The ancient tragedian of Athens Euripides understood that good stories are set up that way from the start, and the converse is also true. "A bad beginning makes a bad ending," he said, and you might say the same today. First impressions will matter, and red flags are not to be ignored, as Venus and Jupiter square off in a cosmic warning pattern.
ARIES (March 21-April 19). Unless this story is a melodrama, the hero won't be the seemingly perfect character who always does what's right, and the villain won't be sheer evil, either. The hero is flawed but bold. The villain is well-meaning but ill-advised.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Your needs, wants and future projections are changing. Don't be intimidated by accounting! You're probably doing fine, but you won't really know until you shore up the short-term gains against the long-term costs.
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). The mind at work won't be a tight essay or neat math problem; rather, it will resemble a rambling, shapeless amoeba gaining organization as it finds the direction of growth. In other words, be patient. The ideas are still forming.
CANCER (June 22-July 22). There are certain qualities that are more universally attractive than others. Still, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to love. Generic attributes aside, affinity will be created through your individual intelligence and sparkle.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). On your way to fun and success you'll blow past obstacles that used to stop you. Maturity is realizing that most inconveniences are not catastrophes and unfortunate events don't define you or automatically dictate your mood.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Growth is uncomfortable. It entails understanding what you couldn't conceive, feeling what you've never felt, doing what you haven't done. Be patient in these early stages. Maybe this whole lifetime is just one long early stage.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). No one gets into the boxing ring without getting punched. No one gets into pool without getting wet. The correct time to be aware of the tone of a place and the game that's being played there is before entering.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). When dealing with yourself, try and provide the same atmosphere of warmth you so hospitably use in your approach to others. It will make change less scary. The change most needed is small, specific and personal.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). You're large and in charge sitting at the royal throne of your life, and yet you realize, as most rulers do, much that happens in your kingdom is beyond your control. Calmly handle what can be handled.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). There's an art to giving and receiving. Wasted is the opportunity given to one who is ignorant of its significance. If you're going to ask for more of anything today, ask for more wisdom. You just might get more happiness, too.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Professionals see rejection as inevitable. Superstars see rejection as a skill. When you're good at rejection you learn more, take the idea to more people, pitch more and ultimately succeed more.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Like most people, most of the time you're the one on your mind. Hey, taking care of your own needs and happiness serves all. That said, the hours you spend focusing on someone else's enjoyment will be the best of the day.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (Aug. 17). Truly your life is becoming more beautiful. Social stars are rising. Love is at the helm. You'll invite people to visit your work and living space, which will inspire new designs and systems. November brings promotion. You'll spend on yourself in 2018 (without guilt!) and the investment pays in unexpected ways. Taurus and Scorpio adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 8, 18, 44, 9 and 12.
ECLIPSE FORECAST BY SIGN: Wisdom for your sign brought to you by the great American eclipse 2017, occurring Aug. 21.
CAPRICORN: Gratefulness is a tenet of of good living, sure, but sometimes it feels like if one more person mentions "gratitude journal" or anything related, you've no choice but to unfriend. It's because to you appreciation is specific, private, and sacred. You don't like to be told what to be grateful for. You'll find it yourself and feel it deeply with this eclipse.
AQUARIUS: It's a desert island situation. What would you bring? What's the one thing, person, song, possession, entertainment you wouldn't want to live without? And what if you lost even that? Because in the human realm, loss is the greatest teacher. Even imagined loss comes with lessons. It certainly gets you back in touch with all that you cherish.
PISCES: Of course love is a game. If it weren't, we wouldn't call people "players," or "cheaters." We wouldn't have to "win" a heart or think of others in the room as "competition." As the sun ducks behind the moon, love's game will be of the hide and seek variety. And if you don't know where to look for someone, the thing to do is to patiently wait until he or she grows weary of hiding.
CELEBRITY PROFILES: Widely considered to be the greatest actor of his time, Robert De Niro mixes fire-sign passion with a workman approach to his craft. The Leo master was born under an artistic Pisces moon and has natal Mercury and Venus in Virgo, the sign of industriousness and growth. This fall De Niro will go to war with his grandchild over a shared bedroom in the family comedy "The War With Grandpa."
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