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] To place yourself in smooth alignment with planetary rhythms, do work on the foundations of your life. Make sure you have a supply of the various resources that keep you strong and steady. Check to see if maybe you need to rev up your emotional connection with the traditions you hold dear. But that's only half your horoscope, Aries. Here's the rest: Invite your most rambunctious playmates over for a raucous home-blessing ceremony.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Two-thirds of people surveyed said they would rather look good than feel good. The fact of the matter is that if you emphasize looking good—creating favorable impressions, acting dishonest to curry favor, wearing uncomfortable but attractive clothes—you will feel sub-par and look mediocre. On the other hand, if you put the priority on feeling good—treating your body like a pet, seeking encounters that nurture your secret self, and hanging out in environments that encourage you to relax—you will look good and feel good.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] If you're bogged down in the trance of the humdrum routine, astrology can open your mind and illuminate fascinating patterns that have been invisible to you. It can reveal the big picture of your life story, sweeping away the narrow ideas and shrunken expectations you have about yourself. But reliance on horoscopes can also have downsides. If you're superstitious, it might make you more so. If you're prone to be passive, believing that life is something that happens to you, it might further diminish your willpower. That's why, as much as I love astrology, I'm wary of its potential to deceive and lead astray. Is there anything comparable in your world, Gemini? Something that feeds and inspires you, but only if you're discerning about it? This is a good time to ratchet up your discernment.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] I don't care whether you call it uncanny intuition or plain old telepathy: In the next three weeks, you will have unusually abundant access to that way of knowing. So please use it. Please call on it. It could steer you away from twisty wastes of time that don't serve your highest good. It might also allow you to ferret out disguised or hiding opportunities. There's one catch: If you don't believe in them, your psychic powers won't work as well as they can. So I suggest you set aside any dogmatic skepticism you might have about them and proceed on the hypothesis that they are very real.
LEO [July 23–August 22] Let's poke around to see if we can stir up some good trouble, Leo. You're in need of a friendly disruptio. Fortunately, I'm sensing there's a temptation that isn't so forbidden any longer . . . as well as a strange attractor you might find inspiring and a volatile teaching that would turn you inside-out. Are you willing to wander into a previously off-limits area? Hey, look. There's one of those mystery spots I was hinting about. I wonder what would happen if you pressed that green button. Go ahead. Don't be . . . Gaaaahhhhh! Unnhhh! Wha?! I mean WOW! That was very interesting. Try it again!
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] You could be on the verge of uncorking an excessive response to a modest prompt. You should ask yourself: "Are the feelings rising up in me truly appropriate for what's happening now? Or are they mostly the eruption of material that I repressed in the past?" Also consider Hoare's Law of Large Problems, which says that inside every large problem is a small problem scrambling to get out. Be alert for the possibility that minor adjustments will work better than epic struggles.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Temple Grandin is a successful autistic person. Diagnosed early, she went on to earn a Ph.D. in Animal Science and became a bestselling author whose work has led to improvements in the treatment of livestock. Although she acknowledges that her autism has caused her problems, she also believes it gives her abilities that non-autistic people don't have: her extreme sensitivity and extraordinary visual memory are at the root of her unique insights into the needs of animals. If there were an instant cure for her autism, she says, she wouldn't take it. She's an advocate of neurodiversity. Now here's my question for you, Libra: Do you have a supposed weakness or disability that's actually an inherent part of one of your special talents? Celebrate and cultivate it this week.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Barbara De Angelis wrote a book that offers to help us learn "how to make love all the time." Maybe I'll read it, but right now I'm more interested in your take on the subject. How would you make love—not have sex, but make love—with your sandwich, with the music you listen to, with a vase of flowers, with the familiar strangers sitting in the café, with everything? Your expertise in this art is now at a peak.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] It's not a good time to treat yourself like a beast of burden or swamp yourself with dark thoughts. You're extra-sensitive–as delicate and impressionable as a young poet in love with a dream of paradise. You need doses of sweetness and amounts of fluidic peace, smart listening, and radical empathy. If you can't get people to buoy your spirits and slip you delightful presents, do those things for yourself.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] In some of the newspapers that publish my column, my text is buried in the back pages amid a jabbering hubbub of obscene advertisements for quasi-legal sexual services. For readers with refined sensibilities, that's a problem. They do their best to avert their eyes, narrowing their focus down to a tight window. I think you'll be wise to adopt a similar approach in the coming week, Capricorn. Only a small percentage of information coming your way will be truly useful to you, and it may often be embedded in a sparkly mess of distracting noise. Concentrate hard on getting just the essentials that you want so you won't be misinformed and worn out by the rest.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Do your own stunts. Don't get a stunt double to do them for you. Accept blame and claim credit that rightfully belong to you. Don't scare up scapegoats or tolerate plagiarists. It will also be a good idea to deliver your own messages and sing your own songs and kick your own butt. No surrogates or stand-ins, please. There's just no way, you see, for you to get to where you need to go by having a substitute do the traveling for you. Your only hope of claiming the reward that will be crucial for the next chapter of your life story will be to do the work yourself.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] One of the best new bands of 2009 was the Girls. Spin selected their CD Album as the fifth best album of the year. After touring for months and selling records, the band came back home to San Francisco in February to do a sold-out show at the Great American Music Hall. For his onstage apparel, lead singer Christopher Owens wore baggy orange flannel pajama bottoms and a rumpled green flannel shirt, proving that his newfound fame had not rendered him self-important or excessively dignified. I nominate Owens as your role model this week, Pisces. I'd like to see you move on up toward the next level in your chosen field of endeavor, even as you remain perfectly comfortable, full of casual grace, and at home in your excellence.
Homework: Consider the possibility of getting married to yourself. Here's a set of vows I wrote for you to use: http://bit.ly/IMeWed