Horoscopes | Week of September 19-25, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Just to complicate matters… remember all those things I told you about the need to try to weigh 'doing your own thing' with consideration for others? Well, just when you thought you'd begun to manage that delicate balancing act (or to exude a reasonable facsimile of 'beginning to manage'), the inner itch to bust out from that drearily hyper-considerate mindset is pleading with you to scratch it. Holding back on self-assertion and making sure to say 'the proper thing' is already getting old… and unconsciously prompting the troublemaker in you to start up something disruptive, if only to add excitement. And now that you're aware of this burgeoning backlash to your recent restraint, you can't play ignorant. If you rouse some uppityness out of this triple-Libra week, do so with full awareness of your need for action. If lacking a reasonable explanation for yourself, fall back on, 'I just couldn't take it anymore.'


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As you soak in the Venus-Neptune climate of appreciating people on their own terms, just be sure not to sign away the farm on a smile and a gentlemen's bargain. If it sounds too perfect to pass up, find a way to delay your final commitment for a least a week, if not longer. You're more likely to overlook warning signs or mistake red herrings for red flags, and end up making an incomplete assessment of what a relationship promises to provide or not provide you. It's a lovely environment for getting to know others' sensitive sides more intimately, and for generally delighting in mutual shows of kindness. However, any presumptions made about what will 'naturally' follow from here could lead you down a path of unrealistic expectations. Enjoy your week, but don't plan the next several on any premises that magically appear out of nowhere—they're probably headed back where they came from.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This week holds lessons in keeping tight reins over your lips and tongue, even when surprising circumstances from outside your control appear to necessitate your off-the-cuff commentary. Like a good publicist, can you stay on previously defined message without veering, no matter the prying questions and awkward confrontations? Can you keep from excessive explanations, desperate backpedalings and outright exposures of supposedly privileged information? Can you, at the height of outward excitability, prove your communications trustworthy? Rather than find yourself in a pickle, unprepared for the high-pressure world of extemporaneous appropriateness, decide in advance how much you're willing to say—and what you won't lapse into—and stick firmly to it. The external influences will try to tempt you with a potential advantage for accepting an intimacy the connection doesn't warrant. Don't bite. Protect the message at all costs, and no one will get the wrong idea.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): There's no real good reason to abandon your immediate concern for issues close to your heart, your home and your pocketbook, Cancer… though it would be just as easy to let others set the agenda, and to follow their lead into debates or affiliations that carry your attention far from these personal matters. But right now, you need less of such worldly abstractions and more of a recommitment to simplicity. You'll feel relieved by grabbing a handle on financial loose-strings, household projects and private emotional unsettledness, while spending too much effort on anything else is likely to exacerbate anxieties. After all, those strings will still be loose and the emotions unsettled… plus, the added pressures to pass the petition, to hit organizational benchmarks and to save the whole friggin' world will bear down with added brunt. Hold the noble goals for another week, and use what you've got now to resolve and simplify on the most personal level.


LEO (July 23-August 22): What starts off casually enough can quickly drift into too much information, too little decorum, and too jarring a finish, and you might not even be able to determine who or what caused this abrupt evolution. One offhand remark to the corner grocer, for instance, may directly result in your never being able to shop there again… or in your taking on half-ownership of the whole damn store. Your innocent-enough neighbor could suddenly become your lover… or a litigious thorn in your side. Obviously, such rapid-fire ramifications could benefit you or blight your good name, dependent on the luck of the draw and/or the wildcard behavior of that certain colleague, acquaintance or stranger. If you're not in the mood for a gamble, Leo, then I'd wager rather conservatively with your words and expect every well-intended nicety to hold its share of potentially inflammatory ambiguity. And you can always find a legitimate excuse to get up from the table and walk away, existing integrity intact.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): At every step, you can expect the other person to behave in attention-deficit, whirling-dervish, Tasmanian-devil, black-is-white-and-up-is-down fashion… and still you must figure out how to stay practical, get done what needs to get done, and not go crazy in the process. It's a true test of your Virgoan wiles to maintain control over your one little corner of the world, while the rest of that dastardly uncontrollable world goes crazy around you—and to do so without anyone else knowing how the stresses of dealing with his or her irrational actions and unruly emotions rattle you to the core. You will not crack, Virgo, because you have checks and balances to check and to balance, and there's enough good honest work to lose yourself in, when exasperating interpersonal dynamics threaten to suck you in. You needn't ignore others or treat them rudely to avoid their psychically disorienting wrath. Simply explain the details of the tasks before you until their eyes glaze over, then politely (and victoriously) return to the business at hand.