Horoscopes | Week of June 28-July 4, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Remain vital, creatively active, talkative, experimental, social, expressive and sing-songy. But use a bit of the emotional hard-ass on yourself to hold a subtle but overarching investment in whatever are the ultimate achievements you're hoping to realize. At certain times, as you're behaving productively playfully and excitedly effervescently, an inexplicable sensation of your having contradicted your own sustained efforts toward those ultimate big-world goals will momentarily arise—even as there's no substantive evidence to support this visceral message reporting that somehow you've strayed. The ethereal body isn't lying. Through this back-door mechanism, you'll discover which seemingly irrelevant pastimes or practices actually stand in your way of accomplishment. You can't make these discoveries without continuing to play and prance in pursuit of other fancies, so just remember this advice as you go on with everything else—then stay open to catching the occasional flyball hints for how to hit your highest success.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your urge could be to continue vacillating between worrying that you don't have enough or pretending that you do, under- or over-appreciating the material realities of a situation, and correctly or incorrectly attributing the stable and unstable parts of your personality to their proper sources. The way out of this potentially maddening oscillation is to take a step back and conjure emotional memories of times when you felt unquestionably and powerfully aligned with your highest ethics. Rather than ranking your current state on a series of supposed practical measures, assess your relative accordance with your own philosophical authority. Think back to psychologically wrenching relationships and what you learned about yourself in their aftermath, as you rebuilt from those ashes. What did you tell yourself should be your most important priorities going forward? Where are you in relation to them now? Emotional attention here can assuage those other anxieties, when you realize how valuable a resource ardent belief drawn from past pain can be. It doesn't dwindle as you spend it, and it serves you unfailingly in emergencies.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As you spin back out with Venus, you won't necessarily lack activity or excitement, just because the more profound ramifications of the past six weeks' flurry of stimulation will begin to make themselves known. There are still more flurries to be had, or at least relived, as Venus retraces her recent steps and continues to shine her favor over your every interaction. Now more than before, though, you must contend with issues of worldly responsibility beyond duty to your own immediate desires. Others' well-being is indirectly on the line with your every uncalculated step, and you want to head off the potential disappointments before they happen (or before they're angrily pointed out to you if you've already carelessly contributed to them). This is by no means an admonition against enjoying yourself, merely a cautious reminder to control superfluously intimate-seeming involvements when you don't fully mean them. Consider this an opportunity to redo past experiences of shortsightedly shirking interpersonal responsibility because you got too caught up.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The mutual reception of the full moon and Saturn in your sign frames a basic contrast to be balanced for the remainder of this lunar cycle over the next couple weeks—maintaining stringent boundaries for yourself while retaining emotional sensitivity in relationship with others. You simply must crack the whip, demanding yourself to act as an authoritarian advocate for what you need in order to attain a strong self-identity, even if it leads you to prioritize what seem like silly shallow self-involved tangents over attending to others' psychological thirsts (whether they articulate them or not). You're not a cold unfeeling bastard for giving your own desires the energy and attention. Meanwhile, you must still recognize how deep your connection to connection is, a residual yearning for deep love from lifetimes gone by, which pulls you toward relationship time and again. To truly love, you must hold your hands up when approach becomes uncomfortably claustrophobic—for everyone's benefit, but most of all for integrity. Otherwise, your kind altruism turns to resentment-wearing-the-face-of-compassion. A dramatic break from what you consider 'caring' could be in order, so you may ultimately be a better you with more true care to offer.


LEO (July 23-August 22): 'It's not about me. It's about the work.' You might want to keep telling yourself that since, with Mars continuing through your sign, your instinct is to behave from the me-first perspective. And the fact is, perhaps it is sometimes about you and not the work. You've held your tongue long enough, and now, with Mars's help, the larger whole is more prepared to accept you as a vocal leader (though, most certainly, you can expect one 'big personality' to disagree with a main tenet of your approach). To that extent, you can go ahead and let it be about you as you express yourself, saying and doing what will eat you up from inside if you don't go ahead and say and do it. But once teamwork breakdowns or unanticipated snafus or conflicts arise, your emotional reactions must prioritize duty to the work instead of deference to the ego, if you want to retain credibility and refrain from adding personal beef to the problem pot. Reactivity is where you need to exercise the self-control. Radically remove your psychological investment in outcomes once you've said your piece, unless you're ready to radically remove yourself from one or more of the most intense relationships in the group.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Over these months, you've grown increasingly comfortable with the refreshed awareness that becoming a bigger and brighter you involves dropping the expectation of being everything to everyone else. Maybe you already knew that, and the problem was really trying to being everything to yourself, instead of calling on help from others in the areas where your expertise was limited. Perhaps you even had to snip certain alliances that refused to let you grow within their narrow confines of who you should be. But did anyone bother to notify your body? Or are you still trying to complete superman feats in a single day, meeting unreasonable deadlines without enough to eat or enough sleep, continuing the same exhausting routine as before, forgetting to adjust your work and health habits to a readjusted self-image? Now that you're better able to reserve your love and creative energies for only those people and projects that warrant your magic, how about extending that conservatism to your daily duties and physical energies? Since you're a Virgo and, by nature, a don't-worry-about-me-er, this is probably pretty challenging. However, your physical health—the only thing we've got in this life—will thank you with the gift of its best self.