Horoscopes | Week of May 17-23, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You are about to find out how little you can actually say, the more desperately you grab handfuls of words and shoot them out your mouth in the fevered attempt to communicate. Or maybe you'll be the last to know that you're not actually saying what you think you're saying, or, perhaps, anything at all. Maybe you know and don't care. Indeed you shouldn't care. Writers like I know that sometimes words are the most fun when they just sound good and don't actually mean much, for meaning can be so overrated when fun is there for the taking. Just be clear on what you're not accomplishing by speaking, and keep on accomplishing when not speaking and, when speaking, doing so for its own sake. Get stuff done, and say stuff; just don't think you're getting stuff done by saying it's done or that saying stuff will get it done. For now, these are two separate behavioral frames of reference.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Being clear-headed means knowing when to say that certain something to that certain someone and when to keep your mouth shut, even if you've picked up on the psychic subtlety he doesn't even know he's emitting. Remember you are you, and they are them, and never the two shall truly unite, though you may spend a lot of time together. Everyone seems to be getting wrapped up in the razzmatazz of romantic intrigue and twittering social overflow. Go along for the ride. You might end up doing some of the steering, but don't tell them that. Apply your practicality without rubbing the noses that lack it in it. You are an interpersonal godsend to those who receive your kind unassuming support, and you can reap a lot of personal satisfaction from helping from a slightly detached though genuinely engaged perspective. And taking care of this sort of business makes a hell of a lot more sense right now than trying to conquer 'real' business, i.e., money, bills, possessions, items of note. You can't be clear-headed in every way all the time—right now it's interpersonal, not material. Take it where you can get it when you get it, and postpone non-pressing decisions in other areas.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Familiarize yourself with the essence of this week's article and this highly notable round of Venus retrograde through your sign. As the days go on, you will hear even more about it, and it will consequently affect you more as it sinks into your consciousness. The next couple months contain the potential to bring out the very best—and the very worst—in you. Be on the lookout for polar extremes, and ask the stabilizing forces in your life to provide a solid hand or two of help should you need the bracing. Bask in the madness. Spin tantalizing webs of verbal magnificence, tales to keep us on the edge of our seats and environments to dazzle your adoring admirers. Your charms are oozing out the pores, so much so that you must watch for disorientation due to the excitement. Just keep everything on the table. No versions should clash with each other, no situations or souls pitted against one another, and no omissions in lieu of lies to try to escape responsibility through loopholes. Show them why it's great to be a Gemini, and why any of their unfair ideas of you are unfair and untrue by ensuring they are untrue.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Put it out to keep it from ricocheting maddeningly around your insides. It's better to speak gibberish if that's what you're thinking, instead of making nice in semi-dishonest mild-manneredness. People will actually relate more sweetly to your pockets of insanity, since we all have our own healthy dose of it lurking beneath the social convention. Your forthright admissions of confusion will be admirable, will gain you esteem as a decent human being, a platform from which everything else undertaken is a veritable piece of cake. When in doubt, scribble in bright colors, drawing pictures of strange landscapes from your subconscious, which will startlingly appear to be more than you imagined when you refer back a few months from now. Resist self-defeating circles of useless internal chatter because, contrary to belief, you will not get any further if you keep processing and processing, rearranging thoughts and functions until you have some magic code to get you through the exit. There is no exit, and that's a good thing, one that you'll thank the heavens for once you let other people be the heavens instead of hell. In other words, talk it out until embarrassment gives way to relief. Pull your pants down in public, if it helps.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The old adage goes, Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I'm not exactly sure why this saying springs to mind when I think of you this week, Leo. I think it may have something to do with the fact that, with so many people so close, it's hard to see who is who and your relation to them all. By no means do I care to insinuate that certain friends are more like enemies or vice versa. Rather, it's to point out how thin the line separating the two is. An enemy is someone who cares enough to care, much like a friend. It's how the care gets transmuted into behavior that determines status. Treat everyone equally, as if anyone could end up being one or the other, while assuming the best of every last one of them, until further notice. It's a safe perspective from which to experiment with allegiances, to party with a new group and confide a secret here and there to fresh ears. But nothing anyone does right now should serve to prove their worthiness. Proof, at this stage in the game, is a highly debatable prospect.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I repeat: Don't rock the career boat. Let it rock you. Instead, make room on either side for the new beliefs that define you and your new social role among allegiances that reflect you. Let these points of light shine brightly enough for opportunities to recognize you and present themselves unsolicited. Consider, with little feistiness and a lot of polite restraint. For once this year, I will not ask you to reach way outside your comfort zone because you've already strayed so far from it. People and ideas naturally springboard you somewhere, but in this moment's holding pattern, you're just bouncing up and down awaiting propulsion. Bounce lightly and gracefully. Speak your mind, without demanding that it function strategically or toward great goals. Assuming graduation into the big leagues comes in August or September, now is the time for thoughtful reflection on these past years and a little tasteful senior partying.