VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Our job is to become more and more of what we are," says poet Marvin Bell. "The growth of a poet seems to be related to his or her becoming less and less embarrassed about more and more." Whether or not you're a poet, Virgo, I would like to apply this gauge to your own growth. The way I see it, your power to claim your birthright and fulfill your destiny will ultimately hinge to a significant degree on your ability to shed all residual shame about your true nature. And guess what: There has never been a better time to work on that noble project than right now.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Your theme for the week comes from travel writer Stephen Graham in his book The Gentle Art of Tramping: "As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged on the shingly beach of a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens." I can't wait to see the expression on your face when a portal like that appears for you sometime in the near future, Libra. I expect your mood will be a mix of surprise, humility, vindication, joy and a pleasant kind of shock. By the way, you won't necessarily have to be out in nature in order to become aware of the opening door. But it will probably be crucial for you to simulate the state that nature evokes in you. That's why I suggest you rev up your aptitude for innocence and make sure your sense of wonder is turned on full blast.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): More than a 100 years ago, a team of British adventurers led by Ernest Shackleton trekked across Antarctica, attempting to reach the South Pole. They ran out of supplies and had to turn back before reaching their goal. In 2006, modern-day explorers discovered a cache of stuff Shackleton had been forced to leave behind, stashed in the ice. It included two cases of whiskey. Some of the century-old liquor found its way back to England, where it was quaffed by a few daring souls eager for an exotic taste. I suspect you may soon stumble upon a metaphorically similar curiosity, Scorpio: something like old spirits preserved in ice. My advice: Try a small sample and wait a while to see what effect it has before imbibing the whole thing.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Punk musician Wesley Willis was fond of greeting friends and audience members alike with a headbutt. So prolific was he in employing this ritual that he developed a permanent callus on his forehead. Now would be an excellent time for you to make this tradition your own, Sagittarius. Just think of all the affection you'll generate and all the great conversations you'll stimulate by ramming people! JUST KIDDING! I was exaggerating a bit. It's true that now is an excellent time to ramp up your friendliness and expand your social reach. But you probably shouldn't engage in full-tilt headbutting unless you're extroverted, gregarious and so extravagantly charming you can get away with it.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In Japan you can buy Vaam, a sports energy drink that contains hornet saliva. It acquired a legendary reputation after Japanese marathon runner Naoko Takahashi said she used it to propel herself to a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics. Vaam's creator, biochemist Takashi Abe, claims there is scientific evidence that it works as well for humans as it does for wasps, which fly as much as 70 miles a day. According to my reading of the astrological omens, the cosmos will be infusing you with a metaphorical version of hornet saliva in the coming weeks, Capricorn. You'll have the power to go further and be stronger for longer periods of time.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I gathered together a panel of renegade astrologers to investigate your imminent future. By a unanimous vote, they designated you, out of all the signs of the zodiac, as the one "Most Likely to Exceed the Boring Limitations of Good Taste," as well as "Best Candidate to Slap the Conventional Wisdom Upside the Head." That sounds fun. I hope you make good use of the freedom that those roles entail. By the way, the general consensus also suggested that you are primed to find valuable stuff in out-of-the-way borderlands or in off-limits haunts where no one else even wants to look.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You're on course for a warm, wet, soft collision with the enigmas of the libido. I urge you to give yourself fully to the exploration, even if it stirs up feelings you have no names for. In my opinion, the best way to use your intelligence right now is to undertake a rigorous investigation into the heights and depths of your passion ... to experiment with new guidelines for your instinctual nature ... to make yourself extra receptive to the spiritual teachings available through erotic communion.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "I have a simple philosophy," said Alice Roosevelt Longworth, a self-described hedonist who lived till the age of 96. "Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches." That's not an approach I recommend you pursue all the time, Aries, but I think it could be both wise and fun for you to do so in the coming weeks. Given the upcoming astrological omens, you have a mandate to find out where the most interesting action is, and dive in with the intent to generate even more action. The catalysts need another catalyst like you.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A guy on Reddit posted a photo that made me think of you. He had been out walking in the wilds of Ontario, and found a single ripe peach growing on a scraggly, skinny tree in the middle of an abandoned quarry. There were no other peach trees in sight, let alone peaches. I suspect that when you find beauty and sustenance in the coming days, Taurus, they will be in similar situations: unexpected and unlikely. That doesn't mean they'll be any less sweet.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you've ever been to a flavor-tripping party, you've eaten "miracle fruit" - berries with the scientific name Synsepalum dulcificum. They coat your tongue with a substance that makes all subsequent foods taste sweet. The effect lasts no more than an hour, but while it does, lemons, radishes and pickles may as well be desserts. Be alert for a metaphorical version of the miracle fruit, Gemini. There's an influence coming your way that could temporarily make everything else seem extra delectable. As long as you're aware of what's happening, it will be a quirky blessing.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Born in Austria, Susanne Wenger became a high priestess of the Yoruba religion in Nigeria. When she died in 2009 at the age of 93, she had devoted the last 50-plus years of her life to protecting and beautifying a sacred forest in the Osogbo area. It's hard for most of us to imagine loving a place as much as she did, but that's what I'm encouraging you to do. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will accrue unforeseen benefits by becoming more deeply connected to a special patch of earth. To do so will awaken a dormant part of your soul, for one thing. It could also advance one of your lifelong quests, which is to feel ever-more at home in the world.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Personally, I'm always ready to learn," said Winston Churchill, "although I do not always like being taught." You may soon find yourself sharing that paradoxical state of mind, Leo. It's time for you to receive the new teachings you have been unconsciously preparing yourself to absorb. But at least in the early stages, these useful lessons may get on your nerves or make you squirm. Stick with them. Keep the faith. Sooner or later, your crash course will become enjoyable.