Horoscopes | Week of August 30-September 5, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In pursuit of the path of dutiful service is where your energies compel you to go. With that come purity of focus and an exacting simplicity in behavior, should you (wisely) decide to stay close to duty. Mercury's return to direct motion supports you in this uncomplicated adherence to diligent taskmastery, reaffirming your confidence in your own consideration of ideas and making of decisions… because, as you know, you know better than anyone what your duties are and how you creatively require them to be fulfilled… not to mention, the improved judgment that comes from claiming emotional fortitude, from simply deciding to enjoy spartan discipline in your private life, even if for just a spell. The only pitfall I see, Aries, is the careless lack of understanding from the larger forces—whether your friend-group, your preferred organization of affiliation, or society as a whole—who have a hard time letting you be you in the manner I've described above. This rub is uncomfortable and, to some degree, unresolvable, but you should continue pursuing duty anyhow. It calls.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It's about time to own your situational sensitivities, to admit your spontaneous mental preferences are rarely based on cerebral cogitation but rather gut knowledge. This does not, incidentally, imply you're not a thinker… you're highly thoughtful, though your thinking often occurs on more serious issues and over more extended periods of time. I'm talking about the little stuff, the day-to-day choices of when to depart, which route to take, where to stop for food and what to order. In this realm, you're not really an 'ideas' person—you're more of a feeler. Instead of taking offense, simply grant yourself credit for deep intuitive wisdom when it comes to moving through your immediate surroundings, the minute measures you must decide upon and explain to acquaintances all done with minimal deliberation. Confess your enjoyment of the arbitrary in the instinctive. Let your decision-making process make you feel better, rather than misusing it to rationalize your actions to someone else.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To assist you in however you choose to exercise your goal-chasing freedoms, the planets are combining in a way that leaves you feeling somewhat more emotional secure than in recent weeks or months. Pause for a second to breathe in the satisfaction in this dose of cosmic stability. For you, Gemini, the sense of earthly security we all crave is more emotional in nature than practical. It matters less how much or little is actually in your pocket than whether you feel it is enough—and we all know how feelings can change. Now is a moment to appreciate this quality about yourself, and to note how acknowledging it can help to decrease the intensity of the fluctuations, once you are aware of their source. Be willing to take pleasure in tightening the strings around any money- or resource-related panic with faith in your emotional strength. Welcome Mercury's return to forward movement by resting fresh anxiety-free ideas upon this newly firmer ground.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This is a very pivotal week for you, Cancer, to buckle down into serious business. The good news is, thanks to a Venus-Saturn conjunction in your sign, the seriousness doesn't feel so solemn or weighty and… wait a minute… it actually feels damn good. You want to get your work done because you are finally ready to be seen in the light for who you are—a mature, thoughtful, caring and romantic individual who plans to accomplish what he or she sets out to do. And the resoluteness starts now. Mercury quits his pesky retrograde nonsense this week, ensuring your have the brainpower to assess all situations more carefully and accurately. Jupiter throws in his support from the third house, encouraging you to speak out in as many distinct and diverse voices to as many different possible allies as possible. And this past Sunday's Uranus-flavored Full Moon continues empowering you to let go of old crap. If you're having trouble deciding where to start in getting down to business, start here: Pick one energy-sucking remnant of your prior low-ambition incarnation, and kick it to the fucking curb, bye, bye, gone.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Celebrate Mercury's return to sensical forward motion in your sign by opting for some quiet time, when you're not expected to provide the entertainment to others with non-stop wit and brilliant ideas. Don't get me wrong, Leo, your entertaining repartee is in no short supply. It's for your own sense of psychic well-being that I recommend a little alone time to regroup and recommit to your secret relationship with spirit. If it's not prayer or meditation, then there's something you do that recalibrates your spinning chakra buttons (whether you imagine them as such or not), but it's hard to work on the aura when your mental gears keep up that relentless grind. It's even hard to integrate your bursts of practical self-protection with your dreaminess in one-on-one relations, to the extent that you'll overlook your own highest priorities in a moment's blissful distraction. The only way to gain perspective is to separate a bit from the external game and catch a seat in a calming sanctuary. Go ahead and add theatrics, for your own selfish pleasure, to make the whole respite seem more celestial, whatever that means.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Just as I warned you last week that this Mercury retrograde has proven exceptionally hairy for Virgo, it will also take a little longer for you to snap out of it than the rest, even as Mercury goes direct this week. Use this week to slowly accelerate the full deployment of gray matter, as your head will still be partly covered by cloud. Despite that widely publicized (though ill-conceived) mind/body split our society insists upon, your physical wellness has also been affected by Mercury's recent wild ride. In particular, be careful that thrust of Mars-powered physical drive doesn't lead you, so busy being of limitless service to the galaxy that you forget what a reasonable portion of work looks like, to misjudge your energetic limits. Otherwise, you'll exhaust yourself (and potentially build up quiet resentments for having sacrificed too much). This is a good week to rest on your friends' emotional support, to concede that you're moderately disoriented, and to enlist helpful advice on setting proper boundaries and prioritizing responsibilities accordingly.