Horoscopes | Week of October 16-22, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is your last week with a packed 7th house, before all those planetary energies shift away from the polite-and-pleasant guise of Libran other-centeredness… and into the 8th house, where relationships get deeper and messier. If you've held your tongue or the fullest brunt of what you'd really like to say, chances are you won't be able to hold it much longer. (And frankly, if you've held it this long, I'm both impressed and a bit surprised.) But if you can leverage any final days of diplomacy during the first half of the week, and eke out one more ounce of calm considerate cooperation… Venus is likely to grant you one more gold star on your relational record. (A nice big one, too!). That means, by having been driven to the very edge of where the interpersonal support you can offer is authentic (before getting to the level of resentfully faking it), you've truly proven to be a trustworthy-partner presence in somebody else's life. Maybe you won't collect on the hard-earned rewards right away, and that's just fine. There will come a time when you really need to call back in the requited loyalty… and you will reap what you've sown. By week's end, though, when a Mercury-Jupiter conjunction kicks off a brave new world of hyper-Scorpio potency, you'll likely sacrifice the pleasantries on behalf of less-polite admissions, confessions and comments—both a relief and a signal of the deliciously demanding dealings ahead.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Over the last two weeks, I've pointed to your potential to get a lot accomplished, by laying low and concentrating more on smooth nose-to-the-grindstone sailing than people drama. Well, now you're coming to end of the line, where the train to nonchalance stops and shoves you out its door… and right back to drawing attention to yourself, whether or not you're even trying. Come week's end, the hoopla starts piling up in your relationship life, kicked off with a Mercury-Jupiter outpouring of bold, blunt remarks and disclosures sure to stir up the pot. But who's saying what to whom? You'll have your first hint by the beginning of next week, when either you or your partner (romantic, business, friendship) are no longer able to pretend that something big isn't simmering beneath the surface. While the whole shebang could come out quickly and hit you strongly, don't kid yourself into believing it's all been said and done. Fat chance, considering Mercury spins to retrograde next week and spends quite a bit of these next few weeks within orb of Jupiter's magnifying magic. 'But wait, there's more' could easily become a rallying cry for the forthcoming interactions between the two of you. And with each utterance, a new psychological ramification is apt to emerge—feeling upon feeling, not necessarily combining into a coherent whole but strewn untidily around the room. So with that in mind, squeeze out a few more days of level-headed task completion. Pretty soon, you're liable to be sidetracked.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Time to get tough about 'it'… which indicates it's not about a person, but a thing. You may need to get tough with a person in the process—that person could be you or someone else—but please be clear that it's not personal. That's the trick, Gemini… to finally come forth with the uncomfortable truth about a process, a project, a habit or a literal object that, through and through, isn't all it's cracked up to be. Fixing it mustn't be about selfishly serving your desires (or those of someone else who you aim to please), but about doing the right thing. Yes, I'm well aware that identifying 'the right thing' is a tenuous, contingent gesture. So if you aren't exactly certain whether your speculative solution is 'right', that's okay. Addressing the issue, on these impersonal terms, is the only step clamoring for your initiative. Nothing about the week's astrology indicates an immediate resolution. If anything, your best bet is to pursue open-ended observation, rather than superhero-style salvation. But there's certainly an undertone of something that's not quite right, and you're dutybound to call it as you see it. Undoubtedly, you'll be risking relative safety in broaching the topic—you might make yourself or someone else rather displeased, once you plunge into the difficult territory. Your other choice is to ignore that rift between the current situation and 'the right thing', a tacit approval of wrongness. Somehow, someone will pay for that.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you'll recall, throughout this past year or so of Jupiter's travels through your 5th house, I've made a recurring point of needling you to shed your crunchy outer shell and step, undaunted, into the spotlight. I hope you feel I haven't rushed you, but instead offered modest repetitions of this encouragement over time… to help you acclimatize your sensitive self to the glaring beams of center-stage. Well, timing is everything, Cancer, and you're about to reach the peak few weeks of this hotness, with planets piling up in the zone of 'putting yourself out there'. If I were to pick any time all year for you to, say, orchestrate your grand performance or expressively emit a conspicuous vibe of 'hey, look at me!', it would be now. Actually, more properly, it begins as this week moves into next… thus granting you some leeway for a last-minute rehearsal, before you take to the stage and belt out your big number. Use the week, then, to steel yourself for this raw power of exposure. Get clear on the truth of your current emotional state, from the inside out, so no reactions you receive or publicity you get (whether good or bad) will dazzle or distract you. Remember: The act of publicly presenting yourself isn't about getting everyone to like you. Rather, it's about moving the right people on a profoundly personal level. The other unmoved folks needn't be of immediate concern to you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Remember how I've recently urged you to table the heavy discussion topics for a couple weeks? Well, the time to resume such talks is arriving… first appearing in the form of a Mercury-Jupiter conjunction in your 4th house, exact