Horoscopes | Week of February 27-March 5, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As you explore and participate in a myriad of different social milieus, it'll be important to uphold an even keel and a fundamental consistency in attitude. With Mars in Gemini comes a tendency for folks to behave with wildly variable mannerisms and motivations, depending on the specific circumstances (and who's watching). But your ongoing Saturn-in-the-5th trial is to maintain an unwavering uniformity in your expression of self, so what they see is always what they get. In this particular moment, you cannot predict how others are going to respond to offhand remarks and innocent suggestions—but you shouldn't be surprised if they react with an emotional backlash strangely disproportionate to the context of your interaction. Don't take the bait or let their reactions get to you. No matter whether they curse you or commend you, scream or cry or laugh or walk away… stand firm in the truth of who you are. To veer into backpedaling and playacting, just because of who they are, is to succumb too easily to impressionability.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You're not alone in your cherished vision for the future. Plenty of other comrades and companions share your hopes… and would make empathic, supportive allies in your proposition for a beautiful tomorrow. Alas, obstructing the path to effective teamwork and stunning synergistic success are some unexplored hurt feelings, grudges, aversions and envies—this bullshit stands in the way of your true unity. As one with a knack for calling people on their bullshit, you're well poised to raise these palpable but previously undiscussed tensions into conversation. (Someone's got to. It might as well be you.) Even if, within the first few moments of confrontation, your efforts appear to do more harm than good, don't rush to a pessimistic conclusion. Give it the full month for processing, healing and breaking free from the old crap, so everybody can move ahead together… without unspoken hostilities hogging up the much-needed psychic space.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): An amalgam of multiple astro-factors compels me to advise caution, care, and the fullest consciousness you can muster, when it comes to any and all communications this week. In particular, the concentration of energies in your 10th—including Mercury, which turns retrograde on Thursday—implores you to watch your step in professional settings, around authority figures, or in any situation where you might overstep your bounds in trying to stand out. (No mouthing off to cops!) Mercury's square to Pluto in your 7th predisposes your seemingly harmless questions about your role or remarks about your desire to rub someone way wrong… and to weigh the interaction down with a personality mismatch or outright clash. The truth of somebody's feelings toward you could ring harsh. Plus, Mars in your 1st tinges your tone with an aggressiveness you might not even intend. The harder you press for certain outcomes, the more desperate you'll come off… and the more damaging the possible misfire. Caution, care and consciousness will keep you unscathed.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This week's New Moon in your 9th, which is strongly influenced by Uranus and its pure lack of respect for all things conventional and dull, cooks up an upcoming month perfect for 'you only live once' thinking. All that self-protectiveness, which generally serves you well, also tends to permit energetic inertia and immobility to reign over your body, atrophying your physical wherewithal to venture beyond the same places. Where else in this great big world would you like to go? What kinds of crazy adventures is your less-timid alter-ego begging you to embark upon? With Uranus's guidance, walk bravely to the edge of the tower and look down… at the broad expanse of possible targets, options and methods of experience outside the ol' ho-hum frame of reference. You don't have to leap off this second, or head straight to the airport to board the first plane out of here (although, geez, wouldn't that be a gas?). But a bit of wing-and-a-prayer planning this month sets a visualized foundation, upon which an amazing life-changing excursion or engagement to rock your world can develop… perhaps for enjoyment later this year. Once you stop convincing yourself it isn't possible, obstacles will astonishingly start to dissolve.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You want to be thinking 'togetherness', Leo, no matter how deeply you may have to transmute your immediate instincts into a different, easier-to-assimilate mode of presentation that others will find easier to follow—as unambiguous and non-controversial as possible, without lapsing into disingenuous people-pleasing. Luckily, with Venus moving into your 7th, folks have every desire to get along well with you, and are happy to give you the benefit of every doubt. Yet, along with that comes an especially persistent Mercury-Pluto square across your 8th/5th (with Mercury retrograde, no less), which bespeaks of heated exchanges of words—with whichever sense of 'heat' may apply. Stay aware of this special jolt of intensity, and ride it out however you see fit… as long as you also keep 'togetherness' in mind. Togetherness, of course, has its ups and downs. And in its truest form, both parties navigate these waters regardless of how choppy they get, even when bailing out is most appealing. If you feel you can't take it and simply must bail, hold your final decision off for about a month, just to be doubly sure.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Like most of us, you've still got a lot to learn about yourself… and the long-held, deep-seated, highly influential emotions camped out around your heart, waiting to be set off by an external circumstance or remark. Then along comes that important figure in your life, who, likely lacking any ill intent, inadvertently says something in a moment of one-on-one connection that hits you weird… and out pours these uncomfortable feelings, which you may hardly know what to do with. First off, remind yourself of the love between you two, for that love also permeates the communication (no matter how 'unloving' it might've come off). Let that awareness curtail how defensive you become. More importantly, don't limit your understanding of the emotional core that's been hit to interpretations directly related to this relationship. The triggered feelings are more about you individually, than they are about the both of you. This situation is merely a backdrop for self-discovery and emotional release.