By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES (March 21-April 19): My friend's uncle, an Aries entrepreneur, is now in Iraq, investigating the possibility of building a new Disneyland-like theme park in Baghdad by 2007. Meanwhile, my masseuse's cousin, also an Aries, is hoping to become the first full-time clown in Antarctica; he has a patron who works for a British survey team there. Another Aries I know is a psychotherapist who's seeking to donate his services in the civil-war-torn Congo. I nominate them to be your role models: Consider plying your best skills in places you never imagined might need them.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Ancient Hawaiians had a sport they called "Lele Kawa," in which they dove off cliffs into the ocean. "Pu'u Keka'a," a tall volcanic cinder cone in West Maui, was a perfect place from which to jump, but everyone avoided it. Legend held it was a taboo place, "the leaping place of the soul," where the souls of the recently dead left the earth and ascended into the spirit world. But that all changed in the 19th century when a great warrior, King Kaheliki, climbed to the top of Pu'u Keka'a and plunged into the sea, shattering the taboo and mutating the myth. Since then, hundreds of other divers have tried it. By my reckoning, Taurus, you now have the courage and daring to make a comparable shift in the way things have always been done in your sphere. Ready to shatter a taboo and mutate a myth?
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Mokuola is a small island off the coast of the big island of Hawaii. In the old days it was reputed to have curative powers. Seekers who went there in quest of healing had to help stir up the magic, though; they couldn't just lie back and expect the spirits of the place to do all the work. One way a visitor could ensure a long life, according to legend, was to swim underwater around the island three times. This emphasis on a participatory style of healing parallels a situation in your life, Gemini. Although you're now within reach of a rejuvenating influence, you'll have to collaborate with it aggressively in order to coax out its full benefits.
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CANCER (June 21-July 22): As the sun set on a gorgeous spring day a few weeks ago, my companion accidentally left her purse beneath the Western world's biggest Buddha statue at a serene Buddhist mission near a Maui beach. Whoever found it chose not to return it. In contrast, on a chilly night last January, I lost my wallet on a litter-strewn street in a San Francisco slum. The woman who found it spent an hour on the phone until she tracked me down, then drove 20 miles to deliver it to me personally. The moral of the story, as far as it applies to you in the coming week, Cancerian: It's preferable to lose something of value in a poor, homely place than in a rich, beautiful place.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Even on Hawaii's most elegant beaches, the water can be wild. Rip currents and rogue waves come out of nowhere, sweeping swimmers out to sea. Local inhabitants echo what the travel guides warn: Never turn your back on the ocean. In general, it's a good idea to observe similar caution when dealing with any elemental force of nature. Having said that, though, I'll note that this is one of those rare times when you Leos could actually get away with turning your back on the ocean, metaphorically speaking. Maybe that's because you yourself are, at least for now, an elemental force of nature.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your sense of mission should be heating up, Virgo. Your tribe needs you more than usual. Your potential is ripening at the same time it is becoming most useful to your cohorts. But wait: That doesn't mean your path will be effortless in the coming weeks. There will be adversaries and agents of confusion you'll have to outwit. In order to be a radiant instigator of beauty and truth for your allies and a cagey master of strategy when dealing with your competitors, I recommend the paradoxical approach Jesus described: Be as pure and harmless as a dove and as wise as a serpent.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I'm writing this horoscope in Maui, where I've fallen in love with the Hawaiian language. It doesn't matter that I don't understand the literal meaning of many Hawaiian words. Their melodious, expansive rhythms have a magical effect that's both soothing and stimulating. While listening to a native speaker, I perceive my surroundings more vividly: My defense mechanisms subside, my heart opens, and I relax into a more receptive relationship with the whole world. I predict that a similar mood will soon bless you, Libra, whether or not you hear Hawaiian. Expect a long surge of alert, empathetic curiosity.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I know a sailor who was aboard a submarine that bombed Iraq with cruise missiles last March. In the days leading up to the attacks, the crew's regular entertainment hour featured a steady diet of porn videos authorized by the top brass. The sailor felt terribly conflicted by this weird form of motivational psychology meant to pump up the testosterone levels of his fellow warriors as they prepared to unleash America's destructive fury. While he believed in the war in Iraq, he refused to watch the porn and tried to talk other sailors into boycotting it. In the spirit of his integrity, Scorpio, I urge you to renounce the philosophy that the end justifies the means. You can't afford to do bad things in the name of following your heart.