Horoscopes | Week of November 27-December 3, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You'll play to the best of the week's astro-energies, if you can relinquish your investment in the he-said-she-said back-and-forth of trying to determine who's (more) at fault and who, therefore, supposedly 'deserves' retribution. Venus in your 9th would be happy to surrender all claims at superiority, in return for letting all the nasty details fly by the wayside. In her mind, what really matters is the longer-term, bigger-picture issue of whether it's even worth this gloves-off torture of 'working out the kinks'. Wouldn't it be easier to either (1) allow the problematic fine-points to taper away into irrelevance, in order to honor the other person's value to your life or (2) allow the other person, who maybe isn't so valuable in your life, to taper away into irrelevance? You might think so. Only, a particularly bristly Mars-Saturn square tempts you to stay in the mess, out of pride or competitiveness or the simple refusal to let dead dogs lie. The more you kick and scream, though, the further stuck in the currents of mud your fidgety arms and legs become. You might try appealing to universalizing arguments or terms to get the superior edge, but that line of thought is liable to be misleading. Don't be fooled—the quarrelsome topic at hand is completely personal, and will be settled (at least on the surface) by who insists more loudly on being right. That, incidentally, won't address who's actually right… or what will be gained or lost if the most insistent party is the wrong one.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I want you to be able to enjoy some of the lighter, freer upshots of heightened intimacy promised by an 8th-house-Venus sextile to Neptune. But I fear they'll pass you right by, if you get caught in the confining box-steps of the same basic dance: how much of yourself you're willing to share, and whether or not it gives you 'the upper hand' in some way. Spontaneity (which, unfortunately, is not a Taurean trademark) will get you past the self-consciousness of 'thinking before speaking'… and dare you to say what first comes to your heart. Sure, you risk something. That nervousness, however, is the sign you're on the verge of exhilarating thrills. Without it, you may be far more sure-footed… and, after another several years, intensely bored. What keeps you from the bigger prize (that is, vitality) is a self-imposed dignity that'll sap the tastiest loose-ends right off you, leaving only the safe middle to chew and chew ad infinitum. Don't you want some gravy with that? Don't you realize they cannot hear your real requests, as long as you couch them in an extra-thick layer of self-protective disavowal? Please show your hand… if for no other reason than you've been showing rather glaring glimpses of it all along, while convincing yourself you've done a better job of concealing the 'hidden feelings' than you actually have. Try alleviating your load, instead of packing another 20 kilos on your back and strengthening the glue on your plaster smile.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Any headaches throbbing themselves into frustrating existence this week should be attributed to an uncharacteristic inflexibility in how you analyze the technicalities. In short, you're stuck on a fine point… and it's mucking up the whole show, at least from your vantage. Your progress is frozen (or considerably slowed) when you repeat the same story to yourself over and over, as your mind tricks itself into imagining it's seeing a fuller version that, truthfully, is rather incomplete. Your luckiest bet is to listen to somebody else riff, improvisational and impromptu, on your temporarily-delayed status… the less informed, the better. You must allow an outsider's flight of freer vision carry you above the stress—and yes, you do have time for it—until your head is in a different place, with greater access to your spontaneous creativity. Only then are you likely to forget the previous limitations that spawned a stalemate, and come up with another fresh idea. You need the influence of another person, not necessarily because he/she holds the precise answer you're looking for, but because you're too caught in your own vacuum. If you can't walk away from the job at hand, to spend a couple hours of 'inspiration time' enjoying the company of a favorite companion, you may spend a dissatisfying segment of your life arguing with yourself about nothing… and still the obstruction remains, unresolved and not going anywhere.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): There may be entirely legitimate reasons not to stand up for yourself, Cancer… especially if the threat to your sense of security, against which you're defending by refusing the out-and-out spar, outweighs the momentary challenge to your ego's dominance. Don't fight, just to save face. Instead, think past the immediate offense… to the economic level of practical benefits, and whether you'll emerge better intact by avoiding a confrontation or by pursuing it. Extra care in asserting yourself will protect your assets. On the other hand, the same rationale I just offered can also be used as a convenient excuse to bow out of explicitly expressing yourself—resting on the 'practical' as a cover-up for sagging confidence or overanxious anticipation of possible fallout. Perhaps there's no real conflict at all? Perhaps the only battle is within yourself, as to whether you're 'good enough' to bother going for what you want. In that case, you'll have to realize that 'looking out for your safety' may equate to 'aiming low'. How do you determine if you're being pragmatically wise or an overly modest self-saboteur? Catch a clue by considering if you'll have to halt in the process of doing good work that'll assist others, in order to refrain from putting up a stink. If you're still able to move ahead in the short term, without hesitation (other than that caused by a fleeting sting), then keep quiet. But if holding back will toss you into a holding pattern, delaying tasks that beg to be completed in a timely fashion, it's probably better to talk yourself into talking it out.