Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
When we punish others, be they children, employees, or lovers, the main intention is to try to get them to avoid certain undesirable behavior in the future. So many of the things we inflict by way of disciplinary instruction miss the mark, leaving the person wondering what they did wrong, with no clue how to avoid such treatment in the future. If you feel the need for such action, first question whether it’s really your place to dish it out. If you decide it is, make sure what you do makes it abundantly clear what they did. Don’t trust people to connect the dots on their own. They’ll end up with a completely different picture than you imagined.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Usually at this time of year, I’m keen to advise people to make a fresh start. Marshall your intentions, I say, and make shit happen. I’m feeling too cynical for that. You shouldn’t need an excuse like New Year’s to initiate changes in your life. Either you’re ready to manifest them or you’re not, and their association with the first of the year won’t matter one iota. Make shit happen, if you’re ready. If you’re not, maybe just figure out what it’ll take for you to be ready. There’s no perfect time for manifesting new stuff in your life; only the time you make. When will you make that time, and when will you start? This week may not necessarily be better than the rest, but it’s as good as any.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
I usually have the hardest time writing advice for you, Pisces. What do I tell a crowd of utterly unique, idiosyncratic weirdos who are going to do exactly what they want anyway? Anyone who deludes themselves that they have an especially effective influence over you is kind of dumb. While you can be easily swayed in the moment, getting you to move consistently in any one direction is harder than herding house cats. Therefore, my advice is really for those who have to deal with you. Tell them from me, please, to chill out. You can’t be controlled; the best have tried. They need not bother.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
There’s no need to react to everything that happens around you. I know you rams like to think that the world revolves around you, but it actually doesn’t, most of the time. Much of what occurs around you has nothing to do with you, regardless of how quick you are to stick your nose in and get involved (whether or not you’ve been asked). You take events so personally that sometimes I wonder if you’ve forgotten how to let things slide, or just ignore them. That’s not only a viable strategy this week, it may be the optimal one.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Tearing up the note carrying an undesirable message doesn’t erase it from your brain. Killing the messenger or purging your email account are equally ineffective, even if they are momentarily satisfying. Eventually you’ll have to address what you know, like it or not. You rationally know that you can’t put it off forever, or even for long. Once you accept that, it’s not so huge a leap to “better sooner than later.” Quit plotting fantasy homicide on the person who brought you the news you didn’t want to hear, and just deal with it already.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
In most cases, asking your dad for fashion advice is a bad idea. Similarly, going to your chronically single friends for wisdom about your relationship, or asking your kids how to resist the perils of aging wouldn’t be all that useful. Too often I see you going to exactly the wrong people for advice. Worse, you take it! This week, let’s try something different. Consider your problem, and instead of just thinking, “Who do I like the best or trust the most?” think, “Who could take care of this without breaking a sweat?” Then forget who your best friend is and go ask that person what to do.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Sometimes you can tell the second your eyes open in the morning that it’s going to be a crap day. Some days it’s noon before you figure it out. Whatever the case, have you noticed that once you’ve noticed, it’s hard to turn things around? Funny thing about that. Try something different this week. When things suck, instead of deciding that’s how they’ll be, try thinking instead, “Well, the day can only get better from here.” Leave out the sarcasm, if you will. You might be deluding yourself (and certainly if you secretly believe they won’t, you’re shit out of luck), but if you believe it fervently enough, you ought to have at least a chance of making it come true.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
You were impatiently watching the seconds tick by at work, then fifteen minutes before the end of your shift, your boss demands that you stay a few extra hours. Shit! More time in captivity, just when you thought you were home free! This week is sure to be a test of not only the control freak in you, who detests the unexpected, but also the proud lion who hates being subject to the will of others in any case. You may have to exercise every shred of flexibility, patience, and humility you possess just to get through the week. Fortunately, if you do, you’ll be a much better person for it.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
When an infant is curious about something, they put it in their mouth. Eventually, most of us develop more sophisticated ways to figure out what things are and whether or not they’re good for us. However some of us still frequently stop short of using our full faculties. Because something merely looks or sounds a certain way, we decide that’s what it is. The truth is far more subtle. Make sure you’re using your brain, your gut, your common sense. Read between the lines. Then read between those lines. Then you might have some idea what you’re really looking at.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
When you’re as dependent on external factors as you are, there’s no point in getting all impatient and controlling. Either you need to free yourself from all these dependencies entirely, or you need to get better at playing the waiting game. Either is an option, though the former would require much more work, since it would involve many external changes. You ought to choose one of these alternatives, however, before you go nuts. Which would you prefer making, many small external changes, or one large internal one? Only you can decide which will work out better in the long run, but please don’t take your time about it. This week is better than most to pick and stick to your new direction, whatever it is.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Bitter cold weather is bearable with the proper gear. Try to go out in 40-below weather wearing just a sweatshirt, though, and you’ll be a very sad panda. Don layers of long undies and a parka and you’ll be in better shape. You can handle the extreme conditions before you; you just need to make the appropriate preparations. This applies to harsh emotional environments as well as the real weather outside. Don’t go naked into a hostile situation. It’s good to be open and receptive when everything is sunshine and rainbows. When there’s a storm brewing, bring a damn umbrella.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Children have to be taught to practice cleanliness. Left to their own devices, they’d mostly remain reeking and filthy. Many of our best habits are those we consciously learn and practice; they don’t simply come naturally to us. Unless you’ve taken the time to adopt and really drill some better habits, chances are you’ve got a few really sloppy tendencies floating around, basically the equivalent of not bothering to ever shower or change your clothes. If people haven’t mentioned them, it may be that they’re too shocked or polite. Try to figure it out; if you’ve been acting like a child in some way, this is a good week to remedy that.
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