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] "An awakened Aries would rather err on the side of making a daring, improvisational mistake than cuddle up with passionless peace," writes astrologer Hunter Reynolds. "He or she knows that creative conflict can be a greater unifying force than superficial harmony." This is an excellent keynote for you to keep in mind. But make sure your motivations are pure. If the daring improvisation you launch is fueled by arrogance, your efforts to shake things up for the greater good will fail. Fight against what Reynolds calls "terrified niceness"—but do it with fierce compassion.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Back in 2009, John Allwood, an Australian melon-picker, used his head to smash 47 watermelons in 60 seconds. That broke the previous world record of 40 in a minute, also set by Allwood. I've chosen him to be your role model this week for two reasons: First, you're primed to outstrip a personal best you achieved some time back. Second, it's a perfect time to use your head in creative ways.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] According to April Winchell's book Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF, here are some of the treasures you can find for sale on Etsy: a toy pig made from a root beer can, a handmade hornet's nest, a stuffed feral goat fashioned to resemble a unicorn, and fake tapeworms that are actually spray-painted fettuccine. I would absolutely love it if you designed something like this and hawked it on Etsy. Your skill as an idiosyncratic creator will soon be peaking as will your capacity for marketing the most unique aspects of your shtick and style.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] "Specialization is for insects," said science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein. "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, pitch manure, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently." I bring this thought to your attention because it's an excellent time for you to expand your repertoire. Make a list of your talents, and try to add some new ones to that list.
LEO [July 23–August 22] A veterinarian in Nashville was asked to do something he had never done: diagnose and treat a wounded whooping crane. Experts devoted to safeguarding the endangered species advised him to wear a billowy white suit. That way, the wild bird would be more likely to accept his attention. "You learn very quickly how to communicate dressed as a marshmallow," the vet said after completing his work. Be prepared for a metaphorically similar encounter, Leo.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] "Everything is unique," said the 19th-century authors known as the Goncourt brothers, who wrote all their books together. "Nothing happens more than once in a lifetime. The physical pleasure that a certain woman gave you at a certain moment, the exquisite dish that you ate on a certain day—you will never meet either again. Nothing is repeated, and everything is unparalleled." This is always true. But I suspect you will be more aware of it in the coming days. In part, that's because the sensations and experiences headed your way will be so piquantly unique, so exquisitely fresh. And in part, it's because you'll be wide-awake to the novel pleasures that are possible when you appreciate the fact that everything changes all the time.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul," said environmentalist Edward Abbey. The ruin doesn't happen all of a sudden because of a single small failure to translate sincere intentions into good works. Rather, it's the result of long-running laziness. If there is even a shred of this tendency in your makeup, Libra, now is an urgent time to shed it.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] I would never advocate burning all copies of the book Faking It: How to Seem Like a Better Person Without Actually Improving Yourself. I'm a staunch defender of freedom of speech, even if the speech offends my moral sense. On the other hand, my freedom of speech allows me to advise you to avoid that book and any influence that resembles it. In my astrological opinion, you need to actually become a better person in the coming weeks, not just pretend you are. Here's a good place to start: Don't just pay lip service to the idea of supporting others' freedom of speech. Help them claim and express that freedom.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] Each one of us is born with up to 150 new mutations that make us different from both of our parents. Most of those genetic alterations are neutral in their effects. Some are negative, and a few might be beneficial. I bring this to your attention, Sagittarius, because you're entering a phase when it's possible to take more advantage of your positive mutations than you ever have before. Can you guess what they are?
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Dictionary.com says there are 19 words in the English language with no perfect rhymes. Among them are six words that are useful in constructing this week's horoscope for you: cusp, glimpsed, depth, rhythm, gulf, and opus. I like the fact that none of them rhyme because it's symbolic of the task you have ahead of you. You're on the cusp of a shift in your rhythm that will take you out of your depth, compelling you to close the gulf between you and a resource that will be crucial for you to have access to in the future. You've glimpsed what needs to be done—the creation of a new opus—but in order to accomplish it, you will need to be motivated by a frustration that feels like having to rhyme unrhymeable words.AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] The Jerusalem syndrome is a temporary psychological phenomenon that, on rare occasions, overtakes travelers who visit Jerusalem. Under the influence of ancient holy sites, these people might become obsessed with religious themes or experience delusions that they are characters from the Bible or Koran. I don't expect you to fall under the sway of such an outbreak, Aquarius, but I do suspect that you will soon have some intense spiritual stirrings.