Sign Language

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

We sometimes regard being conscientious, generous, or altruistically good as the province of those better off than we are. Sure, if you're already wealthy, you may have the luxury of quitting your job and devoting the rest of your life to some grand (but achievable) goal like ridding the world of malaria. (I sure wish more rich folk would do just that!) Still, there's always something you can do. Why aren't you doing it? Is it because you're lazy (the reason many affluent people do virtually nothing to improve others' lives)? Don't waste another day (we can't afford) waiting on richer folk. Get off your ass and do something worthwhile. If you can't be bothered, pretend you're rich, and open your wallet and give generously to people who can.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Recently approved drugs (which shall remain unnamed, as I'm no shill for exploitative pharmaceutical companies) enable women to cease menstruating. No more periods, period. Frankly, I can't see the problem with people having more choices, but I'm sure some people will declare that these pills oppose the natural order of things—never mind the fact that until relatively recently, women hardly menstruated at all; they were too busy being pregnant. Screw those naysayers, anyway. There are some things only you should have control over. This week, claim your right to determine what happens to your own body, mind, and soul by telling anyone who thinks they have a say to get lost.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

What is royalty, noble Lion? Once, it was about which family you were born (or married) into. Now, it's called celebrity, and it's about beauty or wealth or a host of other things. The biggest difference between old-school royalty and the new-school variety is that kings and queens once had a duty to their people; few celebrities seem to feel the same way. (Can you imagine Paris Hilton doing anything truly for "the greater good"?) You are royalty, at least in your own circle. The question is, are you new school, in it for the ego boost, or old school, a leader whose edicts and decisions benefit everyone?

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

If a plant isn't getting enough nutrients, sunlight, or water, it often sacrifices parts of itself; select leaves wilt and fall off, so that the rest of the plant might survive (and even thrive in less than perfect conditions). I know you're loath to lose any pieces of yourself or aspects of your life, but I hope you'll consider this strategy anyway. It's either wither away entirely, or cast off some dead weight that's not really helping you at the moment. It shouldn't be that hard. If you choose correctly, you should feel lighter and stronger, so much so that you'll go from struggling to soaring, virtually overnight.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

I'm grossed out by perfume. In fact, if I notice someone smells like anything other than a human being, it's a huge turn-off. This isn't because of some body-odor fetish; it's simply an allergy to anything that smacks of being fake or artificial. I value realness above niceness or prettiness, so whenever I think someone is hiding behind a scent or some affected attitude, I usually walk away. I don't expect you to change your values to conform to mine. (I know you prefer it when some of life's rough edges—and odors—have been smoothed out.) I'm just explaining why a person you want to admire you won't even notice you: They might want someone who's more real than nice.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

When people first become lucid in their dreams (aware that they're dreaming), they nearly always do one of two things: fly or have sex. Advanced dreamers get more creative; they start with flying sex and move on from there to virtually limitless possibilities. Scorpios have tremendous potential to break from the norm and explore uncharted new territory, in dreams and life. When you choose to be, you're the shamans of the modern age. Some of you, however, aren't exactly doing your jobs. This week, get back to work. People need to know they have more than two choices; a lot of them need help figuring that out. Give them a hand, won't you?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

I've known a couple pathological liars in my life. They were consistently entertaining and compelling people (as they ought to be; anyone who makes up his entire life and still comes off as boring must have a shitty imagination). They're largely successful not because they're Oscar-worthy actors or genius storytellers, but simply because people meet them halfway. They choose to believe the lies they're told, even quite outlandish and incredible ones. Sagittarians are notorious truth-tellers; this ironically makes you astonishingly susceptible to more deceitful sorts. You're unwittingly collaborating in someone else's constructed fantasy reality, and it might get you in (emotional) trouble. Better identify, then pop, that bubble now, before you're too far off the ground.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Some women get surgery to "restore" their virginity. However, even though they may bleed as if it's their first time, the next time they have sex, their previous experiences will always be with them. Similarly, you might be able to create an equally hard-to-penetrate illusion about yourself. Those women have their own reasons to hide the fact they've had sex. What's behind your own disguise? I doubt any of them start to believe that they're really virgins again; you, however, have shown signs of starting to buy into your own smoke-and-mirrors act. Don't do that. Whatever you make other people believe, once you start fooling yourself, you're in deep trouble.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

The most interesting aspects of your life should teeter between exciting and overwhelming. If they don't at least briefly veer into those wild emotional territories, it means you're not aiming high enough or pushing strongly enough to manifest your dreams. What in your life makes your heart pound, your hands clammy, and your hopes soar? If your answer is, "Nothing," then you're screwing up. You're wasting time. There's got to be something out there that could simultaneously thrill and terrify you. If you haven't found it yet, this week you ought to start looking in earnest.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

Holding on to your rough edges can take courage and determination, especially for a Pisces. You Fish can find it terribly tempting to lie down and let life course over you like a swift river, until you're as smooth and rounded as all the other river rocks. Losing your peculiar spiritual shape would be a shame, since you're generally the most quirkily creative and idiosyncratic sign in the zodiac. We need the whimsical, impractical weirdness only you can bring to the table (only if you resist the pressure to conform). I understand the urge to go with the flow; I just hope you're still willing to slice through it some of the time.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

Non sequiturs are the name of this week's game. Your best strategy for moving forward, avoiding conflict, or triumphing in a fight of any kind is simply to keep people guessing. That means stretching your creativity to its limits and surprising even yourself. When was the last time you did that, Aries? I want you to shock yourself to the roots of your hair with what you're capable of. If you can do that, not only will you be living a very exciting and interesting life, indeed, but anyone who might get in your way will be so off balance, you could knock them over with a feather, or a word.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

When you can't win, laugh. I can understand why you're letting yourself get angry, frustrated, or upset, but I wish you wouldn't. There's simply nothing you can change about the situation—except your reaction to it. Since whatever's bugging you is likely to continue, you have two choices: continue to allow it to screw with your wellbeing, or get over it. At the very least, get to a place where it'll roll off your back; if you can manage to find some way to genuinely laugh at the thing, we'll all be much, much happier.

 
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