Horoscopes | Week of March 16-22, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Saturn is your odd ally this week… but it wouldn't surprise me, Aries, if you did your darnedest to refuse his steadying influence. Saturn, a two-year visitor in your solar 6th, would really like to remind you that, no matter what eye-opening adventures or full-body emotional experiences you go through, you're still responsible for putting in a good day's effort, according to the laws of earthly sustainability. Put another way: You must get your shit done every day, even when you're, say, wandering around a funhouse. This means, first and foremost, respecting the limits of your physical body: getting appropriate sleep, eating healthfully and drinking enough water, exercising a certain degree of moderation in how you expend your energy, etc. It also includes fulfilling day-to-day chores like home-straightening, errand-running and paper-pushing. And of course if you are employed, you've got to get yourself to work on time for every scheduled shift and diligently put in your hours on the clock. Now, if it seems I'm emphasizing the obvious in this horoscope, it's only to counteract the devilish voice inside your head—which, by this point, has grown quite loud—telling you to forget about tomorrow's plans, to stay up late or drink way too much or escape into a drugged-out wonderland, to run your body on fumes (though you know you're thisclose to collapse), to eschew responsibility and screw it all, since you might as well have a crazy ol' time as society goes to hell in a handbasket. Please keep holding Saturn's hand all week.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I am rarely one to endorse a position of forced neutrality. I tend to believe it's important to declare where we stand, lest we give somebody the wrong idea, like, for instance, we tacitly support another's bigotry, or (perhaps worse) we never bother to ponder what our unconsidered ideological assumptions imply. But I'm throwing all of that out the window, when it comes to this week's horoscope, Taurus. Why? For the simple reason that one or more of the folks on your team (friends, co-workers, political allies, organizational associates) is liable to throw a game-changing wrench into the gears… and, upon first exposure to this surprise, you will not know what to think about. Of course, that doesn't mean you won't think you know what you think about it, since it's fairly common to have an instant reaction to any unforeseen disruption to the norm. Yet, I wouldn't necessarily expect to find your final opinion in those initial thoughts, for first reactions often give way to second and third ones that differ decidedly. Should you voice a first reaction that's suspicious or unfavorable, there will be an impact in your relationship with this teammate… and potentially with others, too. And though you may later rescind this initial feedback, the damage will already be done. So give yourself ample room to internally consider before externally expressing a stance. You may come to find, though your ego was temporarily stung, you also realize this person's crazy idea may actually be good for a majority of parties involved. (Or not.)


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You've got a rather loopy, loose-lipped ruling-planet Mercury running hog-wild in your career house (the solar 10th). Mercury's conjoined with Uranus, and therefore liable to inspire an electrifying wackiness in the ideas you produce and share in your professional/public life. Are you supposed to try reigning in these wacky thoughts, in an attempt to impress others with your diplomatic restraint (and lack of innovative perspective)? Or should you let your renegade brain loose in the boardroom, in hopes of dazzling 'em with your radical brilliance (while taking the risk they may instead think you're stark raving mad)? Simply put: I don't know, Gemini. This one's not so clear-cut. Certainly, if you've played it safe careerwise and not gotten the results you were hoping for, I'd recommend releasing a bit of this zany out into the atmosphere: Try a radically different way of imparting your message, playing for their emotions rather than sticking to dry facts. Or take a leap of faith on a bizarre manner of presenting yourself, one offering you no choice but to either soar to unbelievable success or to not-so-prettily crash and burn. Of course, such double-down gambles are riskier if you have more to lose (such as a hard-earned reputation based on your achievements)… which is also possible, frankly, if you go way too far in either direction.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): On the off chance whatever residual hurt you recently confronted was triggered by a complicated (or was that convoluted?) relationship with a certain someone, I must report it's now time to take your stand with this person. You've already received your emotional message loud and clear. You require no new information to draw your line in the sand, informing You-Know-Who (and anybody else within earshot, for that matter) what you want and don't want, what you will and won't accept, and what consequences will occur if said line is crossed. If your stand is not taken (somewhat soon, if not this very week), expect the interpersonal dynamic that triggered the hurt to continue transpiring as it's been… or to become progressively weightier over time, as a passive result of you not acting to change it. A silent departure or cryptic mumbling of words does not qualify as a stand; the whole point is to clarify previously unclear (or nonexistent) boundaries. In this context, to clarify means to engage in discussion for as long as it takes for you to explicitly explain where you're coming from, to answer any questions (or head off any loopholes) the other person has and to listen fully to their thoughts too, and then to come to a mutual understanding as to what's being agreed upon. If you two can't sustain such a comprehensive—and important—conversation through to the end, I have a hunch the relationship isn't too healthy.