Horoscopes | Week of February 23-March 1, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Isn't it wonderful to feel part of something bigger than you? I pose this rhetorical question now, Aries, because I'd be caught off-guard to learn you weren't presently neck-deep in wider social involvements… whether you're diligently working on a project to support a cause dear to your heart, happily fulfilling your designated role among the larger group's combined efforts, or passionately leading the organizational brigade toward a shared goal. (If instead you've insisted on protecting your 'lone ranger' independence, it hasn't been without much exertion on your part—and it hasn't gone unnoticed by those potential comrades who you essentially thumbed your nose at by refusing to join forces.) Etch an impression of that 'belonging 'feeling onto your psyche, as an irremovable reminder of why it's so important to remain connected with a wider support-system. You might need it in the coming month, once you begin to realize how you've overlooked or neglected certain duties or desires that are more self-serving in focus… and start veering away from your involvements with everyone else. Don't be surprised if you abruptly shift your attentions over the next two or three weeks—or, to be more precise, if something (or somebody) pulls your attentions in a different direction. To those others who have come to count on you, however, too jarring a reversal on your part (even if you intend it to be temporary) could seem like abandonment or betrayal. (You, meanwhile, might not understand what all their hubbub's about, since you were just being your usual impulsive self, instinctively moving to wherever the hot action's at.) But because you've come to value the belonging, you must now find a way to integrate your innate spontaneity with your obligations to others… without dashing away whenever the existing disjuncture grows uncomfortable.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I'm not the least bit concerned about you, Taurus, should you find you're being momentarily blinded by enthusiastic pursuit of a big goal, earnest management of a big responsibility, or ambitious aspirations toward a big position. I'd expect nothing less in light of Mercury, Mars and Jupiter's triple union in your solar 10th, where public achievements are built and reputations earned. For the time being, thankfully, you've got a potent combination of intellect, inspiration and sheer muscle lined up in a row, ready to join forces on behalf of a single guiding purpose. With all that synergistic weight behind you, then, you can't help but make a larger-than-expected splash whenever you get involved in pushing a particular agenda. That 'splash', alas, might just as easily manifest as a totally irritating impression to those preeminent stakeholders, unsympathetic to a 'hungry upstart' such as yourself, as it could dazzle and delight those folks unthreatened by your unfolding ascension. In fact, most likely, you'll experience reactions from both extremes during this immediate time-period. In either case, though, these apparent reactions shouldn't be permitted to inhibit your intended advance. That's the trickiest part, which I've already mentioned a few weeks back: You mustn't trust the signs (or lack thereof) you're presently seeing (or not seeing) as a reliable indicator of your ultimate success (or failure) in the grand scheme of things. Venus, cloaked in the 12th-house fog of potential self-delusion (or is it?), is clearly playing tricks on you. And what's more, she's preparing to flip to retrograde motion starting next week… implying, of course, her tricks are about to get a whole lot trickier. As such, seeing is not necessarily believing after all, so who cares if you're 'momentarily blinded'?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Judging by the tone of things, I'd say you're engaged in what essentially qualifies as a crusade… or if your attitudes are not quite that aggressive, there's surely an epic quality to the choices now presenting themselves. Allow the full magnitude to sink in, Gemini. Such intense 9th-house action as you're presently experiencing often goes hand-in-hand with some sort of courageous departure from the familiar—a voyage to far-off lands, immersion in alternative ideas or philosophies, a quest for higher meaning—as a vehicle for further exploring what's out there, so that you might get that much closer to comprehensively understanding what comprises your moral core. That's why it doesn't feel quite as easy to make a quick decision as it ordinarily might, when going with 'this' or with 'that' may not matter as much. You are grappling with nothing less than the call to live righteously (which, incidentally, is meant more in terms of aligning with your truest personal beliefs than following some theocratic dictates on officially-sanctioned 'righteous living'); no wonder you may want to think twice (or thrice) before proceeding. As I told you a couple weeks back, you needn't bow to the nervous worries about figuring everything perfectly out ASAP. Only now, unlike in that prior horoscope, we can't avoid the increasing urgency with which the looming question looms. With both an urgent question and no need to deduce its answer immediately, then, it sounds like you have more outside opinions to seek, brains to pick, and angles to look at it from.