Horoscopes | Week of February 22-28, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): During this intermediate down-time limbo of 'not doing' (which, in itself, is a bit of a stretch for you), there is in fact some unobtrusive 'doing' to get done. Here's what I'd suggest, Aries: Familiarize yourself more thoroughly with what other people in your field or community are up to. Read the latest articles, and peruse the relevant social-networking profiles. Attend someone else's star event, and sit nonchalantly somewhere in the back not asking questions or making remarks. Conduct market research on the sly. These suggestions offer further methodologies for active passivity… for taking the initiative to receive additional insight, to permit yourself to be influenced by tantalizing trends or charismatic characters, and to reduce the unnecessarily harsh pressures on yourself to recreate the wheel, when you could instead just adapt the open-source wheel designs already out there and save yourself a lot of effort in the long run.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Set concerns about ownership aside. The gorgeous brainstorms moving through your mind and out your mouth don't belong to you. They are pricelessly public… a classification I'm hoping motivates you to continue bringing them through, then leave them out there unguarded for your teammates and/or those likeliest to directly benefit from them to edit, tweak and innovate accordingly. You want the best final product of your efforts, don't you, Taurus? Then please forget about who will get credit for what, whose punchy tagline or gorgeous cover-art will make it to newsstands everywhere, or who is currently pulling in the biggest salary from the group's endeavor. It'll all even out in the wash, so long as you're all in agreement about the overarching point of what you're doing. Share your ideas freely. No need for non-disclosure contracts or careful protective measures—if you're working with the right batch of people. (And if you fear you're not? Give it a few more weeks of consideration before cementing that conclusion. In the meantime, capture your brainstorms in a notebook… remembering they're still not solely 'yours'.)


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Move toward the complexities and complications if you want to bank an increase in esteem and achievement. Yes, Gemini, even if you haven't a damned clue how you'll ever manage to manage the 'more', with your limited experience and fleeting time. The most important tool in your box is a believer's vision: 'This is why I'm bothering to push myself onto such unfamiliar, untested ground.' Your all-compelling, future-oriented reasoning is the lifesaver that'll keep you afloat, any time you start to doubt your ability to hold it together. When you believe strongly enough that this latest commitment is what really matters—and you pledge to grip it tightly, like a dog to his bone, and refuse to let it go no matter how frightening the many unknowns prove to be—it will carry you through. 'Through' is the only way to further your success.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I want you to hear the fevered pitch in my words, Cancer, when I tell you (in emphatic repetition of all the other recent horoscopic missives I've shot at you), This is no time to settle for unsatisfactory circumstances. The world has turned irreversibly askew, which is undeniably disconcerting… yet simultaneously creates a situation that promotes risk-taking since, lacking the likelihood that anything will prove comfortably stable over the coming months and years, we may have less to lose than we've had in a while. This is especially true in your important relationship(s), where it continues to be a meaty moment for gambling the status quo on an all-or-nothing bet. The 'settling' strategy, meanwhile, is apt to show its truer colors: To settle isn't really to claim a moderate amount of security ('you get something, while you agree to give up something else…'), but to beckon a resentment that increases over time ('… but what I gave up was actually pretty damn important after all!).


