Horoscopes | Week of October 10-16, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Whether anybody else does it better than you is of little concern. That way of thinking just fuels your competitive streak, which alternately stimulates you on to higher greatness and interferes with hopes for a mutually pleasurable meeting-of-the-minds. Sometimes it's just fun to explore the world's variations, opening your floodgates of consciousness so foreign outlooks and theoretically outrageous proposals are free to hit your neural sensors and impact your attitudes… without threatening your feeling of security. To do so, you must let your guard down and refrain from shooting rubber bullets at every intelligent passerby with a funny hat or a different name for God. (And your eyes, your posturing or your tone of voice are often weapon enough.) Take advantage of Venus trining Saturn from your 9th to purposely make the exchange of wild and crazy ideas into an ego-free zone. Otherwise, you lose out on getting smarter, just by trying to prove you're smart.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I encourage you, Taurus, to be a bit intentionally blasé with yourself about whatever's going on inside, in the turbulent precinct of private tumult. That's not to imply what you're feeling is less serious or unimportant, but it's also not anything shockingly new. You've been here before, and felt its multiple dimensions a few dozen times each. The story, as it repeats itself in that best friend/worst enemy of an internal voice, is hypnotic in its familiarity. And Saturn's 2-year long lesson in your 4th house is to honor your emotions respectfully and reasonably… while learning to limit the self-indulgent drama (even if you kind of like it!) in the explanatory versions you provide yourself. This week is a wonderful chance to break your silence—and the holy decorum of what you 'should' say or not say—by disclosing a meaty chunk of what you've been feeling. In the act of telling the story out loud, you'll more distinctly notice the theatricality… and hopefully find the courageous integrity to chuckle at yourself while you vent and lament. Aim for a sort of catharsis, big or small, that only comes from sharing a truth that's so uncomfortable it can't help but also be funny, in a weirdly jarring sort of way.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One big question perpetually hanging on the Gemini line is, 'What do I do with my life?' You're always acutely aware that, for every committed choice to do this or that, there are at least fourteen other implicit decisions not to do all the other stuff. Perhaps the prize-winning answer is less about what you do, and more how you do it. And one thing's for sure, you require a profession or public environment in which you're freely permitted to contribute your thoughts about the best possibilities for logistical flow, or you'll feel stifled… and your behind-their-backs commentary will resultantly flare up in an unhealthily gossipy manner. It's better to be somewhere where you can speak what you see. Otherwise, either your days are numbered, or your personal satisfaction will be indefinitely suspended. This week is perfect for providing forthright suggestions for improvement because you'll have an even keener problem-solving mind than usual. At the same time, when your communications stray from the matter at hand and into tangents that disrupt the work or disrespectfully undermine authority, you'll observe the fine difference between expressing yourself and spurting annoying babble—by the manner of their reactions.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Where social exchanges or collaborative efforts are concerned, keep the focal point squarely centered on how to practically accomplish tasks. The Saturn-in-the-2nd trial to see whether you can tighten up your spending (of money, time and other resources) is given the Venus boost of contentment through efficiency, and there's no better way to bond with other folks this week than through the shared camaraderie of jobs well done. The danger to this mutual pragmatic security, alas, shows up when you extrapolate into regions of self-interest… topics which your comrades might find irrelevant, annoying, or wholly disruptive to the momentum you'd otherwise established, before you steered toward the bigger and bolder. It's a somewhat disappointing state of affairs, as I mentioned last week, when so-called allies are only on your team when certain games are in play—and don't care so much once 'real' issues like meaning and purpose enter the conversation. Still, there's work to be done and bank deposits to be made, so partly withholding what you share with whom and when might be the safest bet.


LEO (July 23-August 22): With so much outside fun to be had by keeping things light, I see no reason to go into all the deep burgeoning realizations with those you're prattling and partying alongside. The short-and-sweet answer to how you're doing, as opposed to a full-detail diagnosis of the rise and fall of your personal empire, is what they want to hear. Too much information, and they'll begin to glaze over. The worst case would be your incapacity for even noticing you've lost them as you testify and confess, and this week going down in history as the one in which you dominated the scene by publicly processing your emotional angst when all anyone wanted to do was dance and drink and giggle. The emotional processing is so important, you should really think twice about what's the best environment for it… and whether it's not work better done on your own, or with a qualified professional. We've all got our own stuff to worry about. When we want to kick up our feet and blow off some steam, play along. You probably need the light fun as much as we do, if not more.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): When I advise you, 'Embrace odd ideas from unusual people and unusual opinions from odd characters,' it's a breezy type of counsel to mold your week's activities around… and yet potentially less casual and more oddly unsettling than an outsider observer might expect. But I'm onto you, Virgo, and I know that situating yourself in supposedly 'light' conversation with opinionated oddballs and strangers with strange outlooks isn't necessarily easy entertainment. Either the tone with which you dismiss their obvious folly is inappropriately though subtly condescending, or the folly isn't so obvious and their words make you feel funny (uncomfortable 'funny', not ha-ha 'funny') in that hard-to-reach place deep inside. You're taking the vast variance between what you know (or assume to be) 'right' and the crap they're spewing way too seriously… and missing an opportunity to listen, to better understand how others think. The emotional response is probably not about the casual chit-chat or their bizarre propositions anyway. Rather than conflate your feelings, differentiate between this and that in a more appropriately private context, so as not to spoil the flow of others' lighthearted blathering.