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Any current hint of feeling blocked is linked, directly or in a roundabout fashion (through the entrails of your psyche), to your childhood history with family members—especially with regards to how cleanly and compassionately, or imperfectly and unkindly, you've drawn a separating line with your parents. Rather than dragging you onto a therapist's couch and forcing you to talk shit about mommy or daddy, I'll leave it at the generalization that we all struggle, as adults, to adequately define ourselves in contrast to the expectations (or inhibitions) placed on us by our primary nurturers. We often flail between the two extremes of (1) sucking up our true aspirations, supposedly in order to please the people we still fear displeasing, and (2) going so far the other direction, supposedly 'not caring' what certain said people think, that we seem suspiciously reactionary in our over-the-top refusal to compromise. The hardest thing in this balancing act is to determine who we authentically are, if we both pay the due respect to where we came from and not allow it to restrict where we're going. With two fire-to-water squares (Sun square Uranus, and Mars square Uranus) this week, you'll want to evaluate the blocks at either end—the resistance to honoring your familial legacy, or the renunciation of personal goals that conflict with it—for their emotional roots, so you can separate the feelings from the actions you end up taking. Otherwise, expect the influence of old, complicating emotions to hold sway over your decision-making process… and keep you spinning your wheels, rather than granting you clarity on what you should do next. If it's familiar, then it's familial. If it's unfamiliar, then you're treading your own path.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Last week, I raised the matter of your drive to decompress, appropriately leading you to grab a moment (or twelve) to yourself at home. Well, the undercurrent continues to pull you away from the social world… at the same time you're expected to provide callbacks, follow-ups, responses and reactions to a host of dangling conversations and conversationalists. And it would be easy enough, under all that pressure to prattle and process, for you to forget all about how maybe it's better for you to keep to yourself as much as possible. It seems almost like you couldn't escape, even if you tried. So that leaves you with the challenge of finding the minimal acceptable feedback to offer, to meet your social obligations without getting sucked into unnecessarily involved and excessive exchanges. You mustn't be conned into participating beyond a bearable level… which means admitting when you've reached your limit, or when an opinion or idea you propose is being unduly influenced by the fact you're tired, cranky or 'over it'. There's nothing wrong with giving partial, conditional answers—as long as you characterize them as such. This entire situation is a lesson about not being coerced into consuming yourself with stuff that just doesn't matter, in favor of snagging the respite from such crap that your soul desperately craves. However, you cannot completely bow out either. Somewhere between alienating self-seclusion and total surrender to others' pickling predicaments lies your most reasonable outlay of energy.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You lack a cogent incentive to draw much attention to yourself this week, Libra… despite any illusions to the contrary, which might entice you with the appearance of perfectly satisfying solutions to previously vexing practical dilemmas. With double-squares to Mercury and Mars in your 2nd, easy answers in business or money-related matters are not to be trusted at face value. Acting to your own apparent profit may well have unforeseen consequences, particularly to your standing with friends or colleagues. Rather than trying to predict their reactions (and erroneously overcompensating with a foolishly self-sacrificing show of solidarity), it's best to make no sharp moves. You're far likelier to hit a creative stride in less 'serious' areas where you can take better advantage of Neptune's romanticizing effect on your thinking—socially, artistically, in all affairs associated with children. Go willingly into fantasyland, instead of trying to make sound judgment calls and inadvertently dipping into the same territory against your will. If you can table the utilitarian concerns and enjoy a loosey-goosey, follow-the-leader meandering through your week, you'll actually have a good time at it. It's fighting the tides that'll tie you up and tire you out—sans the verifiable progress that would've made it worth the effort.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): This is a dangerous week to overlook the logical ends to your power plays, as your 1st-house Mars is butting up against Saturn, the 'lord of Karma', at the top of your solar chart. You can thrust as hard and strong as you'd like, but if you haven't earned your desired slot according to the governing rules and regulations, you're liable to have a door slammed loud in your face. Of course, Scorpio, feel free to flex all you want—and yes, you'll prove what a fierce contender you indeed are. But in the end, you and your muscles might be left to brave this storm on your own… without the protections of a secure foundation (or job), and with no mentor or authority to care about your best intentions. It's smarter to take slow, carefully considered steps, to avoid stomping on any important toes. That'll give you time to react to your emotional triggers getting pushed, before you start lashing out or striking back. With Mercury squaring Neptune in your 4th, your most instantaneous thoughts will be intensely affected by illogical feelings or moods. Believe me, you'll want the extra lag to reel yourself back in. Don't go convincing yourself it's better to 'put it all out there', when strategy is what's needed. If it's out there now, it'll be out there forever. Future moves will be impaired indefinitely. Like it or not, to win the prize you really want, you have to play the game.