Horoscopes | Week of November 30-December 6, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): 'Look on the bright side.' Perhaps some of the cheapest counsel floating out there, native of the land of trite aphorisms. While it's banal instructive isn't exactly the worst advice, most of us can find it difficult to find that bright-side angle when we're at the height of some upset. And yet, here I find myself, Aries, ready to urge you to set your sights on the silver linings, incidental opportunities and side-paths to those more self-empowering aspects of the challenging circumstances you face. Due to a wholly unpredictable Uranus station in your 12th, much of the week's developments will be entirely out of your control… meaning that the difference between experiencing either a chaotic hell or an unexpected chance to divert the flow of destiny boils down to how you react. The current planetary emphasis on your solar 9th offers you a helping hand whenever you thoughtfully seek a higher plane of meaning, within which you might interpret these events-in-process as downright lucky shots to expand your categories of direct experience—instead of the unfortunate turns they'd otherwise appear, if you devoted no energy to seriously reflecting on how best to put them into useful perspective. Telling you to look on the bright side may be a cheesy shortcut on my part. Yet, despite its triteness, it does neatly sum up how I'd love to see you manage your week.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Don't cower in dread of the decisive discussion I referenced last time, if it hasn't happened already. And if it has, Taurus, don't fear the longer-term ramifications of sudden changes in the lineup, presuming one or more previous allies wasn't terribly fond of the feedback you proffered and will no longer be playing for your team. If certain somebodies aren't on board with what supports the greater purpose's highest efficiency, then your best move is to seize the momentarily jarring upheaval… as a way to both purge the underlying tension of conflicting energies and open up space for fresh influences to take residence within the group. The scarier the looming confrontation, the likelier its final outward expression will yield huge transformations—both for you and the party in question. Now, I suspect that whether or not this 'party in question' reaps such a transformation may not matter much to you, or so you imagine. (In fact, you may quietly wish this person a bit of suffering, to avenge for the troubles s/he's already caused you.) But trust me, beyond the immediate dissension you're presently experiencing, it behooves you to set this individual up to thrive once it's all said and done… at the same time you're setting yourself up to do the same. Why bother? Because karma can be a real bitch if you tempt her retaliatory tendencies in the slightest.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Hold the same benevolent, altruistic stance toward your social yakking that I endorsed in your last horoscope. Make sure those engaging interactions continue flying effervescently beyond the tense topics and awkward inarticulatenesses… not to keep yourself feeling comfortable and on-the-ball, but in order to fluff the other person's aura. Whether they know it or not, Gemini, they're in dire need of an outside perspective on their current circumstances that promises more evolutionary possibility than their now-world-wearied outlook permits them. And that's where you come in, to pose the philosophic questions that'll get 'em thinking about the multitude of options they really do hold—and readily willing to discuss 'em aloud within the safe context you've provided. This is how to put your intrinsic talents to charitable use. I must, however, caution you against engaging in such profound interpersonal reflections with those who hold a certain power to spontaneously create unexpected change in your career or community life. Though I've encouraged you to focus on helping others rather than yourself in advising you to spur their deeper deliberation, there ought to be a limit to this generosity: If someone's 'further thought' could well put your own outer-world security on the line, perhaps you'd do better to choose another person to support.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you genuinely hope to make the keenest judgment call, Cancer, you'll have to think on behalf of your immediate health and productivity—and quit committing yourself to some principle that makes sense in theory but is essentially impossible to uphold without bending over backwards to the point of back-breaking unsustainability. Inside the bubble of principled abstracts, it requires little more than a noble motive and a humane heart to stake your claim to behaving according to certain moral standards. But in the harsher environment of the real world, we must constantly make small philosophic compromises… knowing that, while we can strive to be our absolute ethical best (as far as we've framed it to be), sometimes our own day-to-day survival requires fudging our self-determined 'rules for higher living' so we can get all our mundane shit handled and still manage to steal enough shut-eye. Where the expectations you've put on yourself are too high to support reasonably efficient workdays and general physical well-being, then, you're going to have to consciously change your belief system—or risk overloading your capacity, flubbing a job or inviting illness. Left unchecked, the best of intentions can inadvertently spawn the worst of side-effects.