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This week's recommendation to be cautious and careful with your social behaviors is more complicated than it sounds, considering you're usually pretty cautious and careful when it comes to interacting with others. The typical drill, comprised of spinning non-committal small-talk while you feel out the situation and then engaging in more substantive exchange only after you've adequately determined what will least likely upset the other, is like second nature and doesn't require your added concentration. Instead, the caution and care you'll most benefit from taking now is in regards to how candidly and truthfully you represent yourself, not how attractive or likable or well-put-together you can get them to think you are. Consider the Venus-Saturn trine in fire signs as a planetary encouragement to take measured steps toward fuller social self-expression, establishing yourself as an actor rather than reactor, the agenda-setter instead of the congenial lead-follower. As long as you bide your time, waiting to receive verifiable clues that it's 'acceptable' before you say what you're thinking, they'll liable to interpret you as possessing motivations beyond simple sincere conversation. And as long as you worry about losing something (material advantage, ground, their favor…) and insist on molding your speech according to those fears, they're right to be skeptical.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): They only see you as sneaky sometimes because you're so adept at keeping a tight lid on the things you think but choose not to say. For the most part, as long as you opt to plaster a mask across your face—happy smiles, cold-as-ice indifference, serious business, unreadable absence of emotion or whatever—they cannot figure out what's going on behind it. This week, Scorpio, as Mercury in your sign trines Uranus, there's no advantage to holding back on your general observations like you usually do. The psychological truths you spy in the behaviors around you would be interesting for your companions to hear voiced, to teach 'em a thing or two about human nature, if not simply to entertain. What you instinctively understand about what makes people tick is striking and skillful, and we'd love to hear your take on why we do what we do. Ego delicacy or fear of sacrificing power are the main reasons you might still keep your studied scrutinies secret… and oh, what a shame that would be. The only restraint you need to exercise is in not deploying your words toward the particular purpose of trying to convince someone to give you something. Other than that, all expression might as well be free expression.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): As smart as you are, surely you know that ideas have their limits. That is, verbal descriptions and explanations, no matter how cogent or coherently communicated, only go so far to describe or explain before the larger forces of indescribable and unexplainable overtake meaning and collapse language into wordlessness. You've already proven how skilled you are at providing quick, clear answers and opinions to whatever question or topic presents itself, often to the (under- the-surface?) envy of others. Now, with Venus in your sign, you've got a month of basking in good graces without needing to offer any proofs or justifications, as the innate joie de vivre you proudly parade is more than enough to cheer and charm others. Take this opportunity to tinker with your quick reflexes, so their first reaction is immediate appreciation of the moment—without needing to filter it through meaning-making comparison, contemplation or commentary. Just live it. This Venus-in-Sag month is the perfect prep time for an upcoming year in which your best luck will come from mystery and magic, rather than anything you can figure out, outsmart or engineer for surefooted future outcomes.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Don't kid yourself into thinking that your own private psychological landscape is somehow incidental to the 'real-world' matters demanding your analytic awareness. That kind of self-effacing viewpoint is merely an excuse to let the most potentially disturbing truths haunt you in a dull persistent fashion… freeing up your attention, meanwhile, to stress about work or whatever other stuff you're supposedly supposed to be getting done. Notice the truths are only potentially disturbing, the displeasure lurking as a perpetual maybe-menace as long as they're never fully uncovered. And notice how they haunt you like a ghost, which is merely a trace of something from the past that has no actual material existence. The very best (and, in fact, luckiest) fashion in which to spend the Venus-trine-Saturn energy is to ease yourself into the facing of potentially difficult complexes that hold more power over you, the longer you leave them underexplored. Now is a better time than many to do such healing work. And, surprise surprise, what you'll find inside there has everything to do with the stress about work or whatever other stuff you're supposedly supposed to be getting done.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The best short-term plans to heed, Aquarius, are those that progress your professional or public-realm agenda by demonstrating you actually—and authentically—'walk your talk'. No one likes a talking head, no matter how brilliantly hyperactive is the grey matter inside, without a body willing to go along for the ride. Yes, we know you categorize 'success' according to different criteria than the mainstream, and we applaud you for it… without always taking your free- thinking spurtings as seriously as you'd probably want us to. We want you to model this success for us, so we can see how it fits on a real-live person and decide, based on observable evidence, whether it might suit us too. You can help change the world by showing us how you live an 'alternative' lifestyle (define as you will), and still meet your material requirements and emotional needs in the process. Whenever you face challenges in attempting to embody your life's philosophy, due to resistance from particular individuals in key relationships, recharge and reinspire yourself by reconnecting with the broader world of ideological allies who do what you hope to do. Lots of different someones in somewheres around the world are in the same boat as you, and must meet their own similar challenges. How do they handle it?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Last week, I assured you that, by asking—and doing your best to answer—the big questions, the truth will indeed set you free. Of course, I now dare to amend that assurance by reminding you that not all so-called 'truths' are created equal. Some people's versions of 'truth' are intentionally set up to encourage guilt and shame. Some actually include the simplistic idea that certain actions, attitudes and people are 'evil'… though the real truth is always far more complicated and convoluted than that. I state the obvious in this week's horoscope, Pisces, because I neither want you (1) to be fooled into forgetting that there are countless batches of beliefs out there masquerading as 'truth' nor (2) to be so sure that the one you consider to be your 'truth' isn't based on fallacies that leave you feeling guilty, shame-filled or, God forbid, evil. To hit the genuine freedom promised by the genuine truth, you'll have to ask yourself some difficult questions to evaluate where your current answers come from. When you get to that truth, you'll know it by the physical sensation, a hit in the pit of your gut that makes you want to puke up the past. You can speak it aloud, to yourself or someone else, instead of literally vomiting. And what is true will be all there is: Suddenly simplified, peculiarly liberating.