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Week of April 7


ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread," says Cosmo Doogood in his Urban Alamanc. "Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique." I would add that there are certain people who on some occasions weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and at other times weave gold thread. You are such a person, Aries. At this particular moment, though, you're in one of your gold-thread phases. Honor your natural tendencies, please. Save your rougher gifts for later so you can concentrate on giving your grace and beauty now.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Green Day recently won a Grammy for best rock album, but their future was in doubt a few years ago. The band's three members weren't getting along, record sales were declining, and they no longer felt aligned with the bratty punk attitude that had originally been the core of their identity. They tried a variety of experiments to shake themselves out of their funk. Their best idea was to rebel against their signature style by recording a bunch of silly songs like polka ditties and dirty Christmas carols. A similar approach would be a good prescription for you right now, Taurus. Whether you're suffering from a mental block or emotional constipation, one possible cure is to play at being what you're not.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use," said semanticist Wendell Johnson. Though I almost always agree with his advice, I have to make an exception for you Geminis this week. This may be one of the most bigger-than-life, no-strings-attached interludes in many moons. Even the ordinary could become epic; the last might become first and vice versa. In the midst of blockbuster special effects and melodramatic plot twists, you might find that invocations of "always" and "never" are downright reasonable.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "I used to have superpowers," the bumper sticker says, "but my therapist took them away." Does that describe you? Have you been overly normalized by the bland conventions of what constitutes psychological health? Has your spunk been sapped by the pressure to behave yourself in a civilized manner? If so, I have two bits of advice. They'll have a sickening effect if you apply them too liberally, but they'll be a wonderful tonic if you use them in small doses. First, here's some medicine from Thoreau: "Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something." Now try this inoculation by Rumi (as translated by Coleman Barks): "Forget safety./ Live where you fear to live./ Destroy your reputation./ Be notorious./ I have tried prudent planning/ long enough./ From now/ on, I'll be mad."

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