Horoscopes | Week of February 2-8, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Welcome to a decidedly exciting several months ahead, now that Venus will have entered your sign as of this Monday (Feb 2). Ordinarily, the single presence of Venus in one's sign isn't nearly enough to suggest months of can't-be-missed excitement. (She usually just smiles over a sign for about three or four weeks, gently bestowing an attractive glow and increasing receptivity to the blessings all around.) The reason behind this exception? Venus retrograde, that once-every year-and-half event with a reputation for scrambling our sense of who and what is most valuable to us, by dangling in front of us phantom romantic and/or commercial opportunities that may or may not be all they're cracked up to be. (For more info, read this article from Venus's last retrograde in Jul 07.) What that means for you over these coming weeks, Aries, is the much-heightened chance you'll draw many an interested eye from those who'd like a piece of you, as amorous admirer or avid investor. But what this also means, due to the fact that Venus will form three squares with potent power-positioner Pluto, is the much-heightened chance you'll draw many a threatened glare from those who'd rather you not so confidently blaze your own trail, whether unsupportive colleagues lacking vision, jealous competitors or overbearing authorities seeking to block your ascendancy. (Yes, my dear, you are 'rising' in esteem and daring. Some will love it; some will despise it.) You're already within the influence of these effects, with the first Venus-Pluto square occurring this week, but no immediate resolution is in sight. Venus will be retrograde from Mar 6 through Apr 17, with the final Pluto square on May 2. What I just described is in effect through mid-May.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Say bye-bye to your ruling priestess Venus. She's gently traipsing her way across the border to your solar 12th, through the veil of mystical mist, and out of the bounds of much earthly accessibility. You won't be able feel her loving guidance as succinctly as usual. She's hidden from conscious view while in the 12th, a sort of limbo and the chart-zone referred to, not very kindly, as 'the house of self-undoing'. (That's because when a planet's in the 12th, it often turns in on us, leading us to torture ourselves with a wholly internalized manifestation of its energies or to unconsciously project its expression into situation over which we seem to have no control.) Ordinarily, this isn't such a big thing for Venus, who typically moves in and out of a sign in less than a month. This time around, alas, it ain't so simple: Venus will soon be retrograde (Mar 6-Apr 17), protracting her visit to your 12th through early June (with a two-week retreat back into your 11th in mid-April). What that essentially means, Taurus, is that your coming few months ahead may leave you wondering what it's all for… if (for example) you don't appear to be getting much recognition or remuneration for your efforts, or if your current relationship life has turned listless and lackluster in terms of providing real comfort and pleasure. What it could also mean, as a corollary to all that, is the uncanny desire to escape from that emotional reality by (for example) sabotaging your professional performance or undermining your relationship by flirting with extracurricular flings, due to you feeling underappreciated. Hang on, as best as you can, through June. The situation these few months ahead won't actually be as bad as it may seem. Keep the faith, or you just might semi-consciously invite a 'self-undoing' upon yourself. Unless, of course, there's something you secretly hope to undo…?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It is as if your whole January was leading to this week, Gemini, as you were working out final kinks that you knew you'd better de-kink before permitting yourself full immersion into your next paradigm-expanding venture. Let's hope you did an adequate job de-kinking, since you've already begun to lift off in a new direction—one that would've seemed quite a bit scarier a mere month or two ago, but which now (despite the terror inescapably bred by a life in dynamic change) seems just about right. You are officially moving toward something that'll open your eyes wider to the world, which is why you're only beginning to see where this all going. There hasn't been any real need for you to see more than a couple steps ahead, nor is there one arising now, so please expect a few fitful starts and stops, maybe even an attempt or two to scrap everything and turn the whole damn train around. Allow yourself this freedom. One potential issue over which these changes of mind (or, perhaps more properly, of heart) might play out: whether the 'exciting' people are also the 'appropriate' people to be becoming excited with, and/or whether certain other people, with longstanding rights to offer commentary on your life (or so they think), approve or disapprove of these most recent social influences. Maybe your newest friend or the group you recently joined isn't quite as appearances would suggest, and maybe you'll end up disappointed? Or maybe it's exactly what you need right now, and any naysayer opinions are trying to hold you back by contaminating your hope with their crap? One's thing for sure: You've got several weeks ahead to decide what's what—and who's who.