by Eric Francis
ARIES — You’re ready to be more socially adventurous, after what may have been a series of misadventures. I suggest doing this with a new definition of friend, one that’s based on loyalty more than it is on any other form of affinity. As you’ve probably learned, this need to be in a lighter and less structured environment than you may be accustomed to. You also need to take special care with people you only know through digital environments, as these can contain extreme distortions, all of which seem to exist in a blind spot. Your conscious process of building trust needs to include in-person experiences, experiences in different types of social environments, one-on-one and group encounters, and some understanding that is based more upon eye contact than it is on words. Also, study the ways that different people resolve conflicts, as that is a vital element of friendship.
TAURUS — In your personal and business relationships, there will be the obvious level and the hidden level. Pay attention to both. The hidden level will more likely address your insecurities. The obvious level will be where you relate to your desires, and what you perceive as available to you. The two are related in that your insecurities will tend to rule the day, if you leave them where they cannot be seen, or if you don’t admit to them. It will be much easier on the people you’re intimate with if you state your fears out loud. By intimate I mean situations where love, sex, food and money are concerned. It may seem like the most terrifying thing in the world to be honest about what you fear the most, though you will likely find it to be both liberating and grounding. It’s true that this calls for some genuine vulnerability, and that, too, will serve you in many productive ways.
GEMINI — Work with the idea that everyone is connected to everyone else, though you may not be able to see or understand the lines of contact. When they make themselves known, they may be subtle and easy to miss. You may also see things that don’t check out. If you’re trying to solve an important problem, I would offer my most basic tool for investigative reporting: make written lists of what you know, what you don’t know, and what you think may be true. This will pretty much get you to the bottom of every mystery, especially if you take that important step of only putting in the first column what you can factually verify, and connect to a reliable source. Each entry within your three lists will probably be connected to someone specific. Then, from there, follow the connections, without being suspicious. Take it easy and let the facts speak for themselves.
CANCER — Over the next month or two, you will discover many things that were previously concealed from your awareness, kept secret, or were lurking in the shadows. Trust that you’re going to find out what you need to know, when you need to know it. You don’t need to poke and prod so much as you need to keep your ears on, and listen to what people say, and notice who told them what. There are answers to the mysteries you’re confronting, and you will have them soon enough. The most important thing you can do is be cool, get along with people, and try not to reveal your irritation when you feel it. That will only get in the way of your information-gathering process, which is essential to your success right now. Nothing is too trivial to note or observe. Go deeper and get a handle on where people are coming from and why, and how they influence one another.
LEO — You must be realistic about money where partners are concerned. You might have practical ideas for how to be more efficient, and in order to please a partner or loved one, you might allow them to be subverted. Be wise with your money now, and don’t spend your resources in an effort to impress anyone. And if, on the other hand, a situation genuinely calls on your generosity, make sure you give from the heart, without concern about whether your gift is received in the same spirit in which it was given; it may not be. This week’s New Moon happens along what you might call the “resources” angle of your chart. This includes your own resources and the ones that you share. The emphasis is partly on the material aspect of things, though mostly on the spiritual aspect. Look closely at whether an important relationship is in balance, and whether everyone feels like they actually belong there.
VIRGO — Take a more relaxed attitude toward planning, and make peace with the basic fact that not everything is under your control. You seem to have your mind riveted to a set of plans that’s growing narrower and narrower. You need to take the opposite approach, and look at the world through your wide-angle lens. Look at the subject you’re focusing on, and the background behind it. Turn the lens around and look at yourself, and the background that surrounds you. Experiment with whole-system thinking: what is sometimes called synergy or biophilia. This is the idea that life is greater than the sum of its parts; and that every living system is part of something greater than itself. This is another way of saying keep your eye on the context of your plans, your needs and your desires. Consider their impact and their influence. Know what it means to be broad-minded, and guide yourself in that direction. To do that, you may need to set aside certain strategies, particularly if they don’t get you any results.
