ARIES Marc 21 | Apri 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 Apr 20 | May 20 "When you die," says the Quran, "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-Jun 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 immediately?)
CANCER Jun 21 | Jul 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 labours, the coming weeks will be a favourable 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 Jul 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 | Sep 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 per cent less calcium and 37 per cent less iron than they did in 1975, for example, as well as 21 per cent less vitamin A and 30 per cent 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 to tinyurl.com/yrw4ht.)
LIBRA Sep 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 | Mar 20 "You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at," said poet W. H. Auden. 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.