Taurus (April 20-May 20) By this time next week, I should be back in the States after nearly five months in Asia. How will I react to American stimuli after so long in such a drastically different place? Will I notice the relative absence of odors? Will American affluence impress or disgust me now that I've seen Indian poverty? Will I feel less important when people no longer assume I'm a personal friend of the President, or lonely without constant intrusion into my personal space? This week, you may approach familiar circumstances like a foreign country. Don't let the "culture shock" bother you, though. Allow it to remind you of all the strange things you can get used to, if given half a chance.
Gemini (May 21-June 20) At times this week you may feel like you're up the creek without a paddle. Trying to heave a clunky dinghy upstream without oars sucks ass. Hopefully, you won't mind, though; the scenery promises to be lovely, the weather balmy and the water cool and refreshing. It could be fun to find a secluded cove somewhere, throw down anchor and just chill out for a while?instead of killing yourself making dubious progress. Crack some coconuts, spear some fish and play out your Leo DiCaprio fantasies. Next week you'll discover your skiff's hidden motor and roar up to the source in no time at all.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) The first thing I want to do upon my return to the U.S. (after nearly five months in India) is take an extra-long, truly hot shower. Next, I want to gorge on excellent dark chocolate while playing fetch with my dog for days. Also, I'd like to watch The Simpsons, drive my car, listen to my (much-missed) CDs, go to the supermarket, eat things like tempeh, organic salad, sushi. I've had good reason not to indulge my desires (none of them are available in India), but you don't. Why abstain from those things you want most? I give you five seconds to come up with a smart reason for your self-torture. If you can't come up with one by the end of this horoscope, I expect you to go satisfy at least one of your long-denied wishes.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Whenever you get that dreamy look on your face, you're lost to all practical considerations like keeping your job, pleasing your lover or taking out the trash. If you feel like rolling in the sunlit grass, that's exactly what you'll do. Is it the glorious feelings of imminent springtime? If not the budding trees and warming sunlight, what is it that's made your dreams suddenly so much more compelling than "real life"? Don't sweat trying to figure it out, though. Fortunately for you, it doesn't matter too much: if you live your dreams convincingly enough, they become real life.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) If your true capabilities were physically manifest, you'd probably have something like eight arms, four legs, two heads and three different sets of genitalia. More like a Hindu god than a human being, it's no surprise you seem to occupy a different reality from the rest of us. I've ceased wondering why you sometimes seem a little nervous or high-strung, even flighty. It's just the stress of trying to do everything you know you can with only normal human attributes. Still, this week you're likely to accomplish more with a pair each of arms and legs, one head and one sex organ than even you thought possible.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Let's talk high school chemistry. There are two primary ways to physically transform something without permanently altering its essential nature: contraction and expansion. You can cause something to take up less space by cooling it or putting pressure on it. Example: carbon dioxide becomes dry ice. Reverse this process (heat something, or take pressure off of it) and you've got expansion. Water boils when subjected to flame or vacuum. For you, this winter's mostly been about condensation, concentration: you've learned how to accomplish more while occupying less space. Now that spring is here, everything's changed: it's time for you to find out how much you can accomplish with a fire under your ass.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) For this week's horoscope, consider the game of chess. On the one hand, you've got some seriously empowered pieces, like the queen or rook. On the other, these bigshots can get their asses kicked by that lowly, humble piece, the pawn?in the right situation. This is the kind of week where a pawn?someone you never imagined could make a noticeable impact on your life?seriously stirs shit up for you (which is not necessarily bad). This week, the king's special vulnerability might have familiar echoes, too; make sure you cover your butt so no one can surprise you with a sudden checkmate. On the other hand, if you're the low man on the totem pole, watch for your opening?there might be a chance to turn the game around yet.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Good cooks come in three basic varieties. You've got those gourmet artistes, who construct magnificent sculptures with your food and unveil plates as dramatically as heretofore-undiscovered Rodins. Their work is always gorgeous, usually delicious and rarely filling. Ma's home cooking occupies the second category. Sure, your plate's full of barely differentiated piles of glop, but it tastes amazing and there's always more of it. Finally, there's my favorite type of cook: that mastermind who serves up a plate of fabulously beautiful, orgasmically delectable food that you can't possibly finish. A week designed by either of the first two would be wonderful, but you're in for the kind of week created by Cook #3: one that tastes so good that you'll simultaneously beg for the bounty to stop and pray that it never ends.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) So you feel a little like the teacher's pet on a bad day. You've eagerly raised your hand to every question and delivered the wrong answer every time. So fucking what? Your "punishment"? Go the back of the class. Some penance. That's where all the fun shit happens. Now you can spend your week goofing off, drawing stick-figure porno and shooting spitballs. You may have so much fun that you regret ever trying so hard to do everything right.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Feel like dancing, Aquarius? Or perhaps you're more of a mind to do the Horizontal Boogie. Only you and I have a clue who lit a bonfire under you, but I suspect the change will hardly go unnoticed. Enjoy the flame in your belly, Water Bearer, and use it as an excuse to let off a little steam, something you've been burning to do for ages. It's not every week that you're so hot to trot. Don't let this one pass you by.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) This week you're capable of accomplishing far more at night than you can manage during the day. I'm not suggesting you become nocturnal?leave that to the bats, possums and Geminis. Au contraire, it's when you're asleep that I hope you'll get a lot done. I would never suggest something like this to a skeptical Capricorn or a breezy Libra, but since your sign rules the province of dreams, I trust you'll appreciate it. Sure, your wet dreams are hardly going to get the laundry done (quite the opposite, really), but they might go a long way toward improving your emotional life. Looking for an inspirational leap? Try slipping some ballet slippers beneath your pillow. A bottle of aspirin nestled under your headrest could facilitate healing a broken heart, and a magnet could cure a mild case of loneliness. Whatever it is you're trying to do, sweet dreams, darlin'.