Horoscopes | Week of December 8-14, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Stay focused on what you know is right and/or where you believe your future is pointing you, Aries. Let those who do not understand or agree with your sense of 'right'-ness do as they will, without either trying to convince them of your righteousness or looking to forge a superficial peace. Let those who'd rather you fall back into the past, based on sentimentality or creativity-impairing habit, remain wherever they are… telling the same tired stories about who you are (even if you haven't been that person for a while now, if ever), actively seeking recruits to their side, hunting for fights. The further you carry yourself in the direction you're headed, with the intent to see more of the world and to learn from exposure to something different, the farther away from them and their squarely-planted, refusing-to-budge feet you will end up—hopefully, eventually, to a distance (physically and/or psychically) where they just don't matter that much anymore, not in a mean-spirited way but with the un-attachment of sheer irrelevance. At certain times, this sort of intent focus on your own future could subject you to criticism, on the grounds of self-absorption. In this case, it's more a demonstration of your commanding ability to withstand the temptation to react to others' baiting you, in order to later collect on the good-fortune that'll only come from long-view self-restraint.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As we covered last week, Taurus, you're presently in a spot where you're ready and willing to say just about anything—regardless of how radical, provocative, brash, and/or upsetting it might be—if it seeks to address 'that issue' nobody else involved seems to want to acknowledge. You may be speaking from passion or conviction (rather than cool reason), but that doesn't matter as long as you aren't purporting otherwise. After all, any clever mind can cleverly concoct clever reasons why their clever logic makes perfect sense… though the conclusion drawn by such logic may be self-serving, biased, and/or morally reprehensible. With Venus marching into your solar house of high-minded justice and moral decency (the 9th) midweek, you're likelier to hold a decided advantage in any philosophical standoffs over your envelope-pushing stance—provided you smartly mold your argument to discuss concepts, issues, systems, and/or beliefs, rather than solely or predominantly focusing on particular individuals or first-person accounts. It's not that those personal experiences and stories aren't important; on the contrary, they speak powerfully. But at this time coming from your mouth, they can be too easily picked apart and neutralized… if not used against you, singling you out to receive unpleasant treatment or retaliatory behavior from Powers-that-Be. Speak as loudly and transgressively as you feel moved to do, while remembering you'll likely have better results as an esteemed educator, philosopher, or systemic critic than by lobbing personal bombs.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Keep any and every conversation way way open, Gemini… especially those in which delicate topics, hurt feelings, conflicting opinions, and/or convoluted intricacies have previously hampered the interactive flow, spooking one and/or the other of you into holding back. Under this astrology, the longer you two keeping talking and/or the more you end up saying, the better it'll serve your interests. But to really maximize your potential to flip the script and/or gain an edge or two, you must go into it having a relatively well-fleshed-out idea of what exactly 'your interests' are. What do you feel you haven't yet managed to convey, claim, capture, or come through with? How have you been on the losing-end of an unfair dynamic or deal? How might you correct the imbalance? These are the sort of questions I'd want you to have answered for yourself prior to showing up to the discussion. Just because you'll have intently clarified your aims and agenda in your own head, that shouldn't necessarily interfere with the act of 'keeping the conversation open'. You may not know exactly where it's going (or how circuitous a route it might take to get there), but at least you'll be aware of what you'd ultimately like out of it… which ought to help prevent you from agreeing to anything that's in conflict with your predetermined intentions.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): With Venus scooting into your relationship house (the 7th) mid-week, Cancer, you'll acquire an added knack for understanding just how best to appeal to the other person… not just in romantic couplings, by the way, but in any one-on-one interpersonal situation. Please don't mishandle this tool, though, by using it to cater to the other person's every want and need, just to show how much you care. You might make them happy, but what are you getting out of it (other than, of course, the ultimately-self-defeating gratification of serving someone else's every want and need)? Mars is simultaneously in your 8th, which suggests that, even while the general tone between you may appear to be sweet and supportive, there's likely another emotive strain slithering beneath that surface—one which is actually creating some sort of psychic friction (whether conscious or not), based on the fact that you may be markedly out-of-sync in terms of longer-term desires or designs. I've raised this issue with you in your past two horoscopes (here and here), in both cases as an afterthought, appended onto advice more explicitly focused on getting jobs, tasks, and responsibilities handled efficiently. Now, let's continue this advice-thread but reverse the terms: Use your Venus-in-the-7th sweetness strategically, to grab yourself a leg-up in this underlying tussle… not by addressing the tougher dynamics between you, but indirectly, making a case for what'll make 'the work' easier (for you, of course) with a lovely cooperative smile on your face.


