Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you the kind of Aries who pushes on doors that have "pull" signs? Do you think it's a thrill to open cartons from the end that reads "open other end"? Do you love to drive in the carpool lane when you're alone in your car? If so, I hope I can convince you to use your rebellious energy more constructively. You're now in possession of the finest insurrectionary energy I've seen in many moons. Your brilliant disobedience could overthrow a status quo that's sorely in need of being replaced.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A fresh fad has broken out among university students in China: drinking milk from baby bottles. Psychologists decry this as regressive behavior, claiming it represents a subliminal yearning to return to childhood and avoid adult responsibilities. I suppose that may be true if it becomes habitual. But I'm going to recommend that you take up the practice for just one week, Taurus. Make it a ritual that helps you reclaim your innocence and see the world with the eyes of an unspoiled kid.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "I'm too frustrated to do what it would take to get myself unfrustrated." Has a thought like that crossed your mind recently? I bet it has. Or how about this: "I'm too confused to figure out what questions I'd need to ask to clarify the issues." Again, I'd be surprised if you haven't felt that way in the last few days. What to do about it? Here's my solution: Stop the world. Drop out of your trance. Run away to a sanctuary where you can make time stand still for a few days. Empty your mind, relax your ambitions, and steep yourself in primal silence.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): From a psychological and spiritual perspective, Cancerian, it's harvest time. The moment has come to reap the fruits you've sown since last July. Judging from my astrological analysis, I believe your yield will include an abundance of ripe beauties and just a few ripe uglies. And even those uglies could serve you well if used as fertilizer for your next round of planting, which is scheduled for the weeks after your birthday. (PS: Here's my guarantee: If you don't rake in emotional riches very soon, I'll eat your shoe. In the unlikely event your harvest is paltry, send your shoe to me at P.O. Box 150628, San Rafael, CA 94915.)

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Sometimes the mountain is hidden from me in veils of cloud," Denise Levertov wrote in her poem called "Witness." "Sometimes I am hidden from the mountain in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue, when I forget or refuse to go down to the shore or a few yards up the road, on a clear day, to reconfirm that witnessing presence." This week, Leo, you're more likely to be hidden from the mountain than vice versa. If it happens, though, it won't be due to inattention, apathy, or fatigue, but because of your intense attunement to your own magnificence. This is not a bad thing in itself, of course, but it will be if it keeps you from communing with the mountain. Therefore, see if you can do both: Be an alert witness full of self-love.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In New York last January, a talking carp began shouting religious advice in Hebrew to a Hispanic food preparer who was about to turn it into a meal. The restaurant owner came in to investigate the commotion and became a second witness to the event. The New York Times reported the story, and soon a local Hasidic sect was proclaiming the fish's message to be a direct communication from God. Though many people laugh with derision when they hear this tale, I retain an open mind. The Divine Trickster has appeared to me in equally unusual forms. No doubt you will share my perspective by the end of this week, Virgo. You're about to have a visitation that's maybe a little less mysterious than a talking fish, but not by much.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I never dreamed that one day I'd have a pet wasp. But here she is, buzzing tenderly around my head as I compose this horoscope. I call her Scheherazade. She has been here three weeks. I lost all fear she would sting me after the first day, when she landed on me several times without incident. She seems content with the food and drink I leave out for her, and I swear that now and then she performs aerial tricks for my entertainment. I love having this whirring ally around. Her presence leads me to imagine that I really have learned to get along with wild forces of nature without having to control or hurt them. I encourage you, Libra, to seek your own version of a wasp companion.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some people refer to me as an astrologer, novelist, or musician. Others call me a shaman, magician, or teacher. I don't mind their attempts to sum me up, but I never refer to myself by those terms. My business card says I'm an "Aspiring Master of Curiosity, Apprentice to Crazy Wisdom, and Macho Feminist." Why? First, I don't want to get trapped in the elitist egotism that can arise from identifying with a label like "shaman." Second, careerism is anathema to me. I want the freedom to keep mutating and not be enslaved to my past accomplishments. Third, I never want my life to be defined by my job. Fourth, I claim the exclusive right to name and title myself. No one else can have that power. I recommend that you Scorpios experiment with a similar approach in the coming weeks.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Like most county fairs held every summer in American communities, my hometown's three-day extravaganza hosts competitions in many categories, from quilt art to pickled vegetables to decorated bird houses. This July's fair will add an unusual new class: Prizes will be awarded to whoever grows the tallest weed. I predict the winner will be a Sagittarius who begins the project this week. The rest of you Centaurs are also primed to capitalize by exploiting things that are normally thought to lack value, and you won't have to wait till July to cash in. To get in the proper mood (which should include compassionate, humorous self-mockery), give yourself a blue ribbon for having the biggest pimple or worst bad hair day or crabbiest mood.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "If the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way," says the ancient Chinese book The Secret of the Golden Flower. Conversely, "When the right man uses the wrong means, the wrong means work in the right way." These thoughts, Capricorn, are all you need to succeed this week. You're free to come up with your own interpretation of their implications, but here's mine: High integrity and a noble purpose sometimes count for more than cleverness or skill.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Literary critic Harold Bloom believes Finnegans Wake was James Joyce's masterpiece—the closest thing our age has come to the genius of Shakespeare and Dante. Novelist Anthony Burgess called it "a great comic vision that makes us laugh aloud on nearly every page." Yet when Joyce was writing the book, his wife Nora hated it, calling it "chop suey." She asked him why he didn't make "sensible books that people can understand." Joyce's patron, Harriet Weaver, also derided Finnegans Wake, saying it was a waste of his genius. Luckily, like many Aquarians, Joyce was mainly loyal to the little voices in his head, not the little voices outside of his head. Draw inspiration from his example in the coming week.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): To compensate for the fact that the amount of available time is steadily shrinking, I've intensified my multitasking. I now meditate while washing dishes. I pay bills and write poems and practice singing while stuck in traffic jams. I read the newspaper, surf the Web, make business calls, eat lunch, and organize my schedule while pedaling my exercise bike. As a happy and unexpected result, my brain is definitely working better; I've gotten smarter. This regimen isn't for everyone, of course. But if you do have an interest in increasing your intelligence, Pisces, now is a perfect astrological moment to make it happen.


Homework: I dare you to feel love for someone you have disliked for a long time. Testify at: beautyandtruth.com

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