Horoscopes | Week of February 12-18, 2007

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You might ask yourself, 'Does it really matter how other people perceive me?' And as much as you might like to trumpet an unambiguous 'no, never!' to that question, the realistic truth is more nuanced and knotty than that. When the folks who are watching you hold the magic key to the golden kingdom you're dying to get into (or even if they're just the wage-slaves checking IDs at the door), it most certainly does matter what they see in you. Without making certain compromises, you may be able to gloat about the total freedom you enjoy—but you'll make few allies, and you'll have to pound every single inch of the pavement by yourself. Sometimes, being on top of things means knowing which battles to fight… and which to let go, in order to keep from bungling your public image. For your most successful week, enjoy the different kind of freedom that comes from surrendering to larger forces, which are beyond much influence from you anyhow, regardless of how brave or ballsy you are. If the dress code says to wear a suit, wear the fucking suit already. And if a high-risk project comes around needing volunteers, permitting someone else to take charge may be your smartest career move. After all, if it backfires, it won't be your fault.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): It's on you, Taurus, to discern between which attitudes and activities are truly appropriate to who you're becoming… and which are residual inheritances from a family legacy that may no longer serve you. Blood may be thicker than peer pressure when it comes to ultimately explaining how our individual psyches work, but that doesn't mean you're doomed to repeating unflattering cycles. Where the cycle is begging to be broken, break it—not by denying tendencies, but by deciding what you believe to be right in the world and sticking to those standards. That great big world out there is yours to move through as you see fit… and not intended for you to quietly watch from inside the house, rerunning all those overdramatic warnings or untrue judgments fed to you by mama and papa. Like-minded pals are a godsend this week, as they can help you reiterate all the reasons why you aren't an exact replica of where you came from… as well as encouraging you to keep fighting the good fight, when it seems more appealing to chicken out and just order pizza. It's an inspiring, energizing risk everyday to separate from those emotional habits. Give yourself the credit for it.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you don't want to waste a good opportunity to get ahead, you'll have to say 'no' to activities that'll offer nothing more than entertainment (or time-passing), in order to focus your time on the most important matters. Now, quit guffawing at the absurdity of staying focused on one or two main things—I'm not saying you have to do that every week. But there aren't enough hours in a day to take full advantage of this current blend of professional luck (thank you, Venus in the 10th) and gutsy assertiveness (greatly appreciated, Mars in the 8th)… and still spend the extra ten minutes here and hour there on shooting the shit, browsing newsstands and flipping channels. Likewise, it's not enough to listen to every last idea and find value in all of 'em. You'll want to take a clear stand ('yay' or 'nay') on the important issues at hand, if you intend to impress the movers and shakers. While they might not side with you, they'll certainly respect your willingness to state an opinion. Talking out of both ends of your mouth, meanwhile, only leaves you looking clueless. Use your week wisely, for demonstrating serious attention to, and passionate belief in, something. Otherwise, the fluff you squander your precious moments on will be all you have to work with.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Actually, yes, it is worth doing what you need to do to make your point… and, no, you're not being silly by taking it all the way to that level. It's worth taking your time to collect your thoughts… and to ponder the likeliest objections you might hear from Mr./Ms. Cross-Examinator, so you can rehearse your most watertight answers. You're not being a hard-ass by presenting a legitimate expression of your beliefs—and insisting on being acknowledged as an ethically considerate individual—rather than caving in at the last minute, because the words escape you or it doesn't seem like you'll be taken seriously. It's worth proving that certain fundamental ethics of yours won't fall by the wayside in moments of emotional surge or intimate temptation. You aren't a victim of changing moods when it comes to your guiding life philosophies, are you? And if you are, that's okay, too… if you build it into your system. If you aren't sure, don't pretend to be sure. (It'll weaken your case in the long run.) It's definitely worth giving up a little immediate comfort, in order to hold true to what's yours… to feel strong and self-reliant later. But it must be explicitly spoken to be heard—and open for challenge and debate, if you want it respected.


