ARIES (March 21-April 19)
You remind me of a hippopotamus floating in a river, the top of its head jutting up through water hyacinths. Why? Because my astrological analysis reveals that you currently possess both brute strength and quirky beauty. You look dangerous but probably won't hurt anyone. Like the hippo, which swims fast but plods along on land, you move at very different rates depending on your milieu. There's one other way you're similar. The hippo's skin glands ooze a reddish secretion that uninformed observers refer to as "blood sweat" but which is really a protective pigment. You, too, seem to be laboring mightily when in fact you're mostly just taking care of yourself with ferocious determination.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
"Aborigines openly and unaffectedly converse with everything in their surroundings—trees, tools, animals, rocks—as if all things have an intelligence deserving of respect." So says Robert Lawlor in his book Voices of the First Day. He adds that the native people of Australia "believe that communication happens primarily on nonverbal levels." In light of the fact that you now have an unprecedented opportunity to expand your interplay with everyone and everything, Taurus, I suggest you try on the mind-set of the Aborigine.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Your life in the coming week or two may have similarities to the description that journalist Peter Kaplan gave of his tenure at America's premier newspaper. "Going to work at the [New York] Times," he told Time magazine, "is like getting into a Sherman tank. You can't go more than 10 m.p.h. You can't see anything. But you know you have this enormous power." So how will you use your ponderous clout, Gemini? Given your limited range, what destinations should be your priority? And which of your big visions should you probably divide into small chunks, allowing yourself to pursue a pragmatically piecemeal strategy?


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CANCER (June 21-July 22)
"One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness," said novelist Willa Cather. "One only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere." Buddhist researchers Rick Foster and Greg Hicks would beg to differ. In their book, How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People, they assert that the number one trait of happy people is a serious determination to be happy. In other words, bliss is not an accident but a habit. I'll let you decide what you'd prefer to believe, Cancer. If, however, you suspect that the more intentional approach may suit you, now is an excellent time, astrologically speaking, to cultivate it like crazy.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Again this week, I have borrowed the oracles of Leo poet John Averill (wiremesa@aol.com) for your horoscope. Of the hundreds he has created, I've chosen those that are astrologically accurate for your immediate future. June 28: Today is the day of the convenient amnesia. June 29: Today is the day of the healing waters of Las Vegas. June 30: Today is the day of the unsettling message from the remote outpost. July 1: Today is the day of casting off the tramp soul. July 2: Today is the day of the catfish gazing at the pink feather. July 3: Today is the day of the hurricane, stalled just off the coast, sleeping, dreaming. July 4: Today is the day of the vision of heaven painted on the head of a nail.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
The astrological omens are crying out for you to meditate on the following thoughts. Most of the concepts we use to interpret our experience originated in books written by people who are long gone. That's why philosopher Norman O. Brown says, "The bondage to books compels us not to see with our own eyes; compels us to see with the eyes of the dead, with dead eyes. . . . There is a hex on us, the authority of the past; and to exorcise these ghosts is the great work of magical self-liberation." Walt Whitman echoes the theme: "You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the specters in books." Sufi mystic Rumi concludes: "Don't be satisfied with the stories that come before you; unfold your own myth."

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
It's always problematic to encourage you Libras to tap into your nonrational wisdom. Some of you mistake nonrational for irrational and go slightly berserk. And those of you with fine intellects tend to be prejudiced against the unpredictable wonders of the liberated intuition. But I'll take the risk; it's all in a good cause, which is to inspire you to express a noble form of egotism—an enlightened selfishness, if you will. Now please memorize the following gem: "Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people." —George Bernard Shaw

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Be BIG, ROBUST, and VIVID. Don't cling to your dignity; shed it eagerly. Seek out fresh twists that stimulate endorphins, sweat, and maybe even a little adrenaline. Avoid people who like you better when you're tightly self-controlled. Don't act as if you have nothing to lose; proceed as if you have everything to win. Finally, Scorpio, meditate on this rap from the mystic Andrew Harvey: If you're really listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever more wonders.

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