ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Thou shalt not kill" is a crucial rule for you to follow, and not just in the literal sense. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you should also be extra vigilant as you avoid more metaphorical kinds of destruction. Please be careful not to unleash ill-chosen words that would crush someone's spirit (including your own). Don't douse newly kindled fires, don't burn recently built bridges and don't deprive fresh sprouts of the light they need to keep growing. To put this all in a more positive frame: It's time for you to engage in a reverent and boisterous celebration of life, nurturing and fostering and stimulating everywhere you go.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The baseball game was over. TV announcer Mike Krukow was describing the "ugly victory" that the San Francisco Giants had just achieved. The team's efforts were sloppy and chaotic, he said, and yet the win counted just as much as a more elegant triumph. He ended with a flourish: "No one wants to hear about the labor pains; they just want to see the baby." That's my message to you this week, Taurus. All that matters is that you get the job done. It doesn't matter whether you look good doing it.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here's the really good news: CIA director Leon Panetta says there are fewer than 100 al-Qaida combatants in Afghanistan. Here's the utterly confusing news: The U.S has over 94,000 highly trained human beings in Afghanistan whose express purpose is to destroy al-Qaida. I bring this up as a prod to get you to question your own allotment of martial force, Gemini. You definitely need to make sure you have a lavish reserve of fighting spirit primed to serve your highest goals. Just make sure, please, that it's pointed in the right direction.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Give us this day our daily hunger," prayed French philosopher Gaston Bachelard. It was his personal variation on the "Give us this day our daily bread" line from the Lord's Prayer. I suggest you use his formulation as your own in the coming week, Cancerian. It's the high season for your holy desires: a time when your mental and physical health will thrive as you tune in to and express your strongest, most righteous longings.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In a recent horoscope, I wrote about Christopher Owens, lead singer of the band Girls, and how he wore pajama bottoms during a show he did in San Francisco. A reader named Eric was disgusted by this, seeing it as evidence that Owens is a self-indulgent hipster. "Just another spoiled trust-fund kid," he said in his email, "whose excessively privileged life has given him the delusion that he's uninhibited." With a little research, Eric would have found the truth: Owens was raised in an abusive religious cult by a single mother who worked as a prostitute to earn a meager living. I bring this to your attention in hopes it will inspire you to avoid making any assumptions about anyone. More than ever before, it's crucial that you bring a beginner's mind to your evaluations of other human beings.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I want to see your willpower surge and throb and carry you to a ringing triumph in the next two weeks, Virgo. I hope to be cheering you on as you complete a plucky effort to overcome some long-standing obstacle … as you put the finishing touches on an epic struggle to defeat a seemingly intractable foe … as you rise up with a herculean flourish and put the stamp of your uniqueness on a success that will last a long time.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Italian word terribilità was originally used by art critics to describe the sculptures and paintings of Michelangelo. According to various dictionaries, it refers to "a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur," "the sublime mixed with amazement," or "an astonishing creation that provokes reverent humility." In my astrological opinion, terribilità is a prerequisite for the next chapter of your life story. You need be flabbergasted by stunning beauty. Where can you go to get it? A natural wonder might do the trick, or some exalted architecture, or the biography of a superb human being, or works of art or music that make you sob with cathartic joy. For extra credit, put yourself in the path of all the above.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In a favorable review of Badger Mountain Riesling wine, Winelibrary.com said, "The sweet succulent aromas of bosc pears are woven with lilacs and just a hint of petrol." Meanwhile, Allure magazine named Sécrétions Magnifique as one of the top five sexiest perfumes in the world, even though its fragrance is like "floral bilge." Petrol? Bilge? Both commentaries seem to suggest that greatness may contain a taint — or even that the very nature of greatness may require it to have a trace of something offensive. I'm guessing that'll be a theme for you in the coming week.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): During the grace period you're currently enjoying, you have a talent for tuning in to the raw potential of whatever situation is right in front of you; you just naturally know how to establish rapport with circumstances you've never seen before. That's why your spontaneous urges are likely to generate fun learning experiences, not awkward messes. You'll thrive as you improvise adeptly with volatile forces. It may therefore seem like your progress will be easy, even a bit magical. Some people may regard your breakthroughs as unearned. But you and I will know that you're merely harvesting the benefits that come from a long period of honing your powers.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): A few single friends of mine use the dating site OkCupid to meet potential lovers. One woman got the following notice: "We are pleased to report that you are in the top half of OkCupid's most attractive users. How can we say this with confidence? Because we've tracked click-throughs on your photo and analyzed other people's reactions to you … Your new elite status comes with one important privilege: You will now see more attractive people in your match results. Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results. And, no, we didn't send this email to everyone on OkCupid. Go ask an ugly friend." According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Capricorn, you will soon receive a metaphorically comparable message, not from OkCupid, but from the universe itself.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The liberation movement kindled in the 1960s wasn't all fun and games. It ushered in expansive new ways of thinking about gender, race, sexuality, spirituality, music, and consciousness itself, but it was fueled by anger as well as by the longing for pleasure and meaning and transcendence. A key focus of the rage was opposition to the Vietnam War. The adrenaline stirred by anti-war protests was an instrumental part of the mix that propelled the entire era's push for freedom. I'm hoping that the oil hemorrhage in the Gulf of Mexico will become a similar beacon in the next ten years. Can you think of a comparable prod in your personal life, Aquarius? A gnawing injustice that will help awaken and feed your irresistible drive to emancipate yourself?
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Here's a thought from Piscean poet W.H. Auden: "The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me." If what Auden describes is true for you, I suggest you try this experiment: Merge the two images; see if you can make them the same. You're entering a phase in your cycle when you will have a tremendous opportunity to unify the inner and outer parts of your life. (And if Auden's description is not true for you, congratulations: You are either an enlightened saint or well on your way to becoming one.)