October 18, 2012 | 07:30 AMLibra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You may not be able to speak Canine, but you can reasonably assume that when your dog lies down at your feet both of you experience some degree of comfort and pleasure. It's just one minor example of the levels of communication you're capable of. Since the exotic creature you're trying to commune with this week is actually human, if completely unfamiliar in every other way, rest assured that some mutually beneficial arrangement is not only possible, it's likely. Just keep being sensitive to what you can do to make those (of all species) around you happy; they'll more than return the favor.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Whether you've pricked your finger against the shiny spindle of the gold-thread-producing spinning wheel, the thorny projections of your own new growth, or the jagged edges of someone's broken heart, it hurts. The source of pain is almost irrelevant; Only your reaction to it matters. How disappointing if it keeps you from reaching out into uncertain places, because some of the most important treasures you've ever gotten or will get come from unknown territories just like those. You can't make yourself safe from the nicks and cuts life dishes out. Those risks are what make it worth it.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
The Monks of New Skete, New York, breed dogs and train "trouble dogs." Their monastery is at least partially supported by these ventures and their products—like several outstanding books (including How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend). The dogs living there lead a monastic lifestyle themselves, getting up early and accompanying their masters throughout the day. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement: the dogs get to spend time with their human "pack" and the monks enjoy non-intrusive relief from their essential solitude and isolation. It's a great combination that works on so many levels, including making the monastery money. You're so close to creating a similar Win-Win-Win-Win situation; I hope you can grab some inspiration from this example to push you over the edge.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Winter lurks in the wings, waiting to ambush nostalgically stubborn summer lovers with its frigid malevolence. Don't scoff. Naturally, no one should be surprised by anything as basically predictable as a seasonal change. Yet, a similarly expected event is on the verge of catching you off-guard, or at least woefully underprepared. What's your excuse? The looming deadline (of whatever sort) didn't just suddenly appear. Instead of laughing at those idiots still wearing shorts (and freezing their knees off), wrap your scarf on tight and catch up on preparations for the "winter" that's hitting your house.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Since when did you become such a prankster? Wile E., I should call you. You didn't always have time for practical jokes. I can only conclude, that contrary to your master plan, the lazy loafers you occasionally surround yourself with are rubbing off on you, instead of you on them. That's not always a bad thing. In this case, I'm happy to be the butt of your cleverly planned tricks. But I'm concerned about some of the other less savory aspects of your slacker buds, specifically their rampant flakiness. I see the first symptoms of unreliability all over you, like a rash. Maintain your effectiveness. In other words, keep making time for jokes, but don't become one.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Don't fling the ring down the drain accidentally-on-purpose. Although your main "thing" seems to be cutting into your Alone Time and preventing or occluding much-needed self-reflection, resist throwing it away entirely. Ah, the demands of a relationship! The price sometimes seems high, especially now, when you're craving freedom and mental solitude instead of the sex or intimacy you thought you wanted a while back. I understand and support your current desire for quiet contemplation. Just remember how quickly these moods of yours can change. By the time you finish breaking up with your jealous lover, you'll probably want him/her back. There's got to be a better way to get the downtime you need. This week, find it.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Friends are just like anything else; there are certain combinations you simply don't try. You wouldn't mix paisley and plaid, olives and caramel, or raw oysters and roller coasters. People are a different category, it's true. But you're astute enough to know when bringing two of them together might be a happy combination ("Your chocolate's in my peanut butter…") and when it's simply a disaster waiting to happen. Don't assume that everyone that likes you will automatically like each other. Pay attention to potential compatibilities or disharmonies this week. Your friends won't know to thank you for doing it, but consider their silence a blessing; they'd be sure to gripe if you didn't bother.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Yowzers! This week you're due for a moment of geeky clarity so pure and simple it's straight out of a 60s sitcom. Don't knock it. Moments like these are rare for you. Put your usual activities (especially those involving reality-avoidance) on hold to act on this brief lucidity. It's easier than you think, sometimes as simple as saying, "Gee, Mrs. Brady, I'm sorry I broke your lamp. I'll never play ball in the house again." If you successfully follow the straightforward guidance of even half of the Partridge-Family-style solutions that'll occur to you this week, you can finally rid your life of most of the nasty complications you spend so much time avoiding. Then you can return next week to your usual boozing and floozing with a much lighter heart.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Primarily you've been a victim of your own bad planning, or total lack thereof. What do you mean, what do I mean? Some minor examples: Your baked bean dinner had you tooting all morning, to the dismay of fellow commuters and coworkers. And not even understandable forgetfulness can excuse the fact that you scheduled dates with your two favorite people, on the same night. The fact that your dis-ease is self-inflicted is a good thing; it's therefore in your own power to affect a cure. Organize yourself, and be amazed at how hassle-free your future can be.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Here I am, flapping my elbows and clucking provocatively. You know what I'm teasing you about: a regrettable, embarrassing failure of courage and imagination that has cost you, to date, 238 minutes of precious sleep. Almost four hours of your time has been spent rehashing what you should have done. Stop the insanity. Knock yourself out if you have to—you need the sleep. Why? Because your second chance—yes, a tiny little window of opportunity—is coming up. Unless you're well-rested, primed, and ready to leap enthusiastically and unreservedly through it, you'll miss this one too. And who knows how much sleep that might cost you.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Backstage following a college theater production, I asked the star of the show: "Don't you feel egotistical taking a second bow?" "Oh, it's not for me," he replied, "It's for them. They feel cheated if I don't give them enough chances to love me." It's arrogant but true; the enthusiastic audience got way more out of clapping, cheering, and hollering than Mr. Cool did from receiving it. They would've left disappointed and unrequited if he'd failed to appear for more adoration. While you don't need to retain the blasé, unruffled calm of my fellow actor, you do need to follow his example. Give people more chances to love you. They will.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Don't be an ass. You're not exactly in the doghouse, but your usual alliances are unusually busy. Thus the only one left to defend your good name and stick up for you is the palm-reading hippie chick you buy your pot brownies from. As character witnesses go, she…may not be ideal. But accept her help anyway; you need it. Don't be so rigid. Doing things the way you're used to isn't an option this week. Embrace unconventionality and make the best of an awkward situation. It's better than floundering in nostalgic mulishness (see line one).
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