Horoscopes | Week of February 27-March 4, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Okay, now you can freely speak it, Aries. By the time this week flows into the next, it'll no longer serve you to choose your words so carefully that the very essence of what you'd really like to say becomes watered-down to the point of being neutralized. The fire that burns within you ought to be breathed into the conversation… with you knowing full well, of course, that its first traces bear the possibility of singeing those standing unprepared in front of you. I'm sure you can find a way to explicitly include mention, to anybody and everybody on the other end of your fiery truth, that you're fired-up-ness is not intended as a personal affront (unless it is), which should hopefully at least ease any initial defensiveness to your abruptly coming-on-strong. Be aware, however: They may still not be seeing you, the complex and emotionally vulnerable human that you (and all of us) are, as clearly as they could. Whenever you sense that tensions may be rising as you're expressing yourself, try to add a personal 'I' statement or two that specifically mentions a sensitive feeling you're having and/or somehow humanizes the situation.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Be aware of the potential for feeling internally taut, tense or tangled up… especially since this is more a passing sensation than a sign of true problems, Taurus. Early next week, once Venus hits your sign, the potential annoyances of this week's astrology should pretty significantly recede into the dust. But until then, alas, you may find yourself driven to impish or outright naughty behavior, due to a natural desire to release the pent-up energy that's building up. I repeat: This feeling will subside on its own by next week. So if you can't help but engage in some sort of mischief, be totally conscious you're doing it merely to bide your time and entertain your attention-deficit faculties—as opposed to, say, mistakenly thinking the inner pressure is a response to someone else's insidious offenses (which might not be quite so insidious or offensive to you on a different week) and, thus, dragging them into it. Particularly watch yourself in group settings, where everybody's willingness to passively 'go along' without taking a personal stand could easily grate on your last nerve. Don't stir that pot, please.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Whatever's going on privately, at home, and/or within your family is probably not activity that's fit for full public consumption. While I'm not endorsing all-out secret-keeping, Gemini, I would recommend being somewhat selective about who exactly you choose to share the unabridged story of your present personal-life with… not only out of stewardship for the reputational dignity of all involved parties, but also to spare anyone but your very closest friends the discomfort of not quite knowing how to respond to this new level of intimacy you'd be introducing. Yes, this is something of a reversal compared to the sort of advice I was regularly doling out last year (which was often about not compromising your full truth, in order to make it palatable to others). But let me clearer: What I'm now suggesting is merely a short-term strategy of discretion, based upon tense astrology that'll come and go fairly quickly. For just right now, your co-workers and teammates and casual pals don't need to know all that about what's up in your private zone.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The likeliest obstacle to your being heard and seen, in full stereophonic and technicolor brilliance, for that sentiment which you uniquely bring to the table? Not believing you are a worthy vehicle for the message. Which is kind of silly, Cancer, considering you do affirm the importance of the message itself. The doubts you're harboring are more personal—that is, they are criticisms of your own personality and/or carriage and/or credibility—than about the mission itself. And when put that way, it becomes clear that, if you let these doubts obstruct you from attracting greater attention to your overall message, you are allowing relatively petty ego concerns to trump what's really important to you. Though they may not feel petty, your worries about others' perceptions of you as mouthpiece and visual-symbol are not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things… especially when you ought to be throwing yourself, un-self-consciously, into spreading the good word. Vanity is an indulgent distraction.


LEO (July 23-August 22): There are pesky 'here-and-now' items that will not tolerate being overlooked or skipped past, just because you're more excited about that wild-crazy-shiny thing way over there, which you're in a big rush to get to—at least not without you suffering unpleasant consequences as long as, and until, you address them. Look, Leo, I'm really not trying to rain your parade; I merely encourage you not to paint an oversimplified picture of your life-circumstance, one which colors over the important fine-points in broad broad strokes. These items will continue to be annoying thorns-in-your-side unless you slow down and acknowledge their importance. On the other hand, the very fact that there is something else further down the road, which promises to provide you with a reinvigorating sense of purpose, should hopefully serve as reason enough to put the old shit to bed once and for all. Who wants traces of yesterday hanging over a brand-spanking-new tomorrow? Finish what's already been started before throwing yourself into the official start of the next thing.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): There's a definite limit to how much you can accomplish if you insist on doing it all yourself. In fact, Virgo, you may be actually holding yourself back if you foolishly assume that including others' input and/or participation is more trouble than it's worth. I see you spinning your wheels in a rather fruitless fashion, fussing with the same set of default variables beyond the point where they're likely to rearrange themselves into any fresh patterns, as long as you remain closed off to the more radical alternatives only available through someone else's radically-alternative ways of understanding. In order to welcome this 'outsider' in, of course, you'll have to do away with any prideful notion of single-handed ownership—which is ultimately for the best, both in terms of the finished-product's quality and your own growth experience—in exchange for an unabashed embrace of collaboration. No problem, though: If you're really the 'perfectionist' you're known to be, then I assume you'd opt for higher quality over pride… right?