By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
ARIES [March 21–April 19] Have you ever arrived at a mountaintop on a clear day? Do you remember what you felt like? Can you re-imagine the sparkling purity of the air as it sweetened your lungs, the shimmering light that washed through you in lush waves, the exaltation of the sweeping vista as it lifted you to a deeper understanding of where your place is in this life? That's the kind of peak experience you need and deserve in the coming days, Aries. If you can't actually get to the top of a mountain, find the next best thing.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] A Serbian beekeeper shares his deep religious fervor with the insects he spends so much time with. Slobodan Jeftic builds beehives shaped like churches because he believes bees have souls, too. I urge you to draw inspiration from his example, Taurus. Get together with your favorite animals for a rowdy prayer session. Bark or purr or neigh or chirp together. Run around with holy abandon, expressing primal gratitude for the vitality you've been granted. If you're not currently in an intimate relationship with special animals, then take this as an opportunity to elevate and celebrate the consciousness of your own inner creature.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] If you're average, you blink about 17,000 times a day. But I'm urging you to reduce that number for the foreseeable future. Why? Because the coming days will put you in the path of meaningful, interesting, and useful sights that will be fast-paced and transitory. You might miss them if you blink too much. So open your eyes wider and for longer periods, Gemini, and get in the habit of checking in with your peripheral vision. Start now! What subtly amazing thing is happening right where you are?
CANCER [June 21–July 22] Two of the best money-saving steps you can take, says TV's mock pundit Stephen Colbert, are to stop filling your hot tub with champagne and stop lining your gerbil's cage with $100 bills. I highly recommend that you brainstorm about initiating similar conservative and preservative actions, Cancerian. It's time for you to get really serious about shedding wasteful habits, cutting out needless excesses, and culling trivial activities that impinge on the time and energy you have available for the really important things.
LEO [July 23–August 22] When he's in his prime, a male panda performs an average of eight handstands a day. There's no apparent evolutionary purpose in this stunt. He does it because it feels good. I suggest you make him your role model in the coming week, Leo. Identify three activities you can do not because they're "good for you" or because they'll advance some goal you're pursuing, but simply for the sheer fun of it. Whatever deeds you ultimately settle on, do them at least eight times a day. (PS: Do you know how to do cartwheels?)
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] It might be a good idea to temporarily avoid wearing stiletto heels, Virgo. The risk of slipping while wearing them is greater than usual. In a similar vein, I suggest you refrain from walking on a tightrope, putting yourself on a pedestal, or dreaming of climbing a ladder to the clouds. Two more suggestions: Don't look down on people whom you imagine are inferior to you, and don't promise more than you can deliver. You catch my drift? Stay away from high and mighty forms of expression. Choose low, deep, and funky positions instead. Be as down-to-earth as you can possibly be.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] The wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy loves how smart her husband is. The New York Times's Maureen Dowd quotes Carla Bruni-Sarkozy as saying, "He has five or six brains which are remarkably irrigated." I suspect that description will apply to you in the coming weeks, Libra. Even if you have had just one brain up until now, you will seem, at least temporarily, to have as many as six bright facets to your intelligence.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] At one point during the comedic film Life of Brian, set in ancient Rome, the hero, Brian, is working as a vendor selling snacks to spectators at a gladiator match. "Wrens' livers," he says. "Jaguars' earlobes. Wolf-nipple chips. Get 'em while they're hot." A potential buyer turns to him and asks, "Got any nuts?" Brian says, "I haven't got any nuts. Sorry. I've got larks' tongues. Otters' noses. Ocelot spleens." Judging from your current astrological omens, Scorpio, I suspect you may soon be in a position analogous to the spectator. You will really want plain old basic nuts, but someone will be trying to get you to sample wrens' livers. My advice? Steer clear of exotic stuff you don't have an appetite for. Hold out until the nuts are available.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] There's a new source of abundance available for you to tap into, Sagittarius. It won't necessarily come in the form of a pile of cash or an influx of hot suitors or an upgrade in your social status. I mean, those things are possible, but I'd rather concentrate on identifying the plenitude that's more likely to occur: increased energy. Your health is likely to be at its peak, and so will your generosity of spirit. Your senses will bring you a wealth of fresh perceptions, and your love of life will expand and intensify.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Last June, Neculai Ivascu was re-elected mayor of Voinesti, a Romanian town he had led for almost two decades. The only problem was that he was dead. "I know he died," said one of the villagers who voted to return him to office, "but I don't want change." I hope you won't go that far in your resistance to the forces of evolution, Capricorn. It's time for at least some of your old ways of thinking and being to expire, and there's no wisdom in trying to prop them up. My advice is to be brave: Gracefully agitate for transformation.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] One of the greatest landslide victories in any election for U.S. President was Ronald Reagan's in 1984. He got 54 million votes, 17 million more than his opponent. On the other hand, Reagan's total was only 31 percent of all the Americans who were eligible to vote. So his "landslide" consisted of fewer than one out of every three adults. In the recent election, Barack Obama also won almost 31 percent of eligible voters, with 65 million votes. I think these vignettes provide an interesting caveat that you'd be wise to consider, Aquarius. In your personal sphere, a supposed majority might not be a majority at all. People in authority may have less of a mandate than they claim. As a result, you could have more power to spread your influence than you imagine.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] Research by forensic anthropologist Martin Jarvis suggests that Johann Sebastian Bach's wife probably wrote some of his music. Anna Magdalena didn't get the recognition she deserved because "women were not allowed to take credit for composition" in the 18th century. I expect a comparable theme to emerge in your own life, Pisces. A woman whose good work has been obscured by sexism or a man whose efforts have been distorted by injustice might rise up and claim her or his rightful place.