Horoscopes | Week of September 4-10, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's not every day I find myself priming my Aries pals for a quiet, sneaky surge of cryptic emotion, the kind that drifts softly like a cloud across you until it blocks your life's light and you notice your mood has degenerated to edgy, downcast or blah. (Usually, by the time a feeling has encroached enough for you to detect you, you're off taking some action to shift the circumstance and create some change.) But it's not every week we host a lunar eclipse, a super-suggestive call from the cosmos to listen to your emotional wisdom… not necessarily to do anything with it, only to pay attention to when and why sensitivities flare up. The 'answers' that delicately tiptoe forward in your consciousness may apply to questions you haven't yet asked yourself… and like a Jeopardy! contestant, you'll have to work backwards to match 'em up. The whole process, alas, moves slowly and may meander into circuitous detours before yielding anything palpable you can use to make smarter decisions. The problem, then, becomes one smacking of the innate Aries impatience. Fixating on the little details won't 'solve' the big riddles. And impulsively starting something completely new, abruptly changing direction, heading off on a sunset getaway or grabbing another beer won't gain you any insight on the feelings—just momentarily push them down. Have you ever realized how difficult it is to do nothing… and to pay attention while doing it?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): At this point, Taurus, does it really matter what anybody else thinks? If the answer is 'yes', I won't scold you for it… merely ask you to consider which former events in your life left such a strong impact on your socialization that you still feel a need to 'fit yourself in'. (Nasty junior-high antics? Public humiliation? A bit of mockery lobbed at you when you'd finally swallowed the fear and taken a big risk?) While it's perfectly natural to carry these tender imprints with us into our future, we can't let their phantom threats hang over to the point of squashing our creative individuality. Among the hyperspastic astro-factors this week is the delightful entrance of Venus into your 5th house, inspiring you to externally share the most beautifully, exquisitely unique parts of yourself with the rest of the world—without worrying about how you think they should conform to broader social standards. Life's too short to waste those precious opportunities to learn and develop that only come from resisting conformity. If you simply can't get past the imagined sight-and-sound of being laughed at and find yourself frozen in inhibition, then there's clearly some nasty unresolved emotion blocking your way. How, exactly, do you feel about whatever past situations led you to this obstruction? Aren't you mad at the perpetrators? Envious of those who seem freer than you? Resentful of all the underutilized time that's elapsed? Spit it out. That, too, is uniquely yours… and, accordingly, deserves its expression.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The week's astrology, including a lunar eclipse in your 10th house, has you dashing all over the map, as the emotional feedback you're receiving from the different areas of your life intensifies. Career with a capital 'C' (or whatever it is you do that constitutes your grand contribution to the outside world) is the issue most loudly begging for you to delve into more deeply, to determine whether your current path is one that'll ultimately serve your best interests. (Or was it merely an easy default?) When you think about your most recent (or still-in-progress) frustrations or challenges, does it feel like a long uneventful trajectory of drudgery, with no end in sight, or a necessary side-effect of working hard for what matters most? This answer is crucial to understanding your relation to the achievements unfolding (or refusing to unfold) around you, and it should either (1) alleviate your temporary suffering with some much-needed perspective or (2) justify your surging need to find something different to do, in the long run if not sooner. Meanwhile, relationships are no less of a hot-button issue, as you may struggle to fully and accurately convey to that certain someone what you're going through on a level bigger than just the two of you. Maybe they're unable to hear the existential meat behind your words, or maybe you can't separate your personal truth from the desire for them to perceive you a particular way. Whatever the case, interpersonal communication could get heavy as a result. It's more important to decipher what your inner voice is telling you—about career, relationships and family matters—than what anybody else says or what you can tell them. Spend the week assessing your own emotional temperature.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Let's say, for the sake of argument, you suddenly discovered you had much less time than you'd initially thought you did. Whether we're talking 'duration of project' or 'length of life span', the open expanses of endless opportunity would begin ticking away, loudly and perhaps too rapidly for your comfort, toward a closer-than-anticipated end. And would you change your tune, Cancer? Surely, you'd do some things differently… like zeroing in on that which provides you the greatest sense of value and substance, and halting all wasteful outlays of energy on stuff that'll amount to nothing meaningful or enduring. The wastefulness is stealthy, however, and creeps into your life in small, barely noticeable dashes—rarely enough in a single dose to seem to make much difference, yet plenty when added together for a cumulative drag on your spirit. While I'm not necessarily spying some quickly approaching windup about to impose itself on you, I do think the sense of urgency which would be associated with such an event is a feeling you could take inspiration from. Facing the end of a line is a great destroyer of fear and resistance, since, by that terminal point, we've got little left to lose and so we'd might as well go for the giant golden ring. Why spend the final days on trivial concerns and either/or non-commitments? Now, with such an existential mindset powering your bravery, use your week to make something matter.