Horoscopes | Week of May 10-16, 2004

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Get out those declarative bursts toward the beginning of the week. As the week progresses, Mercury moves into your second house to become the last planet to leave your sign after these past few months of Aries overload. Time to slow down some, firm up the plans and start building upon the freshly cleared ground. You must rise to the task of sharing tools and resources. Shirk the responsibility now, and sometime over the next few months, you're likely to find the irked, spurned one refusing to hand over the final nail or the hammer needed to pound it in. Putting that two and two together now offers every motivation to develop patience, to reconsider the value of small-talk: If it gets you what you need without having to resort to dishonesty or aggression, spend the extra time and energy to foment mini-connections based on pleasantries. Include expectations that each of you will, at some point, need to call in favors; prepare to play both parts.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Welcome your fuller faculties back. By week's end, the static on your end will finally clear up. Once again, you return to being the one with the good advice (and the ability to articulate it). That's why any earlier-in-the-week friction provoked by some Contrary Larry who thinks he knows better or your own internal rebel-wishing-for-a-cause acting frisky must be taken lightly. Blow it off, politely and with few words. When clarity returns, you mustn't abuse its privileges by trying to figure everything out, all at once. Start by focusing on people, not stuff. Now through the end of June, don't do any major disposals of old belongings or appraisals of potentially valuable valuables. No refinancing or other fancy accounting tricks, and no significant commitments of resources that could be irreversible if, say, you were wrong. Your ruler Venus turns retrograde next week in your second house of assets and foundations. You're likely to find treasures at a bargain and junk at a premium because, for the next couple months, no one seems to know exactly what anything's worth, including you.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't believe the hype. Especially when you're the one being hyped, whether adoration or besmirchment are the order of the day. See, Gemini, you're the proud recipient of Venus traveling through your sign since early April, which shines a certain mesmerizing something down on you, making people take notice. Perhaps you've been on the receiving end of recent good fortune or some extra flirtation; maybe you can't help but see the beauty in the everyday. But Venus is switching her travel plans, turning retrograde next week and staying so throughout May and June, making it hard to discover the true value in all the attention. Don't assume you know why they can't stop looking or looking away, smiling or scowling, offering this or hesitating to offer that. In fact, don't assume they know either. Maintain your truer and more fervent investments in the duties at hand, the work that begs to be developed and the physical wellness required to stay strong. The thrill of 'being someone' through someone else's eyes is fleeting and dissipates the finite stores of energy you require for your own self-opinions.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Saturn has a trial for you. As this planetary disciplinarian takes his ill-at-ease 2-year journey through your sign (he's about halfway done), he's trying to whip you into shape, insisting that you persevere through strategic measured efforts rather than simply sticking to passing instincts and going with the flow. By no means are you expected to curb your vast sensitivities to become a cold taskmaster. But you could benefit from keeping the feelings fresh within a cordoned-off internal space, show up everyday with a consistent external attitude, and stick to the plans for future excellence. This next few weeks heightens the immediacy of this challenge. As I reported last week, you have the combined influence of the recent lunar eclipse and Mars in your sign perking you up and sending you out into the world to do some sassy shit. However, you also have Venus turning retrograde in your sanity-defying twelfth house, scrambling your auric reception and confusing the voices in your head with other voices from who-knows-where. And the rub between outward self-possessed boldness and internal multi-dimensional ADHD intensifies over the coming two weeks. Can you acknowledge the psychic disruptions but without letting them actually disrupt your necessary self-expressive extroversion? Saturn and I both believe you are more than capable of rising to the occasion.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Rational business thinking takes priority. All those home-sweet-home heartstrings continue to pull, but your mind for the practical matters can prove a much-welcome distraction. Take a personal-garbage-free look at where you are in your career or the public arena. Assess, then fortify. This is your platform. Build it strong, to support all your weight. The surest way to fall is to try too many steps up all at once. Stabilize your current position by getting to know its nooks and crannies intimately before striving too far too fast. Always remember what it is you do, for that is how you'll make the ultimate name for yourself. Try to look past the slot they're putting you in, the role description they've composed for you and the people they automatically align you with—but don't toil trying to undo this temporary incompleteness. They just don't know the fullest you, and right now it's futile (counterproductive, in fact) to fight the social tide. Remember what it is you do, and keep doing.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Do your best not to rock the boat careerwise over coming weeks, even though it might not need any help from you. Don't fear this opening sentence: It's Venus whose influence may be behind the rocking, and she is generally considered a beneficent charmer. Yet her upcoming retrograde in dual-action Gemini may deliver unclear, partial or impermanent benefits in your achievement-oriented outer realm. Reading between the lines is highly unadvisable; there could be nothing there but white space. The boss or co-workers may finally recognize your true worth (which could be a good or bad thing, and you're the one who knows that answer), but don't base plans on the implications. For now, save the experimentation for your personal life, in the company you keep and the interests that stimulate your off-hours. Revel in greater philosophical lucidity, as your mind begins to wrap around everything that's happened in recent moves over recent months. Just no too-good-to-be-true outer-world career steps, at least through the end of June. Otherwise, I wouldn't bet you know the real substance of what you're getting into—an unforeseen adventure, if that's what you want.