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] This is Celebrate Your Broken Heart Week, Aries. Even if your heart's not exactly shattered at the moment, it's undoubtedly been so at some time in the past. So why celebrate? Because having a broken heart is one of the best things that can happen to you. It strengthens your humility, which makes you smarter. It demonstrates to you that you have a tremendous capacity for deep feelings—far more than you're normally aware of. It breaks down defense mechanisms that have desensitized you to the world's secret beauty. It should also inspire you to treat other people's hearts with great care, making it more likely that you'll be able to create intelligent intimacy in the future. Here's what I conclude: A broken heart is a gift that the world gives you to awaken you to the truth about what matters to you most.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] In the Tsonga language of South Africa, the term rhwe means "to fall asleep on the floor while drunk and naked." According to my analysis, you may now be unusually susceptible to exhibiting rhwe-like behavior. That's because the astrological omens suggest you're in a prime time for the kind of extravagant socializing that may lead to extremes you rarely express. There are more constructive ways to channel this energy than through rhwe, however. Your challenge will be to make sure that your discernment and self-discipline are at least partially engaged as you run half-wild and seek prodigious fun. (The info about rhwe comes from a book about quirky words, The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacot de Boinod.)
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] "When friends stop being frank and useful to each other," wrote literary critic Anatole Broyard, "the whole world loses some of its radiance." Make sure that doesn't happen anytime soon, Gemini. In fact, regard this horoscope as a warning beacon that motivates you to action. Intensify your intention to keep your best alliances frank and useful; infuse a dose of raw candor into any relationship that's in danger of becoming lazy or dishonest.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, prayer flags are sets of brightly colored sacramental cloths that are inscribed with holy words and images of deities. They're not designed for indoor use in solemn ceremonies; instead they're hung outside, where the wind blows their blessings to the heavens and all over the world. I recommend that you draw inspiration from this practice. It's a perfect time to take your spiritual yearnings out of the closet, away from the church and temple and mosque, and beyond all sheltered, temperature-controlled settings. Build a shrine in the wilderness, Cancerian. Sing a hymn from a mountaintop, shower money on the river goddess, or create your own homemade prayer flags and hang them from a tree.
LEO [July 23–August 22] According to the automaker Saab, this year's sedan has 2,157 features that are different from last year's, including snake-eye headlamps and a clamshell hood. Your assignment in the coming weeks, Leo, is to be roused by Saab's willingness to depart from tradition. Speaking on behalf of the cosmic powers-that-be, I am asking you to commit to making 21.6 changes in your life, which is a mere one percent of Saab's total. If that's too much to handle, would you consider making 2.16 changes? A good place to start might be to add your own personal metaphorical version of snake-eye headlamps.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "The moon asked me to meet her in a field tonight," wrote the mystic poet Hafiz (as translated by Daniel Ladinsky). "I think she has amorous ideas." You might soon feel a similar suspicion, Virgo. According to my reading of the astrological omens, seductive offers will be coming your way—and not just from the moon. Secret suitors may emerge from the shadows. Temptations could lure you toward the far ends of your imagination. The sheer profusion of invitations you'll receive might make you giddy and agitated.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] A Brazilian man told his wife that he wanted a divorce. Consumed with wrath, she laced his orange juice with a sedative and then sliced off his penis while he was unconscious. Fortunately, surgeons successfully reattached the organ. Later, the man absolved his wife of her sin, and they reconciled. "She was stressed, and I understand her reasons," he said. I hope his saintly feat inspires you to be equally magnanimous, Libra. It's a perfect moment to forgive people whom you thought you never could—to go way beyond your previous limits in extending tolerance, mercy, and slack.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In his book Starbucked, Taylor Clark claims there's a woman who goes into a Seattle Starbucks every day during the morning rush and orders a "decaf single grandé extra vanilla two-percent extra caramel 185-degrees with whipped cream caramel macchiato." Maybe her request seems overly fussy and demanding, but in the next 12 days, I encourage you to be equally as exacting in asking for what you want. You have a poetic license to be extremely specific as you go about your quest for fulfillment.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] During his 21 years as the prime minister of Canada, Mackenzie King (1874–1950) sought counsel from Ouija boards, crystal balls, psychics, and spirits. As one of the most powerful Sagittarians who ever called on supernatural sources for help in making practical decisions, he's your role model in the coming week. It's time, in my astrological opinion, for you to seek information from places beyond your old reliable sources, including at least some that transcend the fixations of your rational ego.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll says he's periodically asked what it takes to be a writer. He has two pieces of advice: "Good writers read a lot, and good writers write a lot." I urge you to apply that approach to whatever skill it is you'd like to master, whether it's building a boat, traveling where the tourists don't go, satisfying a lover, or anything else. In other words, practice, practice, and practice some more as you study the work of those who are experts in the field. Now is an especially ripe time for you to identify what this skill is for you, and to sign a formal agreement with yourself in which you promise to steadily upgrade your mastery of it.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] I encourage you to fantasize abundantly about improbable combinations and seemingly unnatural juxtapositions, Aquarius. For instance, imagine that through the magic of genetic engineering, a mad scientist crosses a giraffe and a hippopotamus to produce a giraffopotamus. Or imagine reading an essay that brilliantly compares apples and oranges. Or watch the musical-comedy film West Bank Story, which portrays the love affair between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian cashier, both of whose parents operate competing falafel restaurants on the West Bank. Doing things like this will put you in the right mood to respond creatively to the unusual syntheses that fate will soon make available to you.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] It's time you acknowledged that you are a miraculous work of art, a masterpiece unlike any other ever created. I'm not pandering to your egotism by telling you that. When I say, "Be yourself," I don't mean the self that wants to win every game and use up every resource and stand alone at the end of history on top of a Mount Everest–sized pile of pretty garbage. When I say, "Be yourself," I mean the self that says "Thank you!" to the wild irises and the windy rain and the people who grow your food. I mean the self that's joyfully struggling to germinate the seeds of love and beauty that are packed inside at every moment. I mean the spiritual freedom fighter who's scrambling and finagling and conspiring to shower all of your fellow messiahs with your best blessings.
HOMEWORK What's the most amazing feat you ever pulled off? What will you do for your next amazing feat? Testify at RealAstrology.com. Click on "E-mail Rob."