LEO (July 23-August 22): No matter which direction we look at your current astro-profile from, Leo, it all keeps pointing back to a focus on one-on-one collaborations. With the exception of Mars's self-serving perspective, that is… the influence likeliest to muck up relationship-related promise by driving you to fight for something that you'd probably end up with anyway (without a fight!) if you just left it alone for a moment or two. Keep listening to what they have to say. Continue embracing the togetherness. Allow the sway of your partner's outlook to transform the manner in which you attack the project. Be open to rearranging your schedule to accommodate another person's limited availability. Go beyond the outlines of your official position, in order to make it more convenient for them. And all the while you're demonstrating your underrated ability to 'take one for the team', please don't succumb to anxieties that your own independent spirit is being swallowed up. Like everything, this too is temporary… and how well you play by these rules will have consequences for the next, more self-reliant round.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Can you observe the differences between you two without judging either yourself or the other person for 'falling short'? Surely your impeccable observation skills weren't intended to be used to separate you from those who hold a perspective foreign from your own, Virgo. If anything, it is your knack for noticing these distinctions, whether fine or blatant, that's a wonderful tool for developing greater interpersonal compassion. For each difference, there exists a corresponding lesson in accepting the diversities of experience and approach. Rather than fixating on how their mode of process or language of address (or yours) doesn't meet some arbitrary standard, drill deeper and concentrate on the intention underlying the action. If their (or your) heart is in the right place, that's the most important thing—and superficial 'differences' ought be left to fall by the wayside, altogether alleviating the pain of judgment. What's appropriate for analyzing a functional problem in work is not appropriate for assessing a person's capabilities.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The fashion in which you juggle your responsibilities (and I use the word 'fashion' intentionally) is its own art form. Remember that, Libra… and whenever possible, bring your innate gracefulness and impeccable eye for form to the worktable. Though there's no question that much of what you've got on your plate isn't usually thought of as 'fun', that's not to say you can't draw some notable degree of pleasure from the act of elegantly orchestrating the symphony of multi-tasking. It's a very Libran image popping into my head of a lovely Martha Stewart-esque figure who can get all the bills paid and the chores done, while a well-balanced dinner is cooking on the stove and invitations to the charity auction are being addressed, and still appear perky and unflustered… not because she's trying to impress others with her unflappability, but because she herself enjoys the role she's put herself in. You may have a lot to accomplish, but there's no reason you can't look—and feel—good doing it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): There are strategies for honestly venting your emotional circumstances, yet not coming off like a sob-filled spoiled sport. Dark humor, for example, is one of the best… and it's something you, Scorpio, can be particularly adept at expressing. In fact, cracking somewhat heavy jokes at your own expense may be an approach that honors both (1) the unmistakable frustration and/or disappointment you've been privately and sometimes-not-as-privately contending with for a little while and (2) the continuing need for you to remain socially out-and-about, doing your best not to ignore the presently-not-frustrating parts of your existence. By making direct allusions to your personal difficulties through wry cracks, you let the folks around you know what's going on—without demanding they go through certain nurturing motions that, proud as you are, might leave you feel more uncomfortably vulnerable than supportively cared for. This way, you can discuss your situation while escaping a perhaps-undesired occasion for an official Discussion.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): One additional way in which to take good care of yourself (a recurring theme in your recent horoscopes) is to find gentler phrasings for the necessary instructions you offer others in how best to respect your needs, desires and boundaries. You cut-to-the-chase Sagittarians get a lot of crap for your blunt communicative style, so I don't want you to assume this is another case of me telling you to 'tone it down' for the sake of others' ultra-sensitive ears. This advice is principally for your benefit. If you can spend a few extra moments considering how best to softly deliver the message that you want a certain someone to give you some space (finally!), keep their hands off your stuff (duh!), or take care of their own messes (for once!), you'll save yourself the hassles of a lengthier discussion later. Think about who they are (see also: last week's scope), and how they're likeliest to actually receive the information (rather than their mishearing your intentions and having a self-centered overreaction to you looking out for your own interests).


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The real emerging power you're assuming, over the long and winding road of Pluto's trip through your sign, is not the stoic version you're accustomed to putting forth. We all already know, Capricorn, that you can silently bear the weight of 'keeping it together' through trial and tribulation… and still dutifully show up for work in a timely fashion, day in and day out, because 'that's just what's right'. Where the fresh lesson in that? It's an entirely other sort of power, which entails shamelessly exposing what your tender bits inside are enduring while you keep it together, that demands you claim it. It's the personal power you claim when refusing to bear the weight alone any longer—because you know that sharing your vulnerability is a gift to others, and because you're just as willing to accept the gift of their support through camaraderie and friendship. You will (1) accept the power, using it to lighten your load through soliciting interpersonal solidarity, or (2) refuse the power, and grow increasingly resentful of how 'nobody understands', though you've neglected to allow them to.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): We need you to think highly of yourself, Aquarius. We beg you to recognize the unseen forces, of ancestors or spirit guides or angels-on-high, who are conspiring in their alternate-vibrational-dimensions to assist you in gaining courage and confidence. We don't merely want to pump your ego up so that you believe yourself superior to anybody else in this global community. We instead want you to believe yourself and everybody else worthy of palpable reward. While we respect your group-mindedness, it does little for 'the grand benefit of all' for you to deprive yourself of personal abundance and affluence, in order to humbly stand in scarcity with the millions more of poor. Don't apologize for saying you deserve… as long as you're genuinely earning your keep, and never forget to be grateful for it. The more valuable you conceive of yourself, the more value you can bring along to the collective project of improving the world. The wealthier you are, the wealthier we all can be.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): If you believe you've arrived at the front desk of the Complaint Department, I'm going to have to ask you to talk to the hand. If you think you can get away with fussing over those things that aren't working in your life, I must introduce you to that new-agey ambassador from The Land of The Law of Attraction who'll politely inform you that what you see is what you get. If you're still struggling to find your seat aboard The Little Engine That Could, though Venus and Jupiter have essentially rolled out a red carpet right at your feet and tried to lure you in with chilled cucumber sandwiches and white-wine spritzers and The Promise of a New Day… well, then, Pisces, you must really and truly be addicted to pessimism. (Surrender to your disease, and seek a meeting of Martyrs Anonymous.) Despite every last example you can muster about how much this, that or the other 'sucks ass', I'm here to tell you: It doesn't get any better than this. (And that's nothing to shake a witch's tit at!) But does it mean life is perfect? Never.