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Horoscopes | Week of October 17-23, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The old adage dictates that actions speak louder than words, but I'm not necessarily sure that's always true. You'd know better than I, Aries, considering you tend to be one of those folks who puts your money where your mouth is—or perhaps where it should be but isn't. Don't assume they will know what you mean by reading your behaviors as a 'clear statement' of your feelings. The best thing for the sanctity of your personal relationships is to let your words fly, to tell your truth in its fullest and most direct version… rather than skipping ahead to what that truth makes you want to do. And then (here's the hardest part), let them tell you exactly what they think of what you've told them. Stick around for the whole thing, even if impatience has you uncomfortably wiggling or twitching in your chair, until the speaker indicates he/she is completely done. Contrary to some popular beliefs, words are neither cheap nor besides the point. They're often our best means for transforming abstract tensions into something we at least can describe, if not diffuse.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Typically, I'd interpret a Mercury-Mars opposition, such as the one occurring this week, as likely to produce impassioned, angry and/or potentially conflict-laden attempts at communication, where an individual's willful force somehow impedes the free transmission of ideas. With Mars retrograde in your 1st facing off against Mercury in your 7th, Taurus, this aspect is likeliest to play out in direct proportion to how stubborn you want to be. The other point of view—from your lover, your best friend, your worst enemy or your conscience—contains elements of the truth that aren't easy to hear, and you wield the authority to simply refuse to hear them. As a good Taurus, you'll be less prone to bark your refusal or explode in reaction (unless, of course, the other voice has been nagging at you for months), and more liable to just hoist up a brick wall and tune out the noise. But the sentiment squirreling to be spoken still says something worth your consideration. If you're smarter than your stubbornness, you will let the words through… even if you're in no position to respond in easy dialogue. If not, you become one more giant step entrenched, and only earn the chance to gloat you wouldn't budge.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's far better to confess when you're being resistant to a piece of process-related advice, constructive criticism or honest authentic feedback… instead of playing like you're completely open to what's being said, but betraying yourself with a defensive stance or poor listening skills. If you don't understand why a seemingly harmless comment is scraping and poking like burrs in your socks, that's okay. Just don't pretend it soothes or tickles. You're not obligated to have the right answer, or any answer at all, to justify an unexpectedly sensitive reaction. In fact, that's where your unrivalled grasp of words can get you into trouble—when you start spinning some reason or account that sounds good, to provide an 'out' from an otherwise uncomfortable silence, though it may not really address the root of total truth. It's enough to say, 'Listen, I don't know why I can't really hear what you're saying without having a reaction. But that's what's happening. So let me think about what you've said, rather than trying to explain myself right now, and I'll get back to you when I figure it out.'


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your budding differentiation from the group-mind can play out in two different ways, Cancer. Either (1) you develop an increased awareness of how the passionate concerns that best inspire and fulfill you are at cross-purposes with what they want from you, or (2) you less-consciously keep trying to get them to see things from your perspective and/or to transform yourself into someone who'll make a better 'fit'. In either case, though, the chasm between you and them still exists. Personally, I always vote for 'increased awareness' over 'less-consciously' doing anything, so your best choice seems to be admitting to yourself that a fork in the road lies closely ahead. We've been talking about this for the last couple weeks, so none of this should come as too big a surprise. And there's no need to take the decisive action right now. But grant yourself the courtesy of acknowledging that you have needs, some of which are not being met… and that you're not crazy for wanting more inspiration and fulfillment.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's high time, Leo, for you to initiate that serious talking-to… the one you've been putting off for a while now. Just sit the person down, and air those difficult-to-verbalize statements on the emotional realities you've been keeping hidden. You know exactly who I'm talking about here, right? Or maybe you don't. Because the individual who most requires you to deliver the brutally honest news is… you. And you will continue skirting the fullest conscious grip on your true feelings, so long as you externalize the situation and/or imagine the solution will come from endless cycles of interpersonal discussion and negotiations. Before any such backs-and-forths will rear fruitful results, you've got to know the ultimate consequences of your experiences for you… and be able to describe their emotional relevance in clear unambiguous terms. Otherwise you're inadvertently putting on a show, bobbing and dodging until you hit a note that gets a rise from the audience. Get away from all their screaming and cheering and jeering and jabbing, and sit yourself down for 'the big conversation'. It's long overdue, and you deserve to know.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): When you are done reading this horoscope, you need not return diligently back to work. You may print out this paragraph and use it as a coupon entitling you to 'waste' seven extra hours this week, one for every day… if you agree to utilize this time reading or discussing issues you usually dismiss as folly-filled and/or wholly irrelevant to your life. Relevance, after all, is a definition we use to head our exposure to alternate experiences off at the pass. Who are we to be so presumptuous as to decide in advance what articles or conversations will prove interesting? What delightful detours and titillating trivia do we deprive ourselves of by acting too serious to care about delight and titillation? Speaking as an astrologer who is just as likely to find my muse in a metaphysical treatise, a supermarket tabloid or an offhand remark from an adolescent stranger, I wholeheartedly advocate full-body immersion in the alleged crap. One curmudgeon's junk is another artist's treasure.