TAURUS (April 20-May 20) A little knowledge can be dangerous. I constantly meet people who have boxed themselves into tight spots by misusing their smattering of astrological information. There's no better example of this than the superstition about Mercury retrograde, which is supposedly a bad time to begin anything new. During one such period last year, an acquaintance of mine decided to delay accepting a dream job offer as editor of a magazine. By the time Mercury returned to normal, the magazine had hired another applicant. I wish I'd have known, because I would have told her what I'll tell you: Some of America's biggest, most enduring Fortune 500 companies began when Mercury was retrograde, including Disney, Goodyear, and Boeing. The moral of the story: Of all the signs of the zodiac, it's most important that you Tauruses don't worry about launching new projects during the current Mercury retrograde.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Would you really prefer it if you had no problems? Do you imagine you'd enjoy life more if everything was pure fun and smoothly easy? Here's an astrological perspective: People who have an overabundance of positive aspects in their natal horoscopes often turn out to be lucky but lazy bums who never accomplish much. So I say, be thankful for the complications that are visiting you. I bet they will make a man out of you if you're a woman, or a woman out of you if you're a man. If you're white, they'll help you get blacker, and if you're black, they'll make you whiter. Catch my drift? As you do your best to solve the knotty riddle, you'll become better balanced and more versatile than folks who are rarely challenged.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Here's the most important rule for you in the coming week: Keep your eyes fixed on a vision of your shining destiny. If you do, you'll be unflappable, indefatigable and irrepressible. Your luck will be so crazy good it'll be almost spooky. Noble deeds you did in the past will finally bring the rewards you deserve. Allies will conspire to assist you, sometimes in ways you couldn't have predicted. I'm not exaggerating, Cancerian. If you stay focused on the highest prize, you'll live a charmed life.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In 1990, my rock band World Entertainment War played at a San Francisco nightclub on the same bill as the Beatnigs, an assemblage fronted by Michael Franti. Their avant-garde industrial music featured band members rhythmically hitting a steel bar with a power saw and slapping a long chain against a piece of sheet metal hanging from the back wall. Fast-forward to 2009, when Franti's latest band Spearhead released a catchy romantic pop ditty titled "Say Hey (I Love You)," which reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. I predict a comparable development for you in the next six months, Leo: moving from a state of raw, dark, obscure power to a state of bright, refined, accessible power.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Mangosteens and rambutans are exotic fruits that grow in faraway places. The mangosteen is creamy and purple, with a peachy citrus taste, while the rambutan is like a big hairy red grape. This is a perfect moment, astrologically speaking, to invite them into your mouth. Likewise, the time is right for you to consider welcoming other colorful, striking and foreign elements into your life. So maybe consider making friends with a Paraguayan acrobat. Sing Vietnamese folk songs. Read the memoirs of an Iranian exile. Exchange conspiracy theories with an Icelandic fairy.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A reader named Emory proposes that we add a new meme to the cultural lexicon: interpersonal intellectual orgasm. Here's how he describes it: "It happens when your conversation with another person becomes so intense that nothing else matters except the dialog you're creating together. The two of you are so in tune, so intellectually bonded, that the sensation is almost like making love. For that time, it's like that person is in you and you are in that person; you are one because you understand each other so completely." I bring this to your attention, Libra, because you're in a phase of your astrological cycle when the interpersonal intellectual orgasm is far more likely than usual to occur.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Unlike people who cheat on their mates, polyamorists carry on two or more intimate relationships but don't lie about it. Their lovers know about each other and have agreed to the arrangement. I applaud those who have the inclination to pull off this tricky work, even though I personally couldn't manage it. Handling just a single intense bond takes improbable amounts of my ingenuity. If I were trying to weave my fate together with more than one partner, I wouldn't have any energy left over to write these horoscopes or do anything else. How about you, Scorpio? You're in a phase when splitting your attention might be tempting, not just in regards to your love life but in other areas, too. Whether that's the right thing to do, I can't say. Here's what I do know: You can either go deeper or wider, but not both.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Never bear more than one trouble at a time," wrote author and clergyman Edward Everett Hale. "Some people bear three kinds -- all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have." That's good advice for you, Sagittarius. Please just stick to the trouble you have, and drop the other two kinds. There's no need to fill up your beautiful head with extra torment. Besides, you're much more likely to wrestle the current trouble into submission if you're not weighted down by unnecessary extras.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What excites you? What makes you itch with a longing to be surprised? What fills you to the brim with curiosity and an agitated sense of wonder? You may not know even half of what you could potentially realize about these matters. Have you ever sat down and taken a formal inventory? Have you ever dedicated yourself to figuring out all the things that would inspire you most? Do it sometime soon, please; attend to this glorious task. According to my reading of the omens, it's prime time to do so.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It's a good thing Margaret Mitchell suffered a broken ankle back in 1925. She got so bored as she lay around the house recuperating that she started writing a book. Eventually, it blossomed into the 423,000-word blockbuster Gone with the Wind, which sold 30 million copies and won her the Pulitzer Prize. Judging from your current astrological omens, Aquarius, I suspect that you too may soon be offered an opportunity disguised as a ho-hum problem.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I was pleased when I discovered a website with a video of quirky songstress Cat Power singing David Bowie's iconic song "Space Oddity." I love her, I love Bowie and I love the tune. And yet a wave of disappointment broke over me when I realized, 30 seconds into the performance, that it was actually a car commercial. I felt duped. Appalled. Outraged. Any pleasure I'd gotten from the experience was ruined. Don't be like me, Pisces. You, too, may soon receive a blessing that has some minor annoyance. Don't overreact like me. Look past the blemish and enjoy the gift.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "In a recipe for salsa published recently, one of the ingredients was misstated, due to an error," said an apology run by a local newspaper. "The correct ingredient is '2 tsp. of cilantro' instead of '2 tsp. of cement.'" This is an example of the kind of miscue you should be alert for in your own life during the coming week, Aries. As long as you pay close attention and spot the tiny booboos as they arise, you won't end up dipping your chips into a gritty, gravely mess.
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