Horoscopes | Week of December 13-19, 2010

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You've hit a critical checkpoint in the battle to see your worldly ambitions manifest a significant outward impact. Having put so much blood, sweat and tears on the line, Aries, you should now be recognizing how much advancement you've made… and how much further there still is to go. You in-the-moment Aries folks are renowned for being better at starting things than following through to the end with them, though the unavoidable challenge ahead requires you to maintain a strategic perseverance (perhaps over several years even) that consistently prioritizes this ultimate goal over the minute-by-minute impulses to dash toward something more immediately exciting. That's not to say you won't have plenty of that impulsive get-up-and-go—it picks up again once Jupiter re-enters Aries next month. However, no matter how the temporary bursts of momentum come and go, charge and sputter, you've got to chomp down unwaveringly on that golden key to future fulfillment like a dog who'd maul anyone that tries to take his bone. This is not an easy posture to hold for long spans of time, and therefore it's perfectly acceptable if you're reaching the realization you don't have the wherewithal or desire to 'see it all the way through'. Be honest with yourself: Either recommit to adamantly refusing to budge from this dream, or come to peace with your urge to try a different dream for a while.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Regarding 'lines in the sand', I'm not telling you either to draw them or to refrain from drawing them, Taurus… only to inform you that such lines drawn now will have much more far-reaching ripples of consequence than those drawn at other times. Obviously, this could be a compelling reason to go for it, to make that last stand really count. (Yes, even during Mercury retrograde.) If, for instance, you want to tell somebody to get off your back already, it will come out more like, 'Leave me the fuck alone, asshole!' Gets the job done, perhaps rather permanently in fact—while, at the same time, adds an extra bit of nastiness to the tone of the interactions. (You'll convey your point all right, but they'll probably have a few things to say in response, which might not be pretty.) This could, alternatively, be an indicator that you ought to rethink your stance (Mercury is retrograde), for that very same reason: Are you sure you're ready for a 'last stand'? Once you put it out there, you can't take it back.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Life (not just yours, Gemini, but all of ours) is full of inescapable pain. We contend with infidelity and betrayal, injustice and warfare, sickness and death… and none of us escape unscathed. On the other hand, life is also full of bountiful blessings... and none of us escape untouched by the kiss of serendipidity's sweet lips. Of course, the events of certain periods are more heavily weighted toward supporting one perspective or another, so one could be forgiven for failing to acknowledge the subtleties of both perspectives always existing simultaneously (not to mention the zillions of middle-ground vantage-points) during such periods. You, Gemini, who understands these subtleties more than most—a positive way to spin those charges of relativism often used against you—have had to deal more directly with the 'inescapable pain' view over the 'bountiful blessings' one during 2010. And as I hinted at last week, this particular few weeks sure seems to be putting a cap of intense confrontation with a dark or difficult reality atop the whole damn thing. Don't fall prey to the either/or, black-and-white thinking. Otherwise, you'll miss the highlights of at least one other story (if not several) also unfolding alongside. Sometimes it's even appropriate to laugh and cry at the same time, especially in your situation.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm curious to know if, over the past couple weeks, you've confronted the emergence of some not-especially-easy-to-accept (but nonetheless pivotal to your personal lifestyle goals) awareness of the specific benefits and drawbacks of your existing relationship situation. I suspect, Cancer, this awareness has either (1) been thrust upon you by undeniable external circumstances, such as the unmistakably meaningful actions of another person, in stark shades that cannot be ignored, or (2) is swirling around your insides, searching for a path to outward manifestation, though you may simultaneously be working your ass off to push it down. In any case, the evidence is all right there… and if you are brave, you'll understand that actions untaken will merely further diminish the benefits while exacerbating the drawbacks. Incidentally, all I've said applies as equally to those of you who are single, happily partnered off or unhappily coupled up. There's always a tradeoff. As you attend to other unrelated responsibilities and chores, consider whether you're happy with your present end of this bargain.