Horoscopes | Week of October 26-November 1, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Mercury-Mars squares, such as the one we're building to throughout this week, are never a sign of relational equanimity. A tense aspect between the planets of mind (Mercury) and might (Mars) often brings sharp words, short tempers, and/or a seriously irritating split between what we're driven to do and how we might it explain it to others (or ourselves). In your case, Aries, the greatest frustrations are likeliest to arise from neglecting to respect the interpersonal check-ins necessary when sharing responsibility with somebody else… probably due to the fact that you're generally accustomed to just jumping into whatever activity or expression momentarily moves you, independent individual that you are. But your collaborative relationships are where a lot of the astrological focus seems to be—and with Saturn's move into your solar 7th for the next three-or-so years, are clearly where both your biggest struggles and best chances to reap a deeper maturity lie. Remember that, should you find yourself startled by cross remarks made by someone who merely wanted to be considered in your process, rather than informed about what you just finished doing after the fact. Don't fight back against such a legitimate claim. Instead, explain that it wasn't a personal slight… and that you're up for the challenge of getting better at working together.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Where interpersonal relationships and the home-front meet, expect tensions to abound… and don't kid yourself, Taurus, into believing you've snagged a monopoly on 'reasonable' in any standoff. You may well come off fairly feisty, fierce even, but since mastery of your own safety-chamber is what's at stake, I imagine it's probably worth the fight. With both the Sun and Mercury squaring Mars in your 4th (a placement I described a couple weeks back), little mental easing-up is presently available. It's particularly treacherous to tread the explicitly 'ethical' path, since your personal brand of ethics is so deeply in transition that you may get yourself caught in straw-man arguments which pit your 'old self' against a 'new self' still too tentative to successfully defend. If you find yourself about ready to wax philosophic about 'right and wrong', take the timbre down a notch—and keep the quarrels about more bounded issues, like messes or volume levels. In a continuation of last week, however, more favorable opportunities are ripe for the plucking in your work life. And really, what more productive place is there for finding solace from the less-productive domestic strife than in getting 'real-world' shit done?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This week could well present one of those attention-deficit experiences, Gemini, as the pressing need to wrap your head around certain important work- or duty-related details clashes with equally-compelling impromptu urges to gab, visit, meander, dawdle, dilly-dally, and/or pad your social encounters with an extra cushion of time-frittering. But while that Mars-in-your-3rd temptation to fritter, frolic and fraternize isn't going anywhere for the next several months, this window of keen pragmatic thinking—during which you'll have the penetrating mental power to cut through the superficial garbage and get to the root of whatever endeavors have recently been stuck, disorganized or not otherwise not properly attended to—will be open for a limited time only (say, about two-to-three weeks). While it may not feel incredibly thrilling or socially interactive to roll up your cerebral sleeves and tackle such a deep pile of what's easy to label as 'doo-doo' (though it ain't goin' anywhere until you deal with it), this is the right moment to do so. Let's be fair, though: Give yourself a significant assignment to complete every day, and once it's done, give yourself full freedom to wriggle your way into tons o' fun… until the next workday begins.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Catering to your truest domestic self, which often offers you Cancerians a multitude of simple pleasures, is not nearly as easy as just staying home and caring for whoever ends up at home with you that day in whatever myriad manners they desire. While a part of you may be rather indiscriminant about how your loving support and generosity ends up coming out ('as long as I'm making somebody happy, I'm happy'), another part—and one which will have an increasingly louder voice in your internal dialogue over the coming months and years—wants to be sure that what you're providing is both (1) appreciated for the specific flavor of care you as a unique individual offer and (2) creatively fulfilling for you. Yes, Cancer, for your ilk, the particular manner of your emotional contributions—what you cook or make for your loved ones, the mood you foster and the timing with which it unfolds, the physical setting where it takes place—ought to be a creative sticking-point for you. Work with the week's tensions between practical necessity and personal fulfillment to begin to address which areas of the domestic agreement require attention, so you not only feel like you're successfully fulfilling the role but that you also reap direct enjoyment from certain flourishing touches.


