Horoscopes | Week of April 28-May 4, 2008

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, Aries, okay? Trust me, you are going to feel so much freer once Mars finally gets the hell out of Cancer next week, you won't even want to look back upon this latest phase of life. And that's exactly why I don't want you to jump ahead prematurely, without first returning your attention back to your horoscope from two weeks ago and checking in with yourself on your longer-term goals. As I just implied, you're about to experience a pronounced switchover—from (1) having little energy to do what actually moves you to (2) suddenly bursting forth with the initiative to tackle this, that and the other, seemingly all at the same time. Naturally, this injection of superhero spunk will probably have you feeling ecstatic, like someone who's just been released from lockup… and yet could quickly have you forgetting all about the plans you made and priorities you set, back when life was moving ahead slower than molasses in wintertime. One more confirming review of these aforementioned strategies, however, will dramatically increase your chances of using this next period of dynamic drive wisely. It will also remind you to reserve your strength for when you'll need it later. Too much sprinting on the front end will drain your vigor, leaving you too exhausted to reach the finish line, quite a-ways further down the road. Please, oh please, pace yourself.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A kinder, gentler approach will go far in winning them over this week, Taurus… so you needn't worry about cramming anything down their throats, shoving it in their faces, or otherwise making a federal case out of it. With ruling Venus returning to roost in your sign mid-week, you'll have a natural advantage—and therefore shouldn't feel burdened by a compulsion to try too hard. Holding a quiet confidence is all you really need to draw the good stuff to you. Yet, if you're missing that faith in yourself, you're liable to give off a subtle desperation, as if your aura is silently pleading with everyone you come in contact with: 'Like me, please like me…!' As many a successful salesperson will tell you, the 'hard sell' can make potential customers extremely uncomfortable… to the point that they go elsewhere (even if they actually want the wares being offered), simply to avoid the pushy personality. Consciously or not, consumers often don't want to patronize a business they feel is in trouble. And since the true financial or organizational state of an organization is usually found behind the scenes, it goes to show that perception is everything. Therefore, let them perceive in you somebody who's happy with him/herself as is… who's surely open to new people, experiences and opportunities (because there's always room to grow and evolve) but doesn't need them to be okay. For now, the rest will take care of itself. (Of course, their perception must also be accurate…)


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Sit tight until next week, Gemini, and you'll be glad you did. While your ruler Mercury is returning home to your sign this Friday (May 2), he spends the coming weekend pitted against a stationary Saturn… and thus will need a few days to get out from beneath his tight control. Come next week, though, you should be in possession of a distinctly noticeable reinvigorated gusto, which will come in very handy for motivating you to resolve all those dangling ends that have been left dangling for a few weeks now. 'Up in the air' is soon to become 'well on its way'… but not quite this week. In the meantime, you may play host to a nagging sense that something's bothering you—though lack any good explanation for what's at the root of it. And for now, your words won't do it justice. (Even the obvious surface-level reasons don't offer the full story.) So don't waste your mental effort trying to decipher the lurking weirdness or talk it out. Just let your feelings be, and, likelier than not, your funny mood will fade away on its own… especially in light of all the other activities you'll soon be busying yourself with, leaving you little time to needlessly panic about 'the other shoe dropping' when, in actuality, they're both safely wrapped around your feet.


CANCER (June 21-July 22): There's only so much of you to go around, so you'd better make sure to distribute your social investments wisely. It's not unkind to be choosy with who gets your free time, unless you authentically care for all human beings equally and harbor no preferences whatsoever… and who the hell is like that? No, Cancer, you probably need to differentiate your most important friends and colleagues from everybody else. Otherwise, it'll be way too easy to fill your dance-card with whoever happened to float by on that day (water sign, much?)—and still find yourself missing those folks who matter most. Please don't waste your precious energy on pals you simply tolerate, casual acquaintances who'll likely never become more than that, or hangers-on from the past who you've clearly outgrown. Your schedule is too busy to squander a single moment on relationships that won't pay back huge dividends of emotional intimacy, caring and support. And don't think you, my dear, are the only one who loses when you don't discriminate. Those closest to you must sacrifice their exquisite moments with you, so you can fritter away the hours listening to yammerers you barely like? How do you think that makes them feel? (Pretty unimportant, probably.) In fact, they just might start judging you by the company you keep… and why you bother 'keeping' it at all.


