Sign Language

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

eXistenZ, a movie by David Cronenberg, explores a multilayered virtual reality game that's so deep, compelling, and credible, players are never quite certain whether they've exited the game. You can identify. You know that reality isn't as solid and matter-of-fact as some would have you believe; instead, it's influenced by expectations, reactions, and perceptions. That's why a dozen people, each recounting his or her absolute truth regarding an event they all experienced, can tell 12 different, sometimes contradictory, stories. Just a reminder of something you already knew: Your truth isn't The Truth. Tell your tale, then listen with interest and belief to everyone else's.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

More than 4 million people took to the streets on Feb. 15 to protest President George W. Bush's hubristic and greedy war on Iraq. In dozens of cities worldwide, many of them in countries traditionally allied with the United States, concerned global citizens voiced their opposition to the apparently oil-motivated death and destruction. Yet I cynically believe that he'll proceed anyway, despite the fact that this war is less popular than Vietnam. He's got his eyes on plunder that blinds him to what he stands to lose if he persists anyway. Don't be like Dubya. Your potential prize pales in comparison to what you'd inevitably squander in its pursuit. Let it go, and get more for your inaction than your exploits would ever have garnered.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Hey, Snow White. I refer to the facet of you that's slept in a glass case, perfectly preserved, for some time now. Every so often, you've looked upon it with pride or shown it off to your friends. On the one hand, it's an impressive feat that you've managed to hold onto it this longsomething akin to keeping your virginity until marriage. But on the other hand, what's so great about conserving your sexual inexperience until you meet a potential life-mate? Liberate yourself. Be your own Prince Charming. It's time to free the dwarves tending your glass case, open it, and wake that comatose inner princess with a kiss.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Letting go is hard to do. Sometimes you're forced to, like when the dog chews the faces off your dolls or your sister totals your first car. Unfortunately, you might wish for those kinds of shitty happenstances this week, because consciously choosing to release something you love that's no longer useful or good for you can be harder than having it taken away or destroyed. But since you'll inevitably lose the beloved crutch in question, wouldn't it be better to liberate it now, on your own terms, rather than waiting for the universe to wrench it from your life? Believe me, your way is better.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Trading Spaces, the show in which friends redecorate each other's houses, is my recent television fixation. I'm amazed at how characterless and bland some of these people's houses arewhich makes me think of you: I'm sure none of those insipid folk are Cancers. Your space reflects your soul. Most Cancerian houses are warm, cozy, cluttered, and filled with sentiment, like your heads. They may not be trendy or stylish, but they're always interesting and real. I don't mention this so you can abstractly appreciate the sympathetic relationship between bedroom and brain space; I want you to take advantage of it. It works both ways. With the new moon in Pisces this week, it's an ideal time to refurbish an outmoded room in your houseand revise an obsolete attitude, while you're at it.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

It's fitting that your ruling planet is the sun, because unlike your fiery cousins, those Arieswho flare up in blinding flashes of unparalleled gloryyou're able to sustain an impressive nuclear blaze for your entire lifetime, one that shines consistently more brightly than some people's most dazzling moments. The fuel that nourishes this inspired radiance: hope. Optimism, among your tribe, is the ultimate self-replenishing fuel. So never, ever give upno matter how dark or desperate things getbecause your star may grow dim, but it'll never go out unless you let it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Although you admire and strive for simplicity, your life is rarely, if ever, described as simple. Instead, it's rife with myriad complications. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. For example, it's never boring. Don't be too hard on yourself as you try to eliminate obfuscations and can't nix a single one. You're just not a Zen-type person, who can eradicate all distractions. Your inner peace is more of the dervish variety, in which you find a point of stillness in the center of a chaotic tornado of activity. Embrace your whirlwindyou're more likely to find the serene eye of the storm if you're not always trying to dance out of its way.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

"It only hurts when I laugh." This week, you make me think of that cracked-rib complaintas a source of pain or misery inextricably tangles itself with a primary fount of spiritual nourishment, like laughter. "So don't laugh," is not an appropriate response. Don't even momentarily contemplate cutting yourself off from any of the wellsprings of your well-being, even to avoid a little anguish. Life is about experiencing things. You can't always choose what it is you feel, but don't go numb. Sometimesas you'll soon learnjoy and sorrow come together, or not at all.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

An ancient germ called GB virus C, which has harmlessly tagged along throughout human evolution, appears to help those infected with it by making them far less likely to die from HIV. The innocuous virus blocks pathways for HIV to invade and destroy new blood cells. Although doctors are years from deliberately infecting people with GBV-C (assuming they ever do), I suggest you employ a similar strategy this week to limit annoyances from pests you can't inoculate yourself against. For example, to thwart unwanted wooing from unsavory suitors, have your best friend pretend to be your lover. You may not be able to solve your problem this waybut at least you can keep it from getting worse.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Some bewildered parents try to curb their kids, with hyperactivity-checking drugs, for example, or other artificial restrictions. Unfortunately, this lack of courage and imagination can lead to stunted human beings; misbehaving and making mistakes is how we grow. And it's better to suffer some painful lessons earlylike chicken pox, they're more horrible and dangerous to get later. Don't try to save yourself or anyone else from learning an upsetting truth this week. Better sooner than later: The larger any illusion is allowed to grow, the sharper and more agonizing its shards will be when it's finally shattered.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Ignore the petty little man behind the curtain, or anyone trying to manipulate you into believing you're incomplete. One of the appealing things about the questers in The Wizard of Oz is that they already possessed the things they soughtthey simply needed the quest to reveal their hitherto hidden qualities. You're like the Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin Man: You already have what you're looking for, be it brains, brawn, or heart. And if you're just looking for a way back home, look aroundit's time you finally realized: You're already there.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

The Point of No Return looms. It's that moment when you've invested so much time and energy in something, you can't possibly quit without achieving your goal. Persistence and determination are good qualities, but excessive stick-to-it-iveness can be damaging if your goal is unattainablebefore you know it, all your resources are drained, and you're still empty-handed. Beware that inertia-laden end zone. Before you commit to your ambition, make sure it's achievable. There are times to attempt the impossible; this isn't one of them. Many amazing opportunities lie ahead. I'd hate for you to miss out because you were too busy pursuing a chimerical and ultimately fruitless daydream.

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