Horoscopes | Week of October 11-17, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you willing to accept the challenge of reincorporating the qualities of your polar opposite sign, Libra, more fully into your life? The pressure being applied to you by Wednesday's solar eclipse is sponsored on behalf of this question, and you should feel free to answer with a combination of polite consideration and conciliatory grace. The grace is for the benefit of whichever member of us (meaning 'not you') is momentarily relevant, but the consideration is all for you. You have a lot to learn from acting second, only after the requisite time is spent ruminating on options and speculating about possible outcomes. In fact, in honor of the eclipse, you might even want to hijack your usual course by responding to every call to action with the considering statement, 'Well, let me think about that for a bit,' and following it with a minimum of five full minutes of regard before moving forward. Make it a game with yourself, if the competition involved will spur you to try harder. The best blessings will arise when you discover the responses you get from others who'll appreciate the extra time and thought you spent on their possible reactions to your actions. It's a show of courtesy to slow down enough for including them in your process, and they will likely respond in kind. Then you respond, then they respond, and soon you're automatically behaving 'in relation to'.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I think you know what needs to be done. We've been talking work, health, responsibility and routine for a few weeks now, and the reason is currently standing before us—a solar eclipse, supported by Mercury, Mars and Jupiter, in your sixth house. Hopefully, enough time has been spent in contemplating which duties and tasks take priority in the infinite list of possible things-you-could/should-be-doing muddling your mind so that, now, you are ready to formulate a revised program of daily habits to more smartly suit your needs. A couple notes on this. (1) Habits do not develop overnight, sprouting full-grown from our intent. A habit, by definition, is recurrent and establishes itself only after frequent repetition (one source reported it takes about 90 days for full ingraining). Be patient and diligent, two of Taurus's most cultivated traits, and stay conscious of your aims. (2) With Libra as the sign of this eclipse concentration, this 'enforcement' of duty should be carried out with a light touch and a pleasant demeanor. You may need to make tiny adjustments along the way, which doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. Stay kind to yourself by remembering you are supporting health, efficiency and, ultimately, happiness. Discipline is not necessarily punishment.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): For starters this week, Gemini, I want you to read the horoscope I wrote for your air-sign cousin Aquarius. You, like them, will respond more favorably to the solar eclipse in Libra than other zodiac beings, thanks to the cascading trine aspect within your air element. But unlike Aquarius, you are not obligated to do anything with the hyperstimulated mental energy other than express yourself and have fun in the process. Aquarians are currently on more of an educative mission to further an agenda of unorthodoxy… you've just got to stand there, look pretty and make sparkling conversation with every Tom, Dick and Harry who walks by, which shouldn't be too much of a stretch for you. Whereas Aquarians are staking every ounce of their nebulous egos for the cause (but shh! they might not know it yet), you get to work in reverse, letting your ego lead the way to a good time. And while there's a platonic purity to the Aquarians' eclipse-roused verve, yours gets to be more coy and sportive. One warning you do share in common during this eclipse, however: Don't overlook the practical business (and don't let your money romance its way out through your fingers).


