Horoscopes | Week of March 17-23, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I'm a bit concerned about you this week, Aries… for, under the sway of an unusually naughty 7th-house full moon, you might find yourself in a gnarly interpersonal bind where you unintentionally come off as self-important, if not downright vicious. It's quite possible you're not seeing the other person for who they are (and what they actually did or didn't do), instead projecting your grievances about someone else more powerful (who you're in no real position to challenge), your career stress, and/or your overall fed-up-ness with a certain issue in the world at large. Or it's also possible you are seeing 'em in an accurate light, but only lose your clarity when it comes to determining the most appropriate manner for expressing your dissatisfaction. Whatever the case, it's extremely wise to avoid open nasty conflict—but especially if you're being watched by other people, and extra-super-duper-especially if it's anybody possessing an authority that could be wielded to your detriment. So, when push comes to shove, my advice isn't about restricting who you get upset with or why; that's ultimately your business. More properly, I urge you to be particularly careful about maintaining appearances, no matter what you might be feeling beneath the surface. Dare you grant those renegade feelings free rein to power your loose lips, you're impudently tempting fate to deal you a faux pas it'll be painful to recover from.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Immediately upon contemplating your current circumstances, Taurus, I was struck by echoes of your two-weeks-ago 'scope, in which I urged you not to disturb the overall flow, in order to make a relatively minor technical correction they ultimately needn't be made aware of. This week's version is slightly different, in that you're likelier to find yourself up against a doubting colleague who wants you to painstakingly explain (or is that legitimize and substantiate?) all the intricate details… and you may be far less eager than perhaps you previously were to bother unpacking those finer points. Or maybe it's more precise to say you feel more defensive in this present scenario (whether for valid reason or not), thus increasing your potential to lose focus under the semi-conscious duress of having to prove yourself. Of course, you don't owe anyone a proof, do you? You might as well save your energy and resist the bait, refusing to enter into long-winded discussions with individuals who are already hostile to your approach before you've even begun to expound on any specifics. As long as you know why you do what you do, that's enough (at least for now). If you absolutely cannot escape answering this person's inquiries, ask for some extra time… or see if you can provide your feedback in writing, so as to avoid a face-to-face faceoff in which your hackles will be up from the get-go.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As you conduct your public goings-on in the 'outspoken' guise that's presently best suited to you, it's also important to position yourself as 'a creative type' rather than 'the one with all the answers'. Even if you're relatively confident in one or another of your brilliant concepts, be sure to present it as a mere possibility or suggestion that you're not particularly attached to. This buys you a liberty in sharing your thoughts and ideas that won't automatically peg you and the concept as one-in-the-same. There's a slippery distinction here, Gemini, that's central to whether your brainstorming and problem-solving efforts will be broadly successful or limited in some sense—and the issue involved is ownership. While it'd be totally acceptable to take pride in the crude creative material you casually contribute on the spot (as any avid, passionate participant might), it won't fly if you become too personally invested in the final outcome going a certain way, as if it'll somehow prove something about your aptitude or authority. You won't want to outwardly appear as if you're emotionally rooted to one style or technique (though, in terms of your private matters, you could well favor one), or you'll seem more rigid than they'd like. Between you and the streetlamp, you may already have a superb answer… but leave it to them to decide that it's 'right'.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's not a question of avoiding all dips and swings in mood, as that would be a rather silly goal for you Cancerians during a Pluto-intensified full moon week… but merely of recognizing that any single dip or swing does not justify convincing yourself to back away from the big exciting events, endeavors and encounters ahead. If you're going to wait around for the day when you hit a 24-hour-a-day exuberance of purely upbeat emotions before diving in, you'll be sitting around that waiting room 'til you steal your last dying breath. We're all a perpetually shifting ball of inconsistencies (at least on the inside, where it counts), yet that doesn't buy us an excuse to undermine the pledges we make to ourselves every time the wind blows from a new direction or a bout of grumps or sobs threatens to destabilize our footing. Furthermore, if we're engaged in interpersonal relationships, we've got to balance our own disorderly feelings with those of the other person—not an easy task for anyone. But should we withdraw from the connection, just because we're cranky or raw, we're risking the intimacy that's achieved only through sharing the bad and the ugly, not merely the good. Keep going down the path you were on last week, when I was reminding you how this world is presently your oyster. Nothing has really changed, except for the temporary appearance of a few fleeting blues.