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Virgo Aug. 23-Sept. 22

Some parts of you are ready to move on, but some aren't. Perhaps your restless brain urges you forward, with logical arguments why you should; nevertheless, it can't completely overrule your heart, which lingers reluctantly behind out of sentimentality or unrequited love. Maybe your gut knows, in that way it has, that you need change and advancement, but it's your nervous mind that's holding you back, riddled with anxiety, worry and fear. In any case, because of these internal conflicts, transformation or movement may be slower than you wish, but don't let it stall out. Make whatever concessions are required to get all the parts of you moving in the same direction, then hit the road.

Libra Sept. 23-Oct. 22

Your cat hates you. If it was big enough, it would pin you down and eat your liver right out of your living body. Its diminutive size requires it to view you as a food dispenser, radiator and masseur, instead of as plaything and prey. Any love you perceive coming from it is purely projection: your desperate wish, whose many contradictions you choose to ignore. If you haven't figured out where I'm going with this, I'll make it more plain: This week, you'll be forced to face a few unpleasant truths, whether you like it or not. You can choose to ignore their persistent presentation, if you insist-but that doesn't make them any less true.

Scorpio Oct. 23-Nov. 21

You're like a bascule bridge between two major cities. Most of the time you're open to lots of traffic, whether sexual, mental or physical, but when a large boat-bearing as its cargo some kind of mental process-needs to pass underneath, you raise your span, and it could be months or years before anyone gets across again. This could be unnerving and frustrating for those on either side, who start honking their horns and risking dangerous U-turns. There's no need for that kind of chaos, though. Please put a stop to it. Hint: Most people don't mind waiting so much if they know how long their wait will be.

Sagittarius Nov. 22-Dec. 21

Hey, Stalky McObsessington. In general, you're so resistant to emotional entanglement that when someone finally (and almost always accidentally and unintentionally) snares you in their net, you think you're entitled to some kind of special treatment. It must be special, it's fate, you declare, totally different from other people's more common and frequent infatuations. Maybe it is, maybe not; in any case your love interest doesn't have to (and probably doesn't) see it that way. Thus the overzealous pursuit on your part. I know it's hard-perhaps even impossible-but the next time this kind of passion strikes you, by all means go there, but be ready to bank those fires a bit if your potential partner burns less brightly, or more slowly.

Capricorn Dec. 22-Jan. 19

Try something new. I know you like your tried-and-true roster of winning combinations, but what you're perfectly happy with day after day and year after year can bore some of those who wish to share it with you. Go ahead, dip your strawberries in a white-chocolate balsamic-vinegar fondue, or visit the opera instead of the baseball stadium, or ride a bicycle to work. Chances are you're not going to like these things as much as the stuff you already know and love, but you'll still enjoy trying them, nevertheless, and-even more important-your companions will truly appreciate trying them with you.

Aquarius Jan. 20-Feb. 18

Not everyone is against you, even though you're definitely not the most popular guy or gal around at the moment. When the politics of the situation are so negative to someone of your views and tendencies, you have to choose, carefully, when to make a stand, and when to lie low and allow the brunt of the negativity to wash over you. This is one of those weeks where you're best off hunkering down and, to some extent, hiding out. Let the hurricane winds blow over. It's not that they'd blow you away-you're too solid for that. But you could end up with a speck in your eye that you can't get out for weeks.

Pisces Feb. 19-March 20

Sometimes you just have to take your punches. Resistance is useful, but not likely to be successful. In other words, prepare to fight the good fight but don't be too traumatized when you get your ass kicked; you're outnumbered, after all. I'm actually not too worried for you, although you do have my sympathies; the kind of friend who'll show up when you're battered, bruised and feeling sorry for yourself, ready to nurse you back to your strength and health, is the rarest and most special kind-and knowing just who that is, a rare and special kind of knowledge.

Aries March 21-April 19

Drowning your sorrows would be a very bad idea right now. Booze probably won't even provide the numbness you crave; in all likelihood, it'll act like a lens on your troubles, making them seem much bigger than they are. And you certainly won't be less daunted during a morning hangover. Better to keep a firm grip on your resolve and avoid self-medication. You can actually bring these minor quandaries to satisfactory conclusions if you just bite the bullet and get the necessary bits of unpleasantness over with. And of course, there'll always be time for a celebratory drink afterward, when you actually have occasion for it.

Taurus April 20-May 20

Doubt from within you're used to. But when it comes from someone whom you count on for more or less unconditional support, it stings. It feels like you're five and Mom and Dad are telling you to give up your dreams of becoming an astronaut because they just don't think you can do it, and they don't want you to be disappointed. Parents like that have no excuse; they should know better. But the person who's let you down might not know that her job is to always be on your side, no matter what-even when it means suppressing (or at least rewording) her own doubts. Clue her in; I don't think it's a job she'll mind doing, once she knows that's what you need.

Gemini May 21-June 20

A first draft is allowed to be messy; it can be total shit. No one is ever going to see it, so who cares? You do, apparently, but I wish you wouldn't. Your perfectionism is striking at the wrong time, demanding that you get everything right the first time around. It almost never works that way, though; what you're actually doing is narrowing your creative channel so that it's barely a trickle, and probably about to dry up completely. You've got to open the tap and let a flood come through. Later you can distill and filter that stuff until you get exactly the microbrew of delicious creativity you originally desired. Remember, it's a process you're aiming for at the moment, not a product.

Cancer June 21-July 22

I'm hungry. My stomach is growling as I write this sentence, but I'm ignoring its demands as an example to you. Fuck the instant gratification thing this week. Your desires will be coming upon you close and fast; if you're set on seeking their immediate fulfillment, you won't have a moment to rest, or to enjoy the occasional satisfactions that come your way. You've got to learn to live with your hunger, now and in general. The best part is, once you do get to eat after being hungry for a while, food tastes a whole lot better.

Leo July 23-Aug. 22

You have allies; they're just not always obvious, or as quick to action as you are. In this case, your most important and useful aide-de-camp is someone with whom you often butt heads. In fact, recent conflicts may make them a bit slow or reluctant to come to your aid. But in the end, in this particular instance, you're both on the same side, and the other person will eventually have your back. In other words, don't despair. Choose your spot and hold your ground, with dignity and honor. You won't have to stand there alone for very long.

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