ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Real love is a pilgrimage," declared author Anita Brookner. "It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists." That's the bad news, Aries. The good news is that you have more potential than ever before to free your love of strategic maneuvering and manipulation. For the foreseeable future, I invite you to drop all romantic agendas and simply make yourself extra receptive to love's teachings. Are you ready to learn what you don't even realize you need to know?
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the near future, I'll be pleased if you dole out lavish praise to allies who enchant you. I will celebrate if you deliver loving inspirations and lush invitations to those who help you fulfill your reasons for being here on the planet. To get you in the mood, here are some suggested provocations. 1. "Your body makes mine into a shrine; holy, divine, godtouched." —Ramona Meisel. 2. "Your luster opens glories on my glowing face." —Federico García Lorca. 3. "All night long if you want. We'll tell our secrets to the dark." —Gayle Forman. 4. "I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours." —Bob Dylan. 5. "We are each other's harvest. We are each other's business. We are each other's magnitude and bond." —Gwendolyn Brooks.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Gemini author Orhan Pamuk's novel Snow, the main character Ka asks a woman named Ipek, "What is the thing you want most from me? What can I do to make you love me?" Ipek's answer: "Be yourself." In the coming days, Gemini, I would love you to engage in similar exchanges with those you care for. According to my understanding of the astrological omens, now is a favorable time for you and your best allies to shed all fakery and pretense so that you may be soulfully authentic with each other—and encourage each other to express what's most raw and genuine.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Are you in the mood to make extravagant gestures in behalf of love? Are you feeling an urge to move beyond your habitual approaches to intimate togetherness as you dare to engage in fun experiments? Now is a good time for such behavior with allies you trust. To spur your imagination, immerse yourself in the spirit of this poem by Nizar Qabbani: "I abandon my dictionaries to the flames, / And ordain you my language. / I fling my passport beneath the waves, / And christen you my country." Your homework: Dream up and carry out a playful and audacious venture that will energize one of your close relationships.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I've created a list of splashy titles for stories or poems or songs or artworks or dances that you could compose for beloved allies or people you want to be beloved allies. I hope my list inspires you to get gushy and lyrical. I hope you'll be creative and marvelous as you express your passionate appreciation. Here are the titles: 1. Glistening Passion. 2. Incandescent Rapture. 3. Succulent Dazzle. 4. Molten Luminosity. 5. Splashy Fire Bliss. 6. Shimmering Joy Beams. 7. Opulent Delirium. 8. Wild Soul Synergy. 9. Sublime Friction. 10. Fluidic Gleam Blessings. 11. Throbbing Reverence. 12. Sacred Heart Salvation.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Author Eve Ensler tells us, "You have to give to the world the thing that you want the most, in order to fix the broken parts inside you." This is perfect counsel for you to carry out in the coming weeks, Virgo. Life will conspire to help you heal yourself, in dramatic and even semi-miraculous ways, as you offer the people and animals you care for the same blessings that you crave to receive. I foresee an influx of restorative karma flowing in your direction. I predict the fixing of at least some of your broken parts.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In Michael Chabon's novel The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, the character named Arthur says to the character named Cleveland, "Love is like falconry. Don't you think that's true?" Cleveland replies, "Never say love is like anything. It isn't." I propose we make that your meditation during this Valentine season, Libra. In accordance with astrological omens, you will be wise to purge all your preconceptions about love. Use your ingenuity to revive your innocence about the subject. Cultivate a sense of wonder as you let your imagination run wild and free in its fantasies about love and sex and intimacy.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I'll love it if sometime soon you create a situation in which you tell an ally words similar to what author Jamaica Kincaid spoke to her lover: "To behold the startling truths of your naked body frees me to remember the song I was born from." Do you think you can make that happen, Scorpio? The astrological indicators at play in your life suggest that it would be right and sacred for you to do so. And if there is no such ally, then I hope you will deliver the same message to your naked self. And by the way, what is the song you were born from? (PS: There has never been a better time than now to learn treasured truths about yourself through your connections with others.)
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I'm afraid I must be downright practical and mundane in my oracle for you. Don't hate me! I'm only reporting what the planetary omens are telling me. They say that now is a favorable time for you to practice, practice, and practice some more the fine arts hinted at by author Ivan Goncharov: "A close, daily intimacy between two people has to be paid for: It requires a great deal of experience of life, logic, and warmth of heart on both sides to enjoy each other's good qualities without being irritated by each other's shortcomings and blaming each other for them." Be diligently positive, Sagittarius, as you work through the demanding daily trials of togetherness.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I'll offer you a radical idea about love from author Hélène Cixous. Although it's not always true for everyone, it will have special meaning for you in the coming months. She wrote, "It is easy to love and sing one's love. That is something I am extremely good at doing. But to be loved, that is true greatness. Being loved, letting oneself be loved, entering the magic and dreadful circle of generosity, receiving gifts, finding the right thank-you's, that is love's real work." How about it, Capricorn? Are you up for the challenge? Are you willing to expand your capacity to welcome the care and benevolence and inspiration coming your way from others?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Actor Leelee Sobieski was mourning her romantic adventures—or rather the lack of romantic adventures. She said, "If only I could find a guy who wasn't in his 70s to talk to me about white cranes, I'd be madly in love." The good news is that Sobieski knows precisely what she wants, and it's not all that complicated. The bad news is that there are few men near her own age (38) who enjoy discussing the fine points of the endangered bird species known as the white crane. I bring her predicament to your attention, Aquarius, in the hope that you'll be inspired to be as exact and lucid as she is in identifying what you want—even as you cheat just a bit in the direction of wanting what is actually available.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I've never offered you the wisdom of actor Natalie Portman, but her idealistic attitude about relationships is exactly what I think you should aspire to in the coming months. She said, "I always ask myself, would I want someone to do something that wasn't comfortable for them to do just to please me? And the answer is no." What do you think, Pisces? Do you suspect it might be interesting to apply that principle to your closest alliances? I hope so. If you do, the planetary energies will conspire to deepen your intimate bonds.