LEO (July 23-August 22): 'What exactly are you doing?' could be the type of question your inner intention-analyst or motivation-manager finds him-/herself posing to your more spontaneous, impulse-driven side. But if such ponderings about purpose, practice and/or potential consequences immediately sound too heavy or buzzkill-like, I imagine you'd keep on pushing past the pesky petitioner, answering on your way out, 'No time to talk, but don't worry—I know what I'm doing!' And off you'd be, instincts leading… and troubleshooting self-talk temporarily ignored. Far be it for me to attempt to squelch the Mars-triggered initiative worming itself through your body, Leo, so I'm not going to. Instead, I'd merely like to mention that it's not necessarily a party foul to temper that surge with some simple internal debate… to honor the possibly legitimate fears and concerns that, unaddressed, are likely to cause some anxiety to lurk on the sidelines. Playing devil's-advocate this early in the Mars-in-Leo game could actually serve your longer-ranging endurance, heading off potential fix-its before they occur, thanks to a bit of sensible caution. What you're blitzing into now, might I remind you, may hit some snags along the way (say, in early '10) before finally hitting a satisfying progress marker (not likely before April/May-ish).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I advise putting yourself in a position in which you're accountable for explaining your actions to somebody else… even if that person isn't directly involved with whatever actions you intend to explain to them. You are less likely to do something underhanded, secretive or unconsciously self-sabotaging, if you know you're going to have to have a conversation about it. And with Mars rubbing against Mercury from your 12th house, Virgo, you'll be contending with an internal devil who'd like nothing more than to privately 'act out' (however that might apply to your individual circumstances) in reaction to having been 'a good little boy/girl' for what seems like forever. So, make fixed dates and social commitments for yourself, orchestrating a flow to your days that require you to stay interpersonally connected—if for no other reason than to limit your ability to overindulge in alone time (and, more specifically, the sorts of alone-time activities you wouldn't want others to know you're overindulging in). I'd even go so far as to designate one of your friends (not necessarily your 'best friend' but the one who listens with the least judgment and keeps his/her mouth shut with the greatest predictable consistency) as an externalized version of your conscience… and plan on bouncing your inner devilishness off that person. When you share those thoughts aloud, you're less likely to let 'em overpower your rational scruples.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It's another Venus-kissed week for you lovely Librans… and one more horoscope written with the first-priority purpose of encouraging you to enjoy yourself, despite any perfectly understandable mental tensions about how to snag what you need (more money perhaps?) without ruffling too many feathers. Acknowledge the thought processes, but please don't let 'em rain on your parade. You are not likely to fix any noteworthy problems, financial or otherwise, this week… at least not by racking your brain for those ideal solutions that balance others' agendas and your own, all while trying to front as if nothing much is on your mind. If you do make progress, it'll be because you quieted down your overactive head and opened yourself up to receiving assistance, support or a literal boon from someone else's helping hands. And what a great context for greeting the big astrological news of the week—Saturn entering your sign (on Thu Oct 29), to stay through Oct 2012 (with a brief return to Virgo from Apr to Jul '10). Saturn's transit through Libra, after all, is about challenging you to be the best Libran you can be, which means limiting how much weighing and weaving takes place internally and letting the balance between others' gives-and-takes and yours be a more explicit, interactive negotiation.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): In my mind's eye, you're on a barstool in a darkened room, single spare spotlight aimed at your head, illuminating parts of your face while casting shadows on others, making it difficult to discern whether you're addressing a packed house or mere cavernous empty, but knowing it doesn't much matter. You gaze dreamily at a fixed spot of vague nothingness in the invisible back-of-the-room, part your lips, and begin to deliver the most honest, heartfelt, at times cryptic or illogical, disjointed in its poeticness, and utterly pure monologue about exactly what you're feeling in this moment… divorced totally from any expectations of how others will react, or what you might gain or lose as a result of such unmitigated disclosure, and oddly calm. In this vision, you are so unabashedly you, Scorpio, that you must be willing to believe that nobody's actually watching you, to permit yourself such an unguarded expose—at the same time wishing that everybody who'd ever known and loved you was there to see you in these rare glimpses. The beauty in oft-unvoiced fullness of truth making it to the light is exquisite, whether for others to share or simply for you to privately enjoy. Recognize it by the glaring absence of you trying to get anything from it… other than, I suppose, transcendental expression.