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HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012: This year you will become far more assertive than in years past. Often, a misunderstanding develops out of nowhere, or people distance themselves. Others simply might be responding to your attitude. If single, you will want to meet a like-minded person. If attached, the two of you seem to have a natural pace. You understand each other well. Dote on this person. Scorpio can hold you back. A baby born today has a sun in Virgo and a moon in Scorpio.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) • • • • How you focus your energy will change substantially. You suddenly will concentrate on joint financial matters and agreements.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) • • • • • Your popularity seems to soar. Do not question the moment; simply enjoy it. You also discover that someone is on your case, whether you feel this is fair or not.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) • • • • • Your ability to do research and find answers emerges, perhaps by necessity. Confusion seems to surround a key question.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) • • • • • You have a big imagination. Often, that can be a positive thing, and other times this gift can be a double-edged sword.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) • • • Stress has a way of building if you are not careful, especially if there is a misunderstanding between you and someone else.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) • • • • You might be more out of sorts than you realize. Could you be misinterpreting others’ words? Don’t read too much into what is being said.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) • • • • • Keep expressing your feelings, but do not be surprised if you get an odd reaction midway. Be generous when dealing with this person.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) • • • • • You are in your element. You could be confused by a boss or older friend. This person not only is confusing you, but also him- or herself, the more he or she talks.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) • • • Know when to pull back. You might feel as if you must do something, but in reality you do not know what that is.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) • • • • You know what you want, and you know that you have no interest in stopping. You will be more centered than you have been in a while.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) • • • Note how much pressure builds to get you to do certain things in a particular way. Explain why you do what you do. The more you are pushed, the more you push back.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) • • • • • You want more information, and you are determined to get it. An initial attempt at being direct might not work, and actually could backfire.