Horoscopes | Weeks of December 21, 2009-January 3, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): While it may seem like a rather inconvenient time of year to forge a prominent push forward in your present professional/outside-world enterprise, the strong astrological signature in your solar 10th says otherwise. Should you embrace the gutsiness behind your desire to advance the cause, transform the organization, expunge the tyrannical status-quo and/or earn yourself a formidable reputation, your courageous doings will be remembered. Let the fawning fans and antagonistic adversaries alike whisper or shout their pieces accordingly. Besides, it's not really your style to permit popular perception (accurate or not) to obstruct your independent assertiveness. Yet, Aries, other people's opinions aren't entirely beside the point… not as long as Saturn remains a squaring presence from your 7th, reminding you to vigilantly uphold your responsibilities to your allies or risk negatively impacting a key relationship. In this case, while that doesn't require restraining your urgency of leadership, it may (as I mentioned last week) necessitate your willingness to publicly change your mind about approaches or strategies. Mercury, I should point out, will be turning retrograde in that same career zone (the 10th) on Dec 26, so there's plenty of astro-logic to suggest possible reversals of previous thoughts and statements—and no shame in such reversals either. Your success doesn't hinge on whether you stay a particular course (or put forth a firm refusal to reconsider alternatives), but on how you commit to seeing this venture through to its final conclusion, no matter how long it takes or how many different tactics are deployed. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When I tell you it's unquestionably time to look forward instead of pining for what's already past, that also includes not clinging to plans for the future that are quickly proving to be quaintly outdated. You Taureans can be particularly bull-headed in your resistance to admitting when one of your foundational outlooks on life has changed—not necessarily because you refuse to evolve, but more out of a presumed consistency that you may unconsciously expect to carry on indefinitely. But now, Taurus, it's safe and important to acknowledge this indeed has happened: A belief you once held so dear that you never paused to second-guess it has, as a natural result of the past year-or-two's events, matured into a different (and more refined) version of its old self. And as a result, certain sections of your long-term vision (i.e., the mental idealization of that which you find most meaningful in life, which informs the overall prioritization of your values) no longer represent the new you. Scary, but true, there really is a new you… one who warrants a new plan for the next several years (not a plan you have to follow to the letter, but which at least gives you some structures of focus) that isn't merely an automatic repetition of the things you've said you want to do for so many years already. Stop to really think about it. Do you actually still find those earlier notions as compelling? Or have your guiding ideas transformed such that, when you look forward, you yearn to see different things for yourself? Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Nearly every move has its connected ramifications, much in the way it's virtually impossible to wiggle any single one of your baby toes without the entire footful wriggling along with it. This inextricable matrix of cascading intereffects is nothing to shy away from, however. The time remains ripe, Gemini, for finally tossing that boulder you're holding into the stream… and letting it splash where it may. Returning its weighty mass back into the collective waters of shared responsibility (rather than working overtime to shield it from those other parties who might gasp at its heft) is the right thing to do—though you cannot carry out such an act without creating ripples that emanate outward, beyond your scope of vision (and, of course, your control). The other choice, alas, is to continue carrying all that extra tonnage of psychic baggage by your lonesome, in a painstaking attempt to stay out ahead and manage the intricacies for everyone involved (without, that is, allowing them the option of managing their own reactions). If you stop analyzing long enough to hear your heart's unequivocal, non-rational wisdom, you'll feel a new pull toward protecting what's yours… at the expense of working overtime to 'protect' (or so you think) both of you. Start 2010 right, by corralling some of the more disorderly complicating factors into a neater package by calling 'em out for what they are. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Presuming you've taken your last two weeks' horoscopes to heart, Cancer, you're well set up for making the most of your primary relationship(s) this festive end-of-year season. There's significant planetary action (including Venus-Pluto and Mercury-North Node conjunctions) in your solar 7th, which promises renewed intimacy and a clean slate communication-wise in one-on-one settings with key players—or, if you haven't been heeding the call to prioritize your own needs as well as theirs in the relationship, renewed resentment and clearer evidence that you can't communicate with this person. Have you moved your behavior closer in line with how you actually feel about them, as I advised two weeks ago? Have you made sure to serve yourself a portion, too, before handing every last drop over to them, as I suggested last week? If so, then you're in damned good shape to enjoy the holidays… under the shield of good self-protective boundaries and, therefore, with a cleaner channel straight from your heart (uncontaminated with quiet martyrdom) to theirs. However, if you still haven't acknowledged your nagging tendency to refrain from asking for, or expecting, any specific benefits or favors or tangible shows of support from the other person (scared of rejection? confused about what you want? silently aware, but in denial, of the fact that they aren't presently capable of providing?), then there's still work to do on your part. This issue isn't going to disappear on its own; avoid it with this person, and it'll pop up with the next. I'm not trying to be harsh, darling… merely speaking the language of Saturn and Pluto, who, tough as they might be, have your long-term emotional satisfaction to consider. