TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Roy Rivenburg writes in the L.A. Times that there has recently been a rash of mannequin assaults. He cites four people who have been struck by falling dummies while shopping in clothes stores. For example, one victim was hit in the head by a mannequin’s arm when a clerk tried to remove its shirt. I mention this for two reasons, Taurus. First, the planets are aligned in such a way as to suggest that you could, if you’re not careful, get in a tangle with a doll, statue, puppet, robot or scarecrow in the coming week. Second, you should minimize your interactions with anyone whose expression never changes, whose behavior seems mechanical or whose actions seem controlled by someone else.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Growing up in Montreal, musician Rufus Wainwright was steeped in the mystique of that city’s legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen. As a young adult, Wainwright finally got to meet Cohen. The great man’s daughter brought him to her family’s home. To Wainwright’s surprise, Cohen was in his underwear in the kitchen cooking up tiny sausages, which he was chewing, regurgitating and feeding to a weak baby bird he had found and was trying to revive. I predict that you’ll soon have a comparable experience, Gemini: A revered source of magic and myth will confound your fantasies in a poignant and delightful way. You may even cry with amazement and laugh with mournful bliss. (Thanks to the film I’m Your Man for Wainwright’s story.)
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "It’s my job to be emotional," rock music goddess Bjork told Nylon magazine. "Doctors cure diseases and shoemakers make shoes. It’s my job to go through emotions and describe them to other people." By my astrological reckoning, this is also an apt description of the role you should play in the coming weeks, my fellow Cancerian. It’s a perfect time for you to commune with every feeling on your vast palette, as well as to add some new colors and textures you’ve never imagined before. One more piece of advice: As you express the richness of your inner world to interested parties, be artistic and entertaining, never self-indulgent or sloppy.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Here’s some advice I bet you won’t get from any other astrologer, therapist, or counselor: Get ungrounded for a while. You heard me, Leo. Detach from your moorings. Sail up into the stratosphere and exult in having your head in the clouds. Be dreamy and floaty and airy-fairy (except when driving or operating heavy machinery, of course). For best results, you might also want to throw off your chains.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Astute salesmen from the British store Fortnum & Mason took full advantage of the Crimean War back in the 1850s. They sold picnic lunches to officers who were leading the battles at the siege of Sebastapol on the Black Sea coast. In the coming weeks, Virgo, you too can capitalize on a conflict you’re not directly involved in. For best results, make sure you don’t get caught in the crossfire. Cultivate neutrality, doing absolutely nothing to feed the flames of hostility. Ply your skills and offer your services with impeccable timing, slipping in and out with understated efficiency during lulls in the uproar.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You’re renowned for your balancing acts, Libra. Seeing both sides of every story is your specialty. Striving to make opposites attract is an inclination you were born to cultivate. You may not always be in the mood to fight for harmony, and you may not always succeed at maintaining equilibrium, but you work harder at these fine arts than any other sign of the zodiac. Having said all that, though, I will now advise you to rebel against your usual shtick. It’s time for you to try out a new unbalancing act — to go to extremes without worrying about covering your ass. The cosmos is giving you permission to be unapologetically vivacious and mischievously blunt.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Medical researchers have discovered an innovative technique for fighting brain cancer: radioactive scorpion venom. Injected into tumors, it attacks the malignancy with remarkable efficiency. I mention this, Scorpio, because it’s a good metaphor for an opportunity that’s now presenting itself to you. If invoked and applied in small doses, a normally toxic part of your Scorpio nature can catalyze a breakthrough that will lead to a deep healing.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This would be a perfect moment to fly to Afghanistan and volunteer to play with refugee children whose mothers are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. It would also be an excellent time to bring vitality and wisdom to a dispute among your family members that’s challenging for you to deal with. In fact, pretty much anything you do to help people who are difficult to help would, in ways impossible to foresee, energize your own ambitions. Being a humble, selfless saint for a while would turn out to be a tremendous spur to your personal goals.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): My Hollywood spies tell me that one of the new products placed in the gift bags for the celebrities at the Emmy Awards show was Oxyfresh’s Pet Oral Hygiene Solution, a breath-freshening spray for dogs, cats, monkeys, and other beloved animals. It would be a good week, astrologically speaking, for you to obtain this product for the creatures in your life. More than that, though, it will also be a favorable time for you to scout out promotional opportunities for your own unique product or talent. How can you get your specialty into the hands of ripe prospects who don’t know about it yet?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-1886) was deposed after being designated as insane by a team of psychiatrists. Among the evidence they cited as proof that Ludwig was crazy were his blueprints for a flying vehicle that would resemble a peacock. In recent months, however, a German engineer named Dalibor Karacic has examined Mad King Ludwig’s plans and declared that they are feasible. The steam-powered peacock would have indeed been capable of flight. Ludwig, says Karacic, was ahead of his time. Take heart from this correction, Aquarius. If you relentlessly nurture your faith in your frontier ideas, you will ultimately be vindicated.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your addiction is obstructing you from your destiny, and yet it’s also your ally. How can both be true? On the downside, your addiction diverts your energy from a deeper desire that it superficially resembles. For instance, if you’re an alcoholic, your urge to get loaded is probably an inferior substitute for and a poor imitation of your buried longing to commune with spiritual mysteries. On the upside, your addiction is also your ally, because it dares you to get strong and smart enough to wrestle free of its grip on you; it pushes you to summon the fierce willpower necessary to defeat the darkness within you that would obstruct you from your destiny. Here’s this week’s homework: The answer to your most pressing question will come within 72 hours after you do a ritual in which you ask for clarity. Go to realastrology.com and click on "Email