Horoscopes | Week of February 17-23, 2014

ARIES (March 21-April 19): For you specifically, Aries, this is a week to let things be. Your best edge comes simply from not getting yourself 'into' anything (or any 'further in' than you already are), and from mainly keeping to yourself even if you experience a sudden urge to interject your agency into initiatives or activities already happening out in the world. Your biggest threat, meanwhile, is the chance of accidentally inviting a bunch of head-rattling, gravity-defying, sanity-challenging noise into your inner sanctum…for no fruitful purpose, I might add…by mistakenly believing you could just quickly and/or partially involve yourself in something and then just as easily pop back out. (Highly unlikely to transpire quite like that.) In this unfortunate process of creating a headache where there needn't be one, you'd also be robbing yourself of a certain amount of 'quiet time'— which, in fact, very well could prove far more personally fruitful in the long run, whether it provides you an opportunity for creative visioning, a spiritually-minded check-in, and/or plain ol' relaxation. Look within, then…because I'm sure if you do keep glancing outward, you probably will find something to 'get yourself into'.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For this week at least, Taurus, you need not feel compelled to carry out any great feats or stand center-stage and lead your people to the promised land. No matter how responsible or important you might be (or how regularly others expect you to play that part, in order to ease their worries), you'll have a much more successful week by removing any distinguishing cloaks that would set you apart from the crowd (in 'good' or 'bad' ways). Instead, just add your humble face to the chorus, one indistinguishable individual among many who share a common interest or vision or fondness for each other, demanding no special attention other than the unspoken acknowledgment that you're a valued part of this group and these folks are appreciative you're there. You needn't be the exceptional upholder of principle (though you'll probably try to do that anyway), the role model, the dispenser of great wisdom, or anything other than a supportive pal, peer, or cast-member. Yes, I know this deliberate 'lowering' of self-expectation won't functionally work for you on an ongoing basis. There is, however, great value in taking a week or two 'off' from exceptionalism every now and again.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't fight the tides, Gemini, should they carry you into a momentary (or maybe even longer-lasting) role as figurehead, public face, or honored one within your certain slice of the collective. Though you may quietly question what you've done to deserve this slot and/or fear that you've merely got everybody fooled, you should still assume the position with externalized gratitude and grace. Perhaps your colleagues (who also unconsciously serve as agents of The Universe's will) see something in you, your recent performance and/or your promising potential, that you're somewhat blind to yourself? Doesn't really matter how you've found yourself where you now are, though…and, therefore, I strongly urge you not to put up a fight, pose a challenge, or inquire too uncomfortably into qualifications or expectations. You can discuss the ins and outs of this process later, once Mercury isn't retrograde and you've come to assuredly accept that none of this is as much of an 'accident' as your modesty wants you to believe. Just step into the role, according to proper protocol, and smile a lot.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Re-approaching a potentially messy matter of importance at this time, from this more self-empowered spot, increases the likelihood that you won't water down your statements of personal predilection or proclivity as you otherwise might've on some other occasion. But sticking to what you want, Cancer, isn't the only consideration to presently bear in mind. In an odd reversal of expected circumstances, you could actually triumph over others' barely-voiced and/or easily-drowned-out objections without much of an outward effort…and without realizing that you've somehow disregarded a key tenet of what's important to them, simply because they went along so compliantly with your take-charge recommendations. Though the astrology does favor your ability to both secure your desired outcome and keep the other person relatively contented (or at least complacent) during the relevant interaction, it also tempts you to make an unwitting moral misstep or breach-of-principle in the process. Don't be so awed by your obvious win, then, that you forget the rules of just engagement.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The trademark Leo generosity (a trait which, in this humble astrologer's opinion, doesn't get nearly enough publicity) could move you to flirt with going just a tad too far, in terms of what you might declare you're willing to do for someone close to you who appears to be in need. While I'm not suggesting you turn a blind eye or cold shoulder to circumstances in which you might be able to ease another's suffering or worry, Leo, I do think you ought to beware of the impulse to automatically do any- and everything in your power…such as writing a fat check that'll drain money you need for other expenses, agreeing to let them stay with you as long as they'd like, and/or otherwise providing free access to your time or resources…before you put yourself in jeopardy, just to demonstrate your genuine loving-kindness. You're still under astrological pressure to put your own practical security and consistency first over all other concerns, even above a cherished loved one pulling at your heartstrings. You can certainly find ways to help them without impulsively sabotaging your standing. No playing the 'perfect' hero (who just so happens to suffer from excessive idealism).


