Horoscopes | Week of September 23-29, 2002

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You are entering a period of perplexing and terrifying freedom. Like a jellyfish, with your gelatinous tentacles radiating gravity-less through an endless body of water, you're not tied to anything nor have much control over the direction you're heading. I've been trying to prepare you for this the last couple weeks, reminding you to utilize others' guidance and not to push too hard. You've already broken any ties that might bind you unhealthily (not your style anyway), or are in the process of breaking them. Now you have a season of basking in never-ending movements, which will keep you warm as the weather changes to chill. But don't expect any answers until you're ahead in the future.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): All the Taurean efforts you've achieved on behalf of your own nurturance have gifted you with the private guarded stability of an old oak tree. Rooted far into the ground, flourishing then growing bare with the seasons, enduring over decades while the rings in your trunk accumulate as physical testament to your maturity. This equates to tradition—lifeless and dusty as a museum exhibit, unless combined synergistically with today's modern influences to morph and produce relevance, even if slowly. Use your strong footing and branch out. Invite others to lounge in your shade and play in your leaves. Someone, in particular, yearns to build a hideaway in your boughs and perform mystical autumnal rituals for your mutual re-fertilization.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I've observed that a lot of notable pop singer-songwriters are Geminis—to name just a few: Barry Manilow, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, Alanis Morissette, Morrissey, Prince. There is something so Gemini about their ability to take a few shallow-on-the-surface words, combine them with basic melodies and harmonic chord progressions, and produce something far greater than the sum of its parts. When I sing along to such pop favorites, my lips move but I can't hear what they're saying. Instead I repeat the words like spells, drowning myself in their rich junk and somehow nourishing myself in the process. It's hard to describe what good pop songs possess that makes them so meaningful beyond their vapid lyrics and predictable music, but something's there. I advise my sharp Gemini pop-makers to pursue your own favorite tangential trivia to its logical extreme, with faith that you'll reach some indescribable transcendent point where it suddenly becomes invested with a wider resonance that belies its surface irrelevance and hits a collective nerve.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You might sometimes feel like the deprived younger sister with the curfew, sitting home and watching your older siblings go out into the world and pursue adventures. Perhaps for some time, you've known your turn to shine was coming around, though, in your withdrawn sensitivity, you stayed quiet rather than come off petty and envious. You needn't keep your mouth shut anymore. There's nothing wrong with dropping hints that you soon plan to actualize those dreams no one even realized you had. Breaking through your shell and letting intentions speak themselves, the surrounding molecules will activate in unseen supportive motions. Plus, you never know when someone will overhear your incantations and offer their guidance. The next few months are prime time for you to move ahead in your outward earthy goals, not mend your sister's dress or clean another bathroom.


LEO (July 23-August 22): "These are perfect!" you exclaim, as you purchase that sleek pair of shoes from the store window you've coveted for a while now. These beauties, you decided, are the ones you'll model to the big premiere, as their fashionable gleam matches the glittering aura you flash around your person. As you try them out a couple days before the big event (to wear them in a bit, of course), you are shocked to discover they rub uncomfortably on your heels, spawning giant squishy blisters that mar your ability to walk. Quick. You have advanced warning of the fatal flaw that could bring you down on your night in the spotlight. Sure, you can bandage the back of your feet, knowing that this is a band-aid of a solution, with the potential to backfire. You still have time to bring the culprits to your favorite shoe guy and have the heels rolled or the whole things stretched. Or maybe you need to rethink your whole outfit, bite the bullet, and head back to the shoe store for another try. The point is, don't let your stubbornness hold you back from addressing that one thorn in your side which might dampen your otherwise sky-high spirits.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As a metaphor for delving deeper into one's psyche for greater self-understanding, I like the phrase "peeling away layers of the onion". I enjoy imagining myself coming to terms with a set of personal issues, then discarding the corresponding stratum of neuroses and ending up confronting a fresh batch of conflicting feelings and complexes underneath. To some rational existentialist, this process is likely akin to a dizzying masochistic hamster wheel, designed to benefit the psychiatric industry. To believers, however, there are unifying archetypal forces at the cores of all our onions. Since you're well into the process of shedding an onion skin, don't let another identical layer (perhaps a different color to distract you) grow back in its place. I urge you to aim for the soul-satisfying core and make the molting worthwhile.