BIRTHDAY GUY: Actor Ian Somerhalder was born in Covington, La., on this day in 1978. This birthday guy currently stars as Damon Salvatore on the series "The Vampire Diaries." He also portrayed Boone Carlyle on the hit series "Lost" and had recurring roles on "Tell Me You Love Me" and "Smallville." His film credits include "The Rules of Attraction," "Pulse" and "The Tournament."

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Tricks are for kids. Aim all of your energies into worthy constructive activities, even if you are tempted to spin your wheels pursuing a fantasy. It is impractical to play some whimsical practical jokes.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Seek helpful friends who will support your objectives. With the moon in your sign, you could be more concerned about your own feelings than someone else's. Some selfishness is to be expected.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): They say you can't have too many friends. But you must realize that often those whom you consider friends are mere acquaintances. A common interest does not provide you with emotional support.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Avoid making large credit purchases. Money you don't have yet could burn a hole in your pocket. It can be too tempting to reshuffle your financial obligations or please your partner by buying a major gift.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Use your powers of observation to gather hints about the current atmosphere. Avoid becoming embroiled in brief disputes. Taking aggressive action could produce a backlash right now. Stick to the tried and true.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Make headway reaching your goals - even when corralled by circumstances beyond your control. A little light may go on that illuminates your piggy bank; you could see ways to make a few extra pennies.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Passing frustrations will soon be a memory. If mistakes are made, it is best to be honest and up front while a brief judgmental storm passes through. Avoid nitpickers unless you want ideas picked apart.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Avoid pushing forward your own agenda. A brief foray into fads and fancies might easily aggravate someone who has a robust and passionate work ethic. Toe the proverbial line and exert extra effort.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Ask not what your friends can do for you, but what you can do for your friends. You may be amazed at the many helpful insights discussed today that can quickly solve problems.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Caught between a rock and a hard place? Troubles that are highlighted now could require your immediate attention. It may, however, be impossible to make necessary repairs without repercussions elsewhere.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You could or feel that your creative energies are at a low point. Quit knocking your head against a brick wall and reassess your long-term goals. Pick up the phone and talk things over with trusted friends.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Focus on faith. You might feel a bit lost when things don't go your way, but help will arrive soon. The best results will be obtained by maintaining a cautious and conservative stance when faced with disagreement.

IF DECEMBER 8 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: It is quite possible that you will be faced with tricky choices in December and January. In some areas of life, you can get by through charm and graciousness. In other areas, however, you could face distractions that go against the grain. Remain balanced and wait until late February or early March to make key changes to your finances or job. That is when your practical sense is at its best and your business assessments will be right on the mark. If you work hard, rewards will come your way in April or opportunities to better yourself will drop in your lap.


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