Horoscopes | Week of March 2-8, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Prepare to enter the funhouse, Aries…otherwise known as six weeks of Venus retrograding through your sign and giving you a whole lot more to think about. But in case the ending of my previous sentence left you with a vision of quietly contemplating the highest purpose of your existence over a morning cup of organic green tea, let me clarify that this 'stuff to think about' is only a consequence of that many more active possibilities knocking at your proverbial front-door, potentially overloading you with options which would require you to slow down to get an accurate assessment of their relative worth to you. Of course, all these possibilities are liable to appear or disappear or reappear at lightning-fast speed, one on top of the other, with each seeming to demand you make a value judgment on the spot or risk passing up another way-too-tempting opportunity with your momentary delay. Your typical manner of following an instant's instinct, however, won't necessarily serve you as reliably because there are just too many instincts to follow…and in some cases, opening one door will necessarily close another, due to the mutual exclusivity of each. What exactly should you do, then? Well, as I said, prepare for a funhouse experience—the strange mirrors that make it hard to discern exactly what you're seeing, the blind turns and wacky angles, and more than a few tricks lurking in the shadows. Go in, expecting the unexpected, intending to have fun…and knowing you'll come out the other end with a clearer notion of who's who and what's what, thanks to having your every last perception fucked with first.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Now would probably be a very good moment for reminding those who depend on you as their 'rock', to consistently and reliably show up and do what you're supposed to, that you are also a plain old human being like the rest of us…and may occasionally need to be treated with softer gloves. Even as you read this, I'm sure you're continuing to put in your expected efforts at the relatively high level you've been toiling at for the past several weeks—only, by this point, you're growing increasingly unsure that what you're actually doing is coming across right, making the appropriate grade, or amounting to anything at all. Your self-doubts may escape from inside you, making their way out into the public ethers, so that other folks are likelier to catch a whiff than they ordinarily would. 'Isn't that horrible?!?' you might exclaim. In fact, Taurus: No, it isn't. It's totally and completely okay to let some of your private questioning out into the open air. Indeed, it's much healthier than, say, squelching your emotions beneath an impenetrable mask of 'nothing ever gets to me'. Your vulnerability to worry, especially of the sort that floats aimlessly around your psyche without a single obvious cause, is heightened. And when mentors or trusted colleagues detect worrisome thoughts seeping out from you, it presents them a chance to give you the explicit reassurance all of us human beings, at one time or another, require from others…so that we may still keep on going when we aren't able to muster it for ourselves.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In case I haven't made this crystal clear in your recent horoscopes, Gemini, allow me to further emphasize the profundity of what's currently occurring for you…lest you lapse into telling yourself tales designed to underplay the importance of the choices laying ahead. You are giving birth to nothing less than a larger, more unifying perspective on the world and what it has to offer you. As a result, previously restrictive forces you've always assumed were set in stone are revealing themselves to be anything but. Possibilities are proliferating. The sky's the limit. But looking out across such a vast unboundaried landscape will show you everything—including those isolated bits of your personality that seem not to fit very well with the rest of you. And with this new, much-expanded view of life, you can no longer pretend away such glaring contradictions that exist between (1) what you purport to believe in the world and (2) how certain of your behaviors may betray those stated beliefs. That is, in order to step into this mindset of 'creating a more meaningful and integrated existence', you'll probably have to address one (or more) especially dissonance-fostering discrepancies in your character. To ultimately choose that which you most sincerely want from your life, then, may also necessitate stepping away from something you might prefer to keep going ('on the side' perhaps?) but which would present an irresolvable moral disconnect from the sincerer goal.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Following up last week's encouragement to feel the full brunt of whatever's working its way through you, I want to give mad props to those of you unflinchingly involved in this process. Your healing, the productive ramifications of which you'll already be witnessing by May or June, will truly be its own reward. And in even better news, I'm classifying the week ahead as a 'transition week' between (1) the intense limbo you've dwelled in over the past month or so and (2) that next great decisive action you'll soon be taking, in direct reaction to the psychological progress you've made. While the emotional climate won't instantly shift from 'heavy' to 'buoyant' in a single day, you should already begin to feel your thoughts turning less dark and more philosophic by week's end. Then, give it one more week beyond that, and you'll probably experience the sense that the bulk of this round of soul-wrenching personal work is now complete. In the meantime, though, the lifting of your fog will also receive assistance from your career life or other community-oriented participations…as an abrupt increase in activity level and/or demand for your personal presence there has the pleasant side-effect of distracting you from the sulky thoughts your head might otherwise gravitate toward. There's no need to gripe about suddenly being wanted or needed in this capacity. Having something else to throw yourself into may just be your luckiest development of the week.