Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Freakazoid. That's what the dorkiest of your attackers will be calling you this week. It doesn't even matter what you're actually doing; people will spin it so it makes you look weird. I say own it. Just go ahead and be your most bizarre self. Say you're expressing your "inner Björk." The benefits are threefold: You're more likely to gain respect (albeit from the strangest contingent of your friends) than lose it. Secondly, you may (re)discover the forgotten geek or clown inside, whose skills or attitude would really come in handy just now. Lastly, and best of all, you're almost certain to have fun—more in one stretch than you have in months.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Don't be snappish or petulant, no matter the temptation. You're an oyster polluted by astrological irritants that are bound to make you respond to everything with aggravation, not gratification. But the things people are giving you aren't specifically intended to push your buttons; they're actually as impersonal as dirt. Don't spit them right out, no matter how bad they taste. Don't swallow them, either, so they turn to ulcers in your gut. Instead, chew on them for a while; right now you have the power to turn shit into pearls, as long as you're patient, persistent, and willing to suffer just a little (but no more or less). Pearls, I say! To do anything else would almost be a crime.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

The obstacle in front of you is much like an elementary school bully. He's got the advantage of size and aggression, but no clear agenda. So he does stupid-ass shit like stepping side to side, to block your path, repeatedly, just to piss you off. There's nothing you can do to appease him; getting a rise out of you will only encourage him, and failing to do so will only inspire him to greater efforts. I say knock him down now before things escalate too much. Make it count, so that when he finally picks himself up, he'll think twice before fucking with you again.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

With Mars cannonballing into your sign this week, your temper, sex appeal, and energy levels should flare, internally, but don't let them erupt into action yet. Instead, keep yourself simmering, like a sleeping Vesuvius full of molten fury, just beneath the surface. You'll have a much better opportunity to spend this fervent force next week, so keeping the lid on until the right moment will really pay off, if only you can manage it. That might be more difficult than it sounds, because your fuse really has been trimmed quite short; mostly it's going to be about avoiding petty situations that might ignite it.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Get down off your soapbox before someone knocks it out from under you. You're absolutely right, but this is just the wrong time to make your point. No one is apt to listen to you be preachy, overly philosophical, or even merely educational. Not that you need to stifle your important message; you just need to alter the format a little. People are all ears when you're telling jokes, hilarious anecdotes from your past, and straight-up trashy gossip. Slide your sermons, philosophies, and lessons into those formats, and people will flock to you, not run away.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

You're not cotton candy, babe. You'd like to come off as sweet, light, colorful and casual as spun sugar, but you're just not. You're heavy, dark, and rich, like flourless chocolate cake with espresso. Since the main problems you may encounter this week have to do with pretending to be something you're not, simply don't do that. There are times for acting, make-believe, and plain old lying, but this week ain't one of them. Be absolutely real, without embellishment or digression, because anything less will be so obviously crap that people won't have any qualms about hanging up, walking away, or kicking your ass.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

You like to feel special. What else is new? Welcome to the human condition. Only Leos can take it to more of an extreme, can't you, occasionally picking partners or friends based on their ability to give you that "special feeling," rather than any particular commonality or quality of their own. Luckily for you, that bit of shallowness rarely lasts long in a friendship, and you learn to admire and appreciate all the beautiful qualities your flatterers possess, besides silver tongues. This week, honor those qualities—everything that draws you to a person besides how they make you feel about yourself—by making sure they know how much you appreciate them.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You're a 3-year-old playing with an armed grenade. You simply have no idea what it is you have in hand, nor how dangerous it is. Fortunately, you have enough coordination to keep the thing from exploding; you just lack knowledge—or did, before I warned you. Now that you know, you can closely examine all the people or situations you've idly been tossing about and carefully set down the potentially explosive one and quietly (but quickly) back away. You might feel tempted to succumb to a martyrish urge to hold onto it, so no one else need bear the brunt of that detonation, but don't. This ain't your bomb, and you don't deserve to cope with its fallout. Put it down while you still have hands.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

"Force me to do what I want." That's your mantra this week, and you should be using it to encourage everyone around you to help you overcome your own resistance to success. Your goals are close, possibly even reachable, but for some reason you're having a hard time getting motivated. You need more than a kick in the butt. You need to be chained to your dreams and allowed to do nothing but advance toward them. You need to be whipped and tortured into actually fulfilling your greatest aspirations. Believe me, we are all ready to see you shine and succeed—even if we have to bust your ass until you do.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Travel someplace and follow the recommendations of the guidebook you bought, and you'll have a positive, satisfactory experience. Diverge from the guidebook's limited information, and you risk disaster—or you could find the secret hot spot that's way better than anything in the travel guide, simply because no one knows about it. Get off the beaten path this week. Trust your instincts. Why settle for adequate second best when you don't have to? Keep the guidebook handy, so you can gauge what average might be. Then don't quit looking until you've found much, much better. You will.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Have you begun construction on your panic room? You've been experiencing such an unusually high amount of anxiety (for you, at least; a typical Cancer would consider this level of worry very low) that I'm half-expecting you to invest in a sturdy steel room where you can hide from all the things you're scared of. The good and bad news is that your many apprehensions are purely in your own head. It's bad news because a bomb shelter would do little to shield you from your own overactive imagination. But it's good news because that's all it is. And an overactive imagination can be tamed into merely an active, vital, and vibrant one.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

The problem with having a higher standard for yourself means your opponents can play dirty and sometimes gain an advantage over you. Don't let their lack of ethics make you compromise yours, though. You don't need to cheat. You may lose on the sprint when they hitch a ride for part of the race, but you have the strength, speed, and courage to gain back the lead. If you don't doubt yourself or give up, you've got this marathon in the bag. You're just better, that's all, and now you have the means to prove it, showing up all the unscrupulous bastards who think they've got you beat.

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