TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I had a waking dream as I meditated on your horoscope. You were clutching a dolly as you rode on a llama through El Salvador. The Dalai Lama sat in back of you and the artist Salvador Dali in front. Dali whispered in your left ear, "Let the beauty you love be what you do," as the Dalai Lama murmured in your right ear, "Be kind. Serve those in need. Give your ego to God." You are now primed to intensify both your devotion to truth and your hunger for beauty; you are ripe to tap into your most idiosyncratic brilliance as you deepen your compassionate concern for your fellow humans.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Study the dictionary's definition of "koan": a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to promote enlightenment. Get personal with the spirit of the koan this week. It will be your trusted ally, your best teacher, your secret weapon as you navigate your way through sticky enigmas. Ponder these three brainteasers. 1) Think with your heart and feel with your head. 2) Thou shalt not bore God. 3) Whom can you ask what you came to make happen in this world? (The last one is adapted from The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda.)
CANCER (June 21-July 22): L. M. Boyd once noted that cow's milk will have a garlic flavor if the cow simply inhales the smell of garlic for a few minutes. That's a good metaphor for your acute sensitivity. You can take on the moods of your companions without even realizing it. It's no wonder you're sometimes a jumble of kaleidoscopic, unfathomable feelings. Though you may often imagine this absorptive tendency of yours is a curse, it can be a valuable asset if you learn to regulate it and recognize how it operates. The next few weeks will be a good time to do just that.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Psychotherapists say it's naughty and counterproductive to blame others for your problems. A skilled therapist urges her patients to accept responsibility for the parts they have played in creating their predicaments. The reason is as much pragmatic as it’s morally correct: When you're obsessed with how people have done you wrong, you have no motivation to change the behavior in yourself that led you into the mess. I endorse the therapeutic approach. I also know that dogmatic adherence to it can damage your mental health as much as any other form of fanaticism. That's why I'm giving you license to enjoy a big old bitchy blamefest. For three days only, you have license to find fault with everyone except yourself. For best results, bark your complaints at no one but God, your pet or your mirror.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The hardest part of writing is the words. Similarly, the hardest part of carrying on an intimate relationship is the love. Any romantic fool can gush with the raw adoration that accompanies infatuation, but it takes a resourceful, humble, emotionally intelligent ripe dynamo to keep plugging away at the arts of love when the thrill of the initial mystery has faded. Are you ready to learn more about this difficult work? The next few weeks will be the perfect astrological time, even if you don't have a partner.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Debate continues to rage at the World Conference of Soul-Making in San Rafael, Calif. The camp known as the Ruminators claim that most humans are born without souls and can create them only through an arduous and disciplined rebellion against all belief systems. The Resonators agree that soul isn't innate, but insist that soul-making is not as difficult as the Ruminators claim; they believe a habit of gathering good stories will do the trick. The Revelators say every person is born with a soul in seed form, and need only discover the "blueprint" of that seed in order to attract the exact experiences needed to nurture its potential. Which view do you favor? You're in a phase when soul-making is your specialty.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "I've spent the last few years with an eraser," writes Ira Sadoff in his poem "Long Island," "trying to uncover the masterpiece under the canvas,/scratching at the crusted-over surfaces." I recognize this passage as an apt metaphor for the unappreciated work you've been doing. Another way to describe your quest is to say you've been struggling to stay on the right side of cosmic law as you've carried out an extended act of creative destruction. I believe you're nearing the climax of the process.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I've coined three words that suggest qualities you'll be able to draw on in abundance in the coming weeks. 1) lapidrowdy, adj.: performing intricate tasks with a boisterous spirit; from lapidary, the art of cutting, polishing, and engraving gems + rowdy. 2) smidgic, n.: wizardly transmutation of a mundane or boring situation; from smidgen, a small portion + magic. 3) vervonto, v.: to rapidly recover mastery of a skill that had become rusty; from verve + pronto.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The Doctrine of Original Sin? I spit on it. I reject it. I renounce it and annihilate it from reality. I offer instead the Doctrine of Original Fun. This profound reformulation of the truth asserts that we are all born with a mandate to have as much liberating joy and bliss as possible. There's not enough space to provide the mountains of evidence for this teaching, but here's one clue: Our divine creator has given us bodies capable of feeling tidal waves of physical pleasure. This week, your assignment is to gather three more proofs of the Doctrine of Original Fun.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I won't lie to you about your mission in the first half of 2002. Ignorance and inertia will surround you. Cynicism will be regarded as a supreme sign of intelligence and sentimentality as the quintessence of deep feeling. Beautiful truths will be suspect and ugly truths will be readily believed. You'll have to be a cheerful rebel, maintaining your equanimity as you resist the temptation to swallow delusions that have been carefully crafted by Very Self-Important People who act as if they know what they're doing. You'll have to buck every system and go against every grain — even as you work hard to be in a jolly good mood. You will succeed 70 percent of the time.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Alice finds her way to Wonderland by falling down a rabbit hole. Dorothy rides to Oz on a tornado. In C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy stumbles into Narnia via a portal in the back of a large clothes cabinet. In the sequels to all these adventures, however, the heroes must find different ways to access their exotic dreamlands. Alice slips through a mirror next time. Dorothy uses a magic belt. Lucy leaps into a painting of a schooner that becomes real. Take heed. A threshold will soon open into a fascinating alternative reality you've enjoyed in the past, but it will not resemble the doorways you've used before. Compose a sincere prayer in which you ask for something you're not supposed to. Tell us about it at