Sept. 13-19, 2006

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

I'm sure frustration—sexual or otherwise—is quite a familiar feeling by now. But you're so good at suppressing it that you almost don't notice it anymore. I doubt you're even consciously aware of all the things that frustrate you—but they'd be obvious if they were gone. If you could rid yourself of at least a few of them, you'd feel so free. You can. This week's a good time to shed layers of aggravation you've worn so long, they fit you like extra skins. It's time to molt, but how? It might be as simple as getting well laid; it could, however, involve something more complicated. You have some idea of what might do the trick, though, don't you? Give it a go.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

There are times to bend the rules and times to enforce them. Being flexible is a virtue, not a flaw—until you take it too far. Unfortunately, you Libras can sometimes be a bit too accommodating, particularly when someone with a strong personality (or compelling good looks) is involved. (And when someone's bossy and sexy? Forget about it; you're a goner.) This time, however, the rules actually make sense. Don't let a pretty face or persuasive charm get the best of you. It's not about being pettily authoritative. It's about doing what's truly best for everyone.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

If there's anyone who despises being cast in the role of performing monkey more than you, I haven't met them, Scorpio. Yet lately you've been continually called upon to deliver amusing anecdotes, satisfying screws, and skilled handiwork on demand, despite your obvious dislike for being put on the spot in such a way. You've been gracious and accommodating so far, but that's got to stop or the whole pattern will deteriorate until you sabotage the entire relationship just to escape this one, ultimately correctable flaw. In other words, the game style's got to change. You don't have to call the shots, necessarily, but you're allowed to not catch every ball that's passed to you. Drop a few.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

Whether you're over the hill, under the bridge, around the bend, or between a rock and a hard place, one thing's certain: You're not staying there. People can say what they will about you Sagittarians and your possible weaknesses, but there's no question about what you're good at: moving on. This week you'll get one exceptional chance to practice that skill, and I suggest you exercise it. This one's tricky; you're thigh-deep in the sucking mud of a tenaciously intractable situation. A lesser escape artist would have trouble extricating herself. But you, you have a chance—though just the one. Don't let it pass you by.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

The funny thing is, you often come off as the most low-key person in the room, when in reality you're probably the most driven, passionate, and borderline-obsessive one there. No problem; why do strangers need to know you're a fanatical workaholic, after all? But sometimes those hidden qualities of yours would be a tremendous turnoff (or turn-on) to someone, if only they knew about them. Thus getting to know people (and allowing them to get to know you) can be a disappointing affair. You've got to work on your presentation. Don't drop hints (that later turn into bombs). Just tell it like it is. People will dig the forthrightness, and you'll avoid some major future disappointments.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

You've just stepped in dog shit. What's worse is that you're wearing those shoes with the thick, deeply grooved soles, so the stinky poo has really gotten stuck up in there; no amount of shuffling and curb scuffing is going to get rid of it. You're probably going to have to sit yourself down with a long stick and spend a few disgusting minutes scraping the crap out of there. I know this sucks, but it really could be worse. Instead of being aggravated by the unpleasant necessities of life, can't you embrace them? I'm not suggesting you happily walk around with shit on your shoes (although that's an option). But while you're dealing with the mess, can you also try laughing at it?

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

You're known as the sign who lives in dreams instead of real life. Only the last few weeks, that hasn't been the least bit true; your mundane existence has eclipsed all but the most superficial aspects of your spiritual world. Well, that certainly can't continue. I applaud you for taking the time to get your shit together in the real, waking world, but this week it's important to reconnect with your inner one. However, please don't drop all the balls you've picked up just so you can space out and meditate. The whole point of taking some downtime is so that you can continue successfully doing the juggling song and dance you've begun.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

It's not that you're asking for stuff. It's what you're asking for, and from whom, that's the problem. Your cries of, "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?" are falling on deaf, uncaring ears. It's not that you don't deserve whatever it is you're hoping to receive, it's just that your current strategy for getting it will never, ever work. You might as well throw yourself on the ground like a toddler and throw a tantrum; that's how effective you are at the moment. Ask for something else. Or ask someone else. Or get it yourself. Whatever you do, mix it the hell up.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Whenever I need to get shit done, I need to take myself away from most, if not all, temptations. This includes friends and family, television, and any other potential distractions. Because I will never rate something like work higher than friendship, I need to escape the possibility that the two will come into conflict. You've been tackling these kinds of questions for weeks now, but hopefully this week you can finally stop grappling with them. Don't put yourself in a position to have to make difficult choices this week, not when keeping them from coming up in the first place is so easy.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

You can stop praying for alien intervention now. I know, it certainly seems like humanity is on an express train to disaster (with continuing conflicts worldwide, genetic modification that's spreading quickly beyond its intended boundaries, imminent and likely pandemics such as bird flu, environmental degradation, and the list goes on). But we're not likely to get saved by anyone but ourselves, certainly not little gray men. However, contemplating the myriad ways we could destroy ourselves isn't helpful, either. You'll soon be locking yourself in the back of your closet in abject terror. Instead, your job this week is to make the world—in whatever way you can—a slightly safer, more sustainable place.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

With next week's Virgo new moon, there's no better time to clean out and reorganize anything and everything that's in need of editing and restructuring—which is pretty much everything in your life, from your closet to your relationship. Now, this is a potentially monumental task, which is why I'm giving you a week's notice. Your organization needs organization, or you'll never get to it all. Make a list, right now, of everything that needs a complete overhaul. Rank them in order of priority, since—unless you're very efficient—you're unlikely to get to them all. Then gear up to make a huge mess (a logistical necessity, unfortunately) and to clean it all up, way better than it was before.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

If something's working for you, I suggest sticking to it. This is not advice you'd normally require, but at the moment there's tremendous pressure on you to change the way you do things. It's well-intentioned pressure—the idea is that you'll do them better, faster, and so on. But it won't work. In fact, trying to mix things up right now would be a disaster; nothing would really get done. Even when you finally, in exasperation, went back to the old system, it wouldn't work as well as before. So I hope I've been crystal clear: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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