Horoscopes | Week of February 7-13, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Let your partner, spouse or sidekick help open the magic door(s) for you. You're in an enviable, yet simultaneously threatening, position at the moment… and rather than trying to moderate where on the spectrum between 'assertive' and 'aggressive' you're liable to fall in any given instant, Aries, it would be wiser to leave the political wrangling to someone more naturally suited for it. You have been fostering such relationships (as I've repeatedly reported Saturn currently expects of you), right? At the same time you're hitting a peak of faith in your 'self-making' power (as in 'I'm a self-made success!'), you must also allow in the quiet recognition that no individual operates in a vacuum—and that the unknowable, uncontrollable hand of Fate responds best when we conceive of our self-made efforts as a tiny part of an indivisible whole, showing proper respect for the mutual interpenetration of everybody's impacts on each other's lives. (Did you digest all that?) The illusion of the 'self-made man' masks the reality that, at every step, small favors and considerations offered by others assisted that 'man' in 'making' himself. Though you're at the top of your game, you still need those favors and considerations.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You've got an exceptionally level-headed mind for the work-related details right now, Taurus. So please use this window of opportunity for strategic good-use, or you'll unnecessarily squander time on sorting these items out later, once the vibe is more 'act fast or you lose' (an astro-climate not especially hospitable to you Taureans). All your efforts should start from the place of solid principles, your essential philosophic building-blocks for discerning priorities and issuing judgment-calls. What is your purpose for this immense expenditure of earthly energy? Never let this answer veer far from the forefront of your awareness, lest you fall into a robotic fulfillment of tasks you can't clearly remember the importance of. Be mindful: There is no particular reason why you need to do all the actual work yourself. In increasing doses over the coming years, your voluntary admission of the supposed 'weakness' involved in asking for help from others will in fact strengthen your ties with friends, teammates and/or the community-at-large. Just because you're a rock, you needn't also be an island.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The ways in which you presently appeal to people, Gemini, are not those you are accustomed to deploying. You needn't maintain a breezy ease. You can let a weighty expression of serious self-reflectiveness hang out there, unapologized for, unmitigated by qualifying statements intended to keep the other person from becoming unduly affected. In fact, your readiness to tell it like it really is—to contend with the gritty meat-'n'-potatoes that makes life both incredibly difficult and therefore morally rewarding—is a quality that will majorly win you favor, admiration and affection. To feel less alienated from other people, you've got to wear your sorrow or suffering publicly like a coat of many colors sewn from rags. These emotional rough-edges comprise what we share as humans. Does that mean your display won't scare anybody away? I can't guarantee that. A better question to examine: Why do you care if you scare somebody away with your genuine reality? What does such a person mean to you, anyhow?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): For the time being, Cancer, you've got an unusual knack for putting into intelligible words those complex sentiments you typically agonize over trying to express. And if you've followed the narrative trajectory I've laid out in recent horoscopes (pick up the thread from last week's here), you know the timing couldn't be better. It is not presently your job to assess the relative 'worthiness' of your feelings on any hot-button topic… instead, simply to do yourself the service of unpacking them from their stuffy storage place via communicative exchange. A Venus-Pluto conjunction in your relationship house (the solar 7th) increases your likelihood of building deeper intimacy in key one-on-one partnerships through taking psychological risks, though coaxing a Cancerian out from her/his shielding shell is never an effortless proposition. The ultimate end-results, alas, justify the uncomfortable means. And on the off chance your risky communications push the other person away (perhaps even on a 'no going back' level)… well, you've got to believe me when I say: This just clears your interpersonal space for a new-and-improved model to be welcomed.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You can kill two astrologically-influenced birds with one stone, Leo, by proactively initiating one-on-one interactions with individuals who possess some wisdom or logistical insight relevant to your current efforts… the sort of word-of-mouth knowledge that'll immediately support you by introducing sleeker methods, beefed-up results, enhanced bodily well-being, and/or other improvements in how you take care of your day-to-day business. (Of course, once you seek the counsel, you must be willing to hear it through with openness, though it may at first sound weird.) The transformational promise emanating from your solar 6th seems to indicate your being drawn into entirely new frameworks for managing your health and/or productivity, most likely requiring a total revamp (and the headaches that'll accompany it) which eventually leads to an amazing triumph. But you needn't focus solely on the 'how to do stuff better' theme in utilizing this Mercury/Saturn influence across interpersonal houses: As long as you employ patience once on the receiving end of communications great and small (particularly the so-called 'small'), you should find yourself quite easily able to direct these exchanges into the very territory you'd like to explore. 'Exploring', by the way, involves not knowing exactly where the road heads… yet going down it anyway, in the spirit of curiosity.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): If I thought I could get away with simply reprinting last week's horoscope for you, Virgo, I just might, considering the two main trends—(1) work hard and (2) play hard—are both still wildly relevant. But since I can't bear the possibility of fielding all the irked emails, let me build further upon this premise. As far as the 'work hard' part goes, there's an economical flair to your process (even more so than usual) that presently allows you to accomplish much by using very little… which is particularly helpful since Saturn's long-term presence in your 2nd continues to make this something of a 'preservation' period in financial and other practical matters. This is your moment for making bundles out of two thin dimes, streamlining logistics with a few excised steps or a handy auto-fill, and/or crafting the equivalent of folk art out of plastic bottles and scrap metal. On the 'play hard' front, you remain under a Venus/Pluto spell in your 5th, accentuating the power of love to knock you on your butt with life-changing reach. If you're not feeling the love via heightened interpersonal romance, then by all means devote your love to something—whatever your cherished 'baby' may be. After all, work may be what we do in our productive usefulness… but love is really what makes the world go 'round.