LEO (July 23-August 22): With Venus sashaying herself to the top of your chart (your solar 10th), her blessings are due to give you a happy nudge in terms of career, public achievement or whatever other outer-world activities you're engaged in. This just may be an ideal moment to remind the one(s) in charge why you're so darned valuable. While prior attempts to snag a better position or secure a stellar word-of-mouth reference might've fallen on deaf ears, those same efforts are far likelier to be noticed now. Yet, Leo, this is not a matter of simple luck. If you're indeed shooting for that bigger piece of the pie, you'd better concentrate on perfecting your aim—as opposed to, say, launching a barrage of thousands of arrows, resting your hopes on the mathematical odds that one will hit the bull's-eye. Venus has the double-trine bolstering influence of Saturn and Pluto (neither of whom messes around) at her disposal… but because of that, she expects both a deep-and-passionate pledge to do your best job everyday (Pluto in 6th) and a conservative approach to financial issues as a way to show your seriousness (Saturn in 2nd). Saturn's presence also implies that it's crucial you stay on message when talking yourself up, focusing specifically (and unwaveringly) on those qualities you're most confident in. The flipside of that: You mustn't try playing it off like you excel at everything (since nobody does), or they'll begin to question every last claim you make. Be honest, realistic and clear. And one last thing: Saturn will be more benevolent on the monetary level, if you promise you'll stow a chunk of dough in savings, should you end up getting more money out of this latest deal.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): How far are you willing to compromise your ideals? Your week ahead, Virgo, could prove to be a test in this area, if events pressure you to bend your guiding ethics in order to maintain a certain appearance for others' sakes. Saturn virtually stands still in your sign throughout the week, as he returns to direct motion on Friday night (May 2), putting you on the spot to tightly enforce the boundaries most appropriate for you… while simultaneously making sure you don't go overboard, freezing out new possibilities with an automatic 'no' before you've even pondered 'em more deeply. We already discussed this latter portion a couple weeks back, when I asked to evaluate your rules to make sure you weren't needlessly limiting yourself. On the other hand, when it comes to sincere conviction on your part (as opposed to habit, peer pressure or fear), I eagerly urge you to stand firm—though, in the short term, it could cost you something. Alternately, it could also earn you something. But such gains and losses are truly beside the point, Virgo. What really matters is that you outwardly assume a clear position, based on what you truly believe… whether it's right in line with others' views or even if it's a deeply unpopular stance. At the end of the day, your self-respect depends on it.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You'd think that, with this week's movement of both Mercury and Venus into signs they rule (Gemini and Taurus, respectively), the day-to-day facets of our lives would soon begin to flow more smoothly than they have in a while. And for the most part, there is some truth to that speculation… only, unfortunately for you, it's likelier to help the other zodiac signs far more than it'll pep you up. (It's okay to yell 'drats!' at this point.) What it's got in store for you, Libra, is a more internal process, centered more on gaining some much-desired emotional clarity—which, of course, is also 'helpful', though not an especially pleasant or immediately applicable form of assistance. That doesn't mean other people shouldn't play a key role in your week. But first and foremost, consider whether the very individual(s) involved in whatever circumstance requires you to seek a clearer perspective would be the best interpersonal influence at this time. (After all, if you're trying to get clarity about them, perhaps you shouldn't place yourself under their direct psychic influence?) When deciding who to hang with, pick the person best able to distract you from unproductive threads of gloomy thinking. Just because you're processing some personal stuff, you needn't remove yourself from sight completely. (In fact, left totally to your own devices, you might convince yourself things are far worse than they actually are.) While the deeper stuff percolates inside you, let someone with a cheery disposition help occupy your attention. Perhaps their 'smoother flow' will rub off on you.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): Your one-on-one relationship zone is about to play host to Venus for the next three weeks or so, which obviously makes it a great time to direct lots of your attention to the special person in your life… or, if single and looking, to the potential dates and mates all around you. For the coupled Scorps out there, I encourage you to evaluate whether you've been giving too much to everyone else in the world—and, consequently, not enough to your main squeeze. If that's the case, then this is the week to remedy the imbalance. Likewise, if you're hoping to meet a new hot-tamale or cuddle-cake, you actually have to prioritize the act of putting yourself out there (over and over again, I might add)… and, thanks to the goddess of love, you'll make more waves than usual, should you do so over these coming days. And even if you're happily unattached, you can still take advantage of this influence by devoting more meaningful moments to the one or two individuals who presently comprise your innerest inner-circle. But regardless of your where you personally fall in relationshipland, you could all stand to hold better boundaries with all the other 'little people' who seem to want a piece of you. Are they really who you want to spend Venus's love-mojo on wooing?