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Two oppositions this week—between (1) the Sun and Mars and (2) Venus and Saturn—conspire to potentially rouse pessimism in you, Libra, if you invest too much time convincing yourself how a scenario might transpire rather than just showing up and participating. This potential pessimism (which you could be euphemistically categorizing as 'prudence' or 'caution') is fairly easy to overcome, however, as long as you remain in forward motion. The 'dreaded' tasks you're charged with fulfilling, for instance, won't be nearly so bad once you get going… unless, of course, you feed the dread and keep telling yourself how much you don't want to do 'em (perhaps the least motivating type of self-talk I can think of). And that feared 'stand-off' with a certain someone will also be worse in your head, where it always persists as an unformed phantom, than if you just quickly and directly nip any issue in the bud… to, soon after, discover that re-attaining the smooth vibe between you two was surprisingly uncomplicated. Directness is key.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Focus on creative solutions, rather than pointless criticisms. Trust me, you'd much rather be seen as somebody who came up with the winning idea, Scorpio, instead of the troublemaker who shot holes in everyone else's best (but still somehow meager) attempts at moving beyond the impasse. Surely you can find an approach that, yes, might still startle those around you with its totally-out-there novelty, but hopefully without stinging anyone's sensitive egos by implicating them in having been too unimaginative to come up with it themselves. (In other words: No need to be bitchy.) This is a fantastic moment for throwing yourself into work-related problem-solving, with the goal of toiling that much harder so you might actually attain the breakthrough sometime this week… mainly so it'll also free you up to enjoy the perks of Venus hitting your relationship zone (the solar 7th) very early next week. If all goes well, you'll soon be relieved of any temptations to be needlessly critical (or bitchy) because the relief of achieving this next progress-marker will put you in a dandy-ass mood.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The self-protective encouragements I've been lately lobbing at you, Sagittarius, are coming to an end… as is this interval during which you could choose to take a pass on too much outward engagement (other than, of course, the obligatory responsibilities) and, instead, steal a bit of extra home-base recharging. You're once again being called on—either directly by those who demand you participate more fully or via your own resistance to 'sitting it out' any longer—to speak up with your trademark irreverence, motivated more by truth-telling than by tiptoeing around others' supposedly tender feelings (which perhaps serve as a cover for their feebleness?). The overarching purpose here, of course, must still remain 'doing your best work' (though, no, I swear you're not permanently stuck in this hell of constant work preoccupations)… which means you're only being astrologically granted free rein to remark with blunt criticism if it's part of productively advancing the work agenda. (Merely wanting to tell off a certain someone isn't good enough.)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Be judicious with how much of your agenda (presuming you have consciously articulated it to yourself, since most of us typically have some agenda) you outwardly disclose, Capricorn. It's not that I advocate shadiness, as much as I don't necessarily think this is your best moment for expressively emphasizing a point or declaring a position. Admittedly, you could feel tense if you find yourself in conversational situations where you're put on the spot where not uttering a clear statement or stand might feel like an implicit endorsement or a cop-out. That's why I'd temporarily advise staying out of those situations whenever possible, staying close to home and/or keeping to yourself when you're not being called on for some official duty. And when you are in the public eye, be as responsibly diplomatic as possible, even if you are momentarily surrendering a potential opportunity to get yourself heard. Proceeding strategically involves a willingness to restrain your visible behaviors until the most fortuitous time, increasing your likelihood of emerging with a win.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): For a moment at least, you don't have to make things more complicated than they need be. Worrying too much about what somebody else is or isn't getting out of the deal, for instance, pulls your attention away from simply focusing on what you want to snag for yourself. For that matter, Aquarius, you actually succeeding at snagging what you want doesn't have to occur at their expense. There is plenty to go around... though as long as you're turning it into a head-to-head competition, you should expect the other person to vie for the top spot, too, with formidable strength. Likewise, you're under no obligation to disrupt an otherwise pleasant time, should a pal or casual acquaintance utter an uninformed or ignorant offhand comment, just so you might school them on their lack of knowledge or sensitivity. While I'm not endorsing their deserving of a free ride, I'm merely suggesting you reserve your energy: Note your disapproval, either quietly to yourself or in a single direct (and as un-provoking as possible) statement, and then resituate yourself (either within this same interaction or, if need be, someplace else) back in casual territory.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): This is no time, Pisces, to submit to bullying or any other tactics of undue pressure used by others to strong-arm you into going against what serves your own purposes. Please do not be sloppy, slippery, or overly simplistic in how you reassert your rightful position on matters that directly affect you. Fight only on behalf of specific issues or items, not against any individual's manner-of-being. After all, if your gripe is legitimately about who they are—as opposed to a mere difference in how the two of you see a particular situation—then why have you even opened your life to their involvement? (Reminder: Nobody has the power to change another person.) This prolonged period of Mars poking retrograde-style at your relationship house (the solar 7th) is all about you learning to be precise in your interpersonal negotiations and disagreements: patiently giving detailed explanations, keeping the conversation sane with only the one relevant topic at a time, holding firm boundaries on whatever fine-points you require for feeling secure. Present, or re-present, your case according to these guidelines.