SEPTEMBER IS the month of the Libra equinox, though as these weeks develop there are many interesting stories coming from the sign of balance, justice and honest relationships. For most of the month, Venus, Mars and Mercury are passing through this sign, encouraging us to be open with one another, and to take a chance in relationships. Then two days after the equinox on Sept. 22, Mercury turns to retrograde motion and guides the whole journey inwardly. One theme is understanding the nature of projection — that is, the personal material that we carry around, but which we unwittingly ascribe to others. Indeed, this whole Mercury retrograde is focused on the topic of owning what is our own and sharing what you have to share. During this time, we will be confronted with many interesting questions, such as “When I’m in love with someone else, am I really in love with myself, but using a friend as the projection screen?” Most of the time, we’re too squeamish to ask, much less answer, questions like this. But equinox is the equalizer, and standing up to your inner truth puts you on equal ground with others. Please consider this when reading the individual interpretations for your sign, below.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You should be having no trouble keeping busy these days, but the question is, with what? Your charts suggest that you’re popular at work and in love. Well, popular may be stretching things, but there’s plenty of action, and you can either have dates or your existing date is actually available. Business, however, has that slightly-too-much feeling, and it seems like your inbox is heaping itself full. If I had to guess, this is eating most of your free time. Here we have one of the central dilemmas of existence: the supposed competition of love and work. Your heart says that it’s more important that you have fun, and I would second the motion. There is an escape hatch on the business front, and in a word, it’s efficiency. Do things right so you only have to do them twice. You would also benefit from jumping to a higher level than the one you’re on; you seem to get caught in a mental bog frequently, consisting mainly of your sense of responsibility rather than the work itself. If you prioritize love — not socializing, but actual intimacy — your life is much likelier to come into balance. And there will come a natural limit to the frenetic pace of professional effort that takes effect later in the month when Mercury stations retrograde.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron makes the excellent point that creativity is not based so much on inspiration as it is on routine. You seem to be running a bit cool on the flashes of inspiration but hot on the kind of energy that would help you expand and develop your ideas. Having said this, there is the chance you may feel like you have a lot of energy to do something but nothing feels quite up to the standard you have set for action. And it also seems that you have some obstacles in the way of seeing even a sketch of your long-term plan. The astrology is suggesting your time is better spent completing old projects than it is on starting new ones. When you start digging through the files of what you have not yet completed, you’ll be surprised how much you can do, and how easy it will be. The beauty of completing old projects comes partly from recognizing that beginning is the hard part, and this you have begun. Time also grants some perspective, and I trust that you will see the quality of your work in a new light. Finally, there is the satisfying feeling of resolution and closure. Plan on a couple of months of this, and the freedom to change directions entirely will be that much sweeter when it comes.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Love affairs can do strange things. We need to expect them to, and observe ourselves in the process. We need to remember that the story is in the dialog; that is, in the quality of communication. The quality you are seeking is on the daring side. That translates to exchanges that are based on understanding yourself in precisely that way that most people avoid. The fear of self-understanding, or the fear of revealing to others that which you’re not willing to understand about yourself, is the zone you need to be working in. Hey, you may even want to be working there, but we’re talking about the realm of taboo. There is a feeling about your charts of an obvious secret that you don’t want to reveal or even discover. As the month progresses, there will come a time that you need to focus on the past, to get beneath an issue that arises. And truth be told, the past is the source and core of all taboos. Here is the clue you’re looking for. If passion and anger tend to get confused, or if one arises in the context of the other, I suggest slowing down and having the conversation you need to have, out of bed. This little factor — well known to sex therapists — is the key. Talk at the kitchen table or a park, and take some notes.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
