Horoscopes | Week of March 9-15, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): How's the funhouse treatin' you so far? I will take your semi-maniacal giggles as an indicator you're having a swell time running wild in this enchanted land where everything—and everyone—seems ideally suited for providing you personally, my dear Aries, another delicious thrill or delightful fright. Okay, now imagine the overhead lights suddenly cut out, leaving you with just the dimmest and shadowiest visibility when glancing at your surroundings. (Not only are things definitely weird-looking, now you can't quite make out what weirdness you're looking at.) And now imagine the soundtrack suddenly changes, as if some mischievous puppet-master has pushed the 'Language' button on your DVD player and the dialogue is now transpiring in German or French (whichever one you don't know), fostering something of a communication gap between you and the other guests. (Not only aren't you sure what they're trying to tell you, now you can't quite understand what you're trying to tell them…or even how you would explain to yourself what's happening.) Thoroughly disoriented and discombobulated yet? Wonderful. That hopefully means you're left with no options other than exploring everything—and everyone—you encounter with a near-virginal innocence, like you've never witnessed anything quite like it before and are eager to learn about its dimensions. (P.S. If this peculiar foreignness gets to be too much, reach out to friends who aren't presently rapt in their own version of the funhouse experience. They'll help you get the lay of the land.)


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Knowing yourself well, at this stage in the game, is also to know when you've reached a limit to what you're able to do on your own. And at a time when your star is continuing to rise, at least insofar as you are being noticed and recognized for how hard you've strived to accomplish certain goals, it's important to honor this knowledge, Taurus. Gaining higher and higher levels of public renown and respect does not mean you must keep on assuming more and more duty, until your shoulders buckle under the pressure of the world's watchful eyes and everybody discovers you weren't all they thought you to be after all. That is a wholly unsustainable model for success, since it rests on one individual's willingness to bear the full weight. You are presently holding just about as much as any one person should (even if they are a super-sturdy Taurean like you) before voluntarily handing off sizable portions of the responsibility…or collapsing, partially or all the way, under the duress. Luckily, as of this week, you're in a good position to reach out to your friends and teammates for actual assistance—not merely their warm words of support and encouragement (though they surely help a bit), but also their literal helping hands. You'll find no shortage of folks eager to help out, mainly because they're so pleased or impressed with the job you're already doing and want you to keep up the good work. That's the odd irony: Trying too hard to impress by handling everything yourself might just lead to an embarrassing crash-and-burn, while acknowledging your need to share the burden will only further emphasize your wisdom as a leader.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): No sooner than I get off the phone with a Gemini friend who's asking me to assist in planning her next career steps, I sit down to write the latest Gemini horoscope…only to rediscover the fact that, rather fittingly, both your ruler Mercury and firestarter Mars enter your 10th (the career house) this week and, per usual, timing is once again perfect and thus I am in my horoscope-writing flow. And for you to get into your flow, with this latest 10th-house influence gaining steam this week, will require putting significant focus on what you're working toward out there in the world. You're transitioning outward from a recent phase of thoughtful philosophizing, where the tools of the trade are questions and answers and more questions, into a new period where ideas must be made tangible by building structures to support their real-world manifestation. In other words, it's no longer enough to say you are doing this, that or the other—you must actually make the calls and send the resumes, complete the training and conduct the exercise, and attend to each and every humble step in the journey from 'vision' to 'actualization'. Considering Uranus's continued influence of chaos and instability over your 10th-house issues, I'm going to assume this notion of needing to take tangible action on behalf of your career is not just rhetoric but an earthly necessity. But honestly, those added shades of desperation actually help your case. When you genuinely confront this necessary urgency, your realizing that you must take action now will serve as the ultimate kick-in-the-pants.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): So what do you make of it all, Cancer? Are there any conclusions you can draw from the tummy-turning-and-tightening month or so you've just withstood? This is the week in which, if you're permitting the cyclic revolution of moods to move itself along, you should begin to get some much-needed distance from the full-body experience of (re-)encountering a demon or two. You've just made it through a rather deep segment of the emotional-development process, undoubtedly confronted with a whole bunch of undifferentiated feelings. But while 'feelings' are, by their very nature, coarse and insensible, I do believe we feel what we feel for particular reasons: as ripe clues to important information we cannot uncover through rational means. You Cancerians are innately wise when it comes to picking up on these clues, able to attain that surety of 'just knowing' something by tapping into the currents of pure emotion that invisibly fill all the empty spaces between us. The harder part for you, then, is to translate this secure emotional knowledge into inspiring words— a fortifying mantra, a call to action, a theme song, a descriptive tagline of your guiding purpose in life—that encapsulate what you've learned over these recent weeks. Your latest emotional release likely reminded you about situations from the past that caused you great pain or unrest. It's now up to your brain to (1) insist on remembering what happened and (2) commit unambiguously to doing whatever's required to ensure it never happens again.


