Horoscopes | Week of January 17-23, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When it comes to recruiting partners-in-crime, success is all in the delivery. If you've already made every last plan and are planning to present them to potential collaborators as a done deal (a la 'All you need to do is exactly what I tell you to do, and we'll make a great team'), then don't be surprised if people aren't exactly racing to sign up. Most of us want to feel like we have some significant creative stake in our voluntary involvements, not merely another boss-figure to obediently obey (and secretly scorn when he/she walks away). Once someone else is enlisted, the character of the project will necessarily alter… it becomes about not only the final product, but also the ongoing and continually-in-flux dynamic of the relationship. Don't lament this uncontrollable feature. Embrace it. Build in its unpredictability. Leave entire line items on the master plan empty, and solicit your comrade's unique outlook to fill in those blanks. If you're unprepared to work in this fashion, you have no business working with others… and yet, you need them to make it happen. Hmmm… what to do, what to do…


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There's a naggingly stubborn part of you who resists granting sufficient consideration to the issues I raised in last week's horoscope, when I encouraged you to consciously decide which theme(s) you'd like to look back on and see permeating as major strains running through your life. Oddly, you may tell yourself (consciously or not) that it's too impractical to hit the pause button (not that there is such a thing), simply to frolic in the land of theoretical meaning-determination. There are the daily chores to complete, the non-negotiable routines and responsibilities to fulfill, for, if nothing else, you can always be relied upon to show up and do your part. But I promise you, if you don't take ripe moments like these to step far enough away from the stable attention to duty to see what you're actually doing, you'll wake up one day years from now and wonder why you spent every day fulfilling the same routines and completing the same chores without at least figuring out what they mean to you. Stand in a different position, and look back at yourself. Ask the difficult questions, even if you don't have an answer. And if you disrupt the predictable process in the process, well, all the better.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Romance versus psychological reality, but not necessarily in competition with one another, dominate the comprehensive lighting-up of all the relationship houses. People, people, everywhere, and seemingly not a drop to drink… and go ahead, acknowledge those urges for fight or flight… or, better yet, flirt. The most exciting part is you and your shifting desires that all untie and then reunite under the heading 'Me and My Mountain of Love: If You'd Like Some, Sign Up for the Introductory Course'. You don't need to have any answers, as long as one or more of the following entities are swapped, in interpersonal communion: spit, barbs, admiration, invitations, harsh truth, respect, cash in small denominations. Pleasant or excruciating, all interactions serve the same purpose—to open your heart further than it's been, which could also mean closing it up and sealing it tight in certain leaky regions. Truly, the hardest part is existing in the relationship unknown, all the while containing what's yours as yours in a tiny box labeled 'The Only Safe Place is Here'. See package for further details.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The delicate balance to straddle this week, Cancer, is how much of yourself you keep private and quiet and how much you share, in carefully selected bite-sized pieces, with the key (or not-so-key) figures in your life. The pressing relationship considerations spoken of last week continue to be in active play, but you may not have chosen to speak of what you're considering to those who it impacts. I'm not saying you should, nor that you shouldn't… it's not my place to decide for you. If you withdraw (a stereotypically Cancerian response to discomfort), you protect yourself but leave that someone out there, hanging on a string, trying to conclude what's going on inside your secret garden. If you share, you've given that someone a fair shot at working with you to resolve tensions and promote growth, but you've risked revealing your deepest emotional neediness and have nowhere to run. That's why I don't think the best outlook on this situation is an either-or. It's a matter of saying just the right amount, not overdoing the amounts of sentimental goo that drench your words, and reserving a chunk of the emotional meat-and-potatoes for your own invisible and unspoken processing. A hint on how to pick what's what—answer honestly: What are you obligated to disclose in a healthy relationship? Let that guide what you say and don't say.