Horoscopes | Week of February 16-22, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You're presently wielding a particularly potent power of persuasion… and even those who adamantly refuse to buy what you're selling are probably secretly wondering if they're just being foolish and shouldn't reconsider your appeal. (Don't count on 'em to tell you that, though. Pride is a strong motivator.) Therefore, the more refined ability to discriminate had better come from you, Aries, since you surely don't want everybody and his sister following your lead like unwanted rats streaming down the main streets of Hamelin after The Pied Piper's enchanting song. Your usual spontaneity should not be permitted its total freedom when it comes to enrolling friends, peers or colleagues onto your team. If you extend a metaphoric (or actual) invite to each and every person you encounter, you most certainly will come to eventually regret the participation of certain folks you should've thought twice about. It is not enough to have a sheer mass of bodies behind your cause—you want to be choosy about who occupies these bodies, to make sure you understand what they can (and cannot) offer your greater whole. A few pre-qualifying conversations are probably in order. If you're going to be standing side-by-side in 'the good fight' with someone, don't you think it's a good idea to be able to knowingly trust 'em?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you're not presently stepping toward some latest pinnacle of respect or renown in your work out there in the world, I have my suspicions what one likely cause may be. The looming visage (real or imagined) of an accomplished elder, mentor or authority figure is hogging all the psychic space, obstructing your ability to assume that role for yourself. Are you waiting to be granted permission (on an engraved invitation, perhaps?) to step into the 'boss' role, Taurus? Are you desperately wishing you could meet the (unattainable?) standards set forth by this intimidating 'big kahuna' character, so you might feel capable enough to confidently declare what will (and what won't) constitute 'making a success of yourself'? That menacing phantom needs to be politely (or not-so-politely) shown the door. You are an adult and, therefore, in charge of your own life… including all decisions concerning your career and public reputation, such as when to compromise vs. when to stand up for your ethics; when to push yourself a bit harder vs. when to ease up; when to stop settling for dissatisfying 'safe choices' and pursue your true passion vs. when to stop chasing impossible dreams and build a steady living; and basically anything involving how you expend externalized effort toward your principal goals. To claim this control, alas, might also mean ruffling some feathers—or even, as far as they may perceive it, ripping the feathers right out. See, powerful people (real or imagined) often don't take kindly to their 'minions' rebelling against their 'tutelage' and defiantly insisting on calling their own shots. But to keep 'em happy might mean deferring to their rule… and are you sincerely prepared to do that?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): This is not the time for one of your makeshift, just-in-the-nick-of-time, band-aid-style quick-fixes, Gemini. In case you haven't noticed, time is accelerating (or at least our experience of it)… which means that any temporary scotch-tape-and-paper-clip solution will hold out for an even shorter duration before you'll find yourself back in the same boat, needing to really address the situation. That's why I'm instructing you not to bother wasting too much effort on repairing any bits of your life that are already on their last legs. Sooner rather than later, you're going to have to replace the whole thing anyway. Why invest in something with a neon-flashing expiration date? Be more creative than that. Any reluctance on your part to start from scratch is obviously largely motivated by fear… and of course you'd likely be scared to skip right past the small short-sighted tweaks, and into the lair of the Vast Unknown where lives launch off into wild detours on a spark of philosophic inspiration. But, ooh, the freedom! The adventure! The sights and sounds and smells of somewhere radically different from where you've been spending so many of your most recent days, filling your creative mind with fresh stimuli! So start headin' for the big scary far-off thing now, even if it'll take you a while to get there. It's surely an improvement over beating a nearly dead horse, hoping to squeeze another few weeks out of him before he collapses, way past his prime.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): That 'metaphysical gagging' sensation you're likely experiencing, which is akin to coughing up a karmic hairball, is normal and to be expected. Unless you're suffering from several other symptoms of actual physical illness, there's no need to call the doctor. That doesn't mean, however, the waves of uneven bodily ch'i surging through your system are necessarily pleasant. You know as well as I do, Cancer, that any physical discomfort you're presently feeling actually has emotional discord at its root. And with the ongoing 8th-house influence on you, this is clearly a time when such discord is actually quite healthy… at least insofar as this turbulence jerks you around and shakes you up enough to allow a real purge to occur. Because of that, then, I urge you not to try and soothe the psychic unsettledness, lest it slip back into latency and remain an unexpressed albatross around your proverbial neck. Your soul wants to keep on yakking it up, to eject the toxic residue from long ago in the past (italics to emphasize the outdatedness) once and for all… so it no longer has the power to sneak up on you in moments of lowered defense and sicken you all over again ad nauseum. Your metaphoric (or literal) regurgitation is your necessary healing.