ARIES (March 21-April 19) I invite you to get all the mind-blowing sex you can this Valentine season. The entire cosmos will be on your side if you generate erotic wonders that rearrange your thought processes. For best results, cultivate the attitude described by the philosopher Voltaire in a letter to his partner Marie Louise Denis: "Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed."
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an inner life." That's the perfect seed idea for you to meditate on this Valentine season. It suggests that expressing the truth about who you are is not something that amateurs do very well: Practice and ingenuity are required. It also implies that courage is an essential element of successful intimacy. You've got to be adventurous if you want to weave your life together with another's.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) A mischievous voice in my head rose up as I was writing your horoscope. It said I should tell you to make love in a bed covered with 10-dollar bills. I asked the voice if this was a metaphor for a more practical piece of advice. The voice just cackled. So I'll have to surmise what it was driving at. It could mean that you should make a business proposition to your lover or spouse, or somehow collaborate with each other to increase your prosperity. Or maybe you should spend money on enhancing romance, either by taking a workshop to upgrade your intimacy skills or getting creative about fostering togetherness. Or you should add imaginative, humorous touches to your love-making, like by doing it in a bed full of money.
CANCER (June 21-July 22) Over the course of your lifetime, if you're average, you will spend about 336 hours kissing. But why be average? Especially now, when the cosmos is begging you to use your mouth to incite ingenious bliss and explore the frontiers of closeness? To be in maximum alignment with the great cycles of nature and make God happy, I suggest you experiment with Guinness-Record levels of smooching and licking and sucking. If you can't find a human partner, then kiss the sky, the trees, the rivers, even the mist. (For extra credit, use your mouth to murmur lyrical praises and whisper poetic temptations.)
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) It's a perfect time to cast a love spell on yourself. You don't necessarily need to consult any pagan books about how to proceed. It may be better if you improvise your own homemade incantations. I can think of two main goals for you to accomplish with your spell. (But feel free to add others.) First, rouse your imagination into visualizing romantic possibilities you've been closed to before. Second, make sure you banish the curse that you yourself cast on your love life once upon a time. For best results, stand naked in front of an altar crammed with magical objects that symbolize both lust and compassion.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) "The person one loves never really exists," said Arthur C. Clarke, "but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion." Your assignment is to prove Clarke at least partially wrong. See if you can figure out a way to dissolve or elude your own projections long enough so that you can see the raw truth about a certain person you crave or adore or care about. Not a reflection of the dream lover who hides in your heart. Not a fantasy you wish your beloved would become. But the perfectly imperfect soul who is actually there in front of you.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) The Madonna of Orgasm Church is a Swedish institution. Its leader claims that the sect is not obsessed with sex, nor are orgies included in the regular worship services. Rather, deifying the orgasm is a symbol for cultivating a lust for life. Making love is just one of many ways to experience peak states and explore the spiritual potencies of pleasure. You don't have to be a member of the church to experiment with this approach. I hope you'll have fun with it during this Valentine season, which happens to be a time when seeking intense bliss and cathartic release is your sacred mandate.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) In creating this oracle, I've borrowed words from artist-poet Wolff Bowden. Please steal them from me and use them to deepen your connection with someone who makes your heart sing. Here's the first batch: "You belong to love as wheels belong to roads, as grapes belong to the blossoming of taste, as corn belongs to crows, as shadows belong to the ache of heat, as happiness belongs to the capricious pangs of the soul." Here's the second: "May the color blue behold your body while sun washes your shoulders near the window. May your lips refuse the kiss unless your heart is home. May euphoria find you in the place where you are lonely. May you light a billion candles with your mind."
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) "Greet one another with a holy kiss," says the Bible's first book of Corinthians. I think that's great advice for you. What I take it to mean is that when you come together with someone you care about, bestow a kiss that's more than merely affectionate or polite. Use it to invoke a sense of sacred space, surrounding the two of you with a mood of deep gratitude for the privilege of being alive. Make your holy kiss a prayer for the well-being of your ally, an affirmation of your desire that he or she will thrive and prosper and become the gorgeous genius he or she was born to be.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Would you like to stir up deeper, smarter intimacy? Are you interested in attracting good surprises that would air out your romantic dogmas? Do you think it might be fun to discover a new love secret? To encourage these developments, carry out the following. 1) Practice loving something or someone you don't understand. 2) any time you start longing to be loved more than you are, make it a point to go out and love someone more than you have in the past. 3) Visualize your heart growing softer, warmer, more receptive.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) "When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours," wrote author Robert Fulghum, "we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love." The Valentine season will offer you ample opportunity to bask in the wonders of mutually compatible weirdness. It could come in the form of friendship, romance or some other collaboration, but one way or another it will help you feel less alone in the world.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) We're faced with an economic downturn as well as the need to take strenuous measures to heal the environment. Does that mean we're obligated to have less fun and deny ourselves pleasure? I say no, as do the editors at TreeHugger.com. One of their articles, for example, gives advice on how to have great sex in small, fuel-efficient, low-emissions cars. With this as your inspiration, identify five other ways to enjoy yourself without having to spend a fortune or hurt the earth. Experiment with the hypothesis that cutting down on consumerism can help you discover new approaches to feeling really good.