Horoscopes | Week of February 6-12, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You continue to be the zodiac-member currently receiving the strongest inflow of planetary stimulus, Aries… so, first and foremost, please don't judge the rest of us for not holding the same quantities of initiative, audacity, and spunk that you do. You might instead use your advantage to fire us up, helping us to bust through our timidity or inertia by zealously grabbing our hand and exclaiming, 'Come on! Let's go!' Please understand, too, if we're so entangled in our own racing thoughts and hypothetical scenarios that we're finding it hard to get out of our own way. We may need to talk about a few of the more relevant angles with you before we can earnestly get on board. We'd appreciate it if you take a bit of time to hear us out, and to respond in language that'll compassionately appeal to our anxieties rather than roughly prod us to 'just grow up and deal with it'. You presently possess a huge capacity to influence the mindset of those around you, whether friends or colleagues or members of your community—or you could just as easily ignore all of 'em and carry along on your merry way, taking care of what's immediately in your own interest (quite effectively, I might add) and saying 'to hell' with the rest. What's your responsibility here?


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Starting this week, you'll find yourself under incredible pressure to hold a controlled, calculated, intellectually coherent, and decidedly un-hysterical tone in all your outward communications, Taurus... and all while a fierce, feral, utterly impractical aspect of your personality is being stoked to the point where you'd probably prefer to spit venom at the evildoers and nincompoops you instead must, for now at least, not let visibly get to you. Please don't fall prey to the baser instincts, in this phase when you're at much greater risk of doing something in a heated moment you may later regret. Your present power resides in biding your time, even under excruciating temptation to act right away, while the other chess-players continue shuffling their pieces around the board in unsettling or outright bizarre moves. As you're doing this, you'll be simultaneously (1) studying the patterns of engagement as they unfold, giving you fodder for your eventual response, and (2) allowing the inner fire in you to build to a propulsive level, which will provide you even greater strength later. Meanwhile, you can feel free to soberly comment on what's going on—as long as you don't engage any challenges beyond your simple statement of disagreement.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you consider yourself part of a particular tribe, community, or believer-base, Gemini, this is a fitting time to loudly speak out in direct dedication to the principles its identity-membership is predicated upon. If a friend or colleague is out on a limb—whether because they've dared to position themselves in the ideological line-of-fire or else were put there by others who singled them out—this is your moment to publicly put words to your solidarity with them. If you hold meaningful faith in certain values or virtues as nonnegotiable in determining what qualifies as an ethically well-lived life, this is a critically necessarily juncture for embodying those qualifying behaviors for everyone to see; otherwise, they're apparently mere flimsy theories you entertain to feel better about yourself. This same astrology also works by its converse logic: Your pals, tribe-mates, and fellow believers are also excellent resources to help you organize your rhetorical game-plan, amplify your message, and/or plug into existing public-relations strategies, for, in many cases, a lot of the background-data research and effective-message finessing has already been conducted by affiliated experts. Don't reinvent the wheel, just so you can claim you invented it; others did this work to help you.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Collecting on this 'prize' you're striving to earn, Cancer, will now require an increasingly dauntless and frank tone throughout any conversations in which your honest feedback is requested… especially when you hold information, insights, and/or opinions liable to cause circumstantial complications, raise a sensitive topic, and/or implicate someone else for falling short or covering up. Don't get in your own way by shaming yourself for 'creating problems'; calling attention to a situation that obviously needs to be addressed head-on isn't what 'creates' it, please remember. Think of your courageous commentary not as a complicating move, but in fact as a simplifying one. Once everything's on the table, all the participants (even though who feel inconvenienced or indicted) will be able to engage with all the relevant pieces… and, from there, once the initial discomfort and/or exasperation subsides, it becomes way easier to come up with a comprehensive response or solution that addresses the whole multi-layered enchilada. Bravery is a winning leadership quality, one which the high-rollers and trailblazers in charge admire in those they'd seek to elevate in position or trust.