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): If all's going as it should, the efforts you've made for several weeks now are finally starting to show some quantifiable results. Here's a genuine 'yay!' for you, Sagittarius… and that's about as much resting on your laurels as I'm going to grant you. Just because you're finally getting somewhere, this is decidedly not your cosmic sign to slack off. As I've repeatedly told over these past months, your biggest challenge for the present period is to create sustainable structures that help stabilize you a bit more, so that each time you take off on another life-changing adventure, you don't have to start from scratch when you get back. As such, the recent blossoming of the seeds you've tended to is simply the confirmation you need to stick with it, even when the work is exhausting or feels overly restrictive to your free-spirited sensibilities. Successes earned 'the hard way' (that is, a bit at a time over lengthier stretches) are far likelier to endure. Use your week to recommit your energies to the long haul… and as an immediate part of this strategy, factor the need for humility into the equation. Thus, the 'button-pushing' I wrote about last week is definitely no longer appropriate—unless you're a real daredevil gambler.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): Your most important tool for having a truly entertaining week—and as I read this week's planets, Capricorn, you're supposed to have a good time—is the awareness of what really matters in life. Stop, and think about this for a moment. The whole 'what really matters' line should immediately take you up, up and away… far from the mountain of minutiae (need we list its contents here?) that would love to convince you of its extreme importance, when in fact you won't remember a damn thing about its insignificant details five months from now (let alone five years)… and toward that blissfully timeless intermission shortly before death, when we look back over the lives we led and fondly revisit the moments of which we're proudest. And trust me, you'll recall the fun with far more meaningful emotion than whether you ever finished reorganizing your desk drawers, kept your checkbook perfectly balanced, or replied to every last email. That said, wipe that oh-so-serious look off your face already, and don't forget what it's like to be childlike and carefree. Everything doesn't have to be so deliberate and involved. Kick off your shoes, and play.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): I see your week splitting into two distinct parts, with your relative experience of the upcoming weekend (the second of the two) being directly dependent on how well the weekdays that precede it (the first part, of course) go. Part One, which extends through Friday morning, is all about simplifying the unwarranted complications that wreak havoc on your ability to relax at the end of each day. Your main focus should be on your own inner peace… and if that means refusing to dunk yourself in other people's frantic sense of urgency, whether with their personal problems or professional woes, then so be it. (By the way, this can be done without being dismissive or cold. Merely tell 'em you already have plans—they don't need to know they are private plans for you and yourself.) Don't underestimate the tremendous power of taking five deep breaths before responding, as it can genuinely shift you from split-second reactivity to calm-and-cool collectedness. Should you make it to Part Two having looked out for your inner-peace levels, your weekend will likely be gloriously social—minus the challenges associated with the Mercury-Saturn square, due to your having already brushed up on your 'pause, breathe, then respond' skills. However, if you show up at the party without having cared for yourself throughout the week (and thus lacking much in the way of inner peace), you'll ooze that antsy-and-agitated anxiety you neglected to tend to… and probably make a number of people kinda-sorta nervous themselves.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Very few individuals thrive when they spend all their time with just one other person… especially if it's at the expense of remaining plugged into an extended network of close friends (even just a few), their friends, the friends of their friends and so on. So, Pisces, if a certain someone is pressuring you (explicitly or under the surface) to choose them over any- and everybody else in virtually all situations, then you should be very suspicious of their motives. A truly loving partner, spouse or best friend will want you to balance your time together with enjoyable jaunts out and about, allowing you to receive the additional support you can only get from your other pals. Plus, doing things separately will give the two of you more new stuff to discuss… rather than, say, limiting yourselves to batting around the same tired topics (or arguments), with no fresh input to keep the dialogue interesting. Bluntly stated: You need your friends. Even as I sit here pondering your situation, I feel the possibility of a 'walls closing in on you' sense beginning to overtake you, if indeed you passively submit to any such restrictions imposed upon you by this primary relationship (or, more precisely, this particular person). Do they want you to be happy, or are they merely trying to control you?