Horoscopes | Week of September 12-18, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Mars, who reigns imperial over your sign, is within close range of his biennial retrograde, and, already, his usually swift momentum has begun to slow toward an Oct 1 standstill. Your forward propulsion to solidify the immediate practical concerns into standards met and goals achieved will also appear to slow… or outright drag the whole process out a few months past when you thought it would all be resolved. (I'm telling you this now, and will again, to promote your greater tolerance for this protracted timeline.) And in case you haven't noticed from these last few weeks, the age-old dilemma between doing your own thing and considering others' perspectives in your methods has sprung a recent crop-up of tensions. For this week at least, you can grab a closer-focused, greater-detailed snapshot of what's been going on—and what's likely to come—with less self-involvement wrapping itself up in who's right and who's deferring to whom. To glean logistical knowledge from this window of opportunity, remove the 'I' and ask yourself hardheaded questions about functionality, efficiency and logical ends. Ponder the work and its possibilities, not the characters involved (yourself included) in making it happen.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There's no shame in playing the part of the squeaky wheel, Taurus. After all, with Mars's exorbitantly long residence in your sign (he's still there through February!), you're in the prolonged position of standing up for yourself, standing that ground and not shying away from challenges to your strong assertion of self. But for squeaky-wheel shenanigans to be worthy of bearing your orneriness, they must ultimately bring you closer to people… and not fuel comfortable entrenchment in the hermit lifestyle. That's not to say your squeaks must bring you closer to every specific person—we all have those we click with, and those we clash with. Rather, your purpose in being difficult, when you so choose, should be to prevent others from getting away with false assumptions or misrepresentations about who you are and what you want. You might even piss certain folks off, in the quest to better clarify yourself. But in these defiant acts of self-definition, you also set yourself up to have your needs better met by those who are raring to do so… even if, in the short term, you're also a bit of a pain in the ass.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's a week for trusting yourself to do what will best nurture you, in light of your own high anxieties and hyperfrazzling what-if calculations. No objectively right answers or perfectly wise pieces of outside advice hold the key to alleviating the darker side of your restless intelligence. Your optimal solution to worry, frustration or inner unrest is wholly illogical… at least to our outer-judgment eyes. But I trust you know just what to do—if you're willing to extend this same trusting courtesy to yourself. You owe nobody an explanation of your preferred method for self-care, whether it involves a box of frozen pizza rolls, a late-night screening of When Harry Met Sally, an hour of nonstop screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs or thirteen hours of nonstop sleeping. (I'll also offer the possibility that some finite task of reorganizing or finally-fixing, unrelated to those thousand other things needing to be done, might provide some blessed solace.) You're the best judge of what to do to make yourself feel good. And I say, Do just that this week. You deserve to feel good.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The facts don't add up to adequately account for your feelings on the matter. Okay, Cancer, you can legitimately argue that they never do… that your expansive emotional experience of a given circumstance always outweighs its logic. True as that may be, it's especially so at this week's Piscean Full Moon, which squares off against Pluto and precedes a solar eclipse two weeks from now. In this case, the facts might even be misleading, organizing themselves into a good-enough-sounding reason to let bygones be bygones and/or to accept two or more versions of the story as equally valid. Still, you feel how you feel, and no well-argued case should be permitted to nullify that. Those sensations in your body are their own truth, and may know something your mind (or that of the opposing litigator) is overlooking in its myopic analysis. You may be picking up what isn't being said and/or perceiving glimmers from a near future which hasn't yet developed into observable reality. And if you're willing to believe you know what you know (even if you can't prove it with postulates and theorems), then it's worth contemplating preemptive behavioral adjustments to ease your emotions back to equilibrium… and screw providing explanations to anyone daring to press you on why.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It would be easy enough to let the developments 'out there in the world'—the professional progress (or promise of progress), your strong position (or your straining to be strong), any battles with irksome stakeholders (or the role your own irksomeness takes in exacerbating tensions)—call the shots in where your energies are currently going. But following this wholly externalized narrative is too easy, and gives you an escapist 'out' from remaining too conscious of happenings in your internal landscape. If instead you focus inward, the first thing you'll notice is that there isn't anything for you to do. No actions to take or reactions to fake. No task to complete or competition to defeat. Nothing but you… and a much more psychologically complicated and contradictory take on matters than what you'd assume, if you just kept moving and maneuvering without pause. I'm not going to pretend that what's going on out there isn't important, Leo. But I'm darned sure you'll navigate its twists and turns a lot more smartly if you prioritize a drawn-out contemplation of what's going on inside, as if all that mattered were you and your unresolved feelings.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): For you, Virgo, this Full Moon-filled week is an exercise in being smart without being better than anyone else. Mental master Mercury, your planetary ruler, continues through your sign, matching up with the Sun and Mars to heighten your already-impeccable analytic skills to a particularly lofty stature, especially well-suited for connecting certain dots and dashes into comprehensive overviews. Just watch that your core psychological reactions to the past (parental figures who insisted they were right? a childhood loneliness combated with nonstop information-gathering? being told you were stupid or slow?) don't infect your rational logic with an underlying tone of superiority (stemming from defensiveness?). Figure it out for yourself, and don't worry whether anyone else agrees, believes you, or deigns to care. Maintain inner faith in your intellect. That's all you need. The more desperately you want to appear as the smart one—even if that's exactly who you are—the more stupid you will look.