Horoscopes | Week of April 12-18, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You are not done starting over. For one, the logical conclusions upon which you were so ready to base your next few stabilizing motions are only 85% complete (±5%). That's like trying to build a house upon 85% of a foundation—it could work, but I wouldn't want to be inside during the big earthquake or hurricane. Also, despite the fact Aries tend on the rather fearless side, you must face a small wound-from-the-past that's keeping you from hopping on the public stage to premiere your new works there. And this is not a fear you can think through. You must feel the terror in your bones, then commit to conquering it in public sight, so you'll reap not only the personal victory but wider recognition as a brave soul and a role model ('…even the bravest souls get scared and face their fears!'). Yes, during this past month you've begun performing a new role, a new beginning in itself. Spend your week in preparation for taking the show on the road in a figurative touring company where more and more people are exposed to your talent, in another more profound new beginning. During the run, a few surprising folks may show up in the audience and present a few surprising offers.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Since your mind's attempts to get clarity have, at best, resulted in more muddle, might I recommend you temporarily abandon the hope for logic and switch to a strategy you have more control over—namely, prayer? With intellect, you must grab onto a multitude of independent thoughts and ideas, arranging and rearranging until you find a way they fit together and present you with some kind of 'answer' that works, even if one or more key thoughts or ideas are absent from your head (due to lack of experience, inadvertent omission or emotional self-sabotage). On the other hand, with prayer (i.e., meditation, focused energy, purposeful calm), all you have to do is imagine positive results attaching to your subject or area of choice, then lovingly concentrate your will to coincide with those results, asking the Universe or God or your favorite deity to help it along. With prayer, there may be less 'proof' (whatever that really represents) that your efforts have worked, or even mattered. But right now, Taurus, you have a much much better chance of effecting the future you want by spending the week in prayer than in racking your brain for the hundredth time trying to piece together a mental solution that doesn't want to be pieced together at this time. Go for the irrational, spiritual, faith-driven, kookily inexplicable methods.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It's not just that you're generating a lot more interest and attention, proceeding simultaneously into multiple social spheres and cerebral fancies, and saying more about everything to everyone who will listen, thanks to both Mars and Venus occupying your native habitat. But also, the normally discontinuous nature of your tangents and travails is temporarily giving way to some type of method to your madness. I know, I know, with Mercury retrograde, I shouldn't be giving you hope that clean logic is available for your strategic usage. And it isn't. (Come on, I didn't say you were privy to whatever method is ruling your madness!) Yet, there is a systematic unity behind these isolated vignettes, and it serves you to begin thinking holistically in response, pushing yourself to discover what overarching personality themes lead you into the situations you end up in. Can you search for answers to the big identity questions (i.e., 'what's the most special role I can play in the lives of those around me?', 'why am I here?') by starting to draw links between pieces of the puzzle you thought were unrelated? Could there be humanitarian-minded reasons behind who you are that have long been unfairly attributed to self-indulgence? There's so much more activity going on right now, in part to give you more raw materials to work with in making sense of your connection to the other folks in your community. Just don't insist upon much alone time, or you'll miss out on some of the fodder desirable for later conclusion.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If a tree falls in a forest and there's no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you remain in public view, even when it feels most uncomfortable to do so and/or there's a certain someone whose image of you you're trying to protect, can you indulge your sensitivities with as much wackiness? No you can't. Herein lies another clue to navigating your temporary capacity for unconscious undoings and unravelings, likely with both Mars and Venus oscillating wildly in your twelfth house of nothing-makes-sense. The twelfth house represents both spiritual rapture and illogical escape, and considering how much stimulation this realm of your life is undergoing, I wouldn't try to predict which is which on your own. No, there's still so much more achievement-oriented strategizing, philosophizing and actualizing to be done in the outside world—that is, if you want your professional goals or reputational aspirations to be satisfied. While Mercury retrograde isn't the best time to make important decisions, it's a great time to reconsider planned actions and recommit to taking your public self to the stars over the next six months. Which is why staying outside is more favorable and beneficial than internally directed notions of 'stepping away', 'changing direction completely', or 'seeking solace in the bottle'. Any self-imposed isolation, if absolutely essential, will best work with external structures to keep the soul from trying to take leave.