Horoscopes | Week of May 31-June 6, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): No one's stopping you from enjoying the whimsical wit and the flirtatious frivolity, but let's make sure to call a spade a spade. The bonds set forth through mutual admiration of each other's certain traits—paying blind eye to who each other is within different contexts—will not always survive to surpass the outer layer. Pause to silently recall the rarity it truly takes to soothe your savage soul, the difficult efforts you've had to make to let in a person here or there, easing your fear of spiders, the dark and/or being alone. You know which those ethics are you admire most, yet don't always raise them as a prerequisite to connection in breezy exchange. Keep the surface on the surface, unless you plan to issue a battery of entrance exams—and are prepared to exclude the low-scorers.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Work all you want. Stack the chips, hoard the frozen foods, gather the collectibles, and fill the columns with the proper numbers. It's all good, unless you dare to pretend that's all there is. You want truth? You crave the riches of stability partly due to your latent desire to be able to share them. You want to contribute to establishing a foundation upon which others—or a single other—can rest while reaching for the stars. You like providing. But in order to keep from skewing the power dynamics too far one way, you must invite in the element of chance. I know how uncomfortable the experimentation feels to you, but dipping a toe into each swimming hole, hot tub, kiddie pool or vastly larger body doesn't mean you're likely to drown. Only go up to your knee, but test the waters. You never know what fellow wader or strapping lifeguard you'll encounter, and you can make dinner for him/her and he/she can bring a surprise gift or utter a remarkable wisdom and everyone gets to give and to get. Exchange goes both ways.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If indeed you're the most haywire of all, don't think we won't catch on. You're good at disguise, but not that good. That's why there are those particular individuals who are so important to you, largely because you don't even try to put on your pretty faces around them. Not only do they know all there is to know, they don't sit passively by and let your wild swings play out without commentary. So allow them their due say. You might be master of any given moment, but its momentary excitement could displace the recollection of how to retain stability at these heights of spontaneous stimulation. Those other voices of reason you keep in your life serve, among many salient purposes, to remind you of your previous struggles to stay firmly on the ground and to lovingly encourage you to refrain from losing footing just to follow a sprightly mirage. Listen to judgments that come from this loving place, then do with them as you will, without judging the judge for judging.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I just want to keep those romanticized notions of Cancerian emotionality in check, because I would hate to think you cling to self-stereotypes of supersensitivity in order to give yourself an out. Yes, you folks feel a great deal. And yet, let's not disregard that you've gotten so much better—by choice or by circumstance—of sucking up the stinging sensations at the crucial times, conquering the emotion-laden timidity which would previously have compelled you to withdraw, and learning how stoicism, when applied strategically, can serve you well. I don't mean to totally topple the fancifully dreamy poet in you who, consciously or not, craves the vapors of unmitigated psychic disarray. As you know, the receptivity to free-floating emotion-kernels polishes your personality. But don't use it to excuse yourself from attention to earthly concerns, duties to your physical well-being and your sense of personal accomplishment, which can easily be overshadowed by the glamorous escape promised by the feelings.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Before I even begin, I'm already aware I could get myself into trouble with this one. See, Leo, I want to praise your recent adaptability in permitting yourself to handle minor dissatisfactions with a grain of salt so that group relations move more smoothly and talkatively. But I'd be playing make-believe to let you get away without pointing out the handful of important truths percolating beneath your otherwise politely chatty facade, things you'd love to say for the joyful release of putting words to feelings and to confirm you haven't forgotten who you are. If you were to sanction a blunt self-outpouring at full power, you might feel uncompromisingly authentic but would completely the sabotage the necessary grin-and-bear-it that comes with any team effort. At the same time, total denial of your occasional disdain for the group mindset or those passing moments that beg direct commentary on your part will result in your coming off as somewhat disingenuous and cause suspicions to rise against you. What to do? Well, just as you've recently had the herculean task of managing stray insanities by fessing up to irrational thoughts and then containing them within a well-bounded area, now you must apply this method to your fullest honest opinions. Figure out a way to let out your judgments—in a journal, to a single trustworthy confidante, during special allotted bitch sessions—but do so without disrupting the dynamic required to continue functioning well together.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): In case you refuse to grant yourself the favor, let me officially do so for you. It's okay to be a little worn out or just plain tired, whether the experience is one of actual physical exhaustion or the emotional version of being sapped of energy. Against your historical practices, you've allowed a heavy dose of external-world stimulation to jiggle your senses toward determining a variety of professional or public destinies from which to choose. Not to mention the daring it has taken for you to challenge your social allegiances, to force yourself to listen to intuitive messages about group dynamics that make you uncomfortable (instead of simply assuming you're the one at fault or needing to change). Now, allow yourself a private rest, respite from the outer leaps and bounds, in whatever form best inspires you to relax in responsibility only to your own desires. You deserve a break today.