Horoscopes | Week of December 4-10, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): After several weeks of bearing with a lot of emotional variables and psychological complexities, you've gathered enough information to draw a final conclusion or two. You know everything you need to know to decide your next move. If you run your life with any guiding sense of ethics, which divides 'things you should do' from 'things you shouldn't' according to how they feel when you do 'em, then you have only one really satisfying choice. If you're more relativistic when weighing your options, pick the one that more markedly moves things along. Whatever the case, this isn't the time, Aries, to play the middle road non-committally. Let the record reflect that you believe in something, and will defend it openly. Let your testimony display courage and strength. Be aware of how especially powerful you'll come off, as Mercury, Mars and Jupiter all unite to give your words and actions an injection of blustering bombast. You might even scare the delicate-flower types, with how emphatically you state your point or draw the line. As long as you wield your stance mercifully, maybe it's not so bad to evoke a little fright. You're making crystal clear what was once somewhat confusing, to yourself and/or someone else. This is a definitive end… and/or a bright beginning.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It's almost guaranteed that a very significant someone will burrow deep beneath your skin this week, causing you to squirm and twitch and itch… in lust, envy, anger or an undifferentiated blob of burbling emotion (including one or more of the preceding feelings). Whatever comes up, you should deal with it on the spot—or at least within a day or two—rather than resigning yourself to 'time to think it over'. Did they push your buttons on purpose to get your attention, as a seductive maneuver or a vengeful punishment? Or was it an accidental revelation on their part, showing you how they really feel? And what do you want to do about it? For starters, being honest serves you better than being 'polite', as if you're somehow sparing their feelings by going along in tacit silence. Also, you may be misunderstanding this individual's motivations, if you don't blurt out your first reactions… and give them a chance to explain, defend, backpedal or reaffirm. Why leave such emotionally charged interactions with looming questions unasked? Now's the time to push for the complicated answers, talking toward them however long it takes. Duke it out, or grope your way through. Just don't settle for a dense mood of too many maddening possibilities. Instead, find out for sure.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your week is heavily weighted toward relationship concerns, Gemini… so no matter what you're up to, please pause to consider the other person involved. Have you filled him/her in on your current priorities and plans? Have you asked his/her opinion on matters that will affect you both? How will each of you benefit, or be forced to give something up? Don't beat around the bush in actively discussing where you stand, or your partner is liable to grow impatient. Conveniently 'leaving out details' will only lead to conflict, since they're likely to ask the very questions you're trying to avoid. You mustn't seek to control their reaction by what you don't say. Your act of willingly sharing and negotiating is more important than the details of the situation. This is but one of many horoscopes you'll be reading over coming months, in which the key subject is how fully and forthrightly you can express yourself in meaningful relationship to others. Fantastic self-growth potential welcomes you, whenever you break down the paper walls between your different selves and unashamedly display your inner inconsistencies. It's better to disclose it all, though you may fear that one true feeling sounds like it contradicts the next, than to withhold bits and pieces so that you're telling a 'coherent' story. Interpersonal trust trumps everything else.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Pull yourself together, Cancer, by grabbing all the loose ends and organizing yourself a way of tying them up. This is the week to get your efforts working for you, rather than simply using up the hours in your day to pass time. Stop wasting energy on extra steps in processes that haven't been revised or reinvented for quite a while. Cut through the red tape. As long as you keep the final goals in mind, there's no reason not to experiment with jumping ahead, doing multiple things at once, coming in and leaving later, or circumventing the usual system. 'What's really important?' you might ask yourself, before launching into another chunk of busy-work. In circumstances where you lack the authority to skirt the guidelines, be proactive in bringing the issue to your supervisor. Phrase your suggestion in terms of 'what makes sense for the business'. If you're on the right track, you'll be rewarded with a reprieve, freeing you up to work on more substantial tasks. This advice also applies to your personal health habits, where any nagging imbalances (e.g., too much or not enough eating, sleeping, exercising, etc.) threaten to evolve into actual problems. If it's not helping you maintain a consistent routine, then it's working against you… little by little over time. And if something feels 'off', seek a professional opinion. Efficiency brings a grand sensation of freedom, when it flows properly. Aim to improve your flow.