Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) You're back-to-back with your fiercest opponent. According to good ol' Western tradition, you're both supposed to walk 10 paces in opposite directions, turn and shoot. Fastest draw wins. I know you're not psyched that things have come to us, but you've also never been too good at that cheesy movie banter that gets our Hollywood heroes out of situations like this. Bad humor isn't your strong suit, fortunately for the rest of us. It never works in real life anyway. So how can you defuse the situation? Try swallowing your pride. It should go down easier than any bullet, either literal or figurative.
Aries (March 21-April 19) Last night I dreamt I was invited to a New Year's party. "Shit," I thought to myself, "this year really flew by. Seems like Jan. 1 was just a few weeks ago!" Luckily, several people had pulled together a fabulous outfit for me (it was a costume party) and taken care of every detail of my attendance. When I woke up, I thought of you?will people still be taking care of your shit (including the fun you have) come 2001? I'm worried you're not determined enough to actually get it together. Luckily, you have a whole year to prove me wrong.
Taurus (April 20-May 20) Fact one: Your perceived value is directly proportional to your sense of self-worth. Example: Any 50-dollar whore could command a hundred if she just felt good enough about herself. Fact two: Tilting the board is not an effective way (if you want to keep anyone's respect) to win "the game," whatever you're playing. But you can make up your own rules (as long as they apply to everybody). Example: People aren't taught to color outside the lines, but they'll jump at the chance if you give it to them.
Gemini (May 21-June 20) I love fucking with my sense of reality; in fact, layering surrealities is a favorite pastime of mine. For instance, I can't be satisfied with how weird India already is. I add my own bizarre fantasies (like pretending that the water buffalo?whose large, gentle eyes I love?wandering the streets are actually an intelligent alien race with purposes of their own) to spice it up. I mention my craving for strangeness because your own wild life might seem a little out of control this week. Never fear?your idea of what's "normal" is still there, just buried under onionskin layers of oddities. Keep peeling. Things should return to the pace you're used to. Or follow my example and just bite in?you might like the flavor.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) This week, reflect on the oyster, that underrated and overexploited little mollusk. Oysters don't have it easy, you know. First they have to evade and resist the prying fingers and hungry mouths eager to pluck them out of their protective shells and slurp them down, raw. (Blech.) If they avoid this gruesome fate, they've still got to cope with the bits and bats that end up inside their shells and irritate their tender flesh. The bad news: you feel a lot like these underrated creatures lately. The good news: your constant worrying and fretting about your past?every careless word, remembered failure and missed chance?will yield results. You ought to be able to permanently expel a few of those irritants, and they won't be as ugly or anticlimactic as gallstones or eye gunk. Nope. This week, you're spitting pearls.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) What's the point of flowers, ultimately? Or butterflies?why are they so colorfully beautiful? From a prosaic viewpoint, one could dispassionately explain the evolutionary advantages of such characteristics. And speaking from the same platform, one of scientific evaluation, one could just as easily dispel your self-doubt by pointing out that you, too (with all your flaws and virtues), are the glorious product of millennia of evolution, with just as much purpose and beauty as a flower or butterfly. I happen to believe that there are many more levels to the "why" of a butterfly's glory (and yours), beyond mere evolution. I also like to imagine that flowers and butterflies enjoy being what they are. Why shouldn't you?
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Dear sweet, useful Virgo: Will you marry me? I promise I'll let you do things (everything, hopefully) for me, take care of me and listen to me. I promise I'll always need you. C'mon, now. Most of you probably wouldn't accept such a selfish, one-sided proposal if it were worded in that way. Then why are you agreeing to basically the same deal without at least the benefit of it all being up-front, aboveboard? Say it with me: Fuck that shit. Make sure you're not getting the splintery end of the stick, again. Make a list, or employ a Libra?be positive that this time things at least start out in balance.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) This is a good week to get caught making faces at yourself in the mirror. It also could be fun to politely reply to rudeness or insult with vicious imprecations in a sweet-sounding foreign language (French is good for this). It's not such a good time to practice kicking your own ass, or to implicate yourself in a plot you're innocent of, just because it sounds cool. Your sense of fairness is as out of tune as an abandoned piano, and missing quite a few notes. My prescription to help you play in key? Choose one: A. Long, deep soul kisses, if they're available. B. An intimate dinner, cooked by you, for all your closest friends. C. A good, hard, cleansing cry?followed by a huge helping of your favorite dessert.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) To create antivenin for one sting from certain scorpion species, it takes the venom from hundreds of the little beasts. The metabolism of one type of scorpion is so slow that as much as a year could pass between meals. Your own special talents are at least this impressive and formidable in their extremity. So why are you offended when people are a little afraid of you? Maybe you could spend a little more time convincing people that these astonishing abilities are resources they can draw on, not ones they should fear.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) We're all in love with that legend-in-your-own-time image you've cultivated around yourself, that of the swashbuckling hero, the rebellious philosopher, the truth-seeking activist. The only problem is?those are all relatively lonely positions. Sure, the lonesome cowboy/girl might have a trusty sidekick, but that doesn't do much to foster a sense of community, does it? This week, concentrate on how someone of your unique talents and status might bring people together, instead of just impressing/intimidating them.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Whoever decided that mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea ought to be shot?with a water pistol, at least. Your quest this year is to prove them wrong?show us all how blending fun and profit is absolutely the way to go. If you don't know of a position where you can get paid to evaluate roller coasters or play dress-up, create one! Now that you're fully aware of this year's mission, you'll be able to keep a better eye out for the clues leading to its fulfillment.