This Week's Horoscope

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)

You learned long ago that most things in life are colored in shades of gray (or various other hues), instead of pure black and white. Yet you've never quite lost your taste for the clarity of clearly defined issues, intentions, and boundaries. While you recognize that most people (including yourself) don't fit neatly into one category or have just one feeling about something, it's undeniably appealing when someone definitively makes their intentions clear, or something is obviously completely right or totally wrong for you. You're in luck this week, because transparent intentions and stark contrasts galore are coming your way.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)

Prepare for sensory overload, Virgo. Even you famous multitaskers will be hard-pressed to keep up with your own lives this week. Astrologically, there's so much happening that it's impossible to pick what to write about. Most of it's good, some of it's more challenging (to put it mildly), but the point is that there's just so much of it. It's actually too much to wrap your head around or plan for. In fact, you'll have the same problem I'm facing in formulating this horoscope: So much is happening that you'll probably have trouble focusing on (and appreciating) any one thing.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)

Excellent writers, in my opinion, come in two basic varieties: Some wow you with incredible writing that's astonishingly beautiful, clever, or surprising. Others just get out of the way of the stories they have to tell, and you find yourself totally immersed in the world they've created, not even noticing the writing, simply compelled to turn page after page. Storytelling is similar. Keep this in mind when you're telling stories, even if you're just talking about what you did last night. The more compelling you can be this week, either through your brilliance or your ability to get out of your own way, the happier everyone (including you) will be.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)

When you spend a week at the beach, it's virtually impossible to keep sand out of everything—it's perpetually in your clothes, bed, food, and all your cracks and crevices. This, effectively, is what's happening to you. One tiny aspect of your life is infecting all the rest, so that every meal, dream, and moment is flavored by it. There's no easy solution for this, of course, besides leaving the oceanfront entirely, which would mean you'd also miss out on all the fun to be had there. However, you can take measures to make sure that sand (or its equivalent) has a minimal impact on your life. This week, I'd suggest you do so.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)

In order to get a better view of the big picture, you've climbed to the top of a very tall, skinny tree. Unfortunately, the gusty winds are tossing you this way and that, and it's all you can do to hang on for dear life. Consequently, your supposedly better perspective only serves to make you dizzy, nauseous, and terrified. Don't let this encourage you to climb down, put on blinders, and focus only on the goal just ahead of you, as you may be inclined. While that's certainly a valid temporary strategy at times, this isn't one of them. You need to see what's only visible from way up here. Hang on tight a little longer, and keep looking, all the way to the horizon.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)

Tolerance for incompetence and stupidity isn't one of your fortes—nor should it be. Don't let kindhearted Cancers or forgiving Pisces talk you into cutting these losers any slack. If they can't cut it, cut them loose, despite what supposedly more compassionate sorts might think is the way to go. Sure, they might have untapped potential, but you don't have time to wait for them to figure out how to access it, nor the energy to help them. In actuality, the kindest thing you can do is free them to find something they might already be good at, or someone who actually has time to help them figure it all out.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)

People do change, but so slowly and with so much backsliding along the way that it's foolhardy to count on it. If being with someone is contingent upon them altering something about themselves or their behavior, forget about it, right now. They just won't be able to do it in a time frame that works for you, and expecting them to will only lead to bitterness and resentment and an unhappy ending for both of you. You need to decide right now: Can you live with them just as they are, even if they never succeed at becoming who you wish they'd be? If the answer is no, then get out and stop torturing yourself, and them.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)

Your main enemy this week is distraction. Something simple like cleaning out a drawer could lead to a million other tasks, until you find yourself at your neighbor's house, chatting and sipping tea, while the drawer's contents are strewn messily across your home, half the houseplants are watered, three bookshelves are dusted, a garbage bag is stalled on the front stoop on its way to the bins, a letter is half-written to a neglected friend, laundry is mildewing in the washer, and a friend is still waiting to be called back. Messy, messy, messy. Avoid this kind of minor disaster by staying on task, even when something seemingly "more important" intrudes.

Aries (March 21–April 19)

People are impatient when it comes to transformation. Fat people hope to become thin overnight, and unhealthy folks want to pop a pill and wake up in perfect condition. Some wish they could lose their baggage as effectively as some airlines, never to be seen again, but somehow, most of it keeps catching up with them. When it comes to not wanting to wait for change, you Rams are the worst. You've learned to apply patience in so many other areas of your life, especially regarding other people. When it comes to yourself, however, you're impossibly demanding. Ambition is one thing, but no one could live up to your unreasonable expectations of yourself. Cut yourself some slack, and give yourself some time.

Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Do what you love, whether or not you're good at it. If you do it with enough passion and enthusiasm, people will adore you for it, despite whatever shortcomings you have. I love singing, for example, even though I'm not especially good at it (fortunately I'm not tone deaf, either), and people usually good-naturedly put up with my frequent bursts of song even when they're out of key. Your friends will do the same for you because they'll be happy to see you happy, right? This week, ask them to humor you rather than humiliate you when you try something you won't necessarily be good at. Chances are, they will.

Gemini (May 21–June 20)

Add love to the world. This is something I reckon we all ought to be doing, all the time, but I want you to focus on it especially this week. In every situation this week, as often as you can remember, I want you to think, "How can I add love or joy to this situation?" Don't be discouraged if your efforts seem to go unappreciated; this isn't just about what you get back, and anyway, people aren't necessarily used to loving and joyful activity while waiting in line at the DMV, or wherever you are. Trust that there will be a positive ripple effect, and what goes around will, eventually, come around.

Cancer (June 21–July 22)

It's all about untying knots this week. You're good at unraveling twisted tangles, but it's frustrating when some of the knots you're forced to undo are ones you spent a long time creating in the first place. Unfortunately, they're keeping you from getting at tangles that are long overdue for loosening and freedom. It's better not to use scissors, because keeping those connections between people is generally a good thing, but don't be afraid to make a strategic snip here or there if it'll dramatically simplify your task. You can always retie the ones you've undone; if they're meant to stay bound, they will.

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