Horoscopes | Week of November 4-10, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Do you still need to learn how to share? Okay, I admit it, I chose that opening to bait you. I don't mean to offend. When I question your ability to share, I do not mean it in the sense of having two cookies and refusing to give one to your brother. Sharing is not only a concept applicable to food, money or other material resources. We can also share responsibility, share burdens, or share parts of ourselves. I don't think you consciously choose to hold back from sharing in these contexts, as if you were some selfish egotist or sociopathic hermit. Rather, you advance at a rapid pace, such that the task is already well underway before I might have a chance to offer some assistance. You get it done just fine, thank you. But if we were to do it together, it might be more fun. You could show me a way to do it that I'd never thought of before, and I might delicately point out those places where you've tended to cut corners or overlook details. The process will likely take longer. It will require more emotional effort than it otherwise would. And the product, I'll bet, will be more solid and not suffer from the unavoidable blind-spots that necessarily accompany one-person work. Collaboration is frustrating, enlightening, time-consuming and life-affirming, and its result is far greater than the sum of its parts.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In contemplating your current situation, I picture Family Feud (Richard Dawson era), with two families of five positioned on their respective sides of the stage. At the appropriate time, each team sends one representative over to the center podium to compete for control. The combination of quickest reflexes and sharpest mind will win. Nervously, confidently, the two competitors share a cordial handshake. Then, each player rests one hand on the big white button, with the other hand at her side or safely tucked behind his back, and alertly awaits the question. In a moment, the action will begin. But right now, in freeze-frame or slow-motion, they simply face each other, one on one, anticipating anything. I don't know who or what is standing across the podium from you, glaring at you with sympathy and, simultaneously, in attempted intimidation. I don't know what question will be asked, who will answer first or which team will end up in control. You have a few weeks to study the other side, achieve a calm focus, and prepare for the game. A hundred people were surveyed, and the top five answers are on the board…


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here is a standard sitcom plot that reminds me of you. My most vivid memory of it was enacted by Mike Seaver (Kirk Cameron) on Growing Pains, but I know it's been used many more times. The big dance is coming up, so you ask this really-sweet-and-intelligent-but-kinda-mousy friend of yours to go with you, and she excitedly says yes. Then, later that day, the really-hot-and-popular-but-who-knows-anything-about-her girl tells you that she wants to go with you, and, rather than tell her you already have a date, you agree to take her. Now you're stuck with two dates! Instead of coming clean, you plan the evening so you can take each of them without telling the other. You bounce from girl to girl, changing your boutonniere back and forth to match each date's corsage, until, finally, you're caught in the act. Both girls are mad, both dates are ruined, and you're left alone and deflated. Gemini, while I know you are quite versatile and love the challenge of never-ending variety, I want to point out that not all dates are created equal. One person, or project or situation, is more important to you than the other, though you may often keep yourself from such discriminating thoughts. You need to spend more time and energy on that one individual pursuit, rather than spreading yourself so thin that you end up sacrificing success there to maintain tepid results everywhere.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's time to take a breather and offer yourself some well-deserved appreciation. Pat your back. You've hit recent mastery of the slow and steady approach to a big goal, and though you haven't reached the goal yet, you are seeing incremental gains. Considering the fleeting tides of Cancerness you ride, any type of plodding endurance is a great feat. Now, for your little breathing break, I have a cryptic piece of advice for you to follow: The challenge is not just to make something of yourself, but it's also to make something out of yourself. If I were a really mean horoscope writer, I'd just leave the advice there and let you ponder what I'm talking about. Instead, let me give you a little hint. Making something of yourself is about achievement and respect, in which you receive some type of affirmation or status, whether from internal or external sources. Making something out of yourself, however, is about creation and expression, when you offer some gift or product from your being and put it out into the world. Perhaps these are two sides of the same coin—or some writerly trick—or a reminder to focus on what you put out as well as what you bring in.


