Horoscopes | Week of January 18-24, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): So many horoscopes of late have centered on helping you chase your personal ambitions. But if that's all you're doing with yourself, Aries, you're guilty of excessive self-absorption… or at least certain other folks in your life are liable to indict you on such charges, whether or not they explicitly inform you of it. Therefore, it behooves you—and the health of your important relationship(s)—to go far out of your way to visibly extend your solidarity to key players, in support of the social and/or altruistic efforts they're presently engaged in. Show 'em how you care about their successes, too, by actually contributing actions (not just words) alongside other members of the team. Work for the good of their ambitions for a little while. And think of it as a move to balance out the cosmic energies of chasing your dreams vs. helping compadres fulfill theirs, an exchange that can be harmful to interpersonal well-being when it's off-kilter one direction or the other. After all, with Saturn in your solar 7th, relationships remain the realm where consistent diligence is warranted.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Rise, to be recognized for your hard work, now that ruling goddess Venus is perched atop your chart in the solar 10th. Then, keep on workin', to ride this momentum of increasing success and recognition. The most valuable and lasting elements of this growing renown are not, however, those bestowed upon you by some bigwig or boss-man or coveted client. The fancy titles and corner offices and gold-stars on your permanent record come and go—and are especially prone to tenuousness if they depend on a single individual's or entity's acknowledgment, since that can disappear on a whim. The real recognition you ought to be striving to clinch, Taurus, will come from your peers… the folks in the trenches along with you, who will either throw you their willingness to follow your lead because you've proven to be a fair and reliable compatriot or attempt to undermine your expanding public image because they (consciously or not) feel you've grown too big for your britches and forgotten your common humanity. Evaluate your true success by watching to see if colleagues are happy for you, once some token of progress lands in your lap.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't get taken in by the false notion it doesn't matter where you stand on the spectrum, whether you voice your belief on a contested matter, and/or if you ask the questions necessary to help you form a more decisive opinion, if you still aren't sure how you feel. These things do matter, Gemini. Though your particular stance on this specific issue may or may not end up altering an outcome, the exercise is still fundamental to your present process of defining the self you outwardly articulate. Folks unsympathetic to the Gemini condition are apt to brand you as inconsistent, slippery or evasive when it comes to going on record, unambiguously, if you don't bother assessing which side's pros-and-cons argue a more convincing case in your estimation. And while you may mistakenly assume you limit your opportunities by ruling out certain people, ideas and institutions, I'd argue the opposite: You cast a clearer net by definitively aligning yourself one way or the other… at least for the time being. (No one's asking you to abandon the other twin forever.)


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Hold your own, despite any dicey conditions that feel as if they might swallow you whole. They won't devour you, as long as you're intent on claiming your existence as a discrete, individuated entity (rather than someone who's merely batted around by waves of other people's makings). But make no mistake, Cancer: Being an 'individual' isn't equivalent to digging a moat around yourself and becoming an inaccessible island. On the contrary, you're not actually doing much to express your independent streak by evading interactions in which you must declare independence to those who might otherwise assume mutual interdependence with you. In fact, in that very declarative act, you could discover you're not—perhaps you can't be—as autonomous as you'd like. So 'holding your own', then, amounts to simply participating actively in conversations about where exactly to draw the boundaries between (1) what you want to do singly and (2) what you're both doing together. This week, you've got a choice Venus-Saturn core of inner strength to draw upon for this 'holding'.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Before you allow Mars to motivate a feisty 'what about me?' response to a situation that perhaps isn't short-changing you as much as you fear, don't forget about Venus and her appreciation for fostering interpersonal connection. Venus is now moving, along with the Sun, into your relationship house (the 7th), making it that much easier for you to honor and value where the other person is coming from—and for them to honor and value your concerns, so long as you're not beating them over the head with complaints and demands and resentments. That recalcitrant Mars bears the power to set your interpersonal exchanges off on the wrong foot, if you enter those circumstances with the defensive gangbusters vibe of someone expecting a fight or insisting on defining the agenda. (And the potential for foolishly sacrificing mutual understanding in relationships over your self-centered attitudes continues into next week, when Venus and Mars exactly oppose one another.) Why squander Venus's easing of relational interactivity, Leo? If you know what's good for you, you'll bow before her benevolent beauty… and ask her for signs of how best to please a certain special someone.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Dual trines from the Sun and Venus (both now entering your 6th) to Saturn deem this a wonderful week for doing what you do best—devoting your most rational efforts toward whichever assignments most need attention, in order to help more solidly ground you—and loving every minute of it. But while you're contently toiling away (and making evident progress as you go), I also want to ponder something else: The arrival of broad-minded Jupiter into your relationship zone (the 7th) for a nice healthy stay (now through early June, and again from early September through mid-January 2011) means that it's time to consider what else is possible interpersonally. Jupiter-in-the-7th officially portends 'relationship growth'… whether that means going further with an existing partner or leaving 'em in the dust so your relationship attitudes can evolve, expanding your notions of what a relationship could entail or attaining greater understanding of what they've already meant to you. Of course, such developments don't happen overnight, Virgo. For the moment, as you're being your typically efficient and productive self, consider how relationships (existing, imaginary and/or desired) leave you feeling closer or further away from that self.