Horoscopes | Week of November 18-24, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Despite pushing toward healthy discomfort by putting yourself out there, you haven't fully committed to it. A big piece of you still can't help but unconsciously pursue a safe cushion for yourself first, as if you are perpetually in survival mode, even though you're not. But should something happen that inhibits your ability to act freely as an individual—at least with the same methods you're accustomed to—you'll realize, once and for all, that our actions and feelings are all interconnected. Your isolationist efforts aren't, and never have been, truly isolationist. You just don't always notice their subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) rippling effects. Before circumstance forces you to do so, take that step willingly and reach out your hand. Don't worry about who is helping who, who's lifting who, who's pulling who or who is being pulled. This changes your whole outlook on why you're here, what's important and what you could accomplish. Entering uncharted territory, poised for future developments, yet feeling strangely complete, you'll end up squished next to someone else in any case, so get used to it.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Those popular "I'm-out-in-public-but-wearing-no-clothes" dreams must be exceptionally jarring for you, who sometimes won't even leave the house fully clothed because you fear exposing too much. During these hugging-your-own-knees hermit moments, you've developed a gift for knowing that warm sacred place inside where your true seed of self resides. This self-preserving knowledge is a handy tool you must learn to adapt into a psychic strategy, for there will be times when you don't have access to clothing or your house or even a blanket. Stripped of all external signs of safety, whether through soul-baring relations or powerful shocks to your public standing, you will have to contact this sacred place telepathically. Using only your eyes, you'll silently raise the protective steel fences, though no one will see. Focusing your mind, you'll transport yourself away from danger, leaving a compassion-feeling robotic shell in your place to fulfill your duties, and you will be secured. As you've proven, when need be, you're a rock. The even more challenging part is that, sometimes, another person or two will be in such dire straits that you will have to psychically draw them into shelter with you. They may need your walls as theirs, your skin as theirs, their words a babbling mass you can't make sense of (and don't bother), as you wait out the storm together.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Congratulations on growing up, but now's no time to sit around and celebrate. Thanks to your newfound confident seriousness, we already require your services for an important mission. Your unparalleled talent with words is our secret weapon in saving the world against the forces of confusion and deceit. We need you to tell it like it is, not how you wish it were, nor how other people insist it should be. In your younger years, you may have spun your sentences in pursuit of various goals, not the least of which was to please others. This has been, and still is, a worthy intention, and one that has provided hours of dazzling entertainment and cemented quite a few casual acquaintanceships. With this experience behind your belt, it is time to step up to the plate and focus all your energies on one thing: the truth. Perhaps you read last week's diatribe about the need for truth (and this won't be the last you hear of it from me) and secretly knew that you were being summoned into service. You must dare yourself to speak freely, crudely and without regard for whether people will like what you say (or even like you at all). Oh, yes, the cards must be allowed to fall where they may. In the aftermath, you will find surprising relief in learning you have fewer balls to keep in the air as you continue to juggle.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The crab is likeliest to venture out from his hiding place, even during crowded beach days, when everyone else is settled on his or her respective towel, calmly collecting the sun's rays. No sharp movements, no sudden role reversals. At these moments, the crab scampers across the sand, spying or sniffing around for some complete impression that is ultimately elusive. But what would happen if the crab, out on one of his short jaunts, should fall in love, as if falling into an unseen hole, knocked upside with his legs wiggling uncontrollably in the air? Now, for our crabby friend, "falling in love" is a broad concept, which may or may not include actual love relations with another crab, fondness for a particularly beautiful seashell, obsession with his reflection in the water, or a romantic fascination with all of life. No matter. Any variety of love is equally unsettling to the whole picture and may cause the crab to act in unthinkable ways, abandoning long-held fears in a single instant, only to (of course) develop new and unimaginably breathtaking fears in their place. What if everything he's imagined up to this point is so partial and incomplete? What if, as Dorothy discovered as she stepped out of her crashed house into Oz, this black-and-white world is really cast in vivid Technicolor. What would the neighbors think?