Horoscopes | Week of October 8-14, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This physical casing that your kernel of soul chose to incarnate in? Some would call it a temple, which implies that it should be treated as a holy place… while others might run it ragged, like a formula sports car, to see just what it can do. Think 'temple', Aries, since last week's horoscope is still madly relevant. I'd rather see you underperform, with plenty of excess leisure time and a big smile on your face… and then overdeliver a few weeks from now because you didn't burn out early. But I understand you may need something active to put your energies into, or the stillness will eat you up from inside. With ruler Mars in your 4th house, the obvious answer is to focus on your home environment… investing whatever pulses of inspiration and animation show up into deep cleans, rearrangements, renovations and refunctionings, so that the results will directly impact the joy you find when chillin' out in your favorite comfy spots. Contrast such an expenditure of effort on something that brings immediate self-gratification with, say, stressing over a job-related situation that's ultimately out of your hands or trying to make it to five different appointments in different corners of the city before rush hour hits. I'm already exhausted just listing those possibilities, and I'm not the one in heightened danger of overextending and ending up worn out. Stick close to the homestead, and be extraordinarily realistic about how much your body wants to do in a given day. If the responsibilities are starting to pile up, let 'em—you can easily catch up next week.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With the people and things you love, you're past the information-gathering stage. It's now the shit-or-get-off-the-pot moment, Taurus. Everything you need to know about your latest crush or your main squeeze, that data's already sitting in your hot little head. No more dawdling over some seemingly-major-but-actually-irrelevant question that you're resting way too much importance on. Either he or she is as absolutely wonderful as you initially thought (and you'd damn well better let him/her know that you appreciate it, and make your intentions perfectly clear)—or he or she is a major disappointment, in which case you should force yourself to forget about 'em completely, as you're unlikely to recapture that first fantastical moment, now that you're discovered the real him/her. If this do-or-die scenario isn't playing out in a specifically romantic context, then it's probably more about whatever project or proposition you've been putting your heart-and-soul into over the recent months… and clearly it's time to either step up onto the podium and announce your hard-earned greatness or, if right at this moment you're struggling to find signs of progress or imminent success, to cut your losses and redistribute your enthusiasms elsewhere. In any case, you have a strong internal sense of which way it should go. The question is whether you're brave enough to proceed in the appropriate direction… or if pride will trip you up.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The speed of constant busy motion and a stream of triple-booked social-calendar days might fool your surface perceptions, but I'm not biting, Gemini. There's more going on inside you than a ticker-tape of names of people you still haven't emailed back and locations to pop into for this errand or that face-time. If instead of increasing your tempos, so frantic to squeeze one or two more tiny productions into a too-crammed day-planner, you actually slowed down and planned on being less productive… what would happen? I wonder if perhaps, on some underlying level, you're a bit frightened of that prospect. What if I suggested you're attempting to skim past some gripping ultra-sensitivities, traces left from emotional events of the recent or less-recent past that have never been given their full respect, and thus are hanging around under the surface, hoping you'll take a break at some point and embrace their need for acknowledgment? In case you're telling yourself, 'I should be over that by now,' let me reassure you: It's perfectly okay if you're not. However, should you refuse to own your tenderness, you're only increasing the possibility of projecting it outward—and finding plenty of other people whose annoying moods, short tempers or cloying sentimentalities drive you stark raving mad, in addition to ultimately slowing you down anyway. Only, in that case, you're still not doing anything with your own emotional business, other than postponing it another couple hours to fit in a cocktail with your old boss or a trip to the gift shop for one more unnecessary token of distraction. Work with your moods, rather than ignoring or resisting them.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The most 'sensitive' thing you could do this week, Cancer—and we all know how you love to reflect your sensitivity to others' needs—is to take the lead socially, providing occasions for those around you, who may feel swamped or sucker-punched, to dilly-dally their cares away. You're the week's most qualified social butterfly, making it your duty to organize the nightly plans and ring everybody up with the invites. When's the last time you thought about a pal you haven't seen in way too long? Stop finding excuses to whine about missing 'em, waiting around for them to make the move, as if you're totally helpless or don't own your part in the mutual absence. If nothing else, draft lengthy emails or initiate hour-long chit-chatty phone catch-ups, going into greater depth on the little details transpiring in your life than you ordinarily might. Believe me, your friends want to hear about all that stuff. Not only do they care about you, but they'll also welcome the diversion from their own weightier thought processes. Catch someone in a moody moment? Don't play into it with the typically considerate 'aw, poor you' pity sessions or the psychic mergy-merge that has you picking up their sad-sack sentiments. Rather, use your undercover emotional intelligence to shift the energy, perking 'em up without necessarily coming on like an overdose of Mary Sunshine. Work your magic in small, casual steps. Tell a funny story. Remind 'em about an upcoming event or opportunity they'd be excited about. Take 'em out to dinner. Most of all, make sure you're having a good time… and others will likely to follow along. After all, you're the one taking the lead, right?