September 09, 2010 | 12:05 PM
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Fighting is an art form. I'm not talking about fencing or Sumo wrestling, but rather simply the ability to conclusively resolve conflicts in a graceful way. This isn't something that comes naturally to you Virgos. Although you're not as likely to run from disagreeements as, say, a gentle Pisces, you still occasionally back down from them instead of standing your ground, or express them in ways that won't yield positive results. While coping with your own resentment may be easier than sticking to your guns, it's not healthier. Practice makes perfect. Have it out, and keep having it out until, you know, you're actually good at it.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You can only suppress your own needs for so long. You're like a competitive swimmer who's learned to hold her breath for minutes longer than ordinary humans. If postponing (or stifling) your own desires was an Olympic event, you'd be a gold medalist. While that flexibility helps you get into relationships, it doesn't serve you in the longterm. Even champion swimmers need to come up for air sometime. And when you do, finally revealing your long-sublimated desires, it can come as an unwelcome shock to the person who thought you existed just to validate their wishes. Be real from the beginning—or at least before the third lap.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
A recurring theme I've observed is how quickly strengths can transform into weaknesses, and vice versa. We don't often have control over this involuntary coin flip, and some people even have trouble seeing how their tremendous strengths could ever be points of weakness (or vice versa). Although the transmutation of strength into weakness is a hard sell, you're fortunate enough to have the opposite experience this week: demonstrating how a shortcoming can actually enrich your life and create greater joy, beauty, or opportunity—as long as you're openminded and flexible enough to seize your chance. Don't miss it!
SAGIT TARIUS (Nov. 22-DEC.21)
Every time I have trouble getting myself to go the gym (nearly every day, naturally), I spur myself on with an inspiring picture of the hot body I hope to someday have, instead of berating myself by noticing how far I have yet to go, or pointing out the physical flaws that need correction. Some people think they'll have better luck focusing on the negative, but I don't often observe this to be true. You've employed such a strategy lately. How's that working out for you? Don't be your own drill sergeant. This week, try another tact: one where you're encouraging and supportive to yourself, the way you'd (hopefully) treat a good friend.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
There's no real shortcut here. What you're trying to do is like capturing a photograph at the perfect angle with amazing lighting that manages to hide every extra pound or flaw. While that's certainly less effort than the alternative—going to the gym and ditching some of that extra weight, for example—it's also less honest and, ultimately, less fulfilling. Take the long road to where you're going, even if it's harder. When you do finally arrive at your destination (or the surprising place you end up instead), you'll probably be healthier and definitely be happier than you are right now.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
While you have achieved quite a bit of success despite spreading yourself so thin, we both know that if you were to focus in just one or two directions for more than a year or three, you'd be much more successful. Of course I mention it because that's precisely what you're contemplating now. As you consider it, ask yourself: what is success, really? If you pursued a more concentrated approach you'd have more money, and perhaps prestige or recognition. But would you be happier? Ultimately, whether or not you decide to continue on as you have (which has worked out so far) or change course now should be entirely contingent on this question.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Although you may occasionally feel your pets and plants make better company than people do, you need to be especially vigilant about not becoming a total recluse. Especially when besieged by some strong emotion, it's all too easy for you to hole up and stew. Please make sure you're creating some openings for other humans to have significant influence in your life (yes, some of which may be negative). That means going out and doing stuff with other people, at least a couple times a week. Don't worry, that still leaves you five nights with the felines and ferns, which ought to be plenty.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Leos sometimes hide behind their hair. Pisces frequently use affectations to cover their insecurities. Aries, however, most often use an exaggerated bravado to cloak their doubts. This works much of the time, but for those of us who know you (or other Aries) well, we can pretty much see right through it. Consider your "audience." We already know all your tricks. Even if we like their flash, we don't really need to see them again. If you're pretty sure we won't fall for the show, don't bother with it; you'll get better results by just being honest and real instead.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
People either like you or they don't, and it usually seems like there's not much you can do about it. That, however, isn't precisely true. A more accurate statement is that there's not much you're willing to do about it. That's okay; you thoroughly know and accept yourself just as you are. However, you should own that. Being unwilling to bend or compromise isn't frequently regarded as the most admirable character trait, so you really shouldn't be surprised when it turns some people off. I like that you're not always willing to make concessions just to be popular; what I don't like as much is when you blame other people for not being willing to meet you more than halfway.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Designer Gary Chang invented a way to make a studio apartment transform into 20 different rooms, with movable walls and furniture. Weirdly enough, it reminded me of you. With a change of outfit, attitude, or setting, you can transform so completely as to be virtually unrecognizable. This can be bewildering to some, and inspiring to others. Unfortunately, lately you've been spending time with more of the bewildered types and not so many inspired ones. Instead of trying to be less flexible or multitalented, this week focus on finding people who won't be quite so anxious, offended, or put off by it.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
When things don't play out exactly (or even similarly to) how you imagined, try not to get too upset about it. In retrospect, you'll probably discover that your overall experience was overwhelmingly positive—unless you spent the whole time feeling bitter and let down. Instead of being hung up on what was "supposed" to be happening, try to enjoy what's actually happening. It's probably, at least in some ways, much better than whatever vision you were trying to manifest. Noticing that might be a blow to your ego—but you're also likely to have a lot more fun.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
While the sun is, effectively, the source of most life on Earth, it's also powerfully dangerous. Most humans who go out without sunscreen for any length of time usually regret it. A little respect and caution for similar sources of radiance is in order this week. It's a good week to reclaim your natural birthright. This doesn't mean becoming insufferable and entitled. However, if someone seems to be forgetting just how radiant and strong you can be, give them a little scorch to the ego. Nothing that a little tenderly applied aloe won't soothe—but something they won't easily forget, either.
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