Horoscopes | Week of December 9-15, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "…and welcome back, viewers, to this very exciting World Cup soccer game between Mexico and Brazil. I am Aries, your commentator for this game, and you wouldn't believe the energy here today! I may be on the sidelines, but the enthusiasm is so infectious that I'm filled with it myself! The forwards from the Mexican team are headed down field, dribbling back and forth between them, as the Brazilians try to halt the progress. No such luck. They make it past the half-backs and then pause, assessing the scene. One Brazilian full-back eyes the ball, covers the forward from Mexico. The other moves in… wow, look!... he's tried to get the ball… there is a minor scuffle… up, there goes the ball, it's up in the air… and it lands in front of… Hey, wait a minute! What's going on here? I've never… folks, you won't believe this… one of the Brazilians has actually picked up the ball, and not the goalie, and he is… it's hard to imagine… he's bouncing it up and down as he runs toward Mexico's goal. He's dribbling it like a basketball. I've never seen anything like this. And what makes no sense is that all the other players seem to have switched from soccer to basketball, just like that. In all my years, as both a player and a commentator, I've never seen such a surreal scene. What an honor to be bringing you this game today, ladies and gentlemen. Now I've seen everything!"


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Interested individuals attend therapy sessions to learn more about the truth of what makes them them. For entire periods of their lives, they may toil psychologically to understand one funny reactive way of being, some emotional bad habit or stubborn behavior that sticks with them as circumstances change. Then one day, this supposed dark cloud hovering over their character lifts, as mysteriously as it had lingered. Underneath its long-darkened shadow, dozens of small wriggly epiphanies lie in wait of discovery (and in dire need of a tan), now that their cover has been removed. So, for a while then, life is smooth sailing. Things make sense. Healing happens and is rewarded by new experiences. And then, another wall. Another set of issues unresolved. Another type of behavior, which used to blend into the background, suddenly seems unbearably in need of dissection and analysis. You, Taurus, are at the point of having recently finished your work in one area, have stabilized, and should soon expect some new psychic complex to challenge your self-conception. Don't lament this challenge, with its ultimate reward of understanding yourself better. There is always more to learn and know, and what more compelling subject than the story of your life.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You are kind enough to include all of us in your extended family. You skitter around the banquet table, offering five or ten minutes of bonding to each attendee, letting them know how glad you are that they've attended and how important they are to you, then moving along. We sincerely thank you for your efforts. Your new mission, should you choose to accept it, is to spend the next several weeks focusing your energies on that special sister or cuckoo cousin who needs more than a few moments of your attentions. Pick one person—or two, maybe, since choosing one is so difficult—and engage in many different conversations of various persuasions. You need not worry that all those other connections with your myriad friends and acquaintances, some core and some peripheral, will suffer in waiting. All of us have pretty large helpings of life on our plates right now, so we will understand if you overlook us for a while. At the same time, the one or two chosen recipients of your undivided (or less divided) attention will benefit greatly—after all, having a close friend like you is like having a multitude of different friends wrapped up into one. In your own life, this sustained focus will not only assist a loved one, it will offer greater clarity and insight into the way those different elements of your personality blend, clash, parallel and complement each other.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I know you are a sensitive lot, my Cancer friends, so you may not like the advice I'm about to give you. Side effects may include discomfort, slight headache, heartburn or insomnia. It is time for you to begin a campaign of regular and regimented activity, whether this be a recommitment to a diet and exercise program, a new way of approaching your work, or increased structure in some other area of your life that demands it. We are talking lists, charts, schedules, systems—I don't care how you decide to whip your moody-ass self into submission. The point is that this next period of your life is about deferring the immediate gratification in favor of a reward to come later. And, harsh as it may sound, the ever-flowing emotions that you claim complicate your life, in fact, constitute a form of this self-gratification. Having a rich internal landscape helps you, consciously or not, feel more authentically human and in touch with the cycles of nature. You are right about that, and yet, blah blah blah. You need to painfully break from these cycles for a time—well maybe not break as much as dull their effects—while you force yourself to do the same things with your time, week in and week out, until you have some habits to show for it. This means, yes, even on those days when you feel like crying for no reason. Would you believe me if I told you that those days might also produce some of your best results? (Sometimes distraction is the best medicine.) A psychologist told me once that it takes about three months to make something a habit. So, if you start now, by around the beginning of March, you should be stable enough to start reintroducing gratifyingly rich (and sometimes indulgently overwhelming) emotions into your diet. It's not like I'm asking you to quit forever.