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This week's solar eclipse probes the most privately emotional part of your chart… and for a Cancer, already so private and emotional, that's really saying something. The dark of this new moon eclipsing the Sun is akin to the crab retreating all the way inside his shell, and, without enough light to see where he's going, he is left to feel his way through. This eclipse makes an applying square to that pesky Saturn in Cancer, who continues to demand good boundaries of self from you so that you are able to withstand the swings and persist in your efforts toward greater achievement no matter the mood. These few weeks are a big part of that challenge… while you're likely to hit a coursing wall of water that might alternately dampen your spirits and whet your inner whistle, I stick to my previous assertion that you mustn't lose ground in external position. You have to be able to both feel your feelings and not let them knock you on your ass as completely as they have in the past—this is the lesson of Saturn in Cancer for you—and you'll have plenty of opportunity to further develop this skill of simultaneity over the next couple weeks. As the Moon waxes and brightens toward its lunar eclipse on Oct 27, your feelings will emerge from the dark. You cannot halt that (nor should you try), and must prepare now for how you won't let it drown your ambitions.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Lower the stakes, and assimilate into a less avid and more exploratory period of incompletion. The small-talk strategy I've recently advocated will serve you well over the next six months or so, initiated by the 3rd-house eclipse activity that stirs up your week. With self-acknowledged fear I may slip into regurgitating stereotypes, let me remind you how regularly you Leos endow your every move with that ego-thirst for love and recognition… and that can be a lot to invest, when you aren't even sure whether those who may love or recognize you are trustworthy arbiters of your ego-worth. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be appreciated for who you are, so long as you're sure that what you're doing and saying is an accurate representation of true you-ness. With Saturn lingering in your 12th through mid-'05 and Neptune haunting your 7th, there remains a potential for you to be a bit unsure about putting everything out there and a bit unreliable in your reads on others. That's why I think it couldn't hurt to reduce the ego infusion in many of your interactions and shift to a tentative and experimental approach of interfacing with the casual public. Invest enough to make the contact and entertain the connection, but hold back on handing over the total package… at this juncture, you yourself are not even sure of everything that's inside the box.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Settle in. If you feel the seeds haven't officially been planted yet, do it this week. Planting, incidentally, is not the same as enjoying the blooms or harvesting the fruits or grains… there is a compulsory order in which the flourishing of vegetation always occurs, and you are still in a fairly early stage. What you can do, at this moment of aggregating resources for a fertile tomorrow, is to lovingly reach for prosperity with every hope and pragmatically imaginative idea. You've still got some time before observable sprouts shoot up in new growth, but you should be more than happy for this gradual rate… coupled with your closeness to the earth, you'll almost see the little stalks slowly stretch themselves toward the sky. By week's end, ruling Mercury will head into your 3rd, lightening up your recently hyper-realistic mindset and giving you a few new ideas to bounce around and a few new brief-but-intense conversations to chew on. But this type of experimentation is hardly 'meaningful' in the same sense as this past year-plus's stretching-beyond-your-comfort-level meaningfulness… this is just a bit of harmless mind play, to keep your neurons firing fresh while you maintain that general orientation of slow groundedness.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Ladies and gentlemen, the dream we all dream of… a week that promises the perfect chance to begin again, as if for the first time… only you're wiser and building upon successes and not-quite-successes and lessons-already-learned-and-begging-not-to-be-repeated. It will be a long time before you get another solar eclipse in your sign, supported with enough physical might (Mars), mental dexterity (Mercury) and downright good-luck opportunity to let you so adeptly grow beyond previous limits (Jupiter). Use it to your advantage, and set your intentions clearly and explicitly… the more effort you put into clearing time and energy midweek for conscious creative visualization, careful articulation of goals, and commitment to remembering and repeating said visions and goals regularly over the next couple weeks, the more unavoidably fantastic your results will be. Dream big, and then feel yourself expand to fill the dreamspace. The biggest potential question that lingers: Can you pinpoint your focus so intensely on yourself, establishing the right level of boundary in your outer-world life so that you remain connected to the requisite reputation-makers without being emotionally overinvolved in what they do, say or think?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I'm trying my best to provide useful, practical advice for all 12 of my zodiac buddies on account of this week's solar eclipse… based upon the eclipse, I look to the natural house where its sign (Libra, in this case) falls for you and then urge you to turn your favorite reinvention techniques toward the corresponding area of life. Alas, for my brooding Scorpions, this is most difficult, since the eclipse activates your 12th house, the most confusing and unsubstantial and mistily psychically surreal of all. This supersensory stimulation explains any peculiar bouts of hypersensitivity, strange dreams, mythic visions, fantasies of isolation or escape, and cravings for intoxicants, weeks of meditation or medication, and the nothing-/everything-ness associated with it… all of this and similar such senseless stuff is the realm of the 12th. When disturbances occur in this domain of life—and an eclipse certainly qualifies as 'disturbing', in the sense of stirring up what was previously settled or tranquil—there is often not much to do other than ride it out. Of course, I'm responsible enough to encourage you to keep the isolation and intoxication tendencies in check… small amounts of these quickly turn excessive and end up fueling the very sensations you might be seeking to avoid. I reiterate my past advocacy for prayer, yoga and other spiritual practices of regularity, in which you can frame a safe space for zoning out. And it also might be enlightening to jot down or otherwise record any flashes of unusual knowledge or insight that show up in thoughts or dreams or coincidental recurrence… while you might be too 'in it' to use these now, these messages from elsewhere could come in handy a few weeks or months down the road.