at the week's very end. Under such an effect, you'll be primed to spill your guts from the normally kept-close regions of your private emotional world. There's a special resonance between the 4th house and feelings we hold regarding our family roots, how we were taught to take care of ourselves (or not to, as too often the case may be) and whether we're still stuck with resentments, hurts or unbroken dependencies. If ever there were a moment perfect for easing the cathartic upchucking of old dark crap usually best achieved through therapy, it's the upcoming few weeks. Of course, this isn't merely about the past… and you might be surprised at the unfathomably interpenetrating enmeshments between present-day emotions and what you've been feeling as long as, perhaps, childhood. In the short term, though, it might take a good couple months of uncensored processing—aloud in dialogue, as opposed to silently hidden—to connect the dots and dashes. And you'll need to select the appropriate person or people with whom to share this process… folks you trust, who'd be willing to join you on a voyage to your shadowy underbelly and see you through to the other side. That's why it's been better for you to spend your last couple weeks circulating through your social affiliations, determining who's who, before plunging into your deep thoughts. Spend your week cementing the connections with those you believe will most generously and compassionately help you with your purge.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You're about to get a whole lot mouthier. Are you ready to spread the louder forms of love… to speak up in all those situations where you usually keep your mouth shut, to temporarily transform from wallflower to troublemaker, for no other reason than sometimes it's fun to say more instead of less? Dissolve your inhibitions with the knowledge that this transition isn't a permanent personality change. Think of it instead like a month-long Halloween costume, where you're dressed up like the big-talker who has a comment for everything—and not all of them entirely appropriate. I don't suggest being mean outright, but a scoop or two of bombastic envelope-pushing could keep life very interesting. Your sweetheart, your good friends and favorite co-workers will appreciate it if you don't reserve all your feisty fomenting for them. Sure, it's easier to blurt what's on your mind to those you know and trust the best… but don't waste the free expression on them. Be an equal-opportunity loudmouth, tossing in your unfiltered opinion whenever a conversational pause invites you to fill it. 'What's the purpose behind it?' is a question you hesitant Virgos are sure to ask, if you're expected to surrender the escape from unnecessary notice you usually enjoy. Here's one answer: Because you're exceptionally observant, in ways the rest of us aren't, and you're actually doing us a favor with your shaking-up-the-scene commentary. Come on, you know you want to tell us what you think…


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Please revel in the final week of planetary gridlock in your sign, as the Sun, Venus and Mars prepare to move on to fresh pastures. If nothing else, at least you've been busy, right? Truthfully, I'd hate to hear that 'busying' is all you've done with yourself during this fantastic few weeks of revitalizing motion. I will assume you generated some rousing opportunities, fortuitous exchanges, and electrifying new ideas for stuff to do over this period. And now, beginning with a Libran New Moon on Saturday evening (Oct 21), it's time to start the doing. Allow the super-active stimulation to give itself over to a slower hunkering-down… to turn ideas into physical reality, opportunities into actual projects, and preliminary connections into concrete relationships. Because so much dynamism has been orbiting around your stardom, be forewarned that you can't pull everything off all at once. In fact, as you begin the literal work, you'll see that some opportunities will be dead before they've even reached the birth canal. Some people will prove less impressive that they'd originally seemed. Some ideas will, in the end, sound a bit silly. That's all part of the process. Still, before you have to start the gathering-up, paring-down, and settling-in, you have this week's happy Venus to yield you one more tantalizing trophy. Wear your glamorous best, step up to the podium, and claim what's rightfully being handed to you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Oh, my goodness gracious, Scorpio… [insert maniacally mischievous laugh here]… you've sure got a heapin' hunk of stuff in store for you over these next few weeks. There's more than enough brisk, peppy and powerful activity to compensate—and then some—for any recent sense of boredom, confusion or lack of motivation. All that, and anything else that may have sent you vacating the scene, is about to screech to a grinding halt… to be replaced by more sparks of stimulus and spirit than you'll know what to do with. As easily as this week passes into the next, your activity levels will switch from studiously subtle to supersaturated. We're talking up to six planets in your sign at one point next week—a major imbalance tilted distinctly to your advantage. When you're privileged enough to receive such an all-star roster of planetary players at your disposal, you mustn't plan on much rest or relaxation. On the contrary, it's your moment to forge forcibly ahead… to storm onto the scene, arms raised and mouth blaring, 'Attention, everybody. I'm here to make my mark. How you like me now?' There's no doubt that, next week, they'll all be well aware of your presence. They may even bend over backwards to greet your ascendancy—or to try thwarting your dominance, should they too be a strong specimen and unprepared to hand you the reins. I'd spend the majority of your week decompressing and reconfiguring, in advance of the mania of tireless activity that'll characterize the next month of your life. By week's end, though, I'm sure you'll already be boldly declaring your intent to take over the world.