~ HOROSCOPE ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

It would be a great time to launch several new ventures all at once, even if it means abandoning an old project you\’ve been working on for months. APRIL FOOL! Don\’t you dare do what I just suggested. The future won\’t thrive unless you lavish the past with the gift of your careful attention. Please please please put the finishing touches on a labor of love you\’ve been working on for months–and then start new projects.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

Does the curse \”goddamn it\” fly out of your mouth every time you stub your toe or misplace your keys? Do you know the brand names of ten different beers but have trouble remembering any of the Ten Commandments? Do you sometimes undress people in your imagination without their permission? If so, says the Weekly World News, you\’re going to hell when you die many years from now. There is, however, a tiny chance you can begin some atonement now that will cancel out the karma from the above-named sins and stave off eternal damnation. APRIL FOOL! The acts I named aren\’t sins, and besides, there\’s no such thing as hell. However, it\’s true that this is a good time to seek forgiveness and try to correct old mistakes.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

The number 6714 has always been devoid of any cosmic significance for you. It has failed to be involved with a single stroke of good fortune. But now it has burst into your life to serve as your lucky number–an omen of abundance, grace, and success. Your assignment: Make prodigious use of 6714. APRIL FOOL! There is no such thing as a lucky number, except in the sense that all numbers are lucky numbers for those people who believe they are lucky. Your real assignment is this, Gemini: Find a way to believe in your heart that for you, all numbers are lucky.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

Watch out for fake pizza-delivery drivers who\’re actually trying to issue you a subpoena. Be careful you don\’t see a blood red sky at dusk, in case it\’s a bad omen predicting the outbreak of tribulations. Beware of the possibility that a large bird carrying a turtle to its nest accidentally drops its prey on your head from a great height. APRIL FOOL! The truth is, my fellow Cancerian, this should be one of the most worry-free weeks in the history of your life. You\’re welcome, of course, to dream up a host of scary fantasies if you find that entertaining, but I can practically guarantee that they\’ll all be illusory.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

I\’m reasonably certain that a supermodel wearing antlers and clown face paint will soon offer you $10,000 for the right to spank you on national TV. It\’ll be that kind of week, Leo: a time when opportunities will come your way cloaked in seemingly absurd circumstances. You might also expect that a homeless person with the flu will offer to lead you to a dumpster in which there\’s a suitcase containing a priceless 2,500-year-old archaeological artifact. APRIL FOOL! It\’s true that this week will bring more opportunities than usual, and they\’ll probably all have some odd twist–but not quite that odd.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

This is a perfect astrological moment to recreate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel using Play-Doh as your raw material. It\’s also a good time to learn to play Mozart\’s Magic Flute on the kazoo, produce an abridged, 1,000-word version of James Joyce\’s Ulysses, or build a miniature model of the Sphinx using toothpicks and rubber bands. APRIL FOOL! Doing any of the things I just described would be a silly waste of time and energy. Please find projects that are truly worthy of your creativity, which is overflowing right now.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Astronomers estimate that about 8,500 stars are visible to the naked eye. Half of them are always below the horizon and therefore out of sight. Since most of us live amidst the light pollution of cities, the number of stars we can actually see is further reduced to about 2,500. Your assignment this week, Libra, is to go outside on a clear, moonless night and make a wish on 1,000 of those stars. It\’s the Wishing Season. Go wild. APRIL FOOL! While it\’s true that this is the Wishing Season, it would be a poor use of your energy to dilute your longing in such a scattershot manner. Instead, choose just one of the visible stars and beam your most important heart\’s desire in its direction.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Due to a special dispensation from the cosmic powers-that-be, you have been authorized to basically just sit around and do nothing this week. Are you ready to enjoy the pleasures of laziness and dissipation, Scorpio? Do you feel overdue for an extended phase of vegging out? You can do so without incurring even a pinch of karmic debt. APRIL FOOL! The truth is that you now have so much physical energy and emotional stamina that you can be three times as intense as you\’ve ever been before. That\’s a good thing, since the universe will be working you three times as hard as usual.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

