Horoscopes | Week of December 1-7, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your enemy this week is the closed mind… and, as a logical extension to that, any individual who may currently be in possession of one. But we all know that folks who have closed minds don't usually respond kindly to being told they have closed minds. (Even insinuations usually backfire.) After all, whenever there's a distinct limit to someone's thinking, it's quite difficult for him to identify it within himself as such since, of course, he cannot see beyond that very limit far enough to acknowledge that it's there. Indeed, it's often impossible to recognize a limit of one's own thinking—though others around us may be acutely aware of it. This week, Aries, you'll be incredibly cognizant of any encounters with people who harbor seemingly impenetrable blocks to their understanding of a given situation, while you may hold a vision much larger than they. In fact, you're exceedingly conscious of how different things could be from their current state, though these other folks may be saddled with a (resentful?) resignation to perpetuate the status quo, just because they don't know what else to do. Your challenge? To help them tap into the excitement of greater possibility, but without needlessly pointing out their present dearth of innovative ideas, lest you offend them (who wants to be told they have a closed mind, anyway?) and/or get yourself caught in a time-wasting meta-debate.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Before all else, you must rehearse your rallying cry. Know it inside and out. It should be one concise sentence, no more, and fairly sum up the core logic behind why That Big Thing (a.k.a. the relationship, the business, the premise, the project) is worth every imaginable morsel of turmoil it's thus far caused and may well continue causing. This mantra is like your compass, your handful of breadcrumbs that'll lead you through the dark and scary forest you cannot avoid maneuvering through, if you hope to find your way back to safety. Repeat it to yourself throughout this treacherous journey, Taurus, as the lurking monsters jump out at you, forming ugly faces and uttering creepy noises as they try to make you lose your way. They rightfully know that, if only they can hold you here in this burdensome limbo of mutual terrorization (for, despite their fearsome appearance, they're as scared of you as you are of them), they'll get their insatiable need for human drama adequately fed—while you, on the other hand, will never quite succeed at attaining the very goals that led you into this turmoil in the first place, due to the agitating intensity knocking you off course. But you didn't sign on for an anything-goes feedback loop of endlessly perpetuating 'the hard parts' of this situation, did you? You're only here for a very particular reason. And what is it again? Repeat the rallying cry. It is your sole rationale. Keep returning to it, and you'll ensure this leg of the trip is as painless as possible, which, no matter how you slice it, isn't entirely without pain.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): We are supposed to believe that the height of honesty, integrity and all things good come as a result of telling it straight to whomever we communicate with, giving them the option of replying to our comprehensive disclosures however they may see fit. I'm assuming you, as a Gemini, can instantly smell how overly simplistic—and rather unsophisticated—this statement of so-called principle actually is. It's, like, duh. Of course we shouldn't provide the same full-and-uncensored version of the story to anybody and everybody in our lives. Some people get more detail, franker language, and/or deeper emotion; others get the sanitized press-release version. While these nuances are typically distinctions I trust you to make, Gemini, this week's 7th-house affairs (Sun/Mars conjunction, Mercury squaring both Uranus and Saturn) could find you temporarily overlooking the necessity of playing to a particular audience. In the heat of anger or overeagerness, you just might choose to say more than you should to a person who is too entangled with his/her own investments in the matter at hand to offer an honorable ear. Then, poof! You're suddenly caught in the quicksand, sinking under complications you hadn't considered because you overlooked who this person actually is. No, we are not all equal. Some folks have more power to fuck up our lives than others. And certain folks have no need to know certain things.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Nothing says 'togetherness' more than tackling a major household project, an on-the-job uncluttering, or a recommitment to the fitness regimen with somebody who'll share the responsibility for it. Indeed, this additional body may ultimately provide you with the most compelling tip-the-scales motivation, since another person's participation will immediately kick your 'taking care of other people' instincts into high gear. If you and your partner or housemate take on a collective duty to, for instance, clear out the garage, rearrange the kitchen storage or redecorate the bathroom, you will not only get a lot done… but it'll prove to be an enjoyable experience that brings you closer, uniting you over a common goal that benefits you both. Likewise, conducting similarly practical improvements in the workplace alongside colleagues who ordinarily function more independently from you will not only yield a cleaner office, accurate inventory numbers or an effective promotional mailing—it'll spawn a lively camaraderie. And those tiresome mornings or evenings spent jogging on the treadmill, stroking across the swimming pool or yogafying your body into tricky poses will be infinitely less tiresome (and maybe even fun!) when you're joined by an enthusiastic pal. All in all, Cancer, your week is set up to provide wonderfully pleasant relationship experiences… full of the sense of mutual accomplishment that comes along with getting tons done with somebody else.