By Eric Francis Coppolino
ARIES — In the world there are two main forms of power: official and informal. Official power would be the president of a college, who gives orders and must be obeyed. Informal power would be the most popular student on campus who gets things done because people like him or her and are willing to help. People tend to over-emphasize official authority and forget about informal lines of influence; you must remember both. On any question you may have, or task you want to accomplish, a combination of both is necessary. When dealing with people who have actual control, it’s necessary to work with their official capacity and their human aspect. That means listening, being helpful and doing what you’ve agreed to do (and a little more). Tapping unofficial power means keeping your ear to the ground so you have up-to-date information. And it means making sure that your allies are ready to help you when you need it.
TAURUS — Faith is more than just belief. That’s the thing about it. And it’s more than hope, more than wishing, more than dreaming. But what is it? It’s the thing you need the most, and it’s difficult to describe by anything other than its results. Faith contains healing power. It has the ability to reach from one mind to another, transcending the body-level of communication. It’s about aligning with your highest truth that, in turn, aligns with something that’s wider, deeper or more powerful than your individual strength — and then you tap into that greater strength. It’s possible to get there; many people have, and many are right there, right now. You might say that faith is the opposite of fear. It is love that holds the world in a safe place, and can be directed toward specific situations and people. Just remember, it’s easiest to identify by what it’s not: neither hope nor desire nor wishing nor dreaming.
GEMINI — You appear to be headed for a breakthrough in a negotiation process where you may lack any clear advantage. Don’t let that deter you. Consider the wider circumstances that surround your situation. Consider everyone involved; ask yourself what’s motivating them, what they want and what they need. Then you will understand the actual position you’re in. Two factors will work in your favor. One is information. Learn everything you can, whether it’s from reviewing your own notes, research, or asking for information from others. Discover everything about every person involved. And then ask people older and more experienced than you what they think. Listen carefully to the opinions you disagree with the most vehemently: they are likely to hold the very best clues. You’re trying to do something that will require some thought: rebel and fit in at the same time.
CANCER — There’s no predicting most other people right now. The best you can do is work with existing people in your life to focus their most basic commitments to you, and to keep the lines of communication open. Whether they will show up for more is anyone’s guess. The best thing you can do is to keep your own house in order, which means honoring your top priorities. The less you count on people right now, the better. Nobody is truly self-sufficient, though it’s possible to be less dependent on others, and to focus those dependencies on people or businesses that have proven themselves to be reliable partners. At the moment it may seem like you’re treading water, or trying to hold things together. Take it lightly. This won’t last forever, and soon enough you will be focusing on the next great thing you are ready to accomplish. For now, conserve your energy, do what’s necessary and stay right with yourself.
LEO — You’re inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt, though now would be a good time to make sure that people prove themselves. This is not about being mean or untrusting; it’s about taking care of yourself. Your situation is somewhat complex right now, particularly at work. There don’t seem to be any problems you cannot solve, nor challenges you cannot rise to. Yet any person in a position to assist you can also hurt you, particularly for the next month or week or so. That translates to taking it slowly before handing anyone your keys, your password, or care of your kids or critters (especially them). So, screen people carefully, and test them on small projects before you give them bigger ones. If nobody is up to the task, do it yourself, or wait till you find someone appropriate. This goes for all facets of work. ‘Tis the season when mindfulness is essential.
VIRGO — Art usually happens by accident. The same holds true for most inventions and breakthroughs of thought. Of course, you do your bit. You show up in your studio or at your workbench every day that you can. You work on solving the problems that you think you understand, as best you can. You can practice music the way that you always have. Then, remember that the most likely place to make a real discovery or to come up with something original is when you make a mistake of some kind. It might violate the rules or your expectations, but it’s different, and it’s unusual. In this way, the usual process of being disciplined is the setup, and then the thing that goes wrong, or differently, or in some unexpected way, is the result. Therefore, don’t be afraid to be unorthodox, or to stretch and bend and blend colors, notes and ideas. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They can have brilliant results.