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you are guilty of any misdeeds or misdoings in any valued partnerships, the present alignment of Mercury and Mars with Neptune and Chiron in your 7th house qualifies this as a magnificent time to confess your fallibility, ask for forgiveness, and stake a new claim for 'most improved' in the area of interpersonal integrity. Acknowledging your weaknesses will make you that much more lovable, Leo…at least in the eyes of those who genuinely do love you. In order to pull that one off, though, you'll need to refrain from uttering any statements that could sound like a conditional apology, a justification, a veiled accusation, or anything resembling an attempt to 'spin' the facts so your side appears more favorable. This is not about saving face, after all. It's about poignantly demonstrating that you both understand and care about what's in the other person's best interest, not just what suits you. Trust me on this one: If you honestly spend some time walking around in their shoes and coming to full grips on where they're coming from, you'll be able to make remarkable progress in restoring or reaffirming the togetherness you two create as a pair. On the off chance the other person doesn't respond positively to your gesture, either (1) you weren't being as 'genuine' as you believe or (2) the relationship is in worse trouble than you thought. And if you have absolutely nothing to own, admit, apologize for or mend, then you might as well take this opportunity to explicitly shower your beloved with heartfelt expressions of your adoration. It's never redundant to express such feelings one more time.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): What I most sincerely hope for you right at this moment, Virgo, is the realization of your inescapable interconnectedness with those most closely around you. While realizing you need other people and they need you too may not seem like the most life-altering epiphany you could invite (since, well, of course you know that already), some of its finer implications may require additional consideration on your part. For instance, when it comes to the mountainous mound of work you're neck-deep in tackling (see last week), you're going to have to accept the reality that the final outcome is beyond your sole control. You can sink your all-time world's-highest-quality effort into your part, yet the manner in which fellow participants assume their necessary roles in the process is a variable you cannot manipulate to your desired ends. Thus, the endeavor's broader success is reliant on more than just your dutiful labor (which isn't in question anyhow, is it?)—it depends on your ability to work well with others, to factor their responsibilities and opinions into your outlook, and to adjust your expectations so they suit a collaborative approach. And your sanity, therefore, hinges on not obsessing over the details that fall outside the realm of your management. I repeat: You cannot control the entire final outcome, only your part. Over the coming weeks, you'll find this notion of shared responsibility popping up in multiple arenas across your life.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Right as you're about ready to launch into another nonstop replaying-in-your-head of how you just misbehaved in front of a person whose positive attentions you were hoping to snag, your trusty astrologer arrives on the scene…to let you know, with no uncertainty whatsoever, that it's presently virtually impossible for you to 'misbehave', in terms of spoiling your relationship potential by showing a side of yourself you probably shouldn't have. Perhaps, in its current wording, it's hard for you to believe this truth, Libra. So let me rephrase it this way: Your usual knack for tightly regulating your own conduct, so your every move transpires according to your prior considerations of how the other person is likeliest to respond, is not functioning reliably. Now, and for the next six weeks of Venus's retrograde in your relationship house, your impulse to act more spontaneously will be heightened…and, along with it, the chances of accidentally saying or doing something that reveals the cracks in your 'veneer' (i.e., exposes your inner dork, uncovers vulnerabilities you typically keep to yourself, acknowledges your fearfulness) so that your 'cool' isn't altogether intact will also increase. There's not a lot you can do to prevent this temporary trend either, so you might as well embrace it. Maybe this will help: Despite your inner sense of being 'exposed' by such in-the-moment spontaneity, others may find this less-self conscious, more-impromptu version of you startlingly more attractive…perhaps a different kind of other person is attracted, and/or you attract somebody in a different way?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Fortunately, your weekly schedule simply does not permit you to stay in your sweats all day, secure within the cocoon of your carefully controlled chambers where nobody may barge in and interrupt your private whatever (what do you do behind closed doors, anyway?) without your explicit consent. And even if you had the spare time, you still wouldn't likely achieve that feeling of safe seclusion right now. When I imagine you attempting to block the outside world from contaminating the 'happy place' you've created at home, it's as if bits and pieces of your earthly duty still manage to waft in through poorly insulated window frames, cracks in the walls, or a back-door left slightly ajar. In other words, Scorpio, you cannot get away from certain day-to-day concerns that presently require your persistent attention, as each new morning brings another new detail to include or change to make. You'll somehow need to find a way to keep on with the work, even as your emotional state would rather you remain in your bed or on the couch all day, 'dealing' with it as only a Scorpio left to her/his own devices can. Here's a novel approach: Warn those you encounter that you're feeling especially challenged to 'pull it off'. No one said you had to have a smile on your face while meeting your responsibilities, did they? You might even choose to vent what's on your mind to co-workers, at the same time you must carry on with the daily grind, since you're thinking about it anyway. I'm sure they'd rather listen to you vent your inner turmoil than become an unwitting target of you projecting it onto them as a result of not venting it.