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Horoscopes | Week of October 24-30, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Fighting for what feeds our bellies and soothes our security-wanton souls may seem like the most basic instinct in the world. Yet, due to some strange quirk of nature, we are neither hunters nor gatherers… but rather thinking-and-feeling human beings, that modern species which is characterized in part by a peculiar motivation to seek meaning in what we do. Concepts like integrity and belief complicate the most direct path between (1) targeted prey and (2) satiated stomach, mainly because we have to continue living with ourselves (and that funny little thing called our conscience) after every action we take. As long as your ruler Mars remain retrograde in more-sluggish-than-usual Taurus, your ability to act is slowed down… giving you more time to consider whether what you're about to do suits your highest self-image of the person you want to be, not just what your lower self wants right now. Not to mention the extended retroactive lag-time, which offers more post-action contemplation of whether what you did was 'right' or 'wrong'. Admit it or not, such noble ideals—and how well you behave in line with them—matter a lot in determining your relative level of anxiety or calm, chaos or contentment.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With Jupiter's move into Scorpio this week, Taurus, you now have the traditional 'good luck' planet in your 7th house of one-on-one relationships for the next year. Does this mean you'll finally find the man or woman of your dreams? Will you at last transform that existing acquaintanceship into so much more? Or will you drop that one pesky connection (or way of connecting) that keeps you living out an outdated sense of who you are… and raise the whole level of vibration in how you relate to others? These answers are yours for the taking from now until Nov 06, but they won't demand you harvest them or enjoy the fruit. Jupiter merely opens up opportunities, without impelling you to explore. It's up to you to make the good luck happen. This week's conjunction of Venus and Pluto in your 8th is the perfect ambassador to this new way of being with others. How do you court these beneficent relationship gains, you may ask? By embracing the uncomfortable, of course, and wandering off into unsafe territory. For inspiration, consider the psychological links between what shames you and what titillates you (they're closer than you might expect)… and begin the alchemical process of turning your shame into deep satisfaction. We've all got those urges—the bravest among us use them as a basis for truly authentic bonding.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Three planets in your 7th—including your ruler Mercury, as well as a Venus-Pluto conjunction—light up your world of partners, lovers and people you must work well together with… and the sign is your alter-ego opposite, Sagittarius. Mercury in Sag comes right out and says it, no beating around the bush or feeling out the audience to determine whether this version of the story should be tweaked for more favorable response. Direct, uncompromising… and a little sloppy. Venus and Pluto together in Sag find intense pleasure in uncovering the truth, even if its content make us squirm and blush, because life is most worthwhile when we get to the heart of the matter, purge our demons together, and move along with greater personal power. Casual just seems so… pointless. This astro-landscape is likely to play out for you, Gemini, in one of two ways. (1) You're more blunt and less worried about what the other person will think of what you say, and by sharing your real feelings in this forthright fashion (no matter the brutishness of the reality), you clear the air and bring the relationship into a more authentic reflection of its true nature. (2) You're more blunt and less aware of what the other person will feel about what you say, and by trying to hide your real feelings in the midst of this Sagittarian climate (perhaps due to the brutishness of the reality), you inadvertently reveal them anyhow… which clears the air and brings the relationship into a more authentic reflection of its true nature. The results are similar, but the process is what's different. For your own sake, choose disclosure over concealment. This week, it's a better bet.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You know better than anyone how to get the job done, to successfully meet your obligations and to organize your workflow so you're able to stay sane, healthy and energized. Unfortunately, for some reason (better known to you than to me), the role in which you've become comfortably situated doesn't—in its current state, at least—permit you the fullest freedom to tackle the chore list, to plan your breaks and meals, and to decide when enough is enough, as you see fit. When it's your ability to feel successful and your physical well-being that are at stake, I'd recommend you assume whatever authority is necessary to root out the irrelevancies and distractions, to shift the methods and reframe the priorities, so what you do on a daily basis contributes to enhancing your life, rather than hastening your death. As long as you fulfill your responsibilities on time, it should make no difference how you do it. If the same old role cannot contain this sort of upstart self-emancipation, you must allow it to fracture and morph, even if it's the most comfortable adult role you've ever lived out. At the end of the day, your vitality is all you've got.


