Horoscopes | Week of February 24-March 2, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): With your ruling warrior-god Mars inverting his travel course and heading back retrograde's-way starting this week (and continuing into mid-May), Aries, your self-assertive spunk won't be performing in quite as reliable or familiar a fashion for a li'l while. That's not to say you won't (or, for that matter, will) possess your normal energy-levels, as much as you might be surprised (and, therefore, potentially annoyed) by the direction in which life-circumstances and/or your own impulses are pulling your energies. It's especially important you prepare yourself to be diverted in this manner, considering this Martian funny-business goes down in your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th)… implying that someone else's priorities could collide with yours (but whose will prevail?), unresolved tensions could resurface (and will that missing bit of dirt finally get aired?), your interests could waver (with increases or decreases in the desire to connect?), and/or you may simply experience less patience or a shorter fuse in your interpersonal dealings (though who's responsible for that?). These possibilities aren't due to dramatically unfold all at once, during this single week ahead—though you might receive a pungent first-taste of what to expect more of in the weeks to come. With that in mind, should such a 'first-taste' materialize, don't hastily react as if you would be 'nipping this in the bud' right away: Your best approach under this astrology is the long-view one, requiring several shrewd moves over a span of time.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The week ahead represents a turning of tides, Taurus, in terms of your work… both the day-to-day duties involved and your larger trajectory of achievement. After these past few weeks of retrograde motion, Mercury goes direct again in your 10th, allowing you to finally start tying together some of the conversational loose-ends in your relationship to 'where this is all going' and/or to those crucial characters (i.e., bosses, mentors, consultants, big clients) who you'll want on your side. Yet, just as the overriding agenda is beginning to become solidly set (and please notice I used the word 'beginning', in order to ensure your expectations of pace are reasonable), your methods and manners of actually tackling the necessary tasks to support that vision are likely to become temporarily more tangled, twisted, flipped and/or fucked-up… in the process, hopefully, of getting it all smoothed out and functioning better than ever by mid-year. As part of this process, though, you might confront a clash between (1) a personal attitude of yours regarding the most ideally fair and perfectly principled way of conducting yourself and (2) what sensibly gets the job done best, requiring a logistical compromise that needn't cause you to betray your values but which, upon first impression, could feel as if you are. As long as you're committed to open-mindedly spending the next few months ironing out the kinks, I suggest giving the alternatives a fair shake before poo-pooing them on kneejerk 'ethical' grounds.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Fluctuating desires are nothing new in the world of Geminis… though the extent to which they're liable to swing, surge, and seesaw over these many weeks ahead, thanks to a Mars-retrograde in your 5th, could be discombobulating even by your standards. Whether you have multiple playtime options to choose from (and can't seem to rank them in order of preference), or whether you're entertaining competing narratives about why a certain pursuit or pleasure-provider is alternately gratifying and problematic (with each version-of-the-story both convincing and incomplete), you may well find yourself a bit overwhelmed with too many appealing potentials—and a corresponding inability to make a coherent choice. A couple bits of advice, then: (1) Don't burden yourself with a fruitless pressure to actually make a choice, if you aren't clear on what to choose. If 'leaving things open' will cause one possibility to remove itself from the table, then your choice might just make itself. (2) On the other hand, in the act of not making a choice, please be aware that too much passivity on your part might also become a slippery-slope which slides you into more entanglement than you bargained for, thus inadvertently allowing your situation to suddenly become less 'open' than serves you, maybe even before you've had a chance to notice.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Now that Mars is beginning his lengthy retrograde through your solar 4th, Cancer, you can expect surprising shifts and energy-surges revolving around your relationship to the concept of home in the months to come—yes, even in light of any thoughts that you'd already made plenty of progress in this arena over these past months. 