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As long as you remain integrally invested in (if not fully obsessed with) the opinions of You-Know-Who, you'll continue to struggle with finding your own center. It isn't too often that I'm moved to discuss the idea of 'losing one's self' with you Leos, since you're well-known (and oft-envied) for your notably strong sense of who you are. But in light of your ruling Sun's recent forays with both Jupiter and Neptune in your 7th, you may find yourself unusually preoccupied with trying to create and/or maintain a certain ease in the dynamics of a specific relationship—at the expense of remaining aligned with what's authentically you. You may be overvaluing the need to please the other person, as if the sanctity of an uninterrupted connection between you two is the number-one priority... and, in doing so, could unfortunately present yourself in potentially misleading ways, through no deliberate fault of your own other than excessive eagerness. The funny irony, of course, is that any relationship 'ease' you manage to achieve based on even somewhat shaky premises is likely to result in far worse relationship disruption later on (if not right away) than just being upfront—and risking a momentary bump or nick—from the get-go. Plus, with Mars also poking his pointy spear into your 7th as well, too blatant an attempt to 'please' somebody else may in fact cause the opposite effect, making 'em feel like you're insulting their intelligence and consequently angering the hell out of 'em.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Now that I've already gotten last week's horoscope out of the way, I'll feel better about presenting you this week's. You're evidently being called by duty to sink a shit-ton of your own sweat equity into a certain work-related project, household chore, physical-health regimen or other labor-intensive endeavor. (And if you're not presently seeing the signs of which duty is calling, you should probably just tackle the biggest, most obvious mess in your line of sight.) Last week, I tried to stave off your total immersion in this work because I didn't want you to use it as a distraction from any interpersonal issues needing your attention. Hopefully, you've now attended to those to some degree… and are less likely to convolute the straightforward task at hand with misplaced emotions. So, as long as you continue to keep an eye out for not overtaxing your bodily system, you may now throw yourself into the work. If you have a huge amount to complete, it'll behoove you to loosen up on the stereotypical Virgo super-precision—if a heightened level of attention to detail is not required, please don't bother with it. Allow yourself to work more quickly, reassuring yourself that a slightly-increased margin of error will ultimately be counterbalanced by how much more you get done. If you're having trouble getting a proper handle on your perfectionism, ask someone else to help you define a more reasonable (not perfect!) standard for you to follow… and then follow it.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I can't get off the same wavelength I described for you last week, since now the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter (along with the Moon's north node) continues to bloat your solar 5th with ever-expanding pressures to let loose and get your freak on. I must admit, Libra, when I picture you embodying the joyful rambunctiousness of this much 5th-house action, I can seriously see you dancing atop the bar at a crowded nightspot, emitting loudly pleasurable noises, flirting with all the eyes on you, and blatantly refusing to entertain notions like 'decorum' or 'protocol'. We've gone backwards and forwards together over recent weeks in our discussions of fun as the most necessary component of the current Libran experience… and if you're still resisting the relaxed-guidelines, lowered-inhibitions, devil-may-care expression of your inner party animal, I'm not sure what else to tell you. Except this, that is: Perhaps you need to enlist the most impulsive, fearless, who-gives-a-crap-what-anybody-thinks person in your life—and ask them for a crash course in being less uptight. (You must also be willing to actually heed their example… for your own well-being, of course.) I don't mean to be snide in throwing 'uptight' out there, my darling. But honestly, if you're having trouble following the enviable astro-advice to have more of a good time more often, then I don't know how else to label your hesitancy.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You deserve all the patience you can muster for yourself, Scorpio, so please be respectful, should unforeseen bursts of emotionality create an unforeseen (and, yes, perhaps maybe undesirable too) turbulence that chops your week up. Your traditional ruler Mars lines up with Jupiter in your 4th... bringing with them a tendency to magnify the urgency of certain private internal matters, so they serve as perpetually pesky thorns-in-your-side. In other words, the emotional concerns currently on your mind are apt to bug you even more than they should. But of course, even in writing that sentence, I caught myself on the concept of 'even more than they should', precisely because that's where you most need the patience: when it comes to judging how you 'should' be feeling about whatever's bugging you. Feelings, obviously, don't work that way. (And you Scorpios are probably the last folks I need to school on that fact.) Do yourself a huge favor, then, and refrain from analytically assessing whether your inner responses to what's going on in your life are 'proportionate' or 'totally out of wack'. I'm telling you now: While your emotional reactions might seem a bit over-the-top or larger-than-life, such exaggeration may be just what's necessary to drive you to act (on behalf of your own private peace, no less!) where ordinarily you might've let it roll off.