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Think conservative… not exactly on the political spectrum (that's nobody's business but your own), but in the strictest sense of term. As in: Conserve your resources. Conserve your physical energy. Conserve the raw emotion you invest in various projects, relationships and stressful situations out of your direct control. To treat yourself in a sustainably healthful fashion during this current period, you should probably limit how freely you indulge yourself—in particular, in terms of not breaking the bank on a moment's lark. That doesn't mean creating a situation where you feel as if you're depriving yourself, however. Instead, the challenge is find ways to create the internal experience of recognizing you're special, but without making decisions that'll come back to haunt you hours, days or months later… like spending money you don't really have, eating more than the confines of your stomach comfortably allow, or staying up all those extra hours just to watch a late-night movie, for example. Special treats don't have to involve blowing a wad of cash. In fact, you'll do yourself a great favor by fostering that 'splurge' feeling without a spending a dime. Luxuries needn't be purchased with money. You can buy 'em with time, focus or love. Hold tightly to your bucks… then sit back, and enjoy every frugal minute of it.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As I mentioned last week, Venus is back in your sign… and now, this week, she conjoins with both Saturn and the lunar South Node, for happily-eager-to-be-learned lessons about how cleanly you can separate your past from your future. Taking the humble-but-honest, glass-is-half-full gaze across your life, ask… Who do I want to be? What are the pieces of my life that are already working well, or have recently begun to look up? Don't underemphasize the good stuff, or you're not being completely authentic with yourself. That means, of course, suspending the nonstop critiques that automatically inform how every last thing could be that much better. Self-criticisms are not part of the exercise we're currently engaged in, Virgo, and it doesn't serve you to obsess on those. Come up with ten altogether optimistic statements of appreciation for the areas functioning most to your liking as they are, and dwell on those for a spell. How can you expand upon 'em, to gather some more lowest-hanging fruit and create a momentum where self-improvement seems easier and less fraught with self-flagellation? Still without judgment, now figure out what tiny bits must be left behind (in the realm of 'the old you'), in order to reach that modest next level. Rather than harping on the few big pieces of crap that hold you back (an unresolved relationship, a nagging addiction, a totally unfulfilling career), start small. You'll have much better results by sticking to a portion of life you're fairly happy with already, and adding to it. It all must begin with a good feeling, though.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The hustle-and-bustle of life will keep right on teeming with its stress-inducing trivialities; so let it do so without contributing your jitters and ants. You are hereby granted permission to step away, Libra, and remove yourself from other people's demands. The retreat will definitely do you some good… while, truth be told, the retrograding of Mercury in your 2nd house of practical resource management deems you less 'on top of things' than you'd ordinarily be, giving that much more reason to clock out early and kick off your shoes. Keep the curtains drawn, and let the voice-mail pick up, as if you've literally escaped from sight. If the above-mentioned drift will leave you feeling too unproductive, then think this way: Your smartest move this week would be to gather the psychic momentum and self-motivational thinking necessary to reemerge strong and swinging about a month from now, once Mercury's direct again and Venus has moved into your sign. The astro-watchers among you may recall that, midway through November, Mars will get his turn at retrograde bat. This will be a time when many of us will have a harder time gathering the forward-moving energy necessary to make much of a stride ahead on whatever we're wanting for ourselves. Yet, I make this prediction: Because you Librans aren't the super-direct and blatantly-assertive Martian types (Venus is more your style), this strange perspective may naturally work to your somewhat-indirect, passively-assertive advantage. Other folks' out-of-sortness could provide you the very ins you require to get a lot accomplished. For now, then, let these ideas swim around your subconscious, garnering steam and preparing you for fruitful times ahead… all the while, sleeping extra-late and artfully dodging unnecessary obligations.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Looking to save yourself needless hassles and headaches? It's simple, Scorpio—just plan on being absent-minded and tongue-tied, and work it into your pace this week. Mercury's turning retrograde in your sign, putting you at the center of all the usual delays, snares, missteps and garbled phrasings. But if you know that in advance, well, you can try making a game out of it. Recall one of those days when every last little thing went totally screwy… and after the seventh ridiculous annoyance, you finally gave in and exhaled an enormous chuckle, with the realization that it's far smarter to laugh it all off than to permit fury to overtake you, when there's scant little that can be done to alleviate the hiccups. Go with that outlook before all those annoyances unfold, and you just might find your own rascally playfulness actually outsmarts the Mercury-retrograde gremlins. How can that happen? Well, one of the secret truths about Mercury retrograde is that we often cause at least half the headache ourselves, simply by losing patience at the cursor's momentary disappearance and banging on the keyboard 'til the system crashes, or attempting to circumvent the traffic jam up ahead by turning off onto a supposed shortcut and getting hopelessly lost. Another method that could serve you well this week: Rely on a friend or teammate to handle any of the important talks or transactions, while you just smile and look pretty. That way, if it does go wrong, your hands aren't anywhere near it.