Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Two years ago a diminishing marriage rate and an increase in divorces began to worry Malaysian officials. The family development minister issued a plea for spouses to be more aggressive about calling each other "darling," "sweetie," and other affectionate names. As you slip into the amorous season, Aries, I'm going to ask you to do that, plus more. Supercharge your entire approach to speaking the language of love. Be aware of how powerful your words can be in stirring the emotions of people you care about. Use your voice to experiment with romantic potentials and bring more truth and beauty into your intimate moments.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Since 1977, 40 percent of U.S. elementary schools have done away with recess. Meanwhile, among adults at work, the time allotted to lunch is steadily shrinking. Executives spend an average of just 42 minutes with their midday meals. This dangerous trend hits you Tauruses the hardest: You need spaciousness. You shouldn't and can't be rushed to do anything. That's why I'm calling on all Bulls to launch a Mass Slowdown in the coming week. Take all the time you need to do whatever has to be done, whether it's enjoying your sandwich or preparing an important report. From an astrological perspective, it's a pivotal moment for you to be faithful to your own internal rhythms. If anyone complains, tell them your astrologer made you do it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I suggest that you encourage your right hand to get into a wrestling match with your left hand. Let them go at it for as long as it takes for one to emerge victorious. They desperately need to engage in a vigorous dialogue, and the best way for that to happen is in the heat of battle. It's true that while their struggle rages, you may be too preoccupied to worry about the 1,001 questions that are begging for your attention. But I'm betting that many of those questions will be resolved or rendered irrelevant as your right hand and left hand get to know each other better.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): Warning! Too-much-of-a-good-thing alert! Take a few deep breaths and consider the possibility that sweet satisfaction may be on the verge of mutating into overripe excess. Examine your life to see whether well-crafted luxury is in danger of becoming exorbitance or whether your fair share is close to becoming too hot to handle. I'm not saying any of these developments have occurred yet; just that they might unless you take action immediately. As a Cancerian myself, I know how we Crabs sometimes indulge in the fantasy that hoarding stuff protects us from the world's unpredictability. Though it can on occasion, this is not one of those times.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): From an astrological perspective, it's a perfect time to order a custom-made action figure that looks and talks like you. You'd really benefit from having a miniature version of yourself to play with. You could dress it in superhero costumes, fantasize scenarios in which it pulls off epic feats, and use it to help you escape the imaginary constraints that have been inhibiting you lately. But getting a doll of yourself is expensive, and there are other ways that would probably work just as well to free up your bold, adventurous spirit. Maybe you could write a short story starring yourself as a daredevil or pioneer. Or how about embarking on a series of strenuous physical activities that will awaken your dormant reserves of willpower? If nothing else, create a sock puppet of yourself.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I met a man who told me he trademarked the term "couch potato" more than two decades ago. He said that in the early years, he made decent money from people who compensated him for the right to use his intellectual property. Eventually, though, he had to hire lawyers to take legal action against those who wanted to avoid payment. In time, his attorney fees outstripped the amount he was able to collect from violators of his trademark, and he gave up the effort. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you Virgos are facing or will soon face a comparable situation: A certain advantage you've had may no longer be an advantage; an asset or strength could begin to require so much upkeep that it may no longer be an asset or strength.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You've been blessed and cursed with arduous lessons these past months, Libra. They have compelled you to navigate your way through the most challenging archetypes of all: death and rebirth. Before these trials, you may have considered yourself smart and capable but wondered how strong you were. Now there is no doubt: You're more courageous than you ever imagined. But don't stop pushing yourself to the limit yet. Your hero's journey still has a few weeks to go. Keep doing what you've been doing, only more so.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "Disabuse yourself of the notion that greatness is somehow inextricably linked with fame, power, wealth, or social stature," writes one of my readers, Pyrrol Red. "Some of the greatest human beings have been mostly unknown." This is an important point to keep in mind, Scorpio, as you seek to ascend higher. The essence of your beauty may never be fully appreciated by more than a few people; the gifts you have to offer are so subtle and complex that you might find it hard to encapsulate them in simple forms that gain wide popularity. I'm not saying you'll never be famous, powerful, wealthy, or high-status. But even if you do win those perks, it will be because of decisions you make and actions you take that are free of all lust for them.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens," wrote Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet. That's a good description of what will be happening inside you in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. But keep in mind that this lovely invasion may not be accompanied by fireworks and thrilling music. It might unfold in a series of what Rilke called "seemingly uneventful and motionless moments."

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Anthropologists say that in every culture, children have played the game of hide and seek. I've observed that most adults still engage in sublimated or disguised versions of the game. They may withdraw emotionally and expect their friends and loved ones to telepathically figure out what's going on with them. Or they may play hard to get, forcing their lovers or spouses to come find them in their secret hiding places. Judging from the current astrological omens, Capricorn, I suspect you will soon be embroiled in a hide-and-seek ritual. You might as well try to have fun.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): My hypnotherapist friend has noticed a common theme running through the lives of many of her clients: They take their blessings for granted and underestimate the power their blessings afford them. One client, for instance, seems to assume that everyone in the world is as perceptive and sensitive as she is. As a result, she doesn't completely appreciate how valuable these skills are, and she doesn't fully take advantage of the tremendous influence they could help her wield. You suffer from a similar blindness about your own gifts, Aquarius. Luckily, this is the perfect time to change that.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The Department of Justice says that crime in America is at its lowest level since it was first tracked in 1973. Canada's crime rate has also been declining for years. So why is everyone walking around scared all the time? In its "Personal Security Index" report, the Canadian Council on Social Development said, "The fear of crime is disproportionate to the true risk of being victimized, and that fear can be a negative factor in people's lives, often unnecessarily restricting their social activities." I bring this up, Pisces, because it's a perfect moment for you to dramatically reduce your levels of dread and anxiety.


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