Horoscopes | Week of February 6-12, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The exact qualities of your week, Aries, are somewhat hard to pinpoint. The vibes are vibrating with a peculiarly understated 'in-between-ness', the result of your ruler Mars's decision to finally begin doing something different after months of the same ol' shit. Last week, Mars crossed back over the point of its recent retrograde, where it first landed back in Oct 05 (read more about it here). But it won't actually change into a new sign—from slow-as-molasses Taurus to zippy-and-zany Gemini—until next week, when things'll really get cooking. In the meantime, this week is characterized mainly by two smoldering under-cover inconjuncts… between (1) your deeper drives of desire, vision and courage and (2) the present astro-climate's resistance to playing along smoothly. Take it all with a grain of salt, since freer motion and more innovative thinking (to match up with those deeper drives) begin to show up in spades following Sunday's Full Moon. And then… away we'll go!


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A faint cosmic sensation of bidding farewell permeates your scene this week, as Mars prepares to leave your sign for the first time since late July 05. (Reality check: Mars is typically in a sign for about seven weeks… not seven months!) For most of you Taureans, this hasn't been the easiest time. Essentially, the universe hasn't let you get away with anything, without at least dealing you some seemingly petty instance of 'instant karma', tossing the consequences of every action square in your face. So you'd think that every Taurus would be welcoming Mars's long-overdue departure with enthusiastic abandon, following him to the exit gate to make sure the door doesn't hit him on the way out. Thus, it may surprise some to sniff a slight hint of melancholy tingeing the air, as this (quite literally) life-changing period draws to a close. What informs the sadness is a deep knowledge that things will never be the same… that you simply cannot go back to how life was (unless you've got a post-doctorate in denial). Luckily, going forward will be more enjoyable and rewarding anyhow—though also undeniably scary.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Much of what you concern yourself with is 'people-driven'… meaning your reliance on interchanges with other folks (and their extremely influential influence on your modes of thinking and doing) is a cornerstone of who you are. Generally speaking, you like people, and the unforeseeable experiences that unfold as a result of your interacting with them. That's why it's so funny to report on the idiosyncrasies of your week, Gemini. You have distinct strategic concepts of what you'd like to get across, and a just-as-predetermined (though not so distinct) idea of how to go about it. Yet, the necessary exchanges with others, which constitute the largest variable in your plan, refuse to play out according to your hopes. For once, the people aren't driving the process along—rather, their uncontrollable ideas and plans of their own are driving you bonkers. Really, though, it's a truly temporary condition. By next week, when Mars moves into your sign, you'll be far more in control of the game… and people will return to being an asset, instead of an irksome liability.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Gosh, it's wonderful that your mind is projecting big-and-beautiful panoramic vistas of life, Cancer. Mercury's movement into your 9th assures the limits of your current existence are not all there is, as far as your vision for what else is possible is concerned. Dreams really do come true, especially when you surround yourself with those who want to share the journey through that ideal world with you. Unfortunately, in the very short term, physical reality doesn't really want to do its part. Jobs, chores, bills, sneezes and sniffles may each contribute something to the mix, with material requirements of you that cannot be ignored… even for as valiant a proposition as 'the quest for a meaningful life'. Rather than getting frustrating, surrender to the unavoidable facts of your here-and-now. Increasingly over the next few weeks, you'll find there's no better context for dreaming up tomorrow than staying awake to today. On the other hand, resisting and recoiling don't help in the creation of anything radically new or different—they merely play off those same tired dichotomies that already leave you drearily working for the weekend. 'Accepting what is' must be the first step of any push for what could be.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Under the light of this weekend's Full Moon in your sign, you can't help but become more acutely aware of all that makes you you—the good and the bad. And hopefully you'll also realize that too uncompromising or overly accommodating a stance in relation to that 'who I am' awareness can make it much harder to get things done, both at work and in relationships. As I've described to you before (and most definitely will again), the Saturn in Leo struggle that characterizes your being through mid-'07 is all about 'the serious business of self'. Saturn's testing that you know who you legitimately are and aren't, and that you put it out into the world with sufficient confidence and consistency… but not so much you come off as self-obsessed or an unbearable tyrant. Undoubtedly, it's a delicate balance all of us are charged with. For the time being, it's your principal challenge—and whenever you slide too far toward either the pigheaded or wishy-washy extreme, Saturn will zing you correctively. This week, with an atmosphere of uncomfortably anti-climactic, under-the-surface either/or-ness, play it safe within the uncontested middle ground… all the while thinking critically about where you stand regarding both extremes.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): In spite of your reputation for crisp, unclouded thinking, don't trick yourself into swallowing your own version of the story in one swift gulp. Any currently contested tale—especially those for which you and your other half in the romantic or professional relationship have markedly different accounts—is unavoidably laden with emotional bias. Yes, Virgo, even the most practically minded folks occasionally fall prey to cagey blindspots, which sneak up from emotional corners invisible to the naked eye and scramble what's considered 'true'. Next week, both Mercury and Mars will be on better behavior for making clear sense of matters, so holding off a bit on negotiating what will ultimately count as the official truth can only benefit you. Later on, you'll be far more likely to spontaneously uncover answers that satisfy all parties… and stand independent from the sort of temperamental thought-processing currently running the show. So why labor to force a verdict now?


