Horoscopes | Week of March 14-20, 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Okay, let's review the rapidly unfolding emphasis on all things Aries, shall we? (1) Rascally rapscallion Uranus is finally back in your sign, to spur rebellious assertions of individuality for many years to come. He cordially invites your gloves to at last come off. (2) By week's end, the Sun will also head into the Aries zone (happy equinox!), forming a conjunction to Uranus at one of the most energetically-charged moments of the yearly cycle. If there were an aspect tailor-made for explosive new beginnings and/or defiant leaps ahead, you're lookin' at it. If you're not yet readying such a forward thrust for kickoff in the coming week or two, you'd better get to work. (3) Mercury and Jupiter come together in a second Aries conjunction, affording you a philosophic optimism that'll hopefully overpower any self-doubts, while helping to generate 'big ideas' which are more important as directional guideposts than as detailed strategies for how to complete each deed along. Even if you rethink the specifics later (Mercury does go retrograde two weeks from now), it oughtn't to impede upon your overall progress. (4) Mars, still dreamy in your solar 12th and lacking a certain spark, remains the primary deterrent to marked full-steam-ahead advancement. Until he hits your sign on Apr 2, please don't let impatience get the best of you. Once he's in your court, it'll all start flying.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Over the next couple months, you'll be playing host to a bombardment of strange instantaneous messages, cryptic epiphanies, irrational (but no less valid) awarenesses of certain situations being so very 'right' or equally 'wrong', and/or other lightning-fast injections of wisdom from other entities and dimensions. Yes, that sounds terribly un-Taurean, doesn't it? You are, after all, a sign of pragmatic-minded conservatism: 'Show me a tangible example, or I'm not likely to buy in.' In the short term, Taurus, you're going to have to override that strain of disbelief… if only because you're likely to receive unambiguous (but not exactly fact-driven) psychic clues about where your next best chances for advantageous growth are waiting, and who/what likely needs to be expelled from your life in order to take full advantage. For now, don't argue with my proposition that such knowledge can uncannily present itself, in the guise of otherworldly experience. (I told you: Suspend disbelief.) Pay close respectful attention to: daydreams and nocturnal visions; voices in your head; people, places or themes that repeatedly recur in unrelated contexts; and/or thoughts that make you inexplicably exuberant or despondent. Should you find a dearth of such experiences, literally pray for a sign. You're in a decidedly receptive limbo, gathering the nuts of enlightenment you'll rely on when manifestation begins in later-May or June.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Ask not what you are getting out of it, Gemini, but what you are bringing to it… a framing of the relationship between (1) you as an individual and (2) you as part of 'something greater' (e.g., your friend-group, teams or organizations you belong to, your community at large) that sets you up to ensure both questions at stake produce similarly satisfying answers. At present, the most impactful benefits you'll personally draw from any efforts will be tied to your ever-increasing willingness (at least it better be increasing) to actively participate as 'initiator' (if not 'instigator') in the social sphere. In other words, this is a 'kill two birds with one stone' opportunity to help yourself by helping others. And in case you're stuck on the word 'help', don't let me make this sound as exciting as picking up trash along the highway or ladling soup at the shelter… though those activities surely do qualify under this banner. I just don't want you to translate this advice as too staid or no-nonsense—it's more about centering your priorities outward, among the people, instead of myopically on your own set of circumstances. Reorienting yourself in a more social context helps provide companionship, camaraderie and joy to them… and helps remind you why you're ultimately such a people-person.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If the crowd can't see you yet, Cancer, perhaps you need a jaunty hat or a shiny metallic sportscoat to differentiate you from the others. This is no time to blend, my dear. As we covered in last week's installment, you're due to make a public splash… not merely to garner yourself an upswing of attention (though that's nice too), but as a go-getter sign that you're plucky enough to chase a goal with abandon (which means not catering to the ego's delicate worries about others' perceptions). After all, expending your professional efforts and/or community participations in a role that feels limiting, pointless or frustratingly short-sighted is a dead-end road; eventually, you're going to collide with a painful impediment. If you're on that road, you really ought to consider a sharp left turn at Albuquerque—and sooner rather than later. We can't afford for you to stifle your fighting spirit beneath the shock-absorbing cushion of 'just making it through another day'. If you aren't actively pushing toward a fuller release of self-determined creativity in your outer-world life, you must not be very serious about it… because if not now, when?