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Now does what I wrote last week, about certain interpersonal complications you weren't properly considering, finally make sense? If it still doesn't compute, Leo, I'll give it one more full month (through mid-April) until there's virtually no possible way you'll be able to avoid obvious awareness of all the 'strings attached'. I would, however, ask that you pay special heed to any peculiarly harsh or jarring statements issuing from the lips of a person you're quite invested in—words that might give you pause to think, because they reveal a side of 'em you haven't seen before or expose a gaping divide between your respective manners. This, my dear, is your hint… a crack in the glossy fašade of your relationship, giving a glimpse of the unglossy inner workings beneath. Chew over this clue. Of course, if you are past this discovery point and starting to come to grips with the sheer magnitude of it all (meaning you've begun recircuiting your brain to appropriately conceive of the 'complications' as complicated), you no longer need a clue. What you need is to willingly assign the upcoming few weeks to actively problem-solving how to integrate these new complicating factors into your life… so you can deepen what the two of you have, based on fuller mutual disclosure, or so you may conclude this recent development is, in fact, a deal-breaker.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Interpersonal communications are strained this week, as your ruler Mercury gets all tangled up in the ongoing Saturn-Uranus opposition across your 1st/7th axis. Is it that another person's startling announcement will leave you speechless (when, in truth, you have a lot to say about the bombshell they just dropped)? Is it that you're unable to actually hear what they're telling you because of your stubborn refusal to step outside a certain limited perspective? Will you be caught so off-guard that everything you utter is essentially reactionary, having less to do with what you'd authentically think (if you were actually given a moment to think) than what your initial emotional response might betray? Whatever the case, Virgo, be aware the communicative ball is in the other person's court… which puts them in a better position to set the tone, and leaves you perpetually lacking any readiness for what they'll say next. Furthermore, since Mercury is in Pisces (the sign of its fall, or 'degradation'), the quality of information being batted on all sides is highly subjective, influenced by emotions liable to change and change again, and not without wishful thinking in effect. In such an astro-setting, you rational Virgos are a decided disadvantage. Therefore, save the breath you'd otherwise waste on careful explanations, analytic frameworks, and other tools of linear thought. This week, your energy will be better spent on shock absorption. You can process about it later.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This week's horoscope is not about kicking your heels off, smiling and giggling flirtatiously, and having a grand ol' time… or your deep need to do such things more often than you do. (Still, I managed to squeeze in a one-sentence reminder anyhow. Aren't I sly?) What it is about, Libra, is the tremendous opportunity you have to break through a wall, in terms of how best to accomplish everything that's piled up on your plate. See, you've been thinking too 'straight line'. Dare I invoke corporate lingo, but, my dear, you've got to think outside the box. Just because there are certain duties you must meet, that certainly doesn't imply there are certain methods you must follow. If you hit your deadline with the finished piece of work in your hand, it's nobody else's damn business how the hell you pulled it off. It wouldn't be ridiculous to retreat for a second or two, then , to rethink each step in the process and scan for potential shortcuts and loopholes that'll cut the amount of effort you must expend. (As I said, you needn't tell anybody you're doing this. They might not take kindly to your getting the same results they do in half the time.) Here's the only snag: You've still got to be realistic about what can be achieved, given certain parameters. Though this Mercury/Uranus-in-Pisces effect is a wonderful nurturer of creativity, sometimes the notions it fosters are a bit too, er, idealistic (or impractical) to actually function in the real world. While I'm all for streamlining processes, such work requires more than the wave of a magic wand.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your burgeoning mischievousness further blossoms this week, Scorpio, as your lips become even freer and easier with ejecting whatever naughty-or-nice thoughts that come across your brain. Let's just say this: I wouldn't want to book you to perform a live show if children were to be present, or if certain standards of decency were expected to be met. On the other hand, you'd be perfect for a hilariously vicious roast or some potty-mouthed routine where you crack seething jokes at audience members' expense. You presently ooze irreverence. But there is a rather fine line between a devilishly wicked sense of humor and out-and-out mean-spiritedness… and it's one I'd keep an eye on, if I were you. There's a heightened chance of accidentally crossing it, should your jabs hit certain people a little too close to home. Be especially careful when kidding around with individuals with whom you may have unresolved envies or resentments, since those are the folks you're liable to inadvertently (or semi-consciously) poke too deeply in too tender a spot. If the territory starts feeling touchy, turn the joke back on you… and laugh your ass off at yourself.