Horoscopes | Week of October 14-20, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're usually so quick to do what you want without worrying too much about its effects on others. What's that new diplomatic hat you're currently modeling? Do you plan to wear it as a participant in the next council meeting or neighborhood watch assembly? Though you're not suddenly overly patient or slow-moving, there is a new subtlety to your power-punch, an ability to rev up excitement without coming on like a threat or a ball-buster. The best way to utilize this skill is to imagine you're hooking up invisible jumper cables between your magical internal generator and someone else's under-charged battery. They won't even know where the boost comes from—and you needn't tell them either. Just smile. It's probably best to start off trying the energy transfers in short spurts throughout the week, delaying the biggest ones until week's end, when the recipients have acclimated to their heightened frequencies. While you helpfully remind everyone, "It'll be all right, just you wait and see," they won't notice your busy hands connecting wires to the pluses and minuses.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There are few sights more endearing than that of a seven- or eight-year-old manning a makeshift lemonade stand in her driveway. I love the whole package: the wobbly bridge table, the arbitrarily priced and oversweetened pink puckery punch, the crayon-on-poster-board sign with its inevitable misspellings. Behind her, in the open garage, her quietly proud parent shuffles around, half at work on some long-undone chore, half merely there to keep an eye out. The child is not just indulging in a Sunday afternoon lark; she is also learning firsthand about the delightful moments of "closing the deal", as well as occasionally bitter rejections sprinkled among long boring stretches of downtime between customers. You might want to consider whipping up a batch of lemonade yourself, or combing through your closets for unwanted sweaters or record albums, or finding some other self-sufficient and self-satisfying way to peddle your wares. Besides making a few new acquaintances or a couple extra bucks, you will be evoking that so-cute-you're-squeezable feeling with your display of earnest enterprise (and no, they're not laughing at you).


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): While I was walking through the park, I saw a group of four or five people seated together, in office chairs they had brought with them. Placed in front of them was a cardboard sign that read: "Advice". They were already rapt in conversation with someone I supposed was a passer-by, as he was standing on the path near them, while they remained seated. I didn't want to interrupt; otherwise I might have started up a conversation. As I wandered past, I wondered to myself, "Were they offering advice, or were they soliciting it?" The single word on their sign had left that answer (purposefully?) vague. Regardless of what their intentions were, their public set-up and wide-open demeanor conveyed a sense of dutiful service. Whether they were there to provide helpful words to confused souls or to serve as vessels to contain the variable wisdoms of others (or as some performance art project), it was nonetheless an act of giving. Gemini, I think you should offer yourself up with some similarly ambiguous purpose to those around you, free of expectations, and see who wanders by and what they have to say.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You came to my mind as I was enjoying the rays of mid-October sun. I was blissful from feeling their heat on my head but also a bit sad to realize, as a fragrant fall chill momentarily blew past, that the warm season is on its way out (at least in my hemisphere). Summer babies that you Cancerians are, you convey a motherly warmth when you hug us and cook for us and do whatever you can to make us feel comfortable. But you can also be hot-and-cold. As the cold weather approaches and the sun shines for fewer hours, take this last opportunity to draw fire from the hottest and brightest part of the day. Bathe yourself in it, not just for the sensate pleasure but also for the greater good. (If it's already cold where you are, then light a candle and imagine it warming you.) Heading deeper into autumn and then to winter, you must accept the responsibility of keeping the home-fire burning, so take today's flame and use it for tomorrow. You know quite well that you'll be most satisfied with yourself if, when freezing travelers show up at your door, you have a pot of soup ready to offer them.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's a great week for the premiere of your new movie, the publication of your latest tome, or the release of your next single. I know, it's so cliché to pump up your Leonine ego with these images of creative grandeur. But try as I might, I couldn't shed the image of you, up at a podium, making a thankful speech after having received some award or accolade. (And part of me really did try to change the channel. Lately you've been showing me lots of reruns of awards shows.) The planets are aligned such that the joy you project when you do what's essentially you is intensified and amplified and will hit the audience in a deeper, more resonant way than you might imagine. Obviously, there will be a few stubborn cows who are more offended than they otherwise would have been. The majority, however, are more moved and impressed than ever. Before you flounce up on stage to accept this great honor, mull over who and what are responsible for making you who you are. I suggest visualizations from your youth—the imprints of your childhood house, the sensitive moments in elementary school, the foods you ate when you were sick, the outfit you always wanted to wear—in order to keep yourself real and to connect to the source of your starmaking. Without this umbilical reminder, you could come off a bit tinny in timbre.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): When you live in a city, you grow accustomed to an urban landscape dotted with mounds of discarded detritus—old futons, dirty sweatshirts, cryptic coffee mugs with images of birds wearing baseball caps with the word "Sport" on them (someone please explain). The other day, as I passed a particularly rich and colorful mélange of orphaned belongings, I pondered what my Virgo pals might think of such a thing. Is the sprawling disorder unsettling? Or are you able to connect with the higher purpose of the junkheap, within which each piece of crap contains a psychic sign for potential deciphering and everything is exactly where it should be, until it's eventually moved, adopted, buried or incinerated? (Check out this week's Pisces horoscope for a different perspective.) I, for one, only tap into this when my pace is slowed down and I allow myself time to smell the flowers or read the headlines on the mildewed magazine fragments. Even in the most spotless environments, tiny clues lie in wait for recovery. Virgo, some of those clues are for you. If it's not the baseball-cap-wearing birds, then it's something else for sure. But if you think you've already got everything figured out, then you're not likely to recognize those things that fall, like leaves, outside the box.