Horoscopes | Week of August 19-25, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Lately, you have been something like a whirlwind of creativity, fresh expressive energy rushing through your bloodstream. I hope you've taken advantage of it, though I'm sure you have, even if you're barely aware of it. Whirlwinds, incidentally, bring duststorms, which in turn cause other people to get irritating grains of dirt in their eyes. You may soon learn about how your unconscious actions are affecting (maybe frustrating) others. You're in prime form to be forced into changing some old self-centered beliefs, as a calm-speaking somebody kindly tells you off, leaving you a bit speechless. And just to ensure that this prediction comes true, if no one else comes along, consider me the kind teller-offer.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you haven't noticed, I've been directing you toward focusing on your quiet home life and ways to take care of yourself. We need you to feel nurtured and reenergized, with a safe foundation from which to depart on new adventures. See, the universe has things up its celestial sleeves just for you, bold career plans and social contributions that you'll be tending to over the next several months. Now, thank goodness, you've finally fit that last preliminary piece into place, realizing how much you need help from others in order to truly succeed. Accepting this makes you stronger, not weaker. You've learned your lessons, and you're ready to be put to work.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): My Gemini friends just keep on keepin' on, chugging away with their endless desires to explore everything and know everything—well, maybe not everything, but enough to give off that impression. You've recently added this new facet to your array of knowledge: a thing called (gasp!) depth. Not that you were (ahem) shallow before. Oh, lighten up, I'm just messin' with you. Seriously, though, you might realize this shift due to the fact that those predictable people you're traditionally drawn to might hold less interest. Suddenly you find your dermatologist's assistant, the janitor at your child's junior high school, or the local astrophysicist infinitely more compelling. And these people are also more drawn to you. Follow these urges. They are part of you finally being appreciated for what's underneath your fluff, and returning the favor accordingly.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I hope you've spent time doing as I've advised, solidifying the resources in your life. By now, you should have organized your ducks in a single-file row and stored a few extra nuts in your cheeks. During this transition time, you might find yourself in closer quarters with strange bedfellows in unusual situations. The additional earthly padding will come in handy, now that you'll be pushed into giving up parts of your emotional comfort zone by whatever presents itself. This is not optional. You will be compelled to act in ways that are driven by an uncompromising sense of duty—for you know what you must do that others are unable to do. Familiar patterns, magically transformed, you feel so alive.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You're on top of the world, Leo, looking down on your own creations. And it feels wonderful, considering everything is going according to plan and desire. What would you say if I told you we're going to throw a little nail in the spokes of your wheels, just to keep things from being too perfect? Someone's about to surprise you. Is a fresh new face going to show up, making you (1) fall in love, (2) quit your job, or (3) shave your head? Will your lover (4) dump your ass, (5) propose to you, or (6) donate all your furniture? Or does your friend (7) freak out, (8) confess true feelings, (9) move away, (10) move in with you, (11) fall ill, (12) win the lottery, or (13) none of the above, but something else to show, despite your utter brilliance, that you're just one mere soul among a sea of trillions?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You are not equal to what you produce. You Virgos are so hard on yourselves, particularly when you feel that you've strayed from your self-dictated path of flawlessness. But you can't be perfectly on task at all times. That road you normally travel, you see, is currently under construction. There is a detour up ahead. You cannot go through. You will be rerouted for several miles through unfamiliar territory. The roadside signs here are poor. You will not know where you're going. You may fear you are lost. You stress that you are running late, though no one expects you on time except you. In this disorienting journey, you must find faith that, in the end, you'll still wind up in the right place—although when you will arrive isn't apparent quite yet.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Congratulations, you've done a terrific job always acting in the most terribly appropriate manner to everyone. You have this keen Venusian charm that enables you to produce the words that fit each situation perfectly, and you play your most well-suited part in every group to a tee. Careful, though. Prepare yourself for the uncontrollable urge to start blurting things out like a sufferer of Tourette's—a drive toward horrifyingly impolite expression at certain turns, leaving you both humiliated and liberated. This is your opportunity to conquer whatever censoring mechanism you internalized at a young age, when you exploded and got punished for it or suppressed the explosion and turned it in on yourself. Prepare for a flashback. Get it out this time.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You've got the whole world fooled, perhaps, but not me. I see through your costumes with my x-ray goggles. At the height of your popularity, you return home from the celebrations and shiver and cry like a little baby in the corner of your room. You excuse yourself from a close comrade's hospital bedside—or even worse, a funeral—and run to the bathroom, inexplicably elated and covering giggles with your mouth. What a jarring lack of control you display with these renegade emotions, so boorish, so human. You may spend hours ensuring that you appear in the role you've engineered for yourself, but frankly, that wacky taboo-buster you keep hidden is slightly more likable.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Just when you think you've got it all figured out, a passing conversation with that eccentric tie-dye-attired ragamuffin woman who wanders the neighborhood park changes everything. (So what if she smells like patchouli? Hold your breath.) You'd never dreamt some casual chit-chat could be so life-altering. You've been missing something. A blind spot, out of vision from your otherwise skilled self-awareness, has been revealed. Before, looking at yourself in the mirror was like seeing an old friend who's had a bunch of plastic surgery and, baffled, wondering, "Did she get a new hair cut?" Now, all the tucks and nips and injection and implants are wildly clear and apparent. It's a whole new you. Do you like what you see?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You will come into a massive windfall, so long as you make sure to co-sign the papers with someone to share it with. You will have a earth-shattering orgasm, but only if you direct the lucky lover to your g-spot rather than waiting for it to be spontaneously discovered. You will come in contact with your powerful healing abilities, that is, if you manage to expose your dirty secrets to the recipients of your power and swap shame with them. I think you get the picture here. It's about magical merging. Meanwhile, you don't want to see the nasty flip-side that can come, if you choose to horde all your goodies and hermit yourself so we suffer your absence.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): In certain Baptist traditions (and I know this from hearsay alone), the religious initiation ceremony includes a ritual dunking in water to cleanse initiates of their sins. Those who officiate are wading there, both to submerge the sinners in the cleansing waters and to quickly bring them back to the surface so they don't choke or drown. My brothers and sisters, they don't call you water-bearers for nothing. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to man the dunking tank. There's a line of eager sinners down the block, and they need you to help them through the evils of their ways and then to wipe them dry and send them on their way. Only you can bear the brunt of this responsibility. That's why you've been pushed into the river.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I have this joke to describe what holds you Pisceans together as a group. I call you the "none of the above" category because, unlike Leos with their prideful drama or Scorpios with their stinging intensity, you lack a single easily identifiable characteristic that holds true for all of you. I've known Pisceans who are loud and who are quiet, intellectual and dingy, warm and chilly, funny and serious, weird and seemingly not so weird. Likewise, what qualifies as a truly significant moment of epiphany for you is kind of hard to pinpoint. You don't know when or why or how it's coming, but you know it when you see it. My gut tells me that the more joyously you continue with regular healthy patterns in your life, the more beautiful (though possibly surprising) your current transition will be. Sorry I can't tell you more. Meanwhile, use the earth to stabilize yourself. (And incidentally, why do my Pisces horoscopes always sound so bizarre? Email me with any possible explanations.)