Horoscopes | Week of January 5-11, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You must keep on moving, even if the opening of possibilities in your life pushes against some interpersonal psychological limitation from the past. Frankly, you can't be too concerned about how a certain group of people cannot see who you really are, due to whatever cloud of glow or dust obscures your features as you rally along. Your mind is beginning to wake up from its slumber (and from being rattled around as you speed over the speed bumps), and soon it will be ready to draw a few long-undrawn conclusions. Maybe you've already begun to conclude—though, if I were you, I'd wait one more week to fully act on any abrupt decisions. Not that you'd be wrong, just that you'll be better guaranteed a highly pleasing resolution if you give it the extra week. In the meantime, allow yourself to romanticize whatever false impressions they might have of you. If you only pretend that they think you're flawless, perhaps you'll help project the guise of flawlessness and they'll pick it up and think they thought it up themselves.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Sure, declare yourself the teacher. But can you manage to deliver the lesson without using too many words? Whatever pain you've taken on and processed stoically on your own is the source of your wisdom, and you are ready to deploy it as a tool for healing others' similar pains. Alas, those who might need your wise lessons the most are those pesky brainy articulate types with their unorthodox life philosophies already fully and tightly formed (or so they think). You draw these types. They need your courage and strength. And yet they often have a better grip on the words than you (or so it seems). No matter, because what you have to teach is not about mental acuity or smarty-pants grandstanding. It's how to pass the test of life when there is no syllabus, no textbook and no time to study before the big exam. Use subtle psychic suggestion if you have to, but sometimes the role of teacher (or healer) involves a little kind-hearted strong-arming.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The full moon on Wednesday morning shines its light into your house of material resources, so you must force yourself to look at what's there—or not there. Don't get scared. The first step to freedom is taking honest stock at what you have to work with and what you still need. Just in time, your ruler Mercury stops his silly retrograde, enabling you to begin thinking a bit more clearly again. Your first direct statements should be aimed at people who you know and trust the best, since you'll be a bit more blunt and unguardedly honest than usual (and your wheels are a tiny bit rusty!). Say what you want. Ask for what you need. Anticipate help, but don't be pushy about what form you think it should take. And feel free to romanticize those belief systems that are most important to you, your sense of wrong and right and even more right, even as you know that material reality seems to require that you suck up your ideals and 'get a real job'. Simply putting out the heartfelt desire to do right with your life will gently guide you and your calling a little closer to each other.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This Wednesday morning is the annual full moon in your sign. The Moon loves being in your sign, but the messages she provides are not easy to read nor consistent, even moment to moment. So, first of all, take a good look at yourself (mirror not necessary). Second, stay open to movable emotions and fleeting possibilities. Try not to hold on to anything (or anyone) too strongly. This relational flexibility is part of being able to move past the past. What you'll find—probably not this week, but over the coming year, especially if you take this opportunity to open up seriously—is that the less you try to cling (or to pretend not to cling by hiding your clinginess), the more likely it is that you'll end up with the person or people you 'should' be with. (Sorry for 'shoulding' on you, but still.) Feel the joy-filled love connections from the past, but don't be afraid to forge ahead on your own if you truly want to reach the professional success you crave. You must juggle being (1) a soft, kind, emotional wonderland, (2) a loyal but choosy partner and peer, and (3) an outer-world go-getter. Which of these roles have you been neglecting or overemphasizing? Adjust now, and enjoy greater balance in the year ahead.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The funny thing about your work habits, Leo, is that the items or duties or processes that you think you do the worst are, in fact, the key to discovering and maximizing what you do best. Maybe you've never tried to organize your life according to these certain principles because you're 'not that type of guy/girl', because something about that level of rigidity or responsibility appears to fly in the face of your reputation as the good-time Leo. Maybe you fear failure in someone else's eyes if you dare to innovate (or demand innovation from co-workers) and it doesn't work perfectly the first or second time around. But, in the end, is it more important to look good or work smart? Let me answer for you—it's the latter, working smart so that you can achieve goals (which ultimately may include looking good!). You won't ever discover the strength imbedded within your imagined weaknesses without first surrendering your hopeless will to be something other than what you are. It is a hands-up-to-the-air, humbled-before-a-higher-power surrender—and only that—which will unleash these other talents you've kept hidden beneath your many easier-to-access surface talents. Pray for inspiration to risk failure, and you're highly likely to succeed.