\”I always advise people never to give advice,\” said P.G. Wodehouse. Having seen the wisdom of his counsel, I will from now on fill your horoscopes with poetic and philosophical ruminations about your destiny, but I will never again give advice. There are enough people in this world telling you what you should do. I pledge to make this space your sanctuary. APRIL FOOL! The truth is, dispensing advice is in my genes. For me to repress it would be like asking Howard Stern to stop being vulgar. Now here\’s my advice for you: Identify a natural talent that you were born to express. Then take one practical step to bring it into a fuller flowering.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

The still, small voice within you usually just provides you vague platitudes about how to be a better citizen. But in the coming days, it will offer you truly useful information that could help you become richer, sexier, more popular, and more powerful. It may even give you the winning numbers of the lottery. Make damn sure you tune in. APRIL FOOL! The still, small voice within you does not just provide vague platitudes about how to be a better citizen. If you believe that, you\’re listening to the wrong still, small voice. In fact, the real one is always overflowing with extremely practical information about how to run your day-to-day life in a way that\’s fun and meaningful. Listen harder and faster than usual, please.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

This would be an excellent week to profit by spreading deception and misinformation, Aquarius. Your skills as a liar are at a peak. The more falsehoods you concoct, the more successful you will be. APRIL FOOL! It\’s true that you could achieve illusory progress with the help of deceit. But that progress would soon lead you into a morass that would sap your energy. Besides, the ironic fact of the matter is that you now have the capacity to tell the truth with more clarity and gusto than you ever have before. To take advantage of that potential will bring you surprising rewards in the long run, even if they may require short-term sacrifices.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

It\’s high time for you to spend more money, Pisces. You\’re lagging way behind in your purchase of the goods and services you desperately need. Not only that: You\’ve been lax in getting yourself the profound healing that can only come from shopping therapy. Get out there and splurge! Your role model is the Pentagon, which shells out an average of $8,612 per second. APRIL FOOL! I was just kidding. The truth is that it makes sense for you to spend more money on only one thing: experiences that will help you get better at performing a beloved skill that will fuel many future adventures.

~ HOROSCOPE ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

Seventh grader Michael Kawa\’s poem is about the official face he shows the world. \”My mask helps me when I am scared and when I am embarrassed,\” he writes. \”My mask tells me to act like someone else when I want to act like myself. My mask tells me I should go on the Big Dipper roller coaster when I really want to go on the little rides. My mask hides me from girls and fights. My mask hides my mad mind.\” Now I invite you to write about your own mask, Aries. It\’s the perfect time to take inventory of your persona–the official face you show the world–and to make changes to get it into closer alignment with the person you actually are in your depths.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

The Season of Dreams begins now. While you\’re sleeping, you\’ll be working harder than usual as you dive deeper into your subconscious mind in quest of mythic stories that can transform your waking life. Here\’s a list of some of the dream themes you might encounter, along with possible interpretations. Dreams of the circus coming to town mean that maybe you should indulge a barely acknowledged need to do something that seems out of character. Dreams of having a picnic in a tree house may mean you\’d benefit from not having your feet planted so firmly on the ground. Dreams of doing something unethical that makes everyone mad mean that you should explore ethical, constructive ways to express your rebellious urges. Dreams of fighting a king or queen who stole money from you might mean you should fight back against an authority that ripped you off.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

If you\’re doing work you love, Gemini, your prestige will rise in the next six months. If you\’re doing work you merely tolerate, you\’ll experience a sharp increase in inspirations about how to remedy the situation. In the event that you actually hate your current form of employment, I believe you\’ll face a crisis that will force you to either quit or negotiate significant changes. But whether your gig suits you pretty well or not so much, I encourage you to start whipping up some magic that will move you closer to your dream job.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

