Horoscopes | Week of February 10-16, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Should you notice the 'official account' of what's recently gone down amongst your friend-group, cohort, team, or community is starting to casually veer from the facts of the case as you remember them, Aries, it would certainly be easiest for you to just quietly take note of this tale-telling divergence (and, naturally, of who seems most responsible for its revisionary slide), without causing much of an outward fuss. After all, Mercury is retrograde: People may be confused and/or confusing, and words could be coming out wrong. Yet, even in spite of all that, you might still want to speak up about what isn't ringing completely true or authentic in this soon-to-be-codified party-line version-with full knowledge that your unwillingness to 'go along' may earn you a new adversary or two, since your challenge would naturally seem to them like an accusation of insincerity or dishonesty. You're liable to come out, in the short-term, looking like the troublemaker… though, if your instincts are correct, your longer-term reputation would be as one who demands accuracy and integrity no matter how much of a pain-in-the-ass the process to get there might be. And from that angle, if your instincts instead end up being off, at least you found out the truth through earnest investigation.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): During a Mercury-retrograde week ahead that seems well designed for a strong work focus, Taurus, I propose cheerfully participating in reminder exchanges with those whose efforts you're managing and/or with whom you share responsibility… just to confirm that everybody's on the same page. Don't do so in a corrective or interrogating tone, as if you expect them to have fallen short. It could just as easily be you who's forgotten something previously discussed or overlooked a prior agreement. If carried out productively, there ought to be no fault-finding or blame-assigning in this act-merely an ultra-professional conversation about who should work on what, when and for how long, in a manner that encourages one another to lean on each other for support. When attempts at interpersonal indictments are involved, however, folks will be likelier to hide their confusions and insecurities, afraid to pose functional questions or requests out of fear they'll expose some deficiency of theirs. No one wants to feel like their admission of practical need will lead to having their nose punitively rubbed in it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If your heart's in the right place and you generally wish to do the ethically 'above-board' thing, then please don't grimace or gripe if you're called out on an accidental offense or asked to more deeply discuss an issue that's important to someone in your life. Neither a totally innocent intention nor a perspectival blindspot on your part, Gemini, is enough to excuse a clumsy behavior if it indeed upsets somebody. Believe me, we've all been there… and yes, it feels very icky to straddle that place between caring about others' emotional well-being and defending one's self against seemingly unjust accusations. But if you drop the self-defense part (because, as we already covered, if your heart's in the right place, you therefore have nothing to 'defend') and humbly view this as a 'learning moment', you can both expand your own understanding of experiences far different than your own (since you must be far different if what's innocent to you is upsetting to them) and demonstrate your willingness to compassionately listen (which will likely go a long way in smoothing over any inadvertently ruffled feathers). Oddly, though the potential scenario I've described sounds like it's all a matter of ethics or ideologies, the real reason you'll probably want to keep things above-board is functional: You need to understand each other in order to get stuff done.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): The temptation to resume or reenter certain destabilizing dynamics with that particular person (or entity) who gets you all charged up (for the better and/or the worse) could become rather heightened, Cancer… though I'll bet, if you pause and think twice about it, your supposed 'desire' to be 'back in it' again isn't quite as cut-and-dry as impassioned first-impressions may suggest. Don't underestimate the attractive power this individual holds over your psyche-or, to be more precise, the powerful undertow you allow your dynamics with this individual to exert over your own self-determination. It's likely that when you're outside each other's influence, you don't feel the temptation as strongly… but as soon as you're back within orbit of one another, you notice everything you'd distinctly 'decided on' for yourself seems to drift or muddle or lose its center. That should tell you something pretty important, then, about the dangers of succumbing to too much underlying persuasion (though, let's again be clear, you are a willing participant in being persuaded)-as well as emphasizing the criticality of determining your sincerest desires away from the near-irresistible force of anyone else's body and/or soul. Before you mouth confirmation of wanting to 'do this thing' with You-Know-Who, steal yourself some clarifying distance from their gravitational pull.