July 5-11, 2006

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Some bats screw during hibernation season. The winged mammals sleep through most of the winter, only waking occasionally to drink and to mate. When a male awakens, he helps himself to various comatose females before he settles back in to sleep the rest of the winter. So it's the lot of some lady bats to go to sleep a virgin and wake up pregnant. You might feel similarly surprised this week, although hopefully this exact scenario will pass you by. However, minor crimes against you are likely to be perpetrated while you're not paying attention. Don't focus on revenge, though. It won't work. Instead, don't let these wrongs become bigger ones by damaging you forever. Do your best to move on.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

I was recently on a plane full of whiners. Everyone around me seemed to have something to complain about. What a drag: babies crying uncontrollably, for hours, while nearby adults did the grown-up counterpart, for nearly as long. Some people complain habitually. They've forgotten how to simply be content. In the winter they complain it's too cold. In the summer, naturally, it's too hot; and there's something not quite right about—well, everything. I hope that's not you, Leo. Sometimes your sense of entitlement can get out of hand. Make sure that's not so this week. Your life is actually pretty great. Please notice.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

Don't be square. You've done a good job, especially lately, of overcoming your natural prudishness and tendency to blindly follow rules. That's good news for this week, because so many delicious opportunities lie just outside the box. The thing to keep in mind, Virgo, is that you really ought to be breaking rules—because you're damn good at it. No one suspects you in the slightest, so you can get away with anything. I don't expect you to go hog-wild here, Virgo. Not you. But it'd be a shame not to at least get away with something, wouldn't it?

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Your prince(ss) in shining armor won't come galloping up on a magnificent white stallion to rescue you from your problems. You know this. So why do you think he or she might get dragged in, unconscious, by the trawling nets you've cast into the ocean in all directions? I like the idea of you being proactive, but do you really want the kind of limp fish you'd catch that lame way? Think about what or who you're trying to draw in to your life. If they're stupid or desperate enough to fall for the kinds of weak efforts you've recently put forth, they're not going to impress you in the long run. The "prey" you seek is exceptional. Your methods ought to be, too.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

Scorpios don't take much downtime. Certainly you don't get to hibernate the way any beast sharing your proclivities probably would. But you usually poop out around now, when opportunities to indulge your whims and wiles are more available than at any other time of year. Something about the summer heat drags you down. In this case, your internal rhythms are ever so slightly out of whack. Dig deep and find a second (or third, or fourth) wind, and run with what's happening. Watch carefully; the frenzy of potential fun and intensity will ebb in a few weeks. Postpone your coma nap until then.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

When you're finally left alone to do your own thing, you're kind of sad. It's too bad people listened so well to what you were saying. Well, now you've got what you said you wanted: freedom to pursue your goals without interference. Well? What are you waiting for? No one's standing in your way. In fact, most of the people you know are as far away as they can get. Plenty of room. Nothing but space. You're free. What? Maybe that's not exactly what you wanted? Maybe it's no fun getting where you're going if there's no one to accompany you, or at least watch. If you feel you must push people away this week, be careful about how hard you shove. They may go further than you wish, and retrieving them from there will be a bitch.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

If there was ever a time that was well-suited to forthright directness, it's now. If you can't say it without bullshit or equivocation, there's no hope for you. Just spill it. Be boldly honest, even if it makes you sound a little assholic. If it's real, it'll work out. I know it flies in the face of your overly cautious instincts. Your self-editing mechanisms will resent being turned off. But there are some things that tact and diplomacy just can't accomplish. When you need to get some important shit done, you've got to speak from the heart, the gut, even the crotch—anywhere but your hyperanalytical head.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

I don't think you're naturally masochistic, but sometimes you put yourself in situations where you simply collect rejections like candy on Halloween. It's not that you deserve so many rebuffs—it's the way you're going about it, and where and with whom. You know, rationally, that your methods aren't likely to yield success, yet you insist on plugging away with them anyway. Take a step back. Putting your nose to the grindstone may eventually get you somewhere. But there's an easier way, one that involves a much more selective and thoughtful application of your energies. Use that brilliant mind of yours to stop punishing yourself and start getting somewhere, instead.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

The beaten path ain't for you. Even when you try to follow it, you end up tripping and falling off a cliff. Your route is not the one that's tried- and-true. For better or worse, you've got to forge your own unique way to your destination. This is hopeful, though, not a cause for despair. You suck at following others' footsteps. And anyway, that almost never works, even for the people who are good at it. Doing things "the way they're always done" just isn't the right way for you, no matter what people tell you. So if you're on the 10-lane highway, get off it now. Start bushwhacking. It'll feel right in a way the interstate never did—you'll see.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

Some seeds only sprout after a hard frost or a forest fire. Sometimes a struggle is just what you need. Without it, you're never pushed to crack open the resources or parts of yourself capable of greatness. This is why you always put yourself into challenging situations; it's your route to personal evolution. However, don't take this as a mandate to keep doing things exactly the same (difficult) way. Your struggles shouldn't be repeating themselves. If you keep revisiting the same challenge, it's because you haven't figured out what you're supposed to get from it. Hopefully, this week should present you with a new contest. If it doesn't, figure out why.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Your eyes are tired. Your vision is swimming. Is it really the best time to be reading your horoscope? What can you possibly get out of it—or anything—in this state? Go get some rest, then think about what needs to be done. Contemplating it now will just exhaust you needlessly, especially because it'll cost you much-needed, spiritually replenishing sleep. Turn off your phone, television, and computer, and go lie down. I'm not suggesting you sleep this week away, by any means. You really do have too much to do to get away with that. But maybe you can spare an afternoon?

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

The reason you have such a wishy-washy reputation is because you're vocal. In reality, Pisceans, for example, are far more indecisive than you. But they have this tricky way of never verbally committing to an opinion or a course of action. I know some who can tell you what they think about something for 10 minutes without revealing a thing. They're very good at it. You have no problem formulating and expressing your opinion—it just mutates often. And because you're vocal, people know about your frequent changes of heart. So my tip for you this week is: Shut up. Wait until you're sure before you speak up—and even then, wait until you're asked.

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