ARIES (March 21-April 19): "It was the biggest mistake I ever made, and yet it was the best thing that ever happened to me." When we spoke yesterday, that's how my Aries friend Ron referred to his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. He got involved with her for all the wrong reasons, he said, and they stayed together only because he held on so tightly to his delusions about her. But in the painful months since they broke up, he has harvested a wealth of wisdom about himself. He feels that it will serve him well the next time he takes the leap into love. "My time with Susan was equivalent to me getting my Ph.D. in relationships," he concluded. Though the details of Ron's story may differ from yours, Aries, you're ready to draw a similar conclusion: One of your big boo-boos was actually a stroke of great fortune.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Once the full impact of Einstein's theory of relativity became clear, an admiring journalist interviewed him about the process by which he'd arrived at the revolutionary breakthrough. "How did you do it?" the journalist asked. "I ignored an axiom," Einstein replied. Now let's analyze that statement for your use, Taurus. Einstein didn't say he'd ignored an opinion or theory, but rather an idea so well established that it was regarded as self-evident. Furthermore, he didn't say he rebelled or fought against the axiom: He simply acted as if it weren't there. I suggest you follow his example exactly in the coming week.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're the zodiac's most inventive talker, but it doesn't always work to your advantage. Sometimes you sabotage your brilliant verbal forays by going on for so long that your listeners tune you out. On other occasions, you undermine your persuasiveness by sounding too damn smart, thereby intimidating the very people you're trying to convince. But I predict that none of this will be a problem for you in the coming days, Gemini. You'll have a sixth sense about when to let your mouth slip into creative hyperdrive and when, on the other hand, to slow it down. As a result, your ability to win friends and influence people will zoom to its highest levels in many moons.


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CANCER (June 21-July 22): As I compose this horoscope, I'm sitting in my car with the engine off during rush hour, stuck halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge between San Francisco and Marin County. Traffic came to a dead halt 40 minutes ago due to a big accident. My situation is an analogue of the predicament you find yourself in, Cancerian. Through no fault of your own, you've been stopped while crossing a metaphorical bridge. Here's my advice: As you wait for the obstruction to be cleared, don't grind your teeth and curse. Instead, take advantage of the temporary interruption by doing something useful, as I am.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Last November a flower arranger named Stacie wrote to tell me about her latest creation. She'd walked into the dry autumn woods and gathered big purple thistles, gnarled berry vines, spiny horehound seedpods, and numerous plants with burrs. After she assembled it all into a bouquet back home, she gave it a title, as if it were a sculpture. She called it Ode to Prickly Things: My Beautiful Fear. Though she hadn't realized what she was doing, she had assembled a perfect artistic expression of the subtle dread she always carried with her. To see it embodied so visibly had an effect comparable to an exorcism. From that day on, she felt much freer of her chronic anxiety. I suggest you take inspiration from her, Leo. Perform a ritual or make some art that gives you power over the thing you're most afraid of.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Empty your mind of everything it thinks it knows about where you belong, Virgo. Once you've created a wide open space, launch an inquiry into the nature of your true home. Here are some questions to guide you. (1) What's the first place you think of when you hear the word sanctuary? (2) What environments bring out the best in you? (3) Do you have what you might call power spots, and if so, what do they feel like? (4) What places on the planet captivate your imagination, even if you've never even seen them? (5) Is it possible there may be a future home that's a more meaningful version of home than the place where tradition comforts you?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Chanteuse Billie Holiday believed a good singer should never sing a song the same way twice. All the tantric sex teachers say an artful lover never makes love the same way twice. The only Zen master I know—whose name I can't tell you because she changes it every week, and I haven't heard the latest one—likes to quote the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus: "You cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you." These ideas are always useful to keep in mind, Libra. But during the next three weeks, they should be your constant meditation.

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