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): What if I reported your next string of worldly luck, just now at the dawning of its unfolding, may likely include a potentially painful parting of ways (or at least a noteworthy change in your dynamic) with someone who's meant a lot to you? Would that make you instinctively raise your hands in defense, possibly warding off the benevolent messengers of fortune, in knee-jerk sentimentalist clinging to a relationship that's no longer what it once was? People evolve, Cancer. And though we may love other folks with all our heart, with a nurturing loyalty that, left to its own devices, would remain intact for infinity… the difficult reality is, sometimes, it's better for the growth of all parties to move along, to acknowledge and settle into the irreversibly new swing of things rather than resisting the inevitable. Over the coming months, you'll contend with Venus, ambassador of luck, in your 10th (where public recognition, professional opportunity, and hard-earned respect are the name of the game) going retrograde and squaring Pluto, harbinger of deep crap that's requires dealing with, in your 7th (primary home of relationships) three times between now and May. As I see it, therefore, for you to claim the goodies due to you per Venus's 10th-house position, you must confront uncomfortable relationship truths (yours and/or theirs) per Pluto's pressure on your 7th house to transform your interpersonal dealings from sustaining the status-quo (safe-seeming, if not lifeless) to filling life with passion (terrifying but triumphant). Incidentally, all this transpires against a backdrop of Venus in Aries, a sign known for spontaneous self-serving forward action. Do you have the courage to be selfish, knowing your own self-satisfaction is the most loving foundation you can offer another person (though a certain someone might not see it that way)?


LEO (July 23-August 22): We love you for your warm and sparkling personality, which makes you terribly likable (if not an easy target for others' jealous projections). But though it's a fantastic quality, Leo, warmth by itself won't be enough to carry you along for this next phase. That's because there are subtler distinctions within the category of 'behaving warmly' one must understand, to ensure said behavior is specifically appropriate to the recipient of the warmth. For instance, one doesn't hug the Queen of England. Nor does one flirt with the sibling of one's spouse. Of course, these two examples are probably a lot more clear-cut than the real-life situations potentially headed your way over the coming weeks, during which time it greatly behooves you to ponder the many shades of grey that undergird exactly why it's naïve to advocate treating everybody 'equally'. In any given moment, you're likely to pour your fullest generosity-of-spirit into whatever exchange you're involved in… and in the spontaneity of the moment, swept up by the animated interpersonal connection, could easily go a bit (or more than a bit) too far. 'Too far' how? Saying more than you really meant to. Implying a commitment on your part that you won't be able to keep, or that conflicts with other commitments already made or implied. Presuming more intimacy with somebody (whether psychological or sexual) than they feel. Blatantly contradicting yourself. Neglecting to consider the consequences of your actions for other people. In listing these possibilities, incidentally, at no point am I suggesting your motives are anything other than pure. If such fallout manifests, think of it as an experiential lesson… ultimately helping you to develop wiser guiding ideals on how best to disseminate your warmth, without inadvertently causing such problems in the future.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): This week marks the second exact peak (out of five!) of the generation-defining opposition of Saturn and Uranus… and with Saturn still a resident in your sign, Virgo, this mega-aspect obviously has big ramifications for you. Naturally, its recurrence immediately harks us back to the aspect's first exact peak—on Nov 4 08 (Election Day in the US). Read your horoscope from that week again. The basic theme continues, of balancing (1) the ongoing challenge to be your truest, most responsible self, developing the wisdom to better discern between excessively punitive self-restriction and appropriate restraint, and (2) an openness to the unexpected when it comes to personal relationships, whether through unusual arrangements or with people quite unlike your usual 'type', fostering a new level of acceptance of other folks' widely varying (but not necessarily 'wrong'!) behaviors. Think back over these past three months, and contemplate whether you've unduly favored one end of this teeter-totter over the other during that time. Has Saturn tightened his grip over your personal freedoms too securely, preventing you from trying different things with different people because you fear the loss of control that accompanies the unknown? Has Uranus blown the roof off your 'normal' life, with so many interpersonal ups-and-downs that you feel like you're losing yourself? (For most of you Virgos, I'm betting Saturn's likelier to win out.) Now, here's what's changed since November: This time around, the appeal of diving headfirst into the relationship excitement has grown more potent and intense, making it that much harder to resist the urge to throw all caution to the wind. You mustn't ignore the passionate feelings continuing to rise up in