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): "Here's how you can tell if you have a bad psychotherapist or counselor," says my friend Laura. "She or he buys into all your BS, never questions your delusions, and builds your self-esteem even if that makes you into an a**hole." I agree with Laura's assessment, which is why I'm going to spend our short time together today calling you on your BS, prodding you to get introspective about your delusions, and not pumping up the parts of your ego that really should be melted down. Next week, maybe we'll get back to gazing adoringly into each other's eyes, but right now you'll benefit from some tough love.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This will be an excellent time to read five books simultaneously, snack constantly on delicacies while avoiding heavy meals, climb a tree with an adventurous friend and make careful yet wild love right there, refuse to practice any form of meditation that doesn't involve laughing, buy 10 cheap alarm clocks and smash them with a hammer out in the middle of a meadow, pretend to be a feral teenager who's allergic to civilization, and throw invisible stones at any god, angel, or genie who won't help you get the love you want.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): American poet William Stafford, winner of the National Book Award in 1963, wrote a poem every morning for 40 years. "I keep following the hidden river of my life," he said. "And I don't have any sense of its coming to a crescendo, or of its petering out either. It is just going steadily along." I'd like to nominate Stafford to be your honorary role model, Gemini. Here's your assignment: Every morning for the next 20 days, carry out a brief ritual (no more than a few minutes long) that feeds your lust for life and engenders a blessing for yourself or someone you care about.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your assignment in the coming week is simple but tricky: Take devalued ideas or trivial objects or demeaning words, and transform them into things that are fun, interesting, or useful. Here are some precedents to inspire you: what the punk movement did when it made safety pins into earrings; what gays did when they mutated the insulting term "queer" into a word of power; what the resourceful TV hero MacGyver did when he put powdered makeup into a confetti cannon and shot it at evil CIA operatives, temporarily blinding them and allowing him to escape.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): It's a perfect time to work more intensely on cultivating a healthy relationship between money and your soul. For inspiration, read this wise counsel, articulated by Margaret Young and quoted in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way: "Many people attempt to live their lives backward. They try to have more money in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want."
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "There have never in history been so many opportunities to do so many things that aren't worth doing," wrote novelist William Gaddis. That's important for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks. You'll receive a flood of invitations, but only some of them will be intimately related to the unique work you're here on Earth to do. Those few may be so amazingly useful, though, that they could dramatically change your life for the better. Please say no to all the others so you can attend to the good stuff with your heart on fire and your mind as fluid as a mountain stream.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Have you ever heard of the First Law of Holes? It says that if you get in a hole, you should stop digging. Please obey that law in the coming week, Libra. Once you realize there's no other place to go but down if you continue your course of action, nothingnot even your prideshould keep you committed to that course. Now here's the Second Law of Holes: If you are able to scramble up out of the hole before it gets too deep, you should then spend some time filling it in so that you don't fall into it if you come back that way later in the dark.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Most intelligent people realize that global warming is underway. This awakening is good, but I'm worried that it may be diverting attention from a more profound crisis: the Mass Extinction Event that's killing off animal and plant species at a pace unmatched since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The possibility of there being future droughts, rising ocean levels, and crazy weather is daunting, but the more devastating fact is that Earth's precious eco-diversity is dying nownot just from global warming, but also from pollution and a host of other mischief caused by humans. What does this have to do with your horoscope, I mean besides it being a call to expand your understanding of our planet's environmental crisis? The scenario I've described is a metaphor for your personal life. What important issue might you be obsessing on in a way that blinds you to an even more all-encompassing issue?