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] For every trillion dollars the U.S. government spends on the military, it creates about 11,000 jobs. That same expenditure, if directed toward education, creates 27,000 jobs. Personally, I'd rather have the taxes I pay go to teachers than soldiers. I suggest that in the coming months you make a metaphorically similar move, Aries. Devote more of your time and energy and resources to learning and less to fighting.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Now is an excellent time to cull, prune, and winnow. I urge you to look for opportunities to pare down and refine. On the other hand, don't go too far. It's not an easy assignment, Taurus. You will have to be skeptical about any temptation you might have to go overboard with your skepticism. You will have to be cautious not to allow your discernment to devolve into destructive distrust.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Why did people start drinking coffee? Who figured out that roasting and boiling the bitter beans of a certain shrub produced a stimulating beverage? Historians don't know for sure. One old tale proposes that a ninth-century Ethiopian shepherd discovered the secret. After his goats nibbled on the beans of the coffee bush, they danced and cavorted with unnatural vigor. I urge you to be as alert and watchful as that shepherd, Gemini. A new source of vibrant energy may soon be revealed to you.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] "Hello Dear One: My name is Lorita. I am a beautiful heartfelt woman from Libya. I was browsing online through the long night when I came across your shiny dark power, and now I must tell you that I am quite sure you and I can circle together like sun and moon. It would give me great bliss for us to link up and make a tender story together. I await your reply so I can give you my secret sweetness. —Your Surprise Soulmate." Dear Soulmate: Thank you for your warm inquiry. However, I must turn you down. Because I was born under the sign of Cancer the Crab, I have to be careful to maintain proper boundaries. We Crabs need to be extra discriminating about what influences we allow into our spheres.
LEO [July 23–August 22] Questions and more questions! Will the monkey on your back jump off, at least for a while? Will the sign of the zodiac that you understand least become an X-factor in the unfolding plot? Will a cute distraction launch you on what seems to be a wild goose chase—until it leads you to a clue you didn't even know you were looking for? The answers to riddles like these will be headed your way in the coming weeks. You're at the beginning of a phase that will specialize in alluring twists and brain-teasing turns.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Want to submit a letter to the editor of a major newspaper? The odds of you getting published in the influential Washington Post are almost three times as great as in the super-influential New York Times. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you're in a phase when you should be quite content to shoot for a spot in the Post. Please apply that same principle to everything you do.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] According to the Asian spiritual traditions of Tantra and Taoism, it's unhealthy for a man to have too many ejaculatory orgasms. Doing so depletes his vital energy and can lead to depression and malaise. But medical researchers in the West have come to the exact opposite conclusion: The more climaxes men have, the better. According to them, frequent sex even promotes youthfulness and longevity. So who to believe? Here's what I think: Every man should find out for himself by conducting his own experiments. As a general rule, I recommend the empirical approach for many other questions as well. Rather than trusting anyone's theories, find out for yourself.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] The 19th-century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was an iconoclast who relished exposing the hypocrisy and shallowness of conventional morality. While working on one of his plays, he kept a pet scorpion in an empty beer glass on his desk. "Now and again," he testified, "when the creature was wilting, I would drop into the glass a piece of fruit, which it would seize upon in a frenzy and inject with its poison. It would then revive. Are not we poets like that?" Keep these details in mind during the coming weeks, Scorpio. You will probably have some venom that needs to be expelled. I hope you'll do it like Ibsen writing his brilliantly scathing plays or the scorpion stinging some fruit.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] "There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose," said French artist Henri Matisse, "because before he can do so, he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted." I'd love to expand this principle so that it applies to everything you do in the coming week. Whatever adventures you seek, Sagittarius, prepare for them by forgetting all the adventures you have ever had.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Where do you belong? The answer to that question might have been murky lately, but the time is ripe to get clear. To identify your right and proper power spot, do these things: First, decide what experiences you will need in order to feel loved and nurtured between now and your birthday. Second, determine the two goals that are most important for you to accomplish between now and your birthday. And third, summon a specific vision of how you can best express your generosity between now and your birthday.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Are you excited about your new detachable set of invisible wings? They're ready. To get the full benefit of the freedom they make available, study these tips: 1. Don't attach them to your feet or butt; they belong on your shoulders. 2. To preserve their sheen and functionality, avoid rolling in the muddy gutter while you're wearing them. 3. Don't use them just to show off.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] You know that leap of faith you're considering? Now would be a good time to rehearse it but not do it. How about that big experiment you've been mulling over? Have you been thinking of making a major commitment? My advice is similar to the first two issues: Research all of its ramifications. Think deeply about how it would change your life. Maybe even formulate a prenuptial agreement or the equivalent. But don't make a dramatic dive into foreverness. Not yet, at least. This is your time to practice, play, and pretend.