Horoscopes | Week of November 3-9, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): There's no shame in letting things turn confrontational, Aries. (You, of all signs, should be well aware of that.) But please choose your battles wisely… because, if you're going to get all hot and bothered, to raise your voice or put up your dukes, then you'd better be damn sure you're doing it with a concrete practical goal in mind. That is, before you even make it to that place of expressed conflict, you should get clear about what principle you're fighting for—as opposed to, say, concentrating on which person you're fighting against. For goodness' sake, don't make it personal. That very pointed act of 'going against' immediately puts you in a reactionary position… with the potential to cheapen the value of the reason why you might want to fight in the first place. (And picking a fight just to get the upper hand on someone who bugs you does not count as good enough 'reason'.) You will look brave if you stand up for something. However, you could just look mean if you go for another person's jugular, unfocused and bloodthirsty.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A little fun never hurt anyone, right? Well, Taurus, that depends… on whether you're seeking to use the distraction of 'harmless entertainment' (as one would call it when defending its harmlessness from charges to the contrary) to avoid complicated circumstances you'd evidently hope to ignore. A couple hearty belly laughs and another gin-and-tonic are simply not sufficient for resolving differences, quieting sexual tensions, healing hurts, or otherwise addressing a situation larger than one evening's casual discussion can contain. Nor should you seek to go around the troubling or titillating relationship(s) by surrounding yourself with a completely different set of people, totally unconnected to the circumstances causing the complications, as if everything is 'normal' (and what's on your mind actually isn't actually on your mind). If you've still got some unsettled business, you must not pretend it away. Own the lingering issues, even if you haven't yet figured out how to put 'em to bed. Otherwise, should you try to party away your troubles, you'll end up with more than you bargained for—and things may just become even more complicated as a result.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Whatever 'it' is, you are not in it alone, Gemini. So please rely on the clear heads and kind hearts of those closest to you—your number-one sweetie, your BFF, your right-hand man—to help you process the reality in front you. The Saturn-Uranus opposition, a huge astro-aspect that deeply affects us all for the next couple years and reaches its first exact peak this week, hits your sign especially hard… essentially asking you to readdress the balance between (1) sustaining a stable home-life that fulfills both your material and emotional needs and (2) participating in some career or community role that stimulates your spirit, leaving you with the feeling that your unique contribution as an individual makes a difference. But obviously this isn't an issue to resolve in the course of a week or two, is it? And in the short term, while you can't exactly control the current chaos, you can surely take steps to even out your reactions to it. Let your most trusted pals or confidantes help you straighten out your current priorities. They can see your situation more completely than you. Listen to their advice, and welcome their insights.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Those small friendly touches make all the difference, Cancer. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how crazy the world's been getting lately. This week alone holds much potential to upset plenty of people. Yet, with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, you can rise above others' crummy attitudes. Indeed, I'd even say it would be the greatest gift you can give yourself and everybody else—to actively live out the belief it's our interpersonal encounters, no matter how casual or seemingly minute they may be, that bring us all the joy and meaning. To do so, you'll have to guard against those fleeting moments of logistical stress, when trying to juggle a million things at once so you can get 'em all done quickly and efficiently, that often lead us to disregard or devalue the individuals we come in contact with while doing so. In other words, no snapping at the customer service rep or the telemarketer. No chatting on your cell-phone while conducting a transaction at the register. No rude driving, bitchy under-the-breath remarks, or flipping strangers the bird. Instead, make it your mission to lift people's spirits, focusing on the bright (or at least 'less unpleasant') side of every so-called crisis. You just might save somebody's day.