ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Ambition is a bad excuse for not having enough good sense to be lazy,” my ex-girlfriend Arlene used to say. She claimed to be a Zen master whose duty it was to deprogram me out of my absurd striving to make something of myself. She believed the key to enlightenment was to do nothing as much as possible. “You’re egotistically attached to your identity as a poet,” she’d yell into my room as I toiled over my writing. “Come out here and show me you have the spiritual guts to sit in front of the TV and lose your grandiose self in a meaningless game show.” While I did eventually emerge from our relationship with an appreciation for the value of emptiness, it was not ultimately my destiny to downplay ambition. On the contrary! Which is why I’m here to exhort you, Aries, to treat your desires as sacred rocket fuel — in 2008, more than ever. In the coming months, in accordance with your astrological omens, I will intensify my efforts to supercharge your ambition.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices,” said author Laurence J. Peter. One of your top assignments in 2008 will be to prove him wrong. I hope that you will aggressively pursue a more authentic form of higher learning in numerous ways, from exploring the frontiers of your world to reading more good books to seeking out the company of original thinkers. I trust that as you expose yourself to novel data and expansive perspectives, you will get your mind blown over and over again.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): How do you numb your pain, Gemini? In 2008, I suggest that you do that less than you ever have before. Instead, launch a fierce, relentless campaign to heal the pain so that you no longer have to numb it. The astrological omens say that if you establish that as your intention, you will attract into your life the helpers and inspiration you need to make it happen. More than that: You’ll be likely to generate the kind of good fortune that will render at least some of the pain obsolete.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): You worked your ass off in 2007. Am I right, my fellow Cancerian? In fact, you threw yourself into your hard labors with so much dutiful fervor that you sometimes lost sight of the fact that they were mostly just preparation for bigger and better assignments. Luckily for you, I’m here to snap you out of your amnesia. Please begin immediately to formulate a vision of how you will make the transition to those bigger and better assignments.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Some weeds are good for flowers and vegetables, protecting them from predatory insects. So say horticulturalists Stan Finch and Rosemary Collier, writing in Biologist magazine. When the bugs come looking for their special treats — the plants we love — they often get waylaid by the weeds, landing on them first and getting fooled into thinking there’s nothing more valuable nearby. So for example, when cabbages are planted in the midst of clover, flies lay eggs on only seven percent of them, compared to a 36-percent infestation rate on cabbages that are grown in bare soil with no clover nearby. I recommend that you use this as a key metaphor in 2008, Leo. Make sure there are always a few chickweed or henbit weeds surrounding your ripening tomatoes.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “Life is a punishment,” wrote poet Robert Frost. “All we can contribute to it is gracefulness in taking the punishment.” That’s the opposite of my philosophy. I say life is a miraculous gift, and the best way to express our gratitude is to be fountains of generosity. Where do you stand on the issue, Virgo? Even if you’ve had a view like Frost’s up to this point in your journey, I think you’ll have good reasons to convert to my perspective in 2008. You will, of course, have to be open to that possibility in order for it to happen. If you’re addicted to believing that life is punishment, you’ll miss a flood of clues contradicting that quaint notion.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The coming months will be a favorable time to work hard on improving your number one relationship: you know, the one between you and yourself. So I hope you’ll have a lot of long, deep, sympathetic conversations with yourself in 2008, even as you cut way back on the scattered, careless, unloving conversations. To get your pep talks off to a hot start, go to a mirror that makes you look your very best and unleash a hail of wild praise and outrageous compliments toward the gorgeous genius gazing back at you.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I meditated on the perfect holiday gift for you. What might inspire you to be in closest alignment with the cosmic currents in 2008? I decided that if I could, I’d buy you a costume shop. That way you could try on a thousand different masks and disguises. And that would put you in the proper frame of mind for the assignment I hope you will carry out all year long, which is to play with your identity and experiment with new self-images and maybe even treat your life as an epic theatrical extravaganza.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Due to the gravitational pull of the Moon, the Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down. A billion years ago, a day lasted only 18 hours. In about 14 million years, it will be 48 hours long. Imagine how much more you’ll be able to accomplish in your future incarnations with all that extra time. By then, I’m sure someone will have also invented a pill that reduces the amount of sleep you need, further boosting your capacity to get things done. In 2008, I predict you will be blessed with a foreshadowing of that glorious period 14 million years from now. You will work smarter and do things more efficiently and engage in less wasted motion and maintain a crisper to-do list. Because of that, time will seem to expand for you.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): French author and statesman André Malraux observed that Jesus Christ was the only anarchist who ever really succeeded. It’s no coincidence that Christ was a Capricorn, I might add, since the evolved members of your tribe have many of the qualities necessary to thrive in situations where there are no formal rules or laws. If you would like to move more in the direction of being the highly evolved Capricorn you were born to be — and I think 2008 will be a very favorable time to do just that — you should cultivate the qualities of a successful anarchist. In other words, be self-motivated, disciplined, and respectful of the needs of other people. Do the right thing without having to be coerced to do the right thing. Foster in yourself a reverence for freedom and a knack for making constructive use of your freedom.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Last July 11, lightning zapped the steeple of the Newman United Methodist Church in Grants Pass, Oregon. Later that same evening, another bolt from the heavens struck the exact same spot. Was this bad luck? A punishing message from an angry God? No. The rare double shot knocked the siding off the steeple, revealing a problem that no one at the church had suspected: The inner structure was rife with dry rot that would have collapsed soon. In exposing the hidden danger, the lightning did everyone a big favor. I predict that you will benefit from a metaphorically comparable sequence in early 2008, Aquarius.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): If you wanted to, you could be a skilled rainmaker in 2008, and make big bucks catalyzing downpours in drought-stricken areas. Your magical potentials are such that you might even be able to divert the flows of rivers, purify the pollution out of suffering lakes, and staunch the tears of people who’ve cried way too much. In other words, Pisces, you will have great power over the element of water. You could even use your wizardry to achieve a masterful equanimity toward your own oceanic emotions.