Horoscopes | Week of January 19-25, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Carry out all the motions, diligently and consistently… both to maintain a regular momentum (neither too sluggish nor so quick you're likely to burnout) and so that those around you will notice what you're up to. You don't need to be as blatant as pointing straight at your latest accomplishment and exclaiming, 'Look, everybody, at what I did!' Just carry out the accomplishing in full view. If and when teammates, clients or supervisors begin to engage you with questions or comments about what they're seeing you do, hold a very unassuming conversational tone. What you're trying to master here, Aries, is a gentler approach to making your contributions and goals known to those who have a horse in the same race. Rather than demanding they turn their attention to you, you'll want to lure their eyes your way—simply by being passionately engaged in what you're doing, open to discussing it with interested parties without defensiveness or aggression, and faithful that your sincere sustained effort will reap you rewards as a natural unforced effect. This last part is especially crucial this week. Without leaving a large opening for unseen-and-unexpected currents to deliver you some surprising benefit (though you may be apt to underemphasize its potential value at first), your insistence on 'handling it your way' might just block you from the receiving.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): One good method for learning more about yourself? Try hanging out with someone you met recently but don't know so well yet, an old pal you hardly ever see anymore, or that one friend who spends his/her time at events and venues clear on the other side of the proverbial tracks from where you're typically found. When we find ourselves in unfamiliar social territory with people who are outside our usual frame of reference, yet share some obvious common bond or affinity with us, we receive a chance to observe how we present ourselves to fresh faces… and to acknowledge how our personal beliefs and values have developed, through the striking awareness of where we align and don't align with their beliefs and values. We are also likely to expose ourselves to their alternate (and perhaps quite compelling) viewpoints on those very topics we mutually care most about. But stick exclusively to the same group of familiar friends, however fantastic they may be, and you're probably not going to find your ideas pushed beyond their typical resting-place. You will all play your predictable parts, often relying at least as much on memories of the past as commonalities in the present. I am certainly not telling you turn your back on the lovable folks who already fill your everyday life… merely reminding you, Taurus, not to get too fixed in your ways, when there are also other potential sidekicks and chums waiting to more fully explore your current acquaintance. Give one of them a call this week, and set up a social plan.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your present relief, success, freedom and/or ability to soar into the next chapter with a clean slate still seems to hinge on that one non-negotiable sticking point… and your voluntary choice not to just 'let it go' on a technicality, because you're tired of going round and round, or thanks to too-slippery boundaries. As we discussed two weeks ago, this month is your purported backdrop for attending to whatever interpersonal business has been left hanging. So, Gemini, are you on it? I'm not forcing you to dwell on that which you'd probably prefer to gloss over, speed past, or bury beneath the enthusiasm you've already begun to foster for something (or somebody ) new, just out of some sick sadist pleasure in seeing you squirm. This is a long-term 'quality of life' issue for you, my dear. It has to do with whether you're patient (and self-nurturing) enough to ensure all the intricate angles of your personal needs are identified, expressed and fought for… or whether you mutter a 'yes, fine, sure, whatever' to quickly extinguish the unsettling weirdness ('… now can we order pizza?'), agree to something that's not quite right ('… but close enough?'), or otherwise settle for the stick's shorter end ('again!') because the other person is more relentless than you. The oddest thing of all? How deeply and completely you handle this situation has a peculiar ripple-effect relevance to all the other areas of yourself life, especially career. It all comes down to: Are you a 'squeaky wheel' or a 'yes man/woman'?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It would almost seem ridiculous, if you permitted yourself to correct their language every time somebody mistakenly summarized your stance or incorrectly presumed to know the precise history behind why you feel as you do. 'Why bother getting hooked on their words,' you might reason to yourself, 'when I can see the true message coming from their heart?' Well, here's an answer worth considering: Because nothing less than your integrity is at stake. Sure, Cancer, you might find your own satisfaction by intuiting the non-verbal intention behind the things they say (and writing off any odd or unsuited remarks as that standard 'problem of language' rearing its ugly head again)… but that does nothing for their experience of the situation, does it? Therefore, it affects the relationship—and, subsequently, you after all. And will you trust the other person's knack for intuiting all the important bits of feedback you may have about your relationship dynamic? You shouldn't. These things require explicit discussion… including, but not limited to, making it your business to straighten out any shades of ambiguity or misunderstanding, even when you feel like you're going overboard to clarify one small issue that probably doesn't matter much anyway. It does matter, if it matters to you. Part of the hesitation on your part, no doubt, is your reluctance to test the other person's patience or otherwise aggravate them with your desire to be accurately understood. But if you observe them growing evidently frustrated or short at your efforts toward impeccable self-representation, that's a red flag: Maybe they don't want to learn more about the real you.