There’s certainly an interesting scenario evolving in your personal life, though you seem to be feeling secure enough about it. That is the part to emphasize — your confidence, particularly in yourself. The scenario may involve a love triangle. We tend to shudder at the thought of such a thing, because it usually means someone is going to get hurt. Yet since one-to-one relationships have a tendency to triangulate, we would be wise to learn how to navigate these waters. If the scenario involves some sort of victim situation, that would be one thing; if it involves people making a sincere attempt to love one another, that is another. If it’s the first instance, you can begin the process of setting things right by owning how you got there. If it’s the second, you can go a long way toward keeping the scenario in balance by maintaining your commitment to truth and integrity. This would appear the likelier scenario, so let’s focus on that. You’re being called upon to find your most authentic sense of security. This comes from you, and it extends into your relationships. One clue for how you might do that is by keeping no secrets from yourself. This will strengthen your integrity within yourself, and in turn with the people around you. True, it may come with a learning curve, but it’s a skill you’ve wanted for a while.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Humans may be unique in that not only do we think, but we have the ability to observe ourselves doing so. We can consciously recognize and change our thought patterns. I have no personal memories of being a bird, skunk or reptile, so I don’t know what they are capable of. And I also notice that most humans don’t take advantage of this cognitive feature. This seems the skill you want to develop with the greatest emphasis. In the symbolic and literal sense, it’s a skill that can save your life, because nearly everything that goes wrong in life has its origins in our cognitive patterns. The most challenging and dangerous one is the inability to change one’s mind. You seem to be in the process of making an important decision. For the next few months, it’s going to be natural to go back and forth on how you want to handle it, and on what factors really matter. But this is more like a test than a reality. What you are trying to do is get a handle on how you think, and what influences your ideas; and then to what extent those ideas influence your actions. There’s a childhood pattern involved, and the subject matter is what you perceive as danger. You seem to be encountering a layer of your early existence where you made some decisions about what to do when you perceived danger. As you make similar decisions now, remember that you are an adult, not a kid.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You need an objective way to measure your self-esteem. This is not easy, since how we feel colors and how we see the world appears to be so far outside ourselves. You seem to have yourself under the weight of some tremendous expectation, and at the same time someone in your environment appears to be corroding your self-confidence. Does this have anything to do with you? In other words, are you just seeing the person this way, or is their inability to have faith in themselves spilling over onto you and washing out your own confidence from below? You will find the answer through a combination of listening to yourself and listening to them. Pay attention to what you say, and to what they say. Listen to the tone of voice as well as the words — this will provide the bigger clue. If any discussion involves money, I suggest you consider this a ruse for the deeper issue, which is how you feel about yourself and why. I can assure you of one thing: there will be a moment when you start to put the pieces together. The picture you see assembling may be quite different than the one that your previous logic informed you about. It may not match the words that you or anyone else said. Emotions may not speak louder, but you need to listen to them more carefully.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You may find yourself with an unusual ability to imagine yourself into existence in the coming weeks. Remember you’re the one who can do this if you ever have to imagine yourself out of anything. Embracing this kind of power is a challenging lesson for humans, though you’d think it would be the happiest of them all: that we influence who we are becoming. This involves the necessary step of eroding (I won’t say eliminating — it is too daunting) the notion of victimhood. While this is probably the deepest spiritual layer you are after, there’s another tool coming your way this month, which is the concept of undoing. This is a prerequisite for just about any spiritual path. Various thought structures function as blocks, interfering with the infusion of new information, progress and most other forms of healing energy. Most of these blocks are conceptual. Usually when we observe or feel them, we avoid them. The next two months are the time to do precisely the opposite. While there are many prescriptions for how to deal with these kinds of blocks, noticing them is about the best that I have found. A block would count for any negative emotion that interferes with love; or any seemingly positive emotion that distracts you from your purpose of awareness. For now, awareness itself is quite enough.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Your 12th solar house, your immediately prior sign Libra, is the scene of a Mercury retrograde that begins later in the month. This will open the way to an entire universe of emotional information you may never have considered. Difficult to believe for a Scorpio, but let’s see what you learn. The 12th is such a challenging house because it tends to function like the closet of all that most people don’t want to admit, confront or explore. Those who write psychologically driven fiction, horror, deep erotica or who study esoteric sciences work in the 12th house. What we see in dreams is a product of the 12th, which could be called the ‘unconscious’, except that dreams are the emergence of what’s contained in the 12th into conscious awareness. Of course, we usually forget about them. Now is the time to not forget. You are currently involved in a profound emotional healing mission. It involves where you are in the world, how you feel about being there, what you call safety and why it’s so difficult for you to ever feel secure. The roots of this situation exist on another level than your feelings or your environment; these things are just the reflection. Inner and outer developments this month will give you plenty of information to work with (particularly about anger). Just make sure you work with it.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
