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): Three years before Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Codecame out, my book The Televisionary Oraclewas published. In it, I riffed extensively on Mary Magdalene's role as Jesus' consort, collaborator, and co-creator of Christianitysimilar in ways to Brown's themes. Sales of my tome are approaching 10,000, while Brown's have topped 61 million. Why the contrast? His work is a linear detective story, while mine is an experimental blend of magical realism, prophetic philosophy, and oracular poetry. His characterizations and plot hew to established conventions of mainstream fiction, while mine spring from my muse and real life. The difference between our approaches is comparable to the choice you have ahead of you, Aries. You can opt for greater popularity and loyalty to convention, or you can choose to be more of a secret as you rigorously follow the promptings of your inner voice.
TAURUS(April 20May 20):Once you open a can of worms, the only way to re-can the buggers is to use a larger can. So says Zymurgy's First Law of Evolving Systems Dynamics. I urge you to keep that in mind during the coming week, Taurus. You or someone close to you may suffer from a blissful mania or temporary insanity that leads them to think that liberating the canned worms is a wise idea. Maybe it will ultimately prove to be the right thing to do, but it could cause a ruckus in the short run. In any case, make it your job to have a barrel-size can on hand for the re-containment.
GEMINI(May 21June 20): Recently a team of 1,000 workers spent a week scraping off 600,000 wads of chewing gum that had become bonded to the surface of Beijing's Tiananmen Square. If you choose to accept it, Gemini, your assignment in the coming week is to carry out a procedure comparable to China's massive, intricate effort to wipe the slate clean. It may be time-consuming and a bit excruciatingthe equivalent of shuffling around for hours on your hands and kneesbut in retrospect I think you'll be very glad you did it. Its surprisingly cathartic effect will make you smarter and wilder and kinder and trickier.
CANCER(June 21July 22):This will be an excellent timemaybe one of the best weeks everto try herding cats, coaxing hermits to do karaoke, and getting anorexics to eat veggie burgers with all the fixings. In other words, Cancerian, the once inconceivable may become likely. The adventures you swore you would never have the courage to attempt are suddenly within your capacity. You can at least partially dissolve the one fear you've always believed would hobble you forever.
LEO(July 23Aug. 22): According to the Bible, the apostle Thomas did not immediately accept the other disciples' reports that Christ had survived his crucifixion and come back to life in a resurrected body. "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side," Thomas said, "I will not believe it." Later Christ appeared in person to Thomas and invited him to put his hand in the actual wound. Moral of the story: The person who doubted was given a special privilege. Let that be your guiding thought in the coming week, Leo. Demand proof. Seek actual evidence to bolster your faith.
VIRGO(Aug. 23Sept. 22): July 4, 1776, is generally regarded as the day the 13 American colonies issued the Declaration of Independence, thereby asserting their right to be free of Britain's rule. But the fact is that only two members of the Continental Congress signed the document on that day. Most of the other 54 men waited until August 2. In a similar way, Virgo, a process you thought was fully climaxed this week will not reach its full ripening until early August. I suggest you reserve making your final conclusions until then.
LIBRA(Sept. 23Oct. 22): Your patron saint for the month of July is Dublin professor James Mays. A few years ago he made a major splash in the literary world. While researching the work of Libran poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834), Mays discovered 300 previously unknown poems written by the co-founder of England's Romantic movement, doubling what had long been thought to be his total output. I predict that in the coming weeks, Libra, you too will make a breakthrough that will give you access to a fresh trove of creative resources that has been hidden from your view.
SCORPIO(Oct. 23Nov. 21): Like a bird, you seem to have the ability to defy gravity lately. You're acting with the expansiveness that comes from having a wide-ranging, high-in-the-sky view of life. Sometimes you remind me of a thunderbird, which among Native Americans was a mythical raptor that carried messages between spiritual beings. Its eyes unleashed lightning and its enormous wings beat so hard that they spawned storms. But sometimes, Scorpio, you're more like a nightingalea small, graceful songbird that sings beautiful, complicated songs at night when no other bird is singing. Congratulations on your versatility. Only you could pull off being half thunderbird and half nightingale.
SAGITTARIUS(Nov. 22Dec. 21): A garbage strike turned out to be a lucky break for two people in Illinois. Brother and sister Ezekiel and Karen Garnett had bought a lottery ticket but then carelessly thrown it out. Many days later they heard that the winning $10.5 million ticket remained unclaimed. Was it theirs? They sifted through two weeks' worth of trash, which remained uncollected outside their house because sanitation engineers had walked off the job. Voilà! They found the precious ticket. Now I predict you'll be visited by a comparable sequence, Sagittariusa glitch that leads to a happy ending. It may be that an asset you've neglected or squandered will return to you because of an inconvenience. Or perhaps you'll realize how valuable a certain experience is only after you've lost it, whereupon you'll recover it against all odds.
CAPRICORN(Dec. 22Jan. 19): If you usually wear your baseball cap backward, this will be a favorable time to turn the peak toward the front. If it's normally facing forward, I suggest you turn it around. In fact, everything you try in the coming week will have extra luck and grace if you approach it a bit askew or do it the reverse of your customary habit. The cosmic tables have turned, and the best way to capitalize is to flip-flop yourself.
AQUARIUS(Jan. 20Feb. 18): Iran made a strong overture of peace to the United States in the spring of 2003. According to The Washington Post, the Iranians offered to recognize Israel, promised to stop supporting terrorist groups, and asked for diplomatic talks concerning their nuclear technology. Tragically, the Bush administration ignored the proposal, missing a chance to cool down tensions that have led to today's crisis. My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that you now have a comparable window of opportunity in your personal life, Aquarius. Peace feelers are appearing. You'll soon have a fresh opportunity to dissipate simmering stress before it erupts into conflict. Even better, you'll be in a good position to negotiate pretty favorable terms for yourself. Don't imitate Bush and company.
PISCES(Feb. 19March 20): If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, this would be an excellent time for you to apply for a job as a crocodile trainer, audition for a supporting role in a TV soap opera, or give motivational speeches to five-year-olds. For that matter, it wouldn't be outlandish for you to use a chainsaw to create sculptures from dead trees, make a home video of yourself entitled The Dancing Chef or The Wise-Ass Guru, or write a research paper on orca whales and quantum physics. In other words, Pisces, consider trying things you've never considered before. Ask yourself if maybe you possess hidden talents that you haven't even begun to cultivate. Be receptive to the possibility that your destiny is more open-ended than you've ever imagined.
HomeworkSay "I love you" at least 20 times a day for the next seven days. Report your results to freewillastrology.com.