Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2006

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Like you, I cherish beauty, Libra. But I don't get hung up on prettiness the way some of you do. Evolved Libras have learned not to seek beauty but simply to see it, in everything. They know that ugly can be beautiful, too, and that grace and loveliness can be found in surprising places. Those are the kinds of places you'll have to learn to look in this week, Libra, if you haven't already, because the surface of your surroundings won't be obviously charming. The splendor you're privy to at the moment is buried so deep, it'll be invisible unless you're patient and determined enough to find it. Are you?

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

You don't often make snap judgments about people you've just met, but it does happen; and what's more, you do, occasionally, screw it up. This may come as news to some of you, because it's rare that you ever look back in such a case to realize your mistake. Instead, you stumble onward, oblivious to the coolness, beauty, inspiration, or brilliant sex you're missing out on because of your error. But you don't have to lose out. Check yourself. In fact, that's just what this week is good for: reconsidering previously held opinions, especially about others, and delivering at least a couple second chances.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

Essentially, you've taken your message to the fanciest place you could get to. Your art— whatever form it takes—is sitting on blank white walls in an art gallery being half-contemplated by rich art snobs over idle conversation and plastic cups of wine. That's all fine, but hardly what you originally aimed for when you began this venture. What you need to do is take your message to the streets. Go buy some spray paint and cover the walls with graffiti—or whatever equivalent action works for you. This week, proclaim your ideas loudly (but intelligently, please) to those who need them, not just those who can afford them.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Put a carnival mask on a Capricorn, and they usually go delightfully (and delightedly) insane. So few and far between are the opportunities for you to bust out of your attractive and well-fitting shell that whenever you get the chance to do so, you grab it and run with it, further and faster than even the craziest party animal you know. This is actually not only good for you (hangovers aside), it's essential. Without these occasional chances to go wild, all the time you spend being productive and efficient will quite simply stifle your soul. Usually you wait for these rare chances to just come along; this week, however, seek one out.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

With our addictions to cell phones, iPods, and laptops, we're already halfway toward becoming full-fledged technology-dependent cyborgs. I have no objection; I'm on a laptop right now, with a cell phone and an iPod in my pockets. It's important to remember, though, that the point of all these things is (or at least should be) to bring us all closer to each other, to help us share art, music, and ideas with our fellow humans. Are yours serving that purpose, or actually isolating you? Your cyborg extensions ought to make you more human, not less. This week, make sure they start doing so.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

If you were somehow transported into medieval times, you'd soon be branded a witch and probably burned at the stake. Your knowledge alone would be enough; if you had something as miraculous as an iPod or laptop with you, forget it. See? It's all a matter of perspective. Your basic knowledge and abilities would be terrifying indicators of black magic. Similarly, ideas that frighten you now are things we may embrace in the future. You forward-thinkers are already aware of this on some level. This week's task is getting the rest of us to open our minds to it.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

Neither of us really knows the point of life or death, but when I'm assailed by doubts, I find comfort in a curious mix of logic and faith. For instance, if we have souls that somehow cycle through life after life, the only way it could function, logistically, is if we had no memory of the lives that came before; more than a hint of recall of our previous incarnations could keep us from fully experiencing and embracing our new ones. I combine this logical conclusion with a leap of faith—that the universe is an ultimately benevolent place that makes sense—and feel, truly, comforted. Most Aries, being both powerfully intellectual and emotional, feel uncomfortable in the province of pure religion or science. Somehow combining the two, however, might yield the "solution" to the problem you've been grappling with.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Your average American landfill would be considered a treasure trove of useful and usable items to poor folk from most Third World countries. I think this is one of the areas where we fall most short of the example we ought to be setting: transforming our relative wealth into a smaller footprint on the Earth, not a greater one. We can afford to, after all. You, too, can afford to make an extra effort to have less impact on others. It's a luxury and a responsibility at the same time, to compensate for those who have neither. Please embrace and accept it.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

I heard about a social experiment regarding kindness and a willingness to help strangers. A woman would pass by a phone booth as the person using it emerged, hitting a trick switch on her briefcase which caused it to fall open, spilling its contents onto the sidewalk. The point was to determine how many people would stop to help her. The phone itself was rigged to return the money to the person using it about half the time. The vast majority of those who got their change back stopped to help. Most of those who got nothing didn't stop. I mention this fascinating insight into human nature to remind you of the ripple effect even the smallest kindness can have, and vice versa. This is important information, considering this week's events.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Nearly every Cancer has what I call a "Cinderella" phase of her life, where she, for whatever reason, subverts most or all of her own desires (either by choice or against her will) in order to please another. Growing out of this unhealthy chapter is an important milestone in each Cancer's life. However, so is relearning it, to some extent. Don't get me wrong. You should never sacrifice so much for someone else like that. But learning to unselfishly put aside some of your own desires in order to give something to someone else can, ironically, be extremely rewarding, especially this week.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

There are scientists studying everything, from a cure for cancer to the life cycles of dinosaurs to how to prevent flatulence, and the list goes on to even more unbelievably obscure topics. But these specialized interests didn't occur overnight. All these men and women began by studying the foundations of science and what we already know, and gradually refined their areas of interest until they concerned just one or two things. You, too, have become just that specialized, only, like the poor fellow studying the meaning of dog barks (he concluded they don't necessarily mean anything), you've driven into a dead end. It's now time to back up and branch out again, just a little, until your new path appears.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

You need people. This is no criticism; Leos need people to admire them, Geminis need people to listen to them, and Aries need people to entertain them. You need people to need you. This makes you seem very evolved and selfless to some, and in some ways you are. But the true sign of an evolved Virgo is one who knows how to serve others and herself at the same time, somehow being just as available as she always was to those who need her, while simultaneously doing what she can to prevent her own deprivation and suffering. How close are you to that example? This week is your chance to get quite a bit closer.

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