Horoscopes | Week of December 7-13, 2009

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Early in the week, any assertions you publicly make will create a noteworthy impact of lasting import… one which cannot be withdrawn or retreated from, should your statements intrude upon or betray a certain interpersonal alliance. Yet, excessive diplomacy may infringe on your ability to put forth a powerful case, if you water down the true intent of your position, just to make nice. That's why, Aries, you must appreciate the full consequence of whatever messages you're laying out—not only for how much attention you can wrangle for your endeavor, but also whether it functionally supports immediate progress and still respects your strategic partners in the process. If this sounds like a tricky balance to strike, it is. And it's not merely a passing snag, either; you've dealt with this issue before and you will again (through the first half of '10). By midweek, you'll be managing the aftermath of your relative successes or shortcomings. A Sun-Mars trine in fire signs indicates either an acceleration of forward movement, first made possible by your delicate political maneuverings… or a need to keep the guns a-blazin', to battle through a combat situation (of your own making, as a result of being too self-interested?) or fight against stubborn obstructions.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In striving to balance principle with pragmatism this week, it appears more important to stand fiercely behind the defining foundational belief(s) instead of caving in for reasons of so-called practical convenience. Be aware, however, that this approach is liable to create more work for you. But hopefully, Taurus, you'll feel this additional labor is worth the sweat equity, in terms of what you'll reap from Lady Justice. Still, going against the safe continuance of day-to-day patterns, in favor of a stance that may seem to create more methodological problems (in the short-term, at least), isn't the natural Taurean response. You bull-headed creatures often need to be pushed to your limit before you see red and start a head-on charge, and you might be (legitimately, even) asking yourself whether that limit's yet been reached. Let this fierce stand, then, come about before you're so fired up you can do nothing else but storm at full strength. This stand can manifest with sturdier control over its boundaries, so ethics can be upheld without shedding blood (no matter how justified) in the process. And besides, when have you ever been intimidated by a little extra work?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Let me be frank, Gemini. Your ruler Mercury (the mischief-man who runs your mind and mouth) has gone and crossed paths with now-squaring Pluto and Saturn from your solar 8th… an astro-indication of a pressing need for coming to grips with a potentially uncomfortable or threatening reality, into which you're now realizing you've gotten yourself pretty deep, without the 'get out of jail free' card you typically keep up your sleeve or behind one ear. This truth isn't necessarily ugly (though it may well be), merely unmistakably and intricately entangling. You're so far in it with another party—financially, sexually, psychologically, etc.—that there's really nowhere outside of it for you to wriggle or worm your way to. And as a result, what may've begun as 'fun' has developed into something much more multidimensional… and decidedly less simple, though hopefully still 'fun' enough to make it worth the energy expenditure. So whether the pressure in on you to disclose this development to the other party (who could be in some state of denial) or to acknowledge these newly discovered complications within yourself (who also may be in some state of denial), you'd be foolish to ignore it and keep on cruisin' down some supposedly smooth road, willfully refusing to prepare yourself for that major detour up ahead.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): As I write this, you are actively in the midst of another critical opportunity to transform the dynamic of a key relationship into something that more closely reflects what you actually feel… as opposed, that is, to behaving in a manner that 'protects' your sensitive heart (ah, sweet crab) but inhibits an experience of true mutual communion through gestures of forced 'considerateness'. In other words, Cancer, pretending (1) it's casual when it's not, (2) you like 'em when you don't, (3) you intend to work on it when you know you'll never trust 'em again or (4) you're fine with one kind of relationship when what you really want is something very different will, more or less, hold you in a state of suspended interpersonal development. And truth be told, the specifics of the other person's present life circumstances are not the issue. Thus, justifying your paralysis with concerns for what's going on with them (and how you might dip and swerve around your needs to accommodate 'em) doesn't cut it with me. What's holding you back, at the root, are your own emotional questions about 'who am I to make demands?'