Horoscopes | Week of October 9-15, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): All my recent encouragements to let your 'other half' take the lead aren't quite ready to be discarded. As long as we've still got the Sun, Venus and Mars in the Libra-land of your 7th house, it's ain't back to being about you quite yet. However, last week's full Moon (in your sign) should've broken some of the tension building up inside you, granting you a new lease on behaviors that go the extra mile to show interpersonal loyalty and backing. (You did take me up on that 'solitary selfishness' moment, didn't you?) With that in mind, you may consider gently and unobtrusively beginning to slowly and slyly insert teeny-tiny snippets of your own agenda into the partnered proceedings—as long as you remain fully committed to continuing to invest in what's good for both of you. (And yes, I purposely overdid it with the adverbs. Did it help me stress my point?) Your ruler Mars is bolstered by double-sextiles to Saturn and Pluto, indicating you can apply a bit more ideological force and self-expressive personality to your approach. But nothing nearly as balls-out blatant or cut-to-the-chase candid as you ordinarily might. The best path remains the indirect one, with thoughtful care placed on how each syllable you speak will sound to their ears. Put yourself in the other pair of shoes to determine what tone or tactic is most liable to appeal to their tastes. If you can get that right, you just might be able to sneak a couple of your own priorities onto the plate—without raising any flags.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Venus desperately wants to hand you a nice-sized helping of ease in your workload, personal-health responsibilities, and other assorted labors of service. But in order to welcome her good graces, you mustn't let yourself be seen as a threat to those around you… while, at the same time, also be willing to sacrifice your own immediate desires on behalf of goals to be enjoyed at some undefined future time. That's quite a balance to strike, eh? Don't make too many waves within any group or community with which your duties may intersect (i.e., in the workplace, at the pilates class, during the committee meetings), and don't cater to your passing whims (i.e., the need to reward yourself with an extra cookie, a brand-new bag, or fourteen hours of bad TV)? In other words, be unassuming with others and disciplined with yourself. Easier said than done, one might think… yet, that's where Venus comes in. As I said, she will make it easier, if you want to make some genuine headway in getting stuff done. She won't, however, tolerate overindulgences or dramatic complaining sessions. In those kinds of cases, she'll also ease your way—to a whole bunch of wasted time, trivial nonsense, and maybe even a couple extra pounds around your midsection, that is. Meanwhile, the best kind of comments you can offer to others are detached, non-judgmental encouragements to remind them 'we're all in this together'. Get too pushy or personal, and they might zap you back out of their face… which, in the end, just gives you more of a chance to attend to your own matters anyway.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): What a fantastic week for you to offer your pragmatic 'two cents' of helpful advice (maybe even three), especially to those folks so entrenched in their crystallized manner of running the show that they desperately need a breath of reinvigorating air. Only they might not know they need it… and could take it the wrong way if you begin pitching your suggestions with blatant giveaways like 'Can't you see how stuck you are?' or 'You've got a problem'. The last thing they'll want to hear from you is some huge overarching philosophy for completely reinventing a wheel that (in their eyes) keeps moving right along just fine, thank you. You'll want to fix your focus, then, on the finer details and the functional mechanics… showing them, for instance, your speedier methods or smarter qualifying measures that streamline or eliminate one specific step. Lay your hands off the whole ball of wax. These smaller maneuvers may whet your appetite for giving more and more feedback—particularly when you receive their response of astonished gratitude (much deserved, I might add). But please don't push your luck. If you go too far too fast, you're liable to lose your own bearings and start to sound more full of hot air than hot ideas… and the more likely they are to perceive your genuinely benevolent efforts to help as a self-serving move to score yourself some brownie points. Keep it tempered and unaffected, though, and you just might end up with those points anyhow—as a pleasant side-effect of being helpful.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You Cancerians possess an unrivalled gift for obtaining and transmitting knowledge without the crutch of spoken or written words. You just get it, with a single exchange of psychically dense eye-contact or a ripe touch… sometimes even picking the data straight off the invisible vine of ethers, without necessarily knowing how you know what you know. Your special intuitive faculties are linked to your sign's traditional correspondence with the mothering principle, for, similarly to how an aware mom will often 'sense' when her child is in trouble, you're able to detect those subtle changes in energy that tell you when something's afoot, amiss or about to affect someone you love. And this week, a blend of astro-factors ups your intuitive quotient, for an enhanced understanding of both (1) your own feelings about any given situation, exchange or pending decision still to make and (2) those of the people closest to you, especially family members. However, just as mothers will miss the intangible clues about her offspring's well-being if she's too lost in her own self-absorbing thoughts, you must be able to hush your egoic anxieties, expectations and desires in order to receive the heightened wisdom available. (The surest way to confirm it's intuition talking is when the insight is surprising, or shows up in terms your conscious self would never choose.) Furthermore, it's a losing battle to try explaining to anyone where the knowledge came from or how you know it's true. In fact, the more you say about it, the more that'll be lost in translation… and the likelier it'll sound stupid (to you or someone else) when spoken aloud. Once you perceive a psychic hint to head in a certain direction or behave a certain way, for your own benefit or that of a loved one, simply make the move—without spoiling it with justifications, descriptions or question marks.