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Under the effects of this week's full moon in your sign, Leo, you may find yourself with an opportunity to correct, amend, and/or append the perception you've (consciously or not) created for yourself in a certain someone's eyes… although whether the original version was in fact more accurate, or whether this is your real stance toward this individual, remains to be seen. In a certain sense, this is merely a continuation of last week's horoscope, in which I goaded you to 'come clean' with any heretofore unexpressed feelings and reminded you this further sharing would be a process which occurred over several weeks. Consider this, then, one more step in the process. The big warning I have for you in all this, courtesy of squares from Saturn-in-your-4th: Don't let your own untended-to emotional needs cause you to overreach in expectation, as if this other person ought to be responsible for giving you the reassurance and relief that's actually your job to provide yourself, and end up uttering exaggerations meant (consciously or not) to play to their sympathies. There are, of course, other possible variations on this theme of 'clouded by emotionality' which could instead manifest. You'll be safest if you distinguish, during the course of any such conversations, between (1) items which are factually true and (2) feelings you happen to be having right now.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): With your retrograde ruler Mercury both slipping back into your 6th and aggravated by opposition to the week's full moon, Virgo, it seems likely you'll have to readdress a task, habit, or method, due to the emergence of some strange hitch or singular happening you never could've (or, therefore, should've) foreseen. Rather than hit your head against the wall or lash out at anyone else, please recognize this as the sort of occurrence we might refer to as 'an act of God' (even though it might not meet the insurance industry's legal definition of such, if in fact a cyclone didn't hit your front yard): It was largely out of your control, and now you're charged with throwing together an adequate response to keep life functioning as best as possible. I hope you see this not merely as a call to minimize any potential inconvenience, but as an opportunity to improve upon the operations, much like losing one's home in, say, a cyclone affords the chance rebuild even better. To ring the Saturn-in-your-3rd alarm-bell yet again, let me also add that you mustn't neglect the obvious advantage ('obvious' to everyone else, but is it to you?) you'll reap from consulting with other stakeholders instead of trying to get everything quickly cleaned up yourself, without 'bothering' anyone else. Since you've already been interrupted, use the pause to do some research via picking others' brains.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Though I've been transmitting traces of the counsel I'm above to offer in weeks past, Libra, this full-moony, Mercury-retrogradey week ahead seems to warrant its explicit spelling-out: Don't let pride, rebelliousness, and/or the urge to drill home your point inspire you to say something that'll imperil your practical (and especially economic) interests. There's presently a strong divide between (1) how you may want to proceed and (2) what you know is actually the shrewdest, most self-protective approach. Under the current astrology (i.e., that feisty Mars-in-your-1st fueling, by trine, a retrograde Mercury that's slipped back into your self-expressive 5th), the 'what you want' end of this dichotomy features the dominant vibe-but with Saturn-in-your-2nd squaring Mercury and the Sun, there could be tangible consequences from parading yourself around too carefreely or all puffed-up-like. This might play out in your refusal to make a 'sensible' decision with your resources (financial or attitudinal), in order to keep the fun going. Or it may manifest through an instance of you coming on too forcefully or cockily toward someone who instead warrants your caution or capitulation. Just be aware that such indiscretions carry sharper-than-usual repercussions at the moment. Keep your ass covered.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Just a follow-up refresher, Scorpio, that too much staying inside your own head (whether it's in the clouds or up your own ass) threatens to unhinge you from the coherent, consistent self you've been working so hard to structure over these past many months of Saturn in your sign. This astrology is just too ripe with influences-such as a retrograde Mercury-in-your-4th trining a soon-to-be-retrograde Mars-in-your-12th-which could tempt you to rewrite history based on continually cresting-and-dipping emotional waves, though 'history' by its nature is supposed to be somewhat concrete. Because we are nothing if not a cumulative representation of all the historical events we've experienced (mixed with, of course, the timeless and enigmatic stuffs of soul), you can clearly see (or at least I hope so) that conducting such a history-rewriting exercise could actually cause you to shift your conception of who you are… and if you lack sufficient input and reflection from the outside, your subjective wishes and/or fears might start obstructing your relationship with shared reality. Don't, therefore, buy into any brand-new notion of what an angel or a devil, a hero or a villain, you are. Even if it does end up somehow being true, you still won't know for sure for months yet.