—and require, in order to be healed, a revised self-judgment that leaves you feeling like you deserve to be nurtured as you desire (not like you ought to restrain those desires). Life's too short to wait, in potentially futile hope, for our important relationships to organically evolve of their own accord… as if we'll be lucky enough for such evolutions to make us more, rather than less, contented.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Some weeks during this epic 8-month passage of Mars through your sign, you're liable to become overly charged up, impatient, frustrated or just plain difficult to get along with… and other weeks, the influence will work to your advantage, bestowing tireless initiative, moxie and might, and an extra-assertive oompah-pah to your every effort. I imagine you'll be happy to learn then, Leo, that the week ahead is of the latter variety, likelier to grease the rails along which your train is careening than to shoot obstacles at the track. In my vision of it, you finally attain the resolve to reach a potentially complicating, but nonetheless necessary, conclusion in how you should proceed with a certain venture early in the week. And then, the remaining days are spent diving into the actions predicated upon that decision—at a pace that could surprise you with its very rapid progress, considering how much lengthier was the preliminary buildup to said decision. Along the way, come clean to any integrally-affected parties about just how much conflicted energy you had to sort through before making it to this decisive moment. The vulnerable honesty only further supports your continuing to move forward.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Statements of passion (for people, activities, issues or interests) ought to sound markedly discernible from statements of factual description, Virgo, in case you didn't already know that. Such utterances often reveal a quiver, a tremble, a crack of the voice, so nervously invested we are in expressing our built-up emotion that we simply can't control the tidbits that leak through. We feel it in our bodies 'til we're nearly delirious from the sensation. Yet will we really faint if we push the boundary past the safety lines into uncharted territory, knowing the laws of our home jurisdiction may no longer apply (and having nary a clue as to how things do function there)? No, unless our corset is strapped too tight or we haven't eaten all week, we will survive the feverish fright of letting our passions be known. It just feels like we'll keel over and die. Scary though it may be, life's most memorable moments are birthed from passion—but it's not the anticipatory dread we remember most. It's what happens after we push through, to the statement of passion, that sticks with us… with full awareness that, once we open our mouths, we can't control what'll come out, and isn't that the whole friggin' point?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The sooner you realize that couching your emotional reality in ultra-palatable terms (so as not to unsettle those around you?) ultimately squelches your authenticity of self, the more quickly you can start ignoring my repetitive goadings to just be forthright. The thing is, Libra, you'll continue to hear a lot about this over coming months, while Saturn and Pluto remain in a square across your 1st and 4th houses. Your profound internal metamorphosis hinges on whether you can dismantle (at least partially) the Libran habit of grinning-and-bearing enough to put forth a less-than-'pretty' portrait of what's really going on inside. And the reason it's such a tenacious habit, of course, has everything to do with how you were raised… and taught not to cause anyone (especially those who care deeply for you) too much of a fuss. So I totally understand how outwardly showing the truest face on your internal experience can feel almost like a shameful betrayal of decorum, as well as an unseemly burden on the folks closest to you. Can you, then, begin by acknowledging that these feelings are based on somebody else's values, which were drilled into your psyche at a young age and may not, in fact, serve your present purposes? that others' defense mechanisms were internalized in you early on, and may now hold you back from deeper connection?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Must you say it in quite the fashion you'd most wish to say it, Scorpio… or would that result in a case of voiced overkill? I don't possess the answer but, in my book, it's enough to sincerely consider the question. And in this act of considering, really ponder whether some of the full brunt of your 'spiritedness' (that's a fair word, right?) might be stemming from a minor bit of paranoia. Though Mercury's come together with Pluto in your solar 3rd, a sufficiently intensifying influence on the weight of your words, it's the simultaneous square to 12th-house Saturn that has me concerned about possible suspicious projections. As such, I suggest being somewhat judicious with the injection of, er, 'spiritedness' (i.e., emotion, passion, wrath, fury) into your moment-by-moment communications with those you come across. You can deliver the message without beating them over the head with it. The challenging part is to still honor the psychic experience of whatever 'spirits' rise in you throughout your day—at the same time accepting responsibility for sifting through 'em, as opposed to funneling 'em into your social encounters and holding someone else (unfairly) accountable.