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IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY

You won't lack for passion this year, or energy, or self-belief, but if you want to make the most of them you have got to be sensible about your ambitions. You have also got to put your own interests first. Don't get distracted by the world and its woes.

ARIES (March 21 – April 20):

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If you don't feel much like socializing today then don't force yourself. Aries is an independent sign by nature and you are entitled to your own space. If others find that hard to understand you will soon clue them in to the new reality.

TAURUS (April 21 – May 21):

There is no point blaming yourself for things that were either not your fault or you had no way of knowing were going to occur, and there is no point regretting the past because you cannot go back and change it. Instead, create yourself a better future.

GEMINI (May 22 – June 21):

It's good to be assertive but don't start thinking you can do as you please. If you blatantly break the rules today, or over the coming week, you could find yourself in trouble with people who will enjoy making life difficult for you. Be careful.

CANCER (June 22 – July 23):

You have absolutely nothing to worry about, but for some strange reason you fear that disaster is waiting round the next corner. Rest assured it is just your mind playing tricks on you. Force yourself to be positive today and nothing bad will happen.

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LEO (July 24 – Aug. 23):

You may think you are smart enough to cut corners and break rules but your solar chart warns that isn't so. The universe makes sure that both good deeds and bad deeds are properly rewarded and punished, so stick to the straight and narrow.

VIRGO (Aug. 24 – Sept. 23):

Other people can act dishonestly if they so wish but you must not follow their lead. Don't waste time condemning them either – just stick to your own high standards of behaviour and trust that others will be inspired by your integrity.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 – Oct. 23):

At some stage today you will have to admit that you have bitten off more than you can chew. With Mars opposing Jupiter in your sign you may feel driven to show what you can do but those who aim too high always fall eventually.

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SCORPIO (Oct. 24 – Nov. 22):

Cosmic activity in your fellow water sign of Pisces endows you with limitless self-confidence but other influences warn you cannot afford to take anything for granted this week. Everyone has limits, yes even a Scorpio. Know yours and respect them.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 – Dec. 21):

Whatever it is you have to give up over the next few days you will more than make up for it toward the end of next month when the sun moves in your favour again. Don't try to hold on to possessions that you clearly no longer need.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 – Jan. 20):

Today's Mars-Uranus link warns you must steer clear of disputes that have nothing to do with you. The more others try to draw you into their quarrels the more you must resist. That applies doubly to family matters – you cannot possibly win.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 – Feb. 19):

You will hear no end of sob stories over the next few days and you must ignore them all. That may sound unkind but the planets warn if you allow your generous nature to get the better of you it won't be long before your pockets are empty.

PISCES (Feb. 20 – Mar. 20):

Sometimes you are hesitant and suspicious and sometimes you are so daring that it's scary. Today's Mars-Uranus link warns that accidents are likely if you position yourself at either of those extremes. The middle ground is by far the safest ground.

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

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