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you don't like the manner in which certain pieces of business (e.g., on-the-job projects, holiday plans, health concerns, household reorganizations) are presently being handled, you can rant and rave about it all you want. But for the time being, you shouldn't expect massive changes to occur overnight. In fact, Leo, the ranting and raving may indeed provide incredible relief to you… given you're not mouthing off in a personally threatening way to somebody who might 'fight back' and make things worse, that is. Reforms in process and productivity are likelier to find their way to reality if you indeed care enough to have strong opinions (even feisty or frustrated ones) about the existing problems. Take note, therefore, of those moments when your first instinct is to go a little ape-shit in response to a system that isn't working, an initiative that can't get off the ground, or a bad habit that's accumulating worsening results. (That's your passion for progress talking.) However, don't actually go ape-shit—certainly not while trying to work with the system, get the initiative going, or break the habit. Just take note, then express your ranting-and-raving feedback in some other unrelated context… with the main intent of channeling your passion into encapsulated thoughts, which can successfully guide you through the longer-term effort of making real lasting improvements.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): After having egged you on to fight for your own pleasure, I'm willing to consider, presuming you have done just that, you've observed some reaction to the experience. This reaction could involve you having impressed, surprised, titillated or repelled those who witnessed your display of unbridled self-gratification. Or, Virgo, the reaction may've arisen internally, as a sense of deep pride or burning shame in what you've just done. (If you haven't heeded this advice, alas, you're facing a whole different story: an increasingly resentful disappointment in yourself for indulging the fear that holds you back.) Regardless of what type of reaction you've received, from yourself and/or others, it's reasonable for you to privately reflect on the ups and downs of a more expressively 'out there' sort of lifestyle. Of course it's natural for you to rethink, to regroup, to wonder about the next next-step. Grant yourself that room. But insofar as trying any moves to erase what's happened, pretending you can return to a prior state of self-denial… well, that's both futile and self-destructive. In any case where you're contending with negative consequences from other people or shame-filled judgments from yourself, the 'right answer' isn't about limiting future pleasurable potentials—it's working through whatever antiquated feelings are incorrectly informing you that what you want is wrong.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Rather than privately stew about what someone close to you said or did—or what you thought they said or did, which could be startlingly different from their actual intent—it probably behooves you to talk about it. Of course, Libra, my first recommendation would be to discuss this directly with the person in question… if, that is, you're genuinely in an emotional place where you can go into it openly, ready to hear what they have to say instead of angrily indicting 'em before they've even offered their story. I'm willing to acknowledge, however, either (1) you are presently too upset to confront them in a productive fashion or (2) they are too clueless or unfeeling to make it worth your while. So you might talk it out, then, with somebody else who has no direct meaningful relationship with said culprit… in order to release some of that pent-up agitation, to hear an uninvolved and non-upset party's outside take on the matter, and/or to get yourself out of your head, where the stewing could further worsen your outlook. There's a lot to work through here. Be patient, thorough and exacting. Jumping to conclusions only serves to erroneously simplify a complicated internal situation.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): While I've been writing horoscope after horoscope for all the other signs, proffering various warning about how to handle the intense energies of last week and this one (because lots of folks are facing pivotal 'points of no return' and must decisively act toward what sort of futures they really want), I've had you in the back of my mind, Scorpio… mainly because, unlike nearly everybody else, you are merely experiencing the logical continuation of intentions and actions set into motion over the past few months. It's not like there's absolutely nothing new going on, but I imagine your latest developments are far less shocking—and far more to your liking—than those most everyone else is confronting. (You can thank Venus for that one, kiddos.) At this point, the main onus on you is to invest substantial effort and meaning in as many of your social interactions as possible, not only with friends and sort-of-friends but with total strangers too… showing them how very much you do understand what they're going through, and that you care about their well-being. That may include sharing typically private information about yourself, transcending the limits of politeness to help them 'get real', making imminent plans to follow up on their progress, and generally displaying a deep generosity of social engagement. Trust me: This is advice that, if followed, will make all parties feel better.