Horoscopes | Week of April 17-23, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Try as you might to move through your week with ultra-observant respect for the complexity of as-yet-unspeakable feelings, it'll be nearly impossible to keep your mouth shut. A Mars-Mercury square does its part to keep your thoughts and utterances emotionally volatile. Will you lose your temper, blow the surprise, or shock 'em with more honest disclosures than they're expecting? Okay, maybe it's not such a bad thing to emerge out of left field with a fast-talking ferocity… if it'll serve to move everything along. If there's one thing an Aries can't stand, it's a pointless delay of the inevitable. So I won't insult your nature by presuming you should keep your cool (to what end?) and wait until (when?) you've brooded on it to absolute surety. Sometimes, it's better to conduct the analytic deliberations after the cover's been blown and the darts discharged toward their target. So, you've made the decision or said your piece… but done is not done. The feelings that spurred the whole thing aren't fully processed. Finish what you've started, with the private contemplative follow-up needed to understand why you got so worked up in the first place. There's more there, I swear.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Promise me, Taurus, you'll participate in one completely bizarre—or at least totally uncharacteristic of you—social adventure this week, where you'll be surrounded by the types of folks who unblushingly brandish their freak individuality, just because they wouldn't have it any other way. If you won't do that, then at least pledge to become that one freakish individual within your usual group or milieu. The intent behind this, courtesy of Venus's conjunction to Uranus, is to flaunt freedom… for all the most delightfully impractical, childishly nourishing reasons. To release pent-up tension. To express the silliest bits of your creative verve. To bask in your utter inability to control anything other than what you do with yourself. And most of all, to establish a wildly original basis for connecting with others. The best method for meeting new friends, lovers and collaborators is to cast a wide wacky net. Among the flocks of fanatics and fiends and aficionados who pause for five-minute bondings over snippets of common and uncommon interests, one or two may rise to the surface as something more. But you'll never know if you're not there, to hold their hands in solidarity and proclaim yourself another strange citizen of this otherworld.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Ready to follow some twisted reverse-logic? Here goes, Gemini. You'll demonstrate your sincere devotion to what's best for the group, the cause and/or everyone, when you're willing to say whatever's necessary to spark some lively movement—even if you piss them all off. Let the discord erupt, without trying to make nice. Fighting words may be the ideal antidote to any apathy that's set in… though they needn't be personal shots, in order to get the point across. Think of yourself as a warrior (the good kind) who's justified in arousing agitation because it's healthier than the onset of inertia-related illness. You'll know you're fighting the good fight, if you risk your own well-being (and your relative ease in getting along with everyone) to shake up the sauce. And you're liable to shine in the glorious role of uncompromising reformer, in a way that overpowers your standard stereotype as one who shifts allegiances with the direction of the hour's winds. The sting of your shit-stirring sentiments will quickly pass from their momentarily perturbed minds, but the memory of your altruistic audacity will persist—to your longer-term advantage.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you're genuinely committed to putting your own satisfaction first, then you surely won't mind gambling 'the sure thing', in order to stand nobly for your belief in what's right. The wild-card of Mercury in Aries revs up communications in your 10th house of public reputation, so that you'll be prone to tell those career cohorts and power-players exactly what you're thinking (at least for that moment), and to hell with decorum. Mercury squares off against Mars in your sign, which means you're exuding outward strength of spirit and/or outright contentiousness… qualities they may have underestimated in you. One man's 'assertive' is another's 'aggressive', depending on whether you feel confident enough to view the situation in terms of what you're putting out, rather than what you imagine they'll do to potentially block you. Take the offense, instead of falling into defensiveness, and assume nothing about how they'll receive your advances. What good is being accepting by them, if it comes at the cost of self-respect? At the end of the day, you will be so proud to know you fought on behalf of what you value—it'll be more than enough to drown out any sorrow for what you might've given up in the fight.


