Sign Language

| 17 Feb 2015 | 02:13


    (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

    The sun is shining, birds are singing, people are dancing in the streets. Or are they? You wouldn't know either way this week, because your focus has turned dramatically inward. Your uncharacteristic navel-gazing is bound to raise a few eyebrows and even elicit some (possibly melodramatic) concern, but don't let anyone shake you out of your supposed funk; it's a necessary part of your process at the moment. You've got a lot to think about (or more accurately, feel about, since you already do way too much thinking). Let it happen; what's transpiring outside of you can wait.

    Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

    You've probably already noticed how your social life seems sort of tidal. Weeks of loneliness and isolation are frequently ended by a blizzard of phone calls and e-mails; your social calendar goes from bleak and empty to overflowingly over-booked in a flash. I can't explain this phenomenon any better than you can. What, did these people forget you existed for a while? And why did they all remember at the same time? Whatever the reason-coincidence or cosmic timing-don't question it too much (except for fun). When high tide soaks you up to your chin this week, just ride it.

    Aries (March 21-April 19)

    A surprising amount of what you blame on others (consciously or unconsciously) is actually your fault. You fulfill your own (often negative) expectations, either by subtly acting to make sure things play out the way you "want" them to, or by simply perceiving your situation so that it looks like what you anticipated. How do you overcome these habits of thought? First, you have to accurately identify them. This is the perfect week for that task. Convene your think tank-the ones who know you best. Have them help you identify the top five habits of mind that are keeping you from success, happiness, or love. (By the way, be heartened, not offended, if they can rattle them off in the first two minutes; it means they love you.) Phase two? We'll get to that next week.

    Taurus (April 20-May 20)

    The year is 2020, and you're about to have a child. Before you is a virtual menu of possibilities. How many variables will you choose to control? Will you ensure that your child is more likely to be healthy? How about determining its gender? What about hair, eye and skin color? Penis size? Temperament? Talent? You may find that once you get started, it's difficult to stop. Where, after all, do you draw the line? This week's choices, while perhaps not quite so loaded with far-reaching consequences, are similarly tempting and morally confusing. It may turn out that the fuzzy boundaries are too confusing, so be prepared to make an all-or-nothing decision. That might be your only real choice.

    Gemini (May 21-June 20)

    Media is currently undergoing a bottom-up transformation. Film studios, television producers, and record companies are scrambling to figure out ways to keep their paychecks paid. There's no doubt that these models are dinosaurs, waiting to die. I'm excited to see what new breeds will spring up (and survive) in their places. This week, you're also privy to a long-overdue death-perhaps an attitude, relationship, or obsolete/ineffective way of doing things. Don't panic, like those executives scuttling to save their careers. They're doomed, but you're not. Whatever appears to fill the void is likely to benefit, not hurt, you.

    Cancer (June 21-July 22)

    For those clueless Hallmark devotees who insist on celebrating that lamest of holidays, Valentine's, you're best off doing it early this year, on Sunday night, while the moon's still waxing, nearly full, and in that most luxury-loving and romantic of signs, Leo. Wait until that very arbitrary day, the 14th, and things are bound to feel a bit anti-climactic, despite all the cheesy decorations and other couples also going through the motions. If you really want to feel it, go with Sunday. If it's as good as it ought to be, you can always stage an encore performance (at least of the sex) on Tuesday.


    (July 23-Aug. 22)

    You suck with money. I've never met a Leo who could stick to a tight budget for any length of time. Your motto is basically: "Spend it when you have it, and go without when you don't." Somehow, you've managed to make this zany financial plan work so far-but not without pissing a few people off. Don't worry-there's no chance of cleaning up those messes this week, so I'm not even going to advise you to try. All I'm urging is when you succumb to the powerful temptations of the moment, avoid aggravating anyone else. Don't generate more mess. You can't afford it.

    Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

    You're at the opposite end of the spectrum from those dreamy Pisceans who so attract and frustrate you. But sometimes, oddly, you sound almost alike. They make outrageously accurate predictions based on their own intuition and lucky guesses. You speak out from a place of deep realism and practicality. That your forecasts match up so often is something of a miracle-and evidence that there are many paths and methods to the same destination. Try to remember, and respect, that this week, because your best allies are those whose beliefs, approaches, and work ethics are in absolute contrast to yours, but whose eyes are on the same prize.

    Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

    The new "Battlestar Galactica" television series (now in its second season) has attracted millions of viewers, many of whom don't usually like sci-fi. That's because it's done well on many levels. People are attracted to quality. In fact, if the quality is high enough, it almost doesn't matter what the actual content is. Don't spend so much time trying to figure out "the best" thing to put out there. Just do it really, really well. Your focus on figuring out just the right packaging for whatever you're trying to market-be it an idea, a product or yourself-is mostly a waste of time. Focus on what's inside. Nail that, and you could wrap it in brown paper, and it'd still fly off the shelves.

    Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

    Some people just have an "it" factor. Others find them compelling for reasons they can't articulate. Scorpios, statistically, are much more likely than other signs to possess this elusive quality. However, it's not some multi-purpose silver bullet that just always works. It makes people more likely to buy what you're selling, true-but only if what you're putting out there isn't total crap. Don't lean too hard on your charisma this week. If there are glaring flaws in what you're about, your personal shine won't be bright enough to obscure them, so don't embarrass yourself by trying. Fix them, instead.

    Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Sagittarians are often Jacks and Jills of all trades. That is, you're good at many things, but you're not necessarily superlative at anything (at least, not until later in life). Consequently, many young Archers compensate by adopting gimmicks to attract attention. It's hard, when you're quietly competent all across the board, to achieve the flash-factor that garners the kind of notice you crave, so of course I understand the temptation to adopt some kind of attention-grabbing device. But it's truly unnecessary; there's one thing that all Sags are brilliant at, and which never fails to rivet: radical honesty. Tell the truth, all the time. People will hang on your every word.

    Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

    Patience is, indeed, one of your virtues, but even you have limits. Sometimes things just take too damn long. There's nothing you or I can do about that-we're not in control of these situations. Things take as long as they take, and trying to rush them will just screw them up. It's best that you accept that. But that's no reason you can't get what you want right now. You just need to pursue a different path. Call it a hobby or extracurricular activity. I call it the fast track to your dream. Try it. If you pursue it with the same zeal and, hopefully, a little more joy than your day job, you probably won't need that day job a whole lot longer.