Horoscopes | Week of March 15-21, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A wise woman once told me that it takes about 90 days to turn new behaviors into habits. And you're just completing the 3-month grace period that has passed since your ruler Mars led the cavalcade of planets beginning new cycles by entering into your sign, which means that late-2003's slump of indecision has officially been conquered by the invigorated actions you started in mid-December. This week, with the Spring Equinox (i.e., the Sun entering Aries) and a New Moon in Aries, you must give yourself the acknowledged props by momentarily standing in front of the mirror and recognizing the new person who has emerged. Of course, you still might not grasp how this individual will fit in, once lined up in formation with a host of peers and expected to 'do his/her thing'. But no matter. That knowledge of this new part (i.e., you) in relation to its whole (everyone else) will come in time. Meanwhile, if you like what you see, then invest a bit of time and energy in storing and commemorating the image. Consciously reserve some of what you have now, like jarring the extra harvested fruit as jelly rather than letting it spoil before it can all be eaten, so you can enjoy it in future months, without letting tangential diversions erupt and confuse this self-proclaimed identity.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I'm quite convinced that those Taureans who spent their month seriously heeding my advice to complete one accomplishable short-term project will have experienced this as the 'major step ahead' I promised. If you refrained from engaging in this well-timed assignment, you'll just have to take my word for it. Either way, this hyperproductive moon cycle comes to an end this week, punctuated by a New Moon that highlights the mystical realm of your personal spirituality. Lest you misinterpret spirituality as a force divorced from your 'regular' life, found only in church pews or cross-legged meditations in secret sequestered chambers, let me draw the explicit link between staying connected to your 'spiritual center' (or 'intuition') and having an easier time navigating the many discontinuous options that present themselves in the course of life. By no means is your productivity suddenly drying up, now that Mars is moving on into Gemini—after all, Venus remains squarely in your sign, making a fantastically prosperous earth-sign trine to Jupiter, and ensuring that all forms of material creation and physical manifestations remain astrologically favored and encouraged, so that whatever you make now is part of the legacy you'll carry with you into the future. But things will only get weirder over the next three months, involving multiple ways to get what you want and multiple ever-changing snapshots of what you have, what you think you have and/or what you imagine you might have. Turning a necessary focus inward, to the core of self you'll always have no matter how circumstances shift and change and change back, will provide a nice foil to external cacophony and help you choose the best window from among the doors.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Several weeks back, I advised you to reserve your judgment of 2004 until your year really got going, and I pointed to this week's Spring Equinox as the best time for Geminis to find their 'new year'. Well, that time is here now. Following right on the tail of both the Equinox and the New Moon, Mars moves into Gemini on Saturday, to be joined by Venus a couple weeks from now. And the fun begins. Relatively soon, you will forget that you almost wondered how much more of the same-ol'-same-ol' you could take, considering that there will be so much going on, it will be hard to keep track of which are the meaningful advances and which the distractions. Just when you thought you couldn't take any more quiet envy of others' attentions, you will get enough of your own to potentially derail your current predictable reliabilities. This, incidentally, is a taste of how Venus's upcoming retrograde (May 17-June 19) through your sign, resulting in four full months of Venus in Gemini (the usual is about a month), will both delight you and mess with you (her charms can sometimes be too good!). Since this week is a new year of sorts, make yourself a couple specific resolutions, with the general thrust of keeping yourself grounded and emotionally in touch, encouraging yourself to dream big without escaping into fantasy, so you're ready to take advantage of a highly stimulated few months without letting them sweep away your lasting goals with a burst of bright whistles and glossy colors.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This week's New Moon in Aries plants a seed in your tenth house of professional achievement and public recognition that can blossom into quite a prosperous piece of foliage over the month. The even better news on the same front comes a month later, on the relatively rare occurrence of a second New Moon in the same sign, and this one a solar eclipse to boot. In other words, being the moon-child you are, you must follow the Moon's lead into a two-pronged plan for public excellence, starting this week with putting the preliminaries in place so that, a month from now, the even bigger take-off takes off. The social networking favored last week continues to contain great promise, particularly now that Venus is trining good-luck Jupiter in your third house, so taking bigger and freer (though still calculated) risks in your communications is highly likely to pay off as part of the process. The main thing to caution you about—and it's not necessarily something that my super-sensitive Cancerian friends will want to hear—is to suspend any psychic worries about the psychological effect your highly social efforts toward enhanced professional acclaim will have on others' true beneath-the-surface impressions of you. Don't stress too much if they like or don't like you. The truth is, they may not know yet, and even if they do, you may not be accurate in your interpretations of the vibes. Keep everything on the level of distanced cordiality, and don't be afraid to ask for what you want, even as you fear the unknown opinions of the people being asked.