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Give 'em the ol' good-natured, smile-on-your-face, chuckle-in-your-voice status report from down here on Earth. They don't need yet another person fueling their pessimism or paranoia, nor one more chorus-member echoing the collective concern about possibilities or abstractions. Naturally, they may not know what they really need… which is what you can provide in spades, Sagittarius, simply by refocusing their attention on all the real-world things that don't warrant pessimistic or paranoid worries. So don't be surprised if certain sheep among the flock are merely annoyed with (or deeply distrustful of) the apparent devil-may-care disposition you exude because, of course, they'd (consciously or not) prefer you to get all snarled up and stressed along with 'em—and could take your delighted refusal to sacrifice your upbeat mood as a personal affront. Oh, well. In this role I've described, you ought not worry about pleasing folks as much as offering a pragmatic truthfulness that dares them to laugh in the face of doomsday thinking. What? You're not feeling upbeat enough for the task? Then, gosh, get out of Venus's way, and let her fluff your proverbial pillows. From her view, life looks pretty damn dandy.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Following a couple previous endorsements of restraint (read here and here), I expect the week ahead to provide you unmistakable evidence of the power your words and thoughts possess. Mercury's robust position, presently in your sign and ensnared within the Saturn-Pluto square, is a near guarantee of you confronting clear signs that you correctly anticipated what is now happening and were able to devise the appropriate response to effect the results you desired—or of you acknowledging your underestimation of how much sway you bear, perhaps out of excessive humility or fear of standing in your full strength. Regardless, Capricorn, I assume now you have a firmer appreciation for your impact. Like it or not, kiddo, we're in Pluto-in-Capricorn times: You mustn't kid yourself into thinking you can slide under the radar as you perhaps did in past years. For the years ahead, you're either part of the solution or part of the problem… and very rarely neutral. Therefore, think twice before you try convincing yourself that your ideas and attitudes affect only you. It's just not true.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Rely on your tender humanity to draw the attention to your commonalities with others… as opposed to, say, emphasizing only your sensitivities and sufferings, at the cost of understanding the diversity of others' similar experiences. In other words, Aquarius, bravely expose yourself to them—and at the same time, be modest and unpresumptuous in how you lead 'em (or don't lead 'em, to be precise) in making sense of what you're exposing. This could make all the difference between (1) connecting one-on-one over the uncanny universality of human trials and (2) alienating potential allies by trying to corner the market on making such universal trials intelligible. Expect your phrasings to be imperfect, clunky, even off-putting… which is why the emotional vulnerability behind the words is what you really ought to concentrate on. By merely being present in an intimate connection (perhaps with a mere acquaintance or stranger, but with a deep realness underscoring it), without having to construct a sophisticated matrix of meaning to describe it, will demonstrate just how much you've grown over this past year. Trying to smartly encapsulate it in marketable wisdom, conversely, merely demonstrates you're more interested in being smart than sensitive.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The right direction to head is toward opening it up. The claustrophobia of keeping everything pinched tight will only cloud your vision, preventing you from seeing what nearly everyone else can see… and potentially leading you to accept a highly suspect version of 'the facts', strongly colored by the motives of that one certain someone. Be extremely suspicious, Pisces, of those intimate cohorts who'd prefer you not to talk out your conflicting feelings with anybody outside 'the inner circle'. That's because you'll claim an unequivocal stronghold by refusing to protect secrets, to leave confusing questions unasked, or to otherwise limit the amount of information you seek. Don't hesitate to reach out to those who, quite probably, share experiences similar to yours (which are more common than perhaps you want to acknowledge). They are the ones likeliest to serve up a large slice of keepin'-it-real pie. Meanwhile, individuals who want you all for themselves (though you may indeed find their heightened interest levels to be rather flattering) don't necessarily have your best interests at heart.