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): When actress Mia Farrow was still a teenager, 59-year-old painter Salvador Dalí asked her to dinner. As an appetizer, he served her butterfly wings on crackers. "They had almost no taste at all," Farrow told Gregg LaGambina in Filter. But she was nevertheless thrilled by the artfulness of the gesture. I expect you'll encounter a similar phenomenon in the coming week, Aries: an exotic treat that'll be rich in symbolism, though not particularly substantial. And that might be just what you need most.
TAURUS(April 20-May 20): J. Edgar Hoover headed the FBI for almost 50 years. While many admired the way he transformed it from an amateurish collection of hacks into a formidable law enforcement agency, others regarded him as a paranoid control freak who gave police work a bad name. Even President Lyndon Johnson had a strong ambivalence toward the man. Asked by The New York Times why he didn't fire Hoover, Johnson replied, "It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in." Consider making that your motto in the coming week, Taurus. There may be persons in your life who will serve you better as problematic friends than as unpredictable adversaries.
GEMINI(May 21-June 20): Your passions renew you. They link you to the primal life force that some people call God and others refer to as kundalini. But when you get consumed in the numbing rhythms of the daily grind, you sometimes lose touch with your passions. I think that's dangerous. So how can you stay connected? That's exactly what you should be thinking about most in the coming weeks, Gemini. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: Pay close attention to every little thing that captivates your imagination. Be a connoisseur of the magic moments that light you up. Become an expert in knowing what excites you.
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CANCER(June 21-July 22): A character you could justifiably call "Swamp Angel" will help you get down and dirty this weekand I mean "down and dirty" in the best sense. You're deep by nature, Cancerian, but you may have never been as deep as you're going to get in the next few weeks. Swamp Angel will be just one of several influences urging you to dive beyond your previous levels. By the way, I suspect that while you're exploring the depths, you'll encounter some paradoxical pleasures that aren't what they initially appear to be. To assist you in preparing for them, I'll tell you what I heard a little boy tell his father in a grocery store today: "I'm a monster, but I'm a good monster."
LEO(July 23-Aug. 22): We live in the Milky Way galaxy, which is shaped like a pinwheel. Recently, astronomers were shocked and embarrassed when they realized that the pinwheel has a fifth arm, one more than they've always believed. It's not as if this extra appendage is hard to spot: It's 77,000 light-years long! "I was absolutely flabbergasted," astronomer Tom Dames told newscientist.com. "The fifth arm was quite clearly seen in previous surveys but was never pointed out or given a name." I expect that a comparable discovery is about to unfold in your personal life, Leo. An important clue to your destinyan open secret that has been hiding in plain viewwill finally register on your awareness.
VIRGO(Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The British are not renowned for their cuisine. In any ranking of the world's culinary traditions, theirs would be near the bottom. And yet the Brits are responsible for having created and propagated the Western world's single most popular food, the sandwich. In a comparable way, Virgo, I predict that you will soon succeed in an area where you have little credibility or status. Either that or you will produce some anomalously great thing that you supposedly have no talent for.
LIBRA(Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Those who say spirituality has nothing to do with politics," declared Gandhi, "do not know what spirituality really means." What do you think he was driving at, Libra? I'll tell you what I think. Since he used the term "spirituality," not "religion," I surmise that he wasn't referring to belief systems like Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Rather he was talking about being guided by love, seeking the highest good for as many people as possible, and opening one's heart to the interconnectedness of everything. Thatwas the influence he wished to bring to politics. Your challenge in the coming weeks, should you choose to accept it, is this: Give your political opinions a makeover by infusing them with spirituality.
SCORPIO(Oct. 23-Nov. 21): This is a perfect time to brag about what you can't do and don't have. Why? Think of it as a way to neutralize any unsavory karma you may have accrued during outbreaks of excessive pride or hurtful arrogance in the past. As an example of how to proceed, I offer you the case of pop singer Enrique Iglesias. When asked by The Sun, a British newspaper, if he would consider being photographed nude for the cover of his future album, he said no. "I could actually have the smallest penis in the world," he explained. With that as your inspiration, Scorpio, get out there and start boasting in reverse.
SAGITTARIUS(Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Wrap your imagination around this innovation, if you can: a gas-electric hybrid SUV that's a luxury car but gets more than 40 miles per gallon and produces almost no smog-forming emissions. Lexus has created this marvel, and it'll go on sale in early 2005. I'm certainly not suggesting you should buy it, but I do think it's an apt symbol for the frame of mind you should cultivate in the coming weeks: lavish yet efficient; high-quality and responsible; richly expansive but smartly disciplined.
CAPRICORN(Dec. 22-Jan. 19): According to Harper's Index, many Americans believe that "politics and government are too complicated to understand." In fact, the average citizen thinks about politics just nine minutes a day. In my astrological opinion, Capricorn, your life should belie those statistics in the coming weeks. Your personal happiness will grow brighter if you deepen your understanding of the way government works. You will reap unexpected blessings from trying to affect the political process, whether it's on the local or national level. And what if you're not an American? My advice is the same. You may not have as much compensatory work to do as we Americans, but you will still benefit from intensifying your awareness of how your government impacts your destiny.
AQUARIUS(Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The 17th-century Pilgrims were religious dissidents at odds with the Church of England. Persecuted for their beliefs, some set sail for the New World in the Mayflower, seeking a sanctuary to practice their spiritual principles in peace. They sighted land after 66 days. A few of them wanted to cruise south along the coast to Virginia, where the English crown had promised them a grant of land. But the majority overruled them in order to address the most pressing problem: They had run out of beer. And that's why the Pilgrims ended up settling on the first place they saw, the cold, rocky shore of what's now Massachusetts. Upon landing, they built a brewery. This vignette is an apt metaphor for your near future, Aquarius. You, too, will be driven by idealism to seek a haven where you can more purely be yourself, but you will ultimately respond to pragmatic concerns as well.
PISCES(Feb. 19-March 20): One of the poets who performed at the poetry slam I just saw described how she used a needle and thread to sew up the wound from her suicide attempt. It seems that a few minutes after she slashed her wrist, she changed her mind and decided she wanted to live. I don't foresee anything nearly as melodramatic happening in your life, Pisces, but I do worry you might sabotage yourself and then regret it. Now that you know you're susceptible to making that error, however, I hope you'll forestall it altogether. Love yourself wildly and take care of yourself fiercely in the coming days.
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