Aries (March 21-April 19): Catholic philosopher John O'Donohue champions the concept of anam cara, Gaelic for "soul friendship." This is more than an alliance based on common interests or mutual exploitation. It's not the kind of connection that arises out of the accident of being in the same place at the same time day after day. With a soul friend, you feel an ancient affinity that stirs your delight in the mystery of life; you're subtly inspired to know and love yourself with more grace than is usually available. I mention this, Aries, because I believe you're about to discover a new soul friendship and reap the lavish bounty of an old one.
Taurus (April 20-May 20): As one of your father figures, I feel I have a lot of credibility when I say it's prime time to overthrow your father figures and become your own father figure. Rarely have you been more immune to dear old Dad's sickness and craziness. Never have you been in a better position to outgrow your knee-jerk reactions to male authorities. As much as you might love the older men in your life, you have a cosmic mandate to reduce their power to shape and control your life.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): Remember how a few weeks ago I predicted that 1998 would be your greatest year ever? I still mean it. But I realize I forgot to mention that it won't happen all by itself. You're going to have to work your assets off. This summer, for instance, you'll be asked to perform exacting miracles that resemble some of the niggling tasks given to the heroines of old fairy tales, like counting the hairs on a pig's back or bailing out a lake with a thimble. In the next few weeks, conversely, your assignments will be much grander and more glamorous. Are you ready to spin flax into gold, answer the riddle of the sphinx, and induce laughter in the idol who never smiles?
Cancer (June 21-July 22): It will not be an especially good week to taunt a caged lion, or to sacrifice a live chicken to the god of envy, or to put yourself in situations that tend to turn you into a werewolf (or a wereweasel, for that matter). This would be a fine time, on the other hand, to feed filet mignon to your pet, and to dream of riding a unicorn through a field of orchids, and to sacrifice one of your beastly cravings so you'll have more kundalini available to invest in one of your angelic desires.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): A silkworm is not a worm; it's a caterpillar. Peanuts aren't nuts but beans. Panama hats are made in Colombia and Ecuador. The English horn is neither English nor a horn, but a French woodwind. People born under the sign of Leo are not always selfish showoffs who need to be the center of attention, but are often generous founts of goodwill who listen well to other people and love to help -- especially these days.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I am allergic to cats. Within minutes of being in the same room with the creatures, I'm wheezing and itching like I'm going to die. To my credit, I don't hold it against them. Nevertheless, I refuse to go anywhere near them. I bring this up, Virgo, because I'd like you to follow my example as you deal with the influences that bug the hell out of you. How? 1) Candidly identify the people and things that mess with your well-being. Don't pretend they're benign. 2) Resolutely avoid the sources of your irritation, and don't apologize for doing so. 3) Forgive them; love them; don't get obsessed with demonizing them.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A Libran reader recently groused, "Why are your horoscopes so damn optimistic? Life is pretty lousy sometimes." I think fate tends to bring us the kinds of experiences that we unconsciously believe we need and deserve. If you take as gospel the trite dogma that suffering is the best motivation for personal growth, you'll probably attract lots of experiences that seem to prove it. If on the other hand you resolve to stalk love and joy and peace and revelation, you're more likely to sense the Divine Presence in everything that happens. It should be pretty easy for you to cop the latter attitude these days, Libra. From what I can tell, the cosmos is deeply in love with you.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Once again, I find myself duty-bound to give you advice that goes against your grain. This time, I've got a batch of commands that's sure to conflict with your secretive, scheming side. Please meditate on and carry out the following assignments. 1) Crack open, expose, and release your hermetically sealed pain. 2) Unlock, uncork, and unfurl your worried heart. 3) Disclose, lay bare, and display your buried treasures. 4) As a ritual to sanctify the first three tasks, open all the windows and doors of your house, including the closets and cupboards, at 6:53 p.m. PST on Saturday, Feb. 7. Then stand in front of your favorite aperture (preferably unclothed) and announce, "I am a naked innocent, full of wonder."