Horoscopes | Week of May 16-22, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The big events have already been set into motion. Detach from the (irrelevant) push to (try to) craftily control any major shifts in the desired outcome. That's not to say, in some disempoweringly pessimistic tone, that fate is irreversibly etched in stone. No, never. But don't forget, in these recent weeks, you've already inscribed a fresh canvas with a few big, thick, broad strokes of color. The piece is not done, not by any stretch of the imagination. There are still complementary additions, flourishes, tonings up and down of various elements calling for your upcoming months' attentions… and that's where you should be spending them. The general character, meanwhile, is already in place. To bother trying to wrest this foundation from its spot and start over could possibly work… but the spirit of the project, going forward, would be marked by the absence of what was, by the choice you first made and then decided not to make, more so than whatever you'd choose to replace it with. That's why your best bet is to work with what you already have, regardless. And from that perspective, you've already done so much of the decision-making—now, just continue to run with it.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): At the blackjack table, there are certain unofficial rules to follow, if you want to appear to the others like you know what you're doing. Don't hit on that 16 if the dealer's showing a face card. Don't sacrifice a sure 20 by splitting your tens. Etcetera, etcetera. But the whole thing is called gambling for a reason, and at certain moments, the throb in your bones or whirl in your stomach instruct you to shitcan the standard procedures and take the risk. And believe me, everyone will let out an audible gasp when your instincts pay off with another stack of chips. Now, let me switch card-playing metaphors and direct you to those poker hands that possess so many more viable ways than one to play it. Don't they all? Go for the flush or the straight? Which face cards to keep, and which to dump? What if I told you that, either way, you'll win? What if it's just a matter of one type of prize versus another? And furthermore that you're holding enough wild cards and trumps to pick and choose which tricks to deploy and grab and which to chuck for later (or never)? The only thing you shouldn't do is fold. Do not step away from the table. Bet the bank. Spin the wheel, and watch the silver ball elect a number to ease into… you've got them all covered. Wager, and you will not lose, as long as you never let yourself forget it's all a game.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'm not sure if I want to use the phrase 'grounding force' to describe the role you're serving for the rest of us this week, Gemini, because that can make it sound too dreary and responsible… and I don't want it to seem like a burden. If anything, it's our collective need to lighten up that we're hoping you'll enliven in us. Not that things are necessarily so heavy, as much as they are feeling major and momentous… and not that this feeling is so off base. But while all this momentousness unfolds for each of us in bold life-affecting totality, we're also allowed to do other stuff with little 'purpose' or 'meaning' or 'affect' beyond a bit of fun, diversion, conversational stimulus or steam-blowing-off-ability. And with Venus gracing you with her pleasant presence, you're the one we'd love to look to for a dab of 'Beauty, as seen through Life's Seemingly Tangential Vignettes'. Your smile, a silly snippet of harmless gossip, a puffy sticker, and an invitation to a purely frivolous social event are all things you can offer us as 'ambassador to pleasance'. (Incidentally, taking on this 'responsibility' also helps you keep from stressing too greatly about the big changes in your big areas… but don't stress about that.)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As you continue on the road to more definitively knowing that, yes indeed, you know what you know—which is, more properly, the discovery that you don't know (never knew!) what you thought you always knew because, deep down, you actually knew differently (and knew it all along!)—you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that, once you know you know what you know, you simply can no longer suspend disbelief (that is, pretend to not know what you, in fact, do know) in order to entertain a moment's bliss. The magic of that suspension doesn't work anymore. The frilly facade melts away, leaving the truth of an escapist action that contradicts your more profound beliefs in right and wrong. Without the smoke and mirrors, wrong is just wrong. So the question lurks: Would you rather feel good for right now, or do what's right for the long run? Don't curse me for phrasing the question in these terms, now that you see, once it's phrased this way, you know what you have to do. (And don't glaze over the cryptic wording of this horoscope. It is not word play. It means something.)


