Horoscopes | Week of April 25-May 1, 2005

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It's time to put rocks in your pockets, to weigh yourself down and force constant recognition of earthly concerns. It would be great if these rocks were nuggets of gold or flawless diamond chunks, so then you'd know exactly how much wealth you were carrying around, instead of remaining in the dark about the connection between where you're heading and what you'll need to pay your way. But any rocks will serve to ground you, to remind you how long our planet took to form these hardened substances… and how magically, full of happenstance and without direct intent, such astounding solidity was born. I'm talking up the virtues of mixing gradual progress, diligence and faith in equal doses because you'll need them, now that Mars has shifted into Pisces and begun to work against the usual straight-line approach to connecting two points. That's why rushing in without calm earthy deliberation and expectation of circuitous confusion won't get you as far as it did, say, two or three weeks ago. Staying on your toes means being able to switch methods on a dime, and that, Aries, I know you can do well.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): While your bull-headed loyalty to the practical ramifications of every action is one of your greatest gifts (as I admiringly described in this week's article), it also has the capacity to inhibit you from simply doing what you feel like doing… that is, if you can't come up with a 'good reason' for doing it. I can tell you, 'You don't need a reasonable rationale for every move you make,' and you'll probably hear me, but won't necessarily believe it in your bones, even though it's true. (I swear!) Pointing out that too much consideration, without the occasional lapse of impulsiveness, is what slows you down will come as no surprise—and you're likely proud to admit you think things through to a fault. But what if I inform you that we've been saving a seat at the table for you and can't start the meal until you get here, so hurry? And furthermore, does it help to know that two more weeks of Venus in your sign means two more weeks of a safer window for taking risks? Now, will you please pledge to act with pointless carefree spontaneity, at least for the next two weeks, and trust me that it won't make you look foolish?


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don't try to convince yourself of anything. Stop telling yourself what you want to hear. These are mindgames, and nothing more. How can actually listen to important messages from the great unknown if you won't be quiet long enough? This is not a joke. This is an actual duty. Real work. Not the flight of fancy of some silly astrologer who enjoys being tough with Geminis. Some of my best friends are Geminis, and they don't particularly enjoy letting their words fall away into nothingness and dwelling there, unmoving in silence. They're too good at telling stories and taking notes and composing watertight accounts to choose to waste these talents. Instead, you waste your time, Gemini, if you expect to figure it out by rearranging the Scrabble tiles enough to stumble upon the magic 99-point word. Shhhhhh… I think I hear your name being spoken on a drop of condensation in the mist over the mountain lake. Is that some sort of spirit guide?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Life is more fun when you go out and play with your friends. So prioritize a get-together with the gang this week, Cancer, and it will help you dodge the possibility of a short-lived dip in your mood. Whatever it is that threatens to bring you down, refuse to bow to it. Don't take things so darned seriously. Instead of imagining yourself sinking, enlist enough helping hands and assisting arms to bind together and weave a net to keep you aloft. You are not avoiding your feelings by choosing to do something else; you're merely keeping busy. Seek more than one other friend—an ideal number would be at least four of you—and organize an impromptu party or a night on the town. At the very least, meet up for lunch. When you share the burden with them, it doesn't actually seem like much of a burden. Though you fear you might 'bring them down', their moods won't be as easily deflated by your verging slump as you fear… in fact, they'll more likely bring you up. And everyone wins.


