Horoscopes | Week of January 21-27, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): One side of my horoscope-authoring personality wants to point out that, if you're currently surrounded by folks who make you feel part of something bigger than just you, it's probably a good idea to let them do the talking on your behalf. They'll do an adequate enough job representing your jointly-held beliefs—and it keeps you out of the spotlight, where (with Mercury preparing to flip to retrograde) you're likelier to attract the eyes of those who'd adamantly argue with that stance. It's almost like sending someone else to do your 'dirty work', except that they're far better equipped to remain calm and make the opposing team look bad. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, the other side of me doubts you'll want to pass up this chance to get yourself noticed, by being the one who serves as mouthpiece for a controversial view that will piss off almost as many people as it's bound to inspire. If you feel like waging a war of overly biased intellect, then go for it—but make it count. Speak loudly for what you think is right, whether or not it's the most popular opinion. Some will undoubtedly admire you, while others will try to rip you down. But even if your slant doesn't win 'em over, the 'undecideds' will remember you as somebody who actually cared enough to risk your personal comfort. So which corner of my mouth will you listen to, Aries? They're both telling the truth, though, independent of one another, each truth is partial.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): With every ounce of logic in that brain of yours, you're telling yourself you want to back off. 'It's too much of a hassle,' your self-warnings read, 'without a clear notion of what I'll eventually gain from it.' And yet, even as you silently utter these observations, you simultaneously hold the gut knowledge that you will gain something… or else why are you continuing to participate? Well, Taurus, for starters: Your inner daredevil just can't seem to walk away from the edge. Despite your long-held reputation for 'security first', your sly under-the-surface urge to evolve is currently grabbing the reins from the safety officer. That's why you're probably feeling more brazen than ever in your lust for the full deal, and less stoked about settling (yet again) for crumbs. Playing it safe, on the other hand, merely conveys that you're not really that serious—about neither the other person nor your own journey to a new level of awareness. Instead of fearing the interpersonal consequences, please understand this act of 'raising the stakes' serves you first. You force yourself into unfamiliar territory. You make spur-of-the-moment decisions based on what you want out of life, not what you think somebody else wants you to do. And then you learn from there, in the process rather than by design. You won't walk away from the edge for very good reason; you just can't explain it right now. Backing off, meanwhile, is a bore.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's too easy a slope to slide down, once you get your mind set on defining the terms of the journey it's on… once you approach all questions and confusions from behind this single lens, evaluating the rightfulness (or glaring insufficiency) of others' ideas, methods or casual behaviors by its litmus test… and once you start engaging, from this vantage point, with a certain somebody who matters a lot (because you're in love with 'em, scared to death of 'em, or in some convoluted mixture of emotions toward 'em), you detect a chasm between you two… and before you know it, there's that pinnacle moment where the back-and-forth can lead to hot-sticky-steamy catharsis (of the delicious kind), to a big-belly-laugh of not taking yourselves too seriously, or to the eruption of an unnecessary quarrel that comes about due to foolishly insisting 'it's one way or the highway.' The funny thing about it, though, Gemini? In being so darned sincere and devoted to what appears to be an already-decided-upon belief in your mind, you may actually rush headfirst into an unkind attitude—and end up regretting this lapse in your moral judgment, brought on by your earnest rush to pass a moral judgment. What's more important: this newfound dedication to what you think you're sure of, or the relationship you're threatening to damage by refusing to entertain other possibilities?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Oh, yeah, sure, Cancer… you're so convinced you can read the mind of that particular person who looks at you just so. But are you willing to base your next move purely on intuitive assumption? That's a gutsy move for anybody, not least of all you (who, frankly, isn't known as the boldest move-maker of the zodiac). And while your instincts are generally spot-on, a shining exception to that rule applies whenever you care this much about what someone else thinks (about you, primarily) that your usual psychic awareness is hindered by your emotional investment in one certain outcome. (See also: Confirmation bias.) In other words, you mustn't extrapolate forward into the likeliest future, using only what you sense to be reality as a foundation for your hypothetical imaginings. That is entirely a game of fantasy, which is wonderfully effective if you're writing lyrical poetry or romantic fiction, but not necessarily the best way to accurately forecast what he or she may actually want, as part of deciding how you should proceed. Leaving your presumptions untested—and your own sentiments unspoken—will lead you nowhere fast. I advocate a more old-fashioned, cards-on-the-table approach: Instead of guessing about him/her (and leaving 'em to guess about you, too), focus on learning more about each other… and allow the final result to develop organically from there.