Horoscopes | Week of January 14-20, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Take the high road, if you know what's good for you. If you don't, it'll be far too easy to slip into a furor over something that really doesn't warrant that level of whirling indignation. An anxious pal or overexcited co-worker could try to ensnare you in their typhoon of silly worries, which, were not for their heightened (disproportionate, even) reaction, you probably wouldn't have bothered dipping into at all. But, when push comes to shove, isn't it all just a bunch of hot air? Once you come to understand this and, consequently, refortify your composure, you should probably just keep right on doing what you were doing… even if this loose-cannon friend or beleaguered colleague sounds seriously alarmed. Truth be told, Aries, they simply need to take a chill pill. Yet surely you realize nothing good will come from you reporting this observation directly to them. It's not likely to calm their already-overtaxed nerves, but merely to exacerbate the situation. Be smart, and avoid their nervousness altogether. Should you be forced to confront it head-on, speak in lulling tones—without saying much of anything substantive—and hold an even temper until you can steal away.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Whether in career or romance, the 'shared' approach continues to be the one with the greatest promise this week, Taurus. So why insist on doing it alone (or clinging to your one pre-established game-plan), when a certain someone is dying to pitch in a load of practical assistance (and an amazingly insightful set of strategies you haven't yet considered)? Please give 'em a chance to help out… and to be heard as, if not exactly an 'equal' (for whatever complicated psychological reasons), an equally valuable member of the team. Not only will your final product be better for all parties concerned, but you'll also leave the other person feeling much better about his/her role in the process. Why focus on what you might have to give up, by sharing the fruits of this labor you'd perhaps imagined reveling in on your own? That outlook merely distracts you from all that you'll gain by having someone else by your side—companionship, diversity of perspective, a farther reach, and (perhaps most important of all) the transformational togetherness that comes from checking self-containment at the door, in exchange for a partner in deep healing. After all, isn't that why we're born into a world with other people present?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your number-one sidekick will allow you far greater leeway to be rascally if you'll just be upfront about the fact that you're a rascal. Blame it all on Mars, if you want… but don't even try playing it like you're Mr. or Ms. Innocent, since this latest injection of (gasp!) more nervous energy into your system is a near-undeniable fact. You'll gain far more by fessing up to that mischievous glint in your eye—and giggling, irresistibly, about what a 'bad' boy or girl you are. Embrace the humility required to squeak by on devilish charm, which means not pretending you have clearly logical and/or morally defensible reasons for carrying on as you are. Don't bolster yourself, if a part of you thinks you're being attacked. You'll only lose this person's underlying sympathy. (And believe me, it's there, even if they act like they're fuming. You're not the only one with multiple mindsets, you know.) Instead, bow your head in pseudo-deference, bat your eyelashes like a naughty puppy, and ask for forgiveness or guidance. When they see how un-serious you are, they won't be able to stop from cracking a wide-toothed grin… and you'll have succeeded in diverting their potential wrath into an excuse for greater canoodling. In the end, a bit of impishness may prove well worth the risk that it may, alternatively, backfire.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't forget about people, due to your current engrossment in things. Dare you become so overly immersed in one particular project or activity, you're likely to forget about all the folks who love you. And dare you block out their outside influences on your feelings and ideas, you're only going to further entrench yourself in the self-limiting messages you keep repeating in your head, mainly because you aren't sure what else to think. Not only do you need the external stimulus, Cancer, but they need signs that you're still alive and kicking… and still give a crap about 'em. One extra-special person, in particular, is probably missing the special time only you two can share. But if you leave him or her hanging too long, he/she could get far too restless—and then there's no accounting for what'll happen next. You don't need to let it get to that point, though, when all it takes on your part is a meaningful phone call and a willingness to put a date on the calendar. Make the room now, before you inadvertently offend someone you care about, simply because you couldn't quiet your private self-absorptions long enough to notice.