FAITH IS A DELICATE FORCE that holds up the whole universe of human relationships. Or is it mighty as the waves and the wind? Because it's been co-opted by the cult of romance to stand for the one and only fact of whether your partner is sexually exclusive, we have lost much of the nuance of the idea, and much of its practical use. When relationships between human beings work, it's because they are based on faith as much as they are on love. When we say love and really mean it, we mean both.

While it's nearly impossible to describe faith in words, you can recognize it as that sense of silent knowingness, the utmost trust, that people will live for their highest truth. It would seem that people around you are going through their journey of not just learning faith, but becoming faith. Doubts are arising, and they are being healed and addressed.

Other people's journeys are difficult to evaluate, and lately it may be that their motives have been even more difficult to discern. What you can have faith in is that the people in your life are, in fact, getting clear about these things for themselves. You can trust they are learning from their mistakes, and you can trust, more than anything, their mistakes are precisely that.

So who's really the one learning faith? Therein lies one seeming paradox of faith -- that we can extend it for others, and give them the space to grow into it, and when we do, we grow stronger ourselves. It's a nice paradox. The journey that your loved ones are on is teaching you to have faith in yourself. Here's another. Love is a lot more important than the structure of any relationship, and faith has nothing to do with commitment, particularly verbalized commitment. And it is something that involves each person you relate to no matter what your relationship is to that person. In other words, the degree of faith and trust you possess and express affects all your relationships together.

Part of this story is told by the transit of Neptune through your opposite sign, Aquarius. This particular transit is not news; it's been going on for about five years. Yet Neptune works with a wide orb of influence, and its effects are often difficult to see and feel. Its effects creep in over the months, seasons and years, like the tide slowly rising. There is a surreal or dreamlike quality to this planet's influence. Neptune can be extremely idealistic in Aquarius and yet not even be aware of its own idealism.

In Aquarius, it melts time, dissolves expectations and under this influence, normal thought structures change. Ideologies are less defined. Friends and lovers begin to have more in common. You may be aware of how different your relationships are than they once were, or you may not -- but you will if you look and listen.

This year, there is an added message to the Neptune transit, as the minor planet Psyche does a long retrograde in Aquarius and conjoins Neptune several times.

Personally, you're going through a time of enormous emotional growth. The whole issue revolves around fear and security, and you may be experiencing bouts with fear that appear like a mirage. You may also feel it's completely necessary to develop and mature and grow beyond a level of uncertainty and the need for reassurance if you want to really be happy. As to why, we can look to Saturn passing through Cancer, your 12th solar house, the sign immediately prior to yours, for information about this growth process. The 12th, for everyone, is often a kind of blind spot. Leo is a brave lion, but right beneath the surface are very human fears, needs, simple pain and a desire for emotional comfort.

Much of your worldly confidence comes from your quiete assurance that you're held gently in the womb of the cosmos. In the womb, we're alone but we're surrounded by protection and love, and all our needs are met.

Within this space, it may feel like Saturn is saying toughen up. That's not the message if you ask me, or it's just part of it. I would say that the true message is not to be afraid, neither of your needs, nor of your dependency on other people. You don't need to be a coy kitty. People love you, and your true friends and lovers want you to be free to make your own decisions. If fear has kept you from doing anything in the years of your life, it's been precisely that. And if faith is teaching you anything, it is that you can make important decisions and love will still find you. You don't need to give up one to have the other.

As I have said in many recent horoscopes, one of the great themes of this time in your life is renegotiation of all agreements. Contracts need to be flexible instruments, and all commitments need in doors and out doors. The world will adapt to your needs and changes because it needs the same things from you; this is actually a truly equitable and mutually beneficial arrangement.

Message from Eros

This is a time to experiment with your sexuality. You need to be closer to your fantasies, something that's probably true for everyone, but is really coming through right now -- or at least it will be by Spring. Part of that process may involve testing the idea that erotic play is something that can exist outside of strict notions of commitment. This will give it more room to be itself, or rather, give you more room to be yourself. True passion does not and cannot follow rules. Even, and especially, if you are experiencing your sexuality within the structure of a committed partnership, there must be a space within that relationship, or within yourself, that is essentially anarchist.

I would remind you and anyone reading that sex is not an activity that needs to be confined to two people. Here's some information on that theme.

One thing you'll need to grow accustomed to is the extent to which your erotic nature is plain for all to see. You're not going to make any points with the universe by pretending this isn't so. In fact, to the extent that you've developed a split in your personality by attempting to pretend that you're a mixture of unbelievably attractive and, well, something else besides, you will get to heal that schism with one or two transformational experiences that go beyond words and ideas -- more like encountering your cosmic twin. This is certain to demonstrate how well you know yourself, and how good that feels.

Leo Moon
Your generous nature is your greatest asset. It comes from your basic essence. Leo is often accused of being self-centered, but what many people don't recognize (or accept) is that one can only take care of others when their own basic needs are met. This will be a very productive year within which to shift the balance of your priorities to your personal goals, that come in two major categories: worldly achievement and personal housekeeping. As you clear out your physical and emotional spaces, one natural result will be a sense of lift, lightness and optimism. You know the world can be dark place. And you also know it does not have to be that way.

Yet you carry the light within you, and as a result can illuminate spaces in the world that few others can see. Be on the lookout for opportunity. It may not appear as an enormous, overwhelming offer, but rather as a method of assembling many smaller resources into something significant. Developing your work and working patterns continues to be an increasingly important aspect of your growth process. So much of life is work, and while a decent employment situation doesn't by itself give you a good life, it certainly helps, and help is certainly on the way.