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The adventure of life is not that the adventure leads to a dazzling high point of remarkable realization and eventual union with truth. The adventure is that there are multiple adventures, conclusions to prove your conclusions wrong, inconvenient flat tires that keep you from an otherwise inevitable accident a few miles ahead, and lots of humbling dead-time to keep you feeling alive. Abstraction is an easy way to cut off your primary sensate inputs in exchange for appearing wiser and more tempered to an imagined audience who isn't falling for the shtick anyhow. Grow spiritual wings by wearing a sign that reads, 'I'm stupid. What do you have to say about it?' then collect the entries and vote on the most-well-written piece of nonsense to serve as your motto for the next ten minutes. Anything more enduring or self-important will bleed in the wash and turn your favorite white t-shirt pink. Make sense of that. Scratch that. Make nonsense of this.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): At a certain point, the most profound emotional sensations collapse in distinction from one another. Is that pleasure or pain? Is that hurt, ennui or the most poignantly overwhelming sense of life-awe? Artists spend careers dancing their way around this indescribable core, creating pretty and ugly manifestations of versions of what you are capable of feeling. Don't kid yourself by confidently asserting you know what to call it. You don't like being wrong. You don't like committing, with others looking on, and then having to pull out because the terms weren't initially clear. Hear this: The terms aren't clear. The feelings, yes, are certainly as fervent and fresh as you think. But what are they? That's a different story. So stop declaring knowledge of the sensation because you're missing some of it while your gums flap. Muse, perhaps, but don't declare. A tree in the forest doesn't care if you hear it falling; it still does what it does.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It doesn't get much more direct than last week's words—to reiterate, it's unclear to you who is worth the effort. Connection with people is what makes the world go round, and it can also be your weakness, if you make a conscious move to cut through all the bullshit without knowing where to make the cut. Bullshit, as long as you're aware of it as such, is actually useful. Not every encounter must exist on the level of utmost significance; many, indeed, shouldn't. Save your agonizing for self-reliant decisions, growth in profession or revolution at home. Let the people business serve as a release, not a stressing force. Simply refuse to take on the interpersonal drama (and recognize you might be the one trying to generate it). Feel your way into passing intimacies, but don't try to corral them into dead-air inertia through endlessly talking circles. It doesn't matter how you describe relational circumstances, if you're too busy describing them to revel in them.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your daily expenditures of energy toward unglamorous earthly purposes provide the link between doing to make yourself feel important and doing to reach out to others. Doing for yourself and doing for others are both worthy endeavors, but they mustn't clash with each other's behavioral structures or neither is doing any good. The seemingly insignificant nuances of your habits contain so much potential for either rescuing you from isolation or sabotaging any hope of interpersonal connection, more than you even know. That's why a tiny shift from delusion to devotion can swiftly surround you with loving support and easy companionship, like homing devices respond to mechanized sensors. The other way around, though—from devotion to delusion—will take away what you thought was there as quickly and automatically. Do important work with your vitality everyday, as if the minutest business makes all the difference. In fact, it does.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Put your unique outlook to good use by recording the ephemera of your seemingly haphazard encounters with the working world. There may be no clear goal in sight, but just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. Ego satisfaction requires that you say what needs to be said, feel what needs to be felt, and love what (and who) needs to be loved—just without the pressure to have it mean something other than what it is in the moment. That's why, when you're toiling towards fulfillment of duty (which could, at times, feel like the drudgery of moving bricks from one pile to another, just to say it's been done), capture the 'I'm alive' joys in little capsules for later dispensing. Entire novels are comprised of isolated vignettes strung together, but no single detail is rich enough to hold our attention past the easy punchline. Collect them all. They may be as equally worth the effort as any paycheck or gold star on your resume.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): It's smart to solicit real-world advice from both loved ones and strangers, to rely on words borrowed from multiple confided contexts for constructing your own sentences of pleasure, purpose and thanks. It's smart to feel your way into greater expression of your huge heart and the intuitive messages that crop up when you are feeling loving to the world and simply want to help. It's very smart to unceremoniously insist upon being heard, even if some people refuse to accept that your unorthodox way of digesting counsel and spitting it back out into reformulated wisdom actually contains nuggets they could find useful. Connect the dots, connect the people who have spewed dots across the landscape, and embody connectedness by being someone who enjoys people and conveys information across gaps in space like bees and hummingbirds spread pollen. It's not that smart, however, to eschew the comforts of home, to imagine you don't need a nurturing nest to return to when the uncharacteristic extroversion requires more of your chit-chatty energy than you're accustomed to dispensing. No funny moves in your nightly resting place. Maintain it as sacred, at least for the time being, no matter how itchy you get for new domestic surroundings. You'll be thankful for the familiarity when other parts of life require stretching into growth.