Horoscopes | Week of February 2-8, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If, by chance, you read my article this week, you learned that Venus is entering your sign just as Mars is leaving it. In other words, the drive to push-push-push or move-move-move that has propelled you on over recent weeks is beginning to stabilize. You've already unstuck yourself, and now that you've moved from one place to another, you have a moment to settle in and get adjusted to your new surroundings (whether literal or figurative). If you keep on going at the rate you've been, you will miss reaping some of the pleasurable effects from these recent actions. For your own enjoyment and relaxation, no blink-and-you'll-miss-it rocket-powered passages through the present moment. Yes, I know how fantastic it feels to finally be moving—and how the gleaming golden reward is closer than ever—but you don't have to make it all the way there now. It's a marathon, not a sprint (though, damn, you're a good sprinter). If you race through one stage now, you might not understand what little lessons you've skipped until later… and then you'll have to retrace your steps and do over all the other stages along the way. Not a worthwhile expenditure of future energy, when you can control the potential waste now. And besides, you've been producing and projecting so much heat and fire, isn't it time to let someone or something else come along and warm you up from the outside in? Doesn't that sound luxuriously restorative? You're not going to get any rest if you don't slow down at the rest stop, exit here.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Here comes Mars, storming into your sign this week for a month and a half. Mars brings physical energy, which a lot of folks imagine to be a twittering jittery ball of sudden jolts and uncontrollable twitches and the need to run everywhere instead of walking. (Perhaps these folks are your zodiac neighbors, Aries and Gemini.) No, Taurean physical energy is something else entirely, characterized by strength, patience and responsiveness to sensation. As you know, if a Taurus decides not to move from where s/he is standing, it would take an army of Geminis to get that bull going. I want you to remind yourself of your distinguishing steadfastness over the course of the next couple months, as you decide how you best want to use the upcoming force you're being granted. Being as fertile a sign as you are, you should consider the period between now and late March as nothing less than a birthing process. I urge you not to waste this fruitful window of time, Taurus, so if you aren't sure yet how you want to spend your extra oomph, I'd use the light of this Thursday night/Friday morning's Full Moon to begin the exploration. By the New Moon on Feb. 20, you'll want to commit yourself to one easily accomplished, short-term goal—and it will work best if this goal serves as one plank on the bridge from the old and outdated past-life you to the optimistic and unfettered future-life you. Once that moon cycle begins, Venus will join Mars in your sign, and together they will bring you greater productivity than you've seen in a while. I'm giving you the foresight now. Start now on brainstorming the progressive project. You will be able to make a major step ahead between the next two New Moons, Feb. 20-Mar. 20. We'll talk more about this later.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): What can I tell you, Gemini? I have no exaggerated news of glamorous galas or magical new acquaintanceships, soon-to-arrive sweepstakes checks or a spiritually rewarding sense of inner peace. That's not to say none of these things are possible, for anything is possible and I don't want my meager words to serve as the reason the check didn't show up or the acquaintance got lost on the way to your house. For the time being, though, I don't have a whole helluva lot new to report, as I believe the bulk of Gemini existence is still wrapped up in already-in-process 'big' issues—a sharp reorientation in the professional/public realm, a slow transformation in how your handle relationships, the perpetually pulled-tight purse-strings that pray for more moolah. Everything I have to report for you this week, Gemini, is stuff I've reported before, sometime in the last few months. So, in lieu of wildly wacky pronouncements of hyperdramatic developments, I'll just offer a few mundane pieces of mini-advice. Engage your appetite for some fresh mental stimulation. Have a good chat or two with people you don't get a chance to catch up with that often. Pick up a book or a magazine of a different variety than usual, and read (without feeling guilty if you don't finish what you started!). If invited to social gatherings, attend, if for no other reason than to get out of the house (and your head) and have some new stimulus. And, lastly, rather than getting caught up in whether 2004 is turning out to be a dream or a dud, don't draw any conclusions yet. In fact, for Gemini, a better place to look for a 'new year' to begin is with the Spring Equinox on March 20. Trust me on this one, that's when things really start pickin' up for my Gemini guys and gals.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): To celebrate this week's Full Moon in Leo, I recommend that my Cancerian friends transfer their concerns from the abstracted form into the realm of the concrete. The very notion of being able to 'do' something with your thoughts or feelings implies more action than either thinking or feeling allow. You should be operating your hands and feet, combining raw materials to produce finished (or semi-finished) goods, expending calories, shifting potential to kinetic energy. Perhaps you'd like to channel the verve and vigor of Mars moving to your eleventh house into initiating these concrete actions in a group setting, calling on your comrades-in-crime to join you in finally carrying out the grand plans you've been musing on, or at least one major piece of the plan. The powers that be, in their authoritarian brightness, are likely to shine favorably on said efforts begun at this time and completed over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, it would be quite a refreshing change for you to stop obsessing and/or overly involving yourself with ungrounded interpersonal intrigue in which, no matter how clearly you think you state your position, you always imagine you've not quite said it right. The problem could eventually prove to be something other than your communications, if you want to bother exploring the 'meta'-situation to its logical (and distracting) end. Or you could just simply choose to move on and redirect your energy, as I've recommended you do.