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): I suppose that, as soon as I composed last week's horoscope in which I stated you were 'the sign I'm least worried about', I was asking for trouble. (Guess I should've thought to knock on wood when I started writing.) Don't get me wrong, Sagittarius; it's not like the entire psychic tone of your day-to-day is due to turn on a dime. You're still less worthy of worry than many other of your zodiac siblings, thankfully…but with Venus beginning her six-week retrograde on Friday (Mar 6), nobody is completely out of the woods. Not surprisingly, when any sort of new astro-pressure starts to build in the celestial environment, my first concern for you Sagittarians is a growing impatience. After all, you possess a deep-seated mistrust of anything you deem to be a 'time-waster' (though, of course, such categorizations always derive from the eye of the beholder). In the immediate future, it may seem that other people's undue anxieties, frivolous concerns and/or hypersensitive feelings are obstructing your path to a low-stress, low-drama good time... that you are now being dragged into long drawn-out conversations you consider redundant and pointless, when their real problem is so blatantly obvious to you, you might as well just spell it out for their thick skulls…but, as I hope you figured out by now, you shouldn't expect that bluntly or gruffly making your point to someone who's obviously in a more fevered emotional place than you (or why else would they need to keep on dragging their heels talking about it?!?) is going to cut through the B.S. and jumpstart your low-stress, low-drama good time. Unless you're trying to piss 'em off and buy yourself total 'I don't give a crap about you' freedom from their neediness, a crude display of impatience will only further delay your pleasure with more (relatively minor) crap to discuss.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): In the same spirit of 'housecleaning' from which last week's advice sprung, let me offer another exercise to assist you in stepping fully into your timely guise as spokesperson for financial solvency. No, Capricorn, you have not yet been excused from our ongoing conversation about money. Must I repeat that your growing insightfulness in this area is something the rest of us are counting on, to help us through these increasingly sobering days and nights? It's not that we expect you to come out with the perfect brilliant solution to the putrefying rot of old-school capitalism. It's merely our observation that you're somebody who learns from your past experiences, whether smashing successes or major mistakes…and this fact bolsters our trust in you. But 'learning' from the past is not the same thing as continuing to beat yourself up for decisions you'd make differently today. That's why I'm issuing you this daring suggestion, to ensure you've got the past working for (rather than against) you: Select three to five examples of what you'd characterize as your most foolish financial actions ever taken, so-called 'errors' that trigger a sense of shame in yourself. Now, rewrite the story of each of these examples…so as to highlight the lesson you learned from it, what sorts of actions you won't repeat as a result of learning that lesson, and which potential problems you saved yourself from due to that original sin. When you think about it from that angle, you'll hopefully undo some of the shame still attached by acknowledging the educational value in your history. The kind of knowledge we're counting on you to possess, don't you know, only comes from trial by fire.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The archetype of 'The Fool' in a standard tarot deck is the one that most reminds me of the present-moment you, Aquarius, with its childlike appreciation for all the unforeseen magic that spontaneously arises whenever we can trustingly carry ourselves right off the edge of a dangling cliff…without panicking about what happens next. The Fool approaches each step of life with the same brave open-mindedness, aware that the richest insights are reserved for those who can suspend premeditated expectation and simply observe, without judgment or interpretive mishandling. He doesn't claim to know in advance what he 'should' or 'shouldn't' do, nor does that not-knowing upset him. He merely believes in his unerring on-the-spot ability to navigate whatever circumstance, no matter how surprising or discontinuous from 'normal life', presents itself. For somebody like you, however, who is often described in intro-to-astrology books by the keywords 'I know', I'd imagine such an unapologetically gutsy embrace of all that you don't know—and, considering how much newness is permeating every last crevice of your current existence, that'd constitute a lot of unknowns—isn't exactly the easiest outlook to accept. For the time being, though, your only other choice is the self-prescribed angst that stems from frantically overtaxing your brain, trying to produce a sure-footed intelligibility where one cannot (nor should not, for that matter) exist. Step out on the limb. Take each new hour as it comes. If you can tap into all the anticipatory excitement while still maintaining a peaceful stance toward all the not-knowing, your calm-and-centered in-the-Now-ness will be incredibly contagious…and, thus, a gift to all of us.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I'd rather risk sounding like a broken record than leave out an important bit of horoscopic information, so I'll be kicking off this week's installment by reiterating a notion I already expressed last week. Please, Pisces, do not squirm or weasel yourself away from the most important people in your life, just because you'd perhaps prefer them not to see you in your current state. Don't attempt to get out off interpersonal commitments already made, to postpone long-overdue visits or catch-up sessions, or to take open-ended rain-checks on activities that the other person has been eagerly looking forward to. And don't call in sick for work if you're not, in some suddenly overbearing resistance to getting showered and dressed or leaving the house at all. (At this juncture, nothing must be permitted to mess with your income stream.) I do, however, want to once again validate the internal circumstances that are likely conjuring such escapist tendencies in you. It makes complete sense when we look at your sign from the astrological perspective. But with transiting Saturn in your 7th making your call-to-duty that much clearer this week—the challenge to maintain consistency in your principal one-on-one relationship(s), rather than riding a rollercoaster of someone else's ups and down or making them ride yours—you simply mustn't disappear from your end of the connection. In case this wasn't obvious, though, I'm not telling you to do this merely for their sake. It's actually more for yours. You're more likely to snap into a better mood if you expose yourself to outside influences, and more likely to wallow in the low-points if you isolate. Just sayin'…