Horoscopes | Week of February 22-28, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Invite the matrix of folks with interrelated interests which directly impact, and/or are directly impacted by, whatever you're up to, Aries, to help hold you in your proper place. Though you may correctly feel a fair degree of ownership over your particular piece of this puzzle, you don't own the larger project. There are guiding principles and core values (as well as certain absolute no-nos) you must abide by, if you indeed wish to legitimately belong to this 'something greater'… and they are not negotiable no matter how enthusiastic, experienced, energized, and/or restless you may personally be at present. If you have any questions or concerns about the current pace of development, the ethical issues at stake, and/or the ways in which everybody's varying efforts are intended to work together, please reach out to your colleagues, allies, or better-educated pals. This is no time for you to go rogue, just because you feel moved to do something and are lacking enough background information to confidently know which way to head. In fact, even if you think you are relatively certain about how your stance dovetails with the party-line or consensus-view, it's still better to check in with others to be doubly sure you're helping the collective cause… rather than unwittingly causing it problems.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Keeping the inessential dirt off your hands, Taurus, will involve proceeding, in word and deed, as if everything is being watched, listened to, and recorded by the very-important-people you'd most want to impress with your equanimity. Regardless of whether a certain squeaky-wheel or thorn-in-your-side character may be causing you personal strife, your outward performance should reflect a poised-and-unflappable professional distance from any such emotionally-harrying affairs. This cool-and-collected onstage demeanor—and I repeat: treat your every move as if you are presenting it on a stage—will be your best way of communicating that you take your responsibilities to the whole endeavor seriously enough to know it's larger than one or another person's individual preferences, personalities, or petty squabbles. In this capacity, do not speak for yourself as loudly as you assume the voice of 'guardian of the enterprise'. Your ideas, opinions, and instructives must be expressed with that important role in mind. Based on how adeptly you separate your own glaring self-interests from 'what's most effective for the goal-at-hand', you'll either gain further respect as a leader (even, perhaps, from those who may not be personal pals) or give 'em good reason to question your motives.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's presently appropriate to judge the company you keep, Gemini, based upon whether they're contributing to the world's betterment, committed to something that gives their life purpose, and/or in possession of a passion, perspective, or expertise you're likely to learn from by being exposed to it more fully. Such discernment doesn't necessarily categorize anyone who isn't aligned with a heartfelt belief, an interesting mission, or a broader global understanding as 'bad' in themselves in any way. Rather, this is merely about treating all your relational affiliations as an investment in your own education, inspiration, and evolution… not merely as mindless companionship that helps you pass the time. It's a good week to reach out to those pals or contacts whose philosophic, cultural, or spiritual orientation provokes you to think more deeply about ethical or existential issues, to ask open-ended questions and seek unfamiliar answers, and/or to inquisitively wonder which aspects of your present life will matter most to you two or three decades from now. Bounce your latest ponderings off your most introspective, insightful, and/or worldly peeps; their astute engagement will aid you in seeing other angles to your current story you might otherwise miss.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Once you've waded at least knee-deep (if not waist-deep or, god willing, neck-deep) into the mucky goop of this mammoth mutual-consideration, Cancer, you don't have the luxury of rhetorically musing about noble intentions, hypothetical scenarios, or polite accommodations. You must continually contain the farthest reaches of this collaborative conversation within the practical bounds of what'll actually work for you, in terms of your daily rhythms, obligations, productive potential, and/or bodily carrying-capacity. Even the other party's most seemingly cooperative or sympathetic suggestions need to be astutely vetted according to whether you can feasibly include their realization within your regular slate of items-to-attend-to… and if anything pushes up against what you can reasonably accomplish (without causing your schedule to become overloaded or your nerves to be taxed, that is), you have every right to reject it on these grounds. You aren't being 'difficult' by asking them to directly address your methodological questions, time-management concerns, or physical self-care objections… merely prudently commonsensical. In this arena, you must leave as little room for potentially precarious oversights as possible.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Please don't commit so totally to the other-person-centered solicitousness which we talked about last time, Leo, that you momentarily neglect to recognize the important differences between you. While you're still due to benefit from proactively reaching across the dividing aisle and holding out your open-to-compromises hand to anyone you'd like to join forces with, you mustn't lean in so dramatically that you lose your own self-anchoring. As badly as you may wish to please another person and/or do whatever it takes to win over their allegiance, there are certain concessions you definitely shouldn't be that quick to make… especially if, beneath your only-too-eager-to-please appearance, you quietly know you don't really want to do what you're telling 'em you'll do and/or you're veering a little too far from what's authentically you. In sharp contrast to the ridiculous stereotype of you Leos expecting everyone else to orbit around your personal desires, you're actually under temporary threat of selling yourself out, should you too quickly agree to anyone else's suggestions or requests, just to be 'agreeable'.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): 'Taking care of business' on the practical level is presently vital to your emotional well-being, Virgo. It's really as simple as that. Knowing yourself and your needs well is to respectfully value the harmonizing contentment you can derive from ardently devoting your attention to accomplishing the tasks at hand… especially when both Venus and Mercury are in your solar 6th, as they are right now. Other people, on the other hand, might not grasp this at all. They might mistake your hard-working orientation for some horribly unpleasant burden you stomach like a champ, instead of the self-gratifying purposefulness you understand it to be. (That, of course, tells you more about their attitudes about work than your own.) And if you don't grant yourself the courtesy of enough space from their potentially flustering influence so that you can effectively utilize this moment of happy productivity, you're liable to find your mind far less capable of concentrating on the practicalities—mainly because you'll be feeling the subconscious pull of their energies, motives, or desires tugging at your attention span. Take the space you need, then. It's nobody else's business if you decide to use it to get shit done. Self-care looks different for everyone.