Horoscopes | Week of January 16-22, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The luck is there, Aries, to steer your public good graces into cold hard material success… so long as what's listed on your resume or in your catalogue of magnificent achievements is legit, and you keep yourself from pretending to have something you in fact don't. No matter what you've got (or haven't got), it's enough to work with, without needing to stretch the truth. Also, watch that your confidence not veer too closely into arrogance territory, which is especially likely whenever you infer (or blatantly affirm) you can handle it all on your own, without anybody's help. That's not exactly what they want to hear. What the situation calls for is a system-level understanding of how all the pieces fit together, and how your singularly humble position links up with everyone else's to form a network of holistic efficiency. Be prepared to authentically articulate why getting what you want also mobilizes you to make a uniquely valuable contribution to bettering the world… and you just might get the opportunity do both, sooner rather than later.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You've got a grand plan swimming around in there, full of strategies and actions perfectly perfect for jump-starting the entire organization's ascent to the next stage. And I'm quite sure you see a lot of opportunities, things to be done (or done better) that nobody else is currently seeing. But the key to setting the plan into motion—and helping everyone, not just yourself—rests in the delivery of your message. Can you be a firm, forceful leader… without coming off like an only-one-way-is-the-right-way machine of steamrolling stubborn? Your visionary outlook on the current situation is certainly shocking enough to shake them up. Yet, throughout the delicate process of standing in the truth of your observations, you must also consent to be shaken up yourself—otherwise, you place yourself outside the rest of the group, and sacrifice the supportive spirit of camaraderie. Go ahead, take the lead and share your ideas for reform… then stay open as others reform what you started. The more, the merrier.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): With nonstop Mars action in your cryptic 12th house (of 'that which eludes our waking consciousness' fame) since late July, you're probably not completely clear on what's been driving your behavior. Believe me when I say: There's more to it than meets the eye. It's that funny little motivation called emotional urges, and they don't always fit the neatly encapsulated explanations you're generally so fond of. Maybe you aren't sure how the recent months' behaviors click into your self-declared belief system, that which implicitly prioritizes what matters most to your pursuit of a meaningful existence over what's a giant waste of energy. But now the time is ripe to check in with yourself, to piece together any bits of your irrational or uncharacteristic conduct into a pattern that makes sense. It'll help, of course, to talk it out—what Gemini doesn't function best when in a conversational format?—though maybe you shouldn't try to explain yourself (that is, justify your actions) to those most profoundly affected. Instead, tell it as a tale to other folks completely uninvolved in the events being described. The act of storytelling will help you see how this latest chapter fits together into the larger narrative of your life.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Leverage the Venus-in-your-7th goodwill swirling around you in your social interactions, to mobilize the troops and drive along efforts for the common cause. Strengthen your certainty in that which you know you do well, and let those specific skills go out in service to a good greater than you. (This, incidentally, is different than 'doing whatever to help'… which is just a nice way of telling others you have no distinct talent, besides being generically supportive.) Take charge by example, showing those around you how willing you are to roll up your sleeves and get a little sweaty. Then tell them how you think their efforts will be best spent… sweetly if you must, but also in an unequivocally direct (and downright confrontational, should anyone resist joining in) manner. That's why you must have firm confidence in the role you've serving—to fortify your psychic boundaries so you're better prepared to help them shift their perspectives past the comfort zone. No need to apologize for the brasher, grittier you. Your efforts are not selfish, but for the common cause, after all.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The absolute best thing you can do to help yourself reach the pinnacle of your desired success is… to do or say whatever's within your influence to help empower somebody else to reach the pinnacle of his or her desired success. This act of reaching-out needn't be confined to pleasantly nondescript cheerleaderesque rah-rahs of 'go team!' and 'you can do it!' Considering you've got this week's Venus-Mars trine across the 6th/10th worldly work houses, your solid command of the flow of logistics should can be put to good use with specific advice. Lead your partner, friend or confidante through an organization process, assisting him/her to distill the mass of duties into clear first, second and third steps. (While you're at it, organize your own life a bit… so you'll have more time to focus on other people.) Taking such an active in-your-face approach certainly qualifies as 'going out on a limb', cutting through the role you're more accustomed to assuming, and effectively shifting the terms of the relationship. Bear that in mind, by pumping up the level of obvious compassion you show toward his/her inadvertent sensitivities.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Far be it for me, dear Virgo, to urge you on in the keeping of good habits… for you, of all signs, hardly need my encouragement to do what comes so instinctively to you. Still, every so often, the reassuring familiarity of habits can veer toward staleness if we don't stay on top of the game and reexamine how we regularly, automatically do what we do. And in your case, now's a great time to put your discriminating mind to use toward one of these reevaluative moments. Get honest with yourself about where inertia has set in and stripped you of some passion and excitement, replacing it with robotic movements that blandly get the job done. You don't have to look far to find new behaviors that get you outside your routine—what a perfect moment to introduce an additional step, or to eliminate one, and rearrange everything else accordingly. Initiated now, changes that might ordinarily trigger disorientation or unsettledness are actually a pleasurable opportunity to shift your day-to-day existence so it better fits who you want to be.