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This Thursday night/early Friday morning, the Moon turns full in your sign, Leo, which to me indicates that the cold winter will get heated up by a flashing dose of Leonine warmth. That's momentary feel-good fire is your responsibility, Leo, since you're so good at lighting the place up with your loving demeanor and your bag of talents. I'm not going to hold you to it, force you to put on a show like some over-coiffed, underappreciated child star. But instead I'll remind you of the pleasure you feel from cheering others up (that is, if they are open to having their mood changed). I'm not necessarily implying that those around you are in the doldrums or in a slump. But I do know that it's not unusual for this time of year to get many of us down, as winter seems to be dragging on forever and all the resoluteness of January gives way to another month that proves that this is just another year. Help us from this flagging ho-hum. The only individuals I'd caution you about charming and cheering with your feel-good routine are those you consider authority figures in any way. (Yes, this most certainly includes your boss and your boss's boss, in addition to anyone who isn't on equal ground with you in the invisible power strata.) To certain of those humbuggers, your kind-hearted attempts at mustering smiles could inadvertently come across overbearing or coercive, resulting in subtle and temporary consequences enacted by their subconscious desire to crush any uprisings, even if the only thing threatening to rise up is laughter.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As long as you've kept your mind on the 'prize'—which is defined by whichever benefits you've decided should bloom as a result of this year's good luck, lasting through summer '04—then it's okay if you don't spend every single week fixated on how to bring it into being. I'm going to take your on your word (or, er, my imagined version of your word) that you have done a lot of shaking free of binding restraints and removing of blinders and broadening of worldviews over the past six months, and on that word, grant you another couple weeks of relief. The past couple weeks, the main advice I've had is to stay as free of other people's dramas as possible. I will not hold you to that, as Venus is trying her damnedest to ignite passions in you, and far be it for me to tell you to resist Venus. You can even allow yourself an escape into pleasures of the variety mixing carnal and spiritual, one of the most rewarding mixes for Virgos. (And you misunderstood the symbol of Virgo the Virgin as 'virginal' in the sense of sexless? HA!) Just don't go looking for it—if you're meant to have a blipful of woop-woop, it'll find you, believe me. And don't try to hold on to it either. Pretty soon, I (or, er, I mean, the planets) will be putting you back to work on finishing up what you've been working toward. For now, enjoy a sensuous breather… and here's to hoping that the breathing gets heavy!


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): By nature of your sign, what Librans do best is relating, however you choose to define the word. And I can't help but notice that several planets are lighting up spots in the zodiac likely to fuel a boost to the relating going on in your life. There are several ways to call this configuration, whether it's involving love, sex, intimacy, friendship, social-butterflyness, self-expression, or any combination thereof. I don't exactly see you with any lack of interesting people to talk to, hang out with, date, or engage with in whatever other interpersonal activities you can think of. Now, whether these relational connections have the potential to endure or are merely passing fancies remains to be seen. What's important for you, Libra, is not to throw your hat into any ring before you understand the fullest extent of the entanglements to which you commit. As much as social energy is surrounding you from almost every angle, there's still that quiet morsel of self inside you with a spiritual alignment—yes, even if you don't feel the word 'spiritual' applies to you at all—which requires some degree of solitude from you in order to continue the growth process it began last summer. And since being alone sometimes—but not always—can lead to loneliness, I can see how this social energy is appealing to you. That's why I'm not warning you against enjoying its fruits. Just don't unthinkingly commit to friends, lovers, acquaintances, study partners or new work pals without knowing fully what you're getting into. Think now, not necessarily forever.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): With Mars entering your house of one-on-one relationships, Scorpio, I think you face a bit of a relational Catch-22. There is some grounding, stabilizing force that you crave (consciously or not) from one or more individuals in your life—and yet, at the same time, it's quite likely that you don't actually want to patiently accept the very guidance that you crave. So, if you allow yourself to act with less than full self-consciousness (and some degree of behavioral restraint), you could find yourself lashing out against the very folks you desire to connect with. It's not so unusual for forms of attraction (not necessarily sexual, but also friendship-oriented) to manifest as aggression, particularly if there is an inner conflict within the person (I didn't say it was you, but…) about who this other individual is, what s/he represents and what role s/he is to play. Since Mars is the force involved, your position in the relationship(s) about which I speak is an active one, even if you can't see that. In other words, if someone is bugging you or won't leave you alone, you might be surprised to learn that you are somehow drawing that person to you, as opposed to passively trying to mind your own business. Maybe that's why s/he cares so much. Because you want him/her to, and yet can't figure out the right way to ask for what you want. Don't fight the messenger. After all, you sent for him/her.