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Yes, I have been pushing you hard in many of your most recent horoscopes, Libra… though, more properly, it's Saturn (and not your dear astrologer) who's been doing the pushing. And it's certainly not over yet. However, that said, if you've been rising to the challenge of greater authenticity (i.e., not watering your self-assertions down to overly conciliatory gestures or near-passivity), you should now be feeling fairly sturdy results in the core of your being—a powerful self-gratifying delight that, despite what you may've previously told yourself, it is possible to put more of your true feelings and desires out there while still remaining courteous and respectful. (Or perhaps you demonstrate even greater courtesy and respect to others by being real?) Your ruler Venus is presently positioned to aid any moves on your part toward communicating what's pleasing and enjoyable to you… with the eagle-eyed discipline to catch yourself before you say anything that's only partly or sort-of forthright. Inside you, what must fuel this self-discipline is an adamant refusal to cede control over your own emotional self-care to anybody else. Their reactions to your fullest being are theirs to sort out; your anxieties flare up when you attempt to do it for them.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I can't tell you enough times, Scorpio, that the antidote to becoming your own worst enemy is to be socially out-and-about in whatever qualifies as 'your local neighborhood'. The good you'll do, the surprisingly potent impact you'll make, and the powerful relational solidarity you'll create are far more worthwhile ventures than internally picking away at your emotional scabs. For your highest benefit, you must concentrate your strength on holding back the irrational self-doubts, the suspicions, the vengeful fantasies, or anything else that isn't based on a tangible outer circumstance other people can just as convincingly attest to existing. The funniest part is, as epic and potentially gloomy as my prior sentence might sound, the threat to your sanity rapidly dematerializes into nothingness as soon as you're back in social circulation, no matter how superficial a given encounter may seem. It's not so 'superficial', after all, if the exchange at once (1) gets you out of your own head, providing you something else to occupy your momentary attentions with, and (2) holds the promise of your presence actually touching another person's life, even if in ways that appear minor (keyword: appear). So, what'll you have, pal? A pointless-and-reckless inner hell of your own making, or surprisingly meaningful experiences arising from casual interpersonal contact?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Participate in the conversation, but don't dominate it. Be engaged and involved with the social fabric, without acting to defiantly define yourself in harsh opposition to any particular individual or faction. I don't expect you to tone down your strong beliefs, as far as what goes down between you and the lamppost is concerned, Sagittarius… merely to consciously orient yourself within the guidelines of proper social conduct, at least for the time being. What might feel confining as I've described it, upon hasty first reaction, is instead a patient practice that could yield you an unforeseen ally or close pal—somebody who you might have prematurely ruled out or inadvertently rubbed wrong, had you not been actively paying attention to holding your affiliative options open. And who wouldn't benefit from a new friend with a perspective you typically don't consider? Another way of looking at it: If you're 'selling' yourself on the open market, in hopes of increasing your reach or boosting your value, you don't want to limit your market by needlessly alienating potential 'customers' or 'clients' with too polarizing a sales shtick.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): With Venus conjoining Pluto in your sign this week, Capricorn, you're in a special spot for (semi-?)consciously rallying the adoration of those who possess the capacity and/or desire to sincerely understand where you're coming from… while simultaneously stirring tremendous discomfort from those folks freaked out by your unwavering earnestness of character (though they probably couldn't articulate it in terms that approach such clarity). Under such an influence, it behooves you to check in with yourself about long-term goals. You're uniquely positioned to better connect your traits-in-waiting (i.e., those valuable qualities you can channel into tangible material results, but which aren't yet being deployed to maximal effect) with whatever unfulfilled ambitions are presently ripe for fuller manifestation. What do you want to spend the next three-to-five years working on? If you can identify a good chunk of that, actively offer your services to the relevant parties right now. Those who accept will really be on board. Those put off by the offer are not the ones to hitch your future onto… and it's better to know that sooner rather than later.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Openly, provocatively emit substantial tastes of your visionary brilliance. Your ideas (especially when divorced from the pragmatic worry of how to ground them) are waves of electrical music, upon which a broader population (many of whom wouldn't deem themselves 'thinkers') can dance a jig of hope for the future's marvelous possibilities. People around you are scared, Aquarius, by a world growing ever further out-of-sync from the constraining expectations they've inhabited from their families and schools and media outlets. What makes you so damned special is your ability to see beyond this habitual manner of being. Give them the gift of inventive foresight, strictly in impersonal 'theory' form… for the moment you start telling certain people to behave in a certain fashion, right here and right now, the melody disappears and the rhythm turns grating and the musicality is lost. Be purposely pie-in-the-sky, if you're coming from a place of liberty and justice for all. The taste of transformation is in the air, demanding its prophets to speak it into an early stage of creation.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): First, a reminder: Don't stress about getting that much done in the short-term, as this interval of time isn't exactly about productivity. And now onto the bigger story, which involves the beginning stirrings of an embrace of stereotypically Piscean values—in particular, empathic compassion—among the wider population. The very 'sensitivity' you may commonly find yourself apologizing for or attempting to overcome is, in fact, the exact sort of emotional intelligence by which we're all being increasingly called to model our behaviors. Shouldn't we be more acutely aware of others' pleasures and pains, and how our own actions might elicit more of one or the other sensation? Rather than take any specific forward initiative on this still-fledgling transition, Pisces, I simply encourage you to privately reflect on how your purest wishfulness for 'the greater good' (sometimes even at your own expense, which opens you up to the 'martyr' label) is a quality to be proud of… and how you might find ways, over the coming months and years, to proudly live it (in constructive contexts, of course) as an example for the rest of us. On a fundamental level, a vast majority of the complications we endure in this world would be alleviated by simply caring for one another's well-being. You know that already, but we'll soon need you to help teach that lesson.