Horoscopes | Weeks of December 20, 2010-January 2, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): We could look back over your 2010 and see a year that promised a lot, followed through on some of that promise (while stubbornly reserving full satisfaction on that front), and schooled you in the fine art of sustained effort. At every step taken, Aries, it seemed you were met with unforeseen complications and/or a sophisticated form of interpersonal resistance that usually left you (rather than the opposing individual) looking like the problematic one. Consider this past year a test, then, of whether your selected path has proven to be well worth the hassles of continuing to pursue it. (We also covered this last week.) And let's be clear about this 'test': There are no failing grades here, merely recommitments or redirections to make. If you've chosen to stick with it, it's probably because you've seen a noteworthy gain or two over this past month… though even still, each gain comes with a countervailing call to (yes, again) check in with those folks who remain in a position to slow or stunt your progress. More so than in a long time, your destiny is less solely in your hands than a product of both your independent efforts and the support (or lack thereof) from other stakeholders. Don't let that get you down. This is a temporary situation. The more thoroughly you accept the necessary annoyance of other people having a say in how you proceed now, the less they will be in your way later. Think of it as a hoop you must jump through, in order to demonstrate your seriousness to 'The Universe' (or whomever), a benevolent force that merely needs to see you've considered the wider social impact of your developing empire. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Adopting 'preservationist' tactics often means committing to a series of minor unobtrusive adjustments, intending to shore up all existing structures so they may continue to exist, more or less in their current guise (albeit stronger and more gussied-up), for an even longer time. Sounds like a pretty solid approach to the future, doesn't it, Taurus? Well, I'm here to report that preservation is not all it's cracked up to be… mainly because it presumes our underlying drives of purpose remain the same over many years of personal evolution, and only the methods and tools and foundational support-beams need be updated. Due to Pluto's long-term presence in your solar 9th, I deem that presumption to be false. You have made (and will continue to make) hugely significant shifts in what consciously matters most to you—and therefore, you can't really reattune your life to this new 'vision statement' through piecemeal corrections and partial patch-jobs that, while warding off immediate chaos or collapse, don't go far enough. This shouldn't strike you as new news, alas. We're essentially ending this year on the same note I sent you out on last year: with a long gaze into the future, setting far-reaching moral goals for yourself around which everything else can gravitate. Only difference is, you've already been working on this, though the progress is undeniably slow-going. You're going for a cumulative effect here, one which should surely yield fruit (through new opportunities and renewed enthusiasms) in the second half of 2011. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Let's think back on 2010 as The Year of No More Pretending. I mean, come on, Gemini, we've got to find some interpretive silver-lining to these many months of tough psychological challenge… and, if I'm being quite sincere, these experiences have forced you to think twice before rerouting your consciousness around any potholes, as if you could somehow circumvent the dark side by getting ahead of it and outsmarting it. (Surely you've hit up against certain disheartening limits to what your cleverness can do for you, yes?) But for what you've recently temporarily sacrificed in easy-going lighthearted fare, you've in return gained a fuller firsthand understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in people's lives. You've tasted flavors of debilitating grief, seemingly irreconcilable fury, and/or a hopeless lack of personal sway over what'll happen next… which has hopefully given you greater compassion for those who get 'stuck' in circumstances they find too overwhelmingly painful to move through. You'll walk away from this year humbled, more intimately connected with the complexities of the human spirit, and likelier in the future to grant 'troubled souls' more leeway in their struggles with adversity, now that you really 'get it'. Thankfully, though—and you must constantly remind yourself of this—you aren't the type to get 'stuck' here. Even if you can't yet see the light at the end of this long tunnel, you will eventually reach it. And once there, I suspect you'll have no shortage of ideas about what to do next. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don't mistake this holidaytime rush of emotions as some intuitive instruction about what your imminent future will bring. If anything, Cancer, these are emotional remnants of old business on its way out… and you're being offered this 'recurrence' experience as a wrap-up, a reminder of what you're leaving behind and a compelling case for continuing moving forward. Alas, if you don't consciously recognize this for what it is (and isn't), then you can too easily fall prey to reliving these feelings as if they are fresh—and repeating your habitual reactions to them, which creates another situation eerily similar to one you've already experienced. Hop off that karmic hamster-wheel, which keeps you stuck as long as your first instinct is to dash inward. The path less traveled, where the unfamiliar territory forces us to develop new responses, points clearly toward heightened connections with other people—if not straight to one particular individual, a special somebody who can provide you new insights on how best to navigate the emotional bumps. But no one can help you evolve if you're unwilling to let 'em in. You have kept yourself 'safe' too long. It's time to 'risk' being seen in all your sensitive, moody, romantic splendor-and- glory. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Use your last two weeks of the year, Leo, to shake off the peculiarly aimless and indistinct quality that's characterized much of your '10. It's not that your year has been especially counterproductive to your desired purposes (at least I hope not), but more that your effectiveness has shown up sporadically, in fitful starts and stops, leaving you to wonder at every turn whether you're 'getting anywhere'. There's no denying how hard it is to trust such phases of evidently inconsistent development are indeed an essential part of our process… despite knowing that every year can't bless us with a straight upward climb from Point A to M or N. That said, I'd expect 2011 to be better for you, in terms of revealing more obvious results from your efforts—though the latter half of the year is a surer bet than the former, and you should expect to receive no reprieve from the need for ongoing daily attention to the goal(s) at stake. Hard work remains the name of the game. But not only must you diligently toil away toward tomorrow's rewards, you've also got to stay connected to your social world in an informative, though non-self-important, manner. 'Word of mouth' is an essential element to your ongoing success, even if you can't quite understand its mechanisms fully. Keep your contacts up to date on what you're working on… without coming off as if you think you work harder than everyone else. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): If you're 'doing you' appropriately, Virgo, you should notice you're starting to care less and less about what other people (real ones or a hypothetical imagining of them) think of you. This is both (1) a broad theme in your life that's evolving over the course of many years and (2) an issue that's become increasingly ripe in the past month or so. Just to be clear, giving yourself permission to follow a desire regardless of feared social fallout (the key to this whole lesson) is not the same as purposely being an asshole just to prove you can (which doesn't strike me as your natural style, but could easily manifest as a reaction to having held yourself down too long). It all hinges on the distinction between expressing your individual freedoms and rebelling against the infringement of these freedoms: The former behavior is wholly self-focused, while the latter still revolves around the (actual or perceived) attitudes and opinions of others, since we only feel 'infringed upon' when an outside force is obstructing our free movement. Hopefully, you've gotten such rebelliousness out of your system… if not earlier during the year, then certainly over recent weeks. Going forward into the new year, then, you're due to get better at fine-tuning this freer self-expression (and all the FUN that comes with it!), so it doesn't pose as much of an apparent lurking threat to your practical side (who doesn't feel good if s/he's shirking responsibilities). Without the rebel factor egging you on toward uncharacteristic carelessness, you'll find a steadier balance between your grounded-pragmatist's interests and those of your burgeoning creative-kook. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It wouldn't surprise me if these couple weeks of holiday celebrations create shades of inner discontent, Libra, at moments in which you must confront those family members or intimate loved-ones who always seem to make everything more difficult than it need be. It's just such high-maintenance relations, of course, that unconsciously planted in you the handy defense mechanism of superficially 'going along with whatever'… which keeps you out of the line-of-fire and off their radar, if not also pinched and pressed into a small corner of nonchalant insincerity. Sure, you maintain the pleasant profile—while silencing your authentic self and giving the pain-in-the-ass a free pass on their domineering behavior. If you've been reading this horoscope column for any length of time, you should know that, with Saturn midway through his transit of your sign, you remain under a powerful hot-seat pressure to not sell yourself out, in attempts to minimize the outward grief others could give you when you don't meet their demands or expectations. The concern for preserving public appearances (at all costs?!?) has been giving way to the uncompromised prioritization of your internal relief, a subjective measure that is solely up to you to identify. Use these couple weeks as practice for treading a middle-ground on this issue: You don't have to be a sullen asshole should you find yourself annoyed or moody, but neither need you let them bully you into false smiles, polite dishonesty or tacit approval of their asshole maneuvers. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): We love your 'all or nothing' zeal, Scorpio. We are strongly drawn to your 'not worth it if it's just casual' passions, if not simultaneously intimidated by the concern we won't prove ourselves substantial enough to warrant a mutual attraction. But sometimes I worry about what you miss out on during those interim segments between one Big Thing and the Next, as if only certain moments of your life are where all the significant experience resides (and all the rest are just filler). It is not our predetermined assessment of relative importance that ultimately determines whether an episode, event or interaction will impact our lives and change us forever… if, that is, we're open to the notion that we don't know in advance who or what holds such transformational power. As long as we merely set out to attain that which we've set out to attain, we're liable to find just what we're looking for—and not much else. Yet, there's so much more to get ourselves into: surprise crushes and flirtations with folks who aren't ordinarily our 'type'; job projects that reveal an entire spectrum of interests, industries and artforms we'd never thought much about before; friendly visits that open up into exchanges of deep confidence; detours which, before we know it, turn into the main-street boulevard of our dreams. Don't hurry through these so-called in-betweens, as if to ignore that Fate has left prophetic clues and scraps of maps at every booth along this thoroughfare. Depending on where you pause to grab a drink of water or a passing respite, everything can turn in an instant. Why limit yourself to only the scheduled stops? Improvise. Meander. Dilly-dally. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Hope the celestial gods are getting a good laugh out of the cosmic joke that Mercury is retrograde in your sign, Sagittarius, throughout the holidays. You're already known for being a bit too loose-lipped for comfort, at least as far as certain sensitive types are concerned… and your temptation to speak before thinking things through only increases during these couple weeks. I say, as long as you aren't inviting trouble by mouthing off to those whose mental states aren't assuredly stable enough to spare you their maniacal messiness (see: last week), you might as well work with the energy—and be purposely provocative at the Xmas dinner table. But don't stir controversy without getting something out of it (besides meaningless entertainment) for yourself. If you're going to place your own foot willingly into your mouth, do so in order to liberate yourself from the mannered manipulations and burdensome butt-kissing foisted upon you ('for too damn long now!') by family members, housemates or close friends who deserve to be called out on their shit. If you're going to cause a stink, let it be one in which you raise a valid point or shoot a sacred cow. Anything less isn't worth the noise it causes. Please be aware, of course, such actings-out could jeopardize future invitations… which may be just what you want, sick and tired of obligatory shows of 'togetherness' as you likely are. Such possible consequences, alas, are probably reason enough to at least pause to discern between a passing mood (which you probably ought to contain) and a long-suffered imposition on your soul (which you ought tolerate no longer). Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Just like last year at this time, Capricorn, this year's holiday season brings a stronger-than-usual impetus for serious introspection. Not only are you still chewing over the past few weeks' developments (hopefully without uttering an impromptu remark that 'jumps the gun' timing-wise, as I warned against last week), but you've got the whole 'year in review' retrospective to simultaneously run through. Bear in mind, as you both plot your next move and refine your annual edition of The Five-(or-Ten-)Year-Plan, that the onus on you to distinguish yourself as an upstanding individual remains a primary pressure—even as it threatens to tear larger rips between you and select other characters with whom your relationship no longer fits. While your stoic reliability often steers you to simply 'suck up' the growing incompatibilities with these certain folks, to manage these contradictions through incessant internal readjustments and recalculations, you're squandering a lot of effort on maintaining this status quo. Your burgeoning self-empowerment, meanwhile, suggests a better usage would have you expending that effort on building yourself up, rather than squeezing yourself into the slot relegated to you by somebody else. Whether a family member, a romantic partner, a close friend or business colleague is the limiting factor, I see you seeking to declare some kind of independence—whether an update in the terms of agreement or total release from the situation—sometime in 2011. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): For goodness's sake, Aquarius, keep a good grip on yourself. It is one thing to gallantly play the contrarian role among social company, wearing odd clothes or bringing along peculiar companions, providing purposely button-pressing comments on widely held views or otherwise shirking the rules of polite convention. You do this effortlessly, with a jaunty charm that seduces even those who simultaneously fear what you may drag them into. But it's entirely something else when you seek to rebel against yourself, which is a far less reliably charming proposition, considering, in order to 'succeed' at this endeavor, you must overthrow the conscious control you exercise over your own actions. And once you open that Pandora's box, you can't exactly pull the plug on the chaos whenever you decide you've had enough. Be careful, then, with how far you tempt yourself into the den of self-alienation, where the acts of revolt against 'our civilized nature' are both exhilaratingly addictive and potentially all-consuming. You're presently being courted by energies that the paranoid among us might deem as 'devilish', if only because they're spurring you to disrupt the neat lines of logic by which we collectively claim to understand how life functions. It's true: We don't know shit. However, recklessly courting a head-on rush into the core of existential meaninglessness, no matter how pure your intentions may be, doesn't do much for the 'normal' existence—which requires some coherent rules of engagement—you must keep up the rest of the time. Don't fuck yourself over trying to prove an esoteric point, tipping the balance too far into unsustainable nihilism. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Beware of the eggnog or other festive cocktails at the office holiday party or other community events, Pisces. You need your wits about you if you're going to be socializing with folks who occupy an elusive role somewhere between 'friend' and 'colleague'… who might hold a certain fondness for you, yet could just as easily turn the other cheek should you carelessly create a bad impression for yourself by forgetting the social context. 'A little harmless fun' could prove to be not as harmless as you'd assumed, if you start telling bosses, co-workers or teammates what you really think, just because it's later in the day or you're in a bar instead of the conference room. Don't mistakenly convince yourself that upholding standards of decorum is the same thing as being phony… a mindset that quickly leads you to dispense with a public diplomacy you really ought not to drop. While I don't mean to promote a paranoid hyper-attention to appearances, I also must mention: If you only know a person in one specific arena of life, you shouldn't automatically trust them across the board. Someone you shoot the shit with during work hours or while volunteering for the campaign isn't necessarily someone who has your back. Should they spy a self-serving opportunity in your possible fall from grace, a whole different side of this 'friend' could emerge. Please note: There will be no new horoscopes next week. Your next batch of horoscopes will be available on Mon Jan 3.