April 18, 2012 | 09:26 AMTaurus (April 20-May 20)
Some of your past failed relationships didn't work out because you ignored glaring red flags, or simply single-mindedly kept your eye on "the prize" (i.e. the relationship you wanted), instead of observing and working with what was actually there. The ends do not justify the means here any more than they do elsewhere. Your desire to have the relationships you imagine is understandable, but allowing that desire to eclipse the relationships you actually have is a mistake. This week, refocus on the how great those connections are instead of on all the ways they're supposedly lacking. You're luckier than you think.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You can't protect other people from their own choices, especially when it comes to relationships. Just look at the futile, counterproductive efforts parents make when their teenage children select unsuitable partners. Their best intentions usually blow up in their faces; so, unfortunately, will yours. This is one of those times where you kind of have to be supportive, regardless of how you actually feel. Hopefully, they'll figure out what you know, all on their own. In the meantime, maybe you'll discover a thing or two, too—like maybe their choices aren't as bad as you initially thought.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
I've never met anyone who can make such a big deal out of turning down a wedding invitation (or the like) as a Cancer can. Forgoing events you'd rather not participate in—office lunches, parties, etc.—isn't the complicated and dramatic affair you sometimes make it out to be. Even if the reasons you don't want to attend are huge and emotional, inside your head, they don't need to be part of your explanation. Cite a busy work schedule or previous obligation and leave it at that. Of course, if you're just bored and want the drama, go ahead and hint at other reasons until it all comes out in the open—but that's on you.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Bullies take many forms; in childhood, they're often quite visible and obvious. Adults, however, are more subtle. Leos can be bullies, too, but generally you only throw your weight around for others' benefit (as you perceive it, anyway), so it's not as awful as those who sadistically take pleasure in others' pain or discomfort. Of course, your ability to get your way can come in handy when it comes to taking down more malevolent bullies—this week, knock them down a peg or two. And make sure you always use your powers for good, not evil!
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Virgos are in most cases lovely, laid back individuals. But every one of you has a hot button topic or two that can transform you from a chill companion to an irate, snarling bulldog who will not let an issue go once you've clenched it in your jaws. Learning to recognize when to simply and gracefully drop the subject is a skill you should acquire, quickly, lest your tenacity get you into all kinds of trouble. Your determination is a good thing; when it crosses over into intractable stubbornness, however, you're ultimately mostly just biting yourself in the ass.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
When we act out of fear, we often do precisely the things most likely to cause our fears and anxieties to become manifest. Partners worried about their lovers cheating can grow so jealous, suspicious, nosy, and unpleasant to be around that the prospect of an affair becomes increasingly tantalizing. Acting out of your most worried impulses will only make them much more likely to come true, so try to resist it. That's not to say you should blind yourself to real, obvious evidence that things are not cool—but in the absence of such, assuming that everything's more or less okay is probably the best way to go.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
When the close-mindedness of others becomes obvious and outspoken, speaking up is generally an admirable thing to do. It's not always prudent or wise, however. Sometimes tact provides a better outcome than righteous valor. While defending others from intolerance and bigotry should be a no-brainer, simply correcting people's narrow-minded opinions about this issue or that trend is more of a pick-your-battles type thing. Often, it's worth your while to speak up and present a more worldly viewpoint; occasionally, like this week, the smartest and most productive thing to do is just keep your mouth shut.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Your love of freedom, like so many things, is both strength and weakness. Occasionally, it's made you prone to misinterpreting circumstances in such a way that it seems like it's "time to move on" long before it actually is. What if that omen wasn't an omen, and causes you to exit a situation that might have been perfect for the long-term, if you weren't so trigger-happy and ready to split at the first hint of trouble? Stop shooting yourself in the foot with your overzealous flight instinct, or you'll never be sure when it's actually time to stop running on to the next thing and just stick around to see what happens, instead. It might be pretty cool.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Butt out and let people make their stupid mistakes. You ought to know by now that offering unsolicited advice to certain people in your life is rarely received well, even though it'd spare the recipients so much suffering and embarrassment if they'd just listen to you. It's probably going to be very hard for you to resist trying, anyway, this week, because of how boneheaded and shortsighted people can sometimes be. However, since speaking up is just going to get you snapped at and cause conflict, biting your tongue and allowing people to fall flat on their faces is, sadly, the only real way to go.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
When people are deeply angry, they sometimes irrationally lash out at whoever's nearby—which is almost never the "deserving" party. While these poor recipients (often messengers bearing bad news) almost always get an apology, after the fact, that doesn't erase the sting of suffering in the first place. Because of who you are and how you deal with stuff, it was probably relatively easy for you to forgive and forget when this kind of thing happened to you. Other people, though, are less emotionally resilient—this week, though, you may be able to help them along a little.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
There are always shit-stirrers—people who, for whatever reason(s), enjoy getting others riled up, anyway they can (on online forums they're called "trolls"). The problem is, they are generally very good at what they do, and it's extremely hard for the average person to resist rising to the bait they set. That, naturally, is your task this week. It may require the patience of a saint and the restraint of a brain surgeon, but do whatever you can to avoid engaging with the trolls in your life; even though it'll suck in the moment, overall you'll be much happier for it.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
People make mistakes. While the rational part of you can of course understand and want to forgive and forget those errors, your emotional side may have more trouble. When their screw-ups cause you pain, embarrassment, or suffering, you may be filled with rage or sadness or vindictiveness towards them. Acting on those understandable feelings, however, would be something you'd regret later. This is when you pull out one of those clichés, like, "What would Jesus/Buddha/Big Bird Do?" and behave accordingly, even if you don't feel it. Years from now, when the sting of your feelings has faded, you'll be so glad you managed to behave like a saint.
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