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The only thing holding you back from best channeling the superb possibilities for collaborative strength is the need for some psychological disengagement. For someone like yourself, who can so easily and unintentionally offend others with your 'tell it like it is' directness and then wonder why everyone is so damn sensitive all the time, it's a bit anachronistic that you sometimes harbor such deep, irrational and clingy connections with important intimates past and present. The (over-)importance you attribute to certain opinionated voices weighing in—verbally or non-verbally, now or long ago, actually or your imagination—closes you off to sharper, more intellectually honest and less emotionally laden feedback, with real potential to help you in current dilemmas or projects. The people to be trusted may or may not actually like you, but no matter… they are not around to stroke your ego, but rather because they share a certain hope or design or revelation with you and the others, and they simply want to do their part in drawing it into reality. Recognize any resistance in you as residual reactiveness for the wrong reasons, and beyond that, grab hands with those on either side of you and jump in together.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If ever there were a time to please the people in power with a particular personal purpose in mind, this would be it. I'm not endorsing phoniness or ruthless exploitation, but there's nothing unrighteous about identifying channels of potential advantage and exploring them with finesse. You know better than anyone how a little metaphoric greasing-of-the-palms can come around to your favor, so long as everyone receives apparent benefit for their actions and no one is hurt and the playing field stays justly level. Capricorn, don't resist your ambition. It's not distasteful to claim your authority—if it's rightful, and if you're deserving and adequately humble. In fact, it's an act of miserly self-concern to withhold your expertise because you fear the discomfort of reaching beyond. But that may have more to do with a more private interpersonal timidity than it does with the actual outer-world or professional arena, where you cannot help but excel (unless you sabotage yourself for selfish self-destructive reasons). If your sign is known for one thing, it's being able to get what you want. So decide what it is, if you don't already know… and go get it. For maximum astrological assistance, commit to the goal during Wednesday's solar eclipse, and spend the next six months succeeding at attaining it.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): So often, astrologers expend their counsel on imploring Aquarians to get down off the spaceship and come live here with the rest of us on boring old Earth, where the reassuring realities that provide such comfort to most earthlings can be stiflingly suffocating to you. Well, I'm not going to lower the boom of rationality this week, Aquarius, with that eclipse-enlivened boost of air planets in your 9th house encouraging a broad outlook on all thoughts and forms of knowledge. For now at least, you are celestially sanctioned to tap the keg on your springs of eternal hope and let loose with the utopic proposals for a better tomorrow. You can say it and spray it if you so choose, and you won't come off as spacey or irrelevant to 'the real world' as you might at other times. As usual, I advise you to keep your insistence in check, for the most amazingly appealing and liberating concepts can suffer from the wrong delivery… don't confuse enthusiasm with pushiness… but by no means need you maintain a subservient silence. Now more than ever, air-sign principles of cool contemplation and cooperative caring are in need of ambassadors like yourself, who are willing to take on one person at a time and indoctrinate 'em into togetherness. The only caution I have for you is not to forget to eat, sleep, exercise, and work to pay your bills… otherwise you'll be as useful as a supercomputer that isn't plugged in.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): That eclipse lineup in your 8th is screaming catharsis… no, 'screaming' isn't the right word (after all, the sign is Libra)… it's more of a pleasantly concordant come-hither request. But the call is still the same: to dive way into the well of psychological accumulation, wallow in its filth, and reemerge with its pieces deliciously clinging to parts of your body. Go deep, Pisces. You've already tinkered with the surface-level arrangements with others ('I'll do the dishes, you do the laundry'), and now it's time to figure out the murky motives behind your preferences and behaviors ('I hate doing laundry because my babysitter used to punish me by locking me in the washing machine'). This is a perfect moment to initiate self-discovery processes like therapy, to own quirks and fetishes by playing them out in safe space with intimate others, and to engage in experiential techniques that force out the emotions through yelling or controlled violence. Listen, we humans are not always the most pretty or delicate creatures, full of our shit and piss, the desire to kill and be killed and the fear of being killed and killing. But as we penetrate these depths, we can create beauty from the ugly mess by acknowledging its presence and transmuting its shadow into coalesced complexity in our personalities. Being moved is movement, and that's what we're alive to do; once we're dead, nothing moves.