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Gracefully and inoffensively surprise your companions with a slightly meatier helping of your trademark charm, Libra. Perhaps, in your more recent preference for discretion and self-containment, you momentarily left their radar… and now that you're feeling like you've got your well-composed wits about you once more, it's time to stamp your mark on the relational proceedings all over again. I advise following this down a route of wry joshing, socially- or politically-minded repartee, impersonal gossip about changing neighborhoods or the latest trends, and crisp controlled rhetoric. It's not, on the other hand, the best moment for sharing deep personal thoughts, emotive confessions, tender dreams, or metaphysical ponderings… even if those are the very considerations which have been first and foremost in your mind. The unspeakable tones, subtleties, and complexities of such weightier topics simply don't lend themselves as well to easy, uncontroversial, suits-any-taste social connectivity. Go for the playful, light-hearted fun—no matter if it leaves much of your latest emotional progress off the conversational table. Within that frame, however, feel free to push the envelope of clever a level or two beyond.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Though the romantic in you may be once again flirting with another gorgeous dream, Scorpio, please preserve those visions as a private pleasure for the time being. Believe it or not, your yearnings are too precious a commodity to rashly release into the outside world at this moment, when the inescapable reality of financial limitations and/or feasibility challenges threatens to lower its disheartening boom on your creative imagination. Pragmatically speaking, that reality-check is important to heed, as far as this being a time for general fiscal conservatism (rather than unstudied risk or you-only-live-once impulsivity)… but as long as you don't attempt to force your aspirations toward a speedy manifestation, you can continue painting all the colorful details into your perfect picture and still protect your material interests by keeping both feet planted firmly in the present. Better yet, if you can't resist tinkering and toying around in this fertile soil, then please adopt a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach: Rather than making any sharp abrupt turns on a whim or pouring a bunch of money into a speculative notion, just dive into the tentative and/or exploratory doing, using any preexisting free time and whatever raw materials you already have… and see where that gets you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Responsible self-restraint means not going too far into it, Sagittarius, prior to having thoroughly rehearsed, reviewed, reconfirmed, and resolved. For example, it would be unwise to openly discuss deals which haven't been officially signed off on… mainly because, until there's a deal, there is no deal and, therefore, nothing to openly discuss. That said, you won't necessarily go wrong by offering up a carefully-engineered teaser, an evocative but non-committal hint about general trends, themes, or courses that's intended to generate buzz without any definite details or public promises. But if you are going to dance around the edges of this topic and give 'em all an unspecific taste of what's to come, please know exactly where your most strategically shrewd stopping-point is—and do not cross it. Above all else, this is a matter of appropriate pacing… and of correctly ordering each of the necessary steps in the proper succession. At your current step, you should be focused on casually caressing your social connections for maximal receptivity, without giving them anything concrete other than your positivity and goodwill… for now.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Keep your nose down and your eyes on your own paper, Capricorn. As we discussed last week, it's presently just too easy to get sucked into relational quicksand (via immersion in circuitous, inconclusive conversations concerning other people's dramas) if you aren't actively employed with upholding excellent boundaries distinguishing between your beeswax and everyone else's. Your ingenuity continues to be far better spent on devising incremental enhancements to your own overall autonomy than on schooling other folks about the right and wrong way to lead a righteous life. Questions of relative integrity, incongruent beliefs, kneejerk dogma, and other such theory-level preoccupations—which represent the sort of feedback you're likeliest to offer to those who'd seek to involve you—are not the most pressing topics for your engagement. (They'd be more accurately categorized as 'intellectual chess', a compelling exercise at the appropriate moment but not currently a good use of your mental energy.) The minute you feel your attentions being drawn toward wagering judgments on 'how one ought to treat other people', you've already gotten distracted. Find another small self-serving project, and get back to business.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Really no need to be especially shy about what's on your mind these days, Aquarius. Just say it. As soon as you open your mouth, the right words are liable to roll right off your tongue with relatively little effort… though, yes, the sentiments you put forth, sleekly phrased as they may be, will strike the listener with a ringing directness, precision, and lack of ambiguity. In other words, there won't be much question as to what you might've meant; they will know. I'm encouraging you to unabashedly embrace this straightforwardness largely because Venus remains alongside Mercury in your 1st, sweetening the reception you're presently likely to receive whenever you put yourself out there. Thanks to this planet-pair's influence, communications made now will appeal more favorably to those you'd wish to recruit, convince, or impress. However, even in the most ideally welcoming circumstances, your flatly-stated thoughts are liable to rile or repel those folks who don't share your interests, attitudes, or worldview—and that's because, as you're continuing to discover, those folks aren't your people. So while your off-the-cuff, on-the-record commentary will impinge upon your capacity for diplomatically playing to the agreeable center, I'm not sure whether that's something you ought to worry about.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): For now, your measure of accountability will be best demonstrated by refusing to fearfully fidget, flinch, or otherwise overcorrect when you aren't quite sure what to do, Pisces. If in doubt about the relative clarity of your next steps, it's shrewder to just keep the ship safely rolling along… and to dutifully handle your own anxieties behind the scenes, with a watch-and-wait faith that, once the situation does become sufficiently clearer, you'll know how to proceed. A good leader doesn't necessarily just keep on moving when they can't see what's directly up ahead. Sometimes, the best 'lead' you can provide is an even-tempered willingness to diligently observe your surroundings, to listen to others' off-the-cuff suggestions (but without swallowing any single one of 'em as the unqualified gospel), to dispatch modest fact-finding missions, and to give the whole hullabaloo another few moments to develop further. This scene will either mellow, magnify, or morph into something quite different. Are you willing to wager your public reputation on a speculative response based on the possibility it'll go one of these directions over another? Probably not worth it. Play the responsible middle-ground until more reliable information emerges.