This week's horoscopes, and the links included in them, are sponsored by the mall. Now, thanks to the Internet, you don't even have to go to go. For more information about the mall and its relationship to spiritual enlightenment, read this week's homepage article.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Always keep your receipts. The latest gift you purchased might be going back where it came from. It was sweet of you to go out of your way and stop into Claire's Accessories to buy that big velvet bow barrette or rhinestone-encrusted banana clip for your favorite long-haired lady. Are you sure she hasn't recently cut her hair and sold it to a wig-maker for some much-needed pocket change? Of course it's the thought that counts, but a little more thought could result in a gift that is not only attractive but appropriate and useful.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Anyone who has been to your home knows of your uncanny ability to arrange the candles, wall hangings, picture frames and pieces of pottery in just the right manner to transcend "decorating" and achieve "design". You create a mystical environment in which the objects quietly conspire to put your visitors in particular moods of your choosing. This is quite a powerful trait, and one that I recommend that you begin to adapt to other applications, like carefully placing foundation stones for your career or rearranging people in an organization, maybe even window display at Pier One Imports.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't be embarrassed, but I'm revealing your secret to the world: Your favorite mall store is Spencer Gifts. For those unfamiliar with Spencer, it is jam packed with kitschy gag items, lava lamps and black-light posters, and practical jokes. As a kid, I was fascinated by the adults-only section in the back, full of off-color greeting cards and board games and exotic objects with foreign-sounding names like "French tickler". Before you rush in to buy exploding chewing gum for your boss or a naked jigsaw puzzle for your mother-in-law, think carefully. Certain recipients will be permanently won over to your charms from such a gift, while others will never recover from being offended. Do you have the wisdom to know grouch from giggler?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Okay, not the most immediately gratifying advice to hear on a trip to the mall, but here goes: Save your money. It doesn't mean that you can't blow a couple bucks on a coffee and a Mrs. Field's Cookie for an afternoon treat. But don't buy the new pair of shoes you're waffling on, the air purifier or the fancy new whatever-it-is this week. Follow one of my favorite anti-impulse practices, and promise yourself that if you're still thinking about it in two or three weeks, you'll come back to collect your goodie. Meanwhile, you enjoy the satisfaction of disciplining yourself, you're better prepared for any unexpected expenses this month, and you will really enjoy what you buy later, if it proves to have been worth the wait.
LEO (July 23-August 22): It is completely trite to quote that horrific '80s classic "My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuk 3. So I won't. But if you have a chance to run by Sunglass Hut or some similar kiosk, pick up an extra pair of sunglasses with good UV protection. They say that, with the extra pollutants in our sky, the sun's rays grow more damaging all the time. And, as the sun rules Leo and is in an extra-exuberant place right now, its strengthand consequently yoursare at a high point. Exciting, yes, but don't be blinded by the glare.
VIRGO (August 23-September 22): With an inquisitive mind such as yours, it's natural that you would gravitate toward Brookstone and The Sharper Image when wandering the mall. All those little gadgets and organizers and tools for efficient living can keep you rapt in play for hours. So stereotypical Virgo, I know. Still, the product engineers haven't yet thought of everything. If actual realization of your vision were no object, what exciting and marketable innovation could you come up with in time for the holiday shopping season? Careful, though. Whatever tedious steps your invention aims to eliminate, or whatever annoyance it alleviates, reveals more about your psyche than you might care to admit.
LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Your tensions with the outside world are easing up, slowly but surely. Maybe it's time to help the process along by planning a little party, a picnic, a barbeque or an evening of cocktails. Not only will it be a great chance to get your favorite friends together for some fun and social support. You can distract your attention away from tedious life issues and towards lots of pleasurable aesthetic details. Quick, head to Crate & Barrel so you can procure the perfect placemats, those seasonal flamingo-pink serving bowls, and a couple extra swizzle sticks. Then put on your party face and show them all how stylish you can be.
SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): One of the most wonderful things about you mysterious Scorpios is that you're always full of surprises. I don't know if someone scouring the mall in search of you would think to look in Kay-Bee Toys, where you secretly sit in a back corner, cuddling stuffed animals or ogling the Barbie Dream House. For one with such a stinging reputation, you have quite a childlike soft side. Don't be afraid to display it, in measured doses, to your professional colleagues or group peers. They would be delighted to find that you collect stickers and make model airplanes in your spare time.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): There's this really sweet, rather perky blonde 15-year-old cheerleader I met recently. She and her high-school friends have made the wise decision to refrain from alcohol and illegal substances. Instead, her drug of choice is sugar. You should have seen her after she gulped down a super-sized Slurpee, twitching and giggling and gushing about boys. I watched her high energy spread to her mellower friends, hyping them up to a similar pitch. If you happen to pass an Orange Julius or some equivalent, I suggest you stop and order yourself a sugary shake. Your resulting amped-up pitch and upbeat attitude will be contagious to your peers, who need a fresh injection of your little something extra.
CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The carefully constructed fantasy world of Victoria's Secret is supposed to make a woman feel attractive. That is, if her proportions qualify her for fitting into or filling up the laciest of its garments. Otherwise, she has a multitude of wonderous options for pushing and padding, or else she can stock up on affordable and practical sale-item cotton panties. Whether you're of the persuasion that shops for lingerie or just appreciates a woman wearing it, you might keep in mind (as the best salespeople should) that there is nothing sexier in the world than making someone else feel sexy.
AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You were just minding your own business, resting on a bench in the mall, watching the people go by. All of a sudden, you are movedby a gorgeous creature, a saleable good, an unexplainable urgeto get up from your seat and pursue this object of your desire. Normally so cool and calm-headed, you find yourself charged up and uncontrollably drawn to strange new worlds or stores you never dream of entering, like The Bombay Company. Regardless of whether you actually hook up with your beloved, the atypical emotion and passion with which you invest your quest is what's notable here. Still, I'll bet you end up being pretty lucky.
PISCES (February 19-March 20): On a regular basis, you dutifully drive to the mall to pick up your partner from work at The Gap. There must be some meaning-giving reasona fringe benefit other than the discount on t-shirts and carpenter pantsthat compels you to keep up the favor. Follow your instincts, despite others' contentions that you're a sucker being taken advantage of for free rides. Unless you are sacrificing your own ability to achieve some goal you might have, then your kind chauffeurly behavior is fully appropriate for the time being and may teach those around you a bit about spiritual servitude. Plus, you never know who you might run into cruising the parking lot.