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Should your perfectly innocent words unexpectedly start to rub your honey or a close chum way wrong, Leo, don't make matters worse by implying (or outright telling 'em) they're 'too sensitive'. (What, pray tell, is the appropriate amount of sensitivity, anyway?) This is actually a superb opening for you to get closer to this accidentally affronted individual, if you have the patient desire to bother trying. Stop yourself from turning this misunderstanding into a dialogue about your behavior… and, instead, ask them for a deeper explanation of their hurt feelings. If you can keep from internalizing their feedback as criticism of you and accept it as more knowledge about what goes on inside them, you'll learn a lot more about this important person's bottom-line motivations. Along with the additional knowledge will hopefully come greater compassion, too, liable to inspire you to treat 'em more gently and tenderly. But if you really want to pull off this increase in interpersonal awareness, there's one more crucial step you must take: After you're done listening to what they tell you, repeat it back to 'em… to confirm that, yes, you were listening and, yes, you 'get' it now.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You're sitting on a rather inventive idea for fixing some annoying problem or apparent standstill… that is, if you're not afraid to embrace this notion for fear of its logical, unavoidable consequences. See, Virgo, in order to bring your idea to fruition and enact it in real-time actuality, you're probably going to have to kiss goodbye certain familiar methods, if not the relative stability of the entire kit-and-caboodle. And in the short term, the issues you raise may in fact cause more turmoil, as everybody adjusts to this innovative new way of looking at things. But what's the alternative? To knowingly leave it broken, by refusing to wrap your full consciousness around these inklings percolating in your brain? That would actually make you passively complicit in perpetuating improper and/or inefficient processes—and, I'm sorry but, doesn't that go against everything you Virgos are supposed to be about? Don't shrink away from the responsibility that comes with your intrinsic problem-solving talents, just because it seems to create more headaches than immediate relief. Do whatever's right for the overall scheme, and stick with it for several weeks until the additional tumult gives way to an eventual enhancement in procedural sleekness and sophistication.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Everybody, come gawk at the Libra in its cage, posing politely for the tourists' cameras. Isn't that cute how well-mannered it is, refusing to snarl or spit at the taunting spectators because… well, according to the training it received early in life, the Libra knows that 'such things just aren't done'? Watch how all the loud mouths and grabby hands all around the Libra's den are carrying on about Lord-knows-what. And yet, it remains so patient, as if it were its divinely decreed obligation to do so. For how long can this civilized Libran beast remain gracious, before the animalistic savagery we all possess rears its ugly head? Will the Libra (who is so very ready for the surrounding troublemakers to cut it out already) ever roar back at the crowd, telling 'em exactly what they can do with their annoying little remarks and self-obsessed personalities? A sudden interjection of the Libra's true feelings, unfiltered and uncouth and maybe even a little threatening, could come as such a shock to the audience that it makes national news headlines—and, at the same time, might actually get the obnoxious onlookers to finally shut the hell up.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Look, Scorpio… I'm onto you. You can't leave well enough alone. That's why you're still doing plenty on your part to whip up a fuss, when it would be just as easy to let it all go. Admit it, then: You like the drama. There's no shame in that, of course, so instead of interrupting this proposition with denials (which only come across as evidence of your guilt-as-charged), please recognize that 'drama' is merely a loaded term to describe those inevitable highs-and-lows that accompany true psychological engagement. (In other words, if we are being as emotionally open as we can, we may often appear as epically theatrical as those internally contradictory and complex characters we watch on the screen.) And like I told you a couple weeks back, you're not at all misguided in continuing to prod and poke around the scene of the crime, in hunt for juicier self-realizations as well as tantalizing entertainment. You're still 'in it', for reasons your soul can't fully disclose to you yet, but which clearly hold some key to something or else you wouldn't remain. Embrace it already, rather than attempting to distance yourself from it. You're there because you want to be there. You like the drama… and damn it, the drama likes you, too.