Horoscopes | Week of December 13-19, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The best way to take responsibility for having emotions is to consciously become embroiled in emotional inter-tanglements with others—situations in which you cannot help but produce an unruly amalgam of multivalent, irrationally emotive reactions—and stay involved until at least four different psychological sensations have been felt, identified and left to float out there as they will. Neither the 'I'm okay on my own' avoidance technique nor the fast-and-furious put-out-and-get-out mode of one-sided expression will work, if actual depth and complexity of feeling is expected to come forth. What makes the uncomfortable so darned uncomfortable is the necessity of dwelling there. Of course, no external figure will force emotional responsibility onto you. You possess every right to choose suppression of your own accord… where else, after all, do you think the phrase 'going through the motions' derives?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): My first urge was to write a single-word horoscope for you this week, Taurus, and it would have read like this: Communicate. Then I realized (a) I sort of gave you this advice last week, with much more specificity and interpersonal purpose and (b) with one more week remaining of Mercury retrograde, you might mistakenly interpret such guidance as an indication that communication might function smoothly and/or effortlessly (heh, heh, yeah, right). So instead, I will shift the phrasing of my wisdom and revise my concise summary to read: Socialize. The differences in shade of meaning imply (a) a greater number and/or wider range of other people engaged in the communications with you, (b) a quicker-paced, tip-of-the-tongue tone, and (c) a release from the pressure to actually accurately convey some kernel of content from your head to someone else's. In this new version of your week, the process of keeping words and thoughts in motion is far more important than the product of these movements.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One more week of Mercury retrograde, and I raise the topic again since you are one of the signs most affected by its folly. And you may recall me having mentioned that its presence in your 7th house indicates the expected complications in transmitting and receiving messages are most disruptive to the compromise-instinct in your one-on-one partnerships. Let me go out on a limb and elicit an optimistic reading from this, Gemini. With Mercury making sextiles to Neptune in your 9th both this week and next, it's a supreme occasion to foster intellectual compassion and spiritual openness to those who you might otherwise discount, dismiss or disagree with. 'Misreading' others (i.e., hearing what isn't being said) can be refashioned into idealizing the best of others' ideas and consciously overlooking latent flaws, giving them the benefit of every doubt. Consider, but don't necessarily debate. And appreciate, without the need to accept. It's about displaying goodwill in relationship, not swallowing unproven words hook, line and sinker… but they don't have to be explicitly informed of that intention.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You have some serious business afoot, Cancer, and it requires you to force your nose to the grindstone and toil extra-effortfully at the task of enjoying your life. Saturn's ongoing presence in your sign has served to 'toughen you up' by building protective barriers around your psychic sensitivities, so that, happy or not, you're at least better equipped to call your feelings by their proper labels and recognize others' feelings as 'not yours'. With this week's dual trine to Saturn from Mars and Venus in your passionately self-expressive 5th house, you're being pressured to apply this toughened constitution toward whichever creative, romantic or melodramatic pursuits will most reflect a joie de vivre—and to do so without much concern for the emotional states of others, except for how they serve to egg you on with love and affirmation. To repeat last week's words, you need not care so much. If you censor your enjoyment of life to suit the depressive, envious and/or controlling moods that others may unconsciously lord over you, you eliminate one more burst of vital positivity in order to indulge the already-hearty conglomeration of sadness and hurt in the world. From that quantum perspective, you're most helpful by focusing on your fun-loving self and letting them save their dramas for their mamas.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This could be one of those weeks when emotions run high, passions coarse hot, and every last presentation of self could seem like some desperate demonstration of your most dominant survival instinct. But 'kill or be killed' needn't play out with such force or violence, nor must it seek to decimate the perceived competition in order to save itself. Leo, it will be hard enough for you to dodge unfavorable reactions—where you give intense and vehement, they see pushy and controlling—without deliberately rejecting others' participation or expecting it to conform to your image. I'm not saying you should wimpily give in to something you disagree with or disrespect. Just don't underemphasize the breadth and depth of the chain of interconnected psychological issues stirred by what seems a simple enough dilemma on the surface. Being flippant with what somebody else finds fundamental to her/his underlying emotional security is a sure pathway to suffering retaliation, whether intentionally inflicted or of the indirect karmic variety.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Continued action in the water signs equals continued action in your houses of social interactions. Relating to and with others—from casual contact to intimate connection to identity among the whole group—is an inextricably emotional affair for you, Virgo. But that makes it a helluva lot harder to keep your conceptions of other people in their neatly bounded boxes, along with the rest of your easy-to-sort analytic frameworks. Frustratingly, how you feel about friends, partners, strangers, groups, peers, adversaries and idols is as illogical as why sometimes a cry erupts where a laugh should have been or vice versa. That's just the way it is (and will continue to be), alas, so release the frustration and embrace the necessary senselessness that comes from being in control of only one face of the multi-headed monster called relationships. This week supports acceptance of any intuitive wisdoms that goad you to constrict certain allegiances, jump certain obstacles, and indulge certain personal preferences in your social world. There doesn't have to be a well-argued 'reason' to extend, withdraw, avoid or approach… just a desire.