LEO (July 23-August 22): This might be a rather opportune moment for me to point out, dear Leo, how your underlying dynamics with a particular someone are far more complicated than you may've previously realized…though, as I write this, it dawns on me that perhaps you can presently only detect faint traces of what I'm talking about and, therefore, could be left scratching your head in perplexity. Put another way: It's quite likely you're wishing and hoping and praying on behalf of relative simplicity in an interpersonal situation where delicate issues (e.g., finances, sexual attraction, uncomfortable psychological realities) are involved…so much so, maybe, that your wishful thinking has seemingly erased all memory of certain relevant extenuating circumstances from your consciousness. In the short term, then, you may well be engaged in a lively game of 'ignorance is bliss'. Am I directing you, then, to cut off the 'bliss' and run screaming from the so-called 'ignorance' toward some beacon of pure mutual disclosure, where every possible blemish and scar is shamelessly flaunted and obsessed over? Hell, no. I'm all for enjoying the flashes of fleeting bliss when they come around, since all sensations are temporary—as long as you bear in mind that, at some inevitable point in the future, you will have to contend with the complications.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Drop all resistance to investing belief in somebody else's assessment of the situation, and please just listen to what the other person is trying to tell you. You don't have to understand the logic that's propelled 'em from there to here, nor do they owe you a written proof (a la high-school geometry class). You needn't take on the authoritative role of responsibly presenting all devil's-advocate exceptions and opposing viewpoints. And you certainly mustn't work your subtly punitive dark-grey magic on them, messing with their heads by poking tiny holes in their confidence with pointed silences or loaded 'hmmm's, so-called 'innocent questions' or impolite titters. Just listen, Virgo. Wait…actually, I'm going to ask you to do slightly more than merely listen. I also beg you, while you listen, to suspend all judgment. In fact, you'll really emerge triumphant if you can come around to authentically believing in them. Sure, if you had complete control to run every last aspect of the big show, you might choose to do it differently. (But remember? You don't.) That doesn't mean their way is wrong. Even if it takes your last ounce of strength to resist your critical instincts, give it a valiant try. You know, if you weren't around to 'save the day' (or however you tell yourself you're totally indispensable), this other person would probably still manage to handle things satisfactorily, one way or another. Put some faith in 'em.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): I will not argue with you, should you kindly mention a rising tide in your workload demands you begin sinking a greater amount of your attention in that direction…which will, therefore, make it that much more challenging to find ample room for the raucous revelry I've recently instructed you to indulge in. Yes, it's true, Libra: You do need to pour more energy into completing your increasingly lengthy list of to-dos, and thankfully will have both Mercury and Mars at your disposal, now that they're entering your solar 6th. However, I would be a bad astro-boy if I let you get away from the fun that easily, just because your schedule is becoming a bit dicier to balance. Even if you must temporarily put the brakes on how much fun you're able to have, I want you to continue thinking about the fun anyway, to remind yourself what you're missing. This is not in order to torture you, but rather as a way to emphasize the importance of such joyous moments, so that you may come to develop a greater appreciation for them. You are still within the effects of a heightened openness to love, whether or not you presently have a sweetie…and even whether or not you believe you have time to open yourself to love. Though you may be nursing a crush that may or may not 'amount to anything'…though you may be pining for a lover you aren't able to immediately meet up with…though you may have no clue where exactly love next awaits, but quietly hold out hope that, elusive as it may be, it does yet await…all these still-incomplete desires provide their own small, modest joys. Savor them, rather than ignoring them. In this context, yearning keeps the fire burning.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Over the days ahead, I think you'll be rather relieved to witness a strain of good-natured mischief making its influence increasingly noticeable…and just in the nick of time, too. For a moment there, I was beginning to worry you wouldn't be able to see beyond the continuing proliferation of tasks and situation that require your immediate attention (and the corresponding internal reactions that range from frustration to excitement to intensity, which may come and go at the same rapid-fire speed). But assuming you can maturely accept that, like it or not, you must deal with whatever earthly realities, physical demands or routines are presently at hand…well, then, Scorpio, you'll be able to release the emotional need to rebel against inescapable obligations and save yourself the angst. This is what I most sincerely wish for you: to simply accept that a good portion of your present energies must go toward fulfilling a certain service, forcing you to temporarily sacrifice a bit of personal freedom. Please don't overdramatize, though—you only need to sacrifice some freedom, not all of it. Once you accept this sacrifice (and let the lingering resentment go), you'll realize it might actually work to your benefit…because, with the knowledge that you've willingly put in diligent effort during your many hours of service, you should feel that much freer to engage in whatever harmless mischief floats your boat once the workday is done.