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I want to warn you about how Mercury going retrograde in your 12th house ups your chances for accidentally uttering the very thing most likely to make somebody else extremely nervous or unsettled, raising to the blatant forefront whatever issue they were secretly hoping they could dodge. ('What luck!' a sadist Sagittarian might smirk.) I want to caution you to take a calm, measured approach to any career-related news that proves not quite as sweet as you'd expect… and to plant a polite grin on your face, rather than showing any upset, since there were probably other factors at play (other than anything to do with you) that caused it turn out that way. But both those alerts may do little to mute the week's other big news—which is your ruler Jupiter pulling into his third square this year with Uranus. What does it mean? Well, the article I wrote about it back in January was entitled 'Contrary for Contrary's Sake', if that gives you some indication. So, in light of that, any urges that might've been building on-and-off all year to do whatever the hell you want, consequences be damned, will probably grow toward more dramatic proportions this week. And that may be more than enough to cause you to, when push comes to shove, ignore both my introductory admonitions—simply because it feels good not to hold back, not to care, not to obey the simple traffic laws or customary traditions or expected etiquette. Yet, if you'd like to not completely do away with the self-preservation instinct as part of this free-for-all… at least keep it together on the job, and let loose somewhere else.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Screw those thinking caps on, Cap. Your week promises you the opportunity to get outside your own previously limited vision… with solutions, both practically applicable and way outside the box, to a situation that's had you stumped. The first step, and arguably the hardest? Swallow your pride. Who ever said you were supposed to be able to single-handedly reinvent your version of the wheel from inside a hermetically-sealed isolation chamber, where no outside influences ever reach (or, as you might put it, 'contaminate') your brainstreams… just so you could, one day, pull the curtain and unveil your most magnificent creation in already perfect completion, as if you woke up one morning and popped the whole damn thing right out your forehead in one effortless wisdom birth? (May I call B.S. now?) Sometimes, you just need outside input. In fact, the best kind is probably from the sorts of people who think most differently from you, so the new outlooks you receive are totally foreign from that which you might come up with on your own. Now, I'm not telling you to swallow everything anybody recommends to you, hook-line-and-sinker. Just listen and consider. You may only choose to take one tiny element from one thing one person said… but how could you possibly know in advance which that one element might be (or who it's going to come from), if you don't open the floodgates wide and solicit multiple ideas and opinions, some perhaps way far out? Don't think of this process as trying to find the 'right' answer or fix a 'problem', nor as any type of success you must ultimately achieve. It's the joy of learning, my friend… and if you were intended to already know everything, you wouldn't have bothered incarnating into that silly human body.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You're neck deep in seriously delicate negotiations, due to the fact that your current fate is very closely intertwined with that of a certain other person. (Whether or not you're fully conscious of how 'deep into it' the two of you are, it's still the case… so let this be your wake-up call.) Especially if the tie that binds is a financial one, a sexual one, or one in which a long-and-complicated history of family or friendship emotions is involved… you simply must not let wishful thinking get the best of you. Closing your eyes, praying to God, and hoping it'll work out exactly as you envision it is a great partial strategy—but it's not enough. And just because you two like and trust each other, that's no reason to leave the important business loose. We're talkin' about a deep sense of security here… life-and-death matters, your retirement nest-egg, everybody's personal safety. It's just too crucial not to be explicit about the details, even though you might not desire to hash out such so-called 'worst-case scenarios'… as if foreseeing what could go wrong will necessarily lead to it happening. On the contrary, cut those undercurrents of frightening possibility short by calling attention to 'em, instead of pushing 'em under the rug. Jointly deciding how you'd handle it if such an unpleasant thing came into being will release it from your subconscious—and give you a better chance for overall peace going forward. Defining your respective roles, personal investments and aspirations now will definitely save headaches later. Be clear about the details, and it'll lessen the chances anybody will get hurt.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As Venus closes in for her third-and-final conjunction to Saturn—and now that they're both in your relationship house (the 7th), linked up with the Moon's South Node—this week should give you some very clear and rather unambiguous signs about the state of your relationship life. (This, incidentally, applies first and foremost to your primary romantic partnership… but also to any other close one-on-one relationships, such as with your best friend or business associate.) To take advantage of this message from the universe, you will need to close the gate to ancient history and imagined futures… and focus purely on the events of this week right here. That way, you're not corrupting the raw measurements with creative reinterpretations, based upon what you want the results to show, rather than what they actually indicate. Then, pay close attention to what happens. If the interactions seem pretty darn solid, mutually respectful, don't take too much of your energy from other necessary elements of life, and ultimately follow a rhythm that you could contentedly continue for a while longer, then take it as a favorable omen. However, if the hassles are evidently outweighing the easy times, with unpleasant or argumentative tones-of-voice, one or both parties looking out for themselves at the expense of the other, jealousy or anger or sabotage threatening to unhurl at any moment… well, that should also tell you something. Either way, all the clues are there. But will you let 'em sink in? If things were always the way they are this week, would it make you happy on a long-term basis… or would you be settling for perpetual disappointment?