Horoscopes | Week of July 5-11, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You and your fire-sign comrades, the Leos, are the two most… how shall I put this… verging-on-unbearably exuberant in your self-serving potential to maneuver however you see fit this week. 'Self-serving', of course, is just another one of those interchangeable though subtly distinct synonyms beginning with the prefix 'self'—self-focused, self-possessed, self-expressive, self-centered, self-obsessed—that astrologers always seem to use, with varying degrees of compassion or condemnation, to describe the Aries ilk. The words are knotty to apply politely because, for some odd reason (like the influence of these 2,000 years of the Piscean Age), the common wisdom is to criticize people with these qualities, as if we're all supposed to be self-effacing, self-flagellating, self-sublimating and self-sacrificing. In fact, it is impossible to offer much of use to anyone else if, first, we don't satisfy ourselves. In order to both permit the natural flow of self-expression and avoid the pitfalls of self-absorption, always remember you're doing what you need to do in order to become stronger and more stable—and so that others can rest upon your strength and stability to help them take self-serving and self-expressive steps in their own lives, though it may not come quite as naturally to them.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A lot of positive self-directed energy goes a long way on the homefront this week, Taurus. Possible options include: enjoying a couple lazy days in bed or on the couch with an engaging read or tantalizing TV trash, indulging a bit in favorite sensual pleasures of food, drink or flesh and not letting guilt or unhealthy (i.e., self-punishing) overindulgence ruin the party; taking on a home improvement project not because you feel like you have to do it but because you know it'll actually be a lot of fun, despite the labor required; or taking part in whatever private practices, journaling, looking through old photos, reading your favorite children's book, painting or sculpting, calling old friends. The intention is to focus on delighting and romancing you as though you're a combination of your own child and your own lover. The key is to reconnect in continuity with your past connections to others, so that you can cement your own solid future connection to yourself.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The hope is, with all the noise you're transmitting and receiving about teeny-tiny-little This and relatively-unimportant-dressed-as-huge That, eventually the gibber-jabber will become so profuse and musical, the attempt at meaning will drop out and the sounds themselves will develop into the pleasure. Anxious needs-to-know surrender into joy-as-is. It would be a shame not to enjoy the breadth of stimulus, due to fear that one or two minor abrasions will fester into infection. So you're scratched up? Keeps you vital. Stay close to the sobering challenges in the material realm, and get yourself stable. But as for conclusions and interpretations beyond your immediate well-being, hold off. Instead, truly indulge in the last few drops of a titillating season of excitement, and fill your spare time with flitting activity. Life will wear its way back to everydayness, and you'll want these memories to draw upon when eventually you succumb to meaning-making.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Just because you can easily 'go with the flow', that doesn't mean it's going to get you where you want to go. To reiterate last week's advice, you should be building and strengthening your boundaries so that you're better able to identify which ideas, feelings, actions and inspirations belong to you—and so you can direct them toward the purposes you deem most worthy and appropriate. Since it's your life, you must call the shots. With this week's Sun-Saturn conjunction in your sign, it's definitely the optimal moment to cut the shit and specifically articulate what you want from this existence of yours: Mere existence, or a certain achievement or attainment? Jupiter's sextile, meanwhile, adds a subtle hint of good luck to whatever you commit yourself to, so please don't pass this open door without stepping inside. The ego-strength and maturity you muster now can last you the entire year, and then some, but only if you get down to the serious business of stating what you want and prioritizing your own self-possessed pursuance of it, refusing to settle or stray until it's yours.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Mercury has now come around into your sign, collaborating with Mars in a spectacularly focused brains-and-brawn propulsion of you-ness into the galaxy. This passing unification of your thoughts, words and actions toward a single purpose—whatever you have decided the most important single purpose is—likely increase your confidence, since all your parts are functioning so well together. Whereas last week I gave the go-ahead for relaxing the restraint and expressing yourself more fully, this week I'd be impossibly challenged to try to stop you. Just be forewarned as you're havin' a great summertime, cruising along to your own blaring music, that you're likely to be perceived as coming on 'full gangbusters'. The same energy stimulating you to push outward, holler in laughter, move your way in your manner… it also projects toward other people, who could feel bombarded by your bombast. I'm not saying to hold back or to get in people's faces, to minimize or maximize conflict. Do as you will. Just know that your bursts will not go unnoticed.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Lack of clarity floats above. Passing fog bank thickens, obscuring sight. Who you assert you are, what you do all day—a rub, like not being able to stand two places at once. Project unconsciously a grown self, supported by working to do social participations better, fortifying the sense of fulfilling whatever role feels right. But how to put these identity questions into practice? How to eat, drink, walk and work like the person you've turned into? How to experience new bodily sensations and not fear them, overcompensate into unhealth, or drift through bliss into pretend-bliss? The others might tell you to do things their way—neither accept nor reject their recommendations on rational analysis, historical antecedents, or reactions to or against persuasiveness. Feel without escape, but not blinded. Question marks and truncated grammar thrown in spurn the safety and spur the innovator in you into faith. This is the flipside of recent good luck, though not properly labeled.