LEO (July 23-August 22): People toil their lives away, daydreaming while sweeping floors or typing legal briefs about what they would do with themselves if only they had the wealth to buy their own freedom. In addition to fantasies of fancy clothes, exclusive vacation destinations and enormous television sets, there are also the ethical fantasies—'If only I were truly free, I'd never spend my time doing x, I'd never tolerate y, and I'd finally quit my unhealthy obsessions with z.' Well, Leo, whether wealth is defined by money in the bank, the emotional stability provided by solid relationships or the continued privilege of Venus shining square-down onto your public achievements, you've got it right now. So let your wealth do more than accumulate like scum on unbrushed teeth, and purchase yourself a two-month ticket to reformulating your life philosophies to ensure that you're living life to the fullest. What a shame to be a multimillionaire who never travels beyond her hometown or never enjoys a gourmet meal. What a shame to be as blessed as you and never set aside enough time to articulate what you stand for, what matters most, what injustices you will not allow to unfold while you have the power to stop them. Have you worked this hard to ascend, only to forego the privileges of such freedom beyond immediate indulgence or to chase a hopelessly dreamy romantic notion that you can find and catch this 'other something' (a person? who?) in your hand like a moth? (And do what? Keep it/him/her under glass? And to what end?)


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): So often, we fear behaving in exactly the way we'd like because of the imagined boom-lowering of others' judgments upon us. We want them to think highly of us, and so we mold our externally observable actions to our fantasies of their preferences until we've secured good graces. Only then, we suppose, can we stray from the strict behavioral guidelines and be more freely ourselves. But I challenge you to stop such thinking in its tracks and utilize this advantageous transition time to switch the terms and take back your power. Maybe you are not the defendant, pleading for mercy in front of an auditorium full of judges. What if, instead, you are the judge? What if, in every one of the actions you take, you're establishing through example which sides you favor, which issues will determine the outcome of the trial, which criminals will be sent up the river and which laws will be found unconstitutional? Indeed, every step you take and statement you make is a verdict. You have made clear where you stand. You have already passed judgment, for, in your life, you are the only law there is. Sure, you are a fair and compassionate judge who is willing to hear rational appeals and well-phrased objections. But ultimately, whether any other person chooses to embrace or reject you based on your uncensored expression of self is a matter of his/her choosing to live under the law of your land or move to Canada. Do not lament the emigration. Why risk the sanctity of your state by allowing such blatant treason to continue under your rule?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I will not venture to guess whether you are currently in a romantic relationship, whether you have entered into professional collaboration with a key individual, or how the concept of partnership is playing out in your life. However, I'm relatively certain that the events of the last three months have tweaked with your notions of one-on-one interaction, either through the introduction of new parties, a revised dynamic in an existing relationship or seemingly unrelated events that subtly altered your interpersonal expectations. Perhaps you've been so busy living these notions (i.e., trying to incorporate the thrills, negotiate the compromises, adjust to the accountabilities and/or live down the self-contradictions), you have not stopped to acknowledge your changed status as a partner. Again, this may not necessarily mean you've gone from being single to involved, from being a lone agent to half of a professional pairing. The shift may alternately have been from 'desperate and looking' to 'alone and happy', from 'closed off in isolation' to 'open to potential'. In fact, I will not venture to guess what your current status is or should be. That is your job. And on the occasion of this week's New Moon in your relationship house, followed a month later by a solar eclipse/super-New Moon in the same house, this is an issue that begs for you to define yourself with regards to it. Don't underestimate the broad impact of engaging here, for it's not just about relationships, as your spiritual growth, creative self-expression and comfort level with difficult psychological subjects are all interrelated with how you relate. Expect a grab-bag of romantic notions, fanciful words, claustrophobic anxieties and contrasting push-and-pulls to unfold as you undertake this exploration.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The planets have requested I pass on this piece of wisdom as to how you might best spend the next month, which (to your delight or your dismay) includes the deferral of immediate pleasures for the benefit of completing important duties required for serving your highest earthly purpose. The planets told me to remind you about all the work you have to get done, and that such work is best done by deploying self-discipline to mete out the tasks a bit each day, so that you never fully release yourself from responsibility but you don't overwhelm yourself and burn out before reaching the finish line. The planets asked that I encourage you to keep your strength up with healthy meals, restful sleep and regular exercise, for warding off illness is as much a part of your earthly duty as the other elements. The planets also told you not to worry about feeling like too much of a workhorse because this is a fairly short-lived and intense phase, after which point you'll be glad you did it and will be able to enjoy a more fun-filled life. To cement the deal, the planets threw in a little extra surprise for you. Even though you are to be focused on work and to defer your efforts to procure immediate pleasure, that doesn't mean that others won't bring the pleasure to you without your having to seek it. So when joy and fun and a little sensual play show up at your front door asking to be let in, the planets don't expect you to send them away without at least a short meeting. After all, you don't want to be rude, and everyone needs the occasional coffee (or, er, whatever) break.