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Horoscopes | Week of October 31-November 6, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): With Tuesday's New Moon in Scorpio setting a tone for discoveries beyond our most obvious observations, a fitting adage to describe this week's developments in your life is: 'It's always more complicated than it seems.' Even if you end up with the same results you'd expected and/or hoped for, you shouldn't assume the cause-and-effect chain that led there followed from a to b in a logical, efficient line. Of course, if you only care about getting what you got this time around, then this information is of little concern. But if you ever plan to replicate said results or if you possess ambitions beyond moment-to-moment 'dumb-luck' success, you'll want to understand how things happened. And your own best ego-delegated efforts are only one among many contributing factors, including (but not limited to) the other players involved, the right timing, seemingly irrelevant 'background' features, and the grace of God (or some semi-sentient universal force). Perhaps you can get away with taking a larger chunk of the credit now, but that's an example of thinking a little too small… if beyond now matters at all.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Venus happily provides you a release from what feels like too much heaviness, as she moves into earth-sign ally Capricorn for a safe and pleasant distancing effect. You're still under the effect of last week's Venus-Pluto conjunction in your 8th, which, along with Jupiter's entry into Scorpio, pushed crummy, crusty, painful old stuff up into your present-day consciousness and left it there, out in the open, for you to deal with. Chances are that other people, those who lurk close or insist on an answer from you or, due to whatever circumstances, will not let you get away from them, are unavoidably involved in reminding you why real resolution is hardly easy. Venus, now in your 9th, assists by leaving openings for philosophical generalizations and chats about all the other times any of you have ever experienced anything similar. This outward shift of focus returns you to the 'whole life' perspective (and pulls you from the 'is this all there is?' myopia), where you relearn how some periods of time are light and sprightly while others are deeper, stickier and, ultimately, much more meaningful and transformational. Frame your now(whatever it is) within this super-broad lens, and you'll make room in the picture for that something else which lies just around the bend… as long as you keep on trekking.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): How often are you aware of yourself changing the subject, leading the interaction down a different road-to-nowhere or off to the side for a kid-friendly detour or picture-perfect picnic spot, instead of going for the quick, clear, unequivocal answer? In an open-ended, socially-stimulating, leisure-purposed exchange, this behavior is not only benign but often rewarding… exposing possible areas for new connection, uncovering trailheads for later intellectual exploration, stirring the healing power of laughter. But when there's work to tackle or allegiances to pin down or practical knowledge to efficiently assimilate, the chattily circuitous route doesn't always benefit all parties involved. Do you notice yourself steering the conversation away from places you don't want to be? Sure, we all do it… but don't be surprised if you get caught in the act this week (whether they spell it out or simply shoot a knowing glance), and made to admit the seemingly superfluous tangent was actually serving your ego instead of the social flow. No matter how good a talker, you can't chat your way out of what must get done, sooner rather than later.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Water, your totem element, bears the uncanny ability to spill from drinking glasses and displace from swimming pools, to spray and splash and drench us without warning or explanation. And often, the only difference between a wet-and-wild adventure and a case of dampened spirits is whether we're dressed for fun or cloaked in seriousness. It's that first reaction to a shot in the face with a garden hose—spontaneous fury or a devilish grin (and a grab for the squirt gun)—that colors everything. Will we let ourselves become playfully rapt in a water fight where everybody wins as they drip on the floor, or is everything ruined by a poor-sport unwillingness to be caught off guard and laugh it off? The unpredictability is familiar, Cancer, thanks to your topsy-turvy sensitivities to people, places and things, which spin your mood on a dime based upon how that particular wave hits the shore. But we often don't see your spinning reactions, diligent as you are in hanging the crab-shell curtain out front to block the inner flickering. This month, beginning with Tuesday's New Moon in your 5th, let the first response be a hearty, rascally guffaw. Expect to get wet, clothe yourself for the occasion, and refuse to fall victim to the uptight whinies. As kids know best, those who refuse to enjoy the jokes become their biggest butts. Whatever 'it' is, laugh it off.


