Horoscopes | Week of February 13-19, 2017

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is an excellent time to recruit supporters, collaborators, or teammates, Aries… provided, that is, you are utterly upfront about the role you are interested in playing. Using the current astrology to take the lead in nurturing new connections and/or cementing alliances could help you integrate the contrasting motives I mentioned in your last horoscope: You can continue pursuing whatever's in your interest (i.e., that aim you'd seek support with or camaraderie in) and assist other people in mobilizing their own momentum. In the most successful instances of such an approach, everybody will win. But what it'll also entail is carefully weighing which objectives are worth holding a firm uncompromising stand over—and which might be somewhat negotiable and/or not critical enough to make a big stink about. You needn't (and therefore shouldn't) expect to be perfectly in sync with everyone you share a certain pastime, preoccupation, or enthusiasm with. Working together with others toward a common purpose often involves bridging personality glitches, political disagreements, clashing styles, and/or different ways of processing information. Those who can't do that are unfortunately doomed to isolate themselves.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): At this present moment, a fatal flaw would be to assume you're the only one capable of taking the critical short-term action, Taurus, both eschewing the trusty cooperative efforts of your teammates and putting yourself at unnecessary risk for unanticipated side-effects. While your vision remains sharp, your applied capacity to actualize reliable results is still temporarily impaired, due to your shorter-than-usual fuse. Because of this astrological situation, it behooves you to lead with ideas rather than hasty deeds… participating only on the strategic level of discussing shared objectives with other key players and collaboratively delegating the important task-pieces to everyone else besides you. If you are to be more directly involved in the doing, then I recommend not taking the lead with this part; accept methodological guidance from others, and compliantly do it just as they instruct. All the while, your rebellious side (the one who doesn't want to cede oversight to anyone else) should be encouraged to quietly dream up visions for what you'll be doing a month or two from now.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Honestly, this is still not the best time to straddle the fence, play both sides, or attempt to sidestep whatever political current is coursing through the center of your social world, Gemini. Your present astrological outlook instead suggests you're under pressure to distinguish yourself from the undifferentiated whole, with statements that assert your integrity and/or solidarity… and to be unafraid of whose feathers will be ruffled, tempers will be stoked, or opinions of you will change. With Saturn and Uranus feeding off each other from two relational houses (your 7th and 11th), you'll want to invest your interpersonal energies intentionally, so that you're only regulating your behaviors to suit others' fancies if and only if those people really and truly matter to you—and, as far as the rest are concerned, if they don't like what you're doing, let 'em go. Don't hold yourself back from saying your piece (for all to hear, I might add) just to preserve anyone else's preciously incomplete impression of you. All the attention you'd expend on trying to prove palatable to them would be far more wisely spent elsewhere. Meanwhile, clearing out those who you don't genuinely vibe with will set the stage for new characters to arrive.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Experiencing 'mixed feelings' is not a sign you're doing something wrong, Cancer. On the contrary, it'd presently be an indication that you aren't taking the avoidant way out, collapsing a complex situation into caricature-like oversimplicity, or mistrusting an important inner voice. Of course, it does make for somewhat less light-and-breezy conversations, particularly if you can't honestly provide a convenient answer to some question another person is eager to resolve right away. But no matter the added snags or headaches, honesty remains the best policy for many reasons… not the least of which is that any concerns or misgivings you might choose to discount or suppress are highly likely to come back and haunt you later, considering you'd never adequately handled them in the first place. Which would also mean that you ultimately didn't save yourself any snags or headaches, merely postponed their inevitable emergence (while prolonging the dull anxiety of their lurking existence). Going forthrightly into the complexity in all your relevant exchanges now, on the other hand, will hasten the speed with which these inevitable dealings are definitively dealt with.


LEO (July 23-August 22): What a wonderful window-of-opportunity for getting to know folks better, Leo… especially when it comes to finding out more about how someone from a very different background, outlook, or belief-system than yours has grown into the person you see before you now. You're ripe for receiving insightful stimulation, which will support your latest metamorphic stretch, through simply engaging others in one-on-one dialogue about 'Life's Big Issues'. So when you find yourself in promising social situations, on a coffee date (or something more) with a person who interests you, or involved in dynamic online chat, please don't fritter away the occasion with meaningless small-talk or too much first-person rambling about circumstantial specifics that reveal little substance about your overall worldview. Ask meaty questions about how they ensure their moral compass is properly aligned, what constitutes a life well lived, if they have any current regrets or fears about what they might regret later, where they see themselves in twenty years, and/or what they'd do with themselves if money was no object. Compare and contrast your answers with theirs. See, with increasing clarity, how in sync your values are. Ponder whether it'd be fruitful for your growth to further this connection. How else might you grow in ways you hadn't considered?


