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): "Any idiot can face a crisis," said Russian writer Anton Chekhov. "It is the day-to-day living that wears you out." Your main assignment in the coming weeks, Aries, will be to use your ingenuity to keep from being burned out by the subtle and minor trials of the daily grind. It won't be as dramatic a challenge as some of the epic travails you dealt with in March, but in my opinion it will be just as heroic.
TAURUS(April 20May 20): New rule: During the next two weeks, you're not allowed to think any thought or feel any feeling you've experienced a million times before. If you detect one of those stale ingredients bubbling up into the mix, it's your sacred duty to immediately substitute a fresh-from-the-garden idea or feeling that you've never entertained before. It's the season of novelty, Taurustime to compost the old ways and revel in raw innocence. Invite the universe to gorge you with virginal blessings.
GEMINI(May 21June 20): In the entire history of the world, there has never been a time that neglects dreams more than ours. Every other culture has paid more attention to the information that's available to us while we're sleeping. This enervating ignorance incurs a personal cost. If you're one of those who rarely recall your dreams, you're suffering a grievous loss of connection with the wisdom of your unconscious mind. And even if you do stay in touch with your dreams, most of the people around you aren't connected to theirs, and that generates stupendous stupidity. Want to remedy the problem, Gemini? It's a perfect astrological moment to improve your relationship with the realm where you spend one-third of your life. Here are a few resources: the book Living Your Dreams by Gayle Delaney; the book Radical Dreaming: Use Your Dreams to Change Your Life by John Goldhammer; the Lucid Dream Institute (lucidity.com); dream interpretations by Jonathan Zap (snipurl.com/paar).
CANCER(June 21July 22): Pathologist Paul Wolf has suggested that some of history's great artists may have never created their masterpieces if the wonders of modern medicine had been available to them. For example, what if doctors had cured van Gogh's mental illness with a regimen of drugs like Prozac and Xanax? Maybe he would have been spared the torment that goaded him to the outbursts of genius that erupted on his canvases. It's an interesting theoryone that I invite you to apply to your own life history. Are there ways in which the very things that have driven you crazy have played a role in your finest accomplishments? This is a perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate that ironic miracle.
LEO(July 23Aug. 22): Let's talk about the gift that it is your destiny to offer the world. Are you still struggling to figure out what it is? Here's what storyteller Michael Meade advises: You'll know it's the gift you were born to give if your energy is renewed, not exhausted, by giving it. It so happens that the coming weeks will be a perfect time to make dramatic progress in exploring this crucial truth, Leo.
VIRGO(Aug. 23Sept. 22): According to research done by Forbes magazine, more billionaires are Virgos than any other sign of the zodiac. A disproportionate 12 percent of the world's wealthiest people are members of your tribe. I hope this startling fact inspires you to be more proactive in cultivating your natural advantages. It's high time for you to prime your cash flow. Now please promise that you will say the following affirmation three times a day for the next 30 days: "Because I am shrewd, analytical, practical, attentive, and strategic, I possess all the necessary qualities to become wealthier. I am a money magnet. Money is my servant. O monnee gimmee summ."
LIBRA(Sept. 23Oct. 22):Esperantina, a town in Brazil, celebrates May 9 as Orgasm Day. As much as I'd love to import this enlightened holiday to my home country of the United States, it might be difficult in the foreseeable future. Why? Because religious fundamentalists have been spreading their infectious mental disease, seducing people into mistrusting their bodies' natural urges. Meanwhile, the advertising and entertainment industries try to sell us on the glamour of being in a chronic state of titillation without satisfaction. I'm calling on you Libras to do what you can to resist these cultural trends. The astrological omens say this is an auspicious time for you to seek out, cultivate, and honor your own orgasms.
SCORPIO(Oct. 23Nov. 21): I have a rabid appreciation for your efforts to make this world a steamier, wilder, more lyrical labyrinth. Thank you for all the entertaining mysteries you conjure so regularly. You are a true puzzle master, both in the sense that you create beautiful enigmas and that you solve seemingly impossible riddles. Having said that, though, I want to beg you to ease up on the drama for a while. Now and then there come times when you get so heavy and thick with obsessive longing and complicated emotions that you're in danger of imploding. This is such a moment. So lighten up, please. Consider indulging in the pleasures of harmless fun and frivolous diversions for a few days.
SAGITTARIUS(Nov. 22Dec. 21): I would never make light of your pain, Sagittarius, but it's my duty to inform you that you now have a rather amusing opportunity to capitalize on it. You may have heard that Star Trek actor William Shatner sold his kidney stone to an online casino for $33,000. In a comparable though perhaps more metaphorical way, I foresee you being able to cash in on or at least make very good use of something that once hurt you very much.
CAPRICORN(Dec. 22Jan. 19): Your meditation for the week comes from playwright Bertolt Brecht. "Art is not a mirror held up to reality," he said, "but a hammer with which to shape it." This is an excellent idea to keep in mind even if you're not a writer, painter, dancer, filmmaker, actor, or musician. What it means is that you now have the duty and opportunity to fully unleash the creator in you. Don't be satisfied with the world the way it is; don't sit back and complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo. Instead, stir up your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life. Then rebuild everything you see so that it's in greater harmony with the laws of love.
AQUARIUS(Jan. 20Feb. 18): "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. Your assignment in the coming week, Aquarius, is to take inventory of your opinions about the world, and then analyze what they reveal about your character. Here are some questions to guide your explorations. How do the feelings and theories you carry within you get projected onto the life you find around you? Do your prevailing attitudes help shape the experiences you attract? Is the reality you've built in your psyche at least partially responsible for creating the reality you encounter everywhere you go?
PISCES(Feb. 19March 20): Whenever I'm on top of the world and able to see for miles, it's easier for me to view the big picture of my life. That's why I rode my bike to the crest of the mountain today. I wanted to meditate on a certain personal problem that has had me stumped. But when I arrived there after a long ascent, a frigid, relentless wind was blustering so hard that I could barely think. Reluctantly, I came down the mountain and did my meditation in the valley below, where a mild, warmer wind posed no aggravation. There I was able to get the insight I needed. Now I'm passing my lesson on to you, Pisces. You may not be able to accomplish your current goal where you thought you could, but you can do it in a different place. Be flexible about the setting.