Horoscopes | Week of April 21-27, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Often, I'll use the presence of Venus in a sign (she's currently in yours) as an excuse to write wonderfully upbeat, encouraging and enthusiasm-inspiring horoscope passages, with the hope a person will take full opportunity of the soft blessings that planet brings to whatever zodiac zone she visits. However, in this week's case, Venus is caught in dual squares (with Mars and Jupiter) that challenge your ability to utilize her energies to easy advantage. How? You might feel that, in order to claim the extra goodies, you must contend with certain psychological obstacles—probably of the self-sabotaging brand. Indeed, you may be unconsciously fighting against yourself, if you're still complying with the now-internalized messages from unsupportive family members or two-faced friends from your past (or present) who undermined your success, for whatever conscious or unconscious reasons they might've had. That's right, Aries: Those mean voices inside your head don't necessarily belong to you, though they may've been squatting there so long, you've come to accept them as you own. This is a wonderful week for ignoring all hints of discouragement, especially if they stem from within. When in doubt, drown them out with repetitively positive self-talk. Reprogramming works wonders.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the continuing onslaught of everybody having their say, of possibilities and opinions, details and distractions, you mustn't be expected to entertain any chance of organizing these disparate threads. Some corridors in this maze of information overload will carry you along for miles of rich terrain. Others lead to abrupt dead-ends. Further clarification is provided nowhere. The guiding landmarks are not indicated by signs. The vague sense of familiarity (less about actually 'having been here before' on this very terrain than having felt similarly) might hearken back to your two-weeks'-ago horoscope, when I first mentioned this peculiar passing phase of you lacking your best discrimination skills. Only, back then, I reassured you that mirroring others' reactions would leave you 'relatively unscathed'. In this week's version, Taurus, I'm stripping out that potential to be rescued by your pals who, in the current environment, probably lack any additional insight to help you spot those precious needles, scattered as they are among endless stacks of hay. But along with that difference, I also see less reason for you to fear wasting time with an 'oops' here or there… since, at this point, it's far better to try this, that or the other than to wuss out completely, paralyzed by questions about what's what. None of you has answers that'll assuredly save one another from glitches, gaffes or goofs. Blind (or partly-sighted) experimentation is the only way to continue.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you've got some super-insightful and mega-trustworthy friends at your disposal, Gemini, then I suggest you put them to good use and seek some advice… on your dating life. Whether you're single or coupled off (or in the ever-expanding category of 'it's complicated'), you're presently cruising through an 'everything's fine as it is' spell (some might even call it 'ignorance is bliss') where some of the finer complications are being conveniently glossed over. (Remember I mentioned the 'wishful fantasies' of your 'very vivid imagination' last week?) There's nothing inherently wrong with momentarily letting things be, without much worry for what could happen later—unless, that is, you're simultaneously entering into commitments or understandings related to the future, which are predicated upon the current flow continuing on as it is. It's not the time to tell yourself 'everything else will work itself out'. (Things don't have such agency; only people do.) Your pals can come in handy because they can see exactly what you've been missing… and they'll point it out, if you're willing to hear. That doesn't mean you need to obey whatever instructions they give you. But it would behoove you to at least listen, pause, let it sink in, and give yourself additional time to work these things out, in advance of any quickie weddings, divorces or what-have-you.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): This is no time to play the 'polite young lady or gentleman' card, Cancer… not when you have an action-oriented combination of astro-factors egging you on to vie for more recognition, respect and/or rewards. You've had more than enough practice swallowing your gumption, so as not to appear too grabby or self-centered to those you seek to impress. But certainly there are major drawbacks to that approach—namely, that you can't be completely sure if the relevant players are even aware of what you else you might want. If you don't speak up about it, how could they ever know? Now, you can still be completely sweet and charming while, at the same time, unabashedly asking for exactly what you want. You can be direct and assertive without clubbing 'em over the head with it. And of course, it doesn't mean you're going to get what you ask for. Yet, if, after clearly stating your case, you ultimately receive a resounding 'no' from the folks with the power to approve or reject, it won't be because they didn't know you were interested in moving ahead—it'll be for some other reason unbeknownst to you, likely beyond your control, and thus not your fault.


