ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Today I had an argument with the son of an Exxon executive. He grasped for every last straw as he defended the wisdom of ransacking Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in search for oil. Among his entertaining twists of logic was the insistence that there are way too many caribou up there, and we certainly shouldn't worry about decimating their numbers. "You can't just allow nature to run wild," he declared. I don't imagine you would agree with that last zinger, Aries. Lately you've seen the hazards of becoming overcivilized. You've been awakening to the righteous beauty of your instincts. Keep up the good work, please: Do let nature run wild.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
I'm confident you've seen the last of the adventures that seemed to originate in the Bermuda Triangle. Your encounters with influences resembling poltergeists, zombies, and extraterrestrials are also behind you. (Caveat: If you can bear one last tangle, extract a "gift" from that angel with an attitude.) How about celebrating the end of all this character-building mischief with some wicked fun of your own? Maybe you could get a temporary shark tattoo or accept candy from a cute stranger or tie a note that reads, "No more screw-ups, please, God," to a helium balloon and let it go.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Nubile young pop star Britney Spears bumps and grinds like a stripper in front of thousands of people yet proudly proclaims she's a virgin. A sizable minority of the environment-despoiling SUVs that tool around my town still sport their Nader for President stickers. More than a few critics who regard Eminem as a bad influence nonetheless wax poetic as they praise the far more gruesome garbage of Ridley Scott's film Hannibal. These examples of soul-withering hypocrisy are enough to drive a sensitive soul into 10-hour meditation marathons. I bring them to your attention, Gemini, in hopes that you will be angrily inspired to root out similar crazy-making situations in your own personal sphere.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Smell is the most neglected and underrated of the senses. As proof, you need only contemplate our language's paucity of words for aromas. My reading of the astrological omens suggests that it's high time to compensate for this deficiency and correct for any ignorance it may be causing. For starters, tap into the powers of discrimination that become available through a heightened awareness of scent. My friend Wendy swears, for instance, that her nose always gives her accurate information about the integrity levels of the people she meets. Several other friends testify that odor compatibility is a top criterion in their selection of lovers. For inspiration, I suggest the chapter on smell in Diane Ackerman's fabulous book, A Natural History of the Senses.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Greetings, Your Highness! Sorry we have to keep meeting like this. I sometimes fantasize how much more fun it would be if we spoke in person, even just once a week in a café over a cup of tea. But you know that's impossible. You've been a member of royalty in too many of your past lives for me to ever be your equal, and it would be painful for us to have to deal intimately with that imbalance of power. It's better for me to serve you from afar as your anonymous adviser. This way I can't be cowed by your charisma into always telling you what you want to hear. Objective feedback like mine is what you've never had enough of, after all! Love, the Mole.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Hello, everyone. Welcome to a special sneak preview of the Dionysian Rehabilitation Center for the Ecstatically Challenged, brought to you by Beauty & Truth, Inc., and Black Market Orchids. I'm your host, Rob "Green Man" Brezsny, and during the next 18 days my Prayer Warriors and I will unleash a torrent of prayers to all the deities who treasure pleasure. We will implore them to help you find assignments that allow you to simultaneously serve your fellow humans and have way too much fun. Before we begin, let me remind you that in the view of those who can't dance, drums are bad.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You'll be offered several valuable gifts in the next few weeks. I'm a little worried, though, that you won't recognize them for what they are. That's why I've developed an exercise to heighten your intelligence in such a way that you will be able to see and claim them. Now please free-associate on the following memes: (1) the pain that heals, (2) a shadow that sheds light, (3) an invisible ally, (4) a secret that makes love grow, (5) an underworld garden, (6) a fairy godmother disguised as a wolf.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
According to my calendar, this is the first annual Memory Upgrade Week for Scorpios. There are many ways to celebrate. You could start by sending a gift to any loved one whose birthday, graduation, anniversary, or initiation into a tantric mystery school you've neglected to acknowledge in the last year. Next, you could fill in the gaps in your knowledge about past events that affected you deeply. For instance, what were the real motivations of that important person who disappeared with little explanation? Another way to observe this festive time would be to take a mental stroll through the history of your life, stopping along the way to restore your remembrance of any turning points you may have repressed.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Many fairy tales tell of a hero or heroine sent on an impossible mission. In Grimm's "The Three Little Men in the Woods," a cruel woman orders her stepdaughter to put on a paper dress and go out into the winter snow to collect strawberries. Amazingly, the girl not only succeeds, but also receives several other miraculous gifts, thanks to the kindness she shows to three dwarves who turn out to have magical powers. I bring this up, Sagittarius, because I believe you will soon be faced with a similarly confounding task. To win an ending as happy as the girl's, all you have to do is proceed with pure love and no complaints in your heart.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Due to a benevolent planetary conspiracy now unfolding behind the scenes, the completely legal natural opiates of your brain will be flowing like cheap wine this week. This should be true even if you don't make any special effort to meditate or dance or listen to sublime music or make love long and slow. So just imagine how sweetly intoxicated you'll get if you do aid and abet the planetary conspiracy.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
If I were writing this horoscope simply to please my own esoteric tastes, I might describe the central metaphor for your week as "a collage artist goes on a scavenger hunt." But if I want to be of use to the whole range of my readership, I can't afford to use language as if I were talking to myself. I have to reach the entertainment lawyer in New York, the kindergarten teacher in Austin, the plumber in Detroit. By the way, you could cop a trick from the strategy I'm employing here. You could accomplish small wonders by being a jack-of-all-demographics . . . a junkman on a treasure hunt . . . an adaptable idealist who, without selling out, gives the people what they want.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Sylvester Stallone's mom, Jacqueline, is famous for her rumpology. She studies photos of people's naked rear ends to divine their fate, much as a palm reader works with hands. I practice the same art myself, only I call it asstrology. My favorite clients are Pisceans, as they have the most expressive butts. In fact, though the part of the body traditionally associated with your sign is the feet, I believe this should be amended. Anyway, since the ruling metaphor for you these days is "coming in the back door" (all the planetary omens say so), I decided to do an asstrological analysis. In response to my appeal, 32 Pisceans generously provided photographic evidence. My assessment? You should be exceedingly cheeky as you slip through the cracks.
Imagine that your psyche is a garden and that the growing season is now getting into full swing. What three seeds will you plant this week? Tell all at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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