Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Buddhism's holiest objects are ringsel, pearly deposits left behind by dead saints who've been cremated. I recently visited a collection that was offered to the public at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. A pamphlet in the lobby outside the sanctuary said, "The ringsel are of unimaginable benefit for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Their power does not depend on the viewer having faith in them." Though I am not a Buddhist and was initially skeptical, I soon changed my mind. As I sat in the presence of the ringsel, I was flooded with useful insights, including a solution to my longest-running problem. I predict a similar experience for you, Aries. You'll soon receive a blessing from a visitation whose magic you don't believe in.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If an infinite number of monkeys typed for an infinite number of days on an infinite number of typewriters, they would eventually produce all the works of Shakespeare, as well as the following horoscope, which is apt advice for you in the coming week: You could let your monkey mind jabber on forever, Taurus; you could allow it to spew out a million options about how to deal with your most pressing dilemma, hoping that one of them will miraculously be the answer you desperately need. But there is a better option: Dive down into your deep eternal self and open yourself gladly to its clear, simple wisdom about what to do.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't bother looking for help from great minds and deep thoughts this week. You're in one of your "folk wisdom" phases, when the only kind of counsel that can be of any use is the goofy brilliance that now and then gurgles up out of that vast compost heap known as mass culture. Here, for instance, are the bumper sticker slogans that are most in alignment with your astrological needs. (1) "I will not obsess. I will not obsess. I will not obsess." (2) "We all have problems. Mine are just more important than yours." (3) "If all the world's a stage, I'll be needing more wardrobe." (4) "Excuse me. I'm off to see the wizard."

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you choose to take the following prescription seriously, Cancerian, consider the possibility that you should regard it as a metaphor, not as a call for concrete action. Or if you do decide it would be appropriate to treat it as a call for concrete action, do not carry it out in a way that would scare people or destroy property belonging to anyone but yourself. Got all that? OK. Here we go: My reading of the astrological omens tells me that the most empowering ritual you could perform in the coming week is to kick in a locked door.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A few months ago there was a story in the news about an awkward situation at the San Francisco Zoo. Two tigers there were completely psyched out by an oil painting of another tiger. They seemed to regard the image, an eight-square-foot piece of art on the wall of their home, as a giant, ghostly competitor. Whenever they came close to it, their eyes bulged, their mouths gaped, and their ears retracted. Sadly, this reminds me of you lately, Leo. A mere picture that exists only in your mind's eye has you all messed up. I say it's high time to reclaim your regal authority over it and any other images that intimidate you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The World Health Organization says that a good diet should consist of no more than 10 percent sugar. Lobbyists for the sugar industry disagree. They maintain that you'll be fine as long as no more than 25 percent of your food and drink contains their favorite product. Regarding your current needs, Virgo, I disagree with both assessments. Since you're in a phase when you need to toughen up, strengthen your will, and think leaner and meaner, I believe you should temporarily limit your sugar intake to 3 percent or less.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This is the right astrological moment to raise the bar and up the ante; to throw your weight around and kick some butt; to call in favors and claim your rewards; to make everything official and seal the deal; to assume a new title and create your own rite of passage. Don't wait around for V.I.P.'s or authorities to initiate any of this; don't fantasize about what "fate" intends or whether you should prepare a little longer. The time is now. The place is here.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): At a recent outdoor party, the host's German shepherd shuffled over to me and dropped something at my feet. Crouching down, I found a tiny twig. It dawned on me that the dog wanted to play "fetch." I plucked the twig off the ground and threw it as far as it would go, which was only about two feet; it wasn't heavy enough to carry any further. The dog moseyed over, delicately snagged it in his teeth, and returned to me for another round. I was mystified. Why didn't he bring me a decent-sized stick that I could hurl a great distance so we could enjoy the full pleasures of "fetch"? I pose an analogous question to you, Scorpio: Isn't it time to expand the parameters of your favorite game?

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