Horoscopes | Week of February 1-7, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your strength presently comes from holding tight to your longer-term goals, Aries— but not desperately or with wild-west wantonness, lest you appear too erratic or loose-cannon-like to bank on the continuing support of friends, teammates, or other stakeholders. As compelling as the urge to push or poke or prod your way further into the fiercest heat of the action may be, the unbridled hunger behind it could be too much for certain key players to bear. As this juncture, it's wiser simply to know that unbridled hunger exists in you…that you would be willing to do whatever it takes to move forward, should the unqualified need for such a forcible act present itself at some future point…than to brandish it so brazenly like an open-carry rifle. If your resolve is genuine, other people will be able to sense it off of you; no need to beat them over the head with it. To temper your visible passion, pour your mental energy into responsibly addressing the logical next-steps which immediately impact your day-to-day work-routine. You ought to have more self-assurance about which steps are right, and how best to handle them, than you've had in at least a few weeks.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Re-approaching last week's scope from this week's astrological vantage-point, Taurus, you really can count on the power of your convictions. Your ruler Venus conjoins Pluto in your 9th, solidifying a calmly confident footing in your beliefs— and, as a result, naturally reveals who's in passionate agreement with your worldview, as well as who might be deeply unsettled or altogether put-off by your idea of the truth. While this insight is unquestionably useful in determining how best to proceed with key partners or collaborators…whether you should trustfully move closer into alliance, rethink where the relationship's going, or start plotting an exit-strategy…there's no reason you have to actually make any radical moves, in whichever direction, based on what you're learning. Your shrewdest tactics right now won't involve you hunting for direct confrontation, calling anybody out, or engaging with what you presume them to believe. Instead, just speak in clear and certain terms about what you want, need, value, cherish, and enjoy (and how the opposite of that is, by default, what you don't want, need, value, cherish, or enjoy), almost as if you're fishing for a reaction. Only if they bite should you take on the struggle.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Before deciding where to go next with this simmering interpersonal situation, Gemini, I highly encourage you to spend a concerted chunk of time alone, away from everyone else and their own-personal-investment feedback, checking in with your inner voice. This is actually less of an amorphous, abstract assignment than it may sound. Whichever way this heads, there will be certain unambiguous practical ramifications which impact your capacity to effectively manage your own overall emotional health. Other people's opinions cannot address these questions…only you can…and so, therefore, don't really matter. (And, yes, this even includes that certain someone who plays a significant part in all this.) I don't intend to frighten you, by the way— merely to emphasize that this really is a big deal, and now would be the ideal time to listen to your internal instincts rather than toss 'em aside. Please pay extra attention to that fine line between (1) nervous excitement, that general anxiety associated with advancing into unknown territory, and (2) a flashing red warning-sign, which is directly attached to some concrete condition you must consent to (like it or not) in order to move forward, but which might bind your future fate to this decision in a way that elicits panic. If you're wrestling with the latter situation, I recommend addressing that intuitive flash with the other party right away. Their response should reveal a lot about their relative investment in your emotional well-being.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Now that it's Venus's turn to conjoin Pluto in your 7th, Cancer, you're staring down a juicy opportunity to raise the stakes in your capacity to give and receive full-spectrum emotional presence in your one-on-one relations with others. As we discussed last week, your ability to collect on this opportunity hinges on how willing you are to communicate with a given individual— to patiently explicate more (rather than less) of the details which describe your current state, to ask for further clarification on questions you can't get out of your head (and to re-ask again until you finally have satisfying answers), and to allow the organic process of deepening intimacy to occur by repeatedly choosing to interactively externalize (as opposed to nervously retreating inward). That does mean you will risk uncertainty, discomfort, exposure, and potential rejection, in this act of presenting somebody the chance to really get to know you better— and of offering yourself the powerful positive possibility of being reassured, comforted, authentically seen, and enthusiastically embraced by this someone-else. However, the payoff is that great, I believe, that it's worth venturing past that point-of-no-return: If you're dutifully honoring your honest self, why would you ever want to 'go back'?


