Aug. 9-15, 2006

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

Go ahead and wear a crown this week. You'll probably feel like you're wearing one anyway—in both good and bad ways—so you might as well reflect your status outwardly. Ruling the world (or even your small part of it) actually isn't that much fun, at least if it's done right. It's more responsibility than you'd prefer, and the demands on you are never-ending. Still, you got yourself into this position, and there's no shirking it now. So don that heavy crown, fix a grin on your face (finding a way to laugh, at least privately, at your troubles is far better than being made miserable by them), and get to your royal work.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

I dreamed I was climbing Everest, but was woefully underdressed. My companion, similarly unprepared for such a venture, was criminally unworried by our precarious and probably lethal situation. I kept trying to talk sense into her, but she was impervious to reason. Eventually, I was forced to choose—either ditch her or suffer with her. I chose to share her fate, and was glad I did—when I awoke. You, too, may face a decision between what's sensible and what's sentimental. I know which you'd normally choose; this week, however, consider the emotional option, even if it doesn't make much rational sense. It's better for your soul.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Smile and the whole world smiles with you. It's true, at least to some extent, this week; your mood—whatever it is—is powerfully contagious at the moment. Whether you want to or not, you could easily infect everyone around you with your feelings. So, for everyone's sake, try to stay upbeat. You know: all the usual focus-on-the-bright-side crap. But please don't pretend to be happy when you're not; it won't work. Try to actually feel happy; even if your life is shit at the moment, there's got to be something to feel good about. Focus, please, on that.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

You're like a radiator, only what you're putting out isn't heat, although it's certainly capable of warming a room. It's not even your usual frequency (sexual energy). Weirdly, it's more like healing. I'm not saying you could start restoring blind people's sight with your hands or magically whip up a cure for AIDS, but there is something subtly helpful about you right now for those who are suffering. Keep in mind: Your vibe is beneficial, but no cure-all. You're more like chicken soup than antibiotics. Nevertheless, please visit those in need of a little comfort this week. You're so good at providing it right now that it'd be almost criminal of you not to.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

Help others. That's this week's motto. A buddy of yours is moving house? Get right on it. A depressed friend's kitchen desperately needs scrubbing and tidying? Please do it. Your neighbors are building an addition to their house? Grab your hammer. This is an excellent time to pick up some good karma credit, not least because there are so many people around you at the moment who could use your skills. This is not about just racking up favors to cash in on later, though. It's about doing something generous and helpful just for how good it makes you (and them) feel, and because it's right. In the end, that's enough, isn't it?

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Most Capricorns are horrified by excess. The idea of swimming in a vat of chocolate—no matter how much of a chocoholic you may be—is so grotesque it could put you off sweets of all kinds forever. Unfortunately, this week you're bound to have far too much or far too little of everything; nothing's likely to present itself in the right amounts, be it affection, sex, fun, work, or money. What can you do? Not a whole lot. Just get through it. Try to enjoy the gluts as much as possible while enduring the shortages as cheerfully as you can. My only comfort: This feast or famine scenario will only last a few more days.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

This week's full moon in your sign is likely to give you the idea that it's the perfect time to reveal hidden feelings and just generally let people know how much they're loved by you. Go ahead and do it if you like (there's no such thing as too much love in this world), but don't raise your expectations about what kind of responses you'll get. Most people will be pleasantly surprised, though a little shocked—and unlikely to spontaneously reciprocate your feelings. Still, sharing your love shouldn't (at least not always) be about what you'll get in return. I say do it anyway, and to hell with whether it comes back to you or not.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20

I love that quiet period when you have overcome your own resistance to a task, you've eliminated all other delays and obstacles, and you can just settle in for some steady, focused work. This week, unfortunately, will be completely devoid of any of this kind of productive and peaceful time. There are just too many stumbling blocks. Next week's better, though; you should have plenty of big chunks of time in which you can actually get things done—as long as you spend this week getting rid of anything that could get in your way later, instead of waiting until then to see if it does.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

You deal with problems like they're rats. You spot one, you kill it. You see another, and it's as good as dead. But sometimes there are simply so many that you can't tackle them all, let alone assess where the hell they're coming from. This week's strategy may involve doing something counterintuitive: ignoring your most pressing-seeming difficulties (like the rat right in front of you) in order to track down their origins. If you can stop them at the source, you'll be much better off than if you have to deal with them, one by one, once they've had time to grow, reproduce, and spread.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

I dreamed that Third World aboriginals were being coerced by massive corporations to present live infomercials to travelers, along with their native art forms. I woke up horrified and repulsed, knowing that someone, somewhere, has probably already thought of this and is trying to think of a way to make it viable. Corporations are fantastic at taking advantage of people's desperation and need. Taureans, however, are not. You are, in fact, the cure for such greed. When you see the defenseless getting trampled by the unscrupulous, please help them; you're strong enough, and what's more—possibly the only one who can.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

Whatever. That's your probable response to this horoscope, or virtually anything else you encounter this week. You're tired of getting worked up about things. You're sick of being stressed out. So you've stopped caring. It's understandable. But you should still beware of this curious apathy that's settled over you. Sure, it could shield you from a lot of life's stresses at the moment, but it could also damage your life in other areas, like your relationship(s). Is a little numbness worth all the havoc it will wreak? Give a shit, would you? Even if it's hard. It'll be easier on you in the long run, I promise.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Your usual allies may abandon you in droves this week, seemingly just because it's the "in" thing to do. This, just after something (a party, perhaps?) that made you feel popular and loved, might feel like a betrayal of sorts, but it shouldn't be taken too seriously. It's almost certainly not personal—more a reflection of how fickle some of your acquaintances might be (and how true the friendships of those who didn't abandon you, despite the latest "trend"). Don't cut those capricious associates out of your life, though, despite the temptation. They're not even worth the effort of ignoring them. Trusting them again, however, is a different story. I wouldn't bother—unless they really do something to earn it.

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