By Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your horoscope this week comes to you courtesy of the ancient Chinese book of oracles, the I Ching , translated by Richard Wilhelm. The title of your reading is "Liberation." Here's the heart of it: "In times of standstill it will happen that inferior people attach themselves to you and even seem to grow indispensable. But when the time of deliverance draws near, with its call to action, you must free yourself from such chance acquaintances with whom you have no inner connections. For otherwise the friends who share your views, on whom you could rely and together with whom you could accomplish great things, mistrust you and stay away."
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I predict that animals will be especially attracted to you in the coming days. The light of the sun will seem to possess an uncanny fluidity and sparkle. You may experience vivid fantasies like seeing a talking cat in a tree or hearing advice coming from a soap dispenser. Strangers may gaze at you for no apparent reason, and even your friends will have unusual feelings for you. You may be reunited with precious memories that have been lost to you for a long time. In the consciousness industry, we call this natural magic time .
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "I am a fugitive from the law of averages," writes Sage Price, one of my Gemini readers. "I swore a long time ago that I would never be taken alive by anything that was average, commonplace, standard, or ordinary." His attitude is especially recommended for you right now. In order to harvest the potential rewards the cosmos has prepared for you, you've got to push to excel; you've got to cultivate a lust to be unique; you've even got to be willing to risk making other people envious of you. One of the worst sins you could commit would be half-assed mediocrity.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Siam's King Mongut had a harem of 9,000 women. On his deathbed, however, before succumbing to the ravages of syphilis, he confessed that he was truly in love with only 700 of his loversless than eight percent of the total. Why he didn't concentrate on that eight percent and forget the rest we'll never know. Don't make a similar mistake in the coming months, Cancerian. You will have the chance to indulge in a great variety of pleasurable adventures, but only a fraction will have the potential of nourishing your soul.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): What's the best way to defeat a dragon? Some fairy tales propose the use of brute force, while others suggest that the protection of a magical amulet is preferable. Still other myths say the optimum strategy is to use stealth to avoid the dragon completely, though that usually means living in constant fear of the beast. From what I can tell, Leo, your future happiness will be best served if you use none of the above, but instead employ one of the two little-known methods of dragon-taming: either ask it sly riddles to confuse it or else pacify it through the entertaining power of your songs and dances.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "We have art so that we may not die of reality," said Friedrich Nietzsche. While I'm sure you won't literally be killed off by reality this week, it could bore you half to deathunless you aggressively subject yourself to massive amounts of really fine art. I'm not just talking about listening to formulaic pop music or getting a glimpse of the Mona Lisa on an ad for the upcoming film The Da Vinci Code . I'm referring to intensive exposure to inspired painting, sculpture, music, architecture, dance, and literaturesublime forms of creative expression that you may have to work hard to find.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): To be of real service to you, I have to do more than be simplistically optimistic. It's important for me to be your cheerleader, counterbalancing the negative reinforcement that so often comes your way, but it would be irresponsible of me to inflate you with false hopes. This week, for instance, I have to report that there's a 65 percent chance of you achieving a major breakthrough in at least one of your relationships, but only if you lose every ounce of self-pity and refuse to blame anyone for your sorrows. I also foresee the possibility of you healing 55 percent of one of your old wounds, but only if you stretch yourself to learn a new lesson from the original trauma.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A few years ago, executives at a major record company signed my band to their label. They loved us. We were the next big thing. Or at least that's what they told us up until the moment when they demanded that we change the titles and lyrics to some of our songs. They were afraid that the cigarette company Philip Morris would sue us for our song "Marlboro Man Jr." and that Kmart would sue us for our song "Kmart Tribal Ballet." We agreed to make the changes only because we had no choice: If we refused, our music would have never been heard. The company owned the rights to it. Let this serve as an example of what not to do in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Do all the research and strategic long-range thinking necessary to avoid getting into a position where people you don't know very well control your fate.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It's a good time to reconnect with your childhood memoriesespecially the good ones that made your heart sing. You will derive great practical benefits from remembering specific scenes that embodied the essence of who you were back in the beginning. Was there a time you read an exciting book under the covers with a flashlight way past your bedtime? Or waded in the creek searching for a fantastic treasure some big kid told you about? I hope you give yourself the rare pleasure of reliving those events, trusting that they'll provide you with the exact emotional lift you need.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This would be an excellent week to tilt all the paintings on the walls of your home so they're hanging a bit crooked, refer to yourself as the "Wizard of Desserts," and stand in a mud puddle up to your ankles. I suggest that you further take advantage of the astrological opportunities by using a felt-tip pen to draw tattoos of magic symbols on your body, making love with grocery bags over your heads, and reciting dirty limericks in front of people who think you're too serious. It's high time for you to lose your cool.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Metaphorically speaking, you will duck at just the right time to miss the cream pie that's headed toward your face. At least that's what I predict, Aquarius. In addition to your good timing and skill at protecting yourself, you will also have a knack for avoiding messy complications, which is lucky given the fact that people around you may act as if messy complications are fun and interesting. Here's further good news: You will have an instinct for detecting the slivers of truth that are embedded in wads of total BS. That will allow you to act with lucid efficiency while others are out fighting non-existent demons.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): One day 17 years ago I was lying alone on my acupuncturist's table, floating in that hypnogogic state you sometimes slip into when your ears, wrists, feet, and forehead are pierced with needles. At one point she came in to check on me. Patting me on the upper arm, she murmured, "You will live a long life." I received it as a prophecy, as a gift from her intuition to mine. In the days and months that followed, it stripped away the habitual anxiety I carried around with me and freed me to live with more courage and abandon. It gave me license to believe more wildly in my own potential. Now I'm offering you the same gift, Pisces. If you're reading this horoscope today, you will live a long life.
In addition to this column, Rob Brezsny creates EXPANDED AUDIO HOROSCOPES, in-depth weekly forecasts designed to inspire and uplift you. To buy access, phone 1-888-499-4425. And be sure to visit his Web site at www.freewillastrology.com.