Sign Language

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

I can understand German pretty well by now, but it still requires a degree of concentration. If Germans are conversing nearby, I need to really focus on it to properly eavesdrop; otherwise, it's easy to simply tune out, unlike a similar conversation in English, which would filter in no matter what. The "trouble" you're in this week is something like me overhearing a German speaking into her cell phone—you'd really have to be paying special attention to notice it at all. I don't think ignoring potential problems is a good idea in general, but in this case your problem only exists if you kind of help it along, by looking especially for it—so don't.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

Remember Dumbo's magic feather? The one he thought enabled him to fly? It turns out he could flap his ears and soar without that imaginary prop. Similarly, you're perfectly capable of doing whatever it is you're up to without the crutch you imagine necessary. (I know some Rams who rely on "liquid inspiration"—for some, that means coffee; for others, alcohol—to jump-start their creativity, for example.) No need to get all dramatic and quit everything cold turkey right now. But an experiment regarding at least temporarily removing potential crutches from your life could have interesting results.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Rumor has it that the producers for the TV series Lost are thinking about setting a fixed end date for the show, to boost flagging ratings. Can you understand why? People like mystery—including the little enigmatic hints you've spilled along the way—but drag it out too much (or risk petering out Twin Peaks–style, before anything's resolved) and they stop caring. I'm not suggesting you wear your heart on your sleeve and reveal every last thing about yourself. But you have a few loose ends and mysteries whose resolutions are long overdue. Remedy that this week, won't you?

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

There may be a huge difference between cubic zirconium and a real diamond, or between high-quality gold leaf and the 24-karat kind. Most people, however, can't tell which is which, unless they see a price tag. If the "fake" ring looks identical to the real one to anyone but a professional jeweler, what difference does it make? You've recently been obsessed with authenticity, and mostly I admire that. It's often important. But there are some things that really are just about appearances, and what's beneath doesn't really matter. This week, accept the "ring" without wondering whether it's cut glass or "the real thing."

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Some hilariously backward woman in Florida complained about the marquee of a local theater announcing a production of The Vagina Monologues. Consequently, the title was changed to the laughable "The Hoohaa Monologues." While the poor woman is probably deeply screwed up, I'm actually more concerned about the theater owners, who backed down on the basis of one complaint, instead of sticking to their guns (especially since The Vagina Monologues is about women reclaiming their hoohaas). There's nothing wrong with listening to people's concerns, but kowtowing to them (especially when they're just plain ridiculous) just makes you a laughingstock. Keep that in mind this week.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

A couple weeks ago, I tried to see the lunar eclipse. The weather, however, interfered, so all I could see were dimly illuminated clouds. Oh well. Shit happens. I mention it because you've spent an undue amount of time and energy lately kicking yourself over (and generally feeling bad about) stuff that you had little to no control over. I know you hate feeling helpless, but in this case exaggerating, even in your own mind, how much power you actually have is simply self-destructive. Sometimes we really are quite limited as to what we can do, and it's better to simply accept that (especially once the situation is over, and there's really nothing you can do anymore).

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

I recently gave a friend some advice about "listening to the universe" and not trying to force things to happen. He'd come up with a plan, but when he put feelers out about his idea, he encountered nothing but setbacks and obstacles; consequently I suggested he table his plan for a while. I'm not saying we should give up when the going gets rough, but paying attention to signs like these isn't a bad idea. There might be a better time or method to accomplish what you want. If what you're up to this week isn't going especially well (and it's not incredibly time-sensitive or urgent), consider putting it on the back burner until something changes.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

The U.S. Postal Service, apparently in response to frequent complaints about long waits, has decided to "solve" the problem by removing clocks from its post offices, so people won't notice how long they're actually waiting. Besides being utterly impractical, this nonsolution is also embarrassingly laughable. Who do they think they're fooling? Someone close to you is likely to attempt a similarly childish and transparent ploy in order to address a problem or get your attention. It's up to you to decide how much credit they should get for good intentions. (The post office, however, gets a negative score.)

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

You've heard this before, but it bears repeating: You reap what you sow. You're acting like a gardener who goes out to her vegetable patch, then acts surprised that what's come up is corn and tomatoes instead of peas and broccoli. Unless she's especially clueless or someone played a cruel, elaborate joke on her, the plants that grew are the ones whose seeds she planted, so she has no right to complain. To be fair, you might be upset because only corn and tomatoes grew, when you also planted seeds for cauliflower and potatoes. Maybe you put the seeds in the wrong place or in the wrong kind of soil, or gave them too much or too little water. Shit happens. Move on and eat your vegetables, instead of complaining about the ones that aren't there.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

Some things look better with a bit of tarnish. Unless it's a computer or other high-tech gadget, I don't particularly like the look of anything that appears to be brand-new. Most things look better with some wear, from books to clothes to buildings. People do, too. Sure, you don't necessarily want someone who's worn out, but a few scars and scratches, evidence of having lived, can be incredibly hot. You've lived, and survived some pretty rough patches. That's sexy, which is why I'm confounded whenever you try to hide that and appear more innocent or less battle-scarred than you are. Flaunt it, baby. Anyone who's going to get as close as you want them to is going to find your scars anyway, so why not show them off from the get-go?

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Just as the most homophobic people back in high school were almost invariably closet queers, those doing the "persecution" now are the ones most guilty of whatever they're persecuting. They're looking in a mirror and not liking what they see. Keep that in mind as you fight the good fight. Those on the other side may merit your scorn and derision for being such haters, but they deserve an ounce of compassion, too. What they hate is probably something inside themselves, and that's got to be hard to live with. Don't cut them any slack, but remember that they're suffering, just by being themselves.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

Wanting to be in love isn't the same as actually being in love, and you know it. You might try to pretend otherwise, but wishful thinking isn't going to make something work. Luckily, I'm referring not to you but to one of your closest friends (although if those words rang true for you, I'd take a second to look at whatever's going on). Someone you know and adore might be deluding themselves with good intentions and high hopes, and it's your thankless job to disabuse them of those foolish and dreamy notions. Be kind, my dear. Don't shirk your duty, of course—but be gentle while you do it.

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