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] Nine-year-old Fatima Santos told the San Francisco Chronicle her opinions about Toy Story: "If I had to make a movie like this, I would make it funnier. I would make Mr. Potato Head look funnier that he already does. I would put his hair on his legs, his shoes on his head, and his arms on his face." In the coming week, I advise you to engage in Fatima's style of cockeyed thinking. You have the power to improve pretty much every scenario you're in by making it less predictable, more rambunctious, and just plain funnier.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] During one phase of my life, I walked a mile five days a week to get to a bus stop. I had to pass a shabby house next to a vacant lot, where there was a German shepherd, always unchained. After some close calls, when his barking propelled him perilously close to me, I arrived upon a technique that settled him down: I sang nursery rhymes and lullabies. "Three Blind Mice" was his favorite, but there were others. Something comparable may work for you, as you navigate past the twitchy pests in the coming days. My advice is to shift the energy with a charming bit of innocuous play. Avoid confrontations.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] According to anthropologist Robin Dunbar, it's impossible for any of us to have more than 150 friends. The human brain literally can't process the intimate information required to sustain more than that. But if there were super-freaks who could crack that limit, it would be members of the Gemini tribe, especially during the coming weeks. You now have an uncanny ability to cultivate bubbly connections, be extra close to your buddies, and drum up new alliances.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] Let's say I was the director of a grade school play that included outdoor scenes, and you were a student trying out for a part. My inclination would be to offer you the role of the big oak tree, which would have no spoken lines to deliver. Would you accept my invitation with enthusiasm, and play the part with panache? I realize that on the surface, it may not seem like your performance would be of central importance, but as director, I'd hope to be able to draw out of you a vibrant commitment to being steady and rooted. I'd rely on you to provide the strong, reassuring background that would encourage the actors in the foreground to express themselves freely.
LEO [July 23–August 22] "In times of change, learners inherit the Earth," wrote philosopher Eric Hoffer, "while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." Wouldn't you prefer to put the emphasis on learning rather than on being learned, Leo? This is a good time to get the hang of that; cosmic rhythms will work in your favor if you do. My advice: Take action to intensify your commitment to education. Seek out new teachings. Think hard about the lessons you want to study in the coming years.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] I was tardy in planting my garden this year My batch of seedlings didn't find their way into the dirt until July 2. I humbly apologized to them for my procrastination, then made amends with a campaign to provide them with care—organic fertilizer, regular watering, steady songs of encouragement. And by September, the zucchini were booming, the pumpkins were thriving, and the cucumbers were riffing with abandon. Take inspiration from my example. Your plans may have gotten delayed, but don't let that demoralize you. There's still time to launch the project or crusade you've been dreaming about.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "Everything is dreamed first," wrote Gilbert Trolliet. French philosopher Gaston Bachelard agreed, adding, "Creative reverie animates the nerves of the future." Your task in the coming weeks, Libra, is to act on those clues: Conjure up pictures in your mind that foreshadow the life you want to be living next year. Proceed on the assumption that you now have extraordinary power to generate self-fulfilling prophecies.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] You know me: I hate to sound sensationalistic. But in honor of this dramatic moment in your story, I'll risk it. So be alert! A pivotal moment is upon you! What you do in the coming dayss will determine how you will interpret the entire past year, shaping the contours of your history for better or worse! I advise maximum integrity! I suggest thorough preparation! I urge timely action! Decisions should come from the roots, not the surface! Climaxes should be mediated by the heart and head together, not just one or the other!
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] You are ever so close to coming all the way home. For months, you have been edging toward this welcoming source. I'm not sure about the details. Maybe it means you'll soon be in the place where your potentials will finally ripen. Perhaps you're ready to make peace with your past or accept your family members exactly as they are. It's possible you've found your ideal tribe or community, and are ready to integrate your uniqueness with its special blend of energies. Who knows? Maybe you're ready to give yourself completely to the life-changing mission that has been calling and calling and calling you.