LEO (July 23-August 22): One issue you can expect to arise time and again while Saturn is in your sign (through Sep 07) is how much you should or shouldn't share of yourself in a given situation. I'm not talking about sharing a dollar with the homeless man on the corner, or a couple bites of your dinner with your brother… I mean what parts of your inner journey, your real true feelings or your painfully honest opinions on matters you freely disclose to the world. For optimal bonding with others, you must strive to approximate the equilibrium between 'not enough' and 'too much'—that is, to surpass shallowness for a genuine contribution of meaningful self, but stopping short of so much externalized extrapolation on the finer details of your every moment's experience that we find you cluelessly self-obsessed. Yes, sometimes we might care to hear less about you… and would rather you ask about us, or even dwell comfortably in silence for a few minutes. If you go too far in trying to get us to see you (so, presumably, we will love you), we might pull farther away or stop looking altogether… the exact opposite of what you wanted. This week, with the 4th-house New Moon squaring Saturn in Leo, commit to wiser discretion on what you say out loud and what you keep private. Consider first whether you think we'd want to hear it, rather than speaking simply because it feels good… and leaving us to tune in or tune out accordingly.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Your week, Virgo, is all about appreciating the 'happy medium'… that which dwells beyond your industrious attention to meeting the demands of duty, but isn't so total an escape from those earthly demands that you detach from all connection to us. Virgos are so often 'all in' or 'all out'—either you toil and trouble toward perpetual exactitude of effectiveness and efficiency, or you withdraw completely into your own mind (the only place where such ideals can ever be met). No wonder it can be such a lonely existence, seeing as the rest of us regularly dip one toe into one pool and another into some other ocean. (Anything more, we tell ourselves, is too much of a commitment.) Permit yourself to participate without commitment, mainly because it keeps you here in this world with us, past where your work obligations have ended. Otherwise, your habitual behavior will reinforce the bilateral logic of 'other people = in the world = work; alone = escape from world = pleasure'… and where will the interpersonal, of-this-world joys fit in? The 'happy medium' represents all those conversations and exchanges and articles and programs and stuff that you invite yourself to kinda-sorta-but-not-really care about, not enough to add pressure or responsibility to your life but sufficient for linking you to the systems of swarming, warming trivia we share.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A pause to regroup? A crescendo of activity, followed by recognition that you aren't always mild-mannered head to toe. They all saw it, and there's no going back. Going forward, the what's-next is a couple paces from unmasking its bashful countenance… and unfinished business a couple months away from passing to the other column. The undercurrent pulled you down the shore as you swam, and now, aground, you've strayed several hundred feet from where you left your towel and beach bag. Aren't you going to, at least, retreat to gather your belongings before returning to the further-down picnic ground? Get what's yours. Collect what's coming to. Reconsider how it feels to have them see you differently, now and ongoing into future infinity. Your cover is blown, and gee your hair smells terrific. It's better to be seen than imagined, touched instead of kept behind glass, spotless and cold. Count the raffle tickets sold, and bank the profits. You'll be encouraged to pick the winner, once you don the blindfold and stop unfairly vying for certain numbers to emerge at the top. You can't manipulate the process and expect anyone to stick around for the results show. Finish what's been started, instead of fast-forwarding to the spoiler, which holds the potential to mislead… though you still won't know.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your week—your whole month, really—is colored by Tuesday's New Moon in your sign, which forms a sharp square to Saturn in your 10th and urges you to differentiate between who you are and what you've accomplished out in the big blue world. Sometime during the next four weeks, it's highly likely you'll either (1) achieve hard-earned recognition and reward in your professional or public life or (2) suffer a disappointment in this area, falling short of expectations or revealing additional steps required for victory next time around. In either case, the result is a cumulative one, especially useful in providing feedback on progress made since Jupiter was in your 10th from Aug 02 to Aug 03. And in either case, the result bespeaks only of the sustained earthly efforts you've put forth to climb or claw your way up the ladder of societal success… and not of how loving or kind or generous a person you are. Perhaps your public triumph sends your spirits soaring… or it doesn't feel as splendiferous as you thought it would. Maybe your professional setback leaves you sad or stormy. Maybe it's a sobering motivation to work harder and smarter… or maybe it's a secret relief, since you never wanted to do what you were doing anyway. Whatever happens, separate your perception of what they see and think from what you know to be true. Ambitious achievement isn't everything. Character, however, is.