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):
"Kinky is using a feather," begins one of the gems of folk wisdom circulating on the Internet. "Perverted is using the whole chicken." Make that your cautionary metaphor for the coming weeks, Aries. You will have cosmic license to indulge in all manner of extravagant, exploratory, exotic adventures. The only way the license will be revoked is if you try to get far too much of every good thing.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Your assignment is simple this week: Impersonate a fountain. Not a geyser or waterfall or river, but a fountain. And what exactly would that entail? I'll leave it to you to meditate on the finer points, but here are a few clues to get you started. The water in a fountain surges upwards, but not too hard or too high, then splashes down softly into a pool. Its flow is inexhaustible because the circulation is efficient. A fountain's structure is often beautiful and the mechanism by which it regulates the water's movement is well crafted. Many people who stand in the presence of a fountain are calmed by the bubbling sounds and invigorated by the exuberance of the gentle spectacle.
GEMINI(May 21-June 20):
It's a good time to fantasize about knocking down mountains with karate chops, to recharge the pretend lightning bolts you shoot out your fingers, and to dream about winning the Nobel Prize for loving your enemies. Huh? What am I talking about? Well, Gemini, these imaginative exercises are excellent ways to prepare for more realistic feats, like demolishing your mental blocks, burning down your fears, and loosening the inhibitions you've allowed your adversaries to plant in you. To build your personal power, rev up your fantasy life.
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CANCER(June 21-July 22):
Here are four and a half questions to guide your quest in the next four weeks. (1) How would you have to change yourself in order to bring a more perfect version of romantic love into your life? (2) Do you dare treat your intimate relationships as an essential part of your spiritual path? (Do you even have a spiritual path?) (3) How can you blend your life with another person's in a way that will inspire you to tirelessly ripen your less mature qualities and regularly summon your most beautiful gifts? (4) What strategies will help you bring out the best in your partners and grapple compassionately with their less mature qualities?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
Normally I encourage you to pursue your heart's desire with relentless ingenuity. Make it your top priority, I counsel. Let no lesser wishes distract you. Be aggressively persistent. In response to current astrological currents, however, I suggest a temporary shift in strategy. For the next few weeks, Leo, take your cue from the approach described by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves. "All that you are seeking is also seeking you," she writes. "If you sit still, it will find you. It has been waiting for you a long time. Once it is here, don't move away. Rest. See what happens next."
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Consider the Latin term virgo, from which the English words virgin and Virgo are derived. In her book Willful Virgin, Marilyn Frye asserts that it did not originally mean a sexually innocent girl. Rather, it referred to a self-sufficient female, complete unto herself, not needing a partner to be whole. Let's install that theme at the heart of your meditations on what it means to be a Virgo. You are not, after all, virginal in the modern sense; you are not prone to suffer from naïveté or lack of experience. On the other hand, you are constantly dealing with questions about how to be pure and stay true to yourself as you weave your fortunes together with your allies. In the coming weeks you'll have to be especially smart about that challenge.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
The full moon in Leo on January 28 suggests you'll be a champion networker. As the sun and Venus conjunct Neptune in Aquarius, you will be primed for romantic breakthroughs that stimulate mystical revelationsand vice versa. Saturn in Gemini will form a voluptuously graceful angle with the sun and Venus, which tells me that every beautiful thing you make will have profound value and a long life. The last big event in this week of major astrological aspects will be a grating but catalytic interaction between Mars in Aries and Jupiter in Cancer. If you're resourceful in handling the way it upsets your urge to create harmony, it will ultimately expand and energize your talent for creating harmony.
SCORPIO(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
There's an old fable about a scorpion that gets a frog to ferry her across a river, promising not to sting him. Halfway across, the scorpion stings the frog anyway. "Why did you do that?" asks the frog. "Now we'll both drown." "I can't help it," says the scorpion. "I'm a scorpion. I was born to sting." Alas, that's the way the tale ends in its original form. Let's hope that by telling you this tale, I have helped prevent you from carrying it out in real life. (PS: In the modern version of the story, how about if we make it that the scorpion refrains from stinging until reaching the other side, where she finds a video game that allows her to sting a thousand virtual bad guys?)
SAGITTARIUS(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
Sculptor David Nash owns five chain saws of different sizes, according to art critic Kenneth Baker, and "wields all of them with improbable precision." That's the first way Nash is a good role model for you in the coming weeks. You will need to manipulate large-scale influences to accomplish subtle and delicate changes. There's a second reason Nash should be an inspiration for you. His work doesn't require the destruction of living trees; recycled wood provides much of his raw material. Like him, you will get the best results if you find new value in stuff that has outlived its usefulness in its original form.
CAPRICORN(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
As smart as you often are at creating wealth, Capricorn, I'd like to invoke a little magical help to provide you with an extra boostespecially now, with the sun, Venus, and Neptune throwing a party in your astrological House of the Almighty Dollar. That's why I've got a few money spells for you. Enjoy. (1) Wear a $20 bill in your underwear for three days. (2) For five minutes right before you fall asleep on the next 10 nights, visualize your bedroom piled three feet high with large-denomination bills. (3) Glue a picture of your favorite goddess to the middle of a $5 bill, then tack it to the wall next to your bed. Make love with a cute ally underneath the goddess-enhanced money for exactly 44 minutes, stopping for one minute four different times to pray for emotional, spiritual, and financial wealth.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
No one should have to be ensconced at work eight hours a day, five days a week, week after week. Such relentless regularity is an affront to body and soul. One alternative is to create a job situation that allows you more flexibility and spaciousness. I'm pleased to report that you will attract unexpected assistance if you dream and scheme to do just that in 2002. Don't assume that you will have to make financial sacrifices in order to enjoy a looser schedule; in fact, you're more likely to finagle the pay and perks you want if you're faithful to the fantasy of treating yourself with loving kindness.
PISCES(Feb. 19-March 20):
Writing in The New York Times, Nick Gillespie praised the way cartoon rabbit Bugs Bunny teaches kids "powerful, subversive truths from which adults try to shield them." Among the lessons: "Smart alecks have more fun. . . . Mocking authority is often the right thing to do. . . . Tortoises beat hares (especially when tortoises cheat) . . . and. . . a sense of humor is the only way to make it through." Bugs's approach to life will be especially useful for you between now and February 15, Pisces. It won't be enough, though. You'll need many other subversive truths as well. I'll even go so far as to say that this is the season of subversive truth.
What quality or behavior in you would most benefit from a little healthy self-mocking? Tell how you keep yourself honest. Write: firstname.lastname@example.org.