Horoscopes | Week of September 6-12, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When you know there are reasons beyond your self, delicately and eloquently igniting the fire, final decisive pushes come more easily. The name of this week's game is work—but not for selfish gains, so much as to offer the world your refined might. How else can you make sense of it, when every careful detail you're moved to complete seems to go against those powerful philosophical strings holding you in place? It can't just be unfolding this way for self-contained reasons, or it wouldn't be this intellectually uncomfortable. Luckily for the physical enactment, that sort of pristine intellectual power is not what fuels your drive to work hard, strong and judicious. Otherwise, you'd get caught up in circular explanations of justifications of excuses, and you hardly have the time for wasted exercises in abstraction. I don't know who you consider to be your 'higher authority', but improvements in your relationship with that person or entity produce the final collaboratively agreed-upon say on the matter… even if the words spring from your mouth.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For the sake of humanity, have some fun already. The trick is not to wait until you've 'mastered' psychological astuteness in every sort of hypothetical interaction before you let yourself play with the other children. You will never—I repeat never—be perfect in how you handle others' feelings because theirs are as unpredictable as yours. An offhand remark you momentarily crush someone with would just as easily be blown off by the same person on a different day. Self-expressive words and behaviors have power beyond the expressor's intentions. That is the unreliability of social relation and the complexity of people. What fun it is, too, never knowing what to expect, the performers kept on their toes and liable to expound into ad-libbed extemporaneity at any and every moment. You're too entertaining a member of the cast to hold your talents back from us. And if you still want to stay home, at least invite some folks over and turn your living room into the stage.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As thoughts and actions turn toward relatively conservative self-preservation concerns, don't overlook their impact on those around you. Don't get me wrong… your own emotional self-satisfaction is exactly where your focus is best spent now, Gemini, and the more reserved you are with your energies, the more you'll have to offer later. In the meantime, though, those who are more accustomed to different beliefs and behaviors from you might reveal their surprise, displeasure, jealousy or some other intense sensation in response to choices you're making about yourself. This demonstrates how much more complex of a relational situation you're in than you may have admitted earlier, which is neither better nor worse, just more deeply intertwined with others' psychologies. I think you know what you have to do to suit your own needs. It's having to adjust those techniques to fit the joint interpersonal-relationship realm that's more trickily unscripted.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm quite sure I've given you similar advice before, but let me offer it again. You'll be amazed at how differently—with more profound and comfortable respect—people will respond to you, if they don't sense you're being unreasonably harsh with what you allow (or more properly, disallow) yourself to do in keeping with duty. It's disconcerting for us to psychically observe someone like you keeping such strict discipline over how you interface with the outside world. While it's good to take your earthly responsibilities seriously, it shouldn't prevent you from experimenting with other modes of social interaction, which may seem frivolous or even risky of your reputation. In fact, I recommend turning a magnified lens of meticulous attention toward what seem like off-topic behaviors and, quite literally, force yourself to take a few steps in either or both directions away from the business at hand… in the end, inadvertently discovering new methods to old madnesses.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Venus enters your sign this week, and it's another chapter in the universe's long-standing love affair with all things Leo. Even those who aren't fond of you can't help but pay attention, and everyone knows that any attention is good attention, at least for a Leo. But because your instinctively captivating activities occur almost without your trying, a certain lack of discrimination in how you dole out your creative talents presents your personality with a minor area for improvement. We all have a bulk of raw materials comprising our beings, which we must sort through to find the most effective and economical fashion for becoming ourselves. If we just throw everything out there all at once, others could find us somewhat distasteful and/or overindulgent… and we don't necessarily want that. Under this unavoidably flattering Venusian light, take the time to select particular tricks that will produce particular treats, considering the energy expenditure relative to the payoff, rather than trying every trick in the book and getting what you want as a matter of amusing, though ultimately draining, energy-bullying.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Go, go, go… the planetary pieces are in place for you to conduct the kind of thorough and methodical, brains-and-brawn-in-unison, cathartic and therapeutic, conclusive actions required to make the last several months seem totally productive and worthwhile. You have Mercury, the thinker and deliverer, back on your side in your sign… you have the Sun and Mars there, as well, squaring off with Pluto to dredge up the last emotional blocks keeping you tied to the past… and even Venus wants to help by reflecting great joy through spiritual faith that the unknowable will work in your favor. I'm not going to pretend it's simple as pie, since these ultimate integrative steps possess the scary pressure of 'what happens now?' that accompanies accomplishment of goals. The worst part is the loss of power over your own emotional reactions, since the new unknowns bring equally new feelings. Whenever distress threatens to set in, relabel it 'the thrill of being so alive' and continue running along.