TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Picture two people you know who seem to believe they are superior to you. Maybe they imagine they’re smarter or funnier or more popular than you or are under the impression that because they have higher social status or more money than you, you don’t deserve their focused attention. Next, Taurus, consider that people like this have a pathologically inflated sense of self-importance. Finally, place two white roses in your home. Beneath each, lay a piece of paper on which you have written the name of the person with the superiority complex, along with the words "I am free of your judgment" and a drawing of a winged heart.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The Chinese Year of the Monkey begins this week. According to astrologer Shelly Wu (www.chineseastrology.com), it will be "rich in the unexpected," tweaking everyone’s concept of what’s normal. Ruses, half-truths and tricks will proliferate, turning the whole year into an extended balancing act. Is anyone likely to thrive? Wu suggests it’ll be those with agile intelligence, frisky imagination and an affinity for risk. Sounds to me like she’s describing the Gemini tribe. Are you ready to be a role model for the rest of us?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): I got an e-mail from a person who said he was the former president of the African nation of Liberia. He said that if I helped him transfer his secret fund of $30 million from a Nigerian bank to an account in the U.S., he’d give me $9 million of it. I wrote back to him saying I wouldn’t take him up on his proposal. Why? Although it’s true that Cancerians like myself are in an astrological phase when we can expect to benefit from other people’s money and resources, maybe even in the form of a windfall, we also have to be careful not to get scammed by con artists. The only collaborative offers we should consider are those that come from well-known sources and trusted allies.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Each of us has felt the pressure to be a more perfect lover. Maxim and Cosmopolitan magazines are two of many sources that barrage us with instructions on how to improve our techniques, expand our repertoires and become telepathic masters at dispensing pleasure. In the coming weeks, I believe you Leos will probably be subject to some of this goading. That could be good if it motivates you in a healthy way; not so good if it makes you feel defensive and self-conscious. To ensure a light mood, I suggest you round up a partner who is willing to collaborate with you in a Bad Sex Festival. During the designated holiday, the two of you will intentionally engage in an orgy of awkward, contrived and slapstick sex.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My teacher Anne Davies told a story about a negotiation between a U.S. Army general and a cannibal chief in New Guinea during World War II. The general wanted the chief to rally his tribe to help American troops fight the Japanese. The chief refused, calling the Americans immoral. The general was shocked. "We are not immoral!" he protested. "The Japanese are immoral." The cannibal chief replied, "The Japanese and Americans are equally immoral. You both kill far more people than you can eat." Let this story inspire you to take stock of your own moral code, Virgo. Which parts of it are shaped or distorted by the transitory beliefs of your culture and era?
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Palm reader Beth Davis had a pithy analysis of actor-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger after scrutinizing his hand print at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. "There is this odd kind of Teddy bear thing mixed with warrior energy," she concluded. I see a similar blend in your psyche right now, Libra. You have the power to make people feel loved even as you express your fierce intention to shape the world to your specifications. You’re an unbeatable combination of softie and dynamo.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your word of power for the coming weeks is incubate. Like a mother duck or father penguin, you should sit on your metaphorical eggs to keep them warm and prepare them for hatching. Like an artist, you should push your analytical mind to the limit as you seek insight about your next creative move, then relax and wait for your intuition to sprout. Like a skilled lucid dreamer, you should formulate a good question about a dicey problem and hold it in your mind as you fall asleep, fully expecting your dreams to reveal a brilliant solution.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): As I compose this horoscope, I’m sitting in an airport bar during a layover. Something odd is happening with the 16 televisions that stretch from one end of the bar to the other. Until ten minutes ago, they’d all been showing the same basketball game. Now each is tuned to a different station. On one TV, the Blue Fairy is waving a wand over Pinocchio. On another, cops are carrying a pig out of a fountain. I’m also keeping up with the story of an African princess learning to be a card shark and a game of camel polo in an Iraqi wasteland, but that’s all I can handle. Your life may soon resemble what I’m experiencing now, Sagittarius. I advise you to be like me and don’t let your attention split in more than four directions.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It would be a good time to go on eBay and try hawking the invisible bath toys of your imaginary friend or the signature of the celebrity you were in your past life. Other activities that would align you well with the cosmic ebb and flow: getting a gig moonlighting as a party planner; writing a witty, brazen appeal for a grant to someone who might actually give it to you; and brainstorming about how to have more fun making money and how to make more money having fun.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The astrological omens suggest that you currently have an aptitude for extreme gardening. In its literal sense, the term refers to the cultivation of flowers and vegetables in places like desert oases or frigid terrains above the tree-line. Interpreting it metaphorically, I’d guess that you have a knack for creating something out of nothing. You could probably coax cautious people into helping you nurture daring plans, or jumpstart a project that seems to have little more going for it than hope.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Writing on salon.com, Farhad Manjoo and Katharine Mieszkowski predict that e-mail spam will ultimately lead to the downfall of Internet porn. Here’s the scenario they foresee. By taking advantage of the various sexual enhancements offered via spam, millions of men will become well-endowed, hard-bodied masters of lovemaking. As their ability to date and satisfy real women soars, they will lose interest in porn’s virtual pleasures. Voila! Web smut will decline precipitously. I prophesy an analogous development for you in the coming weeks, Pisces. You may find you’re able to manipulate one of your enemies into defeating another. Or a compulsive part of your psyche could help solve a problem created by an immature part of your psyche. Or both. This week’s homework: If the average street cleaner in Cambodia were to trade places with you now, he’d think he’d been transported to paradise. What aspects of your life would he be most envious about?