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Why bother taking things too seriously right now, Libra, when everything is so in flux, and the eclipse in your sign lingering a mere two weeks away, giving you one more big push toward the life you'll lead over these next several years, and with luck levels up, and so much of what's in the midst of developing already set in motion, you're not exactly primed to put a big halt to anything, and your choices are basically either to spread your wings and let the gusts glide you across the horizon to a faraway, far-from-then, far-from-now landing strip where you finally work and love in reciprocally appreciative circumstances, or to defiantly hold your arms tight to your sides and refuse to move, only to have the harsh gales of wind knock you off balance and into the air, and it turns out you're flying anyways? The flight has already been booked and paid for, and all you've got to do is show up with ticket in hand.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Venus in your sign squares off against Neptune this week, a 'soft' challenge to uphold a stance that welcomes others' goodwill unto you in the midst of heightened emotional sensitivities. It's uncomfortable when other people can peek inside your interior landscape, spy the cycling moods that incite anger and sadness and wholesale illogic, and you can't do anything about it. But that's the circumstance you find yourself in, Scorpio, with scant little self-protective gear to don and shield their x-ray eyes from prying into your temperamental soul. Will you be able to stand it if they still show you favor, if they bestow compassion and loving attention upon you doubly because they feel for you? Are you embarrassed to be glimpsed like this, with neither shield nor sword? Will you give in to this naked truth, or will you grab for your weapon? The hardest thing this week is for you to accept kindness from this vulnerable position, like a dog lays on her back, legs up in the air, and trusts her keeper to pet her belly.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Towing the party line doesn't have to mean agreeing with what everybody else says. But it does require you to respect their parliamentarian order, to deploy their language when contributing to the debate, and to take added efforts to demonstrate your participation on their terms. Needless to say, all this attention to the most agreeable protocol per Robert's Rules of Order or similar such nonsense is plenty to get a Sagittarian kicking against the fences, hankering for freedom from the mad civility. In light of this, you could just start kicking… and hope your wild hoofs don't land in the face of some vice-chairman, leaving you to confront widespread alienation and a possible assault charge. Or, perhaps more wisely, you could adhere to your cleverest courteousness as far as it will take you, then relieve yourself of the group's company and freak the hell out on your own time. The restlessness is coming from inside you, anyway—their institutional orthodoxy is only a symbol, against which you naturally resist. Don't take it out on these unsuspecting individuals, when you're the one who insists on doing it way way big.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I stick with last week's advice to maintain an inconspicuous, unassuming, altogether unmemorable graciousness in all your 'official' minglings, especially when your professional status is even slightly involved. But with rebellious rapscallion Uranus intertwining himself with Mercury and Saturn, your careful management of these communications is in danger of bowing to the urge for mischief. The temptation to spontaneously erupt into uncensored verbal diarrhea, inappropriate laughter or the undue usage of exclamatory speech patterns looms large, whether or not its actualization is what's best for you. To best channel this temptation into less menacing encounters, I recommend a couple rowdy side-trips to bars, AA meetings, improv workshops, open-mike nights, play groups, cafeteria-style eating establishments, or political action rallies… any sort of environment where you are encouraged to speak your mind however you'd like ('way far out there' if you're so inclined), without much potential for disruptive ramifications. Trust me, you'd be better off spouting your latest eccentric theory to the stranger sitting next to you at the café than to that important client or the chairman of the board.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): When I start out your horoscope with phrases like, 'It doesn't matter so much how you see yourself…' then you know I'm talking about Neptune in your 1st house again. Its fog-bank presence obstructs the view in your mirror, leaving the faintest outline of your silhouette as your only guide to self-reflection. This week, as Venus in your 10th squares Neptune, how those stake-holding power-players see you actually trumps your own self-perception in importance. Their view may be more accurate than your own, or equally as illusory. In any case, go along with what they think they see for the time being, considering you lack any more reliable information to go on. You needn't agree nor disagree. Just don't go out of your way to mark territory or establish your radical independence by disrespecting others' natural tendencies to generalize, simplify, reduce or assume. In the end, you'll make your true self known. In the meantime, let them think they recognize that certain something (whatever the heck it is!) in you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The friction builds up, between doing what you're supposed to and doing whatever the hell you want, and between gently speaking your intentions and stomping through the room with actions that are louder than words. The only dictate to guide this otherwise chaotic outpouring of insolent self-assertion on your part is a careful watch on how you treat other individuals… because, ultimately, you care deeply about not hurting them, though simultaneously you yearn so powerfully for complete freedom, no exceptions. Because a Venus-Neptune square this week dares you to forget everything you define as 'meaningful' for a moment's feelgood fancy (or fantasy), you need this hyper-vigilant compassion for the effects of your actions on others, or else you'll crash into everything you come near to. You can still run wild and free when the urge motivates you, but do so with a clear conscience that no one will be harmed in the process. Reckless abandon, but not quite reckless, nor fully abandoned.