Horoscopes | Week of January 12-18, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Keep pulling away from the crowd, doing 'you' on your own. Whoever comes along, great. Don't fight them back and insist on solitariness, just to assert some independence. Like-minded companions who happen to end up hanging together don't necessarily infringe on each other's visions. (Believe me, you'll know if someone's infringing.) Worry less about the relationships and how actively you should be invested in them. The bigger discomfort, if you'll bother to focus there for a moment, involves the realization that total and complete freedom won't lead to anything sustainable unless some constraints aren't self-imposed. And yet, the very idea of constraints (especially now, after everything from '03 is finally seeing some resolution) might make you want to break free even harder. Again, I repeat: These so-called 'constraints' (call 'em something else, if it's more helpful) must exist to 'get you somewhere', must come from you and apply to you. So quit shifting attention to other people to alleviate your own responsibility. Find rules and regular patterns that have the potential to both accumulate your energy into something enduring and still not feel burdensome.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This week, with your ruler Venus moving into Pisces and conjoining Uranus in your eleventh house, it's time to let up on your attempts to control the group dynamics and simply permit the whole team dictate who will play which position. If that proposition sounds too lofty or all-involving, maybe the most useful way to spend this time is for you to listen (literally or in your mind) to how multiple individuals together in a group describe you—e.g., 'Tommy Taurus is the guy among us who always says / acts like / insists upon doing ____.' If you complete this exercise using your memory or speculations rather than others' actual words, be sure you're really listening rather than projecting your own hopes or aspirations onto what they might say. This isn't about glorifying you or reaching for dreamt-of traits still out of reach. This is about working to finally accept those characterizations of yourself you've previously shunned, despite the fact that they're clear to the rest of us, and halting any resistance. Venus and Uranus are demanding that you free up your concepts of what you value in social settings. But rather than letting the shakeup disrupt who you actually seek to associate with, I'd suggest shaking up your self-conceptions about what role you play and what you imagine others like about you. Open that can o' worms up, and those within your vicinity will rearrange themselves accordingly to the subsequent shift in your electromagnetic charge.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Okay, in the past several months, I cannot even begin to count how many times I've hailed the dramatic break from previous reality for which you're due in the realm of professional success and/or outer-world reputation. This is due to Uranus's movement into your tenth house, which stipulates, in no uncertain terms, that you have from now until the end of the decade (that's enough time, right?) to make a few big changes and/or to let the universe assist by not refusing to be pushed by external events, whatever it takes to put you on that road toward your ultimate career contribution (or at least one among many). I suspect that, during those confusing concluding months of '03, you barely knew what I was talking about whenever I brought up this outer-world break. That's why I kept bringing it up, to do my part to inject the stirrings for more (whatever it may be) in this external-achievement realm, so that when you were finally ready to finish up with last year's crap, your unconscious would already be working on the next thing. This week, with Venus helping out, you might spend some time on creative visioning—or, if you prefer, hyperactive daydreaming—to stimulate your senses toward imagining the unimaginable. It is not at all unrealistic to assume that, over the coming years, you can rearrange your life so that what you become known for is something you find meaningful, that you can operate without the specter of gloomy authority figures and yet still in an environment where you remain emotionally connected to your cohorts. If the massive pressure to effect this change overwhelms you (since, by now, you've realized I'm not letting up on my repetitive message), then simply stick to the visioning and daydreaming. Just don't forget to take some notes, lest you forget what you've come up with and try to use that as an excuse for inertness.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This week, if you can, watch the Moon wane into next week's darkness, and see if you can similarly let whatever internally unsettled fires have been heating up your insides cool down alongside it. The planets seem to believe that your orientation should be turned more outward, in strategic contemplation of how each individual with whom you regularly relate can assist you in breaking free from now-irrelevant moral codes. And you have another few weeks of Mars in your tenth house, fueling you into at least one major pioneering leap forward in your career (or against unnecessarily restrictive bosses or father-types). Still, it might take you through the rest of this lunar cycle to pull out of the accidental self-absorption and into major self-and-other relational mode. You tell me what needs to be let go. Perhaps emotions raised during last week's Cancer Full Moon have yet to be fully released. You aren't cheating yourself if you recognize the vulnerabilities as fleeting and simply dedicate your energies to moving on. You will remember the key learning points, so no need to dwell on that disquieting moment of initial revelation. Use this week to let yourself off the hook, to fold up the ends into a neat package, and prepare to do less emotionally fraught and more practically productive work starting next week.