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't be shy, Libra. Put some more demonstrative emotion behind it. If you want people to believe that your passion is genuine, you mustn't be afraid to raise your voice, get in their face, and leave a lasting impression. Believe it or not, whether you get the result you're hoping for, in this specific circumstance, is less the important point. What really matters to your highest well-being is the act of unambiguously, directly and forcefully presenting your current stance… and your unabashed desire for something beyond it. Tell them, in no uncertain terms, who you are, what you want, and why you want it. And assume they—as well as any mystical beings in the universe, in whom you don't necessarily believe (but what's the harm, anyhow?)—will be listening to you. Expecting folks to be good at reading between the lines is unfair, and sets you up for disappointment. Being concise and specific, on the other hand, impels them to either grant your wishes or deny you to your face, no two ways about it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You hold the potential to take the lead in a relationship, by clearly and plainly communicating exactly how you're feeling… and doing a better job than you've done in a while. Or you hold the potential to display impeccably calm-cool-and-collected conflict-aggression skills in a relationship, by clearly and plainly communicating your criticisms of the other person… and doing a better job than you've done in a while. In either case, you'll have all the right words at your easy disposal—just open up, and let 'em out. What differentiates these potentials, alas, is (1) whether you remain centered in your heart, so your words and emotions are deeply connected in the purest reflection of you-ness, or (2) whether you stay centered on the other person and your desire to win, at the expense of hitting someone else where it most hurts, so you can prove you're right… but then what? Whatever you choose, be conscious you're setting a tone that the other person is likely to follow.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): What matters in real terms are your most bankable skills and your most valuable possessions, those stuffs that serve as a stable foundation for a productive (and profitable) work life… as opposed to the countless distractions in life, which you're usually quick enough to dismiss. Right? Just make sure you understand what counts as a 'distraction' before you prematurely rule experiences out. Sometimes, following the dramatic strokes of adventure and aliveness—often a radical act of cramming 'only what matters most' into an overnight bag, and leaving everything else behind—distracts you from the littlest details of taking care of business, those pesky tasks you'd just as easily skip. But there's also plenty of worthwhile adventure and aliveness to be found in exploring the depths of the mundane, as the astrology indicates you'd currently benefit greatly from. If you hold your attention close as you, for example, clean the kitchen floor on your hands and knees… you just might find the whole universe in that grain of sand you brushed into the dustbin.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This should be a moment of high confidence for you, Capricorn, with a Venus-Mars trine in your 1st and 5th, the two most self-possessed and self-expressive houses of your solar chart. You should feel an immense sense of pride (yes, even if it's fleeting), underscoring the tone with which you put yourself out there. If, in fact, you're not feeling it, the block is likely due to your being consumed with a battery of practical questions—how to make this month's bills, how to handle the higher credit-card balance from all those holiday gifts, etc.—taking up all the room in your head. Rather than let the real-world worries dampen the pride (and squander this fleeting high point), I recommend reversing the terms… and inviting your rampant (or latent, as the case may be) self-assuredness to reaffirm that everything will be okay. By increasing faith in yourself, you'll activate your creative brain to conjure new ideas for managing finances or handling the nitty-gritty. There's nothing you can't do—once you accept the knowledge that you're capable of anything.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Truthfully, it feels a bit odd to offer this piece of advice to Aquarians of all people, but here goes: Cut through the still-in-motion emotional processing (and any lingering residue from prior emotional processing), to emerge from your recent shell and share your brilliance with the masses. (And here I always thought Aquarians were instinctive masters of separating brilliance from emotions.) Trust me, you needn't 'have it all figured out' before you can publicly unfurl your rather valuable piece of the larger dialogue. It's on the tip of your tongue, don't you know? Must you necessarily be in a good mood to participate? It may actually be to your advantage to engage while internally whirligigging—hell, even to speak about what's going on inside—to unflinchingly serve as an example of simultaneous intelligence and imperfection, one that all types of people can aspire to emulate. If you're successful at occupying the wholly unique, occasionally uncomfortable and often confusing role in which you find yourself this life, oodles of other successes will naturally follow from there.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Everything you say you don't like about yourself can easily be reworded in terms that accept you for who you are, rather than judge you for who you aren't. The trouble is trying to tune out all the conflicting messages you get—from societal traditions, the media, pushy opinionated friends and family members—about standards you're supposed to meet. These standards (whether you meet them or not) are often rather irrelevant to the deeper qualities that make you a lovable, capable individual. Here are a couple strategies to help you rephrase what you tell yourself about yourself: (1) Identify the types or subgroups of folks who explicitly value those qualities that you possess, but which don't necessarily fit in with mainstream society or your immediate circle. These folks serve as your inspiration, as proof you do in fact have like-minded peers out there. Look to them for examples of a more positive spin. (2) Surrender any attempts to assert control over your innate temperament, trusting you bear the wisdom to tell the difference between what's essential to you and what's merely acquired behavior. Look for daily practices that support, rather than inhibit, your natural tendencies.