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Horoscopes | Week of November 28-December 4, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This week, Aries, the road less traveled plays host to the most opportune roadside treasures and treats you could never imagine. And for you, that amounts to heading down the more heavily populated road, with other potentially irritating and inconvenient fellow travelers… rather than bounding off alone down some uncharted course of your own making. Sure, you might get along more efficiently, without the seemingly endless small talk or the bathroom stops every half-hour, if you stick to your lonesome. But I'm quite sure you won't know if you're there yet, since you aren't likely to recognize the destination without others' feedback, whether from those who've been here before or who are holding secret scraps of map in their pockets until just the right time to unveil the 'X' that marks the special spot. Keeping to what you already know, have and think you want will leave you just where you've always been. (How predictable and boring.) Going along their route, adhering to their plans, and, yes, accompanying them on their incessant detours, too, is where all the worthwhile, spirited adventure will be found… if you're willing to give up some control.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your bullish tenacity could go either way, Taurus, with that retrograde 1st-house Mars opposing bountiful Jupiter in your 7th… but that depends on how wisely you can weigh (1) holding tight to your truth with (2) genuinely giving in as a token of good-will compromise. The Jupiter effect tends to exaggerate even the smallest movements, so it's possible you could come off too tyrannical, if you reiterate your stance over and over and over again because you mistake his/her disagreement with 'just not getting it'… or too over-the-top nicey-nice, incompatible enough with your usual opinionated behavior to turn him/her a bit suspicious about your motivations. But I'm just outlining the two most extreme possibilities for you, so you can skillfully shimmy between them and avoid the worst from either. Assuming the best, however, you may finally put that most feared interpersonal disconnect to rest by saying just enough of the right things—a concise summary of where you're coming from, an equally concise summary of how you understand his/her perspective (complete with any necessary questions for clarification), and a heartfelt statement of what you're willing to do to bridge the gap. A little of each combine to go a whole long way.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Everything we see isn't all there is. Believe me or not, it doesn't matter. It's still true. How else, then, would you explain that certain nagging tasks among your day-to-day duties always seem to hassle you, no matter how hard you work to grab a handle on 'em… while others virtually complete themselves, so smoothly and effortlessly you get them done? While you try to come up with logical reasons why, let me get a little esoteric on your ass. Those 'problem areas' hold some excess residual energy attached to them for you, Gemini… some underexplored belief you hold (perhaps unconsciously) that subtly sabotages your ability to be as confidently efficient at them as you'd like. Maybe it was something you parents said, or didn't say. Maybe they had similar difficulties. Maybe there's familial, ancestral or ethnic karma preventing you from separating as an individual, and it weighs you down with messages that don't belong to you. Look, I know I'm going way out there on this one. But working harder and harder in this what-you-see-is-what-you-get mundane realm isn't fully doing the trick. If you want a breakthrough, I suggest spending an hour or two connecting with your wacky woo-woo mojo and clearing the energy related to whatever earthly hassles need an extra boost. You know, some of that crystal-holding, candle-lighting, ghosts-be-gone business. Even if you don't completely believe it will save the day, it certainly won't hurt.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Thursday's New Moon in your 6th trines Saturn in your 2nd, Cancer, which makes this week a great time to pledge serious attention to your pocketbook… or else, quicker than you might expect, the funds will starting running dry. After all, it's holiday gift-giving (and gift-buying) season, with celebratory meals eaten out and merry-making cocktails consumed, and before you know it, you've spent more than you've brought in. The good news is, with only a small amount of foresight and a commitment to match the anticipated expenditures with a corresponding work-life effort, you can tackle the 2nd-house Saturn financial concerns before they become problems… and actually impress yourself with the diligent accounting and tight-fisted prioritizing. You won't necessarily even have to limit yourself with those indulgences you enjoy most, by simply staying conscious that they're approaching and planning accordingly. And with the Mars-Jupiter opposition falling over your 5th/11th axis, I'd recommend saving the spending power for the joyous social celebrations… and cut the fat on the material crap that'll just clog your closet space. (Let others buy that stuff for you!)


