ARIES According to the theory known as Ducharme's Precept, "Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment." I bet you'll soon be living proof of that. An offer or invitation will come your way in a maddeningly inconvenient way. You'll be tempted to invoke excuses about why you cannot possibly take advantage of it right now. But I hope that instead you leap at the chance with a full and even greedy heart. As annoying as the circumstances might seem, they're exactly what you need in order to bring out the best in you.

TAURUS As I meditated on your horoscope, I was driving a rented Ford Taurus 90 mph. "Give me omens about what Tauruses need to hear," I asked the Fates. Moments later, a red Infiniti whizzed by me on the right. The aroma of pig manure from a nearby farm pervaded the air. Orange brush strokes appeared in the dusky sky, making me feel as if nature had painted a gorgeous canvas for my personal enjoyment. Here's how I interpret this lush symbolic offering: As you're gliding along, a message from eternity will speed by you from an unexpected direction. Fertility will be abundant in your life, though it may be pungent. You'll have contact with a boisterous, masculine form of spirituality. Nature will offer you a a gift — a beautiful secret just for you.

GEMINI Of all the objects in the world that are made of 22-karat gold, a bathtub in Japan is the biggest. Weighing in at over 300 pounds, it's in the Funabara Hotel 100 miles south of Tokyo. I suggest you regard it as your personal symbol of power in the coming week. It will remind you to stay true to your task, which is to cleanse yourself extravagantly as you purge your heart of all motivations that aren't pure gold.

CANCER Those of us born under the sign of Cancer are sometimes pathologically self-sufficient. We can dole out love in abundance but be conflicted about asking for and accepting the love we need. Keep that warning in mind as you meditate on the following advice: It's high time to love yourself more and better — to experiment with new strategies for taking care of yourself, nurturing your creativity and providing yourself with pleasure. Just don't let this honorable work blind you to the gifts that other people want to bless you with.

LEO Every year 1.5 million Turkish students take a day-long college entrance exam. It's an absurd attempt to quantify intelligence with a one-size-fits-all standard of measurement. Three-quarters of all students fail, and thus face the prospect of unemployment in a country where only higher education guarantees a decent job. This year a rebel rose up in defiance. Sefa Boyar announced he'd strive to give the wrong answer to every question on the multiple-choice test. Naturally, he had to study hard to make sure he wouldn't accidentally get a few right answers. Be inspired by Boyar. Resist or subvert the soul-shrinking hocus-pocus of a bunch of humans acting like machines. Unlike Boyar, do it in a way that enhances your chance to achieve success on your own terms.

VIRGO There was one main reason why America's founding fathers gave Thomas Jefferson, not Benjamin Franklin, the job of composing the Declaration of Independence. They were afraid that Franklin, a compulsive trickster, would slip jokes into the document. In my opinion, Americans would have been better served if Franklin had been chosen. Even the most profound commitments and weighty situations benefit from the leavening power of humor. Keep that in mind during the oh-so-serious games that are ahead for you.

LIBRA "The time has come to declare the war on terror over," wrote James Fallows in September's The Atlantic. "Al-Qaeda's … threat now rests less on what it can do itself than on what it can trick, tempt, or goad us into doing. Its destiny is no longer in its own hands." In a similar way, one of your personal enemies has mostly lost the power to hurt you. Its remaining threat resides in what it can trick, tempt or goad you into doing. To stay safe and sane, all you have to do is refuse to get sucked in by your weakened enemy's ruses.

SCORPIO In his book Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud, historian Thomas Lacquer suggests that the clitoris may have been unknown to male anatomists until 1559. In that year, Renaldus Columbus, a professor at the University of Padua in Italy, announced his discovery of the "seat of woman's delight." I predict that you will soon ferret out and begin to share in a treasure that, while not quite as momentous as Columbus', will nonetheless fill you with glee — even if its value has always been known to its original finders.

SAGITTARIUS According to astrologer Elias Lonsdale, the age-old war between good and evil is over. His shocking conclusion: Evil lost. It will take a while to ebb away, but already the momentum has shifted. The forces of good are in ascendancy and will steadily build a new order in the coming decades. Is Lonsdale's perspective true? I don't have the wisdom to be able to confirm or deny it. But I do know the age-old war between good and evil within you is over, and evil lost. From now on, the forces of beauty, truth, love and justice will grow in power.

CAPRICORN When playing the card game known as bridge, you're fortunate if you're dealt no cards of any particular suit. It allows you to use the trump suit to win tricks. There's an analogous situation in your life right now. A lack of a certain resource can work to your advantage. It will allow you to be a free agent, an X-factor, a wild card. You'll be able to capitalize on loopholes that aren't normally available to you. Luck will come to you through what you're missing.

AQUARIUS Last May, workers cleaning up garbage on Britain's highest mountain made a startling find. There at the top of Mount Ben Nevis was a piano. Three years earlier, hikers in Indiana's Yellowwood State Forest stumbled upon an equally inexplicable anomaly: a massive boulder lodged in the topmost branches of an 80-foot-tall chestnut tree. These are your metaphors of the week. I bet that you too will find seemingly out-of-place things in high places. Don't dismiss them with a flick of your rational mind. Give them a chance to change your thinking about the nature of reality.

PISCES Millard Fillmore was the last U.S. President who was neither Democrat nor Republican. Let's make him a symbol of freedom from the rigged con game that is America's two-party political system, as well as an inspiring image for those of you who aspire to rise above every "either/or" dichotomy. Fillmore will be your mascot as you declare your independence from the dualistic ways of thinking that threaten to ensnare you. He'll be an emblem that rouses you to transcend the simplistic arguments spewed by fanatical devotees of the Us versus Them racket. Escape the vise.

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