Horoscopes | Week of December 6-12, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If your life is a book, then, I'm sure you'll agree with me, sometimes you're forced to turn in a book report before you've had a chance to read the entire thing. Of course, if you waited until after finishing those final pages before producing some summarizing commentary, you'd be dead before we heard your thoughts. As I reminded you last week, comments in the form of 'explanation' are insufficient for capturing every last variable of the current situation, for the very nature of explaining implies a comprehensive understanding on the part of the person—in this case, you—who's speaking the sentences. But that is just fine, Aries. Go ahead and report on what you know from what you've read so far. Just bear in mind, the story could develop in dramatic unexpected turns within the next couple chapters… or not. Your current take, regardless of the relative boldness of its delivery, is tentative and should be permitted room for radical revision, or at least a few minor edits, before being shipped to the printer.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If uncomplicated, even-tempered agreeability (see also: syrupy superficiality; hyper-guarded acquiescence) suits you just fine in significant relationships, then go on, speak from the surface of your lips and let the interpersonal desires, disturbances, oversights and excesses skirt your mention. But don't you deserve more brute significance than 'I'm-okay-how-about-you' will muster? Go for the jugular with yourself, and dredge up meatier matter to offer up in dialogue with those who mean the most. In fact, you can even utter glaringly uncomfortable intensities to those who may not matter much, who haven't yet proven their worthwhile presence in your life, as a sort of litmus test. You're not testing their essence as good or bad people, but whether they suit you as intimates. And it's unfair to assume which way they'll bend, without providing them a chance to react and respond to your forthright disclosures. If you piss someone off, be conciliatory but unashamed of the confrontation. It's your self-centered relation to relationships—not any particular relationship, past or present, in your life—that's most at stake.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As you well know, there's more than one way to do most things. In case it's slipped your mind, there's also more than one way for other people to do what they do… and multiple means for how they do what they do in relation to you. With the New Moon lining up with Pluto and that crazy retrograde Mercury, all in your 7th house of interpersonal compromise, it's worth reminding you to cultivate patience with alternative methodologies, so as not to jeopardize the peace over insignificant differences. You might not be able to contain a moment's intensified hunger to remark on how someone else is thinking, speaking or behaving. After all, if it comes out, it comes out. But at least grant the courtesy of listening openly to any responses you receive, and fully admit the information into your consciousness. You might just learn a thing or two about your own processes and procedures—how your judgments may conceal projected gaps in your own thinking—through ardent debate. And both parties could chalk up at least one more addition to their arsenal of innumerable appropriate ways to get things done.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): 'Care' is a word I associate with you, Cancer. The purposeful acts of kindness you carry out to support those you love or hardly know demonstrate the care you provide for them. And your unadulterated emotional investment in the things you do reflect the immense care you have for the world where you live. But sometimes too much care can be a hindrance to getting your shit done, particularly when its corresponding worry (spent on heading off hypothetical failures at the pass) results in indecisive hedging or ultra-cautious creeping along. The Sagittarian boldness characterizing this New Moon week should inspire you to care a little less when it comes to fulfilling your daily duties—not a reduction in care for duty itself, but for whether each practical step is a potential misstep. With Mercury retrograde in Sag, there's a great risk of making snap decisions, speaking too soon or saying too much. But so what? As long as you retain your caring intentions, the worst that can happen is a moment's fleeting inconvenience or embarrassment. What you gain, however, is a zestful change of pace… and a freeing-up of your caring energy, so it can be spent on nurturing love in people rather than unattainable perfection in habits.