Horoscopes | Week of February 9-15, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The gods of astrology (as their will is interpreted by yours truly) are officially sanctioning you to delve right into whatever impromptu behavior appeals at any given moment… with one immensely important condition attached. (Isn't that always the way?) Your one non-negotiable condition: Whatever you choose to do, you must do it with companions who are chasing the same vision. If it brings you together beneath a shared purpose or within a team-building mindset, you're doing well. But if it pulls you further apart from the crowd or deeper into isolation—if it feeds that 'me, a lone individual, against the world' mentality in any fashion—you're apparently not getting with the present planetary program. In case you're confused about the rationale behind this condition, Aries, let me clarify: This is not one of those personal-growth-related exercises designed to make you 'open up' more fully to those around you. (That may be a good idea in its own right, but beyond the bounds of this specific horoscope.) The reason to bring others along? Because you're currently in possession of a magical ability to rally otherwise apathetic or inert people toward forward-moving targets, instilling them with a fired-up initiative that'll get 'em off their butts and into your tribe. To be even more clear: It is currently your duty to help provide both inspiration and direct assistance to your peeps, so they may no longer claim to be stuck without anywhere to move.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It is absolutely no accident, Taurus, that you're presently being beckoned into the spotlight. That's what happens, don't-cha-know, when the planets line up in one's 10th house (where we earn our public reputation with the attitudes and achievements that declare our worldly calling) as they now are in yours. This is a time for reaping all the encouragement from your colleagues and higher-ups that you require to keep up 'the good fight'… as well as beginning to take charge (of your own faculties, of the duties others have implicitly handed you, and of your power to help change the world) in a new, more profoundly detached fashion. (After all, that 10th-house lineup is in Aquarius.) To take on that very-timely second part, you'll have no choice but to rely on (1) climactic moments that peak exceedingly quickly, followed by decisions needing to be made at the same lightning-fast speed, with no time to think, and (2) an unusually strongly-blinding 'blind faith' that could make it much harder to clearly understand just how noteworthy this pinnacle you're now reaching really is, since you might not receive the instant bodily-centered recognition that, yes, this all does equal some sort of a success. (Refamiliarize yourself with last week's installment for more details.) That call for detachment, alas, is where the mindfuck awaits you: Here you are, ready to take on an ever-expanding public role, right when you're being told to expect not to understand exactly what that means, almost so you must detach from the ego's desire to wow the folks with the calm-and-well-thought-out answer since, for right now, you aren't sure what that 'answer' is (though I can tell you, the 'right' one probably won't emerge from 'thinking it out').


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Watch your nerves, Gemini. At moments like this, when the vibe out in the world is full of both physical excitation and boundary-pushing concept-generation, your internal wiring has a tendency to conduct excessive amounts of electricity (though, yes, I understand it can feel quite euphoric)… with a heightened potential to burn you out, if not careful. (Such a 'burnout' basically consists of first overloading yourself with a virtual mania of nonstop mental activity, then crashing from its apex to an exhaustion permeated with paralyzing worry.) Every small development in your life, at least from the more realistic perspective outside your own head, is not as transcendently monumental as it might presently seem. Every looming question need not be answered with complete black-or-white assuredness now, lest you make the 'wrong' move and wreck everything for years to come. There is no doubt, of course, that you really are monumentally transcending the prior version of you… that these looming questions ultimately do have black-and-white, right-or-wrong answers (specifically 'right' or 'wrong' for you, that is). Only, your relative success at navigating this realignment is not a factor of racking your brain, in an increasingly nutty frenzy, until you confidently decide upon your next step. (Overthinking may actually get in your way.) In the short term, you'll know where to head by spontaneously following, on a lark, those people who seem so pumped up about what they're doing that their infectious enthusiasm catches you in its spell. Meanwhile, be ready with your deep-breathing, drinking-lots-of-water, eating-regular-meals techniques, should you lapse into a momentary frying of nerves. Your mind alone can't save you.