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] I'm 99 percent positive that in the coming week, you will not wind up in a hand-to-hand battle on top of a speeding truck with a rogue agent of the secret government. It's also highly unlikely that the next time you open your closet door, you'll be forced to engage in magical combat with a well-dressed goblin from the fifth level of hell. On the other hand, Aries, it might actually be wise for you to instigate a fair fight in a safe place with a good person who is basically your ally. You two need to air out some buried tensions in order to get the most out of your future collaborations.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "Diplomacy is letting someone else have your way," said Lester Pearson, a Taurus politician from Canada who won the Nobel Peace Prize. If I'm reading the astrological omens correctly, Taurus, the aptitude he described will be your specialty in the coming weeks. You will have a sixth sense about how to tactfully maneuver adversaries and colleagues alike into arriving at conclusions that will promote your goals. To maximize the likelihood that you'll be a benevolent manipulator, not a selfish one, try to arrange it so that getting your way will help others get their own way as much as possible.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] "Where my heart lies," wrote Robert Browning in his prayerful poem, "let my brain lie also." That's my wish for you to experience in the coming weeks, Gemini. It's not a wistful, ineffectual wish, either: My astrological analysis indicates that the cosmos will be conspiring to unify more than a few of your fragmented parts. In fact, I predict that your thoughts and feelings will converge in a vigorous collaboration that will ultimately generate excellent karma for you and others.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] Some religious traditions don't motivate you through the threat of punishment and don't make you scared of God. Some corporations don't rip off their workers, don't despoil the environment, and don't have tyrannical bosses. Some politicians don't lie constantly, haven't sold out their ideals, and aren't power-mad narcissists. In light of these facts, Cancerian, please try to keep an open mind about them all in the coming week, as well as any institution, idea, or person about which you have made dogmatic generalizations in the past. It's a perfect time to shake up and even purge some of the personal biases that you have enthroned as absolute truths.
LEO [July 23–August 22] My friend Ronnie, the tattoo artist, told me that people who come in to get their first tattoo are sometimes unprepared for how much it hurts. Most are able to endure the razor-sharp ripping of their flesh for the time it takes, though. There are some sissies who can't, and they tend to be the biggest, baddest macho dudes. Ronnie says she personally knows 15 rough, tough guys walking around San Francisco with a fragment of a tattoo, having abandoned the process in agony before it was done. Here's my question for you, Leo: Is there any situation in your life that resembles a half-completed initiation? Have you ever left midway through a rite of passage? Now is a good time to make plans to go back and finish what you started.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Every year, the Annals of Improbable Research gives out the Ig Nobel Prizes to researchers whose work "cannot or should not be reproduced." Last year, awards were conferred upon chemists who managed to extract vanilla flavoring from cow manure, scientists who found that impotency drugs help hamsters to recover quickly from jet lag, and linguists who discovered that rats can't distinguish between someone speaking Dutch backward and someone speaking Japanese backward. I sincerely hope you will do nothing in the coming weeks that would resemble these efforts, Virgo. Please double-check to make sure that your considerable mental talents are engaged in tracking down information that will be truly useful. Don't get sidetracked by trivial data, irrelevant details, and wild goose chases.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Leonardo da Vinci created a mural that his contemporaries regarded as an even greater masterpiece than The Last Supper. Painted on a wall in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, The Battle of Anghiari later vanished when the building was remodeled. Some experts believe it still exists, however, hidden behind another wall that bears a newer mural. Even as we speak, investigators are using advanced technology to detect the possible presence of Leonardo's missing tour de force. Let this serve as a metaphor for the work you have ahead of you, Libra. It's a perfect time to search for the lost brilliance that's stuck behind a barrier or the buried treasure that has almost been forgotten. Once you find it, then you can free it.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Poet Sylvia Plath said she wasn't much impressed with the "photographic mind which paradoxically tells the truth, but the worthless truth, about the world." What she really loved was the "synthesizing spirit, that 'shaping' force, which prolifically sprouts and makes up its own worlds with more inventiveness than God." That's the aspect of your psyche I hope will be in full bloom during the coming weeks, Scorpio. It's a perfect time for you to enter into an unprecedented phase of building. You're ripe to dream up a host of creations for yourself—to improvise and design and compose.