Horoscopes | Week of January 28-February 3, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Before you waste another breath on 'clarifying your position' (or is it that your two cents just weren't enough and you're going to try for a whole dime?), listen to me for a second. I'd like you to know, Aries, that this week's two stationing planets—Mercury turning retrograde, and Mars retuning to direct motion in your solar 3rd—both have an extra-large impact on the state of your communications. Furthermore, both planets are doing their do in air signs… which you don't have to be an astrological pro to conclude will bring many seemingly pivotal conversations which probably won't consist of much more than a lot of hot air. Whether it's a case of ideological dissent, office politics, social-group drama, or even simply a difference in wording, the so-called 'matter at hand' might be no more than time-frittering chatter. And ordinarily, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Except for the fact that Venus, Jupiter and Saturn have conspired to make this a fantastic week for you to make a career stride—if you can avoid the ongoing dirt, gossip and nonsense being spread all around. Please tune it out, so you may concentrate on working your buns off. One hard day isn't enough, either. This is an especially good chance to get noticed for your work ethic, so that means an entire week of perfectly diligent, non-resentful, whistle-while-you-work labor.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A young chick inside her egg sees nothing more of the world than what's bounded within the shell. She may have no clue why, on a primal level, she starts to rap her tiny chicken feet against the walls that suddenly seem to be closing in on her. (Or is it that she's merely grown too large to remain docile?) At the first crack of calcified protein failing to hold her upstart lurches, a brilliant light pours into her previously pitch-dark eggy capsule. 'From where does this magnificence come? And what does it mean? What force causes it to shine so bright, and who controls it? How far away am I from being able to touch its pure beam, and what must I do to get there?' Previously limited to one corral of existence, the chick's entire worldview is abruptly enlarged by this one life-altering kick. And from there, she finds more questions than answers… but really juicy ones that stimulate her imaginative ponderings on the universe, questions that she could happily spend her entire life seeking to better understand. Can you see that crack, Taurus? Or haven't you kicked hard enough yet? Because once you finally acknowledge how much more is out there than what you previously played to, no single stumble is too big a deal… no impulsive 'error' (causing you to miss a bill or forget a meeting) worth overreacting over, in light of the overall majesty of what's happening. Stay loose, and don't you dare abandon those inklings of a newly free-spirited outlook. Only problem is, I guess it turns out, up 'til now, you've been somewhat shortsighted after all.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Go ahead, and make the move toward characterizing the most noteworthy of your week's moments as 'accidents'… and some folks will probably be easy-going (or self-centered) enough to groove with that clean-seeming explanation. But not me, Gemini, not for one minute. With the veritable goosing that comes along with both (1) Mars stationing back to direct in your sign and (2) your ruler Mercury stationing retrograde in the adventuresome solar 9th, you're hosting an excess of twitchy high-strung energy, increasing your need to channel it somewhere (and fast!). So naturally, like a good-hearted but impish young child who's devoured too many sugary snacks, you just want someone to play with. And, if you're not carefully watching yourself, you'll probably do whatever it'll take to get their attention—including something so totally off-the-wall that it might even offend 'em, even as they're now wholly engaged in interacting with you. Now, was it really an innocent 'goof'? Or was that slip-of-the-tongue your semi-conscious method for telling 'em something you really wanted to say but didn't feel you could? And because it's now out there, won't you have to confront the full situation head-on… which, in a certain sense, also feels like the very 'play' you were hoping for? Maybe that's exactly why you 'goofed' to begin with—and that doesn't sound quite like an 'accident' to me.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): When I was a kid, I used to love to wrap myself up inside the heavy curtains that hung in our house. I would start at one corner of the hanging curtains, then walk myself in little circles until I was standing motionless in the dark center core, completely concealed within layers of the dense dusty fabric. From the inside, I felt nestled and safe in a special world that was all my own. Of course, from the outside, I must've looked absolutely ridiculous to my parents who, never the type to stop my strange little only-child isolation routines, stood by looking on. Eventually, though, I'd have to unwind my child body back out, losing my protective covering on the way to reemerging into daylight. I couldn't live my life inside there, could I? I had to encounter the other people out in the big non-curtain-contained world. It always was a mixed blessing, but unavoidable nonetheless. And now, with Mars finally returning to direct motion this week in your solar 12th, Cancer, it's time to start unwinding yourself back into the world. Whether you actually isolated during recent weeks—or whether you merely 'kept' an important part of yourself psychically separate from other people—you're ready to return to outward-facing motion again. Your best first step, post-Mars-retrograde, is simply to reaffirm your social connections… getting back in touch, making long-overdue plans to catch up, explaining what's gone on inside you. Alas, this may also require having certain conversations again (yes, one more time!). But don't be fooled: That doesn't mean you'll be rerunning already-said-and-done sentiments, now that perspectives have shifted and minds may be changed.