LEO (July 23-August 22): Please give yourself the fair chance this week to do it better, Leo— the 'it' being any spot in your daily routine, work schedule, and/or physical self-care regimen where you might've recently sputtered, struggled, or spun out. Soundly regaining your steadier day-to-day productive capacity is, first and foremost, about getting back into the proper rhythmic groove— a beat which ticks along at a brisk enough pace that gets your foot tappin' and your head bobbin' while you do your thing, but not so frantic or frenzied that you want to collapse in exhaustion or overwhelm. What'll help you along: chopping up too-large (and thus menacing-to-you) purposes into smaller bite-sized chunks of totally digestible effort, assigning each to a few-hours increment, and staying with whichever you're working on (instead of permitting yourself to drift into an unhelpful future-tripping litany of everything else that's still not done). What'll trip you up: giving in to any internally-derived surges of 'fuck this!' which are less about the specific responsibilities themselves, and more a reflection of some still-cohering desire to take a defiant stand on behalf of your own autonomy. Don't confuse the two; there's no 'stand' to be made by 'fucking' with your job, your health, or your earthly footing. Besides, trust me when I tell you, you're likely to actually enjoy being dutiful.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): At certain times over the past couple years, Virgo, I've recurrently advised you not to forget to solicit others' feedback when relevant to decisions you're making, and not to skip the requisite step of due open-ended communication. This is not one of those times, though— especially with regards to any matters which you've already independently come to resolution on. To entertain the appearance of a negotiation or dialogue when your mind's already made up is not only to waste everyone's time, but also incidentally draws the other person into a psychologically vulnerable or submissive position in which their relative powerlessness is obvious to you but not necessarily to them. Seems kind of unfair, doesn't it? As such, it's actually fairer…albeit potentially more awkward or distressing, at least momentarily…to be unapologetically upfront about any decisions already settled upon and/or opinions not open to being changed. In terms of the discussion itself, you may feel free to explain, at as great a length as you so desire, the step-by-step mechanics of your thinking— but it doesn't behoove you to indulge a full-on back-and-forth exchange, for the ultimate sake of all parties (though they might not see it that way).


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Please think of this moment, dear Libra, as one of culminating integrated emotional awareness. An increasingly close understanding of how the different pieces of your own psyche fit together is now coalescing— hopefully with the result of alleviating (or at least starting to) certain internal conflicts about your truths, needs, and/or desires, now that you're getting clearer on which dissenting inner-voice(s) may not be reliably up-to-date or authentically yours. That doesn't necessarily mean you have any immediate calls-to-action (with the possible exception of critical familial or domestic-front relationship engagements) which must be heeded— other than repeatedly giving yourself affirming strokes for properly confronting and crunching this emotional data, rather than stopping just short of drawing conclusions (to leave yourself room to indulge non-committal indecision?). You are in the active midst of committing; it's just a commitment that's temporarily invisible to others (which is probably pretty fitting at this time, when premature exposure to other interpersonally-relevant factors may chip away at your confident self-assessment). The hardest part might be continuing to operate business-as-usual-style, knowing bigger changes are ultimately afoot.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): While it may be even harder to soften your barbed edges this week, Scorpio, you can help ensure this Mars-accentuated pointiness works to your advantage by grounding all the interactions you participate in, the remarks you make, and/or the advice you give in as much love as you can sincerely tap into. I know, that's a very airy-fairy bit of horoscopic counsel…'ground it in love'…and yet one that rests heavily on the power of intention. Even people you rub wrong are likelier to give you the benefit of the doubt if they truly feel that you meant well. Of course, such felt intentions cannot be faked. If you can't muster genuinely loving intent in a given exchange, you might ask yourself why you feel it's so important to bother asserting this viewpoint with that certain person now. There are plenty of folks who will deeply appreciate you for your 'real talk'— just as surely as there are plenty more who just 'aren't about that'. Think about who you'd want to invest your most authentic self in relating to, before just sharing your thoughts with whomever's in front of you. Do you love this person (even in an abstractly humanist, though no less sincere, manner) in the way that makes the risk of addressing that topic with them ultimately worthwhile?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Think with your pocketbook, Sagittarius, and not with the part of your personality which would prefer to poke the hornet's-nest just to see what'll happen. This is a moment when your push-the-button impulses probably shouldn't be trusted to protect you from sharp unpleasant fallout, especially if you imprudently believe you could easily rescind that button-push by claiming you 'didn't mean anything by it' or trying to sweep it back under the rug. At this critical juncture in designing or reshaping your public-world role, you must consider every casual interaction, offhand remark, and instinctive gesture as if it were another plank of your brand-platform, contributing to your outward reputation as persuasively as any carefully-engineered marketing strategy…whether it ratifies your credibility, or unfortunately undercuts it. Before each move, then, you probably ought to interject a pause, during which time you ask yourself whether what you're about to do is liable to clash with the impression you're striving to create, needlessly alienate any potential clients, and/or undermine some key goal. If there's even a small risk, you might then ask yourself: Why not rethink that move so it directly supports your end-game, instead of jeopardizing it?