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Be present with and/or for them, Virgo. Allow your agenda to become temporarily hijacked. Let them show you, or expose you to, something you'd otherwise be very unlikely to explore on your own— without you worrying, in advance or during the process, whether or not it's your cup-o'-tea. The act of veering beyond what we may be pretty sure are our established preferences can be useful, either in revealing a new pleasure we previously missed or simply confirming what we already knew. And whatever the case, doing so alongside someone who's clearly enthusiastic and passionate about this activity or adventure is an undeniable bonding experience, providing you clearer access to this side of their personality you've had less direct contact with. Rather than offering opinions or suggestions regarding whatever you two are doing together, I'd recommend instead asking lots of background questions about their personal history, their feelings, and their hopes…not in an attempt to garner any specific 'information', but just to hear them talk on subjects they find dear. I envision you being happily enraptured by what they're willing to share with you, both parties beaming with the joy of connection.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Externally, please continue dedicating yourself to meeting the present mission-at-hand, Libra— even though you might feel especially bewildered, distracted, ditzy, and/or out-of-sorts with regards to your current capacity to satisfyingly produce results. Presently, your dedication is not about self-confident achievement (or any valiant attempts to do so), but simply a factor of showing up, sincerely ready to do whatever the situation calls for. Other players could abruptly flip the script on what's expected, in which case it serves you to amiably shrug your shoulders and flip your efforts to coincide (rather than needlessly indulging any annoyance over the change-of-plans). Internally, regardless of what goes down and/or what's asked of you, you should take great comfort in knowing your most earnest work right now involves stabilizing your own boat, in your own home and/or bank-account— and, as such, any outward shifting of duties or responsibilities is merely something to meet with curiosity, an observant eye, and unattached social grace.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): I've moved to begin this week's horoscope by rousing you to appreciate love wherever you can find it, Scorpio— though immediately after deciding on this amorous starting-point, I'm reminded of your horoscope from two weeks ago, which distinctly warned against 'sudden declarations of love', so I hope I'm not being too confusing. The love itself is not only all around you right now…in the chirping of the birds, the warm smiles of strangers who you lock passing glances with, your hopes for future generations of fuck-ups just like you, and the gorgeous sentiments and creations you put forth to inspire said future-generations…but it's presently reaching out to you with a heightened glow of spiritual purpose. Love really is all you need for staying present in and motivated by life, and thankfully is an inexhaustible commodity. Please remember this, should you find yourself flirting too perilously with the darkness of cynicism. Yet, don't allow yourself to become overly personalized or possessive with this precious commodity. Don't claim it as your own, deploy it for selfish ego-stroking gain, or lord it over anybody. Leave it free, tapping in as needed, with faith it'll continue to flow strong into eternity. This is true romance.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Can you manage to steathily disappear, Sagittarius, without leaving anyone in the lurk and/or making it seem like you're only doing so to garner attention (a la 'oh my gosh, where did you run off to?!?'). This is one of those weeks when it would feel pretty glorious to unzip your outer skin, shed the trappings of coherent personhood, and dissolve into the secluded luxuries of being (rather than its demanding step-sibling, doing). How great would that be? So if it's impossible for you to pull off a handful of days in self-enclosed 'staycation', please do consciously steal a few hours for just such a purpose— and please set yourself up for not having to answer to anybody else's greedy needs or grabby hands during that time. If you refuse to heed these astrological energies and instead try to bulldoze over this peace-and-quiet craving by soldiering on anyhow, please realize you're liable to find yourself in emotionally-draining circumstances in which you feel like you're having to parent people who ought to be behaving like full-grown adults. And how would that happen? By not properly directing that 'parental' attention to your own damn self (who obviously needs a restorative time-out).


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Provided that the situation doesn't directly call for any reiterations-of-message (as per last week's horoscope), then I strongly suggest you patiently and gladly participate in whatever conversations or exchanges you circumstantially find yourself in— and not bother trying to accomplish anything in the process, other than 'being there for them' with camaraderie and/or empathetic support. Where you could inadvertently go wrong (even with the absolute best of intentions), Capricorn, is through the offering of practical fix-it advice and/or firm decisive judgments when this probably isn't exactly what the other person needs or wants to hear. That's not to say what you're offering isn't sound or well-meaning, for the record. Rather, it's that your sentiments may not apply as neatly to their current lot-in-life as they do to yours. Whether that's because they aren't quite as far along in their developmental process and/or are presently overwhelmed by emotion, or whether you're in a more fortunate position than theirs due to personal history or financial advantage or innate strength-of-character, doesn't much matter. The main point is that we are all different: Counsel that works for you might not work for them, though a lovingly welcoming ear or shoulder is always a helpful offering.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): You may experience a strange drive to cede your 'selfish' interests, in the name of trying to make everything go more smoothly. But I wonder, Aquarius, whether this is indeed a self-respecting administrative strategy— or merely an unnecessary abdication of self-interest, offered up as a means of avoiding the discomfort that might occur when you acknowledge having your own stake in the matter. By wholly dispensing of the conversation otherwise required to integrate your personal investment with the larger organizational drift (because, god knows, saying nothing feels easier than saying something), you might be making a move you'll come to later regret, once this passing influence floats on and you no longer interpret the fact of having self-serving desires as somehow 'petty'. Mercury is still retrograde in your sign, leaving you especially vulnerable to making split-second utterances about what, at the time, seems fairest— though the most competent longer-range solution may actually favor certain characters' interests over others, based on keeping the core-members and/or MVPs the happiest. Bless your equitably-minded heart, but if you are one of these select few, you have no business selling yourself out under a Mercury retrograde just to keep a moment's proceedings copacetic.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): With the Sun moving into your sign and into a conjunction with Neptune this week, Pisces, you'll be operating under a much-exaggerated version of that already-fairly-typical Piscean experience of being seen as, and/or understood to be, somebody other than who you are. No other sign is more prone to receiving others' projections (whether they are flattering or fear-filled) than yours, as I'm sure you're noticed over the years— and while this is a condition that ought to encourage you to get to know yourself pretty damn well (so as to resist buying into others' imprecise presumptions about you, which might otherwise lead you down a path of self-delusion or self-denial), it can also be an insightful exercise in learning exactly how the folks you've chosen to surround yourself with do, in fact, perceive you. This week, take silently hyperconscious note of these perceptions: who celebrates which qualities in you (perhaps too idealistically?) and who ignores which qualities in you (because they're clinging to their ignorance?), who puts you on a pedestal and who knocks you down. Though neither the most complimentary nor the most insulting impressions of you are likely accurate, they may hold a tiny glint of truth…and it's interesting to observe which characters emphasize your positive qualities, and which fixate on the less-positive.