LEO (July 23-August 22): It's already happening, just as I warned you last week… the creativity is jacked far up, just as the pragmatic clarity dips way down. What's a Leo to do? Enjoy the splendiferous enlightenment, of course—but without entrusting serious life-management decisions to the 'amazing insights' that spontaneously show up, now and for the next several weeks. Your mind is functioning like that of an artistic genius under the influence of psychotropic drugs. The unquestionable alteration in perspective is a divine gift, breaking you out of the artificial confines of socialized existence and carrying you to a non-geographic place of purer truth. But the actual work you produce during this period will be incomplete… until, that is, you're able to resculpt its crudity into a more finished whole, once you're no longer under this influence. The brilliant fertile core is there, however. So take that for the exquisite triumph it is. This is brainstorming madness, not time to sit for the final exam. If you have important business decisions to make now, ask for help from your most 'normal' friends—earth-sign types (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) can ground you long enough to get it done.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Give yourself a break, Virgo. You've definitely earned the right to step away from the high-pitched menagerie of self-enclosed emotions and let off steam. The hardest part could be actually stepping away, with the realization you've probably said enough for the time being… even as, now that you've started releasing what had been kept hush-hush, you can hardly stop going on and on. It's not your job to school those certain 'clueless' individuals (or are they?) about how it isn't just about you, but represents a whole social trajectory of folks across history who have suffered the same unfortunate fates. There's the danger of descending into self-righteousness, if you allow a disclosure to degenerate into a diatribe. Seriously, take a break. This is a great week to make plans with that old friend you haven't seen in a while, to reconnect with the pieces of your past that are flamboyantly liberating, rather than harsh reminders of pain. (You do remember how to have fun, don't you?) Or finally place that call to the flirty acquaintance who you've put off for several weeks, not having been in the right mindset to initiate a new go-at-it. How about going at it now? People aren't always perpetrators or victims, serious confidantes or frustrating problem-makers—sometimes they're just pleasant companions for an afternoon tea, a leisurely dinner, or an animated (overnight?) visit.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Here's this week's guide to getting richer… without getting in trouble with particular people you're itching to get into it with. First off, clear your mind completely, so you're ready to read the rest of this scope without expectations. (Yes, that also means stopping trying to figure out who these 'particular people' are… or fantasizing about what you'd like to say to them.) Okay, mind cleared? Now, respond to the following challenge with the first things that come to you. (If you don't go for the very first ones, the magic won't work.) Select one activity that's almost always a regular part of your week, but doesn't necessarily add anything to your bottom line, and stop doing it. Then, select one activity you've been meaning to include as a regular part of your week but haven't yet, and start doing it. Simple as pie, eh? Not when the activity to eliminate is something that feels good. And not when the activity to add is something that scares you. What is simple is understanding that the key to enhancing productivity (and profitability), as well as pulling you out of your rut, is to radically and unhesitatingly changing up your habits. Remove the evening glass of wine, and add pilates. Stop grabbing your lunches from the corner deli, and start buying fresh produce at the farmers' market. Even if these things seem totally irrelevant to increasing your wealth, trust me, they're not. And more than anything, they put the power in your hands to make a change… instead of indulging the other astro-influence of the week, which could drive you back to the old drawing-board of distracting yourself with what everyone else has to change.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your week can go in one of two directions, based upon the astro-aspects at play… or in a complicated combination of the two… and the behaviors you choose are the deciding factor. The first option is influenced by a flowing trine between Jupiter (still blessedly in your sign) and Venus, which comes together with Uranus in your solar 5th… bestowing the classic good-luck glow upon you from many corners. Your charismatic allure expands grandiosely, to near-epic proportions, without your usual understated restraint to keep it in close control. If you want them to love you, they'll love you… and you won't mind if you appear to actually care they do. Why bother playing it cool in such a setting? Doing the unusual gets you noticed, and that's not as uncomfortable an experience as you'd think. The second option is a harsher, more disagreeable one, thanks to a potentially erratic Mercury-Mars square clouding your work-related exchanges with inappropriate emotion. All the logistical leverage I hailed for you last week could be instantly spoiled, if you unwisely climb atop a high horse and start preaching in pretentious terms on topics they don't give a rat's ass about. Given these two directions, you'd be a fool not to concentrate on utilizing the former, while avoiding the latter at all costs. Stay alert, to keep the worst from sneaking up on you.