Horoscopes | Week of February 11-17, 2013

ARIES (March 21-April 19): During this strange transitional window of time, when you are largely powerless to direct the main narrative threads of what's happening all around you, one thing you can control is the extent to which you permit your psyche to feed off of—and, therefore, stay continually enmeshed in—someone else's quicksand-like drama. Essentially, Aries, your only real course of self-regulatory action asks you to choose the least complicated choice among your (possibly quite limited) options… and that means 'least complicated' for you specifically (and selfishly), not for anybody else. Limiting your immediate involvement, to the best of your ability, can help you plug any leaks of personal energy which may be unduly draining you of much-needed life-force vitality. But even still, you might not be in a position where you can fully limit your engagement: If these enmeshing circumstances were set into motion quite a while ago by your own compliant participation, you're probably still 'burning off the karma' from past decisions. In that case, face the consequences like a champ… all the while, doing your best now to prevent even more entangling manifestations later.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As a now-slow-moving Saturn readies himself to retrograde in your relationship house (the solar 7th) early next week, Taurus, there's a powerful onus on you to practice exacting interpersonal conscientiousness in any and every exchange you participate in… particularly if issues of ethical consistency or fairness are at stake. It may not prove sufficiently scrupulous to act towards a certain person based on how you feel about them at a given moment (because, as we know, emotions can often momentarily blind us to what the right thing to do may be). To live up to Saturn's demands, you'll also need to examine any subjective attitudes you might be unconsciously holding about how people should behave this or that way… which might have more to do with your unique psychological history than some universal standard everybody ought to be held to. Treating others (especially those closest to you) fairly must mean wholly owning your shadow of judgment (and we've all got one)—and freely granting everyone the self-defining empowerment to do as they will, so long as they aren't obstructing your ability to do the same or otherwise actively creating harm.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your 'professional face' is unusually transparent at the moment, Gemini, which means you cannot plan on talking your way into or out of any given situation. The proof of your current standing is in the proverbial pudding: If you have been keeping up with the duties you're charged with, your effectiveness will be obvious to all around you—and if you've been shirking 'em, well, your nervous conscience will be emanating its guilt for everyone to sniff. Either situation (or the many in-betweens that, more likely, are a true representation of where you're at) bears the potential to work to your advantage, insofar as it's ultimately healthily integrative for those you deal with in such contexts to know your genuine stance on matters pertinent to them. So please try to sustain this attitude in light of whatever 'professional' developments (career-related and/or broader than that) are occurring, whether you're being carried closer to, or farther away from, a certain position or level-of-authority. Are you nervous about rising to the occasion? Are you questioning your deservedness? Are you dreading a loss… or just as strongly dreading success? At the moment, your atypical inability to 'turn the other cheek' may be a godsend, even if it feels far too revealing. Your day-to-day reality matters too much to your own well-being to perpetuate any unappealing act.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): In light of what I wrote for you last week, Cancer, let me further my point by reminding you that we are not gifted with earthly life in order to merely settle for an unappetizing plateful of 'supportively' (ahem) bowing to others' hopes, dreams and visions. What a recipe for unexpressed resentments that is! You've got to fight for your right to relish your precious life-moments… even if you have to say no to activities you 'don't mind' but don't really want to participate in… even if you must work hard to carve out enough free time from your responsibilities to prioritize your leisure pleasure… and even if it displeases someone who's perhaps grown too well-acquainted with your serving their desires. Perfunctory excuses that justify why you aren't chasing personal fulfillment—because there are too many chores to do? because You-Know-Who is expecting you home for dinner? because you're too shy?—reveal a very myopic view on existence. Trust me, in your final days, you won't be looking back with regret at how you didn't take care of such business. But you might likelier regret having played it too safe for too many years.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Stay right where you are, Leo, rather than feverishly hunting for an escape hatch or surrendering to a down-for-the-count plunge. As uncomfortable as some of these emotional sensations may be, you are reaping much psychological knowledge about what happens inside you during such moments of intimacy, intensity, and/or strife. Whereas in the past you might've put on a happy face and changed the topic, plugged your ears and ignored the signs, and/or partied your discomfort away (until, that is, you woke up the next morning groggy and still in the same stale clothes), you're now at a major life-transition moment in which none of the old survival mechanisms work as reliably. Should you try 'em, you'll find you have to go further down a road of performed insincerity, avoidance, or self-dissolution to get the familiar results… and that's a dangerous direction to head. Instead, concentrate on gathering conscious awarenesses of your reactions: when you feel what, what your first and second responsive instincts are, what you would feel if you responded this way or that, how you might respond differently. Even if you find you can't rise to your highest response-level, it's still worth going through these consciousness-raising steps. Please remember, as I told you last week, this cresting will recede on its own, given the time.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Let the conversation crawl along, Virgo, without allowing its creeping pace to feel like a drag on your patience levels. Please do your best not to concentrate on the other person's apparent difficulty in precisely articulating their mindset, their presently irresolvable conflict between multiple feelings on the matter, and/or their seeming inability to fully comprehend what you're telling them. We each process information in different ways, at different rates, using different terminology. On the other hand, I see this as your chance to say everything on your end that's relevant to the case, maybe even a few extra bits that aren't directly relevant but which will give them a more thorough glance into your heart—and, no, you needn't withhold the touchier parts (as long as they are true statements about how you feel), just to protect their sensitive soul. Maybe it's that very disclosure of delicate material which will trigger them out of their befuddlement or hesitancy, first possibly as an upset but ultimately as an opening to deeper discussion. Why is it so common to falsely assume that 'compassion' means sparing someone a truth they deserve to know?