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Even if you think you've got it all figured out (and I'm not telling you that you're right or wrong), that doesn't mean you have to be so water-tightly secure about its end-all-be-all-ness. Not only are there other versions to other stories, but you sleathily thirst for engagement with one or more of these alternatives. Bear in mind the advances recently (and still in the process of being) made in your public position, and the necessary social niceties involved in intuitively showing favor to those who hold stakes in the matter. If one of these professional stakeholders led an honest-to-goodness detour from your ethical extremes, you would likely force yourself to rethink your commitments, even if just to be polite. Well, extend that privilege of open-minded versatility to others too, not as a hollow exercise in exhibiting open-minded versatility, but because, below the surface, you actually want to.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): As much allure and intrigue as intimate encounters provide, they don't always ensure that business gets done. While you might instinctively lean into psychological fusion to suit your imagined emotional needs, your deepest-seated feelings have concerns of a more mundane quality. Self-sufficiency is a buzzword quietly skulking below the shared embraces and fervent declarations of intense sentiment that occupy your conscious being. Don't neglect the challenging journey you've recently undertaken to identify and elevate those moral drives and obligations most meaningful to you, just because intensive activity has always seemed to include someone else along for the ride. Sometimes, to come out the other end as the person you want to be—and, as a corollary, to come out the other end with the person you want—you must gather your own acorns, store them in your own cheeks, and wait out the long winter with only your own best efforts to fall back upon. It's okay if someone else is along for the ride, but they'd better bring their own nuts.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): There's a real easy answer to the increasingly spazzed-out relationship situations, whether involving competitions, indecisions, repetitions or seemingly-about-to-come-to-fruitions of varying affections—simply retreat from it all and focus on yourself. Of course, the easy answers aren't always the best ones (or the ones we prefer), and chances are that beating a complete retreat will seem a boring option, if not anti-climactic in light of the hi-energy aura surrounding all these machinations. Recall how intently you are learning to manage the most challenging interpersonal intensity through identifying necessary boundaries (and hopefully holding to them). Certainly you can find a way to reassert the most important voice among the frenzied chorus—the one that belongs to you—and only entertain endless conversational processing to the degree that it entertains, rather than ruffles or subverts, you. You may not need to produce a full retreat in order to intermittently make it clear, for yourself and for others, where the buck stops.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): While your best plan of attack, Cap, is usually a plan of attack, this week I'm encouraging you to look past what you can do in a given situation and reexamine those spaces you create by not doing anything. Well, that phrasing is a smidgeon misleading since, in order to open up to the beautiful results of chance (a.k.a. fate, destiny, faith, spirit, mystery, serendipity), you will have to get out of your own way, which I suppose involves some degree of doing. While it may seem like attending to the obligatory to-do lists and step-by-step regimens is the simple formula to satisfaction, it takes all the fun out of realizing you're not in control. Surely you recall all the recent attention paid to relationship issues, requiring the admission of another person's unruly uncontrollable unpredictability into your mix. Now, extend that principle through all aspects of your life. Don't assume the grocer will have the exact brand you want or that your casual acquaintance will show up at the agreed-upon meeting place and/or time. Instead of getting too irked, take inspiration from the replacement product or the unexpected encounter with the tall dark or short green stranger who shows up to occupy the empty seat.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): For someone who is supposed to be so socially minded and oriented toward the good of the greater whole, you've sure been enjoying your own self-motivated activities and expressions. Though I want to be clear that there's nothing wrong with flashes of ego indulgence (in fact, they're quite a lot of fun!), I don't want you to overlook your inherent allegiances with the people of the world—and not because I, as an outside perspective, am trying to assert that you should be acting more in line with a humanitarian paradigm. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what I think. What matters is what you think. And I truly believe you miss the participation in team projects, the advocacy for larger-than-yourself goals and the rousing invigoration of different voices and ideas coming together. You're already mid-dedication to a sobered acceptance of responsibility, hard work and physical well-being, so it's the perfect time to realize the obvious truth that you're not alone in it, nor should you be alone any more than you want to be. You're too adept a people-person to reserve your daffy antics for your own edification, as long as you seek camaraderie with solid allies on whom you can rely to march alongside in pursuit of your most honored shared ideals.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Tinkering so completely with private concerns will help you achieve the nest of your dreams, but I simply won't sanction any resultant slighting of your outer-world goals. Not only are there big things you dream of accomplishing, I actually believe you know what they are, contrary to the convenient confusion you spin to distract from expectations. I've been pushing you to endure the nuisance of self-expression for its own sake to get you into the habit of putting it out there before you have the chance to take it back before it's even said. That's where you are now with the professional or public ambitions. You must not claim ignorance of your highest aspirations because you maintain an entrenched list of reasons why each option is wholly unrealistic. For someone who is so good at dreaming, you can be such a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to imagining yourself capable of the career and/or reputation you most desire. But these desires do you harm by not making it to the light to be at least acknowledged, if not eventually actualized. Shame on you if you don't even try.