Taurus (April 20-May 20): My unmarried Taurus friend Deirdre recently adopted a stray kitten, and already she is saying, without a trace of irony, that the creature is her soulmate. Heather, another Taurus I know, just bought a puppy as a way to sublimate her increasingly uncontrollable yearnings to have a baby. Then there's my Taurean acquaintance Ellen. She recently visited a do-it-yourself teddy bear factory, where she fashioned herself an adorable little companion. These events lend credence to my theory that a fresh and innocent new facet of your psyche is ripe to be born.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): In ancient Rome, gladiator contests were as popular as the football games of modern times. The warriors back then were not hired heroes, however, as they are now. They were slaves or convicts who were forced to fight. Even if they won, they were usually required to return and risk their lives another day. Now and then a grizzled veteran was awarded the ultimate prize: a wooden sword, symbolizing the end of his role as a gladiator and the beginning of his life as a free man. I'm telling you all this, Gemini, because I believe you've finally earned your own personal equivalent of the wooden sword. You may now leave the terrifying arena for good.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): Lately you remind me of a 7-year-old child wearing the pajamas that fit you when you were 4. The bare ends of your arms and legs are sticking way out beyond the sleeves and pant legs. There are rips here and there where the fabric isn't able to accommodate your more grown-up body. The damn things are so tight that they're cutting off your circulation in spots. In fact, I can't stand to see you so uncomfortable, Cancerian. Please find someplace private and change into roomier threads.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): In her book The Secret Language of Signs, Denise Linn quotes Joseph Winterhawk Martin, a Maori medicine man. The white heron, he says, is his tribe's sacred messenger and supremely good omen. Most people see the bird only once in their lifetime, though some are fortunate enough to spy it on several occasions. I bring this up, Leo, not because I expect that you will catch a glimpse of a white heron this week. (Unless you're Maori.) But I do predict you will encounter a sign that has just as much holy and lucky meaning for you as the heron does for Joseph Winterhawk Martin's tribe.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In March, I urged you Virgos to send me symbols of your most inconsolable suffering. For weeks after that, I was deluged with your offerings. Among them was an album of childhood photos, a broken firebird kite, an ex-lover's underpants, and a dead black widow spider in a handmade coffin draped with miniature roses. Just after dark on May 3, I drove to a deserted beach and built a bonfire. As it raged, I hurled your icons in and prayed to the Goddess. I beseeched her to help you graduate from the twisted destiny that led you to your heartache. I implored her to prevent you from becoming hypnotized by a similar karmic scourge in the future. Finally, I asked her to reward you for your torment with an act of grace and healing.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This week should be a liberating turning point for cosmetics test rabbits, cult members, and prisoners of conscience born under the sign of Libra. Likewise for all Librans who've served as guinea pigs in experiments against their better judgment: There's never been a better chance to escape free and clear. As you plot your next five moves (not just your next move, please), guard against falling victim to the Stockholm syndrome. You can't afford to feel too much sympathy for those who've manipulated you.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I find it ironic and amusing that I have to remind the zodiac's most inexhaustible lover about one of the fundamental truths of erotic communion. How could you have forgotten? Some seductions need to go on for months, Scorpio -- even years. These masterpieces of intimacy should not be climaxed prematurely. Allow me to suggest further that in the greatest affairs, the seduction never ends -- or may require several incarnations to unfold.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): What's worse than finding a dead worm in an apple you just bit into? Half a dead worm, of course. Please hold that thought uppermost in your mind in the coming days, Sagittarius. It should help you appreciate that though life may have been a bit creepy in the past few weeks, it wasn't outright nauseating. That in turn will encourage you to cultivate the grateful attitude you'll need to turn your luck around. And very soon, all your apples will be utterly worm-free.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Before you commit to any magnificent boondoggles or exorbitant chimeras in the next few weeks, consider the comments of Henry David Thoreau concerning one of the so-called wonders of the world. "As for the pyramids," he said, "there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs." One person's resplendent icon, dear Capricorn, may be another's irrelevant waste of time.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the next few weeks I'll encourage you to be more melodious and lyrical. I'll urge you to dance more than usual and to commune with new tunes. Singing in the shower and car won't be sufficient, Aquarius; you'll need to croon in the garden and kitchen as well. I'll also award you extra credit if you meditate on being more musical in the way you make love. Now read this fragment of a poem by Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor. "Go and tell them that I crossed the river/ While the canoes were still empty/ And the boatmen had gone away./ My god of songs was ill/ And I was taking him to be cured."
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Three questions (and answers) for you this week, Pisces. 1) Have you ever heard yourself thinking, "I'll never live up to my highest ideals"? After this week, I bet that self-curse will never bruise your brain again. 2) Have you ever caught yourself unconsciously sabotaging the efforts of people who're trying to help you? I'm hoping that an imminent epiphany will relieve you of this bad habit forever. 3) Have you ever wondered if there's a critical gap in the story of your origins? Soon, if you're alert, you may catch a glint of the entertaining truth.