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Here's when the intricate complexities of the situation present themselves, in brilliantly disquieting full-color view—which, from your understanding, may smack of unnecessary complication, too much discussion, and a lot of red tape. But unfortunately, any motions you make to simplify the issues currently on the table are rather misguided, simply because there's nothing simple about it. The more hastily and tidily you try to solve the unanswered questions or settle the differences in perspective, the likelier you'll be stifling critical dissent (from another person or your own inner devil's-advocate) that's definitely worth hearing… and the more of a tyrannical, self-concerned bully you'll seem to those who feel shortchanged. The strained, drawn-out lack of resolution that permeates the air is entirely appropriate, given the astrology of the moment. Therefore, I recommend taking your sweet time in negotiating all the labyrinthine details, so everybody involved feels heard, understood and fairly considered in the brokering of a desirable outcome. If another week or two is needed to iron out kinks or funky personality discord, then please grant yourself the leeway. When you're this far in bed with other people, you don't want anyone holding unfinished dissatisfaction underneath the covers. This is not the time to force a deal under duress, sweeping loose ends under the rug for appearance's sake. Those loose ends will reappear later… with the potential to subvert or spoil everything you've built up around 'em.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): After last week's commanding astrological impact on you, Virgo, the influence only gets stronger. Now we're into eclipse season, with a lunar eclipse in your 7th house on Thursday and a solar eclipse—in your sign—two weeks from now. Thus, you can plan on life remaining here in the jittery domain of lots of transformative activity, little definite clue where exactly it's heading, and the amped-up emotions of fear and anxiety which naturally accompany it all. Despite the immediate effect of disorderliness, you've got to believe this is all a very good thing… if, that is, you believe in the powerful benefit of fuller emotional awareness (no matter the emotion) for leading us closer to self-actualization. Wouldn't you rather understand the deeper reasons why you've been reacting as you have? Wouldn't you rather know where you stand in your closest relationships, instead of going along with unspoken assumptions that might not prove valid? You could easily allow this prized eclipse moment of higher discernment to pass in a swell of busy, moody and aimless, and nothing bad will happen… or at least nothing worse than what's already holding you back. But if you instigate a checking-in conversation, getting the ball rolling with whatever venting you need to verbalize, you'll be doing yourself a great service; now that Venus has moved into your sign, you'll be able to garner yourself some good graces, even if the discussion seems to head south. Your continued future development as an emotionally engaged partner, lover or friend depends on calling it as you see it—and then listening closely if you're called out, too.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): We're entering a wild astrological period over these few weeks… and at the same time, Mars moves into your sign for a zippy energy boost, ensuring (hopefully) that you're able to mind your own highest-priority items and stay out of everyone else's hiccups and hurricanes. This could be a most useful time, Libra, to feel out what your physical body is telling you to focus on—at work, at the gym, or in terms of your personal habits—and shift your attention there. As you cut through the spazzed-out vibes surrounding you so you can attend to your business, others could unfairly resent your ability to concentrate so single-mindedly… and consequently single you out as a target for their projections, reading you as 'self-centered' or 'uncompassionate' instead of 'self-determined' and 'disciplined'. Don't take it on. And for that matter, don't try to defend or explain yourself… at least not this week, when Mercury is placed in just such a manner as to give everyone the completely wrong idea whenever you intend your words to clear up or underplay a situation. You're not likely to handle interpersonal negotiations with as diplomatic a touch, with Mars bestowing an added assertiveness to your tone easily misconstrued as aggression. Instead, center your mindfulness on detectable physical symptoms that may indicate you need to tweak your diet, your sleep regimen, your work routine or any other regular part of your day-to-day life. The more diligently you zoom in that which will support your healthiest self, the more secure you'll feel in this environment among everyone else freaking out.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Believe me, right at this very minute, there's nothing I'd like more than to summon my highest creative genius and pour the most fantastic astro-advice from my cosmically autopiloted fingertips. But I'm currently at my favorite café, seated right next to the two loudest people in here (one of whom, I must point out, has the world's most abrasive speaking voice) who, it seems to me, are brainstorming ideas for some computer-animation collaboration. Scorpio, these two are driving me crazy to the point where I can hardly give you my undivided attention. Luckily, however, this personally annoying scenario poignantly mirrors the horoscope I wanted to write for you, which would strongly encourage you to take full advantage of an upswing in your creative productivity—much like I would be doing right now, if these two guys would just shut the hell up (or at least talk at a normal public volume level). You have access to an abundant reservoir of romanticism, in the broadest sense of the world, allowing you to glimpse beauty, shapeliness and bliss wherever you direct your artistic vision. Of course, at the very same time, others are also operating to enact or emphasize their visions, which could be just as imaginative or innovative as yours. If you can trust me (and Venus in your 11th) on this one, you'll find there isn't as much of a conflict here as it may seem. In fact, you can gain even more encouragement and arousal by joining forces with the very folks who seem at odds with your burgeoning romantic expressions… just as I've used my present café-climate botheration to frame this horoscope. Be careful, though, what you say to them about how you might be using their influence in your personal projects and proposals. You don't see me thanking the loudmouths next to me for inspiring this paragraph.