Horoscopes | Week of November 25-December 1, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's no secret that, in recent weeks, I've been pushing you toward other people. The lone-wolf, leader-of-the-pack mentality works quite well for you most of the time. But the cosmic forecast intends for you to get in touch with your softer side, the part of you that listens well and responds accordingly. Maybe you've bought flowers or gifts for the lucky people in your life, or maybe your extra-focused presence is enough. Or perhaps—no, not likely—you've ignored my encouragements all together and continued on your own renegade path, never to compromise your beliefs for anyone or anything. Suit yourself. By now, the early fruits of these efforts are starting to ripen on the vine. If you are open to the signals, you'll be experiencing either enhanced intimacy or increased solitary alienation. Whichever direction you've headed, the internal conflict has been somewhat resolved. You are acting, to your benefit or detriment, with fuller self-unity and concentration. Your newly learned or overtly stubborn self has earned the honor of drawing some pundit-like conclusions about what it all means. If you sit down and author a manifesto about "relating" (or proffer a lecture or perform a soliloquy), you'll marvel act how clear and fundamental are the truths at which you'll arrive. Feel free to delight in sharing them if you like, but without seeming too overeager or polemical. We may have already discovered them on our own, or have different versions of the truth.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taureans are not particularly selfish people, though your own sense of material security is certainly important to allowing you to feel at ease. Perhaps for precisely this reason, the fact that you appreciate the value of comfort, you are liable to offer some its creatures as a gesture for others to share in the wealth. Such offerings of the palpable physical variety—food, wine, flowers, trinkets—are also the most convenient to both give and to receive. So now, as you begin to approach feeling the most stable you've been in a while, you are back in a prime position to start giving more again. And what a wonderful feeling, to give of yourself in a direct and perceivable way to someone who needs what you're giving. The beauty of such an exchange is in finding partners with different natural tendencies from yours, who may find your types of gifts pleasantly surprising and also somewhat awkward to accept. You help them through it. Then, later, they give you something in return—and, yes, we know that you aren't expecting anything, that you don't want anyone to think this is why you've given in the first place. And what they've given you isn't necessarily something you stick in the fridge, arrange in a vase or place on some shelf in your living room display case. It's harder to see or taste or touch, and maybe more difficult to accept or acknowledge, but it comes with its own set of instructions or rules and challenges your very notions of exchange and relation. Don't forget to write a thank-you note.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Obviously, part of your purpose on this planet is to share your gift of gab with the masses. Come on, you wouldn't have been given such a keen mind, sharp words and social senses if you weren't intended to use them. But to what ends? you might wonder. As I've been alluding to in recent weeks, I believe that there are some useful tidbits of truth for you to share with us. You sometimes straddle that fine line between (1) pointing out details to constitute a compassionate dose of constructive criticism and (2) pointing out details to demonstrate that you noticed them or just to give you something to talk about. The border between the two is constructed of intent and tone. Why are you saying what you're saying right now? How are you saying it? To get a little New Agey for a second, you are going to have greater success in sticking to the compassionate side of the line when you feel centered and grounded in your self during a conversation. Gemini is a mutable air sign—in other words, a gust of wind being blown around—which explains why it is so easy for you to get swept up in conversations and carried along with little momentary control, until you realize that you've just said something you weren't prepared to say, or else it came out really wrong. If you enter constructive interactions with a pre-defined sense of what you feel altruistically obliged to communicate, and what you truly believe, you will have a better chance of getting your point across in a delicate and helpful manner. Odd as it may seem, the act of true and loving conversation requires discipline, just like any other service-oriented skill we aim to master.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Hello, my name is Cancer, and I am addicted to emotional turmoil. This is my first meeting of Feelers Anonymous. I've only been clean for a few hours, and I'm really nervous about being here. I first realized I had a problem when, during a time when my astrologer said I should be experiencing easy and exciting expression, perhaps creating amazing projects or falling in love or birthing children, I couldn't help but withdraw a bit in fear. Yet I wasn't actually afraid of anything. Rather, the withdrawal and the so-called fear were just long-held patterns of behavior. I was so accustomed to feeling scared or inexplicably sad or fleetingly elated and then scared or sad that elation was fleeting… oh, I don't know what I'm saying… it was like, I was hooked on the highs and lows of, well, the highs and lows. It took a close friend of mine to point out that, from a more distanced perspective, I was creating my own hell. And I didn't have to do that anymore. My friend introduced me to my sponsor, another Cancerian like myself, who taught me that weathering the waves of my emotions didn't have to be a form of turmoil. I could keep trying to ride the peaks like a champion surfer and then feel crushed along the rocks when the waves crash. Or I could venture further out into the waters, floating along, letting myself be lulled by the motion like a baby in a cradle. Feelers Anonymous has helped me learn to accept the things I cannot change (my deep fluctuating emotions), to change the things I can (viewing these as a hellish curse), and to develop the wisdom to know the difference."