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Shocking though it may seem, I believe it's prime time for the well-polished gloss that envelopes your view of life to dull its shine a bit. You are well-accomplished and well-admired for your ability to keep the boat afloat during tough times, tapping your private source of heroic compromising calm (which you don't always identify as "heroic") to keep the actors fulfilling their roles. Now you've a hit a small rough spot, where the seamy underbelly of real life's sometimes-ugly struggles and pains are showing through your otherwise seamless finish. Yes, it's a little disconcerting. You're not sure what the etiquette books dictate about what things are appropriate to say or not say, how forceful or forgiving you should be about staying on track, or even what to wear. Truthfully, there is no way to be graceful in such circumstances—and no precedent for you to follow in courteous mimicry. But have faith, whatever heart-felt expressions you make and actions you take to navigate this bumpy segment of road—so long as they are honest and real, even if they are clunky and crude—you will still be a champion of helping to welcome resolution.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): In my imagination, the comfiest kitchens are awash with bright colors. As we sit against one wall, enjoying our tea and toast, we are reminded of the history of the house by the peeling paint or wallpaper. Beneath its surface, there are tiny glimpses of the print or color that covered the room before its current life. Though now it may be yellow, it previously was green. A little mischievous scratching at that layer with a fingernail or putty knife reveals another life, even, underneath that. The chalky tone and bumpy texture hearken back to the kitchen's olden days, perhaps before there were such things as linoleum or garbage disposals. Whether your kitchen is a well of historical strata or a brand-new pre-fab shiny shell, other parts of your life are certainly full of similarly dense situations or environments. Sharpen your favorite peeling tool and explore the properties of the next few underlying layers. Your archeological efforts will give you greater insight into the state of things today—and may help explain the derivation of some ghost that sporadically haunts you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): …but wait, there's more. For a limited time, you not only get a full set of world famous Ginsu knives, but you also receive a double strand of genuine cultured pearls and a free tube of Didi-Seven stain remover—all for one low price. You showed up at the bar for a couple of drinks with friends—but you stayed for the surprise performance by your favorite underground rock band. You bought that black jacket you saw in the window—and squealed when you found out it's reversible and the other side is bright purple. Get the idea? You've been focusing your energies on breaking through some wall in one area of your life, and you're doing a respectable job of chipping away at it. Stay patient, because a little bit at a time over a sustained period can finally get you where you're aiming to be. But, in the meantime, enjoy some unforeseen side-effect benefit, in another area of your life that has seemed unrelated in the past. The universe is throwing you a bone (and yes, it is actually somehow related) to let you know that good intention and honest effort pay off. However, this two-for-one sale also works in reverse; neglect one issue that badly needs attention, and prepare for other consequences in a second part that you'd least expect.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This week, I came really close to just republishing the same horoscope I wrote for you last week. It's not that I'm completely out of fresh ideas (God forbid), but I feel like I nailed your current (and ongoing, really) dilemma so well that I want to reiterate it. Here goes. We need you to get out of bed and get out of your head, stop censoring and censuring your actions before you even take them, and put your brilliance and your resilience into motion. Don't misread my tone—I am not scolding you. Think of me as your perky but forceful astrological cheerleader. There is nothing wrong with needing some constant encouragement on your road to greatness. My guess is that last week's advice goaded you into some wriggling and wiggling, but then the inertia set back in. I have no problem encouraging you to get back on that horse, if you have no problem with me repeating myself. For more guidance, refer back to last week's words; they still ring true.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Recently I've been squealing with glee about this dream I had about having a baby. In my dream, my adorable little squishy bundle of joy is perched on my chest, as I cuddle and kiss and squeeze it with unbridled adoration. Then, later, I have to change its diaper, and as I do so, the baby makes a little poopie right then and there. As I retell the narrative to my friends, I'm mysteriously as in love with the cuteness of the baby's excretions as I am with its chubby cheeks. Granted, this is all a dream, so bodily functions and dirty diapers are a little cleaner and less aromatic. But I share my glee with you, Aquarius, because I believe this glimpse into my subconscious might serve well as a model for how should approach your latest round of responsibilities. You'll be most successful if you embrace all parts of the task—yes, even the shit work—with the same level of enthusiasm and emotional investment, rather than dissecting the whole and celebrating part while demonizing the rest. There is always a way to make something fun. I know, easy for me to say. I don't actually have that screaming, crying, drooling, pooping baby—yet.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): In response to last week's request for you Pisceans to reveal your private wisdoms in your own words, I received an email that I thought characterized one aspect of your mystical charm: While walking under the underpass, I noticed a large amount of paper piled up next to one of the reinforcements, some of it strewn by the wind. Instead of garbage, I saw the name "Sarah" printed on a number on cards, envelopes and letters. "That's Sarah's stuff," I thought. "Do other people walking by think about the person who had to leave this all behind?" Then, several days later, during an afternoon stroll, I spied a single long-stemmed red rose (artificial, alas) in perfect condition, lying on the sidewalk. I thought of you, Pisces. And not because I was wondering who left the rose behind. Rather, I imagined that you might have the best sense of who it should go to now, in its next incarnation. Perhaps it might help alleviate some of the melancholy often associated with Piscean sensitivity, if you worry less about identifying (and mourning) the original source of the residue and start redirecting its remnants to new qualified recipients. Maybe one Sarah put her name on the papers so that another Sarah could find them.