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 do you typically do just before you fall asleep and right after you wake up? Those rituals are important for your mental health. Without exaggeration, you could say they are sacred times when you're poised in the threshold between the two great dimensions of your life. I'll ask you to give special care and attention to those transitions in the coming week. The astrological omens suggest you are primed to receive special revelations, even ringing epiphanies, while in those in-between states.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Have you ever gazed into the eyes of goats? If you have, you know that their pupils are rectangular when dilated. This quirk allows them to have a field of vision that extends as far as 340 degrees, as opposed to humans' puny 160 to 210 degrees. Goats are your power animal in the coming week, Taurus. Metaphorically speaking, you will have an excellent chance to expand your breadth and depth of vision. Do you have any blind spots that need to be illuminated? Now's the time to make that happen.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] In the animated film The Lion King, two of the central characters are a talking meerkat named Timon and a talking warthog named Pumbaa. Their actions are often heroic. They help the star of the tale, Simba, rise to his rightful role as king. The human actors who provided the voices for Timon and Pumbaa, Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, originally auditioned for the lesser roles of hyenas. They set their sights too low. Fortunately, fate conspired to give them more than what they asked for. Don't start out as they did, Gemini. Aim high right from the beginning.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] "He who is outside his door already has a hard part of his journey behind him," says a Dutch proverb. Ancient Roman writer Marcus Terentius Varro articulated a similar idea: "The longest part of the journey is the passing of the gate." I hope these serve as words of encouragement for you, Cancerian. You've got a quest ahead of you. At its best, it will involve freewheeling exploration and unpredictable discoveries. If you can get started in a timely manner, you'll set an excellent tone for the adventures.
LEO [July 23–August 22] You're so close to finding a fresh perspective that would allow you to outmaneuver an old torment, Leo. You're on the verge of breaking through a wall of illusion. In the hope of providing you with the last little push that will take you the rest of the way, I offer two related insights from creativity specialist Roger von Oech: 1. If you get too fixated on solving a certain problem, you might fail to notice a new opportunity that arises outside the context of that problem. 2. If you intensify your focus by looking twice as hard at a situation that's right in front of you, you will be less likely to see a good idea that's right behind you.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Thirty-two carrier pigeons were awarded medals by the United Kingdom for their meritorious service in the World Wars. Of course, they probably would have preferred sunflower seeds and peanuts as their prize. Let that lesson guide you as you bestow blessings on the people and animals that have done so much for you, Virgo. Give them goodies they would actually love to receive, not meaningless gold stars or abstract accolades. It's time to honor and reward your supporters with practical actions that suit them well.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] The caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation is such an iconic symbol of metamorphosis that it has become a cliché. And yet I'd like to point out that when the graceful winged creature emerges from its chrysalis, it never grows any further. We human beings, on the other hand, are asked to be in a lifelong state of metamorphosis, continually adjusting and shifting to meet our changing circumstances. I'll go so far as to say that having a readiness to be in continual transformation is one of the most beautiful qualities a person can have. Are you interested in cultivating more of that capacity, Libra? Now would be an excellent time to do so.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] This would be an excellent time to round up a slew of new role models. In my astrological opinion, you need to feel far more than your usual levels of admiration for exceptional human beings. You're in a phase when you could derive tremendous inspiration by closely observing masters and virtuosos and pros who are doing what you would like to do. For that matter, your mental and spiritual health would be profoundly enhanced by studying anyone who has found what he or she was born to do and is doing it with liberated flair.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] WD-40 is a spray product that prevents corrosion, loosens stuck hinges, removes hard-to-get-at dirt, and has several other uses. Its inventor, Norm Larsen, tried 39 different formulas before finding the precisely right combination of ingredients on his 40th attempt. The way I understand your life right now, Sagittarius, is that you are like Larsen when he was working with version number 37. You're getting closer to creating a viable method for achieving your next success. That's why I urge you to be patient and determined as you continue to tinker and experiment. Don't keep trying the same formula that didn't quite work before. Open your mind to the possibility that you have not yet discovered at least one of the integral components.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] A person who emits a huge angry shout produces just .001 watt of energy. Even if he or she yelled continuously 24/7, it would still take a year and nine months to produce enough energy to heat a cup of coffee. That's one way to metaphorically illustrate my bigger point, which is that making a dramatic show of emotional agitation might feel powerful but is often a sign of weakness. Please take this to heart in the coming week, Capricorn. If you do fall prey to a frothy eruption of tumultuous feelings, use all of your considerable willpower to maintain your poise. Better yet, abort the tumult before it detonates.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Jeep vehicles always feature seven slots on their front grills. Why? For the manufacturer, it's a symbolic statement proclaiming the fact that Jeep was the first vehicle driven on all seven continents. Let's take that as your cue, Aquarius. Your assignment is to pick an accomplishment you're really proud of and turn it into an emblem. If nothing else, draw it on dusty car windows, write it on bathroom walls, or add it to a Facebook status update. The key thing is that you use a public forum to celebrate yourself for a significant success, even if it's in a modest or mysterious way.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] A sign outside the Apostolic Bible Church in Bathurst, New Brunswick, invited worshipers to meditate on a conundrum: "Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?" After all, if the builder of the Ark had refused to help the pesky insects survive the flood, we'd be free of their torment today. (Or so the allegorical argument goes.) Please apply this lesson to a situation in your own sphere, Pisces. As you journey to your new world, leave the vexatious elements behind.