This Week's Horoscope

Aries (March 21–April 19)A genie presents you this bum deal: "I'll grant three wishes, only here's the catch: In order to make room for the new thing, I'm going to take its balance away from the rest of your life." I wouldn't blame you if you said, "Thanks, but no thanks." However, there's something to this harsh arrangement—if you want something new in your life, you must actively and consciously make space for it before it'll show up on the scene. Start doing that. Sure, you could wait for a genie to appear and do it for you, but this way's faster, more reliable, and best of all: You get to choose what you cut out.Taurus (April 20–May 20)Legends of Sirens depicted women (sometimes part bird, sometimes part fish) who lured men (usually sailors) to watery graves with the irresistible call of their song. Odysseus, of Greek mythology, was curious what they sounded like, and so ordered his men's ears stopped with beeswax and had himself bound to the mast of his ship so that he could hear them. Once entranced, he ordered his men to free him, but they didn't do so until they were out of earshot of the Sirens. This precaution saved his life—a similar one may save yours. I think you should indulge your curiosity—what's life good for, if not experiencing things?—but you should do so wisely and safely.Gemini (May 21–June 20)As a child, I was fascinated with a talk show which featured people with synaesthesia—a neurological condition that crosses one sensation with another. "New York tastes like burnt toast" and "The number zero smells like the ocean" were phrases I found compellingly beautiful. You can't actually cross your wires like that, but you would benefit from simulating something along those lines. Create unusual associations between things you love. If you can get to the point where commonplace sensations like smelling gasoline and tasting root beer can vividly remind you of something you adore, you'll be a happier person.Cancer (June 21–July 22)This week it's important for you to step outside your comfort zone. Unfortunately, no one's more comfortable in a rut than a Cancer—so it's harder for you to do what's necessary to get yourself out. Don't tell me "It's not so bad here." While that may be true, it is still by definition a rut, and things could (and should) be a lot better. Upgrading your quality of life isn't so hard; it just requires that you're willing to do stuff that you historically haven't been that keen on—taking the initiative and stepping up.Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)For almost three decades, India and Bangladesh argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Recently, their dispute was resolved by global warming: Rising sea levels completely submerged the place—it is, effectively, no more. This elegant solution to their ridiculous quarrel has a bearing on your own life. The thing you're clinging to is about as useful as a barren rock island, if you really think about it—besides, if you waste much more time with this impasse, it's likely to disappear as entirely as if a whole ocean came and covered it. Compromise or let go, already.Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)In old-school mythologies of various cultures, gods walked among, tricked, seduced, and screwed humans. While this led to fantastic tales, it was also cruelly unfair to the humans involved, who were quite simply not on the same playing field. Instead of co-players in the game, they were, effectively, pawns. Unfortunately, something akin to that scenario is playing out here. Although the stakes aren't as high and the roles not so extreme, those playing with you don't exactly view you as an equal. Thus your duty is clear; either prove them wrong and beat them at their own game, or walk away before you get hurt.Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)Just because you're kind of a princess doesn't mean you need to be snobby, formal, imperious, or fragile. Unfortunately, all those adjectives are sometimes used to describe Libras. However, all these also apply: friendly, generous, bold, playful, creative, diplomatic, optimistic, and engaging. Plenty of new people in your life don't know you well enough to form an opinion one way or another. Make sure they get to know this warmer, more beautiful side; this week, be the kind of royalty who doesn't think twice about rough-and-tumble play with the unwashed masses—the kind of princess who makes everyone (s)he talks to feel like nobility, not servants.Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)Musician Ben Folds visited chatroulette (which randomly connects you with other video-chat users) at one of his concerts. People who chose to log on suddenly found themselves in a concert hall with two thousand people and a musician singing to them. (The video is awesome, by the way.) I love how most people take it in stride (even if they're on the toilet!); even though they may have logged on to masturbate or flirt, they found themselves celebrated, entertained, and cheered instead. See if you can supersede or confound people's expectations in a similar way this week. You'll find that not only are you good at it—it's also tremendously fun.Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)Build a fence made of human skulls and bones, and see how amazingly differently various people will see it. A cynical sort might see it as a morbid reminder of life's brevity. Someone ecological-minded could view it as a thrifty use of elegant building materials—very environmental! A postmodern neo-hippie could see it as a hardcore affirmation of the interconnectedness of all things. My point is, no matter what you do, how it's viewed will be more influenced by where other people are coming from than by your own intentions. Don't worry about them. Where you're coming from might be more or less irrelevant to them, but it's still most important for the person who matters most, in this case: you.Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)Even agnostic or atheistic parents must contemplate strangely religious subjects such as whether or not to celebrate Christmas (which is pagan at its roots, and mostly a commercial celebration of capitalism, in any case), and whether or not to tell their kids Santa isn't real. Knowing what you believe doesn't always make it easy to share those beliefs; living in the complex world we inhabit makes it more subtle and complicated than you'd at first think. In many of the scenarios you encounter this week, there's no black-and-white easy decision—most of the threads you tug could unravel many others. Take your time.Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)If it takes 24-hour surveillance for you to be able to trust someone, the issue isn't them—it's you. That's not to say they're automatically trustworthy—it's that it doesn't matter how honest and dependable they are, they'll surely crack under the pressure of a paranoid freak. Most relationships require a good deal of faith and trust, and most of that must come from you. Recognize that you may simply be unready to put that kind of confidence in someone, or at least in this particular someone; at that point the kindest thing to do is to take yourself out of the equation (and explain why).Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)Recently I bonded with a Virgo friend over the joys of having a plan, and the necessity of sometimes letting it go. You're generally good at the letting-go part—it's the making-and-sticking to-a-plan part that you occasionally suck at. This is a good week to practice that skill. Get some help if you need to; enlist someone who's capable and willing to keep you on track. Let them help you come up with a plan, and then crack the whip to make sure you follow through on it. You'll never lose your aptitude for letting go—this week, concentrate on your ability to hang on.

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