LEO (July 23-August 22): As part of 'get[ting] on with whatever leap-of-purpose or quest-for-meaning is burning inside you', Leo, please initiate or expand upon any thought-provoking conversations with those standout individuals whose breadth-of-knowledge, depth-of-understanding, and/or passion-for-life serves to inspire you. You could certainly use this chance to bounce your potential plans and projects off of folks who will actually engage the ideas—by encouraging you onward to further involvement, giving you other previously-unexamined angles to consider, posing hypothetical questions or zen-type riddles to spur your reflections—rather than just blowing smoke up your ass or not treating these life-defining contemplations with the seriousness they deserve. That's not to say there's anything wrong with your thinking… merely that this is excellent astrology for fleshing it out through intelligent discourse, sharpening it to its most-effective point in a way nobody could if they kept those thoughts to themselves. It's also probably time to discuss your intentions with anyone whose relationship to you is due to change significantly as your forward advances are rolled out. This is an essential step in recruiting support (and not burning bridges).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Real problem-solvers get their hands dirty, Virgo. Like, crap-under-the-fingernails, must-scrub-with-soap-multiple-times-to-get-it-off dirty. And once they've signed on for a necessary immersion in all this mud and crud and crap, gotten past their initial aversion, and acclimated to the full-spectrum experience… well, at the end of it all, they usually emerge wearing a stunning grin of pride in their fearless efforts, along with that layer of filth. You sincerely want to work this all through? Please understand there will be no off-limits zones. You will have to stare down that scariest mound of stuff-you-don't-want-to-deal-with, rifle through its darkest corners, bring relics from past terrors or traumas or triggers to the light for exposure and examination, and endure through the unpleasantness. But even as you're neck-deep in the sludge, you will proudly understand this is a reclamation project… that parts of yourself have been left in that muck to flounder in shame, as if, because they cause complication and struggle and hurt, they ought to be abandoned to this grimy limbo, and now you're fighting to bring them back. Being whole is worth this dirtying effort. You'll have your shot to shower off later.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This is unreservedly the best opportunity you've had in a couple months, Libra, to finally put words to what you really want. All these weeks of feeling into it, drifting from one angle of your inner truth to another, soldiering through first-(and-second-)reactions to other people's sudden moves or erratic behaviors, weighing which response-tactic will be most effective… they're now bearing the fruits of a clear perspective, a courageous heart, and a capacity for markedly more coherent self-expression. When seeking to communicate a statement of affection, interest, or desire, then—and I eagerly encourage you to do so, if you intend to assert some self-supporting will into shaping this next chapter (rather than passively-aggressively griping about what's not to your liking)—please be both direct with your language and interpersonally specific in targeting your message to the particular individual you hope to affect. Yes, it's wise to play to a person's most receptive elements in your approach (perhaps with a touch of sincere praise, to keep the gears greased), but without holding back from disclosing the full relevant extent of what's on your mind. This isn't a time to pussyfoot around.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): As we discussed last week, the goals for what you'd hope to accomplish over these ultra-productive weeks to come are largely your own, Scorpio. As autonomously and inconspicuously as you're able to work with fiery dedication, the better. This advice applies not only for its obvious practical reasons—that is, because the more independently industrious you are, the more sheer labor you can invest in items of your choosing—but with another subtler promise as well. Because Mercury's moving into your 4th this week, you won't be in the best position to articulate your latest deliberations in a manner that's concise, conclusive, and/or unaffected by wishful or fearful thinking. Instead, you probably ought to be mulling everything over, reflecting on the different dimensions of a dynamically-changing emotional situation, and noticing how the 'explanation' of your truth wavers from one day to the next… with no pressure to immediately give anybody else a firm or final statement. Busily toiling away in relative solitude will give you a rich chance to simply think these things through. Too much interaction with others regarding questions you need to figure out for yourself could lead you to discount or dishonor certain crucial feeling-nuances.