Horoscopes | Week of January 31-February 6, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Do you ever have one of those moments when, even in the midst of presenting an inspired and heartfelt explanation of why you adhere to some particular belief of utmost personal significance, you realize you're not even sure you believe what you're saying…? And do you choose to continue trying to clarify this stance, to diligently finish the exercise you started, whether or not its foundation is ultimately shaky? Or are you wise enough to stop, look and listen to the psychic discomfort that stems from trying to convince someone of something you're not especially convinced of yourself? If the above-mentioned scenario or one like it should present itself, I recommend stopping in your tracks before you've gone too far and said too much… and simply admit you're not sure, you're in the very act of figuring it out by talking it through, and 'by the way, what do you think?'


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If the Pluto-inspired events of the past week have not raised one or more of your now-glaringly-obvious psychological shadow-selves from dormancy, hoisting its corresponding issues into your face, then I'm not quite sure why you're not 'getting it'. If you're sincerely interested in knowing yourself better, appeal to the important person in your life with whom you've had the most recent awkward, uncomfortable, unpleasant and/or outright gnarly exchange… and humbly ask what mood, tone or behavior you projected had cast you as 'difficult to reach'. If you hadn't already suspected this perception of yourself, well, you can't help but acknowledge it now. It's staring you in the face. Once you're ready to admit to what you're seeing, you can work with it—or, if the work seems too daunting (though, honestly, it wouldn't present itself now if you couldn't handle it), then re-repress it… and wait for it to rise again, out of your control next time you act out from unconsciousness, and hope it doesn't hurt anybody.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The specter of last week's interpersonal seductions, squabbles or sanctifications still hovers over the scene this week, Gemini. But before you commit any murderously momentous acts of lasciviousness or loathing, let the fervor ferment into a more nuanced flavor. You can allow the flaring lusts and tempers to steady into something you'd feel safe walking upon without risking your life… and not lose any of the depth of experience. The obvious: The only person whose actions you can control is you. Less obvious: Everything you're saying to yourself about him or her is really about you. Barely obvious: Whether with this specific individual or with someone else from the past, you have most definitely been here before. If you find the correct way out, you won't have to come back again.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you fight against facing the real responsibility for 'doing what's right', then you are fighting yourself… and no matter which way it goes, you'll lose. At this point, the sense of pressing duty is alarmingly self-evident. You shouldn't illusively enjoy the 'luxury' of continuing the operate as you have, whenever your familiar patterns use the idea of serving efficiency and fitness without willingness to literally pare away dead weight in the process. Making the difficult decisions—to cut yourself off from draining practices, to remove extra steps and middle-men, to temporarily put fun on the back-burner (or at least to reevaluate whether 'fun' is legitimate fun)—works best with the one-two punch of (1) swift decisive action and (2) commitment to hold firm. Those easy and comfortable decisions, meanwhile, often brim with excessive holding-firm-ness… which leaves the 'swift decisiveness' part as the mandatory key to breaking inertia. Choose to fight for wellness, then turn a decision into a good habit.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Whenever the word 'drama' comes up in reference to Leos, there's too often a snide undertone, as if the act of conceptualizing your life as an emotionally turbulent and endlessly gripping narrative in which you star is so terribly distasteful. If that were truly the case, then none of us would read books, attend plays or watch films and TV shows. No, criticism is only launched at dramatic individuals (of which you are probably one, though there are Leo exceptions to the rule) when their actual drama is either so boring as to cripple our interest or so microscopically self-referencing that there's no 'universality' from which we can draw significance for ourselves. Leo, if you plan to (continue to?) involve others in your spirited drama (whatever it might be), at least make it worth their while. An entertaining or otherwise interesting story. Lively momentum in the plot development. Growth in the main character. And enough awareness of response to accordingly adapt to shifting attention levels.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I'm sure you could come with several childhood instances when you were made to feel, by a parent or sibling or by your inner critic, as if you were being unreasonable or difficult for voicing a need. Like a good Virgo, you probably withstood the rejection by creating a catalog of reasons why even having the need was improper or immodest… though, beneath this list of justifications, you still possessed the need. Oh, the effort you must have put into constructing the rationale to support the repression of your own unique requirements for emotional fulfillment, just to conform to others' specifications, when your 'neediness' could have easily been quenched, had the caregiver been a more engaged listener. You can right these wrongs through your own courage to listen to that unreasonable or difficult child, still waiting inside your being to be acknowledged, and heed those needs. But to do that, you have to tell the voice that reads from the reasons and justifications in an endless playback loop to shut up so you can hear yourself speak.