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] It's a good time to start preparing for the shocks that will arrive when the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Some measures to consider: Learn how to use a gun, live off the grid, and gather edible plants that grow in the wild. APRIL FOOL! Everything I jut said was a histrionic lie. Here's my real message: The period leading up to the winter solstice in 2012, as well as that day itself, will bring no more than the usual rate of breakdowns and breakthroughs that has characterized the last two decades. Of course, that's still more novelty per year than previous generations experienced in a lifetime. But you've become pretty good at adapting, haven't you? This week, I suggest you expand your mind even further concerning the massive transformations we're still in the midst of, and think about how you can become even more skilled at constantly changing.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] When you call to get a pizza delivered and the guy who takes the order asks your name, say you're Paris Hilton. When someone you're meeting is annoyed because you're late, say you couldn't help it because you were smoking crack in the bus-station bathroom with your mom and lost track of time. The next time you're asked how much education you have, say you have three Ph.D.'s—in astrobiology, Russian literature, and whale songs. APRIL FOOL! In fact, it's crucial for you to be utterly accurate about yourself. Try to go the entire week without indulging in even one white lie about who you really are.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Danni, the renowned "Psychic to the Rich and Famous," predicts that disgraced ex-governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, will relocate to Nevada to build an empire of legal high-end brothels that will feature the services of Britney Spears and other starlets on the down slope. In that extravagant spirit, I prophesy that during the rest of 2008, you Geminis will have love lives that are as tumultuous and melodramatic and desperately interesting as the romantic escapades of bipolar Hollywood idols. APRIL FOOL! Your love life may be unusual, uncanny, and highly entertaining during the next eight months, but it won't be painfully funny.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] If you feel possessed by a ghost this week, don't worry about it: You're just channeling the spirit of the person you were in a previous incarnation. So yes, you may feel like a puppet whose strings are being yanked by an invisible entity, but at least you can rest content knowing that the entity used to be you. APRIL FOOL! You should not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be controlled by the old days and the old ways—even if the invasive force comes in the form of the person you used to be.
LEO [July 23–August 22] Author Rick Fields wrote about the time that a friend called to recommend a workshop he'd signed up for. "You've got to come," the friend said. "This seminar will completely change your life in one brief weekend." Fields was skeptical: "I don't want to completely change my life this weekend," he replied. "I've got a lot of things to do on Monday." I urge you, Leo, to adopt a similar stance toward any big educational experiences that promise to dislodge you from your routine. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, the astrological omens suggest you'll benefit from responding to invitations that just might thoroughly upgrade your world very quickly.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In his science-fiction book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams says that "the meaning of life, the universe, and everything" is the number 42. This week you will prove that's wrong, as you accumulate substantial evidence that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is actually 59. APRIL FOOL! The meaning of everything can't be reduced to one number, or even to a single theory or ideology. In fact, the meaning of everything is just the opposite: It's glorious mystery, gorgeous, mind-teasing ambiguity, and fertile, fascinating chaos. So get out there and enjoy the prodigious, kaleidoscopic truth!
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Ralph Nader for President of the United States! Ron Paul for Vice President! Oprah Winfrey for Secretary of State! Dennis Kucinich for Speaker of the House! It's time to overthrow the corrupt powers that be and install visionary leaders who will actually work for the good of the people. APRIL FOOL! As much as I'd love to see those public servants ascend to high office, it doesn't make sense to fight for that outcome; for you as well as for me, revolution is not (yet) in the works. This is a time to pursue hard-earned, incremental improvements that will come through a pragmatic willingness to compromise. Don't waste your time on all-or-nothing proposals.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] If you're intent on scoring and imbibing an exotic psychedelic drug from Africa, please seek out stuff that has been grown organically. If you're planning to acquire a panther as a house pet, make sure it has been housebroken. And if you find it impossible to repress your urge to stagger into a bar and find a stranger to take home for a night of carnal rapture, be sure to practice safe sex. APRIL FOOL! Everything I just said is a lie. Here's my real message for you: You're susceptible to rationalizing risky behavior, which could lead you to do stupid things. I suggest you either postpone sketchy adventures for a couple of weeks, or else get frank feedback from a clearheaded friend before diving in.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Lots of sex: That's the Truth and the Way for you right now, Sagittarius. It's the only sure method for enhancing your intelligence, increasing your income, and bringing you closer to your spiritual sources. I suggest you embark on a nonstop immersion in erotic experiments, stopping only occasionally to sleep and eat. APRIL FOOL! There's a crucial caveat to what I just said: Make sure the sex is blended with dramatic doses of tenderness, love, and compassion. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting your time.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Right-wing operative and commentator William Kristol applauded President Bush's decision to nix better health-insurance coverage for kids. "Whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it's a good idea," he said on Fox News. "I'm happy that the president's willing to do something bad for the kids." In the coming week, Capricorn, you should adopt Kristol's attitude. APRIL FOOL! It's true that the demands of innocent young things and sprouting naïve types might inconvenience you. But I urge you to do the opposite of what Kristol advocates: It's in your long-term interests to be of eager service to whatever's unripe and unspoiled and growing fast.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] After mining operations stripped away the plant life on China's Laoshou Mountain, the Bureau of Forestry hired workers to literally paint the bare surface of the whole thing green. You should take a similar approach to tidying up after your own recent "mining operation." APRIL FOOL! I was kidding. What I really meant is that you should do the metaphorical equivalent of planting a lot of trees and bushes to compensate for the consequences of your "mining operation." Don't be satisfied with merely cosmetic fixes.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] You need more mayonnaise in your life. The omens suggest that you should use it as a condiment with every meal, and even add it to smoothies and cocktails. To place yourself in maximum alignment with cosmic rhythms, make mayonnaise a part of your skin-care regimen, try it out as a brass polisher, and employ it to spice up your sex life. APRIL FOOL! You didn't seriously believe the planetary aspects are suggesting that you should obsess on mayonnaise, did you? You do need a new spirit medicine, but it's not made from chicken eggs. Now here's your real horoscope, courtesy of philosopher Jonathan Zap: "Find your spirit medicine. And remember that what works for someone else, may not work for you (and vice-versa). Also what works for you when used consciously, sparingly, in just right the circumstances, might be disastrous as a habit."