Horoscopes | Week of August 1-7, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is a rather knotty instant for you in trying to get your undertakings accomplished, Aries, because you're kind of caught between a rock and a hard place. First off, you can't quite trust the poll numbers or what those 'in the know' offer about market trends or dos-and-don'ts. But you've never been one to follow these supposed expert opinions anyhow… and now is not likely to be a time when you'll decide to start. On the other hand, though, your personal instincts for which direction you proceed are equally unreliable because they may too closely mirror what your ego wants to be true, as opposed to what's actually true, and that can lead you single-mindedly down one path. And, in fact, there is real useful information to be derived from the polls and the trend analysts—it's just that you don't have very free access to this data, and it seems you're not quite sure which mouth can give it to you. So, the situation leaves you in a bit of a pickle. However, the silver lining is, since there isn't a clear way to do it 'right', there also isn't a clear way to do it 'wrong'. As long as you know this, are willing to proceed with this knowledge of not knowing, and remain amenable to some fumbling and fidgeting and fussing, it'll all work out… just not particularly quickly or effortlessly.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): : Of all the signs this week, you wield the firmest resolve to be who you are and know what you know, despite the flamboyant grandstanding and story-changing spouting all around you. But be careful how you swing that thing, Taurus, because what's good for your momentary determination may not be what's good for your emotional healing. That doesn't mean, however, you should just go along with the itinerant public opinion or let someone's impassioned pleas uproot your designs. (Not as if I think that's your style.) Instead, I recommend taking a two-pronged stance on everything going on around you. (1) Take a hearty amount of enjoyment in watching everybody else blab and backpedal, advance and retreat, and otherwise try so desperately to figure out avenues in and out of their various discombobulations. You can do this with good-naturedness, rather than any veiled sense of superiority, since, at another time, it could just as easily be you enduring the fluster. (2) With regards to your own personal matters, don't cling too hard to remaining as sure as you now feel… at the same time not taking this to mean that you're mistaken. Part of the ongoing lesson for a Taurus is to let change happen, even if the end result is to recommit to what you've known all along. Modestly wait it all out, without the need to prove or disprove.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Repeat after me. 'I will not pretend to have an opinion about issues on which I don't hold opinions. I will not agree with whoever's speaking just to agree, nor will I disagree just for the sake of a lively conversation. I shouldn't act like I know things I don't know, but am fully entitled to discreetly change the topic of discussion to things I do know, so long as, if I'm caught, I will confess to what I've done and laugh humbly at myself. I won't blatantly lie and tell them I love the gift when I don't or that I'd love to attend the dinner party when I have no intention to go [yes, I'm talking to you!], when I can just as easily avoid saying anything committal and thus retain my integrity. I will not extend the length of a casual chat beyond when I instinctively know the other person wants to end it, just because I'm bored and/or require self-affirmation. And I most certainly will not broadcast the secrets others have entrusted me with, just because they are juicy and threaten to eat me up from inside. If I fail to honor this oath, I doom myself to suffer cosmic retribution. This oath is applicable for one week's time, starting… now.'


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Unfortunately, I have very little to offer you this week, Cancer, other than to remind you that (1) you're still at the beginning of it and (2) you must be patient. But wait… that's not exactly concise enough… in the spirit of Mercury retrograde, let me rephrase with more cryptic precision. (1) Actually, you're at the beginning of the second part of the beginning. You've already started, but you haven't gotten far enough to see enough results to accurately reflect having gotten past the beginning… but you've already done something. (2) Perhaps, then, we must look at it as a time to start doing a bit more of what's already been begun, with a bit more refined attention and an easier-to-reach sub-goal more clearly identified so that, soon enough, we'll be able to say you're almost past the beginning stage. (3) And the patience is required because it's not quite time to present yourself to others as if you've already passed the beginning stage, even though you've already started, because you're not far enough into it to appear to others as if you've already begun. (4) If you don't know what the 'it' is that you're still at the beginning of, then that's the obvious reason why you're not yet ready to proceed past the beginning stage.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Loose lips have been known to sink ships. The vexation of Mercury retrograde in your sign is further compounded by opposition to Neptune in your 7th, and it's more than likely that your half-baked ideas need a little more time in the oven, or else you'll serve them still raw in the middle to your hungry guests. The basic dilemma is that your overenthusiastic rendering of plans doesn't fully account for the other key individuals whose involvements are required. Their likes and dislikes and opinions and higher goals cannot be assumed, nor taken as perfunctory check-offs on your list of things to get out of the way. Don't skip ahead. But at the same time, I do want to praise your enthusiasm and encourage the gleaming glimmer of creative self-advancement infusing the ideas… if you fan this fire, it'll carry you far in the end. For the sake of this week's New Moon in Leo, commit to seeing it all the way down the rocky path, including weathering the interpersonal misunderstandings and necessarily reconsidering the details so as to include others' inputs. Faith in the ultimate result must be sustained, and willingness to withstand faultfinding and dismantling and regrouping and debugging and reinventing is essential.