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] "Marriage must be a relation either of sympathy or conquest," said author George Eliot. I believe the same is true even about intimate bonds that have not been legally consecrated. Each tends to either be a collaboration of equals who are striving for common goals or a power struggle in which one party seeks to dominate the other. Which of those two models has characterized your romantic history, Aries? Now is an excellent time to begin working to ensure that the partnership model will predominate for the rest of your long life.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] "Love loves to love love," wrote James Joyce in his 1922 novel Ulysses. "Nurse loves the new chemist. Constable 14A loves Mary Kelly. Jumbo the elephant loves Alice the elephant. Old Mr. Verschole with the ear trumpet loves old Mrs. Verschoyle with the turnedin eye. The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead. His Majesty the King loves Her Majesty the Queen." What Joyce said 90 years ago is still true: The world is a churning, burning uproar of yearning. Give yourself to that cosmic current without apology this Valentine season, Taurus. Celebrate your voracious ache for love.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] I've ghostwritten a personal ad for you to give to your Valentine or potential Valentine: "I'm looking for a free yet disciplined spirit I can roll down hills with on sunny days and solve thorny puzzles with when the skies are cloudy. Can you see the absurd in the serious and the serious in the absurd? Are you a curious chameleon always working to sharpen your communication skills? Might you be attracted to a sweet-talking wise-ass who's evolving into a holy goofball? Emotional baggage is expected, of course, but please make sure yours is organized and well-packed. Let's create the most unpredictably intriguing versions of beauty and truth that anyone ever imagined."
CANCER [June 21–July 22] On average, an adult has sex 103 times a year. But I'm guessing that in the immediate future, Cancerians everywhere might be motivated to exceed that rate by a large margin. The astrological omens suggest that your tribe's levels of sensual desire might reach astronomical heights. Do you know anyone you're attracted to who might be willing help you out as you follow your bliss? If not, be your own Valentine.
LEO [July 23–August 22] I'd love for you to be able to always give the best gifts you have to give without worrying about whether they will be received in the spirit with which you offer them. But that's just not realistic. I would also be ecstatic if you never had to tone down your big, beautiful self out of fear that others would be jealous or intimidated. And yet that's not a rational possibility, either. Having said that, I do want to note that now and then, both of those pleasurable scenarios can prevail for extended lengths of time. And I believe you're now in one of those grace periods.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] In accordance with the astrological omens, here's what I predict for you in the near future: You will be a connoisseur of temptations. By that I mean you will have a knack for attracting and playing with allurements and enticements. More importantly, you'll have a sixth sense about the distinction between good bait and bad bait—between provocative temptations that will serve your most fervent dreams and debilitating traps that will dissipate your integrity. And when you get a lock on the invigorating, ennobling kind, you will know just how to work with it so that it drives you wild with smart longing.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Eliphas Levi was a 19th-century author and hermetic magician whose work has had a major influence on Western mystery schools. The great secret of magic, he said, is fourfold: "to KNOW what has to be done, to WILL what is required, to DARE what must be attempted, and to KEEP SILENT with discernment." Your assignment, Libra, is to apply this approach to your love life. How can you create a relationship with love that will be a gift to the world and also make you smarter, kinder, and wilder? KNOW what magic you have to do. WILL yourself to do it. DARE to be ingenious and inspired. And don't tell anyone what you're doing until you achieve your goal.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] After analyzing the astro data for this Valentine season, I realized that you could really benefit from being less sober, solemn, and serious about your intimate relationships. That's why I decided to collect some one-liners for you to use as you loosen up your approach to togetherness. Please consider delivering them to anyone you'd like to be closer to. 1. "Let's go maniacally obsess about our lives in a soothing environment." 2. "We'll be best friends forever because you already know too much about me." 3. "It would be great if you would schedule your social events around my mood swings." (All the one-liners come from someecards.com.)
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] "The world is an oyster, but you don't crack it open on a mattress," said a character in Arthur Miller play. He was referring to the idea that if you're obsessed with sex and romance, your level of worldly accomplishment might be rather low. It jibes with what a friend in my youth told me when he noticed how much of my energy was engaged in pursuing desirable females: "They don't build statues in parks for guys who chase women." It's a good time to fine-tune the balance between your lifelong career goals and your quest for love.