Horoscopes | Week of November 22-28, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Be prepared to accept this jarring scoop… The 'little stuff' is where the big realizations are liable to occur, and the 'big stuff' seems of little concern. Are you humble enough to reverse the standard classifications and follow my suggestion to scan the surfaces for snippets of universal truth? You'll know them by the way they reverberate through your mid-section, as if you're hollow inside, ringing the 'true' bell to the core of your bones. I'm not saying I fully understand why certain pieces of shallow trivia, gabby gossip and passing fancy are resonating with cosmic meaning, Aries, but that doesn't excuse you from taking notice. And it also shouldn't distract you from pausing to pick up the supplemental information—that is, the spontaneous acknowledgment that certain pieces of profound truth, philosophic unity and methodical morality are more partial, situationally dependent, and incomplete than originally thought. Shift around some understandings. What's important and what's not important are wearing each other's clothes. Can you see beneath the disguises?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Shakeups in the whole of the group leave you standing, intact, and more fully in favor. They seem to like how you go for the gusto in each of your individual interactions, unwilling as you are to settle for a handful of insincere superficiality. No matter if your promised depth serves to unnerve those unprepared to participate on such a level… they sink to the bottom like wrongly accused witches, lacking the mystical power to escape from the shackles and rise above it all. You, however, possess that power, should you decide to rank those qualities the group has identified in you as 'powerful' under the proper heading. Making that accurate assessment is not about being humble or uppity, showy or shy. In fact, it's not about you and your ego at all. It's more of a process of registering yourself with the cooperative governing body, which is the united force of all of us together. We need to know, as accurately as possible, what your specialties are, so we can make you appropriately available to the benefit of the whole, as needed. Describe what you've got to offer, as you might detail the qualities of a favorite piece of furniture—functionally, aesthetically, and without self-esteem concerns.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Friday's Full Moon in your sign kindly beseeches you to observe yourself in your natural habitat and produce a detailed account for the requisite behavioral experts. We want to know a little bit more about why you do what you do, and we're game to accept your version, straight from the horse's mouth. But we also want to know what happens when you're plucked from your natural habitat, placed in a professional or public-sphere environment far removed from a familiar setting, and left to fend for yourself. Which 'fight-or-flight' behaviors, if any, set in? Do certain convenient or reliable practices fall by the wayside? Or do they take on added importance? We request tentative results from this hypothetical experiment, so we better understand what constitutes the truest fabric of your self (as evidenced by what you do automatically in a situation out of control or comfort zone) and what is merely context-specific. We ask again: Who are you when the customary suspects aren't around? Who are you alone, in a survival bubble, lost, found, absent, present, still?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This one goes out to the brave men and women who contribute daily to their communities' smooth functioning by working the thankless job of collecting money at tollbooths. Hundreds of times a day, they are barraged by 5-second splinters of songs blaring out open windows, often accompanied by tone-deaf sing-alongs from crotchety drivers who shove handfuls of dollar bills at them with nary a smile. No sooner does the toll collector identify each musical nugget (by artist and title), that car's driver is already halfway up the entrance incline and another has arrived to drown the booth in more different music, for no more than another 5 seconds. It is futile for the collector to hold on to any single song, to try to repeat its sustaining refrain while bombarded by floating fragments of other melodies, competing for attention. The collector must stay present with the flow, invite a moment's chorus or cacophony into consciousness, then let it go just as quickly, or else risk perpetual frustration at the incompleteness of every musical phrase. When the Full Moon is in Gemini, like it is this week, then my Cancerian pals face a mind-numbingly fast-paced survey tour through the hundreds of varieties of harmonics, sensations, rhythms and rhymes known to humankind (and some not yet known). To stay afloat in these hyperactive waters, mimic the heroic toll collectors and refuse to clutch a single note past the fleeting strike of its tone. Receive, percolate, release.