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): How much more can we take of your annoyingly fair and cool-headed perspective on doling out attentions so there's enough for everyone? I'm not saying you should think or behave in any way other than this. But, just as a warning, those less-polite participants in your life will not always respond with award-winning acceptance of being lumped in with everyone else. They may want special privileges. They may want you to choose them over universal dictates of well-intentioned kindness. They might even try to get a rise out of you, a toppling of your treasured temperance, by pointing out—not totally inaccurately, I might add—how hiding behind the greater good doesn't undo that your unflappable insistence on your own views is just as self-aggrandizing as anyone else's (though yours seem so civilized and urbane). I'm neither justifying your position nor theirs, just describing the source of potential tensions. However, I will mention your future points to forced interpersonal discomfort as a means to greater psychological intimacy and sharing—if that's what you want.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): 'Excellence, calling Scorpio. Please head straight to Will Call to pick up your ticket to every outer-world goal you've dreamt of achieving. Hurry, while supplies last. Register your ideas with the Bureau of Being—please print legibly and spell everything out in longhand to counter ambiguity—and expect your actions to happen exactly in sync with what you've written. No specificity, no actuality. Think, speak, do, succeed.' 'Hey, Scorpio, over here. Remember me? I'm the one, that person with whom your destiny currently collides. I want you to sit next to me. I want you to hold my hand through the whole show. I don't care what you do [or maybe should I?], as long as you do it with me.' 'You? Me, me, me, me, me! This is your deep conscience from the past. How good does it feel to screw the rest of 'em and do whatever I tell you? [Rhetorical question or real consideration?] I want it all. I want the career and the love-life and the gold box with the perfect red velvet bow… and oh, that balancing act required? Let them balance around me. I'm the center of the universe.' 'Excellence, calling Scorpio again. Correction. We cannot give you your ticket until those two folks with you settle their dispute.' 'Me and you.' 'Me, me, me, me, me!' Who?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Okay, okay, so you're starting to figure it all out, to see how all the decisions and deeds fit together into a breathtaking panorama of what your life is showing itself to mean. You've earned the 'eureka!' smile and the relieved laughter, even a little bragging to friends about everything having turned out despite reservations. (No told-you-so nose-rubbings-in, though. Unnecessary, and likely inflammatory.) By thinking so big, though, you could fall into a typical Sag booby-trap of too hastily moving toward the pot of gold and tripping over the smallest potholes in the road, twisting your ankle and prolonging the process due to your own overeagerness. Everything is as you see it, except the details along the way, which you're apt to gloss over or underestimate in their importance. If you slow down long enough to patiently explain where you're trying to go to those trusted people in your life—you know, the ones whose advice you've resisted in the past because it's so damned practical and unadventurous—you're likely to get a couple useful nuggets of assistance that can go far in preventing the trip-fall-and-twist scenario. But that involves putting pride aside, or at least forestalling its expression at moments when you should be listening instead.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): It's prime time to offset all this serious boundary work in terms of your relationships with some rip-roarin' wild times, intertwining meaty chunks of self with another and relishing the riskworthy rewards. Don't be mistaken; this exhortation to conjoin and consociate is no get-out-of-jail-free card to release you from your duty to improve your relationship patterns. But just because you're toiling toward longer-term, bigger-picture partnership progress, that doesn't mean you must do away with self-contained instances of tremendous intimacy—psychological, spiritual, sexual—until you've reached the finish line. Perfectionist that you are, you may never reach a finish line. Thus you must take intense pleasure and true uncontainable connection where you can find it, whether it lasts an hour or a lifetime. It will not solve the ongoing struggle to resolve abstract philosophical growth with lived real-world confusion, but it will release some of the built-up tension and put an enormous smile on your face for at least a few days. Let 'em hit you where it counts, in a good way.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Despite the ostensible difficulties, it is possible to stay on task when you're not sure why. You're able to take care of business and your own physical health, and still not know to what ends your very incarnation and its daily responsibilities are karmically carrying you. One thing you do know is that there's work to be done. And the more work you do, the better you are able to take advantage of increased intimacy with others—you will have more in common, more to talk about and share, and more to justifiably relax from (rather than feeling that nagging sense of guilt about indulging instead of working). The joys right now are to be found from releasing any notion of figuring out who you are and, instead, enjoying the focus on one or more special relationships or partnerships that, as a side effect, will help you figure it out. Sometimes the best way to know ourselves is to stop trying different self-knowledge approaches within our self-imposed bubble of self-safety and let someone else get to know us, for the first time or all over again. What they gain from the experience, and how they treat us as a result of what they learn, helps us see better—from outside our myopic view—who, in fact, we are in the actual world, not in our minds.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): It's one of those weeks where Pisces people could be put through that special Piscean ringer. I could try to explain those fits of irrational crying, frantic mania, psychic sponginess, lurking anxiety about nothing in particular, mountains and molehills switching clothes, nighttime dreams populated with cosmic buddies dreaming the same thing, and any other wacky manifestations of the ethereal fabric that is a Pisces's life, but you probably already know what I mean. The stinker is your ruler Neptune, hanging in that most obtuse and unintelligible 12th house of yours. It promises to enigmatically unseat the otherwise delightfully productive astrological components that are leading you to love more openly and fairly, give and receive more mutually from peers and partners of all sorts, and get serious with your self-expressiveness when need be. The flaring Piscean sensitivities must not be allowed to entice you away from this progress. You must push through them, bearing their flow, without trying to reason them away or figure out what they mean. They do not 'mean' anything; they simply are. Whenever the Pisces thing starts to get the best of you this week, pick yourself up and complete a mundane task. Clean a room, do a half-hour on the treadmill, organize your papers—anything physical and responsible to counteract the metaphysical and potentially loon-inducing.