Sign Language

Leo  (July 23-Aug. 22)

Just because you now have serious bargaining leverage doesn't mean you necessarily have to (or should) use it. In fact, the classier way to go is to not mention it at all. Oh, it's on the table—there's not much anyone can do about that. But by not overtly and explicitly involving it in whatever negotiations you're having, you're taking the high road and allowing things to play out in a way that'll hopefully lead to a resolution that's satisfactory to everyone, not just you. Ultimately, that's the better end result, even if you personally don't get the absolute best deal you might have. Trust me on this.

Virgo  (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Discrimination happens all the time. Unfortunately, no one's figured out how to rid the world of prejudice and bigotry in one fell swoop. So far, the best way to do so is one person at a time, usually through personal interaction. Surprising people out of their unfair assumptions, while time-consuming and occasionally difficult, is satisfying and obviously in your best interest right now; therefore, make sure you give it the proper amount of attention this week. You'll have numerous opportunities to enlighten and/or slap awake people who are in desperate need of it. Seize them, please.

Libra  (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

I'm almost certain your suspicions about someone you love are, if not totally unfounded, mostly false. However, living with your paranoia can't be fun, nor healthy, so finding a way to resolve it should be your priority this week. Hopefully, a respectful, open conversation is possible, because that'd be the best way to figure out what's really going on, and certainly cheaper and easier than some of the alternatives (like hiring a private investigator). However, if you really can't see swinging that frank exchange (or won't buy what's said, regardless) you may have to go another route. Ultimately, do what you must to get over this, now.

Scorpio  (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Denying your dark or negative feelings will probably only make them stronger, more pervasive, and relentless. Therefore, don't. However, dwelling on them is equally unlikely to help matters. Instead of trying to shut out the darkness (which, perversely, is part of your strength), simply attempt to inject more light into your life. Get involved in something that will counter, in some way, your own internal negative forces. This may involve shuffling things around so you have time, money, or energy for a new activity. For the sake of your mental and emotional health, don't be lazy; get on it.

Sagittarius  (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Guilt isn't often a useful emotion. That's not to say you should try to ignore it when it happens—it's probably conveying fairly valuable information. However, dwelling on it isn't helping anyone. Here's what you should get out of guilt: "Shit, I should never do anything like that again; meanwhile, what can I do to fix the situation?" Once you've addressed that basic thought, move on and let it go—beyond that, it's not doing anyone any good. In other words, don't wallow. Action is the only panacea when you feel the way you do.

Capricorn  (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

There are people (I call them trolls) who enjoy nothing more than lurking about, waiting for opportunities to stir up shit. They goad people into episodes of anger, bouts of frustration, and fits of crying, apparently for no other reason than they seem to enjoy seeing it happen. Often, they're very good at finding ways to get people to engage with their bullshit, employing multiple strategies—if one doesn't work, they'll try another. Unfortunately, there's no winning here: Even if they're "wrong" and you're "right," that's just not the point. The only viable strategy is walking away without giving them a drop of energy, which is often very hard to do. Nevertheless, you should try.

Aquarius  (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

So the utopian fantasy you dreamed about didn't pan out (guess what: They never do). Forget your disappointment and disillusionment for a second, and especially try to ignore that "grass is always greener" thing, which is sure to crop up right around now. The truth is, everything looks shinier from a distance; once you get close up, you see all the flaws, inconsistencies, and problems. The ones here may indeed prove to be too much to accept. But before you conclude that for sure, take another look, and remember that it's probably this bad (or worse) anywhere else, and ask yourself: Is this something you could, on second thought, learn to live with?

Pisces  (Feb. 19-March 20)

Vacations (or the ever more popular "stay-cations") should be departures from ordinary life. It's especially important for you Fish to shake things up periodically and experience radically different versions of reality, so you don't get stuck in one particular aspect of your infinite self. The next chance you have, make sure you get out there and have an adventure of some type (interpret this as creatively as you wish). Consider it a vacation from any rut you're stuck in (or might be, soon). That's more important than ever, so don't postpone it any longer than you have to.

Aries  (March 21-April 19)

Gloating when life is fantastic is a sure way to jinx it. That's not to say you shouldn't notice and appreciate when things are going well; you should, or you'll be miserable when they take a turn for the worse (which they will, sooner or later). I'm just saying parading your (momentarily) near-perfect life around is only going to make people resent you and hope pianos fall on your head. Instead, use this chance to be even more present, available, and wonderful for those whose lives aren't in such great shape. In other words, spread the joy instead of merely putting it on display; it's the best way to make it last.Taurus  (April 20-May 20)

Every relationship—particularly marriage—is an agreement between two people. The problem is, so often the terms of that agreement aren't explicitly laid out. It's not romantic to discuss some of this stuff! However, when people assume they're on the same page, it leads to unpleasant surprises (and the high divorce rate). Unconditional love is great in theory, but in practice, the kind of sacrifices and concessions serious relationships require deserve some payback—both people have to be getting something valuable out of it. Making sure you will, before you sign the papers, buy the ring, etc, just makes sense to me.

Gemini  (May 21-June 20)

Here's what often happens when the "right thing to do" is something unpleasant: People go around asking for advice on the situation . . . and asking . . . and asking—until they find the words that will let them rationalize doing what they actually want to do. This is cheap. Don't do it. Double-checking what you suspect is the case is fine; you might be wrong, after all. But once you get confirmation, don't keep getting second, third, and 13th opinions until you find one that jives with what you secretly want to do. If you want to do the wrong thing, maybe you should, but own it, and make sure you can live with having done it—before you actually go there.

Cancer  (June 21-July 22)

The recession has forced unpleasant choices on almost everyone, but what it shouldn't do is put a serious hitch in your romantic life. Moving in prematurely (or continuing to live with your ex) for economic reasons is a bad idea no matter what, for example. You need to find ways to separate out your economic reality from your emotional one. It's perfectly possible to be happy (and/or in love) and be poor as dirt; it just requires being a little more creative and resourceful than those who can afford endless floral bouquets and dinners in fancy restaurants.

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