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Piggybacking on last week's installment, I know you'll have a fantastic week as long as you dedicate a good portion to serving other people. Yeah, I said it: serving other people. But no, my smart-ass Sagittarius, I don't expect you to don a maid's apron and start delivering brunches to a whole station of cranky Sunday-morning diners. Not that kind of servant, silly. Rather, I believe it's your willingness to step back briefly from what's personally concerning you, and to simply be present for those who obviously need someone to talk out their troubles with, that constitutes such pleasurable social service. Like I told you last week, your current 3rd-house emphasis makes it easier for you than others to take seemingly insurmountable worries with a grain of salt (and especially so when they aren't your worries). You're able to see beyond others' faulty black-and-white thinking, to detail for them all the innumerable shades of grey and color that represent the other alternatives they haven't been able to notice in their fevered panic. And for the moment, you also have an incredible knack for phrasing your feedback in a tone that (as long as you're mindful of emotional sensitivity) will make their task-ahead-of-'em seem far less overwhelming. The service you can provide, to both good friends and strangers next to you in line for the bus, is one of unassuming supportive dialogue. We all need to bounce our thoughts off somebody else every once in a while, to help us get clarity. For the week ahead, please do your best to be an ideal person for us to bounce 'em off of.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): One of my favorite walking-contradictions about you, dear Capricorn, is your ability to both (1) think rather highly of yourself, especially insofar as shrewdly observing where other people and institutions fall short of their potential and (2) continually beat yourself up and rip yourself apart for all those examples where you fall short of your potential. Thus, you both possess a tremendous capacity for expecting excellence and an often unsympathetic relation to your own self-care, lest you become too 'soft' and permit the slippery-slope of peace-of-mind to lure you into idleness. Let's get clear on something, though: Tirelessly fixating on everything you're not doing, not becoming, not achieving, or otherwise not living up to will not miraculously inspire you to ever-more greatness. More likely, it'll just depress you. And in this transitional macro-level state of affairs, we just can't afford to have you demoralizing one of our best hopes for transformational success… which, in case you haven't figured it out yet, is you. You needn't look far and wide to spy numerous instances of human beings being human—that is, us, sometimes trying our hardest and sometimes not, sometimes falling way short of our aspirations but refusing to quit, and sometimes having no fucking clue what we're doing but still managing to show up every day, humbly but courageously attempting to make the most of whatever situation's in front of us at a given moment. And you are human, too. Start off your week by accepting this fact, and agreeing to be kind to yourself for all you haven't yet fixed, mastered or accomplished. Then, tap into that 'thinking highly of yourself' part—and apply it productively.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Writing your most recent horoscopes has been something of a breeze, precious Aquarian, what with all this massively majestic movement happening in your life (especially after, for many of you, a prior year or two of trudging along in the dark). If we agree 2009 is a big year for you due to Jupiter's presence in your sign, then the current period with Mars also in your sign (Feb 4-Mar 14) is the best time to assertively make the most of this fortuitous occasion. And therefore, continuing down this line of thinking, Tuesday's (Feb 17) conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Aquarius frame this week as an incredibly powerful one for letting your will be known, so ripples of your personal doings and desires may echo out into ever-more-expansive radii from the core of your being. It is as if every gentle nudge of your hand will be helped along by gusts of benevolent wind, generating far more outgrowth than your apparent efforts might be expected to yield on their own. Meanwhile, the added presence of the Moon's north node into the mix (conjunct both Mars and Jupiter) hints at the uncanny timeliness of your urge to embrace such life-redefining behaviors. (Perhaps your soul hears the pressing call to step into its latest incarnation now?) With the Mars/Jupiter effect, I do have one crucial warning to proffer: Because there's a rather epic quality to everything right now, you may mistakenly assume that each and every decision, consideration and conversation of your week is of utmost significance (which, of course, it both is and isn't). Beware of delusions of grandeur—yes, this is a big moment for you personally, but it's also still just another day in one person's day-to-day life, no more or less important than anyone else's.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Just as you may be feeling somewhat more removed from what everybody else is currently concerned with, I am here to loudly and clearly remind you that you are not alone. It wouldn't surprise me, however, to detect a certain disappointment with—or downright resistance to—this fact, Pisces. With a buildup of 12th-house influences, like the one you've been hosting for many weeks now, it becomes incredibly tempting to remove ourselves from typical participation in the machinations of this Reality we all generally agree exists. We see ourselves outside of normal day-to-day life. We cannot imagine inviting others into the otherworldly sanctuary we've created as a veritable isolation chamber. (Well, maybe that one other person… the only one who really understands you?) We might even begin to fuel the hyper-romanticized vision that it's 'me against the world,' magnifying our escapist fantasies with the belief that we have no choice but to not belong. Yet, as I already reminded you, you are not alone… unless, that is, you make the choice to purposely thumb your nose at 'belonging' (though, indeed, there are certain groups or identities that would include you among their brethren). And needless to say, it's much harder to meet your needs, pursue your dreams, and attain satisfaction when you make a go of it with nobody else along to help. If you keep telling yourself you are alone, you will encounter exactly what you expect to find: loneliness. But if you open your eyes and look around, you'll find solitude isn't the only option out there.