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you're unexpectedly drawn to intense encounters with unusual companions or unusual encounters with intense companions, the urge might not be as absurd as you'd like to think. Disruptive to your daily routine? Perhaps yes. But maybe that's just what the life coach ordered. With some renewed planetary focus on your earthly-duties-and-work-patterns house, it's already a good time to reassert which play-by-play steps (and in which order) are the most important for reaching that profoundly satisfying day-to-day lifestyle. And I promise that some of what you've previously been doing qualifies as unnecessary protocol-for-it's-own-sake, while you're also missing one or two key pieces that would allow life to flow more smoothly. What better reason to adjust your habits than because of the appealing break-from-routine that some alluring rebel (or rebels) in your life seems to offer? Now, can you permit the confusion of interpersonal interactions to at once free you from the past and serve as inspiration for reestablishing self-policed guidelines and tactics into the future? Because you simply cannot live happily without some sort of routine. And you're going to have to force that stubborn internal do-it-yourselfer to refrain from being offended or scornful, just because new models for organizing life are suggested by external influence.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): With your ruler Mercury heading back in the right direction and returning to your house of self-expression, any communicative or analytic hesitancy you might have felt over the past few weeks is history. So, on the off chance you used this momentary lull to excuse yourself back into perpetual polite restraint, I'm reminding you that the new Mr. or Ms. Virgo is tired of holding his/her tongue and is fully prepared to surprise and shock anyone who is unwilling to accept or understand what's being said. Getting settled back into 'real life' after the frenetic holiday whirlwind could tempt you to settle back into relationships or relational dynamics that you'd been so indignantly ready to let go, simply because you've let the comfort creep up on you like a chronic condition. But I'm sure I don't have to remind you of all the self-limits imposed by maintaining inadequately fitting connections with unchanged individuals. Nor must I remind you of how many other types of relationships (of all sorts), ones that don't require you to act out semi-dishonest character studies, are out there awaiting your discovery. However, what I fear I must remind you is that, sometimes, in order to break ties or topple inertia or honor the momentum, conflict is required. (Sometimes not.) And often, the stronger the ties or the inertia are set, the stronger the power of the conflict needed to effect real change. Remember, though: Conflict needn't be violent or hurtful.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Thoughts return to the home front, and from a clearer perspective than you've had in a while. Rather than being too sentimental or falsely nostalgic, you're finally more able to brainstorm a few simple measures you can take to feel less uncentered and better snuggled in to whatever you're currently considering home. This could include deciding to get rid of a central piece of furnishing or to go buy whichever whatever you've been eyeing in the store window, rearranging, or concluding that you either want to move or want to stop fantasizing deceptively about moving. But home isn't just a place. It's also the attitude you take toward the daily events in your life, so that you are relating to them as belonging to you (and rightfully so). There's significant appeal to alternate ways of doing things—a new type of exercise, a healthier mode of eating, an adjustment in work schedule to permit a little free time during a different part of the day—and you might feel safer now in exploring these small but hugely influential changes without too much threat of total chaos. And if you can tune out any trying-to-help words from pushier-than-they-know individuals, all the better. You know more about what will bring you the elusive low-stress/high-faith feeling than anyone else, no matter how ridiculous you think some of your truest desires might appear.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Over recent weeks, Scorpio, I tried to explain how you aren't always able to disguise your displeasure or condescension as well as you've thought, and how these less-than-supportive sentiments can unexpectedly sneak into your words against your will. Well, you always have the opportunity to keep trying, to find new ways to express the same sentiments with less judgment (even though I'm sure the judgmental tone only results from how deeply you care). Motivated as you are by passion, it will be somewhat challenging to allow the passion to come through while, at the same time, retaining some distance from any expectations that your words will lead others to do as you'd have them do if you were in control of their actions. Can you practice a form of love in which you saturate every expression with it and then step away, knowing that you will get back the love in multiplied form, just not necessarily from the same individual or on the same timeline you'd prefer? You're at a unique juncture where you can experiment with the idea of purely and completely loving without being attached. (Odd as it may sound, this is a notion that members of other signs are a lot more familiar and comfortable with. It's just not always the easiest for Scorpios to stay so detached.) Thus, the deepest and truest loves may only last for an hour or a couple brief moments, just long enough to swap glimpses into each other's souls. Do you have enough faith to send this sort of love out on your words, like a paper tag tied to a helium balloon, and see how far it goes or who responds in kind?