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Once you refamiliarize yourself with last week's examination into the sheer magnitude of emotion you're lugging around with regards to Headlining Topic #1 (I'm sure you know the one), you'll be adequately prepared to digest the next portion of our astrological supper: There won't be a speedy settlement. That is to say, Leo, you can't expect your subject-position to decelerate from 'super-charged-up' to 'nicely-and-neatly-nailed-down' in sixty seconds or less. In this context, there's no substitute for the magic of time's passage. Therefore, you might as well take some time off from the constant internal ramblings you've imposed upon your poor exhausted self, insistent you not halt the nonstop analysis until it produces the perfect proof that x plus y must equal two (or was that three?). Think about something else, for crying out loud. Like a frantic professional who can't find the file-folder with all the most important documents because it's sitting right in front of her face, you might need to look away before you can return with fresh eyes—and arrive at the optimal resolution that, for the time being, is simply too close to identify. And if you can't seem to find any other way to hijack your obsessive one-track mind away from that one track, then I'd suggest putting in some extra hours on the job. At least work provides enough of a distraction (a profitable one, no less) to lure your attentions elsewhere.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I had mentally written (that is, written but not actually written) this whole horoscopic shebang about you Virgos and your funny little habits and rituals… and how you need to be just as forgiving and compassionate with your other half (spouse, sweetie, co-worker or best pal) when it comes to his/her quirky versions of the same thing, since everybody gets to decide for him/herself which methods will be personally preferred. But then I thought twice about it, as I had a strong hunch to open it up bigger than that specificity. That's because I think a huge piece of your present Saturn-in-your-sign maturation process requires a generous commitment to listening and observing… a larger category of activity that includes 'forgiving others their quirks' within its umbrella. The Virgoan mind is like that of a scientific specialist, gaining mastery over one small region of existence, then learning the ins and outs of every last minute detail inside its bounds. This mindset is already built upon observational skills, but more those that you apply to inanimate topics, material quantities and palpable objects—not necessarily to other people and their handling of the same business. So the patterns you develop, efficient and effective though they may be, have come about inside a virtual bubble of your own critical thinking (plus whatever you inherited from parents and other formative figures from your youth). Where there's room to grow, however, is in adopting a non-committal, non-judgmental stance toward others' manners of processing information and producing results… not only because it'll promote mutual understanding, but also because it can give you new ideas on how to continue perfecting your manner. And the number-one step toward that growth? Listening to and observing them a lot, without immediately attributing value to or identifying areas in which they might improve.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't sit around chewing on all the hypothetical problems that could arise, should you make that choice you secretly and desperately want to make. Already upon going down that primrose path lined with what-ifs, you're opening a door that welcomes phantom reasons for not doing what you want to do in, in order to convince you not to do it. (You may now pause to thank your fears for keeping you alert… then give 'em the rest of the week off.) Instead, reorganize your thought process so it begins with suiting yourself first—even in light of the potentially disastrous scenarios, which, even on the off-chance they come to pass exactly as you imagined them, can still be resolved with enough dedication and resolve. I'm sure part of what you're weighing here, in deciding whether to take the tastiest pick or make the compromise (again), is the ramifications for other people… and that's very considerate of you, Libra. Yet, if you quietly extinguish the flame you're carrying for that much-desired prize (whatever it is), you're liable to harbor increasingly unpleasant vibes (under the surface perhaps, but no less real) toward those folks whose needs you've prioritized above your own (again). Are you willing to sacrifice this shot at personal fulfillment (and all the inner peace that comes along with it), just to keep from making waves with one or more important individuals in your life? Or is it worth fighting for?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't be too startled to discover you feel so strongly about a certain topic, though it never really hit your conscious radar much until now. We all contain potent emotional imprints within us, dormant on most days but nonetheless ready to storm outward into unmistakable shrieking testimony, not unlike the way one tiny tiptoed step in one quiet dark room can activate an alarm's motion detector into blasting its ear-piercing siren across the entire neighborhood. Yet, all of a sudden, there you are tightening your fists, clenching your jaw, and/or raising your voice to insist your opinion be heard—and absolutely nobody inside a 10-mile radius could claim to have missed your obvious show of conviction. Well, Scorpio, I guess now you know. In the spontaneous act of experiencing your blood rise and your torso burn, you've made an important realization about your real passion for that viewpoint you, up until that very moment, might not have espoused with much more than a casual mention. It's a belief system that, once you admit to being on board, puts you in clear alignment with a group of like-minded believers—and in simultaneous opposition to the opposing group(s). Take this membership as lightly or seriously as you're obliged to… but whether or not you use it as another means for distinguishing your social identity from the larger whole, others certainly will.