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you know what's good for you, Cancer, you'll face the hurt like a champ. Trying to squirm away, meanwhile, is counterproductive. Whatever sensations and sentiments you're able to temporarily push aside will merely loiter in the wings, waiting to haunt you again (and again and again) until you look 'em square in the eye, standing in the fire, and refuse to flinch. Furthermore, as if to make matters worse (or at least additionally complicated), there appear to be fleeting opportunities begging you to hurry up and claim them or risk losing 'em forever… and right at a moment when you're not sure you'll be able to sufficiently 'pull it all together' to take full advantage. It's almost enough to add insult to injury, to turn an already challenging situation into one that also spawns anxiety. I hope, therefore, you'll listen to a couple points I think will put this present moment into some perspective. (1) These supposed 'fleeting opportunities' aren't quite what they seem. On the one hand, you mustn't consider any offer on the table as 'your only chance'. It isn't. And if the timing just isn't right for you to feel totally confident in a decisive action, then don't take it. On the other hand, a couple months from now, you may learn the offer turned out to be something other than what it was presented as in the first place. A relieved 'whew' would then surely ensue. (2) Like all emotional circumstances, this too shall pass. As a Cancerian, you deeply know this to be true. You've already made it this far, into the heart of the beast that both terrifies and promises rebirth, once you brave its terrors. It'll start to ease up within another couple weeks, I swear… so no budging.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This week, we're going to flip your prior horoscope over onto its backside and address its same issues from a totally different angle. We'll continue to assume that a certain special someone's opinion remains important to you… only, this go-around, we won't implicitly equate this intense interpersonal interest with 'losing your own center'. Instead, let's adopt the opposite premise: You are so in touch with what's true for you, you can't help but eagerly desire obvious agreement (or, less desirably, disagreement) from the other person, so you can confidently determine what's what between you two. If this premise indeed holds up, then you probably should press for clarity from 'em, one way or the other—with absolutely no ambiguity as to where you stand, Leo. Otherwise, you stand to drive yourself crazy wondering whether they are who you think they are… or to waste precious time on someone who isn't who you wish them to be. Presumably, displaying this lack of ambiguity should be no problem for you, if in fact you really are so in touch with your own truth. Yet, once you approach You-Know-With with such an unambiguous proposition, you really are 'cutting to the chase'. And you'll likely attain that clarity you're seeking all right. But the abruptness with which the previous open-endedness comes to a screeching halt might prove disappointing… and with that disappointment comes the discovery that maybe the ambiguity wasn't so bad after all, and maybe you aren't exactly sure where you stand… and wouldn't that realization return us to the point where we began, with last week's horoscope and the question of whether you're overvaluing their opinion before you've fully discerned yours?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Keep on pouring your blood, sweat & productive tears into that demanding project or situation… but without attempting to analyze the early results, to determine whether all this toil is actually amounting to any progress. That's where you're most apt to go wrong: in assuming what 'progress' will look like. See, Virgo, you're accustomed to the notion that the more diligent effort you invest in accomplishing a certain task, the more neat and orderly it should appear as the work proceeds. And sure, ordinarily that rationale makes sense. Only now, and for the oncoming several weeks, you'll give yourself a minor panic attack if you scan through the midway-through-the-process raw materials for signs of forward development. The surrounding environment will probably look an out-and-out mess. The pieces are likely to be strewn this way and that, in chaotic disarray. If you aren't feeling especially patient or far-sighted on a given day, you might even threaten to throw in the towel altogether, considering the supposed evidence of 'work in progress' doesn't show much more than a lot more work left to do. I'm telling you now: Looks can be deceiving. What's presently got you struggling overtime actually is coming along nicely. It's just one of those circumstances where it's going to get worse-looking (notice we're talking appearances again) before it gravitates back into order. So please don't get too discouraged by the passing symptoms of turmoil. You're merely observing an intermediate step in a larger mechanism.