SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) My greatest joys in life (in no particular order) are reading, chocolate, sex and travel. I pursue all of these avidly, while ostensibly serving my "greater" goals, those designated worthy by my rational mind. But every so often I allow myself to take a step back and observe my actions and their true motivations. It's depressing, as I realize how inefficient I've been in achieving my high-minded objectives and how incredibly efficient in fulfilling my baser needs: choosing one path over another because of some cute boy, missing out on this or that opportunity because I was lost in a book, or because of my love affair with motion. This week, take a step back from your rationalizations. Can you recognize and, even better, accept what really moves you?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) One eminently practical Capricorn I knew years ago had a wisecrack solution to every problem: "Duct-tape it." He actually employed this miracle of modern technology repeatedly, often with great success. I applaud your perpetual quest for long-ranging solutions, permanent fixes to your most pressing problems. But sometimes a temporary patch-up job is necessary to hold off disaster while you're waiting for the "real" solution to arrive. Spare a little time and energy from your "big picture" pursuits to make sure all the small pictures stay in their frames. It won't be too hard, sort of the equivalent of holding it together with thick, silvery tape.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) During one period in the history of Martha's Vineyard, so many of its residents were deaf that everyone in the community used sign language. When interviewed, those from this era found that they honestly couldn't remember who was deaf and who could hear. It was irrelevant. The other night, I dreamt that half the world went blind?all books were printed with a complex braille-like system so everyone could read them. Your own sense of alienation or disability will end the second you shift your focus from how different you are from everybody to how much you are the same.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) We need space aliens now. I like to imagine them observing us, engaged in an endless debate about when and how to approach us, reveal themselves. Or perhaps they are already here, in the form of cats or cockroaches. Assuming there are some whom we can possibly relate to (we wouldn't have much in common with blobs of goop), we'd need ambassadors like you to communicate with them. Your gift for relating to those who are really "out there" is higher than usual this week. Use it.
ARIES (March 21-April 19) When I was in high school, my group of friends had a "25th Year Reunion" party, where we all got to come as who we envisioned we might be in a quarter century. It was a fascinating exercise?and one I recommend for you, Aries. Not that it'll be accurate. Oh, let's face it?you and I both know you'll have 117,000 different life plans in that time. But sometimes it's not your arrival at a chosen destination that's important. Just heading in that direction will evolve you. So don't stop changing?your mind, your values, your life plan?but maybe, finally, notice your evolutionary process.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) At least one of San Francisco's municipal streetcar drivers has soul. Whenever I rode the F train, I'd hope to catch his car. I'd hear him coming for blocks as he sang improvised tunes over the car's loudspeaker system. Every passenger wore a smile as he cheerfully entreated those waiting at the stops to climb aboard the "train of love." Pouring his heart into the beat-up microphone, it was difficult to resist his spirit-lifting cheer. I wish everyone would enthusiastically give all of themselves to their jobs. This week, dedicate yourself to being, or at least appreciating, all the singing bus drivers, sweetly maternal grocery store clerks and joke-telling cab drivers.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Envision the Web as another dimension, just as illusory?and therefore just as real?as this one. As we enter an age of wearable computers and wireless Web, we're becoming amphibious (in the words of brilliant cyberprophet Tim Leary). Not all of us fish are growing legs and climbing out of the ocean of noncyber reality. But I'd be willing to bet that more Twins are ready to grow lungs and leave the simpler world of mundane reality behind than any other sign. The difference between our primordial ancestors emerging from oceanic soup onto land and your evolution now is that we're creating the world we're moving to. Since you're the frontier's explorers, it's largely your decision: What kind of world will it be?
CANCER (June 21-July 22) It's a bitch being so damn powerful, isn't it, Cancer? I know you often feel battered, tugged and swamped by the maelstrom of powerful emotions within you?that they're out of your control. I picture you clinging to frail tethers of reason, rotting wooden piers of logic and shifty dunes of rationality in an effort to resist being swept away by this tsunami of remorse, that tidal wave of anxiety or euphoria. But despite the feeling that all of this is larger than you, out of your control, the fact is: it is you. Don't restrain it. Au contraire: can you ride it more often? See where it takes you.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Imagine your friendships as flexible strings connecting you to your friends and them to each other. We both know you're great, wonderful, powerful. That complicated web of connections and faith in you is what enables you to jump so high, to accomplish such feats, to validate your own sense of self-worth. Your friends want to see you succeed?they love seeing you shine. But every so often, they crave that warm glow from your radiant heart. I know I'm always reminding you to appreciate those who adore you?it's only because I look forward to seeing you outshine the sun in the early part of this millennium, and you'll only be able to do that with the support and encouragement of everyone who loves you.
VIRGO (Aug. 22-Sept. 22) I must admit it's peculiar, writing these sometimes very intimate little letters to thousands of virtual strangers every week. But I crave this bizarre intimacy. While I humbly admit that my influence is slight, my own logic still leads me to conclude that every word I write generates unimaginable ripples. Reading this is creating new brain synapses that'll affect your behavior (in admittedly minute ways) forever. I point this out to you, most modest and unselfish members of the zodiac, so that you'll realize: you're arguably the Warlocks and Witches of Chain Reaction. Next week: The Ripple Effect explained.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) You can't really blast Karen Carpenter. It just doesn't work. But you can play her quite loud, which is exactly what I did after being awakened by the sound of chainsaws attacking tree trunks. For some reason, I felt her melodious voice was the perfect vehicle to point out the contrast between all things "nice" and the morbid activity across the way. I don't think the Texan loggers got it, but it comforted me, for no good reason. Many of your gestures may seem futile this week, but persist?not for their effectiveness, but for your own sanity.