Horoscopes | Week of January 26-February 1, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Enjoy the last full week of your ruler Mars hanging in your home sign, basically unfettered by the nagging influences of other planets trying to push and pull. In other words, be your trademark independent self. Put some finishing touches (even if you're not exactly 'finished') on this (i.e., your present methods) as The Way you're going to be doing things from now on (at least for the next chunk of time). No need to continue reinventing for others' comfort. You own the spirit. You possess yourself. Don't let their fear, masquerading as feebleness, interfere with your own enviable vigor. Organize actions now, so that February will allow you to maintain the system, the rate and the motion, to advance your progress while also getting some spare time to enjoy the upcoming effects of Venus entering your sign next week.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Affection is to be spent and released, not horded for a rainy day that might never come. Unlike money or food, it will not run out and you can always make more. Whether you want to go as far as expending love is up to you—though we could spend hours expounding on where affection ends and love begins, whether they are different or the same, and if one breeds the other. (Which is the chicken, and which the egg?) The philosophizing may, in fact, be worthwhile beyond the joy of mere wordplay. Through it, you might be able to figure out a scenario through which you can be overly indulgent with the affection (or is it love?) you share with a whole host of people ranging from strangers to intimates and, at the same time, ensure that you are not being unhealthily excessive with the expressions of love (or is it affection?) to the point of draining your reserves. This is prep work for a much more dynamic February and March for m'dear Tauruses.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There's a call to arms lurking underneath a seemingly stable mix of public-life pleasantries and private-life expansive opportunities. No one will be knocking at your door, bearing bayonet. No one will declare him/herself your enemy and don the appropriately colored uniform. Everything can continue fine as is, undisturbed, if you choose. But you've got to admit, you have some optimistic plans about items and attitudes to add to your intimate life so you feel more emotionally taken care of, less unsettled or raw. And you also know too well how that perma-smile on your professional face can too easily lull you into subservient acceptance and, eventually, dishonesty or resentment. These two begrudgingly accepted facts about your situation are not dramatic, but yet rub against each other with mild nagging discomfort. Not to mention the third piece I'll add, one that should give you fodder for additional contemplation—a subtle but extraordinarily deep power conflict between one or more individuals underlies the rub. Perhaps you haven't even drawn the link between this relationship(s) and the quiet tension in your life. Until now.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Building on last week… hopefully you are deploying the ease in communication being gifted you by the cosmos to get those long-nagging, long-unsaid sentiments off your chest. ('What ease in communication?' dare you ask. Well, to experience it, you have to at least try to say some stuff. You have to get the other person's available ear, actually open your mouth and let something come out, before you try to claim the ease isn't there.) Believe me, it's important for your emotional health to release the thoughts you've been retaining and replaying. The reason? Pure Cancerian goodness is all about the free-flowing nature of feeling. Inviting a wave to crash on the shore and then recede out to sea, just as another approaches. Holding on to feelings will block the way for new ones to wash over you with fresh surf. That's why writers and actors use their words to cleanse their spirits so they don't drive themselves crazy with recirculating emotions. Put it out there. Say it. It will help you to let it go. More stuff will then have room to come in.


LEO (July 23-August 22): According to the planets, you are wealthy. So whether this wealth has hit the bottom line of your bank account yet or whether you're wealthy in 101 other non-monetary areas (that, yes, don't work as smoothly for bartering purposes as money), you need to recognize the riches. In fact, I think you're well aware of the abundant base upon which your current life situation rests. Thus, I caution you to take care in the sorts of messages you allow to creep into your words, as you bemoan the various tasks you must complete and how 'far behind' or 'unprepared' or 'lacking' you are in your process. Others, who see your position as more stable than you might (and could envy you accordingly), do not want to hear about your supposed poverties. They want what you have, and would be happy to trade you for their handful of beans that may or may not prove to be magical. If they sense any less than pure thankfulness and appreciation for what you have in your voice, they will meet you reproving looks and derisive undertones. Which will only complicate matters, considering they will still envy you, love you and want to be near you, while also scorning you and unconsciously semi-wishing you semi-ill will. Talk about mixed messages…


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This week's helpful hint piggybacks on last week's advice to refrain from distractions due to others' dramas. This week, I'm going to permit a measured degree of this distraction out of kind-hearted recognition that you might be finding it difficult to resist the allure. With Venus lighting up the opportunity for chance one-on-one encounters with any number of unexpected subjects—or with the usual suspects acting in unexpected ways—in opposition to Jupiter, which is still kissing you with easy luck, there may be too much extra attention and indulgence to completely resist. That's why you must call on your Virgoan discrimination skills to sequence those interested in your company into the proper order. There is only so much time in a day, or in a lifetime. Prioritize. If you run out of time, you will only get to the first one or two or three in line. So make sure they are the right ones preceding the pleasant-but-less-thrilling masses. For those who are jockeying for a higher position than you're willing to afford, you may have to offer some clear-cut comments on your true feelings—comments that you fear will be painful (for you or for them?) but prove instead to be simple in their mercifulness.