Horoscopes | Week of July 26-August 1, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's one of those midsummer moments during which, if you so choose, you can delightfully let loose into vigorous expressions of joy, pleasantly uncomplicated conversations and tangle-free emotional connections with friends and like-minded comrades. As horoscopic advice, the preceding sentence doesn't offer much more than a bland endorsement of fun. But isn't it worth the simplicity, after the past few weeks have repeatedly warned that efforts on your part might meet resistance or disfavor? Apart from incidental disruptions to your attempt to analytically arrange pressing tasks and duties in suitable prioritized order (in other words, make lists, but don't expect them to be followed to the letter), it's an otherwise agreeable week. It seems those potential dissenters have calmed their tensions toward you—or at least are focused on other things.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the catalog of details regulating how you personally practice love, there are a few misprints, omissions and outdated diagrammatics. You could think about this list of rules with care and consideration, yet still skip right over whatever's missing or wrong—it's a trick of your eye that fills in what it thinks belongs in the blanks or in-betweens. Impersonalize those thoughts, though, and you can witness breakthroughs in your peers' compassionate declarations to each other, and how members of society, in defiance of the heartless manners we've come to expect from strangers, support each other with unsuspected kindnesses and acts of low-profile altruism. Well, then, after that, you can't help but notice your version isn't quite what you thought it was. Are you brave enough to let fresh insights enter your tight model of love? Can you take comfort in the solidity of your self-love, and use that as a jumping-off point for necessary variation from the preestablished norm, once your love becomes externalized and centered on others? Will you at least try?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here's how the rub Mercury makes in its polarizing opposition to Uranus could possibly shake up your understandings. See, Gemini, whether you've stopped long enough to realize it or not, the past few months have truly recalibrated your rhythmic vibrations to a different (higher?) resonance—Venus's transit truly was that strong an influence on you. Now, the mental tension that's developed between your newly attuned self and your long-unrevised self-care techniques is ready to give way. Keep your checklist of reliable habits for soothing your soul and recharging your battery handy. Either (1) this listing has become stale and radically requires a few fresh options, in light of your remodeled public self, with its different requirements of emotional investment, or (2) your public life has proven discontinuous enough from previous experience to threaten to decenter you, so that a return to practical calming methods is an essential antidote to brain-melt. By choosing one of these options—rather than the third, which involves ignoring the tension and inviting the unknown to respond to your repression—you resolve your responsibility and may continue proceeding without anxiety. Incidentally, trying to put the brakes on any snowballing circumstances that scare you with their momentum is most certainly not the answer.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): To get lost in magical minglings with passion, infatuation, hatred, jealousy or other unbounded extremities of emotion is to temporarily forget your ongoing Saturn-in-Cancer challenge: Tame your feelings into control. Emotional control, in this context, mustn't equal repression, for that (as we know) is unhealthy. Still, emotions must submit to being corralled, so they don't prevent reason from orchestrating an appropriate schedule of things to do. Otherwise, inconspicuous emotional persuasion techniques could be used against you, convincing you to stray from what you know to be the most wellness-supporting sequence of behaviors. Or maybe you're the one slyly persuading others (under the guise of 'caregiving') to function according to your rules. Manage these control issues by controlling yourself, not giving up control nor exercising it on others' behalf. You are only you, and have duties to perform as such.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The height of Leo season, and after a couple weeks of incessant you-ness, the rest of us are finally growing accustomed to it. No longer will we be rubbed raw in resisting the tides that raise you above sea-level. We are ready to work with you in open support, rather than quietly against you in envious confusion. And you get the resultant pleasure of an exhalation of relief, for, though you would have kept going down your natural path anyhow, now the unidentifiable background noise has been reduced to near-nothingness. The emotional mood is uncomplicated expression of love—from you to each loved person, from each of them to you, clean and unfettered. The surprising side-effect: Every attempt you make to rationally reflect on matters of practical value suddenly inextricably interacts with the material realities of the beloved. Your riches and their riches. Your constraints and theirs. Your virtue, their worth. Love complicates logic, in what I'd consider a good way.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Reread last week's informative summary of the current Mercury effect—the trickier feature of the next month-and-a-half's mental activities begins to show its colors this weekend. In conjunction with the Full Moon, Mercury moves into its first of three oppositions to Uranus, an aspect denoting radical interruptions to previous ways of thinking and speaking. With Mercury in your sign, it's quite probable that you're the one who thinks and speaks like you've got it all figured out when you don't. Consequently, the radical interruption will likely derive from one or more dissenting peers whose break from the norm challenges the coherence of your contentions. Of course, the reverse is also possible—that you hold the unorthodox view and someone else's sobering logic will pressure you back towards center. Either way, the effect has the capacity for upsetting disagreements or liberating epiphanies, depending on your reaction. Remember, though: This is only the beginning of a couple months of this mindfuck maneuvering. Do your best to let the alternative knowledge enter your head, or else it may crack from the strain.