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Besides the pithy "hold on" advice, last week's horoscope heralded exciting change unfolding around you rather than with you in the center. "What?" you may have wondered. "Me not in the center?" And I can imagine your confusion. Let me elaborate further. In no one's imagination are you actually escaping the profound impact of the eclipse. But I feel as if the effects are somewhat less "disruptive" for you and much more of a continuation of the "transformational growth" trajectory you've been on since Jupiter entered your sign in August. As with everyone during an eclipse period, things will, in a sense, happen to you. Still, I see these things happening relationally, to someone or something near you, consequently helping you realize more about your needs and what to do to take extra care of yourself so you can continue without interruption. If, in the process, the disruptions occurring around you should prompt you to offer emotional assistance to those in need, the help will be greatly appreciated. In terms of your own path right now, you're moving ahead, eclipse or no eclipse. I suppose this is one of the benefits of the strong Leonine ego; it doesn't easily waver from its interests. Please be sensitive to those fainter at heart during these dynamic times.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): We like to think we know what we believe. We lead our day-in, day-out lives, completing tasks and interacting with people rather than consciously reforming philosophies. Yet, in our minds, during off-hours, we entertain our personal responses to lofty ideas like altruism, divinity, peace and surrender. In actuality, though, we can never know how we truly feel about such concepts until something happens in our lives when we're tested. You wonder what you'd do if you witnessed a violent crime—would you jump in and risk your life to try to stop it?—but how can you know until faced with the scene? Do you truly believe in capital punishment, or not? What if the criminal had murdered members of your family? I certainly wish no such violent drama into anyone's lives, as there are certainly less profound or tragic test-cases for our values. Venturing into the unknown, you will be gifted with opportunities to discover the higher beauty you possess. Mundane existence is interrupted with brief windows of the unexpected, during which we act instinctively rather than categorically. Though we often rely heavily on thought, these particular motions are made without thinking. At a later point, we welcome our mundane lives back, as they provide a chance to catch our breath—and, while completing tasks and interacting with people, we recognize our philosophies have been reformed beyond immediate recognition.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I'm going to continue encouraging you to be forceful. You have emerged from behind the table, where your hands were neatly folded and legs cleanly crossed, and are now standing in front of the room leading the meeting. The more you are doing this sort of thing, it's becoming more natural and less of a novelty. You feel less like you are at odds with part of yourself. I hope, by now, you have realized that the stereotypical Libran behavior of avoiding confrontation at all costs often backfires. Repressing differences early on doesn't eliminate them, but rather they crop back up at a later point, drenched with resentment and surprise. Other people are then angrier than they would have been, and perhaps lose respect for you. But putting everything out there from minute one gets those hardest parts out of the way first, and in their resolution, real work and real progress occurs. Plus, you become esteemed as a true compromiser and peacemaker, not merely in demeanor alone. (Jimmy Carter, for instance, is a Libran role model.) I wouldn't be surprised if you already knew everything I'm telling you now, but have historically hesitated from acting it out. Now, you have an added push of creative inspiration from the universe. Your dreams are fertile and ripe for the picking. If you are resisting these tremendous energies and remaining indecisive, then you are only proving yourself more forceful and willful than anyone ever imagined. Quit wasting that force and will on resisting, and start doing something useful.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I understand your dilemma. You are trying to figure out who to take care of next, which may surprise those who are less familiar with the softie lurking underneath your murky Scorpio exterior. I see through you. You ponder, "Is it my partner, my family, my employer, the creditors, the neighbors, the burgeoning peace movement…?" And while you're sitting there, immobilized in contemplation, I watch as your ethereal, transparent, adolescent twin-self raises her head up and looks around. Like a cartoon soul leaves a cartoon dead-body, this inner-child spirit rises from your body and levitates above you, looking down at your earthly body muttering to itself. Despite the spirit/body separation, nothing here has died. Rather, your youthful, creative, self-sufficient being is bored with being unnecessarily bogged down with "should"s and "supposed to"s. She's floating out the window to follow soul-enriching adventures, delightful in their impracticality and magical wonder. She knows, quite correctly, that she cannot provide for anyone or anything else without first fulfilling her own deepest urges, the ones that lead to her higher purpose. When something startles you and you wake up, I wouldn't expect the twin-self to obediently return to your body on command. Instead, perhaps the reverse should occur—you, rising, reuniting, following her out the window, worrying about yourself, and only yourself, for once.