Taurus (April 20-May 20): According to Edward Hirsch, writing in The American Poetry Review, the French poet Robert Desnos was like a tender saint during his imprisonment at the Buchenwald concentration camp. He "floated through the ranks of the doomed prisoners ... telling fortunes, encouraging people awaiting the gas chambers by opening their palms and predicting future happiness and long life." I bring this up, Taurus, in an effort to inspire your optimism during this year's version of the dark night of the soul. After all, your sorrows are not even a billionth as acute as Desnos'. Surely you can find a way to play happy even as you acknowledge the sacredness of your pain.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): After last week's stunning bull's- eye, even your strongest supporters thought you should quit while you were ahead. "Pull back and enjoy the spoils of victory," they implied. "You've collected enough glory." But you refused to withdraw, Gemini; you kept right on shooting. And now -- surprise, surprise -- you're about to be vindicated. I predict that your next arrow will split the shaft of the arrow you landed in the bull's-eye last time. In archery, this rare feat is known as a "Robin Hood."
Cancer (June 21-July 22): It's an excellent time to donate big bucks to Amnesty International, or volunteer for the Peace Corps, or attend an international conference on the dangers of overpopulation. But if all that seems beyond the call of duty, you can still take great advantage of your current astrological aspects -- not to mention score major Brownie points with God -- by working compassionate acts of magic on a more local level. Maybe you could volunteer to serve meals at a homeless shelter, or write a letter to the editor urging more bikeways in your community, or speak to teen-agers about the corrosive effects of overexposure to mass media.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): The Italians have a saying I'm quite fond of: Se non e vero, e ben trovato. One translation is "Even if it's not true, it's still a good story." (Another: "It may not be accurate, but it's ingeniously crafted.") You Leos would do well to be guided in the coming week by the perspective embodied in that quip. In other words, enjoy the hell out of the show that's unfolding before your amazed eyes, but don't get too wrapped up in wondering how seriously you should take it. Sometimes the only meaning in a shimmering mystery resides in the lovely power of being mystified.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): If you have a cure for spring fever, don't tell me. I don't want to get rid of it -- not in myself, not in you, not in anyone. The long gray sullen chill is over! Let's overcompensate like crazy as we rise up and revive our manic joie de vivre. You Virgos are especially deserving -- and needful -- of a bacchanalian spree: Of all the signs, you have the most virulent inhibitions to overthrow, and the most raw mojo to reactivate. (P.S. If you have any foolproof strategies for whipping up, enhancing, and taking advantage of spring fever, send them to me at PO Box 761, Petaluma, CA 94953 or www.realastrology.com/.)
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In my worldview, chaos comes in two main varieties. One is negative and disorienting, while the other is rejuvenating and benevolent. I believe you now are being animated by the power of the second kind. Unfortunately, some of the people around you are driven more by the messier stuff. Whose chaos will win out? Yours has an excellent chance -- especially now that you've been forewarned with this brief analysis of the subtle truth.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It's a perfect moment to get mad at things you're "not supposed to," and to dredge up feelings you've been hiding even from yourself, and to throw stones toward heaven. (Just don't throw them straight up; you wouldn't want to be standing in their downward path.) It's also a pretty good time to do favors in order to get favors, and to talk extensively (with experts if possible) about improving your relationship to work. It is, however, most assuredly the wrong week to pay lip service, or to tolerate phoniness (especially in yourself), or to be lazy about asking deep questions.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To be honest, I'll be only mildly shocked if heaven itself breaks open in your honor this week, revealing three 900-foot-tall angels playing your favorite inspirational songs through silver trumpets while nearby a fluorescent green UFO flies loop-de-loops and pulls a banner that reads "We love you more than you know, Sagittarius," and streams of gold confetti fall from a cloud shaped like
your secret vision of paradise, each piece of confetti inscribed in miniature with a rosy fortune-cookie fortune personalized just for you.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Have you been fantasizing about taking a time out? Do you wish you had more breathing room? Can you imagine yourself disappearing for a while? I sincerely hope you've answered yes to these questions, Capricorn. The cosmos is practically begging you to sedate that part of your psyche the Zen Buddhists call the monkey mind. Nothing would be better for the health of your long-term ambitions than a slow, relaxed cruise through the emptiest spaces you can find.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I wouldn't want to be responsible for getting you in trouble at work, but it's my civic duty to call your attention to the fact that April 6 is World Phone in Sick Day. And it's my astrological responsibility to let you know that you have a mandate to goof off and mess around and cut up far more than usual this week. Now if it's possible for you to fulfill the latter assignment while on the job, by all means show up as scheduled. Otherwise, I suggest you definitely phone in sick. (For more info, go to http://www.paranoia.com/~rtmark/homereg.html on the Web and click on "Phone in Sick Day.")
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): In the natural world, miscarriages are not uncommon. Biologists estimate that as many as one-third of all human pregnancies spontaneously abort. Applying this theme more metaphorically, I'd have to say that the percentage of brilliant ideas that never spawn practical results is at least as high. I'm sounding this warning for you, Pisces, because I believe the week ahead will be a turning point in determining whether the brainstorms of March will become the full-fledged brainchildren of this summer and fall. Nurture your fragile sprouts like crazy.