ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Here's a great way to nurture your astrological potential: Plunk yourself down in New Orleans for a week. The Big Easy is elegant and eccentric, just as you're primed to be. It knows how to party with a more relaxed intensity than most places, also reflecting your current needs. There's a wealth of flamboyant music, an unrepressed attitude towards the arts of pleasure, and a sublimely obscene proliferation of lush flora: all of which is right in alignment with your soul's mood. I don't mean to say you can't achieve these beatific states in your usual haunts. It's just that I'd love for your teeming fertility and blooming beauty to feel totally at home. PS: It's a favorable time to seek out a fresh supply of gris gris—what New Orleaners call good luck charms.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
August is Home Improvement Month for you Tauruses. How should you celebrate? To begin, why don't you throw out all the furniture and decor that no longer reflect the style of who you are now? Next, ask each member of your household to stuff a suggestion box with uncensored notions about how to ratchet up the levels of domestic bliss. Third, create your own personal Stonehenge in the backyard or a goofy holy shrine in the living room. Fourth, vow to live without any TV whatsoever for four weeks and brainstorm about alternative ways to feed your imagination. Fifth, invite some far-fetched guests over who will inject ripe surprises into the spirit of your hearth.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
"Dear Dr. Mystery: Please answer these four questions. (1) Will chronic ambiguity really make me a smarter person? (2) How can I be myself when I'm not even sure who I am? (3) Does a three-and-a-half-leaf clover mean good luck or bad luck? (4) Should I bide my time and keep my options open or should I grab the first halfway decent offer that comes along? —Jumpy Gemini."


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Dear Jumpy: Here are my Zen answers to your questions: (1) Maybe. (2) Follow your nose. (3) Dumb luck. (4) Both. Love, Dr. Mystery.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I just visited New Orleans to attend a convention of alternative newsweeklies, many of which publish this column. One of my best adventures came courtesy of the Advice Goddess, alias Amy Alkon. She dragged me away from a boring conversation about business and shanghaied me to Chi-wa-wa Ga-ga, a funky specialty store for small dogs. There I provided expert fashion advice as she purchased a red sequined bikini for her Yorkshire terrier. Normally, I wouldn't have been caught dead doing such a thing. And yet its delightful daffiness taught me a precious secret that's too private to reveal here. I mention this, Cancerian, because the astrological omens strongly suggest you should arrange to have at least three experiences like mine in the coming week.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
I predict that you will soon figure out exactly what you have to do to get your obsessions to work for you rather than against you. And that will change everything forever. I'm serious. You will feel as if you have been reborn into a new world. Passions that have all too often run you ragged, that have consistently diverted you into chaotic dead ends, will offer themselves up as fuel for your worthiest dreams. Congratulations in advance, Leo.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In the Gulf of Mexico, the most bombastic tropical storms occur from August to October. During this year's peak season, though, the city of New Orleans will have a unique defense. That's because voodoo priestess Sallie Ann Glassman recently conducted a public Hurricane Protection Ritual. Aided by a supporting cast of prayerful devotees, she invoked supernatural help in the form of both Ezili Danto, a voodoo spirit, and Our Lady of Prompt Succor. The petitioners presented Our Lady with her favorite bribes—flowers and jewelry—while offering Danto her special treats, including rum, spicy black beans, unfiltered cigarettes, and dolls dressed in calico prints. I mention this, Virgo, because it is now your psychic equivalent of hurricane season. I suggest you carry out a personal ritual modeled after Glassman's.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
The guardians of conventional wisdom might have difficulty with your creative and forceful behavior in the coming days, even if you wheel and deal in a way that will ultimately benefit everyone. They may criticize you if you boldly follow your piquant intuitions without consulting those associates of yours who are sleepwalking through their lives. Here's my advice: Care nothing for what they think. Very soon you'll be living proof that there are ethical shortcuts to success.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
If I could deliver an adventure-packed oracle, would you agree to do what I ask of you? Here's what I can offer: wrestles with tricky angels, games of hide-and-seek that accidentally lead you to strange treasure, fun emergencies with tests that inspire you to love yourself better, and explorations of a sanctuary with metaphorical resemblances to an eagle's aerie. All I require in return for these amazements, Scorpio, is that you treat everyone you encounter, including yourself, with more compassion than you've ever summoned in your life.

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