Horoscopes | Week of January 15-21, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Excuse us, Aries, if we misperceive your level of concurrence with the chummy batch of cohorts you'd call your own. We'd expect to be able to discern the difference between which beliefs and behaviors you share with your apparent teammates… and which are strictly yours. But with two major conjunctions (Venus/Neptune and Mercury/Chiron) in your 11th, forgive us if these distinctions seem to blur together. This can certainly serve to benefit you, in cases where you sense an allegiance with the party line but can't find the right phrasing to articulate your position. Better, then, to meld into the pageantry, bringing along your uniquely fierce rallying energy to demonstrate your advocacy, in place of a radically solitary stance that'll impolitely protrude from the group shot. However, the same influence can also injure the clarity and cohesion of your unified front, if you get too excited about your own participation—and start making proclamations or tossing logs on the pyre, under the improper presumption you're accurately representing everyone's interests. After all, Mars heads into your 10th this week, heightening your intrinsic leadership potential... or your unconscious drive to assume the leadership role, whether or not it's appropriately yours. Even if your intentions are good, you may be trampling on others' tender egos by grabbing the megaphone and initiating chants. Therefore, when joining in (and this week, I believe you ought to), be clear when adding your two cents that they belong to you. Otherwise, save yourself the risk, and get comfortable with simply echoing the broader sentiments, with whole-hearted 'hallelujah's and 'amen's.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Let's give a hearty 'hmmm!' to that Neptune in your 10th, a long-term dweller (1998-2012) whose job is to ensure that what you're achieving out there in the world (via career and/or public reputation) provides some greater service to the universal good. This week, your ruler Venus conjoins with Neptune, bringing a transcendent sense of joy whenever you can feel like you're helping. If, over recent years, you've made choices to align more neatly with a higher calling (or some differently-phrased version of this concept), I'd expect you to receive some symbolic sign of cosmic appreciation for such existential bravery. Maybe it's some extra pocket cash. Maybe it's those words of encouragement or thanks you've been waiting awhile for. Or maybe it's far less tangible a reward… rather a deep relief, a gust of pride, or a silent moment of feeling flowingly in-sync with all that is. Hmmm. Now, the dangerous part of this forever-transiting-the-10th Neptune (and you knew it was coming, Taurus) can come when this service-oriented, happy-to-help leaning isn't used for truly altruistic purposes—but instead to serve the selfish whims of another individual, perhaps a lordly boss or domineering family member. Actually, back that up: This other individual isn't necessarily a bastard or a despot. He or she could be perfectly nice… and might not even be demanding you give up so much of yourself for him or her (or, in less personal terms, 'the work'). And still, you labor. Honestly ask yourself if God, the universe, your higher power or whatever else exists would find this to be a worthy reason to make such a sacrifice. If it isn't, then, with Venus's help, utter a small, civil statement to whoever's in charge… telling them you need more of yourself for yourself. This week, it won't fall on deaf ears.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's a week to seek enlightenment, Gemini… though there are as many different routes to as many different answers in this vastest of fields as there are thoughts that cross through all the minds of all the world's beings combined. That, incidentally, offers a lot of possibilities. Don't confine your search to answers, as these may do you little good, especially if you're not even sure what the right questions are. This quest is more about ideas you've barely been exposed to, or haven't yet heard at all. And the only tool you'll need to bring along is a mind open enough to admit 'I'm not sure'. Scan the events listings in your local paper, and select one offbeat lecture or exhibition that'll expose you to something you're not likely to encounter unless you go looking for it. Pop into a bookstore or library, grab an inspirational title, and read a few pages right there on the spot. After plugging in for some fresh input, use it as fodder for your own extemporaneous wonderings—in journal entries, blog posts, in-depth emails to thoughtful friends, or coffeehouse chats with opinionated strangers. Get the free-flow of big-picture concepts into livelier circulation. I'm hoping this week's horoscope touches your intellectual curiosity and gets you excited to ask, acknowledge, ponder and propose… particularly considering there's nothing else to do with this exercise other than to take it all in. Ideally, you'll bracket your whole week inside this frame of inquisitive inquiry—and cement its significance with a daily list of what you learned, or reflected upon, during each 24 hours.