Horoscopes | Week of August 26-September 1, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): After having recently flustered some of us with your Tasmanian devilishness, we're glad to welcome your new shift toward somewhat greater calm and patience. Your usually uncontrollable energy is momentarily containable and can be harnessed in a more measured and strategic way. Hold back a bit and spend some of your time planning. What do you want to be doing for the next few months? Don't stress taking a break. You'll always have the ability to carry out these plans later, but how often do actually feel like you could successfully make them? This slowed-down pace will also enable you to communicate more pleasantly and caringly, smoothing over some of those previously ruffled feathers and reminding us why we love you.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When I was a camp counselor, we used to play this creativity-inspiring drama improv game with the kids. We'd split them into groups and give each group a paper bag containing a few odd unrelated objects. The kids would have to create a skit with some narrative based around the objects in their bag. If you want to see something silly, watch a handful of second-graders acting out a story about a ball of yarn, a spatula, and a pink paper drink umbrella. Considering your creative drives are on an upswing, I say you should encourage yourself to tell stories to your friends about the objects that surround you. As a Taurus, you automatically invest meaning in such objects, so continue forcing yourself out of exile by entertaining us with tales of the old blue ashtray and the coat-rack from your grandma's house.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As we sit together over coffee or a few drinks, you wow us with your easy-going attitude toward life. You heartily laugh at your own foibles, and at others', understanding all too well how each of our potentially annoying quirks are exactly what makes us all so beautiful. The colorful variety of human experience. Then, you get home and find that the silverware drawer is a big mess. The small forks are mixed in with the big forks. Aargh! Not to mention that the bathroom towels have been folded into quarters, rather than the thirds that every classy individual knows is the proper way to fold towels. My Gemini friends, though you smoothly roll from one conversation topic or casual acquaintance to another, your secret control-freak behavior and unswerving fussiness may reveal itself on the home front, as roommates frustrate you by daring to do things their own way.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm going to give you some retro-housewife type of advice, based on the notion that the key to a man's or woman's heart is through his/her stomach. See, I'm sensing that your ideas of what you want—and feel like you deserve—in the world are becoming clearer and clearer. It's likely that, in order to fully achieve these dreams, you may have to partially rely on the support and actions of others, which is a completely natural part of leading a social life. Like a good homemaker, you should use your charms to prepare the perfect environment—a martini, a meal, a meringue pie—in which to soothe the senses of the person about to hear what you have to say. Hold all forms of criticisms, towards your self and others, at bay in prime submissive style. Wait until after dinner. Then go in for the kill, so to speak. A little buttering up goes a long buttery way.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's pretty rare for me to have trouble formulating Leo horoscopes, but this week you're throwing me for a loop. Due to your uncanny skill of spinning straw into gold, I felt moved to look up "Rumpelstilskin" on the Internet in search of insight. But I'd forgotten the gist of that old fairy tale and totally spaced the fact that the little dwarf with the big name wasn't the hero of the story. Struggle as I might, I can't figure out the exact Leo-Rumpelstilskin connection, although I have a few ideas. (1) Don't use your amazing alchemical talents to insist upon stealing anyone's firstborn children, or to profit in any way at someone else's expense. (2) Don't blow success at the last minute through displays of uncontrollable hubris, such as dancing around the fire like a little dwarf, revealing key secrets like your hidden name. (3) And don't pick such a long stage moniker that it won't fit in lights on the marquis. Who ever heard of a movie star named Rumpelstilskin? (4) Incidentally, if you can think of any other applications of this story to your life, I'd love to hear them. Email me with your Rumpelstilskin interpretations.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please don't get too exasperated. You have wise words to share and cautious warnings to offer up. And it is highly likely that no one will want to listen to what you're saying. No matter. Say it anyway. At this time, your ability to produce well-crafted, dead-on-accurate commentary about what you've quietly observed for a while is at a high point. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the world is in a more loosy-goosy, go-with-the-flow, strawberry-ice-cream state of mind. This could be discouraging to you, considering that you see so much potential and want it to be actualized now. Remember that, though people appear to dismiss or gloss over your comments, the words sink into their subconscious minds and will help them out in the end.