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Consider thawing the deep freeze, letting bygones be gone, or reapproaching the stalled negotiations from a different angle. Sniff around previously off-limits areas or yesterday's danger zones, to see how the atmosphere has changed. Flirt with opening the can of worms, even with full knowledge that the involvement will bring its fair share of new complications. All this, my dear, beats a life one might describe as 'safe' (or at least 'all variables minimized')… which, despite how delightful such simplicity might sound, would ultimately bore you to tears. Don't be afraid to jump back into the deep end, Leo, where the potential for hazards may increase but the thrills become that much more all-consuming. With Venus and Uranus conjunct in your 8th, you're on schedule to crack the case of a certain interpersonal engagement that's been going nowhere fast (or, that is, moving oh-so-very-very slowly), so that it no longer holds you in its veritable limbo. This goes for all types of intense interpersonal relations, including romantic, familial and career-related… and applies to those presently active, in the past, and not yet fully begun. Whether you continue chipping away at a stubborn issue (but, having given it further thought, with deeper awareness), pick back up where you left off (only 'older and wiser'), or leave it be once and for all (for a 'cleaner break'), the end result is less important than actively taking up the process of fearlessly reentering the arena—to crack the impasse wide open, to rattle the inertia, to get everybody moving again.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): I hate to come across as a broken record, Virgo, but I'm insistent upon beginning this week's horoscope with another reminder that this is an extraordinarily favorable time for your relationship, particularly insofar as introducing new and/or improved jolts of romance and excitement into your interpersonal sphere. Those of you feeling it will surely know what I'm talking about: Whether single, coupled, or provocatively in-between, you're in the midst of breathing fresh life into the way you interact with others… hopefully with an eye toward fostering compassion for all the things (you believe) they don't do 'right' (that is, according to your arbitrary standards). If you're not exactly experiencing some version of this, then let me suggest one of two scenarios may be occurring: (1) You rightfully acknowledge that, per your larger life-goals, you'd rather channel this energy into your creative self-expression (i.e., art projects, adventures, games, the freedom to play). From this perspective, the immediate temptations of relationship intrigue may seem like too much of a distraction from said expression. Yet, if you ultimately end up sharing some or all of the beauty and joy you've created with others or with the world in general (which is comprised of lots of 'others'), you're still bringing something of value to your relationship realm in the end. (2) You might use some of the same defenses (e.g., 'this person is a distraction from my goals') to resist too much relationship involvement, but not necessarily to 'rightful' ends. The difference between the two is this: If you're holding other people back because you're doing something you enjoy, as a genuine reflection of your heart's desire, that's cool. But if it's because you have too many other things you're 'supposed' to be doing and feel like you just can't spare the 'off-duty' time, that's a hunk of a crap. Give your people (or that certain person) some of you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You'll do a whole lot better at managing your worldly duties—the on-the-job work, the spare-time chores, the personal-care regime—if you just accede to the pressure to allow at least one substantial shakeup in the daily routine. That said, you may in fact be facing a forced shakeup, if changing demands at work (e.g., different or reduced hours, a shift in the job description, or an outright layoff) or in your bodily wellness (e.g., dietary or sleep concerns, illness, injury) have provided you no other choice. But even in these unfortunate situations of compulsory adaptation, Libra, there's a silver lining: This is your chance to reorganize the manner in which your days flow. Even if you're not the driving force behind the re-org, you can still use it as an opportunity to make your own personal needs better heard, understood and respected in the process. You require no other reason to request these scheduling switches, by the way, than, 'Because I need it for my health and well-being.' (And anyone who isn't willing to value your well-being, at least in my opinion, is suspect.) Ultimately, though, it's important to reframe this issue against the wider backdrop of your most pressing concern, which has already been addressed and will be again: You're due to create more space for purely pleasurable activities. Enjoying life, right here and right now, is a top priority.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): This upcoming week would be one of those instances when undertaking overtly outlandish 'look-at-me!' behaviors—with little concern for who's watching, and even less for whatever the hell they'll have to say about it if they are—is the most appealing choice on your menu. So, as far as your astrologer has any sway over the matter, I urge you not to order the healthy-but-totally-unexciting dietetic option, Scorpio. Is that the impression you want to give off? That you'd rather not take a big bite of life, but instead prefer to keep your eyes down and your expectations low and settle for a few measly crumbs so that no one will have a single comment to make about you? Somehow, I just can't see it. If anything, I want to persuade you to aim for the opposite effect: To give those trifling trash-talkers a whole lot to talk trash about. Of course, performing outrageousness merely as a 'screw you' to your critics isn't reason enough—you've also got to do it because it feels good. Be sure, then, to focus first and foremost on throwing caution (and shame) to the wind… for your own rockin' good time as the number-one priority. In the process, though, if you just happen to shock a certain You-Know-Who (or a handful of 'em) who seemingly can't handle your wilder-and-wackier side, all the better. If all goes well, you'll have scared away someone who's ultimately too uptight for a prime slot in your social life.