LEO (July 23-August 22): If you feel like you're battling yourself over control of your own faculties, Leo, please realize this is a temporary phenomenon. Saturn's at it again, blocking an otherwise flowing Venus-Mars combo from free access to do its thing. Either you'll get swept into moments of passionate progression (a la last week's experimental 'scope), then find yourself doubting what you've just finished doing… or you'll hold tight to 'the right thing', only to wind up bored or pent up, resentful or envious, and wondering how 'right' it was after all. Since fluidity is a keyword for your week, then I think you're far better off by allowing the events to sweep you in, without a battle—that is, if you can squelch those afterthoughts (guilt? shame? befuddlement? wounded pride?). On the other hand, you won't really get anywhere by, well, refusing to go anywhere. So what if you're temporarily out of your element, unsure of what'll happen next or whether you can hold onto the bliss after the lights come up? Is that a reason to stay reasonable… and miss out? Don't let a delicate ego stand in your way. It doesn't matter if you missed the point earlier, as long as you're figuring it out now. Of course, with Saturn in Leo involved, the issue of accuracy in how you portray yourself is there, quietly looming over all proceedings. Watch out not to utter words that aren't completely true, just because you're feeling some close facsimile of them at the time you open your lips.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): The planets are aligned ideally for you to recognize love where it lurks in your life, and to take whatever actions are necessary to grab it like you want it. Oh, yeah… except for Saturn, mucking the whole thing up from its secret hiding place in your solar 12th. It's a mild, behind-the-scenes muck-up, though… not enough to spoil the potential of romance, intrigue and play, which are begging for you to come out and enjoy them. At the root of the possible obstacle is an odd fear, anxiety about what might happen or whether you deserve it, and an irrational expectation that some other shoe's about to drop and wreck what chance at pleasure you might've had. Saturn in the 12th is a master at throwing up illusory problems that disintegrate into holographic nothingness when you get closer or try to reach out and touch 'em. Don't buy into his bullshit. If you just quit thinking about what could go wrong and move quickly into the enjoyment, I swear you'll simply forget to be afraid. Behave according to the cosmic precept that everything will work to your ultimate benefit, and it will. But plan on the worst, and that plan will follow you around like a noxious odor only you can smell. Life wants to reward you.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If you get your work done your way this week, Libra, you'll free up a lot more time for the raucous, rockin' razzmatazz the rest of your month has lined up for you. Your wisest time-management choices aren't necessarily going to click with what everybody else wants from you, however. Friends or colleagues, dear as they may be, will certainly have their own agendas… which, were you to follow in thoughtless people-pleasing fashion, will essentially waste a valuable window of opportunity on irrelevancies. Yet, the trick is to satisfy your own needs—and keep any sensitive-flower folks from feeling dissatisfied by your actions. Here's where those extra smoothing-out sentiments will come in handy, and if you have to stroke a couple egos to throw 'em off your throwing-'em-off scent, so be it. Just don't agree to spend your afternoons on frivolous errand-running excursions that won't get anything on your list checked off. Hold firm on that. They mustn't be allowed to overdose on your kindnesses, stuffing their faces with your attentions until they feel loved—and you feel drained. Your productivity is first yours to drink from. Then, if there's any left, toss 'em a half-hour.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Let us hear your distinctive roar of 'This is me!' Rip off that mask, so any of those latex-coated pretenses hit the pavement with a resounding thud and can later be run over by a 16-wheeler carrying gravel to a worksite. Be overly outrageous in speaking your mind freely, inviting the seemingly insignificant details from the panoramic landscape inside your head to flood the world with your artistic genius. Why hide your true feelings? It's more fun this way, going over the top in description… self-consciously adding two scoops of theatricality into every bowl of otherwise bland bran flakes. Any of you who are writers, artists or performers have a fantabulous week of self-expression ahead, if you choose to use it in this fashion. Meanwhile, those who'd prefer to channel it into more cerebrally-minded flirting (but not without the carnal thrust!)… look forward to endless chances for getting a rascally rise out of folks. Sound the outcry! Amplify the hubbub! But please heed the following disclaimer to this advice: The words contained above do not apply in situations where your professional reputation is at stake, where important people who hardly know you may judge your overall respectability on this single encounter, or where a joke taken too far might lead to assault charges or libel suits. In other words, don't come unhinged in front of the boss… or for that matter, the boss's tattle-tale lackeys.