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Basic Lesson #1: Cancerians are ruled by the Moon, the body in our night sky that moves the most quickly, which goes to explain why you, of all the signs, have such fast-cycling moods. It also implies that you, of all the signs, are most commonly affected by the monthly 'full moon crazies'. Basic Lesson #2: The week you're entering has been ceremoniously kicked off with a full moon that just happens to be a lunar eclipse, exact early this Monday morning (Feb 9). Lunar eclipses are turbo-charged full moons, often drawing out particularly 'karmically loaded' emotions (for lack of better terminology) that can provide new, profoundly evolutionary perspectives on deeply ingrained patterns. Lesson #3: With this full moon lunar eclipse in Leo in your solar 2nd, it's apt to conjure oddly amplified doubts (or substitute: 'melodramatically trumped-up doubts') about your own self-worth, as if trying to argue you're inept when it comes to putting your best resources toward supporting yourself (especially on the material level). This amping-up of the usual full moon moods could verge on maddening. Lesson #4: The opposite house from the eclipsed Moon, where the Sun and lots of other planets currently reside, is your 8th, essentially the place where we crack ourselves wide open in front of someone we know intimately well and unload our crap, no matter how ugly or unpleasant we fear it will appear. The current astro-scene makes it quite clear: The more emotionally crazy you feel, the more in need of reaching out to another person and unburdening your soul you obviously are. Go toward the purge, not away from it. At this present moment, such deep-flushes will go more smoothly, deeply and completely. Lesson #5: You should probably work your hardest to remain connected to members of your inner circle—through explicit communication—about even the most tempestuous topics.


LEO (July 23-August 22): With this much planetary hoopla cranking up the heat in your solar 7th, the one-on-one relationship house, I'd be surprised if your brain wasn't occupied with thoughts about a certain someone. This doesn't necessarily mean you're stuck pining over the girl-/boy-of-your-dreams or fixated on how next to proceed with the romantic sweetie you've already got. The way the 7th house works, this 'other person' could just as easily be your best friend, your closest co-worker or creative collaborator… even that one unavoidable nemesis who always seems to stick in your craw. Here's the catch, though: On the one hand, you may be in a much improved position (compared to a month or two ago) to actually grasp a fuller understanding of where this certain someone is coming from. But on the other, you might instead become too concerned with shaping their ideas and feelings ('controlling' or 'manipulating' are other words) according to too self-centered a perception on where you think they should be coming from. Are you finally hearing the messages pouring from their heart with far greater precision? Or are you guilty of projecting your conflicted feelings onto them? My dear Leo, I do not know which answer is true for you. You may not know either. You will gain a surer sense of which it is, without a doubt, if you approach the relationship with wide-minded inquisitiveness… resisting the presumptuous urge to put words in their mouth and/or respond to their statements before they've even finished making 'em, instead asking open-ended questions and leaving lots of room for them to answer uninterrupted.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Throwing yourself completely into all the tangible tasks and tendencies that'll leave you with that crisp, clean, 'I'm a productive (efficient, even) member of society' feeling surely makes a lot of sense, Virgo. Not only would that play to your natural instincts ('put me to work, and I'm happy'), it also syncs up with that synergy of planetary vibes presently filling your solar 6th with bloated reserves of physical initiative (and the desire to put it to good use). So, yes, I validate your current urge to circumvent any interpersonal pressures to maintain a perpetual 'open dialogue' with a certain someone, when it sure seems a lot simpler and easier to turn the other way and get back to the shit you already know needs attending to (since you already took a preliminary analytic snapshot of the situation). There's work to do (and other 'work', of an altogether different variety, which you'd probably choose to avoid), so why not do it? Go for it, but: Do not overdo it. The ferocity with which that certain issue with that certain someone now burns, whether you want to deal with it or not, really shouldn't be sublimated into excessive laborious toil—no matter how justifiably important the work itself might be. The potential danger? Rather than engage with real pressing issues of give-and-take in your overall relationship patterns, you might internalize the whole debate by proving too demanding a 'partner' to yourself, imagining the slave-driver mentality actually supports your overall well-being. (It doesn't.) Lest you push yourself too hard in this astro-climate, you may well become quite exhausted, physically strained and/or otherwise 'unwell'. Need I remind you in which context the belief 'work shall set you free' reached its epitome of expression?