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Horoscopes | Week of December 19, 2005-January 1, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. Surely you didn't expect crystal-clear waters and perfectly smooth sailing ahead, Aries, just because last week's words invited you to fire your engines. Once you've instigated whatever it is you felt needed instigating, you have crude beginnings… which must be fashioned into something both practically profitable (monetarily and/or in terms of what else you might gain from it) and an appropriate expression of who you are. And there's probably some internal conflict between the two. If you don't sense the conflict, then it's more likely you'll elicit obstructions from outside, testing your patience (yes! yet again!) in the process. The temporary drawing-out of all this, however, is your opportunity to reconsider that darling gem of a baby, which you were so ready to toss out the window with the bathwater. Maybe your workplace isn't as stifling as you thought (or your boss as mean). Maybe the reputation you've wanted to squash is more fitting than you admitted. Or maybe the higher calling you're searching for has been here all along… and maybe you already found it, and rejected it prematurely.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. I know, I know, the most recent wriggling from inside the handcuffs has gotten you all excited, optimistic at last that forward momentum is on its way, so close you can actually detect its delectable aroma wafting from the oven. And yet, you're still stuck. Go figure. If it's any consolation, Taurus, that's just the last throes (i.e., the final of three passes) of the Mars-Saturn square, a restrictive and inhibiting block to full physical power which has been clinching you in its clutches on and off since late July. You're in the final stretch of its sluggish sway, but you've got one more tight passage to push carefully and steadfastly through. In other words, to emerge with the full freedom you desire for the next chapter of newness (coming soon to a theater near you!), you've got to face those feelings—every last ugly bit of 'em. And hiding out at home won't win you any relief either, since you can't get away from what starts inside you. It's okay to feel ashamed, unlovable, unworthy, alone, and thoroughly pissed off at how you ended up here… as long as there's an attached yearning, to one day feel differently. That's the distinction between feeling your emotions and wallowing in them—the notion of temporary. As Mars is my witness, I swear this is the last final truly pinched spot, before life really opens up a few weeks into '06.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. At this point, there's no legitimate excuse to straddle the line when it comes to all relationships of any shape or form. You like her, or you don't. You want more from him, or you want less. You want to be here, or you want to be somewhere else. And if instead you face what appears to be a giant grey area, expanding vastly across all too many tempting options and justifiable-seeming either-ors… then you'd better stop incessantly pondering and start talking, until the truth that's in there somewhere pops out your unconscious. To reduce any hysteria that could be inadvertently contributing to the situation, quit concerning yourself with outcomes (marriage? cohabitation? legal partnership? never to speak again?) and concentrate on the reality of feelings. Beyond the emotional immediacy of your experience, don't expect to know much. For instance, you shouldn't assume full awareness of the other party's position. If you're simply too mixed up (or, dare I say it, cowardly) to declare where you stand, then consider initiating the other person's declaration by asking probing questions about what you think they feel. But don't kid yourself—that's merely the back-door approach to the same eventual disclosure on your part.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. The staying-open-to-the-unknown challenge is to not raise the crunchy outer shell and shut people out, just because you're consumed with solidifying your own material situation. Even if times aren't tough, you're still apt to move toward isolating yourself—though this is exactly the moment when you need others the most. And there's no chance you'll discover where their value lies, as long as you're pushing them away. (Thinking you know is an exercise in self-delusion.) Besides all that, though, your problem-solving skills are at an all-time high. (Did you know that?) So if, for whatever reason, you can't bring yourself to connect with people for purely social-support purposes, then at least do it because you may have the perfect solution to their logistical dilemmas. (I, incidentally, bear no shame for attempting to lure you from your protective sheathing, by changing the phrasing of my advice… to convince you to come out and play through creating an opportunity for you to help them. Certainly someone could use the support of friends.) In the meantime, as long as interaction and conversation is flowing, you might stumble upon a trick or two that could jumpstart your sputtering motor.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. It's time to gather all the wishes for who you want to be. And if you creatively frame a forum for free-flow brainstorming and collect every dripping that trickles forth, you'll end up with a whole bunch of useful information from yourself about yourself. I'm quite sure, however, that in order for you to actually become an embodiment of this ideal self-image, you'll also need an exhaustive description of who you don't want to be. Obviously, we start with the positives first, to get your juices juicing and to build a foundation on affirmational thinking. But then, let the negatives be born as reactions, to clearly conceive of what must be squelched and suppressed to make room, to allow for the positives to bloom and flourish. With New Year's here again, this exercise is reminiscent of the old standby resolutions we all make—and often abandon, when they're only isolated goals divorced from the comprehensive concept of self-identity. This year, think broadly and seriously about what behaviors must stop for others to start. For head-start inspiration, notice which buttons in your professional allies, bosses and parental-type figure you don't want to push… and that knowledge will lead you onto a path of further discoveries.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. At last, Mercury is chugging past the shadow of its recent retrograde and joining up with Pluto in your 4th… which makes this the long-awaited moment of truth that's been building to climax since early November. Perhaps this journey to epiphany-ish realization was helped along during the past week, if you followed the astrological instruction to embrace introspection. Now, you've reached the end of your capacity to keep it down, and it's time to puke up the pain and unpleasantness from your guts, rather than continuing to try and swallow and stomach it, though it may churn and churn and eat away at your midsection like undigested spicy food you're also allergic to. If you don't know the specifics behind what I'm talking about (though I'm sure you can relate to my description of the sensation), then here's a hint. Look back at family stuff that's being triggered… particularly any places in your history where the safety of your innocence was transgressed against your will, or instances when what you believed to be true in the core of your being was discounted, discredited or forcibly subjected to ridicule. These old battle scars wield more weight in today's version of your life than you might want to admit. That's why you've got to get them out of your system. Vomit them from your consciousness and, like a forensic anthropologist, pick through their pieces, describing them in detail with the perspective of an outside observer.