Horoscopes | Week of December 8-14, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your sign, Aries, is one of leadership… at least in the sense that, generally speaking, you Mars-ruled types don't often wait around for others to give you permission to do that which moves you. You just pick yourself up—sometimes without even thinking things all the way through (which, incidentally, isn't always a bad thing)—and launch into it. Aries-style leadership, as such, isn't a 'stand up in front of everybody and tell them what to do' didacticism. Rather, it's more the 'grab a machete and cut a new path through the brush' variety, inspiring others to follow through your own actions. And gosh darn, don't we all need a little bit of such guidance-through-example (as opposed to hot-air declarations) right about now? The time is now upon us, Aries, when we need you to step up to the plate and occupy the unmistakable public role of defiant pioneer, the leader who takes it upon him/herself to create something new (and, in the process, to ignore something old) wherever it's become obvious that official 'talk' of principles has gapingly diverged from actual behavior. This is a role you mustn't try to avoid, nor one that's short-lived… and chances are, either very soon or a bit later, you will piss somebody off and/or cause some fracture that may not be reparable. No matter. Among us all, you are one of the bravest, overflowing with 'fuck it' attitude when it's most needed. Apparently, it's needed now.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Recent horoscopes, in case you haven't noticed, have stressed a theme of unrestrained psychological honesty… and your need to connect with it (and all its inconvenient associations), insist upon it (to the dismay of those who'd prefer to 'smooth it all over' with cookies and milk), and allow it to carry you through the choppiest waters. That's mainly due to the psychic stirring-up which occurs when planets transit the 8th, as they've been doing in your solar chart for several weeks now. The 8th house is an intense place where our drives cease to be polite, instead impelling us toward intricate dealings—of the sexual, financial, familial, or even occult varieties—through which we lose some control or civility, but gain access to the deepest and trickiest urges of the human psyche. Wowsa, right? It's no wonder, then, if you've been rather privately nervous about how shocking, unseemly or wild your attitudes toward the most complicated interpersonal situation(s) in your life have lately become. And now this week, with both the full moon and the Saturn-Uranus opposition interacting with the Sun and Mars in your 8th, you might expect a culmination of these recent attitudes to wash over you, leaving you absolutely nowhere to turn but into the eye of the storm. However it transpires, Taurus, represent yourself with the most impeccable precision possible. Forget all about what So-and-So may think of you, whether you're contradicting a prior statement you made that's no longer true, or if injured or unresolved feelings are left in the wake. At this point, it's got to be about personal integrity.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you're in need of 'going at it' with somebody, there's no reason to hesitate just because you may not be completely sure you've got the full understanding of the situation. You might not gain greater consciousness of all the different angles until you get the conversation—or argument—underway. The axe to grind (yours or theirs) could start off being one thing, but, in the act of 'having it out', might reveal itself to be something other than that, including (for example) residual hurt feelings from a previous incident, unrealized sexual attraction from one or the other party, deep-seated fears that found their way to the surface due to a 'triggering' event, or ingrained character traits unknown to one another until this very moment. In other words, you can't be entirely aware of what may be uncovered, once you cock your rocket and fire off a shot. But on the other hand, if you never shoot, you may never uncover anything… leaving yourself with a blatantly incomplete knowledge of what exactly constitutes the nature of your relationship with this person. Aren't you curious, Gemini? There's only way to find out. Poke 'em. And if that doesn't get a reaction, poke 'em again. Harder.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Please take it one day at a time, just like everybody else who isn't quite sure what the 'big picture' holds in store on any longer-term basis. Trust me, Cancer, it isn't necessary to know where all your efforts are headed, though admittedly the not-knowing provides little inner calm… particularly if the direction you thought you were going is no longer as appealing, appropriate or available as it once was. This isn't the time to let your eyes wander too far from the everyday business of here and now, na´vely idealizing how other people live their lives as if you might find the magic answer that quickly puts the pieces of your life into clearer perspective. My head is already exhausted from imagining that level of mental engagement in 'the search for meaning' (or whatever), when it'd presently amount to no more than wasted energy. The relevant questions you might ask, while on such a search, are in the midst of evolving… so how in the hell could you expect to find a good answer? For now, there are plenty of basic tasks to accomplish, requiring no major thought in the process. There will be ample time to 'figure it out' later—and you can defiantly say so to whoever dare ask you to explain yourself. Tell 'em you refuse to do so until this latest batch of work is done… and in the meantime, perhaps they'd care to lend a hand?