LEO (July 23-August 22): They might be surprised to hear you can have a difficult time standing up for yourself. But I know it's true, Leo, despite your mismatched reputation to the contrary. As I've said ad nauseum, Saturn's 2-year transit through your sign is intended, in part, to train you to become better at standing up for your true self… especially when your ego (not, incidentally, the 'true' self) faces peer pressure to behave in a certain manner, in order to gain loving favor. (You're well aware of the retroactive pitfalls of acting to please others, and then later having to squirm your way out of an ill-fitting role.) While the grand cross of Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter and Mars continues to squeeze you from all sides, you basically have no choice but to learn this lesson… or else find yourself at the perpetual low point that comes from refusing to tune out others' opinions. In particular, the vast emotional growth promised by Jupiter's year in your 4th comes with a caveat from Mars in your 10th. To become increasingly happier, you must take a stand on what you will and won't do in your professional life and public settings—and the only legitimate explanation to provide is whether it 'feels right' to you. And yes, you risk losing some of the admiration and affection as a result of choosing yourself. But need I tell you that such admiration and affection, if it's conditional and based on what you do instead of who you are, is worth very little?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The bravest among you will be eager to take me up on this challenge, a follow-up to my continuing comments on your need to color outside the lines. 'Everything in its rightful place' is a motto that many a Virgo aims to live by—though, in order to do so, a lot of effort is spent to tuck in loose corners and snip stray strings… for the appearance of seamless perfection. But I'm sure those who know you best would go on record (if reassured that no retribution will swoop down on their heads!) to report that inconsistencies and incompletes skulk under every rug you own, behind every potted plant and immaculate sculpture… implying, of course, that you're as inherently contradictory as every other living human being. I'm speaking principally about certain universalizing beliefs you claim (haughtily, perhaps) to hold—and how you slyly disavow those actions you take that go directly against said beliefs. (You probably even have pat answers you give, should attention be drawn to your internal contradictions. Do you notice?) Well, I say, Embrace your irreconcilable variations by inviting your loved ones to point them out. And allow the whole thing to be rather good-natured, instead of taking it too seriously. After all, it's to learn about yourself, not to be proven right or wrong. Admit, 'Yes, I proclaim one thing and do another. How very interesting. Thanks for the insight.' No need to tuck, snip, dodge or cover.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Sometimes, the most burdensome realization to admit to yourself is that the situation is far simpler than you've been making it out to be. We often want to assume the maximum complexity, for then it justifies the sheer magnitude of drawn-out effort we've put in before we've yielded even the smallest bit of fruit. That's called 'saving face'… and, at this point, it's not a good enough reason to keep things convoluted and complicated, just to explain why it's taken you so long to get where you are now. Step One, Libra: Forgive yourself, if you hold any traces of shame for perceived lapses of judgment, for you must let the past rest and move on. If you know better now, then more power to you. Step Two: Accept the current state of affairs, with neither self-effacing denial of the successes you've achieved nor whitewashed accounts of what you still need to work on. You're exactly where you should be. And Step Three (here's where we return to the fact that the current situation is simpler than you once thought): Kindly leave your drama for your mama, and step away from the strings and conditions that tie you in knots. Reduce the terms to (1) what you want and (2) how to get it. Everything else is excessive, unnecessary and inapplicable psychological waste, which needs to be put to the curb with the turkey carcass from last week's Thanksgiving dinner… since it's now over.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Now is the time to channel the royal authority invested in you toward generously and magnanimously offering the olive branch to anyone with whom you've clashed over these recent weeks. Mars has been wedged hard and tight in your 7th, and my tireless advisories against interpersonal warfare may not have been enough to ward off conflict. I hereby cut you some slack, Scorpio, if the pressure from the four-planets-squaring-each-other grand cross was too much… causing you to lash out, mouth off or claw at those in your path. With Jupiter's blessings, you can now take the higher road out of whatever messes were created on the way by lovingly initiating the peace talks. You have so much going for you right now, there's no reason to cling to the petty causes and perceived slights. Mercury goes direct in your sign this week, giving you the chance to re-say what's already been said—better than you did before, with less cloying detail and a purer intention to clear the air. Consider it another piece of adjusting to a more prosperous and abundant consciousness. Those who have more are expected to give more.