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] What empire are you building, Aries? What master plan are you in the midst of carrying out? I'd say it's a good time to ponder questions like those. And if your inventory reveals that you're missing some pieces of the puzzle, I suggest you set out on a quest to locate them.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] In a famous psychology experiment, test subjects watched a video of six people passing basketballs to each other. Their assignment was to count how many passes were thrown and caught by the three people wearing white shirts, while ignoring passes between the three wearing black shirts. But there was a trick embedded in the exercise. Midway through, a person wearing a gorilla suit ambled into the scene, thumped his chest, and quickly departed. Half of the test subjects did not notice this intrusion. They were too focused on the task of counting the passes made by the players in white. In the coming week, Taurus, I expect that you will experience at least one similar trick. Look for the unexpected.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Astrologer Hunter Reynolds says that when you are at your best, you Geminis specialize in "enlightened impatience." You don't get trapped expressing polite deference in situations that drain your energy. You'd rather "err on the side of learning-through-too-much-movement" than get bogged down in "principled sluggishness." But while that's how you are at your peak, you can also be susceptible to the dark side of this talent. I suspect you may be prone to that kind of behavior right now. My advice: Be skeptical of your escape reflex.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] In "Heathen," Lesley Wheeler describes a boy who puts his ear up against his mother's ear "so that the god in your head can talk/to the god in mine." The coming weeks would be a good time for you to try something similar with people you care for. It's a ripe moment to raise the stakes in your life . . . to get closer than you've dared to get before . . . to retire the stories you and your allies are in the habit of exchanging so that you can tune in to the hum of each other's truths.
LEO [July 23–August 22] There's a guy on the Internet—calls himself Tian—whose mission is to correct Westerners who misuse Chinese characters. Many of the people who write to him for advice are Americans who have come to suspect that the Chinese characters they got tattooed on their flesh don't really mean what they were led to believe. For example, Tian informed one person that a tattoo whose character supposedly says "to learn as much as possible" actually means "empty, hollow, bare, deserted." In the coming days, make sure you're not under a misapprehension about what you're taking on and taking in. Choose only the best imprints—and verify that they are what you think they are.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] I regard 2011 as an excellent time for you to cultivate your unique talents, some of which may still be latent or undiscovered. With that in mind, consider these thoughts. Ernest Hemingway said a person had to have "the guts of a burglar" to develop his or her talent. Neurologist and author Dr. Alice W. Flaherty believes that the drive to use one's talent is even more important than the amount of raw talent one has. And here's novelist Erica Jong: "Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that 'talent' to the dark place where it leads." PS: If you do venture into those dark places, you'll eventually uncover 10 suns' worth of illumination.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Back in 1962, an American company named Corning created a product that was so revolutionary, no one could figure out how to exploit it. It was "Gorilla glass," a glass so strong it's impossible to break or even scratch. Only recently has it found a commercial application, first in cell phones and other mobile devices and then in a new generation of ultra-thin TV screens. I foresee a development in your future, Libra: some breakthrough you made a while ago that can finally be used to improve your life.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] When I arrived at my acupuncturist's waiting room, there were just two magazines on the table next to my chair: The celebrity rag People Style Weekly and the Shambala Sun. The first offered articles on "hot new handbags and shoes under $99" and "easy ways to get gorgeous hair, skin, and nails." The second provided a "guide to mindful living," with advice about how to get centered, focused, and relaxed. I thought that was metaphorically similar to the choice you will face in the coming week, Scorpio. It's up to you: Which way do you want to go?
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] I can almost categorically guarantee that in 2011 you will have no encounters with fire demons, wart-ridden vampires, wayward werewolves, or extraterrestrial robots. Nope. You can pretty much go ahead and make plans based on the assumption that you won't have to account for intrusions like that. But I can also assure you that the lack of crazy encounters with unhinged monsters does not mean your life will suffer from blahs or boredom. On the contrary: I think this could be one of your most interesting years in a decade. To prepare yourself, make sure you don't unconsciously equate adventure with chaos; imagine what it would be like to experience mystery and intrigue that uplift you.