LIBRA — It seems like you need some passion in your life. Currently most of the energy that would become some form of love or creative expression appears to be getting burned up by worry. Most of that, in turn, seems to surround family issues or shared living arrangements. You must look out for your own interests first, and not be distracted by others who want to hand you their problems. They may have done so in the past, and they may know how to push your buttons, though that doesn’t mean you have to go along for the ride. Anything involving your own children, if you have any, requires special handling. You probably consider them a direct extension of yourself, though be aware of the ways that can be used against you, and play a clean game. Back to my original point: you need passion, not distraction; you need love, not the kinds of political games people seem to be playing.
SCORPIO — Are you living your past desires, or your present ones? I mean this in two areas of your life: sexual relationships, and your creative aspirations. Go back to age 16 and ask yourself what you wanted. Then pick a date halfway between then and now, and ask yourself what you wanted. Now consider what you want today — and whether you’re satisfied with your life. If you’re not, I would propose that you need some new desires; some new goals; some new reasons to be alive. You’re in a perfect position to update your files: to determine that certain older objectives and reasons for being no longer serve you, and to come up with some new ones (which you probably already have). Then you need to be brave enough, and take yourself seriously enough, to do something about it. To have progress, you must welcome change. There are two parts to that: goodbye, and hello.
SAGITTARIUS — The fewer financial moves you make for the next few weeks, the better. I mean, really, keep it simple and do only what’s necessary. First, you must conserve your resources. You have plans, and your talents are worth a lot, though no matter — efficiency is always in order. One thing you can do is to spend less, and work with what you already have. If you need to buy something, the chances are good that you already have something that will do the job, or someone can loan you what you need for a while. Don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve said many times in this column that we live under the delusion that money can solve all problems. Well, most problems are actually solved by thought, ingenuity and the willingness to do some work. One thing that’s in order right now is taking an inventory: of what you have, including your talents, as well as what you owe to anyone. Give that a few weeks and get some real data to work with.
CAPRICORN — Self-discovery never ends. You never actually ‘figure out who you are’ — but you can get to know who you are, and what your tendencies are, here in the world of forever changes. In these weeks you may make some startling, informative or genuinely useful discoveries about your tendencies. You don’t have to do anything about them; just note what you’re learning as you learn it. Notice and make friends with the process of change. Make friends with uncertainty. Being ‘certain’ is often rife with false security. So, too, is the desire for anything to be so-called permanent. The continents drift around the globe. The North Pole was once a tropical region. The Great Sphinx long predates ancient Egypt. Change is your friend, and the easiest thing to change is your mind. Let’s put it this way: if you’re going boat shopping, you don’t need a yacht. You need a very sturdy, dependable little fishing boat. Then get up every day and see what you catch.
AQUARIUS — Do not, repeat, do not let anxiety get the best of you. Your chart suggests you may be worrying to the point of obsession. This may not be about anything in particular; it may be what shrinks call generalized anxiety. While I cannot describe the astrology fully in this short space, it involves the dog-and-pony show going on in your adjoining sign Capricorn (perhaps read this week’s Cap reading for additional insight). Relax and feel the passage of time. Remind yourself that you’re an intelligent, hardworking person who has the adult power to solve any problem you might become aware of. Keep in mind that as one born under the sign Aquarius, the keynote of your sign is cooperation. That means being open to helping others, and being open to assisting when you can. Your community is your most vital resource. This is true of everyone, but each of the signs has its special theme, and this is the theme of your sign. Work that for all it’s worth.
PISCES — Don’t fret that the world seems to be such a mess. It is, though what you’re witnessing is part of a necessary transition that was going to happen one way or another. You have your role in the process. Indeed you are intimately linked, both spiritually and structurally, to this next phase of developments. You have your purpose; now you need only to focus on making it work for you. Over the next few weeks you’ll have some opportunities to consider your sources of professional income. You might start with an assessment of where your financial support has come from in the past year. You will see some patterns, and you’ll be able to develop the ones that are working. Here’s the one thing you need to remember when considering your professional options: As a Pisces, your work must be spiritually compatible with who you are. You cannot go against your deepest values. Seen one way, that narrows your possibilities. Seen another, it vastly expands them.
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