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You're past the most dramatic of the relationship turmoil, if not the worst of it. You're on more solid footing, following clarification about the reality of the situation. You know now what you have to work with, and you also have a better bet of being able to talk about it without inciting release of barely-relevant psychological issues. Whenever entering sketchy territory in intimate exchange, be the practical one and insist on slowing down the circumstances to keep all heads level. You just might magically discover those words to discuss difficult topics which have eluded you in recent weeks; suddenly, you know just how to put it to refrain from feather-ruffling. The only threat to this newfound communicative and relational stability will come if you dare to climb aboard that high horse and attempt to espouse dicta of meaningful living. Once sweeping generalizations or attempts to extend self-centered observations past their boundary of validity pour from your lips, you're on shaky ground. You aren't sure what you're saying is true, and believe me, once you contradict yourself a week or two from now, someone will be there to point out your philosophical shortcomings, and you won't like it, and heads will unlevel and feather will ruffle and you'll be right back where you started. Stick to smaller issues and 'I' statements, rather than discussions of ethics or truth.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): For all we know, you could coast on the emotional wealth spawned by last week's lunar eclipse in your sign for weeks or months to come. Feeling everything now, broad and deep, is the psychological consummation of all the experiences, joyous and distressing, you've chosen to live and incorporate into your being. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to bask in your knowledge of the human experience, to welcome emotional wisdom (with all its passing pitfalls) and to use it to better the world. Any lurking trouble now will stem from your overeager desire to get in there and mend others' broken parts without taking the adequate time to observe their ambiguities and inconsistencies. Even with the best of intentions and all the emotional wisdom in the universe, your quick-fix answers can't solve lifelong emotional quagmires any more than Rome could be deconstructed and reconstructed in a day. Slow down your eagerness to profoundly bond, and gain trust through collaborative processing of palpable concerns. Otherwise, there's no telling what vein of submerged hurt or hostility you might touch with your well-intentioned probing.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Have you recently met someone new? Seen an existing figure in a new light? Drawn an extra heaping helping of smiles and winks, ambiguous gazes and double entendres? If some or all of this hasn't happened yet, you may be overdue. See, Venus is hanging in your seventh house, generating wealth and eliciting delight in your ways of one-on-one relating. There's an appealing something in so many somebodies, it's hard to keep track of who is who, what's coming from where, which direction attraction is flowing. I suppose there are worse problems to have, Sag, but don't underestimate the whirling-dervish potential for too much interpersonal action to cause twitching, howling or acute dizziness. Venus turns retrograde next week, where she stays through the end of June, making it increasingly difficult to determine who is worth it, who is just blowing hot air, and who's worth blowing hot air at. Take all kind words and amorous glances with a grain of salt. Relish, but don't expect consistency, or even understanding.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Consider all the daily factors contributing to a steady lifestyle. Now, realize you simply cannot have a perfect handle on all of them at once. This is both a fantastic piece of news and a frustrating one because, for the next several weeks, the devil is in the details. You will not get away with turning blind eyes to the logic of causality. For instance, if you eat a lot of fattening foods and do no physical exercise, you will gain weight. Or, for another example, if you put in one hour of work a day toward an achievable goal, you will achieve it, sooner or later. This is actually an advantageous time to devote action and intent to improving work and health routines, but don't expect everything you try to work. It will take some time of discovering, through trial and error, what actions result in which results and what cause leads to which effect. Capricorns love a well-mapped-out plan. Sorry, Charlie, but experimentation requires the inclusion of too many unknowns for a map to do any good. Only inaction or deliberate self-sabotage will be rewarded with negative consequences; everything else points to something else.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): With Venus on extended stay in your fifth house, creativity and love abound. Too bad, though, that she's turning retrograde on your ass next week, so trying to figure out whether your creative expressions and lovely love-swappings are profound and genius or silly and shallow is tough business. Well, maybe it's not too bad. Every retrogradation happens for a reason, and maybe you should quit worrying about what it will lead to and just gleefully get it out. Later edits will sift grain from garbage. The more you put out, the more will end up proving worthwhile by sheer law of proportions. Don't worry too much. Things are looking good for you. That is, so long as you don't piss off the pragmatists with too much space-age sentiment. Try, at least, to sense who isn't open to your ways, and move on to the next without overt conflict.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I feel like last week's Pisces horoscope was fairly huge, and its ramifications stick around this week as an aftereffect of the big lunar eclipse. To refresh: You were fessing up to the yearning for a meaningful goal towards which you can devote your energies for the next significant chunk of time. If you already have one, say it aloud, louder than you have been, to make sure the universe can hear you. If you don't, perhaps you need to solicit a variety of opinions from close friends and passing acquaintances, anyone and everyone who might have a sliver of novel insight into your potential from the outside perspective. Either way, the key here is to speak up and listen clearly. Engage in commonsensical conversation about the real issues involved in developing your future contributions to society, professional and otherwise. Humble and heartfelt is the most workable attitude. After wading in 78 or 79 different sources of information and direct feedback, you should be ready to draw some conclusions. In the meantime, leave no source untapped and dismiss no feedback as irrelevant.