LEO (July 23-August 22): From a certain angle, I might advise you to cut 'em some slack if particular people around you act as if they haven't a damn clue what they're doing. After all, it's quite possibly true—they may indeed have no damn clue what they're doing. And since, because of that, you probably can't get a grasp on what feelings or motivations are behind their cryptic carryings-on, you might as well let the misbehavior roll right off your back. (That way, if you pardon 'em now, you'll earn future liberties for yourself.) However, from another angle altogether, you could be branded the clueless one. At least, that's how some people might read the situation, if they aren't able to figure out what has you bent out of shape or otherwise conducting yourself strangely. So who's really the strange one, Leo? Or, perhaps, a better question: Does it matter who's who and what's what? The crucial point for you to grasp is that you're experiencing a peculiar (and, yes, temporary) lapse in mutual understanding between you and certain folks, where each of you is prone to view the other's doings with a simple inability to fully 'get' what's going on. This doesn't become a problem unless one or both of you refuses to surrender to that chasm, instead driving yourselves crazy (and getting increasingly upset) trying to explain or comprehend. Accept it, however, and it's not such a big deal. So if you don't have a damn clue what they're doing, just smile and nod as if pleasantly responding to a stranger attempting to make small-talk with you—in a language you don't speak.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): It's never easy to navigate through the waters of a profound difference with somebody you care greatly for… especially if it isn't an out-and-out quarrel, with heated words and flared emotions flying through the open air in spontaneous, spectacular expression. In fact, it's probably far harder to simply 'agree to disagree' over some fundamental mismatch in psychological experience, attitude, or moral belief—while maintaining the mutual affinity and intimacy, without raising up protective walls or lowering the boom of judgment. But just because a close pal or like-minded colleague (or so you assumed) has a perfectly sound argument behind his/her opinion, that certainly doesn't mean you must buy into it. If your gut tells you something else, you've got to go with that. Yet (and this is definitely the trickier part, Virgo), you might lack the words to support your contrary stance… and thus you won't necessarily smooth away any awkwardness by attempting to describe why you feel differently. If anything, you could get caught exchanging statements that seem more antagonistic than they're intended to be, only making matters worse. In the end, the deadlockish 'agreement to disagree' is still probably your best bet. As far as the uncomfortable residue left behind? It'll pass on its own, over time.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): Being a member of the sign of the scales and all, you just might serve as a beacon of balance for the rest of us, Libra, in this week ahead ripe with excesses, exaggerations and extremes. I'm under no delusion that you Librans ever achieve that perfectly exquisitely balanced state any more often than anyone else… but you definitely have a sharp view of 'balance' as a valuable quality worth striving for, no matter how many small compensating gestures, in one direction and then the next, such a virtue necessitates. And the more proudly you display evidence of being able to juggle a little of this with a little of that throughout your week, the better everybody will respond to you—and the better position they'll be in to follow your example in their own lives, once they see the increase in balance it yields you. With action intensifying in multiple areas of your life at one, your biggest challenge is clearly where to focus your attention at any given moment… and how much time to give one thing (work, relationship, family, household) before switching to the next. Considering how all of us are under this same astro-climate of extremes, you'll want to make sure each important circumstance gets its fair share of you. Otherwise, someone else is liable to respond to what they're not getting from you—and quickly evolve your situation, without giving you a say.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): You will get your point across, if it's important to you. I guarantee it, Scorpio. Make this 'conveying of meaningful message' a main goal of your week, and they can't possibly mistake your fervor for any sort of lukewarm ambivalence. They'll know, beyond the shadow a doubt, which side of fence you fall on—and how much you care about defending that border. But with that in mind, are you 100% confident in the stand you're rarin' to make? Have you weighed the other possibilities? Have you listened to (and thought about) the opposing arguments? Have you considered the practical day-to-day consequences of such a defining premise (i.e., 'will it work in the real world?')