Horoscopes | Week of March 10-16, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As you read this, you are now passing into a region of consciousness where the ordinary laws of earthly physics do not apply. In place of your everyday worries, the hopeless romantic in you has strategically placed glimmers of a much-yearned-for alternative to this banged-up-and-dented reality along the path at frequent intervals… providing plenty of visible marker-posts to potentially persuade you that you're within spitting distance of the holy grail (or your version of it, at least). It's nearly resplendent enough to inspire you to toss down your weaponry, your reading glasses, your time-sheets and your Starbucks Frequent Caffeine Junkie card, and file, all orderly, straight into the white-hot light, banking on instant vaporizing enlightenment. Might this be the gorgeous rescue you've prayed for? Could such 'all-powerful Love from the Universe' grant you an exemption from the benchmarks, due dates, reorgs and lockdowns that're mangling your day-to-day life into a manic fight against falling behind and/or getting screwed? No. Stay sane, Aries, by not buying these candy-coated promises of salvation (in any of their addictive guises). Life doesn't work that conveniently. For the foreseeable future, you must continue meeting all your responsibilities. No exemptions will be granted. You're perched atop a slippery slope, with little pitchfork-bearing devils in the pit below, begging you to leap and slide. One step downward, though, and the urge to escape all the way in will only get stronger—and it could well cost you several weeks of momentum. Resist the lure.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Obey the leads of Mercury and Venus, both of whom move into your solar 11th house this week… with soft reminders to consider all the possible ripples of impact your current involvements might bring to all the different players, major and minor, also involved in what's going down. In other words, if you know what's good for you, you'll keep thinking and talking from the 'what's good for the whole team' perspective—or else find yourself up against certain overlooked team members who'll assume you've just gotten too big for your britches to care about their concerns. And it doesn't matter if you intended to dismiss 'em or merely looked right past 'em cluelessly either, Taurus. A slight is a slight to the one being slighted. But even beyond this threat of offending someone or not properly valuing their input, the quality of this project, product or proposition will be that much better due to hearing everybody out. So listen extra-closely to other opinions… and especially those of people you like and trust. You just might hear someone say something that sparks your creativity—and reenergizes you to keep on going for it, just when your enthusiasm was starting to wane or your mind was drawing a blank.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Use this week as a bright and shining example of why you must insist on describing all half-empty glass as half-full, rather than mopily murmuring under your breath about how the cards are stacked against you or what a relief it'd be to throw the towel in. In reading the planets' tale, I'm forced to conclude that the biggest block to feeling good about your current situation (or perhaps it really is more a 'predicament') is your inner pessimist, afraid to give yourself reason to expect it to 'all work out', just in case it doesn't. This doesn't mean there's nothing real about the things out there that seem to be causing all the turmoil—just that there are a lot of different scenarios that can unfold from here, and you should insist on endorsing one that'll leave you on top. In doing so, you'll want to assuredly cause a stir in the appropriate public zone, so the important players will see that you aren't one to roll over and play dead. Also, be clear about creating fruitful waves, instead of merely drudging up old history for the main purpose of complaining about what's already said and done. Everybody genuinely wants to move forward, as opposed to looking back… and a blame-free approach to conceiving future improvements will be the most successful. When you reflect authentic belief that the glass really is half-full, your faith will get others amped up, too—and win you some extra-credit points you can cash in later.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Before I write each sign's horoscope for the week, I review the ones I've written for the preceding few weeks, to make sure that the 'story' I'm telling has some sort of continuity. (For instance, it wouldn't make much sense to tell you to 'run screaming for the hills' one week, then rip you a new one the following week for not 'holding tight where you are', now would it?) So when I re-read what I wrote you last week, I found myself filled with renewed initiative, pride and excitement on your behalf, Cancer. That said, I strongly encourage to refamiliarize yourself with those words, if only to reiterate: Your past several months are indeed giving way to something markedly different, right as we speak. Be a little patient if it takes a few more weeks to become more glaringly apparent how exactly it'll prove so 'different'. (I'm quite sure, though, some of you have already witnessed or participated in at least one redefining interaction. If you haven't yet, hold tight.) In the meantime, for now, the most important truth to get reminding yourself is: The answer's within you. Trite, I know. Yet, it's crucial to follow your own notions of right and wrong, rather than permitting everyone else's conflicting voices to confuse you (and Lord knows, they all got somethin' to say about what you 'should' be doing). Your strong sense of personal ethics will surely let you know when something feels funny. Rely on that—and that alone—to carry you through the week.