VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Here’s a passage from Charles Dickens’ novel *Great Expectations*: “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Judging from the astrological omens, Virgo, I suspect your life may be like that in the coming days. The emotional tone could be sharply mixed, with high contrasts between vivid sensations. The nature of your opportunities may seem warm and bright one moment, cool and dark the next. If you regard this as interesting rather than difficult, it won’t be a problem, but rather an adventure.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “I worked as a hair stylist in Chicago’s Gold Coast for 20 years with some of the most gorgeous woman and men in the world,” writes sculptor Rich Thomson. “Once I asked a photographer who shot for the big magazines how he picked out the very best models from among all these great-looking people. His response: ‘Flaws. Our flaws are what make us interesting, special, and exotic. They define us.’” My challenge to you, Libra, is to meditate on how your supposed imperfections and oddities are essential to your unique beauty. It’s a perfect moment to celebrate -- and make good use of -- your idiosyncrasies.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The genius of Leonardo da Vinci was in part fueled by his buoyant curiosity. In his work as an artist, musician, inventor, engineer, and writer, he drew inspiration from pretty much everything. He’s your role model for the coming week, Scorpio. Just assume that you will find useful cues and clues wherever you go. Act as if the world is full of teachers who have revelations and guidance specifically meant for you. Here’s some advice from da Vinci himself: “It should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which, if you consider them well, you may find really marvelous ideas.”
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Ready for a reality check? It’s time to assess how well you know the fundamental facts about where you are located. So let me ask you: Do you know which direction north is? Where does the water you drink come from? What phase of the moon is it today? What was the indigenous culture that once lived where you live now? Where is the power plant that generates the electricity you use? Can you name any constellations that are currently in the night sky? What species of trees do you see every day? Use these questions as a starting point as you deepen your connection with your specific neighborhood on planet Earth. Get yourself grounded!
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): There’s a writer I know whose work is brilliant. Her ideas are fascinating. She’s a champion of political issues I hold dear. She’s well-read and smarter than me. Yet her speech is careless and sloppy. She rambles and interrupts herself. She says “uh,” “you know,” and “I mean” so frequently that I find it hard to listen, even when she’s saying things I admire. I considered telling her about this, but decided against it. She’s an acquaintance, not a friend. Instead, I resolved to clean up my own speech—to make sure I don’t do anything close to what she does. This is a strategy I suggest for you, Capricorn: Identify interesting people who are not fully living up to their potential, and change yourself in the exact ways you wish they would change.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The German word *Verschlimmbesserung* refers to an attempted improvement that actually makes things worse. Be on guard against this, Aquarius. I fear that as you tinker, you may try too hard. I’m worried you’ll be led astray by neurotic perfectionism. To make sure that your enhancements and enrichments will indeed be successful, keep these guidelines in mind: 1. Think about how to make things work better, not how to make things look better. 2. Be humble and relaxed. Don’t worry about saving face and don’t overwork yourself. 3. Forget about short-term fixes; serve long-range goals.