Many of us who were born under the sign of Cancer have always felt trepidation about the fact that we\’re stuck with the same name as a disease. A while back I asked my readers to suggest alternate possibilities. One of the best ideas came from amateur astronomer Michael Bird. He said that within the constellation of Cancer the Crab there is a batch of 350 close-knit stars that are collectively known as the Beehive Cluster, and also as Praesepe, which is the Latin word for \”manger.\” Either \”Beehive\” or \”Manger\” would serve our tribe well in the coming weeks. The astrological omens say it\’s time to give birth to and nurture a new brainchild, preferably with the support of an organized hive of our busy, buzzing allies.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

Even if you don\’t literally take a journey to a distant place in the coming weeks, you will nevertheless be like a stranger in a strange land. I suggest that you adopt an attitude similar to that of an explorer. Here\’s a list of traveling instructions from Patrick Harpur, author of The Philosophers\’ Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination. \”Don\’t believe everything you have been told, either for good or ill. Observe local customs; respect local gods. Talk less than you listen. Don\’t expect the inhabitants to speak your language; rather, try and speak theirs. Try to see as well as sightsee. Be polite but firm; take advice but do not be gullible. If in doubt, smile. Do not laugh at the natives, but do not be afraid to laugh. Do not be superior or aloof, but don\’t try to dress like a native. Don\’t join in the dancing unless you have learned the steps.\”

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

The paradoxes are coming! The paradoxes are coming! It won\’t be enough merely to solve a few amusing brainteasers. You\’ll have to find a way to feel perfectly fine as you get squeezed by industrial-strength contradictions that might make a less intelligent person feel crazy. Can you do it? Is it possible for you to remain poised and magnanimous in the face of the pressure to think impossible thoughts and feel indescribable feelings? Can you see how all three sides of every story are equally valid? The potential rewards are substantial: a crispy epiphany, a funky treasure, and the equivalent of a \”Get Out of Jail Free\” card.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

If you own a Jaguar luxury automobile, it\’s an excellent time to redo the leather interior. If you live in a trailer park on the other side of the railroad tracks, the moment is right to cover up the faux wood paneling with fancy wallpaper. And if you don\’t fall into either of those categories, meditate on how you might redecorate the inside of your world, from the physical environments you frequent to the interior walls of your imagination.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

I wear my hair long, like Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, Jesus Christ, and the majority of the men who have lived in the Western world during the last two millennia. So even though I\’m at odds with the cultural trends of the last 100 years, I\’m right in alignment with more enduring ideas about masculine fashion. Try something similar, Scorpio: Meditate on how it might benefit you to get out of sync with prevailing attitudes about what\’s right and good and true and cool, and instead be in style with more timeless and abiding modes.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

\”Neoteny\” is a biological term that means the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. For instance, certain small dogs with big eyes and shortened muzzles have a resemblance to puppies even after they\’re full-grown. Most of us humans have personality characteristics that are for all intents and purposes neotenous. They\’re throwbacks that may make us appear cute and cuddly, but that on the other hand keep us in a state of arrested development. It\’s prime time to ask yourself if you have qualities like that, Sagittarius. If so, do you really want to keep cultivating them?

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

It\’s the Introspection Season, Capricorn. I encourage you to write copiously in a journal. Here are several themes that would be fruitful to explore: (1) Your most amazing qualities and your worst qualities. (2) The hundred things you want to accomplish in the next 30 years. (3) Your bitter complaints, horrendous pain, and lost dreams. (4) Everything you love and everything that\’s beautiful and everything that works. In addition to writing your heart out and your ass off, paste in cut-out pictures from magazines, draw pictures, and ask friends to write messages to you.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Once the software and brain implants are developed, we\’ll all be able to benefit from the kind of instant education that was at the disposal of the dissident heroes of the three films collectively known as The Matrix. Want to learn how to pilot a helicopter? The entire skill set will be downloaded into you in a few minutes. Planning a journey to Tanzania? You\’ll become a fluent speaker of Swahili in time for your departure. The technology is still years away, Aquarius, but in the coming weeks you\’ll be able to enjoy the closest current approximation to it. You\’ve entered the super-learning season.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

