This Week’s Horoscopes

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

All effort should be made this week to keep the filters through which you view the world as clear as possible. Looking out a filthy, dust-caked window will force you to make assumptions about what you’re seeing through it, most of which will be dangerously incorrect. What are the obscuring and distorting influences on your perspective? Please identify and eliminate them, if you can. Finding them should be relatively easy—just reading this, I’m sure you’ve had a few suspicions. Ridding yourself of them might prove to be slightly more daunting. Nevertheless, this week you’re perfectly capable of both.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

What do you usually do when you bite into an apple and discover it’s filled with worms? You spit it out and throw it away, right? That’s why I’m confused that you’re willing to heed the well-intentioned but sorely misguided folks who are telling you there’s something there worth saving. I’m pretty sure that in this case they’re wrong. Even if they’re a little bit right (albeit unreasonably optimistic), is the little bit that’s still good truly worth the effort you’d have to put in to salvage it? Considering there’s at least one perfectly good, worm-free apple ripe for the picking and just within reach, I’d have to say no.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

Physicists will tell you that there isn’t much to matter. Even the densest, most solid substances are in fact mostly empty space. This goes counter to our instincts and observations and yet is provably true, given the proper equipment and knowledge. Similarly, the improbable scenario before you, as hard as it might be to believe, is as verifiable and unequivocal as the nature of the molecule. Accept it. If you don’t, the whole universe is likely to mount a massive campaign simply to prove it to you. As these lessons are likely to be painful, wouldn’t you rather learn them on your own?

Aries (March 21–April 19)

I’m the chicken who’ll follow my friends to the edge of a small cliff, watch as they hoot and holler and hurl themselves into the water below, and then painstakingly make my own way down, the long way. Incredibly lame, I know, but I’m OK with that. We all choose our own thrills and risks. Similarly, they wouldn’t dream of taking on some of the stuff that I’m willing to gleefully embrace. Remember that this week, and don’t try to force your kicks on the unwilling. Nor should you let anyone thrust theirs upon you. Let everyone do what pleases them best, and you all should have a grand old time.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Play your role well. Whether you’re a follower or a leader (or different things at different times), now is not the time to bristle at the duties entrusted to you, but rather simply to embrace them and do your best. In fact, the more ably you can live up to the expectations of others, the more likely you’ll be able to change things up to your liking later. Being pissy and resentful won’t get you anywhere—especially not anywhere you’d like to go. Grace under pressure, however—something you’re good at, when you let yourself be—will take you someplace wonderful where you call the shots (even if that means you get to assign shot-calling to someone else).

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

What a hassle. Instead of just telling you no, the passive-aggressive assholes in your life will place subtly infuriating obstacles in your way this week, in hopes that you’ll simply decide that the messy, obstructed route before you is just not worth navigating. It is, though. Besides, you can’t let them win. That will only encourage behavior we all need to actively and unequivocally discourage. Luckily, you’re more than capable of surviving and succeeding despite their best efforts to thwart you. Persist and leap through the annoying hoops they’ve placed in your path, then cheerfully demand your due.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Your relationship is a chair. It can be counted on to bear a certain amount of weight, but plop a sufficiently obese person atop it and it’ll collapse. This week you get to change its shape somewhat, and therefore decide just how robust it will be. Craft it into a rare antique and it may be more beautiful than ever, but only able to survive in perfect conditions. A wicker version might be lightweight and flexible, but would crumple under rough treatment. A sturdy utilitarian chair won’t win any beauty contests but is likely to keep doing its job, even if you leave it out in the rain a few times. It’s up to you what you make of it during this transitional period; whatever you transform it into, make sure it’s something you’ll still be happy with in 10 years, if you can get it to last that long.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

Foresight isn’t an innate talent some people are born with and others lack. It’s a skill, learnable, practicable, and perfectible. I’m astonished when people seem unable to look even one step beyond their actions, and are thus utterly surprised by what happens next. I hope you’re not among them. Even if you can’t see 10 steps down the path of causality, or even five, I reckon you can manage at least three. Please try. You’re not lucky enough to keep leaping without looking without incident. Check out where you’re about to land, and where you’ll likely hop to the next two times you have to. That ought to keep you from making any huge, irreversible mistakes in the weeks to come.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

You’re swimming through an underwater tunnel. You know there’s air at the other end, and you know you can make it, since you’ve done it before. Nevertheless, there’s a fearful voice in your head fretting that this will be the time you drown instead. That voice can really screw you. Panicking—or worse, turning back—would spell certain doom. Keep a cool head. Let your past experience be a source of strength, which you can use to defuse your own worst efforts to trip yourself up. Your past should never hold you back—only help you propel yourself forward. Make sure it’s serving its function, and no other.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Your mistake is not taking what some people say at face value. You have a talent for willfully ignoring or disregarding stuff you don’t want to hear. Then you’re profoundly surprised when they finally make good on the threats they’d been making all along. Granted, the credibility of some of those around you has eroded over the years, since they haven’t always meant what they’ve said. In this case, however, what you’re hearing (no matter how much you’d prefer to be hearing something else) is exactly what will happen, should you not heed it. Consider yourself duly warned!

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

Shame is a tricky concept. There are things we do that we probably should feel ashamed of, but they aren’t often the things we’re taught to feel bad about. An important step for you in 2009 is revisiting your ideas about shame; make sure they make sense. I’ll be frank with you: Most of the ones you currently have don’t. They’re preprogrammed nonsense thrust upon you by various idiots, including but not limited to: your parents, your church, your society, your government. Let that shit go, already. You’ve outgrown all those influences, and can make your own judgment calls. Why don’t you start?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

Unseasonably warm weather has me tempted to plant my garden early, but sowing seeds in January is still probably a mistake. Even if conditions seem favorably springlike now, there’s a very strong likelihood that there’s still some frosty weather ahead. You too should bide your time. You’d like to think seeds planted now will sprout and grow, but they’d more likely be killed by a February frost. Wait until you can be reasonably certain your efforts will actually bear fruit. It’ll take more patience than you think you have—but I think you’ll surprise yourself if you try.

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