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): No one reaps without doing a little sowing. But I promise you, Sag, that, right now, it's impossible for you to do your sowing without being virtually assured that you'll reap some substantial benefit. In other words, I'm simply trying to find new ways to spin the same message from these past weeks, which is to maintain a healthy regularity in your work patterns and to expect it to lead to unexpected results, insights and calm. I've now repeated the 'keep working' advice, so I'll assume that you'll keep that plate spinning while we move on to the next item. Without dropping the plate (i.e., without ceasing your steady work flow), you should simultaneously open your heart and recommit to finding life-affirming joy in whatever you do, including the ongoing work. I'm reminded of the universal truism that we are more happy when we are more busy, and keeping that forefront in your mind will help you combine the work with the pressing need for an open heart and a love of life. This week's New Moon falls in your fifth house, the domain of self-expression through love, creativity, child-rearing and enjoyment of who you are. Being in love—with another person, with a piece of art of your creation, with your children—derives from being in love with yourself as you relate to this other person, creation or offspring, manifested extensions of self into the world. Over the next couple months, you must allow yourself to be in love in the broadest sense of the phrase, not necessarily in romantic adoration of another but living a life in love, letting its non-judging and unconditional warmth surround your every encounter, thought, utterance and effort. From remaining in love, a whole batch of love from other people, situations and ventures will meet you in kind. But, oh yeah, keep working at the same time. The synergy will prove fruitful by May, believe me.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): In honor of this week's celebration of new beginnings to mark the Spring Equinox, I'm gifting you with my permission to overlook your recent challenges and to simply start over. At first, I was going to tell you to 'forget' the challenges, but realized that forgetting is usually an unconscious act and, besides, how are you to refrain from repeating history if you can't recall the lessons learned. No, I revised my insight to use the word 'overlook' because it combines the words 'look' (as in seeing and observing) and 'over' (as in 'getting over it', 'starting over' or 'moving over') for a different perspective on a similar act. So while the common usage of 'overlook' usually connotes seeing past something in a rather forgetful manner, I encourage you to revision it to refer to seeing past something in a rather visionary and future-oriented fashion. In your future, I see past the nagging sense of dull anxiety to a Capricorn who's grown comfortable with life's little imperfections and the emotional waves that unavoidably accompany them. And the method for achieving this comfort is prioritizing the importance of a protective home life, a literal or conceptual place where none of the challenges life brings are allowed to reign supreme over a reconnection to self that ushers in calm, even if only for a few minutes at a time. Plan this commitment to coincide with this week's New Moon, and then plan to recommit again a month from now. Your home should provide that scenic overlook, where you can rest with a cup of tea and a good book, straying from the pages every now and again to look out at the faraway view with loving welcome, knowing that you'll perpetually have to venture in and out of its fray but that you can always return here and recapture the same peace.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Since you are supposed to be concerning yourself with practical matters, fiscal responsibilities and domestic duties, you are permitted to take an intellectual vacation from brainstorming methods of saving the world (and depicting yourself as a hero in the process). After all, once you deploy a smidgeon of inventive brain-power toward figuring out how to solve these pressing logistical questions in your material life, the rest is simply sustained maintenance work—work to be sure, but not demanding intellectual work. And along with the vacation from achievement-minded genius I've granted, this opens up some free time for your mental churnings. Thus, to counteract any dampened feeling that being pragmatic with your efforts will turn you too staid, I hereby demand that, while you keep your hands busy with earning money and organizing important business issues, you occupy your mind with the most assorted, odd, fleetingly interesting, verbally intricate, creatively stimulating experimental brain-play you can find. Please remember the 'play' part turns immediately null or void the minute you try to become an expert, to deploy these new bits of knowledge toward any higher-level achievement, or to consolidate disparate trains of thought into a coherent ideology. I am not telling you to go out and get even smarter. No, I'm telling you to use your head for free entertainment (since I don't think you need to be spending money you don't have), since brainiacs such as yourself simply enjoy dabbling in forms of knowledge. Creative writing, speaking and performing are also favored, but opt for the short monologues and snippets of poetry rather than the three-act epics or the voluminous expanses of text. Since your principal enduring attentions should go to practical matters, I encourage your leisure-time concerns to favor the short-attention-span theater mode of occupation as a healthy contrast.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The pieces are scattered around the game board, and in preparation for playing, you must rearrange them into an order that works well for you (whether or not it works well for anyone else) so that you'll be able to play to win. Line up the numbers in the columns, and unscramble the mixed metaphors. Check what you've packed in the bag, recheck and repack. Starting with this week's New Moon and stretching out for the next month, you need to take stock, organize reserves, dump the excess, deploy the forces, secure the doors and check the policies. You cannot build upon a foundation you haven't previously surveyed to know where the solid bedrock lies and where the sinkholes to avoid are located. Last week's horoscope provided a fun-filled introduction to the responsibilities of directing the chaos into orderly transition. Now, this week, you must begin. The next checkpoint is a month from now when the next New Moon brings its solar eclipse drama to the table. That will be the perfect time to expend the resources, invest the funds, rotate the merchandise, lead the troops, drop the bomb, sell the farm—and essentially play the game. In advance of that, do your due diligence, dudes and dudettes. Now GO.