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Don't take it too personally if your old standby social techniques temporarily falter this week, as both Mercury and Mars scrape itchily against placements in your socializing houses. Had you noticed your friendly sociability follows certain techniques? Perhaps you're less off-the-cuff than you might've thought… and you only realize it when your calculations miss the mark. That's okay, though—chalk it up to another nugget of self-discovery. And the faltering itself is hardly a big deal, one that'll quickly pass, so make sure to remain confident and upbeat… even when you receive weird looks, cryptic comebacks or other clear indications that they've missed your point or misread your intent. Blame the one-off in-between timing (as opposed to yourself or another person), for the very same interaction next week or the week after would rear a very different outcome. This week's odd feel is better utilized for rooting out small errors or inconsistencies in your workflow or household management than in getting anywhere with actual people.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): The inconspicuous underbelly of your week, Scorpio, involves a churning disconnect between (1) the reflex to speak and behave with unfettered, uncompromising authenticity, dissenters be damned, and (2) a deeper awareness of the restraint and tactical maneuvering needed to get where you want to go (and make money doing it). I mention inconspicuousness because I highly doubt this internal tension will make its way out into any sort of dramatic clash or challenge. From the outward unfolding events, you might not even know it's there until reading this… but think about it, and you'll know what I mean. After all, you realize that being truly yourself is perhaps the most important goal to strive for—at the same time you have other aspirations, which require you to 'suck it in' a bit, so you can play their game by their rules. We've all got tradeoffs to make to succeed at our chosen endeavors. You've reached an instant of pondering how badly you want it… and what you will and won't do to make it happen.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Do your best to keep it soft, still, simple and unproblematic this week. Privacy, for instance, is a valuable virtue… not because you're hiding anything, so much as merely keeping things for yourself. Unglamorous work also serves you well because, hell, it has to get done sometime and you won't be missing much else by doing it now. In fact, life begins to get much more interesting next week, so taking care of the less enticing crap will free you up for greater intrigue later. Moods are yours to ride, whether cruising along over peaks or through valleys, and you owe nobody an explanation why. Table the big issues for the immediate time-being, as the answers you're ultimately looking for can't be adequately divorced from the inaccurate impact of emotion-based thinking. (Not a typical problem for you, nor one that will last very long.) Each sentence that I add to this horoscopes drones on, rich with endorsements of temperance, unapologetic subjectivity, and the color gray. Bright colors, sweeping generalizations, bold commitments and statements of self-definitions are better postponed. When in doubt, take a nap.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): You're not wrong in detecting weightier implications and subtexts, suspiciously absent from actual mention, hovering beneath otherwise innocent exchanges and encounters. But you needn't bother attempting to prove you're right by explicitly bringing up what you sense… and expecting the other participants to fess up to anything other than what's above board. Your insistence will probably lead to nothing more than adamant denial, not to mention their inference that you've fallen off your rocker. Don't go there. Be satisfied that you're sharp enough to know what's up, without needing to spell it out. And then, in future weeks, be adaptable and forgiving—what you sensed from them this week is just as likely to be a reflection of a passing bad mood than a 'real' matter of concern. Even later, when the climate is better suited for probing and processing, it still might not be worthwhile to point out your observations. In the end, what's the point?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I was going to recommend keeping your focus intensely personal—on working through your feelings, balancing your checkbook, and otherwise spending your energy on yourself—to avoid potential minor difficulties or discomforts within friendships or partnerships. But then it dawned on me… As long as you stay focused on yourself, you're giving them a legitimate gripe against you: You're too focused on yourself. Oy. The fact is, there's no easy way out of this one. In the age-old balancing act between Self and Other (or Me and Us), one side almost always dominates… though which it is depends on our own issues. (Too self-centered? Too self-sacrificing?) Incidentally, the week's astrology doesn't specifically indicate a knockdown drag-out dogfight. Rather, the tension simmers underneath, and you'd presumably want to resolve it before it gets to explosion level. The best approach for these seven days: Spend most of the week as I initially indicated, focusing intensely on what you personally have to get done. Then, as the weekend approaches and the Moon waxes to Full in your 7th, switch to centering on relationships. You'll practice balance, accomplish a lot, reap the best of both worlds… and head off a conflict before it ever materializes


PISCES (February 19-March 20): When both the solar houses related to your professional life (that is, the 2nd and 6th) face annoying rubs from Mercury and Mars in positions of impromptu interchange, I'm left with no choice but to warn against your mouth getting the best of you at work. But this also makes me feel I'm doing you an injustice, Pisces, offering you another cautionary horoscope… and nothing in particular to get excited about. Let's adopt an alternative perspective, then, because perhaps it's not your mouth that's the problem (nor your mind, which is behind its utterances), but the career situation that impels you not to share your true feelings and the day-to-day drudgery that generates a buildup of resentment that has to come out somehow. Because it's a backdrop of 'annoying rubs' rather than 'perilous blowouts', you're likely to notice the profundity in what leaks out your mouth more than anyone else does. (Maybe you can even laugh at the dewdrops of venom condensing on your most casual comments, as they slip right past the big guy.) And what you can get excited about is slowly discovering which parts of your work life can be self-diffused with a little harmless humor, and which are so unbearable that, at some point soon, you'll have to do something about it. Trust me, awareness is exciting.