TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Every relationship has its own unique soul. The way you fit together with another person — whether it's through romantic intimacy, friendship or collaborative work — should be allowed to find the idiosyncratic identity that best suits the chemistry between you. It’s a sin to compare any of your partnerships to some supposedly ideal model. Fortunately, you now have a certain genius about togetherness. Devote the next few weeks to helping all of your important bonds find their deeper meaning.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Would you like me to award you the title of "Most Successful Complainer of the Month"? If so, you'll spend the next few days getting organized in your approach to changing what's wrong. You'll decide which five of the 100 irritating problems most deserve your intelligent attention. You'll have a long talk with yourself in which you promise to express your criticisms in ways that will not make people defensive. And then you will formulate a plan to carefully, gently, compassionately carry out a revolution.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): An unauthorized Harry Potter book is being sold in China. Penned by an anonymous author, it describes Harry morphing into a furry dwarf after a "sour-sweet rain." I've also been victimized: A fake version of my column is showing up in an English-language rag in Beijing. Whoever's writing it is totally cracked; it bears little resemblance to my work. A recent horoscope for us Cancerians, however, did contain a thread I think is right for our tribe. It advises us to capitalize on the actions of our adversaries; to benefit from those who have profited from us; to turn the tables on table-turners.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): As the Sun, Mercury and Venus turn the heat up in your astrological house of pancakes, you must curl up and feast on heaps of flapjacks, waffles, blintzes and crepes. Doughnuts and pastries are also acceptable. However you do it, you'll benefit from acquiring more ballast. Why? You've got to become less top-heavy and more difficult to push over. If you prefer not to accomplish this by adding girth to your gut and butt, find another way. Perhaps you could tie an anchor to your waist or think really deep thoughts.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): This week's counsel is extreme. Don't read another word unless you feel ready to carry out a task that will require you to be daringly rebellious and brazenly optimistic. You're being asked to revise your attitudes, change your habits, alter your behavior or do whatever else it takes to arrive at a radical new way of looking at your life: You must be able to sincerely believe that the cosmos or fate or God is on your side and wants you to succeed at the thing you enjoy most. Here's a hint about one way to proceed, courtesy of author Paulo Cuelho: "Know what you want and all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Welcome to "Retool Your Approach to Discipline Week." To assist you in jettisoning needlessly narrow ideas about how to cultivate self-control, I present the following epigrams. "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." —Vince Lombardi "We are what we repeatedly do." —Aristotle "Any thought that is passed on to the subconscious often enough and convincingly enough is finally accepted." —Robert Collier "The greatest achievements and virtuoso performances of our lives are romanced, not beaten out of us." —Nick Williams "If you can figure out how to make discipline really fun, it won't feel like discipline." —my accountant Wendy.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It will be a favorable week to change your hair color, bark poetry at your television, ride a balloon over the south coast of France where the wild horses run, get expelled from Catholic school for spraying a nun with squirtable sour candy, retreat to a chicken coop and write your autobiography, climb a tree with a person whose relationship with you is in transition, teach animals to dance, wear cashmere pajamas, abduct an extraterrestrial, scrawl meaningful graffiti where it'll truly change somebody's mind, take care of a needy little creature, and fantasize you're the child of divine parents who abandoned you when you were two days old, but who will soon be coming to reunite with you.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Imagine an alternative universe where the ancient Greek myths had different outcomes. The Bacchae women don't tear apart the god of ecstasy, but lift him on their shoulders, carry him into a sumptuous bedroom, and pleasure him all night. Oedipus finds out in time that the woman he's set to marry is actually his mom and calls a halt to the wedding. Pandora opens the mysterious box, but what flies out aren't anger, jealousy, illness and sadness, but joy, wonder, curiosity, receptivity and creativity. Once you get the hang of radically re-envisioning these old myths, do the same with the modern one you're in the middle of.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The cardiologist had bad news and good news for my 72-year-old Capricorn acquaintance George. One of his coronary arteries is largely blocked, which might eventually necessitate bypass surgery. On the other hand, an angiogram revealed that his heart is in the process of trying to grow a brand-new artery where none had been before. If it's successful, George won't need to depend on the old blocked artery any more and can avoid the operation. The cardiologist will check the progress of this budding miracle in a few months. In the meantime, let's marvel at the resourcefulness and intelligence of the human body. Yours is in the midst of an amazing transformation. It may not be as spectacular as George's, but it will allow you to experience your life on a deeper level than ever before.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): There's no contradiction between expressing your most outrageous individuality and being in humble service to humanity. Far from opposing each other, these two tasks are synergistic. I'll go so far as to say that you can't really do either justice without the other. That's why one of your life's supreme triumphs will come when you've mastered the art of being both an idiosyncratic maverick and a reverent devotee of the greatest good. This is the time and this is the place to make rapid progress toward that goal.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): When Rodney Dangerfield got his first big break, he was already 44. He didn't discover his signature comedic riff — "I don't get no respect" — until he was in his 50s. Compared to him, you're a precocious early bloomer. But I hate to offer him up as consolation to those of you who fear you're not fulfilling your ambitions fast enough. Comparing your own rate of growth to others' is a dastardly trap that you should vigorously avoid. Try this thought: You are at the exact level of success where you need to be in order to carry out your life's unique mission. With that certainty as your ally, your ripening will paradoxically accelerate. What are your own personal top three deceptions? Write anonymously to
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