Horoscopes | Week of August 23-29, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Whether or not you fully understand what you're doing (or what you're trying to do), I still recommend fostering a healthy degree of delicacy regarding all measures made in support of these indeterminate goals. Your ruling planet Mars is still chugging along through Virgo, which encourages precise approaches to movement and effort, a contrast to your usual fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants anything-goes-ness. So what if your shots at patiently explaining your rationale (to yourself or someone else) have devolved into a blatant admission that the real reason you're doing what you're doing (or what you're trying to do) is because you want to, not because it's the objectively appropriate thing to do? That doesn't mean you should get all sloppy and devil-may-care in enacting your will. At least stay graceful and pristine in the carrying-out, even when you find it impossible to maintain that posture in the mental processing.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There's a core of useful conduct for you, Taurus, at the intersection of non-verbal and self-expressive. If you briefly reconsider last week's advice, you'll notice that, though I urged you to sing and dance, say and do zany things and develop a corny routine, I did not encourage you to attempt careful heartfelt narrative exposition (a la 'I'm hungry and I have no money, can you please help me…'). I believe techniques exist for you to use in actively engaging others' attention with entertaining and/or poignant bits of self without tying dry wordy descriptions to the act. Please do not conceal who you are (or imagine we don't see it) when choosing alternative ways of exhibiting it, but neither should you go overboard in overstating your serious sense of purpose, since we probably intuit more than you know (after all, you've got pretty strong energy). Speak from your heart and through your eyes, rather than from your head and through your mouth. And I still stick by the notion that a little song-and-dance couldn't hurt either.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's an ideal moment to realize how much freedom you possess in accomplishing any outer-world goal you desire to meet. That is, if only you can fight the whirling diversions with their bright colors and funhouse noises, clogging your brain with insubstantial nonsense that blocks a more worldly focal point. I understand completely the relentless pressure that springs from that open-ended combination of liberation and quiet—it's no wonder the minute things started to simmer down enough to expose blindingly bright possibilities, you began rerunning stories about morsels of tangents about other people or isolated bite-sized portions of self-analysis, disconnected from the larger questions at hand. I am not here to scold you for such droll digressions (for what is a Gemini without his/her droll digressions?), but merely to refresh your memory of the hopes for macro-level achievement you entertain for yourself—and to remind you of the relative unimportance of some of the other cerebral stuff obstructing the corridor between you and that achievement.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You just wanted to make sure the ground would hold you before you went running all over the place. You have not retreated, contrary to any self-deprecating critiques you may make of your required rethinking and retreading. The befuddlement of Mercury retrograde might lead you to forget Venus's present-time beneficent influence on your sign… but she's still there, so even these sideways stumbles are part of the self-inspiring effect. Your future steps must be able to support more than just you—also loved and loving peers who increasingly offer the potential to heal and be healed in a more profound fashion than you've known in a while, if ever. Perhaps you even intuit these not-overtly-visible interpersonal reasons why you want to make sure first. You don't want to continue carrying old pain into new situations as pain… the point is to see the painful past as crucial foundation for your love-filled partnerships, or else you'll hopelessly continue wanting to live as someone else, an unattainably perfect version of your imperfect self. There are reasons to make sure; even in their unknowability, let them lighten your load.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Oops, what a surprise… the logic wasn't what anyone thought it was. Oh, geez, there goes another person trying to correct your faulty logic or enforce the great divide between your side and theirs or kiss your ass because you were right all along and she just didn't like your telling of the tale. And, oh my God, here comes Mercury, moonwalking showily back into your sign, and just in case anyone forgot you could be demanding or confident or right all along, here's a singing telegram. The whole phenomenon of everybody thinking they had their theorems all proven and shit, and then you come along and (attitude dependent on how merciful you're feeling that day) deflate the analysis with a single sentence or two. You may have known all along—or you might have just now figured it out and bluffed your way into faux-foreknowledge—but either way, the methods you use to point or not point it out, to rub or not rub posers' noses into I-told-yous, are likely to determine more than momentary alliances or antagonism. A casually snide comment made now could save you from a nagging-nuisance acquaintance you'd rather not know, or screw you later.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Stretch, stretch, reach out… oh, you almost had it, but there it goes, just out of grasp. That was the clarity you thought you'd achieved, even though last week's words offered more than a hint you weren't as completely on the mark as you thought. This round of Mercury retrograde is hitting you Virgoan folks harder than the other signs—it's the combination of Mercury being your ruling planet and it having just slipped back into the sign before you, bringing murky muddle where, just a moment ago, the meticulous minutiae seemed to line up in the magic order that unlocks the treasure cave. Throw in a dose of the unpredictability of other people… a Full Moon conjunct Uranus in your house of one-on-one relationships equals sudden interpersonal revelations, changes of mind, strange behaviors or odd new acquaintances… and it's likely you won't know up from down nor ass from elbow. You still have Mars in your court, though, to keep energized and politely measured in motion, despite having no idea to what ends your energies and politely measured motions are to aim. Don't fight it. Confusion is temporary, but reactionary actions made while confused can have longer-ranging consequences.