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This week's full moon asks that you open your heart to the widest range of people possible, including, but not limited to: people you don't know, people you're afraid of, people who you imagine share nothing in common with you, people you've traditionally scorned, and people you thought you'd let go but who still hold a grip on your life. The source for this heart-opening is your emotional memory, the feelings of pain and incompleteness you associate (consciously or not) with love, due to events from your past. A bittersweet truth is that certain pains are only possible because of the existence of love, and that love cannot be fully experienced without also bringing certain pains. Even the people who you (fairly or unfairly) hold responsible for having caused the pain in you also have their own aching hearts—perhaps it is those very aches in them that led to the aches in you. If you truly wish to take advantage of this year of good luck opportunity (summer 03-summer 04), which I've been hailing almost weekly, you must do so with an open heart. You must learn to see yourself in the eyes of scary people, foreign people, mean-seeming people, people from the past and people from the future. Only then can you expect the world to fully embrace you as one of its own, rather than as an isolated hermit, which is an easier though no less painful option.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): For me, this week is marked by separate visits from two important Librans in my life, one of whom is actually staying in my house. That said, I'm tempted to report that Libras should spend their next few days cleaning the bathrooms and kitchens of their close friends, but that would be a little self-serving, I suppose. However, there is a link between these two visits and what I see for my Libra pals in the astrological climate. Home (wherever that is or whatever that means) is imagined to be a comfortable haven, but the world beyond is a much larger and unpredictable place. It causes us to be carried on its currents further than we might have realized, considering it sometimes feels like we've hardly swam very far or been gone long. In those journeys, we find we've drifted apart from some who we thought we'd be close to forever, while others surprise us with the intensity of their continued bond. Still, the big world has adventures for all of us, contributions that beg to be made, whether or not that outward work is comfortable or supports us in maintaining all the same connections we've always had. For you, Libra, I feel pressure pushing on the safety valve; in order that you may fully explore the more intense and transformational relationships, the foundations of others might be shaking apart. Keep your heart on the outer-world ambitions and your faith in the unknown, and the key players will arrange themselves in your life accordingly.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Now it's all starting to make sense, the reasons why certain statements get so easily and completely under your skin. You are finally able to get some perspective on how little turns of phrase or small notions of seeming consequence fit together in a more comprehensive way. There are finally philosophically sound explanations for why offhand comments triggered long-withheld childhood hurts. Blinders are being removed, so that detail no longer overwhelms the big picture. This process isn't quite complete, though, so don't rush it; let it continue to unfold. Meanwhile, there's some real problem-solving to attend to, involving how to juggle home life and material resources so that, together, they foster not only a healthy bottom line financially but productive intellectual development. Rather than forcing epiphanies and creative breakthroughs, simply set up your environment so these things flow organically. And they will. Clear out clutter. Reprioritize budgetary items. Take care of logistics, and then get them out of the way. By the time you finish up with that work over the next couple weeks, your mind will have fully acclimated to its new freedoms and will have even more brilliant insights to offer. Don't get lured by the appeal of quick prizes. Hold out for the jackpot.