December 19, 2012 | 12:42 PMSagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
In his incredible essay, "Stickeen," John Muir described his adventures with an inscrutable little dog by that name, who, after crossing an immense glacial crevasse on a precarious ice bridge in Alaska, suddenly became the most transparent and loving creature he'd ever known. He chronicled the dog's transformation from enigma to familiar. I know you crave the mysterious unknown. Unknowable doesn't equal valuable, however. Sometimes the best things in your life are those right under your nose, the ones you think you know through and through. They have value—partly because of your deep understanding of them, but also in part because of the surprises they still hold in store.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Would it be accurate for me to describe you as spiritually hungry? This would explain the powerful cravings I witness you suffering; the deep-seated yearnings before which you tumble like a discarded, empty plastic bag buoyed upon a strong wind. Practicality can hardly howl over the gusty exhortations of your soul desires. In fact, it may be holding you back. If you're not feeling satisfied crossing items off your lists or fulfilling responsibilities, stop doing it—at least until you've had a taste of the flavor that promises to fill you up, whatever it is.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Aquarians love freedom as much as Leos adore romance and Virgos, order. Somehow, ironically, they often end up more intimately entangled then most Lions and live more structured lives than any Virgo. Why? Is it the law of contrasts (without darkness there can be no light)? I think so. Without some clingy, demanding relationship to strain against, or the strictures of an exacting, systemized lifestyle, you'd never be able to recognize, let alone appreciate, the exciting moments of freedom you actually live for. Keep that in mind when you fly out of the cage this week: this is one of those moments. When it's over, you'll finally understand why the place you're most inclined to return to is the trap you just escaped from.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
I had a dream last night in which I exorcised evil spirits from the bodies of my friends by feeding them fresh-baked cookies (made from store-bought dough) that I'd consecrated. I was the white trash shaman, blessing the whole trailer park with specially sanctified tapwater and baskets of wonder bread and frozen fish sticks. The demons weren't happy, though. Vanquished into their televisions, they swatted against the glass with entertaining and ineffective abandon. The lesson I'd like to share: don't sweat the tools you use, or the methods. If they get the job done—more power to you.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
I've witnessed dancers who can put their legs behind their own heads, and politicians who'll change their convictions depending on what song their clock-radio wakes them to that morning. I believe you'd benefit from lessons by these pliable experts. No one wants you to become as wishy-washy as a Libra or as malleable as a Pisces. But if you could postpone making decisions or taking action until you've at least considered the facts and opinions of those involved, we'd all appreciate it. By the way, when choosing between physical or mental versatility, consider this: a flexible mind is more certain to improve your sex life than the ability to put your legs behind your head.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
It's you or them these days. That is, you're either making yourself crazy or driving someone else insane, pleasing yourself or your friends (but not both), and suffering or inflicting pain. Oh woe. Is there no middle ground? Unfortunately, no—unless you somehow conquer your persistent allergy to the truth. Will the truth set you free? No. That's idealistic bull. But your insanity should diminish when you're no longer obsessed with juggling cons and lies. Honesty may not please anyone, but any pleasure derived from its absence was phony anyway. Finally, unavoidable pain is much more bearable when it actually has meaning, dignified with truth. Don't hide it or hide behind it. Just tell it.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
When a horse breaks a leg, it's put down. Since they apparently can't recover, they're euthanized. Whether this is truly appropriate I'm not qualified to say, but I will say you're slightly monstrous for wanting to end the life of your ______(fill in the blank: job, relationship, newfound attitude, etc…) so prematurely. Here the poor thing is, tottering around on shaky legs like a baby deer, and you shoot it in the head for not being able to keep up with your galloping pace. Slow down and give Bambi a chance to grow up. He'll thank you later when his (ahem) antlers have grown in.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Aw, you can take it, you tough thing. A little ribbing and bruising is only like flint to your steely shell: sparks are liable to fly. Can't you see criticism as the strength-honing influence it is? Never mind. I stand among the vast majority of folk who secretly admires (and even worships) your volatile power—but is scared to say so, for fear of risking your scorn or getting a prick from your sharp tongue because you think we're patronizing you. We're not. Take everything at face value this week, especially the compliments. You rock.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
For every gray hair you pull, two more grow in its place, supposedly. It's pointless and ineffective trying to deny your age, or resist it. Why should you? You tend to age well, becoming more attractive as your experience and self-knowledge grow. Leos that use facelifts and dye jobs to hide their maturity are selling themselves short. In fact, let me tell you a little secret: your best bet at getting what you want this week (whether it's sex, love, or money) is by flaunting your age, or even exaggerating it. So go ahead; draw on a few extra crows' feet. You never know what they might get you.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In such a mad rush to grow old and wise, you dyed your hair silver, wore glasses (for show only), and adopted odd, unnecessary mannerisms (like that flamboyant cane or the repulsively stinky cigar-smoking). While I appreciate and admire your earnest desire for wisdom and enlightenment, there's a problem with your methods. Ultimately, no amount of deep thinking, book learning, or play-acting can replace the truest source of wisdom: experience. And some experiences can only happen to you when you're naïve enough to allow them. So be young and stupid while you can. There'll be time enough to be cynical, crotchety and wise later on. And if you don't let yourself be idiotic and trusting now, you'll kick yourself then, when you realize how moronic that is.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
I have no qualms about manipulating you, Puppetmaster. You're the expert at getting people to do what you want—often believing it's their own idea. For all I know, my attempted stratagems regarding you are exactly what you intended when you plotted my next move. Thus, I've given up on the idea of subtlety. I know you can see right through me and anyone who attempts any kind of ruse, so I opt for the up-front, completely frank approach. Ironically, since the person you're trying to outmaneuver is easily your equal, you'd benefit from the same approach. When trying to get what you want this week, try this novel approach: ask for it, straight up.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You can never really know what's going on behind someone's eyes. You'd think you, of all people, would know that all too well, since you're the monarch of inscrutability. However, you all too often seem to believe you can read someone like a book—but you're mistaken. What's lurking in their unknowable brain can only truly be found out by…asking (and sometimes not even then). What you're reading is your own imagination, which has no bearing on reality in this case. While this can yield insight into someone—that someone is you, not the person you think you're deciphering.
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