Horoscopes | Week of December 31, 2007-January 6, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): With too narrow a focus and/or too ardent an attachment to one way of seeing, you are going to feel trapped. And that, Aries, is a fruitless feeling, since you couldn't be further from 'trapped' in this universe's grand scheme. You are the sign of the pioneer, for goodness's sake, and nothing must be allowed to block your vision of unlimited possibility. Your mantra for the week? There's always another option. In other words, if you are dutifully following along the same disappointing track, with no sense that it's leading anywhere other than a dissatisfying end, then please do something about it. It's never too late to rethink your role—or to bow out altogether, if need be. Though it might get messy (in terms of dealing with the interpersonal ramifications that'd necessarily arise from changing gears), your personal satisfaction is well worth it. Maybe those other choices you quickly dismissed or never fully explored aren't looking so bad after all.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Sharing definitely isn't all it's cracked up to be, if you listen to how the kindergarten teachers tell it. We're supposed to enjoy giving up some varying-in-size slice of our pie to somebody else, so we may bask in the rewards of giving as we watch them lick the whipped cream off their greedy fingers? And we're also supposed to gratefully rest on the necessary support we require from others (e.g., financial, romantic, psychological), content with humbly holding out our hands while they bestow generous offerings (which perhaps we did not earn!) upon us? Hogwash. Sharing sucks… or at least the moment-to-moment emotional experience of experimenting with just how much to give and take, and its unavoidable ramifications for the balance of power in the relationship does. And yet, we need it, if we don't want to freeze ourselves away into a safe-but-lonely isolation. This awkward act of negotiating how we share is essential for developing interpersonally. But here's the catch: It's ultimately not about resolving your differences and finally achieving a motionless stability. The contrasts add all the color. The real issue? Whether you'll ever stop trying to convince each other you're right—and let the other keep his/her own opinion, agreeing to disagree while also agreeing to share anyway.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Mars retrograde has slipped back into your sign, and back into an opposition with Pluto… which means you could feel like you've slipped back into a confrontation with a certain special somebody (and/or with yourself over that old dichotomy of 'self vs. other'). If there's a familiarity here, it should hark back to mid-September, the last time Mars and Pluto pitted off across your 1st/7th axis. I desperately want to point out, Gemini, any interpersonal differences that rise to the surface this week are part of a much larger picture related to your own stance in relationships. Are you demanding a consistency from this somebody-else that you aren't willing or able to sustain yourself? Are you stir-crazy for more excitement and stimulation in your life, only to situate him or her as the stubborn obstacle to satisfying your curiosities? Rather than focus on the other person, you really must look at your own behavior—and come to embody all the qualities you'd hope to find in them. If you cannot do that, you're more likely to project all the negatives outward, while claiming the positives for yourself… while, in reality, neither of you is 'good' or 'bad'. And instead of resolving the opposition within yourself, you'll likely end up having it out externally in a literal 'you vs. him/her' (instead of the proverbial 'self vs. other'). One possible problem-in-the-making: Your itch for 'something different' leads you to blow off a boring commitment to someone else, just to prove nobody owns you. Don't embrace your own independence by flaking out on them. Escaping may sound fun, but you'll have to answer for it later.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Perhaps it's best to start 2008 off with a moment away from the crowd—as long as you promise not to engage in self-defeating, self-sabotaging or downright unhealthy indulgences while hiding at home. Of course, the same threat of overdosing on escapist tendencies exists even if you don't step back from public view, since all the New Year's activities have just as much a chance of exhausting you before your new year's even begun. Therefore, Cancer, it's not about skipping the party altogether (though that's certainly an option, if the thought of exposing your tender self to throngs of drunken revelers strikes some fear in your heart). Rather, watching your intake of substances (food, drink, drugs, even the intoxication of too much sleep) with an eye for balance is super-smart. And finding at least some good chunk of quality time alone this week will set you off on the right foot for'08. Now that Mars retrograde has fallen back into your solar 12th, your physical energies will be even less consistent and predictable than they've been over these recent couple months (which have already been plenty inconsistent and unpredictable). The solitary breather you steal will help you to regroup your faculties, if only so you don't feel quite so discombobulated as you otherwise might. All this, need I point out, is a temporary condition. Mars returns to direct motion at the end of January.