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your detailed vision is finally starting to come in clearer, Capricorn, and, hopefully underscoring it, a deep-but-quiet foundation of self-confidence should be once again making itself known. Meanwhile, this week's Venus-Pluto conjunction in your sign brings you pretty potent powers-of-attraction— encouraging you to intuitively, responsively situate yourself in the best possible position to receive acknowledgement and admiration, advantages and advances. Please lean heavily on this reserved earthy strength, then, secure in understanding that your leading edge comes from having carefully thought through (and answered) the majority of those most-relevant questions. The potential spoiler amidst this otherwise-robust beneficence? Allowing any abrupt impulse to outwardly define yourself in sharp contrast to certain other people (to baldly affirm you're a free agent? to shadily diss what someone else is doing? to audaciously peacock through the crowd like a prize-fighter?) to create unnecessary waves and/or hail undesirable negative attention. No need to force anything, when all your best shots are presently coming to you— provided you expect them to.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Under this astrology, good things come to those Aquarians willing to anxiously wait on the edge of their seats, meeting each complicated moment on its own terms (rather than freaking out at the first signs of another new complication) and observantly believing that such a brave and steadfast posture will yield ultimately favorable results, even if they look somewhat different than imagined. Though your present circumstances likely involve a certain challenge to some existing power-structure, chain-of-authority, or conventional-wisdom, Aquarius, it doesn't necessarily behoove you to openly engage it too brazenly as such. A more truly powerful position is to treat this as a collaboration between two forces-to-be-reckoned-with (i.e., you and them)— though I think it is important to stop short of presuming you to be 'equals', since you each bring different types of assets to the table and, in this situation, some are more immediately functionally valuable than others. Where you can meet them with equal (if not greater) force is with your tolerance for the unknowns, the nuances, the complexities, the many grey-shades of indeterminacy which they'd perhaps be quicker to reduce to blacks-and-whites just to get off the hot-seat. Don't bow to the get-it-over-and-done-with-already anxiety. Address each nerve-wracking step one at a time…and earnestly pat yourself on the back each time you get through one without buckling.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): You need not take on any fight yourself, Pisces. Hell, you needn't take on the fight at all, as long as you are clear about who else is on your side…and who isn't…and clearly indicate aloud that you're part of this broader alliance. This is a time to align with the strength-in-numbers which represents you— to allow yourself to ride that tidal-wave of shared interest, attitude, or belief instead of trying to futilely paddle, all by your lonesome, up a stream that's been traversed many times before by like-minded predecessors and role-models. Simple supportive statements of agreement and encouragement offered to your proven partners in the cause will be steadier vessels for your passion than attempts to adeptly articulate the mission, explain the rationale, or go toe-to-toe in philosophical combat with ideological foes. Part of successfully working together involves honestly acknowledging where everybody's strengths lie at any given moment (for different folks are differently prepared for different tasks at different times). As the astrology's reporting it to me, your current strengths are relational…not necessarily confrontational…in nature. So if you do find yourself in a confrontation, your best 'attack' (if you aren't able to let someone else fight your fight) is drawing attention to your common ground.