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Not that I need to remind you again, but over the last few months, you've been in your own world, dealing with your own crap and coming to your own life-changing climax moments. You've had your special Sagittarian cycles to cope with, not that the larger cosmic cycles are totally irrelevant. Having begun to emerge from the cocoon, you still spend a lot of your time reshaping the past and putting pieces together so that you will be regrouped and solid later. Thus, now, and in the near future, others around you are more likely to feel a greater sting than you will. You're still a little too self-obsessed to notice the events. These people around you, though, are your brothers and sisters, and their shocks automatically move you to respond in kind. You're thrust back into service, momentarily abandoning your inner concerns to tend to the people who need you most. You might surprise yourself with the tactics you use. Your recent explorations, though having left you raw to your own self-thwarting attacks, simultaneously insulate you from overreacting to external dangers. You are good for others in times of need. And welcoming the distraction from your own internal drama (which will continue, regardless, even after), you are happy to get your hands dirty on behalf of your peers. Via my words, they thank you in advance.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): It's nice to know we can count on you. You might be batting yourself back and forth inside, sputtering between beliefs that you should do this next or maybe that instead. All this planning and revising, and for what? Don't you know situations rarely unfold the way you think they will? But, on the flip side, when things do finally happen outside the training ground of your head, you are prepared to act in a variety of ways. In a split second, your ego is out the window, a pleasant surprise to people who don't really know you but completely expected by those who do. Prickly though you may be at times, you're ultimately comfortable and successful in your role as servant to the higher good. Your strategic mind, the same one that sabotages you in your self-effacing daily life, is also a beacon of hope in moments of need—you can see far enough ahead toward relief, and can map out the steps we need to follow to get there. Once active at work, you needn't even boss the rest of us around. We naturally follow your lead. As we toil in unison, you secretly wonder, "Why can't I be like this all the time? Why only in certain circumstances, under pressure, in emergencies?" Actually, you can, but it requires a change in consciousness, so that you may truly understand that every moment is crucial, a baby step—and each opportunity not taken, the crisis quietly builds until, one day, it's overwhelmingly visible.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your horoscope is easy. You're the one who can cope with all this madness. And I'm tempted to leave it at that, though I won't. Your ruling planet Uranus is taking the stage this week, and its effect will carry on for the next few months. (Read this week's article if you haven't already.) Aquarius, you're the one who goes to the scariest movie and giggles in fearless delight at everyone else's terror. "It's only a movie!" you gleefully admonish. You could probably spend a day at the hospital, watching the bloody and gory dismantling of human bodies, and still have an appetite for lunch. And in the midst of all this crazy change, there's something almost homey about it to you. What else would life be about, if not for riding the crests of these waves at high tide? At any moment, you're ready to say goodbye to people, places and things—not that you wouldn't be sad, but you recognize it as a necessary and healthy part of existence. It's important that you handle your special gifts with grace and compassion for the sake of the rest of us, we who aren't secretly waiting for catastrophe so that evolution can be hastened and boredom defied. With all the universal love you possess, you hardly want to be thought of as cold and unfeeling—which is exactly what will happen if you set up a picnic basket on the sidelines of crisis and sip wine while others suffer, just because you happen to handle such things better.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Ah, time-traveling, cosmic-clue-holding Pisces. Haven't you figured out that, right now, you are living through other people's times? They are the ones whose confusion is washing over you. I don't mean this conclusion to lessen your motivation for present-day achievement or to encourage passive resignation. I just want it to help you make sense of why you feel like, dare I say it, a fish out of water so often. Luckily, your hypersympathetic nature allows you to maintain ties to today through your connections with the rest of us. You feel our joys and pains so profoundly, they may seem like your own. And because of that, I suppose they are. But we are all unavoidably limited in the scope of our sense of eternity; none of us know the fullness of everything but you. You are kind and forgiving of our lack. With these eclipses, you are once again overwhelmed by all sides of all issues weighing on your delicate constitution. Yet you are wise and brave. As you vacillate between one feeling and another, you are also (knowingly or not) traveling between past and future. The past two thousand years, for instance, have been an age symbolized most poignantly by a certain martyr who supposedly died for all our sins. You feel him everyday. The future, approaching rapidly, sees us move into an age of Aquarius, and you will be the protector of feeling. Gather strength in this cusp period, and you'll see everything happen as you dream, desire, imagine and fear it will. Uranus is heralding your next hurrah and enters your sign in 2003.