'Home' is a broad topic, of course, which covers your literal residential dwelling, its décor, and those you share it with; the geographic locale where you currently live, the one you fondly remember and/or the one you yearn for; the family relations (whether blood or not) who help provide you a sense of emotional security (or fall short in doing so), and your own efforts to do the same. One or more of these thematic sectors is likely, therefore, to demonstrate continued unsettledness… which needn't equal disaster but probably involves a handful of irritants that'll demand your attention, on behalf of ultimately securing greater internal peace-of-mind. This week especially, please keep your eye on that big life-anchoring prize. Between possible jolts in your career zone and the lovely-but-potentially-sidetracking influence of certain relationships, self-assuredly rooting your own intentions is presently a full-time job.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It doesn't behoove you, Leo, to hold yourself or other people to sentiments previously expressed… not at a time when (1) Mercury's wrapping up his retrograde through your one-on-one relationship house (the 7th) and (2) Mars is kicking his off in another house related to conversations and communications (the 3rd). In many ways, my suggestion to allow minds to change and feelings to ebb-and-flow simply picks up the advice-thread where we left it off two weeks ago: This remains an extended, ongoing, open-ended dialogue, without an immediate or obvious resolution… and that serves to benefit you far more than rushing a process along, forcing decisions which aren't fully formed, brashly insisting that today's emotional reality will endure into eternity, and/or impatiently declaring the time to talk this all over has come and gone when it decidedly hasn't. So, yes, keep on re-approaching this timely topic-at-hand—both with that certain person who's 'in it' with you and with anyone else who might possess an insightful perspective or heretofore unconsidered angle. What this open-ended dialogue mustn't be allowed to do, however, is halt you in the act of accomplishing your other practical work, as if waiting for one answer should put everything on hold.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Just as you're on the verge of triumphing over any recent chore-or-duty-related aggravations, thanks to your ruler Mercury capping off his retrograde this week, you should probably also check to see if any further adjustments need be made in your attitudes toward the practical matters-at-hand… especially those related to whether you feel adequately valued and compensated (by your employers or customers, or by your own inner critic) for all this attention you've been giving to your work. There's been a lot of back and forth over these past months, Virgo, insofar as you've (hopefully) tried to strike a balance between (1) fairly integrating others' ideas and opinions into the proceedings and (2) ensuring your efforts also bear the distinguishing touch of your distinctive creative brilliance. But I suspect all of that conferring, contending, and conciliating has placed a lot of emphasis on the preferences of the players (theirs and yours)… with the potential to have distracted you from considering which choices might ultimately earn you more money and/or bankable esteem. Such choices based on profitability and security may not, in fact, be the same ones you'd make out of pure creative idealism or personal desire. Think about that for the next several weeks, and you just might end up reconfiguring, bit by bit, the foundation upon which your material stability rests.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): After having already spent nearly three months in your sign (which, in itself, is already longer than his typical visit), Mars will this week commence his 2˝-month retrograde… a peculiar, hard-to-precisely-describe happening that'll impact us all with erratic energy-inconsistencies, anger-flare-ups, desire-detours, and other such shenanigans, but which impacts you, Libra, most profoundly. The ancillary 'edge' to your personality that's been in effect since December—one which (as I've tried to repeatedly remind you) simply pops into expression, through an irritable tone-of-voice or an impatient attitude or an excess of get-up-and-go, whether you want to or not—will now take on a new level of unwieldiness, uncontrollability, and/or surprise. This shift may well help you push through any internal self-imposed obstacles which have obstructed your ability to externally progress your projects or purposes… not necessarily because you'll excitedly choose to sit down and work through your shit (although bravo! if you do), but likelier because circumstances will demand it. Of course, there's also the threat that you cause these 'circumstances' by unwittingly stirring the pot, considering you're serving as the personification of this Mars-retrograde energy. Incidentally, the career and/or public-community sector is where you might be able to use this pot-stirring temperament to your best personal advantage (so long as you don't annoy or offend any figures critical to your ascent).