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This Thursday brings the annual Sagittarius New Moon, the birthday-time opportunity to cut a deal with the universe for what you want the upcoming year to bring… and what you're willing to do to get it. This time around, the Moon's in applying trine to Saturn in your 9th, proposing that this be the year in which you assume a more dignified authority in how you go about sharing what you know. The ball-busting take-it-or-leave-it approach is sure a lot of fun, but it doesn't always help others understand the finer points of where you're coming from. No, it's not your obligation to school the world. Yet it is a great honor, to serve as a scholar, teacher and village elder to those who seek guidance. And you certainly possess the breadth of vision and spirit of inquiry to play this honorable position. It's that impetuous fervor for purposely seeking to push others' buttons that keeps you from garnering the full respect you deserve. (Frankly, some would say it weakens your influence and actually brings into question how confident you are in what you know.) True teachers—and, as a Sag, you can't help but hold real potential in this area—don't jam knowledge down their students' throats, don't beg for their attention nor dismiss them when they fail to understand on the first go-around. Over the coming year, I encourage you to foster such faith in your journeys through the land of higher understanding that you can afford to wait for the universe's mysterious tides to carry seekers and mentors alike to you… and to share with them from a humbly noble, enthusiastically calm stance. You're too full of valuable wisdom to bother alienating those sensitive types who have much to gain from you.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): It's a great week to take advantage of Venus's exalted occupation of your 1st house and expend your bountiful favor on those around you. The mark of a more self-serving Capricorn—as opposed to one who's actively invested in bettering the lives of others—is that she/he can't keep from imaginatively extending every undertaken action several steps into the future, to determine how she/he will personally benefit when all is said and done. The intentions may be good (or 'good enough') on the surface, but they always eventually lead back to the self-serving agenda. The bigger-hearted Capricorn also has her/his future in mind, yet is neither quite so pointed in presumed returns nor so overconfident in her/his own abilities to control the outcomes of situations. These altruistic Capricorn souls know as well as their less-benevolent contemporaries that each next step builds upon the last… and they apply this knowledge to simply do good for others, with faith that this best-intentioned foundation will support their own well-being, in a fashion beyond their immediate comprehension. Be inspired by Venus's good graces and strive for the higher-minded manifestation of your sign's qualities. Be ambitious when thinking about how profoundly the kind things you say and the generous gestures you make will impact the lives of those around you. You can't even imagine what heights these small steps will add up to.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Remember when I told you about so much Venus-associated good stuff happening behind the scenes for you right now, Aquarius? Well, as this week moves into next, it's time for you to do your part in molding the goodness to your desired ends. Retrograde Mercury is slowing down, to station direct by week's end, and all of this is happening in your 10th house (the place where professional dreams and public ambitions are realized!)… in a supportive sextile to Venus. This week, begin to verbalize exactly what you hope to gain careerwise and/or on the public stage over these next several months. (Don't forget—generous Jupiter is also in your 10th through late '06!) Put them into words. Speak them to yourself aloud. Write them and tape them to the bathroom mirror. Make them real. (Believe me, all of this is a far better way to conduct your energies than by staying obsessed with the ongoing emotional difficulties spawned by the current grand cross—you needn't dwell on them in order to experience them.) Then, next week, you're going to actually put them out there… to real-life other people, those executives and editors and business owners and philanthropists and agents and venture capitalists who hold the power to help make your dreams come true. Scary, eh? Well, it's all part of the gradual emergence of the good stuff from behind the curtain and into the open. You've got to start somewhere.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Why do you need to understand the overarching themes and emotions that characterize your recent experiences? Because, believe it or not, you're something of a role model and an official ambassador for the break-free-and-be-crazy Jupiter-Uranus trine of the next several months… and you've gotta know what you're breaking free from and being crazy for. That's right, Pisces, it's not just for your own friggin' edification that I'm pounding on you to get a broad-minded insight into the underlying motivations behind your elation, anxiety, depression and/or anger. It's because I expect you, once you've gathered some kind of sturdy grip on it, to actually do something wild to change any dissatisfactory circumstances. Yes, it's another mention of Uranus in Pisces and how this long-range transit through your sign is intended to thrust you out of conventionality and into whatever wacky scenarios will connect you with the excitement of being alive. Life is too short. If it doesn't exhilarate you, you're wasting precious time. Now I'm laying additional responsibility on you—and I know you can shoulder it—to crush the excuses and jump the fence and leave the crap behind… so we can take your example to heart and do the same thing ourselves. Perhaps if I rephrase Uranus's expectations of you in this more other-centered, self-sacrificing framework, you'll be more likely to dash in headfirst and never look back? Or perhaps you prefer the numb zombie-like existence of 'doing what you're told' until you implode?