LEO (July 23-August 22): For the most advantageous week possible, you'll want to make sure to keep yourself moving at a fairly steady rate, in order to sprinkle your presence over as many social interactions as you possibly can… without overstaying your welcome at any single one. You might need more than two or three minutes' contact with certain individuals, so they're confident that the smidgeon of you they're getting is genuinely generous and loving. Then, perhaps, an hour or two is due. But you needn't be effusive or overly sentimental to convey your point. Just showing up, in order to demonstrate it was worth your time (and that you came because you sincerely want to share in that quick hug or meaningful handshake), is enough. Once you begin to pour bucketsful of feelings at the feet of any one individual (or tacitly invite that one individual to gush his deep confessions all over you), you're flirting with misunderstandings. There are far better weeks than this to disclose the deeper emotions in actual verbiage, or to try discussing the finer points of where each other's feelings match up or diverge—unless, that is, your goal is to startle the other person with a surprise disclosure, which will then likely slide into a clean break of some kind or another. If that isn't your goal, though, don't bother with the deep stuff. Rather, stay busy with short visits and pleasant conversations, multi-stop jaunts around town and follow-ups that foster friendship connections. Give 'em something real, but leave some for the next time.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): A great means for livening up the staler among your important partnerships is to introduce new ideas to the things you do together—some previously unexplored activity, a never-visited locale for your weekend stroll, or a couple pals you haven't seen in what seems like forever. You'll not only give yourselves some fresh stimulus to share, but you'll also betray their (unfair?) presumption that you're a creature of habit, always satisfied to have, for instance, the same meals at the same restaurants instead of venturing into obscure ethnic delicacies. It's far smarter to inject your personal relations with surprise suggestions and unanticipated departures, at least this week, than to do the same when it comes to work. All things related to your own material situation, what you're doing with your own physical energies, and how you complete items on your to-do list are best handled by unconscious instinct. Ponder 'em too much, and you'll lose sight of the smoothest path possible due to overthinking. (And frankly, there isn't too much to ponder, as this zone of your life is doing fine enough to leave as is for the time being.) It's your interpersonal exchanges that crave the 'something else'… and which will benefit most from breaks in the regular pattern. That's where you can direct the week's innovative thinking. Catch your partner or friend off-guard, in some entertaining and enjoyable manner./p>


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): We continue our junket through the land of Libran dominance, where all the rest of us politely play 'sidekick' and 'second-in-command' to your callings of shots and settings of priorities. What? You haven't noticed that we're here at your disposal, waiting for you to diplomatically inform us how best to serve you? Well, this dynamic I'm describing isn't exactly screaming itself into the public discourse—that's not exactly the Libran mode of doing things—but, believe me, it's underlying every circumstance in which you find yourself. All you have to do is ask, and if we can't meet your requests, we'll do our best to explain why… and to find somebody else who can. Both Venus and Mars remain in your sign, cavorting quite amicably with Saturn, Neptune and Pluto, which is why you've got temporary mastery over quite a wide territory. The renegade, bless his heart, is Uranus in your 6th, and, therefore, the main thing you cannot sculpt to your liking is how your physical faculties keep up with the pace of your position of preeminence. First off, you should watch out not to exhaust yourself too much by forcing a strict-and-demanding routine around your currently loose-and-spontaneous energies. You've got to be able to switch gears at the drop of a hat, and not plan a whole day's activities on a schedule that depends on dependability. Also, certain well-defined work processes may not adapt so well to your momentary boost in self-possessed moxie… and thus could require more reverent compliance than is worth your time. That would be an ideal opportunity to ask for assistance—or to reconfigure your intended workplan for the week—in order to take advantage of everything and everyone else that's calling on you to lead.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): There's nothing wrong with taking a little breather from engagement with the outer world, Scorpio… and when planets line up in the 12th house (as I told you they've been doing for you recently), then it's the astrologically appropriate time to disappear for a moment's sanctuary. Now, please recognize you don't have to literally disappear in order to get a moment's respite—though that's certainly one manner of going about it. Think more broadly about what you need to 'get away from', and what you may find is a simple desire for release from all the requisite ego-coherence of being you. In other words, you just might crave a brief escape from having to behave in ways consistent with what everyone expects of you. Some people find this escape through spiritual retreats, vision quests, or long bouts of meditation or prayer. Others create geographic distance, taking trips to faraway destinations or hiding themselves in the country cottage or rustic cabin. And still more use the old standby of large amounts drugs or alcohol, oversized portions of comfort food, excessive hours of sleep or TV, or other such 'less healthy' roads to the same temporarily chilled-out place. As you might imagine, I don't necessarily recommend this last approach… though it's ultimately up to you to judge what's likeliest to provide relinquishment of the pressures of self in a fashion that ultimately supports you. (At least now you understand why certain hankerings might be cropping back up again, seemingly out of nowhere.) Whatever the case, give yourself another two weeks to loiter backstage. After that, a flurry of exciting activity will descend rather quickly… and the call to withdraw will seem a thing of the distant past.