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The forcefully-fateful combination of Mars and Neptune in two of your 'people' houses leads me to recommend that you follow all subtle senseless urges to strike up bizarre conversations with non-run-of-your-mill characters and see if they don't inspire you to new heights of philosophical wonder. That is, if someone on the bus is wearing a t-shirt from a place you've heard of but never been, ask the stranger about the place. You could find yourself deciding to visit there during the next year, or it could show up in the book you're reading or in the next bizarre conversation. This doesn't only apply to t-shirts on strangers, but also the reading materials in their hands, the odd shoes they wear or the bags they carry. Ask less courteous and more penetrating questions, putting your fear of embarrassment aside and valuing the need to satisfy your intellectual curiosities at all costs. You might have a hard time understanding how these explorations will get woven into the fabric of your value-system—after all, Mercury is retrograde, so not that much is clear—and thus not see why you should even bother. It's not always about the ego shaping the random people, ideas and items it comes across. Often, it's about those people, ideas and items shaping the ego.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): With your sense of personal identity becoming firmer than ever and with multiple possibilities for future career or public-life growth germinating as we speak, it's inevitable that certain other areas of your life will consequently face challenge. There's no getting around it (which is why I've mentioned it multiple times over multiple months): Psychological dynamics in relationships must change when one or more of the parties involved (definitely you; maybe the other/s) changes. Maybe you started to say something, but decided the time wasn't right and held your tongue. Maybe you thought you said what needed to be said and things got better for a little while, but now the unpleasantries are creeping back in. Maybe you just weren't sure what to do and so didn't do anything, but at least you knew there was something that needed doing. These are all good hypothetical starts, and now it's time for another big step forward in deepening the relationships that will support your ongoing growth and excising those influences that are toxic to your flourishing. While Mercury retrograde is often a time when communications come out 'wrong', I'd rethink that notion in your case, Virgo. Perhaps, during this period (lasting through the end of April), you'll be freer to let truths roll off your tongue rather than censoring them for the sake of decorum. Maybe it takes such a Merc-retro period of altered thinking for this other person or persons to actually grasp your intentions, even if inadvertently. Play around with this 'reversal' in communication flow to see if it can't spur you to reverse the past trends of swallowing your words and instead spit them out.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You weren't as ready for that 'next big thing', that next leap into further interpersonal intensity, as you thought you were, eh? Actually, you weren't wrong. You are ready, just in need of retracing a few steps, so that you can reassure yourself by reminding yourself of the history behind your orientation in relationships. Ask yourself, 'How did we get here? Who said what to whom, and who replied in what way? What was I doing before, and what am I doing now? How did this we influence me?' This is the second week in a row that I've advised you to dust off those self-observation skills and study your relational tactics. So much of your current astrological portrait, Libra, emphasizes a combination of dynamic relationship action and seeing both philosophical sides of every situation. Forward movement in both is a winning combination. If you desire a romantic relationship, an intimate friend or a business peer that you currently lack, it's the perfect time to evaluate what's worked and not worked for you in the past and apply that knowledge to getting what you want. If it's change in existing relationships you crave, you must be exceptionally and frightfully honest with yourself about how you've contributed to what you don't like. (After all, we teach people how to treat us.) And if you need help getting to the nitty-gritty and seeing both sides, there's no better assistance than the kind advice of friends or trusted comrades to let you know what you've been missing. Just don't lash out at the messenger when he/she tells you the truth.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): In conjunction with last month's New Moon (Mar 20), I called for deferral of immediate gratification so that you could get important work done a bit each day. First off, I made the grand assumption that you knew what this important work consisted of, that you intuited what your highest earthly purposes entailed and would toil accordingly. I still believe this self-knowledge exists inside you, even if you want to play dumb and insist you haven't a clue what I speak of though. A month later, you've probably tweaked around with the concept a bit and hopefully are in the process of subtle but hearty revisions. In terms of your month's efforts, I'd guess you started off with a bang but then got somewhat sidetracked by the alluring songs of psycho-sensual sirens, and suddenly you were baring your soul and/or your bod and momentarily forgetting about everything else… and a few more times… a few more moments… wake up! Time to get back to work. Time to put a double-dose of the energy back on track, and get a second new beginning, more fierce than the last. No need to lament time wasted or delicious detours taken. Just get back to it. And this time around, see if you can't channel some of that lustful desire for connection into more professional-type bonds, to seek the self-pleasure elsewhere in less decentering avenues, and take super-good care of your physical body for later enjoyment (yours or someone else's).