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your important relationships really count in the month ahead, as this week's New Moon in your 7th kicks off a refresher course in interpersonal equality. Caring about someone, and then going out of your way to demonstrate it, with a multitude of small nurturing gestures (e.g., baking cookies, sending 'thinking of you' cards, calling to see if they need anything from Costco since you're already going.), isn't enough. Not because you should be doing even more, Cancer, but due to its blatant one-sidedness. And when we include the hyper-romantic, who-cares-about-being-a-separate-entity-as-long-as-we're-together impact of a Venus-Neptune conjunction in your 8th, that makes you far likelier to gladly give and give. But those aren't the only planets rockin' your relationship world. You've also got Mars jetting into your 7th… and here's why you'd better ready yourself to take, too, as well as ask for and assert, or possibly demand if that's what is required. You have desires, too. (I was going to write, 'You have needs, too,' but I pictured you questioning what qualifies as a 'need'. Desires, however, are far less ambiguous.) Mars in the 7th challenges you to pursue what you want, alongside what you're eager to give. If you don't, resentful tensions will build up—and quite possibly burst through, in the form of snippy quarrels or projected anger coming at you from the other person (who may be, frankly, tired of you not speaking up on your own behalf). If you can balance the give and take, however, you can expect a blissful week of togetherness… with just the right blend of action and relaxation to coordinate your yin with his or her yang.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you want to stay on top of your game vis--vis the week's astro-happenings, then plan on packing in plenty of both work and play. To make the planets happy, you mustn't choose either/or. The 'work' is symbolized by Mars's entry into your 6th, injecting the ordinarily-dull-and-dreary with a hike in measured, manage-it-all discipline. For the next six weeks, you'll wield a wise seriousness in how to utilize your physical energies… with the happy results, if you so choose, of organizing your paperwork, spinning through the chore wheel, treadmilling off that extra couple kilos, and/or generally tending to your business. 'Yay!' for Mars in the 6th—as long as you use it to get jobs done, rather than squander it on fighting about how to get jobs done. In the meantime, 'play' is best carried out one-on-one, over a candlelit meal with the main squeeze or frisky frolicking about-town with a bosom buddy. One of the most romantic transits possible, a Venus-Neptune conjunction in your house of partnerships, sets a spectacular backdrop for transcending the walls that divide you. Under such a sway, a magical moment of togetherness trumps everything. Even outside the realm of romance, the effect helps bridge any interpersonal gaps and grants you a far fuller understanding of what the other person thinks, feels and wants. You could walk so comfortably in their shoes, you might start believing they're actually yours… which is both a wonderful thing and could come with momentarily disorienting side-effects.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Projects, projects, projects… what industrious Virgo doesn't enjoy her/his fair share of projects? Apparatuses to fix. Storage areas to organize. Grimy shitholes to clean, top to bottom. And any number of items and accessories to assemble or create from scratch. Obviously, this is far from an exhaustive list of all the ways you might spend a sizable chunk of undivided time, devoted to yourself and your inexhaustible ability to do stuff and make stuff. You decide how you'd prefer to savor this fertile mix of (1) creative inspiration and (2) affinity for expending constructive effort. There's a special aesthetic finesse to your vision this week, helping you to instinctually see how to bring the pieces together into a skillful, shapely whole. And the joy you'll feel from such streamlining, beautifying measures is enough to keep you going for hours at a time, losing all sense of restlessness in the purposeful pursuit of your project's completion. You shouldn't count on losing yourself in it, however, as your expression of creative selfhood is fundamental to the successful deployment of this project-inspiring astro-climate. In other words, it's all about doing it your way… as opposed to making seemingly inconsequential compromises that leave you even slightly displeased with the final product. This project should also have an element of play to it (though a Virgo's idea of 'play' might seem odd to the other signs), which means you get to make up the rules as you go along. Please select an undertaking that'll provide you the pure freedom to do it however you wish. Otherwise, it may turn into something altogether different—and sap the sense of personal accomplishment and fun right out of it.