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of 'the quiet before the storm'. Well, Libra, you're forging through a similar neighborhood—something like 'the unconscious prelude to momentous excitement'—with a sort of motion that combines skitter, stumble and drudge. At times, it's quick or slow, energized or sluggish, nimble or klutzish… but rarely, at this juncture, does it seem as sure-footed as you'd like. Can you silence the need to understand and connect with the faint perception of some deep indiscernible knowing? Probably not, but you'll take my word for it? How about counteracting the unconsciousness with assistance from the company of your support network, those who comprehend your unique vision of your hopes and dreams and are lovingly desirous to see you meet them? As I advised a few weeks back, stay surrounded by the folks who care and share… don't just seek their company from obligation, but enjoy it… and in the enjoyment you will find the fiery flair to believe in where you're going, some external reinforcement from the outside, and a bit of distraction to hold until the 'prelude' gives way to the 'excitement'.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): No one can tell you what you have but you. No matter what the polls show or how the editorials read, you are the ultimate judge of which department gets the greatest allocations and whether your policies make economic sense. I'm sure you have no disagreement with this assessment. Problem is, all the recent Scorpio advice in this column has directed you toward team-playing, group-think and social-allegiance… and I promise that not everyone involved is going to accept your version of self-evaluation. There's a lot to be gained from the potential conflicts of opinion—which need not devolve into actual troublesome quarrels or explosions of force—in the form of revised views on all sides. In the moment of disagreement, worry less about being right (you'll have time for that later) and insist on your best listening skills… just let their perspective make an impact on your consciousness and agree to consider. There's a pleasant Venus influence in your house of authority figures and professional steps-ahead, and I truly believe your skills in handling the dispute between your own best thinking and your comrades' alternative perspectives will assist you in taking fullest advantage of the influence.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Once again, Sag, activity heats up in your tenth house, where reputations are formed and career-related achievements made and the power-players you meet along the way are encouraged into support or attack. This week's double squares of the Sun and Mars, located in your tenth, to that intensifier Pluto in your sign portends battles of the will… but whether this is for better or for worse is up to you. Will you invite both sides to conduct their combat in a productive internal conflict, pitting your ever-expanding desire to be seen as a impressive force in your own right against the obedient drive to complete your ascension according to the approved guidelines already set forth? Are you patient enough to ward off the temptation to fight for control, knowing it eventually will come, if you play your cards with appropriate discretion? If, however, you cannot own all the conflicting parts of this productive crossroads yourself, you're more than likely to meet an external character—a boss, a paternal figure, an important member of the industry elite—who will play one side. I don't know who will win, but battles are never much fun, even if you're assured victory. So resolve it yourself, and concede the compromise.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Because things are on an upswing for you, the chasms between your lived experience and the conceptual framework by which you believe you should lead life are becoming smaller and less threatening. Perhaps 'should' is even surrendering to 'just the way it is', without pessimistic resignation but rather faith-driven acceptance. Perhaps you're realizing that, for conceptual frameworks to be useful tools for moral guidance, they must be based on lived experience… as opposed to trying to cram lived experience into frameworks developed in vacuum-packed isolation, without events to ground them into possibility. What I've just described contains the vast majority of the work. The last bit, though, could be the most frustrating to the Capricorn mind, driven toward structural idealism. That is this: Life—and the universe far larger and beyond our meager definition of 'life'—is full of deep, dark, powerful, intense and wholly unimaginable mysteries, and there will always be parts that fall outside the bounds of intelligibility, pattern or description. Don't let them nag you to hell. Pray to the death instinct for being bigger than any of us… without depression, but in awe-inspiring reverence and wonder… for we are nothing, and how liberating.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): May I introduce Mr./Ms. Aquarius, who is known around the land as being one of the most non-judgmental and accepting characters, whose web of kooky companions and mismatched mischief-makers joins around him/her in support of every wacky notion and receives the same loving support from him/her in return. Mr./Ms. Aquarius, perhaps you can answer this question for us? Why, when it comes to those very few exceptional relationships in which you allow yourself to become vulnerable and exposed, do you suddenly develop this uncharacteristic, highly rigid set of regulations and routines by which you expect both you and said partner to adhere to in order to avoid criticism (spoken or not)? How can you at once remain non-judgmental and highly critical? Better yet, can you hear this not as a criticism of you, but as a call to action for better integrative balance? Model for us an extension of your discriminating nature to those casual acquaintances and strangers filling the world, and expect more from them… and simultaneously remove some of the categorical behavioral restrictions from your closest intimates' heads and let them be as free as the rest of the birds in the sky.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't become overly focused on the details of interpersonal interactions, so that you forget what it is you ultimately want to achieve with your life. The Piscean tendency, as influenced by the current line-up of 7th-house planets, continues to wrap you up in relationship micromanagement, which can help you work out certain small inconsistencies but also threatens to pull you away from the whole point, if you're not careful. You may need to get out of the bubble where you and the other person dwell, inviting additional folks to join the party and broaden the perspective. Worrying too much about what that one guy or girl thinks about one particular intricacy is likely to drive you mad, and that's where the potential to jump to conclusions, misinterpret, miscommunicate, and (yes, here I go again) fight comes from. How can you become your highest self in the outer world when you stay tied to old reactions in familiar relationship patterns?