LEO (July 23-August 22): 'I am not this or that, as accorded by the highly impassioned but supremely subjective opinion of one or more closely trusted cronies. His or her truth is but only one truth… and one with a blindingly significant investment in my being this or that. And what if, instead, I'm this other, this identity I've barely been ready to consider, due to my blindingly significant investment in this other's blindingly significant investment in me? Significance, don't get me wrong, is of the utmost importance to me (or else why bother geting into highly impassioned, though supremely subjective, relationships with one or more closely trusted cronies). But this week, I'm ready to consider that there could be any number of other truths about who I am… truths that certain supremely significant, blindingly trustworthy individuals are blind to, simply because they care so much it inhibits their objectivity. Thus, I'm willing to momentarily detach from the bubble of supreme intimacy, just to get a second look. I'm still there for you… but as this, that or the other? I couldn't tell you quite yet.'


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You may work in Accounts Receivable, but your alter ego is an animal trainer. Tired as you are of waiting tables or scrubbing floors, siphon vitality from your alternate reality as a ballerina or astronaut or Nobel laureate. Virgo, this is a week to counter your pedestrian professional persona with its dramatic and dignified doppelganger, that secret second self-image of engaging excellence you have yet to enact in its fullest flair. Both what you currently do and what you fantasize about doing are real reflections of your capacity to achieve, regardless of how far you've gotten in the pursuit of the latter. Visualizing in itself, and admitting to your dreams, is an important step. Mid-visualization, take notice of how your closest partners and friends respond to you in this parallel universe. The truly supportive amongst them should treat you with the same consistent respect and inglorious genuineness whether you're a lord of the manor or a laundromat attendant. They'll judge you as neither low nor high based on external achievement. They do not expect too much, nor do they let you get by coasting on fumes. They don't push you onto the stage, nor do they sabotage your successes in envy. Consider: If they wouldn't love both of these yous equally, then how truly do they love either of you at all?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A break from the routine, as afforded by this week's holiday, is just what the planetary doctors ordered for you, Libra… but not necessarily as a respite from responsibility, despite whatever paid days off your employers are offering as a turkey-day thank-you. No, as many diligent workers who dread taking vacation can attest to, sometimes it requires even more work to reorganize and reassign the daily tasks in order to get a break from work. Counterproductive? Not if you confront this week's uncommon practical requirements head on and rearrange your ordered efforts so that (say it isn't so!) you actually get more done in less time, with greater efficiency and increased end-value. Accept it as a lesson in the drawbacks of habit—when you take for granted that daily activity will flow as expected, you are less likely to innovate or improve. The dullness reiterates itself. You spend your time digging holes and then filling them back up, only to start again the next morning. Step away from the repetitions. Disengage the auto-pilot feature, and start completing the rote machinations by hand. It matters a lot more when you do it with consciousness, and you get a lot more bang for the buck.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Last week's advice wants to make doubly sure you heard it, so it's repeating itself in slightly less brutish, more diplomatically appealing, but still somewhat disruptive terms—the most important thing for you right now, Scorpio, is to be as free as possible to express yourself as you see fit. Venus has joined Mars in your sign, and she copycats the trine to liberatory Uranus made by her counterpart last week. Plus, the Full Moon falls in your 8th house—where 'intensity' fractures into smaller tributaries of conflicting intensities, complicating and convoluting the interpersonal situation—and makes a t-square to Uranus. These next few weeks are all about unfolding the psychological strands into ever-increasing complexity, so that when you glimpse that their frayed ends are indistinguishable from one another and you cannot accurately dissect which behaviors are linked to which hurts and which past events are the source of which, the only answer you can assuredly offer their painfully needy questions is: That's just me, like it or leave it. You get to choose which thread of development to follow to its next logical stage. Any is just as good as any other, so long as you're creatively inspired and passionately stimulated by the choice. Nobody else gets to analyze you according to their rules and declare themselves 'right'. When it comes to you, you're the one who's right.