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Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Rich folk of previous centuries commissioned the most famous and talented artists of their times to paint their portraits. This mutually beneficial arrangement guaranteed some form of immortality for those old-school aristocrats, supported and added to the culture that made their wealth and civilization meaningful, and also made sure the talented visionaries of their time had money to eat and live. Have loftier goals than fulfilling one or two people. This week, mimic that (admittedly imperfect) system at its best, and discover ways to help yourself while helping and pleasing others as well.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
The detritus of a thousand other projects can only impede you. Your synapses need room to flex and stretch. It’s hard to originate new ideas and attitudes while surrounded by layers of aging mental clutter. Make space in your head for mental gymnastics. Take advantage of the sympathetic relationship between outer and inner worlds: clean your house. As without, so within: If you only clear a tiny area in the corner, you’re only going to have tiny ideas. But if you liberate a ballroom, football field, or galaxy inside your brain, you can entertain concepts of any size, from microscopic, to behemoth, to celestially vast.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Kook. Unlike most people, whose mental conflicts generally occur between dull reason and outlandish imagination, yours are odd battles between unquestionably zany ideas. (You usually bar entrance to tediously rational ones.) It’s one of many reasons we adore you—but it’s dangerous, sometimes, too. If I could press a stethoscope to your head and listen to your brainwaves, I imagine they’d sound like a pair of dueling banjoes. As the fingerpicking gets faster and more furious, you get so swept up in the frenzy without even once noticing how out-there the opinions or plans you’re contemplating are. Take a cue from those wild, good ole-timey instruments and instead of feverishly debating between untenable visits to Pluto or Alpha Centauri, simply return to Earth.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
You’re a god. Or at least royalty. You’re more powerful than almost everyone who’s ever lived. For example: Practically any type of food is handily available to you, accompanied by expert preparation and service, if you don’t feel like cooking; you have more information at your fingertips than did most governments before the last two decades; and newfangled gadgets (cellphones and the like) bequeath on you virtual superpowers, such as telepathy and clairvoyance. So quit your bitchin’. Despite your very real problems, you’re better off than most of humanity throughout history, and more empowered to solve them. Ignore the few evil impediments to your happiness and start really noticing the veritable mountains of blessings designed to facilitate it.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Beauty can handicap. Everyone’s met that pretty person who’s never had to develop herself, because her good looks yield easy results. Character-building is often painful and hard; someone who’s never experienced its benefits might shy away from it, if given the opportunity. Taureans rarely shrink from doing things right, though, even if it’s unpleasant or difficult. As a result, they’re sturdier and more fascinating, if a little more battle-scarred. Remember that taking the thornier path has made you the stronger and more profoundly lovely person you are today, so that when you’re faced with this week’s two options, you’ll choose the right one.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Hit the emotional reset button, already. Obviously, that’s a little more complicated than clicking <RESTART>. However, you’ve got to figure out a way to get yourself to that internal zero place, where you can react to every situation freshly, instead of being bogged down with the tired and outdated remnants of old programming. Don’t misunderstand; you shouldn’t erase your entire mental hard drive. The goal isn’t amnesia; you don’t need to forget all that’s gone before—just prevent burial beneath past experience. Let memories sustain, heal, and empower you, but never limit you.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Your meltdowns are usually self-induced. You frequently approach that precipice of mental overload, for no good reason. It’s like you’re trying to watch TV, listen to the radio, surf the Internet, talk on the phone, and drive—all at once. Don’t overtax your impressive but still limited ability to absorb and respond to information by making it all overlap—that tactic will result only in what you’ve experienced too much of lately: a continuous undercurrent of anxiety, even panic. Simplify, darling, simplify. This week, take your time, and reduce the number of things you’ll attempt in any given moment to two, one, or none.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Winter bites. There’s something about being exposed to frigid temperatures and bone-cracking winds that’s just sick and wrong. You may consider me a wimp with thin blood and not enough meat on his bones; perhaps you’re accustomed to Antarctic chills. Please have sympathy for me, anyway. This week, considering where people are coming from is more relevant and evolved than judging them based on your own experience. Your standards aren’t The Standards. Luckily, it works both ways: If you compassionately remember that things that are astonishingly simple for you might be colossal challenges for others, they’ll be kind in return when you trip over tricks they mastered ages ago.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Luxurious decadence is mostly wasted on you. While you can theoretically appreciate frivolous pleasures like breakfast in bed, bubble baths, and all-day beauty treatments, you have to be forced to indulge in them. It’s like pulling teeth to get you to lie around and accept pampering and bounty. However, since all this week’s blessings will come packaged in the form of supposedly superfluous lavishness, I suggest you resign yourself to at least a few hours of pleasurable idleness. You don’t have to slave and toil to earn all of life’s gratifications. Sometimes you’re given a complimentary pass to Easy Street where they’re doled out for free. When you’re handed one this week, use it, won’t you?
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Stand-up basses are the sexiest musical instruments ever. Even the homeliest fellow or gal can look seriously hot while coaxing a thrumming deep groove out of one of those beautiful instruments. It’s a marvelously tangible example of two of my favorite notions, both of which will help you boost your ailing ego this week: 1. You are what you do, not necessarily what you look like. Your actions can do far more for your sex appeal than plastic surgery. 2. It’s tired but true: Beauty rests in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re all that. All that matters is that someone will—if you let them.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Inflexibility often accompanies age, particularly among those opinionated, superior Scorpios. Just because your abilities and tastes are better than most people’s doesn’t mean they’re the best, or even as exceptional as they could be. Don’t be an old dog who won’t learn new tricks. Keeping an open mind and robust emotional resilience is the key to feeling alive. Life is not just about the pursuit and satisfaction of known pleasures and the avoidance of notorious annoyances. Make room for the new. The novel joys can only enrich you, and the fresh disturbances will build character—and Scorpios can never have too much.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Sagittarians are notorious plant-killers, although it’s usually herbicide-by-neglect, not malicious intent. Still, I can’t help thinking that if you learned to keep a plant alive—that is, gave consistent and reliable loving care and attention to something silent and undemanding, you’d be impeccably prepared for the challenges of the coming months. The only way you’ll learn the consequences of neglect in the world of your relationships is the hard way—when it’s too late to do anything about it, and all that’s left to do is toss the brown and withered husk of what’s left out with the trash. Water the plants; water your life.
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