November Horoscope 2011

In high spirits

November starts with the Sun in Scorpio, an emotionally intense Water sign that carefully scrutinizes everything. Motives are measured in subtle ways as we try to understand our desires and connect them with willing partners. This month, though, may be a bit less complex than most Sun-in-Scorpio periods. That's because mental Mercury and sociable Venus enter enthusiastic Sagittarius on Nov. 2. The planets of communication and love in the adventurous sign of the Archer makes it easy to look past details and the practical problems of daily life to imagine more exotic places and more interesting tomorrows. Instead of swimming on the bottom of our psychological ocean, which is typical of Scorpio, Sagittarian arrows of hope can keep our spirits lifted. Additionally, November commences with active Mars in Leo, an outgoing Fire sign like Sagittarius. The warrior planet in this bold, expressive and risk-taking sign is another source of playfulness.

Two events are likely to put our feet on the ground on Nov. 10. The Full Moon in earthy Taurus is a reminder to return to basics and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Whatever complexities might exist in relationships, it's helpful to step away from them long enough to feel the comforting touches of nature and appreciate good music and food. Assertive Mars enters Virgo, another Earth sign, on the same day. This takes the creative energy of Leo, the sign Mars leaves, and starts to refine it and redirect it constructive ways. Efficiency can increase, especially if we get training in areas where we need to develop our skills. It's important, though, to counter the tendency to criticism associated with this sign by understanding that one doesn't have to be perfect to make progress.

On Nov. 22 the Sun shifts into Sagittarius, which tends to raise our collective spirits. Even in the darkest of times (which is the case in the Northern Hemisphere), an uplifting attitude spurs optimism. There are, however, two major downsides to Sagittarius. One is that it can be judgmental in a self-righteous kind of way. Whether we're dealing with religious or political fanatics or laying the hammer of judgment on ourselves, a little compassion will go a long way to putting things back into balance. The second is that farsighted Sagittarius often overlooks details. The mundane matters of the present can be ignored when we're peering into the future. This might be particularly meaningful this year since Mars, the Sun's servant, is in detail-oriented Virgo. This potential mismatch between the metaphorical Chairman of the Board (Sun) and the Chief of Operations (Mars) could complicate matters and make it harder to get things done.

The contrast between the real (Virgo) and the ideal (Sagittarius) shows up with the Sagittarius New Moon on Nov. 25. This lunation is a partial Solar Eclipse that can tend to clip the wings of those who fly too far too fast. Yet it's still about peering over the distant horizon to get a glimpse of a better world to come. Illusory Neptune's stressful 90-degree square to this Sun-Moon conjunction can entice some people to leave common sense behind in pursuit of a dream. Yet it's all too easy to chase fantasies that cannot come true. Mars in Virgo opposes Neptune and also squares the New Moon, reminding us that we can make magic when we patiently apply ourselves and do the hard work required for it to happen.