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): What if the magic answer to all your outside-world problems—career snafus, financial woes, any general public humblings—can actually be found right in your own home? Okay, Sagittarius, you've got me; I don't have a single 'magic answer' problem-solving cure-all for you. But I do believe attending to a clearing-crap-out overhaul in your domestic space does have real-life implications for everything you're trying to conduct out on the mean streets. In case you haven't figured this truth out yet, let me break it to you gently: In terms of professional achievement and worldly advancement, you're presently in a bit of a tough spot. It's not bad as much as slow or tight, requiring a lot of effort on your part just to maintain or very gradually grow. (This is a temporary situation, by the way, which necessitates keeping at it through thick and thin.) Yet, at the same time, you have this incredible moment to dramatically restructure your home-life situation, so that it feels more calm and loving and nourishing of your soul (or whatever). Haven't you ever heard those feng-shui-lite ideas about needing to make literal room in your living quarters, by removing all that stuff you really don't need or want, for more abundance and opportunity to come? That shit is true, yo. (Just ask Oprah.) And in these trying economic times, you just may have some old clothes, equipment or other provisions that are currently doing you no good… but might be just what somebody else needs right now. By cleaning house through the act of giving, you're also kickstarting that reciprocal cycle which eventually will yield receiving. One thing, though: I'm not assuming the 'stuff' you need to clear out is necessarily physical possessions. It could also be unwanted or unneeded crap of the human variety—that is, a person you'd like gone-and-outta-there, whether a toxic housemate or your own self.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Often, when it comes to giving an accurate description of what you've got going for you, you can drive us bonkers in anticipation of a straight answer, as we wait for you to say something that's not a backhand self-criticism. Unlike other zodiac signs of leadership, you Capricorns aren't prone to self-aggrandizing braggadocio. If anything, you'd rather fixate on the obvious flaws and problems, so as to strive ever further onward toward greater heights… and never allow yourself to grow inattentive and neglectful, resting on past laurels no longer deserved. But now just isn't a good time to concentrate your awareness on lack. You'll always come up with a larger number, if you spend your energies to count everything you still do not have, rather than that which you do. Yet, if these things—money, skills, connections or experience—aren't in your possession, they currently do you no good. Instead, flip your focus to everything you already currently have at your disposal… and do not hesitate to spell it out in clear detail, without underemphasizing its worth in Capricorn humility. It's so important to understand exactly which goodies are indeed under your belt, and how you might best use 'em… because, of course, your next step is to proudly and unabashedly put 'em to work for you. (And yes, that involves talking yourself up.)


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It is surely true that, if you were to hold wide-open a large bag to the entire universe (and every last adoring and annoying soul in it) and let folks contribute whatever gifts (which might include gags, garbage, messes, burdens, and/or any number of strings attached) they wished to give you, you'd end up with a whole lot of stuff you wouldn't want… presumably with the occasional cute gesture, sweet notion, or actually desirable item. Maybe, it's partly those odds, Aquarius, that often lead you to inconspicuously hold everyone at an arm's length—so you might better control that which flows into your hands. However, if I were you, I wouldn't block the current supply of riches (whether literal monetary wealth or qualities that might similarly be 'cashed in') being funneled straight to you, just because they might arrive in cryptic packaging, require a certain degree of sifting through, and include a proportion of extra 'junk' you'll be responsible for disposing of. You're in the fortunate position to receive far more than you bargained for… but I'm sure, to some folks, the promise of that sounds far more overwhelming than truly auspicious, and so they're apt to say, 'No, thank you,' to the whole lot. And all because they weren't willing to juggle a couple more temporarily chaotic unknowns until the wheat gets sorted from the chaff? But for those who can recognize good deals, though they may be strangely disguised, the idea of receiving 'far more than one bargained for' is music to the ears.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): One terribly fortuitous feature to your week ahead is the conjunction of exalted lovely-lady Venus, goddess of love and money, and anarchic Uranus in your sign. We can interpret this aspect quite simply: Be open to receiving the universe's fruitful benefits (in love and/or money, as well as more generally) through unexpected, surprising or out-and-out unsettling happenings. This is astrology at its most basic… and just the generic sort of horoscopic advice that leaves a band of skeptics in its wake. Let me add more, then: Venus also faces an opposition to Saturn in your 7th, which indicates that, if you aren't welcoming the cavalcade of beneficial fruits supposedly due to arrive, the obstruction is a result of your relationship with another individual. Now, the core of the horoscope comes into clearer view. The promise of blessings and bounties is inextricably tied to a willingness to embrace this quality of unsettling surprise, especially as it bestows upon you a surge of individual freedom and excitement… yet, at the same time, appears to threaten a continuance of the same-ol' status-quo situation in that principal relationship. Is your relationship important enough to limit your openness to unforeseen opportunities? Does this person keep you healthily grounded, or keep you from evolving? I don't know the right answer for you. Ask at least three friends, if you need additional feedback.