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): People are going bonkers out there, Sagittarius. Can't you see it with your own two eyes? If I were to suggest 'treading lightly' (for the umpteen-millionth time, I know), please understand that such a suggestion would be more about their crazy than yours. Think of any efforts on your part to not stoke the fires of fanatic overreaction not as an outside constraint on your freedom, but as a conscious tactic of looking out for your own interests. In other words, to achieve certain results, an individual must often willingly restrain him/herself in exchange for future rewards. Shades of last week's horoscope should now be shining through, as we connect the dots between (1) your personal gain, especially on the financial front, and (2) your ability to resist the temptation to tell the nut-jobs just how friggin' insane you really think they are. Even if there's no direct correlation between the manner in which you earn your dough and the character(s) who's exhibiting the craziness, I assure you it's still unwise to remark so openly about others' shortcomings… if not for the invisible strings of karma (whatever the fuck that is) connecting all people and experiences in bizarre ways, then because you really ought to be focused on what you're doing, not what anybody else is up to.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): By the time the weekend rolls around and Mercury has retrograded back into your 12th house, Capricorn, you'll be in a position where it's probably smartest to back off from further discussion and allow the previous two weeks' developments to sink into your brain. This is a particularly monumental slice of your life, during which the actions you take and assertions you make will set a precedent for much of the coming months' and years' unfoldings… which should provide the rationale to inspire you to pause for a moment's mental reorientation. Now, of course, that doesn't mean the procession of events building one atop the other is due to cease, just because you take a breather. But you needn't comment on the situation, nor engage in too much discussion or debate with folks who'd seek to divert or decelerate the proceedings. Do just as much as is required to keep the situation where you want it, recognizing that holding ground, in this context, is essentially akin to a great gain. Continue modeling responsible leadership, while others sputter, flail, panic, oversteer, and/or shoot themselves in the foot. At the end of the day, the winner's the one who's still standing.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your secretive, seamy side is jonesing to come out and play, likely in sordid ways you yourself can probably admit aren't exactly the most helpful, healthful or honorable. And while it would be lovely to entertain the fantasy there won't be self-unraveling ramifications to contend with, if you wish away the dozen-or-so reasons to moderate your behavior and instead throw all caution to the wind… well, Aquarius, that's just the fantasy trying to beckon you into the web of its spell. Before you broker that unbreakable deal with the devil, consider the possibility these urges can teach you more about your highest spiritual nature by not indulging them… by allowing them to build up to near-unbearable levels, paying ever closer attention to the kaleidoscope of psychological responses that flash before your consciousness, spitting venomous nonsense like the girl from The Exorcist. Asking yourself, 'What's that all about it?' will give you much fodder for penetrating introspection. Giving in to the yearning to somehow 'be bad', on the other hand, merely provides predictable results—quick satisfaction, followed by guilt, followed by waiting for the shoe to drop, followed by another go-around at some later date. Over the coming years, you will need to gain a greater understanding of all this, or else fall victim to becoming your own worst enemy.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This week's horoscope is like Part Two of last week's, in which we discussed how you oughtn't implicitly allow friends or peers to misrepresent your beliefs, as you will be judged upon the company you keep. (In case this point wasn't clear, 'being judged by the company you keep' also applies in a positive way—if you align yourself with admirable, upstanding folks who make you proud, their gleaming influence can help lift you.) By the middle-to-end of the week, Pisces, I expect you'll be on the other side of some glaringly symbolic turn of events that unleashes the exact sort of repercussion due you, based on how thoroughly or lackadaisically you've vetted the people you surround yourself with. If you like how this turn is playing out, you should thank yourself for choosing allies wisely. (Thank them, too.) And if you don't… well, it could take a bit of time to weasel your way free from this miscalculation. So if that's the case, don't rush into making public statements to disavow your allegiance or disrespect your disappointing (former?) colleagues. That could actually leave you looking worse: inconsistent, disloyal, excessively image-conscious. You might have to sit on your disappointment a while longer; for now, it's enough to internalize this valuable lesson.