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Expect this week to be a 'turning' in your emotional seasons: when the somewhat-lighter tone that's characterized your most recent past gives way to an upcoming moment of deeper, moodier, inwardly-focused contemplation. Your prior perspective, based on a cocksure (though no less genuine) confidence that your boundless cleverness can always conjure another fresh suggestion to rescue yourself from that hopeless 'stuck' feeling, may begin to dissolve into a quieter awareness of all that you don't know. In other words, while you're suffering no lack of compelling ideas as to how you might next proceed, these potentially brilliant (or not-so-brilliant) brainstorms arrive in an undifferentiated mass, with no clear evidence as to which is 'The Right Answer' (if there is one)…or even what the likeliest results of each possible approach will prove to be. With no friggin' clue which is which, then, and a mind currently lacking the ability to adequately defend the veracity of one maybe over the other…your only reliable bet, Sagittarius, is to listen for internal cues. (That also means limiting the amount of unnecessary noise you make, out loud or in your head.) Worry less about drawing a conclusion, for now, than about asking the right questions—asking other people, too, and taking in their feedback fully, no preconceived judgments. The challenge: While the events of the days ahead may push you further inside yourself, you must continue to stand unflinchingly in acceptance of the outer reality of your life, even if certain features of it are greatly disappointing.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I don't mean to be laying too heavy a trip on you, Capricorn…and I'm beginning to fear that lately, perhaps, I've spent too many column inches drilling home a mad pressure to stay on top of your financial situation. You got the message, right? Good. With that taken care of, I can spend the rest of your week's horoscope with an invitation to give your head a break. Please don't rack your brain trying to wrap it around the facets or complexities of vexing life questions. If something critical (or even semi-important) hinges on a certain decision, then please resist making it. And when a pumped-up person with an overeager desire to hear your 'much-valued opinion' on a matter that's only pressing to them steps up, don't fall for the bait. Defuse the urgency with one of your trademark quips, wryly but humorously (as opposed to bluntly and rudely) letting them know you aren't up for ideological discussions. Then, grab the nearest glossy magazine, and switch the conversation topic to Michelle Obama (exquisite Capricorn creature that she is) and whether her sleeveless fashions are really as scandalous as some critics charge. Every time your mind attempts to reel you into a stressful worry about something big, hijack it midair…and instead, let it chase whatever curious bits of trivia, gossip or social distraction will replace the furrows on your brow with a smile on your face.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): With the double departure of Mercury and Mars out of your sign, I'm concerned you might feel a bit like an overstimulated party animal who's starting to come down from his peak high…and, as a result, grows visibly resistant to rejoining the soberer back here in uneventful day-to-day life. There is no question, Aquarius, that you cannot avoid facing this relative decline, for we all know that whatever goes up must come down—and you're surely had a momentous couple of months at the top, haven't you? That is not to say, however, you're due for a severe downward crash anytime soon. (After all, Jupiter is in your sign until early 2010, affirming that the rest of '09 continues to bestow expansion and opportunity.) Rather, it's more of a gentle re-entry into the mundane world of bills to pay, forms to file, and your own material security to focus your energies on. In other words, you could put your week to wonderful use by refamiliarizing yourself with the current state of your bank balance, whether you have any necessary items of business with pressing due-dates to meet or developing issues to contain, and how firmly both your feet are planted on the ground here on our planet. Alas, though reconnecting with your practical side is so strongly favored, the part of you that's now 'coming down' from a pinnacle of celestially inspired effervescence might feverishly seek ways to extend the climax or otherwise keep the high high. Not a good idea. Please come back to earth, even if you intend to float back out again soon. In the short term, you need to reserve your energies.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Your justification or excuse that you did or didn't do this or that because you were 'essentially powerless'—which may have been more perception than precise reality, but no less an influence on your state-of-mind—will no longer work, Pisces. With the dual-action arrival of both Mercury and Mars to your sign, you're due to regain your get-up-and-go on both the mental and physical levels. In retrospect, I'd like to validate this internal experience of powerlessness you confronted, as major concentrations of 12th-house planetary action (like the one you've recently hosted) often leave us feeling inexplicably moody, crazed even, and with little desire to do anything about it (other than perhaps fuel the madness). But to continue glancing backward at the psychic shitstorm (real or imagined) you're just in the midst of progressing past would be to encourage a sort of masochistic navel-gazing. Why attach yourself to memories of a befuddled yesterday, when your astrologer is dutifully informing you that this is an entirely different tomorrow? You are back in the driver's seat, where you belong, on the road to your next destination. Stop obsessing about what's in the rear-view mirror. Having your get-up-and-go restored means, duh, you've got to get up and go.