Awake or Dreaming? 

For the week of February 15-21, 2012.

Don't be surprised if your psychic cilia quiver with intensity this week — all the extra features of your personal intuitive antennae are likely to be working overtime in an effort to cope with a highly sensitive environment. Celestial interactions are stirring deep pools of psyche, and because those pools contain imprints from previous experiences, confusing memory for reality is probable. But it's not just projection that dominates perception. Dreams and other inspired stories of the soul could have a visceral effect that makes it easy to mistake fiction for fact and illusions for actualities. Being able to recognize nuance is also essential, especially when handling tender situations. The inability to distinguish degree or tone could cause some of us to get lost in space, freeze from anxiety, or feel a deep sense of dislocation. Fortunately, the planets support staying grounded in the midst of this hyper-sensitivity, no matter how expansive our personal or collective altered states might be.

Neptune is the main contributor to this week's sensitive skin. On February 3, it moved into Pisces, its Home Sign, a position that amplifies the quality of empathy shared by both Neptune and Pisces. It also enhances that Piscean capacity to feel the deeper pulse hidden beneath the beat of surface reality. On February 19, the Sun also moves into Pisces, where it forms a conjunction with Neptune for the first time in approximately 150 years. Of course, Sun/Neptune conjunctions have happened in other Signs over the course of Neptune's 165-year orbit around the Sun (and therefore around the zodiac belt), but a Sun/Neptune conjunction in Pisces hasn't happened since 1861. It's a significant astral moment that has the power to stimulate a deep desire for mystic reverie. But be aware that this conjunction can also quicken a susceptibility to suggestion; be careful who and what you watch or listen to — you just might find yourself indiscriminately parroting the most recent input.

Saturn trines Neptune, and because Saturn's natural tendencies lean toward the sober assessment of almost all situations, it can help for you to tether some of the more imaginative (dare I say "spacey"?) Neptunian musings. Use Saturn's practical and pragmatic sensibility to keep your feet on the ground.

But no matter how strong Saturn's pull might be, Neptune's undertow is sure to be stronger. First, Mercury is also conjunct Neptune until Friday, a configuration that skews minds toward an overactive intuition that can be easily distorted by projection and fantasy. (Mercury and Neptune are both infamous as astro-tricksters.) And second, by Tuesday, a new Moon, in Pisces, hits the reset button on emotional sensitivity, a condition that could send already overactive psychic cilia into spasm.

The good news is that there is nothing pernicious about these Neptunian and Piscean currents. The only downside is the potential to get lost in the Dreamtime, and that's only a problem if you need to function in real time.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES Pay close attention to all your dreams — sleeping or waking — and while you may not be able to actualize all of these images and visions, simply stretching your imagination will stimulate a vital creative process.

TAURUS Allow your spiritual longing to open a new frame of reference. I'm not suggesting that you abandon your beliefs; I'm simply advising you to contemplate how to deepen the mystical component of your practice.

GEMINI Anticipate career vistas to open up and broaden your perspective on what's possible. Pay particular attention to the still-unrealized potential you have for either developing new projects or expanding existing ones.

CANCER Because you're innately intuitive, the current emphasis on mystic states is likely to feel familiar, and in some situations really comfortable. Enjoy this expansive feeling and allow it to deepen your devotional practices, whatever those may be.

LEO Feel the inexorable pull of transformation and you'll experience an intuitive understanding of where and how your attitude needs to shift. Then, continue on that journey by noticing how behavioral changes could facilitate a personal revolution.

VIRGO Open to an influx of information about all of your partnerships, personal and professional, and as you do, be aware that the data is not about making judgments — it's about learning to feel the undercurrents and riding them skillfully.

LIBRA "Follow your bliss" is a cliché, but like all clichés, it contains a potent drop of wisdom. Contemplate your work and career choices through a lens of what would bring you joy, and then make your decision.

SCORPIO Rather than resist your romantic fantasies, open to their power. It doesn't matter whether these musings are actual or imagined; what's important is that they stimulate your enthusiasm for life.

SAGITTARIUS A profound longing for peace and quiet could motivate you to cancel several social obligations. But because this desire isn't going to end anytime soon, it's essential to strike a balance between your internal and external needs.

CAPRICORN Be clear, precise, and direct as you communicate your concerns, and you'll avoid being misunderstood. Once you've made your case, relax into creative endeavors, especially personal musings expressed through poetry, music, or art.

AQUARIUS You can throw financial caution to the wind or use these intuitive currents for greater insight into how to handle your resources. Sounds like a no-brainer, but getting and staying real about money is seldom simple.

PISCES Staying grounded in the midst of such magnificent forces of fantasy won't be easy, because the Dreamtime affects every area of your life. Begin by acknowledging the need to dream, and then allow your dreams to deliver the necessary information.

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