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In an instant, everything could make perfect sense. It's not going to come from negotiations or persuasions, further research or additional assistance either. You'll know it because it rings through your whole body, vibrating at a resonance so rapid and totalizing, there's simply no other possibility. Congratulate yourself for heeding this form of knowledge that doesn't derive from thought or action, but physical receptivity. If you have not stumbled onto this miraculous answer, it's because you're talking too loudly (to others or in your head) or moving too erratically through your environment. Slow down, and keep quiet. Now, once you put the pieces together, the challenging part is how to convey your findings to those who'll find 'em relevant… or how not to convey 'em, as the case may be. Folks with whom you're prone to conflict won't necessarily be eager to hear you espouse your newfound lucidity—they could be suspicious or mistrustful, impatient or hurt, or just plain sick and tired of listening to anything you have to say. And how are you to persuade them that this time is different? Perhaps you give it a simple, unassuming try… if you're confident you won't lose your temper as soon as you hit a wall. Or perhaps you don't try, at least not yet, and instead wait for the Mercury/Mars square to pass. Later, once you've sat on it a bit, you might find their ears open more widely… and your tone less unconsciously urgent.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): When the longing to strike rises from your gut and toward your lips, be sure to ask yourself, from the very bottom of your heart, if the person you're about to hammer is the person you're really upset with. I'm sure that, on the surface at least, he or she has done something to push your button… or else why would your outrage come on so fast, so ferocious? Still, the button became a button at some point earlier. This rather defenseless creature you're about to rip apart (defenseless when it comes to your wrath, that is) has reminded you of some slight from your youth… an event in which your personal power was squelched by someone else's domineering domination and there was nothing you could do about it. Naturally, now that you can do something about it, along comes a situation like this one—and you're raring to make up for lost time. Well, Capricorn, there's nothing wrong with the process of present-moment circumstances triggering old wounds from the past. In fact, think of it as a gift of enhanced awareness, so next time a similar encounter shows up, you're better prepared to behave as your present-moment self instead of a walking wound-from-the-past. And if you can catch the trigger before you've unleashed the fullest fury, then all the better… since the person in front of you shouldn't be held accountable for what happened years ago, at someone else's hands.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I would like to begin by encouraging you to ignore the Mercury-Mars square early in the week, which has everyone-and-his-sister shooting off their mouths over obtuse excuses for an emotional irritability they don't really understand. Of course, you're not immune to this square, Aquarius—none of us are. Yet, its ugliest manifestations are likely to befall you over the most meaningless, myopic crap. So please do your best to keep calm, even when your temper begs to leave its holding cell in vicious yelps… because there are far more magnificent treats in store for you, and they require you to maintain grace under suddenly serendipitous stars. Venus and Uranus come together in your 2nd house, indicating that a crazy influx of wealth and/or self-worth are headed your direction. Throw in the trine to Jupiter in your 10th, and a major professional opportunity—a raise? a promotion? the gig of a lifetime?—is more likely than not to be headed your way right this minute. If there's nothing in particular on the horizon, then do what you can to create such an opportunity… out of thin air, if you have to. No dream is too crazy, as long as you know a few key power-brokers to whom you can sell your greatness—and from whom you can expect a healthy return. Simply put, it's the fantastic week to dazzle yourself into the prime position. Still, I must conclude with a Mercury-square-Mars reminder. With everyone's tempers a-flame, be mindful of their mood before launching into self-promotion. Waiting a couple hours could make all the difference.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Last week I laid the foundation for a certain degree of risk-taking… and I tried to make it sound less scary by reassuring you it needn't be of the 'Uranus-flavored leaping-out-of-aircraft' variety. Well, I can't give you the same reassurance this week, Pisces, because Venus is joining up with Uranus in your sign… so you'd better strap that parachute on your back. Come on, my lovelies, please don't hold yourself back from making the gutsiest, most daredevil moves you can possibly think of—especially if they take you far from your typical frame of reference, into a bigger world than you'd ever imagined, so you can learn about other ways of living. There's so much more on the other side of that fence. Why spend all your days within the confines of your tiny plot of land, looking for anything that'll spice your life up without your having to change anything? That's a losing battle, and you know it. Instead, be willing to blow a heap of cash or break your lease or leave the relationship with only an overnight bag… whatever it takes to breathe some fresh air into your lungs. Venus and Jupiter have woven their arms together into a safety net for you, to goad you into walking the tightrope. If not now, then when?