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You two are thinking the same thing… only it's not quite the same, is it? You won't know the answer to that this week, not next week or the week after that. So, rather than continuing to worry about whether you're aligning too perfectly or not well enough, whether he/she's into you too much or not enough, and whether there's anything you can or should do to move it along toward one goalpost or another… maybe, Leo, you should get back to the pile of chores that's starting to stack up past your desktop and upward to the ceiling. You will literally drive yourself to mentally pace in obsessive little circles, trying to figure out why that day's temperature between you and him/her is rising or falling (and according to which measuring device, anyway?). All you need to know is, yes, it's in flux. And in the meantime, you still must attend to the daily grind of fulfilling duties and meeting commitments—every single day, not just when the mood strikes you. A relationship is important, but it is not everything. With or without this person around, and no matter where the variable feelings between the two of you veer at any given moment, your own life purpose basically remains the same. Keep plugging away at it, regardless of interpersonal fluctuations.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): If you embraced last week's suggestion to really tackle the veritable deadlock with a comprehensive problem-solving approach, then you should know to expect additional chaos in the short-term. In fact, with ruling Mercury both conjoining Neptune and readying itself for a retrograde in your solar 6th, you'll likely witness some blatant examples of this necessary disruption to your usual way of doing things. Simply put, your normal work habits (on the job, around the house, at the gym…) may not get the job completed as quickly or reliably as you'd expect—or else you won't be able to follow your typical protocol, due to slippery circumstances you can't seem to help. At moments like this, astrology can be extraordinarily insightful in terms of putting perspective on passing trends… such as the temporary trouble your head will have, attempting to keep all the little details straight. You have a few weeks of decreased productivity ahead of you, which is sort of funny since the ultimate purpose of this disarray you're experiencing is to eventually improve your productive potential. Let that be reason enough to put your stress on hold for now… and, instead, do something that leaves you giggling, flirting, or totally falling in love with some person or activity who you wouldn't have time to love, were you to spend all your spare bits of it trying to fix what's currently unfixable and also, paradoxically, already in the process of being fixed. Having fun is important business, too. And with Venus and Pluto conjoining near the cusp of your 5th house, this week's 'fun' could create a lasting impression in your life.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): By the time your coming week pulls to a close, I'd like you to be able to report: I've said enough about this for now. Of course, whether this report rings as authentic has everything to with what you say between now and then… and certainly how you followed (or didn't follow) last week's tip-off will carry a weighty impact on the matter. But two conjunctions of personal-to-outer planets in chart zones dealing with communicationf—ruler Venus to Pluto in the solar 3rd, and Mercury to Neptune as he approaches retrograde—give us a couple more clues about how to get there. First, it's important for you to see the value in making a sufficiently dramatic statement about where you're coming from, in order to corner them into giving you your space. Sometimes, you have to bring out the big guns (i.e., super-direct tone, no mincing of words, 'brutal' truth) to get 'em to understand. And after all, Libra, what you really need is some time alone to think about your rapidly shifting feelings about, well, so many things. Second (and perhaps an even greater impetus to blurt it all out, and then put it to rest), if you think you've been 'playing it cool', without revealing your real thoughts, you're probably just kidding yourself anyhow. The hints have already slipped, and they've likely figured you out already, anyway. Why not just provide the confirmation?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your sentimental yearnings may be more than a coincidence, Scorpio. They could be missives from your all-knowing 'higher Self' (or whoever that is, floating above your crown chakra like a fairy godmother), telling you to reconnect with old friends or estranged family members. Home is where the heart is… unless, that is, your heart is so well-insulated from any other person or place that it lives out of a suitcase it never unpacks, and therefore won't ever grant you that 'settled' feeling. 'Settling' into a comfortable relationship with where you came from (and with those who knew you back then, before you metamorphosed into this creature we see before us) is not the same as 'settling the score', alas. So, to get back in touch is not so useful if it means returning to a familiar stalemate with someone who love (admit it: you do) but hopelessly disagree with. It is possible to reestablish the meaningful bond without resolving the dangling dispute. How? By going beyond it from the get-go. A fond phone call or quick visit is all it'll take to break the ice—if you take that first move, you're already displaying a token of reconciliation. And to really speed past the initial awkwardness into genuine healing, be immediately forthright about why you're making contact: 'Despite everything that's happened, I was thinking about you and missing you and just wanted to tell you I still love you.' From there, keep it short and sweet. They'll be thankful, and somewhat disarmed by your gesture of generosity. Of course, if they launch straight into a rehashing of the conflict, that's a whole 'nother story… and a clue to cut the emotional cord that still binds you, once and for all.