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Showing genuine nose-to-the grindstone interest in getting your work done with the most efficient and effort-filled mindset possible = good. Becoming so enthralled with the minute details of your work, the tangents that derive from there and go outward and the tangents off those tangents, that you forget where you started and won't even notice if and when you actually finish = draining. (I didn't want to use 'bad' because who am I to determine whether siphoning off your energy toward tangential ends is good or bad for you.) You're not required to know the ultimate meaning of every last piece of paper you fill out, sign and file away in your day-to-day routine this week, Leo… but don't overlook that there could be a mysterious unifying essence to everything you've been called up to do, the pull toward which you'll easily miss if you mistakenly believe everything on the surface is everything that's there. Can't you keep one eye pointed at your version of God, while the other industriously stays closely focused on the tasks at hand? I don't know what you might see with that divinely directed vision, but I'm quite sure you'll won't see it if you don't look.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): It's hard to simultaneously maintain the kind of happy-go-lucky attitude I advocated as a 'compulsory task' last week, along with a comfortable and familiar modesty with regards to expending material resources. In other words, it's hard to have too much fun while also worrying so diligently about spending too much money or exhausting the wells of physical energy you rely upon to complete your work. Yet, the flip side of that coin is also true: It's also tough to increase the abundance of financial and energetic wealth when you stick too close to the pre-paved road to familiarity. Nothing risked, nothing enhanced. Thus, the cosmic powers that be are granting you permission to loosen your grip on the relative riches you hold so tightly to, in order to put your faith in the notion that their release is more likely to ensure their prosperous return than not. Of course, there are limits to how far this tactic can go in serving you, for no one (most certainly not me) is recommending wasting the rent money on a magic carpet ride or going without food so you can have another drink. I think you can see the balance worth striving for here—be freer than you've been, for the sake of enjoying life while you've still got it, but don't be so free as to jeopardize your hold on the necessities.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Keep a little talcum powder handy to battle any chafing that could occur, as a result of the gung-ho go-ahead that spurs you to run free with the horses without bothering to don the proper undergarments. Sure, if you can keep the wanderlust quiet enough, you might be able to detect the inner voice guiding you toward the supposed-tos… and away from the… oh, who knows… whatever you might find in the big wide open space. But what fun is following the rules, which seem to be directing you to 'much-needed respite' when you hardly feel (consciously) you need it much? That's why I'm not banking on you to lie on your back and count the supposedly lulling (though ultimately imaginary) sheep, while real-life living-and-breathing creatures are prancing about out there. It's way too tempting to stay out on the town that extra hour, just in case you might miss an important piece of the adventure. Even as I feel moved to attempt to sway you to take it easy (because that's the emotionally responsible thing to do), I also don't expect you to do so. As a result, I can at least warn you to bring along whatever you might need to tend to the tiny irritations arising from the rub. Let a minor rash or not enough sleep be the worst of it… not such a big deal really.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): In the universe of ideas, if you strain your brain into rearranging the order of the words enough times, eventually you will construct a sophisticated string of logic to justify any belief or action. That's the slippery notion behind the word 'outsmart', the common usage of which betrays the fact that many of us use our smarts to compete with each other for dominance. Intellectuality can give us the requisite distance to figure things out, or it can serve our wiliest motives. This week, Scorpio, the temptation is there to use your conceptual skills as a means to dance around the gaping hole at the center of your current situation—that hole we call 'the Great Unknown'—to paint a cerebrally sound picture of completion that makes yourself feel better but isn't exactly accurate. The realest real, however, is the combination of what you can see and touch and what you are overwhelmingly sure cannot be seen or touch, the sum total of what you have and what you are lacking. Ideas you conjure to complicate this simplistic essence are mere opiates to serve your hyperactive inner child… they may calm him/her, but at a certain cost.