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You'll be just fine, so long as you put a temporary halt to making any claims you're being calmly logical. Just so we're clear on things, Leo, you're far from calm… no matter how seamlessly you usually play off your surface behaviors. (Leos are the quintessential thespians, after all.) In fact, you are bringing a whole lot of emotion to a certain situation, making it difficult to speak from any other place other than 'pure, raw and unfiltered'. But in case you are interpreting my words as a caution or criticism, I'll have to politely correct you. If anything, this may grant you additional strength to gush your side of the story straight from your heart, without trying to cushion your expression with utilitarian (that is, calculated) strokes to their ego or appeal to some philosophic higher-ground. However, you must make sure to let 'em know that what you're presenting is entirely, self-admittedly subjective. That way, they won't have any legitimate reason to dismiss your tale to tell. As long as you own your charged-up emotional state, it'll be an asset. The moment you pretend you're operating from a more distanced, rational and/or evolved perspective, the authority you're erroneously professing to possess will turn to dust beneath your feet.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): As we witness both Mercury and Venus move into Pisces and, therefore, your solar 7th house, we should expect your relationship zone to light up like a Christmas tree. But don't get it twisted, Virgo—that doesn't necessarily equate strictly to romance, but applies across the board to all partner/peer one-on-one relationships. And for you Virgos, who always have opposing sign Pisces on your solar 7th, that means revisiting your very permissive tendency to let the other person get away with all kinds of things you don't like. Now, I know you well enough to assume that these undesired behaviors on their part haven't escaped your notice. (I'm sure you can name me plenty of examples of such annoyances committed, knowingly or not, at the hand of You-Know-Who.) It's more like you've contented yourself with merely keeping score privately… or perhaps you've criticized the offender (once or over-and-over-again) on this or that offense, yet remained within a relationship structure that fosters a pattern of them offending and you scolding. If this is an unfair characterization of you personally, please excuse me. (One horoscope, one-twelfth of the population.) Yet, if it fits like a glove, this would be an excellent time to make progress on this issue… both because you're in a great position to set some non-negotiable standards for what you must receive (or not receive) in a partnership, if you will continue to participate, and you have a better-than-usual shot at communicating with each other, as long as you're willing to listen to 'em explain what makes 'em tick. You two can get to know each other a lot better, if you're sincerely curious (rather than interested purely in fishing for information that'll bolster your already-existing 'case'). Only then can you decide whether the relationship is right for you… which is an entirely different thing than sticking around because you love him or her, no matter what collateral damage that 'love' creates for either of you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Busy drafting that chore list? Rapt in strategic plans for how best to organize the mounds of tiny details, so that you can be your absolutely most effective self? Just as I pointed out to you last week, this is a wonderful time to complete extra-large helpings of pure uncomplicated work, Libra… but that doesn't necessarily mean following a strict schedule or process, with the intent to deliberately aim for sleek sophistication and energy-efficiency (like the sophisticated engineering in an Italian sportscar?). Looking out at your week's astro-forecast, I must conclude you'll get a helluva lot more mileage out of on-the-spot decision-making, quick-flash reversals, major multi-tasking, and quite a bit of deliciously spontaneous chaos. This 'chaos' is productivity at its finest. Feel free to squander your precious moments on devising the 'smartest' ordering of tasks for maximal output… only to end up wasting even more time in the reactions you'll undoubtedly endure once the workflow proves not to adhere to such plans, proving yet again the high value of thinking on your feet in response to unforeseen obstacles. Your regular routine is obviously thirsting for a revamp, at the same time you can accomplish a lot by just diving in. Is it time to can your internal Operations Manager, and simply allow the employees (i.e., your raw immediate energy) to do their jobs, unobstructed by 'proper procedure'?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Nothing must dare get in the way of your good times. Not party-poopers. Not naysayers. Not unreasonable expectations or looming expiration dates, absurd social rules (e.g., this type and that type aren't supposed to be compatible) or the opinions of friends who'd do themselves a big favor by minding their own damn business. Got it, Scorpio? There's just no stopping your current quest for some lively excitement… but you might have to shirk the conventional wisdom (and/or your own idealistic longings), simply to enjoy yourself for the time being. Who cares if the one who's caught your eye proves merely to be 'Mr. / Ms. Right Now'? What's the big friggin' deal if you choose to date outside your race, religion, economic class, political affiliation, identity-based community or geographic locale? Why should anybody have a say in where you go out, how you act while you're there, and what time you drag your ass home? Grant yourself the freedom to pursue whatever forms of pleasure—with whomever you feel drawn to—without worrying about how it might 'define' you. And while I still wholeheartedly believe in last week's recommendation to 'be blatant about everything', I'll leave you an out if simply can't follow your bliss without evading certain other people's notice. Go behind their back, if you have to—just don't break any explicit agreements or otherwise screw the unsuspecting soul over. If you're going to be private, do it because it leaves you feeling freer… not because you're doing something you shouldn't be.