Horoscopes | Week of July 15-21, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): One of my favorite artists is Willem de Kooning. I love the way his broad, gestural, violent brushstrokes sweep rich paint across the canvas to produce those characteristically mutant figures (or are they figures at all?). Art historians write and rewrite his role as granddaddy of abstract expressionism, while feminists often harshly criticize what they see as his brutal depictions of women. I recommend you approach your week the way I appreciate de Kooning's work: Embrace the color, the texture, the passion, and do your best to ignore critics' attempts to impose historical or ideological meaning onto your expressiveness.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): After a spell of inner turmoil, things are quieting down a bit. You
may even be starting to feel a little, gosh darn it, peaceful. The funny part about it, though, is that you may not realize you're actually getting louder from our perspective, here on the outside. You're like that slightly intoxicated man seated a couple tables away in the restaurant. He doesn't realize his voice is carrying farther and more forcefully than he intends, out of a joyous lack of self-censorship. There's nothing wrong with being boisterous, so long as you are conscious of the effect you're having on your surroundings.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Do you do much cooking? I sense that somewhere in your manic kitchen pantry is a special family recipe, your mom's peach cobbler or your grandma's triple chocolate surprise cookies or even Aunt Judy's tuna noodle casserole. Maybe it's time to make like the Welcome Wagon and whip up a batch of some specialty and bring it over to a friend's or neighbor's. Your life may seem rather taxing, but believe me, you're on more stable footing than plenty of your peers. Share the wealth, and spread a little home-cooked love while paying homage to your ancestry by mining their cookbooks for family classics. If you can't cook, then buy a pie or a nice bunch of flowers.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Once, while walking through an airport, I noticed political and religious canvassers standing stationary in small information booths, desperately urging me to stop and talk to them. I assumed this veal-pen setup was the result of some regulation that prohibited canvassers from freely roaming the terminal, without denying their right to free speech. To me, it looked like a thankless position; no one seemed to be stopping. Right now, you are in the prime condition to successfully convince passers-by to pause their busy rush and actually listen to you for a few key moments. Remember, your opinions do not necessarily represent those of the airport authority.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I predict a breakthrough. I've been quietly encouraging you to focus on being humanitarian, meditative, selflessly loving—all those traits that focus the external attention away and encourage growth from the inside. If you've been playing your cards right (that is, close to your chest), people are likely starting to notice the changes. By no means am I saying that you should abandon your newfound practices, but you can celebrate your diligence by carefully engineering a night's reward for yourself. Dress cleanly and simply, and let your personality attract the attention.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Okay, Cinderella, take off that dirty apron and brush your hair out. It's time to get you to some fancy champagne ball, or at least to a barbecue with plenty of Budweiser. I would never suggest that anyone use alcohol to lower their inhibitions, as long as they promise to find some other healthier way to do it. However you choose to silence the inner critic, loosen up a little bit and let out the side of you that people rarely see. Who cares what your friends will think if suddenly you're dancing on the bar, singing Jimmy Buffett songs? Just don't overdo or you'll feel it in the morning.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I don't know why, week after week, I keep feeling the need to give you a pep talk when nothing in your life should be going wrong. You are emerging into the world with greater esteem in others' eyes than you've had in a while, maybe ever. Are you are convincing yourself that this sense of recognition isn't real because it's not being delivered in the exact form you want? Get over it. Step out from your own shadow, and accept the profundity of your accomplishments. And by the way, if you have something to say, just say it already.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Continue putting together your plans to, kindly and compassionately, take over the world. You are stimulating your mind with new challenges, you can feel the spiritual growth bolstering your confidence, and frankly, you're busy enough to stay out of trouble. Focusing on future ventures is good. The dangerous part comes if you try taking the show on the road right now to espouse ideas that are still in development. I hate to say it, but I suggest you germinate these thoughts a few more weeks to completely distill out any unsavory emotions before taking the podium. Your tastiness will still be in effect.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I have to admit, I started to write the wrong horoscope for you. It's not my fault. You suddenly aren't doing what we expect from you. The words coming out of your mouth contradict assumptions long held by people closest to you. If you want these exciting transformations to stick, and thus become incorporated into our image of you, then you have to be patient with us. Be prepared to calmly and repeatedly explain how you've shed those behaviors we sometimes found annoying, and gracefully demonstrate what you've developed to replace them.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): On The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary's comic-relief neighbor Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) cracked her laughs by offering subtly underhanded compliments that bolstered her own self-esteem while knocking Mary down a peg or two. Because Phyllis was part of the lovable ensemble cast, we forgave her trespasses against Mary as endearing symptoms of her inadequacy complex. We embraced Phyllis—until she spun-off into her own self-titled half-hour, when suddenly her one-liners fell flat without Mary as a target or Rhoda to balance out the exchange. So honor your fellow cast members. The truth is, your shtick doesn't really work as well without them to bounce it off of.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You find yourself ready to reveal more in conversations with your partner, best friend or co-worker. It's not that you're so terribly comfortable with expressing your feelings, but you feel pressure from your sense of duty to disclose and let them off the hook from wondering. Keep it cool when deciding how to play it. What do you want them to come away from the situation with? You don't have to say everything, just say something. Honesty is the best policy, but too much of a good thing can end up causing unintentional pain, and other people can be so sensitive.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): It's natural to blank out and stop noticing thing