ARIES (March 21-April 19) Afrikaner author Laurens van der Post told a story about a conversation between psychologist Carl Jung and Ochwiay Biano, a Pueblo Indian chief. Jung asked Biano to offer his views about white people. "White people must be crazy because they think with their heads," said the chief, "and it is well-known that only crazy people do that." Jung asked him what the alternative was. Biano said that his people think with their hearts. That's your assignment for the week ahead: to think with your heart and feel with your head – especially when it comes to love.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Have you ever sent a torrent of smart and elegant love messages to a person you wanted to get closer to? Now would be an excellent time to try a stunt like that. Have you ever scoured the depths of your own psyche in search of any unconscious attitudes or bad habits that might be obstructing your ability to enjoy the kind of intimacy you long for? I highly recommend such a project right now. Have you ever embarked on a crusade to make yourself even more interesting and exciting than you already are? Do it now.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) After careful meditation about what messages might purify and supercharge your love life, I decided to offer suggestions about what not to do. To that end, I'll quote some lines from Kim Addonizio's poem "Forms of Love." Please don't speak any of them out loud, or even get yourself into a position where it makes sense to say them. 1) "I love how emotionally unavailable you are."
2) "I love you and feel a powerful spiritual connection to you, even though we've never met." 3) "I love your pain, it's so competitive." 4) "I love you as long as you love me back." 5) "I love you when you're not getting drunk and stupid." 6) "I love you but I'm married." 7) "I love it when you tie me up with ropes using the knots you learned in Boy Scouts, and when you do the stoned Dennis Hopper rap from Apocalypse Now."
CANCER (June 21-July 22) This Valentine season, I suggest you consider trying an experiment like this: Go to the soulful ally you want to be closer to and take off at least some of your masks. Drop your pretenses, too. Shed your emotional armor and do without your psychological crutches. Take a chance on getting as psychologically and spiritually naked as you have ever dared. Are you brave enough to reveal the core truths about yourself that lie beneath the convenient truths and the expired truths and the pretend truths?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) "Sex is a substitute for God," says writer Cathryn Michon. "When we desire another human being sexually, we are really only trying to fill our longing for ecstasy and union with the infinite." I agree with her, and I think you might, too, after this week. Erotic encounters will have an even better chance than usual of connecting you to the Sublime Cosmic YumYum. If you can't find a worthy collaborator to help you accomplish this miraculous feat, just fantasize about one. You need and deserve spiritual rapture.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Lately you've been doing exemplary work on your relationship with yourself. You have half-convinced your inner critic to shut the frack up unless it has a truly important piece of wisdom to impart. Meanwhile, you've managed to provide a small but inspired dose of healing for the wounded part of your psyche, and you have gently exposed a self-deception that had been wreaking quiet havoc. Congratulations! I've got a hunch that all these fine efforts will render you extra sexy and charismatic in the coming week. But it will probably be a subtle kind of sexiness and charisma that only the most emotionally intelligent people will recognize. So don't expect to attract the attention of superficial jerks who happen to have beautiful exteriors.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) The coming days could be an animalistic time for you, and I mean that in the best sense. I suspect you will generate lots of favorable responses from the universe if you honor the part of you that can best be described as a beautiful beast. Learn fun new truths about your instinctual nature. Explore the mysteries of your primal urges. See what you can decipher about your body's secret language. May I also suggest that you be alert for and receptive to the beautiful beast in other people?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) For the French Scorpio poet Paul Valéry, swimming had an erotic quality. He described it as fornication avec l'onde, which can be translated as "fornicating with the waves." Your assignment this Valentine season is to identify at least three activities that are like sex but not exactly sex – and then do them with glee and abandon. The purpose of this exercise is to educate and cultivate your libido; to encourage your kundalini to branch out as it intensifies and expands your lust for life.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) This Valentine season, meditate on the relentlessness of your yearning for love. Recognize the fact that your eternal longing will never leave you in peace. Accept that it will forever delight you, torment you, inspire you and bewilder you – whether you are alone or in the throes of a complicated relationship. Understand that your desire for love will just keep coming, keeping you slightly off-balance and pushing you to constantly revise your ideas about who you are. Now read this declaration from the poet Rilke and claim it as your own: "My blood is alive with many voices that tell me I am made of longing."
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) According to physicists Yong Mao and Thomas Fink, you can tie a necktie in 85 different kinds of knots, but only 13 of those actually look good. I encourage you to apply that way of thinking to pretty much everything you do in the coming week. Total success will elude you if you settle on functional solutions that aren't aesthetically pleasing. You should make sure that beauty and usefulness are thoroughly interwoven. This is especially true in matters regarding your love life and close relationships. Togetherness needs a strong dose of lyrical pragmatism.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) "All these years I've been searching for an impossible love," said French writer Marguerite Duras late in her life. The novels and films she created reflect that feeling. Her fictional characters often engage in obsessive quests for an ideal romance that would allow them to express their passion perfectly and fulfill their longing completely. In the meantime, their actual relationships suffer, even as their starry-eyed aspirations remain forever frustrated. I invite you to celebrate this Valentine season by taking a vow of renunciation. Summon the courage to forswear Duras' doomed approach to love.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) To avoid getting hacked, computer tech experts advise you to choose strong, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts. Among the worst choices are "123456," "iloveyou," "qwerty" and "password." I'm guessing that you should have a similar approach to your whole life in the coming days. It's important that you be picky about who you allow into your heart, mind and soul. Make sure that only the most trustworthy and sensitive people can gain access. Your metaphorical password might be something like this: m*y#s@t&e?r%y.