By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES [March 21–April 19] The Sanskrit word tapasya is translated as "heat," but in the yogic tradition, it means "essential energy." It refers to the practice of managing your life force so that it can be directed to the highest possible purposes, thereby furthering your evolution as a spiritual being. Do you have any techniques for accomplishing that—either through yoga or any other techniques? This would be a good year to redouble your commitment to that work. In the coming months, the world will just keep increasing its output of trivial, energy-wasting temptations. You'll need to be pretty fierce if you want to continue the work of transforming yourself into the Aries you were born to be: focused, direct, energetic, and full of initiative.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "Live out of your imagination, not your history," says Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. While that's always true, it will be especially crucial for you to remember in 2012. This is the year you can transcend stale traditions, Taurus—a time when you can escape your outworn habits, reprogram your conditioned responses, and dissolve old karma. You will be getting unparalleled opportunities to render the past irrelevant. And the key to unlocking all the magic will be your freewheeling yet highly disciplined imagination.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Comedian Steven Wright says his nephew has HDADD, or High Definition Attention Deficit Disorder. "He can barely pay attention, but when he does, it's unbelievably clear." I'm predicting something like that for you in the coming week, Gemini. You will encounter more things that are dull than are interesting, but those few that fascinate you will awaken an intense focus that allows you to see into the heart of reality.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] As I contemplate the most desirable fate you could create for yourself, I'm reminded of a lyric from one of my songs: "We are searching for the answers/so we can destroy them and dream up better questions." Here's what I'm implying by that, Cancerian: This is not the right time for you to push for comprehensive formulas and definitive solutions. Rather, it's a favorable moment to draw up the incisive inquiries that will frame your quest for comprehensive formulas and definitive solutions. That quest is due to begin in two weeks.
LEO [July 23–August 22] "A writer—and, I believe, generally all persons—must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource," said author Jorge Luis Borges. "All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art." I agree that this advice isn't just for writers, but for everyone. And it so happens that you are now in an astrological phase when adopting such an approach would bring you abundant wisdom and provide maximum healing. So get started, Leo: Wander through your memories, and reinterpret the difficult experiences as material that you can use to beautify your soul.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "Poetry is the kind of thing you have to see from the corner of your eye," said the poet William Stafford. "If you look straight at it, you can't see it, but if you look a little to one side, it is there." As I contemplate your life in the immediate future, Virgo, I'm convinced that his definition of poetry will be useful for you to apply to just about everything. In fact, I think it's an apt description of all the important phenomena you'll need to know about.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] A Swedish man named Richard Handl decided to conduct a scientific experiment in his kitchen. Would it be possible to split atoms using a homemade apparatus? He wanted to see if he could generate atomic reactions with the radioactive elements radium, americium, and uranium. But before he got too far into the process, the police intervened. I bring this to your attention, Libra, as an example of how not to proceed in the coming weeks. It will be a good time for you to experiment around the house—refining your relationship with your roommates, moving the furniture, and rearranging the domestic chemistry—but avoid trying stuff as crazy as Handl's.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In 1878, Thomas Edison perfected the phonograph, a machine that could record sounds and play them back. There had been some primitive prototypes before, but his version was a major improvement. And what were the first sounds to be immortalized on Edison's phonograph? The rush of the wind in the trees? A dramatic reading of the Song of Songs? The cries of a newborn? Nope. Edison recited the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb." When you make your own breakthrough in communication soon, I hope you deliver a more profound message.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] I suspect you might soon find yourself in a situation similar to the one that 19th-century American president Abraham Lincoln was in when he said the following: "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea. But if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." In other words, Sagittarius, you might not be picky about what you want, but whatever it is, you'll prefer it to be authentic. Adulterations won't satisfy you. Hold out for the Real Thing.