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The Libran experience, as if you didn't know this already, is a perpetual dialogue… between what we personally think we want and what we think others (or a certain other) want from us, between one idea and its seeming opposite, between this well-considered option and this equally-well-considered alternative. What a shining testament to your attentive, accommodating mind! Mad props for that! The challenge with such an exceptional mind, alas, is that it can argue almost any side with dazzling aplomb—and talk you in almost any conclusion, based upon a given situation's contextual particulars. Yet, what you really want (and this, oddly, doesn't always equate to 'what you think you want') is in fact not this grab-bag of possible outcomes which, thanks to your ability to mentally create desire as an after-effect of entertaining the choices, could just as easily be this or that. Hell, no! And what you really want, to be perfectly honest, has little or nothing to do with what you think they want from you (which isn't necessarily what they actually want from you). Put all your imagined ideas about other people—specific individuals and/or society at large—on the backburner. Place yourself squarely in the center of your world. For the moment, turn this dialogue into a dramatic heart-centered monologue of epic proportions. What makes this assignment most challenging for you Libras is the need to block out all social concerns and the inner voices who constantly speak of them. The one voice of pure self-centered desire must be temporarily allowed to drown the others out, so it may be heard loud and clear.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Despite the distraction of the latest twists and turns in your professional zone or other sectors of your life 'out there in the world', the main issues requiring your serious focus remain largely internal ones. Yes, Scorpio, even if you're being blatantly confronted with unresolved judgment calls waiting for you to publicly make 'em, the roots of your most responsible decisions must be firmly planted in a bed of secure emotional self-support. That is, you're not likely to choose the most self-loving and self-nurturing path for yourself, if your actions are the unconscious result of compensating for poor parenting, vengefully or competitively reacting to what somebody else has done, or somehow punishing yourself for self-perceived wrongdoings. On the other hand, if every decision-making process starts by asking the question, 'What options will leave me with the most stable emotional grounding, so that I feel safe enough to continue chasing my potentially perilous passions without risking the sanctity of my foundation?' You can continue courting the periodic crash-and-burns your soul obviously lusts for… without letting your inner compass of emotional strength crash and burn along with whatever else is ablaze. For now, all the external details of your life are very much up to your choosing—as a direct consequence of prioritizing the feelings you want to feel upon waking to these external details each day, and proceeding from there.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Due to a cool combination of your intrinsic personality and the present astrological state of affairs, you're in a better position than most to weather the increasingly stormy societal outlook. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised to see you paddling through the choppy waters on your board, big-toothed smile across your face, ready to surf majestically upon the crest of each successive surge. 'Look at me! King/Queen of the World!' Please cherish that sense of fearless embrace, Sagittarius… even when you find plenty of other people refusing to view this tour of stomach-dropping peaks-and-valleys as a life-affirming thrill ride (as opposed to the final throes of livable existence). If you can hold that veritable casualness, as if to make the statement that you're just fine continuing to take care of each day's bits of work and pleasure no matter what the hell is going on around you, you just might make a positive calming influence on those panicked over-reactors who can't get out of their anxiety-ridden heads. One caveat, however: There's a fine line between (1) treating situations casually that others might find upsetting and (2) treating casually the actual upset others are feeling, implying a lack of compassionate understanding for the fact they aren't as able to shrug off the worry as you. (Not everyone's a fire sign, remember.) You're not likely to positively and calmly influence someone, after all, if you shame them for their instinctive emotional reaction. That's where 'casual' slips into 'insensitive'.