Horoscopes | Week of December 6-12, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Full-disclosure authenticity should be the calling-card of your public efforts this week, Aries. With Mercury going retrograde in your career house (the 10th) under Pluto/Scorpio influences, you're already too likely to spurt out mention of the very thing you'd be trying to hide, if you bothered trying to hide it at all. And constant mental preoccupation with whatever taboo or anxiety-provoking topic you're hoping to dodge merely attracts others' suspicious misgivings, self-fulfilling-prophecy-style. Attempts to withhold, cover or deceive will corrupt the whole endeavor from the inside out. It is better to voluntarily 'leak' potentially damaging information about yourself than to wait until cornered, then muster a pathetic confession (or, even worse, a more pathetic denial) only after you've been caught red-handed. The same goes for your own suspicious misgivings about what they've been up to: Pose them to the player(s) in question, with enough sincere open-ended inquisitiveness that you actually listen to their answers rather than indicting them prematurely. You'll achieve a stronger, more enduring resolution by getting it all out in the open.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): How you behave in your most recently engaging one-on-one relationship dealings will say everything about whether you're walking your talk, Taurus. It doesn't much matter how deeply you love 'em or hate 'em, if you wish to God they'd pay you attention or leave you alone, if you're hoping to win them over or defeat them for the gold—integrity remains a primary consideration. To be clear: That means, for instance, if you really adore a certain someone, you mustn't bend any ethical guidelines to permit them to get away with something you'd call out nearly anybody else over. Likewise, if you really hate a certain someone, you shouldn't make things more difficult for them to clinch what's deservedly theirs, as if carrying out a personal vendetta. Your number-one rule of engagement is to prevent emotional biases from inspiring unjust actions on your part. Of course, obeying this rule can definitely create awkward or tense moments, such as having to give your sweetheart a firm 'no' or to congratulate your worst enemy for a job well done. Be grateful to these exchanges for deepening your moral authority.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Mercury retrogrades (such as the one beginning later this week) can be a godsend, at least as far as their knack for ejecting outward the bits of information that had previously escaped full conscious integration. Because this particular one hits your 8th house, in conjunction with both Mars and Pluto, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a new layer of psychological response—perhaps less civilized or harder to discuss in polite company, though brutally relevant to your process of moving forward—hits you in the gut with an awareness that has previously merely loomed, unmistakable but unwelcome, in the background. What might as well have been 'obvious' but still lingered unarticulated and/or unfelt, Gemini, will now become blatantly apparent… unavoidable, in fact, despite any moves on your part to file it back away again. Save your energy, and stop playing hide-and-seek with the unshakable reality of total facing-up. It is not only your surest path to eventually healing from the pain you've been trying to escape, but it's also 'the right thing to do' in terms of fulfilling your adult responsibilities in the world.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Stop waiting on You-Know-Who to take the lead, get things rolling, and/or step it up to the next level. Are you incapable of asserting your initiative with this certain special person, Cancer? Not only am I sure that's not the case, I won't even hear any attempts at making excuses for your bashful passivity. The astrology of right-now is all about you maneuvering yourself firmly and diligently into the tone and content of interaction best suited to your relationship goals. (Yes, it's perfectly appropriate to have goals in your relationship. 'Love is all that matters' won't cut the mustard.) I know we already covered this ground last week, but it's certainly pressing enough to repeat. Plus, I want to emphasize what happens if you persist in silently accepting discontent in this interpersonal dynamic: You'll end up getting more annoyed under the surface, as the other person continues not doing what you're secretly wishing he/she would. And if you think your annoyed silence isn't already speaking its own thousand words… well, you're obviously forgetting how much you Cancerians communicate without explicit verbalization.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Don't think of them as tragic errors, time-wasting snafus, or preventable incompetencies. Even if you had been able to foresee the mishaps likely to be wrought by Mercury's retrograde (beginning Fri Dec 10) in your solar 6th, Leo, it's now pointless to dwell there. (I advise letting yourself completely off the hook, as you'd probably fixed your prior attention elsewhere… for good reason.) Instead, please view this as an end-of-year opportunity to revise the whole process (of which this obstacle now encountered is a mere portion), in order to avoid similar holdups in the future. You already have to invest extra time to achieve the limited results required in the here-and-now; why not add a little bit more and really improve your day-to-day methods? When in doubt about a next step, please don't hesitate to solicit outside advice, preferably from folks who have a bit of distance (both from you personally and from the matter-at-hand). It's not about speeding to a final product, as much as thoroughly sorting out what's not working. Thus, plan on plans taking longer than usual to execute for a few weeks.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Looking out for your own pleasure is an important matter. Yes, I know, Virgo, you've been well-trained to delay, or altogether refrain from, self-gratification (and if it wasn't 'training', then it must've been an innate trait), in order to serve that pressing duty of 'all that must get done'. Far too easy to dismiss yourself in this automatic process of productivity, isn't it? Presently, the planets are telling a story about a mighty drive churning in you, which essentially demands you be free to partake in whatever activities you most enjoy… at least enough of a taste that you feel you're living your life as a creative self-exploration, and not merely as a sharp brain and efficient pair of hands put to work. And I'm just sayin', if you don't obey this serious demand (it's coming from inside your eager heart, silly, that's where), you're liable to develop an undercurrent of mean-spirited snideness in your casual exchanges—mainly because you can't help but be annoyed at not doing as you'd please, if not simultaneously envious of others who are. (Luckily, there's an obvious antidote for that.)