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You only have control over your side of any exchange, Leo, so please quit worrying about what someone else is apt to do (or not do, as the case may be). To be blunt about it, you're presently a bit blind to what's genuinely going on with them… mainly because you've got enough on your plate, not merely to occupy your own ponderings but also to overwhelm your usual interpersonal instincts. And at the same time, the other person may well be undergoing a more-dramatic-than-it-appears transformation—one which has perhaps been in process for a while now—meaning that, at any moment, they could pull a fast one (i.e., something you never could've predicted) that instantly demonstrates they're no longer quite the same person you've come to know. Yet, still, there's nothing you can do about any of that, is there? When it comes to dealing with this redeveloping character, simply plan for their next move to be totally bizarre or confusing. That way, even if the surprise isn't so surprising, you'll be prepared for anything.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): While your horoscopic advice may sound pretty straightforward, Virgo, I promise it's much harder to put into consistent practice. Here it goes: You stick to what you're supposed to be doing, while at the same time granting other people the complete freedom (without judgment on your part) to do as they see fit. Now, let's count all the possible problem areas in trying to follow this approach to the letter. (1) Obviously, 'supposed to be doing' is a loaded phrase. One challenge is to clarify that the healthy supposed-tos are those that accurately represent who you'd like to be, rather than what someone else (real or imagined) thinks you 'should' be. With Saturn transiting your 1st, you're 'supposed to be' strengthening your sense of self, while expunging behaviors that are truly out of sync with your current being. (2) Giving others the freedom to depart wildly from how you'd expect (or prefer) them to act—without judgment—is actually quite tricky. That means no subtle digs, passive-aggressive sabotages or other supposedly 'innocent' (ha!) commentary on their choices. We're all on our own journeys here, and what may be one person's mistake could be another's path to enlightenment. (3) What they choose to do could seem way more exciting than what you're supposed to do. Too bad. (4) They might actively pressure you into betraying your own limits, telling you something like, 'It's for your own good,' in the act of trying to get you to do their thing, too. But don't you know what's good for you better than they do? (5) Hiding away from having to confront these challenges is not a workable strategy. I'm quite sure that avoidance is not what you're supposed to be doing.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You could stick to the surfaces, Libra, and manage to carry out a fairly innocuous and uneventful week for yourself… though the overall vibe in the air is far from either innocuous or uneventful. Folks everywhere around you are facing momentous standoffs, life-altering decisions and terrifyingly ripe opportunities, while might appear as if you'd just as soon spend your efforts trying to decide which bar to meet your friends at or who among the scene was or wasn't included on the invite list. Yet, beneath these apparently trifling concerns (and of course I know you're well aware what's got your immediate superficial attention isn't exactly 'pressing'), you may anxiously sense there's more brewing in you than that. In fact, there is a lot more going on: A certain inner discontentment is starting to speak up more loudly, but hasn't yet materialized to the point where you can identify its root causes or an action plan to address 'em. You're just beginning to realize your day-to-day routine will eventually have to 'give' (that is, allow for some sort of major alteration), in order to make room for more regular activity intended to nourish your quiet non-achiever soul-level self. Give it all plenty of time (months?) to unfold, while keeping a rational grip on any encroaching anxiety, knowing there is a reason for it, which you'll be dealing with slowly, over a period of time. You can handle yourself just fine as this transpires, so block out any paranoid thoughts.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Do not underestimate your present knack for 'pulling one over on 'em'… and please be responsible with this power, Scorpio, if you believe in maintaining that elusive quality known as personal honor. See, this astro-climate is setting you up with an even cleverer awareness than usual of which are just the right buttons to press to turn other folks to putty in your hands. They won't know you're pressin' 'em either, should you opt to secretly engineer the proceedings so they transpire in your favor, without letting them in on your ultimate motives. You will have little problem serving your own interests, while those involved in unconsciously 'helping' you get what you want are occupying themselves with other matters. Perhaps you might even play to their own fears, desires or envies, recruiting them to 'your side' with a sort of emotional sleight-of-hand. Eventually, though, they will awaken from your spell… and likelier than not, they won't take too kindly to discovering they'd been manipulated, rather than been given the full information and permitted to make their own most clear-headed decision. So, are you willing to wager their longer-term loyalty for a quick victory now?