Can You See Your Shadow? 

For the week of February 2-8, 2011.

Shadows are everywhere this week, and their presence is likely to cause more than a little perceptual confusion, a sort of "now you see it, now you don't" experience that challenges reality (whatever that is). Don't be dismayed if you start out assessing a situation from one point of view and wind up shifting your perspective mid-stream because you have a hunch that there might be more to the picture than meets the eye. Just be sure your changing opinion has substance. Given the plethora of information and misinformation available these days, it's quite easy to mistake fiction for fact or inference for reality, or to believe that something is true simply because you want it to be.

In contrast to these shadows, the astrology for this week is fairly straight-ahead. A Mars/Sun conjunction, in Aquarius, stimulates ambition and the desire to shine brightly in the starring role. This is a dynamic, vital interaction that's sure to provide positive support for achieving one's goals. The only drawback is a tendency to react to a situation before there is an opportunity to consider the consequences of that reaction. Make an effort to not let emotions predispose you to presumption. Fortunately, Saturn, in Libra, trines both Mars and the Sun, offering the potential for stability amidst strong desires to do whatever it takes to win.

Venus is cast in a number of roles this week; she's moving out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn, and as she changes Signs, she ends a sextile with Neptune, begins a conjunction with Pluto, and maintains a square to Jupiter. When Venus, goddess of love and beauty, combines with Neptune, we mere mortals are likely to succumb to our sensitivities. A Venus/Pluto conjunction could turn many more of us obsessive or compulsive about sex. When Venus clashes with Jupiter, extravagant feelings are probable, and the entire bundle is likely to be experienced as a paranoid hypersensitivity — especially when it comes to love and money. Again, be careful not to jump to conclusions. Instead, stay present and let common sense inform your opinions.

And speaking of common sense and perceptual confusion ... a couple of weeks ago (and only for a nanosecond), the big news story was about a new zodiac with thirteen Signs. There is not enough room in this week's column to go into that story in depth. But the most important point is that the day it broke, there was no other story, especially no horrible story, to fill the 24/7 news void. What's more, the "new" zodiac story is actually an old one, not to mention an untrue one, but because astrology is hardly ever taken seriously, no one bothered to check the facts or offer an intelligible explanation of what was being proposed. That's just what I will try to do in next week's column.

This week, as you encounter shadows, yours or others' (and celebrate Groundhog Day, the festival of shadows), try not to be frightened by a dark patch of hindsight or foresight. But also don't feel guilty should you decide to stay snuggly fortified in your den until you're sure it's safe to emerge.

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

ARIES Rather than holding back and trying to curb your enthusiasm, express it. Allow your joy to be contagious, and not only will your spirit be lifted, but you will also inspire a positive attitude in others.

TAURUS Devote yourself to a "higher love" and you'll have an easier time encountering emotional shadows, yours or others'. Remember, kindness is always a good first choice in a difficult situation.

GEMINI Turn the situation on its head by being willing to look at it from an entirely different perspective. I can't promise an enlightenment experience, but I can guarantee a new level of insight.

CANCER Although you may be unaware of it, opportunities to improve your financial situation are within reach. So stop worrying about the future and seize the power of the now.

LEO There's no avoiding it — your life revolves around relationships of every denomination. Be the partner you would like your partners to be, and see how your efforts are returned.

VIRGO The shadow of service can often be resentment, especially if you are volunteering out of obligation. Make sure the next task you take on is something you really want to tackle.

LIBRA Remember, before those Libra scales can find the perfect balance point, they have to first swing wildly. Rather than resist your emotional fluctuations, simply witness their presence.

SCORPIO Go right ahead and snuggle under the covers; if you don't feel like coming out until spring, that's fine. Resting and recuperating will restore your enthusiasm.

SAGITTARIUS It won't be possible to hold back your opinions, so go ahead and say what's on your mind. Just understand that it is your truth, not the truth.

CAPRICON Don't confuse your current situation with a money crisis. What you are facing is a crisis of value, and you're being asked to consider what really matters to you, and why.

AQUARIUS Your impulse is to nurture others, but the shadow of that urge is a desire to be nurtured. You can handle the give and take of that pulse with ease by allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

PISCES Turn your attention inward, and allow yourself to focus on messages from your unconscious being sent to you through dreams and visions. Some of what's revealed requires deep shadow work, but I wouldn't worry about that; you're up to the task of transformation.

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