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The strong Sagittarian influence continues to fire up your solar 5th, making you even likelier than usual to shoot spontaneous zingers straight from the hip… which will put you either at the center of an uproarious laugh-riot or guilty of injuring someone's tenderest little feelings. Since your heightened irreverence increases your potential to hit more sensitive type in a funny way (as in 'ick' funny rather than 'ha ha' funny), you might assume I'd be urging you to cool it. But wouldn't that spoil it for all the other people you'll have bent over in stitches, thanks to your hilariously offbeat commentary? Indeed it's true that, sometimes, certain individuals take their own subjective worldviews a bit too seriously… and, as a result, the rest of us are expected to tiptoe and pussyfoot around them, god forbid our light-hearted jabs and jests inadvertently hit one of their sore spots (and presumably, for such individuals, there are many such sore spots). On a certain level, then, they hold the rest of us prisoner with a sort of emotional tyranny that inspires fear of our own impromptu sense of humor. Is that really fair? Hell no, Leo. While I wouldn't suggest making a point of purposely enflaming the feelings of your local fuddy-duddy just because it's fun to enflame 'em, I also wouldn't force yourself into super-serious 'good behavior' when you're really in a more harmlessly mischievous mood. There are ways to show your intentions are loving and generous—while still giving 'em a couple good pokes that clearly imply, 'Hey, lighten up already!'


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): December cheer really is in the air, even for you. But if you're sure as shampoo that it's anything but cheery in your neck-o'-the-woods, Virgo, then it's probably because you're lookin' for a jolly good time with all the wrong people. Sad as it may be to say (but let's not go all the way there right now), some of the folks that are emotionally closest to you—family members, housemates who take liberties like family members, friends who trigger you like only family members can, et al—aren't necessarily the peeps you may presently want to kick up your heels and party with. This week especially, when it comes to those too-close-for-comfort types, you'll feel your blood pressure spike every time they try to 'ruin your fun' with some rationale that cuts too deep and/or raises old crap from the past that should have nothing to do with the current moment… all while you're remaining all too aware (hopefully) that the smartest thing to do really is to hold your tongue. Get away from all that, however, and you're left with those groovy pals who'd gladly knock back a few with you or otherwise keep your evenings interesting—with no strings attached whatsoever, just the desire to share some laughs together. Doesn't that sound a zillion times more appealing?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): What I wish for you this week, Libra, can occur wholly on an internal level. Nobody else need be actively enlisted to participate with you, though it may ultimately bear consequences for your relationships with certain folks. It involves you maintaining a degree of quiet distance, which should permit you to observe whomever is so close (e.g., family members, longtime friends, housemates, etc.) that their behaviors often stimulate powerful reactions in you, leaving you feeling bad (or at least confused or less confident) about yourself. Replay the dynamic in your head, but step back from it. If you can remove your own habit of hurt emotions, you'll much more clearly see the suffering and desperation of this other person... the underlying root of their pain, which they've managed to project onto you long enough that you've come to accept it as yours. From this vantage, however, it's obvious it's not. Likewise, this intimate friend or relative appears less scary or frustrating—and more vulnerable, in need of compassion. That's as far as you need to go, though, as this isn't about taking care of them. Rather, it's about astutely identifying where this chunk of your own private distress comes from, and, on the psychic level, essentially returning it to its proper owner. As such, you buy yourself freedom from one more tie that no longer binds… and the ability to more fully enjoy your December, with one less reason to feel bad about yourself.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Just how critical is it for you to walk away having made a sensational impression upon those with whom you're dealing? How badly do you want to wow them? Or perhaps I should pose the question this way: Is it more important for you to demonstrably come across as having your shit together… or to actually hold it together, while exuding a rather unremarkable commonness by all appearances? I sincerely hope the answer is plenty obvious to you, Scorpio, so I needn't bother convincing you to forget about the grand gestures or flourishes you might add—unnecessarily—to your interactions. Worrying about whether they perceive you as accomplished, important, attractive and/or likable is a dangerous distraction. For now, you need to stay focused on the tangible dividend you're hoping to secure, and never veer from its pursuit by losing control of the exchange, letting your immediate emotional desire for acknowledgment or affirmation hook you into a needier underlying tone. It's hard enough to downplay the pointed assertiveness to your present manner. The last thing you want to do is exacerbate your potential to intimidate by acting too self-congratulatory. If anything, exaggerate the modesty.