Horoscope

ARIES(March 21–April 19): Sometimes it's just not worth trying to gnaw through the leather straps; you're better off accepting your bondage, saving your energy, and escaping into daydreams. But in the coming weeks, Aries, you should definitely strive to chomp through the leather straps. In fact, you're likely to have excellent results whenever you do anything to wriggle out of your "mind-forg'd manacles," slip away from your volunteer slavery, or break free from your self-imposed incarceration. When you look back on your life from the perspective of next year, you will probably call December your Month of Liberation.

TAURUS(April 20–May 20): "The basic difference between an ordinary person and a warrior," wrote Carlos Castaneda, "is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary person takes everything either as a blessing or a curse." Maybe you consider yourself an ordinary person, Taurus, and therefore think Castaneda's definition of a warrior has no meaning for you. But I'm here to tell you that the astrological omens say you will have to be a warrior in the coming weeks, even if you're usually not. So please act as if every experience will have the potential to be an interesting, invigorating challenge.

GEMINI(May 21–June 20): San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle described the movie Van Helsing as "what a chimpanzee might do with an Etch A Sketch." I suspect that someone in your sphere has recently produced something similar—perhaps a bad work of art, a botched business deal, or an awkward relationship. It's not necessarily your sacred duty to try to make this mess more beautiful, and you certainly shouldn't try to prop it up or pretend it's well done. But I do believe you should create something better to compensate for it—much better. Though almost anything you come up with will look good in comparison, you can't afford to merely act like a smarter chimpanzee with a more deluxe Etch A Sketch.

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CANCER(June 21–July 22): Psychologist James Hillman says that taking action to correct social and economic injustice in the world can serve as powerful psychotherapy. In some cases, it may even be a more effective way to transmute one's personal pain than talking endlessly about the pain with a therapist. That thought is the seed of my advice for you, Cancerian. In the coming weeks, the sure cure for your problems—even your most uncomfortable enigma—is to take your mind off yourself and summon all your emotionally rich ingenuity to help others.

LEO(July 23–Aug. 22): In honor of your entrance into the Season of Romance, I've written you a love poem. Here it is. Be my slow-motion dance. Be my birthday earthquake. Be my ripe pomegranate floating in a blue plastic swimming pool on the first day of winter. Be my handstand on a barstool, my whirlwind week in clown school, my joke shared with a Siberian shaman while shopping for socks at Wal-Mart. Be my puzzle with one piece missing. Be the waves crashing on a beach in the south of France in the 22nd century. Be my golden hammer resting on the moss of a 10-million-year-old rock.

VIRGO(Aug. 23–Sept. 22): In the film Catch Me If You Can, a character played by Christopher Walken tells a story that illustrates persistence under duress. "Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream," he begins. "The first mouse gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out." I urge you to make that second mouse your role model in the coming days, Virgo. Can you summon that much courage, stamina, and strength of will? The astrological omens say you can.

LIBRA(Sept. 23–Oct. 22): I suggest that you refer to yourself as "we" rather than "I" for the next couple of weeks. There is a power struggle going on among your various sub-personalities, and the best way to keep some of them from going berserk and doing something irrational is to treat them all equally. In fact, I suggest that you give each of them a name. Make each of them feel special. Then sit down with them in a big summit conference. Clear the air. Create an environment that fosters freedom of expression. Listen attentively as each of your many selves describes his or her needs, and try to come up with a plan that satisfies everyone.

SCORPIO(Oct. 23–Nov. 21): This is one of those odd turning points when you have a license to be a cute brat in charge of mischievous healing. I dare you to stir up the exact kind of trouble that will make everyone feel better. It's also a good time to start benevolent rumors, break out in song during committee meetings, and push your own buttons before anyone else can push them. Please try to be one step ahead of yourself at all times, Scorpio. And if you can't seem to resist your craving for the metaphorical equivalent of pickles and ice cream—and I'll be amazed if you can—be sure you balance it by cultivating a desire for ketchup and banana sandwiches.

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