Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19):
It will be an excellent time for small experiments, Aries. Not grand, sweeping gambles, mind you; not daring excursions to the frontiers where you tempt fate and court chaos. No, I'm talking about carrying out carefully contained tests and trials. The object is to do preliminary research on the wisdom of departing from the Way Things Have Always Been Done. For example, dye a streak of your hair, not the entire mop. Write a lighthearted haiku to the person you secretly admire, not a 10-page love letter steaming with purple prose. Make a brief visit to the suburbs of paradise, not a pilgrimage to the holy of holies.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
Sometimes you win by losing. A famous example was an event in the life of Penny Tweedy, who owned several top racehorses. According to The New York Times, she arranged for her mare Somethingroyal to mate with Ogden Phipp's stallion Bold Ruler. A coin flip decided which breeder would claim the first offspring of the mating. Tweedy lost, and had to be content with getting the second-born foal. Here's the happy ending: While the firstborn never amounted to much, Tweedy's consolation prize turned out to be Secretariat, a Triple Crown winner that appeared on the cover of Time. I predict an analogous twist of fate for you in the coming weeks, Taurus.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
"In my dreams, I was drowning my sorrows./But my sorrows, they learned to swim." So sings Bono in U2's tune "Until the End of the World." I bring this up, Gemini, because unless you act quickly, your sorrows will also learn to swim. If you hope to leave them behind for good—if you prefer them not to follow you to the new world you're headed for—make sure you don't do anything to help them stay afloat in the coming week.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22):
I finally took down the Christmas decorations. It was past time. The red ribbon on the front gate had turned pink from the sun and rain. Most of the tiny bulbs on the outdoor lights had burned out. Even the tinsel on the discarded Christmas tree in the backyard was dissolving. As much as I disliked the hassle, it had an invigorating effect on me. Once done, I dived into other long-postponed tasks, like writing a conciliatory letter to an estranged friend, addressing business problems I'd allowed to drag on and on, and going to a dentist for the cavity that had ached for weeks. I hope you get inspired by me, my friend. If you're like most of us who are born under the sign of Cancer, you're a procrastinator, and that is not a good thing to be in the coming astrological phase.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
On an autumn night when I was 19, I reached what I thought was the peak of accomplishment. My fledgling rock band had been selected to play for the homecoming dance at a high school in Gaffney, South Carolina. As I belted out our mix of original songs and covers of David Bowie and Grateful Dead tunes, I gazed down at the awkwardly dancing teens as if they were my worshipful subjects. Today, of course, this triumph seems laughable to me; my ambitions have evolved. I invoke this theme, Leo, because your own visions of success are now mutating. The dreams of glory that have fueled you for many moons will be quite different a month from now.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
"I asked if I could have a purple light saber," Samuel L. Jackson told Maxim magazine in discussing his role as a Jedi knight in Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones. "I just figured a purple light would help me find all the lint on my robes so I could pick it off." That's pretty funny as a dig at the seriousness with which some people treat the Star Wars mythos. But it won't be funny, Virgo, if you let it become a metaphor for your life in the coming weeks. Please don't do the equivalent of using a light saber as a lint remover, or a diamond brooch as a doorstop, or a silk prayer cloth as a rag to wipe the kitchen table.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
When my daughter was in second grade, her class did a theatrical production of Noah's Ark. In a stroke of ingenious casting, the teacher chose the rowdiest, strangest boy to play the part of God. By turns wry, evasive, histrionic, tender, and unpredictable—sometimes all those at once—he was an effervescent alternative to the stilted portraits of the Supreme Being offered by the major religions. Your assignment, Libra, should you choose to accept it, is to be inspired by the wild boy portraying God. How? Celebrate the divine beauty of your idiosyncratic qualities. Tune in to the spiritual power of your boisterous playfulness. Imagine a benevolent deity who has a hell of a lot of soul.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
Let the rites of purification begin, Scorpio. Flush out the gunk in your sensitive psyche, the angst in your courageous heart, and the toxins in your beautiful body. In fact, purge and shun every influence except those few that propagate the jiggle and the hop in your soul. Only you know how best to perform the cleansing, but here's a goad to get you going. See if you can go seven consecutive days in which you never even glance at a TV screen.

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