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Choose one: (a) Over the coming weeks, you will fall madly in love with a new or existing figure in your life, offering you the chance to express yourself in fuller ways than ever and to test out how your relationship skills have improved since the last go-around. (b) Over the coming weeks, you will fall madly in love with yourself, driving you to express yourself more freely and creatively to new and existing figures in your life, testing out a different way of being with people that comes from increased self-confidence. (c) Over the coming weeks, new and/or existing figures in your life will fall madly in love with you, forcing you to express yourself through mutual love and/or respectful redirection of the energy, helping you grow in how you react to people and making you a better friend and/or lover. (d) Over the coming weeks, you work hard in refusing to let any of the above occurrences occur. (e) All of the above. (f) Some of the above. (g) None of the above.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Do not read the horoscopes for other signs. Do not stare too intently at the people you pass on the street, nor strain too hard to hear what they're saying at the table next to you. I won't go so far as to order you to don actual leather equine blinders to keep you from paying too much attention to what the rest are doing (though if you're into such fetish accoutrements, then by all means, put 'em on!). But I can't be emphatic enough in my advice to you, Cap, to keep your eyes on your own paper, to fixate solely on your own advances in self-care without worrying whether the way you choose to do it is what the court of public opinion would decide. You need not remain cut off from social contact in order to cocoon yourself from judgments (yours and others) made out of imagined comparisons between your private world and theirs. It's none of anyone's business how you arrange your bedroom, what you eat for dinner or what time of day you vacuum. The only thing we have a right to voice our opinions on is the general sense of whether you are caring for yourself or whether you're a victim of neglect. (And the law stipulates that we are obligated to report all cases of presumed neglect to the authorities.) Just carry out whatever mojo necessary to nurture your most sensitive parts into wellness and wisdom, and we'll leave each other alone. For the short term, it'll work best that way.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): …and not only try things out, but talk about trying things out, and try talking things out. The Mars-Venus duo in Gemini, combined with the upcoming eclipse in your third house of conversational excursion and communicative experimentation, makes it the best time in a while for you to blab up a storm. Aquarians have this odd quality of talking a lot about the situations and ideas that interest them, but not necessarily saying that much about themselves. Right now, you should share the supposedly insignificant minutiae of your life with anyone who will listen (and maybe even some who don't), little bits at a time through little comments, notes and quickie phone calls. Reconnect with friends and acquaintances, former peers and connected contacts, the CEOs and their assistants and their assistants' assistants. You never know how what you say will hit someone, or who the person you say it to is, or who they know. Maybe someone out there is your longlost sibling, your neighbor that you've never even met, or a mysterious figure with whom you have almost nothing in common except this one bond that is stronger than you might imagine. Do all of this with no agenda other than the desire to run a bit more at the mouth than usual—about yourself, not the latest political drama or external-to-you gossip. With Mercury retrograde, different people will listen than usual and different people will tune out. Some will misunderstand you in advantageous ways, others will understand you in misadventurous ways. When in doubt, say it.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Who provided your private nurturing care when you were young? What sweet-as-pie maternal figure and her/his evil twin took turns teaching you how to comfort yourself, so that you eventually internalized some contradictory messages about what you need to feel emotionally nourished? Let's not blame the caregiver(s) for unavoidable inconsistencies and imperfections, as if our own skills as people and parents are without their own about-face turns and now-you-see-it-now-you-don't switcheroos. In fact, I wouldn't even be so sure which of her/his personalities was the evil one and which was sweet-as-pie, since both methods of tenderness (or not-so-tenderness) have granted you good traits and bad traits. All ways of privately being with yourself—from tough as nails to indifferent to saccharine-indulgent—produce the results you want at times, and don't at others. And they all deserve to be invited to the upcoming brainstorming meeting, during which you'll decide what practical actions must be taken during the next month or so in order to incorporate the pressing changes without internal combustion or external explosion. Some of these inner voices were not allowed to participate during the last meeting, which is why the conclusions you thought you reached proved to be incomplete. Don't pretend there isn't a part of you who wants to cry about everything, a part of you that wants to whip yourself into shape, and a part of you that needs help from someone else. Let them all have a turn, and work out a system where they each bear some of the responsibility for your fragile insides, but none bears it all. It's a collaborative effort within yourself.