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Brewing in the astro-atmosphere for you this week, Sagittarius, is one of those 'creative tensions' that invigorates the electromagnetic charge between you and a certain someone. Because that seemingly-forever-retrograde Mars (still pestering your relationship zone) is involved in it, these latest events are probably just a continuation of the ongoing dialogue you've been having (whether with this other person or in your own head about 'em) for a few months now. Will you grant 'em the freedom to believe as they see fit, though you may personally find their ideas or behaviors to be silly or short-sighted? If you sincerely do want to leave space for such differences, that also means you mustn't silently snicker or offer undercutting criticisms under your breath. To be authentic in this, you must detach from the assumption that you being 'right' necessarily makes them 'wrong'—and more fully embrace that this diversity of opinion actually enlivens your mutual bond with passion and complexity. But can you resist the temptation to argue? (With Venus in your 1st, it would be easy enough to keep smiling… and nobody would be the wiser.) I suppose it's no big deal if you can't. Yet, refuse to let the disagreement get too personal or nasty. Otherwise, no matter who appears to 'win', nobody really does.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): 'Currently, it appears that, as long as I stay sequestered in my own little world, things are operating rather peacefully. But the moment I pop my head outside this climate-controlled bubble, the pandemonium is all too obvious… erupting everywhere all around me, scrambling my focus, raising my blood pressure, and generally pulling the peace right out from under me like a showman might try yanking a gingham tablecloth from underneath a perfectly-set table for four without disturbing the setting yet, lacking the requisite dexterity, wind up with a pile of broken dishes and shattered glass. Tell me again: Why exactly did I set foot outside my personal safe-haven? I'm sure I had a good reason to risk my own sanity, for an unnecessary second or third helping of the outer chaos. (I wish I could remember what it was.) Now, trust me, I'm not returning to my age-old romanticization of hermit-like self-enclosure—because I'm well aware of my potentially damaging tendency toward such isolation—but I'd be a fool to expose myself to everybody else's ridiculous outwardly-projected preoccupations when life was otherwise transpiring smoothly enough. Buzz me back next week. Until then, I'll be behind the gates. (No peeking.)'


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This week, Aquarius, you carry a great potential for inspiring others by bravely speaking out on topics (and about oft-disheartening struggles) that most of us keep quiet about most of the time. As I informed you last week, there's currently a real need for your unique (and, yes, peculiar) brand of wisdom amongst your friends, colleagues and the community at large. You don't need to understand exactly what's behind it (on either the micro-personal or macro-societal levels) in order for you to do your part in offering precious feedback through first-person narrative confessions. Everybody faces his or her own difficulties, but, in our culture of well-maintained appearances, we too commonly assume we're the only ones who must contend with this or that dilemma. Pull the cover off this false assumption by talking about your deepest pains and darkest doubts with unequivocal frankness. Through your unflinching honesty, you will serve as a role model for the real truth that underlies the human experience, which is: It's not in avoiding challenges, but in directly confronting them with grace and emotional authenticity, that we become beautifully strong men and women. And all it takes to do this, my dear, is to speak the truth about your fallible, faulty and flawed self.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This is decidedly not the time to burrow yourself away into a dark corner of the house (or an equally dark corner of the local watering-hole), hoping to sleep or wish (or drink) away these choppy emotional waters with enough willing refusal to deal. Hard as it may be to just 'suck it up', Pisces, you have responsibilities on the earthly realm which simply shouldn't be put off for purely 'personal' reasons. No matter if you feel grumpy or weepy or slightly unhinged, you really mustn't call in sick. Your workplace peers will not appreciate your inability to corral your private concerns, especially when they get in the way of getting your job done. It's just not fair to the rest of us, all of who have felt similarly disenchanted or disoriented yet still managed to meet our requirements. Plus, it'd be a sad waste of Venus's transit through your 10th, were you to skip out on this chance to get yourself noticed for your professional accomplishments… rather than, say, garnering attention for being an unstable mess. Instead of playing hooky to baste in your own juices, use this week to work extra-hard—and before you know it, lost in the splendor of productivity, you might even forget you're supposed to be bummed.