Horoscopes | Week of August 2-8, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Bring out the feeling. Invite the shy turtle to pop its head out from its hiding-place shell and share the story. The turtle is not you, but an as-yet-unarticulated spirit-kernel carrying an untouched creative inspiration, barely within reach. A new mold or language with which to remake the movie-musical soundtrack-script of your life. It lurks there in eager wait, ready to gift innovative greatness to your efforts—or to race around inside you, circularity generating uncomfortable anxiety, trapped because you refuse to take the time to put it into form. Do not waste energy dissecting meaning in my words, critical of their senselessness because it seems to slow your motion. The hint of perfect-pictured awareness shimmers transparent on the tips of your antennae, more oblique than any overpoetic horoscope. Meditate on the faint shape enough to bring it to fuller clarity. Seek a container, a vessel, some real-life thing in which to invest this inspiration. Use it to tell the story. Pull hard to draw it out. Elicit the fresh. Make it, rather than just moving around.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With your ruler Venus movin' on into a new sign after months of Geminian double-decker drama, you should have your practical business pretty much figured out by this point. The waffling between viewpoints of 'have' and 'have-not' sufficiently fluctuated itself into increasingly less dramatic difference, finally netting a calmer and truer understanding of what exists stably and what is illusory. It's time now to accept comfort with the situation as it is, to rest upon the sturdiest of your resources while cleverly circumventing the deficiencies. Once achieved, communicate this comfort to those in your immediate surroundings, not necessarily through lengthy verbal declarations or tedious anecdotal asides but by projecting thoughts of positive intention without saying too much. Actually, you're free to speak as much as you want, but your Taurean energy is so powerful, you might not need to do as much exposition as you think. Let them receive a clear idea of how you feel about yourself and your best attributes by transmitting unconflicting wave patterns. Worry less about whether their reactions are wildly enthusiastic, unsettled, or barely registering.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Not every relationship you have can be navigated with as breezy and casual an attitude. The more you've come to expect for yourself through better emotional integration, the stronger the push or pull of control issues influences the most intense of your interpersonal relations. At a certain point in the process of prioritizing self-soul-nurturing behaviors over social nicemaking, you'll hit walls in getting pleasantly along. They might think you've become too big for your britches, when all you know is you've never been closer to private peace, now that you know what you need to relax. Any potential challenges will not be as easily negotiated with formal presentation or tightly argued theses because—and listen closely here—(1) there is no inherent fundamental right or wrong, no case to be won, and yet (2) there is most certainly an unambiguous right for you. State your position and hold to your necessary boundaries, but don't try to convince anyone else that your right is their right. Results may include an impasse, a difficult forging of compromise, or a renewed respect for living with difference. The least satisfactory response is to pretend you don't know what you need, just to give in for the sake of (supposed) pleasant union.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Open your arms, literally and metaphorically, to welcome the sparkly-soft elegance of Venus's light in your sign, helping to color everybody else's impressions of your every move with an air of loveliness and privilege. For the next month or so, you can get away with more divine daring or devilish do-gooding because people react with greater acceptance—you, after all, are so sweet and irresistible, why shouldn't you be able to say and act as you desire and be treated preciously while doing so? Now, are you pragmatically minded enough to resist overindulging the social temptations, the rewards of immediate interpersonal feedback and neighborly esteem-stoking, to hold tight to pressing responsibilities? Can you enjoy the small-talk without letting go of the powerful drive for earthly service? Let the innumerable opportunities for enjoyment present themselves, and take them up, all the while juggling this expansiveness in social possibility without forgetting how hard you intend to work on the serious matters so that your efforts pay off in the end. Let the distractions come, but keep your distractedness measured instead of letting it consume unmitigated.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Don't forget why you're doing it. Whether the seductiveness in financial good-fortune, the glamour of public recognition, the security from skill mastery, or any combination thereof is providing enough flashing reward to inspire you onward, none of these is the deep motivation. The true fire burning beneath your butt is the simple glee of you being you. Not only do money, accolades, celebrity and expertise all float as bait on the end of an invisible fishing line, you're liable to get a sharp hook in your face if you bite too voraciously without carefully surveying the prey first. I'm not saying you must resist those treats, though—just read the fine print first, so you know exactly what you're getting into and don't jeopardize your free expression for a gold bar or a gold star. A thousand and one Faustian fables were born from the same core dilemma. When one's star is as bright as yours, it can be hard to accurately see the other person—and what he/she is offering—in the glare of your own light.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Each night as he slept, he grew, so gradually and delicately it was imperceptible to those who saw him every day. Then one morning, after many months of quiet evolution, he awoke to discover his lanky limbs hung awkwardly over the side of his narrow twin bed. His head, now that it had expanded to hold all the extra knowledge he'd reaped through productive dreams and dreamy productiveness, barely fit on the same pillow where he'd always rested it. His toes stuck out from under the blanket's edge. Panicked by what seemed so abrupt a transition, despite it having crept up on him over the months, his first thoughts were of an extensive (though convoluted) set of strategic steps to return his self to its previous dimensions, not unlike the former Chinese practice of binding girls' feet to attain a certain (though arbitrary) aesthetic of daintiness. It was only after tentative discussions with certain close members of the community, during which he felt uncomfortably vulnerable and said little beyond the obvious statement of facts (though much more was conveyed through unspoken eye-contact and tender-touch communications), it became clear that the more fitting solution sat right before him (though, in its obviousness, he'd overlooked it). It was time for a new bed and a new pillow and a new blanket. He had, after all, grown, and the others simply no longer fit.