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Even if you think you're making it easier for them by underplaying the potential for complications, you're not helping the situation by pretending it isn't what, in fact, it is. Nobody wants his own coping abilities insulted or her legitimately frayed nerves condescendingly pacified like a hungry whiny baby. You may mean well, but too much Mr. or Ms. Nicey-Nice will likely raise its evil twin in the person you're trying to calm down, unleashing his/her revenge on you by spurting mean truths about 'the way things really are'. And once he/she says what's said, you'll have no grounds on which to disagree because it'll be true… and you could be left looking stupid or cowardly for not having said it yourself first. Luckily, all the worst possibilities I've raised in this horoscope can be conveniently avoided, simply by refusing the instinct to smooth away rough edges. If the challenges are tough, don't act as if they're easy. Don't tell her everything will be okay if it won't. Pleasantries are rather cheap, especially when they come from someone like you who's currently under Jupiter's beneficent blanket, in an attempt to comfort someone who isn't in as fortuitous a place in life. If you can't think of something real to say, don't say something nice at all.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Piggybacking on last week's words, I can't help but encourage you to spend your Venus-bestowed good graces on self-improvement projects, creative expressions of life-affirming benevolence, and any heavier-duty healing ventures that might profit from a helping hand to soften the load. That's not to say there aren't possibilities for interpersonal advantage to come your way… but involving someone else's free will in the magic-making certainly threatens to sully the karmic cleanliness. I already warned you about the dangers of aiming to gain through either stark or subtle manipulation of another person—the psychic strings will keep you tied together past its utility to you, and the only way out will hurt one or both of you. Especially beware of charming the pants off of a person in power. Expect those dynamics to come back and haunt you. If you can't resist the promise of passion or the synergy of mutual participation, at least demand complete upfront disclosure from yourself. Otherwise, stick to wooing interest in yourself. You know you're a sure thing, with no strings attached.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You could be the best advisor your peers and co-workers have this week, if you keep your suggestions short and sweet and on the pragmatic tip. They don't need the theoretical foundations spelled out, nor the implied criticisms of how they're already doing it made explicit… just your eagle-eyed ideas for cutting unnecessary corners and getting the job done more quickly and painlessly. The problem is, you have more to say on the matter than they need to hear… emotionally motivated opinions, stories about what happened long ago, rather irrelevant requests you're almost too embarrassed to make. And, sorry to report, they don't especially care to listen. It's funny, usually you're the one who is happy to dispense with the extraneous crap and get to business, and they're the sensitive flowers who beg to explain and detail and justify and drag on. This week, at least, the roles are reversed, so have compassion for their apparent lack of compassion ('apparent' only, I might add), strip out the 'I feel' statements, and just cut to the chase.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Just go along with the majority, stay middle-of-the-road, and no one will get hurt. Venus in your 11th puts your best bet in sticking together, blending into the group, and supporting others as they step out on their respective ledges… so long as the square to Saturn in your 8th doesn't get overtly activated and spur you to face off one-on-one in power struggles with other group members. Play it off light and cheery, withholding any unconscious drives to insert nasty digs into the common conversation, and let the tides (rather than your own will) carry you through to next week. How they see you is as important as how you see yourself, especially looking ahead to next month's solar eclipse in your 10th house of public reputation and professional success. Think of yourself as a political candidate, even though you may not be sure what you're running for or whether you'll want the job once you get it, and maintain enough polite connections with as many disparate types of folks to increase your chances of emerging on top. For now, at least, you can circumvent the difficult questions and respond with enough generalities to remain both honest and somewhat non-committal. As long as you don't lie or deceive, a bit of opaque chameleon-like behavior won't hurt.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It'll be tricky to determine, beyond all shadow of a doubt, which relationships demand you challenge yourself to uncomfortably closer intimacy and which would do best staying at arm's length. Looking to this week's Venus-Saturn square for clues, I'd recommend maintaining approachable air-sign affability—and its always-appropriate distance—with career-related acquaintances or any other individuals with the potential to effect significant changes in your material bottom-line. Go for getting deeper with those rare few who've already proven they respect and admire you for all your burps and farts, not merely because of the celestial genius that pours freely out your pores. Money and reputation can benefit from a poker-faced cards-close-to-the-chest posture, but your private emotional satisfaction with that intimate someone (or someones) will suffer from that same stance. Aquarians are some of the only folks out there who struggle to understand that, hard as it may be to believe, there are times when fairness mustn't be allowed to win out. In personal relationships for instance, discrimination is everything.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): A Full Moon in your sign, Pisces, makes this one of those more emotional weeks. And while 'emotional' sometimes means 'big ugly mess', it also often means 'keen psychic intuitiveness'. Let's you and I decide that this emotional week will be of the latter variety… and, consequently, will bring with it a treasure chest of symbolic hints about what's coming our way. After all, with an eclipse only two weeks down the road, the pages are already flipping ahead and exciting new developments a mere few breaths away. To best deploy your sharpened sixth-sense, I advise working in conjunction with someone else, letting the other person ask the questions and provide the rational alternatives… leaving you to interpret the visions and voices and sensations, to share the truth that courses through you when your ego steps out of the way. As I always say, intuition works best when there's no personal stake in the outcome, so you might want to begin with reading other people's issues. The less sense your intuitive fragments make, the more likely that they are spot-on. Write down or record what you come up with, and prevent yourself from judging it. This week, you're a channel for higher awareness… but letting it go to your head will spoil everything.