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] Until recently, no cricket had ever been observed pollinating a flower. Then last January on the island of Reunion, researchers discovered that the species known as the raspy cricket was responsible for pollinating wild orchids. They even caught the magic act on film. I regard this as akin to an upcoming development in your life: Someone that you've never thought of as a fertilizing force for you will become one.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] My date and I decided to go see a film. As we entered the theater, we passed a short, elderly Chinese woman in a brown uniform. She was bent over, sweeping the floor. Suddenly, she stood up straight, looked me in the eye, and extended her left hand toward me. Confused, I reached out toward her. She quickly pressed something in my hand, then returned to her sweeping. As I walked on, I unrolled the small paper scroll she had given me. It read, "Tell your Taurus readers they should be alert for helpful messages coming from sources they would usually ignore or neglect." I'm doing what she suggested.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Of all the signs in the zodiac, you are currently the best at carrying out the following activities: gliding, leaping, twirling, reverberating, and rub-a-dub-dubbing. I suspect that you will also excel at rumbling, cavorting, and zip-a-dap-doodling. If all goes well, Gemini—you show how much you love your body and throw off any inhibitions you might have about celebrating your instinctual nature—then you will be at the low end of the scale in performing these activities: shuffling, drooping, wallowing, pigeonholing, and pussyfooting.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] A reader wrote to me bemoaning the fact that her new Cancerian boyfriend is addicted to safety. She speculated that since he is a Cancer, she should probably either get used to the suffocating lack of action or else bolt from the relationship now. In reply, I sent her a quote from one of the most heroic Cancerians of the 20th century, Helen Keller: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure." Moral of the story: It's a ripe time for you to rise up and refute the people in your life who think you're a brooding wallflower.
LEO [July 23–August 22] Helping your fellow humans can enhance your strength. A Harvard study proved that people who did good deeds or even visualized themselves doing good deeds had increased physical endurance. Unfortunately, the study showed that those who harbor nefarious intentions are also able to draw on extra fortitude. In other words, you can boost your energy by either being compassionate or evil. I highly recommend the former over the latter, Leo, especially now that you're entering a phase when it makes a lot of spiritual sense to build your courage, vigor, and tonicity.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease," said Voltaire. With this in mind, let's evaluate your discomfort. Healing forces are going to be working their mojo to chip away at your problem. But it will still be wise for you to occupy yourself in activities that you think will expedite the fix. Doing so will minimize your anxieties, allowing nature to do what it does best.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Usually you specialize in having a light touch. Nimble harmony is more interesting to you than brute force. You prefer your influence on people to be appreciated, not begrudgingly respected. But I would love to see you add a dash of aggressiveness and a pinch of vehemence to your repertoire in the coming week. I'd be thrilled if you raised your voice a bit and gesticulated more vigorously and projected your confidence with an elevated intensity. According to my reading of the astrological omens, your refined approach will benefit from a dose of subliminal thunder.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Time magazine created a list of the 50 worst inventions. Included among the most terrible creations that human ingenuity has ever come up with are plastic grocery bags, subprime mortgages, hydrogenated oils, and pop-up ads. Now let's switch our attention to your personal equivalents of these monstrosities. To climax the atonement phase of your own astrological cycle, I recommend that you do the following: 1) Identify the three worst ideas you have taken seriously during the past decade; 2) Carry out one formal action to correct or make amends for the consequences of each bad idea; 3) Really, truly, forgive yourself as best as you can.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] For your assignment this week, I have borrowed from a list of suggestions offered by Sagittarius poet Kenneth Patchen in his book The Journal of Albion Moonlight. Feel free to improvise as you carry out at least three: 1) Discourage all traces of shame; 2) Bear no cross; 3) Extend all boundaries; 4) Blush perpetually in gaping innocence; 5) Burrow beneath the subconscious; 6) Pass from one world to another in carefree devotion; 7) Exhaust the primitive; 8) Generate the free brain; 9) Forego no succulent filth; 10) Verify the irrational; 11) Acquire a sublime reputation; 12) Make one monster at least.