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] "Sometimes, the fastest way to get there/Is to go slow," sings Tina Dico in her song "Count to Ten." That's a ripe oracle for you to meditate on, Aries. As you explore the nuances of its meaning, you may discover secrets about how life is always working behind the scenes to balance things out. You might also see that going to any extreme will often attract the opposite extreme into your life; an excess of yang can lead to yin.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] I usually don't have to tell you Bulls how important it is to finish what you've started. You are, after all, among the top three signs of the zodiac when it comes to following through. But just in case you've momentarily fallen under the sway of a delusion that would encourage you to escape before the resolution is fully in place, I'm here to remind you: It's time to make the art of completion your graceful obsession.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Who are the best enemies we have ever had? According to David Brown in the Washington Post, they are the thousands of endogenous retroviruses that attacked our ancestors for millions of years. In response to their evil invasions, we humans have had to build our rough, tough immune system. Make this your inspirational metaphor, Gemini. I urge you to welcome the opportunities that your adversaries are going to give you to grow bigger, stronger, and more beautiful.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] Sometimes, it makes sense for you to be cautious and skeptical of novelty. A periodic immersion in the slow-motion approach helps you maintain a strong center of gravity and allows you to be true to yourself in the face of the pressure that you get to be like everyone else. The past few weeks have been such a time for you, Cancerian. Soon, though, you'll begin to feel urges to take some risks and express yourself with more daring and expansiveness. Are you game?
LEO [July 23–August 22] Futurists predict that in 30 years many of us will have robots as our best friends. But I believe it's already the case that machines are our boon companions. You may not have a name for your computer or iPhone, but you interact with it as if it were an animate and intimate assistant. Music or TV or talk radio might be turned on in your home around-the-clock, providing a constant flow of comforting noise. I know people who derive a sense of coziness from the hum of the refrigerator or the rumble blowing through the heating vents. Have you ever talked to your car? Kicked a temperamental appliance? Used a sex toy? This is the best week ever for you to acknowledge your symbiosis with the alien life forms we depend on. Now, go kiss your laptop. Caress your toaster.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "If you could ask everyone you met one question, what would it be?" a reader named Ty Sassaman asked me. For my response, I considered questions like "What's the one thing you most want to accomplish before you die many years from now?" or "What could you do to bring more intelligence into the way you love?" But ultimately I decided on "What is your soul's code?" What would be your prime question, Virgo? I suggest you ask it of everyone you encounter. You're in a phase in your astrological cycle when focused curiosity is a kind of superpower.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Describing the poet Kenneth Koch, his colleague John Ashbery said that his work "gives you the impression that you are leading an interesting life: going to parties and meeting interesting people, falling in love . . . eating in the best restaurants and going to movies and the theater in the afternoons. By comparison, most other modern poetry makes me feel as if I were living in a small Midwestern university town." In the coming weeks, Libra, I exhort you to have a similar impact on people. Here's the best way: Live the most interesting and imaginative life you can dream up.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] If you're a left-winger, you may think right-wingers are stupid or evil or both. If you're a right-winger, you probably hold the same attitudes about left-wingers. A similar pattern prevails between most other groups that hold opposing views. You're a rare person if you've never looked at a certain group of people and thought to yourself: "They are all sick idiots." But in the coming week, I'm asking you to find out what it's like to dispense with judgments like that. If even for an hour per day, visualize the possibility that those with whom you disagree might be sincere and well-meaning. I'm not suggesting this exercise merely because it's a nice thing to do; it will also have the magical effect of giving you access to parts of your own intelligence that have been closed off to you.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] "Be humble, for you are made of dung," says a Serbian proverb. "Be noble, for you are made of stars." You'll soon be getting vivid evidence of that truth, Sagittarius. Your challenge will be to resist the temptation to believe that you're more dung than stars, or more stars than dung. That might be hard, given the fact that practically everyone around you believes they are one or the other. But you have the power to do it. You can exude cheerful equanimity while dwelling right at the crux of the paradox.