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you've got the fight in you this week, Sagittarius, please fight on behalf of a pal, colleague or ally—and not on some 'lone ranger' crusade that, truth be told, only seems to warrant such a dramatic reaction. Where your rallying strength has the capacity to add a much-needed spark to someone else's far-too-dispassionate-and-heady project, it holds a similar power to ignite a shitstorm of crazy in you without the structure of outside logic provided by a collaborative team participation. It's not that you're totally out your mind… more like what's going on inside you, which is undeniably very real to you, bears a deeper imprint of subjective relativity than usual. (In other words, you're seeing things from a very particular angle rather than from the more typically-Sagittarian panorama you're used to.) That's not to say what you're coming to on your own isn't beautiful, meaningful or personally poignant. It just won't presently do you or anybody else any favors to put it out there. Yet, if you would like to do somebody a favor, consider grabbing pompoms and a megaphone and hopping on a friend's or teammate's bandwagon for a few good rounds of supportive cheerleading. Let them give you the purpose behind getting all fiery, thus freeing you up to focus on simply fanning the flames. They'll really benefit from having you actively participating on their side.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Now that your ruling planet Saturn is moving into the high-noon position in your solar chart—that is, the 10th house—you'll repeatedly hear me goad you on, over these next few years, toward increasingly responsible public behavior, under the rubric of reminding you: 'Everybody's watching.' Yet, Capricorn, that reminder is not intended to make you that much more nervous, insecure or self-critical to the point where you become increasingly hesitant to make any move whatsoever, fearing that 'you'll do it wrong'. When I tell you 'everybody's watching', I mean to say: They're waiting to see how much outward effort you're actually expending in the attempt to achieve your goals, not whether you're always successful or (God forbid) perfect. That's all anyone ought to expect, from others or themselves: A sincere, valiant effort. The old college try. A willingness to strive, to reach, to challenge one's self. This week, with Venus also in your 10th, trining Jupiter and Neptune, you could easily impress someone (who perhaps has the ability to help you, now or later, in your strivings) by demonstrating your sincerest desire to do your best (without letting such pressures freeze you in your tracks). Beware, though, of Mars's continued 8th-house persuasions toward interpersonal defiance (see last week's scope for a refresher). Why undermine your larger efforts, just to vengefully 'stick it' to someone?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): As the most recent versions of your personal reflections begin to cohere into clarity, you're approaching a pivotal phase in which you'll need to publically pronounce the conclusions you've drawn. Yes, Aquarius, it's about time to spill the beans or let the cat out of the bag… mainly so that those who'll be affected by ripples of consequence emanating outward from your decisions will have their chance to react and adapt accordingly. With Saturn dipping his toe into your solar 9th for the first time in many many years (a visit that continues, with a brief mid-'10 reprieve, through Oct 2012), the pressure's on you to start disentangling yourself from any and all involvements that don't provide a meaty enough engagement with the philosophic issues and life-inspiring questions that most concern you. This, after all, is your journey. Are you willing to devote substantial chunks of it to riding along on someone else's heroic self-defining adventure? on relatively meaningless (at least to you) exercises? on the living equivalent of hours of bad reality-TV? When you can boldly state, for all to hear, the simple principle(s) upon which you want this lifetime's experiences to resonate with, the cosmos will answer you back favorably. However, don't be surprised if at least one key individual in your life is decidedly not pleased by this climb to your next evolutionary level.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Too much habit, and we're far too likely to start missing the whole point. At certain junctures, such as the one you've currently reached, we really ought to take a step back and ask ourselves the 'big questions' about whether the methods and manners with which we're filling our days do, in fact, provide us with worthwhile results… or whether we've been doing the same thing for so long now, we're merely going through the motions. Like it or not, Pisces, you're likely to find yourself doing a lot of repetitive motion over the coming several months. Armed with that knowledge, then, you might as well decide to like it—or at least enjoy the products of your sustained efforts, if you're going to bother sustaining 'em at all. If, for instance, you'd like to lose weight or increase your physical fitness, now is the time to establish overriding guidelines that'll support new habits, so that you'll achieve what you hope to. Or if you want to change or expand jobs, you'll have to figure out which steps to add to your daily routine to promote a greater likelihood of later career development. And when it comes to eliminating the burden of un-dealt-with paperwork or other piling-up chores, you'll probably need to find a regular hour or two (each day? week?) in your schedule, during which time you catch yourself up. They say it takes about 21 days (or is it 30?) to establish a new habit. With Mars in your 6th through June 2010, you have more than enough time to seriously remold your day-to-day routines. For now, start with the step-back strategizing.