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Given the likelihood that your first horoscope of '10 and its eclipse-inspired follow-up were intimidating enough to cause you to quake in your boots, allow me to attempt a counterbalancing horoscope for you this week, Libra. Just because your overarching narrative is presently a pinched-from-all-ends call to proceed conscientiously at every turn, that doesn't mean there isn't room for fun—moderate amounts, of course, and through expressions you authentically enjoy (instead of just going through the motions of activities that are allegedly 'fun' but which you have no personal proclivity for). To be clear, it's crucial you accept the reality of your current plateful-and-a-half of 'stuff you're working on' before lapsing off into Playland. There is a marked difference between (1) alternating lots of attentive responsible behavior with a sufficient amount of pleasurable release and (2) seeking avenues of pleasure in an effort to forget about your responsibilities altogether… sort of like comparing the work-hard-play-hard type who still makes it to the office on time, no matter what the night before was like, and the unreliable co-worker who calls in sick after losing count of cocktails somewhere past midnight.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Chalk this one up as a 'mental health week' (which is more precisely about emotional well-being than anything to do with the mind, but isn't that only a terminological argument anyway?). My guess, Scorpio, is that you've recently been exposed to more than your fair share of strangers and friends, neighbors and co-workers squawking up a storm in your ear… and if you've been treating your latest astro-duties to remain in the social fray with the seriousness they warrant, you're probably jonesin' for a week off from all that noise. So take it, my dear. Steal extra hunks of time in the quiet zone, rinsing yourself clean from the psychic dirt others have been tossing around in the shared air, not exactly at you but in close enough proximity that you may feel soiled. You aren't necessarily done with your role as a willing and friendly member of the 'Welcome Wagon', extending the appropriate kindnesses to whomever may show up, an ambassador of the proverbial goodwill. But if you don't get the requisite breaks, how could we expect your smile to remain fresh and genuinely enthusiastic?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): 'Well, what do you know about that? Isn't that so interesting? Please, tell me all about it…' Therein lies the right conversational attitude to adopt this week, Sagittarius. It's more important the bulk of the people you encounter come away with the sense that you're 'one of them' (or, at the very least, that you don't view yourself as 'above them') than it is to correct what you sense to be half-baked assertions, incorrect understandings, or beliefs on the wrong side of 'right'. Disrupting their chit-chatty flow over a relatively inconsequential gaffe (or flat-out stupidity) on their part is, in 98% of instances, simply not worth the momentary social tension. To let random people fluster you is to essentially hand them the proverbial reins, to yank your temperament here and there… and do you really need to take on such full responsibility for remedying the errors of their ways? If you really want to defend what you believe is right, devote all that potential razzed-up energy to making your own lived life the best example—and forgive them their possible misinformation.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You have a brief window of financial favorability, with money-planet Venus traipsing into the money-house (the 2nd) and trining a 10th-house Saturn… during which you might want, for example, to volunteer to take on greater responsibility in exchange for greater rewards, or pursue other similar tactics that tie your willingness to assume authority with a corresponding boost in stability (e.g., issuing bids on new projects, brokering fresh payment plans with creditors, etc.). If that sounds appealing, Capricorn, please act on such intentions this week. Then, back off a bit next week, when Venus opposes that retrograde Mars, drawing your burgeoning promise into conflict with a potential obstacle (person or institution) threatened by what they fear they'll lose in order for you to gain. Tread lightly, focusing your communications on how your additional efforts will help the entire overarching system (rather than on, say, how badly you want more money). As January gives way to February, you can resume more direct actions… with the best results coming from a heartfelt belief that your increased prosperity will benefit more than just you personally (and some concrete ideas about why).


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): One of my favorite aspects of horoscope-writing arises whenever I get to inform folks that Venus has shown up to polish, fluff and flatter their sign—which is exactly what she's doing this week to your tribe, Aquarius. Between now and Feb 11, Venus shines auspiciously upon Aquarians, casting you in a more likable and attractive light, boosting your chances to emerge triumphant in most situations. This time around, however, Venus faces oppositional hassles from Mars, that retrograde rapscallion who's simultaneously stirring unrest in your relationship life. As that opposition progresses into exactitude (next Tue Jan 26-Wed Jan 27), you'll likely face plenty of temptation to bluster or brawl with the other person in a key relationship. But where's the temptation coming from? Are they provocatively poking you, or are you subconsciously fishing for conflict? It almost doesn't matter the source, if you instead choose to side with Venus… and do little but bask in her flattering light, while the other party rants and raves and self-destructs. To be fair, though, let me add: A Venus-Mars opposition across the 1st/7th axis could also manifest in a 'tension' of a different sort, spurring the yin and yang of sexual magnetism to come together in heated union. In that case, go for it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): As I mentioned offhand last week, your traditional ruling planet (from the days before we knew Neptune was there) Jupiter has returned to your sign for the first time in more than a decade… and this is news you ought to rejoice over. Jupiter isn't called 'the great benefic' for no reason: He's generally considered the purveyor of increased opportunity, broadened vision and enhanced luck (if not the occasional overidealization or excess), and he behaves as such with even greater compassion for 'the grand divine plan' (or whatever cosmic logic unites all Being) while in your sign, Pisces. Realistically, though, the luck and opportunity doesn't exactly show up in a brightly wrapped box on your doorstep immediately upon Jupiter's arrival. For now, with both the Sun and Venus entering your solar 12th, it's enough to simply believe that, according to the millienia-old tenets of astrological timing, you are now ripe for wing-spreading, eye-opening expansion. The optimism inherent in such awareness will build on itself. Expect more obvious signs of Jupiter's unfolding goodies around mid-February.