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You're about to enter the storm before the storm… if, that is, by 'storm' I mean (1) in the former case, a batch of bizarre inexplicable happenings and hunches that get you all wound up, and (2) in the latter, that long-hyped explosion of possibility, excitement and exhilaration headed in your direction, to herald a 2007 full of all kinds of stuff you've eagerly been awaiting. As I've told you more than once, storm (2) pertains to your ruler Jupiter's movement back into your sign next month, to kick off one of the biggest years you've had in a long while. But before that, you've got storm (1), a conglomeration of many planets in the least understood, hardest-to-consciously-work-with 12th house. This upcoming few weeks will serve as the culmination of your every last nagging panic, elusive mood about nothing, lost-puppy gaze into the ethers and escapist behavior pulling you to nowheresville that have taken up a good chunk of your past year. If things start to get 'worse' before they get better (though honestly, darling, I see no need to entertain such meaningless value judgments), it's only because you need that last kick-in-the-pants to ensure everything you do going forward really counts. In these final moments before the pre-storm stormclouds start unloading on your head, secure your position among the friends or colleagues you've recently been hanging with. Fill 'em in on everything I've told you to expect over the next month. Ask 'em to watch out for you. Warn 'em you might need a pep talk, a voice of logic, or a sympathetic ear. Thank 'em in advance. Then get out of the way, and let the downpour begin.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): During this week of transition, your job is figure out the wisest avenue for combining efforts with others… in a manner that's still consistent with the goals you intend to achieve for yourself. Over the next several weeks, your personal fate will be inextricably tied up with the larger fate of your entire group, community or social milieu. What you do will affect them, and what they do will affect you. Though ultimately the benefits you'll receive from team participation can powerfully outweigh the potential pitfalls, in the short term, the necessary adjustments to your usually tightly-in-control outlook could feel like a real nuisance. But if it's any consolation, your forthcoming adventures with the groupthink mindset have a lot to teach you—about how strongly to grab firm to your convictions, and when to bend with the will of the greater whole. That entails learning the difference between acting as you so choose (1) because it supports a dearly held value you cannot compromise on, and (2) because doing so is an automatic ego-statement that you think you know best. As long as you're standing on behalf of some belief system, in a way that you feel makes the world (or the smaller subset of this specific group) a fairer place, then speak up… and don't be afraid to ruffle some feathers. If, however, your main priority is to look out for your own interests, expect a backlash to begin rallying against your self-serving authority. For the time being, spend your week strategizing about how you might proceed, which allies could be your strongest, and what you'd be willing to give up.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This is an ideal moment to check in with yourself, Aquarius, about why you're working so hard in the world. Pretty soon (as in, starting next week), you'll find yourself swept up into a fantastic furor of public attention and/or career-related hyperactivity—a pinnacle point on the straight-up path you've been treading since the end of '05. Already-underway ventures will hit a fevered pitch, finally sharing their ripened fruit… or showing how unlikely they are to bear much of anything. And in the process, you should plan on confronting so much vigorous motion, it'll hardly be possible for any Aquarian to legitimately claim to be professionally 'stuck' by the time the end-of-year holidays roll around. The danger in meeting all that dynamism all at once comes if you lose sight of your fundamental ethics, or the meaning behind your effort that ultimately makes it matter to you. 'Right' and 'wrong' may be relative concepts… but inside the subjective mind of a single individual (that is, you), they also hold some absolute meaning. Over the coming weeks, as windows of opportunity open or close, you might be tempted to overlook the guiding principles in your life… in favor of an alluring nugget of shallow wealth or recognition, or out of fear that a momentary setback (are you sure it's a setback?) is reason enough to throw in the towel. Make sure you've got your priorities clear—and that they won't change, just because some little devil in an Armani suit presents you a lucrative-seeming contract with a lot of fine print.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): In following the trajectory of your past months' horoscopes, Pisces, you may detect a progression in the tale of your life (at least as I see it). I've spent much space goading you to assert your radical independence… to challenge any status-quo situations you've inherited or passively allowed to entrench themselves, so that everything you involve yourself with has been distinctly chosen by you, in your most up-to-date incarnation. Then, in recent weeks, the pendulum has swung back to the interdependence of interpersonal entanglings, where the intrigues of passion and psychic engagement have summoned you back into their fray—and temporarily abandoned your me-first thoughts of pure freedom at the roadside. For a brief time at least, the seamless euphoria of togetherness (in whatever form it's taken) has been sufficient to snuff out some of the defiant self-assertiveness. Now, though, you've reached the climax of this latest diversion, and you'll have to decide whether you can keep pursuing both your own most satisfying individuality and the seductive tango of relational complications… or if you'll need to leave something behind. If the latter turns out to be true, then I sincerely hope you'd pick yourself over a self-sabotaging scene, but that's up to you. Squeeze in your last bit of moment-by-moment excitement now. Then, stick to the biggest-picture perspective you can get, and start considering ultimate ramifications. The very meaning of your life is up for grabs.