Taurus (April 20-May 20): Food writer Barbara Nachman recently wrote a piece on the discrepancies between the gorgeous photos on the package and the actual food inside. Here's what she wrote about Celeste's Pizza-for-One: "What you see: A crisp, thin-crust pizza drizzled with creamy white cheese and studded with 40 plump sausages. What you get: A thin pizza crust hidden under mottled pink goo and pocked with 40 tiny meat pellets." I'm bringing this up, Taurus, in hopes of gently preparing you for your week ahead. Incongruities, I'm afraid, will abound. What you'll see: catharsis-rich soap operas. What you'll get: meandering shaggy dog stories.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): There must have been, more than 2,000 years ago, a magic moment when a burst of inspiration seared through the mind of the emperor Shih Huang-ti, giving him the idea to create the Great Wall of China. Try to imagine, Gemini, that someday there'll come an analogous moment in your own life. And then dare to hope that this moment will arrive in the next 10 days. Picture a cosmic opening during which you will glimpse the outlines of a magnificent project that'll motivate you for years to come.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): A few weeks ago, Bosnia's foreign minister invited me to Sarajevo to do some astrological intelligence-gathering. Though flattered, I declined. My Cancerian needs for privacy and self-protection were so monumental that I couldn't bear leaving my house, let alone flying into the middle of a war zone. I'm sure all you other Crabs felt something very similar. Since then, though, the gods of the underworld have finished pushing all my buttons -- as I'm sure they have yours. And now my wanderlust is starting to billow -- as I'm positive yours will, too. I suggest, therefore, that you embark on an adventure as riotous as the one I'm plotting.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): This week's horoscope is classified 10 levels above top secret. I wish I could spill it in its glorious entirety, but if I did you'd instantly grow stronger and smarter than everyone you know -- and I don't think you're ready to handle that. You know that old saying, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Here's the only clue I'm at liberty to reveal: The secret you're most ashamed of just happens to be the key to getting the love you've been missing.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Feb. 29 is rarer and weirder by far than Friday the 13th, yet bears little of its superstitious taint. In fact, Leap Year Day has historically been regarded as a special window of opportunity during which women could buck the cultural tradition and propose marriage to men. Calendar expert James Koehnline even goes so far as to suggest that we dub this holiday "Reverse Chivalry Day." Now it so happens that this whole week is an excellent astrological time for you Virgos to turn all sorts of tables and flip all kinds of flops, so I recommend that you celebrate Leap Year Day every day.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This week is about dealing with your fallibility, your mortality, and your unredeemed darkness -- if you're brave. But if you're cowardly, this week will be about clinging to your false pride, rationalizing your wrong turns, and running away from the tests your guardian angel desperately wants you to negotiate. I guess it's possible you'll figure out a way to skulk down the middle path: irresolute waffling, noncommittal paralysis, and clever cynicism. Unless you choose the courageous way out, though, next week's horoscope will be exactly the same as this one.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Until the 19th century, scientists trumpeted the dogma that meteorites were a myth. It was not possible for rocks to fall from the skies, the experts asserted, and therefore they didn't -- even when ordinary folks reported that they did. Likewise, scientists refused to believe in dinosaurs until the 19th century, despite the fact that what we now call fossils had been found in the earth for all of recorded history. If you surmise I'm drawing a parallel to the way scientists now treat UFOs, you're right. But I'm also asking you Scorpios to prevent your oh-so-rational mind from squelching the curious magic that's erupting in your own personal life.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Cabin fever. Have you got it? If not, get it. Now! You hear me? You have no right to be out gallivanting around to every human zoo in town. So go home. Bake some damn cookies or something. Write in your journal. Find out why the planets are beaming so many hunker-down vibes down on you. You need a nap, homeboys and homegirls. Two, three, many naps. You need to, I don't know, crochet in front of the TV while soaking your feet in Epsom salts. You need to play board games until you're so bored you find out what you've been avoiding. Or something. GO HOME!
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Since the planets have primed you to be a superlearner in the next few weeks, you ought to take advantage. You're going to digest mounds of data at a high rate of speed, so you might as well be very discriminating about what kind of data you put on your plate. I mean, do you want to come out of this phase being an expert on, say, Heather Locklear's health and beauty secrets? Or would you rather double your understanding about a subject that'll make you a sexier, more highly paid human dynamo?
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Decide which of the two classified ads below appeals to you most, and treat it as a metaphor for the task you have ahead of you.
1) "Drab, unimaginative company seeks talentless people with no ambitions for a job that performs no useless service for anyone. Interested in wasting your time while drifting aimlessly through life?"
2) "High-octane organization that understands how to play while working and work while playing seeks restless souls for a job that's rarely boring. Interested in having the privilege and responsibility of reinventing yourself continuously?"
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): National Geographic recently reported on a 101-year-old plant living at a botanical garden in Oxford, England. Though this specimen of Agave ferox had grown 6 feet tall since its birth in 1894, it had never once bloomed -- until recently. On a fateful December day in 1994 the greenhouse temperature accidentally exceeded 68 degrees, and in the next two weeks the plant doubled its height. In May, it burst out in flowers for the first time ever.
This very true fairy tale is my gift to you this week, Pisces. It reminds me so much of the way a long-dormant part of you is finally blossoming.