Horoscopes | Week of September 20-26, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): 'Look at me… over here… that other person, the one who's not you. We have beautiful music to make together. We have meals to eat and secrets of the universe to share. You know you can't help yourself. Here, let me wear that special suit or dress you love to see me in… watch how it hugs my body as I walk down the street. You can't help yourself, whether your intentions with me are amiable, amorous or platonically collaborative. You want some of this. More than that, I sense that what you have to offer me is titillatingly passion-filled, a culmination of creative intensity. I will accept gladly and return the favor. I guess our only problem is that guy over there—your rational mind—who hasn't forgotten how ardently his favorite astrologer encouraged him to concentrate on work (and to damn-well enjoy it in the process). How can we convince him that I won't distract you from duty, that my presence will simply enliven and innervate you so you can get more done, once you've got someone as tantalizing as I to reward yourself with during those necessary off-hours between this task and that?'


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Sometimes, as I swim laps in the pool at the gym, I repeat to myself, in rhythm with my strokes, 'Long… lean… tall… strong… long… lean… tall… strong…' These are my most productive aqua-workouts, when I use the regularity in disciplined physical motion as a metronome for keeping positive-thinking mantras cycling continuously, instantly syncing my mental and spiritual energies with my body. Many physical trainers recommend consciously visualizing the results you want—imagining, for instance, that bicep growing thick and toned as you curl—for enhanced results. I want you to remember that this week, Taurus, whenever you conduct a repetitive task or motion, to channel the sixth-house planetary lineup into productive meditation coupled with physical might. Walking somewhere? Accompany every step for the entire length with a reminder: 'My work fulfills me.' 'I am open to love.' 'I'm healthy and wise.' Scrubbing the floor? Every circular motion supports the growth of self-esteem. Droning away at data entry? Turn every stroke of the 'Enter' key into a bell that rings out to herald your upcoming successes. Add oomph to your body's actions with mind and spirit's highest desires.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I hereby decree this Wednesday, which others might call the 'Autumnal Equinox', as the official beginning of 'Geminis, Have Some Fun' season. During this time, you are contractually obligated to scrape off some of the filmy residue left over from certain bumpy patches of seriousness over the past several months and label it 'the Past'. You must remind yourself which folks in your life boast the likeliest probability of making you giggle, snicker and snort… and you must remind them they serve this purpose and let them know you expect them to live up to this reputation by tickling you, cracking jokes, taking you on wild excursions about town dressed in silly outfits, and generally ensuring you fulfill the terms of this season. Approximately 20% of your total behaviors over the next three months should serve no other purpose than to entertain yourself. Points are subtracted for every instance of announcing your dread of something that hasn't happened yet, without first letting it happen… maybe, after all, you'll surprise yourself and enjoy the very occurrence you imagine you'll detest. Any questions should be referred to the Clarifications Desk, which, alas, is closed for a fun-filled vacation.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As usual, before I began writing your horoscope this week, I reviewed the one I wrote the week before. Here I was, prepared to inform you that, for Cancerians at least, winter arrives early this year in terms of the need to privately bundle up, store comfort foods and other hibernation needs, and turn inward for a few months of quiet regeneration. Then I reread last week's assertion that planetary fortune is calling on you to practice 'insistent extroversion' and I thought, 'Well, yes, that's true, too… but am I allowed to contradict myself and expect my responsive Cancer brethren to work out the incongruity themselves?' Well, to some degree, the responsibility does fall on you, since I stand by both my previous call for radical speaking-out and my new appeal for self-protective inwardness. But I will help you out with a little metaphor: In cold weather, you still must venture out of the house to fulfill employment obligations, to shop for groceries or to visit friends. In order to do so, you carry your cocoon with you in the form of hat, scarf, gloves, boots and heavy jacket. You are at once 'at home' in your nestled warmth and 'out-and-about' getting your stuff done and staying connected with external reality. Over the next few weeks, you want to follow this logic, continue forcing yourself to speak your truths, to be hyper-communicative and open, while simultaneously keeping a coat of protective nurturing in place around you. How exactly you do this, though, is the stimulating challenge I'll leave for you to enjoy.