TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Traditional astrologers say Tauruses are rampant materialists. While it’s true that members of your sign often have a robust relationship with money, I find that many of you also have a refined and vigorous appreciation of beauty. In fact, I think an aesthetically pleasing environment is crucial for your mental and spiritual health. In the coming week, you should devote extra time and care to this need. Purge ugliness from your surroundings. Introduce elements that excite your eye and stimulate your imagination. Your symbol of power: the thousand-year-old rose bush that grows next to the wall of Germany’s Hildeshiem Cathedral.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): For one week, try this exercise: Each night before you fall asleep, review the day’s activities in your mind’s eye. As if watching a movie about yourself, strive to be calmly objective as you observe your memories from the previous 16 hours. Be especially alert for moments when you didn’t live up to your highest standards. If you’re feeling adventurous, I also recommend that you spend a day doing a review of all of your life’s highlights since your last birthday. Pick a time when you have a few hours to spare, lie back and close your eyes, and watch with compassionate gratitude as the amazing plot lines unfold.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Creativity is like driving a car at night," E. L. Doctorow said. "You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." I would add that life itself is also like driving a car at night. You’re pretty much in the dark all the time except for what’s right in front of you. Or at least that’s usually the case. But for a few shining hours in the coming week, Cancerian, I believe you’ll be able to see the big picture of where you’re headed. It will be as if the whole world is suddenly illuminated by a prolonged burst of light.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Actress Lara Flynn Boyle was recently accused of acting oddly on a British Airways flight from Los Angeles to London. Witnesses have said nudity and extreme lack of inhibition were involved. When Boyle was confronted by reporters with the rumors, she refused to elaborate, noting simply, "My job is to entertain, and not to explain." I hereby declare that to be both your motto and mantra in the coming week, Leo.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My friend Kathleen traveled to Maui with her nine-year-old daughter Ariel. They checked into an ocean-side condo. At 5 a.m. on their first morning there, Ariel crept over to Kathleen’s bed and repeatedly whispered, "Let’s go see the sea turtles." Rising out of the depths of sleep, Kathleen was torn. Part of her was peeved at the intrusion; another part of her longed to glimpse the turtles, which only appeared in the cove at dawn. Kathleen decided to join Ariel, putting aside her desire for comfort. The payoff was worth it. Seeing the turtles while in a dreamy state was an unforgettable joy. I predict you will be faced with a comparable situation in the coming week, Virgo. I suggest you choose as Kathleen did.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): One of my ex-girlfriends had heart surgery when she was an infant. They opened her tiny chest, fixed the problem, and sewed her back up, leaving a two-inch scar on her skin. By the time she became an adult, the scar had grown along with the rest of her, stretching to eight inches. I regard this as a good metaphor for the way our early psychic wounds expand as we mature. Having said that, though, I’m happy to report that you now have en excellent chance to dramatically dissipate the lingering pain of an old trauma, as well as to shrink the scar it made.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): While mountain biking, I spied a white horse engaged in odd behavior in a meadow. Over and over again, it took two steps forward and two steps back. I decided to sit and watch. Five minutes went by. Ten. Still it continued its routine. Finally, I got inspired to pray for it. "Dear Goddess," I said, "please at least let that poor horse go *three* steps forward and two steps back." Moments later, the creature started doing exactly that. Slowly, it made progress across the field. Now I’m saying a similar prayer for you: "Dear Goddess, please help Scorpios escape their treadmill-like pace, and go at least three steps forward for every two backward."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Actor Vin Diesel was describing the work required of him in the film, *The Pacifier*. "The hardest stunt I ever had to do was allow my ear to be gnawed on by a duck," he said. I fully expect that among the many stunts you will be asked to perform in the coming weeks, Sagittarius, none will be more dangerous or uncomfortable than Diesel’s. I won’t mind if you bitch about them the whole time, but please bear in mind how innocuous they will all turn out to be.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Drugs don’t give Indian holy man Mangal Das a buzz. Maybe he has meditated too much to be affected by mere chemicals. In his quest for experience that takes him outside of his usual awareness, he has also arranged to be bitten by snakes and scorpions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t give him a kick, either. He even tried drinking elixirs made from toxic herbs, but there was no bang to be had. Finally he found an intoxicant that worked: touching live wires. I wouldn’t be surprised if you soon embarked on a comparable quest to expand your thrills, Capricorn. But please avoid the shock and poison options.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A Bengal tiger at a zoo in Burma killed one of her two-week-old cubs. Zoo officials decided to separate her from her other two cubs. They did so reluctantly because the Bengal tiger is an endangered species and these were the first cubs born in the zoo in 16 years. Putting out a call for a surrogate mother, the officials were relieved when a 40-year-old woman, a mother of three children, pledged to breast-feed the cubs until their teeth grew in. Although your pressing need has arisen from very different factors, Aquarius, you, like the cubs, should be open to receiving nourishment from exotic sources in the coming weeks.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Centuries ago, the sight of a Viking ship on the horizon cast dread into the hearts of villagers who lived on the east coast of what’s now Britain. Rightfully so: The Norse raiders were infamous for plundering and killing. Today, though, the Vikings frighten no one. The loss of their status as a symbol of fear is epitomized by the silly replica of a Viking ship that a Dutchman named Robert McDonald is building out of 15 million lollipop sticks. This transformation is a good analogy for the process that should unfold in your life during the coming weeks, Pisces. Something that has always scared you is ready to be reduced to a harmless cartoon. Here’s this week’s homework: Buy or make yourself a present that encourages you to be more generous. Report results at