Nov. 15–21, 2006

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

Don't wait for "the complete package." It won't fit in your mailbox. Instead, expect your dream ___ (fill in the blank: relationship, job, house, etc.) to arrive in installments over the next several months. They probably won't arrive in the order you'd expect or prefer. For instance, if it's a relationship we're putting together, the sex might come first, with soulful conversation and deep friendship not showing up for weeks or months, or vice versa. All you have to do is be patient and wait—and don't break any of the pieces until you've had a chance to put the whole thing together, OK?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

You of all people should know how suddenly and completely things can change. What seems on Wednesday to be a hopelessly intractable situation can flip on Friday, becoming a scenario where your prospects are actually bright. Of course, the reverse is also possible, in which a stellar future becomes a grim one overnight. In any case, don't get too comfortable this week, as sudden reversals like these are the name of the game. You can, of course, adapt to whatever your new circumstances are—as long as you're not too busy congratulating or berating yourself for whatever's happened.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

The camera can lie. A trick of lighting or perspective can make you look more beautiful or hideous than usual. If an impersonal machine can be fooled by an angle or a splash of backlighting, what makes you think a human being—who's toting baggage and wearing dozens of lenses (perhaps without even being aware of it)—can be at all objective? Everyone's got biases, delusions, illusions, and confusions. How someone sees you reflects all this. Instead of taking someone's misperceptions about you personally, try to remember (or guess at) where they're coming from. Then, and only then, you'll be able to gently disabuse them of their misguided notions and find some common ground.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

I'm sensitive to caffeine. So I give my body breaks—a few months drinking coffee, a few months off. You, too, can choose what poisons to put in your body, and how much and how often. Don't act as if you have no choice. You've been a bit of a victim of your cravings (both physical and emotional), when we'd all prefer you take control. Finding a way to manage them (perhaps by eliminating them entirely, or maybe by creating a sort of balance, as I have with coffee) is this week's most important task.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

Show me a Pisces who enjoys being hurried, and I'll show you someone whose birth certificate's got a typo—she must actually be a Virgo or an Aries. Unfortunately, you're sometimes subject to schedules and itineraries that aren't at the pace you'd prefer; this week is, regrettably, chock-full of rushing, deadlines, and anxious bosses, dates, and friends who are likely to dig the spurs in a bit too often. However, there's nothing you can do except get your ass in gear and just plain hurry—or risk the job or relationship in question. Do your best. If you're able to speed yourself up with grace, you'll have a good chance—in a few weeks—of getting those who are rushing you to finally slow down.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

You're teetering on the edge of control freakhood. I know you're just trying to be careful and protect yourself, but your diligence and vigilance is about to backfire. No one likes being kept on a short leash, and you're about to hear about it unless you release your death grip right now. The opposite extreme—turning a blind, faithful eye to everything that might be going on—would be just as bad; instead, seek a middle path balancing caution, freedom, and trust. It may be hard to let go and give the one(s) you love some breathing room, but you'll find that once you do, you'll be able to breathe easier, too.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Telling the truth takes courage. I'm depressed and astonished when people are gutless. Even when they know it's the right thing to do, that it's actually kinder in the long run, they shy away from saying something that's hard or negative. The coward's way has become a well-beaten path, trodden by all those who've broken up with someone via e-mail. I prefer the truth, even when it's harsh. I've never regretted being fully honest with someone, even if it was difficult or painful at the time. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that yanking the Band-Aid off was better than slowly removing it; that I, by being brutally honest, had actually spared them more heartache and pain. Think about that this week, and be truly, radically honest—now and always.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

Don't be passive this week. You're sometimes awfully good at passing the buck and putting the onus on other people to take action; then you're disappointed when they don't. Like it or not, the first move is yours. If you want something from someone, you've got to step up and ask for it. Sure, there'll be rejections and failures if you take risks like that, and they may crush you—if you're made of paper. Personally, I think you can take it. It's an easy equation: If you don't make the first move, I guarantee nothing will happen. If you give it a go, you might fail, sure—but you might succeed. And with each attempt, you'll get better, and succeed that much more often.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Cancers are first-class procrastinators. Unfortunately, the more you procrastinate, the more you procrastinate. As your to-do list gets longer and longer, it also gets more daunting. You become more reluctant to begin it. Yours is already too long, isn't it? That's why you're hiding out reading horoscopes instead of getting shit done. Tear that thing in half. Choose the half that's easier and tackle that. Screw the rest for now. It won't get done anyway, so there's no point in worrying about it. That stuff will just have to sort itself out. Well, what are you waiting for? You've still got half a to-do list to get to, and it's not going to get any shorter.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

Let's face it, Leo. You're not an especially organized person. Oh, I'll admit you're better than you used to be, but compared to your average Virgo or Capricorn, you're a total slob. You shouldn't, however, let anyone judge you for it. Your goal this week (and in life) isn't to glean the approval of those more tidy (or anal) than yourself. It's to figure out the environment that will maximize your creativity (which is much more important than an orderly sock drawer) and generate that. If it turns out total chaos will make you flourish, then you have a responsibility to yourself to provide it, and screw anyone who disapproves.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

You've been driving for weeks or months with the emergency brake on. You've known all along that something didn't feel right; the car was acting weird, but you couldn't figure out what it was. This week, you'll get a clue and remember to release the damn thing. Get ready to experience that lovely feeling of liberation when suddenly the vehicle steers, accelerates, and stops exactly as it's supposed to. Gone (for now) are the days in which you simply grimly try to get to where you're going as quickly as possible. Now you can take the scenic route, and enjoy the journey besides.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

More and more studies are implying that calorie deprivation may extend lifespan. Eat less (while maintaining nutrition) and you just might add years to your life. It seems to work for rats, mice, and monkeys, at least. This is the kind of equation that's pleasing to Libras. Take one thing off one side of the scale, and get some kind of payback on the other. However, what about those sacrifices whose payoff isn't a sure thing? What good does it do you to be kind to some stranger, for example? This week is full of uncertain formulas, where your actions have unknowable consequences. In those cases, you can't be guided by self-interest. However, don't despair; it's still quite simple: Do what's right, whether it'll obviously help you or not.

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