ARIES (March 21-April 19): In one of your past lives you may have been a peasant who worked as a scullery maid at a rural castle and never traveled more than five miles from home your whole life. Or perhaps you were the sickly bastard child of a nun and monk, confined to bed and taught by private tutors in a remote section of the monastery. Scenarios like that would explain why you now have the privilege of being a proud, free, strong-willed, and adventurous Aries. You must have paid your karmic debt last time around! Get ready to really capitalize on the old days in the next few weeks. I believe you're about to harvest a blessing that you earned during your difficult past.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In 1997, Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to persuade more than 100 countries to ban deadly land mines. When she held a press conference at the end of a dirt road near her Vermont farmhouse, she was barefoot and wore jeans and a tank top. It reflected the unassuming nature that had served her so well during years of dogged efforts to change the world. I nominate this ordinary hero to be your role model in the coming weeks, Taurus. According to my reading of the astrological omens, your gradual, matter-of-fact persistence will give you the power to make a fundamental improvement in the way your environment reflects your ideals.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Feeling daunted by looming decisions? I'm happy to inform you that you'll discover helpful clues in places where you'd normally never look. In fact, the further outside your usual sphere you go, the more likely you are to find exactly what you need. Here are a few suggestions to whet your imagination: Pore over the journals of American pioneers Lewis and Clark; ask a professional baker to create a loaf of bread from scratch right in front of your eyes; gaze at the planet Jupiter through a powerful telescope; go to a high perch where you can see for miles and miles.


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CANCER (June 21-July 22): The passage below was written by the poet James Tate. As you read it, I'd like you to imagine that it describes an unfinished metaphor for a situation you're actually involved in. Then write a few sentences in which you speculate on what will happen next. Here's the passage: "Mostly we were able to ignore the hairy thing in the corner. It seemed to be leaking some green fluid, but we could walk around that. It gave off an unpleasant odor, a cross between Limburger cheese and a decomposing skunk, but we never mentioned it. We didn't seem to have a plan for getting rid of it. It wasn't really hurting anybody. And then one day I thought I heard it singing. And another day it seemed to say I love you."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Below are a few events that the cosmos is conspiring to put on your schedule in the coming weeks. You could postpone them until later in the year, but I believe you'll have best results if you surrender to their necessity in the near future. (1) Open your heart as far as it'll go without ripping it apart. (2) Dive into a whirlpool of emotions without being pulled to the bottom or swept away. (3) Deepen and intensify a juicy relationship with a worthy ally, but without distorting your relationship with yourself. (4) Get smarter about love than you ever dreamed it was possible to be.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You may be able to elude the cosmic jokes that are brewing in your vicinity. Your intelligence is both crafty and practical these days, and it could very well keep you consistently in the right places at the right times. But in order to grab an extra advantage in your guerrilla battle with the forces of mischief, I suggest you indulge regularly in a good, long primal scream. Go out in the middle of the woods if necessary, or find a sanctuary where no one will call the cops: Just find a way to unleash a soul-cleansing howl that will flush away your festering anxieties. There's no better technique for making yourself unappealing to rascally demons and pests.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "After several hours of careful rumination and a difficult weighing of the possibilities," said a character on the TV show Frasier, "I have decided to be playful today." This is the exact approach I recommend for you in the coming week, Libra. Be disciplined in your preparations for a wild release. Carefully organize the events that will allow you to explode in joyous spontaneity. Think long and hard about how you can bring more fertile, rejuvenating chaos into your life.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Here's one of my favorite paradoxes. All of us are eminently fallible nobodies. We're crammed with delusions and base emotions. We give ourselves more slack than we ever give anyone else, and we're brilliant at justifying our irrational biases with seemingly logical explanations. And yet it's equally true that every one of us is a glorious creation unlike any other in the history of the world. We're all stars with inexhaustible potential, gods and goddesses in the making. This week, Scorpio, I suspect you will vividly embody this paradox, as you range from the ignominious depths to the breathtaking heights.

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