LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Albert Einstein was extremely famous during his lifetime. Although he had no publicity machine promoting him, his face became an iconic symbol for genius. "Einstein" was, in effect, a brand name that made people think of creativity, wisdom and imagination. There were times that bothered him. "I am no Einstein," he said, preferring to be his raw self rather than the idol on a pedestal. I offer his example up to you, Libra. You can benefit from slipping away from, ignoring, and even rebelling against your image right now. Return to the source of your ever-evolving life energy.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): My proposed assignment for you would be fun, but it wouldn't be easy. It would require you to dissolve at least one of your fixations, escape at least two of your habits, and override at least three of your dogmatic beliefs. I'll completely understand if you're not up for the challenge. But if you're game, read the following excerpt of a poem by Pablo Neruda (translated by Alastair Reid), and incorporate its attitude into your daily rhythm. "I have a mind to confuse things, unite them, make them new-born, mix them up, undress them, until all light in the world has the oneness of the ocean, a generous, vast wholeness, a crackling, living fragrance."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I love to listen to DJ Schmeejay on San Francisco radio station KUSF. Like a throwback to the Golden Age of FM radio in the 1970s, he plays a "visceral, cinematic" mix that delights you with a flow of unpredictable juxtapositions. Unlike some music experts who harbor haughty elitist prejudices, the dude is an open-minded aficionado. His playlist may include a psychedelic tune, flapper-jazz, a pretty pop song, a barbershop quartet, 1960s folk, polka, and trip-hop. He understands that good entertainment keeps you guessing about what's going to come next. I urge you to borrow his approach as you cruise and schmooze in the coming weeks. Charm people with good surprises. Expand your bag of tricks, and use everything in it.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I'm not a big believer in the idea that dreams are prophetic. I've recorded thousands of my own dreams, and just three of them have foreshadowed waking life events that actually occurred. However, I have often found it valuable to regard my dreams as pointers on how to develop unripe aspects of myself. For example, when I was 19 I had a series of dreams suggesting that the best way to become a writer was simply to write at least three hours every day. I acted on those prompts, and they worked. I bring this to your attention, Capricorn, because it's prime time for you to tap into your own dreams for tips on how to create your best possible future.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In his opening comments on an episode of his TV show, Stephen Colbert announced, "I have butterflies in my stomach. I just ate a cocoon quesadilla." If I'm reading the omens correctly, you, too, will soon have fluttering sensations in your gut, but not because of your food choices. Rather, you're likely to be quivery and atwitter due to encounters with the Great Unknown - arrivals from beyond the Wild Blue Yonder that will blow your mind and recalibrate your philosophy of life. Don't worry. Your appointments with the numinous are likely to be stirring, even awe-inspiring, but not frightening. P.S. You should celebrate the fact that you feel free enough to go exploring so far and wide.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "If we wish to outline an architecture that conforms to the structure of our soul," wrote Friedrich Nietzsche, "it would have to be conceived in the image of the labyrinth." I take this to mean that clarity, assuredness, and single-mindedness are luxuries the ego may indulge in, but they are not the natural state of our deepest selves. Rather, at our cores, in the essential primal source that sustains us, we are complicated and meandering ... mysterious and exploratory ... curious and questioning. In other words, it's perfectly healthy to be in a labyrinthine state of mind. I hope this meditation helps you enjoy your upcoming Season of Soul.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh is a person whose ideas and attitudes repel me. But in the dream I had last night, I enjoyed hanging out with him. He was affable and humorous. We had several fun adventures together. Here's how I interpret the dream: It doesn't necessarily mean that Limbaugh is a better human being than my bias allows me to imagine. Rather, I think I'm becoming more relaxed about people I disagree with. I'm less susceptible to being motivated by hatred. I'm able to maintain a live-and-let-live approach to things that used to knock me off center. You're now set up for a similar shift, Aries. I hope you take advantage.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You have entered a phase in your astrological cycle when your best lessons will come from doing hard work. I mean that in the most literal way: intensifying your commitment to doing your job with maximum integrity and intelligence and excellence. But I also mean that you should concentrate on what needs fixing, refinement, and upkeep in other areas of your life. Could your best relationships use some tweaks that would pump up the collaborative energy? Would you consider making a course correction in your spiritual path? Is there any part of your rhythm that could use more discipline and organization?
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'm getting excited to see what you'll create in the coming weeks. You're slipping into the most expressive groove you've been in for a while. I'm guessing that any minute now your imagination will start churning out a wealth of fresh perspectives and new approaches. Half-rotting problems that have just sat there immobile for weeks or even months will begin morphing into opportunities as you zap them with your frisky grace. Misunderstandings that have festered far too long will get cleansed and salved by your tricky ingenuity. Get the party started!
CANCER (June 21-July 22): As I stood by the creek at dusk, the silhouette of a woman in a kayak came flowing my way. The last crease of the orange sun hovered on the horizon behind her. I spied the reflection of the planet Venus shimmering in the violet water before I saw it in the sky. The temperature was balmy. A translucent spider floated nearby at the end of an airborne silk strand. Nine geese in V-formation trumpeted as they soared overhead. When the woman got close enough for us to see each other's faces, she addressed me. "We win!" she exclaimed jubilantly, then paddled onward. I agreed. We were basking in a great victory, paradise having temporarily descended into our midst. This is the kind of triumph I expect you'll be capable of achieving several times over in the coming week.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Focus on what's small and slippery, Leo. Turn your gaze away from what's big and obvious. Exult in the salamander on the rock and a friend who has a new trick and the guilty pleasure you just discovered; excuse yourself from obsessing about the state of the economy, the meaning of life, and the clash between science and religion. Your pleasurable duty is to love what's in the midst of changing, and not fixate on trying to make arrangements that will supposedly last forever. Don't just grudgingly attend to the mercurial details; dive in as if playing with them were your central purpose.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Artists suffer for their work, but they don't mind," read the headline in the San Francisco Chronicle. The attached article featured brief interviews with five artists who all said they enjoy doing their creative work so much that they gladly put up with the privations it causes them. That's the spirit I'd like you to embrace in the coming weeks, Virgo. See if you can immerse yourself in a labor of love with so much enthusiastic devotion that you drive away some of your aches and anxieties.