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): When you only know someone a little bit—or when you only let someone know you a little bit—you are often treated to glimpses of each other's most well-behaved casual personas, without having to sully your fine linens with the messy truth of each other's real beings. You, among the signs, are an old master at fostering this kind of genuine mutual appreciation in your social endeavors. But within the constraints of knowing each other just a little, the bit you each get isn't always the bit you might want them to get. Such is the risk of exchange. Libra, I want you to imagine what would happen if your current interactions with lesser-known acquaintances—and their unavoidably partial knowledge of you—were to yield opinions based on your least-flattering characteristics and little else. What if, during this go-round, the worst in you was all they had time to see? The faint panic you might feel, aroused by the realization of lost control over image, is key to meeting, greeting and exorcising skeletons from the 'why (do I feel) I'm not cool enough' closet.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): In pursuit of money, you can arm-wrestle it to the ground and cram it in your pockets, showing it who's boss and sublimating its fetishistic charm for servant-status in your harem. You can bow to its awesome sovereignty, begging for its finest mercy as it keeps your panting hunger always at an arm's-length distance. And, of course, you could confidently declare that money means nothing whatsoever… branding yourself a liar and a fool, one who bums cigarettes and couch-surfs and relies on the 'kindness' (a mix of pity, scorn and submission) of strangers to support a costly denial habit. Instead, I advise striving for the highest of all power positions when money is the object: less ruthless desperation or greedy insecurity or ignorant defiance; more relieved appreciation of your always-copious inner reserves and their boundless potential to generate more and more abundance. The more you know you're capable of, the more easily you will always get exactly what you need. Money is what it is, nothing more and nothing less. You're the one with the power.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): When you don't hold back, at least you know. That is, you know where you stand in relation to the ideas, relationships and situations against which you refused to hold back. Of course, you may already possess this knowledge, despite how your daring words and forthright actions might misrepresent this consciousness. If that's the case—if you already know—then is it really necessary to incite the full confrontation? Are you really aiming for better self-understanding, or are you trying to (re-)establish the dominance of your view to fuel your superior streak, to inflict revenge or to rub a few noses in it? If there's still new insight to be gleaned, then don't let me try to stop you from full-frontal fierceness. But if you're rehashing old news (likely with below-board intentions on your part), I urge you to lay off the tunnel vision and flip the fierceness so it faces the other direction.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): While the greater threat for outbreaks of irrational and/or uncontrollable behaviors fell last week, you're still in its lingering shadow for the bulk of this week, too. Looking toward the weekend, with Mars's triumphant emergence into your sign and into accessible consciousness, you have the immediate promise of soon being able to act more strategically from the awareness these two weeks' disorderly displays has granted. But you're not quite there yet. The obscure observations continue to circulate so rapidly, I really encourage you to deploy your preferred record-keeping methods (e.g., notebook scribblings, Post-Its, dictaphone) to keep track of all the perplexingly coincidental, emotionally disturbing, psychically invigorating and amazingly amazing tidbits of epiphany that have recently happened and will continue to happen, though nobody can see them or hear them but you. By next week, you'll have collected some rather consequential stuff to work with… and a sturdier pose from which to work.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If you were to bother to peruse the other horoscopes for this week with a nose for the underlying astrological premise they rest upon, you'd discover my thoughts for the signs largely address the still-steaming fallout of last Friday's Mars-Pluto conjunction. For you, Aquarius, this played out in the 11th house, as I described in last week's horoscope, designed to get you excited about inspiring people by brave example. While I've kept everyone else's attention on Mars/Pluto for another week, I pull yours away for a private celebration of Venus's entrance into your sign on Wednesday and the Aquarian Sun's conjunction with Neptune on Thursday. You get to escape the worst of the continuing aftermath, by consenting to gallantly serve as mystical guidepost to the others. They see something in you they want; your efforts to inspire people seem to be working. Feel free to utilize the fortuitous openings their good favor towards you creates in your life. But need I remind you, without spoiling the show, that the glory they witness in you is largely a beautiful projection of their highest ideals and only marginally about the reality of your being? and that, p.s., idealistic projections hold the potential to flow both ways?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Your current ability to achieve outer-world success to your heart's content is challenged only by how amenable you are to heeding your heart's truest desires for achievement. If the goal you're reaching up for is neither appropriate to your skills and interests nor deeply what you want, your ultimate failure to reach it could be the best gift you've ever received, as the wrong closed door sends you searching for the right open window. Or your ultimate victory in reaching that goal could be the best gift you've ever received, once the unhappiness it eventually spawns in you reveals the illusions in your previous thinking. Maybe the goal you're reaching up for is exactly what you most want and/or exactly what you sense you're supposed to do, in which case your ultimate failure to reach it could be the best gift you've ever received, spurring you to work even harder to remove whatever obstacle (probably in a different and seemingly unrelated area of your life) is blocking the otherwise clear pathway. Or your ultimate victory in reaching it could be the best gift you've ever received, a congratulatory acknowledgment that you've earned your most desired achievement from effort and pure intention. The common threads in these possibilities, Pisces—(1) reaching up toward achieving outer-world goals (2) could be the best gift you've ever received. No matter the immediate result.