This week's horoscope.

| 16 Feb 2015 | 06:34

    A cow in Gujarat, India, accidentally swallowed 1722 diamonds dropped by a local merchant. Now the poor guy is keeping a vigil over the beast, waiting for it to shit out the precious stones. Similarly, you've mislaid a bunch of your own personal treasure, and you're in the same boat as that unlucky fellow. If you want your riches back, you'll have to sift through a lot of shit to find it. Go ahead and tap into some of your long-held reserves of patience and persistence. It'll pay off. But eventually you'll have to throw up your hands and let some of your former fortune go. At that point, just walk away, counting your blessing.

    Aries (March 21-April 19)

    They're handing out books in Mexico City's subway?to help fight crime. They theorize that not only will distributing seven million paperbacks improve the atmosphere, it will help educate people and make them less likely to rob others. I can't say I buy their hypotheses, but so what? Giving books away probably will have more positive than negative repercussions. Likewise, the measures you're considering may not be quite enough to get the job done, but go through with them anyway. You and everyone else involved will end up better off and that much closer to coming up with the solutions that will finish off these particular quandaries, once and for all.

    Taurus (April 20-May 20)

    Quit making excuses. Yeah, you have some legitimate reasons for bailing on some of your more daunting responsibilities and opportunities, but mostly you need to admit that all the obstacles you're citing are so surmountable, mere molehills compared to some of the mountains you've climbed in the past. So what's stopping you? From here it looks like either laziness or an unprecedented lack of courage. Buck up. If you wait for them to construct a ski lift to the top, you'll be waiting way too long, and miss out on the long, exhilarating rides down the other side.

    Gemini (May 21-June 20)

    As I was walking my dog in the frigid cold outside last night, I heard the inane, macabre tinkle of an ice cream truck coming down my street. I was convinced I was mistaken; what idiot would try to sell frozen treats in sub-zero weather? Further investigation revealed that a Mr. Softee truck was indeed parked nearby, hawking its wares, and what's more, people were buying! The few passersby were so bemused and amused by the incongruity of the situation that they just had to buy a cone. When I reviewed your astrological forecast for the week, I thought of this situation?it's not exactly prime season for people to buy what you're selling, but if I were you, I'd put it all out there anyway. You might be surprised.

    Cancer (June 21-July 22)

    Homing pigeons, it turns out, don't take their bearings from the sun; instead they follow the roads. A British team of researchers found that the birds would navigate their routes based on highways below them, even to the point of turning at junctions and going around roundabouts. So why the hell are you sweating trying to follow intermittent and vague internal signs? You're not the first person to walk this emotional road. Sure, trusting your instincts is a good basic strategy, but sometimes, when they're not entirely clear, you can just follow the same street signs and highways as everyone else or, you know, ask directions.

    Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

    This is a shitty time for your sense of entitlement to fail you. Where's your fabled cockiness? Your indomitable self-confidence? When something this good and unprecedented happens to you, you're not supposed to cringe and doubt your worthiness. Instead, regally and graciously receive it as your rightful due. Also, resist questioning the obvious value or veracity of the treasure in front of you. It's real, it's here, it's worth more than you could ever know and it's yours. Yes, you're very, very lucky. Never forget that, or cease to be thankful for it. But just accept it already.

    Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

    Be prepared for minor yet profound surprises this week. An example of what to look out for: having the wallet you lost three years ago returned, with all photos, cards and cash still inside (all $18 of it); or your former best friend finally calling you after coming to his senses about his foray into the evil cult of Scientology; or discovering evidence that your childhood pet really did go to live on a farm for years, instead of being put to sleep, as you'd suspected. In the grand scheme of things, big deal; you'd already let these things go ages ago, gotten over it and happily moved on. But allowing a few more blessings into your little world can only improve it, so why wouldn't you?

    Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

    The only time my downstairs neighbors are ever nice to me (fuck, the only time they even acknowledge me) is when they need something, like access to the roof (through my apartment); the rest of the time they seize every opportunity to undermine my position here (tattling to the landlord about my dog, or about any guest who might be visiting from out of town). So I don't believe they warrant any special treatment or niceties from me, based on their behavior. Still, I've never once acted directly against their interests, not because they don't deserve it, but because I don't deserve to become that petty person. This week, when you have the choice between being righteously nasty or undeservedly sweet, choose the latter?for your sake, not theirs.

    Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

    Your worst and most incriminatory actions tend to sprout from a feeling of smallness, or not mattering. Now, everyone feels this way from time to time?only you Scorps are such effective and dangerous people that when you act out, there are usually serious repercussions. Therefore, may I suggest taking proactive steps to avoid that feeling of inconsequentiality? For instance, I'm learning German, and it feels good to spend time every day acquiring a tangible new piece of knowledge. Starting today, follow my example, and become, in whatever way you wish, more than you were yesterday, and the day before, and so on. Soon you'll be so big inside yourself that the thought of doing anything the least bit petty or mean won't even occur to you.

    Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

    I can't believe it's come to this: a lecture about wallflower syndrome. You Sagittarians are notoriously larger-than-life, so I'm just plain shocked that you're considering taking in your own oversize britches. There's a fine line between humility and selling yourself short, and you've crossed it?in the wrong direction. "It's better to be humble than arrogant," I hear you muttering, in your own defense. Screw that. You're among the best, so just fucking own it. If you don't, some cheap hack is going to get what you deserve because he's willing to sing his own praises when you're not.

    Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

    Your life is a fairy tale this week?or as close as real life gets?and not the boring parts of those stories, either, like when the princess pricks her finger on a spindle and sleeps for a hundred years. Instead, look for more exciting action, like becoming the beneficiary of an almost magical godmother figure, engaging in victorious battle against an evil, tyrannizing dragon or finally proving yourself the rightful heir to a throne (of sorts). No more biding your time in an ivory tower waiting for something to happen. Come on, Rapunzel. Let down your goddamn hair already. The prince is waiting.

    Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

    Thank you, Aquarius, for being receptive to outlandish ideas these past few weeks. This is a good general move for you, as history shows that some of your best plans are hatched out of the oddest eggs (and often go through some serious ugly duckling stages along the way before they mature into the elegant solutions they're destined to become). So keep it up; your diligent open-mindedness is the only key you need to unlock the doors behind which lie your most fascinating and successful paths. Feel like settling for the third-best route into your future? Just stop listening.