Horoscopes | Week of March 31-April 6, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Overall, Aries, things are looking up again… way up, thanks to the double-whammy of both Mercury and Venus hitting your sign during this upcoming week, giving you a renewed dose of mental sharpness and social sway. Hopefully, this return of keener faculties will spur that sunny optimist inside you to recommit to her biggest hopes (the ones that, just recently, you'd begun to question). Allow this near-dizzying reinvigoration to carry you far, on a morale boost that'll provide one heck of a ride, as long as you continue to fuel it with the audacity of expecting to get through any obstacle, one way or another. One caveat, though, with regards to this soon-to-be very commanding aura you'll be increasingly projecting as the week proceeds: Not everybody will respond with open arms to you, should they feel threatened at the sight of streamroller you coming straight at 'em. This warning is especially relevant to all career-related matters, in which your manner might aggravate a boss or important client, or in any other situation where you'd be wise to respect the authority of someone with a noteworthy degree of power over you. Be selective with whose limits you opt to push… and should you find yourself facing an unanticipated public battle, don't fight it unless you're 100% sure you're going to win, with no residual negative consequences.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): This week, you face a peculiar subconscious self-inducement to do something that, ordinarily, you probably wouldn't dream of doing. I suppose that's good for messing with those folks who'd typically go on record accusing you of being one of their most predictable chums. Yet, there's also the unfortunate potential for you to wind up behaving in ways that go against everything you always claimed to believe in… and before you know it, one brief anything-goes moment could turn you into the obvious hypocrite you've tried so hard not to be. But please slow down, Taurus, and agree not to beat yourself up over it, should such a perceived lapse in ethical fortitude occur. Is it really such a big deal? Are you really a less-than-upstanding person for inviting the occasional loose tongue or fudged boundary? Shit does, after all, happen… and if you can't cut yourself the compassionate slack of forgiving your (supposed) trespasses, then you're being unnecessarily harsh. Maybe, instead of scolding your mischievous streak for revealing itself, you should just revisit that ol' reliable guidebook of 'do and don'ts'—and toss a few of your outdated strictures out the window.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I wouldn't expect the group negotiations or team discussions to stay perfectly calm… not in light of the week's double-square from Mercury and Venus in your 11th to a super-intense stationary Pluto, I'm afraid. Despite the attempts on some folks' parts to keep the tone breezy and buoyant, there's at least one individual whose opinions will land uncomfortably upon the crew, insofar as they lend voice to dynamics that have otherwise simmered below the surface. Is that person you, Gemini? (In light of last week's horoscope, it wouldn't totally surprise me.) If so, then please realize you won't be able to come across very 'diplomatically', no matter how hard you try. Therefore, it's smarter to focus on airing all sides of the story (yes, even the one that certain people would deny altogether), without worrying whether everybody will agree. So what if they don't? Does it fall on you to 'make it okay' for the whole lot? Even if the dissident rabble-rouser isn't you, you should probably do your part to invite that person to speak their mind… though, according to the narrow logic of some, that'll automatically align you with the rebel's faction. (Hogwash.) Let the opposition rise now, rather than suppressing it for the time being so it'll spring back up at a much more inconvenient moment later.