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Sometimes, the absolute best thing you can do for someone else, Sagittarius, is just make them smile or titter or laugh until their belly hurts. There's a lot of heavy life-and-death-type emotion-stuff circulating amongst the folks around you, and you may be wondering what's the most efficacious helping-hand you could offer 'em to alleviate its weighty burden. Of course it can bring relief if you let 'em know they can talk to you about anything, should they need a sympathetic ear or shoulder-to-cry-on or partner in righteous anger. But it isn't always immediately fruitful for sufferers to continue droning on and on about the root of their suffering, as reaffirming its constant presence by constantly directing attention to it can worsen its impact. Even when we are legitimately upset, that justifiable feeling does not represent the sum-total of who we are; it is but a portion. And that's where your current astrologically-ordained role comes in: to remind us to appreciate the simpler pleasures, the pretty colors, the frivolous giggles, the warm connectedness of sharing supposedly uneventful moments with other human beings, regardless of what else may be going on. Be that warming, pleasing, giggle-conjuring presence… for everyone else, and for yourself, too. :)


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Leave the theatrical attention-grabbing monologues and actively-inciting interpersonal jabs to the other cast-members, Capricorn. It's now time to get your own house in order… and, yes, I'm using 'house' as both a literal reference to your place of residence and a metaphoric allusion to the self-serving, self-securing business which needs your attention. This week brings a renewed pragmatism to your thinking, redirecting you to immediate-term financial matters and other such practicalities… and away from too much participation in spectacles, standoffs, or shenanigans that aren't constructively supportive of those aims. A large contributor to the current appeal of such dramatic declarations and symbolic stands, by the way, is that surge of righteous rebellion flaring up inside you (courtesy of Mars and Venus in your 4th), goading you to do something that signifies you're actively involved in resisting what you oppose. But you know better than almost anyone that fireworks alone won't solve problems. To really 'do something' is to reorient your sense of home-base—using your actual material resources to 'put your money where your mouth is'—so that, starting from the root of your being, you are living true to yourself.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The microphone is now on, Aquarius… and it's yours to grab hold of, check one-two-three, and start testifying into. Through all the various astrological goings-on right now, I'm picking up the distinct message that you've being called to actively reach out to others, through initiating dialogues and authoring first-person dispatches and sending tidings of hope, with the intention to touch hearts and minds with these gestures of solidarity. But let me be explicit: Such reachings-out probably should be more morally-minded than blandly free of philosophic substance. You have important content to share… not just a strong stance on this or that hot-button issue, but an exceedingly unique way of expressing this stance, such that you taking the time to put forth your version of this tale is likelier to have an impact on a certain swath of free-thinkers than many others' oversimplified rehashings. You know how to confidently argue on the basis of the ideas themselves, rather than resorting to emotional manipulation or market-researched talking-points. Use this microphone-amplified platform to say your piece, proudly aware nobody else can say it quite like you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Let me up the stakes on last week's horoscope even further, Pisces. Though there may be exceedingly important-seeming discussions going on around you—and the very notion you might sit them out threatens to leave you feeling like you're shirking your duty—you are not in a very astrologically apt position to engross yourself in them, not right now. Bluntly put, you have too much critical self-care action on the line to risk pivoting your attention to this cacophonous whirlpool of interpenetrating concerns and worries. Does it mean those 'concerns and worries' aren't meaningful to you if you refrain from participating in the discourse? No. It means you realize we all must pick our battles, based not only on their relative importance but also on what else is happening in our lives at a given moment. You will not help the greater cause by sabotaging the brisk momentum you've got going in your own life. You'll still have to pay your bills, secure your material footing, and practically prepare for your future no matter how devoted to bettering the world you aim to be. Plus, I don't need to tell you that emotional sensitivities are running real high these days. You probably won't do yourself any favors by dipping into that psychic field more than is essential.