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you've got no horse in the fight, back off. If you're not an active participant in the conversation or lack direct lived know-how on the topic-at-hand, please reserve comment. Before you'll have a chance to notice what's happening (if, that is, you're not breathing deeply and staying present in your body and your own primary experience), you could too quickly find your voice raised and your blood boiling, lines being drawn and sides being picked… when the truth is, Sagittarius, none of it is really worth the fierce energy-investment on your part. Why, then, be a prime instigating factor in kicking up dust amongst pals, peers, or community characters? What's the gain, other than, say, an hour of invigorating debate (followed shortly thereafter by uncomfortable amounts of social awkwardness or outright antagonism)? One might even categorize the awareness involved in not taking the bait and/or not speaking too loosely without a convincing payoff as a spiritual practice: Every time your mind drifts into ultimately tangential or personally irrelevant territory and you feel an urge to externalize an objection, clarification, or argument, simply return to the 'higher' acknowledgment that its sudden importance is a passing illusion.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): In case you feel like circumstances have recently slid in a certain direction that infringes upon your ability to capably look out for your own interests, Capricorn, it may be time to gently redirect 'em back your way. But if you don't want this simple self-supporting move to be received as a vying-for-power, then you mustn't approach it as if the other player(s) hijacked the controls, attempted to block you from getting what's yours, and/or vindictively aimed to stick it to you. Likelier than not, they were just looking out for their interests… and bore no ill intent toward you. Even if there were a tinge of these less-agreeable power-plays underscoring their actions, they might not be fully aware of their motives-and if you called 'em out on it, they'd probably legitimately claim ignorance (or at least convincingly feign it). Therefore, you've got to strip any reactivity from your efforts to reassert your authority (which, just to be clear, is a god-given authority to look out for your own interests, but not authority over anyone else). As far as you should be concerned, this is a simple matter of attending to business. Your smartest businesslike move, then, is to reiterate your message.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): As your visionary brain spits up one ingenious revision, solution, and/or new-direction-to-head after another (not such a terrible side-effect of Mercury retrograding back into your sign, eh?), you're going to have meet that prophetic passion with an equal dose of cold hard management skills… or your forward-thinking ideas are only going to get all mucked-up in backward-facing practices. Eager though you may be to have these brainstorms miraculously save you from the burden of those very worldly constraints you earned yourself the honor of overseeing, Aquarius, you cannot jump ahead to the part of this tale where you bask in everyone's bon-voyage wishes and set off to glittering shores elsewhere. Until that time-travel machine is finally built and perfected, you Aquarians will continually bump against the limits of temporal existence, try as you might to quantum-leap to the next reality. In this context, then, 'worldly constraints' is just another way of saying 'grounding dependability'… and this need to back up your brilliance with more than a little heavy-lifting, to set up a structure by which everything you're now coming up with will actually manifest (and, hopefully, persist) is part of Saturn-in-the-10th still breathing down your neck. All this is to say: Yes, get excited about what's now popping up and out, but be realistic that this isn't the actual work.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Sometimes, the most ethical thing you can do is nothing at all… especially when emotions are running high (as they will be leading up to Friday's full moon) and a retrograde Mercury has slipped back behind the obscuring mist of your 12th. Attempts to fix a problem and/or demonstrate your allegiance in order to make someone else 'feel better' (which, in itself, is already a murkily-defined endeavor) are not so wise at this time, given the likelihood you'll transgress a healthy boundary along the way. In fact, one of your prime moral lessons still to master is how to stand separate and distinct in the face of another person's apparent 'suffering' (again in quotes, to again infer that what you perceive in them as too painful to be borne may actually be an important part of their maturation process), rather than insinuating yourself into the situation and taking on some (or all) of the pain, in supposed support. Is it right to rescue others from their rich opportunities to develop emotional sophistication (and, subsequently, better judgment) from earnestly engaging with the passing adversity? Are you making the world better… or merely enfeebling its citizens by trying too hard to 'help' (yup, there are those quotes once more)?