Some people have that marvelous knack of applying soothing balm over a wound, stanching bleeding (physical or emotional) with a gentle word. Often, in the past, you've had the opposite effect, dismayingly?as if despite your intent to comfort and heal, you're just rubbing salt in an open cut. Oh briny Goat-fish, I believe in the cautious goodness of your heart, and so do most of your friends. That's why these sometimes clumsy gestures have usually only led to a forgivable sting, and rarely a scar. This week's healing of a longstanding hurt is also an opportunity to learn some of that beneficent grace, bringing you one significant step closer to being a more potent and effective healer than you ever imagined.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Your desire for clarity won't come from peering into a crystal ball, watching television or otherwise zoning out. Because I desire the brilliance of your mind to bring light and understanding to others (including myself), it's in my selfish best interest that I encourage you to concentrate the diffusion of your thoughts into some manageable form. Perhaps you've been spending too much time living in your head. A brisk jog, scouring shower or even mindful consumption of a clear glass of water can help remind you that you have a body, which is just as much a tool as your mind. Use it. Go jack (or jill) off. When you're done giving your brain a break, it just might be willing to let you use it again.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
I've rarely seen a Pisces get mad. Oh sure, I've seen you fuming in the corner, stewing in your own juices. But your gentle, watery nature seems to resist ever bursting into flames. Think of your life as an old building. You're the landlord. I long for the day that your anger sets off smoke alarms, has squadrons of fire trucks screaming around corners to answer your rage. I don't want to see anyone hurt. Nor do you, obviously?that's the primary reason you've avoided difficult emotions like these. Just consider this: in the long run, a good, clean, short-lived explosion is far less damaging and easier to repair than years of water damage.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
According to popular legend, once-violent gangs used to settle at least some of their conflicts with breakdancing contests. War's an ugly, seemingly inescapable thing. I don't believe we'll achieve a lasting world peace any time soon. But I dare to hope that we might discover better ways to resolve our inevitable conflicts: contests of humor, wisdom or skill?things with meaning and sense, unlike violence, which has none. Imagine a victory over your enemies won by a contest of laughter, or a ritual game of dodgeball. It's no more ridiculous than beating or killing each other to prove a point. Your task this week is to learn a new way of dealing with confrontations, so that they're finally ones you're truly proud to win and occasionally graceful enough to lose.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Every day, a gray monkey (with a bright pink butt) comes to the balcony of our hotel on the Ganges to steal food. I usually manage to scare him off. What a nuisance! Or not? I actually enjoy these mock-skirmishes with our monkey thief for the same reason I love play-fighting with my giant dog?they bring me closer to my animal self, stir some deep, satisfying primate instinct in me. Many humans fantasize that we're not animals. But you understand, Taurus. Some of your happiest moments have been in communion with nature. Go ahead: Pound your chest, eat a banana with deep gorilla satisfaction. Get in touch with your animal side this week and strut around like the big, hairless monkey you are.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
On their sojourn in Tokyo, my ultra-glamorous New York friends, Texxx and Ningnong, went out on the town, all done up in the freakishly wonderful drag they're infamous for. When they arrived at the club in their fringe leather and silver eye makeup, they were greeted by throngs of Japanese girls screaming and jumping up and down in delight. Between shrieks, they asked: "Are you gram rockers?" "No," replied Texxx. "But we rove gram rock!" You, too, might hope to experience fame in strange places and ways this week. Let's hope you also have the grace (like the boyz) to just go, go, go with it.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Some kinds of bamboo grow so quickly you can almost see it happen. Daily growth is measured in feet, not inches or millimeters. On the other hand, some forms of life scarcely change at all over many years. Your own transformations seem to swing wildly between extremes like these. For years, you labor along with nary a long-term change in emotion or attitude. Other times you'll surprise us with unprecedented new green leaves, strong new extensions of yourself, until you tower over your former height. Like now. My encouraging advice: Grow fast but not so fast that you get dizzy climbing the ladder of your self-understanding.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking recalls an anecdote you may like: During a scientific lecture regarding the Earth's apparent placement in the universe, an old woman interrupted with the claim that the entire discourse was nonsense. According to her, the world was a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise. When queried about what might be holding up the tortoise, she contended that it was "turtles all the way down." Sometimes I question if the world you've created occupies its natural place in the universe?or is it balanced on a teetering tower of turtles, supported at last by a decision or event of long ago? Say you realize you're more than one or two turtles up from the bottom. This week you ought to have the bittersweet opportunity to knock yourself and your world back into its proper place.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Ah, Cinderella, your work's never done. At least you've almost completed the slow and subtle transformations of your evil stepsisters. Once, you labored to please those sharp-tongued harridans (or some other boss you couldn't care about), but now more of your work benefits causes or people you like. I'm glad. Anything that brings you closer to serving the one person who truly deserves someone as resourceful and devoted as you are pleases me. Who could that be? Yourself, of course!
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Like you, I tend to think of pigeons as disease-ridden, flying rats, fairly devoid of grace, intelligence or beauty. But if you've ever witnessed a courtship dance, you'd have seen?they don't share my opinion. Puffing up iridescent neck feathers, the males strut, obviously believing in their own impressiveness and attractiveness. This dichotomy between self-perception and that of others is commonplace. Yet you persist in extreme faith in your own view. Once something or someone's been weighed on your personal scale, it's very hard to tip the balance in the other direction. This week, reevaluate at least one of your flash judgments.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
I like dirty, callused feet. Give me stained brown heels, filthy toenails and a hardened sole over moist, pink, soft, smelly sock-fuzzed feet any day. The sight of a pair of roughened feet fills me with warmth. It says: "This is a person who's in touch with his world." Too many encase their feet (which according to reflexology and acupuncture have connections to every single part of the body) in shoes day in and day out. Your ennui is a symptom of stifled toes. This week, let 'em out, Scorp. Let them?and yourself?breathe.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You know those novels you start reading but never finish? (Half the books you own, right?) For a while after putting them down, you could still pick them up right where you left off. But if enough time passed, you'd have to flip back to page one to know what's going on. This week, you can take that situation you'd almost forgotten about and finally deal with it. Why bother resolving a half-remembered chapter of your life? No reason, except that the sequel is much more exciting (and lucrative) and will only make sense if you've finished book one.