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You might need a trusted colleague to pinch you, Leo, to make sure you're not dreaming. But no, it's really true—you actually are feeling that jolting gust of back-to-basics enthusiasm. You have emerged from several weeks of somber, sorrowful, ornery or otherwise odd moodiness, and made it to the other side. And while every last detail of your life hasn't magically fallen into perfect place, there's a fresh dose of optimism spreading its upbeat medicine throughout your bloodstream. Hopefully, you can put any unresolved feelings into broader perspective, so you're still aware of them but not letting them knock you around. Personal ups and downs are inevitable, and you're moving from a recent 'down' to an exciting new 'up'. Lighter times have arrived. Grant yourself a celebration. Grab the hands closest to you, and squeal with glee. If you're looking for an evening of fun (the kind that continues into the wee hours of morning), go out and get it. Party, and the world will party with you. You, with the infectious charm… watch how you toss around your flirtations. That mischievous glint in your eyes will win you the hottie's attentions. Be thankfully satisfied with what the moment brings. Don't trap yourself in expectations, though. There's too much else getting ready to happen to impose such limits. 'Loose and free' is how you want to be.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Feel like shutting your bedroom door and catching up on weeks' worth of unwatched Desperate Housewives? Go for it. Driven to scrub out every corner and crevice of your kitchen, just for that inexplicable sense of inner peace it gives you? Start scrubbing. Jonesing to rip out that ugly carpet? Don't wait another minute, Virgo. You have my official permission to spend your week doing whatever quenches your private emotional thirsts… whether or not anybody else thinks it's a good use of your time. Think of it as a test of your self-knowledge, to determine how well you can identify your personal needs, without caving to outside pressures to behave a certain away. 'Because it makes me feel good' is the only response necessary to give, and it's a perfectly appropriate one. Anxieties about the possible fallout from caring for yourself first (how dare you!) should be filed under 'Inconsequential Details to Worry About Later (or Never)'. Hard though it may be, you must tune out the blaring supposed-tos, in order to listen to the quiet whispers of a more tender You who holds illogical desires to be soothed. Soothe thyself, however you can best do so. And if that means you'll have to be insistent with your partner or housemate about an issue that really is a big deal (though they might try to argue otherwise), then do it. It's not for them to understand why you need what you do—just to respect it.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You, Libra, are the mysterious 'missing link' in 116 various social circumstances this week… and, thankfully, you aren't required to understand how exactly you'll best serve that role. Just continue talking to each person about the other people he or she really should meet, and make the appropriate introductions whenever possible. Imagine yourself to be the lubricant in every potentially awkward interaction, greasing all parties past the tight spots to encourage mutual appreciation of each other's attributes. Combine your multiple planned activities into a single get-together, so your different acquaintances may have the pleasure of meeting each other. When emailing somebody a question or response, include a cc (not a blind one) to someone else who might find it relevant. Keep the messages and mentions moving, like a hot potato you don't want to hold onto too long. But make sure you're sharing the approved-for-public-consumption version of the story, so you don't mistake unconfirmed gossip for officially sanctioned publicity. The timing is ideal for crucial communications, big announcements, and spreading-the-word campaigns. Even the most cursory (and seemingly irrelevant) participation on your part will add an extra push that'll get people talking. And considering how smooth and sharp you'll function in this capacity, there's no doubt some of 'em will be talking about you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Money makes the heart grow fonder… or just as easily turns quite reasonable adults into quarrelsome little children or shallow label-droppers. What does it do to you, Scorpio? With the astro-focus squarely fixed on your 2nd house, all matters financial should rise to the top of your priority list—how much dough you've got, how much more you want, how you're going to get it, and what you'll do with it when you do. This is no time to close your eyes, hand over your maybe-maxed-out card, and hope for the best. Knowledge is power, and knowing the hard facts about your income and expense levels will give you the power to smarten up your monetary practices. You're at a plateau, financially speaking, where you cannot hope to become wealthier without altering some behaviors that you've outgrown. Earning more doesn't mean working longer hours, as much as understanding which chunks of your time are the most profitable. Maybe you need to employ some help with those tasks others can do just as well (or better), to free you up for more moneymaking activities. Maybe you should simply remove certain time-consuming obligations from your life. And surely there are some wasteful spending habits you can break… by luring yourself with the promise of more meaningful, valuable purchases down the road, if you tighten up now. This week kicks off several months of glowing abundance, should you use the time wisely, according to budget and schedule. Now's the moment to size up your current money situation—and decide, through a spending-and-saving plan, where you want to be in a year.