LEO (July 23-August 22): So, according to the white noise of tabloid gossip, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are going to get married. A union of two Leos, and celebrities to boot. Ah, what magical and theatrical love they must share, in $15,000-a-night hotel penthouses, driving Bentleys and Range Rovers, wearing Manolo Blahnik heels and Armani suits. And, ew, what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall when it sours, and they throw ego-spewed nuggets of filth back and forth in hopes that each will save face in front of the other. Okay, this is only one scenario, and an admittedly cynical one. And yet, I have this deep astrologer feeling that even J.Lo and Ben don't see themselves together forever (or maybe, in their fantasy-world lives, they don't even ask such questions). Instead, this is one special, emotion-filled, sex-saturated, publicity-ridden crest of life experience among many for these two high-life-livers. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's quite delightful, in fact. That is, if they don't delude themselves about what their inner psyches truly crave, in order so they feel nourished and refreshed and babied, when all cameras and fans and roles and producers are gone and they feel like crying and whining and being softly rubbed and cared for in a way that only someone truly there for them (and not on their payroll) can.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I don't know if you're aware of this, but you share your ruling planet Mercury with Geminis. Fast-moving Mercury is the planet that represents intellectual reasoning, communication and transportation. As astrologer Robert Hand puts it, "Mercury signifies the power to overcome the gap that exists between separate entities." Virgos usually manifest the side of Mercury that seeks to make sense of our physical reality by assigning signs or labels or categories to these entities, allowing you to organize them accordingly. Geminis, meanwhile, deal with the slipperier parts of language. They use their quick-witted, quick-shifting sweet talk to bridge gaps between people, showing more concern for abstract relationships than actual things. That's why Geminis can be so difficult to pin down, and thus so annoying to you. But now's the time, Virgo, to recognize your kinship with these shifty double-talkers. Like in some advanced quantum physics experiment, you might go to grab for the object and find it gone, in a different position or with different qualities. As uncomfortable as it is, you'll have to find some witty way to bridge this gap and describe the phenomenon—or else use your words to charm us into distraction from the fact that you don't really know what you're saying. Either way works equally well at this point.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Imagine if public opinion weren't a concern. You might be more obliged to grab for that extra Hostess Twinkie on the dessert tray, after everyone's had firsts and there's still one left. Okay, maybe Twinkies aren't the right image. Substitute as appropriate. There is some special treat you crave with greater hunger than you let on. And if no one you know would know, you'd shove to the front of the line for it, elbowing, declaring, snidely perhaps, "Me first." Well, minus the violence and snidity, I say go for it. Material concerns—an extra Twinkie, an extra showy knick-knack for the house, an extra hundred dollars or an extra kiss—aren't always meant to be doled out tastefully. Sometimes, hard as it may seem to believe, it pays to be grabby. Those are genuine drives, mighty urges in you that seek recognition, respect, and at least partial satisfaction. Smile while you take what you deserve. And remember this with compassion, the next time someone else is living out their hungers, and you're about ready to impose your infamous judgments on them.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Over the last several months, I've found myself writing repetitious glowing messages to our Leo friends. I sit down and am repeatedly struck by the good luck and easy growth opportunities that exist for them during these times. I know, what does this have to do with you? Well, in the last few weeks, I'm beginning to get a similar vibe for you, in the sense of a tremendous concentration of energy that is pushing you along. I wish I could say that it amounts to "good luck and easy growth opportunities," but you're a Scorpio, so that would be a little bland for your tastes. [Insert officially-sanctioned envy here.] Rather, everything that makes a Scorpio a Scorpio is intensified right now (read more about it in this week's article), which equates to something considerably less comfortable, more painful and uglier than what Leos are getting—and so unbelievably transformative that, once it's done, we may hardly recognize you. Scorpio is about death, yes, but it's also about rebirth. Rebirth is a mystical and mysterious phenomenon that some people don't even believe in until it happens to them. As you sputter and choke in the throes of your last dying breaths, have faith that these depths are where you belong right now—and when you eventually meet your reborn self, it'll make a true believer out of you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In preparation for the reunion of parts of your selves, you dig