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Let's begin by reviewing the current astro-math, shall we? Equation #1, which has been in effect for a few weeks already: A 5th house presently packed with planets (Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune) + Venus in the 7th = A much-heightened potential to sink all of yourself into enjoyable leisure-time activity, with the added benefit of appearing rather attractive to others when you're all caught up in the lively playfulness of uncomplicated pleasure. This isn't exactly breaking news, though, is it? In other words, Libra, I'm reminding you that these are excellent times for making the most of your unspoken-for hours with artistic expressions, sports and games, and, perhaps above all else, flirtatious engagements. Can I reiterate, with any more emphasis, that those of you on the lookout for romantic intrigue should definitely put yourselves out into the heart of the action now? Your chances of drawing attention are currently way up. Equation #2, which is just starting to assert its influence, to complicate the coming weeks: A packed 5th-house + Venus retrograde in the 7th = Even more potential to attract even more admiring eyes, but without much clarity as to which admirers are most worthy, nor much consistency in terms of your own rapidly-alternating desires. That's right, my dear—when Venus turns retrograde next week, your relationship situation is apt to become both more exciting and more overwhelming, hard as it may be to juggle all these possibilities at the same time. Calm contemplation won't do much to help clarify things either. The overall lesson here, which could take another couple months to fully grasp, involves learning to identify what you want… when there's no right or wrong answer, reasoning fails, discussions with others only further scramble your mind, and all you really have to rely on is an instinct.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Not typically one who shies away from a fight, you may find yourself in unfamiliar waters when the so-called 'opponent' is part of your own interior personality. Are you as likely to unleash the full brunt of your potential ruthlessness, if you're also going to be a recipient of it? Probably not. The more unfriendly, unsupportive voices in your head may actually scare you worse than actual real-life enemies you can point a finger at, identify outside yourself, and target for annihilation. As such, this inner self-saboteur is that much more menacing an adversary to your well-being—and that much more in need of being neutralized, if you hope to find greater inward calm. But because this is such a wily side to your internal landscape, your best weapon won't be the usual psychological brute-force, Scorpio. Instead, oddly, I urge you to intelligently reason with your masochistic, tumult-hungry insides. Logically explain to your inner trouble-maker that you probably shouldn't keep picking at half-healed sores, phantom regrets and echoes of mistakes already made. It does you no good, merely reinforces a negative self-image. Tell 'im it's okay to leave the past where it is and move on. And whenever 'the enemy inside' throws an emotional fit, in an attempt to get you to feel bad about yourself again, head off all such 'communications' with a sound argument. Kill the opponent with rationality.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I continue to notice a lightening-up of the psychic vibe whenever it reaches your turn to receive my horoscope-writing regard, Sagittarius. Trust me, this is a good thing. It essentially means that, for the time being at least, you are the sign I'm least worried about. Does that imply your entire one-twelfth of the population is presently without a single problem? Hardly. But what it does tell me is you're likely observing the world's latest jolts of surprise through a moderating lens… accurately recognizing that to jump to over-the-top reactionary responses is to merely create more problems on top of problems for yourself, with little positive benefit to such 'gangbusters' style. Protect that cool, healthy mindset. Pour yourself a glass of wine, and take in some of the scenery. (Sure, the sight of Rome burning itself down has the potential to strike fears into the hearts of the bravest watchers, but it's also a really cool once-in-a-lifetime occurrence to watch, don't you think?) Be forewarned, though, about the pack of rabid Chicken Littles currently roaming your neighborhood. They are convinced the sky is falling, and will take your casual refusal to freak out along with 'em as a personal affront. They desperately want you to swallow a gulp or two of their 2012-style apocalyptic Kool-Aid, so you too may be swept up by the passions of 'End Times' fears. (Skip the Kool-Aid, and stick to the wine.) Evade their rampant urgings with an uncharacteristically modest smile, lest you inadvertently find yourself in a heated debate about something that, as far as you're concerned, isn't actually worth getting that heated about.