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): With Mercury switching to retrograde in your 6th, you may find the logistical gears you use to take care of business starting to display lapses in efficiency and effectiveness. And considering Mercury's square to Pluto in the 3rd, it's quite likely that the culprit is too many variables, pieces of the puzzle not yet nailed down… and nothing specific you can do about it in the imminent future. In the meantime, Venus heads into your 5th—the same solar house currently hosting the New Moon—and encourages you not to take it all so seriously. Since perfectly solidified solutions aren't likely for another few weeks, you might as well have a heaping helping of fun while you're waiting. It's one of those moments for remembering to enjoy the journey (which you have an exceptionally great chance to do this week)… as well as any intriguing characters you encounter along the way. For now, don't worry too much about when you're going to reach your destination, or how many more unanticipated hoops you'll have to jump through before making it there.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): While there's a strong astro-pressure on you to speak up, there's also an equally strong possibility that, in the act of speaking up, you'll spontaneously embellish upon the story or commit to what you can't fulfill. Or maybe you can meet the commitments and mold the facts to match the story… but at the expense of practical thinking and, ultimately, your short-term stability. Freeze here. Let's reconnect with the knowledge of your yearlong Jupiter-inspired expansion, to remind ourselves that you're the one with the easier luck at your fingertips. And you don't need to try so damn hard. What separates you from the other signs is the depth and intensity of your investment in the emotional experiences of life—the feelings that literally move you to expression. Stay close to the feelings, and let them expand beyond their previous proportions… without trying to stretch the material world past its logical confines. Love big, but not at the cost of a firm footing in reality.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In your long-term Pluto-prompted process of reinvention, from the nuclei of your cells to the tippy-top of your crown chakra, this week is a point of particular emotional sensitivity. Indications include the impromptu formulation of abrupt awarenesses (otherwise known as the 'eureka!' effect), retranslations of formerly 'understood' milestones in your development (in which the million-dollar question suddenly has more than one answer), and a warmer, more compassionate outlook toward family members who 'wronged' you in the past (since, as you now realize, they did the best they could). Whatever comes up, sit with it. Your entire month ahead, as kicked off by this week's New Moon, is a breeding ground for freedom from emotional patterns that have saddled you for years. Alas, you can't break free from what you refuse to feel. Watch that you not allow your internal process unfairly bleed into your relationships—with Mars still in your 7th, a heightened chance of conflict persists.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The single most important guideline to follow this week, and for the next few, is to stay intensely busy… but not with any single undertaking or goal dominating your time and attention. It's key to embrace variety and multiplicity, and to keep your mental faculties active and easily redirectable. As you're skimming through the broad selection of choices for how to spend your energy, certain activities (and certain individuals with whom you must associate during said activities) may swiftly and surprisingly turn inexplicably heavy… putting you in a bad mood or swallowing up too much of your psychological engagement. Instead of seeking to know more or working toward a satisfying resolution, it's smarter to just let it pass and move on to something else. Expose yourself to lots of different people, places and things—while retaining your ultimate independence—rather than going too far down one road, and finding yourself stuck with greater obligations than you desired.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Following up on last week's scope, I cannot encourage you powerfully enough to put yourself out into the world, more boldly and shamelessly than you have in many months. So many astro-agents (including Venus in your sign and a Mars-Chiron trine across your 5th and 1st) meld to make this your time to shine, after all that time behind the scenes, wondering where you're 'good enough' and worrying endlessly about your future. As of right now, consider this your future… and take note of how much more comfortable you are, and better prepared to assume the position that only 8 or 9 months ago would've seemed like a huge stretch. Take all the pride in the world in yourself, and celebrate the growth you've taken. But watch out for Mercury turning retrograde in your 2nd—this could be the opportunity to gain a healthier perspective on your financial life, though it'll take the entire month (and a couple hiccups along the way) before you grab a sturdy grip.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If Mercury retrograde in your sign isn't treacherous enough, throw in a double-decker square to Pluto in your 10th… and remember your worst potential for misunderstandings lurks in all exchanges related to your desire to get ahead. Ooh, those dense and awkward interactions that can occur with the requisite stakeholders in your hoped-for ascent. Beware of unwittingly embodying qualities that threaten those in power, and do whatever you can to keep your motives obvious and above board. If you spy a Merc-retro malfunction brewing, say less, not more. With the punch of a New Moon conjunct Uranus in Pisces behind you, insist on independence from psychological crap that isn't yours… despite how Mercury's mischievousness threatens to implicate you. Stand for your own behalf, kindly and politely seeking distance from the storm. Now that Venus is in your 12th, your most fortuitous responses will be those that make little sense in the very soonest short term, but contribute to goodness not yet manifest for another few weeks.