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Without setting off any alarm bells and causing you undue worry (which, lord knows, doesn't do anybody any good), let me give it to you straight, Scorpio. As of this week, your ruling planet Mars will be retrograde for the next 2˝ months… which in itself wouldn't be cause for too much concern (other than that your knack for adeptly directing your will where and how you want it to go won't be nearly as reliable or well-controlled), except for the fact that Mars is both (1) in a sign where he's especially ill-at-ease and (2) in your solar 12th, a place where his propensity to kick up dust and/or doo-doo often operates with less awareness and more inadvertent (or, god forbid, totally intentional) subverting of your stability. After all, the 12th has traditionally held the sensational title of 'the house of self-undoing'—and with Mars typically seen as a malefic body (though he certainly has his good expressions, as well as his bad), the signs point to your need to be extra-careful when it comes to putting yourself in situations where you're (consciously or not) gambling your safety, security, and/or sanity. On the upside, this same influence can inspire very deep spiritual examinations and awakenings, outside the confines of mundane materialism. Even in the best cases, though, you still ought to stay socially connected with friends and acquaintances you must, in some way, answer to. Externalizing exchanges about what's going on with you will help you keep perspective on just where that thin line between consciousness-expanding adventures and self-destructive exploits resides.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): According to my astrologically-attuned watch, Sagittarius, your position among the team, friend-group, and/or community you conceive of as 'yours' is liable to endure some reorienting bumps and bustles between now and, say, the middle of '14. Such reorientations may be due to others' uncomfortable or unsupportive reactions to your recently heightened prioritization of your own practical interests (a shift we've talked about many times over the months)… and/or a natural result of your continually improving knack for drawing clear boundaries between what's genuinely your emotional shit and what actually belongs to someone else (because, perhaps, they've grown too accustomed to you riding their ride with them, and your diligence in steadily changing these rules has riled them up). There's nothing necessarily to do with this knowledge during the week ahead, other than sincerely begin to digest it on the internal level. That way, should strange or disconcerting behaviors start to be shadily thrown your direction by certain peers or supposed pals, you'll have a reference-point for why they may be behaving in this unfriendly manner—and a good reason for not sacrificing your sense of emotional safety or well-being, just to perpetuate alliances which may or may not serve a prominent or productive role in your future.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Please, Capricorn, don't become wearied of me repeating certain horoscope messages about sincerely acknowledging your advantages… and, accordingly, rising to the occasion of gracious leadership (minus any condescension) rather than taking personal offense to others' threatened and/or antagonistic responses to the fortunate edge you obviously possess. This is the last full week of Venus in your sign after a glorious (though not necessarily entirely unproblematic) four-month run, so you definitely ought to make the most of these final vestiges of heightened attractiveness. Yet, on her way out, Venus also squares the newly-as-of-this-week retrograde Mars in your 10th, which implies a possible conflict between (1) what personally favors you and (2) your efforts to assert your sway in professional contexts and/or other public endeavors, because a VIP or higher-up (or the authority-structure itself) is opposing you and/or the energy you thought you had for this purpose is proving inconsistent, divergent, or renegade in its expression. Be careful about falling into any full-on fight, whether against another person or entity or with yourself. Accomplishing your aimed-for feat apparently won't be as straightforward as you'd thought. As you regroup in response to this realization, bide your time with innocuous social frivolities.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Even though Mercury's finally returning to direct motion after an especially gnarly retrograde back into your sign, Aquarius, that unfortunately isn't enough in itself to altogether rescue you from the possibility of going too far with declarations of moral authority (or is that 'superiority'?). Mercury may be ready to play nice again, but Mars initiates his retrograde (which lasts through mid-May) in your 9th, the house where we codify our guiding meaning-systems and, if we're not conscientious about how we express our passions for these beliefs, start judging or preaching as if we know better than anybody else. You Aquarians surely understand the practical value of embracing a diversity of beliefs… though, as long as you quietly hold that yours is the 'right' one, that lip-service appreciation of diversity won't keep you from unwittingly leaking traces of self-righteous know-it-all-ism into your remarks. A Mars retrograde in your 9th can, without a doubt, bait you into ideological conflicts you maybe hadn't intended to participate in. Meanwhile, Venus remains concealed from view in your 12th for just one more week (after having hidden herself away from you since early November), before entering your sign (hurray!) for four weeks of bestowing favored-zodiac-sign status upon you. So even if you can barely resist the urge to fight on behalf of your values, at least wait until after Venus is assuredly on your side.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Based on any new insights or refreshing reminders you reaped from noticing how certain specific individuals may have recently been (mis)perceiving you, this is an excellent week to purposefully recommit to personifying those qualities and character-traits which you feel do accurately represent who you are and/or wish to be. This is not a pledge you ought to utter aloud, attracting unnecessary attention to whatever course-corrections you intend to make (and, therefore, also potentially attracting challenges or criticisms). It's private self-transformational business, between you and the vast wordless Universe. However, the actual implementation of such a commitment will play out over the many weeks ahead: With Mars just now beginning a 2˝-month retrograde through your 8th, a reinvigorated engagement with an intensely complicated-and-complicating interpersonal relationship, business dealing, and/or deep-soul purging process will likely consume much of your attention. But during this chapter, if you indeed care about upholding your self-supportive principles no matter what the circumstances, you're far likelier to be able to successfully fight off the control-games, guilt-trips, and emotional-manipulations the other party could try using on you. Such 'fights' probably haven't yet begun in earnest, so for this week, it's all about the preparatory internal steeling.