TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In her book Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg tells aspiring wordsmiths, "write from your obsessions. They're going to run your life anyway, so why not harness them?" That's good advice if you're an artist in any medium. The consuming fetishes and raging fantasies that threaten to drive you crazy can be converted into excellent raw material for your creative urges. But what if you're not an artist? How can you turn your obsessions into assets? Be alert for answers to this question. Cosmic forces are conspiring to bring you crisp new insights.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As your mating season gets into full swing, I suggest you browse through Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation, a book by evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson. Your mind may be blown wide open as you learn how experimental some animals are in their approach to sex. You'll read about dolphins that try to copulate with turtles and seals, orangutans that masturbate with sex toys made of leaves and twigs, female chimpanzees that average 10 trysts a day with numerous lovers, homosexual romps among manatees, and female seahorses that impregnate their male partners. I'm hoping that by expanding your definition of what's "natural," you'll lose any shame you might still have about your own harmless (though exotic) erotic tastes.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): This horoscope has been scientifically formulated to raise your spontaneity levels and condition you to thrive on the unexpected. Do not attempt to use logic to understand it. Like a Zen koan, it is meant to give your non-rational mind a workout, thereby preparing you for what cannot be prepared for. Here goes. Find meaning in runaway shopping carts and flaming marshmallows. Seek silk and cashmere interventions in the midst of a secret test. Drum up feral breakfast conundrums with wicked, lickable angels. Welcome violins and snakes at the heart of the cool mistake. Scribble treasure maps on naked promises. Search for messages from the future in the warm glow of yesterday's shock.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You're the best antidote for all the unoriginal thinking that's going on around you. Others may have the power to overthrow the numbing status quo, but only you have the charm to do it in a graceful way that doesn't offend everyone and damage future collaborative efforts. So be a cheerful rebel. Unleash your iconoclastic fervor with the intention of making life more fun and interesting, not more annoyingly complicated.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Time porn" is defined by www.wordspy.com as "TV shows and other media that portray characters having excessive amounts of spare time, a thing we covet but cannot have." "Seinfeld" and "Friends" are especially obscene examples of this. I'm hoping that you will renounce any attraction you might have to this perverse form of vicarious enjoyment. Instead, fight and claw to procure for yourself an abundance of free, unscheduled hours when you can sit around doing nothing in particular.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The National Center for Atmospheric Research reports that the average cloud weighs the same as a hundred elephants. Use this as a metaphorical touchstone in the coming week. Are there any situations in your life that seem insubstantial but that are, in fact, quite massive? Can you think of any influence you regard as ethereal or feathery that might ultimately have the impact of a ton of bricks? This is the week you should check to see if outer appearances match up with what's inside.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): So you decided to leave your comfort zone. You dared to scare yourself for a good cause. Having researched all the options, you found the skydiving school with the best safety record. Later, fully trained, you felt reasonably confident as you went up in the plane and hurled yourself out the door into the emptiness. Hallelujah! Your parachute opened successfully. Your descent was smooth. Alas, at the last minute a strong wind blew you away from your target and your chute got snagged on a tree. Now you're safe and sound, but stranded high above the ground. What's next?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Scientists at Sweden's University of Uppsala say that global warming will never melt the ice caps or create endless summers in Toronto. That's because oil and gas supplies will run out far sooner than expected. There's not enough of the stuff left on the planet for humans to create a dangerous excess of carbon dioxide. The scientists believe oil reserves are 80 percent smaller than generally predicted, and will peak in 2010. Let this scenario serve as a stimulus for meditations about your future. What sources of energy, money, and love that you now depend on may be gone in 15 years? What can you do to begin cultivating replacements? Visualize the life you'd like to be living in 2018, and start planting seeds you'll harvest then.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "The abyss has its own rewards." Greek myth attributed this motto to Hecate, goddess of the crossroads and queen of the night. Can you imagine what those rewards might be? Brainstorm about them now. While you won't be descending all the way to the yawning pit at the bottom of the abyss, you will spend time in the middle and upper levels. Believe it or not, this will be a good thing. It'll bring fantastic opportunities to shed delusions, expose and heal repressed emotions, and free yourself from bondage.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Once, no one was allowed to study the Qabalah until age 40, after having raised a family and gathered a wealth of life experience. The mystical doctrines were thought to be at best useless and at worst dangerous to younger seekers. The rule has now been waived. At this critical juncture in humanity's evolution, we need all the wise folk we can get, even at the risk of unhinging those who aren't ripe enough to apply the esoteric truths with integrity. Understandings you'll be exposed to in the coming weeks would qualify you to study Qabalah no matter what your age. You'll be offered chances to dramatically expedite your maturation. If you've been emotionally stunted or deprived of learning adventures in any way, now's the time to fix that.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): What seems like bad luck is not always caused by the whims of fate. Sometimes it's the result of dumb decisions and their consequences. Take the "Curse of the Bambino." It has supposedly prevented the Boston Red Sox from winning the World Series since they got rid of future Hall-of-Famer Babe Ruth in 1920. But the real reason for Boston's enduring mediocrity is less occult: the racism of its owners. After Jackie Robinson finally integrated the game in 1947, they lagged far behind in signing black players. Not until the 1990s did the Red Sox fully catch up with other teams. Let this goad your meditations. Think about parts of your life that have seemingly suffered from bad luck. Identify the past events that are the true cause, and devise a forceful plan to dissolve the karma. What do you want for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule, and the winter solstice? Write to Buddha Claus at