August 01, 2012 | 08:23 AMLeo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Quit making snap judgments. I know you pride yourself on being able to pierce layers of superficiality. But the bottom line is people are multifaceted; your quick evaluations of them sell them short, and they'll resent you for it. I'm not saying ignore your flashes of insight and keen perception. Simply don't accept them as the final word. Especially this week, give people the benefit of the doubt, more than one chance, and points for effort. You'll be doubly glad you did: First, when they prove your initial impression completely wrong, and second, when they return the favor of allowing you to be as dynamic and diverse as you can be, and are.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Fortune-telling 101: To be a successful—though not necessarily accurate—soothsayer, tell people what they want to hear. Don't make the mistake of being relentless positive, though. Couch your compliments in critique, like: "You've got creative potential but you've really been letting it go to waste!" This boosts your credibility tremendously. Now that I've exposed one of the cheap tricks people use to manipulate you, you ought to be able to spot more. Bottom line—don't let anyone dictate what your future holds. Make your own decisions and concentrate on maximizing your creative potential—which you've neglected lately. No, really!
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I've placed a food order for you: We'll start with a cold gazpacho, to remind you to be simultaneously cool and red-hot. Next, vegetarian spring rolls to show you how to wrap up the diverse elements of your life in the most deliciously simple way. Main course: scrumptious ginger-sesame tofu loaf, to reveal how, if you're properly neutral, you can pick up the best qualities of those around you. Home-baked bread to remind you of things from your past that are still wonderful and pure. Finally, rich chocolate mousse, to demonstrate that while it's wonderful to fill your plate with incredible things, trying to stuff yourself with too many at once (whether they're casseroles or life lessons) will just make you sick.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Whew, it was rough going there for a while, wasn't it? Adrift in a tremendously turbulent sea of self-doubt and questioning, your little boat almost capsized. It didn't help when your run-ins with sharks left gaping holes in the hull, either. You're not out of hot water yet, unfortunately, but I believe the worst is over. Land's in sight, and the ocean seems calm enough for you to limp to shore. Keep on paddling, make sure your lifejacket is strapped on tight, and keep a grip on that knife—you'll need it to carve up coconuts when you get to your tropical island paradise.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
In the brilliant movie, Being John Malkovich, the main characters discover a physical portal straight to the inside of the title character's head. It allows them to experience life exactly as JM does; see things through his eyes, taste his food, feel whatever his body feels. Your unhealthy obsession with your own narrow view needs to stop. You could benefit from a crawl down the long, creepy tunnel into someone else's brain, especially the person you've experienced conflict with recently. Once you've acknowledged that there's more than one way to view the situation, you've made some progress. When you've finally, thoroughly understood the other person's perspective, you've given yourself the tool you need to solve the problem—if there's anything left to be solved.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You're so attuned to others at times that your own emotions seem as faint and distant as a crackling signal over a shortwave radio. Oh, you're in touch with your feelings. You make sure you call them once a week, like a nervous relative. At times you receive their signal with crystal clarity. Your problem is consistency. I'm not saying shut down your connections to the outside world for the sake of your inner one. I'm just saying prepare for more stimulus: As long as you don't make deliberate efforts to sabotage it, this week will be like getting hooked up to a high-bandwidth ground line straight to the source.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
It's rough when some of the innumerable balls you're juggling sprout spikes or burst into flame. As if you didn't have enough to take care of already! But remember, it's easy to be charming and theatrical and do lots of tricks when everything's simple and under control. The true challenge is shining despite hardship. So ignore the copious bloodshed from your numerous stigmatic puncture wounds, and the third degree burns on your wrists from the flaming fireballs you don't dare drop. Smile a genuine smile—remember, you chose this. Trust me: you're doing exactly what you love to do, even if it hurts a little. Enjoy it.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Respect the cactus: Tough, able to survive in parched, nutrient-poor soil with almost no water, protect itself with formidable spines, and look beautiful in a place where there's not much living beauty. I admire you more, though, Pisces. Give a cactus anything in abundance (besides sunshine) and it turns yellow and dies. Don't you dare water that cactus; it'll kill it. You, on the other hand, have made an art out of thriving on excess, as well as making do on next-to-nothing. The next week promises to provide a little of both. Get ready to exercise your versatility—drink deep, dry up, and bloom.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
It's easier to keep an even keel when looking at the big picture. When you get swept up in the daily tides of your life's events is when petty issues loom with the destructive force of tsunamis. That's why it's important—especially this week, when the waves are especially big and rough—to keep one foot up on dry land. Why not both feet? Well, that's one solution, but being the distant observer isn't very rewarding (or fun) most of the time, especially not for you Aries. So plant a leg solidly on a nearby sand dune and throw the rest of yourself into the fray, and simply enjoy the ride.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Tell the truth. Sometimes we must lie for our jobs, friends, spouses. Fine. This world's a complicated place and sometimes people need a little glamour to cover its imperfections. But as far as you and your own personal life is concerned, tell the goddamn bottom-line, no excuses, no-holds-barred, honest-to-goodness whole truth. It's your best weapon, your finest healer, and your smartest teacher. Wield it this week. I think you'll find that while insincerity couldn't quite hack through the obstacles you've been facing, your wholehearted honesty will slice through them like a hot knife through butter.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
As I write in a sunbeam, the delicious warmth creeps up from toes to my legs, and will soon obscure my computer screen. I'm not complaining; it's incredibly pleasant. When indulging your drive for accomplishment, consider pleasure. It doesn't have to all be "work." Seek the most enjoyable way to do what you must. Granted, you might not get as much done in as little time—but since you're deriving so much joy from your activity, you'll be able to keep doing—in fact, you may come to enjoy your labors so much that you never want to stop. Now that's efficiency.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
At times I've been so confident in my self-direction that I've ignored clear signals from the universe that I was headed the wrong way. Sound familiar? You're so sure of your own rightness and power that you may be denying your own potential to be even greater and more powerful. Ironically, sensitivity is key. Don't force things. You've got a square block. Don't jam it into a round hole. I know you're strong enough to force it through. But wouldn't it be more elegant, graceful, and satisfying to exercise your patience and wait until you're presented with the square hole your piece will fit into perfectly?
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