July 07, 2010 | 03:26 PM
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
One person's reward is another's punishment. Make sure what you're offering—or in some cases very nearly forcing on someone—is something they actually want, not just something you think they ought to want (perhaps because you would, in their shoes). That may be a difficult thing to swallow—that your well-intentioned and generous gift would be a burden or a hassle—but it's something you'll need to accept. Spend this week thinking of ways to gracefully (not resentfully) withdraw your offering, perhaps replacing it with something that would be more gratefully and joyfully received, if you're so inclined.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Reclaiming words is the practice of stripping them of negative connotations and actively using them to describe yourself. It's owning the words in a way that robs them of all power to ever hurt, oppress, or denigrate you. Disempowered groups have been reclaiming and adopting defamatory language for a long time, but it can work on a personal level as well. Whatever's been hurting you is something you can learn to own and accept about yourself. In this case, it might be something you can ultimately change—but only once you've acknowledged the accuracy of those unkind words.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
What do you do when someone's attempts to help go wildly awry, and end up creating extra problems and complications that would never have happened, had they simply left the situation alone? Their heart was in the right place, after all. But now there's a mess to clean up. It's up to you to decide whether good intentions are enough. I'd suggest erring on the side of generosity, compassion, and tolerance. It's okay to give someone enough information to realize the mess they've made, if they're still clueless about it, but try not to stack it with a guilt trip, if you can.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Progress frequently happens in fits and starts, and it's often of the "two steps forward, one back" variety. Don't be discouraged by this, even in your own personal evolution. Obviously, too much negative movement wouldn't be a good thing, but acknowledge that there's a certain dance going on here as you adjust to your newer way of being. Focus on the positive progress, and forgive the occasional reversions back to old habits, without dwelling too much on them. Being too rigid about your own growth will not only make you miserable, it's likely to stagnate it entirely. Just recognize the waltz, and be satisfied that you're moving more or less in the right direction, albeit, perhaps, in a roundabout fashion.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
There's no one wiser, deeper, and more amazing than a Scorpio who's had a chance to really evolve (a process which usually takes several decades or more). Of course, the inverse is also true—there's no one more likely to be cruel, make devastating mistakes, or just really screw up a situation than an "unripe" Scorpio. Of course, that's exactly what makes you so wonderful once you've circled the block a few dozen times. If you're still in the process of "ripening," that is, still prone to occasionally be cruel, or screw up horribly, recognize that it's precisely these things that will make you so wise and wonderful late in life, and forgive yourself.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Taking a step or two back is better than walking away. Sometimes those are your only options. You can't sustain things at the level you have been, so you essentially have two choices: keep trying anyway, until you burn out completely and have nothing left to offer, and consequently need to just walk away, or reducing your involvement for a while, so you can rest, recharge, and consider how to make the situation a sustainable and happy one. I think the latter option is better, since it doesn't spell the end of what could be a productive and fulfilling chapter—but it's on you to make it possible.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Persistence is one of your best traits. It's often negatively labeled as obsession or stubbornness, and of course it can be, like any strength, a weakness. Usually, though, it serves you well, and the current scenario could definitely benefit from its application. Don't let others discourage you with their wish that you'd give up more easily or their denigrations of your "obsession." Only through extreme perseverance will you achieve anything like what you're hoping for. This, you have in spades—so don't let others' attempts to dissuade or distract you from your course actually keep you from pursuing it.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
When someone you love needs more from you than they usually do, it can suck. Suddenly, you must make sacrifices that aren't particularly fair; however, the alternative—leaving them in the lurch—would probably make you feel worse. We always have choices, but sometimes the choices simply suck. It's your job to choose the "best" one of those and focus on its positive aspects. It'll probably be difficult to stay cheery in this situation; nevertheless, that's this week's challenge. The better you get at it, the less miserable the situation will be for all concerned—including you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
There are times when being mysterious or coy will serve you well; however, sometimes that behavior's just likely to piss or put people off. Being upfront and completely transparent and open isn't a strength of yours; nevertheless, it's a quality you should strive to exemplify this week. To you, this might seem like you're being rude, egotistical or arrogant, or just plain annoying—nevertheless, if the stuff you're putting out there is genuine and honest, it's exactly right. This is about acknowledging, embracing, and even advertising precisely who you are and what you're up to. Take off all the filters and see just how real you can be.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
When you discover something (or someone) new that you like, you sometimes go a bit overboard about it. The usual pattern is that you go full-throttle for a while, then lose most of your interest when a new obsession takes hold. This is confusing for those around you. As you get older, I hope you don't lose your enthusiasm; however, it'd be nice if you developed a little more follow-through. That doesn't mean you shouldn't get completely carried away with whatever new thing has excited you—just that maybe you shouldn't go out of your way to discover quite as many new things—thereby giving yourself the opportunity to explore some of this stuff in more depth. That, my dear, is what you should concentrate on this week.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Splitting loyalties doesn't really work. Eventually—probably later rather than sooner, but still—both parties will make incompatible demands on you, and you'll be forced to choose. You should decide now what you'd do in such a scenario, rather than waiting until that time (and foolishly hoping it never happens). Once you've figured it out, you need to tell everyone involved where they're at. They deserve to know. You probably don't want to, because it will hurt your own status with whoever's lower on the priority list—but that doesn't change that it's the right thing to do.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You may not be susceptible to the kind of rage an Aries can muster, or the cold smolder of seething fury a Scorpio can maintain for years, but your short-fused anger can still be rather explosive and unpredictable. One Gemini friend of mine smashed in a car window of a car whose alarm would go off for hours every Saturday morning. This is a force you need to learn to control, and occasionally harness. It's powerful, and better expressed than suppressed, but obviously, letting it run wild can have annoying and negative ramifications. There's a way to channel this to make your life better, not get you into trouble. This week, try to find it.
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