ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's not just a matter of whether you're letting other people have their due say in what you choose to do even though it's very clear that your actions will affect them, whether or not that's your intention. It's also a matter of the kind of person you want to be in the world: (1) someone who does his/her own thing (and to hell with everyone else), or (2) someone who cares about demonstrating consideration for others (while still, of course, coursing with self-initiative). You should have no problems this week, Aries, if you're content with being a type (1) character, since mighty Mars is virtually immobile and not likely to cede its self-seeking interests in food, money or stuff being exactly how and where he wants it. But, if your personal ethics lead you to embody type (2), then you have some subtle work ahead of you. You might not even be aware of a certain stubbornness impeding your ability to be this person you want to be and you'll need to ask for a second or third opinion, from those whose own wills are most probably blocked by your inadvertent inflexibility. Remember, though, both choices are wholly acceptable. It's about who you want to be, after all. Each choice has its advantages and drawbacks.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Once Venus moves into your 7th house at week's end, you'll have about a month of open opportunities for letting somebody else (or more than one somebody) help break the stalemate in your own life. For the remainder of this year, you mustn't forget Mars's influence as he creeps along through your sign, turns retrograde (Oct 1-Dec 9), and then creeps back along again. Where he is now is also where he'll be in Jan 06 which constitutes a virtual standstill (though not an actual one) in physical progress. But 'physical' isn't the only way to move ahead, Taurus. There's also psychological, emotional and spiritual progress, for instance. With Venus's help in your house of one-on-one relationships through next month, you can let others' influences move you alongso long as you're willing to receive, in the Scorpio-ish forms of uncomfortable intimacies, difficult-to-listen-to observations, and brutal nurturance. If you want to learn more about yourself, it's better not to fight this interpersonal exposure, nor to insist on self-preservation of your version of the truth. Listen, participate and share. Plan to synthesize and integrate next year.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I could never (not successfully, anyway) convince you to leave your mental machinations dangling, without trying to pull enough of the right words together to describe your situation. But still, it's what I'll try to do anyhow, Gemini, since your attempts at mental clarity are likely to be dashed by unexpected outside factors. As comforting as it must be to piece together your unruly emotional fragments into a coherent story, your current version doesn't account for a couple wild cards. Thank Mercury in Virgo for providing an analytic structure to your private experiences, but as long as Uranus is in your 10th (and that's through 2011!), the wild cards will continue to come from the never-ending chess game that is your professional and/or public life. What you think you know about how you're feeling will become complicated by a surprise reaction or a reaction to a surprisea door of opportunity suddenly opening or closing, a deadline tightening, a boss's mood shifting (and shifting again), tongues wagging. Let your mind change. You've figured it all out already you can figure it all out again.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): You're slipping under my radar again, Cancer, which is usually a very good thing. In this case, it's not that you're coasting along on exceptionally fortunate luck, nor crashing and burning at every attempted step forward. Either or both of these possibilities, however, could be true or not depending, rather, on what's going on around you. This is a week in which your personal circumstances are highly subject to the larger situation in which you're participatingthe team's mood, the community's triumphs or tragedies, the surrounding atmosphere of revelry, rivalry or regret. Your emotional space will match and mirror your perceptions of what you think they'll need of you, almost to a point of predictability. (At least you're not likely to be alone, though perhaps not without the inherent feelings of alienation.) Thus, if you want to alter your own inner landscape, then you'll need to change literal position, too. Be in the right places, around those people you'd like to count yourself among. Then, let diffusion do its thing.
LEO (July 23-August 22): You're on the verge of monumental healing in your relationship life whether it's within the current partnership or through your readiness to depart it, in the type of situation that best supports your big life dreams or in how emotionally present you're willing to be. You've been on this verge for a while, and continue to hover there now. These gigantic realizations don't often come overnight, don't you know. This week, Leo, the plans you've been hatching meet an indirect, under-the-surface, barely-there-if-you-try-to-look-at-it clash with that pesky 'other person' (real or imagined) yet again. No matter how you recalculate the numbers and sort the data, there's no accounting for someone else's odd unbendable preferences or irrationally romantic longings. So what do you do? Forge a tenable peace? Say 'sure!', then fill your under-the-breath utterances with resentful cursing? Quietly plot your escape? Or, hardest of all, learn to love the ol' galoot not in spite of these inconsistencies but because of them? This is love in its highest form. I know you can do it, but do you want to? (And, if so, with whom?)
VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The best way to enjoy your birthday, Virgoand it's not too late if this year's specific day has already come and goneis to assume every comment, question and interpersonal engagement that comes your direction is a special gift just for you. First off, don't judge it by its brown butcher-paper wrapping or its lack of a big frilly bow you don't know what's inside until you open it. Also, no matter whether it suits your personal tastes or offends your finicky sensibilities, graciously thank the giver for his or her kind gesture. (Didn't your parents teach you 'it's the thought that counts'?) And remember, just because you never would have bought it for yourself, you might surprise yourself by ending up loving it. It's the Mercury-Uranus opposition across your 1st/7th axis that makes each offhand remark and tiny suggestion a potential lightning-bolt of genius if you're willing to consider the possibility. It's only takes a single unintended rave or overheard word to, in the spark of an instant, send your mind down energizing new paths. All of your week's conversations, like this horoscope you're reading now, are special birthday gifts for you. Will you hide them in your closet or exchange them for the cheap cash and will you actually put them to good use?
LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A lot of what's not being said will probably continue not being said or, that is, will come out in reversed or convoluted terms, veiled or indirect mentions, and/or heavy-duty glares that might sound like hoots and hollers or screams and yells if they weren't so darned silent. Even actions speak louder than this, Libra, which is why it's high time you began to neutralize the unsaid through direct, progressive behaviors that clarify your true feelings without having to spell them out. This isn't something you must tackle all at once this week, but which can open out in chunks over the upcoming month. Still, the truth cannot be contained especially not as we approach a solar eclipse in your sign on Oct 3, promising more topsy-turvy dynamism akin to Oct 04, only with more wisdom on your side. Compare then and now, and figure out how to speak more loudly this time around, not by raising your voice but by carrying a bigger stick, using it to make your point with less ambiguityeven if you have to clobber someone over the head with it.
SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): One of my favorite horoscope-writing occasions occurs every time Venus moves into a new sign and I get to report the good news to that sign's natives. Of course, this week's recipient of such tidings is you, dear Scorpio, as the lovely sexpot goddess muse herself moves into your home zone late in the week. Venus usually heightens the pleasantness with which you are received, smoothing the edges off your personal presentation, and enhancing your poise and beauty. What makes this Venusian visit an extra-blessingor an extra-headache, depending on how you use her charmsis how her counterbalancing comrade Mars continues to skulk along in your 7th house, threatening interpersonal conflict. (Review last week's horoscope for more Mars info.) As Venus moves through Scorpio between now and early October, you'll have a better and better chance of emerging victorious in these disagreeable encounters but based less, perhaps, on you actually resolving the disagreement by demonstrating your deeper understanding and based more on a combination of slick moves, seductive sentiments and graciously hypnotic intimidation tactics. Consider the longer-term results of winning this way. Instead, you could leverage your Venus-gifted goodwill to follow any conflicts through to their natural resolution and prevent their nastiest possible manifestations all the while. Consider, then, the benefits of everyone winningand in that case, you, of course, winning all the more.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): There's more to it than what you can see or describe, Sagittarius. You, like all us humans, hold dormant emotions of the most irrational and disruptive type, just waiting in the darkness to upturn the rational arrangements you worked so hard to establish. And good for them, too, or life would be a matter of mechanical mimicries and methodologies, not the absurd three-ring circus of tightrope walkers and trapeze artists and clowns that it is, and what boring TV that would make. Bear this in mind when you check the seventeen-point agenda for achieving all your dreams and discover you simply don't feel like completing items nine through eleven for no reason whatsoever. Maybe you need to take a mental health day off from work or postpone that career-defining conversation with Ms. Big Time Mentor because you're liable to burst into tears or laugh in her face and not be able to explain yourself. You don't require a reasonable reason for feeling a certain way. In fact, often there isn't one. But there's more than likely an unreasonable reason for any unexpected mounting of emotion. It's a chain reaction that stems from a much earlier, seemingly unrelated event in your development. If you take the time off from the official business at hand, which I strongly recommend if you think you need it, use the time to explore where that feeling came from.
CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your study for the week, Capricorn, is to contemplate the difference between (1) knowing who you are and what you believe in, and standing firm in that, and (2) assuming a dogmatic pose up on the pulpit, lecturing the uncivilized masses on why they should be more like you. There's less face to save under unavoidably changing circumstances in (1) because, after all, everyone knows that people grow and develop and must leave behind old self-conceptions like a dog sheds fur all over the carpet. But when you take your self-expression to the levels of (2), then you're in a pickle when your behaviors veer in a different direction, as they naturally do. You actually have to explain yourself, with the necessary philosophic detail, so that your followers understand why your new stance is an obvious improvement over your old one and you must admit you were previously wrong. Why bother with all that crap, just so you can be sanctimonious for a second? I tell you all this because the justifying (2)-esque sermon you might find yourself preaching this week can be easily destabilized by the most minor of casual objections. And in this circumstance, I suggest, rather than defending the moral righteousness of your position, you respond by simply owning what you've said as a personal opinion and extending your respect for someone else's different opinion.
AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The centaur-hero Chiron has pegged all you Aquarians as his kinsmen and kinswomen for the remainder of this decade, a role of responsibility in which your every extension of self into the world, no matter how automatic or unassuming, must serve to symbolize courage in the face of personal imperfection. According to Chiron, to heal ourselves (and, subsequently, others), we must invite our bloodiest wounds to assume center-stage and speak openly of their pain, while the rest of our self embraces the injure with loving arms, declaring proudly, 'This, too, is me!' Remember this as your longer-term duty, though know you've only barely begun the process. Over these next few weeks, allow public and/or professional developments to happen as they will, less with ego in mind and more with the knowledge that their unfolding is part of Chiron's deployment of you as one of his footsoldiers for large-scale worldly mending. As such, you'll be unable to identify luck when you see it. Trust me, it's there but not in its more recognizable ego-serving form. Rather, your most fortuitous opportunities are part of an invisible string of tiny subatomic reactions, leading to more and more stuff you can't yet imagine. What happens now is more a means than an end in itself.
PISCES (February 19-March 20): Be prepared for unfair targeting by certain folks in your life, those who remain oblivious to their own internal cross-purposes and complexes. If you find yourself in intellectual disputes, disagreements or passionate arguments, you might be defending points or poses you hardly care about one way or another. But someone else needed a person to project upon, an external figure of dissent against which to define his or her self. And you are this week's magnet for such unwitting undercover manipulation. The best defense is no defense at all. Just don't go there. Don't let yourself become reduced to a symbol for some viewpoint or voice unworthy of your energies. When they go to argue, agree with them instead. Your hyperconscious response to their unconscious ploy may just be jarring enough to spur a spontaneous epiphany in their reasoning. Then you've succeededon your own termsat the very task in which they enlisted you, and avoided the psychically taxing clash altogether.