Horoscopes | Week of January 8-14, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): On and off for several weeks now, Aries, I've been on the lookout for any super-emphatic-or-insistent declarations from you, confident (or competently feigning as much) that you've found a magic answer, or at least the right direction to head towards one. It's your hyper-stimulated 9th house, which tends to make us dogmatic or fundamentalist in our beliefs, if we're not careful, that's behind my watchfulness. Undiluted enthusiasm for new mind-expanding exploits or paths to pursue is one thing… and a very good one at that. But smug contentment, resting on a conclusion or discovery already made, is entirely another—especially if you lord it over those who believe something different, or still have questions. I am all for passionate acceptance of viewpoints, systems and philosophies, if it adds positive value to one's life. However, these are choices we all must make for ourselves. Now is a wonderful time for you to go full-force into a meaning-making adventure of your choosing: studies, theories, practices, travels, retreats. If your commitment has previously wavered, this is your chance to shit or get off the pot. And in sharing your excitement with others, hold a space of true confidence—which enables you to communicate calmly, without the desperate need to convince anyone (and, in the act, to test your own certainty). You currently bear tremendous vision. Yet, remember, one person's 'magic answer' is mere irrelevant blather to somebody else… and still that does nothing to cheapen its all-powerful truth.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This is no time to save face, to try coming off cool as a cucumber or fragrant as a flower, or to slap on a silly grin and fake it 'til you make it. No, it's far wiser to swallow your pride, admit your shortcomings, and bask in the universal beauty of imperfection. Does drama linger anywhere? Do mixed feelings keep you from presenting a clear case? Don't worry, there's no requirement for your case to be clear— just as accurate as possible, considering the rotating complexities involved. Instead, present a conclusion-free cataloguing of all you've said and done and thought about saying and doing… from the humble, blameless, uncompromisingly first-person perspective of someone who doesn't know any more than what he/she knows. It may be hard to believe, Taurus, your week's best luck comes from publicly acknowledging your perceived flaws, your foulest shames and sins, and your most vulnerability-spilling dreams for what happens next. But it's true, thanks to Venus's conjunction with Chiron in your 10th. The world doesn't need another image of swaggering impenetrability, more stone-washed John Waynes who've never dared to cry a public tear in their lives ('there was dust in my eye, I swear'). Rather, we ache for the braver ones, willing to stand at the podium and fess up to a mixture of fear, fury, grief, confusion, hope, and the simple desire to impress everyone else—basically humans, honorable and dignified in being failingly human. Be that for us. Our gratitude will repay you richly for the risk you incurred.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): 'Allow me, your favorite Gemini, to wager my most unequivocal statement yet on what it is I want from you. This is not the tidy, well-constructed version that blends delicately in between the salad and soup courses. This isn't the occasion when I'll belabor the hashing-out of specifics, in wording that carefully brokers a mutually diplomatic agreement. No. I'm speaking out, not only on explicit behalf of my desires—which, by this point, are so potent that there's no turning back—but, larger still than that, in support of my higher views on important relationships themselves. Yes, it's that profound. Yes, I'm that devoted to my values. And I see too much potential in this whole wide world of other people-and-possibilities to waste my precious time, wondering quietly if you'd be up for going further with this. Fine, accuse me of being overly succinct, and maybe a bit curt or cool, by proffering this matter-of-fact "take it or leave it". (I am an air sign, after all.) It's not intended as an ultimatum, so much as a forthright invitation… and if anything, you should be flattered that I'm making my intentions so blatantly known. I may be willing to walk away (and, perhaps, never even look back) if you should rebuff me, but that bespeaks nothing of how I feel toward you right now. Don't mistake my self-preservation for a lack of investment in our "us", should you choose to choose me too. It's just that I now know where I'd like us to head from here, and I'd also like to know what you know…'


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Great astro-weather for a detox, wouldn't you say? When I glance at that robust Mars-Pluto conjunction in your 6th, I picture you reaching your hand right into the innards of your midsection, psychic surgery style, and pulling out a gelatinous glob of residual rubbish that's been obstructing your ideal health. Of course, you may not have any actual junk in the trunk clogging your efficiency (or you may lack the skills, or desire, to invasively excise it yourself), but I think you get the point, Cancer. If you need to relieve yourself of social obligations, in order to adhere to a hypoallergenic, macrobiotic, teetotalist or otherwise pollutant-free week, then do it. If you must do away with an extra hour of shopping or sleep, just to squeeze in that yoga class or deep-tissue massage, the choice is easy. Don't limit the concept of 'detox' merely to the physical body, however. How often do holistic practitioners warn of the emotional root-causes of our bodily dis-ease? Purge those recalcitrant resentments, too… the dashed dreams and disappointments from '06 (or earlier), the pissy grudges you still hold toward mean old family members and unjust bosses and heartless ex-lovers, and whatever else needs coughing up and spitting out. Try expunging the wasteful excesses at work, too—the pointless paperwork, the redundant double-checking, the need to get another round of approval before carrying out the same rote tasks. Detox 'em right out of there. Incidentally, should you choose to take the opposite approach and actually toxify your system, be warned that those contaminants will go extra-deep and do even more harm than usual.