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Do I really need to point out how much darkness is permeating the collective ethers lately? You'd have to be literally hiding your head in the sand to miss it. Yet, as long as we're still alive and able to eat and sleep under a roof, there's always a lot to celebrate. As the lucky sign ruled by our blazing star (the Sun), you Leos innately possess more vital life-force than any other zodiac tribe. It radiates off you, even when you're not trying to shine. It helps keep your heart hospitable, no matter how tough times are. Please be both mindful of this gift you bear and generous with its uncanny ability to melt the ice off everyone else's energy-fields. When you find yourself in situations where you detect a somber or stressed vibe lingering just under the surface (or rearing its ugly head out into the open), work whatever magic's in your power to lift their spirits. But do so as unassumingly as possible, Leo, casually switching topics or subliminally injecting optimistic messages, smiling and touching 'em warmly on the shoulder or arm, exposing them to a contagion of yummy goodness. What'll undermine these healing efforts, alas, is if you offer bland feel-good spins on their very real concerns, insulting their circumstances by mindlessly telling 'em to 'think positive' or 'just be happy'. You've got to be more compassionately clever than that.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Unapologetic subjectivity is nothing you need shy away from, though you logic-headed Virgos may feel deeply unsettled by embracing the claim that something is 'true' simply because it's true for you, based on your experiences and personal perspective. While such admittedly non-rational knowledge does little to ensure your spreadsheet columns are in proper accounting balance or the schematics have been drawn up with efficacious stats, it will steer you in the right direction when it comes to people. See, Virgo, you require no 'proof' of somebody's dubious character or their energetic incompatibility with you in order to conclusively agree on what's the correct answer for how you ought to proceed with the relationship. You can decide, on the spontaneous turn of a dime, that a certain someone is simply not a good fit for you (romantically, professionally, friendship-wise, et al)—and that personal preference is definitely enough to justify a sudden statement of detachment or divorce (literal or metaphoric) on your part. And of course, the converse also applies: If you feel an illogical pull toward or affection for a particular individual, there's nothing stopping you from remarking on it in a manner that, though it may take 'em off guard, just might get 'em thinking differently about you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): 'Who does someone have to talk to around this place to arrange a little something different (and preferably new-and-exciting) in my daily schedule?' If some version of this question has been occupying a sizable place in your head lately, you ought to walk toward its signal rather than pushing it away. Indeed, you may need to initiate such a conversation with whomever holds the authority to effect changes in your routine… or, if you call your own shots, with those folks who'd be impacted if you made such changes yourself. But you'll have to do better than just making contact, complimenting 'em on their new shoes or stylish haircut, and hinting at the possibility of maybe tentatively considering a minor alteration to how your days are organized, if it isn't too inconvenient for anybody else. With that approach, you're leaving a lot of room for them to dismiss your request (since you made it seem less important than it really is) or to potentially miss it altogether (because you were overly subtle to the point of total inconspicuousness). While maintaining your affability, you'll need to regularly redirect the discussion so that your desires are actually acknowledged in unambiguous terms… and so if they aren't directly addressed in the moment, you have an idea of the timeline within which they will be. Otherwise, you're being far too accommodating of a situation where your needs are far too likely to slip through the cracks.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The angel hovering over one of your shoulders and the devil lurking over the other will likely be engaged in lively dialogue this week, as your rational self-stabilizing thoughts are chipped away at by electrifying impulses to dispense with all prudence and carouse all night instead. Should you be rooting for one or the other, Scorpio? Well, the strategic pragmatism that'll ensure your rent is paid, your front door is locked, and your dignity is publicly protected ought to be given its fair shake, don't you think? Without paying heed to the mandatory economic and functional requirements of modern life, everything else falls to shambles. Yet, to be honest, that stationary 5th-house Uranus—the guy who'd love nothing more than to see you dress in flagrantly scandalous garb, climb atop the bar with megaphone in hand, and put on a one-man/woman show that'll have their tongues wagging for days—is probably the more convincing influence. Therefore, I won't insult either of us by attempting to direct your attention away from the promise of revelry. Let yourself get a little bit (or more than a little bit) wild, as long as it's all in the name of good-spirited fun. (No using your provocative play against anyone, okay? Good-spirited fun, I said.) However, be polite enough to the overwhelmed angel that you grant his critical concerns at least a few hours of your week, in between the disco-naps and afterparties.