Horoscopes | Week of July 12-18, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Keep doing what you're doing, and it's a good thing you're not one of those people overly concerned with what others think about what you're doing, since you're not currently likely to foresee how the larger group will react to your fun-loving self-possessed behaviors, whether they will misinterpret your silliness as sarcasm or keep waiting around for you to reflect an interest in what they want you to do. I'm not sure this means you should make any adjustments, other than staying aware of that gauzy curtain of semi-concealment separating your intentions from their receptions. If you decide to care about public perception enough to do something, silently project energetic waves of demonstrative love instead of trying to explain yourself or backpedal further into a ditch. Speak your truth in your eyes, and let your mouth do as it will with lowered expectations.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In summarizing your stocktaking of the situation, there are at least two different stories to tell yourself. In one, you're poor as dirt; in another, you're the richest man or woman in town. If I were to tell you that either of these versions (or some other in-between tale) is as true as you decide it to be, why wouldn't you choose to be lavishing in wealth? So much reality is crafted by adopting the mentality, whether poverty or posh plenteousness. Adopt the narrative you like best, and squelch any nervous anticipation that authoritarian forces from outside are going to take one look at you and call the bluff. If you will it, it is no bluff. Hog the caretaking for yourself. Speak the appropriate 'yes's and 'no's to relieve any weight on your soul, and keep repeating the happy ending until it comes happily-ever-after true, at least for now.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Let's get meta for a moment, Gemini, because the only way I can describe your gently developing sense of greater certainty is as greater certainty of the uncertain character of your current position. Back when Venus was retrograde (May 17-June 29), it was likely you felt totally uncertain—and, on top of that, vaguely uncertain as to whether your uncertainty was full or whether beneath the surface of vague uncertainty was actual certainty you were unable or afraid to recognize. Now, this most maddening top layer of distractingly shallow uncertainty is gone, leaving only the real uncertainty—and that will be easier to deal with. If that meta-logic has taught you anything about the insufficiency of logic (as logic is used as a means to certainty), then it should be this: With uncertainty firmly in place, you needn't follow logical steps to get you out of the financial or resource-oriented pickle. Senseless intuition is a more lucrative fit for your uncertain times. Picture money in your pocket: Now how does it feel like you got it?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): To commemorate the annual New Moon in Cancer, which falls this Saturday morning, I challenge you to explore your psyche a bit with the following exercise. I want you to think of two people in your life. The first is a person who you love but who drives you crazy with one particular piece of his/her personality that pushes every button of yours, that makes you wonder how someone so awesome can be so deficient in this certain area. The other is someone who possesses some trait or skill that you wish you had, and, despite the genuine friendship or connection you have with him/her, your latent envy prevents you from being as pure in your love as you'd otherwise be. Now, to channel the New Moon's power for enacting new beginnings, I want you to reconsider these two people. The first is someone whose one annoying characteristic is a projection of some piece of your personality you have a hard time accepting—either he/she mirrors you in this area or represents the opposite extreme, but regardless you're the one with the discomfort, or else you'd do a better job of handling or articulating your gripe. The other possesses a confidence where you feel a lack, though your lack may be more imagined than real, more motivated by fear of trying than a history of actual flailing. Use this flipped perspective to (1) embrace the reason why the first person bugs you and engage with yourself (and maybe even him/her) to resolve the nag and (2) own your envy and put all the cards on the table, letting this person help you develop your own strengths to overcome your imagined lack. This combination of acts would certainly qualify as a powerful new beginning.