you. Even if you could (and I seriously question that), such blatant self-denial is not exactly what Saturn has in mind for you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Boy, Libra, are you in for a bit of a wild ride, if indeed you're taking seriously my directive to rank your own pursuit of life's many pleasures high on your list of to-dos. Maybe even if you aren't thinking about what will make you happy, you should still probably plan for a few monotony-disrupting bumps in the road. With Venus heading into your 7th the same week Mars enters your 5th, questions about love and relationships are almost sure to start entering your field of awareness. What sort of questions? Oh, for instance, like: Why not give it a try? What do I have to lose? How can I get to better know this certain someone who's piqued my interest? What sorts of fun can we have together? Is this the one? Of course, there's a whole other set of examples I could offer, such as: Why won't You-Know-Who give me what I want? Will it ever work? At what point do I cut my losses and walk away? What am I not doing to get my relationship needs met? As you entertain whichever of these questions (or others) are most relevant to you, please do so against the backdrop of our continuing conversation about the importance of fun. Evaluate whether, right here and right now, your present relationship situation helps create more opportunities to have fun… or if it instead serves to rain on your parade. And what about that 'wild ride' I opened with? Well, here's the twist: These questions are likely remain up in the air through the end of May (Venus retrograde's coming up!), with a variety of answers coming in and out of frame throughout that time. Talk about fun…!


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): 'All this small-talk is seriously getting on my nerves!' you might be close to crying out, Scorpio… if you're indeed beginning to feel like other people (and their annoying desire to engage you in their process at every turn) are keeping you from attending to your pressing matters. I can definitely understand your burgeoning (or already past that point) frustration, especially since 'flitting-and-twittering social butterfly' isn't your most well-fitting uniform. (You're generally more the type who works a slyer, smoldering seductiveness.) As a result, this week, you're not likely to continue deferring your priorities—whether they require longer spans at work, more time at home, or tighter control over your leisure hours—so someone else can yak your day away, as you squirm in your seat wondering if your unique presence is even really needed or if any warm body could fill your chair with equivalent ambivalence. You're ready to pick up and do your doings, and to hell with anyone who doesn't like it, right? I say, Go for it… but with full awareness that your absence probably won't go unnoticed, nor uncommented upon, which could warrant a not-particularly-pleasant verbal explanation on your part as you extricate yourself. But here's the sweet irony: The more into what you're doing you become, and thus the less available to them, the more greedily they'll want your attention. Grrr…


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Just how freely and fully can you enjoy this present moment, in all its splendor and screw-up, while simultaneously keeping a watchful eye on the increasingly cramped and compressed reality bearing in on all sides? Obviously this is a rhetorical question, since it's not possible to quantifiably measure the levels of either your personal satisfaction or how responsibly you're looking out for your bottom-line security. The only real gauge of success or failure at this endeavor, Sagittarius, is you. And yet, it's your own ability to both survive and thrive in life that's now at stake, so your being able to accurately read that gauge matters a lot. Shades of this consideration can surely be detected in last week's horoscope, which highlighted the current utility of thinking small, local and immediate. It's up to us to direct our minds to focus on certain things over others, for our own cerebral well-being… and to stress about whatever scarily vast question-marks are looming overhead, when they aren't likely to resolve themselves this week or next, will only serve to spoil your quality of life in the great Here and Now. Dare I utter the most cliché advice ever and suggest you remember to 'stop and smell the roses'? (Clichés end up that way for a reason.) Keep looking for lots of ways to fall in love with the universe and all its pretty creations exactly as it is—without succumbing to wistful yearnings about how great it would be, if only you were rich or single or not single or in some far-off land where none of the pressing headaches would matter nearly as much. Those farsighted fantasies will only leave you feeling trapped. Right here and right now, love is all around you: in the flowers and the trees, at the corner café and the laundromat, in the delicious food and drink, in the exquisite art and masterful architecture, on the TV and the radio and the Internet… and maybe, just maybe, in the eyes of a very special new admirer.