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Go with the groove of Venus in Virgo, and pledge your power to creating clean, pure beauty and efficient effervescence. But keep it light and lovely, and touch up only the easiest and most unambiguous targets with your magic wand. There's no reason to start moving furniture or unearthing buried uglies, just so you can scour every last dark corner to sparkling spotlessness. Don't squander your get-out-of-jail-free card by pounding on the bars and demanding the liberation of the entire prison populace. The less you speak and the more you create attractive style and shape, the better off everyone will be. This is the perfect opportunity to retreat into artistic minion mode, to let Venus imbue your vision with her blessings and direct your hands to craft exquisite examples of her divine beauty. Push no further.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): What's your cause, baby? As long as you can devote your mental energies to an issue or idea larger than little ol' you, you're more likely to pleasurably deflect the otherwise-confusing state of your current being, which appears (rather accurately, I must concede) to be very much out of your immediate control. There's little you can do to definitively advance yourself to a new level of surety, for the passing moment… but much more to be reaped and sown when you devote yourself to a greater cause. Whether it's canvassing for humanitarian advances or lending your helping head to friends' projects, you'll simultaneously distract yourself from nagging anxiety (re: the unknown) and make good for the world by looking out and beyond. And if that's not enough to enkindle better feelings, I'll also throw out that, come mid-August, things'll start looking much much more up… and running.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you can keep a smile on your face while everybody is around, I see no reason why you can't do a pinch of private grappling or grumbling (or whatever release of other unsmiling sentiments) once the front door closes. Despite pressures from planets in all the other fixed signs, I'd recommend not succumbing to short-fused passions instigated from the outside, if you want to stay in the public favor. If you get lured into it, you're liable to forget your own best emotional interests and find yourself instinctively playing out a part more from cosmic familiarity than true intention, and that's just a tired state of affairs. Rise above the snakily predatory lower nature of Scorpio, and embody the higher soaring grace of the eagle, who flies over the whole rotten mess, scrutinizing, and saves his carnivorous zing for that every-once-in-a-while when it's really truly worth it. An unwavering smile doesn't hurt either.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It's part of our regular routine, yours and mine, Sagittarius… every so often, you show up here to find me politely advising (or urgently imploring) you not to say too much too directly too soon and end up with your foot deep in your mouthy pie-hole. Considering the repetitiveness of this bit, you must think I mistrust you or don't appreciate your blunt way of just coming out and saying it. Well, the truth is, not only do I love it, I sincerely believe the rest of us need you to behave like this, to snap us from our mealy-mouthed timidity and spur us to agree or disagree with conviction. So, when I bring up the cautionary 'not the best time to blurt' tale, it's because I want to shelter you on only those certain occasions—such as this week—when you're most likely to suffer personal consequences from this method of uncensored self-expression. (This week, it's about reserving full commentary on the little shit, to save face for bigger and/or longer-ranging reasons.) As for the rest of the time, let's just assume you will say what you want how you want when you want (and that it's exactly what you should do) and leave it at that.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): For whatever soothsaying reason, Cap, I keep wanting to give you the benefit of every doubt in this otherwise phantasmal astro-climate, where everyone else seems to be shooting coded messages past each other like blanks from toy guns. You're one of the best bets for staying fairly reasonable… as long as you don't make any quick moves or try to constructively resolve dangling dealings in any fail swoop. Don't worry about that stuff for another couple weeks. Instead, offer your cool head in service to the roused-and-raving constitutions of those you care about most. From the unofficial role of a healthy mirror-like therapist, stay engaged in their sensational tellings—and craftily use your words to elicit statements of greater self-awareness from their lips, rather than pronouncing too much insight of your own. You emerge unscathed by acting as a conduit for their self-discovery process, but risk unfair lashings when uttering opinions and thus personifying their unresolved and still-self-vilified consciences.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Based on some of the conversations you'll be subjected to, you might end up asking yourself if they even know you at all. Don't they remember you making no bones about what you will and won't accept as part of how you do your personal business? Have they forgotten your statements of respective emotional investment or disinterest? No, Aquarius, write it all off to a figment of transitory misapprehension… but both on your part, as well as theirs. Mercury retrograde in Leo doesn't help your 7th house gain clarity for either party in your one-on-one interactions—too much ego involvement on all sides deems everyone a better speaker than listener. But its opposition to Neptune, long-standing in your sign, further implicates you in your own miscalculation of the outside world's perception of the evolving you. Rather than jumping to conclusions about how wrong they've gotten you, let their alleged affronts clue you in (this is where a distanced 'observer' perspective will help you) to ways in which you may be drifting into difference from who you once were. Keep it all for tentative consideration, not self-judgment nor convinced conclusion.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Pretending logic has a long-standing reputation for serving you well won't serve you well this week, Pisces. Just admit (to yourself, at least) that mystical guardian energies watch over you, occasionally reaching in through the passenger's-side window to temporarily take over the controls when you drift off at the wheel or don't know where you're going… and suddenly, you've been spared a nasty skid around that curve or an interminable span of wandering lost. Of course, you can't very well plug this version in as an excuse for making consciously bad choices (or passively bad refusals-to-choose). The cosmic 'they' only guide you if you practice genuine, open-ended, no-attachment-to-expectations surrender to not knowing… and not frozen-in-fear, expect-the-worst self-sabotage. 'Let go and let God' actually works. But careful: Those figures in your life who proselytize a preachy form of puritanical logic ('and logic alone!') may want to save you from yourself, and could try to do so with devilishly alluring tactics.