\”I don\’t know why we are here,\” wrote philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, \”but I\’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.\” His feelings contrast sharply with that of the poet Robert Bly, who edited a book of sacred poems entitled The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy. Which of these two approaches are you inclined to follow, Pisces? I believe you\’re at a crossroads: The direction you choose to endorse and emphasize now will shape your destiny for a long time.

~ HOROSCOPE ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

Your horoscope this week comes to you courtesy of the ancient Chinese book of oracles, the I Ching, translated by Richard Wilhelm. The title of your reading is “Liberation.” Here’s the heart of it: “In times of standstill it will happen that inferior people attach themselves to you and even seem to grow indispensable. But when the time of deliverance draws near, with its call to action, you must free yourself from such chance acquaintances with whom you have no inner connections. For otherwise the friends who share your views, on whom you could rely and together with whom you could accomplish great things, mistrust you and stay away.”

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

I predict that animals will be especially attracted to you in the coming days. The light of the sun will seem to possess an uncanny fluidity and sparkle. You may experience vivid fantasies like seeing a talking cat in a tree or hearing advice coming from a soap dispenser. Strangers may gaze at you for no apparent reason, and even your friends will have unusual feelings for you. You may be reunited with precious memories that have been lost to you for a long time. In the consciousness industry, we call this natural magic time.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

“I am a fugitive from the law of averages,” writes Sage Price, one of my Gemini readers. “I swore a long time ago that I would never be taken alive by anything that was average, commonplace, standard, or ordinary.” His attitude is especially recommended for you right now. In order to harvest the potential rewards the cosmos has prepared for you, you’ve got to push to excel; you’ve got to cultivate a lust to be unique; you’ve even got to be willing to risk making other people envious of you. One of the worst sins you could commit would be half-assed mediocrity.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

Siam’s King Mongut had a harem of 9,000 women. On his deathbed, however, before succumbing to the ravages of syphilis, he confessed that he was truly in love with only 700 of his lovers—less than eight percent of the total. Why he didn’t concentrate on that eight percent and forget the rest we’ll never know. Don’t make a similar mistake in the coming months, Cancerian. You will have the chance to indulge in a great variety of pleasurable adventures, but only a fraction will have the potential of nourishing your soul.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

What’s the best way to defeat a dragon? Some fairy tales propose the use of brute force, while others suggest that the protection of a magical amulet is preferable. Still other myths say the optimum strategy is to use stealth to avoid the dragon completely, though that usually means living in constant fear of the beast. From what I can tell, Leo, your future happiness will be best served if you use none of the above, but instead employ one of the two little-known methods of dragon-taming: either ask it sly riddles to confuse it or else pacify it through the entertaining power of your songs and dances.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

“We have art so that we may not die of reality,” said Friedrich Nietzsche. While I’m sure you won’t literally be killed off by reality this week, it could bore you half to death—unless you aggressively subject yourself to massive amounts of really fine art. I’m not just talking about listening to formulaic pop music or getting a glimpse of the Mona Lisa on an ad for the upcoming film The Da Vinci Code. I’m referring to intensive exposure to inspired painting, sculpture, music, architecture, dance, and literature—sublime forms of creative expression that you may have to work hard to find.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

To be of real service to you, I have to do more than be simplistically optimistic. It’s important for me to be your cheerleader, counterbalancing the negative reinforcement that so often comes your way, but it would be irresponsible of me to inflate you with false hopes. This week, for instance, I have to report that there’s a 65 percent chance of you achieving a major breakthrough in at least one of your relationships, but only if you lose every ounce of self-pity and refuse to blame anyone for your sorrows. I also foresee the possibility of you healing 55 percent of one of your old wounds, but only if you stretch yourself to learn a new lesson from the original trauma.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