? The closer your answers are to a consensus 'yes', the more surefooted you can proceed in laying down your law… knowing you are probably not missing any significant specifics that'd, further down the road, complicate your present conclusion. Of course, that's not to say you aren't entitled to that omnipresent privilege to change your mind later. Only, there's something especially potent about the statements you'd make this week: Should you have to backpedal on 'em at a later date, you'll face a louder-than-usual chorus of 'I told you so' and be forced to eat an extra couple helpings of crow.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): In an astro-environment where Venus, Mars and Jupiter are conspiring to drive many of us toward over-the-top attitudes and approaches, you are hardly immune from the tendency to make things bigger (rather than, say, to downplay or underemphasize). You, my fair Sagittarius, may indeed be one of the week's principal button-pushers… and plenty of other folks, once you've pushed their buttons, won't be shy in pushing yours right back. Whether we're talking about love or war, goofy late-night partying or deadly-serious processing discussion, any situation bears the strong potential to accelerate from lukewarm to nuclear in a mere matter of seconds. The specifics will vary, based upon what's going on in your own life right now. But the theme remains the same: Expect things to intensify. I'm not interested in goading you to not push buttons… or, for that matter, to push lots of 'em with extra gusto. That's all up to you. All I can tell you is to be sure you know what you're getting into, while staying ready for the scene to spin on a dime. Oh, yeah, and remember this, too—Whatever happens can't be taken back.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): They're at it again, Capricorn… coughing up their psychological-projection garbage all over you, expecting you to take it like the stoic earth-sign you are, though you may likely deserve nothing of the sort. Therefore, don't be too surprised if you face accusations of 'getting too big for your britches' or 'demanding things your way' or other such statements of resentment, throwing your increasing assertiveness back in your face like it's so totally disgraceful. Every action is met with a corresponding reaction, and as you continue to come more fully into yourself, you must expect others to have their responses—which, for some, will undoubtedly include jealousy, anger, or a sense of looming threat. What can you do, though? Put a stop to this accelerating momentum you've worked up to, just to make somebody else feel okay about their dissatisfying situation? The solution is not to even the playing field by adjusting your ambitions downward, sacrificing yourself at the altar of reactionary modesty. You mustn't let anybody steal your thunder for their needy reasons, right when you're (hopefully) feeling more optimistic about the future than you have a long while.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): There's an undeniable 'push/pull' quality to your week ahead, Aquarius, pitting a desperate-to-get-stuff-done Mars against both a Venus and a Jupiter who'd rather shoot the silly shit for hours or drift off on daydreamy visits to the clouds above. With this in mind, then, you should embrace your small victories and incremental steps of progress where you can get 'em… as opposed to, say, wringing your hands at all the crap still left hanging (when, between us, you know you weren't really going to get to all that this week anyhow). You're likeliest to squeeze useful spurts of productivity from your half-checked-out attention span if you broker little deals with yourself throughout the day. 'If I get two more pages written, I can have another cup of coffee.' 'If I can stay at the gym fifteen minutes longer, I'll allow myself to leave the dishes unwashed until tomorrow.' This dangling-carrot approach may indeed appeal to the juvenile in us who requires an immediately rewarding incentive for fulfilling our most essential responsibilities. But this week, cave into your adolescent cravings… and dispense yourself those periodic treats (every half hour, if you have to) that'll keep you going another tiny bit longer.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): I've decided not to waste my breath with futile warnings about the near-irresistible temptation to embrace all things wacky. I'm not entirely sure why you wouldn't just go for the rowdy fun being dangled in your face… despite, of course, your protesting claims that you actually want to 'tone things down' or 'play it safe', in a feeble attempt to convince yourself to get back to business. So don't fight the tide, Pisces, when it's fairly obvious you're in no mood for properly tame (and totally boring) behavior. Instead, agree to certain compromises with yourself. If you do opt to skip a responsibility here and there, it better lead to a seriously good time—not merely another primetime rerun or mediocre meeting with a friend you only kinda-sorta like. Bring subtle shades of practical thinking to your wild side, rather than trying to squash the revelry altogether. Leave a little bit earlier. Drink a little bit less. Don't pay for everyone's meal, but settle for going dutch. In short, grant yourself permission to go out and do what you're going to do… and at the same time, serve as your own chaperone, one who mostly leaves you to your devices but occasionally makes mild suggestions for ways to ever-so-slightly temper the craziness.