LEO (July 23-August 22): I thought it had been a little while since I'd written to you about your unrelenting need to stay seriously committed to your day-to-day work, Leo… mainly because the latest astrology's been so damned encouraging of you embracing your jubilant, jocular side. But then I glanced back at last week's horoscope and noticed that, even in the midst of advice about totally unrelated items, I still found a way to sneak in an endorsement of squeezing even more work in. So right as I was about ready to inform you that, by the planets' watch, it appears you might actually start to enjoy refocusing your energies toward the practical and productive, I realize you never really had much of a break, did you? Still, I hope you're feeling refreshed and chipper and buoyant enough to not groan or grumble over continuing to do what's got to get done. Venus's transit into your 6th suggests you'll have a more pleasant and painless experience of the typical everyday humdrum (good vibes bleeding over from other life-zones perhaps?)… and also because straightforward tangible tasks will be your perfect release-hatch from undesirable interpersonal exchanges. Though you remain likelier than usual to find yourself in conflict with others (thanks, Mars-in-the-7th) as long as you're clashing over who gets to have things their way, as soon as the frame shifts so your assertiveness is about handling things efficiently, you may find they're suddenly agreeable and willing to help—if you don't quarrel over irrelevant ego-driven details and simply accept the help.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): To make the most of this astrological shift you're now experiencing, Virgo, requires you to be even more unabashedly intent to claim control over where your energies are being directed. On the one hand, having an unfettered Mars revitalizing your 6th house means you can expect a profoundly renewed capacity for efficient, effective day-to-day work. Despite the socially-agreed-upon calendar informing us this is the time to divert focus to holidaytime revelry, you're actually in an excellent position to be more productive and purposeful with your task-mastering efforts than you've been in months—if, that is, you starkly limit your participation in any psychically-draining conversations more about venting and processing than putting together a legitimate call-to-action. On the other hand, with Venus arriving in your 5th midweek, it's also a wonderful time to ratchet up your fun levels. More specifically, you have a propitious opening to share some specially pleasurable moments with a certain someone (a partner, close friend, or intriguing new character), both promoting the relational connectedness and giving yourself a soul-nurturing release from the hard work. But again, it's on you to decide how you're going to have fun together. Frankly, it's the only way to ensure you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself, rather than just put yourself through obligatory 'fun' motions.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The more deliberately you carve out time, resources, and/or attention to devote to your domestic existence, Libra, the less you'll have to worry about trying to dodge controversy in your social life (as I'd warned you to do last week). Whether we're talking about you harnessing your aesthetic grace to improving the physical qualities of your home, more purposefully enjoying the peaceful feelings that relative privacy and quiet foster, spending quality moments with family-members or housemates, and/or sharing the pleasant vibes of your natural-habitat by hosting friends or loved-ones, you're due to receive a mood-boost from focusing on such out-of-the-spotlight concerns. And once you feel your spirits lifting, you won't need to be as self-protective about any potential spectacles you might find yourself caught up in… mainly because you'll be less likely to fall into the negativity, and more likely to enjoy proudly playing a part like only you can play. There's still a way in which you benefit from not veering too far, in outward opinion or behavior, from what your most trusted allies are putting forth. Unless they are expressing attitudes which are in direct contrast with what's in your heart and which you'll be unfairly associated with if you don't explicitly distance yourself, you can feel free to just go along with 'em. But rather than hide from the bumpier ramifications of such an identification (as I advised last week), perhaps you'd now prefer to add your voice to the chorus more distinctly.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The private stirrings, the inner discontent, any resentment or anger or unsettling emotion now swirling around within you, Scorpio, may be quite real. But at the same time, I'm not sure this internal activity is directly relevant to what you're trying to accomplish out there, in career and/or other businesslike contexts, where you should probably plaster on a smiley good-natured demeanor as a sensible means-to-an-end. Now's an auspicious moment for cranking up the deliberate 'nice-making'… an approach that perhaps isn't your typical fave, but which you can actually deploy to surprisingly potent effect by playing to any other person's underlying longing to be listened to, acknowledged, and engaged with on their terms. Though I suggest allowing their concerns to dominate the 'personal' part of the conversation (meaning: the rhythm-setting small-talk about holiday plans, family milestones, annoying day-to-day inconveniences, romantic crushes on mutual acquaintances, etc., should be largely about them), as well as letting this 'personal' chatter drone on as long as it takes to attain strong connectivity, don't neglect to casually and unobtrusively insert your 'practical' agenda into the proceedings. Once they've had their fair say (or, likelier, more than their 'fair' say) and received a open, thoughtful and considerate response from you, they'll be happy as a clam to extend you a courtesy or two in grateful reply. It's your job to sculpt that 'courtesy' to serve your interests.