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you want to stay sane and unperturbed, then append one of the following open-ended addenda to the statements others make (you know, those utterances that instinctively stir you toward dissent, disagreement or disbelief): (1) 'in relation to…'; (2) 'in the context of…'; (3) 'as seen from the perspective of…'; or (4) 'due to the…' Consider this a practice in tempered truth, as opposed to a celebration of excessive relativism. The combination of astrological factors puts pressure on you to acknowledge a variability of viewpoints, but I'm hoping you'll gain more from the exercise than mere tolerance. Reach past tolerance to understanding. I want you to actually hear what they're saying by listening to what they're not saying. Take into account the specific details of their lived lives, how what they've endured and suffered through and celebrated and suppressed has impacted their views on various topics. This compassionate inclusiveness does not collapse difference into a flat 'all beliefs are equal' meaninglessness. It merely puts real people behind the words and ideas—and it's much more heartless to dismiss a person than to discount a word or idea.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Can you hear the song's exquisite tune, carried far across the vast sea and straight to your ears to seduce you? It comes from the isle of the Sirens, those enchantresses only heard from afar but never seen. Will you follow their sweet sound, with little more to go on than the sound's sweetness and a wandering eye for aimless engagement? Will their saccharine notes drown out the quieter song playing within you, its droningly repetitive chorus and steady beat an endless reminder of duty? That truer song within, beneath the seductive Sirens' frills, is the song of your calling—not romantically enticing or boldly inspirational, just fundamentally true. Stay close to what you know to be your purpose, and let the bewitching appeals to immediate gratification pass you by. Beg to be tied like Odysseus to the mast of your mother-ship, shackling yourself to earthly responsibility to save yourself from drifting ashore. No one knows what, if anything, rests behind the enchanting voices of those Sirens. Maybe they are as beautiful as they sound, or maybe they are pure illusion? But witness: The coastline of their island is littered with the skeletons of those who came before, victims to a moment's mystique, never to return home to tell their tales to those who lovingly wait.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If you'd care to practice what you preach, then prove to us how to live on love alone. Push your comfort level, does it? Damn right, and good. I'm not posing this challenge as a snide told-you-so call to corroborate the impossible. I am being pure in sincerity. You can live on love alone (though don't go telling the earth signs that!), so long as the love is gushing forth outward and little is being held back. If you put out your best efforts to share yourself, with the intention of helping to heal the world, and stop worrying too greatly about what you're going to get back for yourself, then plenty of plentiful plenty will show up on your doorstep to fulfill your immediate needs. It's that pesky 'enough is never enough' mentality, hovering over in distasteful materialism no matter whether you'd like to pretend that love is all you need, that gets in the way. Fearing the depletion of resources leads to stinginess, which leads to holding back on giving, which leads to blocked love, which leads to depletion of resources… and faith, a high-falutin' concept with nothing in the bank other than itself, is all you have to back up what I'm about to tell you. The week's mantra: Live on love alone. And if you start to feel hungry, angry, lonely or tired, fight the instinct to take something and instead give more love.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Periodically (such as this week), that rebel Uranus (who's hanging out in your sign from '03 to '11) raises a little extra hell and (at least for this 8-year stretch) drives a Piscean or two to act in unexpected, unpredictable, and wholly unorthodox ways. Before you start telling me that it's tricky enough for any of us to predict what a Piscean is going to do (after all, I've labeled your bunch the 'none of the above' category), let me interrupt with: I know, but even you could be surprised by how good the disruptiveness feels. So take note. What spontaneously surfacing scene, step or stunt made you feel titillated for no apparent logical reason? And how did that feeling feel? You may not have the calm strategic demeanor on your side this week to help you plan your actions in advance, but you can at least learn something from a retroactive examination of this week's sudden moves, radical rejections, lascivious liberations or other departures from the usual reality. When you discover how certain surprising actions make you feel certain thrilling emotions, you've stumbled upon a new way to nurture yourself (though it may not come in the form you expect from 'nurturing'). And when you stumble upon something that works, you should plan on repeating it. So, this week, when you stumble, sputter, leap or jump and it feels so good, take note for the future, when nourishing repetitions of said sputter will be in order.