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Think twice before swallowing any line of ultra-insistent (read: pushy) reasoning being foisted upon you by someone with an obvious self-serving agenda of his/her own… particularly if the aim of their logic is to convince you to give them something you're not especially eager to give 'em. If you'll recall last week's horoscope, in which I suggested you are exactly what the rest of us need right now, though we're not necessarily aware of that fact, then such developments should make some sense to you. Other folks will, therefore, be unconsciously attracted to what they detect as a 'stable and together' quality emanating off you—and, naturally, the most brazen among 'em might try to get some of what you have for themselves. Do you blame them, Capricorn? Be aware, though, they may play to your psychological weakspots, exploiting any doubts you harbor as to your deservedness, in hopes they'll guilt you into sharing the wealth, surrendering the power or, somehow or another, letting them have their way. But you are deserving. And thus you are not celestially obligated to tithe huge chunks of your hard-earned security to whomever comes calling with the most compelling (or coercive) sob story. You can still possess a kind heart and say no to certain people's requests, should they make you feel uncomfortable or in jeopardy in any manner whatsoever. In fact, holding the proper self-protective boundary may be the greatest gift you can offer 'em… even though it's unlikely to be one they want.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I would imagine that, by this point in the game, you're pretty much flying on the waves of every day bringing what feels like a week's worth of new developments into your obviously-in-major-realignment life. To remind you, this is the cumulative product of a recent solar eclipse in your sign, as well as Jupiter's presence through '09, along with Neptune and Chiron… and now both Mercury (newly direct again) and Mars. In short, your sign is where all the hottest astro-action is goin' down. And you must either willingly ride the ride where it appears to be taking you… or plan on feeling increasingly cut off, on the internal level, from that electrical current connecting an individual to the seemingly 'chance' encounters that destiny has cooked up. (It would be impossible, not to mention unnecessary, to know upfront why destiny cooks up a certain meal for a certain person.) Again, I urge you to stay in regular communication with a wide network of friends and strangers. Not only will these social exchanges disseminate the both-genius-and-bizarre Aquarianness that's presently emanating off you in surges, they will also help keep you grounded… which is definitely something to keep an eye on. A trick about 'grounding' yourself: Seriously listen to the feedback you're getting from those closest to you. If their feedback isolates you from them (rather than connecting you to them), they may be telling you something that's hard to hear but crucial to your well-being. If you're having trouble letting it all the way in, bring the topic to another close friend and continue from there. Beware of blindly following any urges that alienate you from those you love and trust the most.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I think of you as one of the celestially wise select few who rightfully see through that veneer which leads us to believe we have much more control over how things turn out than we actually do. (Perhaps, as the rest of us grimace in the agonizing strain of self-inflated attempts to manipulate reality to our ends, you knowingly smirk.) But where this understanding may fail to serve you, Pisces, is in leading you to draw the too-extreme conclusion that, therefore, ' because I don't really have control over what happens, I might as well stop trying so hard and surrender my whole existence to God [or another such alternative, e.g., the Great All-Knowing Divine; my Mr./Ms. Perfect; my career; my addiction; hopelessness…].' Here's the loose step in your logic: Just because you can't control the manifestation of specific details, such as which jobs are open to you or who you come in contact with, that doesn't mean you don't have very real influence over which general direction you're heading, which types of experiences you attract, and, perhaps most importantly, what significance you assign your experiences through what stories you tell yourself about 'em. Right now, so much of your planetary business is occurring in the 12th house, where there's scant little you can control with the planets' help other than your overall spiritual outlook. However, with Venus in Aries now emphasizing her presence in your 2nd house (where we get our material resources working on our personal behalf), a particularly fruitful storyline I'd suggest orienting your current experiences around is the one where you abruptly decide—realize, finally—that it's necessary to concentrate on 'selfish personal gain', put all your psychic efforts toward boosting your financial situation, and witness the magic start to yield dividends almost immediately upon shifting mindsets.