ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Hi, I'm from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Aries. For weeks, I've planted subliminal signals in the horoscopes of the other signs, covertly persuading them to be extra nice to you during the astrological month of Pisces (February 19-March 20), which every year brings you Rams face to face with your moldiest karma. Frankly, though, I fear that you yourself will be my toughest customer. What inducements can I offer you to resist the tempting slide toward self-abuse? How about a subscription to the magazine Beating Sado-Masochism?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
My favorite visionary astrologer, Elias Lonsdale, is a Taurus. The most inspiring and exacting teacher I've ever had, my daughter Zoe, is a Taurus. The versatile, brilliant Gretchen Giles, who has performed wonders as my executive assistant, was born under the sign of the Bull. I also count among my Taurean acquaintances a potent Wiccan priestess, a compassionate real estate agent who gives his clients great psychological counseling, a poet whose writing is both earthy and sublime, and an editor who's expert at helping authors imbue their work with emotional intelligence. I'll celebrate them all, as I will you, dear reader, during the glorious weeks to come, when you will get to harvest the juiciest fruits of your wisdom.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
If you're a yoga enthusiast, it'll be the kind of week when you can do your asanas with more ease and grace than you thought possible. If you're a hardworking wage slave, your favorite TV shows will amuse you more than ever before, and you will discover a tasty new dip for your chips. Are you a right-wing golfer? In the coming days you'll have experiences that have metaphorical resemblances to tax cuts and holes-in-one. Are you an astronomer who's part of the SETI program? You'll detect an anomalous signal that may be from an extraterrestrial intelligence. And if you're a soulful devotee of beauty and truth, Gemini, the animal within you will cooperate beautifully with your spirit as you struggle to master the difference between sacred and profane love.


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CANCER (June 21-July 22)
It'll be a good week to plan journeys to exotic sanctuaries, glimpse the back of your own head, and research sexual frontiers. It'll also be prime time to try games with no rules, launch playful rebellions, and venture out on secret missions that remind you of how you felt when you were a teenager. You need more room to ramble and mess around, Cancerian. You need crazier fantasies and a bigger voice and more extravagant experiments. Just this once, the cosmos is willing to give you the right to grab a little success by gambling.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
While exploring old boxes in the attic, my brilliant astrologer-friend Luke found an award he got in high school. "Luke Dryer has attained the highest average in science in his class" was the inscription. He also came across his SAT scores, which included an excellent 751 in math. Luke enjoyed a laugh as he thought about all those who've called him a fuzzy-brained mystic. If they'd bothered to examine his work closely, they'd have seen he is a clear, objective thinker. But that would have required them to shed their irrational biases. Moral of the story: No matter how hard you work to express the fullness of your beautiful, complicated self, there will always be people who project distorted images onto you. But as long as you know it's their problem, not yours, they can't hurt you or throw you off-center.

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22)
Welcome to the Mating and Hating Season, Virgo. To celebrate, I'm offering you my prescriptions for ensuring an emphasis on the "mating" part. Here's what you do: (1) Grant your true loves (or the closest approximation) a 50 percent reduction in their emotional debt to you. (2) Persuade them to appreciate what they imagine to be their physical flaws. (3) Solicit their inspiration to help you do what you fear. (4) Request that they collaborate with you on improvising a partial solution to a complex problem. (5) Bless them with an experience resembling sex in zero gravity.

LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22)
I was fortunate to have had my feelings hurt by articulate feminists when I was coming of age. Their tough analysis of my macho conditioning motivated me to become a good listener, educate my emotions, and resist the temptation to be a know-it-all. These qualities ultimately made me lucky in love and a more interesting person. The reason I bring this up, Libra, is not necessarily to nag you into asking for critiques from strong, well-balanced women who've thought a lot about gender issues. (Although most of us, both men and women, would benefit from that.) But I'd like to suggest that you could really benefit right now from a willingness to capitalize on challenging feedback.

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21)
Your body is so healthy these days that you may not believe what you're feeling. Your brain is working at such peak efficiency you could be in danger of scaring yourself. Love makes so much sense that you might be worried you're misinterpreting the evidence. But the cosmic joke is on you, Scorpio. These gifts are yours at no cost and without obligation. There'll be no hell to pay later. So tell that big bad critic in the back of your mind to shut up. Let the liberation begin.

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