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Your fantastic shot at snaring the center-stage spotlight from whomever you're aiming at continues, into another week of persuasive pursuance techniques. Whatever 'it' is that an individual needs to crack the Hot 100 and snag a star on the Walk of Fame, you've currently got it. Be shrewd and dignified, though, in how you wield this bigwig luminescence. If you learned anything in '06 about the difference between (1) authentically winning some-but-not-all hearts with the tried-and-true you and (2) vainly trying to impress them all with an over-the-top song-and-dance, now's the time to put it into practice. By sticking close to (1) and veering clear of (2), you'll ensure that only folks who genuinely delight at your bounteous vitality are the ones who'll flock to your feet—not the hangers-on who, despite the fawning attention they'll drench you with, will eventually require you to shake 'em loose (and not always in a pleasant manner). And when you're face to face with a person you especially like, feel free to drop any cover-up acts that attempt to conceal your awkward nerves underneath. You want to be adored for you, warts and all, right? Believe it or not, the fetching face who may eventually prove to matter most belongs to someone who'll actually like you better for the rough edges and loose threads you leave hanging out, for all the world to see.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The planets have conspired to weave a rather well-coordinated tapestry for guiding your week… and the main theme that pops is your need to steal away, for an extended visit away from public view, and the expectations of others contained therein. You may notice this isn't the first time lately I've hinted at the need for quiet alone time, Virgo. As recently as last week, for instance, I did my best to make the 'insulated hibernation hatch' sound as enticing as possible, urging you to return there whenever a disclosure created more drama than you're in the mood to handle. And now, this strategy of retreat is looking even more appropriate than before. First, we have Mars in the 4th, joining with Pluto to direct your undivided attention to private business… in your home, behind closed doors, with long-standing emotional roots and/or not much to be gained from advertising it around town. Chances are, whatever's currently stirring you up is best managed by looking deep within—to old family patterns, unreleased grudges or a childhood yearning still unfulfilled—rather than tussling with whoever happens to be nearby. Mars also trines Saturn in the 12th, another quintessential astro-indicator of the need for withdrawal. Don't look for the key to fluctuating moods or looming anxieties in external stimuli; it's only to be found on the psychic level. And a Venus-Chiron conjunction in your 6th sends you a fruitful escape-valve, when you direct your physical energies toward pleasurable types of effort, exercise or grounding bodywork. Incidentally, none of these influences, taken together or separately, indicate a need to involve anybody else in what you're doing. Take this week wholly for yourself.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): This week's trick to having a damn good time—and believe me, Libra, that's what the planets want for you—is to release all concern for what could happen next. That mental projection into the future always already caps the possibilities, with the assumption you need to know in advance in order to consent to participating. When I phrase it that way, I hope you see the inherent control issues upon which you'll hinge your fun, if you worry about what may (or may not) transpire. (Call it the blessing/curse of you brainy air signs, constantly pondering the logical ends in every ripe prospect.) No single evening's entertaining encounter will lose you any significant footing, reveal your (supposedly) hidden failings, or ruin your reputation in the eyes of someone special. If anything, letting your fear of 'looking silly' or 'making a fool of yourself' reign free might result in being branded an uptight fuddy-duddy—a fate far far worse than any passing hilarity caused by you giving some new activity a try. You're under no obligation to repeat said activities again in the future… and certainly not to redefine yourself according to one nutty night's trial run. But how could you decline an honest go, just to see? The facial expression we want to see is your candid, didn't-even-know-there-was-a-camera-here mixture of childlike glee, full-fever engagement, and an utterly joy-filled lack of control.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): When your two ruling planets Mars and Pluto come together in your 2nd house, as they do this week, they're packing a powerful message about your personal feelings of security. There's no point in talking yourself out of wanting what you want, or permitting your logical mind to argue with your emotions about its irrational needs for more. No, Scorpio, this is the time to simply grab for it, whether you're trying to hold on to what's already banked or up the stakes of what's possible. It's a rather good week, for instance, to review and revise your budget… or to initiate investing a chunk of dough in something you find emotionally dear (real estate is especially favored). Don't be afraid to spend some bucks—but only in a very clear, non-conflicted, single-minded way—in order to bring in some more. Remember the golden rule of metaphysical money management: Give generously, and it'll come back to you times three. It's also a prime time to consider asking for a raise or investigating more potentially profitable employment opportunities. However, the brash-brassy-and-ballsy approach is decidedly not how to proceed. While you may feel rather confident and deserving, do yourself a good deed and display it with quiet, humble grace. Mars's trine to Saturn in your 10th favors your most dignified restraint around folks who can make or break you… but promises real perceivable progress for those who've sincerely earned it. Hold it all together, without seeming haughty or competitive. Taming your threat of involuntary personality flare-ups is the key to a solid, sustainable future.