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): : You're beginning to experience an upswing in public achievement and the recognition that comes along with it, one that will continue to bring developments over the coming month. On top of that, you should also offer Mars a round of applause (as I recently did) for finally leaving his retrograde shadow in your sign this week… and actually starting to tread new ground for the first time in months. No wonder you're likely feeling ready to move onto the next thing, at long last. But to take fullest advantage of these astrological goodies, Cancer, you simply cannot sidestep any particularly prickly relationships with certain co-workers or other interpersonal situations that are currently lingering in the 'awkward' zone. The longer this tension goes unaddressed (or only gets dealt with in a superficial 'all-talk-no-action' manner), the harder it'll be for the two of you to ever get back on track—and the more powerfully this discomfort will take on a life of its own. Even if you'd like to dismiss this specific complication as 'irrelevant', I'm sorry to say it's not. And its unpleasant side-effects are likely to pop back up again at the most importune time. So get to mending that broken or undermaintained fence now… though it may require letting them speak their mind uninterrupted, then quietly chewing on their feedback for a good long while.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Here comes your latest greatest chance to indulge some exciting new interest or flight of fancy… an opportunity to travel! to further your education! to pursue an exploration of something meaningful! to grow! to develop! to expand! Isn't this just what you've been waiting for? Or is it something you'd never have expected but, now that it's here, can't wait to get into? Okay, Leo, you just know there's got to be more to this horoscope than a bunch of enthusiastic exclamation points and a list of potential eye-opening experiences—and indeed there is. But it's a simple, almost obvious addendum: The excitement will come at an undesirable cost, if you don't fulfill certain normal-life details before diving in or jetting off. (Should I make a list of those, too? Bills! Household chores! On-the-job commitments!) Trust me, you'll want to plow through the required tasks first, no matter how frustrating they may be. That way, once you're met your requirements, you'll be completely and totally free to enjoy whatever mind-expanding fun you've come up with… and not entertain the unconscious (and, alas, justifiable) worries about future repercussions from the unfinished stuff you left behind.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): Upon the sight of any disorderly pigsty, most Virgos will want to dash from the scene to forestall the arrival of the corresponding anxiety… or else they'll want to grab the bleach and a scrub-brush and go to town, whipping the filth into better shape. But when it comes to any unsightly emotional messes that might've been recently created, due to the many unwieldy complicating factors in a certain relationship (romantic, professional, familial or otherwise entangling), your more fulfilling bet is to pull up a square of floor and sit yourself right down in the middle of the mayhem. 'What's up with that?' you might wonder. Well, Virgo, that's where all the real passion lives—in the disorderly setting where raw unfiltered truth is left to unsettle all the involved participants, making you squirm in your seats in all the most delicious ways. Self-control (the urge underscoring the desire to neaten the environment, putting everything where 'it's supposed to go') only gets you so far, which is why you should attempt neither to ditch the eye of the storm nor to tidy away the unresolved bits. If anything, do the opposite: Go further than usual. Say whatever comes to you, logical or not, without censoring it in advance for potential controversy. And leave it in total disarray.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): If, sometime this week, a special someone who you ordinarily respect suddenly questions why your reaction to this or that seems so 'out there', you'd better be self-reflective enough to pause and wonder along with 'em. This person is not totally off-base. And the influence of both Mercury and Venus in your solar 7th, Libra, might just have made 'em feel more comfortable than usual to share their feedback with you… or else less patient with holding their tongue. Whatever the case, you should stop yourself from quick-trigger defenses or retaliatory remarks that only serve to make them feel bad, too. Instead, look deeper within. The heavier vibe is, more than likely, coming from you. Dig into your past, and figure out which ghosts from what old unhealed hurt have been called from their slumber to reappear here and now. Once you find a link, go one step further. Explain the details to the person who called you out. Just as they shared with you, so should you return the favor. After all, they bothered to initiate the dialogue. Why not continue it… or, even better, deepen it?