LEO (July 23-August 22): You're actually not the misfit or social outcast you might fear becoming. Far from it, in fact. Therefore, you should probably check the part of your brain that may start to conjure reasons why you're seemingly stuck hopelessly outside the main scene you covet a role in. This is a dangerous mindset to feed, Leo—especially since it's partly-to-fully self-indulgent and -delusional. As long as you can comfortably be yourself, you'll naturally have a place in most any group, gang or gaggle. So if you're still struggling to find that place, one of two scenarios is most likely unfolding: Either (1) you're too desperate to fit in and thus aren't exactly behaving 'comfortably', which is sure to rub people wrong, since nobody likes an overt social striver, or (2) the group you're trying to fit into just isn't right for you, as evidenced by the fact that your natural behavior doesn't appeal to them. Assuming that the former is the case, you're going to have to relax and show them you're laidback enough to join along with their joking, rather than fearing what they think of you. Don't be afraid to look silly. In fact, they'll probably like you better if you're a big goof. If, however, the latter is what's true, you have deeper questions to ask… namely, why you want to belong to something that's apparently so ill-fitting it makes you feel like an outcast.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Restraint will you do you good… that is, the sort that's about holding yourself back from reacting with too obvious an upset to anything happening out there in the world. That's because you're supposed to ease the perturbation privately—not by replaying it all in your head until you can analytically master some detail that'll make it all make sense, but simply through treating yourself kindly until you're adequately calm. Why? Because the specifics related to the external events are fairly irrelevant and arbitrary. If it's not one thing, it's another. There's always some doofus or dickwad out there, as if in wait for just the right chance to fuck up what you thought you'd taken care of. That will never change. Your macro-level assignment on this topic, then, Virgo, is to find the strength to fortify your emotional innards against any undue influence from the public carryings-on (and those folks carrying out the carryings-on), so you'll feel okay no matter what. And this requires a new level of self-acceptance not based on whether you prove your point or 'get it right' (whether publicly or privately), but purely on you being you, as is. So, if your boss or some other powerful person in your life does something that pisses you off, be careful not to ooze your unspoken pleasure. (The passive-aggression will be obvious.) Keep the interaction short and sweet. Then, get some distance, and go cool down. By the end of it all, the only thing that should matter is whether you let it go, in order to attain a peaceful inner state.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Put on your happy face—and I know you've got one, Libra—no matter how you might be feeling inside. It's important to put in your appearances during New Year's week and maintain a presence in your social community, though you might prefer to stay in hiding. Isolation won't exactly be so useful to you at the moment, since it'll only add further fuel to those seemingly-hermetically-sealed inner experiences of yours that're probably what's inspiring you to want to hide out in the first place. In contrast, the casual chit-chat with pals (which you may be dreading) will actually lift your spirits… if for no other reason than fresh input from external stimuli tend to shift our otherwise-stagnant feelings along to new places. (And, in case you forgot, you do like these people whose company you're considering ditching.) Yet, I do think it's fair, during your social outings, to steer clear of any loudmouths with pushy opinions, as their caustic bloviating will definitely stress you out. Make a deal with yourself: 'I will fight the urge to disappear into solitary confinement and meet my social commitments, as I know it's ultimately what's best for me. But in exchange, I promise to remove myself from specific encounters with folks whose vibes create unnecessary tenseness in me.' Sound good?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You're barking up the wrong tree, Scorpio, if your 'simple solution' somehow involves grabbing all your toys back, rescinding your endorsement, or otherwise trying to limit or withdraw your full participation in the matter. My gosh! Don't you know it's rarely that simple? There's still some rather complicated business going down between you and that certain someone you're claiming a desire to pull back from. (And even that 'claim' is dubious, since I'm not sure you really want to pull back… as much as appear to pull back, in order to elicit a reaction.) All these attempts to 'simplify' just aren't likely to work. Yet, I think you're supposed to stick with the whole thing anyway… at least for the foreseeable future. (Need a timeline? How about through the end of January at minimum, but more wisely through the end of March?) This tangled web which has caught you within its sticky silk threads is exactly what makes life interesting. See it through to a more resolved resolution, despite the headaches likely to continue for a short time, and you'll be glad you did. It'll make it that much easier to shift toward the lighter-hearted perspective, once it's all said and done.