A few years ago, executives at a major record company signed my band to their label. They loved us. We were the next big thing. Or at least that’s what they told us up until the moment when they demanded that we change the titles and lyrics to some of our songs. They were afraid that the cigarette company Philip Morris would sue us for our song “Marlboro Man Jr.” and that Kmart would sue us for our song “Kmart Tribal Ballet.” We agreed to make the changes only because we had no choice: If we refused, our music would have never been heard. The company owned the rights to it. Let this serve as an example of what not to do in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Do all the research and strategic long-range thinking necessary to avoid getting into a position where people you don’t know very well control your fate.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

It’s a good time to reconnect with your childhood memories—especially the good ones that made your heart sing. You will derive great practical benefits from remembering specific scenes that embodied the essence of who you were back in the beginning. Was there a time you read an exciting book under the covers with a flashlight way past your bedtime? Or waded in the creek searching for a fantastic treasure some big kid told you about? I hope you give yourself the rare pleasure of reliving those events, trusting that they’ll provide you with the exact emotional lift you need.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

This would be an excellent week to tilt all the paintings on the walls of your home so they’re hanging a bit crooked, refer to yourself as the “Wizard of Desserts,” and stand in a mud puddle up to your ankles. I suggest that you further take advantage of the astrological opportunities by using a felt-tip pen to draw tattoos of magic symbols on your body, making love with grocery bags over your heads, and reciting dirty limericks in front of people who think you’re too serious. It’s high time for you to lose your cool.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Metaphorically speaking, you will duck at just the right time to miss the cream pie that’s headed toward your face. At least that’s what I predict, Aquarius. In addition to your good timing and skill at protecting yourself, you will also have a knack for avoiding messy complications, which is lucky given the fact that people around you may act as if messy complications are fun and interesting. Here’s further good news: You will have an instinct for detecting the slivers of truth that are embedded in wads of total BS. That will allow you to act with lucid efficiency while others are out fighting non-existent demons.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

One day 17 years ago I was lying alone on my acupuncturist’s table, floating in that hypnogogic state you sometimes slip into when your ears, wrists, feet, and forehead are pierced with needles. At one point she came in to check on me. Patting me on the upper arm, she murmured, “You will live a long life.” I received it as a prophecy, as a gift from her intuition to mine. In the days and months that followed, it stripped away the habitual anxiety I carried around with me and freed me to live with more courage and abandon. It gave me license to believe more wildly in my own potential. Now I’m offering you the same gift, Pisces. If you’re reading this horoscope today, you will live a long life.

~ HOROSCOPE ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19):

Dung beetles were considered sacred and lucky by the ancient Egyptians. In fact, the seemingly lowly insect, also known as a scarab, was worshiped as a symbol of transformation and resurrection, in part because it derives its nourishment from the waste matter of other animals. Since it also pushes balls of dung to its nest, it was thought to resemble the god Ra rolling the sun through the heavens. During the coming week, Aries, the scarab will be your power animal. May it inspire you to turn crap into treasure as you’re reborn from the deadness of the past.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20):

It took an English woman named Venida Crabtree 33 years to learn how to drive. She failed her first driving test at age 17, but never gave up trying. Last year she finally succeeded, getting her first license at the age of 50. She’s your role model, Taurus. There’s a good chance that like her, you will soon be able to master a task or reach a goal that you’ve been plugging away at forever.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20):

I’m here at San Francisco’s Samovar Tea Lounge to meditate on your horoscope. I’ve decided that the beverage most likely to put me in the right mood is “Monkey-Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy” tea. That’s because my analysis of your astrological omens reveals that there’ll be something both steely and soft about your immediate future, both willful and delicate. “Iron Goddess of Mercy” is an apt metaphor for the influences you should seek. Furthermore, I suspect you’ll need the intervention of an agile and vibrant animal energy, which is suggested by the “Monkey-Picked” aspect of the tea. Using the Samovar menu as a divinatory tool for generating even more oracular information, I’ve come up with three additional phrases to capture the quality of your life in the coming days: velvety nuances of roasted chestnuts and eucalyptus; tastes that are zealously smoky yet gossamer and satiny; and not for the sinless.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22):