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I'd like you to envision these next two weeks, Sag, as your opportunity to get a running start or to wind up your pitching arm for a tricky curve ball. Though this week is the Full Moon, I'm more focused on the New Moon two weeks down the road as far as you're concerned. On that occasion, you will meet a cosmically keen window of opportunity during which you can commit yourself to a mammoth duty or responsibility, whether a task at work or a self-improvement project, that requires more patience and endurance than you've recently felt. If you start it at the New Moon on Feb. 20 and pledge with honest heart and desire for betterment, you will show great results by the time the next New Moon rolls around. This upcoming lunar cycle is all about work for you, Sag, and the ability to put immediate pleasures and indulgences on hold for a higher purpose. That gives you two weeks to resolve any philosophical snafus or explorations of what higher purpose even is, so that you'll be able to enter the period with an unconflicted alignment in your efforts. This headstart I'm promising is exactly the sort of thing that makes astrology such a useful tool—so that you know ahead of time that such an advantageous moment of sustainable force and earthly toil is coming, and you can plan your attack accordingly.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): In honor of this week's Full Moon, we are going to look back at what I wrote for you at last month's Full Moon because I think it's extremely relevant. Last month, the Full Moon coincided with the long-term (i.e., 2-year) transit of Saturn through Cancer, which is putting the pressure on you to wise up and trim all loose strings in how you relate to people in one-on-one relationships. At that last Full Moon in early January, I suggested you would experience emotional consequences, good and bad, that demonstrated which relational strategies are working for you and which aren't. Now, a month later, these similar emotions intensify. The good elements have transmogrified into wondrous passion and intense connection, while the bad elements have deepened in scope and darkened in tone. In both cases, what was previously contained in unspeakably nonverbal feeling has moved into a more expressable (if not somewhat exaggerated) mode, so that this dramatization throws the good, the bad and the ugly smack dab in your face. Truth simply cannot be ignored (and its finer points make for great stage flourishes). With it comes a chance to prove your bravery in fighting the valiant fight for the fuller opening of your honest and loving heart. If your recent and current actions support this heart opening, you're on the right path. If your lack of inner peace reflects the opposite, hopefully the hurt or shame will grow sensational enough for you to pull for a happy ending, no matter what has to change to get there.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Don't be afraid of people you can't keep contained, and don't be afraid of saying goodbye to those who try to contain you. This week's Full Moon is in your seventh house, the one where we meet another person face to face and share as peers. And the Full Moon is in Leo, a deliciously fiery sign of love and joy, a different sort of love than the whole-world-in-your-hands Aquarian sort. You shouldn't feel afraid of momentarily losing the control of safe conversational propriety, if someone comes along to rock your boat—just as you also shouldn't feel jerked around if the moment doesn't last. Can you love unsafely and still be prepared to let it go, to recognize its shelf-life might be less than that of the yogurt in your fridge? You can go deeper with the sense of connection than you have and yet successfully bid adieu when the time is right to return to the solitary quest for the grail. (And you cannot do what you need to do unless, in some fundamental aspect, you remain alone, despite partnerships and allegiances.) There's an extra-cosmicness to this week's knowing glances and passing words, and I prefer to call it love. And I prefer to demand Aquarians raise the bar on their emotional commitment to love—even though they can speak its tenets well enough to win the debate, sometimes they fail the experiential exam. Let the heart rip, and in the spaces left in these cleaved gaps, let intergalactic juice fill and heal with traces of radioactivity. You may emerge from the experience as slightly more alien, and suddenly you never felt more at home in your home here on Earth, just knowing that fleeting fusions of multiple subjectivities into dazzling wholes are possible, productive and non-lethal. Space is the place. Antennae up.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): On and off for months now, I've been telling you to get ready for big changes. Let me remind you for the umpteenth time that Uranus, the planet of sudden and swift and chaotic and liberating change, is in Pisces to stay until 2011, and you will so totally not be the same person after that. But I'm the first one to admit that looking out that far is not the easiest or most worthwhile exercise in energy projection. So let's start the process a bit closer to now, and look out to the New Moon on Feb. 20, two weeks from now. Yes, I know that this week there's a Full Moon, and shouldn't I be talking about that? Well, sure I should—and what I say is that this Full Moon marks the start of two weeks of prep work, of creative visualization for the type of change you want to invite, and of an ultimate letting-go of control as you brace for having your world rocked. See, the New Moon in two weeks is in Pisces, very closely conjunct to Pisces, so I'm reading that as the official first day of the rest of your life. Counting backwards, then, that makes the Full Moon on Thursday night/Friday morning the beginning of the last two weeks of your old life. Say your goodbyes, literally and figuratively. Make sure your bags are packed and your bills are taken care of. And really truly spend the next two weeks deciding where you want to go from here. As I've said before (and will say again), the worst thing you can do is try to hold on to your current situation. Because, one way or another, things are going to change. That's why I encourage you to choose ways to engage the pressure to change, instead of passively letting it choose ways for you. Your conscious ways will be less upsetting and more easily directed.