LEO (July 23-August 22): Get it off your chest. Say it, write it, sing it, paint it, dream it. Just don't waste all this beautiful ease of expression on too many parties or shallow self-congratulatory conversations with people who kiss your ass. Sure, partying and receiving ass-kisses are a lot of fun, but they don't do much toward facilitating actual creative expression. They are more like drugs for the ego. Drugs are great sources for inspiration, in small doses; when used to excess, they siphon away your energy to complete tasks and leave a mass of ideas swimming around your head with no place to go. What a waste it would be for you, right now, to take the easy and comfortable road. Nothing too terrible will happen to you a result—if you don't count the subtle or unspoken regret you might feel three or four years down the road, when you finally settle down and get to work, only to discover that what could have taken x number of hours of toil before will instead take four times as many. Plus, you'll have more wrinkles then. Right now, you can dig pretty deeply into your consciousness and, if you don't mind coming out with filthy hands, produce a deeply resonant body of work. Or just keep renting movies and, glass of wine in hand, yelling back at the screen, "I could do so much better than this." So do it, Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): No matter how old we are, we never stop acting in ways that mirror our earliest childhood attempts to get what we needed. In the family setting, we vied for parental love (as manifest through hugs and kisses, respect and attention, or that extra brownie) against our brothers and sisters or other such diversions (the neighbors, the TV, the house itself). We may have been loud and bratty, stomping our feet and banging our heads until someone gave in. We might have behaved as sweetly as molasses, contorting our faces into the world's cutest expressions to evoke "aw"s and "ooh"s, cheek pinches and head pats. Or we could have kept quiet and perfectly obedient, if not somewhat distant, in the hopes of gracefully drawing love with our subtleties. Nowadays, we mimic our child-selves in our tactics of communication: in relationships, at work, with our own children, in line at the delicatessen. We spew tantrums or coo or keep to ourselves with decorum. And maybe we're aware of how all these behaviors, no matter what type of strategy we use, are repetitions of that same acting-out for mommy's or daddy's love—or maybe we're not. To aid understanding of your own tactics, it's useful to make this parallel explicit. Imaginatively journey back to childhood, and become conscious of what it was you desperately wanted and how you went about trying to get it. Did it work? And do these tricks work now? This exercise will help you figure out how to adapt what you're doing for adult life, and tweak it a bit for better results.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Maybe I haven't made myself clear enough when encouraging you to be blunt in getting what you want. First off, I certainly didn't intend to create an army of tyrannical Librans, traveling alone or in packs, smashing store windows or just telling other people to shut up. There are ways, of course, to marry a newfound directness with your more traditional pleasantries without throwing away both baby and bathwater. No reason to alienate your colleagues on your way to the top. Still, I stick to my vision of you actually possessing the resources you need to achieve great things, now more than ever. I'm struck by the word "rich" to describe you, though certainly the monetary connotations are not what I intend. These are psychic riches I imagine you to be surrounded by, as if you were Bugs Bunny swimming through endless pools of it after having discovered Ali Baba's secret cave. But the other piece of this puzzle I feel like I've neglected to mention is that these riches aren't available to you for shallow selfish gain. ("Damn it!" you may be saying. "I knew there was some loophole!") People will hand everything they have over to you, if you are asking for it with the aim of getting yourself into the position of putting your talents to work for the universe in some type of service. If, however, you just want to prove that you can get what you want, well, they might still hand everything over to you—but the carriage will likely turn back into a pumpkin, and the four white horses into pesky mice, once the clock strikes midnight. And how humiliating that would be, eh?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I am not going to pretend to know exactly what you're going through right now. For each and every Scorpio out there, uniquely wild forms of triumphs and tragedies and struggles and symptoms are keeping you busy in your own way. Plus, I prefer to respect the careful decorum with which you conceal your most intense moments, like the seriously devoted couple who choose to marry in secrecy or the critically injured coyote that goes off by himself to die alone. Far be it for me to rip the cloak off and point and stare at the naked wizard behind the curtain. Yet you cannot deny that, amidst your baritone groans or your high-pitched squeals, you yourself have stumbled upon this naked vulnerable wizard, and he or she is you. What you're experiencing as I write this is a full and total recognition of who you are. There is nowhere to run, no one to project the best and worst of your traits onto, no seemingly important task to divert your attention away from self-evaluation. You are meeting yourself, alone, naked, quiet, for the first time in a long while, maybe even ever. It's like that moment of discovering your parents aren't just your parents, they are also people with unspoken dreams and hidden pasts and lustful passions, parts of themselves you will never know. The difference is, when it comes to discovering yourself, there is the lucky opportunity to know all those parts. So (and this is easy for me to say) ignore for a moment all the external events and personalities and duties and dramas. Imagine being in a soundproof vacuum-tube chamber with just yourself and a mirror, and allow yourself to grow comfortable with knowing who you are. Anything and everything in your life could fall away this easily, as if you were poor man Job not knowing what just hit you, and you will still be this same vacuum-packed wizard with a mirror. Even in such extreme circumstances, you must find a way to continue casting your magic.