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): In the war for control over your internal self-care mechanisms—and make no mistake, Libra, this is a battle you should be actively engaged in—you can't cede command to short-sighted desires to minimize drama and attain delicate temporary peaces that'll only get you through tomorrow. Any moves to 'straddle a line' are really just a strategy of selling yourself short… of compromising (1) whatever will foster your own well-being against (2) the old tendency to make yourself smaller, to talk yourself out of needing what you need, or to otherwise choose 'not rocking the boat' over facing the evolutionary challenge not to settle. You really ought to pick your side with conviction (uh, we're talking about siding with your emotional health here), and the moment your 'reasonable' mind starts spitting up reasons not to 'bother', shut it up. There is no worthy compromise to make. It's all you, for the win. Therefore, inadvertently snippy remarks made to family members or housemates could be avoided altogether by instead offering consciously forthright statements of emotional truth (which, in this circumstance, are surprisingly unambiguous).


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Just because you've got the active social advantage per the astrology (i.e., Venus in your sign sextiling a busy 3rd-house of planets), that's no excuse to get too comfortably haughty in imagining you're pulling the wool over anybody's eyes. I'm worried about you underestimating others' capacity for reading between the lines, Scorpio… falsely assuming they won't determine you're looking down upon them, making jokes at their expense, and/or flaunting the untold secrets or unoffered invites right under their supposedly clueless noses. For the record, this is what we call 'abusing your power'. But beyond the obvious problem created by malevolently lording one's perceived superiority over anyone else (an alignment toward others which I definitely don't endorse), there's also the functional error of their presumed ignorance. Even if they don't understand the full implications or insinuations in your address, they'll surely sense something's not right—and, in natural response, will be mistrustful of you and your motives. (Rightfully so, of course.) Let's hope you won't need their sympathetic camaraderie later…


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): All conscious confidence-building exercises are presently favored, Sagittarius. You ought to think highly of yourself, after all, if you expect anybody else to treat you with the highest respect. I strongly urge you to concentrate, in detail, on all the different skills and talents you've collected over the years… how much self-possessed agency you carry to effect tremendous changes in your current situation, largely on your own steam… and, damn right, how hungrily you now anticipate reaping the long-awaited boon of monetary compensation from your energetic expenditures. During this reflection, I also encourage you to notice whenever your confidence-building efforts veer from (1) talking yourself up to (2) talking anybody else down. Such glitches in thinking obstruct you from alignment with 'the Forces that Be'—whether bosses, prospective clients, a community of colleagues, or the cumulative sum of popular opinion of you—who must choose to give their dollars to you, if you hope to get richer. Too much bald criticism of others (a.k.a. envious eyeing of their successes in relation to yours) or general anti-authoritarian attitude must be rooted out of what you tell yourself about yourself. Your fabulousness is its own issue entirely.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): This is another one of those increasingly common instances where I remind you to embody a model of impeccable purpose-driven leadership… not only for your own personal growth, but to inspire greatness in others at a time when far-reaching vision is our only path to salvation from many collective messes. I will likely continue laying this trip on you, Capricorn, whenever transformational agent Pluto—who has taken up long-term residence in your sign—forms important aspects to other planets, as he does this week. If anybody is going to strive to hit a renewed level of high accountability in their public doings, it's got to be you, right? (Please say yes.) With Mercury's retrograde (beginning Fri Dec 10) as a key piece of the action in your sign, a big part of the lead you need to take is not allowing less relevant topics, gossipy hearsay and/or outright personal attacks to hijack the discourse. If you must, you should even feel free to be rather firm in your refocusing of others' mindsets… without, of course, inadvertently falling prey to the same attacks or irrelevancies you're trying to shut down in others. You have stuff to get done, after all. Might as well reread last week's scope, for good measure.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): No need to externalize the darker, duskier inclinations swirling around inside you, Aquarius. Like all things, these semi-formed self-destructive urges will pass by of their own accord—without any need on your part to seek out active participation in such subversion. The fantasy of truly 'throwing caution to the wind' and embracing nihilist behavior, as if nothing ultimately matters but our inevitable barreling toward death, comes from an earnest foundation: You do see through this cheap crappy illusion of 'shared reality', and, at certain times in the cyclical nature of human response, you will feel like tossing out a giant 'fuck off!' to everybody who's blind to their existential blindness. For now, nothing too good will come from you outwardly raising this perspective. In fact, if you're not careful, you could easily stir conflict with individuals who you consider examples of 'everything that's wrong' (a glaring clue that you're projecting onto them). Lay low for a spell, keeping to yourself whenever possible. Funny thing is, if you leave well enough alone, a scrap or two of good news you've been awaiting could find its way to you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Who exactly you keep company with—not just the special one right by your side, but the entire coterie of friends and peers and comrades—is presently an area requiring firmer-than-usual boundaries. Don't you see, Pisces, how your character is influenced, and consequently judged, on the behavior of those broadly considered to be 'on your side'? You mustn't naively assume you'll be appraised based solely as an individual, when certain others may be perpetrating ideological representations of the group that presume your implicit agreement… when, in fact, you do not share their beliefs or their preferred methods. In other words, tacitly standing by does essentially equate to giving your blessing. However, you needn't hastily eject any perpetrators flat out, without engaging in a conversation where you (1) inquire straight into the specifics of what you don't vibe with, to get a better sense of where they're coming from, and (2) let them know, in no uncertain terms, how their short-sighted actions could likely make you look bad. They don't like the feedback? Oh, well. If you can't delve into contentious territory with a so-called ally without the alliance cracking under the pressure, let it crack. (Guess it wasn't so sturdy to start with.)