This Week's Horoscopes

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)You're not good at suffering. "Who is?" you might demand incredulously, to which I'd refer you to those masochistic Scorpios and rugged Capricorns. Unlike the latter, who usually bear hardship stoically and without complaint, you frequently make a big fuss over your misery. Fishing for sympathy and seeking relief from suffering aren't especially character-building activities, though, and they're poor preparation for those times when neither compassionate attention nor reprieve are forthcoming. I don't expect you to change—you're simply not wired to enjoy suffering. However, since this week's torments are relatively mild, it's a good time to work on developing your endurance, so that it'll be there when you really need it.Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)Unlike your Libran neighbors, you actually thrive on suffering to some extent. All Scorpios have a bit of a martyr in them. In fact, you sometimes even create situations that will generate more misery for you, quite on purpose (though you usually deny this). However, though I admire your ability to thrive on adversity, I worry that sometimes you're inclined to carry it too far—until the exquisite pain of your self-torment crosses over into real misery. Because that's a real danger this week, may I suggest that you ease up on yourself? When an opportunity to further complicate and confuse a situation arises, please pass it up.Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)You're so flexible in general that, on the rare occasions when you involuntarily dig in your heels and act unreasonable and stubborn, you don't really notice it. Naturally you assume the other person's being a obstinate ass, since that's usually the case—only this time, it's actually you. I can't imagine what's gotten your panties all knotted up, but this issue is really pushing buttons you're just not used to having pushed. Notice that. Take a step back and see what you can do to work around that knee-jerk reaction. Unfortunately, it might involve eating a bit of humble pie, saying you're sorry, and letting someone else take the reins for a while.Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)It's no secret that you can be a bit of a control freak. You're actually very good at massaging and manipulating situations to work out well for you. What you suck at is when things are really and truly out of your hands. Generally you flail, try desperate measures, and freak out. Not very graceful or productive. As you get older, you need to learn to recognize these situations more quickly, so you can stop wasting time and energy trying to take control. That doesn't mean you must shed your control-freak tendencies entirely, though; just refocus them on the one thing you can control—your own reaction.Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)A skilled sculptor might look at a block of granite and see a shape inside, one they're capable of exposing to the world. The rest of us will generally just see a chunk of rock, or, even if we saw something, be incapable of "getting it out." Rock-sculpting is hardly your forte, but you are very adept at something similar involving the human spirit. You're able to see qualities in certain people that are quite invisible (or inaccessible) to everyone else. You may, in fact, be the only one in a position to help dig up and expose those qualities to the world. Shirking that duty does both you and the poor bogged-down person in question a grave disservice. Keep that in mind this week.Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)Having a genie pop out of a lamp to offer you three wishes might be one of the worst things that could ever happen to you. After torturing yourself for days agonizing over what to wish for, you'd finally have one of your crazily flippant moments and blow them all on something ridiculously easy to obtain on your own, like an ice-cream cone. Of course that would lead to a whole new set of tortured questions ("Why didn't I get sprinkles!?") that could take you on an entirely new spiral of self-doubt. Don't do that to yourself. If you really can't make a thoughtful decision on your own, just find a trusted (and decisive) friend to make it for you, and trust that whatever she chooses will be at least as good, and probably better, than whatever you'd have come up with on your own.Aries (March 21–April 19)Some campers take pains to leave the wilderness as pristine as they found it; others aren't too bothered if a bit of littering saves them some effort. And a criminal few are so careless that their ignorance could cost lives, as they start fires or poison wildlife. The campground rule applies to relationships as well. You should leave any person you get involved with better off than when you found them. Walking away from a forest fire you helped ignite is just bad karma. Don't do that shit. If you can't put the blaze out by yourself, get help.Taurus (April 20–May 20)I heard a story about a friend of a friend who fasted for 40 days and then broke his fast by drinking vodka. He promptly flushed out a tapeworm, which he'd starved for more than a month and then killed with the alcohol. Sometimes such extreme measures are required to rid yourself of a tenacious parasite, but not this week. Right now the bloodsucker you're hoping to shed is strangely vulnerable to such innovative methods as: asking him to go away. I know, it's so out-there you can't believe it would ever work. Try it anyway.Gemini (May 21–June 20)Assuming the worst will often manifest the worst. Suspecting people of trying to take advantage of you will often turn them against you, even if they weren't to start with. Being paranoid that people don't like you isn't likely to endear you to them; last time I checked, paranoia wasn't an especially charming quality. The world isn't as awful and difficult a place as you sometimes make it for yourself. Haven't you noticed that your most naively optimistic friends are also generally popular and happy? Walk a mile or two in their shoes this week. Even if it feels awkward at first, give it a go. You need the exercise.Cancer (June 21–July 22)Why does that person bug you so much? Could it be that when you look at them, you subconsciously feel as if you're gazing into an unflattering mirror? It's hard to react with delight and affection when someone demonstrates some of your own least favorite qualities. However, think how empowering it would be for both of you if you could bring yourself to such a response. Try that this week. The next time someone reminds you of a part of you you're less than fond of, try not to react with distaste, but instead embrace compassion. You'll both be happier for it.Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)I'm sure you'd love your lover to write you love songs, sculpt life-size busts of your head, and constantly advertise your awesomeness. Don't bother denying it. It all sounds pretty good, doesn't it? That's why having an average other half, who thinks a bunch of flowers or a homemade dinner are pretty darn romantic, might seem like a bit of a let-down, considering your extremely high (and largely secret) expectations. You're unlikely to be lucky enough to find a partner who'll consistently deify you—that's why you need to learn to do these things for yourself (and be happy with that).Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)Admit it—you get off on self-deprivation sometimes. Where your astrological neighbors, those lofty Leos, thrive on self-indulgence and sometimes even excess, you're quite the opposite. You seem to really enjoy denying yourself things. Perhaps that makes the pleasures you do allow yourself that much sweeter, but this week I suggest simply accepting and celebrating every bit of joy and recreation that comes your way, even if you'd normally be inclined to say "Thanks but no thanks." You deserve as much pleasure as comes your way. Making room in your life for more bliss is not a bad thing.

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