July 28-Aug. 4, 2004

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

Whoa. I'm getting a tan just standing next to you. Putting out this much shine must really be straining the fusion reaction that is your heart. However, don't shut it down. Those who can't take the glow, the UV radiation, or the heat may back off for a bit (unconsciously spreading your notoriety even further), but trying to flip on the dimmer switch is like trying to stop a sneeze—definitely not a good idea. Keep on sparkling this week, sweetheart; those who can't take it can just get the hell out of the way.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

The stakes just keep getting higher, don't they? Keep breathing and maintaining your equilibrium as you climb to ever loftier heights. It's dizzying and bewildering, but there's no need to sabotage the process; you've got at least one trustworthy companion who's going there with you—and who's just as excited and freaked. If you really don't want to do this, you don't have to. You can always back out now, admit to yourself that not everyone is cut out to climb Everest. But the thing is, you are. To give up now would be such a waste. Take a break at the next camp for a while, before ascending further, if you must. But don't climb down now.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Everyone focuses, frequently, on the dual nature of Geminis and Pisceans but skips over that aspect of your personality. In some ways, you're even more divided than those other, often wish-washy signs, because your duality isn't contained entirely within yourself. Libras have an extreme (almost psychotic at times) adaptability; you mold yourselves to fill in whatever's missing from a situation or, more commonly, a relationship. One of the main questions every Libra has to answer, eventually, is which parts are essentially "you" and which can be swapped or sacrificed to facilitate a greater good. Take it seriously; this week you'll be asked whether you want to give up or hang on to one of your favorite things, and you'll have to live with your answer for a long time.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

Your average Libra is so adaptable that she loses all sense of self when exposed to an extreme person or situation. You're almost the exact opposite; you stand your ground even in the face of a natural disaster. You force others to either get used to you or get lost. This kind of strength can cut both ways, however—and this week you're likely to get slashed, because by being inflexible, you'll end up missing out on something (or someone) you actually really want. The kind of compromise being asked of you isn't much of a concession, if you really think about it—so please at least do that.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

You may be a fire sign, but I think you're more like the embers left over once a roaring campfire has died down—especially this week, when your smolder is even hotter, but less flashy, than usual. In other words, it's a good time to make the moves on that tragically frozen-hearted beauty you've been wondering about, the one who'd be scared off by a big, crackling blaze but might welcome the thawing warmth of your gentler glow. Sometimes you may feel a bit outshined by those tempestuous Aries and your radiant Leo brethren. This week, you'll have the chance to discover that being low-key is a strength and advantage, not the other way around.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Plants bloom to signal their receptivity. Birds dance and wave brilliant plumage. Butterflies generate long-distance pheromones, and cats put out a stink so fierce it has the whole neighborhood yowling. What's your signal to the rest of the world that you're feeling more open than you have in ages? This isn't the time for subtlety; this kind of vulnerable approachability is so rare that it'd be a shame for interested parties to miss out because they didn't notice. There are a number of horny suitors out there, dying to get into your pants, heart, or head (or any combination of those), so if you're not getting what you want or need, it's because your flowers aren't big enough, your dance not wild enough, or your perfume too discreet, not because there's no one interested.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

With the full moon illuminating your sign this week, you're fucked. Forget flying under the radar as you'd planned; you're pinned under a glaring spotlight of attention—one might even call it scrutiny. Don't squirm. You've mostly been on the up-and-up these last few months, so your minor transgressions won't earn you too much guilt or punishment. Just don't hope to get away with anything that's not strictly by the book; you'll get nailed. So doing things on the sly is out; that leaves doing them out in plain sight, which, when you think about it, can be just as fun (and in some cases, way naughtier).

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

Emotional parasites abound this week, so beware. Limit your vulnerability by being a human cactus: utterly self-sufficient, low-maintenance, resilient, and slightly unapproachable. Those with kinder intentions, who you'd actually welcome into your life, will most likely be charmed, not daunted, by your prickliness and are patient enough to wait until you're feeling more receptive. As for the spiritual leeches, they give up quickly. The hungry little vampires can't wait around to get to your sweet juju; they'll run off in search of easier prey. In other words, you'll know them when you see them—preferably walking swiftly in the other direction.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

No matter what happens, you seem to retain an enviable sense of humor and a consequent ability to have fun. Even when dark and heavy shit goes down, you manage to see the funny side of it, or at least maintain your faith that there is a funny side that will eventually appear. Most of the rest of us have a hard time maintaining that ability to smile in the face of tragedy, despair, or existential ennui. This week, look around for those who need the kind of uplift that only you can provide, then give it to them.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Be Kali this week. Destroy the old to make room for the new. There are only so many open slots in your life, and some of them are, quite frankly, currently held by people and time-eaters unworthy of the privilege. Cut them off. You have standards to uphold, after all. And even more importantly (and urgently), several Persons and/or Opportunities of Quality are clamoring outside the door to your life, awaiting entrance. Cull the crowds inside to make some space. Do it now; if you wait until next week, your unwanted guests will have chained themselves to the furniture, and you'll never be able to evict them.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

Symbiosis is your keyword this week. Think of the squirrel, busily burying nuts for future consumption. It forgets about some, which ultimately sprout and become new sources of food for the rodent's descendants, as well as benefiting the tree they came from. Or perhaps you'll be more like the bird that gets fat picking parasites off the beast that could kill it, effortlessly, and might, if it weren't so useful. There's an enviable opportunity to generate a new—if not affectionate, at least mutually beneficial—arrangement this week (with your landlord, boss, or neighbor, most likely) that will dramatically improve your quality of life. Don't miss it.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

With those who've made the cut into your inner circle, you're generous and nurturing to a fault. With the rest of the unwashed masses, however, you can occasionally be a bit stingy. This week, broaden your concept of who's "family" to include at least a handful of folk who might otherwise miss out. Some of them will of course be ungrateful brats, totally undeserving of your kindness, as you suspected. But at least a couple will end up being so cool and sweet that you'll wish you'd figured out how supremely wonderful they were ages ago, and wonder how you missed it before.

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