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Since 2009 has begun, I've repeatedly directed your attention to matters of financial security or otherwise related to safeguarding a stable place for yourself in the world. (This exercise isn't merely limited to counting your dollars and cents, by the way. Less tangible resources, such as skills you've mastered and character traits you take full pride in, should also be 'banked' on your balance sheet.) As part of this larger program, then, you'll also want to include plans for a major domestic simplification affair. Even the most casual Oprah watchers know, dear Capricorn, you've got to create ample room in your life so that the abundance may enter. (Otherwise, should it arrive to be greeted by an environment crammed with riff-raff way beyond capacity and a ridiculously long waiting list, like some jaded club-goer only semi-eager to enter a roped-off Manhattan nightspot, it might just keep on movin' and pass you by.) Starting next week and lasting through mid-April, Venus will be retrograde in Aries in your solar 4th... indicating this would be an ideal time-span for conducting this clearing-out and rededicating of your personal space. There are a few different levels on which you might attack this task—getting rid of physical stuff you no longer want or need; refunctioning certain areas of your home to better serve specific goals you have in mind (e.g., a workshop for your creative arts, an altar for spiritual focus, a more organized kitchen to support healthier eating); working on your relationship with housemates, or deciding to go your separate ways; even seeking a new place to live altogether. Your ultimate aim is to get a fresh start on the homefront… and, with improvements there making an immediate positive impact on your mood, to launch each day from a simplified (and thus more self-satisfying) foundation.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Over the coming month or two, the names and backdrops may change (and then change again?!?), but the same 'wild ride' you've been on for several weeks now will keep on whisking you across its careening curves and tummy-turning drops, on and on toward a dazzling destination not yet charted on any map readable by human eyes. The continuing proliferation of new possibilities, expanding exponentially outward as a result of every serendipitous exchange with each fellow Companion ('in this heartfelt Quest for Meaning') who seems to possess just the perfect phrase to clue you into what's your best next step, could almost become too much. Therefore, Aquarius, please bear in mind that you may start to appear rather flighty to those uninitiated in the fine art of 'transcending the illusion of shared reality', when your mind begins making instantaneous leaps of multidimensional logic and you try detailing how all these apparently disparate bits of isolated information actually connect to one another, revealing startling epiphanies about your current state of being that are both profoundly true and yet cannot be clearly explained without sounding a bit cuckoo. If you think that sentence was a lot to digest, imagine how your overactive genius-producing brain will read to those who won't be able to keep up with it (i.e., most people). That's exactly why the few true-blue confidantes in your life—your partner, your closest friends, that one person you share secrets with—must be kept close. Their opinions of you right now are increasingly important… and if it feels like they're 'raining on your parade', that's an indication you need to listen to 'em more than ever.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I've been dutifully documenting the recent concentration of planetary influence lining up in your 12th house (see, for example, last week's scope), along with its correlated intensification of the yearning to slip away, out of sight and thus hopefully out of mind. Being a Pisces, you've already learned from experience that, when faced with such tugging from the emotional undertow, it's usually wisest to just ride it out (with an eye toward minimizing any lasting upset to your 'normal life'). I thought you might like to know, then, this latest wave of 'leave me the hell alone!' (and its alter-ego cousin, 'why am I always alone?') is presently cresting, reaching a heated peak before its inevitable decrescendo. That means, of course, the most comforting advice to provide is: Hold on a bit longer; you're moving through this; give it another week or two. I would be remiss, however, not to add a couple other pieces of guidance. First, guard against the temptation to ignore fiscal responsibility and blow a wad of cash on something extravagant, excessive or unnecessary. (This potential urge to overspend would be an example of typical 12th-house 'self-undoing'.) Second, as I've already told you before, use the most stable and secure relationship(s) in your life to ground you. The best thing you can to do to take care of yourself is to stay in contact with your best friend, your right-hand man/woman, or any other anchoring presence.