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You've got to do what's good for you first… even if that means excusing yourself from the 'complex dealings' of your friends or family members (or is it just unnecessary drama?). Above all else, look out for your own emotional well-being. Be forewarned: Your reasonable move to establish a healthy boundary is susceptible to their misreading. They can't understand the delicate sentiments inside you that motivate your need to separate… and why should they? That's your private business, right? If you want to stay at home and relax, cruise the mall solo for some personal goodies, or blow your wad on a massage and facial, who's to tell you otherwise? Mind you, they might not comprehend how much better you can serve them later (and how totally fine they'll be with you now), if you can snag yourself this much-desired down time. Don't snap into attack, just to defend your right to have rights, too—that'll just get you riled up anyhow, and bleed the upset into your supposed self-nurturance. Be confident in your need to need what you need, so the insistence upon preserving it isn't so insistent. Gracefully tell 'em you'll be back in touch in a few days… and in the meantime, your phone will be off and your curtains drawn shut.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Lord have mercy, Capricorn, how can I squeeze the phrase 'stay in the moment' into your horoscope without coming off like a fruity self-help rehasher… and yet how can I not mention this root-need at the center of your week? A big fat duh is resoundingly hollered my way, since which week wouldn't benefit from a little more here-and-now and a little less long-ago-and-maybe-someday, anyway? That said, if you can only see how much energy, power and social sway you possess right now—as opposed to (1) wandering back in history, to a time when you were only a pipsqueak and got teased for [insert perceived flaw here], and wallowing in the past, or (2) projecting into the future, to a time when you'll finally have the [insert perceived lacking here] and everything will be amazing—you'd be able to enjoy the present-moment perks and privileges more fully. You're the one setting the tone in many of your interactions right now. If things seem tense, it's because you're bringing along some chip on your shoulder or posturing all threatening-like—whether you know it or not. On the other hand, if you just show up for this very moment right here (and 'stay in it', of course), everyone will have a grand ol' time. Giggle, light and refreshing, and the world will giggle with you.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): It wouldn't surprise me to hear you'd been carrying along just fine, turning your attentions to whatever seemed most pressing at a given moment… before abruptly being reminded of your other responsibility: to someone else, as spouse or teammate or bedfellow. This 'someone else' has assumed the duty of pinning you into place, forcing you to take a certain earthly form rather than continuing to shoot yourself from time-space to time-space like a quantum particle. Try not to think of it as either a good or bad thing—instead, a mere reminder to review what it is you've been doing relationship-wise. Chances are, you're not exactly sure what that 'is' is… and that's okay. Your intentions are far more important than whether you've said or done all the perfect things. So if you haven't made those intentions clear to the relevant party, this is a great week to do it. If, of course, there isn't a particular person to whom this advice obviously applies… then, Aquarius, your reminder is a check-in with yourself about whether you're currently satisfied in your absence-of-relationship status. And if you aren't, it's time to recommit to what you'll want to give to, and get from, the still-unidentified suitor-to-be who's on the horizon. In all case, be honest with yourself… and humble.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): With Mercury flipping retrograde in your sign this week, Pisces, your natural tendencies may lead you to get a little loose-lipped… though that's not necessarily a bad thing. The invigorating vibe that naturally develops socially, among friends and potential suitors alike, is encouragement enough to continue down that road of saying whatever comes to you. Like perfectly sweet pop-music to their ears, your unguarded utterances are apt to provide those around you the inspiration they've been hunting for… which makes you their fairy godmother or -father come true. The only reason this wouldn't work in your favor? If you lean too far in their direction, seduced by the warm fuzzy feelings of fluffing up someone else's sense of self-worth, you might just fall right out of your chair and bump your knee on the concrete. That is, you could easily overpromise—and then underdeliver—having gotten caught in a poignant moment of mutual camaraderie and support. In such circumstances, you can expect to find yourself quickly running out of time, money and/or energy to fulfill your bighearted promises… and scrambling to get your own shit done. Or worse, you simply run out of steam, and must fend off the sniffles or end up in bed for a few days. Keep 'being there' with them, but be realistic about what you say you can do.