Horoscopes by Holiday

The intent of words is often in conflict with their literal meaning, which matters a little today and a lot tomorrow. Listening better will be required. Mars and Saturn put a spin on the countdown to Mercury retrograde with intellectual energy triangulated to challenge our notions of intelligence, communication and contextual awareness.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You're capable of great self-sacrifice, but why sign up for it unless it's totally necessary to the situation? Take the easy good times when they are handed to you, and live them guilt-free.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You intimately know a game because you've played it. When you celebrate the winner, you know exactly why. There's almost no glory in the trophy because nearly all the glory is in everything that comes before it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Because there's no guarantee that getting there will be any fun, the journey is a test of character. "Happiness is not a station you arrive at but a manner of traveling." — Margaret Lee Runbeck

CANCER (June 22-July 22). Rushing leads to overindulgence. Moderation is more easily achieved when you actually appreciate the qualities of a thing. Slow down and enjoy.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Once the cards are properly shuffled and dealt, there is nothing anyone can do about which ones end up in hand. The skill is in getting behind anything you're handed and playing it with confidence.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Mark Twain suggested, "In his private heart, no man much respects himself." Give yourself a little more love and credit today. Only the delusional forget to struggle with self-doubt.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Your project is picking up momentum, and there's plenty of "if they could see me now" energy around you. But of course "they" can see you, and they are definitely impressed, though perhaps not showing it yet.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Better to have frequent pops of minor joy than hold out for payoffs in the far-flung future. Big events will be wonderful when they happen, but cultivate pleasantries, too. For the most part, happiness is sustained in small daily rushes.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). The experts and gurus may have good information, but the very best teacher by far is your own personal history. Think about what went so right and what actions can be repeated to continue the trend.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Much will be lost due to pride, arrogance and intolerance, but not by you. While it brings you no pleasure to benefit from the failings of others, when justice is served, you would be wise to accept what's rightfully yours.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You believe in luck, flirt with it, cultivate and conjure it. Even so, you know better than to count on it. You will work hard in the knowledge that your sweat will contribute to your good luck when it happens to come around.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Getting lost in series or book is preferrable now to real-life drama, which is messy and often comes with unpredictable, uncontrollable and far-reaching effects.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (Sept. 25). As intangible and mysterious as love is, it's hard to love accurately, though easier to love fully. You'll give your all in a variety of relationships and reap benefits friendly and financial, romantic and practical. An unachieved goal from way back will circle around; this year, the timing is much better. Capricorn and Pisces adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 12, 2, 9, 3 and 13.

COSMIC QUESTION: "What's an ascendant in astrology?"

Your ascendant is more commonly referred to as your rising sign. "Pisces with Leo rising," means Leo is the ascendant. The ascendant is the constellation that was just rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth. For those who believe in reincarnation, it is said that your ascendant in this life was your sun sign in your previous life. The Pisces in the example above was supposedly a Leo in a past life. Knowing your rising sign can give you a clue as to what sort of karmic lesson you might need to learn this time around here on earth and what your true purpose might be. Because of this, your rising sign is equal in importance to your sun sign, so be sure to read horoscopes for both to get a more accurate astrological picture. There are many free apps and online software that will give you your rising sign if you plug in your birthday, birth time and location. Search for "free astrological charts."

CELEBRITY PROFILES: Life imitated art when a kid from West Philly stared in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and became a millionaire by the age of 20. With a winning smile and his mega-watt personality, Will Smith turns the projects he touches into gold. Smith's natal sun, Mercury and Venus are placed in Libra, the sign of charm, art and cooperation. His Moon and Neptune in Scorpio lend a rebellious edge.

Write Holiday Mathis at HolidayMathis.com.