LEO (July 23-August 22): Please do not prop your delicate ego up by taking the ardent opinions of some particularly special individual too seriously. While we're at it, let's not mistake 'opinion' for unambiguous truth… especially by falling victim to the old trap of 'the louder (or more vigorously) it's expressed, the truer it must be.' Now, I'm not saying this person is either right or wrong. I just fear that the useful meat within the message will be too easily colored by the shadow cast over it by the nature of your relationship with the messenger. You may too avidly respect, admire, fear, lust for, or seek to destroy-at-all-costs this looming figure to actually hear what he/she is saying (and not saying). Thus, the perfect antidote to this potentially misleading and unsettling situation is to seek many opinions from a whole host of folks, those you consider friends (of both the intimate and casual variety), like-minded professional peers, comrades in the revolution, or whoever else is at the bar, the restaurant, the party or the recital. Counteract the psychological heaviness with a hearty dose of social stimulation, and soften possible blows to the ego by immersing yourself in the group activity.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You may find yourself tangled up in others' expectations, Virgo, as your horoscope from last week most certainly indicated. But for every expectation you dash by consciously or unconsciously behaving differently toward certain peers and partners, there are other expectations you are more than happy to meet in order to maintain that well-earned reputation for being the reliable Go-To Guy or Gal for some very important person. In fact, perhaps you imagine an invisible balance being struck between the ways in which you conform to existing standards and those in which you rebel against what others would presuppose of you. For some of you, I suppose, this balance is actually being achieved—for those rare few with the uncannily keen instinct for knowing exactly what personality changes you're experiencing as you're in the midst of them. But for the rest of you (like, the rather large majority), there's still a lot of trial and error involved before you can distinguish respectability from avoidance, necessary reform from contrary for contrary's sake. If you get comfy in the habit of busting chops, it's quite possible you'll slip up and bust the wrong chops. Or if you decide to resist and try to squelch the rising reinvention more than you should, then your passivity will likely be rewarded with someone else's unexpected actions. One thing's certain—the rules you choose to make or break with regards to some people will not decidedly not apply to others. Which are which, and who is who?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If you glance at the horoscopes I've written for the other two air signs, Gemini and Aquarius, you'll notice a common thread—my call to bring some quintessentially air-sign social extroversion to the landscape, to help us all overcome the bafflingly inscrutable shocks of Mars and Uranus in Pisces. The inspiration for this airy advice comes from your ruling planet Venus's journeys through Gemini, a conversationally charming and clever aspect trying its damnedest to counterbalance all that currently isn't being, or can't be, said. You too, Libra, must help out the cause… but your duty comes with an extra something. That is, I'm instructing you to do what you can to go over the top in your expression of personality, fueled by this Venus in your 9th making a snowball trine with Jupiter passing through your sign. Turn your normally coy smile into a giant toothy grin. Laugh louder than usual. Tell your stories with dramatic gestures, and convert every last dash of demure into an extra-saucy serving of schmaltz. In any and every context this week, Libra, bigger is better, or at least the most natural state of affairs. I'm hesitant to go all out and encourage you to partake in clown-like behavior. But at the same time, evoking the same kind of wacky joy in your audience that clowns do would be a very worthy and generous endeavor.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Step away a bit, and take a look at it from somebody else's perspective. If you having trouble getting the requisite distance, forcibly remove yourself from your immediate concerns and concern yourself with somebody else's issues. Help yourself to help yourself by helping somebody else. What you're working on is totally awesome and worth all the effort you're putting in, but the love and creativity needs to recharge itself throughout the process through your simultaneous investment in things that you're less invested in. This is fairly basic advice, and I could keep repeating it over and over in thinly veiled rephrasings, but I'd rather save my energies for the other signs, who tire of the repetition less easily, and I'll just leave the horoscope at that.