Horoscopes | Week of January 7-13, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Stop wailing about the speedbumps or snafus that recently made themselves apparent, Aries. These are not major problems, nor will they stand in your long-term path of success. They're just annoying as hell. Need I remind you that, until your ruling planet Mars returns to direct motion at the end of the month, things will continue their not-so-flowing progress (which doesn't seem like 'progress' but actually is)? If you can't get past a certain degree of disappointment, then grant yourself a couple hours or one evening to wallow in it. Then, quit thinking about anything as 'broken' or 'wrong'. Hunker back down into the knowledge of what's most important to you—the goals you want to achieve, why you want to achieve them, and all the personal energy and enthusiasm you bring to the table—and keep on aiming for it. A super-strong commitment to this defining vision will eventually triumph over any obstacles… but maybe not right away. Stick with your mission. What you've been experiencing lately is hardly enough to knock you off course, is it?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The week's Venus-Uranus square pits (1) your recent gravitating toward a total-and-complete immersion in the meaty details of a certain interpersonal negotiation (and don't get me wrong, Taurus, this is a compelling and near-all-encompassing project worth seeing through) against (2) the need toget some friggin' distance from it already, for the sake of your own sanity. While you may be barely able to stop thinking about this person (or your imaginings of how he/she might be maneuvering this-or-that way for this-or-that reason), this single-mindedness is keeping you separate from the other folks in your life. Perhaps it's that you don't want to hear what your pals or peers might tell you about this one rat's-nest of a relationship… that they don't approve of your behavior, or of the involvement altogether. Or maybe you just don't want to let go of the constant obsessive rerunning of every game point scored by either side, to maintain an up-to-date understanding of where each of you is in relation to the other. In any case, you probably need to get outside your head, so hooking up with your friends probably isn't a bad idea. But forget about trying to please them, if it's clear your own feelings are obviously leading you somewhere besides what they think is right. It's your choice, after all. Can you hang out with buddies, knowing they might disagree with you? Can you share your dissenting opinions, without concern that anybody (you or them) will later utter the dreaded 'I told you so'?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Private lives rarely stay as private as we imagine they will, especially as we are plotting undercover dealings that we're not exactly sure we'd want everyone we know to know about. That doesn't make interpersonal transactions like these so horribly shameful or wrong that they should be avoided at all costs. (Even if that were the case, the 'forbidden' aspect would probably only add to the appeal.) But it would be naïve, Gemini, to believe that what you do in your personal or 'off-time' relationships won't impact the way the general public sees you. Whether through behind-your-back revelations uttered by a third party or merely via the whiffs and hints you're unconsciously emitting, other people are likely more clued in to your backstage machinations than you're giving 'em credit for. In fact, some of those clued-in folks may be integrally tied up in your career scene—and their knowledge may subtly impact their professional perceptions of you. So if you'd be embarrassed or put off by the world seeing what you (and somebody else) are doing after hours, you might want to think twice. Your reputation may be at stake… and secrets rarely stay secret.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Adjust the lens, and refocus on those finer facets right in front of your face. There's enough there to occupy your week, without extrapolating outward into hypothetical scenarios ripe with enough perplexing forks-in-the-road or fears that latent catastrophe lurks just around the next bend. In the immediate future (i.e., the next month or so), the big-picture view is simply too big to consider. That wide-open expanse of so many possibilities—and, along with 'em, so many chances for things to go wrong—is apt to overwhelm you. Even thinking about the fundamental 'meaning' behind what's happening now is a lost cause, as it forces you to make a cohesive story out of disorderly details that don't yet hang together cohesively… at least not on their own. Should you try to connect these dots right now, this act will yield little fruit other than some additional burden on you to be a certain kind of person, pressuring you to live up to moral standards at a time when they're in flux. Simplify all that. Dispense with the lofty philosophic exercises, and live humbly. Your own duty for now is to get your day's work done, steadily and healthfully and within an ultra-tight frame of reference and relevance… go to sleep, wake up, and do it all again.


LEO (July 23-August 22): 'Hell, no… I ain't gonna tone my shit down! I earned the right to be this in-your-face over these past couple years of exhausting self-work. I know this "personal development" thing is never really over, but I'm pretty damn sure I just climbed at least one giant rung on the big ladder. I'm gettin' somewhere, it seems, finally. And what's the most important part of it all, anyway? "I gotta be me! What else can I be but what I am?" For right now, I'm insisting on singing those lyrics over and over again at the top of my lungs… if for no other reason than helping you-know-who get the idea that I'm not about to sacrifice myself for anyone. Not that I won't make small compromises here and there, but I've got me to look out for. So soon after completing a period of life where I almost forgot who that "me" is, I'm sure as hell not letting go of that prized possession again. I firmly believe my fierce show of confidence will make my admirers even more interested. What else should I believe? That I should suck my spirit inside the proper casing, in order to suit my perceptions of what they'll find "appropriate"? Screw that. I gotta be ME!'