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Suddenly, it's a wholly different story, now that Mercury and Mars are joining the party (other guests include the Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Pluto) in your sign. Virtually everything is going your direction, whether you intend it to or not. Those pulses you feel from the inside out? That's your body racing with currents of enthusiastic energy, informing you that the time to wait is over. The fidgeting toes inside your shoes? They're your clue to pull yourself up from the seated position, and start heading somewhere. Any pauses in the conversation are your signal to set the new agenda, by shouting out all those ideas you've been entertaining and asking who's up for joining your parade. It'll be quite clear who is eagerly chomping to come along, as your appeal—in the eyes of the people best suited to your latest incarnation, at least—will be upped to irresistible proportions. They literally won't be able to pull themselves away, and you'll undoubtedly be plenty happy to keep them entertained. Of course, I'm sure a few folks will react to you unfavorably, considering the powerful release of all that pent-up fervor you're finally up to letting loose. Thankfully, the world is big enough for you and any such naysayers to stay away from each other… without having to squelch your excitement. For once, I'm advising you not to compromise in how you approach the week. As long as you're prepared for any consequences to the unfiltered self-possession I'm advocating (and who cares if a couple folks get annoyed?), just do whatever you want. You deserve the uncensored freedom.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Freeze in your tracks. Listen for the spooky noises from the backwoods, hidden from view. Though they may sound scary from where you stand, they probably aren't what you think they are. Your natural reaction to the looming of potential danger may well be to grab the wooden stick you keep behind the door, clenching it between your hands in preparation to defend yourself. Or maybe it's to lock all the doors, turn the TV way up, and eat or drink yourself into oblivion, until all you can hear is your ears ringing or your tummy aching. But please no overcompensating for the anxiety, thusly creating real problems that wouldn't otherwise have arisen, had you stayed calm in the face of perceived terror. Any lashing out, whether in self-defense or as preemptive offense, is like taking a fierce stab in the dark. You don't know what you're aiming at, if it's real or imagined, or what'll happen if you hit the target. Simply put, it's not worth reacting to phantom situations, certainly not before you get a better handle on what's actually out there. And looking at your jam-packed solar 12th house, Capricorn, the phrase 'phantom situations' pretty much applies across the board… to everything you encounter this week. Both the treasure chests and the pits of quicksand are likely to prove themselves to be mirages. Assume your imagination has run hog-wild, and is playing you for a bit of a buffoon. The creaking floorboards and rustling shrubs are merely symbolic manifestations of your internal fears. Bat around what they might mean, but do so privately. Most of all, don't take any irreversible steps or utter words you might later regret, since every outcome is a gamble of a tossup. Next week isn't nearly as treacherous, when it comes to the possibility of deceiving yourself.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Pull up another couple chairs, and expand the reservation to table of four… or six, or eight, or ten. Whatever you're caught up in, bring along an extra friend or another mouthpiece for your message. The more, the merrier. The larger the scale (contrary though it may sound), the likelier an outcome that befits everyone's ambitions. You'll miss a huge opportunity by hoarding the possibilities or going for 'em on your own. Make no decisive moves without consulting at least two other opinions, and while you're at it, see who'd like to accompany you to the ribbon-cutting or ship-christening ceremony. Don't arrive alone. Don't give up a chance to present a unified front, you and your esteemed colleagues. Twenty-four hands are better than one, after all. Working toward a common goal alleviates the unanswerable doubts as to whether you're 'doing the right thing'. Consensus, as in so many other matters, must rule. Can you find time in your week to throw an impromptu gathering? Will you be sure to include the folks you've been meaning to hook up with each other? And how surprised they'll be when you finally show up to a meeting, reinvigorating your sense of belonging by reconnecting the dots of allegiance. You won't believe what they've been up to… and how frighteningly in sync their recent activities are with yours. In that same network of allies and accomplices you've maintained for years, here come several new outcroppings of potential teamwork propositions. You've wondered what to do next? They've got some answers for you.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Your professional tides are definitely a-turnin', Pisces. You're entering a longer-term phase of cutting through the bullshit—which usually comes in the form of supposedly 'rational' reasons why you'll never get where you want to go—and defiantly reaching for the grand prize. And this week is its potent initiation, when you'll do yourself a great service by admitting the truth about what you aspire to do. Take all practical objections off the table, and speak with the voice of a confident visionary. Believe it or not, an authentic passion for some goal or calling is the most important tool you need to succeed. Its bright light will lead you through the darker moments, when you're forced to confront obstacles that might otherwise pull you off-course. If you can hang onto it, no matter what else comes up, it'll pull you through the what-ifs and toward exactly what you want. But your passion can easily become clouded by a swarm of insect-like technicalities, scaring you into submission. Don't get swept up into that noise, at least for now. Most people who achieve their dreams didn't have a clue how they were going to do it. Instead, all they held onto was the dream itself… and an adamant refusal to allow it not to come true. Despite the surface-level complications, it really is that simple. Like a dog who won't give up his favorite toy, chomp down hard on what you want—and don't let go until at least 2009.