Taurus (April 20-May 20): I never liked Charles Darwin or anything he stood for. But I will admit that every so often when my compassionate ideals make my ambitions go baby-soft, I resort to playing a mean game of survival of the fittest. I activate my alligator brain and pump up my competitive juices and growl, "My mutation is cuter than your mutation." I bring this up, Taurus, because I believe your own drive for success could now use a hit of the primal buzz. I hereby give you special dispensation to sharpen your claws and scratch your way higher on the evolutionary heap.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): There was a time, not so many decades ago, when vast portions of the Earth's land masses were still unexplored and uncharted. Terra incognita was the Latin term for these nameless realms. Today most of the globe has submitted to the map-makers, but a few remote spots remain virgin territory. And how about you, Gemini? Have you seen all there is to see about your psyche? Are the contours of your destiny clearly delineated? Or are there still places whose wild beauty you know nothing about? I'll tell you what I think: Your very own terra incognita is about to start teasing your imagination.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): The Bible's Book of Revelations is beloved by doom-and-gloom fundamentalists, who think it predicts that the Lord will scour the Earth clean of everyone but them. I hate the nihilistic hype that damn text has spawned, and so I was glad when one of my favorite wackos, millennial seer Sean David Morton, recently cut its dire prophecies down to size. "Even now we hear the thundering hooves of the four horses of the coming apocalypse," he wrote. "But as they come into view, it seems the horsemen are Shemp, Larry, Moe, and Curly." I'm bringing this to your attention, Cancerian, in hope you'll be inspired to use Morton's approach to bust up the malaise that has infected your personal life lately. Next time a vision of disaster floods your awareness, chant, "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!"
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): In studying 34,318 crimes over a 12-month period, two Cincinnati psychologists discovered that a much higher proportion of mayhem happened around the full moon. I and my astrologer friends, on the other hand, have observed that random acts of pleasure and grace are also more likely to occur at that ripe time of the month. This is especially true for any zodiacal sign whose House of Revelry is transited by the full moon -- like you, Leo, in the coming week.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In the country of Bhutan, astrologers play an important official role: Before each year begins, the king's favorite stargazers determine the least and most cosmically propitious dates coming up in the next 12 months. The calendar is then altered accordingly. If April looks bad from the astrologers' point of view, for instance, it might be eliminated altogether, whereupon May will be observed twice. If we were to apply the Bhutanese way of thinking to your personal destiny, Virgo, I'd say we should give you two consecutive months of June. By my calculations, this'll be the luckiest time for you in all of 1998.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This will be an excellent week for collecting ah-ha!'s, Libra. The astrological omens say that you're primed to drop your fixed ideas about how everything works; that you're far more likely than usual to welcome surprises as good things rather than inconveniences. Of course it won't hurt for you to aid and abet the work of the cosmic forces in your behalf. That's why I suggest you repeat the following affirmation 10 times a day for the next 10 days: "I love to have my hair raised, my mind boggled, my awe struck, my flabber gasted, and my dogmas blown away."
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Everything you thought you knew about love is more than slightly off. I therefore suggest you make a list of your habitual romantic strategies, and avoid doing all of them. If you're normally a top, be a bottom. If your idea of intimacy is watching TV and talking about your relationship during the commercials, try putting on each other's pajamas and reading aloud from Diane Ackerman's The Natural History of Love. You get the picture, Scorpio. Your pleasure will increase in direct proportion to how often you whisper sexy truths that've never before passed your lips.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I know that the service I'm about to offer may superficially resemble some barely disguised rip-off you'd encounter in a schlocky New Age magazine. I apologize for that. Be assured that my help is free and guaranteed not to exploit you in any way. What I propose to do is perform a relationship healing for you and any person with whom you're currently in a big fat sticky mess. Send me your names and a brief statement of the torment you want alleviated, and I will say a prayer for you. Write: Alienation Begone, PO Box 150247, San Rafael, CA 94915.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The fate of the illustrious French painter Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) was typical of many Capricorns. He developed slowly, got meager support for his efforts in his early years, and felt a great deal of isolation. Yet today he is regarded as one of the most influential forerunners of modern art. As you face your own lean times, Capricorn, I'd like to recommend to you a trick the artist used to provide himself with encouragement. He trained his parrot to repeat a single declaration over and over: "Cezanne is a great painter!" I wish you would consider installing a similar morale-booster in your world.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): My reading of the astrological omens tells me that this may be as close as you've gotten to Never-Never Land since you were 4 years old. I mean this is your personal equivalent of Coleridge's Pleasure Dome, my friend. Shangri-La. Big Rock-Candy Mountain. Please don't blow this opportunity. God has a very specific purpose in mind as she barrages you with her dizzying gifts. If you can't manage to have more fun than you've had this decade, you're in danger of pissing her off.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Even as we speak, the planets are conspiring to touch you in ways you didn't realize you needed to be touched. Any minute now you should begin to feel a pleasurable burning sensation in your soft underbelly and maybe a funny-bone feeling throughout your entire immortal soul. What's it all mean? Maybe nothing. Or maybe it means so much that you can't possibly analyze its meaning. What a beautifully mysterious gift that would be. When's the last time you felt free of the need to have to understand everything?