Sign Language

Cancer (June 21–July 22)Cancers, despite your sensitivity and intuition, are occasionally terrible at compromise. You get into this all-or-nothing, with-me-or-against-me mentality and don't give anyone room to maneuver. Things in life are rarely as starkly black-and-white as they sometimes are in your heart. This leads to heartache for you and those you're close to. One of your biggest challenges in life is trying to find a way past this uncooperative state of mind, to live more in the gray areas of human emotion. This week it should be more obvious than ever that clinging to absolutes can only lead to pain; aim for the more subtle (and accurate) spaces in between.Leo (July 23–Aug. 22)Playing dirty isn't your style. Sure, you're pretty good at it when you have to be, but sinking to that level doesn't suit you, and won't serve you well in the long run. You're at your best when you can simply and openly be who you are, uncensored and unlimited. That's exactly what you should strive for right now. Strip away the layers of deception—especially self-deception (well-intentioned as it might be)—and bring your full self to the situation. This may frighten or intimidate some and turn off others, but those who you most seek to impress will be exactly that—impressed.Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)You know how to be manipulative at times; that should, in theory, make you more immune to others' attempts to influence or control you. However, much of the time you fall for that shit anyway, because you prefer to extend trust, or you're not cynical enough to try to see through their machinations. Shed those illusions pronto and see the situation for what it is. Everyone has an agenda, and even if it's not particularly nefarious, it's still probably not in your best interest. Ultimately, you need to do what's best for you—and the first step, of course, is making sure you clearly see exactly what that is.Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22)If you went back to medieval times with a laptop or even an iPod, people would likely believe you had magical powers (while the batteries lasted). That stuff would be so far beyond what they knew that they'd have trouble reaching any other conclusion. Sometimes when things are so far from our understanding, we use preposterous reasoning to explain them. That might be what's happening here. To rein in a situation that's very close to spiraling out of control, you'll need to impose some sanity upon it—which begins with offering comprehensible explanations for the things people just don't understand. Once they're clued in, a reasonable discussion will be possible—but not until then.Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21)When you're extremely close to someone, those bonds of empathy can sometimes feel rather restrictive. Feelings of sympathy and love occasionally slip over into resentment. It's better to loosen the ties a little and still remain quite intimate than to keep them as tight as they have been until you feel choked and trapped and can only think in terms of escape. Look at the big picture here, and consider everyone's long-term happiness. While a little more distance now might make some people sad, it's still far better than a yawning chasm a little farther down the line. Wouldn't you agree?Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)When something happens that's so comically over the top, I can understand why you'd be tempted to respond in kind with an equally exaggerated reaction. However, as hilarious (and in some ways appropriate) as that might be in the moment, it will just escalate the situation and cause problems that could—given the melodramatic nature of this particular scenario—easily spiral out of control. You need to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground right now. Keep breathing and stay calm, and make it your priority, when tempers start running high, to pull them swiftly and compassionately right back to earth.Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)Demanding that someone change something fundamental about who they are isn't really where you want to go right now. However, if all you wish to modify is a small behavior—something they do—it's certainly possible, and you should go for it, if a failure to change would be a deal-breaker. Why not give them the chance? Make sure it's a proper chance, though. Altering ingrained habits takes time and practice and involves plenty of slips. "One strike and you're out" isn't fair to anyone. Be firm, consistent, and compassionate. Ultimately, there's a line no one should cross—but make sure people have a little breathing room to slip up without falling right over it the first time they stumble.Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)Obviously, the people you know and are close to are the ones you should rely on for most of your needs. However, certain things would, ironically, be better fulfilled by someone who's essentially a stranger to you. It might be easier to talk to someone with whom you have nothing at stake, or explore an interest that no one in your inner circle shares. This week, look outside your familiar bubble for new people, ideas, and opportunities that are simply not available there. That doesn't mean you need to leave everything you know behind—but stepping away from it for a day would be very enlightening and, best of all, fun.Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20)You may not love everything about who you are right now, but you must nevertheless embrace and acknowledge it. Without that thorough self-acceptance, change and growth will probably be impossible. You've been overly negative and self-critical lately. It's hardly fair. That doesn't mean you need to give yourself carte blanche or cease all efforts to improve, expand, or evolve. However, you do need to cut yourself a little slack, and be at least as compassionate, nonjudgmental, and gentle with yourself as you are with those around you. You deserve that (and more, but start with that).Aries (March 21–April 19)I'm surprised I need to remind you, yet here we are: Stand up for what's right. This may not seem like "your battle," but remember it's not just black people who should oppose racism, or gay people homophobia—every principled, honorable, and compassionate human being should battle these things. In this case, that means you should throw in with the right side, even if it's not necessarily the "smartest" move for you personally. That's the burden of having a moral compass—you have a responsibility to heed and act upon it. Don't let fear or petty rationalization keep you from that.Taurus (April 20–May 20)I don't think you should rethink who your friends are; however, you should open your mind to who might potentially be a friend. You've needlessly limited yourself using fairly arbitrary standards. That's narrowed your horizons considerably. Wouldn't you agree that your life would be richer and more interesting if you had a circle of friends who weren't all in pretty much the same situation and place in life? This week, branch out a bit. It's not necessarily easy to throw yourself into a new situation and try to make friends from scratch, but if you're persistent and open-minded, you shouldn't have too much trouble.Gemini (May 21–June 20)Listen to your body. Sometimes it knows what's better for you than your brain, which is stuck behind distorting filters and hung up on habits and preconceived notions. It might be telling you to slow down, or that you're attracted to someone who's not "your type" (as you imagined it), or any number of other messages that are pretty clear, once you decide to pay attention to them. This week, your mission is to do exactly that: Figure out what your body has to tell you, why it may be in conflict with your heart or mind, and what you ought to do about it.

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