. Your creative powers will be at a peak; your ability
to coax abundant life out of seeds and sprouts will be extraordinary.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Because of changes in agricultural
techniques, food is nowhere near as nutritious as it used to be. Vegetables
grown on modern factory farms have 27 percent less calcium and 37 percent less
iron than they did in 1975, for example, as well as 21 percent less Vitamin A
and 30 percent less Vitamin C. So if you want to avoid being starved of
essential nutrients, you either have to eat a huge amount, take supplements, or
consume organic food. Are there any other areas of your life where the
sustenance levels have dropped, perhaps without your full awareness? Is there
an activity that no longer provides you with the boost it used to? Your
assignment is to explore this possibility. If you find something's lacking,
take immediate measures to make up for what you've been missing. (For more info
about food's shrinking nutritional value, go here: tinyurl.com/yrw4ht.)
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Talk normally as little as possible in the coming week. Instead, try to communicate primarily by whispering, singing, laughing, speaking in rhyme, using foreign accents, making animal noises, and imitating cartoon characters. In my astrological opinion, this could free you to express feelings and thoughts that you've been unwisely suppressing. It would give you the power to access potent information that neither your monkey mind nor your rational mind has much interest in.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A while back I asked my readers, "What conditions would you need in your world in order to feel you were living in paradise?" I'll report to you how one Scorpio responded, since it's very apropos to your immediate future. "My utopia," wrote Sandra Boyd of Vancouver, "would require me to be desired, loved, and satiated amidst messy order and cockeyed perfection." I urge you to create that exact set of conditions, Scorpio. Get out there and cultivate the funny logic, wild discipline, and chaotic organization that will help ensure you'll be fiercely adored.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The visionary genius Isaac
Newton revolutionized science and math. His biographer James Gleick says he
discovered "more of the essential core of human knowledge than anyone
before or after." Ostensibly, Newton was humble, writing that "if I
have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." But he
did not actually believe that, writes Salon.com's Farhad Manjoo in his review
of Gleick's book. And the fact is that Newton's breakthroughs "were not incremental,
not the logical conclusion to centuries of study," but rather the result
of "a supernatural, superhuman intuition." This is the kind of
intelligence I suspect you'll be able to summon in the coming weeks as you
expand your understanding of your place in the world. It will be as if you're
snatching raw truths fresh from eternity; as if you're the beneficiary of
utterly novel insights that nothing in your life has prepared you for.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): George Washington and Thomas
Jefferson were great leaders who were instrumental in creating the United
States, but they shared a flaw with most of the other founding fathers: They
owned slaves. Only one of the men who midwifed the birth of the nation freed
his human chattel: Virginia plantation owner Robert Carter, whose heroism has
been largely unsung in the history books. Make him your role model in the
coming weeks, Capricorn. It's a good time to meditate on those people you've
held down, oppressed, or manipulated (even if it was inadvertent or
unconscious), and then correct for how you've interfered with their full
blossoming. I'm not saying you're any guiltier of this sin than the rest of us;
just that this is your special time to atone.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the coming weeks, you will have
an unusually large capacity to see what has been invisible and name what has
been unspeakable. You will be adept at solving dull old problems and creating
brilliant new ones. You will also have extraordinary power to dissolve
restrictions and impose creative limitations, outwit evil and dream up tricky
ways to be good, drum up freedom and escape apathy, and rebel against or uphold
tradition as necessary. Use your amazing mojo craftily, Aquarius!
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "You owe it to us all to get on
with what you're good at," said poet
. Make that your
motto in the coming weeks, Pisces. Your motivation for doing the useful work
you love to do should not come from you alone. We, the rest of the world, want
to be there inside you so that we can root you on and encourage you to give us
your very best gifts. Tap into and refine and explore your talents for your own
sake, yes — but do it for us, too.
Homework: What gifts do you want for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule, and the winter solstice? Write to Buddha Claus at email@example.com.