As a Cancerian, you’re sometimes prone to indulging in pathological levels of self-sufficiency. You can get into the bad habit of making it hard for people to give you emotional support, constructive feedback, and plain old ordinary gifts. That’s why I hesitate to say anything that might encourage you to get into a woe-is-me, I-have-to-do-everything-myself mode of heroic martyrdom. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to take that risk. To achieve the breakthrough that’s now available, you may have to take what Ernest Hemingway described as the path to greatness: Push yourself “far out past where you can go, out to where no one can help you.”

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22):

This would be an excellent time for you to create your own personal religion, complete with rituals, prayers, and divinities that fit your precise needs. Feel free to borrow extensively from various spiritual traditions, of course, but make sure you give each belief or practice your own unique twist. And please include a few idiosyncratic touches that have never before been a part of any organized faith, like a holy day commemorating your first sexual experience or a sacred object obtained from a toy store or pawn shop or a rousing hymn adopted from an old Nirvana song.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

The ancient Greeks had words for love that transcend our usual notions, writes Lindsay Swope in her review of Richard Idemon’s book Through the Looking Glass. Epithemia is the basic need to touch and be touched. Our closest approximation is “horniness,” though epithemia is not so much a sexual feeling as a sensual one. Philia is friendship. It includes the need to admire and respect your friends as a reflection of yourself—like in high school, where you want to hang out with the cool kids because that means you’re cool too. Eros isn’t sexual in the way we usually think, but is more about the emotional gratification that comes from merging souls. Agape is a mature, utterly free expression of love that has no possessiveness. It means wanting the best for another person even if it doesn’t advance one’s self-interest. The phase you’re currently in, Virgo, is providing you with opportunities to explore the frontiers of at least three of these kinds of love.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

America’s finest news source, the newspaper and website known as The Onion (www.TheOnion. com), reported recently that President George W. Bush has hidden the nation’s report card in his sock drawer. Having received a D in international relations, a D in economics, and an F in military history, the Commander in Chief was too embarrassed to share the evaluation with anyone. I implore you to not be like him in the coming week, Libra. It may be hard to imagine, but you will generate good luck and healthy relationships if you freely admit your mistakes and shortcomings. This is one time when power can come from revealing your vulnerabilities.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

At its best, a study of astrology illuminates your choices and leaves the choosing up to you. It helps you understand that your fate is never set in stone, but is always susceptible to the command of your free will. In that spirit, I’ve got a quiz for you to take. Here are four pairs of equally possible outcomes. Meditate on each pair, and decide which you’d prefer to induce in the coming week: (1) simmering happiness versus crazed longing; (2) love packed with chewy riddles versus infatuation that only temporarily frees you; (3) practical enthusiasm versus dizzying highs; (4) slow, epic bursts of subtle progress versus out-of-this-world fantasies.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

On March 11 a Malaysian snake charmer will attempt to break the world record for kissing a poisonous serpent. Shahimi Abdul Hamid has in the past managed to survive while smooching a huge cobra 21 times, but this time he hopes to go further, exceeding the previous all-time high of 30. I don’t know his astrological sign, but if he’s a Sagittarius he has the best chance of succeeding. You Centaurs are at the peak of your ability to mix tenderness and intimacy with high adventure.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

A reader named Christy McMunn wrote to tell me that she’ll be running for president of the U.S. in 2016. She promises that she will ruthlessly express the raw, naked facts, whatever the consequences may be. Her motto: “If you cannot handle the truth, be careful of what you ask.” I urge you to make that your modus operandi in the coming weeks, Capricorn. Be a greedy hunter in quest of the genuine story, the inside dope, and the piercing revelation. In preparation, strip yourself of any belief that might interfere with your receptivity to and enjoyment of the raw, naked facts.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