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The next week or two is all about talking it up, sharing your messages in small bite-sized pieces to whomever is apt to listen, though don't expect any single person to catch the whole drift. Build this partiality into the communicative methods you deploy (i.e., good marketing techniques, cute and catchy, one main drift repeated in different tongues). This is a moment of disseminating seed, without necessarily witnessing which will germinate and take root… so the more you throw up in the air, and the wider an area you cover, the better your chances for one or more to hit the 'X' that marks the spot where you hope to cultivate your crops. With another week and a half of Venus in your sign, you're likely to win friends and influence strangers without them necessarily thinking you're being pushy (even if… well… you are) or having specific unspoken motivations in mind (which you definitely do). Nowhere in your sales speech should you speak without full genuine desire to make every realized pitch a 'win-win'… and please don't promise anything unless you're sure you will deliver, for broken deals will sabotage every ounce of trust you've worked for… you may be likable, but they won't be willing to overlook flakiness or deception… so stay in line with your highest ethics as you talk your game.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): It's about time to start saying goodbye, if you want to start saying hello. Goodbye to Jupiter in your sign as a good-luck justification for an unbridled overwhelm of wide-open possibilities, hello to Jupiter moving into the second house and forcing you to pick one or two for turning into material reality. Goodbye to excuses for why certain ideas (e.g., moving somewhere new, quitting a job, dumping a lover, establishing new creative interests) are too risky or financially impractical, hello to accepting responsibility for turning the situation practical through longer-term planning and sustained effort. Goodbye to directing your analytic genius inward as a means for criticizing yourself to death, hello to using it to outline steps toward a more emotionally fulfilling existence and a timeline for measured roll-out. Goodbye to fears of the unknown that manifest in dire attempts to control everything, hello to the emotional peace that comes from surrendering to the delight of unexpected twists in life. Goodbye to the thirst that arises from refusing to drink from the half-empty glass, hello to continually drinking to replenish your fluids in a cycle of consumption and wealth regeneration so that you recognize your glass is always full enough.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Mark my words, by the end of October, something notable (if not everything) in your life will be different… and that something different is not an end in itself, but the beginning of many months of positive growth, the destination of which is still up in the air. Last week's whimsical fable was intended to get you casting a wider net, since opportunity will be available to you in every dusty cranny and overlooked alley-way. This week, there are three planets—the Sun, Mars and Jupiter—entering your sign, so seemingly out of nowhere, any light funk or subtle sluggishness should lift right away into self-possessed action and optimism at every turn. Jupiter's entry, in particular, signals a lot of fortuitous chance from now until next fall, an effect which usually doesn't come on so strong right away. But the Sun and Mars are helping by throwing a 'Welcome to Your Good-Luck New Life' party, getting things going with a boom. Don't party too hard because there's no time to nurse your hangover. On Oct 13, a solar eclipse new moon falls in your sign, igniting a six-month period of self-redefinition, excitement and fierce attitude. No one will get in your way, so long as you know what you want and can start visualizing it ahead of time. I now conclude this horoscope full of generic platitudinal hailings so you can go do what I can only describe you doing; start now, and don't stop 'til you get enough.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You can thank me for starting early this year and broaching the subject of Scorpios' autumnal shadowy moodiness a bit ahead of schedule. I've noticed the fall lineup of planets into your sign often correlates with some combination of nastiness, depression and/or so much extreme emotion of one kind or another that you can barely bear its brunt. But I also think it can, like any astrological influence, be better managed with advance notice—as long as you can fortify your psychic barriers and politely welcome the dark passion without pretending it won't show up or trying to block its advance. I've gotten ahead of myself, though, because none of this is scheduled to occur for another several weeks. In the meantime, the twelfth-house cluster of Sun, Mars and Jupiter indicate a great opportunity for psychic peace, should you consciously invest your efforts in that direction… in other words, pray for a fruitful autumn like you haven't prayed in a while, and you're likely to get the universe's version of a favorable answer… heed the imagery from your dreams, and listen to internal voices offering unusual advice you wouldn't ordinarily follow… these wouldn't spontaneously show up without important information to convey.