March 16, 2011 | 02:20 PMPisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Everyone has ties (and feels obligations) to other people. However, it sucks when someone uses these to essentially blackmail you into doing what they want you to do, regardless of your own desires. Of course, this is generally more subtle than a letter composed of magazine-clipped letters depicting a drop-off point for a ransom—but it's a form of blackmail nevertheless. Letting someone twist your arm that hard isn't something you can or should tolerate for long. Of course, getting out of such a tight hold might be painful no matter what you do—but you should strive to do so, anyway, as soon as possible.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Although I admire your fiercely competitive spirit, it's important to know when to keep it in check. Not everything is a competition, especially with those you love. There's an appropriate time for that kind of thing, but it's at the card table or on the sports field. In everyday life, it's best to keep comparisons to a minimum. If someone is smarter or stronger than you, be happy for them, instead of insecure about it; and if the situation is reversed, try not to lord such facts over them; that's not particularly endearing. This week, it's all about realizing when it's game on—and when it's game off.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
We all have our responsibilities, and it's impossible to forget about them entirely, especially for you dutiful Bulls. However, if these burdens weigh on you so heavily that you have trouble enjoying yourself in situations as far removed from your obligations as you could possibly get (at a beach or an amusement park, for example), it's time for you to reassess just how much you've taken on, and realize it may be time to find a way to lighten the load. This is the perfect week to figure out just what has to go—and how to get rid of it.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
The boundaries between private and public are more blurred than ever—both regarding our ability to keep things private, and the power to broadcast our dirty laundry far and wide. This has caused a widespread redefinition of how people live and what about their lives they share—you can already see a tremendous disparity between generations in this department. Geminis are generally quite willing to live fairly transparently. When it's your business, that's fine. However, when you share something that concerns someone else, it's important to consider their standard for privacy, not yours—before you post that shit on Facebook.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
If someone's secret unexpectedly falls into your lap, exercise that famous sensitivity and compassion as you consider what, if anything, you'll do with it. Such secrets are loaded with emotional dynamite, and the whole thing could blow up easily if not handled carefully. It's not likely to be a clear-cut moral issue, either—this one lives entirely in the gray areas. Therefore you must consider two factors—which outcome in your power would generate the greatest good, and which would do the least harm? Consider the ripple effect of any revelations you make—and also make sure just keeping your mouth shut is an option you'll consider. It may be your best one.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
We can't help how we feel—our emotions aren't directed by logic, reason, or practical considerations; however, they're not impervious to them. Don't delude yourself that just because you feel something that "it must be right." A lot of what we experience internally is never meant to be, and acting on it really would only make a huge mess; that's right, nothing good would really come of it. This is why we have brains, and the ability to apply rational thought to what we're feeling, and figure out ways to deal with it that aren't destructive—and, quite simply, make sense.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Emulate your open-minded astrological neighbors, those Libras, who are can see both sides of nearly every scenario. You may be so sensitive and empathetic to one person's feelings that you become brutally oblivious to the other person (or people) involved. It's okay to take sides if you feel compelled to get involved or have an opinion, but please try to remember that nothing in life is purely black and white—even the most clear-cut issues have shades of gray. Don't let your compassion make you into a villain, blinded to these—that's this week's chief danger.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Never loan money you can't afford to not get back. That's good advice. Take it. It's wonderful to come through for people—and lovely when your good deed is reciprocated—but such generosity must come without anything more than loosely-attached strings. Please keep that firmly in mind as you move forward—having clearly-defined boundaries about what you're willing (and unwilling) to do will serve you well. If you decide to help someone out with some dough, it's okay to call such a gift a "loan," and hope to get it back someday, but in your mind, you should still consider it a gift. If you really can't afford to be so generous, then don't.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
When someone takes up space in your life, even temporarily, then they go away, it's natural to feel the emptiness left behind by their absence, even if you live the kind of life where a million other people and distractions are just waiting to rush in to fill the vacuum. Appreciate that, and notice that sometimes you can't truly understand what someone really means to you until they're gone. That can be a painful realization—when they die, for example. However, sometimes, you can have a second chance, one that's transformed by your newfound understanding. If you want such a chance, and it's logistically possible (even if complicated), this is a good time to ask for it.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-DEC.21)
When someone is a project ("We must rebuild you from the ground up!"), they might simply not be the "right" person for you. However, you're also wise enough to know there's no perfect person out there. What you should be aiming for is a broad compatibility, and if there's something you need to work on from there—conflict resolution, say, or sex—it might well be worth putting in the time getting things to a good place rather than playing the field more. Of course, that requires patience and a willingness to stick around and put in the time—qualities you're not particularly known for. You can develop them, though. The question now is: have you?
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a snake eating its own tail. It has many different connotations in different cultures and traditions. However, what it makes me think of most right now is…you! Like that snake, you're constantly recreating yourself, but mostly using the same materials you've used all along; that translates to very little substantial evolution. When you've decided to truly reinvent yourself, you'll need new fuel for the transformative fire, to inspire and challenge (and frighten) you. This is the perfect time to seek out just such terrifying, exciting, and evocative inspiration.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Although it's good to have goals, permanently attaching them to perceived outcomes won't do you much good. "When I'm ____ (fill in the blank: rich, famous, married, etc), I'll be happy." That might be a true statement—but it might not. Waiting until it happens to find out (and only potentially be happy) is kind of a dumb idea. Be happy now. Whatever your circumstances, figure out how to be happy immediately. That doesn't mean you should abandon your goals or leave off pursuing greater joy—just that postponing serenity and satisfaction for any amount of time is a bad, bad, terrible idea.
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