Jan. 31–Feb. 6, 2007

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

I'm not a psychotically devout believer in astrology. I'm naturally a skeptic, actually. Yet I've certainly noticed powerful similarities among people of the same sign, and also seen, for example, moods overtake people all at the same time. Sure, there are many other explanations for such things; people born around the same time of year in the same culture could have similar experiences that shape them in like ways. Emotions could be due to the weather, the music, or current events. But I think there's more to it than that, don't you? I'm not asking you to abandon your sacred skepticism. Just allow that there's room in the world for more than you know (or think you know).

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

Some of my Piscean friends who wear glasses (or contacts) sometimes wander around without them. They like the world all fuzzy, without harsh edges. They prefer not knowing every detail of the people and places that surround them. I can understand that. It's certainly better than a lot of other ways people seek to soften reality's cruel sharp bits. Basically, it's a question of balance. How much is too much? When ignoring the abrasive sides of your world means you hurt yourself (or others; driving without your glasses, for example, would be very bad). It's OK to deliberately miss out on some of life's nastiness. Just find your balance.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

Your life is often exceptional, in both good and bad ways. But counting on it always playing out differently from everyone else's would be a mistake. You're unusual, yes, but not that unusual. Sometimes a scenario plays itself out for you just as it would be expected to for anyone else—whether that's good or bad. You get the boy or girl or job or illness, or you don't. The point is being able to roll with whatever happens. The problem is you've begun to expect the unexpected. That kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

I'm fascinated with all the different levels of cities, especially older cities. Under New York, for example, are all sorts of tunnels, to accommodate gas lines, sewers, subways, and so on. They've never been properly mapped. Cities older than New York have more layers, which to some extent describe their histories, with ancient buildings buried under newer ones. People are like that, too, with old pieces of themselves, half-forgotten, obscured by more recently constructed or discovered aspects of who they are. You have a kind of X-ray vision that enables you to see some of what came before, and how much (or little) effort someone's going to, to hide it. That's a lot of power, actually. Here's hoping you use it only for good.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

At least one in five people on the planet is Chinese. I only mention it because you've gotten complacent, thinking that your worldview is pretty common, when it's actually quite rare. I just want to remind you of the billions of other perspectives out there. While none of them is particularly more (or less) "right" than yours, they're certainly worthy of consideration, especially considering your perspective isn't making you terrifically happy at the moment. Find someone whose life is incredibly distant from your version of your reality (and who seems fairly happy) and talk to them; you could benefit from the kind of reality check only they can provide.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Your reality is twisted. Not in some big, obvious way, but in myriad subtle ways that you don't even notice anymore. You've become so used to these little screwed-up elements of your world that you've even come to believe that's what reality is, or ought to be. Only when someone enters intimately into your life, close enough to witness all the little details, are some of the things you do and think revealed as absurd. That doesn't mean you have to change them (I know how attached you get). But—this week, anyway—you should at least consider it.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

I just watched a video of fellow Leo Ben Saunders. He's an athlete and adventurer who does things most people would consider insane, like trying to cross the Arctic Ocean alone (no one's ever managed it). Ben apparently considers risking his life on ventures like these a necessary part of exploring and fulfilling his own potential, something I can't help but admire, even if it's a bit nuts. I hope you can be inspired by his supposed insanity (which I regard as eminently sane) and attempt to delve into your own potential. (I also hope it's less life-threatening for you than it is for him.) You know at least the next step toward maximizing your use of your life and talents. This week, take it.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

Some of your friends are bad influences on you. They keep you from being as productive, creative, or efficient as you'd be without them. They distract you with frivolity and pointless wastes of time. But, man, aren't they fun? Maybe you should stop secretly resenting them for always dragging you away from your important work. Your friends are going out of their way to make sure you actually enjoy your life, and don't just get a lot done during it. Don't view them as nuisances out to waste your time. See them, instead, as your saviors; they're saving you from yourself.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

I'm always amazed that there are so many people looking to embarrass themselves on national TV. I'm shocked by American Idol (and YouTube, and a million other similar things). Either these people are absolutely unaware of themselves, or they're willing to abase themselves for a bit of attention. Although there are worse things than public humiliation, I still hope you're not one of them. I mention it because I suspect you are partially blinding yourself to something about who you are, which could potentially be humiliating. An outside opinion—someone you know will be honest, even if it's hurtful—would, at this point, be most helpful.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

I've dated several guys who were brought up intensely religious; past boyfriends have included an Italian Roman Catholic, a Mormon, and a Jehovah's Witness. All these guys, of course, transcended the conservatism they were surrounded with during their youths, but some aspects of their upbringings still stuck with them into adulthood (aspects I apparently found fascinating). What pieces of your past are you still wearing (and probably trying to hide)? They could be just the bits that make you stand out. This week, try not to conceal the scraps of your history you just can't shed. See how that works out for you; I reckon it'll be a mixed bag, but slightly more good than bad.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

Where I live, people with the crappy job of delivering restaurant menus and advertising flyers are always ringing the bell to be let into the building, to cram our mailboxes full of the junk. It's impossible to tell if it's these unwanted losers ringing or someone with something legitimate to deliver, so you have to buzz them in regardless. Sound familiar? This week, you have to let in the bad with the good. The bad will get in anyway (in my case, they'll just ring a neighbor's doorbell), but the good will go away if you don't answer promptly when they come around.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Like me, I suspect you find the enormity of the universe both terrifying and comforting. It's humbling to remember how small and insignificant we are, in the vast scheme of things, but also nice to notice that all the things that are stressing you out are absolutely inconsequential. The key to happiness this week is in figuring out exactly your place in reality, and occupying that. Attempting to fill bigger shoes than yours, or cram yourself into tinier ones, is just setting yourself up for misery. Look at who you really are, and be realistic about how much space you actually need. From the outside, it may look rather small (or oversized), but I guarantee that once you're inside it, it'll fit perfectly.

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