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 21April 19): I myself have not played the fantasy role-playing game Nox. From the review of it in Fortean Times, though, I surmise you might want to check it out. It could prepare you well for the coming weekmaybe teach you some valuable tricks. The reviewer says that in the game you have to weave your way through booby-trapped mazes and haunted libraries as you try to foil the schemes of an evil necromancer. An army of magic spiders may be at your command, but it won't necessarily be of assistance as you wade through a swamp rife with lethal stinking cabbages. Sound familiar?
TAURUS(April 20May 20): "In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined," wrote psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. This is always true, but it's especially apropos for you Tauruses right now. You've arrived at a three-way fork in the road, and which way you go will have a big impact on your future capacity to exercise your free will. To make the best choice, you've got to have maximum power to define yourself. Don't let anyone, whether it's an enemy or a loved one or a so-called expert, take charge of determining the contours of your identity.
GEMINI(May 21June 20): In the 1670s British naturalist Robert Plot discovered what we now recognize to be the first dinosaur fossil ever found by a scientist. It was the femur of a megalosaurus, though back then no one knew what it was. Taxonomist Richard Brookes, Plot's contemporary, made an educated guess. He believed it was the petrified scrotum of Adam, the first man. I believe a comparable scenario will soon unfold in your life, Gemini. Through ignorance or inexperience, a potentially rich discovery may initially be misidentified. It will be your job to reject premature conclusions, keep everyone's mind open, and organize a quest for the unpredictable truth.
CANCER(June 21July 22): The ancient Greek mythic hero Orpheus possessed an abundance of what we today call emotional intelligence. His feelings were profound, well wrought, and lyrical, and he had a talent for rousing sublime passions in others. The music he played on his lyre inspired warring soldiers to stop fighting. Wild animals listened raptly. Workaholics ceased their compulsive toil. When he gave concerts in the underworld, even the coldhearted rulers of that infernal realm were charmed. None of us will ever soar to the same heights of emotional intelligence as Orpheus, of course, but this week you Cancerians can get closer than ever before.
LEO(July 23Aug. 22): Woolly mammoths, relatives of the elephant, have been extinct for 10,000 years. But several fully intact specimens have been discovered in Alaska and Siberia, well preserved in ice. A few daring men have cooked and eaten the meat. They claim that it has a decent taste. I bring this to your attention, Leo, because it provides an apt metaphor for your imminent future. I believe you'll be offered an ancient meal, in a manner of speakingan exotic form of nourishment that originated long before you were born. It'll be more than food for thoughtit'll be ambrosia for the soul.
VIRGO(Aug. 23Sept. 22): Members of your tribe are even more likely than usual not to be given their proper credit or just duewhich is exactly why you should fight with wild intensity to get it. If people try to claim your work as their own, protest loudly. If your strenuous efforts aren't rewarded as they should be, give yourself the reward. If your ideas are plagiarized, your style ripped off, or your product copied without your permission, fight back with tactful ferocity.
LIBRA(Sept. 23Oct. 22): In one of his books, the Dalai Lama challenges readers to go just 10 minutes without having a negative thought about another person. When I told this to my acquaintance Arthur, he said, "What a simplistic, overrated fraud that Dalai Lama dude is. It's totally easy to go 10 minutes without dissing someone." Your assignment, Libra, is to submit to a marathon version of the challenge: See if you can go seven whole days without having a negative thought about anyone. His Holiness implies there's a good selfish reason for doing so: It helps you cultivate a state of mind in which peaceful contentment is a natural condition.
SCORPIO(Oct. 23Nov. 21): Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution 20 years before he finally published a book about it. Why did he wait? Here's one theory: In contrast to his radical ideas, Darwin was a conservative Victorian squire who cared deeply about his reputation. According to Professor John Carey, he was afraid that "the blow to Christianity and to the dignity of man inherent in [his] theory would encourage atheistic agitators and socialist revolutionaries." I believe you're facing a dilemma comparable to Darwin's. The changes you're going through will mess with the status quo when you start openly expressing them. So will you postpone your coming-out party, hoping that time will somehow make the "new you" more palatable? That approach wouldn't do anyone much good.
SAGITTARIUS(Nov. 22Dec. 21): "Dear Dream Doctor: Last night I dreamed I was taking care of a suicidal priest. My job was to keep him occupied in order to make sure he didn't kill himself. As we played the child's card game called War, I noticed that the clothes I was wearing were moldy rags. Suddenly I was startled by a bright light. The door to the room was open, and floating out in the hall was a giant exclamation point that seemed to be a living creature. What does it all mean?Spooked Sagittarius." Dear Spooked: When you stop clinging to the tattered, worn-out delusion that has functioned as your faith all these years, you will find a far more vibrant faith that is based on reality and that truly nurtures your soul.