ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Marriage must be a relation either of sympathy or conquest,” said author George Eliot. I believe the same is true even about intimate bonds that have not been legally consecrated. Each tends to either be a collaboration of equals who are striving for common goals or else a power struggle in which one party seeks to dominate the other. Which of those two models has characterized your romantic history, Aries? Now is an excellent time to begin working to ensure that the partnership model will predominate for the rest of your long life.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Love loves to love love,” wrote James Joyce in his 1922 novel Ulysses. “Nurse loves the new chemist. Constable 14A loves Mary Kelly. Jumbo, the elephant, loves Alice, the elephant. Old Mr Verschole with the ear trumpet loves old Mrs Verschoyle with the turnedin eye. The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead. His Majesty the King loves Her Majesty the Queen.” What Joyce said 90 years ago is still true: The world is a churning, burning uproar of yearning. The droning moan of “I want you, I need you” never dies down. Give yourself to that cosmic current without apology this Valentine season, Taurus. Celebrate your voracious ache for love. Honor your urge to merge with reverence and awe for its raw splendor.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I’ve ghostwritten a personal ad for you to give to your Valentine or potential Valentine: “I’m looking for a free yet disciplined spirit I can roll down hills with on sunny days and solve thorny puzzles with when the skies are cloudy. Can you see the absurd in the serious and the serious in the absurd? Are you a curious chameleon always working to sharpen your communication skills? Might you be attracted to a sweet-talking wiseass who’s evolving into a holy goofball? Emotional baggage is expected, of course, but please make sure yours is organized and well packed. Let’s create the most unpredictably intriguing versions of beauty and truth that anyone ever imagined.”
CANCER (June 21-July 22): On average, an adult on planet Earth has sex 103 times a year. But I’m guessing that in the immediate future, Cancerians everywhere may be motivated to exceed that rate by a large margin. The astrological omens suggest that your tribe’s levels of sensual desire may reach astronomical heights. Do you know anyone you’re attracted to who might be willing to help you out as you follow your bliss? If not, be your own Valentine. One way or another, it’s prime time to celebrate your relationship with eros.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I’d love for you to be able to always give the best gifts you have to give without worrying about whether they will be received in the spirit with which you offer them. But that’s just not realistic. I would also be ecstatic if you never had to tone down your big, beautiful self out of fear that others would be jealous or intimidated. And yet that’s not a rational possibility, either. Having said that, though, I do want to note that now and then both of those pleasurable scenarios can prevail for extended lengths of time. And I believe you’re now in one of those grace periods.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In accordance with the astrological omens, here’s what I wish and predict for you in the near future: You will be a connoisseur of temptations. By that I mean you will have a knack for attracting and playing with allurements and enticements. More importantly, you’ll have a sixth sense about the distinction between good bait and bad bait — between provocative temptations that will serve your most fervent dreams and debilitating traps that will dissipate your integrity. And when you get a lock on the invigorating, ennobling kind, you will know just how to work with it so that it drives you wild with smart longing.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Eliphas Levi was a 19th-century author and hermetic magician whose work has had a major influence on Western mystery schools. The great secret of magic, he said, is fourfold: “to KNOW what has to be done, to WILL what is required, to DARE what must be attempted, and to KEEP SILENT with discernment.” Your assignment, Libra, is to apply this approach to your love life. How can you create a relationship with love that will be a gift to the world and also make you smarter, kinder and wilder? KNOW what magic you have to do. WILL yourself to do it. DARE to be ingenious and inspired. And don’t tell anyone what you’re doing until you achieve your goal.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): After analyzing the astro data for this Valentine season, I realized that you could really benefit from being less sober, solemn and serious about your intimate relationships. That’s why I decided to collect some one-liners for you to use as you loosen up your approach to togetherness. Please consider delivering them to anyone you’d like to be closer to. 1. “Let’s go maniacally obsess about our lives in a soothing environment.” 2. “We’ll be best friends forever because you already know too much about me.” 3. “It would be great if you would schedule your social events around my mood swings.” 4. “I’m sorry I drunk-dialed you before realizing you were already in bed with me.” 5. “I wanna do boring things with you.” (All the one-liners come from Someecards.com.)
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “The world is an oyster, but you don’t crack it open on a mattress,” said a character in Arthur Miller play. He was referring to the idea that if you’re obsessed with sex and romance, your level of worldly accomplishment may be rather low. It jibes with what a friend in my youth told me when he noticed how much of my energy was engaged in pursuing desirable females: “They don’t build statues in parks for guys who chase women.” I realize you may not be wildly receptive to ruminating on these matters during the Valentine season, Sagittarius. However, the omens suggest I advise you to do just that. It’s a good time to fine-tune the balance between your life-long career goals and your quest for love.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Ancient Egyptians thought that drinking bear grease could stimulate ardor, while the Greeks believed that eating sparrow brains would do the trick. When potatoes first appeared in Spain in 1534, imported from the New World, they were used in love potions and worth more than $1000 a pound. The Asian rhinoceros was hunted nearly to extinction because its horn was thought to have aphrodisiac properties. Just in time for Valentine season, I’d like to suggest that you call on a very different kind of romantic stimulant that costs nothing and doesn’t endanger any species: being a good listener.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Maybe there is a soul mate for you in this world. Maybe there isn’t. But you can count on this: If that person is out there, you will never bond with him or her by clinging to a set of specific expectations about how it should happen. He or she will not possess all the qualities you wish for and will not always treat you exactly as you want to be. I’m sure you already know this deep down, Aquarius, but hearing it from an objective observer like me might help liberate you further from the oppressive fantasy of romantic perfection. That way you can better recognize and celebrate the real thing.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” So proclaimed Dr. Seuss. I think this is an excellent meditation for you during this season of love. You need more permission to share your idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, and you need more freedom to ally yourself with people whose idiosyncrasies and eccentricities you’re compatible with — and on behalf of the cosmos, I’m hereby giving you that permission.