into far closet-corners and pull out a box of dusty old family movies. They're still on film, a medium that seems so quaintly dated now. Where can you even find a projector on which to view them? Somehow, you do. You draw the curtains, flip the lights, and switch on the mechanical contraption. The sounds of its exhaust fan and the click-click-click of its turning wheels immediately brings you back to junior-high science class. Then, as if by magic, grainy spectral images of you and your parents or grandparents, cousins or siblings show up on the far wall. Your movements are exaggerated, like you are clowning around in an old Chaplin movie. You wait to hear a voice or see a printed message between frames, but there are no words, only images. What strikes you most is how both foreign and familiar you look to yourself. Prototypes of now-common mannerisms are just starting to take shape. Other behaviors, rampant then, are absent now. Still more parts of yourself are exactly the same. Inspired by nostalgia and recovered memories, you send the films off to be put onto DVD for posterity's sake.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You are so sure of your high level of integrity, but less sure of what actually constitutes a breach of it. Poised as you are to achieve some great material reward as you struggle to finally feel accomplished for your efforts, you still face a need to adjust your methodology. Oddly, you feel morally uncomfortable about it but don't know why. As those around you demonstrate their own amazing successes, perhaps you should consider what processes they've chosen to pursue their goals. In the past, you've discounted these strategies as "fine for them" but not really your cup of tea. And not just by matter of preference, either. You've convinced yourself that someone of your [insert uppity term here] persuasion couldn't possibly function according those rules. My news for you is that you are using conceptual ethics to mask your real reasons, which are fully emotional and can't necessarily be reduced to an explainable system of thought. You're mimicking rules and regulations that were either taught to you or developed by you out of fear. Use fresher social influences as behavioral models, and ask yourself the difficult questions about how discipline could be different. Then come down off the high horse, out of the box, and off your ass.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The sign opposite Aquarius on the zodiac wheel is Leo, as you may know. I often speak with fondness about the astute way that Aquarians are able to handle the difficult parts of Leos—"that Aquarius-Leo thing," I call it, moving my hands back and forth and wiggling my torso, as if it's some type of showy jig. I've chuckled at some astrologers' accounts of the contrast between these two, characterizing the flip-side of Leo's ego obsessions (no offense intended, Leos, now go back to your own horoscope) as Aquarian egolessness, or a focus on less self-centered concerns. What a laugh! Aquarians handle Leos so well because they want to be known as the ones who handle Leos so well. They get along with all types of people because it reflects well on them. And they favor social action and humanitarian causes because, in part, they advance the Aquarian agenda of unorthodox, though equally rigid, beliefs. I'm not trying to criticize you, and you'll only take it that way if you're in true denial of the ego-feeding frenzy beneath your human compassion. There's nothing wrong with wanting a piece of the pie, and you'll do a better job of helping others if you help yourself first. Now is a prime time to reach for what you want for you—and just be sure to pull along the rest of society with you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I want to take this opportunity to thank my readers for inspiring me to write horoscopes every week. And, thanks to writing weekly horoscopes, I've come to fall in love with Pisces. No lie, I've gone from dreading writing Pisces horoscopes to looking forward to them every week. I've broken through my fears of being misconstrued by you, or coming off as too unsympathetic or backwards, and attained faith in the fact that you'll let me know what you need by dreaming about it or praying for it. To commemorate this glorious day, I'd like to commission a work based on that annoyingly feel-good tome All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Who's up for contributing to the future best-seller All I Really Need To Know I Learned from a Pisces? I know, just last week I told you to stop trying to connect with words because no one will know what you mean. What gives? The answer is yes, and yes—and we should include it in the book. Your insights and your experiences will, on the one hand, stay increasingly cloudy and spiritually fresh and maddening. And yet, if the Pisceans of the world combine their efforts—that is, everyone contributes a few quotes here and there—together, it will finally make sense. The universe has given each of you a few pieces of the puzzle, fragments that drive you crazy on your own, as you try to fit them into place. If you find each other, line up the parts and spell out the message, you'll have the wisest philosophical document ever composed. You may struggle getting it published, but let's cross that bridge when we come to it.