Horoscopes | Week of November 15-21, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries tend not to have too much of a problem with freedom. By nature of your sign, you just pick yourself up and go. But for the sake of this week's horoscope, I want to differentiate between two general types of freedom, which I loosely define as 'a sense of unlimited possibility under which you can make any number of choices to act, unfettered by obstructions.' Freedom 1: Acting from the quantum understanding that conscious intention strongly impacts reality, you create what you most desire—and meanwhile, you value emotional attachments without holding too tightly to them, knowing you can only control yourself, and the unexpectedness of everything else will play out as it will, regardless. Freedom 2: Acting unconsciously, with little forethought dedicated to the consequences, you simply do what you want—and meanwhile, those emotional attachments are either inadvertently neglected or, if they attempt to block your fullest self-assertion, subjected to reactionary behavior. This week, work on refining the lay of your liberty so that Freedom 1 rules and Freedom 2 only sneaks out every once in a blue moon. Choose, rather than choosing the default by non-choice, and only then, you'll truly be free.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It has felt good to consider things… objects, opportunities, environments, tasks… none of which talk back, demand attention, raise concerns or order the Maine lobster at dinner and expect you to pay. Alas, the quiet safety of inanimate tangibility has been disturbed and, for now, is on its last legs. Other people have joined the mix. The social ripples are vibrating your shell, ejecting you back into the conversation with an exclusive primal dose of cheer, whether holiday-related or not. While tales of your recently fulfilled duties and obligations might not qualify as the lightest coffee klatch or cocktail chatter, that doesn't disqualify them as appropriate topics to share. Maybe not everyone wants to hear words of meaningful content (it shows them up and leaves them looking slight?), and maybe not everyone will immediately gravitate to you, if this is the contact you offer—well, maybe not everyone warrants your social attention, if they are so disinterested in catching up with you on the areas that matter. Though your orientation to the social environment may be changing, that doesn't mean you must abandon those things that have recently interested you. Be you, share you, let those who gravitate naturally do so, and forget the rest, for now.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As certain profound conclusions hit your brain, finally explaining in a comprehensive fashion how you feel about Tom, Dick and/or Mary Ann, you might want to scribble them down as quickly as you might blurt them out… then, file the scribbles and not blurt out the spontaneous truth. When powerful interpersonal clarity announces its presence, offer it a cup of tea and tell it, 'Please, stay around a while, make yourself comfortable… I'm not quite ready for you yet.' Then return to the practical business at hand, which is admittedly less immediately inspiring or cerebrally stimulating since it's comprised of work (and a lot of it). You have plenty of steam to hit the books, the pavement, the gym or whatever else you know you should be hitting. Combine material concerns, daily duties and high-end aspirations into a fuller action plan for burning off that steam, and quit worrying about everyone else. Truth starts at home, with yourself. So even if you're suddenly struck by the unambiguous answers to those problems your partner suffers, your friends lament and your team members tell you about, you might turn the answers back around into a question and ask yourself, 'If I'm so damn sure about them, then what about me?' After all, trite but true, what we identify in others is a wonderful mirror reflection of what we hesitate to see in ourselves.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Feel, don't obsess. Think, don't decide. Act, but don't expect short-term planning to furnish the results you think or feel you want. Battle against the Cancerian instinct to behave in perpetual reaction. Reactive behavior promises compassion and nurturance to others when needed, but it inhibits that certain self-possession you watch other zodiac signs embody when they act like they 'don't care'. You should still care, Cancer—and you will, as long as water stays wet—but caring shouldn't stop you dead in your tracks, pressure you into rethinking your truest desires or engender guilt for not asking the others what they think about what you're doing. In that idiomatic be-your-own-person tone, maybe you shouldn't 'care' about what anyone else thinks… if it's going to keep you stuck, paralyzed or victim to sensitivities. Being sensitive means that you notice, that an effect is registered. But it doesn't have to mean that you cave in from the torture of registering someone else's reaction to your actions. Let them react, instead of hogging all the reactionary merry for yourself. Center, you. Orbiting, them.