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Cruise by on charm, and let everybody else get all worked up for no good reason. Now that Venus has entered your sign for a few weeks, you'd be a fool to forego some of her blessed ease, merely to fiendishly snatch up the bait others could be laying for you. After all, at the same time Venus kisses your energy-field with an extra layer of likeability, Mars (still retrograde) and Pluto return to a fierce opposition across your 1st and 7th houses… which once again pokes at a desire to face off with another person in sticky collision, if not all-out war. But if you're learning anything from this retrograde-Mars period, it's that you don't always need the confrontation. (Thinking it's somehow 'fun' and choosing to engage for entertainment, however, is a whole different ballgame.) So, Sagittarius, if an antagonistic run-in doesn't sound like a good time, avoid it altogether by asking yourself, 'Why get sucked into their negative drama?' Be careful how you distinguish yourself from their 'drama', though. If you're too smug about it, you'll only make them angrier—and make it harder to sincerely bow out.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): The horoscope story I told you this past month, Capricorn, was arguably one of the best of them all—basically, an invitation to, as they say, 'come into your own' in a grander manner. You have a lot of exciting adventures just ahead… as well as plenty of the interpersonal work required to somewhat disengage yourself from others' needy expectations, so you can do what serves you without guilt or interference. In this transitional week from '07 to '08, you should probably prepare yourself for the increase in creative fertility coming up: taking care of any half-done projects you'd meant to finish by now, closing the book on certain done-and-over-with chapters, and obliterating any doubts you're harboring that your upcoming year will merely be more of the same crap you've detested over this past year (or much longer) because it won't. Tying up these loose ends and clearing your head will create space for new ideas to be born. It'll also leave you with that super-productive feeling, which is wonderful jet fuel to zoom into a super-big 2008 on.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You don't require a clear reason for craving a little extra attention now and again. And with Mars creeping back into your 'look at me!' solar 5th, I wouldn't be surprised if this week proves to be one of those times. Far be it for me, Aquarius, to stand in your way. Rather, I encourage you to do whatever it takes to get 'em lookin' at you… even when words like 'loud', 'obnoxious' or 'domineering' could be accurately tossed out as descriptors for your performance. So fucking what? And if one of your friends starts to get a bit snitty about the whole thing, then let 'em grumble all they want. (It wouldn't surprise me if that particular pal has some of his/her own issues vis--vis wanting the spotlight.) Everybody's got to share center-stage and, for this passing moment, it belongs to you. Your assignment is to have fun with it, get folks talking about you, and squeeze out some of your pent-up expressiveness. Not a bad recipe for New Year's week, eh?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Though you may have any number of rightful excuses to be sulky or sore, you're unlikely to get anywhere productive by hunting for a quarrel… or even by making much of a big public deal about anything at all. In fact, Pisces, it's a bit unfair to pin your emotional discord onto anybody else—yes, even if they may have done something to initially stir up the inner whirlwind—since it's up to you to manage what's going on inside you. I promise you that dragging other people into the process of processing your more-complex-than-you-think reactions will only amount to a losing battle. Why? Because you are bound to have trouble trying to articulate the finer details of how this other person's actions have intersected with emotional situations from your history, triggering a complicated mix of issues that only partly involve him or her. And so the words probably won't line up too well with the actual experiences… and they'll have a hard time understanding, making it harder for you to convey what's really going on. (I'm actually picking up that exhausted irritation you might endure in such a situation, and it doesn't feel good.) This is an instance in which drawing clear boundaries between you and somebody else is a good idea. You're going to have to find your own internal peace on this one.