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): The 5th-house activity you're currently hosting has the potential to wrap your eyes in an airtight pair of rose-colored goggles… and show you the absolute best in whatever or whomever you gaze at. What a superb astro-setting for all sorts of art-making activities, especially those which draw out the innate loveliness and style that usually remains hidden—flattering portraiture; evocative or impressionist painting and drawing; carving and sculpting; home redecoration; a personal makeover; or any creative refunctioning of yesterday's remnants or throwaways. It's also an ideal week to focus (or refocus) on the children in your life… to crouch down so that you're their same height, and to play along willingly in their lands of make-believe, rather than expecting them to join you in the adult 'real world' (who needs it?!?). Both these thematic possibilities also enable you to honor Mars's entry into your 4th, which prefers that you take action in closed or delimited domestic spaces, so you have the privacy to really focus on maximizing the pretties, without having to deal with practical outer-world matters. Of course, the elephant in the room I haven't yet mentioned is the effect of this astrology on your romantic life—essentially, the yearning to interpenetrate and mesh with the gorgeous creature you can't turn away from. Oh, yes, Libra, Venus and Neptune conjoined in your 5th is an invitation to fall madly in love, for the first time or all over again. Allow it to wash over you, envelope your senses, or do whatever else will elicit the great bliss. Yet, with rose-colored goggles affixed, it might not remain as it seems forever. Just as the Monet-esque landscape later reveals itself to be mere blobs of paint when you get up close, and just as the children will eventually grow up and leave their lands of make-believe behind… the love you find this week is decidedly not the whole story. Still, that's no reason not to enjoy it now.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): There's a split astro-consciousness infusing your week, Scorpio, and it'll be your call as to which yen to side with. Either stay home more than you usually do OR get way out into the social world more than you usually do. What? Two diametrically opposed options to choose from? 'What gives?' say you. It's the contrast between Mars moving into your 3rd (the active impetus to circulate, communicate, rinse and repeat) and two conjunctions, Venus/Neptune and Mercury/Chiron, in your 4th (the passive desire to relax, reflect, lay off and lie down). Truth be told, there's greater pleasure to be found on the 'stay home' route—mainly because it requires nothing of you other than listening to what your stressed-out nerves, tired feet or achy heart want from you, and then giving it to 'em. Let's face it: Recent life has been busy and demanding, and only a couple weeks into the new year may already have you wishing for the next national holiday. Why not make one up yourself, and then observe it? Alas, too much 'down time' could get you all antsy and fidgety, thanks to a more bustling, purposeful Mars that craves more activity than sprawled-out channel-surfing. If only this Mars actually possessed a purpose, other than stimulating an odd need to contact your many different acquaintances and/or to blab at whoever will listen. Huh? I suppose a middle-ground could be found, such as staying home but using phone and email to circulate and communicate, or inviting friends over so you can be social without having to put shoes on. Don't indict me for this confusing mixed-message, though—I'm just the messenger.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If you reread the scope I wrote you last week, it'll hopefully jog your awareness of just how insane the past month of your life has been. Planet after planet coursing through your sign, conjoining Jupiter and Pluto along the way… making sure to overcompensate for all those prior months of waiting, wondering, and waiting-and-wondering some more. Your juices are flowing again, aren't they? You've put some old shit to bed, and you've got a handful of new opportunities to play with. This week, the last personal planet still left in your 1st—Mars—finally moves on, taking the hyper-intense, pointed-right-at-you limelight with it. That's not to say your life will suddenly slump into tedium or uneventfulness. ('Ha!' to that sentiment.) But at least you won't have to feel as if, whether you choose to or not, the action (and drama?) is necessarily centered around you. [Insert sigh of relief here.] Naturally, Sagittarius, you may want to celebrate the shifting of tides (and the disappearance of people watching your every move) by hanging lightly and casually with your favorite pals… and consciously letting them call the shots and guide the direction you'll head together. Conversationally, take a softer-than-normal tone if offering a piece of real information or feedback. Or better yet, veer away from too-substantial topics completely, and save your boisterous self for silly small-talk and gregarious joking. Ideally, you would recede from the scene as an individual… and simply add your requisite portion to the composite scene as 'one of the bunch'. While you're at it, you just may gain a new appreciation for your friends' wonderful personalities—and how lucky you are that they're there with you.