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Alchemy is the magical process of turning one thing into something else entirely different. While my practice of alchemy is a little dusty, I do recall that it's rather energy-intensive and calls for a lot of raw materials in order to produce a small amount of the desired result. Ask Rumplestilskin, and he'll tell you a pound of straw most certainly does not yield a whole pound of gold. My alchemical metaphor extends to you, Libra, in the sense of how much stuff you currently need at your disposal to make the slow measured climb toward your big outer-world goals. Your reserves of financial fortitude, resourceful skill, and self-confident belief must be quite full in advance of taking that next reasonable-seeming step, since you'll need more than you think to complete this rather modest ascent. Mars and Venus in your 2nd house provide this week's impetus to mobilize the figurative forces and gather the goods, as part of shifting idealized emotional sentiment into practical strategy. You might not want to listen to the full truth you need to tell yourself in order to succeed, but ignoring it won't make it go away. On the other hand, you could be pleasantly surprised by the not-bleak reality lurking behind your fear-driven fantasy of a bleak reality. Either way, prepare to deploy a lot toward reaping a little—but a tiny diamond is worth far more than a huge clump of coal.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): What does it all mean? What does it all mean? Futzing with the question is productive, without producing an answer you never really anticipated receiving or quite desired to hear in this midst. You don't truly believe everything you believe you believe, as some of those beliefs are logically incompatible with others, and these latent lapses in logic have lately leapt into the light. Feelings, a profoundly familiar field of experience, are allowed to be formless and inherently contradictory. But ethical structures for framing acceptable and unacceptable future behaviors, useful for simplifying certain excessively grey areas into their component blacks and whites, cannot be allowed the same privilege or else they're proven pointless and fall flat. Sure, situations vary. Yet, if you can't get some basic rules on the table—some matrix of meaning drawn from personal experience a la 'Touching the hot stove burns my fingers, so I shouldn't touch it unless I want to burn my fingers'—you're forced to reinvent the wheel every time a judgment is required. The rules needn't stay set in stone for eternity, but it's much easier to amend the constitution later than to run the country without any governing bylaws.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): 'Here I am. This, what I put out there. Come and get me, bet me, pet me or flatly reject me. I'm not afraid to get wet or upset. This person I am always grows past where he once sat, and all she wants is a lively chat, exposure to this and that, and a free trip to Kathmandu or the Yucatan peninsula. Go ahead, second that emotion or sneer "fuck that", but I can't spend too much time being much maligned. Don't worry, I'll be fine; I can rhyme. Please excuse me to my room, where I must zoom into this fleeting doom-and-gloom before… boom! I bust back out to shout, "I've gotten so much wiser from this pain, I will refrain from blame—though, incidentally, you've been a bit of a miser with your kindness toward my shame—and keep on playing this game 'til I'm groomed for the tomb." Yes, there have been secrets in the screams, dreams I had of chairs in cages and streams of stares from teams of strangers while I sat imprisoned, paring away at what I bear in my heart, tearing through reams of pages where I declare the inventory of what the robbers stole. I am whole, even with this hole. My private hurting stories pour the inspiration into public glories. Here I am. Love me in this muck, for luck.'


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Out and about, stimulated and tantalized by the interminglings of whirring social energies, you gain another step in the gradual instituting of the appropriate interpersonal boundaries without radical withdrawal. See friends, preferably in groups of more than one. Attend meetings, remarking (at least provisionally) into the contested discussion topics. Dip into organizational allegiance, with familiarity or on new ground, to see how others traverse their interests and ideals alongside similarly minded folks. Though these mash-ups, you remind yourself: Your life does not belong, vacuum-packed, to your isolated ego. It is but one dot in a Seurat-esque pointillistic landscape. Alone, a lone blob of color; combined with others, a pretty multi-dimensional picture. Yet, at the same time, you must stay clothed in your ordained color or threaten to destroy the comprehensive portrait that is our united selves. It's another week for experientially testing out how much you've improved in balancing open connectedness with firm psychic decorum, developing greater faith in your skill to be the perfectly imperfect you and fostering the same skill in others through mutual support.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Following on the heels of last week's horoscope, the authority and the power you want is yours for the taking… once you offer yourself up into the public debate, and steel your character in preparation for the inevitable criticism that will follow. It's all par for the course when it comes to advancement in the professional world, where people relive their familial dramas (e.g., 'I'm better than my stupid brother'; 'I just want to make never-satisfied Mom and Dad proud') in front of each other and wonder why everyone gets so crazy when it's supposedly 'just about work'. Part of the responsibility you must assume, in order to hit the highs you desire, is the public unveiling of your hunger for recognition and the unashamed pursuit of what you want, no matter how excessive or uncouth you might perceive it. Certain others might even share these perceptions of your lusty aspirations—external interpretations that reek of their emotional experiences of dissatisfaction, envy, resentment or who knows what else—and it cannot be permitted to hold you back. Sometimes, the hardest part of work is stomaching the corresponding interpersonal issues, yours and others.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): What else can you do but be who you are and feel what you feel and, as a former boss of mine used to say, 'let the chips fall where they may.' Whatever dangerous ledge-leaps or authoritarian (re-)enforcements, punitive pronouncements or powerhouse power-struggles serve to characterize your week in the outer-world/career arena, it's all part of the necessary renewal process (which often involves a heaping dose of nastiness). Have you noticed that these sorts of things always seem to force you to deal with those very most-difficult issues you'd rather not confront? Of course, it's quite possible that none of the hypothetical scenarios I outlined will actually prove to occur at all… which means you can breathe a sign of relief for being saved from dealing with those very most-difficult issues you'd rather not confront. Or you can face the nagging need to face the nagging need before the external profession-related event happens, sooner or later, and temporarily knocks you down. What if you carried out the 'forcing' instead of having to be forced? What if you took control?