Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I enjoyed Matrix Reloaded, but I hope you won't see it or any film like it this week. It was loud, frenetic, pounding, bewildering, and epic: the exact opposite of what you need right now. You will thrive instead on intimate, subtle pleasures, come alive in the presence of understated, soulful influences that are full of nuance. The experiences that will lead you to your best destiny will awaken your sensitivity and move you to meditate on lyrical truths.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the series finale of Touched by an Angel, the Madonna-like angel Monica is offered a promotion. All these years she has struggled to help one bumbling human after another climb up out of the gutter; now she has a chance to move up to the cushy job of supervisor, where she won't have to wrestle with so much chaos. But she turns down the gig, and chooses instead to stay at her job of redeeming the ragtag multitudes. I believe you'll come to a comparable juncture in your own life during the coming months. One path will lead to more comfort and prestige; the other will bring more interesting challenges and inspiring surprises. I'm not sure what the right decision is, but the sooner you start ruminating about it, the more likely you'll do what's wisest for the long-term.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're in a phase when you may be tempted to start food fights at fancy dinner parties, wrap toilet paper around the trees in front of your adversaries' houses, and regard the juvenile delinquents of cable TV's South Park as worthy role models. I hate to discourage you from indulging this instinct for uproar, since so much of it could be fun and liberating. Therefore, I'm going to authorize you to go right ahead. But keep a fraction of your adult brain working in the background, ready to step in and halt the proceedings if you're ever about to, say, imitate the South Park kids' "How to eat with your butt" routine for your boss.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you're swallowed whole by a whale or a dragon this week, don't panic: It's much better than being chewed before being swallowed, which is definitely not going to happen. And according to my reading of the astrological omens, while you may spend a few days in the belly of the beast, you will eventually be, uh, expelled intact out the other end. Then it'll just be a matter of navigating the winding path back home. The entire experience will no doubt be humbling, but it will also have the salubrious effect of scouring you clean of a whole mess of karma.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Can you find an imperfection on Halle Berry? We can't." So writes Hollywood.com's Scott Huver about the Oscar-winning beauty born under the sign of Leo. Huver also notes that Peoplemagazine has five times named Berry one of the 50 Most Beautiful People and that Playboy called her one of the 100 sexiest women of the 20th century. How does Berry herself feel about her looks? "To be totally honest," she told the German magazine Journal fur die Frau, "most of the time I think I'm ugly." I forbid you to exhibit this kind of self-abasement in the coming week. You may not, under any circumstances, denigrate your own gorgeous radiance. It's crucial that you celebrate your magnificence.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Nothing worse could happen to one than to be completely understood." So said pioneer psychologist Carl Jung. If you think what he said is true, take action immediately, because you're in imminent danger of being well understood by at least two people. If you're confident you can handle the odd sensation of being seen for exactly who you are, do nothing other than what you're already doing.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Marriages in India are usually arranged by relatives of the bride and groom, and most couples who wed come from the same religion or caste. There are daring rebels who ignore those customs, though, and choose to marry for love. One of their champions is a social worker named Biswanath Ramachandra Champa Swapnaji Taslima Voltaire. He has launched a new political party for lovers called the Lovers' Green-Globalist Godfree-Humanist Party. "Only those who love can effectively change society," he says, "and my new party will be their platform." I bring this up, Libra, because it's a perfect astrological moment for you to launch your own Lovers' Party. You have a growing knack for bringing intimacy and tenderness into political struggles. When helping your tribe deal with its dilemmas in the coming weeks, you'll be able to summon ingenious expressions of compassion.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): My dream last night informed me that if I hoped to compose an accurate horoscope for you, I'd have to go to the Outback Steakhouse near my home. Since I don't eat red meat, I initially felt a bit irked. But I've learned over the years that it's dumb to ignore a direct order from my dreams. I know, furthermore, that it's not enough just to go through the motions: My dream wanted me to have the full Outback Steakhouse immersion experience. So I obeyed with an open heart, dropping all my vegetarian sensitivities as I devoured the "Mad Max," described by the menu as "a serious burger for warriors only." By the end of the meal, with my astrological charts spread before me, I'd intuited the advice you need: You should seek out encounters that are as unlike your usual inclinations as this one was for me.

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