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): In my humble opinion, Libra is one of those quintessential sweet-talker signs. You always seem to know just how to deliver a sentiment gently, politely, and with the right amount of ego-stroking to get the results you're after. So perhaps you were unnerved when I encouraged you last week to hold back a bit on the self-expression, to space out your confessions over time. Yet again this week, I'm moved to warn you about the potential imperfection of speech, your fleeting propensity to stutter, sputter, gibber, jabber, hem, haw, hammer, stammer, mince or misspeak. This is not some typical Mercury-retrograde-inspired communicative mix-up, where the transmission doesn't translate from speaker to listener, though the message has been sent accurately. (Mercury isn't even retrograde!) No, the stammering is the emotional reality of the message. You have things to say that, because of the vulnerability they contain or the transitional nature they reflect, will necessarily come out sputtery-sounding. You have two choices, either of which will work just as well. Decide to be comfortable coming off less polished than usual and start to let the gibbers and the jabbers come forth, or sit a little longer with these thoughts left silent and explore the feelings that rise for you in quiet solitary time.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): It's odd that my intuition has offered up the keyword 'dislike', Scorpio, when a configuration like this week's Venus/Jupiter opposition is a usual indicator for an overabundance (and overindulgence) of delightful likeability. Maybe you know why (or if) my wires are getting crossed, when Venus sits right in your house of love and creative self-expression and faces Jupiter's expansive presence in your greater community, as if to display how very much you have to go around, so that everyone you come across gets some of you. Do you think it has something to do with your surreptitiously subtle superpower Pluto making squares to both, essentially raising the deep psychological question of whether all this lovey-dovey dissemination of energy presents a challenge to the stable foundation you're toiling to set up for yourself? Is it possible that while 'like' is being sent your way in droves (and, consequently, you feel moved to return the favor), 'dislike' is what you're subconsciously sending yourself for letting your energies get spread too thinly across a wide matrix of unfocused activity? Or is it just my intuition going haywire? Only you know the truth, and only you can let yourself (or my misfiring intuition) off the hook.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In honor of the fact that your efforts toward material and professional security are incomplete and unfulfilled, I dub this 'Sagittarians Be Kind to Themselves' Week. To commemorate this special occasion, I instruct you to vocally and systematically embrace the unfinished nature of your work, the short-of-a-full-deck status of your material coffers, and the giant looming question mark above your future. Repeat after me: 'This is exactly as it should be.' After all, what's your rush? Where's your patience? Believe me, if you had every X checked off the checklist right now, you'd be a far less happy and vital individual (and a helluva lot more bored). Not to mention the fact that you are in the middle of a yearlong good luck spell in terms of career growth, with Jupiter fattening up your tenth house. Of course, sometimes what plays out as 'career growth' initially shows up wearing a different costume, masquerading as confusion or even bad luck. Sometimes we have to get laid off or fired from one job to make room for the next big thing to come in. You have my permission to take one week off from worrying about whether your life is 'going anywhere' and to regain the joy of adventure and enlightenment that comes from simply not knowing.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Whether or not you actually have a case that requires you to argue it, this week is a good time for to review the strategies you'd pursue as a lawyer. The legal profession is traditionally ruled by Sagittarius, a sign known for cutting through the crap to get the heart of what's right and what's wrong. I personally believe that Capricorns can also make excellent lawyers due to their ability to remain ardently focused on a desired outcome and to construct a sophisticated set of steps to get them there. A Capricornian counsel could easily envision the entire case and all the tiny bits of testimony and evidence required to complete it. But what about the justice? Would you defend a client you knew was guilty, just because the case was a prestigious effort or a challenging puzzle to solve? (Or is business success worthwhile if you don't believe in the product, if the sole intention to make more money out of money?) And could you win by simply laying the facts together, without using certain tones of voice or turns of phrase (which qualify as the restrained and highly respectable form of Capricorn histrionics)? Because, you know, some judges will kick you out of court for that kind of thing. Whether in a real-life example or in an internal mock trial, practice synthesizing all these elements—strategic expertise, faith in truth and justice, belief in what you're doing, a calm and unmanipulative manner—to argue your case with integrity and grace. After that, the victory or defeat is out of your hands, though either way you'll still come out a winner.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You can count on an Aquarian to be on board with any unsettling, chaotic, revolutionary or generally unusual ways of thinking, acting or being—and if one particular quirk isn't for him or her, he/she will at least have some due respect for its practitioners. Yet you can also count on an Aquarian to display (outwardly or concealed) some degree of discomfort when some change in status or knowledge level calls for him/her to alter the stance on said revolutionary tenet. Especially if this change comes from creepy-crawly emotions, those unintelligible pulses inside that tend toward vacillation and unreliable transience. This week, Aquarius, count on the kindness of intimates in your life—not any among the zillion casual friends, but the true intimates—to help you find stability through the instability of emotional uncontrollability. After all, the changeableness of psychic waves is one thing we can always count on. Rather than feeling disrupted, the wavering activity can actually provide solidity and strength. But you might need to be talked into it, which first requires staying open-minded enough to hear what someone better equipped to polemicize about emotions has to say.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You should keep asking yourself, 'What can I do to support myself in staying focused on me?' The reason? Because this week's Venus/Jupiter opposition, which tends to bring extra helpings of relating and connecting and enjoying benefits, falls across your first/seventh house axis, the place where you work out what's you and what's him or her. In other words, there's liable to be a big pull toward merged identifications, overexuberant interrelations, and tons of charm on your end pulling others to you pulling you to them. All of this is great. Except Pisceans have a (rightful?) bad rep for giving too much of themselves and then feeling like big ol' martyrs afterward for not having taken care of themselves first. That's why, in light of the astrological influences toward relationships and courtships and partnerships and damn-you-look-so-cute-my-Pisces-pal-ships, I just want you to keep looking out for number one. And if they also want to keep looking out for you, then by all means, let 'em.