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Single vignettes. A woman sits on a park bench, dressed in greys, crying for what seems like an hour. One man runs up behind another man, yells, and starts kicking and punching him. A couple meanders down the street, hand in hand, laughing. Each mini-scene describes a person or people, in a moment, living life… and each also represents an emotion experienced. The lapse in logic occurs when we describe 'the unhappy woman' or 'the violent man' or 'the jubilant couple'. She may be momentarily sad, but that doesn't make her an unhappy woman. Maybe the man has never exercised violence before, and has only been driven to do so because the other man just maliciously hurt a member of his family. Maybe we've just seen a rare glimpse of joy in the lives of an otherwise miserable pair. The point I'm trying to make, Leo, is that you are in the midst of a condition combining (1) heightened emotionality, and all the confusion in identifying 'this' from 'that' which comes with it, and (2) an intense drive to speak single-minded truths, summarizing what makes you who you are, in bold strokes. While there, don't draw conclusions that you're this or that type of person, based on how you're feeling in a moment. Feelings change rather rapidly, while the essence of who you are does so at a much much slower rate, if noticeably at all.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As usual, and especially lately, you've got practical matters covered. So let's switch focus a bit, and let me encourage you to take psychological risks by thrusting yourself into unfamiliar social situations and experimenting with how you present yourself. I recall having given you this advice in the past—and it's probably something that could qualify as ongoing advice—but this time around, you don't have an entire new incarnation of self-identity resting on it. As far as I can see, you're entertaining a pretty stable idea of who you are for the time being. It's more a question of whether you'd like some fresh interpersonal influences in your life, whether you want to meet some unusual strangers and/or alter existing relationships in unusual ways. Show up at unexpected venues at not-the-usual times, and speak to those you might usually shy away from, in tones your mouth is unaccustomed to making… it's a surefire method for attracting new blood into the old social scene. The celestial climate highly favors this radical social experimentation, as a means for reforming how comfortable you feel exploring your immediate environment and interacting atypically with atypical others. Another benefit: Over the coming weeks, your mind could have the tendency to fixate on inward emotional obsessions, keeping you repeating lines that seem true but are likely one-sided takes on multi-faceted issues. Being a silly someone-else with silly someone-elses will pull you outward and push you off that single track, helping you stress less and play more.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Listen to Venus, and she'll be telling you, 'Shine, Libra, shine! Sparkle, shimmer, gleam and glow…' Easy for her to say, and fairly automatic for you to follow, considering your 1st house of projective self-identity continues to be lit up by this ruling goddess. But are there certain strategic reasons, in support of goals higher than just receiving adoration, why you might want to hold back on the leaky lovability? Lovely lady Venus squaring off with Saturn in your 10th indicates that, when it comes to professional or achievement-oriented activities, you might be facing the limits to how far your sheer charm and grace can get you. That's okay, though… you've got enough progressive, physical vigor underwriting the work you need to accomplish to hold practical ground, and there are plenty of other situations besides professional ones in which to exercise your unstoppable charismatic appeal. The best way to balance the Venus-square-Saturn conflicting draws on your energies is to more clearly demarcate the serious business from the pleasurable off-time, and make sure to give both portions their due attention.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): If you have ample respect for the force of Mars, your ancient ruling planet and a powerful current resident in your sign, then, this week, you'll take one gallant leap away from some confining situation or self-perception and toward radical independence, no matter how lonely it promises to be. Loneliness, after all, is fleeting, but confinement smothers continuously until you choose to unshackle and flee. Mars makes a symbiotic trine to rebellious Uranus, between the two houses most aligned with self-expression… and as I see it for you, Scorpio, nothing else matters as much. Granted, the one caution I offer is related to the potential to make hasty decisions in grabbing too ferociously to fulfill material desires, resulting in unwise or unsettling ramifications, particularly of the financial brand. So don't go signing away your money or trying to steal someone else's, and you'll be fine. Other than that, the best—and most healthfully liberating—thing to do this week is whatever nourishes your freedom to be you, unapologetically and for your own best interests. The emotional intricacies involved may not be so easy to bear at any given moment… remember: moments pass… but nothing could be worse right now than to sell yourself into slavery because you're afraid to step out into the void. The void is where your ideal life awaits.