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I would like to validate your relative softness on the professional front. What you miss in cutthroat ambition, you more than make up for in intuitive astuteness. So while you might not be climbing over the heads of your competitors on the way to the top, you know a thing or two about displaying care for those in power… a display that is rarely forgotten when you demurely require the favor to be returned. Affirm your innate public perceptiveness as its own form of authority, and open an even wider psychic net for catching small signposts directing you on the journey to outer-world fulfillment. The signs are all there. The hardest part could be the deferral of your willful belief that you know best, when the fact remains that this road to success is jam-packed with unknowns and surprises. The sooner you stop trying to navigate and simply enjoy the ride, the faster and more enjoyably you will end up where you need to go.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Things to remember while continuing to seek social connection: (1) You enjoy out-of-the-ordinary adventures, even though they evoke this uncomfortably vulnerable sensation from your soul that makes you feel young and in need of supervisory companionship… or perhaps because they evoke such vulnerability. (2) Without letting your friends or peers lead you into uncharted territory, you will never know what you truly believe about the world because you will lack the broad experience necessary to make such distinctions. (3) Since you're such a well-protected individual of amazing inner strength, it can feel challenging to project outward in search of external confirmation of what you (think you?) already know… that's why it sometimes requires discipline to force yourself to let it all hang out and see what happens. (4) A temporary feeling of nervousness does not mean you won't, sooner or later, feel safe if you continue down the same road instead of turning back.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): These past few weeks have subtly started to produce light in that dark tunnel where you hide from the disquiet of seemingly menacing interpersonal drama. Can you detect the scattered symbols of this brightening effect, delicately demonstrating that certain behaviors that expose your secret special sides of self to others are finally starting to become easier to stomach? Not only do things become easier the more you practice them, but the universe is also throwing you some positive results to these efforts, to encourage you to continue sharing deeply of yourself, no matter how distressing it can sometimes be. This week is an intensification of the process, a point of acknowledgment and appreciation—not only have you matured psychologically, but you've hardly spoken aloud about it in these terms, so it's somewhat of a pleasant surprise. In addition, there is a connection between this newfound psychological wisdom and the expansion in your professional or public-sphere life I've touted over these months. As a deeper and wiser person, you can accomplish more in the world.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This week is a wonderful occasion for considering the progress you've made in combining free-flowing affection with emotional self-discipline for overall improvement in your behavior in relationships. Mean-guy Saturn is about halfway through his 2-year transit of your one-on-one relationship house… though he preaches rough lessons on the path to maturity, he is after all your ruling planet, and you do like it a little rough. Meanwhile, Venus has been treading similar 7th-house ground, delivering her graceful appreciation for beauty and love to that realm of relating over the past three weeks or so. On Tuesday, Saturn and Venus join forces to showcase the beneficial pleasures of a little emotional restraint and the refusal to oververbalize (and thus partly negate) the unspoken faith in sentimentality. At this time, you should both (1) take note of the recently reaped fruits of your interpersonal labors and applaud yourself and (2) use the pleasant influence of Venus to honestly appraise what other work, if any, you need to do in your methods of partnership over the next year, since the task will seem less Herculean right now. All in all, you may invite in the increased confidence and begin to speak reflectively about this latest step in your education in how people work.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Claim greater contentment with the ebbs and flows of your relation to tasks and responsibilities. Some days you might be right on target, even surpassing expectations, while other days slump sluggishly along, every little job like pulling teeth. The trick is to grow accustomed to going with the flow. It's so frustrating to have a mind with such acuity that you can see the whole completed product in its magnificence, yet be stuck with a body that doesn't always move as quickly or in as direct a fashion to accomplish the goal according to the mind's strict timetable and process-map. I think you're finally getting the hang of self-acceptance, though, including the unavoidable reality that visionaries never see their visions taken to full and perfect attainment. But there's still plenty that can be done, and as long as a significant bit gets done each week—while maintaining satisfaction and healthful habits in the process of doing—you can rest on having accomplished one more step in transforming the world. Your plan can't be fully enacted without doing bits at a time… and once it intersects with other visionaries' master plans, everything will morph and change and…


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The funniest thing, you'd probably never expect to hear this from me after these past weeks' Piscean warnings, but now I must herald a remarkable moment of expressive and relational stability and joy for all the Piscean people. Yes, the interpersonal conflicts that happened or didn't happen, the urge to disagree or project or needle or nudge, the potential for utter misunderstanding of partners' platforms and pledges… all have led to a more solid ability to strategically speak from a place of mature love and wise pride, in support of growth in one or more close relationships. For starters, thank Mercury for stopping his silly retrograde and heading back in the direction of sense. Then, for good measure, throw in Venus and Saturn, conjoined in your fifth house of love and self-expression, making this an excellent time for working on creative projects, in addition to reliably sharing your truest feelings to those who matter most. The only potential negative here is bogeyman Neptune, whose ability to create anxiety-ridden self-fulfilling undoings out of fearful disbelief that things could be this good is all too familiar. As long as you convince him to have faith that a shoe isn't about to drop, then shoes won't drop and all is well.