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Embrace the collaborative approach, for it provides your absolute best potential for breaking the goal-oriented stalemate and actually enjoying some pleasant social interaction along the way. As always, you face the danger of pushing too forcefully toward what you want and alienating the other players in the game. But this horoscope is not, like recent others, a warning against potential personality conflicts, as much as a call to action for mobilizing the strengths of others—and offering up yours to them—so everyone can end up succeeding in their own ways. Minimize the fear of competition because, if everybody does their job correctly with the intent of personal fulfillment rather than dominance over others, everyone will end up where they need to go, the pieces fitting together with uncanny cleanness. Truth be told, your true heart seeks the joy of sharing the responsibilities and the rewards… growing alongside trusted peers makes you a more powerful person than growing in opposition to them, for the power you receive comes from people deferring and supporting in respect, not submission. Spend the next three weeks or so cementing the bonds, and you'll go far in gaining trust if you make the first show of support. Work toward someone else's goals for a little while, and the favor will be returned without having to demand it.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Reach up, and grab for it. The stereotype of Capricorns as 'ambitious' is often misattributed to you as 'money-hungry' or 'authority-obsessed', whereas I see it play out most often in Caps as a continually striving to do better through sustained and strategic efforts at improvement and advancement. Of course, the personal challenge is to expect more of yourself without devaluing the current state of affairs (i.e., criticizing yourself for not already being your ideal best). When it comes to career concerns, public achievement or outer-world acknowledgment, you are particularly well suited to apply your Capricorn enterprise to a gradual ascension… after all, it's easier to problem-solve for better payoff when you can separate your personal emotional investment from the business at hand. With a beneficial energizing convergence of Sun, Mars and Jupiter in your tenth house of professional and/or public performance, it's a relatively peaceful time for stretching toward the next step up. The move toward an expanded position can flow nicely, as long as you are able to reflect how both you and those in power will benefit. No need to be forcefully convincing or surreptitiously scheming. You are primed to do more, and a polite pointing-out of this point should be enough to set progress in motion.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): When I use the slang phrase 'airy-fairy', I mean absolutely no disrespect to members of the air-sign coalition (including you and your Gemini and Libran comrades), nor to Tinkerbell and her kind or any other population that might take offense at my terms. Those are simply the words—airy-fairy—that come to mind when I think of you this week. The most favorable embodiment of airy-fairy is to stimulate pleasant and enjoyable conversation wherever you go, lightening the moods of others whose temperaments often become too bogged down by psychic disturbances beyond their control. It is your responsibility to get them smiling and laughing again, all the while slipping in clandestinely revolutionary thoughts to shake them from their mundane status-quo beliefs into taking action to improve our world. The least favorable embodiment, meanwhile, is to blow hot air (i.e., spewing a lot of crap with little substance to it) or to act like an airhead (i.e., excusing yourself from the practical reality others obediently comply with). The best way to combat this possibility is to preface your theoretical spoutings with a spell of careful, emotionally invested listening, so you know where they're coming from—that way, you demonstrate more discreet compassion to counteract your potential to inadvertently offend by taking a breezy attitude toward a topic they might take deadly serious.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The irony of being as hypersensitive as Piscean soul are is that, because you're accustomed to regularly confronting cloudbursts of emotion in a broad range of contexts, you're actually better equipped (know it or not) at calmly dealing with the deeper stuff than many other folks. They who appear to keep such tight reins of control over their reactions get bowled over by the torrent they face when the big issues—sex, death, various psychological patches of extreme vulnerability that vary among individuals—come knocking at their door. You, meanwhile, keep a relatively even keel in comparison, feeling your sadness or anger or fear as if it were just another day in the sentiment-heavy life of a Pisces. Keep that in mind as those most intimate in your life (especially the ones you count on to be the 'sane one', the 'rock' or the 'voice of reason') may need you to reach out… and may not know how to ask. Make peace with their demons, and they will be able to model their own self-treatment after your example. Radical acceptance of the darkest parts of people—so long as no one is wielding them with the purpose of injuring you or anyone else—is the best gift you can offer right now.