April 21, 2011 | 10:23 AMTaurus (April 20-May 20)
Americans don't have a monopoly on body fascism, but we're certainly contenders for first place. Goodness forbid you have hair in the wrong place (or too little in the right place), or smell like a human being instead of a flower, or have any other physical "imperfection." While having standards of beauty is inevitable, yours could do with being a bit wider and less rigidly enforced. Being down to earth means embracing all that rough-edged earthly stuff, and hopefully seeing the sexy beauty in it. This week, instead of stocking up on the newest antiperspirant, try that.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
There's a difference between those who don't cheat because they worry about getting caught, and those who don't do it because they know it's wrong and wouldn't make them feel good. Eventually, the former will get around to it no matter what. Determining what kind of person you're dealing with is of paramount importance this week. Becoming paranoid, nosy, and controlling isn't a fate I'd wish on you, so if you suspect you've fallen in with one of those would-be cheaters just waiting for an opportunity, you might want to get out now while you still can.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Embracing and experiencing your emotions is one thing; allowing them to completely dominate and overwhelm you, and hold you back from the things you want—that's quite another. It's tricky for you Cancers, because you feel things so vividly and powerfully, and you don't want to deny or shut down that potent source of strength and vitality. However, learning how to rein those feelings in without shutting down is a valuable and necessary tool if you ever want to achieve lasting contentment and success. That, my dear, is this week's (and your life's ongoing) lesson.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
By this time, you should have figured out that walking any path forged by someone else will only work for you for a short time. Ultimately, the only way to get to where you're going, and be happy about it, is to blaze your own trail. You can be inspired by someone else, or even copy aspects of what they've been up to—but in the end, you need to make your own rules, schedule, and route. If you're walking in someone else's footprints, it's now time to consider when to break off and head in your own direction—probably soon.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
How much power you're willing to lend to someone else says a lot about you and where you're at in life. Some people can't help but render themselves virtually helpless in certain situations (especially romantic ones); others have trouble giving up any control whatsoever. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. There's no recipe for what amount of power to hold onto or let go of, but there is a "right" amount—it's just that it's different for every specific situation. Hold on too tight and you'll strangle all life out of it; give up too much and it'll never go where you're hoping. This week, do your best to figure it out; if you screw it up, chalk it up to a lesson that'll help you do better next time.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Severe disappointment is difficult to get over—but try to remember that everyone experiences it at some points in their lives, and most of us many, many times. You don't have a monopoly on feeling let down, nor is shutting down and giving up completely a viable response to what you're feeling now, even if it's what you're intensely tempted to do. Au contraire! The quicker you can get back to blank slate status—that is, truly open about the next promising possibility (without secretly believing it'll turn out just like this one)—the better.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Sometimes there's just so much on your plate that you want to retreat from the world, get stoned/drunk/etc., and try to forget about it all. Sometimes you do just that, but you know by now that it's a slippery slope. The longer you put off this stuff, the more it piles up, and the worse the temptation becomes to be irresponsible and numb your mind to it all. Don't be too hard on yourself, however. I suggest giving yourself permission to retreat—after you've done just one (or two) things. Even if they're small things, facing this stuff tomorrow will be that much easier if you just suck it up and get them done today, right now.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec.21)
Don't be blinded by the beauty of the swan. The swan is mean, and only has eyes for other swans, anyway. Admire it from afar, but don't bother trying to get close to it. Spend your time and energy, instead, focusing on learning to notice and appreciate beauty that comes in less obvious, but more sustainable, forms. This is your path to happiness. Naturally, there'll be many factors and influences trying to steer you from it, but if you can train your mind and heart towards ideas and patterns that'll make you happier and more fulfilled than you've ever been—why the hell wouldn't you?
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Repeating the same action and expecting different results is one definition of insanity. Of course, it's easy enough to realize that's what you're doing and switch things up when solving a scientific problem, but it's quite another when dealing with emotions, which are by definition irrational and nearly impossible to control. These are the sources of patterns we get stuck in. Sometimes you simply have to rope yourself, through brute logical force, into taking a different path. That may very well be the case this week, when your feelings are likely to take you down the same route you've taken so many times before. If you want a different outcome, though, you'll need to head in a different direction—so do that, by hook or by crook.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
How comfortable are you with darkness? I'm not just talking about your bedroom once the lights are out—I mean the darker aspects of your own nature. How about those facets of someone else? Sometimes, true love and intimacy means embracing and accepting those as well as all the brilliant and joyful things that made you fall for them in the first place. This week may very well present a test of your devotion. Will you brave those dark places, or run screaming? Sticking it out can only increase the sum total of trust here—so if you can manage it, it's worth your while.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Being flexible is one thing, but sometimes you bend over backwards so far you might as well be lying on your back, counting the footprints on your chest. As long as you keep accommodating other people's demands, they will certainly keep making them. There's no magical line they'll cross and suddenly realize they're asking too much—unless you draw one. This week, you need to do exactly that. Naturally, saying it's there won't quite do the trick. The first thing all those chest-walkers will do is experiment by stepping right over it. What you do next will determine whether you get to continue your interactions as their equal, or their doormat.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
The story's never done being written, even if it feels that way. Even death or distance doesn't stop the tale. The only thing that can end it is you, by refusing to add to it in any way. You may think you know the conclusion to this one, but sometimes the best stories have surprise twists at the end. Be open to one of those here—and if it's in your direct power to make one happen, I can't encourage you enough to do so. It could spell the difference between a happy ending and a potentially tragic one.
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