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The power to bank a profitable deal, cement an important alliance, or stand your ground in a crucial face-off is yours to enjoy… as long as you can concentrate your energies on what's important, without allowing your attention to drift toward the fruitless deals, frivolous alliances, or waste-of-time face-offs. In the process of maneuvering yourself into the prime position, a key player is likely to be intensely attracted to your flagrant initiative—and/or just as strongly put off by your crude manner. (Maybe there are two players involved, or merely one with a split opinion.) The surprising power of their response to you may have little to do with your actual behavior. But upon confronting their adoration or hate, you mustn't take it too personally… nor permit it to distract you from the principal issue at hand, at least as you have defined it for yourself. Should the discussions wander off into celebrating, defending or criticizing one another's personalities, the talking will doubtfully amount to anything more than coarse throats and throbbing temples. Instead, handle such exchanges gently, by casually and unobtrusively redirecting the subject back to what you thought you were supposed to be getting out of it in the first place… and do that as many times as it'll take to stay on track. You're the archer. Keep aiming at the bullseye.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): When will you realize, Capricorn, that you do not need to understand what precisely is going on, in order to experience the lucky hands of fate lovingly pushing you toward the next exciting opportunity they have in store for you? I already know that answer, silly: It's this year, of course… and I wouldn't be surprised if your upcoming week doesn't hold some sizable clue about what's on its way to you. With both Venus and (this is huge!) Pluto heading into your sign this week, to join your benevolent buddy Jupiter, the winds are now blowing so decidedly in your direction, you have no excuse to flounder. Well, there is one possible explanation, should you find your life provides nothing fresh and exciting on the horizon to anticipate with baited breath: Your need to remain safely in control prevents you from welcoming the divine destiny that's knocking at your door. (I can hear you now: 'Didn't you read the "No Solicitors" sign? Get the fuck off my property, Destiny or whoever the hell you are.') Within the next week or two, you will stumble into at least one situation so ripe with potential to transform your life, the physical feeling of nausea could overtake you completely. To embrace the transformation, you'll have to give up control over what happens in the short-term… then, hold your breath and fly away, without knowing where you'll land or even how to do it safely. Any other choice will yield far more conventional results—the same ones, in fact, you could've reaped at any other moment in your history, whether or not the planets were giving you this much of a blessed boost.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If you just stand back and keep doin' your thing, Aquarius, the beauty and grace inherent in what you're doing will naturally rise to the surface. Yet, that doesn't automatically exempt you from receiving unpleasant (or outright bizarre) responses from those who, for whatever reason, do not want to hear the messages unassumingly emitting from your natural way of being. In fact, your self-confidence could prove very uncomfortable for a certain someone who's hiding some 'shameful' offense or deficiency… since your unwillingness to 'cover' for yourself, through incomplete disclosures or saccharine-sweet superficies, may indeed reflect badly on them. Like a secret alcoholic who flips his lid when his best drinking buddy decides to quit, leaving his own destructive habit to become that much more evident by contrast, this somebody may take serious umbrage with your attempts to 'be clean'—and attempt to undermine it, by trying to make you stand out as the one with 'the problem'. You mustn't take on their anger or despair, since it's not exactly your fault if their cover is blown. (Since when was it your responsibility to cover for anybody?) You're just the messenger of your truth about your situation. Be honest, no matter what, and they can't take you down.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You voice an idea you cherish. In the process, a misspeak occurs. Or maybe they just heard you wrong. Or maybe, even more peculiarly, your psychic brain probed into their hidden expectations and desires. Borrowed a couple keywords from their vocabulary of highly-charged trigger phrases. Matched their energy, though not their actual mindset. Created a false sense of mutual affinity. 'Well, I guess we're on the same page!' they delightfully exclaim, patting you on the back like a long-lost sibling. (Forget about the 'page,' you quietly wonder, I don't even know what book we're supposed to be talking about…) They like what they heard so much, you could ride along on that trusting sensation for a good long spell. Only, what they heard is not what you actually said. Let the misunderstanding persist, and you'll continue gaining their favor—until it eventually comes out (and it always does) that you aren't a legitimate representative of that point-of-view. You have to undo the false intimacy, long past the instant when it would've been most appropriate to clarify. Feelings are inadvertently hurt. Trust, unequivocally jeopardized. And all because, with the best of intentions, your declaration got mangled. Not even really 'your fault', is it? Better, then, to hold off on sharing, though in the near future you might actually gain some palpable benefit from just doing it, due to the likelihood of being misinterpreted—if it's under improper pretenses, your 'gain' will become a much greater loss in the end. Say what, again?