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Allow the notion of 'elsewhere' to be a motivating impulse… not in an escapist manner, but as a means of broadening your vision. The world is huge, Leo. Much bigger, in fact, than any single encapsulating scenario or stymieing stuckness would prefer you to believe. Just when a cocky know-it-all (you or someone else) presumes to hold the comprehensive understanding, enter a thought-provoking voice from outside the bounds of these same damn reference-points. Here comes the bedeviling question that forces the mind outward into new considerations, the foreign perspective not yet explored, the 'other' as enlightening mirror. To channel this life-affirming excitement, then, you must direct your awareness elsewhere: Go someplace mind-expanding. Attend a consciousness-raising event. Pick up a different kind of book. Throw yourself into a philosophic pursuit. Visit the village wise-woman/-man. Set yourself on a new path. Reconnect with the basics of what's important. Exposure to the 'elsewhere' won't magically free you from the complications that still bind, yet will provide a fresh framework for assessing where to go next.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Should, at any point, you find yourself wondering why you've ended up in such a sticky spot (i.e., no easy path out, regardless of which way it goes), explain it to yourself like this: 'I've opted to double-down, for the ultimate "all or nothing" win.' Does such a declaration scare you, Virgo? It probably should… in the best sense of 'scariness' as the inescapable flipside of excitement, which includes radically acknowledging the vast cloud of The Unknown that looms over. The on-the-edge-of-your-seat jumpiness, the somersaulting sensation in your tum-tum, the untamed analyses that awaken you at 3 in the morning… these are simply the expected symptoms declaring that transformation is in the air. Though such experiences are admittedly unsettling as they're happening, you've got to trust they are preferable to the alternative—an increasing sense of disengagement or numbness when it comes to grappling with issues of your potential discontent. With such astrological pressure on your 8th house, where our psychological attractions and/or aversions to deeper intimacy are poked and prodded, you might as well embrace this snowballing slide toward catharsis, stormy or destabilizing as it may be. In my opinion, it beats the hell out of a long slow painful demise swallowing up years and years of your life.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): As a diligent astro-commentator, it's my duty to point out the torrent of planetary activity in your 7th house—the domain of our most important one-on-one relationships—which only continues to heat up over the next several weeks. Among the present influences in this interpersonal zone, Libra, are both Jupiter and Uranus… together symbolizing enhanced growth opportunities in how you relate directly with others (romantically, socially, professionally, even adversarially), best finessed by your most daring cracks at doing it differently. With these two heavyweights of expansive change involved, the astrological energy is pushing you away from safe stability or status-quo preservation of bland habits. 'Growth' in this context could mean sinking more conscious effort into a key partnership, riskily attempting to transcend previous limits on what was possible between you two, addressing any undercurrents of greater freedom being craved, or even ending a relationship that bears little likelihood of 'going anywhere' beyond where it's already been. Bravely meet this energy, and follow the wave where it takes you; it's your greater relational satisfaction this shake-up is designed to foster. Ignore it, however, and it just might crop up in unexpected (and less personally desirable) manifestations. Regardless, it demands expression.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Don't permit your workdays to drain your soul, Scorpio. Contrary to what you might tell yourself in low or frustrating moments, it's probably not the work itself that's wearing you down… and may merely be the manner in which you've organized the hours in your day. Be creative with scheduling, unconventional with methods, and responsive to your own bodily beats. There's more than one way to get something done, so why not choose the one that leaves you feeling fresh? Yes, of course, you might be in a situation where such freedoms appear unlikely or altogether unavailable. Is this a situation to settle for, all the while putting your literal physical well-being at risk? That's right: Freer expression in your day-to-day energy expenditures is currently an undeniable rallying-cry to heed on behalf of good health. Holding back what works best for you, to squeeze out productivity according to somebody else's time-management strategies, leads to pent-up life-force—a recipe for eventual illness, injury, anxiety or poor fitness. Make an attempt at having any requisite reorganization conversations, rather than presuming defeat before you've even tried. And if it's already a decided no-go, start contemplating whether this steady grind is worth ignoring your innate rhythms for.