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Joy, oh joy, Sag! Mercury is turning around and heading forward again, and somehow it snuck back into your sign for another week and a half. This means, simply: Express yourself. Not that you ever have much trouble saying what you're thinking, but in case you've been feeling a bit confused or hesitant about letting loose, now you can let loose on letting loose. However, I wouldn't express ideas or items with the motivation that you will be able to get something from the expressions (other than the joy of expression). Now isn't necessarily the time to be trying to develop expressions into secured resources or strategic game plans or wholly cemented agreements. In fact, it's much more interesting to say what you want… and then watch and listen for how different people react. Stay open to their responses—they might not be what you expect. After all, people change (I mean, you have, haven't you?), so use this time as a fresh litmus test for who's with you or against you, who understands or doesn't have a clue, who's looking out for your best interests and who can't even find you through their own curtain of self-involvement. Then later, a couple weeks from now, you can create opportunities to use this knowledge to reaffirm or sever certain connections, to ally with increased passion and to display your devil-may-care attitude to those who prove deserving of it.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This Wednesday morning, the full moon in Cancer draws back the curtains and shows just what's been going on in your one-on-one relationship life. As I've written several times over recent months, this is already a major issue for you, with your ruler Saturn also hanging out in your seventh house, teaching major lessons about what to do (more accurately, what not to do) when trying to establish meaningful connections with people. This is difficult enough to deal with from a distanced, mindful, discipline-oriented perspective. This week, though, the actual emotions flare up so that, with or without words, you are likely to feel the places where what you're doing works and the places where it doesn't. If you've caused someone pain, you're likely to feel the invisible psychic strings tying you to them—and feel a bit of their pain in the process. Of course, if you're out there creating joy, then you will get to share in the fruits of those labors as well. If you want to 'get better' at relationships, though, you cannot seek to avoid sharing the pain of those close to you or those affected by your actions. And once you feel that pain, you must not isolate the part of your personality that you associate with it but rather embrace it holistically into your being. Everyone does things that hurt other people. Only wise people understand the chain of their own past wounds and its causality in leading to current struggles and, eventually, future rewards.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Just to flip things around a bit, I'm going to hype the 'bad' news to you as the good news and the 'good' news as the bad news. Ultimately both are both and neither, so. The good news is that a bright light is shining into the back of your closet, suddenly showing in all its glory that nagging self-critical fear you keep so well hidden. All my urgings to get to work and finally do something with that tremendously gifted vision of yours has reactivated the subconscious self-sabotage, which wears the cloak of 'gee, it's fun to dream!' but keeps you stuck in fantasy. Of course, what you're also seeing with the light so bright is how, with a few easy housecleaning steps and a new system for preventing future mess from accumulating, you can air out the crevices and let the world see the fear, thus converting it into fuel for the very work that scares you. In other words, organize, exercise, keep clear and easy-to-maintain habits, and stay healthy. The bad news is that the planets continue to conspire to make you irresistible and deliciously powerful in all kinds of social encounters. If you're out doing things in the world, you probably know what I mean. It can almost get embarrassing how friendly people are being. Will you be able to resist your own irresistibility enough to stay grounded, keep working, start organizing, and refraining from overtaxing? Your guess is as good as mine. Probably depends on how alluring certain strangers prove to be.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Okay, Pisces, this week's article is sort of all about you. See, Uranus has finally ended up back in Pisces to stay until 2011, so you need to know that the big changes are now ready to start happening. When I think about you, I'm still thinking about last year (I know, it's hard to let go), about how Uranus snuck into your sign for a few months and seemed to promise something but didn't follow through on it, about how Mars insisted upon turning retrograde in your sign and hanging out there for six months to give you extra energy but not a lot of clarity as to what to do with it. Maybe you think that when I say, after all this, that this time is for real, I'm full of shit. I understand your skepticism, even though I secretly know that you secretly know that this time is for real. You already began to feel it toward the end of December, and now you know there's no going back. You have completed the inner parts of the journey, and the outward adventurous manifestations will soon begin, if they haven't already. This is the year to come to peace with those parts of you that made you feel like a dork during adolescence. Guess what? We're all dorks! Love yourself and all the dorks the world over. This is the year that, by accepting all parts of yourself, you will have the courage to take that enormous next step. What is it? What is it? The worst thing you can do in 2004 is to hold on tightly to your current status. Starting now, everything is up for grabs. Not everything will stay or go, but some will stay or go.