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): One by one, over the past month, as each personal planet has crossed through your sign and into passing conjunction with Pluto, another chunk of your previously-downplayed potency has popped into play… and demonstrated to all who came your direction: 'Don't mess with me. Don't underestimate me. I've held back long enough. I'm here now, and I mean business!' It started with Venus (Dec 7), and continued with the Sun (Dec 18), the Moon (Dec 20), and Mercury (Dec 25). Now, this week, it's Mars uniting with Pluto—the most active, assertive, punchy and potentially brutal of all these solar-1st-house conjunctions. Anything left undone from this past month, a dramatically comprehensive realignment in where you're headed? If so, this is the time to push it, chop it, bury it, ignite it, or send it down the chute. If anybody has somehow missed your drift (or, more likely, been uninclined to grant you due notice), then you're sure to cross (and scramble!) their radar this week. While you may be able to glean a bit of extra advantage by showing flexibility on the minor issues (e.g., matters of wording, proper ordering of first steps first), you have nothing to gain—other than repression of your true desires—by compromising on the basic fundamentals. According to the unabashedly polarizing, though sometimes well-warranted, sentiment made famous most recently by renowned orator George W. Bush: They're either with you, or against you. If 'against' is the case with a certain someone, it could get rather thorny. Luckily, plenty of other folks are thrilled to pick the 'with'.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Remember last week's horoscope? In it, I framed your situation as pitting 'carefree abandon in your speech and thought patterns' against 'a wonky-and-wayward 12th-house Mars' that yielded a certain aimlessness. Well, Capricorn, that Mars in the 12th (call him 'the Earl of Wonkitude') takes full prominence, hitching itself to Pluto for one more torrent of inexplicable urges that send you lunging or stabbing, grunting or grabbing… without necessarily being sure why, or to what ends. A Mars-Pluto conjunction brings a whole lot of energy, but cloaked in fog, as it is in your 12th house, makes it harder to put to good use. If I could design you the ideal scenario for working with this energy, it would involve some type of total escape from the pressures of being you—not by downing Vicodins or swallowing enough bourbon to get you forgetting your name, but in a more conscious and genuinely contemplative manner (and without the nasty aftereffects!). Consider attending a yoga or meditative retreat, stealing away by yourself for a couple days' solitude, or planning a 'vision quest', in which your sole purpose is to dismiss presumptions and open to symbolic observation. Outside the everyday tribulations of job-holding, household-managing and relationship-tending, what would otherwise be potentially treacherous 'aimless impulsivity' becomes an exercise in flexing your instinctive, intuitive muscles. And believe it or not, taking the week off from serving the mighty-ego 'you' is the most productive thing you can do.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The business of maintaining social connections is one of the Aquarian soul's specialties, naturally skilled as you are at accepting human beings on their own terms. But part of what makes your allegiances and associations so meaningful is that you have explicitly chosen one group, type or set of individuals over another. While it may be great to 'get along with everyone', it does little to support your own identity-making… an activity which requires you to be somewhat discriminate about who you call a true friend or colleague, and who is just 'someone you know'. The planetary pressures on you this week, Aquarius, should motivate you to (1) reassert to yourself who matters most, and who merely consumes your time or space, and (2) unclutter the channels linking you with the matters-most crowd, by airing any unwashed laundry hanging on the line. To be truly liked or loved or respected, you mustn't expect such fond tidings from everyone. Otherwise, in the excessive show of supposed mass adoration, you'll end up watering yourself down to keep the fan club happy. And to behave as if something (or somebody) doesn't bother you or conflict with your ideals—when it surely doesf—is to be fake, a silly endeavor to waste your time on. Pick your team wisely. Oust the infidels. Confront the troublemakers you care about, with an honest heart-to-heart. And grab tighter to the hands of the mates you trust, as you run together towards the flag.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): There's much to gain, Pisces, by doing a lot of careful watching, listening and learning… and even more to lose, if you mouth off, sass back or spew hot air around folks with the authority to do something about it. With Mars and Pluto aligning at the top of your chart, less-than-subtle whiffs of power-issue poses and posturings will be present everywhere—but especially on the job (yes, more drama at work!), where somebody's likely to reach their limit and/or refuse to accept the blockage. Without keeping close watch on your variable tides and tempers, that somebody could be you. But if you expect to blow your top and not face a consequence, you're barking up the wrong tree. Make a blatant push, and plan on getting pushed back. However, 'power' isn't only who can yell more loudly, spend larger sums of cash, or end the other's current tenure of employment (though it can often feel that way). 'Power' also comes in the form of knowledge of what makes the other players tick—knowledge that, rather than being used against a person in revenge or attempted domination, can simply add to one's understanding of the innate gives-and-takes of human interaction. By your watching and listening to them closely, the events of your week will clarify or simplify thoughts you've already been having, about what'll work and not work for you in future scenarios. That's how you expand your own personal power, without going head-to-head against someone else. Of course, the head-to-head approach is also effective… if you've already predetermined what outcome you want from it.