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This week's horoscope isn't a huge departure from the one I composed for you last week, Virgo, in that it's still wisest to resolve any stirred-up emotions privately, on your own, with the least inessential interpersonal complications possible. This, incidentally, is not because I think your stance on matters is wholly 'your problem' or something silly like that. On the contrary, I'm trying to save you the unnecessary headache of confronting other people's issues, which they'll be sure to give you an earful or seven of, should you broach any sensitive topics at all. I say: Escape from their crap entirely. You'll have a much happier week, as long as you reserve a chunk of time for taking care of your own personal business according to your self-selected order of importance. Hang at home, cleaning and organizing to your heart's content, or just kick back and chill out. You know your favorite habits to follow and rituals to conduct, in order to process what you need to process by yourself. Introducing anybody else into the fray is only likely to frustrate you further.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Is the tension, about some crucial work project or list of errands or looming home-based duties, erupting all around you? That doesn't mean you should succumb to becoming tense, too, Libra. Just because you might have a spare hour or happened to be in the 'right' (i.e., wrong) place at a certain moment, you needn't wrap yourself in other people's senses of urgency. Enjoying your own leisure time is just as important a task as helping out an overstressed co-worker, housemate or spouse. The hardest part for you may well be tackling the guilt that could arise, should you go ahead with your own 'less pressing' plans rather than put 'em on hold to enter someone else's funnel cloud of jitters-and-shakes. So please let me invite you to dodge their dilemmas altogether… but, of course, without blatantly giving off the impression that you've done so. Remember: You'll actually be better able to be a supportive partner, pal or peer overall, if you shield yourself from the undue worry that is bound to drag you down otherwise. Your own health-and-well-being is the starting point for everything else you do—and jeopardizing it in a short-sighted headfirst dive into their mess doesn't ultimately help the cause that much.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The smartest choices for us aren't always the ones we want to make. Come to think of it, they often aren't. We naturally lean toward whatever will ease our grumpy, hungry or lustful tendencies in the soonest moment. But if we're here for more than just a moment's satiation (before it passes away like everything else and leaves us in the same position we'd previously found ourselves), we have to learn to see beyond the instantaneous pleasure or relief. And sometimes, we simply must suck it up and go for what's practical over the more enticing option, even as we quietly (or not-so-quietly) kick and scream and whine about how badly we want what we want now. This is one of those weeks, Scorpio, to be responsible and far-ranging in vision… as opposed to, say, impulsive, myopic or trigger-happy. Opportunities for devil-may-care fun are in no short supply, but you'll have plenty of other chances to pick those. This week, go for duty over diversion. Your future self, waiting a week or several years down the road for you, will benefit as a direct result of such smart choices.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I know this sounds more like an exercise for New Year's and we're already a week past that… but, Sagittarius, this is a fantastic week for counting your blessings and expressing gratitude to God, the universe, the collective unconscious, the sum product of all life or whatever for allowing you to have so much. Yes, I'm sure there are also things presently wearing you down or driving you crazy—however, that is simply not what we're focusing on in this horoscope. For every less-than-ideal feature or situation in your life, you can certainly find another soul (among your friends, in your immediate environment, under the freeway overpass downtown or in a faraway land) who doesn't have it nearly as good as you. Find small, undramatic ways to share your good fortune with those who're currently suffering worse fates, so they'll see you haven't forgotten about them. The happy energy you spread will indeed make a difference. Don't let your giving become weighed down by a sense of obligation—or else the gift will fall flat. When your generosity derives from sincere thankfulness, it changes the world.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Forgive my stubbornness, but I will continue drilling home the message that your 2008 looks huge… if only because I also know how ingrained and repetitive are the internal messages of 'practical' criticality and 'realistic' cynicism against which I'm fighting. You Capricorns are notorious for the unsympathetic self-talk routine, since you (among the other signs) are perpetually aware of just how high the standards for true excellence are—and you hardly want to settle for less, without at least constantly reminding yourself that you've settled for less. However, in the here-and-now of your still-in-progress life, the sky really is your only limit… but only if you believe. That's why it's high time to gag your inner skeptic and, in his/her place, invite your secret inner dreamer to run the show. You've waited so long for a moment this ripe with potential. Don't sell it short with nonstop doubts. Instead, check your 'practical realism' at the door, and step through the looking glass into the fairy tale. If you can leave your need for logic behind, you just might emerge with a Prince or Princess Charming, a dazzling castle in which to live, and full access to a treasure chest of goodies.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You're presently a hotter commodity than you may realize, Aquarius. Other people are needing you right now, perhaps much more than they're letting on. And you are a 'people person', one who's here to fight the good fight on behalf of humanity's overall betterment, so who are you to refuse? With the understanding that it's often difficult to ask for the help that we need, you should do your best to make yourself available to the many loving faces who hold you in high regard, even if you're stressed out or feel like you don't have enough time. This is the stuff that a rewarding existence is made of… much more so than any early tax-season preparations or garage projects or personal obsessions with which you might otherwise fill your precious hours. The effective guidance you can provide will take mere minutes of your daily schedule before they'll already be moving beyond their limited view, due to your combination of compassionate listening, probing question-asking and easy-to-follow practical advice. Yes, your perspective really is that valuable. (Now, if only you'd follow your wise words of counsel in your own life…)


PISCES (February 19-March 20): One of my favorite adages to share with clients, in trying to make sense of the chaotic and/or seemingly destructive changes that may befall them is: Good luck often doesn't show up wearing a nametag, 'Hello, my name is Good Luck.' Sometimes, in fact, it masquerades as its exact opposite. One possible example of such an occurrence: A woman gets fired from her dead-end job… and once she recovers from the emotional shock and the short-term financial woes, she discovers this is just the kick-in-the-pants she needed and ends up in a new job far better suited for her. Now, Pisces, I'm not saying you're about to get canned at work. I'm also not saying you're not. I just don't know. What I do know is that you should probably beware of responding too hastily to surprising twists, just because they catch you off-guard. While you might think you know what's what (and, consequently, are ready to go off on those who 'did this' to you), it definitely pays to get beyond your first impression. One great help in avoiding premature reactions? Review the end of Chapter Three in last month's 'horoscope story'—and remember to include yourself among others in your personal community of like-minded friends and teammates for support and solace, rather than fueling that first instinct to shoulder it all alone (again).