For Friday, April 23

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You don’t set out to be original, but you’re working with something other than what was available in the example. Using different ingredients and techniques yields unique results.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You could dismantle a thorny challenge by untangling one vine at a time, or you could do it like the goats and gardeners, not bothering to pick anything apart. Whether your chew it down or cut it up, you’ll make quick work of this.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (April 23) Your lucky numbers are: 39, 20, 1, 4 and 8.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). They say, “Work smarter, not harder,” though we can only work to the level of intelligence we have. It’s not about working smarter; it’s about being smarter. Take time off of work to read, get other experiences and develop skills.

CANCER (June 22-July 22). It will be better to err on the side of assertiveness. If you don’t get the response you hoped for, at least you’ll feel good about speaking the truth and giving everyone a chance to know and participate in your reality.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). People run, but really there’s no way to avoid it. Pain is as entwined with existence as is breathing. Accepting this inevitability makes pain-free times, such as you’ll have today, all the sweeter. You’ll live on wings of exuberance.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). The thing about blame is that it’s only one of many ways to package an outcome, and today it’s an entirely unnecessary one at that. Forget about blame. There is only what happened, and various ways for it to not happen again.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). You are not sure what you want from someone, but you’re pretty sure it’s not what you’re getting today. This is worth thinking over. Give it a brainstorm today. What is your fantasy outcome?

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Can there be peace without understanding? Of course! Sometimes peace is accepting what is, whether or not you get it. Consider giving up the need to process every bit of information, at least right now.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). There are many ineffective ways to handle fear, which include ignoring it, running from it, pretending to be cool about it or letting it stop you. The proper way is to accept fear so you can harness it and make it work for you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). It’s like your heart is a searchlight, scanning for the heart that reflects back a kindred glow. You’ll illuminate other things along the way, though it’s best to keep moving until you alight on what you were originally looking for.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). It’s amazing what you can solve when you put your mind to it. Don’t even think about backing down from the wildly divergent problems because they will be the stage from which you shine brightest.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Those who believe that the universe speaks in mocking laughter may be selling themselves short with such cynicism. As for you, life seems to be, at this time, respecting many of your plans.