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Try responding to any passion-spasms, power-challenges, or opinion-standoffs, Virgo, by posing the functional query, 'So, what are we supposed to do about it?' While shifting gears away from who wants what from whom and toward how to practically proceed together won't alleviate the friction, it will hopefully change the terms of the discussion in a way that gives you both something to work with. Yes, in case it wasn't overwhelmingly apparent, this is work—not merely a leisurely navel-gazing indulgence of 'talking about our feelings'—and should be thusly treated as such. 'Work' also carries with it an implied sense of purpose, for why else would we expend so much sheer effort if we weren't intent on accomplishing a certain aim? Please keep that in mind, too, as you continue trekking your way through this admittedly complicated situation. Without getting stuck on whose suggestions are best or which personal compromises might be required, collaboratively concentrate on what tangible result you're attempting to achieve… and then start talking, in tactical specifics, about the best potential process for achieving it. Otherwise, you might not actually be 'doing' much to move this whole association forward.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): It is well within your right, Libra, to continue redirecting the conversation back to whichever topic(s) you are intent on discussing… though there's no need to make a power-move fuss about it. Why should you be chastised for maintaining a distinct focus (rather than being passively willing to follow someone else's musings wherever they may amble)? What could be wrong with seeking a clear outcome and/or indisputable signs of the other person's correct understanding of you before agreeing to move onto less-directly-relevant subject-matter? Please don't feel obliged to settle for incomplete consideration, half-assed assent, or a suggestion that you continue to leave this issue up in the air for an indefinite time longer. Keep faithfully showing up to the table with your very reasonable expectations of being taken seriously by this character, if you indeed take your relationship with them seriously. If something's on your mind that's this important to your feeling acknowledged and honored, you shouldn't have to fight to get it heard… though, for the moment, it's still worth fighting that fight. But of course it begs questions about the health of this dynamic which, it seems, may deemphasize or devalue your voice.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Keeping productively busy and largely out of everybody's way, Scorpio, also allows you room to immerse yourself in your own thoughts. Whichever latest developmental twists have kicked up a cloud of emotional dust surely hold plenty of ripe angles to investigate and analyze, of course… but that's not all there is to chew on. Please look beyond these immediate circumstances, which are only a set of facts and details with limited applicability until you choose to understand them as more than that: one more variation on a recurring theme that's woven itself through several years of your increasing dissatisfaction with a certain inner habit-structure, wherein you bargain with yourself about your own needs rather than just honoring them in their unambiguousness. Don't balk at, argue with, or try to fix what you notice as you think about any patterns to your self-regard; just observe. For now, it's most important to simply acknowledge where you've short-changed yourself, shown more interest in others' impressions than your inner truth, or borne a pointless strain. As the year wears on, this growing awareness will fuel the eventual emergence of a less self-encumbered you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Please freely share your viewpoints, speculations, and conclusions, Sagittarius, with little timidity about putting yourself so candidly out there… and then, please, just-as-freely extend to others the reciprocal courtesy of listening to theirs. Your ideas aren't any more or less worthy of expression than anybody else's, especially in this marketplace where all voices are increasingly being treated as if they speak with equivalent authority. Your ideas may, however, be better informed by relevant expertise, more deeply thought through after years of reflection, and/or articulated more coherently—or perhaps theirs are so tainted by a limiting ideology, flatly illogical, or downright offensive that you can hardly bear to take them in. None of that matters, though, in terms of following the basic principles of courteous conversation. The only truly effective method for demonstrating to someone that you're 'right' (and/or that they're 'wrong') begins with treating them as if they are valuable enough as a person (no better or worse in their personhood than you) to have a decent discussion with… and then engages them on the substance of their ideas (including the personal history behind their adoption of them), rather than just unilaterally drilling home yours. At the moment, exchange is preferable to debate.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The present value of self-serving serious-mindedness continues to be high, Capricorn… as does, alas, the present temptation to react swiftly and sharply to others' motions or maneuvers which impinge upon or threaten your capacity to concentrate on these personal interests. Without a doubt, patience must been seen as your primary self-protective virtue, for too provocative or incendiary a response to any interpersonal situation is liable to create more of a distraction (because of all the extra energy you'll end up giving it, as you process all the details of the blow-up with them and/or regretfully play it all back in your head) than if you just gritted your teeth and refrained from letting 'em have it. In fact, part of being patient is allowing for a certain amount of frivolous chatter to occur, should you cross paths with anyone who, by nature of being a fellow human being, deserves all the social respect that proper protocol calls for. Wholeheartedly going through those motions also serves your own interests, albeit indirectly. If you don't feel you can muster that sort of patience, then I advise staying largely away from anybody who might trigger you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): If your schedule is not currently jammed with friendly catch-ups, celebratory minglings, professional confabs, and/or meetings-of-the-minds, Aquarius, then you ought to make it your week's mission to merrily fill it up. This is a potent period of interactive exchange for you, during which the informational insights and expressive impulses will be coming on fast and fierce… freshening up your immediate mindset and enabling you to contribute this refreshing injection of mental energy into others' worlds at the same time. This isn't an astrological current I'd want you to underutilize by letting these fast, fierce thought-pulses boomerang around inside your noggin. I believe your ideas are meant for release into the social sphere where they may take on lives of their own… spurring reactions and responses in other people, encouraging additional discussion, opening promising possibilities, fostering new connections or furthering existing acquaintanceships, combining synergistically with the matrix of observations and inferences already out there. If you don't choose an explicitly socially interactive route for releasing your latest ideas right away, at least consider articulating them in writing or otherwise recording them… with the eventual intention of outwardly sharing them, sooner, perhaps, rather than later.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Stay on task and self-focused, Pisces. Part of your ongoing Saturn-in-the-10th responsibility is to sustain an ongoing emphasis on your life's work, your professional (or other public-world) calling, and/or any obligations to organizations or enterprises to which you've hitched your future. Throughout this prolonged period, you simply don't have the luxury of setting this responsibility aside just because something else important may be simultaneously occurring. You won't truly be able to make up for any of this vital time later, should you unwisely take your eye off this ball now and swerve toward less concretely constructive matters. Be particularly on guard against getting swept up into meandering heart-to-hearts with confused or emotionally volatile individuals about hypotheticals or potentials, memories or prognostications, wishes or fears. Such aimless confessional exchanges aren't intrinsically undesirable in themselves—they certainly have their appropriate time and place—but are presently too likely to unground you, at this moment when you need all the pragmatic grounding you can get. I repeat: Stay on task and self-focused. With so much going on around you and/or in the lives of people you love, this is a trickier point along your continuing path to prouder self-actualization.