ARIES [March 21–April 19] Life tests you all the time. Sometimes its prods and queries are hard. On other occasions, the riddles and lessons are pretty fun. In all cases, life's tests offer you the chance to grow smarter. They challenge you to stretch your capacities and invite you to reduce your suffering. Right now, you have some choice in what kinds of tests you'd prefer. Keep in mind that the more interesting they are, the bigger the rewards.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] According to the religion of ancient Egypt, Tefnut is the goddess of moisture. In the natural world, she rules rain, dew, mist, and condensation. For humans, she is the source of tears, spit, and sweat. In accordance with the astrological omens, I nominate her to be your tutelary spirit in the coming week. I suspect you will thrive by cultivating a fluidic sensibility. You will learn by paying attention to everything that exudes and spills.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] I'm guessing that you don't know the name of the person who sent the first e-mail. It was Ray Tomlinson, and he did it in 1971. Now I'd like to address your own inner Ray Tomlinson, Gemini: The part of you that has done valuable work hardly anyone knows about; the part of you that has created good stuff without getting much credit. I celebrate that unsung hero, and I hope you will make a special effort to do the same.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Busy editor Katie Hintz-Zambrano was asked in an interview what she does when she's not working. She said she likes to get together with her "article club," which is like a book club, except it's for people who don't have time to read anything longer than articles. I approve of you seeking out shortcut pleasures like that in the next few weeks, Cancerian. Skip a few steps and avoid some of the boring details.

LEO [July 23–August 22] Imagine you're living in 1880. You're done with work for the day and are at home enjoying some leisure activities. What might those be? By the light of your oil lamp, you could read a book, sing songs, or compose a letter with pen and paper. Now transfer your imaginative attention to your actual living space in 2012. It might have a smartphone, tablet, and laptop. Aren't you glad you live today instead of 1880? On the other hand, having so many choices can result in you wasting a lot of time with stimuli that don't fully engage you. See what it's like to use your leisure time for only the highest-quality, most interesting, and worthwhile stuff.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] I'll bet that a-ha! experiences will arrive at a faster rate than you've seen in a long time. Breakthroughs and brainstorms will be your specialty. The only factor that might possibly obstruct the flow would be if you clung too tightly to your expectations. I've got an idea about how to ensure the best possible outcome. Several times every day, say something like the following: "I love to get my curiosity spiked, my hair mussed, my awe struck, and my mind blown."

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "Disappointments should be cremated, not embalmed," said the aphorist Henry S. Haskins. That's good advice for you right now, Libra. It's an auspicious moment for you to set fire to your defeats, letdowns, and discouragements—and let them burn into tiny piles of ashes. The time is right for you to deepen your mastery of the art of liberation.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Columnist Sydney J. Harris told the following story: "I walked with a friend to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the owner politely. The owner, however, did not even acknowledge it. 'A sullen fellow, isn't he?' I commented as we walked away. 'Oh, he's that way every night,' shrugged my friend. 'Then why do you continue being so polite to him?' I asked. And my friend replied, 'Why should I let him determine how I'm going to act?'" Be your best self even if no one appreciates it. This is prime time to anchor yourself in your highest integrity.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] In the 1960 Olympics at Rome, Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila was barefoot as he won a gold medal in the marathon race. Four years later, at the summer games in Tokyo, he won a gold medal again, this time while wearing shoes. I'm guessing this theme might apply to you and your life in the coming weeks. You have the potential to score another victory in a situation where you have triumphed in the past. And I think it's even more likely to happen if you vary some fundamental detail, as Bikila did.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Wikipedia has extensive lists of the biggest unsolved problems in medicine, computer science, philosophy, and nine other fields. Each article treats those riddles with utmost respect and interest, regarding them not as subjects to be avoided but rather embraced. I love this perspective and urge you to apply it to your own life. This would be an excellent time, astrologically speaking, to draw up a master list of your biggest unsolved problems. Have fun. Activate your wild mind. Make it into a game. I bet that doing so will attract a flood of useful information that will help you get closer to solving those problems. (Here's Wikipedia's big list: tinyurl.com/ListofProblems.)

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] There's a certain lesson in love that you have been studying and studying and studying—and yet have never quite mastered. Several different teachers have tried with only partial success to provide you with insights that would allow you to graduate to the next level of romantic understanding. That's the bad news. The good news is that all this could change in the coming months. I foresee a breakthrough in your relationship with intimacy. I predict benevolent jolts and healing shocks that will allow you to learn at least some of the open-hearted truths that have eluded you all this time.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] A mother wrote to the Car Talk columnists to ask whether it's possible to cook food on a car engine. She wanted to be able to bring her teenage son piping-hot burritos when she picked him up from school. The experts replied that yes, this is a fine idea. They said there's even a book about how to do it, Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine! I suggest you engage in this kind of creative thinking during the coming week, Pisces. Consider innovations that might seem a bit eccentric. Imagine how you might use familiar things in unexpected ways. Expand your sense of how to coordinate two seemingly unrelated activities.

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