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Today’s Birthday (02/09/18) Raise the level of your professional game this year. Lay careful foundations to prepare for heightened demand. A personal project flowers this spring. Get active this summer to raise the bar on your physical fitness and health. Take your partnership to new heights. Strengthen your heart.

To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging.

Aries (March 21-April 19) — Today is an 8 — Study your route, and make advance reservations if you don’t have them already. Keep confirmations and receipts. Adventure beckons. Choose reality over fantasy.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) — Today is an 8 — Your financial management is appreciated. Don’t brag or complain about money. Costs may be higher than expected. Move quickly to grab a lucrative opportunity.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) — Today is an 8 — Negotiate your way through minor adjustments with a partner. Expectations and fantasies can cloud the view. Stick to solid options and methods.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Today is a 9 — Your attention and energy are in demand. Rely on your team and guard sacred alone time for exercise and peace. Ask for what’s needed.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) — Today is an 8 — Someone’s saying nice things about you. Listen for love and find it everywhere. Dreams reveal a major change. Consider all possibilities.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Today is an 8 — Strengthen domestic infrastructure with a home improvement project. It’s easy for plans to get overly elaborate (and expensive). Keep it elegantly simple.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) — Today is a 7 — Use your creative and communications skills to advance a heartfelt project. Reach out to your networks for support. Invent new possibilities and share them.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) — Today is a 9 — Prepare to push for new authority and income when an opportunity appears. Don’t lose what you’ve got to chase a mirage. Invest in reliable probabilities.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) — Today is a 9 — Use all this energy and confidence for practical gain. Vague fantasies dissolve, but solid advances remain possible if you watch your step.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Today is a 6 — Allow yourself time for peaceful rest and meditation. Many questions remain unresolved. Patiently plan your moves. Emotions could run high. This, too, shall pass.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) — Today is a 7 — Community activities produce satisfying results, if you can keep from chasing windmills. Ease up on the imaginative suggestions, and stay on solid ground.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Today is an 8 — Schedule carefully. The professional spotlight shines your way, and you want to be able to shine back. Let go of old fears, and ask for support if necessary. You got this.

Today’s Birthdays: Journalist Roger Mudd is 90. Actress Janet Suzman is 79. Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee is 78. Actress-politician Sheila James Kuehl (TV: “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”) is 77. Singer-songwriter Carole King is 76. Actor Joe Pesci is 75. Singer Barbara Lewis is 75. Author Alice Walker is 74. Actress Mia Farrow is 73. Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is 72. Singer Joe Ely is 71. Actress Judith Light is 69. Rhythm-and-blues musician Dennis “DT” Thomas (Kool & the Gang) is 67. Actor Charles Shaughnessy is 63. Actor Ed Amatrudo is 62. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is 61. Jazz musician Steve Wilson is 57. Country singer Travis Tritt is 55. Actress Julie Warner is 53. Country singer Danni Leigh is 48. Actress Sharon Case is 47. Actor Jason George is 46. Actress Amber Valletta is 44. Actor-producer Charlie Day is 42. Rock singer Chad Wolf (Carolina Liar) is 42. Actor A.J. Buckley is 41. Rock musician Richard On (O.A.R.) is 39. Actress Ziyi (zee yee) Zhang is 39. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Irina Slutskaya is 39. Actor Tom Hiddleston is 37. Actor David Gallagher is 33. Actor Michael B. Jordan is 31. Actress Rose Leslie is 31. Actress Marina Malota is 30. Actress Camille Winbush is 28. Actor Jimmy Bennett is 22. Actor Evan Roe (TV: “Madam Secretary”) is 18.

Thought for Today: “What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.” — Havelock Ellis, English psychologist (1859-1939).

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