The reverberations of Saturn's recent opposition to the sun may be making life more complex in our heads as we sort out what we've learned from our mistakes. Assess and then make new rules for going forward, because "forward" happens tomorrow with a square of Mars and Neptune that brings challenge No. 1.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Are happy endings overrated? Logical beginnings and middles have been known to happen, but not in the more celebrated stories. Embrace the haphazard qualities of the day.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). In the gem-polishing business, friction is the answer. Character-polishing is the same. It's the moments that don't work easily, that push you up against something, that will make you shine.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). When they say, "You're so lucky," you might agree. But internally, you know it's not luck. It's acting sensibly, seizing the opportunities that come when you're doing the work.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Some people think communication means everyone agreeing with everyone. That's not communication; it's complacency. Tonight, you'll be holding a candle to lead people to the light.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). The things people say out of grief are usually quite true, and yet they are the murkier, darker parts of truth that may not be applicable in the light of a good day.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Persistence teaches you who you are. You wouldn't know persistence unless you encountered the kind of obstacles (which mostly come in the form of the word "no") you'll meet today.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). In order to appreciate what you learn, you sometimes have to arrange what you already know — put it all in a pleasing position in your mind. This framing may take hours, but it will be worth the effort.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Listening to the music without the words or looking at the picture without context — it just doesn't work for you. Language and graphics go together pleasingly, tying up a happy bow in your psyche.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). If you don't know what to do, tell the truth. Good, bad or ugly, that's what will get everyone to the heart of the matter, and in the end, it's what's right and best for all.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Try to rise above the marginal advice and lame attempts at guidance. It's not a matter of winning or losing now.

You need to succeed by doing what's necessary to get there.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You'll apply yourself and come up with a very sound way of dealing with dilemmas. Even though it might not feel like it, you're lucky to have these kinds of quality problems.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Who puts a smile on your face? That's the one you want to be around more often. People who make you happy should not be underestimated in the scheme of your life.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (May 24). As far as love goes, you can't coast on your past successes. No one can. That's why you make an effort to build beautiful, exciting moments with people all year long. The money in June comes as easily as pennies from heaven. August will challenge you to make your domestic life smoother and prettier. Capricorn and Virgo people adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 3, 2, 22, 9 and 40.

FORECAST FOR THE WEEK AHEAD: Where there is little room for compromise, there's a lot of room for stress and strain. Go to that heavenly place in your mind for relief and relaxation. What? You don't have a place like that? This is the ideal time to create one. Neptune will help, even though he's involved in his own battle with Mars, an aspect whose impact is strongest on Monday, May 25. The stars are showing no mercy for Memorial Day weekend, but the positive part comes by way of the reasonable Virgo Moon, ready to temper the hotheads and throw a long light on triggers of impulse. If you put safety first and make health a close second, much trouble can be avoided.

On Wednesday, a brief meeting of Mercury and Mars in Gemini is in favor of talking through your joys and woes with friends. Connecting and joking around through text, going heavy on the emoticons, may be even better under this lighthearted conjunction.

On Friday, Mercury challenges Neptune, and our dreams get challenged, too. Be aware: Projects may be met with just the "no" answer that motivates a harder try, or just the false "yes" answer that stalls the whole deal. Don't be too eager to get into a relationship before you really know someone.

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Bob Dylan is music royalty, but that is an understatement on his role as an artist. The work of this Gemini troubadour has reflected the thinking of a generation and shaped it, too. His sun, Mercury and Venus are in intellectual Gemini. His moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus are in uncompromising Taurus, the sign of endurance. The tireless poet continues to be one of the most prolific forces in music.

If you would like to write to Holiday Mathis, please go to www.creators.com and click on "Write the Author" on the Holiday Mathis page, or you may send her a postcard in the mail. To find out more about Holiday Mathis and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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