TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "When one door closes, another door opens." That old saying is only a half-truth, and what it leaves out is crucial. Here’s a more complete version: When one door closes, another door opens, but where the new door opens might not be immediately obvious; you may have to be energetic, persistent and even ingenious to find it. Keep this uppermost in your mind during the next three weeks, Taurus.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As the most powerful nation prepares to choose the world’s most powerful leader, we all have a stake in the proceedings. Whether or not you’re an American, the candidate who wins the presidential election will deeply affect your personal future. In my estimation, John Kerry is far more likely to have a benevolent impact, George W. Bush a negative one. I’ve arrived at this conclusion by carefully paring away my emotional biases and taking an objective look at long-term planetary omens. In my capacity as your astrological advisor, then, I urge you to visualize Kerry being inaugurated as president next January. Now here’s your homework: Meditate on Pericles’ assertion that "Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you."
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Astrology divides human personalities into twelve basic types named after the zodiacal signs. In her books, Agapi Stassinopoulos proposes an alternative system based on 15 Greek gods and goddesses. Using her approach, I’ve determined that you are currently a blend of Aphrodite and Artemis. Aphrodite embodies love, beauty, and passion, and her essence is summed up by the statement, "It is what I am, not what I do, that is valuable about me." Artemis, on the other hand, is independent and strong; her message is "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." How is it possible to be a synthesis of these two? You tell me, Cancerian. It’ll be your specialty in the coming weeks.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Here’s good news for Leo actor Billy Bob Thornton: The coming weeks will be a perfect time to conquer his phobias of antique furniture, Komodo dragons, intestinal parasites, old silver forks and photos of Benjamin Disraeli’s hair. For that matter, *all* of you Leos will experience a dramatic increase in your power to conquer irrational anxieties and superstitious fantasies. Stand up to your inner bully! Don’t let that intimidating fear-monger push you around any more.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "The greatest menace to civilization," wrote historian Herbert Butterfield, "is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness — each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked — each only too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still deeper hatred and animosity." Are you a part of one of those giant organized systems of self-righteousness, Virgo? Do you subscribe even a little to their simplistic, toxic philosophies? If so, I beg you to banish their influence from your life. Dropping out of the great "us versus them" racket is one of the single most important acts you can take to heal your own psyche and guarantee your future success.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): What seemingly unconnected elements of your life are actually ripe to be combined? Your past and your future? Romance and education? Your drive for fairness and your love of beauty? I’m telling you, Libra, there are fragments of your world that have more in common than you’ve previously imagined, and should therefore be woven together. Your sensuality and spirituality? Your relationship with money and the power of your imagination? Your listening skills and your longing to be more appreciated?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas," said composer John Cage. "I’m frightened of the old ones." That thought should be your guiding principle in the coming weeks, Scorpio. No matter how useful your elegant theories have always been, they’re now becoming barriers to your progress. No matter how attached you are to the insights and opinions that have made you what you are today, you should be willing to outgrow them. "In a time of drastic change," wrote Eric Hoffer, "it’s the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Yellow jacket wasps have never been known to journey north of the Arctic Circle. They prefer warmer climates. But recently they began buzzing around a village in the northern part of Baffin Island, surprising the local residents, who have no word for the insects in their native Inuktitut language. I predict there’ll soon be a comparable event in your life, Sagittarius. You will need new terms as well as fresh concepts to understand the appearance of an unprecedented phenomenon.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The coming week will be filled with opportunities to improve your skills at diplomacy. You’ll get a lot of practice playing verbal games, talking in code and being artfully ambiguous. For best results, don’t take yourself too seriously. Let your imagination run half-wild — and maybe even risk crossing that fine line between creative storytelling and BS. To put yourself in the right mood, consult the Euphemism Generator at walkingdead.net/perl/euphemism.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): One of the tabloids revealed that Ronald Reagan’s ghost has been doing scores of good deeds since he died. For example, when a surgeon in a hospital accidentally dropped his ring in his patient’s abdominal incision, the ex-president’s spirit fished it out. On another occasion, the friendly ghost saved an old woman from a rabid raccoon during her walk in the woods. What the tabloid didn’t report is that Reagan also visited me. As I was working on your horoscope, he materialized as a misty grey blob. "Need any assistance?" he croaked. "Sure," I said. "But I’ve got to be honest — I always opposed your politics and I never voted for you." "Want to know a secret?" he chuckled in reply. "In the afterlife, I’ve turned into a bleeding heart liberal. All I do is help people." "OK," I said, "then how about giving me some tips for the horoscope I’m writing for Aquarians?" "Sure," Reagan beamed. "Tell ’em to go hunting for a new power spot. Build up their clout. Act more authoritative. Spread their influence with more confidence. But do it all with love, not ego."
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): For the long-term well-being of planet Earth, nothing is more important than electing a new American president. I’d prefer to vote for the Green Party candidate, David Cobb, because his principles are more aligned with mine than John Kerry’s. And when I go to cast my ballot near closing time on Nov. 2, I *will* opt for Cobb if exit polls show Kerry is comfortably ahead of Bush in my home state of California. But if the race is still too close to call, I’ll definitely choose Kerry. I suggest you regard my plan as a model for how to approach your entire life in the coming weeks, Pisces: Find a way to serve the greatest good for everyone in your life while at the same time following your heart. But if you can’t do both, serve the greatest good. Here’s this week’s homework: Comment on the following: The wild but disciplined mind nurtured by great sex and inexhaustible compassion is a key to reforming our outmoded political system. Write to