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): 'Outrageous!' or something very similar ought to become your stage name. If you aren't bouncing off the walls, echoing across the valleys, or waving your 'don't tread on me!' flag wildly in the wind… well, Sagittarius, you aren't taking proper advantage of the zany 5th-house frenzy happily shaking up your life. Contrary to so many other horoscope moments I've shared with you, there's presently no compelling reason to politely fence yourself in—only incentive after incentive to make your days as entertaining and enjoyable as you possibly can. Please know this is not merely an exercise in self-gratification. You're actually 'doing your service to the community' (I just have to throw in the lofty language, don't I?!?) by keeping a smile on everyone's faces… or at least a mildly perplexed or shocked look that demonstrates you've given 'em something daring, unusual or eye-opening to respond to. Even if you're still burning off unresolved anger or tension from a family issue or domestic dispute, don't let it douse the good times. The present momentum behind authentic self-expression (and all the self-affirming boons in confidence and, consequently, attractiveness that it'll yield) simply couldn't be better.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Important items to chew on, in continuation of last week's edition: Do you feel free to be your genuine self where you presently live? If so, what token of appreciation can you provide those housemates who've contributed to this accepting climate? Is there a renovating or redecorating effort you could carry out, to make a good thing even better? If you aren't feeling free, what would it take for you to improve the situation? Can it be resolved in this location, or do you need to move? (Be honest about this one—minus any stoic 'sucking-it-up' or convenient financial excuses. Your freedom in this context really is that pressing.) If a move is necessary, imminent or on the horizon, what must you do to adequately prepare yourself? Have you already determined the required non-negotiables in your next arrangement? Are you happy in your present city/town, or are jonesing for new environs? Does the (over)familiarity with this hometown you live in hold you back from taking risks? Or does its safety help foster a bolder you? And while we're at it, how close in proximity do you live to the family that raised you? Is this distance more than you'd like? Not far enough? An inhibiting factor on your further development, or just the support you need to continue 'coming into your own'? The week's advice: Treat your answers with sincere thoughtfulness. (They're that important.)


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Everything you need to jazz up your moment-to-moment existence is right in front of you. While your inner drama-queen might naturally gravitate to spectacular wham-pow avenues of reinventing your life—ashram retreats! vision quests! initiations! conversions! enlightenment highs!—these types of sensational gestures are not what's presently in the cards. In fact, Aquarius, to occupy yourself with such grand statements of ostentatious Change-with-a-capital-C is to essentially miss the astrological point now being driven home: Your revolution will be waged in more seemingly modest (but no less radical) moves, closer to home, in dynamic exchange with the neighbors and around-town pals you're well accustomed to. Rather than set off on an adventure far away (geographically or in tone) from where you've most recently been, try to capture this sense of adventure where you already are. Don't worry yourself with how to ignite the massive world-changing blaze; concentrate on starting little fires that'll continue flaring up as the folks inspired by you go on to spread the baptismal flames of reformation. Speak your oddly prophetic sentiments offhand, at the supermarket, in status-update comments, during block-parties and committee-meetings… but without the artificial trappings of bullhorn, bumper-sticker, or slogan T-shirt. Penetrate the collective through renegade acquaintanceship, one humble soul at a time.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Lucky Pisces, today I'll be giving your sign only an advance glimpse into what you can expect in upcoming editions of your weekly horoscope: In the weeks ahead, you'll likely be exposed to all the many different ways I can find to repeatedly reiterate to you the all-encompassing theme of 'get real!' I will conscientiously seek phrasings of this mantra ('get real!') that don't leave you to assume I think of you as flighty, ungrounded or hopelessly fantastical. I'll search for creative angles from which to address the horribly mundane concern of personal finances, which ought not to be ignored no matter how sincere your desires or sympathetic your motivations, whenever you suggest moving forward on endeavors that are materially unfeasible. (Get real, right?) I'll even play to your generous side, as I did last week in advising you to take care of yourself before struggling to save anybody else. (Can we hear a 'duh' from the Get Real Players?) And all of that really is to make a fairly simple point that requires little sophisticated discussion or exploration of so-called grey areas. So there, I've said it: Get real, Pisces. The purest and most loving intentions will fall flat if not built to function here in the tangible world of assets and liabilities, income and expense. (Maybe now I won't have to play this same song over and over…?)