LIBRA — Venus has entered Scorpio, and you may be getting some vibes associated with the forthcoming retrograde of your ruling planet, which begins on Oct. 5 and lasts through Nov. 16. The theme is the value that you put on yourself and your existence. Borrowing some of the most efficient language found in A Course in Miracles, remember, “Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself.” Let those words be your guide through the process of Venus retrograde, which will, at first, serve to ask many more questions than it answers. Yet don’t assume you know the answers, particularly if you think that they in some way will reflect negatively on you. The passage concludes: “Believe the little can content you, and by limiting yourself you will not be satisfied. For your function is not little, and it is only by finding your function and fulfilling it that you can escape from littleness.”
SCORPIO — One theme of the forthcoming Venus retrograde is experiencing the world from the viewpoint of others. I mean this emotionally more than from any other point of view. How does it really feel to be someone else? You might be surprised to learn that people struggle more than you think. It’s not just you. The world is challenging, and there are very few certainties to grasp onto. At least as one born under the sign Scorpio, you have an idea that life is in a constant state of transformation, evolution, breakdown and rebuilding. This process is not as natural to others as it is to you. Once you tune into this, you will have a better idea how to handle people when they are quaking about the intensity of life — or your supposed intensity. It does not help that we live in a world where nearly everyone wants nearly everyone else to dial it back, or where asking a question is considered a confrontation. Sometimes a question is just a question.
SAGITTARIUS — Confidence in yourself is rarely perfect. I would even suggest that when you are feeling perfect confidence, without any hesitation, that is the time to pause and reflect. So if you’re about to move forward on your plans and you’re not feeling like you’re 100% on solid ground, count that as a positive sign. There is wisdom in insecurity, which most of the time we miss in the effort to plaster it over with something seemingly more solid. As Alan Watts put it, “The desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.” So the best thing you can do is to breathe and to begin; to commence your plans despite any uncertainty, knowing that you don’t find out where you’re going until you get there.
CAPRICORN — As you may be aware, the recent Mars retrograde mostly took place in Aquarius, but the station-direct happened in Capricorn, your sign or rising sign. Mars has what the old astrologers called “dignity” in Capricorn — it’s exalted there, and helps explain what is underneath the reserve and caution that you rely on to feel grounded and secure. The presence of Mars is suggesting that you take another approach: being bold, and in your own way, throwing caution to the wind. This involves taking some risks. Doing that involves the potential for what some call failure, but more appropriately, the willingness to experiment with potential outcomes. Said another way, rather than having “a goal,” think of this as a time of embarking on both new ideas and new methods for developing them. Dial back the control factor, and open up the aperture on your willingness to experiment with what you want. Let desire and curiosity drive you.
AQUARIUS — Motivation. What is it? How about this: it’s always speculative. What motivates anyone to do anything is a mystery. It is, however, worth asking: why am I doing this? And keep asking: Am I driven by an outcome of some kind, or by the experience? Who else is involved? Are there any matters of image or appearance involved? Is there something involving repairing the past, or getting any form of retribution? Am I seeking profit, power or pleasure? Those are some good checkpoints with motives, though they’re still likely to remain a mystery for you. Given the complexity, you might be exceedingly cautious in assessing what you think motivates others to do what they do, or say what they say. When in doubt, ask, and take their response as a form of fiction or philosophy. If you take this looser, lighter approach, you will be less likely to fall for any ruses, or desire to have some kind of status, or to be seen a certain way. You want the inside story. And remember: it is a story.
PISCES — Stick to the facts, and your intuition will take care of itself. That’s another way of saying don’t act on hunches or suspicions or your gut or whatever. Pay attention to what you know, and how you know it. Then assemble the facts various ways, and notice that you may get different versions of the scenario based on the same basic elements of data. This is inconvenient to some; it’s just good sense to others; for you, it’s a necessity at the moment, with so much Neptune active in your chart. Neptune works best when you have the technicalities taken care of, and the collection of planets in Virgo is saying that you need to do exactly that. You might avoid drawing any conclusions, and rather think of everything as an inference, suggestion or potential. Ultimately intuition will come into play when you have to work with the whole fact-pattern, though given time, the truth will have a dependable way of speaking for itself.