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): (I.) The sweet, pretty and hopelessly dim-witted girl enters the crowded room, and the throngs of other folks part in an aisle for her to parade down. She smiles and coos, exuding the most genuinely friendly and delicious energy from her angelic aura, meeting the grinning greetings in kind. They cannot help but love her, though she herself doesn't understand what it is about her that delights them. It is not what she's telling them, which she thinks is wise and they hear as folly. (If she wasn't who she is, they might be laughing in her face.) It's merely that she's good. (II.) They call him The Fool. He's kept around the royal court to entertain the King and Queen. They find his cryptic quips and quibbles quaint and cute. If only they understood the fiercely biting commentary proffered by this pundit in clown's clothing, he'd probably be put to death. Instead, they laugh. (III.) Your highest expression of self, Sagittarius, is to recognize yourself as a cross between the sweet dimwit and the wise fool. You know not what vibe of yours they love, and they know not what you say. You stay in their good graces by shining pure, despite partial obliviousness, which helps you speak truths that might otherwise threaten your safety. They don't know what you know… and you don't know what you don't know. As such, intention goes far.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): If you're an regular, you've undoubtedly heard me mention the effect of Mars's current retrograde in Taurus (Oct 1-Dec 9), which doesn't let us all the way off the hook until Feb 06… slowing the apparent forward progress of events so we may finish the internal work necessary to stabilize us in advance of the next big leap. But Mars isn't all there is, and the good news, Capricorn, is Venus bopping along into your sign this week, to lighten your load and to invite charm and fortune into your life. In the 'but wait, there's more' department, Venus will be in your sign on and off through Mar 06 (her usual visit is about four weeks!), thanks to her own upcoming turn at retrograde. Combine this with still another retrograde—that of Mercury going bonkers in your 12th (Nov 13-Dec 3)—and you've got a clear message coming down from the planets. Listen, here: Between now and Mar 06, use Venus as inspiration and open up to receive. Efforts made either to force yourself in a particular direction (Mars) or to reason yourself into epiphany (Mercury) will pale in comparison to what you can reap through passively courting goodwill and fortune. You've got to believe in abundance, and your fertile power to draw it from the heavens. You must count your blessings, and visualize them multiplying in acknowledgment of your appreciation. Venus assists you to see the beauty in things… and to be seen as beautiful yourself in its reflection. She is your guiding goddess. Treat her virtues as your map to the buried treasure.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Combat the up-and-down, in-versus-out implications of retrograde Mars pushing on your gut… with conscious deployment of Tuesday's New Moon energy toward public-world projects and processes. If you set the intention to dig through the dense mud to that next-level professional platform during the upcoming month—no matter how unusually emotional you feel on a given day, and regardless of whether certain folks get in your way because they want too much or refuse to support what you want so badly—then you'll definitely plant some sort of seeds, to blossom in public view over the next year. And it'll give you something else to do, something to focus on other than why you want to dull the inner gnawing with another piece of pie or bottle of bourbon or how to beat yourself up for being human without really trying. That internal stuff won't go away, but neither will it stop you from reaching higher and harder for that throne with your name on it. Venus's unprecedented presence in your 12th through Mar 06 (with a delicious little 2-week Christmas present in store for you at year's end) means that magic will be working wonders behind your back and below the surface. Belief is at least as important as sweat over these next few months, Aquarius. Without it, you won't even recognize the sack of gold when you see it. Emotional overload is no excuse for cynicism or release from your higher calling. It just comes with the territory of life.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The mind is an almighty force. It can heal our bodies by emitting the proper positively-charged waves, commanding the cells that comprise us to behave in better alliance with our higher spiritual selves… or we can use it to fool ourselves into overlooking the obvious impact our less-than-supportive physical behaviors have on whether we're sick or well. We might invite it to cling to complicated technicalities and ignore the blatant, leaving us to wonder, for example, how our biochemical makeup has made it so hard for us to lose weight… and to conveniently fail to notice our hand returning to the candy jar thirty times a day. We may ponder why we're so exhausted every morning, and neglect to consider the influence of that fifth of vodka we drink every night. My point here, Pisces, is for you to watch out for how your mischievous mind can play just the right trick to defend your instinctual actions against the legitimate charge of self-sabotage… and to allow your dying-for-a-chance-at-the-microphone body to hijack the thought processes that contribute to its discomfort. If encouraged, your body will tell you things your mind has been trying to conceal. Your body has no ego investment in being right, nor is it interested in convincing anyone else. It merely wants to function at its highest efficacy, so you can keep your mind alive and running. How sweet is that? Doesn't it deserve your full respect?