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You have a robust opportunity this week, Sagittarius, to spear-head and trail-blaze from within… to exude a refined, mature air of power and prestige, without the need to blatantly contend for much attention or recognition. This is quintessential 'lead by example' astrology, as so much of the planetary action remains lodged in your 11th, where you'll boost your effectiveness (not to mention your likeability) by hanging close to your friends, teammates and community colleagues. But there are also traces of Saturn and Pluto insinuating themselves into the scene, delivering a chance to elegantly embody your transformed relation to who you are and what you stand for in the world. Even as you're staying with the group (rather than insisting on following your own itch for freedom, a more-your-cup-of-tea practice whose time will reappear soon enough), you're still liable to stand out as 'one to watch'. The tricky thing about this whole 'model/guide from within' approach (at least as long as Mercury remains somewhat hindered both in your 12th house and squaring Neptune this week) is that you're better off not saying much. Words are your least reliable tool for leadership. Actions speak far louder, especially when you grab hands with your brothers-and-sisters-in-humanity and act together toward something you all believe in. Can you express who you are and what you stand for without relying too heavily on literally spoken or written statements?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The planets persist in providing you an understated (though, don't kid yourself, very real) opportunity to make headway toward your professional or outer-world goals… or, if you're unsure what those said 'goals' might be, to weigh your different options through level-headed exploratory processes. Just like last week, you'll want to proceed gently and pleasantly, treading lightly around all people whose opinions of you may ultimately prove to 'matter'. This entails sucking in the protruding part of your personality that quietly (though, don't kid yourself, more obviously than you think) radiates a haughty belief that you know better than they do. Even if you do know more about certain subjects, that doesn't grant you the license to assume the relevance of your extra learnedness to this particular situation. Without exception, everybody brings something uniquely useful to the table. Your job this week is to elegantly exhibit yours, with such confident panache that those around you will forget about anyone else's alternative offerings. But don't actively compete against the others, nor bother to raise their names in conversation at all. You want to keep your more brazenfaced go-getter self in check. And while you're at it, watch what you blurt out in casual conversation to folks you're convinced won't share your comments with the wrong ears. Though I'm urging you to avoid direct competition, others may not follow suit.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If you aren't in the midst of an awe-inspiring sojourn to faraway galaxies, an energizing immersion in some topic of eye-opening fascination, or all-out participation in a world-changing crusade to bring justice back… well, then, what the heck are you doing? With a lit-up 9th house spurring a quest for adventure (whether a literal trek across foreign lands or some other consciousness-expanding 'trip'), I'd be surprised to hear that you're duteously doing the same-ol' stuff you've done every week for the last several months. If indeed you are holding tight to the predictable, I ask: Isn't it driving you a bit stir crazy? My dear crazy-genius Aquarius, I understand if you cannot set aside all your 'normal life' commitments for an Amazonian cruise, an all-encompassing spiritual retreat or a return to full-time student status. (Few of us can.) But please do yourself a favor and find some stimulating and thought-provoking extracurricular activity, into which you can pour your expanding enthusiasms. Otherwise, you'll merely bore yourself to tears… at which point your inner globetrotting swashbuckler, frustrated at the fact you've undervalued his role in your life, will impatiently poke his head out in other areas of life. Namely, you could unconsciously seek out arguments ('philosophical debates', you might try to euphemistically recategorize them) or attract other sorts of 'adventures' (like hassles, obstacles or major detours). Wouldn't you rather select your own means for living out this influence and gain another mind-bending perspective, instead of settling for another mind-numbing headache?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Where are you, Pisces? I imagine posing this question to you… and having you begin your answer with, 'Well, you know, we've been busy.' The most notable feature in this response I invented for you is not citing 'busy-ness' as your excuse (so obvious). No, it's the fashion in which you replied with the first-person plural pronoun (i.e., 'we'). That tells me one of two things about your present psychological condition. Either (1) you've been so embroiled in the interpersonal intrigue I previously mentioned, you're hardly spending any time or mental energy on your individual self as a separate entity and instead are neck-deep in 'us-think', or (2) you're so caught between two mindsets (one focused on a radically different future, one grasping at the comforts of the here-and-now), you're embodying a dual-personality 'us-ness'. In both cases, the important kernel I'm trying to get at is: You can't muster a simple explanation for what's going on with you because it isn't that simple. You have multiple considerations (yours and the other person's, or yours and yours) to juggle, conflicting urges that each want their due say, and no overwhelming desire to alleviate the complexity at the expense of all this excitement… because, though it may be maddening, it's also kind of fun. These are my observations. Now, what are you supposed to do? For the present moment, just acknowledge this lack of 'an easy answer'. With contrasting notions vying for your allegiance (and none the clearest path to your ideal future), you might as well keep playing all sides.