LEO (July 23-August 22): When I say 'self-expression', which is one of those prototypical Leo keywords, I'm sure we all picture a person (namely you) standing in front of others, on a spotlighted stage or effortlessly emerging from the crowd with a bright shining aura, dramatically declaring in song or dance or recited soliloquy, 'This is who I am, in all my lofty splendor and lowly glory. See me. Hear me. Love me.' Of course, if the preferred form of self-expression is writing or painting or other behind-the-scenes creative work, the audience isn't necessarily watching up close or personal… but they're still there, in the imagination of the creator who produces beauty so that someone else may one day observe it and (hopefully) understand something of him. What I've just described is fundamental to the nature of Leo, the royal light of the zodiac and our closest reflection of the Sun's life-giving rays. Sometimes, though, the self needs expressing for its own edification, not to entertain or seduce or transform others. The quality of what's being expressed changes—neither for the better nor the worse—when the goal is to entertain or seduce or transform yourself, knowing from the get-go that nobody else will ever see or hear or love. This week's astrology leads me to believe, Leo, you're due for one of these self-gratifying expressions, performed with as much aplomb as you would if the stadium were full of screaming fans. Only one opinion matters, and it's the one you can't get away from.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): One of my favorite moments in horoscope-writing is when I receive a cosmic message from the astrological gods that a particular sign 'gets the week off' by mostly dodging the fray that more profoundly frazzles all the other zodiac signs. You almost qualify for the honor this week, Virgo… but if I were to go all the way with it, you're liable to fall victim to the mistaken perception that nothing's going on. And that's just not true. However, because the solar house with all the action is your 4th, what is going on is largely for your eyes only, falling in the realm of most personal and private emotional unwindings and regroundings. It's a great week to reconnect with what roots you to the earth, through the creature-cozies you've created in your sacred home space and the loving sentiments you bear toward the family that nurtured you into this person you are… and to spot any rot that needs to be removed. All of this can happen without anyone being the wiser, for how you treat yourself to emotional intervention and caring comfort is nobody's business but yours. Likewise, very little of what anybody else does need hold much bearing on what your week is like. While I can't conscientiously give you the week off, I can grant you free license to almost exclusively concern yourself with your internal world… so long as you maintain your proper manners when momentarily brought back to this external existence.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't fool yourself into a false assurance that you haven't altered your stance on some consuming passion, intricate emotional investment, or unfathomably complicated personal-power problem. There are practical self-survival reasons driving you to play off that the situation is simpler than it is and/or that you've retained an unchanged belief in that most familiar version of the story. But the underlying reality, which isn't immediately accessible to you yet is nonetheless real, is slowly and subtly metamorphosing into something different… from a latent frustration caused by an inability to deal with what you actually want, and toward the ability to own your desires and actually move toward procuring their satisfaction. Yes, all of this is indeed vague, both in my telling and in your experiencing of it—luckily, there is no rush to figure it out. Watch for clues to what lurks underneath in your most seemingly meaningless social interactions… because, at least once this week (if not repeatedly), you'll either say or hear something that startles you, mainly due to the force it wields to generate a disproportionately intense psychological reaction in you or someone else. In that moment, you'll know for sure there's more going on than is out on the table. Ask yourself what it has to do with the gap between your politely stated desires and what you really friggin' want.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Well, this is it, Scorpio! Jupiter's first visit to your sign since 1994 begins this week, promising innumerable chances to grow beyond your current bounds… should you opt to aim far, aspire higher, explore previously foreign-to-you options and strive to embody the values that really matter. You will hear about Jupiter in Scorpio so many times between now and Nov 06, you may get pretty sick and tired of it. But my job as your loyal astrologer is to keep reminding you that Mr. Good-Luck Guy graces you with his splendiferous presence only one year out of every 12… and he never insists you collect on your fortune. He simply helps support your efforts to expand and enlarge by showering your intentions with cosmic kisses, improving your chances for positive results considerably. Still, you've got to make it happen yourself. Jupiter's highest Scorpio manifestation invites you to willingly enter the eye of the storm, to fight against fear in the war for full control over your passions, so you can lovingly embrace and caress the shit… turning it into gold in the process. Caution, though: Jupiter will make the lower Scorpio urges bigger, too, which means that attempts made to manipulate or obscure your true motivations will lead to magnified consequences. Where you use your intense power for anything less than the greater good, you'd better be careful what you wish for. Even those worst-case consequences, though, have their own lucky implications for your ultimate development.