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If I were one of your parents (and you were the other) and you were my (and your) child and we (as your parents) were doing a lot of seriously disruptive, total in scope, hard-to-describe-clearly-to-a-child moving around of stuff in the house, I would surely send you out of the house to go play with your friends. You would need your freedom to be a kid, to mingle with all the other neighborhood children who weren't having the intimate insides of their lives being torn asunder, rearranged, thrown out, replaced and/or refigured into a shiny new disorienting interior environment. Sure, you'd have some duty to the family to participate in the domestic restructuring… but you wouldn't have to live its every gory detail at every moment until the project was complete. You'd be allowed to escape into the innocently sidetracking companionship of your playmates. And thus, though you are now (presumably) an adult, you must still permit yourself to balance the literal and/or metaphoric house-cleaning/-remodeling with silly, playful fun with your most sparkly, frenetic, light-as-air, motormouth pals. This doesn't release you from responsibility, just lets you blow off some steam and get out of your home and your head. Call 'em up, and invite 'em out.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): On what particular endeavors and to what specific ends you should be spending your time this week, Cap, I couldn't tell you. But of this I am sure—you'll be happiest and most productive if you chop your days into smaller-than-usual segments and switch your considerations often and on a dime. Foster a healthy, conscious sense of attention deficit (screw the 'disorder' part!), and keep shifting gears, no matter how baffling or inappropriate this advice may sound. The key is to give enough effort to each piece of work to get some small bits accomplished… but not to stay too long that you lapse into boredom, frustration or single-minded tunnel vision. Veer before it happens. Attack the list of tasks all at once, not one at a time, and shave a little off each over the course of a day. To assist your mind in functioning as I've described, create a friendly habitat for it. Swap the background music before the CD has ended. Turn the channel in the middle of the show. Eat lots of little meals instead of a few big ones. And uncompromisingly multi-task. Trust me, in this astro-environment, there is a decided creative advantage for you (though it's undeniably abstruse) in super-stimulating your brain by refusing to focus on any one thing too long. You won't benefit from it, though, unless you try what I'm suggesting. Now stop reading this here site, and click somewhere else.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your job this week, Aquarius, is to externalize and express whatever comes up. I'm well aware of the plenteous concerns about your personal well-being and sense of security, items which could easily compel you to silently shoulder concern, anxiety or self-enclosed scheming. For such a people person, you have an exceptional knack for keeping to yourself when issues of import are swirling around your contemplative consciousness. Well, I'm not saying you have to talk about these specific issues (though it wouldn't hurt to release them from their internal prison)… you just have to talk about something. I wouldn't suggest hiding yourself away or devoting your undivided attention to solitary work. What you most need right now is fertile movement of your ingenuity, embodied in nothing other than simple delivery of your personality, from the inside out. Put it out there—the excitement, the commentary, the love, the displeasure, the nervous giggles. Whatever it is, be loose with it. Kidnap the censor and lock him in the cellar. Externalize and express. Period.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Beep… Beep… Beep… Attention. We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to return you back to last week's horoscope, a call to do the brave, drastic, scary thing, and ask that you now follow the protocols provided for just such a juncture. This is not a test. This is an actual life you are leading. It is not unexpected that plucky measures on your part will face bids by the Emotional-Security forces to halt you off at the pass. These internal safe-keepers are crafty messengers, part dissector and part spin-doctor (but total professional). They will parse your queasy feelings (the ones which inevitably arise in the face of the unknown, and which are completely healthy) into bite-sized cogent arguments advocating that you stay put in your already existing domain, that you nest as is, and put your 'flighty' urges to make massive change on the backburner indefinitely. Do not listen to them. Though they suppose to make perfect emotional sense, though they sound as if they're here to nurture your comfort and well-being… these concerns are short-sighted and partial, and to adhere to them is to baby yourself. Be tougher and more committed to a fuller adventure in this lifetime. I repeat: This is not a test. Fight self-talk with self-action.