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Your safest approaches include: laughing it all off, echoing what the most popular guy/girl at the table said, providing middle-of-the-road input, and striking a visible balance between (1) displaying you care and (2) tempering your vehemence so you don't seem invested to too unusual a degree. While I get that you're not the type to mince words or straddle fences, Sagittarius, I also know that certain battles are worth opting out of, in order to serve more valiantly on behalf of the whole damn war. And should you fall prey to the temptation to fight back (which, frankly, is the easier option, since your first impulse is probably to voice whatever attitude comes to your mind, no matter how contentious), you might damage your longer-term, bigger-picture undertaking, just to prove a comparatively minor point this very moment. Here's where it's likeliest to go wrong: Though you may be arguing for a particular goal, ideology or vision, other folks will hear it as something different—a bundle of self-serving statements, couched in terminology to make it sound grander and more universally applicable than it is. Whether the previous sentence's characterization of what you're actually saying is valid is another question altogether… and rather irrelevant to the situation at hand. What they'll detect is an elusive thread of unacknowledged subjectivity (i.e., 'this is what I'm feeling' disguised as 'this is what's true'), perhaps even without the awareness that their psychic receptors have picked up something funny. But they will be suspicious, which doesn't do you any good, in the short- or long-term.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Particularly in light of last week's horoscope, you might want to watch yourself a bit more closely. See, Capricorn, folks of your sign are likeliest to get caught in the intensifying crossfire leading up to Friday (Mar 21)'s full moon… and find targets on your back, as a result of others' way-out-there responses to your seemingly innocent moves and mentions. Or are they being so silly? If you can't understand why a certain someone (or someones) seems so blatantly perturbed with you, perhaps it might have something to do with all those little offhand comments you keep tossing in. Sure, you wouldn't be completely off-base to argue that, 'None of them are that big a deal.' Until, of course, one begins to add them up—and combine them with (1) whatever other unrelated stresses might be weighing down on the other person and (2) the effects of both a Pluto-squaring lunation and transiting Mars poking at your solar 7th. Then, the cumulative picture definitely adds up to a recipe for hurt feelings, overreactions, and mutually flying accusations of being 'thoughtless' and/or 'hypersensitive'. And all of this, I might remind you, as a result of you contributing more cracks and one-liners than they are comfortable with. So ease up on the running commentary, the sarcasm, and any other extraneous comments that would tempt somebody into taking it personally and/or getting upset. (Oh, and all of the above goes triple for anything career-related.)


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): There is a razor-fine line between (1) expressing your deeply passionate advocacy for a particular train of thought and (2) preaching from atop your high horse like your words come straight from God, Aquarius. Stay on the polite side of that line, if you want to actually get your point across instead of corrupting your message with a full-of-yourself swagger. Otherwise, they're liable to label you 'self-righteous'—and it won't be without good reason. Leave others a wide berth within which they can agree or disagree with you, fall somewhere in the middle or choose not to believe at all… any of which of are totally acceptable standpoints for anybody to have, no matter whether you personally think folks have a personal responsibility to fall one way or another. (That's just your belief, of course.) Allow everyone his or her own opinion (or no opinion at all). Without the pressure a less respectfully confident person might exert on those undecideds in a desperate move to win 'em for their column, the ideas can speak for themselves—and those individuals who sincerely agree with your line of reasoning will gravitate to you organically, rather than by coercion. All you've got to do is lay out your position. If it's truly as great as you believe it to be, you won't need to preach. They'll queue up of their own accord to join your brigade.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Yes! You've made it here, to the sweeter-smelling moment I hailed for you last week, Pisces. Now that both Mercury and Venus are on your side, you're in the gifted position of having exchanges and interrelations functioning decidedly on your terms… which helps you to hunt down and grab the 'more' (more of what?) that you've been hoping for, rather than expecting it to magically drop from the sky, but which puts certain other folks at a marked disadvantage. (As I'm sure you're aware, the Piscean style of meandering your way to that 'right place' without necessarily knowing in advance which that is or where it's located doesn't work for everyone.) In astrological terms, this is represented by Saturn in your 7th (the relationship realm), which faces off against the dynamic duo I mentioned above, pitting your own presently blessed self-interests against real or symbolic limitations placed on you by somebody else (or your standing commitments to him/her). And look, we're back here again at the same 'me vs. us' conflict that's essentially defining your existence, as long as Saturn remains in Virgo (and not to forget Uranus's lengthy travels through Pisces). Only, now it's reaching a pinnacle (one in a series of several, in case you thought you'd already handled this) because the planets have gifted you a temporary upswing in courage, charisma and credibility… and there are more and easier victories to ignore or give up, when you put the relationship ahead of you. Will you waste this upswing, or bravely accept its bounties at whatever cost?