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Your outer sheen doesn't successfully wow us because of your best efforts to shroud your hidden hurts beneath its luster. It dazzles us in spite of the concealing act. We don't love you because you're invincibly put together and smooth around the edges. We don't show you professional favor because you have us fooled, because you talked your way into your position or charmed our pants off with the right questions about our families or our highest dreams. We support your public ascendancy due to your grace in light of your wounded heart, your thirst for simple nurture and your inability to accept it at certain times, despite our offers… and no, you haven't blown a cover, said too much or jeopardized anyone's vision of you. We just know. And we love you and respect you for all of it. From here, I revisit advice from the last couple weeks: Stay close to practical business, and stay connected to your friends and social environment. Don't worry if a couple cracks start to show—we spy the light that shines through them, and it warms us to you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Before you get too comfortable being 'one of the crowd'… who do you think you're kidding? It's highly unlikely you're going to settle into selfless anonymity when there are still bursts of mystical excitement struggling to eject themselves from your orifices (preferably the politer orifices). You can't simply have it one way or the other. You must strive to belong without blending, to respect the group without disrespecting your own distinct peculiarities. And meanwhile, just doing what you do to have a good time could just possibly hatch a startling observation about the next-best-way-besides-a-straight-line to reach your career or outer-world dreams… but wait, don't force your mind to find the answer or it evaporates… look through the picture, not at it… or don't look at all. This is a week when blowing off steam and taking things not too seriously can make a serious impact on your most serious professional business, so long as you don't take it too seriously.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Several months ago, I went through a spell of repeatedly mentioning that you should examine your home-life for any changes you might need to make in order to open possibilities in your professional life. Do you remember this advice? Did you follow it? The answer doesn't matter so much now as revisiting the issue does. Avoidance of necessary issues in your private residence will likely lead to annoyance on the home front this week, as you acutely feel the need to break free from any stifling situations that leave you not wanting to be at home. If you have made the much-needed home-life changes over recent months, now is a great time to evaluate the increase in emotional regeneration you experience while decompressing at home… and the tremendous sense of liberation in the outer world you can enjoy as a result. This week's Full Moon is here to reconnect you with the issue, to help you recognize how free you feel to be yourself in your home… and to inspire you to do something about it, if the answer is 'not very'.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Here's a tip in honor of this upcoming weekend's Full Moon in the house of I'll-Try-Anything-Once-Just-Don't-Hold-Me-To-It. When you set off to experiment with social personas to offset the dull conceit that you can never get away from yourself, try this one on for size: 'I'm fucked up, but I'm okay with it. I'm not going to dwell on the details of my damage past anecdotal delineation because it's not so bad. I mean, you're fucked up too, right? And there's no possible way we could be fucked up in the same fashion… that would be too much of a coincidence? So how about you just love me for all my fucked-upness, and I'll love you right back?' Think about it, Cap. It just might work, especially with Venus still sprightly and soft in your seventh house, brightening the lines of connection between you and other. You don't have to explain the premise as a philosophical commitment to anything. If it doesn't suit you, no harm's done. But if it does, oh, think of the possibilities then. That's the point of experimenting, after all… to see what happens next.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Don't put the cart before the horse. This cliché most certainly applies to your current financial situation, in which you are trying like mad to generate more or different income from more or different sources and trying not to get mad when it doesn't go according to desire or plan. According to spiritual rules, though, before you can materialize wealth, you must have some idea as to why you want so much wealth so badly… or why you don't want so much or don't want it so badly. In other words, our relationship to money is a reflection of our deeper relationship to what matters most—money is just a vehicle for reaching this deeper value. The cliché also applies to your current relationship situation with one or more lovers or friends or business peers, in which you are so delighted to deepen the bond that you might assume to know the person better than you actually do. In this case, there's nothing to do differently other than retracing the basic steps to be sure of simple understanding before moving to more complex matters. In both cases, a little more thought now will produce a lot more results later.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): There's nothing lost if my past two weeks' admittedly harsh Piscean horoscopes didn't speak to you because you personally weren't having conflict and/or confusion in relationships, despite the double-whammy of Mars and retrograde Mercury in your seventh house. I wanted to warn you of the potential negative manifestations of the astro-combo, if only to ward off their coming-true. Did it work? If I kept you on your toes, watching for potential misunderstandings or presumptions, then I did my job. Now, though, Mercury has slunk back into your sixth and, along with the Full Moon in your sign this weekend conjunct Uranus, returns the attention back to you (and not your possibly-slighted allies or foes), which is where it has been the whole time anyway. The circles I drew around you in the sand are for you to insist upon total autonomy and freedom to be as wack and woo-woo as you want, as long as you're continuing to ponder what your duty to the earth entails. I wanted—and still want—you to focus on yourself first and others second, a tricky proposition for you meld-happy Pisceans, so no one taints your vision. Under the Full Moon's light, look at what a wonderful weirdo you are, and celebrate all the most special features you know that only you possess. And if an astrologer—or anyone else—tells you something about yourself you don't like, say (or at least think) 'Fuck off.' But still listen anyhow.