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): First, reacquaint yourself with what I wrote you last week, as a reminder that you're at a definite turning point… and it's all about to get so much bigger and more exciting. Now, continue the process of unloading old crap under the sway of a lunar eclipse in the unseen back-alleys of your 4th house. I'm telling you: You haven't yet felt all the feelings about your familial upbringing you've unintentionally stored inside your private spots. (Few of us have.) The last thing you'd want standing in the way of your complete transformation is your own pent-up emotions. If you really want to move yourself along, seek out an exchange with a parent (or parental stand-in)—the one who maddens you the most, courageous Sagittarius—and pay super-close attention to when in the conversation your familiar reactions start to rise. There's no need to engage your family member in an out-and-out processing session about what you're feeling (though certainly you could). Instead, merely notice what triggered you and then trace it back in history to similar moments you can recall. An added plus for the next few weeks is Venus in your 10th, bringing fortuitous advantage on the career front. Would you be surprised to learn that the purgative personal work you do on with your feelings will have a direct positive impact on your professional life? Untangle your familial strings, and the relationships with your boss or other key power-figures will also see some ripening and relief.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): These are truly dicey days ahead, Capricorn… but far likelier to tamper with or topple other people (probably at least one of your favorites) than to mess too much with you. That's not to say you're completely out of the woods, for we have ceremoniously entered the latest eclipse phase, kicking off with this week's lunar eclipse in Pisces—thus, nobody's safe from hyperstimulation, oversensitivity and disarray. But you can limit your potential upset by keeping close watch over the things you say… with as unwavering an awareness of (1) when you're intending to be silly, superficial or offhand and (2) when you mean to come off with substance, seriousness and care as you can possibly sustain. Neither type of commentary is necessarily off-limits; what could be problematic, however, is too blurry a distinction between the two, particularly with regards to how the other person might perceive your intent. It's common enough for any of us to inject supposedly 'harmless' jokes with undercover bitterness, half-consciously, resulting in a convoluted heap of playfulness and poison that prevents actual discussion of the potent emotions veiled by humor. Meanwhile, we can just as easily attempt to offer legitimately earnest advice or feedback, only to discover we're talking out our asses and would probably do better to just listen or crack a couple lovingly supportive one-liners. With the week's astro-events linked to Pluto in your 12th, hiding some of your trickiest feelings behind a wall of hazy vapor, you might not notice when you've unwittingly lapsed into one of these sloppy behaviors and scraped uncomfortably against someone… unless, of course, you keep every intention clear and above board.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The secret to wealth is not a single formula, universally applicable to every man and woman who's ever tried to earn a decent living. Its elusive key varies from person to person, based upon an individual's personal relationship to money and other abundance-granting possessions, the messages instilled in him about it while he was growing up, and the social context in which he finds himself. Astrologically speaking, we look principally to the 2nd house for insight on such matters—the same house in your solar chart that's activated by this week's lunar eclipse. The sign ruling both the eclipse and your 2nd house is Pisces, which can go far in explaining the reasons why you Aquarians often hold an inconsistent (sometimes even wishy-washy or pie-in-the-sky) regard for material concerns. As you know too well, money is both (1) a completely arbitrary (and rather unfair) construction that serves the interests of global capitalism more than those of any living breathing person and (2) a necessary currency that buys you many a life-enriching, mind-expanding opportunity. If you gravitate too strongly toward a disdain for worldly wealth, you're likely to needlessly hinder your earning capacity with this naïve antagonism—and succumb to self-sabotaging economic mediocrity. If, however, you can interpret wealth as society's most convenient tool for rewarding hard work and sincere intention, then there's no excuse to shun it. Truth be told, you're in line for such a reward, to compensate you for everything you uniquely do to benefit the entire interconnected fabric of the cosmos. Of course, if you're only in it for the bling and couldn't give a rat's ass about whether what you do helps or harms the rest of us… well, that's a different story.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Oh my goodness, dear Pisces, what can I tell you this week to mitigate the waves of swirling sensitiveness and susceptibility brought on by the lunar eclipse full moon in your sign? This time of your life isn't only about coming into your own as a confident, liberated individual. It's also about unpeeling outdated-and-beginning-to-rot layers of the proverbial onion, especially as it pertains to your age-old patterns in relationships… which, considering your Pisceanity, likely involve giving too much of yourself without getting enough back. I already goaded you on last week to make your thoughts known to those certain someones who probably need to know. This extra week has only brought the situation closer to climax, if you haven't yet voiced your position. Do it now. With the addition of Venus to your 7th, the exchange may start out softer and sweeter… and will hopefully wrap itself up that way, too. And with Mars now into your 8th, the meaty middle part could get deeper and dirtier… but all the better, if clearing the air is truly your goal. It's not just a personal relationship or two that's at stake, though, which is why it's so crucial you reap the glory of prevailing in your truth. On a much wider scale, your ability to ascend higher professionally and/or in the eyes of those you most admire rests on your self-assertiveness. If you can't bear the burden of advocating for yourself in a relationship, how do you hope to exude the assuredness necessary to take on additional responsibility and respect? Each step toward a more solid self builds on the one before it.