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): (1) Dismantle the myth of your mild-manneredness. When you affect a stance ignorant of your own forceful nature, casual encounters become unexpectedly foreboding; those who only know a bit about you will instinctively mistrust your stabs at humble innocence, even when you yourself buy them due to a refusal to self-examine. Haven't you yet learned that your polite subtleties lack a certain subtlety? The sooner you surrender your unrealistic desire to micromanage social niceties, the less desperate the lurking power plays in your chitchat will seem to the ones watching out for domination. (2) Rise to the advantage of a month of professional or public preeminence by saying as little as possible. Reflect genuine engaged-listening skills through avid eye contact and hallelujah-like nods and 'yes'es. Let them know you're on their side by transmitting supportive thought patterns. Nurture career allies like you would a child, minus the condescension. And so what if your position directly benefits from these caring maneuvers?—it's not fake if you don't speak lies and keep repeating 'win-win' as you pleasantly play along.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I'm going to do my best to clarify the seeming discrepancy within a certain thematic strain that's run through your horoscopes over recent weeks. See, Scorpio, I fear my messages have read mixed, for one minute I'm telling you to prioritize yourself over others and the next urging you to prioritize mutual understanding within meaningful relationships. How have you fared in navigating this complexity? I still stick by my claim that the key to transforming your material conditions is to stick close to individualism, so that you can feel personally secure without the messy interplay of sharing resources and never knowing precisely what belongs to you. At the same time, your worst Scorpionic characteristics will come out—jealous, competitiveness, manipulative behaviors, secrecy—if you pursue individual power at the expense of maintaining social connections. Use this week as a summarizing moment, to take stock of your own feet sturdily rooted and also to include a host of friends and supporters in your life without overvaluing a single relationship or your own acquisitional drives. Integration alleviates anxiety.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): How can I put this delicately? Fuck it, no delicacy here. You've got a strong personality. You know this already, don'tcha? Well, by no means would I expect you to tone it down… because, well, you probably couldn't even if you wanted to. But I just wanted to draw your attention to a possibly heightened tension between the big splash you make just by being you and the huge opportunities currently opening up for you in the professional or outer-world realm. You've heard me hailing the career growth a few times in recent months. Never before now, though, have I mustered the gumption to warn you about the only likely possible reason it won't turn out the best way. And that's you—that is, if you refuse to make a few compromises here and there when it comes to putting all of that big self of yours out there. Maybe you should look for your own version of the delicate behaviors I've been unable to muster in this passage and hold back—even just a smidge—in order to fulfill your higher aspirations. Wait until you achieve another big victory or two before publicly offering certain controversial utterances.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Venus scoots into your relationship house—you know, that same place where Saturn has lingered, challenging you to develop healthful emotional boundaries in your one-on-ones—bringing a dose of delight and delectability to lighten up your interactions. This is very good news, Cap. You can enjoy other people a bit more, without worrying too monumentally about whether each step you take is appropriate. Venus gives you a little more wiggle room. Even if you make a misstep, people will be more willing to grant you your margin of error. That's why the next month is a good time to take a few interpersonal risks, to put into practice some of the lessons you've been conceptualizing in your mental vacuum. Your potential to be misread is minimized, while your ability to inject healthy flirtation into interactions works like a charm. Enjoy people, instead of telling yourself what an awkward mess you are in social situations. Undo that partial dishonesty. Let us discover your juiciness for ourselves, rather than being led to judgment by your faulty self-descriptions.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Because you are earnestly available to serve your fellow human in whatever role the collective deems you suited, you're liable to escape the growing power conflicts developing among the factions. You're well situated for furnishing genuine support coupled with sobering critique to each and every opinion-holder, not necessarily to bring everybody together—you're not a superhero, after all—but to help them distill their points to the core of their truth. From that perspective, then, the debate can remain centered on content rather than connotation. That uniquely Aquarian trait of mirroring people, a cosmic gift that helps others understand themselves better by showing them how they are seen from the outside, comes in truly handy now. Stay aligned with the pleasure in this sort of healing work by remaining distanced but engaged as they unload their unpleasant interpersonal garbage to your compassionate ears. For this week at least, not being seen for who you are is a good way to stay above the fray and to minimize the disruptive potential in others' passions.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Your ongoing growth as a fully participating partner in every one-on-one encounter you enter requires that you stand up for yourself. And that requires you to disassemble any fear-motivated beliefs about authority—as if any given person, such as a boss or parent, holds the power to destroy your life or make you unhappy. Allowing these huge mythic notions to hover over their heads gives away all your power and hands it to them on a platter. Every person is just a person. They are not better than you, nor more worthy of being in charge. You, likewise, are not better than them, and might well fall victim to the same personality problems if you were in their position. Once you commit to evening the playing field, those first steps will startle all participants, you and them. Expect that no one will know exactly how to navigate a new dynamic. But if all of this seems too overwhelming, like you will never be able to change what's already been set in motion, then you probably need to remove yourself from the entire situation, whether that means looking for a new job, a new lover, a new home or a new group of friends. You cannot move forward as long as you feel pushed down by an existing way of relating.