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Planetary activity continues to stimulate your sign, Sagittarius, after last week's Aries eclipse initially instigated your innate freedom instincts into full galloping expression. This week, both a Venus-Pluto conjunction and a warm welcome to Mercury in your sign affirm that you're going to want to say and do whatever the hell you want (more than usual, even!)… and allowing yourself the uncensored directness can lead to helpful (though not always easy) catharses, both for you and for those to whom you 'let it all out'. The Venus-Pluto combination often indicates a powerful (almost spooky) charismatic draw, so you're probably not mistaken if you sense others flocking to your devil-may-care attitude and blunt statements of what no one else seems willing to say. I'll bet they want you to read them… even if they don't consciously know it. (Those who seem just as forcefully repelled by your straightforward manner secretly enjoy the tension or conflict.) The only downer is that, due to how badly you crave adventure and excitement and connection to higher truth, you might not want to do your boring earthly work this week. Too bad, though. You still must find the time to meet your obligations (the bare minimum, at least)… and then get out, go off and make trouble.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With your 12th house lit up like a Christmas tree, Capricorn, I'd be cautious about claiming to know anything with much certainty. On first glance, this warning points back to last week's emergence of pride issues, since the art of not-knowing requires the cultivation of confident humility (as well as a tablespoon or two of 'dumb faith'). There's more to it, however, than just accepting a certain degree of fleeting confusion—you can actually gain knowledge by releasing the insistent need for it and embracing more mystical methods for stumbling upon it through the back door (perhaps, for example, while you're busy doing something else). In order to keep yourself open to such serendipitous hints, the first rule to follow is: Nothing is off-limits. That is, no topics of discussion should be considered too personal, irrelevant, distracting or inappropriate. You never know where you'll find a nugget of gold. Rule number two is: Keep it moving. Whether it's the conversation or your inner thoughts or your physical body, a good trick for gleaning clues from the cosmos is to stay in dynamic motion. Whenever a behavior threatens to devolve into typically Capricornian overanalysis, self-criticality or hypothetical 'if-only'-ism, move on and do something else. And rule number three, which is perhaps the most important (and the most enjoyable): Make it meaningful. Or, phrased differently, accept everything at face value… and as a coded symbol of universal truth. Naturally, it's your responsibility to decode the truth and let it mold your consciousness accordingly. But since you can't know anything with much certainty this week, you'll have to settle for faith-filled educated guesses.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It's that rascally retrograde Mars in your 4th again, tempting you to hide out at home with a pint of ice cream and guilty-pleasure DVDs (is it Vin Diesel? Sandra Bullock? Disney?), waiting out the storm of impatience and aggression and rebellious self-containment until you can reemerge into the world as your witty, warm and well-put-together self. You're right—he won't seem to leave you be, no matter which way you bob or weave or how far you pull the covers over your head. But contrary to what he'd have you believe, there's another side to this story this week… and her name is Venus. She's roped Pluto into her mix through synergistic conjunction, and together they seductively loiter in your 11th house, luring you out to join the others in team play, group effort and social union. What if the only reason you think you're all alone in this miasma of emotion is because you've made sure you're all alone? What if you shut your inner voice up long enough to listen to the muses singing their captivating melody from the party you were invited to but had decided not to attend… and, enchanted, you follow the hypnotizing tune to their door, and they let you in, and you mingle and make merry and temporarily forget what a mangled muddle you've been? What if you stagger into conversation, lose your inhibitions, and blatantly confess how messed up you've felt over these past few weeks… and what if they understand because they've felt their own version of it… and now you don't have to face it alone? What if (gasp!) you have fun?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Grab a machete, Indiana Jones, and start chopping away at the heavy overgrowth of leaves and branches that obstruct your long view of the field. Pisces, you're surrounded by a bunch of piddling nonsense that begs for pruning, and as long as all the meaningless little details weave their curtain around your life, you can't see the dual blessing force of Venus and Pluto in your 10th… which essentially provides you the magical strength to coo and captivate, gently but intensely, through the obstacles that block your most-yearned-for ambitions. It's still a ripe climate to wish on a star and set the intention that you're here on earth to make a purposeful mark, not to while away the time flipping through celebrity pics and wondering whether Target or Wal-Mart will have a better selection of paper towels. As you cut away what doesn't really matter, there's more room to figure out what does… and a clearer path upon which to venture toward it. With that said, I'd do your absolute best to free your week's schedule of stupid annoying errands and trivial interactions and time-wasting tactics—and instead use it to take at least one authentic step toward the big-picture objectives. Let Venus and Pluto help to ensure that it's a step well received by those who matter to what matters most to you.