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You owe it to yourself to confidently complete the items, one after the other, that'll produce concrete results you can step back and look at and say, 'Hell, yeah, I did that!' As long as you're gainfully making stuff happen throughout your February days, Libra, you really should embrace this earned occasion for self-congratulatory ego-stroking. We've already covered how this period is all about work (though, of course, that's never all there is)… but I want to be sure you understand the importance of using this time to bolster your sense of practical self-worth, both in continuing to secure your footing (monetarily and/or in standing) and as preparatory training for expansive career (or public-world) opportunities ahead. If you didn't know this already, the greater blessing-bearer Jupiter lands in your solar 10th at the end of June, for your once-every-dozen-years chance to grow your worldly domain beyond its prior bounds, helping you reap new powers or privileges based on how confidently you claim them as your own. But Jupiter is renowned only for creating a favorable environment, not dropping good-luck flukes upon us without our having done anything. That's why it's smart to exercise your work muscles now, to ready yourself for possible big-breaks to come.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I suspect much has happened during these first few months of Saturn in your sign, Scorpio… and now, as he prepares to station (or appear to stand still) and start retrograding back through the zone he's recently traveled, this is an apt moment to reflect on what's already unfolded since your last birthday. Whether you're reaching a new height of deserved contentment with your lot in life and/or encountering an increasingly obvious shortfall in personal responsibility which must now be remedied, this sharpening awareness itself is something to be unabashedly proud about. If you can bravely accept what isn't working for you, you're much likelier not to behave defensively about it… and that's just great! Removing any unproductive shame from the equation will ease you into the process of addressing ways to get it working better, from a creative rather than a punitive angle. Even in cases where you feel more confident than ever, you'll also detect a corresponding sideline of understanding that this achievement alone will not solve all your life-conundrums… and that's just great! Once we master a certain challenge, another one presents itself for our evolutionary learning, a creative rather than punishing process. No matter the goods and bads, you've still got personal business to attend to—and there ought to be much creative joy in the course of proceeding.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It's far better not to try drawing an explanatory conclusion about any just-not-feeling-myself feelings, Sagittarius, than to become attached to some convenient story about it that doesn't really come close to adequately addressing it. Likelier than not, at least part—if not all—of this emotional crescendo may consist of residual fragments of unreleased pain, regret, disappointment or sadness from events that already occurred months or years ago. An alternative possibility: You're picking up someone else's psychic baggage from the ethers, and vibing off it in a peculiarly personal way, perhaps mistakenly taking their emotional circumstance as your own due to your sympathetically experiencing it. Your common-thread call to practice in such situations necessitates that you work with setting appropriate energetic boundaries between past and present, self and others… not because it'll keep you from feeling your feelings (how absurd a premise is that?), but in order to reserve yourself any additional mental anguish from attempting to cram a formless emotional sensation into an insufficiently sized (and potentially misleading) box. Take some time to amply feel it, on your own, without playing analytic games with yourself.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): I repeat (for the umpteenth time since Pluto's been in your sign): Your impact—on the tone and content of a conversation, on the dynamic of the group, on the lives of those you touch for a moment or a lifetime—is presently profound, Capricorn. Your presence will be noticed and appreciated, while your absence will be felt as a lurking 'something's missing' vibe. With that in mind, I vote for presence over absence, a statement of your unvarying acceptance that you play a pivotal part in the social-collective whole, and that you therefore choose to ungrudgingly participate in the shared experience (rather than indulge your selfish hermit urges). As before, I encourage you to let your day-to-day social encounters meander into back-gardens of surprising intimacy, out of both (1) sympathetic duty to the other beings caught alongside you in this dense dimension and (2) edifying heart-nourishment to feed your own cravings for human contact. 'Fleeting' need not equal meaningless, by the way. Not knowing whether a given person is of lasting relational significance to you shouldn't be reason to treat them with flippant indifference. You never can tell who will reappear… or why.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The best thing you can do for your own professional success is to proudly accept your limitations, Aquarius. Nobody is a superhero, even those of us (ahem) who are pretty damn good at publicly performing the role's expected feats. Behind the scenes, when you are changing out of your cape and breastplate and back into your normal-human clothes, the cumulative exhaustion really shows itself. The harder you slam yourself against whatever walls have recently made themselves obvious, the more sharply the returns on your significant energetic investments begin to diminish. And what would be even more damaging is if you're not reflecting on your present relationship to your worldly work at all, as if mindlessly repeating the same steps without much awareness doesn't also deliver its own spirit-draining consequences. Now is the time to weigh income level against happiness, self-satisfaction against living up to others' expectations, your superhero guise versus your sincere humanity. Making any necessary adjustments must involve acknowledging your lurking fear of showing vulnerability in front of the world's prying eyes, though you must know by now that continuing to frantically pedal does little to ward it off.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Why are you who you are? Why do you think, Pisces, you were born at this particular time to be surrounded by these certain people and graced with those specific gifts? Was all this just a happy accident? While you needn't buy into any 'higher' belief-system in order to gain insight from this horoscope, it does behoove you to get real about your sense of self-governing purpose: Whether you're here for some divinely-guided reason or even if it's just the luck of the genetic draw, you'll feel more grounded in this reality if you hold some intentional notion of making a meaningful contribution out of your special soul-materials. As this super-magically-Piscean month continues, you'll gain some helpful perspective on the uncanny goings-on by repeatedly asking yourself the big 'why?'s—why is this happening? why me, and not someone else? why would I choose this over that? The wisest umbrella under which to ponder these questions should include long-view considerations of your entire life-span… which rights you'd like to advocate for, and which wrongs you'd like to wholly eliminate from your sphere… and what, at the end of it all, you'd like to leave as your legacy. Such considerations will enable you to more easily assess this or that twist and turn.