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): For the next couple weeks, planets in your sign—first Mercury, then the Sun and Mars—will be forming squares to both Uranus and Saturn, basically positioning you at the heart of an astro-climate ripe for disruptions to what's traditionally expected. There's no getting around it either, Sagittarius, which is why I recommend embracing the concept of yourself as 'provocative agent of change' rather than, say, attempting to back away from your rabble-rousing vibe. Even if you're just innocently being your normal opinionated self, you're liable to attract finger-pointing blame from certain folks who, despite the incredibly powerful tides of history, resist acknowledging the truth you've revealed is sitting right in front of 'em. Apparently, some people really do believe they function better in a state of denial, since they seem to prefer politics to emotional reality. But surely that's not your problem, is it? If they want to direct their anger or grief at you (instead of reserving it for its rightful target), you're strong enough to hold it at arm's-length, right? Their difficulty in coping mustn't be an excuse to forego honesty for noncommittal avoidance. That said, however, I'd be remiss not to mention that professional and familial settings are the ones likeliest to breed lasting effects, should you serve as the 'provocative agent of change' toward a strict parent, stodgy boss or other power-tripping authority figure. Even still, the 'change' (no matter how abruptly shocking or chaos-inducing) may be preferable, in the long run, to mindless obedience.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Either sometime last week or by the early part of this week, you will have crossed paths with a stream of unambiguously hopeful and optimistic sentiments that possesses a sufficiently robust current to carry you far along the path it's carving out. Perhaps you had enough time over the holiday weekend (or non-holiday weekend, for you non-Americans) to slip into a magical daydream, with glimpses of how life could be, if not for the everyday hassles that hijack your attentions away from conjuring images of idealistic possibility. Or maybe, as per usual, your mind remained actively involved with processing and reprocessing all the gory details of whatever's currently at hand, with little room for fantasy… and yet, for a fleeting moment here or there, a bar of beautiful music or a vision in vividly brilliant color must have peeped itself into your consciousness, to remind you that the same old familiarities are not all there is. I want you to nurture this spark of imagination throughout your week, Capricorn, so as not to let it peter away into the nothingness of 'back here in real life'. It is a delicate spore, floating aimlessly through the air in hopes of fertilizing your creative instincts with the potential to manifest into realness. But without a friendly place to rest, this muse-like fragment of impulse will fall to the ground, disappearing into the vacant nothingness of ignored ideas. Stay with these enchanted bits of hope and optimism, no matter how tiny or fledgling they are. Forget about notions of 'how to make it happen'. Just keep returning your awareness to the idealism, holding it inside the safe vacuum of anything is possible.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This is clearly a week for reserving any sharply partisan opinions on your part. The most important stand you can take, in fact, is to loudly advocate for everybody to be permitted his or her say… at the same time you find politically astute methods for validating each remark given, without blatantly showing favor to one or the other. If they're to rightfully accuse you of anything, Aquarius, it'll be that you're playing all sides—and that's one critique you should proudly stand behind, for now at least. Behind your leadership-by-diplomacy tactics, though, is lurking another motive other than your sincere appreciation of diverse ideas being bounced off one another: This neutral position also takes the heat off you personally, since you're essentially setting yourself aside to serve the greater good of the group. You don't need to 'have it out' with anyone over this current situation. Pointless. Instead, I encourage you to continue seeking secret respite in your imagination, planting invisible seeds of hope that'll develop into your next adventure, a couple leaps and bounds ahead of where you are now… all the while holding the public game-face of someone who genuinely understands the value of consensus thinking.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If our personality is functioning to generally keep our basest instincts at check, most of us will have an internal superego voice inside our heads that enforces rules, maintains impulse control and ensures we behave in appropriate accordance with social mores. Not surprisingly, that voice often sounds virtually indistinguishable from that of our mother and/or father, a childhood schoolteacher or clergyperson, or some other formative grown-up or leader from our developmental years. But that looming figurehead of a person no longer need exist in our actual life, in order for their moral authority to continue reigning supreme—we've internalized them into our own psyche, so as to perpetuate their tutelage (or is it despotism?) throughout the span of our lives. Can't you see, Pisces, that, at this point in your existence, the voice is you? And if you don't like what it's saying, then you can change the script. How? By promoting a little coup d'etat inside your head, and literally envisioning your empowered Self of today (capital 'S') attacking the sovereignty of the bearer of these outdated precepts (that is, the image of the parent or authoritarian), killing off its dictatorial rule over you, and seizing control of the throne for a leader that serves 'the people'—namely you. Only thing is, if that looming figure of a person is still in your life, you might have to conduct a parallel seizure of power out in the real world at some later point. For starters, though, focus on the version that's inside you.