Oct. 25-31, 2006

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

You don't exactly jibe with most people's preconceived notions of who or what their ideal mate might be. That doesn't, however, mean you're not the perfect person for them, just that they may not recognize it at first. It's up to you to surprise your potential partner by convincing them that your union is meant to be. That shouldn't be that hard for you, as long as you're not daunted by all that doubt. This is not, however, free rein to stalk the person you love; it's your chance to sweetly bring them around. Just remember: Anything that smacks of desperation or creepiness is not likely to do the trick.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

You can put your body and soul through a lot of shit before people start to notice. You're not like a poor Cancer, for example; if he loses a single hour of sleep, he spends a whole day with people commenting about the bags under his eyes. Your wear and tear doesn't show until it gets much more extreme. This is a blessing, naturally, but like all blessings, it's also a potential curse. That sensitive Cancer experiences many little warning signs when he starts to push himself too far. He can rein it in. Sags aren't likely to realize they're juggling too many balls until they collapse entirely. Luckily, you've got a brain. Use it to gauge how much is too much. If you've any doubt at all, let go of one or two of those balls you're juggling. It's better than dropping them all.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

I recently read about a study in which half of a group of patients was prayed for and the other half wasn't. It indicated that prayer wasn't effective, as the recovery rates for both groups were the same. Fine. What I didn't like about the study was that it seemed to argue that praying was futile, simply because it had no effect on the patient's recovery. What about its effect on his emotional health? Did it make the person praying feel better? What I'm trying to get at is there are lots of reasons for doing something. Even if the ostensible purpose of your actions isn't being fulfilled, that doesn't mean they're not worth doing. They might have a lot of other worthwhile "side effects." Consider that, before you quit them altogether.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

You don't have to be particularly talented to be successful. Sure, talent helps, but sometimes it's just about being in the right place at the right time, or it's about tenacity, persistence, self-promotion, or cleverness. There are loads of brilliant people who haven't made it because they lack the luck or determination to make people take notice. What about you? Are you going to let success pass you by because of some ridiculous ideal about how sheer talent (which you inarguably have) should always prevail? Maybe it ought to be that way, but it's not. Sometimes you've got to fight for what you deserve. This week, my friend, is one of those times.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

Most of my Pisces friends are fiercely noncompetitive. They'll duck out of most competitive situations and, if forced to participate, will deliberately throw the game (ruining the fun for the rest of us). I get where they're coming from; they think it's really enlightened to disdain such a win-or-lose mentality. They might be right on some level—really caring about victory or defeat is slightly childish. But most of us don't give a shit about whether we prevail or fail. It's simply about playing the game. That, my friend, is just plain fun. You should try it.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

The other night I dreamed I was an elegant, black-haired lesbian vampiress intent on seducing innocent young virgins. I wasn't particularly good at it (the dream was rather comedic), but it made me think of you. I love it whenever I get a chance (even subconsciously) to step outside of myself. When was the last time you stopped being you for even a minute? Of course, part of being an Aries is being so absolutely who you are, but it can be great fun to put on a mask (or take a familiar and overused one off) and truly be someone different for a while. It's time you did that. Luckily, this week's Halloween, so no one will think you're too weird when you try it.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Think what you will about Taureans, but one thing's undeniable: You guys are strong. Although you're occasionally slow to action, once you get a good raging stampede going, you're virtually impossible to stop. I sometimes fantasize about what I could accomplish with such an unstoppable force at my disposal. Wielding such power, however, isn't my lot in life—it's yours. It's about time you stopped denying your strength and started using it. You've got more brute force and endurance (at least emotionally) than any two other signs. This week, please decide what, at last, you're going to do with it.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

I'm a big proponent of trusting your gut. There are times, however, when your instincts just aren't equipped to save you. When sinking in quicksand, most people's gut reactions would counsel them to flail wildly at any chance to save themselves. That'd just get them mired faster. If they stopped to use their minds, they might realize that their only chance of survival is to relax and try to float. This week, your gut might get you into more trouble, rather than out of the mess you're already in. To save yourself this time, you've got to use your brain, not your belly. Let logic reign, at least for the moment.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Sorry about my cynicism, but it simply doesn't seem likely that Homo sapiens will survive the next century. Humanity's not proactive enough to save itself from itself. As you can see, I don't have a ton of hope for the future—but what little faith I have resides mostly with you Cancers. There are many tough decisions (and, yes, sacrifices) we need to make to get us to the next chapter of our existence. You're really the only ones with enough determination, follow-through, and familiarity with the necessity of sacrifice to help shepherd the human race toward a truly sustainable future. If only you'd do it.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

You're gorgeous, Leo. You knew that (although I'm sure you don't object to hearing it again). But this week you're especially beautiful. What you've got ahead of you is a week of good hair days and people who notice them. Go ahead and flirt and have fun with it. But work it, too, if you want. If you happen to have an agenda (especially a romantic one)—a proposal you've been putting off, for example—this week is a good time to move it forward. This week you'll have a hard time getting "no" for an answer, so be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

What's the secret to your excess of energy, Virgo? I tend to doubt that it's purely physical talent— although your careful diet probably doesn't hurt in the vim-and-vigor department. Your liveliness, however, is clearly a spiritual condition. I suspect there's a potent psychological force that drives you. Care to clue us in? I'll tell you why you should bother—not only will sharing your motivation win you allies and sympathizers, it might get you some help. Since you current agenda is truly too big for even you to tackle alone, some support would definitely be a good thing.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Everyone wants to be liked (even if they tell themselves and others they don't give a shit). That's normal. Librans, however—especially when they're young—are sometimes likely to fall into a trap where their desire to be adored obscures who they are. Your malleability means you can easily play the role you guess people want you to play, without much regard for your own actual desires. As a temporary measure or strategy, that's fine, but as a long-term plan, it sucks ass. You've got to keep it real, baby—and that means letting some people hate your guts, if they want.

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