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): The points I made in my last horoscope to you remain in effect. You're still unusually loud, chatty, and unfiltered—yes, even for you, dear Sagittarius. And you should still guard your economic self-interests against needless difficulties, which would likely be caused by you saying too much of the wrong thing to people who hold any amount of power over your financial well-being. With benefic Venus now entering your house of self-earned income (the 2nd), you're actually moving into a potentially fruitful few weeks moneywise… but, as I've outlined, the being-present-in-the-moment impulsivity that feels so wonderfully fun and freeing is a somewhat dissimilar energetic current than what's likeliest to win you the big bucks. Your shrewdest financial strategy will not successfully play out in a single lucrative flash—though, yes, there may be certain circumstances in which a spur-of the-moment greeting, contact, or affirmative answer could indeed open a door—but requires you to be angling yourself several steps ahead of where you are now. You must be able to distinctly conceive of where your largest sums of money will come from in the future… which is not necessarily what's paying your bills at this given time. Without pausing to seriously engage with this forward-thinking income-generating visualization, you're apt to make very different choices than you would by just rollin' along with whatever comes your way today.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): While the elevated risk of your landing in a steaming pile of undifferentiated emotion, which I described last week, remains in effect, Capricorn, your potential experience of it is likely to be markedly less upsetting or unfavorable… courtesy of Venus turning up in your sign Wednesday (Dec 10), to help you finish out your year on a high note. Hosting Venus in one's solar 1st-house (as you will be into the first week of January) grants one an immediate advantage in all dealings, insofar as affording one an improved capacity to make good first-impressions, to appear more agreeable and appealing and attractive than usual, and to temper any attitudinal protrusions or rough-edges. But though having Venus on your side will help soften and sweeten others' perceptions of you, it's still not a very good time for confident declarations or clear communications. Therefore, if you find yourself in any situation with a palpably intensified emotional-charge in the air, your best bet is to say very few words of actual significant content… and, instead, to offer kind compassionate sentiments (even if there's a lack of understanding flowing one way or the other), a smile, a touch, an ear, a shoulder, and/or some sympathetic tears. You'll come off like a caring and loving supporter. Think twice, however, before trying to 'make sense of' anything with lofty statements which purport to promise 'perspective' but will probably just come out wrong.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): As you raise issues, spark discussions, stoke fires, and/or start shit up, Aquarius, it'll benefit you to reserve all other participants an exceedingly wide berth to react, rebel, recoil, and/or reveal their true colors… while investing very little effort to halt them in their tracks, correct their errors, or call out their ignorance. Your wisest Mars-spurred self-assertions will center on you advancing your stance, stake, or score, but you should consciously stop short of dissecting or decimating theirs. This is not a surrender or show-of-weakness, but in fact its own attack-strategy: Let those who aren't truly allied with you hang themselves on the rope of their mistaken impressions or misguided convictions. By positing your own clear framework, you invalidate their faulty reasoning through simple contrast. Invite and encourage any- and everyone to participate, without hesitation. With presence alone, they'll expose their affinities and affiliations. Don't be fooled, though, that you're giving away any free-passes. While you publicly portray yourself as an advocate for all opinions to be freely expressed, you ought to be privately taking note of which bonds of friendship and/or camaraderie will help shuttle you where you want to go—and which are too laden with underlying incompatibility (or unspoken dislike) to take you anywhere worthwhile.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): To all you come in contact with (perhaps with the exception of your very closest intimates), the official narrative I strongly urge you to put forth, Pisces, should be something like: 'I'm so grateful for the honor to be here with you all today. Your support has actively helped me to achieve this wonderful position where I now find myself, and I couldn't have done it without you. As I continue engrossing myself in the hard work required to keep it all moving and growing, please know that I value our connection and am sending you lots of loving and encouraging energy… even when my physical self is less immediately available to you, due to the investments this wonderful position presently demand of me.' See what you'd do there? You'd both (1) acknowledge your appreciative interconnectedness with those friends and allies, letting them know you don't falsely assume your successes are singularly yours, but that the support you receive is an integral factor, and (2) create a clear expectation that you might need to be absent more often, during the Mars-in-your-12th weeks to come, buying yourself a certain reprieve from full social participation (while hopefully significantly decreasing the chance they'll misinterpret your absence as a personal affront). In this story, as I see it, everyone wins, but especially you.