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Presently, your most suitable response to buildups of panicky nervousness is not the proverbial 'talking cure'. What is there to say, really, about the fact that Mars's wack-attack influence will intermittently disperse your energies in a hundred different directions… leaving, as a side-effect, the excessive worry that each of these hundred different loci of attention could be potential sources of looming crisis, if you don't keep your eyes on all of 'em all at once? Rather than help quell the anxieties, Leo, I think spending the time to put words behind 'em may actually indulge the discomfiture, lending credence to somewhat unrealistic fears. Flatly put, there's no good reason why you should be confidently on top of this extensive slate of concerns. It's more than any one person can handle in any given moment—and Mars retrograde (coupled with a looming lunar eclipse) may be creating in you a false sense of superhero capability, deluding you toward valiant attempts to do just that and handle everything. Instead of trying to talk your way into containment, just accept the reality of your limitations… and then, simply get busy on making modest marks of progress in one area. Which one do you choose? It hardly matters, so don't waste much effort thinking on it. Whichever activity immediately beckons, dive right into it. When your momentum starts to falter (because, perhaps, the appeal of that one interest begins to wane), move on to the next endeavor. Depart altogether from firm game-plans. Whatever you get done will assist in chipping away at the whole load. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The image that struck me straight away upon contemplating your latest horoscope, Virgo, was one of a delightfully dotty uncle who adds unpredictable color to the holiday table after having one too many Amaretto Sours before supper and unceremoniously trotting out his eccentricities for all the world to see, not a self-conscious bone in his bod. Then, I felt morally obliged to locate you a slightly less scandalous metaphor within which to contain this drift, lest you use my words as a mandate to drink yourself crazy over Christmas and New Year's (and defend your behavior with the drily-delivered news that, 'My astrologer told me to get shit-faced!'). But I don't need to throw together an ass-covering disclaimer, do I? The substantive part of that dotty-uncle image is, after all, the unashamed expression of individualistic 'color'—not the intoxicants that inspired said expression. And my goal in sharing this image isn't to glamorize alcoholic abandon (remember, kids: hangovers suck), as much as to encourage you to have a smashingly good time over these couple weeks… without worrying about how you might say the wrong thing, step smack in the middle of the family-drama doo-doo, create awkward moments, or otherwise throw off the taut social demeanor of everyone sucking in their guts on everyone else's supposed behalf. As far as your current astrology indicates, ardent appropriateness is for the birds. What naughty influences will lure your eccentricities out to play in the yard? Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): What your biggest trial over these coming couple weeks will most probably involve, Libra, is whether you have the determination to do what you want to do—such as skip the massive festivities in exchange for a lower-key celebration, do away with the courtesy calls and cards you're dreading, and/or stay in your pajamas at home and watch the yule log on TV—instead of what others expect of you (or what you expect others to expect of you). When your inner loafing coach-potato speaks up, will you respectfully listen to her/his desire for a calm escape from the madding crowd, or is the act of pleasing everyone else more important than heeding that internal call? This horoscope holds deliberate echoes from another one two weeks back, which itself declared the theme of dismantling your automatic grin-and-bear-it social perfectionism, in favor of you presenting a more emotionally accurate version of your present state, to be a recurrent one. Thus, there's nothing blazingly original here. Still, the reason this challenge begs repeating is because this is a super-potent period for you to actually learn something about it. Contrary to whatever fears you entertain about the damage you'll do by not kowtowing to flawless etiquette (e.g., declining an invitation, cutting small-talk short, answering insincere questions with sincerity), the real damage is likelier to be to your own spirit of individual selfhood… which doesn't take kindly to constant squelching, in the name of maintaining relatively unrewarding appearances. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Dutifully fulfill your end of every social exchange... to the absolute fullest extent of honest authenticity possible, even when you're fairly sure what you're about to say could hit 'em with a prickly weirdness. This behavior is your assurance, Scorpio, that nobody can rightfully accuse you of withholding your true feelings from them. Plus, it's a hell of a lot more charitable a mode of interpersonal participation than, say, offering a perfunctory response of mindless niceties that neither offends anyone's sensibilities nor provides much usefulness in terms of meaningful engagement. You're not shallow, after all. (Pretty far from it, in fact.) So, please resist all shallow replies. Along with this endorsement of unadulterated candor, however, comes its parallel condition: Once you've laid out your genuine take, uncomfortable though it may be, you must build in time (and open-hearted energy) for the reciprocal listening to their response to your response. Hang in there for all of it, to share your side and to digest theirs. And just as you'd do them the favor of potentially unsettling frankness and expect 'em to rise to the occasion of hearing you, you must likewise hold yourself to the same standards and consent to dwell in similar unsettledness should their frankness catch you off-guard. After you tell 'em what you think, they may indict you for being too quick to judge, peculiarly suspicious or one-sided, confused or lacking important pieces of information that'd go far to explain something you're presently missing. Their indictments may be valid… or off-base. The only way to find out for sure? Talk it all the way through. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): They'll have to beg your pardon, Sagittarius, if you pause before blindly swallowing their sweet reassurances that 'everything will be all right' or some similar encouragement for you not to bother kicking the tires, reviewing the conditions or holding out skeptical concern. While they could end up being correct in their presumptions, you shouldn't just take them at their word. It's not that these certain individuals aren't trustworthy (they may or may not be), but more that you ought to follow your own self-preservation instincts and refrain from counting chickens until that delivery from the poultry farm has been signed for, unpacked, and verified to match the invoice. After all, it's you that'll have to pay the bill on whatever's being sold to you as 'a sure thing'; it's worth slowing the snowballing conversation down long enough to determine, without a doubt, what your money's going to buy you. Whether the relevance to your current situation is literally economic or of another practical concern with thematic resonance, it's on you to look out for your future steadiness. Are you looking to strengthen your stableness, or are you jonesing to take a massive risk? Be clear on your self-determined goals. Once you're sure you know what you want to get from the situation, you can more easily look out for your interests. Don't be startled, alas, if the eager green-lighters behind all the enticing hype aren't too pleased to see you commit to doing your own due diligence. They'd rather share the latest talking-points. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The holidays are often a time for reflection… which far too commonly amounts (especially for you critical Capricorns) to not-especially-pleasant meditations on where our career, our relationship and/or our family life has fallen far short of our hopes and expectations. Not this year, Cap, if I can have anything to do with it. Now that Pluto's solid presence in the early degrees of your sign will influence the holiday-season mindset for a few years to come, you're going to have to do better than mere curmudgeonly complaining. You really ought to accept your own role in any year-end dissatisfactions—not as blame, but in an effort to drill deep beneath the dispassionate critical observations to the emotion that, when genuinely contacted and confronted, may provide just the impetus you needed to incite progress. It is one thing to point out some aspect of your life that isn't working for you; it's an entirely more meaningful (and potentially cathartic) affair to admit your full anger, sadness or grief-filled devastation on the matter. Sure, it's superficially easier to bat around wry one-liners about the state of your existence. But without the psychological power behind the critiques, you'll lack the motivating charge to actually do something to change it. Don't dull the sensations. Instead, invite them to sharpen. With Venus (in your sign Dec 25 through Jan 18) along for the ride, you might even derive some strange perverted sense of enjoyment from facing the music. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): For someone who spent much of this past year having your eyes opened to how much more is possible than was previously hitting your radar even a year earlier, Aquarius, you're now temporarily in a spot where an unusually small portion of your circumstances are under your direct control. But perhaps this isn't as immobilizing an irony at it first may seem. Among the elements of expansion that you (hopefully) encountered during '09 was the experiential freedom derived from not needing to know… that there are a range of developments falling outside what your systematizing mind imagines to be 'how it should go' (i.e., situations seemingly stifling, silly or just plain unintelligible), which just may provide insights or effects preferable to those which you would've independently devised, had you stuck to your predetermined agenda. Such an awareness says a lot, by the way, about the limitations of intellectual thought (no matter how brilliant you indeed are) for singlehandedly producing 'the right answers' before the right questions have presented themselves. Therefore, close out your year on a note of calm abandonment: 'I don't need to assert control because I don't need to force my self-determined vision into correctitude.' With that, you're better situated to delight in the sights—and to discover surprising things to ponder from the directions other people will point you. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Encircle yourself with your people, Pisces. This is no time to isolate, either all by yourself or with only one other individual who seeks to monopolize all your attentions. Such limited access to social input works against the most robust astrology of the moment, which (thanks to the mighty 11th-house influence) encourages you to stay in consistent circulation as 'a part of it all'. Any rationalizations you might muster to defend your hesitation to do so are really, in fact, clues to the specific psychological issues you should probably sort through, in order to bolster your sense of belonging to something larger than your mere solitary self. For instance, if one certain member of the community scene or friend-group is enough of a problem that you won't attend functions because of their presence, perhaps what you really ought to consider is why you're so quick to give away your social power to one rotten apple. Or if you're convinced that nobody will notice if you simply slip off the radar screen, maybe you need to ask yourself why you typically hold back from making your presence too noticeable. And if you just don't like the people you associate with, it's worth pushing deeper into your own psyche… to determine why you're even bothering to stick around a crowd that's obviously not for you. Most importantly, don't let that one intimate associate hold you back from your connections to the outside world. Being one of 'the people' yourself, you need other people—a variety of 'em—to keep you vital. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 4.