Horoscopes | Week of October 2-8, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In certain fundamental ways, this week isn't so dissimilar from last week. The emphasis is still on working well with other people, following their lead, supporting their efforts, and generally deferring your most self-serving instincts to what's better for both of you. In fact, with Mars making a trine from your 7th to Neptune in the 11th, it's not only one particular partner or pal whose predilections you'd be wise to honor and uphold… but also the best interests of the whole group (e.g., your gaggle of friends, the entire organization, society at large, et al). This, plainly, is an astro-lineup that—for you, at least—favors attentiveness to social relations over independent activity. What makes this week different from last, however, is a full Moon in your sign on Friday evening (Oct 6), Aries… which reflects the likelihood that, over these past couple weeks of mild-mannered concession and interpersonal considerateness (or your closest approximation of it), your patience has been tried. And as this full Moon approaches, you'll come closer and closer to losing your cool (assuming, of course, you've sincerely tried to maintain it). It makes sense, really, that all this recent planetary action in your opposing sign Libra could be enough to push you to your limits, as the overall astro-climate has kept you rather out of sorts. Excuse yourself the exacerbated edginess. But before you blow, treat yourself to a few hours of solitary selfishness, geographically removed from those 'other people' who might otherwise trigger an eruption. That, after all, would be the most considerate thing to do.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Shhh… keep your voice down. You don't want to startle anybody, or even necessarily alert them to your grand aspirations. Yet, it's a wonderful week to gently and quietly inch yourself closer to achieving them, using every indirect hint and back-door tactic in your bag of tricks. Don't concentrate on any specific individual(s) who you believe (whether warranted or not) may hold a magic key to the utopia of your future. The week's blessings aren't necessarily people-related, so much as they are task-related… and besides, humbly doing stuff is far likelier to keep you off the radar than talking about what you're doing. Notice also how I incorporated the adverb 'humbly' in my advice on how to proceed, Taurus, because it's an important part of the process—'humbly' not only in the sense of resisting too much potentially boastful discussion with others, but also by the way you treat yourself while expending your efforts. Aim for steady and measured, rather than too much all-out all at once. Otherwise, even if you're toiling away in a self-contained cubicle by yourself, your colleagues will hear the grunts and smell the smoke from you working unreasonably hard. Remember: You want to avoid too much attention, while you subtly earn yourself another rung on your climb to a higher view… and you've got to be healthy and energetic enough to sustain it for the long haul. All this, incidentally, will go infinitely more smoothly if you bear in mind what your ultimate purpose for bothering really is.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I want you to imagine you're looking at your present-day life circumstances as you would a monument or other tourist site in preparation for photographing it. In such a scenario, you'd continually adjust your position until you framed the most perfectly scenic view you want to capture… then, snap, it's frozen in time as your take on that site. Now, take a few steps back, to witness what else enters the frame as you get further from the close-up postcard snapshot you'd carefully engineered—the 'unhistoric' building next door, the unsightly throngs of other vacationing photogs shooting for their own ideal image-memories, the trash littering the ground in front. These, too, are features of the landscape in their own right… and at least as photo-worthy, depending on how creative you're willing to get in orchestrating your shot. In relating this metaphor back to your life, Gemini, I can't help but encourage you to step back from too fine a focus on one camera-ready vantage and look at what else is around you. As we all know, every picture tells a story—and simultaneously excludes an infinite number of other ones, in favor of its single-minded agenda. In your case, I want you to look beyond the here and now… toward a future further down the road, the side streets that house a myriad of alternative interpretations of your current situation, and the aerial view from space, which shows each glimpse of life in broader relation to everything else in the world. Sure, you can pass around your greatest-hits album to all your friends, showing them only the dozen or so perfect shots. But to know the real you, we'll have to see the errors, outtakes and artsy experiments, too.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This week's full Moon presents your first ripe opportunity to prove you're up to the current challenge, as set forth by the Sep 22 solar eclipse, of welcoming your feelings to wash over you full-force—without letting them toss you around 'til you're black-and-blue or drop you hard on your ass. Everything about the week's astrology indicates a deeper rush of emotions engulfing your inner landscape, as well as a particular sensitivity to the psychic conditions of those intimate confidantes (especially romantic partners). In other words, you're likely to hit upon a feeling for every nook and cranny of experience you encounter… and also for each toss and turn your close companion endures, as well. (Now, that's a lot of feelings!) Luckily for you, you've been through such rousing moments before, so none of this should seem too foreign or unfamiliar. Isn't it about time you demonstrated a knack for making tiny compensating movements, to counterbalance the continually rising-and-falling tides of your moods? That means staying ultra-responsive to those subtlest shifts in temperament, readying yourself to seek quiet alone time or a light-hearted evening with friends, a romantic dinner for two or a heart-pounding double-session at the gym to sweat it all out. If you do nothing, the feelings will take control, and threaten your ability to stay 'on top of things' where you need it most—out there in the world, on the job, with the 'very important' eyes peeled squarely on you. How well do you know yourself? Can you prescribe yourself just what you'll need for any and every emotional twist?


