Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I've been scouring herbal textbooks and tantric literature to find out if there's such a thing as a labor-intensive aphrodisiac--in other words, a stimulus that would inspire you to work hard to become a fantastic lover. I'm not saying your amorous skills are inferior, Aries, just that there's room for improvement. The coming weeks will be an excellent time, astrologically speaking, to apply yourself to this worthy project. And if I do run across that labor-intensive aphrodisiac, I'll let you know. In the meantime, pursue the leads that your intuition provides. And remember this: The capacities that make you a great lover have only marginally to do with physical techniques and mostly to do with emotional intelligence and spiritual ingenuity.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The astrological factors coming to bear on you right now are uproarious yet profound; they're mischievous, intense, and catalytic. In alignment with this spirit, I've composed your horoscope by channeling appropriate bumper-sticker slogans. Repeat the following affirmations frequently, or print them on pieces of paper and tape them to your back. "Don't follow me; I'm following my bliss." "I'm not tense--just terribly, terribly alert." "I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it." "I'm talking to myself--please don't eavesdrop." "Don't worry--it only seems kinky the first time." "Warning: I have an attitude and I know how to use it."

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): How to be the best Gemini you can be? A reader named Shimmering Elf wrote eloquently about that topic. His words should be helpful as you face this week's Gemini-enhancing tests. "Be amazed with and in awe of yourself," Shimmering Elf began. "And try to keep doing new things to justify your amazement and awe. Be like the Native American heyoka who rode his horse backward, wearing only an apron in a blizzard, with sweat running down his chest. Talk to yourself; people can join in if they want to. Have a large papier mâché ego; redecorate it often. Be like Grandmother Spider, who created the world by imagining it. Be like Pygmalion and fall in love with your creation. Never imitate. Be a tricky, sticky tickler. No one will ever solve the Sphinx's precious riddle if she doesn't know the answer herself."

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's time to go straight to the source, Cancerian. Eliminate the middlemen--and the middlewomen, too. Don't believe anyone who claims that he alone can connect you with the valuable stuff you need. As much as possible, wean yourself from translators, agents, and brokers. And don't worry: This won't result in you becoming lonely and isolated. I predict that whenever you shed a relationship with someone who uses and exploits you, you'll open the way for a new link with a person who is respectful of your gifts.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In a recent article in a British tabloid, Leo diva Madonna spoke contritely about why she published the controversial book Sex back in 1992. "I was just being an ego-driven nutcase," she confessed. This admission impressed me. Everyone makes bad decisions motivated by out-of-control egotism, but few of us have the courage to admit it--let alone a celebrity that the press regards as a megalomaniac. I suggest you draw inspiration from Madonna's example in the next few days, Leo. If you cop to a past outbreak of unseemly arrogance, I predict you'll unleash magic that will ultimately spawn fresh accomplishments for which you can be righteously proud.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Famed TV producer Sherwood Schwartz had a hand in making more than 700 TV shows, and he co-authored theme songs for the sitcoms Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. Every year he collects about $60,000 in royalties for those tunes, written so many years ago. I'd like to alert you, Virgo, to the fact that you're now in a phase similar to the one Schwartz was in when he got inspired to compose those long-term moneymakers. It's time to create a legacy for yourself.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In his book Crying: the Natural and Cultural History of Tears, Tom Lutz asserts that people don't cry as much as they used to. The English of the Victorian era, supposedly renowned for their stuffy behavior, put us to shame with their abundant outpouring of tears. So what's our excuse? There's as much, if not more, to be mournful about nowadays; and we certainly don't suffer from a lack of events to spur our cathartic joy and empathy. Would you like to volunteer to do something about the modern weeping deficit, Libra? In the coming days, you'll have rich opportunities to unleash tears of breakthrough and release.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I direct your attention, Scorpio, to Dawn Baumann Brunke's book Animal Voices: Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life. There she champions the value of communing clairvoyantly with other species. Learning this skill is not only helpful for becoming closer to beloved pets, she says. It can also be useful for pest control. She gives examples of people who rid their homes of ants and spider mites simply by striking up telepathic conversations with them. My theory is that this same approach can be applied to pests in human form--especially by you in the coming week. Rev up your considerable mental powers, and psychically ask jerks, annoyances, and bores to stop bugging you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): When I recorded my last music CD, a major label spent $180,000 on my band's recording sessions at a state-of-the-art studio. The resulting music was exciting, but sales were paltry due to the company's inept marketing strategy. The new album I'm working on with my friend George is low-tech and self-financed, done completely on his computer in his bedroom. The experience is humbling but exhilarating. I'm free of my old rock-star fantasies. There's no danger of having to deal with the alienating influences of fame, constant travel, and the insanity of the music business. I have the relaxing luxury of creating music just because it's fun. I recommend that you make a comparable transition, Sagittarius. Which of your aptitudes and inclinations would you enjoy more if they weren't hemmed in by unrealistic dreams, oppressive duties, and the stultifying pressures of careerism?

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your horoscope this week consists of the words of poet Mary Oliver, whose "White Pine" describes an experience analogous to one you'll soon have: "I have read that, in Africa, when the body of an antelope, which all its life ate only leaves and grass and drank nothing but wild water, is first opened, the fragrance is almost too sweet, too delicate, too beautiful to be borne. It is a moment which hunters must pass through carefully, with concentrated and even religious attention, if they are to reach the other side, and go on with their individual lives."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): While out on a walk, I laughed with incredulity and derision when I spied a front yard where gorgeous poppies and tulips were in full bloom--surrounded by an eight-foot-tall cage of chicken wire. Once my instinctive response subsided, I realized there was probably a rational reason for the apparent lunacy, like maybe it kept the flowers from being devoured by marauding deer. My next thought leaped to you, Aquarius. I knew that the fortress protecting the delicate blooms was a perfect metaphor for what you should create for yourself in the coming week.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Feeling bereft because of the war, I found myself longing to connect with sources of inspiration that have fueled me over the years. I scoured closets, shelves, and storage lockers, collecting power objects from every period of my life. They included the books I've written and C.G. Jung's Psychology and Alchemy, photos of my daughter and the woman I love, a painting made for me by a friend, my favorite baseball card from childhood, and many other treasures. In the ensuing days, I made the freaky discovery that five other people I know had independently felt the urge to undertake a similar gathering. A ritual like this would be perfect for you right now, Pisces. I suggest you assemble 22 of your most important symbols and create a sanctuary to protect yourself from the world's chaos.


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