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I'm going to give you a heads-up that no one else will be getting this week, Sag. To fully appreciate what I'm about to tell you, first review last week's horoscope—I want to remind you of the merit of the 'indirect method' I raised, if only to kindly encourage you to ease up on the pushy-pushy forward mental motion. See, Mercury and Pluto conjoin in your sign this week, which would ordinarily entail an intensification of cerebral capacity, based upon reaching deep into your psyche and pulling out shrewd truths from the mess of past pains. What's not to love about a mind willing to penetrate beyond the surface to produce words and concepts with profound power? Well, how about Mercury turning retrograde at the end of this month—in your sign—and sending you back down into the depths, to try again to formulate expressions of truth, once you realize what you conceptualized and composed was partial, hasty, and/or missing some key details? The instinct this week is to expound upon what feel like conclusions, since you feel so passionate and enlivened by what you're quickly discovering… but to do so is to mistake the windy detour you're currently navigating for a straight-on point-A-to-point-B speedway. Too many emotions, varying too rapidly and unpredictably, don't set a firm foundation for ethical profundity to rest upon. Let the zeal continue spurring you to enthusiastically strive for greater understanding—only, refrain from declaring, 'I understand.' Because you don't. Fully. Yet.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This is a week to forcibly resist any unconscious gravitation toward overly idealized, esoteric or obsessive thinking… not because that manner of deliberation is wrong, but because the Mercury-Pluto conjunction in your 12th house could shift those ordinarily mind-expansive thoughts into extremist overdrive, and we don't want you clutching desperately to notions that are only true in fairy tales or dreams. Feel free, though, to use that same urge for conscious creative visualization—so long as you call the fantasies what they are, rather than imagining the floating castle really exists and trying to climb its phantom walls, only to slip right through the cloud and land on your ass in the mud. To prevent the worst manifestations of this potential confusion of fantasy with reality, externalize yourself as much as possible. Turn possible delusions into amazing narratives, character sketches, song-and-dance routines or whatever other forms that can be shared with others… then, share what you've come up with, in a fashion that is more about simply releasing stored-up verve than about 'being right' in the underlying parable-like moral to the performance. It's a time for interpersonal stimulation and the free-flow of words, ideas, enthusiasms and spiritual wishes… and keeping all that to yourself is liable to stimulate extra voices in your head that may not belong there or are speaking louder than is healthy.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): All for one, and one for all—an inspiring motto to symbolize the universal brother-and-sisterhood my Aquarian buddies strive for (sometimes more in words than actions), and a wonderful meditation on the indivisible unity between all humans (no matter how often we may forget it). The only problem, Aquarius, is that for all of us to be for one, we must agree upon what that 'one' is… what unifying ideal, hope, dream or vision will include our multifarious backgrounds, interests, priorities and concerns, so that we have something to rally behind and join forces on behalf of? I know you have both some devout ideas about what can bring people together and the easy effable personality to lead such community-building projects, and we all appreciate you for that. But with Mercury aligned with Pluto in Sagittarius for an all-too-extreme unilateral mindset, you might be missing a few key details in your preconceived image of what a group-centered utopia would look like. Keep considering everyone's best interests, and don't be too fierce to listen to everyone's opinions on what is in their best interests, or risk being branded an unintentional autocrat. In the meantime, when it comes to speaking or acting up, do so with only your individual reputation at stake—be clear that, when you make a name for yourself, it's your name and not ours. We have our own names to develop and promote.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): When your motivations fall into one or more of the above categories—to become more fully yourself, to express what you've learned from direct experience, to gather moral conclusions from isolated intuitive specks of truth, to shake up the boring expectations and give 'em something to talk about—then I say, go ahead and push for it. Let them have a heaping helping of unadulterated you-ness, and (as I also advised for Cancer this week) don't let your sensitivities trap you into catering to their insecurities. However, if your purpose in blurting out whatever your spirit moves you to blurt out is more along the lines of these types of motives—to push one step higher toward that position of power, to destabilize the current chain of command, to establish a certain reputation for yourself, to force them into noticing—then I say, hold your tongue for the next few weeks, and find a less professionally risky outlet for that unadulterated need to comment. Now that Mercury resides in foot-in-face Sagittarius, conjunct to Pluto and prepared to vomit up some of the ugliest (though quite likely true) observations on human nature, in full view of those who hold a stake in whether you ascend or deflate, I wouldn't go running your mouth off without tight control on the spigot. Otherwise, who knows who'll get sprayed by your unintentionally ferocious fumes?