Astrology: Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A top official at the European Robotics Research Network predicts that humans might be having sex with robots within four years. With this little shocker as a preface, my advice to you for the coming week is to flee in the opposite direction of that trend. Start by phasing out any robotic, machine-like behavior that may have crept into the way you make love. For that matter, deprogram yourself of any automatic, lifeless habits that infect your approach to intimacy, tenderness, and togetherness.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Moths, hummingbirds, and bats love to drink the nectar of flowers. In return, they get some pollen on their bodies and carry it away to fertilize other plants. If the nectar were pure sweetness, the first pollinator to come along would leave nothing for further visitors. That wouldn’t be good from the plant’s point of view, because it would limit the number of places where its pollen would be disseminated. To keep nectar-drinking sessions short, therefore, most plants include just a touch of bitterness. Regard this entire scenario as a useful metaphor in the coming weeks.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the governments of the U.S. and Israel were slavering for a bombing raid on Iran. “The Israeli position is very firm,” he said. “They want us to go into Iran. And they want us to hit hard ... If you run into a lion, you either shoot it or ignore it. You don’t pluck out its eyebrows.” In the coming weeks, I advise you to take a similar attitude toward the enemy within you. Don’t mess around with cosmetic changes or half-assed measures. Go all the way or don’t go at all. (It’s OK if you’re not ready for a full-scale showdown. You’ll have another chance in January.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Best days in the coming month for smart love, healing beauty, and uplifting adventure: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 -19, 20, 23, 24. Best days for creative outbreaks and ingenious self-expression: 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 25. Best days to search for the loot from a 1967 bank robbery hidden in a metal box stashed inside a log in the woods: 2, 3, 9, 10, 11. Best days to dream about a rhinoceros dancing around a giant ouija board to reveal information that could help you realize one of your most ambitious dreams: 6, 7, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): When a plant needs help, mused filmmaker David Lynch, “the experienced gardener doesn’t worry about the leaves. He gets at the problem from the roots.” That thought should be a central guide for you in the coming week, Leo. Don’t attack the symptoms of your dilemma with money, tears, or accusations. Instead, find the hidden causes and gently massage them with crafty compassion.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The owners of a parts supply store in South Carolina billed the Pentagon $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to a Texas army base. Let’s install them as your symbolic reminder not to overpay for anything in the coming week, no matter how crucial it may be. And when I invoke that word “overpay,” I’m referring not only to forking over money, but also to giving away your emotional energy, directing your attention, or offering up your help. Make sure you’re getting equal value for your contributions.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the realm of competitive swimming, it’s a big deal when an athlete shaves a fraction of a second off an existing world record. At a championship meet in Melbourne earlier this year, Michael Phelps was virtually canonized when he beat the previous mark for the 200-meter freestyle by two-tenths of a second. I predict you will achieve a comparable feat in the coming week. Some tiny improvement you accomplish will make a major difference.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A drunk dominatrix sidled up to me at a party and said, “Reverend, please absolve me of my sins.” In the spirit of fun I replied, “Why, my dear? Have you seen the error of your ways?” “Not at all,” she hissed. “I just want to clear the docket so I can go out and commit a slew of fresh, new sins with crazy abandon.” I sprinkled a few drops of her Heineken on her head and channeled William Blake: “You’ll never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. If the fool would persist in her folly, she would become wise.” And now, Scorpio, I’m channeling the same blessing for you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Dear Rob: Thanks for being in my dream last night. We were in an old Chevy on a windy, dusty trail. You explained that it would be highly beneficial for a Sagittarian like myself to demolish this junker. So we slowly and gently smashed it again and again into the side of the cliff, tearing it up. Then we hammered it with logs. I felt free when I woke up, like I’d achieved some great feat. — Liberated Wrecker.”
Dear Liberated: I’m pleased I could join in the work that you (and all Sagittarians) are best suited for right now: creative destruction. It was smart to dismantle a symbol of what you’ll no longer settle for and that wouldn’t take you to where you need to go anyway.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The number of TV channels we have to choose from is growing steadily. Where I live, there were a mere 61 options in 2000. Now I can choose from 104. And yet surveys show that most of us watch no more than 15 percent of what’s available. If you’d like to be in alignment with cosmic rhythms in the coming week, make a concerted effort to sample a much larger selection than usual — in everything from food to personalities, landscapes, styles, and cultures. Tune in to sights and sounds you’d normally click right past.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Experiments by neurobiologists at a Berlin university strongly suggest fruit flies have free will. If that awesome capacity can thrive in the tiny brains of short-lived insects, I think it’s safe to assume that you and I also have it. And in a study reported on by Scientific American, researchers at the University of Kentucky demonstrated that you can boost your willpower simply by using it a lot, in the same way that you strengthen muscles. I present you with these two bolts of good news, Aquarius, just in time for the Build-Your-Free-Will phase of your cycle.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “As a European in the movie industry,” writes actor W. Morgan Sheppard, “I’ve learned to think in terms of questions (as in European films) rather than in terms of answers (as in American films). That’s why I love this quote from the play Marat-Sade, which I use when I’m teaching acting: ‘For me the last word cannot ever be spoken. I am always left with a question that is open.’” Take your next assignment from these thoughts, Pisces. I believe answers will be utterly useless to you in the coming days. Certainty is a sham. What you desperately need are ripe, rounded, provocative questions.

Homework: The media love bad news because they think it’s more interesting than good news. Is it? Send your interesting good news to

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