From the stars for the week of Oct. 12…
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
California’s San Joaquin Valley has the worst air in the state, and as a result 12 percent of the kids who live there have asthma. The terrible pollution stems largely from burned fossil fuels trapped between the mountain ranges that surround the valley. Ironically, the smog often hides the mountains from view. Some environmentalists have made that a symbol of what they hope to accomplish as they strive to purify the air. ‘“Fifteen years from now,’” one activist told the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘“I have faith that I’ll see the mountains.’” Let this be a metaphor for the work you have ahead of you, Aries. Banish what’s obscuring your sight of the big picture.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
‘“Life would be a lot less boring if there was a fight to pick.’” So mused the narrator of a show about rival monkey groups on cable TV’s ‘“Animal Planet.’” The moment I heard this, my psychic sensors went on red alert and the image of a lethargic bull popped into my mind’s eye. ‘“Uh-oh,’” I thought. ‘“I bet this is a theme I should warn my Taurus readers about.’” Checking the astrological aspects, I had my hunch confirmed. And so I am asking you not to seek an exit from your doldrums by throwing your weight around in a china store or in a crowded room full of sensitive egos. Have a little patience, and your healthy, lusty appetites will soon return, rescuing you from the need to spark an entertaining ruckus.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
There’s not enough time to do all the things you want to do. You’re constantly rushing to get to places at an appointed hour or to complete a certain task by a deadline. Part of you hates the regimen of doing the same thing at the same hour every day, and part of you hates living your life by schedules set by other people. In short, Gemini, you have an embattled relationship with time. Can anything be done about it? A little. You’re now in a phase when it’s possible to make modest progress. To get in the mood, I suggest you conduct a ritual to empower yourself. For instance, you could buy a cheap battery-operated alarm clock, take it into a natural place where the rhythms of nature surround you, and smash the clock with a hammer.
CANCER (June 21-July 22):
Your assignment, my fellow Cancerian, is to meditate every day on the following lines of poetry by LS Asekoff: ‘“There’s a hole/ in my left shoe/ stuffed with a page/ of Aristotle’s Essay/ on Morals/ which contains/ a grammatical error/ in the first line.’” Every secret you need to discover in the coming week can be obtained by holding that image in your mind’s eye and letting it work its magic on you. Clues to your biggest question can be found in the same way.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
British actor John Gielgud was considered one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the 20th Century. He also won an Oscar for his supporting role in the film Arthur. He once said, ‘“People like to hear me say ‘sh*t’ in my gorgeous voice.’” You Leos are likely to have encounters with experiences like that in the coming week. Vulgarity and elegance may arrive wrapped in the same package. Expensive wizardry may use cheap effects. High-quality performances might deliver base emotions. None of these mixed messages will cause you problems as long as you’re discriminating enough to separate the dross from the essence.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
In America’s presidential election of 2000, Al Gore received 543,816 more votes than George Bush, the candidate who was declared the new commander-in-chief. I foresee the potential for a comparable event occurring in your life soon. An apparent loser may, by some technicality or twist of fate, become the winner. A stronger, more popular option could be eclipsed by a second choice. There’s a 50-50 chance you can prevent this aberration from coming to pass, but only if you act quickly and with unshakable integrity as you take a fierce stand for what’s fair and just.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
Columnist LM Boyd told the story of Mark Gubin, a photographer whose business was located near Milwaukee’s airport. A lover of pranks, Gubin decorated his roof with a giant sign that read ‘“Welcome to Cleveland.’” Countless passengers arriving in Milwaukee by plane were amused and confused by the greeting. I suspect that a similar event will occur in your life this week, Libra. As you arrive at your new destination, you’ll get signals that lead you to believe you’re not where you thought you were. Ignore the misdirection.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
To an optimist, the glass is half-full. A pessimist says the glass is half-empty. But in the eyes of an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. For the foreseeable future, Scorpio, it makes perfect sense for you to think like an engineer. Resist all temptations to be either an optimist or a pessimist. Purge any reflex you have to indulge in hope or fear. Instead, maintain a neutral, objective attitude as you try to see things exactly as they are, then make a calm, reasonable response.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
British physician Joseph Lister (1827-1912) was a pioneer of antiseptic surgery. He even built an unwieldy machine called the donkey engine to spray steamy disinfectant on patients he operated on. His most famous patient was Queen Victoria, whose armpit had an abscess that he healed. She rewarded him with the royal title of baronet, which is like a knighthood except that it can be passed on to one’s heirs. I bring this up, Sagittarius, because there’s a good chance you’ll receive an opportunity comparable to Lister’s. One of your talents could be called on by an unexpected source ‘— maybe even a higher power or VIP. If you do well, you’ll get a long-lasting reward.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
My friend Glenn suffered a thumb injury while playing softball a few years back. Though it eventually healed, the scar tissue made the thumb less mobile than it had been before. Three weeks ago, he got stung by a bee in the exact spot where the original wound occurred. It swelled up for a couple days, then receded. Since then, he has enjoyed a dramatic upgrade in the thumb’s freedom of movement. I predict a comparable scenario for you in the coming days, Capricorn. A fresh booboo won’t last long, and ‘— wonder of wonders ‘— it will ameliorate an old booboo.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):
When I traveled from San Francisco to Amsterdam with Maureen some years ago, we arrived at our hotel in a state of radical sleep deprivation. The concierge told us our room wasn’t quite ready, and suggested we go kill some time at a nearby tourist attraction. We took his advice, walking a few blocks to the History of Torture Museum. There we found devices like the Judas Cradle, the Heretic’s Fork, and the Chair of Spikes. Being horrified and grossed out helped keep us semi-awake, which was good, but we kept nodding off and dreaming of being tortured, which wasn’t so fun. And yet soon we were back at the hotel, safe and sound, catching up on our lost rest. I predict that in the coming week, Aquarius, you will have a series of experiences with an uncanny similarity to ours.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
In her book Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes suggests that we all need to periodically go cheerfully and enthusiastically out of our minds. Make sure, she says, that at least one part of you always remains untamed, uncategorizable and unsubjugated by routine. Be adamant in your determination to stay intimately connected to all that’s inexplicable and mysterious about your life. At the same time, though, Estes believes you need to keep your unusual urges clear and ordered. Discipline your wildness, in other words, and never let it degenerate into thoughtless chaos. It’s especially important for you to act on all these principles in the coming weeks.