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Enjoy your last full week of happy-go-lucky Jupiter in your sign until 2016, capped off by a conjunction to the Sun right before both move into Scorpio. What have you learned since last September? What has gifted you with more enjoyment, greater awareness, and/or deeper belief during this time? Where have you transgressed the limits you previously placed on yourself, defiantly crying 'fuck you, I'm alive and loving it!' as you leapt over the barbed wire? This is the time to bask in your past thirteen months' glories—even to the point of annoying those around you—as long as you legitimately feel as if you've earned it. Your coming months will hold enough demanding trials, attempts to fit the revitalized you into the most appropriate social milieu and efforts to get your straightened-out self-image to bank you some dough. If ever there was a week to flaunt your goods and remind the world never to underestimate your quiet dignified strength, this is it. With the Aries full moon lunar eclipse riling up everybody's need to be themselves (and to hell with anyone blocking the limelight), rebel against courtesy and bloat your self-importance, if only for a week. (Please, a week only.) If and when they balk, let them know: I earned it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I have history with a Scorpio who tends to turn (according to how he tells it, that is) into an emotionally turbulent, antisocial mess around this time every year. Once 'Scorpio season' returns to the calendar, he has a convenient excuse to explain away his heavier moods and unexpected absences, at least for a month or so. While I don't deny there's really something to his 'astrology-lite' interpretation of the Sun's yearly transit through Scorpio as a 'dark' season, traditionally believed to be when the curtain between the realms of the living and the dead is at its thinnest, I won't let him get away with the excuse this year. Why? Because Jupiter's entry into Scorpio next week bespeaks a fantastic growth-inspiring twelve months ahead—unless, on some off chance, it's used as a crutch for increased indulgence and bigger drama—and this influence softens the Scorpio season. Be forewarned, then… there's no excuse to avoid cashing in on the good luck, not even a mood or two. And for this week, I reiterate last time's horoscopic encouragement to speak it rather than sneak it. With Jupiter's assistance, you won't need the imagined power that comes from withholding.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Monday's full moon lunar eclipse dances a jim-dandy jig with Pluto, long-standing in your sign, and together, they shine a burning-hot spotlight on the dynamic healing and creative self-expression you can enjoy when you just do whatever you want. Perhaps you occasionally forget this, Sagittarius, considering how often I use this space to try convincing you to tone it down or think before you speak, dare you fluster others' feathers or stomp their tender toes. But it's in your boundlessly galloping nature to push against the fence, aim squarely for the red flag at the far end of the course, and storm towards it with your head held high. And it's unavoidable that you'll cross paths and purposes with folks along the way who won't appreciate your zeal, who'll envy your curiosity and courage, and insist the problem is all in your manner and delivery. Admit it, it can be rather entertaining to collide with others, giving you a chance to share tales and lessons from your quest for grails and fleeces… and watch them squirm due to various supposed personal affronts that are more about their insecurities and shortcomings than anything you've said or done. Enjoy those chances this week. No need to be an intentional rabble-rouser. Joyfully being who you are will push enough buttons and envelopes.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Watch for the emergence of pride issues, Cap, when an abrasively naughty opposition between Mars and Mercury across your 5th/11th axis whips up potential hostilities to whatever the official arguments, common wisdoms and/or socially agreed-upon concepts appear to dictate to you. Why the hell should you buy into their crap, you might be asking yourself, when it threatens to intrude upon your preferences and/or desires? The short answer is: You don't have to, if you don't want to. The long answer is one that only you can know, but it begins with asking yourself why the hell you're so quick to call their crap 'crap'… and why it's more important to be right than to form connections based on a willingness to think bigger. Willingness is all that's required to keep the pride in check, not a firm commitment to swallow their line or strip your mind of its renegade individuality. Whenever you resist the open-ended listening, you end up looking more foolishly closed-minded than, say, the stoically firm-footed you might imagine you appear. No one needs a self-contained know-it-all on her team. However, someone with strong opinions, amenable to discussing them without letting too much ego get in the way, is always a welcome addition.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): With Mercury sitting up in your 10th—and Jupiter prepping to join for a year of public-life expansion—you can expect your words to be heard and seen as brightly as the sun's rays at noontime. And you, Aquarius, are fairly well versed at throwing together an authoritative thesis or argument for altruism at a moment's notice, spinning the perfect 'smart-people words' for a given cause or circumstance. But with Mars attempting to hide his face in sluggish retrograde, opposing Mercury from your 4th, don't think for a minute that your unresolved emotional discontent isn't seeping into your carefully-constructed-for-the-public commentary. When you speak or write with too much anger, force or indistinct emotion to be justified by your subject matter, it's because personal issues have flooded into your professional work. (You might not even know it's happened, until someone reacts startled by your over-oomph.) There's nothing wrong with a dubious public/private divide (at times, there's hardly anything you can do about it). Except insisting who you are inside has nothing to do with what you're communicating out there. The split is imperfect, as humans ourselves are. Ultimately, we like it that way.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This is a great week for serious, engaged wishing-on-a-star, Pisces, if you sincerely believe that your highest career or public-life goals are indeed part of your purpose on earth. The intentions you set, and the creative psychic energy you focus on these intentions, will still hold the powerful eclipse charge… making them that much more likely to blossom into genuine successful results, should you remain patient and faithful. Of all the signs, you're the one with the innate sense that a 'larger than we know' perspective exists, somehow and some way (though you may greet this sense with any number of idealistic or cynical reactions). Appeal to the (imagined?) intelligence of that vastness, and invest in believing your professional dreams can come true by using the Venus-Neptune tactics of creative visualization, affection and desire to serve humanity. You must believe in order for belief to work for you. But one caveat to add: If you do believe in something larger, then you must also acknowledge your inability to know everything 'it' knows. Thus, be sure to include in your wish the openness to being shown a different path than your current one. While you may think you know what your purpose is, if the collective consciousness has other plans for you, we'll need you to adapt.