One of the reasons group therapy is so effective is that the group tends to take on the dynamics of everyone’s family of origin. People click into their roles smoother than Broadway actors who have been working together for years. You see and participate in the dynamics, and you get a chance (hopefully with the help of someone experienced in these woods, namely the therapist, who knows how to stay out of the fray). Your circle of friends may take on some dimension of this phenomenon in the coming weeks. Not that friends don’t often have this tendency, which is why you shouldn’t use them as your therapy group. In fact there are days approaching when you may consider not using them as friends. Be conscious of situations that take on any resonance of predator/victim/rescuer. Count it as the same whether it’s happening to you, or near you. Keep paying close attention. I suggest you not take sides, and avoid the temptation of asking other people to take sides. You want to do your best to avoid polarizing any situation. The reason for this, as you will see, is that a fair number of people who pick sides tend to change sides; and they tend to take the whole business very personally. Particularly as the equinox approaches, maintain your Sagittattitude and stay aloof — and aware.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You will need to be on top of your professional game in the coming weeks, and when in doubt remember that it is indeed a game. I suggest you be happy with nothing less than success that comes without the price of resentment, or conquering, or of anyone feeling left out. This being said, you must beware of giving people who are not really your friends too much power in your life. There would appear to be someone who’s poised to play the role of loose cannon on deck. I’ve got out my astrological identikit and I can offer you the following composite sketch. Beware of anyone who is pious. Beware of people who impress you mostly with their psychological rigidity coupled with their casual, even careless use of language. Be particularly careful if other people think they sound good. I don’t suggest you take obvious action; rather, do things like quietly squish down the lock on your most sensitive file cabinet, and listen to rumors carefully without spreading them any further; moreover, pay attention to where they are coming from. If you encounter someone who fits this general description, a private, friendly, low-key three-minute conversation will be enough to inform them that you are aware. This might, in turn, prod them aware.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The role of belief is something that we all need to question, and which you seem ready to question. What you might call the problem of belief is that it works on so many levels, and we can’t see most of them, most of the time. On one level, it’s a very good thing that most of what we think is true is wrong. On another level, there exist what you might call metabeliefs that have a cascading effect and shape the process of everything we perceive. Most of these are our concepts of existence itself, and these are the ones to focus on. You will know you’re on the wavelength when you find yourself once again thinking about things that nobody ever considers, only more deeply than usual. You can ride out this month’s astrology as a kind of crisis of faith — or you can explore it as the perfect opportunity to get inside your own process of creating your reality; which is based nearly entirely on what you believe. The most potent metabelief of all is what you think you are. Adjectives like ‘weak’ or ‘strong’ or ‘happy’ won’t do it. What are you, in the cosmos? How did the water, carbon and random minerals your body is made of suddenly spring to life in the form of you and all your ideas? Such will direct the course of your existence.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
I suggest that you not take what you want so seriously; and that you not take who wants you so seriously. Hang loose, so that your agreements can be adaptable to your circumstances on a more or less ongoing basis. There are people who have been in your life a long time, and you can depend on them; this you have learned. Track your seemingly more superficial exchanges of ideas, cash flow, commerce and erotic energy. These will be doing an interesting dance, and you want to dance, not be stuck. If ever there was a Mercury retrograde (Sept. 24 through Oct. 15) that said avoid signing contracts, this is the one. Conserve your resources, but remember you’re doing this for when you really need them. The chances are you will actually be able to wait until after Oct. 15 to apply any significant money to a project that calls for it, and the chances are it will be a lot more efficient if you do. And while you must be extremely careful with other people’s money, much of what you experience involves interacting with and applying the resources of others. Resources in this scenario has a fairly wide definition, including their intelligence and the intentions you share. These intentions may seem to shift and change, but at the end of the process, it will be pretty easy to agree on the truth. And the truth is, everyone has a lot to gain from their mutual support.