July 29, 2013 | 12:40 PMLeo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Faith is the cornerstone of Leo optimism. If you believe good things will happen, they usually do. Even when bad shit goes down, you take it in stride with all the blessings that also come your way—the balance always comes out positive, eventually. Still, when Leos experience prolonged periods of less-than-amazing luck, they can occasionally suffer long-term damage to that self-fulfilling sunny outlook. That's why I'm reminding you now: Things won't automatically go your way. Nevertheless, don't leap to the conclusion that the world has turned specifically against you. Just dial your hopefulness to a longer timeframe; soon, you'll be the zodiac's lucky golden child again.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You got so tired of nearly every risk-taking venture blowing up in your face that you've pretty much stopped attempting anything the least bit chancy. Although taking unnecessary risks can liven up your life—and are a part of what makes life so great—I'm not going to advise you to start doing bong hits, shoplifting lipstick, or having sex in the office. However, don't let yourself become boring and overcautious. Sometimes life requires that you take risks that I would consider quite necessary (and might involve the aforementioned less-necessary risks), like giving love a chance, nurturing a hidden talent, or adopting an orphaned idea. One of those great and spiritually lucrative opportunities approaches; please take it.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
If your life were a dance floor, lately it'd be way too crowded. On it, you're constantly jostled, poked, elbowed and stepped on by your boogying neighbors. Don't flip out and shove anyone out of your personal space, but don't just fume and bop in place either, biding your time until the dance floor clears enough to really get your groove on. There's another solution—one only someone of your enhanced charisma could pull off. Don't compete against all these people packed into your space. Dance with them instead—which is what they all secretly want anyway.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Torture is useless, according to the mythos that surrounds you. Word on the streets is that once you've been confided in, toothpicks under your fingernails couldn't pry secrets out of you. You're a vault. Perhaps all this is true, or perhaps like most legends it's mostly true but enhanced for popular consumption. I'd like to believe they're accurate, that you'll be able to resist the tantalizing incentives being dangled in front of you, in exchange for a betrayal so minor it'd be almost imperceptible. Trust me when I tell you: whatever you're offered isn't enough. Screw selling out. Proving that your allies' faith in you is well-placed will be far more lucrative in the long run.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Risk-taking is one of your fortes. I never have to coax you to be more adventurous, like I did for Virgo this week. Instead, your friends and I usually waste breath exhorting you to exercise some restraint, and look before you leap. Not this week; I'd rather not spoil the surprises you have in store by counseling you to check them out ahead of time. But since the leaps required to get to them are quite a bit further than your usual extravagant jumps, I'll say this: Go ahead and jump blind, since it's more fun for you that way. But strap on a hang-glider or bungee cord, before you hurdle off the cliff.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
As you veteran multi-taskers well know, there are plenty of things you can do while, say, you're stuck in traffic, taking a shit, or sleeping. But you can only stretch efficiency like that so far. Some of the things you're only devoting half or one quarter of your attention to at any given moment are going to rebel, backfire, or fall apart eventually. That's especially true of your most important relationships, which at least occasionally need you to put in 100%. This week, if someone you love is obviously trying to pour his or her heart out to you, notice. Put down the lipstick, the checkbook and shopping list. Hang up your cellphone, and pull the car over. Then listen. Just listen.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Friendships are like trees. They can sometimes grow stiff and brittle with age and crack under unexpected strain, but usually the good ones have an arboreal longevity, and an ability to weather fierce storms and harrowing droughts. New friendships, however, are not so robust, whatever their potential. At this stage in their lives, they're like barely awakened seeds or springy but fragile saplings; don't make the mistake of treating them like the mighty oaks they might become. This week, nurture those delicate and promising new sprouts. Don't piss on them or make them endure forest fires, just because you think they should be able to. Pamper them now; they'll survive disaster later.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your sensitivity and emotional mystique will only carry you so far. You must admit you've coasted along on them for vast distances in the past. But sometimes, like the coming weeks, the world demands a couple of good, hard, practical edges. How to forge sponge into sword? Although enduring a trial by fire and being tempered by sharp blows is one way, I propose another solution, just as effective but far less painful: borrow someone else's. Make a deal. Forget mutual back-scratching and try: "I'll sponge your back, you cut up my enemies."
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Your Muses want you busy. Screw that business about idle hands being the devil's tools, but since your best ideas will emerge only when you're not looking for them, keeping your brain partially occupied with some task is the best way to allow your subconscious to divulge its brilliance. When you're actively seeking inspiration, it'll hide like a shy child. Don't waste energy fruitlessly pursuing it. Instead, distract yourself with something productive, be it whittling, knitting, or washing dishes. The afflatus will come, and you'll be able to do something about it as soon as you finish the project you began so it could.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You're like a peacock hiding his plumage. You've spent all season cultivating this gorgeous crop of long, sleek, shining feathers, and now you're too shy to strut. Don't be embarrassed. Your achievements only seem ostentatious to your suddenly conservative sensibilities. To the rest of us, they look beautiful and will almost certainly have the intended effect: near-universal appeal. Why hide the fact that you're ready and able to seduce the pants off virtually anyone and everyone? It'd be a shame to work this hard and not show it off. Strut your stuff baby, since you've got it.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Chameleons, like you, vary their colors to suit mood, situation, or environment. Your similar changeability, in both cases, is a survival tool. It helps them avoid predators and stalk prey; it helps you attract the huge variety of strange bedfellows (both literal and figurative) you crave. You also share a powerful intuition with that fascinating lizard, which can predict an insect's movements accurately enough to nail it with a long, sticky tongue. Long sticky tongues aside, trust those gut feelings, which can help you find things to feed you, spiritually. Bear with my metaphor: Don't settle for undeveloped larvae. When the substantially more nourishing bulk of a full-grown rhinoceros beetle lumbers by this week, be sure to reel it in.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Cancerian psychology dictates that you're designed to worry. Supposedly you're fed and defined, to some extent, by your anxieties and their relief. Fine. However, if you must worry, at least worry about the right things. Out of your two chief concerns—emotional and material security—one's more realistic than the other. Go ahead and fret a little about money—just enough to keep you from making the extravagant purchases that'll shunt you too deeply into the red. But don't worry about the loyalty and resilience of your inner circle of friends; their occasional annoyance with your moodiness is just that, and won't more than temporarily disrupt the deeper current of love beneath.
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