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Just go. Don't wait around for the plans to be approved or the check to clear. The practicalities will still be there, to deal (or dilly-dally) with at a more apropos moment. Now's not it. This is your freedom to experience, no exceptions. These are your reins to grab and pull toward your preferred destination. Material security comes and goes, and the surprising thing is that its presence or absence won't affect your ability to get things pumping. Assume you have all you need, or will within a reasonable time frame. That's no invitation to be foolish with your goods. But neither should you hold so tight that grins are choked away. Suddenly, people who have looked right past you for months are pausing to relish in your special zing. Didn't know you had it? Stop thinking about it, analyzing details and rethinking strategic angles. Just go. Move your ass. Let 'em react to you how they will, pissily or provocatively, with desire or defensiveness or devil-may-care directness. Stir it up. Leave the room, and start your own magazine or multi-national corporation-state. You the mogul. You the man or the hot mamacita. This is no time to patiently observe, content in the assumption you won't stand out. Even when you're just watching, Capricorn, you'll be making noise (literal or psychic). Don your finest threads or your dingiest duds, one extreme or the other, so nobody will mistake your appearance for an accident. Tell the gawkers taking up the prime real estate to move their asses out of the way. You're on fire and coming their way. You rule. No time for smugness, self-doubt or any form of hesitation. Just friggin' go.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You're being gifted with an uncommon dosage of glamour, Aquarius… so be prepared for folks to stare lovingly, with starry eyes, at the immaculate image of your exquisiteness personified. Glamour, by the way, is more than just an appealing mix of physical attractiveness, charisma and flair. There's an enchanted, otherworldly je ne sais pas that's involved, such that what others are bewitched by is beyond the mere sum of its parts. I don't intend to take anything away from you, nor question your many tantalizing talents and traits. I only want to warn you that this kooky gust of adoration and interest is especially potent… with the potential to turn people gaga over you, for reasons not completely connected to who you actually are. In short, with Venus and Neptune aligning in your 1st, people will see what they want to see—and that'll most likely cast you in an extremely flattering (if not somewhat candy-coated, smooth and glossy) light. Are you supposed to correct their possible misconceptions, or go out of your way to be 'real' by emphasizing your least glamorous qualities? Hell, no! Are you friggin' crazy? Who wouldn't sit back and receive the rewards of such admiration and affection? The key word in that last sentence is 'receive', as this 1st-house activity is quite passive in its benevolence. You don't have to do anything to get it, other than be open to accepting it. In fact, with Mars entering your 12th, your connection to your personal desires is considerably clouded… and if you set out to grab something you think you might want, you could be (1) misguided in your methods and/or (2) wrong in thinking it's what you want. Why bother with that, when the low-hanging fruit (much of which is quite delicious) will likely be falling straight into your glamorous lap?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Periodically, I find myself writing another one of those Piscean horoscopes warning of heightened sensitivities… as if the normal state of Pisceshood isn't friggin' sensitive enough! Usually, as is the case this week, the catalyst for such words is a lit-up 12th house, where planets go to duck the rational world so they can dwell in a realm where psychic hints, tastes, visions, dreams and instincts run the show. Other times, your ruling planet Neptune, the great boundary-dissolver and inspiration-awakener, is implicated in this sensitizing process—which is also the case this week. The good news, Pisces, is that Neptune-in-the-12th's major contribution is a conjunction with Venus… an aspect less likely to draw out the difficult facets of sensitivity (e.g., depression, anxiety-provoking confusion, a desire to dull everything out with vodka shots or 72-hour disappearing acts) than it is to emphasize the positives (e.g., compassion, pleasant release from the 'need to know', a desire to bliss out on glass-half-full notions). Knowing that, in terms of pragmatic utilitarianism, you're not at your most functional… and knowing that, in terms of illogical intuitiveness, you're at your keenest, especially when it comes to foreseeing the most ideal outcomes… I'd recommend you spend your week inviting the sensitivities to provide you knowledge that'll help your fellow humans. By surrendering to the astro-influences and flowing along with the winds, you'll have just the right word or shoulder or solace or motivation to offer to people you love… even if you've never met 'em. Let go, and let the divine intent of something larger work through you.