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Miss America contestants sometimes put Vaseline on their teeth to keep their smiles wide and shiny. Librans might not need to resort to such petroleum by-products, as they have developed their own techniques to maintain dynamically dazzling exteriors regardless of their inner landscapes. I'm not sure if you'll be feeling deliriously content, ferociously frumpy, or just plain grumpy over the next several days. And it's possible you won't know either, even while it's happening. That's why I'm recommending you plaster that perfection on your face and ride out the confusion. If you try to communicate how you're feeling now, you might later realize that what you've said isn't really accurate or only half the story.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I've found that a lot of Scorpios prefer one-on-one interactions to larger group situations. It makes sense. The intensity they crave is harder to create, the more people present. If two individuals sit (or lie down) together and share themselves completely, the little ball of their combined energy bounces back and forth, increasingly amplifying its glow. Meanwhile, among several people, it is more difficult to reach the necessary psychic consensus for such amplification; smaller subgroups or self-serving energy vampires are more likely to fragment the energy, allowing it to dissipate. Your challenge is to deploy your sudden, though fleeting, social urges to promote unusually intense group experiences, so that three or more people combine their sparks into fireballs. Do so with utmost care and charity.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In past weeks, I think I've said enough to you about changing philosophies, expanding ideals, and "the new you". Now, it's time for you to get down to business. Overlooking your tendency toward impatience for those base concerns such as money and success, I recommend that you start thinking about getting a real job. Heh, heh, I know: funny advice from a guy making a living as an astrologer. Facetiousness aside, you will only be able to luxuriate in contemplating "ethics" and "meaning" if you have spent time designing a life for yourself that is stable enough to provide a foundation for your mental and spiritual musings. Though every sunny day tempts you into playing hooky and wandering around the park, exchanging ideas with the trees, you must fight the urge. Or at least postpone it, knowing full well that your life still holds plenty of that in store in the future, if you can only wait it out and prepare accordingly.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With Martha Stewart's pending legal troubles, the world may soon be on the lookout for a new lifestyle guru to dictate the proper ways to stuff a Cornish game hen and sell us the most fashionable paint colors. Don't go editing all your family recipes into a comprehensive compendium just yet. While I do think you have what it takes to start your own omnimedia conglomerate, I have a couple suggestions for preliminary steps. (1) Try out a few different ways of phrasing your helpful hints to a few different folks, and see which are the most effective at influencing them without offending them. (2) Go and explore the world to discover new outlooks on timeless ideas. Whether it be taking an evening class on wine tasting or spending a couple weeks traveling the Riviera, such experiences will ensure your advice isn't stale before presenting it to others.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Because we all think of Aquarians as the oddballs of the zodiac (and, of course, they are), we sometimes forget that Aquarius is also a fixed sign. In astrology, fixed signs are persistent and steady, if not somewhat stubborn and resistant to change. Aquarians can be so dedicated to their offbeat and socially unorthodox beliefs that they are blinded to the popular appeal of mainstream tradition. At times of vigorous change, they can be impatient with the fact that breaks from normality are not happening quickly enough or in the most bizarre fashion. Since you consider yourselves such humanitarians, maybe you can find it in your hearts to be slightly more tolerant of viewpoints that run counter to your constant counter-culture conceptualizing. You may hear more of them this week.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Last week, I struggled to figure out why my Pisces horoscopes always sound so weird. I came to the conclusion that these messages were coming undiluted from the Piscean ethers, and they only seemed strange because I wasn't "translating" them into normal language. I decided not to worry too much about it because, to be honest, I felt like you Pisces people are adept at understanding such messages without translation. Other people, alas, aren't so fluent. This week is a perfect opportunity for you to play translator to some dreadfully grounded soul in your life, someone who could benefit from your slow meticulous explanations of those normally inexplicable phenomena, the ones that you, of course, instinctively understand.