Stuck in the Middle 

For the week February 16-22, 2011.

The planets provide a quirky frequency this week, and for those of us restless, eager, and in some cases desperate for a noticeable shift in the weather — all types of weather, from climate to cosmic — daily life unfolds with a hint of something new. It's not quite the promise of spring, but it will do, especially for those of us that need inspiration. Unfortunately, the gap between now and the real renewal of springtime feels mushy, gooey, and sticky (three more of those shadowy Disney dwarfs no one dares to mention). Because that gap is a mood trap, navigating the next several weeks without getting caught in a negative frequency is going to require concentration and determination. What's more, some, less inclined toward personal responsibility than others, will ask: "Do I have to actually participate in the process of maintaining a healthy attitude under the weather shifts?" The answer is "yes," especially if you want to play a conscious role in determining the direction of your personal Wheel of Karma.

The biggest contributor to the mush is a Mercury/Mars/Sun/Neptune conjunction, in Aquarius. At first glance, you might think this lineup signifies the potential to take dynamic steps toward utopian aims. And while that potential is there, a deeper look identifies a mishmash of hypersensitivity, a worried mind, and a desire to act quickly combined with a lack of clarity about what action to take. It's an odd astral cloud that doesn't start to dissipate until February 25 or 26, and until then we are in what a good friend of mine calls "the stuckedness" — you know you want to move, but a peculiar paralysis stymies every effort. It's akin to those moments when you're in a dream and need to run as fast as you can, yet just can't get your legs to move. So do whatever it is you do to stay alert.

Uranus enters Aries on March 11, but before we can go full-tilt into that next cycle, Uranus must finish its seven-year sojourn through Pisces — and that's what the next three weeks are also about. The last degree of a Sign is the distillation of the essence of that Sign, so as these weeks unfold, be prepared to revisit key experience that pushed you toward personal revolution. Uranus symbolizes sudden and startling twists of fate, as well as innovation and invention. It also represents a deep urge to be free from whatever enslaves body, mind, or heart. Be prepared for poignant encounters with old partners, friends, family, or lovers. You might also run into old employers, employees, or co-workers. Also expect children to act out a little more than usual, as their natural sensitivity coalesces with this week's astral inclination toward extreme sensitivity, not to mention the general Uranian tendency to agitate nervous systems.

Uranus also has a tendency to disturb the adult nervous system, so don't be surprised if you're full of energy one moment and falling asleep the next. Also expect your fellow travelers to be traversing an equally erratic route.

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

ARIES Try not to let misplaced projections turn social interactions sticky with unfulfilled desire, yours or others'. The best way to maintain your clarity is to listen more attentively to what's actually being said.

TAURUS You're on the threshold of a deep inward journey that requires you to let go of certain preconceptions about what the journey will be. Rather than be anxious, relax and allow it to unfold in its own time and way.

GEMINI Stick to the facts, and try not to say more than is necessary. If you're precise and direct in all your communications, that clarity will guide you through a number of important interactions.

CANCER Trust your innate capacity for nurturing to inspire a heartfelt response to difficult situations. I'm not suggesting you drop all boundaries and mother the world, but rather advising you to open up when appropriate.

LEO You could find yourself embroiled in arguments with partners about the extent of your contribution. Before the fight gets out of hand, take a breath and realize the true depth of your need for personal freedom.

VIRGO If you don't take the time to nourish your spirit, the days will feel too long and the nights too short — and eventually you'll burn out. So make an effort to incorporate wholesome activities into your schedule.

LIBRA This would not be the week to gamble. Forget about Lady Luck and striking it rich. Simply stay grounded in the here and now, and you'll realize you have everything you need.

SCORPIO Make pleasure a vital part of your daily life, and your attitude will transform almost instantly. This is not a trick: An optimistic perspective will engender positive experiences.

SAGITTARIUS Even if you don't want to, you are talking — more than you might even imagine. Before you say something you might regret, make a concerted effort to think before you leap.

CAPRICORN It's important to recognize that you have wisdom to share, but it's equally important to acknowledge the wisdom of others. Stay open to advice that's offered from a compassionate heart.

AQUARIUS Be generous of heart, and you'll engender lasting loyalty from all your associates. This is not about being politically correct; it's simply about being your best self.

PISCES Pay attention to your dreams, but don't expect them to be easily decoded. Instead of forcing an interpretation, sit with the uncertainty, allow the symbols to cook, and let that refine your patience.

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