Horoscopes | Week of March 1-7, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Only through mastery of the mundane and practical will you begin to discover the realm of the unusual, otherworldly and psychically dynamic. Any electrifying transmutations you're enacting or contemplating enacting require that a series of logistical questions be answered and a list of material to-dos get done and checked off. Under no circumstance should you let these unromantic pragmatics dampen your sense of adventure—sometimes shopping for the just the right length of rope is as death-defying (and thus life-enhancing) as using that rope to rappel down the mountain. Lord knows, having food on the table and a pillow for head-resting and a small cushion in the bank account all offer a safety net, so when you're walking the tightrope in front of the audience, you needn't worry so much about what happens if you fall while they're watching. Taking intelligent risks means learning to minimize the risk quotient in certain areas, to free yourself up for complete cliff-jumping in others.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Say hello to your ruling charmer Venus, who is joining Mars in your sign for enough push-and-pull to fuel an army of ferocious do-gooders with smiles on their faces, or at least that army within, which has been charged with bringing the last two weeks' efforts to fruition and finesse over these next two. Blend action with receptivity, never tipping too far to one side or the other, in order to best channel the power of these planetary pals. Neither settle for doing what someone else instructs you (just because it feels good to get his/her attention) nor force others to adjust their way of thinking to yours (just because it feels good to be in control). A little bit of both strategies is the best approach to completing projects, lest you forget (or think I forgot) that you're in the middle of an assignment designed to produce that rewarding feeling of achievement. Now's the time to alter these plans, if recent events have produced a change in circumstance which deems this necessary, in order to make abandoning them altogether seem unambitious and, consequently, unappealing.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The prospect of escaping outer-world stress into the peace-fostering encasement of home cannot be entertained as a save-all, once I point out that inside and outside are inseparably bound by a common center-point, which is, of course, you. Trying too hard to pretend that the stuff 'out there' isn't getting you down by closing the door, blasting the music, eating your favorite foods, watching TV and/or wrapping yourself in blankets doesn't forestall the inevitable—that is, dealing. The last thing you want is for the pressing need for professional innovation and external shape-shifting to go unattended to, and allow the toxicity of dissatisfaction to taint the good stuff you've got going in your private life. On the contrary, you must consciously use the emotional stronghold to help you grab a grip on the seemingly elusive outside world and shake yourself free from the constraints. Otherwise, what good are the comforts of home if you can't rely on them to inspire you toward greater risk-taking outside the home?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): You were not kidding yourself when first you thought you felt yourself growing up and acting in unbelievably surprisingly mature ways and then you imagined you'd only been imagining it and instead reverted to old believably unsurprisingly immature behaviors. That's just grumpy old man Saturn playing backsies-and-forthsies on your ass, demonstrating his favorite method for ensuring you've learned your lessons: repetitive testing. At the end of the week, Saturn starts moving ahead again, ushering in several months' worth of you getting the chance to prove to yourself that those initial observations of maturity were no fluke. You needn't perfect the art of being the wise one in order to enjoy its privileges, so long as you learn from the imperfections without using them as an excuse to self-flagellate into dropping your aspirations for more-ness. Feel free to experiment by studying your speech patterns (without hyperanalyzing!) for residual childishness in all its subtle forms and questioning why these patterns might not fit any longer.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Oftentimes, we are able to draw on the life-transforming experiences in our intimate world to propel us into heightened eminence on the professional stage. In your current case, Leo, I believe the opposite process—which might seem counterintuitive to the non-Leos out there—will work more smoothly and effectively for you. Since the joint one-two punch of Mars and Venus are casting their magic in your outer-world achievement zone, while it's your investments in intense interpersonal intimacy (or is it interpersonal intimate intensity?) pushing for the extreme makeover, I recommend moving the outside action inward, much as an actor might transform his private life as a direct result of getting into some particularly engaging role. Draw upon your material and reputational riches, and humbly and charitably bring them to the table in your deepest relationships, turning wealth into more wealth. Simple equation: Offer more of yourself (but only to the special people!), and more will come back (from those that matter most!).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Yes, you'd be a mighty rich Virgo if you had a dollar for every time I or some other astrologer told you that this year is a goldmine of good luck for you. Some of you know exactly what good luck I'm talking about, while other Virgos undoubtedly think I'm smoking crack because things seem to suck. Rather than insist you take willful action or accept my words at face value, I challenge you to spend the week under the waxing Moon's light simply looking. Take a detached approach, watching everyone else act out their dramas and project their bullshit onto each other and onto you. This exercise should lead to one of two results—(1) you're able to poignantly recognize how far you've come since, say, last summer, or (2) you're able to poignantly recognize how much of the same old crap you still tolerate, hopefully compelling you to do something about it over coming weeks, before this window of luck passes you by and you have to work even harder to push out of inertia.