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Your tolerance level for preapproved 'official versions' of the truth, complete with euphemisms and team-building jargon and whitewashed assessments of problem areas, is unusually low. For that matter, almost anybody who addresses you with too carefully controlled rhetoric—whether they're trying to 'manage' your reaction, provide you only a partial disclosure, or convince themselves of something they aren't yet sure of—is liable to hit your buttons this week. In fact, were they to approach you at the wrong moment, Sagittarius, they just might receive in return your antithetical communication technique: an uncensored bombardment of your gripes about what's wrong with them, what's bothering you, the virtues of authenticity over shit-eating propriety, and so forth. Their artificial guardedness could stir you to go too far the other way, spewing at the mouth about all sorts of subjective matters that have little or nothing to do with the person you're unloading upon. While you are justified in being irked at those who tow the party-line or parrot shallow affirmational mantras, it's probably better to express your frustration concisely (or not at all), rather than launching into an all-over-the-map tirade bloated with irrelevancies.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please put your social skills to good use this week, Capricorn. There's something in the air with the potential to either clam people up (because the uncertainty is too much to explicitly acknowledge in words) or turn them hysterical (because their logic is too flooded with emotion to provide distance or perspective). While it's not as if you don't also fall under this spell, you hold an unflinching quality to your understanding that there's always a solution, even if it'll require a lot of challenging conceptualization and/or an insane amount of work. This awareness of the individual's power to effectively make progress toward a goal, no matter how desperate or insurmountable the situational setting is, given sustained strategic effort over time… well, it's a tremendous asset in this day-and-age when so many of us believe all we've got is what the bank tells us we own. (No creditor can repossess one's grit, can they?) I don't advise you go around to all your friends and acquaintances espousing some didactic dogma about 'believing in yourself'. Actually, I don't advise you to directly address these heavy topics at all. Rather, put your social skills to good use by luring other out of their shells or away from their panic… through the camaraderie of casual conversation. On the surface, you may be chit-chatting about fairly meaningless or mundane affairs. More profoundly, though, you're holding a space of normalcy for the other person to occupy, if only for a moment, and forget about any serious curveballs they were recently thrown.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Far be it for me to suggest 'creative bookkeeping' at a moment in history when the long-term ramifications of such creativity are finally coming home to roost. If the collective 'we' walks away with no other lesson from the current recession, it's the value of precision in accounting—the bottom-line of what we actually have—over, say, taking out another home-equity loan, shutting our eyes to the rapidly expanding number in our 'debt' column, and foolishly hoping for the best. In astrology, the house that governs our money (the 2nd) also rules, on a more general level, this abstract asset we know as self-worth. Thus, the 2nd house signifies 'what is mine': the resources, financial and otherwise, at my disposal to use toward creating a level of material security for myself. Currently, Aquarius, with a fallen Mercury conjunct Uranus in your 2nd, you may be tempted to look past certain financial realities… out of some super-idealistic notion that imagining yourself wealthy will miraculously fill your coffers with dough. This sort of new-age-lite thinking is hopelessly na´ve. Don't fall into it. However, considering this romanticized against-the-grain thinking is inescapably impacting your 2nd, let me recommend a different kind of creative bookkeeping I can wholeheartedly advocate—utter faith in those skills, traits and knacks that comprise your self-worth, as tools to provide you security when cash is running short. From this perspective, you can make miracles. Your ingenuity is as good as gold.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Just as so many people around you are starting to feel or act like they're losing their minds, you, my dear Pisces, are due to welcome at least one ultra-inspired lightning-flash of dazzling brilliance… a radically fresh outlook on a situation, which, if embraced and acted upon, could put a whole new face on what previously seemed like a stalemate. Could this be the epiphany you've been hoping, waiting, and praying for? It's quite likely. But in and of itself, one new idea isn't going to change your whole life. It's what you do with the idea, how thoroughly you integrate it into everything else running through your brain (since you obviously possess habitual beliefs that would contradict or sabotage your newfound insight)… and that takes time. For now, it's enough to be grateful for the expanded perspective, and to get repeating it to yourself so you won't forget it. I must warn you, alas, a certain someone may not find your mind's latest spark dazzling or brilliant—whether they truly doubt your viewpoint on the matter, or if they're just mad, jealous or threatened by your independent streak. Navigate discussions with this person impeccably. You don't necessarily want them to rain on your parade, making you doubt yourself (so they may continue controlling your head?). Yet, you will want to bounce your ideas off other people, in order to identify the holes you can't yet see—and sometimes, our harshest critics are the ones who most help us finesse our rough first-drafts into finished masterpieces. In any case, congratulations on the visionary genius currently pouring forth from you. Please cherish it.