LEO (July 23-August 22): All the world's a stage, as they say… but I probably don't have to tell you that, Leo. Still, as long as our need for Spectacle! continues to lead us into putting on ever larger pomp-and-pyrotechnics-filled productions that assault our senses with oh so much Stimulation! , there will always be those folks who are more put off, overwhelmed or upset than uplifted or distracted by the main show. Thankfully, in our modern world of Woodstocks and Lollapaloozas and Bonnaroos, we've developed the technology of alternate stages, second (and third) stages, sideshow stages, and other more-or-less-corporately-sponsored options other than the main show. These indie venues provide both a respite for those of us who, for whatever reason, cannot bear the masses' favored brand of pablum and a running critical commentary on the woes of the mainstream by offering alternatives. You, my dear, are in charge of one of these alternate stages… with the real responsibility to provide loving entertainment that'll counteract the spectacular headlines (War! Climate Change! Economic Ruin! The Decay of Civilization as We Know It!) which have so many folks in a fearful tizzy. Your job is to provide that uplifting distraction (but without the blatant whitewashing dishonesties now commonly associated with 'distraction', please) so desperately needed these days… to simply make people happy. But don't underestimate the importance of this work—done right, it is true altruism in action.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Your feelings are valid, Virgo. We're not talking about any specific outward responses to those feelings, of course, since they obviously run the gamut from 'mature, responsible and honest' to 'totally bat-shit insane'. But the underlying emotions? You have every damn right to feel however you're going to feel… and, in fact, often have very little choice in the matter. Feelings provide us our internal status updates, cluing us in to which individuals, items and experiences matter enough to evoke an emotive sensation in us. By nature, they are purely subjective—and therefore need not conform to any artificial notions of 'appropriateness'. I'm moved to go down this path with you, since I find Virgos often struggle with allowing themselves to fully partake in the sheer irrationality of emotion, without attaching some analytic judgment to it… as if there are 'better' or 'worse' ways to feel about something or someone, based on some platonic ideal of emotional normalcy. That is such garbage, which I'm sure you can realize when you're not in the midst of said 'irrationality'. Take this as your official permission to stop curtailing your own instinctual reactions, and feel the madness. Better yet, express those feelings. If you dare, spout 'em freely, like you've lost your internal censoring mechanism.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Espousing neutrality, even unofficially, isn't really what it's cracked up to be. The resistance to going on record as advocating this position over that, siding more closely with a certain peer than with any other, or making one's opinion unambiguously known isn't as watertight a defense against 'getting in the middle of it' as you might think… especially now, when the sense of what's at stake seems to be becoming increasingly weighty. In this day and age, we can hardly afford to abstain from involving ourselves. So, Libra, trying to finagle your way out of taking a stand—whatever your authentic beliefs dictate—at this present juncture will not keep you safely in everyone's favor. On the contrary, they will recognize your game… and judge you accordingly for playing it. They need to see evidence of cogent thoughtfulness on your part, that you've deeply considered the ins and outs and will validate the importance of a particular mindset over the others. Even if you legitimately don't have an opinion, you'd better show that you're interested in learning enough to ultimately form one. Otherwise, they'll classify you as a superficial hanger-on to whatever's the majority rule… and rate your feedback as fairly unvaluable.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I want to remind you of last week's horoscope, in which you were urged to forego concern with appearances so that you might focus on more tangible rewards. To take best advantage of the powerful Sun-Mars duo in your 2nd (the money-and-material-resources house), you really must think like a survivalist. (And frankly, these days, that's smart advice for anyone.) All decisions, great and small, should presently be based upon whether they will generate more or less stability in your life, Scorpio… and need I further explain to you that 'more' presently equals better. (Aren't there enough outer circumstances to create the 'less stability' part? You need to be striving for the counterbalance.) But lest I miss out on reiterating a central theme from your previous installment, I need to stress that the shrewdest survivalists do not go around flaunting their preparedness like a pompous Trump family member, as if they require others' fawning admiration in order to truly 'save' themselves from doom. In challenging times, we sometimes must choose our own security first, before anything else. Yet publicly professing your greatness—or, for that matter, following foolhardy whims that sacrifice steadfastness just to make a scene—does nothing to protect your interests. If anything, it makes you too glaring a target.