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Leos are the proverbial actors, externalizing their rich inner multi-dimensionality in order to most fully experience the fundamental thrill of earthly human life, that which allows us all to share the stage. Keeping it all inside seems almost anathema to a Leo's existence, for why bother waking up if your essence of self stays a secret? You might as well be a disembodied cloud of soul floating aimlessly through 'the great In-Between', if you dismiss the joy of full-body performance, just to maintain polite decorum. I redirect your attention to the razzmatazz of 'living on the outside', now that a Venus-Mars conjunction is stirring up a gnarly snarl of complex feelings in your super-private 4th-house sanctuary of soul-home. Don't fight the Leo nature. You will not shame yourself by thrusting the emotional process outward. Rather, you do some of your best personal development through your wholly engaging (and, yes, at times socially awkward) self-expressiveness. If you end up with your foot in your mouth, keep talking—and listening—and eventually you'll cough it back up, to breathe freer than ever.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): A quick glimpse at some of the other horoscopes this week, Virgo, will give you a hint that many folks will be cutting through the crap (so they think) and to the chase (whatever that may prove to be), likely running their minds and their mouths off the track in the process. Mercury's retrograde through straight-to-the-point Sagittarius, matched up with Pluto and Saturday's New Moon in the same sign, is behind this verve, and some of what it pushes to the surface will undoubtedly be unsavory and/or unkind. That's why I'm advising my wise Virgo friends to rise above the fray and not argue about the merits of 'how high?' when others command you to jump. Your Sagittarian boost comes in the arena of private emotions, so you'll have enough action behind the scenes to keep you away from the main events, should you choose. Why dispute terminological divergences with fanatical pundits when you can quietly bounce psychological philosophies off yourself? Respect yourself as you would a worthy debate opponent, and let the other contentious factions battle amongst themselves with the intolerant fighting words.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You know what would be fun? Well, I'll tell you, and you should take my word for it—spending the week going just a bit too far in your casual social contacts with acquaintances, neighbors, service providers, fellow bus-riders and line-waiters. Or maybe, every few interactions, you can go more than a bit too far. Come on, I'm sure you fantasize about five or ten somewhat inappropriate comments you don't make for every one you actually speak. What would happen if a few of those snuck past your internal censor and reached somebody else's ears? I dare you to risk comfort in these passing encounters, and express what you're really thinking to a few barely-familiar faces or intriguing-enough strangers. Offer your unsolicited opinion on the book she's reading or the groceries she's buying. Tell him he's got a sexy butt. Ask the anguished if there's anything you can do to help, and encourage the perturbed to calm the fuck down. Because you barely know these people, if at all, you're not jeopardizing much by stepping outside the safe niceties to tender something with more gut substance. Not to mention, you never know what unanticipated kernels of wisdom will be presented in return for your social daring. Or you could stick to 'fine-thank-you', losing nothing but gaining about the same.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Take a gander at this week's article to gain some perspective on why it feels like you're in the eye of a storm, intermittently pounded by wind and sleet, yet slipping in and out of an eerie ultra-calm. It's the continued impact of Venus and Mars coming together in Scorpio, and it ain't over until the proverbial fat lady pukes her psychological guts all over the street. If you're gagging but nothing's coming out, then you're not being as viciously truthful with yourself as you could be. Like I told you last week, the reality of the situation is finally taking a perceivable shape, and it's probably quite different than you'd previously thought it to be. You may be relieved, elated, angry, mournful and/or wholly devastated at the gulf between expectation and reality. But believe it or not, every last emotion you're feeling is exactly what your subconscious needed in order to strip you bare and redress you in more fitting garb. Scorpios need intense experience (yes, the pain, too!) or they flounder in inertia, which might as well be poison for you. If all is going well, you should be sitting cross-legged in a pile of mud or ashes, looking around at the scattered tattered blocks around you, and deciding which ones are best for rebuilding foundation. There's more of worth to be salvaged than you might think, and in humble depths, you're more potent than ever.