October 10, 2012 | 02:01 PMLibra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
When a fly gets caught in a spiderweb, it's mostly snared by its own stupidity. If it had the sense to just keep still a moment, check out its situation and carefully extricate itself, it would have a better chance of getting free. But instead it struggles, inevitably tangling itself further and attracting the attention of the spider itself. I'm not criticizing an insect's intelligence; it is what it is. But when you find yourself caught on one or two delicate, sticky filaments of trouble this week, don't freak out and start flailing around. Stay calm, be resourceful and use the sharpest edge I know of—your brain—to cut yourself loose.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
The house of candy had lured many children to their doom already, until those infernal brats, Hansel and Gretel, came to visit. Skinny little things, they begrudged a witch her supper. Her cataracts prevented her from uncovering their deception as they proffered discarded finger bones for measurement—somehow they defied her fat-filled cooking. But the witch's fatal mistake occurred when she believed the children to be more stupid than they were. As a result, they roasted her alive. This week, don't let all your hard work—the gingerbread house, the weeks of fattening the children—get thrown into the oven, along with yourself, by a minor oversight. Be sure you've got your windowsills sugar-frosted, loose licorice tied up and all cages securely locked.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Picture the moment when the ant finally submits to its not-so-spontaneous combustion under a magnifying glass. Be impressed with the voracious wall of flame that runs marathons across a forest, sprinting with long glowing legs. There's a certain element of darkness to the searing power of fire. But as your personal energy concentrates and intensifies—like sunlight through a lens—it doesn't need to destroy or consume to show its power. It can warm, cook, entertain, illuminate, or protect. Please practice this mostly benevolent side of yourself. This week, shine without burning anyone or anything.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I read of one woman's peculiar predicament: separating her two dogs from their meal. They were alternately eating and sleeping inside an enormous elk carcass that had ended up on her lawn. How could she get her hounds out of their meal? Hosing them didn't work; in fact they seemed grateful for the cooling off—it must get hot inside a flesh-covered rib cage on a sunny day. You might be faced with a similar dilemma this week, where it seems the only immediately viable solution is to just climb right inside your problem, icky shit and all, and pull what you need right out of the bloody mess.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Last night I dreamt you were confined to a room until you'd spun whole bales of hay into gold. You learned quickly, and soon produced spools of shining thread. Unfortunately, you were disappointed to discover that it was weak and inflexible, if pretty. Refining your system, you developed a much stronger, more versatile thread—in an unspectacular shade of brown. When reviewing your fine handiwork, the evaluators found it wanting; it wasn't gold, not even close. The moral: give them what they ask for. Your way may be better, cleaner, faster, more environmentally sound, healthier, more efficient, more politically correct, but if they're not asking for it, they're not buying it. So what? Give yourself a break and let them suffer.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
An old friend of mine got accosted by a wigmaker on the streets of New York and offered two grand for her long, wavy red hair. She was flustered and suddenly had to reevaluate something she'd taken for granted, in light of the huge wad of cash she'd done virtually nothing to earn. In her case, she refused, suddenly treasuring this part of herself she'd often ignored or resented. When you're offered a bonus this week for some aspect of simply being yourself, I hope—whether you take advantage of the offer or not—that you'll teach yourself a thing or two about how much you're really worth.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Invite the monsters under your bed out for a drink. Get them tipsy and pick their brains. What's the secret behind your greatest, most successful anxieities? Do they thrive on freaking you out? Or is it simply because you sanction their existence by refusing to conceive of a life without fears? This is a good week to give lurking terrors that haunt you the boot; cast them out and don't look back. Give the underside of your bed a good sweeping out, then invite some friendlier monsters in to live, ones that'll remind you of all the ways you're nourished and safe, not frightened or troubled.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
On one shoulder lolls a horny red devil, counseling you to not resist temptation, to succumb to your most perverse desires. On the other perches a tediously trite but strangely compelling little angel, advising you to do the righteous thing. Brush them off like a bad dandruff problem. The world's more complicated than the viewpoints of unimaginative purists out of a cartoon reality. Hard-and-fast rules are for suckers; I prefer exceptions. Let me tell you a secret: there are a few of us out there who've learned how to wear horns and wings, to be horny and holy. There's a way to satisfy your longings while doing the right thing. Find it.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Every teacher's primary goal should be to make herself obsolete. Instead of merely imparting rote, one-sided information of limited use, each instructor should teach his students to find facts, read between the lines, question; ultimately, to learn and think for themselves instead of habitually taking others' words at face value. You rarely (if ever) allow anyone else to tell you what to think—in fact, you'll often present your opinion as fact! This week, encourage others to formulate their own opinions based on the most complete information (from as many perspectives as possible) available. If you can't do that, at least be up-front about being a tight-ass when it comes to original thought—at least when it differs from your own.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You've got flower stems clogging your gun barrels, sugar in your gas tank and love letters instead of dollar bills fill your wallet. All of this may be terribly inconvenient, but I doubt you'll mind. When you're feeling this good, it's hard to resent the fact that you seem unable to vent your aggressions, go anyplace, or spend any money. Enjoy it, Cancer. Consider it a cosmic birthday present. Your obstacles have rarely been more pleasant. If anyone gives you shit for being a bit on the lazy side this week, tell them it's not apathy; it's bliss.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
One of your lesser-known magical powers is the ability to mature gracefully. Although you lack the ability to age backwards (like those tricky Capricorns) you wear the occasional silver hair or wrinkle with compelling dignity and charm. Some of you even get sexier as you get older. But undue focus on your outward appearance can only eclipse an even more powerful Leonine secret: Leos get wiser with age. (Not everyone does.) There's more, though: Your wisdom is eminently practical, not abstract or academic. For instance, now that you're suddenly sexy enough to catch the eye of that previously apathetic crush, you're also wise enough to know whether to bother, and better able to make it work if you do.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You're going to offend, hurt or otherwise annoy a certain percentage of people no matter what you do. Even if you go out of your way to be helpful, humble and nice, some people will despise you for it. There's simply no pleasing everyone. You know this. Yet you sometimes persist in censoring yourself because you're scared some people won't like you. Since there's always going to be someone who hates you no matter which side of the fence you land on, why not do what you really want? Try it this week. I think you'll find that speaking your mind is a lot more fun than biting your tongue.
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