ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're at the peak of your ability to explore the mysteries of shape shifting. If you're of a mystical or shamanic bent, I encourage you to try out a variety of animal identities in your meditations and lucid dreams. If you'd prefer an earthier approach, you could incorporate the wild intelligence of a favorite creature into your daily behavior. How about a fox? Its influence could assist you in cultivating sly ambition, a worthy project for you in the coming days.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Esquire magazine quoted a renowned astronomer's surprising idea about the origin of the cosmos. "The big bang is so preposterous," said Allan Sandage, "and the chain of events it set off so unlikely, that it makes most sense when thought of as a 'miracle.' " For the sake of argument, Taurus, let's assume Sandage is right. If the beginning of the universe itself was a miracle, then everything in it is impregnated with the possibility of smaller but equally marvelous miracles. All of which is apropos for your life in the coming week. I believe you're now primed to birth an amazing feat that your rational mind might find hard to believe.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The task you have ahead of you, Gemini, has a resemblance towell, wait a minute; before I go on, I should warn you that the following reference is rather graphic. Proceed only if you're not easily offended and have a supple sense of humor. Anyway, as I was saying, the task ahead of you has a resemblance to carrying out the artificial insemination of a rhinoceros. "But it's impossible to artificially inseminate a rhino!" you may be saying. Well, no, it's not. In fact, with the help of a tool invented by scientists, zookeepers all over the world are regularly doing it nowadays. Likewise, you have a new metaphorical tool that will make it feasiblenot easy, but feasibleto do the metaphorical equivalent.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): In the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards ceremony, Oscar nominees are called on to talk about themselves endlessly. Because of the nonstop parties they attend, they must cultivate a tolerance for extreme levels of interesting fun. Maybe most challenging of all, they've got to flaunt their stylish charisma with almost superhuman intensity. In the three weeks before the big night this year, for instance, actress Renée Zellweger wore 40 different dresses. And what does this have to do with you? Although you normally have little in common with film stars, that should change in the coming days. You have astrological license to talk about yourself far more than usual, experience a high degree of fascinating fun, and array yourself in a variety of vivacious clothes.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Many scholars believe the original Garden of Eden was where Iraq stands today. Though remnants of that ancient paradise survived into modern times, many were obliterated recently. One of my spies who lives near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers has kept me posted on the fate of the most famous remnant: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Until a few weeks ago, it was a gnarled stump near Nasiriyah, but today a crater is all that remains. This can serve as an evocative symbol for you as you tackle your big assignment for the rest of 2003, Leo: Completely demolish your old ideas about paradise so that you can conjure a fresh new vision of it.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): One of my early astrology teachers, Isabel Hickey, had a favorite saying: "Before you can give yourself away, you have to have a self to give." This should be your seed meditation for the foreseeable future, Virgo. I am not implying that you don't have a self. But you do have a lot of work to do to define and strengthen your sense of who you are. In the coming weeks, I'd love you to visualize a flame in your heart growing steadily bigger and brighter and hotter.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):Do you believe there is such a thing as the human soul? If not, you should stop reading right now; I'll talk with you again next week. But if you do believe, how would you define it? More importantly, what does your own soul feel like? I suggest that in the coming week you make frequent attempts to tune in to that elusive essence. Use all your ingenuity and persistence as you try to create a stronger bridge between your everyday awareness and your heart source, your seed code, your eternal song.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In my astrological opinion, it's a perfect time to introduce more experimentation into your most promising relationship. To stimulate your imagination, here are a few ideas you and your companion might want to try together. (1) Go outside just after midnight, wail five loud cock-a-doodle-doos, then run back inside before you're caught. (2) Describe to your friend or partner a detailed vision of his or her best possible future. Ask for the same treatment in return. (3) Borrow the approach of the religions that have rituals of eating their gods. Buy a pastry that makes your mouths water, perform a ceremony in which you invite a divine spirit to enter into it, then slowly devour it while gazing into each other's eyes.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A month ago my Sagittarian friend adorned her car with her first ever bumper sticker, "Give Yourself to Love." While proud of announcing her compassionate philosophy to the world, she was also nervous. Hadn't she raised the pressure on herself to live up to her noble ideals? A week later, she snapped. A guy gabbing on a cell phone in an SUV cut her off in traffic, and road rage moved her to give him a middle-finger salute. The next day she added a new bumper sticker to the left of the first: "Get In, Sit Down, Shut Up, Hold On." When I asked her about the contradiction, she confessed, "I've just accepted that I've got a split personality." Today brought a further development. She pasted the word and in the space between the two stickers, to create a new thought: "Get In, Sit Down, Shut Up, Hold On, and Give Yourself to Love." She called to tell me the good news: "I'm whole again!"
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Are other people luckier than you? If so, you can do something about it, according to psychologist Richard Wiseman. His book, The Luck Factor, presents research that proves you can learn to be lucky. It's not a mystical force you're born with, in other words, but a habit you can develop. How? For starters, be open to new experiences, trust your gut wisdom, expect good fortune, see the bright side of challenging events, and master the art of maximizing serendipitous opportunities. I mention this, Capricorn, because you're now in a phase when you can make tremendous progress in enhancing your capacity to attract luck.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): This may sound strange and improbable, but my inside sources swear it's true: If you'd like to stay out of hot water, metaphorically speaking, you should literally immerse yourself in hot water more than usual in the coming week. In other words, you can stir up a protective, benevolent magic by taking a lot of long baths, soaking in hot tubs, and playing around in warm swimming pools. And if there's any way you can get away to a hot spring for a day or two, you'll virtually ensure that trouble won't be able to find you.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): On certain occasions, I encourage you to sacrifice your own needs for the sake of others', or try to heal their wounds before you attend to your own. But this is not one of those times. It wouldn't be in alignment with the cosmic mojo. What, then, would be the most righteous course of action? Here's what I think: Rouse your most imaginative brilliance as you dream up ways to be really good to yourself. Shower yourself with gifts, treats, and blessings. Take all that tender loving care you're so skilled at administering to others, and bestow it on yourself.
Tell how America's invasion of Iraq made you a better person. Write: beautyandtruth.com
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.