Horoscopes | Week of April 14-20, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is one of your best weeks in a long time to attend to some serious long-range strategic planning. Though we usually think of you Aries as fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants types who thrive on spontaneity and impulse, there are some goals one can only achieve through foresight and endurance. And likewise, once such goals have been identified, it's crucial to look at ourselves… and accurately assess our best assets for getting the job done. Therefore, Aries, you'd do yourself a great service by evaluating your practical worth with unflinching honesty this week. Determine which of your traits are the most valuable, both in terms of (1) specifically what you want to accomplish and (2) more general economics, since whatever you can hawk on the open market will bring in cash you can swap for the other things you need. Also, pinpoint any areas where you're lacking in skill or experience, so that you either develop what's weak or accept your limitations (we've all got 'em). Once you can rationally understand (in great detail, no less) where you're going and what you've got going for you, the logical next steps in your success are much likelier to follow.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Kiss that 'stuck' feeling goodbye, Taurus. With both the Sun and Mercury moving into your sign this week, the announcement has been made: This upcoming timeframe has your name written all over it. Naturally, this boatload of blessings isn't due to arrive all at once, right at the very moment your solar 1st lights up. Rather, you must give things a generous space to unfold as they will, over the coming month or so. Still, this is the ideal time for organizing your thoughts, throwing together an action plan, and taking those crucial first steps that'll get the ball moving (so it may continue rolling along at a fine pace by its own increasing momentum). Don't settle for humble ambitions, when the thing you really want is closer to your grasp than ever. Sure, it'll take a mighty strong commitment to see yourself all the way to the grander victory. But what the hell else should you be doing? If you start setting the pieces into motion now (an exceptionally prime moment for transforming big ideas into real-life accomplishment), your plans will unfold with even better results than they ordinarily would. It's what they call 'working with the planets'—and these days, the planets are eager to work with you.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Congratulations on hosting a very vivid imagination this week, Gemini… but please remain on the lookout for obsessive fixations, wishful fantasies or other stubbornly tempting excuses to color everything under the sun in one overriding tone. Your ruler Mercury is being powerfully bolstered by both Saturn and Pluto, all three delving deeply into your houses of psyche, to emerge with ideas and images flooded by residue from your personal history of lived experiences… but not necessarily fully in sync with the current reality the rest of us are living. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, if you use the influence to reflect back and, in the process, dream about big things ahead. But it becomes a real problem if you're banking on these dreams to materialize right this very minute… and/or can't seem to think about anything else. Simply put, you mustn't pin your immediate survival on future hopes, no matter how glorious. Without imagination, our world would never see progress or innovation. But though it's a great tool, we must wield it wisely… never forgetting that, should we provide it free rein and no structure, it bears the potential to run us right off the road and into harsh wilderness.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your relationship with a certain someone (whether the problematic one we've been discussing recently or some other altogether deliciously romantic bond) mustn't be permitted to take over your entire life. If you spend too much time with them (or trying to avoid 'em), thinking about them (or talking behind their back), or otherwise keeping them in the forefront of your mind, it will prevent you from forming or maintaining other connections. There are so many social threads linking you to so many other folks out there in the world—friends you trust with your life, peers who share your same commitments, old pals you haven't spoken to in ages, acquaintances you've been hoping to get to know better—that it'd be a darn shame for you to overdose on only one or two interpersonal situations. Take a few moments away from your One-and-Only or Current Obsession, to reestablish contact with the peeps you've been missing (and who, incidentally, have been missing you, too). Not only will such actions hit you like a massive gust of fresh air… but, thanks to that smidgeon of personal distance provided, they'll actually support that very relationship you're needing a break from.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Keep yourself way above the fray, or else you'll fall victim to the mischievous maneuvers of those with too much time on their hands… and not nearly the amount of responsibility to worry about that you do, fair Leo. So please let everybody else titter about the latest petty scandal or the 'are they or aren't they?' wonderings fresh from the rumor mill. You've got far more pressing stuff to attend to. If your eyes aren't glued to that computer screen, buried in important papers, or studying the fine-points of the presentation you're scheduled to give, then you are shirking your duties. There are no two ways about it, nor ambiguous loopholes in this horoscope that might justify any temporary lack of serious focus on your part. Not a chance. Your key to navigating a positive, productive, problem-free week is almost too simple to warrant this entire paragraph. Concisely put: Get back to work (and stay there), or it'll bite you in the butt. Over and out.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): You Virgos love your rules. They're there to ensure your work is neatly done, your processes efficient as possible, and your personal space organized according to color, code or other carefully chosen category, right? Well, Virgo, they can also stand in your way, blocking your ability to enjoy the experimentation life can offer, if in fact they've become more like restrictions than helpful guides. How, pray tell, can you possibly know what's 'right' and 'wrong', if you're exploring an approach or interest that you have little or no experience with? You can't, Virgo… not unless you're either parroting judgments made by other people (but do they serve you?) or decreeing verdicts based on unfair conjecture. Indeed, one of the main purposes of Saturn's 2-year transit through your sign (Sep 07-Oct 09) is to encourage you to evaluate your governing rules more closely, to determine if they are legitimately yours and serving you well—or unnecessarily limiting strictures you inherited from parents, teachers, pressuring peers or societal messages. And in order to get out of your rut, your only choice may be to break an old outdated rule… if only so you can grant yourself permission to try something you never dared do before.