Aug. 2-8, 2006.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

You've moved on, but it seems like some of your friends are having trouble doing the same. Why, you wonder, do they keep hanging on to something that's so obviously bad for them? I have an answer, but you won't exactly like it: It's because there might, just maybe, still be something there. Take another look at the fiery person or situation your friends inexorably flutter toward, mothlike. Maybe your judgment was just a tad too hasty? Generously distribute second chances this week. At the very least, it's good karma—you never know when you'll want a second chance of your own, and the more you put out there, the more you'll receive in return.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

I know you get frustrated with ineffective people. Some dolts just bungle everything they touch, no matter how simple it seems to be. I understand how you can lose patience with these guys, especially because you're just so damn efficient and pragmatic. But I urge you to have compassion for your less effective fellow humans this week. Imagine, for a moment, what it must be like to be living that life, watching yourself screw up one thing after another. Maybe instead of scorning them from your place of high judgment, you could try, as an experiment, getting down and dirty with these messy folk and teaching them how it's done right. Please note, however: Simply doing it for them won't actually help them at all. Resist the temptation.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

A couple weeks ago, I invited you Libras to speculate about your own futures. I wanted to see what you'd do when given the chance to predict your own imminent prospects, and test if you had the power to manifest your forecasts. How did you do? Too many people hurtle willy-nilly into their own futures while hardly trying to aim in any particular direction. How close did you come to the future you were aiming at? If you missed by a mile, never fear; few beginners score a hole in one the first time they wield a golf club. Instead they practice, to improve. So, my dear, should you. Make a new prophecy, right now, then work on making it self-fulfilling.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

Someone else's passivity represents one of your great fantasies fulfilled this week—and I'm talking out of bed, not in it. Who needs staunch allies when those who oppose you are willing to look the other way? All you need is a clear path, and fortunately for you, none of those people in a position to block yours is willing or able to do so. Those who'd rat you out, trip you up, or screw you over are, at least for the moment, willing to let you walk all over them instead. If I were you, and I saw nothing between me and my goal, I wouldn't walk toward it, though. I'd run.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

Don't view this week's disagreement(s) as a betrayal. That one of your most loyal and reliable allies is opposing you this time isn't a sign that the world's natural order has been flipped on its head. It's just a blip. This one time, you guys aren't on the same page. It's no big deal—unless you make it one by blowing this difference of opinions all out of proportion. Don't dramatically make it symbolic of an imaginary impassable rift in your friendship. The chasm's simply not there, unless you dig it, right now. Just agree to disagree, once, then move on to the vast acres of common ground you both share.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Wow. I never thought it'd happen—and you probably thought it was even less likely than I did—but yet here we are: You're tempted to step up to support or stand by someone you've rarely agreed with, hardly ever liked, and probably have mostly had nothing but contempt for. This one time, however, it's just quite simply the right thing to do, which is why you're putting all those other feelings aside—or at least you ought to be. Don't tell me you're so inflexible that you're willing to do something you out-and-out know is wrong because of past judgments (whether fair or unfair). Bend. Laudable principles ought to outweigh prudish opinions. Please prove that they do.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

With next week's full moon in your sign, you've got two fat handfuls of whatever you want coming your way. All you have to do is reach out and grab them (if there's another person involved, you might want to ask nicely first). But whatever you're wishing for, in reasonably generous amounts, is there for the taking. Why deprive yourself? You're not cut out for a spartan lifestyle— for suffering from a shortage of anything, be it affection, chocolate, romance, sex, or joy. All you have to do to receive your heart's desires—possibly on a silver platter—is to (humbly) ask.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

My summer resolution is to tone up. I'm not very good at depriving myself, though. (I'm a hedonist at heart.) Since I can't stop myself from indulging in delicious sensual experiences (I have managed to mostly eliminate my one chief vice, chocolate), that means I have to actually do more. Luckily, I have a chance to go biking, hiking, or swimming every day, and I'm taking full advantage. This week ought to present some similarly convenient opportunities that fit in more or less perfectly with your goals. These are limited-time offers, though; I suggest you immediately jump on them.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

Rams are actually much more versatile than most people think. I've seen you guys range from tyrannical leaders to incredibly generous team players, from feisty and rebellious to meek and submissive. What you're not, however, is subtle. Whatever facet of yourself you present to a situation is taken to the extreme. We love this about you—most of the time. There are occasions, however, when we wish it weren't so. This week contains a couple of those, times when your best course of action is one of radical flexibility—briefly taking charge, for example, then fading into the background; or spunkiness deftly interlaced with tactful tongue biting. Can you manage? Or must you be relegated to a backstage role?

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Seek threes this week. Three is your magic number at the moment, so don't let it pass you by. Anything important or interesting you encounter this week should come as part of a trio. While this unfortunately applies to this week's misfortunes, it's also relevant to your lucky breaks. In other words, when shit happens, prepare for it to happen twice more. Conversely (and fortunately), when you finally receive a stroke of providence, make sure you look for, and grab, the lucky pair that's sure to follow. If you're diligent about making it so, the good ought to more or less equal (and cancel out) the bad.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

If your memory were a house, it'd be an old, huge one, rife with secrets and mysteries: hidden panels in the walls, secret passageways, creepy haunted towers, and even creepier dim cellar rooms, full of macabre paraphernalia. This is a good week to tidy up the place. Perhaps revisit that cobwebbed east wing, the one where you store most of the painful memories of one particular failed relationship. You can mostly leave those under their protective bedsheets, but there are some cherished moments you left among them, now gathering dust. You'd do well to relocate those dear recollections, perhaps, to more oft-frequented rooms of "the house."

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Get out there and strut. You've still got the full attention and support of your "audience," even now, ages after you "left the stage." I know it's not exactly in your nature to brag and show off, but some less obnoxious version of that is exactly what your fans are demanding. They simply want you to own how great you are. Give them what they want. It's been a while since you noticed how fantastic you are. While it's good to occasionally examine (and attempt to improve upon) your faults, dwelling on them is rarely useful. Put the spotlight on your more beautiful qualities. It's time for them to receive long-overdue praise and attention.

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