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't let yourself get lured into abstract considerations of how 'one' can best suit the needs of the greatest whole while still maintaining 'one's' sense of unwavering ethical unity. You may even foster these considerations on your own, easy as it is to excuse yourself from dicier emotional concerns by jumping headfirst into 'one's' social actions or ideological pursuits. Go ahead and enjoy issue-play and word-game in your spare time, but not before you discipline yourself into facing the challenge of setting up a private oasis where you can unwind and distress, with your emotional satisfaction as the only priority. Force yourself to that uncomfortably close viewpoint ('you' not 'one') and away from philosophical frivolity (for a moment, at least) by recalling past feelings of emotional poverty that resulted from not having such a private space in which you could withdraw from the world. It's that important to find that special home intended just for you, to prevent feeling poor and steeped in depression, which is why you must insist upon following that need above the allure of cerebral 'one'-mindedness.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): All indicators point to the struggle between casual and intense, and with a Scorpio involved, intense almost always wins. Contrary to popular consensus among the other signs, intensity is the easiest and most natural from your perspective. It's in your blood. Which deems its expression automatic and without any real challenge to spur you on to the development of your own stable foundation, wrapped up as you are in meshing totalities with whatever or whoever is your latest partner in absolutism. The difficult challenge, calling upon you from the recesses of your desires for something different, is to assert the value of partiality so that you are freer to become cross-pollinated by members of various social species, rather than inbreeding in the continuance of been-there-done-that, only with someone or something else. In the end, because you are who you are, intensity will prevail—but sometimes it takes a full-fledged trip away from the goal in order to return to it in highest appreciation and unconflicted involvement.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you are contemplating how best to take advantage of this window of professional opportunity, if you are assessing your chips to determine how to most smartly dole them out for strategic stability upon which to grow, then you're working with the flow. If you are experiencing the profound impact of your motions on the lives of intimate others through your own gut-level realizations, then you recognize the need for maintaining a strong boundary and perhaps even snipping a cord or two to support your outer goals. If you are delighting in the gathering of words and the swapping of contacts among new acquaintances, if you are discussing different ventures every evening over apple martinis or nuevo-latino tapas and learning bits about topics you never considered and may never again, then you're having a blast—and simultaneously deluding yourself into thinking that escape into these diversions is having no effect on your need for stable foundation or your professional aspirations or your profound impact on the lives of others. Energy can't be spent on everything all at once. Time keeps on moving, and you can't get it back once it's gone. Choices have consequences.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The mutual reception of the full moon in your sign with your ruler Saturn provides a supportive bright light for seeing how the exercise of self-control in relationships ultimately fuels emotional satisfaction, even if, in a given moment, you feel so desperate for connection that you're willing to do anything. A moment's dashed expectations, if simply permitted to be dashed, yield greater self-respect later. All we truly control is ourselves, while any other efforts qualify as coercion and thwart integrity. How resolute a Capricorn can be. But apply your strength in refusal to sacrifice your own highest emotional will, rather than trying to convince someone else to do as you desire. Believe in your lovingness, that those who will appreciate and treasure the heart behind the sometimes-prickly veneer will flock to you, once you decide to risk being perceived as vulnerable and halt the inner torrent of self-flagellation and open that heart wide and full. Give of yourself, but do not give yourself away. What you get in return must, first and foremost, solidify your wisdom and expand your worldview, through responsibility to all parties' freedom and mutual involvement by choice not obligation.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I will not permit you to let go of faith. There is so much of who you are—that is, who you are becoming—that is up in the air, no wonder there's a propensity for you to forget to believe you'll make it where you need to be. It could be particularly difficult to stay fully grounded in your approach, which appears to others as wholly ungrounded and impractical because you've chosen to do things differently (and remember, you chose it!), as the potential for ego conflict arises and threatens to pull you off course with a dose of self-doubt. Stay conscious that, while you might be unclear about what it will mean in the end, you must still build clear walls about what is and isn't appropriate when fulfilling a day's service, so that you can psychologically grow by refusing to take on others' garbage. Take strength in playing out your part, knowing you can't control the outcomes, and let the other control-freaks drive themselves crazy while you stay calm in the moment's not-knowing. Don't let them drive you crazy too. Don't fight. Don't overlook the overarching, universal, spiritual, everything-is-as-it-should-be viewpoint. Personal satisfaction over people-pleasing, in a respectful, conflict-only-if-necessary-but-polite-even-then fashion.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The reason you are obliged to become this new and improved version is because we need you to be. We need you to battle against the ego safety of falling into the same old routine, even if we say we want you to stay unchanged. We don't always know what we need, so don't always listen to us. We need you to plug up your ears and psychic antennae—quit worrying about what we like or what seems to soothe us in a given moment—so that you are forced to spit out your own opinions and preferences. Project. We can't hear you if you mince your words or murmur under your breath. In case you begin to feel uncomfortable with everyone looking at you, remind yourself it's a necessity for growing into fair and equitable partnerships that you must occasionally draw attention to your suppressed-loudmouth self. Otherwise, you will be treated as unworthily as you're acting. Above all else, you have an obligation to the group to bring your piece to the puzzle or else the picture will remain forever uncompleted and, unfortunately, your fault. You will only be blamed for refusing to try.