It is said that hurt people hurt people — something to take into consideration in approaching the injured, especially the heart-wounded. Venus and Neptune conjoin for empathy and introspection. This should help, as will keeping in mind that people often don't advertise their woes. You can't go wrong with tenderness across the board.
ARIES (March 21-April 19). Triumph always goes to those who endure, the reason being that endurance itself is the triumph. Wins are celebrated and then forgotten. Attendance records remain.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You weren't aware while it was happening, but you've changed. You're different. For this reason, you can't go back and continue the old scene; you can only return to transcend it. You can only go back as the new you.
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You've a gift for knowing the right thing to say. It sometimes means being frank or crass. You cater the style to the audience. Even so, there will be instances when words just aren't the medium — action is.
CANCER (June 22-July 22). Would you believe that people working together form an enticement that's even stronger than people playing together? It's because there's great comfort in the structure of work. Jobs build bonds.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). When you really think about those you serve, your job becomes easier. You expend less effort guessing about what to do and hone in with great empathy on those who need what you can give.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). In moments of loss, people cannot see what will be gained. But you've been through enough life to know that what's gained is often such a better fit. So you trust life, and help others trust, too.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Yes, you are the sign of the scales. That doesn't mean you were meant to be stuck in a back-and-forth pattern. When balance is hard to achieve, maybe you're measuring the wrong things. Time to reassess your values.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Just because a thing must be dealt with doesn't mean it must be tackled head-on. Sidle up. That's a nonconfrontational position that many people respond well to.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Maybe the key to your happiness is one of those automatic ones that stays in your pocket and unlocks when you're near enough to the door. More likely, your happiness can be unlocked through face recognition.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Anxious about the future? Make a plan. Anxious about the plan? Do a brainstorm. Anxious about a brainstorm? Just keep your hand moving around the page and all kinds of answers will come.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Direct loving kindness inwardly follows up as the Metta meditators do with a sequence of compassion that expands evermore inclusively toward loved ones, strangers, enemies and the far reaches of the universe.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Success is within your control. You just don't know what to do yet. It will be tempting to dive in, but it's better to start with research. A systematic approach will take you far.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (Jan. 27). You've seen earthquakes of the soul; you've stood in the ruins; you've built the new city. Now you'll draw on those experiences and start running things. You'll learn whom to trust, lean on, delegate to. You're ultra-organized, and your sense of purpose carries over to others. Summer brings foreign travel. Taurus and Virgo adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 2, 39, 33, 18 and 45.
APOTROPAIC SYMBOLS (PART 1) Recently, a historic society in England called on the public to report instances of engraved symbols in medieval churches, houses, barns, caves and more so that photographs and information can be collected regarding these mysterious markings. The representations, often scratched in doorways or over hearths, vary widely: interlinked circles, stars, acute and reflex angles, and more. Because it is believed they were scratched into these surfaces either by witches or to ward off witches and other evil spirits, the name given here is "apotropaic," a Greek derivation describing a turn away from evil.
In modern traditions of self-help and spirituality, there is a trend toward wielding powers of attraction, one of the tenets being that we magnetize what we focus on. Under this logic, tokens created to scare away bad things cannot help but also be representations of the very thing they oppose, and will attract accordingly. In the way that gargoyles give off a creepy vibe, and attack dogs, guns and the like let the enemy know to come armed, bad-luck deflectors often seem to call up bad luck. (This is why "Harry Potter" stories feature an enemy who must not be named.) Perhaps good-luck charms are of much greater use than bad-luck deflectors that keep one's focus on fear and the worst that can happen.
CELEBRITY PROFILES: When Patton Oswalt is not headlining comedy clubs or starring in an endless stream of film and television shows, he's commanding millions of followers on Twitter with his biting wit. This would seem an extreme workload for some, but the high-energy Aquarian brainiac born under five air sign planets is uniquely equipped for the job. This is a mind that never stops!
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