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You Leos get teased mercilessly for your unrivalled desires for attention. I've certainly known some Leos who are quite content to refrain from singing and dancing and prancing on-stage, belying their sign's stereotype—and many other Leos who fit their showy reputation to a tee. But do you know where this Leonine idea of needy drama derives from? Leo children are born in the height of summer, the warmest time of the year, as their ruler the Sun shines brilliantly from overhead, dominating the environment. Children of the time are surrounded by this light and this warmth, the joy of summer. They flourish in its solar love like absorptive plants or decadent kitties. Then throughout their lives, Leos both crave the continuance of this love in which they can bask and wish to mirror its radiance to share with others. More than attention, Leos desire love—they have a boundless hunger for it and a deep need for expressing it themselves. So they sing and dance and prance, or else act in other proud or silly or extravagant ways, to prove they are worthy of love and to show how much of it they have to give. Your Leonine performances, in their many shapes and forms, are really love songs to the audience, to your friends and family and strangers-not-yet-admirers. Think about this now, at a time when the world desperately needs love as much as Leos always do. Show us all how much you love us, and I promise we'll love you back.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I bet that the holiday season take a lot out of you. You seem like the type of person to suffer some degree of anxiety or discomfort with the forced display of family unity, a mishmash of individuals sharing their divergent lifestyles and political attitudes over a decadent meal that is never quite right. You're probably not the one causing the bulk of trouble, though I'm sure you astutely observe who said what to whom and how. Even though there's still another month before New Year's officially concludes the season, I give you the go-ahead to begin your own retreat from the family brouhaha. It doesn't mean you get to skip out on Christmas dinner or other traditional observations. However, you have earned a winter hibernation, not just due to your good efforts in recent days but from a good few months of effort. This involves a conscious internal pampering, shutting down the stress machine and cushioning yourself inside whatever psychic blankets will keep you warm and toasty and comforted. It is okay and necessary for you to slow down, so that you are refreshed and ready in time for spring. The trick is, you'll still have to show up and make appearances during your hibernation—you don't have the luxury of sleeping for a couple months. How can you insulate yourself from engagement in others' drama while in attendance? Your nerves want you to take care of yourself first and worry about what everyone else thinks sometime in the semi-distant future.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Have you told your friends lately how much they mean to you? It wouldn't be a bad idea to do so now, even if you've already done it recently. Let's face it, it's always good for people to hear how greatly they are appreciated. During this traditional time of holiday giving, sometimes a heartfelt and non-judgmental communication of love is more important than the gifts. (Somewhere out there, a bunch of greedy gift-hogs are cursing me!) But there are ulterior motives for me to give you this advice. Not only will your loved ones delight in hearing glowing remarks about themselves, but you will get some practice in honest, deep, resonant and concise communication of feelings. It's not that you don't communicate well—likely, you do—but you may have a tendency to lighten the message of your words with semi-truthful flattery or excessive sweetness or other Libran tricks that distract from the real message. I want you to tell the truth to your friends without the people-pleasing part. Don't just tell them they're great. Tell them you like the way they ask you questions when you're telling stories, so that you feel like they are truly interested. Or tell them you like the way they always offer you a bite of their dinner when you go out together. This practice will come in handy later, as you continue your pursuit of the things that you want. (You know, all that mumbo-jumbo I've been telling you in recent weeks.) People don't want to give you things just because you kiss their asses. They crave sincere connection and reward it handsomely. Take it from your Sagittarian friends, honesty is the best policy, even when you have something a bit critical to say. Just find the compassionate way to say it, and you'll be fine.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I imagine that, considering how this recent Scorpio season has run amuck with your sense of well-being, you might feel as if your whole life is turned inside-out. It's like your home has been legally though violently searched and ransacked by federal agents, looking for something they won't reveal to you, then left in disarray for you to straighten as they disappear with a couple cardboard boxes full of whatever it is they took. As you shakily comb the wreckage, your first instinct could be to assess everything you don't have—and that is a lot. In certain ways, you must start from scratch. But once the initial shock starts to wear off, you then realize all that you do have—which includes skills and thoughts and heirlooms that are irremovable and invaluable and hold the key to all your wealth. This isn't the first time in recent weeks that I've tried to illustrate, through different metaphors, how necessary it is for you to mourn the loss, clear out the crap, and appreciatively cling to the good stuff. I wish it weren't so hard for you to believe that, in the middle of all this, you are unknowingly in a phase of great outer-world growth and opportunity. These are necessary pitstops on the way, and there is light at the end of this long damp messy tunnel. Go to the light.