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Yet again, not everyone is on board. A certain he or she has been trying to let you know—in more or less explicit terms, through conversation or implication or psychic transmission—but you've been dashing so quickly and jetting about so boldly, you may not have noticed. This may or may not come to an actual head this week, and maybe you've just needed me to gently point your gaze toward this lurking inconsistency between total freedom of movement and the bliss/trap of intimacy. You will always find various people who share your vision, who recognize the unstoppable explorer in you and egg you on to leave the country at a moment's notice or quit your job because you're bored. How important is it that a particular individual, that certain he or she, is along for the ride? Are folks interchangeable? These questions loom large, not just now but for an extended period of time, as the actions you continue putting in motion have real consequences for your relationships. If the desired effect of your bonds is companionship and mutual creative support, then you will always find someone (or more than one) to fulfill the role. If such impalpables as love and connection and profundity are also important to you, the solution is much more complicated. You can't easily swap out one true love for another. But are you willing to slow down, listen, and maybe even shed a few tears to uphold a certain particular?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Appreciate your relative ease in moving through the world cleverly and captivatingly, with the coupled influence of Mercury and Venus continuing to charm your sign with insight and allure. But enjoy it for what it is—a passing sparkle to your aura, and nothing more. I would hate for you to mistake a split-second of enhanced confidence for an invitation to instantly and effortlessly ascend to your most favored aspirations, just because a powerful person or two praised one of your suggestions or smiled at you an extra-long time. By no means do I want you to misinterpret my reality check as a stormcloud threatening to dump gallons of rain on your parade. The yearly transit of Venus through your sign is always a great time to delight in the goodies that stem from others' good favor. Delight to your heart's delight. And also steer clear of the seductive Saturnine compulsion to try to strategically use your favor to get ahead or grab one too many heaping handfuls. There's far more treasure to be found in the open-ended, appreciate-whatever-comes-your-way, surrender-to-the-process approach… and far less of a chance that you'll inadvertently appear superficial (and transparently conniving), the worst possible manifestation of Venus's sparkling glow. I warn against this worst-case scenario only in order to prevent it from happening. Avoid it, and your week is the smoothest sort of sailing.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This is one of those weeks when we all must look out for our beloved Aquarian airheads, so that you do not become unhinged from the commonly accepted reality, due to the fact that the reality you create in your mind will seem extraordinarily eccentric and a far more appealing wonderland in which to dwell. With the Sun entering your allegedly people-centered sign this week, I urge you to remain connected to the people in your life who tether you to this earthly existence. As long as you are in conversation with one or more members of the community of like-minded dreamers, your dreams will not branch too far off the main stream and plunk you in the waters of etheric abandon without a map or an oar. Even the most responsible forms of spiritual solitude (e.g., meditation or prayer, yoga, a long long walk through unknown territories) can be a little too isolating, if overindulged, though they feel so 'good' and so 'right' at certain times as to make my words of advice seem downright wrong. Whether at different moments in this lifetime or for vast expanses of time/space/whatever in the next, you'll experience plenty more apropos opportunities for vision-quest seclusion than now. The challenge is to stay put, stay surrounded by watchful eyes, and still seek that elusive something else… perhaps at the same time you're washing dishes or plugging numbers into spreadsheets or being generally mundane.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): To boost the widest acceptance of the validity of your carefully crafted conceptual models, please strip them of any glaring evidence of personal resentments or unresolved psychological investments. You won't get them to agree upon whatever, as long as it errs on the side of passion over intellect. I know what you're thinking… you want to posture not to care about whether anyone will agree with you… and, no, of course we can't expect pure consensus… but that thought is a distraction from the distracting weight of certain words you use or postulates you propose, a heaviness that doesn't completely fit the nature of what you're trying to describe. When it comes to making ideological allies, too much emotion of the personal variety—and believe me, your peers will easily sniff out what doesn't fit the impersonal party line—will reap you a reputation of unreliability when it comes to furthering the cause. It must simply be 'the cause', and not your cause, you fight for, if you want others to join in and generate a mass momentum. Why do you care so much about what you care so much about? When it gets to the personal-narrative portion of that answer, work it out away from the group, so it can be worked out of your theoretical framework and filed away in the spiral-notebook diary, alongside high-school whinings, where it belongs.