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The pressures to 'keep it all together' that press down on you from out in the world could, if you're not careful, lead you to lose it at home. But how fair is that to your family members or housemates who are probably not the actual folks behind what's got you all stirred up? Don't wait around for frustrations about your outer-world calling (e.g., 'what am I really accomplishing, anyway?') to explode into your private life, when you abruptly blow your fuse at someone who genuinely cares about you and your success. Take personal responsibility for releasing your bottled-up stress, Sagittarius, before it catches an innocent bystander in the crossfire of what'll happen if you wait too long. Plan yourself a double-helping of your favorite relaxing indulgence… preferably one that doesn't require you to put on your public face, but simply frees you up to exist without expectation. (Well, without any expectations other than treating others respectfully.) You sincerely deserve whatever pampering you can come up with: yummy food, special romantic time, massage or spa treatments, sappy movies, an indulgent purchase just for you. Meanwhile, those who share your domestic space deserve to be spared from irresponsible expressions (inadvertent or not) of your angst. Nurture your needy insides before you act out for not getting what you need.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Come on, fess up… the rascal inside you is so eagerly dying to push their buttons, just to see what kind of rise you'll get out of 'em. And since none of these 'buttons' may actually relate to issues one might fairly assume to be 'serious', there appears to be little harm in said button-pushing, right? Well, Capricorn, you'll probably be just fine cooking up a double-batch of mischief… as long as you can guarantee it'll remain harmless. But are you completely confident in your ability to know when 'enough' crosses the line into 'too much'? That knowledge, of course, requires a rather in-depth understanding of the person (or 'victim', as the case may be) you're dealing with, to ensure you don't inadvertently trigger an emotional meltdown. (For instance, it's probably not a good idea to make jokes about 'your mama' to an orphan.) Thus, it's far safer to play a fast one on somebody you're pretty closely acquainted with, in order to manage the potential for foot-in-mouth syndrome. Or opt for relatively uncontroversial subject matter (i.e., good-spirited, family-friendly) that'll minimize your chances of offending. But should your well-meaning fun show signs of degrading into a legitimate conflict or clash, the best way to head it off is by cracking jokes at your own expense, proving that you don't take yourself too seriously. When in doubt, divert all laughs so they're directed at you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If, in fact, you heeded my prior advice to do relatively little and allow everything to work out just fine… then the obvious next step (at least accordingly to the planets) is to assess exactly how things ended up working out. Perhaps there was a clearly measurable gain or two—mark it in your records. Or maybe a bit more critical-minded analytics is required before you can accurately discern what has changed—start analyzing now. And in this past week's process, it's also just as likely that you've come to terms with an inevitable ending… one which, though it may sting or sadden, should probably also be counted in the 'gain' column, in that the corresponding reduction in undue stress or complication will surely yield additional energy for you to divert to more personally satisfying endeavors. One lesson out of the 2nd/8th-house action you're presently experiencing: The value of stepping back from overly thorny involvements with others, so you can focus on what you alone can do to stabilize your own life. (You might be startled to discover how much gets done when no 'negotiations' must take place.) Of course, as you make assessments, you might also fess up to any instances in which you couldn't (or wouldn't) keep your grubby paws out of the boiling pot… and rather than 'allowing', you insisted on attempting to control the river's flow. Gotta include those, too, if you want the numbers at the bottom to mathematically balance. We're looking for those bottom-line numbers, Aquarius, to provide the information needed to simplify any unnecessarily complex circumstances.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Goodbye, mental fog… hello, simplified intelligibility! Goodbye, increased likelihood of goofing… hello, increased likelihood of 'smelling like a rose', no matter the oops! Goodbye, need to sustain 'holding pattern'… hello, readiness to finally go on record! Now, Pisces, let's give ourselves the entire week to allow this shift to sink in. That is, you'll be thinking clearer and smelling better by the week's end than you are as it begins, so you needn't rush off to shout the pronouncement from treetops as quickly as Monday morning. (Even if you wait until next week to make your momentous statement, you'll do no harm.) The exciting part, however, is that your newly restored lucidity will assist you in explaining to the relevant party—in great detail, no less—what exactly you're thinking about your relationship with 'em. (Surely, some of your contemplations have dealt with these interpersonal dynamics you experience in relation to a certain person, haven't they?) You'll want to frame the discussion around specific identifiable behaviors (desired and undesired) that you expect from them and/or are aiming for from you, as opposed to talking amorphously about 'feelings' (whatever they are). That way, you've given 'em a chance to meet concrete standards that are easy to assess—or to reveal that they just can't. (And for the record, who cares if it's an ultimatum?)