LEO (July 23-August 22): The most challenging part of your week—and the single most important thing you can do to support yourself—is holding stubbornly firm and tight to your own highest professional calling, regardless of how the alluring promises or convincing dissuasions from key players might strive to sway you. At the end of the day, you are the only one who will feel satisfyingly accomplished or naggingly disappointed by what you achieve on the outer-world stage during the course of your life. When you stand in final judgment (whether you believe in such things, or whether you're your own harshest judge), all that will matter is what you did, not who made you feel better or worse about yourself, based on the sacrifices or compromises you were willing to make. You don't have to be rude or disrespectful to hold your ground. But you do have to hold your ground in order to build a lasting contribution upon its foundation.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Added interpersonal activity, thanks to Mars galloping into your 7th, means you can no longer do it in isolation. But Mars's position alone can't tell us whether the heating-up in relationships means new collaborators, closer connections, heightened passion… or increased aggression and conflict. You will soon find out for yourself, if you haven't sensed it already. Whether the resulting effect in you is a desire to hug or hit, cuddle or clobber, my advice remains the same: Stay true to your highest and most universally applicable beliefs, and don't let the minute details of the situations lead you astray down a path of no return. Ask yourself the big questions, before attempting to answer anyone else's nitpicky queries or grilling him/her with your own. As I explained last week, you have a tendency to box yourself in with too many specific rules and standards by which you expect the world to abide. It's one thing when you're both the prisoner and the warden… it's wholly another when somebody else is involved. Remain broad and general—one or two ultimate guidelines should be enough to contain all possible variations on your experience of relationships.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Did you know that you're one of the zodiac signs who share their ruling planet with another sign? That's right, Libra—your ruler Venus also reigns over Taurus, the earthy realist, and that's the sign where she's currently positioned. The Venus you know and love is light as air, Botticelli's luminous muse in gossamer white who glides through the worlds of art and fashion, inspiring creators with her beauty and then politely excusing herself. But Taurus's Venus, the one in charge right now, is the pneumatic Venus of Willendorf, the fertile goddess with fleshy folds carved from stone, unashamed to indulge in a decadent meal, a few glasses of wine, and some sweaty sensual sex. She's a real mama jama. She sticks around through thick and thin, and expects the same. She don't take no shit from no one, no matter how kindly you phrase your delicate justifications. Will you let this foreign reinterpretation of your favorite heroine have her day, too? Will you show up in your body, stay present when exchanges get messy, and exude some earthiness to mix with your ethereal splendor? Bigger portions, longer-and-lustier-than-usual embraces, and a few strategically-placed cuss words might help the cause.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): In the aftermath of the eclipse's turning of the page, you realize you're tired of being alone. Okay, maybe you aren't alone—at least not on paper—but there's still a nagging urge to build a better relationship, whether it's a remodel or new construction, assembled on the ashes of a former residence or pulled out of thin air. Your applied real-world energies are well spent now in fostering one-on-one connections between yourself and other individuals, especially those in which you can experience the true joy of conveying your uniquely original spark and feel that it's being acknowledged. My only warning would be against assuming the emphasis on relating will somehow counterbalance the ever-increasing hunger to be taken care of on a deep emotional level… since this can only be satisfied by your own nurturing efforts toward yourself. Companionship is only that, companionship, and nothing more; it will not save you. While this warning is always something for all of us to look out for, with Venus in your 7th squaring off with Neptune, you're in a particularly precarious position to fall prey to forgetting.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): You'll often find me raising the issue of home with you, Sagittarius… and when that's the case, you can usually assume there's some action going down in your 4th house, the astrological domain of private home life. This week is just such an occasion, with Mars moving into your 4th and providing an increased push to seek what you crave to feel more comfortable at home. But the call for paying attention to home life is of broader importance to you Sagittarians, considering it's an area which is likely to escape your serious consideration, seeing as its quiet privacy may seem downright boring compared to the out-there-in-the-world adventures you're known for chasing. Your sign is equated with freedom of movement, while cocooning at home is essentially a stand-still… or so you've perhaps unfairly categorized it, and consequently missed out on the thrills of silent contemplation, meditative exploration and regimented purity that can prosper from a healthy home life. As before, I'll again encourage you to spend some time on your home. But the responsibility is to furthering your sense of adventure. So, if you find it boring, then you're doing something wrong.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): My sense is that you've broken through the other side, where a whole bunch of stuff may not make a whole bunch of sense, but where you like what you've seen so far. You've punched some hole through the two-way looking glass and finally understand how you'd only previously had access to a partial glimpse of reality. It's not like you suddenly know all the mysteries of the universe, but you're more aware of the direction their answers lead. And in the meantime, if you're as wise as I think you are, you've kept one foot on this side of the portal, in the realm of logistical logic. (It would be virtually impossible for a Capricorn to walk away from this 'real world' right here.) Living in this dual consciousness—pragmatic normalcy and paranormal mysticism—is the key to fulfillment, in that you take what you already know how to do and grow it toward new horizons. Sticking strictly to the material is too boring. Where's the creative challenge?


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Any squirrelly doubts have likely cropped up due to a combination of (1) dreamy Neptune in your sign, squaring off against no-nonsense Venus in Taurus and (2) Mars departing from your sign and taking its cosmic caffeine-boost with it. And the intensified Pisces influence can go far in driving you to question the realism behind those heights of 'I really can change the world' optimism you so recently reached. I'm here to remind you that you really can change the world, even if you might not feel that's true this week. You don't seriously expect every moment to feel as inspired as the one before, can you? For the time being, you need to work on steadying the home front, cementing your own emotional and financial stability without toiling too greatly on that ultimate solution to the big problem. If you've momentarily stumbled, you must bend down and pick yourself up, instead of trying to reach for the stars while you're still sprawled on the ground.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): With Mars traveling into your sign this week, all of the world will spend the next several weeks moving through their lives a bit more like you usually do. And that puts you at a distinct advantage, Pisces, since you're far more accustomed to the magically illogical cause-and-effect system symbolized by Mars in Pisces. You know too well, for instance, how beautifully surprising the results of adding two and two together can be… and how rarely they actually equal a simple four. The rest of us suspect some fallacy in the mathematics, while you see (or at least sense) those other invisible factors that insist on spawning a different answer every time the question is asked. In light of your advantageous position, I recommend strengthening your faith in the notion that your way of seeing and being is actually quite sensible and dependable, at least through the beginning of June… and with that injection of higher confidence, you'd be stingy not to share your suggestions on how your allies and acquaintances can break their stalemates with a different outlook, even if the advice is not solicited. This act of sharing, rather than being selfless, helps your cause too.