April 28, 2003

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Lakes of fire wouldn't prevent you from rescuing someone you loved. I believe that; unfortunately you might have to actually prove it this week, as grueling tests of your constancy may lie ahead. Any soul less devoted than yours would beat a rapid retreat. Prepare yourself for third-degree burns; sometimes love defies all logic, reason, or rationalization. Just remember, Aries: Sometimes people screw up. Sometimes bad shit looks worse than it is. You believe that some of these criminalskarmic or real lifeonly need love. I agree; somebody ought to love themand that somebody is you. Ready your ice kayak and your burn cream. The flaming reservoir awaits.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Although most traditional wineries still stopper their bottles with real corks, many employ modern plastic plugs. They claim that they can guarantee more consistent results with the synthetic versions, which are less likely to be flawed or influence the flavor of the wine. Taureans, as steadfast sensualists, prefer old-fashioned, classier corks. Winemaking should be an art, not a sciencewith mishaps, surprises and imperfections. A similar, less intoxicating, but more relevant debate is happening in your life. Stick to your guns, for all our sakes. Most people would prefer the love-infused imperfection you'd advocate over the cold (if scientifically accurate) version you're up against.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Toss your keys into the bucket as you enter the swinger's party. At the end, each wife will select a set and go home with someone else's husband. Sounds like a probable nightmare, no? Unfortunately, it's uncomfortably similar to what you might experience this week. Since you're likely to have at least a moment or three of intimacy with someone you'd never expect to, try to remember that it's probably as embarrassing and traumatic (and secretly titillating) for them as it is for you. That should help a little, along with the knowledge that it'll be over and nearly forgotten soon. Oh, and wear clean underwear. That'll help, too.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

You believe the things you ingest have power to improve your life, from Prozac and vitamins to antibiotics and Viagra. So why are you resistant to the idea that you could be suffering from an outside influence as heady as those seemingly magical remedies? The emotional problems you're having don't necessarily come from within. Astrological indications suggest that some could have their sources in something that's as common and deviously potent as sugar (hell, it might even be sugar; the stuff is evil). More than anything, I want you to free yourself from the yoke of outside emotional oppression. The first step comes this week: figuring out exactly what that yoke is.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Imagine you fell in love with someone who was nearly 8 feet tall. You'd intimately share the trials your lover had to endure living in a world made for shorter people. You'd empathetically stoop when walking through doorways, cringe while cramming into cars, and stoically ignore people's insensitive stares and rude comments. I can't imagine you shrinking from such a challenge. When faced with a similar (if perhaps less obvious) trial, exercise your world-famous loyalty. I've bet all that your steadfastness will prove superior to whatever tests it must endure. Prove me right.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

If you were a cow, you'd have four stomachsand each one would be packed with partially digested vegetation. You couldn't possibly eat another bite of even something as innocuous as a mouthful of grass. Don't put anything else on your plate this week. Why risk screwing up everything just to accomplish one more measly task? Relax. Sit back, chew your cud, and digest what you've already taken on. If you dare thwart my advice, you won't just make yourself sick; you'll explode. Really.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Those who live in candy houses shouldn't tease fat people. From my vantage point, you're perched in a gingerbread tower snidely throwing hard candies at a horde of insatiable gluttons. Are you crazy? Chumming the waters just before you jump in is probably not the best idea, and since these sharks have the power to drag you in against your will, it's an especially bad call. Quit before it's too late, Libra. It's still possible to preserve the rock-candy heart of your edible abode, even if the chocolatey outer walls get devoured. Use that marvelous tact you're so renowned for, and quit antagonizing the specific people who have the most potential and desire to take you down.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Unless interstellar travel becomes convenient in a way that contradicts current laws of physics, the only meaningful or profitable trade between interplanetary cultures would be an exchange of ideas. Ideas and information are already as valuable as concrete goods in many situationsand will someday make traditional coinage obsolete. I mention all this because a prophetic example of this very situation is likely to play out in your near future. No one wants to buy your stuffit's what is in your head and heart that has high market value. Therefore, since your thoughts are your best currency, be careful how you spend them.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Your confidence is badly shaken. Over the last few months, your usual talent for combining the ridiculous and the sublime has gone severely awry. There have been tasteless disasters like gold-plated dildos and overly serious fashion interventions. But just because the recent surprises you'd planned turned out, in retrospect, to be horribly useless and fell depressingly flat instead of evoking the laughs you intended, it doesn't mean you've forever lost your droll touch. Some of the astrological impediments to your successful combination of dour and delightful have been removed, and this week you should be able to make people laugh and think at the same time. Have faith in your ability's belated return, and use it.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Paranoia, to some degree, is understandable, given the state of the world today. But don't let it get so out of hand that you become obsessed (or driven, as only a Cap can) with one idea, like building a makeshift bomb shelter in your basement or plotting a move to New Zealand. As Saturn's unruly children, you've suffered enough. Don't compound your misery with unnecessary concerns. The universe has always been hard on youbecause you need that pounding to become the force to be reckoned with that you are. But this week you'll be rewarded with a long-overdue break. I hope you stop beating yourself up long enough to notice it.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Chita Rivera rocks. Your fellow Aquarian, who's enjoyed more than four decades of Broadway fame, is still so sexy and athletic at 70, she's the envy of women (and gay men) 20 or 40 years younger than she is. Only Aquarians and Capricorns (who age backward) can hope to merit adjectives like alluring and agile into their old age. So you'd better stop bitching and moaning about what are, in general, minor flaws. Take your cue from Chita. You've barely tapped your potential. You've got decades to go, and the way it looks from here, you still haven't hit your peak.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Millions of protesters worldwide are probably wishing certain national leaders were more like Cincinnatus of ancient Rome. When the Senate asked him to save them from a lengthy siege, he reluctantly left his farm and led the Roman army to victory. Immediately afterward, he shed the power they'd forced upon him and returned to his plow. Sometimes violence is requiredbut restraint and disinclination toward it are always good qualities. Most Pisces would never be guilty of such a sin, but certain of your closest companions have seized the reins of power and held onto them far longer than was strictly necessary. Gently encourage them, as only you can, to finally let them go.

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