CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I have tracked down a formula that I think should be one of your central ongoing meditations in 2011. It's from newsman David Brinkley: "A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her." In the coming months you will be extra smart about knowing which of these bricks to use and how exactly to position them in your foundation. And more than that, Capricorn: You will have special insight not only about bricks that have been flung fairly recently, but also about those that have been hurled at any time in your life.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The city of Stockholm, Sweden, consists of 14 islands that are spanned by more than 50 bridges. It's a beautiful, clean, culturally rich place that's ranked among the best urban centers in the world. I'm hoping that in the coming year you will develop a certain resemblance to it. With a little luck and a clear intention to forge strong new links, you will connect the many fragmented areas of your life, creating a unified network that ensures each part is humming in resonance with the whole. In fact, let's call 2011 your Bridge-Building Year.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): At age 19, I wanted to be a poet when I grew up. My goal was to write a poem every day forever. And yet I had almost no ambition to get published. I was satisfied to bask in the ecstatic epiphany that accompanied each fresh poetic eruption. Then one day I was browsing in a bookshop and saw a flier for a big upcoming poetry reading. It included every major poet in my then-hometown of Santa Cruz - except me. I was shocked and hurt. Why was I left out? Eventually I realized it was because all the other poets listed had written a book. From that moment on I was obsessively driven to publish my own tome. A year later, after much hard work, it came to pass. I would love to see you experience a similar wake-up call in 2011, Pisces: a friendly jolt that motivates you to rise to the next level.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "There's always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in," wrote novelist Graham Greene. I'll add to that: There are at least three moments in adulthood when a new door opens and invites the rest of the future in. Judging by the astrological omens, I'm guessing that one such breakthrough lies ahead for you in 2011. What can you do to expedite and encourage fate's summons? Here's one possibility: Surrender to the naked truth of what you love.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If oil companies were given permission to sink their drilling rigs into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the petroleum they produced would ultimately lower gasoline prices by four cents per gallon. To my mind, that's not a good trade-off. Let this scenario serve as a cautionary metaphor for you in 2011, Taurus. Don't share your pristine wilderness or soulful beauty with exploitative types who offer iffy rewards. Instead, hold out for those who appreciate you profoundly and whose own gifts help you to thrive.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Freud said that among all human endeavors, there were three "impossible professions" that inevitably yielded unsatisfying results. They were child-rearing, the governing of nations and psychoanalysis. My own experiences don't entirely confirm this. My parents raised me pretty well and I've given my daughter a decent upbringing. Of the nine psychotherapists I've consulted in my life, two were excellent healers and none were damaging. But even those relatively winning projects were sometimes fraught with unsolvable riddles, chronic frustrations and maddening uncertainties. I bring this up, Gemini, because I think 2011 will be a time when you will generate far more gratification and success than usual in your own versions of "impossible professions." Unsolvable riddles, chronic frustrations and maddening uncertainties won't be completely absent, but they could very well be at an all-time low.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "We have to believe in free will. We have no choice." So said author Isaac Bashevis Singer. I encourage you to adopt that puckish thought as your motto in 2011, my fellow Cancerian. According to my reading of the astrological omens, this will be our year to supercharge our willpower and intensify our ability to carry out our plans - but always with good humor and a highly tuned sense of irony. In fact, one of the best ways to deepen our command over our own unconscious impulses and the caprices of fate will be to take ourselves - and everything else, too - less seriously.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The coming year will be a time to think big - maybe even bigger than you've dared to think in more than a decade. That doesn't mean you should be rash, reckless or unrealistic. On the contrary. Your expansive dreams should be carefully wrought and anchored in a detailed understanding of how things actually work. As an example of what not to do, learn from Snoop Dogg. The rapper wanted to rent all 62 square miles of the small European nation of Liechtenstein so he could film his music video there. Liechtenstein authorities turned him down, but only because his team didn't ask far enough in advance. Had he been better organized, the whole country could have been his.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): An Oregon man named Don Wesson stopped his truck by the side of the road and took home a 40-pound rock that caught his eye. That was more than a decade ago. For years he used it as part of a border to prevent his dog from messing up his garden. Then he saw a TV show about meteorites and brought the rock to scientists. They told him it was a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite that fell to earth long ago and originally came from the asteroid belt. Other experts told him he could probably sell the exotic artifact for as much as $40,000. I predict a metaphorically similar development in your life during the coming year: the discovery of a valuable old thing from far away that you will underestimate at first.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Richard Grossinger is my friend, my teacher and the brilliant author of numerous books. (His latest is called 2013.) He is also a humble adept in the high art of gratitude. On his website, he has a page devoted to expressing vivid appreciation for the 71 best teachers of his life. His testimony is a riveting and touching reminder of how each of us is a creation of all the important people we've loved and hated. Compiling such a list should, I think, be a rite of passage for anyone who aspires to be an authentic human being. There will never be a better time than 2011 for you to do this work yourself, Libra.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Just when I found out the meaning of life," said comedian George Carlin, "they changed it." I'm hoping that will be one of your top inspirational jokes in 2011, Scorpio. If all goes well, you will no longer be content with all your previous answers to the question "What is the meaning of life?" - either because "they changed it," as Carlin suggested, or because it's no longer interesting or useful to you. This is very good news, in my opinion. You will have the invigorating privilege of going off in search of fresh answers to the riddle of the ages!
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The United Nations has declared that 2011 will be the International Year of Chemistry - a time to honor the role chemistry plays in our lives. Meanwhile, you Sagittarians will be celebrating your own personal Year of Chemistry, although in a different sense of the word - the sense that means natural attraction, spontaneous connection, intuitive allure and uncanny synchronicity. Don't let this abundance of grace make you overconfident, and don't just sit back and let it run wild. Be a master chemist intent on rigorously cultivating the very best experiments.