LEO (July 23-August 22): What your relationship life needs most from you this week, Leo, is to lighten up. Postpone the protracted heart-to-heart processing sessions, the stories of injured egos and incidental spites. They may (or may not) still require their due occasion, but this is not it. Instead, it's far better to take yourself—and your significant other, if one exists—out of the domestic space and into the social world, where you aren't stuck bouncing off the same old surroundings and conversational riffs. If you're currently paired off, the two of you will relish in connecting with another couple or two, for dinner and dancing or, better yet, a playful 'game night'. (To add spice, put yourselves on separate teams. A little healthy competition does a couple good.) If you're single, this could be the best time to participate in one of those 'speed-dating' evenings, where you have two dozen 5-minute dates in two hours. Or enroll your pluckiest pals in a crazy night on the town, and see who will get whom into the best types of trouble. However you choose to adopt my advice, the result should be a significant influx of additional interpersonal input… and lots and lots of talking and laughing. If you have heavy things to discuss, meanwhile, try to table them for another couple weeks. If you just can't wait, then at least plan on spending several long hours in drawing the conversation to some satisfying conclusion, if it'll get there at all. As I already said, expect lots and lots of talking.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): 'Simple and straightforward' is the mantra that'll get you the most out of your week, Virgo… but it's best applied when confronting any choice between calmly doing it yourself (clearly the 'simple and straightforward' approach) and getting into it with others (less 'simple and straightforward', to be sure). Whenever you can keep a task or judgment call self-enclosed—that is, reduce the number of convoluting variables or hypothetical interweavings that threaten to introduce too many other things to consider—then please do it. This is particularly true when it comes to all financial dealings. If it's your money, then you can earn it or spend it as you choose… and, considering your Virgoan status, you'll probably do just fine handling it on your own. The minute there's two people's money involved and two people's opinions to weigh, it only gets stickier. Of course, if you're already in complicated cahoots with somebody, I'm not suggesting you freeze them out of the relevant negotiations or turn your back on prior agreements. However, if you can sort out the most clearly defined division of labor (at least for this week), so that you're able to work on yours undisturbed while they do whatever they're doing, you'll be happy you did so. Let me warn you, though: With the full Moon falling in your 8th, I wouldn't expect the other person to show up with 'simple and straightforward' running through their mind. If anything, they may unconsciously seek to suck you into the very knotty complexity I'm recommending you avoid.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Just be yourself. Ah, if only I could leave your horoscopic counsel for the week at that… well, at least my weekly writing job would be one-twelfth shorter. But we all know that 'being yourself', which probably should represent the easiest activity possible, isn't as simple as it sounds. First of all, each one of us is a walking contradiction, such that the 'self' you're being one minute may seem so completely unlike 'you' the next, it's more like portraying an entire cast of characters in one single performance. Secondly, it's all too common for a person to have no clue who they 'really are' (whatever the hell that means), so accustomed are we to playing by societal rules and squelching uniqueness at every turn. When, for example, we arrive each morning to the job we hate, wearing clothes that we wouldn't necessarily choose in our 'off hours', to drench our unlikable co-workers with friendly small-talk… are we being ourselves, or some watered-down facsimile made palatable to The Powers that Be? And then there's that syndrome we call people-pleasing—afflicting, among all the zodiac signs, a disproportionately large volume of Librans—under the influence of which we consciously withhold our truest self-expressions, in order to best serve the role we imagine others want us to play, so we'll make them happy and, just maybe, they'll return the favor by giving us just what we want from them. Now that I've given you a fair rundown of items that interfere with 'being yourself' (and filled the requisite column space), I urge you to summarily dismiss all these objections. It does not matter if you flaunt your contradictions, rebel against societal rules, or opt not to please others at your own expense. With the planets lined up on your side, none of those things matter. Just be yourself.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Each week, as I sit down to write the horoscopes, the first thing I do is review my words from the previous week. One thing I like to believe separates my scopes from the rest is that they tell an ongoing tale, some coherent narrative trajectory mirroring the smooth cycling of the planets around the Sun. (Uppity, ain't I?) But when I glanced back at last week's Scorpio segment, I fear what I told you was only part of the story. (Don't get mad, 'kay?) Based on my rereading, I believe I made it sound like your inability to 'bank a reliable future on what you do'—due to too many planets hiding invisibly away in your 12th house—would be over by this week. (Oops!) Well, yes, Mercury has emerged from hiding and popped into 1st-house conspicuousness, granting a less awkward sway over your thoughts and words. Yet, both Venus and Mars remain cloaked in 12th-house fog… for another three weeks, no less. This means that, while you've regained some mental and communicative acumen, you still aren't exactly clear on either (1) who or what you're most truly drawn to, in terms of Venus-ruled affections and affinities or (2) what's motivating your actions and assertions, as governed by Mars's physical oomph. (Just a couple small things, eh?) That doesn't mean, however, that on some subconscious level the information isn't still there. It is, but merely out of reach of your full understanding. That said, your best bet is to be free and loose in talking about your feelings at any given moment (without extrapolating them into the past or future). After all, that's what you've got to work with right now—awareness of your emotions, and both mind and mouth to put 'em into words. Trust that, as long as you're being honest, this will be enough to carry you onward.