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You, my precious level-headed Capricorn, are exactly what we need right now. Only, most of us don't know how badly we need your sort of down-to-earth pragmatism and implementational proficiency… and, if I had to wager a guess, you probably don't completely believe it yourself. But it's true, I swear. The celestial wizards have placed Pluto in your sign during these challenging economic times for a reason: Over the coming years, we're counting on you to play a key role in reconstructing our macro-level systems of resource distribution, so more people's needs are met and less exploitative top-down greed is considered socially acceptable. But that's a bigger story for us to revisit periodically over the next decade-plus. In the short term, then, it surely makes the most sense to start tackling this herculean task humbly—by proactively attending to your own financial well-being, both for obvious self-preservation reasons and as a first step toward personifying the very change you'll eventually help to enact more widely. (To be a credible leader, you have to get your own house in order first, to demonstrate you're willing and able to walk your talk.) Mercury is now direct, so the time to step into the 'wisest economic mind' role we discussed a few weeks ago has now come. Between now and mid-March, Mars resides in your 2nd, giving you all the physical initiative and willful assertiveness necessary to dig your hands into the piggybank, the checkbook, the credit reports, and the budgetary master-plan and get to work. Control spending, and seek additional revenue: it's as simple as that. The main looming problem? An internal lack of emotional confidence, fed by messages you received in the past that falsely characterized you as 'not good enough'. Plan on this one popping up right in your face, from various angles, over the next few months.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Effective today, you are hereby instructed to begin talking to everybody you know—and, for that matter, even those folks you don't know yet—about the things on your mind, your hopes, your goals, your dreams, your plans both immediate and longer-term, and any other ideas that happen to cross your consciousness while in the midst of speaking. Furthermore, you are not to stop conducting this practice for many many weeks… or at least until this behavior serendipitously leads to one or more incredibly spine-tingling opportunities big enough to turn this instructive obsolete (since there's really no point in talking once you're neck-deep in the doing; there's no time!). Do not despair you won't have the tireless vim-and-vigor needed to remain 'on' (that is, ready to strike up a conversation with full presence and enthusiasm) more consistently than usual: Mars enters your sign this week, to stay through mid-March, with a jolt of pick-me-up initiative and energetic steam that only comes around once every two years. You will have the energy all right, trust me. Perhaps the hardest part of this assignment, Aquarius—and you mustn't downplay its significance either—is to fight through the emotional undercurrents that might move you to keep quiet, letting your visionary brilliance out of its holding tank only once its genius is fully formed and ready to implement, ripe enough to reap only gloriously adoring oohs and aahs from the recipients. But what about the feedback, so valuable while still in the incubational stage? What about airing the psychological self-blockages (the fear, the doubt, the mixed motivations), so you might actually release their weight and free yourself up? And, perhaps most importantly, what about the endless possibilities that other people will help you realize everything you're hoping and planning and striving for… if only you'd let them know the fuller extent of what you're up to?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You're probably due for a horoscope that actually contains practical advice, easy to understand and follow… as opposed to one more poetic meditation on the 12th house, the Piscean experience, and the built-in predicament that usually arises when one tries to describe the indescribable, let alone actually do anything 'productive' with it. Here you are, my dear: You'll successfully groove with the vibe of Saturn opposing Uranus (its second exact peak is this week) if you manage to make at least one gesture on behalf of the principles currently represented by each. Saturn in your 7th (the relationship house) asks that you actually hold your own in a situation where you might ordinarily let the other person have his/her way, refrain from speaking up about what you really wanted (or only 'spoke up' with a sort of wishy-washy non-assertiveness), and/or quietly resent having given in (again)… or, if this fits your case more cleanly, to not behave erratically or try to escape, should you face a challenge with someone you care greatly about, though sticking around and confronting it head-on might feel like the last thing you want to do. Uranus in your 1st (where your immediate actions define your personality), meanwhile, would like your full-body participation in at least one activity that may seem wild or outrageous, which you've wanted to try for a while but been too scared to attempt... or your willingness to behave in the unconventional manner you've secretly known is 'the real you', rather than continuing to do what's expected of you (but which feels, and has felt for a while, wrong). These planets are opposed for quite a while, Pisces, so you shouldn't go into this week's practical advice thinking you'll see totally triumphant rewards right away. Let these be relatively modest indicators of your intended direction, inspiring you to make similar choices more regularly over the coming year.