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Your clean lines of logic cannot accommodate what you think they do. But no need to lament. Sometimes it's okay to believe ideas just because you feel right doing so (as long as you're sure you can identify the feeling of 'right' when you encounter it). It also works to believe in opposition to something else, simply because you intuit certain influential members of the dissenting camp are 'wrong', sensing their wrongness in the pit of your stomach. Or maybe you just prefer a certain belief because it's enjoyable and full of flair: an artful sentiment that makes you smile as you outline its dictates. The specifics of the scenario matter less than the necessity to openly acknowledge (to yourself, at least) that deductive reasoning may often have less to do with your overall rationale than you'd imagine. Preference is a mysterious thing. That's why a key point to this week's advice, Libra, is a reiteration of last week's—to refrain from attempts to convert others to your way of thinking. In light of your better understanding of the mystical (i.e., illogical) factors behind what seem to be logical habits, you can see more clearly why your predilections might not meet another's needs as well as they meet your own.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Please take note of the intensifying discord between (1) your evolving sense of control over matters of material and emotional security and (2) your ability to articulate the ethics intrinsic to your game-plan in a coherent and consistent fashion. Dwell here in consideration for a moment, as opposed to indulging the instinct to defiantly declare, 'I don't owe an explanation to anybody.' No, Scorpio, you don't 'owe' anything to anyone but yourself. But it's you who'll be short-changed—in the realm of meaningful trusting connection with like-minded souls—if you refuse to organize your thoughts so they make sense to others. Do your best to remove the lurking undercurrent of defensiveness (because you don't owe anyone a 'defense' of your actions), and instead focus on the desire to explain for the sake of greater mutual understanding. You will not achieve long-term happiness by playing your cards in secret, ensuring you win the lucrative pot but losing your philosophical support system on the way. You won't get to enjoy the fruits of your labor that allow you to treat your pals to a lively night out, if your silence provides you all nothing to talk about over dinner.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Those Sagittarians who've paid extra-close attention to your horoscopes over the past year will recall a couple different themes that arose on multiple occasions. First, I had mentioned the need to dramatically reevaluate your living situation—who you live with, what town you call home, how the furniture is arranged, how you feel when you're there—to guarantee the environment was a suitably refreshingly nurturing one for you. Second, I've spoken of good-luck opportunities on the public-career horizon, provided you leave the door open to possibilities that fall outside your previously-rigid set of prescripts about what qualifies as a legitimate step on your path. Over the next several weeks, these two themes collide in a productively disconcerting fashion, pressuring you past a possible impasse by forcing an abrupt adjustment in one or both. In other words, if my prior words have gone unheeded in one of these areas, the tension from your neglect will make itself known, now or very soon. One hint: You cannot rise to power without accepting certain interpersonal boundaries as necessary for your independent growth. It's hard to do what you want to do and always feel as two.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Here's a novel concept you may or may not have entertained regarding the (warning: broken record alert!) relationship challenges you're continuing to face. Faith—have you heard of it? It's this wholly illogical notion upon which certain individuals rely when they are nervous, fearful, confused, underinformed, wishful, hopeless, tired or otherwise racked by unmanageable sensation. It requires both (1) a suspension of total dependence on intelligible processing techniques as a means for understanding and (2) a calm-enough mind to transmit nonverbal beams of positive energy outward while remaining receptive to incoming messages and reassuring signs. Over these months, we've repeatedly attacked the relationship stuff from all kinds of analytic angles. Maybe it's time to include this other radical approach—throwing your arms up in surrender, thanking the universe for its blessings and requesting to be put in interpersonal situations with the best potential for providing you challenging growth. Maybe all you need to do is ask and believe.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Any burst of emotion (argh! yikes! emotions! amorphous! unintelligible!) can likely be attributed to the combination of feeling so completely yourself and so completely unsure of who that you is in the larger context. This weekend's Full Moon in your sign, conjunct the murkily mystifying Neptune, raises this fusion of spiritual bliss and social befuddlement, liable to bring chills that stand your hairs on end and waves that amp your abdominal churnings. The who-you-are from the stadium-bleachers view is dying and being reborn. As you know, it must be this way, in order for you to stop giving your power away and start wielding it toward higher purpose, which may well include taking greater public control and refusing to stand by politely. But since you cannot grasp what the end result will be—or how you're supposed to behave in support of it—the best bet is to direct emotional spurts toward work and health habits. Turn blinders to the social-meaning stage, and do what you need to get done.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Just hold on and ride the disconcerting wave of nervous emotion which overlays the psychic reality of change in the air that offers no more than a smidgeon of specific knowledge as to who, what, when, where or how. Leaky feelings are seeping in through cracks in the reasoning you use to categorize every aspect of your meaningful relationships. That uncompromising independent streak of yours (I know, you're still trying to acclimate to it) cannot be contained by the current system you use to file your interpersonal experiences into the appropriate boxes. Do you need to hit the curb, or do the boxes? Don't worry—you needn't have the answer to that monumental question fully formulated quite yet. Spend the next several weeks on it. As for the crazy or anxious tendencies, they will seem more menacing the harder you try to avoid the growing tension between self and other—and more manageable the more avidly you connect to faith in yourself as an individual capable of thriving, alone or in a unit, no matter what the future brings. Control, as we know, is an illusion.