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. I already told you, Libra… like it or not, you're one of them. And even as you, reluctantly perhaps, dare to include yourself in all those groups you might typically try to distance yourself from, you still don't quite fit in, do you? Well, here's a newsflash. This mismatch is actually no greater or much different than the inescapable chasm between you and those you normally associate your identity with. Painful but true, we always face a separation between ourselves and others, due in large part to the knowledge only we possess—of how we feel. No one else can join us there, no matter how we try to explain our condition or delicately tweak our perspective to attain a perceived unification. And yet, at the same time, relationships are the absolute delight of our human experience. We learn about ourselves by coming together—and clashing—with others. With this in mind, continue to play with your involvements in groups… while simultaneously welcoming the notion that you're always a renegade. It's a nice twist on the perpetual Libran practice of balancing the scales, to teeter between independence and belonging.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. Watch for potential outbreaks of the 'pushy-pushy' syndrome, Scorpio… even if you believe you've done a wily job of masking your motivations behind warm greetings and generous gifts. Other human beings, unfortunate as it may be to learn, are not like pets and won't respond to a pat on the head and a tasty treat by following your commands. Siblings and cousins are powerful mirrors for you, so don't think for a minute that their jumpy reactions and frank refusals to cooperate have nothing to do with you—especially if you think you know better than they do about the best way to go about achieving goals. If it's their goal, then it's their place to figure out how to achieve it. Everyone has to earn his own thing his own way… though, yes, it can be frustrating to watch what appear to be unnecessary detours, time-wasting tactics or possibly self-sabotaging maneuvers in those we love. Worry about your bottom line instead. And when it comes to relationships with family, friends and lovers, make it about the simple pleasures of time spent together, and nothing more. Even mild attempts at coercive influence will stand out—and stick in their craws.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. In spite of the bubbling fountains of holiday cheer, your mind will be clearer than it's been in a quite a while. So though it's vacation for many, this is no time to fritter away on folly alone. Pick a central theme for your year ahead, Sagittarius, combining realistic intuition with wishful thinking, to create a prophecy that'll inspire self-fulfilling behaviors. Now's your magical opportunity to decide how you want 2006 to go for you. Don't take too huge a 'break' for the holidays, as work that you do during these few weeks will set off the year with a wonderfully fortuitous initiatory thrust. With a combination of big vision and concerted physical might, you've just got to get it going. Once begun, your year will snowball in its effects… as long as you retain the faith that your prophecy will be self-fulfilling and your year will snowball in its effects. The adventures you crave will be all the more sustainable, as long as you look for them to come from within, rather than searching the globe for external influences to do that work for you. And it's as simple as that. Mark my words, if you heed what I'm telling you, by the end of '06, results will be unbelievably apparent… leaving a big fat smile on your face.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. Now that we're heading into the official season of the Sun's travels through your sign, you're invited to begin again… again. Strip yourself bare, and get to the root desire upon which all the others are resting. You'll know it because it's in your body, not your head… and whether it alone is satisfied or not will determine whether you feel secure or untethered in the world. It's from this root that you must start, in order to build more and more greatness atop it, or the walls will eventually crumble. You can't fool your root. The Dec 30 New Moon in Capricorn is an amazingly fruitful time to stand in the everything's-up-for-grabs field of Venus-retrograde reevaluation and reduce the overcomplexity to only what matters. Everything else can come and go. The stinker of the planetary bunch, alas, remains Saturn, who seems to believe your blocks to having what you want are psychological in nature—strings that connect who you think you are to unproductive comparisons between yourself and others. Aim to snip those cords. Contrary to the lies those inner voices tell you, it is possible to maintain high standards for yourself without pushing to be somebody you're not.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. Mmm, did you snag a quick whiff of that delicious dish that's been simmering and stewing, developing its exquisite flavor, before it was covered back up and returned to the stovetop for one last chunk of cooking time? For that split second, as you stared up at the cloud-filled sky, hunting for a single star upon which to launch your wish, did you catch the silver-sparkled moon peek out from its invisible lair and wink at you? Oh, Aquarius, hang on through one more expanse of pavement snaking through a landscape of terribly uncomfortable feelings, as one final pass of Mars across its square to Saturn goads you into living out the love for humanity you say you possess by forcing you to develop relationship humility. Will you face your fear of emotional overwhelm in close proximity to that certain someone, or will you pull away in groundless blame of all your discomfort on his/her existence in your life? All the joy and success you're thisclose to garnering could prove to be even more joyful than you imagine, if you choose to share it with the right person and not share it with the wrong people. And it will also prove to be surprisingly hollow and unfulfilling if you sacrificed the interpersonal work, simply to pursue your own self-centered pot of gold. What good is finally getting what you want, if you're lonely or resentful once you get it?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Please note: This horoscope is good for two weeks. Tune in again on Jan 2 2006 for the next installment. Keep your eye on the big prize… and not on all the possible snafus and trip-ups, the cheering fans and jeering naysayers, the pretty pictures and shiny objects you might find along the way to the winners' circle. You'll need this staunch unyielding vision when you're practicing being forceful and potentially difficult, so you don't get discombobulated or unduly influenced by a moment's heavy, awkward tensions. Whenever you must reason through a convoluted situation, navigate the hidden landmines or go on record with a remark that could be used against you in a court of law, return your attention to the giant neon goal in your mind's prime real estate. Then, let it all pour extemporaneously. As long as intent is set on that goal, everything will proceed as it should. If it's really as important as you're telling yourself, then step up to the plate and take the stand, simply… Nothing else compares. You'll know you're that much closer along the path to its realization when you're not fear-focused on what you might have to give up to get there. Because, if it's that important, none of that matters.