(July 23-August 22)
For a special episode of her TV talk show, Oprah Winfrey wanted a stage set that was fabricated out of chocolate. It took workers 1,400 hours to construct it. When the day came to unveil the decadent monument, Oprah offered her audience members the chance to tear it apart, eat it and take it home as plunder. They dismantled it in half an hour. Let this be a cautionary tale, Leo. I dearly hope that the creation you’re beginning to work on will endure for a long time and continue to provide meaning and pleasure far past the time it makes its initial splash. Build your baby to last.
Myriam Chebat, Stephen Cooke, Rochelle Locke, Rachel Pink-Sutherland. Send your birthdays to email@example.com.
(August 23-September 22)
New age author Bob Frissell wrote a book called Nothing in This Book Is True, But It's Exactly How Things Are. It contains a host of seemingly far-fetched theories about UFOs, crop circles, ascended masters, earth changes and monuments on Mars, all of which adds up to a beguiling Theory of Everything about the hidden nature of reality. I see your life right now as having resemblances to this curious tome. If I had to give a title to the next chapter of your story, it might be "Nothing That's Happening Will Make Much Sense Until It Has Finished Happening, Whereupon It Will Yield a Burst of Insight About the Big Picture of Your Destiny."
(September 23-October 22)
One of the best ways to cultivate your own radiant brilliance or native talent is to look for excellence in other people. So if you suspect there's some half-hidden or partially dormant reservoir of genius within you---a motherlode of intelligence that you have not been fully successful in tapping into---I suggest you make it a point to identify the genius in everyone you know. Whether it's your cousin's knack for flower arrangement or your co-worker's telepathic capacity to read the moods of people she wants something from, you can fuel your own luminosity by noticing and appreciating others'.
(October 23-November 21)
Imagine you and I and a bunch of our friends are seven years old. We're playing the rough game "King of the Mountain" on a huge pile of dirt. Since there are some girls among us, we've changed the name of the game to "Awesome Magic Boss of the Mountain." Today, you're the strongest one, warding off all challenges to your authority, pushing away everyone who tries to knock you off your place at the top. It's like you have extra power you've never displayed before; as if you're drawing on reserves of determination and stamina that were previously unavailable. I believe this is a metaphorically accurate portrayal of your actual life right now.
(November 22-December 21)
My Sagittarius friend Lisa dreamed she was at a party with Jon Carroll, a writer she admires. In the dream, she managed to join a circle of people with whom he was conversing. Twice she tried to insinuate her way into the conversation with comments she thought were flattering to Jon. But he ignored her. Finally she opened an oversized picture book she had with her and showed him a striking photo of a huge nest containing a speckled, glittery dragon's egg. This caught his eye. He took her by the arm to a table where they pored over this fascinating image together. Learn from Lisa's dream, Sagittarius. To captivate the attention of the people you're interested in, appeal not to their vanity but to their imagination.
(December 22-January 19)
Homeboy Industries is an organization in East Los Angeles that helps former gang members find jobs. One of its most successful programs has trained over a hundred ex-cons as solar panel installers. That's the kind of dramatic conversion I'd like to see you make in your own life, Capricorn---getting face-to-face with the most messed-up part of yourself and conspiring to transform it into something brighter and more useful. Now would be an excellent time to dive into that worthy project.
(January 20-February 18)
I'm all in favour of you pumping up your yearning and stoking the fires of your ambition and fantasizing in explicit detail about a fantastic dream---on one condition: The object of your craving has to be real and achievable. It can't be an impossible idol or remote delusion, nor can it be an escapist distraction. The longing you feel must empower you, not demoralize you. The vision that gets you activated each morning must be something you can actually manifest by carrying out a detailed, step-by-step masterplan. If you're willing to satisfy these provisions, you have my go-ahead to get more than a little wild with desire.
(February 19-March 20)
When you try to communicate with a baby, you get nowhere if you talk as you normally do. Nor can you rely on your usual assumptions about human behaviour as you read the baby's verbal cues and body language. There's a similar principle at work when you interact with animals: You have to speak a different language. And that brings us to your current challenge, Pisces. Life is currently sending you signals that will remain incomprehensible if you insist on interpreting them from the viewpoint of a rational adult. To decipher the encrypted code, you'll have to get into a mindset that is equal parts child, animal and angel.
(March 21-April 19)
The ancient Greek god Dionysus did not, in fact, encourage people to get sloppy drunk, lose control and do stupid things. His preference was that they free themselves from their inhibitions by imbibing moderate amounts of alcohol. With this medicinal spur, they might get unstuck from their worn-out old behaviour patterns and invite refreshing doses of wildness into their lives. Healing was the intention, not craziness and frenzy. It is true that if someone was not willing to escape their rigidity---if they clung to their hidebound attitudes and refused to open up to the call of self-transformation---Dionysus might lure them into reckless inebriation. Keep these thoughts in mind in the coming weeks, Aries.
(April 20-May 20)
In her 1960 song "This Bitter Earth," Dinah Washington sings, "If my life is like the dust that hides the glow of a rose/What good am I, heaven only knows." I bring this to your attention, Taurus, because you now have the power to prove that your life is NOT like the dust that hides the glow of a rose. So please get out there and reveal the glory of the world you inhabit. Draw out and enhance the radiance of people you encounter. By week's end, you may be able to say, as Washington does in the final line, "This bitter earth may not be so bitter after all."
(May 21-June 20)
More than one-third of adults under 35 confess that right after making love, they tweet or text-message or check their Facebook pages. In the coming week, I strongly advise you not to do that or anything remotely like that. You should give your best, brightest, most focused attention to every phase of every adventure you have. The foreplay and the aftermath are just as important to the total revelation as the height of the action. This is a time in your long-term cycle when you can't afford to scrimp on completion and closure and resolution.
(June 21-July 22)
August is Banish Your Superstitions Month, Cancerian. To celebrate, purge yourself of every irrational belief and unfounded fear you can stand to live without. But keep in mind you may have to keep a crazy delusion or two, at least for awhile. You've become so used to your chronic anxiety that it might be risky to get rid of it all at once. So proceed deliberately, casting off one false belief today and another quaint fallacy tomorrow and a third rotten figment of your imagination next week. By September 1, you may be surprised to see how much you've ratcheted up your level of fearlessness.