Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Lately, you’ve been craving imperfection. You’ve enjoyed your toast a little burnt, your clothing slightly frayed and your apartment three degrees away from an ideal temperature. It’s not that you’ve finally accepted that the world isn’t perfect, or that you’ve become that much more appreciative of those imperfections (though you have). No, it’s just that you’re inching closer to the realization I’ve been goading you toward all along. You can’t be the missing piece to every puzzle. The irony is that once you accept the imperfections in yourself, you’ll fit that much more perfectly into this most imperfect world.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
You spend your days busily zooming from one responsibility to the next. You respond to the needs and demands of others like a good worker bee in a well-ordered hive responds to the instructions of her fellows. She dutifully—one could even say delightedly—flies to flowers as directed, and gathers the nectar she’s supposed to collect. But when you’re conked on the head by the plummeting coconut of one of your own desires, you end up buzzing around in confused circles for a while. That’s been your life recently. But now that you’ve had time to recover from the impact of this want that has made itself so forcefully known, what will you do about it?
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
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. Shouldn’t you?
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
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). Don’t practice kicking your own ass this week, nor implicating yourself in plots you’re innocent of, just because they sound 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.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Reflect on the oyster, that underrated and overexploited little mollusk. They have to evade and resist 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 bobs 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.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
When I close a really good book, I often feel emotionally shipwrecked. I’m not usually responding to any specific events in the novel. It’s just that finally leaving characters and their absorbing reality is almost like being abandoned on a deserted island, or perhaps being returned to civilization after a long, lonely stay on one. It’s a mixture of relief and loss, similar to how one might react to the death of someone who’s suffered a prolonged, painful illness. This week you might experience a strange blend of emotions that aren’t necessarily comfortable sleeping next to each other. Then again, you’ve had some pretty odd bedfellows yourself.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Last night I dreamt I was invited to a New Year’s party. Shit, I thought to myself, autumn really flew by! Seemed like it was still summer yesterday, and we still had a few months to go! 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 2013? I’m worried you’re not determined enough to actually get it together. Luckily, you have a few months to prove me wrong.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
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 part-time trusty sidekick, but that doesn’t do much to foster a sense of community, does it? What can you do to change this solitary destiny? Engage others, of course! Easier said than done, but this week, concentrate on how someone of your unique talents and status might bring people together, instead of just impressing/intimidating them.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You’re capable of accomplishing just as much as your fellow Earth signs, though your methods differ. Virgo flits constantly from duty to duty, as quick and nervous as a hummingbird. Capricorn executes tasks as calmly and efficiently as a robot. You take longer to get going. Like your animal symbol, the bull, you know all too well the pleasures of relaxing in the shade of a cork tree and chewing your cud. But once in motion, you’re nearly impossible to stop. Since the obligations of the weeks ahead aren’t going to complete themselves, you might want to start stretching your legs and sharpening your horns: it’s almost time for a full-on charge.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This is a good week to start growing a ’fro that requires you to duck to pass through doorways, or to wear padded underwear or shoes three sizes too large. Heck, put on one of those adorable Sumo wrestler fat suits. Anything that helps you to take up more space than you’re accustomed to would be good. I perceive that your achievements have been limited and compromised—not by your ability or efficiency, but by not giving yourself enough room to move. This week, get used to taking the space you need to do what you’ve got to do.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The world isn’t always such a comfortable place. Your feet ache from standing in lines, your ass is punished by hard plastic seats, noise pollution violates your thoughts. That’s why it’s so easy to understand and appreciate your powerful nesting instinct, your inordinate fondness for an abundance of pillows, thick, terry cloth bathrobes, hot bubble baths, good food, mellow wine and tender romance. You’re just trying to make a few soft places in a sometimes hard, angular and imposing world. This week, you’re likely to miss the cozy nooks you’ve created for yourself—but not that much, as you’ll be busy discovering and enjoying some of the sweet comfort zones made by other homebodies like you.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
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 excited that things gotten this extreme, but you’ve also never been great at that cheesy movie banter that extricates our Hollywood heroes from 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.