TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You'll never guess what single thread links all of these people: a 65-year-old sex therapist, an ex-CIA agent turned porcelain-doll collector, a Wiccan lawyer who defends pagan groups from police harassment and the vegetarian heir to a large meat-packing company. They've all chosen the same real estate agent: my Taurus brother Tom Brezsny. Try to match Tom's versatility as you attend to your own labors of love in the coming weeks. Expand your capacity for giving your favorite gifts to a wide variety of worthy people. Do what you do best with the most improvisational, miscellaneous spirit you can summon.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One of my favorite groups at the annual Burning Man event in the Nevada desert is the Burning Scouts of America. As an alternative to the Boy Scouts, they're "dedicated to infusing youth with a love of chaos and hedonism." If you join up, you can earn demerit badges in "Unfocused Rage," "Spitting Into the Wind," and "Gender Mutation." Drunken scoutmasters take you on naked nature hikes and foul-mouthed Burning Girl Scouts serve you charred cookies. You'd benefit from an influence like that, Gemini. It would help you resist the forces of conformity and conservatism, which are now casting shadows over your imagination. In fact, how about if you create your own gang of troublemakers? You can call yourselves "The Noble Mischief Club."
CANCER (June 21-July 22): My local daily paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, runs a heartbreaking column by TV critic John Carman. Because of the degraded nature of the medium he covers, his brilliant wit is devoted almost entirely to ingenious put-downs. I feel so much pity for the waste of his intelligence that I can hardly bear to read him. How I wish he had a forum where he could channel his extravagant life force into works of praise and celebration at least half the time. Let his sorry fate serve as a warning beacon, especially now. Like him, we're prone to letting our fertile minds get sidetracked into highly creative bitching and complaining. Fight this tendency with all your heart.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I'd like to give you some nice gifts for your birthday, but you'll have to help me out. The first treat is a karmic credit card. You can use it to pay off one of your major karmic debts. To obtain yours, send a self-addressed, 9-inch-by-12-inch envelope with two stamps on it to Box 761, Petaluma, CA 94953. The second present I want you to have is a target with only one bull's-eye. Create it yourself, please, and use it to replace that weird target you've been aiming at lately — the one with three bull's-eyes. The third blessing I want you to have is a piggy bank you don't put money into. Rather, you will fill it with slips of paper on which you've written promises to yourself about how you're going to increase the value of your talents in the next 12 months.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Every year you seem to pack six months' worth of living and dying and being reborn into the last few weeks before your birthday. This time around you're cramming in about a decade's worth. All the emotions you'd been suppressing are erupting. All the illusions you'd been working overtime to uphold are rapidly losing their believability. All the contradictions you'd been frantically trying to keep separate are melting down into a gargantuan blob of fertile chaos. All the golden opportunities you'd been holding at bay are forcing you to let them in or else.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you're destined to have a 12-inch-tall action figure cast in your likeness and mass-produced during your lifetime, it'll probably happen soon. If you're ever going to create a lasting masterpiece that'll be able to communicate your essence to the people of the 22nd century, you should begin it now. And if you were waiting for the right moment to flip the bird at the coldest, cruelest aspects of the world, that moment is at hand. It's show time. Whether you bring your song and dance to the smoky back rooms or to huge stadiums, it should consist of either a budding tour de force or your greatest hits.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When I was a weirdo attending Duke University some years ago, I wasn't half as freaky as my friend Alex. At 21 he had already forged himself into a mythic figure of Kerouacian proportions. His writing was breathtakingly original. As yearbook editor, he produced a bizarrely entertaining tome that mimicked the style of outlaw author William S. Burroughs. We all expected he'd evolve into a towering figure on the national literary scene. Alas, he is now an executive at a top ad agency, churning out inflammatory copy to sell cars and perfume. I offer him up as your reverse role model, Scorpio. The stars are urging you to move in a direction exactly opposite to his. With fierce authenticity, head toward the land of more integrity and wilder soul.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The veil between this world and the next is parting. You will be privy to visions of secret truths and future events that no one else can see. You may also be visited by mere hallucinations that spring from your unhealed wounds. It'll be a challenge to know which are which. Here's one gauge for telling them apart: The deluded fantasies will tempt you to believe you're better than other people, while the authentic revelations will render you humble and compassionate.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your past isn't what it used to be, and the proof will soon emerge. It'll be a little like archaeologists finding a fossilized TV embedded in 35-million-year-old rock strata. It may even have a resemblance to discovering your real parents were gypsies who gave you away the day after you were born. After the initial shock, Capricorn, you can expect a rush of liberated glee at the prospect of revising your theories about how you got to be who you are now.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I wish I could tell you stories that gave you grinning power over your fears. I wish I could inspire you to risk a radical act of faith in behalf of your freshest dreams. I wish I could shock you into seeing yourself as your best teacher might see you. And I wish that if these things weren't within my power, something or someone else would catalyze them. According to my reading of the astrological omens, I will get at least half of my last wish granted.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You may not be the cleverest sign of the zodiac, but you're probably the deepest. What you lack in sheer mental pyrotechnics you make up for with the artistry of your emotional acrobatics. If you think I'm buttering you up so you'll leave yourself open for me to kick you in the butt, you're right. You won't be able to think your way out of the amazing maze you're lost in. Your only hope is to summon a flood of feelings to flush you out. Show everyone why our judges have named you the Touchie-Feelie Genius of 2001. Imagine that you meet a psychic healer who is fascinated by the possibility of placing herself in service to you. What is the chronic pain you would ask her to cure first? Send testimony to
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