LEO (July 23-August 22): There's a vast and significant distance between enjoying control over your own behaviors and (the ruse of) perceived control over any situation. Don't play at reigning over this chasm and unifying the sides, for the stronger and more ardently you express yourself in the hopes of effecting your given outcome, the harsher the realization that you only control yourself will be. Within those seemingly narrow confines of your own behavior, however, come an infinite number of choices and no obligation other than to do whatever you feel. But back up your actions with a renewed spiritual investment in the unpredictability of other people, who also share their own infinite-possibility spectrum and likely have other long-term outcomes in mind than you could even begin to conjure. Are you so tied to leadership that you're closed off to following another's potentially inspiring inclinations? It's okay if you are, but then respect that same freedom in those you seek to lead. Respect will be given where respect is due.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): In light of the continued relevance of last week's remarks, watch out that you act with as much consciousness as possible. Startlingly automatic eruptions from your subliminal self threaten to sneak up on you if you're not careful. When in doubt, slow everything down. Walk away for a moment, or ask to be excused from answering until you're quite clear on the difference between a temporary reaction and a lasting truth. The same caution applies to any hasty physical moves, such as eating or drinking too much or being careless in the way you walk, drive or exercise. Envision each motion being made with the utmost safety and precision before actually taking it, to better ensure a result of your liking. It might help to realign yourself with the pack, a bit of a switch from recent urgings to take off on your own. Just affirm that those you align yourself with actually support your increased calm and carefulness, rather than exacerbate the problem by spurring secret resentments and clenched muscles.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I cannot assume to know how political or socially minded you are, but the astrological weather report indicates it's fine time to mobilize your masses behind issues of import. I can envision you yelling uncharacteristically loudly into a megaphone, addressing the crowd with your heady though accessible explanations of what changes you believe must be made to improve the quality of everyone's lives. There's a fire burning in your soul, igniting your need to make a difference out there for the greater good of humanity. Not only is there a particularly favorable climate for you to make these sort of commitments now, they are also a welcome distraction from matters a little closer to home (and more uncomfortably confusing). It's perfectly acceptable to switch momentary attention from more self-centered concerns, which are producing little in the way of satisfying resolution, to a broader social allegiance in which clarity is easier to come by—and consequently easier to act on. It's certainly a healthier escape than many.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's perfectly okay to acknowledge a certain nomadic tone to your current existence, as if you're not quite sure where to lay your head for the most refreshing and reenergizing experience. There's a part of you that's reluctant to dabble, fearful the apparent indecision signifies a weakness. I say, it's only weakness if you lose that wider sense of what's important, if you float without intuitive ethical resoluteness to tether you. Tap into that perspective of life as heroic journey, and bear in constant mind what you want the ultimate moral to your story to be. Then, open yourself up to letting the details in the middle write themselves. You will not lose your way as long as you remember what the thing you're looking for looks like.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): True intimacy means never having to feel embarrassed when you proudly share your latest tight-as-a-drum synopsis of recent interlocking significances and someone points out the minor discrepancy that destabilizes your entire thesis and leaves you sputtering in dashed logic. Would you rather spontaneously be right on the first try, so that you collect raves and rhapsodies in your honor, or would you rather be right by trial and error, secure in your notion that the hypothesis has been tested and challenged and revised and refined and will now stand up firm? By the way, the correct answer is the second option—which involves including input from others, remaining ego-unattached in order to attain the best results—despite the grade-grubbing allure of getting the gold star from spontaneous genius. Virtually always, spontaneous genius contains a few blindspots only correctable through stepping away and listening to contrary views.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I know you know how much love you have to give. You quietly acknowledge what a tremendously nurturing partner you can be, the difficulties you're willing to endure in order to demonstrate your caring to another, your strong shoulder and huge heart waiting to be enjoyed to their fullest in just the right intimate opportunity. So what's with the injured bird routine? Despite your judgments, you are not inherently broken, flawed, deficient or unworthy. Hopefully you don't really think any of those things about yourself, though I'm sure they cross your mind every once in a blue moon. It's your responsibility to let the love crack through the surface-level prickliness you perform (intentionally or not) to keep people at arm's length and inadvertently reconfirm your broken, flawed, deficient or unworthy self-image. You might have to work harder than you feel you should to let them see how you do care (and how you're not really a hard-ass, but just play one on TV), yet the rewards are worth the extra effort, and how else are you going to spend that same energy?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Permission granted for you to invest a little more ego in trying to get one or more certain somebodies to like you. Our strict belief in free will prevents you from orchestrating secretive manipulations or casting forcible love spells. Instead you must rely solely on your own charms, which, when allowed out of their cool cage, can behave a lot more flamboyantly and uncontrollably than many of your casual fans would believe. Indeed, it's okay to drop your cool and let him, her or them see how much you want love and approval, or at least this moment's attention. This week, I'd go for goofy and playful over wise and fair. For better or for worse, they'll be less likely to misread your personality when your lid's lifted off.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The sooner you recognize that all forms are duty are, to a large degree, irrational, the more quickly you can attend to your duties without adding the extra anxiety of trying to rationalize why you feel dutybound in the manner you do. Why, yes, many other zodiac folks might function the opposite way—'duty must make sense before I can fulfill it'—but you've never done things how everyone else does. Connect with the freedom that comes from admitting you're not sure why you are compelled to take certain tasks ultra-seriously but you're going to do it anyhow. Indeed, trying to logically analyze your compulsions could backfire when, discovering no 'substance' there, you lose your motivation and return to aimlessness. No, you owe nobody—not even yourself—an explanation for the guiding sense that your earthly work requires you to dedicate yourself to x, y and z. Example: If, in your heart of hearts, you believe that drinking a whole bottle of tomato juice every morning or sleeping only 2 hours a day is what will make you healthy, then, by all means, follow—as long as you are certain that health (and not expression of nuttiness) is what you're after.