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): This is the last full week for a while, Sagittarius, in which you'll confront my seemingly ceaseless encouragements to hold your assertive instincts at bay. By the end of next week, Mars will leave his blindfolded-and-earplugged isolation chamber (your solar 12th)… to spend most of the rest of '08 in your sign, granting you the point(s) of focus required to confidently direct your energy wherever it needs to go. Hurray for that! But before then, you have another week (like the last) where you should avoid any sudden moves, if you want Venus's easy graces to keep you out of the mess. That Venus in Sagittarius is presently being pressed on both ends by dual squares from now-in-opposition Saturn and Uranus (read this for more info), a sign that you should preserve what you've already accomplished, rather than gambling it on some risky chance to gain even more (or lose it all!). Any attempts on your part, meanwhile, to presumptuously take more than is due you in your career zone will be swiftly halted, as if an old-school Catholic nun-educator is whacking your hand away with a ruler. Please, then, leave things be, and don't rock the work boat. If you're feeling stir crazy, find another area of your life to disrupt.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'Right' and 'wrong' aren't as interchangeable as certain of your pals, peers or colleagues might have you believe… and trust me when I tell you, Capricorn, that allowing one of your governing boundaries to become somewhat fudged is to invite yourself to start sliding down a slippery slope of weak-willed permissiveness. No, you don't get a free ride to let certain technicalities be transgressed because, quite honestly, you may have little-to-no desire to deal with the hassles of holding firm. The little crap, if left to ripen, can stink up a whole lot. Please don't hesitate to argue the point (and, as some might characterize it, 'make a mountain out of a molehill'), if that's what it'll take to protect your sense of ethics. Who cares if you're unpopular for a moment (or slightly longer). To do things 'right' is to serve as the voice of reason, though it may rain on others' parades or constrict the too-freely-flowing course of developments that appear to be getting carried away with themselves. You're not just stepping in because you feel like being a pain in the ass. It's on behalf of the integrity of your whole team, whether or not they can currently see it as such.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your road to the most equitable results possible will route you away from head-to-head confrontations with a single individual… and toward a larger round-table discussion that takes everybody's interests into account. Without that broader context, you and a certain someone else could go round and round, banging your heads against each other's walls, making supposedly sound arguments that the other simply cannot (or will not) hear and, if you're not careful, growing increasingly cutthroat and crazy. Even as you go overboard, it'll basically remain a case of each of you frantically repeating yourselves until you get on each other's nerves—and still, little will get accomplished. Whenever such a situation threatens to occur, your smartest move is to literally get other people involved. Indeed, if you have any hope of getting the emotional distance necessary to make smart decisions (rather than those built on who'll triumph over who in some battle-royal of wills), you'll want to let somebody else orchestrate the negotiations. Don't fear the loss of authority, Aquarius. If anything, you'll come off that much stronger by showing you don't need the gavel to feel good about yourself. From your unassuming seat alongside the others at the committee table (as opposed to atop a throne at the front of the room), you'll be making a greater impact than it might initially appear.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): While you may, at any given moment, find several items in your life totally up for grabs and/or in the process of radically changing and/or chaotically unstable, that doesn't mean your closest relationships should suffer from a similar unpredictability. So if you're at least sure of one thing—which is that a certain someone means a great deal to you, and will likely continue to mean a great deal to you for a while to come—then please, Pisces, don't let that someone become hapless victim to the collateral fallout of your personal bumps, twists and curves. In other words: You'll mess with their mind, if you treat 'em so dramatically differently depending on that day's mood. Even if other things are presently turned upside-down and inside-out, do your best to show some consistency in your key relationships—if, that is, you hope to hold onto them. The fairer attitude would be to acknowledge your widely varying behaviors… and then to rely on these tight interpersonal bonds with people who love you, to serve as your touchstone when all else feels turbulent.