After taking inventory of the astrological factors coming to bear on you the past eight years, I’ve decided you’re ready to leap to the next octave of your evolution. Therefore, I’ll tell you a truth that was articulated by the powerful activist Mahatma Gandhi. It was instrumental in his success at leading millions of Indians to overthrow British oppression. I hope that his demanding, controversial advice will play a central role in shaping your destiny for the next eight years. But beware: It will only work if you’re a brave rebel who relentlessly resists the conventional wisdom. Gandhi: “Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you.”

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20):

I’ve been present during the births of two children, Jasmine and Zoe. Both experiences were daunting, explosive, and ecstatic. Nothing else that has ever happened to me has rivaled the role they played in awakening my reverence for life. The gratitude and love that overflowed in me then will always remain a source of inspiration. If you choose to respond to the invitations the cosmos is now making available to you, Pisces, you will soon be visited by events that evoke comparable feelings.

~ HOROSCOPE ~

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

After viewing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1662, diarist Samuel Pepys called it “the most stupid, ridiculous play I ever saw in my life.” French philosopher Voltaire had an equally dim view of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. “One would imagine this piece to be the work of a drunken savage,” he wrote in 1768. Pepys’ and Voltaire’s opinions of the Bard ultimately became a minority view, of course. Many modern analysts regard his work as among the best in English literature. In the coming months, I predict there will be a similar evolution in the consensus about certain events of your own past. Both you and others will come to think highly of things once considered worthless or aberrant. Redemption begins now.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

To celebrate this royal phase of your astrological cycle, I would love to create a “Master of the Universe” crown for you to wear, at least in your imagination. Since I’d like it to conform to your exact needs and specifications, I’m soliciting your input. Please visualize in great detail the kind of regal headpiece you want, then communicate a vision of it to me telepathically. When it’s done, I will set it on your head in a dream, and ask you to not take it off for five days and five nights.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

I advise you not to take any of the following actions in the coming week: getting a vanity license plate that says 2GD4U or SUX2BU; pretending you know stuff you don’t; doing anything that will later require you to tell someone, “I can explain everything”; getting cosmetic surgery that makes you resemble your favorite celebrity; cleverly mocking people who haven’t had the same luck and privileges you’ve had. On the other hand, I do recommend that you engage in actions like the following: giving theater tickets to a homeless vagabond; doing a day-long impersonation of the person you want to become; tapping into your talent for healing mischief as you comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable; buying yourself a gift that will compel you to stretch your capacities; doing a storytelling performance for the people at an old folks’ home; climbing a tree and singing songs that inspire you to move more rapidly toward the future.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

It’s official. The National Climatic Data Center has confirmed that the weather went crazy in the U.S. last year. From Fresno’s 21 consecutive days of 100-degree temperatures to record rainfall in Las Vegas, Wichita, and Pensacola, extreme conditions became commonplace. For you, Cancerian, the coming weeks will have a certain metaphorical resemblance to last year’s profusion of weather anomalies. For instance, you can expect events that are akin to hailstorms from sunny skies and triple rainbows at dawn. But that won’t be a problem as long as you vow to be intrigued and entertained, not thrown off course, by the interesting outbreaks of wild phenomena.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

“Human beings are often unable to receive because we do not know what to ask for,” writes Malidoma Some in his book Of Water and the Spirit. “We sometimes can’t get what we need because we do not know what we want.” Your task in the coming week, Leo, is to make sure you don’t fit his description. How? Devote yourself to the glorious quest of decoding your most fundamental riddle: What is it you want more than anything else? Once you know, take a pledge to put that desire at the center of your life.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