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Who, or what, is getting in the way of your peace and quiet, Sagittarius? And isn't it about time to put an unceremonious end to stalemate situations on the domestic sphere that have left you begrudgingly settling for a certain lack of restfulness? If you have managed to hold your tongue until now (or mute your full feelings with measured remarks or indirect innuendos), I think you're reaching an astrologically apt moment to let 'er rip. Not only does Mercury's square (from your sign) to a stationing Uranus in your 4th bespeak of short, snappy, self-serving statements that foster quick-fire adjustments in your home life, but Venus has also moved into your sign (to stay through Dec 25), an addition that favors you getting what you want in potential face-offs. Venus's loving guardianship over these coming few weeks, incidentally, benefits you in more than just the household setting: She'll kiss your face with an extra glow to your image, bestow a noticeable spring to your step, and generally help you charm the pants off those you encounter. Such an overall boost may be exactly what's needed to pump your confidence level up… enough, hopefully, to motivate you to fight for your right to relax.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Permit me to up the stakes on last week's warning about how well restraint presently serves you, since this week's planetary profile places you at even greater risk of blurting out an unplanned and unfiltered nugget of opinion that puts you in the proverbial hot-water. Not only is messenger Mercury still in untrustworthy 12th-house territory, but he's forming a disruptive square to stationary Uranus in your house of day-to-day social communications (the solar 3rd). In other words, one false move with your mouth, Capricorn, and you could invoke far more than you bargained for. Meanwhile, Venus will be joining along in the 12th-house fun as of Tuesday (Dec 1), emphasizing the notion that tapping into your best luck involves 'letting go and letting God', at least in the short term. Thus, sending conscious intentions into the ethers or praying to your form of divinity for grace will momentarily get you a lot farther than trying to pull literal strings. Yet, I'm also aware that this 'restraint' thing is only going to work for a little while longer… before you simply must take a stand and let the pieces fall where they may. Just so you know, Mercury leaves your 12th and enters your sign on Saturday (Dec 5), to conjoin Pluto and square Libra early next week. That said, once you make it to the weekend, the gloves will be ready to come off.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Universalize it as best as you can. The developments presently unfurling themselves are not about you as an individual, no matter how inextricable a role you circumstantially appear to be playing. Nor should you fixate on the personal characteristics and quirks of the other relevant players. Think and act, therefore, as if the identities of the specific personalities involved have been erased—and proceed according to the same general principles you would no matter who was taking part. Thankfully, Aquarius, this sort of behavior is right up your alley, considering you're the sign who's said to possess a wise knack for understanding how different people will best work together… as well as an eye for the best corrective measures to take whenever certain folks have overstepped their self-serving bounds at the expense of the larger group. Please apply this wisdom fairly, though not without directly addressing the contentious issue that has caused a fray in the broader social fabric. You do nobody any favors by pussyfooting around the full truth, supposedly to make it easier on yourself (while robbing the indicted party of feedback that could help them evolve into a better teammate in the future). Rightfully protect what needs protecting, but do so without any pointed personal digs or extraneous mention of misdeeds from the long-ago past.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Over the past six or so years that rebellious Uranus has situated himself in your sign, he's consistently demanded you embrace crazy risky self-redefinitions (despite the undeniable emotional discomfort such leaps-of-liberating-desire create for watery souls like you)—and, when you've refused to jump, he's abruptly pushed you right out of your safety nest (ultimately for your own good, of course). Twice a year, Uranus appears to stand still in the sky, as he slows to switch his apparent orbital direction… at which time the pressure to accede to unavoidable change becomes more obvious and timely, and you can either cackle at how wild life's unanticipated curve-balls keep us on our toes and dive right into the novelty or hold onto the past for dear life as destiny's henchmen peel your futile grip off the pole, finger by finger. Uranus completes his momentous about-face in your sign this week, Pisces, while simultaneously squaring Mercury in your 10th… a clue that Uranus's call to liberate you (whether you're choosing it or it's being chosen for you) could play out through surprising communications in your professional sector, discontinuous with the dynamics you've grown to expect between you and a supervisor. Of course, I haven't mentioned whether you'd be on the giving or receiving end of said communications. Why wait to find out? Is there something potentially out-of-left-field that you need to say to a key figure at work or in your community?