Horoscopes | Week of January 24-30, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Part of your newfound challenge of working collaboratively involves not always making public announcements until you've checked the wording and timing with your collaborator. I don't blame you, Aries, for your beginning-to-bubble-over enthusiasm with regards to what's now developing. But for the week ahead, I'd rather you err on the side of interpersonal due diligence than say too much (or the wrong thing) too soon (or in the wrong setting)… only to give your partner an unfortunate reason to mistrust your methods. Trust me, though: This need for extreme caution in your outward expression is not a sign of things to come. It's merely a temporary blip in the longer process of you two developing a surer rhythm with each other. In fact, later on, it wouldn't surprise me if the very behavior I'm warning you against now eventually turns out to be a quality they value in you. Let's not jump the gun, however. This week, put the relationship first. The public successes presumably headed your way will be a direct result of that insightful prioritization.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): There's much work to be done, Taurus… and, for the moment, little that needs to be said about it. So while it might constitute a fun time to gaze out into the annals of your future (as I recommended last week) and ponder what's on your horizon, you'd be better served to cut the contemplations short and push through that pile of papers (or your equivalent) presently demanding your concentration. Likewise, attending to that irksome health problem or long-overdue need to reintroduce exercise and/or good eating is something better done as soon as possible. The last thing we'd want is for you to short-change yourself on upcoming opportunities, due to your not feeling well after having ignored the bodily signals for too long. Ultimately, though, the immediate pressure to get on top of your shit does end up being linked to whatever exciting happenings you're anticipating (with or without specific knowledge on what it is). Faithful efforts made now will free you up to take fuller advantage later. Just don't waste your time navel-gazing about that 'later' when there's still much work to be done.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you're hoping for a 'meeting of the minds' (or, perhaps more importantly, a 'meeting of the hearts'), you're going to have to tone down your pride… and work extra-hard to put yourself in the other person's shoes. It's not that you're 'wrong' and they're 'right', Gemini; in fact, as long as that's the model you're functioning under, you can expect to continue missing their point. And it would truly be a shame for you to squander Venus's pleasant influence on your one-on-one relationships (she's still in your solar 7th) over an unwillingness to listen to their feelings. The only way through this potential glitch in mutual understanding? Patiently communicating about an issue that perhaps you'd prefer not to have to discuss (at least not right now). Yet, should you take the time to see it all the way through, you're likely to reach a much deeper intimacy with them… with positive consequences unfolding gradually over the coming couple months. Still, there's no doubt that part of the formula for success in this communication involves softening your self-interest—and prioritizing their satisfaction as well as your own.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): It's futile for a Cancerian to try to force an articulate summary out of emotions not yet fully processed, as I'm sure you well know. So while the onus may be on you to pull your weight in a certain one-on-one dialogue, and while the timing generally favors such dialogues… well, it seems that perhaps this week, the cat has got your tongue. If I am evidently contradicting last week's edition, which was all about radical truthfulness in your primary relationship(s), let's just say I'm working off the assumption that you have been forthright already—and in the aftermath of that, you (and/or the other person) need a momentary breather to integrate what's come out, before moving on to the next phase of discussion. That's right, Cancer: Radical truthfulness is not a one-time-conversation sort of deal. It requires starts and stops, intimate disclosures followed by private processing of said disclosures. If you had a conversation already, you're now in an in-between moment… and the talks can pick back up again in a week or two. If you haven't, then you've got some work ahead of you, don't you? Spend your week thinking about what you're leaving out of the story you've been telling yourself…


LEO (July 23-August 22): Plan on a smidgeon of minor delay, Leo, which you might experience as 'irritatingly unnecessary' because it appears you're having to jump through interpersonal hoops you might deem pointless. Nothing productive, alas, will come from you assessing what qualifies as 'necessary' as long as other people are involved. You could find yourself having to engage in drawn-out conversations or far too many back-and-forth texts or emails, in order to ensure none of the involved parties feel excluded or unimportant (even though, if you had your way, one or more of them would be left out). With other positive astro-aspects occurring alongside this one zone of temporary frustration, I urge you not to let your reactions get out of hand. Why bother? You're in an otherwise sweet spot, where your likability bears the potential to win over the hearts and/or minds of certain folks you'd like to get closer to. Losing your cool over relatively insignificant bumps on the road—really, no bigger of a deal than your average pothole—is what's really pointless.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): What you want to say and what you probably should say (in order to protect certain self-interests) could be two very different things this week, Virgo. And while I hate to be the kind of guy who 'should's all over you—because the last thing the average Virgoan needs is more strictures and guidelines they should be observing—I'm going ahead with it in this case, in order to save you possible regret or self-flagellation later on. Let me clear, though: This is a passing influence, courtesy of a Mercury-Saturn square, and oughtn't be considered advice to follow on a longer-term basis. From the bigger-picture perspective, you're still on a path to freer self-expression (as opposed to the careful choosing of words I'm suggesting for the time being)… which also includes you coming to wholeheartedly welcome the sometimes-messy aftereffects of speaking your mind so boldly. I guess part of that lesson, then, is realizing hard fast rules about when and how to do this rarely apply across the board, in any and every instance. Sometimes, like right at this very moment, it's best to be conservative in your communications. Do too much of that in life in general, however, and you short-change yourself of a lot of possibilities.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As Saturn in your sign stands still and shifts to retrograde motion, he's all tangled up in a square with Mercury in your 4th… an indicator of you being caught between a rock and a hard place, in terms of knowing how much to say about your inner truth, with both authenticity and grace. This question of authenticity has continued to pop up, Libra, with Saturn testing you to find the proper balance between (1) rightfully taking others' opinions and feelings into account and (2) flat-out pandering to 'em, to gain their favor and/or to sweet-talk them into giving you what you want. This is an especially precarious week with regards to this issue… which leads me to speculate that you'll help yourself by seeking out those few folks in your life with whom you can air all your most unsavory thoughts, without worrying that you've jeopardized the relationship. Chances are, those people aren't the same one(s) you're actually feeling upset by/about. But if you're hoping that problematic figure(s) will be open to a heart-to-heart come-to-Jesus on the topic… well, I strongly support that cause, but not this week. (Why make things even harder for yourself?)