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This one goes out in the name of mercy, my Sagittarian babes and babettes, to reiterate my love for you and reinforce the value of your oft-uncompromising fervor for the truth at the heart of our existence. I fear that I'm often tough with you—perhaps because I think you're tough enough to take it—and don't step out of that box enough to offer a plain horoscopic hug. (Or maybe I imagine you'd push me away, in order to run free in the field of daisies, yelping at the top of your lungs, 'This is what life is about, so don't fence me in!') Now's the time for a little Astrobarry lovin', however, because you're either on the verge of a breakthrough or already midway through… and the ancient crap rising up in the process is not the easiest to understand, accept and (hopefully) eventually discard. You are allowed to lose your way, Sag. You needn't always have a fucking clue. Nor are you required to produce optimistic or enthusiastic phrasings to synopsize your current state for our edification. Things may seem great or miserable, but I promise they're more complicated than you may consciously admit. So be patient, kind and truthful with yourself—your moral outlook on life is in flux. Mark this week's New Moon in your sign with a commitment to articulate (to yourself or others, in writing or spoken aloud) what you consider your psychological state to be… without judgments, without conclusions, and without any pressure to be correct.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Revisit last week's horoscope, Cap, because your inner spiritual explorations of the truths contained therein are still incomplete. Perhaps you are willing to acknowledge that, yes, a mystical convergence of forces has brought you to the place you are. Perhaps, even, you're ready to raise your arms to the heavens and declare a radical surrender to this mystery. (Well, Capricorns being who you are, maybe it's a more modest surrender—with built-in loopholes for the occasional ego investment in worldly achievement.) Yet, if you truly believe in and accept the quantum-level interconnections that weave the realer fabric holding up this illusion of apparent material 'reality'… then you have its unbounded spiritual momentum at your disposal for do-gooding and magic-making. According to its supernatural logic, you can effect incredible creations and transformations by consciously setting your intentions (loving ones only, m'dears) and carrying out ritual actions that send them out to the cosmos with the greatest good in mind. Alas, the major inconvenience of this process is your powerlessness to pick exactly when and how the results will unfold. You might not even recognize them when they come a-callin'. Can you put your faith into your highest intentions, then let them go and wait for the glory of the Universe to expose itself? I know you know it'll work if you sincerely try. Will you try?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Where you usually reflect an easy knack for mobilizing groups toward a common purpose, now you're threatening to give off a brash bossiness, with fiercer intensity in your words. Where you often strive to personify an 'everyman' orientation in relation to the diverse range of folks you encounter, now you're exuding a stronger self-important streak that makes it harder for you to blend. With the burst of powerhouse Sagittarian planets (Saturday's New Moon, in addition to Pluto and retrograde Mercury) in your 11th house of group dynamics, you're blowing the lid off Aquarius's favorite self-myth: that you are somehow less ego-driven than other zodiac signs. You absolutely do care what others think (well, duh!)… and you're more likely to get an earful of what they think of what you think, since the added vehemence (likely unintentional) in your tone will be met with more of the same from them. You may enjoy the fantasy that you could participate in a hand-holding cooperative of similarly idealistic comrades who compare and contrast their ideas for a better world in a calm, mutually supportive environment… but that's not your reality. You want the authority and the power—and if you earn it through respectful confrontation, it's yours for the taking.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): With the pileup of planetary activity in spontaneity-starved Sagittarius, I truly wish I could push you to the podium and force you to face an audience of a couple hundred, unprepared and without due warning, just to see what would happen. Once you're done accusing me of cruel sadistic urges toward Pisceans, let me explain myself. The activity is going down in your 10th house, where professional achievement and reputation are forged, and the energy is one of daring, almost reckless lack of inhibition. Sure, the combination of Mercury retrograde in conjunction to Pluto is enough to virtually guarantee a few misspoken sentiments or bluntly worded disruptions. But the sicko in me thinks that even those broadcasted intrusions of chance would do you some good. See, Pisces, many of you are too timid or anxious to sign up for such an adventurous public display of self-authority… though, if only you were shoved in front of the group with no advance knowledge, I have utter confidence you'd surprise yourself with the success of your extemporaneous expressions. Unfortunately, I can't make this happen. All I can do is try to convince you to take a chance in your career or outer-world life during this week or next, to hell with inhibitions. Even if you humiliate yourself, much is to be gained. Bonus points for living out the common nightmare and showing up in your underwear (but please don't blame me if security insists you bow to public decency ordinances and cover yourself up).