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Who the fuck cares? Yeah, you read me right. I'm asking, Who the fuck cares if you happen to step on their toes, in your heated rush to get where you want to go? If you wanted to pose a tentative answer to this rhetorical question, Sagittarius, you might hazard a guess that I, your compassionate and kind-hearted astrologer, would be someone who 'cared'… at least enough to attempt to sway you into sweet consideration of everybody else's needs, too, at the same time you pursue the fulfillment of your own. That, however, would be an unsatisfactory answer. Of course I care about our collective well-being; yet, that doesn't neatly equate to wanting us to join hands and sing Kumbaya as if we all genuinely share the same values. Sometimes, we need our shit shaken up. Sometimes, we need somebody with such apparent single-minded confidence (keyword: apparent) that their uncompromising strength of self threatens us, angers us, gets our blood boiling over, and eventually spurs us to better articulate and express our own guiding motivations, lest this shit-stirrer leave us in the dust feeling small and looking stupid. In case you didn't catch my drift, you, my dear, are said shit-stirrer. You keep right on doing whatever the hell you're energized to do—and if it fucks with their tidy little worldview, who cares? (An aside: The proliferation of profanities in this horoscope is intentional. Don't like it? Too fuckin' bad.) The one flashing-neon-light exception: Don't mess with your monetary security. If you're going to step on toes, don't let them belong to the person who signs your paycheck, okay?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With Mercury conjoining Pluto in your sign this week, your words have tremendous power… far more than your conscious intent could ever have intended. When you're moved by what you're saying, Capricorn, you can even seem downright scary. But what may sound angry and intimidating to certain sets of ears can also be understood as pure passion pouring forth from the lips of a spirited member of society (that 'member' being you, of course). Do you mean to attack others, or are you simply speaking straight from your heart, which is full of charged emotions about issues that deeply matter to you? This answer is crucial because, if you aren't purposely causing harm to innocent folks, then you're not doing anything wrong by 'going off'—and if those who'd rather run from such brutal honesty are offended or fearful, it ain't your damn problem. Mars in your solar 12th, facing off against both Saturn and Uranus, has the potential to deliver you bursts of other people's projected fury, as well as raising hiccups of your own anger that's been hiding in the subconscious… and so it wouldn't surprise me if you found yourself awash in conflict, due to your having hit upon a sensitive hot-button topic that'll send you and/or somebody else into a raging tailspin. Presumably, such confrontations will arise by accident, as a result of one or more parties simply 'getting carried away with themselves'. But the powerful release is no accident. When you finally say those things that need to be said, without toning down to avoid repercussions or laying it on thick to suit somebody else's need, it makes sense that people might get mad. So?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It can't legitimately be good for you if it isn't good for all (or most of) the folks standing alongside you. Personal gain, at the expense of your colleagues or comrades in 'the great fight', isn't really 'gain' at all. In fact, for the short term, concern yourself more with what obviously benefits your favorite most-deserving colleagues than what you think (illusorily, perhaps?) will immediately profit you. Venus, currently in your sign, is looking out for you, ensuring that you'll gain a wonderful sense of satisfaction by doing for others first. Let's be clear, though, Aquarius, I'm not advocating a wholesale self-effacing sacrifice here… merely hoping to reorient or secure your mindset toward ideals of cooperation, collaboration and community. If you can dive into this communal pool with sheer faith in the goodness of people to willingly return the favors you generously offer (or in the universe's reacting to good acts through begetting more good acts, aka karma), then you'll know you really don't need to worry specifically about yourself right now. What this also means, alas, is that when you encounter other members of your troupe who aren't able to understand this sort of larger-scale exchange of giving and receiving, you just may have to school them. While the confrontation could be personally uncomfortable, simply remind yourself that taking 'em on over this issue of teamwork is for the ultimate benefit of all your teammates—and, in the end, will serve you well too.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The battle for conscious control of your life—and let's be frank, Pisces, this is nothing less than a fight—shall not be waged away from public view. Delightful as it might seem to imagine taking care of all your emotional business in a secluded bubble, where nobody can steal glimpses of the heavy baggage you've been lugging around (and are hopefully in the active process of shedding), and then emerging into the light as a perfectly reconfigured butterfly, no residual hints of the primordial caterpillar remaining… that's simply not how it's slated to happen. We may privately cling to clear notions of what we'd like to fix about our fractured being, yet often lack a pressurizing impetus to spin us outward from the comfortably continual circling in place. Luckily for us (though we might struggle, in the moment, to call it 'luck'), external developments push us to act, as we know we should. Sometimes, it even takes the appearance of unanticipated crisis—and by 'crisis', I merely mean an inevitable climax of events, which demands a response—to knock us off our complacent asses. The battle, then, is fought through our refusal to fall down, curl up, feel sorry for ourselves, or otherwise throw in the towel. It's a show of indomitable spirit, of sheer faith in the never-ending abundance of new opportunities, no matter if our previous touchstones appear to be crumbling before our eyes. The battle is yours to win: by demanding victory, outwardly, for all the world to see.