ARIES (March 21-April 19):
"Life, with all its evenings,/religiously returns each morning like/a mountain opening up within the heart." So writes poet Frank Lima. I'm pleased to offer you this image as your birthday present, Aries. It captures a sense of the wild immensity that's just beginning to grow in you. Please refrain from subjecting it to logical analysis for now; don't frame it in an abstract idea that reduces the gorgeous mystery to dry psychobabble. Simply honor the mountain opening up within your heart.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
In my opinion, there is no other devil besides the devil within each of us. This "devil" is the part of our psyches that habitually churns out negative thoughts. It's the ignorant shadow, the enemy within, the unconscious repository of all our worst programming. Each year during the month before our birthdays, this automaton tends to rise up and try to sabotage our success. In 2002, Taurus, it'll be sticking to its customary routine: no better and no worse than usual. What should you do? Here's my advice: Alternate between fighting it and tickling it, between using all your ingenious power to crush it and using all your wisdom to laugh it into oblivion.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
Many people fantasize that their presence at a sports event influences the game's outcome. This is a throwback to the magical thinking practiced by supposedly more primitive humans, documented in Sir James Frazier's monumental work, The Golden Bough. Just as in earlier ages men and women made love ritually in the freshly seeded spring fields in order to promote the growth of the crops, so do rabid fans of the Green Bay Packers wear giant Styrofoam hats resembling cheese in order to amplify their football team's luck. Usually, of course, all of this is superstitious hooey. For the next three weeks, however, you Geminis will be a rare exception. You will actually be able to affect large-scale events with your idiosyncratic mojo.


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CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Some years back, my astrology column appeared for a while in a weekly paper for senior citizens in Salem, Massachusetts. It shared a page with the Shoe Corner feature, which offered older folks tips about footwear. Alas, though the size of my readership has grown since those days, my demographic niche seems to have shrunk a bit. I rarely get fan mail or marriage proposals from anyone over 60. That's the bad news. The good news is that we Crabs are entering an astrological phase when we will have a sixth sense about how to expand our appeal. We will just naturally be able to excite the attention of people who've previously been blind to our charms. Do I sense a ripe opportunity for a marketing crusade?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
I think you should be removed from civilized society for a while. You've gotten too tame; you've been hypnotized by the conventional wisdom. If I had my way, you'd be temporarily relocated to your very own wild kingdom. Picture a thousand acres of natural beauty where you'd be excused from all the artificial rhythms and soul-sucking customs you have become far too accustomed to. Imagine what it might be like to let the animal within you run around and play. I'm reminded of a phrase by Jungian storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estes: "homesick for wild knowing." That's what you are, Leo.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Neurologist Alan Hirsch has done research into what odors turn people on. Men are most likely to be aroused by the smells of cinnamon buns and doughnuts, while women go wild for Good & Plenty candy and cucumbers. Both genders seem to get worked up in the presence of the fragrances that waft from pumpkin pie and lavender. During your own personal mating season, Virgo, which you're currently in the midst of, you probably don't need any extra stimuli to seduce the partner of your choice. But are you really worried about capturing too much of his or her attention? I doubt it. Why not carry one or more of these aphrodisiacs with you at all times?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
During the last few weeks, your words of power have been terms most people associate with difficulty: resistance, uphill, work-around, jury-rigged, compromise. Amazingly, Libra, you have managed to make all of these themes serve your ultimate goals. Congratulations on being so robustly perverse. Beginning any minute now, you will officially move into a far smoother phase of your cycle. Your words of power will be what marketing experts have identified as the most persuasive terms in the English language: discover, easy, guarantee, health, results.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
Dear Scorpio, I found a prayer floating around the Web that should be particularly helpful for you in the coming days. It has been slightly altered from its original version as a 12-step affirmation. Here goes: "O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to pull hilarious pranks on everyone who pisses me off. Help me to be careful of the toes I step on today, as they may be connected to an ass that I have to kiss tomorrow."

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