By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Weinstein
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES [March 21-April 19] German theologian Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a central figure in the Protestant Reformation. You'll never guess where he was when he was struck by the epiphany that became the core axiom of his new religion: sitting on the toilet in the Wittenberg Monastery. The Holy Spirit gave him the crucial knowledge then and there, or so he testified. In this spirit, keep an open mind when your illuminations arrive this week.
TAURUS [April 20-May 20] Your task is to uncover the semi-happy ending that was hidden back in the story's beginning. Then you may be able to create a graceful and honorable climax. In fact, I don't think you will be able to bring it about any other way. It's crucial that you return to the original flash of inspiration—the time when all the plot lines that eventually developed were first germinating. You need to remember fate's primal promise. You've got to read the signs you missed in the early going.
GEMINI [May 21-June 20] If you play poker, the odds are one in 649,740 that you will get a royal flush. As for drawing a straight flush, the odds are one in 72,192. Judging from the current astrological omens, your chance of getting one of those hands is far better than usual, but still not great. On the other hand, getting a flush is normally one in 509, but these days it's pretty likely for you. The moral of the story, not just for when you're playing cards, but in whatever you do: Expect really good luck, but not miraculous, out-of-this-world luck.
CANCER [June 21-July 22] "Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place," wrote Rumi. This is excellent advice for you. You are nearing the peak of your power to express yourself with beautiful accuracy. As a result, you're in a position to wield extra influence. People are receptive to being moved by you. So please do more than simply push for greater efficiency, order, and discipline. Those things are good, but I hope you will also be a radiant role model who exemplifies what it means to be soulful.
LEO [July 23-Aug. 22] Golden Rock is a Buddhist holy site in Burma. It's a small pagoda built on top of a giant boulder that in turn seems to be precariously balanced at the edge of a down-sloping bed of rock. Legend says that it's held in place by a single strand of hair from the Buddha's head. I suspect that many of you will soon have access to a tricky asset with resemblances to that magic strand. True, it might be merely metaphorical. But if used correctly, it could become a key element in a future foundation.
VIRGO [Aug. 23-Sept. 22] It's soul-searching season. To aid your quest, I'll offer a few lines from Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. "We have a soul at times," she says. "No one's got it non-stop, for keeps. Day after day, year after year may pass without it. For every thousand conversations, it participates in one, if even that, since it prefers silence. Joy and sorrow aren't two different feelings for it. It attends us only when the two are joined. We can count on it when we're sure of nothing and curious about everything." [Translation by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. Read the whole poem here: tinyurl.com/SearchSoul.]
LIBRA [Sept. 23-Oct. 22] "I do not believe in God," said Mexican painter Diego Rivera, "but I believe in Picasso." My friend Tanya has a similar philosophy. "I don't believe in God, or even Goddess, for that matter," she says. "But I do believe in Patti Smith." Do you have a God-substitute? Or, if you have faith, is there also a more approachable, second-tier source of divinity you love? You would benefit from feeling an intimate kind of reverence for something higher and brighter that awakens your lust for life.
SCORPIO [Oct. 23-Nov. 21] This would be an excellent time to stage staring contests with yourself in the mirror. I think you'll also have great success whenever you try to read your own mind. You've got an uncanny knack for plucking buried secrets and self-deceptions out of their hiding places. One more thing: Have you ever considered how fun it might be to wash your own brain and kick your own butt? Experiment with those radical acts of healing.
SAGITTARIUS [Nov. 22-Dec. 21] "It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness," writes novelist Chuck Palahniuk. "We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace." Your assignment in the coming days is to prove him wrong. As the sweetness flows through you and secret joy ripens into bright blooming bliss, vow to remember the sensations for the rest of your life.
CAPRICORN [Dec. 22-Jan. 19] Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein had his priorities straight: "In philosophy the race is won by the one who can run slowest—the one who crosses the finish line last." A similar rule should apply to you in the coming days, no matter what project you're working on or goal you're trying to accomplish. Be absolutely thorough, meticulous, and conscientious. As you make your way to the finish line, be as deep as you dare.
AQUARIUS [Jan. 20-Feb. 18] In Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy, the main character talks about a journey he took on foot and by bicycle. Before the trip, he had read somewhere that when people are lost in a forest, they often imagine they're moving in a straight line when in fact they're going in a circle, so during his own travels, he walked in a circle, hoping to go straight. I think it will make sense for you to adopt this strategy in the coming week. Your apparent path may be very different than your actual path.
PISCES [Feb. 19-March 20] Are you competing with someone who is doing mediocre work? Do you find it incomprehensible that anyone would pay attention to them instead of flocking to your beautiful vibe? Withdraw your attention from your inferior opponent. Don't waste a minute feeling jealous or resentful or incredulous. Instead, concentrate your energy on making your production stronger and smarter and more irresistible than your rival's.