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I believe you've been shaken up enough to be ready to consider practical matters. Practical matters are at hand, and you need to consider them. And you have a clearer mind for it than you did, say, five or six weeks ago, when part of you thought you were ready to consider these practical matters but, in fact, you weren't. Now you are ready to stop wondering whether you'd be happier somewhere else (face the truth!), to quit pretending to be scared of the big issues (no, it just wasn't the right time before!), and to let yourself set a foot or two outside the protective shell (you think you don't have one just because it's invisible?). How much money and resources do you have to work with? Don't be afraid to count—it doesn't give you any more or less than you had before, and it's an important fact to know. And to what end do you work as you do? What do you most enjoy spending your money and resources doing? What one or two small achievable goals can you set now, to earn or save up for and then to enjoy, to get you closer to that happier somewhere-else (?) or those shrunk-to-normal-size issues (?)? If you take your personal growth seriously, let's just say that your career- or outer-world-related good luck is ready to take off—if you're willing to fight a battle of the heart with yourself and not be afraid to make conciliatory reparations in the aftermath.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This is the first time in a long while that I can report, Capricorn, on your much improved reasoning and communicating abilities. Like emerging from the recirculated atmosphere of a vehicular cabin into the fresh air, you can mentally and verbally breathe again. Don't get too high from the fumes and overdo. Don't become too dazzled by your recovered skill of spinning a sentence, like U-turning a Volvo, on a dime. As a child, I knocked my mother off her bicycle with mine during an evening ride, so overcome by excitement I was that my training wheels had just come off. Her hands still have scars, and so too might anyone who gets in the way of your flapping tongue, now that it's gotten its groove back. There's no need for everyone to suddenly hear everything you're thinking, just because you actually know what you're thinking. I'd spend this last week or so before next Wednesday's (1/21) New Moon to work through some of the oh-so-ferocious emotions you held close during this past incommunicado period. Perhaps you've been angered or saddened or hurt by something from the past several weeks and have been unable to do anything about it. Now that logic's back on your side, that doesn't necessarily calm the hurt feelings—and if you try to express your logical case without handling the emotions as well, you won't get the point across clearly enough for your satisfaction. Spend the next week or so communicating with yourself about what's behind any unresolved feelings, and wait until after the New Moon to tell others about 'em.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Quickly… while no one's looking… it's time to extend your extraterrestrial antennae into space and switch them to 'transmission' mode. Another of those brief windows into extra dimensions has opened up. Only, this time, they can see you, but you can't see them. However, you can speak to them. You might want to explain, in simplified terms, a bit about the peculiarities of Earth living, about how we require certain physical provisions in order to survive and prosper, about the oft-mundane tasks we must complete in order to procure said provisions. At that point, you could switch gears and detail the keystones of your higher purpose on this humble planet, the particularities of the love and peace and fairness you'll spread in conjunction with ascending to your rightful position. (The aliens will love that part!) Then, return to the resources needed and explicitly draw the link between fulfillment of those needs and your ability to complete your earthly mission. (You might even want to mention how much more successful you'd be if you were more comfortable materially. Nothing wrong with some extra perks, if you prove deserving of 'em!) If your transmission passes the battery of Heartfelt Honesty Detection Apparatus tests, the friendly beings from other worlds might grant your material wishes so that you are free to help even more people in an even grander fashion. But I'm warning you, don't default on your end of the agreement. The aliens know where you live…


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Truly, I cannot underemphasize the enormity of Uranus's entry into your sign for the next several years, no matter how many times I mention it. You'll just have to see for yourself, and don't expect the entire thing to unfold in these first few moments. But what you have right now is an ambassador of sorts, her highness Venus entering your sign on Wednesday to stay for the next three and a half weeks. She would like to give you a glimpse into the upcoming shocking pleasures and rapid-fire chance contacts in store during this period, to help align your body and mind and spirit to the enhanced, enigmatic and electrified energy that will now characterize your life. To put it into perspective, you must chalk up the second half of '03—during which Mars remained uncomfortably in your sign—as the sense-defying pre-performance enactment of jitters. You wiggled and twitched and shook it all out of your system, or so you thought. Now, Venus wants to show you how, if you sustain a bit of this wiggle-and-twitchness at a much more subtle and less anxiety-provoking level (i.e., 'get used to it!') and learn to receive all forms of surprise as clues and symbols, you will enjoy life like never before. And enjoying life means you give off the glow of someone who enjoys life… and you know what that leads to, right? Maybe I shouldn't tell you, just let you decide how to reap the benefits as they pour in over coming weeks. All you have to do is allow Venus to work her magic. Please. Resistance is futile.