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Stay out of their way, and do your best to reserve comment and reaction as they proceed to shoot themselves and/or each other in the two left feet. It's an awkward week for trying to get ahead, as well as a rather poor one for drawing conclusions that adequately get at the meat of the matter. Lucky for you, Venus is offering you a convenient reprieve from such frustrations… as long as you don't deceive yourself into a superiority complex by falsely assuming you hold the simple solutions that they're missing. Don't even dare to involve yourself. You don't know better… or if you do, it's doubtful they'd be able to hear it. Instead, keep a pleasant non-committal air about you—and smile sympathetically, though silently, when their disgruntlement starts boiling over. Care only as much as is necessary to demonstrate legitimate concern for a person's well-being, but don't be lured into concern for the details. I'm getting as close as possible to advising you to play stupid, without wholeheartedly advocating dishonesty. Thus, the less information you take in, the cleaner the dumb-dumb guise will fit. You definitely don't need the hassle of getting dragged down into other people's microscopic focus… particularly when you know, deep inside yourself, that you're on the way up. If you require a literal distraction, grab a pal who also seems somewhat immune to the contagious annoyedness (perhaps a Libran?), and catch a movie or beer.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The trap that's dying to ensnare you presents itself in the form of greed or full-throttle desire… a powerful punch provoking you to disregard the fairest route of them all, in order to lustfully pursue exactly what you want, without compromise. I'm not saying you'll surely fall prey to its pull, Capricorn, as you have every bit of self-control necessary to hold your lusts at bay. But you'd better at least acknowledge your impatience at having to 'do the right thing' (again!) and 'take one for the team' (again!), when you'd much rather knock the inept and the inefficient on their asses and succeed to the throne as you so obviously deserve. If you fool yourself into believing you're happy to go along with the middle-of-the-road mediocrity, then your less-polite shadow will slip out, to meet and greet those culprits (the ones with the meager abilities) reeking of barely-veiled hostility—and you won't be able to explain why you're suddenly being so grumpy or mean. Then, instead of standing out due to your excellence, you'll stand out because of your menacing presence… and there's literally no way to work this to your advantage. That's why you've got to resolve the tension internally, by making short-term sacrifices that support your long-term goals. Don't concern yourself with proving your propositions true. Just get along. And if it's too damn infuriating to tow the party line, when you can so clearly sniff out where it's out of whack or doomed to ineffectiveness (or so you think), then say as little as possible—without tossing barbed remarks or cold shoulders in for not-so-good measure.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): In contrast to all the latest high-speed, big-time rah-rah in your professional life (or whatever it is you do out there, for all the world to see), this week would be more wisely spent with a pause in your step… and a thank-you gesture to whoever's shouldering the burden of continuing to care about your well-being, when you hardly have time for them. It's okay if the so-called 'super-important' business progresses more slowly than it has in recent weeks—or even grinds to a momentary halt—in order for you to attend to the people that matter most. On the obvious level, this applies to both your romantic partner and to any friends who are likely feeling slighted, since the career crunch has narrowed your windows of leisure opportunity. Prioritize your need to stay connected, or you'll later find there's nobody interested in hearing about your wild adventures because you haven't kept up with the relationship. But it's more than just the intensely personal links that must be maintained. Long-overdue correspondence responses should be tackled, since the last thing you want is people out in the world mistakenly assuming you don't like them (or are too self-involved to notice their affection) because you haven't emailed or called back. And even in the career realm itself, where you thought you'd been the most diligent, certain important people may be waiting for you to ask how their super-important business is flowing. (You're not the only one with a busy worklife, you know.) Take the time to be there for the folks you'd want to be there for you. Only (here's the tricky part), don't do it because you have to, or it'll smack of obligation (and thus you'll seem condescending). Do it because you want to.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Little annoying bits of nagging responsibility and other such unglamorous goings-on are doing their darnedest to rain all over your parade. As avidly as you attempt to 'get above it all', the paperwork and the chores are yanking you back to earth. Can you attend to what's urgently calling your attention, but not let it spoil the burgeoning hopes of something better from continuing to germinate in your heart? Fight the urge to get melodramatic about how much you don't want to keep at this same old work. The universe already knows that, for crying out loud. What it needs to see from you is a continued, refusal-to-be-undermined dedication to pulling yourself up… even as you accept the fact that your Rome will not get built in a week or two, and all the while, you've still got to keep your family fed and the cat-box clean. It's a lot to swallow all at once. That's why, as I've told you before, you mustn't expect to possess the total solution to your life's aspirations at this stage in the game. Rather, this week's focus should be more on refusing to backpedal, just because you find yourself returned to the most mundane specifics of what doesn't ultimately satisfy you. On your road to heavenly happiness, you can't expect a straight shot. There will be peaks and valleys, sharper and more severe than this one, and you've got to hold your vision firm. Think of this as a chance to catch your breath, as you revisit those same familiar tasks… letting the repetitions ground and stabilize you, rather than leading you to lose your temper at the mind-squeezing monotony of it all.