February 09, 2011 | 03:34 PMAQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Valentine's Day is a brilliant piece of marketing. Not only is selling stuff and experiences related to this invented holiday worth billions of dollars, anyone who'd criticize it is obviously a lonely, bitter person with a case of sour grapes. Despite my sarcasm, there are valid criticisms of the holiday; and also valid reasons to enjoy it as a celebration of traditional romance. Like a situation cropping up this week, there's no right or wrong way to look at it. These multiple perspectives are all equally accurate—and purely reflective of the person doing the looking. Before you react badly to someone's contrary opinion, please try to remember that it's as legit as yours—just less cool.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
What may seem like a foregone conclusion actually isn't. The supposedly overwhelming evidence leading to said conclusion is purely circumstantial and a matter of perspective. Presented in a different way or at a different time, the ending could wind up altogether different from what you expected. If you didn't like what you thought was about to happen, you should strive to change things up so people are liable to see the scenario differently. If you were heavily attached to the predicted outcome, you may still get your way, but prepare yourself for a surprise upset; it might still happen.
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Sour grapes could be just the flavor you're looking for. Instead of whining about the situation that didn't turn out as you'd hoped, try to see the benefits of this particular outcome. In retrospect, you might figure out that the way things played out was actually better than what you'd been aiming for—in which case that sour grape flavor might be a bit of a happily acquired taste. Silver linings abound in all of this week's dark clouds. They may require some hard soul-searching and a radical shift in perspective to see—but they're there.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
You're behaving like a high-strung dog who jumps and trembles at any loud noise. While a canine may not quite have the wherewithal to use logic to curb her fight-or-flight instinct, you've quite a bit more brainpower at your disposal. You may have more reason than she does to get all worked up, but in the end your knee-jerk reaction to unpleasantness or surprises isn't likely to help things; realize that. Be more proactive than pure reflex allows; this will require more planning and problem-solving than you've heretofore applied, but nothing you're not capable of.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
The pattern you think you're beginning to grasp doesn't actually exist, or at least can't be counted on as fact. Our brains are busy little things, always making connections, drawing parallels, and extracting order from chaos. It's a survival mechanism. But sometimes coincidences are just that, and the "pattern" is just happenstance. That's almost certainly the case this week. I'm not going to call you paranoid or delusional—things haven't gotten quite so far as that. However, you've entered the close end of that continuum. Back off and chill out before you proceed any further down that path.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
The things that annoy you shouldn't. I'm not suggesting that what you're feeling is wrong, or that you're not feeling it. I'm just saying that if you had more important stuff on your plate, the petty shit you're vexed about wouldn't even make a blip on your radar. This is your perpetually busy brain giving you something to do. If you really think about it, I'll bet you don't much like this nitpicky version of yourself. Fill up your agenda with stuff that truly matters, so you can stop getting worked up over the shit that doesn't.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Everyone knows "that guy." You care about him, but there doesn't seem to be much you can do to help him with his problems, even when he asks. Even though it's obvious to you that many of those difficulties are self-created, it's virtually impossible to convey that to him; half of what you say fails to register. What do you do? Write him off as a lost cause and move on? That's likely tempting, especially given that you're probably right that nothing you do or say will generate significant change. But you might be wrong. Based on that possibility, and also because it's simply good to help people (even "lost causes") when you can, don't give up.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You do love a list. You've always functioned well with a tangible set of clearly-articulated goals, and you're generally well-motivated by the pure satisfaction of crossing those agenda items off your list. Sometimes, though, you need more than that little reminder—you need a real kick in the ass. This week, pick an objective or two you've been dragging your feet on and figure out what it'll to take to get you to finally get to work: reminders that are harder to ignore, a deadline (perhaps enforced by someone else), or even a bribe ("If I do this, I'll buy myself that."). Then crack that whip and get to work.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
If you miss the train this week, don't freak out. There's an express coming a little bit later that might even get you to your destination before the one you missed would have, or at least in much less time. Of course, this is metaphorical, not commentary about your commute. The best and shortest route to your destination isn't always the first option that comes your way. Sometimes biding your time is your best course of action. This may be one of those times. You don't have anything so concrete as a train schedule to consult, but I still think you should be able to get a good idea of some of your immediate options, and select one more consciously than "the first one that comes along."
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Except for the very rare moment when you've blurted something you shouldn't, you Scorps aren't generally known for a tendency to over-share. In fact, you're much more likely to be cursed for your general lack of communication. Most of the time, those who've stuck around have learned to forgive these oversights and applaud the efforts you've made to be more communicative. Once in a while, though, your inability or unwillingness to make more of an effort can really cause drama. Since this week is one of those times, may I suggest you shed your tight-lipped 'tude and try to consistently speak up?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-DEC.21)
Sometimes it's within your power to bring that something extra that will make an otherwise intolerable situation tolerable, a mediocre experience memorable, and a great experience an outstanding or even life-changing one. That's an excellent talent to have! Exercise it this week; it'll serve you (and those around you) far better than whatever you went to school for, and get you further in life. In fact, there's no telling what doors it may open for you; of course, passing through such doors will require you make further use of it—so this week practice, practice, practice.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Even you, arguably the most consistently hard-working sign in the zodiac, sometimes want nothing more than to just go home, crawl into bed, and take a nap. Do it! Obviously, if you indulged such an impulse more than occasionally, it could cause problems—but since you almost never do, you can afford to, now. You've earned yourself some slack, and what's the point of such credit unless you use it once in a while? Don't worry, this won't be inaugurating a new lifestyle of irresponsibility and excess—in fact, the rare self-indulgence will make the rest of your working life both more meaningful and productive.
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