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): For many male athletes, having sex before a big game is taboo. They believe it saps their energy and hurts their chances of winning. The coach of the Chinese Olympic Ping-Pong team has gone even further, banning his players from falling in love. In my opinion, this approach is crazy and wrong. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the best way for you to prime yourself for your upcoming moment of truth is by enjoying as much sweet affection and erotic delight as you dare.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Picture two people you know who seem to believe they are superior to you. Maybe they imagine they're smarter or funnier or more popular than you, and therefore think they're justified in treating you carelessly. Maybe these elitists are under the impression that because they have higher social status or more money than you, you don't deserve their focused attention. Next, Taurus, consider the idea, taught by every decent spiritual leader, that people like this have a pathologically inflated sense of self-importance. Finally, place two white roses in a special place in your home. Beneath each, lay a piece of paper on which you have written the name of the person with the superiority complex, along with the words "I am free of your judgment" and a drawing of a winged heart.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):The Chinese Year of the Monkey begins this week. According to astrologer Shelly Wu (chineseastrology.com), it will be "rich in the unexpected," tweaking everyone's concept of what's normal. Ruses, half-truths, and tricks will proliferate, turning the whole year into an extended balancing act. Is anyone likely to thrive? Wu suggests it'll be those with agile intelligence, frisky imagination, and an affinity for risk and novelty. Sounds to me like she's describing the Gemini tribe. Are you ready to be a leader and role model for the rest of us?
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CANCER (June 21-July 22): I got an e-mail from a person who said he was the former president of the African nation of Liberia. He said that if I helped him transfer his secret fund of $30 million from a Nigerian bank to an account in the U.S., he'd give me $9 million of it. I wrote back to him saying thanks for thinking of me, but I wouldn't take him up on his proposal. Why? I didn't tell him, but I'll tell you. Although it's true that Cancerians like myself are in an astrological phase when we can expect to benefit from other people's money and resources, maybe even in the form of a windfall, we also have to be careful not to get scammed by con artists and manipulators. The only collaborative offers we should consider are those that come from well-known sources and trusted allies.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Each of us has felt the pressure to be a more perfect lover. Maxim and Cosmopolitan magazines are two of many sources that barrage us with instructions on how to improve our techniques, expand our repertoires, and become telepathic masters of the art of dispensing pleasure. In the coming weeks, I believe you Leos will probably be subject to some of this goading. That could be good if it motivates you in a healthy way; not so good if it makes you feel defensive and self-conscious. To ensure that the mood stays light, I suggest you round up a partner who is willing to collaborate with you in a Bad Sex Festival. During the designated holiday, the two of you will intentionally engage in an orgy of awkward, contrived, and slapstick sex.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My teacher Anne Davies told a story about a negotiation between a U.S. Army general and a cannibal chief in New Guinea during World War II. The general wanted the chief to rally his tribe to help American troops fight the Japanese. The chief refused, calling the Americans immoral. The general was shocked. "We are not immoral!" he protested. "The Japanese are immoral." The cannibal chief replied, "The Japanese and Americans are equally immoral. You both kill far more people than you can eat." Let this story inspire you to take inventory of your own moral code, Virgo. Which parts of it are eternally valid, and which are shaped or distorted by the transitory beliefs of your culture and era?
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Palm reader Beth Davis had a pithy analysis of actor-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger after scrutinizing his handprint at Grauman's Chinese Theater. "There is this odd kind of teddy bear thing mixed with warrior energy," she concluded. I see a similar blend in your psyche right now, Libra. You have the power to make people feel loved even as you express your fierce intention to shape the world to your specifications. You're an unbeatable combination of softie and dynamo.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your word of power for the coming weeks is incubate. Like a mother duck or father penguin, you should sit on your metaphorical eggs to keep them warm and prepare them for hatching. Like an artist, you should push your analytical mind to the limit as you seek insight about your next creative move, then relax and wait for your intuition to sprout. Like a skilled lucid dreamer, you should formulate a good question about a dicey problem and hold it in your mind as you fall asleep, fully expecting your dreams to reveal a brilliant solution.