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As newly crowned master of the season, your responsibility is to keep your subjects happy and contented as the realization of their recent and profound mental adjustments finally sinks in. The greatest tool to assist you? Your broad repertoire of witty phrases and catchy clichés, which normally pass your lips only in the most appropriate of situations but are now likely to escape when least expected. You are full to the brim with social consciousness, so that it spills out over the edges and dribbles onto everyone else. Rather than sweat the unpredictability, you must perform exuberance and let your natural magnetism charge those around you to the same frequency of vibration. Let yourself be possessed by enjoyment and, giggling through it, say whatever comes out without worrying about where it came from or what it means. It's your party, after all.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your upcoming season of suggestiveness and charm comes with choices. How do you want to play this? Will you let the garbled screams pull you into risky situations, as you attempt to save the sufferers from roaring rapids while forgetting you can hardly swim? Will you, in fact, save them? Once saved, will they be showered with your unconditional love or scolded for getting themselves into the mess in the first place? You can expect, after having taken their lives in your hands, they will want to do all your chores or give you daily massages to show their appreciation. Do you moderate this servitude, exploit it or refuse it? And though your projects are yours, and must remain so, do you let others force their way in? Do you demandingly delegate or elusively exclude? And, incidentally, how can you dabble in all above options without hurting anyone's feelings? How frustratingly liberating for you that all I have to provide is a bunch of questions.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Anything but haphazard, you collect your experiences like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, persisting in the noble act of fitting your life together into a complete picture. You are able to succeed in this mission by acknowledging that, among the potpourri of possibilities strewn across the table, there are many extraneous pieces not belonging to your puzzle, intermingling with those that do. You act quickly to make good choices, as you often recognize what needs to be done next. But knowing that a coherent image will only become apparent toward the end of this life (if you're lucky), your Herculean feat is always partly unfinished. The residual misconception, which is now transforming itself deep within you, is that you know what the symbols on the final image represent, even though you have no picture on the front box to guide you. More surprising, still, is learning that, once the puzzle is finished, it can be carefully flipped over to show an entire other image, toward which none of your conscious effort went but which possesses strong resonant symbols of meaning for you.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): During this time, weighted heavily toward the process of planning, you must bring your keen skills as an architect to the forefront and design your next great achievement. In the same way that you engineer a wry remark or your side of some relationship, you must now strategize what you will be dedicating your efforts to over the coming few months. You are too effective a worker to refrain from toiling on behalf of yourself and the rest of us. You've been given free license in the recent past to focus on relaxing your harsh control mechanisms, incorporating others' perspective, and generally enjoying the comforts of home. This mellow reenergizing period, to your benefit, is coming to a satisfying close. Now it's back to your trademark forward-thinking ambition, as we await your latest product of perfection. Can you remember that improvements to our current way of being needn't necessarily include harsh indictments of the past? Just move ahead into newness, and let residue wither away without note.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Have you ever thought your way through knowing everything to the void beyond, where the enlightened revel in knowing nothing? The curse of being the smartest means you are often trapped in vast networks of concepts, linked together like every website to one another, a safety net of correct answers ready to catch you if you fall from the tightrope you delight in dwelling upon. At a certain point, or so I've heard, the magic words collide like subatomic particles in a physics lab, exploding into heat and dust; in their destruction, a humming quiet and a level playing field. Having achieved total mental mastery, you meet your juvenile ignorance with innocence, faith and glee. Now, back in reality, what are you going to do? Find ways to deploy your intellect for the benefit of others, but point toward your humble ignorance rather than your ego-stroking genius.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As you likely well know, Pisceans are prone to depressive periods, brought on by the dissociation of your mystical, idealizing seer-self from the mortal sack-of-bones that constantly reminds you of your earthly imperfection. Yet, you recognize spiritual perfection—against which you masochistically define yourself—perhaps better than most. At best, you can use these dreamy visions to spend your life increasingly approaching reintegration, practicing and refining the routine. Recently, you've had another glimpse of the divine and have a deep wordless sense of where to go next. You might not notice if your hair's a mess or you're wearing two different socks, but you know your soul, inside and out.