ARIES (March 21-April 19): A top official at the European Robotics Research Network predicts that humans will "be having sex with robots" sooner than anyone expected - probably within four years. I hope this little shocker will help motivate you to follow my astrological advice for the coming week, which is to flee in the opposite direction of that trend. Start by phasing out any robotic, machine-like behavior that may have crept into the way you make love. For that matter, deprogram yourself of any automatic, lifeless habits that are infecting your approach to expressing intimacy, tenderness, and togetherness.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Moths, hummingbirds, and bats love to drink the nectar that flowers offer. In return, these pollinators are expected to get some pollen stuck on their bodies and carry it away to fertilize other plants. While the nectar is tasty, it's usually not pure sweetness. If it were, the first pollinator to come along would suck it all dry, leaving nothing for further visitors. And that wouldn't be good from the plant's point of view, because it would limit the number of places where its pollen would be disseminated. To keep nectar-drinking sessions short, therefore, most plants include just a touch of bitterness in the blend. Regard this entire scenario as a useful metaphor for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks, Taurus.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the governments of the U.S. and Israel were slavering for a bombing raid on Iran. "The Israeli position is very firm," he said. "They want us to go into Iran. And they want us to hit hard . . . If you run into a lion, you either shoot it or ignore it. You don't pluck out its eyebrows." Keep that last image in mind, Gemini. In the coming weeks, I advise you to take a similar attitude toward the enemy within you. Don't mess around with cosmetic changes or half-assed measures. Either go all the way or don't go at all. (P.S. It's OK if you're not quite ready for a full-scale showdown. You'll have another chance in January.)
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Best days this month for smart love, healing beauty, and uplifting adventure: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24. Best days for creative outbreaks and ingenious self-expression: 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 25. Best days to search for the loot from a 1967 bank robbery hidden in a metal box stashed inside a hollowed-out log in the woods: 2, 3, 9, 10, 11. Best days to dream about a dancing rhinoceros whose careening around a giant ouija board gives you information about an opportunity to manifest one of your most ambitious dreams: 6, 7, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): When a plant needs help, mused filmmaker David Lynch, "the experienced gardener doesn't worry about the leaves. He gets at the problem from the roots." That thought should be a central guide for you in the coming week, Leo. Don't attack the symptoms of your dilemma with money, tears or accusations. Instead, find the hidden causes and gently massage them with crafty compassion.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The owners of a parts supply store in South Carolina billed the Pentagon $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to a Texas army base. Let's install them as your symbolic reminder not to overpay for anything in the coming week, no matter how crucial it may be to your operations. And when I invoke that word "overpay," I'm referring not only to forking over money, but also to giving away your emotional energy, directing your attention, or offering up your help. Make sure that you're getting equal value for your contributions.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the realm of competitive swimming, it's a big deal when an athlete shaves a fraction of a second off an existing world record. At a championship meet in Melbourne earlier this year, Michael Phelps was virtually canonized when he beat the previous mark for the 200-meter freestyle by two-tenths of a second. I predict that you will achieve a comparable feat in the coming week, Libra. Some tiny improvement you accomplish will make a major difference.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A drunk dominatrix sidled up to me at a party and said, "Reverend, please absolve me of my sins." I'm not officially a priest, but in the spirit of fun and games I replied, "Why, my dear? Have you seen the error of your ways?" She spread her arms wide as she bowed, hissing like a serpent through a toothy smile. "Not at all, Reverend," she said. "I just want to clear the docket so I can go out and commit a slew of fresh, new sins with crazy abandon." I sprinkled a few drops of her Heineken on her head and channeled William Blake: "You'll never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. If the fool would persist in her folly she would become wise." And now, Scorpio, I'm channeling the same blessing for you.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Dear Rob: Thanks for being in my dream last night. We were in a beat-up, barely running old Chevy on a windy, dusty trail. You explained that it would be highly beneficial for a Sagittarian like myself to demolish this junker. With me behind the wheel and you riding shotgun, we slowly and gently smashed it again and again into the side of the cliff, cracking and denting and tearing it up. Then we got out and hammered it with logs. I felt free when I woke up, like I'd achieved some great feat. -Liberated Wrecker." Dear Liberated: I'm pleased I could join in the work that you (and all Sagittarians) are best suited for right now: creative destruction. It was smart of you to dismantle a symbol of what you'll no longer settle for and that wouldn't drive you to where you need to go anyway.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The number of TV channels we have to choose from is growing steadily. Where I live, for example, there were a mere 61 options in 2000. Now I can choose from 104. And yet surveys show that most of us watch no more than 15 percent of what's available. If you'd like to be in alignment with cosmic rhythms in the coming week, Capricorn, you will make a concerted effort to sample a much larger selection than you usually do - of TV channels and everything else. I suggest you expose yourself to an exuberant variety of foods, personalities, landscapes, styles and cultures. Take in sights and sounds you don't normally even think of tuning in to.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Neurobiologists at a university in Berlin have conducted experiments that strongly suggest fruit flies have free will. If that awesome capacity can thrive in the tiny brains of short-lived insects, I think it's safe to assume that you and I also have it - and probably in much larger amounts. In a separate study reported on by Scientific American, researchers at the University of Kentucky demonstrated that you can boost your willpower simply by using it a lot, in the same way that you strengthen a muscle by exercising it. I present you with these two bolts of good news, Aquarius, just in time for the Build-Your-Free-Will phase of your astrological cycle.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "As a European in the movie industry," writes actor W. Morgan Sheppard, "I've learned to think in terms of questions (as in European films) rather than in terms of answers (as in American films). That's why I love this quote from the play Marat-Sade, which I use when I'm teaching acting: 'For me the last word cannot ever be spoken. I am always left with a question that is open.'" I urge you to take your next assignment from these thoughts, Pisces. According to my reading of the astrological omens, answers are utterly useless to you in the coming days. Certainty is a sham. What you desperately need are ripe, rounded, provocative questions.