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This week's eclipse signifies the beginning of your long party, whether you consider yourself the host or the guest of honor. Marking the character of the next few months, the Sun and Moon converge in your sign, along with Pluto and Mercury—this grants you the ability to combine your conscious and unconscious urges into a powerhouse of will and action. So what will you do with this concentration of energy? One thing to be aware of is how incisive, and thus both pungent and potentially dangerous, your words will be. Yes, we already know you have a way with saying what you mean without glossing it over in pointless pleasantries. Now, your verbal swords will cut cleaner and deeper. Imagine the garbage you can clean out as you hack your way through the jumbled forest with your mental machete. Be careful not to cut yourself, or anyone else undeserving of wounds at your hands, as you adventure onward toward enhanced consciousness and meaning. But also don't hesitate to revel with the other partygoers and enjoy reaping the long-awaited fruits of your recent labors. You deserve to throw back a few drinks and tasty hors d'oeuvres, dance and tell stories, laugh at the top of your lungs. Life may be about figuring out what's what, but it's also about having some fun in the process. I hardly feel like I have to remind Sags about the "having fun", and yet I guess I do. This next chunk of time is yours, and I hope you use it to your advantage. What you do during the next several weeks will really pay off.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Here I am on the eve of the solar eclipse, doling out practical advice to everyone. And you, the one who yearns most passionately for a list of steps to move you from here to there, instead get the most perplexing guidance I have to offer. First, I return to part three of last week's horoscope, which instructs you in no uncertain terms: Quit trying to figure everything out. Next, I elaborate further on this notion with some crackpot bit about endings and beginnings. (Here goes.) You will spend the next several weeks sealing the final fragments of old karma in a secret sarcophagus, to be buried deep in the earth or in some overdone pyramidal tomb, never to be heard from again. You do not know what is coming to its ultimate conclusion, nor will you understand its profundity until months later. These events are already in motion. As the old karma is being sealed, you'll already be conjuring new karma for yourself in simple acts that don't seem to be as meaningful as they will end up being. You are altering the direction of your destiny, such that mystical predictions made a year ago about your future—which, at that time, were as accurate as they come—are not likely to come to pass. That is, unless you insist upon sprouting an identical head in the place of the decapitated and buried one. (Exercise free will like an election vote, unless you're content to lose it.) And finally, I return you back to your horoscope two weeks ago and remind you again—you are a servant to the higher good. So start serving. And P.S., all this backward and forward and old and new should serve as evidence of the unseen links between everything all the time—and should be sufficiently disorienting for the time being.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): A guy I know recently departed on a trip to Europe to follow one of his big creative dreams. He went to record his first solo album at a studio run by a producer whom he had long admired. In preparation for his extended journey (an expensive one, to be sure), he posted a message on his website, asking for any small donations from friends and family to help him fulfill his aspirations. Imagine his shock when, five minutes before he left for the airport, the mail came and delivered a $100 check from someone he'd never met. Just as our burgeoning musician had admired the work of the European producer from a distance, so too had the mysterious benefactor lovingly followed this guy's musings on his website, which he'd stumbled upon purely by chance months earlier. Along with the check came a heartfelt letter, detailing this benefactor's—another creative person's—dreams and desires and need for support from the universe. Both hands were held out; one offered something and the other seemed to ask for something else. I quote the musician: [This] letter was touching and another brilliant and poignant reminder of the synchronicities between us—it is like a spider web, interconnected. When you barely touch it, the whole thing shakes. Aquarians, despite your innate knowledge of this interconnectedness, you sometimes get so stuck in your own visions of how things are interconnected that you forget—none of us can see the strands of this spider web. They are invisible. We intuit they're there. But sometimes we miss certain of these connections that are most crucial. We must remain open to all forms of shocking shaking before we can truly live the synchronicitous interconnected lives we crave.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Okay, I never seem to get a break with you fishies. Here I am, thinking that I've reached some sort of higher peace with, and understanding of, your unique way of life. I figure that I'm offering caring solace for your experiences of isolation, confusion and inexplicable emotional whirlwindism. I compassionately reach out to stroke your back, telling you you're not crazy just because nobody else understands the depths of your knowledge. I urge you to have faith. And yet, am I still failing you? Is the Piscean world I describe really a "Gothic nightmare", as one reader suggests (even while readily admitting it may be true)? She has a point when she posits the question: Isn't the point to transcend where we are…rather than wallow in it? So, I guess my kind words are too kind—and too dead-on accurate—to encourage any transcendent action, just a simple acknowledgment of, yes, this is the hell that is Pisces-ness. Well, my personal experience with Pisces energy doesn't convince me that it's hell, though I do believe that it is often hard to synthesize into the outer world, full of screaming Leos and perfectly balanced(-seeming) Libras. But I'm done babying you, at least for now. With the eclipse in full gear, I think it's about time you did something transcendent with the Gothic nightmare. In fact, turn it into a career path. Find some way to get paid for your psychic tumult. Make it earthly. Discipline its power into palpable projects. And then, get back to me with the results. You Pisceans always seem to have some sort of feedback for me.