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ARIES Recently uncovered evidence seems to confirm the argument that Christopher Columbus was a cruel, stupid tyrant who paved the way for the genocide of Native Americans. But I'd like you to meditate on the wisdom of the bumper sticker I just saw: "Columbus did not know where he was going. When he got back, he didn't know where he had been. But he had a great adventure. And he did it all on borrowed money. There's hope for all of us." Given your current astrological omens, there's substantial hope for you to pull off a feat comparable to the one the bumper sticker describes.

TAURUS "Dear Love Doctor: Please send a divine slap upside the head to the clueless guy I'm in a half-assed relationship with. He's GOT to wake up to the fact that it's high time to let me shower him with love. With just a flick of his attitude, he could have me whipping up gourmet Cajun cuisine in his new kitchen, not to mention spicing up every other room in his house. — Overripe Taurus." Dear Overripe: I appreciate the ability you have right now to envision the best and brightest possibilities for your relationships. However, it's crucial that you give everyone the freedom to bumble along, even if it means that for now they'll be out of sync with the wonders you can imagine.

GEMINI The last few drops in your chalice will soon evaporate. Your luxurious indoor swimming pool (you know, the one in your fantasies) has barely enough water left in it to give a waterbug traction. And you haven't reached out your arms and cupped your hands in a gesture of feisty anticipation for far too long. So what are you going to do about it all? Here's what I suggest: FILL 'ER UP! (P.S. The gas tank of the flying car you sometimes take for a spin in your dreams is also on empty.)

CANCER Pay attention to how your immediate past impacts the present. Just as the food you ate in the previous two days plays a large role in determining your physical energy today, your current mood has been shaped by the psychic environment you've created for yourself recently. Here's the thing: You have a choice. You can decide to fuel yourself with unhealthy food, mediocre fantasies and petty emotions, or you can insist on high-class, first-rate stuff that will make you feel good.

LEO In his book Thumbsucker, Walter Kirn explores the tension between security and passion. We all yearn to feel safe, he says, and yet we also need to express our wildness, which is crucial in giving us a sense of being ourselves. If we put too much emphasis on being careful, we squelch our primal urge for unpredictability and lose touch with our need to play. You're at the end of a phase when caution and self-preservation have made sense. Don't wait too much longer before you put your ass on the line in search of too much fun.

VIRGO The Delaware Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania has an outhouse that cost $333,000 to build. It's a two-hole beauty with a roof constructed from slate mined in Vermont, porch railings built out of Indiana limestone and an indestructible cobblestone foundation. This is your symbol of power for the coming week. May it inspire you to devote elegant, sumptuous attention to one of your most basic needs.

LIBRA In the film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain, two English cartographers arrive in a small town to evaluate whether the local peak is high enough to be officially defined as a mountain. To the villagers' consternation, their beloved landmark is found to be less than the regulation 1,000 feet — a mere hill — and that prompts them to take action. With painstaking determination, they haul buckets of dirt from their gardens all the way to the top, hoping to raise it high enough to exceed the standard. This scenario is comparable to a challenge I hope you'll take on. Please do whatever's necessary to ensure your hill is actually a mountain.

SCORPIO You were standing in the doorway with your crooked smile as big and wild as the morning light. I was spellbound — I lost all memory of who I'd been before that moment. Did I hallucinate what you said as you murmured into your cell phone? Did you really say, "I'm looking for someone who'll teach me how to live forever as we make love with exploding hearts"? That was too sweet and fierce to bear. So here's my loving complaint, which is also my bragging promise: I want you so much I want to be you. I adore you with such painful lucidity that I think I could learn how to find you in every bird's cry, every cloud's flow, every changing face.

SAGITTARIUS A storm has been stirring up your inner world. Tune in to it now. Feel its blustering squall. Bow down to its pummeling howl. Let your awe and amazement rise as you contemplate how much power it has had to disturb you. Feel gratitude for all the ways it has forced you to become tougher and cagier. Now imagine that the storm is beginning to dissipate. Sense it slowly but surely losing its force, spending its last fury. Soon it will have evolved into a misty drizzle. Tomorrow morning, you will awaken filled with relaxed clarity.

CAPRICORN "It was so much easier when I was cruel," mourns Elvis Costello in his song "When I Was Cruel." Writing about the aching protectiveness she feels toward her precious son Sam in her book Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott expresses a related gripe: "I feel that he has completely ruined my life, because I just didn't used to care all that much." A similar predicament may soon visit you. Thanks to several close encounters with other people's pain, you may swell up with compassion and empathy. Will you get soft and weak like Costello and Lamott? According to my reading of the omens, you won't. I think you'll become stronger and smarter.

AQUARIUS Goose bumps and burning sensations coursed through me as I meditated on your upcoming adventures. From what I can tell, your rambles will be both spooky and fulfilling. They'll knock you on your ass and lift your spirits, sometimes at the same time. They'll give you almost more blessings than you can handle as they invite you to take on responsibilities that will give you the chance to be a hero. Are you ready to have your certainties challenged in the most useful ways possible?

PISCES A cat doesn't usually catch a mouse on its first pounce. On average, the kill takes three pounces. I hope this fun fact inspires you to avoid the temptation to prematurely retire from your hunt. It's true that the treasure you're pursuing has eluded you beyond the time you thought you would have gotten it. It's also true that the frustration you're feeling threatens to dilute the intense concentration you need to complete the quest. But now that you've read my exhortation, maybe you'll see that you're closer to capturing the prize than you realize; maybe you'll marshal your energy and prime yourself to pounce as many more times as it'll take.


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