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As long as it's just the two of you, simmering and declaring and pleading and snarking back and forth, you're going to get nowhere fast. Haven't we already covered this territory? Didn't I warn you to expect no resolution quite yet? Geez, it's almost like you weren't absorbing what I wrote, if you're still intending to corner him/her into a final answer this week or force yourself to decide… or else you're a glutton for such self-crazying insistence on casting the net onto these high seas anyhow, though there's nothing substantial enough out there to catch yet. If, Leo, you've succumbed to the powerlessness of being yanked between varying thoughts about your relationship to this person, what you really need is a loving friend (someone relatively uninvolved in the situation) to set you straight—or at least to get you thinking about something else. It's a matter of being rational, after all. I'm telling you: You're not going to figure it out right now. No matter how wildly you wield your impatience, you still won't know what the future holds until it arrives. And by the way, it ain't here yet. Until you're at the appropriate point to lay down the appropriate law once and for all (say, early-to-mid March), do something else.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): [Disclaimer: What is about to follow could be somewhat fairly characterized as 'feelgood hoo-hah', which is not to say that it's any less true, but I thought it right to warn you, should you be one of those earthy types who often reacts unfavorably to such sentiments, so you'd have to time to open your mind to my forthcoming statements.] Life is not merely a series of challenges to master and duties to fulfill. At every juncture, there are also a million-and-one small pleasures, lying in quiet wait for you to pause long enough to appreciate 'em. Will you leave them there, lonely in anticipation of your bothering to notice, to gather dust? And what sort of statement are you making about what's important in your life if, instead, you constantly concentrate on those few annoyances (and there are always at least a few current ones), essentially letting 'em get the best of you? The quality of your moment-to-moment existence does indeed rest upon which elements you choose to focus on. For this week at least, make the choice to emphasize the positives. Be stubbornly upbeat, if you have to… since the annoyances are likely to persist a bit longer, whether or not you obsess over what to try next. No, this doesn't accomplish anything, Virgo. So fucking what? What it does do is give you reasons to relax, smell some of those roses you walk right past everyday and are hardly aware of, and stop taking the little crap so darned seriously. Or ignore me if you want—it's your relative enjoyment (or irritation) at stake, not mine.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Let's not overdramatize the situation, with neither too much discouraging gloom nor unchecked daydream fantasy. Any such unifying emotional tale is a misleading simplification. There's the good and the bad, darling… things that are functioning as you'd like, and things that still require much work on your part. And no matter how exciting certain recent developments in your life may be (and I do hope you're feeling the excitement), these alone won't magically rescue you from the more complicating emotions still circulating internally through your system. There's certainly no obvious benefit to stewing nonstop about the inner-development stuff since, after all, it's a long-term process that'll take more than a couple weeks to reap an observable result… and in the meantime, you must continue to lead your life. But at the same time, it's fair to warn you about the flip-side pitfall—trying to escape the big life-redefining issues in some significant way, just because one particularly inspiring opening is occurring in a more externally-focused arena. Be optimistic, yes, please… yet not so much so that you delude yourself into momentarily setting reality aside, to cavort carefree in a wonderland that'll come crashing down (and your unbridled hope with it) as soon as you wake up. I guess what I'm really saying, Libra, is to look out for your old friend, balance. Too absolute a commitment to one emotional influence or another will leave you somewhat blinded—and at a definite disadvantage, once your sight returns.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): With tornado-force winds whipping through the emotions of water signs everywhere (you Scorps, as well as Cancers and Pisces), you shouldn't be surprised to find yourself smack in the middle of some major conflict. (Whether it's an out-and-out external fracas or totally contained within you depends on you, doesn't it?) Just ride it out… without trying to push it the point where lessons are supposedly being taught, stances definitively defended or shot down, or trophies taken home by one certain winner. There are far too many details currently untagged, dealt with, or put into reasonable perspective. In this heavily Neptune-influence moment of sense-making, the borders between 'highly relevant' and 'totally tangential' have evaporated to a vague near-disappearance, and what may seem like the core thread could later prove to be a silly sidenote. What's most crucial now, Scorpio, is doing your part to explore every last nook and cranny of your feelings—in order to prevent anything from 'popping up' inconveniently from your subconscious over the next few weeks, catching you off-guard and losing you whatever ground you imagine you'd be gaining, should you try to 'gain ground' right now. Instead, just take in the lay of the land like a surveyor. Whatever you observe, in this context, can't be interpreted as any less than a success.