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't addle your brain, asking yourself why a dip in mood would be happening now, after you thought you'd finally ditched the dark cloud that followed you through much of '10. By even engaging with the demons in your head, Scorpio, you're giving 'em power that they actually don't currently possess. Consider any passing negativity a 'drive-by'; it enters the neighborhood one day, but is likely to be gone by the next or the one after that. If you have to opt out of what you imagined would be a pleasurable visit with a friend or neighbor because you know you're just not feeling it, so be it—as long as you make an agreement with yourself to reschedule within two weeks. Though I gave you great liberties to indulge your darker sides last year, that free license has not been renewed for 2011. Grumble and grunt, wallow or whine for no more than a week… and for a much shorter duration, if you do yourself the favor and trust my interpretation that there's not actually much of a reason for the moody blues.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You might find yourself struggling to deliver the message about your own requirements (i.e., whatever it is you need to feel personally safe and secure), due to the inability of a teammate or friend to hear what you're saying… or to treat it with the seriousness you know it deserves. This is both (1) a challenge for you to repeatedly stay on message, without veering into irrelevant criticisms or an angry tone, until you receive the proper acknowledgment, and (2) a potential clue about the truer nature of this peer, who may prove to be less 'on your side' than superficial appearances of allegiance might appear. But on this second count, Sagittarius, don't outwardly jump to conclusions; simply hold this possibility close to your chest, and watch how things progress over the coming weeks. Remember Venus is still in your court, a sign that, if you're willing to play a bit of diplomatic volleying (while still focusing on your primary intention), you're likely to emerge with the advantage… for now.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): A little 'playing to your audience'—especially if it includes your boss, an important client, an authority figure, or a significant slice of the public—would definitely do you some good this week. The manner in which you present yourself and your ideas, Capricorn, will have ripples of ramification (for better or worse)… and the folks on the receiving end of your performance (and, yes, I have purposely used that word) are looking to you to reflect both confidence and complete professionalism. In other words, no offhand off-color references, jokes made at anyone else's expense (or even at your own, if there's a chance they'll misread it as self-doubt), or sarcasm that's so wry they altogether miss it. Once you pass this 'image test' (and I'm assuming you will), you should expect to receive word of your good marks a couple weeks from now, once Venus hits your sign. Until then, reserve your sillier or more boisterous side for private encounters… and keep your stage makeup on whenever you're out in the world.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Strip universalizing statements, ideological treatises, hard-line morality fables and other potentially preachy-sounding truisms out of your lexicon for the next couple weeks, Aquarius. You don't need to hit anyone over the head with the ideas swimming around in your head, as if their sheer brilliance in your frame-of-reference will neatly translate to genius from their perspective. In short, you ought to hold judgmental tendencies at bay… and though you might not consider yourself that type of person, we've all got our judgments, and you're likelier than usual to inadvertently slip 'em into conversation as soon as you begin doling out unsolicited advice or getting more involved than is appropriate. I'm not suggesting you keep your mouth shut, however—merely encouraging you to share your insights in the form of first-person narrative rather than purportedly objective life-philosophy. Better yet, be buoyant when you agree with their sentiments… and humbly soft-spoken should you beg to differ. Worry about winning their hearts, not winning the (imagined?) argument.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Don't overcomplicate the matter, Pisces. There's a heightened chance you'll take a certain thread of conversation far more personally than the pals or colleagues involved actually intended. So before you tout your intuitive knack for reading between the lines, consider that, in this situation, it's possible you're reading something that isn't actually there… at least not in their conscious awareness. Allowing emotional fears or frustrations to riddle your responses with an overly defensive or apologetic tone only puts you in the hot seat—with the self-fulfilling potential to create the very type of interpersonal complication you suggested they were creating (though they weren't). When in doubt, at least for the week ahead, assume the best of their motives. Be breezy in your exchanges, and blow off possible slights. (If they're really out to attack you, you'll receive clearer evidence further down the road.) If you forego the excessive intensity and instead commit to zooming past any chance for awkwardness, Venus and Neptune will gently enhance your outward reputation… though you'll be unlikely to understand exactly how.