IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY

It's one thing to talk about what you believe in but quite another thing to put everything on the line and fight for it. At some stage over the coming 12 months you will be asked to commit yourself to a cause. What will your answer be?

ARIES (March 21 – April 20):

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Important and influential people will look on you kindly over the next few days, so if there is anything you want to do that you think they might be able to help you with, don't be shy, just ask. A shy Aries – really?

TAURUS (April 21 – May 21):

You will have plenty to think about this weekend and once your mind gets going it will be as if the outside world no longer exists. Some philosophers say that it doesn't exist, that it's a holographic illusion. Something else to think about!

GEMINI (May 22 – June 21):

Mars in your opposite sign brings differences with other people sharply into focus and there may be times this weekend when tempers get frayed. But don't look at that as a bad thing. From conflict comes collaboration and, eventually, understanding.

CANCER (June 22 – July 23):

You must keep channels of communication open, even if you don't want to have much to do with the world. You may not be the most outgoing member of the zodiac but it will pay you, professionally and financially, to open up a bit now.

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LEO (July 24 – Aug. 23):

Try not to get bogged down in details over the next 48 hours. Saturn's influence will make it easy to focus too intently on minor matters when what you should be doing is expanding your awareness so you can take in more of the "bigger picture".

VIRGO (Aug. 24 – Sept. 23):

Yes, of course, you should be thankful for what you've got but that does not mean you cannot strive for more. Mercury's link to Mars will encourage you to embark on a brand new adventure, one that may be very different to what you've done before.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 – Oct. 23):

Try to see people as they really are, not as you would like them to be. The planets warn that your desire for harmony at any price could lead to you assuming that others have the same generous motives as you. Many do, but some don't.

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SCORPIO (Oct. 24 – Nov. 22):

A money-making scheme of some kind may tempt you to put your hand in your pocket this weekend but before you hand over any cash make sure you know what the risks are. It's not just about courage, it's about common sense too.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 – Dec. 21):

Don't worry if you have been held back in some way over the past few days. Mars in your sign will give you a new lease of life and before you know it you'll be flying again. Get out into the world and make a name for yourself.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 – Jan. 20):

Act as if you cannot fail, and you won't. Your mind is a powerful tool and with Mercury linked in a positive way to Mars today your dreams can quite easily be turned into realities – so think big, act big and enjoy huge rewards.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 – Feb. 19):

The current cosmic set-up is nudging you, none too subtly, to confront your fears and then overcome them. Most likely you will discover that what you were worrying yourself sick about is of little consequence – that's if it exists at all.

PISCES (Feb. 20 – Mar. 20):

Don't waste your time trying to convince people who don't share your values that you are right and they are wrong. The best you can do, today and any other day, is to agree to disagree and steer clear of topics that are likely to be contentious.

For your extended forecast, call 1-900-783-8333, or 1-877-976-1414 for credit-card access. Calls cost $1.49 per minute.