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Last week's plea to you to zero in on the principal issue at hand (as you define it) and not meander away on theoretical tangents or other extraneous blather is still madly relevant now, Sagittarius… with far too many advantageous circumstances, on the most practical level, at your disposal to dilly-dally with other people's unquestionably-less-advantageous(-to-you) rambling agendas. In other words, do whatever's best for your bottom line—and yes, I purposely use that terminology to emphasize the money factor—and not what some troublemaker (whether friend or foe) tries to lure you into. The social pressures you feel (i.e., to impress pals, to put loudmouthed idiots in their place, to make sure everyone knows where you're coming from, etc.) may weigh on you like a cartoon devil whispering in your ear to 'just go for it.' But why? Just because you can? Now, if you put an actual dollar amount on how much it's worth to you, to overlook what you could be doing to help along the potentially profitable business matters, in order to engage in quasi-intellectual chess games with other similarly big personalities to see who can 'out-trump' the other… I'll bet you wouldn't be so hasty to draw your sword. This window of applied good-fortune will disappear way too quickly, especially if you don't stay closely on top of it. So who really cares what everybody else is going on about? Would you pay cold hard cash, just for the right to participate?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): There should plenty going on with you to occupy your interest, Capricorn… certainly enough so that you're wholly justified in politely putting up firm boundaries, thereby keeping your limited energies all (or mostly) for yourself. That act of self-protection may entail shutting the door (temporarily, that is) on needy partners or self-absorbed pals who'd otherwise hog your precious mental space. (Doesn't this advice evoke a similar horoscope from a couple weeks back?) I keep reiterating this same point central to understanding this phase of your life: You are the star of this show, which is nothing less fantastic than your own rapidly accelerating growth process. Anybody who'd dare to distract you from this central theme needs to be set aside for the time being… not necessarily rudely, but with sufficient clarity so they get the picture. If you don't do this clearly, you'll probably have to continue doing it, week in and week out, instead of spending that habitual attention on yourself—and yet again, you've put your developing bliss second to doing 'what you're supposed to do' for somebody else. Please forgive me for repeating myself, but your most important focus should be on minding your own business… not in the snide colloquial sense of 'butting out' because you've somehow been presumptuous, but in the literal interpretation of 'minding' (i.e., applying one's brainpower) to matters that are of your own determination.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The oracle speaks in cryptic clauses and open-ended half-sentences, not particularly caring too much if the listener is left hanging on a question mark. If somebody wants to know what the oracle has said, he will have to think about it some… spend his precious private moments in contemplation of how the poetic symbols line up to spell a mystical message. The oracle holds no pressure to 'make sense', as logic is a tool for the conquering ego to enforce over the purity of a moment's experience, in an attempt to capture its meaning. Profundity, however, flies free. It cannot be pinned to one way of seeing and expect to remain profound. The oracle sometimes even answers the inquiries posed to it with further inquiries… spiritual riddles that force the asker back into her own mind, empowering her to recognize all solutions already exist inside her. The oracle will leave a good portion of those who make the pilgrimage somewhat dissatisfied because they imagine neat-and-tidy responses to their complicated issues… and when they hear the real truth, it still leaves too much responsibility for the future up in the air, to be accepted or eschewed, with obvious consequences to both. (What often isn't said: The oracle may be a bit mixed-up about its own life, while seeing the reality of other people's situations with startling clarity. The less the oracle is personally involved, the keener the intuitive insight.) This week, Aquarius, you are the oracle—put this gift to good use, and share your hunches.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This week, rest on the safe comfort of your friendships. Hang with your favorite people as much as you possibly can… not only will it permit you some fun (duh), but, if nothing else, it'll keep you from getting too lost in your own head. See, Pisces, with Mercury (1) turning retrograde, (2) conjunct Neptune and (3) in your 12th, 'your own head' isn't exactly the safest place for you to get lost. The thoughts you entertain may hold beauty, artistry and traces of universal resonance and relevance… but they also may be unrealistic, blindingly one-sided and/or totally delusional. Plus, throw in stationing Mars in your solar 4th, and they might also be tinged with floating fragments of simmering anger. But, though your moods could get momentarily out of whack due to these influences, you can just as conveniently divert your attention away from such tendencies—merely by ensuring you keep company with folks you can count on to provide such diversions. Basically, your main responsibility would be to reach out and make plans, so your leisure-time is schedule is completely filled with interpersonal appointments. Then, as long as you meet these commitments, you won't have to worry about what happens next. Your friends will help you out with that one.