ARIES (March 21–April 19): Can you manage to be both highly alert and deeply relaxed? Could you be wildly curious and yet also serenely reflective? Can you imagine yourself being extra hungry to crack life's secrets but also at peace with your destiny exactly the way it is? If you can honestly answer yes to those questions, you'll get a lot of help in the coming week. The universe may even seem to be conspiring to educate you and heal you. You will receive a steady flow of clues about how to get closer to living your dreams.
TAURUS (April 20–May 20): In the coming week, you would be wise to deal with your vulnerability, your fallibility, and your own personal share of the world's darkness. If you refuse to do that, either out of laziness or fear, I'm worried that you will reinforce a status quo that needs to be overthrown. You may end up rationalizing your mistakes, clinging to false pride, and running away from challenges that could make you smarter and stronger. Don't do that, Taurus! Be brave. Be willing to see what's difficult to see. There will be big rewards if you choose to explore the weaker and less mature parts of your personality.
GEMINI (May 21–June 20): In the 1968 Olympics, Bob Beamon broke the world record for the long jump. His leap was so far beyond the previous mark that the optical device designed to calculate it didn't work. Officials had to resort to an old-fashioned measuring tape. After that, the word "Beamonesque" came to signify a feat that vastly outstripped all previous efforts. According to my analysis, you Geminis will have an excellent chance to be Beamonesque in 2013. I expect that you will at least surpass your own peak levels of accomplishment. If you have not yet launched your ascent, get started now.
CANCER (June 21–July 22): The fire ants that invaded the southern US back in the 1930s are an annoyance. They swarm and bite and sting. The venom they inject makes their victims feel like they've been burned. Two communities have decided to make the best of the situation. Auburn, Georgia, and Marshall, Texas, both stage annual Fire Ant Festivals, with events like the Fire Ant Call, the Fire Ant Round-Up, and the Fire Ant Chili Cook-Off. (To win the latter, your dish must contain at least one fire ant.) Maybe their example could inspire you, Cancerian. Is there any pest you could develop a more playful and festive relationship with? Could you possibly turn into the equivalent of a Fire Ant Whisperer?
LEO (July 23–Aug 22): While reading William Kittredge's book The Nature of Generosity, I learned about the oldest known sentence written in ancient Greek. It was inscribed on a wine jug that dates back to 740 BC. Translated into English, it says, "Who now of all dancers sports most playfully?" Another possible translation is: "Which of these dancers plays most delicately?" I'd love to make something like that be your mantra in the coming week, Leo. The time is right for you to do more dancing and playing and sporting than usual—and to seek out companions who'd like to help you achieve record-breaking levels of those recreational activities.
VIRGO (Aug 23–Sept 22): In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a man who gets trapped in a time loop. Over and over again, he experiences the same 24 hours. When he wakes up each morning, it's still February 2. At first it drives him crazy, pushing him to the verge of suicide. But eventually he decides to use his time wisely. He becomes a skilled pianist and a fluent French-speaker. He does good deeds and saves people's lives. He even learns what he needs to do to win the heart of the woman he desires. This transformation turns out to be the key to gaining his freedom. Near the end of the film, he escapes to February 3. A comparable opportunity is looming for you, Virgo. You have a chance to break a spell you've been under or slip away from a rut you've been in. Generosity may play a major role.
LIBRA (Sept 23–Oct 22): Events in the immediate future may have resemblances to reading a boring book that's packed with highly useful information. You might feel that there's a disjunction between the critical clues you need to gather and the ho-hum style in which they are offered. It's okay to be a bit disgruntled by this problem as long as you promise to remain alert for the partially disguised goodies. Don't fall asleep in the middle of the unspectacular lesson.
SCORPIO (Oct 23–Nov 21): "Instinct tells us that sharks are more deadly than delicious fatty foods," writes Jason Daley in Discover magazine. But "instinct is wrong," he adds. In fact, eating food that tastes good but is actually bad for us is a far greater threat than shark bites. That's just one example of how our uneducated urges can sometimes lead us astray. I invite you to keep this possibility in mind during the coming week, Scorpio. It's by no means certain that you will be misled by your natural inclinations, but it is crucial that you monitor them with acute discernment.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22–Dec 21): For the last six decades of his life, Pablo Picasso created art that was adventurous and experimental. He didn't invent abstract painting, but he was instrumental in popularizing it. And yet in his early years, he was a master of realism and had an impressive ability to capture the nuances of human anatomy. Commenting on Picasso's evolution, travel writer Rick Steves says that when he was young, "he learned the rules he would later so skillfully break." I suspect you're in a phase of your own development when you could profit from doing the same thing. So I ask you, Sagittarius: What are the rules that are so ripe for you to bend and twist as you graduate to a more mature level of self-expression?
CAPRICORN (Dec 22–Jan 19): Through some cosmic intervention, a sad or bad or mad story will get tweaked prior to the final turn of the plot. Just as you're getting ready to nurse your regrets, an X factor or wild card will appear, transforming the meaning of a series of puzzling events. This may not generate a perfectly happy ending, but it will at least result in an interesting and redemptive climax. What is the precise nature of that X factor or wild card? Perhaps a big secret will be revealed or some missing evidence will arrive or a mental block will crumble. And it's likely that you will have an epiphany abut how valuable your problem has actually been.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20–Feb 18): Be honest. Have you had any of the following symptoms? (1) Lack of interest in trivial matters and a yearning for big, holy mysteries. (2) Unfamiliar but interesting impulses rising up in you and demanding consideration. (3) Fresh insights into people and situations you've known a long time. (4) An altered sense of the flow of time. (5) Out-of-the-blue recall of long-forgotten memories. If you haven't experienced any of the above, Aquarius, I must be totally off in my analysis and this horoscope isn't for you. But if you've had even two of these symptoms, you are on schedule to get what those of us in the consciousness industry call a "religious experience."
PISCES (Feb 19–March 20): You just might be able to teach a statue to talk this week—or at least coax a useful message out of a stonelike person. You could also probably extract a delicious clue from out of the darkness or wrangle a tricky blessing from an adversary or find a small treasure hidden in a big mess. In short, Pisces, you now have a knack for accessing beauty and truth in unexpected sources. You can see what everyone else is blind to and love what everyone else has given up on. You're practically a superhero. Use your powers wisely, my friend. Be benevolently unpredictable.
Homework: In the astrological worldview, this week is the last gasp of the yearly cycle. A good way to celebrate is to bid farewell to outworn approaches and lost causes. Tell me if you do, at freewillastrology.com