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Hungry to get going already? To finally attend to the tasks you've postponed (or ignored, due to all that fun to be had)? To get back into healthier patterns of physical self-maintenance? Good. Glad to hear it. With both Mercury and Venus zooming into your solar 6th, it's prime time to return to a world where practical productivity is almost as appealing as sipping mai-tais by the pool, by virtue of how personally satisfying it feels to actually accomplish stuff on any and every given day. (I said 'almost', didn't I?) But along with this boost in initiative, Scorpio, comes a bit of danger—that you'll get so into what you're doing, you'll inadvertently step on someone else's toes, simply by virtue of not having consulted them first about the direct consequences of your actions. In other words, your refreshed nose-to-the-grindstone attitude will have an impact on others… perhaps only a minor one, yet enough to warrant a brief discussion. It could be quite frustrating to force yourself to slow down, just to participate in perfunctory chit-chats that feel like you're asking their permission to conduct your own affairs. Yet, showing such interpersonal respect is an important part of the process. And in related news, you're just as likely to overlook the results of 'going gangbusters' on your own well-being, if you don't pay close attention to how much you're trying to tackle (or, for that matter, eat or drink) in too short a time frame. Practice moderation this week, or your body may revolt.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): It would be so easy for you to adopt the devil-may-care, no-strings-to-bind, free-spirit routine… especially when there are clear opportunities to burn through standing tensions by using them as fodder for off-the-cuff commentary, outrageous punch-lines, and/or who-gives-a-crap antics. You could have a grand old time at it, too, Sagittarius, since we know how you love to push the envelope—and how little effort it takes for you. But there may be value in tempering your boldness, if the irritations you're attempting to discharge with such plucky self-assurance are related, in any way at all, to your longer-term maneuvering to get yourself to the next level. Put a different way: If your mouthing-off or acting-out has the slightest potential of upsetting an important player, soiling a crucial connection or ruining your public image in the eyes of a client or customer, then put a sock in it. But please don't get me wrong. This isn't about you sucking it up to please or impress someone else. It's an internal conflict between your inner pragmatist and the brazen controversy-lover in you. They're both great souls, yet only one of 'em is going to make sure your bills are paid.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Even in instances where it seems you haven't really said or done anything noteworthy, you still bear a strange and uncanny likelihood to rub someone weird… due to what, exactly? Please stop yourself, Capricorn, in advance of launching into critical self-evaluation of what you did 'wrong'. The short answer is: Probably nothing. The longer answer, however, goes further to explain how your burgeoning increase in personal confidence and power (yes, it's really happening) may inadvertently trigger other people's own insecurities. Though your actual actions (if there even were any) might hold little direct relevance to them, you may still somehow end up serving as a symbol of their unfulfilled goals or unresolved feelings, by mere virtue of contrast. But that's not really your issue, is it? Be as nice as you can about it, without taking on unfair blame for their reactions, which have hardly anything to do with your intentions. Furthermore, it's useless to reason through these emotional projections with them. The calmer or more helpful you come across, the likelier they'll simply misread it as a superior attitude. If you spy any hints of what I've just described beginning to develop into a full-fledged situation, don't take it on. Just politely get out of the line of their unfriendly fire.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): This isn't the week to hide in the shadows, hoping that some more time alone will foster an even deeper peace of mind. If anything, Aquarius, it's the opposite. Believe it or not, it's presently far healthier to ante back up and keep yourself in the social game—no matter the hassles, real or feared—than to stick by your lonesome. With too much seclusion and not enough outside stimulus, your head is liable to play tricks on you… transforming the piles of papers and stacks of clothes into midnight ghouls and goblins, magnifying tiny molehills into mammoth Mount Everests, convincing you that things are irreversibly doomed when in fact they're plain hunky-dory. (That's 'creative liberty' at its absolute worst.) At the same time, the climate is ripe for rekindling connections with friends who have drifted away (or were you the drifter?), though you may worry you won't be able to handle their drama (or is it your drama that's hard to handle?). At least those ups and downs of everyday life, yours and theirs, are actually real… as opposed to the fabricated demons that'll torment your insides, if given free rein. Other people help keep us grounded, even when we might prefer to escape from interpersonal exchange altogether. Besides, you love your friends. And they love you, too. Remember?


PISCES (February 19-March 20): The long-and-involved ongoing process of you becoming fiercely independent (see last week's scope) has its obvious ramifications for who you choose to keep company with… and/or who chooses to keep company with you. Without a doubt, there are some folks (who we can loosely refer to as 'friends' but perhaps are more properly described as 'people you know') likely to respond with little enthusiasm, if not out-and-out displeasure, to obvious signs that you're more brashly prioritizing your own interests. Well, then how are you supposed to continue serving your customary supporting role of putting yourself second to 'what's better for everyone' (which oddly parallels 'what's best for certain loudmouths in the group')? You can't, can you? What once suited your immediate needs may no longer prove to satisfy you, Pisces… and as you evolve, your wider social circumstances will naturally change along with you. Don't let pressures (blatant or unspoken) from strong-willed friends or controlling team-leaders prevent you from moving with the turning tides. Why exactly should you 'hold it together' or 'play by the rules', if you decide you don't want to? The worst they can do is try, against all odds, to exile you—that is, if you haven't already left of your own accord.