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): 'm getting this image of you as some proud middle-aged papa or a nervous sixth-grader, standing in front of the class or the extended family, ready to narrate a slideshow of your recent trip abroad. As you dim the lights and prepare to begin speaking, you signal to the crowd that this is the time for them to focus their attention on you-or, if you aren't sufficiently engaging, to craftily close their eyes and sneak in a quick nap. That second cynical option seems so unlikely, considering that Sagittarians are such charismatic and comical speakers. I'd think you'd have the audience rapt in your every word. But I suppose that depends on what type of approach you take. No doubt, your travels to faraway lands (real or metaphorical) have marshaled new ways of looking at the world. Simple observations of your immediate surroundings, made unquestioned all these years, suddenly seem naïve or irrelevant or strangely resonant. And you will certainly have no trouble telling people about what you've learned. In order to keep your little talk interesting, however, you must find a way to keep drawing personal connections between your audience and these discoveries of yours. Sad but true, we aren't really interested unless we can understand how what someone else says pertains to us. Use a little mind-melding mojo to keep us alert and attentive while you teach us, and you might end up opening a few minds.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I have a few small pieces of advice to give, in my meager attempt to snap you out of the self-contained, broken-record, 2+2=3 mentality in which I fear you're trapped. One, get up from your chair, stand straight without holding anything but your body, and shake all the residue from your limbs. Wiggle and shake with gusto, and make wiggly and shaky gurgling release noises. You Capricorns need more such silliness in your life. Two, recognize yourself as a vessel for social will. I don't need to remind you that, not so long ago in this very horoscope column, I was repeatedly instructing you to put the selfish internal battles aside and start doing things that help your fellow men and women. Are you doing that? If yes, great. I'll bet you've already received some cosmic feedback from the people you're directly or indirectly assisting, and that should be incentive to get up the good work. If not, shame on you. How many chances at making something of your life do you think you get? Are you purposely sabotaging your efforts so that you have another excuse to blame everything on yourself? Blink your eyes, and you'll have aged another ten years. I want you to be proud of what you've accomplished over the next decade, so get busy. And three, quit trying to figure everything out. Now, more than ever, you're being silently exposed to mysteries you are unable to solve. Events unfold and people turn strange around you, and you cannot understand why. Well, good. You don't need to know everything. It's humbling, ain't it? It'll all make sense later, and such information is provided on an "as needed only" basis. Now, return to step one and repeat.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): What a tremendous chance you have right now, my Aquarian friends, to advance a few steps ahead in your quest for external success. If I were writing this horoscope for another sign, this is where I might remind you that such success will only be enduring and fulfilling if it acts in line with a contribution to society that is uniquely you. But you're an Aquarius, so I'm going to assume that you are already aligned to humanitarian principles, and that it's highly unlikely you will attempt to do something that isn't unique in some way. That said, hop to it. Start out by articulating, to yourself and to anyone who will listen, how your proposed project will assist in the creation of a more perfect union among the co-inhabitants of this universe. Piece of cake. You can summarize your philosophical radicalism in your sleep (and probably, every few nights, you do). Now, if you put the energy out there with the best of intentions and the fullest focus, you are almost assured of winning yourself some converts over the next couple weeks. And two (or three or four or five) heads are better than one when you're trying to save the world. Strike that fine balance between a little extra pushiness and a bit more receptivity—yes, both, simultaneously—in the outside world. You have nothing to lose if you try a little harder, and everything to gain, so long as you realize that what you gain might come as a surprise and you may not recognize it at first. Act now. This is a limited offer, while supplies last. We are not issuing rain checks.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The modern philosopher Piscea once wrote, "I know the meaning of life. It is written in long verses along the sands, where the ocean meets the land. I have read it in its entirety, bit by bit, yet never all at once. I try to review pieces of the tract for better comprehension. But when I return to the beginning, I find its words washed away by the tide and, later, rewritten in a different hand." This philosopher, a creation of my own mind, might as well be you, who both possesses firsthand knowledge of the truth and yet cannot return from where it dwells with little more than fragments to share. How, then, to philosophize, to communicate the well of meaning within you, if it cannot be pinned down or caught on film without vanishing like a ghost? The answer is built into the very way in which you know what you know in the first place. You may enjoy reading or watching movies or listening to experts give expert opinions, but you will not find your meaning in these deadened museum-pieces of life. You are a Pisces, waking up with night sweats while trying to explain to the person next to you that you just saw God but can't remember its name. By no design, you've stumbled upon wisdom and tried to grab it, only to have its grains slip through your fingers. You just live your life with faith that these glimpses reappear, and they do. So, thus, in trying to communicate what you know, the only medium you have that is truly effective is your life itself. You must live as one who embodies it and hope that others pay enough attention. Whether they choose to or not is out of your hands.