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): There's something so titillating about whichever scenes from horror flicks or intense psychological thrillers terrify you the most. Simultaneously, you are scared for your life and crave those very fear-inspiring events with a mysteriously erotic charge, much the way that rape fantasies are fairly commonplace though few of us actually want to live them out. Fear breeds excitement, so long as you can balance the threat to your safety precariously close to actuality without actually threatening your safety. The planets are crafting an ideal environment for your creative urges to concoct a beautifully dark and playfully threatening scenario in which you can engage your deep scary desires, frightening yourself a little without frightening yourself so much as to spoil your fun. It would be so invigorating to spend the week on the edge of your seat, thanks to your own efforts toward making life seem more alive by flirting with the underworld and living to tell the tale.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): These past two weeks, I've directed you down a path of opening up to future love, while expressing the unresolved emotions and hurts still around from past and present love. Under the light of this week's Full Moon, Mars and Venus are both in your one-on-one relationships house, making positive flowing aspects to the continued activity in your house of love, creativity and joy. This is the kind of alignment that brings romantic meetings, amorous adventures and love-filled liaisons—or meaningful bonds of friendship, enhanced interpersonal expressiveness and positive collaboration of all sorts—or more confusing, self-sabotaging engagements in relationship drama. I offer alternatives to the standard fortune-telling 'you will fall in love' declaration (which is one clear way to interpret this week's planets for you) because Karma's also got his fidgety little hands in the pot, requiring of you more than just breakfast and a shower in the morning in order for a clean start. Is he tempting you with more of the same old same disguised in fresh clothing, or is there something afoot that's so truly fresh you might not even recognize it for what it is…which is what exactly?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I'm hoping that you've been following my last two weeks' encouragements to do some work because the planets and I have secretly snuck in an added benefit to your due diligence. I've kept my allusions to 'work' general, without once mentioning loftier notions such as 'career achievement' or 'development of professional ambitions', since I don't know what kind of project you've adopted for this month's focused efforts. If in fact you have been getting your work done, you might also have noticed the meditative clarity that comes as a fruitful side effect, thoughts effortlessly floating in and out of your consciousness as your hands effortfully stay busy. This week, pay attention (effortlessly) to clues contained in these thoughts, revealing, during this work, a bigger-picture perspective of what greater career contribution or professional achievement you most deeply desire. You could be surprised at the content of one major detail of this picture, or of the whole picture itself, as what you've been deliberately (and effortfully) telling yourself you want to do may not be what your quiet inner voice is now effortlessly unveiling as a truer calling.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With Saturn turning direct again, you can expect me to restart all that annoying garbage about 'relationship issues' and 'learning your limitations in interpersonal interactions' and 'becoming that newly mature partner / friend / collaborator'. What might have initially seemed like a breakthrough last summer—and then consequently seemed like a setback, or at least a holding pattern, since October—is just what the doctor ordered, to make sure that you really want to be a different kind of person to other people in your life. For the next few weeks, the planets provide a last boost of support in freshening your behaviors (which, as I've mentioned, include learning alternative ways to communicate) before they begin to crystallize into new habits, which will be harder to break further down the road. Maybe the challenge won't feel as challenging when I point out that you also have the dynamic duo of Mars and Venus generating sensual sparks in your creative expressions (which may or may not include expressions of love to and from loved ones), along with a pleasantly optimistic Full Moon illuminating a broader philosophical perspective than you've seen in a while. All in all, it's a pretty upbeat week for my Capricorn comrades, all the better for standing firm into the upcoming months, so you can emerge victorious against those relationship demons once and for all.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Part of me wants to give you a breather from all my recent pushy counsel to stay focused on money, home affairs, security and other such practical issues and let you have some fun. But an even louder part of me doesn't think that's such a good idea because you've always had (and will continue to have) a lot of fun in your life, and right now I don't want you to take your eyes off the unromantic business at hand. The best way to do justice to these conflicting parts is to broker a compromise, which in your case involves bridging the conceptual gap you maintain between 'doing practical work' and 'having fun'. What if the fun and the work are the same thing, that the Aquarian way of attending to financial matters and around-the-house responsibilities is totally inventive and attention-holding and entertains you at the same time you get your shit done? I suggest you adopt this compromising attitude, seeing as this current batch of work isn't going to be finished anytime soon and all your future successes rest on your ability to get this step right and you're not prepared to walk away from fun either.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Just because the pressure is on to, well, completely and totally reinvent yourself over the next several months and years, that doesn't mean you have to do it alone. In fact, it would be virtually impossible to undergo such radical changes without the assistance and support of certain key instigators in your life, people you may or may not already know or who you'd never suspect could have the type of influence they'll prove to have. However—and this is a big 'however'—you must take care when allowing others to exercise influence on you that they have your best interests in mind, as opposed to possessing a conscious or unconscious agenda to ensnare you in their drama and/or mold you to their specifications. This week's Full Moon, aided by Jupiter's benevolent warmth, shines directly into your house of relating to other people, which gives you a fortuitous opportunity to look a little more clearly at those currently occupying your attention. You'll do yourself a great service if you use this light to honestly and quietly evaluate your people on the basis of whether each is more likely to help or hinder your transformation process—even while the eventual outcome of your metamorphosis is a huge unknown—and then subtly take a couple steps toward the helpers and a couple steps away from the hinderers, doing so on the down-low.