TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Today I spied my neighbor aiming his garden hose at thigh-high weeds in a vacant lot. There was not a legitimate flower or vegetable crop in sight. The dude was definitely pouring valuable water on a mess of yellow star thistle, French broom and poison oak. I asked him what he was up to. "Giving the water of life to my private patch of St. John's wort," he shot back with a whispered cackle. "The stuff calms me down better than Prozac." Indeed, as I looked more closely, I spied a few shoots of the herb that's said to promote good mental hygiene. Like my neighbor, you Tauruses appear to be watering weeds, but there is a method to your madness.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I was not Nostradamus in a past life, but I was a poet who lived next door to him. Believe it or not, he stole a lot of material from me. Maybe the karmic credit I accrued from that theft is the reason why I get to be a famous fortuneteller in my current incarnation. Anyway, I'd like to present your predictions for the second half of 2001 in a style that borrows from the cryptic approach I used back then. Enjoy. Wads of money may not fall from the sky, but trickles of cash will ooze from unexpected cracks. A clumsy but well-meaning angel will seek to rearrange your home by September; in October you'll have to burrow, not just dig, to find a curious treasure. In November, choose the circle, not the square. CANCER (June 21-July 22): This week will present you with a preview of the juiciest issue of the second half of 2001. A diabolical angel in the right side of your brain will whisper, "Shoot for the rewards that will come from making up your own rules and beating the system." An angelic devil in the left side of your brain will insinuate, "Shoot for the rewards that the system will bestow upon you if you cheat a little but mostly play by its rules." A fool on the hill in the north side of your brain will mutter, "Beat the system by playing according to its rules." Here's what I say, Cancerian: May the best voice in your head win.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Several fairy tales tell of a magical cauldron that cracks apart when three lies are told by people standing over it. There is a way to restore the pot to wholeness, however: Three great truths must be spoken in its vicinity. From my vantage point, Leo, your life now has a resemblance to the point in the story where the vessel has been broken but one restorative truth has been uttered. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to drum up the last two healing shocks.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Satan will ply you with cookies and milk as he sings you love songs by 'N Sync and Christina Aguilera. What do you make of that fortune cookie message, Virgo, which I channeled for you while high on a massive sugar rush generated by 27 Oreos and a 32-ounce jug of drinkable chocolate yogurt? Beware of regressing to childish illusions and sentimental fantasies about romance. Now how about a saving-grace oracle to make up for that last one: If you tell Satan to shut up and go away, Buddha will ply you with sushi and sake as he sings you love poems by Rumi and Leonard Cohen.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Your dedication to seeing every side of every story is often a beautiful quality, but in the next six months I hope you'll begin to build your ability to be single-minded. You should even downplay concerns with fairness and balance so you can push ahead like a benevolent tyrant on behalf of your dreams. Vision is your old word of power; action is your new abracadabra. During the second half of 2001, Libra, I suggest you do whatever it takes to be more motivated by love than by duty.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): With the power vested in me by the Supreme Scorpio Club (a society so secret I don't even know who's in it), I hereby elect your tribe "The Least Boring Sign of 2001." Furthermore, I nominate you "Most Likely to Succeed Where the Paranoids Have Failed," and I designate you "Best Exorcist of Other People's Phobias." Finally, I appoint you the zodiac's "Official Role Model in Charge of Demonstrating What It Means to Act Like a Lover in Every Situation." Better get to work. You've already got a pretty good handle on how to carry out your duties (they come so naturally!), but you'll still to have to intensify your Scorpio-ness to do them ultimate justice.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "In a gift-giving society, an individual gains prestige and satisfaction by receiving, then adding to what has been received and passing it on." So says Lewis Hyde in his book The Gift, Imagination, and the Erotic Life of Property. "In a consumer society," he continues, "prestige and satisfaction are gained through accumulation and acquisition. Nothing is given, nothing is passed on." Though you live in the latter kind of culture, Saj, you often act as if you've hung out in the former. More than most people, you have a capacity for accepting and giving largesse. Still, you'd benefit from going even further in this direction. And now would be a perfect time to do so. The blessings you bestow on others are especially likely to return to you, and you're extra alert to ways that your generosity can yield selfish rewards.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): There are two excellent reasons for you to whip up a fresh list of New Year's resolutions this week. First of all, 2001 is half over, so it's prime time to renew your efforts to do what's really good for you. Secondly, it's halfway between your last birthday and the next, and therefore time for your unbirthday. From an astrological view, that means you have ultimate permission to act as if it's day zero of year one.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Can I interest you in some guerrilla marketing? I'm talking about formulating a feisty new approach to packaging and selling yourself for the second half of 2001. What I'm visualizing wouldn't require you to lose your soul, but would unleash more of your soul. It would be an irreverent, humorous, aggressive advertisement for the real you. Think about it, you idiosyncratic work-in-progress. The world is starved for more of your influence. It's time to begin proving you're not a brilliant underachiever.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Jupiter's visit to your astrological house of stability has had the effect we astrologers hoped it would: Sometime in the last nine months, your homecoming finally happened. It wasn't always pretty or easy, but many of you Pisceans now have a security blanket or teddy bear substitute superior to anything you've had since childhood. As Jupiter bestowed its blessings on your domestic scene, you most likely improved your housing situation and were able to give the term "status symbol" a new spiritual meaning. Now that you know so much better where you belong, my dear, you're primed to begin a new chapter in your relationship with love and play. Homework: Name a belief or perspective you know you should live without, but which you have not yet gotten the courage to banish. Write: