VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A guy I know was invited to hang one of his paintings in a New York gallery - on one condition. It had to be a piece he created on the spot, in the gallery, on the day the show opened. That would be way too much pressure for me to handle. I need to spend a long time on the stuff I make, whether it's music or writing. I've got to fuss over every little detail as I constantly edit and refine and add layers. What about you, Virgo? Could you quickly come up with some new wrinkle or fresh creation that would show the world who you really are? I'm guessing we will soon find out.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you've been reading my horoscopes for a while, you know I'm not a decadent cynic who thinks "no pain, no gain" is the supreme formula for success. On the contrary. I think it's quite possible to enjoy tremendous growth spurts when you're happy and healthy. Pleasurable events can be great learning experiences. Joy and freedom may activate potentials that would otherwise remain dormant. Having said that, I want to make a suggestion that may seem at odds with my usual approach, even though it's not. For the next two weeks, I encourage you to explore the necessary power of decay. Harness the archetypes of breakdown and dissolution as you put an end to things whose time is up. This work is key to your future rejuvenation and renaissance.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I'm going to ignore the Urban Dictionary's more modern definitions of the word "yeast," and stick to the original meaning: an agent of fermentation that brews alcoholic drinks and makes bread dough rise. Metaphorically speaking, Scorpio, you should be like that for your gang or crew or tribe. I urge you to stir up group morale. Provoke deeper thought and stronger feelings. Instigate some bubbly new trends and effervescent interactions. Be yeasty!
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sussex is a county in southeast England. Its official motto is "We wunt be druv," which is Sussex dialect for "We won't be pushed around." It's not bad as mottoes go, I guess. There's power in announcing to the world that you're not going to allow anyone to manipulate you or bully you. But I'd like to see you come up with a more robust battle cry for yourself, Sagittarius - one that doesn't focus on what you won't do, but rather on what you will do. It's an ideal astrological moment to articulate your driving purpose in a pithy formula that will give you strength whenever you invoke it.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Most people consider global warming somewhat of a mixed blessing," wrote Aaron Sankin on Huffington Post. "On one hand, there's ocean acidification, deserts gobbling up wide swaths of farmland and the massive die-off of the innumerable species unable to cope with the effects of the world's rapidly rising temperature. But, on the other hand, you'll be able to wear shorts for literally the entire year." Sankin is being deeply sarcastic, of course. Let's make his satire a jumping-off point as we consider some sincerely worthwhile trade-offs you might want to implement in your own sphere. Would you be willing to sacrifice a trivial comfort for a new privilege? Would you shed a small pleasure to gain a much bigger pleasure? Might you divest yourself of a pocket of resentment if in doing so you'd attract a cleansing epiphany?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I don't expect your travels in the coming weeks to be like a smooth luxury cruise in a stretch limousine. Your route is not likely to be a straight shot through breathtaking scenery with expansive views. No, my dear Aquarius, your journeys will be more complicated than that, more snakey and labyrinthine. Some of the narrow passages and weedy detours you'll need to navigate may not even resemble paths, let alone highways. And your metaphorical vehicle may resemble a funky old 1967 Chevy pick-up truck or a forklift bedecked with flowers. It should be pretty fun, though. Keep in mind that your maps may only be partially useful.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In medieval times, you didn't need a priest to get married, nor did you have to be in a church or recite a set of vows. You didn't even have to round up witnesses. All that was required was that the two people who wanted to be wed said "I marry you" to each other. Those three words had great power! In the coming days, Pisces, I'd love to see you draw inspiration from that lost tradition. Your assignment is to dream up three potent declarations that, while not legally binding, express the deepest and most loving intentions you promise to be faithful to in the coming years.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Do you know what a controlled burn is? Firefighters start small, manageable fires on purpose so as to eradicate brush that has accumulated too close to wooded areas. With less fuel around, bigger fires are not as likely to ignite accidentally and turn into conflagrations. I encourage you to use this as a metaphor for your own life, Aries. How? First, identify a big potential problem that may be looming on the horizon. Then, in the coming weeks, get rid of all the small messes that might tend to feed that big problem. Make sure it'll never happen.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Jungian storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estes advises us to take good care of the untamed aspects of our nature. "The wild life must be kept ordered on a regular basis," she writes. One way to do this is to keep our uncommon and unruly ideas clear and organized. It's also important to give them respect, and understand that they're crucial to our spiritual and psychological health. How are you doing in this regard, Taurus? What's your relationship with the untamed aspects of your nature? According to my reading of the omens, now is prime time for you honor and nurture and cultivate them.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): By my astrological reckoning, you're not nearly wet enough right now. I recommend that you take immediate and intensive steps to remedy the situation. There should not be anything about you that is high and dry; you need to soak up the benefits that come from being slippery and dripping. If you're suffering from even a hint of emotional dehydration, you should submerse yourself in the nearest pool of primal feelings. For extra credit, drink deeply from the sacred cup that never empties.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): In the 16th century, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V ruled over a vast swath of land that included 12 modern European nations. According to some historians, he once said, "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse." This is the kind of attitude I recommend that you adopt in the coming weeks, Cancerian. Tailor your language to the people and creatures you're speaking to. Address them on their own level of consciousness, respecting their limitations and appealing to their particular kind of intelligence. Of course this is always a good policy, but it's especially important for you to observe now. Fluency and flexibility will be rewarded in ways you can't imagine.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Would you like to enhance your relationship with money? If so, do you have any specific ideas about how to do it? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to identify and implement those ideas. Let me make an initial suggestion: Keep your magical thinking to a minimum, but don't stamp it out entirely; a small amount of frisky fantasizing will actually boost the likelihood that your more practical intentions will achieve critical mass. Here's another tip: Imagine the presents you'd get for people if you had some extra cash. Stimulating your generous urges may help motivate the universe to be generous to you.