It will be a rather animalistic week, Virgo—or at least it should be. I suggest that you learn to feel more trust in your primal instincts; find out more about the part of you that doesn’t use words. If you’ve got the luxury to experiment, see what it’s like when you give your inner beast permission to express all of its creativity. The coming days will also be prime time to befriend lone wolves, horse around with wise old owls, welcome back lost sheep, play possum with jackasses, and flirt with sacred cows.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Indian director T. Rajeevnath is in the early stages of planning his 11th film. It will be a story about Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mother Teresa. Among the small group of actresses he’s considering to play the title role is none other than the American celebrity Paris Hilton. Apparently Rajeevnath can sense something in Hilton that is invisible to many of the rest of us. I urge you to be like him in the coming days. Be on the lookout to find value in things that no one else esteems. Find the hidden beauty that everybody has missed. Hunt for riches in the least likely places.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

I swear the strange woman standing near me at L.A.’s Getty Museum was having an erotic experience as she gazed upon van Gogh’s Irises. She wasn’t touching herself, nor was anyone else. But she was apparently experiencing waves of convulsive delight, as suggested by her rapid breathing, shivering muscles, fluttering eyelids, and sweaty forehead. Fifteen minutes later, I saw her again in front of Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Fountain of Love. She was only slightly more composed. In a friendly voice, I said, “This stuff really moves you, doesn’t it?” “Oh, yeah,” she replied, “I’ve not only learned how to make love with actual flowers and clouds and fountains, I can even make love with paintings of them.” Your assignment in the coming weeks, Scorpio, is to take a page from this woman’s Kama Sutra: Figure out how to achieve rapturous communion with absolutely everything.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“They say a thing is holy if it makes you hold your tongue,” muses a character in John Crowley’s fantasy novel Engine Summer, speaking of the difference between his culture and another. “But we say a thing is holy if it makes you laugh.” Let this be a seed thought as you re-evaluate and take inventory of what constitutes holiness for you, Sagittarius. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will thrive if you spend quality time in sacred space seeking out uncanny experiences that kindle feelings of adoration and awe and amusement.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

You will soon experience an upsurge in brainpower—perhaps as much as a 10-point increase in your IQ. I believe the events that heighten your intelligence will involve you doing something brave and resourceful. It’s possible, for instance, that you’ll dive into a frigid river to save a drowning child or race into a burning building to rescue a beloved animal. Or perhaps your courage will be more subtly expressed: You will offer forgiveness to someone who has wronged or you will speak the difficult but necessary words that everyone has been afraid to articulate.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

I’m not necessarily advising you to vent your frustrations by going out after midnight and filling up random strangers’ mailboxes with ice cream. Nor do I suggest that you express any of your itchy, inarticulate emotions by using felt-tip markers to scrawl “The people in this place eat kittens” on the wall of an institution that messed with you. Both of those actions might get you arrested, and the proper way to channel your angst is not to do something that sabotages you but rather that elevates and enlightens you. So please figure out an ingenious, constructive way to get your dark yayas out.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

Of all the arguments made in favor of getting regular exercise, I rarely hear the one that’s most important to me: Do it because it strengthens and tones the power of your will. When you get used to rousing yourself out of your physical inertia, the habit carries over into the mental and spiritual sphere. You find it easier to force yourself out of your comfort zones and push toward the next frontier. You’re less likely to procrastinate and accept mediocrity, and you actually enjoy challenging yourself with worthy goals that require strenuous effort. It’s now the will-building season for you, Pisces. You know what to do.

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Alan Saldana Headlines Levity Live

    August 23 @ 7:00 pm - August 25 @ 8:30 pm
  2. Help & Hope for Early Stage Alzheimer’s/Dementia

    August 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  3. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  4. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 25 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  5. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    August 26 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  6. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House in Ventura

    August 26 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  7. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House

    August 26 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  8. Engage & Enlighten event features United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye

    August 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  9. Dancer’s Body Barre

    August 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  10. Egyptian Belly Dancing

    August 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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