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] "Thou shalt not kill" is a crucial rule for you to follow, and not just in the literal sense. You should also be extra vigilant as you avoid more metaphorical kinds of destruction. Please be careful not to unleash ill-chosen words that would crush someone's spirit. Don't douse newly kindled fires, don't burn bridges, and don't deprive sprouts of the light they need. To put this all in a more positive frame: It's time for you to engage in a reverent and boisterous celebration of life, nurturing and fostering and stimulating everywhere you go.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] The baseball game was over. TV announcer Mike Krukow was describing the "ugly victory" that the San Francisco Giants had just achieved. The team's efforts were sloppy, he said, and yet the win counted just as much as a more elegant triumph. He ended with: "No one wants to hear about the labor pains; they just want to see the baby." That's my message to you this week. All that matters is that you get the job done. It doesn't matter whether you look good doing it.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Here's the really good news: CIA director Leon Panetta says there are fewer than 100 Al-Qaeda combatants in Afghanistan. Here's the confusing news: The U.S has more than 94,000 highly trained human beings in Afghanistan whose express purpose is to destroy Al-Qaeda. I bring this up as a prod to get you to question your own allotment of martial force. You definitely need to make sure you have a lavish reserve of fighting spirit primed to serve your highest goals. Just make sure, please, that it's pointed in the right direction.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] "Give us this day our daily hunger," prayed Gaston Bachelard. It was his personal variation on the "Give us this day our daily bread" line. I suggest you use his formulation as your own in the coming week, Cancerian. It's the high season for your holy desires: a time when your mental and physical health will thrive as you tune in to and express your strongest, most righteous longings.
LEO [July 23–August 22] In a recent horoscope, I wrote about Christopher Owens, lead singer of the band Girls, and how he wore pajama bottoms during a show he did in San Francisco. A reader named Eric was disgusted by this. "Just another spoiled trust-fund kid," he said in his e-mail, "whose excessively privileged life has given him the delusion that he's uninhibited." With a little research, Eric would have found the truth: Owens was raised in an abusive religious cult by a single mother who worked as a prostitute to earn a meager living. I bring this to your attention in hopes it will inspire you to avoid making any assumptions about anyone. More than ever before, it's crucial that you bring a beginner's mind to your evaluations of other human beings.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] I want to see your willpower surge and throb and carry you to a ringing triumph in the next two weeks, Virgo. I hope to be cheering you on as you complete a plucky effort to overcome some long-standing obstacle . . . as you put the finishing touches on an epic struggle to defeat a seemingly intractable foe . . . as you rise up with a herculean flourish and put the stamp of your uniqueness on a success that will last a long time.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] The Italian word terribilità was used by art critics to describe the paintings of Michelangelo. It refers to "a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur," "the sublime mixed with amazement," or "an astonishing creation that provokes reverent humility." Terribilità is a prerequisite for the next chapter of your life story. You need to be flabbergasted by stunning beauty. Where can you go to get it? A natural wonder might do the trick, or some exalted architecture, or the biography of a superb human being, or works of art or music that make you sob with cathartic joy. For extra credit, put yourself in the path of all the above.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] In a review of Badger Mountain Riesling wine, Winelibrary.com said, "The sweet succulent aromas of bosc pears are woven with lilacs and just a hint of petrol." Allure named Sécrétions Magnifique one of the top five sexiest perfumes in the world, even though its fragrance is like "floral bilge." Both commentaries seem to suggest that greatness may contain a taint—or even that the very nature of greatness may require it to have a trace of something offensive. I'm guessing that'll be a theme for you in the coming week.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] During the grace period you're currently enjoying, you have a talent for tuning in to the raw potential of whatever situation is in front of you; you know how to establish rapport with circumstances you've never seen before. That's why your spontaneous urges are likely to generate fun learning experiences. You'll thrive as you improvise adeptly with volatile forces. It may therefore seem like your progress will be easy, even a bit magical. Some people may regard your breakthroughs as unearned. But you and I will know that you're merely harvesting the benefits that come from a long period of honing your powers.