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): A certain interpersonal negotiation is about to get a whole lot hotter, Libra… and I sincerely hope you're on track to enjoy the more tantalizing (titillating, even) interpretation of that forecast, as opposed to one that only promises more pitfalls and sandtraps. Whatever the case, though, things won't be staying calm and polite much longer. If we read 'a whole lot hotter' from a romantic context, then it becomes clear your passion must be moving to a new level—that is, if you're willing to release the emergency brake. As you two continue to discover more about each other, you may find it too difficult to hold your feelings back… and simply surrender to this natural deepening. Don't freak out. Just go with it. If, however, the intensifying 'heat' is more a brewing tension with a partner, family member or close associate… well, then, I fear you have another layer of garbage blocking the path between you two, which you must plow through before you can expect the stress to give way to progress. You shouldn't try to find a detour around it, either. It's in your best interest to head straight into the storm cloud, dealing with what can't be avoided now, to get it over with as soon as possible. That's why you get the same advice as above: Don't freak out. Just go with it.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your week ahead could score you some brownie points with your main guy or girl… or it could mess with your romantic life, if you rush to emotional reactions before fully listening to your sweetie's entire rationale. A well-aspected Sun and Mercury in your solar 7th invites you to put yourself in their shoes, to think about your partnership situation from their viewpoint, and to speak to their concerns in a very compromise-oriented tone. You'll know you've done a good job at actually hearing what they're saying if you're able to view them as just another person in the world… as opposed to, say, a special individual with the unrivalled power to give you something you want or block you from it. In other words, a healthy impersonal distance will boost your listening skills. Once emotion starts to build, though, you're entering the danger zone—at which point it behooves you to slow down and calmly ask more questions. That's because it'll stop you from the knee-jerk instinct to fight back, when in fact nobody's fighting except you. When unduly influenced by emotion, you might mistakenly see their act of 'just taking care of myself' as a sleight against you. However, if you can see past that, you'll realize they mean you no harm… and you can go ahead and unclench your fists.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): Take nothing for granted. Read slowly to catch every last phrase, rather than skimming through the fine print, assuming you know what it says. Double-check others' stories, no matter how confidently they deliver the facts. In all business matters and other major dealings, you simply mustn't take somebody else's word for truth… at least not without checking it out yourself. This isn't unrelated to last week's advice, when I urged you not to 'go along with it' unless you were completely sure you agreed. Only, in this version, I'm explicitly warning you that a certain key player in these proceedings may not have a full and totally accurate grip on the pertinent information, leaving you dangerously vulnerable to accidentally missing something—if, that is, you rely solely on them to handle the details. Don't misinterpret this warning to imply this person is intending to screw you over. But even with their best and purest motives, they could lead you astray due to sloppy work or a lack of forethought. Still, the buck stops with you, Sagittarius. And if some clumsy error or oversight causes everything to fall flat, you'll ultimately have your own carelessness to blame.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Contrary to what your internal advocates of 'decorum' and 'decency' might report, life is about going after what you want. Otherwise, why go through all the trouble? Yet, you Capricorn types will often go to great lengths, trying to talk yourselves out of such ballsy plays for self-satisfaction… as if serving one's own best interests is somehow an unsavory show of greed. (From that self-sacrificing perspective, you might as well sign away every last earthly belonging to your local charity and retreat to the monastery.) Still, you want what you want, just like the rest of us. And this week, you won't be very good at downplaying your desires, in some hopeless hope of appearing totally taken care of, like you require absolutely nothing of any kind from anyone. So forget about trying not to be too obvious. The covetous cravings are written all over your face. Not only do you want what you want, Capricorn, but others will be pretty clear on just what that is. With that in mind, you might as well embrace the exposure of your supposedly subtle (yet altogether obvious) desires—and rightfully flaunt 'em, since you've got nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, you want what you want, and everyone knows it. All that's left to do is reach out your hand, and start grabbing…


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your intellectual deftness could actually work against you this week, Aquarius, in an astro-climate where your most useful bits of awareness will come from a mystical place beyond your every ability to 'intelligibly' explain its logic. As such, instinct is currently a far more credible friend than critical analysis. Feel free, of course, to expend as much mental steam as you'd like to rationally weigh all the different options… though you already know exactly how you want things to go. (Does it make you feel better to believe you carefully reasoned your way to a real solution, rather than merely acknowledged the truth that's been magically planted in your body?) Obey the deep internal calling, and ignore the practical arguments on all sides. Your most perfect solutions will come straight from your heart, no matter whether you spend agonizing afternoons listing pros and cons or if you simply awaken one morning with the enchanted beans resting gently in your hand. Feel your way to victory, and give your inner brainiac a few days off.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Whoever told you that you were supposed to keep your mouth shut about stuff you haven't figured out yet? Please don't buy into their fear of 'looking stupid', Pisces. Often, it's clearly preferable to openly discuss the situation that's got your head spinning every which way… in as many different chats with as many different people as you possibly can. Contrary to what certain more-self-enclosed folks might tell you (a Virgo or a Capricorn, for instance), you needn't have all the facts nailed down before speaking. Somebody you know (or are barely acquainted with, as the case may be) could possess one small phrase of brilliant wisdom (hidden within a haystack of irrelevant blather) that inspires a whole new train of thought in you. But, of course, you'd never get to hear it, if you were more concerned with 'saving face' or presenting a magically perfect choice (or so it sounds at the time) as if it sprang fully formed from your forehead than, say, actually approaching the decision-making process with openness, humility and patience and letting what other people say assist you in ironing out the wrinkles. In this case, talk is far from cheap. In fact, it may be the most valuable resource you've got.