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): First off, I pose an open-ended proposition to you, Sagittarius. With all this Pluto hoo-haw going on, motivating people to question whether a 'dwarf planet' has an equivalent astrological effect to a normal old 'planet', I turn the issue over to you. Pluto has been traveling through your sign since 1995, so you have the most direct experience with its upsetting, intense and ultimately cathartic energy. Most recently, it's been you folks born around, say, Dec 15-19 who've had Pluto conjoining your Sun… a transit that forces you to kill off 'the old you' and rebirth yourself into a beautifully transformed phoenix-like individual, or suffer dull deep pain. If what I'm describing rings true, then you should feel free to bear witness (to me or others in your life) that Pluto still matters. Okay… now, on to the week's astro-outlook: I inserted the above Pluto proposition this week because I had the room, since your week looks relatively tame (at least compared to other weeks and/or the other signs). With all the 3rd-and-11th-house energies swirling around you, last week's call to stick with the group continues to hold true. With that in mind, please take this occasion to find your utmost pleasure in the company of others… in the playfully pleasant chit-chat, the stimulation that comes from introductions to new acquaintances and exchanges with old stand-bys, and the reduced pressure to perform at your best when you're just another face in the crowd. Take a load off. Gigglingly mingle. Invite yourself to feel 'a part of something greater', without having to sign your undying loyalty on some dotted line at the welcome table. You deserve the breather.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This week, do what Capricorns do best: Gradually, strategically, craftily build upon what you've already accomplished… without releasing too much steam all at once or using fiery brashness to make a spectacle of yourself as you take over the world (or whichever small piece of it you've fixed your talons on). Please don't panic about what you don't have, since we're all lacking in some resource or proficiency we've been told (or we've told ourselves) is an essential requirement for achieving the success we yearn for. There are always exceptions to every rule—calm down, I know how much you love your rules—and why couldn't you be one of 'em? Zero in on all that you do have, always already anticipating ways in which you can bring it to the forefront of everyone's impressions of you. If that's what you're focused on, that'll be what they're focused on. Use your wiliest people skills to check in with bosses and decision-makers on their personal lives, demonstrating (with only the most genuine intentions, naturally) you understand just what they're going through…and maybe even express how happy you'd be to help unburden them. One kind gesture eventually begets a favor returned. (But again, if the kindness isn't authentic, the formula fails.)


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Open your eyes wider, in a display of wonder at the world's bounties. Crack an astonished (though wise, rather than dumbfounded) grin, and raise your voice to its most convincingly exclamatory tone (minus the falsity of some Mary Sunshine routine). Your job, Aquarius, is to get everyone else excited about what's happening all around them—an entertaining task, to be sure, but not without its fair share of struggle, considering all the other ideological warriors who'd rather freeze us in fear so we won't point out all the real problems they're complicit in furthering. You've never been one to shy away from a good fight, when it's about something you believe in strongly. Thus, your best bets are in generating enthusiasm about outlooks and ideas for which you actually feel such enthusiasm yourself. Don't center your motivating efforts on common enemies or mutual commiserations over this-or-that societal ill. Such rallying rods may indeed warrant our attention in a general sense, but for now, your challenge is to bring people together over purely positive messages. (Feel free, of course, to reconfigure any potentially 'anti' into a statement in favor of something… but be dutiful in stripping it of its reactionary airs.) Draw the focus to things that are already good, which can become even better with collective energy spent on them. And by the way, no one said you've got to get them excited about something serious. Frivolous fan-club fiestas and other purely recreational common interests work just as well—so long as they make you squeal with zeal.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Right about now, you're probably caught in some 'so-bad-it's-good' (or was that 'so-good-it's-bad'?) interpersonal intrigue that may or may not make logical sense to you, thanks to both Venus and Mars lodged in your 8th and forming trines to your 12th. To hell with logic, right? It's all about passion and the other hard-to-describe psychic sensations that come with it, pulling you in, whether you like it or not. So why, you might ask me, wouldn't you like it? Well, for starters, if what you're embroiled in is ultimately harmful to your health and well-being. Examples might include: an abusive relationship, a drug-or-alcohol-fueled fog, all-night sessions that leave you without a wink of sleep or a morsel to eat, deals that sound too good to be true, or any conduct or connection that might try to convince you that 'nothing else but this matters'. Pisces, I won't judge you for involving yourself in whatever intense intimacy, murky merger or blissful bubble currently has you under its spell. I say, Do what you want… mainly because you're probably going to do it anyway. Just make sure you protect yourself, physically if not also emotionally. No single thing—not a job or pastime, not a friend or lover, not the promise of a fast future fortune or a goal perfectly realized—should consume all of your energy. Don't you know that's how people set themselves up for disaster down the road?